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Is China unfairly looked on by Western eyes?|
By Li Qian (chinadaily.com.cn)
The Chinese ambassador to Belgium wants young Chinese people to promote the nation's peaceful role in the world.
Madame Zhang Qiyue said this during a meeting with Chinese overseas students in Brussels to celebrate Chinese Youth Day on May 4.
Zhang, a former spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said China is facing new attacks of unfair charges after the "China threat" theory of the country's alleged military build-up. She gave an example that some western countries accuse China of being irresponsible in tackling global warming. And when China reduced carbon production and exports to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the country was still criticized as creating chaos on the world energy market.
In her interview with China Youth Daily, Zhang said that in the eyes of some westerners, "China never does the right thing", adding that the international opinion was unfavorable to China's development. One reason for this, she explained, is the western politicians' deliberate smear of China in an attempt to restrain the emerging power and maintain the existing world order.
She explained many Westerners believe in the "China threat" theory because of their rooted prejudice and misunderstanding of China and its people.
The way foreign countries deal with Chinese people is part of this bias, continued the ambassador. Travelers from China are required to undergo particular checks at airports in Belgium and many other European countries. She complained that Belgians, though they are well-educated, have many misunderstandings towards China.
These perceptions include when the horrific killings took place at Virginia Tech over two weeks ago, some media in the United States immediately thought the killer maybe of Chinese origin; and when Belgian authorities were concerned about stolen research and development secrets, local media claimed it was the work of a "Chinese students spy web" which was later proved groundless.
In the face of surging economic growth, Zhang says the Chinese government has been doing much strengthening its "soft power", by establishing overseas Confucius Institutes, promoting the ancient culture and advocating a harmonious society. And so she believes it's up to every Chinese living outside the country to provide a better knowledge of China among foreigners.
"Everyone of them is a spokesperson." Zhang said.