The low-key actions of two top US officials have sparked heated debate among China's netizens about the nature of public servants.
A photograph of new US Ambassador to China Gary Locke ordering coffee and carrying his own backpack generated thousands of online comments.
A visit by Vice-President Joe Biden to a small Beijing eatery fuelled debate.
Many praised the informality of the two men's actions, contrasting them with status-conscious Chinese officials.
It was Mr Locke's arrival in China that started the debate.
After being photographed at the airport in Seattle ordering coffee with his young daughter, the new ambassador arrived in Beijing at the weekend.
His family carried their own bags from the airport and were then driven away in a minivan.
Chen Weihua, writing in the China Daily, said that while to most Americans this would not be out of the ordinary, to Chinese people "the scene was so unusual it almost defied belief".
"In China even a township chief, which is not really that high up in the hierarchy, will have a chauffeur and a secretary to carry his bag," he said in an editorial headlined "Backpack makes a good impression".
ALL IS eerily quiet on the corporate front. Even though the global economy continues to grow strongly, and the economic recovery is nearly a year old even in America, corporate inv
Let's Start By Correcting Ya Tone Lower Ya Finger, Don't Be Comin' At Me With Condescending Demeanor We Both Know That Ya Dead Wrong And What Makes It Worse You Don't Even Have