Apparently, shoe-throwing has become the latest trend in political protests these days. President Bush barely missed the shoe thrown his way by an angry Iraqi journalist. Now Chinese premier Wen missed a sneaker thrown at him by about a meter from an equally enraged student of Cambridge University where the Premier was giving a speech.
There are some noticeable differences in these two cases, however. Firstly, Premier Wen, as usual, would not take any questions in delivering a speech because Chinese leaders are not accustomed to taking "sensitive" questions in public, including in an academic setting like Cambridge and Harvard; oddly, Western universities such as Harvard and Cambridge would concede to such one-way preachings by Chinese leaders. Secondly, Bush and Wen reacted to the shoe-throwing with visibly different attitudes. Bush joked about the incident in an attempt to minimize the embarrassment while Wen madly called it a "despicable" act that could not undermine the Chinese-English friendship. Further, China Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing also condemned it and demanded an apology. Of course, both the U.K. and Cambridge authorities have timely issued apologies, for the conduct of this Cambridge student whose only audible line heard at the lecture was: “How can the university prostitute itself with this dictator? ”
Do you believe more shoes will be flying in the air when unpopular politicians give speeches in the future? Or a more innovative method will be soon devised to replace this shoe-throwing fad? If so, what might they be? Comments are welcome in good faith only. :)