China Censorship Directive Leaked: Mao’s Birthday Gala Name Change Instruction

beijing cybercafe

A ‘Directive from The Ministry of Truth’

The following  instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.

State Council Information Office: All websites strictly prohibit promotion of the December 11 Southern Metropolis Daily article “Name Change Requested for ’s Birthday Commemoration at the Great Hall of the People” and all related news. Immediately delete already published material. Close discussions on interactive segments and strictly control online comments. (December 13, 2013)


In an attempt to lower the profile of a planned symphonic concert honoring the120th birthday of Mao Zedong, authorities ordered a name change and merging of the commemoration with a New Years Gala. Recently, the State Council Information Office ordered the deletion of a Phoenix Net article that included an interview subject discussing the supernal power of Mao pictures.

Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “.”

CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date on CDT Chinese is noted after the directives; the date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.

MiniTrue 真理部


China Digital Times (CDT)

4 Comments on “China Censorship Directive Leaked: Mao’s Birthday Gala Name Change Instruction”

  1. I think the anyone in the West accusing China of censorship is the same as the cast-iron frying pan calling the cast-iron kettle black, but China still seems to be the biggest target for censorship accusations.

    But what about the rest of the world?

    I just did a Google search to discover if there were any other countries with censorship issues and found this from the CPJ: Committee to Protect Journalists where the site listed the 10 most censored countries and China wasn’t on the list.

    What’s going on? How did China avoid getting on the top most censored countries list?

    The CPJ also ran this piece: China not most censored, but may be most ambitious.

    Then I found this opinion piece on Ameica’s media empires:

    Censorship in the Major Media

    The major news agencies depend upon sources in the government for exclusivity in reporting. There is an agreement between the two conspirators that no information will be given to the American public which is not approved by the government. We hear and see nothing until an actual scandal breaks. In addition, they fail to reveal the collusion between Democrats and Republicans to keep voters divided. Winning elections is the only goal of both sides of the aisle.

    Have you ever heard of Operation Mockingbird? Operation Mockingbird was a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, it was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA’s views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA.

    Then there this about Fox News: Fox Censors Itself…And You…Again and Again and Again and…

    Or this about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and censorship:

    Murdoch Censorship Gives the Lie to “Freedom of Speech” Claims

    Does China censor its state owned media? Yes, but how is that different from the rest of the world?

    • The Butcher says:

      Interesting that you are you quite defensive of Communist China, dismissing their censorship as trivial while undermining free speech history in western democratic societies to make your point (with a list of ideologically-loaded links and anti-Fox-news Corp links etc.) there are other websites you can peddle this too, we’re full up with crazy here. Happy holidays.

      • I suspect that anyone who attempts to offer a balanced perspective on China and the world would be called crazy by you.

        Is Communist China really Communist [except in name only]? The CCP may call itself Communist but China has been moving away from socialist programs for decades while it seems America keeps moving toward more socialism.

        For instance, China is moving away from socialized medicine while the US is moving toward it with what’s known as Obamacare.

        Here’s a piece that appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine: China’s De-socialized Medicine, China’s rush to privatize has left hundreds of millions without healthcare. A major overhaul is needed to set things right.

        Then there this from the CATO Institute.

        Ownership with Chinese Characteristics: Private Property Rights and Land Reform in the PRC

        Then there is this: At Present, China taxes profits on property sales, but it does not impose a regular tax on the assessed value of property, with the exception of pilot programs taht started in 2011 in Shanghai and Chongqing.

        Now let’s compare property tax in China with property tax in the United States? In California where we own our home, we pay about $8,000 annually in property tax. Who really owns the property if we couldn’t pay our tax?

        Me thinks you put to much emphasis behind the word Communist [in China] and not enough focus on what’s really going on in China compared to what’s going on in the United States.

      • The Butcher says:

        Methinks you’ve put too little effort into the subject of China, but we needn’t let that interrupt a good conversation. Gosh, maybe you’re right. China’s current regime, under pro-democracy, anti-censorship reformer President Xi Jinping is not so bad, really, there’s much improvement. China’s social, economic, and human rights progress, is quite impressive. You’ve convinced me. What was I thinking?

        Just think of the thousands of micro-tiny news websites like mine–with readerships in the dozens!–that you can write to, besides this one, to share your insights about China, promote ‘balance’, and offer well-sourced, thoughtful corrections. With some perseverance, writing to one site at a time, to make your case, you might eventually reach as many as a hundred readers.

        We’re flattered that you chose to reach out to punditfromanotherplanet, and relieved that you didn’t mind speaking mostly to an empty room. Good luck with your campaign.

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