China Bloggers to U.S. Cyclists: Go Home

In the months leading up to the Olympics, China's bloggers launched ugly online attacks against the Western media for what they said were biased reports about Tibet, and lambasted France, French companies and the French people for the melee over the Paris leg of the torch relay.

Now they have a new target: U.S. Olympic cyclists who dared to wear pollution-cutting masks in public earlier this week.

Mike Friedman, Sarah Hammer, Bobby Lea and Jennie Reed have apologized and said they did not mean to make a political statement with their actions.

But China's online bulletin boards are still filling up with messages calling for athletes to leave. Immediately. "Never step on the land of China again, American pigs," wrote one person.

Many dissected the design of one of the athlete's T-shirts -- which was white and featured the word "Beijing" across his chest -- saying it was designed to insult China. Many of the comments are nonsensical but the anger behind them is clear. "The words are in black, which is an unlucky color in China! And unlucky even in the U.S.! Why the funeral color?" asked one person. Another responded: "Black masks, black Beijing on their T-shirts. It's as if they were not here for Olympics, but to go to Hell."

--Ariana Eunjung Cha

August 7, 2008; 3:00 PM ET  | Category:  Postmark Beijing
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Comments

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Well, the good bloggers with positive views of the U.S.A. are probably being censored and blocked.

Posted by: Censored | August 7, 2008 3:49 PM

It might help if it were disclosed whether these remarks were actually written in English or whether they were hidden under the guise of Mandarin.

Remember the song:

Terrorist, your game is through.

So now, you'll have to answer to America!

Posted by: Geen | August 7, 2008 3:54 PM


And will we see WAPO headlines quoting from some of the more incendiary blog posts by Americans?

Bet not.

Posted by: PatrickInBeijing | August 7, 2008 3:54 PM

This is going to be the best Olympics ever! One part of me sez give the Chinese their due - a quarter of the worlds population should get their Olympics, another part of me hopes the marathon team loses their way because they can't see through the pollution (this is before they sicken and fall to the ground) protests spring up everywhere, maybe a few judging scandles. Let the games begin! (cough, cough)

Posted by: jhtlag | August 7, 2008 3:55 PM

There are lots of good bloggers praising, but they don't make news. Some worshiping their idols like Kobe, Phelps and Hoffs.
Spend some time, you'll find( if you can read chinese).

Have a nice day!

Posted by: Dr. he | August 7, 2008 3:56 PM

It is encouraging that the Chinese have gained some freedom of speech - enough at least to criticize Americans - who provide the consumerism which is growing their economy. Of course, we Americans, as proud members of the greatest debtor nation the world has ever known, dare not criticize the Chinese who are proud members of the greatest creditor nation the US has ever known.

Posted by: loyalsys | August 7, 2008 3:56 PM

Reminds me of the old Cold War story.

American: "Thanks to free speech, in my country I can go to the President of the US and tell him 'Down with America'."

Russian: "Big deal. In my country, I can also go to my President and say "Down with America".

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 4:01 PM

What more could one expect from a bunch of xenophobic Chincoms?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 4:07 PM

This is why China is not ready for the Olympics.

Posted by: Tirade | August 7, 2008 4:12 PM

What's so odd about this? Didnt you guys want China to have freedom of speech? So western media journalists can have a 4 month long hate-fest against China (with Caferty calling Chinese "goons and thugs", and young French collude with tibetan troublemakers and physically assault the Torch, and a wheelchair-bound bearer. But when Chinese people vent their anger at perceived slights, or demand a boycott, you call it "ugly nationalism" and go crying to mommy?

Just be glad that those free tibet freaks didnt do their antics when the Chinese people are actually awake and around. They would really be crying for the Chinese PAP (People's Armed Police) to come save them.

Posted by: mike | August 7, 2008 4:13 PM

"This is why China is not ready for the Olympics"...

So the Olympics is "yours" to give to the Chinese?

Posted by: Mike | August 7, 2008 4:15 PM

what a pity here is that western media reports only negative, trivial news to devilize China.

Posted by: KKK | August 7, 2008 4:16 PM

It was an obvious insult to any hosting country. You can either go or stay. But going and wearing a black mask is definitely going to provoking hate and anger from natives.

Put yourself in other's shoes and be mature.

Posted by: Leo | August 7, 2008 4:21 PM

They should go home if they can not compete there. Why bother going there?

Posted by: Steve | August 7, 2008 4:24 PM

Quote "We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features. "

No need to analyze and even challenge, such a sensational article. With a journalist like this, whom would be called retard?"

Posted by: Daniel | August 7, 2008 4:28 PM

The biggest lie and joke in USA is Human Right. Believe or not, an average Chinese has more freedom in China than an average american has in USA. I have been in USA for 9 years. I love average american people but never comfortable with US law enforement systems.

All Chinese policemen out in streets are not equiped with GUNS, while the US police are always ready to fire multiple shots.

In China if policemen have to fire, the first shot must be a warning shot.

Posted by: KKK | August 7, 2008 4:31 PM

To Censored: Actually no. China definitely will not trying to censor opinions that says good things about American at this time.

China often tries to "influence" public opinion. Their ultimate goal is not to vilify French or Americans. Their ultimate goal is to "maintain social stability" --- or one can say another way of saying "maintain their grip on power".

When there is a public anger, they usually allows them to vent it first. They will then tries to "calm down" people, sometimes by force. The reason is very simple, most Chinese are very immature on expression their opinions (as you might have seen during the tourch rely). If you don't let them to vent anything, the situation can go out of control very quickly (remember China has a lot of people. It only takes one or two mad ones to get things out of hand). However if you don't calm down the situation quickly and it can be considered as an oficial encouragement and that can also get out of hand very quickly.

China is not anti-American. They are just anti anybody who gives them a hard time or tries to harm their interest. In this case, it is to China's best interest to let the incident slide. It's just a mask! It can't be bigger than Bush blash China on human rights. China's leader aren't nobel peace price candidates but they are not stupid either. It definitely does not worth for them to fuel any anti-American sentiment at this time based on such a little incident.

As a result, they definitely will not censor any pro-U.S. comments on the Internet. Quite on the contrary, they might even hire somebody to post pro-U.S. comments on the Internet in an attempt to defuse such unnecessary confrontation.

As for the immaturity of the Chinese people when it comes to express their opinion, do not expect a quick solution. Just think about what the cow boys do in the movies. They are in that stage of development and they do what people in that stage does.

Posted by: jc | August 7, 2008 4:32 PM

The Olympics can be and should be a beautiful uplifting experience for all of us. Stay positive

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 4:41 PM

Get a life Chinese bloggers...
pollution is pollution whether it is Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. or Bejing. These folks simply want to keep this pollution out of their lungs and I don't blame them. They want to give their very best performance at the games and precautions are necessary. That is why you as a country cut the traffic in 1/2, curtailed industry and construction to clear your air. That was and is admirable, however it still was not enough and hense you have atheletes still wary of your air. To your credit they would do the same here stateside in many of our cities.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 4:45 PM

This is such sensationalistic writing on Ms. Cha's part. I get that this is her blog, and that this is the WashingtonPost (which is losing money), but can the tabloid journalism be toned down just a bit? It's almost enough to make me jump ship to CNN, or god forbid, the Washington Times.

I also understand the paper wants to get across their opinion that this will be the worst Olympic Games in history (even worse than Nazi Germany's), but jeeze, just try a less heavy-handed approach in your reporting!

It's a mockery of credible journalism when opinion pervades the entire coverage of the Beijing Games - from A1 through to the op-ed section; will the entire WAPO be an editorial during the next two weeks?

Posted by: rhadamanthus | August 7, 2008 4:48 PM

What do the bloggers have to do with terrorists? Brilliant.
Anyway, the concept of "bloggers" in China is pretty silly.

Posted by: Hacksaw | August 7, 2008 4:52 PM

It never fails to amaze me how many different, new angles the washpost can write about China in a negative way. Instead of finding ways to unite us, let's find all the anger and hate some where on the internet (we all know you can find anything on the internet), so that people can have more anger and hate more. Does this kind of journalism of sensationalism and controversy really the only way to generate more traffic and sell more papers?

Posted by: LZ | August 7, 2008 4:57 PM

KKK, your posts are hilarious. This one in particular:

"The biggest lie and joke in USA is Human Right. Believe or not, an average Chinese has more freedom in China than an average american has in USA."

I guess the "average Chinese" means anyone who obeys the law without question, doesn't protest against the government, doesn't try to go to internet sites critical of the Chinese government, etc.

Let's see the average Chinese person go buy a gun.

Let's see them go stand on the corner with a sign calling for a new political party to replace the communists in Government, without getting arrested.

Let's see a chinese journalist publish an article about government corruption, without getting arrested.

You seem to forget that Americans have free access to press about China, even though Chinese don't. We know about the Chinese governments brutalizing of your citizens, persecution of chinese citizens like Falon Gong practitioners who dared to peacefully protest the government, and the arrest and torture of Tibetan monks who refuse to denounce the Dalai Lama. We know about arrests of journalists. We know about the long list of crimes, other than murder, that can result in a death sentence, with a bill sent to the family of the executed for the price of the bullet used to kill them.


The great irony, KKK is that Americans know more about oppression in China that the average Chinese do, because your media is under the boot of the Chinese communist party.

Go try to sell your silly propaganda somewhere else. Americans are a bit more sophisticated than you understand.

Posted by: Frank M | August 7, 2008 5:11 PM

The only thing missing with the cyclists wearing masks are the dunce hats.

Posted by: Outfits | August 7, 2008 5:15 PM

Somebody at another post asked: "Are the cyclists related to Michael Jackson?"

Posted by: question | August 7, 2008 5:19 PM

I have have never seen tanks being rolled onto The Mall here in D.C to put down a demonstration. But, apparently, KKK is more afraid of the police here than at home and we are less free. Go figure.

Posted by: nadir | August 7, 2008 5:20 PM

What this article doesn't tell you is the masks came from the US Olympic committee, and were issued to 200 olympic athletes thru USA Cycling due to valid health concerns over pollution and possible respiratory problems that might result.

The only mistake the US cyclists made was wearing the masks in the airport when they arrived, where reporters could see them.

Here is the full story, with pictures:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/06/sports/masks.php

Posted by: The Truth | August 7, 2008 5:42 PM

"It's as if they were not here for Olympics, but to go to Hell."
------
And the distinction is? One thing is very, very clear(no, not the air in Beijing). Bloggers in China are quite similar to bloggers in America. They have vituperation down pat.

Posted by: Tim E | August 7, 2008 5:42 PM

By the way, where is the reporting about the respiratory infections that several US athletes came down with a a test event in China last year, which prompted the masks to be issued for the actual olympics?

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/06/sports/masks.php

Posted by: Oh yeah | August 7, 2008 5:46 PM

There are extremists everywhere, and if you want to find incendiary remarks by bloggers, you will never be disappointed. What is amazing is rather than doing a balanced reporting, Washington Post allows this “journalist” do a sham “reporting” by culling inflammatory remarks from a few extremist bloggers, and pass this off as journalism and even post this hack piece on the front page of the Washington Post. Where is the journalistic integrity here?

If some narrow-minded Chinese reporter with an agenda decides to do the same and select to report all the vitriols against minorities by white supremacist, do you think it would be a fair representation of the vast majority of Americans? Shame on Ariana Cha! Shame on Washington Post! It never stops to amaze me what low lever some journalists and “reputed” news organizations and sunk to.

Posted by: gg | August 7, 2008 5:49 PM

The more patriotic and jingoistic you are, you score more brownie points. All those Chinese bloggers are practicing playing victim. Loosen up! Your air sucks. Wear masks even if you are the most patriotic Chinese. I have been to developing countries, heck, I am from one. Breathing deeply or drinking water can kill you. Don't get me started on the incessant spitting and horrendous toilets. This has nothing to do with China or any developing country. It is just a dirty fact. If you are a sports person, wouldn't you want to take care of your fitness?

Posted by: Shabana | August 7, 2008 5:50 PM

Has anybody noticed throughout the years all the pictures on the internet of Chinese wearing face mask to fend off the foul air in Chinese cities? I have lived in China for many years and have seen this often. Why is it now such a big deal... I will tell you why... it is because the Chinese are so hyper sensitive about foreigners not thinking highly of China (because of the percieved humiliation China faced at the hands of "laowai" over the past century)..In the Chinese mind, these olympics are not for the world to enjoy, but for the Chinese to bang their chest and boast that they are truely the "splended people" (huaren). Many of my students in China over the years thought that everybody around the world loved the Chinese, and that China could do no wrong. Lately they have had a rude awakening. China has to someday take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming everything on waiguoren (foreigners).

Posted by: Dan | August 7, 2008 5:50 PM

There are extremists everywhere, and if you want to find incendiary remarks by bloggers, you will never be disappointed. What is amazing is rather than doing a balanced reporting, Washington Post allows this “journalist” do a sham “reporting” by culling inflammatory remarks from a few extremist bloggers, and pass this off as journalism and even post this hack piece on the front page of the Washington Post. Where is the journalistic integrity here?

If some narrow-minded Chinese reporter with an agenda decides to do the same and select to report all the vitriols against minorities by white supremacist, do you think it would be a fair representation of the vast majority of Americans? Shame on Ariana Cha! Shame on Washington Post! It never stops to amaze me what low lever some journalists and “reputed” news organizations and sunk to.

Posted by: gg | August 7, 2008 5:50 PM

Shame on Ariana Cha! Shame on Washington Post!

Posted by: you suck | August 7, 2008 5:54 PM

The Chinese gov't knew they had a real problem with air pollution but sat on their rear ends for years. No athlete, American or Chinese, should risk their health for Chinese jingoists. China needs to grow up. It has 3000 years of history and accomplishments to be proud of and doesn't need to act like a child.

Posted by: Garak | August 7, 2008 6:02 PM

To those of you who believe those bloggers post this are the extremes I would like to tell you that's not the case. This IS in fact the popular opinion over there. There is a language barrier here so many of you can not read whatever in that world. In my humble opinion WP actually did a rather faithful and candid report on this.

Posted by: jc | August 7, 2008 6:04 PM

Be careful what u wish for
I am worried about all these western media relentless China bashing,
Is this a kneejerk reaction to China's rise, or we have a plan and preparing to go to war with China (get people support, over Taiwan for instance or oil, other resources)?
presently Chinese gov want a peaceful rise, but they may change their mind anytime, if the outside condition dictates.
A short wile ago, the so called US experts swear that Chinese economy will soon collapse because their banks all doing wrong lending practice . so what teh heck happened? It turned out it is not Chinese, but the US banking system, financial services are in deep doodoo, and US economy risking collapse. Now the top 6 banks in the world 3 are chinese at the expense of US.
Another thing is if China decides to taake back taiwan by force, and US intervene, they are ready to use nuke to wipe out US carriers groupss when conventional ways unsuccessful, then what, US will nuke China, and China nuke us? do we really know whatis the heck going on?

China has explicitly stated that they will pull couple tricks if they decide US being enemy like:

:
1. dump US dollar reserves, or gov bonds, get USA tail spin, US economy will b in another g depression.
2. Form alliance with Russia, embolden those half retards to be more belligerant, show off their n-toys at US door steps, and blocking US interests worldwide (russians already coming back to Cuba military bases). basically let the 2 kill each other.
3. Form alliance with islamic groups, sell them or let them steal advanced woapons (including: 094 submarines, fitted with 18 n-war head missle lauchers, each missle has 8 n-warheads, total around 100 n-heads, able to penetrate US m defense syustems, they can sneak up close to US coasts, one sub can turn US into a giant incinerator, or other n-toys), let them have their way.
4 accelerate China's military developemnts, mass produce strategic n-weapons, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (cover every corner of US, able to survive first strike), carriers, unmanned bombers, solar powered hovering weapons that suspend above US or other advanced weaponry.
5. get US out of Asia, middle east, africa americas by overtly supporting the local govs in every way. eventually, when China becomes no. 1, probably go to Europe to safeguard EU against US aggressions.

Posted by: alfonso | August 7, 2008 6:11 PM

Answer to Question's post: "Are the cyclists related to Michael Jackson?

The answer is no. If you look above their mask they are white. But they are from the same country as Michael and have the same values. There are over 300 million of them!!!

Posted by: answer | August 7, 2008 6:17 PM

To those U.S. Olympic cyclists: You guys've come to the wrong place. There is no Ninja Turtles competition in Bejing Olympic. Try going to Japan instead. What a bunch of disgusting people!

Posted by: Maersk | August 7, 2008 6:27 PM

To Garak,

China does not have 3,000 years of history, but 5,000 years of history and 7,000 years of culture.

• Erlitou, established around 3,500 B.C., was China’s earliest City State (http://archaeology.about.com/od/eterms/qt/erlitou.htm), and recent archeological excavations at the site have found ruins of large palaces, and many artifacts including ritual bronze and jade objects.
• China’s Neolithic culture goes back even further – the Peiligang culture flourished in China in 7,000-5,000 B.C. (http://www.ibiblio.org/chinesehistory/contents/02cul/c03s04.html).

Posted by: BeeGees | August 7, 2008 6:28 PM


I can think of no worthy reason to do business with this country.

Posted by: Nym | August 7, 2008 6:43 PM


Hi Frank M:

Thanks for replying my message. My assessment is purely based on my years-long experience in both countries.

I don’t have a gun in both China and US. Gun is for killing. Why you need a gun?
Protect yourselves? It should be the responsibility of a good government.
Don’t cheat yourself that you need a gun to over throw the government if it is bad.
It has satellites and F22. What you have?

Yes, US has two parties. Please tell me how different they are?
There are lots of two-party countries, do all of them have the same life standards as US has? How much you know about CCP? Why you think the CCP’s president selection system is worse than that of other counties?

There are not many, but there ARE some big newspaper openly criticizes government’s policies. Who tell you that newspaper can’t publish an article about government corruption? There are a lot of such reports if you can read in Chinese.

Because of internet, Chinese can always free access to all western media through internet. That is how for the first time they can see how hypercritical western median are. I will admit I am wrong if you can single out even one mainstream median whose internet access to China is blocked by Chinese government.

Posted by: KKK | August 7, 2008 6:45 PM

Seemingly the theme for these Olympics for China is hypersensitive, aggrieved ethnic nationalism. Berlin, 1936. Who will be our Jesse Owens?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 6:48 PM

alfonso,

Don't worry too much. Mutual Assured Destruction is your best friend. It's China's best friend too, but they would be better served by remembering this and acting differently.

Their rude bellicosity aside, they're mostly just wasting their time with concocting meaningless threats.

Posted by: Nym | August 7, 2008 6:49 PM

Is it just me or has other people seen the countless pictures on the web of Chinese wearing mask to escape inhailing the foul air found in many Chinese cities. It was only because foreigners wore them at this particular time that China saw an opportunity to exploit the situation. The problems that China is facing now are, for the most part, their own making.

I have lived in China and studied its history for many years. I have been told by many Chinese that the whole world loves China and that China can do nothing wrong....it is mostly the foreigner that takes advantage of the Chinese.."the splendid people"(huaren- a term used by Chinese to describe themselves), and that the air polution in China is a cause of the foreigner wanting cheap Chinese goods.

However, I see it a little different. No one forced the Chinese to accept capitalism, however some may argue that the evil West did so by the very system they set in place long ago. It is the Chinese alone who have totally embraced capitalist practices because business has been very important in Chinese culture for a long time (eventhough Confucianism fought for a thousand years to repress the merchant tendencies in Chinese culture because they were seen as a threat to the state)....look at the value that money has in Chinese culture (it is more important than the much touted family values)....the Chinese have just taken a foreign idea(ie. capitalism) and have truely capitalized on it because it could be diffused readily into the culture.....worshiping in the temples of mammon!! Anyone who has been to China lately can see this on a daily basis.

China's air problem is just a byproduct of this extreme desire to "catch up with the West" in materialistic vices.

At the end of the day, the Chinese have to take responsibility for their own actions and stop placing all the blame on others...like it has done for over 100 years.

But, I don't think this will ever happen. According to them, the Chinese are the perfect race, all others are culturally wanting.

Posted by: Dan | August 7, 2008 7:05 PM

Give me a break. These are angry Chinese government and such on the blogs. You can bet every Chinese athlete in the Olympics knows damn well their country is a polluted craphole.

Just as in this country, let's separate the politicians from the people as a whole. They're completely different.

Thanx in part to Dubya, the Chinese just don't like us right now. Watch it, American corporations. You don't wanna get tossed out, maybe have to come to the U.S. and give Americans jobs instead.

Posted by: SteveCO | August 7, 2008 7:06 PM

"Terrorist, your game is through.
So now, you'll have to answer to America!"

Too bad Bush's America has blown it so bad. Al Queda is far stronger than pre-Iraq invasion. The world thinks we're tortuous buttwipes, and we can thank Bush and Cheney for the fact that American soldiers will, when captured now, be far more likely to be tortured than when the U.S. was a beacon of freedom and tolerance.

bin Laden already won, dimwits. Look at the sorry state of this country under our War Criminal Prez, the Constitutional liberties that've been taken away from us, the tax money being wasted criminally on endless war, houses being foreclosed upon thanks to the non-regulatory nature of Republican corporate butt kissers.

Posted by: SteveCO | August 7, 2008 7:10 PM

America has absolutely more human rights than China. However, China has more human rights today than 25 years ago. I can't say the same for America. We are moving backwards while attacking a country that's making progress. We put more people in jail per capa than any country on this planet. Almost half of the prisoners are Blacks, while Blacks make up only 13% of our population. Shouldn't we be protesting to free Blacks in our own backyard rather than free Tibetans half a world away that's actually not in jail. Black people in America commit crime not because they want to, but due to a lack of basic human rights to survive.

Posted by: Huang Fong | August 7, 2008 7:12 PM

Wow - who would have thought face masks would be the flash point for so much anti-everyone rhetoric?! I have family in Wuxi and I visit China regularly. Every time I've been to Beijing or Shanghai I've seen plenty of locals wearing face masks.

For the most part I would say Olympic level athletes are the in the "political activist" minority. They are focused wholly on their sport and their abilities in that sport. They win or loose by 1/1000th of a second or a point. They want to have every advantage they can. If they think they can keep an edge by wearing a face mask they will. Trust me, they're not thinking about insulting anyone, least of all the Host Country.

To my brothers & sisters everywhere in the world:

Visitors: get to know the culture and people you're visiting. They're not like you and your country. Educate yourself about their culture and language so as not to inadvertently give offense. The people you are visiting are not your countrymen - they are your hosts. Treat them nice.

Host Countries: Don't be quick to take offense. People coming from other places aren't like you. They don't know your customs and may do things that would cause you offense if done by your countrymen. But they're not your countrymen - they are your guests. Treat them nice.

Pax

Posted by: Cheldric | August 7, 2008 7:15 PM

This is always going to be the case with Americans because our country has no culture. Therefore we never exercise due diligence to understand the culture and custom of countries before we visit. We lead with the arrogance of being American. I often hear Americans in foreign countries complaining that no one speaks English. I rest my case. They should send these guys home. Cyclists...they're dopers anyway.

Posted by: Objectivity | August 7, 2008 7:24 PM

Wow you would think that the Chinese would have something better to report then some cyclist wearing masks. In SF where the air is clean you can go through Chinatown and see chinese people wearing masks imagine how many chinese are probably wearing their masks every day in China. Please give me a break! If I was an athalete in LA I would be wearing a mask imagine where there is no real regulation for factories. I'm not saying our regulatory powers are great but at least they do something. China grow up and except responsibility for your actions. Oh I forgot you have no idea what to be responsible for.

Posted by: Pete | August 7, 2008 7:36 PM

Please we have idiot bloggers everywhere as evidenced by many of these posts. Don't jump to conclusions...could be some of the Chinese posts have actually been made by the International Trolls who get their jollies by pushing people's buttons.

Posted by: FactChecker! | August 7, 2008 8:04 PM

America has less freedom and human rights?

Thanks to American freedom and human rights over the last 50 years, citizens of the PRC can obtain prestigious degrees in America and get good-paying jobs. We even let you stay "more than 9 years" if you choose to.

Thanks to American freedom and human rights, the Internet is freely available to all citizens of the world, so they can "blog" their opinions.

Let's not forget where your benefits came from, my "Chinese" friends.

Posted by: Uncle Mao | August 7, 2008 8:15 PM

Whoever decided to send the Olympics to China is a friggin moron. It's one of the most polluted countries in the world, so why ask world class athletes to risk their lives by competing? They should have boycotted it altogether.

Posted by: Bob | August 7, 2008 8:25 PM

China is full of these crazy extreme nationalists - mostly young men with nothing to do but vent anger. They are a serious danger to the future peace of the world and to relations between China and the rest of the world. The Communist Party leaders use them and egg them on but these leaders will be sorry when the nationalism gets out of control. Sure, it was stupid for the cyclists to show up in masks but the crazy netizen fascists in China are just looking for any sort of misunderstanding to blow things up.

Posted by: jay | August 7, 2008 8:35 PM

Why these American cyclists wear their masks inside a modern air-conditioned airport terminal? If these cyclists are truly concern about the open air quality, they should wear their masks when they step outside the airport terminal.

It's very obvious these American cyclists are making a political statement to their host country.

Are we inviting foreign athletes to do political protests to the U.S. when Chicago host the Olympic?


Posted by: Mickey | August 7, 2008 8:36 PM

Too bad, lot of people do not like China, in fact they do not like a properous China, they like a China in the cultural revolution, when it is poor and disgraceful. Too bad, China now awakes and stands up, like it or not, you have to deal with it, a future superpower, powerful and reasonal.

Posted by: Robert | August 7, 2008 8:38 PM

Considering the recent US war crimes in the Middle East, shouldn't the US just be altogether banned from competing?
And the US is sending their version of Slobodan Milosevic to the games. Sick!

Posted by: shonny | August 7, 2008 8:42 PM

Of course, the American cyclists showed insensitivity and arguably rudeness in wearing masks at the Beijing airport. Some Chinese bloggers overreacted, just as many Americans often do in blogs in this country.

Look at the example of the American athlete from the 2006 Olympics denied a visa to China. His comments were way over the top.
Just about any nation in the world will deny viaas or entry to a person they consider to be potential troublemaker.

However, just as those Americans who participate in blogs here do not represent the opinions of the majority, many of whom are apathetic on most subjects in other countries, there is high likelihood the same applies to Chinese who contribute to blogs in their countries.

As for nationalism being widespread among the Chinese, having strong pride and nationalism about the United States is considered a virtue by most Americans. Yet some xenophobic Americans seem to think people in certain other countries, such as China, should not be patriotic or nationalistic about their countries. Many Americans since the Puritans have believed Americans were the "chosen people," destined to dominate first North America, then the Western Hemisphere, next most of the world. Those who believed and believe in such continental or global "manifest destiny" exhibit extreme nationalism.

As someone above said, the Chinese people have far more human rights than twenty five years ago or especially during the very repressive regime led by Mao. Unfortunately the United States, under the Bush-Cheney or Cheney-Bush administration, has been going backward on the issue of human rights. Bush has no credibility hectoring the Chinese government about human rights.

Posted by: Independent | August 7, 2008 8:42 PM


Jay, you are wrong, those young men are the future of China, they no longer tolerate the insult and bully like their ancestors do, they are educated and know what is going on around the world, they are an awaken generation, they are the hope of justice and fairness.

Posted by: Shuguang | August 7, 2008 8:45 PM

China is full of these crazy extreme nationalists - mostly young men with nothing to do but vent anger. They are a serious danger to the future peace of the world and to relations between China and the rest of the world. The Communist Party leaders use them and egg them on but these leaders will be sorry when the nationalism gets out of control. Sure, it was stupid for the cyclists to show up in masks but the crazy netizen fascists in China are just looking for any sort of misunderstanding to blow things up.

Posted by: jay | August 7, 2008 8:46 PM

Shuguang,

Are you one of these angry young men? I think you are fooling yourself if you think that sort of nationalism is honorable or has any positive implications for China. Excessive nationalism has always led to wars. People in the West receive insults from other countries all the time but they have learned to let those insults roll off and do not take them too seriously. Westerners have better things to do than to get their shorts in a knot over what others think about them.

Posted by: jay | August 7, 2008 9:00 PM

To Uncle Mao:

Maybe I failed to express myself clearly. Please let me put this way, as to freedom, there are more regulations in US saying you can’t do this, you can’t do that (purely based on my experience). And the law enforcement system here is way too strong. Police here is always ready to pull his gun and kill.

As to human right, why American has to worry about that for Chinese? According the survey, 82% Chinese are satisfied with their lives. Yes, in China you can’t say whatever you want and protest wherever you want. But it is exactly the same here in US! You have to admit that you can’t say whatever you want without taking the sequence, right?

I personally deeply love American people and its culture, but I am not in agreement with US foreign policies that try to meddle around the world. Think about how many children drying of war in Iraq. Or their human right can be ignored?

I guess the Chinese blogger was angry only because the mask is “BLACK”! Chinese normally use BLACK only when people die. (I think most medical masks are white)

I believe that it is a misunderstanding and that the free information flow through the internet will help people around the world understand each other better than before.

Posted by: KKK | August 7, 2008 9:12 PM

In this Olympic year,the western media are so decent to nicely talk into China . They did not launch a blanket word bombing on China and the western blogger and net citizens never slap Chinese with "thug","mob",and "goon". They even consider not to unfurl a "free Tibet" in front of Chinese so that Chinese will appreciate the democracy and education of westerners...

Oh,my god.What makes Chinese so ugly! Can this author do us a favor to garner those vile words used on China from those western blogger and internet comments?

So sick of this one-sided story cranked up to make a sensation.

Posted by: Donald | August 7, 2008 9:25 PM

"Ugly online attack" by Chinese bloggers? How about ugly reportings on China-related issues by "fully-credentialed" reporters, like the author of this article?

Posted by: horsham | August 7, 2008 9:30 PM

If the cyclists had not been such nit wit idiots to begin with there would not be a problem. The ugly American has surfaced again after so many years of Bush world. These "atheletes" lacked a brain or common sense. Maybe they should come home.

Posted by: Paul Nolan | August 7, 2008 9:34 PM

Most American are nice and profession on China issue, but like these kinds of idiots, they are also trash of Americans, All Chinese should ignore them, there is no worthy to pay attention on them.

Posted by: sunandmoon1 | August 7, 2008 9:36 PM

Oh yes, and compare that to those respectful, civilized bloggers here in the US!

Posted by: john doug | August 7, 2008 9:42 PM

These Chinese bloggers sound like they are nothing more or less than China's version of our right wing nutcase internet posters. Insecure provincials who take any statement as an insult to their country, which of course is their one and only source of self-esteem, so it is taken as personally as it gets.

Here's hoping that the hoodlum posters in China and the US learn enough self-esteem so that they can abide valid criticisms of their country when they arise. I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Mark | August 7, 2008 9:50 PM

The reports on American television showed the cyclists wearing masks at the Beijing airport, which was entirely unnecessary and seemed deliberately an affront to China. Wearing masks in public open areas, as opposed to indoors, is an entirely different
matter. Many Chinese do, as some observed, wear masks to protect their faces from pollution.

Posted by: Independent | August 7, 2008 9:53 PM

This is the freedom of speech! My expression was blocked by this blog owner, what a hypcrat !

I used to trust the media 16 years ago when I came to this country, I seemingly found the world of truth, but not anymore, they are the same thing all over the wrold, so do not blame China.

Posted by: Shuguang | August 7, 2008 9:59 PM

A comprehensive reading of comments here simply indicates Chinese interests cannot face up to the real shortcomings of their nation in the face of the general opinion of the rest of the world of public opinion.

This is only the natural consequence of the Chinese design to avoid becoming an open, visible national neighbor thru giving credence to the notion that the rest of us need to be doubted.

A little honest, open investigation reveals that there is no intentional insult requiring a dance of the Chinese drama queens. Relax and try to enjoy YOUR Olympics.

Posted by: Barry | August 7, 2008 10:01 PM

Jay:

Have you been to China ? if not, I do advise you to go there and take a look, you might sound differently, the media here did not tell you the truth, seeing is believing !

Posted by: Shuguang | August 7, 2008 10:02 PM

To Jay:

As a matter of fact, China never started any war against western countries in history,we are the one who were insulted and kept beaten by the westerners, we accepted the insult and kept quite, but next is another aggression, another beating, you do not know how painful to be slaves, there is no position in the world for Chinese, parks in Shanghai labled : no entry for dogs and Chinese. We accepted the insult, but does it do any better, no, we were still treated as goons. Thanks to the opening policy, we are now standing up like human being, that is why so many unwise westerners can not accept it, they were jealous, they feel threatened, they would rather see a backward China than seeing a economic booming China, because they do not trust China, but be relaxed, Chinese people are peace-loving people like most Americans, they do not want war, they just want a better life throught hardworking, and they just want to make sure they childen will not be bullied by other countries in the future.

Posted by: Shuguang | August 7, 2008 10:20 PM


I guess there are just too many white people who cannot stand non-white people willing to stand up to their bully and racism. They will invent all kind of excuses to justify their racism.

One just need to go on their own business and ignore those idiots.

Posted by: An ordinary Chinese | August 7, 2008 10:28 PM

Masks and T-shirts really shouldn't be a big deal. Whether the American athletes meant it or not, it does not really matter that much. We Chinese are little too sensitive. That being said, the black masks definitely seems to stand for something. In fact, I have never seen a black mask before, have you? The shirt does look odd too. Chinese would think it offensive. I believe most Chinese would understand why they want to wear masks.

Posted by: dy | August 7, 2008 10:44 PM

You can find incendiary, vitriolic language in blog posts from every country. You don't have to look hard to find volumes of uninformed, racist comments about the Chinese (not just their political system -- but attacks on their people, mind you) on message boards and blogs run from the U.S., but these comments do not represent the American people.

China had been a closed country for many, many years, but they don't "hate" foreigners. And despite the Cold War in the past, they have particularly looked up to the United States and to Americans and our culture, our optimism, and our creative drive. But they're starting to change their minds now because all we do is attack them. Yeah, if China wants to join the big boys they need to be more thick-skinned and learn to take criticism. But how would you react to the Chinese if all they ever heard from them was attacks on your country?

And to the poster who said that pro-American comments are censored on Chinese blogs: to the contrary, the censors there are more likely to remove incendiary anti-American language because they fear the sort of social and political instability that such language would raise in China itself. Historically, anger towards foreign countries in China has come hand-in-hand with anger toward their government, so the government is careful not to foment xenophobia. In fact, I would say that to the extent that they are censoring coverage of the anti-Chinese protestors, they are actually keeping xenophobia in check.

Posted by: Sean | August 7, 2008 10:46 PM

KKK, you have much to learn about Chinese internet censorship:

Start here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

Posted by: Frank | August 7, 2008 10:47 PM

Most Americans ever been to China would tell you Chinese like Americans. And I also don't think Americans particularly dislike Chinese. Let's not ruin the good will.

Posted by: dy | August 7, 2008 10:50 PM

I'm sure the Chinese are getting the government's filtered view of the pollution problems. There was an excellent program on NPR's Fresh Air (how ironic) about this very problem. Basically, those athletes who are involved in endurance events such as cyclists and triathletes, especially if they have asthma or allergies are at risk. A short article on the program may be found at ...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92987810&ft=1&f=3

Posted by: sparky | August 7, 2008 11:02 PM

Easy, big American boys! Chinese bloggers say whatever they want. Isn't this the freedom of speech you are crying for? Why telling the story in a different mood just because they want these cyclists to go home. Double standards only make your big freakin moral stand/preaching to other people look pale.

Posted by: Jared | August 7, 2008 11:03 PM

Why in the world is the media trying to make China into our enemy? Why, who can answer, but its working. Our own media is America's worst enemy. Who is in charge there???

Posted by: fly | August 7, 2008 11:05 PM

I just wanted to throw in a story.

Five years ago, when I was still in Beijing. I greeted a group of American exchange stduents. We took them to the Lama Temple (yes, it is the Lama Temple, where pilgrims of Tibetan Buddhism go to worship). After the tour, we found a just so-so restaurant nearby for lunch. At the dnner table, I asked our guests what they wanted to have for their lunch. Surprisingly, all four of them said they were vegetarians. I thought this was odd, because in my mind Americans like meat. Anyway, my friend and I ordered chicken, and pork. Our American guests ordered only vegetables. Our chicken dish was a very fancy one - with fire burning around the plate. The taste and smell was just fantastic. Just at that moment an even more "surprising" thing happened! Three of the four American students instantly became non-vegetarians. They tried our chicken, and ordered one for themselves. I guess they lied. They were not vegetarians at all. It was because the media, like the Washington Post gave them very wrong impressions.

I am pretty sure the mask thing is more or less the same. Yes, there is very bad air pollution, but not that bad that people have to wear facial mask to breathe. If they do concern about their health, they should probably stay.

Posted by: A Chinese in America | August 7, 2008 11:11 PM

It is rather offensive to see the main stream US media to report this kind of biased news... To report what people post online as a reflection of a country is just not a respectable news organization like the Post should do...

In the past few weeks, I have never seem such negative reflection upon an Olympic host. I don't recall such negativity towards smog laiden LA of 1984? bombing in Atlanta of 1996? and bribery scandals related to Salt Lake in 2002? It is so easy to criticize other... So please let the game be a game and leave your politic somewhere else...

Posted by: Michael | August 7, 2008 11:29 PM

Just like our mindless red-neck bloggers, there are mindless red-neck Cninese blogger. Why oh why are we dealing with these A-holes buried so far down in the weeds? Can't we rise above this crap and concentrate on what is before us? Leave the mindless morons in the US to the mindless morons in China and move to a higher plain. An obviouse case of failing to see the forest because of the trees.

Posted by: DoNoHarm | August 7, 2008 11:35 PM

Special thanks to Frank M. Your comments make me laugh so hard, pal. So I have to exercise some of my little freedom of experssion here. :)))

"I guess the "average Chinese" means anyone who obeys the law without question, doesn't protest against the government, doesn't try to go to internet sites critical of the Chinese government, etc. "

(You mean Americans can disobay laws as long as they have a question or they want to protest their government. According to your logic, how dare the police arrested those so kind American soldiers' mothers who lost their sons and protested in DC?)

"Let's see the average Chinese person go buy a gun."

(Isn't that a good thing that average people do not carry guns? Those bloody campus or church massacres in the US did not give you a damn lesson at all?)

"Let's see them go stand on the corner with a sign calling for a new political party to replace the communists in Government, without getting arrested."

(Let all American people go stand on the corner with a sign calling for a new political party. Would you have one to replace Republican or Democrat on the next day? If this can end the Iraq war, let's do it tomorrow.)

"Let's see a chinese journalist publish an article about government corruption, without getting arrested."

(Could you give me the list of the arrested journalist? I'd like to compare it to a list of war prisoners in Guamtanamo Bay, who have been jailed forever. Journalist is a dangerous job, no matter which country they are working and if they dare to report the truth. But I guess bashing a third world country as Washington Post reporters very much enjoy is a rather easier and safer one.)

"You seem to forget that Americans have free access to press about China, even though Chinese don't."

(If you only read stories from one side, how much freedom do you really have? Aren't the stories about China here on Washington Post one-sided?)

"We know about the Chinese governments brutalizing of your citizens, persecution of chinese citizens like Falon Gong practitioners who dared to peacefully protest the government, and the arrest and torture of Tibetan monks who refuse to denounce the Dalai Lama.")

(Oh, boy. You should have left your big comfy coop more often and go see the real world, not just watch TV. Those protests or movements weren't peaceful as they claimed. Those monks and practitioners will beat the crap out of you, if you dare to exercise your freedom of religion different from theirs.)

"We know about the long list of crimes, other than murder, that can result in a death sentence, with a bill sent to the family of the executed for the price of the bullet used to kill them."

(You mean American government gives funerals to the executed for free. Lucky the executed and their families in the US! Chinese government really shouldn't charge the bullet, so inhumane!)


"The great irony, KKK is that Americans know more about oppression in China that the average Chinese do, because your media is under the boot of the Chinese communist party."

(No, we know all about the oppression and repression now, through you and Washington Post! Now life feels much better. So big thanks to you both!)

"Go try to sell your silly propaganda somewhere else. Americans are a bit more sophisticated than you understand."

(This one is the funniest!Every little defensive opinion for China is selling propaganda. Everyone who says defensive words is hired by Chinese government. Every Chinese is living under great oppression and has no freedom. Every American is living under beautiful sunshine and blue sky of a government and society with transparency, justice and freedom. You live in your little perfect world and definitely should feel a bit more sophisticated than others! Good for you, pal. Good for you. :))))

Posted by: Jared | August 8, 2008 12:10 AM

I don't see what the big deal was. We frequently see photos of Chinese people walking or riding bicycles with white masks on to protect themselves. Why is it not OK for US athletes to do the same thing? If the only issue is the color, it should be attributed to culture differences, or at the most, ignorance of local customs.

When I was at China, I frequently observed people hacking and blowing their nose and leave their lovely body discharges right on sidewalks, and they also seem to have no concept of waiting in line and cut in front at will. Such things are certainly not looked upon favorably in US but I wouldn't say they were doing it as just to despise us!

Posted by: Chuckles | August 8, 2008 12:34 AM

i'm from new zealand. a few years ago i met some americans there who had brought batteries cos they didnt know if we had electricity. i wasn't angry at all... i just said, "yeah, we have electricity." but they'd already figured that out...
somebody please explain to me the affrontation cos i really don't get it. the athletes jumped off a plane wearing masks... i just don't get how that could be offensive.

Posted by: vam | August 8, 2008 12:46 AM

What would you expect? Simply look at the choice of words in English language newspapers to describe the sentiment of the Chinese populace: nationalistic (not patriotic), angry (not indignant or displeased), etc. etc.

Posted by: John Jiang | August 8, 2008 1:06 AM

bloggers? Should China media use stromfront for their news about America now?

Posted by: tom | August 8, 2008 1:08 AM

I'm Chinese I think those cyclists should never apologized. What kind of news network is that taking their information from bloggers?

Posted by: tom | August 8, 2008 1:10 AM

This article is of low quality. In an largely anonymous space like the Internet, you can't be sure about the authenticity of the authorship of any messages, including blogs. Maybe those people who write things like "GO home, American pigs" are just some non-Chinese posing as Chinese, with a purpose of undermining the friendship between China and the US.

I am a Chinese myself, and I love American people. I don't see anything wrong with the cyclists wearing masks. Beijing air is polluted. Fact is fact.

American and Chinese people have long been friends. Let's hope the friendship not being damaged by low-quality news reports like this.

Posted by: Sky | August 8, 2008 1:15 AM

Yes I hate China for human right abuse. But I am in China side to protest these ugly US cyclists.

Hey cyclists, if you don’t like it, don’t go and don’t compete there.
What’s on earth these STUPID athletes are trying to do? Hiding their ugly faces with their corrupted souls.

I am an American citizen and I am so ashamed. Where is common sense nowadays? In fact if common sense and decency are justified, half american populations should not be allowed to live. Look at kids 17 year olds and younger, a bunch of idiots.

Posted by: mossyframe | August 8, 2008 1:44 AM

The Chinese act exactly as the same as Nazi.
2008 Beijing Olympics = 1936 Berlin Olympics.
China means hate and war.


Posted by: lyz95 | August 8, 2008 2:35 AM

The Chinese hair and eyes are black color.
Does it mean that every Chinese is insulting China?
Those Chinese are very sick and crazy.

Posted by: lyz95 | August 8, 2008 2:38 AM

So the cyclist wore masks. Big Deal. Let see, there's grey haze everywhere and people shouldn't wear masks. For goodness sake their own people wear them, (but that's okay).I think the Chinese need to get over themselves already.

Posted by: ruserious | August 8, 2008 7:08 AM

I think the Chinese like many other 3rd world countries suffer from very fragile nationalistic/religous ego.

There seems to be nothing insulting in bicyclists actions. They were protecting themselves.

Chinese are no different from Muslims and Blacks who also are easily offended.

Posted by: Ranji | August 8, 2008 7:38 AM

BBSers are not bloggers, the fundamental error.

Posted by: isaac | August 8, 2008 8:44 AM

what are the chances the t-shirts and masks were made in China?

Posted by: bwerner | August 8, 2008 8:56 AM

must be the bad air inside the newly build high tech airport terminal that trigger asthma and force these cyclist to put on the mask.

Posted by: bad air inside the new airport terminal? | August 8, 2008 9:16 AM

This is yet another reason to boycott this farce of an Olympics. Our athletes had every right and every reason to wear those masks.

Posted by: disgusted in Staten Island | August 8, 2008 12:20 PM

Those masked U.S. atheletes must not have known that Ninja Turtles is not a kind of Olympic competition yet. They embrassed themselves and America. What they should do is to stay home and have the competition held in hospitals and with an oxygen tank on their back. A bunch of silly goose!

Posted by: Maersk | August 8, 2008 5:24 PM

Tibetans to me are my brothers and sisters. They are not different and we don't occupy Tibet, despite the fact of cultural differences (we have 100+ tribes in the country). We do, though, try to eliminate the bad influence coming from the political religious cults everywhere not only in Tibet ( I say political). Because of an American CIA who convinced some monks leader to create a roar of unnecessary independence, then this whole thing happened. The devil CIA also created problems everywhere in Asia, trying to provoke each country to hate each other for no reason. We are brothers and sisters and we China will stay together. No matter what you think. Tibetan people have received so much support and help from the Chinese government. It has been one of the popular tourist destinations. Those who rebel, what can I say? You killed enough red indians and took over their country. At least we don't kill these people. They are in Nepal, US, everywhere in the world because they rebel. I am sorry that Chinese government may not approached the issue of Tibet the way you want, but we are a country that wants the best for each other. We really do care for the people and we are growing strong because we help each other. You can go to Tibet, or any of our places and see for yourself. One day, you will know that Chinese people are not what you see on FOXnews. Someone should know that what's presented on US news are alot of them false (I have lived in US for 11 years). No wonder its blocked from Chinese websites. Even you can tell that national news were wrong sometimes.

Tibet is part of China:
In 2005, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's offered to hold talks with the 14th Dalai Lama on the Tibet issue, provided he dropped the demand for independence. The Dalai Lama said in an interview with the South China Morning Post "We are willing to be part of the People's Republic of China, to have it govern and guarantee to preserve our Tibetan culture, spirituality and our environment." This statement was seen as a renewed diplomatic initiative by the Tibetan government-in-exile. He had already said he would accept Chinese sovereignty over Tibet but insisted on real autonomy over its religious and cultural life.

Posted by: ShanLin | August 10, 2008 8:55 AM

Good job, China. If you'd said nothing, there wouldn't be so much ado about your horribly polluted air. Since you brought it up, now everybody will remember what a filthy nation you are.

Posted by: Bob | August 11, 2008 3:38 PM

"The words are in black, which is an unlucky color in China! And unlucky even in the U.S.! Why the funeral color?"

Since when the hell is Black an unlucky color in the US? Black is immensly popular as you see people wearing it all the time and driving black cars. I was born and raised in the USA and never heard black called "unlucky" here.

Posted by: Jeff | August 11, 2008 9:26 PM

"China needs to grow up. It has 3000 years of history and accomplishments to be proud of and doesn't need to act like a child."

Actually it is more than 3,000. But still this is what I find most odd about China. One wonders why they were so static. Thousands of years with so little change. One would expect a 5,000 year old culture to have a colony on Mars and the Moon. But no, after all that time most are still poor farmers.

Also, one would expect that a mature society to be more self confident, secure and accept criticism. Children become upset when you call them names but adults say "So you think I'm an ideot. So what?"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 3:37 PM

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