Slogan of the Week: Serve the Renminbi
Parody of Mao Zedong’s political slogan, “serve the people,” which appears in Mao’s calligraphy above many government buildings and in front of the entrance to Zhongnanhai, the complex that houses the Central People’s Government and the Communist Party of China.
China’s currency, the RMB (rénmínbì 人民币), literally means “the people’s currency.” By adding one extra character, “serve the people” is transformed into “serve the renminbi.” The parody strikes a chord with those who feel that officials are more concerned with accumulating personal wealth than they are with actually serving the people.
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.