Scary as hell

I heard about this from a colleague at work today, and didn’t believe it until I saw it for myself. Please, go there now and see the look of horror on that poor woman’s face. Look at the orderly and peaceful demonstrators. And she’s Chinese! (The clip is in Chinese but there’s some translation at the link.) I don’t call it “blind rage” for nothing. Yeah, this will help China’s international standing a lot.

The Discussion: 28 Comments

Well, it surely not pretty. But it is actually pretty civilized if you compare it with Los Angles riot, where people shooting each other in early 90’s, or with anti-globalization in seatle a few years ago.

Unfortunately, student demonstration can get much uglier than what you see on the video clip.

April 25, 2005 @ 7:20 pm | Comment

It looks like some of the boys were enjoying the woman’s plight. Cruel and stupid. I wonder how many of those jerks had Japanese branded goods themselves or in their homes.

It goes to show you (1) why government fanned hysteria, the U.S. drum beat for the Iraq war for one example is always about the interests of those in power and not about the manipulated masses and (2) ANY GANG OF POWER HOLDERS NEEDS TO BE CHALLENGED ON ITS USE OF POWER. Hear this Bush, Chaney, Delay, Frist, Rev “dork” Dobson and you many others? Any of you who sit by in America disliking what is going on, but do not raise your voices, do not march and protest, do not donate to The Cause to beat back the unholy challenges of a lying President, a power hungery GOP and of undemocratic religious fanatics with their intellectual thuggery do something useful to balance the power back to multiple party system with its proper checks and balances.

April 25, 2005 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

But Steve, student demonstrations are usually against the police, as were the Seattle riots (against the police and the perceived globalists of the WTO). These were people going hysterical over a totally innocent Chinese girl. You cannot make any comparison with the WTO riots.

April 25, 2005 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

So is this ‘jingoistic rioting with Chinese characteristics’?

April 25, 2005 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

Richard beat me to it.

Steve’s comparison is one of apples to oranges on this topic.

Pete, I was thinking the same thing in regards to those protesters having Japanese goods themselves. In fact, I watched the clip several times last night trying to figure out what brand of cameras were being used in the mob to take photos.

April 25, 2005 @ 7:46 pm | Comment

Well, a lot of Chinese are fighting about this clip on their websites. majority of people consider this behavior despicable including me. One comment is pretty funny though: “Those cowards should beat Japs up instead of our own people.”

April 25, 2005 @ 10:10 pm | Comment

Dear All,

This is written more in sorrow than in anger (though I am a little angry still nevertheless) and as further proof of the fact that “The quality of mercy is not strained/It cometh as the gentle dew from heaven…” – as that sweet young lady once said, I’m sure with me in mind. I’m becoming adept at turning the other cheek, whether of the upper or the lower anatomy must remain a matter for fascinating conjecture at the moment, but all careful readers of Plato will know that all phenomena of the ideal upper world have their imperfect (indeed, sometimes odiferous) counterparts in the world below.

After that portentous introduction I shall proceed to sordid facts. I have recently made a number of contributions to Richard’s Peking Duck site, to the April 21st thread, titled “More on the riots – and a must read.” Some of you, I know, have been following the debate that I entered into with Richard regarding both the nature of Chinese village elections and later, the SARS issue.

My final defence on the SARS issue, in which I outlined my three basic arguments in what turned out to be, I must confess, a rather lengthy series of comments, was to meet Richard’s challenge to either “put up, or shut up.” Naturally, I had chosen the former!

What deeply disturbs me, and this is the reason why I am writing to you all, is that Richard has violated standard blogger ethics by seriously distorting my views, and in such a way as to mock me, to trivialise me, and in an effort, it would appear, to damage my credibility as a person of any intellect.

If this wasn’t upsetting enough, he has also closed the thread in order to prevent me from responding to his outrageous diatribe. By doing so, he has effectively defamed me to some degree. This in fact not only violates blogger ethics, but also, arguably, U.S. law. I shall return to this point later, but first allow me to explain to you the details of how Richard has offended my ethical sensibilities.

I shall not outline here what my arguments are regarding the SARS issue. If you are interested enough, you can open the pages of Peking Duck and read them for yourselves. I will focus instead on Richard’s last commentary, which also happens to be the final word allowed on the thread.

I’m not sure how old Richard is, or of what level of English language comprehension he possesses, but one thing for sure is that he has very clearly misrepresented my entire argument, and in such a way as to call into question my very sanity. Just read his opening line: “Ladies and Gentlemen,” he writes, “step right up and see Mark Anthony Jones in action! Look at how he proves SARS was a hoax – by quoting one Dr. Rath who insists it was a non-issue that could be treated with vitamin C and the amino acid lysine.”

I must say that I was extremely shocked when I read this nonsense this morning. How could somebody completely distort my views in such a ridiculous and obvious way? Either Richard’s reading comprehension is very poor, as I surmised earlier, or he is behaving in a manner that is just plain malicious.

At no time have I ever used Dr Rath to support any of my views, on any topic. Never. I have never quoted Dr. Rath’s views to support a position of my own. In fact, I made it very clear that I do not support Dr Rath’s views. “Do not assume that I agree or endorse Rath’s argument,” I wrote, “because it sounds a little too over the top to me.”

Furthermore, it must be said here that I did not even refer to Dr Rath when presenting my arguments about the SARS issue. I mentioned him, in a completely separate commentary, in order only to provide an example of someone who has argued a link between SARS and the war on terrorism. I did so in response to a question by Pete. At no time, as I made very clear to both Richard and Pete, have I ever even argued a link between the war on terrorism and the outbreak of SARS. All that I ever said was that the timing of the SARS crisis is “suspicious.” Nothing more. My statements ought to be viewed carefully, and in their context.

Richard attacks my intellectual integrity when he says to me: “All of the statistics you quote from Dr. Rath are a testament to how you operate, going on at lengths utterly horrifying to contemplate, full of sound and fury and ultimately signifying far less than nothing.”

Once again, I have never quoted any statistics from Dr Rath to support arguments of my own, or arguments that I in any way endorse. Never!

It was Richard who sparked this debate, by taking a short simple statement that I made about SARS out of context. In doing so, he challenged me to either “put up or shut up.” I thus went to considerable lengths in terms of both time and effort to carefully outline my position on this issue for him. I used only credible, empirically verifiable evidence to support all of my arguments – but instead of addressing my actual arguments, instead of challenging my evidence with credible evidence of his own, Richard, once again, as usual, has chosen instead to trivialise me, to mock me, to misrepresent and totally distort my views, and in ways that simply defy belief. And in a rather un-gentlemanly manner, even closes the thread after making his last comment, thereby preventing me from launching into a defence.

This brings me back to the question of blogger ethics, and the law. Just because Richard pays for and runs Peking Duck does not give him the right to defame those who contribute to his site. I have a basic, fundamental right to uphold and to protect my reputation. I don’t expect, when I contribute to blog sites, that the host will seriously distort and misrepresent my views on an issue while preventing me from making a rebuttal. In my opinion, this amounts to defamatory behaviour on Richard’s part.

I did, rather briefly and perhaps childishly, entertain the possibility of pursuing legal action, having contacted Blake, Dawson and Waldron for their professional advice, though now that I have calmed down a little, I can see that any such action on my part will be most unlikely, and no doubt best avoided. The costs involved would no doubt far outweigh the risks of me not succeeding, and at any rate, I don’t wish to brew too much of a storm in what many will consider to be merely a teacup.

I am well aware too, of the fact that the boundaries of permissible public discourse have evolved significantly over the last half-century, and that previous such court rulings in the United States, such as in the case of Stephen Barrett verses Hulda Clark et al for example, have resulted in failure. In the case just mentioned, the judge argued that the Internet provides for a “three-wheeling and highly animated exchange” of ideas, and that you don’t want to hold ordinary people, who are engaged in such discussions as the type common to the pages of Peking Duck, to “the same standards or restrictions that you would hold a sophisticated publishing house or a newspaper.”

Faced with this reality, and the present ambiguities of the law on this issue, my only recourse of defence in this instance rests in writing this letter, and in being able to distribute it to you all. I do so in the hope that all interested parties who have been following the debate in question will come to judge me in a light more favourable than the one that Richard has so unkindly portrayed, and that you will use your sober senses to evaluate the strengths and the weaknesses of my arguments. It is my wish that anybody who opens the thread in question will not simply scroll down to the last comment, and be left, having read it, with the defamatory and scandalous portrait that Richard has painted of me.

Finally, I thank all of those among you who have been good enough to engage with in debate since I fist began contributing to the pages of Peking Duck, last November. Regretfully, I shall not be contributing any longer.

Best wishes to you all,

Mark Anthony Jones

April 26, 2005 @ 1:03 am | Comment

When Steve rushes to pot-kettle game, he somehow missed a meaningful chronicle comparison. It’s stunning to realize how far we have been free-falling morally for the past 16 years. Steve must know what I mean.

Sixteen years ago youngsters stood up facing the Worlds’ 3rd formidable military machine. Now another generation of youth picks up the most defenseless as their victim, shieding themselves behind offical political correctness.

I wish I could blame CCP for this moral decline, like I usually do. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be 100% right. The mob angered by Rodney King case didn’t beat up a defenseless woman like this. This behavior disorder has something else than a brutal regime.

April 26, 2005 @ 5:19 am | Comment


I’m afraid you are trolling.

You accuse Richard of violating “blogger ethics” (for which there are no written rules), then you carry YOUR beef over to another thread. In my book, that’s kind of like throwing a temper tantrum because you aren’t getting enough attention. Hey everybody..look at me!!

Kind of childish, don’t you think?

April 26, 2005 @ 7:15 am | Comment

Mark, your comments are there untouched for all to see. I responded in a maner I thought was fair. I have told you before that if you want a soapbox, startyour own blog. This is my soapbox. I try to be open minded, to let Bingfeng and Bellevue and FSN9 and JR — people of tremendously diverse opinions — to have their say. When you try to take over and spam my comments with encyclopedia-length diatribes it’s bad enough, and I have previously asked you to refrain from doing so. When these diatribes are truly offensive – such as when you say the Iraqi insiurgency, despite being feared by the majority of the population it so cvalierly buthcers, must win over the Americans, I don’t have to tolerate it. When you seek to prove SARS wasn’t a threat and that the CCP was okay in how it handled it, I don’t have to accept it. Period. You want to complain or express these views, do it elsewhere. I don’t have to give you bandwidth or space I pay for to spread messages I find offensive and contrary to logic and decency. Thanks. And if you keep on abusing my comments, I will delete, which I haven’t done yet.

April 26, 2005 @ 7:57 am | Comment

I’m out of my league here, and I’m sure someone will correct me, but I think that second article you quote, which notes Japan’s increasing closeness to the Bush administration, comes very close to the real point of this exercise.

Japan has agreed in principle to allow the command headquarters of the US Army’s I Corps to transfer from Washington state to Japan (to provide for the defence of Taiwan and other challenges).

It is in the United States’ best interest to encourage antagonism between China and Japan because god help the Bush administration if the largest holders of US$ debt in the world ever got together and started cooperating.

April 26, 2005 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

Oh, ****, that above comment was supposed to be attached to the Nationalism post. Sorry Richard.

April 26, 2005 @ 6:00 pm | Comment

Boo, I never quite thought about it that way before, but you may really be onto something.

April 26, 2005 @ 8:06 pm | Comment

Boo … personally, I think you’ve got your reasoning arse-about face … USA’s only reason for wanting to transfer more military capability to Asia is because they consider China to be a growing threat, and more likely to require the force of arms. America’s military deployments in Asia a huge financial drain, constantly injecting funds into foreign economies. Just as USA now is gradually reducing its troop presence in Europe, USA would also reduce its troops deployments in Asia if realistically viewed that there was unlikely to be any wars between any of the countries in the region. As long as the potential for any such conflict exists, USA regards it in her self interest to remain deployed and ready to respond to it. By the same token, the only reason for Japan to want American troops on her soil (with all the problems that brings) is that she regards China as a real and growing threat, and those foreign troops are necessary for the state’s security. If the Japanese could look at all her neighbours and realistically conclude that there was minimal risk of any conflicts occurring, then there would be every growing pressure from Japan for the Americans to remove their army bases.

Frankly, all these conspiracy theories miss a pretty fundamental point. It’s not in America’s self interest to keep other countries down. It’s in her interests for the world to be filled with flourishing economies, eager to consume more goods. On the other hand, it definately is in America’s self interest to make sure that the world remains a stable place, and that regional tensions are not allowed to explode into war.

As for the debt argument … think about it from another point of view. In your personal finances, if you lend a $100 to someone, they owe you. If you lend a million dollars to someone, they own you.

April 27, 2005 @ 1:59 am | Comment

ironically, exactly the same things happened in the few months leading up to June 4 ’89, ie. violence or threats of violence by students/anti-government demonsatrators targeted at innocent bystanders.

April 27, 2005 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

Mean: violence or threats of violence by students/anti-government demonsatrators targeted at innocent bystanders

I have to admit, that’s the first time I heard this. Source?

April 27, 2005 @ 3:36 pm | Comment

personal experience

April 27, 2005 @ 4:29 pm | Comment

I was in BJ for a few months leading up to 6/4. in ?may I took a ride in someone’s car (first time for a little kiddie like me). near tiananmen square we were stopped at a road block set up by students holding sticks and clubs, demanding to know if we were family members of corrupted officals. we were damn lucky that we had no such connections. the car would have been wrecked, and I’d rather not imagine what might happen to us. pretty scary for a little kiddie like me.

those were the days when things were relatively orderly, but still you’d hear stories re. use of violence. back then the student demonstrations were still suppported by the government, and the state media attributed most of these random acts to criminals pretending to be students. but given how the young men were so emotionally charged I’m no longer so sure.

most people i knew back then compared the whole mess with cultural revolution…

April 27, 2005 @ 4:48 pm | Comment

It’s funny, because I have met and interviewed participants, and I was told people of al kinds were joining in, from police officers to taxi drivers. None of them told me the students were beating innocent bystanders, and somehow I’ve never seen that reported even by the state-run media. I did read reports that demonstrators turned on police and even killed them, but never innocent bystanders. It could be true, but it sounds to me like hearsay.

April 27, 2005 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

that’s odd. my experience was by no means unique. there were road blocks all over the place (demonstration that day?), and all cars must be checked before they were let through, and us especially because of a kiddie (yours truly) sitting in the car.

April 27, 2005 @ 5:11 pm | Comment

So you never heard of people joining in the demonstrations, the busloads and trainloads of people who came into Beijing to participate….?

April 27, 2005 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

sure. bus station and train station were pretty far from TAM square though, as I recall. (then again, so was walking through the forbidden city back then.) my cousin told me that most of them went to the universities before they went to the square.

i would’ve thought some students went to TAM square by the busloads too (BJ transportation provided the buses for free) but all i saw was mostly people holding banners and walking.

dont know about stopping buses at the check points. or taxies. but cars (sedan for us) for sure.

April 27, 2005 @ 5:44 pm | Comment

Well, I watched the video footage on CNN live, and there must have been an easy way around those roadblocks because the square and the road leading too it were absolutely packed with people of all ages.

April 27, 2005 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

eh… they were roadblocks, not walls. and they werent blocking off the whole city, they were just a few blocks down from TAM square. you logic is starting to escape me.

April 27, 2005 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

Mean, I think it’s a matter of communication. I thought you were saying there were roadblocks that stopped people from reaching the square. Forget it, it’s a minor point. As for your personal story about students threatening bystanders or people who drove by, I am afraid I don’t believe it. I don’t honestly believe they would stop cars and ask people, “Are you a family member of a corrupt government official” as you claim above. Do you believe someone would have said, “Yes, I am from a very corrupt family and we like to cheat the working people so we can get rich” – do you think people would answer like that? Well, anything is possible so I am willing to believe it — but only after I see it documented from another source, because I’ve read so many books and articles on this and never heard such a claim before. Nor did I read of young people back then equating the TS students’ behavior with the barbarisms of the Cultural Revolution. I don’t remember the students burning books or shutting universities or hanging humiliating signs around people’s necks.

April 27, 2005 @ 6:58 pm | Comment

Richard, though I’ve not heard of any specific incidents as described by Mean, it sounds completely plausible to me. The environment among the students at the time would have lent itself to groups of angry young men forming their own road-blocks, ready to beat the crap out of “bad” people. Mean’s memories are clearly those of a young child at the time, so would not have picked up on all the nuances … it was probably a case of a bunch of teenagers acting tough, and the driver managed to talk them out of doing anything stupid.

April 27, 2005 @ 11:32 pm | Comment

The voice on the MPG is a Japanese language news broadcast…and if the Chinese plates are like Japanese ones, that looks like an embassy plate on the car. (Don’t know which one).

Captions are in Japanese also.

April 28, 2005 @ 2:02 am | Comment

I’ll buy that possibilty, FSN9. Reading Mean’s comments one might think this was what the demonstrations were about, a free-for-all of beating innocent bystanders and, to use his own comparison, a replay of the Cultural Revolution. So I had to question this one-sided view. Even though it is based on a childhood memory, Mean should know there was a lot more to it.

April 28, 2005 @ 8:18 am | Comment

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