VietNamNet Bridge - For Vietnam, the counterproductive lesson of China's one-way communication policy should be seriously considered.
The Beijing Snacks restaurant where hung a plate of discrimination against Vietnamese.
With a racist psychology, many Chinese people really have an ugliness. And this ugliness is being reinforced, directly or indirectly, through the one-way communication policy of the Chinese government.
1. In 2000-2001, in the process of learning of the influence of Chinese culture, especially their vices to the Vietnamese culture, I read the book "The Ugly Chinaman" by Boyang - a Taiwanese journalist. The more I read and pondered, the more I saw the Chinese people actually have very bad habits, such as racism, excessive self-esteem…
A few years later, I had the opportunity to work with many colleagues from mainland China. They were quite good at professional knowledge, but about the culture, in addition to the description of Boyang, there was a common feature that Boyang did not mention in his book. That is: the new Chinese, whether they are scientists, were also propagandized by the Chinese government in a one-way communication style, making stereotypes that are difficult to remove, especially in the debate related to the border and island conflicts, particularly the dispute in the East Sea between China and Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam.
For example, in an attempt to find out the real cause of the border war in February 1979, according to the interpretation of the Chinese side, I asked three Chinese colleagues who were about 30 years old, obtaining doctor degrees in China and went to England to work together with my team. After an hour of exchange, all three had the same conclusion: China invaded Vietnam because China helped Vietnam a lot during the Vietnam War but Vietnam joined hands with the former Soviet Union to threaten China. Vietnam invaded Cambodia, a close ally of China. By persistent border conflict, Vietnam demanded border division in its favor. They did not deeply analyze the arguments to see whether they are satisfactory or not and what were the real causes of the so-called other causes.This is in stark contrast with the scientific working style, digging deeply into the reasons, considering the external factors… of scientists like them.
2. On February 22, 2013, Ms. Rose Tang, a Chinese-American journalist who used to teach at the Princeton University took photos of a plate in Chinese and English "Not serve the Japanese, the Filipino, the Vietnamese people and dogs," at the Beijing Snacks and posted on her personal Facebook. These photos have caused a huge outrage in the Vietnamese community. Then, the plate was removed, but the restaurant owner refused to apologize for racism.
This is only the personal attitude of the restaurant owner, but it reflects that the racial psychology is very popular in China, especially in the escalation of tensions in the marine sovereignty dispute between China and Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan. The situation becomes especially tense with Vietnam and the Philippines as China is increasingly showing its intention to monopolize the East Sea by the very unreasonable "U-shaped line", despite the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).
When the Japanese government nationalized the Senkaku Islands, a series of attacks to Japanese shop happened. When the Philippines sued China to the international court, the Chinese government strongly opposed, and a Chinese restaurant hung that racism plate.
Recalling Boyang’s comment on racism "I just want to say that the mind of discrimination of the Chinese, compared with racism, is even at a low level, because it is the mind of local discrimination" to see that racism is real and is actually a disease of the Chinese people.
3. In fear of tensions caused by China for its neighboring countries in recent times, especially when China is rising, with superiority in economic and military power over its neighbors, the racism psychology is a very worrying thing. It reminds people the image of the Nazis before the World War II.
At that time, the psychology of racism was also popular in these countries. They considered only their races as preeminence and are worth for living, while other people are just secondary, even deserve to be eliminated. The psychology of racism and extreme nationalism in the fascist countries is one of the causes leading to the devastating war.
Will China follow this trail? Whether China will cause disaster to humanity by the extreme narrow-minded nationalism that the Chinese government supports more or less promote, directly or indirectly, through the one-way propagation of disputes and conflicts of interest with other nations?
The answer is not clear. But one thing is for sure, if the Chinese government does not have timely adjustment to limit the psychology of racism and extreme nationalism, it seems very clear that the thing that no one wants may happen again.
That would be a too expensive lesson, not only for China and the victim countries, but also for the humanity.
With the psychology of racism, many Chinese people are really ugly. And the ugliness is being reinforced, directly or indirectly, through the one-way communication policy of the Chinese government.
4. For Vietnam, the lessons of the side effects of the one-way communication policy of China needs to be seriously considered.
One-way propagation can be temporarily effective for the state, but in the long run it will be harmful to people's knowledge and the growth of the nation. The people can only grow if they have access to the diverse flows of information and have the freedom to participate in the discussion, in an attempt to find out the truth in the forest of information. In other words, the nation can only grow if its people are entitled to free access to information, freedom of discussion; that means freedom of the press is guaranteed.
With small things like the racism of a Chinese restaurant, speaking out to protect dignity is needed. But this will become meaningless if Vietnam keeps being poor and lagging behind them. If the country does not develop, leading to ethnic contempt on the international arena, first of all, this fault belongs to the leaders of the country, and then each citizen.
Therefore, it is more important to develop a powerful. This requires the efforts of the leaders first, then each citizen.
If Vietnam prospers, that discrimination just likes a breeze, there is nothing ominous? If Vietnam is poor backward forever, the angriness for discrimination cannot help much.
Giap Van Duong
(Source: Tia Sang)