Open Thread II

The last thread spun a bit out of control. Maybe we can talk about something less stroke-inducing than Darfur, like Chinese propaganda. It’s a great article.

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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: 163 Comments

“These reports on talks between China and other countries were all designed to say, in the vaguest terms, exactly the same thing: absolutely nothing.”

Exactly. Or as Orwell put it in his classic Politics and the English Language (1946):

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.

When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”

February 24, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

Gosh, it’s such a great article that it has left me speechless, which is a pretty amazing thing to do to a lawyer/blogger. But what can I say that Chris has not already said so much better than I could?

February 24, 2008 @ 2:35 pm | Comment

It’s a good article, but I do take issue with his characterization of random number-noun pairings (“the three represents,” “the eight honors and eight disgraces” etc.) as Marxist rhetoric. (He’s also made this mistake on his blog in the past.) It’s a purely Chinese innovation, and has its roots far, far back in the pre-Marxist days; consider the Five Elements (五行), the Five Relationships (五倫), and that sort of thing. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Marxism, and everything to do with what is basically a common rhetorical structure in Chinese.

February 24, 2008 @ 2:36 pm | Comment

What happened to my characters? Jesusgoddammittohell, Richard, just how much do you hate China? The Five Elements are the wu xing, and the Five Relationships are the wu lun, for anyone who was wondering.

February 24, 2008 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

Brendan,

Good point, I was thinking of the 三綱 myself.

I should say that I always enjoyed Chris’ dispatches from inside Xinhua.

I can also understand the difficulty he expresses regarding the translation/polishing process. I’ve translated various articles for history journals and it can be challenging, not just because of terminology and language, but also for less easily solved issues such as the way an argument is structured, or, as Chris noted, what might be rhetorical flourishes (or official obfuscations masquerading as rhetorical flourish) in Chinese can sound repetitious and redundant when rendered into another language.

To bring in an old (and somwhat sexist) cliche–translations are like women: the beautiful are seldom faithful, the faithful are not often beautiful, and when your starting point is Xinhua desk copy, well…

February 24, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

No kidding. I’ve had to translate more than my share of this sort of thing as well, and it is invariably a massive heap of no fun. I’ve always thought that government pronouncements would be good candidates for machine translation, since as Chris mentioned the language is so highly formalized and rigidly structured. And then you could tell the computer to automatically discard all of the 热烈s, 坚决s, and 人本s as semantically null.

February 24, 2008 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

C.I.S.R.T.
Chinese Internet Security Response Team

Please contact us.

http://www.cisrt.org/enblog/

February 24, 2008 @ 6:05 pm | Comment

On a totally unrelated note, I just read what might be the funniest thing I’ve ever read in a blog. I was laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes. Genius.

Castro Resigns! Sanctions Work!
In a letter published in Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma Fidel Castro announced that he is resigning as President of Cuba, finally succumbing to the sanctions that have crippled Cuba’s economy and steadily weakened his rule for the last 50 years. Although Castro tried to save face by claiming that he was quitting because of his “critical health condition,” it is clear that half a century of U.S. pressure has just worn him down. Like Roberto Duran after being pummeled in his second fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, Castro has finally cried out, “No más!”

Let this be a lesson to other dictators around the world, from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran to Kim Jong-il in North Korea, that the United States is a very patient country and if it takes us 50 years to get them out of power, we will not waver. In fact, as John McCain as made it clear to the insurgents in Iraq, we don’t mind sticking around there for a 100 years if it takes that long.

All of those liberals who complained that sanctions were not working and said Castro was thumbing his nose at the United States should apologize to the ten Presidents who have methodically plotted Castro’s downfall since 1959 now that Castro has finally said, “Tio.” While it may have appeared to some that Castro emerged unscathed from the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 638 attempts by the CIA to assassinate him using poison cigars and exploding, mollusks, the embargo, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Mariel Boat Lift, which deprived the country of some of its finest criminals and mental patients, we can now see that each of these incidents chipped away at Castro’s power little by little until he had no choice but to surrender.

And there’s still more. Yes, a genius.

February 24, 2008 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

War Made Easy:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6826572320745237762

February 24, 2008 @ 8:53 pm | Comment

I’m afraid the only way to get these threads going is to post about Darfur or the Nanjing massacre…

February 24, 2008 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

Chinese Propaganda?

February 24, 2008 @ 11:41 pm | Comment

@Richard

No, I think we should be able to handle a slower pace.

Anyway, the “Confessions” is an interesting article, but I think he misses a point when he says that “China’s propaganda department has a long history of antagonizing the international community with its words.”

If there is something the PRC has been very successful at, it’s propaganda. Yes, a lot of official comments about Tibet or Taiwan may strike outsiders as extreme. But at the end of the day, the PRC has been very good at pushing its agenda by projecting a intransigent and uncompromising image. When we discover that the the Chinese government is perhaps not that extreme after all, we swallow a lot of things that we wouldn’t have accepted in the first place and are grateful for what we erroneously perceive as concession. (Lucian Pye has described this tactic in book Chinese commercial negotiating style, although I am not sure how “Chinese” this tactic is, it strikes me more like a variant of good cop, bad cop.)

February 25, 2008 @ 1:18 am | Comment

What is this??? I am not going to be contacting them as it seems not something I want to be in contact with for my own secutrity reasons….

“”"”"”"”"C.I.S.R.T.
Chinese Internet Security Response Team

Please contact us.

http://www.cisrt.org/enblog/“”"”"”"”"”

February 25, 2008 @ 1:18 am | Comment

Communist propaganda is not often talked about so it wont be easy to talk much about this since the agencies companies and ondividuals involved in spreading the propaganda are financially coerced, are brainwashed, or are doing it obliviously (well I guess you can compare that with brainwashed cause they repeat misinformation…..)

For example the Chinatown folk in countries around the world tend to spread misinformation because they still follow the party line through reading it and watching it on TV and the old habbit of fearing the party especially if they have family in China who the party can thraten with torture…

All too many news agencies pick up or use Xinhua articles and spread that crap all over the world.

And all too many of our leaders around the world dont have a sense of humanity and dont seem to care about human rights and freedom of thought…

I would say the main consequence is that people have no idea what the threat is, they see articles mainly talking about Chinas amazing rise, but they do not hear about the ugliness of the party or the partys history of murder and torture.

“Intensifying and strengthening our radio, film, and television propaganda
overseas is critical in countering westernization, separatism, and
infiltration. Safeguard state security, strengthen our defense system on the
battleground of controlling public opinion… Radio, film, and television
propaganda overseas is an essential and critical part of our Party’s foreign
propaganda, and it is a global and strategic undertaking in service of the
Party and the nation.”
—Tian Jin, member of the CCP Committee of the State Administration of Radio,
Film, and Television, and Deputy Director of the Administration, speaking at
the National Conference on Overseas Radio, Film, and Television Efforts

“The main targets of foreign propaganda should be the middle and upper
classes in target countries, including politicians, people in business
circles, and intellectuals since they control either political or economic
power and have influence on the policies and pubic opinion in those
countries… In particular we should make friends with the prominent figures
of foreign media. We should have close relationships with them, and execute
well our foreign propaganda through their help.”
—Research Group on Efficient Foreign Propaganda, of Xinhua News Agency

February 25, 2008 @ 1:27 am | Comment

You know what a better topic would be? How about “How can the propaganda department learn from the Western press?”

There is a phenomena always puzzles me. If you look at the world opinion polls through the years, you’ll find that people in developing countries consistently have favorable opinions towards China, and on the contrary, people in the West generally have very negative opinions. Can you tell me why there is such discrepancy? If you are a person who is capable of independent thinking, then shouldn’t you ask yourself the question “What kind of information have I been fed?” Well, if you want to find out, you can start by comparing what the FM spokesperson says with how he/she is quoted (or cherry-picked) and (mis)interpreted by the Western press.

You live in China, and yet, you rely on the Western press to explain what you see to you. Can you tell me what’s wrong with this picture?

There is another phenomena also puzzles me. You know it’s the election season again, and this time around the catchphrase is “CHANGE.” Every time I think about that, I just can’t help but laugh. Who the hell does he think he is? Doesn’t he know how Washington works? Didn’t all of them promise some sort of change before and didn’t we always end up business as usual? It seems to me that there is something wrong with this system, after all, it elected an idiot twice, right? Well, if there are problems with the system, wouldn’t it be logical to ask for reform? But how come you never hear people asking for reform of the system?

I’ve been thinking about that for a long time and it suddenly hit me. When you debate the Western system with Westerners, the usual argument is “Well, at least we can have an open debate about it” or “he will be out in xx years.” It’s exactly this kind of thinking that prevents them from asking for reform. It’s exactly this kind of mentality that makes them complacent. Complacency leads to apathy, apathy leads to dependency. When you are dependent, you are a slave of the system. To put such a mental stop in people’s heads, it requires a very powerful brainwashing machine. Can you tell me what that machine is?

February 25, 2008 @ 3:17 am | Comment

“you’ll find that people in developing countries consistently have favorable opinions towards China”

Because whitey knows best and you can see a lot of stuff the unenlightened brown peasant can’t from high horses and ivory towers.

February 25, 2008 @ 3:24 am | Comment

Truth regarding Cuba & Castro: For 50 years this great country has been utterly & completely misrepresented.

Get your truth from British MP, George. Galloway’s tribute to Fidel Castro & his Cuba: The greatest leader of 20-21st century who turned a colonized enslaved country into the most erudite third world country (no thanks to US trade embargo) in the world with medical services superior to even some developed countries.

http://www.spiderednews.com/GeorgeGalloway.htm?vid=251200

Bill Clinton was in fact impeached for puffing a Harvanna cigar in the Oval room, not for letting Monica

February 25, 2008 @ 3:36 am | Comment

Monica…um, never mind…TOTALLY agree with AC’s
“you are a slave of the system. To put such a mental stop in people’s heads, it requires a very powerful brainwashing machine.”

It’s like a religious person, say a Christian, trying to prove that his/her religion is the true religion by using the Bible, and quoting verses after verses. Hello??? That’s the book that got you into the “blindness” so to speak ( a matter of opinion) in the first place.How about trying science or history or whatever.
So, Good thinking AC.

February 25, 2008 @ 3:54 am | Comment

The American media is a more sophisticated propagandist than the Chinese media.

If someone speaks only obvious lies and untruths, then no one will believe that person. That person therefore cannot establish trust amongst the listeners, so his lies are useless.

Therefore, if someone needs his propagandas to be effective, he must only lie at important occasions, and tell truths at most other occasions that are unimportant. For example, if a gymnastic judge wants to help team USA, then it would be unwise for him to give unfair scoring to all of USA’s competitors all the time, because if he does that, then people will immediately notice his bias and fire him from the panel. So what he needs to do is give fair scoring to USA’s competitors most of the time (say like in the preliminaries, qualifyings, even semi-finals), and then give only one or two unfair scorings at an important juncture (say in the last rotations of the finals). That way, by being fair most of the time, he establishes his crediblity, and if he’s only unfair 1 or 2 times, people will not immediately notice it, but he has already achieved his purpose of helping team USA.

The same thing applies to international rules. Most of the time, Americans act very fairly and according to international regulations. But occasionally, when it really comes to important matters, they will suddenly be unfair. And that sudden, ocassional, unfairness won’t damage USA’s name because it’s so rare, but it will bring huge benefits.

The American media operates in the same way. On most news that are not critical, CNN or MSNBC appear to be very fair and balanced and even go to great lengths to show multiple sides of an issue. So if they do that for 99 issues that are not critical to American interests, they have established their name amongst both American and international audiences as fair and trustworthy. Now, when they got that reputation, they can afford to pull a lie or a misrepresentation at one or two issues that are critical to US interests. But since 90% of the time they report fairly, the 10% of the time they were lying were overlooked or forgiven by the audiences, and the audiences will continue to trust CNN or MSNBC… As a result, CNN and MSNBC succesfully bring benefits to US interests by lying at important junctions, while still maintaining a name of trustworthiness.

On the contrary, the Chinese media is a bit stupid in this regard. They have clearly not mastered the efficient way to spread propaganda. What they need to do is go to great lengths to show both sides on issues such as sports, movie reviews, entertainment, traffic laws, sex education, and all non-critical issues. And then occasionally on issues like Taiwan or Trade, they should pull a few lies. This way they are telling the truths 90% of the times and lying only 10% of the time. This is the strategic lying that the American media is very good at. If Chinese media can learn from the American media, it can be a more effective tool because it would have a reputation of fair and balanced and therefore have more audiences, and when that happens, an occasional lie would be hugely beneficial.

February 25, 2008 @ 4:16 am | Comment

I can’t thank the CCP enough for their laughable propaganda techniques, otherwise I would have joined he party when I was in school.

February 25, 2008 @ 4:19 am | Comment

@ AC,

Much of what Chris O’s article is right.The cheesy slogans & buzzwords….oh, there is no contest when it comes to propaganda and or lying. The old colonists and the neocon OWG, The Bilderburg Internationalist network, are simply so much better in the con business.

February 25, 2008 @ 4:42 am | Comment

I’ve been thinking about that for a long time and it suddenly hit me. When you debate the Western system with Westerners, the usual argument is “Well, at least we can have an open debate about it” or “he will be out in xx years.” It’s exactly this kind of thinking that prevents them from asking for reform. It’s exactly this kind of mentality that makes them complacent.

What incisive analysis of the “Western system” and its effect on people. “Complacent”, like millions of young voters donating money to a presidential candidate for the first time in their life? Or “complacent”, like doing everything you can to emigrate to a Western country and the trash it on a blog?

February 25, 2008 @ 5:29 am | Comment

Amban,

I didn’t agree with most of your views, however, I did respect the way you debate until now. Please don’t lower yourself, OK?

Why don’t we attack the message instead of taking a cheap shot at the messenger?

February 25, 2008 @ 6:10 am | Comment

Look who’s lecturing me now. Yes, that was a pretty cheap shot, I give you that. But where were you yesterday, when some of your friends lowered themselves by resorting to racial slurs?

February 25, 2008 @ 6:25 am | Comment

But where were you yesterday, when some of your friends lowered themselves by resorting to racial slurs?

Well, I am not a moderator and the message wasn’t addressed to me. I don’t think I should be held responsible for that.

February 25, 2008 @ 6:34 am | Comment

“like doing everything you can to emigrate to a Western country and the trash it on a blog?”

or doing everything you can to go to China to make money and then trash it on a blog

..durrr

February 25, 2008 @ 6:41 am | Comment

Well, of course you are not responsible for anyone else’s action, I’m glad that you finally came out on the right side of that issue.

February 25, 2008 @ 6:43 am | Comment

Looks as if Math is angling for a job at the Propaganda Ministry or whatever it’s called these days.

February 25, 2008 @ 7:25 am | Comment

AC, just ignore the self appointed judge and jury, with the nasty habit of lording over and telling the indigenous people in their own land what to think or do. Yunno, your typical unsavory condescending holier than thou type that keeps coming back to South East Asia for the easy living and to get their ego fix. Just another dime a dozen, know-it-all educated ignoramus. Yunno, the saying in the West, “I was born intelligent until I got an education.”

My close buddy, a really tall brunette from Seattle.She can’t stand it when foreigners trash my country. Her hubby is like 6’6″, very muscular, tattoos all over, looks like a bouncer, doesn’t say much. I love hanging out with them esp. in a bar or pubs full of foreigners.
Anyway, she is really outgoing, compassionate and is never shy with confrontations. She’d say things like, “I am white and I am right, and you’re just a parasite.” Or to the occasional smart mouth overseas Asians, “You white wanna bes,shame on ya. listen, I’m on your side, but you gotta show some self respect.” I am still waiting for some smart mouth to talk back at her.

February 25, 2008 @ 8:05 am | Comment

And on another note, Ralph Nader is running for president. One of my favorite reporters comments on the decision.

February 25, 2008 @ 8:13 am | Comment

“Complacent”, like millions of young voters donating money to a presidential candidate for the first time in their life? – Amban

Do you honestly think those pocket changes can “change” the system? How can you compete with the top 2% who possess most of America’s wealth? The American system is designed in a way that people who challenges it (such as Ron Paul? Ralph Nader?) will NEVER, EVER get elected. The money will always go to people who support the system. Get it?

By donating money and casting your vote, you are actually validating the system, therefore you become the defender of the system, how can we expect you to change it? In America’s 232-year history, the people only won two struggles against the system. 1) the end of slavery, 2) the civil rights movement. None of them was won by voting!

February 25, 2008 @ 9:00 am | Comment

Actually one of the most striking aspects of the Obama movement is the unprecedented number of “small donors” to his campaign and those small donations do add up as his recent campaign financials show.

(AC: BTW, voting rights was at the heart of the Civil Rights movement. Ever here of Selma, Alabama? You–and Hillary Clinton–might want to recheck your US history a bit.)

As for Nader…good guy, doomed campaign.

But his run does suggest a new topic: What do people think about reforming the balloting process to allow for preferential voting?

February 25, 2008 @ 9:12 am | Comment

Is Fidel Castro the greatest leader alive today?

He outstayed 8 American Presidents, 3 with double terms.

He avoided all our CIA attempts to assassinate him and today his name is synonymous with the struggle against American Imperialism….

Will you join me in calling, ‘Long Live Fidel?

Whether he is a hero or villain depends on which side of the ‘banana-leaf’ (US embargo) curtain you reside. Longevity does not make one great, nor does avoiding assassination. Castro is a very intelligent charismatic leader who has brought Cuba from being a banana republic colony to a position of power and respect as the richest third world country in the world, not in terms of $ & cents or GDP -no thanks to US relentless embargo, but a nation with the highest standard of educational, domestic medical services and volunteer international medical aids all of which are far superior to most developed nations, including the cut throat nation a short boat ride away. I think he will go down as a great leader of the last two centuries. Long Live Fidel Castro!

February 25, 2008 @ 9:21 am | Comment

(AC: BTW, voting rights was at the heart of the Civil Rights movement. Ever here of Selma, Alabama? You–and Hillary Clinton–might want to recheck your US history a bit.)

Without MLK’s movement, do you think it had a chance of passing?

February 25, 2008 @ 9:32 am | Comment

Yes, youguys, I join you: long live Fidel!
Haha, just kidding. I hope you are as well.

February 25, 2008 @ 9:34 am | Comment

Indeed AC, It all started in December 1, 1955, with Rosa Parks arrest after she refused to give up her seat to a white rider on a bus.

February 21, 1965 – While speaking at a OAAU rally Malcolm X was fatally shot several times.

1965 Selma, Alabama march for voting rights led by MLKing, was stopped by a barricade of state troopers. King and the marchers kneeled, prayed, and then turned around.
King began focusing on the poor of all races and against the American Vietnam war much to President Lyndon Johnson’s displeasure. In 1968, in the midst of planning the Poor People’s March on Washington, King led a strike of city sanitation workers. It was there that he delivered his last speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”

The next day, on April 4, 1968, MLK was shot. He was 39 years old.

February 25, 2008 @ 10:03 am | Comment

“”like doing everything you can to emigrate to a Western country and the trash it on a blog?”

or doing everything you can to go to China to make money and then trash it on a blog

..durrr”

Hey, ferin, then are you going to leave the evil US of A? Or do you like freedom of press so much that you just can’t go back to your authoritarian motherland? Just asking.
And by the way,

“Not only are you a dumbass, but a filthy lying whore subhuman. Get cancer and die.

Posted by: ferins at December 23, 2007 03:54 AM”

I didn’t get cancer yet. But thanks anyway.

February 25, 2008 @ 10:22 am | Comment

Everyone go watch THE GREAT DEBATER by Denzel Washington.
@Jeremiah,
(and on July 2, 1964 Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act) Although the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed segregation in public places and in public schools, the legislation had failed to adequately address voting rights for blacks. This issue, however, was supposed to have been resolved with the enactment of the 15th Amendment in 1870; YES 1870!!! which guaranteed that the right to vote could not be infringed upon based on one’s race.
Nevertheless, Southern whites were intent on prohibiting blacks from voting. Initially they used grandfather clauses to restrict the right to vote. By the late 19th century, literacy tests and poll taxes were used to disenfranchise blacks.

In Selma, Alabama, black disenfranchisement was high. While 99 percent of white residents were registered to vote, the majority of blacks could not vote. In Voices of Freedom, Amelia Boynton Robinson provides an example of the barriers faced in Selma. Boynton was one of the few who had successfully registered to vote. As a result, she was able to use her status to vouch for applicants. She recalled that one applicant she vouched for was rejected when he wrote his name across a line. He disputed with the registrar and continued to fill out the application; upon its completion, he was still rejected.

“The thing about one-trick ponies, is that after awhile they start to make asses of themselves.”

You may be right, we have probably not as well certified as some of you, we don’t mind to lose face and make an ass of ourselves, but we don’t stand for academic trickeries either.Just wanna make conversation between house chores, pal(s)

February 25, 2008 @ 10:43 am | Comment

“The thing about one-trick ponies, is that after awhile they start to make asses of themselves.”

You may be right, we may not be as well certified as some of you, however, we don’t mind to lose face and make an ass of ourselves, but we won’t stand for intellectual 臭老九 trickeries either.Just wanna make conversation between house chores that’s all y’all…
(thanks to my flatmate’s advise on my poor grammar)

February 25, 2008 @ 11:06 am | Comment

See, theres not much to say about propaganda because to talk about it you have to be outside of it , at least a little bit, you have to at least think about it…

It was proposed to discuss Chinese propaganda, but it doesnt seem like anyone is able to do it. The problem with propaganda is that it works. People do not know whether what they know or hear is true or not and what is contrived and the source of the deception…

One thing I always wonder is what people think the CCP is hiding.

We know that the party is always lying right, but, why? I believe I basically know the answer but I think it is worth thinking about…

February 25, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

“If you look at the world opinion polls through the years, you’ll find that people in developing countries consistently have favorable opinions towards China, and on the contrary, people in the West generally have very negative opinions.”

Most EUROPEANS have a higher opinion of China than they do of the USA, according to international polls, though that’s usually ascribed to the George Bush factor.

Ironically, the Bush adminstration has been a shite propagandist on the GLOBAL scene for its policies (though doubtless because most Amricans don’t give a damn what the rest of the world thinks).

February 25, 2008 @ 12:59 pm | Comment

Hmmph. So what happened to this thread? Disenfranchisement in Alabama. Dysfunctions in US democracy. Point taken. But how long would a civil rights advocate like MLK have survived in China in the 1960s?

February 25, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

Global Attitudes Suvey:

http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=801

One example, Great Britain:

Only 55% of Brits view the USA favourably; 65% have a good opinion of China.

February 25, 2008 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

But how long would a civil rights advocate like MLK have survived in China in the 1960s? Amban

I think better Stick to historical facts here, not what if Admiral Zhen He had sailed to some continent ,traded with the tribal Natives there and together resisted against Christopher Columbus’ advancement, or if JFK had successfully made peace with the Soviet and Cuba and China blah blah blah.

Mao’s regime pulled China out of an ancient feudal system state at least 200 years behind the rest of the world, and I might add with no help from the developed nations,paid off debts to the Soviets,while resolving internal resistance,coup d’etat attempts,feeding an enormous population faced with the devastation of famines and having to deal with skirmishes at the borders to finally path the way for China for Mao’s successors to expedite the catching up with the rest of third world and advancing fast towards the developed world — all within my father’s & my generation. China forever!

February 25, 2008 @ 1:54 pm | Comment

The Fallows piece was interesting — I had forgotten that he used to be one of Nader’s Raiders. Personally, I’m more than a little bit tired of hearing people blame everything that Bush has done on Nader; the Democratic party decided to make him an unperson immediately after the Florida election and ever since then the merest mention of his name is guaranteed to trigger a mindless Three Minutes’ Hate-style rant from most centrist Democrats and internet commenters. (There’s a long, long thread on Metafilter at the moment that exemplifies this.)
Speaking personally as a leftist voter, I find that more than a little contemptible. The Democratic party is not entitled automatically to the votes of everybody left of center. And their willingness to blame the un-elected Ralph Nader for policy mistakes and petty tyranny enabled and even supported by their own elected members smacks of hypocrisy and willful ignorance.

His campaign is utterly doomed, of course, but he knows this. He also knows, quite rightly, that if the election becomes so close that the Democrats really have to worry about the miniscule percentage’s worth of difference that he’s likely to make, then they really don’t deserve to win in the first place. I suspect that it won’t get down to that: for the first time in years, the Democrats have a candidate in Barack Obama that people can vote for without feeling slightly dirty.

@J: There have been a few calls for instant runoff voting, but as far as I know nobody has made any serious efforts to change things, in part because the current system presumably suits the people in power just fine, and in part because it’d require changes to the Constitution.

February 25, 2008 @ 3:19 pm | Comment

I hear you about Obama, I think Nader has always come across as “option three” in the battle between the devil you know and the one you could care less about. I do believe that Obama changes that equation. I also agree about the whining, I think Dems forget just how much they benefited from having Ross Perot in the race back in 1992.

I know that there would be enormous opposition from the two major parties to instant runoff voting, and that’s what makes it worth exploring.

Along the same lines though, Nader’s presence also brings up the question of the electoral college. In a strict nationwide popular vote, Nader probably does little damage, the problem is the electoral math and states in play.

So, if I was to fix the system, those are my two suggestions: a nationwide instant run-off, based on popular vote. Just throwing it out there.

Oh yeah, um…LONG LIVE JOHN STARK!
(I guess this is how we sign off comments now.)

February 25, 2008 @ 3:48 pm | Comment

truth be told, the CCP propaganda dept has lost its touch over the years. In the past, they just let the Western media do their work for them. Remember Edgar Snow? Same thing happened in the Soviet Union. Problem now is that there is TOO much information getting out of China, so they can’t actually manipulate the truth any more.

February 25, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

Brendan, I have mixed feelings. I realize if Nader tips the scales it might mean the Dems have no right to be in power anyway, but…but…but can we really stomach another right-wing regime? Personally, I can’t, and anything that threatens to drain away votes from the Dems scares me to death. Yes, I know all about Clinton’s corporate ties and reliance on polls, etc. But the thought of another Republican regime is too much for me to stomach. I agree with Fallows that a cornerstone of Nader’s worldview is fundamentally unsound, i.e., that there is no measurable difference between the Dems and the GOP, that they are all pawns and patsies of the great oligarchy. For all the horrors and faults of Clinton, there was no insanity like threatening countries that offer birth control or refusing to fund stem cell research because of some crackpot religious belief, no BS about faith-based inititatives or serious consideration of intelligent design as something to be taught in school. I realize McCain is less deranged on these topics than the Bushies, but he is so in love with the military..No, I definitely can’t deal with even the thought of another Republican administration. (Maybe we’ll need to agree to disagree on this; I know where you’re coming from, but I can’t deal with anything that has even a miniscule chance of tipping this toward the GOP.)

February 25, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

“Only 55% of Brits view the USA favourably; 65% have a good opinion of China.”

That would explain the long waiting list at the China immigration office then, while the US immigration office gathers dust and cobwebs. Really! There hasn’t been a Brit apply for US citizenship in at least 700 years.

Seriously, and not to wind up the nationalists again, but my wife (100% Han, native-born citizen) has this to say in her delightfully simplified English: “Communist made all Chinese stupid.”

February 25, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Comment

“Only 55% of Brits view the USA favourably; 65% have a good opinion of China.” — empirical evidence

“That would explain the long waiting list at the China immigration office then, while the US immigration office gathers dust and cobwebs. Really! There hasn’t been a Brit apply for US citizenship in at least 700 years.” — being sarcastic do not necessarily make you look smart/smarter. (some people like doing that anyway, also empirical evidence)

“Seriously, and not to wind up the nationalists again, but my wife (100% Han, native-born citizen) has this to say in her delightfully simplified English: “Communist made all Chinese stupid.” Does that include your stupid/smart daring?

February 25, 2008 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

Mao’s regime pulled China out of an ancient feudal system state at least 200 years behind the rest of the world
Yep, the old feudal order had to be destroyed. If the CCP had dithered around and being soft about things would have meant even one hundred years from now China would still be a backward pesthole.
Sure the CCP made many egregious errors and did many bad things, but the good far outweigh the bad. Anyone looking at annual death rates in China from 1949 onwards, there is a steady downward trend starting 1949 and continuing until today (apart from the years of the GLF).
Most of all the CCP made China a truly independant sovereign nation that truckles to no one.

February 25, 2008 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

That would explain the long waiting list at the China immigration office then, while the US immigration office gathers dust and cobwebs. Really! There hasn’t been a Brit apply for US citizenship in at least 700 years.

Sam is an idiot. A country may be poor for any number of reasons, but you can still reasonably admire its efforts to better istself. Furthermore China is a responsible player on the international scene. Her military is all stationed withing its own borders and is not a threat to anyone apart from would be aggressors.

The USA is a desired immigrant destination because it is wealthy. Simple as that. It is the golden mountain as the Cantonese call it. But just because the USA is wealthy, and a poor third worlder would want to go there to live does not mean that one should not condemn its arrogant and brutal foreign policy, or not condemn the vast, past human suffering upon which the wealth of that nation was built.

Western wealth is greatly based on the enslavement of non-whites. The Western powers set up colonies that were virtual gulags with forced labour, beatings and mutilations. In the 20th century alone, the combined death toll of non-whites at the hands of imperialist nations is conservatively estimated at about 50million.

Any non-white going to the US or any other Western nation is just trying to enjoy some of the wealth that by rights should be part of his inheritance, but was stolen off his ancestors by the West.

February 25, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

Sam is not an idiot, even though he is a Republican. Please watch your mouth.

There are other wealthier countries, yet the US has been the destination of choice for well over a hundred years. It is not the wealth, but the opportunity to elevate your position in life. Switzerland and Norway and Dubai may be wealthier but America has an amazing track record when it comes to poor people rising up to own their own business or rise up to a level they never could in their homelands, or in most other countries. Say what you will about America, but it wasn’t called the lnd of opportunity for nothing. Both of my grandparents fled Europe in their teens, dirt-poor. One became a wealthy manufacturer, another owned his own business and lived a very comfortable life. That has been more the norm than the exception here, at least in the last century.

February 25, 2008 @ 10:36 pm | Comment

But how long would a civil rights advocate like MLK have survived in China in the 1960s?

First of all China does not have a major race problem. More importantly comparing China of the 60s to the USA of the 60s, or China now to the USA now is just plain stupid.

A more fair way, though not perfect, is to compare two countries at similar stages of development.

America in the early 1900s was probably richer, more powerful than China in the 1960s. But lets compare America in the early 1900s to China in the 60s anyway. America in the early 1900s had already been independant for over a century. Yet at this time whites were lynching ‘uppity’ blacks with impunity, roasting them alive over fires, cutting off genitals and fingers – all with the encouragement of local politicians and the press.
At this time we also had the American-Filipino war. During this war American troops basically committed genocide against the Filipinos. They behaved at least as badly as the Einsatzgruppen on the Eastern front.
So looking it at this way the US hardly comes off as a more moral country than China at all – in fact the US comes off looking far worse.

In any case up until the 1943, a British or American could basically kill a chinese in China with absolute impunity.

Ambam – don’t get all morally superior just because you are white. The British killed about 150,000 innocent Kenyans in the 1950s. Some descriptions of atrocities as follows:

British soldiers used a metal castrating instrument to cut off testicles and fingers. By the time I cut his balls off, one settler boasted, he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket. The soldiers were told they could shoot anyone they liked provided they were black.

Ambam is a typical China-hating morally self-righteous hypocrite of a white man.

February 25, 2008 @ 10:53 pm | Comment

“The Western powers set up colonies that were virtual gulags with forced labour…”

Sounds very much like Chinese policy in Africa, where some have talked of the long term plan to send 300 million Chinese ‘settlers.’ Now that’s colonisation on a grand scale!

February 25, 2008 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

We knew it was just a matter of time until the Clintons started playing dirty. If you can’t win on the issues, throw dirt and distract the masses with red herrings.

February 25, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

@Richard

I do not buy into the racial rhetoric or anti-Americanism of certain people on this message board, but we should bend the stick too far in the other direction. There are a lot of other countries in the world to which people emigrate and prosper, and the three countries you just mentioned happen to be three countries with large immigrant populations. There are arguably more immigrants in Europe than there are in the US, and not all of them are dirt-poor. What sets the US apart is for a number of reasons it can afford to be more selective when it comes to whom its accepts as immigrants. That selection process has been far from fair historically

@Wei/Jeb

To think that you are owed something by someone else because you are “non-white” is just plain stupid . You are telling me that an unemployed Finnish youth or a Polish farmer today owe you anything because they are “white”? You better open your eyes to the diversity of human experience. Some European countries have suffered just as much as China has in the twentieth century in both relative and absolute terms. But they don’t make a great fuss about it and try to get on with their lives. Get real.

February 25, 2008 @ 11:10 pm | Comment

“Any non-white going to the US or any other Western nation is just trying to enjoy some of the wealth that by rights should be part of his inheritance, but was stolen off his ancestors by the West.”

Now that you’re getting fully wound up, let’s consider the above comment in the context of an exiled Tibetan whose culture has been raped to the point of extinction, or a Uigyar forcibly dispossessed by Han businessmen wanting to plunder the riches beneath his land.

OK, your turn. Take a deep breath.

February 25, 2008 @ 11:16 pm | Comment

Wey:

I just saw this:

Ambam is a typical China-hating morally self-righteous hypocrite of a white man.

End of conversation.

February 25, 2008 @ 11:18 pm | Comment

Luckily, Bush would never play dirty, Karl Rove being a saint and all that. It’s only inevitable with the Clintons, the lightning rod for deranged right-wing rage.

You want to see dirty, check what the GOP did in New Hampshire in 2004. No one, but no one, beats the GOP for playing dirty. They are the dirt party, and dirt and sleaze are their DNA – at least the current party, as typified by former Young Republican role models Ralph Reed, Jack Abramof and Karl Rove.

February 25, 2008 @ 11:18 pm | Comment

None of those countries, Amban, has the history if being “an immigrant nation” that America is. In that sense, America is unique. I never said it is the only country immigrants go to, only that its reputation as the “land of opportunity” is born out by many, many, many examples for which Switzerland and Norway and many other fine countries are not nearly as famous. I have plenty to criticize about America, but Sam makes a fair point – as I’ve said before, I haven’t seen many stories in the paper about people hiring snakeheads to get into China. (And I am aware, by the way, that there are increasingly more success stories of immigrants arriving in China, and I won’t be shocked if it soon becomes one of the world’s magnets for immigrants because of all the new opportunities there. We’re not there yet however.)

February 25, 2008 @ 11:29 pm | Comment

Oh, and leave it to Gordon to quote as his source the erstwhile Drudge Report. An article with a huge photo of Obama dressed up in what many (dumb) readers will assume is Muslim garb. Here’s a brilliant analysis of the sleaze of Drudge’s story:

This is a total win-win for Drudge. Not only does he get to post a photo of Obama dressed like a foreigner (and a Muslim foreigner at that); he gets to attribute the smear to the Clinton people. This, if you’ll recall, was the exact same M.O. Insight Magazine used last year to float its B.S. Obama-madrassa story–citing “sources close to [a] background check,” which was “conducted by researchers connected to Senator Clinton.” ( A good rundown of this whole dynamic, including some stuff I wrote that is gone and quite possibly never coming back to our archives, can be found here.)

So, while I don’t think Hillary should drop out before Texas and Ohio, her withdrawal would mean that if the GOP wanted to smear Obama, they’d have to do it without hiding behind her.

February 25, 2008 @ 11:35 pm | Comment

There are other wealthier countries, yet the US has been the destination of choice for well over a hundred years.

It means people will put up with shit for money. Many immigrants were treated like dogshit, but they still came. Immigration to a country doesn’t say anything about its moral standing.

It is not the wealth, but the opportunity to elevate your position in life.

It definitely is the wealth. Not only that, but America wants immigrants.

Switzerland and Norway and Dubai may be wealthier but America

Switzerland rejects immigrants, Norway does as well to some extent (and doens’t have many jobs for immigrants; especially since most people cannot speak Norwegian) and the UAE has one of the largest foreign-born populations.

has an amazing track record when it comes to poor people rising up to own their own business

Sorry but this is bullshit.

or rise up to a level they never could in their homelands

This is true of perhaps 99% of all economic migrants whether it’s from Germany to America, India to Singapore or Congo to South Africa. It doesn’t mean anything.

Say what you will about America, but it wasn’t called the lnd of opportunity for nothing.

Slavery, stolen land, exploitation of immigrants etc. creates wealth.

One became a wealthy manufacturer, another owned his own business and lived a very comfortable life.

I don’t know, I think they would have had a harder time with black skin.

Anyway since there’s magic in America’s air and gold running through its rivers, I think the solution to poverty is to just have everyone relocate to America. Then everyone will magically rise from poor to wealthy.

February 25, 2008 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

“(100% Han, native-born citizen)”

Han is not a racial term. Mostly anyone in the Chinese nation can be referred as Han.

It was the Qing and foreign imperialism that made China stupid. Communism was just the expression of that new stupidity. Now America wants to keep it that way.

February 26, 2008 @ 12:03 am | Comment

Whoever said the CCP destroyed the feudal system fails to recognize that the CCP is in fact the perpetuation of this feudal system.

February 26, 2008 @ 12:08 am | Comment

None of those countries, Amban, has the history if being “an immigrant nation” that America is. In that sense, America is unique.

As a purely factual point, Dubai has a shorter history than the US and only 17 per cent of the inhabitants of Dubai are citizens. What that society will look like in a generation or two is anybody’s guess. But never mind, that is a minor thing.

I think the major point is that sure, the US is in many ways unique, any country is unique just by the virtue of being different from others. The American Dream and American exceptionalism are powerful narratives, but what do they say about the reality of migration? Europe has a history of centuries internal and external migration, and in some ways it is more open to outsiders than people are ready to admit. Perhaps we do not see the same from-rags-to-riches stories in Europe, but the success stories are there if you look for them and the Snake Head is cashing in on the “European dream” of many Chinese. As for the integration of immigrants, there is a mixed record, but in some respects the US is lagging behind. Look at how well many immigrant minorities are represented in many European national legislatures and cabinets, for instance.

February 26, 2008 @ 12:11 am | Comment

Well, no one is in the position to discuss Chinese propaganda I see but there at least a few good examples of its effects.

“”"”"Mao’s regime pulled China out of an ancient feudal system state at least 200 years behind the rest of the world,”"”"”

Mao used lying and force to destroy the ‘olds’, the culture, the religion and the economic system….He used caniving to take over from the nationalists by pretending to help them fight the Japanese. Mao promised the people a whole lot that he never delivered and elivered the opposite, famine and false ideology.

“”"”"” and I might add with no help from the developed nations,paid off debts to the Soviets,while resolving internal resistance,coup d’etat attempts,feeding an enormous population faced with the devastation of famines and having to deal with skirmishes at the borders”"”"”"

Was it Mao who sold parts of China to Russia? And by resolving international resistance maybe one could also say establishing a totalitarian and brutal dictatorship.

“”"”"”"to finally path the way for China for Mao’s successors to expedite the catching up with the rest of third world and advancing fast towards the developed world — all within my father’s & my generation. China forever!”"”"”

‘Mao’s Successors’ ( You mean Deng Xiaoping I guess) were only successful at establishing a functionning economy because he went against Mao’s system. So the CCP took over from the Nationalists and turned the people into worshipers of fealse ideology, not allowing them to use their minds at all, starved them and tortured the dissidents all just to end up a capitalist economy the same as the nationalists has only instead of a capitalist nation with freedom of thought, now you have a capitalist nation where people are tortured for having any good ideas.

“”"”"Anyone looking at annual death rates in China from 1949 onwards, there is a steady downward trend starting 1949 and continuing until today (apart from the years of the GLF). “”"”"”

yeah well I guess it helps to kill off a tenth of the population, and then there are the many other killing movements that the CCP insists need to occur every few years to scare people into not thinking…

“”"”"Most of all the CCP made China a truly independant sovereign nation that truckles to no one.”"”"”

Yeah the CCP doesnt truckle to the Chinese culture or the Chinese people in any way unless it can get something from bribing them.

“”"”"”"”"”But just because the USA is wealthy, and a poor third worlder would want to go there to live does not mean that one should not condemn its arrogant and brutal foreign policy, or not condemn the vast, past human suffering upon which the wealth of that nation was built.”"”"”"”"”

How about condemning the cultural revolution where the communists encouraged and partcipating in eating so called counter revolutionnaries, er rightists or whoever they didnt like…. How about the GLF and admitting that Mao is a bad person for doing these chaotic movements disregarding the people and totally undermining Chinese intelligent and spiritual thinking…..No the party does their bidding in seret because it cant work like those days when the people fell for the religious frenzies of the Mao cult, wildly killing and beating their neighbours and families etc…Now they have to keep it as secret as possible paying off doctors to steel organs from Falun Gong for sale…

February 26, 2008 @ 12:30 am | Comment

Was it Mao who sold parts of China to Russia? And by resolving international resistance maybe one could also say establishing a totalitarian and brutal dictatorship.

When I said this above I meant internal resistance.

February 26, 2008 @ 12:33 am | Comment

Oh, and leave it to Gordon to quote as his source the erstwhile Drudge Report.

Honestly Richard, I could have quoted any number of sources; they all point the blame in the same direction.

Drudge may be a turdball, but if you’re on the run as much as I am, Drudge Report is the quickest way to get the “skinny” on the latest mudslinging.

February 26, 2008 @ 1:02 am | Comment

condemning the cultural revolution

Maoism is the product of German and European communist thought and collaboration, foreign economic exploitation, and Japanese imperialism as well as the incompetence of prior Chinese governments.

February 26, 2008 @ 1:22 am | Comment

I don’t really see the point for much of the debate above. Maybe old age is getting to me, but I see the purpose of discussion as sharing information or insight. Brow-beating doesn’t work; no one’s opinions are being changed here.

Here’s my attempt at insight:

- Jeremiah, as far as the civil rights movement in American history… the point is that no elected official started the process of ending segregation in the South. It was the Supreme Court’s action in Brown v. Board of Education.

And it’s notable that the Supreme Court, of course, is by far the most undemocratic branch of the US government. Justices on the Supreme Court are appointed for life, and by design have no interaction with the electorate.

Why did it take until 1965, 11 years after the Supreme Court decision (and 100 years after the end of the Civil War, 189 years after the Declaration of Independence)… before the democratic branches of government finally passed the Voting Rights Act?

- As far as 八国联军, the 8 nation alliance that invaded Beijing… the US did return much (all?) of its share of indemnity payments, helping fund the establishment of Tsinghua University.

(I’d observe, of course, that this doesn’t balance out the action itself, the foreign concessions to follow, and the cynical undermining of Chinese government authority over the previous decades.)

But I don’t think any of that is relevant. As someone else pointed out, everyone involved in making policy in 1900 should be long, long dead by now. There’s no point in holding a grudge over that particular issue. When it comes to 19th and early 20th century history, I’m of the opinion China should forgive the foreign powers who brought their imperialist designs to east Asia.

However, there’s a difference between forgiving, and forgetting.

China should never forget the lesson of those two centuries. Not that there’s much hope China could… a quick scan of any recent newspaper reminds us the international order hasn’t changed so much, after all. Weaker nations will continue to be exploited spiritually and economically. They will then be punished harshly when they attempt (out of desperation or rage) to lash out against those who dominate them.

Present trends suggest that a weak China will be exploited. We may not have oil preserves worth fighting for, but we do represent both a huge consumer market, and a huge labor force. We’re a tempting target for the same reasons we’ve always been.

A weak China will find trade terms becoming far less favorable, rare resources will be stolen, and regime change will bring us a government more compliant to the “international order” (established by the existing powers). If we again become difficult to manage, we could very well see manufactured separatist movements used to reduce us into smaller bite-sized chunks.

It’s a harsh, harsh world out there. It’s not the kind of world that we would’ve liked to create, but it’s one that (I hope) we’ll have to learn to live with.

February 26, 2008 @ 1:44 am | Comment

Another “open” thread…

Jeremiah, have you responded yet to my comments about freedom of religion in an older thread?

Here’s another example of why I find freedom of religion hard to support, sometimes. I’ve long worked with Tibetan charities working in western China. There are several founded by Western activists who are non-political, and doing a tremendous amount of good.

One of these activists turned me onto this particular program, intended to preserve Tibetan culture by establishing a private traditional “monks college”. (The sort of institution that you suggested can’t exist, Amban.)

http://www.definitelynomadic.com/ddrukutulku.html

I, unfortunately, don’t think I will support this program. And here’s the reason why:

3 Salaries needed: $255/teacher/month

3 Large Buddha Statues = $32,000 each

The priorities presented here are completely unacceptable to me. In pursuit of better religious aesthetics, academic (defined broadly in this case) priorities come a distant second.

And this is a known problem throughout nomadic Tibetan territory… many families donate their wealth in order to buy golf-leaf for their local monastery, rather than sending their children to a junior high boarding school.

Is this purely a religious freedom issue, or should there be other considerations involved?

PS. I don’t mean to belittle or otherwise obstruct the efforts of the above group. I’m only explaining why I personally wouldn’t support or recommend this program.

February 26, 2008 @ 1:51 am | Comment

“I don’t know, I think they would have had a harder time with black skin.”

Its certainly easier for people with white skin, especially if they seek employment in China.

“Anyway since there’s magic in America’s air and gold running through its rivers, I think the solution to poverty is to just have everyone relocate to America. Then everyone will magically rise from poor to wealthy.”

Since you are already there (in the USA), you have to know.

“Han is not a racial term. Mostly anyone in the Chinese nation can be referred as Han.”

Utter nonsense! You obviously don’t know the least bit about China. I really doubt you’ve ever been outside the USA.

“It was the Qing and foreign imperialism that made China stupid. Communism was just the expression of that new stupidity. Now America wants to keep it that way.”

So far, they’ve done a good job on you.

“Maoism is the product of German and European communist thought and collaboration, foreign economic exploitation, and Japanese imperialism as well as the incompetence of prior Chinese governments.”

Maoism is the product of a Chinese peasant son reading a book written by a German philosopher without really understanding it.

February 26, 2008 @ 2:59 am | Comment

“Its certainly easier for people with white skin, especially if they seek employment in China.”

This is true, thanks to global racist propaganda.

“Utter nonsense! You obviously don’t know the least bit about China. I really doubt you’ve ever been outside the USA.”

Okay, tell me your version of the history behind the “Han ethnicity” then, starting from neolithic sites around Henan and Western Shandong.

“So far, they’ve done a good job on you.”

Is your wife 13 or younger?

“Maoism is the product of a Chinese peasant son reading a book written by a German philosopher without really understanding it.”

Yeah because poverty had nothing to do with global Communism.

Wow, I feel enriched by mor ethnography and history. Please teach me mor sociology and economics.

This blog has been consecrated by your holy presence. You display every single thing that’s wrong with modern China.

February 26, 2008 @ 3:36 am | Comment

I normally don’t want to comment on these threads due to the manner in which they degenerate thanks to two bit bourgeois intellectuals who haven’t half a clue of what they speak of.

However, I should point out to all the naysayers that the Communist Party has done more for China than anyone else. Whether or not the continued monopoly on political life the Party wields today is for good or ill tomorrow, that China exists today is because of the Party. As the song goes mei you gong chang dang, mei you xin zhong guo.

Even more than the KMT, the Communists have been responsible for husbanding the torch of Chinese nationalism and forging a nation out of a dissolute empire. The party possessed the will to power and the vigor for action at the critical juncture of an infant nation and to imagine China of today without the Party is next to impossible. Without the Party, China would likely be a hodgepodge collection of struggling post-colonial states.

Something that western liberalism often forgets is that while the forest is full trees, it is also full of wolves. Westerners, and Americans in particular, have become so accustomed with the confidence and comfort of security provided by their economic and military strength, that they are incapable of understanding the thought processes of others who have brought up in a much more vulnerable environment.

February 26, 2008 @ 5:38 am | Comment

To think that you are owed something by someone else because you are “non-white” is just plain stupid . You are telling me that an unemployed Finnish youth or a Polish farmer today owe you anything because they are “white”?

Amban: You are obviously misrepresenting me. Whites is easier to say than “citizens of the main imperialist powers.” Have nothing against people because of skin color. Nothing against Finns. I support the Serbs, because Nato has done to Serbia what the West eventually wants to do with China. And the Norwegian engineers at work are fine – they don’t have the stuck up attitudes of Anglo Saxons. For gods sake even Germans are OK compared to Anglo Saxons. YING-MEI are the real troublemakers.

February 26, 2008 @ 5:44 am | Comment

Sounds very much like Chinese policy in Africa, where some have talked of the long term plan to send 300 million Chinese ‘settlers.’ Now that’s colonisation on a grand scale!

Stuart, the Chinese involvement in Africa is probably still less than Western involvement.
As for colonial gulags in the 20th Century, nothing the Chinese, or even Africans themselves have done come close to this:

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COMM.7.1.03.HTM

The work is by a guy called RJ Rummel – someone whom people like Richard trust so much when it comes to Mao’s purported number of victims.

February 26, 2008 @ 5:52 am | Comment

I agree that the Drudge Report makes a decent ‘pit-stop’ for checking on the latest gossip, but that’s what I always take it as…gossip. For me it’s always been more of a guilty pleasure than anything else. What’s interesting to the whole photo flap has been the response of the Clinton campaign. “If Obama considers a picture of himself in Somali dress divisive, well that’s sad.”

February 26, 2008 @ 5:59 am | Comment

Norwegian engineers at work are fine

Scandinavians are usually nice people.

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COMM.7.1.03.HTM

I always wonder why Belgian Congo is glossed over. Europeans (okay, the colonial powers which is almost all of them) think Hitler and the Holocaust is the only bad thing to ever come from Europe.

French Algeria also needs more coverage.

February 26, 2008 @ 6:10 am | Comment

Richard said: Both of my grandparents fled Europe in their teens, dirt-poor. One became a wealthy manufacturer, another owned his own business and lived a very comfortable life.

Yes Richard, Europeans could escape ethnic rivalries and class categories in Europe by emigrating to America. America essentially has no intra-white caste system (although some Southern Europeans suffered discrimination to varying degrees initially). So sure your ancestors stepping on Americas shores could finally say ‘I am now the equal of any other white man!” Good for them. But within two days I bet they were calling black people “niggers.”

Richard displays the classic white syndrome of thinking that what benefits himself must surely be good and noble regardless of the consequences to colored folk.

Only in 1965 was a non-discriminatory immigration policy enacted in the US. Only in the mid-sixties was Civil Rights legislation even put in place.

Richard’s ancestors probably came to the US about 90 to 100 years ago, I guess?
Yes great for them – but at that time black people who had been in America for centuries were being tossed out of federal jobs and disenfranchised in general by the ‘liberal’ President Wilson.Wilson, a Southerner, endorsed the pro-Klan film “The Birth of a Nation.” And Native Americans at the time were still denied citizenship in the land of their birth.

So Richard your ancestors have had about a 70 year head start on African Americans and Native Americans to raise themselves up. They have been free to put down strong roots in a continent a universe away from the place of their ancestors, and to prosper. It is only recently that non-white Americans have even being allowed to try for the same.

No wonder you feel America is so great – you and your kind are the chief beneficiaries of America.
But the feelings of colored folk, both in America and around the world are more ambivalent – as evidenced by Michelle Obama’s comments the other day.

February 26, 2008 @ 6:20 am | Comment

French Algeria also needs more coverage.

Yep, and also the American-Filipino war, and suppression of independance movements in Burma, and atrocities during the Kenya emergency, French massacres of Madagascans post WWII – and many many others.

February 26, 2008 @ 6:25 am | Comment

Native Americans are still treated like crap btw.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/25/AR2007042502778.html

One in three Native American women will be raped at some point in their lives

More than 86 percent of rapes against Native American women are carried out by non-native men, most of them white, according to the Justice Department.

Are 29% of Tibetan women raped by “Han” men? No.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A49822-2004Oct20?language=printer

Life expectancy on the reservation is 47 to 56 years, the nation’s lowest. Infant mortality is twice the rate of the rest of the country. Diabetes afflicts about half the population

Alcoholism is rampant — some figures place it at 80 percent of the population — yet on a reservation about the size of Connecticut, there is no alcohol treatment center.

What a fucking disgrace. Good thing democracy is working out so well for them as 1% of the population. No one even cares!

February 26, 2008 @ 6:26 am | Comment

I am NOT a Republican! Watch your mouth.

February 26, 2008 @ 6:54 am | Comment

Whoever said the CCP destroyed the feudal system fails to recognize that the CCP is in fact the perpetuation of this feudal system.Kevin

[Ed. Note: Keep it clean. Keep it civilized. You've been warned.]

February 26, 2008 @ 7:15 am | Comment

Whoever said the CCP destroyed the feudal system fails to recognize that the CCP is in fact the perpetuation of this feudal system.Kevin

Just in case y’all wondered why my last comment was censored, let me assure y’all that I did NOT use foul language. NOT a single impure, sinful word, my Holiness. I simply wrote what my humorous “I am white and I am right, you’re just a parasite,” erudite & mature American friend told me last night while watching “The Great Debaters,” and I thought it was hilarious and wanted to pass it along for laughs!
Anyway, if Consensus Reality is good enough for you, then America is free and not a Police state, and is a country of equal opportunity for the rich, poor, white or colored. That McCain’s 100 years of US military presence in Iraq is just as benevolent and beneficial for all as American military presence in Japan has been, including 170 other US bases in foreign sovereignties worldwide is just fine and dandy and imperative to world peace. Then I say, fine, I’ll be at the Nike assembly line from 8am – 8pm making my fortune of 10 dollars a day. You know where to find me when you wake up, my darling.

February 26, 2008 @ 8:01 am | Comment

Amban: You are obviously misrepresenting me. Whites is easier to say than “citizens of the main imperialist powers.” Have nothing against people because of skin color….
For gods sake even Germans are OK compared to Anglo Saxons. YING-MEI are the real troublemakers.Posted by: Wei at February 26, 2008 05:44 AM
Native Americans are still treated like crap btw.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/25/AR2007042502778.html
One in three Native American women will be raped at some point in their lives.More than 86 percent of rapes against Native American women are carried out by non-native men, most of them white, according to the Justice Department.Are 29% of Tibetan women raped by “Han” men? No.http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A49822-2004Oct20?language=printer
Life expectancy on the reservation is 47 to 56 years, the nation’s lowest. Infant mortality is twice the rate of the rest of the country. Diabetes afflicts about half the population…What a f…disgrace. Good thing democracy is working out so well for them as 1% of the population. No one even cares!ferin at February 26, 2008 06:26 AM
Ferin & Wei, you are my heroes – I want to introduce you two to my gorgeous girlfriends from Dalian!

February 26, 2008 @ 8:49 am | Comment

The Japanese are now considered “white”?

Huh, who knew?

February 26, 2008 @ 8:58 am | Comment

While we’re enumerating the sins of our fathers here, just to clarify, are we counting the Japanese in the whitey/western/citizens of the main imperialist powers category?

February 26, 2008 @ 9:32 am | Comment

Technically no. But the right wingers would like to think they’re European, so we should throw the IJA in there to respect their sensibilities.

I’m not aware if the Japanese are sitting on obscene piles of blood money but I don’t think they are.

February 26, 2008 @ 9:37 am | Comment

Well, Japan’s imperial adventures did certainly contribute to the economic growth of their nation in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. I’m not sure if this means we can accuse the current Japanese population of sitting on top of obscene piles of blood money, but then I’m also not convinced that the current British population, despite its own imperial legacy can be accused of that either.

February 26, 2008 @ 9:43 am | Comment

As Lisa kindly reminded us that race is an artificial construct; another poster rightly pointed out that there is only one race – the human race, therefore,given most of us here are not racist but anti-imperialism; would I be wrong to understand the term “White” as an affiliated affinity in imperialistic outlook, philosophy, beliefs, policies, inherited by designed education/brainwashing/misinformation and nothing to do with biology?
As Bruce Lee’s peasant character admonishes his foe in Rome: 我读得书少,你别骗我..!

February 26, 2008 @ 9:50 am | Comment

Alright, if we want to define ‘white’ or ‘western’ that way, I suppose we can.
But I don’t think your characterisation of imperialism is fair. It brings us back to the original point of this discussion; propaganda in Red China. If we’re to accept that China is not currently an imperialist nation, which has been asserted here at least once, the association between education/brainwashing/misinformation and imperialism is not at all binding. Zimbabwe and Cuba are two other good examples of states that no one would accuse of being either imperialist or having a free and fair system for access to information.
And maybe we should just drop the ‘white’ thing and say imperialist or western if that’s what we’re talking about, eh?

February 26, 2008 @ 10:03 am | Comment

maybe we should just drop the ‘white’ thing and say imperialist or western if that’s what we’re talking about, eh?

well said, lime.

American Heritage Dictionary -
‘Western’: of or pertaining to the non-Communist countries of Europe and the Americas

vs

Whites: a member of a royalist, conservative, or reactionary political party.
White: a person whose racial heritage is Caucasian

February 26, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Comment

Why is my site flypaper for people like Wei (Jeb) and youguys?

February 26, 2008 @ 11:08 am | Comment

Richard, it just may be that you try too hard to be fair and even-handed. But when you show any tolerance to trolls and twats, that’s whom you get, and good posts and debates will get swamped with, err, excrement. Sorry, had to say that.

February 26, 2008 @ 11:30 am | Comment

Well, when posters don’t use tact when criticizing China they run the risk of annoying people.

February 26, 2008 @ 11:38 am | Comment

The Japanese are a**holes for not recognizing their misdeeds and apologizing for their atrocities.
However most people, apart from the Japanese themselves, know about Japanese wartime aggression. We all know about the rape of Nanking just as the West know about the Holocaust.

But the damage that white Europeans have done to Africans and Asians like the atrocities of the Belgian Congo, the American-filipino war and French atrocities in Indochina are not well known. They are about to go down the memory hole.

Whites push their culture onto China through Hollywood, status products and idiot rich Chinese think that just because something is white it is status.

So whites are far more dangerous to China, their influence far more insidious – because they have covered up their past misdeeds and have elevated themselves up, through the mass-media, as the ‘good’ guys.

Once China becomes even more powerful, finishing off Japan will be easy – China will be able to raze every city in Japan to the ground at the flick of a switch. And our economy alone, the increasing quality of Chinese goods, together with the Japanese habit to hoard, will bring about the downfall of the Japanese economy. Soon Chinese men will be able to go to Japan and treat their women like they use to treat ours.

Dealing with America though will be more problematic though.

February 26, 2008 @ 11:40 am | Comment

Wei, do you have an inferiority complex, or not? LOL

February 26, 2008 @ 11:53 am | Comment

No, he does not, kevin… It’s just that this thread was meant to be about Chinese propaganda, so he’s giving us a truckload of it. He seems to think this site is some kind of mushroom farm…

February 26, 2008 @ 12:02 pm | Comment

So, on the propaganda topic, does anybody else think that it may just be becoming irrelevant? In 21st century the Chinese, like everybody else in, are consuming more and more digital media, and producing it.
Despite the government’s best efforts to control it, they seem to be failing due in part to the proliferation of the English language and the negative international attention they receive when they do try to make an example of a rogue blogger.

How long will it take take before the duckspeak doublethink of the People’s Daily and the rest of the Xinhua outfit’s published works are read only by the writers themselves?

February 26, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

I’m going to go back and delete some of the more foul comments that have just sprung up. I’ve let everyone express their viewpoint. But youguys and Wei are getting too personal for my tastes. It’s not easy, trying to provide people a forum for speaking their minds and getting them to abide by some simple rules of respect. When I read shit like their last few comments, I really feel I am under no obligation whatsoever to give them space here.

And Wei, you little prick – the reason I’ve set up these open threads is because I am too busy to post. If I am silent for some hours it isn’t because I’m afraid of you, it’s because I have work to do.

February 26, 2008 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

“Once China becomes even more powerful, finishing off Japan will be easy – China will be able to raze every city in Japan to the ground at the flick of a switch. And our economy alone, the increasing quality of Chinese goods, together with the Japanese habit to hoard, will bring about the downfall of the Japanese economy. Soon Chinese men will be able to go to Japan and treat their women like they use to treat ours.

Dealing with America though will be more problematic though.” — Wei

The banning of this little fascist troll can’t come too soon, Richard.

February 26, 2008 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Done. Bye, Wei.

Youguys, you are next on the list. I did not edit your comment, one of my co-bloggers did, and I am delighted with their decision.

You wouldn’t happen to be buddies with bxbq, would you?

February 26, 2008 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

oh my.

aside from the whole attacking japan and america thing, he’s right about hollywood etc being poison

February 26, 2008 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

Fine, thank you richard. It’s been a fun couple of months visiting your blog. It has not been a solo dance, takes two to tango – but apparently I’ve step on one toe too many. Sorry, I’ve tried to be light on my feet but I just haven’t learned to dance on eggs. Words and concept like Respect, civility,and foul languages are reciprocal and seems not only to be subjective to the mood and humor of whoever, whatever and arbitration for some mysterious agenda.

IT”S all COOL. This cyber territory is yours to protect. This CCP governed land of our ancestors and the shared freedom & pride among our people with others for trade liberty and obligation to defend is also for the countless free thinking minds upon it to unashamedly extol.

Bye Wei. You’ve fight the good fight;keep up the good work.You have already inspired more than you’d ever realise.Lovely reading your comments Ferin. I will continue to support you in spirit.

bxbq? Nope, I don’t know anyone on this thread. Didn’t think that the simple words of a 弱女子 would cause the release of imperial guards upon her.(Must be my poor grammar…) Oh well.It’s Time anyway to do the dishes and prepare for Yoga class.

February 26, 2008 @ 1:28 pm | Comment

youguys, I warned you about your mouth in earlier threads. Don’t act so surprised.

And ferins, Jeb may have been right about this or that (in your opinion) but his last comment about Japan and the US went beyond bad taste into a territory I can only describe as diseased. At least you’re smart enough to understand how far you can go in here, even if i do have to edit some of your comments for nasty ad hominems. Jeb/Wei wasn’t that smart, and he was obviously pushing the envelope to see just how far he could go before being banned. Now he knows.

February 26, 2008 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

ferin:”"”"”Well, when posters don’t use tact when criticizing China they run the risk of annoying people.”"”"

I actually think this is true… I do see big huge problems in the too casual way people talk about issues that are way too important to treat like that.

Why is this site ‘flypaper’ for irrational nationalists? I think one big reason is because irrational nationalists cannot make a distinction between themselves, the Chinese people and their great nation And The Party. The party has channelled the peoples nationalism through propaganda and counts on this irrational nationalist reflex too defend the party’s existence. So this way, when the people hear criticism of the government, they feel that they themselves are loosing face. In a system where there is no option of replacing the party with a better leader, I can see why they cant make the distinction as well, there is no other government they can get, so they believe the party is the country.

AND the point of my saying that was to say that people in general have to know the relationship between the party and the people. WHen newspapers say ‘China” this or “China’ that, it makes me so sad, because it encourages the myth that China is the CCP… The difference is vast!!!

So I dont think that people should criticize China for the dictatorial elements and so on, its not fair, this party is imposed on them but they are not represented by it. (even if they think they are!!)

In Canada we can let our government loose face and criticize it all we want and we dont feel ashamed because we can kick him out for not holding up to the values of the people. its the values that make Canadians Canadians, and by those values the government should abide, otherwise he’s not being Canadian. China can be looked at the same way except the shame is that instead of holding onto values on China, the people tie their fate to a corrupt disgusting regime.

February 26, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

The dangers of propaganda is that it tries to hide reality.

But reality is a very stubborn thing. No torture not threats will make it go away.

It is always around you even when you close your eyes and stuff your ears.

If follows you wherever you go. It waits for you wherever your arrive.

And in the end it will get you.
It may take one year it may take 100 year
The later , the worst for you.

February 26, 2008 @ 3:16 pm | Comment

@snow..I’m on my way to yoga class, so I feel a little generous. I’ll give you D – minus for your last comment. Bye.

February 26, 2008 @ 3:21 pm | Comment

@snow

I give you an A+ )

(without yoga class ;-)

February 26, 2008 @ 4:57 pm | Comment

i came back to this site today after three days. good god, how depressing. i am surprised ferin is still here given he asked someone if their wife is 13. that and the fact his one track argument “white people are bad and the cause of all evil in the world” is becoming utterly boring.

the general ability of trolls to come on here and derail threads is alarming. if someone has not posted here before and comes on flaming they should be ignored. do not feed the trolls.

there are interesting debates to be had, but the inability of many here to be unable to debate without getting personal stops this from happening.

on a more positive note, are people aware of this website? it is a large collection of ancient chinese literature with character by character translation possible.

http://afpc.asso.fr/wengu/wg/wengu.php?l=intro

February 26, 2008 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

and another thing…

i am trying to improve my chinese reading and was thinking blogs would be a good way forward (less ccp droning and shorter than a book – i don’t have a great deal of time on my hands)

anyone have any suggestions? all recommendations welcome

February 26, 2008 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

si: i came back to this site today after three days. good god, how depressing.

You’re telling me. Sometimes I hate my own blog. So should I just delete all the comments that are obviously crap? Very tough call. I get criticized for deleting, I get criticized for not deleting…

February 26, 2008 @ 9:58 pm | Comment

The Wengu Classsics site is awesome.

February 26, 2008 @ 10:24 pm | Comment

@richard

i’d delete if i were you. better to try and filter out ad hominem arguments and rude insults which add nothing to a debate. if people can’t argue in a polite way why give them the opportunity?

just my two cents

February 26, 2008 @ 10:28 pm | Comment

@lime

glad you like it too. chinese classics, or rather tang dynasty poetry are what has kept me interested in learning to read chinese through many a dull textbook. what i particularly love about it is that it is easy to approach and enjoy at an entirely superficial level (you need about 1000 – 1500 characters to be able to have a go without looking up every second word), but there are riches to be had on closer inspection and by tracking down critical writings on them. they are also the way poetry should be – brief!

February 26, 2008 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

I definitely don’t think China should take military action against their past aggressors; that’s just ridiculous. Only if they’re attacked first, then massive retaliation is justifiable.

I get criticized for not deleting…

You can chop bits of if out and replace specific words for laughs.

it encourages the myth that China is the CCP

Yep. That’s why no one gives a shit about China or even India while they’re fawning over Africa. Cause of the month.

“white people are bad and the cause of all evil in the world”

I love straw man. No, American and many European governments are the cause of a lot of the problems the world faces at present. They also fail to use their power to change anything; so they should stop acting like they have the moral highground. That’s it. The corrupt officials and baby butchers they are in bed with can take quite a lot of blame as well.

February 26, 2008 @ 10:59 pm | Comment

@lime

this website on the thousand character essay is good too

http://www.angelfire.com/ns/pingyaozhuan/tce.html

(i think i got it via wikipedia)

though i am not a fan of simplified characters myself….

February 26, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

Thanks Si, I’ll check it out when I get a chance.

February 27, 2008 @ 12:11 am | Comment

here’s another video from the guardian – this time about the lantern festival.

i’ve never been to pingyao myself – wish i had now!

http://tinyurl.com/2ommv2

February 27, 2008 @ 1:00 am | Comment

Folks… some hilarious stuff

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

It’s funny I am almost 75% white.

February 27, 2008 @ 7:32 am | Comment

Hi folks,

Since a few people have been praising the great things Mao did for the Chinese people, I was wondering if they are aware of this offer he apparently made to Henry Kissinger in 1973:

“We don’t have much. What we have in excess is women. So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands.” He later upped the offer to 10 million.

I wonder if he intended any conditions to be attached to the deal. Would he, for example, have forbidden them to be used as comfort women? The article does not state what he asked for in return.

“It is such a novel proposition,” said Kissinger. “We will have to study it.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/02/14/chinese.women.ap/index.html

February 27, 2008 @ 9:02 am | Comment

Would he, for example, have forbidden them to be used as comfort women? The article does not state what he asked for in return.

I think he was hoping for Peace of mind.

Hey, great news from America : Zero Point energy. Pollution free, non-resource depleting and economical.
Soon , when the technological transitions mature, the international conflicts over fossil fuel will be history. Yeah! Check out http://www.disclosure.org

February 27, 2008 @ 9:18 am | Comment

I think he was hoping for Peace of mind.

Yes, old Mao like many emperors before him would have known the problems that too many concubines can cause.

I’m not sure myself whether Kissinger’s refusal was due to stupidity, or great foresight.

February 27, 2008 @ 11:33 am | Comment

Peter,

You know mao was a goofball and just joking with Kissinger, right?

February 27, 2008 @ 11:47 am | Comment

From China,

I guess “goofing around” is the most sensible explanation, but who knows? If he was willing to trade grain for Russian weapons, knowing full well that millions of his people were going to starve as a result, then would he be squeamish about selling Chinese women as well?

February 27, 2008 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

By the way, the complete transcript is here:

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/100320.pdf

which does make it clear he was joking around.

February 27, 2008 @ 1:23 pm | Comment

It does certainly appear that Mao was joking around from that transcript.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Mao wasn’t one of the greatest male chauvinists in the world, masquerading as a supporter of women’s rights… Much as he was a “nationalist” who was unconcerned with the deaths of millions of “the people”… and, of course, much as he was a new emperor masquerading as an “opponent” of feudalism.
I often heard the claim in China that women had achieved full equality. That always got me “ROFL” (that’s what “the kids” call it nowadays). Has anyone else heard this? Or perhaps a better question would be: does anyone believe it?

February 27, 2008 @ 2:31 pm | Comment

@kevin,

No one believed that women had achieved full equality, but no one familiar with Chinese society today can claim that Mao didn’t do an awful lot of good in erasing traditional cultural norms when it comes to women.

Urban China doesn’t have the concept of a “housewife”; every single woman in my extended family from the age of 22 to the age of 60 has a serious professional career. Contrast this to the norm 60 years ago (assuming you have a faint clue what that norm was)… and you see tremendous progress.

In politics and at the top tiers of business, women don’t quite hold up half the sky quite yet… China is not quite Europe in that regard. But again, considering where China was stuck culturally less than a century ago, its doing quite well.

Rural China remains far more conservative, but is still light-years ahead of where it was earlier this century.

February 27, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

women don’t quite hold up half the sky quite yet…CCT

Thank you for your very good & true comment.

My mom used to say, “If it wasn’t for Mao, she’d probably never survived infancy being the second daughter and therefore was a huge disappointment to her parents,my peasant grand parents.” And to think that my mom and her elder sister both managed to finish primary school and wed by 18 while I, the only child, am still footloose and fancy past 24. It is pretty amazing how far China has come along.
One thing’s for sure though, my peasant grandparents on my mom’s side loved and adored Mao, while my Dad’s family who were persecuted feel differently. As for Mao having many women, it was never an issue, so you can understand how many of us were puzzled what the fuss was all about with Clinton’s fling.In any case, for good or bad, East and West, we need to get along. After reading this book “Hidden Truth Forbidden knowledge,” by Dr. Steven Greer of Disclosure Project and AERO – Zero Point Energy, I feel hopeful.Cheers.

February 27, 2008 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

wasn’t mao always joking around with the foreigners? he always like to play the mysterious oriental…..

“In any case, for good or bad, East and West, we need to get along. ”

very true. however, i thought you were leaving (again)? you appear to have longer longer posts than a military funeral.

February 27, 2008 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

i thought you were leaving (again)?
Posted by: Si

Every day’s a new beginning.

you appear to have longer longer posts than a military funeral.
Posted by: Si

Wouldn’t know, never been to one :-) Might help to Learn to read faster? Anyways, hope you find will learning Chinese most rewarding.Did you know that in a decade or so, China will have the most English speakers in the world?

February 27, 2008 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

It seems that Mao did not exactly grasp the concept of “housewife” either. However, I don’t disagree with those changes, I just was shocked when people that I knew in China literally claimed that there was equality for women there.

February 27, 2008 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

@kevin

can’t recall any chinese women claiming that…agree with what you mean about the positive changes

@youguys

1. depends what you mean by “english speaker” doesn’t it?

2. been learning it (on and off, but with a lot of off recently) for too many years, haven’t found it particularly rewarding hence the request for decent reading materials. it’s the characters i really enjoy

and

3. as a chinese person, i was hoping you therefore might be able to recommend some sites? surely you can come up with one suggestion? or do you spend all your time hanging round expats sites annoying the non-chinese?

February 28, 2008 @ 1:00 am | Comment

I’ll give you a site, Si.

> http://www.jinmiao.cn/

I’ve been downloading stories for my daughter to listen to in the car.

Women in my family have always been pretty privileged. Both of my grandmothers actually attended college… back in the 1920s-1930s. (Pretty rare in China!) But some of my great-grandmothers had bound feet, and one was actually a 4th wife.

February 28, 2008 @ 1:40 am | Comment

Si, indeed, all of the people who mentioned this were men, contrasting it to “your Western society.” Kinda interesting.

February 28, 2008 @ 6:10 am | Comment

or do you spend all your time hanging round expats sites annoying the non-chinese?Posted by: Si at February 28, 2008 01:00 AM

Actually, I spend most of my time hanging out with my Chinese and expats friends.
Back to the topic of gender equality, I am first of all a person, so I think equality is an ideal that needs to be pursued. As a Chinese woman, I am very happy to be one living in present day China.

February 28, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Comment

Thanks CCT for > http://www.jinmiao.cn/

I like your style, sir. Are you are a professor or a businessman? You are so smart and write so eloquently.

February 28, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Comment

@youguys,

I don’t have the patience in me to be a professor. :)

I hope to have it in me to be a more successful businessman.

February 28, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

thanks for that cct, though if you have anything more adult, that’d be good too.

@youguys

love the question dodging. could you recommend any sites for me?

February 28, 2008 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

Hong Kong Budget—

On the issue of electricity subsidies, was Tsang, Jr, merely clueless as to the enormously negative implications for conservation and pollution control, or has there been a fundamental change in policy?

February 28, 2008 @ 5:12 pm | Comment

Oh, excuse me, a baking powder..I’m sorry. I’d no idea you were serious given your ill manner :-)
Ok, here’s an immensely popular International author 村上村树when I was in my junior school.

http://www.oklink.net/wgwx/novels/lingsan/nuowei/index.htm

February 28, 2008 @ 11:13 pm | Comment

there was equality for women there.

Is there equality for women anywhere? I’d say Sweden, but they’re 9 times more likely than men to be gang raped.

Really, I’m tired of hearing how China has a lot to learn about treatment of women from other places in the world.

All you need to dispel this notion is to visit hospitals, Indian reservations, and retirement homes. The insidious thing about American liberalism is that it conveniently writes certain individuals out of “woman” status. Specifically, racial minorities, the elderly, and the poor.

Confucianism needs to give due respect to all people whether they’re men, women, young, old, hetero- or homosexual. However, once all Chinese women all start acting like wealthy white American yuppie ladies the world is doomed.

February 29, 2008 @ 3:09 am | Comment

Hey Richard,

How about a post discussing this survey:
http://www.mac.gov.tw/big5/mlpolicy/pos/9609/9609a.pdf

February 29, 2008 @ 3:24 am | Comment

CCT, that survey points out that only “if China stops humiliating Taiwan” would the majority of Taiwanese accept an Olympic torch.
What is your opinion? Does China humiliate Taiwan?

February 29, 2008 @ 4:27 pm | Comment

@youguys

i would like to thank you for that, but unfortunately my manners are too “ill” to do so.

@cct

i presume this is a wind up as it is written in chinese? i’d be interested in your opinion as it says amongst other things

78% agree if China stops humilating Taiwan
72% are willing if China stops calling the team Zhongguo Taibei and changes it to Zhonghua Taibei (how to translate this?)
73.2% agree the govt should continue dialogue with China over this.

not exactly a ringing endorsement is it?

February 29, 2008 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

Sorry I only gave it a cursory examination – the Zhongguo/Zhonghua is a reference to being a part of the People’s Republic or being called the Republic of China.

Friday afternoon!

still confused by cct bringing it up – is (s)he planning to pick a fight over translation issues?

March 1, 2008 @ 12:01 am | Comment

All,

No, not a translation issue at all.

What genuinely surprised me was the first bullet point in the “zhuyao faxian” from that survey.

- “Regarding the Beijing announcement of the Olympic torch relay route, during which the Taipei leg was described as the first stop inside the People’s Republic of China, an act which seriously degrades us…”

- 38% supports boycotting the torch.
- 33% opposes boycotting the torch.

I’ve been reading MAC surveys for years, so I’m very familiar with the type of leading questions they ask. (“Do you believe the ROC government should accept the torch even if humiliated… “; “Do you support dignity for Taiwan in cross-strait negotiations.”)

In this case, they insist Taipei had been called the first stop “in the People’s Republic of China”… which is clearly wrong. They second remind everyone that this is an act which “seriously degrades” the Taiwanese.

And I’m just amazed that even the very leading way this question was asked *still* led apparently 33% of the Taiwanese public to support the torch’s arrive! That’s genuinely shocking to me.

Anyways. I didn’t mean to suggest it was an earth-shattering revelation. This is just a minor personal shock, at the amount of support in Taiwan for the torch’s arrival. I personally didn’t expect it.

I wish I could believe a Ma win in March would mean the torch could still arrive… but I don’t think so. I think the die is already cast on this one.

March 1, 2008 @ 1:40 am | Comment

This is an Olympic torch, far from a controversial issue (although Beijing’s retardation has massively problematized this). It is not as if it is a survey on so-called “unification”- which obviously only occur after democratization in China (the taiwanese already ended one dictatorship, what’s the need for embracing another?) Furthermore, 33% approval is far from resounding (if so, I think Bob Dole could have been president). If 33% is something for CCT(V) to get excited about, I seriously recommend that he get outside more often.
Don’t try to mask the problems; the reason that this torch will never appear in Taiwan is the result of the Chinese government’s imperialist position on Taiwan. If the Chinese government treated taiwanese as “human beings,” they might get a better reception. It’s funny that China calls the US imperialist, when the last surviving imperialist in the world is in fact China (East Turkestan, Tibet, Macao, Hong Kong, Sudan, and now… Taiwan?)

March 1, 2008 @ 4:02 pm | Comment

“the taiwanese already ended one dictatorship”

I think you mean “the dictators ended their own dictatorship”.

“East Turkestan, Tibet”

China has been in East Turkestan longer than the Uighurs (830 C.E~). The Uighurs and Tocharians/Yuezhi are unrelated. Tibet is China’s suzerain and colony, kinda like the entire continental U.S, Canada, Siberia.. why the hell do I even bother? You know you’re stretching the limits of your argument.

Sudan is not Chinese imperialism any more than Israel is American imperialism. If you really support Taiwan and the Taiwanese people you would not offer up such stupid arguments.

March 2, 2008 @ 12:04 am | Comment

sorry, Tibet was under Chinese suzerainty*, was a vassal and now is a colony.

March 2, 2008 @ 12:05 am | Comment

Most of China was under Mongol suzerainty once, so I think China is really a part of Mongolia. We should all support the One-Mongolia-policy.

March 2, 2008 @ 9:34 am | Comment

“Not only are you a dumbass, but a filthy lying whore subhuman. Get cancer and die.

Posted by: ferins at December 23, 2007 03:54 AM”

Two simple questions:

1. Why hasn’t Ferin been banned yet, while so many other people have?

2. Why hasn’t the comment above been deleted yet? Not vile enough?

March 2, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Comment

mor, I’ve deleted and edited many, many comments by Ferin. The main answer is, I don’t have time. I have left a lot of nanhe’s angry comments up as well. If you ever see stuff like that put up by ferin, please alert me and I will remove it. Like nanhe, I haven’t banned ferin (yet) because he can often contribute some very smart comments. When he writes shit and I see it, I delete it. Thanks for telling me, I will delete.

March 2, 2008 @ 11:23 am | Comment

Last thing about that, mor: Please note the date of ferin’s comment. I was on a flight from Taipei to America on Dec. 23. I would really be able to patrol all the comments all the time. With my job, I have had to refrain from reading any comments for as long as five days in a row as I’ve lived out of hotel rooms. This is Sunday and it’s a free weekend so I can watch carefully. It’s a luxury that’s going to become rare and rarer over the next 5 months.

March 2, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

I appreciate all that, Richard, but as you said: “If you ever see stuff like that put up by ferin, please alert me and I will remove it.” I will just go on pointing out that sort of stuff to you and the other administrators. I want everybody here to know what kind of guy ferin really is. He might be smart and able to write thoughtful and interesting comments, but at the end of the day he’s just another abusive, racist, America-bashing troll. And he’s obviously never had to take care of people who really have cancer.

March 3, 2008 @ 5:39 am | Comment

“We should all support the One-Mongolia-policy.”

I don’t have a problem with that. (There *are* more Mongols in China today than the Republic of Mongolia, after all.) As far as I’m concerned, modern China’s heritage traces back to that of the Mongol Yuan.

China, Mongolia… all foreign terminology for our country anyways. Maybe we’ll just call ourselves the Republic of the Center. Does this satisfy you? It works for me.

March 5, 2008 @ 1:59 am | Comment

I guess Richard isn’t taking requests, but I’d like a thread discussing this as well.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/04/content_7716775.htm

“We are ready to have exchange, dialogue, consultation and negotiation with any political parties in Taiwan, as long as they recognize that both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one China,” Hu stated.

The negotiation will be conducted on an equal footing with completely open topics — there is nothing we can’t talk about,” he added.

Nothing particularly news-worthy here in these statements, but just a re-emphasis of Chinese policy that many involved in the TI issue prefer to ignore.

- “One China” does not refer to the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan does not belong to the mainland. Both mainland/Taiwan belong to “one China”.

- Equal status for negotiations. Not central government and provincial government.

March 5, 2008 @ 2:02 am | Comment

I’d like to talk about the Taiwan article too. So is it really just a matter of semantics here? As long as everyone recognises a greater theoretical ‘China’, the CCP is okay with there being two equal and politically independent nations within it? The old line always was, ‘There is only one China, and the PRC is the only legitimate government of that one China.’ Is the CCP willing to give up the PRC’s territorial claim to Taiwan and surrounding islands if the current ROC government is willing to give up their claim to the rest of what was Qing Dynasty China? Can they both have a seat in the UN as PR of China and R of China, respectively? This seems a little too good to be true.

March 5, 2008 @ 3:54 am | Comment

Lime,

What you described is way too good to be true.

Beijing is (probably) now willing to consider many political formulas, as long as it stays true to the hope that there’s only one China.

My theory is that a federation or commonwealth of two different Chinese states might be possible. This “Federated China” could then potentially take a spot at various international forums. (I’m not sure I see Beijing sharing UN Security Council though; Taiwan has a population of 23 million, mainland China is approximately 60 times larger.)

March 5, 2008 @ 6:24 am | Comment

Just recognising the existence of the ROC state (if that’s what Hu’s doing) is still miles ahead of anything that the CCP has offered before. ‘Chinese Taipei’ gets to represent itself in most international forums anyways, and I doubt anyone would seriously consider the possibilitity of the ROC recovering a security council seat. I’m sure they’d settle for a normal general assembly seat.

I have to admit to being a little cynical about this. There’s going to have be some recognition of Beijing’s dominance in the relationship, and some constraint of the ROC’s ability to represent itself internationally.

And if they were going for equality, anything other than a token acknowledgement of a Chinese Commonwealth would be incredibly difficult, considering how far the political and legal cultures have diverged.

March 5, 2008 @ 6:44 am | Comment

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