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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Noodle diplomacy: Beijing eatery US president-elect Joe Biden visited in 2011 attracts crowds

After his visit, the 'Biden Set' -- a meal featuring the items he sampled -- was added to the restaurant's menu

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 17, 2020 5:21:44 pm
Joe Biden, Joe Biden in China, US Vice President Joe Biden, US President-elect Joe Biden, Joe Biden and Chinese food, indian express newsUnder Michigan law, Biden claims all 16 electoral votes. (Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik)

Like they say, when America votes, the world tunes in. And looks like some people in China are certainly excited about Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US Presidential elections. So much so that in Beijing, they have started to flock to a popular restaurant that Biden had visited nine years ago in 2011, when he was serving as the Vice President of the US.

A CNN report mentions that the owner of Yaoji Chaogan, the Beijing restaurant that had welcomed Biden, is also excited. In fact, as soon as he was declared winner, the restaurant saw a lineup of curious and interested diners, looking to eat the exact same thing that the president-elect ate nine years ago!

“I think it partially reflects how people have some interest in Biden’s campaign. Now, when people come to Beijing, whether for work or travel, they don’t just want to see some scenic spots or historical sites; they also want to experience Beijing’s food culture. When people heard that Biden had been to our restaurant, they came here to see what he tried before,” the owner Yao Yan told CNN.

In August 2011, Biden had made an unannounced stop at the family-owned eatery. “His arrival surprised and delighted the diners. Vice President Biden was very easygoing and humorous. People gave him applause from time to time. He was happy to be with the Chinese diners. He introduced his granddaughter, and then he took photos with diners and had some exchanges with them. He tasted our dishes and also gave some good comments about our food. He thought it was delicious,” Yao Yan was quoted as saying.

The report further mentioned that Biden and the visiting team — a party of five — ordered five plates of ‘zha jiang mian’ (noodles with bean paste), 10 steamed buns, smashed cucumbers, shredded potatoes and mountain yam salads.

After this, the ‘Biden Set’ — a meal featuring the items he sampled — was added to the menu. In the Chinese media, the highly-publicized pit-stop was termed as “noodle diplomacy”.

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