CDT Interview Series: Chinese Journalists Talk About the Olympics, Tibet, and Cross-Cultural Understanding (2)
[Editor's Note: Since March, a series of events including unrest in Lhasa and protests following the Olympic torch relay, have brought to the surface a clash between nationalist elements of the Chinese public and international critics of China. Because of tight control by the propaganda department, the issues of Tibet, foreign criticism of China's human rights record, and nationalism are not allowed to be publicly debated in the Chinese media. But what do Chinese journalists really think about these issues? In an effort to gain a more nuanced answer to this question, CDT interviewed four working Chinese journalists. Most of the interviewees prefer to remain anonymous. They are all based in Beijing and work in various national magazines and newspapers. CDT has not edited their responses. The second of four interviews follows. The first interview is here.]
Interview with a Chinese Journalist, by Rhyen Coombs
This interviewee is a senior editor of a national publication based in Beijing.
CDT: How do you feel about the Olympics being in Beijing? What does that mean for the Chinese people?
Journalist: Many of my friends object to the Olympic Games, because they think that it’s just a show, a commercial activity. It wastes a lot of money and it’s not in the Olympic spirit, because it’s over-commercialized. But from my point of view, it’s really an opportunity for the outside world and China to communicate. The Tibetan issue is kind of representative of this opportunity, because if there were no Olympic Games, nobody would care about the Tibetan issue. Inside China, they don’t know the tension in Tibet. So it should be a chance for China to communicate with the outside world.
But this time, it seems, it’s not so successful, judging by the consequences of the Tibetan riots, as Westerners and Chinese
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