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Last week, foreign consulates in the southern Chinese megalopolis of Guangzhou held a charity sale to raise funds for disabled children. The event raised 330,000 RMB (about US$53,000), but the Belgian consulate received 5,000 RMB in counterfeit money. The news was published in China’s domestic media, leading some online commentators to call the buyers who used counterfeit money “shameless.”|
At least one man, however, instead believes that the foreign consulates, who set out to help China’s less fortunate, were the shameless ones.
He Keng (@贺铿), the former vice bureau chief of China’s National Bureau of Statistics and the director of the Statistics Institute at China’s Central University of Finance and Economics, offered this comment on Tencent Weibo, one of China’s leading microblogging services:
To be honest, foreign consulates do this kind of thing in order to humiliate Chinese people! Does China need the 330,000 RMB? And that money came from Chinese people anyway! I think the people who do these so-called ‘charity events’ are really the shameless ones.Mr. He posted another tweet on Sina Weibo, another microblogging platform, with equally perplexing logic:
RMB330,000 is only a month or two of salary for the U.S. consul general. They engage in this charity sale with much fanfare, then [publicize] the fact that Chinese people bought the charity products with counterfeit money. Is that really charity?
The official Weibo account of the Belgian Consulate in Guangzhou (@比利时王国驻广州总领事馆) also got into the act, posting this response: 1. We participated in this event organized by the Guangdong foreign affairs office, and all products were donated by Belgian companies which took no compensation. 2) The price at which the products were sold were manufacturer’s prices, not marked-up prices. 3) All profits (more than 7,000 RMB) were donated. How is that shameful? All of our colleagues worked overtime all day on Saturday for charity! What was really shameful was the 5,000 RMB in counterfeit money.