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China Daily, People's Republic of China

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Condemn Paris Attacks and Western Cultural Insensitivity (Huanqiu, China)

 

It's quite a pickle for the Chinese government: While it staunchly opposes press freedom and political satire as a threat to 'stability', aka/the Communist Party, it also opposes terrorism, Islamist or otherwise, as a threat to the same. So how can the regime thread the needle on the terrorist attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo? This editorial from the state-run Huanqiu, while opposing all terrorist attacks and castigating the West for not doing the same when it comes to what Beijing considers terrorist attacks by ethnic Uyghurs and Tibetans, sees fault in the cultural insensitivity inherent in political satire - which is an attitude Beijing clearly shares with the perpetrators of these horrifying attacks.

 

EDITORIAL

 

Translated By John Chen

 

January 11, 2015

 

People's Republic of China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)

Governments have almost unanimously condemned the bloody terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. However, in some non-Western societies, particularly Islamic societies, the reactions may be far more complex. Although we recognize that values are diverse, we believe that at this moment, condemnation of this terrorist attack must be unconditional. Given such a major issue of principal, any other choice would not be in keeping with the common interests of humanity.

 

After past terrorist attacks in China, the Western public has often shown a distinct lack of firmness. Even after China officially determines their terrorist nature, Western mainstream media puts quotation marks around the world "terrorist" when describing these bloody assaults, saying that this is a "claim" of the Chinese government. This tends to make Chinese people extremely angry. [This refers to Uyghurs, Tibetans and other ethnic minorities Beijing is in a virtual cultural war against. Many in the West see Chinese policy as a form of state terrorism].

 

Conversely, now that the West has suffered a terrorist attack, Chinese society has to make a choice: Should we behave like the West with its "eye for an eye," or should we reject double standards and resolutely join in the global condemnation? Mainstream Chinese society chooses the latter, as we have done on each and every occasion before.

 

MORE ON CHARLIE HEBDO:
Corriere Della Sera, Italy:
'Europe's 9/11': If this is Islam, here's What We'd Like  
Die Zeit, Germany:
Charlie Hebdo: Time to 'Impose the Enlightenment' on Islam  
Le Figaro, France: War has Come to France - and France Must Win it

Corriere Della Sera, Italy: On Pope Francis' Secret Service: Confronting ISIS Threat

 

Eliminating terrorism depends on a high degree of solidarity among the international community. After these sudden terrorist attacks on Western society, public statements from the rest of the world are always the same. However, when Russia and other countries are similarly attacked, Western media are often evasive. We strongly hope that this firm attitude taken by Russia and China has an impact on the West and curtails Western use of terrorist attacks as a geopolitical lever to get us to "change."

 

From the perspective of the east, what Charlie Hebdo publishes is not completely defendable. That some Muslims feel hurt by the cartoons is understandable. However, that cannot be a justification for these terrorist attacks. The attacks on Charlie Hebdo go beyond the civil boundaries of any society. If one surveys the world of terrorism, all these attacks have their own "underlying causes," but out attitude toward them should be unwavering: resolute confrontation and opposition.

 

Of course, countering and combating terrorism is about strategy. We note that many Western leaders and mainstream media outlets have highlighted their support for press freedom when commenting on the Charlie Hebdo attack. We think this is debatable.

 

Press freedom is part of the West's political and social system and is one of the core values of Western society. But in the era of globalization, when a contradiction emerges between Western practices and the core values of other societies, the West should have awareness and show a willingness to ease the conflict rather than heightening it in accordance with its own values as if it were a zero-sum game.

Posted By Worldmeets.US

 

As the West holds an absolute advantage in the field of global opinion, the Western/non-Western dialogue tends to follow Western dictates. When non-Western societies have views that differ from the West, they have almost no capacity to disseminate them to the world.

 

 

Western comics and literary works do indeed create friction with the Islamic world and create a sense of harm in the latter. Even if the West thinks it correct to uphold press freedom, respect for the feelings of others should not be ignored. If the West considers globalization to be synonymous with an absolute expansion of and victory for its own values, then it can expect endless conflict.

 

All that being said, we in no way condone the terrorist attacks in Paris, and we strongly oppose the use of violence to address cultural contradictions. Terrorist attacks in all cases are inexcusable. However, the rage felt against the Paris terrorist attacks need not necessarily be expressed through support for the controversial cartoons. It is encouraging that mainstream global opinion has come out in support of Paris. If the West could moderate its reactions to these cultural divergences and take more account of the feelings of the non-Western world, it would reap some dignified returns.

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR CHINESE VERSION

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Posted By Worldmeets.US Jan. 11, 2015 2:42am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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