【英语中国】美财长百元午餐引中国网民热议

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2013-3-21 20:38

小艾摘要: U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew*s lunch in Beijing on Tuesday, notable for the appropriately named guests in attendance, is garnering attention in China for another reason: the remarkably modest bi ...
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew*s lunch in Beijing on Tuesday, notable for the appropriately named guests in attendance, is garnering attention in China for another reason: the remarkably modest bill.

Mr. Lew, who had come to China to meet with newly elected Chinese President Xi Jinping, took time out of a packed schedule Tuesday afternoon to dine at the Bao Yuan Dumpling House a restaurant near the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that*s popular among expatriates and locals alike for its extensive selection of colorfully wrapped 岸 and reasonably priced jiaozi (boiled dumplings).

Total outlay for Mr. Lew and two of his Treasury colleagues: 109 yuan, or around $17.50.

While the Treasury secretary no doubt has eaten his fair share of richly priced meals, his cheap lunch in Beijing earned no shortage of applause along with a few raised eyebrows on China*s top Twitter-like microblogging platform, Sina Weibo.

※One meal, 109 yuan. What emotion are you trying to evoke in our celestial officials?§ wrote one sarcastic Sina Weibo user, attaching a photo that purported to show the bill from the meal. ※Mr. Treasury secretary, aren*t you afraid of our gutter oil? You*re very brave! Our officials never eat in such places.§

News of Mr. Lew*s modest meal comes amidst a Communist Party crackdown on outward evidence of the opulent lives led by Chinese officials part of a larger anticorruption drive aimed at bolstering the party*s scandal-scarred reputation. Mr. Xi has led the charge, coining a new catchphrase for bureaucratic austerity when he and his entourage ate a modest meal of four dishes and a soup while visiting a rural county outside Beijing in December.

U.S. officials have recently played a strong role in spotlighting the prodigious appetites of their Chinese counterparts.
In Beijing for his own visit with Mr. Xi in August 2011, Vice President Joe Biden scored a soft power victory when he chose to eat lunch at Yao Ji Fried Liver, a decidedly down-market slop house buried in the heart of a neighborhood referred to by some as Beijing*s Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, neither Mr. Biden nor Mr. Lew can hold a candle to U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke, whose various acts of humility from buying coffee with a coupon to flying coach and lugging his own carry-on have sown both confusion and admiration among Chinese citizens accustomed to government officials reluctant to even hold their own umbrellas.

Detecting a deliberate effort to embarrass Beijing, some local observers appear to have grown tired of American officials* Spartan ways in China. Mr. Locke, for example, has increasingly come under fire from online commentators who insist that he*s showing off by refusing to show off.

But for advocates of greater transparency and less profligacy among Chinese officials, like well-known newspaper columnist Lian Peng, the cheap lunches and coffee coupons still provide a handy opportunity to press for more and faster change.

※Some people say American officials are showing off that it*s a conspiracy. Of course, even more people praise Western officials for being honest and upright,§ Mr. Lian wrote on Weibo on Wednesday. ※In reality, how much they spend has nothing to do with us that*s something for U.S. taxpayers to worry about. Rather than using what*s good abroad to curse what*s bad at home, it*s better just to ask directly: When will officials* assets be fully disclosed?§

Josh Chin

美国财政部长雅各布·卢(Jacob Lew)周二在北京的午餐在中国引发了关注,除了同行人员的名字颇为应景之外,还有另外一个原因:午餐账单相当的便宜。

Associated Press2013年3月19日,中国国家主席习近平曾与美国财政部长卢在北京举行了会晤。会晤结束后,卢(中)一行人到一家中国饺子馆吃午餐。来华与中国新任国家主席习近平会晤的卢周二下午忙里偷闲,在美国驻华大使馆附近的宝源饺子屋用了午餐。这家饭馆的饺子种类很多,饺子皮五颜六色,价格合理,很受在京外国人和当地人的喜爱。

卢和两位财政部同事的这顿午餐花费一共是:109元。

卢无疑吃过不少价格不菲的大餐,但他在北京的简单便餐在中国人气颇高的新浪微博上为他赢得了相当多的称赞,也引起了一些人的质疑。

一位新浪用户语带揶揄地写道:一顿饭花了109元,你让咱天朝官员情何以堪啊?财长先生,你就不怕咱们的地沟油?你胆子真大!咱们的官员可是从来不去小饭馆滴。微博中贴了一张据说是卢的午餐账单的照片。

卢在北京享用简餐的消息传出的同时,中共正在严厉打击官员的铺张浪费风气,这是一场更大范围的反腐行动的一部分,旨在恢复中共因丑闻而受损的声誉。习近平以身作则,为提倡勤俭节约执行“四菜一汤”的用餐标准。习近平去年12月在北京附近的农村进行考察时,和随从人员吃的就是四菜一汤的简餐。

美国官员最近在凸显中国官员惊人胃口方面发挥了巨大的作用。

2011年8月,美国副总统拜登(Joe Biden)访问北京,与习近平举行会晤,取得了软实力上的胜利。当时他选择在姚记炒肝吃午饭。姚记炒肝是一家档次不高的餐馆,位于一些人称之为“北京的布鲁克林”的老城区。

不过,拜登和卢都无法与美国驻华大使骆家辉(Gary Locke)相提并论。骆家辉的各种谦逊举动──从用折扣券买咖啡,到乘坐经济舱自己拿随身行李──让中国公众既迷惑又赞赏。中国公众习惯了政府官员连伞都不愿意自己打的情况。

中国国内的一些观察人士认为,美国官员这样做是故意的,目的是为了让北京感到难堪,于是对美国官员在中国的“斯巴达式”简朴做法似乎失去兴趣。比如,骆家辉受到网络评论人士越来越多的抨击,他们坚持说骆家辉是在借不作秀来作秀。

不过,对主张中国官员应提高透明度、减少铺张浪费的人士来说──比如知名报纸专栏作家连鹏,简餐和咖啡折扣券仍提供了一个推进更多、更快改变的方便机会。

连鹏周三在新浪微博上写道:有人说是美国官员作秀,是阴谋,当然更多人夸西方官员清廉。其实他们花多少钱关咱屁事,那是美国纳税人该操心的事,没必要借夸外来骂内,不如直接问:官员财产何时才能彻底公开?

Josh Chin

(本文版权归道琼斯公司所有,未经许可不得翻译或转载。)关键词:雅各布·卢  习近平  

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