2022 Chinese buzzwords in mainland, HK, Taiwan reveal public’s focuses
Published: Jan 02, 2023 09:56 PM
People take part in a running activity to celebrate the New Year in east China's Shanghai, Jan. 1, 2023. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

People take part in a running activity to celebrate the New Year in east China's Shanghai, Jan. 1, 2023. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

Selecting one or more "Chinese characters of the year," or yearly buzzwords, has been a tradition in Asia. 

This year the selections in China have been particularly telltale.

The most popular buzzwords of 2022 in the Chinese mainland included "Yanhuoqi," or smoke, fire, energy, "new racing track," meaning the new opportunity of the career path, and "forging ahead with enterprise and fortitude," showing that people's lives have been returning to vitality amid the pandemic as well as demonstrating people's upbeat spirit as they pursue the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. 

Yet across the Taiwan Straits, the island of Taiwan seemed quite gloomy as the Chinese character zhang, or inflation, topped the selected candidates for the character of the year 2022. 

According to the local United Daily, people on the island of Taiwan complained that "every price rises except pay." 

According to the latest statistics, Taiwan's CPI in November 2022 increased by 2.35 percent annually, which was higher than the 2 percent inflation warning line. 

In fact, behind this problem, the Taiwan authorities should be criticized more for their heavy reliance on the US. 

In order to bring its own economy back to normal, the US has kept on printing more currency notes, which caused global inflation. 

Comparatively, in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the character of the year 2022 was tong, meaning connectivity. 

This reflected Hongkongers' concern for connectivity and cooperation with the Chinese mainland. 

After the Law of Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and a series of political reforms were implemented, the city has enjoyed social stability and its attention has returned to the development of people's livelihood.

These buzzwords and yearly characters show that the people in these regions are well aware of the focuses and needs of society.

The author is an editor of the Global Times