Morning Thread

Or Evening Thread if you are here on the lethally boring western side of the planet.

This thread is now officially open and ready for anything. (Martyn, Allan, AM, ESWN and FSN9, where are you? We’ve missed you the past day or two.)


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 90 Comments

The Yellow Peril meets the Red Menace: Keep Commies Out Of American Boardrooms

June 30, 2005 @ 12:12 am | Comment

I’ll “chill” when you grow up. I might have to drink a lot of beers in the meantime…

June 30, 2005 @ 12:18 am | Comment

readers of peking duck is more diversified that that of the peoples daily, that’s the difference

richard slightly favors readers who hold similar view points with him but as long as different opinions are allowed here, peking duck is always a few steps away from becoming a “hate site”, and i could see richard made efforts to diversify the contents of peking duck in recent months

just wonder why richard don’t invite a few co-bloggers …

June 30, 2005 @ 12:40 am | Comment

drink away, looks like you need em.

June 30, 2005 @ 12:45 am | Comment


June 30, 2005 @ 12:52 am | Comment


Bing Feng = bfth (bing feng tea house)

June 30, 2005 @ 2:25 am | Comment

Another day, another riot…

Thursday June 30, 04:59 PM AAP

Chinese riot against polluting factory

Hundreds of villagers in eastern China have taken over a battery factory they accuse of producing pollution that is poisoning their children, and locked 1,000 workers inside, residents and officials say.

About 600 people in Jianxia village in Zhejiang province have taken control of the Zhejiang Tianneng Battery company, a maker of car batteries, resident Han Cheng said.

“My dad is on night duty and my mother is day duty and we definitely will not let the workers out and until a solution is found,” Han said.

Residents marched on the factory on Sunday, saying it was the reason children in the community had lead poisoning.

“There are about 200 children in the village and they are all getting sick,” said Han, who has a four-year-old daughter.

“They are polluting the air and it has been going on for 15 years.”

Four people were hospitalised after they were injured when factory workers and villagers fought each other, he said.

Local government officials were meeting with residents to try to defuse the situation, said an official from Meishan town, where Jianxia village is located, about 150 kilometres from Shanghai.

Telephones at the plant were not answered. Police were aware of the situation but refused comment.

Social unrest that often turns violent is becoming increasingly common in China, reflecting a high degree of dissatisfaction and distrust of authorities and businesses.

People in the world’s most populous nation are also becoming increasingly informed about environmental pollution and demanding action for a problem that has plagued the country for years.

June 30, 2005 @ 2:32 am | Comment

sometimes, i regarded here as a place only concerned about the negetive points of China, maybe true, and i do not go along with all topics, but i think if i want to see the other aspects, just go another site, such as BingFeng’s Tea House.
still a good resource and mirror from outside.

June 30, 2005 @ 3:14 am | Comment

I would say Richard’s site isn’t a hate site. I’d say it’s an unabashed advocacy site. He’s a one man crusade against a list of things he thinks are immoral and outrageous. Some people may take offence, but Richard has never said – I hate Chinese.

I understand why some people might not like the site, it can be political and many articles are about things that need to be addressed. But this is kind of like calling Amnesty International a hate site, because all they do is focus on what people are doing wrong.

Mark, I don’t think people here are extreme. Rumsfeld is extreme. Li Hongzhi is extreme. I am not.

June 30, 2005 @ 3:16 am | Comment


June 30, 2005 @ 4:42 am | Comment

Bellevue, would you be so kind to explain what you are talking?

June 30, 2005 @ 5:26 am | Comment

“as a place only concerned about the negetive points of China,” henry

One might argue that the Chinese media do the opposite by ignoring a lot of what we see on Peking Duck. Peking Duck provides access to stories that one will not usually find in the mainland media.

Also, the great thing about Peking Duck is that,unlike the mainland media, ANYONE is free to comment/disagree/put forward a counter-argument as many here do.

Richard keeps it real and does not make up negative stories about China. However, where some would say “negative” I say that they are usually to do with freedom, exploitation, hardship endured by the people, injustices, as well as the thoughts/aspirations of Chinese people themselves etc.

If there are a lot of what some would mistakingly call ‘negative’ posts it’s because there’s a hell of a lot of negative stories out there!

What’s the alternative? For Richard to conveniently ignore such stories for fear of being thought of as being too ‘negative’? Replace them with a statistic regarding economic development? The latest results of some hard strike anti-crime initiative?

Just looking down the front page, we have several stories about the US, several posts about censorship and restricting freedoms in China, the possible rise of a New Left movement, Chen Yonglin, a couple of posts criticising articles about China written by neo-cons and riots in Snegyou and Chizhou.

Where is the negative?

June 30, 2005 @ 7:18 am | Comment

just wonder why richard don’t invite a few co-bloggers …

Whoever wants to post here is always welcome. I get sent material from Jerome Keating and William Stimson, for example, and the F16s over Taiwan story, and I am happy to post them.

I have asked for guest bloggers in the past (though not recently) but no one volunteered. The offer is always open.

June 30, 2005 @ 7:35 am | Comment

Sorry, that’s my comment up there.

Unfortunately Richard, I don’t think you can ever win with some of these people. Taiwanese-resident writers will also be wrongly labelled “negative” towards China simply because they put forward a view not found within China and don’t toe the party line.

The response to my above post is deafening silence, at least so far.

The trouble with comments about ‘being negative towards China’ is that everyone uses it as a stick to bash people who are critical towards any aspect of China, even the outrageously unjust, and the people who complain about ‘negativety’ the most are ususally the ones who have little or no counter argument against what they claim to disagree with.

It’s easy to label someone a China-basher, anyone can do that, and it’s a lot less trouble than actually arguing/debating an issue.

June 30, 2005 @ 7:44 am | Comment

I would like MAJ to give us a few examples of the kind of stories he feels would balance this site (his opinion–not mine).

Please supply a few links to stories you would like to see covered on Peking Duck Mark. Thanks.

June 30, 2005 @ 7:46 am | Comment

I’ve just had an idea, but I’ve just thought about it so haven’t had the time to mull over the pros and cons.

This is my idea:

Why don’t people use the Open Thread to link to stories and articles in the press that they feel others might like to read and, in doing so, redressing the balance a little bit.

People have used the Open Threads to paste links to articles that they think are worth reading.

Therefore, this is OUR Open Thread where anything goes, so instead of just complaining and spreading negative vibes—DO SOMETHING–and paste up a few links to articles worth-reading.

Perhaps the threads would be too long with entire articles pasted but people can paste the headline, the first paragraph, the source and the link.

Stop moaning and start pasting!

June 30, 2005 @ 7:57 am | Comment

Hey Mark, can you explain how you are a Marxist?

Thanks. I’m not a great scholar of marx, although I am getting to be a scholar of Mark’s ( 😉 )

June 30, 2005 @ 8:03 am | Comment

Sorry Richard … but nice to know I’ve been missed. I’ve been simultaneously ill and snowed under with marking. At least the illness is less severe now, and the marking is getting closer to completion.

Am I a China basher? Interesting question. I even paused to give it serious thought. I did find American Man’s provocative comments pretty funny … and could also see that a Chinese person might well be very offended by them. I guess that would give at least some credence to such an accusation. On the other hand, I think most of my criticisms of China are along the lines of “if they did A instead of B, then it would be much better for them, and they would suffer fewer problems in the future because of B.” Now, that certainly is bashing in a sense, because it says that the Chinese are doing something that I consider to be wrong. However, I don’t think it fits the criteria, because it is not bashing for bashing’s sake. I occasionally consider the possibilities of a collapsing China … but usually with fear and concern, and consideration of ideas for how to avoid such a catastrophe.

So … what’s that make me? Enough material there for you to say that anti-Filthy people could make a case. Enough to convicit? I doubt it.

June 30, 2005 @ 8:13 am | Comment

Don’t say that LW, Mark’s head will swell up like a ripe watermelon!

Any good posts on your site by the way? What issues have you been giving the Laowai treatment to this week?

Anymore recipes? You take requests?

June 30, 2005 @ 8:16 am | Comment

Filthy, from the little I’ve seen of your posts, people will have to be really desperate to call you a China Basher.

As you know, criticism of China full stop is percieved by some as China Bashing. Can’t win I’m afraid.

June 30, 2005 @ 8:21 am | Comment

AM, a few threads back you said you enjoy dislexic jokes (I can’t even spell the damn word) …

Well, here’s one, specially for you.

Did you hear about the dyslexic agnositic insomniac?

He lies awake at night, wondering if there really is a dog.

Boom Boom. ***

June 30, 2005 @ 8:32 am | Comment

Hmmm. I’ve been suffering from china-news fatigue, but I put one up on china’s drinking water. I’m translating the second line of the first chapter of the Daodejing, which I’ll be putting up soon, but I think that’s too esoteric to be very popular. Soon, hopefully, there’ll be a few new “China dreams” posts. And maybe a follow-up (more positive this time) to Mao: the unknown story. check back saturday!

I do take requests for recipes. I make good new england cuisine, good but limited New Mexican food, Kimchi and some Japanese. I used to bake a lot of bread, and I make a decent pie (blueberry, peach, apple or cherry) – NE style. Few other desserts kicking around too.

June 30, 2005 @ 10:02 am | Comment

In case there was any doubt, I don’t think this is a China bashing site either. You could just as easily say it’s an American bashing site. The point being, we tend to want to discuss things that outrage us in the context of something we care about. I would agree with Laowai, that it’s an advocacy site.

Though I like the open thread for catching up and chatting, I think Allan’s idea of linking to other stories is a good one, and I’ve also really appreciate others letting me know what’s on their blogs – Kevininpudong, for example.

June 30, 2005 @ 10:18 am | Comment

A note on humor – a lot of times, the first time I hear a joke, it’s funny (and recognizable as a joke). The second, third, fourth…not so much.

June 30, 2005 @ 10:24 am | Comment

True, Lisa. I mean, why should I have to balance my anti-Bush posts by posting how good and successful he is? I can’t stand the guy and I have faint praise for him (to say the least). Same with the CCP. I have applauded them on progress in AIDS and in their growing media openness — applause that, in the case of the media, I had to take back because the situation soon got worse than before.

Mark uses a technique that I admit annoys me, and I just want to alret readers to it. In the midst of a lengthy tome, he’ll throw in a side reference, like he really likes my site but he knows a friend who got banned and who thinks it’s a hate site. Now, this is just a single sentence in a book-length quote, but it’s still highly provocative. It’s his way of praising, while really cutting.

Well, what can you do?

June 30, 2005 @ 10:29 am | Comment


Pardon the phrase, but sometimes you just have to say..awww..fuck it!

June 30, 2005 @ 11:16 am | Comment

Oh, I also make really nice fluffy pancakes too. Sorry, just thought I’d mention that.

And good MaPoDouFu. And good Shuijiao. Okay I’m done.

June 30, 2005 @ 11:17 am | Comment


That’s one of my test dishes for a Chinese restaurant (away from China). It’s amazing how many places can’t get that right. Generally indicative of the rest of the food too…

June 30, 2005 @ 11:31 am | Comment

Sorry guys. I added Pekingduck to my blog links as China Bashing Central, completely tongue-in-cheek. If you read my blogs, I’m China bashing most of the time myself. Didn’t mean to cause such a stir. In fact, I really liked pekingduck, which is why I added it.

I’m really curious why everyone is so worked up here. Or I’m way out of line in terms of blog etiquette???

BTW, I’m a he, just to clear any possible confusion.

June 30, 2005 @ 11:40 am | Comment

Dear Chinafool,

It’s a loooongggg story. Let’s just say there’s a diverse cast of characters here with strongly held opinions…

I told ’em you were joking, btw…

And everybody go read his blog. It’s great.

June 30, 2005 @ 11:44 am | Comment

Thanks Other Lisa.

Change done – no more “China Bashing Central”.

A little too much information? – Me and my ex (who’s American) used to battle long and hard over what’s China bashing vs. CCP bashing vs. government bashing. The fact of the matter is, most Chinese (sorry I have this tendency to make sweeping generalization) don’t like others (e.g., laowais) calling their mothers ugly; and for many people, CCP=government=their father/mother-figure.

Or is it just me? 🙂

It’s 2am here in rainy Sichuan. Off to bed now.

June 30, 2005 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

Well, it’s kind of understandable. I get irritated by people that bash the US who don’t really have the facts right (and there’s a lot of these people. I’m not talking about overly interpretable facts, just people who have their head up their… Euro). But usually with these people (Europeans here in the UK) I just critique the US with them, but use better facts. They shut up when they see I know more than they do, usually, and I think it helps that I generally agree with them.

June 30, 2005 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

Hi., I’ve just done a new wotsit on my blog, aboot China. I’ll be back proper next week. Now I’m off for some jellied eels and pie n’ mash.

June 30, 2005 @ 12:46 pm | Comment

hey Richard W, nice to hear from you!

June 30, 2005 @ 1:00 pm | Comment

This morning in China, the GDP hit a new record of XXX trillion billion thousand gillion yuan. People danced on the streets and thanked the leaders for their wise guidance. The mighty reform of the Chinese economy moved forward, shaking the earth to its bowels. The president of the US peed his pants when he thought of the power of China. Yet reforms did not move forward too fast, in fact, they moved at just the right pace, in everyone’s opinion! Everyone had health care, everyone went to school for free, and pregnant women and old people finally got their seats on public transportation. No more riots and no more contaminated food or vaccinations. Taiwan returned to the embrace of the motherland, and the people in HK decided not to march today, because damn, gradual reform rocks!
I sincerely hope that this comment will improve the karma at this site, and move it out of the hate category. If not, I am going to start going to more peaceful and objective places like the China Daily forum.

June 30, 2005 @ 8:02 pm | Comment

Kevin, just one word: Brilliant.

June 30, 2005 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

Dear Richard,

I take your point, but my purpose wasn’t to “cut”. My entire point really, I think, has been blown out a bit, perhaps understandably, but look, all I was ever trying to say is that it is all a matter of perception. Peking Duck is perecived to be a China hate site by many. Many don’t see it that way, which is great. But many do.

My suggestion then, to combat this perception, is to offer a slightly different balance in the type of articles you post about China.

Not everything that the Bush administration does is bad either – I think, for example, and I have said this in the past on this site, that their foreign policies regarding Taiwan are sensible.

Allen, I’m sorry it has taken me this long to respond to your ealier question on this thread. I only just discovered it now though. But to answer your question, Richard might like to consider articles that report on some of the environmental achievements that have taken place here in China. It’s true, of course, that China has many very serious environmental problems, and we hear a lot about these problems on this site, which I think is good, which I think is important, but I think it’s also useful to explore the areas where improvements are being made, to acknowledge and to appreciate that efforts are being made. China has won many international environmental awards over the past five years, some cities have made impressive efforts to improve water and air quality, etc.

Commentators like me can always raise these things in the comments box on threads reporting on how serious the problems are, but by baking only articles that highlight the negatives, some first time readers of this site are likely to gain a negative impression – that Peking Duck is a hate site, intent on portraying China as a dysfunctional basket case.

I’m not out to offend Richard, as I have stressed, I’m simply offering an analysis of why many people come to perceive this site as a hate site, and how this problem might be addressed.

Please don’t read too much into my comments. I’m not as painful as some like to think. 🙂

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

June 30, 2005 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

Sorry Allan, I just realised that i spelt your name wrong in my comment above. No disrespect intended.

Mark Anthony Jones

June 30, 2005 @ 9:36 pm | Comment

See, you’ve done it again. You have now said at least five times that PD is perceived by many to be a hate site. Never mind that you don’t say how you did your sampling, and never mind that not a single commenter – even those who disagree with on just about everything – has backed you up. Okay, so you have made your point. I request that you now drop it and refrain from repeating this charge on my blog, okay? It’s fine two, three, four times, but after that it becomes a taunt. Please, let it go. Thank you for respecting my request.

June 30, 2005 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

Please move new comments over to the new thread. Thanks!

June 30, 2005 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.