BANNED: The Letter ‘N’

Many of us in the Western world may know little of politics in China, but even so, the following announcement from China’s party-controlled propaganda media outlet on Monday was pretty clear:

“The Communist party of China central committee proposed to remove the expression that the president and vice-president of the People’s Republic of China ‘shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s constitution.”

XiChina’s leader, Xi Jinping, could now serve for life, or at least for as long as he chooses. Or until he is deposed.

When Xi took the reins of power in 2013, he vowed to restore China to its rightful place at the center of world affairs.  As part of that effort, he purged, humiliated and jailed so many powerful foes that China’s best-known political prison, Qincheng prison, is reportedly running out of cells.  In the five years since he took office, he has taken charge of not only the government, but the Chinese Communist Party, the military and the press.

Qincheng prison.pngOn the more positive side, Xi’s policies have begun to lift millions of people out of poverty, reformed state-owned enterprises, protected the environment and built strategic industries. It is predicted that China will eclipse the United States as the world’s largest economy in absolute terms within two decades.

An article in The Guardian earlier this week noted a couple of possible reasons for the move to remove term limits, one of which sounded eerily familiar …

“The obvious explanation is his apparent conviction that he, and only he, can make the ideologically lax, corruption-riddled Communist party – and China – great again.”

The article also suggested, however, that because of Xi’s treatment of his political foes, he fears for his life should he ever lose power.

China world powerWith the U.S. having largely given up its role as a global leader in this era of Trump, China is in position to step in and fill that void.  What does that mean for the world?  Possibly that Xi will take a global leadership role in such things as nuclear proliferation and climate change.  For China, it almost certainly will mean an increase in authoritarianism.  China’s economy has seen growth rate of 6%-7% in recent years, and if this continues, Xi may lead China to global economic dominance.

china-toon-2The Western leaders have been largely silent,  apparently unconcerned over Xi’s move to expand his power, in part because China was already an autocracy, with only one party, the Communist Party.  But another reason is global stability.  Rather the “bird in the hand is better than two in the bush” concept.  President Xi has proven that he is able to lead, has improved the economic status of China and the Chinese people, and is concerned over climate change.  With unrest in other areas, such as the U.S. under Trump, and the UK in the throes of Brexit, and the Middle East in a constant state of flux, the world does not need more chaos.

N-keyOn a more humorous side note, just this week, the letter ‘N’ has been banished from the internet by Chinese censors!  Yes, you heard me … the letter ‘N’.  Why?  Victor Mair, a University of Pennsylvania China expert, speculated it was “probably out of fear on the part of the government that ‘N’ = ‘n terms in office’, where possibly n > 2”. Make any sense to you?  Other things on the censor’s list are:

– ‘Ten thousand years’ (万岁), which is China’s way of saying: ‘Long live!’ or ‘Viva!’

– ‘Disagree’ (不同意)

– ‘Xi Zedong’ (习泽东) – a hybrid of the names of Xi and Chairman Mao Zedong

– ‘Shameless’ (不要脸)

– ‘Lifelong’ (终身)

– ‘Personality cult’ (个人崇拜)

– ‘Emigrate (移民)

– ‘Immortality’ (长生不老)

And they also banned Animal Farm and 1984, books by George Orwell.

Orwell books.jpgMuch as he might like to, Donald Trump cannot take a page from Xi’s book and eliminate the 22nd Amendment, which states …

“No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once.”

To amend the amendment would require an act of Congress … literally … with 2/3 of both the House and the Senate in support of said amendment.  Try to imagine THAT happening any time soon! Now, stop laughing!  And meanwhile, remember if you are corresponding with anybody in China, keep your finger off of that “N” key!

28 thoughts on “BANNED: The Letter ‘N’

  1. Another emperor takes his place upon the throne.
    If all goes well, for the people he will stay. The Mandate From Heaven runs deep in the culture, communism being just another passing philosophy.
    Words and phrases in China carry a greater weight, the following poem from the 7th century:
    ‘Peach Plum Li
    Be reserved in speech
    As a yellow heron, fly round the hill
    And turn about within the flower garden’
    The original script with all the inferences this was political fire in a time of instability, everyone understood the meaning and those with the name Li who were close to the emperor Yangdi came under suspicion as trying for the throne, since it was a common name there were quite a few executions.
    Xi’s actions illustrate why the current incumbent of the Whitehouse is strictly minor league in the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who needs WikiPedia when there’s Roger? 😀 Of course I went in search of even more history on that, and became engrossed for at least 15 minutes! Yes, Trump is a bit player relative to many, but he is like a yappy-dog chihuahua my friend used to have … annoying as hell. It’s wearing … tiring, and not fun any more. Not that it ever was. I imagine Trump had … um … envy when he heard of Xi’s move, for I’m sure he would like to do the same.

      Liked by 1 person

                  • Yeh, after all (teeth gritted)..
                    She was tough, intelligent and had a political philosophy and stuck with it through thick and thin……
                    Now as fer da guy in the Whitehouse……
                    In the words of the old Ramones song…
                    ‘An’ ya don’t come close!’

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • ‘Tis so true! I was responding to a comment by Sha’Tara tonight, and I found myself quoting you about how Trump doesn’t have the intellect to take over as a dictator. I meant to give you proper attribution, but was typing at warp speed and hit the ‘send’ button before I thought. Wouldn’t Trump’s ego be bruised to hear that he is inferior to Margaret Thatcher, a woman? 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Absolutely!….. At the height of her reign it was said by one commentator that she so transcended normal perceptions no critic of her ever said ‘Typical! Now that a woman is running things’ (bear in mind this was the 1980s)
                      I often say to Sheila (poor girl) that I never thought I could dislike anyone in Western Democracies more than Margaret Thatcher and Norman Lamont (he was a Chancellor of Exchequer, odious, heartless and arrogant-got booted out by John Major- spends his time pontification on the sidelines) and then along came Nigel Farage and to top that Trump. D
                      I mean he has to be pretty bad for me to speak well of the Late Baroness Thatcher!
                      She’d have squashed him!!
                      Spiffle! There I go again!!😲

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Deep breaths, Roger … she’s gone now … dear for 5 years. And now you’ve got May! Sigh. Just out of curiosity, what did you think of Tony Blair? Before he helped the U.S. in Iraq, that is, for I know that was what cost him his position, but before that, did you like him? Remember … deep breaths … 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • This is where to some extent I get why folk cling to Trump.
                      By 1996 I was so exasperated by The Conservatives, anyone who shone a light would do!
                      Blair was greeted as saviour. As the lack of ‘socialism’ was displayed some of the sheen faded, but I hung on in there saying ‘But the alternatives are so much worse’. And some good stuff was being done within the UK.
                      I wasn’t full of the ‘righteous anger’ over Iraq which was the fashionable thing on the Left in the UK at the time; militarily and politically it was a bad idea, that’s all- He’d been successful with military intervention else where, but this was Hubris writ large.
                      Then he became more and more detached and more and more ‘I am the true and only way’ and the dream turned to dust.
                      I don’t get angry, just disillusioned.
                      ‘The Accidental American: Tony Blair and The Presidency’ by James Naughtie is a good read on part of the subject.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Good to have your perspective! Here in the U.S., he was the ‘hero’ and the citizens of the UK were just being so mean to him because he helped poor us out in our time of trouble. Obviously, some of us knew there was a “rest of the story”, but not quite what it was.

                      I checked out “The Accidental American …” and it sounds enlightening. I ordered a copy for $0.37 … now that I can see well enough to read again!

                      You know what I find disgusting? You guys are well aware, and empathetic, of our troubles with Trump & Co., but you are going through your own troubles with Brexit and the fiasco it is turning into, yet almost nobody in the U.S. is even remotely concerned or aware of it. This nation, on whole, is as narcissistic and self-focused as is Trump. “If it doesn’t directly affect ME, why should I care?” seems to be a prevailing attitude here. Sigh.

                      Thanks for your perspective … pondering to do now … if only I can control the bouncing mind … 🙃

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • You’ll find it an interesting read Jill, particularly as Naughtie suggests Blair’s support for Bush jnr was instrumental in his continued public image success in the US.
                      Don’t feel too bad about that inward looking thing Jill, it goes with being a big nation.
                      Back in the Victorian Era when Britain was like TOP; the Times ran a front page article
                      ‘Storm in the English Channel. Continent cut off’ (all those poor Europeans eh 😯)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m not sure if it goes with being a ‘big’ nation, or being an ‘arrogant’ nation. I lean toward the latter these days. People in this country don’t even make note of the atrocities happening in places like Syria. They just shrug their shoulders and say, “Oh well … at least it isn’t happening here.” Grrrrrrrrr … I’m so tired of the selfishness, the self-focus, the arrogance of this country. I used to think there was nowhere I would rather live, but … no longer. When a plane crashes somewhere, the only question people here ask is “Were there Americans on board?” If not, then they go back to their kids’ soccer games and don’t give it another thought. It has become what I call a “me-istic” society and I don’t have any patience for it. Back down the rabbit hole go I …

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Again Jill I have to put your mind a rest (a little).
                      There is not one nation which doesn’t carry this stain in some form, it’s simply a fact that the USA has a lot of people, so you tend to notice it. But there are dirty corners everywhere, in the past and in the present. It can be quite depressing, or wryly amusing in a sardonic way to know someone who is complaining of oppression in their past is being rotten to someone else right now.
                      The disaster news always carries that rider in every part of the world ‘No Britons were on board’ etc
                      In the UK there are parts of the Left who will not comment about the actions of the Syrian Govt; USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia- fine these are acceptable and fashionable targets. Anything else, a silence descends, or worse the mirror image of your Alt Right makes up convoluted stuff about CIA involvement and such garbage, and Putin gets a free ride always….
                      One of the reasons why I am a Political Orphan, or maybe Realistic Hard Left (The RHL…hmm…I’ll form a party, all of my own)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I can always count on you for perspective. It was late when I wrote that comment, my eyes hurt, I was tired and cranky. But in truth, people do disgust me these days when their compassion seems nil toward any but their ‘own’.

                      Can I join your RHL party??? Do I get an official ‘card’??? 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That’s humans for you Jill, I read a quote somewhere (but can’t recall where or when):
                      ‘The pain in your finger causes you more distress than the suffering of thousands’.
                      Globally when we encounter the myriad of groups standing up for themselves or supporting those persecuted there might just be a sliver of hope and we are being distracted by all the shouting and bawling from the loud minority (for starters looking in your direction here Pres. Wobble).

                      The Party Card:
                      Take a piece of white card 2″ x 3″.
                      Inscribe your User name on one side
                      Underneath add ‘Member of the RHL’
                      (‘Blame: Roger in The UK’)
                      On the other side write
                      ‘Never mind about your rights.
                      What about your responsibilities??’.
                      Leave the ink to dry, then colour over with red colouring pencil.
                      Send a copy to any Alt Right group of your choice with a note saying..
                      ‘We’re coming to get you’

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I happen to have a pack or two of index cards just the right size, Miss Goose has the colouring pencils, and so I am all set! Thanks for letting me join your exclusive club … I am honoured!!!

                      Yeah, humans are something else, but I suppose I must remember that, at least for this lifetime, I am one also, and certainly not without my own flaws. Sigh. 🐺

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,

    It is hard to Spell China without the letter “N.” i read that China’s leader Mr. XI also banned “Winnie the Poo.”For years memes derisively comparing Xi to the honey-loving bear Winnie the Pooh have circulated on the internet, so Pooh is periodically censored, like the character was Sunday after the term limits announcement, China Digital Times reported.
    So, it looks like President Xi will be around foe awhile.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I did a post a while back on the banning of Winnie the Pooh, but I think they have since let him back in. 🙂 Yep, Xi will likely be around for a while, but I wouldn’t count on him not being deposed if the economy starts to lose ground. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Once a person, no matter how good their intentions may be, takes on the mantle of God , all those they rule are in for big trouble.
    Revolution can quickly turn into tyranny ; no one has the character to run the world alone.
    George Orwell made this crystal clear in animal farm , but he did much more than expose ideology , he exposed human nature which is what ultimately runs the world.
    Our western democracies are the best places to live , even with all their faults and flaws and the reason is that no party or person is in charge for long.
    Many believe George Orwell was a far left winger , and so he was , but there was much more to the man. He had a penetrating eye for human weakness and the talent to make it clear in sparkling prose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are, of course, quite right, and just as I’ve so often said that we in the West have not learned the lessons of history, China and Xi apparently have not either. The Chinese believe that history is cyclic … I’m beginning to understand why.


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