When visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao was introduced before his speech today, the American emcee got the name of his country wrong.
And no, the emcee was not George W. Bush, though he was the co-headliner.
Instead of saying “the People’s Republic of China,” the sucka emcee said, “the Republic of China,” which actually refers to Taiwan and not the mainland. Who knew?
This incident reminds me of the following exchange:
“Are you the Judean People’s Front?”
“Fuck off! We’re the People’s Front of Judea!!!”
The speech was not without further controversy, as a Chinese protester interrupted Jintao’s speech by yelling for Bush to “stop him (Jintao) from killing.” She may just as well have been talking about Bush.
The woman was arrested for disorderly conduct, and other more serious charges are being considered. I trust the irony of suppressing the speech of a Chinese national in the US while a Chinese leader is visiting isn't lost on a few others out there?
For his part, Jintao agreed to take questions, but only pre-approved ones. Apparently he and Bush are just like two snowpeas in a pod.
It's notable these incidents occurred despite months of careful planning for Jintao's visit. This should show both leaders - who each demand strict "control" over their people and environments - that human beings will always find a way to go off the script.