My first day of work in Beijing, my boss asked if I knew the “Three Ts.”
I did not. It was February2007, and I was a wide-eyed 26 year-old fresh off the plane from New York, struggling to absorb the deluge of strange information that had hit me since arriving.
The Three Ts, he informed me, were the three most taboo topics to avoid in Chinese media — Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen. My boss was Taiwanese himself, and delivered this information with a wry tone of bemusement. He had been doing business here for nearly 30 years, he had said, since China first began opening its economy to the outside world, and had witnessed a lot.
“You’ll hear more about it from our censor,” he said, and then, having inserted that tantalizing fragment into my head, sent me off to begin my new job.
This profile of a censor in China totally rings true to my understanding of China & Chinese patriotism/nationalism/vocationalism.