Trump vs Thunberg entertains internet

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/22 23:13:40

Western society falling into ideological polarization: Chinese experts

About 3000 people took to the streets of Downtown Los Angeles on November 1 afternoon for the LA youth climate strike, featuring speeches by various environmental youth activists, including Greta Thunberg. Photo: Yu Yan

While Western mainstream media reported a climate showdown at Davos between US President Donald Trump and 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, many users of the Chinese internet declared the confrontation a hilarious show between the Western far left and far right.

Chinese experts interviewed by the Global Times said that Chinese people were more pragmatic and admired "normal" people more who made real efforts and took real actions on environmental protection.

Therefore they opined that the Chinese people won't feel resonance with a climate change campaigner like Thunberg, who they said was trumpeted by the Western media into a show for international occasions. 

International media including BBC and The New York Times reported on the clash between Trump and Thunberg at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 in the Swiss alpine town on Tuesday, although the two public figures didn't directly talk with each other.

On China's Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo on Wednesday, users generally made fun of the clash as the hashtag "Swedish greenist little girl attends Davos WEF" received 82.6 million views.

Thunberg had pledged to tell global leaders at Davos to "immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels."

In response, one net user on news website posted in Chinese, "Delivering ridiculous speech and making a show to satisfy far-left liberalists, interest groups and politicians who hate Trump… Why not just plant some trees like me to stop desertification?"

Another posted, "Stop using fossil fuel? You can literally ruin the lives of all people in the OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] countries. How dare you?"

The reason why Thunberg was "trumpeted by Western media," is that they want to shape a figure to represent youth and liberalism to fight the rise of the "far right." Trump was the biggest target, Song Luzheng, a political studies expert and commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Shen Yi, a professor at Shanghai-based Fudan University, told the Global Times Wednesday that "comparing to making shows to promote environmental protection ideas, Chinese people admire the workers who plant trees in the brink of Gobi Desert more. 

Most Chinese netizens got no feeling about Trump's remarks about how much the US has contributed to climate change and environmental protection as it was China which is still fulfilling the 2015 Paris climate agreement, while the US has already withdrawn. 

"The Trump vs Thunberg showdown shows the West is suffering from ideological polarization and neither side is doing the right thing to solve the problem, and that's what the Chinese public believes when they see the Chinese government is making real efforts to deal with pollution and desertification," Shen said. 

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