Source: Global Times
Poster of Mulan Photo: Maoyan
The live-action Disney film Mulan has sparked controversy. Part of the movie was filmed in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Disney gave credit to local publicity and public security bureaus. Some Americans accused those departments of helping “suppress” Uygurs and claimed Disney supports “repression” by filming in Xinjiang and thanking those entities.
This is another manifestation of the extreme ideologies regarding China among US public opinion. This response also shows how badly American society has labeled its perceptions of Xinjiang. While the producer cast the film in the place the story took place, and thanks relevant organizations for assistance, shouldn’t such a move be encouraged in a civilized and open commercial society? But it has become a problem in American society. This is the biggest problem in the US.
Xinjiang has rid itself of chaos, and people have been living a normal and stable life. This is reality. The vocational education and training centers have contributed to the situation, which is not hard to understand. But the political and opinion elites in the US and the West refuse to face up to the reality. They give the training centers and the situation in Xinjiang a malicious and rude label. Why don’t their societies question the rationale of such a label?
The truth-seeking spirit of American public opinion has short-circuited on Xinjiang-related issues and the understanding of China. As a socialist country, China attaches great importance to people’s livelihood and has been providing preferential treatment to ethnic minorities for a long time. How can the country possibly carry out the so-called vicious crackdown on a specific ethnic group as Washington portrays? There are so many investigative media outlets in the US. Why haven’t they thought about the fact that the West, led by the US, has absurdly and simplistically condensed a complex reality by pinning labels on Xinjiang?
Now, even a film company has to experience scrutiny, thanks to the above-mentioned labeling. US institutional forces refuse to ponder on the Xinjiang issue. The door of thinking independently has closed. This is depravity.
US public opinion on China is a hodgepodge of traditional arrogance, hooliganism, the state of being ill-informed and outdated. It has lost its complexity, diversity and fluidity, and has become rude and stubborn. It has shaped a “China in American public opinion,” which has nothing to do with the real China.
Such mechanism of shaping China’s image has a fundamental bias: What is China like? The image is mainly presented to the public by American anti-China politicians, overseas Xinjiang and Tibet secessionist organizations, pro-democracy activists in exile, anti-Beijing forces in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and dissidents in China.
These people have forced an alliance of shared values and interests. But they are far from being the main force that helps shape the actual situation in Chinese society.
Mainstream US public opinion generally rejects mainstream voices from China. As US media are mostly hostile to China, quite a few Chinese officials are also reluctant to have connections with them. This in turn has reduced the opportunities for contact between them, forming a vicious circle. Many correspondents from the US and other Western countries work in China. But the way they feel about China is hugely different from the way Chinese people feel about their country.
Most importantly, some US political elite have realized that American society is deviating from the correct understanding of China, but they are deliberately reinforcing this deviation, or even lying, to mislead American society. Worse, there is no force in the US to hedge against this move effectively, resulting in political correctness dominating US opinion toward China. Hence, the backlash against Disney. This is a tragedy for the US, the most developed society in the West.