Word of the Week: Five Times Better
Editor’s Note: The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, 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.
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.
This comes from a statement made by Sha Zukang when he was the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations:
I have openly remarked that the human rights situation in China today is better than that in the United States. The population of China is five times larger than the population of the United States. If you look at it just in terms of comparing the populations, one would expect China’s problems to be at least five times greater than those of the U.S. in order for our human rights situations to be the same. But the reality is that our human rights situation is better than that of the U.S.—this shows that China’s human rights situation is a good five times better than that of the U.S.… America has highly politicized the concept of human rights to serve the nation’s political aims. They have used human rights issues as a tool; this way of doing things goes against the will of the people.
Netizens latched onto the phrase “a good five times better than” and used it to parody Sha’s fuzzy logic.