TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A meme mocking communist China's brutal authoritarian rule has resurfaced and continues to resonate among netizens amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On Monday (May 11), China Uncensored reposted the "How's life in China?" meme on Twitter, quickly gaining 1,563 likes, 485 retweets, and 30 comments. Although the meme originally appeared in October of last year, it has found new relevance in the wake of the crackdown by the Chinese Communist Party against whistleblowers and researchers trying to expose the truth about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as well as pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The meme shows a Western man and woman dressed in suits shaking hands with a similarly clad Chinese duo. The Western man asks, "How is life in China?" to which the Chinese woman responds "Oh, we can't complain."
Thinking that the two are doing well, the Western man responds by saying "That's awesome!' However, the Chinese man responds by saying "No, seriously... we can't." In the final frame, a closeup appears of the Western pair's forced smiles.
The meme first appeared on Twitter in October of 2019 as a clear reference to the strict suppression of freedom of speech and rampant censorship in the communist country. The meme has become all the more poignant since the coronavirus outbreak began, with Chinese authorities silencing doctors such as Li Wenliang for warning about the virus, clamping down on academic research into the disaster, and arresting GitHub users for posting their experiences of the Wuhan epidemic.
The only elements that would need updating in the Wuhan coronavirus era would be the death of the handshake and the ever-present face masks.
"How's life in China" internet meme.