Many Chinese speak of “anti-China” sentiment being behind some of the criticism that China receives. Many Western critics, in turn, argue that Chinese are being too sensitive. Articles like this column published in the Vancouver Sun, however, will go to reinforcing the opinion of many Chinese that the West is still gripped by anti-China fervor.
China’s regime offered — and the provincial government last week gratefully accepted — financial assistance for the B.C. Ministry of Education to develop Mandarin and “cultural” courses in our schools. The money is coming through the Beijing-funded Confucius Institute and China’s Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban. The dough (the amount is unspecified) will be used to set up Mandarin language courses that will eventually be part of the Grade 10, 11 and 12 official high school curriculum.
If we ask nicely, the Chinese Politburo may be happy to fund some other education and cultural courses for our schoolchildren and our apparently cash-starved public school system.
Maybe Beijing could help us develop a Communist-inspired history course? Let’s get the real poop on Tiananmen Square, for example.
How about a Beijing-sponsored course on political science? Let’s get the regime’s alternative take on those pesky democracy protesters China’s regime throws in jail, and study the wonders of authoritarianism.
This gift from China is actually another example of the regime’s attempt to influence the outside world. It’s called soft power and China is using it everywhere, now including B.C.
“At these institutes, Chinese language students will be taught simplified Chinese characters, which are used on the mainland, instead of the classical Chinese characters used by Taiwan. . . Some experts say China is also trying to set itself up as a leader on the world stage, in opposition to the West and the United States.”
If you really want to realize how crazy it is, just turn the tables for a moment. Ask China’s leaders if they’d let us kick in some dollars and come into their schools and create a few made-in-Canada language and cultural courses for their kids.
What do you think the answer would be? ???
The Chinese state press had this follow-up:
“If we don’t interact with the outside world, then they say China sits behind an iron curtain; if we open the door, then they say we’re exporting our values and culture.” According to one expert tho preferred to remain anonymous, this reflects the hostility behind some in Western countries. Based on this cold-war rhetoric, the effort China is making to boost international cultural exchange will be stamped with a “China Threat” label. “This is extremely unfair.”