Officials in China are a special breed. They tend to be restrained when facing the press and stick to the scripted lines. But occasionally they can be caught off guard and make some of the most unusual remarks one can expect from public servants, including those that are funny, annoying, ironic or simply heartless. You can laud them for speaking their minds, or you can criticize them for their big mouth, but you cannot deny that these retorts, rebuttals and asides add much needed color to an otherwise drab portrait of Chinese officialdom.
1. “We are of high-level positions. So don’t bother to call the police.”
2. “Why doesn’t the public reveal their assets first?”
3. “I will have your website shut down if you (journalist) dare to report it.”
4. “Go straight to the fifth floor. Don’t choose the first or second floor.”
5. “You are doomed to be punished if you fight against the government. Any action against the government is illegal.”
6. “You are a mouthpiece for the party (CPC) or the people?”
7. “Build, baby, build! We will make up for your loss.”
8. “I say 99 percent of repeat petitioners are mentally ill.”
9. “Which media organization do you work for?”
10. “Are you a member of the Communist Party (CPC)?”
Read all of China Daily’s Top Ten Lists of 2009.