River Crabbed: Spotlight on Xi’s Lunch

In effort to show his humility, President Xi Jinping stepped onto the streets of Beijing to take lunch at a popular steamed dumpling restaurant in late December. His surprise visit briefly put the Qing-feng Steamed Dumpling Shop in the state media spotlight, and petitioners quickly gathered outside the restaurant to seize the exposure. While some netizens were observing that steamed dumplings had become icons of justice, other Weibo users questioned the media’s coverage and public fascination with the presidential lunch. The following censored weibo were selected by CDT Chinese editors from FreeWeibo on December 31:

Xi Obama

稳普高清摄像机: This “dumpling eating” news is flooding the screen. There are people flattering, attacking, satirizing, or coldly watching; there are those who are happy, frustrated, or vexed—different people are acting and commenting in different ways, like a live drama. It seems that anti-corruption, constitutionalism, freedom, democracy, human rights, and the people’s livelihood are all less important than eating steamed dumplings! And all the while that [Shinzo] Abe brat has been acting like a spoiled kid. It doesn’t matter what trouble you stir up or what ghosts you worship, the Celestial Empire has great steamed dumplings!

满篇吃包子新闻,吹捧的、抨击的、冷嘲热讽的、斜眼相待的、兴奋的、沮丧的、苦恼的,各色人等各种表现,众说纷纭;活生生的一幅活报剧。看来什么反腐、宪政、自由、民主、人权、民生等都不如吃包子重要!更不用说安倍那孩儿撒娇的事了,不管你吹什么风,掀什么浪,拜什么鬼敬什么神,我有舔朝大包子!

美国所长: The Xinhua News Agency reports on its weibo: This morning, the General Secretary of CCP waited in line to buy the steamed dumpling. He paid, carried the plates and took the food all by himself. The news was accompanied by photos taken at the scene. This reminds me of US President Obama. He often visits fast food restaurants on the street and even buys burgers for White House employees. However, the mainland Chinese media often use the phrase “publicity stunt” when to report President Obama’s man-of-the-people actions.

官媒新华社的微博播报,今日上午,中共总书记习近平排队买包子,还自己买单、端盘子、取包子,并配发了现场图片。这让我想到美国总统奥巴马,他经常光顾街头快餐店,甚至给白宫员工买汉堡。不过,中国大陆的媒体常用“做秀”二字来报道奥总统的亲民行为。

假装在纽约: Politics are always hypocritical. Politicians are always unreliable. Americans are so used to publicity stunts that most of them give the cold shoulder to Obama for waiting in line to buy a burger. They don’t even bother to rubberneck. Mostly no one would be so deeply touched. They know that the politicians flatter them for the ballots in their hands.

政治总是虚伪的,政客总是靠不住的,美国人见惯了作秀,所以对奥巴马排队买汉堡这种事,大多数人冷眼观之,连热闹也懒得看,基本上不会有什么人会感动到高潮,他们知道,政客讨好他们,是因为他们手中有选票。

中青报曹林V: When reporting news of [Xi eating] steamed dumplings, please don’t focus on him “waiting in line by himself, paying by himself, carrying or taking the steamed dumplings by himself”. These phrases seem so belittling and sarcastic, and could trigger negative reactions. When my wife saw the media using these phrases online, she said: “Seems like they’re describing a growing child who has finally learned to take care of himself.”

媒体报道吃包子新闻的时候,就不要用“自己排队、自己付钱、自己端、自己取包子”了,这明显带有矮化色彩,属于高级黑,会拉动很多负效应。我爱人刚在网上浏览这条新闻时,看到媒体这样的描述,说了一句:怎么像描述刚长大的小孩子啊,终于学会自己的事自己做了。

Via CDT Chinese. Translation by Mengyu Dong.

crabWhen something disappears from the Internet in China, netizens joke that it has been “river-crabbed,” a play on the euphemism “harmonized.” River Crabbed (河蟹档案) is a collection of blog post titles, weibo, and other materials censored from their original sources on Chinese websites, either found by CDT or brought to our attention by outside projects.