Vice premier Wang Yang, currently co-chairing the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, thinks the relationship between himself and his American counterpart Jack Lew is like a totally straight, not gay, definitely not gay, marriage.
“In China when we say a pair of new people, we mean a newlywed couple,” Wang said about himself and Lew. “Although U.S. law does permit marriage between two men, I don’t think this is what Jacob or I actually want.”
Marriage equality wasn’t the only topical joke Wang made:
“(But) we cannot have a divorce the way Wendi and Rupert Murdoch just had,” Wang said, referring to the high-profile divorce between News Corp chief executive and billionaire Murdoch and his Chinese-born wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng.
“For that, it would be too big a price to pay.”
Lew briefly smiled down at his notes after Wang’s comments, but many members of the Chinese delegation squirmed.
The vice premier’s easygoing nature reportedly left a good impression on US officials: “Sometimes humour doesn’t translate into a foreign language, but I thought he showed a good sense of humour,” one official told reporters.
Wang, former party boss of Guangdong, make headlines in May when he castigated Chinese tourists overseas for their “uncivilised” behaviour.