Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shanzhai Shoe Throwers

Chinese state media have been flowing with praise over Premier Wen Jiabao's European tour, going on and on about him visiting five countries -- Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Spain.

They portray him as a statesman going to these places and trying to diplomatically tell them to place more orders for Chinese-made products so that the number of unemployed migrant workers can decrease.

He tried to portray China as a place that isn't hit too badly by the global financial crisis, and that he "sees the light at the end of the tunnel".

"In some places people are disappointed, people are frustrated and people are pessimistic. They are quickly unsettled by the current situation," Wen told a business conference during his London visit.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel... I am calling for confidence, cooperation and responsibility. I've been calling for that all along because if we can do that we can save the world."

But not everyone was as optimistic as Wen.

During his speech at Cambridge University, a protester stood up at the back of the auditorium and shouted, "You should be ashamed of yourselves. How can you listen to the lies he's telling?"

The man then threw a shoe that landed on stage, but a few feet from the premier.

"Stand up and protest, you're not challenging him," the man added before he was taken away by security.

Wen was unruffled but reprimanded the protester, saying: "This despicable behaviour cannot stand in the way of friendship between China and the UK." [这种卑鄙的伎俩阻挡不了中英两国人民的友谊。]

While trying to create warmer ties with Europe, why not show a bit of humour? At least former President George Bush did when shoes were thrown directly at his head by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi in December.

But perhaps Wen wanted to show he really means business. Or maybe he was tired of all the Tibet protests dogging his UK visit and just wanted to go home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

too bad this happened at a place of higher learning in a country of letters. britain is fast becoming from a civilized country to a refuge of thugs.