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Lang Lang strikes a chord

Next time, I’ll just play Chopsticks...

Performances from Lang Lang are not normally political, but his music at the White House’s banquet for Hu Jintao has had China’s internet community frothing with excitement.

The celebrated pianist regaled guests with a piece entitled My Motherland. Innocuous though this sounds, netizens were quick to point to the hidden meaning: this was the theme song to the 1956 movie Battle on Shangganling Mountain, a famously anti-American film about the Korean War, which culminates in plenty of Americans being killed by Chinese troops.

Deliberate? The Beijing Evening News reckoned Lang chose it as a calculated snub. Certainly, the pianist has become an overnight hero to China’s nationalist netizens, reports the Wall Street Journal.

But writing in his blog, Lang simply said he was proud to play a song that “praises the strength of China” and made no mention whatsoever of the politically-charged movie.

Still, many netizens have continued to delight in the incident, detecting an attempt to insult the American hosts. One post on sina.com: “Those American folks very much enjoyed it and were totally infatuated with the melody!!! The US is truly stupid!!”


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