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Don't understand the actual situation

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不明真相 (bù míng zhēn xiàng): don’t understand the actual situation

This stock phrase is often used by Chinese government and official media to describe participants in “mass incidents” such as riots and protests. The phrase is controversial because it suggests that those who participant in mass incidents do so not because of any real grievances, but because they have been duped by a small number of those with “ulterior motives.” In July 2009, Xinhua ran an editorial suggesting that this phrase should not be the immediate explanation for all mass incidents.

Here is an example of how the term is used: "Whenever there is a mass incident, some government agencies will always issue statements to the effect that 'people who didn't understand the actual situation' were incited by 'those with ulterior motives .'" (每有群体性事件,一些政府机关的文宣必定是“不明真相”的群众是被“别有用心”的人蛊惑的。)

The phrase is now used sarcastically by netizens.

Made-up character combining the components for "don't understand the actual situation."