~ It’s not ‘Come if you want,’ it’s basically ‘You’re not welcome.”
That’s the response of Chinese netizens to French President Sarkozy who said he will decide next week whether to attend the opening of the Beijing Olympics, with his choice depending on how talks go between Beijing and the Dalai Lama’s envoys this week.
Sarkozy reiterated Monday that the events in Tibet were “not acceptable,” but he also warned against angering a power of China’s size.
“We absolutely must not push a population of 1.3 billion people into wounded nationalism,” he said.
If Sarkozy does come, he may face a hostile crowd who’ll be yelling “Va foutre le camp!” (Get outta here!!) According to an online survey by Chinese website Sina, more than 89 percent of the 173,527 respondents do not want Sarkozy to attend the Olympic opening ceremony. Over 88 percent of the surveyed said they found Sarkozy’s remarks about China “extremely unfriendly” and “not fit for a leader of a major developed country”, while about 10 percent consider his remarks only political rhetoric.
Either way, his presence or absence will be duly noted domestically and internationally with significant consequences. Whether they will be positive or negative, well, that will be very much up to le Président.