Chinese netizens’ war against western media

By Cindy Ru

In the wake of the Tibet unrest, many Chinese netizens are outraged by what they see as unfair and biased reporting from the western media in comparison to their knowledge of what the Tibetan militancy really did – as John Kennedy from Global Voices reports- “China: Bloggers declare war on Western media’s Tibet coverage“.

Danwei also wrote about the propaganda war that is being fought on Youtube these days. Rhetoric from the two sides are best represented by the video Tîbet was, is and always will be a part of China and its response Tîbet is not, was not, will never be a part of China. Another video Riot in Tibet: True face of western media is a condemnation from the Chinese side of how the western media twist images in their reporting to slander China. It has got around 30,000 comments and is viewed more than 1 million times in the past 15 days.

anti-cnn.com is another famous “product” in this movement of exposing western media’s biased coverage of Tibet. It’s statement of purpose?– “We are not against the western media, but against the lies and fabricated stories in the media.We are not against the western people, but against the prejudice from the western society.” The website’s single out of cnn in its name may have a lot to do with the infamous CNN cropping photo incident, and this time Chinese bloggers choose to let their voices heard more widely through citizen media.

Some of the Chinese bloggers, when discussing issues such as the Tibet unrest with westerners, are essentially irritated by the their condescending attitude to educate them about democracy, freedom of speech, etc. ESWN translated a post from the blogger Hecaitou, in which he said:

“The westerners have harbored prejudices against the Chinese people. We often hear them say: The Chinese have been brainwashed because they can no longer tell the truth about something. In their view, all Chinese are ignorant, undeveloped and close-minded. They have no idea that many Chinese people know as much as they do and in fact visited a lot more websites than they have. The westerner stoops down condescendingly to stretch out a helping hand to the wretched little yellow men so as to educate and instruct them.”

And here is a reflection from Roland Song of ESWN on the propaganda war and people from the west and China taking sides:

“The western world is suspicious and disgusted with the propaganda machines of communist countries, so the western world and its media tend to believe in the Dalai Lama. Meanwhile, the “patriotic” (nationalistic) Chinese, even though they may object to the Chinese government on other issues, stand with the Communist Party on the Tibet issue.

If you have any level of understanding about Tibet, you will realize that the determination of truth from lies is not that easy. Both Beijing and Dharamsala have elements of truth in what each say, but they also tell many lies. Even if the Dalai Lama is respected by everybody, his propaganda machine still issues propaganda for political purposes that are as removed from the truth as the Beijing propaganda.”

2 thoughts on “Chinese netizens’ war against western media

  1. i haven’t been following this so called ‘propaganda war’ all that closely, but i’m a little confused; chinese netizens are complaining of western bias, but i haven’t seen any chinese speak of WHY tibetans are upset. (the fact that many of them feel tibetans have no reason to be upset seems to me to suggest that they aren’t listening to the tibetans..)

    richard spencer has a good analysis on the tug-of-war between the chinese and western perceptions of bias.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/foreign/richardspencer/march2008/tibetbiascutsbothways.htm

  2. meryam, i actually read the spencer blog you just posted, and it’s very interesting to read some of the comments of this blog too. I think the Chinese are angry somewhat the western media was reluctant to acknowledge or focus more on the fact that what happened this year in Tibet is not “peaceful demonstration” but riots and unrest.

    and I agree there are many Chinese out there that are just overwhelmed by nationalistic feelings that only very few of them bother to focus on the more important issue which is what really went wrong in Tibet and how can we solve the problem or at least make it better.

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