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Soccer Fans' Actions Worry Foreign Community
This was a well-written article. As an American and former English teacher in China, the behavior of those soccer fans worries me and all the foreigners in China. Why? Because many people in Chinese society don't know how to make a separation between politics and a person's nationality. I say, sports is sports, politics is politics. The Japanese soccer players did not commit the Nanjing Massacre, nor did they visit the Yasukuni Shrine. They are just soccer players. What does this political stuff have to do with them? They are not the Japanese government. They are athletes.|
As an American, I also felt frustrated sometimes during my time in China. I like China, I'm friendly to China, I dislike my government's foreign policy, and I hate Bush. In addition, my loving wife and mother-in-law are Chinese. But it doesn't matter how much you like China, how well you speak Chinese, and what your political beliefs are. According to the thinking of many Chinese people, your nationality means "you are automatically a representative of your government." My thinking, "Uhh, no, I'm not a representative of the U.S. government, I'm a private U.S. citizen. I have no role in U.S. foreign policy."
When leading English Corners or English classes, I can understand that some students are just curious and want to know the American perspective. It is O.K. if they ask me, "Why does the American government sell weapons to Taiwan?" But when they use the word "you", as in, "Why did YOU sell weapons to Taiwan?", this makes me very angry. I feel very offended when people blame me for the actions of the U.S. government. Chinese society needs to learn not to discriminate against a whole nationality of people because of politics and history. If Chinese society alienates those foreigners who are friendly to China, then China will have no friends. Being angry at a foreign government is O.K., but blaming ordinary citizens is not.