Word of the Week: Relevant Department

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.
有关部门 (yǒuguān bùmén): relevant department(s)
Government jargon and a source of frustration to many Chinese people. Sometimes the “relevant department” is clear from context, but more often it remains ambiguous. A government spokesperson may assure people that “the relevant department” is taking care of a particular crisis without elaborating which particular department that may be. Or a request for information may be turned down and the person seeking the information directed to ask the “relevant department” (without identifying which department that is).
Chinese Uncyclopedia elaborates:
The Relevant Department is China’s most powerful department. Tasks that other departments cannot do are handed over to this department. It is also the department most frequently reported on in the news media. The Relevant Department is the world’s most mysterious department.
有关部门,是中国有史以来权利最大的执政部门,跟相关部门全力并列,其他部门不愿做的事情,他们都做,媒体最热衷报料的部门。 其中,他们又是世界上最神秘的部门,一般情况他们绝对的不会出现,你也不会找的到。多年来,有关部门为政府,为媒体,排忧解难,解决了不少烦恼.

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