Generation Gap: On Brooklyn Beckham's Controversial Comment

By Edoardo Donati Fogliazza, November 6, 2018

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Generation Gap' is a monthly series where we ask two Beijingers from two different generations their thoughts on a random issue. This time we ask Li, 29 and Wu, 76 their thoughts on Brooklyn Beckham's controversial comment regarding Chinese tourists in Italy.



Brooklyn Beckham, son of soccer superstar David Beckham, was targeted by Chinese netizens in October after he posted a sarcastic comment about Chinese tourists in Venice. How do you feel toward his take on the increasing number of mainland tourists that head abroad during the holidays? 

Li, 29

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Image by Edoardo Donati Fogliazza/That's

Well, what he highlighted is the rise of a nation. Now, China is much richer than just 40 years ago – more and more people have the financial freedom and the free time necessary to travel abroad and explore other countries. Is this really so special? I think this trend attracts so much attention because Chinese tourists still show a mindset and a behavior that doesn’t really fit their socio-economic condition. When they go abroad, them and the locals are not really compatible, and tend to clash. On the other hand, although we ourselves can certainly improve our manners, foreigners should really start to relate to Chinese people from an equal standing. I think other countries were used to treating China as a poor friend who they patronized, only to then come to envy what that poor friend has become. What else could be wrong with Chinese tourists traveling to Italy?


Wu, 76

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Image by Edoardo Donati Fogliazza/That's

To be honest, Chinese people tend to lack manners, in every aspect of life. Not a long time has passed since the start of the reform and the process of personal refinement of Chinese people is still underway. This is certainly something that immediately strikes foreigners when they meet Chinese tourists, and I would say this might have influenced Beckham’s son when he posted the pictures. With that being said, China is also a rising power and every country is dealing with this fact in different ways. America is trying to curb China’s rise while others are taking a more defensive stance against us. Truth is, the tables have turned and this is producing reactions from foreign people that are either rooted in history or in fear. But China’s rise is an inevitable trend. Eventually, foreigners will have to come to terms with it. Still, Brooklyn’s pictures show a lack of respect that is probably just a personal trait of his. 

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