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[[File:Old friend.jpg|200px|thumb|left|''Mourning an [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/10/cartoon-qaddafis-last-words/ old friend]. A Photoshopped image from the time of Mao’s death.'']]In official parlance, these are world leaders who have visited China and shown their support for the country. Netizens pay attention to a particular type of “old friend”--friends like [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/qaddafi/ Muammar Qaddafi], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad Mahmoud Ahmadinejad], and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad Bashar al-Assad].
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<h3>''Zhōngguó rénmín de lǎo péngyou'' 中国人民的老朋友</h3>
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[[File:Old friend.jpg|300px|thumb|right|''Mourning an [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/10/cartoon-qaddafis-last-words/ old friend]: photoshopped image from the time of Mao's death. (Artist: Rebel Pepper 变态辣椒)'']] Official parlance for world leaders who have visited China and shown their support for the country. The "friends" most discussed by netizens include the late Libyan leader [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/qaddafi/ Muammar Qaddafi], former Iraqi president [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad Mahmoud Ahmadinejad], Syrian president [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad Bashar al-Assad], and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe following his [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/22/zimbabwes-robert-mugabe-awarded-chinas-nobel-peace-prize awardance of China's Confucius Peace Prize in 2015] and his [https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/15/564320495/zimbabwes-mugabe-is-out-of-power-for-first-time-since-1980s-military-denies-coup house arrest amid a military coup in 2017]. The honorary descriptor was first bestowed on [http://www.fangkc.com/2011/03/who-are-old-friends-of-the-chinese-people/ Canadian James G. Endicott] in 1956 for his support of the revolution. Early on, "old friends of the Chinese people" were ideological supporters, but as China's foreign policy has become more pragmatic and market-driven, the phrase has been used to describe trade partners and leaders of international organizations.
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In 2012 the late Cambodian ex-king [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norodom_Sihanouk Norodom Sihanouk] was called an old friend of the Chinese people in state-run media. Netizens objected when [https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2012/10/beijing-flags-at-half-staff-for-cambodian-king/ the government lowered flags to half-mast for Sihanouk while failing to make a similar demonstration of sympathy for the many Chinese who had died in natural disasters and accidents] around the same time.
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While the phrase is most commonly used to describe dictators, Xi Jinping [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/04/xi-jinping-huntsman-an-old-friend-of-the-chinese-people/ did use the phrase to describe departing U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman] in 2011.
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China also occasionally describes its relations with other countries in terms of friendships, referring to Pakistan as an "[http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2012/03/xinjiang-official-calls-out-pakistan/ all-weather friend]."
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'''Example:'''
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<blockquote>Laozitanyue (@老子叹曰): Could the qualifications of  Mubarak, an '''old friend of the Chinese people''', be outdated? Befitting the high-flying international badass class? In the age of the Internet, for reasons everyone knows... the poor sap had no choice but to step down. Let this be a lesson! (October 3, 2014)</blockquote>
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<blockquote>'''中国人民的老朋友'''穆巴拉克资格老吧?属国际级风云牛逼人物吧?在网络时代,众所周知的原因、、、狼狈下课了。教训啊! ['''[https://freeweibo.com/weibo/3761711129398238 Chinese]''']</blockquote>
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[[Category:Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]][[Category:Party and State]]

Latest revision as of 22:56, 16 November 2017

Zhōngguó rénmín de lǎo péngyou 中国人民的老朋友

Mourning an old friend: photoshopped image from the time of Mao's death. (Artist: Rebel Pepper 变态辣椒)

Official parlance for world leaders who have visited China and shown their support for the country. The "friends" most discussed by netizens include the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, former Iraqi president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe following his awardance of China's Confucius Peace Prize in 2015 and his house arrest amid a military coup in 2017. The honorary descriptor was first bestowed on Canadian James G. Endicott in 1956 for his support of the revolution. Early on, "old friends of the Chinese people" were ideological supporters, but as China's foreign policy has become more pragmatic and market-driven, the phrase has been used to describe trade partners and leaders of international organizations.

In 2012 the late Cambodian ex-king Norodom Sihanouk was called an old friend of the Chinese people in state-run media. Netizens objected when the government lowered flags to half-mast for Sihanouk while failing to make a similar demonstration of sympathy for the many Chinese who had died in natural disasters and accidents around the same time.

While the phrase is most commonly used to describe dictators, Xi Jinping did use the phrase to describe departing U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman in 2011.

China also occasionally describes its relations with other countries in terms of friendships, referring to Pakistan as an "all-weather friend."

Example:

Laozitanyue (@老子叹曰): Could the qualifications of Mubarak, an old friend of the Chinese people, be outdated? Befitting the high-flying international badass class? In the age of the Internet, for reasons everyone knows... the poor sap had no choice but to step down. Let this be a lesson! (October 3, 2014)

中国人民的老朋友穆巴拉克资格老吧?属国际级风云牛逼人物吧?在网络时代,众所周知的原因、、、狼狈下课了。教训啊! [Chinese]