A poem originally written in Chinese and called "What do you really want from us" has recently been making the rounds on the internet, both in Chinese and in its English translation, and it has caused much debate. Although its autorship has not been confirmed, it is rumoured to have been written by a retired Chinese professor of physics in an American university.
The poem is directed at Westerners and complains about the double standards they employ when they view China. Although I don't think all the points raised in the poem make sense, I feel at least some of them really hit home. It certainly gives voice to the general feeling among many Chinese that Westerners are basically biased towards them and unwilling to accept China becoming a great power which is able to compete with them on its own terms. Here is the poem itself, in both English and Chinese:
The Poem (in English)
What Do You Really Want from Us?
When we were the Sick Man of Asia, we were called The Yellow Peril.
When we are billed to be the next Superpower, we are called The Threat.
When we closed our doors, you smuggled drugs to open markets.
When we embrace Free Trade, You blame us for taking away your jobs.
When we were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your fair share.
When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet you screamed, It Was an Invasion!
When tried Communism, you hated us for being Communist.
When we embrace Capitalism, you hate us for being Capitalist.
When we have a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet.
When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.
When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.
When we loan you cash, you blame us for your national debts.
When we build our industries, you call us Polluters.
When we you goods, you blame us for global warming.
When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.
When you go to war for oil, you call it liberation.
When we were lost in chaos and rampage, you demanded rules of law.
When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it violating human rights.
When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech.
When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed-xenophobes.
“Why do you hate us so much”we asked.
“No,” you answered, “we don't hate you.”
We don't hate you either, But, do you understand us?
“Of course we do, ”you said, “We have AFP, CNN and BBC's.”
What do you really want from us?
Think hard first, then answer. Because you only get so many chances.
Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for This One World.
We want One World, One Dream, and Peace on Earth.
This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.
The Poem (in Chinese)