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Mystical country

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神奇的国度 (shénqí de guódù): mystical country

In the “mystical country,” government officials can absorb all the information at meetings while asleep.
A woman begs in front of banner that reads, “Information on the newest welfare programs for the elderly.”

A netizen reference to China. 神奇 (shénqí) can mean “mystical,” “marvelous,” “mysterious,” “magical,” or “miraculous.” It describes something that seems to defy the laws of nature.

Remarking on egregiously illogical or ironic situations, netizens often explain that China must be a mystical country. Some examples from a BBS forum [zh]:

We truly live in a mystical country; we can own our houses but the land upon which they sit forever belongs to the state!

这是一个神奇的国度! 该国房子可以是自己的,但土地永远是国家的!

Such a mystical country... This country is poor but also generous, always willing to pour vast sums into Africa.


Such a mystical country... Pornographic publications are illegal, but sex shops are everywhere.


On Sina Weibo, one user commented on the mystical nature of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign that is claimed to be directed towards both high and low officials, or what are known respectively as “tigers and flies”:

段贵发: Does this mystical country lack such a petty joke? Just because a big tiger has fallen, is it really worth to be cheering? Wake up already! Has taxes reduced? Have citizens’ rights increased? Do we have votes now? Has social status changed? Can we now speak truthfully? Nothing has changed. The root of corruption still exists. As long as there is feces, maggots will be around!


Netizens have also given China other sarcastic nicknames, including the Celestial Empire.