By Assunta Ng
Do you know what high-ranking Chinese officials can’t live without when traveling to Seattle?
Of course they don’t carry their luggage or buy their own coffee like U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke did when he was at the SeaTac Airport on his way to China.
Instead, Chinese officials bring along a cook or several. Seattle’s reputation may be about scenic mountains and waters, but one thing it does not have is the best Chinese food. Chinese officials are not fond of American food. They want to eat authentic Chinese food while in Washington state. And they are particular about what they eat and how it is prepared. None of them have any intention of eating poorly cooked Chinese food during business travel.
Once, an official’s aide even asked for help in shopping for authentic Chinese ingredients, such as dry abalone.
So, in contrast, what did Locke take along when moving to China? Pets. This would make his homesick kids feel less lonely in a strange land.
Sometimes in American, pets are more important than anything else, because they are perceived as friends and part of the household. However, some people might call it a waste of money to fly them to China.
Now we see contrasting worlds between Chinese and American officials. While Americans value independence and do everything themselves, the Chinese officials’ lavish manner of employing servants and aides, does have its merits. It provides more job opportunities, said my friend. He might have a point, though. Huh! (end)