Inside China: Security spending tops defense

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The nation’s desire for a clear answer about Mr. Bo’s fate was partially, yet artistically, satisfied when He Guoqiang, the top prosecutor of the Communist Party’s internal discipline organization and a member of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, went to the Chongqing delegation Saturday morning to make an important statement about the weather: “Comrades from Chongqing have just told me a few minutes ago that the weather in Chongqing and the weather in Beijing at this moment are very different,” Mr. He said.

“This year,” he announced, “cold weather in Beijing lasts longer than usual. But right now, we are in a good period of seasonal transition, especially with a long dry span and a lack of rain and snow. And in Beijing temperatures in the morning and in the evening change greatly. I wish all of you from Chongqing give sufficient attention to guarding yourself against cold air, keeping yourself warm, and mind your own health.”

The comments are viewed by observers as clearly more about politics than the weather, as shown by the unprecedented prominence given to Mr. He’s weather talk in state-run press. The entire weather talk was printed by the People’s Daily, Xinhua and all other major state-run media, further adding to the mystique.

Mr. He’s weather comments became an instant sensation nationwide and went viral on Chinese Internet.

Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at mmilesyu@gmail.com.

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