Tag Archives: China

CCTV Does Not Play Well with Others

Chinese State Television Launches on Washington, DC Cable

This October 1st, on the 62nd anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s takeover of China, China Central Television launched a new cable channel in Washington, DC metro area on MHz Networks 3. CCTV is state-run media ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.  For at least a decade CCTV has had the ambition to have its programming shown in the United States.

We asked China expert Ethan Gutmann, Adjunct Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and author of Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire and Betrayal about the possible ramifications of CCTV’s presence in the United States and the possible motives for the launch.

Nationalism & Propaganda

ETHAN GUTMANN:

It’s half a prestige issue and half a propaganda issue. One is to influence the Chinese American population, the Chinese Diaspora, within America. The second is to try to influence Americans so they see China as equal and non-threatening.

I’ve never been able to understand exactly why they are so obsessed with competing with America. If you go to China, people spend a lot of time and mental energy thinking about how competitive China is with America—if China is weaker than America, if Americans look down on China, etc. These are huge issues in China.

It’s part of China’s nationalism. Marxism philosophy has been replaced by nationalism since the last days of Deng Xiaoping. And the strongest aspect of Chinese nationalism is to be number one. And this requires being as strong as America, if not stronger.

A way for the Chinese Regime to Boost Nationalism

The other aspect is to make inroads among Chinese Americans. The racial ties of Chinese are  emphasized in Chinese nationalism. They believe that even if somebody moves to another country, even if they have grown up not speaking Chinese—if they have Chinese blood, they are in some sense Chinese citizens and they should be loyal to the Chinese state.

“The Big Underpants” CCTV Headquarters

Threats to Freedom of Expression? How will this CCTV channel influence Chinese Americans?

I don’t find freedom of expression threatening. Let the market decide. What I’m more concerned about is that—I assume—they are part of some cable bundle. And if, let’s say, NTD Television tried to get on that same cable bundle, they would be turned down because it would be seen as a conflict with CCTV.

The big problem with the Chinese government—the Chinese Communist Party—is that they want to be in the Western system but they don’t respect it. They don’t respect the fact that we have a system of free expression. They never accept that. They are still not willing to play by those rules—at a level playing field. If they want their ideas to be out there, if they want to use soft power, then they have to play by the soft power rules, where the best and the most entertaining ideas win—very true for TV. It’s not just politics. It has to be generally entertaining.  CCTV doesn’t tend to be terribly entertaining  because it’s a propaganda station. And, in the final analysis, it’s not allowed to touch many topics, and if it does, it has to touch on them very carefully to the point where it interferes with artistic expression, or any kind of expression.

We know that within China this happens again and again.  If Disney wants to do a film and it’s about Tibet, then suddenly Disney has a big problem. And we don’t know how they are going to do in the American market.  So far the track record is very bad.

And there are going to be critical shows—shows that are critical of the Chinese state—that are going to examine [Chinese] history. There’s going to be things that they [CCTV] are not comfortable with and I suspect that they are going to start throwing their weight around. They are going to start putting pressure on these cable channels—creating a fuss. And that’s going to be a problem. That’s my guess—that it’s not going to end well.

Doesn’t it also involve the cable companies?

I don’t think the cable companies are used to this. Al Jazeera, for example, as far as I know, doesn’t insist that you can’t show pro-Israel things on the same cable bundle—because Al Jazeera may have a point of view, but it is not controlled by a government and they are not under the Communist Party. And CCTV is. I don’t think cable networks are very good about making the distinction between something which is foreign and has a different point of view, on the one hand, and something that is controlled by a single party state, on the other. They are two different things, like apples and oranges—well, more like apples and rocks. And I wonder if they are in for a surprise. The Chinese have spent so much time and effort trying to shut down NTD Television. They have a track record on this.  There is a precedent for concern.

But I strongly feel from another point of view that saying ‘CCTV has a biased point of view’—that is true, but it is not a reason to keep them off the air. We don’t feel it threatens our way of life, nor do I feel that the Chinese community is threatened by CCTV directly. But it’s the question of balance.

Let’s say NTD Television is getting very popular but can’t get on the same cable bundle.  It’s going to be very hard to prove a negative here—to prove that CCTV played the role in preventing that deal from coming through. I wonder if anybody has considered this—that CCTV is not going to sit there quietly,  comfortable with a lot of the other things that are shown on the same cable bundle.

I think they see this as a beachhead—not the conquest of the United States, but conquering a small part of the consciousness of the United States with soft power. There’s a foolish idea in the West that Marxists and the Communist Party do not understand persuasive techniques. That’s exactly what they understand. It’s not just about the gun. It’s about persuasion, and fear and mind control. These are the techniques that they use. Self-correcting mechanisms and self-censorship is a critical part of it. And part of this beachhead is based on the concept of self-censorship.

I don’t believe that it’s a travesty that CCTV will be on in America. My worry is that it will have a dampening effect on freedom of expression about China in this corner, maybe it’s a particular corner but it’s a start—that’s a legitimate fear.

The problem is that they are not looking at this in a democratic way and they don’t have experience with freedom of expression. And CCTV does not play well with others.”

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People in China are angry after a news video showed caretakers at an old folks’ home abusing the elderly

A summary from Shanghaiist:

An investigative report by Henan Television uncovering the abuse at an old folks home in Zhengzhou has shocked people in the provincial capital and sparked a nationwide outrage.

It all began when a taxi driver surnamed Wang decided to park himself one morning at 3.30am outside the Changleyuan Old Folks Home to catch a few winks. What sounded like the cries of an old man wafting from the convalescent home startled Wang… So the next morning, and for many early mornings afterwards, Wang decided to come back to the same spot.

He discovered that each morning, at around 4am, a male nurse would turn on the lights, enter the rooms of some of the old folks, and physically abuse them. The loud cries of one old man begging the nurse to stop led Wang to tip off Henan TV’s City Channel, which then sent a crew to film the nightly goings-on undercover.

To complete the investigation, the Henan TV journalist visited the home in the day, pretending to have parents that he wanted to have placed in the home. He was told by a woman of the “excellent service” provided by the home, and shown pictures of smiling, happy elderly folk. When asked why some of the old folk were bound in bed, the woman replied that only the temperamental, impossible ones were tied up, and that the way they were tied up ensured no physical harm was inflicted.

Henan TV’s City Channel report from Sina.com:

We have translated what some netizens are saying:

ifeng.com

封開在
公辦養老院須找人托關係,進得去的都是與“官”字能扯上點關係的老人;看得是你手裏的章;民辦養老院則以“天價床位”的案例告訴我們,沒錢別進來.
One needs to have connections in order to get the elderly parent into a public nursing home. Those who are in the nursing homes must have connections with Chinese party officials. Private nursing homes usually ask for an astronomical fee. In other words, if you don’t have money, don’t come here.

 
讓子彈飛向敵人 –
還是類似“冷血護工”虐待老人的現象本身就在各家養老院普遍存在,是一種不可細說的潛規則?總之,“冷血護工”可怕,產生“冷血護工”的土壤更加可怕。
There are cruel and heartless caretakers in every nursing home. That’s a fact. Cruel caretakers are terrible, but the environment that nurtures these caretakers is even more terrible.

 
wnwxkn

我地的養老院也有此類事件發生,我母親是託人才住進公辦養老院的,老人小便失禁經常尿褲子,服務員將老人的棉褲洗後就藏了起來,致使老人感冒在我的追查下服務員才拿了出來,他們還將我母親鎖在屋內,老人從窗內跳時摔斷了腿。
It happens at our local nursing home too. My elderly mother was admitted to a public nursing home—with some help of course. She is incontinent and always wet her pants. The staff washed her warm pants and hid it. So later my mother caught a cold and I had to question them to get the pants back. They also locked my mother in her room and my mother jumped out of the window to escape and she broke her leg.

 
陽光流浪
中 國人歷來講究“尊老愛幼”的傳統,希望達到一種“老吾老以及人之老,幼吾幼以及人之幼”的理想狀態。我們不去討論該不該把老人送進養老院這個老話題,單就 是送進去了,老人就應該在裏面安享晚年。不要求多麼高的幸福指數,但起碼的生活及情感需要還是應該滿足的。
此則消息著實讓人毛骨悚然,養老院裏的老人怎 麼會受到如此“待遇”?當然護工肯定是冷血殘忍。但我們更應該認真思考這殘忍行為的背後有著怎麼的支撐環境。
Traditionally, Chinese people always respect the elderly and “care for the young.” Let’s not discuss whether we should send our elderly parents to the nursing home. Once older people are in the nursing home, they should enjoy their lives. We don’t expect them to be blissfully happy, but at least they should have their minimal needs taken cared of.
This message gives me goose bumps that the elderly in a nursing home are treated like this. Of course, the caretaker is definitely cruel and heartless. However, we should seriously think about the kind of environment behind it that supports this kind of incidents.

 
松軒醉雪
冷血護工的社會土壤可能是:社會以及政府對養老工作投入不足,缺乏職業培訓,護理人員工資待遇低,勞動強度太大,心理不平衡。無論如何,冷血護工的行為毫無疑問是令人髮指的犯罪行為,
The social environment that breeds this kind of cruel heartless caretakers may be:
1.    Insufficient funding from the community and the Chinese regime.
2.    Lack of professional training.
3.    Low salary for caretakers.
4.    Hard work and exhausting physical work.
In any case, brutal behavior is no doubt a heinous criminal act.

 
混混大哥
憤怒,難道就沒有監督制度,難怪很多老人都對敬老院有恐懼
I am very angry. Isn’t there a monitoring system for this? No wonder so many old folks are so afraid of nursing homes.

bbs.voc.com.cn

我一蜥蜴
真正的人间地狱就在新中国的养老院,孤儿院,精神病院,监狱,看守所
The ‘real hell on earth’ is in the nursing homes, orphanages, psychiatric hospitals, prisons, and detention centers all over China.

 
chennadoudou :
老龄化脚步渐进,会有越来越多的,中国得提高养老保障,加快福利性养老机构的建设,加强家庭养老的扶持
More and more people are getting older in China. China has to improve its protection of the elderly, and set up more organizations for them. Meanwhile, it has to strengthen its support for families to take care of their elderly.

 
天空上校
冷血护工很冷血,该拷问的是中国养老院体制
These care workers are heartless, but we should investigate the system of nursing homes in China.

 

xcy1011

令人感到心酸~ 
地球真是一个危险的地方 看守所 疯人院 幼儿园 高校 养老院~下一个危险的地方是哪里?
老无所依,老无所依啊~

It is very sad ~
This earth is really an unsafe place. Now it is the detention centers, psychiatric wards, kindergartens, and nursing homes. What is the next place? Old men are helpless, old men are helpless ~

 
Qiyi
公办养老院住不进,民办院住不起。社会现实。

One cannot get into a public nursing home; one cannot afford to get into a private nursing home either. And, that’s a social reality.

 

wangmintxggg
我有次在 第三福利医院 看见 有护工叫老人学狗叫 才肯退他进房间 万恶啊
In the Third Welfare Hospital, I once saw a caretaker make an old man bark like a dog before he agreed to wheel him into the room. It was such an evil thing to do!

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China’s Future Leader Xi Jinping Emphasizes Study of Marxism

Summary from Chinascope:

At the commencement ceremony of the second session of the spring semester of the Central Party School, the highest training institute for Chinese Communist Party officials, Xi Jinping, China’s Vice President and the President of the CPS, delivered a speech emphasizing reading the classic writings of Marxism… [saying], “You cannot do without the guidance of Marxist philosophy and the methodology of dialectical materialism and historical materialism.”

China's Future Leader Xi Jinping Emphasizes Study of Marxism (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Why talk about Marxism all of a sudden?

After 30 years of capitalist reform and economic growth in China, few Chinese still believe in the basic tenants of Marxism and communism, such as replacing private property with co-operative ownership.  So why, in 2011, is the future leader of China calling for a return to Marxist values?

We spoke with political science professor Edward Friedman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Here is what he told us over the phone.

Why is the next leadership in China talking about Marxism?

I think [Xi Jinping] is talking not even just to the Party but to the entire Chinese people.

There is every reason to think that this [next] leadership is going to be less open to civil society, less open to personal freedom, more interested in making use of disciplines, which will be defined as being in favor of equality and on the side of the people who’ve been left out. And they know there is anger in the society at the corruption in the country, and the great polarization between rich and poor, and they are looking for a way of maintaining power, maintaining their legitimacy.

I think that they believe using this language in this way of thinking about these things first makes good sense to them, and will be very attractive to many Chinese people who do not like the features of the present system.

They are conscious of these problems in the society; they [are] going to hold onto power and this is one of the ways they intend to do it.

This would mean that—you could already see it beginning to happen actually—that personal freedoms will be restricted, you could already see it coming, current with the restrictions on the use of various websites and blogs and so on…from the point of view of young people who experience their very way of life as having open access to these kinds of modes of social communication, they definitely will experience the change as making life worse for them.

I think that is not an intended consequence but an unintended consequence of the regime’s attempt to try to deal with certain problems, in ways which always maintain the monopoly of power for the Chinese Communist Party.

And Marxism is one of those ways; they think it legitimizes the Party.

I think [the leaders] mean to sell them [those words] at a popular level too. They feel that these things are something which will get a popular response from people in the society who are upset about corruption, polarization and things like that. It’s meant very much to appeal to ordinary Chinese people too.

I could be wrong, but I would expect Xi Jinping’s administration to be going much more in a direction which people would think of as being as more orthodox Leninist —I mean, they say “Marx” but they mean “Lenin”—more orthodox Leninist.

It would mean, I think, a decrease in personal freedom and social space. But what [Xi Jinping] hopes it would mean is less corruption, less polarization, and more support for the Party.

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Why Are Chinese Media Allowed to Report on Food Safety Scandals?

Summary from Yahoo:

Toxic bean sprouts, filthy cooking oil, drug-tainted pork: The relentless headlines in Chinese media have churned up queasy feelings for months about the dangers lurking in the nation’s dinner bowls.

The central government has been cautiously encouraging a sudden burst in food safety muckraking. That’s in contrast to before the new food safety campaign, when local officials would delay or quash reporting on food safety or the provincial government had to give permission for coverage of food scandals…

Few think the looser controls on food reporting signal a broader reform of Chinese media, which remains strictly controlled by the ruling Communist Party. Blogging and publishing are also muzzled, and those who challenge the government risk being harassed or detained.

Chang Ping, a former columnist fired from the gutsy Southern Metropolis Weekly for his critiques, said reporters have long had a freer hand on food troubles as long as they portray them as isolated rather, than systemic problems.

How come Chinese authorities allow coverage of food safety scandals? (Emilie Mocellin/AFP/ Getty Images)

Is freedom of speech improving in China?

We spoke with Benjamin Ismaïl, Head of Asia-Pacific Desk for Reporters Without Borders. Here is what he told us over the phone:

I think that just by observation you can tell if an article in the mainstream media has been censored [or not]. If it’s not polished or if it’s not visible online, you can’t access it. So you don’t even know that this article existed in the first place.

The censorship in the mainstream media in China is not operated the same way as the censorship done on the blogs and on the Internet. The Internet is less well controlled by the government, even though the control is still very strong, compared to the control they have on their media, on their newspaper press agencies.

The censorship in the Internet is mainly executed after the articles or posts are published online. Then they are monitored by the government agencies, and when some articles are found by the government agencies they are removed—but only after they have been published.

For the [state-run] media, the articles can be reviewed before they are published. If it’s a TV program, the content of the program is criticized by the Party and by the government agencies before it is broadcasted. So the results of these censorships are less visible, because what you see and what you read is what the Chinese government lets you see and lets you read.

Why do Chinese authorities allow coverage of food safety scandals at all?

The milk scandal has made some noise, and I think the government is conscious now that it cannot annihilate completely the coverage of such scandal by the media, as it had indented to do in the past.

So the government has to let the media cover these stories. That’s the main reason they [permit] some media coverage. … But I don’t think there is necessarily more freedom or less control.

If the mainstream media do not cover some issues, then the Internet can take the relay. And then the voices and the opinions brought on the Internet might not have any contradiction, if the mainstream media are forbidden to cover the same story.

It’s acknowledging that some information cannot be completely blacked out and ignored by the whole population. It’s not possible anymore without the technology of information and communication. So, if they try to impose a complete blackout from their media, as they did in the past, then Internet will take the relay and the consequences could be aggravated.

There would be leaks [of information] anyway, and the Internet and the social networks would continue to talk about these issues…. it’s more efficient to bring the attention on these issues from the [state-run] media point of view—press media or TV.

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Do China’s Citizens Trust the People in Charge?

Some articles in the Chinese media say the leadership has lost credibility with its citizens (LIU JIN / Getty Images)

Several articles in the Chinese media are saying the leadership has lost its credibility with its citizens. Chinese experts say that the majority of the people have no trust or confidence in the authorities.

Here’s a summary from Chinascopeof quotes compiled from Chinese media:

… Today, the sentiment of ‘mistrust’ has penetrated into the very fabric of Chinese people’s lives: when we Chinese eat, we can’t trust the safety of our food; … when we go to the hospital, we can’t trust that the doctor won’t over-prescribe medication; when we go to court, we can’t trust that the judiciary system will make a just decision. …

… we can’t trust anything: what the local government’s say, media reports, the people next to us, and particularly ‘it has become the habit of most people to question whatever the government says.’

‘Some people say that due to the radioactive impact of the Japan earthquake, salt from a contaminated ocean will not be edible. Then the TV news tried to quash the rumor and said it would not impact the Mainland. However, the people on the Mainland have lost confidence in the government. Every time the government makes some high profile statement, it means the truth is exactly the opposite. Starting on March 16th, all salt in stores (in Shanghai) had completely sold out, and the next day even all of the soy sauce was gone…milk products contain melamine… glutinous rice wine includes preservatives, and Sudan Red was found in salted duck eggs. Didn’t the government deny all of it?  Yet these violations are real and are continuing today.’

Are the authorities in China losing credibility?

We spoke with Richard P. Madsen, Professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego. Here is what he told us over the phone:

I think this lack of trust has existed for some time now, for example the scandals about the tainted milk… have been going on for four or five years, and there are many other things like that. So people are used to being skeptical about official claims, about anything.

Besides of the official media there are all sorts of other kinds of media, for instance the Internet nowadays… So sometimes people trust those more than the official media.

Also within the media itself there are some media that are more willing to speak the truth than others. And people look for knowledge of what’s really going on through that. After all, the issue of the food safety was exposed in the end through certain aspects of the media in China, so you can find out what’s going on. Maybe too late but… Actually for generations people in China have developed skills of gleaning what’s really going on, from statements in the official media, and not taking the official statements as face value, but kind of digging beneath it and try to figure out what’s really going on. And I think they will continue to do that.

There really is an outrage about a lot of things in China. There are hundreds of thousands riots and things like that every year, at different levels of the society… that’s going on constantly and it could be explosive.

However I don’t see this kind of explosion taking place in the near term because it’s balanced by a general feeling that things are kind of moving forward economically. And the government is also quiet skilled at isolating and containing various kinds of dissent and keeping it from spreading.

Vent it down…

Professor Martin Whyte, from the department of sociology at Harvard University explains over the phone how the authorities keep it from spreading.

People feel that their lives are not as predictable as they would like, and that the rules aren’t being followed the same way they would like…

But research I have done and research others have done have shown that there is a strong gradient in feelings toward trust in the government in different levels. The people tend to have quite high levels of trust in the Central Government, but much lower levels of trust for the low level— particularly lower levels of government.

… the leadership at the very top works as hard as they can to try to reinforce this gradient, in other words, they try to stress to their population, ‘ your government at the top cares about you and we have wise policies, it’s only those corrupt, inefficient, inattentive corrupt people at the bottom that are supposed to be enforcing our policies that are not doing it well’. It’s seems to be relatively successful, in other words, instead of blaming the entire system, and particularly the leaders at the top, people tend to get angry with their local officials, and local private interests…

Can the higher levels make the lower levels do their job?

It varies from issue to issue. In some sense they have the capacity, if they made it a high priority.

…it’s often the case that local officials are told ‘you have to promote economic growth, you have to promote employment, don’t worry about pollution and don’t worry about these other things’.

In other words, as an outside observer, I would say that the central leadership deserves blame as well, but they do very good job of sort of absolving this self blame saying you know “we’re trying to make the system better” and most Chinese seem to agree with that.

When they [the people] feel that they have not been treated fairly they don’t automatically say ‘it’s the system that’s corrupt and unfair’. They tend to say ‘it’s a problem of implementation and enforcement’ and these are very standard responses in any authoritarian political system.

People who studied Russia before the Soviet Union talked about “if the Czar only knew” in other words, if only the Czar ruling all of Russia were aware with what’s going on with the “little guy” he would be concerned and he would set things straight. It’s a feature that authoritarian systems can make use of to try to maintain the legitimacy of the system itself, even if people are unhappy about a lot of things about how they’re treated in their daily lives.

In fact, because of this phenomenon, China is a very turbulent society today; there are a lot of protests, about local issues and against local leadership and against abuses of people and so forth. People don’t just sit back and accept it. …they are saying that they can’t get fair treatment from local officials by playing by the rules, so there for they have to take to the streets and to organize people and call attention to themselves…. But at the same time, they’re hoping to get favorable responses from the higher levels, and sometimes they do. There was a recent strike of truck drivers in the Shanghai area. They eventually ended up in getting some favorable actions about fuel prices and other kinds of things that were part of the demands that the protesters wanted.

One is the reason why it has been so relatively stable despite all this turbulence is clearly because of the fact that there is so much economic growth, with so much improvement in peoples’ material lives, that people are willing to give to the system as a whole, and its top leadership, the benefit of the doubt. So one question mark – can they maintain that growth?

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Survey: 60% of Chinese Sad Over bin Laden’s Death

A front page of a newspaper featuring a picture of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 2, 2011. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary from The Washington Post:

Anti-American sentiment continues to be rampant among Chinese Internet users, most of them educated elites.

Immediately after the Navy SEALs’ successful mission that killed bin Laden, China’s Phoenix TV website conducted an online poll on the death of the world’s No. 1 terrorist. By midnight Tuesday, more than a half-million people responded. Asked “How do you feel about the death of Osama bin Laden,” 59.9 percent said they were “saddened, because an anti-American fighter has fallen.” About 20 percent indicated that they were “happy that he is dead.”

The same poll showed that while a clear majority strongly endorsed bin Laden’s anti-American “heroism,” almost 60 percent of those polled expressed disapproval of bin Laden’s indiscriminate killing of innocent people.

The strong anti-American hatred was reflected in website after website, microblog after microblog, across China’s vast cyberspace. In the most popular online chat room, Strong China Forum (qiangguoluntan), hosted under the aegis of the Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily newspaper, almost all comments on bin Laden’s death predicted a gloom-and-doom future for the United States, as the death of bin Laden, they say, will expedite America’s decline.

Here is a translation of part of the original survey:

From Phoenix TV website (Chinese Only)
Percentages are based on 480,212 survey responses as of May 13, 2011.

1. How do you feel about bin Laden‘s death?
1. Happy, the head of terrorism is finally brought down (18.3%)
2. Sad, an “anti-American hero” has fallen (59.9%)
3. Much to ponder, it takes 10 years to sharpen a sword, American finally had its revenge (12.2%)
4. [I’m a] bystander, what does his life or death have to do with me? (9.6%)

2. How do you view Bin Laden?
1. He’s the number one terrorist, and a threat to world peace (18.6%)
2. He’s an anti-American hero, but his terrorist acts that hurt innocent people cannot be accepted (57.6%)
3. He’s a fanatic fundamentalist; splitting from traditional Islam has made him a legend (15.4%)
4. Cannot be explained (8.4%)

3. Do you think Bin Laden’s death is an effective blow to terrorism?
1. Yes, this is a war against terrorism, and terrorism will be curbed (16.8%)
2. Yes, Islamist extremism is on the decline, and this marks the end (2.4%)
3. No, bin Laden is not the central figure, and his death will have no impact on terrorism (24.7%)
4. No, more people will join the extremist forces, and terror activities will intensify (47.8%)
5. Cannot be explained (8.3%)

Why do so many Chinese seem to have anti-American sentiment?

We spoke with Lynn White, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Here is what he told us over the phone.

Do 60% of Chinese people really feel bin Laden was a “hero”?

I’m not sure they do, in a full way. It is a very complicated question…

Two feelings: The first is that in the population broadly in China, there is a kind of skeptic-cynic attitude. On the one hand, there is some admiration to the United States. On the other hand, there is a feeling among a lot of people—and that would especially would apply to people who reply to an online survey, in other words, who tend to be more intellectuals—the feeling the United States is maybe trying to keep China down, to prevent China’s rise, of which they are very proud.

Another way to put that, though, is that that sample is not quite the same as the Chinese leadership. The Chinese leadership is so concerned about the dangers of instability… that they, I think, want to rock the boat less than the sample of people who might reply in large numbers that way in the survey. In other words, both, the whole population of China and the leadership may be a little bit more calm about this than that statistics of 60% would suggest.

Is there any Anti-Americanism In China?

If the question is if there is any Anti-Americanism in China, the answer is “yes”. If the question is if there is some basis for it the answer to that is “yes”—as there is also basis for anti-Chinese feelings in the United States. After all, leaders of very large countries with all sorts of interests—they don’t completely agree on everything, or their populaces don’t completely agree on everything. It’s perfectly natural.

The question is what are the results of that. And I trust and hope that future Chinese leaderships, such as the one coming next year, will not rock the boat. That is, they may have certain resentment of the United States, but you know, what will they do about it? And we might ask the same question of Americans, if American have certain resentments of China… what they will do or decide not to do about those differences is much more important question.

What do the survey results mean?

We should make a distinction between attitudinal surveys and behavior or actions. It’s the actions that are much more important.

And what should we think of the survey? We should ask questions about surveys like this, the kinds that I have asked: what were the alternative answers, what was the sample, does it really represents what everybody in China thinks? It doesn’t.  It doesn’t represent what most farmers think because those farmers don’t go online. It doesn’t represents what the top of the leadership thinks because the top of the leadership has more responsibility, more need to care for the effects of its actions than those people who respond to a survey like this.

It should teach us to think better, teach Americans to think more clearly about what attitudinal expression like this means. I don’t think they mean that much actually.

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Chinese Moonwalking Granny Has “Got Talent”

Summary from JEZEBEL.com

65-year-old Bai Shuying gave a surprisingly spry audition on China’s Got Talent — yes, Beijing has their own version of the show, too — in a Michael Jackson-themed number that she choreographed entirely by herself.

Here’s the full performance on Youtube:

A blogger named “A Stroke of Life” on SINA.com says it all:

Most importantly, Grandma Bai lets everyone, or at least myself, see the other side of the lives of the elderly, and has taken away my fear of being old.

Usually when I talk about growing old, there’s a certain element of fear because old age symbolizes degeneration, and your life becomes bland and lonely.

But Grandma Bai has changed my thought on this; your life can still be colorful and full even if you are old.

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