Western Media Coverage of Chinese Culture

3 Aug

Western media coverage of China is typically biased towards the negative, and rarely portrays the country for what it really is. As someone who sees both sides of it on a regular basis, I’m stunned by how convoluted the Western portrayal is of Chinese life and culture can be. Sure, some of the topics the news reports about ARE very real… Pollution in Beijing is a legitimate public health concern, and the overt displays of materialism from China’s wealthy and social elite are nothing short of a vapid reality, But despite these negative aspects which pollute western airwaves, there is so much good in China that is unfortunately spun the wrong way (or neglected entirely) by Western media.
To begin, the communist party is NOT monolithic, it is in fact very divided via factions (liberals, conservatives, etc.), who fight for their ideas to be represented and implemented. The governing body is really communist only by name and title, and crises are handled cautiously and effectively.
Additionally, political correctness as the West knows it, is nonexistent in China. Many foreigners mistake this particular cultural aspect as racism, but it is not rooted in hatred of others, but being truthful about one’s feelings.
Also, Western media always overlooks China’s incredible social diversity. There is so much more to China than Beijing, Shanghai, and their respective populi. Western media has a tendency to put the spotlight on China’s wealthy elite with western cultural affinities, while leaving the rest of the population in the shadows. A significant amount of people live in rural China, which is rarely a topic of interest to western platforms. When rural China is in the news, it is almost always a negative story about the region’s uncomfortable living conditions. Although sanitation is an obvious concern, it is not littered with starvation and poverty the way the Western media portrays, and is filled with an immensely diverse population from all walks of life.


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