I’ll Copy the Constitution, Then Sleep With You

At the South China Morning Post, Li Jing reports on a couple who attracted negative attention to a campaign encouraging Party members to show their loyalty by hand-copying the in its entirety. The couple, both employees of the Nanchang Railway Bureau in Jiangxi, decided to express their Party allegiance on their wedding night, and the bureau publicized their decision on their official Weibo account:

Many of China’s 87 million Communist Party members – including grassroots government employees and senior executives at state-owned enterprises – are hand copying its 15,000-word constitution as part of a wider campaign to boost party loyalty.

The 100-day campaign to hand copy the entire constitution was launched in March on a social media account of the People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, but it has caught public attention after a newlywed couple were photographed writing out paragraphs on their wedding night.

[…] The couple, both employees at the Nanchang Railway Bureau, decided to “put down paper and open up the party constitution to copy and to leave fond memories of their wedding night”, according to an article and a series of photographs published on Monday on a social media account operated by the department.

The article soon went viral online, with some internet users questioning if their pictures were staged. Others described the exercise as pretentious. […] [Source]

You can view the steadfast Party members’ wedding night photos at QQ news, one of many sites hosting the gallery. The New York Times’ Chris Buckley relays netizen reactions to the newlyweds, situating the constitution copying drive into President Xi’s ongoing Party loyalty and pro-Party propaganda campaigns:

“On the wedding night, the bridegroom did not rejoice in his great friendship with the bride and do what we love to do,” wrote one popular commentator, Wang Wusi, in a satirical essay that was widely circulated online.

“Hostile foreign forces will certainly exploit this act of copying out the party Constitution on a wedding night, and they will stir up mockery of it,” he presciently warned. “The broad numbers of party members must make a stand.”

[…] The Nanchang railway bureau insisted that the event truly happened and was the voluntary doing of the couple, said a report on Sohu, a Chinese news website. Party organizations have been encouraging members and others to join a 100-day campaign to write out the party Constitution.

Already, though, the phrase “copying out the party Constitution” is catching on in Chinese popular culture in ways that officials did not conceive. [Source]

CDT Chinese has collected more netizen reactions, a few of which are translated here. Weibo user @hnjhj commented,”‘Baby, it’s our wedding night. Aren’t you feeling a bit dirty?’ ‘Yes. Let’s copy the Party Constitution.'” Lüfengguming (@绿凤孤鸣) wrote, “With the Party in their hearts, the newlyweds forgot about their crotches,” playing on the homophonic relationship between the character for “Party” (dǎng 党) and that for “crotch” (dāng 裆). Netizen j-jzhongjiezhe (@j-j终结者) notes that their loyalty can also be seen in the day they chose for their wedding, May 16, which shares the calendar with another notable anniversary, “They got married on the same day as the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Cultural Revolution! Awesome!”

On WeChat, cartoonist 我的名字叫警长 (which translates to “My Name is Police Chief”) also poked fun at the event, imagining the tactic as a CCP-era folk tactic for male virility:

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