Editor's note: We must depend on ourselves instead of foreign media to create China's image in the world, the author said.
I read in an April 12 article in Lianhe Zaobao that Chinese leaders should be more aggressive in defending China's image abroad in order to avoid the fate of the Soviet Union, which was labeled an "evil empire" by the United States.
While it is true that the Soviet Union was demonized by the West, there is no consensus on China's image among Western nations.
After World War II, some leftist may have been skeptical about China, but were far from hostile. Then in the 1950s, the Korean War triggered a tide of US-led propaganda against China.
In the late 1970s, when China opened up, Western countries began changing their attitudes and readjusting their policies. Western journalists took home positive images of the Chinese people's dramatically changing lives. Relations between the US and China improved.
Since the end of 1980s, however, the tide has changed again as Western media and governments began to criticize China on human rights.
At the same time, as more foreigners visited China, they were better able to share their personal experiences of China and its rapid development.
In recent years, theories have cropped up in Western academic circles about the "China threat", "China's collapse" and China as an unstable factor to world development. The fact is that more countries are banking on China, given its economic growth, to do more for world peace, development and environmental protection.
Some Chinese scholars think that the Western media is creating China's international image. In order to improve this image, they believe that we need to change their deep-rooted prejudice and skepticism.
Actually, one of the principles of Western media is to find fault and negative angles.