Business

Sellers of t-shirts, phone cases make most of China’s diplomatic riposte

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R), joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R), speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (2nd L), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (L), China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of U.S.-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 18, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/Pool via REUTERS

T-shirts, umbrellas, handbags, lighters and mobile phone cases bearing phrases used by China’s top diplomat during a testy exchange with U.S. officials in Alaska have become hot items on Chinese e-commerce platforms.

Yang Jiechi blasted U.S. foreign and trade policies, and democracy in the United State in a 15-minute riposte to pointed remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting on Thursday.

The phrases “Chinese people won’t swallow this”, “U.S. has no qualification to talk down to China”, and “Stop interfering in China’s internal affairs” have begun appearing on merchandise sold on Chinese platforms including Alibaba’s, Taobao, JD.com and Pinduoduo.

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“I love my country, so I must support patriotism,” a t-shirt seller told Reuters.

According to data on Taobao.com, hundreds of people have bought t-shirts printed with Yang’s messages for Blinken at prices ranging from 30 yuan ($4.61) to 60 yuan.

Phone cases, with Yang’s words, are sold at prices ranging from 12 yuan to 40 yuan on Taobao.

Most netizens on China’s Twitter-like microblog Weibo said they are keen to buy, with one calling it a “real patriotic business”.

China’s social media carried comments praising the way Chinese officials handled their first face-to-face meetings with officials from President Joe Biden’s administration.

Washington had described the talks as “tough and direct”, while the Chinese delegation said they were timely and helpful.

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