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Chinese state media outlet uses racial slur in editorial criticizing outgoing US ambassador

  • China-Gary Locke Editorial-1.jpg

    FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, Gary Locke, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to China, speaks during a farewell news conference held at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. A major Chinese government news service used a racist slur to describe Locke in a mean-spirited editorial on Friday that drew widespread public condemnation in China. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool, File)The Associated Press

  • China-Gary Locke Editorial-2.jpg

    FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, Gary Locke, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to China, leaves after a farewell news conference held at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. A major Chinese government news service used a racist slur to describe Locke in a mean-spirited editorial on Friday that drew widespread public condemnation in China. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool, File)The Associated Press

A major Chinese government news service has used a racist slur to describe the departing American ambassador in a mean-spirited editorial that drew widespread public condemnation in China.

The article called Gary Locke a "rotten banana," a guide dog for the blind, and a plague. It reflected Chinese nationalists' acute loathing toward the first Chinese-American to have been Washington's top envoy to Beijing. But whether it would draw diplomatic protests was unclear; attempts to contact U.S. Embassy officials got no response Friday.

The editorial carried by China News belittled Locke's inability to speak his ancestral language and accused him of failing to understand China's law but fanning "evil winds" in Tibet and Xinjiang. "Banana" is a term for Asians identifying with Western values despite their skin color.