Here is my recent take on China, Tibet, and the Olympics.
I just read some news on wenxuecity.com, a popular overseas Chinese portal, and saw pictures below about the torch in Paris. Come on people, when you go down this low to fight for the Olympic torch with a disabled young lady sitting on a wheelchair, what kind of f****** moron are you?
I doubt an ordinary American reader would ever see these. All s/he sees are cropped images of Tibetan people being beat up by Nepalese police, and the caption would say something like a Chinese brutal crackdown. Yes, MSNBC and Chicago Tribune, I am talking about you, although you two are not mentioned in a lot of netizen’s complaints. I personally saw the pictures myself. It is an image where people seemed to be locked in a cage. The only problem is: that didn’t happen in China. In the case of MSNBC, that image probably has been taken down because I couldn’t find it anymore. For Chicago Tribune, that picture was printed on the front page in the print issue a few days ago. I may go to the library and take a picture of it when I get a chance.
Of course, footage of thugs rioting and burning down shops in Lhasa is conveniently ignored or just mentioned in passing.
Here are a few examples, so readers can understand where some Chinese’s complaints are coming from.
From Washington Post. The event in the picture happened in Nepal, but the Washington Post implied that it happened in China
Fox News. The caption says “Chinese troops parade handcuffed Tibetan prisoners in trucks” Do the soliders look like Chinese soliders?
German Bild. Sorry, that’s not China. That’s Nepal. Check out the cutting, how creative!
German N-TV. Sorry Nepal
Before CNN’s cut
After CNN’s cut
BBC’s caption for a picture of an ambulance: “There is a heavy military presence in Lhasa”
9 responses to “The freaky charade goes on”
I gave up on the US media being objective a long time ago. I know that’s bad to say, but I’ve seen too many cases where the facts were cast with bias to support an agenda. With that said, it’s not just the US media that is putting the blame on the Chinese government.
Since Tibet is not autonomous, the responsibility for the unrest naturally falls to who is in power. And while it is not correct to say Chinese soldiers are responsible for the crackdown, it cannot be said that the Nepalese soldiers weren’t ordered by the Chinese government. We just don’t know. In my case, I reserve judgment because I don’t know. However, given that the Chinese government has the authority to stop the heavy hand that is being used and thus far hasn’t, that’s why the various media bodies (and foreign government officials) are placing the blame on the Chinese government.
Thanks Brian. As mentioned in my previous entry, I am not here to defend or condemn anybody, just trying to provide something a regular reader may not have seen or thought about. However, I do have some disagreements with your comment.
>>With that said, it’s not just the US media that is putting the blame on the Chinese government.
Agreed. In fact, one could say that the condemnation on China from the Western world (developed countries) is almost universal. It’s hard to gauge what the developing countries are thinking, though.
I dunno if I will buy “there is strength in numbers” argument though. Objective and independent sources are hard to come by. Chinese government certainly is not helping things as far as information go. At the same time, it is mostly media in the US that sets the tone and context of news reporting.
>> Since Tibet is not autonomous, the responsibility for the unrest naturally falls to who is in power.
I strongly disagree. Certainly “who is in power” should bear responsibilities, but I suspect groups from outside are involved.
>> And while it is not correct to say Chinese soldiers are responsible for the crackdown, it cannot be said that the Nepalese soldiers weren’t ordered by the Chinese government.
I am sorry Brian, I don’t think that argument flies. Nepal is an independent country, not China’s puppet. China is not the master where it can just pull strings to make it do things the master pleases.
By the way, Indian police did similar things.
Finally, a little anecdote: I donate money to Overseas China Education Fund, an organization that support children’s education in poor regions like Xinjiang, Gansu, Tibet, Qinhai, and Sichuan. As a result, I’ve seen newsletters and field reports from the students we supported. I’ve seen pictures of Tibetan children learning their language in school. Tibetans, in fact all minority groups, are not subject to the one-child policy. Young minority kids also get preferential treatment to college admission, among other benefits, which I full-heartedly support.
Developed countries I would agree with. But Japan is not Western. In the article from Australia, it quotes the Japanese PM who says China bears a lot of the responsibility. This isn’t the only source with his quote.
I didn’t point to others to indicate a strength in numbers, just to indicate it wasn’t just the US media. The US media seems unusually biased, even about things it should have no real opinion on.
As for autonomy, I disagree with you, Nepal really doesn’t have it. The Eastern Bloc were technically autonomous from the old U.S.S.R., but they really weren’t, so long as the U.S.S.R. was strong. This was shown with the numerous times objection to the Soviet Union was put down. This is the situation with Nepal now as Nepal greatly relies on China for aid. Therefore, if China tells it to take a stand, it must seriously consider doing so or risk losing China’s aid. Now it’s not just China and the former U.S.S.R. that plays this game. Just about every country that has ever had significant influence over another has, including and especially the US. But China is weighing in with the situation in Nepal:
And I won’t doubt what you say about the children. My point is, as you’ve said, not black and white. I’m not trying to villianize China, either. However, it would be naive to think that a country as powerful as China with issues in Tibet and on its border in Nepal wouldn’t be taking action to bring about resolution, however the government sees fit.
And to use another anecdote which shows that things aren’t always as they seem, consider the “Say No! to drugs” from Nancy Reagan in the 80s. Nancy was first lady, and there was supposedly a huge push from the US gov’t. to stop drugs. Meanwhile, the CIA were knowingly permitting the drug trade in support of the Contras in Nicaragua. Some evidence has gone so far as to implicate the CIA as being direct participants in the drug trade in order to fund operations.
As I said, not black and white. And this isn’t to say your anecdote isn’t 100% correct. But it also doesn’t mean a powerful government isn’t playing both sides.
Great stuff Brian.
This is actually the first time that I heard that “Nepal greatly relies on China for aid”. Maybe that is the case, I just haven’t had that impression based on things I’ve read or heard.
But the sentence “it cannot be said that the Nepalese soldiers weren’t ordered by the Chinese government” sounds more like “guilty unless proven otherwise”. And I am sorry to say that that is a typical neocon strategy: put out speculations and rumors, sow doubt, print white papers from “think tanks”, gather steam in mainstream media, and then put the “enemy” on the defensive. Please don’t take it the wrong way though, 🙂
As I said, cool stuff. Thanks!
Nepal sits between India and China, and last I heard, India was the “big brother”. Besides, I don’t think China would need to order Nepalese police to crackdown on anybody. They’ve only recently ended a long-running Maoist insurgency and overthrown the monarchy. I would’ve thought the Nepalese police would be more than capable of cracking down on protesters on their own.
Chris Waugh is right. It is India that calls the shots in Nepal, not China. It also controls Bhutan as well.
What a joke! The Western media was kept out of Tibet, and then supposed to give fair coverage of what went down? Um, how do you cover something that you are not allowed to see?
Then when the media went out there under the strictest security, monks STILL yelled to reporters…and then the reporters’ names were leaked so that they started getting death threats. Um, why were they getting death threats again. For reporting that the monks were yelling out against the will of the tyrannical local police?
This is absurd! The only person who whines as much about bad coverage as the Chinese Government is Hillary Clinton. Funny that when things go badly people turn against you.
>>The Western media was kept out of Tibet, and then supposed to give fair coverage of what went down? Um, how do you cover something that you are not allowed to see?
I can see part of your argument is valid. Chinese media sucks and a lot of cadres in charge are uninformed, ignorant, clumsy, stupid, or all of the above.
At the same time, you also need to keep in mind that unfettered access does not exist anywhere. And that is not the excuse to crop, manipulate, selectively report things, especially when one tries to claim the objectiveness high ground. Very hypocritical indeed!
That part is inexecusible and needs to be condemned in the strongest terms.
>>This is absurd! The only person who whines as much about bad coverage as the Chinese Government is Hillary Clinton. Funny that when things go badly people turn against you.
Get real man. As a whole, the fear-mongering and disproportionately negative reporting on China is unbelievable. In fact, I would argue that overall reporting on third-world countries are very much negative.
Fair enough on your last point. I got a little excited and probably overstated my argument, but the thing is that the Western media always chases the negative story and there is nothing unique and the China coverage. The idea that the Western media is particularly our to get China is a peculiar idea. They’re out to get EVERYBODY.