Tuesday, August 5, 2008

China Blogs and Comments

I've been paying attention to several China blogs since I found Alltop:China. There are a lot of sites listed and most are very specific in their post subjects. The most interesting ones are the blog run by Western MSM (Mainstream Media) such as Time, Wall Street Journal, or BBC. These blogs typically have several reporters posting their thoughts or experiences about China, particularly as the Olympics are about to start.

What is most interesting are the comment sections. Overwhelmingly, the comments are negative towards the reporters, to the point of calling them liars. Maybe it's the anonymous nature of the Internet but the level of rudeness is amazing. Each site has been invaded by trolls that seem to regurgitate CCP propaganda or just insult the blog posters. I'm pretty sure some of them are paid by the Communist government (50 Cent Army) but others seem to be overseas Chinese and fluent in English.

There are several common themes in the comments:

1. Wester media is anti-Chinese. They never report anything nice about China.

I think most of the negative reporting is about the Communist government and not about the Chinese people. Sure some of the posts show ignorance about Chinese culture but I haven't seen anything that's anti-Chinese whereas some comment trolls are vehemently anti-US/UK. As for saying nice things about China, there's enough of that in the Chinese state-controlled media.

2. The Communist government is great. It lifted 500 million people out of poverty in one generation. Democracy won't work for China; if elections were held, the country would collapse into total chaos.

Sigh... sure millions of people were starving a generation ago but it was caused by Mao and his crazy policies. If someone beat you and starved you everyday for 10 years then suddenly gave you a band-aid and some rice, would you praise that person for caring about your needs? As for Chinese people and democracy, one word: Taiwan. It took a few decades and is sometimes chaotic but there has been several peaceful transition of power between the KMT and DPP. Ironically, the biggest threat to Taiwan is the Communist Chinese government.

3. Foreigners have oppressed and humiliated China for over a hundred years and current criticism towards China is just a continuation of the same.

Whatever. I studied modern Chinese history in college. True, during the late 19th century, there were a series of unfair wars and treaties against the Qin dynasty. Particularly shameful was the Opium Wars. However, the biggest oppressor and murderer of Chinese people in recent history are other Chinese people. There's constant criticism and protest about Japan and WWII (rightly so), but silence when it comes to the social and economic disruption caused by the Cultural Revolution. It's always easier to lash out at others than to do the hard work of introspection.

I feel the anti-Western feelings and the constant claim of "hurt feelings" come from shame. A lot of Chinese believe that China was once the most powerful country in the world, almost conquering all of Europe during the Yuan dynasty. Now, China is a developing third-world country, famous for human-rights violations and cheap labor. Maybe that's why the Olympics are so important; some (many?) Chinese people probably feel that it will help China gain respect from other countries and erase some of that shame. I think they will be disappointed when the games are over.


Anonymous said...

oh i see. after you get your visa, now you can post all this stuff.

totochi said...

Nah, I posted this last night. The travel agency didn't call me until this morning.