Posted by: bklunk | February 5, 2007

These Guys Just Don’t Seem to Get It

China’s Reputation at Stake: AIDS-Activists

Source: ALEXA OLESEN, “AIDS activist stopped from visiting U.S.,” Associate Presss, Sunday February 4, 2007,  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070205/ap_on_re_as/china_aids_whistleblower

This article is about a Chinese doctor who was prevented from attending a fundraiser in Washington by the Chinese government. In the past, she has made efforts to alert people of AIDS being spread by tainted blood transfusions.

The Chinese government has viewed heractions as subordination and have confined her to her home so that she does not leave the country.

Apparently, this woman represents to the Chinese government, the AIDS problem the government created when allowing HIV patients to sell their blood in the past. It seems to me that China is worried about its reputation in terms of human rights. If this woman was to go to Washington and speak about the transgressoins of China, it would result in negative public opinion of China. Thus, China is acting liberal in the sense that it wants to maintain a good reputation with other countries as to maintain respect from the international community.

AIDS activist Gao Yaojie is seen at a hotel during a visit to Shanghai in this March 27, 2004 file photo.  Gao, who is known for her fight to expose blood-buying schemes that infected thousands with HIV has been put under house arrest to stop her going to Washington to be honored by a Hillary Clinton charity, a friend said Monday, Fab. 5, 2007. (AP Photo/Christopher Bodeen/File)

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Responses

  1. It seems to me that by not allowing Gao to attend this and previous international awards banquets for her work in the fight against AIDS, the Chinese government is placing its “image” to the global community above the welfare of its people. As a doctor, it appears Gao’s preventive efforts helped to deter the AIDS count. There is no reason to feel that her work was shameful to their nation. She may have spoken out when she was not supposed to, but the only way to solve a problem is to confront and accept the issue at hand. She should be acknowledged for her courage and the awareness education she provided to people who may have never realized there was reason to be wary of the blood. They cannot think that they are fooling anyone by not allowing her to go to Washington. If appearing to the world as a humanitarian country devoted to social welfare, whether that be true or not, is the image they are going for then it seems to be a far better strategy to admit there was an unforeseen issue with AIDS, does it not? They should also embrace, out of concern for their people’s welfare and in an effort to inform citizens and administer aid to those who were infected, that Gao looked out for the ill-informed citizens of China.

  2. It is always exciting to hear of amazing people like Dr. Gao, and her ability to maintain an exceptional program and practice under Chinese authority. Chinese customs are very traditional, and the discussion of HIV/AIDS equates to talking about sex (not an open subject) or a hush-hush practice of selling blood. The Chinese government has typically taken an internal approach to solving social issues, so I am not surprised by the government’s actions. I agree with the original poster that it does seem like the Chinese government is more worried by the perception of the global community than the welfare of its own people. Thankfully, the government now recognizes that HIV is a problem (although it minimizes the issue). China tends to move at a slow pace, so recognition does have to be government for finally acknowledging it. The fact that this article is in the AP gives hope that the international community recognizes China’s suppression of such needed aid.


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