如果西方能够倾听中国

4月6日那天早上,我看着窗外漫天飞舞的雪花,不禁想:今天的北京奥运火炬伦敦段的传递将会怎样?




大约八个小时以后,当第80位火炬手,英国著名中长跑运动员霍尔姆斯手举祥云火炬,跑上千年穹舞台,点燃了圣火盆时,场内4000多名观众一片欢腾。

这一天将以北京和伦敦之间的一次碰撞留在人们的记忆中,这个碰撞火花四溅,充满躁动,中国是首次举办奥运会的发展中国家,而英国则是迎接火炬的第一个西方国家。



在返回机场的大巴上,北京奥组委年轻的女士们,包括前奥运冠军乔,都坚定地认为是全英国的人在跟她们作对。一个女孩说,"这哪里是养育了莎士比亚和狄更斯的国家啊!"另一个说,"英国人的绅士风度到哪儿去了?"我花了很长时间试图说服他们,但从她们潮湿的眼睛中我明白,我没有做到。



我完全理解她们的看法。她们一整天都在车辆间来回穿梭,照应火炬手,鼻子冻红了,双手冰凉,前一天晚上只睡了三个小时的觉,有些人刚刚吃上午餐留下来的三明治。更糟糕的是,她们一路上还要反复经受暴力冲抢火炬的行径。



而我很幸运地坐在后面的车上,有机会看到数万伦敦人顶风冒雪前来欢迎火炬,有挥手致意的老人,也有在风雪中表演节目的演员们。



夜幕降临,看着奥运包机慢慢滑动到跑道上,我不禁想,飞机是否变得更加沉重了?北京奥运火炬全球传递这个艰难的旅程将让13亿中国人民可以更好地认识这个世界,也让世界更好地了解中国。



一个年轻朋友看了BBC对火炬伦敦传递的转播,他在给我的信中写到,此刻百感交集,有悲哀、愤怒,也有不解。像他一样,很多人可能从中领悟到,中国融入世界不是凭着一颗诚心就可以的,挡在中国与世界之间的这堵墙太厚重了。



最近,在中国两亿网民中最流行的不仅是有人企图抓抢火炬的场景,更是一些感人至深的场面,例如火炬在巴黎段的传递中,坐在轮椅上年轻纤弱的中国残疾人运动员金晶,用自己的双手和身躯紧紧护住火炬,使冲抢火炬的暴徒无法得逞。中国网民们对一段时间以来,西方一些媒体不惜使用移花接木的手段和来自别国的假照片攻击中国进行所谓"镇压",也感到尤为愤怒。



而在这堵墙的另一边,情况则完全不同。像我这样身处中西方之间的人,不能不对中国和西方国家公众之间彼此印象向两个不同的方向下滑的趋势深感忧虑。



我不禁要问:为什么在涉及中国的问题上,一些媒体的一概而论的随意批评能够被西方公众不加思考地接受,为什么没有人质疑,这样的批评到底涉及到哪些具体问题,确切情况如何?为什么一些报道,包括数字,能够在毫无事实依据的情况下连日登载在新闻里面?



那些大声抗议和示威的人里,很多可能从来没有见过西藏。对于中国人民来说,西藏是备受喜爱的一片热土,关于西藏的信息也很充足。每年有四百万游客到西藏观光旅游,过去五年,西藏农牧民收入增长了83、3%。2006年,西藏全区有学校1000多所,在校学生50多万人。西藏有宗教活动场所1780余处,平均每1600人一处,比英格兰地区每3125人一座教堂的比例还要高。在宗教卷入政治这一复杂的问题上,分裂是不能接受的。一个基本事实是,人民群众衣食无忧,居住条件不断改善,而解决温饱问题正是历届中国政府多少个世纪追求的政策目标。西藏有自己的自然特色,不会像东部城市一样完全工业化,但是它会以符合自己条件的方式,与中国其他地方一样不断取得进步。



我亲身经历了中国逐步扩大的开放过程,一直是改革开放的坚定支持者。



80后出生的中国年轻一代成长在国家不断繁荣富强、人民教育水平不断提高、社会自由度不断扩大的年代。在最近事态的冲击下,他们开始对西方世界进行新的集体的反思。我的女儿也是西方文化的爱好者,在我们周末长时间的网上交谈中,她至少问了几十个'为什么'。我深深地感受到她的困惑。很多对西方持有浪漫看法的年青人,对西方媒体妖魔化中国的企图十分失望,而妖魔化往往会引发相应的反作用。



我衷心希望通过这些事情中国的年轻一代能够对西方有一个更加全面的认识,西方国家仍然是中国改革进程中的重要伙伴。



在西方很多人抱怨中国对媒体不够开放。而在中国,我们则认为西方媒体也应该学会如何努力获得尊重。如果西方媒体能够更加关注和报道今天中国的真实情况,而不是纠缠一些不存在的或者陈旧的问题,这将有助于改善他们的声誉。



我在英国的这一年里,深感外界对中国的报道比80年代中期我在英国留学时多多了。大多数的报道还是贴近中国的实际的。中国也处于信息爆炸的年代。希望西方国家能有越来越多的人能够努力跨越语言和文化的障碍,更多了解真正的中国。



世界曾等待中国融入世界,而今天中国也有耐心等待世界认识中国。(傅莹)




Chinese Ambassador to UK: If the West could listen attentively to China


In the morning of April 6th, looking at the snow flakes falling outside the window, I could not but wonder:what the torch relay would be like?


About 8 hours later, when the torch finally struggled through the route, Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes ran up to light the Olympic cauldron at O2 Dome, 4,000 spectators cheered.


This day will be remembered as Beijing met London with splashes and sparkles. It was an encounter between China, the first developing country to host the Olympics, and Britain, the first western country to greet the torch.


On the bus to the airport, I was with some young girls from the Beijing team, including an Olympic Gold Medalist Miss Qiao. They were convinced that the people here were against them. One girl remarked she couldn't believe this land nourished Shakespeare and Dickens.


I can't blame them. I fully understood how they felt. They were running between vehicles for the whole day, nose red and hands cold, trying to service the torch bearers. They had only about three hours of sleep the previous night and some were having lunch sandwiches just now. Worse still, they had to endure repeated violent attacks on the torch throughout the relay. I was fortunate to sit at the rear bus and saw smiling faces of Londoners who came out in the tens of thousands, old people waving and young performers dancing, braving the cold weather.


In the darkness of London night, waving the chartered plane good-bye, I had a feeling the plane was heavier than when it landed. The torch will carry on and the journey will educate the over a billion Chinese people about the world and the world about China.


A young friend in China wrote me after watching the event on BBC: "I felt so many things all at once--sadness, anger and confusion". It must have dawned on many like him that simply a sincere heart was not enough to ensure China's smooth integration with the world. The wall that stands in China's way to the world is thick and heavy.


In China what's hot at this moment on the Internet, for which China has 200 million users, is not only the attempts to snatch the torch but also some moving images of Jin Jing, a slim young girl, a Paralympic athlete in a wheelchair helped by a blind athlete. She held a torch with both arms to her chest as violent "protesters" tried repeatedly to grab it from her during the Paris relay. There is especially infuriated criticism of some of the mis-reporting of China in recent weeks like crafting photos or even using photos from other countries to prove a "crackdown".


On the other side of the wall, the story is different. I am concerned that mutual perceptions between the people of China and the West are quickly drifting in opposite directions.


I cannot help asking, why when it comes to China, the generalized accusations can easily be accepted without people questioning what exactly and specifically they mean. Why any story or figures can stay on the news for days without factual support.


Of those who protested loudly, many probably have not seen Tibet. For the Chinese people, Tibet is a loved land and information about it is ample. 4 million tourists visit Tibet every year. The past 5 years saw the income of farmers and herdsmen increasing by 83.3%. In 2006 there were more than 1,000 schools with 500,000 students. In this Autonomous region where 92% of the population is Tibetans, there are 1780 temples, or one for every 1,600 people, more than in England, where there is one church for every 3,125 people. On the complicated question of religion mixing up with politics, separation is unacceptable. But people are well-fed, well-clothed and well-housed. That has been the main objective of China for centuries. Tibet may not grow into an industrial place like the eastern cities in China, but it will move on like other parts of China.


I personally experienced China's transition to opening up, from small steps to bigger strides. I remain a consistent and firm supporter of opening up.


The latest events have led the younger generation of Chinese born after the 80s, who grew up in a more prosperous and better educated China, to begin a collective rethinking about the West. My daughter, who loves western culture, must have used the word "why" dozens of times in our long online chat. Her frustration could be felt between the lines. Many who had romantic views about the West are very disappointed at the media's attempt to demonize China. We all know demonization feeds a counter reaction.


Many complain about China not allowing enough access to the media. In China, the view is that the Western media needs to make an effort to earn respect. It would be helpful to the credibility of the Western media if the issues they care and write about are of today's China, not of things that do not exist or of the long gone past.


In my one year in the UK, I have realized there is a lot more media coverage about China than when I was a student here in the mid-80s and most are quite close to the real life in China. China is also in an era of information explosion. I am sure that more and more people in the West will be able to cross the language and cultural barriers and find out more about the real China.


The world has waited for China to join it, now China has to have the patience to wait for the world to understand China.


(By Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to Britain Note: this article was published on Sunday Telegraph of April 13, 2008)


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