Internet

Grace Wang

grace_wang.jpg
Unfortunate backdrop

This article is by guest contributor Alice Xin Liu.

On April 9, 2008 at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, two high-profile student 'protests' for and against Tibetan independence took place. Grace Wang (Wang Qianyuan 王千源), a 21 year old girl from Qingdao, Shandong, joined in the protest on the campus. Wang is a student at Duke University.

To the shock of many Chinese students at Duke and also at home in China, Wang was protesting for some kind of middle-ground between the foreign pro-Tibetan independence group and the Chinese anti-Tibetan independence group. She wrote ‘Free Tibet’ on the back of a student and also communicated with the Chinese side in Chinese.

In videos of the so-called ‘protests’ (see links at bottom of article), Wang makes a public speech in English, facing the Chinese students, and with the non-Chinese students behind her. Her comments include, “Just because I am Chinese does not mean that I can't think for myself."

On forum websites such as Han Wang and Tianya, photos of Wang as a schoolgirl in Shandong have appeared, along with Chinese netizens’ defamatory comments. Their comments range from "race-traitor" (汉奸) to "she can only marry one of the lamas now" (他现在只能嫁给喇嘛了).

In the last few days a pot of human faeces was emptied outside the door of Wang’s parents flat in Qingdao.

Global Voices Online has transcribed a letter from a friend of Wang's at Duke, dated April 15, stating that her parents' residence in Qingdao has been attacked by rocks, and that they are in hiding.

Certain netizens expressed doubt as to whether Wang's motive was to support Tibetan independence, instead saying it was more akin to self-promotion. Some commentators asked why she did not speak in Chinese when she was making the public statement on the Duke campus on April 9 (instead, using "broken English"), saying that her purpose was to show off to foreign students, as well as foreign media, such as NPR (who supposedly interviewed her there).

There was some support of Wang though: one comment on Tianya read, "Good classmate Wang, unfortunately I'm on the Mainland so I can only support you in spirit." And from the Han Wang BBS: “She has the freedom to express her own views, her choice to support Dalai is a demand for democratic rights. How could you cover her doorstep with a pot of faeces – using this kind of rough and uncivilized method to object?"

Wang’s phone number and address in the US was revealed online, as was her parents’ address in Shandong. The FBI are said to be involved after Wang has received online and offline threats.

Wang wrote an email to the Duke Chinese Students and Scholars Association on the day of the April 9 protest, and has since participated in discussions about it on campus. In her e-mail, Wang quotes ancient Chinese sages Sunzi (孙子) and Laozi (老子), and argues for the focus to be on mutual understanding. She tells her Chinese compatriots not to act rashly. “Take away your anger, and your heads will become clear, your minds will become sharper, and then your judgments correct” (消除怒气,头脑才会清晰,思维才能敏捷,决断才会正确).

Today The New York Times published an article by Shaila Dewan about Wang, who met the Chinese student at Duke. It seems that Wang is still in a state of excitement. Dewan writes at the close of the article, “for a woman under threat of dismemberment [netizens have threatened to tear her to pieces if she returns to the mainland], she seemed remarkably sanguine – even upbeat.”

Also today, the front page of the CCTV website showed a picture of Wang, together with a video of the protest and the caption “Most hideous Chinese student abroad” (最丑陋留学生).

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There are currently 95 Comments for Grace Wang.

Comments on Grace Wang

I agree with many of the voices claiming she's simply trying to get a Green Card by pleasing the West.

It's funny to see that she brought out the “I'm Chinese but I can think for myself" thing, which falls into the stereotyping mindset of the West that Chinese follow the government's slogans and propogandas without freedom of speech, which is already in history.

The U.S government shall change its strategy against China if it wants to succeed in another war against the Communists. The old way of dealing with the Soviet Union will apparently not work on China whose economy is undoutedly incomparable for the 1989 Soviets. At present if you want to bring China down, the only way is to keep China's economy from growing and thus generate some internal turmoils. Small bugs like Wang will only induce some internet buzz and that's all.

By the way, she looks like a computer geek, which adds value to the Asian stereotyping. What an accomplishment!

I am Duke graduate currently living and working in China. I have often been disappointed by blind nationalism from both side, and this article reminds me of an unfortunate series of exchanges carried out over an email group for international students.

Several years ago when many in large Chinese cities took to the streets to protest against Japan, Chinese graduate students at Duke immediately began disseminating hateful emails, several of which stated violence should be used against all Japanese people.

I can sympathize with calls for more balanced reporting on China, but the pervasiveness of Chinese nationals' call to arms is unacceptable.

DR J

"It's funny to see that she brought out the “I'm Chinese but I can think for myself" thing, which falls into the stereotyping mindset of the West that Chinese follow the government's slogans and propogandas without freedom of speech, which is already in history."

Don't you think the notion that she's just trying to get a green card is also an idea generated by certain other stereotypes about Chinese (especially Chinese women)?

JL, I belive I'm not stereotyping her in this case. If she's under 18 and can easily be blindfolded by the pro-Tibet sentiment, it'll be different. Do you really believe the Chinese government will condescend to harass or death-threat her family as she alleged? For what?

I don't know why Wang did what she did, but I do know that Chinese people always try to tear down and ascribe selfish motives to anyone whose actions make them stand out.

Dr J - where did she say the Chinese government condescended to harass or death-threat her family?

I thought that came from the rational nationalists?

all smells of red guard mentality to me. inflame the people and then sit back and wash your hands of the consequences. look at the foreign ministry's reaction to the ridiculous carrefour boycott. and here's me thinking the masses here had changed. in fact, it has just been simmering below the surface.

Can we refrain from using the term "Chinese netizens" from this post onward and call them what they really are? PunksOnline.

Her story is sad because the people she felt closest to (fellow Chinese) are the ones that burned her the most viciously. Now that is a lesson in Chinese "culture" the West and the good folks at Duke can learn from. I hope all involved in threats against her are caught and deported ASAP!

Just incredibly courageous from her, congratulations! Finally someone who is able to dis-identify from the idolatry of the Chinese nation to think for oneself.

We in the West started the process after the Second World War. I think we were aided in this by orevious historical events such as the Reformation, which forced toleration on a continent that had been monolithic for centuries under the Catholic Church. Then we had democracy, which made dissent acceptable. Even deeper, we have this wonderful cultural icon of the preacher from Galilee hanging from a cross, a permanent -- and even divine -- reminder that one has to face negativity in order to be whole.

Unfortunately in China, afetr 4000 years of monolithic imperial cult, there is now a monolithic national idolatry, which people incapable of facing their dark side with honesty. Chinese overreactions to flies'stings (how else to describe the disturbances about Tibet?)is pathetic. So much immaturity would be laughable in the case of a small country, but here it is China, the most populous country in the world, still living in a neolithic egotic trance.

There's a difference between simply sympathizing with the plight of the Tibetan people, and being a fool and publicly defecating on the dignity of one's own country in front of foreigners. I am a Mongolian Chinese minority, my private sympathies are not with the nationalists but the Dalai Lama, but she had it coming. By advocating support for a movement that is not only attacking the Chiense government but China as a whole, she is a traitor of all of China. The Chinese people have a right to guard against backstabbers who are willing to assist foreigners to hijack the dreams of the Chinese people.

Hmm, my thought is, if you is that very calm person, you should not 火上浇油 (pouring oil on the fire).

Persuade others by tactic ways, not by such direct futile confrontation.

Whey she says “Just because I am Chinese does not mean that I can't think for myself." in such a context that she has different view with "other Chinese", it is proved that Chinese with that very view can't think for themselves from a Chinese mouth.

That may be not her purpose, but 正中下怀 (fit in exactly with one's wishes) for those biased western minds. I think she is also impetuous to think she can do it right.

DR J

Your response is puzzling: nobody said the death threats came from the Chinese government.

My point (albeit clumsily expressed) is that people often stereotype Chinese people's behaviour as being cynically motivated by self-interest. This is particularly the case with Chinese women in the West: if they have a foreign boyfriend, other Chinese people often assume it's just to get a green card. This is a stereotype, no? I think your explanation for Ms Wang's behaviour feeds off this stereotype.

Image what would happen if a guy in America called Ben Laden hero just after 911. This is a really sensitive period for Chinese people.
I don't agree the behavior of threat. But her claim that Chinese government will harass or prison her or her parents is ridiculous. I would not guess her purpose viciously, but as I know, some Chinese have gotten green cards by claiming they are member of Fаlun Gong and they may be oppressed and prisoned - also they are not.

I believe this Move is a move that push the historical wheel to move forward. No matter what's going to happen next, I support her effort and courage to even consider to be the middle person. It's very painful to do so. Grace, if you ever read this message, I want to encourage you to look forward, don't worry about how much you can get from your effort. But as you try to stand up it will really draw people's attention away from hatred, from history and toward a possible new hope in the future. This is just a start, whether or not we can see the result in our lives, it doesn't matter. Believe in what you are doing now, but don't over stress it. Remember, you are a part who move this wheel, but not all the parts. Do what you can, leave the result to God.

Go Blue Devils. Maybe Coack K can clarify her thoughts when he gets to Beijing in August. :)

all guys, do you know the history of china from Qing Dynasty? Tibet is absolutely a part of China. when China is very week in Qing Dynasty, Tibet can not seperate from China. nowadays, China is becoming more and more strong, although, china will not invade other country, but it have enough power and spirit to keep itself integrated.

also,during the invasion of the eight countries union army into Beijing, opium war and Japanese invasion, traitors even had done much more bad thing to chinese people. I think you will understand why we hate traitor, especially who threaten to the country's integration.

I'm from the same province with Grace Wang and hope her to make sincerely apology to her country.

I don't see what the big deal is... All this nationalism is getting on my nerves. I tried to stand behind the Chinese government, and see it from their perspective, but I just can't. You guys don't see how you are all being manipulated?

It's the same picture around the world.

It's all the same.

The same people are behind it all.

Also, let them talk! It's not like America don't get attacked by the liberals. At the end of the day shit will still tick, the rich will still be rich, and you are still powerless. Oh no, if we don't show our nationalism, it's only gonna embolden the none chinese into dumping more crap on the Chinese. Oh, the victim Chinese...

Please. Continue making your money, BLING! Just remember to have some empathy for others!

Is this all self hate? DO I hate myself?

HAHA.

Dr J - where did she say the Chinese government condescended to harass or death-threat her family?

You can find it here:
http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2008/04/14/News/Student.Gets.Threats.After.China.Protest-3322848-page2.shtml
"I know that I am on the Chinese government blacklist because of this," she said, explaining that she had been informed of this by sources she declined to name. "It just means I can never go back to China if I care about my security. If I go back I might end up in jail forever."
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CCTV has crossed the line by labeling this girl the "most hideous Chinese student abroad."

her privacy has been invaded and numerous threats have been made on both her life and the lives of her family members.

CCTV has used its media clout as state mouthpiece to maliciously defame Grace Wang, thereby doing serious injury to her reputation among the U.S.-based overseas Chinese community.

CCTV's behavior, both intentional and negligent, has also incited further violence her, thereby subjecting Grace Wang and her family to extreme emotional distress.

substantial damages are owed to her for these wrongs. i suggest she find a lawyer and sue CCTV in U.S. state or federal court alleging (1) defamation, (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress, & (3) negligent infliction of emotional distress.

it's the American way!

I disagree with the people saying she shouldn't have tried to step in, as that was 'pouring oil on the fire'. Think about what she was doing. People need to be doing MORE of that.

In that regard, as for whether or not she plans to immigrate to the US, I don't see how that's relevant. Bringing that up just seems to me an attempt to hijack the topic on hand. But since it has been brought up, it doesn't matter now whether she did or not. Whether or not one is subject to political persecution in one's own country is one of the top criteria in assessing applicants for refugee status.

To Zhangmichal, while slogans like "Tibet is absolutely part of China" are nice, history is twisted and nuanced. Control over Tibet by the Chinese emperors has waxed and waned over the centuries, sometimes with the emperor ruling fairly directly, sometimes with Tibet behaving more like a vassal state, and sometimes with China exercising no direct control over Tibet.

Having a different outlook on this relationship (or on any number of questions) does not make that person a traitor. Respecting divergent voices only makes a nation stronger, and being able to listen calmly to opinions we don't like is a sign of confidence and maturity.

yea ... she's a shoe-in for political asylum ... she just needs to show a copy of the CCTV web page, and the FBI is involved so I'm sure they know about the death threats.

Throughout the west (America, UK ....) this type of disgusting "nationalistic" behavior is easily observable within the low class, uneducated, racist rubble. The troubling thing is, the entirety of China is this way ... educated yourselves, open your minds, and stop hating.

"The troubling thing is, the entirety of China is this way ... educated yourselves, open your minds, and stop hating."

James, I think you are very-very-very wrong. I bet more than half of Chinese population even don't know this thing, or don't care.

Given the 1.3 billion people count, you can hardly use words such as most, all, etc, correctly.

Those of you who think she did this to get a green card: if her goal is to get a green card there are safer ways to do it. Check American immigration statistics. Many Chinese file for asylum protection and receive it. But the world does not hear about these people. She could have quietly joined the Fаlunggong (there is one in active in Durham) for a few months and then apply for asylum without having her face shown in the front page of the New York Times and putting her family in danger.

Well, I'll just say I personally know a number of Chinese students studying abroad who joined Fаlun Gong specifically for the refugee status and green card.

"Image what would happen if a guy in America called Ben Laden hero just after 911."---LEE

Do you mean "Ben" as in the similar sounding Chinese word for stupid? Because Bin Laden is a dumbass indeed. Also Bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people including my good friend so certainly I would feel ill will towards someone referring to that moron cave-dweller as a hero. The person supposedly leading those YOU hate has never killed anyone. In fact, that person that you hate has one a Nobel Peace Prize. So what's your point?


"This is a really sensitive period for Chinese people.
I don't agree the behavior of threat."---LEE

What threat? No one is threatening you or your people. Stop being so sensitive and have some self-respect. What's with the inferiority complex. What ever happened to the old adage of sticks and stones?

"But her claim that Chinese goverment will harass or prison her or her parents is ridicous."---LEE

Is it really ridiculous? If it was presented on CCTV'S website with a not so generous caption as it was and that is the people in power's media than why do you think it is a non-issue? Of course it is a possibility.

tom:

Well, I'll just say I personally know a number of Chinese students studying abroad who chose to study abroad specifically for the foreign student status and potential green card rather than for their love of knowledge.

Do collateral benefits always negate our principal motives?

And what does any of this have to do with Grace Wang, the Tibet issue, Chinese media/internet zealotry, and/or intolerance for dissent among the Chinese Student and "Scholar" Association members at Duke U.?

Remember a only a few weeks ago a Chinese citizen was sentenced to prison for sending over the Internet essays critical of the Chinese government.

"Image what would happen if a guy in America called Ben Laden hero just after 911."---LEE

Do you mean "Ben" as in the similar sounding Chinese word for stupid? Because Bin Laden is a dumbass indeed. Also Bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people including my good friend so certainly I would feel ill will towards someone referring to that moron cave-dweller as a hero. The person supposedly leading those YOU hate has never killed anyone. In fact, that person that you hate has one a Nobel Peace Prize. So what's your point?
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Read some history book about tibet. You will see Dalai's group's riots. Nobel Peace Prize? for what? as a slave owner?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsoc4-QnplY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5sOm-uQH9Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWTD2MjCg0g

"This is a really sensitive period for Chinese people.
I don't agree the behavior of threat."---LEE

What threat? No one is threatening you or your people. Stop being so sensitive and have some self-respect. What's with the inferiority complex. What ever happened to the old adage of sticks and stones?
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Some innocent Han Chinese were killed and attacked in the riot of tibet.
The chairman of the Tibetan Youth Congress has called suicide bomb attack.

"But her claim that Chinese goverment will harass or prison her or her parents is ridicous."---LEE

Is it really ridiculous? If it was presented on CCTV'S website with a not so generous caption as it was and that is the people in power's media than why do you think it is a non-issue? Of course it is a possibility.
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Is it behavior of Chinese govement or netizen?
Why do you think it is possible? Don't full of hate and stupid guess & imagination.

Do not be too serious about this for two simple reasons:

Firstly, her video listed on the CCTV homepage is from their video hosting website, http://video.cctv.com, a service much like youtube. Videos are supposed to ranked by views or user ranking and shown up to the homepage according to popularity. BTW the video is gone (taken down?) now.

Secondly, at the moment people are angry and sensitive. Those over-reacting on Wang can represent majority of netizens in no way. Most of mature Chinese netizens are still silent.

I am not sure what Wang has said from the video, because I can barely hear a few words. Her manner seems inappropriate given the situation and the tension, which shows why communication is a skill.

I understand the reason many think her statement in the interview was for a green card, in that many Chinese in the US do use fake political excuses to facilitate their greed card applications.

@SGT. SLAUGHTER
imho, yes this issue is rather sensitive to chinese people. WHY?? because chinese have been thru all the negative and communists evil state period given by all the westerners including people like you for ages, why?? just to discredit the chinese saying communist is evil, killer and trying to influence the country's policy by promoting the western ideas & beliefs eg. western type of democracy, free speech and stuffs into the society which might not be appropriate and suitable with the country's culture and thinking. Now come the Tibet issue, its not like the chinese government started the riot at the first place...hey there, tibetan people started it, they burned the han chinese house and killed some ppl in it.BUT have u ever seen it on western medias?? NO.. or prob RARELY...its v biased isnt it, the westerns r indeed taking advantages of the occasion and bring up the TIBETan issue once again which I believe would not have been there if its not because of the beijing olympic. I believe the chinese government is not perfect but neither is western government. BUT at least the chinese people are happy nowadays under communist regime compared to the time before and the most importantly is they get used to the system already so why change em??. WHY cant just the western countries leave china alone since they themself are happy with their govt?? its kinda funny since USA likes meddling into others business..its not like others need it or what...AND regarding the grace wang, I believe people should not be too overreacted about it. Chinese people on the other hand may have the right to dislike her vice versa but honestly, harming her or watever is not really a wise idea..., I know chinese people need the support from its people the most esp during this hard time when China is cornered so much. HEY But there is like more than a billion of chinese people worldwide, there should b at least some small percentage of people who dislike the chinese government too rite?. It happens in all other countries too. there is no perfect govt not even near. its just hard to accomodate the opinion of a billion people. However, western esp americans should also look at themself rather clearly. I believe most americans have not even been to china but they can easily put an evil state label on the chinese people and their govt, realized or not american have also been brainwashed so much by their so called "democratic" govt and thru biased western medias like news (CNN?,BBC?? LOL thx them for misusing the tibetan protest pictures), movies showing the communist countries like russia, north korea, china are always on the bad side of the story. what do we call that if its not a brainwashing?. But believe it or not, americans enjoy being brainwashed so much by their govt and medias. Besides that, Look at the war in Iraq, afghanistan, soon to be iran???, guantanamo prison case, Israel, and etc. the government of USA attacked Afghanistan, Iraq without a permission from UN and international community. IRAQ was a sovereign country..hey USA is criticizing Chinese govt for a war that was taking place ages ago while on the other hand, Todays, they (USA) so called democratic govt were engaging a war or rather attacking a SOVEREIGN country simply by labelling em "EVIL". They support Israel who was invading and taking away Palestinian land but on the other hand, they call chinese occupation of tibet in 1959 as aggresion. I can see a rather hypocrite here...remember USA is not a perfect country, not like all the things coming out from USA govt is a standard for "rightousness". I believe there is a free speech right for americans but please use it wisely to earn u guys some selfrespects too. after all ur govt have been doing so much evil acts for spreading ur ideas, culture, belief, OIL, influence and stuffs...I believe USA govt will do so much more effort in human right by spending those iraq war money in africa helping the famine there but NO HELL NO, there is no DAMN OIL in africa :).In addition to that, 9/11 did not just happen like that, there must be hell lots of reason behind it. try look into urself, think what have americans done that anger those people. Dont always think that you are the RIGHT one and others are the WRONG one. Criticizing others is always easy. Dont be one sided. Unless American change their hypocrite attitude, i believe more of these things like 9/11, will occur in the future ! it's a fact not a threat thou. ~~ just leave others alone will ya...not like americans having so much time nowadays ... not in recession at least :)

SGT:

"This is a really sensitive period for Chinese people.
I don't agree the behavior of threat."---LEE

What threat? ......

I think you misunderstood LEE at this point, he means he doesn't agree with the behavior or threats towards Grace.

My comment, as a Chinese, to Grace Wang, is that I judge her on her intelligence, partly for her awkward traditional Chinese on the letter she gave for this issue online. I searched for more about her information(not personal info, though) and was convinced that she's thinking of the right thing, much closer to helping resolve the problem in the right way, say, to care more about Tibetans and to hear voices we don't like. For this reason, I personally doubt the guesses that she goes for the greencard.

But as naive as she is, she clearly underestimates how zealous and gullible people are in China, which is not due to the attempt of the government trying to inflame the people, but the people themselves are too sensitive as you said. Probably she saw how useless it is to ask people to calm down, and then she tried to stand on the other side of the street to stop the people and with this action she thought she can let other Chinese to hear Tibetan's voices???

People should be taught more about strategy before they know how to think of the right thing, for their own good.

A person can be Chinese, be a nationalist, and want peace. On both sides, I find the student population along with their organizations has pushed toward border-line fanaticism. It's telling that the Duke Grad Students are circulating these hate-mails, considering Duke Grad Students should represent some of the most capable Chinese students. As a Chinese, I despise the way I am being represented down there in Duke. Regardless of the motives for which Ms. Wang acted, I am too proud of my heritage to behave in the barbaric violence exhibited by some Chinese on the internet and against Ms. Wang. How can we make our nation great if we do not trust our own people, if we pounce upon the brave, if we crush dissent, if we guide ourselves by emotion instead of reason? Those were the mistakes foundational to China's decline 2 hundred years ago, let's not make the same mistake.

I do feel ashamed for her, she is just trying to use this chance to become famous.
If it's like what she said that she is not in favour of Tibet Independence, then WHY ON EARTH DOES SHE USE THAT TIBETIAN HAND SIGNAL?

She is probably smart, but as a Chinese working in Melbourne, lived in Melbourne for 8+ years, I will not forgive her.

She is not thinking for herself, what does that mean she has to think for herself?
To become famous?
What a piece of work!

Slight acquaintance with W in question (I actually didn't know her name when we spoke for a few times). Just a disclaimer.

I've been looking at commentary about W in the Chinese online community and have been slowly translating Chinese-language postings (including the Sohu one that Danwei has linked above). Those who cannot read Mandarin Chinese above are welcome to read them and to suggest more articles to translate.

link

To Spinner, yes, you are right, if there are various voice, one country will become stronger, but the pre-condition is the integration. I think every people from every countries will agree with that.

Grace Wang absolutely hopes to get her own benefit by taking some risk.

I wouldn't touch the Tibet issue with a 10 foot pole. I've seen both sides of the issue from the perspective of western media as well as from the perspective of Chinese media. As I don't fully trust either (corporate interests vs. Communist Party trying to hold on to power), I don't think anyone that relies on media reports alone can claim to know the absolute "truth" on the matter. If it were up to me, I would take both the Dali Lama and the CCP out of the picture, have a neutral 3rd party take a comprehensive survey of the Tibetan people regarding the terms under which they would fully accept Chinese rule, and then present the results of the survey directly to the Chinese people. I'm guessing that the Tibetan people's demands wouldn't be so far fetched and an agreement could be reached.

Having said that, I do find the current state of hyper-nationalism to be rather unsettling. It seems to me that a big chunk of the Chinese people are being WAY too sensitive. The Chinese media constantly criticizes America, but how many Americans do you see crying over it? Very few, if any. The Chinese people are allowing themselves to get worked up into a national fervor over the opinions of a few people in the outside world (that CNN anchor, Bill O'Reiley, this Duke student). In America, angry, racist, nationalistic redneck rhetoric can be tempered by liberal hippie wusses. In China, angry, racist, nationalistic redneck rhetoric is encouraged, and any opposing views are either censored, jailed, or snuffed out with death threats.

Let's take the example of France. France has managed to piss off both the US and China in the past 10 years. When the US invaded Iraq, France was against it and this provoked the redneck nationalists in the US. Does anyone remember "Freedom Fries"? However, before this movement could turn into a full blown vilification of France, the liberals stepped in to remind everyone how retarded the idea would be. Now in the case of Carrefour, where are the Chinese liberals? Kind of hard to find, right?

This kind of nationalism has hit close to home in my case. Yesterday, my wife received a nationalistic QQ message about the evil western conspiracy to destroy China by raising oil prices and purposely investing too much money in China so that the Chinese economy would overheat (???????), telling her to have faith in the Party, never question the Party, and to distance herself from anything foreign. Who was this letter from? None other than one of our good friends! This person sent my wife this message knowing full well that she was married to a foreigner. We had gone out with this friend many many times and it seemed like she was ok with our marriage. Now I know how she really feels. It kind of makes me wonder how long this anti-foreign sentiment has been lurking deep down inside her. She seemed like a normal, rational, educated person. If this sort of person can be swept up by the current state of patriotism, it kind of scares me...

Zhangmichal, I don't understand why dissenting voices should not be tolerated on 'integration'. If truth is on your side, there is nothing to fear from an open and honest dialogue. On the other hand, suppressing dialogue and condemning all who disagree with you as traitors (or some of the other things I've seen her called) only makes the people calling other people names look weak and insecure.

China is not a weak or an insecure coutnry, it is a proud country with rich history and culture. I live in Hong Kong and even though I am a foreigner, I have tried to learn as much as possible about China. And I don't support Tibet separating, but I think everybody in China (both Tibetan Chinese and Han Chinese) would be able to solve these problems better if people would listen to each other and tolerate views even if they disagree.

Sad case of defaming. But Grace Wang has shown independent thinking and courage. She will be wanted resource by many corporations. Hope those defamers will be sent back soonest.

And I don't support Tibet separating, but I think everybody in China (both Tibetan Chinese and Han Chinese) would be able to solve these problems better if people would listen to each other and tolerate views even if they disagree.

spinner, I think you probably spend too much time in Hong Kong. Try to get a decent long trip to Tibet, I think you'll have a new level of understanding for this issue.

BTW...
Did anyone here hear about the "plastic surgery" rumor? What do you think about it?

Those Chinese undergrad and grad students found responsible for threats against Ms Wang should be required to leave Duke immediately. They simply have no place in an institute of higher learning. While one can certainly voice one's own political opinion, threats of bodily harm toward anyone should not be tolerated.

anyone against his mother father or his homeland,that's right?sure it's wrong!
Tibet is not a race problem,but a exiled government hope for power.learn more about real Tibet not a fleet Tibet!

"I know that I am on the Chinese government blacklist because of this," she said, explaining that she had been informed of this by sources she declined to name. "It just means I can never go back to China if I care about my security. If I go back I might end up in jail forever."
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It is funny!
Did she have the evidence??!!
If she has no evidence, this is a evidence!!!

I do not like her more!

To Unconventionalapplicant:

Racist is definitely not encouraged in China, it was not introduced to China until we got to know the western world. Before that we don't have a concept of distinguishing people by their race. Redneck rhetoric is not encouraged either, it is popular, though, especially online.

It seems the Fenqing morons are out in en masse in China and I believe that there are a few even on this very blog (the idiot that posted that gigantic block of text that no one will ever read, please learn to paragraph). Thankfully, the FBI has started investigating the case after Grace Wang began receiving death threats via e-mail, so I hope the Duke students that are caught get removed from the university, permanently.

I'm currently an exchange student in Osaka, and our view (at least in my languages class, which holds the most "open world" discussions) on the matter is that Tibet should be allowed to govern as its own country. Some have actually gone and called it an aggressive "invasion" by China and, as naive and ridiculous as it sounds, that foreign powers should intervene in the interest of Tibetan freedom and rights.

Now, it's obvious there is bias on the western end just like there is bias on the Chinese's end, but as Unconventionalapplicant has stated, the West has and allows opposing viewpoints whereas anyone having an opposing viewpoint in China either keeps quiet about it or is shunned by friends and even family, or perhaps even jailed. I have no doubt that normal Chinese people wouldn't go out of their way to put feces in a pot and place it outside of her parent's home in China - those Fenqinq truly have too much time on their hands. I guess it goes to show how childish some people are.

So what have I personally learned from Grace? There is no middle ground in China - you're either with us or you're against us.

"Image what would happen if a guy in America called Ben Laden hero just after 911."

Lee, 1) Wang Qianyuan did not call anyone a hero.

2) 20 people killed in Lhasa does not equal 3,000 people killed on 9/11.

3) Some of us did say that the United States should not bomb innocent Afghans because of other people's crimes - and were well and truly cursed for it. More people said the same about invading Iraq - and were called traitors too.

Whether Wang Qianyuan is right or wrong, watching the "patriots" going in for the kill is a very ugly sight.

To maphis:
"Racist is definitely not encouraged in China, it was not introduced to China until we got to know the western world. Before that we don't have a concept of distinguishing people by their race."

Of course! Before China interacted with the west, pretty much everyone in China was yellow. It's kind of hard to be racist when everyone is the same color. Racism isn't some kind of "western" idea. It happens anywhere there are people of different colors mixed together. Now that China is becoming a world power, more and more non-Chinese are going to be coming to China to live. Consequently, there will probably be more and more racism in China, just like everywhere else where races mix.

"Redneck rhetoric is not encouraged either, it is popular, though, especially online."

I wrote my first post in a hurry. Perhaps I chose the wrong word. Rather than "encouraged"
maybe I should have used "not condemned". If someone in the US made a comment along the lines of, "Those goddamn Spics are ruining the country," there would be plenty of people chastising him. In China, if someone writes something like, "Those goddamn foreigners are going to ruin China," it is generally accepted.

I am not writing this to say that all, or even most, Chinese people are racists. On the contrary, most of the Chinese people I have met were very nice. I'm about to leave China, but I consider the 2 years I lived here time well spent. I just find it a bit unnerving that a person go from "nice" to "anti-foreigner" in a blink of an eye just because some crazy people in France decided to protest or some news anchor decides to criticize China. A person with whom my wife I were friends with went from eating dinner with us to sending my wife a QQ message telling her to distance herself from anything foreign.

She is courageous... ;)

I am a Chinese living in America, and I love China and Chinese people dearly. And in the last months, I have shared with many other Chinese people around the world the hurt, the pain, and dismay at how the Western societies treated our best hopes and aspirations for the Olympics with so much distain, wanton disrespect, and crude attacks. I have been so mad at the Western media, and the naivete of the "human rights" and "democracy" activists, who turned their good causes into instruments of bigotry and prejudice in the hands of China haters and China bashers. I have written countless comments trying to explain and defend China. But today, I need to come forward, and defend Grace Wang. I am Chinese, and I definitely love China, and I am defending Ms Wang's right to express her voice without the threat of duress. In fact, she was not even on the opposing side; she was only trying to build a bridge between the two sides, a forum for dialogue to replace shouting match. Protests and patriotic passion must be governed by rational thinking. We cannot use any force other than the force of our reasons to overcome another point of view, not the threat of harm, or threat of name calling, or verbal abuse! And our right to express our views without harassment comes hand in hand with our responsibility to listen to other's views without pre-judgement. And in the loud, raucous protests, unfortunately, few people could really hear what Ms. Wang was trying to say, let alone really listen. I am furthermore most appalled by the seeming threat she and her parents had to contemplate afterwards. I am vehemently against that kind of personal attacks, especially in the name of nationalism. I think I feel strong nationalistic stirrings in me when I feel China is being bullied and disrespected again and again by world powers, but it's not the kind of nationalism that should overpower reason, and the basic respect for each other no matter how different. I just want to also point out that I think to treat Chinese people fairly, we should also point out that most Chinese people who love their country do not harbor the kind of virulent, blinding nationalism that the author fears in the article. To say otherwise is to find yet another opening to put down China and the Chinese people. The West does not have to assume the worst about China all of the time, please!!!

In the context of a student on an American university campus, what Ms. Wang did is not exceptional -- having and expressing an opinion is not a mystery and does not require imaginary selfish hidden motives. People do it every day all the time on campuses. She staked out a personal viewpoint and expressed herself. When foreign students are sent to American universities, all concerned must understand that they are free to conduct themselves like all other students on campus.

Neither is Chinese nationalism and intolerance over a sensitive issue exceptional or unexpected in light of past experience. What is intolerable are the documented physical threats and intimidation, the lack of due process in retracting Ms. Wang's high-school diploma, the feces attack on her family's home, the inflaming CCTV headline, and the like. Is this how the people in China evaluate a public issue? Where is the discourse, the even-handed press coverage, and the even-tempered examination of grievances that some in Tibet may assert?

I can see no evidence that Ms. Wang urged an illegal rebellion in Tibet -- just that she urged dialog and freedom for everyone. Who regards her actual expressed opinions as so outrageous? And even if one disagrees with her, who approves of intimidating her family or threatening her safety?

I love the USA. I was lucky to be born under that great flag that allows me to be who I am and likewise my fellow Americans have the right to criticize me for being who I am.

You who are from this country of 1.3 billion people don't---unfortunately. I think you should BUT you don't have this right. Therefore if you want to be a patriot in your country then shut-up.

Now, many of your who are from the same country of origin as Ms. Wang are condemning her for speaking her mind in order to get people to rationally understand one another. Yet, you openly criticize her. You are offending your homeland by opening your mouth too. If you want her to be silent then you too should be.

In my country the USA, many people don't agree with our nation's stance on international matters and they speak up. They are being patriotic by doing so. In the last few years I have not agreed with these dissenters but I recognize their heartfelt disagreement and I never once wanted to poop on a liberal's porch.

I am a conservative Redneck and I don't care that you all make fun of my people. You are wrong.

You are all haters of the USA and Rednecks. Why?

Without the USA you wouldn't have Coca-cola rot your teeth, or computers to complain about Americans, or cars to get you stuck in Beijing traffic. Thank America. Get done on your knees and pray to God in thanks for us wonderful Americans.

DR J
I do not understand how you could just blindly make a statement like that. she wants to get a green card? please, i think by going to Duke, she is going to be wanted somewhere.
Why is it so funny when she said "I am chinese but I can think for myself?" I never realized how blind I was to support the Chinese government 100 percent, until I found that youtube was censored; I can't even have another sibling because the Chinese government said so. it is time to start to think for yourself when you clearly see that YOUR own government is doing what only to THEIR best interests.
Why can some Chinese people have to right to protest but she cant have her right to speak her mind?

green card? give me a break

To those of you who want to hear Grace Wang's point of view, read her article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/18/AR2008041802635.html

What's the use of the millions of eyes, if you can't see the truth.
What's the use of the millions of hearts, if there is no compassions and understanding.
Look to the causes of the recent violent protest in Tibet. It did not started at 14th of march. Indeed, it started at march 10. when innocent monks were mercilesly beaten by the angry police in Lhasa..
Wake up China..Before you are finished by your own ego. There is a reason why the west support the Tibet issue. You can argue we are right or they are wrong. But I would just weight
on the sources of the informations. Which one you believe, comming from the free press or from the dictator. Use the common sense,Man..!
The Tibetan protested not because of the Occupation by the Chinese, But by the BRUTTAL OCCUPATIONS..
The flame of veagence will rise up wherever there is suppression, even in ones family, but everything can be alright and will be peacefully cooexist even between the enemies if there is love and compassions.
The 1959 brutal actions by China has produced the 1987 protest. The suppressions of 1987 has produced this march riots. And the suppression of the current will rise again and again and again...till there is respect shown to the Tibetan people... The arrogance of strong nationnalism on the Chinese people can blinded the eyes to see the truth.
Freedom to all....
May the people of China and Tibet live happily in years to come.

我本人是很反感政治的.先不谈MAINLAND或TIBET自由还是不自由这个问题,我个人觉得这个王千源(GRACE WANG)很不明智:她选择了错误的时间,出现在错误的场合,做了一件错误的事情(与国人为敌).

Grace Wang's reply in the Washington Post on Sunday was very well written. I have frankly been amazed at the reaction to the unrest in Tibet by Chinese in China and abroad. Despite modernizations, a more open press, the Internet, etc. the world-view of the average Chinese citizen appears to be still stuck somewhere in the 1950s. And then there are the students in the US, at Duke for example. The sight of Chinese studying in the West and using the freedoms they enjoy in the West to attack Tibetans for wanting the same freedoms is nothing short of breathtaking. The same is ironically true for the use (or misuse) of the Internet by Chinese, something which could have never been invented in China, to attack those who understand the true nature of what China is doing in Tibet. Then there is the more or less complete misunderstanding of Tibet and the Dalai Lama among Chinese, even those who have lived and studied in the West but continue to believe government propaganda. If you think the Dalai Lama is a threat to China, to split China, etc. etc. then you are either incredibly naive, or wilfully ignorant. And the Western media has nothing to do with it. Go read a book or two on how China has brought "progress" to Tibet. And make sure it is not printed in Beijing. After you have read several books on the topic, think again about the protests. Do you think people are angry in Tibet for no reason? Do you think they are just trying to disrupt the Olympics for the fun of it? Do you think it could possibly have something to do with 40 years of repression? Of denial of religious freedom? Of denial of TIbetan culture? Of repeated demands of Tibetan Buddhist monks to denounce the Dalai Lama? Of the arrival in Tibet of hundreds of thousands of Han Chinese, who just happen not to be Buddhists? Do you think it could have something to do with the destruction of sacred monasteries, texts, and religious objects over a period extending from the Cultural Revolution? Despite all the unbiased evidence concerning the true nature of China's rule in Tibet, about the ridiculousness of historical claims to Tibet, that Chinese educated or otherwise can continue to have such a distorted view of Tibet is testament to the power of propaganda. It also shows that China is not ready to join the international community, because of its immaturity in dealing with situations such as TIbet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan. Of course the Olympics are political, how can Chinese say on the one hand the Olympics is about China coming of age (political), great power, etc. etc. and on the other say it should be about sports only? This again shows a level of immaturity when it comes to understanding how the world works. Instead, Chinese, like little children, stamp their feet in anger and point fingers at CNN and other western media sources, as if they are the problem and not 40 years of failed policies in Tibet and other human rights violations....it really is astounding at one level, but quite understandable at another....

Young Chinese people, stop to do anything to her, forget her, if you threat her or do something like that, you all fell in her trap and she got all she wants.

If she has been to Tibet and knows a little history of Tibetan then I absolutely don't think she would do it except to she wants to stay in US by the easiest way.

Why did she do it? this is the easiest and most quick way to get green card and get finacial support from US goverment.

But if the person who sells out his/he soul, it's abosolutely most sad thing in his/her life.

Stop to blame her or threat her, then she will never get what she plans to get.

"Why did she do it? this is the easiest and most quick way to get green card and get finacial support from US goverment."---flyoften

First of all Duke is a very difficult (next to impossible) school to gain admission to so I think she will be alright on her own and needs no monetary support from good old Uncle Sam. Duke students are the cream of the crop much like Harvard, Princeton, and U of Penn graduates there are given their choice of whatever career they wish to pursue because their schools---for the most part---have the best students and require a rigorous education.

Secondly, why do you assume she wants a green card?
Why do many of your fellow people want green cards?
Could it be because your country is unlivable for a person with aspirations?
"
But if the person who sells out his/he soul,
it's abosolutely most sad thing in his/her life."---flyoften

That would be the case, if America was the devil which America certainly is not. Also, by this statement you are assuming that there is a religious element to this matter and that your Central Government is God which it definitely is not. If you betray that authority you are saying that Ms. Wang is being sacreligious? That is nonsense my friend.

To Anderson Cooper:
I disagree with you about the immaturity of the chinese students about the Tibet. what covers your eyes is you failed to look at this whole issue dynamically. Based on the problems you listed, do you think these issues would be better if we let them stay in a slave system 50 years ago. Nobody can say the current system in Tibet is perfect. And it is so easy to find existing problems anywhere in the world. Overall, do you really think what happened in Tibet is destroying the Tibet or make Tibet developing towards civilization.
By the way, do you have any information to compare the life of Tibetans in India with that of Tibetans in Tibet. Please share.
ZQH

Dear Grace Wang,
I am a Tibetan in Sydney, Australia. I do not consider you as anti-China or pro-Tibet. You were using your wisdom to bring two opposite communities together and bring harmony in the University. You are just great. All the cries and lies of some of the Chinese students show that they have not learnt anything in their school or universities. Nationalism is best shown by defeating others with love, compassion and understanding. This is exactly what you did. Others who even threatened you are cowards and they are bringing disrepute to the 5000 year Chinese civilization. I respect your country, your people and I will not hesitate to do that. Let us all make this world a better place to live for everyone. I send my respect and appreciation to you. HAVE PEACE.

There is no value-free judgment.Her utterances and behaviours reveal her value of democracy and freedom. There is no lunch-free freedom. As the media can screen the "trackdown of the protest in Tibat" in view of free speech, so the Chinese can stand out in protest against that "distortion" due to their right of free assembly. As the Chinese government can censor the Internet media freedom, so the press can express their complaiint in the world forum.Unfortunately, however, Grace has nothing to do with these democratic values as soon as she is standing between the Tibat-of-in-China party and the Tibat-away-of-China party. She is contradictory by saying her disagreement with Tibat independence as well as her democratic sympathy with those proponents. She cannot be a 'MEDIATOR' by wielding the flag of civil rights charter, because she is involved in vested interests,if she is a CHINESE citizen. If she really wants to put herself in that focal point to check if she can establish sort of trust between the two parties through values of democracy, freedom, equity and fraternity, she might be baffled with her cultural identity. And if she feels confident of her option, she may get prepared to have the devil to pay, just as someone must pay back for venting out her personal information.

All the 'she had it coming' type comments, as well as the attacks on her family's propery, death threats, etc more or less prove the criticisms that westerners have of China in the first place, ironically.

things are more complicated than they appear. It's always the case and the one no exception. Grace Wang is a strongly politically motivated girl according to herself. She appears to have been enjoying the publicity and girl power brought by the attention created by herself single handed. She wants to be a politician, an immensely ambitious young girl. She must have had her agenda in mind before her performance in front of the protests. She succeeded. But we have to remember, power, unforturnately, comes with corruption. She reminded me of Chai Ling ,the chief commander of Students Protests at Tiananmen Square years ago, a 23 year old young women. Ms. Chai loved power than her fellow students' lives and she insisted to call for people to stay in the Square, knowing there would be blood shed, and more chillingly, that she had her way out in advance. Grace, another Chai Ling???

support Grace Wang!
she's a real patriotist!

Ha! I just read this: link (linked from Roland Soong's ever-reliable ESWN blog as Grace Wang's Dorm Drama).

This shows an email exchange involving Grace Wang and her Duke dormmates that took place in March 2008 (before the Tibet controversy started). Gives you a sense of the...er...compulsive personality (read nutjob) you're dealing with here.

Sounds to me like Grace Wang is another Aleksey Vayner/Garber.

For those who don't remember Aleksey's 15 minutes of fame, see:

link link

(How interesting they both claim a Tibet connection. What is it about Tibet that attracts crazies?)

For Grace Wang, Impossible is Nothing!

WASH PO's BEEN HAD! HAHAHAHA!

Aleksey: The email exchange is linked in the last reference in this post. I'd take it with a grain of salt, knowing how catty and artificial college discussions sometimes get.

Does being a nutjob mean that she deserves the treatment she received?

Joel Martinsen

Have a sense of humor - you're supposed to laugh at the connection.

If that doesn't get you laughing, how about this: link

Now read Grace Wang's Wash Post piece, and an analysis here: link

And read this below:

[edited for length. You can link to it, so it doesn't need to be reproduced here. -JM]

Hello,Wang,

You are a brave girl and I srpport your behavior. Because the whole Chinese people need is liberity, egality and franality rathan than new cultrure revelution or undecomartic system!

this is the issue that won't die.

the response (see, e.g., this analysis located half-way down the long page) has been both disproportionate to Ms. Wang's actions and off-point.

which point being: Grace Wang should have the right to speak her mind in a public forum without threat of extra-judicial mob-violence to either her or her family.

this right begins as a U.S. constitutionally-protected right and ends as naked civil/human right. it's that simple.

Tibet is a separate matter entirely.

Grace, I am on your side.

Enough of this blind natinalism.
Criticism of Chinese Administration is not anti-China nor anti-Chinese.
Why so many Chinese subscribe to the conspriacy theory that the West wants to weaken China? I am not surprised the Chinese Government and official media is fanning the nationalistic emotions. The Chinese government will have to be accountable for their actions one day.

It is Freedom of Speech and Democracy, Stupid!

Grace Wang’s attempt to stop the peaceful protesters from expressing their feelings in a democratic form they had chosen is undemocratic. Her act at the protest interrupted the peaceful campus protest and pulled away the public attention from the issues and voices of the opposing sides. Instead, the public attention has been directed to her and her act. Therefore, it is wrong and unethical for Miss Wang trying to place her will over the protesters on how they should express themselves. It is wrong and selfish for Miss Wang to turn a peaceful campus protest into a publicity stunt of her own. If Miss Wang genuinely believes in political dialogue, she could organize a debate forum on the campus and invite the opposing parties to present their views, rather than turning a public event into her liking. It is not new that protesters shout out at each other – it happened during the debate on the nation’s immigration policy, the free-trade policy, the war in Iraq, and many other public issues. Allow me to use a popular American phrase: It is Freedom of Speech, Stupid!

If Miss Wang is ignorant not to know the true meaning of “Free Tibet” in the current political climate and what the two words mean to the Chinese people and to the many followers of Dalai Lama, then she had no business to place herself in the middle of a protest which is about Tibet, trying to moderate something that she doesn’t understand. She wrote the words on the back of a protester in public and only to retract latter for not knowing its true meaning. Remember the Chinese actress who was wrapped with a WWII Japanese military flag in a fashion photo? Remember one British loyal prince who dressed up in Nazi uniform at a private party? They all claimed innocence and suffered the consequences. People around the Globe were outraged by the stupid behaviors in both cases. Miss Wang is old enough to know that she must be responsible for her actions in public and their consequences. Her April 20 article in the Washington Post is filled with ignorance and self-promotion. It had no mention of the causes of the protesters and why they believe in them. It is all about her, her ego and her complaints of humiliation. Her demeaning of others in her writing is just plain shameful. She might have been an atheist, but certainly and absolutely not a materialist who respects others, facts and history.

There is nothing wrong with Grace Wang. All great politicians are liars, to certain extend. I understand Grace want to be a great politician, and here she goes.

Be a westerner, I also 'appreciate' the courage she showed facing the crowd, knowing that her parents will suffer back there in China. She certainly has no respect for family value. Why she cannot wait till she get her green card, and get her parents out of China? An opportunity too great to miss?

as a Chinese student who grown up in china, with all the education that I received from the Chinese government, I believe in my heart that Tibet is part of China, even when I am now aboard and have free access to all the news and fact about China. I still believe so.
Miss Grace Wang also educated in China until high school, I really cannot think of anything that can change her completely, making her support Tibet protest, stay in the way of Beijing Olympic. My only guess is that she did it in purpose, as some people already saying, she did it to gain the trust of US government, so that she can apply for the Green Card easily for Political reason. Shame on her!
There are too much unknown in the event of Tibet Chaos, I don’t fully believe the China government, but I won’t trust the western media and Dalai la ma either. However, one thing is certain, Tibet has always been part of China, and will always be. A documentary of people in Tibet is also showing that Tibetans are calling China their county and Beijing government their government.

Painting Grace Wang as a girl greedy for an overseas passport and fame is just another way to dismiss anyone who dares says something that might anger China. She might have not been right or wise, but the personal attack against her is out of proportion.
Nobody who understands how America works would think that simply holding a student protest and then writing about it in a newspaper will get you a Green Card. If that worked, every immigrant in American would hold a protest. (I believe the usual short-cut is to marry an American -- not hold a political demonstration).
I can't imagine that Grace Wang thought, "Oh, I want permanent residency. Let me try to get people to attack my family in China so the U.S. government will feel bad for me." How could she have gaged in advance the reaction to her, and the fact that major media would later pick up her story?
America has its corruption, too. But it's generally not like in China, where being "politically correct" or having the right political connections can get you a good government job, resident permit, overseas visa, or other essential paperwork. The concept of favors being passed out to "model citizens" is more Chinese.

Why wouldn't she think that way? Armageddon is coming...It's now or never.

Hello Wei, It's nice to hear from you.
It's true that people do change when they go overseas. However, Grace Wang said clearly in her Washington Post article that she does not support Tibetan independence; she was only trying to mediate between two fighting groups. Even the Dalai Lama has said he gave up on Tibetan independence a long time ago.
But the Chinese media -- cleverly using one or two images of Grace next to or talking to pro-Tibet activists -- have painted Grace and other people "splittists." And most regular Chinese people do not have the time, energy or access to media to see all the details for themselves. So they just see a black and white story (Grace Wang = bad) when it is actually a very complex one.
You are clever to not believe everything you read and see, either from the Western or Chinese media. That documentary might show one side of the story. Another documentary might show another.

,,,as a Chinese student who grown up in china, with all the education that I received from the Chinese government, I believe in my heart that Tibet is part of China, even when I am now aboard and have free access to all the news and fact about China. I still believe so.....

This is the crux of the problem. Someone "receives" education from a government. That is not education, that is called: propaganda. And the ability to recognize and see beyond that propaganda is called: maturity, democracy, freedom, etc. The power of the propaganda is obviously so powerful that even in the West, with free access to information, the minds of young Chinese remain closed, they actually "believe" lies that they have been told over and over by their government, despite all information to the contrary. That is one reason why people are astounded at the reaction to the events in Tibet, the setting up of anticnn.com. Notice its not anti-US government, its anticnn. Its kind of comical that Chinese think there is a western media bias concerning the coverage of Tibet. Do they see no bias coming from the Chinese government's coverage of Tibet? Are they willing to believe, all of a sudden, despite knowing better, that their government is telling them the truth about what has happened in Tibet? And for Wei, no, i do not think that China has brought "civiliation" to Tibet in the past 50 years. Have you ever read a book about the Cultural Revolution and how Tibetan culture was treatd during this period? This is bringing civilization. Chinese seem to think that civilization means more cars, more trains, and more tall buildings. Well, guess again, thats not what civilization is about, and Tibet was not a "slave society" before being "liberated" by China. This is more government propaganda that you appear to believe lock stock and barrel. If you are going to attack western media as being bias, then you had better do your homework, and please don't tell people who know China and Tibet far better than you do that they "have blinders on" because they don't believe Chinese government propaganda, we are not blind, we see....

I think when consuming media it's important to look at ulterior motives - the real reason people want to do things.

I work for Western media (the International Herald Tribune / New York Times based in Hong Kong.) I have visited the CNN offices in Hong Kong and the BBC in London. While Western media might not be kind to China, there is definitely no concrete decision to hurt China. These networks report on and criticize so many wars and problems in every country -- including their own countries -- why would it suddenly decide to harm China? It has no motive -- no money, no political advantage -- to do so.

But the Chinese government, and government-run media, do have a motive: their own reputation. If Beijing does something wrong, they do have a reason to want to cover it up: Because they are worried about losing face, or causing unrest.

I have friends who work for local or Mainland media, so I can really see a contrast. My Mainland journalists friends get direct instructions on what they can or cannot publish. No photos of the Tiananmen Square masscare, no direct criticism of Hu Jintao or Wen Jiabao, no big positive photos of the Taiwan presidential elections. Even Hong Kong got news about SARS weeks before China, because journalists were blocked. After all that, I am less likely to believe Mainland media on Tibet than Hong Kong or Western media.

As for Tibet -- The Chinese government have never really sat down for fair negotiations with the Tibetans: I think if they did, they could find a good solution for everyone. Even the Dalai Lama has said he does not want independence. I hope these proposed talks actually happen.

Instead, China pours money into infrastructure. While there are some good points, many of these new roads and rail links mostly benefit Han Chinese businessmen moving into the area.

Chinese living in other provinces say, "Hey they got money! That must be good!" But money is not everything if your beliefs and religion are repressed, if the police are harsh with you, if you are jailed without a fair trial, or if this infrastructure ruins your natural environment. Several friends of mine were in Tibet just before the crackdown, and they say it is a complex situation. But now nobody can go because China has kicked all the journalists out of the area.

I know it's a hard thing to do, but one must draw a line between loving China and being proud of China, and never criticizing China. Most Americans love their country, but they will speak out against Bush or the Iraq war when something goes wrong. I love Hong Kong, but am the first to speak out when the government behaves badly.

Joyce Hor-Chung Lau

"I work for Western media (the International Herald Tribune / New York Times based in Hong Kong.) I have visited the CNN offices in Hong Kong and the BBC in London. While Western media might not be kind to China, there is definitely no concrete decision to hurt China. These networks report on and criticize so many wars and problems in every country -- including their own countries -- why would it suddenly decide to harm China? It has no motive -- no money, no political advantage -- to do so."----JOYCE LAU

I second this Joyce. I used to work for a mega media company in NYC whose owner is Mr. Murdoch and we even had an internal memo which stated that we were NOT allowed to show uprisings, anti-government protests, or the pollution situation in this country because of the corporations' business interests within this country. So, if anything that company that everyone seems to hate is actually more biased against the U.S.A. and the bias is in favor of your country---all in the name of the mighty dollar.

I presume you mean FOX, Sgt. Slaughter? Well, then thank god for CNN. (Just kidding)
Actually, I agree with your point -- that China is out to influence the news because it wants to hide its "uprisings, anti-government protests, pollution situation," etc. Perhaps if that memo were updated today, "discontent in Tibet" would be added to the list.
Before, China just tried to censor its own press. Now it's trying to censor everyone's press, mostly through business interests, as you pointed out with Murdoch.
You don't have to tell us about that -- we've seen it with TV and newspaper owners trying not to buckle in freewheeling, critical Hong Kong -- which is so financially dependent on the Mainland. It's a constant battle.
But back to the main thread: Many Chinese think Western media is TOO critical of China, (not that it is not critical enough, as you imply). Obviously, it would make more sense for those companies with financial links to China to be LESS critical.
So why is there still coverage of poisonous medicine, human rights abuses, etc? Maybe I'm an idealist, but I hope it's because journalists are still out to uncover problems, in an attempt to someday solve them.

@Joyce Lau

I agree with most of your points, but I feel you over simplify or misunderstand something.

First, about propaganda. Chinese govt. has a propaganda, nearly everyone (in the context of educated) knows it and can see it, and less trust it. U.S media also has propaganda, more covert. Proof? 911. U.S media is very accordant for international affairs, in favor of the U.S govt.. U.S media advisedly avoids discordance at the very timing. As journalist, you know how important timing is. Still, most of people trust them, because it's FREE, DEMOCRATIC media.

Second, for investment in Tibet. In your logic, China govt. invested and be investing infrastructure in China, and only benefits foreign investors? The investment from outside is very very important. Foreign countries invest in China, so China has 20 years prosperity; China invests in U.S, so American can still live a consuming life style. See third.

Third, for religious freedom. CCP has tight control on religious affairs, but it doesn't mean no religious freedom. The bottom line is territory unity. China govt. is very sensitive for separatism, when a religion is involved in separatism, the control is tight. But even with this, Tibet buddhism enjoys factual prosperity. Old temples get repaired, new temples are built. You should know, historically, Tibet buddhist monks and nuns are parasites in economic sense. Even today, most of money of local Tibetan goes to temples, not to productive things, not to reproductive things. Prosperity is nearly impossible in this kind of circle. China govt. tolerates this, provides money for religious affairs (repairing and building temples), and invests in infrastructure. Inevitably, more money will go to temples from East of China. More money drained.

Fourth, about the Tibetan buddism itself. There is too much difference between old Tibet buddism and current tibet buddism. The old Tibet buddism was a tool to help to maitain and stabilize the serfdom. The 13rd Dalai tried reforming but failed. The current 14th Dalai, in his young, is beneficiary of serfdom. Today, Tibet buddism is not a tool, it is just religion. Who make this happened?

For the third, I omit numbers, anyone has interest can dig it out him/herself:

1. the number of temples and trend
2. the number of monks and nuns and trend
3. the quantity of money that goes to temples and trend

Hello Lark in Cloud (nice name - very poetic....)
Yes, I agree. In a few paragraphs on a blog, I am definitely simplifying. Sorry if I sounded one-sided.

You're right -- Western media is not perfect. It's widely variable, and breaking news is reported in a rough-and-ready fashion. It can be messy, outspoken, and can make mistakes.

Western media is a business, with all the pressures and biases from advertisers and bosses that that entails. And, yes, U.S. media is U.S.-centric. Right now, you would think that Hillary / Obama is the center of the universe!

I'm not saying all Western journalists are good and all Chinese journalists are bad. I cannot make such a big statement.

I meant to make a general point about two different systems.

Whenever you have a government controlled media, like China, there is a behind-the-scenes motive: To make the country look good, to help the country achieve its goals, and to keep the current government in power by not criticizing it.

U.S. media may be U.S.-centric, but there is no government agency controlling it directly, or blocking certain facts. That's a big difference.

When criticism is allowed in China, it's only because the state has approved it. For ex, they said they are going to crack down on pollution and child labor, so critical articles on those subjects can be written. (And this is a BIG improvement from even 5-10 years ago). But Beijing will not allow criticism on its Tibet or Taiwan policies, or the presidency, or the Party, so there will be blockage of information on those subjects.

With Western media, there is no government blockage, so the public has more facts. I'm sure the U.S. government WISHES the media would not report about Iraqi deaths, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharib torture, the mortgage disaster, and some aspects of 9/11, but Western media do anyway. I bet Prime Minister Tony Blair WISHES the BBC did not expose all his problems for 10 years, but he did not have the right to censor. That is a difference.

Tibet: Everyone has the same problem, both Chinese and Western. None of us can get in to do real reporting. You bring up a good point. Exactly how many temples are being built? Are these real places of worship, or just buildings logged on documents to make the government look good? Is the money being used efficiently, cleanly and wisely? Are Tibetans happier or sadder?

Did Tibetans ask for, and like, having a more modern environment, or do they resent it? Maybe they have no problem with Buddhism being "just a religion".

Who knows? I have no solid answers. In order to know, journalists have to go there, live there, talk to people, have access to government documents and court hearings. Until the government allows that, I think you, me and everyone else will be a little bit in the dark.

Anyway.... this is a long message, and one that goes far away from the original post about protests! Tomorrow is the Hong Kong torch relay, and I really hope it goes peacefully. I hope protesters will at least stay away from the athletes and not cause any fights. I think we (or at least you, me and most people on this site) are hoping for a good Olympics.

Joyce,

Nice article in today's NYT. Good job. I was a teenager living in Guangdong Province in 1989 and thanks to the HK press I learned about what really happened on Tiananmen Square on June 4th. I am glad that the HK press still functions that well eleven years after the handover.

I appreciated your appraisal (above) of the differences between the western media and the Chinese media. Western media make factual mistakes from time to time (this is why our newspapers publish corrections and welcome letters to the editor). But truth is the object we are after and we do not answer to any government authorities. Your employer (the NYT) has turned down personal requests by George Bush to withhold publication of sensitive national security stories. This concept of freedom of press is something that people on the mainland fail to understand. It was my hope that Chinese students who studied abroad would understand this better. After the events of the past few weeks I am no longer sure this will be the case. The parents of the current generation of Chinese students were much more honest about the flaws of their government. Something went wrong in the past 20 years.

Yeah, I agree that western media overall, on the surface, is all about free speech and reporting "fair and balanced" news and all that.

But that's just an illusion. The world today has fundamentally became the very monster that the American founders (although some of them may be double agents for the other side) was guarding against. Sure, on the surface everything is all gravy, but that is being eroded daily, mainly due to most people not really caring, and understanding what it is all about.

I know, a lot of it all appears to be circumstantial evidences, but there are lots of that, and all pointing at a vast conspiracy.

Basically it's the new world order. It's all there, just have to look deeper. It's all there.

It's the new world order and eternal serfdom (hey, but it's beats medieval serfdom I suppose).

Who are the true masters?

Hello Chinese-American, Thanks for your kind words. I've had some less-than-kind ones on the blogosphere!

It's really interesting, what you said. I just did an academic study on the history of Hong Kong journalism -- you know, the kind of REALLY long school paper nobody's ever going to read or publish? :) -- and it's widely accepted that southern Chinese media is freer than, say, Beijing media, because of the "Hong Kong factor." Even before the handover, a reported 60% of Guangzhou households had "woks" to get HK TV. But I never met anyone who was affected personally by it the way you were.

I agree with you about a big misunderstanding about Western / Chinese media differences. Those who criticize Western media like to pick out mistakes here and there as proof of some giant conspiracy that simply does not exist. But I don't know if Chinese media has moved backwards 20 years. I think Chinese development is sort of two steps forward, one step back, etc. I see papers like Southern Metropolis uncovering stories like the child slave-labour ring. I see the media criticizing the Anhui government for not reporting on the recent virus outbreak. I think this must be better than before, and I hope China will only improve, stabilize and open up.

@Joyce Lau

I think in general, China develops fast, and much faster than western in recent years. Inconsistency, however, is inevitable.

Criminal primitive accumulation, as happened in western hundreds years ago, happens in China now. Some in larger scale, such as smuggle, tax evasion, public right hijack, profit with pollution, slave labor; some in smaller scale, such as child labor (or child slave labor).

For example, you may already know, the army at one time was acquiesced to smuggle to support themselves, because central government has no money. The army then invests in various companies to trade overseas for profit. But since Jiang, the army is prohibited from smuggle and gradually retreat from companies. Central government now has money, can afford military expenditure and can't afford corruption and criminal aftermath.

It's rumored that CIA smuggle drugs to get funds.

And you know, local governments interest are not always in accordance with central government. Central government is always in undying fights against local protectionism. Such as slave labor, child labor, child slave labor, is against central government interest (also, against human right and citizen right).

Local governments have some autonomy, more than you can think. They can control local affairs and keep central government, or even upper governments from knowing what they did. This is a troublesome situation. Without independence of judicature, it's hard and unable to resolve. The reform, will come.

My 20 year reference was not to the state of the Chinese media, but to how Chinese students abroad behaved themselves then and in recent few weeks.

My hometown was not Guangzhou. It was a city in between Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Each home had an antenna on its rooftop to get TVB Jade signals, which technically was against the law.

TVB's 6:30 newscast allowed me to learn about events like the fall of the berlin wall, the gulf war and end of the soviet union. In part because of this I studied politics in college (in the U.S.).

China is moving in the right direction--no doubt about that. My regret is that no tangible progress on the political reform front yet. My fervent hope is that in my lifetime the country of my birth will have free elections. Right now I am heavily involved in the American presidential election and I believe that every human being should be able to choose his or her leader.

HK reporters need to keep up their good work.

I'm glad someone still buys into the lies. But I were you I'd watch your backs around these wolves in sheep clothing. To most of these people you are still nothing but a _____. Read between the lines.

Remember the media/society's caricatures for you.

You, me, and sgt. slaughter.


Do you mean "Ben" as in the similar sounding Chinese word for stupid? Because Bin Laden is a dumbass indeed. Also Bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people including my good friend so certainly I would feel ill will towards someone referring to that cave-dweller as a hero. In fact, that person that you hate has one a Nobel Peace Prize. So what's your point?--------
---- Nobel Peace Prize!!!you mean won a NPP? Do you know what He won the prize for?---instigating riots! you don't call Bin Laden a hero because he is reponsible for 3000 deaths,mostly American. If the 3000 lives were not American,you might gladly call Him a hero and give Him the Nobel Peace Prize. Who funded Bin Laden,armed his guerrilas,trained them to fight Russians in the 1980's? wasn't it Uncle Sam?----So what's your point?--------

I don't think Grace Wang did this just for one green card. Considering her ability, it is easy for her to get one after graduation. What is more important is that we should accommodate different voice but not so hateful for disagreement.

@Joyce,

As a Tibetan, I really appreciate you openness on Tibet. But I don't understand why you say the Tibet issue is "so complex" and "none of us can get in to do real reporting" (in Tibet) and "who knows" (refering to what happens in Tibet). Actually there are many western and Asian documentaries about what happens inside Tibet that have been filming clandestine in Tibet, just take a look at Youtube. So we DO know what is happening inside Tibet, but maybe you are not mature enough or ready to acknowledge it yet.

It is called occupation and colonization. Simple as that.

Gee, why all the hate for China?

Since almost all of the non-Chinese posters on this thread hold the same views, I think there's a good possibility that you've all been brainwashed.

Remember, free press is a good thing. But free press does not, and has never necessarily meant truth. Often it just means you get a different sort of propaganda. Sometimes it feels like we made zero progress since those old yellow journalism days. After all, someone had to instill "Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-1-1" in the minds of all our Bubbas.

As for Ms. Wang, she certainly had a right to express her views - thus negating one of the above poster's claim that all segments of Chinese society hold disgusting nationalistic views, even before he made the claim. Oh and by the way, don't you think the upper crust in America hold these same rather disgusting nationalistic views? For God's sake people, they've been in power for 8 years and started an entire war on the other side of the world - for NO REASON AT ALL (well, there is the control of a strategic real estate with oil reserve thingy - but that's another matter)! Pot, meet kettle.

Will Ms. Wang be blacklisted back in China? Yes. Will she go to jail? For this, no. If she keeps this up back in China - probably. Should she seek asylum in the U.S. - I would. Did she get a big boost for her new life by this act - definitely. Is this fair enough for everyone?

I am disappointed at the reaction from her fellow students at Duke - one would hope they would show her more support - if not for her views but for her right to make those views. The extreme reaction of the Chinese net users is nothing new. If you know anything about Chinese culture, you'll know this type of vitriol is part and parcel of current Chinese culture. Incredibly ironically, it also afflicts our peaceful, democratic allies in Taiwan, even those "non-Chinese" Taiwanese nativists Democratic Progressive Party types. Anyone who's been in Taiwan in the runnup to the recent elections would have heard this and worst. The reason we don't hear about it more it's because (1) We don't pay attention to Taiwan and (2) We are afraid of China.

@ Tenzin

"It is called occupation and colonization. Simple as that."

I agree - that's what it is - pretty simple. It's when charges like "genocide" and "cultural genocide" get bantered about that things get complicated. It's hard to argue genocide when there are more ethnic Tibetans within China today than ever before in history. And no one has even defined what cultural genocide means. They are good sound bites to generate enthusiasm for the Tibetan cause, but people who are not quite so passionate find little support for these charges.

支持王千源同学,我首先表示我的想法和王同学是一样的,西藏是中国的一部分,我们不希望西藏从中国分离,但是我们必须秉着多元文化的精神尊重西藏的宗教,中国共产党和汉族可以信奉无神论,但是必须尊重西藏藏族的佛教,并给以西藏人民以民主,同时中国必须通过有效的方式(新政策,改革,政变甚至革命)逐渐而广泛的实现中国的民主化,中国的统一才有以德服人的前提,否则所谓统一只是共产主义者对少数民族和少数族裔的暴政,中国民主万岁,中国统一万岁,世界多元文化主义万岁!

I sincerely support Wang, the same prerequisite we insist is that Tibet is a part of China and we don’t wanna its breaking away from China. However, from the perspective of Multiculturalism, every Chinese, including Han and even Communists should be reverent to religion in Tibet, Han and Communism party have their rights to not believe in Buddhism, but you should respect Tibetan Buddhism and give democracy to Tibetans. Meanwhile, China should democratize itself gradually but extently through some ways like new deal, reform, revolt and even revolution, otherwise the so-called “unification” is just the miserable and tyrannical reign of Communism party on some minorities. God bless China’s democracy, China’s unification and Multiculturalism.

Student protests, debates and dissent are a normal part of the education process. If someone from a particular country does not agree with its government policy, does it really have to lead to hatred and threats? I say we all disagree on some things with one another and on national issues. Why doess CCTV uses its power as a national broadcaster to pour scorn on one lone student? If the answer is because it can, then one wonders about the kind of journalism it seeks to promote. Perhaps CCTV editors could look at Nazi propaganda before disseminating hateful material again.

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