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Premier's decade-old overcoat generates public interest
Latest Updated by 2006-03-05 16:54:41
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Pictured here is Premier Wen Jiabao who visited a local family when bird flu epidemic brok out in Anhui Province on Jan. 31, 2006. Wen was wearing the same down coat as he did ten years ago while inspecting a wholesale vegetable market in Shandong Province. (Photo: Xinhua)


For several weeks news about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his decade-old winter overcoat has attracted great attention from the public. Many Web portals in China have thus seen a surge of hit records due to this newly generated public interest.


The story was first reported by an Internet user, alias Lao Qi, who discovered that Premier Wen appeared in two pictures taken more than a decade apart. In both pictures he wears the same olive green winter overcoat.


"Ten years ago, I accompanied Wen Jiabao when he was visiting a vegetable market in Shandong Province. Then and there I photographed him," Lao Qi wrote on the Internet.


In late January this year, Lao Qi spotted, in the Dazhong Daily, a picture featuring Wen visiting villagers. Lao Qi immediately recognized that the Premier was wearing the same winter coat as he did in the photo he took ten years ago.


Thereafter, he uploaded the two pictures on his personal website. To his surprise, his website received a huge surge of visits. also published Wen's pictures, where upon more than 10,000 netizens left comments.


Statistics resulted from Internet search show that these photographs have been viewed by more than 132,000 people on some Chinese websites, including China's two major web portals and 


Yao Dawei, a photographer affiliated with Xinhua News Agency, took this year's photo featuring Wen wearing the same old coat.


Yao called one of Premier Wen's aides and asked him whether Wen was indeed wearing a decade-old overcoat. The answer given him was yes.


"I was surprised to learn that so many people took interest in our Premier's overcoat," the photographer wrote on his personal blog.


"An individual's experience has transformed into a public event," Internet surfer Xiao Yu said, adding: "Ordinary Chinese can now make comments on our leaders. This refects people's growing interest in public affairs," Xiao Yu said.


Many of the comments suggest that Premier Wen should continue to wear the same old jacket as it reflects his amiable personal style and his being close to the people.


Wen has spent the past four spring festivals with farmers in the countryside, traveling from North China's Liaoning, central China's Henan, to Northwest Shaanxi and east Shandong provinces.


Last year, Wen visited the families of the miners who were killed in a coal mine accident in Shaanxi's Tongchuan city. Upon hearing accounts of this unfortunate event, Wen shedded tears.


Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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