With the dust now settled on last week’s APEC summit in Australia, we came on a juicy tidbit of news that either didn’t get much mileage in the Chinese press or escaped the news that we read. Shanghaiist reader Fergus Ryan filled us in:
Last weekend’s APEC summit in Sydney had one success that the host, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, may not have foreseen. Opposition leader, Kevin Rudd (Labor Party), effectively gate-crashed the event and upstaged Howard by addressing Chinese President Hu Jintao in fluent Mandarin. As Howard grimly watched on, Rudd welcomed Hu to Australia and spoke of his time in Beijing as a diplomat in the 1980s and of his family’s personal links to China and Chinese culture, to great diplomatic and popular effect.
The following day, Hu and Rudd sat down for a 30-minute discussion conducted entirely in Mandarin. Clearly impressed by Rudd’s performance, Hu invited him and his family to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and commented “You speak perfect Chinese and you know China inside and out”.
A short soundbyte is included in the SkyNews video clip that you see here and what can we say?! Shanghaiist thinks Rudd’s Chinese puts us to shame! His full remarks translated from Chinese are available here. Apparently, Kevin Rudd’s Labour Party wants to put back an Asian Languages Scheme that the Howard government scrapped if they win the upcoming election.
Friendly reminder to Aussie Shanghaiists
If you intend to vote, check to see if you’re on the electoral roll of the Federal Election NOW because your current Prime Minister has changed the laws so that once the election is called, Australians will have only a small window of opportunity to register. The Australian Electoral Commission homepage is here. (Useless piece of information: In past years, more Australians have voted in Shanghai compared to Beijing. Last year, 1242 ppl voted in Shanghai whilst 938 ppl voted in Beijing.) Also, if any Shanghaiist readers would like to help out with the Australian Labor Party’s get-out-the-vote campaign, please contact [email protected].