Sound familiar, America? Gas prices are up, and citizens are angry. But this time, it’s happening in China.
Hikes of 6.5% announced earlier this week are driving at least one netizen on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, to demand Faustian negotiations with Iran. @听empress proposed, “They can provide us with free oil and we can give them some weapons? I’d rather give money to the Ministry of Defense and not to CNOOC and PetroChina [both state-owned oil companies]. They are like a bunch of robbers.”
Netizens Vent their Frustration
The empress was not alone in her hatred for the state-owned petrol giants, with @没闲过的闲人 driven to invent new invectives for the occasion: “I’ve decided that when I cuss people out in the future, I will say you are so NDRC [the government agency in charge of regulating gas prices] and your whole family is PetroChina.”
Many netizens took issue not so much with the price hike itself but with the lack of transparency in the pricing decision and the apparent downward stickiness of gas prices when world oil prices fall. @樱花树下的猪 complained,“When international oil prices go up, your [NDRC] prices go up too and you tell us it’s to match international standards. But when international oil prices fall, your prices do not fall and you tell us it’s due to China’s unique situation.”
With all the scintillating news and rumours swirling around the upper echelons of China’s political leadership recently, some netizens inevitably turned to conspiracy theories. @银川王潜001 tweeted, “I’ve been wondering. When the power struggle at the top becomes white hot, would someone turn economic levers and rile people up, and leverage that [discontentment] to get the better of their political opponents? (Or maybe I’ve read too many bootlegged history books).”
But fear not. @-WENJIN- is confident the Democrats in the U.S. will save the day: “Heard Saudi Arabia is planning to pressure the price of oil downwards and that they’re tight with Obama. Strongly support the Democrats!”
Taking a page from the traffic restrictions in Beijing, @饭乡长 suggests a way to limit the anticipated increase in pedestrian traffic due to the gas price increase: “People with single eyelids can only leave home on odd numbered days, people with double eyelids can only leave home on even numbered days, and people with one single eyelid and one double eyelid can only leave home after midnight…”
@财经网微社区 took the opportunity to advise netizens on some practical gas-saving tips:
- If you need to move your car over a short distance, don’t start your car. Just push it.
- Never turn on the air conditioning. Get a fan for the summer.
- If your coworker (especially a chubby one) wants to carpool, make sure you ask him where he wants to go first, then tell him, ‘It’s too bad! I’m going in the opposite direction.’
- Go to the bathroom before you get into the car so it’s lighter.
And if all Else Fails
@西域督护府校尉 tweets, “If I knew oil prices were going up so much, I would have stored hay and bought a horse.”