Personal tools

Fitting shoe

From China Digital Space

Revision as of 17:32, 31 December 2013 by Anne (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

合鞋 (hé xié) fitting shoe

“Follow my watch swinging back and forth. Soon you will be able to put on this shoe.” (Rebel Pepper)

“Fitting shoe” (合鞋 hé xié), yet another homonym for “harmonious” (和谐 héxié), has its roots in a speech delivered by President Xi Jinping that met much netizen ridicule.

While on his first trip abroad as China’s president, Xi Jinping delivered a speech at Moscow State Institute of International Relations on March 23, 2013. In his speech [zh] (transcript) [zh], Xi called for cooperation between Russia and China, emphasizing the two nations’ shared interests in peace and stability. Xi also countered international criticism of other nations’ developmental paths:

“Only the wearer of a shoe will know whether or not that shoe fits his foot.” Whether the path a country takes towards development is suitable or not, only the people of that country have the right to decide.


Netizens quickly took Xi to task for his words, drawing attention to the fact that they had little say in their country’s path towards development:

@叶海波 (Tencent Weibo): If a country’s people lack freedom of speech, is speaking of shoes fitting their feet not a bit extravagant?


@梧桐老廖: You let your family wear comfortable shoes, while compelling ours to wear worn-out shoes of the wrong size.


@窈窕老淑女: You want try a new pair of shoes to see if they fit? Anyway, everyone’s current shoes are chafing their feet.


Blogger Wuyue Sanren posted the following soon-to-be deleted comment to Sina Weibo:

@五岳散人: My take on the shoe-and-foot question: Whoever buys the shoes has the last word. The common people pay taxes, so they have the right to say whether or not the shoe fits, as well as the style they want. A well-chosen pair of shoes also comes with a warranty and the privilege to exchange or return the items. The shoes themselves don’t have the qualifications to say whether they fit or not. Shoes that do aren’t shoes, they’re shackles.


See also river crab.

<feed url="feed://" entries="5">


{DATE}, by {AUTHOR} </feed>