Meeting Chancellor Merkel Again

发布时间:2018-10-16 10:05:43 作者:xxnweb 阅读量:96

Meeting  Chancellor Merkel Again

 

Date:  February 2, 2012 Thursday Extra

Keywords:  Merkel; Party; German Embassy

 

By Wei  Wei

 

I heard  news of German Chancellor Merkel’s visit toChinafrom media  reports.  This is her fifth visit toChinaduring her tenure.  In 2006, during her first official visit toChina, I luckily received an  invitation to the German Embassy.  During  a forty minute meeting, I introduced the work of Little Bird Hotline.  In the years following that meeting, it is  most likely that Chancellor Merkel was too occupied with her other duties to  remember such a short meeting with me, an unknown NGO worker. So, I did not have  much hope to meet her again.

 

I did not  expect that news to come so urgently.   Just two days ago, I received a telephone call from the embassy.  They told me that on the evening of Merkel’s  February 2 visit to Beijing, after her meeting with the nation’s  leaders, there would be a party at the German Embassy.  At the appointed time, representatives from  all walks of Chinese society would have a chance to have a short exchange with  Chancellor Merkel.

 

Beijing was in  the clutches of the severe cold of winter, reaching a daytime temperature of  -3°C.  Under freezing and difficult circumstances, I  set out on my journey.  Taking the metro  to the embassy, at 7 PM, I had, fortunately, at least arrived early.  At 7:20 pm, I entered the front doors of the  embassy.   A few diplomats in charge of  receiving visitors were at the front door to welcome me.  Security was very severe, checking the  invitation letter against personal identification.  This led to a crowd at the gates of the  embassy, full of receiving cars and five to six police cars. 

 

Traditional  styles of toasting were freely exchanged.   The ambassador’s official residence to just on the east side of the  embassy, and the lobby was already full of representatives who had arrived to  attend the party.  There were about 20  Chinese present.  The other approximately  40 people were all German diplomats and representatives from foundations and  other organizations.  Taking a sweeping  glance, I did not see many familiar faces.  It seemed like the scale of this party was  quite high.  Around 8:30 pm, Merkel and  her entourage arrived in the lobby.   Appearing in an elegant manner as usual, she did not show the slightest  amount or degree of exhaustion.  After  the ambassador gave some brief words of welcome, Merkel also made a brief  speech.  After toasts, the party  officially began.  The ambassador  introduced the Chinese representatives to Merkel one by one.  I was the fifth person to be introduced.  I did not expect that just after I made my  self-introduction, she immediately recalled, “That time there was you and  another NGO, correct?”

 “Your memory is  excellent!”

“How many  migrant workers doesChinahave in its  cities?”

“About a  hundred million”

“I also  just spoke about migrant workers with your premier”

“Our  premier pays close attention to and supports the urban integration of our  migrants”

“He works  very hard”

“He is a  very good premier who is in touch with the people”


 

          

Many  people were waiting in front of and to the back of us to speak with the  chancellor.  We ended our conversation  with a brief exchange of handshakes.   

 

I was not  accustomed to the Western style dishes offered by the Embassy, so I quickly left  to look for familiar dishes to feed my stomach which was rumbling with hunger.  


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