Annie Wang at PostGlobal

Annie Wang

Shanghai, China

Annie Wang is a journalist, public speaker, and author who specializes women’s issue. She has published eight Chinese books and two English novels. Her English debut, Lili - A Novel of Tiananmen, (June 2001 Pantheon Books) published internationally to critical acclaims. A multi-layered novel, Lili, is a story of a "bad girl's" maturation and adventure in the Post-Mao Era leading up the Tiananmen Student Movement in 1989. Her most recent English novel, The People’s Republic of Desire (Harper Collins 2006) is a hilarious satire and an insightful portrait of China’s MTV generation, urban women, and cross-cultural relationships. It has been hailed as a cross between Sex and the City and Joy Luck Club. A child prodigy in her native China, Annie Wang studied mass communications at UC Berkeley and won the Berkeley Poetry Contest in 1996 with two poems, "Speaking to Mao Tse-tung, Tongue-in-cheek" and "A Woman from a Mountain Area". She has worked for high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, and then served in the Washington Post's Beijing bureau and the US State Department. In 2004, she returned to China and ran a fashion magazine in Shanghai. Currently, she lives with her husband and son and divides time between the U.S. and China. Close.

Annie Wang

Shanghai, China

Annie Wang is a journalist, public speaker, and author who specializes women’s issue. She has published eight Chinese books and two English novels. more »

Main Page | Annie Wang Archives | PostGlobal Archives


« Previous Post | Next Post »

China's Majority Doesn't Get Dalai Lama

People often mention Tibet and Xinjiang when talking about ethnic and religious conflict. But if you ask most people within China how view this issue, you might get the response that there is not much ethnic conflict in our country at all.

Of course, the population is 97% Han Chinese and the 55 minority nationalities make up only 3%. The minority's voice is weak. China is also such a secular nation that many people are unreligious. People would tell you that the conflicts we have in China play out more often between the countryside and the cities than between ethnic groups. Basically, most of the Han Chinese have probably never thought about Tibet or Xinjiang from the point of view of the locals in those areas.

I, for example, had never put myself into the shoes of Chinese minorities until I moved to America and became a member of the minority myself. As a Chinese-American, I realized how much the feeling of being respected by mainstream America meant to me. It has helped me better understand why Tibet is such an issue in China.

Tibetans have been both romanticized and demonized by the Han Chinese. Once upon a time, their region was considered one of stupidity and contamination. It seems to me that people fight because we fear the foreign and the unknown. Nowadays, Tibetans and Han Chinese travel back and forth across the border between them and understand each other much better; I sense less superiority when Chinese talk about the Tibetans.

Attitudes toward the Dalai Lama, however, remain hostile. Only when I moved to America did I learn about the Dalai Lama's teachings and wisdom, which have won my deep respect. Many of my peers in China think the opposite and deem the Dalai Lama a separatist. I would love to see the Chinese government become confident enough to let the Dalai Lama return to Tibet and talk to younger Chinese generations about his people and his religion. Why not? With the speed of internet growth, it is not at all difficult for young Chinese to learn about the rest of the world on their own – a world in which the Dalai Lama is admired.

Please e-mail PostGlobal if you'd like to receive an email notification when PostGlobal sends out a new question.

Email the Author | Del.icio.us | Digg | Facebook

Reader Response

ALL COMMENTS (133)

Post a comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

Categories

  • America's Role
  • Business and Technology
  • Culture and Society
  • Environment
  • Human Rights
  • Interfaith Issues
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Islamic Movements
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Morality
  • Personal Religion
  • Religion & Leadership
  • Religion & Politics
  • Religious Conflict
  • Rule of Law
  • Security and Terrorism
  • Spirituality
  • The Global Economy
  • The New Asia
  • Theology
PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send your comments, questions and suggestions for PostGlobal to Lauren Keane, its editor and producer.