The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Propaganda Department banned the Chinese media from reporting on 18 sensitive issues. Asahi Shimbun reported as front-page news on March 25 that Liu Yunshan, the Head of the Propaganda Department, ordered the ban on March 21, a day before Google announced its decision to stop censoring information on its Chinese site. The 18 issues include the Renminbi appreciation, official corruption, the high cost of medicine, food poisoning, turmoil in Xinjiang and Tibet, the gap between the rich and the poor, household registration reform, the unemployment of college graduates, corruption in handling Sichuan Earthquake donations, corruption of the police and gangsters in Chongqing, sky-rocketing real estate prices, and so on.
Concerning the Renminbi appreciation and Google’s refusal to censor information in China, the media was told that only Xinhua can report on those two issues. However the media can criticize the US.
It’s a sign that the Propaganda Department is trying to strengthen its control over the media after its negotiations with Google failed.
Source: Radio France International, March 25, 2010