February 3, 2003 (Dongfang Report)

Analysis of Some Chinese Anti-American Sentiments

After the American space shuttle Columbia crashed, some rejoicing speeches appeared on Chinese websites. The noted Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo analyzed in an article published on an overseas website these unhealthy sentiments from some Chinese Internet users. Through the VOA hotline, some Chinese audiences also commented on the anti-American sentiments existing among some Chinese.

Comments on Rejoicing Speech

After the U.S. space shuttle Columbia crashed, many state leaders and people around the world expressed sympathy and condolences. They also expressed admiration for the U.S. scientists who committed themselves to the exploration of space for [the benefit of] mankind. However, on several major Chinese websites, rejoicing speeches appeared. In his article addressed to the U.S. website "Observe," writer Liu Xiaobo [residing in China] conducted a basic research on the statistics of such speeches. The results show that, although some Chinese people are taking pleasure in this disaster, their number is far less than the time following "September 11." However, at least 50% of the speeches posted on Sina.com.cn, NetEase (http://www.163.com/) were relishing the disaster. For example, some Chinese Internet chat room users said, "Thank Allah for blessing Iraq." Some think, "This is heaven's punishment for Americans who are trying to dominate the whole world." Others predicted, "the U.S. will decline while China will rise and defeat it." Some even claimed, "The Columbia disaster is the most beautiful fireworks in the New Year of the ram!"

Poisoning of Nationalism

Regarding the outpouring of extreme anti-American sentiments, writer Liu Xiaobo came to the analysis in his article written at his home in Beijing, "These sentiments are the exact results of vehement and narrow-minded nationalism that has been poisoning people's minds. Such nationalism murders human common values, eliminates people's basic sense of justice and sympathy; it confuses the fundamental difference between freedom and autocracy, humanity and anti-humanity, goodness and evil, truth and lies, civilization and brutality. Its only sentiment is cold-blooded hatred; its only verbal expression is cursing and irrational outpours, and its only facial expression is obscene and base."

Government Misleading Media

A participant/listener with last name Liu from Shandong Province, China analyzed the anti-American sentiments among Chinese people through the VOA hotline. He thinks it is the result of the misleading media, controlled by the government. Liu said, "Right now, anti-American sentiments exist among the Chinese people. I think this is the result of the country and government fooling people. For example, people in China don't know what benefit and harm the relationship between the U.S. and China would bring upon China, so they developed anti-American sentiments. The Chinese government reports only one side of the story and distorts the truth. This is what that creates anti-American sentiments."

We should Not Rejoice Over Others' Misfortunes

A net user named MBOY6 at the Qiangguo Forum on People's Daily had a different opinion on this issue. He said, "A large part of the fellow net users who rejoiced over Columbia's explosion are absolutely not cold-blooded. They are not happy because lives were lost; they were happy because U.S. space exploration suffered setbacks and because the infinite expansion of the U.S. superpower suffered a defeat." A Chinese net user on Sina.com disagreed with this opinion. He thinks we should not rejoice in others' setbacks, even if the U.S. is China's competitor. This net user named "Cold Heart" said, "Seven lives were forever lost on their return home to earth, yet in the eyes of the low-down people who took pleasure in it, it was only beautiful fireworks that decorated their cruel and shameless vanity. Jealousy made them lose the most elemental sympathy. Even if the U.S. is China's competitor, we should not place our hopes on the opponent having an accident. If an opponent better than us stumbles, should we clap our hands and cheer? If all Chinese people think we should, then the 2008 Olympics would be better held somewhere else."

February 3, 2003