Saturday, September 8, 2012

Following Reports That Xi Jinping Hurt His Back, Sina Weibo Censors "Back Injury"

On September 7, 2012, the web site of the state-sponsored People's Daily published a report entitled "New York Times: Hillary's China Trip Yields No Results" (纽约时报:希拉里访华无成果). Some excerpts from that report (which originally appeared on the Guancha web site):
At a scheduled press conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the cancellation of the meeting between Hillary and Xi Jinping was a normal adjustment in the visit agenda. Xi Jinping also cancelled a meeting with Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong scheduled for Wednesday. Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said: "There is a mutual understanding with America and Singapore that we have already cancelled meetings."  
A foreign diplomat based in Beijing said that he had obtained information that Xi Jinping had injured his back, and that there was no reason to doubt this explanation. But others have guessed that the cancellation of the meeting with Clinton was related to the once-in-a-decade leadership change, or an intentional snub to Hillary.  
中国外交部在例行记者会上表示,取消希拉里与习近平的会面是访问日程的正常调整。习近平也取消了与新加坡总理李显龙(Lee Hsien Loong)预定与周三进行的会晤。外交部发言人洪磊说,“我们已经就取消会面与美国和新加坡取得了共识。” 
This screenshot shows that at some time between 11 pm on September 5 and 7 pm on September 6, Sina Weibo began censoring searches for "Back Injury" (背伤).

Below are additional examples of related censorship on Sina Weibo on September 6.

"Injury Xi" (受伤 习)
"Back Injured" (背部受伤)