Pre-Games update

Another morning quickie. Observations from the front:

Street Traffic. It usually takes me a full hour to 90 minutes to get from the CBD to Shangdi up in Haidian. Lately I’ve been getting there in 30-40 minutes. It’s like a dream. The air seems cleaner, too.

Censorship. A lot more Web sites seem unblocked nowadays. How long will it last? I even heard that China Digital Times was open for a while (seems blocked again).

Broadband speed: Lately the Chinese Internet has been hopelessly constipated. Everyone I know has complained about the slowdown, and the accepted truth is that the government, in its hyper-angst over terrorism and disharmony, is filtering every single syllable as it flows through their censorship funnel. I know, that sort of contradicts my second point above. Loosening up on censorship while clamping down at the same time. But then, as we all know, China is “a land of contradictions.”

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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: 49 Comments

Or maybe you are full of contradictions? Are you starting to realize how hard it is to balance nitpicking and putting lower quality posts up consistently with trying to appear magnanimous and concerned for human welfare in general? .

I’m sorry, but these days, all I hear is…I like China, but look at them mess up again! Chinese people have inferiority complexes and that’s why they must rebuttal anything bad I say.

I have news. Nobody likes their country being criticized by outsiders on a consistent basis. It’s like calling telling someone their mom has dandruff, please get her better shampoo because it looks disgusting.

Please save your criticism for the bigger issues that should be addressed in China, like the stupid and arbitrary movie censorship. Not stuff that they are improving on in great strides compared to other countries (China’s ‘green’ programs: World models?) or things that really don’t matter to the Chinese, like web censorship. Obviously Chinese people are very well-equipped with navigating it.

Because it’s not helping. It gets old and people get tired of it except the ones for whom China-bashing has perverted into something very different from how it began, a need for self-justification of oneself rather than actually trying to help the country advance into modernity.

Please don’t delete this comment like my other ones. None of them were as bad as those of nanguoheychang whatever his name was. I used no name-calling, and no swearing. Why do you practice the very ceensorship you criticize?

July 24, 2008 @ 11:05 am | Comment

One should ask whether the loosening of internet censorship is to satisfy IOC agreements or to allow the “crap youth” to feed on western viewpoints of China and get even crappier.

July 24, 2008 @ 11:14 am | Comment

@dana

Nobody likes their country being criticized by outsiders on a consistent basis.

That shows that you cannot differentiate between the party and the Chinese nation. When there is criticism, it is actually directed at the CCP regime, its policies and the repressive system it is running. But you chose to see it as an attack on the Chinese nation because you think the party is equivalent to the nation. That’s the tragedy of China, the side effects of decades of twisted “nationalist” education under the Maoist regime.

I am pretty sure if you criticize the Bush Administration, most people wouldn’t see it as an attack on America as a nation.

July 24, 2008 @ 11:34 am | Comment

@dana

It’s like calling telling someone their mom has dandruff, please get her better shampoo because it looks disgusting.

Honestly, i will thank the person for being frank in pointing out the dandruff problem so that i can do something about it for my mom. But it seems that you are contented with your friends keeping silent about it and letting your mom continue having the dandruff problem. That’s what Lu Xun had been criticizing all along: the blind pursue of “face-saving”.

July 24, 2008 @ 11:45 am | Comment

@sp
According to the recent Pew Research Center Poll, Chinese people like the way the country is going. They like how the country is going, and as such, constant criticism of the government’s policies without looking at bright spots is obviously going to agitate people, especially coming from people who think that Chinese people are ignorant enough not to know what the difference between China and the CCP is.

China is everylasting. The CCP is not. But is doing a fantastic job of bringing China into a place that people can be proud of for more reasons than simply that it is China and their homeland (pretty much the only reason I had decades ago). And I do believe I mentioned things that I don’t think the CCP is handling well. I have a list of them. But the positives do in fact outweigh the negatives considerably and honestly, Richard’s post is seriously just plain nitpicking. What happened to the posts of substance?

Anyway, to say that the Bush administration is well-liked in America would be a farce. The whole world knows that and America has certainly detached itself from this particular administration. But given an administration that they were proud of, I’m not sure Americans would be so docile as to just lay around and take an onslaught of taunts at it.

And we’re just talking about America’s government, what about in another country that does not largely ignore what the rest of the world thinks?

And btw, to attribute any nationalist mentality to Maoist education is really oversimplifying, even missing the obvious. Nationalism is best seen when in the context of outside forces pressing in.

People always reference the failure of appeasement before WWII when talking about Sino relations, but they neglect the large amount of blame that occurred after WWI that was inevitably what allowed Hitler to get control in the first place.

July 24, 2008 @ 11:56 am | Comment

I’m not so creative as to make that danduff thing up on the spot. I made that analogy because I had a friend who’s mom was made fun of. It hurt her because her mother had a dry scalp and it’s not like they couldn’t see the problem. And basically we didn’t see the people telling her that as trying to help, but rather mean-spirited children who liked to point out little things to laugh at with their friends and make themselves sound clever. You were a kid I’m sure you know the type.

July 24, 2008 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

Richard, I have been visiting this site for over 3 years, Don’t Change Anything!!!! Your topics are timely, your perspective concise, I applaud you for your dilligence that allows this site to remain running and give us a forum for discussion of our lives, thoughts and opinions of China, both good AND bad. Bad things are something some folks appear to thin-skinned to acknowledge the existence of and must wildly defend the NATION,thus rendering them unable to hold a discussion in a logical and civil manner, don’t let them dissuade you or warp your thinking and writing style my friend.

July 24, 2008 @ 12:13 pm | Comment

@dana

Chinese people like the way the country is going. They like how the country is going, and as such, constant criticism of the government’s policies without looking at bright spots is obviously going to agitate people

I am interested to know if you include the poor peasants whose and had been seized by corrupt party officials in the provinces or those who had been forcibly evicted from their homes without proper compensation (丁字戶) or those residents who protested against the building of the health-threatening Shanghai Maglev Train just beside their homes or parents who lost their only child in the sichuan earthquake because corrupt officials embezzled funds and build “tofu” school buildings? Are they included in your group of “contented” Chinese people as well?

July 24, 2008 @ 12:18 pm | Comment

@dana
Nationalism is best seen when in the context of outside forces pressing in.

Best seen in the context of outside forces pressing in on who? On the Chinese nation or on the Chinese Communist Party?

July 24, 2008 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

Are you sure the air is getting clearer? Did you look out of your window this morning, because I can hardly see the building next to mine.

July 24, 2008 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

@dana

especially coming from people who think that Chinese people are ignorant enough not to know what the difference between China and the CCP is.

Then why is Mao still highly regarded such that his portrait still looks over Tiananmen? Most people still revered him. Instead, Dr Sun’s portrait should be there instead because he is the father of modern China by overthrowing the 5,000 year-old feudalistic system, not Mao.

July 24, 2008 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

@dana

China is everylasting. The CCP is not. But is doing a fantastic job of bringing China into a place that people can be proud of for more reasons than simply that it is China and their homeland (pretty much the only reason I had decades ago). And I do believe I mentioned things that I don’t think the CCP is handling well. I have a list of them. But the positives do in fact outweigh the negatives considerably and honestly

Just who are you to say that “the positives do in fact outweigh the negatives considerably”? Did your child die in the earthquake when the “tofu” school building built by corrupt officials collapsed? Were you one of those poor peasants whose land had been seized by corrupt officials? Is your house beside the Shanghai Maglev Train railways?

How can China be everlasting with the social inequality growing and with numerous corrupt officials running the show? It’s like saying that China can be everlasting when Cixi, Li Hong-zhang and Yuan Shi-kai are in power.

July 24, 2008 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

@dana

I’m not so creative as to make that danduff thing up on the spot. I made that analogy because I had a friend who’s mom was made fun of. It hurt her because her mother had a dry scalp and it’s not like they couldn’t see the problem. And basically we didn’t see the people telling her that as trying to help, but rather mean-spirited children who liked to point out little things to laugh at with their friends and make themselves sound clever. You were a kid I’m sure you know the type.

It is your childhood tale, not mine. Feel free to spin it in which ever way that suit your purpose.

July 24, 2008 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

And we’re just talking about America’s government, what about in another country that does not largely ignore what the rest of the world thinks?

Throw in Burma and Zimbabwe. I am sure the people would not ignore what the rest of the world thinks when their governments are capable of issuing 100 billion denominated bank notes and forcing a referendum on them in the midst of Cyclone Nargis.

July 24, 2008 @ 1:00 pm | Comment

@sp I don’t know how to reply to every single one of your points? In order?

- Read my analogy, outside forces on ostensibly the government, but really it’s on the people…the country. People are getting agitated. The government is getting support from this agitation.
- No I don’t, the urban population was mostly polled. My point is that people who are vocal against “China-bashing” are in support of the government. I think these people who leisurely use time for internet discussion that invariably change nothing in course of human history probably are not part of that group you seem to want to bring up at any moment’s notice.

Btw, the rich poor gap is something I dislike in China, although unlike the crappy movie censorship, I think the CCP is really trying to fix that.

You and Ra really generalize people don’t you? Any one who criticizes Richard’s criticism must love everything about the CCP or are ignorant of its bad points. The fact is, people can think for themselves, and despite the fact that I think many valid points can still be made about China, I think Richard has made none of them in the past year and the writing is just poor. And if that makes me automatically a commie sympathizer well…
- Mao was a horrible ruler but he was the founding father of the CCP who is still in power. I think it’s more meaningful and a slight to him that CCP = capitalism for the win now. Personally I feel Deng Xiaoping should be up there, but that would just mean he’s a tourist attraction.
- I’m just someone who’s relatives got teeth knocked out while the old CCP was in power, who’s family friends starved because there was no food and US embargos + Mao had isolated China from getting more food. The sheer multitudes of improvements certainly make me feel that the positives outweigh the negatives. China has without a doubt seen one of the most amazing transformations in history as often stated by media both east and west, and each improvement is a positve. I don’t feel that the American government or Indian government could have changed that. Hell, could the Indian government with its democracy have even kept kids in school?

China’s been through a lot worse than what it’s going through now. It’s been going through crap for millenniums. What exactly is incorrect about my statement? Are you honestly equating China the country with China’s gov?

July 24, 2008 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

It’s always ironic how some people accuse foreigners of painting all of China with a broad brush of negative attributes, while ignoring all the positive aspects of China – and then go on to paint China with their own broad brush of positive attributes, while ignoring all of the negative aspects. Nationalists defend their positive paintings of China as taking up for China and Chinese people, but sp brings up a good point: who is speaking for those Chinese who are obviously displeased with some of the ways the country is going? Admittedly China has made lots of economic progress, which is something to be proud of – but how does that help the parents of crushed children, or the plight of those who, through injustice and corruption, have been denied a piece of the economic pie? Seeing China in black and white terms is not just a problem outsiders have (and outsiders certainly do have it) – it also seems to be a problem for many insiders as well.

July 24, 2008 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

@sp…at your last comment? what the heck? I think you mistunderstood my post.

I meant in plain english:

1) China’s citizens feel attacks on the gov is attacking them because there is a large amount of goodwill toward the gov, and support where the gov is taking them
2) Few people in the US like Bush. They wouldn’t care if you attacked the Bush adm.
3) If you replaced Bush with some guy whose policies they really supported, then yeah, they would feel like attack on those policies would be an attack on themselves.
4) Americans compared to other countries, know less of other countries. Thus extending my “what if”, replace America with say, the South Koreans (assuming they liked their president, which they don’t right now). The South Koreans would probably be really pissed off at foreigners attacking their president the same as Chinese are.

I have no idea what you’re talking about with Burma. I doubt they support their gov and probably want to get the hell out.

July 24, 2008 @ 1:20 pm | Comment

I think everybody on this board has COMPLETELY ignored actually reading my posts.

I never have painted the CCP with positive strokes. Do I have to really give a list by list play of what I dislike and like about it here? Or can people use their literacy skills and actually read what I wrote and find out for themselves?

I just really think Richard’s lastest posts are trivial and lame, and now I’m beginning to think people on this board are brainwashed into thinking anyone who defends the CCP must like everything about it. WTH????? I’m done here because people read my first few sentences and generalize.

July 24, 2008 @ 1:25 pm | Comment

@dana
“and now I’m beginning to think people on this board are brainwashed into thinking anyone who defends the CCP must like everything about it. WTH?????”

Calm down Dana! ;-)

There are more people here than sp.

Interesting comments by the way.

July 24, 2008 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

@dana
Read my analogy, outside forces on ostensibly the government, but really it’s on the people…the country. People are getting agitated. The government is getting support from this agitation.

Then who is to be blamed for this? Through years of communist propanganda, the Chinese people have been taught to 愛國愛黨ie “love the country and love the party”. Is this mentality healthy for the Chinese people? It is only good for those corrupt party leaders in power as they could use “nationalism” as a shield for themselves. Corrupt leaders can then silenced their critics by labelling them as “unpatriotic
” because they have successfully blend the party and the nation into one.

July 24, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Comment

No I don’t, the urban population was mostly polled.

Then the representative element in your cited poll is flawed, period. If you claimed that such polls are representative of ALL CHINESE people, then you are being academically dishonest.

July 24, 2008 @ 2:36 pm | Comment

I find that Pew Research result very interesting. From my own experiences I have to agree that the average Chinese person os quite content with the direction of the country, but I wonder if that would be the case if press freedom was not curtailed. For example, if widespread reporting of the earthquake affected “tofu buildings” was permitted, would that subsequently have had an effect on the way people perceive the country? I would guess that it would, to a greater or lesser extent.
anyhoo, i digress. but it’s a potentially interesting topic. Does free press make for a more miserable country? who knows…

July 24, 2008 @ 2:44 pm | Comment

Mao was a horrible ruler but he was the founding father of the CCP who is still in power. I think it’s more meaningful and a slight to him that CCP = capitalism for the win now. Personally I feel Deng Xiaoping should be up there

I mentioned Dr. Sun’s historical contribution to the Chinese nation but you conveniently chose not to say anything. Why? Because Sun used his entire lifetime fighting for the emancipation of the Chinese people from autocracy in pursue of democracy and republicanism and self-determination, which i dont think even Deng can surpass him in terms of that. He was the only selfless leader China had in this entire modern era, who willingly gave up his presidency in the hope of avoiding bloodshed in China though it’s unfortunate that Yuan Shi-kai broke his pledge and turned against the Republic of China. As for Deng, though he was a great man, he was still only concerned about the monopoly of power by the Chinese Communist Party at the end of the day.

The sheer multitudes of improvements certainly make me feel that the positives outweigh the negatives.

You have yet to support why this statement of yours is representative of those who lost their land, homes and children to corruption in this whole “feel good” era of the CCP.

China has without a doubt seen one of the most amazing transformations in history as often stated by media both east and west, and each improvement is a positve. I don’t feel that the American government or Indian government could have changed that. Hell, could the Indian government with its democracy have even kept kids in school?

What makes you think that the Party should claim all the credit for the nation’s transformation? The Chinese people are a great nation themselves, having achieved unprecedented breakthroughs in many areas such as science and geology. Without their corrupt and power-hungry leaders, they can easily achieved much more, just look at overseas Chinese communities for that. To attribute Chinas progress to the work of the CCP is an insult to the hardwork and intelligence of the Chinese people. China becomes what she is today is not because of the CCP, but rather it is in spite of the CCP.

Then would authoritarianism and dictatorship in India keep its children in sch? Indira Gandhi had tried to suspend democracy with emergency rule before, but neither that could keep Indian children in sch too.

July 24, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Comment

Are you honestly equating China the country with China’s gov?

It’s obvious that i don’t. But i cannot say the same for you.

July 24, 2008 @ 3:01 pm | Comment

Americans compared to other countries, know less of other countries. Thus extending my “what if”, replace America with say, the South Koreans (assuming they liked their president, which they don’t right now). The South Koreans would probably be really pissed off at foreigners attacking their president the same as Chinese are.

On what basis are you so cocksure about South Koreans’ reaction? Are you one of them? I cannot say for the South Koreans but i can say the same for the North Koreans. Because of both brainwashing and political intimidation, North Koreans would see criticism on Kim Jong Il as an attack on them.

July 24, 2008 @ 3:09 pm | Comment

@RICHARD & COMMENTATORS: Greetings from Sweden (09:10 AM CET) As a non-Chinese observer I will say that I love all the 1,395,500,000 wonderful Chinese citizens and China. I admire your China for what you are and have done to develop your aims and visions.

Now, this your blog post with its comments is really good to read. To listen and see from different aspects. When my blog MXp criticizes some Chinese things, then it’s about CCP and the way of handling for example human rights activists and non-registered religion believers. I’m not criticizing the wonderful Chinese people but the regime.

Therefore it’s so good to join in and listen to your talk, and I’m learning. From the North of Europe my best regards //Dag Sr

July 24, 2008 @ 3:10 pm | Comment

I have no idea what you’re talking about with Burma. I doubt they support their gov and probably want to get the hell out.

My point is, by criticizing rotten “national” leaders like Gen. Than Shwe and Zimbabwe’s autocratic president Robert Mugabe, do you sincerely that that the Burmese and Zimbabweans would be offended and take it as an attack on their country?

July 24, 2008 @ 3:26 pm | Comment

Btw, the rich poor gap is something I dislike in China, although unlike the crappy movie censorship, I think the CCP is really trying to fix that.

Fix? By chasing the peasants off their land?

Do you dare to go up to Hu Jintao and tell him straight in the face that his promise of “Xiao Kang” is seriously falling short in reality esp. in the rural areas?

July 24, 2008 @ 3:36 pm | Comment

If you replaced Bush with some guy whose policies they really supported, then yeah, they would feel like attack on those policies would be an attack on themselves.

Really? Can you name just one US president who had this absolute privilege of protection against criticism from some lèse majesté clause bestowed on him by the American people?

July 24, 2008 @ 3:46 pm | Comment

@Dana: could it be that the Chinese people who like the way the country is going just do not know any better? I’m sure many of them have not traveled abroad so cannot compare. We know the news is slightly censored and paints a markedly different picture of foreign countries than is true. Are the people as w hole better off, I would definitely agree with that. Did the government help direct this change? I agree with that as well. Did Hong Kong and Taiwan and the West fund the change …. no matter how vehemently people want to disagree they cannot …. the change came about because of an abundance of cheap labor and an abundance of $ flowing in from HK/Taiwan/Overseas. If there was no HK, the success would be different. The government did good in channeling it and controlling it. But let us give credit where it is due. So, are the people happy with the direction of the country. Probably.

However, when one compares the recent success along with the more recent changes in policy (restriction of visas, new labor laws, restriction of foreign business), what conclusion needs to be drawn? Will these decisions drive the country along the same path or a new path? Better or worse?

Also, how can the people say they like the direction the country is heading? Most policies are not public knowledge so who knows what the direction is. Are they more comfortable now than before. You betcha. This country is a great place to live. But how to know where it is going. Who would have predicted the visa restrictions? What will be the effect? Will it go back?

Now I know many of the Chinese people would not be sad to see a reduction in the number of foreigners in China. “Close the border/door” may be a growing sentiment. And maybe all will be okay. maybe the economy is ready to carry itself with a reduction in exports and reliance of other countries. But then again, maybe it is not ….

So, my point is, the people can be happy the way the country is now but cannot be happy with it’s directions as they cannot possibly know the direction ….

July 24, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Comment

Mao was a horrible ruler but he was the founding father of the CCP who is still in power.

Factual inaccuracy. Mao was not the founding father of the CCP; Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao were the founding fathers of the CCP. Time to read more and stop getting brainwashed.

July 24, 2008 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

Sp,

Though by quirk of historical accident (and because Li and Chen were too well known to attend a supposedly secret conference) Mao was at the meeting while the latter two had to skip it.

But yes, Mao didn’t really begin his true ascent until Zunyi, 1935 and even then it would take almost a decade before you could say that his leadership was an absolute certainty.

July 24, 2008 @ 4:49 pm | Comment

Jeez, why is everyone piling on Dana here? sp’s take — that anyone who likes any aspect of a flawed thing must therefore be wrong — seems a lot more objectionable than the measured, well thought-out comments that Dana’s been making.

I’ll offer an analogy by way of anecdote: I’m about as leftist as it gets in America, and am under no illusions, or at least relatively few illusions, about my country’s behavior internationally, both historically and in recent years. You can make pretty much any criticism of Bush, or the war on drugs, or Iraq/Afghanistan, or the US’s misadventures in South America, or any one of the country’s various iniquities, and chances are I’ll agree with you.

But goddamn do I get tired of hearing European people go on about how awful America is, and how their countries would never ever do any of that. Well, maybe in the bad old days, but not any more, at least.

I think this is probably how Dana feels when it comes to China. Correct me if I’m wrong, Dana.

July 24, 2008 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

I am really putting my foot down. I thought we were doing well, pugster – why the personal stuff?

Richard

July 24, 2008 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

@Brendan

Jeez, why is everyone piling on Dana here? sp’s take — that anyone who likes any aspect of a flawed thing must therefore be wrong — seems a lot more objectionable than the measured, well thought-out comments that Dana’s been making.

First, there is no conspiracy to bring dana down.

Dana can have his own stand. But i feel that supporting a undemocratic, corrupt and repressive system only gives it more legitimacy and hence strengthen its hegemony over the Chinese people. Dana’s passive and tacit support of such a regime would not help in pushing the regime towards political liberalization but instead tightened its grip because the CCP could now claim that it had “consent” rather than coercion to rule autocratically in a fully legitimate manner. Do you think that’s a good development, maybe that’s good for you but not for me. A system will only reform when it is increasingly deprived of legitimacy, not the other way round. Otherwise, where is the incentive for change and reform?

But goddamn do I get tired of hearing European people go on about how awful America is

Why should you be surprised at European displeasure at the United States when Washington warned Paris and Berlin of retribution openly when they defied the US decision to invade Iraq? You mean you expect someone to be nice and lovey-dovey at you when you insist they do your bidding or face with vengeance if they don’t?

July 25, 2008 @ 12:26 am | Comment

Oh, brother. I think I’m going to back out quietly and close the door.

July 25, 2008 @ 12:39 am | Comment

John Stamos FTW.

sp, you’re missing my point either willfully or because you’re illiterate and/or incapable of adult argument. Either way, I’ll leave you to your fun. Sorry, Dana. I tried.

July 25, 2008 @ 3:51 am | Comment

Dana is right. No one wants to hear endless criticisms of their country by foreigners. People resent a patronizing attitude when they are on the receiving end.

My first experience in learning chinese was in 2000 with a calligrapher from shanghai teaching in the US at a nearby museum. She talked about how the chinese media always made a point to prominently publish any negative reports about the US they could. Gun violence, social unrest, old ladies found dead in their apartments. She said from all the negative reports she had read and heard from the CCP managed press that she thought all americans walked around with guns and shoot at each other everyday in the streets and was surprised at the reality when she came her.

Standard procedure for the CCP is to accuse others of doing what they themselves are most guilty of doing.

Hearing about the negative reporting of the US did not bother me, it was kind of funny. My friend from shanghai was free to see for herself what the US is like compared to the chinese newspaper reports once she came here and freely form and express her own opinions.

July 25, 2008 @ 5:01 am | Comment

Something interesting.

A letter from China

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/24/asia/letter.php

July 25, 2008 @ 5:40 am | Comment

@Thanks Brendan, I can’t believe I wasted so much precious time talking to someone who already had their own systematic filter in place.

@Lindel, your teacher friend either sounds made-up, exaggerated, or simply ignorant.

Because the difference btw the US and China is that the outside world is deluged with American media. Chinese people watch US shows and movies, and everything inbtw. They see pictures of US celebs with their cute little dogs etc. They have access to other foreign media as well, such as Spanish shows, etc. They are not going to think people walk around with guns all the time by watching all this.

However, the US gets nothing of the same sort. The only movies they watch are usually KungFu or weird art-house movies. And that’s the minority. The rest, all they know of China is the crappy biased reports. They have nothing showing them anything otherwise. And yet you still wonder why Chinese people have to be so vigilant against one-sided reporting?

My relatives thought the CCP was deliberately trying to make the US look bad, but it wasn’t until they got to the US that they realized the same was true of the US media. Only most Americans believed it. You wouldn’t believe what some people asked us.

July 25, 2008 @ 6:01 am | Comment

@Dana
“The only movies they watch are usually KungFu or weird art-house movies.”

World Park Peking. From Jia Zhang-ke
Lost in Beijing. From Li Yu.
Life Show. From Huo Jianqi
Love wounds. From Zhuang Yuxin

And Kung Fu panda was not so bad! ;-)

July 25, 2008 @ 6:20 am | Comment

I wanna see Lost in Beijing and Kung Fu Panda. But Mulan will forever be my favorite American animated, Chinese-themed movie.

July 25, 2008 @ 6:24 am | Comment

Dana, about your first comment: I freely admit there is no depth to my posts anymore.I’m working 16 hours a day and cannot devote mself the way I used to.I’ve considered giving up the blog altogether. M schedule should normalize in the fall. I also don’t see why saying the air is getting cleaner and the traffic better is nitpicking. This blog is a rorshach (sp?) test where everyone sees what he wants. Meanwhile, thanks for reading despite the lack of depth.

July 25, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Comment

Dana, Lindel’s teacher is not made up. All you have to do is read China’s Human Rights report on the US that they publish every year to see that.

The difference between this report, and the one that the US publishes every year on China, is that in China’s case, they have FREE access to all the information they want, and they can pick and choose the worst examples, no matter how unrepresentative of the nation as a whole. Not the case the other way around, where there is not a free press, where reports of unrest, etc are squashed and only get out via the internet or HK-based reporters.

And while there are certainly various news media in the US that are more critical or biased toward China, this is also balanced by the other side of the media spectrum. You see, this is a basic difference – the ability to CHOOSE. You don’t have that balance or freedom with the Chinese media.

July 25, 2008 @ 10:54 am | Comment

And personally, I like Richard’s posts, because he talks about the good, the bad and the ugly.

July 25, 2008 @ 11:01 am | Comment

Dana,

Talk of how the CCP is good and you liking how they are leading this and that makes me really sick. The reason is because the CCP TORTURES innocent people and then all they have to do is exploit the people and land and make as much money possible and then no one cares about human rights. Okay, I am exaggerating when I say no one cares about human rights in China, but I just want you to know why I cannot indulge in talking about the so called good points of the CCP. I can talk about the good points of China, but it seems thats not what you want to hear, do you want to hear people praise the CCP? Hopefully that will never happen. Maybe you just are not the same style as Richard, neither am I, people write different comments and have different attitudes, so don’t insist on people thinking the same as you. Actually if there’s some stuff you want to say about China that is more positive, why not just comment on it yourself here? That would be great to hear, really.

I know several people who have been tortured for their beliefs in China and I know horrors that they will never allow the Chinese masses to find out about. Until the masses know who the CCP really is, all your ‘good outweighs the bad’ talk is just brainwashing.

You dont think internet censorship is a big deal for Chinese people? I think that is a subject you could really look into more before coming down on people who think the CCP commits unpardonable human rights violations in terms of censorship etc..

Peace. by the way I am not looking down on you, just talking to you as equal…

July 25, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Comment

sp, you’re missing my point either willfully or because you’re illiterate and/or incapable of adult argument.

If you disagree with me, rebut my arguments by all means. Disparaging others as incapable of argument hardly impresses anyone, what’s more for an ad hominem attack?

You can get angry when others criticizes your country, that’s your choice. I won’t get upset over anything except for racist remarks. That’s the difference between us.

I doubt you never grow up in an environment where political dissidence is portrayed and treated as treason, being unpatriotic. These things are taken for granted. I doubt you never have a taste of a huge party-state juggernaut crushing you by maligning you as a unpatriotic saboteur whenever you criticize the ruling clique.

July 25, 2008 @ 11:03 am | Comment

Dana,

Like what i have said, if you think my arguments are shallow, deal with it on their own merits. But i guess dismissing them as a waste of time is a easier way out for some.

However, the US gets nothing of the same sort. The only movies they watch are usually KungFu or weird art-house movies. And that’s the minority. The rest, all they know of China is the crappy biased reports. They have nothing showing them anything otherwise. And yet you still wonder why Chinese people have to be so vigilant against one-sided reporting?

My relatives thought the CCP was deliberately trying to make the US look bad, but it wasn’t until they got to the US that they realized the same was true of the US media. Only most Americans believed it. You wouldn’t believe what some people asked us.

You know what, at the end of the day, your bottomline appears to be: The Chinese people knows everything; the Americans knows nuts about the situation in China. Therefore, stop criticizing us when outsiders knows nuts about us.

Why insist on taking such an ethnocentric perceptive when you yourself criticize outsiders and foreigners of doing so?

July 25, 2008 @ 11:11 am | Comment

real. just older than you. came to US in the 80′s to teach art in tennessee. taught calligraphy in DC at smithsonian for several years. chose not to go back to the motherland. probably 48 years now.

July 31, 2008 @ 4:27 am | Comment

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