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Embassy Row

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CHINESE CRITIC RECANTS

A writer for a Chinese Communist Party newspaper claims he got death threats after criticizing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke, the Chinese-American diplomat who is wildly popular among Chinese bloggers.

Xiang Xiaodong retracted his stinging attack on Mr. Locke on Sunday, the Epoch Times website reported.

In an article in the Guangming Daily, he accused Mr. Locke of "neocolonialism" and claimed the ambassador's modest habits are part of a U.S. plot to gain influence among the Chinese people.

"Because of this article, I have received many threats," Mr. Xiang said on his blog.

One of the threats he posted read: "If you continue to speak for [the Communist Party] openly and shamelessly on your blog, you will not have just one enemy like me. ...

"It might not have been easy for your parents to raise you, and you don't want to lose your life too young."

Mr. Xiang's article carried the headline: "Be warned of the neo-American Colonialism of Gary Locke."

He ridiculed Mr. Locke for carrying his own briefcase, flying economy class and eating noodles at street vendors.

"It's trying to buy Chinese people's hearts and to increase the weakness of worshipping a foreign ideology and dividing China, " Mr. Xiang said. "This is the real intention of the Chinese-American ambassador."

Another blogger, identified as "Green World," mocked Mr. Xiang and the Communist Party.

"I'm at a loss for words to describe such a weak government which makes a connection between a bowl of noodles and diplomatic policy," the blogger wrote.

NO BUNDLER

The Washington lawyer nominated to serve as ambassador to Sweden is a prominent contributor to Democratic candidates but did not serve as a major fundraiser to President Obama's 2008 election campaign.

Embassy Row, in a Sept. 9 column, mistakenly reported that Mark Brzezinski collected more than $680,000 for Mr. Obama by "bundling" contributions from several sources. That money was raised by the current ambassador to Sweden, Matthew Barzun, according to the website OpenSecrets.org.

DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Monday

• Rory Medcalf of the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, Australia. He discusses the rivalry between China and India in a briefing at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Tuesday

• Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian lawmaker who meets with editors and reporters at The Washington Times to discuss Palestinian statehood.

• Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and a Russian army veteran. He discusses Russia's efforts to exert influence among former Soviet nations in a briefing at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Wednesday

• Jose Antonio Gil Yepes, president of Datanalisis, a Venezuelan consulting firm. He discusses the outlook for next year's presidential campaign and the political opposition to President Hugo Chavez in a forum at the Inter-American Dialogue.

• Dr. Nafis Sadik, a special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Yamerot Adualem Yihun, director of the Gender Directorate of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health; and Rosemary Ardayfio of the Graphic Communications Group of Ghana. They discuss family planning issues in Africa in a forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Thursday

• Sham Bathija, senior economic adviser to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. He participates in a panel discussion U.S. strategy in Central Asia at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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About the Author
James Morrison

James Morrison

James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...

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