Stosunek chińskich studentów do ataku terrorystycznego 11 września 2001 r. na USA
Chinese students’ attitudes to the September 11 attack on the USA
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The study presents the results of author's own survey conducted in Nanjing in June 2002. The questions concerning attitudes towards the September 11 attack constituted merely a part of a much broader questionnaire concerning knowledge of the West, opinions concerning its strong and weak points as well as personal attitudes towards the process of Westernization of China. The questions and answers were given in Chinese. During the survey the author avoided any direct contact with Chinese students in order to get their true opinions, not distorted by considerations of Chinese politeness. In order to conduct the survey in a usual situation, "within the circle of the Chinese", the author was assisted by his Chinese friends who had distributed the questionnaires amongst the students, and then collected them and returned to the author. 108 students, 61 male and 47 female took part in this survey. They studied at the Nanjing Normal University, the Hehai University, and the School of Fine Arts. Students were asked one question concerning the September 11 attack: "What are your feelings towards the terrorist attack on the USA". They had to choose one answer among the four "closest to their feelings". The results are as following: The option / the number of persons Bin Laden did well / 28 Deeply in my heart I'm glad of it / 14 I don't have any feelings / 29 I feel compassion for America / 30 4 students did not answer at all. Three others gave an indirect answer (they rejected making the choice, but wrote their comment, that they feel compassion for the people, not for the country). Three other students, who made the choice, commented that they feel compassion for the victims not America as a state. Two others wrote down the word: "revenge" (baoying). Therefore, when one considers all answers, the three groups could be distinguished: the persons "satisfied with the attack" (42), "indifferent" (29), and "expressing sympathy" (30). The first roughly constituted 40%, whereas the two remaining 30% each. There were some differences in this respect among male and female students. - / Together / Females / Males Bin Laden did well / 9 / 19 / 28 Deeply in my hear I'm glad of it / 5 / 9 / 14 I don't have any feelings / 14 / 15 / 29 I feel compassion for America / 18 / 12 / 30 As we can see, the female students (50%) are more willing to condole America than males (30%). Perhaps, it is related to the feminine sympathy towards the "weaker part" and for victims, combined with rejection of violence. However, even more important appears to a deeper involvement of male students into politics (according to the Chinese tradition "politics" and "public affairs" it is the sphere of men, not women). Hence the male students perceived the event from a different perspective: not "human", but "political" and "national", related to the PRC - US relations. Thus strong anti US sentiments were present, but they do not predominate. Similar "nationalist attitudes" were manifested in the relation to the two recent events: the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade by US planes, and the spy plane incident at the Hainan island. Some students obviously regarded the terrorist attack as a kind of punishment for a "hegemonic and anti-Chinese" American policy. But these who declared their compassion for America (or merely for the Americans) and the "indifferent" - account for ca 60%, and this is highly significant.
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