Two China Focused Stories That Are Bothering Me

1) According to Simon Elegant at Times’ China Blog, activist Yuen Wenjing tried to escaped her village where she is under house arrest. The local police caught her and now she is confined to her home. Regular readers know that I’ve been following this case rather closely. In my opinion this is just another case of why the Olympics aren’t improving human rights in China they are just making things worse (of course this probably would have happened even without the Olympics.

2) ESWN has a post on what he called White-Collar Photo Gate. You can read the full story by clicking the link. But here is a short summary: a female administrative staff member at Swedish home appliance manufacturer Electrolux, Jessica Shi Jing, was revealed to be the woman in a number of nude and lingere-clad photos that were found in the password-protected online photo album of an American businessman named Robert Kulgar. This lead to a number of Chinese bloggers to invoke nationalist tendencies and claiming that the woman was a whore and the American should be hunted down and deported. The opinions grew to such a fever pitch that the Chinese media took interest and when they called Electrolux to see if Ms. Shi was available for an interview, they found out she’d gone on medical leave due to mental pressure.

Some of the comments posted by Chinese bloggers about this case include (from ESWN):

“The problem with Shi Jing is not that she posed nude, or she had intercourse with someone. There are so many Japanese adult video girls, but why should any normal person scold them? Shi Jing’s problem was that ‘she wants to look aloof in front of her compatriots, but she acts like a dog in front of foreigners’.”

“Let us unite all our powers and find out the true identity of this foreigner.”

My opinion is this is silly and a woman’s choice (whether you see it as a mistake or not) is being used as an excuse to invoke nationalistic rhetoric against foreigners living in China. The thing is the people in this story are both adults. Even if the woman regrets it now, she consented to the pictures — that includes the nude ones, so I don’t think the foreigner tricked her into it (I can’t comment on the fact that she acts like a dog in front of foreigners). And to be honest all those people posting nationalistic comments on this issue should settle down — there are enough mixed couples in China that this should not be a big deal anymore to most people (at least in the major cities). Trying to go and hunt down the woman or man involved in this issue just makes China and its people look really intolerant. That’s not an image you want to promote when you’re trying to invite the world to your capital for the Olympics in about 11 months time.

That’s my two cents.

J.

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