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What Country are YOU?

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, April 1, 2016

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What Country are YOU?
By ChouChou

Unsure where your boundaries lie? Separatists giving you a bad day? Lacking identity in a world plunged into ethnic crisis? If so, perhaps YOU need to take the Sinocidal Patented Nationality Test to find out which country you are. The Sinocidal Patented Nationality Test is the only method endorsed by the United Nations guaranteed to inform confused nations on their official diplomatically recognised title. Just read some of the following endorsements:

“For years I thought I was just the 51st state of America, but after taking the Sinocidal Patented Nationality Test I actually realised I wasn’t!”
– Canada.

“I used to be a sad, overweight, depressed Yugoslavian Republic, but thanks to the Sinocidal Patented Nationality Test, I dumped my allied nations and became a size 10!”
– Bosnia Herzegovina.

“I was so overjoyed when the Sinocidal Patented Nationality Test told me that my population were God’s Chosen People that I went out and attacked the Lebanon!”
– Israel.

So grab your pencils, repress your minorities, and get ready to find out what country are YOU! *
(* The Sinocidal Patented Nationality Test is not responsible for any resulting civil wars, foreign invasions, or attacks from Godzilla)

Question One: How do you allow your citizens to top-up their mobile phones?
A: A simple and easy to use combination of customer accounts, top-up cards, and access points in most convenience stores across the nation.
B: A similar combination of customer accounts and top-up cards, but with the added bonus of making it virtually impossible to add money to your phone once you are outside the city where you registered your phone. So, if some poor resident from Qingdao has to go to Shanghai for two weeks to renew his passport, he’ll find his phone is practically useless because he can’t buy the correct cards and the only suggestion he gets from the staff in China fucking Mobile is “Make sure you have enough money on your phone for your time outside your city.” Well, guess what? I had plenty of money on my wax-covered telephone, but because you charge double for making or receiving any calls once you step one foot outside of your respective city, that money drains away like the happiness in my heart drained away when I first set foot in this country.
C: Your citizens don’t have telephones; they prefer to communicate via magic crystals and flying griffin couriers.

Question Two: How do your citizens pay their electricity bills?
A: Most people pay through direct debit accounts, though other options like paying by cheque or ready cash over the counter are also acceptable for elderly citizens.
B: Have a completely different system for every single city and town within your boundaries, so that there is never any way a mortal person could get too comfortable. In one certain city, implement a system where you can only pay by bankbook and refuse actual money even when it is waved beneath a teller’s nose. However, create the computer system so badly that it breaks down for about three months continuously, thus preventing anybody from paying their electricity bill even if they want to. Do absolutely nothing for three months to get the system back online, but continue to refuse customer’s ready cash and pleas for clemency. Hopefully this will result in a situation where somebody is unable to pay his bill for months, goes to Shanghai for two weeks to renew his passport, and comes back to find his power cut off. The fucking cunts.
C: The only electricity in your country is contained within a magical lamppost that shows the way to a gateway leading towards the World of Man.

Question Three: How do your people keep warm?
A: Radiators, central heating, warm insulation, double glazing, and cups of tea. Except for students, who prefer to do their coursework in launderettes and save the heating money for cans of cider and tobacco paper.
B: For starters, completely disregard everybody who lives in the south. Everybody knows that the south is warmer than the north, so why bother providing heating facilities anywhere, despite the fact that for the last 5000 years winters below the Yangtze have all dipped below zero. So when a poor guy is stuck on a friend’s floor in Shanghai for two weeks waiting for a new passport (and the reason why he is forced to stay on the floor is because you have a policy of not allowing people to check into hotels or fly back to their towns of residence while they might be temporarily without identification), he’ll be so cunting cold that his balls contract deep into his body and begin to poke out of his anus. And the north? Well, you’re not for one moment going to allow your citizens the freedom of controlling their own heating, so you decide when they can and cannot be warm. Except they won’t be warm anyway, because when your corrupt engineers come round to check the boilers, they deliberately don’t fix them properly so you have to call them round again and pay them more money. Is it any wonder why most people choose to walk around looking like the bastard son of the Michelin Man and the Pillsbury Dough Boy?
C: It has been difficult to keep warm since the wintry curse of the White Witch, but most beavers build fires from the wood they collect.

Question Four: What happens when a burglary occurs in your land?
A: The unfortunate victims would contact the police, and claim the losses from their insurance if they possessed any.
B: Encourage your inept police force to investigate the recent series of robberies, not by tracking down the criminals and bringing them to justice, but by sticking a notice up on the front door of every compound asking residents to report any foreigners who might be living in the area unregistered. Not only does this ensure local residents automatically connect the recent break-ins to any unlucky foreigners living in the vicinity, but it also ensures that any foreigners returning from a two-week passport application in Shanghai are greeted by screaming neighbours banging on their door and a pointless few hours down the police station whilst they check my documentation. Add to this the alarm when the police discover that the foreigner’s passport number has now changed, and you’ve got a fairly typical example of the needless and crippling bureaucratic nightmare which consists of so much of my life right now.
C: The beloved King Aslan would be asked to sacrifice himself for your sins on an ancient stone table.

Question Five: If one of your citizens is in a foreign country and needs a new passport, what do they do?
A: Spend more than two soul-destroying weeks shivering on a friend’s floor in Shanghai because the whole process does not take seven days like you advertised on your consulate’s website.
B: God only knows. Probably something involving agreeing to be anally buggered for thirty uninterrupted years and sacrificing your first born to a portrait of Karl Marx.
C: Passports are unnecessary because most travel is conducted through magical wardrobes and pictures of boats hanging in the bedrooms of upper-middle-class Victorian children.

How did you do?

Mostly A’s: You are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Your favourite colour is blue and you enjoy making model aircraft at the weekends. Basically, you’re not such a bad guy, though you could probably improve your image by nailing the popular tit-model Jordan to a wooden cross and sealing it within a coffin filled with broken glass.

Mostly B’s: You are the People’s Republic of China. Your favourite colour is student blood red and you enjoy sushi at weekends. In order to increase your economic development, it is strongly recommended that you vacuum seal anybody connected to the financial, communication, legal, medical and political professions into a 27 kilometre high nuclear dildo and fire it into the sun.

Mostly C’s: You are the magical land of Narnia. You don’t actually exist except in the head of a crusty Victorian academic from the late 1800s who was possibly gay.

Mostly D’s: You’re doing the wrong quiz mate. Either that or you’re Belgium.

Posted in Guest Post | 11 Comments »

Knocking one out in the Middle Kingdom

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

From the Vault
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Knocking one out in the Middle Kingdom… and the aftermath
By ChouChou

Oh, hello there Reader (you’ll have to imagine that I’m sat behind a large oak desk and that I’m turning towards you as I put down my trusty pipe), I’m glad you came. You see, I’ve been asked by my dear fellow Sinocidal members to say a few words about my days as a writer in China. In the next few paragraphs I’m going to dazzle you with secret irony, disseminate essential information, let you in on a bit of the secrecy behind those draped media curtains, and even use two or three of Sinocidal’s Five Hardy Jokes. In short, you’re going to have a ruddy good time. Or are you? Or ARE you? OR ARE YOU? No, not really, no.

And if this all sounds a bit self-indulgent: you’re right. However, I’m contractually obliged to be dead by the end of this article, so indulge me.

A few years ago I used to work for Hangzhou’s premier English language toilet paper: In Touch Zhejiang. IT, as nobody affectionately referred to it, was a wonderful and worthy read; full of fascinating articles that didn’t scratch one’s arse too much as you wiped shit all over them. However, during the period that I worked for In Touch, the magazine committed many gross and unforgivable crimes and, quite frankly, resembled the NEFARIOUS HANDIWORK OF HE WHO WALKS BACKWARDS. “Why do you say that then?” asks Reader Stuart N Hardy of Yuhuan District, Taizhou. Well Stuart, it’s simple. That magazine was responsible for more than its fair share of errors and wrongs.

Now, I’m not talking about little errors which any of us could commit unintentionally – the slaughter of millions of Chinese during a Great Leap Forward, say – I’m talking about major crimes up there on the same level as Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Grammatical errors, appalling examples of Chinglish in leading articles, any article containing sentences beginning with “In Chinese peoples’ eyes…” or “With a history of five thousand years…” And far too many pages devoted to luring naïve businessmen into investing x amount of dollars into y Special Economic Zone of z county. But hey! That’s all part of the fun when you work for a Sinister Evil Mega-National Organisation! As any fule kno.

To quell my unease over the rotten rubbish I had written during my sentence on my magazine, I decided to make sure that my last ever article was going to see me leaving the magazine with a bang. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is that article:

Knocking one out in the Middle Kingdom

I enjoy my job about as much as a paedophile loves the onset of puberty, so to spice things up I sometimes turn my phone off and disappear for a few days. Many of these days are solely spent leisuring in the gentlemanly fashion: partaking of the pleasures of one’s own company. Normally I reserve these 24 hand shandy drinking marathons for the weekend; Palm Sundays were created by God for his hardworking creation to enjoy a day of wrist, but uncontrollable needs brought the vinegar strokes on this Wednesday.

I went to nearby Penglai to visit a friend, and her being A) Chinese, and B) A girl, the evening meant back in the hotel room by 8.30 rather than haggling for Chivas with some spiky haired tosspot of a barman. 8.30? Good grief, what is a man supposed to do stuck in a remote hotel room at 8.30? Back home, Heartbeat would only just be starting. I could have rang the hotel’s “masseur” service, but quite frankly I’m much cheaper and I’ve probably given more handjobs than most of the girls employed at the Haidu Hotel (handjobs to myself I mean, of course).

It was then I found myself in a position (ha! position!) that I haven’t been forced into since the dark days of my first arrival in China. I had no whacking material. Back home, by various means, I have managed to gather quite a considerable amount of pornographic DVDs and magazines, from Golden Showers to Double Vaginal Double Anals. Hell, the only reason I bought a computer was so that I could go online and see “Dutch girls with big boobs must be punished”. Yet suddenly, here I was gland in hand in the middle of Communist China without a single Jazz Mag or internet connection to help me out. I tried to close my eyes and do a thinky wank of my girlfriend, but thinky wanks are never as good as looky wanks, are they? My only option was CCTV: at best there might be some kind of variety performance with ethnic minority girls in khaki miniskirts, but unfortunately no. All I could find were flabby men in crinkled white shirts talking about One Country Two Systems. Normally that would do the trick, but not tonight. Finally, I found the only image of a young woman within 37 stations: the newsreader on CCTV9. Trying my best to filter out the sound of her horrible robotic English I proceeded to tug away at my old man; but it was no use. The complete and utter bollocks coming out of her mouth, and her serious buttoned-up business shirt, were turning me more off than on. It was then I took the only available option. I pressed the mute button and held up my elbow just below her face so that the crack in my arm made it look like she had some cleavage. After three minutes of this shameless act of self abuse, I had shot millions of never-to-be-born babies onto the Andrex Runway already prepared on my lower belly, and was ready for a good night’s sleep.

Without a doubt, that was probably the worst, the most miserable wank I have ever done in my life. Although some other things which I wanked over during my first few days in China come pretty close:
An illustration of a lady on a shampoo bottle.
Trying to catch the 0.000000001 millisecond on a Chinese Oil of Ulay advert when the woman looks naked.
A CCTV documentary about the Zhuang minority women of Guangxi Province.
My own drawing of a naked woman.
Standing in front of the mirror naked with a pair of breasts drawn on my chest in black marker pen.

So readers, if there are any of you, what is the crappest thing YOU’VE ever masturbated over in China? The best answer will receive a roll of toilet paper and a signed photograph of the late Hattie Jacques.

Was the article well received? Did the fun-loving expat masses of Hangzhou write in and thank me for daring to write something other than vile propaganda in their English magazine? Can The Fonz jump the shark? The answer to the first two questions was a definite NO. Three hotels withdrew their advertising from the magazine immediately, the editor was given a final warning, and the In Touch mailbox received letters for the first time ever demanding that the “sociopath” who had written the offending article should never be allowed to write again (little did they know I was already 500 miles from Hangzhou and had no intention of ever working for the Chinese media ever again). Sure enough, the next issue saw a return to translated articles about strawberry picking in Yuyao and messages from the mayor of Quzhou welcoming foreign businessmen to invest in his city.

In my opinion, anything was better than the insipid and uncomfortable propaganda that In Touch repeatedly published, and I did try to make a valid and subtle point in my infamous article that something is deeply wrong in a country where it is easier to sleep with a prostitute than it is to masturbate. Perhaps I was wrong, I really don’t know. That’s why I want to hear the opinions of all Sinocidally minded folk out there, and hopefully hear them say that I was right.

Was it a harmless and flippant article that just wanted to give a government mouthpiece a kick up the arse, or was it (as one American woman wrote in and said) “a vile piece of filth written by somebody who clearly has mental problems”?

What do you think?

(And in a further twist of fate, The Fonz’s jet skis break at the critical moment, and his limp body is torn apart by sharks. Oh, the irony of it all.)

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Food for Thought

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, February 1, 2016

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Food for thought…
By ChouChou

There are two basic ways of ordering food in China. Try and guess which one I normally opt for.

Method One:
1. Enter restaurant. Listen to 16 waitresses shout “欢迎光临” down your ear.
2. Despite the fact that you have entered the restaurant by yourself, and there is nobody else near the establishment for another 15 miles, the waitress asks if you want a table for one.
3. Follow waitress to table. Wait five minutes while the waitress clears the mass of bones, spit, foetuses, lost scrolls, blood, and monkey claws from the table with an oily rag.
4. Place tissue paper on chair and sit down. Of the 27 waitresses who gather round your table, tell 26 of them to go away.
5. Within 0.00000000001 millisecond of sitting down, the waitress is hovering behind impatiently.
6. In impeccable Mandarin, ask for a menu. Repeat angrily when waitress giggles, looks away, and shouts to her colleagues that she doesn’t understand English.
7. Tell waitress you don’t want the most expensive items she is pointing to on the menu.
8. Tell the waitress to bring you a beer while waiting. When it arrives, send it back and ask for a cold one.
9. When the waitress asks if you would like to drink the beer opened or unopened, ask her to open it.
10. Choose meal.
11. Choose different meal when told they don’t have it.
12. Repeat stages 10 and 11 about three times.
13. Finally choose something they have and ask them not to put any egg in it.
14. Relax. All the time, a million Chinese peasants are staring at you, spitting, and muttering: “laowailaowailaowailaowailaowai”.
15. After 20 minutes ask what is happening with your meal.
16. After another 20 minutes receive meal, then send it back because it has egg in it.
17. Seven days after you entered the place, finally receive meal.
18. Pick out the stones and pubic hair.
19. Eat.
20. Halfway through your food, have your meal disturbed by the manager insisting on sitting down next to you and asking where you are from and if foreigners eat pork as well.
21. Ask to pay the bill, then tell them to check again after they give you the wrong bill.
22. Pay for meal. Waitress asks if you have the correct change which you do not. Wait another 15 minutes as she goes down the street to find change.
23. Leave when 16 waitresses shout “谢谢光临” at you. Waitress 17 will shout “Bye bye!” instead and everybody will find it hilarious.
24. Burn the place down. Then shit through the eye of a needle for two days afterwards.
25. Point 25? There is none.

OR

Method Two:
1. Walk into McDonalds/KFC.
2. Point at what you want.
3. Eat and get the hell out.

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A Day in the Life of Dashan

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, January 1, 2016

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A Day in the Life of Dashan
By ChouChou

It is a crisp May morning and the bright Canadian sunlight streams in through Dashan’s bedroom window. As the Chairman Mao alarm clock strikes seven o’clock, the words to The East is Red blare out, and still retain the same impeccable tones that Dashan uttered on the day he recorded that song.

Dashan awakes and surveys his bedroom. Photographs of himself shaking hands with vice-presidents of various Chinese enterprises adorn the walls in between posters of the times he has dyed his hair blonde and played Matteo Ricci, Edgar Snow, Nazis in Tibet, and other great figures on CCTV. Without a moment’s hesitation, he leaps out of of bed and faces the mirror for his morning exercises.

“Ma, maaaa, maa, MA!” In pitch perfect Chinese, he repeats the four tones (the fifth neutral tone being beneath his contempt) again and again, safe in the knowledge that he hasn’t said a single one wrong. Then he takes one last look in the mirror, tells himself in Mandarin that he is the greatest, slips himself a wink, and heads off to the bathroom to brush his teeth with Darkie toothpaste.

Fifteen minutes later and Dashan, looking splendid in his authentic Republican-era gown, is in the dining room with a surly looking Dashan Junior. Breakfast conversations are always awkward affairs in the Rowswell household, and today is no exception. Dashan Junior tries his best to concentrate on his Captain Crunch cereal and ignore his father’s embarrasing attempts at small-talk.

“So…” begins Dashan, “You got English class at school today?”

Dashan Junior grunts in the affirmative.

“Well if you have, don’t forget your Dad’s trusty old Little Star Electronic Dictionary! Just the thing to push those grades up-up!” Dashan exclaims with a sunny grin.

Silently putting down his spoon, Dashan Junior gets up, makes his way across the table, and looks his dad firmly in the eye. Then, without a moment’s hesitation, he spits in his father’s eye and slaps him harshly across the face.

“I’ve told you a million times already – never talk to me ever again. Understand?” And with that, Dashan Junior grabs his bag and heads out the door.

Alone, a single droplet of his son’s green mucus dribbling down his still sore cheek, Dashan sighs and ponders what he will do with his life today. The piles of unsold Little Star electronic dictionaries stacked around the kitchen remind him that fame hasn’t brought total success to Toronto’s finest. Although he lives comfortably enough from the money earned from the few TV shows he occasionally travels to China for, the rest of his life is a dull and empty void. China proved impossible to live in after hitting the bigtime (he shudders while remembering a particular incident involving a Shenyang shopping centre, 50,000 socially inept university students, and the never-ending cry of “Can you use chopsticks yet?”), but Canada has not proven to be ideal either. So far, Mark’s fellow Canadians have been unappreciative of his efforts in learning standard Mandarin and representing the world’s largest Communist Party, and the empty months in between CCTV gigs have become drawn-out and mundane.

Yet Mark Rowswell never became the mighty Dashan with that kind of attitude. With a new determined strength of spirit, he stands up and heads out onto the sophisticated streets of Toronto in order to prove himself. Perhaps, he wonders, I might even be able to siphon some money off the Canadian government that was originally intended to be used in order to prevent Quebecois separatist movements. Again.

Dashan chooses not to head down to the Chinatown on Spadina Street. He realised long ago that the Happy Canada Lucky Dragon Restaurant was not interested in a white-skinned Chinese-speaking hospitality manager. While he ponders where to go, he stops at a cigarette kiosk and asks for a packet of Zhongnanhai.

“Never heard of them, we only sell Marlboros and Camels,” says the gruff guy behind the counter.

“Oh, yes, I forgot that they only sell them in China,” smiles Dashan. Then, rather desperately, he adds “That’s where I live you know! I’m a big star there!”

“That must be very nice for you,” sighs the cigarette seller.

“Anyway, must be going, zaijian! Ooops, I must have been in China for too long, I mean goodbye!” Dashan grins and skips away.

“Who was that?” asks another customer.

“It’s that fucking Mark Rowswell again,” spits the cigarette seller, “He’s been saying the same thing every day for the last three years.”

Pleased at his display at the cigarette kiosk, Dashan decides to follow his success at the food court in the basement of the Eaton Shopping Centre on Yonge Street. On his way, he spots a couple of Oriental appearance walking past, and nearly collapses in excitement when he sees the lady catching his eye and approaching him. Unfortunately, they only want to know the way to the CN Tower, and not ask for his autograph. Undeterred, Dashan heads on.

A fairly large crowd is gathered outside the Singapore Sam’s stall in the Eaton Centre Food Court. Using the skills he learned in Beijing, Dashan slips into the crowd and pushes his way to the way to the front. He spots a young teenager about to order beef noodles, and stops her before she can do so.

“Hey there!” shouts Dashan amiably to the bemused teenager, who looks like she is about to shout for the police. “I see you’re about to order the beef noodles! In China, they are known as niu rou mian, or rather: cow meat noodles. However, in China, the main meat is pork, although chick…”

“Please go away and don’t hurt me,” cries the girl, “You can take my money but just go!”

“…China has a history of 5000 years, and the language reflects that. Ru xiang sui su is a saying meaning when in Rome…”

“Please… please, leave me alone.”

“Hangzhou meanwhile is known for it’s beautiful West Lake, and Suzhou for it’s many…”

“THAT’S ENOUGH ROWSWELL! NOW GET OUT!”

The burly manager of Singapore Sam’s has finally spotted the disturbance Dashan has been causing, and emerges from behind the counter with a substantially large meat cleaver. As Dashan runs away, the manager picks up a pile of leaflets left behind, and throws them at Dashan’s head.

“AND TAKE YOUR ELECTRONIC DICTIONARY LEAFLETS WITH YOU!”

It has been an exhausting day. After the trials and tribulations of the cruel Canadian day, Dashan has returned to the comfort of his propaganda decorated bedroom, and weeps beneath his embroidered cushions of Tiananmen Square. Only here, beneath the cheap certificates proclaiming him to be one of the “Ten Most Friendliest Foreigners in Beijing Haidian District: 1991″, does he feel any of the respect so rightfully deserved to him. Don’t these people understand how well he speaks Mandarin? He didn’t run all the way to China and became a star so that he could be treated the same way as the bigger boys used to treat him at school! The fucking laowai bastards!

Dashan considers watching his favourite film Red Dawn again on DVD to cheer himself up, but is interrupted by the welcome sound of Mrs. Dashan returning home. At last: a friendly face. The Dashans darken the lights, slip off their clothes, and play a little romantic music. However, something is wrong…

Dashan whimpers disappointingly. “It’s no good honey, I just can’t…”

“What’s wrong cutie?” Asks Mrs Dashan in a sweet voice. “Do you need me to get out the hand pump and the CO2 cartridges again?”

Dashan shakes his head. “No. I need more than that. You know what I need.”

“NO! You promised me that last time would be the last time! It’s not normal Mark!”

“PLEASE baby, do it for me,” pleads Dashan.

With a sigh of defeat, Mrs Dashan grunts in agreement and reaches down to the special box kept beneath the Rowswell family bed. Five minutes later, Dashan – dressed in a monkey costume with a hole cut away around the ringpiece – is being fucked up the arse by Mrs Dashan with a seven inch strap-on dildo and a rubber mask of Hu Jintao. Nearby, Dashan’s personal recording of The East is Red blares out again from the Chairman Mao alarm clock.

Mark has never been so happy.

Posted in Guest Post | 20 Comments »

The Sinocidal Christmas Pantomime – Part Three

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, December 27, 2015

From the Vault
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The Sinocidal 2006 Christmas Pantomime – Part Three
By ChouChou

What is Christmas? It’s a little Robin Red Breast shivering in the winter cold. It’s a hungry orphan being led into a shed. It’s a lone snowman whose nose-carrot is missing because it has been stolen and subsequently eaten by a gypsy thief. However, most importantly it’s the grand finale of the Sinocidal Christmas Panto, which even cable destroying earthquakes cannot prevent.

(This final act is brought to you by Gordon’s Gin)

Act the Last: In which Hu Jintao takes a dump on a futuristic toilet.

SCENE: Last week we left Hu Jintao trapped in the Cavern of Chinese Delights with only a mysterious lamp for company. As the curtain raises, Hu is sat crying atop a mountain of Kenny G albums

HU: Bah Mantou! What am I going to do trapped in this cave for all eternity? Without me at the helm, who is going to send out the orders to knock down Beijing’s last remaining hutongs, and shake hands with the Foreign Minister of the Solomon Islands on his next trip to Beijing?

(He whips out his diminutive penis and stares at it in his hand)

HU: No. Even though I may be stuck here forever with only Pizza Hut discount coupons and 1000 year old eggs for company, I should still lead a socialist lifestyle and say no to masturbation. I know, I’ll rub this lamp instead.

(He rubs the lamp, and astonishingly, a genie pops out)

GENIE: Take a wild fucking guess who I am. Come on, you know the score, three wishes and I can go back home. And if you think I’m going to sing and dance like Robin Williams did in that Disney film, you are very much mistaken my friend.

HU: Ok, for my first wish I would like a bottle of XO Remy Martin brought to me by a girl in a Tiger Beer leotard.

(The genie snaps his fingers and the wish is granted)

HU: For my next wish, I would like a can of 7-up to wash it down with.

(The wish is granted and Hu drinks the repulsive cocktail and plays dice with the Tiger Beer girl for 45 minutes)

HU: And finally, I would like you to send me hundreds of years into the future so that I can meet the Representative of Harmonious Christmas Future. I want to see how wonderful Chinese society is in the future thanks to my well-thought out policies.

(The curtain closes and then reopens to a new scene set in the 24th and a half century. It looks a lot like present-day Beijing, only dirtier, and for some reason an animated cartoon duck is flying about in the background. A sinister hooded figure dressed all in black awaits Hu Jintao as he is lowered by string onto the stage)

HU: Finally! This must surely be the new golden age! An age when China has risen again to her rightful place as master of the universe! An age where the GDP doubles EVERY SECOND! An age where all the people of China can live in peace and harmony as long as they don’t question the Communist Party! An age where piped music comes from the ground everywhere on Earth! I guess that you are the Representative of Harmonious Christmas Future.

(The Representative nods his head solemnly)

HU: This is great! Representative, show me some of the great things about this all-new Cyber-China!

(The Representative transports Hu Jintao to Tiananmen Square. Nationalities of every minority are dancing around in national dress and a huge sign proclaims “Only 972 days to the Second Beijing Olympics)

HU: Wonderful, wonderful, I can almost smell the harmoniousessnessness.

(Suddenly, the minorities stop dancing and start firing laser beams out of their eyes and burning down buildings. A tree is blown up which reveals the sign to be actually saying “Only 972 days to the second time Beijing will be allowed to compete in the new Olympics”)

HU: Noooooo! Oh, the huge manatee! What’s going on?

TIBETAN: Where have you been worthless Han scum? As you know, all the real minorities of China were persecuted to death years ago, and you Han created robot models of us to cover up the truth. But now we will rise against you! Come my brothers, let us combine. Tibetan…

MIAO: Miao!

UYGHUR: Uyghur!

MONGOL: Mongol!

HUI: Hui!

TIBETAN: Together we shall form UltraSuperMechaMinority!

(They form together to create a giant ethnic robot and begin trampling all over the Forbidden City)

HU: Bah Mantou! How can this be? Where is the government? Who is leading the country during this hour of crisis?

REPRESENTATIVE: I can answer that: for I am the new all-powerful leader of China.

(He pulls away his cloak to reveal he is none other that Tom Cruise)

HU: Tom fucking Cruise? B,b,b,b, but… how?

TOM: Actually, I’m the second cloned version of the original Tom Cruise, and I am head of the joint Scientology-Falun Gong government which took power in China years after your death. Thanks to your ridiculous ideologies of harmonious societies and Market-Leninism, the people of China were willing to accept any old rubbish, and so took our chance.

HU: (Weeping) No, no… it can’t be true. I have seen the past, and I have seen the future, and now I realise how wrong I have been. I promise to embrace the spirit of Christmas, I promise to be a good man, I promise to make China a better place. Just please, take me back!

(There is a wibbly-wobbly noise like the kind Garth and Wayne used to make in Wayne’s World, and Hu is back on his chair in Zhongnanhai)

HU: I’m back! Oh, I’m so glad! Was it all a dream? No, I don’t think so, it seemed so real.

(Wen Jiabao re-enters)

WEN: Oh great leader, where have you been? We were so worried.

HU: You would not believe me young Wen. I have been to the past and seen the first Christmas in China, and I have been to the future and seen the consequences for our country if things don’t change.

WEN: So then, can me and the lads have the day off?

HU: Bah mantou, absolutely not! Get my bags ready and I want a ticket for the next flight to Canada as soon as possible. I’ve seen what the future has in store for China, and there’s no way I’m staying here for it. See you later, fuckfaces!

(Hu Jintao runs off to steal as many public funds as possible. Wen Jiabao is left on stage to deliver the final speech)

WEN: Well, folks, you may think that I’m annoyed that Hu failed to see the true meaning of Christmas and deserted the country, but actually I’m not. You see, in my spare time I’m actually the Representative of Developing Christmas Present, and I got together with my other two mates so that we could scare Hu Jintao off and I could be leader. So you see boys and girls, it was a happy ending after all. For me anyway. My first rule will be to ban Christmas and place emphasis on getting drunk and receiving bribes at Chinese New Year instead. Now get out all of you before I have you all shot.

(The lights go out, there is the sound of gunfire, and then an eternal eerie silence)
The End

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The Sinocidal Christmas Pantomime – Part Two

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, December 26, 2015

From the Vault
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The Sinocidal 2006 Christmas Pantomime – Part Two
By ChouChou

In the last act of Hu Jintao and the Three Represenatives, we placed a vicious Communist dictator in a cuddly family friendly situational pantomime, and asked you to suspend belief when we said Jiang Zemin had a soul. Now read on!

Act the Second: In which our hero takes a trip back in time to a humiliated past

SCENE: A British gentleman’s club that has been built on the ashes of a destroyed Cantonese yamen. Pictures of Queen Victoria hang on the walls, and the distinct smell of over-boiled vegetables fills the air. A number of crusty old Englishmen sit in huge armchairs smoking cigars made from first editions of the Tao Te Ching. Rosie O’Donnell, dressed as Widow Twankey, enters the stage and introduces the second act.

ROSIE O’DONNELL: Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Hu Jintao is in the past to study Christmas Day – hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Ching chong ching ching chong chong ching ching chong!

(ROSIE leaves in order to find somebody who “grasps” her sense of humour)

ENGLISHMAN 1: (Putting down his newspaper) Look here Caruthers, you know what I find very very funny?

ENGLISHMAN 2: (Smoking a pipe) What would that be, my dear sir?

ENGLISHMAN 1: A man wearing women’s clothing.

ENGLISHMAN 2: Steady on Grayson; don’t get ahead of yourself, man.

(Hu Jintao and the Representative of Christmas Humiliated Past materialise by the fireplace with the stuffed panda’s head hanging over it. The Representative’s features are disguised by his white hood)

HU: I want answers and I want them now. Just what in the sweet name of a Harmonious Society is exactly going on here? You wouldn’t be Taiwanese, would you?

REPRESENTATIVE: I am the Representative of Christmas Humiliated Past, and this is Christmas Eve 1857.

HU: 1857? Bah Mantou! If this is 1857 than I’m an unelected head of government who graduated from Tsinghua University with a degree in hydraulic engineering in 1964. Anyway, who are you exactly and why have you brought me here?

REPRESENTATIVE: I have brought you here to these years when Christmas was first introduced into China to teach you the true meaning of this special time. And as for who I am…

(The Representative throws of his cloak to reveal that he is none other than Zhang Ziyi)

ZHANG: …I am Zhang Ziyi! And I took this part because my last period role was a pile of poo. But look around you Hu Jintao, what do you see?

HU: A couple of fat old men sat round drinking tea. It looks like the last meeting of the National People’s Congress.

ZHANG: Yes, but look beyond all that. See how these foreigners from afar have waged war on the Motherland and humiliated our people. Do you know why these Englishmen came here?

HU: To learn more about our 5000 years of history and to stand in line at the Bank of China whilst others push in?

ZHANG: Your hairdye has affected your brain Hu Jintao. These men made war on China because we would only accept silver for their goods, and they were forced to find other ways to do business with us. Even now, your government is committing the same mistake by hording foreign currency and refusing to devalue the yuan. And besides, in 1857 we only had 4850 years of history.

HU: Bah Mantou! I demand that you take me back to Zhongnanhai. The Supergirls Contest is on in five minutes and I want to see if another androgynous dyke wins.

ZHANG: You may return to the present, but first I ask you to do me a favour. In the next room is a very precious lamp, which was stolen by the British during this time. I want you to go in and retrieve it for me.

HU: Why can’t you go yourself?

ZHANG: I haven’t brought my body double. Remember! Everything else is yours, but bring me the lamp!

(Hu enters the next room while Zhang Ziyi waits by the door. In the room is a multitude of wonderful Chinese objets d’art)

HU: Wow! I’ve never seen so many beautiful things! Snoopy car chair covers, Hello Kitty toilet roll holders, over-sized Lacoste belts, plastic cats which wave their paws, and fibreglass rods with neon fireworks coming out of the top! Such beauty! Ah, here’s that lamp she was asking for.

ZHANG: (Shouting) Give me the lamp now, and I promise your death will be a painless one!

HU: Well, if that’s the case, no. The problem with you Zhang Ziyi is that it was exactly this kind of unsubtle performance that ruined your career in The Banquet.

ZHANG: Then you are doomed to be trapped within this room forever!

(Zhang casts a spell on the door so that it was made in Gansu. It thus closes, breaks, and can never be opened again)

HU: Oh no! What am I going to do?

How will Hu Jintao escape from the Cavern of Chinese Delights? How are we going to fit the other two Representatives in our next and final act? And how the hell did a mediocre pastiche of A Christmas Carol suddenly become a mediocre pastiche of Aladdin? All will be made clear in our final extravaganza act: “Hu Jintao in the 24th and a half Century”! In colour!

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The Sinocidal Christmas Pantomime

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, December 25, 2015

From the Vault
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The Sinocidal 2006 Christmas Pantomime – Part One
By ChouChou

As a special Christmas treat to both of our readers, Sinocidal is proud to present a very special pantomime with Chinese characteristics. Featuring a full chorus of Communists, Supernatural Beings, Buddhists, Friendlies, Ethnic Minorities, Supergirls, laobaixing, Confucians, the foreigners, and more things than you can shake the Official Sinocidal Shaking Stick(TM) at. So get the kids around the laptop, hand the dog over to the city authorities, and enjoy this seasonal story of how one very special President discovered the true meaning of Christmas.

Hu Jintao and the Three Representatives
(Or A Christmas 民歌)

Act the First: In which Hu Jintao receives a surprise visitor.

SCENE: It is Christmas Eve in Zhongnanhai, although you would be hard pressed to know it. Hu Jintao sits behind his huge desk made out of skulls, with only the light from the carcasses of rabid dogs burning on the fireplace to guide him. Scrolls of paper hang over tall in-trays and out-trays which are labelled “Arrested Officials” and “About To Be Arrested Officials” respectively. Andy Lau enters the stage dressed as a giant turkey and breaks into song:

ANDY LAU: ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Zhongnanhai,
Homosexuals were being persecuted, even those that were bi.
The Death Lists were hung by the chimney with care,
With copies made out to Bush, Putin, and Blair.

HU: Bah Mantou! We’ll have no jollity here! This is Zhongnanhai, not some Shanghainese brothel full of Japanese sex tourists!

(Pulls out a gun and shoots Andy Lau. A nation cheers.)

HU: Anybody would think that Christmas was a festival designated by the state for approval. We are a proud nation with 5000 years of history: we have no need for some foreign holiday celebrating the birth of some waidiren who was nailed against a giant number ten.

(Wen Jiabao scurries into the room and kowtows before Hu’s desk)

WEN: Oh Great Munificent Sovereign Who Upholds the Heavens…

HU: For Marx’s sake, get up off the floor. That carpet was made in Hebei and won’t be able to endure your knees rubbing against it.

WEN: Sorry, your benevolence. It was just that, with it being Christmas and all, the lads and me were wondering if we might possibly have the day off tomorrow so we could go out and give alms to the poor…

HU: Do my fucking ears deceive me? (Pulls out a baby panda from his drawer and dashes its brains out on the corner of his desk) You see that? You made me do that. And every minute you don’t work, another of these baby pandas has to die. Christmas Day indeed! Anybody would think you didn’t have enough holidays as it is.

WEN: But sir, the only time we’ve had off this year was a couple of hours during National Day. And even then you made us go to the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall along with the rest of the population.

HU: (Pulls out another baby panda and stamps on its head) Now look: there’s only three Friendlies left, so get out of my sight and help to increase our nation’s GDP.

WEN: Yes your Dyed-Black-Hairyness.

HU: Bah Mantou! If it’s not pregnant workers wanting the afternoon off to have babies, it’s disloyal cadres trying to undermine my legacy.

(Suddenly, the lights dim and a strange fog begins to emit all around. An eerie voice booms out from above)

VOICE: Woooohh! Hu Jintao! Hu Jintao! Heed my words and repent your evil ways! Woooooh!

HU: What? What’s this? Is somebody playing those Karen Mok songs again? Who is this?

VOICE: It is I, the ghost of Jiang Zemin!

(Jiang Zemin materialises in the middle of the room. He is dressed in revealing red negligee and chained down to a thousand books.)

HU: Impossible! You died during an overdose of karaoke at Buckingham Palace! And why are you wearing red negligee?

JIANG: It’s the weekend. Now Hu Jintao, listen to me. You have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, so tonight the Three Representatives of Christmas Humiliated Past, Developing Present, and Harmonious Future will visit you and teach you what this day really means.

HU: Bah Mantou! I know already that the true meaning of Christmas is just another method by the imperialist West to contaminate us with their spiritual pollution.

JIANG: Heed my words Hu Jintao. Heed my words, or like me, you too will be burdened for all eternity with a thousand copies of your own memoirs. Remember the Three Representatives! FAREWELL! Farewell! farewell…!

HU: Why are you repeating yourself and pretending to fade away? I can still see you.

JIANG: Yeah, sorry. We spent the special effects money on another empty skyscraper in Pudong, so this is the best we can do. Anyway, see ya!

(Jiang disappears)

HU: What nonsense! Three representatives! As if anybody could believe such rubbish! (Note to reader: this is the subtle satire that we promised) I shall spend this Christmas Eve like I’ve spent every other Christmas Eve: meeting the Prime Minister of some obscure Pacific Island and getting them to agree to the One China Policy.

(A pillar of smoke appears and a voice booms out)

VOICE: Take heed President! For I am the Representative of Humiliated Past!

HU: Crikey! What are the chances of that happening, eh?

Is Andy Lau really dead? Does Hu Jintao really dye his hair? Will the spirit of Santa prevail in Zhongnanhai, or will the only “ho ho ho” be a trio of AIDS infested prostitutes from Henan? Tune in next week viewers for the second act of our Sinocidal Pantomime: “Widow Twankey meets the All-China Woman’s Federation”!

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Eight Minutes

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

From the Vault
Sinocidal Banner

Eight Minutes
By ChouChou
(Or: China is a never-ending empty hole of nothingness and despairing misery.)

Kings and Emperors may build colossal monuments to themselves, and the poor may breed and spread their spawn in a vain hope to perpetuate their worthless genes, but ultimately all life derives from the sun. Glorious and magnificent, the sun treads the same slow path that it has carried out for millions of years, always burning bright and providing warmth and light for the billions of species that depend on it.

Yet, the only truth in this finite universe is entropy, and even the shining gods of the celestial heavens must one day burn out and extinguish. Ozymandias-like, all things must return to the vacuum from whence they came. When the great day finally comes, our Mother Sun will consume itself and leave nothing but a cold and empty void. Eight minutes of sunlight will be all the poor wretches of Earth have left once the sun disappears.

Eight minutes. The last dying rays of the sun will take eight minutes to race across the emptiness of space and reach our tiny insignificant home. Though the ignorant masses trapped within the confines of their own environment will not realise it, the sun that nourishes them will already be dead, and the warmth and comfort they enjoy for the moment will swiftly be replaced with an eternal and deathly darkness.

Eight minutes. Just as before, the gullible and the hopeful will pile away their savings into imaginary stock markets that cannot be seen or touched. The ancients prayed to the ephemeral gods of old, modern man prays to the equally ephemeral markets of now. They will cheat and lie and kill and steal, all for that extra ounce of gold that can be thrown into the stock market and hopefully multiplied into a fortune. They will dream of luxurious mansions and fast cars, each mansion and each car bigger and better than the one belonging to their neighbour whom they despise so very much. With each expected penny, the foolish and the boastful will thrust out their stomachs and proclaim their line successful for ten thousand generations. Yet, as they dance and sing amidst the bank queues and dream of perpetual profit, the darkness from the dead sun will be heading towards them with deadly certainty, destroying their naive delusions of grandeur forever. As the curtain falls, the poor will see their money become worthless first, but even the rich will find their fortunes useless when all surrounding life has died.

Eight minutes. The darkness will follow the light and will inevitably and eternally fall upon the Earth like a crushing blow. Unaware, and so blind to what is about to happen, the people below will boast and lie as they have always done before. In newspapers, journalists will talk of millennia old civilisation as if it was a never-ending concept that will expand beyond the stars. Using words which have been used countless times during the unoriginal history of man, they will hold up the supposed virtues of their hollow culture, oblivious to the fact that a few thousand years is nothing compared to the grandeur of infinity. On the Internet, the lonely and inexperienced will write out fantasies describing why certain groups of people are better than other groups of people, even though all of them are doomed to oblivion once the light ends. And in society, the greatest stage to which all humanity looks upon, great sporting events and performances will be held in futile defiance of fact. “Look at us!” The people will cry. “Look how wonderful we are! Look how strong and rich we have become!” Though the words will sound strong and confidant, they will be exposed as mere lies once the eight minutes have passed.

After eight minutes everything will come crashing down; finally and forever. But we will be blind to the fate approaching us, because we cannot see beyond the light we are already bathed in. As the eight minute deadline approaches, our brother planets of Mercury and Venus – symbols of Love and Communication – will have already been plunged into darkness and consumed by the void, even though some would argue that these two virtues ceased to exist a long time ago in certain areas of our own planet. And when the darkness falls, which it inevitably will, there will still be those who still seek to deny it. People will stand up and proclaim the blackness to be nothing but a temporary condition, or even a conspiracy created by bad elements in society or people from faraway countries. Some may even erect lights and lanterns in an effort to dispel the cold and dark from their homes, but eventually these too will fail as everything on the planet dies.

In some cultures, tomorrow literally means “a brighter day”. We assume that the light and warmth we enjoy now will always be delivered from that great fiery globe in the sky, that we as a race and the things we have created can only continue to grow in the endless brightness that we see all around. But one day, one inevitable and terrible day, the sun will stop shining, and we will only have eight minutes before everything we have created falls apart. The dark day is coming, and our bubbles will not protect us.

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Ni hao, this is a Chinese rip-off

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, November 1, 2015

From the Vault
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Ni hao, this is a Chinese rip-off.
By ChouChou

The following is a true story.

Friend Coffee Shop Manager lounges in his deep leather chair. Before him lie the disparate elements of his new promising Starbucks-style coffee shop: Atmospheric Just Like Seattle Coffee Shop Number 47. It is his job to combine them into a seamless whole. Stirring the crackling logs afire in the grate, he bends to his task.

The musical consultant, he notes, has excelled himself. Reflecting the quintessential Jazz/Blues style of the 1950’s so typical of this type of establishment, the soundtrack blends big band overtures with sultry Billie Holliday lyrics. Background samples intersperse each track, such as Sarah Vaughn jiving with the compere, or a nostalgic announcer introducing Frank Sinatra to complete the aural picture. Friend Coffee Shop Manager stirs his Kenyan coffee beans with a silver spoon and, smiling whimsically at the connection, turns his attention to the coffee mugs and assorted cutlery recently received from the utensils distributer. Quickly taking on an expert’s eye, he examines the samples. It is, of course, superlative. The classy pastel tones of the chosen coffee mugs contrast excitedly with the bright clutter of the quasi-beat generation style of the menu which recalls the work of Jack Kerouac. Skillful finishes to the chalk blackboard breathe life into an otherwise tired cliche; Friend Coffee Shop Manager is particularly impressed with the way a few simple touches imply both sophistication and a timeless elegance to the black and chalky background.

A muffled laugh distracts Friend Coffee Shop Manager’s attention. He glances through the Victorian service hatch of his open kitchen to see that some of the trial customers are enjoying themselves throughly with the selection of art and music books he has displayed for their perusal. With a hearty guffaw, he lies back in his comfortable Ikea chair with a sheaf of notes recounting present customer feedback. It is indeed an involving read, and the ashes are heavy in the traditional log fire before he lays the binder aside.

Finally, Friend Coffee Shop Manager scans through his coffee menu. He is rightly pleased with himself; it is a vibrant yet inclusive selection of world coffees. He congratulates himself on his foresight to include a variety of exotic teas for Asian customers, so making the sociable integration of customers from differing backgrounds a simple affair. Fascinatingly, despite knowing the shop intimately, Friend Coffee Shop Manager’s brief examination to confirm all is in order stretches into a thorough audit, and quiet has fallen upon the attractive front garden before he has completed his investigations.

Only one thing remains. An additional complement of light refreshments to brighten the already excellent drinks menu. Some snacks, perhaps, that foreign customers yearn for during their travels abroad? Friend Coffee Shop Manager nods slowly. But what kind of refreshments would be appropriate? He paces around his desk. He stops before a specific bookcase; his hand idly selects a certain book. It is a bound volume of the history of sandwiches, with many chapters highlighting the grandeur that a good beef steak is held in regard in many western cultures. Friend Coffee Shop Manager rifles through the pages, unconsciously absorbing the woodcut illustrations of classic American cuisine; a brief history of the Earl of Sandwich; the likes and dislikes of 20th century Europeans; and the rise of the fast food enterprises. Friend Coffee Shop Manager closes the book, noting the illustration of a sirloin steak dripping in gravy caught on the front cover. A lightbulb snaps on in his mind. A furious bout of redesigning the food menu ensues, and everything is finally complete. Now, as the customer browses through the menu of Atmospheric Just Like Seattle Coffee Shop Number 47, if one is hungry they may choose a nice beef steak sandwich covered in either raspberry or strawberry jam. Also, if they fancy a drink, they may order it alongside two bottles of Chivas for only 888 yuan.

Sod.

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How to write a China Article

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, October 1, 2015

From the Vault
Sinocidal Banner

How to write a China article.
By ChouChou

You’ve just arrived in your 5-Star room at the Shanghai Hilton and unpacked your fancy new Apple laptop. As you pull the top off the mini bottle of Hennessey XO, you finally turn to your instructions from the editor back home. 2000 words by Monday about the important issues facing China today. Easy.

But two days have passed and you are still staring at a blank screen. You’re experiencing a stretch of writer’s block as long as the Great Wall of China and the deadline is hanging over your head like the proverbial Sword of Damocles. It seems that more research than flicking through a copy of Wild Swans in the airport is needed after all.

Sound familiar? Then you, my journalist friend, need the Sinocidal fully patented guide on how to write that Pulitzer Prize winning China article. Simply follow the steps below, and you’ll have your name splashed across the front page of every newspaper in Britain faster than a convicted child molester.

Title
Each and every good China article begins with a carefully considered and well thought-out title. “Cor, what a scorcher” may be good enough for a tabloid article about heatwaves in April, but if you’re going to impress your fellow tofu-eating, goatee bearded colleagues at the Grauniad office (not to mention that hot feminist who writes angry columns about women’s issues), then you’re going to need to think up a snappy headline. Thankfully, titles for China articles follow a strict guideline, and a catchy media soundbite can be created in seconds thanks to the Sinocidal (TM) China-headline-o’matic. Just choose one of the words from column A, and match it with a random word from column B.

A
China
The Dragon
The East
1.3 Billion People
Red Star

B
Rises
Century
Awakes
Stirs
Does Dallas

The only exception to this rule is when writing an article about the clash of western commercialism against old-style Communist practices, in which case the title “Mickey Maos” must be used.

Interview a taxi driver
You may well be isolated from the unwashed masses of China in your luxury Shanghai hotel room, but for God’s sake, you don’t want the brainless idiots who read your newspaper to know that. A good journalist never loses his common touch: after all, the whole point of your article is to pretend that you care about “the Chinese people themselves” and how unfairly the system treats them. Bob Geldof has made a career about appearing to care for African people, and hopefully you can do the same for Chinese people, earn loads of money, and buy a big fuck-off house in the south of France. There’s no way you actually want to meet any of the Chinese people though. It’s OK to let some of them clean your hotel room, but any more contact than that and you risk catching tuberculosis. So you might as well make use of the only Chinese person you ever come into contact with – the taxi driver – and pass off his opinions as your own.

– Interest rate predictions for the coming quarter? Ask a taxi driver.
– Improving Sino-Japanese relations in the post-Koizumi era? Ask a taxi driver.
– Financial aid to developing African economies? Ask a taxi driver, but leave out his politically incorrect opinions regarding “those dark folk”. The students in the SOAS reading room don’t like reading about that kind of thing.

If you can’t find a taxi driver whose political views match those of your readers, then just make one up. Call him Mr. Wang, inform your public that he only earns a hundred dollars a month, and they’ll believe any old crap you write. “I’ve been following the latest series of Big Brother with interest,” says Beijing cab driver Mr. Wang (43), “though Jade Goody’s recent behaviour has been quite reprimandable. Still, it’s hard to follow all this celebrity gossip when I only earn five yuan a year.”

Contrasts
Nobody really understands China. Especially you, because you hadn’t even heard of the country until last week when you failed to be chosen as a New York correspondent. So get around the whole problem of writing difficult conclusions by just presenting a series of contrasting images. Here are some easy ones to start you off:

• A statue of Mao with an advert for Coca-Cola in the background.
• An elderly Chinese man, with a long wispy beard, sat on a bench next to a fibreglass model of Ronald McDonald.
• A sign saying “Promote Environmental Awareness” stuck in a field full of nuclear waste and dead babies.
• A girl with a mobile phone walking past a tramp.
• A description of a fashionable Shanghai socialite who hangs out at Starbucks and likes KFC, quickly followed in the next paragraph by a description of a former prostitute who works 5 million hours a day in a condom factory for just two grains of rice a year.

Vague Conclusion
When you’ve finished writing your pointless and vague summary of obvious contrasts, follow it up with an equally pointless and vague conclusion. Write how some things point to x, whilst some other things point to y. “The future, it seems, is still uncertain for China” is always a good one to sign off with, especially because other countries are all governed by psychic fortune tellers who know everything that will happen for the next 200 years.

If, for whatever reason, you want to try something different (perhaps this is not your first time to write a China article. It might be your second, say), highlight the enormous population of China, and then focus on a single individual. That way you’ve covered all the bases and it looks like you care. You could even try and combine both conclusion styles if you’re feeling cocky. For example:
“It seems that the future is looking bright for the 1.3 billion people who make up the world’s most populous nation. But for Li Hui – who is still working at the condom factory for just two grains of rice a year – that future is still unclear.”

Follow the above guidelines and you can’t go wrong. Before long, you’ll be printing the words “CHINA EXPERT” on your business card and you’ll have your own book about the Chinese political landscape listed under the Lonely Planet Guide to China’s list of recommended reads.

Perhaps you could even call the book “China Awakes”.

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