CHINA TRANSLATED: Being a Monk Like Mao, and a Surprise Defector

February 18, 2016 Updated: February 21, 2016

This news summary was originally dispatched as part of Epoch Times China email newsletters. Subscribe to the newsletters by filling your email in the “China D-brief” box under this article, or sign up here.

Joke of the Week

“Instant noodles are becoming more expensive; eggs are becoming more expensive; flour is becoming more expensive; along with gasoline, vegetables, edible oil, cotton, clothing… the price of everything is increasing, except for our salary. However, we must not lose the firm willingness to live—the price of a grave plot inflates the fastest!”

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Best of Weibo

@Lüqiu Luwei: “The following examples are what I learned in two different classes: In the Czech Republic, people’s homes were very clean, but garbage was seen everywhere outside; in Ukraine, nobody cleaned snow on the sidewalks. Both teachers attributed the phenomenon to the legacy of former-Soviet Union governance, which led to a lack of public spirit. People were used to thinking that the government should take care of everything. Consequently, people especially valued their private spaces, as there were rarely good public spaces.”

A Monk in the Spirit of Chairman Mao 

Epoch Times Photo
The slogan reads: “There is no Buddha without the Communist Party.”

Yinguang, the abbot of Cihang Jingyuan Temple in Shanxi Province and the honorary abbot of Lingfeng Temple in Fujian Province, made remarks recently that would be most surprising to those unfamiliar with the extent to which politics infects religion in China. The remarks leaked after video footage recording the religious event was put online.

The abbott led all attending monks to shout the slogans: “Be a monk in the spirit of Mao Zedong,” “Be a layman in the spirit of Deng Xiaoping,” “Be a lecturer in the spirit of Hu Jintao,” “Be a buddhist in the spirit Lei Feng,” “Fulfill chairman Xi’s China Dream,” and other slogans.

China’s ‘Backbone’ Emigrates

Ni Ping, a household-name in China, has become a hot topic on the Internet over the past week. The famous former China Central Television host is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), usually called the faux advisory body to the Party. Her famous words in 2010: “I never voted to object or abstain” because “I love our nation so much” became both well-known and controversial, reflecting both cluelessness and loyalty.

In 2011, Ni Ping was awarded a “Republic’s Ten Backbone Figures in Art Award,” which again drew widespread public criticism. Ni was later sometimes ironically called “the Backbone of the Republic” on the Internet.

Recently, she visited Vancouver to attend an exhibition of her paintings. In an interview, Ni said that she plans to move to Vancouver after her son finishes school in the United States. The throwaway comment led to an immediate response online, with Weibo users joking that: “OK, now even the ‘Backbone of the Republic’ will emigrate!”

Individuals like Ni Ping are often the target of scorn of ordinary Chinese people, because they benefit from the Communist Party’s system—which is seen to keep ordinary Chinese down—while privately feathering their own nests, including by moving to Western countries.

Some gave an ironic defense of Ni Ping, saying “she knows what she is doing.” “Never objecting or abstaining from votes shows that she knows what kind of CPPCC member the Party expects. Sending her son to study in the United States shows that she knows what kind of education is better for a child. Planning to emigrant to Canada shows that she knows which country is good and safe to live in.”

A long list of Chinese celebrities who are alleged to have naturalized in other countries has spread widely on the Internet. Numerous Party officials have also sent their children to the United States, Canada, and other Western countries. Chinese say they’re simply “voting with their feet,” despite the Party’s propaganda of “how good China is.”

In her latest Weibo post, Ni Ping said she was kidding about the emigration plans. “There is no shame even if what you said is true,” one reader responded. “What’s wrong with moving to a place without smog?”