British singer Elton John and his band held a concert in Beijing on Sunday, during which time he suddenly announced that the show was dedicated to Ai Weiwei. According to a report from the Guardian, John's action drew only a muted response from the crowd. As John made his declaration in English, it is possible that many people did not understand what he meant. Or perhaps they were not sure that his concert really was "dedicated to Ai Weiwei."
Obviously, John's unexpected action was disrespectful to the audience and the contract that he signed with the Chinese side. He forcibly added political content to the concert, which should have been nothing more than an entertaining performance. If they had known that this concert would be dedicated to Ai Weiwei, many in the audience would not have come to see this concert.
John's action will also make the relevant agencies further hesitate in future when they invite foreign artists. John himself is a senior entertainment figure, but has raised difficulties for future arts exchanges between China and other countries.
We suggest that China need not be overcautious in inviting foreigners to perform in China in future simply because of the actions of Elton John or Bjork, an Icelandic singer who shouted "Tibet, Tibet" at her concert in Shanghai in 2008. We also suggest that Chinese audiences need not hesitate to protest the provocateur and boo him off the stage.
Western society is seriously biased against China. When US magazine Foreign Policy compiled a list of 100 global thinkers from around the world, the first Chinese on that list was blind activist Chen Guangcheng, and the second was Ai Weiwei. Even to Chinese people who have sympathy for these two people, this list may seem ridiculous.
In a diverse era, we don't hold that the existence of people like Chen and Ai is unexpected in China. Also, we don't believe that the impact they have brought should be denied completely.
The selection of Chen and Ai makes people wonder whether the word "thinker" in Chinese and English have different meanings. We can just say that some Westerners are increasingly unable to contain themselves over China's rise. They cannot control China through normal means and they are more likely to rush their fences.
China's development is vigorous. The substantive exchanges between China and the US, China and Europe, will continue to be vigorous. To please Chinese audiences, Hollywood movie Red Dawn changed some parts which could have harmed China's image. This incident caused a sensation in the West while the news caused by Elton John was only fleeting, as the former can better represent the general trend of the relationship between China and other countries.