This first section is a collection of jokes poking fun at the party after a Chinese journalist asked Gary Locke, ““I hear you flew here coach. Is that a reminder that U.S. owes China money?” Netizens took Locke’s frugality as a sign of respecting state funds, instead of wasting the money on lavish treatment for himself. They chose to mock the journalist, and the current state of gov’t corruption, with questions that show the same kind of faulty assumptions. -Translated by Yaxue.
- You have brought your wife with you to Beijing, don’t you know officials in China like to keep mistresses?
- Officials in your country don’t keep mistresses, is that because they are not virile enough?
- You have so few corrupt officials in the US, is that because you are too poor and there is nothing to grab?
- You don’t have so many toll roads and bridges, is that because you don’t have enough people to man them?
- Your GDP is growing really slowly, is it because your housing price is too low?
- Your congress is always fighting, is it because [the lawmakers] lack any sense harmony?
- You don’t know how to sing “red songs,” is that because you don’t know anything about music?
- You have so many school buses, is that because the parents are poor and cannot afford cars?
- You don’t have forced demolitions, is that because you don’t have effective municipal administrations?
- You are not building high-speed rails, does that mean the Americans are weaklings, and are afraid to die?
- You don’t have negative gain on your bank deposit, does that mean the Americans can’t afford to lose their money? (negative gain, means inflation is higher than the interest received)
- You don’t’ use gutter oil in your country is it because you don’t know how to make it?
This second set of jokes come from my good friend Seven. He found these on Weibo and found them so funny that he spent a morning translating them. I think they highlight the fact that many Chinese are acutely aware of the current situation, even though many in the West act as though the average citizen has been kept completely in the dark.
Q: What four languages should Chinese officials learn?
A: English, French, Russian and Japanese.
Wrong! Lies, empty talks, big talks and clichés.
Q: Who advertises fake medicines, advocates the effects and criticizes their danger to people?
A: A mountebank.
Q: What is more expensive than going to college?
A: Studying abroad.
Wrong! Going to kindergarten.
Q: Who drops from thousands of meters to one thousand yet keeps his nerve?
A: A parachuter.
Wrong! A Chinese stock investor.
Q: A person is paid 1000 yuan for the first month, 800 for the second, 600 for the third. Is this an increase or a decrease?
A: A decrease.
Wrong! It’s a negative increase. (Authorities use “negative increase” to express “decrease”.)
Q: What is the situation when an unarmed person is fighting against a group of armed persons?
A: The Anti-Japanese war.
Wrong! Urban management. (read: Does anybody like the Chengguan?)
Q: Suppose you have a room of 10 square meters. Your neighbor increases his room from 0 to 100. Do you have an increase of your room?
Wrong! You have an increase of 45 square meters on average.
Q: Who, with various evidence, proves you actually have 100 yuan when you only have 50?
A: A cheater.
Wrong! The bureau of statistics.
Q: Who demands you to be responsible forever yet is never responsible for you?
A: A mistress.
Wrong! A bank.
Q: What can you never see or find, even though it is close by?
Wrong! The department concerned. (meaning the group actually responsible for something that has happened)
Q: What have you never seen, though you’ve heard it ever since you were a child?
Wrong! A communist society.
Q: What dives into the water when attacked, yet soon emerges on the surface in a different position?
A: A turtle.
Wrong! Removed officials.
Q: Who would said this: “The environmental pollution in Chinese cities is not caused by automobiles but by bikes. Bikes cause more pollution than automobiles.”
A: A psychopath.
Wrong! A Chinese expert.
Q: A person often speaks for you. But you have never met. Why?
A: Because he is a bastard.
Wrong! Because he is Deputy to the People’s Congress.