Americans can’t understand China through South Park show

By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/9 22:48:40

Photo: IC

Why have China-US exchanges made both countries increasingly uncomfortable? Some Americans believe that Chinese people have changed. But is this the reason? The American animated sitcom South Park's latest episode and the NBA's recent issue in China all show that the gap between China and the US is widening. 

"Band in China," South Park's latest episode, has been banned in China because of its sarcasm toward the Chinese mainland. The episode criticized Hollywood for catering to so-called Chinese movie censorship, and it also included the Dalai Lama, rioters, and other provocative elements. Such an episode is bound to be banned in China because it was making fun of China's national sovereignty - an issue that Chinese people care about the most - and has touched Chinese people's national identity consciousness.

The episode also reflects US irony and dissatisfaction toward China.  Americans still don't understand the current China. They do not understand how Chinese people have strived for decades, nor do they comprehend Chinese people's emotional experience.

During more than 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has been embracing the outside world. There are many NBA fans in China and basketball is popular among Chinese people. This is related to such an embrace. Americans can play basketball well, and Chinese can do the same. From such a perspective, the Chinese people have indeed changed - they are now wealthier, more open, and have more hobbies in common with Americans.

But Chinese people have also not changed. Our country has fought through humiliation and poverty. Many wounds in Chinese people's hearts have not been healed, especially as China still has not achieved national unity. Chinese people have increasingly acknowledged the Chinese system because the system improves people's life and national strength.

China has become the world's second largest economy, and the country has made great contributions to the global economy, including the US economy. However, some Western people have not realized this, and continue to doubt such China-US embrace. For example, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's improper tweet on Hong Kong has irritated many Chinese people.

It is very hard for China and the US to fully embrace each other. The two countries are in a run-in period. When Americans realize that China is not what they have imagined, they start to use their own standards to judge China. The US feels uncomfortable because China, as a large country, has profoundly influenced Americans' lives. More importantly, China is not the country that Americans want it to be.

The US must learn to embrace China, no matter how hard the process will be. The US used to dominate the world, but as China rises, the US' future is to a large extent connected with China. Without China, the world that Americans recognize is incomplete.

Our world is diverse. China and other countries will not act according to the US attitude. Such an era has already passed. The US should try to understand China and coordinate with China. This is not catering to China, but an inevitable choice for different countries' common development.

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