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Pass the knife

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dì dāozi | 递刀子

2020 Tokyo Olympic fencing logo passing the knife to foreign forces (source unknown)

Accusation of aiding and abetting "foreign (hostile) forces" that went mainstream in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationalists argue that speaking out of line with Party orthodoxy is equivalent to "passing the knife" to foreign forces eager to "murder" China's reputation.

In the spring of 2020, the Wuhan writer Fang Fang was accused of "passing the knife" by contradicting officially sanctioned information in her diary of life under lockdown during the early days of the pandemic. The nationalist attacks on her intensified with the announcement that an American publisher would publish translations of the diary in English and German.

There has also been significant pushback against this zealotry. Weibo user @小木头咋都被占用了 defended Fang Fang on Li Wenliang's wailing wall: "Lu Xun wrote 'A Madman's Diary,' and the errors in that were far more severe than in Fang Fang’s diary. Was he also passing the knife to foreign forces?"[1] Comparing Chinese and American reporting on social ills in their respective countries, one Zhihu user wondered, "The 'knives' passed to us by the American media can't hurt the U.S., but 'Fang Fang's Diary' can hurt China? Is China really that weak?"[2]

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