Huanqiu Shibao: for a more Rational Discussion

Huanqiu Shibao refers to a Wall Street Journal survey which had found that the countries whose populations hows the lowest degree of acknowledgment of China’s economic development and its overall impression are France, Germany, India, and Turkey, while Russians, Pakistanis, Nigerians, and Indonesians and others showed high levels of appreciation. American and British viewed China’s overall impression rather highly, but not China’s economic development. Japanese people showed little acknowledgment of China’s overall impression, but expressed positive views of its economic successes.

Huanqiu quotes netizens as pointing out that the WSJ hadn’t published its standards of assessment and he numbers and arrangements (or gradation) of the interviewees it chose and was therefore not instructive. Some had said that “this doesn’t explain anything and is of no real meaning”, or “this kind of every-person-takes-a-stance-in-accordance-with-his-stance*) kind of statistic could be done by anyone”.

Others ask if this is “really about big trees catching a lot of wind (树大招风, inviting trouble), and isn’t it that they envy us for our economic growth”. Others say that “the more opponents belittle you, the more they fear you”. Some ask “what’s the meaning of this survey? Why don’t they make one of this kind about America? Let’s see how other countries view America.” And still others say that “China is a great country and doesn’t bully others, even though it was bullied by others during the past centuries. Now that the path of economic development which wasn’t easy has made us stand tall, others immediately envy us and make malicious remarks – there’s no need to pay attention to that.”

Apparently intent on channeling feelings into more dispassionate directions, Huanqiu Shibao takes an approach similar to one taken by Xinhua‘s International Herald (国际先驱导报) at times, by stating that

More users however believe that compatriots should look rationally at the affirmation and criticisms from different global regions, concerning our recent development. They should face up to the realities and actively seek solutions. Development is the way (发展才是硬道理), and the backward will take a beating. The statistics may not be comprehensive, but can serve as a warning (引以为戒). […] We Chinese people ourselves should look at China, the economy, people, and at ourselves, from various perspectives. And others say that “this isn’t about history, and only about real considerations of interests… China hasn’t yet completed the process of its rise, and the lack of acknowledgment from the advanced is only natural. We must not find fault – what we must do is to slowly strengthen ourselves, to let the whole country become stronger, so that when the advanced become aware of it, they will no longer be able to stop us.”

But not all commenters are in agreement with the latter quotes made by Huanqiu Shibao:

Turkey? They have the nerves to show themselves up! (土耳其?弹丸之地也好意思出来献丑!),

and 34 minutes later (either written by the same commenter, after some scientific consideration, or by another one):

Turkey is still nostalgic for its short-lived empire! (土耳其还在思念他历史上短暂的帝国梦!)

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Footnotes
*) literally: the benevolent takes a benevolent view; the knowledgable takes a knowledgable view (仁者见仁,智者见智).

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Related
“Growing National Arrogance”, BBC News, Aug 11, 2010

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