Front Page of the Day

A beautiful day for a fall outing with the president

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Beijing Daily
October 8, 2009

Although Beijing's weather yesterday did not measure up to the standard set earlier in the National Day holiday, when the capital's efforts to guarantee a rain-free October 1 parade resulted in several days of gorgeous blue skies, it was still a fine day to be out and about.

President Hu Jintao got to enjoy the weather during an inspection tour around the city. The Beijing Daily put two photos of Hu on the front page. On the left, he enjoys a ride on the Beijing subway system's new Line 4 (in Beijing, not even the president can get a seat). On the right, he greets representatives of the Beijing police responsible for security around Tiananmen Square.

Hu's tour, which focused on Beijing's traffic, public security, and tourism sectors, also brought him to the Summer Palace. Xinhua describes the scene:

After more than half an hour of travel, the subway came to a smooth stop at the Xiyuan station. Hu Jintao exited the platform and headed toward the Summer Palace scenic area to inspect tourist service conditions.
[...]
In the park, weeping willows swayed over rippling blue water. A few sanitation workers were cleaning up garbage, while groundskeepers tended to the plants. Hu Jintao walked over and took their hands, inquiring with interest about their work and life. The General Secretary's concern left everyone with an incomparable feeling of warmth.

Tourists visiting the park were ecstatic to see Hu Jintao. They called excitedly, clapped their hands, and crowded forward to offer the General Secretary their greetings. Noticing two elderly people in wheelchairs, the General Secretary hastened over and bent down to chat with them. When he saw adorable children, he hugged them joyfully, his face breaking into a kindly smile. When he saw foreign friends from afar, Hu Jintao enthusiastically asked them their thoughts about their trip to China and wished them a pleasant stay in Beijing.

A group of overseas Chinese from Canada were touring the park at the time, and Hu Jintao shook hands with each of them. They told Hu that they had been back to Beijing frequently over the past few years, and they had found that the city had changed greatly each time they returned. Hu Jintao took their topic and ran with it, declaring loudly, "We all hope for the country to be strong and the people well-off. Let's continue to strive together!"

Hu Jintao's words expressed the common desire of everyone. Peals of laughter resounded across the beautiful, scenic Summer Palace....

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There are currently 3 Comments for A beautiful day for a fall outing with the president.

Comments on A beautiful day for a fall outing with the president

you really did a good job translating this piece. I had trouble making it look like a news report and I didnt write it for the newspaper eventually simply because it is not news.
Anyway, love your work.

Must agree with Carl -- it is a lovely translation indeed. I think it is important to translate items like this rather than always the "hard stories," if only because this piece gives the flavor of how the CCP portrays itself. Somewhat unchanging! And, sure, there were probably more than a few people hanging around on the margins of Hu's day who would have gladly broken through the lines to present him breathlessly with a smudged petition from some god-forsaken village in a corrupt province, but then again it is also more than likely that he in fact brightened a few days. Somehow, counter to what I expected of myself when beginning to read this piece, it made me feel weirdly relaxed, as if I were a Chinese Canadian proud at Beijing's rapid strides forward. When presented with the American-style alternative (screaming at, and open demonization of, leaders), the report becomes even more calming. Anyway, fine job! It was a good a way as any to enjoy an autumn afternoon in the 首都 without actually being there...

Very harmony!

I wonder if Hu had two tears run down his kindly face in quick succession as he embraced the adorable children! I know I did reading about it.

And I love the Scooby-Doo ending of so much Chinese fiction: And then everybody laughed!

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