Corruption

I missed this story from two days ago, and it’s a great one, an important reminder that as a lot of good things happen here and people’s lives improve, there is still the same horror of corruption that pervades all levels of society here, right down to the teachers. That photo at the beginning of the couple clutching the photo of their murdered teenage son….

A couple of years ago I basically stopped posting stories of corruption in China because it’s such a common topic and it’s always the same story with different players. This one, however, is especially heart-wrenching and more than just an individual story – it’s a panoramic view of the problem that’s blighted China since its “economic miracle” began, adding an atrociously dark side to one of history’s most stunning success stories.

The story begins with the maddeningly familiar anecdote of corruption destroying the lives and dreams of innocent Chinese people:

The last time his parents saw Liao Mengjun alive, he was heading to school to pick up his junior high school diploma.

A few hours later, they were called to the morgue. They found that their lanky 15-year-old son’s forehead had been bashed in. His right knee jutted through the skin. Both his arms had been broken. He had several stab wounds, internal injuries and a swollen foot. His index finger was slashed, suggesting his tormentors had tried to make him write something in his own blood.

As if things could be worse, writer Liao Zusheng and his wife, Chen Guoying, concluded that they knew who had killed their son: his teachers. And they believed they knew why: because of their bitter, public complaints about unauthorized fees and systemic corruption in schools and across Chinese society.

Corruption is an everyday experience for millions of Chinese that taints not just schools, but relations in business, on farms and in factories, and potentially any contact citizens have with officialdom.

That’s just the starting point. By the time you get to the end your blood pressure will be up several notches. The most infuriating aspect is that there’s so little hope for change. The central government is paralyzed, because it needs the support of the local officials carrying out most of the outrages. The argument that the central party is impotent against them won’t fly. They intentionally let it go, for their own survival.

“Even if the central government wanted to see justice carried out at the village level, it is afraid of losing the support of local officials,” said Tang Jingling, an activist based in Guangzhou. “They need them to control society since they’re scared to death of any sort of unrest. And to do that, they must let them run their fiefdoms.”

It’s fine to love China and hope for the best for its people. But you can’t ever forget that a lot of bad things happen here, the kind of things most societies with rule of law could deal with quickly. On New Year’s Eve as we get ready for the parties, let’s not forget that there’s more to China than the glitter and glitz and glamour, and that a big chunk of the population lives in what is in effect a police state. So much progress and hope, and so much criminality and rot.

Read it all. Maybe there’s a tiny glimmer of something that might be called hope at the very end, where the reporter describes protest banners let fluttering in the wind – proof that at least the people can get their story told, and appear increasingly willing to challenge the criminal officials. But it seems a small and futile step, and there’s nothing like a happy ending. Quite the contrary.

Obligatory disclaimer: The US killed Native Americans, kept slaves and did all sorts of awful things under Bush. I condemn those things as heartily as I do the evils of the officials described in this article, and the system that encourages evil to thrive so the CCP can maintain its iron-grip on power. I write positive posts on China as well as negative ones and choose to live here of my own free will. You can’t write about China and ignore this elephant lurking in the corner.

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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: 72 Comments

I don’t understand why Liao Mengjun’s parents weren’t pragmatic and accepted the inevitable. Don’t they understand the incredible economic development they could experience, if they would only stop these antics and quit provoking the officials? They are silly people who only have their own interests at heart, and are simply playing the anti-corruption game to garner support in their village. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed, and the system was spared any change from its current path. Long live the great people of Great China!

Michael

December 31, 2008 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

Luckily they’re a relatively small minority, Michael.

December 31, 2008 @ 10:23 pm | Comment

ROFL. Happy New Year to ya, man. It’s cold and wet here.

December 31, 2008 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

The tragedy is that disclaimer at the end likely will have no effect. If there is one thing we can all learn from the rabid Chinese ultra-patriot, it’s that nothing need ever be fixed in one’s own country as long as someone else out there, at least a few centuries ago, was even worse.

December 31, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

” The US killed Native Americans”

Hey. We killed more, long before US existed.

“The main decisive factor in the defeat of Amerindian civilizations was their demographic collapse. Among researchers there is no consensus as to the cause of that collapse; some give genocide as the main cause, others attribute it to the introduction of new diseases and a still others to a combination of both factors. Scholars now believe that, among the various contributing factors, epidemic disease was the overwhelming cause of the population decline of the Native Americans because of their lack of immunity to new diseases brought from Europe. The American researcher HF Dobyns has estimated that 95% of the total population of Americas died in the first 130 years after the arrival of Columbus. ”

Some Spanish conquistadores saw the help of God in those diseases, even used is as weapon during sieges of some Indian cities.

Not to speak about ethnocides of several Indian cultures. Which from my point of view not much different from what CH attempts in TB and XJ.

And that does not stop me to criticize those fenqings. :-P

December 31, 2008 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

Michael, I agree they should stop rocking the boat and do what’s not just best for them but for China and the status-quo. ;)

January 1, 2009 @ 12:59 am | Comment

This article pissed me off pretty badly too. Unfortunately, as ridiculous as the official explanation seems (accused of stealing, attacked teachers and killed self), anything can happen in China. You can never know the truth.

I am happily out of China, but I still suffer from the pervasive influence of cheating and corruption in China in the form of the effect that it’s had on my Chinese wife’s thinking. The other day she unwrapped a bundle of spinach for cleaning and found one or two pebble-sized chunks of dirt inside. Her first comment was “oh, they did this to add to the weight.” I just about lost it. My wife is an honest woman, but the fact that her mind goes there so fast (instead of reasoning that a farm or supermarket’s selling of dirty vegetables consistently enough to add any significant amount to their income in this way would be bad for long-term business to a degree that would far outweigh any tiny benefit derived) drives me absolutely up the wall sometimes. Better than her being a cheat herself, but I fear that the conspiratorial thinking that Chinese society has left her with will poison many of her interactions for a long time to come. I think she knows very well that we have a (relatively) good expectation of honesty from people where we live, but she just can’t shake the old thinking. Well, it’s only been a year.

Sorry for the divergence but this seems like as good a place as any to spill it.

January 1, 2009 @ 3:20 am | Comment

I once had a very serious discussion with a Chinese friend, and the outcome surprised me.

I asked him, naively, why is it that so many people here are disrespectful about life, and human beings (typical narrow minded foreigner view, I admit it, this was years ago, I was still living in my Western Mindset Cocoon).

I was expecting the typical answer: there is too many people here, people care about their family and direct entourage, etc…

But to my surprise, he answered something totally unexpected.

He said: because people here don’t have faith.

I am an atheist myself, not even baptized. But following his reasoning, it further lead to one thing. Somehow, the so called Christian values, or whatever comes from religions, can actually contribute to give people a moral base.

And I think it makes sense, looking at the Chinese society right now, unbridled and constantly on the verge of chaos (the money God).

So, somehow, maybe religion is acting as a guide socially. This was a lesson for me about this.

January 1, 2009 @ 1:41 pm | Comment

Richard, you were right, that story did indeed raise my blood pressure, even after reading so many other stories like it and after living here for years. I think what happened to that poor boy was over the f*cking top even by Chinese standards.

I hate to think about the enormous corruption problem here, one of the ugliest aspects of a society desperately lacking in trust. On one hand, the Party and its inseperable corruption appear to be a horrible, seemingly indestructable parasite that cannot be avoided much less combated — your recent comparison to the Alien was perfect. Yet, who are these 74 million Party members? They are not “aliens”, they are Chinese – 74 million is over 5% of the population. Of course, not every Party member is corrupt, yet corruption is far from confined to The Party. So here it is – the parasite and the host are of the same flesh. This is the point where my soul starts aching.

This is one of the reasons I seldom stray far from Shanghai. Here the corruption is more, for lack of a better word, “civilized”, or perhaps “discrete”. It may be just as pervasive as elsewhere, but I don’t think there are many teachers in Shanghai brutally torturing to death the children of parents who resist stuffing “hong bao’s”.

January 1, 2009 @ 6:55 pm | Comment

Nice point, that the parasite and the host are one. Ironically, the parents of the murdered teenager are party members themselves.

About feeling safe in Shanghai…. I feel the same in Beijing, and in most of the big cities. You’re in a different world, where there actually is a degree of rule of law and accountability, if only due to the presence of so many reporters, foreign and domestic. Once you’re out in the backwaters, it’s a different universe. Which isn’t to say there aren’t horror stories going on right here in Beijing every now and then.

January 1, 2009 @ 7:07 pm | Comment

Bao, it’s possible, but I’m very skeptical of that theory. It sounds like the same crap some Christians peddle in the United States, suggesting religion and human decency are somehow intrinsically linked. Medieval Europe was far more religious than we are today, and I’d wager the lack of respect for human life during that time would make modern China pale in comparison. Sweden, Denmark and Norway have some of the highest proportions of atheists on the planet; do you really think that any of those countries share the same lack of respect for life Chinese do? What about Japan, just a short plane ride east?

The lack of respect for human life may be cultural. It may be environmental. I personally suspect it has a lot to do with simple standards of living; the richer people are, the longer they live, the more their lives gain value in society. I highly doubt it has much of a link with how many have accepted a faith.

January 1, 2009 @ 7:19 pm | Comment

I personally hate religions, in any of their forms (sorry to offend some readers). I was just giving a first hand account about one of my experience here. But somehow, I’m starting to understand maybe one of the role they have (had?) to play in our societies.

I would be more happy if the Bible was actually just a global moral code, with no fairy tales. Maybe that’s what we need, a universal human code of conduct, to replace these old superstitions.

The point is, that even if you are an atheist in a religious society, you end up being exposed to these core values. Why? Because they permeate many layers of society and sometimes, even in your own family to some extent, grand parents or older generations for example.

Some sociologists and psychologists tent to link the drop in faith and religious values to higher crime rates and social instability in most of the developed world. The US is a very good example, although it’s a very nice country, in my outsiders eyes, it still look like the Jungle.

Does it make sense, is it true, I have no idea.

Marriage for example is one, I was quite surprised to find that in China, this symbol still have some meaning and people still believe in it. Which is weird, because before coming here, I never thought in my whole life that I would actually marry someone. It was just not part of my reality and I did not care at all about it. But meeting my wife, seeing how it was important for her, and also internalizing the message about love and the value of a life long commitment, I found the true meaning of this symbol again, here in China.

Sorry if I sound like someone trying to push a religious agenda, please believe me that it’s not the case. But I’m curious about the philosophical aspect of these question.

January 1, 2009 @ 7:36 pm | Comment

To precise one of my previous point, I don’t give a frat about Jesus for example, but I do care about moral messages such as: Do not harm somebody else, help the poor people, etc, etc.

This is what I meant about the fact that some of these messages, somehow influence our personality.

January 1, 2009 @ 7:39 pm | Comment

I once had a very serious discussion with a Chinese friend, and the outcome surprised me.

If he says its a lack of faith, it’s most likely that he is a Christian. I will spare you the details but I’m not particularly fond of organized religion either. Specifically, I can’t stand the Judeo-Christian approach when it comes to alleviating human suffering. They’re simply too ineffective; always busy selling crazy and holding people hostage and doing too little actual work.

Anyway the moral messages you mention are taught in China philosophically through Confucianism. The difference between Christian morality and secular morality is that people are not pressed to behave by an invisible sky tyrant. People are far kinder when are so naturally and not because their silly belief system beget shallow displays of kindness as an offering to an imaginary god.

What China’s problem is, in actuality, is a lack of resources (incl. money). This has always been the rule anyway. Most of you, if you are Americans, have probably never known real suffering within at least five generations. It hardens people, and it takes time for them to adjust and improve. My grandmother, for example, lost her parents and siblings through some combination of CCP and Japanese brutality (and the KMT is not guiltless). When she fled the mainland she lost every single possession, and several of her children died. She was never bitter, but things like a couple pieces of dirt in her spinach probably wouldn’t phase her.

But yes, materialism and the destruction of Chinese culture wrought by the earlier CCP (and “globalization”/Westernization) are also to blame for the sad state of affairs in China today. I wouldn’t worry about it too much anyway, it will get better, just as I have witnessed Taiwan get better. If you insist on worrying about it at least do something concrete to improve the situation, instead of just speculating in markets and taking home waves as souvenirs.

January 2, 2009 @ 1:18 pm | Comment

wives*

January 2, 2009 @ 1:22 pm | Comment

I really think we should dispense with ‘obligatory disclaimers’ in 2009 because the only people who can’t understand that your site(and most of those on your blogroll) deals primarily with matters relating to China are those too hard-wired to care for such niceties.

Corruption is a disease that permeates all areas of Chinese society, be it politics, commerce, healthcare, or education. So resistant to change and so prevalent is this problem that corrupt practices (in all their schemming, dishonest forms) threaten not only to tear apart Chinas’s fragile domestic stability, but also to breed growing tensions and discord internationally as the numbers of Chinese seeking overseas business opportunities, residency, and education grows.

Why? Because the primary export is the ‘Chinese’ way of doing things, which has a tendency to distrust and reject the local, the lawful, and the moral. The Chinese way is fine if we’re talking about making dumplings or celebrating Spring Festival; but it’s not fine by any means if we’re talking about university places gained with forged documents, cheap illegal immigrant labour that undercuts local competitors, IPR theft as fair practice, and the embracing of deception as a useful business strategy.

Add to this the general lack of willingness of Chinese abroad to mix freely with their host culture and the potential for trouble is quite clear.

January 2, 2009 @ 7:34 pm | Comment

Any idea how is corruption in CH today and in the past?

I mean in the former ROC(mainland) and latter imperial dynasties: Manchu and Ming.

Also any comparison in corruption and questionable business ethics when comparing CH(CCP) with HK, TW or SG?

It is something inherent in the culture, form of government or social conditions?

January 2, 2009 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

@yourfriend

“..at least do something concrete to improve the situation, ”
For example? Difficult to figure out what to do.

“…and taking home waves as souvenirs.”
!!?? WOW

January 2, 2009 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

@yourfriend

“Most of you, if you are Americans, have probably never known real suffering within at least five generations.”

The last so called 5 generations you just mentioned built the greatest nations out of nothing in a couple of centuries, mixed with wars, famines, depression. Turned out well in the end, at least until the recent years.

I don’t think Chinese have the exclusive right on human misery, whatever how you’d like it to be, it’s just not the case. Victimizing China until the end of time, won’t help its cause that’s for sure. Being an eternal victim and promoting it endlessly is not really a sign of a resilient nation.

“If he says its a lack of faith, it’s most likely that he is a Christian.”

No, he’s not Christian, this is especially why his answer surprised me. Otherwise, I would have reacted differently, mostly apprehending a speech about religion and its virtues. I am well aware about the influence of Confucius in Chinese society, but somehow, it does not translate a lot in the daily life here. Actually to be more precise, it does, a lot, but for the older generations. I’ve met such kindness and generosity here sometimes, but mostly coming from older people (60+).

One theory of a Chinese friend, again, when I asked him about this phenomenon, he said: well, when Deng Xiao Ping opened the country, his initial speech was that people should become richer and thus more happy, but at the same time, people should fill their heart with compassion and some virtue. He told me that there was this other guy involved at the moment, sorry I forgot his name, that actually promoted only one side of the story, mainly the importance of becoming rich at all cost, putting aside the moral aspect let’s say.

So it seems that somehow, there is a gap here in China right now, and it’s a generational gap for values and moral. But I agree that we can’t generalize and say that it applies to everybody.

January 3, 2009 @ 2:37 am | Comment

“I would be more happy if the Bible was actually just a global moral code, with no fairy tales.”

Did some researches about this, and I’m sure most Americans knew about this already, I’m late 100 years for this. Better late than never as we say… ;)

“The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was Thomas Jefferson’s effort to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

Haven’t read it personally, but I think it’s a start…

January 3, 2009 @ 2:46 am | Comment

And no my wife is not a souvenir, she is very real now and she means everything to me, and she is Chinese (does it matter, we are in 2008). It’s not necessary to bring this kind of comments in the discussion, if you really want to have an open dialog with people, please refrain from doing this.

January 3, 2009 @ 2:57 am | Comment

Corruption is a disease that permeates all areas of Chinese society

Don’t be ridiculous. Corruption is present in almost all developing countries. Singapore and Hong Kong are in the top 5 or top 10 for “least corrupt”, and they are very Chinese.

built the greatest nations out of nothing in a couple of centuries

Actually, black slaves and exploited immigrants built everything. The only reason why America is powerful is because it was relatively far away from WW2.

does it matter, we are in 2008

Yeah it does, the GDP per capita is 7x higher in your home country than in China. If you’re too good to live in China you’re too good for a Chinese spouse. Poorer woman/wealthier man couples are pretty gross.

January 3, 2009 @ 9:20 am | Comment

That’s not to say corruption in China is acceptable. It has to change, but it isn’t “Chinese society” that is to blame. India is even more corrupt, as is Russia and other European countries.

January 3, 2009 @ 9:21 am | Comment

“Don’t be ridiculous. Corruption is present in almost all developing countries. Singapore and Hong Kong are in the top 5 or top 10 for “least corrupt”, and they are very Chinese.”

I believe he’s speaking of ‘China’ as in the PRC, not Chinese culture in general.

“Actually, black slaves and exploited immigrants built everything. The only reason why America is powerful is because it was relatively far away from WW2.”

Even accepting such a crass oversimplification, the ‘black slaves and exploited immigrants’ are now Americans, and consider themselves nothing else, so his statement stands. It should also be mentioned that other countries…such as China…also spent many years with access to masses of exploited laborers and managed nothing more than to drive themselves into the ground and starve several tens of millions of those workers to death. See: The Great Leap Forward. I know it feels better to explain away American success with snide remarks about slaves rather than acknowledge any hard work or good ideas, but let’s leave that sort of sloppy thinking to the fenqing, shall we?

Incidentally, America was very powerful long before World War II. It was, in fact, the sheer amount of power the United States wielded which helped turn World War II into such an increasingly one-sided affair after 1941. To be fair, the rest of the world committing collective suicide did help in relative world power positions, of course.

“Poorer woman/wealthier man couples are pretty gross.”

So are petty jabs into other people’s personal lives when you’ve never met the man or his wife. For the record, I have several friends who are married to Chinese women and DO live in China. At least one has openly stated he can’t stand China, and would get on the first flight out if he could, yet he’s been in Shanghai for the last ten years because his wife wants to stay. Does HE have your permission to marry a Chinese woman?

January 3, 2009 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

“At least one has openly stated he can’t stand China, and would get on the first flight out if he could, yet he’s been in Shanghai for the last ten years because his wife wants to stay.”
That’s what I call true love :-)

“Poorer woman/wealthier man couples are pretty gross.”
I don’t have too much problem with that. But I rather prefer the wealthier woman/poorer man combination. If besides that she is nice/intelligent she will melt me down pretty fast ;-)

Yourfriend, if Bao introduces one day his wife to you, I’d rather not drink any cup/glass of coffe/beverage she offer to you…. just to be on the safe side.. ;-)

January 3, 2009 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

the ‘black slaves and exploited immigrants’ are now Americans

What a joke. Non-whites, homosexuals, the eldery, disabled and non-Christians are second class citizens in “the West”. Anyone who is “ethnic looking” is not truly “American” unless the established powers want to use them for marketing or for personal gain. There is a reason why the most radical anti-Western thinkers almost always have some first hand experience with the West. Take a look at the 9-11 hijackers.

Does HE have your permission to marry a Chinese woman?

Absolutely not. It’s despicable no matter how you spin it. The end result is that an urban Chinese man will get to his 30s without a wife, and then troll the countryside for some girl “looking for a better life”. Then the rural man now left without a bride will go to minority enclaves, Southeast Asia, or Eastern Europe for a wife. Whichever poor bastard who is the least lucky will end up unmarried half-way across the globe. This is just another way in which the developed and rich countries screw the poorer ones.

Oh.. but I bet you had a month of “sensitivity training” and have read the Liberal Handbook to Colored People, Animals, the Retarded and Other Less Fortunate Beings.

The solution to this is pretty simple- all the rich, educated women in developed countries should swarm Southeast Asia to pick up those men who make $1,000 a year and are portrayed as incredibly sexy by Hollywood… hahaha.

I don’t feel like explaining this in-depth unless someone really wants to know. Plugging your ears, pulling the race card and screaming “THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY!!!” doesn’t change anything.

January 4, 2009 @ 2:17 am | Comment

the ‘black slaves and exploited immigrants’ are now Americans

What a joke. Non-whites, homosexuals, the eldery, disabled and non-Christians are second class citizens in “the West”. Anyone who is “ethnic looking” is not truly “American” unless the established powers want to use them for marketing or for personal gain. There is a reason why the most radical anti-Western thinkers almost always have some first hand experience with the West. Take a look at the 9-11 hijackers.

It should also be mentioned that other countries…such as China…also spent many years with access to masses of exploited laborers and managed nothing more than to drive themselves into the ground

Labor was more parasitized and neglected than exploited in the Mao era. Obviously Communism is economic suicide; brought about as a reaction to colonialism. That said, China never had anything as “economically efficient” as the Euro-American slave/colony system. In pre-modern times, China was one of the very few political entities where slavery was not widespread within its borders. The “abundant labor” argument, a persistent unfounded bias against Chinese history, doesn’t fly either as the whole of China had fewer people than contemporary Greek and Roman polities. I don’t know which era you’re referring to in particular, but I was thorough just in case you felt like reaching back 2,000 years to justify your stupid irrelevancies.

Does HE have your permission to marry a Chinese woman?

Absolutely not. It’s despicable no matter how you spin it. The end result is that an urban Chinese man will get to his 30s without a wife, and then troll the countryside for some girl “looking for a better life”. Then the rural man now left without a bride will go to minority enclaves, Southeast Asia, or Eastern Europe for a wife. Whichever poor bastard who is the least lucky will end up unmarried half-way across the globe. This is just another way in which the developed and rich countries screw the poorer ones.

Oh.. but I bet you had a month of “sensitivity training” and have read the Liberal Handbook to Colored People, Animals, the Retarded and Other Less Fortunate Beings.

The solution to this is pretty simple- all the rich, educated women in developed countries should swarm Southeast Asia to pick up those men who make $1,000 a year and are portrayed as incredibly sexy by Hollywood… hahaha.

I don’t feel like explaining this in-depth unless someone really wants to know. Plugging your ears, pulling the race card and screaming “THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY!!!” doesn’t change anything.

Yourfriend, if Bao introduces one day his wife to you, I’d rather not drink any cup/glass of coffe/beverage she offer to you…. just to be on the safe side.. ;-)

Luckily I wouldn’t touch anything that came from her hand.

January 4, 2009 @ 2:27 am | Comment

I forgot, aside from Southeast Asia there is also North Korea. This results in a repulsive trade of human beings; where North Korean women are forcibly “wed” to the lowest scum among 650,000,000 men.

You are supporting human trafficking with a racist undercurrent, but go ahead, bury your head in the sand, resort to stale rhetoric, and read me another litany from your multicultural guidebooks.

January 4, 2009 @ 2:32 am | Comment

“Luckily I wouldn’t touch anything that came from her hand.”
After reading your lasts posts that is exactly what I recommend you. :-P

January 4, 2009 @ 2:53 am | Comment

We don’t need your permission, according to the latest CIA meeting we just had last week, our plan is on the right track to conquer China by making sure not a single women will be available for Chinese men (especially oversea returning ones) in 2 decades.

To sum it up for you (you might already have figured it out, you seem like the clever type), the plan is roughly to make sure that every single male in the country ends up with no wife, leading to inevitable social unrest, and eventually a massive uprising against the CCP.

In a special speech at the end of the year, the Dalai Lama (the new agency’s boss, it’s not public yet) briefed us about the threats that we might encounter, especially on the net.

Do you think we are that stupid in the west and fall for this kind of crap? Go back to the board yourfriend and come back when you are ready.

You don’t stand a chance against our master plans!

January 4, 2009 @ 2:59 am | Comment

For one, Overseas Chinese are the most prized by both women and men as mates in China. Don’t try to play it off with straw mans, you are no better than a Chinese “man” who “weds” a North Korean woman.

As for the Dalai Lama, for what it’s worth I have a lot of respect for him. Just not for the same reasons permafried hippie idiots do.

January 4, 2009 @ 3:05 am | Comment

Please tell us more about your view on marriage and how humans should behave following your thinking?

I’m interested in having your take about this, really. Make it general, not just Asia related. Enlighten us.

If I understand you correctly, we should draft something maybe like a UN law stating that if the husband income is greater than X, then marriage should be forbidden.

Do you have a suggestion as to what the threshold should be (make it annual and before tax)?

Can a foreign guy that makes less than his Chinese girlfriend still marry her (tough moral choice here, think a bit longer about this one before answering)?

Also we should take into account some special sections such as: John is from the US, his wife is from Cuba, is it right if they marry (good question to ask in social education classes at school).

Any particular restriction on races and mix types (allowed, forbidden ones, etc)?

We’ll take notes tonight and make sure this subject is a sticky one on the board, so that later on when we create the law, we don’t forget your suggestions.

January 4, 2009 @ 3:27 am | Comment

As a general rule you just shouldn’t act in a way that is morally questionable, like taking advantage of poverty to find a wife when you can’t find one in your own country.

It’s really not hard to understand, use some common sense. As for rich Chinese girls marrying poorer foreign men, it never happens.

We don’t have to “draft a UN law”. All we have to do is fan the flames of anger in bitter, violent men and you’ll start seeing foreign males being beaten to death in dark alleys for “breaking the rules”, as white supremacist groups in America and Russia.

John is from the US, his wife is from Cuba, is it right if they marry

People shouldn’t marry between countries or socioeconomic groups when the premise behind it is fundamentally unfair. The only reason why a Cuban woman would ever want to marry an American man is for money and prestige. Don’t say it’s “love” either, because your divorce rates are a joke.

January 4, 2009 @ 4:01 am | Comment

as is done by supremacist groups in America**

January 4, 2009 @ 4:06 am | Comment

But I’ve searched all my life, and never found a girl that could love me in the US… :(

My last option was to come here and find a girl at Judy’s 2… How can you be so cruel.

I’m bald, old fat and ugly (and also I have some dysfunctions that I would not dare to name on this blog)… Who gives you the right to forbid me to find a cheap wife here? I’m rich, so rich that I could buy your entire family on the back of a cheap loan from the US.

Money can buy everything, and I’ll make sure that I buy at least 5 wives here, before I come back, to make sure I reduce your chances of finding one, once you come back from your cocoon.

Don’t be mad, I’m just following the plan…

January 4, 2009 @ 4:14 am | Comment

But I’ve searched all my life, and never found a girl that could love me in the US… :(

My last option was to come here and find a girl at Judy’s 2… How can you be so cruel.

I’m bald, old fat and ugly

I believe it.

I’m rich, so rich that I could buy your entire family on the back of a cheap loan from the US.

I’m going to guess we pay more in taxes than you could make in 5 years.

January 4, 2009 @ 4:21 am | Comment

yourfriend, I’m running out of quarters for tonight, sorry, but I sure did enjoy the show and I’ll make sure to recommend it.

Are you still running on tomorrow or is it maintenance day? I think you need some oil, you sounded squeaky at the end.

January 4, 2009 @ 4:41 am | Comment

I guess people don’t get my sense of humor ;)

But really most people are ugly, and most Americans are fat.. your odds aren’t good.

January 4, 2009 @ 4:44 am | Comment

I have to agree on this one, most American are indeed fat, and not very handsome. I guess this whole exchange will end up soon, once Richard comes back and ask us to exchange emails to complete our argument.

;)

You are a fucking prick, but it’s still interesting to debate.

:P

January 4, 2009 @ 4:49 am | Comment

No, my problem is that I’m simply too nice.

January 4, 2009 @ 4:52 am | Comment

Me too,

So join the club and stop whining about it. ;)

You’ll soon be flagged as a wacko and an intolerant fascist. You can’t say I did not warned you at least.

But… I do encourage you to share your opinion… I mean, Jesus, that’s what this whole fucking blogosphere was created for, exchanging ideas. Clashes, confrontation all he time, insults,etc, you name it, but I do think it’s actually healthy somehow.

I’m personally sick of universal self righteous version of the web. Let’s embrace, all of us, discussions, and confrontations on the web in 2009, that somehow in the end, can bring us closer.

That’s my 2009 wish.

January 4, 2009 @ 5:00 am | Comment

You’ll soon be flagged as a wacko and an intolerant fascist.

I don’t understand how you could come to this conclusion unless you are a firm believer that Western multiculturalism *isn’t* based on exploitation and a milder form of racism.

There are, on average, 1.05-1.07 males per 1.0 females. If you are dating into poorer countries you naturally deprive someone else of a mate. A lot of Japanese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong men do the same thing to China and it’s despicable. If everyone would stop cheating, killing homosexuals, aborting girls and generally being pigs there there would be a more even ratio.

January 4, 2009 @ 5:41 am | Comment

Bao,

It is clear that our friend here is bitter that he can’t find a mate in China. All he can do is come and bitch about it on an online forum. You really should feel sorry for him.

January 4, 2009 @ 6:48 am | Comment

Not really, it’s the “poor laowais” who are always whining about the supposed racism of the locals among other things.

January 4, 2009 @ 7:12 am | Comment

anyway.. back on topic, Richard you owe it to us to keep us updated on this after ruining our day with the description of the crime

January 4, 2009 @ 7:13 am | Comment

Sorry, I’ve lost touch with the blog the past few days (which felt great). What “crime” are you referring to, Yourfriend?

January 4, 2009 @ 11:34 am | Comment

of the CCP officials beating the boy to death and crushing his knee

hopefully they will be made an example of

January 4, 2009 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

“There are, on average, 1.05-1.07 males per 1.0 females. If you are dating into poorer countries you naturally deprive someone else of a mate.”

I think you are clearly referring to China here, and not ALL poorer countries…

But anyways, I can’t help but to find it highly ironic that you are whining about this today.

I guess your generation is just paying the price for what your brilliant leaders and the general male population was thinking in the past…

“Chairman Mao proposed sending 10 million Chinese women to US”

“…saying China was a “very poor country” and “what we have in excess is women.”

That was part of the advertisement I saw online, when I ordered my mail bride… I guess I’ve been fooled then. I wonder if they have a return policy.

I rest my case, now back to the topic.

January 4, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | Comment

Funny I was always told that the women that western men dated where considered ugly by Chinese definitions of beauty.

Can’t see why they would get so upset about it in that regard.

January 4, 2009 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

“There are, on average, 1.05-1.07 males per 1.0 females.”
Actually, when the proportion of males is greater than females, in most cases it puts the females at a great advantage because allows them to ask for greater demands on prospective males.

When the situation is reversed (in most countries there is usually a greater proportion of females) just a small greater proportion of females put them in a worst bargaining position when selecting a future partner.

There was even an experiment by Tim Harford (The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World)
Just a difference of +1 woman in a closed room, made the female side to lower significantly their expectation when choosing a male partner.

Maybe there is a secret conspiracy in CH to give greater power to women. Maybe some of them choose to marriage to big, fat, bald, big nose, older, ugly (but somewhat richer/more polite; women are not dumb) foreign men to help their fellow sisters in CH to improve their status (and bargain power against future male partners) ;-)

January 4, 2009 @ 5:47 pm | Comment

“Funny I was always told that the women that western men dated where considered ugly by Chinese definitions of beauty.”

And maybe those men are not considered handsome by western woman standards. Globalization has its good sides too.

Remember a post in chinaSMACK that disappointed CH human flesh searchers in the end. IMHO, by Western standard she so looks pretty nice :-)

http://tinyurl.com/7yp7y7

January 4, 2009 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

In the novel it is often described in the poems how the various monsters look like.

It seems like the majority of the monsters have red hair like ablaze, possibly curling at the temples.

It is also mentioned that a monster has square cut face. This is also mentioned in writings of Hong Xiuquan, The Taiping King.
Taiping believers who travel to heaven they see the chief of the devil demons, square headed and red eyed, and learn that he is indeed the same as the demon devil of the eastern sea and the demon king of the earth they call Yan Luo (from tianxiong shengzhi of Hong Xiuquan himself ) (Gods Chinese Son page 108 / 348)

So a square cut face was a typical monster feature.

Most of the monsters have also big round, possibly bulging eyes.

Most monster have lips, red as blood

A big nose was also typical for many monsters, possibly hooked like a parrots beak or with nose bridge like a mountain ridge.

Some monsters are described as white and pale.

This is the description which the professional storytellers in Ming and Qing dynasty gave of the devils and monsters. This must very much have been the picture which common people had about devils and monsters.

So when the Chinese saw the Englishmen and other European arrive they felt no doubt.

Chinese are not stupid, they can recognize a devil when see one. And here were no doubt.

There were foreigners with red hair and hair in other ghost like pale colors, they had big noses and high nose bridge. they had big, round and bulging eyes. they were white like ghosts. they had square cut faces and loud roaring voices.

There could be no doubt, it was foreign devils.

January 4, 2009 @ 6:22 pm | Comment

@MT

It is clear that our friend here is bitter that he can’t find a mate in China. All he can do is come and bitch about it on an online forum. You really should feel sorry for him.

Actually, yourfriend alias Ferin is American and he can’t find a mate wherever he goes because of his habit of abusing people. In the past, he used to get beaten up by the bigger boys, so now he prefers to anonymously abuse people on blogsites.

January 4, 2009 @ 10:22 pm | Comment

@ecodelta

Certainly a valid point as many of the older or uglier western men in China certainly seem to do quite well out of it. a 60 year old man in a western country is not likely at all to be dating a 20 something unless he has some seriously impressive hidden qualities.

January 5, 2009 @ 8:54 am | Comment

Funny I was always told that the women that western men dated where considered ugly by Chinese definitions of beauty.

Yes. However the men are ugly too. Usually not as ugly, but in exchange they are old and fat.

many of the older or uglier western men in China certainly seem to do quite well out of it.

This is because of money, and it highlights exactly what I was talking about.

In the past, he used to get beaten up by the bigger boys, so now he prefers to anonymously abuse people on blogsites.

When I was growing up, only one boy was bigger than me and he was my friend. I never lost a fight, and I never started them either.

January 5, 2009 @ 2:04 pm | Comment

Youngfriend

I suppose there is no accounting for taste, but then a lot of young chinese women also do the same with old fat rich chinese men, so not much one can say about that.

I suppose there is nothing wrong with marrying for security….

January 5, 2009 @ 3:01 pm | Comment

@Guy
“unless he has some seriously impressive hidden qualities.”
Hhhhmmm…For example? ;-)

January 5, 2009 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

but then a lot of young chinese women also do the same with old fat rich chinese men

There are lot of beautiful young women married to disgusting old men all over the place, of course. The racist/economic exploitation factor makes it a whole new level of disgusting.

January 5, 2009 @ 5:15 pm | Comment

Believe me, Ferin, once you stop being so nasty, you can find a girlfriend as well, you don’t have to be rich.

January 5, 2009 @ 5:41 pm | Comment

Honestly I’m actually a very nice person in real life. Just don’t insult me or I’ll kick your ass :)

January 6, 2009 @ 12:52 am | Comment

I’m so afraid of you!!!

January 6, 2009 @ 1:45 am | Comment

I’m sure you would be, since the way you type signals “hunchbacked theta male” loudly.

For the rest of you I think the comments in this laughably, blatantly “racist” thread started by Richard should give you good feel for why Chinese woman/foreign man is demeaning and exploitative:

http://www.pekingduck.org/2005/10/effeminate-chinese-men/

January 6, 2009 @ 2:22 am | Comment

I Believe Corruption In China Can Be Legalized.

This post wants to make a proposal. The proposal is that, in a country of 100 million+ people, there should be a very group of people that can legally enjoy legal corruption, also known as “social buffet” in the US. What do I mean by “social buffet”? It means that they issued a VIP card, and with that card, they can purchase any goods on the market, and enjoy any services on the market, and all their expenses will be 100% reimbursed by the gov’t. So they can buy food, buy cars, buy houses, do plastic surgeries, etc, and they don’t have to pay anything. In fact, their living expenses will be 0, and their children can enjoy this “social buffet” as well. We can call this class of people “super-priviledged class”. This class will be legal and open, and officially recognized, just like in the United States.

How did I come up with this idea? Well I was eating in a buffet place, where I can eat as much as I want until all my desires are satisfied, in that restaurant, I am just a member of that super-priviledged class. So why not expand this concept to society? First, we know that all societies in human history, whether it’s capitalist, marxist, dictatorship, democracy, kingdoms, etc, have varying classes of the privilegded. In America, they are like George Bush families. In China, they are like government officials. In Saudi Arabia, they are royal princes, etc. These privileged classes are very wealthy, very corrupt, and often cause the regular citizens to dislike and hate them, and blame them for all the “social injustices” and “inequalities” in society, and are often the source of conflicts and even revolutions.

Well, from an engineering point of view, we first must analyze whether those privilegded classes introduce any harm or cost to the society, for example, whether the George Bush’s or the Saudi Princes really take up too much resource and money in the economy due to their extravagant and wasteful lifestyles, as to slowdown economic growth. And we should try to minimize those costs to society. Now you may say “But it’s more than just costs to society, those people are immoral!”. But an engineering mindset does not consider morality.

First, why do some people become corrupt, and have billions of dollars saved in secret overseas accounts and steal the public fund into their own pockets, etc etc? Well, they simply want money, right? But why do they want money? Simply because they want to enjoy the materialistic life, such as cars, houses, jewelries, prostitutes, etc etc. But since the society forbids them to openly steal money and become priviledged, then they feel unsafe, and it’s that feeling of unsafety that drives them to store trillions of dollars in their bank accounts for themselves and for families, and the trillions of dollars are really more than they can spend. So, if we understand their psychology, why not openly allow them to spend as much as they want. They can build summer villas, they can eat lobsters and foie gras every day, they can send all their children to the best schools, they can spend 1 million dollars on plastic surgeries every week, etc etc. And all their money will be paid by the public, as long as they are a member of that super-priviledged class. If this is the case, then no matter how much they try to spend or how luxurious their lives are, the amount of money they spend in their life times certainly will not be enough to really impact the entire economy, right? (Remember that I said this proposal is for BIG countries and the super-priviledged class must be very very small). Even if each one buys 20 houses, and 100 cars, that won’t really impact the economy that much. So if their actions do not impact the economy and bring no significant costs to the society, then who cares if they and their children live luxuriously?

If we openly deny them this kind of priviledge, then they are induced to embezzle and steal and get as much as they can before they are “caught”. And this way, it’s possible that they may steal so much money out of fear and unsafety that it may present a significant cost to society.

But who should be allowed to enjoy those unlimited life-time reimbursements? I think they should include high-level government officials, important CEO’s, scientists, professors, actors, etc. So basically this “social buffet” is an open and legitimized way to create an “elite” class in a country, and I think this is very beneficial to society because first, if those people do not have to worry about their own monies, then they will devote much more time doing their jobs well (most of the corruption and dark-sides are really money-related). Second, given this luxurious buffet, they will love the society they are in, and citizens of other nations may come and live in this society, and thus bringing more human resources and capital into the society. Of course this social buffet class must be very very small in number, maybe 0.1% of the population. And maybe the gov’t can keep a list of all its members, and the list can be updated from time to time to include new members and kick out old ones.

This technique has already been implemented in the United States.

January 6, 2009 @ 10:07 am | Comment

More information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_Act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_klux_klan

China is relatively more “progressive” in that none of you have been killed yet

January 6, 2009 @ 10:22 am | Comment

ecodelta

maybe the fact that they actually treat them well… A chinese man in one of the hotels in Changshu where I work complained to the manager of the hotel that the chinese waitresses always treated the western guests better. the chinese manager replied that the western guests were more polite and treated them better as a whole than some of the local, hence the reason they got better service. They said please and thank you and treated them like a person rather than an object. Please note though that not every westerner or local is like that but you certainly seem to see a lot of it.

As for some of the other hidden qualities. I don’t think we need to lower the conversation too much more than we have already gone.

January 6, 2009 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

fat old desperate guys = good tippers

January 6, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Comment

@yourfriend

Certainly can’t argue with that normally, but generally as no-one in China tips anyway I don’t think that is the case here

January 6, 2009 @ 3:15 pm | Comment

@Guy
Is there any traditional way in CH that could be compared to courtly love?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love
“Courtly love saw a woman as an ennobling spiritual and moral force, a view that was in opposition to ecclesiastical sexual attitudes. Rather than being critical of romantic and sexual love as sinful, the poets praised it as the highest good.”

I think it still has a significant influence in some Western mindsets. May it explain different attitudes with women between some CH locals and some foreigners?

Curiously, courtly love seems to have a Muslim origin.

January 6, 2009 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

It’s an ideal rarely achieved in Western societies, like much of the “good” stuff in the Bible.

January 7, 2009 @ 1:43 am | Comment

Ecodelta

Interesting question. I am not sure how to answer it. From most countries women not being as strong have always been at the mercy of men, hence the reason certain cultures developed ways to protect them. Islam being a good example of this. Men were considered as the protectors and the women as the carers of the family. Although women were not as physically strong as the man they had other virtues associated with them such as compassion, love, etc.

What attracts a chinese woman to a foreign man? Is it the way foreign men approach love? is it that they treat the women in a better way? Have different manners? money? the fact that mixed race babies look cute? Security? Safety? Genetic material? I have no idea, Women are always a mystery :)

Ultimately though it is the choice of the woman who she wants as her partner. In this regard, certainly in many societies the woman holds all the cards.

January 7, 2009 @ 9:53 am | Comment

“Women are always a mystery ”
Agree to that ;-)

January 7, 2009 @ 11:15 am | Comment

@yourfriend/Ferin

Once and for all, the reason you can’t find a girlfriend is not your cultural background, the colour of your skin or whatever, it’s YOU.

January 8, 2009 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

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