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Thanks to the country

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gǎnxiè guójiā 感谢国家

Zhou Yang at the altar of the government’s priorities: (1) Thank the country, (2) Thank those who supported me, (3) Thank my coach, (4) Thank the staff, (5) Thank my parents. (Source: Tencent)
“Write ‘Thanks to the leaders’ 10,000 times... no, ‘Thanks to the country!!’” (Artist unknown)

A sarcastic Internet phrase used to imply that the thanks being offered is either forced or not merited. After Chinese speed skater Zhou Yang won the 1,500 meter event in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, she thanked her parents in a press conference. Yu Zaiqing, Deputy Director of the National Sports Bureau, criticized her for not first thanking her country. Heeding his advice, Zhou held a second news conference during which she first thanked her country, then her parents and coaches.

On Weibo, one user expressed his sincere thanks to the country:

Tamendoujiaowozhuangchunchun (@他们都叫我装纯纯): I am about to die from the heat! I must first thank the government, thank the Party, and thank my country for letting me sit in a place like this to wait for the bus!


The phrase can also be used after mentioning an action taken by the state with only minor benefits and substantial costs: “The world should really thank the country for spending US$60 billion on such a great World Expo,” or “Kim Jong-il should really thank the country for showing him such a good time while he’s in China.” It can also be used when the government takes small measures to address a problem that it caused in the first place: “I have to thank my country for ending the Cultural Revolution.”

“If God gave me another chance, this is what I would say, ’First I want to thank my country and especially Yu Zaiqing, Deputy Director of the National Sports Bureau, who criticized me for first thanking my parents...’” (Artist unknown)