Interesting question, isn’t it? Washington Post had an OP-ED article: Dismantling the Wall, written by a former Fulbright scholar in China, raising some important points on this issue. The author, Tim Dorsett, started his article with the case of Zhao Yan: “Last month Zhao Yan, a 37-year-old Chinese businesswoman, was beaten and doused with pepper spray by a homeland security inspector while on a tourist visit to Niagara Falls. The inspector later said he thought she was part of a drug deal and that she resisted arrest. What has followed in the wake of the assault is significant for further revealing the troubling disconnect between Chinese and American societies.”
Update: For more background information, I have found following reports about Zhao Yan’s case on People’s Daily Online site.