Though U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke was recently slandered as a “banana man” on a Chinese blog, many others have come to his defense, resulting in some goodwill for an American who is front-and-center of the Chen Guangcheng spectacle that touches on human rights, U.S.-China relations, and the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing turmoil.
Qin Feng, niece of a former foreign minister, blogged the epithet when she accused the ambassador of “not staying quietly in the Embassy,” and of trying to cause infighting within the Chinese regime.
“Is there any foreign affairs protocol stating that diplomats who interfere with internal politics can be expelled from China?” she wrote.
However, Qin immediately came under verbal siege by shocked netizens. Some bloggers photoshopped a picture of Ambassador Locke with a Cultural Revolution style insult hanging from his neck to mock a regime that expects foreigners to quail before the Party.
Qin Feng was eventually pressured to delete her post. Afterwards, many people started to investigate her background, and are now accusing her of reaching her position through personal ties rather than merit.
Netizens found that she had often traveled with Chinese Communist Party central leaders on foreign visits, and that she had recently praised Vice Premier Li Keqiang as an “eloquent speaker.”
One amateur Internet researcher wrote that Qin Feng’s grandfather Qin Lizhen, and her maternal grandfather Yang Qiliang, both work for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and that former foreign minister Li Zhaoxing is her uncle.
The scathing tone of Qin Feng’s comments led one blogger to characterize them as full of “confrontational cold war style thinking drenched in red [communist] blood.”
Some netizens tried to discover how Qin Feng became such a prominent television personality. They found some online pictures which show her uncle meeting with Hong Kong Satellite TV’s news bureau chief Gao Hongxing on Jan. 15.
The following month, Qin Feng left Phoenix TV and became interview director for Hong Kong Satellite TV.
Prior to the recent online bickering, newspapers controlled by Beijing Party Secretary Liu Qi like Beijing Daily, Beijing Times, Beijing News, Beijing Youth Daily, and other Party media like the Global Times had published articles attacking the U.S. Embassy over its handling of blind activist Chen Guangcheng.
Though U.S. politicians have walked a diplomatic tightrope in handling the case, many Chinese have expressed online their wish for the U.S. to speak truth to the Party’s power.
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