Friday, September 09, 2005

State visit

Going out to lunch today was quite difficult, what with all the secret service, the hordes of policeman, the protesters blocking the way to my usual Timothy's.

You see I work in a major museum in Ottawa. It is common to have heads of state dropping in for a State Dinner, hosted by our prime minister
. Last October the museum had Dubya over for dinner. Today we have Hu Jianto, the president of China. He’ll be in the next room in a few hours. Of course, I won't get to meet him. Cops and bodyguards will make sure that doesn't happen.

At the moment, a lunch–event is being held in the next room with officials and students.

Apparently the Chinese Embassy is making sure that the president is well greeted in Ottawa by offering free lunches, souvenirs and even money to expatriate chinese students who in turn will make the prez feel welcome and generate an overall feeling of sympathy towards Hu. Any student willing to participate in these "greeting activities" is asked to sing a contract that read:


The [association’s name] has invited [the participant’s name] to be a member of the welcome group. As a member of this group, I agree to obey all the rules of the group. I also agree that if I make any trouble (e.g., protest against the American government and/or the Chinese president), I will pay a minimum $5,000 as compensation for the reputation loss brought to the group by the trouble I made. In addition, under the circumstances in which Falun Gong practitioners contact us or we know that other organizations will make trouble, we I agree that we report this to the welcome group and relative official bureaus immediately. We understand that we have the right to express our opinions through protest with any organization. However, as a member of this group, we are willing to give the right up.”
[
source]
Now, I’m not exactly well informed in all things Chinese, but nothing seems to be going right for China. The Chinese Communist Party is on the verge of collapse. And when you have to pay expatriates of your own nation to make you feel welcome in a foreign country and generate positive feelings, you must be quite desperate. Falun Gong practitioners are now protesting outside the museum and scattered around the city. They are in higher number than payed greeters, so the embassy must be quite anxious...


3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who had a hand in planning that visit and is keeping tabs on such things, I wouldn't say nothing is going right for China, but they do have a lot to think about and take care of... Feeding and powering over a billion people, gaining technology by covert means, maintaining the right image for the Olympics, a new space race, etc.

It's a big, red machine, and we have to keep an eye on them. You know what they say: keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. :)

12:10 PM  
Anonymous the ginger said...

They forgot to add, "and you will also be teleported back to China where you will be beaten repeatedly for hours." after the whole, "you will pay blah blah blah".

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

terst

3:03 PM  

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