Beijing officially better than Shanghai
by Katie Chambers
A recent government report has confirmed what opinion polls say people have suspected for some time now. The results of the 1st People's Government Best City Census Leading Group Steering Committee Census show that Beijing is, in fact, scientifically better than Shanghai.
The report draws on exhaustive and extensive research performed by teams from the Leading Group Steering Committee's sockpuppet organisations, including the All-China Former Youth League, the Zhonghua Workers' Preference Organisation and, in an unorthodox move, the rhythm section of Tianjin-based death metal band Undetectable Wrath.
The exact measurements and techniques used to produce these findings are unreleased, though a tantalising glimpse into the census's inner workings has been provided via a cross-indexed factgrid and two unlabelled pie charts included in the official press release.
A similar survey sponsored by a conglomerate of Shanghai golf courses displayed significant differences from these results. However, the data in the Shanghai poll has been described as "flawed" and "irretrievably skewed" by one expert - a That's Beijing journalist we found moping around Starbuck's on Jianguomen Wai. For example, the Shanghai survey failed to take into account the fact that Beijing far outstrips Shanghai in terms of Great Halls of the People and bodies of former national leaders.
Beijing & Shanghai: the difference through pictures.
As these photographs show, Beijing is visibly better.
"This is a very exciting announcement," says Guo Liande, chairman of the Beijing Garment Co-prosperity Sphere, repeatedly dipping the butt of a Zhongnanhai cigarette into a cup of Diet Coke, before blowing through it from the other end and finally placing the be-Coked gasper into his mouth and lighting it with an air of studied indifference.
"This report finally shows to the naysayers - including but not limited to my oafish brother-in-law from Hangzhou - that Beijing is to Shanghai as the embrace of a beautiful woman is to that of a damp dog," Guo added. In the wake of the report, the Beijing Garment Co-prosperity Sphere is now planning a campaign to capitalise on the resultant publicity. Expect to see a nationwide promotional drive beginning next month, featuring large posters of Tian'anmen, above which floats the grinning head of Gabriel Byrne.
Zhang Bo, the president of the People's Government Best City Census Leading Group Steering Committee says that all on the committee are very pleased with how the census has gone. "It has been so successful," says Zhang, "that we are thinking of doing a second census soon, and possibly a third. But not a fourth. That would be gilding the lily."