“Swastikas on French flags”

Is this really the best way to express your grievances with France? Go see the photo. Another blogger quoted in the post wisely notes,

It’s not hard to imagine how Chinese people would react to having symbols of their World War 2 occupier added to China’s national flag or the moral integrity of China’s national heros slandered.

Not hard at all.

Don’t miss the same blogger’s excellent post on why some foreigners in China are starting to worry about their safety. For the record, I feel no such worries myself, at least not yet, though if the trend he describes keep escalating, that may change. I don’t see it happening any time soon.

I believe the CCP is going to go on overdrive in an attempt to calm the people down. They know this is not the face China needs to put forward as “friend to all the world.” They’d rather show off the fuwas, not shrieking banshees waving swastika-adorned French flags. What a dilemma they’ve put themselves in. They saw blind nationalism as a useful tool – when they could manipulate it. I don’t think they factored in how mass movements can take on lives of their own. How to get the genie back in the bottle?

______________

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: 150 Comments

Stopping all these non-sense is easy, just get Wen jia bo in front of the TV, say a few words, and consider it done and done. Why this hasn’t happen yet? Cuz not that many ppl think it’s that big of an issue.

You have to remember, there’s 1.3 billion of us in China, of course you’ll have a few that act up and act out. Most of us consider this protest a non-issue, it’s people like you and others who are acting like shrieking paranoid banshees, worrying about this and that. Stop extrapolating any minor incidents to its erroneous conclusion.

You foreigners need to stop feeding the stereotype in China that you peolple are bunch of “full-stomach morons, with nothing better to do”.

April 22, 2008 @ 12:55 pm | Comment

You make a fair point – it is not a nation of screeching banshees. But all it takes is a vocal few to leave this impression. And unfortunately, a surprising number of really smart, nice Chinese who do not qualify as rabid fenqing see this reaction as totally fine. That’s what bugs me. Not because I know better or because it offends my sensibilities. It bugs me because I believe it sets them back and does no them no good, and makes it harder for them to reach their objectives in life. I really do believe that.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

Obviously stupidity knows no limits, at least not in the Middle Kingdom. These are going to be great Olympic Games. “One world, one dream, but never say anything slighlty critical about my home country or I’ll curse you, your family and all your ancestors.”
To all the nationalist fenqing out there: I’ve been to both China and France, and France is so much better. I’m thinking about adding “I love France” to my MSN name.

Vive la France!

April 22, 2008 @ 1:07 pm | Comment

FRANCE….F**k YEAH!!!!

(apologies to Trey Parker and Matt Stone)

April 22, 2008 @ 1:20 pm | Comment

Richard,

And unfortunately, a surprising number of really smart, nice Chinese who do not qualify as rabid fenqing see this reaction as totally fine. That’s what bugs me.

you can’t expect every chinese to react like what your socalled “really smart, nice Chinese”do. The smart thing to do, like a lot of chinese people, is to just let those chinese protesters have their say and vent their anger. To do otherwise would be counter-productive. You can’t indict the chinese people by singling out the actions and behavior of the less informed Chinese, whom at any moment has nothing better to do than to go to Carrefoure and protest. Besides,
it’s the French, nobody in the world really takes them seriously. I, for one, is having a big laugh about this whole thing.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:23 pm | Comment

Let me guess, this Sticky Finger is just another clown posting from the evil US of A and that’s why he considers “this protest a non-issue”.

“You foreigners need to stop feeding the stereotype in China that you peolple are bunch of ‘full-stomach morons, with nothing better to do’.”

I’m still trying to work out what the hell this sentence is supposed to mean.

Vive la France!

April 22, 2008 @ 1:25 pm | Comment

Actually, I think it is great that the Chinese are dicking on France …. France has been the one nation that has consistently supported China, emphasizing its “special relationship” and arguing that the EU should break the weapons embargo caused by Tiananmen. It’s hard to know who to laugh at more here, the Chinese for protesting one of their best friends, or France for imagining that friendship with China would ever be reciprocated.

Tiananmen raises another issue: that of the economy. Tiananmen is popularly linked with democracy protests though the issue is surely more complex than that, but that year, even though official figures showed comfortable economic growth, the reality was that there was a recession and local incomes shrank. Is what is happening with the outward focused protests an example of the government attempting to displace anger that might be focused on it for the rising food prices and slowed income growth (especially given the maldistribution of income in China)?

Michael

April 22, 2008 @ 1:32 pm | Comment

Middle Finger totally misses the point, as usual.

you can’t expect every chinese to react like what your socalled “really smart, nice Chinese”do. The smart thing to do, like a lot of chinese people, is to just let those chinese protesters have their say and vent their anger.

Totally, totally miss the point. I am saying the really smart, nice Chinese I know have voiced sympathy with the fenqing, and told me they are joyfully supporting the Carrefour boycott. That’s what bugs me, that they can’t distinguish between groupthink and critical thought even though they are smart and nice. They are psyched and they think the swastikas are justified. Yes, let them vent. Fine. But realize that this only confirms in the minds of many that China isn’t yet a real country, that it is still about knee-jerk reactions and people whipping themselves into a frenzy over a Starbucks or a sex blogger. The Carrefour boycott makes no sense, the swastikas make no sense. It goes against the demonstrators’ own interests and objectives, only weakening their arguments. Do you get that?

As someone who likes a lot of these people and is trying to help some of them get better jobs and expand their possibilities, I find it frustrating, because a rational conversation on these topics is all but impossible.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

In the 90′s I started making the trek to montreal for the Jazz Festival there. The first year I went was shortly after the failed referendum to separate Quebec from Canada. These fenqing remind me a lot of the Quebecois, they are kind of behaving like emotional frenchmen.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Comment

“The smart thing to do, like a lot of chinese people, is to just let those chinese protesters have their say and vent their anger. To do otherwise would be counter-productive.”

So, if somebody says “Human rights instead of Olympic Games”, that person is a danger to society and has to go to prison for several years. If somebody insults and threatens others, we should stand by and let him vent his anger. I finally got it, Stinky Finger, thanks a lot!

“You can’t indict the chinese people by singling out the actions and behavior of the less informed Chinese, whom at any moment has nothing better to do than to go to Carrefoure and protest.”

There seems to be a lot of those in the People’s Republic of China. How about cleaning up the mess in your own country before you go protesting against others?

“it’s the French, nobody in the world really takes them seriously.”

You are only talking for yourself here. As a matter of fact, nobody is going to take the Chinese seriously in the future.

Vive la france!

April 22, 2008 @ 1:37 pm | Comment

I agree with Richard. What’s really worrying are not those crazy youngsters who are protesting or venting their anger on blogsites. What’s really worrying are those people that you’ve come to know over the years as sensible, matter-of-fact, down-to earth and really nice guys who show sympathy for that behaviour.

Vive la France!

April 22, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Comment

The Chinese could always rename “French Fries” “Dragon Fries”.

I still remember the hysteria of rightwing Americans against France over Chirac’s refusal to support the invasion of Iraq.

Remember the calls to boycott french wines?

April 22, 2008 @ 1:47 pm | Comment

I have to say that boycotting Carrefour is stupid. Carrefour source local Chinese suppliers, hire local Chinese and generally provide an essential service.

On the other hand, the so-called Foreign “Journalists” produce little of economic value. Their reporting can not even be consumed locally! What impact will it have on China if “Foreign Journalist” were suddenly all to quietly disappear from streets of Chinese cities? Less biased report to reach the Western audience?

I will let Chinese patriotic youth to draw their own conclusions.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:54 pm | Comment

Oh please, you know why support those “crazy youngsters” protesting? Cuz we know this whole thing is comical and it’s totally not out of control but conatined within reasonable limits. What you failed to see is the comedy in this whole thing, we smart nice chinese people are having a good laugh about this thing, while you guys are bunch of uptight paranoid freaks. Relax a little, it’s the French people, nobody takes them seriously. If anything, those Chinese protesters are as silly as them Tibet riot supporting protesters in Europe. We support them cuz they make good comedy. Stop it with your “righteous and idiotic” outrage, it makes you people look bad.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

HKSouj, those calls never amounted to anything and were ridiculed across America. Later the senator who proposed “Freedom Fries” said it was a stupid and thoughtless suggestion on his part. There were no demonstrations held about Freedom Flies and not a single swastilka or anything remotely similar was used to desecrate French over the Freedom Fries, and French wines were not boycotted except by a few crazies, and the movement never even created a photo opportunity – it was just the usual right-wing gas bags. In contrast, go look at the photos of the Carrefour demonstrations in Harbin, then come back and explain the similarities.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

Middle Finger, I don’t feel a shred of outrage, just exasperation, and it’s not due to any self-righteousness. If you honestly think “no one takes them seriously” then you have no idea how China is being viewed all over the world at this very moment. Everyone thinks their nuts, sure, but everyone also takes them quite seriously, as the is the face China is putting forward most prominently. Small wonder the CCP is scared shitless that the nationalism they cultivated is growing thorns that can cut them.

April 22, 2008 @ 2:00 pm | Comment

Richard, I take your point about the differences between the current Chinese anti-French protests and what occurred in the USA in 2003-04, but nevetheless am amused by the similarities between the Chinese protestors and conservative Americans a few years ago.

I remember reading the “Free Republic” posts back then and was struck by the xenophobic and hysterical tones of the contributors. But at least they vented their spleen in cyberspace and, as you say, didn’t organise demonstations.

April 22, 2008 @ 2:06 pm | Comment

And imagine, France was one of the few countries consistently trying to re-establish the sales of arms and related technologies to the ingrates despite blockades by other EU nations and the U.S. for so many years.

Poor maligned France…gave the Statue of Liberty to the U.S. and consistently suffered as the butt of jokes there and served as a petri dish of revolutionary ideas to young Chinese students in the ’20s such as Deng and Zhou, only to be vilified today.

April 22, 2008 @ 2:27 pm | Comment

Yes, HKS, those wingers were really creepy.And self-parodying.

Any form of hysterical jingoism is a turn-off to anyone with a mind. Being jingoistic is, to me, practically the opposite of being patriotic. I’m not sure why some people have so much trouble seeing the distinction, which to me is enormous. Night and day.

April 22, 2008 @ 2:28 pm | Comment

remember reading the “Free Republic” posts back then and was struck by the xenophobic and hysterical tones of the contributors. But at least they vented their spleen in cyberspace and, as you say, didn’t organise demonstations.

More than that — there’s a whole strain of commentary by CHinese about how good Chinese have been to the Tibetans that reminds me very forcibly of right-wing discourse in the US about the welfare state coddles minorities. Brrrrrrr…..

Catch the news about falling US women’s life expectancies?

Michael

April 22, 2008 @ 2:44 pm | Comment

China-friendly France was Chirac’s France. Sarkozy’s pro-American regime is a different animal.

Kudos to Sarkozy for undoing years of cultivation of Sino-France relationship under Chirac in barely two weeks.

Hope he could sell more Airbus to United States, cuz the new Chinese orders has just been taken up by Boeing.

United States is still too big and too important for China to confront right now. France, however, is just the perfect sized country to be making an example of. We need to sacrifice a chicken to scare the monkey. Thank you for volunteering, France!

I doubt there will be more contracts for Chinese high speed train for French companies.
More water treatment contract for Veolia? Fuggettaboutit! More Chinese Nuclear Power plants contracts for French firms? R u serious?

Short France!

April 22, 2008 @ 2:51 pm | Comment

@ Micheal Turton;

There is a rumor in the defense industry that Thales and Taiwan are about to ink a huge deal, what with France being flogged so badly AND the PLA second artillery being on elevated alert and loading its missiles onto their launchers in Fujian (and the three US carrier battle groups now parked off of Taiwan)..

@ Richard:

You don’t worry about your safety even when Jin Jing is now being labled a “race traitor” among other colorful names for calling for calm in China and no protests against France (because in her words ” the first victims would be the Chinese workers who would lose their jobs due to the loss of business).

If China is so willing to torment its former heroin and vilify that girl at Duke (and her family) who simply called for peaceful dialog, then where is the restraint at spilling the blood of foreign devils?

Thugs, goons, cretins and freaks.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:00 pm | Comment

I’ve learned more French politics in the last week than I had ever known before. I guess Sarkozy’s still in the Chirac vein, but due to his poor domestic popularity he’s had to appeal to the “left” wing… and being hard on China on this issue serves that purpose. He’s obviously backpedling as fast as he can at this point, but he doesn’t control Paris’s mayor.

Regardless… he dug his own grave, and he can go lie in it.

As far as putting swastikas on French flags… why aren’t you folks defending their right to free speech? To me, it isn’t at all more offensive than the Reporters without Borders rendition of the Olympic flag with handcuffs replacing the rings. French intellectuals and moderates think the latter is acceptable, and Chinese intellectuals and moderates (even if somewhat hesitant about the boycott itself) has absolutely no problems with putting swastikas on the French flag.

Keep wringing your hands, richard. Dismissing the opinion of the “good Chinese” that you know as that of “group-think” is your defense mechanism. Face the facts. While not all of us support the boycotts… rational, informed Chinese feel a great deal of anger over the events of the last two weeks.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:06 pm | Comment

nanhe, agree that the vilification of Jin Jing simply for her advising against the boycott is nothing less than psychotic. I believe the number of people lashing out at her is relatively small. but again, it’s the vocal few who get the attention. Reprehensible.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

Whatever you say, CCT. I just know when the people I know all parrot the same thing, word for word, and even though it’s plainly irrational, it’s groupthink. Like when I hear Americans idiotically saying of Iraq, “We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” Stupid, thoughtless, mindless, meaningless groupthink. Same with the call to boycott Carrefour, and I am glad at least some Chinese have had the courage to admit what an ill-conceived notion it is. Tell us, were you happy with the way the internet mob turned on Jin Jing when she said the boycott would do more harm to Chinese people than good?

April 22, 2008 @ 3:18 pm | Comment

@richard,

I’m not happy about much when it comes to the internet mob, and if you bothered to read my previous comments, you would see that’s been a recurring theme.

Swearing and cursing is second-nature to many online. And Jin Jing was just an obvious target. And if Wen Jiabao actually made a public appearance and explicitly called for no boycott, he’d be cursed and called a traitor in exactly the same way.

But stop mixing the extremist elements of the internet mob with the righteous indignation of the vast majority of Chinese, and insisting that the inconsistent/irrational action of the extremists suggests the same of the larger entity.

Let me help you out:

- very few Chinese called Jin Jing a traitor for refusing to boycott Jialefu;

- a minority of Chinese called Wang Qianyuan a traitor for being perceived as speaking for Tibetan independence activists,

- a majority of Chinese are in favor of a boycott of Jialefu,

- the vast majority of Chinese are very angry at the French for the Paris rally.

Fair or not, it’s very easy for all of us to compare how San Francisco handled the rally to how Paris handled the rally. Paris not only did not protect the flame, at least the Parisian government is easily seen as enflaming emotions on the issue prior to the flame’s arrival.

The fact that Sarkozy’s brain-dead enough to actually let his human rights minister suggest there are *conditions* for his attendance at the Beijing Olympics, and the fact that he has even reportedly called for a “group decision” during French’s run at the head of the EU starting in June…. these are all tied to the same.

I’ve already told you before. The vast majority of Chinese were willing to jump through hoops for the Olympics because we genuinely cared. And the fact that France is perceived as having pooped on our heads on the Olympics issue (a common phrase on the Internet these days) is directly responsible for the resulting anger.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:29 pm | Comment

On the other hand, the so-called Foreign “Journalists” produce little of economic value. Their reporting can not even be consumed locally! What impact will it have on China if “Foreign Journalist” were suddenly all to quietly disappear from streets of Chinese cities? Less biased report to reach the Western audience?

I will let Chinese patriotic youth to draw their own conclusions.

Is that a threat against foreign journalists, Cao Meng De?

April 22, 2008 @ 3:30 pm | Comment

And no, I can’t figure out what part of that is “irrational”. Do you realize how many times I’ve seen a “boycott of Chinese products” on US/European news sites over the past 2 months? Innumerable.

The Western elite just can’t get a boycott done because a) those most dependent on Chinese products are the working class blue collar, in other words those most likely to not give a shit about Tibet, b) they don’t really care enough.

The Chinese elite can get a successful boycott together (at least on the short-term) because a) those shopping at LVMH and Carrefour tend to be the elite (or at least related to the elite), b) the Chinese as a general care enough.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:35 pm | Comment

There’s a hilarious piece written by Han Han(韩寒), who’s probaly the only pop culture icon I know from the 80s’, (I m from the 70s’, so granted I dont know too much about this group).

He wrote as “Carrefour, now is like a puffy sex doll, being wrecked by a bunch of people, probably because they have been held back for so long, need something to vent on. Meanwhile they’re fucking the poor thing they have to ask the doll, and turn to the manufacturer of the doll, am I good or what? am I good or what? they also curse those bystanders showing disinterested are …. ED.”

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4701280b010092vq.html

April 22, 2008 @ 3:40 pm | Comment

I am sorry that I may have been over-hasty in condemning all foreign journalists as mere clothes shelves, rice sacks, wine vases and flesh bags.

All except journalists working for Wall Street Journals and Financial Times are mere clothes shelves, rice sacks, wine vases and flesh bags.

Therefore they won’t be missed from streets of Chinese cities.

If what I said can scare all of them into leaving China, then yes it’s threat.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:42 pm | Comment

How to get the genie back in the bottle?

Open the general media to moderate views. But that would require they sometimes disagree with government policy, so the CCP will not allow it. Beijing will probably continue to try to have its cake and eat it.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

Personally I think boycutting Carrefour, or any boycutt in general, is stupid, because it doesnt work. Even if it does, it hurts urself just as much as the one you boycutt against.

But I think everybody is missing the point here, the point is not how much less money a French company will make, the point is sending a strong message to Frence, then go to Carrefour get their discount, and go home move on with ur life.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

Cao Meng De, I’m a pretty tolerant person for the most part, but what you posted is juvenile and creepy.

I doubt that you are even in China, in point of fact.

But I need to remind myself that anonymous internet posters do not usually reflect majority opinions, and that the anonymity encourages some people to act out in really immature ways.

Good night.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

Lisa, you are spot on. Cao Meng is posting from the Good Old U.S. of A., like nearly every one of our most vociferous fenqing.

It’s a pity, he seemed to be showing signs of intelligence yesterday, but his last few comments destroy his credibility.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Comment

Do you realize how many times I’ve seen a “boycott of Chinese products” on US/European news sites over the past 2 months? Innumerable.

CCT, exactly – on news sites only, not in the real world. Show me where you have seen a mobilized boycott against Chinese products complete with marches and demonstrations, or even anything that comes remotely close. We have seen articles now and then in which some activist suggests a boycott. These have come to nothing because most Americans laugh it off as silly. We have never seen the Chinese flag desecrated and racist chants uttered by wild-eyed Westerners boycotting WalMart for its Chinese-made products. Never. Not even close.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

@otherlisa
@richard

Whatever, you are not the intended target audience anyway. It’s more of a heads up for my fellow fenqing buddies.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:13 pm | Comment

I congratulate those demonstrating Chinese youth for being able to understand French politics. As a French national, I can’t even understand the official French position on all this mess. Between the ex-maoists turned bushists/Sarkozy supporters (Andre Glucksmann), the Minister of Foreign Affairs/ Minister of Human Rights clash over Sarkozy participation at the OG opening ceremony, the gay fight in Paris townhall between Paris mayor and his Deputy of Cultural Affairs about making the Dalai Lama Honour citizen of Paris, the traditional French right wing admiring China, Cf Mrs Chirac who admired those Chinamen working for a rice bowl per day and couldn’t understand why French people couldn’t do so, the French bosses “who-do-have-any-business-deal-with-China-but-hope to-get-one-in-the-not-so-far-future-and-fear to-have-already-lost-it, the French Embassador in Beijing complimenting on the CCTV fair coverage of the Tibet events,and I forget all the others who seized this opportunity to make them appear as tough guys protecting “Ze Grande Nation” against the yellow peril…
Sincere congratulations to all the non-French speaking Chinese who are able to understand this cacophony and are demonstrating in front of Carrefour supermarkets.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:16 pm | Comment

You people pay waaaaaay too much attention or give waaaay too much weight to what Chinese write or post anonymously on the Internet. Seriously, it seems like only u people take them seriously. I sure don’t.

How about this, under the rules of hte CCP, chinese are not given much channels to vent their frusrations or to “act tough”, so these chinese go on the Internet, abuse the beauty of posting anonymously, write out all these unaccountable trash and tough talks. meanwhile, u bunch of dumb idiots eat that shit up like it’s filet mignon.

Come on foreigners, no real smart Chinese take what chinese write anonymously online seriously.

Oh and I take one thing back abour the French, not all things about France is bad, I love their women and filet mignon.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:21 pm | Comment

My site is a magnet for some of the world’s oddest people.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:21 pm | Comment

@CCT: The only reason people here find it acceptable to put swastikas on the French flag is that they simply don’t have the associations that go with the symbol, as evinced by various Nazi-chic lighters and so on that I’ve seen here. I agree with most of what you’re saying in your later comments, though just saying that a ‘minority’ of people trashed Wang Qianyuan/Grace Wang is somewhat misleading, since that minority includes her former high school (which revoked her diploma and stepped up Ʒ�� education for current students) and apparently public-security officers who leaked her ID number and her family’s personal information online.

Also, I’m not so sure that much will really come of the calls to boycott Carrefour starting May 1. Maybe in places like Hefei, where people haven’t got anything better to do, but in Beijing at least it seems like the whole thing’s jumped the shark: there’s still more than a week to go, and the government has been making announcements intended to cool people down, and when you get right down to it most people have better things to do. (That said, this may not actually be true this year: rumor has it that the Midi music festival, which usually runs May 1-4, might be cancelled or postponed.)

@Cao Mengde: (Imaginative name, by the way. I think I’ll call you 阿瞞 instead, given your apparent age.) I believe you mean “ox demons and snake spirits.” I believe you also probably have some homework to be doing.

@nanheyangrouchuan: the invective getting hurled around the internet about Jin Jing, Grace Wang, and other perceived enemies is nothing more than truculent bloviating from ill-informed man-children with the inability to perceive subtlety. I would have thought that you, of all people, would recognize that when you saw it.

@Raj: There have been a number of moderate pieces within the mainstream media that were later savaged by other media outlets. I agree that opening up the media to a more diverse range of opinions would elevate the discourse, but it’s a mistake to think of the media here (or of anything else here, or of anything else anywhere for that matter) as a single monolithic entity. Taking these guys for any kind of representative majority is like taking the Free Republic crowd for representative Americans: they’re a part of the picture, to be sure, but thankfully not anything close to a whole.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:25 pm | Comment

C’mmon Middle Finger,

Why you have to spoil all the fun by tell these Furiners not to take what Chinese write online seriously. It takes away the drama of “Tremble and Obey”.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:28 pm | Comment

My site is a magnet for some of the world’s oddest people.

Richard, that’s cuz you’re an oddball yourself.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:30 pm | Comment

Cao Meng De,

My bad, and I regret I told them that, now I’ll have to report to the nearest Ministry of Public Security office to confess my crime of educating foreigners without the CCP’s written consent and offering an acceptable bribe.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:34 pm | Comment

@cao meng de
“rance, however, is just the perfect sized country to be making an example of.”

China, China ueber alles
uber alles
uber uns
(China China over everything
over everything
over us)

Old EU joke with German national anthem.
Adopted to modern time.
(sorry if some Germans are around ;-)

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de glorie est arrive
Contre nous de la tyranie
L’�tendard sanglant est lev�.
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces f�roces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
�gorger nos fils, nos compagnes !
etc…

Eerily adapts to the current times. ;-)

About CH setting examples to small countries.. How undiplomatic, but I see the positive side of it. May push EU to finally act more united in foreign arena

A rising, and perceived as a menace or overbearing, CH, could push EU and US together. A joint economic just EU+US, plus maybe Canada, would bring together 13% world population and 60% economic power, more than 70% capital stock, 64% auto market. Others may be interested to join too. Mexico (nafta), Australia.
Rusia+Inda+Japan(?) playing both cards according to convenience.

Abendsland, Abendsland ueber alles
ueber alles
ueber uns
(Abendlads=west)

So much for grand Geo-strategic plans, time to go to work here.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:36 pm | Comment

@Middle Finger Kingdom

first post—> I agree with you

second post–> say hello to big brother from me ;-)

April 22, 2008 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

Hey if the CCP could put the nationalist “genie” back into the bottle for the much more serious anti-Japanese boycotts of a few years ago, no reason to expect they can’t do it this time. It seems to me the CCP is already starting to pear the protests down, if anything that are obviously counter productive for the CCP occurs, the Carrefour issue will be eliminated pretty fast I expect. Due to the fact that the crazy nationalists may be loud and overactive (seems that they have nothing better to do unlike most people) they’ll probably find nothing more then maybe lip-service support from the vast majority of Chinese. I mean anti-Japanese boycott or not, doesn’t seem to have prevented Chinese people people from buying more Toyota’s and Honda’s then ever before.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:46 pm | Comment

ecodelta,

You are doing way too many drugs, dude. Chill out, man.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:49 pm | Comment

The tendency of these kinds of mass movements to get out of hand is, to a certain extent, a function of how totalitarian regimes are organized. Basically, they’re organized like an Onion. As Shrek said: “Ogres are like onions; onions have layers.”

At the periphery, the mob tends to be very nationalistic, ideological. As you move towards the inner layers, the level of corruption and cynicism increases. The nationalistic mob will push this forward together with the leadership along with it. To a certain extent, it’s a product of pushing the “hostile foreign forces” conspiracy theme for so long.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

I would also just like to say, that like any country xenophobia and mob like behavior is an undeniable part of Chinese society. But despite the fact that the extreme nationalists stand out like a red flag, due to their loud and rather absurd rhetoric, we should not ignore the fact that the vast majority of Chinese are very eager to learn foreign languages and to engage with people from outside of China. Thats not to say the crazy nationalists are not a problem, xenophobia is always a problem, even if it is from a small but boisterous minority. I’m just saying we should view it in its wider context.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

hrrm, here’s an interesting article from Richard Spencer that some what vaguely coincides with my view. I don’t complete agree with Spencer, but generally, it sorta speaks about putting the recent nationalistic rhetoric in context.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/foreign/richardspencer/april08/whyfearcarrefourprotests.htm

April 22, 2008 @ 5:17 pm | Comment

ecodelta raised an interesting point here. Maybe something good will come out of all this.

Vive la France!

April 22, 2008 @ 5:26 pm | Comment

@Brendan

Respect! I don’t care what local cabbie said hat’s impressive. I will ignore the not so subtleabout you, for knowing Cao A Man, You know your Chinese and Chinese culture. T sarcasm.

Ox demon and Snake spirits are so last Revolution.

I mean clothes shelves, rice sacks, wine vases and flesh bags. They are not my words. I stole them from Mi Heng. Unless you could offer better translations.

You have proven yourself more of a China Hand than 90% of the posters here.

Cheers!

April 22, 2008 @ 5:36 pm | Comment

@Brendan

Respect! I don’t care what local cabbie said about you, for knowing Cao A Man, You know your Chinese and Chinese culture. That’s impressive. I will ignore the not so subtle sarcasm.

Ox demon and Snake spirits are so last Revolution.

I mean clothes shelves, rice sacks, wine vases and flesh bags. They are not my words. I stole them from Mi Heng. Unless you could offer better translations.

You have proven yourself more of a China Hand than 90% of the posters here.

Cheers!

April 22, 2008 @ 5:38 pm | Comment

Well, the nationalist genie must be put back in the bottle. I think crowds will quietly be asked (told) to go home, and slowly they will get the message. I will be interested to see how long it takes them though. The government must know that it is not in its interest for this to continue.

The issue of these crowds, which even if they don’t represent the views of all of Chinese society, is not as small as you think, MFK. That’s because they are starting to really affect foreign perceptions of Chinese. It doesn’t matter at the moment if foreigners are seeing China “correctly” (another thing that many protesters don’t understand). What matters is perception.

Ecodelta makes a nice point about the countries that are typically part of the Western sphere. They still hold a large, although declining share of economic might and population. Japan could arguably be added. If India and Russia are factored in, which have no love for the West, but both of which have reasons to mistrust China or the Chinese, then you have a huge chunk of the world’s population represented. And it is not hard to imagine why that chunk would be getting uneasy.

Most of these people see Chinese mobs cursing a French department store that is not linked to what went on in Paris, and Chinese netizens hurling expletives at anyone who dares to not love China unconditionally. This has been going on for quite some time now, and it threatens China’s reputation in the world, not least as a safe haven for business (with the rising RMB, rising inflation, rising cost of labour, etc. China doesn’t need to be adding the spectre of an unwelcome populace, especially when the world’s economy is slowing).

At this point, in terms of perceptions of China, right or not, what the Chinese people feel as a whole is almost irrelevent. What the few baddies are showing is doing its damage.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:40 pm | Comment

It’s true, clinical tests show that Brendan is now nearly 100 percent Chinese.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:40 pm | Comment

(meant as a compliment, Brendan!)

April 22, 2008 @ 5:41 pm | Comment

ecodelta, in seriousness it would be very interesting to see the EU act more coherently politically, although that is something I don’t see occurring. Since in my view the political power centers are much to fragmented. And the US is hardly interested in a more politically powerful EU . In many ways, I do find it quite interesting that if we look at it historically, China could be considered a politically coherent and concentrated version of the Europe. I say this more in the sense of a vague extension of common historical comparisons between the Roman Empire and Imperial China.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:48 pm | Comment

Hualian,

Once again, your chinese characteristic of modesty is coming through again. No, a concentrated version of Europe won’t do for us, uber-Imperial USA is our goal.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:58 pm | Comment

As much as the fear of containment lingers on Chinese psyche, the prospect of EU+North America+Japan+India+Russia+Aussie alliance against China is nil.

It would have take an unstoppably powerful China to force Russia to join Nato. If it takes half of the world to band together to face China, then China must’ve been strong enough to pose threat to all.

I doubt any of you armchair generals will live long enough to see that day. Don’t give me the Boxer Rebellion analogy. Qing doesn’t have nukes and means to deliver them. MAD keep everybody on their best behavior.

There is enough critical mass of interconnected trade between these nation- states to make any open wars between them every painful to all party involved. Trade with us, everybody get rich. Fu#k with us, everybody gets fu#ked. Choice is clear to anyone with half a brain.

April 22, 2008 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

For those of you Chinese history buffs, All vs China scenario is rather like the late Warring State period.

Qin faced alliance of 6 strong states determined to check Qin’s power. 6 states combined could field an army many times of Qin. But the nature of this kind of alliance is unstable. Whenever Qin’s power is checked, the survival of 6 states no longer threatened, the alliance members will start fighting among themselves. Qin heartland itself was impenetrable. Rulers of Qin were determined to unify all under heaven.

Over 5 generations, Qin was finally able to exploit the schism between 2 most powerful members of the 6-state alliance. The rest is history. The most recent silver screen adaption of Qin conquest had been “Emperor and Assassin” and much maligned “Hero”

April 22, 2008 @ 6:32 pm | Comment

@ Cao Meng De:

Stop it with your war fantasies. I prefer my idea: that the West implement a plan to force manufacturers to shift a large percentage of our manufacturing to other countries so as to reduce our dependence on China as an export platform and potential Chinese leverage over Western countries. This is a perfectly sensible goal that we need to be considering, especially given the growing and alarming signs of instability there.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, it’s just common sense, no? Our choice isn’t between war and total engagement; we can choose to have chilly but peaceful relations, which is what I would advocate.

April 22, 2008 @ 6:53 pm | Comment

Imagethief has picked this up:

http://tinyurl.com/5pnudw

“Attack on an American volunteer by anti-Carrefour mob in Zhuzhou, Hunan”

It’s beginning.

April 22, 2008 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

@stuart

I hope it is an isolated incident. By what it is a risk I bet CH government is going to take fast action.

I try to look at the positive side, it may force more moderate CH people to get a stronger stance against the most excited countrymen.

Yes, perceptions of CH do matter in the west. It is not the right question to ask is they are right or wrong, but how to find the best way to change them.

The image of the red guards during the cultural revolution is still very strong in our minds, therefore we get the jitters too easily, although that was eons ago considering CH recent fast
evolution.

On the other hand, I think CH need some major upgrade on its PR department.

April 22, 2008 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

If this incident is indeed confirmed…While I want to make it clear that I’m not condoning the actions of the mob at all, residents in China have to use some common sense. Given the tensions, shopping at Carrefour where there is a bunch of obviously irrational people massed outside is not a good idea. No matter how minor the crazy nationalists are in the context of Chinese society, the fact remains there is a bunch of them massed in front of that particular Carrefour in Hunan. Again I am not blaming the victim, he is completely faultless except for bad luck I guess. In any case, I do not really see any major change in the situation as a whole however, all it takes is for mob mentality to express itself among a small crowd and something like this would have occurred. I mean, irrational people in minimally sufficient numbers have done similar actions for even seemingly trivial things like sports. However, I do not think the basic situation has really changed for the fundamental problem with this boycott in my view remains. Similar to the anti-Japanese boycott before it (which I actually consider to be much more serious) is that it has a difficult time of getting anything beyond lip-service support among the general Chinese populace. I mean, taking a look at the streets of Beijing or Shanghai, there are perhaps more Toyota’s or Honda’s then ever before. Given its lack of sufficient support among the populace, the CCP can put the “genie back in the bottle”, indeed it has done so on previous occasions. Indeed, this incident, given its obvious excess, might actually serve to end the whole issue faster (be it through government reaction or changing public opinion or to actually make many Chinese to start to view the actions of the extreme nationalists as significantly important) then what I had originally thought.

April 22, 2008 @ 9:31 pm | Comment

@Cao Meng De
“You are doing way too many drugs, dude. Chill out, man.”

Yea. That Colombian coffee this morning was real strong. Funny taste too… Might have been a “queer” production batch…

April 22, 2008 @ 9:34 pm | Comment

I wonder what kind of reception the French team will get at the Olympics?

I have yet to hear any rational explanation from an intelligent Chinese person as to why France is being targeted for the actions of the Parisian mayor and the overwhelmed Parisien police “letting one through”.

Why not target the US, whose national politicians are much more anti-Chinese in their rhetoric (Pelosi, Clinton etc)? I can understand the hard feelings against westerners but seeing intelligent people supporting action against a French supermarket makes me realise I will never understand the Chinese.

April 22, 2008 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

So what? Didn’t French protesters also say stuff like “China=fascism”?

April 22, 2008 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

@CCT

OK, now you have your incident of crowds attacking foreigners randomly, reported by Stuart. Also note that the group of volunteers that the attacked person belong to have to sign a “Conditions of Participation” before going to China. If more incidents like this take place, I can promise you that people in the US and Europe will demand that Chinese students sign “Conditions” before they visit the West. This Olympics is yours to lose.

April 22, 2008 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

Notice the comment at the end of the article:

“…stop stealing the china woman! liberate china from western evil fuck boy!”

http://shanghaiist.com/2008/04/22/attack_on_an_american_volunteer.php#comments

April 22, 2008 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

Given the tensions, shopping at Carrefour where there is a bunch of obviously irrational people massed outside is not a good idea.

Maybe. But isn’t one of the supposed benefits of CCP rule that there is total law enforcement and people can walk the streets safely?

If this had happened in the UK, the Police would have been there in force to protect shoppers. As it is they had to be called out because there was no prescence. What were they doing that was so important they couldn’t spare even a single patrol car/a couple of officers to keep an eye on things?

April 22, 2008 @ 10:47 pm | Comment

So what? Didn’t French protesters also say stuff like “China=fascism”?

Even if some did, how does that require Chinese to attack people for being Caucasian?

April 22, 2008 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

“Even if some did, how does that require Chinese to attack people for being Caucasian?”

Since when did I have to defend the comment by some racists?

Besides, I understand that being racist in many Western countries is very much acceptable…One just have to choose the appropriate phrases.

http://tinyurl.com/6f2ewr

April 22, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Comment

RE: Cao Meng De “As much as the fear of containment lingers on Chinese psyche, the prospect of EU+North America+Japan+India+Russia+Aussie alliance against China is nil”

Maybe.

In my line of work (Emerging Market Banking) I get to meet quite a few financial types from ex-CIS states. One such meeting took place last week with the CFO of a mid-sized Russian Bank.

In general conversation about natural resources in Eastern Siberia he moved on to talk about Chinese immigration into Eastern Siberia and the fact that it is becoming, in his words, ‘a big issue for us’. Specifically what he was referring to what unchecked immigration on a large scale that the central government seemed incapable of controlling.

I don’t know enough about the situation to back up what he said with citable facts and figures. However I got the impression from him that the common view among the elites in Moscow is that whilst Russia is currently pre-occupied with Nato expansion in the west and control of her southern fringes the issue of a growing Chinese presence / influence in the east in certainly on the radar.

Short term I agree that Russian self-interest will dictate that it mainly is in confrontation with Nato / Europe. However longer term there are certainly issues between CH and Russia that will need to be addressed.

April 22, 2008 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

“I wonder what kind of reception the French team will get at the Olympics?”

Maybe, by then they’ll have found another target for their nationalist anger. Angela Merkel, for example, might meet the Dalai Lama another time and then it’s all “bad, bad Germany.”

“I have yet to hear any rational explanation from an intelligent Chinese person as to why France is being targeted for the actions of the Parisian mayor and the overwhelmed Parisien police ‘letting one through’.”

Don’t ask for rational explanations, there are none. There’s been a lot of talk about “brainwashing” on this blogsite. Obviously, there are quite many Chinese people who only have to be shown a certain direction and they march, shout and go te get the bad laowai.

“Why not target the US, whose national politicians are much more anti-Chinese in their rhetoric (Pelosi, Clinton etc)? I can understand the hard feelings against westerners but seeing intelligent people supporting action against a French supermarket makes me realise I will never understand the Chinese.”

There is nothing to understand. Today it’s the French, tomorrow maybe the Americans, and the day after that it might be the Germans or somebody else. All they need is some target to vent their anger and frustration at. You can’t criticise or protest against the CCP, that kind of thing gets you in prison or worse.

April 22, 2008 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

“Notice the comment at the end of the article:”

Could be one of Ferin’s lines.

“If this had happened in the UK, the Police would have been there in force to protect shoppers. As it is they had to be called out because there was no prescence. What were they doing that was so important they couldn’t spare even a single patrol car/a couple of officers to keep an eye on things?”

Play mahjong, drink baijiu, get “entertained” at the next KTV.

April 22, 2008 @ 11:32 pm | Comment

“French senator tells you the truth about Tibet”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLTm0xrG-v4

April 22, 2008 @ 11:38 pm | Comment

Those aren’t Nazi swastikas, those are sacred symbols common to Buddhism, written by Tibet splittists trying to destroy the precious and supple motherland!

Stupid cheese-eating surrender monkeys! I promise I won’t buy any more fake L/V bags!

Boycott French cheese, support Swiss!!!!

April 22, 2008 @ 11:59 pm | Comment

@Peanut Butter

“we can choose to have chilly but peaceful relations, which is what I would advocate.”

Isn’t it too bad that you are not among mover and shaker of the world? Nice dream.

April 23, 2008 @ 12:09 am | Comment

@Mick,

The French supermarket is being targeted for the lack of a better choice. It’s national, it’s very prominent, and it’s a brand everyone knows.

Why is a French supermarket being targeted for the actions of the Parisian mayor? Because we saw the videos. The Parisian mayor may be the instigator, but he wasn’t the only one flying the “Genocide Olympics” flag and banner on the streets of Paris.

I said immediately after the Paris rally that my aged, retired musician, very loving/warm mother… was ready to launch a nuke at Paris if her finger was on the button. That was the depth of Chinese anger at what happened in Paris. So, I’m not surprised at all that we’ve sought out a target.

French protesters against foreign cultural influence smash McDonalds; American protesters against globalism smash Starbucks. Chinese protesters, for the lack of a better choice, is targeting Carrefour.

As far as the reported “attack” on the American shopping at Carrefour… I’m not surprised at all. There’ve been plenty of reports in previous years of Westerners being targeted for wearing shirts that insulted China, etc. How about the internet mob that tried to turn on the American in Shanghai who bragged about sleeping with multiple Chinese women?

Is the repressed anger in China far greater than it is in the United States? Can I fly the Chinese flag in the US without fear, but flying the French flag (and god forbid the Tibetan flag) in Beijing today would give your ass kicked? Yes.

Does this make the United States better than China? Sure; there are a lot of things in which the United States is “better” than China, and the fact that it doesn’t have a population scarred by a history of foreign exploitation is one of them.

Is this unfair? Does your sense of “unfairness” change the fact that China is what it is? No, of course not.

Is this bad for China? Well, I certainly think being on the streets and attacking innocent civilians is bad, at least unproductive. We can just look at what Lhasa 3/14 has done for Chinese support for Tibet independence.

But despite what all the ‘jingying’ (elite) are saying about how we should act like a “big country” and stop walking around with a chip on our shoulder… I remember how well the Qing acted out the role of the “big country” when confronted with early European traders, and I remember how that eventually played out. Frankly, history tells me China doesn’t look big and strong when it maintains its silence and attempts to act scholarly… to some at least, China just looks big and vulnerable instead.

China needs two faces. The welcoming one, and the angry one. I’m in favor of China, the Chinese people showing collectively that we have a backbone, that we’re just a little bit crazy, and that we do have an angry face.

A popular saying going around Chinese forums right now looks like this:
朋友来了有好酒,敌人来了有猎枪。

When friends visit, we offer them our best wine.
When our enemies come, we prepare our hunting rifle.

April 23, 2008 @ 12:22 am | Comment

>How about the internet mob that tried to turn on the American in Shanghai who bragged about sleeping with multiple Chinese women?

LOL, I remember that. What happened to that guy, anyway?

April 23, 2008 @ 12:26 am | Comment

@CCT
“my aged, retired musician, very loving/warm mother… was ready to launch a nuke at Paris if her finger was on the button”

Hope she was not to harsh with you as kid when you did something wrong…

“Without a fight we do not get to know each other”
Chinese proverb too I think.

April 23, 2008 @ 12:38 am | Comment

Well, at least these demonstrations in China are remotely connected to some political/national cause (I’ll leave for others to judge how just or misguided these actions may be).

Downtown Montreal got trashed last night after the hockey team advanced to the next round in the playoffs. Running battles with riot police, 16 police cars destroyed all over the national news.

Rationality is very rarely a characteristic of mob gatherings.

April 23, 2008 @ 12:49 am | Comment

@GY UK

Oh yes the famed Russian Xenophobia and fear of Yellow Horde. It’s a known issue. Will it leads to war, hardly. As long as China don’t make a land grab for Siberia, not gonna be a problem.

The only realistic way for Russians to hold onto Far east is thru development of its economy. Otherwise, Russians will continue to leave for better economic opportunities of European Russia leaving a demographic vacuum behind. China is a natural market for natural resources of Russian Far East.

Russia to China, could be what Canada is to United States, but with nukes. It’s their choice really.

But in order to attract more Russians into Far East, The Far east has to offer better opportunity than European Russia. It’s unlikely in short term. Western Russia is already increasingly experience shortage in skilled labor.

Russian women could pump out more babies, but then they will still have the time lag of 20 years in which to meet the labor demand. Meanwhile much labor in European Russia is provided in forms of Caucasian(as in people from Caucasus like the Chenchens) immigrants. Have you heard Russian tell you what they really think about these Caucasians?

Where is Russia gonna get the labor to develop its Far eastern resources? In the Soviet days, they had Vietnamese and North Korean guest workers. Now Russian farmers are hiring Chinese.

As with any immigration wave, it bring conflict with the locals.

I suspect what you heard from your client is not that different from listening to some Americans bitching about ‘illegal immigrants’ from Mexico and Central America. Does that mean United States is gonna wage war against Mexico?
Hardly.

April 23, 2008 @ 12:50 am | Comment

Why Hu and Wen hadn’t spoken yet ? Because it is not politically prudent to do so, ever. This is why Mao did not stop the CR. Hu and Wen need the distraction of the people to more urgent problems than pollution, inflation, stock market meltdown, etc. When refocus people on things that is going to hurt themselves politically.

April 23, 2008 @ 12:55 am | Comment

@Peanut Butter,

No idea what happened to that guy. I think he was smart enough to erase all traces of himself online, and kept it mostly anonymous even before then. Probably caught the next plane out of town.

@ecodelta,

No, my mom never actually resorted to weapons of mass destruction when it came to me. Waterboarding on the other hand…

April 23, 2008 @ 12:56 am | Comment

@Bill,

Silly. If distraction was the goal, Hu and Wen would’ve orchestrated all of this in the beginning. (Of course, its possible rioters in Lhasa/Paris could’ve all been wujing plants… can’t ignore that possibility.)

Hu and Wen haven’t come out and said anything because it’s a huge investment of their political capital. What happens if Hu comes out and makes a statement (which will inevitably cause many Chinese nationalists to turn their targets on him), and then France proceeds to piss on the Olympics in an even more outrageous way?

Keep in mind that this isn’t the United States or Europe, where the political leadership “speak” to the masses on a daily basis, and rely on their personal charm to get things done. Hu Jintao is on camera *speaking* to the people probably only once a year. Wen Jiabao is more social… maybe 3-5 times a year?

April 23, 2008 @ 1:01 am | Comment

Here’s how the Chinese government speaks to the people… an unnamed, anonymous Department of Commerce official announces today through CCTV that Carrefour opposes Tibetan independence, and supports the Beijing Olympics.

I don’t think anything short of mass mobilization of the PLA can stop the 5/1 boycotts + demonstrations at this point. But hopefully it will temper emotions.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:04 am | Comment

It is funny that you guys are not cheering when the oppressed people protest in China.

Talk about irrational and bad behaviors. Did not you Fenchmen try to “Free Tibet” by attacking a Chinese girl in wheelchair? She was assaulted by a lot of goons and thugs. One white pig even pulled her hair. Rocks, bottles and food were also thrown around. Some French pigs spitted on Chinese and beat them up later. Frenchmen also murdered Chinese on street.

Chinese men are either calm or wimpy, depend on how you look at it. Foreigners are treated much better in China than Chinese are treated in west.

If our woman with one leg could fend off a bunch of thugs, China already won the Olympics to me and I would not mind the game go to hell with Tibetans and Tibetphiles.

Who cares who goes who does not. But if you go, you better not to throw your temper tantrum like two year old in front of your host, or you will thank God that the oppresive CCP will save your fat ass.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:05 am | Comment

Since when did I have to defend the comment by some racists?

I didn’t say you had to defend a racist comment, I was trying to figure out what relevance that had to the issue of French flags being defaced and/or people being attacked because of their skin colour. Maybe you could explain.

Besides, I understand that being racist in many Western countries is very much acceptable.

It would depend which countries you were talking about, but not the UK – even the top guy on race here has said that the vast majority of Britons aren’t racist.

Also I would say that racism is tolerated in China to a degree. Although Chinese will say they are not racist, certain groups get regular tongue-bashings with few, if any, Chinese doing anything to stop it.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Did not you Fenchmen try to “Free Tibet” by attacking a Chinese girl in wheelchair?

No Frenchmen attacked her as far as I know.

She was assaulted by a lot of goons and thugs. One white pig even pulled her hair. Rocks, bottles and food were also thrown around.

One East Asian guy pushed her around a bit – that was it from what I know.

Frenchmen also murdered Chinese on street.

Really? When, where, etc? I think you’re making it up or referring to something unconnected with the Olympics.

Foreigners are treated much better in China than Chinese are treated in west.

I don’t think so. For one thing, Chinese are not banned from accessing the Chinese media overseas but foreigners in China are restricted to the news they can read or pick up. Chinese books are not banned overseas but some English-language ones are in China.

Chinese are treated fairly equally to the locals in places like the UK – I don’t think foreigners in China automatically get better treatment than that.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:43 am | Comment

This is just depressing.

I have often said that the world needs a strong, stable China that is a positive force. That the planet cannot afford a China in collapse. But the fenqing and foreigners who think that China is going to be the next global hyperpower are drunk on development. There are too many people, not enough resources and the country teeters on the brink of total environmental collapse. The best case scenario is that the amazing energy and resourcefulness of the Chinese people will pull the country back from the brink and commit to the long, complicated task of cleaning things up.

The US, with our dollar sinking and our economy pretty much in the toilet, has some choices to make as well. We can commit to rebuilding our infrastructure, pull back from imperialistic foreign involvements, and hell, since the dollar is so weak, go back to making our own stuff. Think globally, act locally and stop buying so much shit.

I’m not an anti-globalist, but I think it would be for the best.

Sorry for the rambling, I have not had nearly enough coffee and I have to get to work. All the nationalist chest-beating and glee taken in destructive, harmful fantasies makes me tired anyway. I avoid sites here in the US that espouse those kinds of sentiments, and it really saddens me to see them here.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:54 am | Comment

“China needs two faces. The welcoming one, and the angry one.”

I agree. You can play the welcoming face and I get to play the angry face.

Oh, it’s so fun to play the angry face.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:04 am | Comment

THe Chinese gov’t escalated the incident first, with CNN, they should have not commented on a statement made by Cafferty, who is a private citizen in the US, he is not a spokesperson for CNN or for the WHite house, he expressed his biased opinion within the US border.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:08 am | Comment

Maybe China is learning from Great America and France, and they are starting to treat foreigners as badly as they can without repercussions like America and France does.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=PPf0aRRkQm0

The reason why you think France is better mor, is because you’re white. China isn’t racist either, you’re just a whiner.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:15 am | Comment

I don’t think foreigners in China automatically get better treatment than that.

What’s this? Even American born Chinese get special treatment, why wouldn’t you?

April 23, 2008 @ 3:18 am | Comment

What does that swastika refer to? Are they linking france with nazi germany? or are they linking france to tibet. that swastika is also a buddhist symbol.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:39 am | Comment

The protesters are only mobs when the target is not the Chinese government. Otherwise they are straight thinking good citizens of the world and always within their reasons.

April 23, 2008 @ 4:14 am | Comment

So does anyone know if this incident has been confirmed yet? Raj I think it be great if the local police can be efficient or even have common sense, but hey, I wouldn’t count on it before, and I wouldn’t now. and also Raj i think the other person meant that foreigners are actually usually treated better then the average Chinese person in China. The media restrictions are also applicable to the average Chinese citizen, and foreigners actually have better access to restricted media. (in the hotels and such) Again most Chinese people, as any expat will probably tell you, are really eager to talk to them and such. Most of things that could be considered to be offensive to foreigners in China are more to do with sheer ignorance (when people stare at foreigners for no good reason etc) then for any sort of active dislike. That said however, it is clear and has always been clear to me, that xenophobia also exists in Chinese society. I do not think they have to be mutually exclusive though, China is a huge country, and despite CCP efforts, there is a vast amount of different economic levels, education levels and opinions.

April 23, 2008 @ 4:39 am | Comment

xenophobia like in any other society has always been a part of China. Xenophobia directed at the West is actually in my opinion on of the less common type in China. Examining the history of the “Han” group ( I’m just using that term to narrow the focus to China) one finds numerous occasions such as the Punti-Hakka clan wars in Guangdong, which was serious enough to cause a mass migration of Hakka’s to Taiwan, which unfortunately was followed by the Minnan-Hakka clan wars in the island. Now open warfare is probably not likely to happen again, but xenophobic comments directed from one Han group to another is extremely common and indeed in my opinion is the most common form of discrimination in China due to the fact that there are so many Han groups in China.

April 23, 2008 @ 4:53 am | Comment

It’s a huge myth that China’s a police state. Chinese gongan often find themselves in situations where they can’t even protect themselves from a mob. The idea that they can “step in” and protect shoppers or the targets of a mob with great ease is not realistic.

In this case, it sounds like they did eventually step in, but I’d be shocked if they didn’t have to get 50-100 officers on site before trying it.

April 23, 2008 @ 4:55 am | Comment

“When friends visit, we offer them our best wine.
When our enemies come, we prepare our hunting rifle.”

Most Chinese citizens are having a little trouble with that distinction right now.

“Chinese gongan often find themselves in situations where they can’t even protect themselves from a mob.”

That, to my surprise, is true.

April 23, 2008 @ 5:13 am | Comment

But CCT in this case according to the original post in the “Shanghaiist” blog: “Two police made there way though the mob” Does it mean that their weren’t really enough of a mob to prove to be any danger to only 2 policemen or is it something else I’m not sure.

April 23, 2008 @ 5:19 am | Comment

What? You aren’t China’s best friends. And “most Chinese citizens” are not nationalists.

Stop trying to make yourselves out to be some kind of victim class, you get enough special treatment as is.

Why should Chinese people worry about some whiners when thousands of North Korean refugees are sent back to the DPRK?

April 23, 2008 @ 5:22 am | Comment

@stuart,

Here’s the thing: we, not you, get to decide whether visitors are coming in the spirit of friendship or not.

@hualian,

I wasn’t there, so anything that I say is purely speculation. But there’s no reason for the mob to be angry at the cops, as long as they didn’t try to “side” with the Westerner. My point is that Chinese aren’t cowed by the authority and police. Not even close.

Sounds like these cops exercised great judgment in getting the hell out of there immediately. But I seriously doubt there were only two cops there; I doubt the car could’ve moved without more cops trying to clear the path.

April 23, 2008 @ 5:40 am | Comment

“What’s this? Even American born Chinese get special treatment, why wouldn’t you?”

So that’s why Ferin loves China so much. He gets special treatment, because he’s a yankee.

April 23, 2008 @ 5:47 am | Comment

I don’t use it to find Shanghai gold-diggers though.

April 23, 2008 @ 5:56 am | Comment

“I don’t use it to find Shanghai gold-diggers though.”

Why not? Even Shanghai gold-diggers need some love.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:07 am | Comment

But they don’t fancy immature American youngsters like Ferin.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:25 am | Comment

Unfortunately gold-diggers would settle for just about anyone, as we have learned from this blog.

April 23, 2008 @ 10:07 am | Comment

Of course, the point is NOT to take the gold-diggers home to see Mom

April 23, 2008 @ 12:44 pm | Comment

“Unfortunately gold-diggers would settle for just about anyone, as we have learned from this blog.”

Except for extremely repulsive trolls like you.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Cao Meng De

Yep – valid points all of them.

However what I took from what they guy was saying was that in the longer term Russia is more concerned about rivally from the east as opposed to the west. Maybe this was just comforting talk for a western audience however as I work for an Arabic FI I can’t totally put it down to this.

Whilst you accurately describe the reasons behind the current situation I’d be more interested to hear why you don’t think this will escalate. Right now its a win win situation for those sides but long term an equilibrium has to be achieved…where will that be?

April 23, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | Comment

“why you don’t think this will escalate.”

Thermonuclear weapons.

I have no doubts there are lots of racist motherf@ckers or at least people who think like your clients on the Russian side of the border.

But Mutually Assured Destruction tend to keep people honest.

Of course, if they really decide to go nuts and start a Chinese pogrom on their side of the border, all hell will break loose.

But I am counting on the Russky Bear to be a rational animal.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:02 pm | Comment

CCT, so basically, Chinese deserve free speech but no one else does.

This is amazing. And, to reiterate a former post. If the Chinese have the right to free speech now, which us barbarians have been encouraging for a while (by the way, barbarians-free speech, sound odd?) I guess it’s time to free all those political dissidents, protesters, and common people misplaced by the “People’s Games,” isn’t it?

No, because that, apparently, is a different kind of speech.

Also, The Genocide Olympics flag is indeed slightly offensive, but then again, I’m pretty sure that’s not what sits in front of China’s chair at the UN. The French flag is, well, the flag of France: a nation. The Olympic flag is a flag of utter preposterousness, on that China cannot lay claim to. That said, the entire idea of the Olympics is ridiculous, but what do I know? I’m not a sports fan (actually for a barbarian I’m pretty pathetically non-hirsute and bookish).

One last thing. The Torch Relay that started this whole exercise in mendacity? It was started by the Nazis in 1936. They wanted to parade their master race quite literally through Europe with the whole world watching.

Sound familiar?

Oh yeah, And then Jesse Owens kicked their asses.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:41 pm | Comment

@Raj

Yes, a Chinese student was killed by a gang in Paris on March 19. This tragedy took place almost three weeks before the torch relay, so it appears that the incident was unconnected to the olympics PR meltdown.

http://tinyurl.com/3qvo9j

April 24, 2008 @ 12:09 am | Comment

@john

“so basically, Chinese deserve free speech but no one else does.”

Yup, you got it, bright chap!

“One last thing. The Torch Relay that started this whole exercise in mendacity? It was started by the Nazis in 1936. They wanted to parade their master race quite literally through Europe with the whole world watching.

Sound familiar?”

Yup, We are Nazis and Master race. You so smart.

Now run along and go play with other pathetically non-hirsute and bookish barbarian children.

April 24, 2008 @ 12:40 am | Comment

@john,

Huh, a link between the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the Beijing Olympics… what an insightful and original comment. Seems to me like Europeans have a heavy load of its own historical burdens that it needs to get rid of.

As far as “deserving free speech”… I honestly don’t even know what you’re talking about.

April 24, 2008 @ 2:29 am | Comment

europeans sure love projection.

genocide! nazis! religious intolerance!

April 24, 2008 @ 3:18 am | Comment

hell yah!

Finally “foreign guest” can know how it feels to be an “alien”, Mexican, Asian, or blacks in America.

Vincent Chin can finally rest in peace!

April 24, 2008 @ 4:47 am | Comment

>Why should Chinese people worry about some whiners when thousands of North Korean refugees are sent back to the DPRK?

From what I’ve heard China desn’t worry about them, either, lol

April 24, 2008 @ 5:01 am | Comment

The CCP doesn’t care about anyone. It’s not worth the time, however, to dedicate any extra police or court resources to deal with some butt-hurt white princesses that think they deserve everything handed to them in a silver platter on the steps of their gated expat communities.

April 24, 2008 @ 6:44 am | Comment

Yup, I feel your anger, Ferin. The very thought of foreigners in China not wanting to be attacked by mobs. The cheek! Arrogant, spoiled laowai. o_0

April 24, 2008 @ 6:51 am | Comment

Until one of them actually gets beaten to death like the minorities in Europe and America, they have no reason to complain.

April 24, 2008 @ 6:54 am | Comment

What an odd moral universe you live in, Ferin. In mine, everyone has the right to be safe from lynch mobs, regardless of what crimes other people may be committing in another country.

April 24, 2008 @ 6:58 am | Comment

In yours, apparently, you have the right to bitch, piss, moan and whine and hold others to higher standards than you have ever achieved yourself in place of any sense of reason and priority.

China doesn’t have enough police resources to babysit prima donnas.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:09 am | Comment

*showing any sense

April 24, 2008 @ 7:11 am | Comment

Personally, I believe the Chinese government takes this situation a great deal more seriously that you apparently do, and with good reason; any mob violence vaguely reminiscent of the Boxer Rebellion and any suspicion on the part of foreigners that the Chinese government were complicit in violence against foreigners and / or their property (or at least seen not to really care that much) would have extremely grave consequences for the country.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:13 am | Comment

would have extremely grave consequences for the country.

I’m sure they’ll live. Don’t overestimate your worth.

There won’t be violence “reminiscent of the Boxer Rebellion”, are you retarded? Why not say if the “American expats” act in a manner “reminiscent of” the Opium Wars they can expect their fat heads to roll in the streets of Beijing ;)

I think the general Chinese populace has moved past its dynastic ways, as for Westerners? They’re still breaking open markets and invading for commodities, last I checked.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:21 am | Comment

>Why not say if the “American expats” act in a manner “reminiscent of” the Opium Wars they can expect their fat heads to roll in the streets of Beijing ;)

I don’t see British (or American) gunboats shelling the Chinese coast.

I do see mobs of righteous Chinese nationalists yelling “kill the foreign devils” and demonstrating against Western business interests and, apparently, assaulting a “foreign devil”.

Who exactly is going on a trip down memory lane here?

*sigh*

April 24, 2008 @ 7:26 am | Comment

I don’t see Chinese martial artists punching Christian babies either.

So who is being hysterical here? I’d say all the whiners here are.

Oh noes, boxer rebellion v.2! Save me Jesus!

First the Nazi comparisons from fearmongering idiots, now this. What’s next, WMD in Zhuzhou?

April 24, 2008 @ 7:33 am | Comment

“China doesn’t have enough police resources to babysit prima donnas.”

China doesn’t even have enough police resources to maintain public security. The gonganju is a f’cking joke. Lazy, baldheaded men playing mahjong and screwing KTV girls – they really have a hard job to do.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:19 am | Comment

>I don’t see British (or American) gunboats shelling the Chinese coast.

Thank to CCP, China actually has a decent army this time. There will be no Eight-Nation Alliance marking into Beijing again and burning down the Bird’s Nest.

April 24, 2008 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Lazy, baldheaded men playing mahjong and screwing KTV girls

Sounds like you and your “wife”.

April 24, 2008 @ 10:34 am | Comment

;)

April 24, 2008 @ 10:35 am | Comment

Thanks for proving my point, “THUGs AND GOONs”, which was that it is only some Chinese who are taking a trip down memory lane and re-enacting the Boxer Rebellion, and not foreigners.

April 24, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Comment

@ Ferin:

Enjoy your b&

April 24, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Comment

I gauge myself based on which comments don’t get deleted and which do. If I get banned for what I said and HKSojourner doesn’t for saying “Han Chinese can fuck off home” then well, that would be hypocrisy.

It would explain why none of the moderate Chinese posters can stomach this place. I’ve seen tons of them come and go, none of them want to put up with constant slander, exaggerations, and outright lies.

April 24, 2008 @ 11:01 am | Comment

The moderate Chinese posters can’t stomach abusive American trolls like Ferin.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

They find me amusing.

April 25, 2008 @ 6:06 am | Comment

@cao meng & CCT

Thank you both for responding to the inflammatory comments I made. And thank you doubly for predictably commenting only on those comments, and not the less acerbic calls for freedom of political prisoners, journalists, and people who “subvert the state.” Not to mention ignoring the essence of that post, a response to CCT’s about the comparably offense generated by Nazi Swastikas on the French National flag as opposed to handcuffs on the Olympic flag, which, to my knowledge, has not become the official flag of any nation in the last two days. I admit to using harsh rhetoric for a sound byte, and that should never be part of a substantive argument. That said, criticizing said bytes is no better.

Also, I don’t have children, but thank you for assuming so, though I have no idea why that assumption was made, given that most of the foreigners in China that I know are under 30 and childless.

But, you know, whatever.

April 25, 2008 @ 11:20 am | Comment

Sorry, one last thing,

CCT, when I mentioned free speech I was referring to your earlier post wherein you rightly brought up the issue referring to the French flags with swastikas and why we aren’t defending their right to free speech. To be fair, that is an excellent point. Indeed, free speech does guarantee the right to that sort of protest. My point was simply the hypocrisy contingent to that claim. Free speech should be defended when it allows Chinese protesters to defame foreign symbols, but it should not be defended when it includes activists saying “we want human rights, not Olympics,” or allowing journalists into Tibet, or even allowing China’s reporters to report anything than the government’s press releases. Also, if we should be defending the right of free speech in regard to the flags, then those waving the flags should also be defending Cafferty’s comments on CNN, as they fall well within the confines of free speech, and in a country that guarantees it no less. Kudos to CNN for not apologizing, btw. That is, after all, the essence of free speech, that people are free to espouse unpopular and even offensive ideas. I will be the first to respect the right of Chinese protesters as soon as they recognize ours, something which, apparently, is rather difficult. Seriously, it was CNN, and it was an editorial piece. Much, MUCH more offensive things are said in the official, “objective” articles in the Chinese press, as well as by government officials themselves.

But anyway, this all comes down to two old American sayings (my apologies for not being well-versed in Chinese proverbs, I’m working on it.)

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

and

“Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.”

Cheers.

April 25, 2008 @ 11:59 am | Comment

“They find me amusing.”

Ferin, the word is ABUSIVE, not AMUSING. Your English really is appalling.

April 25, 2008 @ 8:35 pm | Comment

@john


old AMERICAN sayings

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”


Wow your knowledge is profound, the mind boggles.

I didn’t know that Voltaire to whom the above quote is usually attributed to, or Evelyn Beatrice Hall who may actually wrote them, hold AMERICAN passport. Thank you for clearing that up for the rest of us.

It goes to show that you never underestimate a pathetically non-hirsute and bookish barbarian kid.

My apologies.

April 26, 2008 @ 2:27 am | Comment

@Richard: –and it was taken as such!

@Cao Mengde: Cheers. I’d say that we should be friends, but I do remember how that usually ended up with your namesake.

@everybody else: OH GOD WHY ARE YOU ALL SO FUCKING STUPID SERIOUSLY

April 26, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Comment

@ Cao Meng De

I meant that it was a commonly used phrase during the American Revolution (partially inspired by those stupid French and their philosophers). It has since been adopted as commonly used phrase in America. I never said that an American first uttered it. Also, I doubt either Voltaire or Hall had a passport, they were first issued in the early 20th century.

I am not entirely sure why I am defending myself, although I remain unsurprised that you are focusing on minor misattributions and errors (your grammar is rife with them) instead of responding to anything said about the Western press, the Chinese press, human rights, etc.

It doesn’t matter much anyway, the lines in the sand have been drawn.

However, if you wish to discuss actual issues like free speech, human rights, and whether or not protests from either country are ideologically sound, I would be more than happy to do so.

I doubt it though, easier to mock the laowai.

April 26, 2008 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

@john

“partially inspired by those stupid French and their philosophers”

Of course, Voltaire couldn’t hold a candle to your brilliance.

April 26, 2008 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

@Brendan

Don’t worry buddy. In my present incarnation, I don’t have the power to have people’s heads removed. Not yet.

April 26, 2008 @ 7:07 pm | Comment

@Cao Meng De

Seriously, no snappy anything, please, please respond to something of substance. You are good at misinterpreting me, and I applaud that.

Also, “those stupid French and their philosophers” was something we like to call “sarcasm.” As is rather difficult to debate, France is the source of some of history’s most important thinkers, writers and statesmen (Camus and Beaudrillaird stick out to me right now, though they’re rather modern) Obviously I was being facetious, which, of course, you were fully aware of. I disagree with you and think you are rude (and evasive) but not stupid.

I tire of this, any desire for actual debate yet? I noticed you ignored that bit of my post AGAIN.

April 27, 2008 @ 3:19 am | Comment

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