Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sino-U.S. Relations

I had a great "conversation" via the facebooks about a week ago, from a Chinese friend who works for Aljazeera English in Beijing. She wanted to know what concerns Americans may have about China and Sino-U.S. relations, as Obama makes a visit to China later this month.

I told her my concerns about real estate tourism, and what it means that China, by way of owning nearly all of our debt, owns us. I also told her about how controversial the Olympic torch event was here in San Francisco, since a lot of Americans were angry about China's human rights abuses, namely those involving Tibet. I wanted to post her response, firstly, since I have the first amendment right to do so; and second, because I think it's fascinating to hear from someone that must live in a country so overwhelmingly brainwashed by its own government:

You have touched on a lot of issues that's very interesting and complicated. The economic aspect is definitely something we want to reflect in our stories, how China is getting the upper-hand in the whole economic downturn and like you, many Americans are worried that because of this, no one would really press China on human rights issues.

It's very interesting to see that human rights issues in China seem to be a very big concern for you(and a lot of Americans). China is hugely nationalistic, you'll be very surprised how Tibet issue has been down-played in China, and that if you discuss the issue with any Chinese, 9 out of 10 people will be offended, and believe you're one of those narrow-minded Americans who judges China from a western perspective. And this is how successful China's brain wash has been. Nearly all of my friends think Dalai Lama is a lying wolf dressing in a monk's robe(the government line) though none of them read anything written by him or even heard him talking. The blindness is shocking. This is something i think very difficult to reflect on TV---the scale of things. And it's the same with Taiwan. You'll be shocked to see how easily government lie and its people comply. It's not to say that Chinese people are so stupid they believe everything government says. But it's very difficult for people who are brought up being taught one value and see reality operates in another. I do think that free countries like America should press China on human rights issues, but i don't think it will ever work. Chinese love Americans, but Chinese also firmly believe that American values are so different that it can never work for China. In the end, like Iran, only when Chinese people realize the suppression can there be a solution. But this is very unlikely in the coming years as the economy is growing and the riches, the middle class are benefiting.

But, it is disappointing to see the country advocates human rights and freedom of speech is getting less and less vocal about China’s issues, when Nancy Pelosi( though a political opportunist, have displayed strong emotions against China many times) came to Beijing, her overly positive schedules in China have amazed me, and I, for once, shared my countryman’s view that America doesn’t care about human rights as long as there’s business to be done. It’s always about business and interest.


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