Protect China’s national image abroad

Updated: 2014-07-18 17:22

By Li Yang (

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Maintaining China’s national image around the world is the responsibility of every Chinese national and the government, said an article in China Business News. Excerpts:

Some Chinese businessmen’s internal factional fights and their smuggling of ivory in Africa have damaged China’s image on the continent that is so important for China.

The vicious competition among Chinese companies and businessmen’s lack of legal ethics are the cause of the problem, said Lyu Youqing, the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, recently.

The problem is not limited to the business circle, but also caused by some Chinese tourists.

Last year, 97.3 million Chinese traveled abroad. Graffiti on historical heritage sites, disrespect of local manners and customs and speaking loudly in public places are the most common bad behaviors of Chinese travelers that stir heated debate at home on the moral quality of the Chinese people.

The Chinese people and the government must reflect on the reasons behind these problems.

On one hand, some people do not even recognize their misconduct or their lack of respect for other people. The weak rule of law in China’s political, economic and social spheres accelerates the decline of public morality and traditional Chinese manners, which value harmony, peace and family laws.

Those Chinese who can afford to travel abroad are mostly rich. Some accumulate their wealth from illegal means. Power and money give them privileges at home. Accustomed to exceptional treatment in China, they rarely reflect on behavior that would be regarded as misconduct in other countries.

The government should take responsibility for this also, to some extent. Some corrupt officials seek illegal profit from their power. Conspiring with some businessmen, corrupt civil servants damage people’s trust in the government, which is believed to be a factor worsening the people’s confidence in good morals, honesty and tradition.

On the other hand, Chinese tourists need to pay more attention to handling cultural differences appropriately while traveling overseas.

Chinese businessmen and travelers abroad must observe local laws and respect local customs and religions. The Chinese government and its embassies and consulates must handle cases damaging China’s national image properly and in a timely manner to reduce their negative influence.