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‘What’s The Name of This Vegetable?’ Netizens Send Nearly 10,000 Answers to People’s Daily’s Question

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China Change

This article was published first in China Change website on February 27, 2016

After someone dug up an old People’s Daily post from last year, Chinese netizens seized upon it to mock the Party and its recent ideological crackdown, particularly taking a dig at the Party for its recent Cultural Revolution-style crusade against the real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang.  After 20,000 repostings and 10,000 comments, the People’s Daily deleted the original post. The CCP is right to worry about the “two opposing spheres of opinion” (its own and that of the people), a stark reality that is shown by this reaction.  — The Editors

Retired Chinese real estate mogul Ren Zhiqiang  known as “Cannon Ren (China Change)
Retired Chinese real estate mogul Ren Zhiqiang known as “Cannon Ren (China Change)

“What’s this vegetable called where you’re from?” the Sina Weibo account of the newspaper asked on May 15, 2015, alongside a picture of two clean sweet potatoes in a bowl.

The response:

“I won’t dare to improperly discuss its name; the Party has the say.”

“You mean we are allowed to comment on a matter that concerns the national strategy and the livelihood of the people?”

“Use the Marxist-Vegetable Outlook, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory to democratically and objectively analyze the question.”

“It has Red genes; it’s part of the Party family; it’s a loyal and devoted sweet potato.”

“You tell us what it’s called by sending out a circular.”

“If Mr. Zhao says it’s a sweet potato, then it’s a sweet potato. If Mr. Zhao says it’s a radish, then it’s a radish. If Mr. Zhao says it’s a Teletubby, then it’s a Teletubby. Don’t you people dare defy Party orders—whatever Mr. Zhao says goes… Oh I mean, whatever Mr. Party says goes.”

“Party potato. This name ensures the safety of my Weibo account.”

“Where I live, it’s for feeding pigs.”

“This is a red potato. It’s a crop, not a vegetable.”

Referring to the last comment, “Your speech is extremely dangerous. Your humanity has run amok – who’s your behind-the-scenes enabler? If the Party says it’s a vegetable, it’s a vegetable.”

“If I say it’s a Party Sweet Potato, who’ll dare to say I’m wrong?”

“Whatever the Party says is so. Even the sun belongs to the Communist Party. If you don’t like it, just put up with it, hmph!”

“Whoever says it’s corn is an anti-Party element.”

“Before it was a red potato, but now it’s a Party Potato.”

“It’s part of the Party family! Now, please don’t delete my account.”

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