Who needs pensions when that money can be given to the Chinese government?

Society & Culture

A government website based in Yichun, Jiangxi Province recently published a rather bizarre user-submitted suggestion, one that has internet users asking: Is this for real?

On June 14, an anonymous person calling himself “a student from an educational institution for the elderly” posted a suggestion to the website of the Human Resources and Social Security bureau asking senior citizens to donate their pensions to the government.

The letter reads:

To relieve pressure on the country, the municipal bureau of Human Resources and Social Security should strengthen its guidance and encourage locals to give up their pensions. Citizens in Yichun must have big-picture thinking and be more considerate of the country. We can’t put our own benefits over the nation’s. We should put more money where it’s needed, such as the Red Cross Society of China, the China Charity Federation, and Project Hope… For those who only care about themselves, they are unqualified as human beings and should be severely punished by the law. I suggest the country confiscate their property and deport them.

Suggestions must first be approved by website administrators. The local government then actually replied to the person’s online letter on June 22, saying that “this suggestion is unfeasible.”

The proposal was so astonishingly ridiculous, though, that an internet user posted a screenshot of it to Sina Weibo, where the post became a trending topic.

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Unsurprisingly, the proposal elicited mockery, with many irritated internet users calling the person “an old lunatic.”

A representative of the local government confirmed to Caijing the authenticity of the suggestion, but also added that it was “antisocial and against humanity.” The official lashed out at the internet user who posted the screenshot to Weibo, accusing that person of purposefully stirring people’s ire. The official added that the bureau has asked the local internet information office to investigate the “case.”

Given the sheer absurdity of the proposal, many internet users are questioning whether the whole thing was orchestrated by the government itself. “Are they testing the water?” one Weibo user asked.

Top image by Luo Ping