Two-faced person (Chinese: 两面人;[1] Pinyin: Liǎng Miàn Rén) is a Chinese political term often used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to describe an official or party member who is either corrupt or ideologically disloyal to the party.[2][3] Xi Jinping, the current general secretary of the CCP and China's president, has repeatedly said that the Chinese people should "Resolutely fight against two-faced cliques and two faced-persons."[4] First used in the 1960s, the term began to be used more frequently in the 2010s in response to proponents of Xinjiang independence and critics of China's approach to the Uyghur people.

Historical use

In 1967, the Chinese literary theorist Zhou Yang, who was a supporter of Mao Zedong, was labelled as two-faced by gang of four member Yao Wenyuan, in an essay titled “On the Two-Faced Counter-Revolutionary Zhou Yang (《评反革命两面派周扬》)".[5][6][7]

In 2017 the Cyberspace Administration of China, which administers access to the Internet in China, publicly criticized its former director Lu Wei, calling him "a typical two-faced person (典型的两面人)".[8][9][10]

Since 2017, the term has also been used to refer to Uyghur politicians and celebrities who secretly support Xinjiang independence, and to those criticizing Chinese policies related to the Uyghurs.[2][11][12] Famous examples are Shirzat Bawudun and Sattar Sawut, who respectively are former heads of justice and education in Xinjiang.[13][14]

In 2020, Zhao Zhengyong, 69, the former chief of the Shaanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party was sentenced to death following his conviction for embezzling over $100 million yuan. Just before his conviction, he was called a "shameless two-faced person (可耻的两面人)" in a CCP publication.[15][16] Three years prior to this, Zhao had called in the same journal for a crackdown on "two-faced people in government".[17]

In 2021, fashion house Hugo Boss was accused of being two-faced following its criticism of Chinese labor and human rights practices regarding Uighurs working in Xinjiang.[18] The United States responded that the criticism was part of a state-run campaign designed to criticize those who had encouraged a boycott of Uighur-produced cotton.[19]


  1. ^ "认清政治上的"两面人":贪官AB面的八个特征". 中国共产党新闻网. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  2. ^ a b Ala, Mamtamin. "Turn in the Two-Faced: The Plight of Uyghur Intellectuals".
  3. ^ "'Two-Faced' Former Uyghur Forestry Official Sentenced to Life in Prison in Xinjiang". Radio Free Asia.
  4. ^ Hoffman, Samantha. "The United Front and the CCP's "People's War"against Religion" (PDF). United States Giovernment.
  5. ^ Problems of Communism. Documentary Studies Section, International Information Administration. 1966.
  6. ^ Fan, Jiayang. "In China, Shows Like "Story of Yanxi Palace" Go Viral, and the Party Is Not Amused". The New Yorker.
  7. ^ Angang, Hu (2 March 2017). Mao and the Cultural Revolution (Volume 2). Enrich Professional Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1-62320-154-8.
  8. ^ "China's internet regulator denounces its former chief now under investigation". Reuters. 23 November 2017.
  9. ^ Areddy, James T. (13 February 2018). "Former China Internet Regulator Accused of Corruption". Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ "中央宣传部原副部长、中央网信办原主任鲁炜严重违纪被开除党籍和公职". 中国政府网. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  11. ^ Jacinto, Leela (1 July 2020). "Breaking the silence on China's 'two-faced' campaign against Uighurs". France 24.
  12. ^ Rui, Gao (3 April 2021). "Chinese state media names 'two-faced' Xinjiang officials". South China Morning Post.
  13. ^ "China's Hard and Soft Lines on Xinjiang". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  14. ^ "Three Uyghur Intellectuals Jailed for Separatism, Political Study Film Reveals". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  15. ^ "Chinese official sentenced to death with two-year reprieve". UPI.
  16. ^ 钟煜豪. "中纪委机关刊:赵正永被定格为可耻的政治两面人、两面派". 澎湃新闻-The Paper. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  17. ^ "In Depth: The Rise and Fall of 'Two-Faced' Zhao Zhengyong - Caixin Global".
  18. ^ "Chinese celebs, netizens slam 'two-faced' Hugo Boss over Xinjiang". Reuters. 27 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Hugo Boss Under Fire From Chinese Stars Over Xinjiang Pledge". The Business of Fashion. 29 March 2021.