President Obama meets Chinese students in Shanghai after holding a

town hall meeting with them. His comments on Internet freedom are

particularly relevant to this article from the Global Geographic Times.




Global Geographic Times, People's Republic of China

Chinese Netizens Have 'Sharp Words' for President Obama


According to China's state-run Global Geographic Times, state-controlled Internet chat rooms are filled with tough questions for, and sharp criticism of, President Obama. On his Global Geographic Times blog page, a man named Tian Yifeng lays out some of the comments and explains why they show the insight of Chinese Netizens.


By Tian Yifeng [田一枫]



Translated by Jimmy Chow


November 13, 2009


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

Meant as a tribute to how dramatically President Obama is changing the world, this sculpture by Chinese artist Liu Bolin is called 'Burning Man Obama' and is set alight for three minutes at a time. Liu hopes to get $15,000 for the piece.


REUTERS NEWS VIDEO: Beijing artist debuts 'Burning Man Obama,' Nov. 12, 00:01:47RealVideo

“For the press conference, I’ve prepared a shoe to throw at you. Please choose Nike or Adidas.”


A day ahead of the U.S. president's visit to China, this is the witty message an Internet user submitted to one of the many Internet sites that have offered a place for suggestions on, “What I would say to Obama.”


While perhaps lacking the depth of meaning, 120,000 active users left 3,000 similar messages at this one site. It could be said that it certainly isn’t uncommon for people to laugh together while pondering serious topics.


“Brother Obama, how come the United States always has trade friction with us? Why are you limiting exports to our developing country? … Didn't Lincoln teach you how to be a good president?”


You see, China's Netizens can consider the big issues - and the U.S.-China trade war seems to be creating a lot of smoke. By suggesting that Obama learn from Lincoln, this message shows that people wonder how fragile relations are between the two countries.


“Money is loaned to you, and then it's burned to ashes in your country. … What steps are you taking to ensure that China's money (particularly bonds of U.S. government debt) is safe? … In fact, at this moment you are applying for bankruptcy protection.”


It’s hard to deny these are very sharp words, but they reflect the true feelings of Chinese Netizens. China now holds $585 billion of U.S. debt. This money is the blood and sweat of China's public, so of course it’s reasonable for them to worry. Undoubtedly, Obama should value it [China's money] as well.




China Daily, China: Obama Can Teach Shanghai Officials a Thing or Two

China Daily, China: VIDEO - Chinese React to Visit of President Obama

Global Times, China: 'Obscene Postcard' Emerges of Taiwan President and Hillary

The Times, U.K. Obama's Bow to Japan Emperor Shows U.S. 'Confidence'

The Telegraph, U.K.: Obama 'Breaks Conciliatory Tone'; Criticizes China Censorship

The Australian, Australia: Obama's Personal Story No Substitute for Policy in Asia

Globe & Mail, Canada: China 'Plays Down' President Obama's Visit


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“I just want to ask you [Obama], when the U.S. economy recovers will you continue to invest in China? Will you still warmly welcome the Dalai Lama and embrace Rebiya Kadeer - for all Chinese people to see? … Why don’t you invite the Dalai Lama to stay at the White House and stop brothering us about whether you'll see him or not?”


[Editor's Note: Rebiya Kadeer is a leading Uyghur businesswoman and president of the World Uyghur Congress. Beijing authorities arrested her in 1999 and released her in 2005, supposedly in medical grounds. Her "crimes" included mailing Chinese newspapers to people in the United States to highlight human rights abuses against Uygurs.]


This is a good question. Before he came to China, Obama turned down a meeting with the Dalai Lama. But it was just a postponement. When the Dalai Lama returns to the U.S., Obama still wants to shake his hand and chat. This kind of activity will undoubtedly hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and provide no benefit for Sino-U.S. relations. Shouldn’t Obama engage in some deep soul-searching on such a difficult issue? 



“As a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, may I ask whether nuclear issues with Iran and North Korea can be resolved diplomatically - would you go to war with these two countries?” … “Who told you winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a matter of gaining fame before merit? Don’t believe them - they are trying to trick you!” … “Can you keep out of other people's business, worry about your own account book and not create problems for the rest of the word?”



[Hoje Macau, Macau]


In saying things like this, people are touching a raw nerve with Obama. The nuclear issue with Iran and North Korea are giving the U.S. a headache and testing Obama’s “New Deal.” The financial crisis certainly originated in the United States and it is the U.S. that has dragged in the rest of the world. Obama can't change America's aspiration to lead the world, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't feel an obligation to make it a more responsible superpower.


“Obama, your twin brother Ultraman is calling you home for dinner!” Ha ha. Recently, this has been a popular message on the Internet because Obama’s real brother actually lives in Shenzhen - and has been there for many years. Now Obama wants to come to China to see for himself this strange country - one which he nevertheless must have dealings with. As Obama is a friend travelling from afar, China will warmly welcome him. But it also hopes that he will show some substance. As he accepts China’s kind hospitality, he might draw some new impressions and considerations for the future of Sino-U.S. relations.


























[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US November 16, 4:39pm]


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