Word of the Week: Heir Apparent

Editor’s Note: The CDT Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon is a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness. The Word of the Week features Lexicon entries old, new and timely.

If you are interested in participating in this project by submitting and/or translating terms, please contact the CDT editors at CDT [at] chinadigitaltimes [dot] net.

皇储 (huáng chǔ): heir apparent

China’s “heir apparent” is Xi Jinping, who it is assumed will succeed Hu Jintao as president in this year’s leadership transition.

Although “heir apparent” is sometimes translated as “crown prince,” it is a separate designation from the “crown princes” (太子 tàizǐ) or princelings, descendants of prominent and influential senior Communist officials. Xi Jinping is both “heir apparent” and a “princeling,” being the son of former PRC State Councilor Xi Zhongxun.

On February 11, 2009, Xi Jinping discussed international intervention in a speech to overseas Chinese in Mexico, generating yet another grass-mud horse neologism:

There are some foreigners who had eaten their fill and had nothing better to do, pointing their fingers at our affairs. China does not, first, export revolution; second, export poverty and hunger; or third, cause unnecessary trouble for you. What else is there to say?


Read more about Xi Jinping from CDT.