Why do Chinese people like Angela Merkel?

This one came as a surprise to me, although it shouldn’t really. Many Chinese people are rather fond of Angela Merkel, whom they call Moke’er dama (dama being a term of respectful affection for an older woman, especially one’s father’s elder brother’s wife).

Why? As one person put it: ‘Merkel grew up in a socialist country. She looks and plans in a long-term way’. And another: ‘Among Western leaders, she understands the Chinese theory “seeking truth from facts” the best’.

Of course, it helps that China-German relations have steadily improved since she became chancellor in 2005.