The Emperor Is Far Away

Mayor Shao, the cheerful leader of a small village in Shandong province in northeastern China, is a patriotic sort. For many years he kept a picture of Mao Zedong by his bedside, and he still goes about his business in a frayed Mao jacket. But when asked if he recognizes the name of Hu Jintao, China's future President, Shao goes blank. Furrowing his brow and considering the question again, he asks for a hint: "Is this Mr. Hu that famous actor from America? You know, the one with all those big muscles?"

Overseas, people still think of China...

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