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Chinese state secrets

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Is the pixellated area between Christy Chung's legs a state secret?

One of Xinhua's shortest reports in history was published today. This is the full text of the article:
Death toll in natural disasters no longer kept as China's state secret

BEIJING, Sept. 12 -- The death toll in natural disasters was no longer regarded as state secret starting from August this year, a government spokesman said here Monday. End item.

Well that's nice to know, but is probably of little comfort to people like journalists Zhao Yan, Shi Tao and Ching Cheong, all three of whom are currently in prison after being accused of leaking state secrets.

So what is still a state secret then? Christy Chung is evidently not a state secret, judging from the state-owned news agency Xinhua's photo gallery titled Can you breathe in front of her? (pictured). Careful observers will note that the area between Miss Chung's legs was felt to be too revealing of certain secrets, and was therefore pixellated by right-minded Xinhua editors to avoid causing social upheaval.

If you prefer a less frivolous answer to the question "What is a state secret in China?", China Digital News has translated a list of stuff that is officially regarded as secret in China. The list was compiled by a Chinese contributor to an online forum.

Recommended reading for all journalists: This is what you can be thrown in jail for revealing:

-Numbers of war dead and wounded since the founding of the People’s Republic of China from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, which have not been made public by military or state government departments.

-The strategy and overall plan of land use development.

-Quotas for seasonal, and mid- and long-range plans for national land use. (including national construction, town and village industry, and rural land use for housing development.)

-Statistics concerning land that have not been approved for publication by national or local governments.

-Environmental quality reports (Detailed text) from the national, provincial, autonomous region, or municipal levels.

-Reports and data related to public health disasters caused by environmental pollution that have had a national impact.

-Data and statistics about natural disasters, epidemics, and negative social phenomena that, once released, can cause instability in the human mind and in society.

If you read that last item, you realize why SARS was, in fact, an official state secret.

So let's take it as a postive sign, Katrina-inspired, that the paranoid old farts who run this place have decided it's OK to be honest about floods and earthquakes. The government have seen the leader of the U.S.A. humbled by an inappropriate response to a natural disaster, and they understand that media reports about disasters cannot be suppressed, not by George W. Bush, nor by the Chinese Communist Party.

The rest of the list of state secrets is below...

-Reports about the environmental impact, and archived documents relating to periods of feasibility research, site-selection, design and construction, fueling and operation, and retirement of mid- and large-scale military use nuclear facilities。

-Statistics from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) relating to serious accidents or industrial illness that have not been made public.

-The overall situation and statistics from the ACFTU relating to unemployment and poverty of workers.

-The overall situation and statistics from the ACFTU related to group labor protests, strikes, demonstrations and other serious incidents.

-The overall situation, and investigation and penalty records of activities of illegal labor organizations from national, provincial, autonomous region, and municipal levels.

-Accusations against the Party and national leaders which are in the process of being handled or have not yet been checked and handled.

Clear enough?

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