Video: He buys his own coffee?

  1. Closed captioning of: He buys his own coffee?

    >>> and a photo of the u.s. ambassador to china is receiving huge attention right now in china. it's not very exciting, we'll show it to you. the picture shows ambassador gary locke , former governor of washington state is a chinese american , he's en route to china, wearing a backpack and buying coffee. you see in china authorize where even junior officials have somebody buy their coffee for them and carry their bags for them, lock's photo has been reposted, sent around the web thousands of times because of the frugality and modesty it shows. ambassador lock explained he likes doing things on his own.

Image: Chinese-American ambassador
Zhaohui Tang  /  AP
In this photo provided by ZhaoHui Tang, former Washington Gov. Gary Locke, who is the first Chinese-American ambassador to China, orders coffee Friday at Seattle Tacoma International Airport.
updated 8/17/2011 7:11:14 PM ET 2011-08-17T23:11:14

A photo of the new U.S. ambassador to China carrying his own backpack and ordering his own coffee at an airport has charmed Chinese citizens not used to such frugality from their officials.

ZhaoHui Tang, a businessman from Bellevue, Wash., snapped the photo Friday on his iPhone when he spotted Gary Locke at the counter of an airport Starbucks. Locke is the first Chinese-American ambassador to China and a former governor of Washington state.

Tang uploaded the photo to the Chinese social media network Sina Weibo because he thought it was cool to run into the new ambassador at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Video: Photo of US ambassador charms China

He didn't expect it to generate 40,000 re-posts and thousands of comments.

"This is something unbelievable in China," said Tang, a Chinese-American citizen. "Even for low-ranking officials, we don't do things for ourselves. Someone goes to buy the coffee for them. Someone carries their bags for them."

Locke tried to use a coupon or voucher for the coffee, but the barista rejected it, Tang said. The ambassador then paid with a credit card, he said.

Tang, chief executive of an Internet advertising firm called adSage, was flying from Seattle to Silicon Valley. Locke was leaving for China from the next gate over.

Tang introduced himself to Locke when he took the picture and wished him luck in the new job.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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