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Stable bottom

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稳腚 (wěn dìng): stable bottom

The stable bottom of the government.

Homophone of “stability” (稳定 wěndìng). Beginning under Hu Jintao’s leadership, the Communist Party has gone to great lengths to “maintain stability” in society. Using this rationale, protests are squelched, political dissidents are controlled, and the media is censored.

Netizens joke that China’s leaders’ obsession with “social stability” is a just a pretext for insuring the stability of their “bottoms” on the thrones of power. “When the officials’ bottoms are stable,” goes a popular saying online, “society is unstable. When the officials’ bottoms are unstable, then society is stable!” (官员稳腚了,社会就不稳定了;官员不稳腚了,社会就稳定了!)

The Great Goal: At first, it was to liberate the world. Then we shrank it to surpassing the U.K. and the U.S. Then when the people had no way to survive, starved bodies were strewn everywhere and bellies caved to touch spines, the goal became the Four Modernizations. Once we saw this was also hopeless, we said forget about it and toned it down to the primary stage (of socialism). Now the goal was a comfortable life. Again, we saw it was no good. So let’s let some people get rich first, we said. Who suspected that only two words would remain: maintain stability!

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