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China's national mentality shocks the world
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By Zhang Guoqing, a scholar from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who specializes in American global strategy and Sino-US relationships, geopolitics and public relations, writes: One Man's World - Understanding President Bush. (http://blog.china.com.cn/sp1/zhangguoqing/075726255098.shtml, 07:57, May 21, 2008)

The past week has been tough as well as heartening for China and the Chinese people, who have shown their incredible love and cohesiveness to the world after the terrible 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck SW China's Sichuan Province on May 12. They have proved once more that our nation will never surrender to difficulties and that the Chinese people can work wonders.

The past week has also been a good opportunity for the world to better understand the Chinese spirit. Clearly, communications play a vital role when dealing with bilateral ties such as the Sino-US relationship. Good communication requires clear concepts and crucial details.

Unfortunately, some members of the western media have not assumed their responsibilities: their work has not enhanced understanding between our countries. Some members of the western press, including a few American journalists, simply focus on local and domestic news and ignore the international news. This strategy has two consequences.

First, it forces citizens abroad to pay attention to domestic news by closing a window on the outside world. In fact, the daily 5 to15 info bites covering international news are sadly inadequate and cannot possibly provide a comprehensive picture of what's going on around the globe. Citizens everywhere are easily influenced by news reports, especially those that have access only to limited incidents and issues.

Secondly, there is an obvious one-sidedness regarding the international news reported by some western media. Take the American media as an example: their international news always focus on American and other western countries, paying attention to government actions and emphasizing political and security issues.

Under such circumstances, it is impossible for the western press to present a clear and comprehensive picture of China to their citizens. Because of this prejudice the Chinese people and the Chinese media must undertake the mission of accurately presenting China to the world. Every Chinese person must act as a diplomat; your self-esteem, wisdom and courteous words and deeds not only will make you win respect, but also will be the details through which the world is going to learn about China.

I am gratified that this disaster has given almost perfect expression to our national spirit. Our media have become a special "rescue team". Their timely and comprehensive reports, which have become firsthand information for western media, serve as beacons that light up the passion of all Chinese people. Moreover, what shocked the world the most is the way we as a nation have behaved during this earthquake disaster.

Let's remember our soldiers, volunteers and children. Through them, the world views China's love, confidence and unity. Ultimately the best label the world may give us rests upon our determination, cohesiveness and love.

(China.org.cn translated by Xiang Bin, May 22, 2008)

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