In "Xinhua English and Zhonglish," I discussed the phenomenon of a peculiar style of English that has developed in China. Since it is not outrageously incorrect in terms of grammar or grossly unidiomatic, this type of English cannot be labeled Chinglish. On the other hand, this particular style of English, which we may call Xinhua English or New China News English, is distinctive enough to be recognizable as an emerging dialect.
The latest instance (like the previous one) was brought to my attention by Victor Steinbok, who keeps a keen eye out for pertinent examples. It is in today's headline from China View, an organ of Xinhuanet: "China lodges solemn representation over Japan's permission for Rebiya Kadeer's visit."
The expression "lodges solemn representation" calls attention to itself as a rather unusual way of expressing diplomatic discontent. It was fairly easy for me to track down the original Chinese, which is: TI2CHU1 YAN2ZHENG4 JIAO1SHE4 提出严正交涉.
TI2CHU1 means "bring / bring forward; raise; pose"
YAN2ZHENG4 means "serious and principled; stern; exacting"
JIAO1SHE4 means "mutual relations / intercourse (as between two nations); negotiation; representation" — this is obviously a difficult term to translate; the constituent morphemes respectively signify "hand over; deliver; cross; join; exchange; associate with; liaise; mutually interact" and "wade; ford; experience; go through; involve; touch upon."
In order to find the distribution of this and closely related expressions, I did a number of Google searches:
"lodges solemn representation" 279 (first two pages all related to China)
"lodged solemn representation" 148 ditto
"lodged a solemn representation" 35,600 ditto
"lodges a solemn representation" 116 ditto
"lodged stern representation" 2,740 ditto
"lodged a stern representation" 141 ditto
"lodged a stern protest" 7,870 (first two pages fairly evenly distributed among Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and other countries)
"lodges a stern protest" 7 all except one Japanese (and the Japanese instances are all of the form "lodges a stern protest and expresses regret" — the second clause seems characteristically Japanese when used in combination with the first; actually there are only 4 items from Japan because two are duplicate hits; note that 3 of the items are as reported by official Chinese sources)
"issued a stern protest" 6,060 (only a much smaller number would show) interestingly, several occurrences have to do with the Catholic Church
"issued a solemn protest" 9,560 (only 12 would show) similar to the previous entry, many occurrences have to do with the Catholic Church
**Disclaimer: I checked the numbers of hits for each item repeatedly, but was dismayed to find that they kept changing (especially for the last two items), sometimes radically, even from the first page to the second page of a given item.
I could continue this research indefinitely, but I want to point out — in addition to what I've already mentioned above — that sometimes "solemn representations" are not enough for China, in which case it has "made solemn representations to and lodged a stern protest with…."
Phrases with "complaint" in them are used globally and massively, but they are often referred to a third party (regulatory agency, etc.), whereas phrases with "representation" are generally reserved for state-to-state relations.
Finally, I noticed that a discussion group for Chinese interested in proper English usage had actually engaged this very topic.