On Disagreeing on US-China News, And Finding A Way Back to Love

(photo by hugovk via Flickr.com)

The other night, my husband and I got into an argument after I brought up some news about China.

“It’s biased, you know? The Western media always wants to make China look bad.”

I didn’t disagree, really. So much of the news about China does slant towards the negative. And it’s no secret that certain outlets have an agenda when it comes to the kind of China they want to present to their Western audiences. And while I said I only wanted his view on it, a part of me somehow wanted his view to be consistent with mine. (Note to self — not exactly the best way to approach things.)

So it escalated — fast. He decried it as yet another anti-China story in the news, while I started hitting back with a sort of “why can’t you just admit it” argument that didn’t make me sound all that great. We yelled, we got red in the face, we cut each other off and we nearly lost our tempers — all over little more than a blip in recent news.

In our world, no couple is immune to the dangers of disagreement. Even when you’re citizens of the same country, you still have plenty of divisive, hot topics — things that Miss Manners would recommend you never bring up at dinner parties. In my own family, discussions about religion and political parties (as in, Democrat or Republican or Independent) could easily make tempers flare.

But when John and I disagree about topics that relate back to our countries of origin and citizenship, it somehow feels different — and frightening. Suddenly it’s as if I become yet another patriotic Westerner suspicious of China, while he becomes another patriotic Chinese suspicious of Western views. It’s a slippery slope that, if pushed too far, can suddenly lead you to see the one person you love more than anything like a stranger.

And it’s crazy, because I love John more than anything in the world. He understands me better than anyone I’ve known and has been my support and confidant in some of the most difficult and trying moments in my life. But yet somehow, in the heat of the moment, it’s as if all of that becomes irrelevant — as if we’re on opposite sides, pitted against one another in a fight for the truth.

Fortunately, the real truth is this — that we love each other. And thankfully, it’s the truth that wins out in the end for us.

Still, I think that argument gave me pause, because a part of me believed that John and I somehow had evolved beyond such squabbles. We hadn’t argued about politics for years. Maybe that absence somehow lulled me into believing that US-China politics wouldn’t set off a fiery conversation between us? Or that, somehow, I wouldn’t care if he disagreed? If so, how wrong I was.

Well, even though I’m a little out of practice in this regard, I still didn’t forget the best way to end an argument in marriage. Which is why I quickly made a joke about the disagreement, and then suggested that we take things back to the bedroom. And I won’t argue with the results.

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52 Replies to “On Disagreeing on US-China News, And Finding A Way Back to Love”

  1. HA! That topic has started more fights in my married life than anything else (and we’ve had precious few fights in our 6 1/2 years). But, with a twist! I, the American, am always on about the anti-Chinese slant in the US media, while my Chinese wife is always railing on about “damn China” an about how different (read: better) the US is. This always ends with her bringing up a story or instance, and me refuting it with a tired “the US did THAT bad/crazy/stupid thing 30 years ago, so it’s been done here first” retort. That’s why I never watch the news!

  2. Failure to acknowledge ignorance is impediment to progress. US might have too many reasons to be arrogant. But China tends to react with only her heart, not her head. If John is open to critique China while he is in US with fresh perspectives, I think that will benefit your relationship. Otherwise, you will probably repeat the same arguments.

  3. Just another argument ,it’s okay. Make it up in the bedroom and slap his ass for me !!!! Right I’m having a constant argument over high taxes, gun ban and jobs in America. I only see hardworking, law bidding citizens get hurt with all those laws etc. In America, only the poor and super rich don’t have to worry much. Middle class families like mine will suffer. China will need another 50 to 100 yrs to be a fully developed country!!!!!!! why?


    1) corruptions ( must form independent dept to monitor every levels of gov’t ).
    2) The real meaning of communism = Everybody is EQUAL like in wealth, etc but why do high ranking officials have hundreds of millions or billions in their swiss accounts and real estates in other countries?

    3) Food safety is another problem. why? High ranking officials have shares in most of those companies.

    4) Pollution / water quality…. Look in the sky when you go to Bejing /Shanghai .

    Bottom line is FIGHT CORRUPTIONS. That’s the ANSWER for all the problems. Everything is linked to corruptions. We have corruptions in America too but everyone is monitored.

  4. Hi Jocelyn,

    You said before that your chinese astrological sign is a snake. Would you mind if you tell us about your husband sign?

    I’m just curious what astrology can tell about your relationship. It might be funny.

    As you know, chinese people are often superstitious and I have known a many couple that consult a seer. Did you ever go in a chinatown and try to consult a seer?

  5. As someone living in the west, I’ve given up hope that coverage of China can be less biased, because I’ve realized it’s part of an agenda – with the media, political parties, and governments all working together to defame China and the Chinese. I don’t think anyone in China or of Chinese origin would mind genuine and helpful criticisms, but 98% of the news/media is out to demonize China. It is interesting that the liberals of the US are actually more hawkish on China, as they feel they gain no benefit with better Chinese relations – hence you see rags like the NYT as some of the worse offenders. The corporate arm of the conservatives actually want better and more nuanced ties with China and have a moderating effect.

  6. The Chinese did it to themselves. They should be responible for their bad image that is presented to the public. They lie, they cheat, they steal. They have no respect for copyright laws. American movies can be viewed and downloaded on many Chinese websites if you don’t believe me. The latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, was already on several Chinese websites during the first week of release. When I went to China 10 years ago, I saw handbags that carried “LY” logo instead of LV as in Louis Vuitton, and they looked amazingly similar. They have no creativity or imagination whatsoever. They just copy other people’s ideas. Anyone heard of Meizu? It’s a knockoff of iphone. There is so much corruption at every level, it’s horrendous. Many bridges have collapsed and people have died in China because of government corruption. These are facts which they cannot deny.

  7. Remember china has 1.3 billions people hint hint !!! How can you control laws and that many people ??? We have lots of problems in U.S that we can’t even solve

  8. So what? The point is not whether we have our own problems in US or not. We’re talking about China and I don’t care whether they have 3 million people or 3 billion. I have no reason not to believe the media is biased. I have seen how biased the media is against Republicans as well making them look like bad guys for not paying their “fair share”. What I have seen for myself about China is mostly negative.

  9. RobC, to put some of your comments in perspective:

    “They lie, they cheat, they steal”

    Much of the wealth of the western developed nations are a result of the wholesale theft and decimation of victims of the imperial era. Easy to sit high and mighty when you are well to do now, and easy to hide real responsibility with false moral outrage.

    “American movies can be viewed and downloaded on many Chinese websites if you don’t believe me. The latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, was already on several Chinese websites during the first week of release”

    So what. You can find the same movies anywhere in the world if you know where to look. In terms of ethics and morals, another fake argument as the media industry has no problem taking advantage of consumers if they can get (and have gotten away) with it.

    “When I went to China 10 years ago, I saw handbags that carried “LY” logo instead of LV as in Louis Vuitton, and they looked amazingly similar. They have no creativity or imagination whatsoever. They just copy other people’s ideas.”

    And China is taking steps to curb it, despite my personal believe that the current copyright/patent system is broken. Copying does back to antiquity. For a not so far back example, the US was the ultimate copyright infringer when it was developing in the 1800’s and 1900’s. Let’s be real, you’re only angry because you’re the one being copied. And’s let’s not fool ourshelves that westerners will not resort to copying when it suits them. The imbalance is just that many western technology/products are still better (though probably not for long).

    “Many bridges have collapsed and people have died in China because of government corruption”

    I only count 11 of nearly 400 global bridge failures in China.

    RobC, wake up and stop being a fool and a tool.

  10. And one more thing RobC, by your argument, the republicans are truly a bunch of corrupt, idiot bible thumping, hypocritical, greedy old men, as portrayed by the media.

    I’ve been to China many more times than you, and I think despite it’s real problems, it has a great future. Something many foolish westerners, including top officials, chose to be blind to at their own peril.

  11. China is doing great right now but as a whole , she still needs to work on other issues like corruption among parties/ CEOS , pollution, sanitation , etc then everything will be okay. Why do I always talk about corruption anyway? Because it’s linked to everything. You don’t have to be an educated person to figure out within seconds. The media is the deadliest weapon known to mankind. Look at the L.A RIOT and how negative media had destroyed the whole city! There was NOT really that much tension or conflict between Blacks and Koreans at all. I was in Los Angeles during that riot. I will tell all you people for the 1000th times, DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU SEE/HEAR OR THE MEDIA !! EVEN THE MOST EDUCATED PEOPLE GET FOOLED BY THE MEDIA!! Always look at both sides of the stories. Life is never fair. Why should I work so hard for what ? So the U.S. gov’t can tax me higher and distribute my money to those lazy , losers? I really don’t want to say too much here. Some people don’t want to hear the truth here.

  12. @noname, whatever you say. 5000 years of Chinese history and its people are still spitting and squatting in public and elbowing one another to get on the bus. Yeah sounds like real progress right there. No wonder Hong Kong and Taiwan don’t want to have anything to do with China.

  13. Real life is no debate contest. There is no winner in an argument. It is really a cool thing to do to end an heated argument with a joke 🙂
    I think it is great to hear other people’s perspective and give your perspective in a calm and matter of facts way. But not everyone is capable of doing so, so I learned 🙂

    Hope people here do not view the world as black and white…

  14. Maybe being critical is a better way to show you care.

    “It’s biased, you know? The Western media always wants to make China look bad.”
    One of the differences is that western media can play the watchdog role. But Chinese media is not able to. I don’t think western media all report China negatively. Maybe you can show John some of that. It is mostly negatively in political reporting.

  15. Squabbles ( political ) between a husband and a wife will happen no matter whether it’s a Chinese person married to an American or an American person married to an Australian or European. Each will have their own views and opinions and will be bias/ patriotic if the discussion/argument relates to the individuals birth country no matter how long you’ve been married.

  16. Chinese schools don’t promote creativity that much, but that doesn’t mean there are no creatives in China. I’m working in an advertising agency here and me and my coworkers have the same problems you would have in Europe: Clients not trusting the creative person’s knowledge. But that’s not to say that Chinese people aren’t creative – I have seen a lot of creative ideas coming out of China. There might be room for improvement, but there are also many possibilities of how you can use your creativity here.

    Strict copyright protections are not always to the advantage of individuals, especially creatives (http://www.backbonemag.com/Magazine/2010-02/copyright-for-the-digital-age.aspx).

    Going to the cinema in Shenzhen costs 2-3 times as much as it would in Austria. I can see how people don’t want to pay for that.

    European news about China are often all negative, while Chinese news about China are mostly positive. The truth might be somewhere in between and it might be different for every single person.

    Maybe when you’re abroad you feel like you need to protect your country of origin much more so then when you’re in your home country. Would John be more critical about China if he was in China, Jocelyn? I am much more critical of Austria when I’m in Austria, but when I’m in China I try not to create a picture that shows only the negative sides.

  17. I agree with Mira. Arguments surface like this in any international relationship. And Jocelyn suggests taking the argument into the bedroom but where else to go…? The kitchen perhaps…
    Anyway, make-up sex usually does the trick.

    I have to say I was expecting more about how our different cultures look at news media. Chinese are lucky because they can easily doubt their news media because its obviously censored, but across the ocean, there is this idea we have a free press in the USA and somehow it’s accurate or trustworthy. Too many commoners in America take their news on faith, or slowly just accept what they hear. Most Chinese news in US media is negative.

    Sadly, whether its a government or a business, someone always benefits in mass media… it’s usually not the viewers I’m afraid. But whatever, bedroom-time!

  18. How the hell can you even prove that someone is creative or not??

    We are creating every minute of our lives…….I’d say everyone is creative.

    Wait, wait, you mean those LV bags?? They’re just bags for god’s sakes, how creative do you need to be to make some stupid bags to hold stuff in?? If I can live a happy life using a fake bag, a fake phone, a fake computer, living in a fake house with a billion fake people roaming around, so be it.

    You don’t seem any realer than anyone else.

  19. Who cares if the news is negative, most news is negative. That’s why you can just turn the news off anytime you want, you don’t have to sit there and listen if you don’t want to.

    And it’s funny how people say that Chinese schools aren’t creative, because I went to American schools my whole life, and you know what I remember from American schools? Let me tell you, all I remember were smoking, drugs, fighting, violence, gangs, dumbasses, bullying, cops, stupid teachers, skipping school etc….pretty damn creative I’d say.

  20. Now the comments looks like couples arguments. You can see some people who just hate China no matter what. And some are more open-minded. Some are just douchebags who are trolling for fun.

  21. Creativity needs the right soil to bear to fruition.Most importantly, it requires greater degree of tolerance.
    As far as media goes, American mainstream media presents many arguments. The general public can be fooled by a better argument or by rhetoric alone. The media is also shaped by much more competition.

    Chinese mainstream media is a joke. So some people look elsewhere- western media or uncensored sources. But there is higher level distrust in any media from China. As a result, people turn away from the idea of truth and become more cynical.
    Western media needs to fight in the open. Chinese media fights in the shadow and create a source of rebellion. It seems China wants to remind their people the better days will come back. But media supposes to represent the public, not the government.
    In a relationship, you probably don’t want to argue in a tantrum.

  22. In a relationship, it’s always about how to use money, relatives, kids , jobs ( not making enough) etc. Politics is important but it won’t be something that will make you mad for long. American school system is a joke in some parts of the country like instead of carrying load of books , kids carry load of condoms. In China, when you’re have an idea to be creative, freaking high ranking officials/mayor/cops will want a piece of the pie ,too. If you can destroy those MotherF…… and then you will likely to succeed. It’s all about business relationship and who you know in politics will take you to another level. Prove me wrong that it’s not true! I disagree on alot of issues in America also! There are lots of loopholes in America but I don’t want to talk about here because some of you have to be on my level first before I continue.


  23. I think the Western media coverage of China is truthful but biased, meaning they tend to only focus on the bad, and deliver their criticisms in an accusatory rather than constructive tone.
    The analogy I like to use is a PTA meeting, where the parents meet their child’s teacher to get a progress report. Now imagine if your child has ADHD or some learning disability that he’s working to overcome. However, the teacher doesn’t recognize the struggle at home and only focuses on the results, which are not good. The teacher’s feedback is something like, X is a terrible student, no manners, disruptive, whats wrong with your kid, don’t you guys teach him right from wrong, maybe he’s naturally just a cheat and liar, etc. Wouldn’t you as the parent take offense and channel all your anger toward the teacher instead of actually re-focusing on the challenges of your child?
    It’s basic psychology to understand that people will react more to the delivery of the message than the content. Of course, Chinese people know that their country has a million problems, and they themselves are dissatisfied with many aspects of their own government and society. But, China has come along way in the past century, overcoming war, famine, and political upheaval. They’re really proud of how far their country has come inspite of all the adversities thrown in its path. So when presented with outsiders thrusting a laundry list of all their faults in their face, it is not surprising that Chinese people will react with their hearts and not their heads. If anything, this emotional response contributes to the rampant, and dangerous, nationalism among China’s young people, esp those born late 70s-early 90s. And that’s what the government wants – to have their new generation focus their anger on outsiders so that they are distracted from thinking about the need for their own political reforms.

  24. @xl – You nail the issue head on. People get offended on how message is delivered than the content itself. It is true for the argument between couples too. Even you know you are wrong but you would do the opposite because of the tone of her voice.

    “Amazing Race” is my analogy for US vs. China This is how you feel when you started early and way ahead of anyone, but noticed someone is catching up, fast. Would you praise the up comer or trashes him for cheating or both ?

  25. It’s rather simple to me. Both countries have major problems but look at the discourse that is prevalent. Which side’s media is the most critical and widespread? The west’s propaganda is far more prevalent and biased than China’s and the west’s hypocrisy is the worst.

    So like many women don’t like hearing about news that make women look bad even if the news may have some truth behind it, many people don’t like hearing bad news about their group if it is from certain sources especially ones with a history of bias and have motives other than sincere criticism. So a little empathy goes a long way. No one likes to hear insincere criticisms especially from hypocrites with ulterior motives. China may be corrupt, China may have its environmental problems, China may have lots of social problems but when you are being constantly lectured by a country that has even worse human rights problems (such as invading dozens of other countries, historical even worse environmental problems, and social problems) it becomes a disgusting display of arrogance and a smoke screen to hide their own problems.

  26. Bias exist in all media. Left or right can choose their own media outlets to side with. However, when media loses credibility, it is a real problem. Reporting needs to be based on facts. Big names (NYT, Reuters, PBS, NPR as examples) are generally credible. Chinese media fails most of time.
    If US media has the agenda to endorse liberal democracy and holds those values universal, it won’t agree with practices in China or Afghanistan because it will be self-contradictory. In fact, US government also has their own media agenda. But it can’t be the only thing exists.

    If public won’t demand better media, they will be feed with whatever is working. Emotional appeals leading to nationalism is one big smoke screen. It exists in US for sure, but China has lived on it.

  27. If you want to change something, you have to change the culture , focus more on values and focus a lot more on education. We’re talking about guns ban here in America. Japan , Singapore and other asian countries have guns ban and it works for them because of the culture. In America, guns ban won’t work because there are too many criminals with guns. Law bidding citizens will obey the laws but criminals will never ever submit to any laws. If you suggest that the federal gov’t to hunt down every gang members/criminals then politicians will lose their power and votes . U.S gov’t will never ever focus on family values like how to keep a couple married, keeping kids out of troubles, or pulling people out of poverty by being married so you will two incomes to keep kids away from gangs etc.. Why do we have so many voilent crimes, rapists, child molestors, robberies in America? The answer is not enough family values!!! Well, don’t even let me see these people that I’ve mentioned get near or do things to my family members, I will definitely kill them on the spot 110%. I’m very frustrated that criminals are getting protection by the laws whereas law bidding citizens have to fear them. ONCE YOU HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME A RAPIST, CHILD MOLESTOR, CRIMINALS (regardless of race) , YOU NO LONGER HAVE ANY MORE HUMAN RIGHTS! I’m not a voilent person but I always have this energy inside of me that I want to relieve and need to control.

  28. You, RobC sir, you are a douche.

    You are so hateful. Why is anything about China even relevant to you? Apparently you don’t like China. Well, it’s on the other side of the earth. Why even bother?

    And come on — “LY” bags? Where have you been for the past 30 years when the entire world has been knocking off the real LV bags? Have you been to Manhattan? Never had a bro trying to sell you Gucci, Rolex, or bootleg DVDs? Ever heard of bit torrent? For your education, this is the Internet protocol designed by an American that is responsible for 27-55% of global Internet traffic, and is used mostly for downloading pirated media file. So, you can say that the US is the largest facilitator of global piracy of copyrighted materials.

    Yeah yeah, you are talking about China, not the US. In Chinese, we have a saying, don’t call others shitty when you haven’t wiped yourself clean. The right to point fingers has to be earned.

  29. Be careful. We Republicans are not very popular these days. If you oppose gun control or speak negatively about Obama, the liberals will call you an idiot and a racist. If this gun control law ever gets passed (and I think it will), home invasion robbery will skyrocket because those criminals out there will have no problem getting a gun while knowing you don’t have one. Common people do common things. Majority of people are not very bright. When the majority thinks gun control is a good idea, you know they’re wrong. When the majority thinks the stock market will go even higher, you know it’s time to sell. When the majority thinks the housing market will continue to tank, you know it’s time to buy. I bought my house in 2010 when many of my colleagues sold their homes and moved into apartments. Now that home prices and rent are going up big, they’re kicking themselves. Obama is going to drive this country into a full blown economic depression. All Democrats do is to propose more and more spending programs without figuring out how to pay for them. When they find out there is not enough tax revenue to pay for them, they ask the hardworking citizens to pay more taxes instead of cutting spending. It’s sad.

  30. Remember if you’re using your blood and sweats to earn money, you’re in trouble !! Millionaires have to pay on capital gains only ( no blood and no sweats). Super rich people won’t get hurt that much and their lives won’t be affected like avg people like us. Alot of rich people are moving to Asia and other countries to have a lower capital gain tax like 13 to 15% whereas in America 35 to 39 % ! Poor people will be fine because they have little or no assets with free health care and rich people can pay any price! so middle class will be hurt the most ( not poor and not rich )..


  31. An AR 15 is NOT deadly like a hunting rifle with 30-06 round. Guns don’t kill, mentally ill people and criminals kill !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at Chicago right now. They have the restrictest laws on guns and look at the crime rates. In Switzerland, it’s mandatory to have a machine gun in every home and crime rates are low low low. It’s culture ( less family values, single parents , less disciple on kids and let kids rule parents all over ) in America. I carry my guns everywhere and you don’t see me shoot and kill masses amount of people. Also, guns ban is about gov’t control over citizens. Look at Germany, china, Soviet Unions etc !!Once they confiscate all guns, gov’t can do whatever they want and their presidents/rulers will be llike Kings with Billions and Billions $$$$$$ ! hint . I won’t educate you guys too much on this subject.. Sitfu Sitfu

  32. Going by their stupid logic, maybe we should abandon air travel given what happened on 9/11? Common people don’t seem to understand the consequences of all this. The gov’t is slowly taking away some of the freedoms that Americans have enjoyed for the past 200 years. This time they’re proposing gun control. And then we will have drones spying on our yards. And then they’ll spy on our emails and monitor our internet activities.

    People also need to understand we need to have more than one party in order for democracy to survive. If Democrats gain total control, this country will turn into dictatorship. You can see what Obama did 2 days ago when he used his power to release many illegal immigrants just to turn Americans against Republicans and blame Republicans for the budget cuts. To be fair, if Republicans gain full control, I would vote Democrat again.

  33. I think people also need to keep in mind the progress China has made results from democratization within the communist party. But it has to come from that one party, which is the bottom line.

  34. Jocelyn, love your blog and how you have gone against the grain of how Westerners try to make Asian people, and especially the guys, ugly. But I would have to agree with your husband here. The same rubbish I get here in the media is to try and make the American people hate China. I would say, judging by the people I talk to, it’s working. It’s the same type of method they use to villify and uglify (is that even a word?) Asian men. The policies right now is that America is siding with Japan clearly. If we look at the history, Japan has been the aggressor and one can certainly argue that Japan was and still could be a terrorist state. They have gone to Singapore, Korea, China, Philippines, Burma etc to rape, murder etc. Now, it appears that America wants to side with Japan, and within the media, they’re doing everything they can to villify China. It’s probably some sort of jealousy, or it could be irrational fear from the yellow hordes. There is much evidence that suggests it could be a mixture of all this. There are books that I can suggest to you (American professors, though even they don’t quite spell out that Japan and America promotes international terrorism), but it’s just a history of China, Japan and the US. You certainly have to piece it together to come to my conclusion, because American university professors certainly don’t go against US policies blatantly.

  35. the thing with the western media is that, it is not a free, objective media as people in the west love to make of it. it is not unbiased at all. it is a corporate media. and as it is a corporate media, it sets out to further the interests of its corporate masters. look at the issues. unfair trade, currency manipulation, jobs, you name it, and often, if not most of the time, China is demonized. frankly, as a Chinese, an overseas Chinese born and raised in Malaysia, I find it really disgusting that the western media label China and Chinese people as such and such. in the 1970s and 1980s, it was Japan. then came the 1990s Korea and the other rapidly industrializing economies of East Asia. with the dawn of the 2000s China’s turn to face the hypocrisy of the western media. I wonder who’s next ? India ? who knows.

  36. the western media has never been fair to China, or any other Asian country to begin with. as a Chinese, an overseas Chinese born and raised in Malaysia, I find it really disgusting that on issues such as fair trade, jobs, currency, China and Chinese are constantly and consistently demonized. in the 1970s and 1990s it was Japan. then came the 1990s it was the turn of Korea and the other rapidly industrializing countries of East Asia. with the dawn of the 2000s its China’s turn to face the hypocrisy of the western media. so who’s next ? India ? who knows.
    and now there’s this pivot to Asia. you can pivot to Asia for all you want. but if this pivot to Asia is yet another attempt to prolong American hegemony, then those Americans at the decision making levels of governance are making a big mistake.
    China and the Chinese people will wait. 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, sure the American military can continue its unwelcome presence. China and the Chinese people have no issues with that. they know for a fact that the American economy can’t sustain this military presence indefinitely.
    and guess what. the more the Americans pivot to Asia, the deeper the pivot, the faster the decline sets in for American hegemony.

  37. Sure, keep blaming media bias for anything negative about China that you don’t want to hear. I agree about the Asian guy stereotype thing. They do that deliberately to enhance the image of Western men. I also agree that there is tremendous amount of bias in regards to the incident several years ago in which Mattel blamed Chinese for the high level of lead paint in the toys manufactured in China. Being a US company, Mattel should be fully responsible and not blame China for it. However Chinese have not done much to enhance their image. China’s aggressive behavior toward Tibet and Taiwan is not something people like to see. Leave them alone. They don’t want to have anything to do with China. Intimidating a well loved figure like Dalai Lama is not going to get people to like you.

  38. It’s sad that white media – and more worrying the white population – assume that a free press = unbiased press.

    What is even more worrying is that Chinese people like the wife in the first comment are falling for it. This is all one massive propoganda war, and the white media, under the guise of free speech, are winning it.

    No need to fire a bullet or drop a bomb over the Chinese, you just need to sway their minds into hating themselves. What with Asian Americans having identity crisises over the constant negativity over who they are, and of Chinese abroad in general…. it’s a very cunning game white media (and with the passive support of the white populations of the world) are playing.

  39. Thanks @Jocelyn for really giving an honest encounter into your relationship, going back to your main topic about squabbles over politics…..it happens rarely with us, but boy when it does, it really does blow up! I guess in the end we both just realize that what we are fighting about has no relevance in our lives and that the make-up as you say will help salvage any heated words 😉 I honestly believe propaganda comes in many shapes and forms and will always be in our lives unfortunately! I do believe the Chinese equally play bad reports about the west as do the west against China, which is sometimes one of the reasons why we often discuss living on neutral soil? If that is at all possible! Until then I guess disputes are needed and healthy for any relationship!

  40. @ Barbara, I suspect you are an armchair critic who has never even been to China. Did you even watch CCTV’s extensive criticism of the way the government developed China’s high-speed train network (after yet another accident)? If you think that “in China you only get news of a panda eating a sheep”, you’re seriously deluded. Wake up to the realities in the modern world.

  41. @RobC, I find it hard to take anything you say seriously when you engage in blatant scaremongering. To quote, “if gun control laws are passed, home invasions will skyrocket”. Are you serious? Go and take a look at countries all over the world who have passed gun control laws and then tell me whether their societies have become more dangerous or become safer. And you also mentioned about cutting spending rather than raising taxes, well go and have a look just across the Atlantic at the UK’s economy. Government there has been doing exactly what the Republicans suggested and the UK is now in a triple-dip recession. The IMF has also said that the outlook for the UK economy is grim, with years of very low or negative growth predicted. So much for the “republican model”, which over-simplifies the problem and the solution.

  42. And regarding this topic, I think both Jocelyn and her husband (i.e. John) both have valid points. It is certainly possible that what is reported in the West is true, and I think John should be open-minded about the fact that there are unfortunately some bad eggs in China. But John’s point about there being a blatant anti-China bias in the Western media’s coverage is also true. If you observe the reporting in the West about China, there are 2 types: firstly, the overtly biased reporting (for e.g the Daily Mail in Britain) which sensationalises every piece of negative news about China, generalises the whole of China based on one or a few incidents and doesn’t bother reporting anything positive about China (cont’d)

  43. Then you have the second type, aka the BBC, who engages in “soft propoganda”. Basically, they write an article appearing to be impartial by including both good and bad stuff in the article. However, the bad stuff in their article is always more than the good stuff. Then they conclude by asking a rhetorial question (where the answer is already obvious based on the biased slant of their article). So, for e.g, in an article about China’s economic growth, the reader will also somehow find references to pollution and the trade imbalance with America and Britain inside it.

    I know what some of you are going to say next, “but this is the truth”. Well, it may or may not be, but let’s compare their coverage of American and British news. Suddenly, we see a new approach, i.e also include good and bad stuff, but minimise the bad stuff (for e.g portraying such things as an abberation) and talk up the good stuff. So for e.g when covering yet another gun shooting in America, we hear things like “this has never happened before in this community (with sometimes no or little mention of shootings in other parts of America” and then they focus their reporting on the vigils being carried out by the local community. Meanwhile, when the BBC reports about knife attacks in China, I read things like “this is the latest in a recent spate of attacks” and there is of course no mention about the vigils being carried out by the Chinese.

  44. So to those who say that the Western media is unbiased, think again. I am not trying to engage in anti-West rant, but I want to point out the hypocrisy shown by the Western media and rebut some of the untruths perpetuated by RobC and Barbara here. Let’s face it, the media has always been manipulated by governments in some way, be it by Western or Asian countries. I think it speaks volumes that I don’t bother reading critiques about China from VOA, just like I also never take any criticism about America from Xinhua seriously.

  45. It’s just like in “Romeo and Juliet”. You come from two ‘rivaling factions’, but it really does’t matter, if you truly love each other, right? So don’t get your vision blurred by petty notions, prejudices and manipulative mass media. After all, we are all human beings and are the same in essence, as everyone strives for happiness in their own way.

    Side note: Both Western and Chinese media are manipulative. They oversimplify complex situations and mess with people’s opinions. In a world fueled by interests and power struggles, it’s just impossible for anyone to stay neutral and unbiased at all times. The only alternative may be to become a hermit. (Do hermits still exist…?)
    What matters is, that it doesn’t affect how you value your family. Traditional Chinese teachings may tell you to place country before family, because they argue a family would no longer exist if your country ceases to exist. But looking at if from a modern perspective, I have my doubts: If you reduce the value of your own family, what makes you viable to protect the interest of a country, which is a collective of many individual families. Ironically paradox, isn’t it?
    Here we come back to our age-old question, which causes the most friction between political systems: Individualism or collectivism?

  46. Here we come back to our age-old question, which causes the most friction between political systems: Individualism or collectivism?


    The obvious answer is both. We should not be mainly collective because we are not the Borg…and let’s face it, what a horrible life it would be, to sacrifice you/your family/ a stranger just so it benefits all of us.

    And we should not be mainly individualistic because that we mean selfishness to the point of everyone suffering (a good example is China before it was united, regional governments got together to sort out the flooding problem that enveloped all of China, saving lives rather than each leaving to their own devices)

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