A Chinese state media outlet accidentally leaked instructions on how their staff should frame Russian threats and military action against Ukraine.
Take a look at what their censorship instructions were regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict!
Chinese Media Accidentally Leaked Ukraine Censorship Order!
Horizon News, officially 世面 (Shimian, which literally translates as The World), is a media outlet that belongs to Beijing News (新京报), which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
On 22 February 2022, the verified Horizon News / Shimian account on Weibo accidentally leaked an internal directive on how their staff should frame the Russian threats and military action against Ukraine.
The Weibo post was deleted on the same day, but Ling Li – a Chinese researcher – managed to capture a screenshot :
Detailed censorship instructions for dissemination of reports and comments on the Russian-Ukraine conflict, mistakenly leaked⬇️⬇️⬇️
*Shimian account belongs to 新京报 (Beijing News).
*人新央 refers to, presumably, People's Daily, Xinhua Agency & CCTV. pic.twitter.com/VoZSj08goS
— 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐋𝐢 (@lingli_vienna) February 22, 2022
What Did Chinese Censorship Order On Ukraine Say?
To make it easier for those who do not read Chinese to verify what Horizon News (世面) posted on their official and verified Weibo account, here is the original leaked text in Chinese.
即刻起，乌克兰相关发微博 都用世面首发，大号再发，推世面，对俄不利、亲 酉方的不发。 首发前给我看文案。 评论进行精选控制，先开精选，然后把合适的评论 放出来，要求谁发布谁负责。要真正去关注评论往 外放。每条至少盯两天。注意交接。 如果蹭话题，只用人新央的话题。
And here is my rough English translation of what the Horizon News (世面) post said :
From now on, post Ukraine-related Weibo articles on Shimian (Horizon News) first, and then on our primary account* to push out to the world.
Don’t post anything unfavourable to Russia or favourable to the West. Let me review your articles before posting.
Filter the comments, enable top comments, and then release only appropriate comments. Make sure they are responsible for what they comment.
Really pay attention to the comments out there. Keep an eye on each comment for at least two days. Ensure there is proper handover.
When writing about (trending) topics, only use topics covered by 人新央 (People’s Daily, Xinhua Agency and CCTV).
* likely referring to their main Beijing News account
Read more : Was CGTN caught faking the Peng Shui email?
Why Are The Chinese Censoring Opinions On Ukraine?
You may be wondering – why on earth would the Chinese spend so much time, money and effort to frame and censor their citizens’ opinions on the Russia-Ukraine conflict?
It appears that Beijing believes that backing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will reap rewards in the future, when China decides to “solve the Taiwan issue once and for all”.
Ming Jinwei – a senior editor at the Xinhua News Agency – elucidated this opinion in a WeChat post :
Simply put, China has to back Russia up with emotional and moral support while refraining from treading on the toes of the United States and European Union.
In the future, China will also need Russia’s understanding and support when wrestling with America to solve the Taiwan issue once and for all.
China is backing Russia beyond framing and censoring online opinions. Just one day before Russia recognised the two breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, China signed a deal to buy 100 million tons of Russian coal.
This deal would not only help China address its severe shortage of cheap coal, it would also help Russian mitigate sanctions enacted by the West, indirectly giving them more latitude to invade Ukraine.
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