Dove eating, ugly wife suing and a number 39 with rice. What a month for Chinese misrepresentations

These stories in Western media depict Chinese people in an unreasonably negative way

Share
Related Topics

Being alerted to a wonderfully ignorant article recently about wedding guests catching white doves with the intention of eating them, has reinforced my belief that the Western media will use any excuse to paint the Chinese as a monstrous race.

As a British person living in Shanghai, with mixed British and Chinese heritage, it embarrasses me due to how naive some British media outlets can be. This story, about 100 white doves being released at the joint wedding of five Chinese couples in Anhui province, reeks of double standards. The scandalous (and therefore newsworthy) part was the fact that no sooner had the white doves been “launched into the air”, than they were captured by guests “who took them home to eat”. It portrays (once again) Chinese people to be a bunch of inhumane beasts, when in reality, is there really anything so terrible with catching animals to eat as food?

Firstly, you have to understand Chinese history and culture. It was not so many generations ago that there was a great famine in the country and therefore, culturally, Chinese people are accustomed to not letting any food go to waste. Secondly, is there really any difference between this activity and the rich, social elite in the UK going off to a country estate for a weekend to participate in game hunting?

There was recently a news story about Pippa Middleton’s successful pheasant hunting shooting trip in Scotland. Interestingly enough, the real difference between the two stories actually is that the doves in the Chinese instance were not native to the area and it would have been unlikely for them to survive the cold winter. In the case of Pippa’s birds, they could have lived if left to roam free in the wild. Which one is really the most barbaric and immoral?

Now, I am not defending the actions of the Anhui “dove eaters” but these stories really need to be put into context. The Anhui incident sparked international interest because it is not a common occurrence, whereas pheasant hunting is still commonplace. All the while, we have Z-list celebrities eating animals’ unmentionables for a Bush Tucker Trial on the other side of the world in the name of entertainment for the British public (but the less said about that the better).

This story about a Chinese man suing his wife went viral recently, and not for the first time. There were so many different posts about the “news article” but the gist of the story was that China is made up of such a crazy and backwards gang of freaks that a man was able to sue his wife (and win) for being ugly. This was of course absolutely incorrect and was easily debunked by an expat magazine in Shanghai. It is actually a story that has been knocking around since 2004 and has been brought to light again for no apparent reason.

What infuriated me so much, however, was that I saw The Voice Newspaper post about the viral story on their Facebook page . A newspaper that was set up to "serve the black community by giving them a voice where other mainstream newspapers have failed". It was incredibly hypocritical for The Voice Newspaper to exacerbate the negative stereotype of another ethnic minority. The story was not only factually incorrect but also only served to perpetuate the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Chinese people conveyed in western mainstream media.

Finally, in other racial typecasting news, this shocking example of casual racism, which was broadcast on a national scale in Holland, did not create as many shockwaves as I would have expected. Holland’s Got Talent judge, Gordon Heuckeroth, mocked an extremely talented Chinese contestant named Xiao Wang. Amongst other unenlightened and offensive comments Heuckeroth quipped, “Which number are you singing? Number 39 with rice?” The fact that so many are comfortable with throwing around these offensive comments in the media just proves what a long way there is to go until the West are able to accept Chinese people and China’s influence around the world.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Programme Test Manager

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...

Project Manager with some Agile experience

£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Francois Hollande at the Paris summit on Iraq with ministers from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on 15 September  

What's going to happen in Syria and Iraq? A guide to the new anti-Isis coalition's global strategy

Jonathan Russell
The colours of autumn leaves are among the many pleasures of the coming season  

In Sickness and in Health: As autumn arrives, more of us should wear high-vis clothes

Rebecca Armstrong
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week