When China began building its amazing high speed rail system in the early 2000s, Hu Jintao was the leader of China. As with all leaders, he had a slogan or catchphrase that was used (ad nauseum) to symbolize his rule. With Hu Jintao, the slogan was “build a harmonious society.” For his 8 years in power, the word harmony and harmonious were ubiquitous; so much so, in fact, that to this day I still find myself wincing whenever I hear the words.
Even the high-speed rail system got in the act, and the trains were labeled “Hexie Hao”. There’s no good way to translate that term, as it applies to a train, but let’s just call it the Harmony Express.
“Welcome aboard the Harmony Express. The next station is Shanghai.”
In 2011 Hu Jintao stepped down and was replaced at the top of China’s political system by Xi Jinping. His slogan is “national rejuvenation.”
And just like that the train that I was on this earlier this week, which sped along at 200 mph, was now called the Rejuvenation Express.
“Welcome aboard the Rejuvenation Express. The next station is Beijing!”
New leader; new railway slogan!