Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium
Tiger Skins in the Year of the Tiger
The writer Lu Xun used the expression 拉大旗作虎皮 lā dàqí zuò hǔpí, literally ‘drape yourself in the flag as though it were a tiger skin’, to mock people who put on a formidable show to disguise their lack of substance. Today, the expression is generally used to describe self-important bullies, scam artists and those who promote some great cause in the guise of advancing their personal interests.
The 2022 Year of the Tiger (1 February 2022 to 21 January 2023) is such a time of exaggerated claims, intimidation and hubristic overreach.
(The old year is seen out amidst exploding fireworks and with a hint of spring we welcome in the new with celebratory wine. Auspicious hangings appear at the front doors of countless homes, ready to greet the dawn of the First Day.)
In the 2022-2023 Year of the Tiger the last line of Wang’s poem could well be changed to read:
If the old remains in place, whence the new?
As prime minister in the Northern Song Wang is famous for his New Policies 新法, a suite of economic, educational and military reforms. Although his reforms were undone by factional infighting at court, Wang continued to enjoy a reputation as a major essayist and poet. His literary fame has remained intact and the millennium of his birth was celebrated in 2021.
Our Lunar New Year’s card features the work of Lois Conner. It was designed by Callum Smith. The Year of the Tiger is also an ideal time to enjoy ‘tiger skin cuisine’ 虎係菜, as introduced by Chef Wang Gang below.
— China Heritage
31 January 2022
Lunar New Year’s Eve
- Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, China Heritage Annual 2022, 1 January 2022-
- An Illustrated Proem 鴟 — A Winking Owl, a Volant Dragon & the Tiger’s Arse, 10 January 2022
- D.T. Suzuki & Zhuhong 祩宏, ‘Ox Herding & the Xinchou Year of the Ox 辛丑牛年’, China Heritage, 12 February 2021
- Uncle Roger, GouGe 狗哥, Wang Gang 王剛, et al, ‘Celebrating the Egg-fried Rice Festival in West Korea’, China Heritage, 1 November 2020
- Xu Zhangrun 許章潤, ‘Viral Alarm — When Fury Overcomes Fear’, China Heritage, 24 February 2020
- ‘In the Year of the Pig — Chairman Mao’s Bitch and Xi Jinping’s Swine’, China Heritage, 5 February 2019
- ‘The Year of the Pig Foretold’, China Heritage, 4 February 2019
- The Editor, Mondo Cane, The 2018 Year of the Dog 戊戌狗年, China Heritage, 16 February 2018
- The Year of the Rooster, On Reading, China Heritage, 15 January 2017
- 2016: The Golden Monkey 金猴, a Year to Remember, The China Story Journal, 7 February 2016