China has blocked all reports on the Internet that speculate an alleged attempted coup in the country.
The move comes after online reports, which mention of tanks on the streets of Beijing and shots fired within the secure leaders’ compound the Forbidden City were being closely monitored by the international intelligence communities, including the U.S. and UK.
Popular Chinese microblogging sites Sina Weibo , QQ Weibo and the bulletin board of the search engine Baidu had reported ‘abnormalities’ in Beijing on the night of March 19.
The comments on the websites included rumours of the downfall of the country’s Shanghai leadership faction, a reference to high-level officials who hail from the coastal financial hub, The Daily Mail reports.
Some comments claimed a possible ‘ military coup’, along with other reports of gunfire and plain clothes and uniformed security officers being deployed on Changan Street, near the Tiananmen Square, the centrestage of the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy protesters.
But the Chinese government has censored all reports and they can no longer be accessed.
The rumours follow the sacking of an corruption-busting official, Bo Xilai, who is reported to have close ties to nationalistic generals in the People’s Liberation Army.
Bo was earlier tipped to join the all-powerful, nine-strong Politburo Standing Committee in the autumn.