During his performance, Lang tinkled the ivories with the famous anti-American propaganda tune “My Motherland” — the theme song from the Chinese-made Korean War movie “Battle on Shangangling Mountain.”
Chinese President Hu Jintao, the guest of honor at the dinner, surely recognized the melody. The song has been a favorite anti-American propaganda tool for decades.
Lang apparently knew exactly what he was playing.
A White House spokesman declined to comment on the song selection, instead directing questions about Lang’s performance to the National Security Council staff, which was not available to comment.
The 1956 film “Battle on Shangangling Mountain” depicts Chinese troops pinned down under enemy fire on the mountain. Then reinforcements arrive and the troops attack the US soldiers, whom the Chinese refer to as “jackals.”
The song Lang played in front of Hu and President Obama includes the verse: “When friends are here, there is fine wine/But if the jackal comes/What greets it is the hunting rifle.”
Lang said in a TV interview that he played the song to reflect Chinese pride.
“I think playing the tune at the White House banquet can help us, as Chinese people, feel extremely proud of ourselves and express our feelings through the song,” he told the Chinese network Phoenix TV.
“I think it’s especially good. Also, I like the tune in and of itself. Every time I hear it, I feel extremely moved.”
Lang, who performed for the state-dinner music program that the White House billed as “quintessentially American,” was more blunt in a blog.
“Playing this song praising China to heads of state from around the world seems to tell them that our China is formidable, that our Chinese people are united; I feel deeply honored and proud,” Lang wrote, according to a report by Epoch Times.
The anti-US musical interlude at the White House touched off some patriotic chest-thumping on Chinese blogs.
“Those American folks very much enjoyed it and were totally infatuated with the melody!!! The US is truly stupid!!” wrote one blogger.