This was hardly a tabloid headline, but the article was explosive anyway, with an illustration of a mouth gagged by layers of masking tape to drive home the message. China’s most powerful journalist was taking on Beijing over censorship.
Within hours the article attacking government controls – “Story about adviser’s free speech comments removed from Caixin website” – had been censored itself, but not before screenshots and reports of the financial magazine’s extraordinary challenge had rippled around the internet.
Editor Hu Shuli has spent decades nurturing her connections to China’s elite, able to read opaque political currents, a gift to go right up to the government’s red line and push it but “never cross it”, with two incarnations of a powerful financial news magazine.
So when she defied a climate of tightening government controls to publish the dramatic warning about official censorship, it sent shock waves across a Chinaincreasingly cowed by controls on media, activists and any organisations beyond the sphere of direct Communist party control.
President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, and has spent the years since then consolidating personal power, in a dramatic departure from his immediate predecessor’s unofficial commitment to rule by consensus among the top handful of officials. Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/13/china-censorship-economy-editor