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hē chá | 喝茶

Uncle Policeman's tea party. (Source unknown)

Euphemism for police interrogation. Guests invited to "tea" are asked about their political activities and warned against further involvement. Those compelled to attend these tea sessions are said to be tea-drinked.

Read about tea drinking experiences during the 2010 World Expo, the anniversary of Tiananmen, and the Jasmine Revolution. See also Yaxue Cao's 2012 selection of over 30 accounts of tea drinking sessions, from the now defunct Chinese-language website "Records of Drinking Tea" (hē chá jì 喝茶记).

In July of 2014, author Murong Xuecun issued a "statement of surrender" to Chinese authorities as an expression of solidarity with friends who were detained for attending a weekend gathering marking the 25th anniversary of June 4th, 1989. Several days later, the outspoken novelist was asked to tea by the local police in Beijing:

Huoguangweiyu (@火光微语): @郭玉閃又日 Brother Murong Xuecun "surrendered" himself to the police. At 5 p.m. today he was summoned to the Zizhuyuan police station for questioning. He's still drinking tea with the police, and I'm waiting for him at a bar outside the station. (July 9, 2014)

@郭玉閃又日 慕容雪村兄“投案”,今天下午五点半左右紫竹院派出所约谈。现在他还在派出所里面喝茶,我在派出所门口喝酒等他。[Chinese]

See also check the water meter.