Criticism of China Wanes During Games

Sigrid Deters reports in the Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

In the run-up to the Olympic Games, Chinese people at home and abroad demonstrated against the Western media for being negative about China. Now, as the games come to an end, such criticism is seldom heard. Does this mean the West has become more positive about China?

Cloe Liu usually presents a lifestyle programme on Radio Beijing, but over the last few weeks the station has been transformed into Radio Olympia, providing continuous news on the games from Beijing. An important part of her show is given over to interviewing foreigners in the capital’s streets, asking them what they think of the games and Beijing itself. Ms Liu says:

“Lots of people from abroad say they are more positive now that they’ve seen Beijing for themselves. The games are going really well, and the city’s cleaner, more beautiful and more modern than they thought.”

Ms Liu says it is important to hear what foreigners think of China.

“China’s image abroad is too negative and that doesn’t reflect reality,” she believes. That is the fault of Western media, which paint a grim picture of China. “You yourself wouldn’t like it if your country was always given bad coverage in the media.”

… Few Chinese agree with Mr Wong. They would rather the West took more notice of what is going well in China. However, Jing Jing, who works at Radio Beijing, does not find Western media reporting about China too critical.

“We grow up in a society in which people concentrate on the things which have got better. That makes people feel good. In other countries, you grow up with a more critical view.”
She thinks the Chinese media should become more critical. “Only then will you get mature journalism.”


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