Thursday, May 24, 2012

More on Chen Guangcheng and Yang Rui

I want to follow up my earlier post of links to pieces about Chen Guangcheng and Yang Rui with two more related links worth checking out.

1. In an earlier post I questioned some of the criticism of how U.S. officials handled the Chen Guangcheng case. An article by William Han in The Washington Post shares a taste of some of the challenges they faced. For example, at times U.S. officials could not even be sure of the identities of those present at negotiations:
The Americans were greeted at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 29, by familiar faces from the ministry — chief among them Cui Tiankai, a diplomat they had dealt with countless times. But on either side of the Chinese diplomats were two men who did not introduce themselves and were not introduced by others.

Not until days later, with an initial deal in sight, did the Americans learn that one of them was a representative of China’s Ministry of State Security — a powerful branch in charge of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations. The other, the Americans later surmised, was from an unidentified branch of China’s intelligence apparatus.
The article is also valuable in highlighting some of the positive aspects in how China handled the negotiations.

2. Chinese television host Yang Rui is certainly not the only person in China expressing concerns about foreigners in China. The Chinese news site SINA English has posted an entire page titled "Beijing Welcomes You -- Decent Foreigners". I am hesitant to guess the true intended purpose of the site. Maybe it was to influence foreigners. Or maybe they just wanted to convince "higher-ups" that they were doing their duty. I suspect the second case would have a better chance of success.

It includes links to a variety of articles. One provides advice to foreigners:
As it happens, whether or not you are a popular guest and can win the due respect from the host will all depends upon your behaviors, and whether or not you wholly alienate or even hostile to the host.

It is advisable to bear in mind: “Only good scouting is likely to preserve the respect and freedom so dear to the heart of the eternal Boy Scout.”
I fear my year or two of Cub Scouts might not be enough.

One of the more notable sections of the page is the poll question which seems representative of some other online polls I have seen in China:
Beijing started a three-month campaign on May 15 targeting foreigners illegally staying in the capital. Your say?
  • Support, as management is desirable.

  • Hard to say.
I am torn as to whether it is better or worse than the paradoxical text message I received from China Mobile last year. What do you think?

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