“The New Big Three” – Europe, America and China

An intriguing article appears in this week’s NY Times Magazine that I recommend you check out. No matter which way you lean, I suspect it will ruffle feathers. Written by thinktanker Parag Khanna, its main theme is the shift in the balance of power, which is more dramatic than a lot of us want to admit.

I began to recognize Hu Jintao’s foreign policy prowess back when I was living in Taiwan, long before I became a paid shill for the CCP. It became clear to me then, as I wrote at the time, that Hu was successfully scooping up allies alienated by Bush, and building alliances that shrewdly guaranteed China’s continued growth, opening up both new markets for exports and new pipelines for badly needed resources such as oil, iron, nickel, etc. (In that same post, I also noted the paradox of Hu’s utter impotency when it comes to controlling the thugs in his own party, in his own country.)

Anyway, pardon the long clip, but it’s thought-provoking stuff.

At best, America’s unipolar moment lasted through the 1990s, but that was also a decade adrift. The post-cold-war “peace dividend” was never converted into a global liberal order under American leadership. So now, rather than bestriding the globe, we are competing — and losing — in a geopolitical marketplace alongside the world’s other superpowers: the European Union and China. This is geopolitics in the 21st century: the new Big Three. Not Russia, an increasingly depopulated expanse run by Gazprom.gov; not an incoherent Islam embroiled in internal wars; and not India, lagging decades behind China in both development and strategic appetite. The Big Three make the rules — their own rules — without any one of them dominating. And the others are left to choose their suitors in this post-American world.

The more we appreciate the differences among the American, European and Chinese worldviews, the more we will see the planetary stakes of the new global game. Previous eras of balance of power have been among European powers sharing a common culture. The cold war, too, was not truly an “East-West” struggle; it remained essentially a contest over Europe. What we have today, for the first time in history, is a global, multicivilizational, multipolar battle….

Without firing a shot, China is doing on its southern and western peripheries what Europe is achieving to its east and south. Aided by a 35 million-strong ethnic Chinese diaspora well placed around East Asia’s rising economies, a Greater Chinese Co-Prosperity Sphere has emerged. Like Europeans, Asians are insulating themselves from America’s economic uncertainties. Under Japanese sponsorship, they plan to launch their own regional monetary fund, while China has slashed tariffs and increased loans to its Southeast Asian neighbors. Trade within the India-Japan-Australia triangle — of which China sits at the center — has surpassed trade across the Pacific.

I thinki Khanna’s onto something, even if he is a little too admiring of China while too easily dismissing India and Russia. I know, we can also find quotes that describe China teetering on collapse. Personally, I don’t think there will be any collapse any time soon – certainly some pain as the country feels the sting of decreased US imports, but China has stacked the deck too craftily while Bush played his cards like..well, he basically threw his cards on the floor.With zero moral compunction or conscience, Hu has befriended the scum of the earth, coddled them and established close relations with them. Totally vile, but also shrewd in the classic Macchiaivellian sense of the ends justifying the means. To Hu, all that matters is feeding the beast of China’s economic engine and he’s not going to let small things like human rights or genocide get in his way. It’s a cruel and heartless world and China has 1.3 billion mouths to feed and Hu and his Gang are going to do what they perceive is in the country’s best interests and anyone who dares get in their way will be crushed like a gnat. Whatever you have to say about them, one can’t deny that their Tsinghua University engineer’s approach to foreign policy has achieved many of the desired results, odious as they may be. The deals have been made; much of Africa is in Hu’s pocket.

As a disclaimer, I know nothing more than any average layman about China. I blog for fun, and my Chinese is only at an upper-elementary level (getting better, though).

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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: 102 Comments

At this point, all I can say is: “Yeah.”

January 29, 2008 @ 7:20 pm | Comment

Not sure if Bush has anything to do with the eventuality of this happening anyway. I think that may be giving him a little too much credit. People have been talking about China as a potentially powerful global player for many, many years. Perhaps the absence of another strong asian power has allowed the Chinese and Europe to both partially fill the vacuum left by the USSR. Countries that had no interest or hope in close ties with the US would naturally gravitate to either one of those alternatives.

An interesting article, even if it is a bit too optimistic of the present financial independence of China and the EU.

January 29, 2008 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

Fair points, Bush was not the pivotal reason, just one factor contribution to the (perhaps) inevitable.

January 29, 2008 @ 9:07 pm | Comment

The China-Africa connection just made my radar today, followed up by happening upon your post. I recall a friend of mine who was once very into alternative-history novels, one of which he described to me as taking place after the larger powers had long-since destroyed themselves with nuclear weapons and Africans evolved intense mind-powers like telekinesis. In a roundabout way, I think this fancifully segues to an interesting consideration for the future, when China’s expansive economic growth has settled and Africa begins its big rise. China, conceivably, with its strong ties to Africa, will thus be in a more favorable position than the US to contribute to–and benefit from–African development. Musings, but possible?

January 29, 2008 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

You are exaggerating the China’s influence on Africa. Looking at the number, U.S. is more dominant, buying more oil and selling more arm in that land.

January 29, 2008 @ 11:40 pm | Comment

You might be right. But I’ve seen China make rapid progress in wooing strategic relationships in Africa and I predict their influence there will keep on growing.

January 29, 2008 @ 11:47 pm | Comment

I think we need be a bit more critical of the suddenly accepted notion that Africa is now in China’s “pocket”. Many African leaders are getting in bed with Beijing, certainly, but a few pampered leaders a continent of a billion people does not make. For all their geopolitical prowess, the Chinese leadership appears to have skipped over that chapter written by the American experience called Blowback.

There is already much skepticism as to China’s intentions and methods on the African continent, even in relatively ‘developed’ places like South Africa. After years dealing with the legacy of European colonialism and disastrous Western development interventions, I doubt many Africans are ready to roll over naively for the next world power promising palaces and delights. They’ve been there before, and nothing they see about Chinese business or labour practices is going to make them think any different. If anything, they’ll have even less patience for that sort of thing this time around.

To be fair, though, China’s approach to Africa is certainly less hypocritical than Western nations. You can’t accuse the Middle Kingdom of having double standards when it reserves the same treatment for its own people as any disposable mine labour in Zambia, for instance.

January 29, 2008 @ 11:47 pm | Comment

Forgot to mention- I saw this article on Sunday and wondered how long it would take for its content to appear on this blog! :-)

It’s a good read and provides some food for thought, but is a tad too ‘hard realist’ for my taste. While I agree China and the EU are emerging as global powers nodes (with the US easing down a notch to join them), this author woefully underplays the financial and economic dependence between the three.

China, the EU and the US may be the Big Three battling for global influence, but they are also each other’s major consumer and manufacturing markets. When China tries to grab resources in Africa, isn’t this in some way a proxy action for European and American consumers?

How can you have three global empires with separate spheres of influence when, economically, they are symbiotically attached?

It’s one tangled web, that’s for sure.

January 30, 2008 @ 12:01 am | Comment

I don’t think Africa will ever have a big rise. They will probably have a more stable and steady one, up the point where life is bearable there at least.

There is already much skepticism as to China’s intentions and methods on the African continent

Not from what I’ve heard. There is a lot of hypocritical blustering by Europeans and Americans, but China’s approval rating in Africa is 90% (Pew Global Attitudes). The U.S’s is high as well (outside of Muslim states).

promising palaces and delights

Europe didn’t promise anything. They just went in, moved people around, essentially made them into slaves, bulldozed their society, governments and culture, and milked the continent for resources until their own imperialistic impulses exploded in their face with Germany et al.

Comparisons of China to imperialist Europe are downright ahistorical, revisionist and incredibly offensive to anyone with a conscience.

nothing they see about Chinese business or labour practices is going to make them think any different.

You’re talking about people who regularly starve and get shot; while conditions and business practices in China might be totally abject to someone born and raised in a first world country, to Africans it’s pretty commonplace. It’s not as if though they were doing just fine and then someone invades and forces them into slave labor.

January 30, 2008 @ 6:08 am | Comment

America, Europe and China?

They have forgotten Russia!

Do not take out the Muslim world either.

January 30, 2008 @ 7:15 am | Comment

ferin: “Comparisons of China to imperialist Europe are downright ahistorical, revisionist and incredibly offensive to anyone with a conscience.”

Suspend your outrage long enough to consider that China has been in the imperialism game for much longer than Europe has. A quick hour of reading Chinese history would show that. China’s weakness in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are not indicative of China’s significant imperialist role in Asia through history.

Ahistorical and revisionist according to who? Mao?

January 30, 2008 @ 7:17 am | Comment

Hi Ferin

You seem to be a profligate user of the “Tu Quoque” argument.

As usual more info in wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

Regards ;-)

January 30, 2008 @ 7:19 am | Comment

eco, the writer has not forgotten Russia, but he basically writes them off in comparison to the might and performance of China, describing Russia as “an increasingly depopulated expanse run by Gazprom.gov.” Russia’s certainly made a dramatic recovery thanks to n increasingly reformed if still wildly imperfect and corrupt system. Unlike Bush, Putin will enjoy a great legacy despite the evils committed in his name. However, it can’t hold a candle to China’s manufacturing muscle and its ability to dominate East/Southeast Asia; it imply doesn’t have the bodies or the clout. Like so many, Russia, too, is drooling when it thinks about the potential for natural gas sales via pipeline to China’s hundreds of millions. Gazprom has set up a semi-permanent office at the China World Hotel because they, too know where their bread will be buttered.

January 30, 2008 @ 8:53 am | Comment

“Not from what I’ve heard. There is a lot of hypocritical blustering by Europeans and Americans, but China’s approval rating in Africa is 90% (Pew Global Attitudes). The U.S’s is high as well (outside of Muslim states).”

Well, it’s the impression I got during my time in southern Africa. For example, where I lived in Mozambique, it was an open secret that Chinese businessmen were illegally logging the nearby national park and more than a few people were somewhat displeased. In more industrialized South Africa, there was the worry that undercutting Chinese goods will flood the market. Regarding Zimbabwe, the suspicion that Mugabe’s intransigence was backed by Chinese business interests.

Is all this mistrust warranted? Maybe, maybe not- but it is there, despite Pew Global Attitudes.

And you know, not everyone in Africa is regularly starving or getting shot. There is a surprising amount of life and optimism there.

Maybe many Africans are used to the abject exploitation of labour that has been characteristic of recent Chinese capitalism- but that’s no excuse. I don’t defend Western economic and environmental exploitation of other places (including China), so I don’t see why I should start defending similar Chinese actions.

January 30, 2008 @ 8:58 am | Comment

China has been in the imperialism game for much longer than Europe has.

What do you mean by “China”, Yuan and Qing China?

China is essentially the product of several states invading eachother repeatedly. The actual original Chinese cultures centered around Henan didn’t do much of this. In the context of modern China it’s a pretty bogus argument.

Stop avoiding the point though, what China is doing in Africa will never be comparable to say, Belgian Congo.

@Ecodelta

Tu quoque doesn’t imply that the first party did something WORSE than the accused can ever do.

January 30, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Comment

I think the article is excellent, save for the “Future superpower” status of the EU.

It has soft power and a strong economy, but soft power is far more effective when backed with hard power than soft power alone–as machiavelli said, it is better to be feared than loved–and of the two nations in the EU with any military projection forces to speak of (France and Britain), one is far too euroskeptical (whether rightly or not) to surrender its diplomatic sovereignty.

Some of America’s most worrying problems–demographic aging/shrinking, insolvent welfare systems–are all faced by Europe on a far grander scale. (at least America isn’t shrinking, and despite Bush & Co., American Muslims remain more well-integrated into society compared to their Euro-brethreren

And for the record, Bush did not preciptate America’s fall from hegemony–he merely accelerated it by a decade or so.

I personally feel the world will be worse off when liberal democracy is no longer tacitly accepted as the “ideal” state of government, but there is nothing I can do about it. I can only hope the next President is enlightened enough to help the US maintain the economic, technological, military, and soft power edge that will allow us to punch above our weight as the smallest of future powers.

January 30, 2008 @ 12:09 pm | Comment

I will only say this is a very clever piece of writing, kind of like a crafty fortune teller’s prediction- enough seemingly right piecemeal information that leave the readers to make own projections and self-hypnotized into thinking that it is good and credible journalism.
Maybe we ought to dust off that old copy of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and read again.

January 30, 2008 @ 12:28 pm | Comment

Glad to see, Ferin, that the PRC government’s continued occupation of China’s past empire is irrelevant to “modern China,” and yet Belgian Congo is still so fresh in your mind.
Gotcha!

January 30, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

it is better to be feared than loved

In the past, yes. But in the 21st century, not so much.

That saying holds true when the people you’re relating with are subordinates who are weak. Come 2030-2050, I think it’ll be harder to exert that kind of influence in an aggressive manner.

I can only hope the next President

That’s the problem with democracy.

January 30, 2008 @ 2:00 pm | Comment

@Ecodelta

“Tu quoque doesn’t imply that the first party did something WORSE than the accused can ever do.”

Recursive use of tu quoeqe argument!! You have an interesting mindset.

You are missing the point of this logic fallacy Ferin. Tu quoque states that is a fallacy to reply to an argument saying that the other person is also guilty of doing what he is arguing against.

Who (supposedly) committed the worst act is irrelevant in the logic argumentation. Both discussing parties are arguing over the issue itself not the (supposedly) behavior of each party.

Tu quoque is used to deviate and argumentation off topic when the person who is using it recognizes that he can not correctly respond to the argumentation.
This logic fallacy is also similar to the “red herring” fallacy.

Very much used in politics, ideological, nationalist and even religious discussions.

January 30, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

ecodelta – since you referred to wikipedia on “tu quoque”, how about this …
(quote wikipedia)
A legitimate use of the you-too (tu quoque) version might be:

A makes criticism P.
A is also guilty of P.
Therefore, A is either inconsistent to criticize P, or the criticism is confused because it does not reflect A’s actual values or beliefs.

January 30, 2008 @ 3:19 pm | Comment

The right description of how to correclty use the tu quoque argument is in the example in the wikipeida page

“You say that taking a human life is wrong under all circumstances, but support killing in self-defense; you are either being inconsistent, or you believe that under some circumstances taking a human life is justified.”

The inconsistency rises for supporting a contradiction inside the argument.
“Protect all human life, but at same time allow to take it under some circunstances”.

The wrong use of tu quoque argument, uses elements outside of the argument that are not part of it.

For example:
Person a:”All human life must be protected”
Person b”But you are a killer”

Here is the fallacy. That person “a” is (supposedly) a killer does not refute its statement.

But if he persons “a” says:
“all human life must be protected, but I can kill some of them”
Here is an inconsistency inside the argument.

Logic can be tricky sometimes. Specially when we leave emotions interfere with it.

January 30, 2008 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

As much as I hate to engage Ferin (whom I am not entirely unconvinced is simply being satirical and out for a bit of a laugh) both the Han and the Tang were expansionist empires, never mind the Qing under the Manchus.

I do agree though that despite the problems of China’s interests in Africa, they would have to go A LONG WAY before approaching the horrors perpetrated on that continent at the hands of imperialism and the trade in human slaves.

However, for Chinese apologists who argue “well you were worse” as if it were a get out of jail free card, simply remind me of the phrase from Mencius, 五十步笑百步.

January 30, 2008 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

a very interesting article, thanks richard, and one that is too long to comment on briefly. i see that he has recently written a book and i’d be interested in reading that and seeing his arguments in greater depth, as some of what he says seems naive.

as janus says, his stuff on the eu is particularly odd, and betrays an ignorance of core facts. the eu doesn’t have anything remotely resembling a coherent foreign policy – take the division over selling weapons to china for example. in fact, it doesn’t even have a constitution that everyone can agree on. the eu is not just made up of france and germany – the uk is the second biggest economy in europe and is not a member of the euro. the integration of eastern europe is causing problems – minor details perhaps to foreign policy wonks in mercs, but loss of jobs and lowering of wages due to eastern europe, perceived or actual, is a very real election issue in the uk, france and germany, if not elsewhere. integration is a big problem – i would argue that what it means to be american is much more clear cut that what it means to be french or english. turkey is not going to be a member of the eu in the foreseeable – it is seen as a buffer to the middle east.

i also agree that ferin is a sh*t stirrer and not a very good one. without wanting to deviate from the topic too much, i think it is fair to note that slavery was a fact of life in africa long before the europeans turned up. indeed several chieftains complained when slavery was abolished by the british empire saying that there was no greater pleasure than having the wives and children of your enemy being paraded weeping before you. i am rather bored of reading this myth of happy happy non-white societies where nothing bad ever happened.

January 30, 2008 @ 5:31 pm | Comment

Ferin: “Stop avoiding the point though, what China is doing in Africa will never be comparable to say, Belgian Congo.”

What about Tibet?

January 30, 2008 @ 6:38 pm | Comment

ecodelta – yeah my friend, “logic can be tricky sometimes”, especially if you bury your head into it and forget that the whole thing is built on false illusions or preoccupations…

“Specially when we leave emotions interfere with it.” Yeah I can feel some “cool emotions” in there.

January 30, 2008 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

PRC government’s continued occupation of China’s past empire

Oh lets protest, hold hands and sing kumbaya, that will fix everything. If it doesn’t we’ll have a concert! Those big bad communists will just roll over like they did in 1989. If you are against Americanism you are pro-CCP, gotcha.

also guilty of doing what he is arguing against.

Then I’ll repeat: what China is doing in Africa is nothing like what Europe did. It’s literally like comparing the Holocaust to American investment in China. To expand on that, Chinese investment in Africa is similar to foreign investment in China. Regardless, the point is that any of you whining about the CCP’s actions while making money in China are complete hypocrites. It’s not specifically an attack on the argument, which apparently is that the CCP is misbehaving in Africa, it’s rather an attack on hypocritical “Western” worldviews trying to establish themselves in China.

both the Han and the Tang were expansionist empires

This is grasping at straws. What the Han and Tang did are analogous to intra-European wars; the only difference is that Southern and Central China were successfully assimilated. As the persistence of the Southern tribes shows, Han expansionism didn’t have a certain bent that was lacking in European colonization.

That is, turning the native population into slaves and slicing their limbs off and leaving after 60-70% of the population dies.

January 31, 2008 @ 5:15 am | Comment

Sorry, meant to say “apparent in European colonization”

January 31, 2008 @ 5:16 am | Comment

Ferins,

What the Han and Tang (and the Qing) did is probably more analogous to the expansion of Russia to the east, but no matter.

I’m not going to get into quibbles with you over comparative tragic colonization, but I think you are underestimating the weight of the Han civilizing (the term used in the sources) mission in the expansion of the various empires.

While not as violent, the policies and rhetoric used by officials when discussing the proper handling of newly incorporated territory (in particular in Yunnan, Taiwan, and Tibet) is strikingly similar to that used by European and American imperialists. One good example of this is found in the voluminous writings of Chen Hongmou (of whom William Rowe has written). I might also suggest MIT prof Peter Perdue’s opus, China Marches West.

Was it as bad as the genocide of the Native Americans? Probably not, but you’ve moved from “China never had colonization” to “Chinese colonization wasn’t as bad” and we’re back to 五十步笑百步.

January 31, 2008 @ 6:21 am | Comment

What the Han and Tang (and the Qing) did is probably more analogous to the expansion of Russia to the east

You mean “China’s” Western, Southern, or Eastern expansion? What today is the “Han” ethnic group is an agglomeration of several tribes. It’s unclear if the people who created the original Chinese culture even exist anymore, outside of a genetic influence in several areas of China. It’s different; there’s less focus on genocide and more focus on culture. Not to say that the second option is a good one.

While not as violent, the policies and rhetoric used by officials when discussing the proper handling of newly incorporated territory (in particular in Yunnan, Taiwan, and Tibet) is strikingly similar to that used by European and American imperialists.

It’s more similar to the rhetoric used against the Shandong plateau or the Southern tribes. The difference between China’s relationship with China, and Europe’s with Africa, is that China was in mutual conflict with surrounding tribes for millenia, among other things. Even when people conquered the nexus of China, they adopted Chinese culture. It’s pretty much a blur from there, and of course Han nationalism is a total joke as a result. This is coming from the son of an “Eastern barbarian” and “Southern barbarian” mind you.

“China never had colonization” to “Chinese colonization wasn’t as bad”

No. What I said is that China is a product of several tribes invading eachother repeatedly. You take the tone that it was always China who was the aggressor against their neighbors. As you know, neither the Yuan or Qing dynasties were Chinese ruled. But now, technically they are because a good half of their respective ethnic groups have been absorbed. Tibet was also a frequent raider of Chinese lands.

That doesn’t justify anything, of course. The fact that most Tibetans were slaves stuck in a brutal feudal system doesn’t justify CCP annexation either. The freedom of Tibet would be ideal, like America, Canada, Siberia, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand being returned to their natives. But it’s not going to happen; luckily Chinese people don’t want to kill 98% of the Tibetan population (though Mao certainly enjoyed killing 4-5% of it’s own). As for the whole genetic thing, Tibetans (the non-Scythian ones) are linguistically and genetically extremely close to the original Huaxia tribes.

There’s no point in expounding upon the whole 400 year slave trade prior to the Scramble for Africa, the abrupt decolonization and power vacuums, racism, Europeans setting themselves up as the disproportionate beneficiaries of African slave labor, land and resources, total destruction of African society and some languages, entire tribes wiped out from existence, etc. because I’d assume everyone knows all about that.

January 31, 2008 @ 8:10 am | Comment

several millennia*

keep forgetting i can’t edit posts

January 31, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Comment

Ferin,

I understimated you, that was the most cogent thing I’ve ever seen you post on this site….why not usually write like that rather than playing the “annoying guy in the bar” routine?

I do have one small point, and it’s more of an aside than anything:

“Even when people conquered the nexus of China, they adopted Chinese culture.”

This was routinely assumed into the 20th century, but recent research in Manchu language archives (Pamely Crossley, Mark Elliot) and by scholars of the Yuan Dynasty and Central Asia (Joseph Fletcher, Bettine Birge) have problematized this as a working assumption, in particular noting that several conquest dynasties left their own profound influence on Han society and political culture. While there was certainly assimilation, the old trope of “They became Chinese” (As you so ably put, a problematic equation to begin with) should be rethought, or at least qualified depending on whom is being discussed which period is under discussion.

As a way of summing up, you couldn’t find anybody who would agree with you more about the horrors of European and American imperialism. The African slave trade and the war against the Native Americans is as horrific as just about anything in recorded history. But that’s in Africa and North America.

In Asia, and let’s limit ourselves to the most recent dynasty, the Qing, which as you noted was not ethnically Chinese. There are many areas in China (and even just outside the borders) that are going through the symptoms, if you will, of post-colonialism, as today’s PRC tries to legitimize and consoldiate its claims as the heirs to the territorial legacy of the Qing empire.

Was it as “bad”? Who knows? I’d say no, others would say different. Certainly Zuo Zongtang’s wars against the begs had a real ‘sow the earth with salt’ flavor to them, but that was just one series of campaigns. In general, the Qing ruled with a (relatively speaking) light touch once they had completed their conquest.

Thanks for the debate, it’s nice to hear your true voice.

January 31, 2008 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

.why not usually write like that rather than playing the “annoying guy in the bar” routine?

The problem usually starts when there’s an idiot, and I just don’t feel like explaining things to them. And when other people get drawn in because they didn’t follow the conversation and made assumptions about my positions, I don’t show any courtesy to them either.

several conquest dynasties left their own profound influence on Han society and political culture

All of them did, of course. As did the conquered, or assimilated tribes. As you know, many of the conquering groups adopted some aspects of Han culture for purely political reasons. Just like how many rulers converted to various religions (outwardly) to hold political power. Essentially, “Chinese culture” became something that various ethnic groups and indeed “races” (when you talk about the North, West and South splits) unified under; though many “Han Chinese” have also preserved a lot of unique regional customs.

To get to the point, there are many times when people take the view that “Han” is a racial term, and conflate it with the European concepts of “whiteness” or “Christendom”, particularly in a modern context. That’s an utterly absurd, practically Satanic interpretation of Chinese cultural anthropology. Han expansionism was in many ways a result of mutual conflict and Chinese culture as a attracting or unifying force. It wasn’t about racial supremacy, religious dogmatism, enslavement, genocide, economic imperialism, etc. Bad, but not as bad and definitely different.

today’s PRC tries to legitimize and consoldiate its claims as the heirs to the territorial legacy of the Qing empire.

Definitely. I think it’s morally wrong, but given various geopolitical considerations of course it’s impossible for China to “give up” any of their territorial possessions. The world today is definitely not built on morality, but rather group interests and the power to act upon them.

the Qing ruled with a (relatively speaking) light touch once they had completed their conquest.

Nothing justifies brutality, but they had to hold onto their belongings and heavily nationalize in the face of European aggressions. This encroachment led to the Qing tightening imperial borders in an unprecedented scale and the formation of an “ethnic/nationalist” (pretty funny in Qing China’s case) identity.

For example, Britain and Russia were competing for influence in Tibet as part of their activities during the Great Game. British soldiers even went into Tibet and killed a few thousand people; it was then that Qing China truly put effort into consolidating power in Tibet rather than giving it relatively little attention as a suzerain.

Again, immoral but understandable given the times. I don’t see Maoists as “Chinese” either; Chinese philosophers and moralists are probably rolling in their graves; anti-intellectualism, hatred of culture, hedonism, and soulless consumerism stray quite a bit from traditional ideals.

So in short, what China is doing in Africa today is definitely not comparable to what Europe did back then. And what Europe did back then, is not comparable to what China did back then. There’s no leverage to argue that China is, or ever has, undertaken racialist and genocidal imperialism. Definitely not in that degree.

The problem is that a lot of “Western” (vague term) mainstream media outlets try to paint China as a, get this, vehicle of “Han supremacist” ideology. They call the voluntary intermarriage of Chinese and Tibetans “genocide”. They mention “foot binding” non-stop in their descriptions of “Chinese sexism”, and make buzzwords of esoteric cultural terms like “kowtow”. When a minority in Guizhou or Guangdong eats dogs or cats they call it “Chinese culture”. CNN, Fox, etc are all too busy covering recalls and the trade deficit to lend a single minute to the victims of Communist-foreign collaboration. They essentially paint a picture of Chinese people as being completely undeserving of sympathy, as enemies.

This is not harmless journalism. This is racial blood libel, not different from the pictures of so-called “bearded, hook-nosed Jew cockroaches” putting “blonde Aryan” girls into meatgrinders. It’s sickening. They’re painting out what in their minds is the “Han race” to be a bloodthirsty, ultra-racist, imperialist, polluting people. Only this time the images of Aryan womanhood are being replaced with the West’s new fixations, puppies, Africans, the environment, women.. whatever else is on the far-left’s laundry list.

The reason why I take issue, in this specific case, is that right now Africa is the poster child for human rights and poverty. Thus, China is especially hated when people exaggerate Chinese activity in Africa. I’m not lying when I say I’ve heard at least 30% of the people I’ve spoken to over the internet casually suggest the genocide or sterilization of millions of Chinese people as a joke. Even on threads here there are people implying that they want to murder Chinese families in their countries after viewing videos of obscure tribes in Southern China butchering dogs.

Extremely long post, but the reason why I don’t bandwagon with many Americans in their views on how to handle relations with China and the CCP, despite the fact that a good portion of my family was beaten to death and imprisoned by them, is because I’m becoming increasingly aware of American ideals I don’t agree with trying to establish themselves in China. This is the source of the hostility and suspicion I show to a lot of people over China issues.

January 31, 2008 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

@ferin

I was really interested by what you have to say. My advice would be to assume good faith and not get angered by people who are clearly trying to upset you. This site should be a great place for measured debate, but it too often descends into juvenile mud slinging.
What I feel you are doing is seeking to blur European culture together and seeing European colonization of Africa (and the rest of the world) as all of one piece. This is easily done from a Chinese perspective, given that Western interference in China was often homogeneous with the allied armies and the most favoured nation clauses for example. Nevertheless, this was very much not the case in Africa where the brutality of the Belgians was notorious amongst the European nations. On the British side there was of course Rhodes, but there was also Dr Livingstone, who fought against the slave trade and worked for African development. It is easy to sneer at this now, but the sincerity of the missionaries in their desire to improve the lot of the African tribes and their willingness to die for this is a clearly documented fact. The point is that there were many different forces working in Africa, some genuinely trying to work for the benefit of Africans (of course it can be debated whether they did in fact do any good and whether or not they should have attempted), others not. The same is happening today. Another parallel can be drawn with India, where Hitler famously advised the British that the best way to deal with the uppity natives would be to shoot Gandhi, shoot Nehru and shoot as many member of the Indian National Congress as possible. (Niall Ferguson’s book Empire goes into these arguments in some detail) It is also a problem of colonisation that it brought modernisation and modern institutions to many places (such as Hong Kong) and helped get rid of brutal practices such as sati and foot binding. Perhaps a Chinese person would then bring up Tibet, saying that Tibet has had a lot of development, but the response to that would be to point out (a) Indian and Chinese cultures, for example, were not trashed (b) they were permitted to dissent in a way that Tibetans could only dream of. The Chinese may want to comfort themselves with the attitudes displayed in the cartoon here (http://www.lilywong.net/archive/lilyarc013e.html) but it is a false comfort.

Secondly I felt that your ideas of culture are confused. I am not criticising you personally by saying this, as I think this is a very difficult problem to deal with, and one I also struggle with. What you appear to be saying is that firstly, in China the culture emerged after centuries of tribal warfare and there was no one dominant culture that conquered the others. Secondly you appear to argue that the invasions of the Mongols and the Manchus are acceptable as they went onto adopt the majority culture – what is important is the retention of the culture. You are therefore trying to draw a contrast between the West pushing their culture onto poor suffering non-whites and the Chinese only conquering each other and not forcing their culture upon others. The problem is firstly that the West pushed things like electricity, railways, modern medicine, rule of law, transparency, rights for women as well as profiting. Secondly in saying that Chinese only conquered each other (as opposed to foreigners) you are defining a culture and nation state after the fact. You appear to be saying that warfare and exploitation are acceptable within cultures. Unfortunately this appears to be contradicted by Jeremiah’s comments on the Qing and also the fact that you previously stated that Chinese culture is not homogeneous.

Thirdly I would agree that much of what is written about China is rubbish, however I would not go as far as you in saying this is racial libel. Much of the problem comes from foreign correspondents and writers on China knowing next to no Chinese and having little experience of China outside Beijing and Shanghai. Peter Hessler explains this very well in his book “Oracle Bones”. I also get extremely annoyed by people’s generalisations of the UK. For example the current economic system in the US and the UK which is defined as “Anglo” as if it is somehow an inherent or racial quality. In the UK we have a history of electing socialist governments (not Blair, I mean Attlee and Wilson), we have a healthcare system free at the point delivery (though it has many problems) and a far more comprehensive social security system than the US. The disintegration of this and the me-me culture I would say started in the eighties with Thatcherism and is in no way inherent in our country. So I fully understand how you feel when you think your country is being misrepresented.

Sorry for the long post but I hope to continue this debate with the calmer and more reasonable ferins.

January 31, 2008 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

Ferin,

Thank you for your considered and thougtful response to my comments. I won’t take up too much space responding, as I think Si has raised some very valid points for further consideration, except to say that you and I will have to be satisfied that we have areas of common agreement, as well as some areas where we differ in our perspective and opinion, and that’s fine, that’s what this is all about.

I enjoyed the debate, and I hope you continue to post comments in this manner, it would make a real contribution.

January 31, 2008 @ 8:26 pm | Comment

Wow, great debate! Ferin, you raise some pretty interesting points. I would agree that China’s interactions with African states cannot approach the past brutality of European action on the continent, but there is still the problem of perception.

I think that precisely because the Europeans made such a mess ( a mess furthered in the post-colonial area by so-called international ‘development’ institutions), some Africans are suspicious and mistrustful of the next ‘big guy’ to arrive on the scene. I don’t base these comments on the usual navel-gazing pap written about this topic in various outlets of anglophone Western media, but rather on sentiments I came across while I was living in southern Africa.

My skepticism over the benign nature China’s engagement in Africa is not based on some knee-jerk China-bashing, but rather of a general wariness with a world where the economic success of one is built upon the exploitation and plunder of another. After all, the current debate about Africa boils down to arguments about which region-power gets to use it as a resource pit, as opposed to what anyone living on the African continent actually wants.

I feel equally strongly about the complicity of Western interests in the exploitation of Chinese labour and the environmental destruction of China. It is hypocritical and sometimes, yes, even disgusting.

It’s important to remember that just because some people on this site are critical of current Chinese practices, that doesn’t mean we are giving a pass to past (or current) European or North American behaviour. If you think I’m tough on China, you should have overheard a discussion I had with some Portuguese people who were trying to argue that colonization had some benefits for Mozambique! :-) If you ever want me to start on Western countries, ask me what I think about the whole ‘development’ enterprise.

My “tough love” stance towards China stems, I think, from seeing it adopting some of the more dubious aspects of Western capitalist traditions and, in its current path of development, colluding with the interests who push these at the expense of a lot of people, be they Chinese, African or American.

What happened in the past might have been disgusting and reprehensible, but I can’t change that. What I can do is participate in making the world of today a slightly more tolerable place, and I think that includes raising awareness about the downfalls and exploitation that seem built into our current global economic system.

Are China’s current actions in Africa as bad as the Europeans in the past? Hardly.

Do I believe China’s current actions in Africa are benign and economically advantageous to Africans (that is, the one who aren’t state leaders or already wealthy traders)? No.

Should Africans be suspicious of Chinese intentions? Given their past experiences, I don’t see how they couldn’t be.

Should Africans be equally suspicious of suddenly ‘beneficial’ European or American intentions? Of course.

Should Western countries stop being so hypocritical when it comes to their own complicity in many of modern China’s shortcomings? Most definitely.

February 1, 2008 @ 1:10 am | Comment

PB,

When China tries to grab resources in Africa, isn’t this in some way a proxy action for European and American consumers?

Replace “grab” with “buy up”, and “Africa” with “resource-rich countries such as Russia, Canada, Brazil, and South Africa.”

Save a few short spells, Europea & America have had good consumption growth since the 80s, and yet the recent commodity boom didn’t begin in its earnest until a few years ago. It’s not a European & American consumer story — it’s strictly a Chinese infrastructure build-out and industrialization story. The effect of such story including phenomenon such as the diversion of Brazilian Real and Argentine Peso, Alberta debating how to spend its unexpectedly large fiscal surplus, and Russia being the only G8 nation with dual surpluses.

We’re in a tangled web alright — we’ve been in a synchronized global growth period for a while. But if you study the history carefully, you will notice once in a while after a certain sequence of negative events, initially all markets tend to go down simultaneously. But after a while, a group of stocks, a handful of nations, some sectors, will be the first return and make new highs. Those are the leaders of your next bull leg, and they will divert from the other battled markets. Case in point, in the 97 Asian economic crisis, the US market much like everybody else went down hard initially. But the first group of stocks came back and made new highs, was the US Internet stocks. There is where you should put your money in.

I am observing carefully on how the global markets react to the recent US subprime meltdown. We shall know more right around the northern hemisphere summer time.

February 1, 2008 @ 2:01 am | Comment

I feel you are doing is seeking to blur European culture together and seeing European colonization of Africa (and the rest of the world) as all of one piece.

I don’t. I would get into more detail and name the specific powers at each period, but I put “Western” in quotations to show that I’m not talking about Czechoslovakia, Iceland or Luxembourg. In China’s case, it’d be the 8 Nations Alliance.

It is easy to sneer at this now, but the sincerity of the missionaries in their desire to improve the lot of the African tribes

I definitely don’t sneer at things like this. I think people like this are worthy of great respect, but their efforts were ultimately futile in the face of imperialism and general apathy among the public in Western Europe. It’s the same thing as today, millions march against Iraq but is anything done? And do they have any real power? Protests and concerts and letter writing is all very nice, but they won’t solve problems on their own.

they were permitted to dissent in a way that Tibetans could only dream of.

That’s because India and China were cash cows of a different kind. I do know British people had gotten more lenient by the time, but if Indians and Chinese didn’t accept economic parasitism and opium the British simply would ignore them. That, and Britain was stretched too thin at later times to do anything seriously damaging to India and China. As for other colonized nations, ironically, I think it was Hitler who caused so much damage to Europe’s power that they were eventually forced to relinquish their colonies.

there was no one dominant culture that conquered the others.

There was, but people often “conquered themselves” into Chinese culture or political structures. It’s all very superficial, but the borders often held after the collapse of non-Han dynasties. Again, it’s not moral or acceptable, but it definitely is not as bad as what happened in North America or Africa. This kind of centralization arguably screwed China over in the 16th century, anyway.

you appear to argue that the invasions of the Mongols and the Manchus are acceptable

Definitely not. They’re about as tolerable as the Japanese invasions (since roughly 20-25 million people died each time) or the Cultural Revolution; not because it wounds some nationalist ego, but because I dislike unnecessary violence, personally.

the West pushed things like electricity, railways, modern medicine, rule of law, transparency, rights for women as well as profiting.

Sure, they gave lipservice to things like women’s rights but ignored the fact that a woman in traditional China whose husband was addicted to opium was more or less screwed. Women’s rights activists today think they’re doing so much for the Arab or Muslim woman with their propaganda, but it only emboldens domestic profiteers when they bomb her house, steal her oil and murder her children.

Forcing someone to accept a trade (in this case, giving electricity to perhaps .1% of China’s population in exchange for ruining the lives of another 10%) is not right, especially when you’re the stronger (group of) nation(s) in a position of great relative power, but then again the world has no morals.

you are defining a culture and nation state after the fact.

Not necessarily. For example, when the Khitans formed the Liao dynasty they were not Chinese. But they eventually, and reluctantly, adopted Chinese writing and various other systems. They were an expansionist tribe, like many other East Asian tribes, and they even attacked and conquered bits of Korea. But eventually, due to their Sinicization and mutual conquest, they became partially absorbed into “Han China”. I retroactively call such a group “Chinese” when I say the “Chinese conquered eachother”.

I would not go as far as you in saying this is racial libel

Whether it’s an accident or created out of ignorance is less relevant than the fact that they build an extremely ugly picture of Chinese people that is being leveraged by neo-nazis and other extremists. I’ve done a lot of poking around, and you can find videos of Chinese people being beaten half to death in Russia (I think the URL is finalsolution88.com or something). There has been a bombing of a Chinese restaurant in Australia. You might say, no big deal because it happens maybe 300 times in Russia yearly and only once recently in Australia, but I sometimes wonder if mainstream media has something to do with facilitating the crimes. Then, for something new, “Tookie” Williams referred to the Taiwanese family he slaughtered as “Buddha heads”. This is a common phenomenon of anti-Chinese violence, the dehumanizing and dismissive reaction it gets. So who’s to blame? That’s what I’m looking into. Also, recently in NYC Chinatown a group of kids seriously assaulted passersby and shouted “this is for the Vietnam War(?)”. There are always cultural or historic aspects to it. When’s the last time you were dragged into an alley and beaten senseless by Chinese people “for the Opium Wars”?

Do I believe China’s current actions in Africa are benign and economically advantageous to Africans (that is, the one who aren’t state leaders or already wealthy traders)? No.

I agree, it’s definitely not benign. In some cases, it is economically advantageous however. Just like Americans dumping electronic waste into China is “economically advantageous”. I think the mainstream reports on Chinese involvement in Africa are more damaging than they appear on the surface. China can learn a lot about morality from their own history, but if they are denied the ability to view the African situation clearly as a result of CCP propaganda “countering” European/American propaganda, it is all the worse for the development of humanitarian thought and activism in China.

February 1, 2008 @ 3:42 am | Comment

Jeremiah’s 五十步笑百步 is actually more applicable in regards to say, “much of what is written about China is rubbish, …Much of the problem comes from foreign correspondents and writers on China knowing next to no Chinese and having little experience of China outside Beijing and Shanghai. Very Well said, Si.
(” Peter Hessler explains this very well in his book “Oracle Bones”)

“Sure, [the "West"] gave lipservice to things like women’s rights but ignored the fact that a woman in traditional China whose husband was addicted to opium was more or less screwed. Women’s rights activists today think they’re doing so much for the Arab or Muslim woman with their propaganda, but it only emboldens domestic profiteers…” Ferin
@ Ferin, You certainly have on this fine day earned my respect. Keep up the good work.

February 1, 2008 @ 11:55 am | Comment

Thanks to folks like Richard, Ferin, Jeremiah, PB, Si etc; we will hear less from ignorant trolls the likes of Kebab boy et al.

February 1, 2008 @ 12:02 pm | Comment

Especially thanks to ferin(s) who is one of the most polite, matter-of-fact, fair and balanced commenters on this blog, as you can see here:

http://www.pekingduck.org/archives/004781.php#comments

Of course, compared to this kebab boy is just an ignorant troll.
I’m not denying that ferin(s) makes very good comments from time to time, but so does nanhe. When it comes to name-calling and cursing others, though, nanhe has a long way to go, before he reaches ferin’s level.

February 1, 2008 @ 7:50 pm | Comment

@mor

ferin has at times been very abusive. however he has written some really interesting and thoughtful comments on this thread and that should be acknowledged. i hope he continues in this vein.

@ferin

i don’t have time to respond to you at length, hopefully after the weekend.

however i feel you are overly cynical regarding the treatment of china and india – freedom of speech is something that is/was genuinely respected.

regarding women’s rights – it is true that a chinese woman whose husband was addicted to opium was pretty screwed. but then her husband chose to smoke the opium and she was already pretty screwed from an arranged marriage, being unable to divorce, being illiterate and having her feet bound.

muslim women’s homes are being bombed and their children killed – mainly by muslim extremist terrorists rather than the damage wrought by the us and uk. of course this does not mean the invasion of iraq was ok, but the terrorists did not have to respond by murdering each other.

i don’t think chinese people are being targetted by racist thugs due to what the mainstream media says. i think you would have to give some cast iron links to websites to demonstrate this. i take your point about the level of violence – the Far East is much safer than the uk.

February 1, 2008 @ 10:34 pm | Comment

totally agree about ferin – he seems to have grown up.

February 2, 2008 @ 12:28 am | Comment

‘When it comes to name-calling and cursing others, though, nanhe has a long way to go, before he reaches ferin’s level.’

I totally empathize with ferin…I think the difference is ferin knows what he is talking about while idiots like kebab boy is just a racist. Folks like us have had to put up with & is fed up with half-witted or sanctimonious foreigners getting off with slandering our people, our country’s history and culture most of our lives.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t mind so much when I was a guest of the west, but back here in my own country to hear the same BS from ungrateful guests of my country bad mouthing it while enjoying privileges MOST chinese as capable if not more talented and working a lot harder are deprived of have too often tempted me to similar outbursts. But I am 25, HAPPY to and grateful to be home among my own people. Nevertheless, I admire the smarts and guts of folks like ferin, Jeremiah, PB, Si & Richard etc.
Thank you all for your voices.

February 2, 2008 @ 1:40 am | Comment

You are probably right, when he denied that Adolf Hitler is a very popular historical personality in China, and called me “subhuman” and asked me to “get cancer and die!” he knew very well what he was talking about.

You complain about ungrateful guests bad-mouthing your country. That’s exactly what ferin is doing in the USA.

When Jeremiah asked ferin “why not usually write like that rather than playing the “annoying guy in the bar” routine?”, the anser was: “The problem usually starts when there’s an idiot, and I just don’t feel like explaining things to them. And when other people get drawn in because they didn’t follow the conversation and made assumptions about my positions, I don’t show any courtesy to them either.” The same old ferin putting all the blame on everybody but himself and calling those who happen to disagree with him “idiots”. So that’s called growing up?

And for those who didn’t read my above comment, I’ll spell it out in capital letters: (I said) I’M NOT DENYING THAT (meaning) I DO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT FERIN(S) MAKES VERY GOOD COMMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT SO DOES NANHE. And both can be annoying at certain times, but I can’t remember nanhe using words like’subhuman” or cursing people.

“Nevertheless, I admire the smarts and guts of folks like ferin, Jeremiah, PB, Si & Richard etc.”

It takes a certain amount of courage to run a blog like this while living and working in China and I admire that, too, but posting comments, especially if one is sitting safe somewhere overseas, doesn’t take any guts at all.

February 2, 2008 @ 2:14 am | Comment

I’m only abusive when people say things that are downright stupid/offensive or have a nasty tone.

an arranged marriage, being unable to divorce, being illiterate and having her feet bound.

That’s the thing; very few women in China had bound feet. But British journalists made it seem like every woman had bound feet. It was restricted to upper class women at first, and since the 17th century even the various governments of China had attempted to stop it (the Manchus especially). I’m not even sure the British even had any impact on the abolishment of the practice. Another favorite for them was lingchi, Sati and the Thuggee Cult. They’re always looking for something to justify imperialism. Nothing has changed, people now make it seem like 50% of Arab or Muslim women are subjected to honor killings and rape. This is why anecdotes always have to be backed with statistics; you cannot properly judge a society without them.

Indeed, all of these things are problems, but similarly China or Japan could call “the West” barbaric for its 6-12x higher violent crime rates, high divorce rates, high child abuse rates, high spousal abuse rates, and the fact that 20-30% in America and much of Europe are raised with a single parent. Maybe Chinese triads can use these excuses in court when they’re caught selling heroin. The impact of Britain on both China and India is profoundly negative, unless you assume both of these places never had any innate desire to change their governments. They did have struggles for independence and movements away from authoritarianism; but they were usually interrupted by invasions. IMO freedom of speech means little when you’re facing powerful, moneyed invaders.

but the terrorists did not have to respond by murdering each other

Totally depraved, violent extremists are predictable and you can’t exactly place blame on them like you can on civilized human beings; the responsibility has to be placed with the people who released them without significantly containing them. Everyone knew partisan violence would flare up in Iraq; and the coalition countries with their Godlike wealth did not care enough to properly handle the situation.

when he denied that Adolf Hitler is a very popular historical personality in China

No, you said Chinese people love Hitler and think 9-11 was glorious. And I’ll say it again: you are a lying piece of trash.

i think you would have to give some cast iron links to websites to demonstrate this.

Not concrete, but some quotes from a site listing crime rates and various ratios, as they related to race and ethnicity in the U.S: (relates to two of the anecdotes I gave you)

(rate of victimization, e.g 2.0 = 2x more common, -2x = 2x less common than norm)

bhate crimes in Mass According to statistics
gathered statewide from participating police departments and compiled
by the Criminal Histories Systems Board, 11.4 percent of the 472
crimes reported in 1992 were motivated by anti-Asiansentiments.

White Black Hispan Asian
Victim 0.50 3.67 1.69 8.92
Suspect 1.00 1.51 -3.18 -3.32

July 26, 1996 p. 8
Office of California Attorney General
Asians are 2nd most likely race to be victims of hate crimes
Gays near Blacks @3% of population.

Ranked by relative rate
Black 48.8 0.074 6.59 27.35
Sexual Or 18.1 0.03 6.03 25.02
Asian 11.4 0.096 1.19 4.92
Hisp 11.6 0.258 0.45 1.86
White 13.6 0.564 0.24 1.00

San Jose 1992 data asians as victim, suspects
Asians as victim/suspect of hate crime, San Jose

victim W(0.7)1.0 B6.6 H1.2 A1.6
suspect W(0.8)1.0 B7.9 H1.1 A-3.4

Klanwatch SJM May 2, 1993 14A
victims W1.0 B5.6 H4.9 A7.4 G15

Klanwatch press release, NYT Dec 12, 1993,
murders in US
victims W(0.89)1.0 B-3.2 H2.2 A2.7
suspect W+O(0.61)1.0 B6.33

US cases by 1991 FBI report 1993 report

suspect W1.0 B2.87 A-1.37 NA-1.48
victim W1.0 B3.88 H-1.77 A2.75 NA -2.62
victim Islam 2.84 Gay 12.0 Jew 37.5

Then you can go to finalsolution88.com to see for yourself if you want.

Another thing, Asian American women are 1/2 as likely to be raped nationwide. But that’s misleading, since most Asians are concentrated in low-crime, wealthy areas. Also, Asian Americans are 5-8 times less likely than whites to rape. Most of the rapes against Asian women and young men are committed by blacks and whites. As you know, most dumb people think everyone East of Iran is “Chinese”.

It’s either the media propaganda, or that white and blacks naturally just hate “Chinese looking” people.. you have to pick one. Statistics don’t happen by chance.

If you’re looking for anything else I can probably find it.

February 2, 2008 @ 4:16 am | Comment

forgot to say, that one response above my last one was to mor.

Rumorhasit.
fed up with half-witted or sanctimonious foreigners getting off with slandering our people, our country’s history and culture most of our lives.

Definitely.

back here in my own country to hear the same BS from ungrateful guests of my country bad mouthing it while enjoying privileges MOST chinese as capable if not more talented and working a lot harder are deprived of

Yes. The weakness of China and the CCP is attracting undesirable people.

February 2, 2008 @ 4:28 am | Comment

“It takes a certain amount of courage to run a blog like this while living and working in China and I admire that, too, but posting comments, especially if one is sitting safe somewhere overseas, doesn’t take any guts at all.”

Where did the notion that it is “safe overseas” come from? Unfortunately, that is the false image people have of con artists and scoundrels who find refuge in politics that serves to promote what the West is not.
Ferin has provided statistics that is definitely not well publicized. I was never at ease and certainly felt it was perilous for us 2nd class citizens while in the West — as it has always been for “MIGRANTS,” say nothing of the indigenous folks. We are judged first by the color of our skin then by our English accent. Oh, the daily condescending tones I’ve come to hate. No,
I certainly did not feel safe when I was there. I almost never talked back nor dared complain out loud because of the horror stories I was told of Asians and other colored folks who did because they bought into the lie that they were living in a free society. Many learned the hard way. How does one explain the fact that the prisons in a whiteman’s country could be perpetually over populated with colored folks?
Thank God I survived and am home. I hope you, good ferin will return home some day. Meanwhile, be safe,

February 2, 2008 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

“I’m only abusive when people say things that are downright stupid/offensive or have a nasty tone.”

Typical ferins answer: never take any responsibility yourself, it’s always the others who are to blame.

“They’re always looking for something to justify imperialism. Nothing has changed, people now make it seem like 50% of Arab or Muslim women are subjected to honor killings and rape.”

Typical ferins statement: who is “people”? Nobody ever suggested that half of all Arab or Muslim women are subjected to honor killings and rape, but of course the media report about it when it happens. I guess, according to ferin, newspapers and other media shouldn’t feature news stories at all, because these are merely anecdotal, but only publish statistics, because therein lies the truth.

“Indeed, all of these things are problems, but similarly China or Japan could call “the West” barbaric for its 6-12x higher violent crime rates, high divorce rates, high child abuse rates, high spousal abuse rates, and the fact that 20-30% in America and much of Europe are raised with a single parent.”

Another typical ferins statement. Who is “the West”? When it comes to crime rates, etc., there are big differences among Western countries. You are such a friend of statistics and you don’t know that?
There’s one more question I have: Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China?
You are talking about the West’s high crime rate. If China has such a low crime rate compared to Western countries, why is it that the windows of Chinese apartments (sometimes up to the sixth floor!) are barred, but in my hometown they are not.
You are talking about high divorce rates. Have you recently checked the divorce rate in China?
You are talking about high child / spousal abuse rates. Is it possible that Chinese rates are lower, because cases of family violence don’t get reported that often, as in China, many people tend to look the other way?
Finally, you talk about the great number of American and European children that are raised by single parents. Is that necessarily bad or “barbaric”? Are there no single parents in China or Japan?

“Maybe Chinese triads can use these excuses in court when they’re caught selling heroin.”

Criminals can use all kinds of silly excuses for their actions, but they won’t get away with it in a court, neither in China nor anywhere else.

“No, you said Chinese people love Hitler and think 9-11 was glorious. And I’ll say it again: you are a lying piece of trash.”

I said a lot of Chinese people admire Hitler and gloss over his crimes against humanity and I said a lot of Chinese people think that 9-11 was a good thing to happen and I stand by that. I know what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears and your denying it won’t change anything. And thanks for proving my point that you haven’t really grown up or changed your old ways of abusing everybody who states facts that you don’t like.

P.S.: If rumorhasit’s rant was directed at me, he can tell me himself, but I think in this passage

“back here in my own country to hear the same BS from ungrateful guests of my country bad mouthing it while enjoying privileges MOST chinese as capable if not more talented and working a lot harder are deprived of”

he, unintentionally, described very well, what you are doing in the USA.

February 2, 2008 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

@rumorhasit

I think you misunderstood me on purpose. You expressed your admiration for “the smarts and guts of folks like ferin, Jeremiah, PB, Si & Richard etc.”
While I agree that all these guys are very smart, I don’t see how writing whatever they wrote on this blog takes guts. In Richards case, without knowing him personally, I agree. It needs courage to run a critical blogsite like this when you are at the same time living and working in China. But merely leaving comments doesn’t seem to be a act of heroism to me, especially when you are not even in China. Was that so hard to understand?

“Ferin has provided statistics that is definitely not well publicized.”

Yeah, ferin is the mastermind who’s got all the REAL statistics and who can tell us THE TRUTH.

February 2, 2008 @ 7:38 pm | Comment

Mor,

I actually like and agree with some of your arguments but I happen to empathize more with ferin’s frustration , that’s all. For example I totally agree with your statement: “In Richards case, … It needs courage to run a critical blogsite like this when you are at the same time living and working in China.” However, I must apologize for misleading you to think that I consider such as “act[s] of heroism.” For by guts I was referring to their honesty with regard to their visceral responses along with their obvious intellect.

As for THE TRUTH….well, I wouldn’t go that far. A bit of 2nd hand statistics here, a bit of read facts and personal experience there is far from qualifying anything as THE TRUTH. But Let’s not stop seeking it for it is said that it could set people FREE!

February 3, 2008 @ 12:50 am | Comment

Typical ferins answer: never take any responsibility yourself, it’s always the others who are to blame.

Typical mor answer: weasel around the facts and hide behind the “victim card”.

Nobody ever suggested that half of all Arab or Muslim women are subjected to honor killings and rape

Read more carefully. I said they make it seem like they are. Responsible reporting goes to explain the reasons behind the incidents.

why is it that the windows of Chinese apartments (sometimes up to the sixth floor!) are barred, but in my hometown they are not.

Have you been to every town in America and China? I’ve seen plenty of barred windows in America.

Is it possible that Chinese rates are lower, because cases of family violence don’t get reported that often, as in China, many people tend to look the other way?

Is it possible that American crime rates are even higher than reported because Americans are liars and their police incompetent? All you can do is spam your idiotic preconceptions you learned while being an arrogant, sanctimonious foreigner with no experience with REAL Chinese society except with your Chinese “wife”.

Are there no single parents in China or Japan?

Yes, it’s bad. Because 90% of the time it means the father is a scumbag and ditched his family.

I know what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears and your denying it won’t change anything. And thanks for proving my point that you haven’t really grown up or changed your old ways of abusing everybody who states facts that you don’t like.

Well what I have “heard with my ears and seen with my eyes” shows Chinese people do not like Hitler or think 9-11 was a good thing. See why anecdotes are stupid? See why everything you posted is stupid?

he, unintentionally, described very well, what you are doing in the USA.

You’re in China being a slanderous parasite. What is it you do there anyway? Minorities in America get second rate treatment, you as a parasitical foreigner get special treatment in China (and Korea, and Taiwan, and Japan). There’s quite a double standard, you’d know it if you ever read anything at all.

Yeah, ferin is the mastermind who’s got all the REAL statistics and who can tell us THE TRUTH.

So I’m supposed to take your word over the FBI’s? The word of a babbling ignoramus or police organizations?

Your arrogance and ignorance are contemptible.

February 3, 2008 @ 8:59 am | Comment

新年进步,恭喜发财 to Richard, Ferin, Jeremiah, ecodelta, Mor, PB, Si, JXie, Ronpaul2008.

“I think Khanna’s onto something, even if he is a little too admiring of China while too easily dismissing India and Russia.” Richard

“After years dealing with the legacy of European colonialism and disastrous Western development interventions, I doubt many Africans are ready to roll over naively for the next world power promising palaces and delights.” PB

“Tu quoque is used to deviate and argumentation off topic when the person who is using it recognizes that he can not correctly respond to the argumentation.This logic fallacy is also similar to the “red herring” fallacy.Very much used in politics, ideological, nationalist and even religious discussions.” ecodelta

“…Much of the problem comes from foreign correspondents and writers on China knowing next to no Chinese and having little experience of China outside Beijing and Shanghai.
( Peter Hessler explains this very well in his book “Oracle Bones”)” posted by Si

“Responsible reporting goes to explain the reasons behind the incidents.” Ferin

February 3, 2008 @ 11:21 am | Comment

Bay of Pigs invasion, April, 1961 – Eisenhower planned it. Kennedy approved it. The CIA carried it out. The Mission failed.

November 16, 1961
“We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient; that we are only 6 percent of the world’s population; that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind; that we cannot right every wrong or reverse every adversity; and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.” President John F. Kennedy’s University of Washington Speech.

June 10, 1963. JFK: “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war…..To secure these ends, America’s weapons are nonprovocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self-restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility. ”

Aug. 28, 1963
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.” MLK

44 years later, America is still at war, the colored Americans are still reciting MLK’s “dream” speech.

HAPPY NEW YEAR of the RAT, CHINA. May your dream of a harmonious society come true much much sooner.

February 3, 2008 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

@rumorhasit

“For by guts I was referring to their honesty with regard to their visceral responses along with their obvious intellect.”

Love this sentence.

@ferin

Thanks for your long response! There’s one question you haven’t answered, though:
Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China?

February 3, 2008 @ 5:04 pm | Comment

Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China?

Can you read, write, speak and understand Chinese?

February 4, 2008 @ 11:38 am | Comment

Thank you Richard for your posting this:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=9599

Imagine what the silent colored Americans and migrants suffer if this is how they treat a white female victim who called 911 for help?

Imagine the millions upon millions of colored folks & nations invaded, innocent human beings slaughtered, enslaved, infected, made homeless, tortured, handicapped, lied to, bullied… under Euro-Anglo-Yankee tyrannical rule throughout history; and TODAY some of you arrogant ignoramuses still have the gall to lecture anyone else on justice and freedom from your stolen native American properties and as guests on our turf, in our country, in our home, about our culture?

Indeed,

Can you read, write, speak and understand Chinese? Posted by: ferin at February 4, 2008 11:38 AM

February 4, 2008 @ 3:47 pm | Comment

Yes, I can read, write, speak and understand Chinese.
Now, ferin, can you answer a simple question?
Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China?

February 4, 2008 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

I can read write and speak French, German, Dutch, Japanese, Norwegian, English, cockney, American, even Singlish & Chinglish, …..I’ve been to all of those countries too, lived in some but I am only fluent in Chinese and English, even worked as an interpreter and taught them to adults and kids here and there. What’s your point?

February 4, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

@ferin

I am disappointed. After all the talk of others lowering the tone you have done so yourself. Saying that you only go negative in response to others is a feeble excuse. You should rise above it.

Some problems with your responses:

You quote statistics without supplying the source or a link. I couldn?t find these stats. I also notice the race hate statistics were from around 1993. Can?t you find something a little more recent? I suspect you are simply ranting and then googling to find facts to support your case, rather than basing your case on facts you already know and are familiar with.

Regarding women and imperialism, I feel that you miss my point entirely. The point isn?t whether or not women had bound feet, but whether the improvements in women?s rights were due to the influence of imperialism. Saying that the influence of Britain on China and India is profoundly negative is risible ? presumably you disagree with the rule of law and freedom of speech given to Hong Kong. You also presumably disagree with the democratic and free system in India. I also take it you dislike trains, electricity, modern medicine, have no interest in scientific theories such as gravity, the discoveries of the elements, and more recent discoveries/inventions such as DNA and the maglev train. Presumably you feel China would be better off without those things.

You also seem to disagree with the idea of free will ? why can?t we blame terrorists for their actions? Are they simply soulless automatons who will just kill? I entirely agree with your point that, having invaded Iraq, the US and UK should have done far more to prepare for the entirely predictable violence that would follow. Nevertheless, those who commit crimes are ultimately responsible for them ? the mass deaths of Iraq are caused by the terrorists, and it is they who should be held to account (though sadly this is often impossible, given their preferred method of attack)

I look forward to your considered response and hope not to receive a rabid attack

February 4, 2008 @ 5:07 pm | Comment

@youguys

you speak cockney?!?!?!?!?!? i beg your pardon!!!!!!! and, um, when did you visit the country of Cockney?

February 4, 2008 @ 5:09 pm | Comment

‘Allo me old china – wot say we pop round the Mariner’s club. I’ll stand you a pig and you can rabbit on about your lassie. We can ‘ave some loop and tommy and be off before the dickory hits mid nite.

February 4, 2008 @ 5:53 pm | Comment

Awright geeezzaa!, Lawd above! I lived in Bethnal Green wiv a family fer a couple months back in 1998, what was when I picked up a few phrases ‘ere an’ there. Forgotten most ov ‘em now. , innit.

February 4, 2008 @ 6:15 pm | Comment

@youguys

loop and tommy? did you just drop in from a 19th century timewarp? (or perhaps you just googled it up: http://www.aldertons.com/)

lassie is scottish english, you’d be talking about the trouble and strife, or probably just about your bird (which isn’t rhyming slang).

no-one actually talks like this anymore (if they ever did) outside of “lock, stock and two smoking barrels” type of films or unless they want to annoy the foreigner.

anyway, you have brightened my monday morning no end!

cheers!

February 4, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Comment

@youguys

I hope Richard will excuse my French, but I have to say it: youguys, you are a dickhead!!!
Ferin asked me a question and you repeated the same question, so I answered it, and now you are asking me what my point is?

Oh, and by the way, usually you guys, including people like Redstar, Ferin, etc. go on about how colored people are abused and mistreated in America, now it happened to a white person and all you have to say is:

“Imagine what the silent colored Americans and migrants suffer if this is how they treat a white female victim who called 911 for help?”

What you guys, including Redstar, Ferin and co., never do, no matter if we are discussing violations of human rights in the USA, in China, or anywhere else, what you guys never, ever do, is show any genuine compassion or sympathy for the victims. To you, it’s just a competition about which government and which nation is more evil than the others and, of course, the worst is America, the eternal Anti-Christ.

“Just want to annoy the foreigners – glad it made you laugh.”

Who are the “foreigners”? What country are you staying in right now? How do you know, I’m a foreigner?

February 4, 2008 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

@mor

i think that youguys might have been referring to my comment that cockney rhyming slang is only used in films and to annoy the foreigners. anyway, his claim to be able to speak it is extremely amusing…

i wouldn’t let them irritate you. remember other people are undoubtedly reading without commenting and i think the evasive tactics of many who comment here will not go unnoticed.

February 4, 2008 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

his claim to be able to speak it [cockney] is extremely amusing…

@Si,

That’s no different than a non-native English speaker claiming to speak the Queen’s English or a non-native Chinese speaker claiming to be able to speak HK Cantonese…Both speakers will always sound off and be amusing for the respective native speakers. But who cares? Besides, I merely said I could speak cockney but did not claim to be fluent in it …it was back in 1998, for christ’s sake, when I’d picked up a few phrases here and there. Forgotten most of them now. It’s not like I got any practice since I left the UK.
Anyway, this was just for laugh. It appears I’ve annoyed an evasive poster..is he a foreigner or is he not? Have a wonderful new year of the Rat y’all.

Cheers.

February 5, 2008 @ 1:39 am | Comment

Two simple questions:

@youguys

If you ask somebody a question, do you want him to answer or what’s your point?

@ferin

Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China?

Let’s see, if these two geniuses are able to answer two simple questions?

February 5, 2008 @ 3:16 am | Comment

“I hope Richard will excuse my French, but I have to say it: youguys, you are a dickhead!!!” Mor

I hope Richard will pardon my Farsi too, but I have to return you the compliment: Mor, you are a cocksucker!! Now back to your very important question. Dude, it was a rhetorical question. Si could see that I was being sarcastic by claiming that I could “speak” Cockney. Well, the fact is, I could, except it would cause any East Londoner to cringe. Many of my expat colleagues & friends would claim they speak Mandarin, and that actually is my standard response and we’d all guffaw because they do that to me all the time too whenever I claim to speak German & French.
Take it easy, mate. XingNianJingBu.

February 5, 2008 @ 9:27 am | Comment

googling to find facts

I’ve seen a lot of statistics. 1993 FBI stats are the best I’ve got. It’s certainly better than sporadic anecdotes, at least.

whether the improvements in women?s rights were due to the influence of imperialism

Improvement in the development of lipservice and anti-Chinese propaganda? Yes. Actual positive impact in the average Chinese woman’s life? No.

presumably you disagree with the rule of law and freedom of speech given to Hong Kong

Taiwan did fine as a police state. Singapore did fine under a benevolent dictator. Hong Kong is not an exception, so you can’t pin their “success” down to British involvement.

Presumably you feel China would be better off without those things.

They should be about as grateful for those things as you are for gunpowder, seed drills, printing,the compass, so on and so forth. I’m sure you’ve heard that list 10 million times, so I won’t put you through it again. That and arguably saving Western Europe from Mongol invasions by absorbing the brunt of their aggression.

Nevertheless, those who commit crimes are ultimately responsible for them ?

That wasn’t my point though; my point is that they can’t shoulder part of the blame in discussions amongst civilized people. America and Britain are no less culpable after the fact; anyone with sense knew what would happen. Violent extremists are more like wild animals or natural disasters; you don’t guilt trip them or blame them. You just destroy them and put the blame on people who failed to contain the problem. Yes, terrorists are bad. Creating terrorism, or rather a situation where it grows and festers, is much worse.

his claim to be able to speak it is extremely amusing…

It’s sarcasm.. he means to say, on the internet we’ve all been everywhere and speak 30 languages, make 7 figures and are geniuses. The fact that “mor” is “asking me for street cred” is hilarious.

@mor

what you guys never, ever do, is show any genuine compassion or sympathy for the victims.

Guilty by association! Your Chinese “wife” has taught you a lot of tricks.

Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China?

Yes, I’ve been to China. What dialect do you speak and how many characters can you read?

February 5, 2008 @ 9:53 am | Comment

“Creating terrorism, or rather a situation where it grows and festers, is much worse.”

Absolute agreement to that!

February 5, 2008 @ 10:26 am | Comment

Summary:

1. If ferin or youguys ask you a question, you are not supposed to answer, because it’s just a rhetorical question. If you answer you have to explain what your point is and why you dare to talk back.

2. If youguys talks to himself in what he thinks is Cockney, it’s just to annoy the “foreigners” which could mean anybody, but nobody who is actually reading the thread.

3. If you dare to make any statement about China or the Chinese people, you first have to show prove that you’ve been to every single town in China and the USA (other countries don’t matter), provide credentials that certify you can speak all the Chinese dialects and back up your statement with 1993 FBI statistics. The year is very important here, because 1993 FBI statistics show exactly what the world is like in 2008. 1993 FBI statistics also show what attitude Chinese people had toward the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
If you fail to do the above, ferin will call you all kinds of names and ask you to “get cancer and die!” and rightly so. Who are you to challenge his views? The man has been to China, after all, and we have to take his word for it, although he didn’t bother to tell us which places he visited and how much time he spent there.

4. If you want to comment here, you are supposed to do it only to express your admiration for ferin’s smarts and guts and his thoughtful writing, while ignoring all his name-calling and cursing other people, but you should use the opportunity to call nanhe an ignorant troll, although he hasn’t posted even one comment on this thread.

5. Of course, everybody who dares to disagree or even to respond, is an “idiot” or a “dumbass” or worse. This thread is not for you to engage in a discussion, it’s for ferin’s and youguy’s self-indulgement.

P.S.:

@ferin

Keep my wife out of it!

@youguys

I’m not your mate.

Ferin said he’s been to China, but he still hasn’t answered the question if he’s actually ever been to the PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA. It’s damn hard to answer a simple question, isn’t it?

February 5, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

It’s damn hard to answer a simple question, isn’t it?Posted by: mor at February 5, 2008 01:57 PM

It appears I’ve annoyed an evasive poster..is he a foreigner or is he not?Posted by: youguys

What dialect do you speak and how many characters can you read?Posted by: ferin

“Of course, everybody who dares to disagree or even to respond, is …I hope Richard will excuse my French, but I have to say it: youguys, you are a dickhead!!!” Mor

“If youguys talks to himself in what he thinks is Cockney, it’s just to annoy the “foreigners” Mor

” i think that youguys might have been referring to my comment ” posted by Si

” It’s sarcasm.. he means to say, on the internet we’ve all been everywhere and speak 30 languages, make 7 figures and are geniuses. The fact that “mor” is “asking me for street cred” is hilarious.” Ferin

Ferin, Si, I am really bored with this cry- baby, Mor. This is my last respond – I’m done here.

February 5, 2008 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

Mor vs ferin: I vote ferin the better of the two.

February 5, 2008 @ 4:53 pm | Comment

i think ferin misses my points again.

“Taiwan did fine as a police state. Singapore did fine under a benevolent dictator. ” presumably you mean in terms of gdp/living standards. that wasn’t my point. my point was that the positive impact of imperialism in the longer term was due to the political systems inherited and the transfer of science. ultimately imperialism paved the way for improved women’s rights in china as the chinese became aware of an alternative way of doing things. it would be preferable to live in hong kong and not taiwan or singapore, due to the greater number of liberties enjoyed by the inhabitants.

“Violent extremists are more like wild animals ” I am glad you have confirmed my point that you consider some human beings to be no better than beasts and lack free will. i understand your point completely – i just don’t agree. it seems rather convenient for you to simply label a group of people as animals and say that they can’t be blamed for what they did, paving the way to being able to blame the us and the uk. would you then agree that i can label the japanese as violent extremists and therefore cannot be blamed for nanjing? we should in fact blame the us and the european powers as they failed to “contain the problem”?

mor’s point is valid – you have questioned his experience of china and his facility with the chinese language. if this is important to you why don’t you tell us all about yourself?

youguys’ sarcasm passed me by – irony doesn’t always work online, particularly when, as you say, many posters exaggerate what they know.

February 5, 2008 @ 4:58 pm | Comment

“I would agree that much of what is written about China is rubbish, …Much of the problem comes from foreign correspondents and writers on China knowing next to no Chinese and having little experience of China outside Beijing and Shanghai. Peter Hessler explains this very well in his book “Oracle Bones”. I also get extremely annoyed by people’s generalisations of the UK. …So I fully understand how you feel when you think your country is being misrepresented.”
Posted by: Si at January 31, 2008 06:42 PM

“you [ferin] have questioned his [mor's] experience of china and his facility with the chinese language.” Si

no,no,no, MOR questioned FERIN FIRST:

There’s one more question I have: Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China? Posted by: mor at February 2, 2008 07:22 PM

“if this is important to you why don’t you tell us all about yourself?”Si

ferin DID amswer…However, MOR did not answer FERIN’S nor YOUGUY’S (dialect & are you a foreigner) QUESTIONS:

Yes, I’ve been to China. What dialect do you speak and how many characters can you read?
Posted by: ferin at February 5, 2008 09:53 AM

February 5, 2008 @ 7:40 pm | Comment

would you then agree that i can label the japanese as violent extremists and therefore cannot be blamed for nanjing? Si

Not the Japanese people but the militant, imperialistic Japanese fascists.

“we should in fact blame the US and the European powers as they failed to “contain the problem”?” Si

I like ferin’s, “Creating terrorism, or rather a situation where it grows and festers, is much worse.”
Same as Mao was blamed for the GLF fiasco & out of control CR, Terrorism comes out of the swamp of hatred which the black gold prospecting Zionist imperialist Euro-anglo-American governments created. Imperialism, whatever the color of their skin, spread or impose the invaders’ ideology/religion/beliefs in order to gain control, human resources, and authorized plundering of another’s natural resources & artifacts. And just to clarify, although many nations claimed that religion was the driving force behind imperialism, it wasn’t really – it was the taking everything part of it that motivated them. Colonised countries protracted rebellions destroy countless lives. Consequently: great diversity of cultures, human lives, tribal identity are diluted, destroyed, many lost forever. International Jewry & Capitalism are made possible through imperialism which ultimately will destroy the world.

Whatever your “point was that the positive impact of imperialism in the longer term was due to the political systems inherited and the transfer of science.”

How about Native Americans kept the europeans from raping & ravish their land and women. How about Native Americans and the Chinese and people of African nations invaded Europe and transfer age old wisdom, nature-honoring ways, teach non invasive medicine with natural remedies, community living, eastern philosophy and spirituality to the europeans?

“ultimately imperialism paved the way for improved women’s rights in china as the Chinese became aware of an alternative way of doing things.”

What makes you think that the uncolonized Chinese, East Indians, Native Americans, Fijians, Samoans, Filipinos, Malays, South American natives etc needed, wanted or couldn’t do without the judeo-christian alternatives of doing things?

“you consider some human beings to be no better than beasts and lack free will. i understand your point completely – i just don’t agree. it seems rather convenient for you to simply label a group of people as animals and say that they can’t be blamed for what they did,” Si

It was precisely this white supremacist imperialistic mentality that treated other earthlings as savages and animals to be conquered, captured, slaughtered, enslaved and reformed.

February 5, 2008 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

due to the greater number of liberties enjoyed by the inhabitants.

Like what? Like not being carted off for being a suspected Communist or dying in protests.. yes, that’s true. But generally the ability to vote is second to building infrastructure, being able to feed your family and send them to school. Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan’s path worked out just fine.

imperialism paved the way for improved women’s rights in china as the chinese became aware of an alternative way of doing things.

It really didn’t, it’s something they’re still doing on their own. Foot binding was one particular thing that was eliminated eventually by the Chinese themselves (now instead we have plastic surgery where people have their faces ripped open).

One thing to note, China’s “sexism” is more suffocating and paternalistic rather than violent and abusive. Everyone is subordinate to the father, emperor, etc. It’s not just the wife, but younger sons, daughters, subjects.

That’s one of the problems with the Western European worldview; even the liberalism is ethnocentric. For couples, as an example, traditional Confucian society pressures both the wife and the husband to fill strict roles that are equally psychologically damaging. For example, in Korea, the men workon average something like 12-13 hours a day. Women are stifled. It’s just a crazy standard to follow. It’s not so much that individual women are victimized by drunk, delinquent, and aggressive husbands as is common in America and Europe.

that i can label the japanese as violent extremists and therefore cannot be blamed for nanjing

Which Japanese? The IJA? That’s close to the same thing, but not quite. If you wanted to be particular, then you’d have to fault the modern Japanese for not allowing China, Korea, Singapore etc to take action against IJA war criminals. Another difference is of course that Imperial Japan was waging aggressive war, it wasn’t domestic insurgency causing violence against their countrymen during foreign occupation. Lastly, America had no responsibility to fight Japan as they didn’t (directly) instigate the war. And they more or less maintained that view until Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

What America did in Iraq is akin to setting psychopaths and serial killers loose in the streets.

you have questioned his experience of china and his facility with the chinese language.

It’s a joke response, he asks me for “street cred” so I throw it in his face.

February 6, 2008 @ 7:48 am | Comment

“Like what? Like not being carted off for being a suspected Communist or dying in protests.. yes, that’s true. But generally the ability to vote is second to building infrastructure, being able to feed your family and send them to school. Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan’s path worked out just fine.”

yes, but the point is you don’t need to brutalise people in order to develop

“That’s one of the problems with the Western European worldview; even the liberalism is ethnocentric. For couples, as an example, traditional Confucian society pressures both the wife and the husband to fill strict roles that are equally psychologically damaging. ”

culture and political systems are not the same thing, you are deliberately blurring the two.

“It’s not so much that individual women are victimized by drunk, delinquent, and aggressive husbands as is common in America and Europe.”

an appalling generalisation – you should be ashamed

your comments on japan and iraq just lead me to suspect you simply label people in order to conveniently lay the blame on japan/western countries.

anyway, i have said all i have to say on this thread and i feel that we have both made our positions clear. i have been interested by your comments

February 6, 2008 @ 4:45 pm | Comment

“”It’s not so much that individual women are victimized by drunk, delinquent, and aggressive husbands as is common in America and Europe.”

an appalling generalisation – you should be ashamed”

I’m pretty sure ferin has 1993 FBI statistics to prove he’s right.
By the way, ferin, you still haven’t answered my question:
Have you actually ever been to the People’s Republic of China?
How hard is it for you to answer one simple question, genius?

February 6, 2008 @ 5:39 pm | Comment

ferin DID amswer…However, MOR did not answer FERIN’S nor YOUGUY’S (dialect & are you a foreigner) QUESTIONS:

Yes, I’ve been to China. What dialect do you speak and how many characters can you read?
Posted by: ferin at February 5, 2008 09:53 AM

Posted by: blueplanet at February 5, 2008 07:40 PM

February 6, 2008 @ 8:32 pm | Comment

Don’t you think ferin can speak for himself?
My question to ferin is:
Have you actually ever been to the PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA?
And he still hasn’t answered yet.

February 6, 2008 @ 8:39 pm | Comment

but the point is you don’t need to brutalise people in order to develop

You seem to be arguing the opposite when you’re talking about British parasitism.

an appalling generalisation – you should be ashamed

I meant to say “more common”. If I remember correctly, 40% of non-Hispanic white children in America are physically, sexually or emotionally abused by parents. 10-15% do not have fathers. 14% report domestic violence.

you simply label people in order to conveniently lay the blame on japan/western countries.

I don’t really label anyone, the main exception I made was for terrorists. Yes, they do have free will but when you’re talking about things like the situation in Iraq, the autonomy of extremist Islam is not the issue when it comes to accountability for the whole fiasco.

How hard is it for you to answer one simple question, genius?

How hard is it for you to answer two simple questions? How many characters and what dialect?

Next you can ask me about my duration of stay, which province of China I’ve been to, and what I ate for breakfast. That might legitimize your idiotic ramblings.

I’ll go into specifics when you do.

Another question, how much did you buy your wife for? Did you pick her off of an impoverished farm or select from a factory line-up? When are you going back to your country?

February 6, 2008 @ 10:47 pm | Comment

“but the point is you don’t need to brutalise people in order to develop

You seem to be arguing the opposite when you’re talking about British parasitism.”

no, i was arguing that without imperialism you would not have had the rapid spread of ideas across the globe. this may not have been intentional but was still a good outcome. i was also arguing that the people of hk were not as brutalised as the people of singapore, taiwan, korea. i am now not sure you understood a word i have said.

“If I remember correctly, 40% of non-Hispanic white children in America are physically, sexually or emotionally abused by parents. ”

source?

and

“Another question, how much did you buy your wife for? Did you pick her off of an impoverished farm or select from a factory line-up?”

oh dear, dear, dear.

February 7, 2008 @ 12:20 am | Comment

“culture and political systems are not the same thing, ” says Si.

Technically no, but in reality it’s a few people controlling a lot of people. The same goes with economics, religion and foreign policies.

“but the point is you don’t need to brutalise people in order to develop,” says Si

Totally agree. There is NO NEED to brutalize, colonize, racialize, proselytize, indoctrinate, enslave, incarcerate and Anglo-cize half the world to develop, but that’s the sad history of mankind.

February 7, 2008 @ 12:24 am | Comment

without imperialism you would not have had the rapid spread of ideas across the globe. Posted by: Si at February 7, 2008 12:20 AM

At what price??? great diversity of cultures destroyed, human lives destroyed, tribal identity either diluted or destroyed, many lost forever. International Jewry & Capitalism are made possible through imperialism which ultimately will destroy the world.

February 7, 2008 @ 12:36 am | Comment

Although what had happened in recent few hundred years of human history was essentially a bunch of globalist plunderers & rapists getting away with corporate take-over that amounts to extreme crimes against humanity, I think Si was trying to say, what’s done was done. Injustice aside, look on the bright side, make the best of the positives and pray the predators have had their fills. Oh, and you can trust western nuclear proliferation while alleged manufacturing of WMD & speeches albeit proved as but gross misinterpretation as aggression against their beloved holy land, Israel, rest assure that their extremist retaliation and preemptive strikes, nuclear or otherwise, are neither fanatical extremism nor should be viewed as fascism. Amen.

February 7, 2008 @ 1:00 am | Comment

@Rumorhasit,

What retaliation? There was never any prove who the 9-11 attackers were.
Correction:
“rest assure that Western preemptive strikes, nuclear or otherwise, are neither fanatical extremism nor should be viewed as fascism. Amen.”

February 7, 2008 @ 1:10 am | Comment

@ferin

“How hard is it for you to answer one simple question, genius?

How hard is it for you to answer two simple questions? How many characters and what dialect?”

I thought your questions are only rhetorical questions. You said so yourself. But all right, here you go:

What Chinese dialect do I speak?

Mandarin, what did you think?

Now you are probably going to say:
“If you only speak Mandarin and no other dialects you don’t know enough about China to have an opinion on anything.”

How many Chinese characters do I know?

You might as well ask me how many English words I know. I never counted. I asked a few native Chinese speakers how many Chinese characters they know and the answer was: “No idea! Do you keep track of the number of characters you’ve learned?”
Anyway, I know enough Chinese characters to read newspapers, translate contracts, etc.

I can already guess what your responses will be:
youguys:
“So you can read Chinese newspapers and translate Chinese contracts, so what? I can do that in a dozen languages including Cockney. What’s your point?”
ferin:
“You pathetic liar! All Chinese people I know can tell you the exact number of characters they know. You don’t know any Chinese characters at all, because 1993 FBI statistics show that people who are not from Confucian countries are too stupid to learn Chinese.”

“Next you can ask me about my duration of stay, which province of China I’ve been to, and what I ate for breakfast. That might legitimize your idiotic ramblings.

I’ll go into specifics when you do.”

I’m not interested in what you are having for breakfast, probably a cocktail of steroids, but I really would like to know what places in China you visited and how much time you spent there, because I have a feeling that you know the People’s Republic of China only from a few short visits seeing relatives. Actually, since it seems so hard for you to answer my question, my guess is that you never set foot on the mainland. Yet you dare question the credibility of people who have lived and worked in the PRC for years.

“Another question, how much did you buy your wife for? Did you pick her off of an impoverished farm or select from a factory line-up?”

Ferin, I don’t mind you showing everybody what kind of person you really are and proving all those wrong who though that you had suddenly grown up and become a reasonable, mature commenter, but once more: Leave my wife out of it!

“When are you going back to your country?”

How do you know that I haven’t already?
When are you leaving the evil US of A? Let me guess: You can’t leave, because you are on a very important mission. You are volunteering on a development aid project financed by the Confucius Institute, teaching Confusion – sorry – Confucian values to barbaric rednecks in the Rocky Mountains.

February 7, 2008 @ 2:35 am | Comment

no, i was arguing that without imperialism you would not have had the rapid spread of ideas across the globe.

That’s true. You could say the same for the Mongols, who arguably spread the black death, killed 50% of North China’s population, totally annihilated Hungary’s population, etc. I think it’s impossible to say “without imperialism” because people have been imperialistic forever. You just can’t sugarcoat any of it; imperialism is largely waste of resources and manpower as groups act out their hostility towards eachother. The spread of ideas is secondary and would happen in a more advanced society; but things were just like that back then.

source?

I’ll check.

I really would like to know what places in China

Qingdao, around 3 years total.

[one line deleted by Richard for extremely inappropriate language and content.]

When are you leaving the evil US of A?

ASAP.

February 7, 2008 @ 5:02 am | Comment

And we were doing so well on this thread last week, thanks guys for absolutely killing it with inane queries about who’s been to the PRC, who’s leaving the US, who speaks what, who’s more evil, who likes whom better, and–most especially–attacking other people’s spouses.

What sort of rational person would want to comment now? It’s like free beer night at the local kindergarten.

Way to stay classy, folks.

February 7, 2008 @ 7:53 am | Comment

No sense of humor!

February 7, 2008 @ 8:43 am | Comment

OH, come on get real, prof. Jeremiah. This sort of conversation goes on all the time in the real world – between races and adults of unequal social status in pubs, international campuses, sports events, etc.

Rationality may be a good thing but more often then not it’s merely a tool for the untalented institute thinkers, the unimaginative privileged scholars to control.

My guess is, the reason PekingDuck is so popular is because the owner of this blog, Richard is NOT another dime-a-dozen pretentious expat snob.

February 7, 2008 @ 9:13 am | Comment

CeeCee,

I know Richard quite well, he’s a good friend of mine, and I’m also an administrator of this blog, which is why I felt compelled to leave my previous comment.

I’m all for the free flow of spirited debate, and I’m even willing to join in the fun by being indirectly labeled ‘unimaginative,’ ‘a snob,’ ‘pretentious,’ and ‘untalented’ (with or without any “prove”) by someone whom I’ve never even met nor conversed with, but when some commenters are suggesting that somebody else’s wife might be “purchased” or “a whore,” I think we’ve crossed a line of basic civility.

That’s all.

February 7, 2008 @ 1:28 pm | Comment

Jeremiah, thanks – I haven’t had time to read all the comments, and as soon as I saw the comment in question above I edited it. No one has the right to address other commenters like that.

I’ve been surprised at ferin’s recent relative civility and willingness to engage, but then a comment like that spoils everything. Ferin, be funny and witty, but don’t make jokes about other commenters’ wives being a whore. Decidedly not funny, and you know it.

February 7, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Note: I changed the posting time of this thread to keep it on the homepage, as it’s drawn quite a lot of comments.

February 7, 2008 @ 2:21 pm | Comment

” I’m also an administrator of this blog, which is why I felt compelled to leave my previous comment.”

Jeremiah,
I have to admit, I really get a kick outta reading ferin’s retorts. Nevertheless, yes, I agree, as a co-administrator of this blog, You did the right thing. Fact is. I enjoy reading your Chinese History blog, therefore believe me when I say, the aforementioned ‘unimaginative,’ ‘a snob,’ ‘pretentious,’ and ‘untalented’ generalisation of expats (I am an expat myself) was absolutely not in reference to you, professor.

February 7, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Comment

don’t make jokes about other commenters’ wives being a whore

I have trouble containing my disgust at men from rich countries taking brides/boys from poorer nations. Sure no one is perfect, but still makes you want to barf.

February 7, 2008 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

@jeremiah

well said. i think there is room for people to ask about others’ experience of countries, if they feel they are over generalising. though perhaps it should be done in the manner of “why do you think that?” rather than “how dare you say…”

@everyone

i thought that ferin could be engaged in civil debate. i have said things myself that would antagonise others, and can understand if they provoke a reaction. in the past i saw a post on another blog which incensed me and i posted a deeply juvenile and insulting comment. the guy there rose above it and was happy to discuss things with me when i was more civil. i feel embarrassed about it now, so ever since i have tried to engage people rather than trade insults. i felt that perhaps the same could be done with ferin. seems i was wrong. he doesn’t just respond to the post and other comments, but goes personal in a way that is beyond the pale.

i think people have been too patient with him. i, for one, will not be feeding this appalling, hate filled troll.

February 7, 2008 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

@Si

Well said re Ferin. I thought once that he may be worth engaging…. However, I have come to the conclusion that he is nearly totally devoted to hate. He is openly(usually not blatant) hostile, racialist and xenophobic. His fine intellect is more or less nullified by his penchant for taking on the characteristic hate rhetoric of fringe groups most people would deem as useless steaming sh!t.

@Ferin

Please don’t come to the mainland, we don’t need your type.

@Everyone

Happy new year. People here are happy, well fed and living it up! Nice place to be.

February 8, 2008 @ 1:49 am | Comment

Please don’t come to the mainland, we don’t need your type.

I think most people in China would disagree. They’re the people I’m going to write for when I start, anyway.

i think people have been too patient with him. i, for one, will not be feeding this appalling, hate filled troll.

Sorry, when someone calls all Chinese people a race of Nazis and terrorist sympathizers I don’t show any mercy. Especially to sleazebags who are only in China so they can live the life of a demi-god among the poorer locals.

Why doesn’t mor go to Germany and call them a race of Nazis? They will punch his lights out.

February 8, 2008 @ 7:27 am | Comment

Maybe time to close this thread. Please watch what you say and avoid personal insults and racism. I can’t read every comment every day. If I could I would have zapped a lot more of the comments in this thread.

February 8, 2008 @ 10:59 am | Comment

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