Wen: Ladies and gentlemen, I see you’ve all brought stockings. The problem is that we Chinese have already given you so much over the years: gunpowder, pandas, a visionary economic model…
Japan: …a stray boat captain…
Taiwan: …the threat of invasion…
Wen: Would non-Bric countries please be quiet? We have places for dissenters, and they don’t serve mulled wine. That reminds me, we’ve heard that it’s customary to do a Christmas crib. Any guests wishing to contribute, please leave your intellectual property by the photocopier.
Multinational companies: Yes please!
Wen: Oh, you are kind. Anyway, as I was saying. This year we have decided that the only thing we have left to give you is money. The waiters are distributing red envelopes, which, as all watchers of HSBC ads will know, contain good, solid cash. There are 100 dollars in each envelope. North Korea and Burma, you’ve both been exceedingly naughty this year, so you get double.
North Korea: The Dear Leader looks your gift horse in the mouth, and deems it lame.
Wen: That’s teenagers for you… I hope the rest of you at least are satisfied with your presents?
UK: You bet. And in return we’d like to present you with…
Wen: Oh no, Mr Cameron, there’s nothing of yours we could possibly want… Something in your throat, my Indian friend?
India: This money’s all Chinese! And I must say, Indian envelopes are rather fatter.
Wen: Your envelopes are as brown as the Yellow River after New Year. Count yourself lucky – a few months ago those notes would only have been worth a mere 98 dollars. It’s time you started to appreciate the yuan.
Norway: Mr Wen, Norway’s envelope seems to be empty.
Wen: Congratulations, Viking peaceniks, you have won the inaugural Wen-not-if Prize. Awarded to make clear who’ll be in charge.
US: But for now, we’re in charge, and our envelope is also empty.
Wen: Yes, we thought you owed us enough already. Can’t you print your own this time?
US: You are forcing us to cable Washington bad things.
Wen: Really? Please do let me know what exactly, so I can – how do you say? – refudiate. It’s amazing what a Baidu search doesn’t throw up.
Vladimir Putin (Russia) enters.
Putin: Sorry, I’m late. I was felling this beautiful Siberian Christmas tree. I’d have brought it sooner, but I was attacked by three tigers, two bears and one human-rights organisation. Anyway, where do you want it?
Wen: Thank you, Mr Putin, over there will be fine. Would you mind slipping on a T-shirt? We struggle to get the staff these days, but I’m sure Vietnam can sort you out.
Vietnam: When will people understand – we don’t only make clothes! We are moving to a knowledge economy.
Wen: Exactly, knowledge of your place in the global economy. Are you doing a Christmas jumper range this year? I’ve rather outgrown last year’s. Where isdinner anyway? I do hope everybody likes South American food – half the pampas’bulls are in the oven.
US: We were expecting turkey.
Wen: Come on! Not even the Europeans want Turkey, and they accepted Ireland… Oh, forgive me, Mr Erdogan, I couldn’t resist. I mean, if I got a penny every time someone made fun of my name…
Turkey: You’d be slightly poorer than President Hu?
Wen: Indeed. We had to pass one potential leader over for that very reason; frightfully good chap too, Mr Wot Wiehao. Right, who’s for a quick carol before dinner? Any requests, or shall we stick with Good King Wen Jiabao? You’ll get the hang of it soon enough.