Speaker Nancy Pelosi with China's former foreign minister
Zhaoxing, during a visit to Beijing to discuss climate change. To
surprise of the Chinese, Pelosi said little to annoy the regime.
Times, Peoples' Republic of China
Even Nancy Pelosi, are Not Necessarily 'Anti-China'
Has the Chinese government, to its
own detriment, carelessly labeled people, particularly Americans and
specifically House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 'anti-China'? That is the somewhat starling
conclusion of this article published in China's state-controlled Global
Geographic Times. First published in Singapore's United
Morning News, Xue
Haipei writes in part: "The tendency to overuse the idea of “anti-China influences”
continues to push people who aren't necessarily anti-China to genuinely adopt
that sentiment, while at the same time misleading those who have an accurate
understanding of Chinese foreign relations."
By Xue Haipei [薛海培]
Translated By Mark
June 13, 2009
People's Republic of China - Global
Geographic Times - Original Article (Chinese)
The China News Service [Xinhua]
reprinted a signed article from Singapore's United
Morning News on June 12, about how to regard concepts that are "anti-China"
or "unfriendly toward China" as they occur in the West, particularly
in the United States.
A summary of the article follows:
"anti-Chinese" leader of the U.S. Congress, Nancy Pelosi, recently visited
China in her capacity as House Speaker. This was a very important event in Sino-U.S.
From her delegation's visit
to China in terms of composition (the rational selection of those accompanying
her) the issues to be addressed (questions mainly about energy and climate change)
and her low-key attitude toward the media (she refused all requests for
interviews), one could sense that she was deliberately seeking to create a good
atmosphere and striving to engage in a positive exchange with the Chinese side.
Her words and actions in China very seldom brought up questions that would have
made her hosts unhappy.
Before her trip, this writer
had a lengthy conversation on China issues with one of Pelosi's aides. He asked
what advice I might have in regard to her visit to China, and I said my only
hope was that she could transition from a liberal Congresswoman to a
responsible stateswoman. From her words and actions in China and her statements
to reporters after her return to the U.S., it seems as though she has achieved
This stirred deep feelings
within me and I couldn't help but think of an interesting question: How should
we regard foreign, Western (particularly American) “anti-China” influences and people
who appear “unfriendly to China?" I have always believed these ideas to be
catch-all labels that include anyone who expresses discontent with China,
supports any "anti-China" law, or shows sympathy for any "dissenting"
anti-China power. Moreover, this type of label is easy to affix, hard to peel
off, and not advisable to apply frequently.
The influence of language is
profoundly far-reaching. It can be said that the words and phrases used by a
society deeply affect its national character. In Chinese publications and in
conversation with public figures in China, I have found that the phrases
“anti-China” and “unfriendly toward China," are still used frequently, almost
at random, and deeply affect the attitudes, views and ideas that people hold.
The tendency to overuse the idea of “anti-China influences” continues to push people
who aren't necessarily anti-China to genuinely adopt that sentiment, while at
the same time mislead those who have an accurate understanding of Chinese
Perhaps more serious is this:
what's the opposite of “anti-China" or "unfriendly to China”? Is it
"loving China"? Guided by this way of thinking, people find it
difficult to see that the vast majority of people occupy the gray area in the
middle - and are neither pro- nor anti-China. This does nothing to clarify the
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
The Hypocrisy of Pelosi and 'Those of Her Ilk'
Nancy Pelosi a 'Disgusting Figure'
People's Daily, China:
Pelosi 'Harms the Feelings of the Chinese People'
People's Daily, China:
U.S. House Speaker Pelosi 'Defies Law and
Although at the moment, I lack
a good enough substitution for these labels, one thing is clear: in any matter
related to people, labels must be as neutral and as little-used as possible, particularly
ones like “anti-Chinese” and “unfriendly toward China,” which could cause
someone to raise up a weapon in anger, and that once commonly used will end up
damaging the speaker most of all.
In English there's a very
good concept called the "self-fulfilling prophecy," which states that
if your mind is full of ideas like “anti-China,” your eyes will look everywhere
for an appropriate enemy, until eventually you create an entire army of "anti-China"
forces. We criticize right-wing figures in the United States whose words and
deeds are “anti-China”; and we warn them that every day they view China as a hypothetical
enemy, they stand a very great chance of "nurturing" China into a
real enemy of the United States.
Certainly, the United States
and the West really do have genuine anti-China figures, but after all, it's
only a handful. The thing to do is to thin out these critics by understanding
the sources and motives of their dissatisfaction. This can be done reasonably
and at the appropriate time.
For example, anti-China
sentiment in the United States differs between the political right and left. Early
on, American right-wingers became anti-China due to their anti-communist
ideology, and at the moment maintain this stance as a conditioned reflex to
protect America's global hegemony. But U.S. left-wingers don't join along
easily. The American Left doesn't approve of “America first”-type policies or
wanton saber-rattling in dealing with China's rise. They tend more toward
pacifism, internationalism and support multilateralism, as the Obama
Administration's foreign policy has made quite clear.
With the active efforts of
the Chinese and American governments, particularly Beijing's policy of
disregarding past animosity and with a tolerant and magnanimous point of view, by
extending a hand of reconciliation and goodwill to Speaker Pelosi during her visit
to China, the two sides achieved what Premier Wen Jiabao described as
“friendliness without sacrificing principles.” Treating so-called
"political enemies" this way makes for a good and civilized turn in
Chinese diplomatic history.
CLICK HERE FOR CHINESE VERSION
WORLDMEETS.US June 30, 3:49am]