Chinese governor mocked for getting name of his own province wrong

Official mispronounced abbreviation for Yunnan province twice during speech

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 December, 2016, 12:50pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 December, 2016, 12:50pm

A senior Chinese official has sparked criticism online after he mispronounced the name of the province he is in charge of.

The acting governor of Yunnan, Ruan Chengfa, pronounced the character Dian, a common abbreviation for the southwestern province, as Zhen while giving a speech on Wednesday.

Ruan referred to a railway as the Zhen-Yue Rail, its right name being the Dian-Yue Rail, on two occasions as he read from a script at the opening of the high-speed link connecting the provincial capital Kunming with Shanghai.

The speech was broadcast live on local television and news websites.

Ruan, the former Communist Party secretary in Wuhan in central China, moved to the border province less than a month ago.

But some internet users were unforgiving, pointing out that Ruan had obtained a doctorate in law and should know better.

“The governor of Dian does not know Dian, how ironic” one person commented on a video of Ruan’s speech through social media.

“Let’s add pinyin to all speech scripts from now on,” another said.