In my view, Grace Wang’s essay is political suicide. In the language of past history (and somewhat ironically here), she has decided to stand diametrically opposite to the Party and the People. Objectively, one can say that she is a “Public Enemy.”
Ah, yes. China, a country where having an opinion that doesn’t go with the flow is a serious crime. She should have kept her head down and accepted the abuse for not following along with the rest of the herd. After all, internet thugs know best, don’t they?
First, I think that Grace Wang is wrong. The negative impact of that essay goes far beyond her imagination. She has been completely exploited by western media.
Let’s be honest here. The trouble started when Chinese students decided to launch an internet bullying campaign and this was continued by thugs who started harrassing her family. The “Western media” had nothing to do with it. Yet of course, true to form, non-Chinese are quickly blamed as being the source of all evil by “Chairman Rabbit”. Oh, surprise-surprise, there’s more on the I.M.C.M.C.L.B. (“International Media Conspiracy to Make China Look Bad”).
If Grace Wang really wanted to solve the problems and if she loves China, she would have asked the western media to report a fuller picture of China as opposed to just satisfying their pre-defined prejudices and imaginations.
Yes, no need for Grace Wang as a young Chinese woman to try to reason with her own people on the issue in hand. Chinese regularly say that its not for outsiders to comment on “Chinese issues”. Yet if Chinese people disagree with something China does, it’s implied that they have to sort out the rest of the world first? What utter hypocricy.
I tend to think that she is too young and she is very politically naÃ¯ve to hold those kinds of views.
Now we’re on to age discrimination! Yes, Grace Wang is too young to have her own political views, despite the fact she is probably old enough to vote in most democracies. Or is she too young because she disagrees with the prevailing Chinese attitude?
Mr Rabbit’s commentary is rather manipulative as it repeatedly greatly reads into non-controversial statements by Ms Wang.
This shows that she loves to learn and she has good intentions. The readers will be sympathetic, and even possibly respectful.
And you have evidence that she is lying, Mr Rabbit? Or that she should not say anything about her background? She likes languages – she’s telling the reader something about her. Don’t try to pretend she’s manipulating us – you’re the person manipulating the story here.
But one has to ask: What is the concept of China? She does not employ the concept of the Chinese people as “the multi-ethnic political entity (consisting of 56 different ethnic groups)” and she does not use the narrative based upon the relationship between the Han and Tibetan groups.
Why should she repeat Chinese nationalist propaganda? Quite clearly Chinese, whether that’s Hans or anyone else, are in many ways different and generally divided from Tibetans. When the BBC did a four-part series on China last year, there was a piece which showed a giant propaganda sign in Tibet welcoming the new railway – it was in Chinese, with no Tibetan translation, and none of the Tibetan peasants in the area could read it. That is just one example of how divorced from reality many Chinese are when it comes to Tibet – they don’t even consider how to get their message across to Tibetans in a way they can understand.
There is nothing about Tibetan history, society, policies or challenges (such as those about development and poverty alleviation).
Again, why would she talk about that? She isn’t the Chinese government’s spokeswoman. She had her own views of Tibet, and she freely admits they were unrealistic. She learnt about what some Tibetans actually thought about their situation. That’s more than most Chinese have done.
Finally, her high school revoking her diploma and reinforcing patriotic education also satisfied the western imagination.
So, again, are you suggesting it didn’t happen? Or that she should sweep the petty-mindedness of her old school under the carpet because it’s an “inconvenience” for those Chinese who want to push their own image of their country to the rest of the world?
There is much more drivel from Mr Rabbit, so I won’t bore you with a continued point-by-point analysis. But I’d like to address his closing remarks.
It was just another one-sided demonization of China; it only diminishes the minimal speech space of China within the western media. In the end, it only increases misunderstanding, alienation and conflict about China. From this angle I can only say that Grace Wang was hypocritical and opportunistic.
Quite the opposite, Mr Rabbit. The only hypocricy and opportunism is coming from you. A young university student wanted to do her own thing and she was treated disgracefully for it, as was her family. Yet you spend a few lines talking about how such criminal activities were wrong, the rest blithering on about how she was wrong to want to tell her own story in the only medium available to her that would reach many others – the Chinese media would never give her space. Well after all the lies and hate spread about her, she had the right. Your analysis was a shameful attempt to undermine her defence, whilst also being a vehicle for having a bash at the foreign media for disrupting your pride.
I would like to thank Roland for translating this entry as it demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of some Chinese bloggers like Mr Rabbit. Only by being able to read this sort of garbage can we truly understand the problems people like Grace Wang have when trying to reason with those who are themselves unreasonable. I do hope, though, that the reason no positive blog entries were posted on ESWN was not that no Chinese netizens had sympathy for her. It really would bode badly for China’s future if victims of bullying are not offered aid simply because they don’t conform.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.