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Mexican foreign minister's remark irritates Chinese netizens
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10:33, May 05, 2009

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In response to the Mexican foreign minister's statement of "avoiding traveling to China," a netizen said "When a country's foreign minister makes an irrational remark like that on a formal occasion, such an emotional remark really draws sidelong glances."

Other comments expressing disapproval were made by Chinese netizens in reaction to Mexican Foreign Minister Espinosa's recent "show of dissatisfaction" with the quarantine measures China has adopted to prevent the spread of the type A swine influenza, subtype H1N1. Most netizens were outraged by the Mexican foreign minister's declaration, criticizing her for only taking into consideration her own concern of "losing face" without giving due consideration to the needs of other countries while the epidemic continues to spread.

According to reports, at a press conference on May 2 local time, Espinosa criticized China's quarantine measures as unjustified action against Mexicans, and stated that, "The Foreign Ministry recommends avoiding traveling to China until these measures are corrected." Espinosa also criticized four Latin-American countries: Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Cuba who have prohibited entry of Mexican flights for the duration of the swine influenza outbreak.

Huanqiu.com reported this news on the morning of May 3, and it created great repercussions among Chinese netizens, with more than 1,000 responding to the online news in just a few hours.

In a survey on the topic of "What do you think of the speech by the Mexican foreign minister?" conducted by huanqiu.com, by 3:00 pm on May 3, 6,822 netizens had voted to indicate they "strongly oppose," accounting for 83.75 percent of the total, while 1,047 voted they "understand" and 277 voted "difficult to tell," accounting for 12.85 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.

From the comments posted online, it is clear that most netizens strongly disapprove of the Mexican foreign minister's speech, with some expressing their feelings with intense words.

One netizen wrote, "Why does Mexico treat the country first provided it with assistance like this? Do not forget Mexico is the center of the swine influenza outbreak, while China has not been affected by the epidemic so far. Why doesn't it look at the situation from China's point of view?"

Many netizens were particularly outraged that the Mexican foreign minister's remark did not take into account conditions in China, with one writing: "The foreign minister's remark is heartless and in bad taste. China is a populous nation with very unbalanced regional development, so if the virus spreads here the consequences would be unimaginable. The entry of one individual has already cost China a great deal of manpower, material and financial resources. She is being very unreasonable!"

Some netizens thought that "It is quite understandable that the swine influenza has made Mexicans feel uncomfortable, and they therefore should be allowed to vent their discontent; however there is no need to take their remarks to heart. We should do what needs to be done; it would be totally irrational for us to stop giving due attention to the viral infection just to please Mexicans."

Another netizen advised "Just do not pay attention to this remark by the Mexican foreign minister. Quarrelling will not do any good in the prevention of the spread of the influenza epidemic, but it may make China lose its grace. Up until now, what China has done in coping with the swine flu is obvious to all, and it is Mexico's slow reaction that has drawn many complaints."

According to data published on the website of the National Tourism Administration of China, a total of 48,920 Mexicans came to China in 2008. Among them, 8,267 came to attend meetings, on business or for other similar reasons, 34,436 came for sightseeing, 28 to visit relatives or friends, 1,757 for employment, and 4,432 for other uncategorized reasons. A total of 24,325,337 foreigners came to China in 2008.

By People's Daily Online

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