Too much: China Daily rants on about the wicked, wicked West

At first I thought it was a parody, something The Onion might have done to satirize China Daily. But no, I’m afraid it’s the real thing. It’s hilarious. It’s outrageous. It’s totallty insane.

This article is described as an opinion piece from a reader. But would China Daily have given it this much space if it didn’t approve? Let’s see what this opinionator, one Blackie Lau, has to say.

From the First Opium War 1839-1842 in the Qing period, China has been maligned by the West and is still to this very day being maligned.

It was after all, not a matter of technology superior barbarians, but treachery by the west on a scale never before experienced by China and of course the use of the drug opium to set the standard of the mistakes of the west for the next 150 years, the constant demand for the Chinese to kowtow.

Oh dear. We’re back to the old argument that the treacherous Westerners brought about all of China’s woes with the opium wars more than 160 years ago. But wait; it gets much richer.

The arrogance of the west, of their minister advisers and the wicked designs on Chinese wealth of the western rulers, was the sole single force on Chinese technology lag during that period, which after 1949 quickly picked up again, until at present China forges ahead, again.

Darling, after 1949 things went to hell in a handbasket. China is still reeling from Mao’s asphyxiation of his people’s minds, from the destruction of their farmland and environment, from the famines and the insanity of the Cultural Revolution. Things only picked up and surged when Deng decided to embrace that vile Western economic model known as capitalism.

The west never learned from their past mistakes in relation to China from 1842-1935, the west continued to use treachery and designs on Chinese wealth to force China into as many losing positions as was possible.

The wests were ferocious when they waged wars on China and did search and find as much Chinese wealth as possible.

Chairman Mao and the CCP fought for a conclusion to these years of western treachery and were victorious in 1949.

The western bigots and zealots, however, have never ceased to have designs on China and on China wealth and prosperity, still today.

Okay, time out. I thought this line of thinking died with the Great Helmsman. Haven’t Western markets (not to mention Western investment) been one of the foundations of China’s stratospheric growth over the past few decades? Haven’t China and the Western nations made steady progress in recent years; don’t most Western companies and the politicians they own look at China as a partner now, as opposed to an enemy? I mean, where is this vitriol coming from?

If the west and their running dogs of war now expect a mercy from China for all these past invasions and thefts, they are seriously mistaken.

Only time will tell, if China chooses to forget the wrongs done to her by the wests and her imperial hunting dogs.

The West must face up to the treachery and insults given to China.

Uh-oh. Sounds like a veiled threat to me — as though it’s China’s whim whether or not to wreak deserved vengeance on the wicked, wicked West (and, of course, our “imperial hunting dogs,” whatever the fuck that refers to).

The creative China and progressive thoughts of China were held down by the western running dogs until the revival of 1949.

How many innocent Chinese were destroyed by the west, we may know.

Chinese by the how many, we will never know, lost their lives due to the treachery of the west and her running dogs, even Naking can easily be connected to the western dogs of war.

Never again should the west, be allowed that kind of access to China.

You’re sitting there with a straight face and asking how many Chinese were destroyed by the West? Open your eyes, good sir: The two mass butchers of China were not westerners. They were named Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai Shek. Does any Westerner even come close to having so much Chinese blood on his hands? Okay, since you obviously don’t know, I’ll give you the answer: No.

And are you really trying to lay responsibility for the Rape of Nanjing on us? I’d always heard the Japanese were behind that, and never that the genocide was facilitated by “Western connections.” But then, reading this article, I realize that most of what I’ve read and learned throughout my life must be wrong.

Can the west redress these errors and mistakes they made with China. ?

I don’t think so.

The Chinese leaders trust the Chinese people and the Chinese people trust their leaders and together this trust as always is for the national interest.

I see. And I suppose it’s this great trust that’s prompting China’s wise and loving leaders to make plans for mass arrests of suspected dissidents before the upcoming 15th anniversay of the Tianamen Square Massacre (another example of why the Chinese citizens trust the CCP so whole-heartedly)? And it’s this great trust that inspires the leaders to watch every click thier loyal citizens make as they surf the net, and to imprison students who meet to discuss democracy?

I am still wondering if this whole thing is a joke. It reeks of surrealism. Maybe it’s the CCP making fun of itself. giving itself an old-fashioned roast. Can you imagine the CCP ever laughing at itself? (No.)

This is such Maoist tripe, it sounds like it was written during the Great Leap Backward or the Cultural Revolution. And they print this in the English-language newspaper that’s read by Westerners, and handed out to us on Chinese airplanes???

Something’s off. Something is really, really screwy. It has to be a joke — right?

UPDATE: I notice they are allowing comments to be posted about this essay. Some are quite critical. I am now going to cut and paste my entire post and add it to the comments. If they let it run, my hopes for China’s political progress will be vastly increased. Anyone want to place any bets?


Haunted by the ghosts of Tiananmen Square, Dai Qing continues to fight for China’s freedom

This is the story of Dai Qing, a faithful CCP member who drew the party’s wrath in the late 1980s when she dared to question the Three Gorges Dam project, and who was jailed for 10 months following the Tiananmen Square crackdown. It is also a story of what Tiananmen Square meant, and what a setback the resulting massacre was for a country thirsting for reform. A setback that to this day haunts the nation.

Looking back and looking forward. It is a preoccupation in China these days.

The push forward is seen in the rapid economic reform and expansion that has made the nation with its teeming population the envy of many and a magnet for new investment.

But the glance back is always there, too, as the ghosts of Tiananmen Square haunt the nation of 1.3 billion.

The memory of the deadly military crackdown nearly 15 years ago remains as vivid as it is nightmarish for Dai Qing, a Chinese environmentalist and journalist who was jailed for 10 months on the heels of the government siege on pro-democracy demonstrations.

Reading about the former guided missile engineer who became a journalist gave me that sense of renewed hope, that if there are more people like her, there really is hope for meaningful change. The article refers to her as the “conscience of the nation.”

Her visit to Beloit as the 2004 Weissberg Professor of International Studies coincided with the anniversary of the mid-April start of peaceful protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

These days, the diminutive woman with fiery opinions walks with the same resolve and energy that pushed her to stroll past government tanks to officially resign from the Communist Party days after the June 4, 1989, military crackdown.

Even though she has been virtually banned from publishing in China, she no longer has a job as a journalist and she has essentially been blacklisted in her own country, she says she still carries a potent weapon: the truth.

“I don’t think I can argue with my fellow writers or journalists. But the way I choose to live my life is the way I choose,” said 63-year-old Dai, responding to those who have questioned why she chooses to live in China when so many other dissidents have left the country.

“My mission is in China,” Dai said. “I will not say, OK, I will leave China and have a better life. This is where I am supposed to be — serving as the conscience [of the nation] in the spirit of the public intellectual.”

I don’t know where people like this draw their courage from, or what it is that transforms them from functionary to revolutionary. All I know is that there are many, many such people in China. It’s tragic, of course, that so many of them are behind bars, but inspiring to see how determined and irrepressible they remain, even after being released.


Posts of the last three days lost

Sorry, I am still having a few problems here. All my posts from the weekend appear to have been deleted, so I’m a bit depressed.

Meanwhile, most of the other problems I’ve been having have been corrected! Big thanks to Stacy at Sekimori for her help.


Mocking Pat Tillman, or Why so many people hate The Left

I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the far-left-leaning Portland Independent Media Center had prinited a copy an article on the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan with the following headline:

Dumb Jock Killed in Afghanistan

How clever. How smart. How quintessentially witty.

Whoever wrote that headline is a total POS and a fool. Tillman is a hero’s hero (and “hero” is a word I use sparingly) and to mock his death is simply disgusting, and worse.

Can you imagine the hurt this could cause Tillman’s family and friends? Can you imagine the grist this can provide for the Republican’s propaganda mill? How could anyone be so stupid?

The more I think about it, the madder I get, so I’d better end it here.


Live discussion of China’s supression of “New Youth Study Group”

Yesterday Philip Pan of the Washington Post held a live online discussion about his devastating account of how China crushed a harmless student group in 2000, sending four of its members to prison for 8- and 10-year terms. It’s worth taking a look at the questions and answers for a couple of reasons.

As a reporter for a mainstream newspaper, Pan was being extremely cautious in his replies, as he should, but it’s easy to see that he is disgusted not only with the machinations of the CCP, but also with the argument that change must only occur slowly and with “baby steps.”

Q. Shanghai, China: Political change can not be made overnight. I am afraid that the radical change appoach could do more harm than good in China. What do you think?
A. Philip P. Pan: A very good question, but of course, political change can happen overnight. It just might be painful. Personally, I agree that “radical change” could be difficult for a large and volatile country like China to handle. On the other hand, I think using that as an excuse not to embark on any political reform or to change too slowly can be just as harmful, perhaps even more so.

What a thrilling statement — “political change can happen overnight.” Going about it too slowly is possibly worse than doing it too fast.

Pan also says the oft-heard contention that the Chinese are not interested in human rights and that money is their primary concern is a falsehood.

I think it’s unfair to say that the vast majority of Chinese are unconcerned about stories like this as long as their incomes continue to increase. The sense of outrage is limited, though, because many Chinese are simply unaware of stories like this. They are not published in China’s state-run media, of course. The government has been very careful to prevent stories that cause a lot of outrage from getting too much media attention for fear of causing social instability. They’re quite good at it. Of course, keeping incomes rising (which is a challenge in itself) is an important part of the formula too…. There’s no doubt that the Chinese people are concerned about human rights.

The other point that struck me was Pan’s apparent belief that China could indeed shed itself of the CCP without imploding into civil war and/or anarchy; I was in complete agreement when he said that “devolution of power from the central government doesn’t necessarily have to lead to chaos and war. Some intellectuals here believe some type of federal system would be quite appropriate for as large and diverse a nation as China.”

He also confirmed another point I believe in, that pressure on the CCP works, and that there isn’t enough of it:

I think there’s little doubt the world has put pressure on China to change, and that China responds to such pressure. But there’s also little doubt that commercial interests have influenced the actions of foreign governments, and that the Chinese leadership knows this and uses it to its advantage.

There’s a whole lot there, and if you read carefully and read between the lines, you’ll see that this reporter has had it with the CCP. (Actually, just reading his original article that’s abundantly clear.) And note how when a questioner tries to credit the CCP for creating stability, he counters that the Chinese people are sensitive to the sins of their leaders, and the stability may not be as stable as it appears.

If you can read Chinese, Pan said that some of the study group’s essays are now posted on a mirror site. Please tell me after you look at them — did they deserve to spend the best years of their lives in prison?

You can find photographs and profiles of the students involved here. It really puts a human face on this sickening story.

NOTE: There were many comments to this post, and they were all deleted due to code problems. Apologies.


More on Shanghai, “Pearl of the Orient”

Check Conrad’s painfully funny post and the equally entertaining comments. Also, there are lot’s of precious comments over at TalkLeft’s post that started it all. (Apparently the commenters got a bit out of hand, and the thread is now closed. Damn.)

TalkLeft is a great site that I visit all the time and that I plan to blogroll once I get control of my blog again. It’s just the post on Shanghai that I found so mystifying.


Just what I needed

With my blog hopelessly corrupted (code-wise, not philosophically) and with the whole day generally yucky, reading this was just what what I needed. I was laughing out loud.

Via the sublime Tbogg.


Behind the Columbine High School massacre

David Brooks has an intriguing column on what actually motivated Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to attack the students and teachers of Columbine High School. So interesting, to see how wrong everyone’s early perceptions of the event were.

UPDATE: Brooks has actually interviewd the Klebolds in an extraordinary follow-up piece.


Something’s wrong with my blog

Sorry, but I’ve been having trouble all day, with error messages popping up, posts not posting, comments not registering, archives vanishing and then reappearing, etc. If you post a comment, you’ll probably get an error message. Don’t post it twice — it’ll show up shortly.

Meanwhile, if there is someone out there who is very kind who knows how to troubleshoot MT and who’d be willing to help me fix the problem, please send me an email.

Here’s hoping that this actually get posted.


Brainysmurf retiring?

A tragic loss for the Chinese blogging community. Let’s hope it’s temporary, a case of delirium brought on by Adam’s recent bout with the flu. It won’t be the same without him.