Beijing’s bashing of U.S. government on activist Chen Guangcheng backlashes at home

May 4, 2012Jing Gao5 Comments, , , , , , , , ,

Four major state-run newspapers in Beijing published strongly worded editorials on the same day, accusing the U.S. politicians of “clumsy antics” and using activist Chen Guangchang as a pawn against China.

Beijing Daily: “Looking at U.S Politicans’ Clumsy Antics through Chen Guangcheng.” Beijing Times: “Chen Guangcheng Is A Newly Found Tool And Pawn of America; U.S. Has Ulterior Motive for Meddling in Our Country’s Internal Affairs.” Beijing News: “U.S. Diplomats Should Never Overstep their Authority.” Beijing Youth Daily: “Gary Locke’s Showmanship will not help maintain Sina-U.S. relations.” These are the title of four vituperative editorials splashed across four major state-controlled Beijing-based newspapers on May 4, signifying the hard line Chinese government takes against dissent by lumping dissidents and anti-China forces together and playing the nationalism card.


chen guangcheng

Chen Guangcheng is a high-profile self-taught blind lawyer from rural China who has spent years fighting against forced abortion and for other human rights issues on behalf of Chinese rural residents. Chen was jailed from 2006 to 2008, and since he was released from prison, had been taken under indefinite house arrest in his hometown Linyi, Shandong province, until he escaped from his home on April 22 and hid in the U.S. embassy with assistance from other dissidents. Chen stayed in the U.S. embassy for six days before he left. Questions remain as to what has prompted him to leave and what his future will be, now that his escape has clearly riled the Chinese government.


Chen Guangchen escorted by U.S. diplomats to the hospital.

Interestingly, in theory, there is no way that an ordinary Chinese knows who is Chen Guangcheng, much less his detention and escape, as his name has been a taboo in the mainstream media and has been listed as a sensitive word by China’s cybercop. Therefore, when the four newspapers openly bashed the U.S. for assisting Chen, the dilemma they faced was how they were going to mention Chen Guangcheng, a central figure in the diplomatic crisis, without giving away too much information about Chen’s battle with China’s human rights abuse. In the end, the four newspapers only described him as a Chinese citizen involved in a local dispute. It is predictable that readers who had never heard of Chen before will be intrigued into finding out why “an ordinary citizen” is capable of antagonizing the two country.

Ministry of Tofu has translated excerpts of the editorials below:

Beijing Daily: “Looking at U.S Politicans’ Clumsy Antics through Chen Guangcheng”

Just imagine, if embassies of other countries in the U.S. so enthusiastically and audaciously accommodated whom U.S. politicians referred to as “rabble” and “thugs” in the midst of the large-sclae “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and gave strong backing to their “Revolution Now” and “Reshape America,” what would be the U.S. reaction to it? I am afraid that compared with the negligible and paltry trouble posed to China by Chen Guangcheng today, U.S. would only be a whole lot more embarassed.

I have to say, for a long time, there has been quite a disconnect between all kinds of behavior of the U.S. embassy in China and the new U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke, and the scope of their official duty. They keep doing little tricks. People cannot refrain from asking, is this ambassador really obligated to actively engage himself in boosting Sino-U.S. relations and dissolving misunderstandings and disputes, or is he hellbent on finding faults and kicking up fusses in the Chinese society and creating new and larger rifts between the two countries? From the façade of a civilian life of flying with the economy class, carrying his own backpack, and buying coffee with coupons, to monitoring and publishing the embassy’s data of (Beijing) air quality and posing his nose into the debate on Beijing’s urban management, to his wantonly taking Chen Guangcheng into the embassy via abnormal means – What we can see, far from a prudent and discreet ambassador to China, is nothing but a typical U.S. politician who stir up antagonism. Whether this style of work, highly incompatible with his ambassadorship, is deliberate or unintended, and what, if it is intended, are its motive and purpose, are questions that everyone may wish to thrash over. This farce, orchestrated by the U.S. embassy, is a great lesson to Chinese people, and verifies once more the Chinese proverb: “A weasel paying respects to a chicken harbors no good intention.” Isn’t the intention they harbor abundantly clear?

Beijing Youth Daily: “Gary Locke’s Showmanship will not help maintain Sina-U.S. relations.”

After the Western media hype and particularly the meddling from the U.S. embassy via abnormal means, the Chen Guangcheng incident has been immediately magnified to the accusation of human rights in China. This is an outcome that the Western media, the U.S. embassy and some people who have bias against China’s human rights situation expect to see. So far, Chen Guangcheng has left the U.S. embassy of his own volition. But the lesson that the entire incident gives us is far from over. During the entire process, the gimmicks and performances deployed by the U.S. embassy staff, including Ambassador Gary Locke, have way exceeded the duty, the responsibility and the role of U.S. diplomats, are transgressions of basic rules and ethics that must be observed on diplomatic occasions, and have hurt feelings of Chines people. These have in pretty much every way created trouble and obstacles to the Sino-U.S. relations.
At the time when Chen Guangcheng left the U.S. embassy on May 2, Ambassador Gary Locke even took the show to the next level by sending Chen Guangchen to a hospital in Beijing “in person,” wheeling Chen into the hospital himself, and showing up under foreign media’s spotlight. Under usual circumstances, a U.S. official offering normal assistance to a Chinese citizen should not have been a problem. But in the current situation, what Gary Locke did is tantamount to measuring the Chinese society with the American yardstick, or worse, hard-selling American values to China. His attempt to grab eyeballs with gimmicks and performances is a manifestation of hypocrisy and flamboyance often seen in Western politicians. Such a style not only repels Chinese people, but also comes in for criticism from the U.S. media.



Beijing Times: “Chen Guangcheng Is A Newly Found Tool And Pawn of America; U.S. Has Ulterior Motive for Meddling in Our Country’s Internal Affairs.”

The United States seems always too bored. It stretches its hands too far and goes too wide. This time, they even have the gall to interfere with a grassroots-level dispute in Linyi, Shandong province in China and exhibit particular enthusiasm in the Chinese citizen Chen Guangcheng, who is involved in this dispute.
Brandishing the stick of humanitarianism and assuming the look of the master of the world, they want to have a finger in anything in any country, totally oblivious to the principles that govern international relations, totally oblivious to the International Law and laws of the countries concerned, and totally oblivious to the idea of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries. The U.S. enjoys doing these things, but at the same time, it has selective memory loss. If any country learns the U.S. example and meddles in the U.S. internal affairs in the similar fashion, the U.S., far from forgetting about it, will be infuriated. This logic in its behavior is downright hegemonic. 。
A country with this meddler’s mentality always goes to great lengths to find tools and pawns to advertise its righteousness and others’ wrongfulness. Chen Guangcheng is exactly a tool and a pawn that the U.S. has recently found. He cannot find his justice in the U.S. embassy in China and can only feel helpless about being used, being cast in a show in front of the camera.

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Selected comments from the Web:

From Beijing Daily:

2012-05-04 12:42:10 匿名用户 发表  IP:
The author of this article is not afraid that the God of the Underworld come to take his life? He is so skilled in calling white black!

2012-05-04 12:28:56 老百姓 发表  IP:
If Gary Locke was performing!!!!!!!!!!Why I never see you put on such a performance? As people living in the bottom rung, we uphold such performances! I can tell whose interests you represent from the viewpoints in your article! I despise the editor!

2012-05-04 12:12:00 清醒者 发表  IP:
Beijing Daily is bringing disgrace on itself!!! F**k these immoral media who too often claim to be the representative of 1.3 billion people. Just look at the comments below, and you will know what the real public opinion is and who raped the public opinion!

2012-05-04 12:07:28 匿名用户 发表  IP:
Before you point fingers at others, should you reflect upon your own problems? Why would the U.S. embassy be considered the safest place by both high-ranking officials and the rank and file? Everyone is capable of big talk, but God is watching closely when people do things! It is okay if you want to serve your boss, but when can you lay down your arrogance, come down to earth, and serve the people even a bit? Is this something too much to ask?

2012-05-04 12:06:37 x xo o 发表  IP:
Thanks to the government and the party for spending taxpayers’ money writing such a grandiose and inspiring article, which made the rank and file further united around the party and realize clearly that how poor the life of officials of imperialistic America is. We must unite closely around the party in order to fly first-class, drink Maotai, keep mistresses and obtain profit for our children!

2012-05-04 12:03:08 匿名用户 发表  IP:
Gary Locke, you must fly first class. You must find a person to carry your backpack. You must not use coupon to buy coffee. You must live in a five-star hotel. Otherwise, how bad you make us look!!!

From Sina Weibo:

GlobalRoader:Do you know that the broad masses of overseas Chinese who come to U.S. airports to welcome Chinese leaders are actually hired by Chinese consulates in the U.S. at 20 to 30 dollars per head?

本欲无言: Will any one bother to seek asylum from this country even if it opens an embassy on Wall Street and decorate its entrance with flowers and beauties? What a narcissistic country! A country addicted to fantasy. A stupid cunt.

一起走来看风景[bed凌乱]What a brazen face Beijing Daily has! You want to represent your own opinion, that’s fine. So it is normal only if U.S. officials indulge themselves in eating, drinking, whoring, gambling, squandering public funds and raping public opinion just as you do, is it? Even if those are performances, that’s their business. Why does it concern you? If you want the people to trust you, how about you put on a performance too? [弱]

狼的柔情2010:So, only Chinese government officials, who fly first class and have mistresses around can be called role models? Haha, what kind of bullshit logic is that?

骑行在PM之都: Beijing Daily has perfectly explained what a lapdog is.

fives: Is Beijing Daily treating everyone as an idiot? Can we ask our government officials to be committed to the economy class show and the coupon show?

不会游泳的鱼linda: This must be an order from the Central Propaganda Department. I guess those who wrote these articles must have a lot of grievances too.

茫茫天涯人1988:A concerted, unstoppable rapid fire from the Beijing’s press!!! They must have thrashed this out ahead of time~~~[围观]

爱就向往:If the media lose fairness and objectivity and fail to supervise and criticize the government, such media will only become tools of the government. Sigh, in fact, they have always been the tools. It’s just that we expected more than that!

rzjt: It’s not that Ambassador Locke wanted to put on the “civilian life” show. It’s that Americans impose limits on reimbursement. If he had no limit, just like our government officials, Ambassador Locke would surely present a “luxury life show” to us. The upright and clean image of Ambassador Locke is a complete contrast to … (omission here)

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5 comments to “Beijing’s bashing of U.S. government on activist Chen Guangcheng backlashes at home”

  1. Joe Miller | May 4, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Thanks for opening up this aspect of the case! I hope your story gets wide distribution.

  2. [...] Corollary: Extended translations of Chinese editorials, plus more netizen reactions. [Ministry of Tofu] [...]

  3. Chinese Netizen | May 5, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Man…the fact that an American official carries his own luggage and doesn’t have an entourage of lackeys really, really jabbed the CCP boys! Can’t let that one go, can they???

    Rather than an austerity program of their own, they go on the offensive… perfect.

  4. Blacksoth | May 5, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Obviously they’ve bought into their own BS. They’ve been telling themselves the chinese people are stupid for so long, they actually believe their nonsense will carry the day and everyone will just swallow it.

    This is what you call “saving face” by cutting it off.”

  5. [...] Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced at a press conference that Chen Guangcheng could well apply to study abroad just as any other Chinese citizen can, the U.S. State Department [...]

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