I only know about 上网 or 上线, that is, to go online the Internet. But 上纲上线 can be heard from time to time, but the speakers often cannot clearly define the meaning. Neither can I.

  • bkrs:上纲上线 PRC/pol. (criticize) from the higher plane of principle and the two-line struggle 指把问题提到阶级斗争和路线斗争的高度来分析。also search web:baike.baidu.com/item/%E4%B8%8A%E7%BA%B2%E4%B8%8A%E7%BA%BF zhidao.baidu.com/question/55784371.html
    – user6065
    Aug 10, 2017 at 9:33
  • Verifying trivial things by comparing to rules seriously & unnecessarily. Aug 11, 2017 at 2:59
  • 现在经常用于讽刺在谈论普通话题时,用滑坡谬误的错误思维将话题上升到民族、国家和政治立场层面的行为。see comment #1, link #1:
    – user6065
    Aug 11, 2017 at 3:32
  • why do answers avoid mentioning the origin of the phrase? 答案为什么不提到该短语的来源(见第一评论)
    – user6065
    Aug 12, 2017 at 23:43
  • @DanielYangThe recent textbook incident in which illustrations were made very bad in appearance and low in taste have caught the attention and received strong criticism of many netizens, and more such examples have been found in other books intended for children. Some netizens are worried it is a case of 上纲上线. May 30, 2022 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


上纲上线 means raise common things (actions, opinions) at the level of big issues about nation, society, morals or politics.

A: 好啊, 你喜欢外国货是吗? 你怎么不买国货? 叛徒!

(A: Wow. You like foreign products? Why didn't you buy products made in our country? TRAITOR!)

B: 别上纲上线, 完全没道理.

(B:stop, that's nonsense.)

A: 我觉得不一定非要让座, 我也很累啊.

B: 你真没素质.

A: 你总是喜欢上纲上线, 让不让座跟素质有什么关系?


上纲上线 means treating a small issue (action or opinion) as a big issue like nationale and belief, as Jacob has answered.

I'd like to add that this is mostly used for objection to others' speeches or opinions, and has a negative meaning.

Even 上纲上线 is not spoken explicitly, there are some common phenomena and substitution expressions in China that has this meaning. For example when someone says he hates Huawei, others will blame that he's not a patriot. In this case, he can reply with "别上纲上线,不就是一部手机嘛。" (Don't overemphasize this. It's only (a matter of) a phone.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.