- Jun 2014
- Cleveland, Ohio
China bans letter of alphabet to stop criticism of president - NY Daily NewsIt's a big deal.
Amid Xi Jinping's move to make himself president of China for life this week, the country has gone so far to stem criticism of their leader online that they banned the letter N online.
The Guardian reports that the contemptible consonant was temporarily made off-limits from being posted to keep people from complaining on the social media site Weibo about the blatant power grab from a man who already acts as the military chief and the Communist Party of China's general secretary.
It's speculated that the government was afraid of the letter because it could refer to Xi's terms in office, though Charlie Smith, co-founder of GreatFire.org, an anti-Chinese censorship activist group, thinks it might've just been an accident.
"I doubt that they actually put that much thought into it," he said, "so sadly, the letter 'N' was a temporary victim of this rash decision."
Thankfully, access to N seemed to have been restored by midday Monday.
Following the quietly proposed change to the country's constitution Sunday, internet censors in China also blocked potentially anti-Xi search terms such as "Disagree," "Shameless," "Incapable ruler" and the titles of George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm."
Images of Winnie the Pooh were also caught up in the government crackdown since the giant, honey-loving bear has become a meme used to stand in for and mock the Chinese leader.
Xi is still in the first term of his presidency but was already granted a second term in October 2017, causing some to question why he's making a move to abolish the constitution's two-term limit so hastily.
"Xi Jinping will certainly continue," said Zhang Ming, a retired historian at Renmin University in Beijing, told The New York Times. "In China, he can do what he wants to do, and this is just sending a clearer signal of that."
The amendment that will effectively deliver Xi an unending reign over his country is expected to be approved next month during the National People's Congress session in Beijing.
Mao Tse Tung would have been so proud.