Ordinary Chinese increasingly afraid to talk about their leader

By Around the Web

(ZEROHEDGE) – It’s a dynamic familiar to fans of the Harry Potter franchise: a villain so powerful that ordinary people fear to even mutter his name aloud. In Harry Potter world, characters use phrases like “You Know Who” to reference the series arch-villain, Voldemort. But in China (where Harry Potter is, unsurprisingly, banned), ordinary citizens (even those who genuinely support the CCP) are afraid to utter the name of President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Chairman Mao.

An interesting piece published in the latest issue of the Economist pointed to the dynamic: “Open criticism of the most important man in China is taboo. Last year Ren Zhiqiang, a retired property tycoon and vocal critic of the government, published an essay about a speech by Mr Xi in which Mr Ren said he was not an “emperor” showing off his new clothes but a naked “clown”. Shortly afterwards, Mr Ren was sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption.”

Chinese citizens’ euphemisms for President Xi – which include, most notoriously, comparing the leader to “Winnie the Pooh” – are evolving so fast by necessity that China’s online censors are having trouble keeping up.

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