Monday, January 5, 2015

State Media Censors Child's Suggestion that President Xi Jinping Lose Weight

On December 17, 2014, the Zhengzhou Evening News published a story entitled “What Would Your Child Say if You Let Him Write a Letter to Uncle Xi?” (让你孩子给习大大写信,会写啥?). Some excerpts:
The author of the letter to the General Secretary was an elementary school student by the name of Niu Ziru, a fourth grader at the Best International School on Hangmu Road. . .  .
During last month's APEC meeting convened in Beijing, Niu Ziru saw Uncle Xi photographed together with all the other economic leaders, "I felt that Uncle Xi carried himself like a Chairman, and did credit to his countrymen, it was just that he was a bit fat." Therefore, at the end of the letter he wrote: "Ok, so lets talk about something a bit lighter. Uncle Xi, you could stand to lose some weight. You don't have to be as thin as Obama. It would be ok to just look like Putin."
给总书记写信的小学生名叫牛孜儒,今年9岁半,现在航海路贝斯特上小学四年级。
. . . .
上个月,APEC会议在北京召开,牛孜儒从电视上看到习大大和各经济体领导人集体合影,“感觉习大大很有主席范儿,为咱国人露脸了,就是有些胖了。”所以,在信的结尾,牛孜儒写道:“好了,我们谈点轻松的话题,习大大,您可以减减肥了。不用像奥巴马那么瘦,像普京一样就可以了。”
These screenshots were taken on December 18, 2014, and show that the article, which appeared on page A12 of the print addition and which was originally available here - http://zzwb.zynews.com/html/2014-12/17/content_622386.htm - was deleted from the Zhengzhou Evening News website.


This screen video shows that the article was reposted on many China-based news portals under the title “Elementary School Student Writes to Chairman Xi Encouraging Uncle Xi to Lose Weight” (小学生欲致信习总书记打趣建议习大大减肥), and that those websites also deleted it.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Global Times Claims China's Journalists "Do Not Enjoy Free Speech as Their Western Counterparts Do"

On December 18, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Western Supremacy Echoed in RWB Report” (in English) and “Claims That ‘China is World Leading Jailer of Journalists’ is a Foreign Rumor” (“中国拘禁记者全球最多”是洋谣言) in Chinese. The English version stated:
Chinese journalists do not enjoy free speech as their Western counterparts do, but being detained or arrested by the government is certainly not the normal state of their work and life.
The Chinese version stated:
We do not believe that the work environment for China’s journalists is without problems, and we have a heartfelt hope that the space for expression for news media personnel can continue to expand.
我们不认为中国记者的工作环境没有问题,我们衷心希望新闻媒体人言论空间能够不断扩大。

As noted previously on this blog, just days before publishing this the Global Times published another op-ed claiming that "Online political discussions on China’s Internet are the most lively on the planet."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Global Times Says China's Online Political Discussions "The Liveliest on the Planet"

On December 6, 2014, the state-sponsored Global Times published an op-ed entitled “Internet Freedom Rankings Biased” (中国网络自由排倒三,这排名得多烂). Some excerpts:
The year 2014 saw the state of global Internet freedom declining for the fourth consecutive year, with China, Iran and Syrian rated as the world's worst abusers of Internet freedom, according to an annual report from the US-based human rights organization Freedom House.
. . . .
It is another bizarre ranking by a Western organization that attempts to defame China.
. . . .
What is the truth? About 600 million Chinese Net users made China the largest netizen group in the world. China has bred superb Internet companies like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, and generated the liveliest online discussions on politics. We do not know how those impressive figures and achievements can be attained without basic Internet freedom.  
美国人权组织“自由之家”星期四发表年度报告称,世界各地的互联网自由度连续第四年下降,其中表现最恶劣的国家是中国、叙利亚和伊朗
. . . .
由于网络自由可以有不同标准,再稀奇古怪的排名也能想办法自圆其说。
. . . .
那么事实是什么呢?它是中国有全球最大规模的6亿多网民,中国诞生了BAT这样全球超一流的互联网公司,中国互联网上的政治讨论也是全球互联网大国中最活跃的 [Translation: “Online political discussions on China’s Internet are also the most lively on the planet of all major Internet countries.”],等等。我们不知道如果没有网络自由,这些响当当的数据和成就都是如何从天上掉下来的。我们同样不知道那些骂中国“全球最不自由”的人中,有谁买了阿里巴巴的股票,有谁用了腾讯的微信,又有谁在新浪的微博中注册过马甲,潜水发表过言论。
The Freedom House report is available here - https://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2014/china.

These screenshots were taken on December 21, 2014, and show that Baidu tells users of its PRC-based search engine that it cannot find a single result for any web pages on the www.freedomhouse.org domain. Baidu tells users of its Thailand and Brazil based search engines (which are blocked in China) that it can locate 2,980 pages on that same domain.


This blog has previously shown that Baidu has banned users from establishing forums to discuss issues including “Politics,” “Freedom of Speech,” and “Rights.”

These screenshots were taken on December 21, 2014, and show that Baidu has banned users from establishing a PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum about “Freedom,” but appears prepared to allow users of its Thailand and Brazil based services to set up PostBars forums to discuss that topic.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Global Times Deletes Chinese (But Not English) Language Article About Great Firewall

On December 16, 2014, the state-sponsored Global Times published an English language op-ed entitled “Open Internet Not at Odds with Regulation.” Some excerpts:
Surprised to find that Google had become accessible around midday Monday, Chinese mainlanders posted the news online, which went viral on social media immediately. A jubilant group of Net users assumed that it was because of some kind of agreement between the Chinese government and Google. However, later that evening, the website was blocked again, with many people speculating that the temporary access resulted from an update to the Great Firewall.
. . . .
It might not be worth figuring out what really happened.
On the same day the Global Times published a Chinese language op-ed entitled “The ‘Temporary Lifting of the Ban’ on Google is Cause for Reflection” (谷歌“临时开禁”引发的思考) - original URL here - http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2014-12/5243426.html.

The following screen recording was taken on December 21, 2014, and shows that the English language version of the editorial remained available, but the Chinese language version was deleted.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Global Times Supports Sacking of Journalist Who “Attacked the Party”

On November 25, 2014, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Freedom of Speech Subject to Legal Restriction.” Some excerpts:
Jiaxing Daily, a Party newspaper in East China's Zhejiang Province, announced on its official Sina Weibo account Sunday it had fired commentator Wang Yaofeng [王垚烽]. Wang paid the price for comments he made that attacked the Party and challenged the country's political bottom line on significant issues.
. . .
Wang published many Weibo posts that did not match his job position. He wrote that "Jiaxing people have the tradition of resisting dictatorship. In history, the Party was born here; and today Jiaxing people are also capable of ending it here." Another comment he published on Weibo said "If there is a war between China and Japan, I will definitely stand by the democratic Japan, not the autocratic China."
. . . .
Wang does not suit a position in the Party newspaper. There are others like Wang who oppose mainstream values. These people no longer face the treatment that they would have faced a few decades ago. In today's China, diversification should be highly cherished, rather than abused.
Law also enjoys authority in terms of speech. It is radical to claim that comments should be exempt from restrictions of law.
This screenshot was taken on November 29, 2014, and shows that in 2012 and 2013 the Global Times website published at least 10 op-eds by Wang.