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Maciamo
02-06-08, 11:36
BBC News : China 'discouraging France trips' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7428403.stm)


Beijing's official tourism body is urging tour operators to stop selling holidays to France, the French foreign ministry has said.

The claim comes amid souring relations between the two countries after the Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay.

Thousands of pro-Tibet protesters disrupted the event last month, and managed to extinguish the flame.
...
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested that he may boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics, unless China started talks with the Dalai Lama.

And Chinese nationalists have called for a boycott of French good

This reaction of China is not suprising. French politicians should set their priorities straight, instead of wanting to pressure a giant like China.

Do they realise that China is a huge potential market for French luxury products ? Japan alone purchases over half of all Louis Vuitton products worldwide. In a decade, China will be France's 2nd, if not 1st luxury market. 700,000 Chinese visited France last year, and the growth in Chinese tourist seems as exponential as the Chinese economic boom.

China is mimicking the US attitude towards France after their dispute about the invasion of Iraq. Americans had boycotted French products and cancelled their vacation plans as a reaction to France's refusal to join the US-led coalition.

As much as Iraqi oil was of vital importance to the Bush administration, the Beijing Olympics are China's greatest hope to impress the world. In a country so deeply concerned about its image (meaning economic success), France's sympathy for Tibet, and worst of all President Sarkozy's suggestion to boycott the games, amounts to a declaration of war against China.

The problem is that naive French politicians don't understand much about East Asian cultures. They have no idea of just how important the Olympics are for China. In East Asia "face" is everything.

China has spent a huge amount of effort, resources and money for these Olympics. They want them to be the best the world has ever known, and it looks promising indeed. They have chosen 08/08/08 as the starting date because 8 is a propicious number in China.

Even worse than letting pro-Tibet demonstrators attack the Olympic torch, Sarkozy's threat to ban Beijing 2008 was probably was triggered Chinese authorities to take preventive actions.

Their own threat to boycott French products and travel to France is, in Chinese minds, the most natural reaction. Boycotting the Beijing Olympics means less visitors, which in turn means less income. Two of France's main industries are luxury products and tourism. Boycotting them means less money for France, which is only fair is they do boycott the Olympics.

The French government created an environment in which China is seen as the "bad guy" with Tibet. This has already caused some French people to decide to avoid visiting China or cancel their plans to go to the Beijing Olympics. If President Sarkozy carries on with his full boycott of the Olympics (meaning that French atheltes will be prohibited to participate), very few French citizens will be travelling to China in August, or even watching the events on TV. What could be fairer than for China to do the exact same thing ? They are now discouraging Chinese people to travel to France. Should a full French boycott happen, a full Chinese counter-boycott will follow.

Personally I think that the French government is to blame here. I would have done the same thing had I been Chinese. And this comes from a French speaker who otherwise usually supports Sarkozy.

Maciamo
09-07-08, 10:38
Fortunately, President Sarkozy changed his mind about boycotting the Olympics. Not only is he not calling for a French boycott, but he has announced that he will go to Beijing and attend the opening ceremony personally. :)

Starship
09-07-08, 17:22
Obviously the head won out over the heart, it may have been il advised but you must admire his guts.

Maciamo
10-07-08, 11:26
Even "heart-wise" I would choose not to offend over 1 billion Chinese rather than not offend 5 million Tibetans. I am dismayed by that fact that many MEP's can't (see article (http://www.euractiv.com/en/foreign-affairs/sarkozy-olympic-attendance-triggers-outrage/article-174105)). How did they become MEP with so much naivete and lack of insight. Proportionally to its population and level of development, China is not so bad when it comes to human rights. Why don't they boycott US events for Guantanamo or the invasion of Iraq that caused hundreds of thousands of death ?

I almost want to excuse the Chinese government's tough hand in internal affairs for 2 good reasons :

1) it works : the country is relatively peaceful, the economy is booming and most people are happy about that. It's not easy to keep order in such a huge country, especially when it is home to some of the richest and poorest people on earth.

2) Other East Asian countries, like Japan, have shown a tendency to behave in a more totalitarian manner than many Western countries nowdadays. The same party (Jimintou) has ruled Japan alone for the last 50 years. What's the difference with China's communist party ? Japan brutally repressed Communist and Socialist movement in the aftermath of WWII, when its economy was growing at a similar rate as China's about 10 years ago. Japan also has death penalty, and Japanese prisons do not have a good reputation by Western standards. Yet Japan is much richer than China. Proportionally to their development, Japan and China are not so different. The main difference is that China is home to myriads of minority ethnic groups. Among them, the Tibetans stand out internationally because of the popularity and lobbying of the Dalai Lama. It could be argued that without him the Tibetans would have become good Chinese citizens by now and enjoy the Chinese economic miracle rather than fight for the right to wear funny hats and publicy claim that the Dalai Lama is a divine reincarnation and the only rightful ruler of Tibet.

Actually, I wonder why Tibetans still have a problem with the modern Chinese system. China has become tolerant again of Buddhism and other religions. It has reopened temples, revived minority cultures for the sake of tourism, and Chinese people now enjoy more freedom in general than most people in other developing countries. As long as they do not attempt to overthrow the Communist Party, Chinese people are pretty much free to do anything they want nowadays.

I doubt that Western government would be very tolerant of people attacking their government either. How many American movies and series have been made about plots to kill the president of the USA or attempt to destroy the American system ? During the Cold War, an American citizen could be imprisoned in his own "free" country for claiming to be a communist. China is freer nowadays than the US a few decades ago.

The Japanese are not big fans of discussing politics or harshly criticising their government either. Again, what's the big difference between Japan and China ? Most people are happy as long as they get money, eat what they want and shop for anything the modern consumerist society can provide them.

Starship
14-07-08, 13:12
I often thought that perhaps communism was the best alternative for a country the size of China but there you have India with its population set to outstrip China managing quiet nicely with democracy.

One of the problems facing China is when things go wrong, the people have no out let for their frustrations no real political input or say, so their response to either perceived or real injustices is to riot.

Some of the consequences of this can be seen in how the communist party rules, China is facing very serious environmental catastropies with desertification on the increase and water shortages so severe its preventing farming activity but the authorities are afraid to ration water to the cities or even turn off water fountains for fear of a back lash from its citizens.

Another danger to its peace and stability is its own very success, while the communists have allowed the capitalist genie out of the bottle there have been no political reforms in tandem and we all know what goes up must come down. Perhaps the Chinese will manage this better than any western Government ever has in the past but they are in uncharted waters for their first time.

Maciamo
15-07-08, 17:31
I often thought that perhaps communism was the best alternative for a country the size of China but there you have India with its population set to outstrip China managing quiet nicely with democracy.

China is only communist in name nowadays. It is one-party state, but certainly not a communist one anymore. In fact, it is more economically liberal than almost any other country on earth.

India, on the other hand, still has a strong communist party and other far-left parties. But so do Italy and France.



One of the problems facing China is when things go wrong, the people have no out let for their frustrations no real political input or say, so their response to either perceived or real injustices is to riot.

People are allow to protest and demonstrate in China. There are tens of thousands of demonstrations against the government (usually aimed at local authorities) each year. In general these protests are peaceful or do not degenerate in open riots against the police.



Some of the consequences of this can be seen in how the communist party rules, China is facing very serious environmental catastropies with desertification on the increase and water shortages so severe its preventing farming activity but the authorities are afraid to ration water to the cities or even turn off water fountains for fear of a back lash from its citizens.

It's hard to manage a booming developing economy in an overcrowded country at the time of global warming. All developing countries have ecological problems. Given the size of the Chinese economy and how quickly it has had to develop, I'd say that it could be have been worse. Of course it can always be better too.

Few countries are examples in terms of ecology, and the USA, the world's first economy, which should be showing the good example, is by far the worst industrialised country in the matter. Unfortunately, the Chinese decided to take the US as their example for reforms.



Another danger to its peace and stability is its own very success, while the communists have allowed the capitalist genie out of the bottle there have been no political reforms in tandem and we all know what goes up must come down.

The exact same thing is true of Japan. Japan has remained a political dwarf, a "legally-challenged" country, while its economy surged from the 1950's onwards. As I see it, China is walking in the footsteps of Japan, except that it is allowed to have an army and has more ambition on the international scene. Internally, China will become a new Japan.

Starship
16-07-08, 14:38
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080716/ap_on_re_as/china_protests;_ylt=AkgkLEg4irOfDuq6IMpMiRJbbBAF

{China: local leaders must manage complaints better}

{Two recent mass incidents have brought discontent with local officials in the countryside into the open. Last month, more than 30,000 people protested and torched a police station in a town in hilly Guizhou province over what they believed was a cover-up of a teenage girl's death.}

{And over the weekend hundreds of migrant workers attacked a police station in eastern Zhejiang province after one worker was allegedly beaten while trying to get a residence permit.

The protests and China's petition system, which allows people with unresolved local complaints to come to Beijing to ask for help, have been areas of concern for the government before the games.}

Petitioners coming to Beijing have been under a close watch, with police from the provinces lined up outside petition offices all day, sometimes sending them back home.

The Petition system is obviously there way of dealing with discontent.

Maciamo
29-09-08, 18:17
The Economist points out more consequences (http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12304853) of Sarkozy's support of Tibet and criticism of China. French businesses are not happy about it !

Minty
29-11-08, 02:16
Maciamo, if I were you I wouldn't worry too much of it!

In my international school for foreigners to learn French except for C2 level, all classes have at least 5 Chinese students.

The media is obsessed with Chinese; as far as I am concern I think the situation is not so bad.

As there are so many Chinese I have no choice but to speak Chinese to them, I am even told to translate for them by my professor.

Last year I spoke no word of Chinese people didn’t even know I could speak Chinese. I was me who decided to tell them my ethnic.

Please note that I do not come from China, I am Sino Australian, my father is Sino Malaysian and my mother is Taiwanese. I am getting bored of people generalizing every single Chinese people. I can certainly see lots of differences between myself and them and so can my professors and classmates, but not the people on the streets and their stereotypes.

I think as more and more foreigners come to Europe to study people should study some things about foreigners for general cultural understanding of foreigners.

As a foreigner living in Europe and constantly bombarded by people who like to make assumptions based on ignorance and their negative stereotypes of Chinese people (which I pay political consequences of) I would like people to be more informed about us in schools considering I am going to be living here for a very long time.

Of course I don't have any problem with most Europeans, I married a European, and I would never married people I hate, ever. Australia is a country with very high standard, according to the human development index only Norway and Iceland are above us, so I don't have an alternative like just wanting an European passport like certain developing or 3rd world countries.

Anyway I have quite an easy time obtaining my card de sejour de dix ans, much easier than people whom the government thinks they have ulterior motives, somebody my husband knows still hasn’t got hers and she's been here for 9 years and I certainly haven't been living here this long.

Minty
26-12-08, 02:05
I saw some report about more Chinese goods imitating Western brands trying to sell them as the real thing in France. These days some of the Chinese goods are relatively quite good, like iPod for example a lot of its compartments are build in China.

I think they should try to build their own brand. Whatfs worse? Person like me pay political consequences for their faulty crafty actions!!!! :angryfire

But then again perhaps in Asia being branded is really that important. But seriously if the price is good for its value they can have their own market of costumers! They can build their market force from there!

My husband even thinks I should write to them, but seriously do you think they would listen to me?

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23-07-10, 14:29
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