Shortly after Xi Jinping assumed China’s highest official party position, a leaked speech from December 2012 quashed any remaining hope that the new leader would oversee substantial political reform. In the speech, Xi suggested that the Soviet Union fell because none among its leadership “was man enough to stand up and resist” (但竟无一人是男儿，没什么人出来抗争) Gorbachev as he lead the dissolution of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Netizens had much to say about the new leader’s macho statement:
@不再管闲事: He’s hinting that he’s the one who’s “man enough.”
@风里逐尘: This proves the Russians are rational enough to distinguish love of country from love of party.
@沈勇平: Xi is using his fight against corruption to win us over and pave the way for his authoritarian regime. If you’re dreaming that he’ll implement constitutional government, dream on.
@孙蜀东: Don’t forget the words of our nation’s founder: “In the mighty tide of global change, those who swim with the current prosper; those who fight it perish.”
@北京老peter: Xi is definitely a leftist. China’s future is looking bleak.
For more netizen comments on the leaked speech, see coverage from CDT Chinese [zh].
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.