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Wen Jiabao apologizes for geology error

Say what you will about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the man does not want to mislead the public about rocks. Grandpa Wen wrote this self-correcting letter to Xinhua this week: In my article “Teachers Are the Pillars of Our Education,” which was published by your agency yesterday, the categories of petrology ought to be “sedimentary, ...

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BEIJING - OCTOBER 13: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends a bilateral meeting between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Great Hall of the People on October 13, 2009 in in Beijing, China. Putin is on a three-day trip to bolster energy and trade agreements with China. (Photo by Kota Kyogoku-Pool/Getty Images)

Say what you will about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the man does not want to mislead the public about rocks. Grandpa Wen wrote this self-correcting letter to Xinhua this week:

In my article "Teachers Are the Pillars of Our Education," which was published by your agency yesterday, the categories of petrology ought to be "sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic". I wish to make this correction and to express my apologies to all readers.

Wen had originally written "volcanic" instead of "metamorphic". Danwei.org's Eric Mu writes:

Say what you will about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the man does not want to mislead the public about rocks. Grandpa Wen wrote this self-correcting letter to Xinhua this week:

In my article “Teachers Are the Pillars of Our Education,” which was published by your agency yesterday, the categories of petrology ought to be “sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic”. I wish to make this correction and to express my apologies to all readers.

Wen had originally written “volcanic” instead of “metamorphic”. Danwei.org’s Eric Mu writes:

Needless to say, the apology burnishes the established reputation of Wen as a humble, down-to-earth, grandfatherly leader, even if, as a graduate of the Beijing Institute of Geology, he really ought to have known such basic information.

I can think of a few things I’d rather the Chinese premier apologize for, but I guess this is a start. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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