By Michael Ardaiolo
The Beijing Daily released an editorial today accusing the U.S. and the Western media of using blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng as a tool to discredit and possibly blackmail China. They harshly criticize Ambassador Locke by name as well.
First, the state-backed newspaper accuses the U.S. and the Western media of misrepresenting Chen as a voice of the people:
It is the packaging of the U.S. and Western media that the so-called “rights hero” has been labeled a striking political figure and established him as representative of the anti-establishment. But Chen Guangcheng does not represent the plurality of people; he really just represents the interests of his bosses: Western anti-China forces. Chen Guangcheng has become a tool and a pawn of U.S. politicians to discredit China.
They also strike a familiar tone of non-interference among sovereign nations:
Though problems exist in any social system, no country should allow another country to interfere in their internal affairs; allow the embassy of another country to do whatever they want on their own land in their own way; nor allow the role of an ambassador to act as a judge.
Then, the Beijing Daily goes on to accuse U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke of feigning a normal civilian life only to stir up trouble in China:
This makes you wonder if the ambassador role is actively committed to the development of Sino-US relations and to eliminate misunderstandings. Or is it to deliberately go to the Chinese society to find faults that cause trouble for China-US relations and create new, larger cracks.
First, there was the economy class plane ride, his backpack, and the coupons used to buy coffee to create a civilian life show; then the monitoring of air quality data and publishing it at the embassy which confused the debate in Beijing; and now they dare to bring the abnormal Chen Guangcheng into the embassy. We have seen standard American politicians, but this is not a cautious ambassador to China. These are initiatives to stir up the contradictions into a whirlpool, which this country’s ambassadors do disproportionately intentionally or unintentionally.
Finally, they accuse the U.S. of attempting to undermine the stability of Chinese society:
If the U.S. really wants to develop long-term and stable relations with China, then it can not be stubborn, use extreme words, conduct extreme deeds or encourage a handful of people to undermine the stability of Chinese society. Similarly, if Locke really wants to be a good ambassador to China, then he must stop stubbornly catering to and even encouraging a handful of Chinese people’s extreme words and deeds, that undermine the stability of Chinese society.
This may not be surprising rhetoric from the Beijing Daily, but after the revelations reported yesterday evening, it is obvious that there was no shadowy plot by the U.S. embassy to rescue/capture Chen from his makeshift prison in Dongshigu village and use him as a tool to destabilize Chinese society. There will certainly be accusations of governmental politicalization of Chen’s plight by both sides, but the Beijing Daily pandering to its conservative base in this matter of flailing editorial without the proper informational backing is a low blow.