Apology doesn’t hide West’s deep suspicion

By Yu Jincui Source:Global Times Published: 2012-8-8 0:20:02

Nature, one of the world's most prestigious academic journals, made an online apology to Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen on Monday, a few days after an article titled "Why great Olympic feats raise suspicions" on its website triggered a backlash. The controversial online article said Ye's performance at the London Olympics was "anomalous." It implied that her clean drug test did not rule out the possibility of doping.

Nature's apology came under an "Editor's note," saying it didn't single out Ye because of her nationality, but admitted that the combination of some errors in the article and the absence of a more detailed discussion of the statistics gave the impression that the journal was supporting accusations against Ye.

It is worth noting that Nature's apology was, to a large extent, driven by protests from some Chinese scholars, who wrote open letters to the editor-in-chief of the journal and demanded an apology. Some even called on Chinese scholars to boycott the magazine if the demands weren't met. It was reported that by Monday, over 1,500 scholars had signed an online petition supporting demands for an apology.

This takes great courage, since having articles published in the world's top academic journal is a great privilege.

The West has long viewed China with prejudice. Ye made outstanding achievements in a field traditionally dominated by Western athletes. The doubts have extended from the field of sports to the field of science.

It's no exaggeration to say that China suffers the most suspicions in the world. These suspicions fall on almost every aspect of China, including military intentions, product quality, energy policy and so on. Now they expand to Chinese individuals.

China needn't become entangled with Western suspicions too much. With the country continuing to rise, China is bound to face more suspicions and more skeptical voices. They may create an unfavorable international public opinion environment for China's development.

The best response is to prove the nonsense of the misinterpretations by presenting adequate evidence, as was the case in the demands for Nature to apologize.

The West feels uncomfortable in the face of a rising China. Nature made an apology, which is a rare thing, regardless of what truly motivated it to make such a move.

We welcome the stance, but perhaps need to prepare for more sneering voices.

Related Report:

Anger grows over alleged Olympic bias


Posted in: Observer

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