Many in the “West” criticize China’s media as a “mouthpiece” for the Chinese government. The article below is a translation of an opinion piece carried on People’s Daily by ChinaNewsWrap.com. It is urging Chinese citizens to refrain from making fun of South Korea’s recently failed rocket launch as well as to not make disparaging remarks about its Asian neighbors.
What do you think? Is this good for society? Should the “West” do more of this type of “propaganda?”
The People’s Daily website has an opinion piece stating that the three nations of China, Korea and Japan should strive to refrain from scorning or ridiculing each other, and reproaches Chinese internet users for making fun of South Korea’s recent failed satellite launch.
“After news spread of the failure of South Korea’s satellite launch, the Chinese and Japanese internet endured a wave of demeaning and insulting statements about the incident. On many Chinese internet forums and blogs, people rewrote the characters for the satellite so that they acquired the meaning ‘It Fell All the Way Down’ in Chinese – a form of mean-spirited satire. During the past few years, whenever China, South Korea or Japan have suffered from some form of loss or humiliation, members of the public in the other two countries have reveled in their failure without exception.”
“Speaking in all fairness, during the past few years South Koreans have certainly misappropriated a number of acccomplishments in order to assert their nation’s historical importance and its traditional cultural heritage, while demeaning those of others. Chinese (as well as Japanese) cannot abide this, and it is normal for them to harbour complaint about it. However, to see the failure of another people’s space exploration endeavours, and take delight in their disaster, is inacceptable.”
“Space exploration is an extremely risky and arduous undertaking. Both China and Japan, when they first joined the international space club, endured numerous setbacks. Japan sent a considerable number of rockets into space before finally achieving belated success. China imported short-range missile technology from Russia, and following the first launch, its rocket disappeared without a trace. If we exercise empathy, we realize that mocking those neighbours of ours who are enduring experiences similar to our own in the past is far from magnanimous.”
“China, Japan and South Korea all belong to the Eastern Asian cultural sphere. Our histories, cultures and traditional customs share the same profound roots, the same contiguous veins of affinity. When relations between these three nations are harmonious and interactions are close, they will all be capable of achieving greater development, and the entire region will attain further prosperity and peace. When these three countries regard each other with suspicion, however, or even animosity, the final result can only be disaster for all three parties. In the areas of history and culture, science and development, these three nations have indeed experienced conflict and competition. However, the mutual need that prevails amidst them is even more important, as is also the relationship of mutual benefit. Well-intentioned warnings and tactful criticism are all normal, but excessive mockery and scorn is nothing more than pointless and malicious insult, destructive to feelings of mutual sympathy. When neighbours are in harmony, myriad endeavours prevail. Issues of principle will always be sources of contention, but there should be no need to contend over idle words. Pointless damage to the atmosphere of harmony and mutual feeling causes existing enmities and dissatisfactions to accumulate. Seen from a long term perpsective, this is of no benefit to regional stability and development, nor is it the attitude that should be harboured by the citizens of a civilized nation. Seen from this perspective, we can do without jokes about the South Korean missile launch.”
“Of course, South Korea has contributed as well to the relish with which people have greeted the failure of its satellite launch. Speaking objectively, they have been too eager for success, failed to observe scientific laws, and been blindly optimistic without fulfilling the basic prerequisite of grasping core technologies. Subjectively speaking, they have been arrogant and boastful, and bragged unrealistically about their ‘world-class technology’, as well as unwilling to confront reality after discovering numerous faults and defects. Consequently, they suffered a total loss of face, and were demeaned by others only after demeaning themselves. However, is it not also remiss of us as neighbours to seize upon the errors of others, and to pour salt upon their wounds?”
“What is even more important is the fact that the errors of others serve as the best mirror for ourselves, and we should make greater use of them to contemplate our own image. South Korea’s errors and mistakes should provide a warning to its neighbours – to encourage self-reflection and self-examination, and refrain from committing the mistake that South Korea made with its missile launch. If we are with error, we must reform ourselves. If we are without error, we must strive harder. For ‘those who fled 50 steps when routed to mock those who fled 100 steps’ (a quote from the Analects) engenders manifold harm, and elicits no benefit, for either one’s self or others.”
“Let’s spare ourselves any further jokes about South Korea’s missile launch – ridicule and scorn not only harm others, they also fail to benefit one’s self. We should be more tolerant, and more self-reflective, in order to acquire the qualities that the people of a great civilized nation should possess.”
Title of original news story in Chinese: 少几声“落了好”中日韩不能在互相挖苦了