Too favorable a mention in a stupid article doesn’t necessarily need to shame the lauded man. In the case of Volker Bräutigam, it probably depends. Did he really write that letter to then Chinese ambassador Ma Canrong?
[...] To ask the citizens of the People’s Republic of China’s forgiveness looks indispensable for us since it has become clear that Germany, within barely one year, has become the platform for propagandistic, anti-China appearances by the Dalai Lama once again. [...]
OK. Yes, he did write that. It’s old news, really, but 人民不会忘记 (rénmín bù huì wàngjì). Nor does the overseas Chinese paper Hua Shang Bao (华商报, Chinesische Handelszeitung, Frankfurt). This is what they wrote in their printed edition eight days ago:
[...] In Germany, Mr Bräutigam is seen as a pro-China journalist. He once worked in Taiwan, and therefore better understands China. In Germany’s China-related debates of these years, no matter if it was the Tibet problem or the “Zhang Danhong case”, under distinct colors, Bräutigam stood by the side of China all the way.
[.....] 在德国，Bräutigam 先生被视为是“亲华”的记者，他曾经在台湾工作过，因此比较了解中国。在这些年里德国发生与中国有关的辩论中，不管是西藏问题还是“张丹红事件“，他均旗帜鲜明地站在中国一边。
Anyway, my imagination was going wild for a moment: if a German (overseas or not) paper wrote that Wang Xiansheng was firmly on the side of, say, America or Japan, how would patriotic Chinese students and housewives react if they came across such an article? Wang Xiansheng would probably get some undesired attention – no matter if the ill praise was substantiated or not.
In Germany, the Axis of Good will call you a dork on duty (Depp vom Dienst), but that’s it.