Most Chinese are incredulous that european colonialists and imperialists, many inhabiting the lands of indigenous people exterminated or displaced only a few centuries ago, would think to assume the moral high ground.
A POEM TO THE WEST
...When we closed our doors, You smuggled drugs to open markets.
When we embrace Free Trade, You blame us for taking away your jobs.
When we were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your fair share.
When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet you screamed, It was an Invasion!
When we tried Communism, You hated us for being Communist.
When we embrace Capitalism, You hate us for being Capitalist.
When we had a billion people, You said we were destroying the planet.
When we tried limiting our numbers, You said we abused human rights.
When we were poor, You thought we were dogs.
When we loan you cash, You blame us for your national debts.
When we build our industries, You call us Polluters.
When we sell you goods, You blame us for global warming.
When we buy oil, You call it exploitation and genocide.
When you go to war for oil, You call it liberation. ...
This NYTimes article and this Time magazine blog post are good examples of how poorly the Chinese worldview is understood here.
The poem was erroneously attributed to Dou-Liang Lin, an emeritus professor of physics at SUNY Buffalo. Professor Lin writes that he is not the author and doesn't know who is.
On 4/25/2008 at 7:56 AM, Duoliang Lin
Thank you for your enthusiastic praise and support. Several of you have asked for my authorization for translation into Chinese and/or reprinting. Since this was an anonymous poem circulating in the email, I suppose that the author would not mind to be quoted, translated or reprinted. But I was not the author of the poem. Please see below.
This is to clarify that the poem circulated in the email recently was not my work. I received it via email last week. There was no author shown. I read it with great interest and was impressed very much. I then decided to share it with my friends through my email network. Apparently some of them forwarded it to their friends, and in a few days, it has reached a large number of readers. Because my email is set with a signature block, some of the recipients assumed that I was the author. This is a misunderstanding and I should not be credited for its success.
I appreciate compliments from many within the last few days, but I must say that I am not the one to be credited. I am trying to trace back the email routes to see if I can find the original author.
I was informed today that it was also quoted in Wall Street Journal: There has been a poem by an anonymous author circulating in the internet recently. I feel relieved because I was not cited as the author. Thank you for your attention.
Here is a nice observation, originally due to Henry Kissinger, which appeared in the comments below:
...America needs to understand that a hectoring tone evokes in China memories of imperialist condescension and is not appropriate in dealing with a country that has managed 4,000 years of uninterrupted self-government.
As a new century begins, the relations between China and the United States may well determine whether our children will live in turmoil even worse than the 20th century or whether they will witness a new world order compatible with universal aspirations for peace and progress.