When the world’s major media (except Chinese ones) and people on Weibo and Twitter are all celebrating the arrival of Chen GuangCheng, China’s blind activist, in New York City. Someone is clearly not happy.
It’s not Global Times, a major English-language newspaper in China who once denounced Chen as a tool and pawn of the US. It’s the US netizens who are unhappy. In fact, they are not really “netizens” per se, they may just as well be seen as “Americans” – US has an internet penetration rate of 75% +.
(Chen made a miracle escape from house arrest and fled to the US embassy in Beijing, which lead to quite some diplomatic drama between China and the US. A deal was made subsequently in which Chen was allowed to go to New York University for law school.)
Comments to an article titled “Chinese activist who fled house arrest lands in US” on Yahoo!.
Why is he here?
Who is paying for his stay?
Stupid politics again
This is so unfair
No, these are not cherry-picked negative comments. Almost all comments are negative – “almost” only because not all were read. After hitting “more comments” 6 times, not a single word of welcome can be found, as of the time of this post at least.
Of course, these may not be representative of the US general public. Nevertheless, a situation like this once again rings an alert to me and maybe many other China bloggers and reporters who, in many cases, are trying to make sense of China through its active online population. Comments from a few hundreds of netizens may make good stories or provide different perspectives, but in no means do netizens’ reactions, however unified, represent the whole picture, especially considering that China has a population of 1.3 billion and only a little more than 30% of that number are internet users.