Gary F. Locke, US ambassador to China, has been a hot topic of debate since his first day in China, more because of his humble image than of his Chinese background. And the recent case involving Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng once again put Mr. Locke under spotlight.
A photoshopped Mao era poster that reads “Serve the people! Learn from Mr. Locke – Chinese netizens.”
The case of blind Chinese activist Chen Gaungchen, who has been under house arrest for years and made a miraculous escape to the US ambassador in Beijing, created quite some diplomatic drama between the US and China who tried to reach a deal about Chen’s future. In a rare onslaught on US government’s role in Chen’s case by Beijing media last week, Mr. Locke became one of the focal points of attacking.
In an editorial translated by Shanghaiist, The Beijing Daily described Chen as a pawn and tool of the US government, and accused Mr. Locke of putting on show just to stir up trouble in China:
First, there was the economy class plane ride, his backpack, and the coupons used to buy coffee to create a civilian life show; then the monitoring of air quality data and publishing it at the embassy which confused the debate in Beijing; and now they dare to bring the abnormal Chen Guangcheng into the embassy. We have seen standard American politicians, but this is not a cautious ambassador to China. These are initiatives to stir up the contradictions into a whirlpool, which this country’s ambassadors do disproportionately intentionally or unintentionally.
Mr. Locke buying coffee at Starbucks using a coupon and with a backpack.
To make things to the extreme, Qin Feng, niece of former Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing and reporter at popular broadcaster Phoenix Television, called Mr. Locke a “banana” (yellow skin but white heart) on her Sina Weibo account, accused him of interfering with China’s internal affairs and even asked that Mr. Locke to be expelled.
Mr. Locke is a banana. Is there any doubt about his ‘white’ heart? I still remember that there were a lot of expectations for him from the media a year ago before he came. Now see what he has done! On China’s land (Of course, I know US Embassy is US land but does Mr. Locke stay inside his Embassy?), an ambassador stirs up troubles in the country he stays. What does he want? Is there any diplomatic rule that says such ambassador who openly interferes with another country’s internal affairs should be expelled?
Apparently, someone is not happy what Mr. Locke has been doing in China, but fortunately, one Chinese netizen with the nickname 迩東晨 seems to find a solution for Mr. Locke to gain Chinese government’s favor, that is, corruption. Someone even photoshopped an picture of Mr. Locke kneeing down in a public humiliation scene that is typical during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Warning to Ambassador Locke, you have already been sunk into the ocean of corruption in China. Offering and accepting bribes, and leading a dissipated life dining, wining, whoring and gambling is your only way out! Please get a clear understanding of the current situation, don’t do anything else that may hurt the feelings of Chinese government officials! Please pick up your chopsticks, bring your US-made antialcoholic drugs and indulge yourself with us in the Peninsula, Beijing Hotel and other high-end clubs in Beijing. Hope you can set an example of yourself and repend your past mistakes.”
And the sarcasm does’t stop there. For example, 袅袅凫岛 made a reference to Mr. Locke’s ancestors, “They [Chinese government officials] actually are learning from Mr. Locke’s grandfather, that is, immigrating to the US.” 开口网 went on,”When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Mr. Locke, please learn China’s political culture and do as Chinese officials do.” “If it’s impossible for Chinese government officials to learn from Mr. Locke, then I guess the only solution is for Mr. Locke to learn from Chinese officials – to fall in hell with them,” added 浪漫拉马丁.
丰乳肥臀v compared Mr, Locke with China’s high-morality role model in the 60s, Lei Feng, who was famous for selflessly “serve the people”, “You [Chinese government] ask us to learn from comrade Lei Feng, we will. We ask you to learn from Mr. Locke, dare you?” (There has been a revival of “learn from comrade Lei Feng” earlier this year.) “Lear from Mr. Locke is actually much easier than learning from Lei Feng because to learn from Lei Feng, one has to do highly moral deeds that are almost inhuman. But Mr. Locke is a role model that is very closer to us.” commented 睿智新宇.