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China in the news

I can't help but take notice every time China shows up in the American media. Given the way national media works I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the trend and slant of what I'm seeing. If there's an article on China you can be assured that two things will be prevalent in the story.

  1. The news is bad.

  2. The Chinese government is to blame.

Given my nature to try and be analytical, rational, and objective I find I keep asking the same questions. Why? I continue to fall back in the concept of news for profit. If the media is trying to give people what they want, does this mean that American consumers want to hear bad news from China? Further, is this any different than news that centers on America? Maybe the notion of "If it bleeds it leads" isn't just for local media. This raises the question, is China treated with a different standard than other countries? Yes, I think so for several reasons. Next to the US, China is becoming the second most powerful country on earth both economically and militarily. For one country to be successful, does the other have to fail? Zero sum game?

Here's the front page headline from CNN yesterday.

China is to be feared. Seriously. Look at that picture. There are layers to the Taiwan situation. I don't want to get into arguments. They become pointless. If you really want to get into a deep discussion over the sovereignty of Taiwan I strongly suggest you head down the Taiwanese embassy in Washington DC. Good luck with that, it doesn't exist. I'm not going to make arguments about how innocent China is either. My point here is that CNN tries extra hard to let you know that China is to be feared. Clicks help sell advertising. The stronger the emotions they can get the readers to feel the more clicks and return views they get tomorrow.

China has issues. The Communist party won't let people publicly dissent and share unflattering opinions concerning the government. The party wants nothing to do with any form of a democratic government. But the people here aren't evil. They're people, just like us. When we start viewing them as "them" and focusing on how they're different than "us" it's too easy to focus on why they should be feared.

Lastly, there's some things to be learned from China. We're not perfect in the states. I have yet to be in a city here and witness anything other than cleanliness with zero homeless people. Public transportation? No comparison. That said, would I give up my freedom to share an opinion for these positives? No chance.

I don't know. I'm sure I'm hypersensitive to headlines like the one above. That said, perceptions change once you live amongst the people in another area. It makes me think about people that have spent time in orbit with views from above. Without exception they all say the same things. I'm a human on the earth, not a citizen in a country. The us versus them mentality revolves around us keeping ours and them not taking what we have. Again, I don't know. Is there enough for everyone? I just don't know.

EDIT: Just as I'm about to post this I see todays China related article is a fluff piece about astrology and the Chinese New Year. What do I know?

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It seems that much of mainstream news highlights the dangers and the exotics of anything overseas. I think that is what you are seeing in those two different stories. Most intelligent people know we are all the same in terms of wanting friends, family, love, pleasurable life, etc. Those on the fringe always get the attention cause the rest of us are boring.

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