Various Wiki Languages: China’s Final Warning

Looking at different language versions of Wikipedia for a certain topic (on Chinese topics, the Chinese language one is often the richest of course). Here is an example.

Below I have copied the Google Translate machine translations for the Russian and the Chinese language Wikipedia pages on a topic getting some attention on line today in China. “China’s Final Warning” discusses a Russian saying that expresses the view that an impotent China is always giving empty warnings “this is the last time!”, “we will not sit idly by!” and so forth.

These are unrevised machine translations. Though they do carry the story well, they should be used cautiously. Here is the English language version: China’s final warning . It is fun to compare.

That U.S. Speaker Pelosi’s visited to Taipei, after repeated PRC warnings “don’t do it” including General Secretary Xi Jinping in his recent video discussion with President Joseph Biden, some people in China are feeling that after so much shouting, China has once again been ignored, and are angry, feeling that they have been humiliated. China, like everywhere else, has politics despite all the repression one reads about. Fanning nationalism to build support for the leadership has a price in that it can also produce powerful public sentiments that also constrain that same leadership’s freedom of action later. The Party fears being attacked that it ‘let China down’ so that Party feels pressure on the Taiwan issue, a pressure that it in part created. There is pressure to “do something” is high yet likely fears the price for failure should the Chinese Communits Party to try to “liberate” Taiwan and fail might be very high, politically as well as materially.

Yet Not All Chinese Warnings are Empty Warnings

While this may seem simply an intriguing even amusing topic, we might note that the Chinese warning, conveyed through India, that that the new-born PRC would intervene in Korea if US troops crossed the 38th parallel was ignored. 

From  “Catastrophe on the Yalu: America’s intelligence failure in Korea”  by Bruce Riedel

India—which refused to send combat troops to join the UN forces in Korea—was one of a small number of noncommunist governments that had formally recognized the PRC and had an ambassador in Beijing. India’s ambassador was an experienced diplomat named K. M. Panikkar, who had also written several books on the struggle against Western imperialism in Asia.

In September 1950 Panikkar’s military contacts in Beijing began to warn him that the PRC would not sit still and allow the UN forces including the Eighth Army to march to the Yalu. Chinese military officials told him that Mao was prepared to risk nuclear war to stop those forces from advancing. The Indian embassy in Beijing reported that trainloads of CCF troops were moving to the border region, and the Indian government passed these reports on to Washington and London.

On October 2, 1950, Panikkar was summoned at midnight to meet the Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, Mao’s closest confidant. Zhou told Panikkar that if American troops crossed the 38th parallel China would intervene. At 1:30 a.m. Panikkar cabled the warning to Nehru, who had it sent to the UN allies.

Interlude: Two Russian articles I found ref’d on the Russian language Wiki page

When was the last Chinese warning?

“The Chinese People Will Certainly Liberate Taiwan”
A photo Archive Photos/Stringer/Getty Images

In the middle of the XX century

This ironic expression arose not so long ago. As you know, there can be an unlimited number of such “last warnings”: the 101st last, the 346th last, which, however, does not at all mean the inevitability of the promised sanctions. The origin of this expression is associated primarily with the aggravation of US-Chinese relations regarding the so-called Taiwan issue in the 1950s and 1960s.

“We Will Certainly Liberate Taiwan!”
A photo Photo 12 / Alamy via Legion Media

The United States, having no diplomatic relations with the official China of Mao Zedong at that time, did not recognize the legitimacy of his regime, in contrast to the government of Chiang Kai-shek, ousted to Taiwan. Naturally, the situation in the Taiwan Strait area at that time was extremely tense. American reconnaissance flights and violations of China’s maritime borders caused regular protests from the Chinese leadership.

Wrapped up in the form of warnings, each of which was “so-and-so last,” these protests were periodically broadcast by the Soviet media as well. Announcer Yuri Levitan voiced them in his solemn voice, which, of course, could not be left without the attention of domestic wits.

The now common expression did not lose its popularity after 1972, when, thanks to the Shanghai Communiqué, a new stage in US-Chinese relations began.

Today, the expression “The Last Chinese Warning”, having lost its connection with politics, and with the United States, and with China itself, has remained in the vocabulary only as an ironic symbol of fruitless warnings.

End Interlude

Here is the Google Translate Russian->English machine translation for “China’s Final Warning”  on the Russian language Wiki page for this topic:

Latest Chinese Warning 

Bulletin of Moscow UniversityArguments and FactsInsulting the feelings of the Chinese people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“The last Chinese warning”  is an allegorical idiom in Russian, meaning fruitless threats “in words”, about which it is known that no action will follow in the near future [1] .

The expression arose in connection with the aggravation of US-Chinese relations in the 1950s and 1960s regarding the so-called Taiwan issue . The first warning was issued by China on September 7, 1958 [1] (during this period, the second Taiwan crisis took place ). The United States, not recognizing the communist regime in China (but recognizing the regime of Chiang Kai-shek ), carried out reconnaissance flights over the territorial waters of China. The People’s Republic of China recorded all violations of its air and water space by the United States . For each such violation, the PRC government through diplomatic channelssent a so-called “warning” to the American side, but did not take any action. For example, in April 1962, an American warship patrolled the Yellow Sea for a week, during which time China issued three serious warnings about the invasion of its territorial waters [2] . All these warnings were numbered. Since in those years violations by the United States of Chinese air and water space, especially in the Taiwan Strait area , were not uncommon, the numbering of warnings went off scale for many hundreds. The exact number of warnings issued by China is difficult to estimate. It is known that only by the end of 1964 there were more than 900 [3] .

The Chinese government’s “final warnings” were regularly broadcast by news outlets and became the talk of the town . Since then, in Russian, the expression “(last) Chinese warning” has become a household word. Various variants of this catchphrase are used, for example: “647th Chinese warning”, “723rd, last, Chinese warning”, etc. The expression “Chinese warning” was often used in other languages ​​of the former Soviet Union, in particular in Estonian, and is sometimes still used [4] [5] .

see also


  1. ↑ 2 Vadim Serov. Encyclopedic Dictionary of winged words and expressions. — M.: Lokid-Press, 2003.
  2. ↑ THE GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT. The DESOTO Patrols and OPLAN 34A Archived February 10, 2022 at the Wayback Machine , p.43.
  3. ↑ Alexander Kotlobovsky. Small Air War in China . Retrieved 22 November 2019. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019.
  4. ↑ Toomas Alatalu: Põhja-Korea ja USA ootamatult tuliseks kujunenud olukorras on suureks õli tulle valajaks silmatorkavalt sõjajanune ajakirjandus – Eesti Päevaleht . Retrieved 5 May 2018. Archived from the original on 6 May 2018.
  5. ↑ Kas sõjahirm või sõjaootus? — Sirp . Retrieved 5 May 2018. Archived from the original on 6 May 2018.


Google Translate Chinese-English machine translation of the Chinese-language  Wikipedia page on  China’s Final Warning:

China’s final warning 

Vladimir ZelenskySouth China SeaLin Hu (Lieutenant General)

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Last China Warning (Russian: Последнее китайское предупреждение , Romanization : Posledneye kitayskoye preduprezhdeniye ), or the First China Warning (Russian: -е китайское предупреждение ), is a Soviet catchphrase and Russian proverb [1] , meaning not implemented Verbal warning [2] .

Origin of proverbs in the Soviet Union

After the Korean War in the 1950s , the Soviet media often forwarded Xinhua News Agency ‘s “serious warnings” about U.S. airspace and territorial water reconnaissance in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea [3] [4] [5] [6] . It is difficult to verify the text and date of the news first forwarded by the Soviet Union, but the Soviets heard hundreds of “warnings from China” in the news and gradually regarded them as non-threatening warnings [1] . One of the international-recorded verbal intimidation was in 1954 when the People’s Liberation Army mistakenly shot down Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways . After the tragedy, because China did not undertake the rescue, the air traffic controllers in Guangzhou allowed the British troops to come to rescue, but warned other countries that they would be shot down without warning. The US military ignored the warning and rescued the surviving Hong Kong people . [7]

According to the records of the People’s Liberation Army, the warnings to the U.S. military were not entirely empty threats. From 1949 to 1969, 95 related aircraft were shot down and 200 were injured [8] .


In 2008, the newspaper ” Наше Дело ” criticized Ukraine for delaying paying gas bills under many pretexts, “This bullying never ends. Gazprom is like Ukraine’s nanny, I don’t know how to explain it. It looks like Mao Zedong’s response to US imperialism . The 151st China Warning” [9] .

In 2015, Руслан Гринберг , director of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was asked by reporters about the “Russian-Chinese military alliance”. He replied, “Do you know where the divide between Russia and China is? When China is offended, it will suppress its emotions. You remember’ the 533rd time. China warning  joke? That’s China’s mentality . .

In 2018, the ” БелГазета ” newspaper commented that ” The National Bank of Belarus will probably take action to rescue construction and industrial companies that are on the verge of bankruptcy. Then the country will issue the 29th China warning ‘this rescue is the last’ [11] .”

During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 , Ukrainian pro-Russian official Алексей Селиванов likened Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s order to retake Ukraine as “one after another of China’s last warnings” [12] .

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in 2022 ignored Beijing’s warnings, and today’s Russia editor-in-chief Margarita Schmonyan ( Маргарита Симоньян ) believes that the definition of the new word “China’s last warning” that the Russian dictionary received during the Cold War has so far Still common [13] .

Related Articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 Что означает выражение «последнее китайское предупреждение » ? . Аргументы и Фа.кты .
  2. Когда было последнее китайское предупреждение? . ВокругСвета.ру. [ 2021-12-06 ] . ( Original content archived on 2022-04-20).
  3. ^ Александр Котлобовский. Малая воздушная война в Китае . [ 2021-12-06 ] . ( Original content archived on 2019-11-22).
  4. ^ I raise the 455th serious warning. Hangzhou: “Zhejiang Daily”. Zhejiang Daily. May 12, 1968. [Xinhua News Agency, 9th] May 5th, 5:39 to 6 At 04:00, a US military plane invaded our airspace in the southeastern part of Hainan Island, Guangdong Province. From 11:60 to 11:55 on the 6th, a US military plane violated our airspace over the Xisha Islands in Guangdong Province. Regarding this kind of military provocation by the US military aircraft, the spokesperson of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs was ordered to issue the 455th serious warning.
  5. ^ I raise the 497th serious warning. Hangzhou: “Zhejiang Daily”. Zhejiang Daily. December 25, 1971.
  6. Guangdong in Contemporary China. Contemporary China Press. 1991: 264. ISBN  978-7-80092-017-2 (in Chinese) .
  7. ^ US Air Force Capt. Jack T. Woodyard. We Rescued the Victims of Red China’s Murder Planes . The Saturday Evening Post . 1954-10-23 [ 2008-11-10 ] . ( Original content archived on 2009-01-05) . (English)
  8. Lin Hu . The Battle to Defend the Motherland’s Airspace: A Review of 20 Years of New China’s Homeland Air Defense Operations. Beijing: People’s Liberation Army Press. 2002-01. ISBN  750654167X (Chinese (Simplified)) .
  9. ^ Леонтьев, Михаил. Тимошенко визжит лучше всех . Наше Дело (Odessa, Ukraine). 2008-03-27.
  10. У нас с Китаем больше конкуренции, чем кооперации [We compete more with China than cooperate] . Огонёк. 2015-07-13 – via Kommersant.
  11. ^ Романчук, Ярослав. Сценарные игры-2018 . БелГазета. 2018-01-19.
  12. Селиванов назвал обращение Зеленского к ВСУ очередным китайским предупреждением .
  13. ^ Маргарита , последнее . _ _ _ _

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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1 Response to Various Wiki Languages: China’s Final Warning

  1. Pingback: 2022: Political Jokes in the People’s Republic of China | 高大伟 David Cowhig's Translation Blog

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