ChinaSMACK readers have probably already seen this post of theirs, purportedly a transcript of a BeiDa student laying into a Japanese reporter. Much of the discussion on ChinaSMACK is centered around whether or not it’s fake — it seems awfully likely it is, given the lack of video, photos, or attribution — but what I find more concerning is that many netizens (ChinaSMACK translates some comments; there are many more on the original post) feel that the student did a good job. Really? Seemed to me like he came off rather like an arrogant prick.
The reporter, as far as we can tell from the questions he asks, is just looking for student opinions on Sino-Japanese relations. He doesn’t say anything offensive, or deny that the Nanjing Massacre occurred, or anything like that, yet the Chinese student takes a crack at Japan in answering nearly every question. His presentation of history is a bit terrifying, but Jeremiah over at Granite Studio has already written a great response to that, which I recommend everyone read.
What struck me as the most obnoxious, though, was this:
Q: In China’s university campuses, student suicides happen frequently, again and again, why is this?
A: Actually, the country with the most student suicides is your country. Many bizarre methods of suicide were invented by you guys. In a UN report, Japan’s suicide rate was ranked number one. I don’t know what sufficient evidence you have to prove the suicide incidents in my country’s the university campuses. Chairman Mao Zedong had a famous saying: “If you haven’t investigated, you don’t have a right to talk”. I hope you write an objective and true report. With regard to the words that you just used in your question I must correct you, in Chinese Mandarin, “frequently” and “again and again” is redundant, a mistake. Moreover, what you said does not match the reality! (Applause)
How terrifyingly American it is to correct the grammar of someone who has gone to the trouble of coming to your country and learning your language to communicate with you. Moreover, the Chinese student’s intent here seems to be to belittle the reporter even further, which serves no constructive purpose. It seems like a pretty fair bet that that reporter’s Chinese is better than the BeiDa student’s Japanese, no?
Read the interview for yourself and see if you don’t come to the same conclusion. Is this really the way China wants to present itself to the world? Arrogant and ignorant?
And while we’re on the subject of harsh condemnations, check out this brutal smackdown of Han Han in the China Daily. Ouch!