Meeting With a Spy

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Steve McDonell describes his annual pre-NPC chat with a man from “the Beijing Association for International Culture Exchange”:

“So what would you like to ask premier Wen this year?” he says.

I tell him that I haven’t prepared any questions this year because the whole thing is rigged and I will never have an opportunity to ask one.

He giggles: “But what if you did have a chance …?”

“Well I won’t”, I say… and we go on like this for a while.

I point out to him that every year there’s one question from Russia, “how would you characterise China-Russia relations at the moment?”; one from India, “how would you characterise China-India relations at the moment?”; one from Japan, “how would you”…and so on; one from Taiwan, one from the US, one from Europe and never one from Australia.

He giggles: “But what if you could? Would you ask about Tibet? What would ask about Tibet?”

Via Robert Barnett.

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