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Chinese and US Media

The protests happening on United States campuses are popular news here in China. Most Chinese people get their news via videos on WeChat. It’s sort of like TikTok. Aiyun sent me these two videos today that showed up in her feed.

After translation this is what the writing on the videos say.

I’ve no interest in getting political. I’ve no interest in pointing fingers and picking sides. It disappoints me when people lack any form of perspective and can’t understand that both sides in a conflict have some form of rational argument. That said I don’t want to head down the road of moral equivalency either. Israel has done some bad things, but kidnapping innocents to make your point means you lose any moral high ground in my book.

Why share these photos above? Chinese media (state controlled) likes to make the USA look bad just like the American media likes to make the Chinese look bad. That’s a two way street. I get it. This has been hitting home recently because Aiyun and I are talking about a life together in the states or here in China. Her seeing videos like the ones above help form her ideas of what its like to live in the states. I can’t deny these events are happening, but I hate that her impressions of America are being formed by short videos that never tell the whole story. The police in videos like this are never given a fair shake when considering the situation they are stuck in. The idea that these show innocent bystanders and peaceful protesters getting abused is folly. Of course there are some people getting out of line.

All this said, from a political discourse perspective the USA is still way ahead of China. This famous picture tells the full story. Anyone in China that wants to have a discussion about protesters starts and ends with this picture…

I was instructed two years ago when I first got here there are three Ts we are not to discuss: Tiawan, Tiananmen, and Tibet. Still true today. Really though, if anyone in the Chinese government wants to point fingers, they would seem awfully hypocritical to me.

Okay. Big looming elephant question in the room. Aiyun is a typical Chinese citizen. Does she know the full story of the Tiananmen Square massacre? Absolutely. They all know exactly what happened. Further, they know their government won’t allow public protests and the people here seem fine with the idea. It’s been a surprise seeing how much the people live their lives without the government having anything to do with their routines. I can’t help but wonder how much of what I see is filtered. Is it what I want to see, or is it reality?

The long and short of it is that people here are just as easily influenced by media as people are back in the states. Some of them are rational. Some are not. Some are educated. Some are not. Largely the people here are very conservative and would like to maintain traditional norms as much as possible. I would like to say younger people are more liberal, but the slice of youth I get to see everyday is not representative of the median. My students come from wealthy families. There’s a giant growing middle class here in China. This generation has been told how bad it can be. Their parents lived through some pretty bad atrocities. With the filter of the cultural revolution it’s easy to see why most people here have no interest in wanting political upheaval and change so there’s very little desire to speak out against their government. It’s a very different dynamic compared to growing up in the states where we’re encouraged to get involved and speak up from a young age.

It’s sort of a weird juxtaposition seeing aspects of China that would cater to both liberals and conservatives. Liberals would love the state health care and no guns. Conservatives would love the clean streets, no drugs, and no homeless. I guess something for everyone. What’s obviously missing is the liberty. This makes me ask the question, liberty and freedom to do what exactly? I tend to land on the same answer. Liberty and freedom to mess up your life as bad as you can choose to. Yes, there’s also liberty to speak your mind publicly too. And land. Freedom to be a land owner. Those are both big issues. Hmm. Perhaps not better, just different.

Last thought today. I saw this headline online today…

What’s the point here? Is CNN trying to make anyone feel one way or the other about China? I can’t help but think yes. Hey China. Stop being just like us. How many governments has China toppled and installed a new leader? Seriously. Further, how dare the Chinese military even consider being prepared to win a war. Come on now. Good Americans would never do that. Would they?

Media all over the world. :puke: In todays day and age being able to read multiple sources and differentiate feels more important than ever. If you’re not asking yourself “why” every time you read an article your allowing yourself to be manipulated. Well, that’s how I feel.

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Actually it was the protestors who shouted "You are fascists, you are mad dogs".

Also, if you watch the video of the first incident, it was the professor who moved in on an officer who was in the process of arresting a protestor. The other officer was completely correct in moving her back, at which point she failed to follow his instructions and was arrested. All she had to do was step back. Basic officer safety.

As far as the tazing video, if you watch it, he wouldn't have been tazed if he hadn't resisted. Again, all he had to do was allow himself to be handcuffed. The police are surrounded by screaming protestors in a nationwide protest that h…

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