Opinion / Chen Weihua

Shambaugh fails to defend his position

By Chen Weihua (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-10 08:08

Shambaugh also defended himself by trying to discredit Chinese journalists. But he contradicted himself by accusing the Chinese of being unable to take criticism while he himself described the Chinese media critique of his article as "personal attack".

If a regular op-ed article is a personal attack on Shambaugh, then he has indeed been attacked personally in and outside China many times. Shambaugh's fury over my March 13 article "Shambaugh China essay in shambles" was evident as he said on the podium on April 2: "I will scold him as he has scolded me" and "after what they did to me, anybody who thought that China Daily was not a government newspaper should now re-examine."

Shambaugh clearly believes that my op-ed article was an assignment by the Chinese government. This again shows how much out of touch he is with China today. The truth is that, none of my op-ed articles over the years has been assigned by the government or anyone else.

Shambaugh happily announced that he is not barred from entering China for the WSJ article, citing his several upcoming visits. That is a great thing. The problem for many so-called China experts, among which Shambaugh is one, is not that they have traveled or spent much time in China, only that they have not spent nearly enough time given the rapid transformation in China over the last four decades.

For example, Shambaugh, who claims to have spent a total of eight years in China, still misinterpreted the word "crossroads" in Chinese during his talk. When he said the Chinese term for "crossroads" is shizi lukou, he claimed it means 10 roads across.

No, it's just two roads across. Shambaugh should spend more time in China or studying Chinese.

The author is deputy editor of China Daily USA.

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