House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with China's former foreign minister

Li Zhaoxing, during a visit to Beijing to discuss climate change. To

the surprise of the Chinese, Pelosi said little to annoy the regime.



Global Geographic Times, Peoples' Republic of China

Most Americans, 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 Klingman


June 13, 2009


People's Republic of China - Global Geographic Times - Original Article (Chinese)

Chinese-Americans and others protest China's crackdown in Tibet during the Olympic Games last year: Is it possible that Beijing is taking a more nuanced view of criticism from abroad - particularly from the United States?


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Nancy Pelosi enrages Beijing by visiting the Dalai Lama in India, March 21, 2008, 00:01:51RealVideo

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:


A so-called "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. relations.


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.


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 foreign relations.


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 situation.



Xinhua, China: The Hypocrisy of Pelosi and 'Those of Her Ilk'
Xinhua, China: 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 Discipline'

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.









































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US June 30, 3:49am]