【明報專訊】OVER the years, as its economy has boomed, China has quickly become much more powerful. Now it has greater and greater say in international affairs. However, generally speaking, China is just like a nouveau riche in many foreign eyes. It has yet to earn the respect it deserves. There are many reasons. For example, its political system is not democratic, and it has very different values. Such factors are often rehearsed. We are not going to discuss these big issues. It is clear from the chaos that has been seen at World Expo 2010 since its trial run began that management is poor in China and mainlanders are of low quality. One may feel ashamed of it. China and Chinese people are still far from worthy of respect.
The aspect of World Expo 2010 that has given people the deepest impression since it opened three days ago is the scene of visitors rushing into the park at 9 am. Large numbers of them dash into it. They then push at volunteers who hand out passes to the China pavilion. To get those passes, visitors, male or female, young or old, push and shove and hurl abuse at one another with stupefying ferocity. This is the way citizens of the rising China behave. Foreign reporters and their Hong Kong counterparts have covered such scenes for three days. Some Hong Kong reporters have noticed foreign reporters would smile at the chaos in sight. We may say their reports of mainland visitors fighting one another for passes would certainly damage the Chinese nation's image.
Shanghai is a leading mainland city. Those who run the Expo are no doubt the cream of mainland officialdom. Why have they no idea that tickets should be queued for? Why have they allowed visitors to fight for passes in uproar? That is very baffling indeed. The organisers must try to improve the situation as soon as possible lest "ugly Chinese" should continue to disgrace themselves in front of the world.
Mainlanders would jump the queue or flout social ethics in other ways. Many have experienced their rudeness. Mainland Expo visitors' behaviour, which reporters have seen over the past few days, would improve neither their own image nor the nation's. For example, many spots in the park have become their resting places. Our reporters have seen them sit on the ground as they please or just take off their shoes and lie on the ground using Expo maps as their mats. They just do as they please regardless of what others may think. Their behaviour is so unsightly and so impolite that one hardly know how to begin to describe it.
This is the first time China has hosted a world expo. It is not possible to improve mainlanders' behaviour instantly so that they would be polite Expo visitors, nor is it realistic to try to do so. However, the organisers should have regarded it as a challenge to deal with such visitors. They now have a good opportunity to render the nation meritorious service. They must know very well how civil mainland people are and how things stand on the mainland. If they make such satisfactory arrangements that visitors will subconsciously behave themselves, Chinese people's new mentality will present itself to the world. World Expo 2010 will last 180 more days. It is hoped that the organisers will try hard with the public's support so that the Chinese people can by means of World Expo 2010 change the world's established conceptions of them and win the respect they have longed for.