westerns show bias towards chinese demostrations

westerns show bias towards chinese demostrations
April 28th, 2005  

Topic: westerns show bias towards chinese demostrations

westerns show bias towards chinese demostrations
On China-Japan Dispute, Western Pundits Show Anti-China Bias
Commentary, Philip Cunningham,
Pacific News Service, Apr 19, 2005
Editor's Note: Why is it so hard for Westerners to understand China's rage about a concerted Japanese effort to rewrite history? PNS contributor Philip J. Cunningham is a Fulbright fellow looking at media images in Japan and China. He is based in Kyoto, Japan, and currently writing from Beijing.

BEIJING--The tendency for the Western media to tacitly side with Japan in the latest volatile history tiff with China is predictable, given ideological proclivities and insecurities about China's rise. But it is hypocritical and ultimately self-destructive to remain silent as Japan goes about, in a determined and sustained way, rewriting history.

In the "New History Textbook," Japan's invasion of northeast China is no longer termed an invasion, comfort women are erased from the record and the Nanking Massacre is dismissed as a controversial "incident."

The textbooks are just the tip of an iceberg as Japan's post-war ruling party revives militaristic values in Yasukuni Shrine rituals, reinstates obligatory school ceremonies involving the controversial wartime flag and anthem and continues to chip away at broadly received historical narratives, as it has done since Prime Minister Nakasone announced his proactive vision for a strong Japan.

Do Americans, who sacrificed so many of their "greatest generation" to defeat Japanese fascism really want to live in a world where the massacre of America's steadfast allies in Nanking is reduced to a non-event? Where Pearl Harbor is repainted as a justified attack? Is the United States ready to live in a world where the war against Japan was but an example of white man's racism?

Anyone comfortable with such conclusions can make light of China's anguish about Japan's rewriting of history. Of course respectable pundits never go so far; they prefer to chastise China with blinders on, conveniently forgetting the freedoms they enjoy are dependent and directly related to the sacrifices made by the Allies, including China, in the world war against fascism. The World War II memorial in Washington correctly recognizes China's contribution, as does the composition of the U.N. Security Council, where China has a coveted permanent seat with veto powers.

China is a big country with big problems, but it is unpopular for all the wrong reasons. Anachronistic Cold War ideologues hate China for being too communist, while beleaguered manufacturers and protectionists hate China for being too capitalistic. America hates China for not letting its people demonstrate, while Japan hates China for letting its people demonstrate.

Western punditry on the latest outburst ranges from triumphant condescension to feigned neutrality: "Settling scores is for small minds." "China is pushing and scripting protests." Anger about whitewashed textbooks can't possibly be sincere, so it must be government-manipulated. Japan apologized already, get over it. Why can't you Asians get along?

Daniel Lynch writes in the Asian Wall Street Journal that China's outburst reflects a desire to "control history writing in Asia." But is China's take on Imperial Japan -- that it was wrong to invade, wrong to cross the sea to kill, rape, plunder and colonize -- really all that different from America's?

Former U.S. China Ambassador James Lilley suggests it is somehow below the dignity of the United States to get involved in little island disputes or questions of history. But what about U.S. involvement in the Falklands conflict? What about Grenada? What about the Gulf of Tonkin, for that matter?

Michael Eliott of Time magazine said just before the recent flare-up that "those nervous spats between China and Japan have one prayer: that the U.S. will continue to hug Asia's powers in a comforting embrace." Prayer? Hugs?

Philip Bowring, writing in the International Herald Tribune, belittles Asian tensions as "historical mudslinging." He mocks Beijing, saying, "any country that purports to want greater Asian representation deserves bitter criticism if in practice it thwarts the aspirations of Japan and India" to gain Security Council seats. What of China's support for India's bid, and U.S. unwillingness to support the same?

The Economist leans heavily on Japan's side, making the lop-sided and condescending suggestion that in return for Japan withholding approval of the textbooks, China should give up propaganda and be serious about "negotiations about disputed waters," putting the onus on Beijing.

Japan Times contributor Gregory Clark, a contrarian and revisionist known for his dubious claim that the Tiananmen Massacre is a myth, comes as close as any commentator in memory in justifying Japan's attack on China and then Pearl Harbor, blaming the WWII attacks on "anti-Japan boycotts and incidents in China" and U.S. "racist anti-Japanese policies."

Japanese accusations of racism are not without merit. Indeed, it is a form of reverse racism that the West demands more of Germany's reckoning with history, and gets it. Japan's cultural and geographic distance from Europe reinforces a sense of exotic differentness. "If Americans come from Mars and Europeans come from Venus," writes the Arts and Letters Daily, published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, "what is the home planet of the Japanese? Saturn?"

But there is only one world, and on this one little planet there is room for only so much disagreement on documented historic matters. When it comes to the Holocaust, most Westerners appreciate the fact that recklessly rewriting history is not OK. Why is it so hard, then, for opinion leaders in the West to see that denying Nanking or the existence of comfort women or Japan's invasion of Asia is deeply infuriating?


April 29th, 2005  
I suppose its a lot like dealing with China, and including "Taiwan" and "Independence" in the same sentence. You just don't want to do it because China will throw a fit.

Likewise, Japan seems to be prone to throwing a tantrum the moment that anyone dares question their revision of the history of World War II.

The Chinese one at least make a little bit of sense. Japan appears to want to call a blue sky orange and damn all who dare to contradict them.

One point: as far as the official position of the Japanese government, all of the hundreds of thousands of Comfort Women had a mutual delusion. They claim that all allegation of the use of Comfort Women to be utterly false. I assume they are claim that the many thousands of Comfort Women still living are in some grand conspiracy to make Japan look bad or something. Dunno.

Out of curiosity, if you were Japanese, how would you present the material? Would you worry about destroying the national pride of the younger generation by confronting them with their nation's attrocities? China has certainly been guilty of rewriting history as they saw fit, but on a much smaller scale of course. I'm kindof fishing for understanding here. Since we lack the voice of those who are in charge of the push for rewriting Japanese History Books.

As far as the West being biased against China .... well, I don't think that the majority have enough information to base their opinions on for one thing. For another, China is not being perceived as the liar here. They are being perceived as the victim who is overreacting. Lets not forget, China is also that country over there that has "terrifying potential military power" and if the worst happens and the Western Powers someday end up in a war with China, they want to be able to count on Japan as a military ally. China could go a long ways in toning down their talk of "punishing Japan for their crimes", which leads directly to "Let's invade Japan!!" Western diplomats do not want to encourage the Chinese people towards those ends, so condemning the alteration of Japanese History becomes a lot more complex. One thing you're not going to see: The West is never going to accept the Japanese version of WW2 as the real truth. The West knows what Japan is up to and nobody is happy about it.

Ideally, the West would love to trade with both countries as both are invaluable trade partners ... especially so long as there isn't a big war blowing up in the region.
April 29th, 2005  

Topic: Well...

Ally or not, if you commit a wrong to others, as a your close colleague or teammate, I will definitely advise you not to commit another wrong or repeat the same wrong because other guy has different opinions or life style from our partnership.

By keeping silent or unsympathetic towards Asians cry for justice is protecting WWII holocaust aggressor, it like slapping silly across the face of truth and justice. Allies or not. this issue is not Chinese only; it involves with other Asian countries, include ally of the West, Korea. To blame China for its nagging, it is a sign of ignoring Asians as a whole. In reverse, to actually question Japan's motive, the West will not alienate Asia, instead helps Asian countries to grow on the right path economically and politically.

Behind the facade of economic giant and youthful pop culture, Japan is nowhere near representing the spirit of Asia, instead of a painful past and disrespect that keep shoving onto our faces.
westerns show bias towards chinese demostrations
April 30th, 2005  
well, i realize not all western sources are false, such as NBC and MSnNews, which included comics of anti-jap protests that does not at all go biased aginist china

it is media concentration thats caused bias, most of these net works are owned by people of right-winged belief and pro-western
April 30th, 2005  
Young Winston
I think they were reasonably fair on this issue. It seems to have calmed down a bit lately but they may be due to less media coverage.
May 26th, 2005  
I can see both points the japanese want to gloss over their dark history and I can understand China being really pissed off as they have every right to be. But I am sure Chinese people are not told everything and there are many things that China denies ever happened or are less than truthful about. a point you could argue black and blue about for years. every country in the world does this to 1 degree or another. For eg example how many countries that win wars have war criminals. There are many cases of allied soilders killing surrendered Japanese and german prisioners as i am sure it was done by chinese soldiers as well, even to there own people. But only the losers are tried. I am not saying the Japanese are right in what they are doing but will they still be hearing these out cries in 500 years when does it stop. If you could answer that hand on heart you should be the leader of your country and maybe world spokeman or woman to be correct. Should I hold a grudge against you madeinchina because my grandfather died at the hands of the chinese during the korean war which was arguably not china's war. No of course I cannot and never will. However as i said the question is to difficult to answer once and for all
Should children have to pay for there parents mistakes I think no but they must take responsibility for their countries actions.
How much is taught in Chinese schools about massacres buring the early parts of the century by your own government on their own people?????? I do not know. You could argue that it was your own country but in my eyes that is not really any better.
May 27th, 2005  

Topic: Some Acute Irony from China

I guess we could look at the textbooks of many different countries and find things slanted one way or the other. However, I find some acute irony in China is complaining about the tools (textbooks) for socialization.

China is a country that fears any version of event - historic or current - that the official Party line does not write. Perhaps, people would take the history of Japan's behavior 65 years ago a bit more seriously when China opens up the media to points of view that are diverse and not driven from the Party committees.
May 27th, 2005  
I agree RED 52 those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. As I stated before EVERY country in this world has done this to one degree or another
May 30th, 2005  
Allies or not, the US and Britain still owe Japan a kick in the alpha sierra sierra. Many Veterans refuse to attend the reunions involving Japan but they are not usually interviewed by the media.
June 2nd, 2005  

Topic: Ah I see...

So people should never demand apologies because they had bad inhouse histories? So, it was ok for Germany to attack and slaughter others, get away with it, and people should never complain because everyone has bad track record on time or other? How convenient!

I guess you are not the one seeing a Samurai sword sticking through your women's private parts. I guess you are not the one seeing your grandmothers, mothers, younger and older sisters, and any females getting raped to death. I guess you are not the one seeing your countrymen getting their heads lopped off while perpetrators laughing.

I guess you would not understand the pain seeing a billboard spelling "Chinese and Dogs are prohibited to enter!" in front of public park. Maybe you will get that feeling with "American and Dogs are prohibited to enter!" in front of Disneyland.

According to you, it is ok for me or anyothers to break into your house, commit the most hideous crime and you can't complain because you beat up your brothers and sisters while growing up. You can not complain about my crime because simply your house rule is unreasonable (even inhumane at times) or holding different ideologies. If was reality, will you demand Meaningful Apologies from me or anyother perpetrators?

Wait, In your world, this is not my house got destroyed nor my women got raped. It is the Chinaman's house. I know, Commie China is inhumane, so why can't Commie bastards look back to their doings before complaining ruthless Japan. Ya I know, Chinese are bastards so they ain't got no rights because they are commies.

Look back text books, different text books? My arse! I am sure you still cry false if Chinese victims were broken down crying and telling you their experiences in front of you. Simply put, in your world, Commie Chineses got no rights.