I have noticed a significant change in China recently. When I first came here I felt welcomed. I can't ever remember feeling in danger or unwanted, but recently that has changed. The other day I was riding my bike in the countryside and a man in a small Chinese brand SUV gave me the finger for no reason; I was riding on the very side of the road, near the curb and there was no other traffic on a 4 lane road. When I got home I didn't think much about it until I came across an article on BeijingCream.com that was about a man from Holland near the Sanliutun Soho building in Beijing who had left work with a Chinese co-worker one night recently and was attacked by four random men who told him to "Go the f&*$ home" as they ran away after beating him. Then I was reading another article, I forget which website it was on, that showed a picture of a group of Chinese at the recent Anti-Japanese demonstration in Chengdu holding up a sign that said something to the extant of "we don't care if there are a few Chinese graves as long as we kill every Japanese." I know this may just be a few people. I have many Chinese friends who are amazing people and would never act in the ways stated above, but I can't help but feel China is changing and not for the better. What are your thoughts?
I think if I speak the reality as my way, this post will be deleted. Don't forget where is here... damn, even the freedom for talking is still far away.
Actually, as a Chinese, I don't agree what they did, and most mistake is from GOV. They just move people's focus to some place else, as the name of "country love", do something really bad.
China still need a long way to walk...
let me preface my response by saying that there are countless things that i love about china and chinese people. that being said, i do feel like it's changed. when i first came to chengdu in 2004 i got stared at with curiosity and even interest. it was strange, but didn't bother me. now i feel like i always get scowls and judgmental looks. what makes me most uncomfortable is that i don't even know what i did to garner this kind of hostile attitude.
a few months ago my 4yo son was surrounded by local children in mcdonald's while they laughed and pointed and gleefully yelled, "laowai! laowai! laowai!" this was a shock and very upsetting to both of us. the same day, believe it or not, when my son took a toy out of the hands of another little boy in the line at wal-mart, his mom went ballistic, even though i immediately intervened, made him give the toy back and say he was sorry. she yelled for several minutes on end, getting in my and my companion's faces and shaking her hand at us and even at my son as if she was about to hit one of us. she was yelling about us being foreigners in sichuanhua and a crowd formed and while i was angry, it wasn't until some men nearby started yelling at us and cursing us for being foreigners that i got scared. not knowing what else to do, i called the police and had them escort us to a taxi as my husband wasn't with us and i just did not feel safe with my son and 20yo relative leaving the store unaccompanied.
i just do not know what to do. more and more i feel like it might be time to move on, but for various reasons, that's not going to be possible for my family for another three years or so. this would have been unimaginable for me to say just three years ago as there are so many things about my life here that i love so much. it makes me sad and depressed and i've been pondering the ramifications of all this for some time.
i think that the main reasons for an increase in this kind of xenophobic behavior are this: inflation is painful for everyone, competition for jobs is increasing, social welfare is a mess to say the least, and the gap between the rich and poor is widening at a frightening rate. add to all this an inability to publicly air grievances, or have them addressed, and laowai scapegoats become easy targets.
just my two cents; i'd be very interested hear others' thoughts and experiences.
conflicted. You should have just spat in her face and then cycled off.
i am an aussie and have been to chengdu 4 times in the last 3 years. mostly i go to see my chinese friends, graduated students who have graduated and gone home. also i tend to meet many through going to the unis and colleges and just start conversations with students, even being invited to teach college classes for oral english!
i live in the same hotel each time at jiu yan qiao and keep to myself with regard to westerners.... my observations are there is a massive groundswell of disatisfaction from the under 25's in chengdu.. actually at their own gov. as they feel they have hopeless futures. then you have the uneducated labor force that will do anything they are told.. diverting domestic issues and directing anger to other countries is used by all nations.
but overall i feel safe yet now i will be more war. only one time i was treated with distain by some muslim chinese, trying to be smart arses in a resturant... the day i feel unsafe i will never go back.. i hope this wont happen, but i see many dark clouds moving over china.
The anti Japanese / Lowai issue always seems to come up when the GOV wants to keep the masses occupied. It's usually used when some corruption story is about to or has come out.
The US issued a "Security Message about Possible Protests in China"
I've heard and read some stories in connection with the anti-Japanese vibe and even 7-11 was closed yesterday.
Keep low profile for the moment.
Thanks for the warning invisible. There were several protests in Chengdu today. One protest involved over 2000 people that apparently tried to enter the US embassy (at least according to today's SCMP...) These are interesting times, to say the least. For all foreigners here in Chengdu, keep your eyes open and you should probably have a plan in place in case the Shyt hits the fan...
Yesterday as I was coming home from work, my bus 53 was supposed to pass by Tian Fu square but due to the protests, it was blocked of and there were armed police everywhere... My friend also drove past the Ito Yokado department store and saw that people were throwing rocks and paint at the store (even though all the staff employed there are chinese!)... In my apartment building there is an advert of a new Honda car and someone has written on it "Diaoyu Island is China's, Japan can f$#k off!"... One of my students told me that someone in Guangzhou set their OWN car on fire because it was a japanese make... My boyfriend works for a travel hostel here in Chengdu, Sim's Cozy Hostel, and there are many japanese travellers staying there because the one of the previous owners was japanese and yesterday afternoon the police went to the hostel to tell the staff that it is now their responsibility to protect their japanese guests... This is getting soooo crazy! I hope it calms down soon. Will tomorrow (18th) be worse because its the anniversary of when the japanese attacked/took over????
I just think its retarded. I am English and during the riots in my country I was apalled and ashamed to be English. These people that are burning and attacking both multi national companies and shops are just small minded, idiotic hooligans. They are putting their own people out of jobs, losing a families income due to plants closing such as Canon and Toyota. They are making International companies think twice about investing in China and therefore losing the country money. They are attacking their own countrymans possessions such as cars, shops and cameras and for me this is just weird, bizarre, f@ked up and needs to stop.
Presuming you're not Japanese, I think you're being a little oversensitive.
Just Chinese sound and fury. They have their little internet sensations where they feel all indignant about something or other and then it blows over when the herd get bored or the gov clamps down. Soon enough there'll be some new 'scandal' and all the angry mob with their cries of indignation and lit sticks, will run off in another direction.
(Besides, there's enough smart and well-raised locals in Chengdu to step in and help if you were really in trouble.)
Let's all just hope that one day their will be some internet scandal about how little the Chinese as a country read books for pleasure and all the mob will run off to the library and start demanding all types of knowledge. That would make them much less prone to jingoism, violence and other such proclivities of the intellectually bereft.
The anti-japanese vibe has always been there and just fluctuates up and down depending on what's going on the media. The fact that half of the drama's on TV are still about the Japanese invasion more than half a century ago, I suspect that aspect will never go away.
There was that video on Chinasmack about a foreigner who slapped and spit on some girl during some traffic confrontation. Everyone basically mobbed his car trying to beat the shit out of him. Fair enough, but the woman was complaining why he had to do this to Chinese people, and that he needs to go onto the internet and apologize to everyone.
When a foreigner does or says something bad to a single Chinese person, the mob sees it as an attack on all Chinese people. People seem to have trouble distinguishing between a serious epidemic and just some asshole (ok, a bunch) who's having a bad day. That's just from lack of exposure.
lots of traffic jams yesterday
I wouldn't be so sure. it's not only attacks on japanese property/companies
U.S. ambassador to China surrounded by protesters, car damaged
i'm confused by that pic, invisible. where on earth is that at cxl? i can't work it out by looking at the pic. where are there trees like that? not at the south or north ends of cxl or hongxinglu or the end by jiulong. and where are there blue and lime green buses? (not that i haven't heard other reports of crowds there in the past few days.)
that picture was actually Guangzhou