Pat Munday, Professor of Science & Technology Studies (1990-present)
Answered 21h ago
My experience in China is based on living and teaching as a visiting professor at universities in three Chinese cities: Chongqing in “southwest” China, Yinchuan in “northwest” China, and Guangzhou on the southeast coast. I have also visited a dozen or so other cities and some remote regions such as rural Ningxia, the mountains of Yunnan, Zhangjiajie, etc. [I use air quotes on southwest and northwest because, looking at a map, we would think of these cities as southern- or northern-middle. However, in Chinese culture, the true southwest (Tibet) or northwest (Xinjiang) are pretty much off the cognitive map.)
As an environmentalist, I sought out national parks and other natural areas in China. While these areas are geologically amazing and sometimes have relatively intact plant ecosystems, they are largely devoid of bird, animal, and fish life. A few iconic species such as the pandas of Sichuan, the blue sheep (bharal) of Tibet, and the giant salamander are heavily protected and managed in select areas, most of the wild native species that inhabited China a thousand years ago are gone. Some Chinese people care about wildlife, but most don’t care and don’t notice. And they tolerate the sale of traditional medicines such as tiger’s paws and pangolin scales in the local markets. Most Chinese are simply not connected with nature as many Americans are through birdwatching, hunting, fishing, and other nature activities.
Clive Green, lives in China (2007-present)
Answered Nov 13
Well, after living here for 11 years, I’ve learned to completely distrust western mainstream news media accounts of China.
Before coming to the PRC, I used to feel rather superior about the ‘fair and balanced’ news reporting from the BBC. They often portrayed China as a frequently filthy, backward and nasty place. And this was in 2007. Needless, to say, I was filled with considerable trepidation upon my arrival.
Sat • 26 upvotes including Clive Green
Very well said. I had similar experience, but reversed. I went to the US with a naive idea that western mainstream media is "fair, objective and balanced". Boy, was I wrong!
The difference between Chinese and Western mainstream media is that at least Chinese mainstream media is honest about it being propaganda, while the Western mainstream media puts on a deceptive veneer of being "objective and balanced", which could be quite effective on the unsophisticated minds, despite all the much boasted "independent thinking".
Worse still, once those so-called "independent thinking" people can not offer a fact-based and logically coherent argument, they would desperately resort to name calling. Yup, calling the other party WUMAO is sure way to win an argument. So much for the "independent and critical thinking"…