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A Hu-Wen era banner reading, “Practice the outlook on Scientific Development, Build a Harmonious Society”

和谐 (héxié) harmonious

Each administration of Chinese leaders has adopted a political slogan to embody its governing philosophy and socio-economic ideology. The slogan utilized by the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration (2002-2012) was “harmonious society” (和谐社会 héxié shèhuì), and the government began endorsing the doctrine in 2006.

Critics of this philosophy argue that the government has created a surface appearance of harmony by suppressing or “harmonizing” elements of society that are not to the Party’s liking. With digital communication technologies coming to fruition under this reigning doctrine, the government fight against subversive and/or vulgar online content began to utilize the terminology, and “harmony” became a euphemism for censorship—censored content would be referred to as having been “harmonized” (被和谐 bèi héxié).

See also river crab and “harmony” high-speed train.