by Xinhua writer Ma Qian
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Western media purportedly claim to be unbiased and fact-oriented. But when it comes to China, the impulse to toss aside journalistic ethics and manipulate the truth is now boringly obvious.
For the past several months, a number of mainstream media outlets in the West have kept their smearing machines humming. They either choose to echo fallacies about China's human rights record by unknowing politicians or simply make up stories, such as the bizarre "Wuhan lab leak" theory. The topic du jour this time around is LinkedIn.
Earlier last week, the BBC, The New York Times and the Financial Times, garbled a decision by LinkedIn and hyped up the social networking platform's "China demise" by giving the wrong impression that the company decided to quit the Chinese market.
The news outlets were soon left with egg on their face. LinkedIn denied such claims on its official Weibo account and called the reports "untrue." Later, LinkedIn's senior vice president Mohak Shroff posted online that "We will continue to work with Chinese businesses to help create economic opportunity."
The LinkedIn incident is yet more evidence that Western media, with their dominant global sway, seize any opportunity to demonize China and mislead public opinion about Beijing.
In the case of LinkedIn, the Western press was attempting to convince global investors that China is a hostile environment for overseas companies. What these media outlets fail to realize is that China did not become the world's second largest economy by turning away foreign business.
Much to the disappointment of these news media, the vicious disinformation campaign attempting to drive a wedge between foreign investment and China has come up short.
In fact, a majority of Western enterprises remain confident in the Chinese economy and its increasingly open market.
In an annual China Business Report released in September by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, 77.9 percent of the 338 surveyed U.S. companies were "optimistic" or "slightly optimistic" of the five-year business outlook in China, close to the 80 percent figure from 2015 to 2018.
More than 82 percent of the respondents anticipated higher revenues in 2021 than in 2020, with the most confident industries being pharmaceuticals, medical devices and life sciences, auto-motive, non-consumer electronics and industrial manufacturers.
The tide appears to be turning against all this negative coverage.
More people around the world, and some Western journalists themselves, are beginning to feel indignant and disgusted by this customary negative portrayal of China.
Javier Garcia, head of the office of the EFE News Agency of Spain in Beijing, said recently that he would soon leave journalism, as the flagrant information manipulation about China by Western media "has taken a good dose of my enthusiasm for this profession."
In today's world, countries are growing increasingly interconnected and interdependent. And in the face of such formidable global challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, all countries need to come together as one community if they want to weather these crises.
Yet as Western media continue to produce and peddle lies, they damage much needed trust and solidarity among the nations of the world, while stimulating hate, mayhem and hostility.
Plenty of op-ed pieces and commentaries about China are written by folks who have never stepped foot inside the country. Yet such uninformed views of China have an outsized influence on the news-consuming public.
The BBC and The New York Times once enjoyed a stellar reputation, but overly biased and misleading coverage of China has seriously eroded their credibility.
Western news outfits should quit paying lip service to the journalistic principles of impartiality and "only the facts" and start reporting the truth about China. Their readers deserve better. Enditem