in Uncategorized propaganda: Beijing Welcomes You – Decent Foreigners

Beijing welcomes you - decent foreigners

I just came across this English language page on Beijing Welcomes You – Decent Foreigners. If this had been a page on the communist party mouthpiece People’s Daily I would have laughed about it. But a page like this on publicly listed is just plain scary. I hope the page is fake, but I have no reason to believe it is.

On the site people are encouraged to report on foreigners that they suspect of working or living here illegally (there is even a hotline phone number). Then there is propaganda that should convince readers that most Chinese want to control foreigners more (“Ninety-four percent of participants in a recent online survey agreed that the financial conditions, real estate assets and job status of foreigners living in China should be more closely scrutinized.”). The negative stories about foreigners that came up over the past 2 weeks are listed of course (The Russian Cellist, the 2 Koreans that beat up girls and the English ‘rapist’). And there is even a poll where you can vote for the crackdown on foreigners, but you can only vote that you agree with it or that you don’t know (70% voted ‘yes’ so far).

Like I said in my post from last Saturday, too many things are happening at the same time. Whatever the purpose behind the campaign, this kind of things makes all non-Chinese look suspicious and may even trigger negative (re)actions against all foreigners.

Just now I had lunch with a friend who is backpacking in China and who is staying at a hostel dormitory. He told me that his room mate was beaten up by some Chinese last night while he was having a beer on the street. He had no idea why they suddenly beat him up, but the police put him in jail overnight! This is probably an unrelated incident (just like the one in the comments below my last post about this topic), but to be honest, this kind of stories I hardly ever heard over the past years. I hope this does not get out of hand.

Thanks to Christine Lu for the link on Facebook

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  1. Was it in Shanghai that your friend’s fellow backpacker was beaten up and if so, do you know which area.

    Hoping that this all won’t get out of hand. Nobody will benefit from xenophobia in China, including the xenophobics.

  2. I believe these sentiments are not surprising and have been simmering for a long time. It is the Chinese own creation for loving everything that is western, and kow-towing to westerners (of course “the Chinese” or “we Chinese” would never admit to this).

    What is surprising, is the organised nature of the response. Whether this is partially state sponsored or just a social phenomenon – accelerated by new social mediums… It is just another facet of the contradictory nature of china , Love and loathe foreigners.

    Social inequalities and injustices have been nudging away at the Chinese, forcing themselves to question their own identity and or moral fabric…luckily, they have laowai’s as an outlet for this anger. China needs to wake up as a nation and learn to take responsibility.