US Ambassador Gary Locke may have only just touched down in China but he’s already making waves in the People’s Republic.
Yesterday morning, tech entrepreneur Tang Chaohui (唐朝晖) was at the Seattle airport when he chanced upon Locke with his wife and three kids, presumably on their way to Beijing. Seizing the moment, Tang decided to whip out his iPhone and uploaded a picture of Locke and one of his daughters buying coffee at Starbucks onto his Sina Weibo account.
Tang described what he saw at the Starbucks outlet as follows: “What’s funny is that Ambassador Locke took out what looked like a voucher to the cashier, who upon examining the voucher informed the ambassador that the voucher could not be accepted. He didn’t give the ambassador any face at all, but the ambassador wasn’t angry and proceeded to pay with his credit card.”
Sina Weibo users surprised that an ambassador would carry his own backpack and buy his own cuppa have reposted the picture close to 28,000 times, with a few joking that the US must be in really dire financial straits if its ambassador has to resort to using discount vouchers.