|Groans greet Singapore PM’s sharing of jokes about China
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong zoomed in on China’s pollution woes as he shared a few popular jokes in a speech at a function during his visit to Washington.
In an after-dinner speech to US businessmen, Lee made a couple of jokes that could pass for stand-up comedy. He drew laughs _ and some groans _ with his quips.
“Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!’’ Lee said.
He then alluded to thousands of pig carcasses recently fished from China’s rivers.
“[In] Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap,’’ he said.
His audience appeared doubtful if that was good taste, until he added: “That's their joke, not mine!’’
Earlier in the day, he met US President Barack Obama.
In his spech he also spoke about the challenges facing China as it emerges from its once-in-a-decade leadership transition, and on the need for the two global powers, the US and China, to get along.
Singapore gets on well with both, and Lee said China, which remains cautious about political reform, looks at the prosperous city state to try to understand how to balance its economic and social goals as it develops.
With a little self-deprecation, Lee described Singapore as a "tiny Bonzai model'' for China to learn from.
Lee is the son of Singapore's founding prime minister, Lee Kwan Yew, who steered the Southeast Asian nation's remarkable development for many years while keeping a firm grip on power.
The same party has ruled for the past 50 years, although the political opposition gained ground in national elections in 2011.- AP