During a recent meet-up with John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, China’s beloved Xi Jinping laid down the law on food safety. The irony was not lost.
According to Xinhua, Xi, “urged New Zealand to take tough measures to ensure food quality and thus maintain the sound momentum of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries,” especially concerning the safety of its dairy products.
China, of course, was tainting milk powder before it was cool, and internet users have not forgotten. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Chinese social media users, inundated on a monthly basis with reports of domestic food scandals, responded with a collective face-palm.
“The entire country is laughing,” wrote one user of the Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service, where the news was greeted with an outpouring of animated guffawing emoticons. […]
“He should be saying this to himself,” wrote one microblogger. “How does he have the gall to say this to the New Zealand prime minister?” […]
On Monday, some Weibo users joked that Mr. Xi was more concerned with New Zealand dairy products because, while most Chinese families were forced to rely on Chinese products, Chinese leaders were filling their children’s bottles with foreign milk.
“I suggest we make officials’ children consume domestic milk powder,” said one Weibo user.
Hopefully Mr. Key gets his country’s act together; milk scandals can be nasty business, as Xi surely knows.
This article originally featured a photo of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, instead of New Zealand PM John Key, because this writer had not yet drank his coffee.
[Image via Xinhua]