Authorities in China have over the past 24 hours silenced social media users who have criticised the coverage of the Tianjin explosions. Posts condemning "disgraceful" local TV coverage of the two blasts on 12 August have been removed from Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like micro-blogging platform, as have posts suggesting that local authorities restricted international media reporting on the incident.(Pretty odd from an organisation which - commendably, but obviously without much let or hindrance - managed to cover the event comprehensively.)
I go back to my puzzlement over the MH370 affair. In a country and system where 'face' is so important, why were the distraught Chinese relatives allowed to emote in public, in such a raw fashion? It would never happen in, say, Japan etc etc - we discussed it all back then.
There are aspects of China I just can't read. Having thought the '08 Olympics would let the cat irreversably out of the bag (wrong), I find myself wondering again: is Xi really in control? Is he so much in control, he doesn't mind (from a position of strength) western media blanket-covering his industrial disasters? Does he just think he is in control to that extent? ...