Word of the Week: The King Who Pacified the West
Editor’s Note: The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.
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平西王 (píngxīwáng): The King Who Pacified the West
The “West” in Bo’s nickname refers to the western city of Chongqing, where Bo was Party Secretary. Under Bo’s ambitious initiatives, Chongqing was given the nickname of Tomato (Xīhóngshì 西红柿), which sounds like “red city of the West.” Many of Bo’s initiatives, like the promotion of “red” Maoist songs, attempted to hearken back to an earlier era and appease leftists who felt that China’s reforms had betrayed its communist ideology.
The historical “King Who Pacified the West,” Wu Sangui, betrayed the Ming Dynasty to usher in the Qing – only to betray the Qing later in his life.