China in Africa

Another indispensable Sinica podcast over at Popup Chinese. Gady Epstein, Kaiser Kuo, Shannon Van Sant and Jeremy Goldkorn help clear up some of the myths and memes surrounding this multi-headed subject.

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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: 119 Comments

“Likewise, Rome no longer exists”
S’funny…seem to recall the capital of Italy was so called…

“and they pulled the British off of the trees and out of the caves whereas 19th century China was morally superior to the mass murderers from imperial Europe but failed to develop trade and their weapons technology”
So you Chinese belittle the Welsh too, eh? Never knew that…

Morally superior, eh? Hmmmm…..
“There has been a clear surge of nationalism inside the country. The ancient Chinese tradition of keeping a low profile seems to have been abandoned.

In the group of articles published by the International Herald Leader, a newspaper affiliated to the state news agency Xinhua, the four authors say aggressive and belligerent voices fill the nation’s media and intoxicate popular thinking.

One of them, Mr Ye Hailin, says: “The huge achievement made during 30 years of reform and opening-up has brought about unprecedented material wealth for the nation.

“At the same time, it’s inevitably contaminated us with unprecedented conceit and arrogance.”

In a materialistic society, the authors say, the nation has lost its soul. The root cause, they say, lies in China’s self-claimed uniqueness.”

August 12, 2010 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Oooh, look, a British tree/cave 🙂
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/aug/10/britains-oldest-home

August 12, 2010 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

Of course I could pull a huge number of disgusting, deeply disturbing links about the history of any country, not just China. The point is not to argue for anyone’s “superiority”; the point is to put down those who do, and thus fail to recognize our shared humanity, in both good and evil.

(The one thing I’d be hard pressed to find, though, is another civilization who was embracing torture as a career, an art form, a field of new research – in the 19th century! when London had a subway, Paris had an Eiffel Tower and Venezuela had abolished capital punishment in all its forms!)

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

August 12, 2010 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

I knew you’d mention the Dzungars, the funny thing is that the Manchu sent other Mongols to exterminate them. Practically no Han were involved.

And China historically has been among the freest nations in the world if you are talking about slavery. The slave population almost never exceeded 2%, and 30-60% of them were foreign invaders, the vast majority of the remainder were criminals.

our shared humanity

I always get a good laugh when Westerners say this.

August 12, 2010 @ 1:10 pm | Comment

I respectfully refer the author of comment #99 to replies #100-#103.

Mike Goldthorpe:

Oooh, look, a British tree/cave 🙂
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/aug/10/britains-oldest-home

Wow! 10 500 years of history – twice as old as Chinese civilisation!

August 12, 2010 @ 1:16 pm | Comment

merp, I’m not a Westerner. I’m from a poor, “non-aligned” nation. Not third world, but definitely not “first” world.

But if I’m not mistaking, you have a US passport – so YOU are a westerner.

August 12, 2010 @ 1:26 pm | Comment

By 8,500 BC, millet agriculture was already started in China. A run down shanty isn’t that impressive by comparison… but when are you getting back on topic?

RP-

Then why defend them?

August 12, 2010 @ 1:49 pm | Comment

I don’t defend anyone. According to most systems of thought and ethics AND in my honest opinion, nearly all Westerners who have ever lived are bad, bad apples.

But the black man and the yellow man have had ample opportunity to prove they are just as cruel and barbaric as the white. The poor are if anything more monstrous than the rich. As to religions, better not go there…

Misery, brutality and suffering are part of the human condition, they’re not tied to any culture or country. Picking sides in a nationalistic debate is… being blinded by concepts with no real foundation.

August 13, 2010 @ 7:26 pm | Comment

I don’t defend anyone. According to most systems of thought and ethics AND in my honest opinion, nearly all Westerners who have ever lived are bad, bad apples.

Can’t say I disagree.

But the black man and the yellow man have had ample opportunity to prove they are just as cruel and barbaric as the white. The poor are if anything more monstrous than the rich. As to religions, better not go there…

That’s a little old-fashioned don’t you think? I’d say it’ll be a while, at least, before “the yellow man” catches up to the West if they ever do. Perhaps the red and brown men are the better ones.

Misery, brutality and suffering are part of the human condition, they’re not tied to any culture or country. Picking sides in a nationalistic debate is… being blinded by concepts with no real foundation.

Well I’m not sure I can convince you otherwise, I suppose we can wait until genetic science has fully revealed the basic underpinnings of the West’s thousands of years of sociopathy.

August 14, 2010 @ 2:08 am | Comment

As I was saying:

Hostility Toward Workers Cools Angola-China Relationship: http://ow.ly/2pWx1

August 16, 2010 @ 10:50 am | Comment

Surprise surprise, racial attacks in Africa. Too early to bring out the pom poms and haggis, old chap old sport old wheeze.

August 24, 2010 @ 1:36 pm | Comment

Over a week to respond? Recall to party HQ last week for re-wiring?

August 24, 2010 @ 2:12 pm | Comment

I needed my cockney software updated.

August 24, 2010 @ 2:34 pm | Comment

cockney to english translator, rather

August 24, 2010 @ 2:34 pm | Comment

“I suppose we can wait until genetic science has fully revealed the basic underpinnings of the West’s thousands of years of sociopathy.”

That’s your idea of a reasonable and civilized argument?

I rest my case.

August 24, 2010 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

“Maybe the sky is blue”
“TU QUOQUE! AD HOMINEM! LOGICAL FALLACY!”

Put down “Internet Logic for Sophists” and do try to stay on point. That wasn’t an argument, it was a proposition. Apparently one that you don’t like.

August 24, 2010 @ 3:34 pm | Comment

Yawn.

August 24, 2010 @ 3:54 pm | Comment

Merp-o-san I’ve been pretty nice to you, and you were showing such progress with your polite, calm, reflective comments. And here you are getting testy and borderline rude. Don’t force me to hold your comments again. Its more work for me, they show up hours late, and it should be unnecessary. You can (should) make your points without shouting or sounding hysterical.

August 24, 2010 @ 9:49 pm | Comment

It’s a pretty good imitation I’d say

August 25, 2010 @ 6:50 am | Comment

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