Chinese president accidentally unveils a plan for mass sex

Speechwriting is difficult everywhere. But in China, it's dangerous.

You think your job is tough. In China, the rigors and vagaries of confusing colloquialisms add a degree of difficulty that’s hard for us to imagine. To wit, a speechwriter to Chinese president Xi Jinping inadvertently had the boss share a plan to “reduce taxes, make roads easy to travel on, facilitate commerce and loosen clothing.” (Loosen clothing, in China, being a common euphemism for stripping naked to have sex.) When all the president meant to promise was to “be lenient to farmers.”

Speechwriting is tough all over. But in China, to use an expression once shared with me by a Chinese tour guide, it is like a wet blanket on a long-suffering yak. —DM

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