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Obama and China

Posted by xiaophil February 10, 2010 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: Obama, US Sino relations

Okay, first of all, I want to make sure I'm clear: I'm not asking people's personal opinions about Obama as I hope to keep this related to China on some level, and I hope I don't start something too inflamatory. Really.

What I am asking is this, has anyone noticed that the China seems to be disproportionately against Obama?  If you have, why do you think this is happening? Have any of you talked to Chinese people about him?

I have been reading Chinese news in English and Chinese lately.  It seems like Obama is often being shed in a bad light.  Take this poll where asks its readers if the American people are too harsh on Obama.  One, the poll doesn't even give an option to say 'I'm not sure'.  Two, 66% of Chinese people think that Obama is a bad president and only 9% think he is good?  Do enough Chinese really know enough about Obama to express such fairly solid disapproval against him? Again, I'm not just refering to this poll.  I have seen numerous Chinese articles that paint him as a bad guy, I've seen foreign articles about Chinese leaders snubbing him (see Copenhagen) and I remember just how relatively disinterested Chinese media seemed when he came to China.

Now, parts of me waver between all of these ideas from time to time:

  1. US presidents will always generate mass Chinese disapproval when they make an arms sale to Taiwan, not to mention announcing a meeting with the Dalai Lama.  Things will clear up after awhile, and it isn't personal against Obama.
  2. China isn't stupid.  They have looked at what Obama has done and aren't impressed.
  3. China simply realizes it has more political muscle, and so now is using it.  Obama just happens to be the unlucky president who first has to deal with this on this level.
  4. China smells blood around Obama and so is going for the kill.
  5. You're dreaming Phil.  China always acts this way towards US presidents.
  6. Gulp, and I really hesitate saying this, perhaps there are some racism issues going on here.

So any ideas?  I really am not tryint rake muck.  I just have been really, really curious as to why I have been seeing this.  It seems like Bush got a free pass for the most part, and many people loved taking the opportunity to dig into him.

PS: I purposely kept obscure the distinction between the Chinese government and the Chinese people.  Don't feel you need to do so.


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