Last week the whole world was introduced to the new superhero group from the People’s republic: The Harmonious Societers!
We left our intrepid band trapped in Tiananmen Square facing a platoon of tanks that had been sent by their arch-nemesis WTO Man as part of his nefarious plot to get China booted out of the World Trade Organisation for child-labour violations.
So let’s return to our heroes in…
Episode Two: WTO? No, no, no!
Announcer: Last time we met our beloved upholders of peaceful rising and harmony, the diabolical WTO Man had issued forth a battalion of tanks from Tiananmen Square to squish our heroes. How will the Work Unit escape this time? And will WTO Man succeed in his sinister plot to prevent child labour in China? View on, dear boys and girls, view on! And don’t forget: today’s episode features a very special guest appearance from Andy Lau!
Guanxi Gary: The tanks! They’re almost on top of us! We’ll never escape in time!
(The tanks rumble onwards, but their manufacture proves to be so shoddy, that upon impact the tanks all fall apart into a million little pieces.)
Chairman Mao: Thank the Party for corrupt manufacturing processes and unenforced quality standards! We’re saved!
Suzy Wrong: The People’s Liberation Army would only use its weapons in self-defence or to protect China’s domestic interests anyway. Like Taiwan and Vietnam. They cannot be used for evil.
WTO Man: You’re still too late Harmonious Societers! Within seconds these children will begin polishing my shoes, and then the whole world will see the truth about child labour. Who will buy your Three Kingdoms themed mobile games then?
Guanxi Gary: Come Harmonious Ones: to work!
(Guanxi Gary quickly pulls out the legendary Manbag of Han and reveals the mighty Chunghwa Gun within. He fires a torrent of cigarettes into the air which rain down upon government bureaus across Beijing. Within seconds, hordes of plain-clothed policemen arrive on the scene and drag the children away.)
WTO Man: What? What’s going on?
Guanxi Gary: Your plan was doomed to failure right from the beginning, WTO Man. Using the ancient powers of guanxi, I contacted the concerned authorities and reported that these children are the offspring of migrant workers. Under article 21(b) of the Provisional Charter on Migrant Children (2005 revised edition), these countryside brats had no right to gather in a group of more than four people on state-owned property. They have been taken away and will be sent to work in contracted mining quarries after having their vital organs harvested and delivered to retired cadre. It’s all over.
WTO Man: No! Never! Thankfully I contacted a number of foreign reporters who have observed this whole sorry scene of blatant human rights abuses. They’ve seen everything and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Guanxi Gary: I don’t think so. Suzy is already on the case.
Suzy Wrong: (to foreign reporters) … and so you see that this is in fact a domestic issue for China and an unavoidable consequence of a developing economy. Besides, the government has stressed that the use of child labour is strictly forbidden in the production of Three Kingdoms licensed products and have vowed to probe any allegations of labour abuse.
Foreign reporters: Thanks Suzy. And we’ll be sure to visit your hometown in Anhui Province that you told us so much about!
Suzy Wrong: Yes. It is very beautiful and is famous for its locally produced aluminium-flavoured soft drinks.
WTO Man: You may have won this time Harmonious Societers, but you’ll never catch me! Oooh, what’s this? A comfortable looking chair? I think I’ll just sit down for a minute before I make my escape. What the… who’s grabbing me?
Chairman Mao: (Mutating back into human form) Hah! You fell for the oldest trick in the little red book! Nobody escapes from the Chairman!
WTO Man: Bah! Curses! Etcetera, etcetera! And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you pesky Communists.
Guanxi Gary: And so the forces of Harmony and Socialism are once again restored to our glorious Motherland of 5000 years. Let this be a lesson to all those who wish to harm our Socialist Paradise: the Work Unit of the Harmonious Societers will never allow foreigners to openly hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. Unless, of course, it is in our interests to do so. Suzy, Chairman: let’s get in the Audi and return home.
Suzy Wrong: Wait a minute. Where’s Uncurious George?
(They all turn around to see a group of laughing families kicking the monkey’s head in and extinguishing cigarette stubs out on his eyes.)
Uncurious George: THIS IS A TRADITIONAL LEISURE ACTIVITY. IT IS NOT ANIMAL ABUSE. THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE HERE.
Andy Lau: I like sucking cock.
Announcer: Let us leave the Harmonious Societers now and wave farewell to their heroic adventures. But rest assured, whenever the shadow of disharmony threatens to cast its unwanted face over the Motherland, they will be back once more to save the day.
(Since the making of this show, Jiang Binbin who played Suzy Wrong unfortunately lost her battle against Honesty Cancer. She is now Chief Spokesperson for the Beijing Paralympics Committee.)
If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy my book Party Members – a dark comic fantasy that exposes the corrupt underbelly of modern China.