Top 10 Myths about China

From Evan Osnos at The New Yorker – just go there. This list is excellent.

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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: 4 Comments

Myth #11

China’s influence will never stretch so far as to impinge upon my basic human rights, or on the rights of our children to express themselves freely.

December 9, 2010 @ 3:08 pm | Comment

@stuart: How do you think they will?

December 9, 2010 @ 5:14 pm | Comment

Agreed with every one except #9. People have been making a big deal about this Li Gang case, but at the end of the day he’s still going to get a slap on the wrist. I think it’s a bit early to label this a “turning point”. Unfortunately, in my book this “myth” is anything but. The cases get publicity, but the actors still get light sentences based on connections once the hype dies down.

December 10, 2010 @ 12:01 am | Comment

“@stuart: How do you think they will?”

Sorry, Nicholas only just saw this.

Without a concerted effort on the part of countries to protect the freedoms they now enjoy, growing economic (and – God help us – military) influence in Chinese hands will inevitably begin to tighten freedoms. 18/19 countries kowtowed for a variety of reasons last night in response to aggressive lobbying from Beijing. How many next time? Western nations have already body-swerved the Dalai Lama to appease Chinese tantrums. Appeasement leads only to larger and more outrageous demands. How long before a writer is made unwelcome at a book festival? How long before China has the capacity to black out the internet beyond its own shores when it doesn’t like what’s been disseminated? How long before decent, moral citizens with the courage to tell truth to power are refused visas to speak/visit within the borders of the current guardians of free speech?

These things are already happening and Beijing grows increasingly arrogant with its petulant demands, while showing no signs of developing the fundamental principles of human compassion and maturity. So where else can this go?

Beijing is strategically placing itself to bend other nations to its will. At the same time they work tirelessly to undermine the efforts of the one nation that stands between itself and global dominance. Basic human freedoms don’t fit with the CCP’s aspirations on any level. It’s going to take increasing levels of courage for nations to avoid appeasement in the coming spats with Beijing. And every time a nation blinks, one of your kids basic rights gets sold down the river.

It sounds bleak. That’s because it is. How many lessons from history do people need before they see this stuff coming? It’s not even as if Beijing is being particularly subtle about it.

Hat’s off to Norway for showing us the way.

December 11, 2010 @ 11:40 am | Comment

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