Foreign media bias and 3.14

I have an essay over at The China Beat (mainland link) on foreign media coverage of the unrest in Lhasa and other areas of Western China. It’s a long piece, but then it’s a complicated subject, and I’d be interested in the thoughts and comments of our TPD community.

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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: 204 Comments

Lets the great foreign media bias post wars begin…… ;-)

March 29, 2008 @ 11:34 am | Comment

Lets begin the post wars then….

Bias here….
bias there…..
who tells the truth anyway?
and interesting read again!

http://tinyurl.com/36ra5c

March 29, 2008 @ 11:39 am | Comment

I think the difference between the bias of Chinese media and Western ones is that whereas the former have not much credibility and won’t have a significant impact on Chinese let alone others out of China, the latter do have the power to make things much worse than they should have be.

All the misleading and biased reporting by Western media over the last fortnight has done is stoking the fire, demonizing China and Chinese that will not do any good to either side.

Chinese are pariahs to Western media and their readers when it comes to Tibet.

But why do we care? As if that’s not how we have been treated even before 1950s?

So shout aloud and be biased as you like, Tibet is and will always be part of China no matter what it was before (and no matter how many times you say “Tibet was not, is not and will never be …”), and no matter what happens now or tomorrow, in China or Europe.

CCP has made a big mistake handling this event and restarting talks with DL now will only be an even bigger one.

March 29, 2008 @ 11:53 am | Comment

Well, Bing, when you think about this, its really difficult for the media of the free world to put a positive spin on the Tibet thing isn’t it? It boils down to us seeing the occupation of Tibet as being morally unjustifiable. There used to exist the argument that the Chinese occupation was justified because it has been making the lives of Tibetans materially better (which is true, of course). But that point has been rendered moot to us by fact, made apparent by the riots and continued protests, that the Tibetans don’t want to be occupied by the PRC. We generally believe that material benefitis should not be forced on people; rather, the people should have the freedom to accept or reject them. That’s why we’re the free world, you see.

Our ideas about nations have now evolved to have a lot more to do with the partnerships between willing parties than with the inalienability of indifferent land masses. I understand that this is not how the Mainlander Chinese people see it. You believe that the occupation of Tibet is morally justified for reasons that most of us freeworlders don’t really get, but it wouldn’t matter if we did. We wouldn’t share your version of morality, and we still wouldn’t like it.

So its not so much about ‘demonising’ the PRC, or making it a pariah. We just have different ideas about right and wrong. Here’s an analogy. We are all live in a village, right? One guy in the village disciplines his wife with willow switch on a regular basis. He thinks that this is perfectly acceptable and necessary to keep his household in order. A bunch of us in the village think that beating your wife is bad; morally unjustifable. We aren’t brave or idealistic enough to do anything about it (yet), but when we tell each other about how we heard the man’s wife sobbing in the night, we can’t help but put a rather negative spin on it.

So bottom line is that the Mainland Chinese and the Freeworlders have, by and large, divergent ideas about right and wrong, and it’s next to impossible to avoid expressing these biases when reporting the events in question. So, when and if we read each other’s media, we just have to be prepared to swallow the cultural differences that make up the foundation of what we write.

March 29, 2008 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

Thinking about it, the obvious bias of my analogy undermines my point, so let’s provide you with another one. Say the man, instead of beating his wife, is living with his gay lover (in a perfectly non-violent relationship) and a bunch of us in the village are evangelical Christians.

March 29, 2008 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

CNN is coming out to defend itself. Interesting!
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/28/tibet.statement/

Jeremiah, in your write-up, you certainly missed an important point. A lot of backlash against western media is done by oversea young chinese. Those people probably does not like CCP that much. But western media certainly force them to side with CCP.

March 29, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Comment

Can’t be bothered to sign in to the Telegraph to post there, so TPD gets this.
http://tinyurl.com/2c2pf7
Richard Spencer asks what are all those angry Chinese people angry about? A couple of genuine picture errors, and perhaps a genuine issue of timing that CCT points out under Richard’s post.
But I want to suggest something that might seem a bit offensive: perhaps Chinese people just aren’t very good at reading the media.
Chinese media present things in black and white. The good guys, the bad guys, 爱憎分明. The western media often doesn’t; in fact, “balance” is pursued like a holy grail sometimes. In the case of the Tibet riots, it looks like a classic black/white story. Tibetans rioted, killed innocent people, the Chinese security forces acted with a lot of restraint. The western media did not paint the Tibetans as the bad guys, and so to someone used to the black/white approach, the western media *must be* saying that China is the bad guy. I don’t think they did, but then I only read a small selection of very sensible papers, so I could be wrong.

And for people like Bing – it’s cool that you come and comment and try to explain your views here. But you need to understand how far apart we are on this subject. I have no idea what you’re talking about, and here’s why: if Northern Ireland wanted to secede (I’m British, English), I’d be cool with that. There was a whole terrorist campaign and occupation, because some Northern Irish people did. The majority in NI didn’t, so Britain felt a duty to retain NI and to protect its citizens. Most British people basically support the course they took. But we also understand where the IRA were coming from, originally. And a lot of people feel, like me, that if a majority in NI wanted to go and join Ireland, we should let them.
So my question to you is: why are you so insistent on keeping hold of Tibet? Why is it a big issue?

March 29, 2008 @ 3:31 pm | Comment

@Bing
“CCP has made a big mistake handling this event and restarting talks with DL now will only be an even bigger one.”

Au contraire, even if “real” conversations with DL in the end failed complitely. Nothing could send a greater sign of maturity and responsibility of China to the rest of the world than that.

But I fear, there is still a long way for China to go. Odd for a +3000 culture and still so much to learn…
You must learn to leave your emotional nationalism behind you, and stop seen enemies, conspiracies and racism behind each corner.
In the end, the emotional responses of China and some Chinese are undermining the moderate image their government wants to show.

March 29, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

I found Richard Spencer’s article to be extremely interesting. I think we are seeing a lot of projection in all the complaints of Western media bias toward the Tibet issue. There’s a lot of straw-man-type suggestions that foreign reporters are portraying the Tibetans as peaceful demonstrators and the Chinese as cruel oppressors, but the coverage I’ve seen in the mass media has been as fair as can be expected, considering they aren’t allowed to report from Tibet. All the major media made it clear the Tibetans were rioting and attacking Chinese. Spencer successfully debunks the now famous “anti-cnn” site (which is very slick).

If you really want to talk about media bias, then tell your government to stop suppressing media coverage and let the story be told with transparency.

The one point on which I have seen expat and Chinese bloggers agree is the outrageous stupidity and obtuseness of the CCP in the way they have (mis)handled this entire affair. The same old tired response, the same sloganeering and the same BS scapegoating. They are only adding fuel to the growing call to boycott the Olympic Games. Why don’t they do something enlighgtened and clever and really smart, like call everyone’s bluff and meet with the DL for serious talks about autonomy? Or announce there will be free and open government elections in six months and invite people to announce their candidacy? (They’d win anyway, since there’s no other party that could possibly stand up to them.) No, instead it’s the same old prickly response, blaming foreigners for not understanding China and making the DL responsible for everything. Now, I’ve seen stories about how the Chinese perhaps did at first try to exercise restraint, and maybe there is more to the story than we are hearing in the media. But by clamping down with an iron fist China leaves the rest of the world with a very bad impression, no matter how ecstatic many mainlanders seem to be about this brave show of strength and determination. It’s not brave and it’s totally self-defeating.

March 29, 2008 @ 4:42 pm | Comment

“Thinking about it, the obvious bias of my analogy undermines my point, so let’s provide you with another one. Say the man, instead of beating his wife, is living with his gay lover (in a perfectly non-violent relationship) and a bunch of us in the village are evangelical Christians.”

Good example. Because they can live peacefully with each other until some start to convert or publicly denounce or incite/encourage violence against the others from a hypocritical moral high ground.

March 29, 2008 @ 4:57 pm | Comment

“So my question to you is: why are you so insistent on keeping hold of Tibet? Why is it a big issue?”

It’s cool that you come and comment and try to explain your views here on Chinese issues. But you need to understand how far apart we are on this subject. I have no idea what you’re talking about, and here’s why:

Well I think too many others have said too too much (right or wrong) in answering your why. I just want to add one thing: it’s none of your business. Just like NI is none of our business and President Hu wouldn’t phone Gordon about NI no matter how many English or Scots have been moved there to make a majority vote for NI to remain in the UK.

Or maybe next time a bomb explodes in Belfast we should call the perpetrators peaceful protesters and support their justified cause for independence and see how your indifferent English who’d love to see NI decide their own fate react.

March 29, 2008 @ 5:18 pm | Comment

As soon as anyone starts equating Buddhist monks with members of the IRA who murdered literally hundreds, I lose all interest in reading further comments. This individual is so stuck up in his own narrow world that he cannot understand how offensive his equation is. For thirty years the mainland suffered terrorism (without having to resort to censoring news or blocking websites) while I’m sure more Tibetans have died this past fortnight than Chinese. I met a man in Belfast about ten years ago back when I was involved in cross-border relations who had been released from the Maze after having cut cut off a man’s penis and shoved it into his mouth while his wife and daughter looked on. I presume this poster has never been either to Ireland, north or south, or even in Tibet which he cares so pasionately about.

March 29, 2008 @ 5:54 pm | Comment

“As soon as anyone starts equating Buddhist monks with members of the IRA who murdered literally hundreds, I lose all interest in reading further comments.”

Yeah, equating monks who burnt down Chinese shops and led violent mobs wielding long knives and pelting stones at Chinese with members of the IRA is really offensive to you. But sorry that’s not to me or the families of those burnt to death and sorry you are so easily offended by this equation just like the Chinese netizens by those “petty and unitended” mistakes,

I presume this poster has never been either to Ireland, north or south, or even in Tibet which he cares so pasionately about.

No I haven’t. And one more thing I couldn’t care less about the Tibet in your mind. I care about China including TAR.

March 29, 2008 @ 6:15 pm | Comment

I’m sure more Tibetans have died this past fortnight than Chinese.

Yeah you are sure by what?

Suppose you were right, then what? And do you know how many of those supposed dead Tibetans are innocent civilians?

And what do you expect police to do to rioting mobs? Take their blows, stones, boiling water and whatever then smile back?

Try driving a car passing an American checkpoint ignoring warnings. Or try brandishing a knife at a Police officer in broad daylight in the UK and see what happens, bearing in mind that people do get shot for carrying a table leg there.

March 29, 2008 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

The western standpoint on the Tibet issue is simple:

The occupation is wrong, so whatever happens afterwards cannot be right either. It is a matter of original sin of the Chinese.

Right or wrong is a matter of value standard. It is subjective. It is a bit pointless to argue over it as different people may have different views based on their different values.

Media bias, on the other hand, is reasonably easier to measure. Look at what have been reported and what have been known so far and what is the average view of the people (all the people).

March 29, 2008 @ 7:03 pm | Comment

Steve,

You raise a very good point. I don’t think the fenqing are so angry because they automatically or naturally support the CCP, but rather the educational and information environment in China, which is in no small part a factor of CCP policies, does create one of the conditions for the emergence of this sort of nationalism.

As for the reaction of those who consider themselves ethnic Chinese but were either born, predominantly raised, or educated in countries other than the PRC, well that’s a whole other set of issues, outside the intended scope of my inquiry, but certainly well worth exploring.

Most (all?) of our more nationalist commenters here at TPD fall into this latter category, so perhaps they can share their insights.

March 29, 2008 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

“Au contraire, even if “real” conversations with DL in the end failed complitely. Nothing could send a greater sign of maturity and responsibility of China to the rest of the world than that.”

With this logic, both Israelis and Palestinians are truly mature and responsible in handling their grievances.

“But I fear, there is still a long way for China to go. Odd for a +3000 culture and still so much to learn…”

Talk about teaching old dog new tricks.

“You must learn to leave your emotional nationalism behind you, and stop seen enemies, conspiracies and racism behind each corner.”

Seeing or not depends on how you define enemies, conspiracies and racism and on which side you are with.

And we would have happily forgotten all about them if only they hadn’t done any harm to us.

In addition it’s no longer just an issue of nationalism but also of Chinese as individuals who have been insulted by the unfair treatment of the self-righteous West as a whole.

March 29, 2008 @ 8:07 pm | Comment

China might have more success integrating Tibet if it was honest enough to acknowledge the fact that China’s relationship with Tibet is an imperial one. Empires generally only required their subjects to pay tribute, acknowledge the emperor and not rebel. They didn’t try to force their subjects to pretend that they are all members of a single harmonious nation-state. The Qing emperor probably didn’t care whether Tibetans thought of themselves as Chinese or not. Nor would his administrators have bothered with “patriotic education”.

Now that the CCP have inherited what is left of the Qing empire, perhaps they would have more success if they acknowledged that that is what China is? Rather than trying to force Tibetans and everyone else into a single Han Chinese cultural mould, with nationalism / socialism the official state religion and all others either controlled or suppressed, why not let regions such as Tibet and Xinjiang practise their beliefs or culture in whatever way they want, providing they render unto Caesar? At least there would be one fewer cause for unrest.

March 29, 2008 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

“With this logic, both Israelis and Palestinians are truly mature and responsible in handling their grievances.”

Well. I do no t see your logic here. Both sides has been able to talk, even though the differences and violence. And some even advances have been made.
And by the way. We are talking about China, try not to deflect the issue. Besides both issues are hard to compare.
I propose a deal. We send old tibetans+DL to Gaza and then send all Gazans+Hamas to Tibet. What do you think? ;-)

“Talk about teaching old dog new tricks”
Even old dogs must learn new tricks from time to time. Have china not being doing that lately…

“And we would have happily forgotten all about them if only they hadn’t done any harm to us.”
No one asking you to forget old grievances, but brooding constantly on them is not good for anyones psychological health. And allow the evil of the past to cast a shadow in the present and even control your decisions for the future is not a good policy.
Have you ever heard of the Sicilian families who continue killing each other for a grievance that happened hundred years ago and no one remember exactly what happened?

“Chinese as individuals who have been insulted by the unfair treatment of the self-righteous West as a whole.”
Could you specify those insults?

March 29, 2008 @ 8:36 pm | Comment

“Chinese as individuals who have been insulted by the unfair treatment of the self-righteous West as a whole.”

Let me see. So far we have been called:
biased, hypocrites, racist, self righteous, arrogant, paranoid, insulters, etc.

And no one so far, has seethed against you, rather encourage you to express your own opinions.

Do not take insult so easily or take refuge behind old grievances. Try to bridge the differences in our views. That is the meaning of this posts.

March 29, 2008 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

Could you specify those insults?

Every piece of reporting on the riots that exaggerates, hearsays or even makes up the Tibetan hellish treatment from China while ignoring, downplaying or distorting the sufferings of Chinese, is an insult to us. The following is what I posted but got rejected by BBC editor Jon Williams’ blog:

Responding to: The BBC has no agenda – our job is to report all sides of the story. Which is precisely why we want to be allowed into Tibet.

While BBC and other western media are certainly much better than their Chinese counterparts in reporting, you are no different when it comes to manipulation and provocation, for your own course.

What you report matters, so does what you don’t.

Why not show the picture of Tibetan mob wielding long knives charging at a Chinese lying on the ground?

What about reporting the five young girls including a Tibetan who died when their shop was set on fire?

You are reporting this event as a justified peaceful uprising met with a violent crackdown, while we think it a violent rioting spree being tackled by the government with maximum restraint (Which I’m not happy about).

No one is absolutely objective and you don’t even have to be objective at all, just don’t pretend you are when you aren’t.

March 29, 2008 @ 8:54 pm | Comment

“What about reporting the five young girls including a Tibetan who died when their shop was set on fire?”

http://tinyurl.com/36ra5c

It is in the the second post. Thought you read it already.

March 29, 2008 @ 9:10 pm | Comment

@Bing
So shout aloud and be biased as you like, Tibet is and will always be part of China no matter what it was before (and no matter how many times you say “Tibet was not, is not and will never be …”), and no matter what happens now or tomorrow, in China or Europe.

CCP has made a big mistake handling this event and restarting talks with DL now will only be an even bigger one.

At the rate the CCP is handling the Tibet issue, it would only harm the interests of the Chinese nation further. Look at the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, how many times can you solve the problem by just rolling out columns of tanks? 1956? Yes. 1968. Yes? but 1989? No. The problem with the CCP is that the only thing they could think of is control and domination. Ethnic conflicts cannot be solved with an iron fist all the time. Worse still, it could only build up tensions for the future.

The CCP would do good if they use Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s principle of “Five Races Under One Union” towards Tibet. Let the Tibetans run their own place, have their own internal democracy and practice their own beliefs or even fly their own flag. Just retain foreign policy and national defence under the central government. I pretty much agreed about Richard’s point that the CCP just doesn’t learn. It was not creative and use the same old blunt tricks which only worsened the matter in Tibet.

March 29, 2008 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

“It is in the the second post. Thought you read it already.”

So it got some coverage on 28th. But it doesn’t really matter now in that people have already started talking about biased western media.

What is telling is the fact that those deaths have been known since the beginning and by no means have less credibility than the claimed Tibetan deaths by Tibetan exiles and they were just completely ignored.

I was also addressing specifically the journalism of BBC which is far from their claimed “report all sides of the story”, as always when it comes to China.

March 29, 2008 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

@sp
“It was not creative and use the same old blunt tricks which only worsened the matter in Tibet.”

Still… they were not as blunt as they could be. Rather than simply sending T65 tanks they are sending riot police and light armored vehicles. All in all China is more open today than before, and crisis management has improved.

On the Government side. It will be interesting to know what is going on in government high levels. Surely there are some interesting discussions right now.

From my point of view. I think that for China a window of opportunity is still open to find a better handling of this problem.
If they just could handle it properly it would do wonders to Chinas image (and business..).
But maybe I am just naive… who knows.

March 29, 2008 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

A few comments:

* If you want more refined, and less Communist vestigial propaganda type of media covering the Chinese viewpoints, you will have to try from places such as online news outlets and Phoenix Television. The Chinese media can’t possibly be unbiased — China has a dog in this fight. This brings up a side question: why Al Jazeera English can never, despite many tries, to gain a foothold in mainstream cable/satellite providers in the US? The simple answer is when a nation’s core interest is at risk, damn the free press.

Interestingly probably the most accurate and unbiased coverage on the Tibet issue is from Al Jazeera. Quality-wise, they put mainstream Western news coverage to shame.

* If I was the authority, I would not want journalists, foreign or domestic, to go to Lhasa until I had full control of the streets.

* In my younger days, I spent a lot of time in American inner city because of a girl I dated. There were many angry young black men there. Other than they weren’t jamming online forums, I can’t tell any meaningful difference between them and fenqing. There are quite some fenqing among those post-1st generation Chinese immigrants who based on your theory are not lacking variety of information sources. In the Internet age with the sophisticated methods of accessing otherwise forbidden information, I think fenqing are angry not because they don’t get to see your points among various others’, they are angry because they feel disenfranchised.

March 29, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Comment

Hello folks,

I have asked the following question in the other post. So far, I haven’t received any response. I would like to hear people’s view on it, particularly people who are pro-TI, so as to verify the claim. Thank you.

“The DL has been using the following statement for a good while to gain international support, i.e. he does not seek Tibet independence but autonomy, real autonomy, which he terms “the middel way”. On the basis of the above, the Chinese government has been widely critisized for not talking to the DL.

A piece of information from XinHua after interviewing an “Tibetan issue expert” from the Chinese Social Science Academy.

The expert made the following comment about the DL’s “middle way”, which he basically classifies as seeking Tibet independence of every bit but name. Here is what he said about the conditions set up by the DL in his “middle way”.

1. The DL insists that Tibet (not TAR, the DL apparently has his own interpretation of what his “Tibet” means, see No.4 below), historically and culturally, has been an independent nation, has never been part of China.
2. The DL insists that all Chinese military and military facilities be removed from Tibet. The status of Tibet is to be discussed by a international conference. Tibet becomes a “peaceful region” and a “buffer zone”.
3. The DL insists that Tibet can establish diplomatic relations with other nations and international organisations.
4. The DL insists that the autonomous Tibet include TAR and ethnic Tibetan areas from four other Chinese provinces, the Greater Tibet with an approximately 240km2 territory. In other words, the administrative structures of those parts of the four provinces will be reorganised by the DL. The DL will be in charge of the Greater Tibet affairs.
5. The DL insists that any non-Tibetan inhabitants within the Greater Tibet region be removed.

Does the above reflect the key points of the DL’s “middle way” in its current setting? ”

March 29, 2008 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

“* If I was the authority, I would not want journalists, foreign or domestic, to go to Lhasa until I had full control of the streets”
Maybe you are right. But… embedding journalist with the anti-riot units, maybe even using mixed journalist teams chinese+foreign could have been a very smart move to appease critics.

“why Al Jazeera English can never, despite many tries, to gain a foothold in mainstream cable/satellite providers in the US?”
I have Al Jazeera English at home :-) Use to view them, specially on middle east critical issues.
They have improved a lot during the last years. Their journalism today is quite good. Beats CNN some times hands down.

Any Al Jazeera English equivalent from China planed in the future? Could be a great idea.
Wonder why they did not used O.G to launch such a project.
I have DW (Deutsche Welle) BBCnews, CNN, Al Jaazera (English) on Sat. But cannot find any Chinese (english) sat channel here. Curious, the voice of +1.6 people (aprox..) is missing!!

March 29, 2008 @ 10:17 pm | Comment

Have even Foxnews here…. yuk! :-P

March 29, 2008 @ 10:21 pm | Comment

Thanks Bing, but again, I don’t know what you mean.

“it’s none of your business.”

News organisations cover the news everywhere. Do you think that CNN should not be allowed to cover what happens in China? Similarly, do you think Xinhua should not be allowed to cover what goes on in Northern Ireland? Again, I can’t relate how you feel to what I would feel if Xinhua published a slanted report on NI. I wouldn’t be bothered. I might be interested; I might hope that other news sources would provide balance. But basically, I wouldn’t be fussed.

And as for random chat in the pub – which is basically what blogs are – I wouldn’t even bat an eyelid. Tibet is nothing to do with me (I’ve never been, don’t have much interest in the place; the same is true of NI), but if I occasionally make some (ill-informed) comments, what does it matter? As Keir said, I bet Tibet isn’t much to do with you, either.

So I can’t get what you’re proposing. News blackouts? (You seem to have support in high places on that one!) Censorship of anyone who’s never been to Tibet, so they’re not even allowed to say the word? Neither of these are a) possible or b) desirable.

On to a couple of cases that are genuine interference: I read that the US government sent over a “Tibet policy” in 2003. Now that is hubris, and deserves whatever smackdown China chooses to give. And the Dalai Lama’s proposals were also pretty radical – demanding complete demilitarization as a starting point is a toughie. It should be noted that this was 20 years ago. He has since indicated great willingness to talk about a gradual reduction in militarization.

March 29, 2008 @ 10:55 pm | Comment

@Phil

“It’s none of your business”, an answer to why China holds on to Tibet.

March 29, 2008 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

Bing, I know you’re a smart guy, but you sound like a parrot of CCP talking points on this topic.

I do agree with you that there is bias among most westerners when it comes to Tibet. They often see things in black and white, more specifically, “Dalai Lama good, China bad.” There is little understanding of what Tibet was and is. Then again, the bias among the Chinese is as bad or worse, manifesting itself in perpetual amazement over the lack of appreciation of the “liberation” of the Tibetans and the improvement of infrastructure, the end of serfdom, etc.

However, I am generally impressed with the way the foreign correspondents here have covered it, and I see relatively little media bias among them – most of them have lived and worked here for some time, and they do not describe Tibet as a Lost Horizon Shangrila, nor did they understate or cover up the awful violence perpetrated against the Han Chinese on March 14. So I have one favor: Be specific and let us know what is the media bias you are referring to? Where is it? (I’ve seen some of it myself, almost exclusively in self-righteous opinion pieces by Westerners who have never been to China and betray an embarrassing ignorance; I haven’t seen it from the foreign press corps reporting from within China.)

Another example of Western bias when it comes to Tibet that I do acknowledge is the obsession with Tibet compared with other regions/peoples in China oppressed over the decades by the CCP. These places don’t have a charismatic and semi-mystical spokesperson pleading their cause from India to Western audiences, nor do they have Richard Gere generating funds for them. The tentacles of China’s tyranny extend further than Tibet, yet it is Tibet that has captured the Western imagination, thanks in large part to ignorance. and a sophisticated awareness campaign. And again, the counterpart is the ignorance here in China when it comes to just how many Tibetans resent their liberation and why and how deep this resentment goes.

cc, no one is responding to your question because it is too long-winded and it seems you are trying to set a trap. We aren’t talking here about whether the Dalia Lama is good or bad, right or wrong. We’re talking about perceived media bias on the issue of Tibet.

March 29, 2008 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

@Bing

Every piece of reporting on the riots that exaggerates, hearsays or even makes up the Tibetan hellish treatment from China while ignoring, downplaying or distorting the sufferings of Chinese, is an insult to us.

I have no intention to argue with you about anything back and forth, because we stand too far apart on this. But if you cannot make a difference between criticism directed against your country and criticism directed against you as a person, then there is something wrong with you and it will not strengthen your cause.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:15 am | Comment

Amban

But if you cannot make a difference between criticism directed against your country and criticism directed against you as a person, then there is something wrong with you and it will not strengthen your cause.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Amban

i know you are a smart guy, but you don’t know the situation of chinese who live overseas, most westerners are not so familiar with the situation in china or know nothing about chinese history.

i live in UK now, at least i know many many chinese here feel very stressful, we face lots of interrogation and insult every day in person, maybe not so harsh, but absolutely not friendly, they keep criticise not only chinese government, but also chinese and everything from china, its annoying and stressful. and not fair for us living here, affect our way of living, even might lose job opportunity, although you can not deny most chinese work and study hard, not so cold with people.

i am not sure if you guys live in china have any of these kinds of problems when something like human right abuse happened to your country, like Guantanamo Bay detention camp human right abuse, are there many chinese critise and interrogate or mixed up with personal attack to you??

its lot of stress.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:26 am | Comment

Richard,

If this is the way you see it, so be it.

I am simply confirming a few points, key points in my opinion, in relation to what the DL demands for its version of autonomy (because I don’t think a lot of people who participate in the discussion of the Tibet issue have actually known them).

Well, if people (including you) who are so eager to argue over a lot of subjective issues over and over again (definitely no conclusion/agreement could be made) but have no interest in discussing a few fundamental issues regarding TI that, again in my opinion, have profound impact on searching for a solution to the problem, then again, so be it. You are interested in arguing per se. I understand.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:46 am | Comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKmuYTSubAY

check this personal attack in public

March 30, 2008 @ 12:47 am | Comment

@ukchinese

Umm. I know quite a few Chinese who live abroad and they do not get insulted on a day-to-day basis. But I guess the experience may vary from place to place.

I just wanted to ask you, do you have any idea what it is like to be stared at wherever you go, 24/7? Do you know what it is like to enter a store or a train station and immediately become the topic of conversation of the people around you? Do you what it is like to have people yelling halooooo at the top of their voices as they pass by? Or do you have any idea what it is like to live in a country, where you sometime have to declare your nationality (or lie about it) to complete strangers at a daily basis, because that country happens to have some issue with some other country. Well, that is pretty much what every foreigner in China have to put up with.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:52 am | Comment

@richard

Be specific and let us know what is the media bias you are referring to? Where is it?

In one of my previous posts concerning BBC coverage of Tibet events, you could see what sort of the biased reporting I’m referring to here.

I wish I could list all the articles/blogs that I have read in the last two weeks from various sources (BBC, Guardian, CNN, and many others from Canada, USA and European countries) and that fell into this category. But I’m afraid I can’t. I check western media on Google news and read everything I’m interested in and quickly forget where I read it or who wrote it. I’m not a professional writer/journalist or a student with plenty of time, nor am I paid to do what I’m doing now so please bear with me on that.

A few more balanced views may have started to emerge now but that can’t negate the damage already done to China and Chinese in whatever forms.

I don’t have much recollection from what exactly I have read , heard and watched from those media. But I’m aware that until very recently there had not been reporting of the five girls’ deaths in mainstream media like BBC, and pictures like mobs wielding long knives were basically inundated by dodged ones with misleading captions or misplaced contexts.

Bias (is it really just bias?) like that may look trivial compared to what is being done by Chinese government controlled media. But as I mentioned earlier, western media have the power to make things much worse and with their history of anti-Chinese propaganda (right or wrong) on various issues such as Taiwan (almost solved now), Xinjiang, Sudan, CO2 emission, Chinese imports, immigration…, the bias represented by those “seemingly trivial” omissions, misleadings, false allegations, exaggeration, hearsays, is stoking a fire that has already been rampaging for years.

And the impact and thus resulting damage of this bias, however trivial, is also in fact being greatly magnified by their generous coverage.

Anyway, I’m not even sure what you are trying to disagree with me on this bias anymore. Are you trying to say that there is no bias in Western media, or that Media bias and manipulation always exists and surely such bias is not just directed on China?

I’m not really angry with the bias itself which many Chinese have learned to get used to. It’s once again the damage it has done over the years and especially this time to China and Chinese in general.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:54 am | Comment

@cc

I think it’s a moot point to debate on what DL really wants, at least to me as a Chinese.

It’s non-debatable.

Tibet is part of China and even if DL had only claimed 1/1000 of Tibet for the kind of autonomy he is asking for, there would be no deal.

It’s really not important of what DL or Tibetan exiles, or whoever else want or claim.

March 30, 2008 @ 1:11 am | Comment

@uk

“check this personal attack in public”

Well. That was rude. But that is to expected on any kind of conflict here. Maybe that is still unusual in China. You could find similar protest almost about anything, animal protection, pelts, pollution, etc.

Do not take it just as anything personal against China or Chinese.
If it comfort you, these TB protester may have done more harm to themselves in this case than to anyone else.

I was attended once Mrs Merkel (German Chancellor) election meeting once, because I wanted to hear her, but was impossible with all the groups who were there protesting against some of her policies or her past as researcher because she used guinea pigs in the laboratory.
And that was far more rude than what I have seen in you video.

Maybe some Chinese find it hard to get used to some of the “crazyness” we are used to here.

March 30, 2008 @ 1:38 am | Comment

Any Al Jazeera English equivalent from China planed in the future? Could be a great idea.
Wonder why they did not used O.G to launch such a project.
I have DW (Deutsche Welle) BBCnews, CNN, Al Jaazera (English) on Sat. But cannot find any Chinese (english) sat channel here. Curious, the voice of +1.6 people (aprox..) is missing!!

If by “they” you meant the Chinese government, I just don’t think they are cosmopolitan enough to pull that off, at least not the current generation. It surely sounds like an interesting project… For what is worth, there is an English CCTV channel. But its news production quality is subpar, to say the least. This will have to wait until that 23-yo owner of anti-cnn.com grows richer and more mature to pull that off. Kidding aside, the best one to start such a project isn’t government officials, but rather a Chinese Rupert Murdoch.

The other way to look at it, as much as English is the de facto international language, Chinese is the most popular language in the world. So the Chinese Rupert Murdoch will be less inclined to invest the resources in an English outfit than a middle eastern media tycoon. The voice isn’t missing per se, but rather can’t be heard by those who can’t speak Chinese.

March 30, 2008 @ 1:54 am | Comment

@cc

Ok. I will give it a try. But I am not an expert in this issue.

1) As far as I know the DL is not asking for independence. What he said 20 years ago I do not know.
2)My information here is that he wants “real” autonomy within China. Foreign and Defense issues are Beijing responsibility
3)As said. Foreign policy remains Beijing responsibility. Maybe he refers to not be controlled permanently by Beijing with his personal/religious relationships. In case of conflict should not be hard to discuss any problem beforehand
4) Anyone with a inch of intelligence would see that any regional change would be impossible. Would be very much surprised if DL want to do this
5) Find it hard to believe that also. I considerer more accurate that Tibetans want to have at least say over immigration to prevent to be overflowed by Han Chinese or have major economy activities dominated by them. Far from an “ethnic cleasing”

Could you provide the sources where you got these list of DL request? I would like very much to know.

Or better. Why not ask directly these question direclty Just send a delegation and find out in what you agree or not.
Maybe there are less disagreements than you think.

March 30, 2008 @ 1:55 am | Comment

@bing

“It’s really not important of what DL or Tibetan exiles, or whoever else want or claim.”
Regrettably I must said, that with this kind of “emotional nationalism” China would be shooting herself on the foot.

Much more could be gain with a more thoughtful curse of action. Nothing about China integrity would be lost. And image of China could be very much improved. You may be not aware of the benefits that you would miss.

March 30, 2008 @ 2:01 am | Comment

@jxie
“The other way to look at it, as much as English is the de facto international language, Chinese is the most popular language in the world.”

Well, that is the point. Although Chinese is quite popular it is not an international language outside China or Chinese communities.
Outside a Chinese environment very few people do speak it, read, or write it… fluently enough.

For example Arabic is quite popular, spoken by more than 450 million people and nevertheless the have Al Jazzera in English.

Here in Europe there are from time to time also discussions about the best intercommunication language to be used. I remember the Germans said that we should use German…. I can assure you that no one is going to learn German instead of English as “lingua franca”….
I guarantee you that if the Turkey (70 million) finally enters the EU no one is going to use Turkish as lingua franca.
There even was in Europe a proposition even to use Latin…. no way!!

Given the entrepreneurship of Chinese businessmen I would be surprised if no one is toying with this idea already.

Get some acquiescence from the government, maybe set up a joint venture with some big media outside China, and presto!!
It could do wonders to raise awareness of China brand names among general public here, and also give access to China firms to other markets, instead of being mere cheap producers or other firms products.
And last but not least promoting Chinese views, culture and showing the fast changes in its society.
Good also to promote some cosmopolitanism to some officials in the government too…..

March 30, 2008 @ 2:24 am | Comment

I just wanted to ask you, do you have any idea what it is like to be stared at wherever you go, 24/7? Do you know what it is like to enter a store or a train station and immediately become the topic of conversation of the people around you?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

to Amban

show me any evidence that you had been attacked and treated like the chinese girl just doing a commerical job in germany on youtube, evidence evidence evidence like the video on youtube? or anyone can provide this kind of evidence, that chinese people treat you peronally so aggressive!

March 30, 2008 @ 2:51 am | Comment

@ukchinese

show me any evidence that you had been attacked and treated like the chinese girl just doing a commerical job in germany

Well it was a stupid job on that video, let’s agree on that. But if you put yourself in the position of representing your country on a stage, these kind of things can happen.

I don’t want to get involved in a youtube pasting war, but you ask any foreigner about the behaviors I mentioned above and many of them would tell you that they have similar experiences.

But if you want “evidence”, take a look at this, I have experienced worse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH5kVkSYlmc

Or this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qkTLBsHgU0

March 30, 2008 @ 3:50 am | Comment

Or what about this. Proudly pasted by a soccer fan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKgo8m1OV1M

…and this happens in the country that will organize the Olympics.

March 30, 2008 @ 4:11 am | Comment

@Raj

ukchinese is quoting me, and I finished my comment:

Well, that is pretty much what every foreigner in China have to put up with.

March 30, 2008 @ 4:41 am | Comment

Ok, thanks for clarifying.

March 30, 2008 @ 7:05 am | Comment

@ Richard

So if there is bias among most westerners when it comes to Tibet, what is the source of this bias? I bet it’s not from the Chinese propaganda. How did the people who wrote those self-righteous opinion pieces/letters get their information on Tibet? A fair media is not likely to generate a misinformed public.

Both WSJ and NYT did not have reporters in Lasha when the riot broke out. However, WSJ had at least tried to provide a fair coverage from both sides, While NYT basically provided rumors and parroted Tibet exile government. China’s attempt to block foreign media access is despicable, but that’s not an excuse to lower journalistic standard.

March 30, 2008 @ 7:35 am | Comment

A fair media is not likely to generate a misinformed public.

That’s a ludicrous statement! The media in Europe and North America can’t stop people being stupid and/or naive because it is not a unified body. It takes one publication to report something inaccurate to misinform people.

As has been said, if China wanted accurate reporting it should have let journalists in. That it kept them out meant they had to rely on expat Tibetan groups, e-mails, etc. The media won’t be silenced just because a government tries to cut off first-hand reporting.

March 30, 2008 @ 8:03 am | Comment

@CC

I just want to add one thing: it’s none of your business.

You know what? I say it’s none of your business.

See how easy that was, to just declare that something none of your business?

Leave Tibet alone.

March 30, 2008 @ 8:18 am | Comment

Whoops, sorry — my last post was @ bing

my next post is going to be at @ cc

March 30, 2008 @ 8:22 am | Comment

There is no media bias in this pic:

w.strategypage.com/militaryforums/69-30601.aspx

March 30, 2008 @ 8:47 am | Comment

@CC

I don’t think that those points accurately reflect the Dalai Lama’s positions. They do bear a vague resemblance, but they seem to have been to have been subtlely altered or misinterpreted. Moreover, it’s clear that the Dalai Lama’s suggestions are intended to be the starting point of a negotiation. The purpose of a negotiation is for the parties to reach a point somewhere in between their initial proposals.

Some information about the “middle way” proposal directly from the TGIE can be found here: http://www.tibet.net/en/diir/sino/std/imwa.html. I will quote in full the section titled “Important Components of the Middle-Way Approach”:

1. Without seeking independence for Tibet, the Central Tibetan Administration strives for the creation of a political entity comprising the three traditional provinces of Tibet;
2. Such an entity should enjoy a status of genuine national regional autonomy;
3. This autonomy should be governed by the popularly-elected legislature and executive through a democratic process and should have an independent judicial system;
4. As soon as the above status is agreed upon by the Chinese government, Tibet would not seek separation from, and remain within, the Peopleïž’s Republic of China;
5. Until the time Tibet is transformed into a zone of peace and non-violence, the Chinese government can keep a limited number of armed forces in Tibet for its protection;
6. The Central Government of the Peopleïž’s Republic of China has the responsibility for the political aspects of Tibetïž’s international relations and defence, whereas the Tibetan people should manage all other affairs pertaining to Tibet, such as religion and culture, education, economy, health, ecological and environmental protection;
7. The Chinese government should stop its policy of human rights violations in Tibet and the transfer of Chinese population into Tibetan areas;
8. To resolve the issue of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama shall take the main responsibility of sincerely pursuing negotiations and reconciliation with the Chinese government.

Now, let’s see how this compares to the description given by Xinhua’s Tibet issue expert:

1. The DL insists that Tibet (not TAR, the DL apparently has his own interpretation of what his “Tibet” means, see No.4 below), historically and culturally, has been an independent nation, has never been part of China.

This is a correct description of the Dalai Lama’s position, but it is a historical issue — I don’t understand why that should make negotiations about the future impossible.

2. The DL insists that all Chinese military and military facilities be removed from Tibet. The status of Tibet is to be discussed by a international conference. Tibet becomes a “peaceful region” and a “buffer zone”.

This is a quite a bit different than what the Dalai Lama proposes, at least regarding the short term. The TGIE website clearly says that some Chinese troops will remain in Tibet until Tibet actually becomes peaceful and non-violent at some timein the future.

3. The DL insists that Tibet can establish diplomatic relations with other nations and international organisations.

This is false. The TGIE website says that “the Central Government of the Peopleïž’s Republic of China has the responsibility for the political aspects of Tibetïž’s international relations and defence”.

4. The DL insists that the autonomous Tibet include TAR and ethnic Tibetan areas from four other Chinese provinces, the Greater Tibet with an approximately 240km2 territory. In other words, the administrative structures of those parts of the four provinces will be reorganised by the DL. The DL will be in charge of the Greater Tibet affairs.

This is true, except that the Dalai Lama proposes a democratic government, rather than a government in which the Dalai Lama is in charge (also, I’m not sure what the exact figure for square kilometers is). “The three traditional provinces of Tibet” means Ãœ-Tsang, Kham, and Amdo. The eastern half of Kham is in Sichuan province and most of Amdo is in Qinghai province. Please note that the PRC government has already designated the traditional Tibetan areas outside of the TAR as autonomous prefectures or counties, and most of these areas apparently still have primarily Tibetan populations. So, this idea of a broader definition of Tibet matches the reality on the ground pretty well. Nevertheless, it is a dramatic political demand.

5. The DL insists that any non-Tibetan inhabitants within the Greater Tibet region be removed.

I doubt very much that this is accurate. The TGIE’s statement does say that they want to stop “the transfer of Chinese population into Tibetan areas”, but this is referring to additional movement of people into Tibet, not to people who are already there.

You may wish to consider the question of why someone would want to obscure the truth about what the Dalai Lama and his side are suggesting.

March 30, 2008 @ 8:48 am | Comment

@ ecodelta

Although it might seem odd, the Dalai Lama has consistently advocated a definition of “Tibet” which includes a great deal more than just the TAR. Patrick French and others have argued that he is under a lot of pressure from some of his advisors and the exile community not to compromise on this issue. Nevertheless, it makes negotiations immensely more difficult, and I don’t see how anything will ever be agreed on that includes significant changes to the TAR’s borders.

March 30, 2008 @ 8:54 am | Comment

Otto Kerner,

Thanks for collecting the information. The source I quoted is not a primary one. It was written by a journalist from Xinhua in a news report, who, preassumably, interviewed a Tibet expert (a Tibetan himself) in the Chinese Social Science Academy.

March 30, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Comment

It takes one publication to report something inaccurate to misinform people.

Well I am so glad the whole world hasn’t been totally misled by the China Daily yet. And obviously all the misinformation about Iraq had WMD came from Fox News.

March 30, 2008 @ 9:58 am | Comment

CLC you are being way too simplistic. The Western media may have been fooled at first about the Iraq WMDs, but do you know the NYT did a front-page mea culpa about it, explaining why they got the story wrong and apologizing for it? The Western media often sucks (although the phrase itself is rather meaningless, since there are so many components to “Western media”). Fox News stands apart because it is not a news channel, it is a Republican Party channel and everyone knows it. They truly are the equivalent of China Daily, at least in terms of its allegiance.

You asked how the West got its perceptions of Tibet. It is not from the foreign correspondents in Beijing. (And that’s where most of them are in China.) It’s from the PR campaigns of Free Tibet, a number of movies and the excellent communications efforts of the Dalai Lama. I have asked repeatedly for examples of the foreign correspondents’ bias and misrepresentations and have been greeted with radio silence.

Thanks Otto. cc is a clever guy and you did a fine job fisking him.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

@Richard

Here is a recent report from WSJ

The government has acknowledged detaining hundreds of people since protests began, and police have also acknowledged shooting protesters in the unrest, which has since spread throughout heavily Tibetan settlements across western China. The areas are now filled with armed police to quell further demonstrations.

Casualty figures, meanwhile, remain in dispute — the Chinese government has reported that 22 died in the protests, but Tibetan exiles have counted 140 deaths.

I think most common readers would interpret this as Chinese government shot death at least 22 protesters, may be 140. However, the real Chinese side story is that most of those 22 were killed by rioters/protesters.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

Can you give me the link please? And I totally disagree – I would not assume the 22 were shot to death by the Chinese. Not at all. Is that truly the very best example you can find? If so, your argument has very weak legs. And the link is important so we can see the context, and determine whether anything was said before or after that clarifies the numbers.

Out to lunch, back later…

March 30, 2008 @ 12:23 pm | Comment

Here is the link

That’s not the best example I can find. As I said, WSJ has actually a relative balanced coverage on this. I cited this example simple because that is just published on WSJ (online).

March 30, 2008 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

Yes, not all people would assume the 22 were shot to death by the Chinese. However, the point is the Chinese number and the Tibetan number meant totally different things. And it was pretty slick to mix those two together without any clarification before or after. And please let me know if I missed anything after you read the whole article.

March 30, 2008 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

The Western media may have been fooled at first about the Iraq WMDs, but do you know the NYT did a front-page mea culpa about it, explaining why they got the story wrong and apologizing for it?

Yes, NYT did a Mea Culpa, but the story apparently did not end there. Three years after, in 2006, 50% Americans believed Iraq had WMD, up from previous year’s 36%.

March 30, 2008 @ 1:00 pm | Comment

How about a caption contest?

http://i29.tinypic.com/etdys7.jpg

March 30, 2008 @ 1:11 pm | Comment

“Is that truly the very best example you can find? If so, your argument has very weak legs. And the link is important so we can see the context, and determine whether anything was said before or after that clarifies the numbers.”

Richard, in public opinion, perception is everything. Bottom line is that, most chinese think western media is biased. This perception is supported by a couple evidence shown at anti-ccn.com website. That is enough.

Look, lots of oversea chinese who do not particularly like CCP share the same view. The western media certainly pushed a lot of Chinese to CCP side. Don’t you think western media should reflect on that a little bit?

Without sympathy from Chinese, what can Dalai achieve? Can NATO bomb China like Serbia?

March 30, 2008 @ 2:04 pm | Comment

Here is a parade in Canada protesting western media bias.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B7YgNYuGzw&eurl

The last time so many oversea chinese had this big parade is 19 years ago protesting CCP. In a sense, CCP owes western media a big thanks!

March 30, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Comment

Actually steve, the few people from China with whom I have spoken about this subject think anti-cnn.com is a joke (not in the literal, but in the figurative sense). A sign of the sad state of emotionalized blindness not only within China, but also the broader overseas community. I also know a few people who sadly would take it at face value. Nevertheless, unlike in China, where politically incorrect websites are blocked, we all have access to it here. Which of course, makes the premises of the website itself a complete and utter joke: “oh westerners deceived by the evil CNN, come and be enlightened about the Tibet situation by a bunch of people who get their news from the Propaganda Department!” My cable TV includes both CNN and CCTV4, something unimaginable in China, and personally, in my opinion, giving far too much leeway and credence to the liars at CCTV.

March 30, 2008 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

“Actually steve, the few people from China with whom I have spoken about this subject think anti-cnn.com is a joke (not in the literal, but in the figurative sense). A sign of the sad state of emotionalized blindness not only within China, but also the broader overseas community.”

Kevin, you are digressing here. Your psyco analysis, at best, is just your speculation. The key point is that mistakes in western media report were made. Their reporting style is sloppy at best. Deflecting issue by blaming others’ emotional problem is kind of lame.

The path forward for western media is to change their behavior and regain chinese trust. Well, you may say, Western media is for domestic consumption and probably will not give a damn about Chinese protest. CCP will certainly be happy to see that. That comes back to my whole point, CCP owes western media a big thanks!

March 30, 2008 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

@steve

“…CCP owes western media a big thanks!”

Well, CCP also helped a little blocking news reports, expelling reporters and tourist, taking out digital material, blocking news websites and also with their own blantant declarations against DL and free TBtans supporters.

On the other hand. TB issue, like TW and JAP are very sensitive in CH, and can easily touch a sensible nerve of CH nationalism. This is a problem for western media, most countries have leave behind this kind of “overemotional nationalism” Is a thing of the past for most of us.
I think it is therefore quite easy to trigger, unknowingly a CH nationalism flare up. Same news treatment for a similar crisis in most western countries would rarely awake such strong emotions. To us some of Chinese reactions seem a little paranoid.

This is something that reporters should be take into account in future news reporting.

I also think the OG played a role here. All in all I believe many Chinese (includind those critical to CCP policies) see it as “their country final presentation in society”, no wonder they may be fussier than usual.

March 30, 2008 @ 4:00 pm | Comment

Steve, I haven’t seen similar outbursts in response to the frequent “mistakes” (or, shall I say, lies) in the Chinese media. I’m not digressing here: the protests and the anti-CNN website are manifestations of a fundamental immaturity.
Furthermore, I don’t think that Chinese paranoia and hypocrisy is something that the Western media should take into account in future reporting. When you have information, you report it, rather than trying to cover it up and sugarcoat it to please the tired old farts in zhongnanhai. That’s a substantial difference, and one that should not be obliterated by delusions.

March 30, 2008 @ 4:18 pm | Comment

@steve
“he key point is that mistakes in western media report were made.”

There are good and bad reporting news reporting. The main issue is that news reports for us are not the “revealed truth”.

No matter how good the journalist or news media can be. There is not substitute for ones own critical thinking to build ones self opinion.

My impression if that some Chinese people takes some western news reports as the “twisted revealed truth” of an enemy against them. Specially the more critic/blatant ones. They may not be aware that we take all reports with a critical view, and that our opinions do not depend just only on them.
A side effect of controlled media/thinking environment in China?

March 30, 2008 @ 4:19 pm | Comment

I equate the Chinese anti-Western media people with the kind of people who put stickers that say “support our troops” with big flags on their cars and blindly embrace the latest spin on the Iraq War. An “anti-bias” protest is nothing more than a pro-imperialism march, and as I have said many times before, such an approach would have left us in Vietnam until the present day.

March 30, 2008 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

@kevin
“I don’t think that Chinese paranoia and hypocrisy is something that the Western media should take into account in future reporting.”

Agreed that there should be no limits to news reporting, no matter how sensitive an issue could be for somebody.

But due Chinese complexities, it seems advisable that the information should be more detailed analyzed before publishing, instead of quick jumping at the first incident report.
China is changing fast, therefore some of our perceptions of the country become obsolete very fast. (and that is 100% Chinas fault!… ;-)
A reporter “automatic reaction” to a given incident may not take into account the current state of affairs in China neither todays Chinese minds.
The probability of a misunderstanding is therefore quite high.

Regrettably the CCP, with its media/internet contorls, is not given a helping hand for this task……

March 30, 2008 @ 4:34 pm | Comment

More than a helping hand, I would say.
My problem is that no more sensitivity should go into a report about China than about, say, France. Remember Freedom Fries? I think the French played it off pretty cool, because many probably knew that the official French stance was more reasonable than the stance propagated at the time in the US (“dey’z gotz missilez- let’s getem!”). The exact opposite is true in the China-tibet affair: defenders of Chinese policy are in the wrong; thus, much like Nanjing Massacre deniers, the people at anti-CNN will pick apart minute details as a way of distracting attention from broader truths, and no one should play along with their game.
Facts should be checked, and I don’t like mistakes… but do these mistakes change the nature of the situation in Tibet, which the Party media is distorting? Despite the inability of certain “patriotic” sectors of the broader Chinese public to discuss the utter falsity of the Chinese media while foaming at the mouth about CNN, reports about China in the Western media should be held to the exact same standard as those about other countries.

March 30, 2008 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

A view from the Spanish media.
ABC.es newspaper.
Translated through Google. Far from perfect …, but (almost) understandable.

http://tinyurl.com/ywozqq

For those who know the spanish language ;-) ….. the original link

http://tinyurl.com/268pyl

March 30, 2008 @ 5:12 pm | Comment

Another view from Spanish media
Elpais.es. Newspaper.
Both newspaper are on opposite side of political spectrum.
ABC (center right, conservative)
Elpais (center left, social democracy)

Translation by Google courtesy (have a look at the last paragraph for interesting remark)
http://tinyurl.com/2m2pzq

Original in Spanish
http://tinyurl.com/35pgug

March 30, 2008 @ 5:40 pm | Comment

And last view from Publico.es newspaper.

More to the Left(social democracy+socialist) than Elpais

http://tinyurl.com/2jxo7b

Original as usual in Spanish…
http://tinyurl.com/348rod

March 30, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

@ steve
“The path forward for western media is to change their behavior and regain chinese trust.”

Another comedian.

The path forward is for everyone to accept that true objectivity is an unattainable ideal, but that the Chinese media lags so far behind the west on the spectrum of balanced reporting that the current maelstrom can only be viewed as a product of China’s own lamentable track record.

March 30, 2008 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

(CNN) — CNN has been singled out for criticism for our coverage of events
in Tibet through an anti-CNN.com Web site and elsewhere. We have provided
comprehensive coverage of all sides of this story, but two specific
allegations relate to pro-Tibetan bias. We would like to take this chance to
respond to them:

Allegation 1: CNN intentionally cropped an image in order to remove Tibetan
protesters throwing stones at Chinese trucks.

CNN refutes all allegations by bloggers that it distorts its coverage of the
events in Tibet to portray either side in a more favorable light. We have
consistently and repeatedly shown all sides of this story. The one image in
question was used wholly appropriately in the specific editorial context and
there could be no confusion regarding what it was showing, not least
because it was captioned: “Tibetans throw stones at army vehicles on a
street in the capital Lhasa.” The picture gallery included in Tibet
storiesincludes the image. (See the gallery)

We have also published images showing violence by Tibetans against the
Chinese. A March 18 story shows Tibetan youths attacking a Chinese man. (
Read the story)

Additionally, we have published video from the Chinese media
apparentlyshowing Tibetans attacking Chinese interests in Lhasa. Video (
Watch the video) »

Allegation 2: CNN referred to Tibet as a “country.”

CNN’s policy is to refer to Tibet as “Tibet Autonomous Region of China.” In
our dozens of stories on the topic to date, we are aware of only two
instances where it was incorrectly referenced as a country.

CNN’s reputation is based on reporting global news accurately and
impartially, while our coverage through the use of words, images or video
always reflects a wide range of opinions and points of view on every story.

March 30, 2008 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

@ steve

The path forward for western media is to change their behavior and regain chinese trust.

You mean become as bad as the Chinese media and present one-sided reports to massage Chinese egoes?

I would simply suggest that Chinese who are unhappy about foreign media reporting take the logs out of their own eyes.

March 30, 2008 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

“The path forward is for everyone to accept that true objectivity is an unattainable ideal, ”

Stuart, well, that sounds a really good attitude. If western media does not want chinese trust and keep pissing off them, that is fine with me.

With even intention to achieve mutual trust, the whole thing comes down to who has the biggest muscle. China is a adolescent giant with growing muscle. How are helping Tibetan by biased reporting?

March 30, 2008 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

“You mean become as bad as the Chinese media and present one-sided reports to massage Chinese egoes?”

Raj,

The crux of the matter is to admit there is mistake, prejudice and sloppiness in western media’s reporting. Then lay out a plan to prevent that from happening again.

Your argument that CCTV is as bad makes me laugh. That approach is exactly how many Chinese responds in the face of criticism. I am glad we are actually a lot similar than we thought.

March 30, 2008 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

“I equate the Chinese anti-Western media people with the kind of people who put stickers that say “support our troops” with big flags on their cars and blindly embrace the latest spin on the Iraq War.”

Well, you are right on this one. Keep this in mind, the kind of people with “support our troops” sticker put Bush in his second term, and may put republican in another term.

Patriotism/nationalism is a powerful symbol no matter which country you lives in. Ignoring or laughing at patiotic people at your peril.

March 30, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

@Steve

If western media does not want chinese trust and keep pissing off them, that is fine with me.

To be quite honest, I don’t know what would please these Chinese nationalists. They are looking for a cause to get pissed off. If it’s not CNN, then it’s something else. Last year, some Chinese students in Spain made a big fuss over an advert that made fun of Mao. Similar things happen all over the place.

The good news is that not all Chinese agree with these nationalist outbursts. The bad news is that a lot of people don’t see that and blame all Chinese. They will ask why Chinese are allowed to fly their flag and abuse the hospitality of the country they live in, when they don’t give the same privilege to students in their country. That is a public opinion that should matter to you, Steve. That’s a public opinion that could put governments in place that change laws. When went to study in Japan I had to sign a pledge not participate in any political activity in Japan. You have more of these kind of nationalist outbursts and you may have people asking for such laws in the West as well. I don’t think either you or me want that to happen.

March 30, 2008 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

“To be quite honest, I don’t know what would please these Chinese nationalists. ”

It is very simply. If it is a mistake, admit it and move on. Lead by setting examples.

“You have more of these kind of nationalist outbursts and you may have people asking for such laws in the West as well. I don’t think either you or me want that to happen.”

I sensed a threat here. Okay. Chinese can not demostrate in western country. Put them in jail? By your logic, how should chinese punish the athelet waving tibet flags and participate in political acitivty? Do you want to go down that route?

March 30, 2008 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

@Steve

I sensed a threat here. Okay. Chinese can not demostrate in western country. Put them in jail?

No, I’m not talking about putting anyone into jail. But people could have their visas withdrawn. Foreign students in China have been sent home for very minor political activities, so if a threat is coming from anywhere it’s from the PRC.

Do you want to go down that route?

Of course not. But you need to reflect on how these nationalist outbursts reflect on China. A lot of Chinese are worried.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:04 am | Comment

“But people could have their visas withdrawn. ”

You can certainly do that. Then you level the playing field with CCP. Will that make CCP better or you worse?

‘But you need to reflect on how these nationalist outbursts reflect on China. A lot of Chinese are worried.”

How much worse do you think the image of China can get? In recent incidents, western media is obviously on the wrong site. If someone abuse you and you stay silent, he will think you agree and condone his behavior.

You can not win people’s love and respect by failing to defend your interest.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:49 am | Comment

hey, the attacking of the chinese girl is very strong personal insult and she is just a young girl, probabbly knows nothing what happened. and its premeditated, of course there are good and rational people everywhere, e.g. many british are very nice and smart.

for Amban quote

Well, that is pretty much what every foreigner in China have to put up with.

based on your words above, Amban, i think you are no different than CCP media and extremest muslim, no rational people will make conculsion use the world of “every foreigner” and ignore the fact there are more tourists visiting china every year, peace, please reeducate yourself, i see why so many rational smart commenters left this site, this kind of word definitely not constructive

March 31, 2008 @ 12:59 am | Comment

@Steve

With even intention to achieve mutual trust, the whole thing comes down to who has the biggest muscle. China is a adolescent giant with growing muscle.

…and I sensed a threat here. That is why I responded to you in the first place.

The crux of the matter is to admit there is mistake, prejudice and sloppiness in western media’s reporting. Then lay out a plan to prevent that from happening again.

This is your problem. You don’t understand the way a free press works. Sometimes things are misreported and hopefully the newspaper corrects the mistake and apologizes. That does happen. If consumers dislike the newspaper they stop buying it. But you don’t start a website and tell people how to jam the phones of a news source you don’t like. Or post death threats on the Internet.

And in a country with freedom of press, no one lays out a “plan” for the press to prevent “something” from “happening again”.

How much worse do you think the image of China can get? In recent incidents, western media is obviously on the wrong site.

As many Chinese bloggers has pointed out, the PRC is incredibly inept when it comes to public relations and it has itself to blame for the bad publicity. Perhaps the best statement comes from Lian Yue

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2008/03/tibet-information-theory-lian-yue/

If someone abuse you and you stay silent, he will think you agree and condone his behavior.

If you can’t make a distinction between yourself and a government you never even elected, there is something wrong with you and no apology from any newspaper can help that. Again, quite a few Chinese bloggers seem to be able to make that distinction.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:02 am | Comment

@ukchinese

Amban, i think you are no different than CCP media and extremest muslim, no rational people will make conculsion use the world of “every foreigner” and ignore the fact there are more tourists visiting china every year

Spare me the abuse. This has nothing to do with tourists, who come and go quickly, some of whom often take the hardship as part of the experience. I’m talking about people who may have lived in China for years, even speak the language fluently, and are treated as absolute strangers because of the way they look, every day. You have lived in a neighborhood for years, one morning you walk two blocks down from where you live and enter a store and it turns silent in a moment when people see you. This is a fact of life in China and if you don’t know about it, I don’t know what I can say. Some people learn to live with it, others don’t.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:11 am | Comment

@Amban

Interesting post from China Digital Times about blocking information and who is to be held most trustworthy(i.e. less biases), the blockers or the blocked ones?

By the way. Is CDT is blocked in mainland China?
I bet I know the answer already…. ;-)
Is China Daily (or any other CH website) blocked in EU or US?
I bet I also know the answer again… ;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 1:40 am | Comment

From CDT

“Some very detailed reports suggest that the CIA could be behind the Tibet incident, ”

That reminds me of a Jewish joke.
Two Jewish friend met in a Cafe in Tel Aviv. One is reading an antisemitic newspaper, who usually accuses Jews of being behind all conspiracies and secretively running the world.

His friend ask him. “Why do you read that crap?” He answered. “But… This newspaper is fantastic! According to it we are the most powerful people in the world!!” ;-)

Change Jewish by CIA agent, antisemitic newspaper for some Chinese (and other countries) newspaper, and you get a new twist to this joke.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:53 am | Comment

@ecodelta

CDT is a gem in cyberspace. It reminds you the fact that public opinion in China is not monolithic and that these cyber nationalists only represent themselves.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:05 am | Comment

@Look, its’ pansy
“Long live China. To hell with you…”

Long live to China!
And I wish you something better than hell, really ;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 3:05 am | Comment

8 March 2008

China’s Disquieting Summer
By Jonathan Fairbank

When in 2001 the Beijing Olympics Committee won the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese government was so overjoyed that it launched several days and nights of public partying. Members of the government would spare no expense to stage the greatest, the most spectacular and the most awe-inspiring Games ever – one befitting a nascent superpower. And they shall. Such is the power of China’s ruthless (but admirable) efficiency.

In the mists of glorious dreams and glittering fantasies, the old men in charge forgot that with the Olympics come the world’s mass media, cell-phone journalists and bloggers. Such a magnetic media presence will undoubtedly invite mischief.

As the winter ice began to thaw and spring flowers started to bud, a well choreographed “uprising” took place in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet National Autonomous Area. Robed monks reportedly stoned Chinese soldiers and civilians alike, and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) responded with gunfire. Fatalities – perhaps as high as 100 – have been widely reported.

And it is not even Spring yet.

Other areas of China – particularly the so-called National Autonomous Areas consisting mainly of China’s non-Han minorities – will erupt in similarly choreographed rebellions in the Spring and Summer leading to the magical hours of 8.08.08, the start of the Beijing Olympic Games. The provinces of Xinjiang in the extreme northwest and Ningxia in the west central region are most vulnerable.

No doubt the reliable services of China’s two million-man PLA will be used to quell the uprisings, and the world’s glaring media will dutifully gasp, point and scream at the cadre of bespectacled fogies in cheap suits residing in Zhongnanhai.

Little will these gawking media types realize that it is they who invite – and in some instances trigger — the mischievous riots, which have and will result in deadly responses from the PLA.

Labels: 2008, China, Ningxia, Olympics, Tibet, Xinjiang

March 31, 2008 @ 3:17 am | Comment

@Look, there’s wussy

“And I wish you a very very happy hell.”

Geeh. Thanks! ;-P

March 31, 2008 @ 4:28 am | Comment

Hi wussy look!!

Are you a lady? You sound very much like one frustrated for something ;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 4:52 am | Comment

Mistakes should be allowed in reporting. I have not seen any mistakes in western media’s coverage. What I see is attack. Facts have been tailored to cater to what is in their minds. Disgusting.

March 31, 2008 @ 4:56 am | Comment

His friend ask him. “Why do you read that crap?” He answered. “But… This newspaper is fantastic! According to it we are the most powerful people in the world!!” ;-)

Actually, this makes for a good segue into another question. Why is blog space being devoted to this topic at all? Right, because the perceived biases of the oh-so-evil and all-powerful Western media is *so* newsworthy that we simply must have new media wanking over old media in another round of navel-gazing.

Sorry, today is my sour bitch day. :-(

March 31, 2008 @ 5:15 am | Comment

Me…? Obsessed with you.,Sissy…?

No te lo creas tanto encanto!!
(dont believe yourself to be so snoooby boooby;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 5:21 am | Comment

Wussy look? Sussy? Where are you?

Oooooh. She is goooooone,
and took all her post with her away.

My heart is broken into pieces…. :-(

I have such a weak spot for ladies with sharp tongues!!
;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 5:47 am | Comment

Hi Wussy Looky

You are back!! Come into my arms!

Confess you can live without me!

Love your bitchy sharp tongue ;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 6:24 am | Comment

Just read this:

China is doing a great job perpetuating the domination of the Western media. Two of its most popular newspapers, the Global Times and Information Reference, derive most of their content from foreign media reports. How can you complain about Western media bias when it is one of your main sources of information? I think Chinese journalists spend most of their time hiding behind the words of the Western media, e.g. so and so said this about the PLA and this US professor said that China has many economic problems. The problem with the Chinese media is that hardly anybody voices their own personal opinion about anything, so the whole world relies on foreign reports.

http://www.blognow.com.au/chinamachete/85131/

March 31, 2008 @ 6:35 am | Comment

“Ecodelta is such a pussy-head.
Dumb as a f000k”

I love when you said dirty things to me!!

;-P

March 31, 2008 @ 6:43 am | Comment

@Kick Butt

I am not an expat. I am in my own country. And we treat expat here with greater hospitality more respect than you may be showing right now.

I was answering to a rude person, whose post were being deleted. Maybe I confused you with him (her?)

And about hiring prostitute, no thanks. I just choose a woman in my life, and pay for her love with more than any money can buy, and keep her with me for the rest of my life.

March 31, 2008 @ 6:58 am | Comment

From this Tibetan incident, here are some realistic and honest suggestions for the Chinese government:

1) Create a massive media group, based in the USA, that speaks for the interests of China (or more broadly, the Chinese speaking community). This can be a direct investment by the government, or through a rich Chinese, such as Li Jia Cheng, founders of Baidu, Sina, etc, etc. Under this media conglomerate, there should be movies, books, music, and especially cable news that on appearance look like another global news org, but will definitely be pro-China, but not in a “propagandist” and “cctv” like way. All reporters. anchors must all speak native English (either American english or british english), and perhaps have a large group whites, with high education. This media group should have the same professionalism and its news reports have the same “slickness” as CNN/MSNBC/BBC, etc.

2) Perhaps hire a powerful advertising agency on Madison Avenue, and truly get some professional and world class PR consultants.

3) Hire a powerful K-Street lobbying firm, and lobby Congress heavily and make it as powerful as the Israel power, the pharmaceutical lobby, the energy lobby, etc etc etc.

4) Find overseas, “proxies”, and in the form of White Americans and Jewishes. They must be high educated, respected, and therefore hard to attack. For example, there’s someone called Phillip Cunningham, who is a very good proxy for China, because he is 1) White 2) Harvard Educated 4) Fulbright Scholar. If one day we can find 10,000 Phillip Cunnignhams, and go on interviews not on CCTV, but on CNN, on BBC, on Time Magazine, on the Economist, and living not in China but living in USA, in Britain, in France, etc. The concept finding overseas proxies are extremely critical.

March 31, 2008 @ 7:17 am | Comment

@Kick Butt

You are welcome.

And no, not all westerner who go to far east countries are horn dogs. I may even have prevented a case of a young girl falling into sexual exploitation when working with a help organization in a south east Asia country.

March 31, 2008 @ 7:27 am | Comment

Canada Free Press [Friday, March 21, 2008 10:20] Brit spies confirm Dalai Lama’s report of staged violence

By Gordon Thomas

London, March 20 – Britain’s GCHQ, the government communications agency that electronically monitors half the world from space, has confirmed the claim by the Dalai Lama that agents of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the PLA, posing as monks, triggered the riots that have left hundreds of Tibetans dead or injured.

GCHQ analysts believe the decision was deliberately calculated by the Beijing leadership to provide an excuse to stamp out the simmering unrest in the region, which is already attracting unwelcome world attention in the run-up to the Olympic Games this summer.
……

Source: Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy

March 31, 2008 @ 7:44 am | Comment

You mean something akin to Al Jazeera, or the many big Latino stations here in California. Those broadcasts are absolutely essential for presenting the other side of the story.

Yes, similar to Al Jazeera perhaps. The idea is that when an American family turns to this channel (must be in the regular cable lineup, like CNN, and not some obscure satellite channel), and watches it for 30 mins, his reaction should not be : “Haha, typical communist propaganda”. But instead, he should say “Hmm, pretty professional reporting, pretty serious, pretty intellectual, pretty informative”.

Or if it’s someone who is already anti-China and if he watches it, he’ll see “This is a threat to us, this is serious slick propaganda, we must establish a website to debunk its myth”. Right now,when those ppl watch CCTV, they laugh and dont’ bother to debunk it, because they know the method and skills of presentation on CCTV are so low-level that no one will believe it. We need to raise the level such that when those ppl watch it, they’ll say “Oh shit, we better debunk this, otherwise ppl will believe it!”

March 31, 2008 @ 7:45 am | Comment

@HongXing
If and when you have a massacre of Falun Gong members or Tibetan monks, how would your theoretical slick pro-CCP US based news source react? It would have to cover it if every other news station in the free world was, and it couldn’t keep low balling unflattering figures (death counts and such) or it would become obvious where the bias lay. For the same reason, it couldn’t insist on calling the Falun Gongers ‘terrorists’ and refer to big anti-PRC conspiracies if no one else was. The biggest problems would be overcoming the disconnect in logic between freeworlders and mainland Chinese. It wouldn’t be able to take forgranted that Taiwan just *is* part of China. How would it deal with these limitations do you think?

March 31, 2008 @ 9:55 am | Comment

Lime. You raise a good point, and that is, the difference between “clumsy” propaganda and “slick” propaganda.

A “clumsy” propaganda is when CCTV came out during 1989 and said “There’s absolutely no one that was killed on the square.”. Or when it sends out some senile official and says “This riot is all organized by the Dalai clique, it is absolutely evil, no one supports it. ”

A slick propaganda would concede on certain things, , inject editorialized language, selective footage, use suggestive phrase, suggestive facial expressions of the reporter, deliberate tones and voice of the reporter, etc. For example, when CNN does a report on China, whenever something happens that’s not in Chinese gov’t's favor, it would state it as facts: “China started a heavy crackdown on peaceful protestors today.” If something is favorable to the Chinese gov’t, it’ll precede it with the famous phrase” According to Chinese state controlled TV……”the rioters attacked ethnic Chinese first.” So now, you cannot accuse CNN of showing only one side, CNN can say, “We gave you what Chinese gov’t said as well, so we are fair.” Many many such delibrate and “interesting” phrases exist in the reports, if you are careful enough. If you watch “Lou Dobbs” tonight, it’s pretty easy to spot those. For example, Lou Dobbs always puts the modifer “Communist” or “Red” when he mentions China.

These are just very elementary things. THere are many many such subtle, very nuanced, very skilled, and makes it hard to accuse them of anything from technical standpoint.

Therefore, if China ever is going to build a media conglomerate, it should not sound idiotic like CCTV news, but much more sophisticated and nuanced.

March 31, 2008 @ 10:08 am | Comment

Well, Hongxing, judging by the tone of commentary, good luck on that!

March 31, 2008 @ 10:35 am | Comment

@HongXing
This actually isn’t a totally bad plan for the PRC, but it would probably have a very limited effect. If this theoretical news company just puts a slightly positive spin on the very, very few China related stories that the English world pays attention to, it will still be one voice in many. It also won’t be able to address the root of the problem; we (the English Speaking world, and the free world in general) don’t like the PRC occupation of Tibet, the persecution of the Falun Gongers, nor the demands that the democratic Republic of China must not become the Republic of Taiwan, regardless of what its citizens say. I don’t think any new agency, unless its the only news agency, is going to be able to shake us of these biases, so your news agency would be forced to remain neutral on these and other issues that deal with the fundamental disagreements between the freeworld and PRC perspectives.

March 31, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Comment

Still @HongXing
Consider the reverse scenario, where a Chinese language, American owned, pro-freeworld new agency was introduced to mainland China. How much luck do you think it would have convincing Chinese people that they should let go of Tibet and Taiwan, and go easy on the Falun Gongers, even if the most subtle slick tricks were employed?

March 31, 2008 @ 10:56 am | Comment

Still @HongXing
Consider the reverse scenario; a Chinese language, American owned, pro-freeworld news agency is introduced to mainland China. How much luck do you think it would have convincing Chinese people that they should let go of Tibet and Taiwan, and go easy on the Falun Gongers, even if the most subtle slick tricks were employed?

March 31, 2008 @ 10:57 am | Comment

Lime,

Actually, your pro-”free world” agency will have very little impact on the Chinese when it comes to letting go of Tibet or Taiwan. This is not a communist versus freedom issue rather a nationalist and sovereignity issue.

March 31, 2008 @ 11:04 am | Comment

@777
Exactly my point.

March 31, 2008 @ 11:17 am | Comment

Still @HongXing
Consider the reverse scenario; a Chinese language, American owned, pro-freeworld news agency is introduced to mainland China. How much luck do you think it would have convincing Chinese people that they should let go of Tibet and Taiwan, and go easy on the Falun Gongers, even if the most subtle slick tricks were employed?

There is already such a news agency. It is called the Voice of America. It is not operated inside China of course, but you can easily get its radio broadcast in China today. Even back in the 80′s, I remember my grandparents used to listen to it in the morning.

It had HUGE impact on Chinese intellectuals at the time.

Now, of course if one day a modern, professional, sophisticated , pro-China media conglomerate exists in the USA, it’s aim is not to turn Americans into CCP lovers and all become me. And for hardliners like many in this blog, of course it’ll have no impact on them. But there are many many “swing voters” in America, who right now get their China related news/analyis/imagery from CNN and Hollywood, whose image of China consists of menacing soldiers, journalists in prisons, Tibetans getting beaten, and most recently dangerous toys. And thus an existence of a serious and rational counter will help in neutralize some of these images, and if it can get a foothold in America, and can exist for 10 to 20 years, you’ll see a significant impact on Americans’ opinions on China. And on many issues, it doesn’t even have to “tote the CCP’s talking points”. It should concede, (and maybe even actively criticize the CCP on Tibet, in certain strategically chosen issues) that Chinese policies in Tibet need re-examination, need correct, ect. But it will also heavily raise points about Tibetan violence, about slavery system in Tibet, about the myth that Tibet was a paradise, about the real improvements in material lives of the people, etc etc. And does so in a nuanced and reasonable way, so as not sound like typical CCTV slogans.

This all requires people who are actually skilled and familiar with modern ways to “shape yoru message”. Therefore it can’t be run by officials from CCTV. It should instead by run by say, a former bureau chief for CNN or NBC, a former senior editor for Economist, people educated in the US, people who understand how American audiences think, perhaps even can hire people who worked in American Presidential campaigns.

The idea is not to make Americans love the CCP, but to establish, in the English speaking world, a voice and network of proxies and support base for China and Chinese interests. So next time there’s a riot in Tibet, CNN/BBC/NBC will see a serious challenger, a counterparty, a competitive following when it comes to this stuff, and IN TURN, they will be forced to change THEIR reporting as well, to capture lost audiences (eg, overseas Chinese living in the USA). This is exactly what happened with the rise of Fox news. CNN today arguably more “conservative” in its reporting as a result.

March 31, 2008 @ 11:28 am | Comment

@HongXing

I must say that I find this focus on US media a bit disproportional. To begin with, the riots in Tibet have not dominated mainstream US media at all, and, furthermore, if you read between the lines, many US commentators don’t want Tibet to rock the boat. I don’t watch TV that much, but every time I look at CNN or Fox it’s usually just the incredibly tedious battle for the democratic nomination that preoccupies US news. Then, of course, if you are obsessed by China, you’ll be sure to find thing to get worked up about if you look close enough. But none of the stuff that has been put on “Anti-CNN” is that atypical of US foreign news coverage, which is pretty uninformed about any country. There is no plot there, just incompetence. A couple of days ago, CNN reported on Bush’s visit to Saudi Arabia, but showed footage of Bush talking to Hamid Karzai. I can give you a laundry list of similar examples, including coverage of the prime minister of my native country, but usually my reaction is an emphatic “yawn”. Why bother? Why set up a website or cook up all kinds of conspiracy theories or think alternative universes where there is complete symmetry of information? If foreign news crews were allowed into Lh*sa, you would have “accurate” pictures of Chinese police beating up Tibetan monks instead, of “inaccurate” pictures with Nepalese police Tibetan exiles. I don’t think that would have pleased Chinese cyber patriots either. So what’s the fuss about?

March 31, 2008 @ 11:46 am | Comment

Hong Xing,

A-men !!! Be sure you make a copy of your posts. They’re great posts.

March 31, 2008 @ 11:51 am | Comment

Lime,

If that’s your point, then what are we arguing about?

Most Chinese are averse to partitioning their country, just as would Americans be dismayed at seeing California become an independent country.

March 31, 2008 @ 11:54 am | Comment

@HongXing
I think this is not an unreasonable plan, overall. I do still see a couple of flaws, though. First off, I think that the Fox News vs CNN thing you’ve got backwards. When Fox News began, it presented a more conservative perspective, subsequently much of CNN and the other more Liberal news outfits in the US lost viewership, and like you say, in some cases are now altering there presentation to be more conservative. The reason for this, I think, is not so much that Fox News managed to sway anybody; rather it gave the American public what it already wanted. So if the American public is already against the PRC, your news agency is going to be fighting an uphill battle.
The second thing is that I don’t really think the American public has an anti-PRC bias yet. The average American, along with the average Joe from every other primarly English speaking country, is pretty much limited to Bruce Lee, the Great Wall, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre in his knowledge of China, and the Chinese American population remains miniscule. China is just not a very important a country in the English mind, especially in contrast to say Israel.
Your theoretical news agency might change this if it were to become popular and spent a lot of time showing positive things about the PRC. But then you’ll also get a backfire effect. Israel’s got a lot of supporters in the free world, but it also has a lot of detractors (the BBC for one) who spend a lot of time airing the really negative things about it. If China becomes anything close to as visible as Israel to us, then the things that we don’t like about the PRC are going to become very visible as well. As the things we don’t like about the PRC, are much more fundamental to our world view than the things people criticise Israel for, you might then see a real anti-PRC bias develop.

March 31, 2008 @ 11:56 am | Comment

@777
^
Read up a bit. |

HongXing suggested that it would be a good idea for the PRC to found an English language news agency in America that gave a very slick, freeworldesque presentation of the news, but with a pro-PRC spin. I am arguing that it would have a limited effect.

California separating from the US vs Tibet separating from China ignores the fundamental difference in the points of view of the freeworlder and the mainlander Chinese. The people of California have shown no inclination to want to separate, unlike Tibet in China. For a better comparison, read up on the Canadian province of Quebec.
We have generally come to believe, in the post-colonial era, that a people have the right to self determination, and therefore if the Tibetans want to separate they should be allowed to. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it’s how we see. Mainland Chinese don’t see it this way, at least where China and Chinese claims are involved, obviously, so there in lies the disagreement.

@Amban
Yeah, that’s pretty much what I’m trying to say, just much better articulated, thanks.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

@HongXing
The Voice of America thing is interesting. I’d never heard of it before, but I’ll try to read up on it, thanks.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:35 pm | Comment

Lime,

I won’t be so certain California does not want to separate from the United States. If you speak any Spanish over there, the Latinos there don’t feel much loyalty to Washington, which is 3000 some miles away. Nor are the Hispanic population there inclined to assimilate into White American culture, a lot prefer their own culture and language. And more importantly, they prefer their language. Learning English is just an added burden for them and their historical world view is not the same as most Americans.

Hispanics are becoming a larger population in California, and will become the predominant population, if not already. Right now, most are still biding their time currying favor with the White-dominated political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, but this is going to change as demographics change.

So write on about self-determination and all that sort of stuff about how people can just break-off from other countries. The chicken will come back to roost the United States, as Obama’s minister Rev. Wright said.

And I disagree with your claim about your post-colonial view point about the right of people’s self-determination is shared by all Americans. Many Americans do believe they are losing their national sovereignity to the Mexicans in the West and fear for it. A good number of them are in the Republican Party, and many in the Democratic Party.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

California separating from the US? There are a lot of Americans that would oppose that, just as much as there are Americans that would support it. But as much as Americans can be at each other’s throats about almost anything, I have yet to see Americans take to the streets on Californian independence. Most Californians I know regard themselves as fundamentally different from other Americans, and it has nothing to do with race, religion or ethnicity, just a shared sense of coming from a place and cherishing it. But the rest of America is secure enough to allow that kind of independence. A couple of years ago California elected an Austrian-born body builder their governor. Most people I know thought that the Californians were wacky, but it would not have occurred to most Americans to depose that governor by any means. He passed the test, he is not universally loved, but at least he is respected for the politician he is. Now, compare this to the official PRC attitude to Tibet and you’ll realize that what annoys the crap of the CCP is the fact that they know that most Tibetans would like to have autonomy or even independence if they had a chance to express it. That scares them and that’s why the Chinese government acts the way it does. That does not surprise anyone. But it is pretty remarkable to see prosperous youth from the best universities in China rallying behind that government. What are they scared of? Most of them have never been to Tibet and know as much about Tibetan culture as Bill O’Reilly does. But yet, parts of Chinese cyber space is at a boiling point over US coverage of the riots in Tibet.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:46 pm | Comment

Lime,

Actually, I do think Hong Xing’s right. While you may argue that there was already a latent conservative movement before the advent of FOX and that the emergence of FOX as a news network merely gave vent to this politically-inclined population, FOX has done its share of tilting the public opinion towards the Republican Party. For instance, such as exposing Obama’s minister for his speech against White America. If only CNN had dominated the media news network, then we would have heard much less about Obama’s pastor and his fiery lambast against white America.

While having a pro-China network in the USA could possibly backfire by awakening the average Joe to issues regarding Tibet, I don’t think there is much to worry. Tibet will be a far off place for most Americans, regardless of what Hong Xing’s proposed news network will do. What this network can do is to present the other side of the story and bring more positive news images of China to the American public. The network does not even have to dabble too much in the Tibet debate. What’s needed is an alternative image of China in the American public. This way, a more balanced view point of China will emerge.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:55 pm | Comment

I agree that some of recent media coverage of Hispanics is a bit over the top, but there are a couple of things that are different here. First, almost any wave of immigration into the US has been followed by some kind of nativist response. Just read what Us newspapers had to say about the Irish, the Jews or the Italians a hundred years ago. Today, belonging to any of these ethnicities is much more hip than being WASP. Second, almost any American with any sense of history know that California was originally settled by native Americans and then colonized by Spain. Just look at the map of California and you will you know what I’m talking about. At some level, it is very difficult, even to the most conservative American, to oppose Mexican immigration to the point of expelling foreign media from California.

March 31, 2008 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

Amban said:But as much as Americans can be at each other’s throats about almost anything, I have yet to see Americans take to the streets on Californian independence.

Amban,

For now, there are no sizable populations going to the streets for independence. That’s because the non-White American races are still living off the welfare programs that the Federal government provides, and at this point in time, most minorities still rely on the White-dominated political parties. But if America goes into a depression, or if the social programs the Federal government dries up, you betcha there will be a move towards independence, and if not, at the very least for greater autonomy. At that time, we shall see how the once-proud and “secure” White American reacts. Already, there has been a few street protest clashes between white Americans and Mexican Americans who advocate greater immigration from Mexico to the United States. These are just the beginning pains for the greater United States of America.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:03 pm | Comment

Amban,

I understand what you’re saying regarding past immigrations into the United States, in the sense, that they all melded into the American melting pot. But the recent immigrations into the USA from Latin America presents a different pattern. In the past, regardless of how many immigrants come in, Caucasian Americans still make up the majority, and therefore, a shared sense of American culture and history has always been preserved. That is no longer the situation today. Even the census claims that by 2050, White Americans will become a minority. My sense is we don’t even need to wait that long. Parts of the American West is already non-White. All it takes is some sort of chaotic turn. Perhaps a nuclear attack, an economic depression, or a strong nativist reaction, to rouse the non-White portions of America to demand their political independence and/or autonomy.

And don’t tell me Americans are not worried about this. That is why there’s been so much fuss over illegal immigration.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:11 pm | Comment

there will be a move towards independence, and if not, at the very least for greater autonomy.

The people of California already have autonomy. And if you cared to check, another west coast state has had a Chinese American governor, elected in a state with a majority white, but significant Asian minority. No big fuss. But at this point in time, it is even unthinkable for the PRC government to even talk to the person most Tibetans regard as their leader and every party official that has been in charge of Tibet since 1951 has not been able to speak a word of Tibetan.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

Perhaps a nuclear attack, an economic depression, or a strong nativist reaction, to rouse the non-White portions of America to demand their political independence and/or autonomy.

Nuclear attack, from where? Because Jack Bauer failed to save the world in another season in “24″? You really do hope for the worst to happen.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:18 pm | Comment

Amban,

California has autonomy? WRONG.

Real autonomy means Californians can decide to stop paying income taxes to the Federal government. That’s not happening.

Real autonomy means California can become exempt from all Federal laws instituted by the Congress in Washington D.C.

Real autonomy means California can have its own military and conduct its own foreign policy vis-a-vis China, or Russia, or other countries.

Real autonomy means Californians can have its own history textbooks that devote attention to the history of California ONLY, and not to the rest of the United States.

Real autonomy means Californians can have their own official language, such as Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Real autonomy means Californian soldiers do not have to follow where George Bush sends them to (e.g. Iraq).

And the list goes on and on….

Now where’s California’s autonomy?

March 31, 2008 @ 1:23 pm | Comment

@777
I think you may very easily be right about the pains America may go through absorbing more and more Latinos. Even more dramatic, I think, will be what Europe will go through as it continues to absorb North African and Turkish immigrants, who are much more divergent culturally and linguistically from Northern Europe than are Mexicans from Anglo-Americans. A Latino majority calling for Californian independence would be ugly and painful, and I can’t say I know how the rest of the United States would react. I hope that it will never come to that, and I think it is avoidable. Every person in the United States has incredible personal freedom, probably the most in the world, and each state has a great amount of independence in the Union. Canada and Britain are managing (without military coercion) to keep together nations with legally defined regions that are culturally divergent from the majority of population (Quebec and Scotland respectively), so I think the US could as well. I also believe that China could too, but it will have to change its policies drastically.

In any event, with Californian independence, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But right now Tibet is the issue. The only part of the English world that gives a damn about China or Tibet is the intellectual crowd (academics, journalists, etc.), and I think that colonialism (meaning forcing a people/nation to be part of your state) is pretty univerally unpopular with them right now.

As for the HongXing news agency, maybe you’re right. I, being something of a student of Asia, think that the English speaking world could afford to know more about the ROC and PRC, so I’d support it.

March 31, 2008 @ 1:31 pm | Comment

777,

Actually I dont think that is necessarily true…

The reason that Taiwan and Tibet do not want to be a part of China, is cause of the particular authoritarian regime making life meantally unbearable for them. They have certain principles that they cherish and the CCP is always trying to supplant their cherished valus with their CCP cult worshipping propaganda…

Anyway, my point is that, lets say, in Quebec (some people there want to separate from Canada), the people are not directly opressed and pressured by a despotic regime. They may want to separate, but they are cool about it, they know they could do it if they really wanted to and had a feasible leadership and government.

Every couple of years the party quebecois tries to do something to rally for independance and whatnot, but through the democratic process it hasnt been able to happen for the province.

In Canada we have a democracy with legal rights and stuff. I think they have some stuff like that in USA as well. Quebec COULD separate through the democratic means, so could California probly. In these two cases, the sentiment of needing to be separate is not so strong as the case of Tibet/Taiwan and China…

I think the CCP way oversteps the boundary for what it is useful for. The gevernment should not (and does not) have the right to control peoples beliefs, practices, principles and values the way it does. If you dont let people own their minds… things will continue to be a gaping wound in China.

China and Taiwan/Tibet should make peace with eachother. Once you CCP followers realize the CCP is bad, you will see that Tibet/Taiwan were correct and it is the CCP followers who are truly not patriotic Chinese.

You think the Taiwan and Tibetan people SHOULD want to come join the Karl Marx amusement park in hell? A country run by liars and scoundrels?

Be reasonnable..

March 31, 2008 @ 1:38 pm | Comment

@777
Here’s a question for you.
If this scenario where California gets a majority Latino population and they begin rioting and demanding independence, and its clear that the majority want it, do you think that it would be right for the federal government to force them back into the union at gun point? I’m sure that you’ll say that they will, though I am not so sure. But bear in mind that I’m asking if they should from a moral standpoint, or even a practical one.

@Snow
You’re a Canadian too, eh?

March 31, 2008 @ 1:46 pm | Comment

Lime,

If California demands independence, the Federal government will definitely resort to force. It has already done so during the American Civil War. The majority, and I mean, the MAJORITY, of southerners wanted independence from the United States. Guess what happened? Don’t tell me what erupted the Civil War was the desire on the part of the Union armies to liberate blacks from slavery. Rather, it was the determination on the part of Abraham Lincoln to suppress the independence movement initiated by the Southerners, who called their new country, the Confederate States of America.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:03 pm | Comment

Is there an official language in the US? I’m 99.9% sure that there isn’t, 777. Please don’t project the linguistic imperialist ideologies of the CCP onto the US, thank you very much.
Also, about history books, they’re selected a bit differently in the US than in China’s system (central writing/ circulation). But I do agree that the entire project of national history is a bit tiresome: if California wants its own “Californian history textbooks,” it should be able to do that. Maybe it could?
However, by the tone of your comments, I don’t imagine that you’re interested in moving beyond national histories, but rather in just saying “China so good! US so bad!”

March 31, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Comment

Oh, 777 is resorting to “Civil War” arguments used in rags like the People’s Daily.
777, people here are not stupid: distracting them from the real issues in Tibet by trying to draw a parallel between Tibet and California is ludicrous. What’s next, East Turkestan and Florida? By drawing these comparisons, you are attempting to create equivalences where they don’t exist, and I don’t believe you’re convincing anyone besides yourself.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Snow,

Do you think the Native Americans cared to be a part of the United States? Or that Hispanic Americans appreciate being Americans? What America has really done is to pacify these racial groups with money, WHICH, after the many years of plunder and loot, the Federal government has plenty of. The welfare program is the best example. The majority of Native Americans are so onto welfare that rebellion against the United States is quite pointless. So are the Latinos, for NOW. The Hispanics I talked to can really care less for white America, and do not share in the same cultural or historical view point of the American tradition. They are content now because they are well-fed off the welfare system, and ALSO, because a lot of them still depend upon the white dominated political parties and feel that they need them for NOW. Wait another 15-20 years, and we’ll see.

As for giving them the political process to secede, well, the United States has not given that right to any of its conquered minorities.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

Kevin,

I am drawing very good parallels. You may want to dismiss the American Civil War, but it was a precedence set in American history against independence movements.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:22 pm | Comment

@777
I am familiar with the US Civil War, which it’s worth noting, happened at the height of Britain’s imperialism. You might also have pointed out that anti-secession laws were past after the Civil War, which would make it illegal for California or any other state to try to separate today.

But, whether they would stop California from separating or not wasn’t my question. I want to know if you believe the federal government would be morally justified in forcibly stopping California from separating today or in the future, not a century ago.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:22 pm | Comment

@777

A state like California could go ahead and vote for independence, or they could just stop paying taxes to DC. DC can just charge them market rates for the water, food, fuel and electricity that Cali cannot live without (especially water, SoCal would dry up and blow away as they would surrender all water rights).

Portland and Seattle would experience an incredible economic boom as US exports would shift north to avoid the import duties that would be placed on products coming through the nation of California to Nevada.

And woe be to Cali if they voted to join Mexico as “New Azatlan”. Instant Third World.

And does any stupid little panda hugger really think that the Mexicans/Hondurans/Salvadorans/Costa Ricans/Columbians/etc would let Mandarin become anything close to an official or even permitted language in the nation of California?

Bad, bad China.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:23 pm | Comment

Kevin said: Also, about history books, they’re selected a bit differently in the US than in China’s system (central writing/ circulation). But I do agree that the entire project of national history is a bit tiresome: if California wants its own “Californian history textbooks,” it should be able to do that. Maybe it could?

Kevin,

Actually, California cannot only teach Californian history. It must as stipulated by Federal law, also teach American history. But for Californians, especially for the changing demographics, who cares about George Washington, or some old White men in breeches?

And who cares about what you, or Snow, say about this? Even if you Kevin think it’s alright to have only Californian history, most white Americans still think White American history should be forcibly taught.

My point is every nation has its own sovereignity and nationalism issue, and for China, it’s no exception.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:27 pm | Comment

Nanhey,

You think it’s only California that will secede? Ha ha ha. The whole American southwest, including Colorado, is likely to go independent. You are so secure and complacent, you don’t even know it.

FACE IT. The demographics is changing rapidly, and you’re becoming a minority.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:30 pm | Comment

Well, then, 777, I guess that makes what China is doing in Tibet right! Call me convinced.
YOur argument that you are “drawing very good parallels” between Tibet and California also has me completely convinced. You’re quite bright guy!
Could there be any difference between the treatment of California independence activists and Tibetan independence activists within their current national jurisdiction? Let me guess: you’ll probably dodge that question.
Essentially, your parallels are ludicrous.
The PRC is a tired old imperialist country that could use a good ole breakin’-up.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Comment

Nanhey said: And does any stupid little panda hugger really think that the Mexicans/Hondurans/Salvadorans/Costa Ricans/Columbians/etc would let Mandarin become anything close to an official or even permitted language in the nation of California?

Nanhey,

I don’t think California will go to Mexico instantly. It will demand greater autonomy, and eventual de facto independence under a multi-cultural system with Latinos, and Asians making up the bulk of the population, and yes, Whites too now in the minority. In this situation, the political and social dynamics in a white-centered society will change, as dominant languages will change too, with Spanish becoming foremost the most important language, and Mandarin because of its association with the China trade and wealthy Chinese capitalists.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:36 pm | Comment

Most Californians I know regard themselves as fundamentally different from other Americans, and it has nothing to do with race, religion or ethnicity,

Out of this entire thread, this is the only thing worth commenting on: You are right. It doesn’t have anything to do with race, religion, or ethnicity — it has to do with the fact that Californians are snobby, self-important assholes.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:40 pm | Comment

Well, Kevin,

It’s quite pointless to talk to you. After all, you are a liberal in a liberal web site who care less about allegiance to any country. But for the majority of Americans, the thought of a separate California from the United States is quite unfathomable. Keep in mind, in any political debate, it’s not what you personally think that matters, but rather, it’s what the majority of the nation thinks. And I simply don’t think most Americans, especially white, can stomach an independent California, or an independent Southwest.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:40 pm | Comment

Jim,

No need to inflame the ethnic divide that already exists between California and the rest of the United States. We don’t need more divisions than is already there. :::)

March 31, 2008 @ 2:42 pm | Comment

Well, after using a fake “official language” argument, pulling a Civil War argument straight out of the pages of the People’s Daily, and attempting to equate California with Tibet, it’s quite a relief that you decided that it’s “quite pointless” to talk to me, obviously due to your inability to respond.
Way to dodge the real issues, and the questions that I raised!
Allow me to sum up: Free California! Massacre Tibet!
Thanks for sharing.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

@777
When you get around to it, will you answer my question? I am honestly interested to hear what you have to say.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

Lime,

It’s not what I think, or for that matter, what you think, that matters. It’s what whole populations think that determines political outcomes. Even if you, Lime, think it’s okay for California to decide its own status in the future, most Americans, white especially, don’t think and cannot fathom an independent California. So will there be some bloody conflict over California in the future? Who knows. We see that the British fought for half a century, at least, unwilling to let Northern Ireland become independent, and it still isn’t.

March 31, 2008 @ 2:56 pm | Comment

777, with that kind of reasoning, you can justify both the Holocaust and the Japanese invasion of China.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:00 pm | Comment

Kevin,

Actually no. Japan is a smaller nation trying to invade a larger one. Japan’s tactic was to divide the Chinese by encouraging separatist sentiments in Mongolia, Manchuria, and in East China. As for the Holocaust, there was systematic slaughter of a whole race of people with the intention of wiping out the entire race of Jews. Although the PRC treatment of Tibetans is not laudable, the persecution is purely political and cultural, not racially genocidal, as was the case with the Jews.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:07 pm | Comment

@777
You’re quite right that what neither of us personally think matters in what direction history will take, but I’m not that interested in trying to project the future either. What I really want to do is better understand the PRC Nationalist’s view of the world. Today I was talking to a girl from Harbing I know about Tibet, and she insisted that she ‘knew’ Tibet was part of China. I quite like her and don’t think that she is stupid, but for the life of me, I can’t understand the logic at all. Why must Tibet be part of China? How can it be justifiable in her mind that a province/state should be forced at gun point to be part of a state, whether it’s California or Tibet or Taiwan? What is going on inside her, and the 1.3 billion other PRC heads out there?
So I ask again, in an effort to help me better understand how you think, do you think that forcing a Latino dominated state that has no interest in being part of the Union is morally justifiable?

March 31, 2008 @ 3:10 pm | Comment

Japan’s invasion was unjustified simply because it was smaller than China???

March 31, 2008 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

And extermination is fine and dandy as long as its motivated by cultural or political justifications and not racial. (That’s actually what 777 is saying.)

I am almost certain 777 is someone who used to come here to ruin threads, posting under the name “Hello.” These sorts of comments are his trademark, and he’s one of the more irritating trolls we’ve had to deal with.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

Lime,

While we can sympathize with the cause of Tibetan independence, Tibet is strategically and economically important to China, and is in the interest of 1.1 billion citizens for Tibet to remain a part of China. But I guess you’re not interested in hearing all the political-economic arguments.

Actually, it’s not so hard to understand the “PRC heads.” Even in British history, there are histories of men fighting for Britain’s national territorial integrity. Look at Northern Ireland, there you have the nationalist Unionists versus the IRA. Look at America, even here, we see men fighting to the death to preserve the Union during the American Civil War. Nations don’t just die and break-up that easily, and we shouldn’t treat people who fight for their nation’s territorial integrity with contempt.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:26 pm | Comment

@777
Being half Latino and being 90 of my family Hispanic, I perceive some racist nuances in your argumentation.

You say that California and may be other states in the US because a major influx of Hispanic immigration may derive into secessionism.
That is not going to be the case. Most of them integrate quite happily into their new nation.

Most of them living on welfare? There are poor Hispanic like in any other communities, yes even in “pure white” communities, but assuming that the Hispanic in the US are a sort of lumpen proletariat is way off the mark.
I could introduce you quite a bit ranging from middle and affluent ones.

By the way. Did you know that the us is the 5th nation in number of Spanish speaking persons? Any problem whatsoever so far?
Have you ever been in Florida? There you will find a notice on some shops. “we speak English”
Ever been in NY, you will find it quite easy to find your way using only Spanish. Actually, I you are Spanish speaking person and want to learn English, I would not recommend you to go to many places in the US.

Did you also know that many Hispanic fought against Mexico, during the US/Mexican wars? They did not like the authoritarian Mexican government of the time.

It is not a white men (whatever you mean by that) against Hispanic (non white men?).
Guess what, Hispanic is not a racial but rather a cultural term. Nothing to do with specific genetic configurations or outside looks.

I knew a Brasilian that would match the racial concept of a WASP, sometimes it was funny the look of some ignorant border control officers when they read in their visa declaration that he is “Hispanic”.
It would be interesting to see the reaction of the officers at a Chinese visa control…

I think you have a somewhat racially oriented mind set. I think the problem is more on your mind than anything else. Something must be wrong in your education.
I must confess that I see quite a bit of racially bias in many Chinese people… Think consider it some sort of reverse racism.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:29 pm | Comment

No Richard,

You misinterpret what I wrote. The nature of Tibetan persecution is such that if you don’t get involved in political squabbles with government, you’re okay and fine. That’s not the case in Hitler’s Germany in which even if you are apolitical but is genetically affiliated with a racial group, you get persecuted and killed. I understand both involved persecution, but there is difference, an important difference.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:32 pm | Comment

Japan’s invasion was probably quite justified as viewed by Japanese Imperial Army. Unfortunately for them, they failed.

All we want to do is to replicate the success of America.

US has provided us with a road map to the No. 1 status. There is no need to deviate from the recipe.

First, we will “settle” our Western frontier American style.

Of course, one day we will have democracy and all that good stuff. And our children or grandchildren may blame us for doing few cruel things in our days. They might even hand out few casino licenses.

But one thing at a time, okay?

March 31, 2008 @ 3:35 pm | Comment

Eco,

Sorry if I sounded racist, but there are many encounters I have with Hispanics and White Americans that tell a different story from the one you depict. I understand a lot of Hispanics don’t want to sound unpatriotic to America, especially in the presence of White Americans, but the truth is a lot are not as tightly associated with traditional white America and actually discriminate against the “white boy.”

And yes, Hispanic is a cultural group. But what I meant was that the great bulk of Hispanics are composed of European and Indian blood, a distinctive racial group.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Comment

@777
“if you don’t get involved in political squabbles”

I would rather say.
“I you you don’t get in cultural identity squabbles….”

For Han Chinesec you statement is OK. For tibetans or other minorities it is more complex.

Personally I find the treatment of Chinese government with some minorities as “patronizing”.
That will be considered somewhat racist in many places.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:42 pm | Comment

Hey, if Japan was a little more benevolent, like the Manchus and actually sinicized themselves, may be we Han Chinese would have become willing citizens of Japan, much as we have for 250 years under the Manchus.

In any case, with Japan invading China, it was purely an effort for the great majority of mankind to serve the interests of a minority smaller nation. This is not the case in China vis a vis Tibet, in which keeping Tibet as a part of China clearly serves the interest of the greater population of 1 billion people (1/4 of the world’s population).

March 31, 2008 @ 3:44 pm | Comment

Eco,

I agree the Han Chinese haven’t done well in their relationship with Tibetans, and may even be racist towards them. But this is not comparable to what the Nazis did in the concentration camps to the Jews.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:46 pm | Comment

@777
“I understand a lot of Hispanics don’t want to sound unpatriotic to America, especially in the presence of White Americans”
Doesn’t it sound a little conspiratory from your part? You seem to equate hispanic with some sort of (exploited?) “social underclass”, I find it very curious.

Yes Hispanic covers broad spectrum of ethnic identities. From 100% Spanish to a mix of Spanish+Indian+African+somewhere-else influxes with such a complexity that it makes moot the the definition of “Hispanic” as ethnic group.

One interesting thing. Most pure ethnic Southamericans Indians will not consider themselves Hispanic. Even in Mexico.
Do you know that the even the Aztecs languages (nahualt) is an official language in Mexico? (and many others too)
On the other had, European origin Southamerican, even from countries different from Spain will consider themselves Hispanic.

There is also strong Japanese immigration in some south American countries.
I knew once a girl mix Japanese+Brasilian-coctel. She would short circuit the brains of some ethnically oriented people I know. By the way, she is married with a 100% German guy.
The mix keeps getting even more complex ;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

Eco,

Alright. I don’t want to squabble with you. I have many friends from my younger years who are Hispanics. And man, the ladies are hot.

: )

March 31, 2008 @ 4:06 pm | Comment

@777
“And man, the ladies are hot.”

Ha ha ha…. Just be careful not to get burned ;-)

March 31, 2008 @ 4:29 pm | Comment

Well, it was a nice discussion for once without getting bullied and ransacked. I will not be able to persuade anyone; nor anyone here likewise will persuade me to their position. So let’s just call it a draw.

I will be busy, so I will not be able to reply. But please do tear my comments apart while I’m gone.

Ecodelta, it was nice getting to know you better. I like the Latin people. I grew up around Hispanics.

March 31, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

You did great, 777. 25 comments in 6 hours. See you next time.

March 31, 2008 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

UK Chinese: live in UK now, at least i know many many chinese here feel very stressful, we face lots of interrogation and insult every day in person, maybe not so harsh, but absolutely not friendly, they keep criticise not only chinese government, but also chinese and everything from china, its annoying and stressful

I also live in the UK and am married to a Mainland Chinese national. I’m a little surprised at the scenario you describe. Certainly there’s ignorance of China here and most people pick up only on the negative aspects of the country as routinely reported by the media here. I remember in China being goaded into coversation where people would use it as an opportunity to berate the UK, Tony Blair, the US, the Nanjing Treaty, QPR’s reserve team…you name it, i was the ‘face’ of the west and I was going to get their 2 jiao worth whatever.

However I’m not sure what crowd you run with but the TBT issue here is a very minor one as far as most people are concerned and I would be surprised if here are genuinly that bothered about the TBT situation (Heather Mill’s court case has generated as much if not more coverage).

I wouldn’t take the criticism to heart, you’re not in China and you’re going to meet people that have divergent views to yourself (wasn’t the experience of different views and cultures one of the reasons why you came here??). It isn’t personal in most cases.

The problem probably lies in the fact that you view yourself as Chinese first and foremost and all other aspects of your individuality (at least in relation to foreigners) comes second. When you start doing that other people also start seeing you that way too.

When you view yourself as an walking talking embodyment of the Chinese people, culture, state and reputation and that each perceived slight is taken as a grave insult against all of the above then of course you’re going to feel stressed.

March 31, 2008 @ 8:47 pm | Comment

“”"”"”"”"My point is every nation has its own sovereignity and nationalism issue, and for China, it’s no exception.”"”"”"

So why go on and on then. Yeah, right we all have these issues, so what? Now we’re talkin about China, so …?

I do not think we are here to say that China is the only country having this debate, whether others are alos having this type of debate has no bearing on the discussion I find (to me anyway)

I think the question is how to reconcile with the people who live in Tibet, how to find out what they need and treat them well.

In some places the countries make sure the minorities are bought off by welfare. Well, it seems Tibetans dont ask for that, they ask for religious freedom, not to be forced to be homogenized with communist followers, they want freedom of thought. Most countries can allow this to a much bigger degree than the current regime in China, and I don think it is something people -naturally- are able to sacrifice so easily. The CCP wants to control is subjects minds through false info propaganda, most Han have adjusted to that, but there are some who choose not to and that is A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT!!!

So if you want these regions to be part of China, how will you appeal to them? If you just force them, what do you think the end result will be? Probly a big big war….

”””””’It’s not what I think, or for that matter, what you think, that matters. It’s what whole populations think that determines political outcomes.”””””””

Hey, 777, dont forget we are comparing democratic nations to an authoritarian dictatorship, so um, this statement doesnt fly.

April 1, 2008 @ 1:56 am | Comment

Yahoo to aid Chinese dissidents
Fund is response to abuse allegations

http://tinyurl.com/22xcuh

Classified memo reveals government strategy for “managing” foreign journalists

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=26380

By the way Reporters without Borders has this sweet badge that theyre promoting for the people to wear at the olympics. I think its a nice idea.

I want Chinese people to know that people want them to have a nice event and that we all like Chinese people and China, I think this badge says ‘freedom’ and that is cool (-: It supports the Chinese people and thats my goal (-:

April 1, 2008 @ 2:06 am | Comment

Snow,

What religious freedom? Name them. Be specific, there is no politicans here.

April 1, 2008 @ 3:23 am | Comment

How about the freedom to go about your harmless religious activities without being harassed, tortured, threatened, imprisoned muredered and all? Thats always a good freedom to guarantee.
You can read this up. Usually I talk about Falun Gong because it is the wide example as a target in China right now, but this report is before the crackdown on Falun Gong.

http://www.hrw.org/summaries/s.china9512.html

Basically , this is the story as I can understand it, and i dont quite understand it fully yet…

The Catholic church had a hand in bringing down communism in Europe, the CCP has learned from that as well as several spiritually inspired revolutions in Chinas history.

The CCP fears the authoritative role that morality plays in beleivers’ lives. My understanding is that the idea of gods, morality, spirituality..etc, these ideas make the CCP uncomfortable because they feel that it is their domain to guide people ideologically. Thats what they do, they suck at running a country, but they know how to guide peoples minds (through messed up trickery). Their special brand of messed up trickery is the religion of CCP, and they NEED people to obey it and learn it and live with it.

The thing that scares them the most is that what is said in religion and universal moral stuff, is that corruption, lying, killing, stealing, these things are REALLY BAD and should not be done. The CCP thinks they can convince people through its special religion that its actions are all excusable (messed up trickery). So if people dont accept the messed up trickery and choose Cathlicism or Buddhism instead, well, the CCP cannot justify its crimes using those moral codes, very frihgtening for them, !!!

That is all to let you know what right I think all people deserve, and that is, to be subject to the law, and not to be subject to a party who is just afraid of moral authority and competing ideologies. The right to decide for yourself what ideology and way of thinking you want live your life with.

I would be screwed if I was in China cause I would also refuse to be indoctrinated with lies…

Everyone should have the right to NOT be indoctrinated with lies. The CCP will never grant this right.

April 1, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Comment

How about the freedom to go about your harmless religious activities without being harassed, tortured, threatened, imprisoned muredered and all? Thats always a good freedom to guarantee.
You can read this up. Usually I talk about Falun Gong because it is the wide example as a target in China right now, but this report is before the crackdown on Falun Gong.

http://www.hrw.org/summaries/s.china9512.html

Basically , this is the story as I can understand it, and i dont quite understand it fully yet…

The Catholic church had a hand in bringing down communism in Europe, the CCP has learned from that as well as several spiritually inspired revolutions in Chinas history.

The CCP fears the authoritative role that morality plays in beleivers’ lives. My understanding is that the idea of gods, morality, spirituality..etc, these ideas make the CCP uncomfortable because they feel that it is their domain to guide people ideologically. Thats what they do, they suck at running a country, but they know how to guide peoples minds (through messed up trickery). Their special brand of messed up trickery is the religion of CCP, and they NEED people to obey it and learn it and live with it.

The thing that scares them the most is that what is said in religion and universal moral stuff, is that corruption, lying, killing, stealing, these things are REALLY BAD and should not be done. The CCP thinks they can convince people through its special religion that its actions are all excusable (messed up trickery). So if people dont accept the messed up trickery and choose Cathlicism or Buddhism instead, well, the CCP cannot justify its crimes using those moral codes, very frihgtening for them, !!!

That is all to let you know what right I think all people deserve, and that is, to be subject to the law, and not to be subject to a party who is just afraid of moral authority and competing ideologies. The right to decide for yourself what ideology and way of thinking you want live your life with.

I would be screwed if I was in China cause I would also refuse to be indoctrinated with lies…

Everyone should have the right to NOT be indoctrinated with lies. The CCP will never grant this right.

April 1, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Comment

“go about your harmless religious activities without being harassed, tortured, threatened, imprisoned muredered and all?”

Yes, if that is really HARMLESS and RELIGIOUS. Worshiping the DL, at least at present, is as much a POLITICAL activity as a religious one. It is not always harmless either.

April 1, 2008 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

@cc
“Yes, if that is really HARMLESS and RELIGIOUS. Worshiping the DL, at least at present, is as much a POLITICAL activity as a religious one. It is not always harmless either.”

It depends on the political environment on the country.
Problem today in China is that almost anything is a “political” activity, with serious social and security implications. Not to speak of some overemotional reactions with some issues. Not only TB, JP, TW, US, but also anything that touches CH nationalism sensitive nerve.

The feeling from here is a country a little “over the edge”…., mentally speaking.

April 1, 2008 @ 7:05 pm | Comment

ecodelta,

Again, be specific.

“Worshiping the DL, at least at present, is as much a POLITICAL activity as a religious one”, because the DL himself is a political figure. You seem to have no problem with people worshiping a politician, but I have.

April 1, 2008 @ 11:31 pm | Comment

ecodelta,

Remember, DL is a unique phenomenon. To his followers, he is not a human being. He is a living buddha/god, while the DL is heavily engaged in political activities in the meantime. The Holy Fathers cannot even match that. (they are merely servants of God) That is scary to say the least.

April 2, 2008 @ 12:28 am | Comment

I will check out what you say cc. I am actually unaware of Dalai Lamas political views… I dont necessarily approve if people are worshipping polititians because the outcome is surely a mig mess…. But I will have to check this out…

But, it is doubtful that you see the other perspective, because the CCP opresses all religious stuff in China. They are VERY AFRAID that any group will form. Any group causes fear in the party cause they are SOOO insecure (makes sense that they would be).

They will find any excuse to crackdown on faith people just because they are afraid. Catholics, protestants, Buddhists, Falun Gong, whoever composes an independant cultural demographic with a moral ideology, that triggers the partys removal of peoples rights and crackdowns.

And I think it is this kind of fear more than anything that contributes to all this disharmony in China.

In Canada there is nothing the governement can do if some people want to all agree on something like a moral code or a political ideology. The government is not supposed to control people, and that is why we get along well in these types of places, cause people dont feel opressed, they can think and do what they want and they like living in this type of environment. We can hold rallies and stuff whenever we want, as long as we dont brake the laws (our laws are not all about loving the party). We dont need to be pissed at the government cause we can change it if we really want and the government accepts that.

April 2, 2008 @ 12:50 am | Comment

@cc
“Worshiping the DL, at least at present, is as much ais as much a POLITICAL activity as a religious one”

Correction, the internal own dynamics in CH has made DL a political figure. Greater than it should be in a “normal” situation.

In a regime, where thought control is the norm, “any” social activity would be considered political. ;-)

April 2, 2008 @ 12:53 am | Comment

eco is right, even if you just look at the ‘legal system’ in China and understand how it translates, ANYTHING that the party feels is unsupportive of themselves is considered subversive and illegal. ANYTHING that the party is afraid of is deemd to be subverting state power and causing chaos or whatever label they come up with.

The CCP wants to choose who the next Panchen Lama is right?

Wouldnt you say that it is the CCP getting involved and interfering in religions than the other way around?

The CCP insists that all religious orgs pledge summission to the party above their faith. Isnt it they who are getting involved in religion?

Why does a political party have to compete with religions so much? Because the party is amoral.

Gods, Buddhas, all those religious icons, they will never condone what they party does, and that will always be a thorn in the partys plan. What do you think will happen?

April 2, 2008 @ 2:44 am | Comment

To be fair here, the Dalai Lama is not exactly a god, and they don’t exactly worship him the Judeo-Christian way. He’s a bodhisattva abstaining from budhahood to stay on Earth and give the rest of us a helping hand on our own journeys to escape the wheel. He’s as human as us, just with a more… balanced perspective (?).

Snow, you make a very good point about the mock Panchen Lama and how the politicisation of religion is a two way street. Another good example would be the Yasukuni shrine.

But hell, what’s wrong with a political activity now and then anyway?

April 2, 2008 @ 4:42 am | Comment

I don’t see why some people are so relectant to acknowledge a matter of fact. The DL is a politican, good or bad. Whether he is made into a political figure by whoever else does not change the fact that he is a politican and is engaged in political activities.

Lime, I have no interest in arguing with you about the exact “correct” phrase for the DL’s religious status. If I have used the inappropriate word, I stand corrected.

Nevertheless, what I see is that his words are considered by his followers “divine”, “always correct” to put in another way (similar to the words of Mao’s during the CR).

Allow me to quote, “His followers worship him as a deity, a ‘living Buddha’ (Kundun), and call him their ‘divine king’. Not even the Catholic popes or medieval emperors ever claimed such a high spiritual position ‘ they continued to bow down before the ‘Lord of Lords’ (God) as his supreme servants. The Dalai Lama, however ‘Caccording to Tibetan doctrine at least ‘ himself appears and acts as the ‘Highest’. In him is revealed the mystic figure of ADI BUDDHA (the Supreme Buddha); he is a religious ideal in flesh and blood. In some circles, enormous hopes are placed in the Kundun as the new Redeemer himself. Not just Tibetans and Mongolians, many Taiwan Chinese and Westerners also see him as a latterday Messiah. ” ( In the opinion of the Tibet researcher, Peter Bishop, the head of the Lamaist ‘church’ satisfies a ‘reawakened appreciation of the Divine Father’ for many people from the West (Bishop 1993, p. 130). For Bishop, His Holiness stands out as a fatherly savior figure against the insecurities and fears produced by modern society, against the criticisms levelled at monotheistic religions, and against the rubble of the decline of the European system of values.)”

To have anybody who has such kind of supreme religious authority involved in politics, by whatever means, is scary. This has nothing to do with whether this particular person (if I am allowed to call him a person) is a saint or a devil. Even the person is considered and believed as a saint, it is still dangerous.

April 2, 2008 @ 5:29 am | Comment

Snow,

Although you have brought CCP and FLG into the field, as expected, your argument, right or wrong, does not make my orginal point invalid, as far as I can see.

April 2, 2008 @ 5:39 am | Comment

@cc
“I don’t see why some people are so relectant to acknowledge a matter of fact. The DL is a politican, good or bad. Whether he is made into a political figure by whoever else does not change the fact that he is a politican and is engaged in political activities.”

No one was arguing against that. Any social activity can be consider as political.

Politic derives from ancient Greek politikos (belonging to the citizens). Anything belonging to the citizens is political.

April 2, 2008 @ 6:03 am | Comment

@CC
If he is as his followers describe or even if they just believe him to be, is it at all possible that such a creature could ever not be a politician?

April 2, 2008 @ 6:22 am | Comment

Still to CC
If what you’re saying is that you’d prefer not to have a person claiming some kind of divine enlightenment as the head of your country, I have to agree with you. I find the Dalai Lama kind of neat in the same way I find old cathedrals with saintly relics kind of neat, but if I was a Tibetan, I really would not want a person claiming to be a bodhisattva to be the head of government. But then there’s a lot of crazy things the Tibetans seem to believe that I don’t. Where are you headed with this?

April 2, 2008 @ 7:13 am | Comment

Wow.

This thread is all over the place!

Hey, I spent my first 25 years in California, and my next 25 years in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Here’s the thing: the entire California / Tibet argument is utter nonsense.

April 2, 2008 @ 11:43 am | Comment

@DOR
Care to explain why?

April 2, 2008 @ 1:11 pm | Comment

ecodelta,

“Any social activity can be consider as political.”

It is your choice to believe that. This is what I say “arguing for the sake of argument”.

April 2, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Comment

Lime,

“If what you’re saying is that you’d prefer not to have a person claiming some kind of divine enlightenment as the head of your country”.

Yes, this is basically what I mean. Exactly speaking, this person should not engage in politial activities. (well, I hope you know what I mean by “political activities”. If you follow ecodelta’s definition, I shut up.)

April 2, 2008 @ 6:35 pm | Comment

@CC
This boils down to one of those exercises in trying to use logic to understand a viewpoint based on an understanding of the world that is completely alien to you. I am a very a-religious person, I’m also culturally English, so I like my leadership highly transparent, highly restricted, obviously flawed, and very temporary. I would not vote for Jesus, even if he were running for nothing more than town council.
But in this case I have to imagine I’m a monk who takes the whole bodhisattva, attaining enlightenment, reincarnation thing seriously. If I really believe the Dalai Lama is ‘divine’ infinitely compassionate soul bound in earthly flesh for the express purpose of saving fellow human souls from the grinding misery of the wheel of life, well then I would probably happily vote him on to the town council.
Whether Tenzin Gyatso is actually the Dalai Lama or not can be left aside. The importance of the matter hinges on the widespread belief among Tibetans that he is. And I think that based on that, its understandable that they would want to make him the highest political authority they can. So, as I say, its unavoidable that he is a politician, whether in Ecodelta’s sense, or a more restricted legal sense.

April 2, 2008 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

Leaving aside this theory that the physical territory of Tibet was somehow predestined to be ‘Chinese’, this is really why it seems so dumb to me to try to bind the Tibetans themselves and Chinese into one ‘nation’.
The two cultures obviously have very different world views about law, government, and religion. In sharp contrast to the French and English Canadians, or Anglo and Latino Americans, who though becoming linguistically different, share similar ideas about religion and how they would like to see society work as a whole, the Tibetans and Chinese are not likely to agree without some drastic social reengineering, so one group (obviously the Chinese) is always going to have to keep a gun to the head of the other just to keep them from violently reacting against the alien system imposed on them. Seems like a pretty shitty way to build a nation to me, but there again, *my* ideas about law, government, and religion are obviously quite different from the CCP leadership’s.

April 2, 2008 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

@cc
“It is your choice to believe that. This is what I say “arguing for the sake of argument”

Or rather what you really want to say is that you are just run out of arguments

April 3, 2008 @ 6:17 am | Comment

@Lime,

The most obvious reasons why the entire California / Tibet argument is utter nonsense:

* California is treated just exactly the same as anywhere else in America.

* The federal government doesn’t station troops in California for the purpose of suppressing the majority of the Californian people.

* The federal government doesn’t encourage non-Californians to migrate to California for the purpose of diluting the California culture.

* The federal government doesn’t care what religion people in California chose to follow.

* The people of California consider themselves to be Americans, and are proud of it.

Absolutely nothing in common with the situation in Tibet.

Get it?

April 3, 2008 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Oh, one more:

In my lifetime, two national leaders have come from the California soil.

I didn’t like either one, but that’s another matter.

April 3, 2008 @ 10:31 am | Comment

@DOR
Ah yes. But if you read the arguments carefully, you’ll notice that 777′s California was in the post apacolyptic future, in a world that had been rocked by economic collapse and possibly nuclear fallout. In this California, the largest single ethnicity with a net majority was Latinos followed distantly by Chinese. Being more or less aware of everything you just mentioned (it’s Reagan and… Nixon right?), I suggested present day Quebec as a better comparison, but it seemed that no one else was that interested in Quebec, so we went with the apocalyptic Cali of 777′s vision.

April 3, 2008 @ 10:49 am | Comment

“If what you’re saying is that you’d prefer not to have a person claiming some kind of divine enlightenment as the head of your country”.

To be honest, I dont care much about Tibetan independance and I find it offensive (I Buddhist) if Dalai Lama is so uncreative that independance is his solution to all of this!!!

Oh wait, he doesnt advocate independance…. He has been using the term cultural genocide I see, now that I can really sympathize with.

This is my understanding from Buddhism…
you can take away a buddhists land, and he’ll still have his spirit.. and thats what counts…but if you rape his spirit, that should not be allowed. He would still have his eternal spirit though and the sin would not be agains tthe Buddhists, the sin would be against the world, and Buddhists tend to care a lot about that…

It might not be easy for people to figure out.. And I dont know the Tibetan ideas on this…

I think they just dont want to be bombarded by an offensive and atheist culture…Thats reasonable. That is worth standing up for if you believe in your culture…

Why cant Chinese people understand them? Oh yeah, propaganda…

Or maybe its me who doesnt understand, maybe Tibetans want some political power because they like power, but that doesnt sound very likely, if so, well, they are not following a very Buddhist way…

Anyway, good thoughts Lime, and what Dor said about cali. and Tibet sounds reasonnable, the same would apply to Quebec except some owuld say that they are forced to speak English because of English people in Quebec… But no cultural genocide, no repression and brainwashing and stuff in Quebec…

April 3, 2008 @ 11:46 am | Comment

anyone read the book “The Shadow of the Dalai Lama” by Victor & Victoria Trimonti? It’s written 10 years ago but I find it still enlightening

http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Contents.htm

April 3, 2008 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

Lime,

I realize that 777 was making up science fiction.
I like alternative history and fantasy futures as much as the next guy.

But, we were talking about today�s political reality, right?

If that�s the case, I wasted my time by blowing down 777�s straw man.

- – - – -

Yes, California�s biggest mistakes were Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Earl Warren helped to alleviate the embarrassment, as does Nancy Pelosi.

April 5, 2008 @ 9:52 am | Comment

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