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Pursue across provincial lines

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跨省追捕 (kuà shěng zhuībǔ): pursue across provincial lines

“You’re not allowed to post things on the Internet that tarnish my reputation!” (Source: mitbbs.com)

Practice by local government agents of traveling to other provinces to make arrests, a practice often used against journalists or netizens who write critically about local officials. Sometimes used by netizens as a form of mockery and self-censorship. Often shortened as Cross Provincial Lines 跨省 (kuà shěng).

In April 2009, netizen Wang Shuai was arrested in Shanghai for posting pictures that mocked the illegal seizure of land by officials in Lingbao, Henan Province. Wang’s post implied that local officials took measures to ruin the land so that they could buy it at a lower price. Wang’s arrest led to a public outcry. The Henan provincial police chief eventually apologized to Wang, who was later compensated for the ordeal.

After this case and other incidents of cross-provincial arrests, the phrase “pursue across provincial lines” became a popular Internet meme. Many sensitive posts end half-jokingly, “Please don’t pursue me across provincial lines,” or, “I don’t really understand what I just wrote; I just copied it from someone else, so don’t pursue me across provincial lines.”

Examples:

Meiticundexiaobai_xiaobaCO (@媒体村的小白_小疤CO): I'm just an "antizen!" But I think I have the right to do this! I hereby propose: the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and the People's Government shall carry out this biggest action since the founding of China! Dissolve the "Relevant Department!" Eh... Welcome to check my water meter. Welcome to cross the provincial lines! (October 28, 2014)
我只是一个蚁民!但我觉得我应该有这个权利做这件事!我在此倡议:以习近平同志为核心的党中央,人民政府,做中华人民共和国开国以来最大的一个举动!取消“有关部门”!(呃。。。欢迎查水表,欢迎跨省!)[Chinese]
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