Compassion, Unity Demonstrated in China Rescue Efforts
Liping Bu, professor of history at Alma College, offers her
perspectives on China’s relationship with the United States, societal
change in China, and the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Bu, who is
currently traveling in China, teaches modern Chinese and Japanese
history as well as American foreign relations.
What are this year's presidential candidates saying about the United States' relationship with China?
Bu: “Chinese people find Hilary's views/policies about China ridiculously naive. When I talked to Chinese friends, they pointed out that Hilary knew nothing about China and that her comments about China-U.S. relations (e.g. Pres. Bush should cancel his trip to China for the Olympics, Tibet issues, etc.) hurt China-U.S. relations. It is important for American political leaders to be honest about China — what China has achieved and what China should improve — and not always make sensational comments just for the purpose to gain political capital and confuse the American public.”
Liping Bu (right), with a student
What factors are most impacting societal change in China?
Bu: “Fast economic changes brought about fundamental changes in peoples’ lifestyles, living standards, values, concepts, and even perspectives about China and China in the world. Commercial values and practices dominate people's lives in China today, but the selfless devotion to the earthquake rescue efforts and donations strongly demonstrate the fundamental values of compassion and unity of the people in China. I participated in the donation work for the earthquake rescue effort and was many times moved by the generosity and selflessness of individuals on the street.”
What are your thoughts about Beijing hosting the Summer Olympic Games? Is this good for China?
Bu: “Yes, the Beijing Olympic Games is good for China in many ways. It opens up more interaction and exchange between China and the rest of the world. Chinese people are proud to host the Games. I have been in China for four weeks now, and I feel everywhere this pride and sense of responsibility to make the Games a success. Hosting the Games also brought about extensive improvement of transportation systems in Beijing, for example. The new subway lines make the travel in Beijing much faster and comfortable. Beijing is huge. Last year, it took me more than three hours to travel across the city, but it took only half of that time this year. There are flat screens in the subway cars and in the stations so that people can watch the Games and TV programs. Subway fare is flat at two yuan (35 cents).”
Posted: Mon, June 2nd, 2008 at 9:27AM