‘Blood-Soaked GDP’ Is China’s Catchy New Protest Cry

In China, it has been the summer of the “Blood-Soaked GDP.”

The phrase has become a sort of protest  of what they consider the economic-growth-at-any-cost-mentality that has propelled Chinese infrastructure growth for the past two decades. It is a dig at Chinese officials who would do anything they can — including cutting corners — to increase the country’s gross domestic product at the expense of human lives.

 Even the state run People’s Daily has used the phrase . After a signaling failure was blamed for the deadly Wenzhou high-speed rail crash in July that killed 40 passengers and injured almost 200, the  People’s Daily, normally known to be the mouthpiece of the Chinese government wrote a scathing front-page editorial that exclaimed, ” We don’t want a blood-soaked GDP.”

The phrase “blood-soaked GDP” was then reintroduced into the Chinese lexicon and nowhere more prominently than on China’s version of Twitter – Sina Weibo.

“Blood-soaked GDP! Countless workers have suffered!” lamented a Chinese netizen who calls herself ‘Pig Who Falls in Love with the Big Bad Wolf.’

“We don’t want a Bloody GDP!” wrote fellow netizen ‘Li’l Sister Lin Loves the Weekend.’ “We want a beautiful home.”

The phrase “Bloody GDP” or “Blood-soaked GDP” (???GDP) has come to encapsulate a sense of growing frustration amongst the Chinese public.

The phrase was initially used for years to describe the alarmingly frequent coal mining accidents that occur in China.

“Bloody GDP” has increasingly become a rally cry on the Chinese Internet, an expression of extreme exasperation used with the frequency of “W.T.F.” and “OMG” on Twitter in the U.S. but with socio-political implications.

 The phrase was used to galvanize a huge mid-August protest against a chemical plant over pollution fears in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian. More 12, 000 people showed up chanting slogans and officials had no choice but to close the plant.

As recently as last week, “blood-soaked GDP” was brought up again after two subway trains crashed on one of Shanghai’s newest subway lines injuring hundreds.

Today, however, the phrase came full circle. A coal mine explosion in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou killed 13 miners. Responding to the news, Weibo-user “Freedom Guard” simply wrote, “Aren’t we all tired of saying this? But ‘Bloody GDP.’”