Dozens of foreigners tell the Global Times how safe they feel in China

Society & Culture

The Shanghai branch of the Global Times’ English edition released a video today that invites about 20 expatriate residents of Shanghai to comment on how safe they feel in China.

The video has four segments.

In the first part, to the question of “Is China safe?,” a crew of foreigners unanimously says yes!

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The second section allows the interviewees to elaborate on why China makes them feel safe. At one point, a man brings up the topic of gun violence, saying there is no gun violence in China to his knowledge. “If you compare it to America, that’s a different story,” he says.

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Another man, from India, says that he has never faced any sort of racial discrimination in China. Moreover, many of the interviewees mention the robust presence of police and video cameras across the country, which gives them a sense of security.

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The third part of the video is devoted to the expatriates explaining how China has exceeded their expectations.

The final segment comprises stories by the same crew of foreigners about how they were robbed or cheated when traveling outside China.

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Despite the uplifting spirit of the video, local hostility toward expatriates in China can be seen in reactions to the video on Weibo:

“Of course foreign masters (洋大人 yángdàrén) feel safe in China,” the most upvoted comment reads, underscored by a decades-old, and sometimes accurate, idea among Chinese people that foreigners in China enjoy privileges that locals are denied access to.

The English edition of the Global Times has been experimenting with street interviews with expatriates for some time. The series is unimaginatively named “Foreigners in China,” although the Chinese name is 歪果仁在中国 (wāiguǒ rén zài zhōngguó), a smarmy pun meaning something like “bent fruit in China.” Subjects covered in some past videos include both China-related topics, such as “Foreigners evaluate Chinese women’s social status” and “Diplomat’s Chinese names,” as well as some issues that seem completely random, such as expatriates’ views on cheating, fitness, and hairstyle preference.