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China media hurls racist slur at departing US envoy Gary Locke

Published on Mar 1, 2014 5:03 PM
 
Outgoing United States Ambassador to China Gary Locke speaks during a farewell news conference held at the US embassy in Beijing, Feb 27, 2014. A Chinese state media outlet used a racist slur to criticise departing Mr Locke in a commentary which also blamed him for Beijing's notorious pollution. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese state media outlet used a racist slur to criticise departing US ambassador Gary Locke in a commentary which also blamed him for Beijing's notorious pollution.

The 64-year-old became the first ethnic Chinese in the post when he was appointed in 2011, going on to gain quasi-celebrity status for his modest style and for drawing attention to China's unhealthy skies.

But Mr Locke, who left his position on Saturday, received a highly undiplomatic sendoff from the China News Service in an editorial which referred to him as a "banana", and a "guide dog" for helping a blind activist.

"He is a banana with yellow skin and a white heart", Friday's article opened by saying, calling Mr Locke's ethnicity a ploy by the United States to win Chinese hearts and minds while seeking to kick up trouble in the region.

 
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