BEIJING—Boasting that their persistence had paid off and declaring that citizens may now return to lives free from constant monitoring, Chinese government officials announced Friday that they will immediately discontinue their comprehensive state-run surveillance program after finally catching that guy who drove into President Xi Jinping’s mailbox. “We’ve spent the last several decades tracking phone calls, closely monitoring internet use, and maintaining a thorough database of citizens’ social credit scores, but after catching the culprit responsible for destroying the paramount leader’s post-mounted mailbox in 1994, we will be dismantling all 200 million security cameras across the country,” said government spokesperson Zhang Yesui, referring to the incident in which a careless stranger abruptly backed their car into the general secretary’s mailbox and sped off without even leaving a note, completely mauling Xi’s wife’s petunias in the process. “We tried to tell Mr. Xi to let it go, that a mailbox could be easily replaced, but he insisted that it was a very special mailbox with a beautiful crimson flag. We found the use of facial recognition software extreme, but the general secretary assured us he would not rest until this person was found and forced to pay a fine of $30. It is with tremendous relief that we now allow 1.4 billion Chinese citizens to go about their lives without constant government surveillance.” At press time, President Xi Jinping ordered the now-redundant cameras to be moved to Tibet.
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