China restricts news, discussion
Chinese censors are blocking online discussion and sanitising news reports about the unrest in Egypt, in a sign of official unease that the uprising could fuel calls for reform at home.
Keyword searches on the protests returned no results yesterday on microblogs and reader discussion of news reports about Egypt was disabled on major portals as China's pervasive censorship apparatus swung into full gear.
News coverage of the demonstrations against the 30-year rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was limited to sparse accounts that largely glossed over the underlying political factors and calls for democracy.
Coverage instead stressed Cairo's lawlessness and the need for order -- echoing calls by China's foreign ministry -- and the government's plan to send two chartered jets to Cairo to bring home more than 500 stranded Chinese.
Photos from Egypt were conspicuously absent from major Chinese newspapers, while yesterday's state news broadcast omitted footage of protests, instead showing Mubarak meeting top officials.