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Observing the U.S. Election: Beijing, China





Election Events: U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China

As submitted by embassy staff

The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs section hosted an Election Results viewing event on November 7th for more than 500 Chinese and American guests. The five hour event featured a range of activities for guests, including information tables about the candidates, free Embassy publications, cardboard cutouts of the two candidates, and a live election-tracking map. One of the most visited attractions at the event was the pair of mock voting booths where over 200 Chinese guests happily ‘voted’ in the U.S. Presidential election. Ambassador Locke gave remarks, mingled with guests, and gave several media interviews on the importance of elections to Americans. Over 13,000 people have viewed the Beijing PAS-produced “Why Do You Vote?” video, posted on the Chinese video site “Youku (similar to YouTube).” More than 40 U.S. citizens submitted short, self-recorded videos on why voting is important to them. With an introduction by Mona Locke, the video was played at the Embassy’s Election Day event. The link to the video was sent out on the Embassy’s Weibo accounts (similar to Twitter), has been resent over 2,000 times, reaching millions of individual viewers in China. Many online comments said the video really speaks to them and expressed admiration that U.S. citizens have opportunities to make their voices heard. Some netizens compared the U.S. President Election with China’s 18th Communist Party Congress but criticized the Chinese government for keeping most Chinese citizens from voting for their leaders.

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