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Bird Anus

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禽肛 (Qín Gāng): Bird Anus
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official Qin Gang

Because the names of government leaders and officials often become sensitive words, netizens frequently invent creative (and pejorative) homonyms to sidestep scrutiny and censorship. A career diplomat, Qin Gang (秦刚) has held a number of official posts at China’s Foreign Ministry since 1992. He is currently a ministry spokesperson and head of the ministry's information department. The characters in his name are homophonic with those meaning “bird anus.” A netizen explains why this nickname fits Qin:

The anus is from where one farts and shits. In other words, if the bird wants to fart, the anus must let the fart pass—the anus cannot decide what kind of fart to fart. That is why he is called “Bird Anus.” [In Chinese “to fart” can also mean “to speak nonsense.”]

Sometimes a further play on words is used with Qin Gang’s name: “bird anus is inflamed” (禽肛发炎 qín gāng fāyán) sounds the same as “Qin Gang made a statement” (秦刚发言 Qín Gāng fāyán).

On 9 June 2009, a BBC reporter asked Qin Gang about the justification for the compulsory installation of the Green Dam Youth Escort filtering software. Qin Gang replied:

Do you have children? If you have children or if you plan to have children, you will surely understand a parent’s concern about harmful information on the Internet. China’s Internet is open. The Chinese government plays an active role in promoting the healthy development of the Internet.

Qin Gang has been responsible for a number of other memorable quotations.

See also Stiff Fish.

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