Shoe Thrown At Wen Jiabao, Chinese Reactions


Yesterday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was giving a speech at Cambridge University in England when a protestor threw a shoe at him. The shoe missed but reminded everyone of when a protestor threw a shoe at George W. Bush, the former American president, last December.


A few chinaSMACK readers asked me if we will report about it. Of course many people want to know how Chinese people will react when it happens to their own leader instead of another country’s leader. One person also threatened our “honesty” if we do not, but I am not sure why it affects our honesty. Wow, do not be so serious.

During most of yesterday Tuesday 2009 February 3, Chinese websites and BBS discussion forums did not allow people to post reports, video, or allow discussion of what happened. Even right now, this is what happens when I do some searches on Baidu:

Search results may not be compatible with relevant laws, regulations and policies, not shown. also does not have as much information as non-Chinese Google. Most BBS discussion topics about the incident were deleted today, but there were still some. For example, the below comments from Youku are from a video reporting about Premier Wen’s speech at Cambridge but does not report about the shoe-throwing incident.

However, it looks like CCTV finally reported about it last evening at 7pm through its daily “Xin Wen Lian Bo” news program.

Video also on Sina.

The Chinese CCTV report shows the protestor’s disturbance and  Premier Wen’s response. It also mentions the British media criticizing the protester, apologies from Cambridge University and the British government, and that the Premier accomplished his goals and felt his trip to the UK was still a success.

I think the government wanted to first decide how they will present what happened…and maybe first see how most Chinese people are reacting.

Many people, including Americans, did not like George W. Bush. However, many Chinese people really like Premier Wen Jiabao and he is a very popular official. Many Chinese think he is one of the few good government officials and really care about the people. So, I think most people and comments will be supportive of him and the BBS forums will soon begin allowing people to talk about this.

Comments on Youku:


I was watching the live broadcast and discovered people making a disturbance. I was very angry, but Premier Wen’s performance was very admirable.


My fellow comrades who were present, why not use our fist to tell that rude bastard that the price for throwing shoes at our beloved Premier Wen is not something “it” can afford.


To the person sitting in the back 20 or so rows who threw the shoe, do not fucking ever come to China! Otherwise, it will not be shoes thrown at you, but the fists of the descendants of the Yellow Emperor [the Chinese people]!


How come the most important part was not reported? Such as the Premier having a shoe thrown at him by a student? Just like Bush. When it happened to Bush, there were a huge uproar of reports, so how come there are no reports for our own Premier…I don’t understand!


How come they don’t show the shoe-throwing scene?


难过难过 Grandpa Wen always looks so kind~~!!! China jia you!!!


Long live the premier, long live the motherland!
As for what happened,

To the heckling troublemaker, the Premier is very kindly and calmly but shockingly replied~
“Humanity’s progress, the world’s harmony, is a historical trend that no force can stop.”


Peasants/farmers all being exempt from tax, peasants/farmers doing well, all depend on the party’s Wen Jiabao.


[China] Absolutely has the strength to dominate the world, and also absolutely can become the world leader, but absolutely not hegemonic.


Premier Wen, poor you~~I salute you~!!!


Everyday, I hold incomparable excitement watching the news, to see tomorrow, because none of us know what crazy thing will happen tomorrow~because tomorrow will be even more incredible~赞


Premier Zhou is China’s foreign diplomacy legend…not everyone can become a legend. ~I also highly regard Premier Wen! One thing. As long as they are working for the ordinary common people, they are good officials! Not according what they’re rank/position is!


I love him, love him, and will always love that elder. I sincerely wish you good health when you grow old and can live a long life. That our China today’s is prosperous country and has plenty is completely because of leaders Premier Wen and Secretary Hu, and I sincerely thank  you two elders. You two have worked hard. Last year, seeing you at the disaster areas working day and night without eating, my heart hurt so much that I shed tears. I know that me saying thanks is useless because all of my reverence to you cannot be expressed in words.


China does not need to wage war to become powerful. Using force to resolve problems, that is what barbaric races do.


My favorite leader is Premier Wen, he is worth our respect.


Looks like Cambridge University should increase good character education~!!!


Our China will never seek hegemony!! It is only a few people who do not understand China who think so!


If someone throws a show, it is definitely a foreigner. Cambridge’s foreigners [non-Chinese] truly have bad character, I seriously despise this. 无语


Foreign devils, go to hell.


Premier Wen is the people’s good Premier!!! So old, these two years, he has truly been tireless wherever there have been natural and man-made disasters! The number one person from the central government is him!!


Who still dares to mess with our China?? …America?? Get out of the way…our China is the big man now~! OH HOHOHO~~搞笑搞笑搞笑


Comments on KDS:

欧阳灏骅 oyhh:

五毛党魁 wumaos:

Clearly our Bao Bao used his qi power to suck the Westerner’s shoe into his hand.
[Bao bao is an affectionate nickname for Wen Jiabao]

虎虎 magicsim:

It is on YouTube. ** was too disrespectful to our Premier Wen, “F” them!

麻辣冰激凌 kellyli:

Shameful, get out!

雨影 shadower:

It proves that we are indeed a big/powerful country now, as who would bother with a small/weak country? It is unfortunate I fell asleep after watching the first half yesterday. I don’t know whether or not they showed the last half.

南生 lansuqiu:

Having different sounds is very harmonious.
Not having different sounds would actually be not harmonious.
[sounds = views/opinions]

Esperanza esperanza:

No manners, even insulting others.
I am wondering what would happen if it was a Chinese exchange student [studying in England].

wang wang8621:

His adaptability is indeed lacking a bit…Bush at least said: Hope the shoe size is right…

Does Wen not realize that basically no one in Europe pays attention to his mouth full of fake and empty words?

金蝉长老 lxflashwl:

When Hu and Wen jeered at Bush, they already became the world’s laughing stocks

拆边伐拆卡 darksoso:

So many of these topics have all been deleted, how come this topic has gotten replies until now?

Is it only because Official Bao Bao was referred to as SIR?

Global Voices Online also have a few translations of Chinese netizen reactions from Xiaonei, DWNews, and Youtube. There are also more English language reports on Danwei and Shanghaiist.


See more silly things with government officials:


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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