Monday, August 18, 2008

My Question and Cheuk Kwan's Answer on Chinese Nationalism published in The Globe and Mail Website

Charles Burton from St Catharines: When Canadians express concern about the situation of Tibetans or Uyghurs or believers in religion in China, some ethnic Chinese often dismiss these claims on the basis that the Canadians are 'anti-China' or 'don't understand China.' So we get no reasoned response, but are instead charged with racism and ignorance.What can Canadians do to on the one hand to stand for those who are suffering from injustice in China and on the other to avoid making these ethnic Chinese feel so offended?

Cheuk Kwan: Unfortunately there's no easy solution because mainland Chinese, and by extension, Chinese Canadian immigrants often do not distinguish the three separate entities: Chinese people, Chinese as a nation, and the Chinese government. And that distinction is not made very clear by the Chinese-language media in Canada, where most immigrants still get their news. This is especially serious with the introduction of CCTV, the state Chinese television broadcaster, into our cable system who will beam one-sided pro-Chinese government news coverage into Canadian homes. I think Canadians should continue to make their voices heard, and let these Chinese Canadians know that a criticism of China's government does not equate itself to offending the Chinese people.

My comment: China has a proud and wonderfully rich tradition, but it is not identical with the bases for the legitimacy of the authoritarian rule of the CCP.

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