Unexpected FT headline: “Beijing on edge amid coup rumours”

Thursday, 22 March, 2012

“Adding to the air of intrigue in the capital, a report of a fatal car crash on Sunday involving the son of a top leader and a Ferrari appeared on the internet but was quickly removed by official censors. Netizens and one source with close ties to China’s top leaders said the illegitimate son of a politburo standing committee member was killed in the crash and two young women were badly hurt.” Beijing on edge amid coup rumours, Financial Times.

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche“, was supposedly spoken by Queen Marie Antoinette upon learning that the French peasants had no bread. “Let them drive Ferraris” might the modern-day equivalent uttered by some Chinese Communist prince today. That’s the kind of comment that wouldn’t go down well in the countryside, though, and when China revolts, it usually comes from the peasants. Meanwhile, over at Foreign Policy, they’re “Chinese coup watching“. Best bit: “A controversial Peking University professor Kong Qingdong, a 73rd generation descendant of Confucius, said on his television show that removing Bo Xilai is similar to ‘a counter-revolutionary coup;’ one news site reported his show has since been suspended.”

Confucius said: “An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.”

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