Return to Complex Characters Proposal, Netizens’ Reactions

A proposal to re-popularize complex or traditional Chinese characters at the recently-ended National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) has drawn criticism from Chinese citizens online.  Last Friday, ChinaSMACK translated and posted netizen comments from Tianya:



I am speechless, changing simplified to complex, I can foresee this being something more difficult than medical reform. Even if the entire country’s teachers get training in batches is already almost impossible to accomplish. It is basically an unrealistic/impractical thing.



Resurrecting complex characters is like asking women to restart binding their feet.



I support complex characters, because I believe every ethnicity’s history cannot be cut off so wantonly,  so roughly, without reason, and artificially. Our ethnicity cannot, in the span of a few years, become unable to recognize our own forefather’s language, unable to understand the culture of the land we exist on. Strongly support restarting/resurrecting complex characters! [This comment was written in complex characters]


The evolution of Chinese characters from oracle bone carvings to the modern simplified system in mainland China.

Aside from practical and cultural considerations, the proposal to readopt complex Chinese characters also carries a political charge within China, given that the simplified system became the nationalized standard of writing under Mao Zedong, while Taiwan and Hong Kong continue to use the traditional system.  Taiwan recently petitioned the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to bestow world heritage status upon complex characters.


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