Defunct Agency of the Week: Ministry of Bullying

Emblem of the former Ministry of Railways.

Emblem of the former Ministry of Railways.

霸道部 (Bàdào Bù): Ministry of Bullying

A play on “Ministry of Railways” (铁道部 Tiědào Bù), which came under close public scrutiny in 2011. Former Railway Minister Liu Zhijun was investigated for corruption; local ministry officials were alleged to becomplicit in the death of a college student on a train; and most significantly, accusations flew that the ministry’s lax oversight allowed the Wenzhou train crash to occur.

Controversy had already stirred in December 2010, when the ministry announced that economy class train tickets would be refunded if the passenger arrived late for his/her train. No similar restriction applied to those who held tickets for high speed trains.

The ministry was disbanded during the 2013 National People’s Congress.

grass-mud horseThe  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  and political correctness.