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Smile in fountains of booze

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含笑酒泉 (hán xiào jiǔ quán) smile in fountains of booze

A Hexie Farm (蟹农场) cartoon commenting on the coverage that Shenzhou 9's launch received in the media while the uproar over forced abortions was largely ignored

When the Shenzhou 9 successfully launched on June 16, 2012, netizens quipped “now that the Shenzhou 9 has launched successfully, our leaders can smile in fountains of booze” (神九发射成功 领导含笑酒泉). The remark played on the idiom, “pass into the nine fountains [the afterlife] with a smile upon one’s face” (含笑九泉). This became a banned search term on Sina Weibo[zh].

A common theme in netizen complaints dealt with the disparity in funds spent on grandiose projects and foreign aid (for example, school buses donated to Macedonia or massive and ornate government buildings) compared with the amount spent on social welfare projects. On some forums discussing the Shenzhou 9, web users copied text from a February 3, 1977 People’s Daily article criticizing the Russians for engaging in a space race with the Americans, stating “no number of rockets could compensate for [a shortage of] food or clothes” (飞船卫星虽多,究竟不能当饭吃,当衣穿).

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