Qin Gang is the public face of China. Everybody reckons he is a significant improvement from his predecessor Jiang Yu, whose looks and mannerism often call to mind the good old days when Chairman Mao’s concubine Madam Jiang Qing ruled the world. Qin Gang, on the contrary, is a split image of Chairman President Hu Jintao, a new generation of Chinese leadership whose presence acts as a constant reminder of how and why China shakes the world.
Many people are not aware that Qin Gang has both the wit and the superb communication skills to match his good looks. I’m not kidding. The following incidents will help illustrate my point:
In a press conference on 25 November 2008, Qin Gang made this comment about the new Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy:
According to my knowledge, a lot of people don’t like this kind of music because it’s too noisy and too loud.
In a press conference on 31 March 2009, Qin Gang said this in reply to a foreign correspondent’s question about why China blocked YouTube:
The Internet in China is fully open and the Chinese Government manages the Internet according to the law. As for what you can and cannot watch, watch what you can watch, and don’t watch what you cannot watch.
On 9 June 2009, a BBC reporter interrogated Qin Gang about the justification for the compulsory installation of the Green Dam Youth Escort filtering software. Qin Gang replied:
Do you have children? If you have children or if you plan to have children, you will be able to understand why Green Dam Youth Escort is essential for protecting the children of China against harmful information on the Internet. Let me repeat this: the Internet in China is fully open and the Chinese Government plays an active role in promoting healthy development of the Internet.
A month later on 2 July 2009, another BBC reporter asked, “Qin Gang, do you have children?” Qin Gang nodded affirmatively. The BBC reporter continued, “I ask you because a few weeks ago, you asked my colleague whether he had children when he asked a question about Green Dam Youth Escort. And you said that the Green Dam Youth Escort is essential to protect the children of China, and my colleague would of course understand that if he had children. So now that the government has delayed the installation of this software, are the children of China, perhaps your children less well protected?”
To this Qin Gang replied:
Everything I need to say on the subject, I have already said, so I have nothing to add to the matter. Okay. Next question.
On 25 June 2009, a foreign correspondent wanted to know whether it was China’s new Internet control policy to block Google services including Gmail. To this challenge Qin Gang replied:
Let me ask you this question first. Is there a post office in your district? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to use postal services to send letters instead?