Chinese protests hit the West

PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images You have probably already heard about protests in China over the weekend in several cities against French supermarket chain Carrefour and alleged Western media bias. But there were also demonstrations by the Chinese community on Saturday in five Western cities: Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and Washington. Xinhua news agency reports thousands of ...

595364_080422_china22.jpg
595364_080422_china22.jpg

PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images

You have probably already heard about protests in China over the weekend in several cities against French supermarket chain Carrefour and alleged Western media bias. But there were also demonstrations by the Chinese community on Saturday in five Western cities: Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and Washington. Xinhua news agency reports thousands of participants in the European cities and hundreds here in Washington. With signs like "Love our China" and "You can't find this from BBC... Stop disrupting the Olympics" there is a clear, organized international effort to get the message out that many overseas Chinese also oppose the affronts to the Olympic games and the related media coverage. The silent protest in Britain attracted 3,000 participants and was the first public demonstration on the part of the Chinese community there.

Recent fervor has demonstrated a strong, unified voice on the part of the Chinese community. And said overtures are producing results: French President Nikolas Sarkozy sent a letter to "Wheelchair Angel" Jin Jing expressing sympathy and regret for her treatment in the Paris torch relay (but no apology).

PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images

You have probably already heard about protests in China over the weekend in several cities against French supermarket chain Carrefour and alleged Western media bias. But there were also demonstrations by the Chinese community on Saturday in five Western cities: Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and Washington. Xinhua news agency reports thousands of participants in the European cities and hundreds here in Washington. With signs like “Love our China” and “You can’t find this from BBC… Stop disrupting the Olympics” there is a clear, organized international effort to get the message out that many overseas Chinese also oppose the affronts to the Olympic games and the related media coverage. The silent protest in Britain attracted 3,000 participants and was the first public demonstration on the part of the Chinese community there.

Recent fervor has demonstrated a strong, unified voice on the part of the Chinese community. And said overtures are producing results: French President Nikolas Sarkozy sent a letter to “Wheelchair Angel” Jin Jing expressing sympathy and regret for her treatment in the Paris torch relay (but no apology).

But the strife continues as yesterday, the Paris city council went over Sarkozy’s head and approved the Dalai Lama for honorary citizenship, in addition to recently jailed dissident Hu Jia. While many may call it misguided for its lack of respect for human rights, the Chinese position shows sophistication in political advocacy: Adopt a unified stance and get the widest possible coverage to spread your message. Though the synergy is the result of the people and the government touting the same line, it’s an impressive campaign for a country with a state-run media. It’s also worth pointing out that, unlike people within China itself, these expats have access to the gamut of information on their homeland, and yet they still feel strongly that the Western view is biased.

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