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Top Chinese UN Diplomat Attacks UN, US

From Foreign Policy magazine:

China’s John Bolton

Posted By Colum Lynch
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We can’t help but notice the headline to this piece. Yes, this is the same Foreign Policy magazine that is owned and operated by the Washington Post.

Sha Zukang, the U.N. undersecretary general for Economic and Social Affairs and the organization’s most senior Chinese official, offered U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a toast last week at a retreat in the Alpine resort town Alpbach that degenerated into an intoxicated rant against the United Nations, the United States, and his boss, Turtle Bay [FP’s blog] has learned.

"I know you never liked me Mr. Secretary-General — well, I never liked you, either," Sha told Ban at a dinner attended by the U.N.’s top brass, according to a senior U.N. official who attended the event. "I didn’t want to come to New York. It was the last thing I wanted to do. But I’ve come to love the U.N. and I’m coming to admire some things about you."

The blunt dinner remarks — which came after Sha had a few drinks  — prompted U.N. officials to approach Sha and try to coax him into putting down the microphone, according to a U.N. spokesman and several U.N. sources who were there. It didn’t work. Sha continued a lengthy speech, in which he also expressed his antipathy toward the United States. "It was a tribute gone awry," said a second senior U.N. official who was at the dinner. "It went on for about ten or fifteen minutes but it felt like an hour." Ban was described as having smiled and nodded awkwardly during the Sha rant, but he allowed the dinner to continue.

U.N. officials said that Sha realized that he had gone too far, and that he spent much of the following day out of sight. "Sha Zukang was deeply apologetic when he met the Secretary General in person early the following morning at his own request," said Farhan Haq, the acting deputy U.N. spokesman, in a statement to Turtle Bay…

Sha has long had a reputation as a pugnacious diplomat, a Chinese nationalist with a high-pitched voice and a short temper. A diplomatic colleague, Wang Guangya, China’s former U.N. ambassador, described Sha to me as the "John Bolton of the Chinese foreign ministry." In a 2006 interview with the BBC, Sha told the United States to "shut up" about China’s military buildup

Questioned about former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s expressions of concern about China’s military buildup, Sha responded: "It is better for [the] U.S. to shut up, keep quiet. China’s military build up is not threatening anyone…we are not fighting anywhere, we are not killing the innocent people anywhere in the world today.  But look what they are doing today. So we have to be careful, careful to make sure no one in the world can harm China."

Sha was hired by the United Nations in July 2007, making him the top Chinese official in the U.N. Secretariat…

The trouble at Alpbach began when U.N. officials arranged for a cocktail reception for senior officials. The organizers asked the U.N.’s senior male officials to mix drinks for their female counterparts, as a symbol of the greater number of top women in the traditionally male dominated organization. Ban acted as one of the main bartenders.

Following the reception and a dinner, top U.N. officials were offered an opportunity to make some remarks. Sha took the microphone and that said that while the "wine affected me a little…I want to say something that’s on my mind," recalled a senior U.N. official

Sha’s colleagues, including Catherine Bragg, a humanitarian relief official, tried to approach Sha to persuade him to calm down. But Shaw continued. At one stage, Sha singled out a senior U.N. official, Bob Orr of the United States, and said "I really don’t like him: he’s an American and I really don’t like Americans," according to the senior official

Mr. Sha sounds like he got in touch with his ‘inner Obama.’ Except for the part about not liking the UN.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 9th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Top Chinese UN Diplomat Attacks UN, US”

  1. untrainable says:

    Isn’t that what the UN is really all about? For all the nations of the world to get together in the spirit of friendship and cooperation through the generosity [sarc] of the good people of America to bash the USA.

    I’m getting misty just reflecting on the beauty of it all… {sniffle}

  2. tranquil.night says:

    I don’t know if it’s gone from scientific theory to fact yet, but it’s thought that up to 50% of Asians have an enzyme deficiency for digesting alcohol (due to a genetically high rice diet) that will induce symptoms such as:

    – Rapid intoxication
    – Dizziness/aggravation
    – Swelling of the neck/face
    – Skin discolouration/reddening

    It’s known as Alcohol Flush Reaction (or the less PC Asian Flush/Glow), it does exist in a low percentage of caucasians and thought to be in ALL Native Americans.

    So clearly Sha is not responsible for his disrespectful (yet refreshingly honest) words whatsoever. Perhaps those bigoted event organizers at the UN need to learn to be sensitive to other cultures.

  3. Petronius says:

    Could we get UN peacekeepers for the Arizona border?

    Just asking . . . .

  4. proreason says:

    Would Vince Lombardy have ever considered funding a football organization with a mission to dismantle the Green Bay Packers?


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