Thursday, August 27, 2015

Global Times Editorial Says China is World's Largest Democracy, Baidu Bans Forums on "Democracy"

On August 27, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled "When All is Said and Done, Which is the Largest Democratic Country" (究竟谁是最大的民主国家), by Han Zhen (韩震), Communist Party Secretary of the Beijing Foreign Languages University and Director of the Chinese Culture Export Coordination Center (中国文化走出去协同创新中心). Some excerpts:
We must cast off Western linguistic manipulations and steer clear of the linguistic traps that they set. We must not only criticize the artificiality of Western democracy, we must also clarify the democratic characteristics of our own country. We must steadfastly seize the power to name what are democratic values, and fight for the power to control the discourse on democratic values.
. . . .
In the end, we must recognize that all kinds of democracy exist in the world, and that China's democracy is a true and effective form of democracy. From this we must state with firm conviction that it is China which is the largest democratic country, and that China remains a nation whose democratic governance is, relatively speaking, extensive and effective.
. . . .
This screenshot, taken on August 27, 2015, shows that Baidu had banned users from establishing a PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum on the subject of “Democracy” (民主).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

China's Search Engines Censor "Stock Disaster"

UPDATE August 25, 10:30 am: It appears Baidu has stopped displaying a censorship notice. See below for details.

On August 25, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Morale Needed as Pessimism Roils Market.” Some excerpts:
Chinese stock markets saw their biggest daily fall since 2007 Monday, with the Shanghai Composite Index dropping 8.49 percent, while the ChiNext Index plunged 8.08 percent. Other Asian markets experienced a dramatic fall along with them. US stock markets also plunged to daily limit in early Monday following the big drop in Chinese stocks. Some have therefore dubbed the day "Black Monday."

There seems to be only one reason for the tumble - investors lack confidence in China's economic outlook.
. . . .
There is no need to worry because of pessimistic voices from the outside world. China's economy is in a bitter period of structural adjustments. We should become inured to face all sorts of problems with grace. This temporary lack of confidence will not snowball to become destructive. 
These screenshots were taken in the morning of August 25, 2015 (Beijing time), and show that all of China's major search engines - Baidu, Qihoo, and Sogou - were censoring searches for "Stock Disaster" (股灾).

UPDATE August 25, 10:30 am: These screenshots were taken around 10:15 am on August 25 (Beijing time) and show that apparently Baidu was no longer displaying a censorship notice when users search for "Stock Disaster." Although Baidu is also telling users it is not able to find as many search results as when it was displaying the censorship notice.

These screenshots show the change in search results for "Stock Disaster" restricted to Sina's Blog domain.

Report of Public Group Poisoning in Beijing Disappears (Again)

On August 15, 2015, the state sponsored news outlet Caixin published photos such as the one below on its website under the heading “Many People Drink a Drug and Collapse in a Group at Shichahai in Beijing” (北京什刹海多人喝药集体倒地).

The caption under the photos said:
On the afternoon of August 15, 2015, at the gate of the Shichahai Flower Market in the Western District of Beijing, several people fell to the ground and showed clear indications of being unwell. It is currently not possible to ascertain the reason. Police quickly cordoned off the area and ambulances arrived shortly thereafter, and some of the unwell group were taken to the hospital.
The photos were deleted within hours.

Original URL:

These screenshots show that a search on Sina Weibo on August 15 for the phrase “Many People Drink a Drug and Collapse in a Group at Shichahai in Beijing” (北京什刹海多人喝药集体倒地) returned several posts containing photos of the incident, but the same search done on August 16 returns a notice that no search results could be found.
Below are the photos from the deleted posts.

In May of this year China's web sites censored photos of a mass suicide attempt in Wangfujing, Beijing -