Cameron's Weibo deluged with questions on looted artefacts, ADIZ and Wendi Deng
Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron is no doubt a popular foreign politician amongst Chinese as his new account with Sina Weibo, China’s biggest microblogging service provider, has gathered more than 220,000 followers since his arrival in the country on Monday.
Although Cameron said he hoped the account in Mandarin would help him reach out to the Chinese public, but got more than he bargained for when the account was deluged with tough questions, such as when the UK would repatriate Chinese artefacts its troops had looted from China more than 150 years ago.
In an entry in his microblog account on Monday, the British Prime Minister expressed his desire for getting to know the Chinese people and asked Chinese internet users to leave their questions that he would respond to before he wrapped up his Chinese trip, his second since he became prime minister in May 2010.
The message was reposted more than 23,400 times and received more than 20,600 comments with questions about politics, the economy, film and TV and even the perceived “baby face” of the British PM.
Addressing Cameron as the “Boss of the UK”, one commentator asked him to persuade his Chinese counterpart, namely president Xi Jinping, to open a microblog account.
Another internet user, under the online name of Shuang Zi Bo Bo Best, asked why China had so many corruption cases and when the Chinese government could really administer the country on behalf of the people.
“Mr Prime Minister, does western democracy never reach beyond Chinese customs, [and if so], tell me who could be a smuggler?” asked another commentator.
As well as asking Cameron awkward questions about when the British would return looted artefacts to China, many also tried to draw his attention to comments from the British Royal Navy’s chief of staff, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, on Monday over the UK’s support for Japan’s stance toward China’s recently declared Air Defence Identification Zone in the East China Sea.
“You Navy’s Chief of Staff talked nonsense in Japan before you left China,” one commentator said.
“This has helped Chinese people realise the ugly face of the British government.”
Those who care little about politics had their own flippant messages to get across, with one asking the PM if media reports alleging intimacy between his predecessor Tony Blair and Wendi Deng, the ex-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, were true.
“Please help check when the third season of [popular BBC television series Sherlock] Holmes is out, it’s killing me to keep waiting,” another commentator urged.