Asia Defense

Revealed: China’s Secret Censorship Instructions for Its Military Parade

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Asia Defense

Revealed: China’s Secret Censorship Instructions for Its Military Parade

Beijing threatens that violators of the guidelines will “be dealt with seriously.”

Revealed: China’s Secret Censorship Instructions for Its Military Parade
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Jian Kang

There are just two more days until China’s military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender to end World War II, and new details are emerging every day.

Yesterday I reported (See: “Revealed: China for the First Time Publicly Displays ‘Guam Killer’ Missile”) that, during rehearsals for the military parade, the Second Artillery Corps of the People’s Liberation Army has for the first time publicly shown some of the most modern missiles in its inventory, including the new intermediate-range nuclear Dongfeng-26C (DF-26C) missile.

According to my colleague Shannon Tiezzi (See: “China to Showcase Never-Before-Seen Weapons and Equipment in Military Parade“) , 84 percent of military hardware present at the parade will be publicly showcased for the first time. The martial ceremony will include 12,000 troops, 500 pieces of equipment, and around 200 aircraft.  Shannon also notes that “from subway shut-downs to trained monkeys, the city is doing everything to make sure the parade is flawless” (See: “What Is Beijing Doing to Prepare for the Military Parade?”).

The Chinese authorities apparently want to conduct an absolutely perfect military ceremony. Given that, the public revelation by the website China Digital Times of secret censorship instructions, issued by the Communist government to Chinese media outlets reporting on the parademust not sit well with the parade’s organizers.

These propaganda instructions shed light on how Beijing is enlisting online media platforms and search engines such as Baidu, Sina, Sohu, NetEase, Phoenix, and Caijing to do the Communist leadership’s bidding.

Overall, the guidelines emphasize that all “sites must actively promote positive, sunny netizen commentary” about the September 3 event. “Until September 5, all news and comments related to the military parade must be carefully reviewed before posting to guarantee they are positive and not offensive to the PLA or the military parade; that they do not attack the Party, the PRC, or the political system; and do not attack national leaders,” the instructions read.

It continues:

 Text, video, pictures (etc.) on all websites’ news channels touching on the military parade, military affairs, and historical details must maintain positivity, must not distort Party and national history, must not contain false commentary, and must not contain harmful information.

At the end of the guidelines the Communist authorities issue a stern warning to those not wishing to comply with the guidelines:

The Internet Commentary Monitoring Account will document those websites which violate or un-resolutely implement the above requirements requirements. Those violations will bring about serious disturbance, and will be dealt with seriously.

According to China Digital Times, the name of the exact body issuing the instructions has been omitted to protect the source.