Chinternet Meme: New Definition of Traitor (汉奸)

The word “Traitor (汉奸)”  was used to describe those Chinese who collaborated with Japanese invaders during the anti-Japanese war.  In the past decade, it is common to be used by both government propaganda and online nationalists and “fifty centers” to label pro-demoracy advocates.

Now,  a Weibo joke making the rounds:

trai·tor [trey-ter] 1. Someone who wields power in China but secretly stashes their money in the West; 2. Someone who holds a foreign passport but shamelessly represents the Chinese people at the Two Sessions.*

汉奸:1. 在中国掌权,在西方秘密存钱的人;2. 拿外国护照,依然在政协和人大恬不知耻地代表着中国人民的人。

* Some representatives at the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference are rumored to have foreign citizenship, even though China does not recognize dual nationality. Actress Gong Li emigrated to Singapore in 2008, after she left the National People’s Congress. Actor Zhao Benshan, also a former People’s Congress representative, is rumored to have emigrated to Canada, a charge he denies.

Translation by Josh Rudolph.