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Is the World Against China?

BU prof and student leader examine claims of media bias

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china_together.jpg

Aimin Yan, an SMG professor of organizational behavior, and Angela Chung (CAS’08), president of BU’s Chinese Students Association, discuss the controversy over Western media bias in coverage of China and Tibetan unrest. Photos by BU Photo Services and courtesy of Angela Chung

Last week, a BU Today article about the tension between the Chinese government and Chinese citizens and visiting foreign journalists received a record number of comments — 32 in one day — and almost all of them supported the charges of bias by the journalists. The story was an interview with Anne Donohue, a College of Communication associate professor of journalism, who talked about the controversy over Western media bias in the coverage of unrest in Tibet and the reaction of the Chinese government (see http://www.anti-cnn.com/). Donohue, currently in Beijing on a Fulbright teaching journalism at the People’s University of China (also known as Renmin University), noted that some Western journalists covering the unrest have been threatened and talked about how her students view the issue and the role of journalism in Chinese society.

In their comments, some readers told us to “shut up.” Some argued that by publishing a professor’s perspective on a controversial issue we were “bringing politics into the classroom,” thereby “ruining the peaceful community at BU.” Most people commenting, however, were simply angry that we presented only one person’s viewpoint and urged us to let other voices be heard. Consequently, we sought people in the BU community who could offer a different perspective, and settled on two: Aimin Yan, a School of Management professor of organizational behavior, and Angela Chung (CAS’08), president of BU’s Chinese Students Association.

Yan was born in Manchuria in northern China and lived there for three decades before moving to the United States more than 20 years ago. He is the director of SMG’s International Management Program, which every year brings an international group of graduate students to China for a summer of intensive course work. Yan says he reads both Chinese and American news media every day; he recently e-mailed an open letter to SMG colleagues, calling anti-China protests of the Olympics and the response of some Chinese to boycott companies accused of supporting Tibetan independence “a game that has no winners.”

Chung is majoring in international relations, with a minor in East Asian studies. Her family is from Taiwan, and although she was born in the United States, she spent the first two years of her life in Taiwan and returns often. We asked both of them, in separate interviews, about the Western media’s coverage of China and the Tibetan unrest. As with all Q&As we publish, this piece is limited in its scope and claims of authority to the viewpoints of those whom we interview.

BU Today: Are the Western media doing a decent job of covering the unrest in Tibet and the Chinese government’s reaction?
Yan:
In general, whatever you report, people are selective. My feeling is that because of political system differences and ideological differences, we see things from different angles. And everybody is biased. In my view, most media take a balanced approach, but still, the recent protests by Chinese people against coverage by CNN does have some merit to it.

Chung: I think they’re doing a very bad job of it. I just don’t think they’re covering it fairly. The headlines you see are “Brutal suppression of monks’ protest,” but most of the people in Tibet are not monks, and I think that’s a very common misperception — that Tibetan culture is based on Buddhism and so it’s a peaceful country. I want to say that I’m actually in favor of Tibetan independence, but in Tibet, there are a lot of radicals who are injuring Chinese civilians. For instance, most taxi drivers in the area are Chinese, and people are pulling them out of cabs and beating them up, and people are setting fire to Chinese businesses. So the violence is going both ways, and I think the media just makes it out as a black-and-white issue of innocent monks wanting their freedom and the terrible Chinese police just beating them and killing them.

What are some of the biggest problems with this coverage?
Yan:
For example, they cut pictures of local Tibetan people throwing stones at police vehicles. At the same time, I was personally pretty angry with CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, who said Chinese goods are trash and Chinese people are goons and thugs. I feel offended personally.

Chung: They’re labeling photos from Nepal and India as China. That’s an enormous mistake. It’s not like mixing up Shanghai and Beijing. I also think that the word choice that people use is suspect. For example, “brutal suppression.” What does brutal really mean? What if Hawaii decided to declare independence and Hawaiians decided to burn down businesses and kill innocent civilians? I assume that we too would send in our police and arrest them and take them off to jail. Only 50 years ago, when African-Americans protested for their rights, police sprayed them with fire hoses strong enough to strip skin. I want to emphasize that I’m not saying that the Chinese government is innocent of crime, but I think it’s wrong to just make blanket criticisms of China without understanding their situation. In studying international relations, we learn that part of trying to make the world a better place is understanding how a country works and why they are acting the way they are. We can’t just say a country is evil.

Do you think there’s a deliberate effort by Western news organizations to deceive readers and viewers?
Yan:
I don’t think so. As I said, we come from different cultural, political, and ideological backgrounds. We see things differently. For example, my colleague in the College of Communication talks about conscious skepticism among her students. And that’s a foreign term in China. From an American perspective, every reader and writer should have that, but in China they don’t get that. It is somewhat related to the government-controlled media, but in 5,000 years of Chinese history, it has not been a big part of education.

In other words, here in the United States, it is a very, very important mission for the media to report what the government does wrong. Anti-government is too strong a word, but basically the Western media has that mission to reveal anything that goes wrong with the government. In the Western media business, if you simply report that the government did this for us, it’s two sentences and you’re done, because not a lot of readers are interested in reading this. But in China, people basically don’t have that mind-set. They are used to hearing that the government did this and that for us. When you touch a subject that they dearly care about, you can make them very, very angry.

Chung: I don’t think it’s a deliberate conspiracy to make people hate China. But in this case, you can feel that the world has chosen a side and that the media is fanning those flames. What sells newspapers and magazines are stories and pictures of brutality. I think the media has picked up on world sentiment and is amplifying it. Media is a business, too, and right now, because the world has a certain opinion, they’ll profit from reinforcing that opinion. It’s definitely not accidental. I think they know those photos are of the wrong location, and they just label it wrong anyway.

Chinese reactions to foreign media coverage seem particularly intense in the run-up to the Olympics. Does distrust or anger over Western media coverage of China have deep historical roots?
Yan:
I think the Western media in general are culturally blind. They do not consider the culture of the Chinese. Their perspective is very much superficial. They try to make sense directly from an American perspective without looking at other angles. In every country in the world there are irrational people, but if you look at irrationality from different perspectives, it is culturally based. For example, my colleague from COM described her students at the university in Beijing as not very rational. But if you look at it from their perspective, it’s a perfectly rational thing to be angry with the media and then start a debate or argument with their Western professor.

Over a long period of time, I think that every time I’ve read something reported about China, about 80 percent of the time the story has a negative tone.

I think in the West, especially in the United States, whenever we talk about foreign countries, we try very hard to separate the government, the regime, from the people. And on some issues that makes sense and on other issues it doesn’t. For example, if you talk or write stories about issues in China like human rights or pollution or poor-quality products, well, that’s about the Chinese government, and the Chinese people don’t react that strongly.

For example, the bad quality of Chinese exports to the United States. I think the Chinese government and manufacturers should take responsibility for that, but interestingly, ordinary Chinese people think that too, because they are also consumers. But with the Olympics, it’s different. People in China have been waiting for this for so long, and in China they are everybody’s Games. I can tell you that every Chinese person is really enthusiastic about them. When the International Olympic Committee made the decision to grant Beijing the Olympics in 2001, I was in Shanghai, and all the nine Chinese students in the IMP class came to see me and negotiated for class rescheduling so that they would be able to watch the “historical moment,” in their words. And so, at this point, with stories of protests around the Olympics, trying to differentiate between criticizing the government and criticizing the people doesn’t make sense.

Chung: I don’t think it’s ever been as serious as it is now. I know, of course, that reporting that the Chinese government is doing good things is not going to make news, but I think it’s only recently that people have been really angry and disappointed with the negative tone of the news coverage, especially coming from the West, which prides itself on fairness and equality. It just seems that it’s very hypocritical, because they’re not being fair in this situation. A lot of Chinese people believe the media are just doing this because China is a rising power and the world spotlight is on China now with the Olympics.

Have reports of threats made to Western journalists covering China been overstated?
Yan:
I think so. The headline from your report last week really reflects something. “In China, Western journalists feel challenges and threats.” Threats from whom? A small number of irrational people saying things on the Web. We see that all the time, in every country. But the headline tells people, wow, this is a huge event. Of course, that’s what the media do.

Chung: I would say that there are radicals in every group. I guess maybe there have been threats, but I don’t think that’s how Chinese students or the Chinese people feel. Nobody I know is actually wishing bad things on people who report bad news. It’s always the loud radicals whose voices get heard in the news, and then people who don’t know any better assume that all Chinese are like that.

Chris Berdik can be reached at cberdik@bu.edu.

77 Comments

77 Comments on Is the World Against China?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 5:34 am

    Why Do you Hate Us

    When We were called Sick man of Asia, We were called The Peril.
    When We are billed to be the next Superpower, We are called The threat.  

    When We were closed our doors, You smuggled Drugs to Open Markets.
    When We Embrace Freed Trade, You blame us for Taking away your jobs.  

    When We were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your “fair share”.
    When We were putting the broken peices together again, “Free Tibet” you screamed, “it was an invasion!”  

    ( When Woodrow Wilson Couldn’t give back Birth Place of Confucius back to Us,
    But He did bought a ticket for the Famine Relief Ball for us.)  

    So, We Tried Communism, You hated us for being Communists
    When We embrace Capitalism, You hate us for being Capitalist.  

    When We have a Billion People, you said we were destroying the planet.
    When We are tried limited our numbers, you said It was human rights abuse.  

    When We were Poor, You think we are dogs.
    When We Loan you cash, You blame us for your debts.  

    When We build our industries, You called us Polluters.
    When we sell you goods, You blame us for global warming.  

    When We buy oil, You called that exploitation and Genocide.
    When You fight for oil, You called that Liberation.  

    When We were lost in Chaos and rampage, You wanted Rules of Law for us.
    When We uphold law and order against Violence, You called that Violating Human Rights.  

    When We were silent, You said you want us to have Free Speech.
    When We were silent no more, You say we were Brainwashed-Xenophoics.   

    Why do you hate us so much? We asked.
    “No,” You Answered, “We don’t hate You.”  

    We don’t Hate You either,
    But Do you understand us?   

    “Of course We do,” You said,
    “We have AFP, CNN and BBCs…”  

    What do you really want from us?
    Think Hard first, then Answer…   

    Because you only get so many chances,
    Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for this one world.   

    We want One World, One Dream, And Peace On Earth.
    - This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 8:09 am

    I would say, today’s story has some point. If we take CNN and the other western media as a business, we can understand their behavior. I also want to say, the reason why we Chinese ordinary people take those things so seriously even some of them are against the government is that in China, people cherish Family. We take family as the first, most, important thing,no matter when, no matter where and no matter what happens. Actually, many students in China or abroad have some different thoughts from their government, they may be even not favor of the governments. However, you can see how angry Chinese are in this issue. Why?Because this time, what happens in Tibet hurts our ‘family’, what happens in west hurt our feeling since westerns insult our ‘family’.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 8:11 am

    Is the whole world against China?

    This article is fair and balanced. I compliment Ms. Yan and Chung on their honest view about the situation around China and the Olympics. Good job!

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 8:39 am

    Really?
    Communist government.
    Really?
    Chinese government controlling news coverage of the Olympic press coverage.
    Really?
    Pollution in China and it is getting worse.
    Really?
    Tianmen Square.
    Really?
    Limiting families to one male child or face infanticide.
    Really?
    Both people being interviewed don’t live in China and do not appear to be too eager to go to live and work in China.
    Really?
    China not so bad.
    Really? Really? Really?

  • Hans Jaegerstatter on 04.25.2008 at 8:58 am

    Bias with a touch of fact?

    I have no doubt that the western media displays some bias when reporting on Chinese-Tibetan relations, but find it hard to ignore the things that may prompt this. To begin with, I believe that historically, Tibet HAS been a part of China, or at least under Chinese control. It has also had periods of relative independence, and I don’t blame Tibetans for wanting this now.

    Any government that kidnaps a young, high-ranking religious leader like the Panchen Lama for example, and “installs” it’s own Party-friendly version, deserves to be criticized. Imagine a Communist government in Italy claiming that Vatican City is historically part of Italy, filling St. Peters square with shops, bars and discos, and installing its own pope?

    China claims that it respects the various cultures that are in it, yet has attempted to dilute Tibetan culture in Lhasa, a city greatly respected by Tibetans, by bringing in multitudes of Chinese, and replacing parts of the old city with concrete plazas and buildings. Assertions by the Chinese government that it has “liberated” Tibetans is specious. It’s all about political paranoia and control, control, control.

    I respect the Chinese people and do not necessarily equate them with their government or its actions. These actions however are often oppressive and repressive, even towards the Chinese themselves, and deserve to be critiqued. Open dialogue and discussion is one thing. Pretending that everything is rosy in Tibet is quite another. A government which dismisses the importance of spirituality for Tibetans, or shows the world government-approved photos of happy, smiling monks and average Tibetans (who officially have “no problem” with hoards of ethnic Chinese moving in, or their religious freedom being fettered) is guilty of bias too.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 9:31 am

    CNN and other medias are business entity, or profit-oriented organization, now, we all learn that CNN is way far from what it claims to be, especially when CNN reports foreign events. This is the plain and simple truth.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 9:41 am

    To "Really?"

    It seems that you know everything, who are you!
    Yes, right, they are not living in China, are you?
    So many Americans in Beijing, what they are doing? I say for business or whatever; and so many Chinese in US, they are just not so eager to live in China, is this your logic?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 9:56 am

    Excellent story

    This was an excellent, well-balanced story and I learned a lot from reading it. Thanks to those involved.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:03 am

    There is a poem in China:
    ……..
    Then I died,
    even my skin was rotted underground
    Why my eyes still are full of tears
    Always
    That is because
    I love that land so deeply…

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:08 am

    Well said!

    Thank Dr. Yan and Miss Chung for voicing our views and concerns! And thank Mr. Berdik and BU Today for the willingness to listen to both sides.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:09 am

    Re: Really

    That’s a really childish way to express your opinion. The ideal of communism, a society where everyone is equal is not an evil ideal. It’s also pretty hard not to cause lots of pollution when you’re responsible for the majority of the world’s manufacturing. Tienanmen Square was pretty bad and so was the civil war cause by the fact that plantation owners wanted slaves. Every nation has their dark moments, which is why we learn from our past mistakes and move on. Oh and the one child policy doesn’t really exist anymore. Also infanticide really isn’t as common female children just not being registered. Your last points really hold little water it’s more or less flaming/trolling than making an actual argument.

  • Pikine on 04.25.2008 at 10:11 am

    Media hypocrisy

    After Hurricane Katrina, the looters in New Orleans looted the stores to seek fresh water and food since the rescue had been very slow. Most people died of poor hygiene after the hurricane than during the hurricane itself. When the federal government sent National Guards, armed with M16 and sniper rifles, to kill these looters who looted in order to survive, the media portrays this as restoring law and order.

    When the Chinese government sent police to maintain law and order in Tibet because the Tibetan rioters are burning ethnic-Chinese owned stores and beating up people who are ethnic-Chinese, the western media portrays this as suppression.

    Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama has announced that he will not push for Tibet independence. If the Tibetans are not rioting for independence, what are they rioting for?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:16 am

    BU Today Journalism people, don’t you think this headline is rather ambiguous compared with last week’s? What’s the norm for you to choose to be selective?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:22 am

    China and Tibet interviews

    How do we know what exactly happened, is happening, in Tibet?
    Why does China persist in ignoring the Dalai Lama’s insistence that he is not promoting the Independance of Tibet?

  • Pikine on 04.25.2008 at 10:25 am

    Imported Goods

    The goods imported from China are made of poor quality, but there are tons of lower-class American people consuming these goods because they can’t afford anything more expensive. Thanks to Wal-Mart, they don’t need to rely on clothing donations in order to have something to wear.

    But Wal-Mart is hurting the small-business retail and supply market in America, making more American people lose their jobs. Wal-Mart is also indifferent with the poor worker conditions of its supplier’s factories in China, so the Chinese workers there also suffer.

    Meanwhile, the oil price keeps rising. The US government takes more interest in burning more money in Iraq than using that money to subsidize the oil to help the economy. The IRS is sending you letters telling you that $300 is on the way, but this money is peanuts when compared to the rising price level because of the oil crisis. Iraq does not solve the oil crisis.

    In lieu of all this, the media directs attention to the poor quality of Chinese manufactured goods instead of the incompetence of the US government. The media is deliberately misleading the American people, telling them how bad human right in China is so Americans can forget about their own rights in their own country.

    After I graduate, I’m not going to stay in this country.

  • Ruiyi Ren on 04.25.2008 at 10:30 am

    fairer than lots of western media

    Even neither of Ms. Chung nor Mr. Yan really lived in China recently, they are still much fairer than most of western media journalists who stay in China now, some even for years. At least they had tried to understand ordinary Chinese people’s feeling. Thank you for the effort.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:32 am

    Really? Imperialist government. Really? Kill hundred thousands of innocent Iraqi people just to rob their resources. Really? Drive your gas-hog SUVs and claim that’s your god-given right. Really? Imprison more people (absolute number) than any other nation in the world. Really? Circle teenage girls in polygamy ranches, brainwash them and rape them. Really? USA not so bad. REALLY? REALLY? REALLY?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:33 am

    all media in western countries are profit-driven. that is why they want to make negative reports to a communist country—making headlines that can draw everyones attention.

    In Chinese culture people are encouraged to stay unbiased and be more tolerant. At present, however, Olympics is a major reason that both Chinese government and over a billion people get angry this time.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:34 am

    When your own people are getting beaten and their shops are getting burned, it’s pretty hard not to act on it despite the fact that the Dalai Lama is not trying to promote independance.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:39 am

    Dalai Lama said Tibet is like a panda. Well, Panda has both black and white color. But Chinese say it is white and free Tibet supporters say it is black. You cannot say who is right or wrong.

    However, do remember the fact that panda belongs to China.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:47 am

    Every nation in the world presents their media in such a way that satisfies their self-interest. In America, American politicians and journalists depict things to make american values seem best and in China they depict their stories to make chinese values seem best. I understand the frustration of the two speakers because they feel an emotional attachment and nationalism towards the country. But the reality of the fact is that the Chinese Communist Party depicts media in china in such a way that it brainwashes the people of China into false nationalism. There is really little to be thankful for with the CCP. ALL over the world, the CHINESE GOVERNMENT (not the people) are victimizing people. The thing is that the Chinese people are just as much victim to this cruelty because they are brainwashed by the system into false appreciation for a system that is actually harming them. Nationalism has been a huge driving force for all wars and it is never really the people who do the wronging but it is always the governments. That’s clear. it doesn’t matter what nation you are from, what culture you have, what matters is our global culture as human beings. We need to put aside our boundaries and cultural differences and differentiate what is good from bad rationally without any attachments to our nations. It is usually not the nation that is wronging people but the nation’s government, therefore there is no need to feel attached.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 10:53 am

    China and Tibet interviews

    How do we know what exactly happened, is happening, in Tibet?
    Why does China persist in ignoring the Dalai Lama’s insistence that he is not promoting the Independance of Tibet?

  • Why I boycott Made in China on 04.25.2008 at 11:07 am

    Why I boycott Made in China: Personally, I can’t support a country that tortures people if they practice a certain religion. I can’t support a country that has such a low value for life in general – a country that skins animal’s alive to turn a profit or boils cats alive because the screams are believed to give you a better hard-on or something sadistically stupid along those lines. I certainly can’t support a culture that serves live monkeys – allow you to hammer a whole into it’s head and then eat the brains or forces animals into a tiger pit, the slaughter – a tourist attraction (seriously, that is just sick). The basis is not tradition or culture – but greed, fear, and low moral – 3 things that causes me to not buy products and support such inhumane behavior and to almost, pity the country. It’s too bad that’s the road their government has chosen – and the people will be killed or tortured for speaking out. I’m glad I don’t live in China – maybe one day there will be a change in their cold heart, but it is not today.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 11:11 am

    still long way to go

    This article provides more opinions from more people, mainly the other side. BU Today did a good job to help the communication between the two countries and two cultures.

    On the other hand, however, I can not agree with the summary of the comments on the previous article
    “In their comments, some readers told us to “shut up.” Some argued that by publishing a professor’s perspective on a controversial issue we were “bringing politics into the classroom,” thereby “ruining the peaceful community at BU.” Most people commenting, however, were simply angry that we presented only one person’s viewpoint and urged us to let other voices be heard.”

    I went back to the article on April 17 and read all the comments. I do see words like “shut up”, “bringing politics into the classroom” and “angry”. I believe many Chinese, including me, were angry after reading that article. But from the comments I did NOT read “MOST” were make comments ANGRILY. Instead, what I learned from the comments is that MOST people were trying to tell the importance of view from a different angle.

    So it is interesting to view today’s article, or only the summary section of it, FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE: Is this another example of “different conculsion drawn from the same facts due to different culture”? Or is this a general trick for western media to draw eyeballs? What is your answer as Chinese and What is your answer as Amercian?

    So I guess my point is that communication is really important. I appreciate BU Today’s effort of replying the comments by publishing this article. And I have to say that we, both Chinese and Amercian, still have long way to go if we REALLY want to get more truth.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 11:12 am

    Re:China and Tibet interviews

    The best way for you to know what’s happening in Tibet is to go to there and observe with your own eyes. First of all, Dalai lama does not have the right to represent all Tibetan Chinese since there are more than five schools of Tibetan Buddhism and he’s only the leader of one of them. Majority of Tibetan Chinese are satisfied with their lives. Secondly Chinese central government had dialogues with him before and what he asked for was ridiculous. He want about 1/4 of the total land area from China which not only includes Tibet regardless the fact that in this so called “Great Tibet” area lots of Chinese of other ethics groups had lived for centuries; and also he demands no central government troops in “Great Tibet” area. He is pursuing the independence under the name of autonomy. And BTW, is he really working on the freedom of religion? You should do some research on what happened in his government-in-exile to Dorje Shugden, another small school of Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 11:21 am

    why china has to talk to dalai lama? does he have anything that china wants?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 11:23 am

    Re:Why I boycott Made in China:

    Yeah, plz boycott Made in Japan too since they kill whales each year for meat; and also Made in Korea since dog meat hotpot is popular there; and also Made in France and Italy since so much fur from wild animals were used for fashions there… Do a better research then you’ll find that you have to boycott the whole world.

  • cberdik on 04.25.2008 at 11:39 am

    Comments

    While we publish most comments that are submitted. They are monitored for duplication and for abusive tone. The comment telling us to shut up was not published for that reason. Other comments along the same lines about disturbing the peace, including the one quoted in the introduction, were emailed to me personally.

    cberdik 

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 11:44 am

    To the childish self-righteous boycotter

    I am just wondering where did you get your moral ground to say things like what you said.
    Talk about torturing people? I hope you remember the name of Abu-ghraib and the innovative way you people invented to assault humanity.
    Talk about killing animal for profits? I hope you remember things worse than that is happening in Boston and all around America, just in the name of science.
    Talk about killing animal for fun? Why don’t you drive to NH and persuade people up there quit their hunting habit?
    Have you been served a live monkey? I guess not, because you might get that impression from Movies like Indiana Jones. Heck, you might get all your knowledge about China from source like that and you blame 1.3 billion people and a culture with 4000-year history for your own ignorance. What can I say?
    “Greed, fear, and low moral.” Bravo. These are the three things I saw everyday right here in Boston for the last 7 years. Maybe one day you people will change your cold heart and your self-righteous way of thinking. But not today.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 11:44 am

    A few points must be addressed--from a Chinese student

    I appreciate BU Today’s attempt to address the issue on Tibet with a more objective approach. I am a Chinese student studying in America, and I just want to add a couple of other points to the discussion:

    1> I grew up in China and lived in a providence close to Tibet, where many Tibetans and local Han Chinese co-inhabited. When the violent protest broke out, my concerns was the the lives of my family in China. Indeed, Chinese civilians lives were endangered by the violence and the “peaceful protest” portrayed by Western media was not peaceful at all. And perhaps, to many of your surprises, many of the Tibetan monks had partaken in the looting, and had vandalized the homes and shops of the Chinese.

    2> Also, importantly, Dalai Lama didn’t ask for independence but sought for greater autonomy. However, it was the radicals and the mobs that stirred up the violent protest. With respect to the Media’s insufficient exposure on the issue, many Westerners thought that they were supporting the “freedom” of Tibet, meaning the independence of Tibet. Sadly, because it was in contrary to what the Dalai Lama was hoping for, he had mentioned that he was to resign because he was able to stop the violence. Keep in mind that the westerners’ support of radicals not only put Chinese civilians’ lives in danger, but also put the Dalai Lama in the middle of the heat.

    3> Please think about the cost of blindly supporting an issue that you don’t know much about. If you are supporting a violent protest, you are indirectly aiding mobs to achieve their goals by physically attacking civilians. Also, because of your ignorance, you are pressuring the Dalai Lama to give up this prestige and step down.

    4> On a different note, I am quite saddened that BU Today, out of all Chinese, or Chinese American students in BU, sought for a Taiwanese Student to talk about the issue on China. Even though Miss Chung is the president of Chinese Student Association, she identifies herself as Taiwanese American and has very limited knowledge on China. Many of the events ran by the Chinese Student Associate are very much social (party) events than anything else. There are many other clubs on Campus relating to China and Chinese Americans, in which BU Today can find someone who may share a light on the experience than Miss Chung.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 11:44 am

    still long way to go

    This article provides more opinions from more people, mainly the other side. BU Today did a good job to help the communication between the two countries and two cultures.

    On the other hand, however, I can not agree with the summary of the comments on the previous article
    “In their comments, some readers told us to “shut up.” Some argued that by publishing a professor’s perspective on a controversial issue we were “bringing politics into the classroom,” thereby “ruining the peaceful community at BU.” Most people commenting, however, were simply angry that we presented only one person’s viewpoint and urged us to let other voices be heard.”

    I went back to the article on April 17 and read all the comments. I do see words like “shut up”, “bringing politics into the classroom” and “angry”. I believe many Chinese, including me, were angry after reading that article. But from the comments I did NOT read “MOST” were make comments ANGRILY. Instead, what I learned from the comments is that MOST people were trying to tell the importance of view from a different angle.

    So it is interesting to view today’s article, or only the summary section of it, FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE: Is this another example of “different conculsion drawn from the same facts due to different culture”? Or is this a general trick for western media to draw eyeballs? What is your answer as Chinese and What is your answer as Amercian?

    So I guess my point is that communication is really important. I appreciate BU Today’s effort of replying the comments by publishing this article. And I have to say that we, both Chinese and Amercian, still have long way to go if we REALLY want to get more truth.

  • Moderation on 04.25.2008 at 12:03 pm

    Re: Why do you Hate Us?

    Dear author of “Why do you Hate Us,” thank you for being so eloquent; you’ve just said exactly how I feel and how many ordinary Chinese people feel. Whether it’s left, right, up, down, all around, it seems the western media can always find a negative spin. Well, Wag the Dog.

    If the western media could take the time to step outside their comfort zones and do some unbiased research and understand that China as a coming world power is not a threat, but a country whose people have been expressly and implicitly bullied for too long.

    China has much to offer and also much to learn. It has valuable history that we can embrace, not throw away. Every nation must depend on its own historical trajectory to improve. We can’t just transplant A into B and say – that’s the solution you should adopt. What happened to Russia? It’s a great country with hardworking people, and yet it suffered when it tried to change so suddenly. Gradual reform and stability is a Middle Way. Also, we can try to not be too attached to our own views – Buddhism is being happy with a Middle Way.

  • Angela Chung on 04.25.2008 at 12:14 pm

    RE: Boycott Made in China, False Nationalism

    Ask any Chinese person do they do (or attend) any of those things you listen above? Interview 100 people from China, I guarantee you’ll be lucky if even 1 has witnessed those weird acts. Stuff like that is what makes the news, and less intelligent people assume that all Chinese are like that. Maybe you should boycott Made in Spain because of Bull Fighting, or Made in US because of that Polygamist Sect. I read that people in Japan buy fruit flavored human poop and eat it, but I’m not stupid enough to believe that even 1% of the Japanese population actually does that.

    And by the way, “brainwashed” into Nationalism? I’ve only been to China once in my entire life, and I’m still very, very proud of my heritage. I suppose you’re going to say my parents brain washed me? Just from watching World Cup season, I think it’s quite obvious that many countries have a LOT of nationalism, but don’t get accused of being “brainwashed” into it. Nationalism is not necessarily a bad thing. Radical nationalists who begin to assume their race is better than all others is when it gets bad, but that’s not how most Chinese people are. It’s always the extremists whose voices get heard the loudest; I think there’s the same PERCENTAGE of extremists in China as in any Western country, but since China has 1.3 Billion people that same percentage ends up being a lot more numbers.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 12:24 pm

    Re: Comments

    This is perfect: I raised my concern in an early comments “still long way to go”, I got clarification 20 minutes later in this “Comments”. —- This is a perfect example of communication.

    The west media please give China the opportunity to explain, to clarify (unfortunately, I have seen much so far) And Chinese please also give CNN the same opportunity. That is the way to help!

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 12:32 pm

    Chinese in Tibet

    Re: angry Tibetans being upset at the Chinese in Tibet; in the 13th century, China was ruled by the Mongols. Let us see how the Chinese would react if Mongolia today claimed China as part of Mongolia, sent an army into the country, and saturated Beijing with ethnic Mongolians who said they were there to liberate the Chinese. No doubt ethnic Chinese would be unhappy and seek to defend their homeland and way of life. If China would seek to understand others in the same way it asks to be understood, it would come to see that Tibet, as a free country or truly autonomous part of China, would not be a threat to its national security, anymore than are Nepal or Bhutan. I do not believe that Chinese-owned shops should have been burned, or that ethnic Chinese in Tibet should have been attacked, but I can understand Tibetan outrage. They have been attacked, killed, marginalized in their own homeland, and deprived of religious freedom.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 12:36 pm

    For the love of China...

    It was a great interview and insight on the people being interviewed and they are very close to the truth in my opinion. However, people leaving comments about how good it is in China is just trying to ignore the virulent government that still exists in China today. Communism isn’t a bad idea? it’s application has killed millions of people, more than any other form of government. Look at Stalin’s regime(60 million), Mao Zedong’s (20-30 million), Pot Pole (not sure, but close to a million), the Afghanistan invasion (2 million), and others that died within all of those Eastern European countries. Any form of government that goes against the grain of human nature is the most evilest form of government as it it does not curb, but performs actions that causes the worst of reactions, whether these actions from Communism or not allowing allowing more than one child to be born. Do not tell me that the one child law does not get practiced, because if it is written as a law, people can still be prosecuted. Let alone the inhuanity of workers, child labor, and pollution that exists in China. I don’t hate China, but love it. Unless we identify the injustice that is befalling on the people, we will eventually find it at our doorstep. Don’t tell me I won’t, because I used to come from a country that 40 years ago had much freedom and happiness, no veils and no killing, but in a night civilization was overturned.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 12:42 pm

    hmm

    this article itself was good and interesting, but i have issue with some of these comments. I have to say that I’m sick and tired of the “western people don’t understand Chinese culture” story. Somehow it has manifested itself as a viable counterargument to many issues that the (admittedly biased) western media has with goings on in China. I have been around and deeply involved in Chinese culture for a long time and I have to say that I understand it all too well. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things I respect and admire about the Chinese mindset. But there are a lot of things that people write off as “culture” that are unambiguously wrong. I read in one of the comments above that: “In Chinese culture people are encouraged to stay unbiased and be more tolerant.” This is about as far from the truth as one could possibly get. Now of course I am bound to get myself into trouble with broad generalizations, but in my experience the large majority of (mainland) Chinese culture is intolerant on so many issues, the most disturbing of which is race. I’ve heard so many racist remarks first hand about blacks, indians, hispanics, and pretty much anyone who is not asian or white (there is even a hierarchy among the asian peoples). Its not that there is a consciousness about it. Its just that for some reason, these people don’t understand that their way of thinking is incredibly close-minded and just wrong. Its particularly painful to listen to because the victims of the racism would never even know it because Chinese people are bound to the “face culture” and will always present a pleasant demeanor, especially to foreigners and guests. So I guess the point of my comment is that if you want to argue that the western media is biased against the Chinese, then that’s fine and dandy. Just be sure you don’t take the lazy way out and write things off as “cultural differences.”

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 12:47 pm

    Dalai-lama is the best.

    China needs news freedom.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 1:01 pm

    To: Why I Boycott Made in China

    To Why I Boycott Made in China: Personally, it disheartens me to see such an ignorant posting made by a fellow student. The entire purpose of the above article is to encourage readers to take a larger perspective on foreign issues. Instead, you selected a handful of grotesque and unfounded examples from the PETA website and applied it to their entire country. You watched a YouTube video about eating monkeys (probably fabricated by a group of bored teenagers) and applied it to their entire culture.

    There have been two good points stated in the article and reiterated through user comments: 1. It is important to distinguish a government’s actions from their citizens; and 2. Incidents of cruelty and human rights violations occur every day in every country, including ours. Many “made in China” goods have to be such low quality in order to meet extreme price-cut practices by US retailers. The Chinese suffer too, both as consumers of these products as well as laborers being paid unbelievably low wages because that’s all foreign companies are willing to shell out for the product. It saddens me that you believe boycotting the “made in China” pajamas from your local Wal-Mart will make a statement against animal cruelty and human rights violations in the “cold-hearted” country.

  • fromChina on 04.25.2008 at 1:08 pm

    It's china government's fault.

    It’s china government’s fault, not Chinese people.

    I am from mainland China, so i knew China government blocked political news and Internet. Chinese people can only get news source from government. XINHUA is one stop shop news agency for Chinese.

    I believe most of Chinese don’t even understand what are human rights, they just believe government. They had no chance to get different voice.

    Even though I totally support Olympics in Beijing, I still think China government needs to give more human rights to Chinese people, and pays more respects to Chinese people.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 1:10 pm

    Western media attacking the China?

    Although I do believe that the western media may not be portraying China fairly, but some activities of the Chinese people are irrational. The Chinese have a proud history and are very nationalistic people but why would they counter protest a French supermarket brand? Is it because it is simply… French? the company’s leaders clearly stated that they support the Beijing Olympics but are still facing major protests today as we speak. Why are journalists not allowed into Tibet? If the Chinese government feels confident in how they are handling the situation, why not allow free press in the area? It reminds me of how the Chinese government desperately tried to play down the Tiananmen Square incident, calling the protesters mindless criminals aimed at stirring anarchy. Although the Chinese populace and government have a right to be angry with how the west portray their country, the Tibet incident is on the news because it has a source of truth. Thank you Prof. Yang and Ms. Chung for your honest opinions. I hope that things will turn out for the better and China will successfully host the Olympics this summer.
    P.S. Personally I think people who are planning boycotts do not know how the world works. We are in a globalized age and are interdependent on each other. China is a leader of manufacturing. Good luck finding products to boycott because all the things you buy probably have something made there.

  • Angela Chung on 04.25.2008 at 1:11 pm

    Why I Spoke with BU Today

    First of all, I really appreciate that BU today ran this article because it is a issue that is on concern to many of our members.

    To “A Chinese Student”–BU Today contacted our organization, as opposed to all the other student groups because we are the largest and most prominent Chinese organization on campus. I think “A Chinese Student” should know more about CSA and its mission statements before called it a “social (party) group”. Our main goal is to promote awareness of Chinese culture on campus and promote harmony between groups. We have hosted the 2 largest (and only) Chinese Culture shows on Campus, one traditional in the fall and one pop culture in the spring. In addition, we hold events that celebrate Chinese holidays, Chinese games, and of course, Chinese food. This year we were planning to show a documentary about the Rape of Nanking, but unfortunately could not get a copy of the film (which is not released yet). I think BU today made an excellent choice coming to us, because our organization encompasses Chinese from mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, America, all over the world. Considering that a lot of BU students probably have no idea there is more than one Chinese group I would think you should not blame BU today for not finding you, you should blame yourselves for not making your group more active or involved with the student community. When BU today contacted me I originally planned to have one of our eboard members who is from Beijing speak to him. After careful thought however, we decided it is better to have a Chinese American speak on behalf of the issue because evidently so many people assume people from mainland China are “brain washed”. Trust me, I spoke to plenty of Chinese people before speaking with Chris, and since part of CSA’s mission is to promote Chinese Culture, we are very concerned with the media’s bias against China. I don’t like the CCP, I don’t like Mao (my family left China because of Mao’s actions), but I still understand why the Chinese government acted the way it did. Also, I want to emphasize that the CCP today, although it still has problems, has improved significantly from decades ago and I think the world should acknowledge that instead of just leaping on all of its faults.

    On another note, who are you to assume I identify myself as Taiwanese American? Because my family is from Taiwan and we consider ourselves Chinese. I am very proud of my heritage and also very proud to have the Olympics in China. I consider myself Chinese American, and, just like I’m not afraid to say that I actually think Tibet should be independent, I’m not afraid to say that I think Taiwan should remain a part of China. Why? Not that I think Tibetan indepdence even matters in the issue stated above, since the issue of concern is media bias, not whether or not Tibet should be independent.

  • Balu Vemula on 04.25.2008 at 1:22 pm

    What is the media?

    I would like to thank Professor Yan for pointing out that the media is just another business. Therefore, in most cases, their main objective is to increase the number of viewers and thus increase their profits. Individuals should not forget that the media is based on such goals.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 1:39 pm

    Be careful when making judeges

    Thanks to BU today, letting people be exposed to diverse voices and to make their own judges. Truth and fairness appear to be possible in this process. I would say nobody is really unbiased. Easy to make comments, but be careful when making judges.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 1:55 pm

    Chinese people hate government.

    I am a Boston university student from Beijing, China. We are supporting the Olympic game, not supporting Chinese government.

    Actually lots of Chinese people hate government. But you know what? It’s just the way it is. DICTATORSHIP. Government controlled the army. Chinese people could not change anything, but accept the fact.

    Accept the fact and support Olympics. That’s all Chinese people can do.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 2:05 pm

    Re: this: “I would like to thank Professor Yan for pointing out that the media is just another business. Therefore, in most cases, their main objective is to increase the number of viewers and thus increase their profits. Individuals should not forget that the media is based on such goals.”

    The western media for all its faults is not just about profit, and I will take it, warts and all, over the kind of “media” that mainland Chinese are “blessed” with any day. A government which denies a free exchange of information and ideas among its’ people shows a blatant mistrust of its’ people. To dismiss the western media as nothing more than a money grubbing machine in order to negate things reported which one doesn’t agree with or want to be known is outrageous. Freedom of the press is a right that many hold dear. The Communist Chinese government and press have a history of lying, withholding information, and keeping its’ own people docile and compliant. Many Chinese who bewail real or alleged media bias via this forum can do so because of where they are now living. They would not have this right in China.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 2:23 pm

    A Preposterous Interview

    The scope of this interview was preposterously narrow. Were the questions selected by the Chinese government?

    A few key issued not mentioned:

    -Journalists not allowed in Tibet
    -China #1 worldwide in executions
    -China’s dismal human rights record, arrests of peaceful activists…

    Shifting the discussion toward Tibet gives the Chinese GOVERNMENT a shaky leg to stand on. Why not discuss human rights?

    Focus on China/West relations has allowed the Chinese GOVERNMENT to efface the real issues: the ways in which it is clearly an enemy to its own people.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 2:45 pm

    Chinese people should not

    Chinese people should not have to apologize for being patriotic and standing up for their country when the press decides to drag their name in the mud. Western News, especially CNN, has increasingly had a biased pitch when it comes to international news and while it is easy to say “this is a business”, it is negligent of us to allow news to become distorted facts that can lead to civil unrest in countries. Don’t journalists have to take an oath to declare that they will report a full and complete story that honestly weighs both sides of the story?

    Honestly the majority of readers or viewers of international news do not have a point of view about any country until the press gives them a view which is usually one sided or blown out of proportion. If news is now just a business to make money and get the most attention, it should just be called GOSSIP!

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 2:59 pm

    To professor Yan,

    Jack Cafferty in CNN said Chinese goods with lead paint(hurting north America children) are trash, rather than all Chinese goods are trash.

    He didn’t say Chinese people are goons and thugs. Please check it out.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 3:00 pm

    GO ANGELA!!!!

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 3:07 pm

    Wake up from being fooled and used by the governments

    Tibet issue is only about the interests and benefits between countries, but with a lovely noble mask—-so called “human rights”.
    1. if all of western world care so much about human rights and freedom, why don’t they sit down and talk with chinese government patiently friendly and productively to find a good solution? why do they just jump out and criticize and blame even insult chinese government and chinese people? Actually, there are plenty of international associations and groups sent their members to china, to tibet to help improvement and construction, all of them are kind, friendly and decent. Why did the western media refused to take interviews with these people who were working and actually witnessed what happened in Lasha?
    2. if you have time, would you please read some history of tibet from wikipedia? Tibet is an important region in political and military concept. That is why British troops invaded Tibet in the early 1900s, then the Japanese army tried, too, through India. For that region’s safety and China’s safety, it is impossible to let Tibet leave, also considering all the chinese citizens’ emotion. As Americans say “united we stand”, 56 peoples in china are united.
    3. May I point out some facts about tibet? On Sep. 5, 2001, UN reported that “Potentially Massive Oil and Gas Find in Tibet”. Also, in Sudan, there are not only chinese oil company, also companies from India, Malaysia and Canada, Sweden, but unfortunately, we didn’t find american oil company there which is surprising. This is also why recently the media and the government put the two things together in one time, especially in the special time, when american economy is slowing down and gas price is climbing up dramatically.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 3:21 pm

    To my previous three posts

    You have not tried to understand or read through the article and have no idea what this feud is really about!

    You can talk all day about the Chinese human rights situation and whether Xinzhang should be independentj; and Chinese people can talk all day about how the US has invaded Iraq and etc. making millions homeless and whether the US should return its land back to the aboriginals of this continent. It’s the freedom of speech, its your own right, and theirs.

    However Chinese people (56 ethnic groups all together) are now offended especially by the comments from Mr. Caffney and some obvious truth distortion. There is a bottom line drawn for journalists or news reporters, the ethic. That is it. Besides, I don’t believe you will bring up how your mom is mistreat you once a while and ignore the humiliations throwing at your mom.

    Remember Mr. Imus? He paid his pride for trash-talking on black american. Shouldn’t Mr. Caffney or CNN? Maybe this time is different, because their target is the Chinese?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 3:55 pm

    Biased and Childish

    There is a poem in China: …….. Then I died, even my skin was rotted underground Why my eyes still are full of tears Always That is because I love that land so deeply…

    Thank you for reminding of that poem. It appeared in my emailbox recently from my chinese friend.

    For the dude who would boycott made in China, I want to say all you evidences were just too biased to appear in here. Can you tell me why my friend in middle school(in China) is a Christian but no one come to kill her? We respect religions as everybody else. My grandmother is a Buddhist and she lives a happy life. Ridiculous things happens everywhere. Regarding those outliers as a whole country’s behavior is extremely immature. Like someone above said, just boycott the whole world. Look at the computer you are using, it is probably made or assembled in China.

    PS. I love that “Why do you hate us”. Nice comment.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 4:06 pm

    Most terrible thing

    I am from China. Most terrible thing in China is Chinese people could not get real news from the world. China government is puppeteer, and Chinese people are puppets. I feel really really sad about this.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 4:10 pm

    Its time I open my mouth about china and the west

    I have to admit the first time I went to china I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived there, I actually had visions of being followed by black cars and seeing troops marching in the streets the people I thought still wore grey down filled clothes with the caps..lol wow was I wrong.

    I found a very beautiful country with people who I found were no different then my self, caring and friendly, within a week of seeing the true china, even with its faults I was in love with the people and the land. Some people say I have yellow fever, I think that im just a man who tries to look past a fa?ade and try to see what truth lays somewhere in the middle.

    With all the bad press ,most blown out of purport ion I wanted to talk about what I have seen and heard

    after arriving back to the states from china I called my brother to talk to him and he was relieved we made it home safe because he heard that it was almost civil war over there ..lol I told him there that there was no civil war there..lol

    I’m tired of being asked about how bad the Tibetan people are being treated, first lets see the real picture of whats going on over there, not half truths and clearcut lies, I don’t know for certain what is the truth but I can say what I have seen with my own eyes. We were eating dinner in a high end restaurant in Hong Kong when two Tibetan monks with another man and three women sat down at the next table, both monk were plump (hadn’t missed many meals I would have to say) they were eating lamb chops and talking on their Iphones. Not looking like the monks the western media always shows. I started wondering what the truth of Tibet really is, after the monks I realized its about money and power. Someone has to pay for the women , Ipones and 500 US dollars meals, besides I don’t think the dalai lama rides economy when he flies. The money has to come from some where and with the upsurge of tourism bringing the almighty dollar with it the real question is a free Tibet for the people or for the money, HUM I wonder what the truth really is.
    tonight I read a news story about how china hid the protest from the Chinese people…hell I was there when they covered the story, I watch the news coverage of it …I watch CNN in china refuse to talk to the Chinese press about the vulgar comments that Jack Cafferty made about the Chinese people and basically threw the Chinese press from their offices there..i want to add this link to the story of china hiding the protest … http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5000/

    In closing I want to say don’t take any truth to be true until you investigate it your self and try to look past the hate that so many Chinese have to put up with show your true side ..the side that is caring and loving… thank you laodongrenmin

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 4:19 pm

    Finally!

    Thank you! Finally, an article that isn’t about how brutal and inhumane and awful China is. Keep in mind the saying that you need to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to understand. I completely agree with Professor Yan and Angela Chung. Everyone needs to take a chill pill and really take the time to learn both sides of the equation.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 7:07 pm

    The answers

    I would love to see this discussion come to rest with the comment “Finally!”. However, I can’t help giving out my answers to a couple of the previous questions or doubts… if I still can.

    Re:”Hmm”
    I am sorry but I have to say that you don’t really understand the Chinese Culture. First of all, tell me how much Chinese literature, docs you have read and how much Chinese you understand. Do you really understand the typical Chinese philosophy accumulated along a 5000 year civilized history? I am a 35 year old engineer who grew up in China and came to the states at the age of 20. I am adopting a lot of US mindset, I benefit from the advantage of the “East meets the West” background. However, I still can’t tell you I understand some of your behaviors and the culture behind it. So how will you make yourself a spokesperson of the world understands China and her culture? IMO, Chinese are way better in approaching the world, than the world in approaching China. Simple fact: can you tell how many Chinese are willing to learn English and how many outsiders of China are willing to learn Chinese? I can definitely tell you that there are much more Chinese want to learn the West than the Westerners to China. It’s a superior lead both in the figures of headcounts and in percentage of the population. So, will your case still stand? Please try to respect and appreciate the difference between cultures.

    Re:”Chinese in Tibet”
    If you actually believe what you said, you did not know what you were saying. But if you tell me that IRA (Irish Republican Army) was fighting for a good cause, and GB should let up the control of the northern Ireland, I won’t waste my time with you. If you do agree that IRA was not representing the majority of the people from northern Ireland, they were terrorists, cracking down the IRA activities was an internal affair of GB or anti-terrorism, then from what you said, you used double-standard. Can you tell me what makes you believe that the separatists of Tibet is actually representing the majority of the people? Can you tell me why you think they are not terrorist by killing innocent people before the government was involved? Can you tell me how you justified this incidence as suppression of peaceful protest? Were you there? Have you been there? Have you polled the Tibetans? When you called others “brain-washed”, have you checked with yourself to see if you have also been “brain-washed”?

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 8:39 pm

    is this your english?

  • ABC on 04.25.2008 at 11:44 pm

    I think Miss Chung’s word is totally not convicing!
    Look at her background, born in USA, live in taiwan only two years. She totally can not understand mainland China, even she may not understand taiwan.
    Pay attention, Taiwan is differernt from mainland China.
    I suspect how can she become president of Chinese association.
    Her experience is similar to any foreigners and totally can not represent Chinese

  • Anonymous on 04.26.2008 at 8:33 pm

    Sit down and talk

    Thank you BU for presenting an issue and concern that is on my mind since the ‘Violent Incident’ reported last month. I think BU took a step toward a right direction in allowing different voices to be heard. The entire Tibet-China issue is a very complicated issue that needs a lot patience and understanding from every party that are involved. I am a Chinese American who has many dear Tibetan friends. First of all, Dalai Lama never ever wanted independence and every Tibetan knows that. However, younger generation Tibetan is not as patient. They are mostly hot blooded young people who really wanted to go back to their motherland at any mean possible. Just like the hot young blooded Chinese student who shouts in Pro-China protest “ one china, one china”. They often use their emotion rather than cool head to act and speak. As far as media coverage, there are some biases from western media initially regarding what the CCP is doing to the ethnic Tibetans, but overall it is a fair reporting since it is allowing different side of a story to be heard. You can pretty much Google all kind of issues and you tube thousands of footage on Tibet-China issues nowadays. I am a little concern with my fellow Chinese brother/sisters view of denouncing CNN and BBC. However, knowing the limited access to unbiased and free reporting, I can understand where these over the top demonstration and pro-china action come from. I want to ask everyone here, do any of you still follow the development in Tibet now? Why is everyone so focused on 3-14 violence? Does any one of you know that another wave of culture revolution is happening in Tibet? Yes violence against Chinese in Tibet has stopped, but what the government is doing in Tibet right now? Please, if you really care about China and care about Tibetan Ethnic group in China, please follow the development there and focus your energy to help the people there.

  • Anonymous on 04.27.2008 at 8:00 am

    For those who don’t know what CNN’s Jack Cafferty said on April 10 in San Francisco, here it is, “They are the same bunch of goons and thugs ove the past 50 years…” Please Google or YouTube it.

  • Anonymous on 04.27.2008 at 2:49 pm

    The title

    While I’d like to thank Mr. Berdik and BU Today for listening to the other side, I do feel the title of this article is interesting!

    Even the angriest Chinese will not say the Whole World is against China because the majority of the people in the world support China’s sovereignty on Tibet and the Beijing Olympic Game. However if all you read and see are the mainstream western media, you do feel the Whole World is against China. That’s why those media are biased! All you heard in the past month, even on NPR, was the anti-China and pro-Tibet talk, and the opinions and views of the other side whose numbers are much greater even in North America were not reported.

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2008 at 9:53 am

    CNN's Jack Cafferty

    CNN argued Jack Gacfferty is talking about the “government” not the people.

    1. how can you differentiate people from the government, you think iraq people benefited from down of the iraq government, wake up

    2. He is using “they”, and clearly, every one in china is hurt. And it is racism

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2008 at 11:15 am

    Which side to take

    I’m certainly not a supporter of the Chinese government,
    having lived there for over thirty years. But, who are
    those advocating Tibetan independence? What they want
    is not the independence of Tibet, but the restoration of
    their slavery system! The Tibetan serve system was
    the most barbarous in the world. I just simply can’t
    side with those slave owners. I wonder why the western
    media keep their mouths shut about this terrible fact and
    describe these guys as human rights and freedom fighters? That must be the biggest joke of the century.

  • CSA on 04.28.2008 at 11:52 am

    Re: Miss Chung's Word is...

    Why do you feel a need to attack another student because of her background? Is the purpose of this article to “understand” mainland Chinese? No, the purpose of this article is to understand media bias. Angela is an international relations major, asian studies minor, and her regional focus is China–she has spent her college career studying China and its interactions with the rest of the world. Calling CSA a group of “foreigners” is an ignorant statement. CSA emcompases people from mainland, China, Hong Kong, and America. It’s purpose is to educate non-Chinese about Chinese culture, so obviously our meetings are all conducted in English because we do not want to be exclusive. I question why you are so bent on attacking her and our club…

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2008 at 4:49 pm

    Give China government more pressure.

    I am a student from mainland China. I hope the whole world could give China government more pressure, and ask China government to give China people human rights and freedom of the press. Thanks.

  • Anonymous on 04.30.2008 at 2:15 pm

    Re: A few points must be addressed--from a Chinese student

    Obviously if you think that CSA is only a social group then you are completely ignorant and have never been to any of its events. CSA holds 2 culture shows every year and had events to promote chinese tea, food, fashion, music, games, and more. Name one organization that is more cultural than CSA. CSA may seem more social because it has so many more members than any other group on campus because it is one of the best on campus. Does any other culture show get 400+ audience members?
    I am a chinese student too, and I think your points are ridiculous, especially regarding CSA and Miss Chung. If you can do a better job interviewing, then maybe you can try asking BU Today to interview you. Although I would suggest you try practicing your english first…they don’t conduct interviews in Chinese sorry

  • Anonymous on 05.12.2008 at 2:41 am

    I really feel that I need to come out and clarify one fact. Western journalists in Beijing ARE getting threatened!!! I know it because I am one of them. I am working in the office of a Beijing bureau of a major American media. I AM one of those who sit in the office everyday and pick up threatening phone calls. We’re not CNN, but I have personally picked up over 30 nasty phone calls over a period of 3 days. Believe me, as I have been counting! The nastiest curses I have ever heard in my life! I heard that things were a lot worse in CNN’s Beijing office. As for places outside the office, I can’t even count how many times, in the taxis, at malls, at restaurants, that I have heard average Chinese discussing western media with a very disrespectful tone.

  • Tsui Wa on 07.08.2008 at 12:52 pm

    Dalai Lama is not anti-Chinese

    What all people need to understand is Dalai Lama is not anti-Chinese he is only asking to provide basic human rights for Tibetan People that is rights for religious freedom, rights to preserve culture and history, free speech and rights for a peaceful & human freedom.
    What all Chinese Asking for:
    Defend of human right for all Chinese in Mainland & Freedom for all Chinese from unfair Restriction and restrain form Chinese Government. No brain wash of Chinese Children. Free Speech & free press for all Chinese…..ect

    As a Chine I support Free Tibet; world Map is changed unless we all still be ruled by Alexander the Great.

  • Anonymous on 07.15.2009 at 8:16 am

    Impressive Discussion

    I am not a student in BU and I came across this discussion unintentionally while doing some research on the internet. The interview and comments here are very impressive and intelligent – great people you all are!! I work in the digital media entertainment business out of Hong Kong and I have over a decade of experience working in and out of China. I must say that CCP is still putting a lot of unnecessary restrictions on the flow of everyday information. The so called “censorship” is really politically motivated (everyone I met in China knows and acknowledges that) and it is severely slowing down its domestic creative industry – after all, you need to see and hear a lot before you can create something unique. Also the price of content censorship is the proliferation of piracy – because they become the easiest channel for blocked contents to find their way to the local audience. And of course, when piracy becomes a consumer habit, the media entertainment industry is beyond cure. I am upset that the CCP is putting a tight grip on information and slowing down their people in catching up with the rest of the world. People today are not the same as they were 50 years ago – today we live and die by information – that’s how we learn and grow and become more creative. Restricting the freedom of news and information is going to hurt their people and social balance – because information will eventually find its way to those who are seeking them. And often information presented in those channels will be selective, biased, partial, and distorted – which will only cause more misunderstanding and conflict. China has her problems and although I do get quite frustrated at times dealing with their government and people (e.g. try driving there – it’s “fun”!), I must say that both the government and the people there are all working very hard to improve. I don’t believe I will see a democratic China in my life time, because democracy relies on the quality of the people. And with the population in China, I think there is still much to be done in education. Nonetheless, I am seeing interestingly how a communist party is becoming a big fan of capitalism – I couldn’t see one thing in the everyday China that has the slightest element of communism apart from the CCP itself. I often wonder, when will the CCP change their name and logo? IMO, the communism ideology is just an archaic anachronism in China today.

  • Anonymous on 11.30.2009 at 3:10 pm

    "Free media" does not equal accuracy

    Some Americans always say that since media is “free”, they must get an accurate picture of the outside world. They are either too naive or too self-righteous. Taking reporting about China as an example, mainstream media almost always give one negative side view on every China-related issue and ordinary Americans have been well brainwashed about China for decades. Besides, most Americans don’t actively go out to seek different opinions for various reasons (language difficulty, cold war mentality, cultural bias, wishful thinking, etc.).

    At the same time, even with some government restrictions, most Chinese can read in English and have a variety of ways to seek various information on an issue on Internet. The major difference is: most Chinese are ACTIVELY seeking different viewpoints! In fact, Chinese have better critical thinking skills. They develop good critical hinking skills throug hard ways, they sort out truth from lies by comparing different viewpoints and they form their views on China and Chinese government by living and experiencing their lives in China.

    Mainstream west media is very very skillful in terms of brainwashing. It is NOT what the media reports, it is HOW it reports. When the media reports on China, they always use labels such as “communist China”, “government controlled media” to start with. The use negative headlines. American news consumers don’t need to listen to the rest of the story because you are already given a negative image, yet most people even don’t realize such brainwashing.

    When mainstream west media pretend to be fair and occationally provide some opinions of two sides, what tactic they usually use? They will start with the opinion of Chinese government or Chinese citizens as these: “Chinese communist government says:…… ; The government controlled media says………; Chinese students who only receive information from state-owned media tell the reporter…….”, and they will finish with the anti-China anti-Chinese individuals/groups’ viewpoints: “Howver, according to nobel prize DL……. according to human rights activits……..; according to west reporters………”. Do people see such brainwashing tactics? They first set the negative tone and demonize one side, they then create a very positive image for the latter and use the latter to give their viewpoints!

  • peace on 11.30.2009 at 7:38 pm

    Read these comments

    http://www.bu.edu/today/2008/08/26/beijing-living-story

    Please see this page and read comments on the article. It seems to most journalists in America, if Chinese disagree with and question their viewpoints on China, they are labeled as “being brainwashed” by Chinese government. But if they agree with their viewpoints, they are good and smart. What can be more ironic and arrogant? Who are trully brainwashed? Their limited education on China, their often suspecious attitude towards a very different culture and people, their cold war mentality, their old limited information about China, their lack of knowledge of Chinese language and their unwillingness to seek different viewpoints from sources other than mainstream west media, all these (and more) make some American journalists to be so biased when they talk and write about China and Chinese people.

    By the way, while beautiful phrases such as “human rights and public opinions” have been repeated used to criticize China, some west journalists shamelessly against 2008 Olympics. Do they realize that they are actually against majority of Chinese “public opinions” (97% Chinese support Beijing Olympics) and violate and abuse Chinese people’s HUMAN RIGHTS to hold the game in their country?

  • 56 on 11.30.2009 at 8:14 pm

    Why not give America back to Native Indians?

    To those “free Tibet” Americans, why don’t you ask U.S. government to return the land to Native Americans first? Maybe this will set a good example for Chinese. Did Native Americans happily give up their land? The hard fact and reality is: Tibet region has been under Chinese administration for a long long time; much longer than the entire history of the United States, and ordinary Tibetans lives have been grealy improved! Dalai Lama was a slave-owner and he never practices what he says! He is a political monk.

    Human rights should be cherished, no question about it, but no double standards please! How about allow all those Iraq refugees (who are currently homeless in neighboring countries) to immigrate to U.S.? Aren’t they victims of the Iraq war? Should human rights activits show some human passion and care about these refugees’ sufferings?

    I see so much hypocricy from some comments posted here.

  • Anonymous on 12.01.2009 at 11:36 am

    Respect should be mutual!

    “As for places outside the office, I can’t even count how many times, in the taxis, at malls, at restaurants, that I have heard average Chinese discussing western media with a very disrespectful tone. ”

    What can you expect from ordinary Chinese citizens after decades of mainstream west media’s demonization of and lies about China? Respect? Love? Does U.S. elementary school education teach kids the lesson of human decency that RESPECT SHOULD BE MUTUAL?! No one is entitled to be respected or liked. There is an old Chinese saying: You harvest what you plant. If you plant seeds of dislike or hatred, what do you expect to harvest from the seeds?
    Chinese people are one of the most peace-loving people on the earth and any American who has visited that country can experience their kindness and goodwill. In fact, most Americans receive much better treatment in China than in France or other European nations. However, no one can take their kindness and goodwill for granted. Chinese people have endured decades of unfair and biased treatment from mainstream west media, now, they’re saying loudly: “Enough is enough!” I don’t agree with some radical messages from some emotional Chinese citizens, but who plant such seeds of hatred first? When mainstream west media appraised and cheered at the disruption of Beijing Olympics torch relay in London, Paris and San Francisco, what did you expect Chinese to react? Happy?! Yes, to majority of Chinese, the self-claimed moral highland by some journalists has become a joke and does not have any credibility in China.

    Remember, no matter what kind of government China has, Chinese people always have a deep deep, very strong love to their country. Such deep love and strong cultural identity shared by majority of Chinese all over the world are beyong some American journalists’ understanding, and of course beyong any ideology and time.

  • Anonymous on 12.01.2009 at 11:51 am

    Be careful with words like "world"

    We often hear such word and phrases like “The world” and “the international community” from major west media. But we should be careful. The world or the international community do not mean a few major west nations, they include the whole world including about 20% of Chinese! When major west media talk about “world’s public opinions”, we should also keep in mind the world’s opinions do not mean opinions from west media, u.s., or a few major west countries. The world is much bigger. The frequently use of such phrases to express west’ viewpoints display a self-centered and arrogant attitude.

  • Pema on 04.26.2010 at 11:52 pm

    What Chinese have to say about Japanese occupation of China. Japanese too may have something similar reasons like Chinese claim “when they occupied Tibet – to liberate from feudal systems.”

    Every occupation or invading forces have similar excuses. Last but not the least is their free media in China except for the propaganda department who always sings praise even they butcher and torture its citizen if they deviate from official stands.

  • Anonymous on 04.01.2011 at 3:19 pm

    Western media is biased and racist

    Very time I read the Western media reports about foreign non white countries, they all overwhelmingly negative. They refer to “law” as “rule”, “lack of experience” as “corrupt”, and used words like “crackdown”, “brutal”, etc. It is all NEGATIVE.

    The Western media have learn a lot about using language to influence people in news story. The first thing they do is sow doubt and then report the news.

    I rarely read a balance news story on China or any other non-white/non-Western countries. The comments section of Yahoo on China reflects the mindset of ordinary American. After all history should be used as a guide to the future, and historically, the West hasn’t been kind of any non-white countries.

    I say it is time for Chinese to stop treat whites Western with respect and doing shameful thing like renting a white guy to be CEO or letting them walking around with total disregard to Chinese culture.

    One thing is for sure, white Western country NEVER respect other culture and people who don’t kowtow to their ideology.

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