Many of our politicians seem to have trouble making apologies and China’s leaders are no different.
So it was a major event when Premier Wen Jiabao felt the need to make an apology himself. As a former geological engineer, Wen made something of a gaffe in telling Beijing schoolchildren that there were three types of rock: igneous, sedimentary and volcanic. He later published a correction via Xinhua, that the third type should actually be metamorphic and not volcanic (of course).
But Wen’s sorry had a silver lining. Everyone was terribly pleased with it. The People’s Daily felt the swift admission showed Wen was “an accountable person with the right attitude to science”. The China Daily thought it boded well: “It should be considered abnormal for anyone to refuse to make an apology for a mistake committed. So it should be for government.”
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