Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Re: What Chinese people thought
Author: Lixian B. Chiu Posted: 5/11/1999; 9:14:31 AM Topic: What Chinese people thought Msg #: 6006 (In response to 5997) Prev/Next: 6005 / 6007
it would be nice if the Chinese leadership and people could explain why it was appropriate for them to attack our embassy in Beijing.
There are many reasons:
1) First of all, if the Chinese government doesn't allow a mass scale public protest, it's going to turn the public's target towards the Communist Party. There are already many factors that causes certain degree of anti-government emotion in Chinese public, the martial-art group protest happened a few weeks ago demonstrated that. From what I have seen, it seems that the Chinese government at least learned that the public needs a channel to relieve their pressure. If they post too much restriction to the public, anti-American will become anti-Communist Party.
2) Political bargain power. May be it sounds too cold-blooded, but I think some Chinese officials must be quite happy when they heard the news because it means that they gain some more bets on future negotiation with US on many issues.
3) Power shifting. There are some Chinese officials who don't want to see a too opened economical reform. This will eat into their benefits. By turning the arrow to US, these guys hope they can win power back from pro-Western officials like Zhu Rongji.
4) Many people truly believe that the bombing is NOT a mistake. I have encountered a lot of people coming from China, either online or offline. Some of them(or may be I should say, many of them) have very different way of thinking than many of us. People's mind of thinking have been altered extensively since the Communist Party took over China. Even if we ignore this factor, Chinese (not just Chinese from Mainland China, but Chinese in general), have a tendancy to think that other people are always doing something trying to hurt them. This kind of reasoning has been amplified by the Communist Party. If they truly believe that US bombed the embassy intentionally, it's not difficult to understand why they will attack the US embassy in Beijing.
As for what Americans can do online ... I heard that there are already many newsgroup and website posting anti-American message. Maybe it's time for American to set up a web site to publicly express "THEIR" view, not their government's.
BTW, many people might miss a small episode from CNN's site. According to CNN, its reporter Rebecca MacKinnon has been struck by a protester, but others pulled her to safety. This is a sign showing that many Chinese can still tell the difference b/w American people and American government. I just wish that this will be continued.
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