Video: Chinese reporter becomes hero for ‘embarrassing’ Victoria Nuland on Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute

August 31, 2012Jing Gao9 Comments, , , , , , , , , , ,

From Sina Weibo

A Chinese reporter from the state-run Xinhua News Agency has become famous overnight on Sina Weibo after he kept pressing Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, for the U.S. stance on the disputed islands in East China Sea, known in China as Diaoyu Islands and in Japan as Senkaku Islands, during a regular press briefing.


The video of the exchange of words was aired on China Central Television’s News Channel.

On Sina Weibo, the immensely popular microblogging service even listed the episode as one of the ten trending topics under the title “U.S. spokersperson’s embarrassing moment.”

Video clip of the newscast on Xinwen Lianbo (CCTV primetime news program):

Transcript of the conversation between Ran Wei (@xinhua冉维, RW), reporter with Xinhua News Agency, and Victoria Nuland (VN):

RW: What is the official name for the Senkaku Islands for the United States? Is it the Diaoyu Islands or the Senkaku Islands? Or both are okay?

VN: I’m going to my special little rocks cheat sheet here because, this is getting quite complicated with different things here.

RW: Yes, do you have one?

VN: So, make sure I get it, get it right here… So… As we’ve said, we call them the Senkakus, so, if that’s the question that you’re asking. We don’t take a position on them though, as we’ve said all the way through.

RW: So you don’t take a position on them, but on the other hand, you think that the islands are covered by the defense treaty between Japan and the United States, right?

VN: Yes, we’ve consistently said that we see them falling under the scope of Article 5 of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Treaty.

RW: Do you think that is contradictory? ‘Coz for me, that sounds contradictory. You said you don’t have a position on the sovereignty of the islands, but on the other hand you said it’s covered under the Treaty, which only protects Japanese territories.

VN: But this is because the Senkakus have been under the administrative control of the government of Japan since they were returned as part of the reversion of Okinawa since 1972.

RW: So let me rephrase my question: Do you regard the Islands as Japanese territory?

VN: Again, we don’t take a position on the Islands, but we do assert that they are covered under the treaty.

RW: So you think the Islands is under the administration of…

VN: I think I’ve answered the question. Let me call…

RW: No, you don’t have…


Selected comments from Sina Weibo:

wzt627:Many people say that asking the U.S. government for its stance on the question of a Chinese territory may make us seem very unconfident. But isn’t it the reality? From the actual effect of what was in that video, compared with the diplomatic language we are used to, questions like his are actually more direct and can gain respect from others easier.

神算半#U.S. Spokesperson’s Embarrassing Moment# In the past two decades, U.S. presidents, senators, representatives and other government officials have been so fond of sitting on the fence when it comes to China-related issues. This clearly demonstrates the love-hate feelings the U.S. has for China. Chairman Mao once said, ‘All reactionaries are paper tigers.’ He did have a great point. It’s just that ever since 1989, the United States, this mouse, has been treated China as a sleeping cat…

扭腰村民: Who is that journalist? Never seen a Chinese journalist who is this professional and whose English is so fluent. Great! Clearly, Nuland wanted to avoid taking sides on Diaoyu’s sovereignty. It can be said that the U.S. position has never changed.

牛志亮777#U.S. Spokesperson’s Embarrassing Moment# Support Ran Wei wholeheartedly! His impeccable logic and argument made the U.S. spokesperson stammer!!!

微博素食: The journalist, @xinhua冉维, is professional and skilled, speaks fluent English, has a clear line of thinking. He advanced gradually and entrenched himself at every step, which made the U.S. spokesperson embarrassed. A great vibe. Handsome!

純良英俊的笑了笑: The journalist brother was super calm and composed!! A great vibe! Super!! //@ainet_alex: Applause for the journalist.//@李子果冻: Even my mom, who has never cared about politics, said this journalist was awesome. //@爪机用户19: Great question.

本温英歌加:What a fearless journalist~~~ This spokesperson was just frozen there~~~ Like similar dialogues we’ve seen: ‘I think Diaoyu Islands belong to Japan, but I just won’t take sides.’ Why don’t you simply say that Diaoyu Islands’ official name in the U.S. is Fishing Islands~~~

卷毛姑娘:The journalist brother has clear logic, radiates great vibes, is neither too humble nor too haughty, and speaks fluent English. He is truly my idolHis questions baffled her and made her speechless. Haha!

喵爷-吴淼:Good. An awesome Chinese journalist.//@赤佬Ace: [good]//@驻武汉堡垒安猪: This is a good journalist! Applause! //@贰因: Plaudits for the journalist! The American whore, go to hell!//@lull-emasi: Share the post for the motherland’s territory.

Mousie_吱吱:This American aunt is really good at beating around the bushes. But she had no choice but to call another journalist now that she can deal with no more. Sigh…

羅漢rohood:This journalist uncle is really brave! Isn’t he afraid that he might be killed by a spy or a government official of the United States of America?

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9 comments to “Video: Chinese reporter becomes hero for ‘embarrassing’ Victoria Nuland on Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute”

  1. Blacksoth | September 1, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    I actually agree it was a great point by the chinese journalist. Too bad journalists from CCTV aren’t as adept at criticizing chinese leaders in the same manner.

    Honestly though, after that embarrassing waffling by the US spokesman, I’m sure she’s saying to herself “who gives a f*#$ about some rocks?” as evidenced by her “special little rocks cheat sheet” comment. Obviously, Daioyu/Senkaku islands aren’t even on the U.S. radar.

  2. Hua Qiao | September 1, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    This guy will be my hero too when he does takes the same line with Chinese officials on the numerous ridiculous positions that the regime has taken. Frankly, what he did is pretty standard fare for any western journalist.

  3. Vamnesian | September 1, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    I don’t see any great point. Straight away i was like, if a prc-educated person sounds like they’re using logic to make a nationalistic point, you know the logic is going to be fake. You just have to think a while (on the occasions it’s not stone cold obvious) and the illogicality becomes clear. In this case, of the three parties in view, all of them (prc, japan, usa) take the position that the islands are currently administered by japan. All the claimant states hold that the islands should rightfully be administered by themselves. THIS is the position that the usg is neutral on – not on current ownership (which is not in question) but rightful ownership.

  4. jahar | September 2, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Yeah. I don’t see where the great part is. The islands are controlled by japan. US has a treaty with Japan. The US doesn’t take a stance on the disagreement.

  5. Ben | September 2, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    I don’t see it as a huge contradiction. I think what the US is trying to say is that they have no desire to interfere in this matter. If there is an attack on Japan in the area the US will come to their aid under the defense pact, but hopes that the nations involved can work it out diplomatically themselves.

  6. Tony | September 3, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Excuse me, why is he a hero? In the western part of the world it’s always like that, questioning straight and get your answer. Well it’s also not really difficult if he already prepared his questions or target to get an answer, and it was just a regular press “briefing”. A hero is somebody to take action and know what he is facing consequences, like somebody who is questioning chinese leaders about the regime and take part for all the minority. What will he face? Jail? or even nobody knows where he is after he questioned that? What will the chinese reporter get in the U.S., well just an exhortation, that’s all.

  7. Gary | September 5, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    It’s so easy to push around anyone in the Obama administration. They have no hard answers for anything; in wanting to be everyone’s friend they make the USA look like grovelling ass kissers.

  8. tangxing | January 8, 2013 | Permalink Reply

    Administrating a region isn’t the same as sovereignty, that’s the core of any territorial dispute
    And this isn’t the first time Ran Wei’s been an idiot

  9. mosashi | January 25, 2013 | Permalink Reply

    I think the guy was rude and looked unpleasant. He spoke with the posture and drawl of someone with more experience tending bar than talking with adults.

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