Word of the Week: Summit

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.

summit (shāndiān 山巅)

Literally “mountain top” or “summit”; code for “incite subversion” (shāndiān 煽颠).

“Inciting subversion of state power” (shāndòng diānfù guójiā zhèngquán zuì 煽动颠覆国家政权罪), listed in Article 101 of China’s , includes “spreading rumors or slanders or any other means to subvert state power or overthrow the socialist system” and is punishable by up of five years in prison, or more if the defendant is judged to be a “ringleader” or to have committed other crimes. Activist Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the charge of inciting subversion.

When Hong Kong protesters unfurled a banner over Lion Rock reading “I want real universal suffrage” in 2014, Weibo user LüshiFengyanqiang (@律师冯延强) marveled, “Dang, now that’s the summit! (晕,绝对山颠啊!)

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