Calling China

KristofPlanning to write his next column on China and the Tibet protests, New York Times pundit has issued an open call for commentary on his blog. The invitation is as follows:

In any case, my sense is that many Chinese — whether in China or outside the country — are deeply indignant at U.S. media coverage of Tibet in particular and China-U.S. relations in general. I get waves of angry emails whenever I write about China and Darfur. So here’s your chance: What do we get wrong, and why?

Frankly, it strikes me that China’s problems are rather similar to America’s: an obliviousness to how one’s own country is perceived abroad, a nationalistic people who are sometimes blind to the power of nationalism on the part of others (e.g. Iraqis and Tibetans), lousy leadership in the center, and a tendency to take steps intended to preserve national security that end up undermining that security.

What do you think? Are the parallels real? Americans are welcome to weigh in as well, but In particular I’d love to get some thoughtful Chinese voices.

For some sense of why Kristof’s writing on China and Sudan elicits angry emails (presumably from Chinese readers), see his January column “China’s Genocide Olympics” (via the IHT).

March 31, 2008 1:24 AM
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