Chinese “traitors” – or the tyranny of the majority

Raj

Recently we’ve read about the shameful treatment of a Chinese student in the US, Grace Wang. The Washington post gave her the opportunity to explain her side of the story.

Over Christmas break, all the American students went home, but that’s too expensive for students from China. Since the dorms and the dining halls were closed, I was housed off-campus with four Tibetan classmates for more than three weeks…

I’d long been interested in Tibet and had a romantic vision of the Land of Snows, but I’d never been there. Now I learned that the Tibetans have a different way of seeing the world. My classmates were Buddhist and had a strong faith, which inspired me to reflect on my own views about the meaning of life. I had been a materialist, as all Chinese are taught to be, but now I could see that there’s something more, that there’s a spiritual side to life.
We talked a lot in those three weeks, and of course we spoke in Chinese. The Tibetan language isn’t the language of instruction in the better secondary schools there and is in danger of disappearing. Tibetans must be educated in Mandarin Chinese to succeed in our extremely capitalistic culture. This made me sad, and made me want to learn their language as they had learned mine.

Chinese will complain that foreigners have never been to Tibet, but they haven’t lived with ordinary Tibetans either. Maybe they’ve come across a couple of very wealthy ones who work and live in big Chinese cities, but they’re the minority – it’s like hob-nobbing with someone who lives in Chelsea, as if they can tell you what it’s like for most Londoners. In any case they don’t understand Tibetans that well either.

The Chinese protesters thought that, being Chinese, I should be on their side.

It appears that in China some people believe your race dicatates what your opinion can be.

Some people on the Chinese side started to insult me for speaking English and told me to speak Chinese only. But the Americans didn’t understand Chinese. It’s strange to me that some Chinese seem to feel as though not speaking English is expressing a kind of national pride. But language is a tool, a way of thinking and communicating.


Well it’s better to wrap yourself blindly up in nationalism than communicate. Otherwise you might have to change your views if the other side can make good arguments.

Now, Duke is providing me with police protection, and the attacks in Chinese cyberspace continue. But contrary to my detractors’ expectations, I haven’t shriveled up and slunk away. Instead, I’ve responded by publicizing this shameful incident, both to protect my parents and to get people to reflect on their behavior. I’m no longer afraid, and I’m determined to exercise my right to free speech.
Because language is the bridge to understanding.

It’s easy to dismiss the actions of the criminals who have hounded her and her family as that of a minority, but students like these are supposed to be China’s future. Is this what CCP nationalism and media manipulation has created – a generation of middle/upper class children who are angry and so “proud” of their country that they will attack those who do not conform to their views? Take the case of China’s “hero”, Jin Jing.

But what words came out of her mouth? Jin Jing has just said publicly that netizens should be very careful about the call to boycott Carrefour, because that company employs many Chinese employees who would be hurt by any boycott.

Here is a sample of the comments posted on her recently.

What kinda fart is Jin Jing! She is helping Carrefour. I think that she is a Chinese traitor.

What kinda person is Jin Jing? You give her a little color, and she thinks that she can run a dye mill.
First, she lost her leg. Now she has lost her mind.

The interests of a number of Chinese employees cannot be as important as the interests of a nation. There is no need to worry about them. It is important to let the world that China cannot be bullied.

She went to France just once and now she thinks that she is French. Jin Jing speaks like a Chinese traitor with no brain. No wonder she got fired from her job.

Who is Jin Jing? Is she famous or something? If she does not want to join the boycott, she does not have to. But why come out and speak? Does she want to be cursed out?

Stop fucking bullshitting. Any torch bearer would have protected the torch in that situation. This is the duty of everyone and there is nothing more to be said. When the Chinese people offer you some praise, you begin to think that you are some kind of goddess. It is not your fault to lose your leg, but it is worse to become brain-dead.

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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.

The Discussion: 169 Comments

mor:

You are the one who is ignoring your neighbor’s sufferings.

Well, you don’t know me. So you have no right to judge me this way.

As to the scholarship, it is easy. Students submit application. And teachers make investigation. If they meet the conditions, they have the money. My school offers 2000, 1000,6000. And provincial and national scholarship are about 8000, 5000 etc. I am not in charge of this. This is the rough number. “Students know some
English”, means you can talk with them freely and get some truth.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:25 am | Comment

“My school offers 2000, 1000,6000.”. sorry, should be 600, not 6000.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:26 am | Comment

It’s you Chinese people who hate us foreigners.

Really? Since you once lived in China, you did meet hostility?

And does any foreigner feel hatred here?

“Get our noses as deep into your asses as possible?”

????????

April 24, 2008 @ 9:34 am | Comment

The day you are able to provide your own people with clean water without the help of European development aid, that day we will respect you.

And “mor” wonders why no Chinese posters can put up with the arrogant, condescending white supremacists who post here.

April 24, 2008 @ 10:48 am | Comment

aside from the fact that you repeatedly took the time to take a jab at her English.

arrogant, condescending prick.

April 24, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Comment

Mor has a point. It is a case of biting the hand that feeds you.

April 24, 2008 @ 11:17 am | Comment

It is a case of biting the hand that feeds you.

Like Britain using China’s very own gunpowder to cause social collapse and immense misery?

Or like the first settlers in America killing the Indians that helped feed them?

April 24, 2008 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

>clean water

Are we reading the same thread, Ferin?

April 24, 2008 @ 12:23 pm | Comment

>Like Britain using China’s very own gunpowder to cause social collapse and immense misery?

Oh, do be serious – Britain built China a fantastic world-class financial centre equivalent to 20% of China’s total GDP which China would never have been able to create by itself (hell, just look at how much Shanghai regressed as soon as the International Settlement disappeared).

Oh, and if it weren’t for the US, you’d be speaking Japanese right now. Then again, given what a success Taiwan is compared to the mainland, maybe that wouldn’t have been such a bad thing. 😉 Sorry, China.

April 24, 2008 @ 12:27 pm | Comment

Britain didn’t do shit for Hong Kong, aside from keep away Communism. Singapore had no trouble building up on their own. Likewise, 20% of China’s GDP is approx. 660 billion. Unfortunately Hong Kong is not worth that much.

And if it weren’t for China, you’d be speaking Mongolian.

April 24, 2008 @ 2:10 pm | Comment

@wendy

“Well, you don’t know me. So you have no right to judge me this way.”

I’m not judging you, I’m just replying to your posts. It’s interesting that you think you have the right to call me an ignorant, but not the other way round. Reminds me of certain people who have been a lot on the news recently.

“As to the scholarship, it is easy. Students submit application. And teachers make investigation. If they meet the conditions, they have the money. My school offers 2000, 1000,6000. And provincial and national scholarship are about 8000, 5000 etc. I am not in charge of this. This is the rough number.”

What conditions? Can you give us some concrete information instead of “rough numbers”?

“‘Students know some
English’, means you can talk with them freely and get some truth.”

Yeah, when you talk to Chinese students you will get some Truth. I know that very well, since I’ve worked in China as a teacher for several years.

“‘My school offers 2000, 1000,6000.’. sorry, should be 600, not 6000.”

Yeah, yeah, those “rough numbers”!

“Really? Since you once lived in China, you did meet hostility?

And does any foreigner feel hatred here?”

No, never, Chinese person very friendly and hospitable and always smile. And if you come out of French supermarket, Chinese person give you friendly clap on your shoulder.

“????????”

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask me. Or maybe talk to your students to “get some truth.”

April 24, 2008 @ 7:30 pm | Comment

“And ‘mor’ wonders why no Chinese posters can put up with the arrogant, condescending white supremacists who post here.”

This is actually Ferin’s way of admitting that I’m right. If he didn’t agree with me, he would call me a liar followed by all the curses he can come up with.

“aside from the fact that you repeatedly took the time to take a jab at her English.”

I was talking about her pinyin. She claims to be a Chinese teacher after all.

“arrogant, condescending prick.”

I really would like to be as eloquent as Master Ferin. Gotta work harder to improve my Engrish.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:39 pm | Comment

“Mor has a point. It is a case of biting the hand that feeds you.”

We could also say: it’s a case of pissing on the people whose money helped you to realize that great economic miracle everybody is talking about. And they are still taking the money while they are cursing us.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

“Like Britain using China’s very own gunpowder to cause social collapse and immense misery?”

Ferin is getting better and better. He’s definitely a better comedian than Yang Rui.

“Or like the first settlers in America killing the Indians that helped feed them?”

I’m European so I have nothing to do with that. Ferin, however, is American. I just can’t figure out why he keeps mentioning his own country’s crimes of the past in a discussion about China.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:54 pm | Comment

“Are we reading the same thread, Ferin?”

I’m not sure if Ferin is able to read at all. He himself once claimed that there are more analphabets in the USA than there are in China.

“Oh, do be serious – Britain built China a fantastic world-class financial centre equivalent to 20% of China’s total GDP which China would never have been able to create by itself (hell, just look at how much Shanghai regressed as soon as the International Settlement disappeared).”

Chinese students never learn anything about that. Instead the history lessons in Chinese schools focus on the Opium wars of one and a half centuries ago.

“Oh, and if it weren’t for the US, you’d be speaking Japanese right now. Then again, given what a success Taiwan is compared to the mainland, maybe that wouldn’t have been such a bad thing. 😉 Sorry, China.”

Peanut Butter, don’t you know it was the Chinese Communist guerilla headed by Great Chairman Mao riding on a white horse that defeated the Japanese army and liberated East Asia?

April 24, 2008 @ 8:04 pm | Comment

“Britain didn’t do shit for Hong Kong, aside from keep away Communism. Singapore had no trouble building up on their own. Likewise, 20% of China’s GDP is approx. 660 billion. Unfortunately Hong Kong is not worth that much.”

What does a spoiled ignorant American youngster know about Hongkong’s or Singapore’s history?

“And if it weren’t for China, you’d be speaking Mongolian.”

Now this is an interesting statement. I’ll spend the rest of the day trying to figure out what Master Ferin is actually talking about.

April 24, 2008 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

mor, I told you i am not in charge of scholarship, but this morning I called my colleague, he said about 30% students got money. In 2007, the national scholarship amounted to 300,000 in my college, whose enrollment is around 2,000 students, not mention the money from school.

I don’t know what condition for scholarship, if you are so curious, come and see with your eyes. ( I doubt whether you have the courage to face it.)

As to the money, why not advice your President to return us the 20 billion and display your contempt for China?

I have been here for so long, hoping i am not wasting my time.

You curse as you like, if you have nothing to do.

I love China. It is my home.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:49 pm | Comment

“mor, I told you i am not in charge of scholarship, but this morning I called my colleague, he said about 30% students got money. In 2007, the national scholarship amounted to 300,000 in my college, whose enrollment is around 2,000 students, not mention the money from school.”

Thanks for the information! I admit some changes for the better have been and are taking place in China. I hope, this trend will continue.

“I don’t know what condition for scholarship, if you are so curious, come and see with your eyes. ( I doubt whether you have the courage to face it.)”

Why would that take courage? Do your students belong to the violent anti-foreigner crowd?

“As to the money, why not advice your President to return us the 20 billion and display your contempt for China?”

It’s new to me that the president of my home country ows you 20 billion whatever. Nor did he ever show contempt for China. In fact, my country is doing a lot to help China.

“I have been here for so long, hoping i am not wasting my time.”

I’m not sure if I understand what you are talking about right now.

“You curse as you like, if you have nothing to do.”

Where and when did I curse you or anybody else?

“I love China. It is my home.”

Hard as it might be for you to believe this, I also love China. It is the home of many people I love.

April 24, 2008 @ 11:51 pm | Comment

I understand the “logic” behind their pursuit of extreme capitalism, the human rights abuses connected with dissident supression, the horrible gap between the rich and the poor, the urban and the rural side… even the “One China”, all-expasionist, all-assimilist thing toward minorities, and all. I understand how these things can be necessary evils in modern China, in their tireless run to become a Great Nation that shall “catch up with the US in some years” etc etc.

You know, I get scared at Chinese people. Just because some things can be explained as “necessary evils”, doesn’t mean they are automatically justifiable.. or necessarily condoned. Sometimes I fear that some Chinese people, such as seen on this website, confuse between the two. Fascism is old-fashioned, and those two should no longer be confused. What should be condemned must be condemned so. Besides Great China and all that resolves I hear from my overseas Chinese friend, I see and hear about those who must become sacrificed for the sake of this great objective – namely, just to give a few example, FLG practioners who get their organs extracted, a 9 months pregnant woman forcibly aborted, a naked 8 year old girl begging on the street, people and children being used for labour, people being robbed of their own cultural tradition, and many other cases of such incredible inequality and injustice. I feel bad for this, and I wish CCP would implement something positive to rectify this, or at least deal in a civil manner – that is, not kill/kidnap/torture – with those people who organise themselves to represent this side of the Chinese society, which, as many other modern societies, has multiple facets… but again, I understand why it could be rather natural for many Chinese people to turn a blind eye (at least for the moment) at these facts. I don’t want to criticise them for it and I don’t think it’s entirely their fault, and I believe one day they would see them as they are.

On this position, I also think it’s rather natural that such spectacles staged by Chinese “patriots” these days around the torch relay would give distasteful impression to “westerners”, or people who’s lived in a politically freer side of the world. At times it’s actually reminiscent of some form of fascism madness, especially when collective violence is concerned. You love China, and it’s your home, so what? The behaviour of some of your people is at best immature in our eyes, irrelevant of whether you love your home country or not. I love my home country too, and that’s why I would be embarrassed at immature and fascist behaviours of some of my countrymen and women. Loving your home country and condoning/defending fascism is a different matter and I think more and more Chinese people will realise that sooner or later. At least I hope so.

April 29, 2008 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

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