Another People’s Congress


[Edited – the earlier link could cause someone some embarrassment, and we would never want to do that.]

The Discussion: 101 Comments

He should have be consistent. His previous stories about his travelling were quite interesting. But he never update his blog regularly. And now, I don’t know what he is talking about in his blog.

To MAJ, If you are reading this, I hope you could update your blog more often. Prove to other people you are actually not that sucked.

September 28, 2005 @ 3:52 am | Comment

samdl, I agree, it is kind of strange. Let’s hope he updates more frequently.

September 28, 2005 @ 4:09 am | Comment

I’m surprised you commented on his blog, Richard. You trying a form of detente?

Tell MAJ to keep injesting those mushrooms.

September 28, 2005 @ 4:25 am | Comment

Please, seriously, someone explain to me:

Is it REALLY MAJ’s blog, or is it someone else doing a merciless satire of MAJ?

September 28, 2005 @ 4:30 am | Comment

I don’t know, boo – it just looks kind of…different. It seems to be charmingly self-deprecating, and I never thought he could be self-deprecating. Did you read his post on what he did this morning?

September 28, 2005 @ 4:33 am | Comment

Ivan, I suspect you might be onto something….

September 28, 2005 @ 4:36 am | Comment

I looked at the posts Richard. Either Ivan is right, someone’s hijacked the blog out from him, or he’s seriously into the life-enhancing chemicals these days.

September 28, 2005 @ 4:40 am | Comment

To revive the “effective freedom” thread from below, when a Singaporean wants to travel, they generally DO NOT need to get a visa. Singaporians have visa free access to most countries, including the US. On the otherhand, Chinese do not have such access and are more often than not denied visas to western countries, unless affulent. So, Singaproeans, by your own definition, have more effective freedom than Chinese, since they are actually free to travel the world wheras mainlanders are, generally, not.

So, not only is your argument stupid, it’s also factually wrong. Well done.

And, don’t forget, it is only a very recent development that Chinese had freedom of movement in their own country, residency permits being required until last year.

September 28, 2005 @ 5:22 am | Comment

Conrad, that was *last*year*. Stop living in the past! China is better now than it was before, so (to quote elsewhere) there is no reason to ever complain.

It’s not healthy to dwell on the past. Except for the 1930s relating to Japan, 1900 and the Eight Nation Alliance, or what-have-you.

September 28, 2005 @ 5:35 am | Comment

ok..request for help…

I have been desperately seraching for a PDA that will allow me to write (using some sort of penlike object) chinese characters on the screen and give me both a pinyin and English translation.

I am trying to learn characters, and such a device would greatly speed this effort (I believe).

I have heard rumours such a device exists, but I can not actually track one down. I would pay a decent amount for such a device if it actually worked well.

Any advice? Thanks…

And if this post is out of bounds for this thread, please let me know and I will apologize profusely.

September 28, 2005 @ 7:14 am | Comment

pleco dictionary for Palm pilots

September 28, 2005 @ 7:27 am | Comment

Yep, the new “flowing waters” blog is definitely someone else lacerating MAJ. It’s a brilliant satire.

The “poem” actually made me double over laughing. MAJ is incapable of making me laugh like that.

Also, the article about “narcissism” is right on.

I take my hat off to whoever did this.
It’s better than any satire I could ever come up with. 🙂

September 28, 2005 @ 7:41 am | Comment

thanks richard!

ok..something more fun

“Scientists to peep on panda sex with satellite”

must see picture…

September 28, 2005 @ 8:08 am | Comment

Ivan, That poem is the most brilliant poem I have ever seen. If Li bai (李白) is still alive today, he will probably invite MAJ for a cup of baijiu.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:30 am | Comment

Dear MAJ,

Sorry, but samdl is wrong. I would never invite you for a drink. God only knows what you do with your moon when you and your shadow get drunk.

Sincerely yours,

Li Bai

September 28, 2005 @ 8:48 am | Comment

Ivan (The Peking Duck resident Russian Warrior-Poet).

I hope “Excalibur” gives you as much of a laugh.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:37 am | Comment

Has anyone consider that maybe MAJ is making a merciless satire of himself in an absurd self-deprecating attempt at keeping attention on him?

Maybe he’s just had a very twisted sense of humor this entire time and its all been one private joke.

Regardless of whether this is his blog, he’s still out of his gourd.

September 28, 2005 @ 11:52 am | Comment

Oh, and Steve: I mentioned before that I picked up a Chinese PDA called 智能王 from a company called Meijin. It was about 50 bucks or so. I would’ve gotten a used Palm Pilot and Pleco but a) I couldn’t find a used Palm in Urumqi and b) it costs as much as Pleco Basic software. Plus they make some other models.

It looks almost the same as this one.

September 28, 2005 @ 11:59 am | Comment

Steve, the new pleco dictionary absolutely rocks. It does take a lot of memory though. I have a Tungsten 8 and put the dictionary on an expansion card.

September 28, 2005 @ 2:40 pm | Comment


September 28, 2005 @ 3:14 pm | Comment


First I’d like to applaud the author of this blog Richard for being an upright citizen of the free world and expose the evil monster that is CCP and the horrors that this terrorist organization has brought to the Mainland people for over 50 plus years. Fortunately, the CCP’s days are numbered, as shown in the “9C” on. This collection of writings is quoted by Sinologists as the most earth-shaking ideological revolution in past 100 years, and it will certainly precipitate the downfall the the CCP.

September 28, 2005 @ 3:21 pm | Comment

We now know that more than 2 million CCP members have withdrawn their membership from the party after reading the “9 C”.

September 28, 2005 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

Millions of Chinese people today are seeing the light and the truth, and will one day rise up and overthrow this most evil regime in all of human history.

September 28, 2005 @ 3:23 pm | Comment

China is now a nation of corruption, death, and disease, and more and more citizens from the Free World have travelled to Mainland and cannot help but be repelled by the level of moral and environmental degradation in that cesspool of nation, where thousands of political prisoners and thousands of innocent babies and women are being systematically murdered and raped by the government.

Our Master Li has said again and again, the day of revenge and destruction will eventually rain down on the CCP, and anyone who tries to defend it will be met with fire and hell.

Richard, you are serving as a vanguard in the blogworld for telling the horrible stories from China and the untold suffering of 1.3 billion Chinese people, for this, we congratulate you.

Also, we have a proposal to expand the readership and enrich the content of your blog, with possible financial support if needed. If interested, please contact me at

September 28, 2005 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

Who is your Master li, Mr?

September 28, 2005 @ 3:36 pm | Comment

whoah…I’m not sure what to make of you, Upright Man…

September 28, 2005 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

I thought Homo Erectus was extinct? or in Idaho.

September 28, 2005 @ 5:26 pm | Comment

I smell a previous poster masquerading as an FLG nutter.

Or he’s just an FLG nutter.

In the words of… was it Shanghai Slim?

Richard, the banning flail please!

September 28, 2005 @ 6:36 pm | Comment

I can’t ban nutters just for being nutters. They have to break the rules first. I did ban Unhinged Chinese Blogger, who posted a comment half an hour ago taking a nasty swipe at my private life. Not allowed.

September 28, 2005 @ 6:39 pm | Comment

I just wanted to be on record. Just out of curiosity, what’s the IP on our Upright pontificator? 5 yuan says it’s familiar.

September 28, 2005 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

When speaking about tyranny, most Chinese people are reminded of Qin Shi Huang (259-210 B.C.), the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, whose oppressive court burnt philosophical books and buried Confucian scholars alive. Qin Shi Huang’s harsh treatment of his people came from his policy of “supporting his rule with all of the resources under heaven.” [1] This policy had four main aspects: excessively heavy taxation; wasting human labor for projects to glorify himself; brutal torture under harsh laws and punishing even the offenders’ family members and neighbors; and controlling people’s minds by blocking all avenues of free thinking and expression through burning books and even burying scholars alive. Under the rule of Qin Shi Huang, China had a population of about 10 million; Qin’s court drafted over 2 million to perform forced labor. Qin Shi Huang brought his harsh laws into the intellectual realm, prohibiting freedom of thought on a massive scale. During his rule, thousands of Confucian scholars and officials who criticized the government were killed.

Today the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s violence and abuses are even more severe than those of the tyrannical Qin Dynasty. The CCP’s philosophy is one of “struggle,” and the CCP’s rule has been built upon a series of “class struggles,” “path struggles,” and “ideological struggles,” both in China and toward other nations. Mao Zedong, the first CCP leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), put it bluntly by saying, “What can Emperor Qin Shihuang brag about? He only killed 460 Confucian scholars, but we killed 46,000 intellectuals. There are people who accuse us of practicing dictatorship like Emperor Qin Shihuang and we admit it all. It fits the reality. It is a pity that they did not give us enough credit, so we need to add to it.” [2]

Let’s take a look at China’s arduous 55 years under the rule of the CCP. As its founding philosophy is one of “class struggle,” the CCP has spared no efforts since taking power to commit class genocide, and has achieved its reign of terror by means of violent revolution. Killing and brainwashing have been used hand in hand to suppress any beliefs other than communist theory. The CCP has launched one movement after another to portray itself as infallible and godlike. Following its theories of class struggle and violent revolution, the CCP has tried to purge dissidents and opposing social classes, using violence and deception to force all Chinese people to become the obedient servants of its tyrannical rule.

September 28, 2005 @ 6:59 pm | Comment

Ah, I see. “Upright Man” suggested – a few comments above – that he would offer Richard “possible financial support if needed”.

That’s all I need to see, to conclude: Provacateur.

Not just an asshole. A provacateur.
A real one. I’m not sure what his aim is or who he’s working for (maybe just himself, his own mischeif) but this is definite provacateur stuff to discredit Richard.

And not very skilled either. He’s not very good at this.

September 28, 2005 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

I raise my bet to 10 yuan. This kind of demagoguery in a poster is independent of issues. And the demagogues we know are into sabotage.

September 28, 2005 @ 7:31 pm | Comment

I didn’t realize, BTW, that one could smoke crack and write long winded blog comments at the same time.

You learn something new everyday, don’t you?

September 28, 2005 @ 7:33 pm | Comment

Dave and Ivan, I am willing to believe you about UM, but help me understand why you think he’s a provocateur trying to discredit me. I did think the “financial reward” comment was strange, and the first time he commented, it was a “test” comment that included the Epoch Times URL as his web site.

UM, I don’t know what to think. Are you for real or making trouble? If you are for real, please meet me at the 2-28 Park at 11pm tonight and bring a brown paper bag stuffed with crisp NT notes. I’m easy to spot — I’ll be wearing a ski mask. Thanks!

September 28, 2005 @ 8:00 pm | Comment

And Dave, it’s a new IP address. But it’s easy to get new IP addresses.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:01 pm | Comment

He’s quoting an FG publication… the neuf pings, (french/chinese codeswitching, I guarantee the censors look for this one). It was in the E Times as “reasons why the CCP will collapse” (oh, why do I bother… the censors will find this anyway).

It’s a one sided monologue shouting at no one in particular and its taking a deliberately extreme political position. And practically 100% of the time that someone like that shows up at PKD, it’s one of the usual suspects and not a newcomer. The shouting-from-a-soapbox-without-listening style is starting to become recognizable.

I don’t have definitive proof, but after arguing with a few incarnations of these fellows I’m willing to bet good money that this is just another one of the mentally unstable characters we’ve all yelled at before.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

For the sake of keeping this site going in China, should I delete the comments? Tough call.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

The FG/Epoch Times crowd have been advertising the last couple of days in the SCMP about an upcoming meeting to discuss the 9C and the usual stuff. Free meeting at the Conrad hotel Friday afternoon right here in Hong Kong. The key question is will the requisite spies and “onlookers” outnumber the FG crowd? Will it mean no grizzly displays outside the Star Ferry terminal at TST tomorrow afternoon? Is it a co-incidence with Upright Man’s appearance?

September 28, 2005 @ 8:30 pm | Comment

On MAJ’s “blog”: it would appear someone has hijacked his site. While I understand the antagonism, it’s not something to be advertised, condoned or praised. It’s a violation of the worst kind. If someone wants to create a parody site, good luck to them. But don’t hijack his site. It makes the perpatrator far worse than any of MAJ’s crimes.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

Simon, what does it mean to highjack a site? Just curious to know what you think happened.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:39 pm | Comment

And last comment: I didn’t praise it, but it was, come to think of it, kind of funny. Sometimes we reap what we sow.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:47 pm | Comment

And Simon, I edited the post – thanks for your input.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

I say that deleting them is to “let the terrorist win”. After all, most of the guys (singular? plural?) have shown they have an enormous amount of free time (day job?) to devote to writing incendiary stuff on PKD. To delete them is to encourage them, especially if this guy is in fact someone we already know.

I think ignoring them is a good first step, as a general policy amongst us regulars. Also, if PKD actually attracts the attention of the censors, one of two things happens. A) PKD is banned, in no small part due to dickheads like UM. It simply proves the point several of us have made here time and again, that the censorship active on the mainland is ridiculous and counterrevolutionary (to use the parlance of their times).

The other possibility is B) PKD is not banned, but put under surveillance, in which case the censors will put all of our words under severe scrutiny. Hallelujah! A communication channel to the top! I’d love to think that our words are being meticulously dissected for precise meaning and secret codes in the Ministry of Propaganda. I think those guys are out of touch, but I don’t think they’re stupid. It’s the people who repeat their memes who are stupid – and I bet another 10 yuan that propaganda writers in China laugh their asses off when dumbs**ts repeat their words verbatim.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

When I visited MAJ’s blog yesterday, it had all been deleted. So when I went to that address, it said “Flowingwaters blog does not exist. Would you like to create Flowingwaters blog?”
I simply couldn’t help myself. But there was no hijacking involved. The site was already deleted and gone for some unknown reason.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:00 pm | Comment

Thanks Water man. Highjacking would mean it was taken away from someone involuntarily. The last time i went to the site it said it no longer existed and that the name was available for whoever wanted to use it. Thus, I agree this wasn’t a highjacking. Maybe a prank or a satire, but not theft. Now, whether it’s in good taste or not is another issue, but parody sites on the internet are as old as the hills, and if you do extreme things, like pretend to be an old female doctor obsessed with men’s penises, it should be no surprise if you get parodied.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:09 pm | Comment

Dave, I certainly don’t want to be banned in China, but i figure if they haven’t banned TPD by now they probably never will (famous last words). So I’ll take your advice for now and ignore the comments as opposed to deleting.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Richard, I’d also point out that if the censors take a real shine to PKD, that means my site, Lisas, Martyns, Gordons, etc. etc. all get the same scrutiny. The monitors aren’t stupid, they’ll track every link. And I can’t believe their tracking would involve getting into lengthy sniping… they’d simply silently watch. So either they’re watching now and are archiving everything what we say, or they’re not watching at all. If they are archiving, what do we have to hide anyway? We’re not the duplicitous ones here.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

Madge spam (after consideration, I realized i just can’t allow him to get started here again)

September 28, 2005 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

Madge, I’ll let this comment stand as an exception, but please don’t start commenting here again. I didn’t hate you until you put up the CD article which has threatened my future career. For that, i admit, I do hate you. As to your deleting comments on your blog, other readers witnessed this, but let’s forget it. Maybe we were drunk. Anyway, it is (was) your blog to do with as you choose.

The major flaw in your thinking is that blogs should be objective. Show me a blog that’s objective and I’ll show you a site with low site traffic, few comments and zero visibility. Blogs are letters to the editor, a place to state opinions. They aren’t textbooks. They should be truthful, but not unopinionated. That’s what makes them so interesting – they reflect the strong personality and opinions of their writers, and if the writer doesn;t have a strong personality and outspoken opinions the blog will certainly fail. A subjective site doesn’t equal a hate site. If i didn’t write about China, would my criticisms of bush make my blog a hate site? Of course not, unless I advocated hatred and violence. No, what upsets you is that i criticize something you like, the CCP. When i criticize the war in iraq or Bush’s corruption or other things you don;t like, you’re fine with it.

Okay, bye.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:34 pm | Comment

Madge spam

September 28, 2005 @ 9:45 pm | Comment

Dear Lord! Now its gone too far!
The person everyone likes to hate?
Now he’s plagairizing Ice Cube!

September 28, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

Firstly, before anyone else knew about the blog – I SAW THE COMMENTS WITH MY OWN EYES. They were open.

Secondly, if the incontenant narcissist site was “just for family and friends” then why did I have to personally delete several comments advertising said blog in TPD open thread and leaving the URL? Freak.

Your narcissism twists your mind so you no longer recognise the difference between truth and lies.

No exceptions Richard. Delete the freak and all comments referring to him. This one included.

Delete the freak.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:58 pm | Comment

Dave, good points. I still don’t think they care about any blogs in English – we can never inspire the peasants to overthrow them. My guess is they’re not watching at all. They have better things to do, like collect bribes.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

I guess this thing gets old for me too after eating almost the same dish of pekingduck over and over again for a few weeks.

The only thing that I feel worth reading recently is the comments in “Chinese with Taiwanese Characteristics”.

My hat off to Martyn for trying to represent stories without much spin, and to Ivan for his sometimes crazy comments which I felt was quite refreshing in the room of stale air.

Farewells and take care.

September 28, 2005 @ 10:02 pm | Comment

“Delete the freak.” I like it. It has a nice mnemonic ring to it. Thanks Martyn, and thanks for backing me up on those non-existent comments the freak deleted. I, too, saw them, and would never lie about it.

September 28, 2005 @ 10:02 pm | Comment

What dave said, ditto. “We have nothing to hide here.”

Probably there is SOME monitoring of TPD, but as I said before, it’s more likely to be for collecting information about foreigners’ opinions, rather than to harass anyone or shut the site down.

An anecdote about that: In the early 1970s, when China was just beginning to open up to America again, some Chinese spies were sent to Washington (under cover of another mission of course) and one of their tasks was to:

“See how this Supreme Court thing works” Which is, of course, all public information and it’s GOOD for the Chinese to learn about it!

A lot of what they do is simply to collect publicly available information and analyze it.

So, in that sense, it’s good for them to read TPD sometimes. It’s better for them to just read it and leave it alone.

So, carry on…… 🙂

September 28, 2005 @ 10:51 pm | Comment

Wawa, to be honest I sympathize. It’s getting recycled for me too. It’s just hard to move on when some of the provocations are so clearly, well, provocative.

Give it a week and it’ll probably have passed through the system. Think of it as indigestion.

September 28, 2005 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

Deleted – using multiple screen names and breaking other rules “Daniel.”

September 28, 2005 @ 11:48 pm | Comment

OK I stand corrected re “hijacking”. I hadn’t realised MAJ had already deleted his site.

I don’t normally advertise my posts here, but I wrote about Confucius’s birthday celebrations. There’s a couple of gems hidden within the official media’s coverage:

September 29, 2005 @ 1:00 am | Comment

What a shame. You know, for a moment there, I thought MAJ had finally found a way to get people to like him. It is, when all is said and done, surely the cause of all his (mis)behaviour. He would do well to go and read the stories on the spoof site, and see that gentle self deprecation is the way to go.

September 29, 2005 @ 1:00 am | Comment

Oh yeah … interesting to see a FLG idealogue visiting. These kind of people are their own worst enemies. Whether they are apologists for the CCP or for movements such as this … I personally find it a lot easier to sympathise with either religion as long as I don’t have to interact with practioners of either movement.

September 29, 2005 @ 1:02 am | Comment

Simon, please always feel free to “advertise” your posts here. That’s partly what the open threads are for.

FSN9, agree completely. MAJ needs to laugh at himself a little; that might be the first step toward effective treatment.

September 29, 2005 @ 1:11 am | Comment

thanks to richard, davesgonechina and otherlisa for the great advice on the pda dictionary! going to try and pick something up to use the pleco dictionary this weekend.

September 29, 2005 @ 1:16 am | Comment

I agree completely that opinionated blogs make for much more interesting reading. That being said, every blogger should strive to learn as much as possible about whatever topic they are posting on.

Regarding getting a site getting blocked, at TTC, we don’t hide from the fact that the site is essentially one big “bad china” day and this seems to either enrage or validate the casual reader. Our site seems to bring out the worst in some people. If TTC is ever blocked then so be it. I guess that I wouldn’t be terribly surprised but, before it gets blocked, I would like more Chinese to join the discussion. I’ve found that once laowai and Chinese engage in debate on the site then people seem to come to the realization that it’s all in good fun. I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy reading comments from Chinese people that “get it” but also feel comfortable enough to push back.

As bloggers and residents of China, we should be going out of our way to get more Chinese joining the discussions. One-sided tirades are just too boring.

September 29, 2005 @ 5:23 am | Comment

Dan muses:
“I agree completely that opinionated blogs make for much more interesting reading. That being said, every blogger should strive to learn as much as possible about whatever topic they are posting on.”

Dan, this is also my personal philosophy when I guest post on TPD. I try to write up a fairly balanced post, researching the subject beforehand, and then slip my own take on the subject in the last paragragh.

There are always at least two sides to a story, therefore, far better to present as many facts as are available.

Perhaps being more opinionated might provoke more comments but I just couldn’t bring myself to write a post like that.

September 29, 2005 @ 7:21 am | Comment


What are you on about? You’d better think again if you’re considering leaving as I rate your comments up there with those of davesgonechina, Jing, Hui Mao, Fat Cat, FS9, etc….too many to mention. Also, of course, our resident Spetsnaz blog commando, Ivan.

September 29, 2005 @ 7:27 am | Comment

I agree with Dan and it’s one thing I’ve always felt good about – that so many Chinese people comment on this site (though not so many today, for whatever reason). The best posts are well researched and take into account more than one side of the story, and that’s what I strive for. Unfortunately over the past few days I’ve been too busy and too restricted (with work), I admit, to spend the time required for great blogging. That’ll get better as I settle down here.

September 29, 2005 @ 7:51 am | Comment

I am wondering why there are so few people commenting on LiAo’s visit to China, it’s absolutely the biggest thing in China today. I watched the full speeches by LiAo in all three universities (the first one was not broadcasted, the second two were).

September 29, 2005 @ 10:11 am | Comment

Here are some interesting quotes from his speeches:

“Today is a prime age for China, unprecedented since the Tang Dynasty”

“Look at this table. In 1932, the people in America stayed in the central government’s grounds and the government started shooting. In 1956, the people of Hungary held their grounds and were shot at. In 1970, the Americans did it again by shooting at Kent State……. Let me tell you, all governments are bastards under these circumstances.” (heheh, even a retarded person knows what he is really trying to infer)

September 29, 2005 @ 10:12 am | Comment

“We hope that the Party can live to be 1000, so we, like Sinbad, can stay on its back for 1000 years, hug it, press against it, coddle it, depend on it, enslave it, and let it serve us.”

“They (Taiwan 1ndep3ndence movement) are not for real. You have a president, you have a military, you have a government, if you really dare, why don’t you declare independence tomorrow? If you don’t, then you are only too a loser”

September 29, 2005 @ 10:13 am | Comment

“I hope my little Hu Jintao can be a little sexier and stylish, that is not a bad thing.”

“Let me tell you. There is nobody in history who has done more fighting for fr3edom of speech than Li Ao. I have written more than 100 books, of which 96 had been banned.”

“today, I’ll say some nice things about the C0mmunist Party. People say that the C0mmunist Party won’t let people speak up. That is wrong. ”

“I am telling everyone that the C0mmunist Party has its own liberal components. ”

Finally, (quoting Ma0’s selected essays) “The C0mmunist Party occurred in history. Everything that happened in history will disappear in history. Therefore, the C0mmunist Party will vanish some day – Please do not applaud! – When it vanishes, it does not feel good? I think it is quite nice. I think it is quite good for the C0mmunist Party to be foresaken. It is our mission to make sure that it is destroyed sooner.”

I’m pretty sure that when the Taiwanese Affairs Office invited Li Ao to China, this is not what they were expecting. They are probably now regretting this whole thing… hahaha.

September 29, 2005 @ 10:13 am | Comment

Li Ao’s speeches were criticised by the Chinese with whom I spoke about them as being, basically, not very good and rather spineless.

So maybe that’s why we’re not discussing them. He’s not exactly a born public speaker, is he?

September 29, 2005 @ 10:28 am | Comment

If you scroll down the page a ways, you’ll find several posts about Li Ao…

September 29, 2005 @ 12:08 pm | Comment

US on one-China policy

September 29, 2005 @ 2:22 pm | Comment

Li Ao’s Fan and JD, as Lisa says, we covered Li Ao’s speeches on TPD last week – which is about 3 months ago in blog years.

The two threads, as is usual on TPD, attracted some good comments.

September 29, 2005 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

I Believe That Freedom Of Speech Is Not An Indicator Of Democracy

When some people say that China is not as democratic as the US, their most powerful weapon is that “China’s freedom of speech is not as open as that of USA and Japan”. They say “Americans can make movies that curse at the President, Americans can go on the streets and protests, etc etc.” I do not dispute what they say. In fact, I want to applause and agree with those claims.

But this post wants say that: Freedom of speech is not an indicator whether a country is democratic. This post believes that the key to detect democracyness is whether the government cares about those speech.

When I was young, I used to spend time in my old hometown in China’s villages. During Chinese New Year, the village people kill a few of their pigs or chickens or lambs to make the New Year’s meal better. I used to watch my grandfather’s family take out a pig from their pigsty, and tie it all up, and pierce a pair of scissors into the pig’s belly. The pig would scream desparately before being gutted, and that scream was especially exciting to listen to. Thinking back today, I think that scream is just the pig’s way to “protest”, and in today’s words, that scream is that pig’s way to express a difference of opinion. Your opinion is that “I want to kill you for dinner, while the pig is saying “I don’t want to be killed please.” Of course, when the pig was screaming, the butcher did not try to silence it, the butcher gave the pig total freedom of speech, let it scream all it wants. But will that scream stop the pig from being gutted and placed on our dinner table? Of course not, everytime, that pair of scissors would pierce the pig’s belly no matter how loudly it screams. So can you claim that the butcher is very democratic toward the pig by allowing it to scream? Of course not. The American government indeed allows a lot of such screams and loud voices, but they know its ok to let those people scream a bit, we won’t be affected by it anyway. Just like when I heard those pigs scream, I was never worried that the pig won’t be gutted.

But China’s situation is different. China is currently on the level of “the cries of a baby”. What does it mean? Well, when a baby cries to protest, the mother accepts the baby’s cries, and will try to please the baby and makes sure it stops crying. The Chinese government is often very easily embarrassed. So whenever there’s any crying, it will try to find ways to solve it. For example, when the SARS outbreak came, the public was crying, and immediately the Minister of Health was fired. What does that indicate? That indicates that China cares very much about the cries. When China had a large forest fire in 1987, the minister of forestry was fired immediately. America has 100 forest fires every year, when do you see anyone being punished or fired for it? When people in the world everywhere went to the streets to protest the Iraq War, the Bush administration went ahead anyway, but says very nicely “We respect their freedom to protest, unlike Saddam Hussein”. When the Iraq Prisoner abuse scandal came out, did we see any serious punishment to anyone? Rumsfeld is still very comfortable in his job and so are all his close associates. An American director made the movie “911”, and you say “Look how democratic we are!”. Well, I cannot help but laugh. Did it change any government’s policies, did it do anything other than satisfy some Bush haters and movie goers?

The American government does not care too much about cries, and that’s precisely why it is so “tolerant” about it. If I were asked to babysit someone’s kid, I would put on some loud music on my earphones and let the baby cry all it wants, even if the baby may be crying from some pain in the stomach. Can you praise me and say I’m very democratic because I give the baby the freedom to cry and protest?

That’s why I say that America is on the level of “pig’s scream”. China is on the level of “cries of a baby”. The pig’s scream is indeed much louder than the babies’ cries, but those screams will not help the pig’s fate of being gutted for dinner. To put it more concretely, the pig’s scream is not being fed back. In engineering, a dynamic system (whether a mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, or financial system)’s power and performance depends not on how much information it can handle, but on the effectiveness of its “information feedback” system: whether it can receive feedback properly and whether it properly adjusts and reacts to those feedbacks. Otherwise, those information and the system is completely useless.

September 29, 2005 @ 6:49 pm | Comment

Nice trick, the way you make obvious grammatical errors to make us believe you are Chinese, SW. If you know words like “gutted” and “pigsty,” you also know there is no such word as “democracyness.”

Anyway, your analogy is totally worthless. In America, the pig can squeal, and then the people can VOTE. Look at Cindy Sheehan, the ultimate squaling pig (and I have a lot less sympathy for her now than I did at first). She will, for better or worse, influence politicians and votes and has already mobilized the masses. That’s the wonder of free speech and a free media. Look at Watergate, where two news reporters — two squealing pigs — brought down the US government through these freedoms. Could that happen in China? Tell us honestly.

September 29, 2005 @ 7:12 pm | Comment

Oh, heavens. That whole “pig’s scream”/”baby’s cry” analogy sounds VERRRY familiar. Betcha if I searched TPD archives, I’d come up with a remarkably similar post.

What a load of crap.

September 29, 2005 @ 7:18 pm | Comment

Yknow, I don’t think its worth even criticizing SW. Anyone who thinks that the grammatically poor double talk above actually vaguely resembles, in even most remote way, an argument, is someone I’d never believe I could have a rational discussion with in the first place.

If you’ve signed up for that program, you bought the whole package a while ago.

September 29, 2005 @ 8:32 pm | Comment

Just came back from a school tript o Qingdao. Every year I vow never to go on another such trip but this time they made me leader of the group so….
The thing is: We were meant to go to Hainan. We get to the aeroport at 8 am to be told the flight’s been delayed for 7 hours (something about strong winds). By the time we figure out the school meant to take us to the eye of the strongest storm in 30 years in the area, the Headmistress calls me up and tells me the trip’s been cancelled and to make plans for Qingdao.Everyone but me has been there already so there was a collective groan. THAT flight too was delayed for 2 hours. But the crux was this: The Head told me 11 am we couldn’t go to Hainan do to the danger and lack of infrastructure that would await us. BUT while waiting for our delayed flight to Chingdao at 17.00, we ran into the Chinese section of our school (we’re divided into Chinese and International sections) which was still waiting for its flight to Hainan, being told to wait until such time as the flight had been cancelled or delayed to another day.
Point: Are foreign passport-holders of more worth than Chinese nationals?

September 29, 2005 @ 8:35 pm | Comment

By the way, as a teacher whose Asian students with little English ability have the ability to submit in-depth analyses of the Treaty of Trianon in concise and perfectly-structured English, I knew Upright Man to have simply copied and pasted his indictment against the Chinese gov’t (ALL OF IT SINCE 221 BC!) by his use of footnote numbers without the footnotes themselves.

September 29, 2005 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

Good thinking Keir.

Have you visited Flowing Waters recently?

September 29, 2005 @ 10:05 pm | Comment

I see that flowing waters already includes the above Simple Worker comment. No need to keep it on here then.

September 29, 2005 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

after the first comment I read on this thread, yeah. Brilliant! At first I was excited by the prospect that the WHOLE thing started off as a spoof (having seen the photos of that guy on his blog complete with beret and ciggie perched at a dangerous angle, a very strong possibility) but alas, it seems to have started off as a true narcisstic kis to oneself. Still, let’s hope this becomes a work in progress and doesn’t taper off into obscurity. Make it the ULTIMATE MAJ alias!

September 29, 2005 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

Steve, not to complicate your choice of dictionaries, but if the Palm Pilot/Pleco thing doesn’t happen for any reason, the Besta 9300, on sale your local Dazhong electronics mart, is a fine substitute.

With regards to the fake Madge site: WTF? Some people really just have way, way too much time on their hands and nothing worthwhile to do. Whoever is doing that, move whatever mountains you must to get a date.

September 29, 2005 @ 10:26 pm | Comment

I agree with you Will about that fake MAJ site. But as long as it’s someone else’s time being wasted, continue.

September 29, 2005 @ 10:32 pm | Comment


You back now? Imagethief alive and kicking again?

September 29, 2005 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

Will may have a point about Flowing Waters, but I have to say it is truly funny. It seems to be an outlet for creativity and I hope it keeps going, at least for a little while longer.

September 29, 2005 @ 11:29 pm | Comment

Maybe we should make it a practice to do a quick search whenever we see a trademark post like Upright Man’s. For example, his first post in this thread (the one with the telltale footnote indicators) can also be found here:

Point out the cut-n-paste, then everyone can ignore the “master baiter”.

(Richard, I recall some clever coder talking about writing an automated utility that would perform his kind of search as a comments filter – did anything ever become of that? Great idea!)

September 30, 2005 @ 12:58 am | Comment

Slim, I think David gave up on the idea of the coder, which was more complex than he’d thought. We could sure use it.

September 30, 2005 @ 1:10 am | Comment

Just a head’s up to Richard and anyone in his area, including the Southeast Coast: There’s a huge-ass typhoon headed for Taiwan, to arrive around Saturday or Sunday if it stays on course.

So you might want to stock up on any necessities like water, candles, that kind of thing, in the next 24 hours or so.

September 30, 2005 @ 2:28 am | Comment

Thanks Ivan, I hear it may be nasty.

September 30, 2005 @ 2:41 am | Comment

I am also puzzled by the lack of Li Ao discussion. This is clearly the event of the year, if not our times, something CCP much rather see blowing away without a trace. I am really interested to know what will be the impact of his visit, assessed by those inside China?

I almost wept when I read Li wrote years ago, something to the effect that “China has risen up, but Chinese are still in total defeat.” Of, course, he was talking about individual liberalization. I don’t think anything has changed his opinion. In Beijing, he ridiculed the CCP for not honoring university autonomy. At the same time, scorned the school officials, the very people gave him the forum, of having no backbones. That is Li at his best. He is being brutally honest At a place no culture elite can walk their own walk, he must felt no need to appease to anyone. He sees himself speaking on a stage of history and aimed his messages squarely at the students – the future of China. He said in HK, the trip was about planting a seed. If one student out of those listened to the speech can receive the baton he is about to pass, he has done his job.

There are many things I don’t like about the man. But, my gosh, we just don’t have enough of him to put at each corner of China.

September 30, 2005 @ 11:51 am | Comment

I wouldn’t say Li Ao is brutally honest. In his last speech in Hong Kong he rehashed a lot of the myths about the British – how they “cleared out the coffers” and spent all HK’s wealth before handing it back. I’d call that brutally misleading rather than honest. Because of his outspoken style he’s been portrayed as if he is an outspoken democrat. Reading his speeches in full, he comes across more like a Chinese nationalist demagogue.

September 30, 2005 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

On October 1, 2005, the People’s Republic of China, or “New China” as it is fondly referred to by the entire Chinese people, turns 56 years old.

With a population counted at 1.3 billion on the first day of this year and a land mass of 9.6 million square kilometers, plus 4.73 million square kilometers of territorial waters, China is the largest developing country in the world.

For China, which takes pride in its civilization that dates from 5,000 years ago, October 1, 1949 marked the beginning of development in real sense. For the Chinese people comprising 56 ethnic groups, the day meant freedom, once and for all, from humiliation and starvation, the beginning of a historic long march toward stability and prosperity.

For a whole century before the late Chairman Mao Zedong pronounced the birth of New China, the Chinese nation was tormented by foreign invasions and wars fought among warlords for supremacy over the country. The humiliation the nation suffered was so bitter that Deji Cholga, a 7th grader at Beijing’s Huaxia Girls’ School, says she hates to study that part of Chinese history.

The part of the nation’s history the teenage girl feels unpleasant to learn covered the Opium War (1840), in which the United Kingdom, with just 20,000 troops and 50 gunboats, defeated the antiquated armies of the Qing (1644-1911), China’s last feudal dynasty, which boasted 900,000 men. Though the victim of this armed aggression, China was forced to pay the aggressor 21 million taels of silver in “war reparation” and opened five trading ports. Hong Kong was ceded to Britain, to be returned to China in 1997.

Even more bitter were memories of Japanese aggression against China. In 1931, Japan seized the entire northeast China, an area of 800,000 square kilometers, where it set up a puppet regime known as “Manchoukuo.” And in late 1937, Japanese troops massacred more than 300,000 disarmed Chinese soldiers and civilians in Nanjing, then the national capital, in just a few weeks after the city fell.

Foreign aggression went hand-in-hand with internal turmoil, making it impossible for China to develop. “In the 200 years from 1750 to 1950,” says Prof. Hu Angang of the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, “much of the world was striving for industrialization, but the Chinese economy stood stagnant, and the country was rated as one of the weakest in the world.”

Prof. Hu is known for his study of China’s national conditions. “Old China was unable to industrialize because it did not have a strong enough government to defend the country and keep society in order,” he says. Stability, the prerequisite for achievement of prosperity, was a long-cherished dream of the Chinese people. The dream has come true in New China. That, in part, explains why the Chinese people support the Communist Party of China, the ruling party since 1949. Says Zhou Jun, an amateur historian and TV worker in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, “The Party has done what all governments before 1949 failed to do.”

Stability and prosperity can in no way be realized without democracy. By proceeding from its own conditions, New China practices the “system of multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China,” which has proved effective in getting all patriots and their political groupings actively involved in national development.

How the name of New China, the People’s Republic of China, was chosen highlights the extent to which this “socialist democracy” has been practiced. It was adopted in September 1949, on proposal from non-Communist delegates to a conference called by the Communist Party to make preparations for the founding of the new government.

“It was the outcome of democratic consultation,” says Lu Guoqing, a historian. Dai Huang, a retired journalist who witnessed the celebrations of the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1, 1949, says he loves the new name chosen for the country. “After two millenniums of feudal rule and a whole century of imperialist aggression, China finally made itself a republic of, and certainly for and by, the people.”

And democratic consultation and multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Communist Party have become institutionalized. Political consultation takes the organization form of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which gathers representatives of all the eight non-Communist political parties and non-party figures aside from those from CPC.

The Chinese people and their leaders are more determined than ever to build the country into a more prosperous, more democratic society on the basis of what they have achieved since 1949. When New China celebrates its centenary in the mid-21st century, as predicted by Professor Hu and other experts, it will become as developed as an average developed country.

September 30, 2005 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

I initially thought the above comment was spam but it’s actually a genuine article from the People’s Daily that Simonworld linked to yesterday.

In Simon’s words:

While on anniversaries, a very happy 56th birthday to the New China. Follow the link to read the pain of a 7 year old girl’s history lessons, numerous counts of foreign aggression and surprisingly little mention of the Gre@t Le@p Forward, the Cu1tural Rev0lution and other weird political movements.

September 30, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

>>This is clearly the event of the year, if not our times, something CCP much rather see blowing away without a trace.

You must have seen a different speech and seen an entirely different press conference in Hong Kong than the one I saw Li Ao give. He gave one of the most spirited defences of the CCP I’ve seen in a while and spent most of his time attacking taiwan & hk democrats and other “CIA-funded organs.” His comment about the CCP ceasing to exist at some point in the future was nothing more than “withering away of the state” Marxist tripe.

Really, I don’t get it. The attempts by the Western media to grab onto something he said are way off base.

September 30, 2005 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

Li Ao is a show boy, he is no greater than many writers in mainland china or taiwan, what makes his voice more powerful is not his thoughts but his smart PR shows

September 30, 2005 @ 9:51 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, I have to agree with you. He’s a PR whore and a clown. I also think he’s kind of cool, in a really weird way.

People’s Daily Editorial Writer, thanks for sharing that. Did you write this article, too? Same exact style – surrealistic and unintentionally self-parodying. Check it out.

September 30, 2005 @ 9:58 pm | Comment

All good threads must come to an end. Please head north.

September 30, 2005 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

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