By LAO REN
BALTIMORE (China Daily Show) – Zhao Binglai, a veteran of the Long March and a former ousted official, confusedly shouted “This is China!” at care workers this afternoon at the Cedar Woods Homes Residential Community in Baltimore, Maryland.
Staff who helped Zhao, 78, back into bed were quick to offer him a ‘snack pack.’ After resting, Zhao told media that he realized that Baltimore was not, in fact, part of China and suggested his orderlies drink plenty of hot water.
Local historian James Anderson, 62, says that Chinese people have been visiting Baltimore since 1859, when the first recorded Cantonese immigrant to the state was accidentally lynched.
Anderson says it is still quite normal for many elderly Chinese-Americans to refer to China’s sovereignty, simply in order to explain an absurd or illogical situation.
“This is China” is a commonly heard phrase in the People’s Republic, most often used when someone is badly losing an argument.
The phrase supposedly dates back to the early Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), after the Emperor Qinsihuang was proudly surveying a map of the first unified, multi-ethnic and centralized China. When a courtier asked Qinsihuang why the map had to be drawn with slaves’ blood, the emperor retorted with the immortal remark.
The phrase went mainstream in 1951, when the 14th Dalai Lama, after receiving a letter from the People’s Liberation Army, pointed at the grounds of the Potala Palace and said, “This is China?”
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