Showing posts tagged music

自由花 (“The Flower of Freedom” / “Zìyóuhuā”) is a Cantonese song written by Hong Kong lyricist Thomas Chow to commemorate the victims of June 4, 1989. He set the lyrics to the popular Taiwanese song “Sailor” by Zheng Zhihua.

Why it is blocked: It is sung every year by those who attend the June 4 vigil at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park (see page 50). From the chorus:

But there is a dream, it will not die, remember it!
No matter how hard the rain falls, freedom still will bloom.
There is a dream, it will not die, remember this!

It may also be sensitive because it is a homophone for liberalization (自由化 / zìyóuhuà), an economic and social policy contested within the Communist Party (read Yuezhi Zhao’s “Challenging Neoliberalism?” in Communication in China for more about the New Western Hills Meeting controversy).

彭丽媛 (Peng Liyuan) is a Chinese singer well-known for her patriotic and rural folk songs during appearances on the annual CCTV New Year’s Gala. She is married to the current vice-president Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to take over as president later this year.

Why it is blocked: Though Xi, like most high-level CCP officials, earns a block on Weibo, Peng is likely the only unsullied wife of one to receive that honor as well* (Hu Jintao’s and Wen Jiabao’s wives are uncensored, though Wen’s son is blocked because of corruption allegations). This is probably due to the combination of her status as the incoming first lady along with her already high profile as a glamorous celebrity. Like the model heroes in modern Chinese history, she is a member of the Army (serving as a civilian with the rank of major general) who had to sacrifice for her country—albeit in the form of lost commercial endorsement opportunities and the like. [Status - 11/25/11, 2/5/12, 3/12/12: blocked]

*Update: Zhou Enlai’s wife, Deng Yingchao (邓颖超), through no “fault” of her own, is also blocked.