Source: Tania Branigan , The Guardian

Even for China’s rigorous internet censors, it has proved an unusually busy day. References to rivers and laundry are among the apparently innocuous items vanishing from postings and search results amid rumours that Jiang Zemin, who led the country before president Hu Jintao took over in 2002, is dead or seriously ill.

Similar tales have circulated several times in the past. This time they seem to have been prompted by the 84-year-old’s absence from celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the Communist party on Friday. He is normally a staple of such events and other former leaders were shown at the gathering.

Sina, which runs a wildly popular microblog service, went to increasing lengths to keep the topic off-limits. Searches for the leader’s name, or even just for “jiang” – river – resulted in the warning: “Search results are not shown due to relevant laws and policies.”

For full original article, see here