Details from Bo Xilai trial spawn jokes on the internet

Key phrases from Bo Xilai’s trial become fodder for internet humour

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 5:15am

As state media coverage of Bo Xilai's trial winds down, weibo commentators have seized on some of the case's salacious details to spin a humorous take on the entire affair.

Bo's description of the alleged romance between his former top aide, Wang Lijun , and his wife Gu Kailai - that they were as close as "paint and glue" - has become, not unexpectedly, a catchphrase of the trial.

Commentators targeted Xinhau after its editors decided to brag about their translation skills.

"Bo Xilai tells the court that Wang Lijun was infatuated with … [Gu] Kailai and they were stuck together like white on rice," one social media account operated by Xinhua English language news department wrote on Sina Weibo.

The Xinhua editors went on to explain that two groups of sub-editors - comprising Britons and Americans - scratched their heads and debated for hours in the Xinhua newsroom over what the best English words were to describe such an "inseparable" relationship.

In the end, the Americans prevailed and convinced their Chinese colleagues that the stickiness of egg white atop rice was the most apt simile. The choice intrigued many internet users. "Imagine that, an English language lesson from Xinhua News Agency," wrote one Weibo commentator.

Others seized on Bo's expression of frustration as he described the alleged affair.

On the fourth day of the trial, Bo said: "Wang Lijun could come to my home at any time and it was because of their special relationship. I am very upset."

It didn't take long for Bo's "I am very upset" to turn up as a hashtag, attracting quips such as: "If there is still no verdict in this case, I am very upset," and "What kind of relationship do they have? I am very upset".

Meanwhile, the Communist Party's main mouthpiece, the People's Daily, said in a front-page commentary the trial of the former Politburo member showed the party's determination in fighting corruption.

"The trial of Bo fully demonstrates that we have strict party discipline and restrictions enshrined in national laws that allow for corruption to be punished," the commentary said. Other outlets minimised their coverage, most likely due to the party's interest in turning national attention towards the November plenum.