Updated: 2012-05-30 08:00 ( China Daily)|
Video clips featuring two different foreigners harassing Chinese women.
A micro blog by a TV anchor in Beijing calling for the expulsion of the few foreigners disregarding laws and decencies.
A 100-day campaign in the city of Beijing aimed at ferreting out foreign nationals who have entered the country without a valid visa or are working illegally.
Just because they all involve foreigners, the three have been wrapped up together by some to present an intimidating picture of a xenophobic China.
But this is a distortion of the truth and unfair to most Chinese people who are friendly and welcoming to foreigners.
The video clips did infuriate many ordinary citizens in this country, but that is natural, as the behavior shown would be unacceptable in any country.
And few people agree with the wording used by the TV anchor, although many share his concern about the public security consequences of illegal immigrants.
That is why most residents, Chinese and foreign, approve of the measures adopted by the authorities to get rid of the bad apples, which is not unique to China as it is a common practice worldwide.
This is not xenophobia; it is people's desire to live in a civilized society.
Our government is under an obligation to make sure citizens live in a law-abiding country. The ongoing action against illegal immigration in no way compromises our hospitality to foreign guests.
On the contrary, for foreigners who are here legitimately it will make their stay easier and more enjoyable.
This country has a sophisticated population and residence administration system. It may at times be troublesome, but it applies to everyone living in our territory and helps guarantee people's safety.
However diversified China's society becomes, extreme nationalism and xenophobia do the country no good. It is cultivating closer and friendlier ties with the rest of the world that fits China's national interests.
So the allegation that the Chinese government is encouraging anti-foreigner sentiment to divert attention from domestic troubles is groundless and underestimates the country's economic and social resilience.
The state of our economy is way healthier than many believe. And the coherence of our society remains stronger than some would wish. There is no need for our government to resort to narrow-minded nationalism, though some of its overseas counterparts do have an obsession with it.
(China Daily 05/30/2012 page8)