Skirting the censors

China appears to be stepping up efforts to stem a flood of criticism of the government unleashed by the deadly wreck on its high-speed rail system July 23.

An initial media censorship order, apparently issued Friday, did not cease continuing criticism in newspapers, online and elsewhere of the government’s culpability in the deadly Wenzhou crash. Critics have faulted rampant corruption in the country’s Railways Ministry and a too-fast and arrogant approach to growth as factors in the wreck that killed 40 people and injured nearly 200. While online posts and editorials have been deleted and disappeared, not all voices have been silenced.

Several magazines and newspapers have pushed the envelop, with some editions reportedly pulled from the presses for going too far. The English version of the hardline Global Times newspaper took what may have been a more deadpan approach on Tuesday, with a front-page story about the railways saga headlined “High-speed rail sees good first month: ministry.” The story goes on to describe empty trains and sagging ticket sales since the Wenzhou disaster.