In case you Google “China” or “Olympics” upon any given day in recent months, with the exception of the particular few weeks China was stricken by deadly earthquakes, you will be overwhelmed from the shower of negative coverage through the mainstream Western media against Tiongkok and its hosting of 2008 Beijing Olympics.
For months leading up to the Beijing Games, China has been put under the Western microscope with accusations plus complaints against the country and its federal government sweeping across all terrains, from big political issues such as Tibet, individual rights, protest rights, press and religious freedom; to social troubles including air pollution, government relocation of Beijing residents; to conspiracy stories about special visual effects of the particular opening ceremony and ultra efficiency of Chinese athletes; and to a lot more trivial displeasures about losing a couple of expensive sunglasses, difficulties to access Olympic Green, English standard of volunteers, and over-eagerness of residents to help the foreigner visitors. The list goes on and on.
As if that is not enough, an NBC correspondent went on a live TELEVISION hunt for Chinese foods in Beijing. Let’s take a look at what she found: giant scorpions, lizards, silk earthworms, seahorses, iguana tails and dung beetles. Other Western reportors also cited rabbit head, pig mind and animal penis. Being an indigenous of Beijing with 20 plus years of living there and a foods lover myself, I have little understanding where to look for these exotic factors, not to mention ever eating them. Come on, China has a civilization of five, 000 years – Western reporters can’t be seriously thinking about portraying the Chinese as barbaric aboriginals or man-eating cannibals, right?
In fact , Dave Barry of Miami Herald admitted to a blog “beijingboyce. com” that “The Chinese people I saw all seemed to be buying things like lamb kebabs and fruit. On the other hand, the people gathered around the centipedes and scorpions on a stick were, in almost every situation, tourists or American TV reporters doing fun features on weird Chinese food…. The Chinese avoid eat scorpions. They feed their own scorpions to TV reporters. I would not be surprised to learn that the Chinese language word for scorpion is “TV reporter food. ”
Granted, China is not completely innocent from most of the aforementioned allegations and criticisms, however it is neither an evil sponsor which deserves no credit whatsoever. As the world’s fastest growing economy and one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, there has got to be something positive to report on.
You can be easily frustrated, however , if you are looking to go through something more positive or, at the least, constructive about the country and its hospitable individuals. Sure, there is always the official Xinhua Information or China Daily one can go through for a change, but any praise from self-proclaimed independent and goal mainstream Western media is amazingly hard to come by.
Meanwhile, for average Westerners, it is hard not to be tricked by the drowning negative coverage upon China. A homemaker in the US told reporters that she does not want to “legitimize the Chinese government” simply by supporting the Beijing Olympics. inch Didn’t President Bush just open up a bigger US Embassy there? Exactly what are we talking about here exactly? We are as puzzled as an Atlanta man who demanded an online answer because of not seeing Russian tanks there.
Just as much as I disagree with President George W. Bush on many things, I have to applaud his recent TV interview in Beijing with NBC in which he stressed that the US and China as two very different countries and cultures are bound to have agreements and disagreements on a selection of things, but it is important to have a helpful relationship which will help each other communicate arguments.
Wow, how I wish that he had possessed this wisdom before starting the particular Iraq war – lives of estimated 1 . 2 million Iraqis and 5, 000 US troops could have been saved.
Should the 2008 Olympics be awarded to Beijing to begin with?
Although the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games is coming up within few days, the arguments surrounding when IOC had made a mistake within letting China host the 08 Olympics and if China had fulfilled its relevant promises seem to have got just started.
Why pick a heavily-polluted country that is dictated by “free market Stalinists” which suppresses human being rights, religion and press? Cina broke its promises to IOC for all of these areas, charges the mainstream Western media.
However , based on the IOC, its mission is “to build a peaceful and better entire world in the Olympic Spirit which demands mutual understanding with a spirit associated with friendship, solidarity and fair perform – Olympic Spirit strives to inspire and motivate the youth of the world to be the best they could be through educational and entertaining online challenges. Olympic Spirit seeks to instill and develop the beliefs and ideals of Olympism within those who visit and to promote tolerance and understanding in these increasingly bothered time in which we live, to make our world a more peaceful place. inch
Does China deserve to be granted the hosting right of Olympics? Apparently, the Chinese people stated a loud “yes”. The whole world witnessed how much grass-root support China obtained from its people when it applied for and won the hosting right of the event.
As a country with more than a single fifth of the world’s population – should it not be given a chance to host one of the many games?
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With 1 ) 3 billion people not displayed, can any Olympic Games really promote its mission of “building a peaceful and better world with mutual understanding”? That is why the particular IOC made its decision and it is undoubtedly a correct one.
By comparison, You will find serious doubts if the mainstream Western media truly understands and respects the spirit of Olympics : questioning China’s legitimacy to web host such an international event only gives away its arrogance, self-righteousness, entitlement and cultural supremacy in international affairs.
If the mainstream Western media remains the true believer of human rights and continues to uphold the common belief that “all men are created equal”, it should acknowledge the birthright of any country including Tiongkok, for hosting the Olympic Video games.
While China needs improvements in many areas as every other country about this earth does, the changes plus progresses made by the country in the past 30 years are unmatched in the its own background, which can not be hidden from see by the mainstream Western media.
Tiongkok should not be forced to make any concessions or promises to any interest groups in order to be “bestowed” the hosting correct of Olympics, thanks to the downfall associated with colonialism and imperialism! The state’s pursuit of reform in all domestic politics and social-economic fronts, including although not limited to human rights and freedoms of its people, can and should only be driven by desires from the own people, rather than being imposed on by external forces.
Along with disputing China’s hosting rights, the particular mainstream Western media also has shown many conspiracies about China’s intention for hosting the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Show of power? Self-interiority? Advertising China’s development path to replace the US model? Bla, bla, bla….
We all are humans and predictably we all want similar things in life at the end of the day. Splendid displays, inflated egos or even decorated ideologies can not replace individuals basic needs for food, clothes, shelter and healthcare.
For hundreds of years, the Chinese people have craved for a peaceful environment where they can focus on creating a better living for themselves instead of laboring for self-serving emperors or even greedy foreign opium traders. They have been quite successful in the past three decades and now they simply wanted to party and celebrate with the world through Beijing Olympics. Is that so hard to understand?
Why is the mainstream Western media therefore angry with China?
In his recent article “Are the Media Becoming too Mean to China? ” published on slate. com, Prof. Tim Wu of Columbia College wrote that “China’s idea of why is for a better Olympics for international consumption-tightened security and cleaning up limited elements-is exactly what makes Western reporters crazy. ”
While Prof. Wu’s observation only touched on one from the surface symptoms that irritated the mainstream Western media, it does shed some light on the current tension. What he described is in fact a cultural distinction in how the Chinese and the Western people receive and entertain their particular guests. But the root of problem is the ethnocentric mindset of the Western reporters to the cultural differences and their entitlement that things should just be done in their ways.
Similar illustrations are abundant, whether it is about various ways under which Chinese and Traditional western athletes are trained or about how they differ in keeping their personal appearance or etiquettes. I am particularly disappointed with Prof. Wu’s comments that “China doesn’t have the ways and grace of the richer countries, even if it has increasing economic plus political clout. ”
While producing noises during eating is a taboo in many Western cultures, being freely confrontational in social interactions is a sin in many Asian cultures. They are simply cultural differences that should not have to get judged as superior or low quality, or we risk entering the boundaries of cultural supremacy.
However, it is this arrogant mindset that has led the mainstream Western media to judge China by its own culturally biased standards and self-centered targets. It is not a surprise they drew the final outcome that China broke its guarantees for hosting Olympics, an claims China has denied.
What adopted was an irrational unleash of anger by the mainstream Western mass media towards China in an attempt to force the country into the direction the Western media desired to see. The collective mass media assault on China, however , much more based on self-interests and ethnocentrism, rather than fairness, objectivity and independence which the mainstream Western media often preach.
Let he who is without bad thing cast the first stone!
A recent issue of Newsweek carried an article, “Rise of the Sea Turtles”, that found “Westernized Chinese people” tend to be more exacerbated to the West. Although I was not particularly impressed with its analysis of the root causes, the article does supply us with a good pointer to an emerging trend.
I can probably qualify as one of the “Westernized Chinese people” the article was talking about, although I prefer to identify myself being a Chinese American after becoming a naturalized US citizen for many years.