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The undiplomatic Zukang Sha
The undiplomatic Zukang Sha
Image: AP

Drunk diplomat speaks out: I never liked you Ban Ki-Moon

And he doesn’t like Americans either.
Sep 10th 2010, 11:57 AM 498 0

DIPLOMATS ARE FAMED for their choice words, but Sha Zukang (62), China’s top ranking diplomat, had a few choice words for the UN Secretary General.

The UN’s undersecretary general for Economic and Social Affairs left officials cringing in embarrassment, when he spoke drunkenly to colleagues at an Austrian ski resort.

“I know you never liked me Mr. Secretary-General – well, I never liked you, either,” Sha told his boss, Ban Ki-Moon and UN top brass in a 15-minute rant.

“You’ve been trying to get rid of me. You can fire me anytime, you can fire me today.”

“I didn’t want to come to New York. It was the last thing I wanted to do,” Sha said, before uttering a few more positive words about Mr Ban.

“I’ve come to love the UN and I’m coming to admire some things about you,” Sha reportedly said.

Ban Ki-Moon wasn’t the only one to suffer the wrath of the disgruntled Mr. Sha. Bob Orr, an American colleague at the Secretary General’s office, also came in for criticism.

“I really don’t like him: he’s an American and I really don’t like Americans,” Sha said.

In a fit of remorse that will be familiar to anyone who was ever inspired to deliver a few home truths while under the influence, Sha later had regrets, and met Ban Ki-Moon, where he expressed his apologies.

Sha told the Secretary General that he realised that the way that he spoke, coming as it did after he had had a few drinks, was inappropriate, and went too far. “He was also aware that his statements had embarrassed and irritated other senior advisers,” a UN spokesperson said.

This isn’t the first time Mr Sha has expressed his outrage in such an “undiplomatic” fashion. In 2006, Sha attacked America’s criticism of China and said the US they should “shut up”.

Here is Sha’s furious reaction to diplomats at a UN forum meeting.

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Daire Hickey

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