BBC will show Olympic protests

From Richard Spencer in the Telegraph:

The BBC, the only British broadcaster with access to stadiums this summer, says it cannot be expected to hide demonstrations if they happen at events where they have cameras.

Its decision, which it stresses will be applied “responsibly”, will increase Beijing’s nervousness as the Games approach.

The Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, BOCOG, has already had angry exchanges with the world’s leading broadcasters who complain of delays over permits to bring their equipment into the country and to deploy them around the city.

At stake is not only control over what sort of events can be broadcast, but also increasingly tight restrictions on shooting locations, with Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and other sites with important symbolic value on the list of those off-limits to broadcasters.

Despite promises of unprecedented access for the world’s media during the games, it is becoming clear to many journalists in Beijing that the government and BOCOG are increasingly wary of allowing in so many prying eyes, roving cameras, and possible hidden agendas. This has sparked tension between representatives of the foreign media and their Chinese handlers.

Dave Gordon, head of major sports events for the BBC, told The Daily Telegraph that Beijing had become “more difficult” for broadcasters than the Moscow Games in 1980.

He said international representatives had tried to get answers for two years on whether the Olympic broadcasting agency that provides the only feed of the actual events would show footage of protests if they occurred.

“They fudge the question,” he said. “They won’t commit to saying yes, they will cover it or no, they will not cover it. They put a lot of stress on the importance of covering the sport. I think we have to draw our own conclusions.”

Mr Gordon said the BBC paid a lot of attention to “responsible” coverage of protests and whether 24-hour rolling news meant coverage of individual protests might become disproportionate.

But he added it was unthinkable that if its own cameras in the stadium picked up a protest it would not be shown. “We have to cover the Olympics warts and all,” he said.

“Warts and all” is a standard worth discussing. For as much as BOCOG and the Chinese government love to whine about how ‘foreigners’ are politicizing the Olympics, only the most naive or disingenuous would deny that the Beijing games have always come with striking political overtones. For both the government and people, these games are about more than medals and celebrity hurdlers. On my television set nightly and in conversations around Beijing I inevitably hear the refrain of ‘celebrating new China’ and ‘demonstrating to the world how far China has come (back).’ There’s nothing wrong with that, but if one is inviting guests over to admire the new draperies, can we fault the visitors for whispering amongst themselves if they also happen to see your child has a black eye?

I remember the extensive coverage of the 1996 pipe bombing during the Atlanta games. It was news and it had to be covered. Atlanta received an enormous amount of scrutiny and criticism, not only for security but also for being–until 2008–the most commercialized games in Olympic history. Such was the antipathy that at the closing ceremonies then IOC president Juan Antonio Saramanch withheld his usual polite ‘best games ever’ compliment. Sure there were some bruised feelings in the Peach Tree State, but people got over it. If something similar happened in Beijing, what would be the response?

In terms of television feeds and media access, at issue is this: What are the rights and responsibilities of broadcasters covering the games? Should they only show sports or do they also have an obligation to take a broader perspective in the event of protests and demonstrations, or even a single act of defiance by an athlete with an agenda? Any thoughts?

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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: 130 Comments

[...] Jeremiah wrote an interesting post today on BBC will show Olympic protests. Here’s a quick excerpt: [...]

June 16, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Pingback

Why did anyone ever think that China would keep its promises with regards to media access?

As far as the question of mixing politics with sports, it is inescapable in the context we currently find ourselves in. I find it horribly hypocritical and blind-sighted of some pundits in China and abroad to call for the depoliticization of the Olympics by foreign media when the CCP has so prominently linked the games with issues of national unity, patriotism and support of the status quo. If you want to preserve the purity of sport and the international spirit of the Olympics why turn all celebrations of its arrival in China into a national ego stroke-fest?
For example, one thing that really stuck out for me when the torch came through my town was that during the big pre-relay “show” put on by the local government, not a single international flag was to be seen. I knew that the Chinese citizenry would come out and wave their red flags in street in support of their country, but I really expected the official message coming from the government to at least acknowledge the international character of the games. Did anyone experience anything similar in their adopted Chinese hometown?

The Chinese government could have “spun” the mood of these games in a more international direction, while retaining and probably increasing their standing in the eyes of the world, however, as they always do, they decided to use it as a way garnering more support for the CCP by latching onto an antagonistic “China vs. the World” narrative that has become so ingrained into the national psyche that the slightest (and dumbest (Sharon Stone?)) spark can set off waves of patriotic petulance.

Maybe I was as naive as the IOC to expect the Chinese government to do anything different.

June 16, 2008 @ 1:02 pm | Comment

What are the rights and responsibilities of broadcasters covering the games?

TO report the news in such way that it attracts more viewer thereby generate more ads revenue and increase shareholder value. To do anything else is just to invite a severe beating by the “Invisible Hand”.

Unless you are not a for profit organization but rather a government subsidized propaganda tool. Then just do your job and tow the government line. Got that, BBC? Learn from CCTV.

@Andy Raynor
Sorry ole buddy. This is “Chinese Olympic”. We are not aware of the international character of the games. Modern Olympics is all about national ego stroke-fest.

Unless you want to restore the character of the original Greek Olympic, that of a War Game among states? It’s about time to retire javelin-throwing for shoulder fired anti-air missile targeting contest. Or instead of Greco-Roman wrestling we could have a tank battle in Tianmen square?

June 16, 2008 @ 3:09 pm | Comment

What does it matter ultimately?

They show the protest – they look crap and remind everyone of the hr problems
They don’t show the protest – they look crap and remind everyone of the hr problems

Makes no difference – if it isn’t broadcast on the bbc, it’ll be on youtube. What are they going to do about that? Ban mobile phones?

Who got the camera?

Everybody got the camera

June 16, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Comment

@Cao Meng De

Yes, yes. China has claimed the Olympic phallus for its own. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all host countries of modern Olympic events have used the games solely as a means of promoting nationalism as opposed to internationalism. I don’t have the records on hand of every modern Olympics, but I remember Olympics from back in the day that certainly focused more on the purity of international athletic competition, rather than the athletic arms race that it has become during the lead up to 2008.

I also think that the Chinese media make a bigger deal than other countries out of the whole national pride thing whether the Olympics are held in Beijing or not, thus inherently politicizing it. In the US, I think we like getting medals, but we have the NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA, MLB and NCAA which relegate any Olympic accomplishments to a mere blip on the athletics radar. In end all that “glory” sort of fades away until the next Olympics when the media can dig through their archives to remind us of all that athletic greatness we forgot.

Meanwhile, China has been humping the Olympics leg for years getting everybody riled up in a frenzy over what? After its all over, what do you have? It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the CCP doesn’t have the Olympics card to play to garner support.

“TO report the news in such way that it attracts more viewer thereby generate more ads revenue and increase shareholder value. To do anything else is just to invite a severe beating by the “Invisible Hand”.”

I agree 100%.

June 16, 2008 @ 5:35 pm | Comment

I remember the Olympics in LA and Atlanta. Most of America couldn’t have cared less. All we remember about Atlanta was the bomb. If there was a wave of nationalism and flag-waving and jingoism I missed it. I am sure there were some pockets of nationalism, but nothing that would even begin to approach what we saw in Berlin in 1936 and are seeing in Beijing now (and have seen here since 2001).

June 16, 2008 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

I don’t understand how this works.
First they talk about the “Olympic broadcasting agency that provides the only feed of the actual events”.
Then they say, “if its own cameras in the stadium picked up a protest…”
If the Beeb has cameras in the stadium, why can it not generate a feed of the actual events?
I think to decipher this we need an understanding of the mechanics and the legal side of Olympic broadcasting. Anyone know how it’s done?

June 16, 2008 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

There are sponsorship rights that make it impossible for the Beeb to broadcast live feeds of events. NBC has the global broadcasting rights, CCTV has the domestic rights.

June 16, 2008 @ 6:47 pm | Comment

@ And Raynor

Oh Pleaaaase, what a load of holier-than-thou, pot calling the kettle black baloney. I certainly remember the days when the US of A, the USSR and their respective allies and satellite states practically used every Summer and Winter Olympic game as a forum for one upmaniship to demonstrate the “glory” and “god-fearing rightness” of their respective political system. I mean just look at the run up to past ice hokey meets between US and the USSR and you’ll see plenty of pictures of frothing anti-commies and bellowing anti-capitalists.

What I find more disconcerting actually about the hypocritical criticism of politicising the Beijing Olympics is often the racist overtone that is mixed with a hint of envy, jealousy and fear of that which is successful but different (oh ye of the Yellow Peril). If you go around looking for faults, then faults are all you’ll find. If you go around looking for enemies, then enemies are all you’ll find and its all that you’ll deserve. On the otherhand, I feel that there is nothing like a moderate dose of national jingoism to make competitive sport more interesting and entertaining.

June 16, 2008 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

I believe the BBC will have its own cameras for athlete interviews, comment and coverage other than that of events.

June 16, 2008 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

“I believe the BBC will have its own cameras for athlete interviews, comment and coverage other than that of events.”

Yes, surely that must be the case. I seriously doubt whether NBC’s global rights extend to protests.

@ Andy Raynor – absolutely agree with your initial comments.

June 16, 2008 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

Correct, NBC’s exclusive rights don’t extend to protests. But as for live simultaneous broadcasting at event venues, there are some pretty strict rules in place. I think other news media can tape, but I don’t think they can broadcast live from the venues.

June 16, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

Sorry to say, but it looks more and more like a re-edition of 1936 Olympic games “with Chinese characteristics”

June 16, 2008 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

I think other news media can tape, but I don’t think they can broadcast live from the venues.

I don’t think that many people in the UK will be watching the Games live anyway given the time-difference! That said it will make for interesting viewing if some finals are on when people are up. How will the broadcast be relayed to them? Will they already be able to read the result online while on TV it’s still going, or what?

As for the question on broadcasting, journalists and broadcasters have a right to report on whatever happens. Members of the media shouldn’t be forced to report on only their particular field – if they’re the only people there able to report back let them get on with it.

And has been said before, China made the Games political years ago – it can’t credibly complain if people focus on politics it doesn’t like.

June 17, 2008 @ 4:12 am | Comment

Just let the cameras in, there will be unpleasent occurance to the CCP during the games no matter what, protests around Beijing. And everyone has a mobile phone camera nowadasy, there’s no secrets a gov’t could hide.

June 17, 2008 @ 4:37 am | Comment

In the United States, every once in a while a streaker or protester will run on the field during a baseball or football game.

And you probably would’ve noticed by now that broadcasters conscienciously avoid broadcasting images of the streaker, and try to avoid discussion of the protester’s political cause. Why? They don’t want to encourage copycats at future games.

Richard, do you care whether Fox manages to cover the Super Bowl, warts and all?

… that said, I don’t really care what the BBC does with their coverage.

June 17, 2008 @ 5:39 am | Comment

I think an underlying question here is, What makes members of a particular nationality “proud” when it comes to the Olympics? Why aren’t Americans as proud of their winning Olympic athletes as Chinese are, or more accurately, why do Chinese care more? The Olympics are more important for citizens who feel their country has something to prove — this was seen in Korea in 1988, and in other “developing” countries, in addition to China.

June 17, 2008 @ 5:41 am | Comment

Sam,

I think you’re largely right…

But I just want to add, I actually think many Americans are very proud of their winning Olympic athletes. You can look at sizable sponsorship contracts offered to athletes in swimming, track, or gymnastics that… other than these two weeks every four years, these athletes receive little publicity. But they’re still worth many millions.

I think very roughly speaking, the United States has a cultural divide similar to that in China. On the one side are intellectual “elites” who tend to be politically liberal and less than excited about nationalism (and their symbols); on the other side are the average “common man” who tend to be political conservative and more nationalistic.

On the internet, we’re more likely to hear the voice of the liberal intellectual
“elite”… this is as true in the United States as it is in China. But there are plenty of red-necks in the United States and China, and these red-necks are those who will be following the Olympics most closely, come August.

June 17, 2008 @ 5:58 am | Comment

Tang Buxi,

Thanks for calling me a Chinese red neck. In any case, I will be waving my made-in-China Chinese flag in Beijing this August. American red necks are welcome to wave their made-in-China American flags there too.

June 17, 2008 @ 7:35 am | Comment

Richard, do you care whether Fox manages to cover the Super Bowl, warts and all?

What’s a Super Bowl?

June 17, 2008 @ 7:59 am | Comment

Richard, Americans are not natianalist at Olympics? What about during Cold War? During the hockey game between USA and USSR? Do you know there is a MOVIE made on that hockey game, called “MIRACLE”, and COUNTLESS nationalist documentary made on that game? That is the height of linking sports with politics.

From the movie “MIRACLE”:
“The true power of this event is in the historical context. The United States and the Soviet Union were arch rivals and competing superpowers in what became known as the Cold War. Reeling from the disillusionment of the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and the Iran hostage crisis, the American spirit was rekindled by the impossible task of beating the Soviet Union in an event they regularly dominated. The 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, provided the perfect venue for the United States to reclaim its national pride by defeating the Soviet Union in spirit. It’s been said that the greatest battle of the Cold War was fought that night in Lake Placid.”

Please, no politics with games? Why don’t you do it yourself first? And tell me in public if any Chinese official said anything that linked the games to politics? Which statement or interview given by which Chinese diplomat or official in any press made any remote reference to “Chinese is a superior race to Westerners and we will prove in this Olympics”, or “China’s socialist system will be proven to be superior in this Olympics”, or “China will prove itself to be a world superpower in this Olympics”, etc? Tell me, please, provide me with some links with some quotes, Thank you very very much.

June 17, 2008 @ 8:41 am | Comment

oh come on, richard… you know what the Super Bowl is.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl

June 17, 2008 @ 9:12 am | Comment

There’s not much time left for China to live up to its promises, and the signs aren’t too promising.

Sign Amnesty International’s pledge – http://action.uncensor.com.au/pledge/ – or check out Amensty’s China microsite – http://uncensor.com.au/uncensor/ – and send a message to the Chinese Government that censorship is unacceptable.

Censorship enables China to hide its human rights abuses. Standing up for human rights is standing up for the values enshrined in the Olympic Charter.

June 17, 2008 @ 9:32 am | Comment

“I seriously doubt whether NBC’s global rights extend to protests.”

Ha, that comment tickles me, and I think that’s my next million in the bag: selling the rights to broadcast crime and political protests. Unfortunately, Charlie Brooker thought up part of it before me: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/16/television.advertising
I smell a partnership in the air!

So the Beeb have got cameras in the stadium, they’re just not allowed to do live broadcasts of the sport? Then it’s dead simple, they can and should show any serious protest (and any reaction to it by the security forces). The chances of the official feed showing anything seriously political are nil. The IOC is much more interested in making China happy. And I’m not too upset by that. It is, at the end of the day, a sporting event. If the official record focuses on the sport, that seems fair enough. We have news broadcasters there to catch any political sideshows.

I even have some sympathy with the Chinese position that broadcasters should focus on the sport – sympathy which cuts off abruptly when they try to enforce it goon-stylee.

June 17, 2008 @ 10:54 am | Comment

[...] response to the BBC’s statement that it will show protests at the Olympics, if and when they happen. [The [...]

June 17, 2008 @ 11:58 am | Pingback

The BBC, being controlled by a small clique of progressive types, likes to talk alot about oppression, the denial of human rights and all those sorts of things, so I imagine that they’ll be looking for protests for use on their own hobby horses. The other English world media outfits- the for profit ones- will probably be hoping for protests too. Protests in the free world have become rather dull; they happen all the time for even the most trivial of causes, and therefore tend to make less than engaging TV. The PRC, though, has a rather dubious reputation for civil unrest that gets bloody, and, admit it or not, we all enjoy seeing a little bloody violence from time to time, and from the safety of our living rooms. Makes for much better TV than the 7 km walk or Men’s Synchronised Diving. Everyone in the media’s going to be (secretly) hoping for some protests, I think.

On another note, these Olympics are much more interesting than the Atlanta Olympics, no matter how you look at it. The Atlanta Olympics didn’t prove or mark anything for the United States or the World (maybe they meant something for Georgia?). Neither did Sydney, Barcelona, or Athens. But the Beijing Olympics are either one of the rare times that the Olympics will be held in the third world, or mark the point where we can no longer consider the PRC to be part of the third world. Either way, it is a bigger deal than usual.

@Tang Buxi (CCT?)
Do you think I’m a bigger redneck if I get all swollen up with national pride cheering on my country’s team on or if I’m secretly (or openly) hoping for mayhem just because it’s fun to watch?

June 17, 2008 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

The more the CCP tries to block the press, the more the west would focus on the negatives. So China should just allow the free press to do their job. CCP wants to be part of the developed society, then it must get used to being criticized and not try to control so much of the media coverage, that’s just how free press is, with all the goods and bads of it.

June 17, 2008 @ 1:44 pm | Comment

Cathy, you are talking as if the CCP were a logical entity. What seems so obvious to us simply does not compute with our friends in power over here.

June 17, 2008 @ 3:07 pm | Comment

Richard,

“What seems so obvious to us simply does not compute with our friends in power over here.”

I knew that you are in bed with the Power that be.

June 17, 2008 @ 3:27 pm | Comment

Hardly. I am certainly learning more about them, but I still look on the Powers as hopelessly corrupt, concerned above all else with their own survival and enrichment, and often shockingly, jaw-droppingly stupid. Other than that, they’re swell.

June 17, 2008 @ 4:08 pm | Comment

There has not been nearly enough discussion of where the threats will come from. Most of my Chinese friends are betting on the Uighurs. I think that’s likely.

But if I were China, I’d be pretty worried about the Sudanese. Let’s see: an industrial power props up a murderous dictatorship in an Islamic country in its quest for oil, and a few oppressed radicals strike back hard. I didn’t like that movie the first time I saw it, when it was called 9/11.

Another candidate would be the Burmese, who you can be sure know that the brutally incompetent regime that let tens of thousands of their countrymen starve is only hanging on with support from that natural-gas-and-exotic-hardwood-craving neighbor to the north.

June 17, 2008 @ 5:31 pm | Comment

The BBC will probably have a booth or a stand somewhere so that UK, European or American Athletes can be interviewed and give some off-hand pro-democracy/human rights/Tibet comments to establish their fuzzy-wuzzy, liberal-goodness credentials for the tut-tuttering class back home. Its all about domestic consumption.

On the other hand if these same athletes were to make some very public gestures in front of a Chinese audience such as doing a Bjork, they’ll likely get a rude surprise from the Chinese people rather than IOC organisers or the Chinese authorities. At worse some Chinese hotheads will cause a fracas or at best the Chinese audience will just sit there in glaring silence and let these self-publicising athletes feel all the more the fools.

June 17, 2008 @ 7:00 pm | Comment

Richard,

“concerned above all else with their own survival and enrichment”

Seems to be part of universal human conditions

“often shockingly, jaw-droppingly stupid”

I have to beg to differ here. That might describe the PR department and SARFT, those people do need to learn to um…evolve. But overall in last 30 years China has, hands down the best top management team in the world.

China just started a win-win deal with Japan on East China Sea oil/gas dispute. Go read Sun Bin‘s summary. I wouldn’t use jaw-droppingly stupid to describe the backer of the deal. Warren Buffett mentioned that he met the President of Chinese Investment Corp Gao Xiqing and he was impressed. I just saw an interview of Gao and I am impressed as well.

I would take Hu and Wen over “W” anyday.

June 17, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

China’s wacky but worrisome Olympic rules

http://tinyurl.com/3tuvpm

Cathy you are absolutely right, it does make the party seem very stupid that they do so much to block people and restrict freedoms. It does give them a bad reputation as repressive dictatorship and it would be ideal if they opened up and showed everyone that they have nothing to hide and they could let people be free and the party should be confident enough in its own legitimacy that it should allow people to have access to the truthful inoformation. This would all do wonders for it’s reputation. If it could do that, then people would not call it evil anymore, people would not feel strangled by it and people would not fear it’s secrecy behaviour…

But I don’t think Richard gets it if (you, Richard) think that they (the party) don’t know all that. They are not stupid in the very basic sense. Of course they have thought of Cathy’s suggestion and they know full well the glory that openness would be for them, they know that confidence in the truth would feel so good, they themselves could enjoy the freedom to trust the people, the freedom to let people report, the freedom of conscience. The party itself is not at ease, they have to spend soooo much of the countries resources to block truth, they have to get all hyper fearful whenever the press wants to cover a protest and they have to deal with all the PR when they do something like massacre or repression, they are really suffering as well as the people since they have to justify to the people why they are so repressive every day they have to work to brainwash the people… They are not able to sit back and enjoy a truly gained reputation, they are incapable of being open.

So do you think that they go to all that trouble and repress the whole country and make constant efforts to manipulate the whole world because they are stupidly wasting effort and have not thought of how much better it would be to gain naturally? I don’t think so.

They have their very ‘good’ and ‘smart’ reason for choosing this way to “govern”. Of course it is futile since they think they can manipulate reality with enough force and technology, violent and monetary threat, but people are not the animals the CCP thinks they are and people wont just be brainwashed so easily, the truth will prevail I assume.

They are damned either way. They are damned if the open up and damned if they close up. Opening up and letting everyone know you are an evil criminal will not make people accept you and love you just for you having opened up and let them know. They know that and they are cornered, they just took the path of further delay, in hopes to get away with it all.

It’s not so much the lies they care about, it’s the truth that they are most concerned with.

June 17, 2008 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

“overall in last 30 years China has hands down the best top management team in the world.”
Was that an ironic joke? If so, nice. If not, well, I feel sorry for you.

June 17, 2008 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

No need to feel sorry for him. He is living snug and safe in the good old US of A, so he doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of what “the best top management team in the world” is doing.

June 18, 2008 @ 2:09 am | Comment

Cao Meng De,

I have no problem with “rednecks”, in either country. :) The 精英, on the other hand… I often can’t stand.

June 18, 2008 @ 5:28 am | Comment

30 year ago in 1978, Deng Xiao Ping rose to supreme power in the Middle Kingdom. Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States. Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Shah of Iran would soon be overthrown by Islamic Revoultion and be replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini.Margaret Hilda Thatcher would soon rule Britannia. Mobutu Sese Seko still ruled Zaire. US, USSR and China scrambled for influence in Africa. Small minority of Whites held sway in South Africa. Soon Soviet troops would invade and occupy Afghanistan. Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was planning her comeback in India.

United States would then experience the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression under Jimmy Carter’s watch. US would then went on the greatest stock market boom from 1982 to 2000. All thanks to Paul Volcker, the greatest Central Banker of all times who slayed the dragon of hyperinflation by raising interest rate to 20%, in doing so triggering the worst economic recession since the Great Depression that put an end to Jimmy Carter’s Presidency. Of all the elite running the world, Paul Volcker is only one that came close to the capability of Chinese top management team. Too bad he was succeeded by Easy Money Al and Helicopter Ben who help to put US in its current mess and will make it worse.

Thatcher saved Great Britain from the doldrum of a socialist economy. UK had done well. But the financial contagion is gonna hurt.

USSR is no more. Russia is now a petro-state with its economic healthy tied to crude oil prices. Yeltsin was unlucky that crude oil price was depressed in the 1990s. Putin came to power just as world commodity price start to rise thanks to demand of Chinese economic growth.

Iran is still a mess despite high oil prices.

Zaire became Congo, corruption continues.

South Africa, well, we will wait and see about South Africa.

In Afghanistan, US and Western troops took place of Soviets as the country continue to unravel.

In 1976, GDP of China and India is comparable. 30 years later China’s economy is almost triple the size of Indian economy.

1976 2005
China 151,627,700,000 2,234,297,000,000

India 99,960,280,000 805,713,800,000

In the mean time, China’s economic output overtook Great Britain for the first time since Industrial Revolution.

Yup, China had the best top management in the world in last 30 years.

June 18, 2008 @ 6:32 am | Comment

@Tang Buxi

My sentiment exactly. While I still think US has the best political institutions in the world, the fact that world class idiots like Robert Kagan and Robert Kaplan could come as close to Power as they did raise disturbing question about American society.

June 18, 2008 @ 6:36 am | Comment

@Tang Buxi

I pray, for the sake of China, that Chinese 精英 would be kept away from corridors of Power for another 10 generations.

June 18, 2008 @ 6:40 am | Comment

South Africa, well, we will wait and see about South Africa.

South Africa is a disaster.

June 18, 2008 @ 6:42 am | Comment

@Cao Meng De
You figure the PRC has one of the best top management teams in the world in the last 30 years? Assuming that the we’re basing this on success at making places with really shitty initial conditions increasingly livable, man for man, they don’t seem to be any worse than alot of places, and some slack must be given for their inheriting such an antiquated system, but most of mainland China continues to be quite sloppily run. I think the best top management distinction belongs to either Singapore or Israel, and even more so if you increase the range to 40 or 50 years. Those guys have had some deep organising power.
In the past 100 years, though, Japan takes it without anyone else being even close.

What’s a 精英 (Qing Ying?) out of curiosity?

June 18, 2008 @ 6:43 am | Comment

@Lime

Singapore is impressive, but it’s a city-state. Difference between managing Singapore and China is the difference of managing a 4 person startup vs GM, or difference between Quantum Physics and Newton’s law. Completely different animal.

Israel is impressively managed (see Singapore). It’s also a lot smaller with military and financial backing of World’s Number One superpower.

Japan’s most impressive moment was Meiji Reform which laid down its path for next 100 years. While it caught the Industrialization pretty late, as was Germany, they didn’t miss the train like China did which marked serious consequences. If you looked at last 30 years, however, while Japan’s economy has caught up with the west, its leadership is still playing catch up with the leading nations of the world. Nixon’s secret visit to China produced “Nixon Shock” in Japan, prompting Japanese gov then to normalize relation with China. Look at recent Chinese initiatives in forming a regional trade block in East Asia, Chinese leaders are leading their Japanese counterpart by the nose. Japan is still reacting.

Deng started with Ground Zero with Cultural Revolution baggage still attached. China’s industrialization really started with Deng. He also chose his successors wisely. In 100 years, when people look back, they will see 1978 is as pivotal moment of history as Meiji Restoration was.

June 18, 2008 @ 7:13 am | Comment

@Lime

精英 roughly translate to crème de la crème. It was the self-adopted designation by Chinese intellectual elite in the 1980s. It was a popular idea in the 1980s that 精英 as crème de la crème of the Chinese society should play the pivotal role in guide and reform China. They were unabashedly elitists then.

It became to be narrowly associate with right leaning Chinese intellectual elite, that is the group that is pro-Western, professing “liberal” values. The conservative or new left among Chinese elite rarely call themselves 精英 as they wouldn’t want to be known as “elitist”. Number Four day of June movement was often described as a 精英 led movement.

My problem with 精英 is that despite their higher education, they usually have a rather superficial understanding of the world that includes the West(and China itself, I would add). Lots of book knowledge but little real world experience. The closest Western counterpart I could see are neocons.

June 18, 2008 @ 7:24 am | Comment

Cao Meng, totally agree that China is the best-managed country anywhere, and things get done here like clockwork, with no bureacracy, no corruption, with complete adherence to crystal-clear rules and with total transparency. It’s like a miracle. They’ve even revolutionized the visa process for foreigners, making it a joy to apply.

Now, can we get back on topic and not have every thread deteriorate into the same old “argument” about how the US is worse than China and vice versa?

Ferin, if you take one more swipe at mor’s or anyone else’s wife (as you did in another thread)I promise you will be banned again. That tactic is truly despicable. You’re not retarded; you should be able to make your point without resorting to such crudities.

June 18, 2008 @ 7:36 am | Comment

@Cao
I also think the ROC, overall has done a much better job managing it’s China than the PRC has. It’s hard to prove if we make the cut off thirty years, as the system that Jiang Jingguo inherited, though pretty crummy, was still quite a bit better than the China that Mao and Co. had left Deng. If it’s sixty years, though, there is no ambiguity.
I still think the root of the PRC’s problem is that it insists on managing itself like it was a small country where a highly centralised setup would be effective, which results in a big sloppy country. If it decentralised a bit there’s no reason that the individual provinces should not be able to manage themselves as effectively as Taiwan, South Korea, or Singapore’s government’s have managed them.

I do agree with you about Deng. Since the fall of the Qing and probably quite a bit before that, he is the leader that seems to be most deserving of respect in any China. Wen and Hu don’t seem to be doing anything either terribly brilliant or stupid, they just seem to be following the course Deng set. Hard to say how much of what they do is based on their own personal judgment though. They are obviously not stupid people, but neither are Bush, Brown, or Harper. I’d have to know alot more about them before I would consider trading my leadership.

June 18, 2008 @ 7:56 am | Comment

@Richard
“It’s like a miracle. They’ve even revolutionized the visa process for foreigners, making it a joy to apply.”

Ah, so that’s why you are in China.

Now get back to topic.

Frankly, I don’t really give a damn what BBC will or will not report.

June 18, 2008 @ 8:31 am | Comment

@Lime

No doubt Jiang Jingguo did a good job managing Taiwan. Too bad his successors wasted 20 years to build better ties with China. Taiwan could’ve been a financial, technological and transportational hub for Greater China region. But if Ma live up to the expectation, Taiwan’s economy will take off.

“I still think the root of the PRC’s problem is that it insists on managing itself like it was a small country where a highly centralised setup would be effective, which results in a big sloppy country.”

You may be on to something here…

But it’s a big sloppy country moving in the right direction.

During Berkshire Shareholder meeting this year, A woman from New York ask Warren Buffett to pressure Coca-Cola to withdraw its sponsorship of Beijing Olympics because of China’s human rights abuse, Warren Buffett had this to say :

I think the Olympics should be allowed to continue
forever with everyone participating. It is hard to
grade a couple hundred countries. It is a terrible mistake
to try to start grading. The more that participate,
the better. I would not start getting punitive. I think
it’s a terrible mistake to ban countries from the Olympics.
The United States only started allowing women
to vote in the 1920s, and I consider that a huge violation
of human rights, but we wouldn’t want to be
banned from the Olympics for the years prior. I think
that over time, China is contributing and getting better.

Mr Buffett’s partner in Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger said this:

Warren understates my position. Many are distressed
by imperfections in China, so I ask—has China
gotten more or less imperfect as the decades have gone
by? It is moving in the right direction. That is a good
thing, and it is not good to pick the worst thing about
a person you don’t like and obsess about it.

Two smartest people in finance, Titans of their industry.

June 18, 2008 @ 9:32 am | Comment

Cao Meng, totally agree that China is the best-managed country anywhere, and things get done here like clockwork, with no bureacracy, no corruption, with complete adherence to crystal-clear rules and with total transparency. It’s like a miracle. They’ve even revolutionized the visa process for foreigners, making it a joy to apply.

US has things done like clockwork? Which government department? IRS? FEMA during Katrina? And do you really want me to talk about visa and green card processing by this “Department of Homeland Security”? Do you really want me to talk about it?

Come on, if your yardstick of a “good management” team is efficiency in gov’t department and lack of bureacracy, then China performs way better than the US. This is not just my opinion, ask any immigrants who lived outside US and came to US as an adult.

You are too simple, sometimes naive.

June 18, 2008 @ 9:42 am | Comment

HX, you are sooooo funny. Read my comment: Did I ever say the US govt moves like clockwork? LOL. Putting words in my mouth. In fact, looks to me like I didn’t mention the US at all!

Should I ban Red Star? Every comment thread he touches is reduced to idiocy.

June 18, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Comment

Richard,

To be fair, I said China had the best top management in the world in last 30 years. Did I say China is the best-managed country anywhere? There is a difference. Context is all important.

China have the best top management in the world in last 30 years despite having weak institutions. US have bunch of monkeys running the show but it has the best institutions and strong fundamentals.

If China and US are businesses, I would still buy US. Peter Lynch said a good business is the one that any idiots can run because sooner or later some idiot will run it. Well, it just happened that it’s a bunch of idiots’ turn to run US for last 8 years.

Now I thought you always err on the side of free speech. You are not gonna ban HX because of grudge now, are you?

June 18, 2008 @ 10:20 am | Comment

It seems like HXs last comment is meant to drive you mad Richard.

Hong Xing, do you believe that if the US is bad then it excuses the bad stuff done by China regime? Please answer, at least think about it.

Some people here come here because they are interested in China and might not find it relevant when you always bring up the US as if the US was so interesting, or as if everyone loves the US. The US is interesting compared to China, it is reasonable to compare, but to always bring up the US as if it was the standard for everything is not logical. Why should China only have to be as good as the US, shouldnt it be better? Why the constant comparison on a blog about China? If something is bad, it’s bad, its nothing to do with USA. if something is good, its good, no matter what the US says or does…

Thats my opinion.

Hey the typing works now (- :

June 18, 2008 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Cao Meng, everyone here knows Red Star is a dictionary definition of a troll. I would never ban him for his opinion – if that was how I operated, you and ferin and Tang and many others would all be banned. Mor and Si would be banned, too, as I often disagree with them, too. I have never deleted any of their comments, except when ferin is off his meds.

HX, on the other hand, comes here specifically to derail threads. Look at where we are now. If I decide to ban him it will be for that reason, and every reader here knows what I mean and I suspect most would be thrilled to see him gone. But as you said, I do try to err on the side of freedom of expression.

June 18, 2008 @ 11:01 am | Comment

@Cao
“The closest Western counterpart I could see are neocons.”
That doesn’t make any sense. Why would the closest counterpart of liberal intellectual elitists in the PRC be the money grubbing, supposedly unintellectual conservatives, in bed with big corporations and religious outfits? Shouldn’t the closest counterparts be the liberal intellectual elitists in Britain and the US (like the guys who run Auntie Beeb or Obama’s wing of the Democratic Party; the guys who proudly claim to be losing sleep over global warming and poor starving Sudanese refugees)?

June 18, 2008 @ 11:07 am | Comment

@Richard
I once had a fairly reasonable discussion with Hong Xing, but he does tend to retread the same ground alot and does get quite tiresome sometimes. That said, if you are going to ban him, I don’t think that last comment of his should be the final straw. It was relatively benign.

June 18, 2008 @ 11:17 am | Comment

In the past 100 years, though, Japan takes it without anyone else being even close.

I’d say they did well for part of that 100 years, but the war was a pretty big mistake.

June 18, 2008 @ 11:20 am | Comment

I haven’t banned him, yet. And it’s not about benign or malignant, it’s about always taking threads away from their topic with the same incredibly birdbrained arguments, like the Sharon Stone idiocy. And any reasonable discussion with him is totally hopeless – go back and read his comments here to see how his mind works.

While Hong Xing might seem harmless and amusing, he’s actually a pretty insidious and morality-free guy. One need look no farther than this post to see exactly who Red Star is and how he operates. Enjoy:

http://www.pekingduck.org/2005/11/confessions-of-a-party-troll/

June 18, 2008 @ 11:41 am | Comment

@Richard
From his ‘confession’ there it sounds like he views this as some sort of competition where we’re trying to defeat each other or something. I don’t know, man. He doesn’t bother me that much, but ban if you want to. It’s your site.

June 18, 2008 @ 11:55 am | Comment

@Lime

It’s a little hard to explain. It could be that my mind just group together the two disparate groups that I don’t particular care for. But often 精英 falls into the “America can do no wrong crowd” Quite a few of them supports George W Bush and invasion of Iraq. Not that they are ill intentioned, of course. Many of them genuinely believe in the narrative that America went to Iraq to bring democracy to the Iraqi people. A view that I find incredibly naive.

Since my biggest gripe with Bush administration and my number one reason for supporting Obama just happen to be Iraq War, I have little patience with the worldviews of these 精英.

June 18, 2008 @ 1:03 pm | Comment

“they usually have a rather superficial understanding of the world that includes the West(and China itself, I would add). Lots of book knowledge but little real world experience.”

I couldn’t agree more Cao Meng De. i think that it is just so very important to get people in office who have real experience with the real people, like comrade hu jintao. those rightist intellectuals, detatched from reality (as presented on CCTV), can just go f— themselves! if i was looking for someone to be “in touch with the people,” i think that the chinese bureaucracy might be the first place that i would look. trust me, it’s a regular “renmin-empathy-machine,” unlike all those people with their fancy book knowledge encouraging us to remember the victims of June Fourth. F— june fourth, let’s remember the japanese invasion and never forget how we would all be dead without the lovely CCP bureaucracy.

You know, i often think that the chinese people should either elect George W or Mussolini as their president for the next term (oh, when does that begin? might be a state secret?). it would be quite fitting, considering the political environment (from someone who has been involved with China for over a decade….) only problem is that you don’t elect people, so, good luck with tao tao.

June 18, 2008 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

Also, Cao Meng de, despite your pessimism towards the official narrative on iraq, i see no similar pessisism or even critical insight towards the official chinese narrative on china.
those damn rightists! right?
do you have any comments on the ability to criticize iraq in the US, compared with the inability to criticize similar invasions (tibet, east turkestan) in China? what about the claim of “liberating taiwan,” which even mentally handicapped people no longer believe?
This is not a national pissing contest, but rather a call for self-reflection. of course, i would never ask for such a lofty “self-reflection” from you or CCT or the likes, but please realize that one of the primary factors that makes china a living joke on the world stage is its national inability to deal with even the slightest shortcoming. anytime something bad happens, all that can hapen is lies, lies, and more lies. will that ever convince any educated person? nope.

June 18, 2008 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

Speaking of the Olympics, protests, and solid facts that can essentially only be interpreted in one rational manner by breathing, empathetic human beings:
http://tinyurl.com/4vmu3z
If the site is blocked, you can rest assured that you are in a glorious and harmonious society beyond such petty concerns… in this environ, your humanity is irrelevant.

June 18, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

kevinnolongerinpudong.

“what about the claim of “liberating taiwan,” which even mentally handicapped people no longer believe?”

Are you mentally hanicapped yourself or just their spokesperson, you seem have such intimate knowledge of their view.

June 18, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Comment

kevinnolongerinpudong,

I sense much anger in you, young Padwan. Remember Master Yoda said, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to the Dark Side.

June 18, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Comment

Thanks for your careful and thoughtful reply, Cao Meng De. It just shows how short propagandists of your like come on the real issues.
I don’t really feel comfortable with the idea that there are “sides,” but rest assured that the “Dark Side” is that which continues to hide truths and dodge issues.

June 18, 2008 @ 2:35 pm | Comment

Hate leads to suffering, you fool. And if I were looking for a Star Wars line to sum up China, I might go with Han Solo: “What a wonderful smell you’ve discovered!”

June 18, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Comment

@pete

thanks! i haven’t laughed at a peking duck comment that was intentionally funny for a long time.

June 18, 2008 @ 3:27 pm | Comment

Pete,

“What a wonderful smell you’ve discovered!”
You just couldn’t get enough of the smell, couldn’t ya.

June 18, 2008 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

@kevinnolongerinpudong

“It just shows how short propagandists of your like come on the real issues.”

Oooh, that really hurts. I gotta go surf now. Have a nice day!

June 18, 2008 @ 10:57 pm | Comment

It all boils down to the due respect you show the host when you are the guest.

Is it OK for me to spread the news that your daughter is doing drugs at the dinner table? Isn’t it my right? Or is it?

If sports journalists don’t sniff around political scandals in London, why should they feel so doggone entitled to do so in Beijing?

June 19, 2008 @ 3:19 am | Comment

east turkestan

Xinjiang has been Chinese territory since 60 BC. As for Tibet, they aren’t being bombed and gangraped for oil which is essentially what’s being done in Iraq. That and they live better lives than Iraqis.

June 19, 2008 @ 3:23 am | Comment

I see every one has had excrement hurled at their faces today. That can only mean one thing the malformed twinky has returned to his regular nome de plume. Must have been away protesting against grieving disaster victims in the motherland.

June 19, 2008 @ 4:26 am | Comment

Ferin,

To be fair, the control of Tarim basin and Dzungaria shifted with the tide and time of history. History has shown that this area has always been subjected to outside power whether its’ Xiong Nu, Han, Göktürks, Tang, Tibetan, various Turko-Mongol groups that came after (including Uyghurs).

Possession is 9/10 of the law. It’s suffice to say that Xinjiang is ours right now.

Same applies to Tibet.

And the current situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.

No one has ever changed history by bitching and whining. Likes of kevinnolongerinpudong will not likely change that.

June 19, 2008 @ 5:45 am | Comment

If a protest breaks out right in the middle of the opening ceremony or during any event, then of course the BBC will “show” it, and of course no one can stop them. Even CCTV may be forced to “show” it. The question is, is BBC going to go out of their way to “show” it? As in, the reporters will be given quotas every day, that they must cover this amount of stories about “people forced out of their homes”, about “dissidents jailed”, about “environmental degradation”. And if they couldn’t get material, they’ll travel outside of Beijing to get it, even if that means missing the actual sports coverage. In other words, they are “showing” it, not because they bumped into it, but because they made efforts to show it. These two are distinctly different concepts.

If you believe BBC “making an effort” to find “victms of the government” and “shady side of China”, as part of their story quota, then I suppose your justification would be that it’s a journalist duty report on human rights violations and other “bad things” by a government. If that is the case, then the BBC reporters would be equally eager to cover “bad things” during the London Olympics in 2012 (maybe also residents forced to move, corruption during stadium building, unfair allocation of funds, British policy towards Muslims, failure of integratio between Muslims and Causasians in British society, etc, etc, etc). Or, before China, we would’ve seen equally energetic coverage of “dark sides” and “human rights issues” in previous host cities, such as Athens, Sidney, Atlanta, Barcelona, … Mexico City, Seoul, etc.

But it seems neither before Beijing nor after Beijing had or will the reporters been or be so energetic and orgasmic in their “coverage” of the Olympics.

June 19, 2008 @ 7:47 am | Comment

Unfortunately, Red Star, that is your government’s fault. Lack of transparency, no Freedom of Information Act, arrests in the middle of the night, one of the most corrupt political systems anywhere – all these things make China a tantalizing target for media attention. Your government promised openness to the global media, and now they have to deal with those who’ve acepted the invitation.

And don’t reply that the US is worse. First, it’s irrelevant. Second, it’s false. Bush has definitely made our government more secretive, but we can still publish the Abu Ghraib photos and flay Bush alive in the media every day for his iniquities. I’d love to see the Chinese equivalent of Keith Olberman going after the CCP every night on CCTV.

June 19, 2008 @ 9:09 am | Comment

Richard,

Whatever happened to “not have every thread deteriorate into the same old “argument” about how the US is worse than China and vice versa?”

June 19, 2008 @ 9:18 am | Comment

all these things make China a tantalizing target for media attention.

Tantalizing target. The use of the word tantalizing just exposed the true colors of the media didn’t it? BBC reporters rush to cover those “bad things” about China, because it’s “tantalizing”, “mouthwatering”, “sensational”. Wait a minute, I thought you guys just self-righteously claimed that you cover it because you have “journalistic ethics” and because you are more “enlightened” and “moral”.

So now you admit that BBC reporters cover them because they make “tantalizing” stories, very much in the same way covering Paris Hilton going to jail makes tentalizing stories, covering hot sex between women and animals make tentalizing stories. So it all makes sense then why all the reporters are so giddy and happy when unfortunate things happen in China, from victims evicted from their homes to the Sichuan earthquake. They just provide you with juicy materials to confirm and enhance your views of China being the big bad guy, and for practical purposes, to draw readers and increase viewership.

June 19, 2008 @ 9:38 am | Comment

@ Hong Xing

I recalled once read about this account by a Chinese journalist. He is fluent in Russian and travel to Russia many time and have a few friend in the Russian journalists community.

Once he was shocked to read in Russian newspaper of a reporting on China by one of his longtime Russian acquaintances. The article describe Chinese people as rude, ruthless, xenophobic, worshiping only money and brutal force while prone to prey on the weak and helpless. And all Chinese featured in the article are raving nationalists that want to take Russian Far Eastern territory from Russia.

He confronted the author with whom he was on quite good term with. He wanted to know if this is really what the Russian guy thought of the Chinese. The Russian told him don’t take the article too seriously. He just wrote what average Russian readers want to read about China.

Market force at work here.

It’s unfortunate. But as China grows in stature internationally, more criticism will come from abroad. Just look at how many anti-American backlashes there are around the world. It’s the price to be paid for being the top dog.

Chinese is already be blame for driving up energy prices, eating up world’s food supply and now Helicopter Ben just blame Chinese saving rate for subprime mortages. I am sure in the coming years, China will also be blamed for bad waves for Californian surfers.

If anything, the growth of criticism only marks growing importance of China to the world. Not so many people ever cared that much about conditions of Paraguay (my apologies to Paraguay people).

June 19, 2008 @ 9:50 am | Comment

Cao Meng De, I agree with what you say. Basically, when a rising power is challenging the status quo powers, historically, it always always ended up in a war. The status quo power will not just sit by and watch another one rise. Today, China is trying to avoid that, and thus pushing the narrative of “peaceful rise”. I sincerely hope this will work.

Can you think of any major global issue that is not being blamed on China?

Global Warming – China is emitting more CO2 than US, and has no environmental safeguards

Rising Oil Prices – Higher demand from China, more cars being driven in China

Rising Rice prices – Higher demand from China/India

Unsafe food toys – China is making all of those and giving them to our children

US Economy – Chinese taking away manufacturing jobs and keeping RMB artificially low, creating unfair trade practices

Arms – China is selling weapons to rogue nations like Iran and Pakiston, and thus the biggest contributor to illegal arms proliferation.

Africa – Chinese are the new colonists, creating misery for African workers.

Tibet – China is oppresing Tibtans

Uyghur – China is oppressing Uyghurs

Taiwan – China is threatening Taiwan

The list goes on and on. So I agree that we should treat these criticisms more calmly, and if you think it’s bad, it’ll only get worse and worse. So better buckle up and ride out the storm. I believe China and the Chinese nation will emerge from this stronger and more united. If anything positive came out of this earthquake, I think it is that it made the Chinese, especially the post-80′s young generation, find their voice, their identity and their purpose. It made them realize, for the first time in their lives, that there’s nothing to apologize for loving China, and especially for supporting the Chinese government, perhaps you can call this the “Earthquake Generation”:

But far from shaking political stability, this year’s tumult has so far stirred a surge of patriotism likely to help the Party, especially among a young generation with dim, textbook-fed impressions of Mao, Marx and the nation’s much poorer past.

“I think these experiences are going to have a shaping role for this next generation,” said Fang Ning, a political scientist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who has studied youth nationalism and also advised top government leaders.

“It’s been like a baptism for them. It won’t completely transform their worldview, but it has helped crystallize a kind of collective mentality … A new patriotism is certainly an important element of that.”

http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2008/06/04/chinas_08_generation_finds_a_voice_in_tumultuous_times/

June 19, 2008 @ 10:11 am | Comment

@Cao
Then the ironic thing is that if the 精英 are the Chinese political faction most uncritical of the American government, it’s the technocratic Conservatives of the Anglosphere that are the least critical of the PRC’s government. The web’s we weave, eh?

@Hong Xing
You’re suggesting the BBC is less than objective? They have their own agendas?! Crazy talk! But let’s venture into this bizarre absurdest scenario you’re proposing just for argument’s sake. They have an axe to grind; so what?

@Ferin
“Xinjiang has been Chinese territory since 60 BC.”
Then would I be wrong to say Egypt has been Italian territory since about that same time?

June 19, 2008 @ 10:31 am | Comment

Then would I be wrong to say Egypt has been Italian territory since about that same time?

Yes because Xinjiang was Sino-Tibetan occupied even before the Tocharians arrived.

June 19, 2008 @ 10:36 am | Comment

Global Warming – China is emitting more CO2 than US, and has no environmental safeguards

Actually what’s funny is that they aren’t, however if you count Taiwan they are. Taiwan is part of China when they’re counting pollution, but an independent nation otherwise.

The hypocrisy is heaped on thick.

flay Bush alive

That didn’t stop him from getting what he wanted.. showing that the system needs further reforms.

June 19, 2008 @ 10:40 am | Comment

@HongXing

Relax, bro. No need to buckle up.

I find all these finger pointing quite amusing.

I am rather partial to the perception gap. My trade lies in the stock market. It’s so much more easier to make profit from masses of ill-informed emotional idiots than from bunch of calm, rational, coldly calculating and analytical individuals. Average Westerners’ ignorance of China have served me well in the past, I hope it will continue a little longer.

June 19, 2008 @ 10:45 am | Comment

To be fair, the control of Tarim basin and Dzungaria shifted with the tide and time of history. History has shown that this area has always been subjected to outside power whether its’ Xiong Nu, Han, Göktürks, Tang, Tibetan, various Turko-Mongol groups that came after (including Uyghurs).

iirc it goes like this:

5,000+ years ago- Sino-Tibetan tribes and Qiangic peoples roam the area
3,800 BC-650 AD – Tocharians arrive, settle and trade with China
700-1400 AD- Uighur (originally overwhelmingly “North Asian” in genetic makeup) and Gokturk displace or intermingle with the people there, including migrants from the West (Scythians, Tocharians etc) coming in steadily.
1400+- Dzungars start moving in from the NE of Xinjiang
Ming/Qing Era- Control reasserted, Dzungars pushed out by Manchu

Or something like that.. correct me if I’m wrong. It’s just laughable for kevin to say China has no claim to Xinjiang when he says nothing about much of Manchuria being occupied by Russia. Let me guess, it’s too late to do anything! i.e the established powers want to keep their established power, and nip everyone else in the bud. Same story from 150,000 B.C until present.

Sorry for the triple post.

June 19, 2008 @ 10:49 am | Comment

@Lime

“Then the ironic thing is that if the 精英 are the Chinese political faction most uncritical of the American government, it’s the technocratic Conservatives of the Anglosphere that are the least critical of the PRC’s government. The web’s we weave, eh?”

We live in interesting times.

@Ferin
“Yes because Xinjiang was Sino-Tibetan occupied even before the Tocharians arrived.”

Really? This is news to me. Links please.

Besides we are talking about People’s Republic of China NOT Sino-Tibetan People’s Republic of China. Tungus peeps like the Manchu and Xibe not to mention the Turko-Mongols are definitely not Sino-Tibeta. Neither are Dai, Zhuang, Miao/Hmong. I am not partial to the idea that we give up these areas.

June 19, 2008 @ 10:54 am | Comment

I’d love to see the Chinese equivalent of Keith Olberman going after the CCP every night on CCTV.

How does the existence of Keith Olberman and his show “Countdown” help inform the public, give insightful perspective on national discourse, or faciliate dialog between different opinions? It does not. It is a ideological show designed to keep their “home audience”, in this case hardcore liberals, excited; similarly, Bill O’Reilly and his “O’Reilly Factor” is to keep the hardcore conservatives excited. The existence of these extreme, ideologically colored, “talk shows” is a perfect example of the decline of the seriousness of news, and news is now blurring with entertainment. Shows like Keith Olerbmann’s and Bill O’Reillly’s are nothing but entertainnment, shouting matches, and a competition to see who can insult the other the best. Hollywood, MTV, and mainstream news channels are merging into one, and the results are shows like Olebermann and O’Reilly’s. It is the very existence of these shows in prime time, blurring with actual news shows, that is hurting the political civility of the US and hurting effectiveness of a “free media”.

If you think the existence of these “talk shows” is a barometer of a country’s “transparency” and “political health”, and it’s something other country’s media should emulate, then it reveals a very superficial, mechanistic, and childish understanding of democracy.

June 19, 2008 @ 11:03 am | Comment

@Ferin

It’s like this. European settlers have ZERO claim to continental America. Yet nobody will dispute that LA is part of United States today.

We do not need historic claim to held down Xinjiang, just facts on the ground.

Btw, Los Angeles County stop have white majority a long while back. LA has roughly 700,000 Iranian, 2 million El Salvadorans not counting Mexican and anybody with Mexican ancestry. There are ethnic enclaves like Armenians in Glendale, Chinese in Monterey Park, San Marino and Rolling Heights. Chinese and Latino in Alhambra. Vietnamese in Santa Anna. Whites in Orange County. Latino in East LA and everywhere else. Orthodox Jewish neighborhood around Melrose. Beverly Hills is 1/4 Iranian Jews.

In other words, LA is like any successful metropolis in human history that draws people in by its prosperity.

Yet it’s still part of United States. And I would say most people in LA have an incentive in keeps it that way.

If you can align people’s interests, the rest is easy.

I believe that China is moving in the right direction, though much improvement is still desire.

June 19, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Comment

“I am not partial to the idea that we give up these areas.”

It’s actually becoming critical that the PRC doesn’t give up Xinjiang. There’s oil there and the regular Turkestanians aren’t known for their economic management. It’s in everyone’s interest that people competent enough to exploit the oil reserves do so. And it might even be successfully Sinofied, which in the long term may be good too. The occupation of Tibet, on the other hand, is still a pointless embarrassment.

June 19, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Comment

@Ferin
Okay, so if ethnicity is the issue, would you dispute that Tunisia is rightfully Lebanonese territory and has been since 1215 BC?

June 19, 2008 @ 11:35 am | Comment

@Hong Xing
“Basically, when a rising power is challenging the status quo powers, historically, it always always ended up in a war. The status quo power will not just sit by and watch another one rise.”

Not Always. While Germany and Great Britain would seem the obvious example, United States was rising at the same time as Germany. Rise of United States to super-power status is greatly helped by Germany and Great Britain exhaust each other in two World Wars.

I believe China has learn this lesson well. Just be patient and grow its strength. Ma’s election in Taiwan greatly reduced the chance of an unnecessary confrontation with United States.

I know that neocon idiots had plans on dealing with “China Threat”. But I thank the geo-political gods that send them to Iraq.

On one hand, I hated the Iraq war as it’s bad for America, total waste of my tax dollars to rain down destruction on a people who had done no harm to US and to breed whole new generations of anti-Americans.

On the other hand, I rather it be Iraqis getting blunt end of the stick than Chinese as I suspect the neocon crazies have plan to do before 9/11.

Iraq war brought China 5 years of breathing space. My heart wants to support Obama but my mind tells me that McCain would be the best President of United States for China. If US really stay in Iraq for 100 years or wage war against Iran, China would be guaranteed No 1 Superpower status.

Wang Qishan 王岐山, the Vice Premier of Chinese State Council wrote an article in UK’s Financial Times this Monday urging energy and environmental cooperation between China and United States. He outlined specifically a proposal to form a joint research lab to work on energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.

Great idea, but I doubt idiots in Washington is paying attention (do they read Financial Times?)

June 19, 2008 @ 11:43 am | Comment

I really do want everyone to see why I am debating banning Red Star.

How does the existence of Keith Olberman and his show “Countdown” help inform the public, give insightful perspective on national discourse, or faciliate dialog between different opinions?

Classic. I made the simple statement, “I’d love to see the Chinese equivalent of Keith Olberman going after the CCP every night on CCTV.” I never said Olberman is informative or good, or anything at all, for that matter. (The truth is, I can’t stand the guy, but that’s not relevant.) I just said I’d love to see his equivalent in China – because here any voice that criticizes the government of criminality is crushed. Did I ever say Olberman helps “facilitate dialog”? And yet there’s HX foaming on about words that were never said. Each and every comment, exactly the same. It’s just tiresome.

June 19, 2008 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

@Hong Xing

While I still think the United States have one of the best political system in the world; it’s a system designed by highly intelligent founding fathers who understand the human nature (how stupid people could be) and built in the robust check and balances; I am increasingly pessimistic about the capability of current crop of American political elite.

During 2000 election, I had thought there is little difference between Gore and Bush and I trusted the system to run itself. W proved me wrong. W and his neo-con advisors have shown that you can’t idiot-proof even the best system. Sadly quite a few Americans sport Bush’s world view. Maybe there is something to the idea that people deserve their leaders.

America today reminds of near-end of Ming empire.

I spend quite sometime studying the fall of Ming empire because I wanted to understand how is it possible that this proto-Modern state with a huge economic base, largest population, largest military and a paramount power in East Asia could suddenly collapse and allow a semi-nomadic people with less a million members walk in and simply take over.

Ming’s Wanli period saw strong economical growth from increased money supply provided by Mexican silver, expansion of international trade with the New World and Japan, new crops (potatoes, tomatoes as well as chili pepper) from New World. Ming during Wanli was able to afford and achieve victories in three front wars simultaneously, Imjin in Korea against Japan, War against Tatars and War against Yang Yin Long in the South.

How did it decline?

Corruption and incredible complacency of political elite starting with Wanli emperor himself. Criminal neglect and mismanagement of state affairs. Ming had several chances under Wanli’s later years to nip the rising Manchu power in its infancy. Petty factional infighting at the court costs the heads of all the most capable generals.

Contrast that with capable leadership demonstrate by Nurhaci and his sons Huang Taiji and Dorgon of the Manchus, it’s the difference between night and day.

It would have been great surpise if Manchus didn’t emerge victorious in this struggle.

Top Management, it makes great difference.

It’s the difference bewteen Mao’s China and Deng’s China.

Currently, China is blessed with some really smart people running the show. Let’s hope the lucky streak continues at least until better and stronger political institutions could be substituted for great leadership.

June 19, 2008 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

@Lime
“The occupation of Tibet, on the other hand, is still a pointless embarrassment.”

Water, my man. It’s about water rights. Most major rivers in Asia originate from Tibetan Plateau:

Yellow River
Yangtze
Indus
Brahmaputra
Salween
Mekong
Irrawaddy

When US build dams across Colorado River, it provided water for development of American Southwest, it also screwed Mexicans. Today only a trickle flow across US-Mexican border. I am all for Mexican immigration since I feel US is partly responsible for the Mexican conditions.

Northern China plain is already experiencing water shortages. There have been talks about building canals to bring Yangtze water north for ages. But that may not be enough. There had already been discussion of damming Brahmaputra and diverts its water. China is already damming Mekong for hydro-electric powers, the Chinese power company that I invested in own quite a few of them. I have even heard of talk to use nuclear blast to create new waterways for Brahmaputra, never seen feasibility study of it though, so it’s probably idle talk.

June 19, 2008 @ 12:59 pm | Comment

@ferin

You forgot

Yuezhi who are quite possible of the same stock of Tocharian as the oasis dwellers

Xiong Nu who were original overlord of Tarim city-states

Han Wudi’s expedition to cut off Xiong Nu’s financial support from the tribute of the oasis state. Han’s initial interest in Xiyu was primarily to weaken Xiong Nu by deny it the wealth of Tarim cities.

You mustn’t forget the fine Han colonial frontier officer Chen Tang 陈汤 who acted out of his own accord and compelled his superior to go along with his plan to destroy the nascent Western Hun empire on the bank of Talas river.

Modern day Han chauvinist love to quote his saying 明犯强汉者,虽远必诛 or
“No matter how far away, who dares to offend mighty Han will be put to death”.

Then there is Chen Tang’s latter day admirer, the much more greater and brilliant Ban Chao 班超 who almost single-handedly restore Han power in Tarim basin.

And his half-Tocharian son Ban Yong 班勇 who had to recover Tarim for Han again after Ban Chao’s incompetent successor lost it.

Reconquest of Tarim yet again by Former Qin General Lü Guang 呂光 after the collapse of Western Jin empire. Former Qin is founded by Di people but they are bona fide Sino-Tibetan, if it pleases you. Though Lü Guang claimed a Han ancestor.

Alas, the half-Indian Buddhist monk Kumarajiva persuaded Lü Guang to return to the East.

Though nomadic and possibly Turkic Touba Wei after unifying Northern China seemed to have held a third of what is today’s Southeastern Xinjiang.

Göktürks would held sway over entire Xinjiang after their rise, from steppe to oasis.

Destruction of Göktürks by Tang would see Tang inherit the whole of Xinjiang from the Turks. Tocharian buddhist culture still is mainstay of Xinjiang.

An Lu Shan rebellion would cause Tang to lose Xinjiang to Tibetan empire.

Collapse of Uyghur empire in Mongolia would drive Uyghurs to migrate south and take Xinjiang from Tibetans. Tocharian oasis cultures begin to be Turkified. Western Xinjiang under Uyghur Kara-Khanids would be converted to Islam while Eastern Xinjiang remain Buddhist.

Destruction of Liao empire by Jurchen would bring Yelu Dashi (a fine Confucian scholar) and his band of 100,000 Khitans to conquer Western and Eastern Uyghur Kingdoms as well as much of central Asia after Yelu Dashi defeats the Seljuk Turk empire and its last great hope Seljuk Sultan Sanjar. The stories of Muslim Sanjars’s defeat would warm many Euro’s heart and give rise to the legend of Prester John the Christian King o of the East.

Turkic Naiman would move onto KaraKhitan territory and take it over after their prince is driven out of Mongolia by Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan followed closely behind.

Xinjiang would be given to Genghis Khan’s second son Chagatai. Chagatai descendants would rule much of Xinjiang for long time during which the Central Asian Turk lingua Franca would be know as Chagatai language with which Timur (Tamerlane) ‘s biography as well as Baburnama of Babur would be written in.

Until the rise in power of Oriat Mongols.

Oriat Dzungar empire controlled Xinjiang until it was crushed by Qing empire.

Uzbek adventurer Yakub Beg would briefly conquer Xinjiang in the aftermath of general rebellion against Qing rule.

Then his state of Kashgaria is reconquered for Qing by the famous General Tso of chicken fame.

During Republican period control was maintained by former Qing official Yang Zengxin and his successor Jin Shuren.

Rebellion against Jin Shuren saw brief founding of the short lived First East Turkistan Republic.

Then with Soviet support, Sheng Shicai brought an end to First East Turkistan Republic and controlled whole of Xinjiang.

After Sheng broke with the Soviet, Soviet supported the founding of

June 19, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

A Second East Turkistan Republic from 1944-1949 in what is now Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture which in the parlance of PRC will be known as the Three Districts Revolution.

People’s Liberation Army entered Xinjiang, Nationalist troops surrendered and Second East Turkistan Republic also ended in the peaceful liberation of Xinjiang with its units integrated into PLA. Second East Turkistan Republic officers who were Soviet Communists member joined CCP.

In 50s and 60s, Mao send many Chinese youth from all over China to Xinjiang. Han population reached 40% of the total. Mostly concentrated in formerly sparse populated Northern Xinjiang. Southern Tarim remain heavily Uyghur and rural. Which brought us to today.

June 19, 2008 @ 3:00 pm | Comment

@corn dog

“It all boils down to the due respect you show the host when you are the guest.

Is it OK for me to spread the news that your daughter is doing drugs at the dinner table? Isn’t it my right? Or is it?

If sports journalists don’t sniff around political scandals in London, why should they feel so doggone entitled to do so in Beijing?”

Of course it is your right to point out my daughter is doing drugs. Naturally this may make me unhappy. Journalists, whatever specialisms they have, are entitled to sniff around London as much as they want. They should feel doggone entitled to do so in Beijing because (a) this is an international norm and (b) the CCP promised to let them do this.

@others

Regarding the tedious shit about Xinjiang etc. etc. the history is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the people living in an area have the right to self-determination and the ability to speak out without fear. Personnally I fail to see the problem with doing this. Scotland is currently ruled by the Scottish Independence Party without bringing the UK to its knees. Tibet and Xinjiang would need to be close to China whatever happens. The inability of many here to grasp this basic point is staggering.

Doesn’t anyone else get bored with the broken record that these threads usually become? What do the CCP trolls really think they are achieving, other than massaging their own egos, and thinking that they have really shown up the foreigners? Do they have the remotest conception of how they ridiculous they appear?

June 19, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

mor, I’m bored with it. I will try to crack down a bit. I look at this thread and I feel sick – and very annoyed at myself, because i let a*holes like Hong Xing suck me into their arguments, which is exactly what they want to do.

June 19, 2008 @ 5:34 pm | Comment

I think you meant Si.

June 19, 2008 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

Totally agree with both of you.

June 19, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

Si,

“the history is irrelevant”

True. We own Xinjiang now, and there is nothing you can do about it.

June 19, 2008 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

When Cao Meng De says “we” who is he talking about?

A) the American people

B) California residents with Chinese ancestors

C) the surfing community in Malibu

D) the Baywatch team

June 19, 2008 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

@cao

“Si,

“the history is irrelevant”

True. We own Xinjiang now, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

Don’t recall saying I want/can to do anything about it. I think the CCP is making an enormous mistake by breeding hostility by imposing identity from above and may find problems further down the line in the form of terrorism. Your use of the word “we” and “own” speak volumes. Who are we? And what do you mean by own?

Filtering a blog isn’t really censorship as censorship is only valid when it means the “censored” has no way of making their views known. This isn’t the case here as you can always start your own blog in the US (that’s where you are, right?) without the government taking it off line or fear of reprisal – if you think anyone will visit, that is. But then making that effort isn’t as interesting or as easy as sitting on someone else’s blog all day trying to dominate threads.

June 19, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

@mor

Actually,surfing community in Orange County

@Si
“But then making that effort isn’t as interesting or as easy as sitting on someone else’s blog all day trying to dominate threads.”

Still nursing a surfing injury, gotta fill the time until I can head out to the water again.

June 19, 2008 @ 11:42 pm | Comment

I agree that Richard is generally pretty good at allowing for free expression on this board. I just think his getting irritated by Hong Xing and threatening ban because of that irritation tarnish that image.

June 19, 2008 @ 11:55 pm | Comment

@ Cao

That was really informative, thanks. All I know is that before the Tocharians arrived, it was peopled by populations from Kunlun and Altay (Sino-Tibetan, Mongolic peoples).

The Uighur and Gokturk originated in Southern Siberia and were originally closely related to Halhs/Daur. Islam came from Arabia and modern Uighur’s Indo-European genetic influence (48%) came from the Indo-European heartland of the Caucasus/Southern European Russia.

Therefore, the modern day Uighur have absolutely no claim to Xinjiang whatsoever and the Free Turkestan movement is a Pan-Turkic, Islamist movement that deserves no sympathy. If Xinjiang is to leave Chinese hands (and I agree, it shouldn’t), it should go to the Dzungars or Tibetans, not Islamized/Westernized Turks.

@Si
I think the CCP is making an enormous mistake

Actually I think Westerners/Islamists are making a huge mistake in trying to carve out a huge swathe of China/Mongolia/Tibet with their ahistorical and pseudoscientific claims.

June 20, 2008 @ 6:41 am | Comment

@Ferin

Now you are sounding like Orthodox Jewish settler on the West Bank.

Modern Uyghurs descend from both historic nomadic Uyghurs from Mongolia as well as Tocharian or Iranian oasis dwellers that preceded them.

Soviets revived the ancient term “Uyghurs” to describe the sedentary Turkic oasis dwellers that shared the similar Turkic heritage and language. PRC followed the Soviet convention in marking nationalities. Before the oasis dwellers were known as Sarts.

If you ask me, the division between Uyghurs and Uzbek by the Soviets seem pretty arbitrary. Kashgarlik are probably more similar to Yakub Beg’s Uzbeks than to Turfanlik. Uzbeks and Uyghurs are more similar to each other than different.

It seems that Sarts in the Soviet territory were labeled Uzbek whereas those under Chinese control were called Uyghurs.

Modern Uyghurs kinda lives in Xinjiang, so yes, they have a claim to the land.

But so do Native Hawaiian to Hawaii. Except, after waves of Asian and Mainland immigration, Hawaii has about 200,000 Native Hawaiians out of a population of 1.3 million. More Hawaiianss today trace their ancestry from Japan and Asia. Besides after many mixed marriages, many Hawaii residents are now Chop-Suey. While Indepence movement lives on amg Native Hawaiian, demographics are not on their their side.

China just need to copy the US model and make sure place like Xinjiang and Tibet become mass tourism destinations/military base just like Hawaii. After the demograhic shift, we can even have democracy in there.

“it should go to the Dzungars or Tibetans”
BTW.
I know you are into racial and Sino-Tibetan solidarity and all that. But it’s too late for Dzungars. Qing emperors made sure of that.

June 20, 2008 @ 8:05 am | Comment

@ferin

Just remember racial ideology, just like any other ideology, has no inherent value and is only good for controlling blindly believing masses. Hilter killed more White people than any that came before him.

Be the puppeteer, not the puppet.

June 20, 2008 @ 8:14 am | Comment

I know you are into racial and Sino-Tibetan solidarity and all that. But it’s too late for Dzungars. Qing emperors made sure of that.

For humans, all it takes is 500-1,000 individuals to repopulate a place without significant inbreeding depression :P

I’m not so much for “Sino-Tibetan solidarity”, but Soviet-supported Islamist/Pan-Turkic movements are automatically suspect.

I would definitely pick the Tibetans and Mongols over Islamist/Nordicist “puppets” as you so describe, despite the bad history.

June 20, 2008 @ 8:59 am | Comment

@Cao
“Iraq war brought China 5 years of breathing space. My heart wants to support Obama but my mind tells me that McCain would be the best President of United States for China. If US really stay in Iraq for 100 years or wage war against Iran, China would be guaranteed No 1 Superpower status.”

Why would the worse American presidential choice for the US be the better for the PRC? America is a pretty important customer for the PRC’s economy, and a pretty important supplier of a lot of stuff to the PRC. Wouldn’t a less productive America be a blow to the PRC and a more productive one a boon?
And why do you think getting the No 1 Superpower status should be such a high priority? Seems like the super power is the one that has to run around and put out all the fires (whether it be Iraq, Germany, or Japan) as they are the one that has the most to lose.
Provided the PRC doesn’t pursue any foolish goals like trying to subjugate the ROC, I think the best man for President of the US will be the best both for America and the PRC, and for most of the rest of the world, whether they know it or not. (And I hope you’ll forgive me if I disagree and say that person is not Obama.)

“China just need to copy the US model and make sure place like Xinjiang and Tibet become mass tourism destinations/military base just like Hawaii. After the demograhic shift, we can even have democracy in there.”

That I would like to see. The central Asian steppes have yet to produce many tourist magnets, but then you wouldn’t have thought Nevada would have either. Perhaps if some gambling and escort service laws are loosened just a bit.

June 20, 2008 @ 9:31 am | Comment

@Lime,

Gotta go to my dance class, I will try my best to respond when I get back.

June 20, 2008 @ 9:41 am | Comment

Wouldn’t a less productive America be a blow to the PRC and a more productive one a boon?

Yes and no.. it depends on whether or not America wants to continue it’s ridiculous crusade against China.

June 20, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Comment

Perhaps if some gambling and escort service laws are loosened just a bit.

I think it would be better to simply bomb a place rather than turn it into an international whorehouse.

June 20, 2008 @ 10:18 am | Comment

@Ferin
America’s on a ridiculous crusade against China??? There are certain groups of people within America (some of which are represented on this blog) that have one bone or another to pick with the PRC, and the US government has been pretty adamant that it’s not going to tolerate any military action by the PRC against the ROC (which is against for one China, but against another, I suppose), but that falls a bit short of a crusade doesn’t it?
And what do you have against international whorehouses?

June 20, 2008 @ 10:48 am | Comment

Sorry;
“(which is for one China, but against another, I suppose)”

June 20, 2008 @ 10:50 am | Comment

There are certain groups of people within America

Neo-cons and hippies both hate China, but I guess most people just don’t care. But if they do have an opinion it’s mostly negative, because they’re easily brainwashed.

And what do you have against international whorehouses?

:|

June 20, 2008 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

@ferin

“Actually I think Westerners/Islamists are making a huge mistake in trying to carve out a huge swathe of China/Mongolia/Tibet with their ahistorical and pseudoscientific claims.”

i agree that any independence movement founded on debatable history is a mistake. it should be founded on an argument for self-determination around a shared identity. “pseudoscientific” – i don’t follow. care to enlarge? as for carving out a chunk of mongolia – i thought mongolia was independent. unless you want to bring back the mongolian empire and be ruled by mongols again? :p

June 20, 2008 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

self-determination around a shared identity.

Any Uighur who wants this can pack his bags and go to Uzbekistan, where they will have it. Otherwise, they are only fairly recent arrivals to Xinjiang.

i thought mongolia was independent.

The parts of it they have a “historical claim” to; not quite sure what that is, but it’s based on the same criterion that split Yugoslavia into little pieces.

June 20, 2008 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

@ferin

“Any Uighur who wants this can pack his bags and go to Uzbekistan, where they will have it. Otherwise, they are only fairly recent arrivals to Xinjiang.”

so i presume if someone kicked you out of the US on these grounds you wouldn’t cry racism? after all yopu are only a fairly recent arrival yourself, right? aren’t most han settlers fairly recent arrivals in xinjiang too? where is your historical cut off point? do people have to prove “they” have been living there for several millenia or will a hundred years do? how do they do that?

still don’t understand what you mean by pseudoscientific. care to enlighten?

June 20, 2008 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

@Ferin
What’s the basis of your ‘neo-cons hate China’? Seems like the neo-cons, being practical technocrats, are more willing than most to overlook the PRC’s flaws to do business with them. You’re right in that if an American conservative (or most any other American) has bothered to develop an opinion about the PRC, they usually put it in the same category as Burma, Cuba, Zimbabwe, or Pakistan; a nasty third world dictatorship ruled by brute force. But unlike the bleeding heart types, the conservative will tell you that this is the Chinese people’s fault, having supported such jerks, and it’s not his responsibility to do anything about it. If a few Falun Gongers or Tibetans get stepped on so he can buy his sneakers and Barbie Dolls that much cheaper, so be it. And when you look at the government, Bush has been just about as friendly as he could possibly be towards the PRC, to the point of treating the ROC like an inconvenient embarrassment.
So who are these ‘neo-cons that hate China’?
As for the hippies, well they hate a lot of things, but their own government far and away outranks the PRC as a source of angst.

And as to the international whorehouses, they generate revenue, create jobs, and bring all sorts of diverse types of people together for their shared love of sin. Don’t believe me, go to Macau or Vegas; they’re all sorts of fun.

June 20, 2008 @ 7:51 pm | Comment

Si,

“Journalists, … are entitled to sniff around London as much as they want. They should feel doggone entitled ….”

“(a) this is an international norm”

You missed the whole point. In case you didn’t notice my argument – being entitled to do something doesn’t always equal to the action. Please read my post again. The question is, do sports journalists sniff around politics in London? I know and agree that they are entitled, but do they?

It is a fine line that separates political conscience and self righteousness, yes?

Excuse my French, but apparently, when it comes to China, every a$$hole’s got a lesson to teach. It’s a once a life time opportunity to show that we have conscience and this old bitch’s obvious got a couple black eyes and some skeletons in the closet. Let’s show the world she does! Oh the dinner party? WTF cares?

June 20, 2008 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

I wouldn’t like to go to a dinner party in a house where they have skeletons in the closet. Sort of would affect my appetite.

June 20, 2008 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

@Lime,

I will try squeeze out a response before my surf buddy gets here.

“Why would the worse American presidential choice for the US be the better for the PRC? America is a pretty important customer for the PRC’s economy, and a pretty important supplier of a lot of stuff to the PRC. Wouldn’t a less productive America be a blow to the PRC and a more productive one a boon?”

Very true. In fact, I believe that the best bargain for US right now is to form a partnership with China. Kind of Sino-American Condominium over the world.

China is rising but US is still significantly more powerful at present time and could make China’s rise difficult if it chooses. China recognizes this and some in China is more than willing to cooperate with Americans.

Time to strike a deal is now when US still has significant leverage over China thus in a position to influence directions of Chinese future development. In 30-50 years, as Chinese economy surpasses that of US, US will have a lot less chips to bring to the table and in a much weaker negotiating position.

Unfortunately very few among American political elite have realize this. Reason? Lack of vision and have heads way up their a$$, Perhaps?

June 20, 2008 @ 10:56 pm | Comment

@Lime

Continued.

“Seems like the neo-cons, being practical technocrats, are more willing than most to overlook the PRC’s flaws to do business with them.”

I would say that about paleo-cons or traditional conservatives such as Gerge Bush Sr. neo-cons belong to a completely different genre of animal. Robert Kaplan have written an in-famous article in June 2005 edition of Altantic Journal named How We Would Fight China

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200506/kaplan

Robert Kagan also recently came out with his league of democracy idea. He wants to kick out Russia from G-8, invite Brazil and India, exclude China. Similar to equally idiotic idea of an “Anglo-sphere” alliance against a rising China. This guys is advising MacCain by the way.

These people seem to have learn their geo-politcal strategy from a game called “Risk”.

They don’t seem to realize that there are very few people in China who has invested interests to pick a fight with US.

How these people with collective analytical power of a fruit fly come so close to decision making process in Washington, at core of the most powerful empire in human history, is beyond my comprehension.

To to answer your question “Why would the worse American presidential choice for the US be the better for the PRC?”

I am inspired by the “Starve the Beast” strategy of conservative tax cut plan. I am pretty pessimistic about the chances of running the war-monger faction out of power. But by supporting these same idiots and have diversion of US military power and attention to Middle East would mean less meddling in China’s backyard.

June 20, 2008 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

^ this

And as to the international whorehouses, they generate revenue, create jobs, and bring all sorts of diverse types of people together for their shared love of sin. Don’t believe me, go to Macau or Vegas; they’re all sorts of fun.

Diversity isn’t a good thing, but I guess you do have a point on prostitution.

June 21, 2008 @ 1:10 am | Comment

so i presume if someone kicked you out of the US on these grounds you wouldn’t cry racism?

Uighurs in China (along with the Han in several provinces and many minorities as well) would be more like illegals in that case, similar to the first European Americans.

June 21, 2008 @ 1:11 am | Comment

@Cao

Kaplan doesn’t sound like an idiot. More like a pessimist to me, but whatever his take on it, he doesn’t represent the whole conservative establishment. From the horse’s mouth;

“Chinese leaders will do whatever is necessary, no matter how inhumane or offensive to us, to pursue their own interests. And they lead a nation of extraordinary potential, that is, whether we like it or not, becoming a great power. America must engage China if we are to maximize our influence over how that immense nation emerges as a world power. [However]. engagement does not require us to cede to China advantages that come at the expense of our own security.”
John McCain, 1999
http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/John_McCain_China.htm

McCain’s not exactly sweet on the PRC, but his position doesn’t seem that much different than yours. Though perhaps John McCain is a paleo-con too? (He is undoubtedly both paleo and conservative isn’t he?)

Bush and his administration have repeatedly said that the best strategy is to try to make the PRC a ‘responsible global stake holder’ (http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/rm/69899.htm), and though it annoys me a great deal that he doesn’t stick up more for the ROC’s democracy (the ROC politics are a hobby horse of mine), but he is essentially correct.

By saying, “But by supporting these same idiots and have diversion of US military power and attention to Middle East would mean less meddling in China’s backyard”, it sounds more like you agree more with Kaplan’s vision of the future than with the John McCain’s or with the current administration’s to me.
CCT called my views ‘utopian’, but I still maintain that the PRC’s interests and America’s interests are almost identical, as are most of the rest of the world’s. If we want to brandish weapons at each other, our species has proven itself more than capable of doing so, and maybe Kaplan’s right and we will, but, provided we keep the generation as wealth as everyone’s number one priority, there’s no reason we should have to. America’s leaders, especially the right of center ones, do seem to get this, judging from their own statements.

As for the starve the beast plan, are you saying you think it’s a good idea for the US? I’m not sure why they can’t just cut down the size of government AND taxes at once, instead of running up a debt that needs constant servicing, but I suppose smarter people than me are thinking about these things.

June 21, 2008 @ 6:52 am | Comment

@Cao

Kaplan doesn’t sound like an idiot. More like a pessimist to me, but whatever his take on it, he doesn’t represent the whole conservative establishment. From the horse’s mouth;

“Chinese leaders will do whatever is necessary, no matter how inhumane or offensive to us, to pursue their own interests. And they lead a nation of extraordinary potential, that is, whether we like it or not, becoming a great power. America must engage China if we are to maximize our influence over how that immense nation emerges as a world power. [However]. engagement does not require us to cede to China advantages that come at the expense of our own security.”
John McCain, 1999
http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/John_McCain_China.htm

McCain’s not exactly sweet on the PRC, but his position doesn’t seem that much different than yours. Though perhaps John McCain is a paleo-con too? (He is undoubtedly both paleo and conservative isn’t he?)

Bush and his administration have repeatedly said that the best strategy is to try to make the PRC a ‘responsible global stake holder’ (http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/rm/69899.htm), and though it annoys me a great deal that he doesn’t stick up more for the ROC’s democracy (the ROC politics are a hobby horse of mine), he is essentially correct.

By saying, “But by supporting these same idiots and have diversion of US military power and attention to Middle East would mean less meddling in China’s backyard”, it sounds like you agree more with Kaplan’s vision of the future than with the John McCain’s or with the current administration’s to me.
CCT called my views ‘utopian’, but I still maintain that the PRC’s interests and America’s interests are almost identical, as are most of the rest of the world’s. If we want to brandish weapons at each other, our species has proven itself more than capable of doing so, and maybe Kaplan’s right and we will, but, provided we keep the generation as wealth as everyone’s number one priority, there’s no reason we should have to. America’s leaders, especially the right of centre ones, do seem to get this, judging by their own statements.

As for the starve the beast plan, are you saying you think it’s a good idea for the US? I’m not sure why they can’t just cut down the size of government AND taxes at once, instead of running up a debt that needs constant servicing, but I suppose smarter people than me are thinking about these things.

June 21, 2008 @ 7:01 am | Comment

Guys, I know how much fun this thread has been, but I need to close it down. I think we all know where the other stands by now.

June 21, 2008 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

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