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Maybe Hu Got the Last Laugh

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By Doug Powers  •  January 23, 2011 12:36 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The invitations to Wednesday’s White House state dinner for China promised a “quintessentially American” evening:

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It turns out there was a slight exception to that, however.

The Washington Post has given their Worst Week in Washington distinction to China’s President Hu Jintao for enduring questions about human rights, Harry Reid calling him a dictator and members of Congress declining invitations to the state dinner due to China’s human rights record. Also, in the same week as Hu’s visit, a Michigan man was sent to prison for attempting to spy for China. But there’s still a chance that Hu is chuckling all the way back to Beijing.

From the Epoch Times:

Lang Lang the pianist says he chose it. Chairman Hu Jintao recognized it as soon as he heard it. Patriotic Chinese Internet users were delighted as soon as they saw the videos online. Early morning TV viewers in China knew it would be played an hour or two beforehand. At the White House State dinner on Jan. 19, about six minutes into his set, Lang Lang began tapping out a famous anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War: the theme song to the movie “Battle on Shangganling Mountain.”

The film depicts a group of “People’s Volunteer Army” soldiers who are first hemmed in at Shanganling (or Triangle Hill) and then, when reinforcements arrive, take up their rifles and counterattack the U.S. military “jackals.”

The movie and the tune are widely known among Chinese, and the song has been a leading piece of anti-American propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for decades. CCP propaganda has always referred to the Korean War as the “movement to resist America and help [North] Korea.”
[…]
Both the Sina and Sohu news portals reposted an article that they attributed to the Beijing Evening News, with the headline: “Lang Lang Played ‘My Motherland’ at White House, Flaunting National Power.”

“Those American folks very much enjoyed it and were totally infatuated with the melody!!! The U.S. is truly stupid!!” wrote a user named You’re In My Memory on Sina’s micro-blogging site.

“Quintessentially American” if you’re in Berkeley, maybe.

Imagine the Chinese government anger if an American performer, wittingly or unwittingly, played the theme song from The Gate of Heavenly Peace at a state dinner hosted by China. The US State Department would have been apologizing like John Cleese in A Fish Called Wanda within minutes.

Update: This isn’t the first time there’s been inadvertent Chinese propaganda in the White House.

**Written by Doug Powers

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