The poisonous US reaction to China’s America-born gold medalist is very revealing — Analysis
Californian Eileen Gu’s resolution to compete for her mom’s homeland relatively than America has incensed a nation wracked by insecurity over China
Eileen Gu is an 18-year-old Chinese language American Olympian from San Francisco who made the choice to compete for China, her mom’s native nation, within the Winter Olympics, relatively than the US. On Tuesday, Eileen gained a gold medal in her ski occasion – an excellent achievement, however one which was rapidly mired in political controversy.
Whereas her victory was extensively praised and celebrated on the Chinese language web, and heralded by the International Ministry, many People reacted with disdain and attacked her. Fox Information’ Will Cain successfully branded her “shameful” for “betraying the US”, accusing her of getting pursued her profession pathway “for cash.” Fellow Fox Information presenter Tucker Carlson known as her “dumb” and stated People ought to really feel “revulsion,” whereas infamous anti-China journalist Melissa Chan accused her of being naive and a “propaganda software.”
Mainstream media retailers relentlessly quizzed her on her nationality, and the protection largely targeted on this, not her sporting success. The World Occasions, the Chinese language state media outlet, interpreted this as an lack of ability by America to return to phrases with China’s rise and success on this planet, stating: “The US has grown to be a worldwide energy by attracting world expertise. Now Washington criticizes those that select Beijing over it, displaying American elites’ calculated snobbery.”
The row over Gu has turn into a microcosm of China-United States tensions and the broader political battle round them. That’s, the irritation of mutual nationalist anger and the rising sense of insecurity that has dogged the American psyche surrounding China, the worry of its personal displacement in a altering world, the worry of a lack of standing, the twilight of its personal unipolarity, and the will to re-establish America’s rightful place. Gu’s achievements have been overshadowed by the firestorm, which follows America’s wholesale politicization of the Winter Olympics as a part of its propaganda battle towards China, which has poisoned the media surroundings.
All through the occasion, the narrative has been relentlessly unfavorable, from astroturfing the complaints of athletes, to hammering limitless experiences about Uighurs and the ‘lacking’ tennis participant Peng Shuai, to attacking the nation’s zero-Covid insurance policies, and so forth. This politicized narrative seeks to deprive China of any elevated legitimacy or optimistic perceptions from the occasion. So the story of an American-born athlete attaining gold for China descends right into a political tug of battle, although it is extremely frequent in all sports activities for athletes to decide on to play for different nations by means of their parentage.
While some in America cry foul, Gu turns into a key determine for China in the way it strives to current itself, as a rustic that’s open, attaining, and rising, and able to attracting expertise from all around the world. America’s vitriolic response to her exposes its whole unwillingness to simply accept why one would possibly legitimately determine with China. The US has whipped up a binary narrative depicting every part as being orchestrated as a villainous plot by the Communist Get together, which doesn’t authentically signify the desire of the Chinese language individuals, as per the Western assumption of “enlightenment.”
According to these assumptions, American politicians and media retailers successfully dehumanize all Chinese language individuals as spies, thieves, and propagandists, who inauthentically toe the get together line. China’s rise is portrayed as being on the expense of America by means of “theft” and so-called “unfair practices” (like producing higher items, extra cheaply, than American companies can).
Anybody who contradicts this narrative is dismissed as paid, brainwashed, or in cahoots with the Communist Get together. The flexibility for balanced dialogue has been closed down amid surging new McCarthyism. This phenomenon has been proven relentlessly within the saga with Peng Shuai, the place the mainstream media and the Ladies’s Tennis Affiliation will merely not depart her alone or belief something she says, until she provides them the anti-China narrative they need to hear.
The concept a gifted and high-achieving American-born woman may go for China above the US is solely inconceivable for the common American to grasp. She should, subsequently, be a traitor, an opportunist, or in it for the cash. A superb act of athleticism poisoned by an orchestrated hate marketing campaign.
But a lot to the dismay of America, Gu has disregarded the criticism of her. She has declared that she has no regrets and says China is the place she finds her belonging. Who’re we to evaluate this? And who’re we to point out resentment in the direction of her? Gu, who determined in 2019 to compete for China (the place she is nicely referred to as Gu Ailing), has an unimaginable future forward of her, and the US reactions to her astounding victory solely present how ugly, how bitter, and the way toxic America has turn into in its strategy in the direction of China. It’s the collective lack of sanity of a complete nation.
The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the writer and don’t essentially signify these of RT.