Special report: Dalai clique's separatist activities
LONDON, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The British people
should not be deprived of the right to know the real China merely because of an
information gap, Madam Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to Britain, said here
Madam Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to Britain.(Xinhua File Photo)
Speaking at "China and UK: Partners in
Sustainability," a forum sponsored by the China-Britain Business Council, the
ambassador said that the British people should have the right to know and to
know what is right, but the fact is that the lack of knowledge about China has,
to some extent, prevented them from doing so.
Recent events have made her realize that there is a
huge information gap about China in Britain which "is hurting both sides," she
Mentioning an article she wrote for the Sunday
Telegraph two days ago, Fu said that there are already 200 pages of comments
about her article, among which, she was surprised to find, some show little or
inaccurate knowledge about Tibet and many other issues related to China.
One of the examples, Fu said, is that many British
people wrongly believe that Tibet was an independent country five decades ago
and are unaware that Britain invaded Tibet, which was and is part of the Chinese
Many Western people still use the term Mount Everest
to refer to the highest mountain peak in Tibet and believe George Everest was
the one who discovered the peak and the first person to measure it, Fu said.
She said that what they may not know is that the
authorities of the Qing Dynasty in China in the early 18th century twice sent
teams to measure the height of the mountain peak more than a hundred years
earlier than Everest and the mountain already had the beautiful Tibetan name
Qomulangma "long before Everest's grandfather was born."
When rebutting some British media reports which
accused China of lacking freedom of speech, Fu said when the National People's
Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference were holding
their latest sessions in March this year, some 40 million people came to
www.sina.com.cn, one of China's most popular websites and left over 3 million
questions in response to a Call for Questions for the Premier, an appeal jointly
made by the website and China Central Television.
Among these questions, some were on price rises, some
on the income gap between teachers in urban China and their counterparts in the
rural area, some were criticism of the government's policies and some were
advice for China's development, Fu said.
How could so many people in a country without freedom
of speech ask so many questions for the country's premier, Fu asked.
On some criticism by Western media that China lacks
the press freedom, the ambassador retorted with such facts as that China has
about 570 publishing firms which publish 230,000 kinds of books every year,
2,000 newspapers and 9,000 magazines, while www.sina.com and www.sohu.com, two
of China's leading websites, issued about 10,000 pieces of news every day and
Beijing residents can watch TV programs from over 70 channels, all of which
prove the diversification of the media voices in China.
Fu found it strange that some Western media, instead
of being interested in topics that common Chinese people care about, such as
prices and stability, they lavishly focus their coverage on China's human
rights, a topic they in fact have little or inaccurate knowledge about.
"The challenge for China is that while being firm
against separation, we also need to learn to inform the world about us" and
"must get our stories out so that people around the world can know China
better," the Chinese ambassador said.
Noting China is not perfect and this is the same with
all countries and governments, Fu called for abundant, right and objective
information on China to be offered to the British people.
The information gap must be bridged by consistent
efforts, Fu said.
"I believe in (the British) people, I believe in
sensible judgment of the (British) people, I will continue to try hard to engage
the media and engage in the wider public to promote the knowledge and
understanding of my country," the Chinese ambassador said.