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BEIJING — A major Chinese government news service used a racist slur to describe the departing American ambassador in a mean-spirited editorial on Friday that drew widespread public condemnation in China.
The article — which called Gary Locke a ‘‘rotten banana,’’ a guide dog for the blind, and a plague — reflected Chinese nationalists’ acute loathing toward the first Chinese-American to have been Washington’s top envoy to Beijing.
Locke’s ethnic background particularly interested the Chinese government and people. Locke won public applause when he was seen carrying his own bag and flying economy class, but he drew criticism from Beijing as his demeanor was an unwelcome contrast to Chinese officials’ privileges and entitlements.