The blocking of Xinjiang’s Internet

Please go read this fascinating post about the government’s digital sequestration of Xinjiang, a phenomenon that stands as a kind of case study of just how deeply the weak-kneed CCP fears any spark that might ignite the tinderbox of public opinion.

One snip about when it might end:

Here is the million-dollar question. If you ask 10 different people in Urumqi when the internet should turn back on you’re likely to get 10 different answers. The list ranges from the 1st of the year to somewhere in the middle of next year but everybody readily admits they’re not for sure.

Until a couple of weeks ago I would have been hesitant to answer this question, but a friend I trust passed along some interesting information that has given me the boldness to make my own predictions. According to some memos sent between the capital and the head office of our city’s main telecom provider, service is expected to open up during the May holiday of 2010.

There you have it. I’ve bet my money and made my prediction. This is just the halfway point…we have another 5 months to go. Of course, being wrong won’t make me sad if it’s sooner rather than later.

A sad situation, and a vivid reminder of how some things haven’t changed all that much. For all its enlightenment and reform, the party remains prickly and paranoid. Imagine any other great power blocking out the Internet in areas where there is turmoil….

And yes, I know, America has done bad things, too, and killed Indians. But I’m talking now about China. And for China, this is a sad episode, a sign of an inherent weakness and lack of confidence, despite the party’s strength and staying power, which I’ve also written about at length recently.

Update: Looking at this a day later, I think this was a pretty mediocre post. Apologies. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse about the CCP’s prickliness, and I’ve tried to make amply clear that that’s not all the party is about. But this episode just bugged me and raised all sorts of memories of bad experiences I had with censorship in China back in 2003.

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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: 210 Comments

Limitations have been placed in the Xinjiang region in order to quell the spread of false rumors and to prevent certain groups with ulterior motives in using the Internet to organize further terrorist activities and evade law and order, to further create social instability in the region.

The temporary limitation on the Internet is placed in order to better ensure the speedier restoration of law and order in the region, and thus to ensure the speedier recovery of the normalcy and freedom of the residents. Thus, temporary check on freedom in order to bring out greater freedom in the future.

No need to act surprised by it.

December 8, 2009 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

ah yes, the good ol’ stability argument. along with unapologetic paternalism of “we know better than you when you should have internet.”

thanks CCP, what would I have done without you.

December 8, 2009 @ 1:02 pm | Comment

Aren there still People’s Armed Police patrolling the streets? Can you make international telephone calls to Xinjiang yet? On a list of things needed to return to normalcy in Xinjiang, Internet access is about 16th or 17th on that list.

“Paternalism” isn’t exactly the word I’ve use. In fact, given the situation, the pursuit “stability” seems exactly like the right description. Whether or not you agree that it’s the best way to promote stability — that’s a different issue.

December 8, 2009 @ 2:51 pm | Comment

good imitation, crab

December 8, 2009 @ 6:46 pm | Comment

thanks CCP, what would I have done without you

Indeed, the dangerous knock-on effects of not being told what’s best for you are so many. You could even, horror, have read some dangerous material that changed your opinion on a vaguely political topic!

December 9, 2009 @ 3:24 am | Comment

On a list of things needed to return to normalcy in Xinjiang, Internet access is about 16th or 17th on that list.

It depends on what era of “normalcy” you want. If you want 500 AD normalcy, the Uighur would still be in Southern Siberia. If you want 3,000 BC normalcy, Tibetans, Qiang and Huns would still roam the area- before they were ethnically cleansed by European, Muslim and Altaic newcomers.

ah yes, the good ol’ stability argument. along with unapologetic paternalism of “we know better than you when you should have internet.”

Rather I’m sure they cut off internet access because they don’t want the Han to find out the truth about a minority of racist, fundamentalist Uighurs as well as the vast majority of racist, fundamentalist Westerners supporting them. They are doing it to protect you- again, you are a huge part of the problem.

December 9, 2009 @ 5:26 am | Comment

That radical members of the terrorist cells in the region use modern means of communication to organize and evade police surveillance is well-documented. Police noticed from the 7-5 upheaval that extreme groups were able to quickly launch 2nd, 3rd, and 4th waves of attacks almost immediately after the 1st wave, despite the massive security force deployed to the region by the government. Therefore, physical security by itself is not effective enough in breaking up the various cells that continue to operate in the Xinjiang region today.

I fail to understand this measure as “paternalistic” and “deciding for the people”. The most basic responsibility of a government is to provide security and social stability, do you disagree? If a gov’t cannot even do that, then it does not deserve to be in power. I see this measure as the mark of a responsible government.

If this is “paternalistic”, then what do you call US Gov’t's policy, after 911 and lasting to this day, of forbidding sharp objects and even liquid onto airplanes after 911?

We all want to live in a peaceful and harmonious world, a world free of violence and terrorism.

December 9, 2009 @ 5:32 am | Comment

Didnt know that Tokio Rose was still transmitting. I mean… Beijing Rose.

December 9, 2009 @ 7:33 am | Comment

“If this is “paternalistic”, then what do you call US Gov’t’s policy, after 911 and lasting to this day, of forbidding sharp objects and even liquid onto airplanes after 911?”

Yes, banning knives on planes and shutting off Internet communication with a whole province are roughly analogous, yeah?

I’m guessing Crabs didn’t do so well on the GRE…

December 9, 2009 @ 7:36 am | Comment

Yes, banning knives on planes and shutting off Internet communication with a whole province are roughly analogous, yeah?

Of course it’s not exactly analogous. Yes banning knives is even more intrusive and more detailed and shows gov’t's more in-depth level of control and paternalism. But still they are analogous.

December 9, 2009 @ 7:43 am | Comment

Yes, banning knives on planes and shutting off Internet communication with a whole province are roughly analogous, yeah?

He left out the whole “American airlines paralyzed by the searching of nuns, leads to economic losses” thing

December 9, 2009 @ 7:57 am | Comment

Crab meat, stop being asinine. You are smarter than that.

I added an update to this post, which isn’t my favorite.

December 9, 2009 @ 1:03 pm | Comment

@ Richard

“I don’t mean to beat a dead horse about the CCP’s prickliness”

A horse well worth beating, regularly and often.

The world is on a collision course if we continue to see an increasingly powerful China governed by paranoid, resentful children with the clear agenda of imposing their petty censorship on other countries.

Beat away.

December 9, 2009 @ 3:08 pm | Comment

Why I am having the feeling that this blog is being used by some propaganda/censorship department traines to do some of their homework?

December 9, 2009 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

The world is on a collision course if we continue to see an increasingly powerful China governed by paranoid, resentful children with the clear agenda of imposing their petty censorship on other countries.

The world is on a collision course if we fail to see an increasingly weak America, as they are governed by paranoid, resentful children with the clear agenda of imposing their petty domination games on other countries.

December 10, 2009 @ 8:37 am | Comment

Ferin, in regard to the comment I won’t approve, let me say this: I’ve given you lots of space and cut you lots of slack. I said in my post, “And yes, I know, America has done bad things, too, and killed Indians. But I’m talking now about China.” So I won’t tolerate your adding a comment that simply repeats your tired talking points about how awful America is. It’s a form of thread hijacking and you know it. Sorry – but we all know where you stand on how bad America is, and I have to draw the line somewhere. Your last comment makes it abundantly clear for anyone new here.

December 10, 2009 @ 9:47 am | Comment

Yep, America… sooo very mach bad. And yet, they have no need to block access to information in internet. I would like to know the budget being wasted in this net nanny thing. I always thought nannies job was to take care of children… like builduing better schools that do not crumble. for example

December 10, 2009 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

America don’t need internet censorship. No, America spends billions of dollars on that NSA internet surveillance thing which sucks up internet traffic going in and out of the country. Heck who, knows big brother might be listening your phone calls and knows that you will go to a website that you shouldn’t go to.

Unfortunately, China is too backward and don’t possess such technology. So they have to resort to blocking sites.

December 10, 2009 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

Yep, America… sooo very mach bad. And yet, they have no need to block access to information in internet. I would like to know the budget being wasted in this net nanny thing. I always thought nannies job was to take care of children… like builduing better schools that do not crumble. for example

This is in complete disregard to facts. In the United States, just off the top of my head, I know most companies have strict internet controls in the office – it is not rare to see access to personal emails, instant messaging, pornography, and even job-searching sites blocked. In most public libraries, websites with adult content are blocked. Many sites originating from Cuba and Iran are blocked within the US. Many sites offering download of music and software are blocked based on US IP, per request of US government. Major internet Google and Yahoo and Microsoft constantly adjust their search results to mask and filter content in accordance to different State laws on hate-crime, pornography, violence, etc.

December 10, 2009 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

So what is better pug_ster, someone that listen but do not block, or someone that doesn’t listen and do block?

By the way, I utterly fail to see the logic in your argument. You better improve your Tu Quoque abilities.

December 10, 2009 @ 3:01 pm | Comment

As representant of Security INC(tm), trusted NSA supplier. I offer an special deal for you pug.

New generation Echelon surveillance system, one order of maginuted more powerful than the old generation used by the NSA!!!

You get knock down price, almost gratis, free support 24*7, Platinum with gold and diamonds customer service, free upgrades for 10 years, free knowledge transfer, free training and special hefty discounts for future versions of the systems.

You should hurry, is a time limited offer!

Just one small condition on your side…, in order to reach a deal the moment the sytem is installed all internet pages and web services accesible from the US must be also be accesible in China without blocking whatsoever. You could listen all you want but no blocking.

Web pages and services not accesible from the US you can do whatever you want…

Given the advantages of this system for harmony, stability etc etc, that should not be a problem. Don’t you think?

December 10, 2009 @ 4:25 pm | Comment

The Party can continue to pretend that the Internet is the source of the problems, but the Internet is just a scapegoat. No matter how long you shut off the Internet, if you don’t deal with Uighur grievances, the events of the past summer will happen again and again. Keep on dreaming…

December 10, 2009 @ 5:30 pm | Comment

No, CCP doesn’t think the internet is the source of the problem, they just think to cut off the internet will be easier for them to deal with the problems.

December 10, 2009 @ 7:26 pm | Comment

ecodelta,

That’s why the US is in debt till hell freezes over. Because they spend billions that benefits little for its citizens.

December 10, 2009 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

@pug_ster

Ha ha ha…. Touché

December 11, 2009 @ 1:54 am | Comment

Merp I am going to keep out all your comments that discuss this only in terms of the US bombing iraq. So try a different approach, alright? We understand how you feel like this, and most of us agree that the way America handled Iraq was a big stain on our history. In 2004-5 that was nearly all I blogged about. That doesn’t render untrue the point that China is the only great power that handles its Internet this way – and that is what this post is about. If you want to rant on about Iraq in regard to how the US has similarly blocked Internet access in select localities, please feel free. But to just scream about the US being bad is not only irrelevant, it’s boring. Thanks.

Kevin, agree with every word.

December 11, 2009 @ 3:07 am | Comment

I was just thinking, what will happen if any Germans/Russians/Cambodians/Chileans were to come here to comment about the CCP in a less than favourable tone, will this thread be bombarded and hijacked with eccentric screams and shouts of “But Hitler was worse!”, “Stalin was worse!”, “Pol Pot was worse!”or “Pinochet was worse!”.

December 11, 2009 @ 3:23 am | Comment

SP, that’s reserved for America I’m afraid, courtesy of a xenophobic mindset that places the US at the heart of all evil. When confronted with evil in their own backyard, it’s much easier to change the subject focus on the default whipping boy and start throwing shit at it. Go back to 2004-7 and read my posts slamming Bush and US policy under him. No one ever came in and commented, “But country X or Y is worse!” What kind of a lame, half-brained argument would that be? I was talking about Bush, about America, In this post, I am talking about China. I am willing to listen to anyone who wants to argue that the US or other major powers also selectively censor entire geographies as China has done in Xinjiang. I am not willing to entertain comments that just throw the usual Molotov cocktails at the US, a sure sign that the commenter has nothing to add to the discussion at hand, and is held hostage by the usual parabolic rage unique to China’s unfortunate inferiority complex and inability to stand up to criticism. This inferiority complex is undeserved – China is NOT inferior. But as long as it perceives itself as weak, wounded, a perpetual victim, then it may have to live up to the image it has chosen to mold for itself. Pity.

December 11, 2009 @ 4:58 am | Comment

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1134138.html

December 11, 2009 @ 5:08 am | Comment

Thanks for the usual profundity, Bao. You may want to read Fallows on Obama’s speech as well.

December 11, 2009 @ 5:15 am | Comment

China is NOT inferior. But as long as it perceives itself as weak, wounded, a perpetual victim, then it may have to live up to the image it has chosen to mold for itself. Pity.

China has never perceived itself as weak, nor a perpetual victim. Stop projecting. China may have been victimized, but even when the Mongols killed 60 million innocent Chinese we did not see ourselves as “victims” like how you see blacks.

December 11, 2009 @ 5:45 am | Comment

“we did not see ourselves as “victims” like how you see blacks.

It seems that the race to the bottom in terms of human rights is still raging despite Richard’s comments. Sigh. It seems that some commentors here have the weird logic that this whole world will somehow be a better place if all the nations in the world compete with each other to see who can get to the lower place in terms of respecting the dignity of their people.

December 11, 2009 @ 7:00 am | Comment

China has never perceived itself as weak, nor a perpetual victim.

To be exact, it was the CCP who wants the Chinese people to see themselves as weak and perpetual victims of “foreign intervention” so as to divert their attention from the skeletons in the Party’s closet.

December 11, 2009 @ 7:09 am | Comment

To be exact, it was the CCP who wants the Chinese people to see themselves as weak and perpetual victims of “foreign intervention” so as to divert their attention from the skeletons in the Party’s closet.

Hah.

Anyone watching CCTV for just a little while knows the premium China places on victimhood. Ferin just reminds us how hard-wired this is. No matter what the topic, the same script pops up. Like the dancing chicken at the carnival, drop in a quarter, the light turns on and the chicken dances. And the script always serves the same purpose, as SP said: to divert attention from China’s problems and injustices, and focus everyone on a common enemy. A few years ago it was all about Koizumi and the shrine. There is a bank of materials to draw on, from the looting of the Summer Palace to the Opium Wars to the Open Door policy to the Belgrade embassy bombing. All very bad things. All things we should remember, like the Nanjing massacre. It’s when the propaganda uses these things, the way Bush constantly used 911, to manipulate the national psyche and divert it from its own sins that we need to have our guard up.

December 11, 2009 @ 7:35 am | Comment

“There is a bank of materials to draw on … the Belgrade embassy bombing.”

Not sure Belgrade should be ranked alongside colonial outrages. China was blatantly interfering in a legitimate military operation with the intent of compromising those efforts and procuring proprietary technology. The US acted with considerable restraint in only knocking out the embassy.

December 11, 2009 @ 9:29 am | Comment

legitimate military operation

I laughed. Are you going to call Vietnam and Iraq legitimate too?

December 11, 2009 @ 9:48 am | Comment

Merp, those last five or six comments of yours that haven’t shown up never will – what is wrong with you? You know I try to be fair about China, and you’ve even said so. I will not tolerate anyone coming on this site and libeling China and the Chinese people. Same with America. If you can’t comment without self-immolating in rage, your comments won’t appear.

Stuart, I at least can understand their outrage over the embassy, and am sure many Americans would feel the same way. Their anger over all these things is justified. What is bizarre is how this anger can be easily manipulated and brought to life by propaganda, as if the Nanjing massacre had occurred last weekend. The government is good at rubbing salt into old wounds when it suits them, and then healing the wound completely when it’s politically expedient. Compare the attitude (in the media, at least) toward Japan in 2005 with today – night and day.

December 11, 2009 @ 10:10 am | Comment

Merp, legitamacy is in the eye of the beholder – I agree, Vietnam and Iraq were not legitimate. I’m sure you think Tibet was legitimate. Was Vietnam ’79 legitimate? Would an invasion of Taiwan (by a state that has just celebrated it’s 60th birthday) be legitimate?

December 11, 2009 @ 10:23 am | Comment

“Not sure Belgrade should be ranked alongside colonial outrages. China was blatantly interfering in a legitimate military operation with the intent of compromising those efforts and procuring proprietary technology. The US acted with considerable restraint in only knocking out the embassy”

This is not the explanation of the US government on this situation. Which version is true? Yours or the US government’s?

December 11, 2009 @ 10:39 am | Comment

“Stuart, I at least can understand their outrage over the embassy”

Me too. They didn’t know any better – all they knew was that American bombs destroyed the Chinese embassy. The Chinese government predictably avoided any discussion of why that happened, otherwise they would necessarily have had to blame themselves.

“What is bizarre is how this anger can be easily manipulated and brought to life by propaganda”

Exactly, Richard. And, returning to the topic of censorship, such manipulations are readily ingested when the state has a stranglehold on the media and communications.

December 11, 2009 @ 10:43 am | Comment

People here speak so much more than they know.Ok If it makes you feel good of yourselves.

We know you gotta to find the money from somewhere to boost your economy and it is hard as, nobody in the world would trust American anymore.

Talking sceptical of others economy or whatever do not help reality of yours,even you know how to play the media game you are playing too much, not many people will be listening to you now.

If you know the beginning of the End of America started 2006? You wouldn’t have the face to comment here, perhaps only to make you FEELING GREAT.

Get real.

December 11, 2009 @ 10:54 am | Comment

Oh, lord, I knew I should not have tried to read this comment thread…

You know, the paternalistic attitudes expressed here are not those of every Chinese person, and the more conversations I have with people here, the more I wonder if our Western views are skewed toward thinking that a majority of Chinese people don’t care about issues like censorship because of “discussions” like this, where the usual suspects come on and trot out the typical line about protecting people and maintaining social harmony blah blah blah.

Whereas I just had a looonnngg conversation with a Chinese person who is very much concerned about this and resentful that he/she needs to be “protected” from the free exchange of ideas. I’m wondering if this latter attitude is a lot more common than we are told. As opposed to the canned “Oh, issues like that aren’t important to most Chinese people. They are more concerned with social harmony! Because, you know, the influence of Confucius!”

I’m starting to think that is just another line of propagandistic crap, frankly, used to justify heavy-handed attempts at thought control.

Now, onto this whole “knives on airplanes” thing. Riddle me this…why was it that when I bought a souvenir knife in Urumuqi, clearly an ornamental knife intended as a gift, that not only could I not carry it onto the plane (a domestic flight) — which I think is reasonable; I don’t need the knife on the plane — I could not even take it in my checked luggage! I asked why? No reason. It’s a law. I said, look, it’s in my suitcase. Do you think I somehow can grab it from the luggage compartment during the flight?

And that whole Iraq War thing? Like Richard, I raged against it. I think it is a crime, an outrage, a bloody wound that will take decades to heal, and I am ashamed that this crime was committed in my name as an American. The book I have that’s coming out was written in part as a response to that, a way to channel my outrage and sorrow. I couldn’t stop it from happening. But I can speak out against it at the very least.

So what options do Chinese people have, when they are outraged, when they have witnessed injustice so great that they feel compelled to speak out? I think that being able to speak about something can be poor consolation in the face of injustice. But without that first step of being able to speak your own truth, how can justice ever be attained?

If the above sounds incoherent and off-topic, that’s because I’m feverish.

December 11, 2009 @ 5:46 pm | Comment

Lisa, what would we do without you? Sadly, I don’t think the issue of censorship is even being considered in this thread, just like the economy is nearly irrelevant to the thread directly below. It’s simply outrage that someone on the outside is writing in a way they perceive to be critical of China, failing to recognize that we can love China and not love certain policies that directly hurt the Chinese people. Which is exactly how I feel about America.

Wong, we’ll see about “the end of America.” I predicted in 2006 that that US would go to hell in a hand-basket due to the housing crisis, before it was a crisis. I said the dollar would plummet, US influence would shrink and China would slowly gain influence and become a major force in global relations. However, this is not the end of America, in my opinion. America’s fundamentals remain surprisingly strong, the dollar will continue to be the world’s currency for many more years, and even though the country is going through an agonizing restructuring, the result of its leaders own greed and stupidity, it will bounce back. And although it has the means to do so, it will not black out entire regions the way China does or prohibit demonstrations. In its past, America did do some awful things, and Bush did try to keep people from demonstrating and committed other atrocities that run counter to the Constitution. However, we all were free to have our say and to voice criticism and form organizations to protest, and of course we enjoyed the ultimate form of protest when we rejected the Palin-McCain ticket. So for all America’s faults, we do have some built-in checks and balances, a freedom of information act that forces the government to air its dirty laundry and a supreme court that can defy the highest officials. My point being that America has built-in flexibilities that have helped keep us open and uncensored. You can make a huge list of how vile America is and why it has to fail. You can write the same list about China. But there is more to each country than just those vile acts, and if you choose only to dwell on those vile things you may feel self-satisfied but you’re living in your own fantasy world. Neither China nor the US is the devil incarnate. They are both countries with a majority of great people, an often dishonest and manipulative government, and too much power invested in the hands of a few at the very top. Neither is above criticism.

Sorry for the rant, just woke up.

December 11, 2009 @ 10:21 pm | Comment

@wong
nobody in the world would trust American anymore.

Nope. Ironically, the CCP trusts America. Not that the CCP like to trust America but they HAVE TO trust America given the large amount of dollar holdings they have accumulated. Remember how Zhou Xiaochuan, the head of the People’s Bank of China, talked loudly in public how the world should use the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to replace the greenback as the world reserve currency? After the initial hype, do you notice the CCP talking about the SDRs anymore? There was a long dead silence from them.

December 11, 2009 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

Read this wong, the CCP just have to suck it up and continue accumulating a currency that it has little faith. Reality sometimes suck, isn’t it?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/calls-rise-for-new-global-currency/article1367156/

December 11, 2009 @ 11:11 pm | Comment

Richard,

I think that we all have to think of the consequences because of a terrorist attack like 9/11. Our shoes are searched, water bottles are not permitted, and Downtown NYC has become a virtual fort. I recall that before 9/11, Chinatown in Lower east side nyc used to be a very vibrant and many Chinese, work, shop and do business there. After 9/11, parking was severly restricted because many streets close to Chinatown was closed, and many restrictons put up toward businesses in Chinatown. Many businesses and the Chinese people there simply closed shop moved to Flushing Queens and Park Slope Brooklyn. The Chinese people weren’t responsible for 9/11 their lives are changed were the result of it.

The internet was used to coordinate the attacks at July 5. The sad thing about it is that many Westerners (I’m not talking about most people here) seems to be indifferent about it. Heck if China decided to unblock the internet access in Xinjiang, I would not be surprised another terrorist attack will happen in the future because the same people who coordinated the attacks at July 5 are still there in western countries. As long as some westerners use the internet for malicious purposes against China, internet censorship in Xinjiang is a necessary evil and innocent people in Xinjiang suffers.

December 12, 2009 @ 12:05 am | Comment

Few countries were ever hit as hard by a single act of terrorism as the US. We never shut the Internet, and we did fine. When you shut the Internet, it is a sign of weakness and defeat. Why is the government so terrified of its own citizens? Under your logic no policy is too draconian if it protects against terrorism.

As long as some westerners use the internet for malicious purposes against China, internet censorship in Xinjiang is a necessary evil and innocent people in Xinjiang suffers.

Pardon me?

December 12, 2009 @ 12:08 am | Comment

Richard,

So if people want to bring a bottle of water to the airplane and have be forced to throw them away, is that a sign of weakness and defeat by the airline industry?

December 12, 2009 @ 12:24 am | Comment

No. And it doesn’t rob anyone of any essential freedom. They can buy another bottle of water once they’re past security. It’s a bizarre comparison – a nuisance compared to repression. And for the record, I find the US airport security measures extreme and foolish, and have blogged about it.

Your comment sums up nicely just how idiotic the dialogue here can get. Immediately, with no self control or thought, the criticism about China is turned around and countered with, “But in the US….” At least draw a logical parallel if you have to make such an argument.

December 12, 2009 @ 12:31 am | Comment

Richard,

Essential freedom? How about China’s GFW? You using a vpn or going thru a proxy is merely an inconvience like buying overpriced water once you get thru the other side of security?

December 12, 2009 @ 1:11 am | Comment

Let’s say you are right, and we want to turn the internet and long distance phone lines back in Xinjiang. But our concern is, once it’s turned back, it’ll easily be used to organize another series of attacks, and because of the nature of internet, it is impossible to track and place surveillance on such chatter.

So as a practical matter, a purely logistical issue, from an entire operational perspective, what do you suggest China does in trying to prevent another attack in the short term. In the long term, yes we need to adjust ethnic policy, etc. But in the short term, how can we prevent such an attack?

We found that logistically shutting off internet is most effective way. But if you disagree, we are happy to take another suggestion, what other techniques/technologies can we utilize?

This is an honest question.

December 12, 2009 @ 2:04 am | Comment

In the long term, yes we need to adjust ethnic policy,

This is a good start since you have recognised origins of the problem. However, looking at the way how the CCP manage the issues of ethnic minorities, i have reason to be pessimistic about the prospect of any adjustment to their policies. Why? Because if the Han Chinese are not allowed to choose their own leaders in a democratic way, why would you think that the ethnic minorities will enjoy true autonomy any time soon?

December 12, 2009 @ 2:39 am | Comment

I am afraid we were thinking different things when it comes to “adjust ethnic policy”, different kinds of adjustments. But that is the topic of another day.

For now, I want constructive suggestion on stabilizing the region and prevent future attacks and foil plots in their planning stages. Given America’s efforts in the War on Terror against Muslims both domestically and internationally, there must be something that can be shared in terms of intelligence gathering techniques and technologies.

Because if the Han Chinese are not allowed to choose their own leaders in a democratic way

This is false. China is a multi-party cooperative state under the leadership of the CCP, its National People’s Congress is a democratic representation of the majority interests of the Chinese people, and its leadership is elected through representative voting, instead of direct voting.

December 12, 2009 @ 4:10 am | Comment

“Few countries were ever hit as hard by a single act of terrorism as the US. We never shut the Internet, and we did fine. When you shut the Internet, it is a sign of weakness and defeat. Why is the government so terrified of its own citizens? Under your logic no policy is too draconian if it protects against terrorism.”

True—Why block the internet when you can senselessly invade any country opposed to you?

Surely invading Afghanistan is no where near as “draconian” or “paternalistic” as anything the CCP might do.

Imagine if China decide to bomb the US or Germany for harboring WUC nationalists.

I always hate to sound as if I’m defending the Chinese ruling class. However, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible hypocrisy from supporters of Western Imperialism.

The “victim mentality” in wide-spread in not only China but various third world countries and others that suffered under imperialist occupation, including Korea and Japan—Not without justifications.

To dismiss them as merely result of nationalist indoctrination shows an arrogant defiance of third world peoples. To cast them as nothing but brainwashed goons doing their government’s bidding is, if you will, “paternalistic”.

December 12, 2009 @ 5:31 am | Comment

Why block the internet when you can senselessly invade any country opposed to you?

The invasion of Afghanistan was necessary and was supported by nearly every country on the planet, unlike the invasion of Iraq. Bin Laden posed a threat to the entire world, an immediate and urgent threat, and the US did what was necessary, with the support of most other countries. China never opposed the invasion, as they did that of Iraq, and indeed it’s benefited handsomelyby it.

I never, ever dismissed the Chinese people as “brainwashed goons” and won’t let your putting words in my mouth. The only ones who fit into thay category are the merps, the ones who are obsessed with a single message, namely that the US is evil, and that its acts of evil mitigate any wrong China may have committed.

Even with the attack 0f 9/11, America never censored its people, though prince of darkness Cheney probably wanted to, and the “patriot act” was as close as he could get – intimidation more than censorship, and the loss of rights to privacy. Some things are non-negotiable in the US, and freedom of speech is one of them. When a government so fears the power of free speech, then we know it’s deeply insecure.

December 12, 2009 @ 6:13 am | Comment

You using a vpn or going thru a proxy is merely an inconvience like buying overpriced water once you get thru the other side of security?

No, the GFW is more than an inconvenience. It is censorship, and getting around it isn’t that easy for everyone. The no-water policy is dumb, but it is not an assault on our basic freedoms. Not everyone can afford a VPN like witopia, and using the free proxies is so slow and cumbersome many people simply give up. Listen to James Fallows being interviewed with Terry Gross about this on NOR last year. He explains how the GFW works by wearing people out. You can defend it all you like. I don’t defend the no-water policy, nor do I defend the GFW, though I believe they are in two very different spheres. The fact that one exists doesn’t justify the existence of the other. I would seem somewhat retarded if I argued that no one should complain about having to throw your bottle of water away at security because China censors its Internet. It is a bizarre argument and to normal people it makes no sense.

December 12, 2009 @ 6:49 am | Comment

Yes, we blocked internet and phone in Xinjiang. Your CIA planned these riots, you should feel lucky we do not place you in international court for genocide, for flaming ethnic violence, for destabilizing another country. After hundreds of years of colonialism, of sticking your hand in other countries’ business, of using one group to fight another, of economic sabotaging, of exploitation, of hypocrisy, of violence. Can you Westerners take a break?

I used to be a pro-US guy when I was a student in China, I listend to Voice of America radio illegally, I tried to bypass the firewall to read New York Times,to read Time magazine. Then 3 years ago I came to study in the US, my dreamland. Then slowly I am waking up to the realities of the so-called fair and balanced media, the so-called democracy and freedom. After the Tibet riot, the Olympic flag riots, the Olympics, I am now have decided to totally support the CCP.

Thank you US media and society, you have turned a anti-CCP person to a pro-CCP person. Chinese propaganda department could not do that for years to me, you did it in only 3 years. Congratuations.

December 12, 2009 @ 7:24 am | Comment

Even with the attack 0f 9/11, America never censored its people

Even worse, mainstream news corporations silenced all dissent and shouted over international opponents. Insiders and whistle blowers were threatened and belittled. Don’t forget the famous “freedom fries” episode which embarrassed Americans everywhere.

And because of media complicity, Iraq happened. No traditional censorship- instead you had right-wing interests buying or shouting over everyone else. As a result 1.3 million are dead. American jingoists can deny these numbers, but respectable human rights organizations (which have done work in Sudan) agree that at least 1 million excess deaths have occurred, using the same metrics to measure deaths in the Sudan.

December 12, 2009 @ 7:30 am | Comment

I agree, it’s all America’s fault. How could I not have realized it sooner?

What, pray tell, did you experience in the US that turned you around so dramatically? Please share. Thanks.

December 12, 2009 @ 7:43 am | Comment

“China is a multi-party cooperative state under the leadership of the CCP, its National People’s Congress is a democratic representation of the majority interests of the Chinese people, and its leadership is elected through representative voting, instead of direct voting.”

What kool-aid is this guy drinkink?….. since tender childhood it seems.

December 12, 2009 @ 7:57 am | Comment

When I was in China, and CCTV says “America media is biased”, “There’s great hypocrisy and deception in America’s ‘so-called’ free media and democracy’, ‘America wants to contain China”, etc. I, being a pro-West and anti-CCP liberal, and most of my friends, will laugh at the CCTV, and think it’s just stupid propaganda to brainwash our minds. Of course back then, I had very little exposure to CNN/NYTimes. Then I came to the US, and had complete exposure to CNN/NYTimes. And to your dissapointment, I started slowly supporting CCTV, supporting CCP. Of course I still criticize the CCP for past sins like Cultural Revolution, Great Leap Forward, Tianamen, and yes today’s Internet censorship. But it is without doubt that all these years in America made me dislike the US and its media much much more than when I was under the propaganda of the CCP back home. Therefore I said, the US media helped me become a pro-CCP person, not the Chinese propaganda machine.

I see Dalai Lama being held as a hero everywhere he goes, without any mention in the media about the traditional slavery theist system in Tibet. I see every report on Tibet about Han oppression, without any mention of the positive development in Tibet (if there is a mention, it is always pre-fixed with “The Chinese gov’t” claims, in fact this is a very often used technique in Western media, any time they are forced to acknowledge any positive side in a Chinese story, they always put the phrase “The Chinese gov’t claims”, “according to Chinese State TV”, etc.).

I see the AP or New York times showing a picture of Tibetans being beaten by Hans, with caption something like, “Tibetans being beaten by Chinese”, but if you zoom out on that picture, you see more Chinese being beaten by Tibetan ( I am not talking about a specific picture, just the general style of ‘selective photography’).

I see the BBC show a picture of Hans holding sticks and bats during Ugher riots, and the caption reads “Chinese thugs blah blab”, never once did they show the pictures of more Ughers holding more deadly weapons.

I see every story on China mixed with highly political tones and suggestions, every story fitting one of the following themes: China has no human rights. China oppresses Tibetans and Ughers. Chinese people who support the gov’t are brainwashed. Chinese media is controlled by state, so nothing they say can be trusted. Chinese development is a threat to the world.

You can test it right now, type “China” in New York Times, and go through the stories of the past 6 months. You can easily classify each story into the above few themes.

To see there’s no political agenda in the Chinese reporting department of major US mainstream media is to be completely dishonest or blind. There may not be a agenda like the Chinese Propaganda Department sending out orders to the reporters. But there’s a silent, unspoken, agenda. This is the most deadly thing – it is more sophisticated than CCTV, so harder to “clearly expose” them, and easier to say the critic is just a brainwashed Chinese “with a chip on his shoulder”. To deny this is to deny reality.

And I believe my experience is pretty typical amongst Chinese students – previously anti-CCP, now much less anti-CCP or pro-CCP after enjoying the air of democracy in the West.

December 12, 2009 @ 8:07 am | Comment

All of those things you cite existed long before you went to the US – the Dalia Lama has had his following for decades and has long been a media darling. So you turned against America after calling it your “dreamland” because of some biased news reports? I can show you some news articles from the Chinese media that will put what you saw to shame. However, I always knew there was more to China than its media bias and censorship. I did not hate China because of it. Your transformation from loving America to feeling unbridled revulsion just because the US media, in your eyes, skewed its coverage of Tibet is peculiar. How was your stay in America? How did you like the people? Did you find America a bad place? Did you have American friends? I’m really curious. I came to China in 2002 and went through a period of hating it, I admit. It was mainly based on its censorship and the government’s intentional deception of its people over SARS. But I took a second look and realized that the government and the media do not define the country. I made a lot of Chinese friends and worked hard to become at least proficient enough in Chinese to carry a conversation. And I realized I had it wrong the first time. The Chinese people are magnificent. China is magnificent. And America, for all its warts, is magnificent. It’s easy to list the un-magnificent aspects of both countries, but if you only work off of that biased list all you’ll feel is loathing, and you’ll live in a state of rage and frustration. It’s only when you put the bad things in perspective that you can truly appreciate a country for what it is. All countries have done bad things. But the fact remains that the US is still the country people go to ahead of any other to improve their lives. I hate aspects of America, but to deny its greatness and opportunities is to live in self-willed blindness. And the same applies to China.

December 12, 2009 @ 8:45 am | Comment

I always hate to sound as if I’m defending the Chinese ruling class. However, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible hypocrisy from supporters of Western Imperialism.

Why must critics of the Party necessarily be supporters of western imperialism?

Was Dr. Sun Yat-sen considered a “supporter of western imperialism” when he and his republican revolutionaries slammed the Manchu Dynasty for its corruption and incompetence?

The “imperialist” label is just another convenient tool to smear all demands for democracy and self-determination.

December 12, 2009 @ 8:50 am | Comment

I like many aspects of America, its university, research facilities, advanced technology, entrepreneurial spirit, and casual atmosphere. But I cannot stand the arrogance and bias of the media. Actually, I have no problem with bias in the media, because there’s no free media in the world (I naively thought there was when in China). But my problem is the hypocrisy of American media on many issues (I only am familiar with issues related to China, but I think other third world countries citizens will have similar feelings on other issues), the hypocrisy is for example, lecturing China about biased reporting, and yet CNN has equal biased reporting on China (and the CNN-version of bias is much more “deep-rooted” than the CCTV-version of bias against America, actually thinking back CCTV talks positive about America in many instances, very rarely do you hear CNN talk positively about China).

The fundamental reason for this is this historical and cultural unease and anxiety about the rise of a an oriental “authoritarian” and worst of all “Communist” (even if in name only) country. It can potentially overturn the entire 500 years of Western dominance in world affairs, lifestyle, culture, value systems, etc. To the Western mind, this is a different and much bigger threat than say the rise of Nazi Germany or USSR. This threat is not only military and economic, but cultural and historical. So beneath this arrogant and finger-pointing and “Your-citizens-are-too-brainwashed-and- your-system-is-too-backward-and-your-government-is-too-un-democratic, you-must-listen-to-us-and-behave-more-like-us” attitude, is this sense of unease and anxiety. This unease is not just applied to an individual Westerner, but generally to the entire Western world’s psyche, and is thus reflected in the reporting of CNN and NYT.

And this bias is wrapped in a very sophisticated dress of “universal values”, “human rights”, “caring for those victims of Chinese gov’t oppression”, “caring for dissidents”, etc. And this dress is partly deliberate to cover up the bias, but also partly involuntary, as many people actually DO think they are acting as a more civilized savior.

This is the tragedy of modern Western liberalism. It’s complete hypocrisy.

Just my honest and unorganized thought ( and actually very representative of most modern Chinese intellectuals), feel free to criticize.

December 12, 2009 @ 8:58 am | Comment

The “victim mentality” in wide-spread in not only China but various third world countries and others that suffered under imperialist occupation, including Korea and Japan—Not without justifications.

To dismiss them as merely result of nationalist indoctrination shows an arrogant defiance of third world peoples. To cast them as nothing but brainwashed goons doing their government’s bidding is, if you will, “paternalistic”.

Not only in China, but leaders like Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin in the Third World have always blame “imperialism” for their troubles. These leaders never see themselves sharing a large share of responsibility for the welfare of their people. Just look at where Zimbabwe and Uganda are now. Did blaming “imperialism” got them anywhere? It’s one thing not to forget history, but it’s another thing when one gets stuck with history and refused to move on. Do you and your countrymen wanna end up living your lives like the character Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist”?

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

December 12, 2009 @ 9:03 am | Comment

Your email address is IDon’tLikeTheUS. All of your complaints are against the US media. I hate them sometime, too. But I wouldn’t use your email address.

I reject the ““Your-citizens-are-too-brainwashed-and- your-system-is-too-backward-and-your-government-is-too-un-democratic, you-must-listen-to-us-and-behave-more-like-us” attitude” you describe. I never say this about the Chinese people, though some of the more fanatical commenters here may fall into the category of the brainwashed. Sorry that Americans are arrogant about the superiority of their system. Very sorry. But keep it in perspective. And look at Obama’s visit – not a word he said fell into that category. America is learning more about China and becoming more tolerant, with some grotesque Lou Dobbs-type exceptions.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:10 am | Comment

@Imitation Crab Meat

This is false. China is a multi-party cooperative state under the leadership of the CCP, its National People’s Congress is a democratic representation of the majority interests of the Chinese people, and its leadership is elected through representative voting, instead of direct voting.

LOL. Heard of the Chinese saying “Pointing to deer and calling it horse”?

December 12, 2009 @ 9:10 am | Comment

@A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States
It can potentially overturn the entire 500 years of Western dominance in world affairs, lifestyle, culture, value systems, etc.

I wonder why Americans, Canadians, Australians seldom or hardly applied for immigration to China but thousands of Chinese each year filed for residency in the “decadent” West.

People can talk and talk. But they eventually vote with their feet if they cannot vote through the ballot box.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:18 am | Comment

“Was Dr. Sun Yat-sen considered a “supporter of western imperialism” when he and his republican revolutionaries slammed the Manchu Dynasty for its corruption and incompetence?

The “imperialist” label is just another convenient tool to smear all demands for democracy and self-determination.”

Actually, Sun run on an anti-Imperialist platform…So to speak. One main justification he had for overthrowing the Qing was that the Qing had been unable to resist Western Imperialism. He tried to expel and contain Western influence in China by introducing the Soviets into the picture.

Nice try, though.

But it’s pretty much a futile attempt to underplay the devastation Western Imperialism had inflicted and are still inflicting on the Chinese people.

It’s not for no good reason that successive Chinese governments have attempted to struggle against Western Imperialism.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:18 am | Comment

@A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States
I see the AP or New York times showing a picture of Tibetans being beaten by Hans, with caption something like, “Tibetans being beaten by Chinese”, but if you zoom out on that picture, you see more Chinese being beaten by Tibetan ( I am not talking about a specific picture, just the general style of ’selective photography’).

I see the BBC show a picture of Hans holding sticks and bats during Ugher riots, and the caption reads “Chinese thugs blah blab”, never once did they show the pictures of more Ughers holding more deadly weapons.

I may not agree with the media portrayal so it is always good to question what you read. However, it is not hard to understand why the media sometimes chose this approach.

If one side has tanks and guns whereas the other side had stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails and that they were never given a choice of who should rule them, which side will you sympathize more? I repeat, i question the accuracy of media portrayal but i can understand why the media sometimes took sides on these matters.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:25 am | Comment

@A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States
“universal values”..

Are you therefore implying that no one can condemn female genital mutilation or the practice of suttee in some cultures just because everything is “culturally-relative” since there is no such thing as universal values?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suttee
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_mutilation

December 12, 2009 @ 9:32 am | Comment

My bad, its “Great Expectations” not “Oliver Twist”.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:36 am | Comment

“Are you therefore implying that no one can condemn female genital mutilation or the practice of suttee in some cultures just because everything is “culturally-relative” since there is no such thing as universal values?”

It’s one thing to say unnecessary pain is bad, and another to say Bourgeois “democracy” is good.

The former can be established as more or less of a “universal value”, whereas the latter is pure bullshit.

When American rulers talk about “universal values”, they do not mean “stop castrating women”. Instead, they were equating “universal values” to their own capitalist political system—Which to me is a giant leap of faith.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:39 am | Comment

If one side has tanks and guns whereas the other side had stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails and that they were never given a choice of who should rule them, which side will you sympathize more? I repeat, i question the accuracy of media portrayal but i can understand why the media sometimes took sides on these matters.

Yes, but that is not representative of the 7-5 Xinjiang riot situation. During the peak the the riot, Uyghers would actually storms the homes of Han residents, and drag them out and kill them, including old people and children. You see Hans pedestrians just walking on the street and then being hit with bricks, knifed. During the most chaotic periods, you walk onto Central Urumqi, you see dead bodies littered on the sidewalks. Chinese Han men had to group together and stand on guards in communities on 12 hour shifts.

Yes there’s legitimate debate to be had about “ethnic discrimination” of Chinese gov’t policies against Xinjiang. But what injustice would justify killing civilians on the streets? Setting residents’ people’s homes on fire purely out of hatred? Are you suggesting it’s Hans who have been killing Ugher pedestrians on the streets for years and years and finally they “had enough”?

Those rioters were coldblooded criminals, period.

Of course, later the Han residents hit back, in equal violence, initially out of self defense, and of course later out of revenge. But the extent of casualty and damage is mostly Ugher against Han, NOT the other way around.

Yet you all know how this episode was covered by CNN/BBC/etc. According to CNN’s narrative, this is an episode of mainly Han violence against Ughyers, and whatever violence Uyghers had against Hans was mainly a result of rebellion against Chinese gov’t's unjust ethnic policy and thus (implied) justified.

So anti-Chinnse gov’t sentiment ROSE in the West after an episode of violence of MAINLY Uyghers against Hans with later stage Hans acting in response.

This is not just bias or taking sides, this is deliberately distorting facts. It is CRIMINAL.

And I have friends in Urumqi, so these are their accounts. Unless you are saying they are just lying or not giving me the full picture, then I have nothing to say.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:40 am | Comment

@A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States
without any mention in the media about traditional slavery theist system in Tibet

If you think outsiders have no right to lecture the CCP about democracy, human rights, universal values etc, what gives the CCP regime the right to ride on the moral high horse to lecture the Tibetan people about their slavery system?

You only need to look into the mirror to find out who is guilty.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:44 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina
When American rulers talk about “universal values”, they do not mean “stop castrating women”. Instead, they were equating “universal values” to their own capitalist political system—Which to me is a giant leap of faith.

In 1948, no UN members voted against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is not just an American thing.

I wonder if you ever talk to Canadians, French or people from the Nordic countries. Some of them are not people who you will not expect to love the Americans but they nevertheless run a democratic political system.

I also don’t see that people of Taiwan or South Korea are voting themselves back to the military or one-party dictatorship anytime soon.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:51 am | Comment

Do you wonder where this resentment comes from? We see something very similar in Tibet. I agree, the violence there last spring was mainly Tibetan against Han. I don’t think it arose in a vacuum, just as the riots by blacks in Los Angeles and most of the country in 1968 didn’t arise in a vacuum. Which isn’t to say they are justified, but it’s important to understand that the Uighurs and the Tibetans may have a very different opinion of their situation than the Han do. They don’t look up with gratitude at the Hans who have built all those wonderful roads and invested huge amounts of money into improving the region. I am not talking about which side is right, only that there are two dramatically different perspectives. And it’s important to understand both. But we have talked about this subject many times on this blog, usually to little use.

I am getting a flood of troll comments that is unprecedented even for this blog, long the English-language magnet for fenqing trolls. A representative snip from a recent comment:

To all the Chinese here. Why waste time with them? Can you honest speak human language to beasts? No? To beasts, you communicate in ways beasts understand – when China has enough nuclear warheads to ensure the biological elimination of 50% of US population, then, only then, will they understand. And only then, we can hope to sit down and talk such gentlemanly issues as human rights and freedom.

If you look through this thread, do you truly see beasts, and people who are your enemies? Is that all you can see? To those doing the spamming, you may want to take a rest – these comments will never get through. And this is not censorship. This is my site, and I publish only the material I feel is fit for publication. I believe in the freedom of each and every one of you to say whatever you’d like. But I pay for and maintain this blog, and I will not host deranged comments calling for bloodshed and hatred.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:53 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina
It’s one thing to say unnecessary pain is bad

But if certain tribes snub you and say that you have no business in criticizing their cultural practices, what would you say?

December 12, 2009 @ 9:54 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina

From the PRC’s Constitution
Article 35. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration

Even the CCP regime recognize these freedoms as “universal”, at least on paper. It is just tragic that these were never put into practice.

December 12, 2009 @ 9:59 am | Comment

“In 1948, no UN members voted against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is not just an American thing.”

True…But I have yet to know a single country that truly gives its people “equality in dignity and rights”. Frankly, I doubt it’s even possible in a world ruled by capital.

“I wonder if you ever talk to Canadians, French or people from the Nordic countries. Some of them are not people who you will not expect to love the Americans but they nevertheless run a democratic political system.”

Here’s another giant leap of faith that I’ll never be able to make while keeping a straight face: Capitalist parliamentary state = democracy.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:03 am | Comment

@A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States
But what injustice would justify killing civilians on the streets? Setting residents’ people’s homes on fire purely out of hatred? Are you suggesting it’s Hans who have been killing Ugher pedestrians on the streets for years and years and finally they “had enough”?

Use of violence should never be regarded as legitimate in anyway. It’s like whenever Palestinian militants conducted a suicide bombing attack on Israeli civilians, i was deeply disturbed and outraged at the killing of innocent people. But i can only understand why the Palestinians did that. I don’t condone any form of violence, but i understand why they did with Israeli military occupation and making them refugees without a homeland.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:05 am | Comment

They don’t look up with gratitude at the Hans who have built all those wonderful roads and invested huge amounts of money into improving the region.

Yes, I am open to the possibility that they have legitimate grievances. But “they don’t appreciate” something is not reason enough to deny that someone did something good. There are plenty of objective good done in the world that is not being appreciated. And in those cases, the person “not appreciating” is the one in the wrong. I’m not suggesting that’s the reason, but I’m saying the argument “they don’t appreciate your help” is not strong enough to say that objectively it is of no help.

But if certain tribes snub you and say that you have no business in criticizing their cultural practices, what would you say?

Chinese gov’t, in 2007 I think, banned the appearance or mention of pork or pig on TV, to “cater to Muslim cultural traditions” according to gov’t regulation.

Chinese gov’t reimburses the travel expenses of Muslims in Xinjiang attending Hajj every year.

In every university cafeteria, there’s Qingzheng (Chinese Halal) section reserved for Muslim students. Those sections are always, always the most well-stocked and well-tended.

If you post any thread about Han superiority or even suggest that Hans are better than the other ethnic minorities in China, your post will be immediately deleted, as swiftly as a post criticizing the CCP.

There’s no gov’t in the world that BENDS OVER BACKWARDS, sometimes to the point of stupidity to smooth tensions between ethnicities.

Yes, there are deeper issues we can discuss regarding ethnic policy beyond just “respecting traditions”. But you cannot honestly make the argument that Chinese gov’t “does not respect minorities’ traditions”. To do so is to be ignorant or dishonest.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:07 am | Comment

“But if certain tribes snub you and say that you have no business in criticizing their cultural practices, what would you say?”

It depends…Am I a hypocrite who deny women the right to perform abortions and then accuse the Eritreans of being anti-women? Do I support the War on Afghans and then accuses the Sudanese of genocide?

If so, then I pray that I will at least have the decency to stay quiet.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:08 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina
“Capitalist parliamentary state = democracy.”

I doubt you can even differentiate the various countries of the so-called “West”.
The US runs a highly capitalist system, France runs a social market economy and the Scandinavian countries embraced “social democracy” with a huge welfare state and high taxes that would disgust almost every free-enterprising Americans and treat them as almost heresy.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:10 am | Comment

Merp (from way up above): Even worse, mainstream news corporations silenced all dissent and shouted over international opponents. Insiders and whistle blowers were threatened and belittled. Don’t forget the famous “freedom fries” episode which embarrassed Americans everywhere.

No one was censored and no sites were closed. Even sites that praised Al Qaeda for the slaughter were allowed to stay up – the only exception were sites that actively recruited citizens with the express purpose of committing violence. That’s what happens in a country that’s fundamentally strong – the cries from the fringes cannot derail it. Even Bush and Cheney couldn’t detrail it. It was an ugly time, but under the extreme circumstances and considering the clown who was president it’s not altogether surprising. The “freedom fries” nonsense was a joke and never was popularly received, and the congressman later apologized for being a jerk. You have, with all respect, virtually no idea what you’re talking about.

I’m going to be gone soon, and most comments won’t appear until tomorrow when I can approve them. I sleep a lot better since I started monitoring.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:10 am | Comment

“I doubt you can even differentiate the various countries of the so-called “West”.
The US runs a highly capitalist system, France runs a social market economy and the Scandinavian countries embraced “social democracy” with a huge welfare state and high taxes that would disgust almost every free-enterprising Americans and treat them as almost heresy.”

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

I did hear something to that extent in my years as a Political Science students at Queen’s University.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:12 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina

True…But I have yet to know a single country that truly gives its people “equality in dignity and rights”. Frankly, I doubt it’s even possible in a world ruled by capital.

You are always entitled to your skepticism and fatalism. But the people of the Czech republic, Poland, Hungary keep their hopes high and got to where they are now.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:12 am | Comment

Former: But you cannot honestly make the argument that Chinese gov’t “does not respect minorities’ traditions”. To do so is to be ignorant or dishonest.

I never, ever said such a thing and it’s kind of dishonest of you to put that phrase in quotes, as if you are quoting someone. No one in this thread ever said that. That is quite disingenuous of you.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:16 am | Comment

“You are always entitled to your skepticism and fatalism. But the people of the Czech republic, Poland, Hungary keep their hopes high and got to where they are now.”

Not to curb your enthusiasm, but you might want to take a clearer look at those countries. Especially seeing that 2/3 of Hungarians say they are worse off than before 1991.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:21 am | Comment

@By A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States
But “they don’t appreciate” something is not reason enough to deny that someone did something good.

Many Western colonial powers have also claimed that they have benefited their colonial subjects with modern things like telegraphs, roads and railways etc. Would you say that just because those involved in anti-colonial struggles never appreciate the things their colonial masters did is not reason enough to deny that colonialism was after all a “good” deed?

December 12, 2009 @ 10:22 am | Comment

I never, ever said such a thing and it’s kind of dishonest of you to put that phrase in quotes, as if you are quoting someone. No one in this thread ever said that. That is quite disingenuous of you.

Ok, but you cannot deny that the average American (and many educated ones)’s perception of the China/Uygher/Tibet issue is “Chinese gov’t doesn’t respect their customs, try to kill their culture”. Which I explained above, is at least partially false if not completely false (that’s not to say there’s nothing to criticize in Chinese gov’t ehtnic policies).

And where do you think they got that story? Through their extensive stay and experience in those remote regions?

December 12, 2009 @ 10:23 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina
If so, then I pray that I will at least have the decency to stay quiet.

Like how the world have the “decency” to stay quiet when the Rwandan genocide raged on for days without the rest of the world saying a word.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

December 12, 2009 @ 10:26 am | Comment

RedStarOverChina
Especially seeing that 2/3 of Hungarians say they are worse off than before 1991.

Figures? Data? Even if you have those data, it doesn’t mean that Hungarians wanted Soviet troops back on their soil and the Iron Curtain to be revived from hell. That’s a classic false dilemma you are putting up: It’s either democracy or economic prosperity. A false dilemma in which you claim that the two are mutually exclusive.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:29 am | Comment

Many Western colonial powers have also claimed that they have benefited their colonial subjects with modern things like telegraphs, roads and railways etc. Would you say that just because those involved in anti-colonial struggles never appreciate the things their colonial masters did is not reason enough to deny that colonialism was after all a “good” deed?

To see this story of colonialism by China you either have to be very simple-minded or have a political agenda. Which colonial power sets national polices that give preference to its colonial residents over its own residents, in areas of education, business, criminal law, etc?

And those who push this “Chinese colonialism” story the hardest is usually the British and other Europeans, who often say things like “You Chinese nationalists should stop be so bitter about imperialism, your cities like Hongkong and Shanghai were built by us, blah blah”

December 12, 2009 @ 10:32 am | Comment

Former, Americans have misconceptions about lots of things. The Chinese have just as many. It is no conspiracy. There are some very fair things in the media about China and Tibet, and a lot of crap. But many Chinese seem to get energy out of focusing on the crap, to the extent of it ruining their relationship with the US. Be sure to click that link. This is mainstream US media.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:35 am | Comment

“Like how the world have the “decency” to stay quiet when the Rwandan genocide raged on for days without the rest of the world saying a word.”

You’re just blossoming with fresh ideas, aren’t you.

That’s what happens when thugs are relied upon to protect others…They either do not care or they go in and kill more people, as was the case in Yugoslavia.

Try to stay topic from now on.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:36 am | Comment

@
Thank you, Captain Obvious.

I did hear something to that extent in my years as a Political Science students at Queen’s University.

No problem dude. I help you revise it in case you forget. And you cant blame me for that when you said “Capitalist parliamentary state = democracy.” That phrase would have come straight out of someone totally uneducated in the discipline of political science or a student who have repeatedly skipped his lectures. Because no decent pol sc professors would not correct his/her students on such a conceptual blunder.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:37 am | Comment

@By A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States
Which colonial power sets national polices that give preference to its colonial residents over its own residents, in areas of education, business, criminal law, etc?

But have you ever ask those at the receiving end if this is what they really want? It’s the exact line of thinking behind those who accepted the “white men’s burden” in the 19th century.

A typical colonialist back in the 19th century might said, “We built railways, introduce modern medicine etc to them, but why do they still hate us?”

My answer: That’s because you never asked them or at least consult them if that is really what they want.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:43 am | Comment

But have you ever ask those at the receiving end if this is what they really want? It’s the exact line of thinking behind those who accepted the “white men’s burden” in the 19th century.

A typical colonialist back in the 19th century might said, “We built railways, introduce modern medicine etc to them, but why do they still hate us?”

My answer: That’s because you never asked them or at least consult them if that is really what they want.

I suppose you are right. It’s entirely possible the Tibetans and the Ughyers prefer to die at the average age of 35 to disease and nutrition. They prefer to remain illiterate and worship a human god and live in castes and slavery. The Chinese never asked them this. You right, I must admit.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:47 am | Comment

“Figures? Data? Even if you have those data, it doesn’t mean that Hungarians wanted Soviet troops back on their soil and the Iron Curtain to be revived from hell.”

http://tinyurl.com/yc5uu8c
No, they do not want Soviet troops back…And no, life wasn’t “Hell” on the other side of the Iron Curtain. But it does illustrate how easily you buy into the Western Propaganda about the “horrors” of “totalitarianism”.

“That’s a classic false dilemma you are putting up: It’s either democracy or economic prosperity. A false dilemma in which you claim that the two are mutually exclusive.”

Huh?

So now you’re just gonna make things up?

I never said that. Remember, I out-and-out REFUSE to acknowledge that the Western political system is democratic.

It’s an argument that’s hard to even imagine from your prism of understanding, I understand. But there is such a thing called political science outside the realm of the political propaganda they feed you.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:48 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina
That’s what happens when thugs are relied upon to protect others…They either do not care or they go in and kill more people, as was the case in Yugoslavia.

Yup. I condemned all those thugs at that time: ALL the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, US, UK, France, China and Russia for not lifting a finger to stop it. Just a small contingent of well-armed peacekeepers from each of them would have prevented such a humanitarian disaster.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:51 am | Comment

“No problem dude. I help you revise it in case you forget. And you cant blame me for that when you said “Capitalist parliamentary state = democracy.” That phrase would have come straight out of someone totally uneducated in the discipline of political science or a student who have repeatedly skipped his lectures. Because no decent pol sc professors would not correct his/her students on such a conceptual blunder.”

Well, I suppose I should have used the phrase “Representative Democracy”. But I tried to avoid using the word “democracy” to add to the confusion.

Because the term “democracy” has long been hijacked; the new term used for real democratic societies is “demarchy”.

December 12, 2009 @ 10:52 am | Comment

I suppose you are right. It’s entirely possible the Tibetans and the Ughyers prefer to die at the average age of 35 to disease and nutrition. They prefer to remain illiterate and worship a human god and live in castes and slavery. The Chinese never asked them this. You right, I must admit.

Then why scream and shout at Britain, France etc for their colonial empires? Didn’t they improve the lives of Indians and other colonial subjects too instead of leaving them to disease, malnutrition and illiteracy?

December 12, 2009 @ 10:54 am | Comment

I suppose you are right. It’s entirely possible the Tibetans and the Ughyers prefer to die at the average age of 35 to disease and nutrition. They prefer to remain illiterate and worship a human god and live in castes and slavery. The Chinese never asked them this. You right, I must admit.

This is the standard line that I was talking about, the seeing it strictly from one perspective. I could counter that Africans captured and brought to the US as slaves often led healthier, longer lives than if they’d stayed in Africa. In the eyes of the slaveholder they should have been delighted, being saved from barbarism and godlessness. Of course, the Africans may have seen things differently. And I am not equating the two, not saying the Tibetans are slaves. But many of them do not feel grateful for what the Chinese perceive to be clearly vast improvements in the quality of their lives. Many of them do not see it the way the Chinese do, and that talking point about all the Chinese have done for them rings hollow as they see more and more Han settlers. Again, I’m not saying who’s right or wrong – I have never been a Free Tibet type. I’m just saying there are two radically different way of looking at the same thing, and your logic – longer life, better infrastructure – rings hollow to many Tibetans, right or wrong

December 12, 2009 @ 11:02 am | Comment

Then why scream and shout at Britain, France etc for their colonial empires? Didn’t they improve the lives of Indians and other colonial subjects too instead of leaving them to disease, malnutrition and illiteracy?

Yes they did improve the lives of Indians and other colonial subjects. Even the CCP does not deny that specific point. But comparison to colonialism to Chinese-Tibetan-Ughyer situation is false, so this is not applicable.

I could counter that Africans captured and brought to the US as slaves often led healthier, longer lives than if they’d stayed in Africa.

This is correct. The best thing that happened to those slaves is that their descendants get to live much much better lives and with much more promise at success.

Otherwise, I can also say, “why help eliminate aids and disease and hunger” in africa? Did you ask if that’s what those people want? There’s also strings attached to Western development aid to Africa. So maybe Africans don’t appreicate you westerners trying to eliminate malaria and hunger and try to help them build modern infrastructure, etc. Right?

December 12, 2009 @ 11:09 am | Comment

http://tinyurl.com/yc5uu8c
No, they do not want Soviet troops back…And no, life wasn’t “Hell” on the other side of the Iron Curtain. But it does illustrate how easily you buy into the Western Propaganda about the “horrors” of “totalitarianism”.

Notice how the survey you quoted me ask questions:

77% of the population are critical of the current political system and just 17% of respondents believe Hungarian democracy functions well. Just 8% of Hungarians believe that their standard of living is better now than it was in the era of “goulash communism”, while only 15% expressed satisfaction with their lives.

I am not saying they make up figures. But what’s their sample size? Did they tell you how they select the sample? What about validity of questions? How are they asked? Do some respondents even understand the term “goulash communism”?

If the Iron Curtain is that fantastic, you wouldn’t have people risking their lives climbing over it only to risk being shot by border guards. It took Khrushchev a very huge dilemma to build the Berlin Wall. He and the communist leaders of Eastern Europe had to essentially tell the rest of the world that the Workers’ Paardise was so fantastic that they need a wall and thousands of miles of barbed wires to keep them from running away from this “paradise”.

Shall we hold a referendum tomorrow in Hungary tommorrow to ask Hungarians whether they want Rakosi and János Kádár back or stay with the present system?

How confident are you that they would choose the former?

I am not saying that democracy is a cure all but it’s one of the better ones amongst others being tried.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:09 am | Comment

And now I’m turning the PC off. If your comment doesn’t appear, you may have to wait until morning. Happy Hannukah.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:10 am | Comment

“Then why scream and shout at Britain, France etc for their colonial empires? Didn’t they improve the lives of Indians and other colonial subjects too instead of leaving them to disease, malnutrition and illiteracy?”

Short answer: No.

Funny story. Even early Marxists (including Marx himself) thought that the British rule in India is at least, in some aspects, progressive. They point to the railroad they built and the possible numbers of lives they would have saved.

But all hopes were dashed during the “Late Victorian Famines” in India, when the railroads were used to keep the food AWAY from the starving Indians.

As it turns out, Colonists don’t much care about saving the lives of the colonized…Even under the Mogul rule, the emperors and their officials were responsible for the lives of their subjects. Free-market-preaching colonists, of course, will have none of that.

As a matter of fact, Colonialism only develops the coastal regions of its colonies where convenient transportation (of loots) is required.

That’s it from me today.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:10 am | Comment

Yes they did improve the lives of Indians and other colonial subjects. Even the CCP does not deny that specific point.

Ermm, please quote me the CCP’s exact statement on recognizing the “benefits” of Western colonialism. Thanks.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:14 am | Comment

Because the term “democracy” has long been hijacked; the new term used for real democratic societies is “demarchy”.

And where was this idea of “demarchy” conceived? It is in the Western intellectual environment where academic freedom is held to be sacred. Will any professors in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences dare to publish or research and hold public discussion on something like this?

You can turning on the very same system which actually give you the academic freedom to suggest an alternative to it. Will the CCP regime allow that?

December 12, 2009 @ 11:21 am | Comment

Ermm, please quote me the CCP’s exact statement on recognizing the “benefits” of Western colonialism. Thanks.

I said they did not deny. So there’s no statement by them denying it, so therefore they did not deny it. They don’t have to support it to not deny it.

Also, continuing the argument of “did you ask if that’s what they want”? If this argument applies to everything as you claim. Then I can trust you to question efforts to free slaves and end genocide? You didn’t consult or poll the slaves to find out if they wanted to be freed. You didn’t ask or poll the people to find out if they wanted to be spared of genocide. I’m not saying who is right who is right, but you have to be aware they may not always appreciate your “help”.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Comment

you have to be aware they may not always appreciate your “help”.

Fair enough. But do you bother finding out why they don’t appreciate your “help” and see if other approaches, such as more consultative methods will work better? Or you just keep on force-feeding the “help” to those at the receiving end day in day out using the same old way you deem fit without any reflections or genuine consultation?

Sometimes, even the most novel intentions can turn out to be disasters with bad delivery methods.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:39 am | Comment

I said they did not deny. So there’s no statement by them denying it, so therefore they did not deny it. They don’t have to support it to not deny it.

Classical circular reasoning. No such statement exists. Period. I rest my case.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:43 am | Comment

I mean “noble” intentions

December 12, 2009 @ 11:44 am | Comment

@RedStarOverChina

I out-and-out REFUSE to acknowledge that the Western political system is democratic.

You can shout out this statement in Hyde Park in London all day and even have banners and placards donned with this statement, march to Downing Street and petition to the PM about your stand on this. The most they do is to dismiss you as some enthusiastic political activist.

Try doing the same thing in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square by substituting “Western political system” with “the CCP’s one party system” in your statement. I bet you wouldn’t even make it close to the Square itself.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:53 am | Comment

Yee haw!

Happy Hannukah, Richard!

December 12, 2009 @ 12:08 pm | Comment

Short answer: No.

I for one, never believe in the colonial bullshit. There might be some positive trickle down to the subjects but those were minimal. The idea of colonialism is to exploit, any benefits to the locals is of secondary if not no consideration.

I am trying to show “A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States” how weird and ridiculous his/her logic was.

He/she just shot himself/herself in the foot by saying that “Yes they did improve the lives of Indians and other colonial subjects. Even the CCP does not deny that specific point.”

Thanks for rebutting him/her.

December 12, 2009 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

So maybe Africans don’t appreicate you westerners trying to eliminate malaria and hunger and try to help them build modern infrastructure, etc. Right?

You should try reading William Easterly and some of his books on development and perhaps it will offer you some insight on what went wrong in Africa.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Easterly

December 12, 2009 @ 12:54 pm | Comment

Oh and in one of Easterly’s books, he mentioned that mosquito nets are being used for fishing nets and wedding dresses by people receiving the development aid.

December 12, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | Comment

Actually, Sun run on an anti-Imperialist platform…So to speak. One main justification he had for overthrowing the Qing was that the Qing had been unable to resist Western Imperialism. He tried to expel and contain Western influence in China by introducing the Soviets into the picture.

We all know Sun was anti-imperialist. My point was not to dispute this. My point is the Qing court saw him as a traitor, especially a “rebel” who cut his pigtail and wear western clothes.

Of course, Sun was being let down by the Western powers. However, his ideas of a republic with five separate branches and his Three People’s Principle were an offshot of the “Western bourgeois democracy” that you may well despise as a radical Marxist.

December 12, 2009 @ 1:14 pm | Comment

It’s not for no good reason that successive Chinese governments have attempted to struggle against Western Imperialism.

The “reason was so “good” that Mao and Zhou Enlai decided to treat the president of the leading “imperialist” state and a war criminal, Richard Nixon, like a VIP in Beijing back in 1972.

December 12, 2009 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

@RedStarOverChina

It’s not for no good reason that successive Chinese governments have attempted to struggle against Western Imperialism.

The “reason was so “good” that Mao and Zhou Enlai decided to treat the president of the leading “imperialist” state and a war criminal, Richard Nixon, like a VIP in Beijing back in 1972.

Hanoi felt very betrayed by the Nixon visit and ties between Vietnam and the PRC declined rapidly.

Albania also was unhappy with the Nixon visit and later broke with the PRC, denouncing that the PRC had turned “revisionist” like the Soviet Union.

The PRC also attacked Vietnam in 1979 with the tacit approval of the “imperialists” from the United States.

That’s the report card of the so-called “struggle” against Western imperialism

December 12, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

It seems more traines from net nanny school are visiting. Cute these little river crabies

December 12, 2009 @ 3:05 pm | Comment

Hhhmm…. I should get my cooking tools ready to prepare a “mariscada” (seafood dish).
Come little crabies….come here….

December 12, 2009 @ 3:10 pm | Comment

Happy Hanukkah from sepharad, specially to all sephardim.

December 12, 2009 @ 3:16 pm | Comment

Holy Crap!!!

What a thred.

Funny note: In my writing class yesterday the teacher was using the name 王可 in one of the dialogues she had written. She couldn’t understand why we were laughing.

Happy cccHanucckkah.

Look on the bright side Rich – at least you don’t have to eat gefilte fish.

December 12, 2009 @ 4:36 pm | Comment

P.S. We did explain it to her… It wasn’t easy, she’s a nice girl.

December 12, 2009 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

I recall seeing Musharraf, the former dictator of Pakistan in his better days. He was radiant and confident; tolerant of criticism and shook them off with ease. Then as his country became destabilized and his opposition grew stronger and more coherent, he became visibly insecure. Realizing how criticism could now undermine him, he became intolerant of dissent and even paranoid.

States in general behave similarly. When they are in absolute control, they have no problem of tolerating dissent. However, when in a weaker position, they will not tolerate any dissent serious enough to undermine them. Something as simple as a flag-draped coffin could be perceived as subversive to state power. They WILL take away your “freedom of speech” when they deed it fit. It’s not a “freedom” when you rulers can take it away whenever it is convenient for them to do so.

Individuals behave no differently in this aspect. The owner of this blog, for example, does not mind showing us the maniacal blatherings of Chinese nationalists, as they are fundamentally of no threat to his own ideology.

But when his hypocrisy and inconsistency is in serious danger of being exposed, he, as always, resorts to censorship.

December 12, 2009 @ 4:41 pm | Comment

Excuse my grammar and spelling…It is 3:50 in the morning and I’m not in the best mental state.

December 12, 2009 @ 4:49 pm | Comment

What trust or attention deserves the opinion of those that choke and muffle other’s opinions?

December 12, 2009 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

@RedStarOverChina
No, they do not want Soviet troops back

Oh, by the way, the communist governments in Eastern Europe came in a package with the Soviet troops. If one said that they are nostalgic about times under communist rule in Eastern Europe, they cannot detach the fact that those communist governments had to be kept in power by the presence of Soviet troops. Many nostalgic people utter how they missed communism, they easily forgot that it came with Soviet military occupation in their country.

If communism in the Eastern European context didn’t come as an inseparable package with Soviet occupying forces, why did the regimes of Honecker and Kandar collapse so rapidly when Gorbachev abandoned the Brezhnev Doctrine by giving order to the Soviet armies in these countries not to intervene with the Velvet revolution happening there in the late 1980s? These communist regimes existed in the first place by relying on the coercive force provided by the Soviet armies. Once Soviet troops decided to do nothing, these regimes could not survive on their own.

When life is not so smooth-sailing currently, people tend to be nostalgic and forget the flaws of the past.

December 12, 2009 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

Something as simple as a flag-draped coffin could be perceived as subversive to state power. They WILL take away your “freedom of speech” when they deed it fit. It’s not a “freedom” when you rulers can take it away whenever it is convenient for them to do so.

This blog blasted the Bush decision forbidding the photography of the coffins. That was a typical case of government trying to moldpublic opinio and hide the truth from them. All governments do it. The beauty of it was that the media had a field day with it and there was nothing the government could do. Finally lots of photos were leaked and spread all over the newspapers, and there was nothing the government could do. I posted them on this blog. Now try to imagine all the Chinese papers getting hold of an interview with the Tiananmen mothers or the Dalai Lam or an Uighuy leader blasting the CCP as weak and oppressive. Would that material be splashed everywhere in the Chinese media in defiance of the government?

Freedom of speech in the US was threatened, but it was never taken away and it’s as strong as ever, surviving the darkest period of the Bush years. There is a reason we made it our First Amendment. It is more important to Americans than anything else aside from having a job to support their families.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

It’s amusing to see the new commenters defending colonialism and slavery, the two things merp and others on that side use to lambaste America. What about the American Indians? Based on Anti’s thinking, next we’ll hear that it’s okay to wipe out the natives altogether.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

@RedStarOverChina
States in general behave similarly. When they are in absolute control, they have no problem of tolerating dissent.

LOL. I think by that statement, you have just tarnished the reputation of the political science faculty of your alma mater. Even a high school kid may be better informed than you, a Queens grad. Nazi Germany, Stalin’s USSR were classic historical examples of states being in absolute control, in fact total control. Yet, we don’t see Hitler or Stalin tolerating any slightest form of dissent.

If your political science professors see this, i have no doubt that they will fall off their chairs.

December 12, 2009 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

SP, you are exactly right. People in absolute control never tolerate dissent, otherwise their control would not, could not, be absolute. Imagine Kim Jong Il holding a town hall and inviting criticism. Or Mugabe. Or (name your favorite tyrant).

China is not quite in that category. I saw at least once, in the famous SARS press conference of April 2003, that their leaders can face a hostile press and answer questions and deal with criticism. Obviously that was not the norm, and I wish they would do more of it. That would, of course, be literally unthinkable in the DPRK.

December 13, 2009 @ 12:43 am | Comment

LOL. I think by that statement, you have just tarnished the reputation of the political science faculty of your alma mater. Even a high school kid may be better informed than you, a Queens grad. Nazi Germany, Stalin’s USSR were classic historical examples of states being in absolute control, in fact total control. Yet, we don’t see Hitler or Stalin tolerating any slightest form of dissent.

I’d argue that Nazi Germany and USSR’s gov’t was in weaker control of their states than the current US gov’t is in its state. Nazi Germany and USSR had stronger attempts at control, and a stronger facade of control, but a weaker effective control. The reason is of course, the simplistic model of authoritarian control of brutality and suppression and surveillance is highly limited and won’t get you very far. And that’s precisely why, today’s CCP is more “sophisticated” than Nazi Germany and USSR. Today’s China had a weaker facade of control than Nazi Germany and USSR, but stronger effective control by the gov’t, because CCP has evolved and adapted and became more nuanced and experienced. In terms of skill of control, Nazi Germany and USSR were pupils, CCP is a college student.

And the USA today, is of course a tenured professor in that regard. The US has very little facade of control, very little active attempts at control. Because 1) the US gov’t is a much more sophisticated apparatus at control than the CCP 2) the US has a much stronger “foundation” and “legitimacy” of rule. Now, I know your reaction is gonna be “Yes, they have a stronger legitimacy because they are a democracy, they are elected!”. And of course that is not unentirely false, but certainly the truth is much more nuanced than this. The US has fought the British, the Civil War, World War 2, been successful at solidifying Americans’ industry, living standard, technology, world leadership position (the reason they are successful is too complex to go into here, and definitely not as simple as “they are a democracy”, but what matter is that they have been successful), the fact that they have been so successful and given their people such high standards of living and given their country such powerful geopolitical position is their foundation and legitimacy. This foundation is legitimacy is strong, and cannot be easily undermined by some protests or some internet dissidents or journalists. And therefore, the US gov’t generally doesn’t feel the need to silence those voices. So in that respect, I agree with you, at least literally, that the US gov’t is more “confident”.

The Chinese gov’t, has not yet have time to accumulate enough “success” and “accomplishments” to reach that same level of legitimacy and foundation. But compared to 20,30 years ago, they have much stronger in foundation because of the economic boom, of raising people’s living standards. But 20,30 years is too short a span for a sapling to grow into a tree, thus right now, the CCP is still a sapling in terms of legitimacy of power and of its institutions. If it can continue to be successful in economic development, and expand that success all across the board: in technology, science, military, medicine, environmental protection, etc. Then, give it another 20,30,50, years, it’ll be “institutionally mature and confident” enough to last 100 years, once it lasts 100 years, it would last 150, 200 years. Then we can come back in 100 years, and find that CCP is still the same CCP, but has graduated college and now a professor in the realm of “control”. It no longer need arrest internet posters, because they no longer perceive meaning threat by some journalists. Their accomplishments and credentials would’ve been strong enough to withstand that.

Just my thoughts, read it if you enjoy, ignore it if you don’t.

December 13, 2009 @ 2:35 am | Comment

@A former Anti-CCP Person Who Is Now Pro-CCP after living in the United States

The reason is of course, the simplistic model of authoritarian control of brutality and suppression and surveillance is highly limited and won’t get you very far.

Geez, i doubt any survivors at Siberian gulags or Auschwitz will agree with any one word of your above statement.

December 13, 2009 @ 3:05 am | Comment

I wonder if this guy would agree either. From today’s NY Times:

Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s best-known dissidents and a principal author of a pro-democracy manifesto that has attracted more than 10,000 signatures from Chinese supporters, was indicted Thursday on charges of trying to subvert the state, his lawyer said.

Mr. Liu was expected to be tried in four to six weeks, the lawyer, Shang Baojun, said Friday.

The authorities disclosed the decision to prosecute Mr. Liu — a step that almost invariably ends in imprisonment — exactly one year and a day after the manifesto, Charter 08, was published. Other Charter 08 signers said in interviews that the government was using Mr. Liu’s case to send a strong message to Chinese intellectuals that it would not tolerate organized, independent efforts to foster democracy.

“The government is trying to tell us to stop trying to push for human rights and democracy in China,” said Xu Youyu, a Charter 08 signer and a philosophy professor who recently retired from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “Secondly, he has been the biggest threat inside of China, and they want to get rid of him.”

Mr. Liu’s supporters had hoped that Chinese leaders would be persuaded to release Mr. Liu, who has been detained for more than a year, when President Obama visited China last month. During the visit, United States officials gave Chinese leaders a list of “cases of concern” that included Mr. Liu and 11 other political and religious activists who are imprisoned or facing charges, according to Nicholas Bequelin, an Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, which is based in New York.

Mr. Xu said: “I think the message to the outside world is, it doesn’t really matter to the government how this case is viewed by the international community. It can do whatever it wants.”

That’s a fundamental difference between the two systems, the checks and balances that can hold the US government in check. No matter how furious the US government might be with this activist or that, there is nearly nothing it can do about them. The state can be controlled. Bush wanted desperately to privatize Social Security but Congress wouldn’t let him. Obama’s public option in healthcare won’t happen – at least not yet – for the same reason. The Supreme Court stood up to Nixon and allowed the NYT to publish the Pentagon Papers. Nothing Nixon could do except go insane. Aside from the aberrations under Bush 2, such as the shredding of habeas corpus for suspected terrorists, this system has worked fairly well. What happened to Liu Xiaobo simply can’t happen in America because of a free press, right to appeal, the Supreme Court, etc. There have been exceptions and the system has been abused, but all in all it’s done surprisingly well. Many aspects of American government are repellent, especially its beholdenness to corporate interests. But the protections the Founding Fathers built into the Constitution stand as one of the great inspirations in the history of government.

Whether we like Liu Xiaobo or not, the fact remains that he got in the government’s crosshairs and then they zapped him. I know that people in China can now go quite far when it comes to dissent, but there’s always that magic line, and once you cross it, it’s a cold windowless cell for many years. If you wonder why so many Americans look at China with a sense of fear, just read the opening grafs of that article again. I think this fear is misplaced and distorted, and fails to take into account all the freedoms Chinese people enjoy, but it almost seem like the CCP is taunting the rest of the world, saying “Look at us, look at what we can do!” So you shouldn’t be so surprised at the negative image this conveys to a people who are obsessive about legal procedure, the right to sue and appeal and demand information and to publicize their situation. And yes, I felt Bush-Cheney did their fair share of sneering and chest-pounding, too, which is why from 2004-2008 about half the content on this blog was about slamming them.

December 13, 2009 @ 3:41 am | Comment

Liu Xiaobo has a history of receiving funding from the NED, in return for writing articles that slander and subvert the Socialist system under the guise of an
“independent intellectual” concerned with human rights and freedom. Technically, he is an agent of the United States government. There’s every legal basis under the Chinese Constitution to arrest him. Many of so-called “Magazines” and “Foundations” in China receive DIRECT FUNDING from the NED, an organization whose own funding directly comes from the United States Congress.

There’s an deniable political relationship between the likes of Liu Xiaobo and their “foundations” and the United States government.

December 13, 2009 @ 5:21 am | Comment

So if you slander the Socialist system or have ties to the US it justifies your arrest? I’m not surprised to see you slandering Liu Xiaobo. Anyone the CCP turns on, in the eyes of the indoctrinated, is automatically vilified. I even remember when poor murdered Sun Zhigang was slandered by fenqing because he had the audacity to be murdered by his jailers. As soon as Westerners wrote about the horrifying story that was that – he was an enemy of the people who was asking for it.

Lots of people here in America have ties to Cuba and Israel and China and many other countries. That is not grounds for arrest. Only a paranoid, scared-shitless government would do that. If he were a spy I might change my mind, but that’s never been alleged.

This is also what the GOP does. As soon as someone embarrasses them, they reflexively try to ruin their reputation and vilify them. I remember when they went after a child who the Dems used in a commercial about people who can’t afford healthcare. Michelle Malkin, of course, led the charge to show the family actually was rich and could easily afford healthcare (she was totally wrong and was forced to apologize later.) I should have know that would be the very first tactic used to de-legitimize Liu.

And for the record: I’ve written very little about Charter 08 on this site because I think it’s of little interest to most Chinese and has mainly been overblown by the non-Chinese media desperate to see proof of chinks in the CCP armor. There is an excellent discussion about this from last year over at one of my favorite blogs.

December 13, 2009 @ 7:17 am | Comment

@Imitation Crab Meat
There’s every legal basis under the Chinese Constitution…

Why even bother mentioning a piece of paper which the CCP doesn’t even respect?

December 13, 2009 @ 7:51 am | Comment

So if you slander the Socialist system or have ties to the US it justifies your arrest?

If you receive monthly stipend from a quasi-intelligence organization of another gov’t whose purpose is to foster the growth of intellectual and ideological resistance against foreign regimes unfriendly to the United States (this is the stated purpose of the NED, with affiliation from the CIA, all documented).

If you in return, promise to write articles under strict ideological guidelines given to you from those who pay you, then yes, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to arrest you. In other words, Liu Xiaobo today is NOT ALLOWED to write articles praising any aspect of the CCP or criticizing any aspect of the United States, under his contract with NED (go find every article he’s ever published in the last few years and find me anything critical of the US or supportive of China on any issue). Hardly a courageous and independent intellectual.

I really don’t see what’s inappropriate about his arrest. Perhaps a similar figure would not be arrested in the US. But like I said, the US is more confident. And China is still young in developing its confidence, so for now, we have the right to defend our institutions and our regime against “external wind”, especially if those winds are funded by another government.

December 13, 2009 @ 9:49 am | Comment

If we jail someone, torture him or even kill him it is because…. he must have done something evil.

December 13, 2009 @ 10:15 am | Comment

Okay Anti, so he’s not courageous, he praises the US and he criticizes China. So put him in jail? Even if he’s on NED’s payroll (and I need to know if that’s a fact), is that the most admirable approach, throw him in jail? And I disagree about the lack of courage. To put himself in this situation where he may spend many years in jail is not something the weak and the cowardly do. Don’t you agree? And I’m not asking whether what he did was good or bad or right or wrong – but is it really an act of cowardice? Most people I know would never have the courage to put themselves at such personal risk. (And courage doesn’t mean good; it takes courage to hijack a plane and fly it into a building; but it’s stil courage nonetheless.)

December 13, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Comment

“And China is still young in developing its confidence…”

A lame and tiresome excuse for the heavy handedness of dictatorship. How many years of civilisation did you say?

China has confidence bordering on arrogance; what she lacks is intellectual maturity.

December 13, 2009 @ 3:35 pm | Comment

It may very well be another of the net nanny grinding down strategies to flood blogs with little troll river crabies.
As useful to argue with them as trying to discuss with a tape recorder.
But lets be understable, its hard time to find jobs in China for young graduate, even for cute little river crabies.
We should set up a paypal account to contribute our 50 cent of RMB to them.
Don’t you have a heart for cute little river crabies?

December 13, 2009 @ 5:58 pm | Comment

“As useful to argue with them as trying to discuss with a tape recorder.”

Pardon me. But doesn’t this also applies to you, Stu, S, F, etc and everybody else on this blog?

December 13, 2009 @ 6:19 pm | Comment

Pardon me. But doesn’t this also applies to you, Stu, S, F, etc and everybody else on this blog?

Nope. Not everyone here repeats the “But country X is worse and commit more atrocities so country Y is above criticism” tag-line day in day out like tape recorders made of human flesh.

December 13, 2009 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

@SU
“Pardon me. But doesn’t this also applies to you, ”
Not really. I am quite reasonable by all accounts :-P

Want to discuss something interesting?

You are pardoned by the way ;-)

December 13, 2009 @ 10:44 pm | Comment

SU, I believe if you go through this thread you will be able to see who is actually willing to engage and ask questions and try to back up their arguments with facts, and those who are on the attack, reflexively employing the “America is worse” schtick. And I am not saying the Westerners are willing to engage and the Chinese aren’t – far from it. There’s lots of good interaction up above between Westerners and Chinese, which is what I want this blog to provide. Which of the earlier comments by the people you cite do you feel were like talking to a tape recorder? Just cut and paste – I want to know where you’re coming from. Thanks.

December 13, 2009 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34398764/

What the Western Media don’t want to say is that there is cyberwarfare out there. US and Russia have begun talks about stopping that. If China don’t put up that GFW or put up those restrictions within China, they could be losing this war.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:25 am | Comment

SU, I believe if you go through this thread you will be able to see who is actually willing to engage and ask questions and try to back up their arguments with facts, and those who are on the attack, reflexively employing the “America is worse” schtick. And I am not saying the Westerners are willing to engage and the Chinese aren’t – far from it. There’s lots of good interaction up above between Westerners and Chinese, which is what I want this blog to provide. Which of the earlier comments by the people you cite do you feel were like talking to a tape recorder? Just cut and paste – I want to know where you’re coming from. Thanks.

Look up all commends made by ecodelta in this thread:

Why I am having the feeling that this blog is being used by some propaganda/censorship department traines to do some of their homework?

It may very well be another of the net nanny grinding down strategies to flood blogs with little troll river crabies.
As useful to argue with them as trying to discuss with a tape recorder.
But lets be understable, its hard time to find jobs in China for young graduate, even for cute little river crabies.
We should set up a paypal account to contribute our 50 cent of RMB to them.
Don’t you have a heart for cute little river crabies?

What trust or attention deserves the opinion of those that choke and muffle other’s opinions?


It seems more traines from net nanny school are visiting. Cute these little river crabies


Hhhmm…. I should get my cooking tools ready to prepare a “mariscada” (seafood dish).
Come little crabies….come here….

And similar comments by stuart (he earlier suggested that the Chinese embassy deserved to be bombed and its victims killed without providing a shred of evidence or basis. If a ‘nationalist’ made a similar comment about the US, it would’ve been immediately called out if not deleted.)

How did those 2 exhibit signs of useful engagement and discussion? If you say “All you Chinese nationalists repeat the tagline that US does X worse” (which btw, is not true. and if we do occasionally repeat this ‘tagline’ then it’s because it is sometimes ESSENTIAL to the discussion). Then I can turn the table around and say “All you China-bashers (especially stuart and ecodelta) repeat the tagline that “Chinese naionatlists and brainwashed” and so we are going to flood every thread with ad hominen attacks without any discussion of issues, and if we do get confronted with issues, we’ll throw out one of these taglines: 1) Chinese gov’t fosters victimization mentality, so every charge against the West is a result of that and can be conveniently dismissed 2) Chinese gov’t colonizes Tibet and Xinjiang and even Africa today, so we will just bring up this whenever charges against past Western sins are brought up.

Just look up the posting history of those 2. I challenge you to cite me a single substantial thread written by those 2 that does not resort to name calling the opponent as a Chinese brainwashed nationalist.

So I think if there truly are Chinese brainwashed nationalists there, then there are at least as many Western brainwashed China-bashers who use this as a convenient excuse to avoid debate of real issues.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:29 am | Comment

Ah yes, Pug, thank god for that firewall! A textbook example of taking one of the CCP’s worst-conceived ideas and turning it into a blessing. Thanks god for censorship and suppression. They’re keeping us safe from cyberwarfare. Hell, if they locked you all in your homes you’d be safe from car accidents. Let’s hope they consider that.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:48 am | Comment

Anti, ecodelta’s comments are mainly tongue-in-cheek. Sorry if they hurt your feelings. And I don’t think Stuart ever said innocent people in the embassy deserved to die. I also don’t remember them repeating that all the Chinese people are brainwashed. But this is just what I mean – sloppy arguments.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:55 am | Comment

Richard,

Boy, and you are accusing me of diverting statements about talking about the US crap and yet you are talking about keeping people locked up in their homes. Nice going.

December 14, 2009 @ 2:46 am | Comment

@Anti
think if there truly are Chinese brainwashed nationalists there

RedStarOverChina is just one good example. I don’t know who can be better qualified as being brainwashed than someone who claims that “successive Chinese governments have attempted to struggle against Western Imperialism”. If this guy doesn’t fall into the category of being brainwashed, nobody else could.

December 14, 2009 @ 3:25 am | Comment

@anti
Where did I bash China and the Chinese?
I bash something that really bash a great people and culture.
Can you guess what?

Glad you find my comments of interest

December 14, 2009 @ 4:45 am | Comment

Pug, your argument about the GFW, you are trying to hold yourself to a burning nail, as we say here.

December 14, 2009 @ 4:54 am | Comment

Sorry about your feelings anti, hope it does not hurt you too much ;-)

December 14, 2009 @ 4:57 am | Comment

On Cooking Tasty and Simple Dishes

My job has taken me to many European and Middle Eastern countries, and over the past year or so, I have stayed at no less than 5 different countries. When I stay at a place, food is always a big problem, because as someone with a “Chinese stomach”, I usually cannot enjoy the food of foreign countries for any prolonged periods. One or two meals is ok, longer than that, I will get very sick and crave for Chinese food. I once stayed in the Netherlands, and went to a local restaurant and ordered some fish dish, like bass or something. And the fish is cooked blandly, without much flavor, and the texture is dry and lacks the fragrance of usual fish. But I already paid 15 euros for it, so I had to swallow the fish, just stuffing my stomach and not enjoying it at all. Now you may say “But there are Chinese restaurants everywhere in the world”. But anyone with authentic Chinese stomach would know that most Chinese restaurants in foreign lands are inauthentic, and taste completely different from genuine Chinese food.

Therefore, whenever I travel, I always ask to be placed in hotels with its own private kitchen suite, so I can cook. I usually always bring with me a pot, a pan, a bowl, and salt, soy sauce, vinegar, Chinese garlic, chives. These ingredients are usually enough to make most simple on the road dishes. For each meal, I usually make two dishes, a vegetable and a meat dish, plus a soup. This way I have a balance of nutrition. Some of my most familiar dishes to make are celery with pork slices, tomatoes with eggs, water cooked leaks, double sauteed pork, preserved beef slices, Mao Zedong’s pork, etc.

Here are some of my four most important tips in cooking:

1) The heat must be high, and preferably with an open fire stove like gas, not an electrical stove. In restaurants in China, the fire is so intense that it is 1 meter high. But at home or in hotels, it’ much weaker. But still turn it on high. The higher it is, the faster it cooks, the faster the material cooks, the tastier it is. Ideally, you want to cook your material in an industrial steel melting oven, so it cooks within 1 second. But of course this is not realistic at home.

2) The oil must be used liberally and abundantly. And the weaker your heat, the more the oil must be used. And heat your oil to very high temperature, then dump your materials into it. This will cause a loud sizzle and bang, and make your material tastier. Do not worry about health. Everyone will die sooner or later, if you don’t die of this, you’ll die of that, like a meteor hitting earth, or nuclear detonation by American warmongers, etc. So no need to worry about health.

3) Do not be afraid of rawness. Don’t be afraid that your vegetables are not cooked enough, raw vegetables are most times edible. Just look at the various salads in Western countries, most are raw.

4) Use seasoning without any rules. How much salt, how much soy sauce, how much garlic, how much spice? Totally depends on your taste.

Basically, if you adhere to this 4 rules, you can cook anything fast and make it tasty. meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, or any mixture of them.

December 14, 2009 @ 5:19 am | Comment

pug Boy, and you are accusing me of diverting statements about talking about the US crap and yet you are talking about keeping people locked up in their homes. Nice going.

I was saying how retarded such an idea would be. Denser than a neutron star.

December 14, 2009 @ 5:53 am | Comment

Richard,

Yeah, maybe it is retarded to have a good idea that the internet is a force for good, so where does most of the botnets and viruses come from? Sneakernet?

December 14, 2009 @ 5:58 am | Comment

The GFW was not conceived to protect its people from computer viruses. It’s there to block out harmful sites like this one, which has now been blocked in China for more than 7 months. Really pug, don’t be an ass. Don’t try to say this was ingenious of the party to put up this censorship software because it protects its citizens against viruses. It’s there to give them an iron grip on what people in China can see and read. It takes a really creative mind to spin this as some kind of magnanimous stroke of genius that protects netizens from those nasty viruses. It’s right up there with saying we should all be glad the party killed those students because China may have ended up like Russia. Under this “logic,” just about anything awful the party does can be spun into a wonderful thing for China and its people. Likewise, we in America are lucky Bush declared war on Iraq because it led to the development of hot new military technology and cool new ways to kill people, and hundreds of thousands dead is a small price to pay for so much new innovation. Now that kind of thinking is retarded, and that you could say it with a straight face, that the GFW is something you should all be grateful for, then you are a true idiot or a paid party stooge, or perhaps a mix of both.

December 14, 2009 @ 6:12 am | Comment

Math, if you can make Hong Shao Rou (or Mao Zedong pork as you call it) with those ingredients then you have done the impossible. Well done.

December 14, 2009 @ 7:08 am | Comment

“then you are a true idiot or a paid party stooge, or perhaps a mix of both”

My thought too, enough said.

December 14, 2009 @ 7:28 am | Comment

Internet censorship is far from an issue of black and white. Even in the United States, there are federal laws intended to censor offensive online content and restricting/banning online distribution of material deemed “harmful to minors”.

In Germany, German ISPs block access to some Internet content outside Germany containing material that is illegal under German laws of general application, particularly race hate propaganda and child pornography.In South Korea, the Korean Communications Commission, which regulates the industry, has created its own rules to oblige portals to suspend sites stepping outside the limits and require Web sites to disclose the real names of anyone posting comments.

While facilitating the flow of information, the internet is making it much, much easier for those ill-intentioned to wreak havoc, cause harm to others and bring about social unrest for their own selfish benefits. The government has a responsibility to better manage the internet, keeping harmful content out of public view. The Internet should also serve public good, instead of becoming of tool of illicit activities.

December 14, 2009 @ 7:38 am | Comment

“And similar comments by stuart (he earlier suggested that the Chinese embassy deserved to be bombed and its victims killed without providing a shred of evidence or basis.”

Any resemblance between the above and comment #35 is purely coincidental.

The watching world is free to check for themselves.

For anyone interested in understanding the embassy bombing as something other than an unprovoked, unwarranted attack by US forces on sovereign China, feel free to begin here:

http://chinamatters.blogspot.com/2009/04/murder-in-loudounten-years-after.html

I say again: censorship and hard-wired nationalism are the reasons why Chinese are unable to grasp the realities of a justified action against efforts to undermine a UN sanctioned operation.

December 14, 2009 @ 7:52 am | Comment

The government has a responsibility to better manage the internet, keeping harmful content out of public view.

There is a very fine line between the above and muzzling legitimate and healthy political discussion. I doubt if a website talking about Gwangju massacre will be blocked in today’s South Korea. I am also confident that a website that criticize Merkel and her government can be freely accessed within Germany itself.

How about websites that call for a reassessment of Tiananmen Incident? Or sites that criticized one party dictatorship of the CCP? Will they be accessible within the PRC itself?

For the CCP, there has never been a fine line. They just muzzle everything.

December 14, 2009 @ 8:13 am | Comment

Then we can come back in 100 years, and find that CCP is still the same CCP, but has graduated college and now a professor in the realm of “control”. It no longer need arrest internet posters, because they no longer perceive meaning threat by some journalists. Their accomplishments and credentials would’ve been strong enough to withstand that.

They might also discover, during their 100-year maturation process that:
1) Journalists and internet activists are less disruptive to the system than previously imagined, and mostly a threat only to corruption and incompetence
2) The ability of foreign powers to wage ideological warfare is vastly overrated, and only possible where people are forced to believe in an ideology which is patently false
3) The knowledge that an official can have his reputation and career destroyed through having his misdeeds exposed imposes a healthy discipline on people in positions of power, and goes a long way towards solving a problem which has long been a headache for the CCP
4) Freedom of the press has both good and bad aspects, but the ratio is about 70% to 30%.

We shouldn’t blame the CCP if it takes them 100 years to learn this, it took us in the West much longer than that. But nobody should have to reinvent the wheel.

December 14, 2009 @ 8:36 am | Comment

So Crab, you’re also jumping on the “GFW is good for us” bandwagon? Are you safer because my site and Danwei are blocked? Cut the crap. I have no patience for stupidity. How helpless and stupid do you want us to think the Chinese people are, arguing that they need protections from their government that no other people need? You are going way out of the way, twisting yourself in knots, to justify what is suppression, pure and simple.

Peter, good points.

December 14, 2009 @ 8:45 am | Comment

I suppose you are right. It’s entirely possible the Tibetans and the Ughyers prefer to die at the average age of 35 to disease and nutrition. They prefer to remain illiterate and worship a human god and live in castes and slavery. The Chinese never asked them this. You right, I must admit.

Every colonial empire used arguments like that in the past. And it’s true they all brought railways, modern medicine and advanced technology. It might be too sensitive to ask whether Xinjiang and Tibet are colonies, but it does seem obvious that China is having the same problems there that other colonial empires have had. This doesn’t mean China should leave, instead they should probably ask themselves how they can be better colonists so they are not hated.

December 14, 2009 @ 9:05 am | Comment

Thanks Peter, but don’t expect to get too far with this rational argument. It runs counter to the notion, If the government does it, it must be good. I hate it when Americans think this way, too.

December 14, 2009 @ 9:35 am | Comment

“…instead they should probably ask themselves how they can be better colonists so they are not hated.”

Indeed. But that would require a degree of self-reflection that seems beyond Beijing. They would also need to cease the institutionalised peddling of the idea that Han Chinese are the benevolent saviours of an ungrateful and uncivilized mob.

Any relaxing of censorship in China needs to go hand in hand with the development of open discourse within the Chinese education system. Otherwise the content of valuable discussion forums like this one will only serve as a call to arms for hard-wired trolls and fenging outpourings. A bit like it is now; only much more so.

December 14, 2009 @ 9:52 am | Comment

They would also need to cease the institutionalised peddling of the idea that Han Chinese are the benevolent saviours of an ungrateful and uncivilized mob.

Cite me an article, statement, book, that promotes Han superiority/benevolence over minorities in China.

Any relaxing of censorship in China needs to go hand in hand with the development of open discourse within the Chinese education system. Otherwise the content of valuable discussion forums like this one will only serve as a call to arms for hard-wired trolls and fenging outpourings. A bit like it is now; only much more so.

I see you are hedging a little bit. You are basically are aware that if censorship is lifted, and people are allowed to freely access CNN/BBC/this blog, etc. Then the “power of human rights/universal values/democracy” would not necessarily win over the the people. That is, you recognize, that after people viewed CNN/BBC/this blog, it’s entirely possibly they will just as “anti-West”, if not even more so. And you attribute this to a lack of “open discourse” in education. But if your ideas are so much more powerful, shouldn’t they triumph over people by their merits alone? Instead, you want “open discourse” to “help” your ideas triumph. Well, “development of open discourse” is really just code-word for development for pro-Western ideas to combat “nationalist CCP propaganda”. In other words, you are calling for help from your own propaganda department (except you won’t admit that) in the form of NED, VoA, and the various foundations that operate in China today.

December 14, 2009 @ 10:14 am | Comment

“1) Journalists and internet activists are less disruptive to the system than previously imagined, and mostly a threat only to corruption and incompetence”

Go google Transparency International Corruption Index, and look up India, then compare it to China.

“3) The knowledge that an official can have his reputation and career destroyed through having his misdeeds exposed imposes a healthy discipline on people in positions of power, and goes a long way towards solving a problem which has long been a headache for the CCP”

Or a more direct way, they could just set up a website for ordinary people to report corruption?
http://www.12388.gov.cn/xf/index.html

“4) Freedom of the press has both good and bad aspects, but the ratio is about 70% to 30%.”

Unless 50% watch Fox News and the other 50% watch CNN, then the ratio goes down to 50:50. Or if 60% watch Fox then the ratio goes down to 40:60.

“We shouldn’t blame the CCP if it takes them 100 years to learn this, it took us in the West much longer than that. But nobody should have to reinvent the wheel.”

Search no more! We the West already found the final solution for all man kind’s problems, it’s called free press! And it only took us a little more than 100 years.

December 14, 2009 @ 10:18 am | Comment

“[if] people are allowed to freely access CNN/BBC/this blog, etc. Then the “power of human rights/universal values/democracy” would not necessarily win over the the people.”

That would be correct, in my humble opinion. The CCP would need to free minds first in order for freedom of information to have a positive effect. To have the latter without the former is like owning a car with an empty fuel tank.

December 14, 2009 @ 10:47 am | Comment

Every colonial empire used arguments like that in the past. And it’s true they all brought railways, modern medicine and advanced technology. It might be too sensitive to ask whether Xinjiang and Tibet are colonies, but it does seem obvious that China is having the same problems there that other colonial empires have had. This doesn’t mean China should leave, instead they should probably ask themselves how they can be better colonists so they are not hated.b>

The difference is the colonists brought those nice things for themselves to enjoy.

December 14, 2009 @ 11:20 am | Comment

Every colonial empire used arguments like that in the past. And it’s true they all brought railways, modern medicine and advanced technology. It might be too sensitive to ask whether Xinjiang and Tibet are colonies, but it does seem obvious that China is having the same problems there that other colonial empires have had. This doesn’t mean China should leave, instead they should probably ask themselves how they can be better colonists so they are not hated.

The difference is the colonists brought those nice things for themselves.

December 14, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Comment

“I want to know where you are coming from.”

I have 2 residences, one of my own and one of my daughter. My email will sometimes show I am in one country and sometimes in the other country. No ulterior motives.

December 14, 2009 @ 12:49 pm | Comment

The difference is the colonists brought those nice things for themselves.

I think at least some of the time the natives were expected to enjoy them too but of course the colonisers were there to benefit themselves. I think you could pretty easily make the case that Han Chinese control most of the economy in Tibet, so they would have to be the main beneficiaries of economic development.

In fact the CCP probably wishes more Tibetans and Uighurs could benefit because that would bind them more tightly to China. But keeping those regions as part of China is the objective regardless, and they’ve made it quite plain that there isn’t to be any choice. Yes I believe they do hope that Tibet and Xinjiang will benefit but they won’t let them go even if keeping them were harmful.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:16 pm | Comment

Peter, have you commented her before? I’m really enjoying your comments. Very smart.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:32 pm | Comment

Unless 50% watch Fox News and the other 50% watch CNN, then the ratio goes down to 50:50. Or if 60% watch Fox then the ratio goes down to 40:60.

In that case you could make CNN the only news outlet in China that people were allowed to watch and it would be 100:0. But then they would show one of their documentaries on Tibet. You would all be in favour of a free press after that.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:32 pm | Comment

SU, I meant, where are you coming from with your last conference, with it’s cryptic, “But doesn’t this also applies to you, Stu, S, F, etc and everybody else on this blog?” I thought that was uncalled for and unsupported, but am willing for you to prove me wrong. Where were you coming from?

December 14, 2009 @ 1:34 pm | Comment

Hi Richard, yes I’ve been here for a long time. I don’t comment that much though.

December 14, 2009 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

@Richard
Are we having the same suspicion? Maybe you should invite them to your next party in China. It would make for some interesting conversations.

December 14, 2009 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

@Peter
“make CNN the only news outlet in China that people were allowed to watch ”
I would not submit the Chinese people to that kind of torture….

December 14, 2009 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

Posted it already. But alwasy interesting

http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/292-china-as-an-island/

These areas sorrounding the Chinese core have been always a sort of buffer states, maily for defensive reasons and more recently for strategic, resources, politica and economic reasons.

They are given no option, and for the Chinese government, even maybe for one not ruled by the CCP, it is psycologically impossible to let them go.
At the same time is a risk for China, it consumes significant resources to keep them under control, and it is a danger in moments of instability.

I do not envy their situation, whatever real or figured benefits is brought to them by their external dominator.
And specially in the case of Tibet, their culture is being devoured alive. I am afraid what will remain in the end will be just for folkloric shows

I heard once the phrase
“Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the US”

The same, and IMHO to a greater degree, can be applied to these regions.

December 14, 2009 @ 4:16 pm | Comment

In the end they have only two options.

Either submit willingly or risk been flooded by massive immigration until the population and cultural profile of the land is changed completely.

December 14, 2009 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

@AC
Go google Transparency International Corruption Index, and look up India, then compare it to China.

Wow, India has become the new whipping boy! And it is not just in this thread but i have heard it from my friends from China as well.

Anyway, in the Corruption Perception Index for 2009, China ranked 79 and India ranked 84. And you take comfort in that? Guess what, if you look at it from another angle, China is in the same league with Burkina Faso and Swaziland in terms of corruption perception. Not very flattering isn’t it?

December 14, 2009 @ 6:36 pm | Comment

Or a more direct way, they could just set up a website for ordinary people to report corruption?
http://www.12388.gov.cn/xf/index.html

LOL. If that works, China’s corruption ranking wouldn’t be just at 79, not far ahead from India, your favourite whipping boy.

By the way, has this department ever been able to nab Li Peng?

December 14, 2009 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

Peter, great comments in this thread.

December 14, 2009 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

“….with it’s cryptic, ‘But doesn’t this also applies to you, Stu, S, F, etc and everybody else on this blog?’” Please note that I said everybody else by which I mean everybody commenting on this blog. It seems to me that the two sides have been debating fruitlessly with both insisting on the correctness of their viewpoints. I think both sides fit the description of tape recorders playing, as Eco says.

December 14, 2009 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

SU, I would say no. I try to listen to what the other person is saying and agree where I can, and disagree when I think they’re wrong. I try to avoid generalities and would never say, for example, that China is a bad country. Some of my more strident sem incapable of real dialogue. They come here and toss a bomb into the conversation and then disappear. At the moment, until I see some evidence that you’re hear to engage and not just hurl an accusation at those you disagree with, I’ve got up put you in this category. Can you convince me I’m wrong? Here’s your chance.

December 15, 2009 @ 12:14 am | Comment

“I think at least some of the time the natives were expected to enjoy them too but of course the colonisers were there to benefit themselves…”

Oh, you think? I thought you had proof. Or did you mean AFTER their colonial asses were kicked out? But last time I checked, large part of Africa was still in primitive age, it is the Chinese who are building roads, cell phone towers and hospitals there.

“…I think you could pretty easily make the case that Han Chinese control most of the economy in Tibet, so they would have to be the main beneficiaries of economic development.”

If you were a smart guy as Richard said you were, you would’ve known that this is the point when I would ask for proof and evidence. If you don’t show us some verifiable evidence, people would think you simply pulled that out of your behind, and I would think you are just another victim of your “free” press.

December 15, 2009 @ 12:26 am | Comment

@AC
it is the Chinese who are building roads, cell phone towers and hospitals there.

As well as shipping arms to the regimes in Sudan and Zimbabwe too.

December 15, 2009 @ 12:46 am | Comment

Just so readers know, AC has been banned here before and probably will be again for hostility, mocking and needling commenters. I don’t like the unnecessarily provocative tone of your comments and won’t tolerate it again. Example: “If you were a smart guy as Richard said you were, you would’ve known that this is the point.” Look at all the other comments up above from people who disagree with me but don’t talk like bullies and goons. AC, you are on extremely thin ice. Compare the tone of Peter’s comment to AC’s. I think readers will see what I mean. AC is one of the truly hard-wired; his degree of tunnel vision is equaled only by his hostility.

December 15, 2009 @ 1:00 am | Comment

So what if they cut off the internet. One of the best moves any nation has ever done, on the face of the planet. Eitherway there is Satelite, and cell phones.

I dream of the internet being elminated from the USA. Everything in USA is internet. It is killing business, and creating a trade deflict in real world products. There is networks bein ran by people who have no life but the computer, sitting on a toilet. Lets all go back to phone wire.

Did they cut the phone lines as well? If they still have the phones then they could still get internet.

I understand that many folks voices there opinions, but some places needs a wake up, and get back to the real world. May China be the first, since China has proven they could live without the same products they produce in the factories. Forget Africa and it’s mommy talk “We are getting left in the dust”. When computers was limited everything was better. I wish it was so.

Like this forum. This place loads up too slow, on my 566mhz computer. I was lucky to get a “old” 2gig somebody was getting rid of.

December 15, 2009 @ 1:11 am | Comment

Ah, another post on the glorious brilliance of the party in blocking the Internet. They blocked text messages in Xinjiang too for a long time (I think they lifted that ban but am not sure), do you see any great benefit to society from that, as well? I love the “either way there are satellites and cell phones.” As if they all have access to satellite broadband, and browser-equipped phones. And yes, lots of phones now have browsers, but aside from the expensive few like HTC Touch and the iPhone, they make for a less than joyful surfing experience. I realize I shouldn’t even take comments like this seriously….

December 15, 2009 @ 1:34 am | Comment

小小寰球,有几个苍蝇碰壁。
嗡嗡叫,几声凄厉,几声抽泣。

December 15, 2009 @ 2:30 am | Comment

This is an English-language blog, so please keep comments in English or provide translation. Thanks.

December 15, 2009 @ 2:43 am | Comment

@Richard
off-topic
” but aside from the expensive few like HTC Touch and the iPhone, they make for a less than joyful surfing experience”

Don’t forget new Android phones… quite good at browsing.

back to the topic at hand…
Some of the stratagems used here by our recent visitoir remind me to Arthur Schopenhauer’s
“The Art of Always Being Right: The 38 Subtle Ways to Win an Argument ”

ttp://tinyurl.com/y862qat

December 15, 2009 @ 3:33 am | Comment

“This place loads up too slow, on my 566mhz computer.”
Maybe you are not using the right proxy server…

December 15, 2009 @ 3:38 am | Comment

@Jason
小小寰球,有几个苍蝇碰壁。
嗡嗡叫,几声凄厉,几声抽泣。

蒼蠅還算有自主權。這總比受共匪支配的行屍走肉來得好。

December 15, 2009 @ 5:38 am | Comment

@Richard

I am replying to Jason that being housefly has some sort of autonomy. After all,it was better than being mindless zombies commanded by the CCP.

December 15, 2009 @ 5:41 am | Comment

Very impatient some people are towards China and the CCP. Internet blocking in XinJiang is just a temporary fix for the existing problem. We all know that the officials in Beijing need to review their current minority policies and make changes wherever possible, but this is an on-going task and it takes time. If the democratic countries like America, Canada, Australia or India can set a good example for China on how to treat their own minorities or aborigines, then maybe the Beijing government can at least study and compare their minority policies. But we know they are bad examples for that. What’s more difficult for the Beijing government is that the same minority policy that works for Hui and Miao may not work for the Uighurs and Tibetans. All I am saying is that we need to be more understandable towards the situation China faces today and be patient with the CCP on solving those issues. Unconstructive criticism or name calling can only have opposite affects.

December 15, 2009 @ 9:12 am | Comment

SOC: If the democratic countries like America, Canada, Australia or India can set a good example for China on how to treat their own minorities or aborigines, then maybe the Beijing government can at least study and compare their minority policies. But we know they are bad examples for that.

These countries all admit they made horrific mistakes, inexcusable, in their treatment of minorities a century ago and earlier. They have taken big steps to amend those wrongs anf given the natives considerable advantages to help better themselves and in some cases to become fabulously rich. Does this justify the extermination? Absolutely not. But to say they are bad examples in minority policy, as if they were still slaughtering the natives, if misleading. They’ve taken huge and expensive steps to set things right. I know that China, too, has made huge investments in Xinjiang and Tibet to improve the rights of minorities. The difference is autonomy On the Indian ranches here, for example, the Indians can make their own decisions and do with their land what they will. Too little too late? Maybe, but they are not hacking Americans to death out of resentment/ Wounds like this are hard to heal, and you have to give Australia, the US and Canada high marks for trying to correct their sins.

I am closing this thread in a minute and will open a new one soon.

December 15, 2009 @ 9:55 am | Comment

Oh, you think? I thought you had proof. Or did you mean AFTER their colonial asses were kicked out? But last time I checked, large part of Africa was still in primitive age, it is the Chinese who are building roads, cell phone towers and hospitals there.

Hong Kong under British rule certainly wasn’t at a primitive stage of development, in fact the quality of the roads, railways and infrastructure as well as government was probably better than many first world countries. I’m not trying to say that this makes colonialism OK, just that it is possible to do all kinds of positive things which benefit the “natives” and still be a colonial regime.

If you were a smart guy as Richard said you were, you would’ve known that this is the point when I would ask for proof and evidence. If you don’t show us some verifiable evidence, people would think you simply pulled that out of your behind, and I would think you are just another victim of your “free” press.

Sorry, I don’t have any facts and figures at my disposal. Also I’ve never been to Tibet so I could be wrong. I could probably find some articles on the Internet which would back me up, but if you’re in China then you probably wouldn’t be able to access them – at least not without taking steps to circumvent your government’s control of the Internet. On the other hand you could post an article showing how in fact Tibetans are in control of the economy and I wouldn’t have any trouble accessing it.

From a “propaganda war” point of view, China definitely ought to have the advantage because you can send me all your country’s propaganda unfiltered (and you already do – CCTV is free to air where I live) while we can’t.

December 15, 2009 @ 10:43 am | Comment

Peter, you handle the trolls so well. Keep commenting.

Thsi thread is getting crushed by too many comments and is now closed. There’s a new thread on the Xinjiang digital crackdown directly above – don’t miss the blog post I link to.

December 15, 2009 @ 10:51 am | Comment

[...] The Chinese government maintains that the US-based “World Uyghur Congress” instigated the riots from overseas using the internet and SMS. No communications, no riots, the logic goes. And perhaps this is true, if myopic (fascinating debate on this here). [...]

February 8, 2010 @ 11:58 pm | Pingback

[...] The Chinese government maintains that the US-based “World Uyghur Congress” instigated the riots from overseas using the internet and SMS. No communications, no riots, the logic goes. And perhaps this is true, if myopic (fascinating debate on this here). [...]

February 15, 2010 @ 6:02 pm | Pingback

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