British experts and scholars held a heated public debate in London Saturday on some key issues of China's recent development and called for a balanced portrayal of China.
The one-day debate, dubbed "Battle for China," was organized by the Institute of Ideas and drew a full house of some 300 participants from all walks of life.
The debate had eight sessions covering topics ranging from the impact of China's development on the rest of the world and its implications, China's environmental and human rights concerns, intellectual renaissance and the country's role in the new world order.
In the session on whether China's growth is a threat or opportunity to the West, Hugo de Burgh, director of China Media Center at the University of Westminster, said that Westerners tend to evaluate China by proceeding from their own interests in the country.
"Some people want to sell western democracy to China, some want to make money," he said.
A Malaysian woman from the audience said "China's neighboring countries all view China as an inspiration and cooperate with it. I can't understand why the West should fear for China."
Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent noted the "moral illiteracy in the West about China's problems," saying pressurizing China on many issues is "unhelpful."