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Expensive country

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贵国 (guì guó): expensive country

“Expensive country.” (source unknown)

Sarcastic reference to China. Popularized because of discontent over high prices; gui guo is a country where basic needs like housing, fuel, power, and health care are all too costly.

Gui is also the honorific form of “your”; gui guo, literally “your honorable country,” is often used in diplomatic speech. Using gui guo in reference to China separates the speaker from his country, in opposition to 我国 wǒ guó, “our country.” Xiao Qiang and Perry Link explain that in this turn of phrase, netizens imply that “the state that belongs to you rulers, not to me.”