Most Mystical Government Replies
When a government official defies all logic, some Chinese netizens chalk it up to living in a “mystical country.” There are no prizes for most baffling responses to citizen inquiries, but Weibo user @神笔记 (Mystical Notes) has compiled a shortlist.
Most Mystical Government Replies
Concern for Family Members
Question: A resident called Lüchun Municipal Health Bureau’s service line in Zhejiang.
Respondent: The call was transferred to a staff member’s cell phone. The employee on duty didn’t want to answer the phone, but later responded with a text message:
Mystical Reply: Let me guess, your Mom croaked?
Critical Thinking and Patient Instruction
Question: A Langzhong, Sichuan resident inquired online why merchandising rights last for only 40 years.
Respondent: Langzhong Land and Resources Bureau website
Mystical Reply: Whether we’ll still exist in 40 years is questionable. Why worry about the long term?
Question: A resident of Mengzhou, Henan complained online that their company forced employees to work overtime.
Respondent: Municipal government website
Mystical Reply: If you don’t agree with the company, then end your contract and skedaddle. After all, you are free to fly as high as the sky reaches.
Problem: Villagers found that their groundwater had turned red, and that nearly 800 chickens had died after drinking it.
Respondent: Director of the Environmental Protection Department in Cang County, Hebei
Mystical Reply: Red water isn’t the same as substandard water.
Crooked Answers, Full-on Threats
Question: Netizens in Jianshi County, Hubei Province petitioned for the publication of a water quality report.
Respondent: Municipal Water Bureau.
Mystical Reply: If anyone intentionally distorts the truth, take a lesson from “Qin Huohuo.” [Qin Zhihui, who went by Qin Huohuo online, is one of two people jailed in August amid an ongoing central government crackdown on Internet rumors.]
Question: Nanyang City, Henan resident took to the web to complain that traffic enforcement had become a game of “issuing fines.”
Respondent: The Public Security Bureau left a message on the bulletin board of the Party secretary and mayor’s website.
- You’re right, and right to call it out, but you have as much chance against the trend as a mantis trying to halt a moving cart.
- Public Security will listen to what you say, watch what you do, and observe the aftereffects [of this conversation]. If your provocative words cause any negative social impact, your case will be dealt with accordingly.
Beating Them at Their Own Game
Question: Tearfully complaining about unfair government compensation for a land seizure, a villager asked, “Do you want me to jump off a building?”
Respondent: Shi Guozhong, Party Secretary of Niuquanzigou Town, Chengde City, Hebei
Mystical Reply: “Don’t stop at the first or second floor. If you have to jump, do it from the fifth floor.”
Question: A resident in Kunming’s Guandu district called to complain about violations of regulation in a certain neighborhood.
Respondent: Guandu District Office of Letters and Visits employee
Mystical Reply: Take care of it however your heart desires. If you want to complain, go ahead and tell the county or province.
Justice and Re-education
Question: A journalist called to ask if there was a pollution report.
Respondent: Director Chen of the Environmental Protection Department in Changle City, Fujian
Mystical Reply: You shouldn’t be calling me. If everyone always picks up of the phone and calls the director, then what’s the point of being a director?
Tell the Truth, Good Comrade
Question: A netizen from Suining City, Sichuan Province posted a message on the “Netizen Political Participation” website asking for their unpaid salary.
Respondent: Labor Protection Supervision Branch.
Mystical Reply: After consulting the leadership about this matter, we have decided not to issue a response.
Question: Locals in Yinjiang City, Guizhou reported on the government website that they suspected the village Party secretary of corruption.
Respondent: Official government site
Mystical Reply: In dealing with said official, we’ve had our own difficulties which we won’t mention. Thanks for your understanding!
Question: A journalist asked a work unit why it had 10 days off for the National Day holiday [instead of seven as decreed by the State Council].
Respondent: Housing Administration Bureau Staff of Loudi City, Hunan
Mystical Reply: The State Council? But that’s so far away from us!
Via CDT Chinese. Translation by Junebug.