People of the Week: Red Second Generation

People of the Week: Red Second Generation

The  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.

红二代 (hóng èr dài): red second generation

Children of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party, empowered politically and economically by their parents. Also known in English as “second generation reds.”

The sons and daughters of the Party came of age during the Cultural Revolution. They were raised on Maoist ideology, and many were red guards. Today, however, many of them are not only politically powerful, but also among the greatest financial beneficiaries of the post-Mao market economy. In contrast to the classless society their family purported to be establishing, the red second generation is seen to have benefitted unfairly from their pedigree. Notable members of the red second generation include former prime minister Li Peng‘s daughter Li Xiaolin and President Xi Jinping.

Shuangshuangyan(@双双燕): Muddling through inside the system is called skill. Muddling through outside the system is called true skill. Muddling through both inside and outside the system is called Chinese skill. Doing well both inside and outside the system without any need to muddle is called the red second generation. (May 3, 2015)

能在体制内混得好,叫功夫;能在体制外混得好,叫真功夫;能在体制内和体制外混得好,叫中国功夫;能在体制内外不用混就很好,叫红二代。 [Chinese]

See also governing second generation and rich second generation.
5122889485918219594Want to learn more subversive netspeak? 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.


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