sharing the Olympic spirit

Attacks on torch anger Chinese younger generation
Updated: 2008-04-14 13:48


LONDON -- The latest events of attacks on the Olympic torch by violent protesters in its world relay as in London and Paris have aroused the anger of Chinese younger generation, Chinese Ambassador to Britain Fu Ying said Sunday.

China's ambassador to Britain Fu Ying carries the Olympic torch through China Town in central London April 6, 2008. [Agencies]
China's ambassador to Britain Fu Ying carries the Olympic torch through China Town in central London April 6, 2008. [Agencies]

In an article published in the Sunday Telegraph, the ambassador said that April 6, the day when the Beijing Olympic torch relay was held in London, will be remembered as Beijing met London with splashes and sparkles.

She said that on the bus back to the airport after the event, she was with some young girls from the Beijing team, who were convinced that the people here were against them.

"One girl remarked she couldn't believe this land nourished Shakespeare and Dickens. I can't blame them. I fully understood how they felt. They were running between vehicles for the whole day, trying to service the torch bearers. Worse still, they had to endure repeated violent attacks on the torch throughout the relay, " Fu said.

She said the hot topics among China's 200 million Internet users at this moment include not only attempts to snatch the torch but also the moving scenes when Jin Jing, a slim young girl, a Paralympic athlete in a wheelchair helped by a blind athlete, held a torch with both arms to her chest to protect it from violent protesters during the Paris leg of the relay.

The latest events have led the younger generation of Chinese born after the 80s, who grew up in a more prosperous China, to begin a collective rethinking about the West, Fu Ying said.

She said "my daughter, who loves western culture, must have used the word 'why' dozens of times in our long on-line chat. Her frustration could be felt between the lines. Many who had romantic views about the West are very disappointed at the media's attempt to demonize China. We all know demonization feeds a counter reaction."

"I am concerned that mutual perceptions between the people of China and the West are quickly drifting in opposite directions. I cannot help asking, why when it comes to China, the generalized accusations can easily be accepted without people questioning what exactly and specifically they mean. Why any story or figures can stay on the news for days without factual support," she asked.

Some westerners complain about China not allowing enough access to the media. In China, the view is that the Western media needs to make an effort to earn respect. It would be helpful to the credibility of the Western media if the issues they care and write about are of today's China, not of things that do not exist or of the long gone past, the ambassador said, hoping more and more people in the West will be able to cross over the language and cultural barriers and find out more about the real China.

The world has waited for China to join it, now China has the patience to wait for the world to understand China, Fu Ying said.

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