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Mainland Chinese Comment on Hu Jintao’s Visit to the United States

Listeners of Voice of America give their opinions on Hu’s U.S. trip.

[Editor’s note: Chinese leader Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States in mid-April has drawn widespread attention. Many listeners in China called Voice of America and expressed their views. Here are some of their comments from a translation of the VOA transcript on April 28.]

Chinese Leaders Say One Thing and Do Another

Mr. Ye, Jiangsu Province: "President Bush is open and straightforward, but the Chinese authorities have always been inconsistent and play games with ulterior motives. They give empty promises and have done all evil things possible."

Mr. Xue, Chongqing City: "I think what China cares about the most is its image this time. As a matter of fact, the incident at the welcoming ceremony was not a bad thing. A country with such a large population has always carried one voice and one standard media report. Don’t you think that something is unusual? Hu has proposed the "Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces" with the emphasis on honesty. I hope he will take serious action in political reform. [I hope] he will not simply stage a show for the Americans or the whole world while still imposing strict control and dictating to his own people back home."

Mr. Zhang, Hebei Province: "I think it is good that President Hu Jintao talks to President Bush. I wish that Chinese leaders would not talk back when they are criticized. Take the human rights issue as an example. They should give honest answers, not pick on the minor errors and reject the criticism. Some Chinese officials always say, ‘The United States has many human rights issues. What right do they have to criticize China?’ They think they are being smart, but they act foolish."

The Protest by a Falun Gong Practitioner

Mr. Qiao, Shanxi Province: "I don’t think there will be much accomplished from Hu’s visit. The Chinese people don’t care much about his visit. He seems to be friendly with the United States, but he still jams VOA’s signal. He did not learn much from the advanced political structure of the United States on his visit. There will not be improvement to the political system at all after he returns. As to the protest staged by the Falun Gong practitioner, I felt this was not a bad thing. What’s wrong with having a different voice?"

Mr. Xiao, Fujian Province: "When President Hu Jintao was speaking, there was one Falun Gong [practitioner] protesting. I think the United States was behind this. Otherwise, how could a Falun Gong practitioner get in under such tight security? The United States must be driving it."{mospagebreak}

Hu Jintao Does Not Represent The Chinese People

Mr. Wang, Shanghai: "Frankly speaking, Chinese people are not too excited about Hu’s visit. Hu is not the leader we elected, so why do we care? The Chinese authorities continue to jam VOA’s signal. Is this a friendly gesture?"

Ms. Wei, Yunan Province: "In the welcome ceremony, Hu Jintao claimed that he represents 1.3 billion Chinese people. Mr. Hu, let me ask you, what makes you think that you can represent us? Which one of us voted for you to represent us in the United States?"

Will Hu Give in on Fundamental Issues?

Mr. Yang, Jiangxi Province: "It is necessary for our leader to visit the United States and exchange ideas with the U.S. leader. It is beneficial for maintaining the world’s stability."

Mr. Hu, Shandong Province: "Don’t think that the disagreement between the United States and China will disappear. It is obvious that China positions itself against the United States in all international affairs. I hope the United States does not "warm a snake at one’s bosom."

Mr. Li, Liaoning Province: "When China is seeking economic development and calling for human rights and democracy, [we are waiting to see] whether Hu as the leader from the new generation, can make wise decisions and completely change the dictatorship that has existed for several thousand years and advance China to a democratic society like Taiwan. If Hu has the ambition and courage, he may become a prominent leader in Chinese history."

Mr. Liu, Shanghai: "Hu is no doubt the leader of communist China. We saw him signing purchase orders for airplanes, but we also know he carries with him not only the carrots but also a baseball bat. He will not give in on certain issues."

Translated by CHINASCOPE