Calming the furorA court decided to drop an arrest warrant against a Chinese student allegedly involved in a mass act of violence during the recent Olympic torch relay in Seoul. The court explained that the suspect confessed his guilt, and sufficient evidence such as a video clip has already been secured.
It added that as he is banned from travel, there are no concerns that he might flee the police or hide traces of the crime. It is a considerate decision after due consideration. We need to look back and try to gain new insights into the crisis by taking a deep breath to calm ourselves.
Any act of violence without due consideration of a country’s laws can not be justified for any reason. It is natural that the suspect should be punished according to Korean law. However, a distinction must be made between the illegal behavior by a minority of Chinese students and legitimate acts by the majority of those studying in Korea. Even though a few students made huge mistakes, they do not represent all the Chinese students in Korea or the whole Chinese population of 1.3 billion. We should calm ourselves and deal with the affair based on our laws and ethical principles.
Many people worldwide are expressing growing concerns that Chinese young people are behaving inappropriately. However, it is dangerous to believe that the major culprits behind their behavior was China’s indiscriminate patriotism and prejudiced nationalism, as some in the media have insisted.
It is understandable that the Chinese youths have pride in their nation. They were born after the 1980s, when the Chinese government strived to pursue opening policies, and enjoyed the benefits of remarkable economic growth. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is a symbol of China’s revival. It is wrong for the pride of Chinese young people to be completely misconstrued. It is also wrong that questions that have been raised over the country’s human rights and democracy record be blamed for China’s rising tendency towards patriotism.
As reflected in the 1960s Cultural Revolution and 1989 Tiananmen crisis, we need to be well aware that the wrath of the Chinese youth can be directed at the nation’s own social institutions.
Against this backdrop, we need to make concerted efforts to achieve mutual understanding from a balanced perspective.
We need to end controversies surrounding the Olympic torch by drawing on our wisdom.