American elites are damaging US’ good image

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/18 21:04:35

Based on information the Global Times received, the number of Chinese social science scholars who have had their US visas cancelled, been blocked from visiting the US, or harassed by the FBI since 2018 is much higher than the number reported by the New York Times. Wang Wen, executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, said at least 280 Chinese social scholars have been unfairly treated.

Media has reported that China declined a visa to Michael Pillsbury, a renowned China hawk. Americans speculated it was China’s retaliation. If the US continues treating Chinese scholars unfairly, then it would be impossible for China not to respond.

These Chinese scholars rarely made their experiences public through media. Some didn't want to see China-US ties further affected due to their personal sufferings. Others chose to remain silent because they didn't think it would help by speaking out.

Imagine what will happen if China's national security personnel force the most influential US scholars visiting China for academic purposes to cooperate or have their visas cancelled? Some of them would immediately make it public; US media outlets would hype the issue, and a diplomatic row could be triggered.

The Chinese scholars being picked on are with China's mainstream think tanks and universities. Their low key reaction after the incidents reflects China's general attitude toward confrontation. 

The norm of not provoking others and exercising restraint when provoked is common in China. The recent tensions between Beijing and Washington are completely a result of the latter's frequent pressure. 

The US has gone too far. However, the US may not have sufficient strength as it has imagined to back up its tough stance against China. Take the trade war. The US waved a stick at China at will at the beginning, but it severely underestimated China's determination and capability to counterattack. 

Most Chinese scholars studying the US understand the US best, support China and the US to develop relations, and handle China-US frictions rationally. Their personal feelings toward the US will undoubtedly spread. The rude treatment given by the US to these scholars will have a profound impact on the Chinese intellectual community's understanding and attitude toward the US, seriously damaging the country's image in China.

Negative impressions of the US have been accumulating in China due to its constant provocations in recent years. An increasing number of Chinese people think that the US is losing its senses and even going mad. Aversion and disdain for the US are also spreading.

Earlier in 2018, many views in China held that we should understand the US as much as possible in facing its provocations, and China should reflect on its own behavior. Some public opinions tended to regard tolerating the US as a manifestation of opening-up. Nonetheless, such views have obviously diminished. The Chinese government will certainly win much more support from Chinese society if it adopts tough measures against the US, even with the risk of causing a serious escalation in the conflict, than a year ago.

The US political elites are ruining their country's good image in Chinese society which accumulated over time. We'd like to remind the US elites that such unscrupulous destruction will certainly lead to consequences. Anyone who pushes China and the US into an all-round confrontation would be a sinner in history. The US elites should have the vigilance and bear the responsibilities of not ruining the 21st century.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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