By XIAO MEIMEI
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Beleaguered men’s rights groups have declared that yesterday’s election of an all-male Politburo Standing Committee was a step in the right direction, as far as they are concerned.
“Men have a very tough time of it in China. We have to go to work and – you know, shit like that,” explained Peng Mei, of the All-Male Federation of Chinese Moutai Drinkers (AMFCM). “I tell you one thing, though – my wife doesn’t understand.”
There had been fears among some that a woman – Liu Yandong, a leading female member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee – could actually make it onto the so-called ‘Standing Committee,’ the tiny coterie of elderly politicians who essentially rule China.
Liu’s selection might have threatened the country’s burgeoning men’s rights movement, analysts say, at a time when many still see China as one of the few decent countries left on Earth where a guy can get his drink on any given Wednesday, maybe tap a ho or two with his work buddies after a rich banquet, and still make it to breakfast stinking of baijiu with little more than a cheeky grin and a swift comb-over.
“It was a very close-run thing,” admitted AMFCM treasurer Jin Didi, mopping his jowls. “Luckily, it didn’t happen in the end. Can you imagine, though? It would’ve completely salted everyone’s KTV game… I don’t even want to think about that.”
Liu’s non-selection was greeted with relief by the majority of middle-aged, married male officials, who also happen to make up the majority of China’s middle-aged, married officials.
“It’s difficult enough just getting out of the house every morning without my wife noticing,” muttered embittered Party Secretary for Agriculture and Whatnot Zhang Qishan, whose wide-ranging brief includes forced abortions and women’s rights.
“When I turn off my phone in the evening – that’s it. After another tough day at the office, I want to hit the bricks with my guy pals and, honestly, I don’t want to see another woman unless she’s in minimal hosiery and singing ‘My Way.’ Am I right, boys?”
Others cadres unswervingly agreed.
“I hesitate to use the word a word like ‘sausage-fest’ but – frankly – it’s five in the morning, I’m at a pretty nice level of being toasted, so let’s do this,” declared AMFCM treasurer Didi. “Who’s with me? Man, I love this place.”
Didi’s enthusiasm was also echoed by the country’s numerous male scholars.
“Have you ever heard the expression by Mao Zedong that ‘Men hold up the other half of the sky’? No? Well, write it the fuck down,” Chinese philosopher, writer and historian Ming Fei confidently slurred to reporters. “You guys are going to be using it a lot over the next five years.”
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By BIELE NINNEI
National Party Congress Correspondent
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – In what many will remember as the clear highlight of a weeklong political rollercoaster, all nine members of China’s outgoing Politburo Standing Committee this morning committed ritual suicide onstage, in front of 4,000 delegates and foreign media at the 18th National Party Congress.
Beginning the action at precisely 9.03am, state security chief Zhou Yongkang stepped forward from the phalanx of dark-suited, indistinguishable politicians, muttered a few words of gruff apology and plunged a carbon steel-alloy yitianjian blade deep into his abdomen, jerking it upwards and moving the blade from left to right, in a sheer slicing motion of textbook seppuku.
“It was an extremely clean kill,” CCTV presenter Yang Rui reported solemnly as, behind him, Central Committee Discipline Inspection Secretary He Guoqiang moved confidently to the podium at the Great Hall of the People, drew forward a curved, singled-edged traditional dao sword and drew it across his throat in a swift but deep slash that severed his jugular and sent thick gouts of arterial blood jetting over grateful delegates, sitting open-mouthed and adoring in the front row.
Long-time China-watchers noted approvingly that, as per Communist tradition, the elderly politicians removed themselves from this mortal coil in the exact order of their rank hypocrisy.
However, the 86-minute-long ceremony of elaborately staged self-slaughter was not without its hitches.
President Hu Jintao had to fire several hollow-point bullets from a customized pearl-handled SR1911 Ruger .45 automatic pistol into his skull before finally slumping to the ground, where his body continued to twitch and inexplicably shower sparks onto the immaculate red carpet for a full two minutes.
And much-loved Premier “Grandpa” Wen Jiabao, whose family is believed to have salted away well over $2 billion during the course of his benevolent leadership, had to be pushed and cajoled onto the stage, before finally agreeing to ram an ancient guan dao spear deep into his bowels and falling to his knees with a pained gasp of surprise and regret.
Analysts agreed that the gory but honorable succession of hara-kiri marked the indisputable high point of this Politburo’s 10-year history and represented an act of supreme patriotism for which they may possibly even be remembered.
However, others warned that the surprise suicides could cast a slight pall over the following day’s next Standing Committee announcement, especially as some of them are now dead by their own hand.
“The pressure is certainly on now for tomorrow’s incoming seven-man Politburo committee to top this spectacular act of self-sacrifice for the motherland,” intoned CCTV’s Yang to the camera. “My most dramatic guess is a true November Surprise: some kind of vague promise for mild economic reform at the municipal level.”
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By MEI DEBAO
Party Congress Correspondent
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Pity poor ABC TV reporter Megan Sykes: the 27-year-old broadcaster arrived from New York last Thursday with a crew of three, ostensibly to cover China’s National Party Congress. Now she and her team spend their days wandering the streets of Beijing, looking for something to write about.
“There’s an AIDS village about 30 miles outside Beijing,” suggests cameraman Peter, as the crew awkwardly relax in a cramped Dashilar coffee shop. “We could do that.”
“We didn’t travel 2,000 miles to cover another AIDS village,” Sykes angrily snaps in reply. “Look, sorry, Peter… I’m just tired. And frankly bored of this.”
She’s not alone.
As one of the biggest political events of the decade slides into its second week, many correspondents who’ve flown in especially for the event are waking up to the realization that there’s absolutely nothing to report.
“This is a complete bloody disaster, mate,” says veteran Australian journalist Bill Higgins. “My editor is calling me up every bloody day, asking how we can justify the expense of sending two reporters to China for ten days. I offered him a story about a provincial initiative to promote new dance routines for ethnic minorities in Sichuan. He told me to get off the bloody phone.”
Police report that across Beijing, hundreds of dispirited, disheveled and dejected reporters, from countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and the US, are milling around the capital’s hutong and boulevards, many without a source or even a place to go and meet somebody for coffee.
“These journalists pose a potential problem to stability. If they aimlessly drift through the city, desperately asking questions, looking for stories, who knows what they might find?” asked worried Chaoyang police chief Lin Liu. “We’ve asked the Ministry of Fisheries to hold an emergency press conference – just to get them safely off the streets for the night, and provide them with at least one hot lead.”
Not every journalist is experiencing the same difficulties, however.
Tongaat Masebo, of the state-run Radio Free Zimbabwe, says he simply does not understand what all the fuss is about. “We have run many fine stories this week, and my editors are very happy,” Masebo beams. “If anything, the problem is that I have too much material. I think that many of these so-called Western media are not proper journalists.”
Masebo is not alone in this view.
“The Party Congress is a most rich goldmine of stories,” agrees Majid Gholem-Hussain, deputy editor of the Tehran Democratic Post. Gholem-Hussain has spent the last week providing his paymasters with a series of stunning scoops from his luxurious Wangfujing hotel room.
“We are being hand-fed the choicest morsels of fascinating news by our good friends,” Gholem-Hussain gloated. “Our exclusive coverage is making utter humiliation for those fools at the New York Times and Washington Post. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” he added thoughtfully.
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By RONG REN
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – An explosive 15-minute speech at the 18th National Party Congress by President Hu Jintao, laying out an explicit vision of reform in soaring rhetoric, had to be abruptly cancelled after Hu left it in his car.
Unable to find the lost notes, Hu was forced to substitute his potentially seismic remarks with a one-and-a-half-hour work report, sources say.
A precise timetable of legal, political and economic change, expressed in words of near-lyrical inspirational prose, was instead replaced by a rambling list of achievements laid out in bland officialese, while a blistering critique of the culture of corruption and materialism that has become endemic in all levels of government had to be swapped out for a 25-minute explanation of Jiang Zemin Theory.
“Hu was pretty disappointed, as he had hoped to make substantive reform his key political legacy and thus secure his place in China’s history, instead of simply being remembered as yet another heartless technocrat in a business suit and a bad hair-job,” his personal assistant, Lin Tao, explained. “Unfortunately, he left the damn speech in his limo. What can you do?”
Lin said it wasn’t all bad news for the outgoing President, however.
“Luckily, we don’t think anybody realized, except maybe Jiang Zemin, and the whole thing passed off without a hitch,” said Lin. “OK, China may have missed the opportunity to reform itself but the important thing is, no one lost face.”
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By XI MEITEI
Western Media Correspondent
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – The chief correspondent for a top US newspaper has admitted that he has pretty much no idea what is currently going on in China.
“Nope – I’ve got nothing, to be honest with you. Not a goddamn clue,” said 44-year-old Peter Whitman, a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who was previously a correspondent in Syria and Egypt. “And neither does anyone else. Your next guess is probably just as good as mine.”
Amid speculation and scandal surrounding the 18th Party Congress, which begins today, Whitman confessed that neither he nor any of his colleagues had any notion about what is actually happening behind the walled compounds of Zhongnanhai and Beidahe, where the key decisions are usually made about the upcoming leadership transition.
“Sometimes, I feel embarrassed when people ask me what’s really going on with, say, Bo Xilai or Jiang Zemin and I have to kind of roll my eyes, shrug and sometimes even extend my hands, with the palms upwards, like I’m some kind of complete asshat,” said Whitman. “But honestly, we’re really doing our best.”
Whitman argues that, when it requires an immersive understanding of the internal, ongoing dynamics of the Chinese Communist Party as it approaches one of its most momentous power handovers in history, “There’s probably a box of interesting rocks on Jia Qinglin’s desk that knows more that we do.”
Observing somewhat bitterly that even the most well-researched bit of Pekingology might as well be pulled out of his own behind, Whitman pointed out that most of the sources available to well-placed journalists regarding the Party’s inner dynamics are likely to be in some way flawed, compromised or subject to bias.
“The next Chinese president is supposed to be Xi Jinping. But it might even be an Inner Mongolian goat herder. We just don’t know,” shrugged an exasperated Whitman, referring to the upcoming leadership handover.
“I mean, I could be writing my stuff from a beach in Uruguay, based on my wildest speculation, and still have about as much serious chance of getting it right as some guy who’s been here ten years on the fucking ground,” said Whitman, while close to tears of hysterical laughter. “In fact, I might as well do that – the weather’s sure as hell nicer over there.”
Citing the need to keep up basic appearances and present a semblance of authority, Whitman said foreign desk editors still routinely send journalists to China in order to go about their lives, prepare daily briefings and file new copy.
“I mean, I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but it’s all pointless, in a way. I don’t know why I bother sometimes,” Whitman shrugged. “I really don’t. I mean, think about it, man: Uruquay.”
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By RONG REN
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – It’s official! The Seventh Plenary Session of the outgoing 17th Central Committee will be “even bigger, better and bolder than ever before,” according to early reports.
“This year’s plenary session will be so off-the-hook, I can scarcely wait to create a precise flower arrangement suitably honoring it,” wrote one giddy netizen.
And it’s not just a fan talking about it – officials are excited, too.
“This plenum will surely be the best plenum yet,” insisted plenum spokesman Le Keqiang, who added that he was looking forward to this year’s plenum – scheduled, as usual, for sometime in September, October, November, December or perhaps next year – “with tension.”
But the new plenum has not been without its controversy.
Political turmoil earlier this year saw the shock downfall of Chongqing politician Bo Xilai and his allies, sparking a major leadership split.
Meanwhile, organizers have had to contend with complaints from some critics that last year’s line-up was “flat and inspiring.”
Especially disappointing was said to have been a lackluster vocal performance from the Rural Social Development Panel, led by rising right-wing star Ling Bo, 58.
“They played the usual set without any gusto… it was the same old stuff: reform the household registration system, raise agrarian living standards, yak, yak, yak,” grumbled long-time social-reform advocate Zhu Yipeng, 49.
“Their new material – things about controlling the housing market and capping inflation – seemed derivative to the press and didn’t really get much love from fans, either.”
But a draft version of the line-up for the 17th Central Committee’s final plenum suggests that officials have taken those earlier criticisms seriously.
Late Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang’s widow, an endearingly popular presence, has been drafted in to open the talks.
Meanwhile, headlining the second day is Peng Liyuan (pictured, left), the popular folk-singer wife of the expected incoming President Xi Jinping.
The famed soprano, who holds the rock ’n roll rank of general in the army, is said to have a talent for reading crowds, Tang poetry and her husband’s email.
Peng is also particularly well-known for her hugely distracting costumes on stage.
Her syrupy set will feature a pre-approved playlist of “blisteringly mild reformist rhetoric and some nostalgic, leftist classics for the oldsters,” according to insiders.
On paper, at least, the eagerly awaited Seventh Plenum is poised to provide a guideline document for China’s continuing reform and opening-up process, as the blueprint of ongoing socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics– but, experts say, most people just go along to rock out and get messy.
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By XIAO DIDI
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – The endgame in the Bo Xilai case may have finally been reached, after full blame was attached by a Hefei court to Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai– now revealed to have a secret attachment of her own.
A well-connected source – said to be Gu’s balls – admitted that Gu’s malevolent meatstick was directly connected to British businessman Neil Heywood’s death.
Sweating closely from beneath what is believed to be a full-sized she-dick, Madam Gu’s testicles told judges that their owner was definitely a “malignant bitch” – or words, our legal source said, that were essentially similar to almost being the same.
The closed-door trial comes at a tense time for the Chinese government, as the government prepares for a disputed once-a decade leadership transition, while attempting to depict disgraced former Party Secretary Bo’s wife as a homicidal Lady Macbeth figure.
Now, sources say, confirmation that Gu is a transgender bitch-on-wheels could at last draw a veil over the long-running theory that she is simply a convenient scapegoat, albeit one highly corrupt and fairly typical of certain female characters in Chinese literature and history.
“Short of claiming she is the living reincarnation of the evil Empress-Dowager Cixi, we’re done with Gu Kailai,” an exhausted prosecutor told China Daily Show.
“Thank God this is almost over,” said one foreign journalist. “I really couldn’t take much more of this ridiculous story.”
Phallic facts about the hot-air balloon-traveling Gu are already piling up online to confirm the speculations.
“Gu definitely has a monstrous junk,” one shocked eyewitness told the Internet. “She would sometimes give it its own military uniform, so it could strut around like a Generalissimo.”
Some wonder why this information has only just emerged.
“No one noticed this before but after about two months into the investigation, someone did notice it,” the prosecutor explained. “We always knew Gu Kulai wanted to be with a Politburo member – but not like this.”
The revelation of Gu’s wicked Johnson has revolted even hardened pricks in the Chinese government.
But, analysts say, the existence of Gu’s veiny masculine appendage could help provide a neat conclusion to the current political crisis.
“This sort of thing doesn’t happen very often, except in Germany, obviously,” said a source close to the investigation. “However, it does mean now we can pin this entire situation on one witch-like woman and her wily wang.”
The source added that the case was not political but that Gu had nevertheless presented a credible threat to China’s political stability.
“The last thing an aging bunch of male rulers need is the appearance of a stiff but feminine symbol of Chinese power,” he explained. “After all, they have Xi Jinping.”
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By XIAO NIAO
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Senior Politburo members ordered Bo Xilai’s removal after learning that he had eavesdropped on every tiresome aspect of their personal lives, sources have revealed.
Disgraced former leader Bo ran a widespread wiretapping operation that extended up to China’s president, it has recently been claimed.
When top leaders learned of his activities, they were mortified to realize that Bo knew every dull detail about their lives: from how they shampooed their carpets to the subjects – but not the grades or teacher’s comments – on their high-school reports.
President Hu Jintao’s right eyebrow is said to have started quivering slightly, after learning that details of his two-hour daily nosehair-plucking regimen had been overheard and ruthlessly ridiculed by Chongqing security police.
An exhausting 300,000-word dossier, available as a seemingly endless pdf, was delivered to the nine-member Standing Committee in early March, where each was embarrassed to learn of the others’ desperately dreary private lives.
Bo’s wiretaps were initiated as an anti-crime crackdown in Chongqing but soon widened, in order to pull in dirt on fellow politicians – as well as to see whose alliances lay where.
The flamboyant Bo had hoped to build up a J Edgar Hoover-style dossier on his rivals that would make him politically unassailable.
But the operation went into decline, after Bo learned that his surveillance team needed to switch shifts every two hours just in order to stay awake. “What is this vanilla bullshit?” Bo was overheard roaring at a meeting with top policeman Wang Lijun. “Get me the good stuff!”
“There’s only so much information you can do with the knowledge that Zhou Yangkang’s hair dye causes his scalp irritation, due to a mild soap allergy,” said a senior academic with close ties to the Party. “Other than to offer an aloe vera alternative.”
The details that have emerged from the wiretaps are already being described as “political Valium.”
Party spokeswoman Jiang Yu spends most of her nights reading and annotating reports from the Foreign Ministry, except on Thursdays when she attends Marxism classes, for example. Foreign minister Yang Jiechi prefers to makes visits to his elderly mother on the second Sunday of every month – the meets are described as “mostly uneventful.”
Bo did hit paydirt last December, it has been revealed, when operatives tapping Jiang Zemin’s phone finally learned the secret recipe for his ‘Seven Treasures’ dumplings.
“Bo’s wife, Gu, served Jiang his own dumplings when he visited,” an eyewitness claimed. “Jiang stopped chewing and his eyes widened for a second. But when he realized he hadn’t been poisoned, he finished the meal with relish.”
Bo was removed from his post in April and his secret files have since been dumped in an academic recycling plant in Chengdu.
“It’s all very humdrum stuff, not interesting at all,” said a top Party academic. “This is the main reason Chinese media doesn’t write anything about the private lives of the top leaders.”
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By RONG REN
CHONGQING – (China Daily Show) Flamboyant politician Bo Xilai has stunned Politburo members by dramatically attempting to return to work as if nothing had happened.
The former Chongqing Party Secretary was stripped of his post earlier this month, and last night state media announced Bo had committed “serious discipline violations.” Investigators have also re-opened the case of Neil Heywood, a British businessman linked to Bo’s family who died in unusual circumstances last November.
Despite this, co-workers were shocked this morning to see Bo blithely stroll into the offices of the Chongqing Municipality Administrative Affairs Bureau, complaining that his card wasn’t working.
Bo then burst into the office of his dozing replacement Zhang Dejiang and demanded to know what he was doing.
“It was chaos,” said one eyewitness. “Zhang was stammering and sweating, and kept trying to tuck in his shirt and adjust his glasses. But Bo bitch-slapped him twice, then ordered him to pick up four lattes from downstairs – and to get a receipt this time.”
Bo resumed office for a full 36 minutes.
In that short time, the charismatic Maoist ex-leader ordered all universities be closed, sacked the city’s entire Scientific Development Unit and replaced them with a team of hard-working farmers, and urged the proletariat to rise up and challenge officials for their lack of revolutionary zeal and general bourgeois sleaziness.
“We got to work immediately!” said HR manager Lucy Xiu. “I quickly launched an struggle session with my landlord and managed to get our deposit back.”
Order was restored only when a security team arrived from Beijing. After writing a short self-criticism, Bo agreed to leave but promised he’d return shortly.
“I first thought Bo had been properly restituted or maybe even pulled off a coup,” admitted one intern. “But after I checked the Internet and saw there were no rumours, I knew it was probably a hoax. Didn’t stop me from attacking my professor, though.”
Bo’s audacious move has won admirers in some quarters.
“He has the foreigner style,” said one Western-educated secretary. “I think Bo must have been trying to do a ‘George’” – a reference to the classic Seinfeld episode in which George Constanza dramatically quits his job, then attempts to bluff his way back. In China, this is sometimes known as “pulling a rehabilitated cadre after political purge.”
In the sitcom, George is eventually fired; in real life, however, Bo was wheeled out of the office in a hockey mask, strapped to a gurney, and placed in an unmarked van, where he faces months of elaborate, ritualistic and ultimately tedious interrogation.
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