A protester who threw a shoe at the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao whilst the latter made a speech at Cambridge University today, did so in order to honour China's shoe manufacturing industry, it has been reported.
The shoe, a Nike Airmax 700, a shoe of excellent quality, workmanship and all-round durability, made in Factory 4211 just outside of Dongchuan, about 50 miles north of Kunming, landed a foot from Mr Wen as he spoke in front of a group of business students.
The thrower, Dai Larmer, a pro-Tibet demonstrator, shouted at Mr Wen and called him a "dictator", but also praised the efforts of the Chinese workers at the factory, which employs 300 people day and night to produce the shoes for the western market.
Mr Larmer, 23, from Cardiff, later told police officers he had always worn Nike, and said his current Airmax 700s "fit like slippers", and that it had been a shame to waste one on Mr Wen.
The incident is thought to have been inspired by the shoe thrown at former US President George Bush in Iraq recently, when an Iraqi journalist tried in vain to champion the achievements of the Arabian sandal industry.
Mr Larmer said:
"I love my Nikes, and to waste them on the dictator of a country with such a poor record of human rights as China has, is a bloody shame, I can tell you!"