As the Olympic torch continues on the Asian leg of its journey to Beijing, it has left behind TV images of chaos from Paris, London and San Francisco. This Bystander has noted China’s PR problem before, but what damage, if any, has that done to China’s international reputation? Media Tenor, a media research company that advises companies and governments on their reputation management, says in its current newsletter:
Media Tenor’s analysis of international TV news shows how the image of China has been severely damaged and that the Chinese underestimated the political connotations of hosting the summer Olympic Games; China’s aim to become one of the most respected players in the international arena has been quickly dashed as it has been unable to handle severe criticism by western broadcasters.
That stands in contrast with a study the firm did earlier in the year that showed that China’s efforts to be recognized as a responsible global player following its diplomatic efforts in Darfur and its work to intensify and improve trade and political links with Taiwan and India, had been reversing criticism of it for oppression and human rights violations.
That at least is how it all seems from looking at the Western press and broadcasters. Witness the protests against French supermarket Carrefour in several cities across China on Saturday, in reaction to pro-Tibet demonstrations when the torch was in Paris, for the tenor inside the country.