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Originally posted by satsu_jin at 2007-6-29 18:19
Reading the Western press I can confirm that China is viewed very critically abroad. .
Well, I wouldn't say that China is viewed "very critically" abroad in the "Western press". Sure, there are articles critical of certain Chinese government and private business affairs, as there are of all countries.
Some reporting, perhaps particularly in America (I am not from America, but I read widely), takes a very patriotic, American government line, which is presently fairly antagonistic towards China, in my view. I don't buy the CNY (RenMinBi) is under-valued line, for one thing. If it's undervalued it consequently costs China more to buy things from overseas. And, China is buying a lot from overseas. We Australians say thank you very much for buying our agricultural and mining produce! :))
On the matter of a Chinese military build-up. I can see why America is upset, the balance of world power is once again shifting, and this time it's not in their favour! They're going to have to get used to it and pull their heads in a bit. But, it seems natural to most westerners, on a fundamental level that the Chinese have a right to modernise their military in the defense of about 20% of the world's total population within its borders.
The potential flash point that is developing is the increased ability to project its power beyond China's national borders. Especially as Chinese develops a deep water navy. America has for decades developed bases all across the world as well as massive troop movement capacity. Why? To be able to "protect" their interests overseas, and "aid" their allies. Now China is the country developing interests outside its borders. They ought to have the means to defend those interests, shouldn't they?
Back to your point. I would say that in general the foreign press is pretty unbiased when it comes to reporting on China, of course they are going to be somewhat partisan where national interests are concerned. But, often the "critical" reporting is well deserved. e.g. poisons in toothpaste, Ti_an_An_Men S_quare Mas_sacre, and general freedom of speech.
The criticisms in such situations are not being made unilaterally of all Chinese people, just the company, or government responsible.
I can, and do, criticise my government in my country... can you do the same in China? I hear that the Chinese media has less overt censorship these days, but there is a strong self-censorship practiced by reporters and editors that results in a lot of incorrect, or at least, incomplete information about Chinese and world affairs being given to the Chinese people.
In the case of misidentifying the Virginia Tech killer as "Chinese", that was just poor reporting. I suspect that the reporter concerned would have been reprimanded for that mistake. Obviously, initially, they should have reported the suspect was of East-Asian appearance.
One thing I don't agree with is China's statement that foreign countries should not involve themselves in China's "internal matters". What is a truly internal matter anyway? My real point is that China then claims to practice this in its relationships with other countries... however, often non-involvement, or giving support to some incumbent power in the country, is also interfering in that country's domestic affairs by preventing natural events progress as they perhaps should.
In fact, I think the current Chinese leadership is doing a pretty good job in most domestic matters, but they have a lot of patching up to do to fix up the mismanagement, not to mention rampant corruption (which you often hear called by its Chinese name "guan xi") of previous Chinese governments. I look at China and I (disappointedly) see it is Socialist in name only. The workers and farmers are still downtrodden and poor...
I HATE the use of the word "elite/s" in Chinese media! Who is "elite"? We are all human. There is an alarming arrogance among the Chinese "new rich" too.
Nevertheless, as statistics show, China's modernisation has certainly helped lift 100's of millions of people out of poverty. So, I will conclude by saying it is certainly "a work in progress", and that I see China's future positively.
Regarding China projecting its culture outside its borders, I think we are seeing that more and more with International years of China in many countries, and with the opening and development of the "Confucious Institutes" in many countries too.
Almost everyone, who is not a rabid right-wing "neo-con"servative will give China credit, and not be particularly biased against China at all.
In conclusion. "China threat"? No. Not if it takes on the responsibilities that power brings. And, there are many signs that China is heading down that responsible international player road, and only some that it isn't, but there's a way to go yet before we will be able to tell for sure which hat China will wear as an international leader.
[ Last edited by nuewurldorda at 2007-6-29 08:22 PM ]