"Major political error"

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What was it?

Instead of writing "Xí Jìnpíng xīn shídài Zhōngguó tèsè shèhuì zhǔyì sīxiǎng 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想" ("Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”), two Shaanxi Daily editors wrote "Xí Jìnpíng zǒng shūjì xīn shídài Zhōngguó tèsè shèhuì zhǔyì sīxiǎng 习近平总书记新时代中国特色社会主义思想 ("General Secretary Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”).

For this "major political error", the editors were respectively fined 10,000 and 5,000 yuan (US1,440 and US720).  Luckily, the proofreading team caught this gross miswording the next morning before publication.

Read all about it in this SCMP article:

"Chinese newspaper editors fined over ‘major political error’ – putting three extra characters into Xi Jinping Thought", by William Zheng (11/22/18).

The article includes this description of Xi-thought:

Set on 14 basic points and wrapped in dense terminology, Xi’s thought is a nationalist appeal to restore China to greatness – a “Chinese dream” of rejuvenation that Xi first introduced in October 2017, when he opened the 19th party congress with a three-hour speech.

At the end of the session that also marked the start of his second term, Xi’s ideology, along with his name, were written into the party constitution – making him just the third leader after Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping to have his name attached to an official philosophy.

And if you want to see a color-coded "mind map" of "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” in all of its full blown fantasy, feast your eyes on the subway-like maze (dreamed up by People's Daily) here, here, here, and here:

Moral of the story:  in today's China, watch what you say and what you write.


"Insults, insults, and more insults" (11/23/18)

[h.t. John Rohsenow]


  1. Arthur Waldron said,

    November 24, 2018 @ 1:12 pm

    A mystery to me. What say the experts at the other synagogue. (We don’t go there)?

    My grasped straw. Xi is above all the President of Chins Not some drudge of a Secretary.

    So maybe the problem was that the diction suggested that China had both a Party we bend the knee and a government.


  2. mg said,

    November 24, 2018 @ 3:45 pm

    I'm confused. Why is including his title a major political gaffe?

  3. DaveK said,

    November 24, 2018 @ 4:40 pm

    My guess is that Xi Jinping Thought is the branded name of a specific philosophy, and the inclusion of the title turned it into the non-specific musings of the General Secretary, which carries less authority

  4. Thomas Rees said,

    November 24, 2018 @ 4:48 pm

    Some Chinese people don’t like it if we translate 习主席 as “Chairman Xi”. I don’t think it’s because “chairman” is gendered.

  5. John Swindle said,

    November 24, 2018 @ 4:58 pm

    It's a question of rectification of names. Socialism with Confucian characteristics.

  6. Ricardo said,

    November 25, 2018 @ 12:46 am

    @Arthur Waldron

    'President of Chins'?! My God, you're flirting with disaster.

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