Loophole-ridden ‘screenplay’ concocted by anti-China forces

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[This is a guest post by Jichang Lulu]

This statement, attributed to the new Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman of the PRC, reinforced my impression that Relevant Organs (including exoprop media like the Gobar Times (Huánqiú shǐbào 环球屎报 [Global Shit News], a pun for Huánqiú shíbào 环球时报 [Global Times], for which see "Dung Times" [3/14/18])) often start generating unusually quaint English when they go into full patriot mode.

> This is a totally absurd, loophole-ridden 'screenplay' concocted by anti-China forces…

It's all about a self-proclaimed PRC spy named Wang Liqiang who defected to Australia earlier this month, bringing with him a ton of secrets about Chinese operations against Hong Kong and Taiwan.  The PRC meanwhile is irate (naturally!) and has declared that he is a fraud.

A possible explanation for such explosions of peculiar English in the official PRC media is that, when matters are sensitive enough, politically reliable higher-ups override or by-pass translators and editors.

The text is in many places, here via Reuters in the Sydney Morning Herald.

> "Actually the facts are clear for this 'fraud who became a spy'. This is a totally absurd, loophole-ridden 'screenplay' concocted by anti-China forces," Zhu Fenglian, spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news briefing on Wednesday.

> "The DPP authorities and the fraudster have bandied together, wantonly carrying out political manipulation," Ms Zhu said.

> "Their intention is to create the illusion of the mainland getting involved in the Taiwan regional elections and obtain improper election benefit for themselves".

I found the ‘bandied together’ passage particularly felicitous.

Original Chinese phrasing via Xinhua.

For some quaintness via Xinhua's DPRK analogue:

"Headlessness in North Korean propaganda" (10/30/17)

"Of dotards and DOLtards" (10/4/17)


  1. Timothy Rowe said,

    November 28, 2019 @ 3:04 pm

    "Unusually quaint"? UK politicians talk like that all the time.

  2. Terry Hunt said,

    November 29, 2019 @ 2:41 pm

    Apart from the obvious and understandable mistake of using "bandied" for "banded", this mostly reads as alarmingly close to my own natural written prose style, I being a 63-y-o Brit. I suppose some may consider me quaint.

  3. John Swindle said,

    November 29, 2019 @ 8:58 pm

    A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing a 'screenplay.'

  4. Andrew Usher said,

    December 1, 2019 @ 1:36 pm

    Perhaps we are not understanding 'quaint' in the sense the poster intended?

    Besides the odd use of 'screenplay' and the 'bandied' for 'banded' mistake, neither of which are issues of style or register, it actually does not sound strange, especially coming from a government.

    k_over_hbarc at yahoo.com

  5. Robert said,

    December 4, 2019 @ 9:36 pm

    "Obtain improper election benefit" is a little Boratesque, he wanted to "make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan".

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