Chinese Media Digest – Thursday, September 13 Published: 2012-9-13 18:23:05

Keywords: four US diplomats killed in Libya; Shanghai launches mental disease screening

Four US diplomats killed in Libya

US ambassador to Lybia, Chris Stevens was killed with three other embassy staff during a rocket attack in Libya on Tuesday. Earlier that day, Egyptian protesters held a demonstration that turned violent in front of US embassy in Cairo.

Both events were reportedly sparked by a US film about the prophet Muhammad, resulting in the most acute conflicts between the US and the Middle East since the Arab Spring.

Chinese media called for the US to reconsider its relationship with the Arab world.

"The latest attack may be a sign of anarchy in the region. Religion won the first victory, but it remains highly uncertain which side will win the next round," the Global Times published in an editorial.

"American diplomats face risks to their lives in many countries. This danger carries a deep political connotation. We hope the US is careful in removing the dangers in the world. It is for the safety of their diplomats, and also for world peace and stability," the paper concluded.

The Beijing News quoted researcher He Wenping from the China Academy of Social Sciences saying, "these anti-US protests is the result of the development and growth of Islamic forces after the 'Arab Spring' movements broke out in 2011."

"The protests are not completely about religion, but also reflect the struggle that exists between the US, the West and Middle Eastern countries. These incidents should serve as a lesson for the US, who should learn how to better communicate with these countries in transition, especially those with deep religious and nationalistic sentiments," He added.

Current affairs commentator Xue Haipei chalked up the violence to cultural differences in an interview by the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, saying "if we must find a reason for the tragedy, I would say it is the culture and values gap between Western society and the traditional Arab world. Muslim activists will not stop as long as this gap exists."

"The mutual understanding between the West and the Middle East cannot be achieved merely by Obama's speeches or even simply respecting Islamic culture. Although the Obama administration has made notable headway in improving US-Middle East relations, there is still a long road ahead."

"Today's tragedy may have changed some western views about the Muslim community, and may have had an impact on the future of US policies in the Middle East," Xue concluded.

Shanghai launches mental disease screening

Shanghai plans to offer greater access to mental health services by conducting psychological evaluations in communities across the city as part of its newly implemented regulations on mental disease prevention and service. 

"Refusal to go to school, work, go outdoors or engage in contact with others" is listed as symptoms that warrant an evaluation, according to the regulations.

Chinese media posed doubt as to whether the regulation and standards are appropriate.

The Beijing News opined the Shanghai government is setting an example in taking the initiative to help those who suffer from mental disease. However, the evaluations should be carefully conducted, as there are no agreed-upon indicators to ensure accuracy of diagnosis.

Perhaps what should be done is to promote awareness of mental illness, improve psychiatric training and provide more access to mental health care, the paper suggested.

It is still debatable whether the city has the right to interfere this way, the Southern Metropolis Daily commented.

We should encourage Shanghai's attempt to make mental health services more accessible by providing psychiatric evaluations up to four times a year for those with severe mental disease, the newspaper said. However, listing "refusing to go outside" as a symptom is not appropriate. Moreover, some articles included in the regulation have questionable legal basis.

Shaanxi-based Chinese Business View said in an opinion piece that public policy must not only be just, but also logical and consist of procedure based on empirical evidence. Otherwise, good intentions may bring about negative effects.


Posted in: Chinese Press, Chinese Media Digest

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