"Washington Post" recently published the article titled "Jiang Zemin's Puzzle" by Fred Hiatt, editor of the Washington Post's editorial page. On March 23, he was received by President Jiang Zemin in Beijing. Regrettably, it can be clearly seen from his article that Mr. Hiatt failed to understand President Jiang's talks with sincerity and goodwill, instead, with pride and prejudice he misinterpreted the messages conveyed in the talks of the Chinese leader.
From a number of issues listed in the article, it can be seen that Fred Hiatt's interest in China is no more than such issues as so-called human right, the Taiwan question and "Falun Gong". In his article, Hiatt mentioned with the "flavor of human feeling" a Chinese residing in the United States who was detained in China. The fact was that the woman was lawfully detrained by the Chinese judicial institution for being suspected of engaging in spy activities. This legitimate action taken by China to protect its national security was unreasonably alleged by Hiatt as a "case" of "China's trampling on the human right". This is really incomprehensible!
As regards the Taiwan issue, it is universally acknowledged that Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory. When and how the Chinese government will reunify Taiwan is purely China's internal affair, which naturally allows of no country to make irresponsible remarks. Hiatt's act of whitewashing the United States as a "moral gentleman" who pursues not any interest is no different from the saying "plugging one's ears while stealing a bell". As everyone knows that the United States always regards Taiwan as "an unsinkable aircraft carrier"!
Then comes the issue of Falun Gong-a recent "favorite topic" about China for American media. As everyone knows, "Falun Gong" confused the general public and killed human lives in cold blood in China. It was exactly the same as the US David cult. While outlawing the heretic cult, the Chinese government has tried to change through education and rescue the obsessed followers, Hiatt, turning a blind eye to this fact, attacked China for no reason. Could it be that in Mr Hiaatt's mind the only proper way for the Chinese government was to act as the American authorities did in dealing with the David cult by sending out tanks and helicopters ?
It is clear from what is mentioned above that Hiatt did not observe and understand China with an attitude of equality and respect. Rather he tried to prove an already distorted China by American-style pride and prejudice. When a guest who came from afar, President Jiang euphemistically expressed to him China's dissatisfaction with US intervention in others' internal affairs, saying this was incomprehensible, which Hiatt superficially understood as "Jiang Zemin's puzzle". It is regretted that Hiatt, failing to understand the profound meaning involved therein, came to the conclusion that "President Jiang completely rejected and even seemed not to comprehend the concept of value which constitutes the foundation of US foreign policy". As a matter of fact, it is exactly Hiatt that completely rejects and even totally not understands the concept of value that constitutes the foundation China's national policy and the characteristics of the nation. In fact, the crux of the matter lies in whether Hiatt really wants to understand.
It should be noted that there is no lack of such journalists as Hiatt in the United States who hold deep-rooted prejudice against China. In the evolution of Chinese-US relations and people-to-people exchanges, news media plays an extremely important part and its guiding role cannot be belittled. Presently, the Chinese people's understanding of the United States can be regarded as quite comprehensive and objective, this is attributed to the large amount of comprehensive and all-directional reports on the United States provided by Chinese media. Whereas the American people's impression of China is rather dim, twisted and even completely wrong, because US media reports on China are often based on a narrow field of vision and on preconceived notions. Due to ideology, a mindset of pride and other factors, Some US journalists often look upon China through colored glasses. As a result, it is unavoidable that China in the eyes of the American people, is often changed not only in color, but also in form. With regard to such a result, certain US journalists cannot shirk their responsibility. It is hoped that when Mr Hiatt comes to China next time, he can take off his colored spectacles, and tell the American people about China as it stands.
(People's Daily 04/28/2001)