Chinese students are paid to “spontaneously” welcome President’s visit to the U.S.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is about to visit the United States later this month. Meanwhile, Chinese consulates and student associations in U.S. universities are gathering steam to mobilize students’ interest. Multiple Chinese student associations based in and near Washington D.C. and Chicago have issued notices saying that those who register with the welcoming event can get allowances ranging from $20 to $80 and their food and travel cost reimbursed.
Despite the fact that Hu Jintao gave the directive himself last April that the protocols of diplomatic trips by Chinese leaders need reforms and that organizing large crowds of Chinese expats and students at an airport should not be required, the embassy and the consulates have started a new bout of marshaling.
Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) at the University of Maryland states in a newsletter sent to the local Chinese community, “Considering the weather is freezing, we will arrange round-trip transportation for everyone and provide reimbursement for food and travel cost in the form of 55 dollars per head.”
Following are the photos taken during President Hu Jintao’s visit in April, 2006.
The banners of CSSA at Johns Hopkins University
The banner of CSSA at Georgetown University
The banner from Philadelphia
Notification given by Chinese student association at Northwestern University, which is in Chicago area, says, “President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China will arrive in Chicago and make a state visit in the afternoon on January 20. He will also go to a local high school. Any one who registers can participate in the event. Participants will be provided $20 as food and travel cost.”
Chinese consulate in Chicago allegedly urged the heads of the student associations to tell every participating Chinese student that “If any reporter comes to talk to you, say to him that you’ve come of your accord at your own expense.”
Some participants voiced their discontent with unequal pay: why those who come from out of the state get $80, those who welcome in D.C. gets $55, but in Chicago it is merely $20? Some “welcomers” from the Chicago area said “The Chicago consulate will see serious consequences by doing it this way.”
Besides, various organizations in the D.C. area also received “Minutes of Meeting Regarding Welcoming Activities for President Hu’s Visit” convened on January 6, which require that two groups, one consisting of 300 and the other 500, be dispatched to welcome Hu at the hotel he stays in, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Shuttle buses will be arranged. The embassy will provide necessary facilities for the welcoming event, including: six portable microphones, two sets of loudspeakers, several welcome banners, several American and Chinese national flags, several hand flags, several cartons of bottled water, one first-aid kit.
Though details of President Hu’s itinerary in the U.S. are yet to be revealed, parts of his trip have been leaked. Apart from an arrival ceremony, a joint press conference at the White House and a private dinner with President Obama on January 19, President Hu will also fly to Chicago on his three-day trip.
In order to make arrangements for Hu’s visit, Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi came to the U.S. way ahead of time, met with Secretary of the State Hilary Clinton on January 5, and flew in low-profile to Chicago to reserve hotel rooms in Chicago and met with Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley on January 7.
According to Aboluowang, Yang Jiechi has reserved over 200 hotel rooms in The Peninsula in downtown Chicago. But the grapevine also said that everything is subject to change until the last minute.