Standing Cross Different Lines

One interesting thing I found from writing this blog and reading comments is, this world is far more complicated than black and white, and there are so many ways to look at the same thing (or we call it “perspectives”). Just I always referred (did I refer to the article everyday?) to the Blind Men and Elephant story, different perspectives tell completely different story. (I hope I don’t emphasis this too many times, but I do mean it).

Chinese Media and Western Media

Sorry to use the too generalized word, but this is what they both use when pointing finger to the other party. We saw direct attack between the two groups, but stand up against one does not automatically mean to be supportive to the other (just as I was misunderstood by being supportive to what CCTV said when I pointed error in CNN). To some extend, the truth seekers are standing on one side of the line, while both media (western and Chinese) stand at the other side. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying Chinese local news made exactly the same mistake as western media – the types are different, and the degrees are different, but, still on the same side of the line.

News-Lover or not

Recently, there are no big news around the Torch. Local people welcome torch is not something exciting, at least for media, and the last round of news debate started to fade out. I know many people are not happy, including pro-China protesters, and anti-China protesters. Confrontation is exciting for most people.

If there is a line of “no-news” is good news type of people, and news-lover, people protesting against each other may stand on the same side of the line.

Government vs Government

EU and US congress had past resolution (is this the right word) against China, and China is standing up to fight back. At the same time, I am still emailing back and forth with my friends in other countries, and people started to discuss in many places, like in this blog. This time, people (common people) are standing on one side of the line and governments (of both countries) on the other.

Speaker vs Listener

One highlight of our discussion in the past was from Peter Duong (here and here, who are protester against human right record of China in San Francisco, but willing to discuss, and actually shared a lot of insight. Me and other people from China are also those guys who want to listen. If you draw a line of those who are pure “speaker” and just want their voice heard without trying any effort to hear what others are saying, Peter, me and many others are on the same side of the line, while others on the other side.

Interesting, isn’t it?

By seeing the things from different perspective, the lines are so blurred. In many people’s eyes (I met many and read many of the comments), the world is made up of black and right, or right and wrong. However, there is something common to put some guys from the black group and someone from the white group to form a new group, and the rest in the other… Complicated? The world is even more complicated than this. That is why we have something called “Novel”. If the world is simple, we should be able to stop writing novels or any other form of literature already.

P.S. Besides what I talked before, I may want to spend some time to analyze the huge different between Shanghai and inner part of China – Henan Province where Wendy and I came from. Even within China, the value for family, freedom, money is completely different. I would even wonder whether the gap is bigger between France and Germany. To be short, I am consistently shocked when I witness the gap.

P.S. 2 Another thought about why people want to boycott French product: it is not allowed to protest against anything that matters (it is allowed according to law with a permit, but no one can get the permit), and boycotting is not explicitly banned, boycotting is the (maybe) only way to show people’s voice in China. Shanghaiist.com quoted a video on YouTube about a single girl (from the video, just herself) holding a banner (cannot see what’s on the banner. Should be related wither boycott, or the torch relay) standing on the street corner, and policeman politely talked to her….

11 thoughts on “Standing Cross Different Lines

  1. Sir:

    I am interested in current developments in China: (1) The exponential industrial growth. (2) The apparent relaxing of the one child rule. (3) The effort of the government to recognize the importance of individual initiative. (4) The many areas of the government’s increasing tolerance. (5) The tentative first steps toward assuming the responsibility for beneficial influence on the world stage.

    Certainly I am also aware of the many criticisms of China. (1) Human rights abuses. (2) Continuing devastation of China’s natural resources. (3) The government’s resistance to opening a transparent society. (4) The equal rights and stature of women. (5) The failure to allow religious tolerance.

    It is my belief that Communist China is poised to become a powerful influence for elevating mankind. I foresee a world where China is a friendly and beneficial competitor – and not a threat to other world communities. It seems to me that China has much to offer as a peacemaker and trading partner – provided that some sort of stable and beneficial government leadership continues.

    Question: How might your capsule (condensed) version of the next 50 years differ from mine?

    Thank you.

    Dixon

  2. I drop in this blog very often. It is my daily work to look through your Blog, now. I found something interesting here. Mr Wang ,you are a person of moderate. Can you write some critical words to the western medias. I think chia is so moderate that western people think we are weak .

    to these anti-china people we should guard our dignity.

    Thank you to answer my comments.

  3. Hello JS,

    I think lot of people needs to be reminded that China is still in the process of getting in step with the rest of the world. It is only in the very recent few years that it became active in a global way. I have always said that as a nation we are far from perfect.

    Internally, many issues still needs to be ironed out. The list is endless. While no fan of the party, I don’t envy the job they have in hand, balancing the push and pull of this nation, while trying to keep the majority happy.

    It sounds like an excuse everytime we say that China is a big country and things takes time to change, what many forget or simply choose not to accept is that this is true.

    China’s progress in the past 20 years is nothing short of spectacular. Just look around, no other nation managed to do as much in recent history. So please don’t complain so much. Be patient, and we will get there. I am sure of that.

    While some may see Tibet as a number one issue, I don’t really share that sentiment. I might be wrong, but it’s all a matter of priorities if you understand the problems many other people face. I think for an indigenous people, at least they are being taken cared better than what was dished out in many of the countries critical of us. Granted they may not be entirely satisfied with present arrangements but that is something we need to settle ourselves. Outsides screaming at us will not change anything.

  4. Can we put aside the Summer Game and the torch relay and look into the objective of which the oversea Tibetan wish to achieve.

    I see the Tibetan government in exile and his 100,000 followers living in India and Nepal do have a strong will to return to Tibet, since Tibet is a land-locked areas and lack of arable land, the economy today is depended largely on tourism from China and oversea, so an independent Tibet can devastate the people of the areas. Dalai Lama fully understand the situation and is not seeking independent Tibet but rather “one country, two systems”. On the other hand China in the last ten years has marginalized the Tibetan by bringing in Chinese immigrate to the areas and diluted the distinctive culture and religious of Tibet.

    Does anybody see China and Dalai Lama can compromise on this issue without external supports.

  5. I totally agree with your POV stephen.

    There should be done something about this.

    I know its impossible to make the Chinese Govt think about giving in without external pressure so even when i disagree about violence, i agree about cohercion to make it happen.

    Hope Chinese people understand this and avoid the Boycott and instead be mature and promote dialogue.

    Same for the Westerners who just want to talk without knowing in advance…

  6. @Claudia Frais, thank you for your endorsment of my POV.

    It is too late now, the campaign staged by oversea Tibetan in the last four weeks inadvertently united almost all Chinese both domestic and oversea, friend and foe toward Beijing government. The show of unity has put many foreign media on the ‘defence’ mode and the rally for ‘free tibet’ is diminishing. As far I can remember this is first time China can display such unity among her people.

    ‘United we stand, departed we fall’.

    Perhaps China should thank Dalai Lama of his effort!

  7. I have learned so much by the discussion on this blog. Thanks to JianShuo, Wonton, and many others. It has helped me understand and open my mind to many things including:

    1) The sincerity of Chinese anger over the Olympic protest. I did not understand how symbolic and important the olympic games were to the Chinese people and that many people think of it as a big celebration and so to protest it would be like spitting at someone’s wedding. (In San Francisco, when the city tried to compete with NYC to host the olympic in 2012 many people were against the idea. Many of us including myself thought it was a stupid thing to spend billion of dollars on a sport game when the money should be used to help poor people or clean the environment).

    2) My own bias against China and Chinese people. I never thought of myself as bias against China or Chinese people. I already knew that the media in the West was prejudice and I always thought that I was an “independent” thinker. However, reading this blog has helped me understand that I did have some stereotypes and false prejudice about China. In the back of my mind, I think I still believed that somehow all Chinese people don’t get it because they were “brainwashed” or “ignorant” and that if they knew the “truth” they would automatically agree with me. Now, I see that this is not the case that many Chinese people are very much aware of the big problems in China including Tibet and that they just don’t agree with me about the protest as an effective way to change China.

    I would ask the Chinese readers to truthfully examine their own views about this issue. You may think that you are objective and that you know the truth but I now see that it is very very difficult to completely be objective. Everyone has their own biases and it is not so easy to escape your culture, your environment. (It is really funny to read the comments, how both sides think the other are “brainwashed”).

    3) I also learned about the value of protest. On the one hand I think the protest was successful because it made people talk and think both in China and the West. Before the protest, there were not many big discussion about China’s human rights, western media bias, Tibet, history of olympic, and now the discussion is out in the open. I think this is in the long run healthy.

    On the other hand, I think the protest was not good because it helped to make Chinese people angry at the West. Instead of focusing the discussion on how China can improve, the discussion became about the olympic protestors and whether it was wrong or right to protest.

    4) Finally, I am beginning to see how important it is to be polite and peaceful when you want to convince others of your opinion. Shouting at people or calling people names never helps to change people’s mind. I think this was one of the weaknesss especially of the Paris protest. The anger from the French people displayed only inflamed anger among Chinese people.

    I also now believe that real change in China will not happen because of any protests in the United States or Europe. I believe real change will be very slow and messy requiring small steps and that it will be done by good people in China. I am hopeful that as China becomes more open to the world and more exposed it will change for the better. I am hopeful thinking of the example of South Korea and Taiwan, which in the 1980s was a much more repressive society than it is today.

    I understand now that many people who protest against China including myself are simply impatient because we see only the negative of China. We want China to change and we want it be done NOW. I think this is unrealistic given the type of government China has right now and its current development.

    Peter Duong

  8. @ Peter,

    I think REAL changes can happen in China, at a much quicker pace, if its enacted by people in China instead of foreigners like us. Critics, healthy or not, will only inflame nationalistic sentiments and mask the real problem.

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