Meeting of the Week: Parents of Foreigners Congress
The Word of the Week comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and 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.
Scornful nickname for the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress, known together as the Two Sessions (两会 Liǎnghuì). The National People’s Congress (NPC) is China’s unicameral legislative house, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC) is a political advisory body whose delegates represent various defined groups from Chinese society.
On March 4, 2013, Hong Kong-based newspaper Oriental Daily reported that a majority of the officials and delegates attending the meetings held foreign passports, foreign residency rights, or had children who were born abroad [Chinese]. This led netizens to question the appropriateness of these people playing a pivotal role in the formation of China’s national policies, and to begin calling the 2013 meetings the “United Nations” and the “Parents of Foreigners Congress.”
Example of “Parents of Foreigners Congress”:
In response to an August 2013 news article outing yet another Chinese leader as a naked official, Weibo user @YuxingDEyu (@复兴DE鱼) said, “Great China is being ruled by the fathers and mothers of a bunch of foreigners” (堂堂中华，被一群外国人的爹娘统治着). User @larry_zhang1199 replied, “The NPC should be called the Parents of Foreigners Congress” (全国人代会可谓外国人的家长会了).
Want to learn more subversive netizen slang? Check out Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang. Available for $2.99 in the Kindle, Google Play, and iTunes stores. All proceeds from the sale of this eBook support China Digital Times.