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Western media should be fair
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A French scholar on China issues said the Western media should be fair and responsible in their reports about the Lhasa riots.

"The Western media must deal fairly and responsibly with the riots in Tibet," Pierre Picquart, a doctor in Human Geography and Sinologist at the University of Paris-VIII, told Xinhua News Agency.

The Chinese government has the legitimacy to take necessary actions and measures to put down the riots in Lhasa. It has the duty to defend the safety of people and property and to restore public order. It is irresponsible of some Western media to criticize the Chinese government and report the incident from an unfair and unobjective stance, Picquart said.

Based on the images and videos released by some Western media, the violent incident in Lhasa on March 14 was carried out by mobs. It is quite horrifying that innocent people were attacked and beaten violently for no reason. There is no doubt that the act was planned and organized, Picquart said.

No country will allow innocent civilians to be attacked. If a similar incident happened in any other country, the government would do the same: to calm the violent situation through effective state intervention.

It is a shame the Western media called for Chinese government restraint when the human rights of innocent civilians were brutally violated and attacked by the rioters.

Many Western journalists have never been to China and they have very limited knowledge about Tibet. The biased and even untrue reports result from the ignorance of the history of Tibet where there was the greatest misery, humiliation, theocracy and serfdom. And it is irresponsible to publish or broadcast criticisms of China without any confirmation, Picquart said.

He said politicalizing the Olympic Games runs counter to the Olympic spirit. The Games is a great celebration of brotherhood. A boycott of the Games only serves those who seek divisions among nations.

"No country is perfect. China, like other nations, is at best in its own process of evolution, and still has to manage a lot of problems in relation to a population of more than 1.3 billion people," Picquart said.

"Over the last few decades, thanks to the market reform and opening up, Chinese people including the Tibetans have enjoyed much more material benefits as well as freedom of religion and speech.

"What counts, in my opinion, is its development and the desire for openness to the world."

(China Daily April 1, 2008)

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