By Tom Bannister
The Global Times has published a typically restrained op-ed criticising the recent Ai Weiwei-dedication by Elton John at his Beijing concert. Occasionally brash, often flamboyant and always attracted to controversy, the Global Times is China’s Fox News and was always going to write a response to the controversy that occurred on Sunday night. The paper has criticised Ai on numerous occasions and in this latest piece said:
” Obviously, John’s unexpected action was disrespectful to the audience and the contract that he signed with the Chinese side. He forcibly added political content to the concert, which should have been nothing more than an entertaining performance. If they had known that this concert would be dedicated to Ai Weiwei, many in the audience would not have come to see this concert.
We also suggest that Chinese audiences need not hesitate to protest the provocateur and boo him off the stage. [Emphasis added]
Western society is seriously biased against China. When US magazine Foreign Policy compiled a list of 100 global thinkers from around the world, the first Chinese on that list was blind activist Chen Guangcheng, and the second was Ai Weiwei. Even to Chinese people who have sympathy for these two people, this list may seem ridiculous.
China’s development is vigorous. The substantive exchanges between China and the US, China and Europe, will continue to be vigorous. To please Chinese audiences, Hollywood movie Red Dawn changed some parts which could have harmed China’s image. This incident caused a sensation in the West while the news caused by Elton John was only fleeting, as the former can better represent the general trend of the relationship between China and other countries”