Zhang Lijia

Author Zhang Lijia participated in a debate by the British Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on how British media portrait China and argued that they do not paint a fair picture but look of a negative angle or the quirky approach, not in giving a fair picture. On her weblog she recalls her experiences.

Zhang Lijia

I wouldn’t want go down history as the woman who sucked donkey’s penis with [British comedian] Paul Morton. I want to be a cultural bridge between China and the west. As a native Chinese who have an insight into the society, I’d like to help people outside to understand where China was coming from and what’s happening now and why.

I don’t have a problem for the British media or western western media in general to run negative stories about china – many of my own stories are critical. What I don’t like to see is some of the western media criticize China, standing in a self-appointed high moral ground, especially when some of the accusations are not particular true, for example, the coverage on Lhasa’s unrest in March 2008. The reasons were so complicated. Still I doubt any government would tolerate the killing of innocent people. Now, Tibet issue is a complicated one. We have no time for that.

Back to the point, yes, I don’t think the British media has been totally fair to China. The overwhelming negative stories are partly due to the nature of journalism – when it bleeds it leads, there may be also a factor that the British society feels uneasy about China and China’s rapid rise. That’s why we need more understanding and communications between the two countries and we need more occasions like this.

More on Zhang Lijia’s weblog

Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

More on Zhang Lijia and China’s moral crisis at Storify.

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