A new edition of the authorititative Contemporary Chinese Dictionary does not include a common term for "gay”—the word "tongzhi," which also means "comrade." The word is nowhere to be found in the extensive reference manual. According to the BBC, one of the tome's compilers said it was intentionally removed so as not to draw attention to the colloquial meaning. "You can use the word whichever way you like, but we won't put it into a standard dictionary because we don't want to promote these things," he said on Chinese television. "We don't want to draw attention to these things." Literally, "tongzhi" means "same will," and has been in Chinese parlance for decades, and was especially potent during the Maoist era. Rights campaigners have already criticized the dictionary's decision.
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