The Chinese government came out swinging aganst what they termed “Western media bias” which has depicted riots in Tibet as being caused by China and ignores the violent behavior of Tibetan protestors. Many Chinese bloggers are furious at the refusal of the Western media to discuss what they term to be widespread violence and killing on the part of Tibetan demonstrators. For example, Chinese authorities claim BBC carried a picture with the caption: “there is heavy military presence in Lhasa” even though the picture showed a Chinese ambulance. American Fox News was charged with publishing a photo with the caption: “Chinese toops parade handcuffed Tibetan prisoners in trucks” although the photo was that of a policeman from India dragging a man away. There are also charges of Western media showing photos of Nepalese police in riots with Tibetans but captions claim Chinese police are engaged in the activity.
There is undoubtedly some truth in the Chinese complaints about bias. There is no question most people in the West have been furious at the heavy handed Chinese government’s policies toward any form of dissidence. Given that history, it is not shocking Western media outlets would jump at the chance to depict China in an unfavorable light. One solution is for China to grant freedom to Western media and to allow dissidents to openly express their views. Such an approach would begin to dissipate the issue of bias.