Wall Street Journal reports on the Chinese microblogosphere’s reactions to new US Ambassador to China’s humble stance.
Yet another American politician has caused a stir online after photos of him doing shocking things surfaced on a microblogging service.
The politician: newly sworn-in China envoy Gary Locke. The microblogging service: China¡¯s Sina Weibo.
The surprising behavior: Buying his own coffee and carrying his own luggage before flying to Beijing.
In a country where government officials are routinely pilloried for being lazy and imperious, the pictures of Mr. Locke humbly laboring on his own behalf have turned the ambassador into something of a hero.
The most popular image, posted to Weibo on Friday by Tang Chaohui, the CEO of an advertising software company called adSage, shows Mr. Locke and his 7-year-old daughter, Madeline, ordering a coffee at a Starbucks in the Seattle Airport. In a separate posting, Mr. Tang wrote that Mr. Locke tried to use a coupon but was rebuffed by Starbucks staff. ¡°The ambassador didn¡¯t get mad, but instead smiled, took it back and pulled out his credit card. This American barista didn¡¯t give the Ambassador to China an ounce of face.¡±
Of course, as the representative of China¡¯s largest debtor at a time of less-than-perfect sovereign credit ratings, Mr. Locke is likely to maintain a humble stance for the foreseeable future.
Indeed, in a news conference on Sunday ¨C his first since arriving in Beijing ¨C the new ambassador offered a statement that could be read as the diplomatic equivalent of carrying one¡¯s own backpack. The fact that U.S. Treasurys are still finding buyers despite this month¡¯s historic S&P downgrade, he said, was ¡°a clear indication that investment in the United States is safe, secure and that the economy, while having its challenges, is still strong.¡±