‘1月19日，南韓正式公布將首都Seoul的中文譯名由漢城改為首爾，意謂「首位的城市」。’ So, from now on, what's the name of the city you just visited? You need to think about it before answering. From this piece of 'news' (I knew it just now, 2 Feb), I have thought of one other 'Chinese oriented' international matter. It is just one little thing showing the gradual changes of the position of China in international relationships.
Don't know if anybody has noticed it or not, there is a new official website of Austrian National Tourist Office in Chinese using the Pinyin (Putonghua phonetic system) of the Chinese name of Austria (www.AoDiLi.cn) concentrating for PRC market. For such a small country (comparatively, as in Europe), where Chinese tourists seldom think of going, they have provided an independent website for them! According to different online sources ( I can provide the references later if asked), the three top European destinations are France (more accurately Paris, if you ask me), Switzerland and Italy. If you ask a common mainland Chinese (reasonably educated one) about impressions towards Austria, I bet (s)he could only mention 'Vienna', 'crystal' (because of Swarovsky) and 'music', probably. What else is there? However, the action of establishing such a 'PRC based' website shows something.
First of all, it shows the 'friendship' between two countries. Austria is trying their best to be friendly to China, can't you see that?
Also, all European countries have been looking forward to the huge tourism market in China. They see it as肥豬肉 after all the media covering stories of Chinese tourists buying antiques and expensive watches. Austria, with its rather limited resources, tries to compete with such strong competitors. With its bad location, it is neither practical to start the European journey nor to end it with this point. For most Chinese tours, they try to include as many countries as possible within as few days as possible. So, there are a lot of 走馬看花團 in the market, with the most extreme example of 11 countries 15 days tour with two nights staying in Paris alone! They travel from north to south, from west to east or from east to west throughout the trip. To save time, a lot of landmarks and famous destinations are not visited. In the way, the famous Vienna is too remoted to be included in such an itinerary, while Innsbruck may be the only city visited in Austria.
A local friend told me, for visiting Vienna, even one whole week would not be enough. Although I can't agree with it exactly, Vienna has its own features which are worth seeing. However, culture doesn't sell in China. What is needed is 'relationship'. That's why Austria is trying to build up a strong image of friendly and to use their own language to communicate in order to provide a sense of linkage.
We can all see that from the two little stories above, Chinese (as a language) has been more and more taken care. One very major reason is the sad fact of poor foreign language standard of most of our 廣大同胞. The use of a 'special' URL has provided a special 'status' of Mainland Chinese, as only they know the meaning of Aodili, and it gives the 'priviledge' & 'right' of our dear Chinese to ignore the English name of Austria. It is the other extreme against 'Internationalisation' (please refer to the case of CUHK discussed in a lot of columnsin inmedia). What is good, and what is bad?
People teach me that there is always grey between black and white, so, a name is just a name, is that so important?
What's the name? The name of the country I visited was 'AoDiLi'! What's your name by the way?