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Foreigners in China: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Headlines of recent stories involving “foreigners” at People’s Daily Online tell the story. Er, stories:

Dr. Jekyll:

- Number of foreigners studying in China shoots up nearly 30 percent

- Number of foreigners working in China soars

- Foreigner enjoys making Zongzi

- Foreigners charmed by China’s intangible cultural heritages

- Foreigners enjoy Chinese culture during the festival

Mr. Hyde:

- Foreigner scattering money lures Chinese on street

- Foreign nationals prosecuted for robbery in south China

- Foreigners who break the law to be deported

Still on the fence:

- Newly proposed socialist values in the eyes of foreigners

And I still get irked when I read in the Chinese press “foreigner” this and “foreigner” that.

If the U.S. press invoked the same narrow conception of the world, lumping countless countries and cultures and there peoples into a single group, we probably would have seen headlines like these:

August 2006

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