A comedian in China was just arrested and fined US$2.1 million for using a CCP slogan created by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his joke!
China Arrests + Fines Comedian US$2.1 Million For CCP Joke!
In the communist utopia of China, comedian Li Haoshi (who goes by the stage name, House) was just arrested by police after being fined a whopping 14.67 million yuan, which works out to about US$2.1 million!
What dastardly crime did Li Haoshi / House commit to deserve such a massive fine, and arrest? Well, the Chinese comedian simply made a joke using a CCP slogan created by Chinese President Xi Jinping!
The fine was issued by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, which concluded that his show was “a plot amounting to a serious insult to the People’s Liberation Army, and creates a bad social influence“.
We will never allow any company or individual to wantonly slander the glorious image of the People’s Liberation Army on a stage in the [Chinese] capital, never allow the people’s deep feelings for the soldiers to be hurt, and never allow serious subjects to be turned into entertainment.
What a glorious statement indeed by the most noble bureau of culture in China!
The Bureau confiscated RMB 1.32 million in “illegal proceeds” from the entertainment company representing House, and fined it RMB 13.35 million. The company was also banned from performing in Beijing indefinitely.
But that was not the end. On Wednesday, May 17, the Chaoyang branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau stated that an investigation was opened against Li Haoshi / House for making “derogatory remarks against the People’s Liberation Army”.
On the morning of Thursday, May 18, the comedian was arrested by the police. There has been no word on his whereabouts since then.
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The US$2.1 Million CCP Joke That Made China Mad!
So what exactly was the world’s most expensive joke all about?
During his show in Beijing on Saturday, Li Haoshi / House spoke about how he adopted two stray dogs since moving to Shanghai. He joked that when they chased after a squirrel one day, he was reminded of these eight words:
Good style of work, capable of winning battles
That was a flipped version of the slogan that was coined by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, when he set out a list of qualities he wanted from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Build a people’s army that obeys the party’s command and can win battles with a good style of work
In the audio shared to Weibo, his audience can be heard laughing at the joke. Unfortunately, it went viral and caught the attention of Chinese nationalists and then the CCP government.
His joke was deemed to be insulting because “dogs” and “stray dogs” are used as insults in China. It is also common for Chinese netizens to also use insults like “American lapdogs”, for example.
In other words, his joke was perceived to be insulting both President Xi Jinping (who coined the slogan), and the PLA by referring to its soldiers as “stray dogs” that can win battles with a good style of work.
At military parades, especially when Xi Jinping is watching, PLA soldiers will often shout the slogan:
Follow the Party’s command, capable of winning battles, with excellent conduct!
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Now, such jokes may be par for the course in many free, democratic societies, but Li Haoshi / House appeared to have forgotten that China under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is neither free nor democratic.
If he made the same joke using a slogan by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, he would have gotten only laughs, because Taiwan is free and democratic. Unfortunately, he made a joke about the CCP and the PLA. Even worse, he made a joke about something Xi Jinping said, and that was the ultimate sin that anyone in mainland China can commit.
Li Haoshi / House and his company were not the only casualties of this expensive joke. Three other comedy companies suspended all of their performances as a result of this controversy :
- Danli Ren Comedy (单立人喜剧),
- Owl Comedy (猫头鹰喜剧), and
- Xiaosheng Comedy Club (笑生喜剧脱口秀俱乐部)
Even more startling – a 34 year-old woman surnamed Shi was detained by police in Dalian city, after she posted a comment online, asking “Why should House be banned? Aren’t all soldier brothers also dog brothers?”
This goes to show just how closely the CCP government monitors speech in China, and how swiftly and mercilessly it strikes at people who even deigns to mock its authority.
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