China’s Official Stance On April Fools: Ha Ha Ha You’re Under Arrest

REUTERS/Jerry Lampen/Files

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Communist China doesn’t like April Fools, so much so that any citizen caught playing a prank runs the risk of arrest. Beijing has effectively banned April Fools, state-run Xinhua News reports, as “not consistent with our cultural tradition, or socialist core values.”

The Chinese government takes April Fools seriously because the yearly trend promotes “rumors.” The government stated through the Xinhua that it, “Hopes nobody believes in rumors, makes rumors or spreads rumors,” according to The Washington Post.

Nevertheless, Chinese netizens reacted to the news immediately, leveling the worst at Chinese state TV, “In the West, [April Fools is] only for a day, but a certain (TV) station is fooling 365 days non-stop,” one user reportedly wrote on China’s version of Twitter, called Sina Weibo.

Despite the joking nature of several posts, one person had a rather confrontational suggestion, “Today is April Fools’ Day in the West when you can publicly lie and not be punished. Why don’t we do the opposite and make this day ‘truth telling day’?”

Not all state owned media is on the same page though. Beijing News – a state approved newspaper – asked, “what’s wrong with giving people a holiday to express themselves, joke around and find some release?”

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