画饼充饥

huà bǐng chōng jī

Draw a pancake to allay hunger - Feed on illusions

Lu Yu was a learned man of integrity in the period of Three Kingdoms (220-280), serving as a senior official.

Once the emperor was selecting talents for a post, officials recommended a lot of famous people. The emperor of Wei said, “I would like to let Lu Yu select the right person instead of those well-known but incapable ones. Fame is just like a pancake drawn on the wall. You cannot eat it.”

Lu Yu suggested the emperor to combine examination with selection. From then on, officials were appointed according to their real ability. Lu Yu’s method for selection was widely praised.

The idiom came from what the emperor said. At first, it indicated enjoying an empty fame”. Later, people use it to describe satisfying oneself by imagining things or consoling oneself with false hopes. 

The satirical drawing <画饼充饥> posted here discloses the problems of low-income households in China.

Housing problems of low-income households have been attached much attention by Chinese Government who formulated series of policies to solve the housing problems and adopted different kinds of measures to ensure the implement of these policies.

Chinese Government has launched many policies in succession, like Welfare Housing Project, affordable housing policy, low-rent housing policy, etc. since the Mid 1990s to try solving the housing problems of low-income households and has made great achievement.

The distinction is that in Welfare Housing Project 福利房 the houses are sold at cost price and its emphasis is put on households with housing difficulties of low-income households  经济适用房 while affordable houses are sold to a great many moderate and low-income households 中低收入家庭 at meager-profit price.

Learn the story of Chinese idiom 画饼充饥 again from a video lesson.

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