March 03, 2014
Congratulations To Gary Locke

This reaction to the departure of our ambassador to China suggests to me that he was more of a success in that job than many of us expected.

A major Chinese government news service used a racist slur to describe the departing American ambassador in a mean-spirited editorial on Friday that drew widespread public condemnation in China.

The article - which called former Washington Gov. Gary Locke a "rotten banana," a guide dog for the blind, and a plague - reflected Chinese nationalists' acute loathing toward the first Chinese-American to have been Washington's top envoy to Beijing.

Locke's ethnic background particularly interested the Chinese government and people.   Locke won public applause when he was seen carrying his own bag and flying economy class but he drew criticism from Beijing as his demeanor was an unwelcome contrast to Chinese officials' privileges and entitlements.

That personal attack suggests to me that the rulers of China are genuinely worried about the example he set.  (Although I have to admit that it isn't as good as some of their past rhetorical efforts such as "running dog of imperialism".)  And for that, Locke deserves some credit.

Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.

(If you aren't up on racial slurs, by calling him a "banana", they were saying that he is yellow on the outside and white on the inside.

I am old enough to remember how some in the Northeast were surprised when they saw the late senator Henry M. Jackson carrying his own bags during the 1972 presidential campaign — and how I was surprised that they were surprised.)

Posted by Jim Miller at March 03, 2014 01:49 PM | Email This