Wednesday, November 05, 2008


You would think the Chinese government wouldn't be to keen on letting the people vote.

Even in a mock election.

Obama gets China’s youth vote

BEIJING – Judging by the reactions to the life-size cardboard cutouts of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, the latter was the clear favorite in a hotel conference room in Beijing early Wednesday morning.

Crowds of young Chinese waited impatiently to pose with the cardboard Obama for their cameras. One female student stealthily turned away the McCain cutout so she and her friends could huddle more comfortably beside the president-elect.

It was all part of a dual-pronged effort by the American Embassy in Beijing to educate Chinese on the U.S. electoral process and to celebrate the election results for what some call the most historic presidential race in decades.

The U.S. Embassy, with assistance from the American Chamber of Commerce and the American Center for Educational Exchange, set up mock voting booths and handed out pamphlets explaining the process.

First ‘vote’ for many Chinese

Crowds of young Chinese read the mock ballots, diligently filled them out, and then stood before cameras in front of the ballot box. It was the first time any of them had cast a vote – real or imaginary.

"It’s exciting," said She Rui, a 24-year-old graduate student in international relations at People’s University. The election, he said, "is very important, because it gives the people a chance to express their needs [and] to choose their leaders."

He and some of his fellow students said they were happy Obama won. "He is young and can give fresh blood to American society," said 21-year-old Xing Yu Jie.

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