Friday, January 21, 2011

Same Words, Different Meaning 

This is something PR practitioners are familiar with --the use of a common phrase but a different interpretation of its meaning.  For the Chinese, human rights are not the same as they are for the Western world.  While we value Free Speech and a right to dissent, the Chinese don't.  They see it as treason.  One has the right to speak but not against the state. The Chinese value the rights of individuals to a job, enough to eat and a chance to advance.  They are making themselves into a world power through elevating the prospects of their citizens.  However, there is a point beyond economic prosperity that one may not go.  The Party is in power and will remain so for as long as Chinese leadership can survive.  It is understandable that China's leaders think this way.  They know the hardships brought on by political controversy.  They don't want to see it again.  So, while the US can talk of the need for human rights, the Chinese can focus on their version of it and resent America's preaching.


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