What does it mean “China’s final warning”?


“China’s final warning” is a Russian proverb that originated during the Cold War. It means that whoever threatens is of no real consequence.

In Ukraine usually says:

Well, that’s the last Chinese warning! If it happens again next time, you will be in trouble for sure!

Video – China’s final warning (with subtitles)

What is this “China’s final warning,” what is its meaning, and where did the expression come from?

The phrase comes from the Sino-American tensions of the 1950s and 1960s. And it means that whoever says it can do nothing realistically, except threaten with words.

The fact is that when the Communist Party came to power in China, the U.S. did not recognize it, and at the same time continued to support Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan as the legitimate ruler of all China.

What does it mean “China’s final warning”

U.S. ships and aircraft at the time frequently intruded into Chinese air and sea space and conducted reconnaissance, patrols, and even provocations.

Each time such actions by the U.S., the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a “Last Warning,” threatening serious consequences for violators. But nothing really happened. Each such “warning” was recorded and recorded by the Americans under their own number. It got to the point that in one year there were as many as 900 of them.

Since then, it has become common that if a “Chinese warning” is issued, then no action will actually follow. In the Russian language, “the last Chinese warning” has taken hold. A serial number is also used. For example – “567 Chinese warning,” emphasizing that how many times has been threatened and nothing has happened.

Such is the history of this phrase. Now you know that if “China’s final warning” nothing bad will happen, you can smile back at the speaker.


Jenya Travels

My name is Jenya. I travel around Ukraine and the world and tell stories.
In simple language, without nerdiness and dry facts - interesting about uninteresting places.
I have been to more than 100 places on the map!

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3 thoughts on “What does it mean “China’s final warning”?

  1. But in fact, from September 5, 1949 to the end of 1969, in response to the violation of the territorial airspace of the People’s Republic of China by the US and Republic of China, People’s Liberation Army Air Force, People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force and local anti-aircraft artillery units shot down 95 US and Republic of China Air Force aircraft that entered the airspace delimited by the Chinese mainland, and damaged 200 aircraft.

  2. […] Recently, the Kremlin’s threats to the West and Ukraine about the inadmissibility of crossing certain “red lines” have turned into an anecdote and into the famous “China’s final warning.” […]