China quick to label Egypt uprising as “chaotic”

We all know the line abut Tiananmen Square, that we can only thank God the CCP saved China from chaos by cracking down on the protesters by whatever means necessary. This argument was carried to another extreme in the case of Russia, where the rapid switch to democracy plunged the nation into chaos. Every schoolchild in China knows about that. And now Egypt. Seems like whenever a dictatorship is threatened, the CCP feels the need to desperately convince its citizens that change equals chaos.

Egypt may well be facing chaos. Russia indeed went through a long period of chaos. The protests in Tiananmen Square were nothing if not chaotic. But sometimes chaos is part of a phase toward stability. Often the relatively brief period of chaos ultimately leads to something better than the decades of oppression that preceded it. But that’s not how the CCP sees it, and they were lightening-swift in branding the Egyptian protests as an invitation to chaos.

Censoring the Internet is not the only approach. The Chinese government has also tried to get out ahead of the discussion, framing the Egyptian protests in a few editorials and articles in state-controlled news publications as a chaotic affair that embodies the pitfalls of trying to plant democracy in countries that are not quite ready for it — a line China’s leaders have long held.

The English-language edition of Global Times, a populist newspaper, ran an editorial on Sunday about the Tunisian and Egyptian protests with the headline “Color revolutions will not bring about real democracy.” Though Global Times is not the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, the message of the editorial was consistent with official thinking, saying bluntly that whether democracy “is applicable in other countries is in question, as more and more unsuccessful examples arise.”

….Some of the news coverage of Egypt that has appeared in People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s main newspaper, and Xinhua, the official news agency, has focused on attempts by China to evacuate its citizens, simply leaving out the political discontent at the root of the unrest.

Of course, if I didn’t know better, I might think the party was nervous about its own people seeing what’s going on in Egypt as a good thing, and getting their own ideas about how it might be time to try the same approach in China. Now, as I said in my last post, this is a pretty groundless fear. There is no reason to believe the Chinese will take to the streets and risk life and limb to tear down a regime that most of them see as a vast improvement over what they had before, or that they at worst see as a necessary evil. But the CCP always gets the jitters when it sees people anywhere rising up to demand democratic reforms.

The “C word” is a very powerful tool for convincing people to shut their pie holes and get back to work and be happy for what they’ve got. For a society taught at birth to prize harmony over nearly everything else, nothing can be more terrifying than the threat of chaos. So it’s hardly a surprise to see the propgandists spinning their wheels to get the chaos meme out there, while censoring like mad to keep awareness of the Egyptian protests at a minimum. They have to worry that a lot of Chinese people are watching Egypt closely, despite the censorship and propaganda:

….Zhao Jing, a liberal Chinese blogger who goes by the name of Michael Anti, said that “it was amazing netizens on Twitter cared about Egypt so much” that they had begun drawing parallels between China and Egypt. President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was being called Mu Xiaoping, a reference to Deng Xiaoping, who quashed the 1989 popular protests in Beijing, while Tahrir Square in Cairo was being compared to Tiananmen Square.

But that interest isn’t translating into rebellion. The government should be a little more secure. They’ve made it nearly impossible for a challenger to arise and take their place, and despite the buzz on China’s social networks, the Chinese are in no mood for another Tiananmen Square. Conditions would have to be a lot worse, with more people convinced they had nothing to lose. Maybe someday not too far off, but not today.

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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: 217 Comments

Once again, I feel there’s a bit of a disconnect here:

“the rapid switch to democracy plunged the nation into chaos”

No, unless you’re specifically talking about the way it is presented in government propaganda. The August ’91 coup by hardliners thrust Russia into chaos, the nationalist movements destroyed the USSR, the “pri-theft-isation” of the nationalised industries by Yeltsin cronies wrecked the economy, and Yeltsin’s destruction of the Russian White House and rigging of the ’96 election destroyed Russia’s democratic experiment.

“Though Global Times is not the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, the message of the editorial was consistent with official thinking”

I’m not sure where the NY Times gets its information from. No, the Global Times is not, officially speaking, the mouthpiece of the CCP. Officially, only the People’s Daily is openly and unashamedly called the party’s “mouthpiece” by CCP officials – but Global Times is owned by the People’s Daily!

“There is no reason to believe the Chinese will take to the streets and risk life and limb to tear down a regime that most of them see as a vast improvement over what they had before, or that they at worst see as a necessary evil”

Except that they have already did so not so long ago. Yes, I know, “they’ve changed”, except that the one thing that the demonstrators asked for most consistently has not been implemented. And there are plenty of people who see the CCP as an un-necessary evil.

“For a society taught at birth to prize harmony over nearly everything else . . .”

Except the majority of people alive in China today were “taught at birth” to love Chairman Mao, prepare for war, prepare for famine, and smash capitalist roaders. The “harmonious” rhetoric of the last few years is at least partly a response to that, and should not be treated as if it were some piece of Chinese culture which had been handed down from time immemorial, even if it does echo a bastardized version of Confucian doctrine.

“the Chinese are in no mood for another Tiananmen Square”

I was not under the impression that they were in the mood for it in ’89, yet it happened. It is for the government to decide whether a crack-down happens or not, this decision is not given to the great mass of the people. And let us not be under the impression that the current relatively (that is, relative to Mao) liberal arrangement is somehow set in stone, or that the only way in which it can move is towards a loosening of government control. In fact, in at least the field of the internet and the media, it has since 2003 become decidedly less liberal.

In fact, the more radicalised the population becomes through nationalistic propaganda, the more likely such a crackdown is. Hu and Wen have not with-held from severely punishing Ai Weiwei, Han Han and the other people who criticise the government because of big heartedness, but because they worry about turning people against them through heavy-handedness. With a population sufficiently radicalised for there to be a majority of people who see such criticism as essentially foreign-inspired treachery an adverse reaction to the elimination of critics, and a tightening of the restrictions on freedom of speech, may no longer be much of a concern.

February 1, 2011 @ 2:24 pm | Comment

The Global Times was somewhat more elaborate in its Chinese edition, also on Sunday. Translation here.

February 1, 2011 @ 2:45 pm | Comment

The commentary coming out of Beijing is in many ways similar to that coming from Tel Aviv, as Israeli leaders also say that the rush to democracy is not a good thing for Egypt, the need for stability etc. Regime change is no longer the preferred option for Middle Eastern countries whose leaders practice torture etc.

February 1, 2011 @ 4:30 pm | Comment

There are plenty of people around on the internet who happily parrot the CCP party line, whether they use the “c” word, or “stability”, or some other interchangeable euphemism of the same thing.

But chaos does not occur for its own sake; it is the manifestation of underlying popular sentiment, perhaps with a back-breaking straw that initiates its expression. So it’s easy for the CCP to say “we don’t want chaos”. That’s a truism if there ever was one. Can’t imagine which society, if given a choice, would opt for chaos. The question, to me, is whether the societal underpinnings in China are as fragile as they evidently were in Egypt or Tunisia, and I wouldn’t think so. Nonetheless, it’s no coincidence, and in fact standard CCP operating procedure, to focus on the event that Chinese people wouldn’t want if given the choice (ie. chaos) while glossing over (and restricting peoples’ access to) the underlying fundamentals. Maybe someday, enough Chinese people will realize that it’s not the introduction of democracy, but in fact the existence of dictatorship, that serves as the breeding ground for the manifestation of chaos.

February 1, 2011 @ 5:04 pm | Comment

Mick: the Israeli concern is “stability” in Gaza first of all, rather than at home. And of course, they wouldn’t like to lose Egypt as a frosty, but comparatively cooperative neighbor.

That said, even the Muslim Brotherhood, if they come to power in free elections (the Egyptian army will have a role to play in the post-Mubarak process, too), they aren’t idiots. They will have to rule a sovereign country, not a dysfunctional, beleaguered small city with a bit of hinterland. They may even take control of Hamas – the list of possible scenarios is endless.

That Arabs can’t rule themselves is a mere theory. Tunesia or Egypt may soon disabuse global opinion.

February 1, 2011 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Considering that in 2009 I was reading articles about the apathetic attitude both young and old Egyptians had toward politics, concerning themselves more with trying to succeed in a fast growing economy, I could see why the Chinese government would find Egypt particularly troubling. Things can change fast (hell, when the protests first started last week, most experts wrote off any chance that Mubarak would lose power. And while things could still change, at the moment I write this he appears to be finished as the military abandons him).

Not to mention that Egypt didn’t have any serious organized opposition before these protests (though a credible opposition is quickly forming with a former Noble Peace Prize winner heading it). And it should be noted that the economic hardships spurring the protests in Egypt are doing so because of the large inequality and rampant corruption that exist there, where an authoritarian regime mostly rewards those who are part of the NDP with wealth rather that those who earn it through hard work.

Yeah, I think Egypt is giving the Chinese leadership (and a lot of other authoritarian leaderships) plenty of sleepless nights. Even more incentive for the CCP to keep the bubble afloat (and historically the longer a bubble is kept going, the worse things are when it pops). China’s time will come, but for now I’m going to watch with wonder as history unfolds in the Middle East.

February 1, 2011 @ 6:24 pm | Comment

@Mick – The news coming out of Israel is bizarre to say the least. It appears that there are no circumstances under which the Israeli government would not support Mubarak so long as he maintains friendly relations with them, such is their fear of Egyptian islamists. One almost suspects them of playing a double game – bigging up Mubarak in the knowledge that nothing will hurt him more than the suggestion that he is supported by Israel.

Almost, but not quite – the actual deployment of troops to the Egypt/Gaza border suggests that the Israeli government actually takes the idea of an islamist threat seriously. Given the years during which we have been told that we should support Israel as a bastion of democracy in a sea of autocracy (which it largely is), it is ironic in the extreme to see the Israelis attempting to prop up one such dictator.

Perhaps were Assad and not Mubarak the one who was under immediate threat of being deposed, the Israeli government would be singing a different song. Then again, anyone who remembers the Sharon government’s muted support for the Iraq war in 2003 and concerns about the consequences of its failure knows that Israel is rightly afraid of any change of any kind in the region. Still, this is no reason to oppose democratic reform in Egypt, especially when such opposition increases the likelihood that a new government will not be kindly disposed towards Israel.

February 1, 2011 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

FOARP: I’m pretty sure that Israel would be alarmed in the case of an uprising in Syria, too – probably even more so than about the one in Egypt. Assad – both sr and jr – were difficult neighbors for Israel, but I’m more confident about a moderate government replacing Mubarak’s, than I’d be about Syria.
That said, the army in Syria is Baathist-controlled, so I guess that the Syrian regime may be more worried than China’s, but less so than most Arab regimes.

February 1, 2011 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

@Except the majority of people alive in China today were “taught at birth” to love Chairman Mao, prepare for war, prepare for famine, and smash capitalist roaders. The “harmonious” rhetoric of the last few years is at least partly a response to that, and should not be treated as if it were some piece of Chinese culture which had been handed down from time immemorial, even if it does echo a bastardized version of Confucian doctrine.

You got to be kidding me. When has China illegally bomb a nation or has shortage of food after Mao. China is more capitalist today than United States. United States has becoming corporate fascism. The more people elected incompetent US leaders, US is failing and failing.

China’s love for Mao is his passion for his pride of the country in the earlier stages of his revolution and his devotion of Chinese interest first.. It can’t be said of presidents of South Korea and Japan who needs to be supporting US interest otherwise they are gone.

February 1, 2011 @ 10:12 pm | Comment

It is a mistake to assume that the overthrow of a dictator like Mubarak will necessarily be better for the Egyptians or lead to democracy. Though most of us, of course, hope that it does, I am very skeptical that it will. There have been many revolutions in the Arab world yet there has yet to be democracy there. Does that mean there will never be democracy in the Arab world? Of course not, but history does tend to be a damn good predictor of the future. Only time will tell.

February 1, 2011 @ 11:35 pm | Comment

@Jason – You seem to have a problem with reading. Let me put this in simple terms so you can understand – the average age in China is 36, the average Chinese person was therefore born near the end of the cultural revolution. Today’s “harmonious” rhetoric is at least partly a reaction to the chaos of the Mao years. That was my entire point. I do not know what you think I was saying.

February 2, 2011 @ 1:20 am | Comment

@Jason – You also seem to be totally ignorant of one of the most famous slogans of the Mao era “Prepare for war, prepare for famine, for the people!”. This is what people were “taught from birth” during the cultural revolution.

Question: are you Chinese?

If yes then please go and study your national history. If no, then please stop pretending to be Chinese and losing Chinese people face!

February 2, 2011 @ 1:32 am | Comment

@FOARP

Yes they were taught that but it is largely ignored today in the agriculture sector. From the first post, you said it is still been celebrated today and that is totally false.

From the NYT: simply leaving out the political discontent at the root of the unrest.

I love how NYT is lecturing CCP on CCP rhetoric of disregarding the root of the political discontent but yet failed to mention that US has been given largely amount of aid to Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen to keep the dictators in power because the dictators share the same interest as of US. This just proves that puppet governments installed by US funding doesn’t result to Democracy.

February 2, 2011 @ 2:00 am | Comment

FOARP, I wouldn’t take Jason too seriously. Re. your first comment – we really don’t disagree about much. I think there was chaos in Russia as organized crime soared, and while it’s not resolved even now, Russia came out of it okay. And yes, I DO think the Chinese have changed since 1989, and I see no hints that there could be a repeat performance – for now. China then was being pulled in all sorts of directions, there had been an upheaval unmatched in modern history. The situation today is relatively placid, and while outrage may flare up over individual incidents, the anger doesn’t represent a groundswell of popular sentiment against the central government. Not yet, anyway. As I keep saying, all we need is a catalyst like soaring food prices to light up the tinderbox.

SK:

The question, to me, is whether the societal underpinnings in China are as fragile as they evidently were in Egypt or Tunisia, and I wouldn’t think so.

Correct. As long as the masses feel their basic needs are being met.

Dan, I have no idea what’s next for Egypt, though I doubt we’ll see liberal democracy. We are watching history unfold, and the Middle East will never be the same, for better or for worse.

February 2, 2011 @ 2:08 am | Comment

@Richard

… never be the same?

I don’t want to be raining on parades, but I don’t see why another strongman just couldn’t take Mubarak’s place (after some time pretending he’s all for democracy) and then… rule the country for another 30 years.

Isn’t the past the best indicator for the future?

February 2, 2011 @ 2:22 am | Comment

Poet, we’ll see what comes next. But the Middle East can never be the same, because now they know what can happen when the people unite for a common cause. (Thus the shakeout of Jordan”s cabinet yesterday.)

I love how NYT is lecturing CCP on CCP rhetoric of disregarding the root of the political discontent but yet failed to mention that US has been given largely amount of aid to Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen to keep the dictators in power because the dictators share the same interest as of US

Jason, can you please get serious? The fact that the US has given aid to these countries is common knowledge and the subject of many recent news articles. You think it’s a secret? I heard the exact topic discussed on CNN last night. You think the media are ignoring this? Just another falsehood that you put forward as fact.

February 2, 2011 @ 2:30 am | Comment

I don’t hear any criticisms of any Maddows and Boehners and Kerrys reluctance to stop the aid. Or GOP supporting Mubarak and fear of Islamic Egypt. Or Obama’s reluctance to stop the aid even though there’s widespread human rights violation even before the riots started. You don’t hear from the elites of the media criticize Obama of his fake criticism of Mubarak which appears to speak to Egyptian protests but ElBaradei doesn’t believe.

February 2, 2011 @ 4:07 am | Comment

You don’t see it because you’re not looking. It’s everywhere. Ever hear of Google? or memeorandum.com? It’s all there if you’re honest enough to look.Off course, it’ll spoil your narrative so you may not want to face reality.

February 2, 2011 @ 4:48 am | Comment

Jason seems to be trying to replace pug_ster as poster boy for terminally obtuse commenter syndrome. Everything you mention is not only not hidden, but they are the basic, obvious talking points of any discussion of Egypt policy and most of them have been issues widely discussed since at least the 1990s.

February 2, 2011 @ 4:56 am | Comment

Slim, Jason is a borderline troll, but he at least hasn’t broken any rules or been too obnoxious so I’m willing to tolerate him. I just presume whatever he says is most likely nonsense.

February 2, 2011 @ 5:20 am | Comment

US foreign policy has been and always will be what’s best for America. Spreading “democracy” is a way for American government to get moral high ground, but it is never its goal or priority of US government.

More likely than not, Tunisia and Egypt will turn decidedly anti-America anti-Israel which is similar to Iran revolution in 1979. That’s why there is not one-side support for protesters. In fact, many right wing media already called out for “Obama lose Egypt”, similar to “Carter lose Iran”.

Of course, if there is revolution in China, most US media will overwhelmingly support protesters and against Chinese government since the “new Chinese government” in America view is going to more pro America. For most Americans, it makes sense. But for people who not live in US and is not familiar with US foreign policy, it sounds hypocrisy.

So that’s pretty much summary up the story.

February 2, 2011 @ 5:29 am | Comment

The American reluctance to abandon Mubarak, the continued American aid to his corrupt, human rights violating regime, all in return for propping up equally corrupt Israeli regimes is a farce that only the American electorate doesn’t seem to see. Look at US support for a criminal like Karzai in Afghanistan or the support for Saddam Hussein. Time and time again the US betrays the principles upon which it was founded for political expediency. Each time it chips away at the core of its national character and often fuels the hatred of another generation looking for a scapegoat for its ills. Obama is potentially missing out on a great chance to let the young Egyptians see what can be accomplished through peaceful (relatively speaking) protest. The TV and newspaper coverage of the events in Egypt (and Tunisia and Yemen) are pretty amazing examples for Arab youth throughout the Middle East as an alternative to the al Qaeda method of indiscriminate terror.

February 2, 2011 @ 5:38 am | Comment

There are simply no decent regimes in the Arab world, only relatively less bad ones. Mubarak’s Egypt was probably about in the middle of the pack. Outside of those who question Israel’s right to exist, no serious observer would describe Israel as a “regime”, let alone “equally corrupt.” I say this with no love of or emotional support for or personal connection with Israel; merely as an upholder of accuracy in language and factuality in comments.

China is easily more repressive (and more skillful, thorough and ruthless in its repression) than all these US-friendly Arab regimes we are talking about here — yet also hands down more successful economically. In China, any elBaradei figure would already be in jail — and probably his wife and brothers and lawyer, for good measure. The same moral questions can ultimately be asked of US-China relations even if they are far short of any kind of alliance.

February 2, 2011 @ 6:15 am | Comment

@ Slim

Nothing surprises me of any fake-liberalist vitriol throwing against me. Instead of provide evidence of criticism to the politicians and punditry of the MSM in this moment, you come here to a being an complete douchebag.

@ In China, any elBaradei figure would already be in jail — and probably his wife and brothers and lawyer, for good measure.

Except none of the Chinese dissidents are even close to elBaradei stature. Chinese dissidents have no self-determination and always kissing America’s behind to challenge CCP’s rule. elBaradei doesn’t need money from the United States to challenge the authoritarianism of brutal regime. That is huge difference.

February 2, 2011 @ 6:49 am | Comment

Let me rephrase what slim just said.

slim is try to defend US historical policy supporting dictatorship by saying US’s Arab alliance is not that bad. US also supported Shah before Iran revolutionary, Hussein’s Iraqi, Saudi’s monarchy. Those are and were some of worst human right countries in the world. Even most Americans think that’s bad policy but do it for US national interest (mainly oil).

February 2, 2011 @ 7:19 am | Comment

Its time to open a sports book on PRC regime possibilities with a number of scenarios and with a cut-off date of December 2015.

1. Lets begin with the ever-hopeful Gordon Chang prediction. 1911, 1949 and a 2011 perfect colour revolution. (Forbes, 30 Jan 2011)
500 to 1

2. Vietnam rounds up illegal Chinese workers and expells them despite diplomatic push back by China. Fenqing sites go into hyper-nationalist overdrive. The PLA acts on its own initiative, invades and puts up a better performance than 1979. Vietnam obtains maximum covert support from the US and her immediate neighbours – Singapore, Malaysia and the Phillipines. End result is an uneasy truce. South Korea, Japan and Taiwan accelerate their defensive posture plans vis a vis the Mainland.

100 to 1

3. The federal system has all but collapsed. Beijing’s diktats are formally acknowledged but routinely ignored. Guangdong and Hong Kong draw closer together. Elites and decision-makers in other coastal provinces start to chart their own courses. Provincial self-interest becomes paramount, and tax remmittances to Beijing become less-than-regular. A low-level war of often bloody attrition between govt officials and the peasantry becomes the norm in inner provinces.

15 to 1

4. Verging on total financial collapse. Major agricultural and environmental disasters sends food prices throught the roof, esp in big cities. Run on bank savings. Real estate market collapses and a major squatting/homeless movement develops. Seriously armed gated communities. Small businesses collapse. SOE’s offer employees 9 month end-of-year bonuses and additional perks. Filthy rich flock to off-shore ratlines.
Govt loses its legitimacy, but hangs on to its authority.

5 to 1

5. The principle of first among equals in the Politburo collapses. Serious factional struggles emerge and this is played out in the media.
Bo Xilai divorces wife, marries a viral super model and embarks on a JFK type presidential campaign. A new class of professional junior officers in the PLA reject CPC authority and force through their own agenda, which in turn seriously stresses international relations.

10 to 1

February 2, 2011 @ 8:02 am | Comment

Well, I said above that Jason hadn’t broken any of the rules so he’s free to comment. Now he’s broken a rule and will be banned if he does it again.

February 2, 2011 @ 9:07 am | Comment

To KT:
If the day of reckoning ever comes for the CCP, I think this (Govt loses its legitimacy, but hangs on to its authority.) is something you can take to the bank. Or at the very least, that’s what they would try to do. And as we’ve seen in the past, no tactic is too heavy-handed for the CCP against her own citizens. My view in this regard is what makes me skeptical about the suppositions that in time, as the PRC populace increasingly acquires a readiness for something that may resemble “democracy”, the CCP would simply tolerate such a transformation. Just doesn’t strike me as something encoded in the CCP DNA. But who knows, maybe with time and the onset of senility (after all, 2015 would be retirement age for the CCP), perhaps things will indeed change.

To #24:
you’re kidding, right? THe CCP doesn’t tolerate dissidents because none of them have had much “stature”? So the CCP would happily engage in dialogue with someone of more substantial stature who advocates for the CCP to go the way of the dodo bird? What is in your kool-aid, dude? That’s ass-backwards logic if I’ve ever heard it, and not your first time.

More likely, the CCP will knee-cap anyone with miniscule stature before they get anywhere near having substantial stature. And anyone with the misfortune of getting substantial stature will be treated to something far more persuasive than just jail and house-arrest.

To Jim:
I agree that US foreign policy has been, and is, morally ambiguous. Which is why I simply view said policy as one which, first and foremost, is meant to advance US interests. I actually wouldn’t expect it any other way.

February 2, 2011 @ 9:09 am | Comment

Let’s not quote Gordon Chang. Gordon Chang is right wing neoconservative who somewhat become expert for both China and North Korea at the same time. He has absolute zero credibility on China. Let’s not give this guy more publicity than he already desire.

February 2, 2011 @ 9:30 am | Comment

@ jim1980 Thats why I gave Gordon baby 500 to 1. Had to begin on a light note. Irony. Look out for irony.

Prediction 6#. FQ will read my post and see it as a stalking horse for HR, calls for democracy and all those other Ammesty International things.

2 to 1 on.

February 2, 2011 @ 9:40 am | Comment

Slim1980 – “More likely than not, Tunisia and Egypt will turn decidedly anti-America anti-Israel which is similar to Iran revolution in 1979.”

I’m not so sure. Egypt doesn’t enjoy the luxury of a petroleum based economy,and the padding it provides for Islamic antics and isolation. Oil production has declined and their expanding gas exports appear to be more regional in scope. Tourism apparently employs 12% of the population and the modern weapons, training and prestige enjoyed by the military is a product of the US funding almost half of it’s budget. Egypt is poised to lose much if they choose that road.

The world is far more globalized than it was in 79′ and any sort of success requires a nation to work within that structure rather than outside of it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Army plays a significant role in the future Egypt They are secular, well respected and loyal to the people.

February 2, 2011 @ 10:38 am | Comment

@SKC

No. Who advocated against CCP but also advocates against US interests. None of the Chinese dissidents have that quality.

February 2, 2011 @ 10:43 am | Comment

To Jason,
what counts as “US interests”? Does “democracy” count as a US interest? Are dissidents only worth their salt if they advocate against democracy? That seems awfully convenient for the CCP.

Besides, if one must advocate against the CCP AND against US interests, what areas remain that one can advocate for? One doesn’t acquire stature simply by being against this, that, and the other; at some point, one has to be in favour of something.

As a reality check for you, do you really think that someone advocating against the CCP would really be tolerated so long as he/she isn’t supported in some way by the US? Get real, dude. The CCP isn’t threatened by people who like someone else’s system; she’s threatened by people who don’t like hers. If there’s one thing the CCP is good at, it’s looking after number one.

February 2, 2011 @ 11:51 am | Comment

….one has to be in favour of something.

Yes, a positive platform.

Harmony is looking a bit frayed.

Oh, I know. The ability of all citizens to enjoy a good ride (black Audi), ownership of a luxury villa in a gated community and access to the govt revenue cookie jar.

The $20,000 resturaunt bill…..even Harry Madoff didn’t manage this.

http://www.sify.com/news/restaurant-bills-cause-graft-probe-against-tobacco-chief-in-china-news-international-lb1qEjcbeeb.htmCone

Come on Jason. Don’t be shy. Lets have your 2015 prediction.

February 2, 2011 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

US interests on China is simple. Supporting their wars (Liu Xiaobo), take bribes from US to keep quiet on torture, letting US influence of what country you should like or not like to sanction, and equivocal support of investigation report that none of the public can see.

@do you really think that someone advocating against the CCP would really be tolerated so long as he/she isn’t supported in some way by the US?

No one has tried it before. So I don’t know.

February 2, 2011 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Jason: are you referring to this article, quoted from by Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong?

February 2, 2011 @ 1:36 pm | Comment

OK, so what you’re suggesting is that, as long as someone speaks out against the war in Iraq, eviscerates the US on their rendition and enhanced interrogation proclivities, chooses their own targets for sanction (???), and supports freedom of information, the CCP will happily tolerate such a person advocating for an end to the CCP and the implementation of democratic principles on the side? Are you for real?

I realize that something like that has never been tried. Self-preservation in the face of the CCP track record can be a highly motivating instinct. It would take an extraordinary individual to even attempt such a feat…which is why, on some level, I think the Egyptian model has more potential in China, in the narrow sense that it’s a popular uprising not driven by any one individual. Incidentally, that’s probably why it concerns the CCP enough to black out the news about it except for her own usual spin. But that’s also why I didn’t ask if you KNOW of any such example; I asked if you THINK such an example could possibly exist. Your answer here is important to distinguish you as someone who still has some grasp of reality, versus someone who is knee-deep in the looney-bin.

February 2, 2011 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

You do know this people’s revolution has begun to attack the United States for it’s Made in US canisters, Omar Suleiman (CIA frontman/Pro-torture/Mubarak v2), anti-Israel stance not just about domestic issues. This revolution is a critique of why the money from the US aid is helping US interests and not the people of Egypt same with Tunisia and Yemen who has been overshadowed by the media over the protest in Egypt.

I don’t know about you but my model is similar to the Egyptian model.

I critique this who follow the “US, big brother” line because I see it in South Korea, and Japan. The US coup of Hatoyama is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. A complete bullying of an individual who wants to lose an American military base on the island of Okinawa.

February 2, 2011 @ 2:13 pm | Comment

@Jason- “From the first post, you said it is still been celebrated today”

No. I absolutely did not.

February 2, 2011 @ 2:36 pm | Comment

To Jason:
I read the news like everybody else. Which means I didn’t know much about Egypt until about a week ago, but have learned something about it since.

I think the Egyptian model would be fantastic for China, if China was like Egypt. But she is not…at least not yet, so I don’t think the scenes in Cairo will be recreated in Beijing any time soon. As I said earlier, a popular revolt a la Egypt might have a better chance of success than one led by a brave soul, if for no other reason that the former is relatively immune to the decapitation strike tactics that I imagine the CCP would employ.

THe question to you remains: are you suggesting that someone who disavows the US yet advocates for the abolition of the CCP would be embraced, or even tolerated, by the CCP?

February 2, 2011 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

Jason, did you see my question (comment #36)?

February 2, 2011 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

Jason’s rant is particularly ridiculous in light of the kind of garbage accusations that Fox news puts on air:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/01/this-is-important-stuff.html

February 2, 2011 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

@S.K. Cheung

To change CCP rhetoric is to reform food safety, better protection on coal miners, needs to reform poorer provinces to Shanghai, Beijing status so migrants can achieve the same privileges as Shanghainese and Pekingese, reform healthcare, education reforms and continue on innovation of greener technology.

February 3, 2011 @ 4:38 am | Comment

@Jason – So are you going to admit that I did not say the things you accused me of saying?

February 3, 2011 @ 5:14 am | Comment

Oh, and for an example of an anti-CCP dissident who eschewed all foreign ties, and who is currently in jail, you need look no further than nationalist, and former Nanjing University professor, Guo Quan, currently serving a ten year sentence for attempting to establish a pro-democracy party.

February 3, 2011 @ 5:46 am | Comment

To Jason,
there are certainly many things that the CCP needs to do better, or needs to start doing, whatever the case may be. And some of those things that the CCP needs to do may actually be congruent with what Chinese people want them to do. In those cases, I imagine everyone sees eye to eye. But that’s not my question.

My question concerns what the CCP would do when Chinese people want them to do something that the CCP doesn’t want. And you’re avoiding that question like the plague, since I’ve framed it 4 different ways already. The answer is simple: the CCP would have a frickin seizure. And then she throws people in jail, puts their relatives on house arrest, yada yada. Not a pretty sight, but might be cathartic for you to at least start by owning it.

February 3, 2011 @ 10:10 am | Comment

@SKC. Trying to trouble shoot my posting problem here (is Yasi to blame), so might as well include a horrifying thought re: the Mubarak rent-a-crowd battle with the regime rejection masses in the central square in Cairo last night.

Imagine if some type of colour revolt did break out in China along Egyptian lines. Just think of the resources Beijing could throw at demonstrators to break their will – chengguan, police, paid thugs and that is not even thinking about the army. God, it would be ugly and bloody. Almost a case of being careful what is wished for.

February 3, 2011 @ 10:26 am | Comment

Be warned. Don’t include CDT links. Your post wont register, so I will approach it this way. (Been trouble shooting this all morning.)

Who said the Ministry of Truth was caught flat-footed and without a net/media strategy in relation to Egypt.

Read CDTs story on the “First Annual National Exhibition of Heartwarming Blogs and Online Posts” and fall over laughing.

Welcome to the Year of Daffy Duck.

February 3, 2011 @ 10:45 am | Comment

Some things the CCP is aware that the Egyptian and Tunisian g**vtment has not learned well:

1) It’s ok to have conflicts in society. group A has conflicts with group B. group B has conflicts with group C, group C has conflicts with group D. But it’s dangerous when groups A,B,C,D unite and point their anger all at you. In order for groups A,B,C,D to unite, some other group needs to fan the flames. Therefore, NGO’s, NED’s, all those foreign funded activity groups must be closely watched in China.

2) Do not let too many energetic young people have too much free time. If your cities’ streets are full of young people walking around with nothing to do, no hope in life, that’s dangerous. That’s why employment for the young are very very important.

3) Do not let your economy slow down too much. It’s ok to have temporary economic difficulties, but cannot be wide spread and prolonged. If people realize they see no hope in their future, in their job, in their career, in their stock market, for prolonged period, that is ingredient for disaster. That’s why it is important to give people hope, even if it’s illusory. That’s why it’s important for Wen, Hu, to go down to the homes of the grassroots folks, and eat dumplings with them during holidays, and have CCTV feature them as photo-ops, grassroots people are not sophisticated, they are easily fooled and manipulated emotionally. So these kind of “shows” are very politically important.

4) Of course if people really walk onto the square to violently create chaos, then must be resolute in crushing. Using violence to topple the CPP? That’s too naive a strategy. The CCP is not like Mubarack’s regime. The CCP’s rise to power was soaked in blood and violence, violence is what made the CCP, is how CCP got its start, it is CCP’s claim to fame, it is its specialty. To use violence against CCP? Too simple, too naive. Worse case scenario CCP will just make more meat pies with better tanks this time, no big deal.

February 3, 2011 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

To KT:
I agree, we’ve both seen how willingly the CCP engages her “resources” when she sees it fit, even if it’s for use on her own citizens. So I’m under no illusion that a popular revolt would be a walk in the park, or Square, as the case may be. But I do think that a grassroots movement would be more compelling, or at least be more unnerving to quash, than any movement with a distinct leader or figurehead who the CCP could take out without thinking twice.

I don’t know if the pro-Mubarak crowd is of the rental variety. To me, it stands to reason that some people will support him for various reasons. Likewise, a grassroots revolt against the CCP may well be countered by some CCP supporters. It’s the nature of free expression that there will be different opinions expressed. I think that’s something else that sets apart today’s Egypt and today’s China. The former has a ways to go; the latter, even further.

February 3, 2011 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

I just don’t get it. Why do you think having multi-party elections, freedom of speech, complete access of Internet is going to stop any party line of overstepping it? It certainly didn’t stop South Korea’s Lee Myung-bak of putting a gag order on the dissent of believing “not so fast.” It certainly didn’t stop Lee of his iron fist of pro-North comments on twitter and Facebook. Lee’s government is going to delete any online anti-governmental message. It certainly didn’t stop Japan’s far right to order theaters to stop showing Nanjing Massacre movies, or dolphin fishing documentaries? It certainly didn’t stop Chen Shui-bian ordering every other police to duty after the shooting and taking advantage of missed votes by the pro-KMT police force?

February 3, 2011 @ 3:37 pm | Comment

For once, I can agree with Jason. When a discussion exceeds the means of his toolkit of “It’s-more-complicated-than-you-think” platitudes, he just doesn’t get it.

February 3, 2011 @ 3:51 pm | Comment

@Jason – “I just don’t get it”

This is obvious, but since no one actually said that having a free franchise and freedom of speech necessarily prevents political excess, you do not actually have any kind of point.

Once again, it appears that you are having a discussion with an imaginary adversary, rather than anyone on this forum.

February 3, 2011 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

“I just don’t get it” is something Jason could tattoo on his forhead and probably not have to worry about outgrowing later on.

February 3, 2011 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

@Jason
I just don’t get it. Why do you think having multi-party elections, freedom of speech, complete access of Internet is going to stop any party line of overstepping it?
======================
Because people like Chen Shui-bian was indicted for corruption and stopped from running after having served 2 terms. You can never do that to a former president during the iron-fist rule of the two Chiangs.

February 3, 2011 @ 10:57 pm | Comment

@FOARP

Oh please, you of all people just think multi-party elections and being a democratic countries is going to solve most of CCP’s problems or what they lack of. As just I show you from Asian counterparts, it isn’t the case. As with most China-related blogs, commentators sees democracy as a flowery paradise that CCP must change in order to care about human rights (which even United States or India–two biggest democratic nations doesn’t even follow)? How pathetic is that? We have Chinese dissidents pleading with Obama (who orders drones that kills thousands of children in Afghanistan, order renditions, arrest people without charge, follow almost all of Bush’s 9/11 tactics) who think he is kind of champion of human rights for some odd, effed-up logic.

@ Slim

Yawn!

@sp123

Not in the charges.

February 4, 2011 @ 2:05 am | Comment

@Jason – “Oh please, you of all people just think multi-party elections and being a democratic countries is going to solve most of CCP’s problems or what they lack of.”

I said this where? No, having multi-party elections and freedom of speech is going to solve the problems of not having multi-party elections and not having freedom of speech – and these are significant problems indeed. The CCP’s problems are its own.

And yes, Chen Shuibian is currently in jail, I have no idea what you are referring to about the current South Korean president, but this is due to your writing being completely incoherent.

Meantime, are you going to apologise for totally misreading my first comment? Are you going to answer SKC’s question?

February 4, 2011 @ 2:35 am | Comment

To #51:
you are comparing apples to hockey pucks. There’s nothing stopping you from “crossing the line”, whatever that means, in any realm or walk of life. If a government wants to abuse its power, it can. The difference arises when those abusive governments are held to account, either by the rule of law, or at the ballot box. Those things distinguish “democratic” governments from, say, the CCP, because the CCP is not constrained by such trivial niceties as rule of law, and we know about her aversion to the concept of ballot boxes.

Freedom of speech, freedom of information, and multi-party elections don’t prevent a government from crossing the line. But they do allow people to shine a light upon those that do, and provides allowances for an alternative. Giving Chinese people access to those things may not solve “the CCP’s problems”, but they might solve of the Chinese people’s problems. Of course, democracy is a concept that is enabled through various institutions like the rule of law, which is something Chinese people could certainly use, and haven’t much of under the CCP.

I agree that the US has their own human rights issues. But for Chinese dissidents living under what the CCP has to offer, you can imagine how the US already represents a significant improvement. I think the logic there is fairly straightforward. But I guess you “just don’t get it”…again.

BTW, why are you continuing to slither away from a very simple question I asked you not long ago? Why are you people like that? If someone asks a question for which the answer makes you uncomfortable, ‘fess up to it. If you don’t have an answer, man up to that. The tendency to run away and hide from certain questions is a unique characteristic of folks like you.

February 4, 2011 @ 3:32 am | Comment

To Red Star #49:
not a completely ridiculous comment. You’ve had more of those recently. That’s good to see.

Agree with point #2. #3 is passable, though your disdain for “grassroots” people is heartwarming.

#4 sounds about right. CCP certainly isn’t opposed to violence against her own people, as we’ve previously seen. Nice touch with the “tank” reference. You are definitely a romantic when it comes to the CCP.

If you’ve followed the discussion, you’ll realize that most seem to agree with #1, in that there is no catalyst to trigger a grassroots uprising against the CCP at this time. Which is why most have said that China will not be Egypt in the foreseeable future.

February 4, 2011 @ 3:42 am | Comment

China had its “color revolution” in 1949 and we all know the color.

“The CCP’s rise to power was soaked in blood and violence, violence is what made the CCP, is how CCP got its start, it is CCP’s claim to fame, it is its specialty” is an observation that belongs at the top of any list, perhaps just below current rates of economic growth (which may not last as long as the foundational character of the Party.)

February 4, 2011 @ 5:17 am | Comment

Sinking the slipper into Jason might be both easy and personally satisfying, but let us take a leap of faith and envisage a situation where multi-party elections were a reality.

What sort of parties would you expect to emerge to contest seats in this democratic election?

If some posting folk expect something resembling that found in western democracies, I recommend time out and some counselling.

You could have:

1. The middle class apartment owners wishing to maintain current prices party.

2. The R/E developers and their employees party.

3. An environmental party.

4. The nationalist – military coalition party.

The list goes on….

February 4, 2011 @ 6:08 am | Comment

Elements of King Tubby’s parties 2 and 4 (and parts of 1 at local levels) are already part of the CCP’s factional architecture. And several of those are not mutually exclusive.

Japan’s LDP kept itself going with close to that mix (along with of course farmers), coopting more progressive policy aspirations like environmentalism to blunt them as potential opposition platforms. There’s also the 1980s Taiwan KMT dang/dangwai approach.

February 4, 2011 @ 7:17 am | Comment

Difference between China and Egypt is that Egypt’s dictator was backed by a certain superpower, and China has among the lowest wealth disparities in the history of the world (WEALTH, not income)

Other than that, wishful thinking.

February 4, 2011 @ 8:51 am | Comment

@But for Chinese dissidents living under what the CCP has to offer, you can imagine how the US already represents a significant improvement.

I dare the Chinese dissidents to work closely for Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. I’ll be surprised if US don’t clamp down or harass them.

@why are you continuing to slither away from a very simple question I asked you not long ago?

I’ve said it before. Democracy is great and dandy but any China parties need to disrupt something important to US interests just like how Egyptian protesters is scaring Republicans of being an Islamic state and befriends Israel.

But this news just “gasp” me:

What the Obama administration is doing is reiterate their support for peaceful transition, freedom of speech, human rights except to install an pro-Mubarak and pro-US, pro-Israel, pro-torture, Omar Suleiman. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110204/wl_nm/us_usa_egypt_proposal;_ylt=ArEsazoGhRgW3eexxzyc0mpvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJtaWVrcDlpBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwMjA0L3VzX3VzYV9lZ3lwdF9wcm9wb3NhbARjcG9zAzEEcG9zAzEEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yeQRzbGsDdXNkaXNjdXNzaW5n#mwpphu-container

This doesn’t disrupt anything, still the same much like how Obama is still Bush v2 on civil rights. If elBaradei was the transitional power, then it disrupts that power.

February 4, 2011 @ 11:02 am | Comment

“I dare the Chinese dissidents to work closely for Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. I’ll be surprised if US don’t clamp down or harass them.”
—what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? People working for Assange can still avail themselves to elections, freedoms of speech, and the internet in all its glory. Oh, and a niggling little detail like the rule of law. Never been a Chinese dissident, but my guess is that they would consider that to be a pretty good deal…at least compared to the hand they’ve been dealt so far. Remember you were asking how Chinese dissidents can see the US, warts and all, as an improvement? That’s how. You have to take it easy with your thought tangents.

“I’ve said it before.”
—LOL. Clearly you are incapable of answering a very simple and straightforward question. Goes towards showing how you “just don’t get it”. We both know what the answer is, and if that answer is making you embarrassed, then fuhgedaboutit.

“any China parties need to disrupt something important to US interests”
—what is with your pre-pubescent infatuation with all things American? Jeez, next thing I know you’ll tell me you dislike the US so much that you live there. If China becomes a democratic society, I would expect her democratic leaders to further Chinese priorities, not American ones. You seem to have very little faith in Chinese people.

February 4, 2011 @ 12:52 pm | Comment

“Remember you were asking how Chinese dissidents can see the US, warts and all, as an improvement?”

Believe me if you actually opened your eyes and saw the US “warts and all” you would not be such a staunch defender of its policies.

I’m sure the point that Mubarak has been supported by the US for his entire reign will be lost on you.

February 4, 2011 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

I get the same feeling from Jason that I get over at Hidden Harmonies: adolescents who don’t understand the concepts they bandy about and post links that they have misread to mean something else. Rinse and repeat and you have 65 comments, many off-topic.

February 4, 2011 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

@You seem to have very little faith in Chinese people.

I have faith on Chinese people who are competent enough to know how countries like South Korea, Japan, India and Taiwan where they need a stamp of approval from US’ on foreign policies as well as militarily.

February 5, 2011 @ 12:59 am | Comment

@Jason

South Korea, Japan and Taiwan couldn’t care less about the US if it wasn’t for… North Korea and China.

India would care even less about the US than it does now if it wasn’t for… Pakistan and China.

Basically, if you want these countries to not have an incentive anymore to answer phone calls from Washington… take out China. Problem solved. You’re welcome :)

February 5, 2011 @ 1:10 am | Comment

Resident Poet, How about let’s take out US since US is by far most disturbed force in the world, while you are at? I can also added smiling face as well. You’re welcome as well.

February 5, 2011 @ 1:19 am | Comment

Certainly, American system is clearly better than Chinese system. No argument there.

However, on the one side, there is huge disillusion among Oversea Chinese community regarding American image of freedom, liberty and fair process. Whether it is Dr. WenHo Lee’s case, or whether it is financial crisis, in many instances, you can argue that American system is full of corruption and human right abuses. Furthermore, you can also argue American politic is also ruled by elites. Of course, two parties of elites in US that’s better than one party’s elite in China. But still when there is an election, it is often choice between bad and less bad choice. For example, Obama in fact maintains many of same policies as President Bush.

On the other hand, for many oversea Chinese, they do see huge change in China. Maybe not on the politic freedom, but on the person freedom (ability to travel, etc), there is huge progress.

That’s why there is almost no support among Oversea Chinese for revolutionary in China, more for evolutionary process.

February 5, 2011 @ 2:31 am | Comment

To Jim,
your’s seems like a reasonable appraisal. I certainly agree that the “American” system is not perfect, as exemplified by some of the flaws you’ve identified. I also agree there has been substantial change in China, much of it for the better, though little of it in the political realm.

However, to focus exclusively on the American experience is a false comparison. “America” is not THE example of democracy; it is but one example thereof. It seems foolish to eschew “democracy” based on one somewhat flawed example of same. Few if any would argue, furthermore, that China should become democratic in the footsteps of America, doing everything she has done along the way. For the vast majority of CCP backers, they seem to see the US, and are physically incapable of looking beyond. If China were to become a democracy, she should and would do it her way, without copying and replicating the errors and flaws of anyone else, especially the US (if the American experience is viewed with such disdain).

To Slim:
that’s why I avoid HH like the plague. One big echo chamber, by children, for children.

To Jason:
your conspiracy theories on how sovereign countries need US approval of their foreign policy is reaching epic proportions. Those countries around China want US support because of how China behaves, or of how they fear China might behave. If you truly had faith in Chinese people (which you don’t), you wouldn’t worry about a democratic China becoming like SK etc, because China doesn’t and won’t fear SK etc. Do you think a democratic China would need US approval of her foreign policy? Are you on glue? So much for your faith of Chinese people. Your life is probably very circular: regardless of the question, the answer is the big bad US of A. Logic is likely not your forte.

February 5, 2011 @ 3:52 am | Comment

“Your life is probably very circular: regardless of the question, the answer is the big bad US of A. Logic is likely not your forte.”

SK Cheung is being eminently reasonable and helpful — and above all, admirably patient — here with your steady stream of logical fallacies, Jason. And make no mistake, everything you are trying to say is coming out as one logical fallacy or another to the trained eye. Logic is not easy, but neither is it as hard as it seems. Although formal logic can be expressed in math-like formulas, logic doesn’t lend itself to rote memorization the way math does. But there are easy rules to follow. Even Wikipedia has a good list of common logical fallacies and examples.

Moving from logic to content, I see a “garbage in, garbage out” problem with your approach to all these issues: You are starting with highly flawed inputs on South Korea and Japan, for example — analysis from Chinese nationalist sites, I assume — and that cripples whatever you are trying to do with the material. Ditto your Liu Xiaobo line of argument.

Back to Egypt, frankly I don’t see much China can learn from or that it should worry about from Mubarak’s travails. If anything, Mubarak should have paid attention to how the CCP keeps itself in power — and I don’t mean merely hastily cutting off the Internet or planting fake stories blaming foreign media like he tried when it was too late.

As harsh as Egypt seems to liberal Western sensibilities, it is a softer state than China’s ever was, and it lives in a far more unstable neighborhood and a region where Islam holds sway and national loyalties are not as strong as those to the faith. China IS the bad ass regime in its neighborhood, unless you count North Korea and Myanmar, but China is the only thing standing between those regimes and Mubarak’s fate, or worse.

February 5, 2011 @ 5:39 am | Comment

@ Those countries around China want US support because of how China behaves, or of how they fear China might behave.

South Korea should work with Japan and the ASEAN states to create an environment which encourages the PRC to rise peacefully, as Beijing has promised. Historically China has been cautiously assertive, not recklessly aggressive. The better armed and more willing to cooperate with their neighbors, the more likely America’s friends will be to deter conflict-without relying on the U.S. The resulting policy adjustment should be to reduce America’s international ambitions rather than increase America’s military spending. Even as President Obama seeks to improve Washington’s relations with the PRC, the United States should replace dominance with defense as the core of its foreign policy.

February 5, 2011 @ 6:29 am | Comment

You are conflating so many things as to defy belief, and possibly description. Alas, i will try for the latter.

“The better armed and more willing to cooperate with their neighbors…”
-so part of the road to better relations between China and her neighbours is for those neighbours to arm themselves to the teeth, much like China has done? Well, they are well armed, at American expense,so from the perspectives of SK or Japan etc, it seems it’s a win-win for them.

It’s also very thoughtful of you to concern yourself with whether ASEAN states need to “rely” on the US. Whether ASEAN states request such reliance, and/or whether the US chooses to provide said assistance, is for those countries to decide, and isn’t up to China. So why are you worrying about it? Oh, is it because the answer to every question, and the cause of every problem, is the big bad US of A?

What does American foreign policy have to do with the topic, the general discussion of democracy in China, or the overall theme of Richard’s blog? It seems your one-track mind has led you back to your “happy place”, which is fretting and wringing your hands about the US doing this and that. Not only do you have little faith in Chinese people, they don’t seem to rank up there in your list of priorities.

Let’s imagine that the US goes all pre-1940′s, and no longer concerns herself with anything beyond her borders. Easy, boy, don’t shoot your wad just yet. What does that have to do with the need to provide Chinese people with more political freedoms, freedoms of speech, information access, rule of law, and democratic institutions? Do you think, if the US international footprint shrinks, the CCP will commensurately loosen her authoritarian grip on her people? If not, then what does any of this wet-dream fascination with the US have to do with what we’re talking about? I realize this is another question that might make you run away and hide, but you do what you gotta do.

February 5, 2011 @ 7:48 am | Comment

SK, that’s the modus operandi of all my trolls – pound incessantly on the badness of the USA and deflect the conversation away from China. They are hard-wired to respond that way, and as you say, it’s a “safe place” for them to play.

February 5, 2011 @ 8:11 am | Comment

Yes. I can relate to HH types misreading/deliberately misreading posts.

Slim 62 @ 63. You’re got a better handle on SK/Japan and Tawianese stuff than me, so I should have made my point a lot clearer.

Broad based political parties didn’t emerge over night in the West. Centuries or more in many cases and they were predicated on two things:

1. The need to develop party policies to attract the most punters.
2. Acceptance of electoral outcomes according to a regular timetable.

Civic education and being committed to a ***shared civil society***, a bedrock common shared vision were essential ingredients for 1 and 2.

If one follows some of Frank Dikkoter’s arguments in China before Mao, there is evidence that China was a genuinely opening society, with institutions, societies and guilds which would have provided the infrastructure for a civil society as the latter is understood in the West, prior to the lot being strangled by the CCP. (There WAS a counter-narrative pre-1949 to the present mantra of the iron fist or chaos. And this is no argument supporting the KMT.)

I suppose my point in 62 was that if a multi-party system was introduced, for the most part the political landscape would be populated by single-issue parties organised around their own narrow interests.

Adding to my list:

The peasants party

The christian alliance party.

Many minority parties.

Civil society in present-day China is a deformed creature, and is certainly not an environment for democratic best practice. No country escapes from its history and culture in a hurry.

February 5, 2011 @ 9:36 am | Comment

@ Well, they are well armed

Yes but why is the situation for Japan-China relation and SK-China relation has United States fingerprints even more? From the fake outrage of rare earth metals to constant lies from Japan that China and Taiwan didn’t protest on US handover Diaoyu Islands to Japan, to reports on Chenonan Sinking that public can’t see.

@ So why are you worrying about it? Oh, is it because the answer to every question, and the cause of every problem, is the big bad US of A?

I don’t want US influence on any decision from ASEAN agreements period.

@ What does American foreign policy have to do with the topic, the general discussion of democracy in China, or the overall theme of Richard’s blog?

It has a lot to do with democracy in China. They are the ones who is “selling” and funding the movement.

@ Do you think, if the US international footprint shrinks, the CCP will commensurately loosen her authoritarian grip on her people? If not, then what does any of this wet-dream fascination with the US have to do with what we’re talking about?

Like shutting down Tibet/Uighur-in exile movements from US states and turning them to a philanthropy on education and culture and language and less politics. Like US voting down the Taiwan Relation Act and helping Taiwan military developers to develop their own weapons to continue their war games on the Taiwan Strait.

CCP, then will loosen her grip.

@Richard

Do you characterize libertarian politicians and bloggers or Sibel Edmonds, FBI whistle-blower as “trolls” as they have have criticized US policies on China issues?

The history of US meddling on other countries such as China are so stark and imminent that can not be ignored. Save your selective bias criticism for your self.

February 5, 2011 @ 10:55 am | Comment

A troll is anyone who persistently derails threads, interjects BS to throw off the conversation and is obviously not being serious. It doesn’t matter what their position is. If they are there to disrupt and send the thread in all different directions, as you have done repeatedly here, then they’re a troll. Their political outlook is totally irrelevant. I’ve had far-right Republican and libertarian trolls, and die-hard anything-the-CCP-does-is-right trolls. A troll is a troll is a troll, and I knew from the start you were a troll. I referred to you earlier as a “borderline” troll because you weren’t being personally offensive, then you crossed that line as well, calling another commenter a “douchebag.” Be careful.

February 5, 2011 @ 11:19 am | Comment

SK Cheung
However, to focus exclusively on the American experience is a false comparison. “America” is not THE example of democracy; it is but one example thereof.

It and India are the only large ones. The most successful democracies are small ones like Switzerland.

February 5, 2011 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Which US “fingerprints” are you referring to? What is this, CSI? Have you been dusting? Japan needs “rare earths” in some of their industry. What part of their outrage was “fake”? The Diaoyu Islands are contested; where are the “lies”? Which invisible Cheonan reports are you referring to? To go along with your genetically-programmed need to see the US as the problem is the patent lack of objectivity, such that any dispute that either directly or peripherally involves the US and China automatically means that the US is at fault and the CCP is pure as the driven snow. Quite the coping mechanism.

You don’t want the US involved in ASEAN agreements, you say? Great. Have they been signatories in any ASEAN agreements that you are aware of? And how does US abstention from ASEAN agreements improve the various rights for Chinese people (remember them?)under the CCP’s authoritarian regime? Besides, if ASEAN member nations choose to consult the US when they see fit, that’s their purview and not yours.

The US is “selling” democracy, and Chinese people are buying? Just like that? Just because the yanks are selling it? Do Chinese people simply buy what others sell? Your faith in Chinese people, as I’ve said before, is heartwarming. Ever consider that some Chinese people might actually want it? Or perhaps that they might appreciate having it, if given the choice and the chance? Didn’t think so. If you want to complain about the flaws of American foreign policy, do so on its own merits (and you have fodder for doing so). But American foreign policy is no excuse for what the CCP does to Chinese people. It’s the apples and oranges thing you keep having trouble with.

I’m nowhere close to referring to Tibet. Besides, the US actively discouraging Tibetan nationalism could be considered meddling, only in a fashion that you would happen to better enjoy. I guess now you’re going to tell me that some Tibetans want autonomy only because the US tells them to ask for it. You’re a heckuva guy. And then the US should stop selling weapons to Taiwan even though Taiwan wants to buy them. OK. THen maybe the US should cease all trade with Taiwan altogether. WOuld that be good? And then, when those things happen, the CCP will decide that her work is done, and give Chinese people some of the rights and freedoms they’ve long deserved? Seriously dude, what brand of glue are you sniffing? What the US does, and doesn’t do, is no excuse for what the CCP has, and hasn’t done. You’re like the guy who blames everyone but himself for his problems. The CCP is also that guy.

On the other hand, I’ll give you props for at least showing the fortitude to answer some direct questions. That’s an improvement. Now if only you could distinguish US foreign policy from the flaws and faults of the CCP, then we’d really be getting somewhere.

February 5, 2011 @ 12:38 pm | Comment

To yourfriend,
that’s true. And when China becomes a democracy, she will be the largest. That a good idea hasn’t been applied at any given scale in the past, in and of itself, is not a good enough reason to forgo an attempt to do so.

Besides, the CCP is also the last of the large single party authoritarian regimes. There’s probably a reason why those have mostly gone the way of the dodo bird.

February 6, 2011 @ 2:41 am | Comment

@jim1980

I agree! Let’s put all the Americans on a fast ship to Mars. If we frame it well they’ll think they’re on a joy trip and will be ecstatic to go ;) Especially if we give them a 24-hour happy hour and free cable TV. Most won’t even notice all the other nations aren’t next to them anymore! There’s a worthwhile goal for the Chinese space program.

(The problem is, what am I going to do with you people, the Chinese, once the Americans are gone? There are lots of you, you’re getting ever more weapons and if the Party says jump, you jump and that makes me… jumpy. I think I’d like these goofy Americans around for quite a while longer.)

Basically, if Hu Jintao asks me out on a date, I’d be afraid to go alone – good thing I got a loud, drunken uncle called Sam who’s perfect for these situations. Uncle Sam is kind of a jerk, but at least he’s a known quantity, you know? And he does smash a lot of heads, but hardly ever at home. That’s just a little more reassuring than China’s history.

February 6, 2011 @ 7:48 am | Comment

SK Cheung
That a good idea hasn’t been applied at any given scale in the past, in and of itself, is not a good enough reason to forgo an attempt to do so.

It is indeed being applied in India, and India does not face nearly as many pressures as China does. I don’t want to go into things and make it look like I’m badmouthing India, but most if not all of the problems of the CCP that people rail about are 100x worse in India.

Wealth gap, check.
Corruption, check.
Living standards, check.
Pollution, check.
Illiteracy, check.
Disease, check.
Malnutrition, check.
Internecine conflict and ethnic strife, check.
Religious bigotry, check.

You name it and India’s democracy vs. China’s authoritarianism consistently produces results that are devastating in every way to the common person; especially the most vulnerable people, such as the poor, the sick and their children.

Furthermore we can look at Jamaica, Botswana and South Africa and compare them to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The first three were “democracies” and the last three of course were developed under a system similar to China’s.

That said China’s system is far from ideal and using far more similar nations in a comparison would most likely reveal that authoritarianism is little better or worse than democracy.

The issue here is a transition from the current government to another one, and since China’s is working well for a developing country I see no reason to create instability at such a crucial time.

February 6, 2011 @ 7:51 am | Comment

>Furthermore we can look at Jamaica, Botswana and South Africa and compare them to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The first three were “democracies” and the last three of course were developed under a system similar to China’s.

Something more significant and inherent makes Jamaica, Botswana, and South Africa different from Hong Kong Singapore and Taiwan – and it has nothing to do with their political system.

You know it, I know it, and we all know it; and you are simply taking advantage of the limits of what is considered polite discussion on Western blogs to smear democracy in this glib way.

February 6, 2011 @ 11:37 am | Comment

To yourfriend,
I agree with the things you’ve described about India vis a vis China. The other way to look at it is that India came out from under British rule with a lot less than China has now. So a China that becomes democratic at some point need not follow the same trajectory as India; even if it does follow the same trajectory, it would be starting at a more advanced point on the curve.

“That said China’s system is far from ideal and using far more similar nations in a comparison would most likely reveal that authoritarianism is little better or worse than democracy.”
—very much agree, especially if we’re talking about the economic/fiscal perspective. If one’s life is not “measurably” different (however measured), then would one prefer to live in an authoritarian system, or a democratic one? I know what my preference would be.

It seems you would agree that the current system needs to change at some point. One question is what you envision the end-result of that change to be. The second question would be when China might emerge from this “crucial” period, so as to allow this evolution to take place. And who gets to make that determination? My feeling is that, from the CCP’s perspective, there would never be a good time to relinquish her grip on power.

February 6, 2011 @ 2:14 pm | Comment

@ Byyourfriend. Furthermore we can look at Jamiaca..

Listen you worm. How dare you attack my homeland. Home of rock steady, ska, reggae and dub. Sounds embraced by the world, and you have made a personal attack on me:

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

Payback is coming your way Vermin

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

A drive-by which will extinguish your whole brood, aunties included, and an extra clip for you.

The day you and your eastern horde create a musical genre which the world embraces, I will hang by the neck.

February 6, 2011 @ 3:06 pm | Comment

@Jason
Not in the charges

I guess there is no way you can engage Jason because he has been living in outer space while the rest of us are on planet Earth.

————————-
In 2006, following a string of allegations against his family and advisers, he was seriously weakened when prosecutors arrested his son-in-law on insider trading charges in July and then, in November, his wife faced charges of corruption and forgery.

Presidential immunity prevented prosecutors charging Chen when he was in office, but he stepped down in May 2008 and six months later was arrested.

He was sentenced to life in prison in September 2009 after being found guilty on charges of money laundering, bribery and embezzlement of government funds.

He said the charges, and the trial, were politically motivated and appealed against the verdict.

On 8 June 2010 the Taipei District Court overturned one of the lesser corruption charges, saying there was insufficient evidence he had embezzled $330,000 (£205,000) of diplomatic funds.

An appeal against his conviction was rejected on 11 June, but his jail term was reduced to 20 years after Taipei’s High Court ruled there had been less money involved in the corruption than previously thought.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2172980.stm

Not in the charges? Looks like jason needs a immediate medical attention for his serious dyslexia.

February 6, 2011 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

@Youfriend –

“It [the US] and India are the only large ones. The most successful democracies are small ones like Switzerland.”

The world’s 20 largest countries by population:

1 China 1,342,180,000 February 6, 2011 19.5% Official Chinese Population Clock
2 India 1,193,710,000 February 6, 2011 17.3% Official Indian Population Clock
3 United States 312,016,000 February 6, 2011 4.52% Official United States Population Clock
4 Indonesia 237,556,363 May 2010 3.44% 2010 Indonesian Census
5 Brazil 190,732,694 August 1, 2010 2.76% 2010 Official Brazilian Census results
6 Pakistan 171,765,000 February 6, 2011 2.49% Official Pakistani Population clock
7 Nigeria 158,259,000 2010 2.29% 2008 UN estimate for year 2010
8 Bangladesh 150,001,000 February 6, 2011 2.17% Official Bangladeshi Population Clock
9 Russia 141,927,297 January 1, 2010 2.06% Federal State Statistics Service of Russia
10 Japan 127,370,000 January 1, 2011 1.85% Official Japan Statistics Bureau
11 Mexico 112,322,757 June 12, 2010 1.63% 2010 Official Mexican Census results
12 Philippines 94,013,200 Mid-2010 1.36% National Statistics Office medium projection
13 Vietnam 86,930,000 April 1, 2010 1.26% Official estimate
14 Germany 81,802,000 December 31, 2009 1.19% Official estimate
15 Egypt 79,752,000 February 6, 2011 1.16% Official Egyptian Population clock
16 Ethiopia 79,455,634 July 2010 1.15% Official estimate
17 Iran 75,078,000 2010 1.09% 2008 UN estimate for year 2010
18 Turkey 73,722,988 December 31, 2010 1.07% Turkish Statistical Institute
19 Dem. Rep. of Congo 67,827,000 2010 0.98% 2008 UN estimate for year 2010
20 Thailand 67,070,000 December 1, 2009 0.97%

Six of these countries (China, Russia, Vietnam, Egypt, Iran, and the DRC) are ranked by Freedom House as “unfree”. These countries have a net population of 1,793,694,297, and a net nominal GDP (2010 IMF figures) of 7,891,363 million US dollars – that gives an average per capita GDP of 4,400 US dollars.

Seven of these countries (India, United States, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Germany, and Turkey) are ranked “free” by Freedom House. These countries have a net population of 2,091,676,439, and a net nominal GDP (2010 IMF figures) of 25,201,722 million US dollars – that gives an average per capita GDP of 12,049 US dollars.

That is, even only taking those countries with large populations into account, life is still much better in “free” countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey than it is in “unfree” countries like China, Iran, and Egypt.

“Furthermore we can look at Jamaica, Botswana and South Africa and compare them to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The first three were “democracies” and the last three of course were developed under a system similar to China’s.”

Err . . . no. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan were colonies first, and trading centres second. And all of them (Hong Kong particularly) profitted from China’s self-inflicted madness of the mid-late 20th century.

South Africa’s nominal per capita GDP is just under double that of China’s, Botswana’s is about 50% higher than that of China Jamaica’s is also higher than China’s. I’m not quite sure why you are listing these countries as examples of failure, but it probably shows that you do not know quite as much about global economics as you think you do.

@Richard – You know, the best threads I’ve read on this blog have all been relatively troll-free. As much as I get a kick out of pointing out the total stupity of comments like Yourfriend’s, I’d much rather go without.

February 7, 2011 @ 12:57 am | Comment

After all those comments, it seems that nobody comment why Chinese government partially censure the story.

The simplest answer is probably it’s part of their jobs. There is one organization in China called Propaganda Department whose job is to censure. They censure anybody and any thing that’s not deem politic correct including President Hu and Premier Wen’s speech.

You wonder why Chinese government cannot control this organization. You may found answer in professor Lee’s article. By the way, Professor Lee is very much fit in anti-china crowd with his book Why China fail?

http://www.cis.org.au/media-information/opinion-pieces/article/2332-cooperation-and-the-chinese-hydra

Finally, a lot of bloggers seems to believe they know China with their strong commentaries. I am not sure why that’s case. I visited China often enough. Even I found myself updated with my belief constantly every time I visited there.

For example, One poster comments that why AnQing in Anhui didn’t develop at all and only Beijing and ShangHai are developed. I guess that he was in China maybe three years ago. I don’t know about AnQing, but third tier level cities like HeFei, Wuhu in Anhui has changed dramatically starting three years ago.

February 7, 2011 @ 12:59 am | Comment

@Jim1980 – I talked about Yancheng in Jiangsu and Bengbu in Anhui. However, if it is me that you are referring to, I am not saying that these cities haven’t developed at all, but I am saying that to say that China is so much richer than Egypt or Tunisia that a revolution of the kind which has happened in these countries cannot occur in China, this is mistaken.

February 7, 2011 @ 1:26 am | Comment

S.K Cheung
India came out from under British rule with a lot less than China has now. So a China that becomes democratic at some point need not follow the same trajectory as India; even if it does follow the same trajectory, it would be starting at a more advanced point on the curve.

How so? China’s infrastructure was bombed to ashes by the Japanese, nearly its entire industrial base was dismantled and shipped to Russia, and it suffered tens of millions of deaths in WW2. And they had to deal with regional warlords and the Civil War.

On top of all of that, China is resource poor and disaster prone to begin with- India is dense with highly productive agricultural land (not that it is being used properly)

very much agree, especially if we’re talking about the economic/fiscal perspective. If one’s life is not “measurably” different (however measured), then would one prefer to live in an authoritarian system, or a democratic one? I know what my preference would be.

I’d say authoritarian systems provide fast growth and a strong military (stability) with a human cost. Democracies, if they work at all, derive their key advantages from having an irrational cult following.

It seems you would agree that the current system needs to change at some point. One question is what you envision the end-result of that change to be.

A system where officials are hired based on their experience, track record and merit- not much different than what everyone does regardless of whether they’re looking for doctors or shopping for cell phones. What qualifies, of course, is subjective and thus would be open to interpretation.

Democracy could be allowed at local or prefecture levels but of course defense, immigration and foreign policy would be handled by the central gov’t. In other words more like Singapore but with more relaxed laws.

The second question would be when China might emerge from this “crucial” period, so as to allow this evolution to take place.

When no foreign power, nor any cabal of foreign powers or their civilian subsidiaries form any significant financial, economic, military, scientific, technological, political or cultural power gap with the Chinese state.

And who gets to make that determination? My feeling is that, from the CCP’s perspective, there would never be a good time to relinquish her grip on power.

If the Chinese people want change they have a 4,000 year history of revolution. The reason why China reverts to some form of centralized authoritarianism every single time is because it’s necessary for survival, and not because of some inherent psychological or cultural trait as many Western “experts” surmise.

And first we must explore what it means for the CCP to relinquish its grip on power. They have been rapidly expanding their membership to the point where it’s almost arbitrary. They are tuned in to the complaints of the general population. They have made several reforms since the Mao era which essentially undermine the powers of the ruling body. If history proves anything, it’s that lifting people out of subsistence gives them more energy and free time to riot.

I’m sure most here will discard any opinion poll of PRC citizens but we can take the fact that there is relative calm as proof that the CCP isn’t failing miserably.

@King Tubby
The day you and your eastern horde create a musical genre which the world embraces, I will hang by the neck.

Maybe if everyone in China smoked pot and ceased all economic activity while on the international dole, it could happen.

@FOARP

Your argument contains one or two fatal flaws. One, you assume Freedom House is an unbiased measure of “democracy”. It in actuality is a ranking of primarily wealth with “compliance to Washington-based policy” as a secondary, but vital, part of the evaluation.

Two, you ignore the fact that much of the wealth concentrated in the countries you name was accrued during periods of authoritarian or quasi-authoritarian rule, or non-democratic action by central banks, intelligence agencies, the military, etc.

Of the six “unfree” countries you sample, Russia is officially a democracy, Vietnam was bombed into the stoneage by US and co, Egypt is America’s number two ally in the Middle East, Iran is relatively prosperous but had its democracy thwarted in the 50s, and the DRC has a similar political story to tell.

Of the seven “free” countries, the US derives its power from un-democratic actions (regime change, dollar warfare, illegal wealth transfers), Brazil was a military dictatorship until the 80s, Japan and Mexico were essentially ruled as one-party client states, Germany rapidly industrialized under the Third Reich’s war machine (in fact, the US and Russia owe much of their rocketry and bioweapons capabilities to Nazi scientists) and Turkey was heavily Western-backed in terms of economy and security- even then it had its one-party stints and intermittent lapses from democratic ideals.

February 7, 2011 @ 3:28 am | Comment

“How so? China’s infrastructure was bombed to ashes…”
—obviously I’m not trying to rewrite history and opine that China should’ve been a democracy from 1949 onward. I’m talking about China TODAY, and a change enacted from TODAY onward. Hence any reference to China is based on where she is TODAY. Which is why, if you’re going to comment on where India is today as a result of democracy, you look at where she started when she became a democracy; likewise, if you were to speculate on where China would become as a democracy, you start today, and obviously not in 1949. Hence ergo therefore, a CHinese democracy that takes shape TOMORROW is well ahead on the curve from where India was when she became independent from Britain.

It’s not the authoritarian system that provides growth. See CCP China circa 1949-1979. It’s the free market system. See CCP China circa 1979-2011. Same authoritarian system. Different economic system, different results.

And since the authoritarian system has a human cost, you’d think humans who pay that cost get to factor in on the decisions of the system. Sadly, not so much. I’d say authoritarian systems enforce “following” with the threat of violence. Sometimes it’s more than a threat, as we’ve seen with the CCP.

Please spare me with the “meritocracy” nonsense. So many conceptual flaws. To name but a few: who gets to decide who has “merit”, and upon what basis are such decisions made; if citizens are the shareholders of such a meritocracy, given your parallel to corporations, when is the AGM?

Obviously, some portfolios are federal and some are local. If you can have “democracy” for local stuff, why not for federal stuff. Where/how/why do you make the distinction? Singapore would be a move in the right direction; certainly better than nothing at all.

“…power gap with the Chinese state.”
—sweet bejeezus. Typical CCP style definition of “crucial”. Much like their broad-strokes usage of “stability” and the usual buzz words. Basically, China would have to be at least tied for “best” in the world in 7 categories. Is there such a country in existence today? Has any such country existed ever, besides maybe ancient Greece and Rome? Your answer is essentially “never”, which, as I’ve said, is just what the CCP would prefer.

Opinion polls of CHina are illustrative, but only to a point. Besides the scientific and sampling issues, there’s the issue of validity of asking how satisfied Chinese are with their government when there is no viable alternative. It’s like asking if they prefer a government or no government at all. Easy choice, but a false one.

The CCP has expanded membership. But it’s still a minor fraction of the adult population. If you gave every adult PRC citizen a membership, that would be different. Even then, a membership vote is only meaningful if there are options to vote for. If every citizen is a CCP member, and they get to vote for the party leader, but there’s only one person on the ballot…well….that’s like Henry Ford and the colour choices for Model T’s.

It’s circular to suggest that, if Chinese wanted a new system, they would engage in revolution. Lack of revolution doesn’t mean they don’t want a new system; it more likely means they don’t want a new revolution. Why is the CCP constructed in such a way that it would take a “revolution” to unseat them? Oh, that’s right, because they designed it that way for self-serving purposes. As I’ve always said, if there’s one thing the CCP is good at, it’s looking out for number one.

February 7, 2011 @ 6:11 am | Comment

@everyone

Forget about touchy issues like “democracy”. The basic question is, how do you build a system of checks and balances that prevents abuse of power?

If there’s a better way than giving the morons on the street the right to vote, I’d like to hear about it. I don’t much like democratic politics myself, it’s most often a cesspool of corruption and it tends to promote shameless self-aggrandizers with no qualifications whatsoever, who once in office focus on little apart from their short-term interests.

I think democracy is vastly overrated and that the comparative success of societies like Germany and Canada is likely due to a myriad of other reasons, not basic politics. (However, don’t blame ‘democracy’ either when the democratic country in question doesn’t work at all. It’s probably something else that’s holding it back.)

Still, I don’t see what is so much better about China’s current regime. Having just one party in power forever is probably the best way to ossify networks of influence and to hard-code citizens into “god-like”, “first class” and “boy, shine my shoes” categories.

In an ideal world, government officials would be promoted on merit, not because they’re great at backstabbing and bullshitting their way through (China) or because morons recognize themselves in them and vote accordingly (the US: W Bush!).

I guess that’s the main thing, making sure the people in power are competent and don’t abuse their influence. How do you design a system like that without including democracy? Our Chinese friends should either do some great ‘splaining or… adopt democracy :)

February 7, 2011 @ 6:43 am | Comment

Basically democracy doesn’t help at all with the “competence” issue but it is vital when dealing with the “abuse of power” issue, and that’s why I think it’s a worthwhile concept…

Still, democracy is just one small piece in the great puzzle. It takes lots and lots of other things for a society to not be a hell-hole.

February 7, 2011 @ 6:51 am | Comment

SK Cheung
Which is why, if you’re going to comment on where India is today as a result of democracy, you look at where she started when she became a democracy; likewise, if you were to speculate on where China would become as a democracy, you start today, and obviously not in 1949.

You are arguing in principle. By your response I can only assume you agree with me that democracy, if you’re going to implement it, is better enacted later than earlier. Otherwise if democracy is unequivocally a good thing, it would be best to implement it right away, no?

And since the authoritarian system has a human cost, you’d think humans who pay that cost get to factor in on the decisions of the system.

They do. It just doesn’t happen in the way it does in a democracy.

Please spare me with the “meritocracy” nonsense. So many conceptual flaws. To name but a few: who gets to decide who has “merit”, and upon what basis are such decisions made; if citizens are the shareholders of such a meritocracy, given your parallel to corporations, when is the AGM?

Democracy has far, far more conceptual flaws in terms of history, scale and implementation. As to who decides what merit is, again, it’s up to debate. Of course, the golden rule applies above all else so all share holders should be able to influence the process.

My criterion for “merit” would be loyalty, intelligence, skill and experience and morality/ethics as revealed by an individual’s track record (incl. spending habits and personal background) and a psych eval. Total transparency would be needed to verify and convey the results to the public. Sounds awfully similar to a resumé, no? Any “grey” areas could be decided by the governed or affected party.

They would start at the local level and be promoted based on performance, in competition with their peers. The people they govern would be granted a right to demote them, strip them of powers, or completely remove them from office if they abuse it in such a way that it promotes excellence. Not because mobs have a god-given right to rule, but because popularity and consent are vague measures of competence.

If you can have “democracy” for local stuff, why not for federal stuff.

And if you have democracy for federal stuff, why not for superstate stuff? And if you have it for superstate governance, why not for world governance? I’m sure India and China would love that. Some variation of the following has been (wisely) said by many: that the sum of a whole is more than its parts, and that a collection of individuals organized into a mob becomes something else entirely.

Using this argument, how did we justify the “local” stuff to begin with? With “family stuff”? I don’t think you can claim that say, Bobby and Janie fighting over a toy and mom’s decision breaking the deadlock, quite scales up to critical decisions in highly specialized fields that affect the entire world. If we had a giant asteroid hurtling towards earth I don’t think a “show of hands” would really cut it.

Speaking of “three people stuff”, two wolves and a lamb voting on who’s for dinner etc.

Basically, China would have to be at least tied for “best” in the world in 7 categories.

Note that I said “significant power gap”, not tied for best. In my opinion China will be there in around 15-20 years. I also forgot “industrial” after military.

there’s the issue of validity of asking how satisfied Chinese are with their government when there is no viable alternative.”

The question is generally put as “do you like your government or not and how much” and “how much confidence do you have in your leaders”. Pretty straightforward.

If every citizen is a CCP member, and they get to vote for the party leader, but there’s only one person on the ballot…well….that’s like Henry Ford and the colour choices for Model T’s.

But as you know through historical example, that’s simply not how it works. The CCP has been divided within ever since the beginning. It’s just that no one gets to shill along or hide behind party lines because there isn’t a party line. The only debate becomes the debate over policy, not party politics. In fact it would be great if political parties across the board were abolished and every candidate would have to stand on his own through a good platform, not committee endorsements and expensive lie-campaigns.

Why is the CCP constructed in such a way that it would take a “revolution” to unseat them? Oh, that’s right, because they designed it that way for self-serving purposes. As I’ve always said, if there’s one thing the CCP is good at, it’s looking out for number one.

Again, “who” is the CCP and how exactly is it more self-serving than any other group of people? As I’ve mentioned before, the actual wealth gap is, amazingly, lower in China than pretty much every major economy except Japan.

February 7, 2011 @ 7:02 am | Comment

@yourfriend

You typed: “…the actual wealth gap is, amazingly, lower in China than pretty much every major economy except Japan.”

-> The exact opposite seems to be true. As far as I can tell income inequality in China is pretty darn bad no matter what index you look like:

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

It’s not just Japan, it’s like, all of them! In fact, the only countries more unequal than China are African failed states, Latin American banana republics and Brazil.

Even Hong Kong is more equal than mainland China! Hong Kong, the city of Rolls Royces driving next to cages for homeless people!!

February 7, 2011 @ 10:28 am | Comment

“You are arguing in principle. By your response I can only assume you agree with me that democracy, if you’re going to implement it, is better enacted later than earlier. Otherwise if democracy is unequivocally a good thing, it would be best to implement it right away, no?”
—I’d happily argue in present tense. But the CCP has seen to it that Chinese people and others like me are unable to do so. Democracy should be implemented as soon as possible, when possible. Like when India emerged from British rule. Or when the US did so. Etc etc. Clearly, China can’t implement it yesterday. And there is a nuisance single-party entity standing in the way of them implementing it today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. But as I said, India is a flawed comparison since China now is far ahead of where India was.

“They do. It just doesn’t happen in the way it does in a democracy.”
—and in what meaningful way does it happen now, apart from niceties and gross generalizations like “the party listens to the people”. I imagine they can hear. They might actually listen. As for how their actions are motivated by what they hear, that depends. If they like what they hear, then maybe; if they don’t, then not so much, and the people don’t have much recourse, save for that enticing “revolution” option you offered up earlier.

“so all share holders should be able to influence the process.”
—and you think the CCP process allows for this now? Absolutely, the basis for meritocracy is debatable. Until such basis is on offer, meritocracy is not even ready for debate, let alone prime time. Yet you’re supporting its implementation. That’s cart before horse.

Your criteria do sound like resume-speak. So in a meritocracy, who gets to make the hiring decisions. Before you say someone who’s already been hired, think chicken-egg style to determine how you would make that very first hire, who factors into any and all subsequent hires. Almost immaculate, no?

“Any “grey” areas could be decided by the governed or affected party.”
—and in the current system, that party would be…? Do you need more than one guess? So the CCP gets to decide what’s “gray”, then gets to make the resultant decision. Fantastic system…if you’re the CCP.

“The people they govern would be granted a right to demote them…”
—that’s at least a good start, because you’re giving the people some direct feedback. Why not more? Why not in promotion decisions as well? Why not for those in higher positions?

“why not for superstate stuff? And if you have it for superstate governance, why not for world governance?”
—because that’s an entirely different discussion, one where you disavow all concept of “nation”, and truly make decisions for the good of mankind. Nice romantic concept. But not one steeped in reality.

“how did we justify the “local” stuff to begin with?”
—it was not justified. But you said this (“Democracy could be allowed at local or prefecture levels”) so I assumed we were in agreement on this and no further justification was necessary.

I agree the family decision-tree does not “scale up”, but that’s because mom is not at the same level as the kids. And the kids didn’t “vote” mom into her position of authority. Again, not the same when you’re talking member nations of a global community, whose leaders were put there by their people (well, at least the democratic nations). “Giant asteroid” would render this discussion and most others moot unless you’re a fan of the movie Armageddon, so that’s a rather disingenuous and irrelevant “argument”.

“Note that I said “significant power gap”, not tied for best.”
—well then what on earth is “significant power gap”? Oh, let me guess. The CCP decides that. Fabulous system.

““how much confidence do you have in your leaders””
—that question would at least be no more and no less valid than identical ones asked of democratic leaders, Chinese polling methodological issues notwithstanding. But it still doesn’t address whether people would opt for a different system if given the choice.

“The CCP has been divided within ever since the beginning”
—that sounds like the basis of a multi-party scenario if I ever heard one. What’s keeping them? And it certainly doesn’t justify the authoritarian aspects either.

““who” is the CCP and how exactly is it more self-serving than any other group of people?”
—remember all those members you were telling me about? Them. Though of course some moreso than others, starting from the top of the food-chain heading down.

February 7, 2011 @ 10:35 am | Comment

To RP:
I agree that “democracy” is but one piece of the puzzle (particularly if narrowly defined only as “voting” and “majority rule”). You need democratic institutions, rule of law, and constitutional protections to exist in concert for a “decent” society.

February 7, 2011 @ 10:38 am | Comment

@Resident Poet
The exact opposite seems to be true. As far as I can tell income inequality in China is pretty darn bad no matter what index you look like:

Gotcha. You took the bait. Why did you link me income inequality when wealth was the issue?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/business/worldbusiness/06wealth.html?_r=1

@SK
But as I said, India is a flawed comparison since China now is far ahead of where India was.

How so? Shouldn’t India be running circles around China in every measurable way if indeed authoritarianism is at an inherent disadvantage against democracy?

and in what meaningful way does it happen now

They have to watch prices, employment, and provide steady economic growth as a minimum. Everything else that has improved in the last 30 years is because they have to satisfy at least some of the wishes of the people.

Absolutely, the basis for meritocracy is debatable.

Debatable is better than “insane”, “proven failure”, and “impossible to scale” like democracy.

Your criteria do sound like resume-speak. So in a meritocracy, who gets to make the hiring decisions. Before you say someone who’s already been hired, think chicken-egg style to determine how you would make that very first hire

And what was the chicken-egg of the Supreme Court? Of course, using the brainstorm I just put up, a committee would just hold onto the best officials they have now and replace the corrupt and incompetent ones. They would be overseen by the governed- if it ever happened it’d be a slow transition. Transparency and rule of law would be the initial focus while everything else is settled.

and in the current system, that party would be…?

You have the wrong “party” in mind. Affected party as in the party who is affected by whichever position is in question. i.e Beijingers under a Mayor of Beijing, Shandongren under a head of government of Shandong. Or in America’s case, the Native Americans for the leaders of their respective territories (spanning the entirety of the continent).

Why not more? Why not in promotion decisions as well? Why not for those in higher positions?

People deserve input on who governs them, but not input on who governs others. In the framework I briefly alluded to, promotion would entail an expansion of powers over a geographic area (local->prefectural->provincial->central) including their populations. As the scale of government increases the direct input of the mob should diminish proportionately, as it’s true that people care more about what’s immediately around them and not what happens to some other “fellow countryman” thousands of miles away. They are always inclined to act more selfishly after a certain threshold is crossed.

because that’s an entirely different discussion, one where you disavow all concept of “nation”, and truly make decisions for the good of mankind. Nice romantic concept. But not one steeped in reality.

And the concept of “nation” is arbitrary. Using the purest definition of “nation”, North America is occupied territory that oppresses the original inhabitants through gerrymandering, tyranny of the majority, demographic flooding and other democratic tricks. We thus agree that democracy doesn’t scale; thus it has its logical limits in size. Superstate and world democracy are out of the question.

but that’s because mom is not at the same level as the kids.

Correct. And Joe Blow is not at the same level as Albert Einstein. In fact Joe Blow and his entire family combined is not at the same level as Albert Einstein when it comes to physics. They should not be able to override his work just because there’s 100 of them. But in the framework Joe Blow does of course have a lot of options when it comes to annulling poor policy directed at his town.

well then what on earth is “significant power gap”? Oh, let me guess. The CCP decides that. Fabulous system.

It sounds like you’ve resigned to an idea that the CCP will never let go of power in China. So what’s the point of complaining? They’ll have power forever and China will never be a democracy. End of story.

Chinese polling methodological issues notwithstanding.

They were polled by foreign NGOs, not the CCP.

that sounds like the basis of a multi-party scenario if I ever heard one. What’s keeping them? And it certainly doesn’t justify the authoritarian aspects either.

1. because it’s pointless
2. it’d be seen as capitulating to the West
3. it’d create a generation of shameless party shills who focus on political fights instead of progress
4. it’d disrupt the current political process and allow antagonistic powers to gain leverage

remember all those members you were telling me about? Them. Though of course some moreso than others, starting from the top of the food-chain heading down.

Where is the evidence for this?

February 7, 2011 @ 11:44 am | Comment

Interesting debate. I hope Richard not again stating the opposing opinion as troll and cease the thread.

And i don’t understand why some of us (TPD / HH) keep on calling the dissent view as troll.

February 7, 2011 @ 12:49 pm | Comment

This has nothing to do with labeling a commenter with a differing opinion as a troll. It only has to do with Jason continuously saying other commenters said stuff they never said, and constantly shifting gears and throwing off the thread. Just read through the thread and see. Pretty clear what his game is, don’t you agree?

No one is labeled a troll for disagreeing, ever. Only for intentionally and obviously seeking to derail the thread. And even then, I’m letting Jason comment. But he IS a troll. Period.

February 7, 2011 @ 12:56 pm | Comment

Forget about touchy issues like “democracy”. The basic question is, how do you build a system of checks and balances that prevents abuse of power? [#94]

Agree with this one, Resident Poet. While India has grossly neglected millions of its inhabitants economic well-being (including basics such as nutrition), many of the neglected have started taking their cases to the courts. Indian non-governmental organizations can address grievances more effectively than Chinese NGOs which can be closed down at the discretion of local and central officials.

What most apologists of “authoritarian” rule seem to ignore is the damage that this kind of rule does to the human brain – or, more old-fashionedly put, the human heart. India’s population bulb has been a curse, but so is China’s one-child policy. For the next two decades, I expect India’s potential for growth to be much stronger than China’s.

It’s premature to call India’s political system a failure. Not to engineer everything, human thaught included, is likely to become an asset for India, and the opposite approach will probably turn out to be a big Chinese liability.

February 7, 2011 @ 2:13 pm | Comment

The point was that, because china where she is now is much different than India back then, the Indian experience from then till now is not predictive of the Chinese experience from today to tomorrow, should she become democratic. What you are arguing is that china in 1949 was right to eschew democracy, because a democratic India starting from generally the same point has not done as well in the same timeframe. That is great, but not I have no interest in debating what cannot be changed.

Yes, the Ccp does respond in a minimal way. Can chinese people have more, dare I ask? And it seems they have responded in the economic realm. Any other realms of importance, do you think? And why would an authoritarian system be required to respond in the economic realm? Notice, as I said before, that the authoritarian system didn’t change from 1949 to 2011, but the economic system sure did. It seems china’s economic system is better correlated to her economic awakening than her political system.

Debatable is better than “proven failure”‘ except you haven’t established the latter. And remember, i was talking about the basis for meritocracy, which in itself is debatable. Haven’t even gotten to the substance of meritocracy, since that’s pointless unless the concept is itself sound, which, you guessed it, is debatable.

Ah yes, the supremes. I see that once again, we are limiting the discussion of democracy to the US version therefore. Here, I would have to stipulate, as I did above with resident poet, that democracy requires rule of law and a constitution as well, at the minimum. So with the US checks and balances, the elected president nominates the judge to the bench, to be approved by the elected senate. Those supremes then adjudicate based on the law and the underlying constitutional principles. It’s fine if you want a “committee” to determine merit. But where did that first committee member come from? Are those with merit determined by an elected committee, if you want to make a parallel to the supremes? Now, you mentioned Oversight by the governed. That sounds good…depending on what you mean by oversight. Democracy, you might be surprised to learn, would provide such oversight.

I did misinterpret “party”. My mistake. If areas of contention are resolved with preference to those concerned, that would be great. That would also no longer be authoritarian. Now we just need the Ccp to buy into that perspective.

I completely agree that people should have input into who governs them. Our difference is how far that goes. Doesn’t hu jintao govern all prc citizens? In fact, if people can only control who governs them to a point, is the inverse also true ie people can only govern down to a certain point? That would seem to argue for smaller “nations”, such that the governed and those governing remain directly responsible to each other. Instead of a one-world superstate, you’d be arguing for many many small ones. Not sure the world is ready for that either.

I’ve stipulated that there is no appetite for a borderless world democracy. That has nothing to do with democracy within individual nations. Last I checked, china belongs to the latter category. We do not agree that democracy doesn’t scale. But I agree that democracy doesn’t eliminate borders and boundaries. Nice try anyway.

I’m not sure what Einstein has to do with democracy. We are not talking about a vote on relativity. That is a bizarre argument.

I haven’t resigned myself to any notion that the Ccp would be in power forever. I’ve merely resigned myself to the fact that the Ccp is a self serving outfit that will cling to power in any way she knows how. So it will take a lot of people to break that grip. Luckily, there are a lot of people in china.

Yes, I was aware of the NGO polls. That’s why I didn’t say Ccp polling. I remember one where they sampled 30%of the people in cities…not exactly a random distribution…hence my comment about methodology.

If the Ccp is already divided, as you say, then why is it pointless to have more than one party? How is more than one party, and democracy, a capitulation? And who would actually see it as such? The Chinese system now is not lacking in shameless self serving corrupt shills, so at worst, it would be no worse. Oh yes, “instability”. It’s pavlovian, and you guys just can’t help yourself.

The Ccp, naturally, refers to the party, and all it’s members. Which members of the Ccp benefit most from the continued existence of the Ccp? You’re right, I misspoke when i said top down. It’s actually all of them.

February 7, 2011 @ 3:39 pm | Comment

@yourfriend

A, ok. My bad.

February 7, 2011 @ 5:02 pm | Comment

The point was that, because China where she is now is much different than India back then, the Indian experience from then till now is not predictive of the Chinese experience from today to tomorrow, should she become democratic. What you are arguing is that China in 1949 was right to eschew democracy, because a democratic India starting from generally the same point has not done as well in the same timeframe. That is great, but I have no interest in debating what cannot be changed.

Yes, the CCP does respond in a minimal way. Can Chinese people have more, dare I ask? And it seems they have responded in the economic realm. Any other realms of importance, do you think? And why would an authoritarian system be required to respond in the economic realm? Notice, as I said before, that the authoritarian system didn’t change from 1949-2011, but the economic system sure did. it seems China’s economic system is better correlated to her economic awakening than her political system.

Debatable is better than “proven failure”, except you haven’t established the latter. And remember, I was talking about the basis for meritocracy, which in itself is debatable. Haven’t even gotten to the substance of meritocracy, since that’s pointless unless the concept is itself sound, which, you guessed it, is debatable.

Ah yes, the supremes. I see that once again, we are limiting the discussion of democracy to the US version therefore. Here, I would have to stipulate, as I did above with Resident Poet, that democracy requires rule of law and a constitution as well, at the minimum. So with the US checks and balances, the elected president nominates the judge to the bench, to be approved by the elected senate. Those supremes then adjudicate based on the law and the underlying constitutional principles. It’s fine if you want a “committee” to determine merit. But where did that first committee member come from? Are those with merit determined by an elected committee, if you want to make a parallel to the supremes? Now, you mentioned oversight by the governed. That sounds good…depending on what you mean by oversight. Democracy, you might be surprised to learn, would provide such oversight.

I did misinterpret “party”. My mistake. If areas of contention are resolved with preference to those concerned, that would be great. That would also no longer be authoritarian. Now we just need the CCP to buy into that perspective.

I completely agree that people should have input into who governs them. Our difference is how far that goes. Does Hu Jintao govern all PRC citizens? In fact, if people can only control who governs them to a point, is the inverse also true ie people can only govern down to a certain point? That would seem to argue for smaller “nations”, such that the governed and those governing remain directly responsible to each other. Instead of a one-world superstate, you’d be arguing for many many small ones. not sure the world is ready for that either.

I’ve stipulated that there is no appetite for a borderless world democracy. That has nothing to do with democracy within individual nations. Last I checked, China belongs to the latter category. We do not agree that democracy doesn’t scale. But I agree that democracy doesn’t eliminate borders and boundaries. Nice try anyway.

I’m not sure what Einstein has to do with democracy. We are not talking about a vote on relativity. That is a bizarre argument.

I haven’t resigned myself to any notion that the CCP would be in power forever. I’ve merely resigned myself to the fact that the CCP is a self serving outfit that will cling to power in any way she knows how. So it will take a lot of people to break that grip. Luckily, there are a lot of people in CHina.

Yes, I was aware of the NGO polls. That’s why I didn’t say CCP polling. I remember one where they sampled 30% of the people in cities…not exactly a random distribution…hence my comment about methodology.

If the CCP is already divided, as you say, then why is it pointless to have more than one party? How is more than one party, and democracy, capitulation? And who would actually see it as such? The Chinese system now is not lacking in shameless self serving corrupt shills, so at worst, it would be no worse. Oh yes, “instability”. It’s Pavlovian, and you guys just can’t help yourself.

The CCP, naturally, refers to the party, and all it’s members. Which members of the CCP benefit most from the continued existence of the CCP? You’re right, I misspoke when I said top-down. It’s actually all of them.

February 7, 2011 @ 5:09 pm | Comment

“Why did you link me income inequality when wealth was the issue?”
—I am not sure why wealth would be “THE” issue. Also not sure if that makes income a non-issue. Regardless, in 2006, the top 10% in CHina owned 41% of the wealth, in the ballpark with SK, Japan, and Spain, and not too far off from Canada. Certainly, the US and the Swiss were well clear of the pack…but that was also 2006, and things could have changed in the interim.

It would seem though, that there is both an income and wealth disparity within China itself. The wealth disparity within China may not be as wide as the income disparity for now, since it takes some time with an improved income to accumulate wealth. But if the income disparity in China remains, then it would seem that the trend of wealth disparity will also eventually increase following some time delay.

February 7, 2011 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

Someday the CCP boy will cry the “wolf” of so-called chaos and will be largely ignored by a less credulous and/or cynical PRC populace–particularly as post-authoritarian governments in Tunisia and Egypt do a better job of providing for their citizens and involving their people in shared governance instead of the old reflexive top-down authoritarian model that the CCP is thoroughly addicted to.

February 7, 2011 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

@your friend
My criterion for “merit” would be loyalty, intelligence, skill and experience and morality/ethics as revealed by an individual’s track record (incl. spending habits and personal background) and a psych eval. Total transparency would be needed to verify and convey the results to the public. Sounds awfully similar to a resumé, no? Any “grey” areas could be decided by the governed or affected party.

Guess what? CCP has none of those above. Tough isn’t it?

February 8, 2011 @ 12:53 am | Comment

@your friend
1. because it’s pointless: Hit it right on the nail if you are referring to the annual yawn-inducing act of rubber-stamping by the National People’s Congress and its impotent cousin the CPPCC.

2. it’d be seen as capitulating to the West: As if authoritarianism is the formula to patriotism. By being anti-democratic, Dowager Cixi must be the patriot of all time.

3. it’d create a generation of shameless party shills who focus on political fights instead of progress: Mao versus Liu Shaoqi,Mao versus Peng Dehuai, Mao versus Deng, Deng versus Hua Guofeng, Deng versus Jiang Qing, Deng versus Yang Shangkun, Jiang versus Chen Xitong, Hu Jintao versus Shanghai Clique….(goes on)

4. it’d disrupt the current political process and allow antagonistic powers to gain leverage: Ngo Dinh Diem, Syngman Rhee, Batista, the Shah of Iran are all autocrats but how come foreign powers had gained leverage in their countries during their rule?

February 8, 2011 @ 1:10 am | Comment

@your friend
Shouldn’t India be running circles around China in every measurable way if indeed authoritarianism is at an inherent disadvantage against democracy?

Then why is China running circles around Chile when it comes to the simple act of saving trapped miners? Hohohoho.

February 8, 2011 @ 1:13 am | Comment

@your friend
(local->prefectural->provincial->central)

That happens to be the mandala flow of corruption within the CCP. Tax revenue raised get pocketed at each stage of the corruption game.

February 8, 2011 @ 1:42 am | Comment

@your friend
I’d say authoritarian systems provide fast growth and a strong military (stability) with a human cost.

To your friend, Kim Jong Il, Mugabe, Mobutu, Marcos, Ne Win, Idi Amin, are non-existent.

February 8, 2011 @ 2:04 am | Comment

justrecently
Indian non-governmental organizations can address grievances more effectively than Chinese NGOs which can be closed down at the discretion of local and central officials.

Why didn’t they start earlier?

For the next two decades, I expect India’s potential for growth to be much stronger than China’s.

Only because India will start at a much lower baseline.

human thaught included, is likely to become an asset for India, and the opposite approach will probably turn out to be a big Chinese liability.

History shows that the most innovative and successful polities have often been authoritarian governments.

SK Cheung
Can Chinese people have more, dare I ask? And it seems they have responded in the economic realm. Any other realms of importance, do you think?

The CCP has made progress in the economic, financial, scientific, technological, military and industrial realms. They are doing alright culturally. Political and legal reform has been slow but it’s still happening.

Debatable is better than “proven failure”, except you haven’t established the latter.

Past “democracies” like Athens and Rome have collapsed. The Weimar Republic also failed. There are many more examples. There is a reason why all democracies are so young- they either destroy themselves or become authoritarian.

As for who would determine what merit is, assuming a transition ever took place many old officials would be retained. The new generation of officials would be work up their way through local elections and self-regulate with the people they govern watching them. The only thing is that they would have to be at least somewhat intelligent and good at what they do- i.e no idiots or sociopaths.

Democracy doesn’t really provide oversight, it provides a feedback mechanism but that doesn’t stop politicians and others from manipulating the process. Democracy does not weed out stupid or incompetent politicians either- it rewards wealth, a photogenic face and glibness.

In fact, if people can only control who governs them to a point, is the inverse also true ie people can only govern down to a certain point?

In my opinion “greater powers” should only exist to create efficiency and handle things that smaller polities can’t, like defense, interstate/province infrastructure, foreign and monetary policy, and major research/construction projects that take massive investment. Otherwise it makes more sense to leave local affairs to people who care/know most about them.

But I agree that democracy doesn’t eliminate borders and boundaries. Nice try anyway.

Then where should borders be drawn? Most of them are arbitrary. If you argue this then it should be entirely fair for parts of nations to secede with a vote from the relevant group, otherwise they’re essentially captive populations. For example the Native Sikkimese should then be allowed to vote for secession and kick out all the non Sikkimese in their historical and cultural borders. Which would lead to the “many small nations” situation you described. This is why democracy can’t scale- most people would prefer not to be ruled from the outside by a numerically larger ethnic group. Democracy puts too much emphasis on quantity instead of quality, not even mentioning things like ethics and genuine right to rule.

I’m not sure what Einstein has to do with democracy. We are not talking about a vote on relativity. That is a bizarre argument.

If government is to be efficient and effective it has to employ specialists and experts. It’s a joke that democracies have so many laymen trying to dictate fiscal, economic and scientific policy when they do not understand these schools at all.

If the CCP is already divided, as you say, then why is it pointless to have more than one party? How is more than one party, and democracy, capitulation? And who would actually see it as such? The Chinese system now is not lacking in shameless self serving corrupt shills

I already mentioned the reasons why it’s bad. I will say out front that the CCP is one of the best governments in the world right now, which is not saying much. If they are corrupt, they are certainly less so than developing democracies.

Oh yes, “instability”. It’s Pavlovian, and you guys just can’t help yourself.

I don’t understand why you consistently dismiss stability as if it’s merely a trifling concern. Stability is the most important thing in nation-building. Since the PRC doesn’t wish to go the way of the USSR, Yugoslavia, the Macedonian Empire, etc yes there will be a focus on stability over all else. You are talking about life and death in terms of nationhood; obviously it is a top priority. And obviously, a Canadian would not fully understand just how dire a priority it is.

Also not sure if that makes income a non-issue. Regardless, in 2006, the top 10% in CHina owned 41% of the wealth, in the ballpark with SK, Japan, and Spain, and not too far off from Canada.

The rule generally is that rapidly developing nations are far less egalitarian than developed ones. This statistic reveals the PRC as being one of the best-run and most egalitarian polities in the history of mankind, and you don’t think this is impressive?

But if the income disparity in China remains, then it would seem that the trend of wealth disparity will also eventually increase following some time delay.

But you forget- income inequality is measured before taxes. China has a progressive income tax as well as significant capital gains taxes. Likewise, the government is more effective at keeping the playing field level- they work fairly hard to depress living costs and keep speculation and the CPI in check. They implement direct wealth transfers to the interior from the coasts, from urban to rural, and majority to minorities. Most importantly, they appear to have a policy of fair financing which has left the poorest in China relatively debt free when their peers in democracies such as South Africa, Brazil, India, Russia and America are mired in inescapable and backbreaking debt.

Runaway wealth gaps feed themselves, “rich get richer”, because once financiers start ignoring everyone else for the sake of the ultra-rich everyone else gets locked out of almost all of the most lucrative investments.

@Frank
credulous and/or cynical PRC populace–particularly as post-authoritarian governments in Tunisia and Egypt do a better job of providing for their citizens and involving their people in shared governance

You sound like an idealist. I’d like to remind you that Iranian theocracy is the product of the people’s will. I’m sure before 2007 you claimed that China’s NPLs and America’s booming financial sector would lead to great envy among the Chinese middle class…

@sp123
Guess what? CCP has none of those above. Tough isn’t it?

The CCP is objectively superior to almost all democratic governments.

Hit it right on the nail if you are referring to the annual yawn-inducing act of rubber-stamping by the National People’s Congress and its impotent cousin the CPPCC.

Their “rubber-stamping” created the fastest GDP growth in the history of man, 15% growth in per capita net worth year on year, 15-40% increase in patent output, and lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. That’s far better than what a democratic government could have accomplished.

As if authoritarianism is the formula to patriotism. By being anti-democratic, Dowager Cixi must be the patriot of all time.

Bzzt. Wrong. Not destabilizing the government when it’s doing a tolerable job is patriotic.

Ngo Dinh Diem, Syngman Rhee, Batista, the Shah of Iran are all autocrats but how come foreign powers had gained leverage in their countries during their rule?

Simplistic. They were too small to resist internal and external pressure. If they were democracies, they’d be even weaker- like for instance the democratically elected first president of Iran (Mossadegh) who was tossed out of office by the MI6 and CIA almost effortlessly.

Then why is China running circles around Chile when it comes to the simple act of saving trapped miners? Hohohoho.

Augusto Pinochet ring a bell? Chile was a dictatorship for decades- then it transitioned to democracy. A process fully supported by the US, after they essentially killed the man first elected there (Allende). Thank you for reaffirming my stance.

To your friend, Kim Jong Il, Mugabe, Mobutu, Marcos, Ne Win, Idi Amin, are non-existent.

North Korea is one of the world’s leading military powers. Mobutu and Marcos were US supported (Mobuto only gaining power after, once again, the West killed/help kill its democratically elected leader). Idi Amin was initially US supported.

February 8, 2011 @ 9:29 am | Comment

North Korea is one of the world’s leading military powers.

@byyourfriend

Don’t know whether I should send you off for some counselling,
shoot the computer or have the Shower Posse make an unannounced house call.

And such a nuanced grasp of world history.

February 8, 2011 @ 10:27 am | Comment

“The CCP has made progress in the economic, financial, scientific, technological, military and industrial realms.”
—economic/financial are basically synonymous, but yes. Industrial is a subset of that, or has factored into that. What scientific and technological progress has she made that wasn’t borrowed/stolen from someone else? We know she has a good puppet military. You’ve at least been honest enough to name the areas where she falls down. Now, of the realms where she has done well and the ones she hasn’t, I wonder how Chinese people would prioritize them. And besides maybe the puppet military, none of them require an authoritarian system.

“Past “democracies” like Athens and Rome have collapsed. The Weimar Republic also failed.”
—could you at least use non-ancient examples, since we are in non-ancient times? The Weimar did fail. Do you recall what replaced it? And how did that system do?
Democracies are young because the concept hasn’t taken hold for very long. Wasn’t that long ago that the world lived under dynasties and kingdoms. And if those resembled any modern system, it would be an authoritarian one. As I said before when you tried to justify the CCP based on the history of Chinese civilization, the CCP does resemble those bygone dynasties in some ways. And the key point there is that those dynasties are bygone. And the CCP will be too, one day. Sooner the better.

In more recent history, it would seem that it’s the authoritarian systems that go the way of the dodo, rather than democracies. And that is as it should be.

“self-regulate with the people they govern watching them”
—what the heck does that mean? If officials self-regulate, then what power do the people have besides literally just watching? How’s that different from the CCP now? And how is the “old guard”, accustomed to the current system at the trough, qualified to judge “merit” in the new system? And what power do the people have over such unelected “judges”, besides watching them? You’re just offering lip-service, but the system you propose is no different from the lousy one Chinese people have now.

“Democracy doesn’t really provide oversight, it provides a feedback mechanism”
—that feedback mechanism is the oversight, in conjunction with the rule of law. Admittedly, the presence of law doesn’t prevent someone from breaking it, but once broken, the penalties incurred serve to deter the next person. The presence of democracy also doesn’t preclude someone from breaking the rules, but the mechanism allows those people to be removed from power. THe CCP lacks both those things.

“Then where should borders be drawn? ”
—like I said before, I’m not here to rewrite history, or to reinvent the wheel. Borders are already there. If there is a dispute, then it’s up to the parties of the dispute to work it out. There’s no right or wrong way to determine borders.
However, China is already there. And without invoking any “scale” discussion, China has the capacity for democracy. Admittedly, she will still require certain institutions of democracy.

“most people would prefer not to be ruled from the outside by a numerically larger ethnic group.”
—and yet this happens in China now. The plight of minorities in China ia a whole other discussion, but suffice it to say that enforced harmony isn’t harmony. So we know an authoritarian system in China does not do well with this. Perhaps you know what they call people who make a mistake once, then do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. You’d think it would be time for a different system.

“not even mentioning things like ethics and genuine right to rule.”
—umm, don’t forget it’s the CCP you’re trying to apologize for. That would be funny if I didn’t think you might be serious.

“If government is to be efficient and effective it has to employ specialists and experts.”
—yes, employ them much like how democracies do it. The representatives choose the experts. The people choose the representatives. If the representatives have chosen well, the people will probably continue to let them make those choices; if they don’t, then the people probably won’t. Sounds like the basis for a pretty good system to me. In your system, where’s the “feedback” if the employed specialists turn out to be crap? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t any.

“I already mentioned the reasons why it’s bad.”
—and I’ve already raised multiple questions with each of your “reasons”.

“stability” in and of itself is of value. But you guys use it as a crutch to justify status quo and inaction. It is not so much a concept as an excuse. The logic does not venture far beyond the standard line: Stability good; change affects stability; therefore, change not good, and end of story. There is no grasp of the concept that change might be for the better, and that the new stability after change is better than the one now. It’s CCP-speak for doing nothing, which they’re good at.

“This statistic reveals the PRC as being one of the best-run and most egalitarian polities in the history of mankind, and you don’t think this is impressive?”
—what? Your “statistic” shows that, in 2006, the CCP was top-ten in wealth disparity. I’m surprised you would even try to spin that as a good thing. BTW, it’s a problem for CHina, but not one for which I would hang the responsibility on the CCP. But I certainly don’t think it’s anything to be impressed by.

“China has a progressive income tax as well as significant capital gains taxes.”
—most countries have progressive income tax. I’m not sure what level of capital gains tax qualifies as “significant”. Transfer payments are not unique to China. And despite everything you’ve listed, they’re in the top ten. So unless they continue to increase upper tier taxes to keep pace with the increasing income disparity, the wealth disparity gap will also increase commensurately.

“The CCP is objectively superior to almost all democratic governments.”
—based on which metrics? As determined by whom?

“Their “rubber-stamping” created the fastest GDP growth in the history of man”
—actually, it was the implementation of a free market economy in the most populace nation on earth that did that. Oh, and the Chinese people themselves. The rubber-stampers, not so much.

February 8, 2011 @ 11:34 am | Comment

re #14:
Why didn’t they start earlier?
Apparently because neither officials nor the neglected cared enough. The good news is that they don’t blame foreigners for that.

Only because India will start at a much lower baseline.
For that, and for the absence of “successful” birth control.

History shows that the most innovative and successful polities have often been authoritarian governments.
Authoritarian regimes were successful at times. Totalitarian regimes have always failed so far.

February 8, 2011 @ 1:29 pm | Comment

@King Tubby
Don’t know whether I should send you off for some counselling,

Clearly, they’re not a US/Russia/China, but they are solidly “regional power”. The result of their military first policy.

@SK Cheung
economic/financial are basically synonymous, but yes. Industrial is a subset of that, or has factored into that. What scientific and technological progress has she made that wasn’t borrowed/stolen from someone else?

Economic/financial are not synonymous. Economists generally track production figures, finance involves wealth, investments, banking, etc. The net worth of each Chinese citizen has been growing faster than GDP (nearly 15% per year or more), and China’s overall finances are fairly healthy. NPL ratio was reduced significantly, they have accrued a decent surplus, and generally speaking the citizens aren’t so debt-burdened. And the spread of wealth is very even for a developing country. Credit Suisse’s predictions in the link:

http://gulfnews.com/business/investment/credit-suisse-expects-global-wealth-to-increase-61-by-2015-1.693745

As for science, your contempt aside, China’s resident patent filings and approvals have been growing 15-20% year on year. In fact, China produce more patents than America on a patents/R&D spent basis. China quietly grew to 3rd place in patents in force. A crude measure no doubt, but most of the growth is in sectors with a lot of potential. The number of scientific papers and citations of Chinese patents and papers has increased. They also made a few headline accomplishments like the Tianhe, EAST Tokamak, successful ASAT tests, which set records for performance or cost-efficiency.

http://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/wipo_pub_931.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_patents

For technology, growth in cell phone/internet usage as well as electrification and the proliferation of solar water heaters, and electric vehicles are notable. HSR lines have expanded rapidly, and energy intensity is down significantly. Most of these are growing 20%+ year on year. Lastly it should be said that they don’t “steal” technology nearly as much as they buy it. China spends over $100 billion per year licensing IP- most of which is outdated.

We know she has a good puppet military.

China has created the world’s second or third most powerful military with a tiny budget, which is noteworthy.

Do you recall what replaced it? And how did that system do?

They were clearly insane, but the fact that a liberal democracy collapsed into Nazi Germany is a point worth mentioning. Both are inferior to a rational meritocracy.

In more recent history, it would seem that it’s the authoritarian systems that go the way of the dodo, rather than democracies. And that is as it should be.

Reminding you again, democracies have short shelf-lives. The Weimar Republic collapsed quite quickly. America is barely a fetus unless you consider a “democracy” where blacks and women couldn’t vote anything but a monstrous regime.

If officials self-regulate, then what power do the people have besides literally just watching?

They’d self-regulate through competition, scrutiny, etc. You can be self-regulating and overseen at the same time, of course- the people they serve would be another check or fail-safe, rather than being mob dictatorship.

but the system you propose is no different from the lousy one Chinese people have now.

The modern CCP is one of the most competent governments in the history of man. Prove me wrong.

There’s no right or wrong way to determine borders.

This is Nazism, or worse than Nazism. You just legitimized genocide and imperialism. So you support genocidal and imperialist mob rule, while I support smaller, rational and efficient states unified by rule of law and officials that earn their right to change policy. I’m glad we could establish this, as you support the genocidal, imperialistic Western status quo.

So we know an authoritarian system in China does not do well with this.

They actually do extremely well. Considering the level of interference they receive from the outside, the fact that there has been no breaking up of the Chinese state is very impressive. The reason why this is is because the vast majority of Tibetans and Uighur are satisfied with Chinese rule, not because they’re spineless pacifists as the spinmeisters of the West would lead you to believe.

yes, employ them much like how democracies do it. The representatives choose the experts.

Explain to me then, why so many “regulators” in democracies are occupied not by set positions, but by a revolving door into the corporate world? In reality, the lobbyists choose the “experts”, not the people.

If the representatives have chosen well, the people will probably continue to let them make those choices;

In your dreams. “The people” are often blinded by partisan politics, apathy, sheer ignorance and stupidity. This why the situation I mentioned above happens. I suppose you think every person in a capitalist system also acts in perfectly enlightened self-interest? I have a bridge to sell you. How about “anarcho-capitalist paradise” or “dictatorship of the proletariat/worker’s paradise”. Ideological dogma is the exact opposite of government by merit.

But you guys use it as a crutch to justify status quo and inaction.

If you consider 8-40% growth year on year on just about everything good and important to be inaction, sure. Again, you’re from Canada, so you overestimate the value of politics over science, technology, finances, economy, military, etc. Maybe China should start a campaign for Disabled Lesbian Dolphin Rights so we can all wave our signs and feel passionate about something. It’s CHANGE!

what? Your “statistic” shows that, in 2006, the CCP was top-ten in wealth disparity.

… did you even read the article? It most clearly states that it’s “wealth distribution in a selection of North American, European and Asian countries”. Not “top ten most imbalanced nations”. I have the complete list and Sweden and Norway and ALL of the Scandinavian countries are way, way behind China and Japan. Not to even speak of Africa or Latin America. It’s from UNU-Wider, the link:

http://www.wider.unu.edu/publications/working-papers/discussion-papers/2008/en_GB/dp2008-03/_files/78918010772127840/default/dp2008-03.pdf

World’s least imbalanced (major) economies, 2007: (my list from a quick scan)

Country Name//Top 10%’s Share of Total Wealth
#1 Japan//39.3%
#2 China//41.4%
#3 Spain//41.9%
#4 South Korea//43.1%
#5 Ireland//42.3%
#5 Finland//42.3%
#7 Germany//44.4%
#8 Australia//45%
#9 Italy//48.5%
#10 Norway//50.5%

Only one Scandinavian country makes the list, and Canada isn’t even in the top ten. In fact Canada is behind caste-divided, developing INDIA. Switzerland is the most imbalanced and America is the second most- case in point, the average black American is worth $8,000 in 2000 while the average white American is worth around $80,000. Income means nothing when you are locked in poverty by policy and living costs.

actually, it was the implementation of a free market economy in the most populace nation on earth that did that.

And who oversaw that “transition” and made it work after borders were secured and the life expectancy and literacy of the people raised? How come no one else on the planet or the history of mankind could ever do something similar? If it’s so easy why doesn’t everyone do it, creating 8-10% world GDP growth for decades? As a resource poor nation?

Because they can’t.

February 8, 2011 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

@justrecently
For that, and for the absence of “successful” birth control.

Do you really think that the key to growth now is just population growth? You need to feed, clothe, educate, medicate and sanitize for, every person that is born in order to sustain economic growth beyond shuffling malnourished peasants into urban sweatshops. India has a massive young population but only 40-50% of them at most are properly nourished and even fewer of them both well fed and educated. It’s a tragedy of unimaginable scale.

Authoritarian regimes were successful at times. Totalitarian regimes have always failed so far.

Sorry, but I will have to question your knowledge of history here.

February 8, 2011 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

Whoops. Ire and Fin-land should be tied for fourth, above Korea. I had the 2006 list in mind when I compiled that.

February 8, 2011 @ 1:54 pm | Comment

@your friend
The CCP is objectively superior to almost all democratic governments.

Objectively? Hahaha. Even Hitler can claim “objectively” that Aryans are the “master race”.

Their “rubber-stamping” created the fastest GDP growth in the history of man, 15% growth in per capita net worth year on year, 15-40% increase in patent output, and lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty.

Not mentioning the power struggle, wealth gap, corruption, rot, vested interests among princelings.

Bzzt. Wrong. Not destabilizing the government when it’s doing a tolerable job is patriotic.

What is “tolerable”? From the ruler’s perspective? The villagers from Xiashuixi found it so “tolerable” that they cheered when Zhang Xuping killed corrupt CCP thugs like Li Shiming. Hahahaha.

If they were democracies, they’d be even weaker

If democracies were “weaker”, then World War II would have been won by Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Read more.

- like for instance the democratically elected first president of Iran (Mossadegh) who was tossed out of office by the MI6 and CIA almost effortlessly.

First, you embarrassed yourself factually: Mossadegh wasn’t “president”, he was prime minister. Show how credible your knowledge is.

Secondly, precisely because Mossadegh was the democratic leader who represented Iran’s popular will to have self-determination, he nationalized the oil companies and showed the foreign powers the way out. For that he was toppled by foreign powers. In turn, the foreign powers installed the Shah as their puppet to control the oil resources of Iran. Conclusion: Dictators are the easiest props available for foreign powers to gain imperial control. In fact, many dictators exchange national interests for foreign support. Suck it up.

Augusto Pinochet ring a bell? Chile was a dictatorship for decades- then it transitioned to democracy. A process fully supported by the US, after they essentially killed the man first elected there (Allende).

Pinochet stepped down in 1990. To say that his rule has anything got to do with Chile proud rescue of its trapped miners in 2010 is akin to saying that your great grandmother’s school grades is responsible for your high school results.

North Korea is one of the world’s leading military powers. Mobutu and Marcos were US supported (Mobuto only gaining power after, once again, the West killed/help kill its democratically elected leader). Idi Amin was initially US supported.

First, almost any country can become a “leading military power” as long as it is moronic enough to spend over 25% of its GDP on the military while millions of its people starved.

Secondly, you just once again proved that dictators are the most convenient tools for a foreign power to have indirect control and hegemony over the local population. Hohohoho.

February 8, 2011 @ 11:39 pm | Comment

@your friend
Past “democracies” like Athens and Rome have collapsed. The Weimar Republic also failed

This just cracks people up. As if the Qin Dynasty, the Romanov Dynasty have not collapsed. Weimar Republic “failed” mainly because of its tainted linkage with the humiliating Treaty of Versailles and it was left to pick up the shit left behind by the Kaiser. Oh, and Germany today is the democratic Federal Republic of Germany but the “German Democratic Republic” was tossed into the gutter. Hohoho.

February 9, 2011 @ 12:05 am | Comment

Re #119Do you really think that the key to growth now is just population growth?
As I said in my comment #103, it takes much more than “just growth” – the understanding, for example, that a “comprehensive” plan for a country like China, mind-shaping programs included, are bound to fail. The neglect for India’s poor is grisly – but you are missing my point. Even with up to fifty per cent of its citizens undernourished, India has made it to the point where it is now. Only people who believe that it will do worse from here will doubt that its best days are ahead, rather than past. Given that standards of living are going to rise, India, too, will get past its population bulge, but less radically – and later – than China.

Sorry, but I will have to question your knowledge of history here.
That’s weak, yourfriend. If you will have to question my knowledge, go ahead – a mere announcements leads nowhere.

February 9, 2011 @ 2:10 am | Comment

“Economic/financial are not synonymous. Economists generally track production figures,…”
—you were talking about “realms”, remember. The economy and financial success of CHina are synonymous. I have no idea what the job description of an “economist” has to do with it.

Speaking of China and patents, how is that related to the authoritarian system. As i said earlier, aside from maybe the military, how is the progress in any of those “realms” causally-linked to authoritarianism? It’s not. That China has made it to this point is good to see. BUt her further progress from this point onward is not predicated on authoritarianism.

IP protection is certainly an area that requires work. And that work needs to occur in the arena of rule of law. Not the first time that rule of law deficiencies have come up.

You’re telling me about China’s progress. I’m not arguing about her progress. Where you fall down is trying to use that progress as a justification for the continued use of authoritarianism, CCP style. As I said earlier, besides the military, none of those other “realms” require authoritarianism.

“Both are inferior to a rational meritocracy.”
—an oxymoron if there ever was one. You haven’t really detailed what that is; and what you have described sounds like the status quo. You seem not that different to most: your preconceived conclusion is that the CCP stays; you work backwards to try to find justification for same.

“Reminding you again, democracies have short shelf-lives.”
—and again as I’ve said, democracies are young because we all lived in dynasties and kingdoms not long ago. If authoritarianism works, then the real question you need to ask yourself and answer is why most of the world aren’t still living in dynasties and kingdoms. Dinosaurs roamed the earth for a long time too. But that was also a long long LONG time ago. Hopefully the CCP shelf-life is shorter…and looking at the fate of relatively contemporary authoritarian systems, that should be the case.

“You can be self-regulating and overseen at the same time, of course- the people they serve would be another check or fail-safe,”
—say what? You’re kidding, right? Industries often offer to “self-regulate” to avoid formal government oversight. The whole point of “oversight” is to take the regulation out of the “self”, and put it into the hands of the public. How do people serve as a fail-safe when they aren’t the regulators? At best, you’d be counting on the morals and ethics of those “self-regulators”. Nice way to ask the fox to guard the hen-house. Once again, all you have is lip-service, of a fairly unconvincing and non-compelling variety.

“You just legitimized genocide and imperialism.”
—you’re on glue, or something even more potent. You’re the one who said borders are “arbitrary”. I said disputes are to be resolved by the involved parties. Maybe you can answer your own question: “Then where should borders be drawn?”. You were borderline coherent up to this point. But I’m getting the sense you are not unlike the others…never more than a stone’s throw away from wingnut.

“I support smaller, rational and efficient states unified by rule of law and officials that earn their right to change policy”
—then clearly you’re not supporting the CCP. China’s certainly not small. If self-serving is “rational”, then ok I suppose. Efficient in some regards, yes, like silencing dissent. Rule of law? Never met him as a CCP cohort. And the CCP operatives haven’t “earned” their right to do anything, at least not with the people. If you use the standard style of your people, the come-back will involve how the CCP earned their right 62 years ago, to which I would agree, and simply request that such an opportunity be granted to CHinese people more than once a generation.

“Considering the level of interference they receive from the outside, …”
—same old same old. ‘no mommy, it isn’t (ever) my fault; it’s (always) someone else’s fault’.

“The reason why this is is because the vast majority of Tibetans and Uighur are satisfied with Chinese rule,”
—you may be right. Care to put that to the test? Didn’t think so.

“why so many “regulators” in democracies are occupied not by set positions, but by a revolving door into the corporate world?”
—umm, you wanted “experts”, remember? The fact that these “regulators” are sought after by their respective corporate sectors shows that they are considered experts even by the people in their field. Would you rather that a regulator be someone who couldn’t even get a job in a corporate mail-room? As I said, people elect representatives, and the representatives choose the experts. Under the CCP, the people get to decide nothing. Why do you insist on that for Chinese people?

“I suppose you think every person in a capitalist system also acts in perfectly enlightened self-interest?”
—you’re conflating your concepts here. China with the CCP is as capitalist as the next guy. I believe you’re referring to a democratic system of governance. And when people use aggrandized generalizations like “perfectly enlightened” to make an argument, I find that it is because they have no argument to make.

Umm, not sure what “paradise” has to do with it. Certainly doesn’t describe China. I just want more rights for Chinese people. You don’t. Your cross is not for me to bear. I have no problem with government by merit, so long as those governed get to pass judgment on merit. I guess you’re more into self-evaluation. Well, at the very least, I hope you don’t operate education systems.

“If you consider 8-40% growth…”
—gosh, how hard is it to get you people to stop with the disingenuous arguments? The growth is great, but that wasn’t the “crutch” to which I referred. The “crutch”, for review, is that any change is bad, and status quo is the only way to go.

Hey, if the CCP can let Chinese people express what they feel passionately about, without the anonymity of the internet but in the flesh, without the threat of “judicial” interference and “consequences”, that would already be a start. That would be a nice change.

“And who oversaw that “transition” and made it work…”
—the CCP. Who was there for 30 years before that? Also the CCP. So, what changed more, the CCP, or the economic system? You take as much time as you need. China has had awesome growth, partly because of her starting point. But from this point on, China doesn’t need the CCP to continue. Or at the very least, Chinese people should decide what they need, and not the CCP.

February 9, 2011 @ 3:18 am | Comment

@justrecently
that a “comprehensive” plan for a country like China, mind-shaping programs included, are bound to fail.

Like how Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong have failed? Personally I think they’re doing pretty well.

India has made it to the point where it is now.

And what point is that? India’s wealth per capita is extremely low- and that’s ignoring the fact that it’s much more imbalanced than China’s.

@SK Cheung
you were talking about “realms”, remember. The economy and financial success of CHina are synonymous. I have no idea what the job description of an “economist” has to do with it.

They really, really are not. It takes a different expertise to manage both and indeed they are vastly different realms.

Speaking of China and patents, how is that related to the authoritarian system. As i said earlier, aside from maybe the military, how is the progress in any of those “realms” causally-linked to authoritarianism? It’s not. That China has made it to this point is good to see. BUt her further progress from this point onward is not predicated on authoritarianism.

CCP rule has created this growth, while developing democracies stagnate or fall back. That, and South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore are good examples.

IP protection is certainly an area that requires work. And that work needs to occur in the arena of rule of law. Not the first time that rule of law deficiencies have come up.

IP protection needs more work in several democracies such as India or even Taiwan (in certain cases).

As I said earlier, besides the military, none of those other “realms” require authoritarianism.

They are interconnected. A democratic China would not have the unity or political will to resist Western cultural, economic and financial imperialism. They’d be a hollowed out shell of a nation hooked on overpriced Western goods like the opium heads of the Late Qing.

and what you have described sounds like the status quo.

There is no status quo. China is improving, changing and strengthening so rapidly that it’s radically different every year.

then the real question you need to ask yourself and answer is why most of the world aren’t still living in dynasties and kingdoms.

Do you mean “most of the world” as in “the West and it’s cronies” because I’d pretty sure at least a good half of humanity is “unfree” according to Freedom House. I know the West’s media loves to tout surveys of Europe and North America as surveys of the world, but 3-4 billion+ others would like to differ.

Hopefully the CCP shelf-life is shorter…and looking at the fate of relatively contemporary authoritarian systems, that should be the case.

If the CCP doesn’t want to let go of power, it won’t. But it probably will, as it has been.

How do people serve as a fail-safe when they aren’t the regulators? At best, you’d be counting on the morals and ethics of those “self-regulators”. Nice way to ask the fox to guard the hen-house. Once again, all you have is lip-service, of a fairly unconvincing and non-compelling variety.

Like I said, the affected parties would be able to strip officials of power, try them in court, or remove them from office entirely. This would encourage them to do a better job.

Maybe you can answer your own question: “Then where should borders be drawn?”

One thing is for certain, the West is outsize. The natives of a place should own the territory- revolutionary concept for a Canadian, I know. Your form of democracy is just “might makes right” only with the mob and numbers as your “objective” determinant. The only thing we’re arguing is the value of merit vs. consensus, and quality vs. quantity. The rest is you being stubborn.

same old same old. ‘no mommy, it isn’t (ever) my fault; it’s (always) someone else’s fault’.

Except it is someone else’s fault- again, the thing we are arguing is between consensus and merit. My statements are validated by fact, yours rely on popular opinion.

Care to put that to the test? Didn’t think so.

Care to put First Nations independence (meaning you’d be deported after the referendum) to the test? Didn’t think so.

But sure, lets gerrymander Tibet’s borders around some Han population centers like one of your favorite democracies, and then have independence crushed by a 98:2 vote.

The fact that these “regulators” are sought after by their respective corporate sectors shows that they are considered experts even by the people in their field.

Good one! So the fact that BP and Gulf Coast’s regulatory body were literally sleeping together is what, your standard of corporate and government professionalism? What about Monsanto and the FDA?

I just want more rights for Chinese people. You don’t.

You want a weak, divided, corrupt and Western-dominated China. I want an independent, dignified, powerful, wealthy and secure China and East Asia.

The “crutch”, for review, is that any change is bad, and status quo is the only way to go.

And your “crutch” is that any change is good, and that you don’t need facts or proof to back anything up because the mob is wise and infallible?

Hey, if the CCP can let Chinese people express what they feel passionately about, without the anonymity of the internet but in the flesh, without the threat of “judicial” interference and “consequences”, that would already be a start. That would be a nice change.

Except that has nothing to do with democracy. Democracy is simply mob rule, all the embellishments like “freedom of speech” are issues of rule of law- assuming that is the law. The chocolate rivers and rainbow happy sunshine are embellishments tacked onto the democracy concept without regard to etymology.

But from this point on, China doesn’t need the CCP to continue.

Since history suggests you are wrong (Taiwan became a real “democracy” in 2000, when per capita GDP was around 20,000) I will disagree.

February 9, 2011 @ 6:08 am | Comment

“They really, really are not.”
—ok listen, you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to; let’s not get caught up in one word. That word is beside the point. As I’ve said several times, with the exception of the military, none of your “realms” required, or requires, an authoritarian system.

“That, and South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore are good examples.”
—you know what, if the CCP system evolved into Singapore, SK, or especially Taiwan, that to me would be good progress.

“IP protection needs more work in several democracies”
—indeed. IP protection remains a work in progress even in first world countries. Again, that wssn’t the crux of the point, which was that China needs rule of law yesterday. It is understood that other countries could use it as well, but I’m talking about China; I’m not here to compare. If I was really cynical, I’d say that the CCP is dragging its feet on establishing and propagating rule of law because she doesn’t want to establish the foundation upon which democracy might be able to operate in China. Haven’t decided yet if I feel cynical today.

“A democratic China would not have the unity or political will…”
—and why do you say this? For this to be true, you would have to assume that the majority of Chinese people lack such will. Now why would you say something like that? And how is the military interconnected with anything, like the economy, science, or culture? The military and the economy may have been somewhat more connected prior to 1979, but certainly not today.

“There is no status quo. China is improving,…”
—politically, not so much. Certain areas of personal freedoms, not so much. Economically, yes. But again, that’s the stuff that doesn’t require authoritarianism.

“Do you mean “most of the world” as in “the West and it’s cronies” because I’d pretty sure at least a good half of humanity is “unfree” according to Freedom House.”
—interesting that you’re happy to quote Freedom House when it suits you, yet you criticize FOARP for doing so a few days ago. You guys are all so much alike.
“democracies” are not created equal, as evidenced by Egypt right now. So yes, there are places which may be nominally democratic but realistically have much room for improvement. BUt they’re not kingdoms and dynasties. And you didn’t answer my question. Nor, most likely, have you even posed the question to yourself, by the looks of things.

“If the CCP doesn’t want to let go of power, it won’t.”
—well here’s hoping you’re wrong. Maybe some of the younger ones will break the mould. For the reach should exceed the grasp, or what’s a heaven for. And when it comes to the CCP, sometimes it does feel like it will take divine intervention.

“Like I said, the affected parties would be able to strip officials of power, try them in court, or remove them from office entirely.”
—I must have missed this earlier, cuz I didn’t see you say it quite as directly until now. If people can strip officials of power (I take this to be functionally equivalent to removing them from office), that sounds great. That’s no longer self-regulation. It almost sounds like “democracy”.

“The natives of a place should own the territory- revolutionary concept for a Canadian, I know.”
—you’re not a Canadian, I know. At least I hope you’re not, cuz you don’t seem at all familiar with the reparations that have been made to First Nations peoples in the last 10-15 years, both on provincial and federal levels. Again, not the first time you folks have brought up First Nations peoples. I’d ask you about Tibet, but that’s just low-lying fruit.
You seem keen to rewrite history, maybe tell Columbus it was a bad idea to go sailing. Perhaps you would like to vacate all of the Americas except for “aboriginal” peoples, however defined. Do you have a practical plan for your “principle”? And how far back in time do you go? Should everyone just head back to Africa, since that’s probably where it all began?
It seems you disavow democracy mostly because you understand it poorly. “democracy” in practice is more than just majority rule, which is why I’ve previously alluded to necessary institutions, such as rule of law and a constitution. You might see the light someday if you learned a little more about it.

“the thing we are arguing is between consensus and merit.”
—well, it’s more than that. There are individual freedoms at stake too. BUt if you want to narrow it down, that’s cool. Now, what “facts” have validated your concept of “merit”? Besides, as I point out above, your model is rapidly approaching a democratic one. It seems you’re having some trouble arguing against democracy.
You seem to be of the opinion that Tibetans might seek independence/autonomy only at the behest of the big/bad west, hence my response to your standard point about outside “interference”. That is “validated”? You’re a funny guy.

“Care to put First Nations independence (meaning you’d be deported after the referendum) to the test?”
—see above. Lame in concept. Juvenile in execution, mostly because you haven’t even suggested any terms for such a “referendum”. It would have to be a wildly bizarre referendum for it to have the result you suggest. You should try to think about it.

“But sure, lets gerrymander Tibet’s borders around some Han population centers”
—clearly you care deeply about your Tibetan brothers. Good show. You must be the poster child for how the CCP chooses to deal with minorities. Not what’s not to like about that display, eh?

“So the fact that BP and Gulf Coast’s regulatory body were literally sleeping together is what, your standard of corporate and government professionalism?”
—no, that would not be the standard. When that Chinese kid ran over and killed a university student, and declared “my father is Li Gang”, is that standard for how the CCP, and their kids, work their system? I would hope not.
By the way, since you disagree with my point, are you agreeing that a regulator should only hope to be good enough to score a mail-room job in the corporate world? Do you want experts, or don’t you? I want experts, hired by representatives, who are hired by us. Not sure what exactly you want, but it sounds peachy. Speaking of which, I assume you live in an autocratic society, right? Cuz you seem to enjoy it immensely, and have great disdain for democracy. You wouldn’t be the type of hypocrite that lives in a democracy, yet doesn’t want to avail Chinese people to one, would you?

“I want an independent, dignified, powerful, wealthy and secure China and East Asia.”
—…where her people are treated like children, and the CCP alone knows best. BTW, nice touch about “east Asia”. I think the US presence would be a lot less compelling for a lot of those nations if CHina moved in a different path, without the CCP. If you want the CCP in CHina, you’re going to get the US in east Asia. As they say, you should be careful what you wish for.

“And your “crutch” is that any change is good,…”
—it seems like your capacity for original thought is on the wane, since you’re at the point of just saying the opposite of what I say by changing a word here and there. I hope this isn’t too taxing for you.

Not all change is necessarily good, just as not all change is necessarily bad. But the people most affected by change, or a lack thereof, should be the ones who decide on whether to engage in it, or not. Hope that’s not too complicated for you.

“Democracy is simply mob rule, all the embellishments like “freedom of speech” are issues of rule of law- assuming that is the law.”
—if you’ve paid any attention at all (and I wonder sometimes), you would’ve noticed that I’ve spoken of “democracy” to include the requisite institutions, multiple times. BUt if you feel grossly narrowing the construct is the only way to salvage your “argument”, you do what you gotta do. When I speak of “democracy”, I’m invoking a more nuanced concept than you seem capable of grasping.

Ah yes, the per capita GDP line. That seems like the only one left for you folks.

February 9, 2011 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

Re #125
@justrecently
that a “comprehensive” plan for a country like China, mind-shaping programs included, are bound to fail.
Like how Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong have failed? Personally I think they’re doing pretty well.

Somewhat more in detail – I see that S. K. Cheung has addressed this before me: Neither Taiwan, nor Singapore, South Korea or Hong Kong, have based their point on being morally superior to other civilizations, or current or former victims of other civilizations, nor have they been too keen on remaining self-sufficient in terms of food. They didn’t fear the rest of the world the way you do. Therefore, they didn’t need to deem foreign development patterns a threat. They just used what they considered useful, and left the rest out, without a lot of mortified bla-bla.

India has made it to the point where it is now.
And what point is that? India’s wealth per capita is extremely low- and that’s ignoring the fact that it’s much more imbalanced than China’s.

I don’t know where you get your date from, but would appreciate if you linked to a source when mentioning statistics. The Gini Coefficient World CIA Report suggests that income disparities in China were bigger than India’s in 2004. This will have shifted to a degree, and more recent data from India isn’t available, but I can’t see the evidence for your statement.
Given that some 30 to 50 per cent of the Indian population is undernourished – we have discussed that fact several times now -, it should be obvious that their wealth per capita is extremely low. What’s the point you are trying to make?

February 9, 2011 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

@my friend
A democratic China would not have the unity or political will to resist Western cultural, economic and financial imperialism. They’d be a hollowed out shell of a nation hooked on overpriced Western goods like the opium heads of the Late Qing.

As if a CCP-ruled China is a paradise. MNCs (many “Western” ones) worked hand in hand with local party thugs and local greedy suppliers to exploit Chinese labourers using sweatshops and paying them a pittance with dangerous working conditions. In fact, under CCP, China became global capitalism’s biggest exploitative sweatshop. All the wealthy Chinese care much more for “Western” materialistic items like LV, Gucci, Prada than the livelihood of their poorer countrymen. All that “Western” consumerism reached its pinnacle under CCP rule. And the CCP sank so much of the nation’s savings in US and European sovereign debt, only to see US printing another 600 billion dollars and debasing Chinese-held US T-bills.

Hahaaha.”Western” cultural, economic and financial imperialism certainly thrived wildly under the CCP. LOL.

February 9, 2011 @ 11:13 pm | Comment

@your friend
Like I said, the affected parties would be able to strip officials of power, try them in court, or remove them from office entirely. This would encourage them to do a better job.

How come you haven’t done that to Li Peng?

February 9, 2011 @ 11:19 pm | Comment

@my friend
The modern CCP is one of the most competent governments in the history of man. Prove me wrong.

Even if you discount the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, you still have to convince the peasants whose land was illegally seized by CCP thugs, parents whose child suffered untold suffering because of melamine milk, the petitioners who trekked all their way to Beijing to seek redress for the injustice done to them by local party thugs, parents of those who died in collapsed “tofu” schools of the credibility of that sycophantic line of yours up there.

February 10, 2011 @ 12:06 am | Comment

justrecently said “Neither Taiwan, nor Singapore, South Korea or Hong Kong, have based their point on being morally superior to other civilizations, or current or former victims of other civilizations, nor have they been too keen on remaining self-sufficient in terms of food. They didn’t fear the rest of the world the way you do. Therefore, they didn’t need to deem foreign development patterns a threat. They just used what they considered useful, and left the rest out, without a lot of mortified bla-bla.”

Besides democracy, i think most Asian country have the similar attribute you had mentioned pertaining to China, I would say China is relatively mild.

February 10, 2011 @ 12:31 am | Comment

@your friend
Sorry, but I will have to question your knowledge of history here.

Talking about questionable knowledge of history, guess who was the airhead called Mossadegh “president” when he was actually prime minister?

Elementary history classes, anyone? Hohohohhoho.

February 10, 2011 @ 1:47 am | Comment

Re #131 Besides democracy, i think most Asian country have the similar attribute you had mentioned pertaining to China, I would say China is relatively mild.
That may be your impression, Rhan – but Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea are fairly cohesive states, which can’t be said about the Chinese empire. The ideological glue that is meant to keep China together under the CCP’s leadership is meant to maintain “vigilance” about foreign things, if you want to put it nicely, and it’s a very fearful view of the world, if you don’t look for nicer expressions. Koreans are be much more outspoken than Chinese people in daily life, exactly because they aren’t afraid – but that says nothing about the intensity of Chinese or Korean feelings.
When China – a permanent member of the UNSC, an established nuclear power, and a country with quite a measure of economic success, has to look at the world in the way you find reflected in many Chinese comments, and in many Chinese news articles, I’d say there is a problem, and that problem can’t be found outside China. It’s inside China.

February 10, 2011 @ 5:31 am | Comment

While this thread has been descending into a low level war of attrition, and has ranged over the history of the world and nation states as we know it, “chaos” in Egypt is about to be qualitatively redefined.

Negotiations over democratic reform with those opposition groups and the so-called transitional govt are now dead in the water. In addition to Tahrir Square, there are now widespread industrial strikes. The army will soon impose its will on the nation in the interests of the status quo, and it will be a bloody affair. (Some very unsavoury facts now emerging about the army in the last few days: cf The Guardian.)

This makes one seriously rethink how, EVEN if it developed, a popular and widespread colour revolution could ever achieve it aims in China. In short, serious political reform in China will probably not be realised thru domestic pressures. That leaves another regime change scenario some time in the future, being military conflict with the US and its pragmatic Asian alliance partners. Tag lines here include: forward defence, energy/resource security, control of maratine choke points, nationalisn, rise and fall of Japan to 1945, etc.

On a lighter note, when discussing Egypt today, why just focus on the Islamic world and China. Berlusconi’s Italy has all the same social characteristics, plus that magic ingredient Lolita sex.

February 10, 2011 @ 6:55 am | Comment

@King Tubby

Berlusconi’s Italy is hugely, hugely richer.

February 10, 2011 @ 7:40 am | Comment

Seems some think China might have a hand in Egyptian events soon
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/business/global/09food.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

Could a “colour revolution” not occur in parts of China? I know Beijing and most Chinese see China as a monolith but it does seem to me to be more akin to Europe in scope, albeit like a “Roman Empire” Europe…

February 10, 2011 @ 9:24 am | Comment

SK Cheung
none of your “realms” required, or requires, an authoritarian system.

For China they do :) Resource poor, under intense threat from antagonistic superpowers, etc.

I’d say that the CCP is dragging its feet on establishing and propagating rule of law because she doesn’t want to establish the foundation upon which democracy might be able to operate in China.

Singapore has rule of law but isn’t really democratic. Rule of law doesn’t tend to lend itself to democracy, really.

And how is the military interconnected with anything, like the economy, science, or culture?

The economy and scientific advancement feed directly into military power, which stabilizes all other factors including cultural influence.

interesting that you’re happy to quote Freedom House when it suits you, yet you criticize FOARP for doing so a few days ago. You guys are all so much alike.

It doesn’t “suit me”. My premise is that Freedom House is already adversarial to my argument- me using it is a sign of generosity. Besides, if you were to claim they were wrong and thus “the whole (free) world” really does include more than 2-3 billion people you’d be shooting yourself in the foot.

Maybe some of the younger ones will break the mould.

You are recognizing differences within the CCP- progress.

That’s no longer self-regulation. It almost sounds like “democracy”.

They have to self-regulate and be regulated from outside. It’s generally best to have things on auto-pilot with a big “shut down” button if the things start getting out of control. Efficient, but with a failsafe.

“democracy” in practice is more than just majority rule, which is why I’ve previously alluded to necessary institutions, such as rule of law and a constitution

Rule of law is rule of law and applies to pretty much any government. Democracy just means policy is decided by majority vote, or representatives elected by majority vote. The rest are embellishments.

clearly you care deeply about your Tibetan brothers. Good show. You must be the poster child for how the CCP chooses to deal with minorities. Not what’s not to like about that display, eh?

I do, actually- that’s why we can’t allow them to be annexed by their southern neighbors like all the other Tibetan kingdoms (save Bhutan). Chinese Tibet is being vacated by non-Tibetans- Indian Tibet is being flooded.

By the way, since you disagree with my point, are you agreeing that a regulator should only hope to be good enough to score a mail-room job in the corporate world?

I mentioned the revolving door before. What I didn’t mention was that this a revolving door of incompetents, lobbyists and political cronies, not a revolving door of talent. Go and look into it- Halliburton, Monsanto, BP and others have pretty much infested every regulatory body. And the big leaders aren’t experts, they tend to be politicians/lobbyists. With no expertise whatsoever.

Cuz you seem to enjoy it immensely, and have great disdain for democracy. You wouldn’t be the type of hypocrite that lives in a democracy, yet doesn’t want to avail Chinese people to one, would you?

Where I live, I have next to no political rights whatsoever.

where her people are treated like children, and the CCP alone knows best. BTW, nice touch about “east Asia”. I think the US presence would be a lot less compelling for a lot of those nations if CHina moved in a different path

No, the people would be free from tyranny of the majority and foreign impression. Each person would have the chance to go into politics and excel given that they are good enough- unlike democracies where only the super rich have a chance in elections. And no, China’s turning into a democracy would not ease tensions fueled by the US presence- as the US is not going to cease its hostility so long as China remains an independent and competitive power.

But the people most affected by change, or a lack thereof, should be the ones who decide on whether to engage in it, or not. Hope that’s not too complicated for you.

Not “the people”. The people who know what they’re doing should decide. Everyone has a job to do- stick to what you’re good at.

you would’ve noticed that I’ve spoken of “democracy” to include the requisite institutions, multiple times.

It doesn’t matter how many times you say it. They are not requisite or related to democracy. Rule of law can apply in any government system.

Ah yes, the per capita GDP line. That seems like the only one left for you folks.

Aside from everything else. You haven’t scored a single point yet.

@justrecently
Somewhat more in detail – I see that S. K. Cheung has addressed this before me: Neither Taiwan, nor Singapore, South Korea or Hong Kong, have based their point on being morally superior to other civilizations, or current or former victims of other civilizations, nor have they been too keen on remaining self-sufficient in terms of food.

Except China doesn’t either, you are reading far too much propaganda. And how is remaining self-sufficient in food a crime, when the West has proven in the past that it has no qualms about using sanctions to attack a nation’s civilian population (NK, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Cuba)? The real “problem” with China is that they’re fairly clear-eyed about the nature of the West, which causes them consternation. If you want their trust, earn it.

One thing to note is that Singapore has taken several moves to hedge against Malaysia especially for water security. I guess you think that’s “paranoia” too- Singapore should just roll over and die like every Chinese polity, correct?

The Gini Coefficient World CIA Report suggests that income disparities in China were bigger than India’s in 2004.

As I told Resident Poet, WEALTH is not INCOME. Think about it for a second.

The ideological glue that is meant to keep China together under the CCP’s leadership is meant to maintain “vigilance” about foreign things, if you want to put it nicely, and it’s a very fearful view of the world

TRANSLATION: China doesn’t bow down and do everything the West wants. China doesn’t hand over every single thing of worth it has over to the West. Sounds like some personal issues are seeping through

@King Tubby
being military conflict with the US and its pragmatic Asian alliance partners.

“Pragmatic” and “war with China” do not belong in the same paragraph.

February 10, 2011 @ 1:05 pm | Comment

@Resident Poet – Yeah, one country is beset with corruption and nepotism scandals and run by a sex maniac of dubious origin who reportedly keeps a hareem of 40+ mistresses, and who uses copious amounts of hair dye amongst other things in a pathetic attempt to hang on to his youthful looks, and the other is Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy.

@Mike Goldthorpe – Were something like that to happen, civil war would be the most likely result.

February 10, 2011 @ 2:53 pm | Comment

Civil war is a far too encompassing concept to use if China starts to really fray at the seams domestically. More than likely the peripheral Muslim provinces will seek to separate, while the peasantry in the centre will exhibit a mix of short-lived and *uncoordinated* prairie fire rebellions, christian millenial end-times cult uprisings and similar.
The idea of civil war implies the existence of two diametrically opposing ideologies, and I see no evidence of any nascent unifying narrative or ideology capable of uniting a downtrodden peasantry. So go with the idea of something shapeless, uncoordinated and unpredicatable, but definitely bloody. In the words of Tuff Gong, there will be burning and looting…sometime in the future.

February 10, 2011 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

@FOARP

Come on. You can’t be serious equating Italy with Egypt. True, the Italian south is basically the dark ages (but soo picturesque). Still, the north is better than… the UK, let alone Egypt.

I just don’t see the similarities between Tuscany or Umbria and Aswan or the Sinai…

Leaders are important but not that important. If Putin ended up in charge of Spain tomorrow it would still be the same country. Just my two cents.

February 10, 2011 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

@Res Poet – No, I wasn’t seriously comparing Italy to China/Egypt, but Berlusconi’s sleazy behaviour is no worse than that of the CCP, Hu Jintao included (by repute).

February 10, 2011 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

@FOARP. Are you claiming that Hu Jintao has a sleazy sexual appetite similar to Berlusconi. I’m calling you out on this one. Your all-time credibility in on the line. Even if it is only by repute, let’s have some non-referenced salacious details. In the public interest, of course. Look the guy spends half his time transiting the globe. What are you suggesting: that he is also the president of the 69er club.

February 11, 2011 @ 4:18 am | Comment

No, I don’t think that you really want those details, KT… Think again!

February 11, 2011 @ 4:36 am | Comment

Hu comes off as clean (and totally bland and painfully indecisive) in the available WikiLeaks. Not so Jiang Zemin.

February 11, 2011 @ 4:39 am | Comment

Oops. “Jiang Zemin, not so much” is better.

February 11, 2011 @ 4:40 am | Comment

“…under intense threat from antagonistic superpowers”
—oh brother, cue the violins and the moans and groans yet again. But consider this: if you actually believe that others are “antagonistic”, at least militarily, think how much less so they would be if China were democratic. In the other realms, China and other nations are merely competitors. If “competition” in your world is “antagonism”, well, gosh, based on what you’ve said so far, i wouldn’t put that past you.

“Singapore has rule of law but isn’t really democratic.”
—which is why, on the road of evolution, this might be an initial goal for China but shouldn’t be the final one.

“Rule of law doesn’t tend to lend itself to democracy, really.”
—excuse me? What does it lend itself to, then? Remember, we’re talking “rule of law”, not willy-nilly martial law. The latter would have some resemblance to authoritarian environs.

“The economy and scientific advancement feed directly into military power”
—pardon? Hey, not long ago you mentioned how NK was one of the most powerful militaries in the world. So are you suggesting that her military is built upon her incredible economic and scientific prowess? You are getting funnier by the minute.
You might also want to reflect upon China pre 1979. Good military, crappy economy. But as I say, you should do stand-up. It again shows that, while you might need authoritarianism for military, you don’t need it for economy, science, and most definitely not culture.

“me using it is a sign of generosity.”
—oh spare me. You’re just like the others who rail against “western media” but are happy to trot out western media articles that they support. Nothing if not a reflection of solid principles. If you had read on, you would’ve realized I said not all “democracies” are created equal, etc. You guys also seem to share similar talents in selective reading.

“You are recognizing differences within the CCP”
—actually, I said “maybe” ie I’m recognizing the human potential for there to be such differences. Whether such differences will materialize, who knows. And here’s the thing. You would subject Chinese people to the whims of the CCP in hopes that such differences will emerge. I’d simply allow Chinese people to make they changes they require, all by themselves, without the help of “daddy”.

“They have to self-regulate and be regulated from outside.”
—you’re knee-deep in double-speak, buddy. If there is regulation from the outside, that’s the basis of “democracy”. It might be time for you to own up to what you’re saying, and actually acknowledge that, why you rail against democracy, you’re also advocating for one. But I must say, it’s fun to watch from where I sit.

“Rule of law is rule of law and applies to pretty much any government”
—someone should really tell the CCP. It’s one of the fundamental problems of authoritarianism. Sure they have laws. They even have a constitution. It’s upholding the laws and the constitution, and not free-balling it when it’s expedient for the CCP, that raises law and order questions about China today.

“The rest are embellishments.”
—it seems what you’re really arguing against is “majority-rule” in isolation. That’s fine. I’m for “democracy” at something slightly beyond a playground-level depth of concept.

“that’s why we can’t allow them”
—unless you’re Tibetan, there’s no “we”.

“others have pretty much infested every regulatory body”
—oh brother. So you want experts, but when those people are good enough to work in the corporate world, there’s something wrong with that too. So do you want experts, or don’t you? Sometimes getting you people to answer a simple question can be so difficult.

“Where I live, I have next to no political rights whatsoever”
—oh really. So here are the possiblities. (a) you live in China; (b) you live in some other authoritarian state; (c) you are living in a democractic state under some form of visa or permanent resident status. If it’s (a) or (b), at least you’re not a hypocrite. If it’s (c)…well…the answer should be pretty clear, and I’d be happy to spell it out for you if needed.

“US is not going to cease its hostility so long as China remains an independent and competitive power.”
—I hear a violin solo coming on…

“The people who know what they’re doing should decide.”
—haven’t we been through your silly “merit” stuff before. Who gets to decide who knows what they’re doing? Oh, and don’t forget my chicken/egg reference from days ago: who gets to be the first “decider”? You actually never did answer that. Here’s your chance…don’t squander it twice.

“They are not requisite or related to democracy.”
—you really need to expand your mind/horizons a little bit, and learn about “democracy” in practice. You’re arguing against majority rule in isolation…understandable, since that’s all you’ve got.

The GDP business is all you’ve got left. And it’s not worth much. Here’s why. If you use some nation as an example of GDP requirements for democracy, you’re only arguing that China would need to reach that same GDP threshold to achieve similar results. But who said China needs to end up just like Singapore, SK, or Taiwan? China as a democracy will be unique and unlike any other democracy. Wanna know why? Cuz there’s only one China, and no one else her size. Which leads to the second thing. A $1 increase in per capita GDP in China is a $1.3-1.4billion increase in GDP. You seem to like “scale”, so think about economies thereof. It’s not going take the same per capita GDP in China as it took in other much smaller states. What per capita GDP is enough? Well, that should be up to the Chinese people to decide.

February 11, 2011 @ 4:57 am | Comment

Re #137

Except China doesn’t either, you are reading far too much propaganda. And how is remaining self-sufficient in food a crime, when the West has proven in the past that it has no qualms about using sanctions to attack a nation’s civilian population (NK, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Cuba)? The real “problem” with China is that they’re fairly clear-eyed about the nature of the West, which causes them consternation. If you want their trust, earn it.

Cuba counts – the way America is treating one of its closest neighbor is a shame. But tell you what: I’ve recently met several exile-Cubans from Florida who visit their old country regularly and who campaign for normalizing relations. You can do that in the U.S. of A., and it doesn’t spell “treason” there.
As for the other countries you mention:
there haven’t been normal trade relations between the West and North Korea. When there are food supplies – usually from or via South Korea -, they are humanitarian relief supplies.
Zimbabwe is actually self-sufficient in terms of food – it wasn’t a Western boycott which turned Africa’s “breadcase” into a starving country.
Vietnam’s recent decisions speak for themselves. They do know America from its worst side, but they know China no less. Seems Hanoi and Washington are currently getting on quite well with each other.
Singapore does hedge, where it can – but without its propaganda machinery going overboard with warnings of the “bad world” outside its borders. In fact, it’s quite possible for the city’s elder statesman to suggest that Singapore’s future may lie exactly in Malaysia. That doesn’t spell “treason” in Singapore, either.

As I told Resident Poet, WEALTH is not INCOME. Think about it for a second.
Sure – wealth and income aren’t synonymous. And your point is?

TRANSLATION: China doesn’t bow down and do everything the West wants. China doesn’t hand over every single thing of worth it has over to the West. Sounds like some personal issues are seeping through
Bullshit. Russia doesn’t “bow” to the West. South Africa doesn’t. Nor does South Korea. That doesn’t mean that their papers need to be full of stories about a “dangerous” foreign world, and about how dependent the innocent people at home are on the protection of their “benevolent leaders”. No need for “The-People-Never-forget” documentaries there. Simple historical recordings usually do in other places. Above all, people outside China and North Korea aren’t constantly told to thank their upper classes for their generous protection.
For the record, I have no personal issues with China. I have an interest in relations with China that serve my country’s own interests, and I suggest that there is a need for thorough discussions about the Chinese state’s actual nature, and I’m happy to take part in such discussions. In your own words: the aim is a clear-eyed perspective. If you have a problem with that, it’s still yours, not mine.

February 11, 2011 @ 5:16 am | Comment

So…if I get the main gist of the arguments – either system of governments work great until they don’t.
What happens when things sour? In democracies, we generally get an election and another party comes in. Sometimes they even change things…. But in a one party state? Dunno – change comes after many years and it generally doesn’t look too pretty.

A question I have to ask. If the current Chinese system is so great, why the secrecy and censorship? I mean, look at all these US and other western Chinese who go great lengths to tell us how great the CCP one party system is. They have access to all that nasty anti-Chinese media stories and this only makes them more assured of the one party system. Why then can’t the CCP allow these stories to be published in China? The results speak for themselves, don’t they? Drop censorship and there’ll obviously be millions more Chinese rising up in defence of the CCP, just as their expat countrymen are doing! Or am I missing something here?

February 11, 2011 @ 8:53 am | Comment

Stability, Mike, stability. It’s the cause, reason, motivation, and explanation for everything…or so some would like people to believe.

So naturally, the reason why giving Chinese people access to information is “bad” will be because it is bad for “stability”. In fact, the reason why we shouldn’t do anything differently than how the CCP does it now will be because it would be “bad” for “stability”. It’s really top-shelf reasoning…how much more “stable” can you get than doing nothing and keeping the status quo? Whether it is good or bad for CHinese people doesn’t seem to enter into the consciousness for some.

February 11, 2011 @ 9:36 am | Comment

justrecently,

I suggest you to read LKY Hard Truth for a different perspective.

http://www.macaudailytimes.com.mo/asia-pacific/21464-Lee-Kuan-Yew-urges-Muslims-less-strict.html

Being Asian and form a Muslim country, I see lots of similarity. The West paranoid toward Islam and Muslim is not less either, I just paste your comment and replace it with USA/UK/Germany against the Muslim world, it still sounds pretty convincing as how you portray China.

February 11, 2011 @ 10:10 am | Comment

“A question I have to ask. If the current Chinese system is so great,”

The Chinese system is not great, it work at this point of time.

February 11, 2011 @ 10:13 am | Comment

SK Cheung
oh brother, cue the violins and the moans and groans yet again. But consider this: if you actually believe that others are “antagonistic”, at least militarily, think how much less so they would be if China were democratic.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

which is why, on the road of evolution, this might be an initial goal for China but shouldn’t be the final one.

Singapore is one of the best run polities in the world.

What does it lend itself to, then?

..rule of law

Hey, not long ago you mentioned how NK was one of the most powerful militaries in the world. So are you suggesting that her military is built upon her incredible economic and scientific prowess? You are getting funnier by the minute.

I said it feeds into the military, not that the military is 100% reliant on either, obviously. But keep up with the straw men; again, you’re employing
sophistry vs. logic.

you don’t need it for economy, science

It helps, in China’s case. And China (and Singapore, and Taiwan, and South Korea) proves you don’t need democracy for anything.

but are happy to trot out western media articles that they support.

Nope. I like to point at Western media when it shoots itself in the foot, undermining both your argument and their own credibility.

You would subject Chinese people to the whims of the CCP

Dramatic. I guess not all “Chinese people” mind being subjected to unprecedented economic growth and strengthening of financial institutions, the fastest growing scientific base in the world, rapid industrialization, the lowest wealth gap of any major economy, the spread of technology, high literacy, safe borders and a strong military.

Woe is them!

I’d simply allow Chinese people to make they changes they require, all by themselves, without the help of “daddy”.

I’m seeing a disturbing trend regarding you and “daddy”, but I think the Chinese are fine without the input of foreign cabals and Western-bought officials.

If there is regulation from the outside, that’s the basis of “democracy”.

No matter how many times you say this, it will remain false. Again, you support “tell a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth”. I support the truth.

It’s upholding the laws and the constitution, and not free-balling it when it’s expedient for the CCP, that raises law and order questions about China today.

Except China beats several “democracies” hands down when it comes to rule of law. Singapore beats nearly every developed democracy as well.

at something slightly beyond a playground-level depth of concept.

If by “playground-level depth of a concept” you mean “what the concept is and always has been” then yes, you’re right. Rhetoric vs. facts.

unless you’re Tibetan, there’s no “we”.

Unless you’re First Nations, there’s no “we”.

when those people are good enough to work in the corporate world, there’s something wrong with that too.

So in your opinion, the BP Oil Spill was the result of competence, Halliburton charging Americans $45 for a can of coke is the democratic ideal, and corrupt big ag shills lining the top positions of the FDA is no problem- aside from the massive toll of diabetes and heart disease on America’s living standards and tax budget.

No wonder China is so leery of your brand of democracy.

—oh really. So here are the possiblities. (a) you live in China; (b) you live in some other authoritarian state; (c) you are living in a democractic state under some form of visa or permanent resident status.

Try again.

I hear a violin solo coming on…

Does that mean you’ve stopped blocking it out with your sobbing? Self-delusion vs. realism.

haven’t we been through your silly “merit” stuff before.

Lip-service vs. real service.

You’re arguing against majority rule in isolation

Since democracy is majority rule in isolation. Propaganda vs. critical thinking.

The GDP business is all you’ve got left.

Except for literacy, sanitation, wealth, security, military, science, technology, living standards, corruption, stability, education and true independence. Selective blindness vs. holistic view.

China as a democracy will be unique and unlike any other democracy.

Hopefully- for you- divided and neo-colonized.

Which leads to the second thing. A $1 increase in per capita GDP in China is a $1.3-1.4billion increase in GDP. You seem to like “scale”, so think about economies thereof

Yes clearly, because total GDP is indicative of per capita educational achievement and living standards!

What per capita GDP is enough? Well, that should be up to the Chinese people to decide.

By the educated Chinese people, yes.

February 11, 2011 @ 10:35 am | Comment

any major economy save Japan, that is

February 11, 2011 @ 10:36 am | Comment

@Mike: Drop censorship and there’ll obviously be millions more Chinese rising up in defence of the CCP

It might work with China because this idea of overthrowing CCP and turning it to Democratic (aka Corporate takeover) state is so hegemonic that less and less people questioning it.

But in the US, people just choose the same two parties that follows the same line over and over again. Why do think less than 10% choose ideals over money spent on the campaign?

In the case of wikileaks and since US doesn’t censor the material or blogs of defending wikileaks, we still see how ignorance of US people (60% from Pew Research) who think wikileaks spillage is harmful to the public interest EVEN after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said it hasn’t.

It truly doesn’t matter of who is censoring or who is not (MSM overwhelming stances that are not popular), people are still going to trust the MSM every word and not questioning it.

February 11, 2011 @ 10:51 am | Comment

@justrecently
I’ve recently met several exile-Cubans from Florida who visit their old country regularly and who campaign for normalizing relations.

And has America listened? No. Maybe if these exile-Cubans were billionaires or supermodels.

Seems Hanoi and Washington are currently getting on quite well with each other.

Again, history suggests they are just playing both sides against each other.

This is what your Singapore article said: if the island state’s economy faltered and if Malaysia pursued meritocracy

In other words, it will never happen. This is rhetoric, and good statecraft.

Sure – wealth and income aren’t synonymous. And your point is?

My point is you didn’t have a point before. In other words, your quote here The Gini Coefficient World CIA Report suggests that income disparities in China were bigger than India’s in 2004. is tangential to what I said.

Bullshit. Russia doesn’t “bow” to the West. South Africa doesn’t. Nor does South Korea. That doesn’t mean that their papers need to be full of stories about a “dangerous” foreign world

Again, you are obsessed. I can tell you’re mad because you think foreigners (read: Westerners) get a bad rap when in reality they’re simply being portrayed accurately. You think what’s written in the papers is a sign of “xenophobia”? So Russian skinheads and South African farm murders are what, harmless fun? Not to mention that Russias papers ARE loaded with anti-West rhetoric (if condescending and humorous). Please, stop hiding behind the “foreigners” catch all. China doesn’t criticize Africans, Latin Americans, etc in its papers. It’s the West you are referring to. It’s nice enough to feign concern over xenophobia in China when in reality you are just annoyed that Western interests are not being served unquestioningly. If it weren’t for history and that kind of smug glibness, perhaps the Chinese media would be more inclined to trust you.

I have an interest in relations with China that serve my country’s own interests

In other words: brain/financial drain, corporate imperialism/monopolism/anti-competive action, West-worship, Christianization of China. Those are the true interests of the West in China.

February 11, 2011 @ 11:06 am | Comment

@KT – The 40+ woman harem was a solid rumour.

February 11, 2011 @ 2:31 pm | Comment

Sk

I think china’s future is as a poor version of japan and germany. At about 2030-40 chinas economy will get as big as the USA’s and then the demogrsphics of china aka the one child policy will mean that just like germany and japan in the 1980′s growth will slow and chinese society will become OLD and unwilling to change so no revolutions like the middle east. The only shame is that for the people they will only have 1/4 of the income of their german and japanese models. Sad really it is like the tortise and the hare story china raced stopped population growth but at the end of the race the tortiseIndia will become the real global power.

February 11, 2011 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

At about 2030-40 chinas economy will get as big as the USA’s

Heh.

and then the demogrsphics of china aka the one child policy will mean that just like germany and japan in the 1980’s growth will slow

Assuming current population trends continue, assuming no advancements in medicine raise working age.

February 11, 2011 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

None of yourfriend’s points, an encyclopedic workout of the entire fenqing playbook, really stands up against honest scrutiny, and that was clear early on. I can’t believe SK has the energy to play along.

China has a good economic development story to tell, but too often the tellers surrender their cred with these kind of diatribes and this undiluted nationalism.

February 11, 2011 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

Mubarak is out

February 12, 2011 @ 12:22 am | Comment

“There is no reason to believe the Chinese will take to the streets and risk life and limb to tear down a regime that most of them see as a vast improvement over what they had before, or that they at worst see as a necessary evil.”

I agree with you 100%. China, despite obvious continuing human rights issues, is still enjoying a comparably higher level of quality of life and opportunity than in recent decades. There is no reason to think they are going to revolt. I’d honestly peg the US to be more “revolutionary” than China if we were making bets.

February 12, 2011 @ 12:49 am | Comment

@my friend
Singapore is one of the best run polities in the world.

Except that given the rampant corruption the CCP has been engaged in,the chance of a China-version of Lee Kuan Yew emerging is almost zilch.

February 12, 2011 @ 1:45 am | Comment

@my friend
By the educated Chinese people, yes.

Yup, by CCP officials whose official salary is no more than 3000 renminbi a month but are able to their children to schools in England that charged £29,670 a year. Hohhohoho.

February 12, 2011 @ 1:59 am | Comment

@my friend
Except China beats several “democracies” hands down when it comes to rule of law.

You have a great confusion between rule of law and rule by law. Certainly, China beats everyone when it comes to rule by law. “My Dad is Li Gang! Sue me if you have the guts!” is the proudest moment of the PRC’s legal history. Hohohoho

February 12, 2011 @ 2:03 am | Comment

Power to the people! Down with the dictator! A true “people’s revolution”!

February 12, 2011 @ 2:11 am | Comment

Tanks beside the people not over the people

February 12, 2011 @ 3:23 am | Comment

Yes. SKC has triple back-to-back marathon stamina when it comes to FQ rebuttal. Given some of the dodgy things which took place in the Games 08, the credentials committee should be checking that Team Friend is not getting a hidden assist.

NO FOARP. It is power to my kind of people.

February 12, 2011 @ 3:45 am | Comment

Re #155

@justrecently
I’ve recently met several exile-Cubans from Florida who visit their old country regularly and who campaign for normalizing relations.
And has America listened? No. Maybe if these exile-Cubans were billionaires or supermodels.
How does it matter if the exile-Cubans were billionaires or supermodels? Let me know, and I’ll be glad to provide you with some more information about them.
And yes – America listened. They are moving only slowly, but they are moving – maybe you missed the news of earlier this week.

Seems Hanoi and Washington are currently getting on quite well with each other.
Again, history suggests they are just playing both sides against each other.
Then again, this report by AlJazeera suggests something beyond “just playing both sides against each other” –
Critics had complained that having thousands of Chinese mine workers in the strategic Central Highlands was an unacceptable security threat, given Vietnam’s long history of conflict with its northern neighbour. The Vietnamese can tell from experience that America won’t control Vietnam. Vietnam’s long-term security concern is China.

This is what your Singapore article said: if the island state’s economy faltered and if Malaysia pursued meritocracy
In other words, it will never happen. This is rhetoric, and good statecraft.

As Mr Lee doesn’t constantly think of himself as a victim, his view of Malaysia (and the world) is much friendlier than yours, yourfriend. Malaysia’s Democratic Action Party, and the opposition in general, have been quite successful in the elections of the past decade – that Chinese and people of other nationalities can actually cooperate successfully may be hard to understand for you, but then, that’s not Singapore’s problem. Malaysia may well become a perspective for Singapore’s future.
But that’s actually going beyond our previous discussion. My point in using the Lee Kuan Yew quote was a reaction to your comment #137. See there, and if you are interested, google the Five Power Defence Arrangements. If there are real worries in Singapore about Malaysia, other security concerns certainly matter much more.

In your comment #125 you said:
And what point is that? India’s wealth per capita is extremely low- and that’s ignoring the fact that it’s much more imbalanced than China’s.
Comment #127 was my reply to that. That wealth isn’t income, and that income distribution is therefore – in absolute amounts – on a lower level than China’s, is obvious.
When you say that India’s wealth per capita is much more imbalanced than China’s, I take it that you refer to a pareto system, i.e. the Gini-coefficient. Based on the link I provided in #127, your suggestion then doesn’t hold water.

Let’s continue with your comment #155 now:

Bullshit. Russia doesn’t “bow” to the West. South Africa doesn’t. Nor does South Korea. That doesn’t mean that their papers need to be full of stories about a “dangerous” foreign world
Again, you are obsessed. I can tell you’re mad because you think foreigners (read: Westerners) get a bad rap when in reality they’re simply being portrayed accurately. You think what’s written in the papers is a sign of “xenophobia”? So Russian skinheads and South African farm murders are what, harmless fun? Not to mention that Russias papers ARE loaded with anti-West rhetoric (if condescending and humorous). Please, stop hiding behind the “foreigners” catch all. China doesn’t criticize Africans, Latin Americans, etc in its papers. It’s the West you are referring to. It’s nice enough to feign concern over xenophobia in China when in reality you are just annoyed that Western interests are not being served unquestioningly. If it weren’t for history and that kind of smug glibness, perhaps the Chinese media would be more inclined to trust you.
You can tell that I’m mad? Prove it, yourfriend. Otherwise, it makes no sense to assert it.
Russian skinheads and papers that vent anger against the West do not suggest that Russia would be afraid of the West. Farm murders in South Africa don’t define South Africa’s relations with the West, btw. Do you think I should become angry because most victims of farm murders seem to be whites? Wouldn’t that be a bit racist for my part?
As for history and smug glibness: I don’t think that we should try to win your media’s trust, or the trust of the Chinese public. That would be a long, costly, and still fruitless effort. The main reasons for distrust lie within your country. The West is only your propaganda’s convenient lightning arrester. It would be stupid if foreigners tried to do what is, after all, your homework, yourfriend.
As for the rest of what you wrote under #155, I refer you (and anyone who might care to read along) back to my comment #147.

I have an interest in relations with China that serve my country’s own interests
In other words: brain/financial drain, corporate imperialism/monopolism/anti-competive action, West-worship, Christianization of China. Those are the true interests of the West in China.
Not at all. I think that corporations are pretty much in one boat with your leadership, and that’s a domestic issue between taxpayers like me, and them. I see no reason why technological edges that my country has, thanks to education, research and development, and much of that financed by tax money, should be handed to China’s state-capitalist system on a silver platter.
And christianization of China? Makes no sense to me. The zeal you are demonstrating here is impressive enough, even without additional fuel from religion. There are some funny parallels between your party’s central committee, and the Vatican anyway, even if with the differences that cardinals have fewer kids at renowned foreign universities, that they don’t rule a country, or write its laws.

February 12, 2011 @ 3:57 am | Comment

@Power to the people! Down with the dictator! A true “people’s revolution”!

Which dictator are you talking about? Hosni or Omar?

February 12, 2011 @ 4:54 am | Comment

Im by-passing the Battle of the Titans above, and recommending the following summary on how China and Russia have dealt with the Egypian moment:

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE71A0A020110211

While Russia can maintain stability over demands for democracy by throwing state oil revenues at economic hot-spots of dissent, China is in an analogous situation (and one which takes us back to Richard’s comment about grain futures).

It is clear that China’s food security is under dire threat, due to desertification, strange weather patterns and the exhaustion of its aquafers in northern grain growing provinces, and will have to turn to Australia aka tubbyland to prevent dramatic domestic price increases. Grain imports financed by foreign reserves.

Getting to the point. China’s environmental situation is approaching meltdown central, and any country which cannot provide food staples at an affordable price is going to experience the serious chaos high jump sooner or later. China will simply have to maintain its export based economic model to acquire the foreign reserves needed to import grain staples.

Even if my reasoning is rotten, China’s environmental situation and her social harmony are inextricably linked in some way or another.

February 12, 2011 @ 5:16 am | Comment

“Singapore is one of the best run polities in the world.”
—if Chinese people think so, then that’s indeed what they should aim for. Do Chinese people think so? Is that what they want to aim for? You wouldn’t know, since the CCP has never asked. And you don’t even want to know, since you don’t want the CCP to ask, or Chinese people to answer. Way to bury your head in the sand. Bravo.

So rule of law is an independent entity, not lending itself to anything? Well, your POV is probably in lock-step with the CCP. Again, good for you. Maybe one day, the CCP will respect the rule of law. When China becomes democratic (in the adult sense, not your juvenile “majority rule” in isolation), she’ll certainly need rule of law.

“I said it feeds into the military”
—how so? If NK has this awesome military but lousy economy, how is that economy “feeding” the military? Maybe this economy is feeding the military at the expense of feeding her people. That indeed is something you see in authoritarian regimes. Yes, authoritarian regimes do emphasize the military. But again, you don’t need authoritarianism for all those other “realms”. Keep dancing aruond though, cuz it’s fun to watch. BTW, I said “built upon”. That seems closer to “feed” than “100% reliant”. Who’s playing with words now…and poorly at that?

“It helps, in China’s case”
—how? First it’s “feeding”. Then it’s “helping”. Fantastic stuff. BTW, “it helps” means it might be useful, but not necessary. Don’t know about you, but ‘not necessary’ seems a lot llke “don’t need it”. Which was my point all along. Try to keep up. Not to mention that I don’t even think authoritarianism is even “helpful” in those other realms.

“proves you don’t need democracy for anything.”
—hey, you don’t “need” democracy or authoritarianism. So then what do you want? Actually, I couldn’t care less what you want. What would Chinese people want? And why is it that people who have a man-crush on authoritarianism are so loathe to put it to the test?

“I like to point at Western media when it shoots itself in the foot,”
—that’s like stealing lollipops from babies on a degree-of-difficulty scale. They do this all the time. Nothing wrong with criticizing when they screw up. The unsightly thing is when you folks generalize to all “western media” as though it was some monolithic thing, then turn around and quote from said media when it suits you.

“I guess not all “Chinese people” mind”
—perhaps. But why “guess”? Why not find out for real? Do you often base your decisions in life on guesses, rather than facts? Who knows, the “facts” might even bear you out. But you won’t know unless you have the gumption to look. Otherwise it’s the head in sand thing again.

“I think the Chinese are fine without the input of foreign cabals and Western-bought officials.”
—I said Chinese people should decide themselves. No Western-anything. You need to read better, or perhaps less selectively. You “think” Chinese people are fine, eh? Why so shy about actually finding out?

If “outside regulation” isn’t democracy, then what is it? It’s certainly not authoritarianism. Certainly not the CCP. Your “truths” are worthless.

“Except China beats several “democracies” hands down when it comes to rule of law.”
—you should really join the stand-up circuit. Chris Rock, Dane Cook, Russell Peters etc are nothing compared to you for comedy.

“If by “playground-level depth of a concept” you mean”
—exactly what I said. Like I’ve said, read better. Learn more about democracy before ranting against it.

Speaking of which, you seem to have skipped the part about whether you are a hypocrite. The silence is deafening. If my choices are incorrect, maybe you can tell us where you’re at. I’m in Canada.

“Unless you’re First Nations, there’s no “we”.”
—ok, so you’re funny, but not that original. That part needs some work. Also, if you read my 2 responses in #126 to your ‘First Nations’ point, I didn’t use “we”. So by accident, you are correct in a literal sense. But for what you’re trying to say, you arguing against something I didn’t say. Good work. Is that the best you’ve got?

“the BP Oil Spill was the result of competence…”
—no, they are not. Regulators do make mistakes in a democracy, since they’re human. Do human regulators make mistakes in the CCP?

“massive toll of diabetes and heart disease”
—how is public health related to this discussion? But if you want to go there, I heard something about melamine in milk. Is that really possible? And a little further back, apparently China didn’t have SARS, until she most certainly and indisputably did. Interesting.

“No wonder China is so leery of your brand of democracy.”
—first of all, you wouldn’t know, since the question hasn’t been posed. And I’ve never said to recreate the US system in China, so you’re again arguing against something I didn’t say. You should really try arguing against the stuff I actually say, if that’s not too taxing for you.

“Does that mean you’ve stopped blocking it out ”
—no no. The violins are nothing new. It does concern me that adults supporting the CCP can be so whiny. They also seem to assume that Chinese citizens are as whiny as they are, without any basis.

“Since democracy is majority rule in isolation”
—to a 6 year old like you, perhaps.

“Except for literacy…”
—more “realms”, none of which require authoritarianism, again maybe excepting the military bit. Some people are thick.

“Hopefully- for you- divided and neo-colonized.”
—more whining. Somebody pass the poor guy some kleenex already.

“because total GDP is indicative of per capita educational achievement and living standards!”
—gosh why can’t you read. When China is that much larger than Taiwan, economy of scale means you don’t necessarily need the same per capita GDP to achieve those other standards. Even then, that only applies if China wants to become Taiwan. That’s an unsubstantiated stipulation.

“By the educated Chinese people, yes.”
—if decided by Chinese people, sure. But not if they’re decided by cronies and mouthpieces like you.

February 12, 2011 @ 5:35 am | Comment

@slim
really stands up against honest scrutiny

Your idea of “honest scrutiny”- corporate overlords and vested interests owning the government, idiots voting for people who are dumb like themselves, regime change actions, propping up of dictators (Mubarak is just one of many).

I see he decided to call in the cheerleaders. Fenwai democracy in action.

@justrecently
They are moving only slowly

This would be termed “bureaucratic inefficiency”. Given that the human body is not infinitely capable of withstanding enforced famine, “slowly” translates to the deaths of tens of thousands. China can’t afford “slowly”- rich democracies that have amassed wealth through un-democratic behavior can. Up until they collapse that is, like Athens, Rome and the Weimar Republic.

Critics had complained that having thousands of Chinese mine workers in the strategic Central Highlands was an unacceptable security threat

Weren’t you just shedding tears about how foreigners, snaking into every single institution in China, were unjustly discriminated against? Yet you gush about Vietnam using “xenophobia” to systematically discriminate against mine workers.

Clearly, mine workers have a history of state subversion- not media, academic, financial and political “consultants” from the outside.

Malaysia may well become a perspective for Singapore’s future.

The chance is slim to nonexistent for innumerable reasons. Like the fact that Malaysia will never be as dynamic and successful as Singapore.

When you say that India’s wealth per capita is much more imbalanced than China’s,

You could have said the entire paragraph in one sentence or less. You again miss the point. Wealth is not income. The gini coefficient works with any metric, it’s not exclusively used for income. Wealth is accumulated assets, income (in this case) is pre-tax income. Huge difference. I don’t think either you or SK Cheung are understanding this.

Russian skinheads and papers that vent anger against the West do not suggest that Russia would be afraid of the West.

And you think China is afraid of the West? I don’t think “afraid” really describes it. Distrustful? Skeptical? Don’t conflate rational behavior with cowardice.

The West is only your propaganda’s convenient lightning arrester.

Thanks to the fact that, “conveniently”, the West is, and has been for 500+ years, an overwhelmingly negative influence on the world. I suppose, in your opinion, leaving your children with a convicted and (not so secretly) practicing pedophile would be a sign of tolerance and universal values.

I see no reason why technological edges that my country has, thanks to education, research and development, and much of that financed by tax money, should be handed to China’s state-capitalist system on a silver platter.

Aside from the fact that the West has never paid China a single penny for gunpowder and print, and the fact that the West obtained voluminous bioweapons research from Japanese scientists that murdered Korean, Mongolian and Chinese civilians? True, but don’t go crying about your trade deficit when you refuse to sell China what they (the people) want- and need the most. And don’t complain about how China scales down rare earth production to reduce damage to their environment and workers. There is after all no reason why China’s people and land should be poisoned so that a colonial oligarchy can be handed their resources on a silver platter.

@Tubby
China will simply have to maintain its export based economic model to acquire the foreign reserves needed to import grain staples.

That’s not the way international trade works.

@SK Cheung
When China becomes democratic (in the adult sense, not your juvenile “majority rule” in isolation)

Oh yes, because if we reject the false embellishments you have tacked onto democracy without regard for its actual meaning, it’s “juvenile”. But hey, you just finished voting for your 6th grade school president because she promised that soda pop would flow from your water fountains. Your connection with Susie B. Jenkins is more than just your ballot.

Maybe this economy is feeding the military at the expense of feeding her people.

The West cornered NK, practically begging for a military-first policy. And that’s what they got.

Yes, authoritarian regimes do emphasize the military. But again, you don’t need authoritarianism for all those other “realms”.

Oh yes, Haiti and India are flourishing democracies, aren’t they? Again, straw man- no one ever said “you” “need” authoritarianism for a strong nation. China needs it (now) for survival. And a strong government helps, but obviously isn’t the only factor.

how? First it’s “feeding”. Then it’s “helping”. Fantastic stuff. BTW, “it helps” means it might be useful, but not necessary.

The usage of the word “feed” is proper (not feeding). Specifically, “feed into” which is commonly used outside of the pesky literal meanings you are completely divorced from outside of this case (given that your definition of democracy is categorically false outside of standard propaganda use).

Not to mention that I don’t even think authoritarianism is even “helpful” in those other realms.

Not surprisingly, you think wrong.

And why is it that people who have a man-crush on authoritarianism are so loathe to put it to the test?

Your opinion of putting a government to a test is asking the public to get in touch with their feelings. My idea of putting a government to test is a 4,000 year track record of survival against all odds. “What are the merits of mob rule vs. strong government?”, I will say it has been fun doing your middle school homework for you.

The unsightly thing is when you folks generalize to all “western media” as though it was some monolithic thing

Except Freedom House isn’t “media” (not even by your standards where the literal definition of a word is a conspiracy against freedom loving sophists), and yes, the vast majority of Western media on a market share basis is owned by a small group of corporatists. Market share- Google it, while you are dazzled by the latest in pop culture infotainment.

Why not find out for real? Do you often base your decisions in life on guesses, rather than facts? Who knows, the “facts” might even bear you out. But you won’t know unless you have the gumption to look. Otherwise it’s the head in sand thing again.

Why not find out if the First Nations really appreciate you squatting on their land? Since you are lost, I will spell it out. A dare that asks someone to do something stupid (in this case, destabilizing the government) is generally not taken at face value. Prove the utility, in objective terms, derived from your proposed exercise in servile West-worship.

As a matter of fact, if democracy is so great, why don’t you reign in your spending, stabilize your currencies, and stop supporting dictators all around the world? That’s what I thought. You’d imagine if democracy was so great, successive US administrations wouldn’t have denied it to Egypt from the 80s up until today. Or maybe they just hate Egyptians, but are willing to share the kool-aid with Chinese people! I am so flattered!

No Western-anything.

Cute. SK thinks democracies can’t be influenced by external actors.

you should really join the stand-up circuit. Chris Rock, Dane Cook, Russell Peters etc are nothing compared to you for comedy.

Personal attacks from SK Cheung when he’s losing a debate as usual. Sounds like your acne medication is doing a number on someone’s hormones.

Learn more about democracy before ranting against it.

I’ll make a deal- I revise my extensive knowledge of the failures of democracy if you pick up a history book before gushing about it like a 13 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

I’m in Canada.

Isn’t already exceedingly obvious that I knew that? Some of us have good memories- a merit. It might be nothing compared to the fury of the mob and not nearly half as attractive as collective delusion, but hey, it’s something.

Regulators do make mistakes in a democracy, since they’re human.

Oh right my fault. Regulators do make mistakes (no shit). But.. but.. but, but-but-but-but!! the ELECTORATE is flawless! Zing! Except when they categorically tried to deny racial minorities all rights and basic human dignity. Or when they voted for Adolf Hitler.. er.. just forget about that entirely. Long story short kids, only the CCP makes mistakes! Democracy now! Bring on the pink polka-dot and stripes revolution!

how is public health related to this discussion?

Clearly public health is not a concern for SK Cheung’s democratic Shangri-la. It’s just a minor, trifling subject somewhere between celebrity gossip and human interest stories. Far above things like “national debt” of course, what kind of silly authoritarians would even mention such things! What is National Debts anyway? A sequel to that Nick Cage movie? Oh I hope its as good as White Chicks 2!

apparently China didn’t have SARS, until she most certainly and indisputably did. Interesting.

Bean counter broken? Somehow I’m thinking 500,000+ excess deaths per annum dwarfs a thousand or so (especially in a nation less than 1/4th the size in population). In fact even 15,000 deaths from swine flu, a disease which mutated into such lethality in American industrial pig far– LOOK OVER THERE! Britney got a nose job! OMG!

It does concern me that adults supporting the CCP can be so whiny.

I’m not the one gnashing teeth, preaching, and crying about China’s current government. You are.

to a 6 year old like you, perhaps.

Must be a pretty smart 6 year old if his grasp of the English language is that much better than yours.

none of which require authoritarianism, again maybe excepting the military bit.

Which explains India’s great strides in providing this basic necessity to the people. Oh whoops, close to 40% are illiterate. My mistake. Hey, democracy may be slow but at least it is completely free of corruption or hunger!

When China is that much larger than Taiwan, economy of scale means you don’t necessarily need the same per capita GDP to achieve those other standards.

lol. Word of advice, do not try to vomit econ jargon that you don’t understand. We can add “economies of scale” to the ever expanding list of terminology with an unstated “SK Cheung” definition that Merriam Webster is denying the rest of us. Bastards. Seriously though, because you can buy a 12 pack of coke for less than a single can, it costs less to properly educate 100,000 Chinese children because you can simply cram them into one building! Pile the 12 year-olds vertically on top of the 8 year-olds horizontally on top of the first graders! Wait, but that’s not all! Throw in the old folks with some pig feed and reduce social security costs! Genius!

Oh but there’s more! Let’s extend the concept further! India is so well-fed because, obviously, if one Indian child can live off a cup of rice a day, ten other Indian children can lick the adhesives off the Costco box for sustenance! Economies of scale, my friends, economies of scale!

But not if they’re decided by cronies and mouthpieces like you.

You: 1 vote
Me: 1 vote

Stalemate!

February 12, 2011 @ 1:32 pm | Comment

Re #172

@justrecently
They are moving only slowly
This would be termed “bureaucratic inefficiency”. Given that the human body is not infinitely capable of withstanding enforced famine, “slowly” translates to the deaths of tens of thousands.
If you are pointing your argument at Cuban-U.S. relations: there’s no famine looming. If you are pointing it at development in general: we had this discussion before.

Critics had complained that having thousands of Chinese mine workers in the strategic Central Highlands was an unacceptable security threat
Weren’t you just shedding tears about how foreigners, snaking into every single institution in China, were unjustly discriminated against?
You are confusing two different topics. I didn’t say that China should learn from Vietnam’s view on other countries – these views seem to play a big role in both countries anyway. I was pointing out that Vietnam’s concerns about China aren’t simply about playing one power off against the other, as you had previously suggested. Before you can have an efficient discussion with me, you will need to understand that my picture of the world is less black-and-white than yours – I can criticize friends, enemies, and other kinds of people alike, and I can handle criticism from all those people, too.

Malaysia may well become a perspective for Singapore’s future.
The chance is slim to nonexistent for innumerable reasons. Like the fact that Malaysia will never be as dynamic and successful as Singapore.
I suggest that you name the top-three of the innumerable reasonsinnumerable is meaningless.

When you say that India’s wealth per capita is much more imbalanced than China’s,
You could have said the entire paragraph in one sentence or less. You again miss the point. Wealth is not income. The gini coefficient works with any metric, it’s not exclusively used for income. Wealth is accumulated assets, income (in this case) is pre-tax income. Huge difference. I don’t think either you or SK Cheung are understanding this.
You appear to believe that I don’t only read your exchanges with me, but those with S. K. Cheung, too. I admire Mr. Cheung’s patience, but I don’t spend that much time reading this thread. I used a point where income was the issue.

The gini coefficient works with any metric, it’s not exclusively used for income. I don’t think either you or SK Cheung are understanding this.
If Mr. Cheung attended university or college, I’m sure he understands this well. Understanding basic economics / pareto application in general isn’t as demanding as you may think.

Russian skinheads and papers that vent anger against the West do not suggest that Russia would be afraid of the West.
And you think China is afraid of the West? I don’t think “afraid” really describes it. Distrustful? Skeptical? Don’t conflate rational behavior with cowardice.
Fearful people aren’t harmless – but yes, I think that most Chinese nationalists are bigmouths, and cowards. The West seems to be sufficiently far away from them (or sufficiently tolerant of weird personal views) – different from the CCP government that enslaved their grandparents -, and the West comes just right as a target of an anger which is there, anyway. China’s professional military is, of course, a different story. I take them very seriously.

The West is only your propaganda’s convenient lightning arrester.
Thanks to the fact that, “conveniently”, the West is, and has been for 500+ years, an overwhelmingly negative influence on the world. I suppose, in your opinion, leaving your children with a convicted and (not so secretly) practicing pedophile would be a sign of tolerance and universal values.
Here we go again. Most peoples’ view of the West – people worldwide, that is – is much more nuanced than yours. But then, most people aren’t obsessed with becoming “the world’s leading civilization”, either. Good relations with the West may require a lot of things – worshipping the West isn’t one of them. That’s what many Chinese have done in the past – and now you seem to feel that we fooled or bedazzled you, even though you actually fooled yourselves. Your problem, nobody else’s. For the rest, see my previous para.

I suppose, in your opinion, leaving your children with a convicted and (not so secretly) practicing pedophile would be a sign of tolerance and universal values.
I’m not going to discuss child abuse in an unrelated context. Feel free to place the topic in discussions with someone else.

I see no reason why technological edges that my country has, thanks to education, research and development, and much of that financed by tax money, should be handed to China’s state-capitalist system on a silver platter.
Aside from the fact that the West has never paid China a single penny for gunpowder and print, and the fact that the West obtained voluminous bioweapons research from Japanese scientists that murdered Korean, Mongolian and Chinese civilians? True, but don’t go crying about your trade deficit…
You are getting your wires crossed here, yourfriend. I’m not crying about a trade deficit (besides, my country is running a trade surplus with the global economy). I’m arguing with people from my own country and from other countries with similar free-trade approaches, concerning trade relations with China – not with you. I did however explain my point to you yesterday (#147), all the same, because you had previously, in your comment #137, told me that in your view, “some personal issues” were “seeping through”. But to be clear: the arms embargo, for example, makes a lot of sense to me. Other restrictions on high-tech, too – I think we’ve had this discussion before.

And don’t complain about how China scales down rare earth production to reduce damage to their environment and workers. There is after all no reason why China’s people and land should be poisoned so that a colonial oligarchy can be handed their resources on a silver platter.
I’m not complaining about that either – and those who do shouldn’t have become that dependent on China as a supplier in the first place. I do however question the timing of these restrictions, and the motivations behind them. If it was the environment, a phase-out could have been negotiated with buyers of those minerals years ago.
Either way – I appreciate this occurrence – I knew that something like this would happen sooner or later. Now it’s happened sooner than I expected, and that’s fine with me. I hope people who didn’t see anything of this kind coming will draw some useful lessons from it.

February 13, 2011 @ 4:13 am | Comment

“because if we reject the false embellishments you have tacked onto democracy without regard for its actual meaning, it’s “juvenile”.”
—no, it’s juvenile because, in the real world, in practice, democratic nations function under constitutions and the rule of law. Heck, even the CCP purports to have these. The difference, again in practice, is that democratic nations respect them. Are you aware of democratic nations, in practice, in the real and tangible and physical world, who operate on “majority rule” alone to the exclusion of all other institutions? If not, then I guess your argument is not intended for real world scenarios. BTW, even school councils have to function under “rules”. It seems the whole concept of rule of law is really beyond your limited grasp. In your limited and elementary world, “democracy” as you comprehend may not be ideal. Fortunately, the rest of us don’t live in that little world of yours. Neither do Chinese people, so why do you insist on imposing your personal limitations on all of them?

“Maybe this economy is feeding the military at the expense of feeding her people.

The West cornered NK, practically begging for a military-first policy. And that’s what they got.”
—keep dancing around, buddy. Like I said, it’s fun to watch…if not a little bit sad. First you tried to say that all those “realms” need authoritarianism. Of course they don’t, but it’s funny that you tried nonetheless. Then you try to say some of those “realms” “feed” the military, which does rely in some cases on authoritarianism. Except when bad economies have good armies, it becomes ‘the west made them do it’ again. And the string section is warming up yet again. Kleenex please.

“no one ever said “you” “need” authoritarianism for a strong nation”
—if you don’t “need” it, then why have it unless people want it? Do CHinese people want it?
“China needs it (now) for survival.”
—like others before you, you seem to waffle between CHina as an economic and military force and teetering on the verge of survival. I can accept that China is at once developing and a force, but ‘survival”? Oh the hyperbole. Even then, how does CHina “need” it for “survival”, as you say? Her economic awakening, for the umpteenth time, has been driven by a free-market economy, not authoritarianism. For review, 1949-1979, authoritarian/communist, crappy economy. 1979-present, authoritarian/free-market, good and improving economy. Any guesses on what change correlated to the economic revival? How many times before you can grasp that?

“Specifically, “feed into”…”
—ok, so you want to play word games. Fine. If the economy “feeds into” the military, that means an authoritarian military “needs” the economy; but it doesn’t work the other way. For the simpletons, that means the economy does not need an authoritarian military; in fact, it doesn’t need authoritarian-anything. If you hold to form, you will try to pick up the pieces by saying the military somehow ‘barfs back onto’ the economy. Before you try that, just realize that SK, Taiwan, and in particular Singapore (the examples you seem to like) don’t have strong authoritarian militaries. That angle isn’t going to fly, so don’t bother.

““it helps” means it might be useful, but not necessary.”
—hey, i noticed no response to this. So I guess we agree that, insofar as China’s economy, science, culture etc, authoritarianism is “not necessary”. BTW, I don’t even agree that it helps, in case you’re wondering. So why do you insist Chinese people remain under a system that is not necessary, and maybe not even useful/helpful?

“Not surprisingly, you think wrong.”
—certainly possible. But not the point. The point is not what I think. It’s what Chinese people think. You might think you’re “right”, but you’re too timid to put it to the test. Tough talk; zero backup. You’re like a mini-case study in the moral decay of society.

“4,000 year track record”
—so is the CCP just like another dynasty, or isn’t it? If it is, then recall what has happened to Chinese dynasties. If it isn’t, then the track record is only 62 years. And the first 30 were anywhere from middling to outright disaster. You have a lot of issues to sort out, buddy.

“Except Freedom House isn’t “media”..”
—agreed. I was generalizing to “you folks”, not specifically about you. You don’t seem much different from the rest of your clan, but if you don’t make those same media generalizations, then my apologies.

“Why not find out if the First Nations really appreciate you squatting on their land?”
—ahh yes, the FIrst Nations fall-back position yet again. Once again, you might want to familiarize yourself with some of the reparations that have been undertaken by various levels of Canadian government. Here’s the other thing. It’s a completely separate question. Canadians need to continue to make those reparations. That doesn’t in any way absolve the need, or excuse your reluctance, to give Chinese people their rights. But that’s all you’re doing: making excuses. That is something you’re very good at.

“You’d imagine if democracy was so great, successive US administrations wouldn’t have denied it to Egypt from the 80s up until today.”
—huh?
But you’re right, some democracies have work to do. Just like the CCP has some work to do. So the need to improve their respective societies does not distinguish between democratic and authoritarian systems. In that case, maybe the citizens should decide what system they want, in which to continue this road to improvement.

“SK thinks democracies can’t be influenced by external actors.”
—what is your reading impediment? I was responding to your paranoid reference to these: “foreign cabals and Western-bought officials.” I didn’t say isolationism or whatever else. Again, if it’s not too hard for you, try to argue against what I say, not what you hoped I had said. Thanks.

“Personal attacks from SK Cheung”
—an attack? I was complimenting you on what I think is your strong-suit. You make me laugh. And laughter is great medicine. So really, you’re indispensable. Do please continue. BTW, if you think I’m losing, that’s great. I’m not sure why you guys focus on winning, anonymously, on the internet. It wouldn’t matter to me if I was winning or losing, since you’re meaningless. But your ‘victories’ are, as I say, wonderful medicine.

“I revise my extensive knowledge of the failures of democracy”
—revise, yes. Extensive, not so much. Lesson one would be to comprehend democracy in the real world, beyond the one-dimensional “majority rule”. Good luck.

“Some of us have good memories- a merit.”
—ah, merit. In this case, you seem to be judging yourself. Gosh, what’s not to like about that system!?! Care to put that merit to the test? Ah, there’s the rub. Yes, we all know I’m in Canada. And where are you, might I ask? Here’s the thing: if you weren’t in the position of being a hypocrite, I would’ve thought you would’ve said so already. But you take your time…some people come to such realizations slower than others.

“the ELECTORATE is flawless”
—perhaps you can remind me where I said this? Again, argue against what I say, not what you hoped I had said. That seems to be a recurring problem for “you people” (and this time, you’re included). Since ‘winning’ seems of consequence to you here, I guess you need to do so even against imaginary statements that people HAVEN’T made. To each their own.

“Except when they categorically tried to deny racial minorities all rights and basic human dignity.”
—hence the need for rule of law and a constitution etc. Clearly the uptake is slow in this one.

“only the CCP makes mistakes”
—and where did I say this? Can you do no better than this? As I said, the laughter is great medicine. Both democracies and the CCP make mistakes. And “people” make mistakes. So yet again, that’s not a distinguishing feature. So would Chinese people prefer a system where they get to judge, and take corrective measures upon, mistakes, or not? I don’t know, which is why I’d ask them. You think they wouldn’t, but on what basis, who knows.

“Clearly public health is not a concern for SK Cheung’s”
—sigh. I asked “how is public health related to this discussion?”; I didn’t say it is “not a concern”. If answering a direct question is too much to expect of a ‘winner’ like you, just say so, and I’ll try to ask fewer of them. It’s not like I’ve been inundated with answers thus far, and the ones I have gotten haven’t been worth much.

“500,000+ excess deaths per annum dwarfs a thousand or so”
—you’re forgetting the world-wide SARS events exported from China via travelers before China owned up to it and quarantines were put into place. The question above remains: what does public health have to do with system of governance? You take your time, since it seems you need lots of it.

“I’m not the one gnashing teeth, preaching, and crying about China’s current government. You are.”
—Not really. I’m just saying PRC citizens should have input into what system they live under. Not a complicated concept. You’re in love with the CCP, but not enough to live under it. Nevertheless, you have no problem insisting upon it for Chinese citizens. How admirable.

“Must be a pretty smart 6 year old if his grasp of the English language”
—for a 6 year old, your English is not bad. Next lesson involves arguing against what the other person says, and not what you hope he says. That is a higher level concept. You may not be ready for it. Class dismissed for today.

“Which explains India’s great strides”
—haven’t we been through this before? China today is not the same as where India was when she won independence. If you must compare, use similar fruit at least.

“it costs less to properly educate 100,000 Chinese children because you can simply cram them into one building”
—wow, your grasp of “economy of scale” is really top shelf. I loved how you spoke of scale, mentioned that “it costs less”, but fail to even provide an arbitrary comparison of scale ie “it costs less than such and such”. Still clueless? Let me help. Per student, it costs less to educate 100,000 than it does to educate 1, because 1 student needs one teacher, whereas you can probably teach 100,000 students with fewer than 100,000 teachers. You would need a school for 1 student, but presumably that “one building” would not have to be 100,000 times the size or the cost to accommodate 100,000 students. The list goes on. Y’know, economies of scale. But your diatribe was par for the course for you…ie laughable.

“Stalemate!”
—like I said, my opinion is not important. Yours, less so. How many guesses will you require to identify whose opinion really matters? You take as much time as you need. ‘High level’ ‘thinkers’ like you clearly can’t be rushed. But I’m confident whatever your responses are will be funny.

February 13, 2011 @ 4:14 am | Comment

Follow-up:
Like the fact that Malaysia will never be as dynamic and successful as Singapore.
I’d like to read your reasons to believe that Malaysia will never becdome that dynamic and successful. The top-three of them, if they are innumerable as well.

February 13, 2011 @ 4:18 am | Comment

#175 is a follow-up to #173. S. K. Cheung came in between.

February 13, 2011 @ 4:20 am | Comment

SK Cheung
in the real world, in practice, democratic nations function under constitutions and the rule of law.

In the real world, even “hybrid regimes” like Singapore apply “rule of law” par excellence.

is that democratic nations respect them.

Except the ones that don’t. See: India, Haiti, Jamaica.

First you tried to say that all those “realms” need authoritarianism.

Quote me. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

then why have it unless people want it?

Read the sentence. China needs it, “you” don’t need it. Meaning, any country that doesn’t face the extraordinary pressures China does. Like those nations that sit upon trillions of dollars in oil.

like others before you, you seem to waffle between CHina as an economic and military force and teetering on the verge of survival.

Like others before you, you can’t seem to understand the obvious and simple concept that a nation’s survival depends on the sum of its threats against the sum of its strengths. China could have a GDP of $15 trillion and still face extraordinary threats.

has been driven by a free-market economy, not authoritarianism.

Because the example of SK, Singapore, HK and Taiwan show that these are mutually exclusive. Oh wait, they show the exact opposite. My mistake.

ok, so you want to play word games. Fine.

Yes, using words in their proper context = word games.

If the economy “feeds into” the military, that means an authoritarian military “needs” the economy

What planet are you from? Feeds into implies input. FEEDS alone could almost suggest complete dependency. That’s 1st grade English.

If you hold to form, you will try to pick up the pieces by saying the military somehow ‘barfs back onto’ the economy.

No, the military also “feeds into” the economy. Only an aspie with no language skills would conflate such simple concepts. Ever hear of “force multipliers” or better yet “division of labor”?

Before you try that, just realize that SK, Taiwan, and in particular Singapore (the examples you seem to like) don’t have strong authoritarian militaries.

Oh yeah they don’t. They only had them for 90-95% of their major growth periods. Let me guess, you will tell me how Chen Shui-bian was a hero of Taiwan.

hey, i noticed no response to this. So I guess we agree that, insofar as China’s economy, science, culture etc, authoritarianism is “not necessary”.

Your logic is terrible. China does not “need” authoritarianism to “grow” in any of these aspects. 1% is still growth. What China needs is to grow these at a sufficient speed (which democracy can and will not ever provide as we know from history), and surpass a certain threshold with each factor as part of a “comprehensive” assessment of power.

It’s what Chinese people think.

I will repeat my original point- the democratic definitions of who and what “the people” are is arbitrary and that’s assuming “the people” are even trustworthy to begin with. They are not.

so is the CCP just like another dynasty, or isn’t it? If it is, then recall what has happened to Chinese dynasties. If it isn’t, then the track record is only 62 years. And the first 30 were anywhere from middling to outright disaster. You have a lot of issues to sort out, buddy.

Yes, lets recall what happened to Chinese dynasties- they were replaced with other dynasties. Lets play another game, what happened with China’s initial experiment with democracy? So I suppose in your view (selected examples in history will definitely repeat themselves), a democratic China would collapse immediately. We could of course mention Russian and Japanese hostility to the Republic, but you repeatedly state that external pressure is a non-factor and survival should not be a key goal of governments. The Chinese people could simply cast a vote, and Japan would not have invaded them! After your second democratic revolution, the Chinese people can cast a vote and magically increase their GDP to $150 trillion. Lets ignore everything real and relevant and jump straight to a conclusion based on poor research.

Once again, you might want to familiarize yourself with some of the reparations that have been undertaken by various levels of Canadian government.

Oh yes, such “generous” reparations. Only 90% of their best territory occupied by foreigners! Hey, maybe 10% of Chinese have political power! I think we found our perfect balance.

Canadians need to continue to make those reparations.

Who are you to dictate to Canadians what they should do? Let the Canadian people decide. I’m sure they will decide, like nearly all democracies, to broadly ignore minority demands.

That doesn’t in any way absolve the need, or excuse your reluctance, to give Chinese people their rights.

Think about it for a second. You like to bring up the track record of democracy- your same track record suggests that the “Han” will vote minorities into more and more desperate conditions. This highlights two obvious points- that the CCP has generally stewarded and protected minorities (thus part of your much despised status quo) and it forces you to concede one of two points that logically cannot co-exist. Either the Chinese people are much, much less inherently selfish than other groups of people, or they will follow the time-honored tradition of democracies abusing minorities shown everywhere from Ireland to Italy to India to America to Canada.

So which one is it? Pick the rope you want to hang your argument with. Christ, I thought you would understand after me explaining things to you so many times.

In that case, maybe the citizens should decide what system they want, in which to continue this road to improvement.

Even if we could have every single person vote, without vote buying, political lies and lobbyist and foreign intervention, the outcome of any referendum or election would not necessarily be closer to the “best” option than any authoritarian dictat. They are both crapshoots- the difference is that democracy is slow and authoritarianism is fast, for good or for bad. But the CCP has recently gone on a streak of wins for China as a whole. If the winning streak ends, then I say throw their asses out and be quick about it so the destabilization period is over asap. There is a cost-benefit ratio, and it appears by all means to be satisfactory to most Chinese people including many non-PRC Chinese commentators.

Lesson one would be to comprehend democracy in the real world

I guess by “real world” you mean all the democracies except the corrupt and failing ones, including ones that are long dead DIRECTLY as a result of democratic action (Weimar Republic). So yes, excluding all the bad democracies, some of the ones today (which are showing signs of collapse) are good ones. That is, as long as you ignore the signs of collapse. And the corruption.

In this case, you seem to be judging yourself.

No, read again. I’m judging memory as a merit. Agree or disagree? I guess you think forgetfulness is objectively better than good memory, but an overwhelming 99% of people would probably disagree. But I suppose we have to “put it to the test” by asking 100,000 random people, since simple common sense and well-established fact are not enough to make a decision on.

if you weren’t in the position of being a hypocrite

I thought you loved the “to quoque!” argument, as many fenwai do. This is about Chin- er, you, not Ame- uh, me.

perhaps you can remind me where I said this? Again, argue against what I say, not what you hoped I had said.

Ignore “flawless”. How about proving, with some kind of historical or objective argument, on how the general populace makes better decisions than a small group of people. They tend to be equally bad for different reasons- again, the main difference being speed.

hence the need for rule of law and a constitution etc. Clearly the uptake is slow in this one.

…explain to me why, then, it took over 200-300 years for democracies to honor these basic human rights? Or do you concede that, by these measurements of human rights, true democracies have only existed in the last few decades? Thus we circle back to my argument of “democracies having a short shelf-life”.

and where did I say this? Can you do no better than this? As I said, the laughter is great medicine. Both democracies and the CCP make mistakes. And “people” make mistakes. So yet again, that’s not a distinguishing feature.

But objectively, which makes more mistakes? We can measure this but it will take a long time, assuming you even have any interest in researching the growth in all sectors going on in China.

I asked “how is public health related to this discussion?”

Since you appear to be giving up on the passive-aggressive ad hominems, I will come straight out and tell you. Public health is a major deal breaker when it comes to public policy. Law makers and other elected officials are key contributors to the state of public health. This would be where you prove an inherent “democracy” bonus to public sector efficiency on the health front through facts, as you vehemently claim that everything but military suffers or stagnates under authoritarianism. But as we can see, the life expectancy per GDP/health care expenditure data heavily favors China vs many democracies, even developed ones.

You’re in love with the CCP, but not enough to live under it. Nevertheless, you have no problem insisting upon it for Chinese citizens. How admirable.

That’s awfully presumptuous, given that the vast majority of non-PRC Chinese have recent stints with authoritarian or semi-authoritarian rule (Singapore, Taiwan until the 2000s, Hong Kong). So tell me, why are Hong Kong citizens so supportive of the PRC and Hu Jintao (as revealed by foreign NGOs)? PISA suggests they are not uneducated and the press freedom index insists they are not brainwashed. Maybe they’re just too stupid to know what’s good for them, despite them being in the privileged position of not only knowing what authoritarian rule is like but having practically unlimited freedom of information and excellent educations.

haven’t we been through this before? China today is not the same as where India was when she won independence. If you must compare, use similar fruit at least.

India began economic reforms in 1991, but on your spectrum of “Communist evil” they were far better off before that point than China was up until 1976.

Per student, it costs less to educate 100,000 than it does to educate 1, because 1 student needs one teacher

Are you seriously using this argument? What country has 1 student? And do you think this 1 vs. 100,000 example actually applies in reality? Unless you’re talking about a nation of 100 people vs. a nation of 1,320,000,000 people, economy of scale is a non-argument. In fact it would be easier to argue that severe population pressures constrain the movements of both the private and public sectors. I mean Costco can sell 12 muffins for $3, why not 12,000 muffins for $2,000? Or 12,000,000,000,000 muffins for $1,500,000,000,000? Hot damn, now that’s a deal. For Godzilla.

I suppose economies of scale also explains why America runs circles around Singapore and Iceland in per capita educational attainment and why the average Luxembourger, Liechtensteiner and Liechtensteinerin are so poor.

@justrecently
’d like to read your reasons to believe that Malaysia will never becdome that dynamic and successful. The top-three of them, if they are innumerable as well.

1. Crappy government
2. Crappy government
3. Crappy government

Christ, you even tried to bolster SK Cheung’s argument by quoting the much respected LKY on “meritocracy”. His words. EMBRACE MERITOCRACY, he said.

February 13, 2011 @ 5:33 am | Comment

“China will simply have to maintain its export based economic model to acquire the foreign reserves needed to import grain staples”.

@ friend “That’s not the way international trade works”.

Did you read my caveat below:

“Even if my reasoning is rotten, China’s environmental situation and her social harmony are inextricably linked in some way or another”.

I didn’t claim to be an expert on international trade, but you certainly seem to view yourself as such.

Simply pointing to a general correlation, and are interested in how you would argue that such a correlation doesn’t exist.

No tricky evasions okay, or my secret police will ship you off to a Gansu duck farm.

February 13, 2011 @ 6:07 am | Comment

… the caveat is barely relevant to your first statement which was false, which is why I didn’t respond.

China’s acquisitions of foreign reserves happens because China buys them, basically. They aren’t exchanging toys for mountains of cash.

February 13, 2011 @ 6:29 am | Comment

“In the real world, even “hybrid regimes” like Singapore apply “rule of law””
—that’s great. Except the CCP isn’t a hybrid. And they don’t. You’re answering a question that wasn’t asked, because you can’t answer the ones that were. But at least you’re in “the real world” now. Welcome.

“Except the ones that don’t. See: India, Haiti, Jamaica.”
—as I’ve said before, not all democracies are at the same level, and some need more work than others. Good time for China to start the process, since there’s some work to be done there.

“First you tried to say that all those “realms” need authoritarianism.”…
“Quote me. ”
—sure. Below is a sampling.
From #114:
“The CCP has made progress in the economic, financial, scientific, technological, military and industrial realms. They are doing alright culturally.”
From #125:
I said: “BUt her further progress from this point onward is not predicated on authoritarianism.”…
to which you said: “CCP rule has created this growth,…”
From #137:
I said: “none of your “realms” required, or requires, an authoritarian system.”
to which you said: “For China they do ”

Besides, by objecting to my characterization, are you trying to say those realms DON’T need authoritarianism? Cuz we’d have been in agreement all along on that. I’m glad you’re coming around.

““China needs it (now) for survival.”
—says you. But you don’t belong to the cohort whose opinion matters.

“China could have a GDP of $15 trillion and still face extraordinary threats.”
—which is exactly the doomsday scenario you would use to justify NEVER changing the system. No matter what her GDP level, you’ll forever see a threat. And since stability is the mantra, there will never come a point to make the transition. So everything you’ve said so far is as I called it: “lip service”. Thankfully, your opinion won’t matter. Don’t worry, mine doesn’t either. And again, you get a prize for figuring out whose opinion should matter.

“the example of SK, Singapore, HK and Taiwan show that these are mutually exclusive. Oh wait, they show the exact opposite.”
—but we’re not talking about SK etc, remember? We’re talking about China. Focus. And as yet another example, where did I say “mutually exclusive”? How many times will you argue against what you hoped I’d said rather than what I say? Is this all you’ve got? No, they’re not mutually exclusive. In fact, you can even suggest they’re independent, which is what I’m saying. If you can have a free-market economy under authoritarianism or democracy, which would you choose? Well, that doesn’t matter. What matters, or at least what should matter, is what Chinese people choose.

“using words in their proper context”
—you should take your own advice, and start trying that. And also reading what people write. And also arguing against what they say instead of something else. Much work to be done for you. And you haven’t a moment to waste. Giddy’up.

“Feeds into implies input.”
—indeed. Do you even know what you’re trying to say? Can that military function without “input”, as you say? If yes, then it doesn’t “need” the economy. If no, then it does. You decide. You’re going around in so many circles trying to cover your butt that you’re confusing even yourself.
But whether that military needs the economy or not, the economy doesn’t need that military. Which is what I’ve been saying. Try to remember that you’re the one attempting to suggest (poorly) that everything is “interconnected”. I’m the one saying it’s not, insofar as everything besides the military, and authoritarianism.

“military also “feeds into” the economy.”
—umm, how? ARe you suggesting that the Chinese free-market economy “needs” the PLA? Like I said, you’re funny, and I’m getting healthier by the minute.

“They only had them for 90-95% of their major growth periods.”
—huh? Also remember I’m talking about China TODAY, not 1949. For a ‘self-assessed’ bright guy, you need a lot of reminders.

“What China needs is to grow these at a sufficient speed”…
—is her economy. Which doesn’t require authoritarianism…since Chinese history itself has shown that it wasn’t the political system that brought growth, but the change in economic system. Haven’t we been through this before…several times? History hasn’t seen China at this stage. Your comparisons are again apples and oranges.

“definitions of who and what “the people” are is arbitrary”
—agreed. So laws and other institutions are required to delineate them, as I’ve already suggested.

“assuming “the people” are even trustworthy to begin with. They are not.”
—it’s nice that you have such an optimistic view of Chinese people.

“a democratic China would collapse immediately. We could of course mention Russian and Japanese hostility to the Republic”
—first off, you never answered my question before asking yours. No matter. 37 years is “immediately”? Is there another imperial Japan in the offing? Is China today comparable to China in 1912? If you’re going to make comparisons, could you actually try to use similar fruit? Your comparisons are relevant if the scenario today is similar to what it was when China became democratic for the first time. Are they, pray tell? I’m counting on your answer here for some good laughter medicine. Don’t let me down!

“Only 90% of their best territory occupied by foreigners!”
—nice figure out of thin air. Remember that “First Nations” is plural because North America was not inhabited uniformly by one uniform ‘nation’, but many different ones with their own ancestral lands. Those ancestral lands are the ones that are being repatriated, at least in Canada.

“Who are you to dictate to Canadians what they should do? Let the Canadian people decide.”
—huh? Who said I’m deciding. The elected Canadian government and provincial governments are making those decisions. Notice I said “elected”. That was incredibly lame!

“your same track record suggests that the “Han” will vote minorities into more and more desperate conditions.”
—you’re again limiting yourself to your little fictitious world of “majority rule” in isolation. I thought you had emerged from that sorry state earlier.

“Either the Chinese people are much, much less inherently selfish than other groups of people, or they will follow the time-honored tradition of democracies abusing minorities shown everywhere from Ireland to Italy to India to America to Canada.”
—again, that’s what laws and constitutions are for. No question, democracies have historically made mistakes in the areas you mention. China should learn from those. No one is suggesting that China become democratic, and start in the 1700′s. What makes you think a democratic China in 2011 will make the errors of 18th century Europe or America? If you’re saying that a 17th century “democracy” is no good for China today, I’m with you all the way. But besides entering the real world, you should consider entering a contemporary one. Happy trails. BTW, that’s not much of a rope; barely passes for a thread.

“the outcome of any referendum or election would not necessarily be closer to the “best” option than any authoritarian dictat.”
—there are no guarantees in life, besides death and taxes, as they say. What is the “best” option? That’s not the question. The question is what is the best option for Chinese people. Now, who do you think would be best positioned to answer that?

“including many non-PRC Chinese commentators.”
—awwww, is that you? Say it with me now: H Y P O C R I T E. Sing it proud, sing it loud, myfriend.

“you mean all the democracies except the corrupt and failing ones”
—no, just as I said ie not just “majority-rule”. It should not be that difficult for someone as astute as you like to have us believe. As I’ve also said, not all democracies are created equal, and many have work to do. Say, how’s corruption in the CCP?

“I’m judging memory as a merit. Agree or disagree?”
—oh, so “good memories” is the “merit”, and “some of us” doesn’t include you. Well you should’ve just said ‘having a good memory is a merit’ without the “some of us” bit. Nice back-peddle. But I’m not here to quibble with your English, which is pretty good. (did you learn that in a non-PRC state, BTW?). So yes, a good memory is a merit. Maybe we can move on now, ok?

“This is about Chin- er, you, not Ame- uh, me.”
—actually, it’s about walking the walk, not just talking the talk. If an authoritarian system is so wonderful, and a democratic one so awful, then why slum in the latter? But if you live in a democracy while arguing against Chinese people having one, then it’s good enough for you but not good enough for them. That’s hypocrisy. Not a pretty sight, but that’s your gig.

“how the general populace makes better decisions than a small group of people.”
—first off, some props for at least acknowledging your mistake, if not actually apologizing for it. You might be salvageable yet.
Second, when it comes to a system of implementing democracy, I agree that direct democracy doesn’t work. But i’m not aware of any exclusively direct democracy in the real world. Most people have representative democracy, where a relatively small group of people make the decisions. Each subset of people (think voting district if you’re American) ie a small group, choose their own representative.

“Or do you concede that, by these measurements of human rights, true democracies have only existed in the last few decades? Thus we circle back to my argument of “democracies having a short shelf-life”.”
—rather than repeating myself (again), here’s what I said in #116.
“Democracies are young because the concept hasn’t taken hold for very long. Wasn’t that long ago that the world lived under dynasties and kingdoms. And if those resembled any modern system, it would be an authoritarian one. As I said before when you tried to justify the CCP based on the history of Chinese civilization, the CCP does resemble those bygone dynasties in some ways. And the key point there is that those dynasties are bygone. And the CCP will be too, one day. Sooner the better.”

I agree, until universal suffrage, there was not true democracy. They don’t have “short shelf-lives”, since they aren’t expired. They’re just relatively young. But then so is the CCP.

“But objectively, which makes more mistakes?”
—great question. I’m glad you’ve at least come around to the concept of asking it. Now just one more step, and you’ll have figured out who you should be asking that of.

“as you vehemently claim that everything but military suffers or stagnates under authoritarianism.”
—huh? Again? Where did I claim that, let alone vehemently? “everything” doesn’t suffer or stagnate under authoritarianism. It just doesn’t require it. Since you seem to like Websters, maybe check out “require”. There is a huge difference. I thought you were some English hot-shot. This is not a good show.

OK, so it looks like maybe you’re saying that “public health” is another “realm”. And you’re suggesting that this requires authoritarianism? How so? BTW, without getting too metaphysical, life expectancy/GDP is a useless metric, because life expectancy is not some infinite thing that can continue to grow ie we all die at some point. China has had good growth because her life expectancy was starting at a lower point. That is bound to plateau, as in some “developed” nations. The other thing is you’re confusing correlation with causation, which is another way of saying it doesn’t require authoritarianism.

“That’s awfully presumptuous”
—it is. You can correct my presumptions/assumptions just by answering the question.

“why are Hong Kong citizens so supportive of the PRC and Hu Jintao”
—you’re asking me to explain how others feel? Again, like I’ve said regarding those other NGO polls, you don’t get a true measure unless there is something else for them to choose from. If you ask: do you like (a) or (b), and they say (a), that’s helpful. If you ask: do you like (a), well, sure, I guess, cuz what else is there?

“India began economic reforms in 1991″
—then we should see where India is in 2026 compared to China today.

“What country has 1 student?”
—it was simply to illustrate “scale”, since your example earlier was devoid of it. Thought I’d help you out.

“economy of scale is a non-argument.”
—huh?
“I mean Costco can sell 12 muffins for $3, why not 12,000 muffins for $2,000?”
—they probably would, if someone was in the market for 12000 muffins. Do you ever buy bulk? Do you buy a pack 10 bars of soap because you need it all at once, or because per bar, buying 10 bars at once is cheaper than buying one bar 10 separate times? You have gotta be kidding me. But you sure got me laughing, so thanks for that. I should get a dose of you several times a day for my health. You’re much better than an apple, but maybe less fiber and vitamins. You’ve put up quite a number of lame ones before, but this one is your best yet.

“I suppose economies of scale also explains why America runs circles around Singapore”
—of course not. Singapore has a better education system (well, at least for rote learning). And yet again (you guessed it), that has nothing to do with authoritarian vs democratic. Probably more of a cultural thing (which, you guessed it again, has nothing to do with authoritarian vs democratic).

February 13, 2011 @ 8:12 am | Comment

@ SKC. Stop sampling James Brown, as much as your stamina in trench warfare is appreciated.

February 13, 2011 @ 8:24 am | Comment

@SK Cheung
Good time for China to start the process, since there’s some work to be done there.

Except you haven’t proven that democracy has any objective merits.

—sure. Below is a sampling.

Reading comprehension, again. I said they created that growth meaning the specific levels they are at. You are not good with specifics or details, which is why you like democracy. And yes, China does need her current government to survive much less grow.

But you don’t belong to the cohort whose opinion matters.

Neither does yours- the difference is that the vast majority of PRC netizens agree with me, not you.

which is exactly the doomsday scenario you would use to justify NEVER changing the system. No matter what her GDP level, you’ll forever see a threat.

$15 trillion is slightly below the Taiwanese “democratization” mark- not that China should ever turn to mob rule. The standard system of merit used throughout Chinese history, but reformed and improved, would be the best government.

If you can have a free-market economy under authoritarianism or democracy, which would you choose?

I don’t know, would you rather live in India or China?

If yes, then it doesn’t “need” the economy. If no, then it does.

Again with the Asperger’s. You are way too literal and too much of a bean counter- there is middle ground between the two extremes, both of which are 100% viable and standard use. Neither “feed” or “feed into” implies that what’s being “fed” is the sole sustenance of said entity. Obviously.

the economy doesn’t need that military

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

huh? Also remember I’m talking about China TODAY, not 1949. For a ’self-assessed’ bright guy, you need a lot of reminders.

You jumping around time periods is not unlike your inability to grasp nuance and propriety in language. China TODAY was dependent on China YESTERDAY. China TODAY would not be at the point it was unless China YESTERDAY created 10% growth YOY in GDP, 15% growth YOY on patents, etc.

Which doesn’t require authoritarianism…

Oh okay, then why has no democracy in human history ever posted such quick growth, especially a resource poor one? Because they can’t.

it’s nice that you have such an optimistic view of Chinese people.

I don’t have an “optimistic view” of anything. I prefer realism, something which appears to be anathema to you.

Is there another imperial Japan in the offing? Is China today comparable to China in 1912?

America is more of a threat to China now than Imperial Japan was then. Is China comparable to China in 1912? No. And thanks to who? That’s right, your favorite people in the world.

Remember that “First Nations” is plural because North America was not inhabited uniformly by one uniform ‘nation’

Again with the Asperger’s pedantry. My use is perfectly fine and logical, and yes, their land claims can be aggregated for the sake of usage and argument.

you’re again limiting yourself to your little fictitious world of “majority rule” in isolation. I thought you had emerged from that sorry state earlier.

That’s what democracy is. ESPECIALLY developing democracies. Again, your embellishments are meaningless propaganda. Accept it.

No question, democracies have historically made mistakes in the areas you mention.

So, you’re suggesting that “democracy” existed even when 30-90% of the population was considered subhuman or couldn’t vote? “Your” version of democracy in that case hasn’t existed for more than a few decades. And as of late it’s showing to be a tried and true failure.

Now, who do you think would be best positioned to answer that?

Definitely not people influenced by the West or with a 7 year education.

Say, how’s corruption in the CCP?

Better than India, Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan.

But if you live in a democracy while arguing against Chinese people having one, then it’s good enough for you but not good enough for them.

If you enjoy the fruits of shilling for and serving what was originally a genocidal non-democratic state, why do you propose China should suffer the consequences of developing as a democracy unlike just about every single “developed” polity?

Put your money where your mouth is and move to Jamaica or India.

But i’m not aware of any exclusively direct democracy in the real world.

Switzerland is pretty close. Not that the people actually do anything to regulate their rapacious banks aside from voting “yes” to everything they request.

Wasn’t that long ago that the world lived under dynasties and kingdoms.

I don’t think early America is either a dynasty or a kingdom. Slave owning, genocidal colony yes. But it was democratic.

“everything” doesn’t suffer or stagnate under authoritarianism. It just doesn’t require it.

So you concede that China’s growth would be stifled and the nation weakened under democracy. That’s not an option.

China has had good growth because her life expectancy was starting at a lower point.

I was talking about absolute figures. China’s LE compares very favorably to most other countries based on health care expenditure.

Again, like I’ve said regarding those other NGO polls, you don’t get a true measure unless there is something else for them to choose from.

The question is simply “do you have confidence in Hu Jintao”. 90%+ of Hong Kongers said “yes”.

then we should see where India is in 2026 compared to China today.

Except not; you mentioned what is essentially the “catching up” argument to dismiss China’s fastest-in-human-history growth as nothing special. India at that point would simply be playing catch up and soaking up money from the regional wealth effect.

Do you ever buy bulk? Do you buy a pack 10 bars of soap because you need it all at once, or because per bar, buying 10 bars at once is cheaper than buying one bar 10 separate times? You have gotta be kidding me.

So you think educating a child is all about physically cramming them into huge classrooms and shuffling them into schools in giant school buses? And you think I’m funny?

My (obvious) point was to illustrate how ridiculous your argument is. First off, children are not commodities and nothing is being “sold” unless you think education works best at a massive student:teacher ratio. Second, there are limits to how much “economies of scale” even in its proper usage will benefit any enterprise. Simply put it takes x number of teachers to properly teach y number of students, you have to scale the input to scale the output. But yes maybe if you dumped 1,000 6 year olds into a giant blimp and launched them at their schools from the sky you’d save a few pennies in transportation costs.

Singapore has a better education system (well, at least for rote learning). And yet again (you guessed it), that has nothing to do with authoritarian vs democratic.

Only it does- as Singapore would not have as many funds for education if they were a democratic failed state.

February 13, 2011 @ 10:22 am | Comment

add Liberia and Jamaica to the “more corrupt” list.

February 13, 2011 @ 10:25 am | Comment

I guess you bailed on that hybrid stuff. Good choice.

“haven’t proven that democracy has any objective merits.”
—and you haven’t proven that China requires authoritarianism. So as I’ve said all along, it comes down to a choice. Not for you or me, of course, but for Chinese people. Why so shy about that?

“they created that growth meaning the specific levels they are at”
—and how many times have I already said I’m not here to reinvent the wheel, and not here to argue that China should’ve been democratic from 1949 till now? I’m talking about from here onward, and have been doing so for days. How many times does a guy have to draw out the intestines for you? Yes, authoritarianism happened to be around when the free-market system of the last 30 years culminated in where China is today. BUt authoritarianism is not required for that same free-market system to thrive tomorrow and beyond.

“Neither does yours”
—that’s what I’ve said all along. Seriously, dude, do you comprehend what you read?
“vast majority of PRC netizens agree with me, not you.”
—LOL. And you know this how? Oh right, flimsy polls with poor sampling and questions of limited validity. Fantastic.

“Taiwanese “democratization” mark-”
—you’re the one saying China should end up like Taiwan, based on your use of Taiwanese thresholds, not me. And as you’ve already shown, scale is not a concept you grasp well.
Merit is fine, as long as there is the “outside regulation” you yourself called for not too long ago. Funny, you seem to be shying away from that since I pointed it out to you. That’s unfortunate.

“I don’t know, would you rather live in India or China? ”
—I would rather live in China with a democratic system of government and her free-market economy. Simple.

“Neither “feed” or “feed into” implies that what’s being “fed” is the sole sustenance of said entity.”
—sure. But it certainly doesn’t imply, compute, or logically follow that the reverse occurs to any extent whatsoever. So if you say the economy partly sustains the military, great. The military still has nothing to do with the economy. And authoritarianism doesn’t have anything to do with it either. This is not that complicated, if you put your mind to it.

“China TODAY was dependent on China YESTERDAY.”
—agreed. Thanks for the timeline. It shows you understand the concept of time, which I was starting to doubt. And certainly, what happens tomorrow is predicated on what’s gone on today. But that’s never been my point, if you’ve paid any attention at all. My point is that China doesn’t need authoritarianism tomorrow, without in any way denying the correlation of authoritarianism up to this point. Notice also I used “correlation”. IF that’s beyond your payscale, let me know and I’ll explain.

“why has no democracy in human history ever posted such quick growth,”
—because no country (except India) has had the same size and scale, export potential and capacity, potential for increase in consumption and hence desirable markets, as China in the modern era. So India is the one “failure” to this point which shows that, starting at her level post-independence, democracy didn’t immediately work as measured economically. But it’s starting to now. China didn’t start to work immediately either with her system, but it eventually did start to work, albeit after 30 years. But she’s also the only one on that scale. And as I’ve said, India is not a relevant metric because China now is not where India was back then (there’s that nuisance timeline thing again). So there is no comparable precedent looking forward.

BTW, you’ve yet to explain the first 30 years under the CCP. Why so shy?

“I don’t have an “optimistic view” of anything.”
—you’re not kidding there. You certainly don’t give Chinese people much credit, that’s for sure.

“America is more of a threat to China now than Imperial Japan was then.”
—are you for real, dude? I’m healthier already. Thanks.

“Is China comparable to China in 1912? No. And thanks to who?”
—absolutely. Credit where it’s due, even if it’s only by correlation. And Chinese people should decide if the CCP has outlived its usefulness, plain and simple.

“their land claims can be aggregated for the sake of usage and argument.”
—you are absolutely without a clue. But then I knew that already. Their land claims refer to different geographic areas. For what usage and argument would it serve to aggregate them? You have much to learn on the subject.

“That’s what democracy is.”
—ok, if democracy is only “majority rule”, can you tell me which country has majority rule only, but no laws and constitutions? Take your time…I’ll wait.

“you’re suggesting that “democracy” existed even when 30-90% of the population was considered subhuman or couldn’t vote?”
—sigh. Once again back to arguing against what I didn’t say. What I actually said was this (“until universal suffrage, there was not true democracy.”). You are taking disingenuous to a new low.

And then you turn around and say this (““Your” version of democracy in that case hasn’t existed for more than a few decades. “) which is more consistent with what I said. Even from one sentence to the next, you can’t keep it straight. Boy, if there was a restriction for voting rights, maybe you should be one of those who don’t qualify. BTW, the CCP is only a few decades old. The correlation with economic improvement, even fewer.

“Definitely not people influenced by the West or with a 7 year education.”
—I’d rather let Chinese people make that determination, rather than an esteemed individual like you.

“how’s corruption in the CCP?
Better than India, Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan.”
—like I said, some have work to do. Quite funny that you included 2 that have been “democratic” for little more than 5 years. Good measuring stick for an economic power.

“originally a genocidal non-democratic state, why do you propose China should suffer the consequences of developing as a democracy ”
—the America’s went through a period of not being democratic. So has CHina. The Americas changed. So too should China if that’s what her citizens want. I see that you’ve avoided my question.

I could move. But I’m already walking the walk by living in a democracy. You’re just talking the talk that authoritarianism is great, just not for you.

“Switzerland is pretty close.”
—which means it isn’t a direct democracy in its entirety. I’m not even going to bother to argue the “pretty close”, since I said “exclusively” and “pretty close” is all you’ve got. No cigar there, pal. Besides, that’s down to discussing the model for democracy. You first need to accept the concept first. If you have, that’s great. I knew there was hope for you yet.

“early America is either a dynasty or a kingdom.”
—true enough. But “early America” wasn’t democratic either. You might recall some niggling concerns with Britain over such trifle things as taxation without representation.

“So you concede that China’s growth would be stifled and the nation weakened under democracy. ”
—huh? Where did I say that? That something isn’t stifled etc under one system doesn’t mean it will be under another. You need to upgrade your logic, buddy.

“I was talking about absolute figures.”
—oh really? Here’s what you said: “life expectancy per GDP/health care expenditure”. Maybe stats aren’t your thing. But when you say “X per anything”, whether the “anything” is GDP, health spending, whatever, those are NOT “absolute figures”. An absolute figure would be life expectancy by itself. And thanks to you, I think I just increased mine.

“China’s LE compares very favorably to most other countries based on health care expenditure.”
—yet again, when it’s based upon “anything”, it’s no longer an absolute figure that you thought you were talking about. In this “realm”, you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

I think China’s increase in LE is a great thing. Unfortunately, it was partly due to a low starting point. But the improvement is fantastic. And it’s not causally related to authoritarianism.

“The question is simply “do you have confidence in Hu Jintao”. 90%+ of Hong Kongers said “yes”.”
—good for them. DId they ask “would you like to participate in the decision on Hu Jintao’s replacement?” Now that would be interesting, don’t you think?

““catching up” argument”
—indeed, India may still be in a trailing position at that time. Will she completely catch up, and when? Who knows. Does she need to catch up entirely, and be “equal” to China? I don’t think so.

“So you think educating a child is all about physically cramming them into huge classrooms ”
—I’ve lost track of how many times you’ve argued against something I haven’t said. It might even be more than against what I actually have said. Good for you.
I was talking about economy of scale, which is clearly a concept of which you have no grasp.

“First off, children are not commodities and nothing is being “sold””
—then one wonders why you brought up Costco and muffins. It’s all right there in pixels. Having written proof is such a wonderful thing…unless someone is in your shoes.

“massive student:teacher ratio. ”
—nor have i suggested it. The teacher ratio was simply to illustrate the concept of scale when your example (““it costs less to properly educate 100,000 Chinese children because you can simply cram them into one building”) failed to provide for any element of scale whatsoever. I also notice you’ve ignored my other example of school buildings/physical plant. And of course you’ve ignored the part about how the “list (of examples of scale) goes on”. Cuz no, you wouldn’t want to argue against what I said, that’s not your style. More likely what I haven’t said.

“limits to how much “economies of scale” even in its proper usage will benefit any enterprise.”
—true. This was all just going to demonstrate your need to recognize that arbitrarily using a Taiwan GDP per capita threshold is flawed.

“Singapore would not have as many funds for education if they were a democratic failed state.”
—actually they would have fewer funds if they were en economically failed state. Which they’re not. And BTW, South Koreans and Taiwanese aren’t too bad at hitting the books either. Do you need to be democratic to do well in education? No. But you certainly don’t need to be authoritarian either. As I’ve said before, if it’s not a need, then it’s a want. I wonder how one could determine what Chinese people want…? This shouldn’t be difficult, but clearly beyond the grasp of some folks. How sad.

February 13, 2011 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
Not for you or me, of course, but for Chinese people.

Again with the broken record. Democracies are far easier for foreign nations to subvert and destroy. If China became even a “good” democracy today, it would be carved up by foreign powers pushing her for unfair concessions. Generally speaking, democracies aren’t capable of squelching foreigners and expediting the death penalty for corrupt officials and traitors. China’s current system can.

BTW, you’ve yet to explain the first 30 years under the CCP. Why so shy?

Under the first 30 years of the CCP China secured its borders against two superpowers, more than doubled life expectancy, etc. And the commonly cited death tolls for China under Mao are wildly, wildly exaggerated. It reasonable to assume that regardless of Mao’s mistakes, he did secure the integrity of the nation- setting it up for today’s growth.

because no country (except India) has had the same size and scale, export potential and capacity, potential for increase in consumption and hence desirable markets, as China in the modern era.

And thus no other countries will face similar foreign attempts to dismember, stonewall, subvert and corrupt. And “except India” is a dodge. You don’t get to except India- if you like democracy so much, get India to stop being a humanitarian disaster.

“X per anything”, whether the “anything” is GDP, health spending, whatever, those are NOT “absolute figures”. An absolute figure would be life expectancy by itself.

You mean we should instead add up the life expectancy of each citizen up into a giant number? China has a life expectancy of 96 billion! What a meaningful statistic!

This was all just going to demonstrate your need to recognize that arbitrarily using a Taiwan GDP per capita threshold is flawed.

It’s not arbitrary as Taiwan’s development path is among those few that closely mirror China’s- as opposed to you dismissing the abysmal failure of every single developing democracy. And even these developing democracies often are granted massive aid from the West, whereas a democratic China would receive no such aid as generally speaking the West sees itself as in competition with China for resources and influence- regardless of their government.

then one wonders why you brought up Costco and muffins

I was having a laugh at your misuse of “economies of scale”. As for school buildings, Taiwan is more densely populated than China as is Singapore and Hong Kong, so implying they have an advantage there because of sheer population number does not follow.

Do you need to be democratic to do well in education? No. But you certainly don’t need to be authoritarian either.

You’d need funding, which means you need to secure your interests, which means you need to be powerful. The US is not actively trying to destroy Singapore. Once the US ceases to be a threat, Chinese people will naturally turn towards reform.

February 13, 2011 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

Since I’m getting bored of repeating myself when you refuse to learn and selectively edit and misquote, I will just spell out my viewpoints with bullets.

- Democracies are weak and slow. They benefit from support from other democracies (sometimes).
- Authoritarian systems are fast but painful. They don’t exist “just because”; they exist because generally speaking the nations that “devolve” into it face existential threats that cannot be resolved through slow, bumbling and decentralized responses.
- China needs to reach a certain threshold before they can let their guard down and stop forcing massive economic growth through heavy handed governance- namely, the people should be educated, somewhat financially secure, and national culture should be firmly rooted. Otherwise, the West will subvert and destroy China as they see China as their main racial and cultural “enemy” and competitor for limited resources to which they think they are entitled to. Achieving this threshold falls on a razor thin margin. The CCP can plow through infrastructure projects, rebuff foreign-backed subversion, pour money into research, block foreign monopolies and anti-competitive behavior, and is generally quicker to respond to crisis than democratic nations.
- GDP per capita ranges represent a basic metric for living standards that includes educational attainment, financial security, economic competitiveness and innovation, etc.
- And yes, the military secures Chinese interests (including vital trade routes). Pretty damn obvious that this is important to the economy. And so far, the CCP has done a decent job of creating a strong but not bloated military.

February 13, 2011 @ 12:37 pm | Comment

“Democracies are far easier for foreign nations to subvert and destroy.”
—more with the paranoia.

“If China became even a “good” democracy today, it would be carved up by foreign powers pushing her for unfair concessions.”
—what’s the basis for this besides paranoia and hyperbole? Do you think Chinese people would want to make such concessions? If not, then on what basis do you surmise that their representatives would?

“capable of squelching foreigners and expediting the death penalty for corrupt officials and traitors. China’s current system can.”
—it evidently does a good job of that against Chinese people too…at least the ones that are in China.

“against two superpowers”
—well, there was one, who happened to be an ally at the time. Where do you get two…unless, of course, you’re suggesting that the Americans were going to invade. i certainly wouldn’t put it past you.

“he did secure the integrity of the nation”
—that must be double-speak for something. Exactly what, I’m not sure. At least you finally scraped up the courage to acknowledge those first 30 years. Of course, in all the double-speak, not much reference to the economy. Try to ignore it as you might, it is what it is. The authoritarian system was there before and after. The change that occurred in the timeline when the economic growth took shape was a change in the market system. You’ve yet to explain that one. Steel yourself for a bit, do what you gotta do, then maybe try to tackle that one. After all, my health is at stake.

“no other countries will face similar foreign attempts to dismember, stonewall, subvert and corrupt.”
—cry me a river yet again.

Once again, you read some, then ignore the rest and argue against something I didn’t say. I “excepted India” just to lay the framework with my first sentence. The rest of the response accounts for India. But no, you wouldn’t want to argue against that now, would you. You make disingenuous an art-form, not unlike many of your cohorts.

“You mean we should instead add up the life expectancy of each citizen up into a giant number? China has a life expectancy of 96 billion! What a meaningful statistic!”
—you should stop now, because you’re sounding bordering on retarded. As the adage goes, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. But you folks try to back-peddle and dance around ad infinitum, without the intellectual honesty and strength of character to say, you know what, my mistake, let’s move on. So around we go on the same point for far longer than should be required. But hey, it gets funnier each time, so if that’s how you roll, then a la sante (or in this case, ma sante).

Life expectancy itself, in “absolute terms”, is obviously the average of the attained age at death of a population sampled at a certain time, and reported upon retrospectively. When we speak of life expectancy, it is understood (unless you’re retarded) that it means the number was the average of what was attained by our predecessors. It is beyond ridiculous and retarded to suggest a simple summation of the age at death of a population.

However, although LE itself as a number represents a mean, LE is in and of itself the absolute value. Once you index it against GDP, health spending, or anything, it is no longer an absolute value but an indexed one. Excepting the truly slow and challenged, this explanation should not have been required. Yet here you are. Way to go. And I just got healthier…again.

“Taiwan’s development path is among those few that closely mirror China’s”
—so use it as a guide, but not as some infallible or essential threshold. And account for scale.

“democratic China would receive no such aid as generally speaking the West sees itself as in competition with China ”
—this I can agree with. A rare occurrence indeed based on some of the stuff you’ve floated out there.

OK you just did another funny. In #182 you say this (“So you think educating a child is all about physically cramming them into huge classrooms and shuffling them into schools in giant school buses? And you think I’m funny?) (of course I think you’re funny, btw, told you so a number of times).
Then now you say this (“I was having a laugh at your misuse of “economies of scale”). First you’re apparently trying not to be funny. Oh, but wait, actually apparently you were. You are one indecisive flip-flopper.

“Taiwan is more densely populated than China as is Singapore and Hong Kong”
—population density does factor in. I guess economies of scale do matter, but only after you found something you could use, of course. Typical. Not to mention there is plenty of density in the eastern coastal regions, but I suppose we should ignore that. But school buildings is just one of those other features. There’s also all the materials needed to teach (books etc) where economies of scale definitely matter, not unlike your “muffin” fiasco, incidentally.

“Once the US ceases to be a threat, Chinese people will naturally turn towards reform.”
—here we go again. It’s somebody else’s fault. Gee, there’s a new one.

Considering the fluff we’ve seen so far, your summation sounds much more reasonable. At the very least, it offers a good summary of China under the CCP, pre-2012. What it doesn’t do is serve as much of a justification for preventing citizen input into the political process post 2011.

February 13, 2011 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

So you are now getting bored of repeating yourself when others refuse to learn and selectively edit and misquote, yourfriend

A complete quote of what you wrote under #177:
@justrecently
I’d like to read your reasons to believe that Malaysia will never become that dynamic and successful. The top-three of them, if they are innumerable as well.

1. Crappy government
2. Crappy government
3. Crappy government

Christ, you even tried to bolster SK Cheung’s argument by quoting the much respected LKY on “meritocracy”. His words. EMBRACE MERITOCRACY, he said.

My question (#175) had been:
I’d like to read your reasons to believe that Malaysia will never become that dynamic and successful. The top-three of them, if they are innumerable as well.

You aren’t bored, yourfriend. You just can’t handle people with different ideas – and you therefore like to imply that all or most other Chinese people were as intellectually and morally lazy, too. When LKY refers to meritocracy re Malaysia, he has every reason to do so, because ethnic Chinese there are facing higher entrance barriers for university that people with non-Chinese ethnic backgrounds – i.e. discrimination for better performance, on average. Meritocracy as a concept can reach from access to higher education based on achievements during previous schoolyears, to advancement in companies based on achievements, to the field of government.
That you can only think in the CCP’s “Confucian” terms is your problem, not that of Singaporeans, Malaysians, or PR Chinese, yourfriend. How and across which fields of society meriticracy should apply would be a matter of negotiations between Singapore and Malaysia – but of course, your leaders can send them letters full of good advice (something you hate when it comes from other countries).
Just a hint to push your imagination a bit: meritocracy, if applied on government, could mean that only studied people should be eligible to run in otherwise free elections. If that would be a great idea is, of course, a different story.

One more thing: you quoted me out of context at least twice, even though our discussion started comparatively late. Once when the issue was Cuban-US relations, and once when the issue was Vietnam. I’m not usually making a fuss of such things, because misunderstandings can happen.
You also wrote that I had tried to “bolster SK Cheung’s argument” about meritocracy. I had told you right before that that I’m not reading your exchanges with Mr Cheung. Read closely.

But if you yourself believe that to misquote people is something very bad, improve yourself, yourfriend. Once you have done that, you won’t feel so compelled to blame others for your own mistakes anymore.

February 13, 2011 @ 2:32 pm | Comment

@JR + SKC – A couple of thread’s worth of discussions with the mentally unbalanced FQs over on Hidden Harmonies was enough to make me realise that their really isn’t any point going on any further with these people. They are so ideologically committed to dictatorship that only the collapse of the dictators concerned can change their minds.

No doubt once the CCP is gone, they will find some new bugbear and act as if they never supported the communist autocracy, just as the vast majority of former communists here in Poland where I am currently working have.

February 13, 2011 @ 2:34 pm | Comment

King Tubby:
How can I sample James Brown? It’s something I’ve tried for a long time!

February 13, 2011 @ 2:41 pm | Comment

Re #189 – FOARP: I know. But the internet is for debate. I’m not really believing that I can convince people like yourfriend, or that they could convince me.
But as there is no open debate with the CCP itself, debate with people from their camp may still be insightful in more indirect ways.

February 13, 2011 @ 2:44 pm | Comment

P.S., FOARP:
I’ve never commented on Hiddenharmonies, because only different opinions make a thread really interesting. I believe that sites like HH should be left stewing in their own juice, and eventually die from boredom.

February 13, 2011 @ 2:55 pm | Comment

To FOARP:
I realize you’ve told me that before. As have Raj and others. As JR says, I also have no desire, inclination, or illusion, of getting through to these folks. But the process itself is interesting, and much of what they say provides me with varying, but often extensive, degrees of amusement. So it’s not all for naught. Like this recent dude, for instance.

Watching them dig holes for themselves, then continue to keep digging, and scurrying around to cover up their own flaws in logic, is all in good clean fun. Not that i would engage in this in lieu of more worthy pursuits, but it’s not a bad way to pass the time when I’ve got some.

As for HH, I’ve only been there once, and only out of morbid curiosity. Since I’m aware of the proclivities of the purveyors from their FM days, that dog-and-pony show I’ve seen enough of already. Not to mention they’d probably shut me down in a heartbeat anyhow, given their prior antics when FM was still around.

February 13, 2011 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
more with the paranoia.

More with the delusion.

If not, then on what basis do you surmise that their representatives would?

They’d be voted in by a fairly undereducated electorate- regardless of how smart they might be. That and with such a low gdp and wealth base, they’d be easily bought by foreigners.

well, there was one, who happened to be an ally at the time.

Except not. Google “Sino-Soviet Split”

Of course, in all the double-speak, not much reference to the economy.

Your rhetoric and sophistry aside, I did address the economy- he kept the nation intact which brought all those benefits you squealed about like market size.

cry me a river yet again.

You’re the one moaning and shrieking about China’s government, which is doing a good job so far. I win, you lose.

you’re sounding bordering on retarded

“Sounding bordering” is a bit better than “truly full-blown”.

It is beyond ridiculous and retarded to suggest a simple summation of the age at death of a population.

You really DO have Asperger’s! Okay, I’m sorry- I will no longer pick on you.

so use it as a guide, but not as some infallible or essential threshold. And account for scale.

The only way “scale” matters for China is that it’s big enough that a comprehensive measure of national strength could cross specific thresholds (namely, the one where the West will no longer be able to antagonize). But that is not “economies of scale”.

population density does factor in. I guess economies of scale do matter, but only after you found something you could use, of course. Typical. Not to mention there is plenty of density in the eastern coastal regions, but I suppose we should ignore that.

This will be one of the last times I respond point by point, because you clearly lack the wherewithal to remember so many (even of your own). You mentioned “economies of scale” specifically in a comparison between China and Taiwan. And if you take the “East Coast” of China, you’d obviously have to take the “West Coast” of Taiwan, where nearly 90% of the population is packed.

As for books, LOL. The only point you could possibly have is that they’d be printed in Simplified which gives the books more utility across the country. But that could easily be translated from Traditional. No “economies of scale” benefits vs Taiwan here, even if the IP is counted.

here we go again. It’s somebody else’s fault. Gee, there’s a new one.

Here we go again. Chocolate rivers and rainbows, who needs a military? And foreign nations are never a threat economically, politically, or culturally!

@justrecently
if applied on government, could mean that only studied people should be eligible to run in otherwise free elections. If that would be a great idea is, of course, a different story.

It’s “meritocracy”, not “nerdocracy”. No one said “only studied” people should be eligible to run in elections- not that this flawed version of meritocracy is any worse than the reality of democracies where only wealthy people with connections can run in elections.

@FOARP
A couple of thread’s worth of discussions with the mentally unbalanced FQs over on Hidden Harmonies was enough to make me realise that their really isn’t any point going on any further with these people.

TRANSLATION: Hey fellow fenwai, a couple of threads over at some forum convinced me that we blind democracy worshipers should just continue to talk among ourselves exclusively, live in our bubble, and label everyone who disagrees with us as FQs. That gives us so much credibility, like the spectacular military, economic and financial successes of democratically elected incumbents all over the world today.

Lets also repeatedly ignore the fact that our democracy of democracies, America, denied Egypt the popular vote for over three decades.

February 14, 2011 @ 3:01 am | Comment

@Yourfriend – You’ll have to do better than that, troll harder.

February 14, 2011 @ 4:16 am | Comment

I invite everyone who reads along to re-read my comment #188, and yourfriend‘s reaction to it – comment #194, fourth-last paragraph.
May everyone draw his or her own conclusions from all these long exchanges.
S. K. Cheung: I’m inclined to support FOARP’s and King Tubby’s advice now – don’t waste your time anymore. This cow appears to be thoroughly milked out now, in terms of new insights. ;-)
Personally, I’ve decided follow FOARP’s and King Tubby’s advice, for the time being.

KT: your advice on how to successfully sample James Brown will still be appreciated.

February 14, 2011 @ 4:20 am | Comment

@FOARP
@Yourfriend – You’ll have to do better than that, troll harder.

TRANSLATION: Anyone that disagrees with my narrow, dogmatic view of the world is a troll.

@justrecently

I ignored the rest of your post because it’s not worth responding to. You expect me to justify, source and prove every unfounded accusation you have against the CCP, but then blithely dismiss the suffering inflicted upon Cuba by decades of American policy.

If you want to entrench yourself in laughable and hubristic bias that is your prerogative.

February 14, 2011 @ 4:29 am | Comment

Thanks for the debate, yourfriend. I wish you a happy life.

February 14, 2011 @ 4:47 am | Comment

@ justrecently. The Godfather JB had enough issues in his life before exiting this vale of tears. To (mis)sample him on this site, and in this particular trench warfare context does not add to his legacy I’m afraid.

I’m equally guilty here since I pilfered a line (above) from Tuff Gong aka Bob Marley, one of my blood brothers.

@yourfriend If you ever diss Jamaica again, you really will be sent to a duck farm in Gansu for the term of your natural life. Don’t play with fire!

As for HH, who do quietly sneak a peek at this site – all three of them -they are an object lesson to all of us. Don’t develop a glue habit.

FOARP, S K Cheung and yourself are now on my Year of the Rabbit CNY honours list for meritorious service. Your second wives will gain much face.

199 over and out.

February 14, 2011 @ 6:06 am | Comment

To 194:
you are such an easy mark, there should be a mercy rule.

“If not, then on what basis do you surmise that their representatives would?…
They’d be voted in by a fairly undereducated electorate”
—ok, so you think Chinese people are undereducated. But my statement was in response to what you said here (“If China became even a “good” democracy today, it would be carved up by foreign powers pushing her for unfair concessions.”). So are you saying that these undereducated Chinese masses would opt for selling out their country? Or are you saying that the “smart” people who are elected by the unwashed masses would sell out the country on their behalf? Aren’t these “smart” people the ones you would vouch for in your meritocracy dream-world? And is the CCP the only thing standing between Chinese people and some underlying predisposition to selling out? Gosh, you take CCP paternalism to a new level (and that’s a low level, if you’re slow on the uptake).

“they’d be easily bought by foreigners.”
—more paranoia. And yes, your standard come-back will be that I have more delusions, if your penchant for creativity holds true. Here’s the thing you can’t escape: I have no problem with Chinese people evaluating the subject of my apparent delusions. You, on the other hand, don’t have the stomach for Chinese people assessing the “merits” of your paranoia. Way to walk the walk, again.

“Google “Sino-Soviet Split””
—that’s true, they didn’t stay friends forever. But Stalin and Mao got on okay at the start. Ahh, heartwarming image, is it not? And maybe you should’ve qualified the suggestion that China was at odds with 2 superpowers for 30 whole years. And I see you avoided addressing your paranoia about some American invasion. You sure are selective in your reading, and your capacity for responses.

“I did address the economy- he kept the nation intact which brought all those benefits you squealed about like market size.”
—and the net effect for the economy of all that apparently great work, prior to 1979 and the adoption of the free-market system, was…? I’m happy to keep asking, if it only magnifies your inability to answer.

“You’re the one moaning and shrieking about China’s government”
—I am? Well, someone needs to make a case for Chinese people. You’re clearly not up to the task.

“I win, you lose.”
—pathetic, juvenile, and simplistic. But hey, you do what you gotta do.

“It is beyond ridiculous and retarded to suggest a simple summation of the age at death of a population…
You really DO have Asperger’s”
—you know what, there’s no shame in not understanding how statistics work. It’s not for everyone. What is shameful is the inability to acknowledge a mistake. That’s intellectually lazy, overtly self-absorbed, and may even reflect a fundamental deficiency in upbringing. To each his own.

“comprehensive measure of national strength could cross specific thresholds”
—and this measure is…? And the validity of this “measure” is determined by…? And the threshold is…? And the accuracy of such a threshold when applied on a nation for which the basis of such a threshold was nations of non-comparable scale is…? Listen, lip-service, you’re great at. Substance, not so much.

“the one where the West will no longer be able to antagonize”
—oh brother, there’s the chant again.

“This will be one of the last times I respond point by point,”
—don’t tell me what you’ll do. Just do it. Either way, of little importance to me.

“And if you take the “East Coast” of China, you’d obviously have to take the “West Coast” of Taiwan, where nearly 90% of the population is packed.”
—OMG. For someone who supposedly can read, you’re sure bad at it. I wasn’t even disagreeing with your point (perhaps my agreeing with you took you by surprise, since most of what you say has been disagreeable – (double entendre intended for the slower folks). Taiwan as a whole is denser than China as a whole, because most of western China is sparsely populated. I was simply pointing out that population density can be found in the more densely populated eastern/coastal regions. And the total population of those eastern regions far exceeds that of Taiwan, and hence the scale issues that seem beyond your comprehension. Perhaps western Taiwan is even denser than eastern CHina…but how many times more people are we talking about in eastern CHina? Oh, that’s right, you don’t do “scale”.

“only point you could possibly have is that they’d be printed in Simplified”
—gosh you really are challenged. I even referenced your “muffin fiasco” to give you some bearings. Scale applies because, when you have that many more students, and are buying that many more books, it costs less to produce/buy each book the more you buy. Just like your goofy Costco example where the per muffin cost goes down when you buy 12000 vs 12. I’ve seen disingenuous folks among your cohort before. I’ve seem dumb folks among your cohort before. I’ve seen disingenuous and dumb folks in your cohort before. And boy, I hope you’re scraping the bottom of that dubious barrel. I hope the level doesn’t go much lower than you.

“And foreign nations are never a threat economically, politically, or culturally!”
—more stuff that I’ve not said. Well, I stand corrected. You are good at at least one thing. Congrats for that, pal. All is not lost. Perhaps you deserve a sticker or something.

February 14, 2011 @ 6:22 am | Comment

To FOARP, JR, KT,
I believe in being a Good Samaritan. Pointing out stupidity in the face of ignorance thereof is me doing my little bit for western society…which is probably where that hypocrite lives, incidentally. Of course, he would never admit to that.

February 14, 2011 @ 6:30 am | Comment

@SK Cheung
Aren’t these “smart” people the ones you would vouch for in your meritocracy dream-world?

Yawn. A “good democracy” is inferior to a mediocre meritocracy.

and the net effect for the economy of all that apparently great work, prior to 1979 and the adoption of the free-market system, was…?

China’s economy under Mao’s rule was just about average for the world.

And maybe you should’ve qualified the suggestion that China was at odds with 2 superpowers for 30 whole years.

Learn how to read. I clearly stated that it was throughout his rule. You love pointing out how I imply things you didn’t say- rather it’s you who doesn’t understand the meaning of the words you cram together not unlike many others with Asperger’s.

you know what

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger%27s_Syndrome

Although individuals with Asperger syndrome acquire language skills without significant general delay and their speech typically lacks significant abnormalities, language acquisition and use is often atypical.[5] Abnormalities include verbosity, abrupt transitions, literal interpretations and miscomprehension of nuance, use of metaphor meaningful only to the speaker,, auditory perception deficits, unusually pedantic, formal or idiosyncratic speech

Not sure about the auditory perception deficits because this can’t be tested in writing.

and this measure is…? And the validity of this “measure” is determined by…? And the threshold is…?

When all other measurements are in doubt, basically when the people have enough free time to riot combined with the desire to do so is a good way to estimate when a government is going to “change” (the destabilizing, non-gradual type you’re so partial to).

And the total population of those eastern regions far exceeds that of Taiwan, and hence the scale issues that seem beyond your comprehension.

Oh yes, all we need is a few hundred thousand telepathic teachers and mind-reading students to cross the massive geographic much less linguistic divides along the East Coast of China! Genius! Canada must immediately hire you to head their schools. Oh wait, you don’t believe that merit and government should mix. Too bad.

and are buying that many more books, it costs less to produce/buy each book the more you buy.

HAHAHAHAHA Cheungsie actually thinks “books” are the major expense in education. You are a funny aspie.

more stuff that I’ve not said.

Sorry, we can’t all speak in esoteric metaphor and idiosyncratic speech; therefore when you flatly dismiss my common sense points about how external threats must be prioritized, it implies that you either don’t understand the kind of pressure China faces or are just a meth-addled hippie.

February 14, 2011 @ 6:49 am | Comment

@SKC. yourfriend. Canada, if my faulty memory serves.

This is a common feature of this FQ class. All the Harmonny crew live in the US, with the overlord living in Silicon Valley of all places. ChasL is New York. My immigration dept has a sensible policy. No visas for fifth columnists pure and simple.

Mongol warrior is an exception. He resides in his own mental straight jacket.

February 14, 2011 @ 6:58 am | Comment

No- I don’t live in Canada. And your memory is indeed faulty because I never posted anything about my life while you were around.

You don’t appear to be the type that can lurk quietly.

February 14, 2011 @ 7:18 am | Comment

Back on topic…sort of ;-)
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peterfoster/100074119/chinas-censorship-of-the-egypt-protests-isnt-fooling-everyone/

Loved this para
“Urban, educated Chinese routinely disparage the state broadcasters unutterably dull news output as really only fit for the simpler minds “you find in the villages”, as an undergraduate at one of Beijing’s elite universities memorably said to me recently.”

“Yawn. A “good democracy” is inferior to a mediocre meritocracy.”
Only for those in charge, my dear. Not a villager, are you?

February 14, 2011 @ 8:43 am | Comment

“Aren’t these “smart” people the ones you would vouch for in your meritocracy dream-world?…
Yawn. A “good democracy” is inferior to a mediocre meritocracy.”
—LOL. I guess THIS is “one of the last times (you) respond point by point”. The countdown has begun since the last time you said this. I’ll be sorry to see you reach that “last time”, whenever that may be. My good health will dearly miss your regular and reliable contributions and assistance.
Now, what you quoted of mine ends with a question mark (?). Usually, that means a question has been posed. Pray tell, how does your “response” actually respond to the question? (btw, that was another question in and of itself). Also, my earlier comment posed several questions. I think you failed to take note of them (yet again).
As for your response, a “democracy” may be inferior for those who wrongly fancy themselves to have merit, since their self-evaluation will need to pass muster with those pesky “outside regulators”. For those who prefer to “self-regulate”, I imagine your “mediocre meritocracy” would indeed be very popular. I mean, who needs accountability, right?

“China’s economy under Mao’s rule was just about average for the world.”
—but it isn’t what it is now, is it? This incredible growth we’ve seen in the last 30 years, didn’t really occur with the authoritarian/communist combo, did it? I wonder what’s changed since then…hmmm…evidently a bit of a thinker for some of the slower members of the crowd. Again, take your time.

“I clearly stated that it was throughout his rule.”
—what you “stated”, and reality, are often two very different things.

“and this measure is…? And the validity of this “measure” is determined by…? And the threshold is…?…
When all other measurements are in doubt, basically when the people have enough free time to riot combined with the desire to do so”
—huh? So this “comprehensive measure of national strength” you referred to in #194 is the ‘riot propensity index’? (my phrase, not yours) Well, thanks to you, I just got healthier yet again. So now, forget GDP. What the CCP is waiting for is the riot threshold. That is brilliant stuff. However, I wonder if the CCP will roll over in the face of such riot, or simply viciously put it down (in the name of “stability”, of course; never for CCP self-preservation)?

“you don’t believe that merit and government should mix.”
—you are so slow on the uptake, and so weak in debate logic, that the CCP should really reconsider their efforts. Merit and government do mix; the main difference is who gets to judge merit. I’ve said this many times before. Hey, earlier you said “good memory” is a merit. Apparently that’s another “merit” you don’t have.

“Cheungsie actually thinks “books” are the major expense in education”
—good grief. It is an example of an expense where scale matters. If I had a nickel for every time you argue against something I didn’t say, well, I’d have a lot of nickels.

“you flatly dismiss my common sense points about how external threats must be prioritized”
—I dismiss them for several reasons. First, you don’t have common sense, and your “points” aren’t adorned with them either. Second, your perceived threats are borne out of some fantasy-land paranoia, piled on top of a deep-seated victim mentality, admixed with the standard dose of “anti-western” rhetoric. And third, but more importantly, the response to your perceived threats doesn’t require or justify the continued maintenance of authoritarianism in China. I don’t believe Chinese people are naturally inclined to capitulate to anyone, even without the paternal guidance of your beloved CCP. So chew on that for a bit.

So, there is a huge running list of questions you’ve yet to respond to, even in this and my previous post. I see you didn’t want to respond to the challenge of letting Chinese people be the judge of your paranoias. But at least you’ve given the life expectancy stuff a rest. Too bad, really, cuz that was fun. Knowing when to cut your losses is a merit of sorts, I suppose, so way to be.

Well, good to know you don’t live in Canada. Your knowledge of Canada is abysmal, and I didn’t think our education system was that bad. Any time you feel the urge to disprove your hypocrisy, you go right ahead, y’hear?

February 14, 2011 @ 9:39 am | Comment

To KT:
yes, North America (and the US in particular) seems like a homing beacon to those angry young kids. The two head cheeses of the crew you speak of live in Northern California, in and around the city by the bay, if memory serves. One rabid dude lives in DC or somewhere in the Beltway. Another in Manhattan, I believe. At least they did back in the FM days.

February 14, 2011 @ 9:48 am | Comment

The benefits of meritocracy…CCP-style
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/world/asia/14maotai.html?ref=global-home
““I hear most of it gets delivered to Zhongnanhai,” said Wang Yonghui, 32, a bank teller and baijiu aficionado, referring to the Beijing compound that houses the country’s top leaders. “We pay more, and they get it for free.” ”

;-)

February 14, 2011 @ 10:18 am | Comment

Re #203: once in a while, JB felt good, KT. Or so he sang.

February 14, 2011 @ 2:24 pm | Comment

@ Mike. Great link, so here is my PRC-SK booze report card.

Moutaiu (sic)is simply too strong to be an enjoyable experience.

In contrast, soju has only a 22% alcohol content (reduced from 32% in 2000), has a clean taste and goes down a treat with fresh orange juice. Farm/homemade soju comes in a variety of fruit flavours and is great for that special occasion with that heavy drinking Korean gf.

Korean beer (one being (s)Hite) is truly disgusting, overpriced stuff, and only good for washing your trainers.

China turns out lots of good low alcohol beers using Germany brewing methods, and they cost about the same as a large bottled water. Here I vote for Qui Han and the local Harbin drop. Tsingtao’s quality varies according to the water supply.

Forget that swill produced in the US and Canada. In, fact both these countries should be reversing the shanzhai process and be turning out copies of good Chinese beers. I’m serious.

February 14, 2011 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

“China turns out lots of good low alcohol beers using Germany brewing methods”

Good that the Germans stayed in Quingdao for some time.

February 14, 2011 @ 5:15 pm | Comment

@SKC, KT – The bizarrest was BXBQ, who was a professor working in the US and blurbled on about the necessity of constructing barriers between China and the “west”. The fact that such barriers would leave him on the wrong side never seemed to occur to him.

And no, I don’t know what it is about the US. I guess there is a certain paranoia which is particularly American (thinking of Fox News, birthers, truthers, JFK assasination nuts, UFO cultists etc. etc. etc.).

February 15, 2011 @ 2:37 am | Comment

To FOARP and KT:
ahh, forgot about BXBQ. That guy was pretty special. He wrote a lot of posts for a while, but didn’t take very well to pointed questioning. In that way, he is not unlike a lot of his type.

As for ChasL, I remember that handle only from China Divide (whatever happened to Kai Pan). As I recall, that handle is the same as Charles Liu, who also happens to be Bobby Fletcher. That guy gets around, although I thought he was from the Pacific Northwest.

I’m personally partial to Guinness myself, especially freezing cold, frosted Guinness glass, slow pour. Ahh, heaven. I’m not much for mass produced Canadian/US beer either. Budweiser is cat urine in a bottle. However, there are lots of microbrews who put out good stuff. The darker the better. I’m also partial to some Belgian beers.

February 15, 2011 @ 4:46 am | Comment

BXBQ was the looniest FQ of them all, hands down.

February 15, 2011 @ 5:02 am | Comment

FOARP
@SKC, KT – The bizarrest was BXBQ, who was a professor working in the US and blurbled on about the necessity of constructing barriers between China and the “west”. The fact that such barriers would leave him on the wrong side never seemed to occur to him.

Are you also one of those people who are so shocked to find that Western educated Muslims can also be the most “radical”?

How con-fuddling!

SK Cheung
LOL. I guess THIS is “one of the last times (you) respond point by point”.

Cheungsie, I did stop responding point by point. Now I just discard 90% of them and just pick out your biggest error because honestly with such a huge posting delay on my side I think you’re having trouble keeping up with even the things you are saying yourself.

This incredible growth we’ve seen in the last 30 years, didn’t really occur with the authoritarian/communist combo, did it?

Are you implying that the growth would have been possible if the hardline CCP didn’t secure borders and double life expectancy among other things?

the main difference is who gets to judge merit.

Yes, the mob. We get it now. Oh wait, now for you to backpedal and say “not the mob in isolation” despite you specifically just now saying “the mob in isolation and only in isolation”.

good grief. It is an example of an expense where scale matters.

Oh okay we’ll take books on one side of the scale and weight it against massive overcrowding and a strain on all resources, hmm does the benefit outweigh the cost? It depends, do you have Asperger’s?

Second, your perceived threats are borne out of some fantasy-land paranoia, piled on top of a deep-seated victim mentality, admixed with the standard dose of “anti-western” rhetoric.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh yes the Cold War never happened, China has never been invaded or attacked before, the West is 100% trustworthy. Fair and balanced! You, on the other hand, are a naive boy of a man who is practically drooling all over himself as he reads the West’s corporate transcripts off a cue card to unsuspecting Chinese victims. Boring. But you might learn how the world works some day, and progress to a point where you can actually carry a conversation about anything besides the propaganda you were raised with. I was hoping you’d appreciate the stats on patents, cited papers, wealth (not income) inequality, etc but that’s far beyond your ability.

Mike
“Urban, educated Chinese routinely disparage the state broadcasters unutterably dull news output as really only fit for the simpler minds “you find in the villages”, as an undergraduate at one of Beijing’s elite universities memorably said to me recently.”

Seems pretty par for the course- though when Chinese TV isn’t being a ridiculous “craptacular” it’s actually kind of interesting when they cover history, culture and travel.

February 16, 2011 @ 3:43 am | Comment

Listen, if you want to respond to certain points, and simply concede the others, that’s fine by me. Whatever floats your boat. Whether you’re unwilling to answer, or unable to answer, makes no difference to me. It does spare me from reminding you about the things you haven’t addressed, since that list will be growing exponentially now.

“Are you implying that the growth would have been possible”
—did she not spend the first 30 years securing borders and increasing life expectancy? Why did it take a change to a free market system before the economy took off? Besides, that’s all in the past anyway. Her economy will be the driver of further life expectancy increases now. And who is going to breach her borders? Oh right, the yankees. WHich means, as I’ve said all along, that she doesn’t need authoritarianism any longer.

“Yes, the mob”
—yes, Chinese people should get to judge merit. It’s unfortunate that you would characterize them that way, but you do what you gotta do.
You are so intellectually limited that you don’t even know when to use which phrases. Elections are majority rule in isolation. But democracy is more than just elections, and more than just majority rule in isolation. You should really learn more about it. There’s only so much I can help you with.

“It is an example of an expense where scale matters….

Oh okay we’ll take books on one side of the scale and weight it against massive overcrowding…”
—you really are showing yourself to be a special kind of stupid. In the discussion so far, “scale” refers to economies of scale. Not something with which to measure mass. Yet again, taking disingenuous to a new low. That, you’re good at.

“does the benefit outweigh the cost?”
—stupid person asking a stupid question. But you should answer it. Does the “cost-benefit analysis” favour educating Chinese children? Gosh, I really would’ve thought the CCP could do better than you. But like I’ve said, you make me laugh, so you’re good for something.

“oh yes the Cold War never happened, China has never been invaded or attacked before,”
—no no, the Cold War certainly happened. But one does need to take note of the past tense there. Perhaps Webster’s can help you out with that. China has been attacked before…but surprisingly, not by America. Well, I guess the Americans COULD possibly maybe perhaps attack tomorrow. And the sky could possibly maybe fall down tomorrow too. You do indeed have very many things to worry about. It might require medication.

“he reads the West’s corporate transcripts off a cue card to unsuspecting Chinese victims”
—even if I did do that, which I’m obviously not, i would still happily let Chinese people make up their own minds. Which is infinitely more than what you’ll ever be able to dream of saying.

“I was hoping you’d appreciate the stats on patents, cited papers, wealth (not income) inequality”
—none of which justifies continued authoritarianism in China. Oh right, you didn’t want to address that point.

February 16, 2011 @ 3:00 pm | Comment

@yourfriend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno

February 17, 2011 @ 2:47 am | Comment

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