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Chinese berate yet admire Spielberg
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The Chinese people have expressed their bafflement and disappointment these days over Hollywood director Steven Spielberg's quit from 2008 Beijing Olympics, but they still admire the Oscar winner's artistic achievements.

Spielberg and Chinese director Zhang Yimou (File photo)

"Mr Spielberg knows nothing about China's endeavor to solve the Darfur issue...He is unqualified to blame the Chinese government," according to a commentary published on Saturday's Guangming Daily, one of China's leading newspaper.

The world-renowned American movie director announced to quit the coming Olympics on Wednesday, citing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, which he linked to the Chinese government.

Many Chinese said they were shocked by Spielberg's announcement and deemed it "unacceptable" when the news first came out. The criticism is continuing.

"The person is completely live in his Sci-Fi world and can not distinguish dream from reality," said a commentary on Saturday's China Youth Daily.

On China's major websites, such as,, and, the news was followed by thousands of comments. Internet users wrote in their blogs to express their discontentment.

They criticized Spielberg as a person who failed to keep his word and slashed the action of linking politics with the sports event

Jiang Bojing, from northern Hebei province, said in an online forum that Spielberg was used as a tool by some people in the West who want to take advantage of Beijing Olympics to attack China.

"Mr. Spielberg should not use Olympics as an opportunity to make indiscreet political remarks on China," Jiang said.

"We regret Spielberg's withdrawal, but there's no need to be angry," Zhuang Huayi, a citizen from Shamen said, "if we see it from the other aspect, his snub reflects the high expectation of the world on China."

A netizen nicknamed "It's Nothing" said he could not understand and was disappointed by the decision Spielberg had made, however, he still appreciated Spielberg's films.

The Chinese people are very familiar with Spielberg's movies, ranging from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., A.I. to Jurassic Park, Save Private Ryan and Schindler's List. Many of his blockbusters have produced very desirable box office results on the Chiense market.

Xinghe, a writer, said that Spielberg have inspired a lot of Chinese youngster who love Science Fiction. "He has great talent. We are regretful over his decision, but we can still enjoy his movies,"he said.

Xu Jinglei, a renowned actress and director, said that she loves Spielberg 's films very much as he creates a style that combines arts and commerce together.

Spielberg was appointed artistic consultant by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics in April, 2006 and got involved with the opening and closing ceremonies of the event together with Chinese film director Zhang Yimou and Ric Rirch, Australian director who made the highly successful ceremonies at the Sydney Games in 2000.

Liu Jianchao, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday said "regretful" over Spielberg 's decision to quit.

"It is understandable if some people do not understand the Chinese government's policy on Darfur," he said, "But we can't accept that some people want to use this as an opportunity to link Darfur to China's Africa and Sudan policies, and even to the Beijing Olympic Games."

(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2008)

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