Four Chinese state news agency staff members have been suspended after making a typo referring to a speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping, confusing the characters “zhici” (致词) and “cizhi” (辞职).
While to those unfamiliar with Chinese characters this might seem like a small mistake, the former actually means “speech,” while the latter means “resign.” So, accidentally, an article was printed and republished by multiple state news outlets claiming that Xi had announced his resignation, when, of course, no such event had occurred. Whoopsies!
The report concerned an address given by Xi at a China-Africa summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Two reporters and two editors of the China News Service’s South Africa bureau are now under suspension.
“Some people will receive a warning and might be suspended from work for a while to show to the propaganda department that they take such a mistake very seriously,” one editor said about the incident. “After a while, when the incident is forgotten, they will be able to resume their duties.”
This is likely the most memorable Xi Jinping related editorial mishap since an Indian news anchor was fired for referring to the Chinese President as “Eleven Jinping.”
By Mary DeMay