There’s been some confusion among several foreign correspondents about Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s comments in Wenzhou arising from a slightly faulty translation in Xinhua’s English-language newswire, so we thought we’d jump into the discussion.
Wen explained his somewhat tardy arrival on the sixth day of the Wenzhou train crash as follows:
Perhaps some journalists might ask: Usually you’re the first to arrive on the scene of any calamity, why have you only arrived on the sixth day this time? I’d like to tell everyone in all honesty. I’ve been ill, sick in bed for 11 days, and it was only today that the doctor, with some reluctance, allowed me to come out here.
Here’s what you’ll find if you care enough to trawl around the internets:
On July 18, Wen received Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
On July 19, Wen presided over a State Council meeting on climate change and sustainable development.
On July 20, Wen presided over a State Council working session.
On July 21, Wen met up with Cameroonian President Paul Biya.
On July 24, Wen received a delegation from the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade.
On July 27, Wen presided over another State Council working session.
All of the above have been duly reported by the major Chinese news outlets. So what gives?
The answer is simple. Since it’s impossible for Grandpa Wen to be lying, we can only deduce the Chinese media have been concocting stories.
Watch a video of Premier Wen Jiabao’s press statement after the jump…