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Smog the people

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喂人民服雾 (wèi rénmín fú wù): smog the people

Smogging the people. (Yuanzi 原子)

Literally “feed smog to the people.” This play on Mao Zedong’s motto “serve the people” offers commentary on China’s ever-worsening air quality. While “smog the people” has been in use for several years, the phrase gained currency in October 2013, when smog stopped traffic and hindered tennis matches in Beijing and brought an “airpocalypse” to Harbin.

Around New Year’s 2014, many Weibo users called “smog the people” the biggest “watchword” of 2013 (2013最响亮的口号 喂人民服雾).

See also serve the renminbi.

China Detains Anti-smog Campaigners

10 March 2015, by Sophie Beach

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Translation: Why Chai Jing Got the Chop

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