CHINA last night vowed to destroy the moon after a solar eclipse reduced its industrial productivity by almost one percent.
The Chinese government said it was forced to act after the six minute eclipse caused a brief pause in production at thousands of cheap toy farms as workers turned their heads skywards instead of attaching bits of plastic to other bits of plastic.
Wan Gang, the minister for science and technology, said: "Forty years after western imperialists attempted to colonise the lunar surface, we are reminded, once again, of its capacity to threaten our glorious, joyful march towards the peaceful domination of all living things."
China will deploy its 200 million quarry workers to dismantle the moon over the next nine months and use the material to build a series of enormous, terrifying skyscrapers and a 3000-mile bridge from Shanghai to Australia.
But mindful of the moon's essential influence on the Earth's angle of rotation, the Chinese have promised to replace it with a large mechanical version which can be moved around the sky to prevent future eclipses.
The new moon will be staffed permanently by 100,000 Chinese soldiers but will have the capacity to house at least one billion short, hard-working people who eat with sticks.
It will also be fitted with a gigantic laser which, China says, will be used to destroy asteroids and alter weather patterns to promote healthy crop yields.
Mr Wan added: "We promise never to use it to hold the Earth to ransom or otherwise bend it to our dastardly will.
"And in case you're wondering we will make sure there is no great big hole in the top for rebel fighters to drop a bomb into. That would be daft."