Weird Things the NYT Called the President of China


So is it okay to call the president of China a "mandarin," the way the New York Times does in this article about his apparent successor? Because the reporters/editors clearly mean the Westernized use of mandarin, meaning a bureaucrat, even though they are talking about an actual Chinese government leader who, in fact, speaks the Chinese dialect we (in the West) call "Mandarin." God, is everything going to be like this until the Chinese take away our press freedoms and unfettered Google so we can have some mental peace?

This is from this NYT story that just made us sort of say, "Uhh," to ourselves, before quietly walking away:

He is less of a dour mandarin than Mr. Hu is. The tall, stocky Mr. Xi is a so-called princeling — a descendant of a member of the revolutionary party elite — and his second marriage is to a celebrity folk singer and army major general, Peng Liyuan.

Unlike the robotic Mr. Hu, Mr. Xi has dropped memorable barbs against the West into a couple of recent speeches: he once warned critics of China’s rise to “stop pointing fingers at us.” But he has enrolled his daughter in Harvard, under a pseudonym.

Sure, call Hu Jintao a "mandarin" in that arcane way, and then just go ahead and let loose and accuse him of being a robot. [NYT]

Hu knew?


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