In my entire stint in Asia, starting in 2001, I have never once heard a positive mention of Bush by any Chinese person, either in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan or the PRC. Not among teachers, mid-level government officials, co-workers, friends, business people or taxi drivers. Despite the bombing of the Belgrade embassy, I still hear Chinese people praise Clinton. Iâ€™m not sure why, but most seem to adore him. The mention of Bushâ€™s name tends to prompt a reflexive reaction of scorn and disappointment. If people were glad he went to the Olympics, they didnâ€™t make a big deal out if it, the way they did over Spielbergâ€™s backing out. And Iâ€™m not sure how the reporter measured Obamaâ€™s â€œunpopularityâ€ in China during the primaries. Iâ€™m not going to say Chinese people I knew were raving about Obama, and he probably was less popular than Clinton, but I never heard anything indicating he was unpopular. (The only memorable remark I heard about Obama that wasnâ€™t gushing with praise came from a Chinese teacher who, the day after the election, asked me, â€œHow is it possible that white people voted for a black man?â€)
Poor Dubya. China doesn’t love him after all.