What the Term China, or France Means?

I admit, during my last post on boycott, I made a mistake, just as many people in any country in this world may make: to be confused about the term of a country name, for example, China, France, US, or UK, to name a few.

It is important that we understand the different meanings in difference context about what the names mean.

Very often, it means the government. Many times, when people talk about China, it means the Chinese government – the rule maker. Protest for human rights are very likely to be against what the government is doing. Sometimes, it refer to the people. People in one country tend to stick a label of the country name on him/herself. Sometimes, it refer to the economic body, as in the exchange rate dispute. Sometimes, it simply refer to the media of the country, as seen in the recent Torch crisis. But in any case, people have the tendency to use a much bigger, generalized concept (China, or France) to refer to just a part of it.

It is so hard to distingurish the difference, and in many occasions, it is mixed together. Protest again Chinese government is well perceived by people in China as a protest again the whole country, and it can quickly turn into a protest again France (actually, it should be against either the violent protesters, or the media).

I was sometimes mistakenly mix all these concept together. We need to be very careful about it in the future.

Thanks for my Commentors

I always want to take time to thank my commentors who helped to shape and created this blog. I feel expecially so in this week, when my commentors sincerely share their thoughts, provide facts, and help others to understand each other, no matter how different they are. And people did it with dignity and pride.

Thank you!

As you may discovered, I have quietly added a small section at the end of this page, with links to past entries and categories. I also added a section called “Contributors to this Page”, where I list the names (along with their websites if they provide one). I want to make it clear that I am just a very small part of the page. The page is created by a great group of people – the commentors.

Hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I do.

10 thoughts on “What the Term China, or France Means?

  1. no i don’t think i’m ENGJOYING it

    you have not answered my single question!

    and they are real questions, not rhetorical.

    so are you going to answer them or what?



    i’m not believing more and more things i used to believe

    because i know i used to get a “controlled” media or information

    or ‘another way’ of that , by our government

    and that cound lead to patriotism or not?”


    and i can’t open this Youtube link again!!!

    and i love my country!!!

    if i can’t open this link tomorrow, i still love my country!

    if i can, of course i still love my country!!!


    4.” 1..2…3…Is that what you are trying to convey, Mr. Wang?”

    At least you can verify my understanding of your ideas, i think, i.e. answer the last question.

  2. mac:

    There is no doubt that China is far from perfect and many Chinese people dislike the cencorship of the government. But that doesn’t mean they are doing everything wrong. and that doesn’t mean that Jianshuo and other Chinese people must hate their government because of that. The fact is that the Chinese government has done many things right in the past 20 years and I am quite certain they will be even better in the years to come.

    See, there are actually people out there who are able to analyze and draw their own conclusions based overall pictures.

    There is a media cencorship in China, but look at how Western ‘free’ media covering Tibet-issue these past weeks, if this a ‘free’ media is able to do, I don’t see it any better than the cencored Chinese media?

    I used to think like you do. But now I wonder who really is being brain-washed.

  3. @mac, calm down. I like discussion, although I don’t expect myself to answer every single comment, and even if I try to join some discussion, I will try to carefully state what I believe, with no expectation that the other end may agree with me or even understand (understanding is the hardest part, although people often claim to be).

    Back to your questions, I hope I am in the position to say I understand your feeling. The collapse of value system after knowing many truth will be the main theme for many people in the next decade in China. I experience that during my month long cross North American trip in the winter of 2004.

    Turning from trust of what we are educated since we were born, to completely lose trust is a very hard time for everyone who ever experienced it. I was also turned very negative for some time. However, as Tommy described it very well, that is also not the whole story. After 4 years of seeking for the truth (via this blog, and many other ways), I feel pretty calm now, and I started to learn more about China. After that, I am even more confidence about the future of China. I started to understand the root of many imperfection of the country, then we can solve it one by one. The good thing is, when we try to discover, there are many promising solutions for many problem.

    As you mentioned in your question 1, 2, 3, GFW is certainly a shame in our country. With the wisdom of the great nation, we are still not able to remove it. There are even more serious problems within this country, like people’s right to make decisions, pollutions, economic imbalance, unfair treatment to people in remote area like Tibet, and Xinjiang, morale standards… I can list many of them. However, that is not the whole story. There are so many bright side also – the economic improvement, the slow but gradual awareness of the political needs of more people, and the transform of the society, just to name a few. We are the people who need to contribute to a better China, instead of just complainer, like those outside the country.

    Young Generations like myself tend to be able to identify a problem, but often fail to solve the problem. The feeling that they cannot change anything turns into desperations and anger. Many problems are easy to identify, just like the potential conflict between China and France (the criss around Torch relay). My belief is, I need to do something to HELP SOLVING the problem, instead of doing something just because everyone is doing, and don’t care about the consequences. My way of doing it is to start conversation between people in France, British, US, and all the other countries to talk with people in China. Although it is not as big as people may wish, I think at least it is a solution I can think of.

    Again, I’d like to help if you think my experience is worth to listen. However, don’t expect me to help you understand how the world is working (I don’t know yet), and it took me four years to understand a little better than before. Sometimes, only time can help.

  4. Glad you answered, Mr. Wang, and rather kindly. Thanks, too, Tommy.

    And glad that i don’t agree. And i hope i don’t get used to that ‘gradually’ idea.

    Sure there’s a bunch more problems, but GFW tops them all. Use your imagination.

    That’s all i have to say about it. Thanks again.

  5. Thanks for the post.

    I got lost recently because all those difference opinions and stories. And I do have same feeling with you, I am unwilling to read all those articles which criticize on China but on another hand I am embarrassed by some true which did happen in China.

    But you are right, both government and the people are trying their effort to solve the problem. We cannot expect it can be solved in a day or two.

    Help to solve the problem instead of just complaint, which it is the only way to secure us a good future.

  6. hi, men.

    long time no read the blog. jianshuo seems to be another one. i admire u for your bravery and your brilliance position. like u said, i (tend to be able to identify a problem, but often fail to solve the problem.) for me, it hard to judge some problems as right or wrong.

    a state is like a man, with shortcoming. maybe people’s fierce criticism push him to be better. maybe the man can realized it and impove by himself.

    the most important thing is to keep the state stabilization. i dont think anyone else be good to do it.

  7. Boycotting is the only language the West understands.

    The West is not interested in genuine dialogue. What they want is simple — they want YOU to listen to THEM, period. No buts, no ifs, no nothing.

    I encourage the people of China to launch boycotts of French and German goods. With a market of 1.3 billion boycotting, sooner or later their merchants would feel the pinch, and the merchants would put pressures on their respective leaders to make changes.

    It’s about money, and money often influences politics.

  8. “their respective leaders to make changes.”

    What changes would you like them to make?

  9. I often think the same about country names, we rarely know exactly what we are talking about and this leads to misunderstanding. I’m French, and when we say “France” it is more likely to mean “the French government” than anything else and we apply this rule to any country name. For Chinese though, it seems that “China” is more likely to mean “the Chinese people”, so when both argue, they often misunderstand each other. How frustrating is that…

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