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Chinese protester disrupts CATO gala

Hundreds of CATO Institute members, friends, and guests who attended the think tank’s May 4 gala dinner event got quite a surprise when a Chinese protester ran through the event screaming to protest Chinese economist Mao Yushi. Mao was speaking after dinner in the ballroom at the Washington Hilton hotel to accept the $250,000 Milton Friedman ...

Hundreds of CATO Institute members, friends, and guests who attended the think tank's May 4 gala dinner event got quite a surprise when a Chinese protester ran through the event screaming to protest Chinese economist Mao Yushi.

Mao was speaking after dinner in the ballroom at the Washington Hilton hotel to accept the $250,000 Milton Friedman Liberty Prize for his advocacy for "an open and transparent political system." Shortly into his remarks, a man ran down the center of the ballroom yelling in Chinese and holding up two cardboard signs that had Chinese and English writing on them. The English writing said, "Mao Yushi is a puppy of the U.S.A."

The Cable captured this exclusive video of security dragging the man out of the ballroom as the crowd booed and one attendee shouted, "You commie pinko!"

Hundreds of CATO Institute members, friends, and guests who attended the think tank’s May 4 gala dinner event got quite a surprise when a Chinese protester ran through the event screaming to protest Chinese economist Mao Yushi.

Mao was speaking after dinner in the ballroom at the Washington Hilton hotel to accept the $250,000 Milton Friedman Liberty Prize for his advocacy for "an open and transparent political system." Shortly into his remarks, a man ran down the center of the ballroom yelling in Chinese and holding up two cardboard signs that had Chinese and English writing on them. The English writing said, "Mao Yushi is a puppy of the U.S.A."

The Cable captured this exclusive video of security dragging the man out of the ballroom as the crowd booed and one attendee shouted, "You commie pinko!"

Mao didn’t break stride and continued on with his remarks. You can watch his entire speech here.

Also speaking at the event was New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who got a warm reception but erred by calling the CATO audience "committed conservatives." The libertarian crowd, which dislikes being referred to as "conservatives," audibly groaned.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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