Chinese TV drama under fire for naming President Jinping as ‘traitor’ in scene

A scene in a Chinese period drama showing President Xi Jinping’s name on a list of “traitors” has been censored after screenshots of it were circulated online, according to sources.

Published: 21st March 2017 01:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2017 01:05 PM   |  A+A-

Chinese President Xi Jinping (File Photo | Reuters)


HONG KONG: With even constructive criticism not standing a chance in Xi Jinping’s China, a national TV drama was hauled for naming the President a ‘traitor’ in a small scene, clearly highlighting the hushed up, yet clear signs of widespread political rumblings in Beijing against the Chinese President.

Jinping is soon to complete his first five-year term and is almost sure to be reappointed to a second term at the nineteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China in the fall.  

Censorship has become so overwhelming in China that even constructive criticism is increasingly marginalised, causing many moderates to lose hope that their voices can be heard.

A scene in a Chinese period drama showing President Xi Jinping’s name on a list of “traitors” has been censored after screenshots of it were circulated online, reports South China Morning Post. 

The scene, which appeared in an episode of the Qin Empire 3 drama series, was aired on state broadcaster China Central Television last Tuesday and showed the names of Xi and other top Chinese leaders including Premier Li Keqiang, former president Hu Jintao, former premier Wen Jiabao, written in ancient Chinese script on bamboo slips.    

In the show, the names on the bamboo slips listed traitors who were spying for the rival state of Zhao that the Qin army was trying to identify.

Despite the scene going on air for less than three seconds, many sharp viewers spotted the names and quickly posted screenshots and short clips of it online, creating a buzz before the censors stepped in.

On Friday, while several Hong Kong and Taiwanese news sites carried reports about the incident, however, none could be found on mainland news sites.

All videos containing the scene had been taken down or censored on mainland media websites and most of the online discussions and blog posts of the scene had also been removed. 

Meanwhile, it remains unclear if the show's producers will face any repercussions for the scene.

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