U.S. ambassador carrying his own backpack!

jetsetter

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U.S. ambassador carrying his own backpack!
AP ? Tue, Aug 16, 2011

SEATTLE (AP) ? A photo of the new U.S. ambassador to China carrying his own backpack and ordering his own coffee at an airport has charmed Chinese citizens not used to such frugality from their officials.

ZhaoHui Tang, a businessman from Bellevue, Washington, snapped the photo Friday on his iPhone when he spotted Gary Locke at the counter of an airport Starbucks. Locke is the first Chinese-American ambassador to China and a former governor of Washington state.

Tang uploaded the photo to the Chinese social media network Sina Weibo because he thought it was cool to run into the new ambassador at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

He didn't expect it to generate 40,000 reposts and thousands of comments.

"This is something unbelievable in China," said Tang, a Chinese-American citizen. "Even for low-ranking officials, we don't do things for ourselves. Someone goes to buy the coffee for them. Someone carries their bags for them."

Locke tried to use a coupon or voucher for the coffee, but the barista rejected it, Tang said. The ambassador then paid with a credit card, he said.

Tang, chief executive of an Internet advertising firm called adSage, was flying from Seattle to Silicon Valley. Locke was leaving for China from the next gate over.

Tang introduced himself to Locke when he took the picture and wished him luck in the new job.

http://news.yahoo.com/photo-bag-carrying-ambassador-charms-china-184349082.html


An interesting example of cultural differences. The Chinese do seem astonished by Locke and his behavior. One of the commentators in the video above seems to blame the CCP for the current bureaucratic mess but he seems to forget that bureaucracy has been a stable of Chinese government for centuries.
 

Viper007Bond

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Based on the all subtitles, I'd say this came from an anti-communist source but regardless I still find it quite comical. Sometimes I really do forget how much our cultures vary -- there being a bigshot is a "good" thing while here taking a private plane, etc. would be frowned upon for wasting money.
 

Gyvon

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*see's thread title*

"So, what's the big deal?"

*see's it was about the PRC*

"Ok, yeah that is a big deal over there."

Pretty much sums up my train of thought there.
 

Hatmouse

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The Chinese must fucking love me then. I bought myself dinner today at a place that sells food. After walking there myself.
 

jetsetter

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Chinese, but Not Their Leaders, Flock to U.S. Envoy
By SHARON LaFRANIERE
Published: November 11, 2011

AS the powerful Communist Party chief of Guangdong Province waited in an ornate conference room last week for the arrival of the new American ambassador, Gary Locke, the banter with his aides naturally turned to Mr. Locke?s Chinese roots. Mr. Locke had stopped in Guangzhou to talk to the party chief, Wang Yang, en route to a visit to his ancestral village.

Mr. Wang put a quick end to that topic. ?He?s no hometown folk,? he told aides as they shifted in a reception line. ?He should clearly realize he is an American.?

Just a few months ago, some Chinese media outlets were offering Mr. Locke as a role model for China?s stuffy political leaders ? an American bigwig who flew economy class and shunned having a retinue of underlings, like those who attend to the needs of politicians here.

As Mr. Wang?s remark suggests, those days are over. Propaganda authorities, apparently worried that Mr. Locke makes Chinese leaders look out of touch, have imposed restrictions on media coverage of Mr. Locke, the former two-term governor of Washington State and commerce secretary, and the first Chinese-American ambassador here.

Some news organizations have even suggested in commentaries that his man-of-the-people style is an act, an American plot to stir citizens? resentment of their own leaders.

Two Chinese journalists covering Mr. Locke?s visit last week to Guangzhou and his ancestral village said propaganda officials had issued a directive not to ?hype? the trip. That meant that they would write straightforward articles of about 1,000 Chinese characters and that their work would be kept off newspaper front pages.

?They don?t like him,? one reporter, who insisted on anonymity, said of the propaganda authorities. ?They think he is too high-profile and he is embarrassing Chinese leaders.?

But somehow, the word has not gotten to ordinary Chinese.

As Mr. Locke traveled on Nov. 4 to his ancestral village, Jilong, a cluster of gray-brick homes two and a half hours from this provincial capital, hundreds of people gathered on the streets of the city of Taishan, to watch as he stopped at a local kindergarten and ? if they were lucky ? to have their picture taken with him.

Mr. Locke was typically obliging about posing for snapshots. ?He likes to be with common people,? said Wu Qiang, a 35-year-old factory worker, as he waited patiently for the ambassador?s motorcade. ?He has Chinese blood, but American characteristics.?

Taishan, a spawning ground for hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants to the United States, seems to be the rule, not the exception. Three months into Mr. Locke?s tenure in China, his popularity among the masses separates him from his predecessors.

His immediate predecessor, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., although steeped in China policy and, unlike Mr. Locke, able to converse in Mandarin, never generated such hoopla. Nor did those before him.

As Mr. Locke touched down in Beijing in August, Chinese microblogs were buzzing with reports about how he had bought his own coffee, carried his own backpack, hauled his own luggage and traveled in an ordinary vehicle instead of a limousine.

Ordinary Chinese continue to be fascinated by reports of Mr. Locke and his family waiting in line for an hour to catch a cable car while visiting the Great Wall or flying economy class. Coach plane travel, the ambassador has repeatedly explained, is United States government policy.

In no small part, Chinese are riveted ? and proud ? that one of their own has joined the ranks of the powerful in a nation they still regard with respect. Mr. Locke makes the most of this anyone-can-succeed-in-America narrative.

His grandfather left Jilong village for the United States in the 1880s, washing dishes and mopping floors in exchange for English lessons, and brought his children and relatives over to America one by one. Mr. Locke says his father, who immigrated at age 12 or 13, worked every day of the year and taught him respect for family, education and hard work.

ONE of Gary Locke?s best speech lines, delivered here in Guangzhou to applause, is that it took the Locke family 100 years to move one mile, from the house where his grandfather toiled as a servant to the Washington governor?s Georgian-style mansion.

Truth be told, Mr. Locke could play the part of a Chinese leader, one with graying temples, and some might say, a sharper haircut. But in a nation where political fortunes are almost exclusively determined in secret deliberations, Mr. Locke?s career trajectory is prototypically American ? and to some, an implicit rebuff to Beijing?s assertions that the Chinese masses are not ready for democracy.

Mr. Locke says he draws from both cultures. In China, he said last week, he hopes to show that ?Americans are very easygoing people.? He added: ?If the added attention and great visibility that I have been able to generate can help open doors and expose more Chinese to American values and the American way of life, that is great.?

But while his ordinary-folks image has gone down well with many Chinese, the state-run news media have at times been lacerating.

China Daily, a state-run English-language newspaper, at first applauded his Everyman image, suggesting, ?Perhaps it is time for Chinese dignitaries to follow the example of humble Locke.?

But Guangming Daily, an influential Communist Party newspaper, charged that Mr. Locke?s appointment ?reveals the despicable intention of the United States to use a Chinese to control the Chinese and incite political chaos in China.?

The English-language edition of Global Times, a nationalistic party newspaper, advised Mr. Locke to stick to policy and not pretend to be ?a mirror? for Chinese officials. ?A U.S. ambassador becoming a political star in China cannot be interpreted as U.S. respect for China,? a September editorial chided.

Mr. Locke?s visit last week drew a generally cautious response from the official news media. Jiangmen Daily, a small local newspaper, ran a question-and-answer article with the ambassador as well as a front-page article on his visit. But the Saturday edition of Guangzhou Daily, a Communist Party-run publication that reaches far more readers, devoted a mere 620 characters on Page 10 to Mr. Locke.

While China News Service, a government-owned news agency, provided some coverage, the bigger and more influential outlets, like the official Xinhua news service, stayed away.

THIS week, an op-ed article in Global Times suggested that Mr. Locke had acted improperly in 2003 when, as governor of Washington, he visited a Chinese company that had formed a partnership with his in-laws. By contrast, the article said, China appoints only ?pure? ambassadors with no conflicts of interest. Richard Buangan, the American Embassy?s spokesman, said Mr. Locke had no financial interest in the partnership and never advocated on its behalf.

Chinese propaganda authorities have long dictated news coverage of foreign diplomats and visiting dignitaries, tuning reports to meet government purposes. If he is now a target, Mr. Locke said, it is of no concern to him.

?I don?t know what is in the mind of the government?s newspapers,? he said last week. ?I am not here to make a statement about the lifestyle of Chinese leaders.?

Nonetheless, he does. Headed back to Beijing last weekend, Mr. Locke sauntered to the back of the plane to chat with a reporter. So many passengers got up to snap photos that the ambassador was forced to return to his seat in the first row of economy class so others would sit down and let the plane take off.

Disappointed, one passenger pleaded with the reporter to summon Mr. Locke back. ?Chinese officials are V.I.P.?s,? said the man, who asked for anonymity because his job is government-related. ?There is a great fervor about him because of what he represents.?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/12/w...-ambassador-gary-locke.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
 
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