Last week’s meeting between Chinese and US officials in Alaska has led to “hundreds of orders” of new T-shirts and other pro-China merchandise in China that feature anti-U.S. remarks from the meeting, including “Chinese people don’t buy it,” “stop interfering in China’s internal politics” and “the US does not have the qualification to speak to us in a condescending manner.”
According to Quartz, hundreds of shirts, phone cases, canvas bags, lighters and other merchandise subsequently popped up on Chinese e-commerce platforms featuring the comments made by the top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi during the first meeting between the communist country and President Joe Biden’s administration.
A manager for a cell phone case shop on the e-commerce site Taobao told the Chinese state-run Global Times that “the sales performance is very good as we received hundreds of orders within just half a day,” adding that he found the Chinese diplomat’s remarks inspiring.
“Normally, our designs are based on customer’s needs. However, after watching the news that our diplomats strongly hit back at the US side’s insolent action, I was somehow proud of them, and was thinking: could I do something from my business to support them? And the new design was not out of line with customers’ needs,” Yu said.
Another manager working for a t-shirt design and sales store told the state-run outlet that 300 shirts with the diplomat’s words had already been produced.
The meeting between the two powerful nations last week was heated as Chinese officials accused the United States of inciting attacks on China, while American diplomats argued China “arrived intent on grandstanding.”
The talks included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan taking on one of China’s senior foreign policy officials Jiechi and foreign minister Wang Yi.
In his opening statement, Blinken said actions made by China “threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability,” including “in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, and economic coercion of our allies.”
Yang responded with accusations surrounding Washington’s alleged use of military force and financial power to suppress other nations.
“It abuses so-called notions of national security to obstruct normal trade exchanges, and incite some countries to attack China,” the Chinese official said.
Yang also charged that human rights in the United States were shaken, alleging that black Americans are being “slaughtered.”
After the meeting, the delegates from the United States said China violated the summit’s protocol.
“The Chinese delegation… seems to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance,” a senior administration official said.
The official added that “exaggerated diplomatic presentations often are aimed at a domestic audience”.