Today more than ever, The CCP is accepting no criticism about anything, by anyone, or Robbing Words And Seizing Reasons, 強詞奪理. Why is it doing this? Well to employ another classic chéngyǔ, to Conceal its Shortcomings for Fear of Criticism, 諱疾忌醫.

In Chinese history there is the story of the vainglorious Marquis Huan, who rebuked the famed Doctor Bian Que 扁鵲 when he had the audacity to advise him about his declining health:

“See, even a doctor like Bian Que is trying to profit from others’ fears,” cried the arrogant Marquis.

Photo: HKFP/Lukas Messmer.

In this classic chéngyǔ, the much vaunted and respected doctor of Chinese medicine, Bian Que, tried to give Marquis Huan timely advice on his worsening health problem. Not wishing to accept any bad news, the foolish Marquis turned the good advice on its head and blamed Bian Que for wanting to seek personal gain by manipulating his fears about his health. Foolishly, the Marquis rebuffed several well-intended warnings by Bian Que to save his life and finally succumbed to his terminal illness.

If his initial ailments received treatment in the first instance, the Marquis would not have died. But instead, the Marquis accepted no advice, no matter how well-intentioned. Even the most respected doctor in the China, who was purported to have magical clairvoyance for spotting illness, held no credence for the pious Marquis whose eyes and ears were closed to anything but good news.

Sound familiar today?

Photo: HKFP/Lukas Messmer.

Just like the vainglorious Marquis, the CCP isn’t accepting any form of bad news from anyone, especially if it concerns its sick economy or its showy military parade.

Admittedly, not everyone who comments on China is as skilled as the famed doctor Bian Que was at medicine. But there are indeed many experts whose opinions are summarily dismissed as China-bashing, lies, or hearsay because they displease the befuddled, isolated CCP elites, who pursue only their personal agendas to the detriment of China.

No doubt Bian Que would shake his wise old head in disappointment if he were alive today and watching Beijing’s parade. China may have thousands of years of history, but its leaders have an age-old habit of repeating the same vainglorious mistakes over and over again.

Richard Scotford

Richard is a freelance writer and long term resident of Hong Kong. He has a Master's Degree in Chinese Studies from CUHK and describes himself as a noisy muser on all things China. He has travelled extensively in Western China and once owned a trekking lodge high on the Tibetan border. He has a raw style of Opinion Journalism, with special interests in the South China Seas and deciphering Hong Kong's Localist/Independence groups.