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Fu Ying's Article on Olympic Torch Relay Triggers Warm Discussion

On April 13th, Ambassador Fu Ying published an article on the Sunday Telegraph to share her thoughts on the torch relay in London. The article has drawn a warm response from the British public. The Embassy received a large number of letters and emails of support to the Beijing Olympics. The following is a summary of the views reflected in the letters and emails.

First, many readers expressed full support to the Ambassador's views in the article. They appreciate the Ambassador's participation in the torch relay and expressed hopes and best wishes for a successful Beijing Olympics. An ethnic Chinese businessman believes that the Ambassador's article "helps to balance the so-far one-sided and hugely ill-informed and biased views." He said, "What a brilliant article you wrote…You may wish to write a little more often." An ethnic Tibetan living in London also wrote, "It was well written and very clear on issues it covered. Although there bound to be different points of view, the points that she made came out very well. I very much liked the way she dealt with the whole issue."

Second, many expressed regret and apologies for the violent attempts to grab the torch. A reader wrote, "On behalf of many of my countrymen, I am writing to express my embarrassment and dismay at the behavior of the anti-China protesters who targeted the Olympic torch on its relay through London. What was supposed to be a happy day for spectators, and a proud day for China, was all but ruined by a few…" Another wrote: "This behaviour was totally unacceptable under any circumstance…" According to one reader, "They behaved in such bad taste, dishonouring the torch and all that the Olympics stand for." Many readers believed that "No successful boycott of Beijing Olympics is expected."

Third, much indignation was directed at the anti-China bias of the western media. A British business leader saw the media as carrying out a relentless "propaganda operation". He expressed support to the Chinese students, who intended to demonstrate over media coverage of recent events, and appealed to British MPs to have "a more serious and balanced evaluation of these issues." He believed that as the next host of the Olympics in 2012, Britain should be concerned about any campaigns being used to undermine their Olympics. A British senior citizen who has been to China seven times wrote to "apologize for the disgraceful insults and unacceptable criticisms made against your country by the UK media." He "genuinely hopes this letter gives you and your proud country some solace in the current anti-China campaign which I may add has little or no interest to around 98% of the UK population." A British citizen who lived in Sichuan, China for two years realized that "no one (among the western media) highlights the economic development that has taken place in Tibet." Some readers called on the British government not to be affected by one-sided media reports.

An ethnic Chinese British citizen in his 70s, who was among the crowd to welcome the torch in London, believed that the Lhasa incident and demonstrations against the torch were "planned for years", and that Tibetan independence elements, western anti-China forces and the media have worked hand in glove to "create the maximum embarrassment to the Chinese authority." He complained that Met Police did not do enough to counter the abuses of the demonstrators.

Fourth, many readers spoke highly of the development and progress of China and Tibet in recent years and believed that the west should not impose its ideology on China. Much appreciation was expressed for the tremendous progress and achievements of China in economic and social fields. An ethnic Pakistani British citizen saw the rail link between Qinghai and Tibet as "only the visible tip of the iceberg of the progress made by the Tibet Autonomous Region." He hoped that Tibet will "remain a beacon" to the people living in adjacent areas. Another reader attached a commentary on Mail Metro written by an ordinary Londoner on April 10. He believed that "There is no genocide, torture or any other kind of human rights abuse going on there." China has "invested resources to develop the region from its feudal roots, and increase prosperity… Tibetans can practice Buddhism, teach their own language and adhere to their culture freely." Many saw what happened in Lhasa as an uprising by separatists, and "none of the governments criticizing China would tolerate violent secessionist movements in their own countries." A reader believed that certain countries are actually trying to wage a new cold war against China by using the so-called lack of democracy as an excuse. "Western politicians must not project their own values upon China."

The Chinese Embassy in the UK wishes to take this opportunity to express its sincere thanks to all friends who care about China's development and support the Beijing Olympic Games.