Shocking: translation from Dr. Zhang Jiehai’s blog

Our Shanghai sex blogger scandal is bringing out the worst in this Chinese academic, and from what I hear it’s being echoed by his readers in his blog comments. Sonagi has done a great service with her translation, which is sure to get your blood pressure rising. With this post by Zhang, the whole episode ascends to a new level of bizareness, and everyone involved is looking ugly. There are no heroes in this story, no one to admire or learn from. My guess is the whole mess will end up a major source of embarrassment for China on an international scale.

See this post for lots of links and comments about this odd story.

UPDATE: Yet more original translations from the good doctor’s blog. Is this guy angry or what?

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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: 45 Comments

For me, though this whole issue/incident gets my blood pressure going, I actually thought the professor’s “program” was, well, hilarious. As I said in the forum, it’s like some weird, warped version of global competition – “We have to win the Great Girl Hunt!”

Sonagi’s translation is indeed excellent.

August 29, 2006 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

Might not be all bad – it could curb those non-stop calls from Chinese ladies to foreigner’s hotel rooms. Let’s hope they heed the Professor’s rallying cry and become patriotic prostitutes.

August 29, 2006 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

So how large is this “digital lynch mob” that’s following Dr. Zhang’s pitchfork?

And has anybody bothered to confirm or deny that the blog is anything but the fevered imaginations written to stir up titillation and controversy, so reminiscent of a certain former bloggers Friday photos and stories of trips to SEAsia.

August 30, 2006 @ 12:08 am | Comment

This isn’t the first time Dr. Zhang has been featured on ESWN. An article from January mentions his opinions on foreign research in China:

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060107_1.htm

Whilst the good doctor makes some strong points about the validity of foreign research on China, he then goes and ruins all of his credibility by his final sentence:

“As for the comments by foreigners on China, we do not have to feel humbled and we do not have to be complacent.”

Oh, Dr. Zhang? Whatever happened to make you so bitter?

August 30, 2006 @ 12:14 am | Comment

When a xenophobe and a foreign fantasist collide, why it’s a match made in heaven. Put the two of them in a room together and ask them to peacefully work out their differences. Then step outside, lock the door, brick it up, encase the building in concrete and bury it beneath a plain of thorns to dissuade future generations from excavating it.

August 30, 2006 @ 1:50 am | Comment

Obviously mark is one of these frustrated Chinese men that can’t successfully woo Chinese women, so takes it out on the small number of foreigners that reduce the available pool of ladies by about 0.0000001%.

Mark, try asking them out on a date. I know a lot of guys like you stop at that first hurdle, expecting them to ask you out. ;)

August 30, 2006 @ 4:38 am | Comment

I think you slightly misunderstood mark, raj.

August 30, 2006 @ 5:03 am | Comment

The next part of Zhang’s blog is provocatively titled “When Did China Become a Paradise for Foreign Men?” Last night I started reading the comments section, expecting to find a lot of angry flames and threats. Instead, I found comments like ” a poor country, a low-spirited people, a rich country, a stable people” and “we have to have confidence in ourselves.” Far from being angry at the “Dirk Diggler wannabe” as a commentator on another blog called him, most of the commentators were critical of Chinese attitudes. I will post translations of comments worth reading after work tonight.

August 30, 2006 @ 5:17 am | Comment

Thanks, Sonagi.

August 30, 2006 @ 6:11 am | Comment

Sonagi, what you are doing is really great. Can’t thank you enough.

August 30, 2006 @ 7:16 am | Comment

This doesn’t seem to shocking. Just because someone has a blog and said something crazy doesn’t mean very much. It might be an interesting window onto an aspect of Chinese society but it seems like a tempest in a teacup to me.

August 30, 2006 @ 8:40 am | Comment

Hey, take it easy on the Brits. They gave us democracy, a modern way of life and the great America. We all should be thankful for them.

As for the Chinese women obsession with white men, the explanation is really simple. Chinese women think that physically white men are superior to Chinese men in just about every important way. Plus, most of the Chinese try to ape white people. Plastic surgery is a booming business in China. People are trying to look western by getting their nose higher, double eyelids and inflate their boobs. Too bad there is no surgery to make them taller, otherwise they would try that, too. So they sculpt their bodies to make them look perfect and their definition of perfection is white people’s bodies. My advice to them is that their men should stop whining because they can’t win competing against the western standards. It is not even a fair competition. Go back to arena where they are really good at and that is doing business and making money. For money is the only equalizer for them.

August 30, 2006 @ 10:17 am | Comment

Geez, Dennis, that’s a whole lot of stereotypes in one comment. I hardly know where to begin.

So I won’t, except to say that you can find plenty of examples to counter everything that you’re saying here, both about what women want and what men have great bodies.

August 30, 2006 @ 10:32 am | Comment

The whole thing is just f**king nuts.

August 30, 2006 @ 4:00 pm | Comment

Hey, Dennis, as a native Chinese guy, I must say what you said is very biased as there are so many things to make you feel depressed especially from history point of view. If you think you are superior to China in every aspect except making business, why not start a war with China and see if you can win? I know you have so many high-techs, Holywoods movies built on lots of foreign brains. But sadly as the fact, you can’t even defeat small Asian countries like Vietnam and North Korea even have tremedous problems in a weak country (after isolation) like Iraq, so why are you feeling so arrogant?

Come on, man, we are all human beings, claiming superiority is strongly offense to other racial people and making comparison between human’s are very racists.

Yes, we can’t defeat you in Basketball, but there are many sports you Americans can’t gurantee to win like Badmintons, Table tennis etc. So be realistic just like we never say we are better than anyone else. As for the success of American, I dont think its built on one race, everyone knows American means people from everywhere. Loads of smart intellectuals and workers from all over the world go to your country just for high salaries and spare you some pride, but dont take it for granted! I am sure you will discover if you make enemies everywhere in the world, your success will collapse and goes to an end.

As for the sex blog, I have to say, what Zhang did is absolutely right to make Chinese people more conscious about what is our traditional value and what is not. This is a lesson to every young people here in China. I am sure many people have already got his points and taken notes.

As for the english trash, I am not sure if he was and he is mentally ill, but in any case don’t think he can bring something rubbish to our country and we can tolorate them all. We welcome all the kind people from all over the world to our country, but definitely not his kind especially his behaviour is just to humiliate our culture, history (with the Japanese) and people. If he finds difficult to live in China anymore, decides to leaves China (we are more than pleased more him to leave actively) and brings the rubbish to another Asian or African country, probably soon he will discover that his journey is disrupted and ends up watching TV and claiming benefits with NOwhere welcomes him.

August 30, 2006 @ 6:32 pm | Comment

Imagethief has it right. I’ll be there to help brick up the building…

August 30, 2006 @ 7:31 pm | Comment

OtherLisa and Chinese man,

You both misunderstood my comment. I never claim racial superiority at all. I think we all have our plus and minus. It is the Chinese women who think that white men are superior to Chinese men. So, Chinese man, you should direct your comment to Chinese women. They should be “re-educated”.

August 30, 2006 @ 8:07 pm | Comment

Am I the only one who has noticed that this issue has dragged the general level of dialogue on this blog into the gutter in the past few days?

August 30, 2006 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

This issue can drag the blog down if people like Dennis take Zhang’s fantasy stories and interviews seriously.

What’s interesting to me is Zhang’s projection of his own attitudes and beliefs onto his interviewees and the comments on his blog.

Zhang apparently was quoted on EWNS before, so he’s no small potatoes. I couldn’t find a sitemeter on his blog. I’d be curious to see how many visitors he gets. His blog did boast trackbacks to many other sites.

August 30, 2006 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

I wouldn’t say into the gutter – I actually think the debate has been kind of interesting.

August 30, 2006 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

By the way, Sonagi, are you an ethnic Chinese yourself? because normally I would assume someone doing this kind of job is Chinese him/herself. Otherwise, Well done to your Mandarin Chinese, its really excellent! I just hope you never put any personal emotion of translating Zhang’s speech. To my best understanding, he isn’t an xenophobia or anti-British guy at all, he is just a social science researcher and picked up a interesting topic with a hot title to debate for his research. So you take it easy too! Enjoy your time in China!

August 30, 2006 @ 10:29 pm | Comment

And hey, Chinese man, with guys like Yao Ming coming up, I wouldn’t denigrate your basketball skills too much! :)

August 31, 2006 @ 12:02 am | Comment

Chinese Man:
Please go back to the rant which started this whole thing, and read it. If you then still think this guy is not xenophobic, could you tell me what in your oppinion qualifies as a xenophobic statemant other than beating someone up because he has the wrong skincolour?

August 31, 2006 @ 12:34 am | Comment

The story of Zhang Jiehai and Chinabounder has been reported on by the Guardian today.

August 31, 2006 @ 2:02 am | Comment

sonagi,

You should also translate this.
http://news.wenxuecity.com/BBSView.php?SubID=news&MsgID=303274

August 31, 2006 @ 2:14 am | Comment

I am eating breakfast and don’t have time to translate the entire interview with Dr. Zhang in the previous link, so I’ll give a very brief summary:

The reporter asked Dr. Zhang about his research, how he found the Shanghai Bounder’s website (someone tipped him off) whether he used a translator for his interviews with the women (no), and apparently, from what I understand of the last question, thoughts about comments that appeared on Shanghai Bounder’s blog about Chinese reactions to the Yasukuni visits.

I’m bored of Zhang already and would like to move on to someone/something more scholarly. Can anyone recommend to me a good Chinese language blog or BBS that deals with international issues? I’d prefer one written by a Chinese national with a comment section.

BTW, I am not an ethnic Chinese. If you ever had a conversation in Chinese with me, Chineseman, you would laugh your a** off for even suggesting it. My pronunciation is decent but my listening skills are weak. I have much better recognition of written than oral language in Chinese. Like a previous commentator said, translating from a foreign language into the native language is not too difficult IF you understand what is written in the foreign language. I think Zhang does have issues with Westerners, but I don’t take him seriously.

August 31, 2006 @ 5:25 am | Comment

I am eating breakfast and don’t have time to translate the entire interview with Dr. Zhang in the previous link, so I’ll give a very brief summary:

The reporter asked Dr. Zhang about his research, how he found the Shanghai Bounder’s website (someone tipped him off) whether he used a translator for his interviews with the women (no), and apparently, from what I understand of the last question, thoughts about comments that appeared on Shanghai Bounder’s blog about Chinese reactions to the Yasukuni visits.

I’m bored of Zhang already and would like to move on to someone/something more scholarly. Can anyone recommend to me a good Chinese language blog or BBS that deals with international issues? I’d prefer one written by a Chinese national with a comment section.

BTW, I am not an ethnic Chinese. If you ever had a conversation in Chinese with me, Chineseman, you would laugh your a** off for even suggesting it. My pronunciation is decent but my listening skills are weak. I have much better recognition of written than oral language in Chinese. Like a previous commentator said, translating from a foreign language into the native language is not too difficult IF you understand what is written in the foreign language. I think Zhang does have issues with Westerners, but I don’t take him seriously.

August 31, 2006 @ 5:57 am | Comment

Sorry for the double post, Richard. I got an error message the first time and thought it didn’t go through.

August 31, 2006 @ 5:59 am | Comment

Shulan,

I suppose you are a girl of Chinese origin, I dont want to drag the conversation into one about my personal feeling about a specific person too much. Lets talk about the general phenomena, I agree with Dennis at this point, I am sorry to say its many Chinese girls who have lost traditional Chinese values, its them who always look West without thinking, its them who put our culture to shame. It has become common knowledge that nowadays its really difficult to find really nice traditional housewives in mainland China as women become ever more greedy and their desire for anything western even amazed many Westerners and mens particularly in Shanghai have lost authority at home and become so called “small men”. At least from this ponit of view, you all need to learn more from traditional Japanese women or even Chinese women in Taiwan who have preserved our traitional culture much much better!!!

August 31, 2006 @ 7:52 am | Comment

Hey Chinese Man,
You want a war…no problem. Try to recover from a blanket of nuclear ICBMs, nuclear cruise missles and whatever else can be lobbed at your country and see if you can “win.” Who is going to retaliate? No one. No one will come to your aid because China is mistrusted as much if not more than America. Most countries have already figured out that we say one thing and do another. No one really knows what China will do except continue to treat its own people like crap. Get off your xenophobic high horse, learn to do something original or creative and join the rest of the world. Do something to right the wrongs your criminal leaders perpetuate daily on your countrymen. I don’t think that the majority of American would care if you and your country disappeared off the face of the earth. It’s you who have to prevent that from happening and I don’t mean with more missiles and tanks and submarines.

August 31, 2006 @ 9:07 am | Comment

ahmet, I dont want to drag the whole conversation to confrontation between you and me. But clearly you misunderstoold the meaning of my words, Im just trying to say something about traditional Chinese culture.

Which country fought the most wars in the last 50 years? So everyone knows which country like war most in the world! Unlike you, we Chinese people are true peace-loving country.

By the way, there is nothing wrong for me to defend my country as its citizen! So stop degrade my country for some pride to your country and drag the conversation to something else unrelated to my discussion about traditional Chinese culture. I can tell you, even America is paradise, I dont like it OK? At least many people like me dont care America goes to desert and disappears overnight. Better you have rockets to move all your citizens to another planet and stop harming other country citizens on earth!

August 31, 2006 @ 9:30 am | Comment

Chinese “man”

I guess you have confirmed everything I have come to feel about your country and its people: a toxic dump and completely expendable vermin. You and your ilk are nothing but a disease who should be eradicated. It’s a shame that I do not have access to the weapons to bring about your immediate end!

Oh, and Richard, this is my last post. I am truly sick of everything Chinese.

August 31, 2006 @ 9:43 am | Comment

Sorry Richard and any other American who read this blog, I just realised somthing maybe offense to the majority kind American. All I have said is just applied to this ill American called ahmet, who even threatened to kill me immediately and provoked my response. This is just his opinion about Chinese; On the other hand, I have no ill feeling about other American people at all.

August 31, 2006 @ 10:00 am | Comment

Ahmet: You’ve written some great scathing posts, but that last one really crossed the line. “Completely expendable vermin”? Yeah, a real shame that you can’t just kill us all. Go back to the States and get help. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Chinese man: Shulan is, to my knowledge, neither a girl nor Chinese. And stop with the condescending chauvinistic bullshit.

August 31, 2006 @ 11:26 am | Comment

Ahmet, let it all out. Tell us how you really feel. :)

As for his other “great scathing posts”, I think you have completly misread him Nausicaa. Like many other quacking canards of the Peking Duck faction (God I love that term), his tirades about China isn’t fed by introspection, intellectual criticism, or anything half as enlightened. They were simply a passive aggressive manifestations of his hatred and bitterness towards all things Chinese.

August 31, 2006 @ 11:59 am | Comment

Jing: From what I’ve seen, Ahmet’s also as fervently critical of the Bush regime as he is of China’s. So I’m (really, really) trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here by assuming that he’s an uncompromising idealist who’s simply been in China for far too long, and that the hatred and bitterness is stemming from profound disillusionment.

However, that said, you’re still a dick, Ahmet. And you should take care not to adopt the traits you so passionately condemn in the Chinese – propensity for violence and vitriol, narrow-mindedness, ignorance, and contempt for human life.

August 31, 2006 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

Nausicaa: Whie I dont necessarily agree with what you have thought about my comments as I didn’t say sth biased about China or America except those confrontation (which I apologised) with that evil guy ahmet, but I have to say I admire your justicial judgements on the guy thought to be Mideast origin, his comments and him is truely disgusting, outrageous and notorious.

Like my Jordanian friend said, “bad people are everywhere”, in China and in America, but the majority people are nice and kind.

August 31, 2006 @ 2:06 pm | Comment

Chinese man: Shulan is, to my knowledge, neither a girl nor Chinese. And stop with the condescending chauvinistic bullshit.

Is “Shulan” exclusively a male name in Chinese? If so, why would a “native Chinese guy” mistake Shulan for a girl?

August 31, 2006 @ 4:20 pm | Comment

Shulan sounds like a lady’s name in chinese. But this quacking canard :) mean “sloth” (literally tree otter).

Nausicca,
The anti-bush are more anti-chinese than the pro-bush faction, don’t you know?

August 31, 2006 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

sonagi,

In the interview Zhang stated explicitly his rationale and objectives. They are quite different from what you people took from his previous posts. He was actually quite reasonable in this interview.

He wanted to stop Chinabounder from teaching, because CB has been abusing his profession. He does not want to harm chinabounder in any other way. He even went as far as stating that he was angry because some of the criticism from foreigners (CB) to Chinese men were quite true. Therefore, he thought this is a good opportunity for Chinese to reflect on themselves.

Therefore, it would be more responsible and fair for you to translate what he said in this interview, which contradicts your interpreation from your earlier translations. Even if his thought might have changed after seeing the various comments on the internet, he deserves some credit for the change of mind.

August 31, 2006 @ 4:53 pm | Comment

Jeez, I’m not exactly known for political correctness, but I’ll agree that ahmet’s phrase “expendable vermin” really did cross a line.

For one thing, it’s OK to call the CCP a pack of vermin, but ahmet, here we just don’t talk about the Chinese people that way.

And I wouldn’t even call all of the Communist Party “expendable vermin.” Just most of them.

August 31, 2006 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

PS, you know you’ve really gone too far when Ivan tells you to tone it down… ;-)

August 31, 2006 @ 5:12 pm | Comment

Ahmet, after that last post I’m afraid I’ll have to say good riddance. Totally inappropriate and impermissible.

Jing, I hope no one here hates all things Chinese. I hate all things Bush, but I don’t hate all things American – far from it. I hate most things related to the party in China, but I truly love its people, Anyone here who expresses hatred of the Chinese people is no friend of mine.

August 31, 2006 @ 5:47 pm | Comment

Me – extreme anti-Bush, not anti-China (though I’ll admit Hu’s not impressing me much).

August 31, 2006 @ 6:48 pm | Comment

I am closing down this thread, which has taken some ugly turns. There’s a new post on this topic – please comment there.

August 31, 2006 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

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