Astounding event at State Dinner for China's Hu Jintao


Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2009
San Diego, CA
Lots of talk has gone by about the big state dinner for Hu Jintao, Premier of China. Obama bowing to Hu when he arrived at the WH, various celebrities, Obama's 9-year-old daughter waving a Chinese flag and Hu giving her simple lessons in Chinese language, etc. etc.


My wife is Chinese. She was born and raised in Tiyuan City, the 4th largest city in Mainland China, some 300 miles southwest of Beijing. She was in college in Beijing when the Tian An Men Square uprising happened, and came to a U.S. college here, shortly after that. Now she is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

But she grew up completely Chinese, as steeped in Chinese education and culture as any other Chinese citizen of that time. She frequently tells me about various aspects of that culture. And she told me something very interesting, about this state dinner, that she feels most Americans don't know but EVERY Chinese citizen of her era, does know.

The state dinner is getting huge coverage in China, on every Chinese news channel, newspaper, etc. etc. But for different reasons than Americans may think.

Obama's daughter was waving a small Chinese flag when Hu came to the White House. Many Americans thought it was cute, a small gesture of welcome, etc. But, my wife tells me, people in China see it rather differently.

In Western countries (America, Europe, etc.) when armies fight wars, and one eventually surrenders, they indicate their capitulation and surrender by flying a white flag, one with no national insignia of any kind. But in China (example: China fighting against Japan in WWII), when one side surrenders, they indicate it by taking a flag of the enemy and flying it over their own heads. This indicates that they now acknowledge that the enemy forces are their masters, their rulers, the victors in the conflict; and that they will not fight any more, but will agree to capitulate to the other side.

And many Chinese people are remarking that that is what Obama's little daughter, seems to be doing by waving a Chinese flag in the presence of the Chinese leader. Most Americans will be unaware of this, my wife tells me, But it is a very ingrained tradition in China, that you NEVER fly another country's flag in your own hand, unless you have lost a major conflict to them and are acknowledging their superiority.

This was news to me. I just considered it to be a cute gesture of welcome, as I mentioned ealier here. But a billion Chinese people on the other side of the pond, don't see it that way, according to my wife who grew up there.

There is also talk about Premier Hu giving the President's daughter simple lessons in Chinese. All he taught her, was a simple greeting that children in China sometimes use to elderly people: He taught her how to call him "Grandfather Hu" in Chinese. It's just a few simple words.

But again, in China there's a little more to it than that. People in China are accorded social rank, mostly by their age relative to each other. And words like "brother", "sister", "Father", "Grandfather" etc. are used, both to denote blood relations, and also to describe the relative amount of respect one person gets from another even when they are not family or blood relatives.

Everybody, both in China and America, expects a child to call her dad "Father" or "Dad" etc.; and her grandfather "Grandfather" or Grandpa" etc. But in China, unlike America, a child might address an elder as "Grandfather" even when he is not her biological grandfather. It is a gesture of respect and obesiance in that country. What's more, it is a way of the child acknowledging that the elder is more socially respectable than someone she simply calls "Father" or "Dad"... including her biological father.

My wife tells me that for Obama's daughter to address Premier Hu as "Grandfather Hu" while in the presence of her biological father, can be interpreted as a mild slight against her own father - an implication that the "Grandfather" is more deserving of respect than her Dad is. She says that, with the subtle sense of humor many Chinese people have, this is just the sort of sly tweak they would love to set up - all with the knowledge that the silly Americans are completely clueless about what's going on.

But the most interesting thing that happened, came when various celebrities peformed for Obama and Hu as they sat at the state dinner. One of the performers was Lang Lang, a famous pianist who is from China but frequently performs in the U.S. He played the piano for the two heads of state and their assembled guests. The first piece was an American piece, pretty, straightforward, well played, and enjoyable. The second piece, was a theme from a classic Chinese movie made in that country around 1950. It was a piece very well known to all Chinese people of my wife's era. No lyrics were sung, Lang Lang merely played it on piano, and did very well. But, my wife tells me, every Chinese person knows both the melody and the lyrics - the movie was state-sponsored and approved by the Chinese Communist Party, as every movie, song, and book of that time had to be. And it was taught in every school, played in every town, and generally drummed into every citizen the Chinese government could reach in that era.

This musical piece was called "My Country", and was written for a movie made in China during the Korean War, called "Heroic Sons and Daughters". And the main theme of the movie, was praise and adulation for the great heros of the northern Chinese Communist army and their strength and valor in fighting with their allies the North Koreans, beating back those vile running dogs, the Americans. The entire theme of the movie, reiterates again and again how cowardly and worthless the American pigs are, what despicable bastards they are, how poorly they fought against the great Chinese heroes, and how soundly they were thrashed and driven from the fields to cower in Seoul. The song was specifically written at that time (1950s), to revile the hated Americans, belittling them and insulting them for the cowardly scum they were.

That music was played in the background of the movie practically for its entire length. And at one point near the middle of the movie, one of the leading characters stands up and sings the lyrics to the heroic Chinese troops who had just won a mighty victory against the barbarous Americans.

Very few Americans have ever heard of this movie, and none have every heard the lyrics, certainly not in English they could understand. So to Americans, this piece merely sounds like a miscellaneous movie theme, nothing significant. But to nearly every Chinese citizen, it means something very different. This music is very well known, and is a traditional song of celebration. And every one of them, know the lyrics and what they mean... and who they refer to.

My wife says, that that is one of many songs that are traditionally sung even today, during celebrations such as Chinese New Year. And the Chinese people who sing it, mean no particular disrespect to Americans, any more than Americans mean disrespect to their own troops when they sing "Yankee Doodle", which is in fact a song made up by the British to lampoon clumsy American troops during the wars of the late 1700s and early 1800s. To most of them, it's just a fun song to sing when they are celebrating.

My wife also tells me that many Chinese people who are now in America, are reluctant to sing this particular song in this country, even during traditional Chinese celebrations they hold here. They realize that the theme and its lyrics are quite disrespectful to Americans, and they have no wish to be disrespectful. So they carefully leave that song out of their celebrations when in this country, and caution each other not to sing it.

But this song was carefully INCLUDED in the presentation of the Chinese celebrities to the American President and his entourage, in their own White House, at their own table, last night... and in the presence (and certainly the foreknowledge) of the Chinese Premier Hu Jintao himself. News about this event is making huge waves in China even now, with heavy coverage all over the country.

My wife points out that the calculated insult of this song, displayed in front of the President of the United States in the capitol of this country, in public and on nationwide TV, is actually less important than one other factor:

Twenty years ago, there is no way such a thing would ever be done to the Americans, even if they could be sure the Amerians didn't know of the insult. The Chinese were very dependent on the Americans for assistance, technology, financing of new factories, etc. But today, it was presented, baldly and coldly. It was Hu's way of saying to us, "The shoe is now on the other foot. Our country is now ascendent, while yours is in decline; and you owe us far more than we owe you. We are on our way to assuming the mantle of the #1 superpower on Earth, and there is nothing you can do about it any more. You have lost your superiority, and we will soon be the Masters."

How many Americans are even aware of the sly, calculated insult that was delivered so openly to the American government last night? I had no idea, myself - I had never heard of this song or that movie. Has anyone in this country, who is not a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese?

I would very much appreciate it if anyone here could corroborate this story. I have heard it from only one person - my wife, who was born and raised in China, educated mostly in that country in ways approved by the Communist Chinese government, and only came to the U.S. in her college years. Does anyone else know anyone who is Chinese, and who has reason to be familiar with the things that Chinese people are traditionally taught in that country, to grow up with as part of their culture? Can you mention some of these things to them, and find out if the things I've heard are true or false?
Interesting corroboration from the Wall Street Journal:

Did Pianist Lang Lang Dis the White House?

by Cathy Yan
January 22, 2011, 10:30 AM ET

Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang in many ways embodies the Sino-American comity that both President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama emphasized during their summit this past week—which is no doubt why he was chosen to perform at the White House state dinner for Mr. Hu on Wednesday.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that he is now being praised by nationalist Internet users in China for a perceived anti-U.S. slight supposedly implied in the 28-year-old’s choice of music that night.

As part of the state dinner’s “quintessentially American” program, Mr. Lang was invited along with a number of U.S. jazz musicians in an “Evening of Jazz.” He and the legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock played a four hands version of a Maurice Ravel song, exchanging hugs afterward.

Then, the plot thickened—at least, that’s how some read it. After bilingual comments to the assembled VIPs in which he said it was a “great honor” to be playing, he proceeded to perform a solo piece, which he introduced as a “Chinese song called ‘My Motherland.’”

The song is not just any old song. As Chinese netizens have pointed out, “My Motherland” is the theme song for a famous anti-U.S. movie about the Korean War from 1956, titled “Battle on Shangganling Mountain.”

In any case, the irony of playing an ode from an anti-American Chinese movie at a White House event dedicated to Sino-U.S. cooperation and friendliness has set the Chinese web abuzz—and more than a few people are convinced it wasn’t an accident.

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. This particular post was re-posted many times.

Mr. Lang’s representatives could not be reached. A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said that they were not aware of what songs Lang Lang played at the state dinner.

You can read more on of fellow blog, China Real Time Report ( ).
My wife has told me about the lyrics to the song played by Lang Lang. The article's description, that the song does not mention war or America, is barely accurate.

It starts off very innocently, describing how beautiful the motherland (China) is, how nice the people, how much the singer loves them, etc. Very sweet and aboveboard.

But then comes the second part of the song. It states that when the vile, rabid wolf and the (_________) (my wife couldn't translate ths one, it's another unspeakably evil animal) comes to destroy our beautiful motherland of China, we will grab our guns, shoot them, kill them, utterly destroy them. Our noble Chinese soldiers will be victorious over the vile, evil, subhuman animals.

Those are the literal lyrics of the song that Lang Lang played for Obama and Hu Jintao at the White House. True, America is not explicitly mentioned, and I suppose you could say that "war" isn't either. But in the movie, the vile evil animal obviously means America. The entire movie was commissioned by the Chinese government when America entered the Korean war. Its purpose was to unite the Chinese people in absolute hatred of America.

My wife points out that, until the Korean War, China had never had a war with America, and frankly never paid much attention to America - China was "a very closed country", my wife says. But when the communists took over in the 1940s, they also began the huge propaganda projects we all know and love. And they were pretty effective - including this movie. My wife says that this movie uniteed the Chinese people in hatred against America, just as the events of Sept. 11, 2001 united the American people against militant Islamic terrorists.

Thinking that Lang Lang didn't know the significance of this piece, is ludicrous, she says. Like thinking that, if you show a picture of an airliner hitting a skyscraper, the Americans would not know the significance of that, and just would just think it's a pretty fireworks display for a celebration or something.

It's also not possible that Lang Lang simply picked this song himself. My wife is 100% sure that every Chinese person in the delegation at the White House, knew in advance that Lang Lang was going to play this piece... and knew in advance what it really meant. Approval for this song, and quite possibly the original suggestion, came from the very top, she says.
Assuming everything you spelled out is 100% true, I think it still has to be asked, who cares? What does it change?
Assuming everything you spelled out is 100% true, I think it still has to be asked, who cares? What does it change?

Obama wanted to change the perception of the US in the world but most thought it would be a positive change as opposed to projecting weakness and subservience. I care, and it demonstrates to China that they can be assured that their negative actions won't be challenged. Should make S.Korea nervous and Taipei quaking.
Hi Little-Acorn,

I am sorry to say and with respect, what your wife told you about the state dinner were totally wrong.

1 When other head of state visits China, Chinese people will hold that nation's flag and that is a very normal thing to do. You wife's flag theory is completely new to me. I am 100 Chinese.
2 Calling elder man "grandfather" is all about politeness, Chinese children say it billions times daily to elders who is not their family member.
3 The lyrics only has nothing about war or american, only one sentence said if wolf comes we will greet than with guns. That's.

Your wife has the right to hate Chinese but please don't misrepresent the fact.
I stopped caring around the part where Obamas kid was surrendering the nation?

are you wing nuts just so desperate?

Obama saves puppy...republicans say why did not save 2! Obama wheres a purple he secretly gay and part of a vast Gay agenda?! Obama passed a bill...he is a Marxist ( what bill?..who cares?)
seems our friend acorn is very fond of forums

The Chinese and US ruling class have merging interests.

Both use political prisoners as cheap labour.

Both use the death penalty for political reasons.

Both are one-party states - the US maintains the fig-leaf of democracy but you have to be a member of the War Party to be elected in the US.

Both have extensive secret service organisations and a Whore Media.

So what does it matter if the Chines public misread normal civilised courtesies

China has no oil or timber.

Cornell Stalin
Obama read his fortune cookie at State Dinner
Hi Little-Acorn,

I am sorry to say and with respect, what your wife told you about the state dinner were totally wrong.

1 When other head of state visits China, Chinese people will hold that nation's flag and that is a very normal thing to do. You wife's flag theory is completely new to me. I am 100 Chinese.
2 Calling elder man "grandfather" is all about politeness, Chinese children say it billions times daily to elders who is not their family member.
3 The lyrics only has nothing about war or american, only one sentence said if wolf comes we will greet than with guns. That's.

Your wife has the right to hate Chinese but please don't misrepresent the fact.

He he he..

Acorn been punked

Admit copied this from somewhere...

Comrade Mao ( on duty while the generalissimo is holidaying in the Crimea )
He he he..

Acorn been punked

Admit copied this from somewhere...
Umm... I didn't even write that. "jj8880" did. Complain to him.....

You might ask him if he's notified the Wall Stree Journal folks of their mistake, too... plus the millions of Chinese who DO consider that song to be an insult to the U.S. Govt officials attending that dinner.
A few comments. I attend classical musical events frequently, and a couple years ago I heard Lang Lang perform Rachmaninoff's stunning second piano concerto - the guy is a genius. Also you see more and more aisans as instrumental virtuosos and in orchestras. Why don't we import more of these people, instead of mexicans of such poor quality that they can't even read and write spanish?

The really bad faux pas at the white house dinner (would you expect anything more from someone who is essentially a ghetto politician who has been propelled through life by "affirmative action"?) reminds me of something that happened during the kennedy administration. This was kennedy's Berlin wall speech, a stern warning to the soviet union (my, how democrats have changed!) At the end of the speech he said "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner) to express solidarity with Berliners. However, in the german dialect around Berlin, people would not have used such a phrase - "Berliner" refers to a kind of pastry. What it sounded like kennedy said was "I am a jelly-filled doughnut." :D Of course, the Berliners knew what he meant and cheered, but there was also a lot of snickering in the crowd.

Moral to the story: you have someone steeped in chinese culture to carefully go over all the details, and probably stick around to give immediate advice if needed.

P.S.: Who is jj8880 - a PRC shill?