Day: 2012-05-26

Mood darkens in Beijing amid crackdown on ‘illegal foreigners’

For today’s lesson on bias, sensationalistic, one-sided, and generally crappy reporting, please first read this article:

Mood darkens in Beijing amid crackdown on ‘illegal foreigners’

Okay, let’s start here:

The most noticeable example has been the uploading of a video onto the Chinese video sharing site Youku of a foreign man sexually assaulting a Chinese woman in Beijing.

Wait… a woman is allegedly raped by a foreigner, is caught on video tape, and this is article primarily deals with how foreigner are being inconvenienced by having their papers checked?Where’s the news story about the rape? How about statistics regarding crimes committed by foreigners in China?

Oh, and here’s a link to the video which the CNN article didn’t include:

He’s clearly caught doing something wrong to the girl. Then, after he passes out in the street, Chinese go out of their way to protect him from others who might do him harm, and keep him safe until the police arrive. Yeah, sure seems like there is a clear anti-foreigner bias happening there.

Now onto this about the crackdown and this event:

Police deny the incidents are related, but in the minds of both foreigners and Chinese they are.

Where’s the investigation that is supposedly part of reporting? They are absolutely related. Agencies who deal with foreigners were notified that this alleged rape was committed by a Briton on an expired visa, and were told to let their HR contacts warn foreigners to ensure that their papers were current and were carried with them.

I want to state that there have been no mass riots, no protests at embassies, no flag burnings, nothing. Try to imagine what the response might’ve been in the US if a similar alleged crime had been video taped and so widely viewed. Or, think about how the Japanese reacted when there were rapes by US servicemen.

Going back to the title of the article:

Mood darkens in Beijing amid crackdown on ‘illegal foreigners’


My mood hasn’t darkened, nor has those of the other foreigners I know. Heck, I wasn’t even aware of the crackdown until I read this article and then talked to my wife about it.

One thing that is not talked about at all is that China actually has a functional national ID system. Basically, a social security card with a photo on it. Every citizen is required to carry it with them. In other words, foreigners are just being asked to follow the same rules as everybody else.

Am I more likely to be asked for my papers than the average person living in Beijing? Yes, definitely. I’m a damn foreigner!

Do I have a problem with it? Absolutely not. I’m here at the will and pleasure of the Chinese government, and the expectations regarding this have been made crystal clear from day one.

btw, I did let my visa lapse once. I was escorted around by a police officer to the various places to get it rectified (I’d asked him to please turn the lights on in the squad car we were in, but he laughed and said he couldn’t). Yes, I had to pay a fine and, yes, I had to apologize to some bureaucrats and swear, swear, swear that it wouldn’t happen again, but that was it.