From China in transition blog:
A scholar’s proposal of abandoning long, or Chinese dragon, as the symbol image of China triggered a hot public debate about this thousands-of-years-old emblem, particularly the English translation of its name.
Early this month, Prof. Wu Youfu, a top administrator of Shanghai International Studies University, said in a local newspaper story that long is not suitable to be the symbol of China’s national image, because dragon is seen in the western world as “a monster full of arrogance and offensiveness.” He suggested that the label of China’s national image should be something resonating China’s peaceful rise strategy and avoiding westerners’ misconceptions about Chinese culture. Prof. Wu is also leading a research project on rebuilding China’s national image.
Soon after these comments were published, Prof. Huang Jie of East China Normal University, also in Shanghai, criticized Prof. Wu’s proposal as “ridiculous.” Nothing is wrong with long, according to Prof. Huang, and what went wrong is the English translation of long as “dragon.” [Full Text]