Recently, Chinese media have paid a lot of attention to Gary Locke, the new U.S. Ambassador to China. The media have highly praised him for his humble and simple lifestyle, which is in sharp contrast to Chinese government officials. For example, he flies economy class, has no servants, carries his own backpack, and buys coffee with a coupon.
Huanqiu (Global Times), a state media under Xinhua, published an article on the media’s attention, warning against “inappropriate” reports about Mr. Locke. The article stated, “They are gradually becoming like ‘Paparazzi,’ reporting on Locke. His every little action is packaged as ‘high moral trivia.’” The article criticized such reports as being ignorant of common international ways. It continued, “For Mr. Locke’s part, he should purposely avoid being a ‘star’ in the Chinese media. As a matter of fact, he may have unintentionally cooperated (with the media), perhaps out of his own preferences, or out of his ‘new tasks’ at the U.S. Embassy in China. He seems to enjoy this ‘moral show’ in the Chinese media, although he is very clear that he is not as ‘humble’ as reported on China’s Internet.
“The U.S. ambassador should focus on the development of Sino-U.S. relations and resolve misunderstandings, not play a character in the internal conflicts within China’s media so as to interfere with Chinese media in a sneaky (but really smart) way and increase the misunderstandings and suspicion between China and the U.S. … Those Chinese media that actively report Gary Locke’s ‘moral show’ should also have more self respect and dignity. They can find other angles for criticizing the corruption and bureaucracy of China’s government officials. To overly beautify a foreign ambassador in China, particularly when his China task is ‘quite complicated,’ is very inappropriate. … We hope Gary Locke can focus on his ambassador’s job in China. To those Chinese media: don’t have any illusions about [Mr. Locke]’s identity.”
Source: Huanqiu, September 22, 2011