The lockdown of the city of Shanghai has given rise to a great deal of public discontent. Many people are using social media to express their frustration due to the shortage of supplies and the dysfunction of Chinese government. The popular microblogging platform Weibo has blocked several trending topics related to this issue over the past few days, including even the first line of China’s national anthem, March of the Voluntary Army, which reads “Rise up, people who do not want to be slaves.”
It is not the first time Beijing have blocked content from the national anthem. The death of Dr. Li Wenliang, the “whistle blower” at the beginning of the Wuhan outbreak in 2020, triggered outrage among netizens against the authorities. At the time, the same anthem lyrics were blocked for “containing radical current affairs or ideology.”
Western observers and journalists are caught between laughter and tears over the Chinese censors’ move.
Tim Culpan,a Bloomberg journalist tweeted, “Patriotism in China is a tricky balance.”
Henry Gao, a professor from Singapore Management University asked, “So when will the whole national anthem be censored?”
While Financial Times reporter Eli Meixler thought it “Unreal,” American economist Chris Balding commented, “Revolutions always eat their creators.”
Source: Voice of America, April 18, 2022