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Ulterior motives

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别有用心 (biéyǒuyòngxīn): ulterior motives

Former Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang: “Those who claim that the Chinese government supports hackers have ulterior motives.” (Tencent)
The government and official media often blame social unrest on people who “don’t understand the actual situation” following a few leaders with “ulterior motives.”

To netizens, this implies those who are critical of the government have no legitimate grievances and are only lashing out as the pawns of nefarious instigators.

Netizens delight in twisting these words. For example, in January 2013, a police officer was stopped in his car because he didn't have any license plates. The officer explained that the screws holding the license plate on had come out. “A screw with ulterior motives” (一个别有用心的螺丝), quipped one NetEase user.

Word of the Week: Ulterior Motives

17 October 2012, by Anne Henochowicz

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