China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently attempted to downplay worries over increases in food prices by arguing that rises in income were more than enough to compensate. Writing on his personal blog, Xiamen-based newspaper columnist and satirist Lian Yue (连岳) delivers an amusing response to the announcement while cracking a crooked-smile at the government’s censorship push ahead of the upcoming Communist Party Congress. He starts by aping Chinese newspeak:
According to an August 21 report on Chinanews.com: Mr. Cao Changqing (曹长庆), director general of the NDRC’s Department of Prices, said “food inflation affects the personal interests of the masses,” adding that inflation has raised average monthly food expenses for Chinese people by roughly 12 yuan. In the first half of this year, average disposable income for urban residents rose by 14.2% (146 yuan per month) and real income for farmers rose by 13.3% (52 yuan per month). Because of this, the majority of households can bear (可以承受) the rise in food prices.
Not satisfied with this reasoning, Lian decides to offer up alternative explanations for why the inflation is “bearable”:
1. Because the majority of people are not in fact people.
2. Because people haven’t tasted meat for three months, they don’t have enough energy to express how unbearable the inflation is.
3. Because of an increase in compensation for mine workers, the families of miners trapped in the flooded Shandong coal mine have each nabbed 2000 yuan, which means they can now afford a pig.
4. Because functionaries have been given a raise.
5. Because the collapse of the Fenghuang Bridge in Hunan has nothing to do with inflation.
6. Because reports of snow falling in Beijing in June [sic] were fake. Investigations revealed what fell from the sky was, in fact, cash.
7. Because you can make cash-filled dumplings to reduce breakfast costs. (See: cardboard dumplings).
8. Because we have struck hard against opportunism. For example, the Guangzhou airport refused Han Han’s attempts to smuggle aboard real pork. (Reference to a controversy over the novelist’s reported attempt to bring a “real” gun aboard an airplane in Guangzhou.)
9. Sorry, this press conference has to end early, I’m leaving
10. Because today the work-unit dipped into the public money to buy pork.
Read the original post in Chinese here.