Well, that was charming. Gary Locke officially left his Beijing-based post as US Ambassador to China Friday and his departure was marked by an official Chinese commentary calling him a "banana."
Oh no, there's no ambiguity about it. They didn't refer to Locke, the first Chinese-American ever to serve as ambassador, as being similar to a yellow fruit that grows on trees and can be turned into lovely pies or split open and have ice cream scooped upon it for a summer treat. The commentary calls Locke a "yellow-skinned white-hearted banana person" (a literal translation of"黄皮白心的香蕉人").
"Banana" is heady wording for a commentary, given the racially-charged connations of the term that many Asian-Americans find offensive. With that sort of rhetoric being tossed around, we're almost surprised they didn't conclude with a reference to US President Barack Obama using some similarly unflattering ethnic slur.
The nasty op-ed concludes what could have gone down as a historical posting. Locke was embraced by Chinese Netizens for getting his own coffee and for visiting the relatives of his that still live in southern China. Of course, as a representative of US interests in China, we didn't expect him to be loved by everyone, but geez, 'banana' is a bit much.
The commentary says towards the end, "Mr. Ambassador, what would your ancestors say about you? They'd kick you out."
Ambassador Locke, from the Beijinger, have a safe trip home, and thanks for hanging in there with us for the last couple of years.
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog