The ruling Chinese Communist Party government announced plans on February 25th to remove a constitutional clause limiting presidential service to two five-year terms, paving the way for current Chinese President Xi Jinping to retain control of the country indefinitely after his second term expires in 2023. The proposed amendments to China’s constitution are expected to be signed off by the country’s parliament, the National People’s Congress.
The move to eliminate term limits has been met with condemnation and social media backlash in China since it was announced on Sunday, the eve of an annual political congress in Beijing, and has pushed China’s online government censors into overdrive. As Chinese took to social media to criticize the announcement, government censors went into overdrive suppressing the use of certain terms to retain an illusion of support for the ruling Communist Party and Xi Jinping.
Heavy censorship on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-type microblog, has become the norm since the announcement, according to China Digital Times and Free Weibo, two China censorship-monitoring websites, which noted that censors included phrases such as “incapable ruler” and “I oppose,” as well as words including “shameless,” “disagree” and “emperor” – and even the letter N for a short time.
Additionally, the list of banned terms includes the names of George Orwell’s classic books about intrusive government, 1984 and Animal Farm; the term “Xi Zedong,” a combination of Xi’s name and that of Mao Zedong. Even Winnie the Pooh, a cartoon that critics have used to mock Xi, has been included in the censored terms.
Read more at Truth in Media.