Archive for April 17th, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What are “Bilateral Efforts”?

Some of my friends are religious. One is Christian (orthodox), another is Muslim. I´m not religious myself, but I know that religion isn´t just an opinion, but also an important part of many peoples´ personality. So, before I criticise religion I should think about what I am criticising.

To criticise an individual´s religion is no good. (Also, criticising people for not being religious is not clever.) To criticise religion´s influence on history and politics should be no problem. When there is freedom of speech, I should still think about if what I want to say is appropriate or not. But if politics and religion are mixed, it becomes complicated to decide what is appropriate and what is not.

I think that when patriotism and politics is mixed, we must respect each other, but we can criticise each others´ choices, measures, and opinions.

Yesterday, Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman of China´s foreign ministry, answered a journalist´s question about the Olympic torch relay incident in Paris. She said that to be friends, it takes the efforts of both sides. That´s for sure.
She also said that "The Chinese cannot accept France promising to value China-France ties on one hand, while often witnessing occurrence of things incomprehensible and unacceptable for Chinese people." She hoped that "the French side can listen to the voice of the Chinese people about the treatment of recent occurences, take an objective, impartial position and respect the facts, to distinguish between right and wrong, and – like the majority of countries – understand and support the just position of the Chinese government and its current measures. "

I found these lines strange. Of course, we should all think about the events and experiences of the past few days. But that isn´t only the task of French or Western people. If Chinese people don´t think about the feelings and situations of their Tibetan compatriots, they can certainly not understand these "things incomprehensible and unacceptable". If they don´t understand that other countries often have political systems different from China, a lot of things will certainly remain "not understandable".

The mutual efforts demanded by the spokeswoman should also include China´s efforts.

姜瑜:法方应… »
China urges France… »

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