April 20th, 2008
And so it seems Chinese people are making themselves heard in France. But two little things stuck out at me, a little comparison suggests itself. In the second article, the one about Chinese protesting in Paris, we have this:
Un rassemblement pour réaffirmer le soutien de la population chinoise aux JO de Pékin, «contre l’injustice médiatique» , afin, disent-ils, de «rétablir la vérité sur le T1b3t». «Après les émeutes de Lh@ss@, tous les journaux ont adopté une voix unique, contre la Chine, sans se soucier de la vérité. C’est ce qui a monté la population française contre nous le 7 avril, lors du passage de la flamme à Paris» , explique-t-elle. «Nous étions tellement fiers que ces Jeux aient lieu en Chine, poursuit Joanna. Le 7 avril, nous voulions faire plaisir aux Français. Mais la fête n’a pas eu lieu. Après les incidents lors du parcours de la flamme, nous étions tous écœurés et profondément blessés. L’idée de ce rassemblement est née quelques jours après.»
A gathering to reaffirm the support of the Chinese people for the Beijing Olympics, “against media injustice,” and, they say, to “reestablish the truth of T1b3t.” “After the Lh@s@ riots, all the papers adopted one single voice, against China, without bothering about the truth. This is what put the French people against us on the 7th of April, when the flame passed through Paris”, she explains. “We were so proud that these Games would take place in China,” continues Joanna, “On April 7th, we wanted to please the French. But the party didn’t happen. After the incidents around the passage of the flame, we were all sickened and deeply hurt. The idea for this gathering was born a few days later.”
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me, and the article suggests that the resulting demonstration was entirely reasonable and that the aim of this group is to increase dialogue between French and Chinese people and restore China’s image. Fair enough.
Then from the article about the anti-French demonstrations in China, we have:
Des photos publiées sur des forums internet confirmaient la présence d’une large foule défilant à Wuhan. Des manifestants portaient un drapeau français maculé de croix gammées et traitant Jeanne d’Arc de “prostituée”.
Photos published on internet forums confirmed the presence of a large crowd marching in Wuhan. The demonstrators carried a French flag defiled with swastikas and calling Joan of Arc a “prostitute”.
Oh dear. Perhaps not the best way of communicating your ideas to the French people. It’s not hard to imagine how Chinese people would react to having symbols of their World War 2 occupier added to China’s national flag or the moral integrity of China’s national heros slandered. Somebody needs to relearn that “do unto others” principle- and no, it does not end with “….before they do unto you”.
And I really shouldn’t post so quickly: Both Le Monde and Le Figaro have articles about the anti-French protests in China. Le Monde includes a photo of the protest in Wuhan, in which plenty of five star red flags and banners are visible, but no French flags, let alone defiled French flags. Can’t see the banners clearly enough to read what they may or may not have to say about any of France’s national heros or heroines. Interesting, though, that Le Monde’s article says nothing about swastikas or prostitutes. Le Figaro has a picture of protesters blocking the entrance to the Hefei Carrefour, but you wouldn’t know they were protesters unless the caption said so- no banners, flags, or any of the accoutrements of protest are visible at all. In fact, it looks like a snap of any regular weekend Carrefour crowd- these people could just as easily be shopping as protesting. But:
Des manifestants portaient un drapeau français maculé de croix gammées et traitant Jeanne d’Arc de «prostituée».
Ah, so Libé was right.
Alright, enough of the French media.