Troll Fest

I want to apologize to everyone for the mess the comments have become. I’ve never seen it quite this bad. I am closing the two threads below, and if you have anything else to say you can leave it here. It’s difficult finding a balance; I want Chinese people to comment here, but obviously I don’t want the threads to deteriorate into shouting matches or worse. Deciding what is or isn’t a troll comment is difficult when they don’t break specific rules, but it’s also obvious certain commenters want to take over threads and wreak havoc.

I am working on a huge project that will demand my full-time attention through the end of February (and yes, it’s China-related). So I can only check on the comments intermittently. But I will do everything I can to keep the comments from deteriorating. If anyone has any ideas on how best to moderate the comments let me know.

Happy Thanksgiving, even to my trolls who, of course all live in the US, and who should be grateful for what they have here, even if all they can express is scorn for America. Deep inside they must like it here, or else they’d vote by foot. Happy Holidays.

______________

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: 299 Comments

“I am working on a huge project that will demand my full-time attention through the end of February (and yes, it’s China-related).”

Let me guess – you’re working on Operation Arcturus, the final attempt by the Global Anti-China alliance to bring about the downfall of the CCP through poorly cropped photos, blog-posts about GrassMudHorse, and re-tweets of pictures of Ai Weiwei giving the finger to landmarks, followed up by a full-scale invasion led by a blind lawyer’s six-year-old daughter.

Try all you like Rich, because China’s defenders are ready . . .

November 25, 2011 @ 1:49 am | Comment

Heh. No, what I’m doing is far more down to earth and realistic.

November 25, 2011 @ 1:57 am | Comment

I’m also going to make an apology: Cookie, I don’t think you’re a troll. At least not the same way Wayne Lo is.

November 25, 2011 @ 1:58 am | Comment

If anyone has any ideas on how best to moderate the comments let me know.

Anything personal – from “nice try, idiot” to “I expected that you’d say this, because you can’t know better” should be deleted (only the content, not the sender above). I know that KT will hate me for this, and I enjoy his – frequently very meaningful – invectives, just as I enjoy venting some steam myself. But I’d never tolerate my own comments on my own blog.

Demand relevant comments, or, if platitudes, polite platitudes. But then, this will also mean that your commenter threads will become much, much shorter.

November 25, 2011 @ 3:11 am | Comment

Oh, and no prior warnings.

November 25, 2011 @ 3:12 am | Comment

Suggestions:

1. only 1 comment per person and

2. comment only on the original post, not on another comment.

Humbly, yours etc …

November 25, 2011 @ 3:57 am | Comment

One of the most successful (non-trollish) online forums I ever participated in had moderators hand down warnings and bans of varying length for troll comments; they’d also put into the troll comments “user was warned/temp banned/permabanned for this post” to help people get a grasp on what was acceptable or not.

November 25, 2011 @ 4:17 am | Comment

Incidentally the forum was one devoted to World of Warcraft. Gotta hand it to the gamers sometimes…

November 25, 2011 @ 4:18 am | Comment

Philip, one comment per person per post won’t work, as this blog is more about dialogue, back and forth, than anything else.

t_co, I have issued warnings and banned people, as Cookie Monster knows. But I’m also fair about it (I think) and let them back in if I think they’re willing to play nice again. The one exception is Wayne, and I was stupid to let him back in in the first place. He’s been trying to sneak in by using different mailbox addresses, but by now I know every trick in the book. That was MW’s modus operandi when he invaded my comments last year.IP addresses don’t lie.

JR, agree about making ad hominems grounds for banning. That means everyone, on all sides, will have to watch themselves (even me).

November 25, 2011 @ 4:33 am | Comment

Maybe you should consider to set up a recruiting agency to get extras for Tolkiens franchise. They maybe in need to hire a good bunch of trolls for the next movie

November 25, 2011 @ 5:45 am | Comment

The problem with some of the suggestions is that they would require someone to monitor all comments prior to posting. That would entail a lot of work and a lot of time. Especially if you have other things that need to be done. That would also be in contrast to the free flowing, open way you seem to want this place to run. Which is why I visit this site.

Your liberal (pun intended) comment policy is an open invitation to trolls and near trolls. Personally, I think you do a very good job with the comments and have no problem leaving it totally within your discretion to ban whoever the hell you want to. Give them a warning if you feel its deserved and dopr the hammer if they can’t play nice. And just slam dunk them without a warning if they get too out of line in any one comment. It isn’t like lthe trolls will be cut off from all communication as there is no lack of outlets for them to spew on.

November 25, 2011 @ 10:15 am | Comment

I want Chinese people to comment here: while going through those trolls, I said to myself: see, foreigners are just like us…. At Chinese websites, thousands upon thousands of pro-Mao and anti-Mao enthusiasts have been ranting on each other these days over a Peking University professor’s foul language. Remember some native English speakers say “Please keep your Chinglish signboards”? So, please keep those trolls!

November 25, 2011 @ 10:41 am | Comment

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m feeling very Anglo-Saxon today…

I think the thing that drives me craziest are the contradictions and lack of logic in the troll responses. And that it doesn’t seem to matter what the topic is, the threads typically devolve into…whatever that was in the UC Davis thread. Very little to do with the original topic. And that would be fine too, in a way, if the arguments were consistent and logical.

Oh well. I don’t really have any good suggestions that haven’t already been made above. Personal attacks should be verboten, and you know, make a sweep a couple times a day and delete the ones that you think are out of line.

And maybe the rest of us should just adopt the “Don’t feed the trolls” policy.

November 25, 2011 @ 2:43 pm | Comment

Once you start deleting and censoring you are onto the slippery slope beloved by the CCP. Okay, there are obvious examples such as MW, who is a racist psychopath who should be locked in an outhouse without pc access..

As far Cookie Monster (et al) goes, he gives as good as he receives, and he shouldn’t be precluded just because of his views or form of argumentation. Like most other commenters, he makes his share of valid points, and he has also provided me with a few good laughs at my expense.

There are good, bad and indifferent threads. Thats the nature of forums such as this. Can’t have educating, elevating commentary all the time.

Lets not get too self righteous here, fellow/female gunslingers.

Two suggestions. No four letter words and if you are going to diss someone, use their correct handle.

Finally, what is objectionable about a well written personal attack. Beyond me.

November 25, 2011 @ 3:41 pm | Comment

I’m with KT. The fine art of high invective had sadly turned to simplistic name calling and cheap four letter words. Gone is the ability to curse someone to hell in such high eloquent fashion that he looks forward to the trip.

November 25, 2011 @ 4:33 pm | Comment

What I meant was “ad hominem” but I rarely spell that correctly.

KT, in the olden days, you would not believe how out of control the comments here got. I mean, vicious, racist, homophobic, violent threats that weren’t even tangentially related to the topic. You get enough of that sort of thing and it drives away other commenters who would, you know, like to discuss the topic at hand. So yeah, slippery slope and all but on the other hand this is Richard’s site, his living room, as it were, and he has the right to determine if and when things get out of hand.

(I don’t have a problem with Cookie Monster either, by the way)

Personally having commented here for many years, my tolerance for arguments of the sort that went on in the UC Davis thread has gotten really low. I get tired of people who will use any old post to make the same points they make every single time. I’ve heard it all before, I’ve heard it over and over again, it’s not relevant and it’s not interesting.

Your mileage may vary.

November 25, 2011 @ 4:39 pm | Comment

Wayne, you’re out, and this comment you tried lo leave illustrates again your evil intentions.

Richard

November 25, 2011 @ 5:23 pm | Comment

While we are in a reflective mood, my final 10 cents worth.

Zero tolerance for sexist and homophobic remarks is uncontroversial. There is ChinaSmack if you have problems resisting that tendency.

Reliance on four letter words. All that indicates is that you should save your lunch money and buy an OED, and use it often.

I have problems with the warm and cuddly notion of a blog as an extension of one’s lounge room. The idea of a roomfull of Sino-chatterati sitting in my (or anybody else’s lounge room) swilling my tea, demanding more chocolate biscuits and shouting their views at me is just too ghastly to contemplate. On top of that, the great majority have really rotten musical taste.

Someone else can do a 101 defining this medium, but I think most would agree that there is a strong gunslinger/sort of macho element in the personna presented by most commenters.

Recycling. Well, when it kills off the pleasure of visiting and scribbling on a site, its time to start your own blog.

November 25, 2011 @ 6:19 pm | Comment

Once you start deleting and censoring you are onto the slippery slope beloved by the CCP.

Not really, KT. As you said yourself, there’s always another website where anything goes – a commenting policy on one blog doesn’t compare to internet censorship. I compiled a set of rules myself, and I’m comfortable with deleting comments whichever way I like. A blog isn’t the internet. Soul-searching to avoid stifling debate (and activity/traffic) is something I can understand. But moral misgivings about keeping a thread tidy is completely foreign to me.

I think my advice actually favors some of the commenters who triggered this discussion. They may use abusive language too (not sure if they do), but they basically rely on the same patterns of argument most of the time. To be to the point when replying to them is a good training for ourselves – and what they write is either thought-provocative, or easily refuted.

KT, I don’t think a thread where you keep kicking out guests will resemble a comfy lounge room anytime soon. Provided that the message, but not the sender, is deleted, it’s more likely to resemble a wild-western saloon, with one or another broken tooth underneath the swinging door. Isn’t that an appealing prospect?

November 25, 2011 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

I agree with Lisa about the living room metaphor, even if it’s at times a living room with two armed camps facing each other on two sofas. No a “warm and coy living room,” but one where everyone can speak his mind, complete with a host who acts as emcee and keeps (or tries to keep) the guests polite.

KT, there is no such thing as censorship on a blog. A blog’s home is the site owner’s castle and he can run it however he chooses. Comments are a courtesy, not a given right, and they can be deleted at whim. Now, I try not to exercise that right but sometimes it’s necessary, as in the case of Wayne. About 10 percent of Cookie Monster’s comments don’t get published for incredibly personal and vitriolic attacks. But I let him in because I think he can make a contribution and doesn’t really have evil intentions. Sometimes I let trolls like HongXing and Math comment because I find they offer comic relief.

There is a belief over Hidden Harmonizers that I constantly censor and bean people, which is patently false. If anyone here remembers pugster, there’s a perfect example of a troll I felt perfectly happy banning. But that’s a very rare exception, and I always give the banned trolls a second chance, except Wayne.

Goju, I’ll try to find time to watch over the comments despite the project, and anyone who think I need to delete something is free to email me.

SO bottom line rules I’ll try to stick to:
No ad hominems
Stick to the topic
Warn people they’re on the verge of being banned (JR, I think that’s necessary)
No four-letter words in regard to other commenters

November 26, 2011 @ 2:59 am | Comment

And technically, Wayne already got a second chance.

November 26, 2011 @ 6:37 am | Comment

To Richard,
I agree with the “your house, your rules” principle. As far as I recall, you’d never previously spelled out rules. Now that you have, I will endeavour to adhere to them. And I never forget that I comment here at your pleasure.

I wouldn’t worry about the HH crowd (and I’m sure you don’t). One of the HH gurus tried to ban me at FM while that was still active, and had to go through an embarassing and public climb-down when he was over-ruled because I hadn’t actually broken any rules, but merely had the temerity to disagree with him. It would be a pot/kettle exercise if they were to criticize you for exercising your editorial discretion.

November 26, 2011 @ 7:07 am | Comment

SK, I would thing these rules are pretty much common sense. You’ve never broken them except for maybe calling Ferin stupid.

November 26, 2011 @ 9:37 am | Comment

Richard, I used to be the rules editor on FM for about 99% (except for the part of getting SK kicked off which I thought was ridiculous) of the comments and I figured if both sides were mad at me and they were, I was doing a pretty good job of it. I followed the rules of that particular blog and tried to be as fair as I could to both sides. What it finally came down to was this:

1) Respect the post writer – Stay on post for the first 100 comments, then I didn’t care. If someone puts the time in to write a post, don’t threadjack it right away. That always ticked me off because I thought it was disrespectful.

2) No racism, for obvious reasons.

3) No ad hominem attacks. This was tricky because we wanted debate, so I’d allow attacks to the argument rather than the person. Your comment could be bullshit, but you couldn’t call the other guy an asshole, and @$$hole was cursing without manning up to it, so even less tolerated.

4) No one (or should I say, very few people) want to see a 100 comment back and forth between two people. It makes it very difficult to find the good comments in the comment thread and usually contains very little of value. Same thing with one sentence paragraphs, a specialty of a certain person which just added space to the comments without any value. We added a comment collapse widget so you could still see those with one click, but for some unknown reason people considered that to be no different than outright deletion. I guess they realized so few were interested in reading a collapsed comment so it was virtually no different than deletion.

5) As you wrote, we always warned people before we started to delete comments, but I got tired of deleting sections of a comment (I didn’t have the time nor inclination) so I’d just delete the entire comment. If someone didn’t heed the warning, we’d put them into moderation so if that meant a valid comment didn’t get on the board for a day or two, so be it.

6) As SK wrote, in the end it’s your blog and all comments appear at your discretion. I don’t comment here much but I read your blog and I feel you’ve been more than tolerant. Like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography, you know what crosses the line when you see it and that’s the only reason you need.

On Pacific Rim Shots, the blog Wukailong and I currently write, we’ve kept the rules pretty simple and will allow more of some things than FM did while allowing less of others. So far so good; we haven’t had to delete anything or anyone yet. On the other hand, you seem to be the favorite destination of a few people that like to push the boundaries so you have more decisions to make than we have and probably ever will have. The more successful you are, the more you need to be a blog cop, so a big pat on the back for your success.

November 26, 2011 @ 11:59 am | Comment

Steve, SKC was kicked off FM? I must have missed that. Outrageous, and I’m not surprised the place has gone so downhill if people were making moderation decisions like that.

In other news, looks like the New Zealand government is going to stay in power and easily form a new coalition.

November 26, 2011 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

@ Raj: It was more of an attempted ban than an actual one. My feeling was that it wasn’t consistent with how the blog had been run, and nothing that violated the blog rules. When SKC and rv had a back & forth argument, I just collapsed the comments as taking too much space without contributing to the discussion and SKC was fine with that. In my opinion, it came down more to the opinion expressed rather than the way they were expressed. When certain opinions are not allowed, to me that becomes censorship. When all opinions are allowed but must keep within civilized discourse, that is not censorship. Again, that didn’t make my popular with either side but so be it. Of course, when someone broke blog rules and the comment was deleted, the first thing they cried was “censorship” when it was nothing of the kind. What’s that old line? We can all disagree without being disagreeable.

November 27, 2011 @ 1:17 am | Comment

Steve, thanks for all the tips. I especially agree about the two-commenter back and forth that can go on literally for weeks. It turns off other commenters, and I wish they could use email to continue their lengthy arguments once their initial points have been made.

November 27, 2011 @ 4:05 am | Comment

I have never been a troll. My problem is I try to reflect the attitude of whoever I’m addressing, so when I run into vitriolic posters I will use vitriol.

I think I deserve at least some credit for running nanhe, Invisible Sky Magician (a ridiculous, mentally disturbed troll that thinks African women getting cancer is funny), Lindel, Not_a_Sinophile, etc off of the internet.

November 27, 2011 @ 5:31 am | Comment

and Richard I remember calling mor’s wife a three titted whore because he said, basically, that all Han Chinese are Nazi sympathizers. Anyone who tries to compare China to Nazi Germany is intellectually dishonest and utterly stupid at best.

But no, I don’t actually believe mor’s wife has three tits.

November 27, 2011 @ 5:33 am | Comment

The thing that really bothered me about that thread (I still haven’t read the Taiwan one and don’t think that I will) is that I am very critical about the US, I use the “i” word, “imperialism,” frequently to describe our foreign policy, I think that the last 30 years domestically has overall been a disaster for the country, and I’m quite happy to discuss these topics. I just don’t think that substituting China as global hegemon is likely to be an improvement, and I laid out the reasons that I think this. It’s frustrating that this triggers an explosion of fenqing bile rather than any kind of actual conversation.

There was an editorial in the NYT today from a Chinese scholar about how China can “defeat” America, and he basically says that “China has to provide higher-quality moral leadership than the United States.”

How, then, can China win people’s hearts across the world? According to ancient Chinese philosophers, it must start at home. Humane authority begins by creating a desirable model at home that inspires people abroad.

This means China must shift its priorities away from economic development to establishing a harmonious society free of today’s huge gaps between rich and poor. It needs to replace money worship with traditional morality and weed out political corruption in favor of social justice and fairness.

Now, how China will actually go about doing all this, he doesn’t discuss. But it’s a good place to begin such a discussion, IMO.

November 27, 2011 @ 7:30 am | Comment

To Other Lisa,
saw that article a few days ago courtesy of Steve. As you’d mentioned a few days ago, China is still at the point of having to buy friends, and the author specifically addresses that as not being an enduring asset. He’s also identified a lot of areas that need work, without offering much in the way of specific remedies.

Ironically, Obama likely agrees with the author, in that he tried to position the US at the recent Asian summit to fill a void that China has not yet been able to manoeuvre herself into.

November 27, 2011 @ 9:13 am | Comment

Richard, one last point I neglected to mention was something Wukailong and I discussed for our own blog that you might want to consider. Awhile ago, I wrote a post called Levels of Understanding where I talked about the difference between visiting a country, living in a country, having ancestors from a country, the attitudes towards a country, etc. and how that equated to understanding a country. China related blog commenters tend to be from certain groups: a) western expats either living in China or who have returned from China b) people who have vacationed in China and have an interest in it c) people who have taken business trips to China d) people who were born in China and grew up in the west from a young age e) people whose ancestors were from China but who were born and raised in the USA f) people who have an interest in China but have never been there.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I can immediately tell if someone has lived in China by their comments. I can also tell if an expat spent most of their time with other expats or with local Chinese, again by their comments. So we decided that we would not allow people who have obviously not lived in China to declare what Chinese people think or what life is like there, or who spent virtually all of their time in China hanging with fellow expats and bargirls, because they just don’t know and they’re making it up based on their own biases, whether pro or con. Too often I read complete garbage written by people who have no idea what they’re talking about. It even extends to western media, the reporter who takes the two week trip to China and comes back with a load of hogwash, whether pro or con, disguised as reporting.

So comments can stick to opinion but if you haven’t lived there, don’t start quoting ‘facts’ that aren’t facts, or we’ll edit them since WKL and I both know what that life is like. You may decide to go a different route but since you lived there and know what life is actually like for ordinary Chinese, it might be something you’d want to consider.

Most of the silly arguments on all blogs use logical fallacies to make their point, the two most common being argument by selective observation and red herring arguments. Both sides do this. If your post is about China, it isn’t about western media, American Indians, the Irish troubles, the US government, Nazis, etc., what I call the “cultural comparison disease”. China is a unique culture that doesn’t easily compare to others and if the commenter doesn’t understand that, they don’t understand China and shouldn’t be commenting because what they’re really commenting about isn’t China but their circumstances in their home countries, which is not the subject of your blog. Chinese Americans aren’t Chinese and Taiwanese Americans aren’t Taiwanese, they’re both Americans and have no more special insight into circumstances there than anyone else, something many of them seem unwilling to acknowledge.

November 27, 2011 @ 9:20 am | Comment

Well, Steve, by that logic, commenters who have not lived in the United States should not comment on topics concerning the United States or Americans. All cultures are unique and I daresay many if not most do not easily compare to others.

I completely agree with this: “If your post is about China, it isn’t about western media, American Indians, the Irish troubles, the US government, Nazis, etc., what I call the “cultural comparison disease”. This is probably my single biggest complain about comment threads–I also like to call it “You do it to! And you’re even worse, so there.”

November 27, 2011 @ 11:08 am | Comment

Indeed, the need for comparison is insatiable for some. Ironically, for people commenting on a board purportedly about China, those who really enjoy being knee-deep in comparisons aren’t even talking about China at all. Sure makes you wonder sometimes. Now, one might argue that “comparison” when used judiciously provides necessary context. But i’d submit that “comparison” when applied on blogs like this is simply for the purpose of changing the subject away from China.

November 27, 2011 @ 11:18 am | Comment

Comparison is fair game when a topic or post leads with comparison. Like saying (implying) that China is the worst human rights abuser out of the major powers. It’s obviously not.

Or stating that China has among the worst wealth inequality in the world. Also is not.

Or blindly criticizing the CCP on their policies. This isn’t post-modernism. If you remove international relations (and the ensuing comparisons) from the discussion it’s not about China anymore, but abstractions – which as we can tell, devolves into pointless faux intellectual masturbation.

Indeed even using the “China focus” excuse first throws priority to the wind, if China is BAD but someone else is worse, you can’t claim to be pro human rights. If you really were, you’d focus on the hundreds of other nations who do it worse. This only makes sense if just care about the Chinese more than other humans, which I HIGHLY doubt especially from the “bargirl” archetype that Steve mentioned.

Second, if one pulls the “China focus” card and 99% of their comments about China are negative (never mind the outright fabrications and flights into delusion), you simply do not have enough understanding of the real world (much less any specific nation) to comment on anything.

November 27, 2011 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

That said I agree 100% the only way China can (and should) defeat the US (and other imperialist powers) is by consistently demonstrating that it is morally superior.

In that same vein the US debases democracy by being such a horrible example of it. Not as bad as India and Brazil but still bad.

November 27, 2011 @ 12:36 pm | Comment

Comparison is not a fair game when you try to neutralize any evil, on either side, by saying the other side does it, too. That only means both sides are guilty, not that one gets left off the hook because the other one is equally bad. My issue with you is that you are so knee-jerk, so predictably reflexive, that any criticism of China instantly generates the push-button response that the US is worse. Other than that, we all love you.

November 27, 2011 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

You know that I don’t think any evils can be neutralized through logical fallacies, but that’s principle. I may act that way to spite certain posters, but the only time I do it to anyone else is if they open with some kind of comparison themselves.

I rarely ever criticize or compare when an issue is brought up objectively. However comparisons of China to other nations or abstractions almost always follow in the comments.

It’s far easier to demonstrate concepts by using existing examples than it is through theory. If you look through the comments you’ll see that I’m typically not the one to start with the tu quoques.

November 27, 2011 @ 1:06 pm | Comment

@ Other Lisa: I believe you misunderstood what I meant, so sorry for not being more clear. Anyone can have an opinion about anything, that’s the fun of blog comments. But what I’m complaining about is when someone who have never lived in China starts telling me what Chinese people think about this and that. They have no idea what those people think. You have to live there to know.

Even if you live there, most people would only know a slice of what overall opinion was, but they’d have a better idea of it. I lived in Shanghai but got up to Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces on business. They are all east coast cities so my knowledge of western and southern China is close to nil. I had a lot of friends in the places I lived and worked so I had a pretty good idea of how they felt about issues. These people were all well educated, above average technical professionals. How did the people on the lower rung feel? I only had one friend in that class so I certainly can’t claim to have a good feel for their opinions.

Too often I read comments from Americans, Canadians or other westerners who, just because they have a Chinese family name, seem to think that understanding the Chinese people is in their DNA when their comments reflect zero knowledge of that culture. Even my wife, who left Taiwan when she was 28 and still has an accent, has already acquired so many American characteristics that when she visits Taiwan, people can tell she no longer lives there. I’m Italian American, have spent a month in Italy and fit in just fine, yet I’d never claim to be Italian or say I understood how Italians felt. I’m American and have traveled enough to know just how American I really am.

I enjoyed my time in China very much and got along great with not only my colleagues but also many local friends I made there. I’ve been married to the culture for decades, yet that doesn’t make me Chinese, it just gives me a general idea of how people think. Anyone not born into a culture can come close to understanding but never achieve total knowledge. There are various degrees of understanding and people should acknowledge the depth of understanding, or lack of it.

November 27, 2011 @ 2:17 pm | Comment

#35: What I’m complaining about is people who use logical fallacies to make their arguments, like you just did in this comment. Instead of commenting on what I said, you used false emphasis to mislead. If someone makes a statistical claim and you ask for a link to prove that claim, that is not a comparison, it’s substantiating a claim. It has nothing to do with any of the examples I gave in my comment.

The rest of your comment is so lacking in logic that I have no idea what you’re talking about. Thanks for providing a perfect example of what I was trying to say. Personally I’m not pro or anti-China, it is what it is. I’m anti-logical fallacies being used to deliberately mislead and turn comment sections into what these last few have become and why Richard has had it. Why is it that the guy who screams his innocence the loudest is the one who is always the most guilty?

November 27, 2011 @ 2:35 pm | Comment

Don’t know anything about China?

Try “My Chinese Wife Says” or “My Tibetan/Uighur/Hui/Martian Friend Thinks”

Order now and get “I Know A Minority That Says Chinese People Are Racist” and impress all your friends

November 27, 2011 @ 2:35 pm | Comment

Steve, I was responding to the many accusations laid out against me of being “comparison obsessed”. As far as I can tell I pretty much agree with what you have said so far including the post above.

These two especially:

What I’m complaining about is people who use logical fallacies to make their arguments

If someone makes a statistical claim and you ask for a link to prove that claim, that is not a comparison, it’s substantiating a claim.

My “comparisons” are usually just me substantiating my claims or contradicting someone else’s statement.

November 27, 2011 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

I would be fascinated to see an example of someone “saying (implying) that China is the worst human rights abuser out of the major powers”. Usually, people who criticize China’s human rights don’t need to reach for comparisons, and merely state them as stand-alone facts. It’s the people who want to minimize those abuses that do.

I also don’t recall anyone “stating that China has among the worst wealth inequality in the world”. But we do know that CHina’s wealth gap has increased from 2000 to 2010, don’t we? And that statement really requires no comparison.

China is indeed involved in international relations. If only CHina would allow/permit/encourage international scrutiny of her policies and actions directed at her own people, that would be a great thing. But China is also very quick to invoke “internal affairs” when she is criticized. So if it’s the “principle” that’s involved, then what’s really required is a more consistent application of same. China herself doesn’t allow an international metric to be applied to how she conducts affairs within her borders. So I wonder why that would be required here or on other blogs.

If one were pro-human rights in China, it doesn’t matter if someone is worse than CHina. It only matters if China is BAD, which of course she is. Again, we’re talking about China…well, most people are, but clearly not all.

“However comparisons of China to other nations or abstractions almost always follow in the comments.”
—”comparisons” that aren’t brought up by Cookie Monster himself, or folks like him? THis I’d like to see.

In any event, #35, 36, and 38 serve as a good basis for when certain people apparently see it fit to make “comparisons”. As Steve can attest, one of the things I most enjoy is to make people eat their words. The next time Cookie Monster makes another comparison, we can all see if he is even applying his own principles. Should make for an entertaining exercise.

November 27, 2011 @ 2:49 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
Usually, people who criticize China’s human rights don’t need to reach for comparisons, and merely state them as stand-alone facts.

Exactly your problem, and it’s hilarious that you can even take yourself seriously after flat-out admitting that you completely disregard facts.

And that statement really requires no comparison.

Only until you realize that this is the norm. Then you realize that the reaction to this is NOT the same for every country. China is singled out for this problem. In fact you hear MORE about wealth inequality in China from American publications than you do of wealth inequality in America.

Not only that but it’s generally the same recycled dogshit every time. The writer writes down how many billionaires China has, and then the BS statistics on the number of “Chinese living on x dollars a day”. It’s a problem with journalism in general.

China herself doesn’t allow an international metric to be applied to how she conducts affairs within her borders.

There are plenty of foreigners in China and you vastly overstate the amount of restriction. Beyond that you’re essentially asking for extraterritoriality and again holding China to higher standards – which in itself is fine, as long as you admit that is your game.

If one were pro-human rights in China

I respect your honesty – you apparently think human rights outside of China don’t matter, which explains your consistent support of illegal wars and unilateralism on the part of the West. To you arbitrary boundaries and political manipulation are more valid than common sense and the consent of relevant parties (i.e the people being bombed). You will twist anything to justify your dogma.

As Steve can attest, one of the things I most enjoy is to make people eat their words.

Funny, I thought your greatest pleasures were making unsubstantiated claims and getting your feelings hurt on the internet.

November 27, 2011 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

@Steve, gotcha. But I think that we have to be careful about ascribing a sort of “Chinese exceptionalism” — e.g. “You can’t possibly understand China if you’re not Chinese, because China is China and you know, 5000 years of history!!!” just as we do an “American exceptionalism” — “America is super-special and the best country on earth!!!”

I lived in China many years ago and since then have traveled up and down and back and forth and seen a fair amount of the country; I read a lot and try to learn as much as I can, but all of us can only know what we know and try to report from that perspective. “Seek Truth from Facts” and all, to quote either Mao or Marx, not sure who said it first.

November 27, 2011 @ 3:36 pm | Comment

Like many other Maoist and post-Mao slogans, “seek truth from facts” is a much older saying than the PRC (probably one of the classics, but don’t know which one), just as the “hundred schools” etc. is.

November 27, 2011 @ 8:00 pm | Comment

The Book of Han, apparently.

November 27, 2011 @ 8:02 pm | Comment

@Cookie -

Hate to break this to you, but AFAIK, Not_a_sinophile still comments, it’s just that he’s become formerly_Not_a_sinophile because (I guess) he’s now married to a Chinese lady.

November 27, 2011 @ 8:15 pm | Comment

To 44:
“it’s hilarious that you can even take yourself seriously after flat-out admitting that you completely disregard facts.”
—when do I disregard “facts”? THe point is that China can be criticized based on facts alone, without reaching for “facts” about other countries. Your penchant is to constantly try to reach for facts about other countries, in order to blunt any and all criticism about China. One can’t begin to make improvements unless and until one acknowledges shortcomings. Based on your world-view, it would appear that as long as CHina doesn’t have it as bad as somebody else, she doesn’t need to do anything differently. That is a curious world-view, one that you are entitled to, but one that I enjoy shining a light on early and often.

“Only until you realize that this is the norm.”
—how is comparison the norm? Yes, those who collect data collect them for nearly every country is order to come up with their tables and charts. And yes, that does lend to easy comparison. But it doesn’t change the fact that the individual data points apply to countries individually. And China’s wealth gap growth from 2000 to 2010 is indisputable. Not unique. But indisputable. Is it worse than anyone else? Yes. Is it better than anyone else? Yes. Still doesn’t change the fact that it is what it is. And if you seek to address that, you need to first acknowledge it. Saying that it’s just as bad here/there/everywhere is an excuse to NOT address it. Which is what you typically engage in.

“In fact you hear MORE about wealth inequality in China from American publications than you do of wealth inequality in America.”
—so what? You can bitch and complain to the blogs, websites, and emails of those various publications to your heart’s content. Heck, you probably already do. But on a blog about CHina such as this one, where is the relevance? Besides, does the fact that American publications apparently harp on China’s wealth gap change the fact that she does in fact have a growing one?

“The writer writes down how many billionaires China has, and then the BS statistics on the number of “Chinese living on x dollars a day”.”
—again, so what? Are those numbers not true? Is your favourite wealth GINI index somehow less true now that you realize it’s grown between 2000 and 2010?

“There are plenty of foreigners in China and you vastly overstate the amount of restriction.”
—how does the number of foreigners in China factor into anything? And sure, foreigners can report on things in China…except when they can’t.

“Beyond that you’re essentially asking for extraterritoriality and again holding China to higher standards – ”
—I’m not asking for anything…except perhaps some semblance of consistency in your application of your own “principles”. Your argument in #35 is that CHina isn’t an island in the sea of international relations. OK. If every criticism of CHina is to be viewed in an international prism, then let’s view everything in CHina from that international prism to see if it is in fact worthy of criticism. BUt now that’s not OK either. So let’s not apply international standards to see if China should come under criticism, but let’s apply international standards when China does get criticized. Like I’ve intimated many times before, your principles are rather flexible. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. That said, what I’ve described is your MO and well-known to everyone here, so it’s really no surprise.

“you apparently think human rights outside of China don’t matter”
—and why might you “apparently” make that interpretation? Human rights matter everywhere, AND they matter in CHina. When speaking to human rights abuses IN CHINA, the state of affairs elsewhere is irrelevant, since it doesn’t change what is or isn’t happening in China. If a blind lawyer in CHina is held under house arrest without charge or conviction AFTER already serving a bogus prison sentence, can that fact be abhorred without any reference to anything else anywhere else? Absolutely. Unless someone like you has an agenda like yours. And I’m happy to point that out as often as is necessary.

I think before you worry about my feelings being hurt, you should worry about living up to those principles you proudly listed in 35/36/38. Just as with that Credit Suisse data which you so kindly offered up on a platter, that’s now out there in black/white. Makes for easy reference the next time you try to derail another discussion with another one of your comparisons.

To #42:
“My “comparisons” are usually just me substantiating my claims”
—you know what, that’s actually true. It’s true because usually your “claims” are that so-and-so is worse than China, and you can’t really substantiate a comparison like that without…umm…a “comparison”. Hopefully, this doesn’t water down your lofty principles from 35/36/38, cuz if your point is that you can also invoke comparisons when you are making a point which in and of itself is a comparison, then it becomes rather circular and your principles become rather pointless.

November 28, 2011 @ 1:26 am | Comment

Here we go again.

November 28, 2011 @ 1:55 am | Comment

Pretty good breakdown though.

November 28, 2011 @ 3:04 am | Comment

I’d like to add to Steve’s comments above by saying that we’ll be pretty picky if someone comes to our blog and talks about “facts.” I’ve seen people on other blogs saying things like “read a history book” or “look up the facts.” The problems are twofold:

1. What history books? Written by whom, with what bias? What do you do when there are completely different viewpoints (just think about Israel/Palestine or Tibet, for example)?
2. What facts? How do you know they’re facts, especially when it comes to historical sources?

We don’t require some extreme philosophical skepticism of reality, we just require that someone who makes extraordinary claims has extraordinary evidence. If you say “I think this is the way it is” you’ll be fine, but if you were to claim that this is the truth and nothing but the truth, you’ve set the bar way higher.

November 28, 2011 @ 3:08 am | Comment

If you are personally attacked, you can attack back. For example,if you are called troll can you not attack back?

November 28, 2011 @ 3:56 am | Comment

A number of commenters on this site have serious areas of expertise, but a decent grasp of the historians tools of trade is not one of them. Discussion is *generally* situated somewhere between NOW and a feature article by The Guardian, with a ton of SKCs logic chopping inbetween.

And if a couple of inane slogans from PRC’s recent or long past history could elevate discussion. The moon is made of green cheese.

Look up (what?) facts = a google visit.

And commenters in China don’t have access to libraries, let alone a half decent newspaper.

November 28, 2011 @ 4:13 am | Comment

HongXing. Really profound observation, Pavlov.

And we know what sort of hogswash eminates from the continually rewrittem histories you read. I recall the 16 years it took to produce vol 11 of the history of the CCP. Something like an editorial mission impossible, depending on the contemporary need to amp up the glorious role of the CCP, emphasise periods of victimhood and the economic advances since 1979. In the latest high school history text book, the GLF gets about 3 lines.

Seek facts from truth. Meaningless sloganeering drivel of the first order.

And if you wish to drown in a sea of drivel mixed with a hodge podge of empty concepts, read some of the CCP statements which are translated by CMP. The hacks really deserve their Audis if they can sign off on many of their policy pronouncements with a straight face.

November 28, 2011 @ 4:38 am | Comment

Red Star, you can’t fight back when someone calls you a troll, because you are a troll in every sense of the word, more than any other commenter here. And you know it. I’ve had to delete your comments that were anti-Semitic and anti-gay, and you can always be counted on to spray hate and invective across the threads. Aside from that I think you’re a cool guy.

November 28, 2011 @ 4:42 am | Comment

I think I need to employ a snark tag more often.

November 28, 2011 @ 4:54 am | Comment

Geez. And I thought this was going to turn into a literature lounge.

November 28, 2011 @ 5:14 am | Comment

JR, I will plump the couch cushions for you…

November 28, 2011 @ 5:43 am | Comment

Here’s an Elizabeth Economy column on China’s reaction to the US refocus on Asia…

Cocktails? Canapes?

November 28, 2011 @ 5:46 am | Comment

Thanks for the link. Yan’s NYT editorial is getting good mileage. But the link to Zhu Feng’s piece is even better. More specific as to what China needs to do if she hopes to conjure up some of that moral authority in due time.

November 28, 2011 @ 6:48 am | Comment

Then what is the basis most people here draw on to criticize China if no “comparison” is made in the first place? I think the reason the West/USA were used is because most of you are from there, you know not much about the world except the West/USA. The moment some of you pen down something about China, you already start the “comparison”, but you often perceive that your belief is universal which is not, and that is the problem. You all on the same boat.

November 28, 2011 @ 10:23 am | Comment

FOARP
Hate to break this to you, but AFAIK, Not_a_sinophile still comments, it’s just that he’s become formerly_Not_a_sinophile because (I guess) he’s now married to a Chinese lady.

Every time he makes a quip I just send him running with his tail between his legs. I bet he regrets his “put the Chinese in their place” comment.

SK Cheung
Based on your world-view, it would appear that as long as CHina doesn’t have it as bad as somebody else, she doesn’t need to do anything differently.

Maybe that’s how you interpret it. My view is that China should keep on improving even if she does some day become the best in the world. That’s pretty much the Chinese way.

Yes. Still doesn’t change the fact that it is what it is.

Then what’s the point? My dispute is with the pervasive notion that China is somehow suffering from a catastrophic “wealth” imbalance. Unless you have not been reading the news you’d know that China is singled out unfairly for this problem. It’s an issue that was prominent during the height of the Arab Spring (or the first round of Arab protests). No one dared mention that China’s wealth inequality, for a massive and rapidly developing nation, was extraordinarily low.

But it’s not like even 1% of journalists in the West know the difference between income and wealth.

Besides, does the fact that American publications apparently harp on China’s wealth gap change the fact that she does in fact have a growing one?

If you consider that the West’s anti-Chinese posturing is based in large part upon hearsay like the wealth gap myth, then the broader context is readily apparent. If you want to argue principle have fun, but it’s pointless.

It also factors into your more general arguments pro democracy. Wealth inequality is often cited as evidence contra China’s system, but it falls flat on its face when both India and Brazil (“poorer” and “richer” respectively, in terms of GDP/GNI per capita) have greater wealth gaps.

And sure, foreigners can report on things in China…except when they can’t.

True of every country except maybe one or two.

When speaking to human rights abuses IN CHINA

I hope you’re not a doctor, I could picture you treating a broken nail before a shotgun wound.

Other Lisa
Here’s an Elizabeth Economy column on China’s reaction to the US refocus on Asia…

I’m surprised at what’s considered “arrogant” by Western journalists. Apparently anything that’s not simpering, servile groveling on the part of China is “arrogant” and “insecure”.

They need to learn of something called “projection”. There is absolutely nothing arrogant in any of the lines she quoted. The message is forthright with some hints of very justified irritation.

November 28, 2011 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Zhu Feng’s hypothesis is passable but the notion that other states will suddenly respect you more if you’re democratic on paper is not at all founded in truth.

However if China were to play the game better they would be able to get away with much harsher actions against their neighbors.

November 28, 2011 @ 10:41 am | Comment

rather his suggestion almost sounds reasonable, his hypothesis is unfounded.

November 28, 2011 @ 10:42 am | Comment

Red Star, you can’t fight back when someone calls you a troll, because you are a troll in every sense of the word, more than any other commenter here. And you know it. I’ve had to delete your comments that were anti-Semitic and anti-gay, and you can always be counted on to spray hate and invective across the threads. Aside from that I think you’re a cool guy.

Is that not a personal attack? Did you not violate your own rules for no personal attacks?

November 28, 2011 @ 11:32 am | Comment

Red Star: Is that not a personal attack? Did you not violate your own rules for no personal attacks?

Red Star, you and I and everyone else here knows you are a troll. That is not a personal attack. Like pugster, you are a career troll, and everything you say, without exception, is vile and trollish. You are ATATT: all troll all the time. This isn’t personal and it’s not an attack. It’s just what is. Prove me wrong: calmly engage in a dialogue with me and the other commenters, and show us you are a serious person who wants to engage, and not spray insults and venom. The ball’s in your court; you have a golden opportunity to prove me wrong. But after your trolling here all these years I don’t expect you to suddenly change and show us you are a real human being. But I’m inviting you to do so. Show us you’re not a troll, I dare you.

November 28, 2011 @ 11:57 am | Comment

I am beginning to empathise with Richard and his troll management situation. I laboured mightily this morning to produce a fool proof set of comment guidelines, and they were abused within the hour.

November 28, 2011 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

To Rhan #62:
that is a good point. In order to know that China is doing something wrong, one has to have a concept of what is right, with which to compare. So yes, by criticizing what China is or isn’t doing, one does have to have an internal metric of what China should be doing instead. That’s not the kind of comparison most people, like me, object to.

Instead, the comparison that is groundless is when China is criticized, and some people bring in comparisons of “so-and-so is worse”. That may or may not be true, but usually people aren’t saying that China is “more wrong”, in which case it might be reasonable to invoke other nations who do “wrong”; usually, people are saying that what China is doing is simply “wrong”, and that requires no comparison to other nations (though as you suggest, it does require a comparison to what one perceives to be “right”).

November 28, 2011 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

I think it is a classical symptom of right wing anger with the Chinese nationalist(s) here. It is few to read the comments from them that do not have passive aggression and insulting every few sentences, and undernearth ‘butt hurt’. They say they are talking for reason but really they are talking to make themself feel better.

We have the same type of people in my home country, and everywhere else. It is usually an educated sensitive young man but with stunted society skills and problems dealing with criticizing. They remember everything they don’t like even on the internet and can’t get it out of the head in daily normal life, that is why they react like this.

Cookie monster, the people here are not always correct, and this is not pro-China site, but don’t you feel you are representing your country badly? In your heart the other people hurt you more than you hurt them and I think you know this. You should open the mind to more liberal thoughts and sentiments, it is the future of the world no matter what country we are from.

November 28, 2011 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

To 63:
“My view is that China should keep on improving even if she does some day become the best in the world. That’s pretty much the Chinese way.”
—if you submit that CHina does have to improve, then why obfuscate with comparisons each time one of those areas needing improvement is pointed out?

“It’s an issue that was prominent during the height of the Arab Spring (or the first round of Arab protests). No one dared mention that China’s wealth inequality, for a massive and rapidly developing nation, was extraordinarily low.”
—how was it an issue? No one I’ve read seriously considered CHina’s atmosphere to be ripe for an Arab-Spring like event. I think you are living a self-fulfilling prophecy. You believe “everyone” is harping on China’s wealth gap, and as a result, you convince yourself from people’s writings that they are doing exactly that…even when they’re not. Besides, as per your own principles, there would be no need to bring in wealth and income gap comparisons when someone merely mentions CHina’s income and wealth gaps to be growing problems. But that is my perception of exactly what you like to do, and have done.

“But it’s not like even 1% of journalists…”
—then bring it up on those journalists’ blogs. Why bring it up here?

“If you consider that the West’s anti-Chinese posturing is based in large part upon hearsay like the wealth gap myth”
—huh? FIrst of all, the wealth gap is no myth. Second, if you asked most people in the “west” about China, if they had any opinion at all, it might relate to jobs being outsourced. The average “westerner” is not fretting about China’s wealth gap. And third, per your principle, regardless of whatever the “west’s” posturing may or may not be, if it’s not happening here, then why invoke comparisons on this board?

“Wealth inequality is often cited as evidence contra China’s system”
—I don’t recall ‘wealth inequality as a con of CHina’s system’ being cited on this blog, let alone often. It’s a problem, to be sure, and growing at that. But there are many other cons to China’s system.

“True of every country except maybe one or two.”
—you’ve just contravened your own principle. I said foreigners can report on things except when they can’t. I didn’t say the situation was better or worse than anyone else. Without being provoked by a comparison, you’ve felt the need to make a comparison nonetheless. This, like I told you earlier, is the difficulty you run into after having listed your principles in black/white. It becomes pretty clear when you run afoul of them, as you have here. BTW, it may be “true of every country except maybe one or two” (though even then it is only true to varying degrees), but it doesn’t change the fact that it is most certainly true in CHina (and look, no comparisons necessary).

“”When speaking to human rights abuses IN CHINA…”
I hope you’re not a doctor, I could picture you treating a broken nail before a shotgun wound.”
—yet another unprovoked comparison on your part. Did I say human rights abuses are the only problem in CHina? SUre, there are others. Human rights is one of them. Both things are true independent of the other. And comparisons are not necessary. I must say, your performance in adhering to your own principles thus far leaves much room for improvement. Either that, or your principles are rather flexible, and as I’ve said before, that’s not a good thing.

To 65:
you are correct that others may not respect China more, from a moral authority standpoint, just by her adopting democratic institutions. But what is less speculative is that others don’t respect China very much from a moral authority standpoint presently under her authoritarian system. Admittedly only shows correlation and not causality.

November 28, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

I want to add about Hongjian, who is a guy from Yunnan living in Germany. He is very nationalistic and total fascist for any way to get China to the top, much more than the Chinese commenters here even. But we have good, interesting discussions on 4chan because he is not insecure or angry and has ideas of humor even when we have disagreed. That is much better than this kind of “trolling” here with Cookie and Hongxing (is a different person??)

November 28, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Lavo: this is not pro-China site

Wrong. This is a very pro-China site. Maybe not pro-CCP, but totally pro-China.

November 28, 2011 @ 2:14 pm | Comment

Some people can’t tell the difference… on both sides of the divide.

And regarding the CCP, that is one more of the evils it is doing with China, and I am speaking of China as a country as a people, not as a single political party, China is missing potential allies that could be helpful in times of need or to ease the integration of China in the open world.

I could be intentional. Authoritarian regimes do not only build physical barries around their borders to keep their people inside and open ideas outside, they also build mental barriers to prevent their own people to have balanced view of the reality inside and outside its borders, and if possible do also with those outside their control to turn their attention away of the country the have subjected to their regime.

Albania did it quite well in the past.

November 28, 2011 @ 6:09 pm | Comment

A little offtopic but I always found funny the antiamericanism in Mao times.

If America in WWII had decided to let the west pacific to the Japanese an concentrate only in the Europe Theater(or let Japan free hand and not subject it to an oil embargo before the war) China would still have an Emperor, of the Chrysanthemum dinasty, and han Chinese would have been living not better than their forefathers under the Yuan or early Manchu era.

Somehow related. I remember also a german reporter interview with the former moderate president of Iran. He said, America have eliminated your great enemies, Saddam (8 war years) in the west and the Talibans in the east. Then you should thank America…. He had diffucult to answer.
Embarrasing when the great Satan do you a favor or two.

November 28, 2011 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

Is anyone at all surprised that a thread on preventing trolling ended up being a troll magnet?

November 29, 2011 @ 1:18 am | Comment

Other Lisa, I think this isn’t going to become a literary lounge any time soon, no matter how many cushions we may plump. It might become a generating plant, though, if we could turn some commenters’ anger into useful energy.

Is anyone at all surprised that a thread on preventing trolling ended up being a troll magnet?

Umm… no. That’s how the cookie crumbles.

November 29, 2011 @ 2:37 am | Comment

“cookie crumbles” — pun intended?

November 29, 2011 @ 2:50 am | Comment

lavochkin
Cookie monster, the people here are not always correct, and this is not pro-China site, but don’t you feel you are representing your country badly? In your heart the other people hurt you more than you hurt them and I think you know this. You should open the mind to more liberal thoughts and sentiments, it is the future of the world no matter what country we are from.

Absolutely not. You’re right in that I have a good memory, but that’s about as far as it goes. If you haven’t realized yet, I’m Taiwanese. Like most sane Taiwanese, I realize that Taiwan is culturally Chinese.

I have lots of personal experience with “liberal thoughts and sentiment”. They often result in disastrous consequences when applied as part of social policy. Not that right wingers (especially in America’s case) are any better. I am just pragmatic.

SK Cheung
if you submit that CHina does have to improve, then why obfuscate with comparisons each time one of those areas needing improvement is pointed out?

The obfuscation didn’t start on my part. Rarely are criticisms directed at China well-sourced (or sourced at all). Typically the Western press draws upon unproven notions and operates on political correctness. They cater to the biases of population, not to their best interests or the truth.

Again, if you go through my posting history you’ll see that I rarely ever am the one to start with the comparing. If you want to criticize China that’s fine, but if you want to use China as some sort of evidence that authoritarianism does not work and that democracy is the end of history you are making an implicit comparison. Likewise, if you want to argue that democracy will have any positive impact on China (right now) you have to prove it. This also begets comparison, as China is not an abstract concept that exists in a theoretical vacuum.

how was it an issue? No one I’ve read seriously considered CHina’s atmosphere to be ripe for an Arab-Spring like event.

See The Atlantic and New York times. They’ve grudgingly admitted that China has delivered where incompetent (often Western-backed) dictators did not. They still however mentioned the “wealth gap” as a strike against the CCP’s record. In fact the reason why China is so relatively stable and economically resilient (as well as seemingly un-innovative and glitzy) is because financial resources are distributed evenly across the general population, despite physical and logistical barriers.

I don’t recall ‘wealth inequality as a con of CHina’s system’ being cited on this blog, let alone often.

Then you are not reading them. Google “China wealth gap” or “China wealth inequality”. America has barely more returns DESPITE the query being in English. This tells us several things 1) America’s market-dominant media corporations irresponsible 2) China is being singled out for something it does better than other developing countries (sound familiar?) 3) American media doesn’t understand the difference between nominal GDP, wealth, living standards and income.

I said foreigners can report on things except when they can’t. I didn’t say the situation was better or worse than anyone else.

I asked you specifically for problems the CCP is responsible for. Considering (literally) hundreds of other governments be they democracies or theocracies or oligarchies have the same problem, I don’t see how the CCP is responsible. Thus, I don’t see how democratization will produce any results on this front.

yet another unprovoked comparison on your part. Did I say human rights abuses are the only problem in CHina?

That wasn’t the point. The point is that someone who wanted to do the most for human rights period would focus on the US, who by all objective measures is the worst human rights abuser of the last couple decades. Likewise, foreigners trying to browbeat the CCP is unlikely to accomplish anything. In fact it will probably make them more stubborn and suspicious.

November 29, 2011 @ 3:24 am | Comment

I wouldn’t say that, FOARP. eco is more of a clown than a troll.

ecodelta
He said, America have eliminated your great enemies, Saddam (8 war years) in the west and the Talibans in the east.

America basically installed Saddam and trained the Taliban, so the German guy’s not half as smart as he thinks he is. Combine your free media and 20% unemployment to research the issue.

Authoritarian regimes do not only build physical barries around their borders to keep their people inside and open ideas outside

Unsubstantiated claim. Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan had no problem with international exchange. The Saudis don’t either.

November 29, 2011 @ 3:27 am | Comment

Damn! Wish I’d thought of that…

November 29, 2011 @ 3:50 am | Comment

@Cookie – Actually i was talking about HongXing and Wayne.

November 29, 2011 @ 4:17 am | Comment

To 79:
“Rarely are criticisms directed at China well-sourced (or sourced at all).”
—what “sources” do you think you require? When someone criticizes China for the way Chen Guangcheng was treated (and how he continues to be treated), are “sources” really relevant or necessary? Is there any dispute that he is being held under house arrest without charge, for instance? Or that until quite recently, his 6 year-old daughter wasn’t even allowed to attend school?

“Typically the Western press draws upon unproven notions and operates on political correctness. They cater to the biases of population, not to their best interests or the truth.”
—if you really believe that to be true, then your rebuttal should consist of identification of such apparent “unproven notions”. There is still no requirement for comparison. You can easily point out that a criticism is factually flawed without saying that “so-and-so is worse”. In fact, your comparisons do nothing to disprove the original “notion”; they merely give the appearance that you’d rather sweep them under the rug than acknowledge them.

” if you go through my posting history you’ll see that I rarely ever am the one to start with the comparing”
—let’s just say my impression would be diametrically opposite to that.

“If you want to criticize China that’s fine, but if you want to use China as some sort of evidence that authoritarianism does not work and that democracy is the end of history you are making an implicit comparison.”
—implicit comparison to what, exactly?

“Likewise, if you want to argue that democracy will have any positive impact on China (right now) you have to prove it. This also begets comparison”
—proof, yes. Comparison, no. Most people acknowledge that China is a unique set of circumstances. Such uniqueness usually renders comparisons meaningless, because the only thing worse than the generic use of comparison is to compare things that aren’t comparable.

“They’ve grudgingly admitted that China has delivered where incompetent (often Western-backed) dictators did not”
—so your beef is that they only “grudgingly” did so, rather than doing so with a song and dance and umbrella drinks? And again, how does that justify comparison, based on your “principle”?

“They still however mentioned the “wealth gap” as a strike against the CCP’s record.”
—so what? Besides, the wealth gap occurred and is growing under the CCP’s watch. Who else would you suggest should be responsible for it? And again, why would that call for comparison?

“Google “China wealth gap” or “China wealth inequality”. America has barely more returns DESPITE the query being in English.”
—excuse me, but are you suggesting that you are debating the entirety of the English-language internet on this blog? You’re trying to justify using comparisons on this blog because of what someone else said somewhere else? That notwithstanding, how do the things that “American media” do or don’t do, or the things that “American media” do or don’t understand, justify comparison to anything anywhere? As lavochkin notes, you may have a lot of unresolved issues. But throwing out comparisons left/right/center on this blog is unlikely to help with them.

“I asked you specifically for problems the CCP is responsible for.”
—when exactly did you do that?

“Considering (literally) hundreds of other governments be they democracies or theocracies or oligarchies have the same problem, I don’t see how the CCP is responsible.”
—what? This is precisely the sort of comment that makes me want to ignore blog rules when it comes to you. No one is saying the CCP is responsible for problems elsewhere. But she sure as heck is responsible for those problems in China. Regardless of how many other governments have the same problem, it doesn’t change the fact that China under the CCP has it. And that, for review, doesn’t not require comparison.

“I don’t see how democratization will produce any results on this front.”
—that’s fine. But you’re not Chinese. So the decision is not yours to make (nor mine).

“That wasn’t the point.”
—then you should get to the point more quickly, cuz you’re often changing your point only after you get nailed with the original one.

“The point is that someone who wanted to do the most for human rights period would focus on the US, who by all objective measures is the worst human rights abuser of the last couple decades.”
—without even bothering with the factual veracity of your claim (or lack thereof), it is up to the individual to decide where they might apply themselves. Clearly, you would choose to focus on the US, and that’s your gig. If someone chooses to focus on CCP China, that’s theirs. To each their own. And it still doesn’t require or justify comparison in the way you like to use it.

That said, you managed an entire comment without a single unsolicited and unwarranted comparison, as far as I can see. So it can be done. This would constitute a good start. Keep it up.

November 29, 2011 @ 5:24 am | Comment

Ah gee SKC. Another post which reads like some Western Supreme Court judgement.
Is it worth it?

November 29, 2011 @ 5:27 am | Comment

Are supreme court judgements longer or shorter than a software’s terms of use, KT?

November 29, 2011 @ 5:49 am | Comment

Oops.
“Regardless of how many other governments have the same problem, it doesn’t change the fact that China under the CCP has it. And that, for review,” DOES NOT require comparison.

To 80:
I think you forgot to acknowledge the main thrust of eco’s point:
“they also build mental barriers to prevent their own people to have balanced view of the reality inside and outside its borders, and if possible do also with those outside their control to turn their attention away of the country the have subjected to their regime.”

And yes, people can leave. But it’s the restrictions that remain and which await them upon their return that eco is talking about (not to mention for those who don’t have the chance to leave at all).

November 29, 2011 @ 5:49 am | Comment

To KT,
LOL. I’m no lawyer, but I do enjoy logic.

November 29, 2011 @ 5:51 am | Comment

SKC. I was a bit fast with the comment button.

Not that it isn’t a noble cause and all, but is it worth it?

JR. Usually I would LOL, but I’m into my serious face this morning and will put words to my concern later today.

“People can leave”. Yes, the connected CCP in crowd can, and are planning to do so in droves. Air quality, education for their sprogs, fear of the great unwashed, etc.

Having cleaned up financially, they are then migrating their dodgy personal and commercial business ethics, vulgar LV lifestyles, etc to the West.

It brings to mind HIV type metaphors.

November 29, 2011 @ 6:44 am | Comment

Well cookie moster, a clown is more entertaining and charming than a troll . And for those with more wits than prejudices, a source of deeper insights.

Saddam installed by Americans? Could you provide sources? And for the talibans, America used them to return the soviets in some way what they had to fight in south Asia.

20% jobless in Germany?. Well off the Mark. Something to do with a curated media experience?

Und Ich bin kein Deutsch…. aber ich bin auch ein Berliner!

You are using also a technique common on the likes as you when at a loss of arguments, raw rudeness with the aim to scare sensible sools away.

Sorry man….. pero esto es un Tercio Español :-P

November 29, 2011 @ 7:12 am | Comment

Ladran, luego cabalgamos (they bark, therefore we are riding)

It means that when our actions are contested by our opponents, we are going in the right direction.

November 29, 2011 @ 8:17 am | Comment

Better said, if someone “barks” at you then you are on the righ direction

November 29, 2011 @ 8:56 am | Comment

@eco, there is the classic photo of then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam — apparently he was “with us” before he was “against us.”

Anyone’s drinks need refreshening?

November 29, 2011 @ 9:17 am | Comment

I just had the misfortune of reading that swill by that imbecilic Chinese liberal about how China can overtake America. Naturally it is with more liberalism and “moral” leadership. Mao was correct in sending people like him to the farms and China would be better served had they stayed. Pork is delicious, intellectual pablum is not.

No, the only way for China to overtake America is with more money and more guns. Moral superiority and an empty cup gets you a little change if you are lucky. Power gets you respected and feared.

November 29, 2011 @ 9:35 am | Comment

@ Jing. I agree. I can’t locate the link or comment. But if the PLA ever finds itself in the ‘geo-political driver’s seat’, ‘it would not be kind’.

With luck, there will be a PRC domestic meltdown before there is a major league international face-off.

I vote for the meltdown, and hopefully your relatives are lynched by a bunch of grubby Sino peasants.

Are you a member of the Beijing under/ant class?

No sex (or even a reasonable prospect….that’s sorry stuff to confess).

No job prospects. And hijacked by the Gobal Times.

Fess up. What are you currently reading?

And if this was CS, I would be commenting on member dimensions.

Cheers

November 29, 2011 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

@Other Lisa- I’m great at guessing people’s cocktail (or at least think that I am, and have friends who are too polite to turn down drinks when offered).

Here’s my guesses:

- KT, yours will be a Dark & Stormy (1/3 Bundy rum, 2/3 strong ginger beer over ice)

- Ecodelta, I’m thinking you’ll have a Negroni (1/3 gin, 1/3 vermouth, 1/3 campari, over ice).

- Richard, I thought long and hard on this, and whilst I was tempted to say a piña colada, I’ll go with a Tequila Sunrise (3/10 tequila – or maybe Southern Comfort if that’s more your thing, 6/10 orange juice, and 1/10 grenadine, over ice, decorated with an Arizona state flag if we’re going to get fancy)

- JR, given the time of year, I’ll go with a strong glühwein (red wine mulled with sliced orange and lime, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and a shot of dark rum)

- Cookie, I’m going to go with a straight shot of Tunnel 88 Kaoliang – the 38% stuff? There’s any number of cocktails that can be made with Soju, Sake, etc., but I’m yet to see a good one made with baijiu.

- Other Lisa, a French connection (1/2 Amaretto, 1/2 Cognac)

- SKC, a Rye & Dry (1/3 Rye or Canadian whiskey, 2/3 Vermouth, dash of bitters).

And for me, I’ll have a G&T (1/4 London gin, 3/4 Indian tonic water, sliced lemon and lime over ice, squeeze lime peel over glass and rub around the rim, then add just a hint of colonial nostalgia).

Here’s where you tell me you’re all teetotallers – right?

November 29, 2011 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

FUN. Nah. Tres long chilled glass. Soju, ice cubes and very fresh Jeju Island orange juice.

You have a sense of humour, FOARP.

This is terrible. I’m associating with drunks.

November 29, 2011 @ 2:13 pm | Comment

add just a hint of colonial nostalgia…….

November 29, 2011 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

To FOARP:
you are quite the bartender. But I’m more of a vodka and rum guy. Not particularly mature tastes, I know. Never got into the blended whiskeys, but someday I hope to give one of those single malts a try. I’ve got a couple of buddies who share your appreciation for G&T, also with both lemon and lime rather than lime alone.

To 94:
I was wondering why this blog didn’t have better representation from the war-mongering Chinese-American demo. I guess you’re here to rectify that apparent oversight.

November 29, 2011 @ 2:51 pm | Comment

@Foarp

Hic… Hic..hic…

In negroni veritas…

The Roman historian Tacitus described how the Germanic peoples always drank wine while holding councils, as they believed nobody could lie effectively when drunk.

November 29, 2011 @ 3:20 pm | Comment

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

November 29, 2011 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

We should invite more trolls to our drinkings, to see what “veritas” we can get out of them….

November 29, 2011 @ 3:38 pm | Comment

Give me a classic margarita, and by that I mean, good tequila, fresh squeezed lime and just a little simple sugar (I want to try it with agave syrup too). Rocks, a little salt.

Having a glass of wine now.

Jing, it’s been too long! :D

I just watched a stunning documentary called LAST TRAIN HOME, following a family from Sichuan who work in Guangdong and desperately try to make it home for CNY. Really impressive. Netflix has it.

November 29, 2011 @ 4:10 pm | Comment

Oops, well, that was the world’s longest link! Musta been a strong virtual margarita!

November 29, 2011 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

Though FOARP, I will happily try this French Connection of which you speak!

November 29, 2011 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

Speaking truth to power is now war mongering? Too many people today live in an adolescent fantasy land where reality ceases to exist merely because it is unpleasant.

November 29, 2011 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

Don’ t worry, reality bites from time to time to wake people up.

November 30, 2011 @ 12:55 am | Comment

To 106:
were you speaking “truth to power”? Seemed to me more like a prepubescent dream about the PLA supposedly kicking ass and taking names…excepting the fact that the modern day PLA hasn’t demonstrated that it would be capable of same when the rubber meets the road. Would China rise with more guns? Perhaps. But one should never brandish a gun unless one is prepared to use it. Anyone actually wishing for something like that between the US and CHina is…well… whatever it is that you are. As for more money, China can already “buy” friendships. And Obama’s recent foray shows the resilience of those friendships that China had apparently bought and paid for. If you think what CHina needs more of is that, well, good on ya. I imagine China’s neighbours would be happy to offer up that kind of “reality” all day…for the right price, of course.

November 30, 2011 @ 3:31 am | Comment

SK
When someone criticizes China for the way Chen Guangcheng was treated (and how he continues to be treated), are “sources” really relevant or necessary?

There are two ways of addressing this:
1) Worse things happen
2) This happens everywhere

So yes, if you want to argue on principle yes the way Chen Guangcheng was treated is not great. If you neglect context then we go from that to “what’s your point?”

You can’t bring him up as an argument against the CCP UNLESS it’s also an argument against all governments. You can’t use him as an argument against authoritarianism either.

if you really believe that to be true, then your rebuttal should consist of identification of such apparent “unproven notions”.

Who says I don’t? I offer my rebuttals when the opportunity presents itself.

In fact, your comparisons do nothing to disprove the original “notion”

Except you’re going off the unfounded assumption that I bring other nations into the argument when it isn’t done by a poster or the OP to begin with. I rarely do.

let’s just say my impression would be diametrically opposite to that.

It wouldn’t be the first time your impression is dead wrong.

implicit comparison to what, exactly?

China to democracies, of course.

Most people acknowledge that China is a unique set of circumstances. Such uniqueness usually renders comparisons meaningless, because the only thing worse than the generic use of comparison is to compare things that aren’t comparable.

In that case any calls for China to democratize should be dismissed outright. This is the exact line of reasoning the CCP uses to justify the status quo.

so your beef is that they only “grudgingly” did so, rather than doing so with a song and dance and umbrella drinks? And again, how does that justify comparison, based on your “principle”?

No, that’s not quite my point. I am saying that they’ve backpedaled and made themselves look foolish but they still have their heads so far up their asses that they can’t acknowledge widely-known facts about the real nature of the “wealth gap” in China. They editorialize on the causes of the Arab Spring but fail miserably on their attempt to convey the meaning of their precious “wealth inequality” to be people they’re supposed to be informing.

Whether they’re incompetent, ignorant or dishonest is for you to decide.

And again, why would that call for comparison?

Because if the CCP must be condemned for having a “wealth gap”, so must all other countries with a worse Gini, *especially* those nations which face similar conditions in terms of development. Otherwise you have to explain why it’s only bad when China does it. The Gini coefficient is widely publicized specifically because it’s a good metric for international comparison, no one gives two shits otherwise.

excuse me, but are you suggesting that you are debating the entirety of the English-language internet on this blog?

And how do you think the vast majority of the Anglophone world derives its information? ESP? Or is there actually a point to plowing tens of billions into media corporations?

This is precisely the sort of comment that makes me want to ignore blog rules when it comes to you. No one is saying the CCP is responsible for problems elsewhere.

At this point you’re not even remembering what you wrote to begin with. I asked why the CCP is responsible for the wealth gap in China when this is a universal phenomenon. If you take issue with what I say you’re saying that private citizens have NO hand in creating a wealth gap, and in a natural or lawless setting any group of people will naturally hit a perfect 0 on the Gini.

So again, how is the CCP responsible? Do you think they should aggressively confiscate assets and redistribute them? Or should the CCP be criticized based on its inability or unwillingness to do so?

that’s fine. But you’re not Chinese. So the decision is not yours to make (nor mine).

It’s actually the CCP’s decision to make as they are the ones in power, so I suppose you’re right. The burden of proof is upon you to prove otherwise – and our argument comes full circle. Absent comparisons you have absolutely no grounds to argue that democracy is right or good for China.

it is up to the individual to decide where they might apply themselves.

No, it’s not. Just about everything is up to the people in power.

If someone chooses to focus on CCP China, that’s theirs.

No, if they choose to focus on China when there are worse human rights abusers, they will have to explain their sense of priority or admit to their lack thereof. The more you retreat into theory and away from the real world the more the CCP wins.

November 30, 2011 @ 5:35 am | Comment

Ecodelta
Well cookie moster, a clown is more entertaining and charming than a troll.

Thus your career change?

And for those with more wits than prejudices, a source of deeper insights.

Not surprisingly, your insights go about as deep as Google translate.

King Tubby
It brings to mind HIV type metaphors.

If you want to ban LV (and all other European luxury goods) from China, I’m definitely on your side. Of course, you will have to provide the tissues for Euro tears when they screech and howl up the skirts of the WTO.

And I don’t think HIV viruses destroy other HIV viruses. The worst Chinese will feel very much at home in the West.

November 30, 2011 @ 5:43 am | Comment

Unfortunately your understanding of my logic is wildly off the mark, natural given that you are a just another Han Jian. Economic wealth and military force are the ultimate arbiters of power. America is numero uno because she is rich and strong, not because she is moral. Her alliance of co-dependent third world incompetents will crumble like wet toilet paper without them.

November 30, 2011 @ 5:50 am | Comment

It’s not too early for one of those French connection things, is it?

November 30, 2011 @ 7:23 am | Comment

@cookie

It is you who is appointing careers, mine is the same since I left the MIT in the year the WWW was released to the public.

Do not need to use Google translate much, being fluent in 5 languages already, but I recognize its uses. A tool that helps communicate people no matter how imperfect the translation.

And look kid, go back to your mamma to teach you good manners and come back when you are able to manage your neural networks at an adult level, or at least at the early twenties

November 30, 2011 @ 8:57 am | Comment

@ jing

Stalin asked once how many divisions the Pope did have.

Now Stalin is not even buried next to Lenin, and the system he helped to consolidate does not longer exist.

In the meantime, there is still a Pope in Rome

November 30, 2011 @ 9:01 am | Comment

To 109:
“There are two ways of addressing this:
1) Worse things happen
2) This happens everywhere”
—both of which are comparisons, and both of which are unnecessary. Worse things do happen. I’m not sure a situation similar to Chen’s is happening “everywhere”. THose observations notwithstanding, it doesn’t change the fact that it is happening to Chen in China under the CCP right now. If you object to that treatment, then the onus is on the CCP to stop it. Whether things of a similar or worse nature happen elsewhere or not is irrelevant. Chens’ treatment, at the very least, is being tolerated by the CCP. THe CCP is the one (and sadly, the only one) that can put a stop to said tolerance. That fact require no comparison whatsoever.

“You can’t bring him up as an argument against the CCP UNLESS it’s also an argument against all governments.”
—why not? IS someone else responsible for Chen’s treatment? If some other government is treating someone else in the same way as Chen, then that can be denounced separately. But it has no bearing on Chen’s situation, or the CCP’s culpability. Hence, comparisons are unnecessary.

“You can’t use him as an argument against authoritarianism either.”
—you can certainly use him as an argument against the CCP’s version of authoritarianism, since it is that particular iteration of that particular system which has allowed such a travesty.

“Who says I don’t? I offer my rebuttals when the opportunity presents itself.”
—if “unproven notions” are as pervasive as you would like to believe, then that opportunity should be presenting itself to you quite often. So rebut to your heart’s content. But the point is that you don’t rebut unproven notions with comparisons.

“Except you’re going off the unfounded assumption that I bring other nations into the argument when it isn’t done by a poster or the OP to begin with. I rarely do.”
—like I said, I beg to differ. But it’s out there in black/white now, so we can all see moving forward what it is that you do or don’t do.

“It wouldn’t be the first time your impression is dead wrong.”
—me and several others, if you are to be believed. Anyway, time will tell, won’t it. If a little extra scrutiny results in a little less irrelevant comparison, so much the better.

“China to democracies, of course.”
—which would be precisely an idiotic comparison. China, if/when she becomes a democracy, will not be like any democracy that came before it. It’s the first principle of comparison, if you choose to engage in it: compare things that are comparable. Not to mention, of course, that the arbiter of whether CHina would function better as a democracy is the Chinese people, and we’ve certainly yet to hear from them, even though theirs is the only opinion that matters.

“In that case any calls for China to democratize should be dismissed outright.”
—huh? It’s not been done before, so it just shouldn’t be done period? I believe that’s how lawyers think. And if the concept is to be dismissed, it should be done by Chinese people. Certainly not you.

“they can’t acknowledge widely-known facts about the real nature of the “wealth gap” in China. They editorialize on the causes of the Arab Spring but fail miserably on their attempt to convey the meaning of their precious “wealth inequality” to be people they’re supposed to be informing.”
—and this justifies the use of comparison how, exactly?

“Otherwise you have to explain why it’s only bad when China does it.”
—who said it’s ONLY bad when China does it? It’s bad when other countries do it too. And that doesn’t change the fact that it is bad when CHina does it.

“Because if the CCP must be condemned for having a “wealth gap”, so must all other countries with a worse Gini, ”
—and you’d be full value to do so on those other blogs pertaining to those other countries. The question is one of relevance to your doing so here, when this blog mostly and usually pertains to CHina.

“And how do you think the vast majority of the Anglophone world derives its information?”
—that wasn’t the question. THe question is how you could logically justify debating the entirety of western info sources on this blog. Which of your principles for comparison would you be invoking here?

“If you take issue with what I say you’re saying that private citizens have NO hand in creating a wealth gap, and in a natural or lawless setting any group of people will naturally hit a perfect 0 on the Gini.”
—not at all. If the CCP wants to be in charge, then the buck stops with her, good and bad. If the wealth gap is growing on her watch as we know it has, and if you acknowledge that is a bad thing (or even if you don’t), the CCP takes the heat for it. Let’s turn this around. If you say the wealth gap is people’s fault and not the CCP’s fault, then that also applies to all those other countries with a GINI worse than China’s. So if you want to make hay with that GINI point of yours, then the CCP needs to take her lumps. If you don’t want the CCP to take a hit over CHina’s growing wealth GINI, best not to bring it up for anybody. CHoice is yours. But logical and intellectual consistency is the key. To me, the growing wealth gap in China is an issue. It is an issue elsewhere as well. BUt it doesn’t change what it is in CHina.

The wealth gap follows the income gap. No, they don’t need to confiscate and redistribute. We already know communism doesn’t work. But they could work on shrinking the income gap first.

“It’s actually the CCP’s decision to make as they are the ones in power”
—which is precisely the problem with the CCP system. They have as much legitimacy as dictators, even though they don’t have the typical “strong-man” model. The grounds to argue for democracy in China is that if Chinese people think it is good for them, then that’s what they should have.

“No, it’s not. Just about everything is up to the people in power.”
—huh? YOu were talking about why people who complain about China don’t instead complain about human rights abusers the world over. Now you’re suggesting that people are being told who to complain about? Gimme a break. Who’s telling me to complain about human rights abuses in China, pray tell.

“if they choose to focus on China when there are worse human rights abusers, they will have to explain their sense of priority or admit to their lack thereof.”
—there are myriad reasons why people might focus on CHina and not somewhere else. Their sense of priority has no obligation to your proclivities.

November 30, 2011 @ 9:19 am | Comment

To 111,
America is number one because she is rich, strong, AND has some semblance of morality much of the time. I agree that morality alone doesn’t cut it. But as china has shown, and as Zhu suggests, lack of morality becomes rate-limiting when the other two aspects start to flourish, as ccp china’s have. More of the same from china , as with your dream of dreams, will merely get her more of the same.

November 30, 2011 @ 10:00 am | Comment

Eco, I hope you don’t consider English one of the languages you are fluent in.

SK
both of which are comparisons, and both of which are unnecessary. Worse things do happen. I’m not sure a situation similar to Chen’s is happening “everywhere”. THose observations notwithstanding, it doesn’t change the fact that it is happening to Chen in China under the CCP right now. If you object to that treatment, then the onus is on the CCP to stop it.

If you don’t want to compare you can say “it really is terrible” (or some other trite and meaningless vomit). On the plus side the CCP is improving, rather quickly in fact.

why not?

That’s just the way the world is. It doesn’t help to feed the CCP’s suspicion.

since it is that particular iteration of that particular system which has allowed such a travesty.

You’d have to prove that the CCP wouldn’t do the same as part of a democracy, or some other crap government.

China, if/when she becomes a democracy, will not be like any democracy that came before it.

So you’re saying any transition would be a total crapshoot.

and this justifies the use of comparison how, exactly?

Because they’re making an implicit comparison by singling China out of hundreds of other nations?

and you’d be full value to do so on those other blogs pertaining to those other countries

Nope. The poor priorities of commentators and journalists is not my business to correct.

If the wealth gap is growing on her watch as we know it has, and if you acknowledge that is a bad thing (or even if you don’t), the CCP takes the heat for it.

I consider it bad by my standards, NOT by international standards. The CCP already does things other nations would never allow to redistribute wealth.

then that also applies to all those other countries with a GINI worse than China’s. So if you want to make hay with that GINI point of yours, then the CCP needs to take her lumps. If you don’t want the CCP to take a hit over CHina’s growing wealth GINI, best not to bring it up for anybody.

You’re missing every other way to interpret this. I’m not the one accusing authoritarianism or the CCP of fostering a massive “wealth gap” or “income inequality”. You are and the Western press is. The onus is on you to substantiate such an egregious claim. I don’t think in absolute black in white.

If the people are responsible we have to ask why the Chinese people apparently do so much better than others. My view is that “wealth gaps” or whatever else the West’s media crows about is the natural result of capitalism and industrialization. It’s just that the CCP has suppressed this far more than just about anyone else.

They have as much legitimacy as dictators,

Which have about as much legitimacy as the mob.

there are myriad reasons why people might focus on CHina and not somewhere else.

There are a few others: ethnocentrism, stupidity, ignorance and malice. I personally would hold China to higher standards because I think China is capable of better, not because they’re even half as bad as most other nations right now. But I highly, highly doubt that’s your angle.

November 30, 2011 @ 10:10 am | Comment

SK Cheung
America is number one because she is rich, strong, AND has some semblance of morality much of the time.

America has no semblance of morality. America is the epitome of a callous, self-serving power. China should not take after that example.

November 30, 2011 @ 10:12 am | Comment

More fluent in that language than your mind in reasoning.

November 30, 2011 @ 10:54 am | Comment

And I suppose you are only… fluent in English

November 30, 2011 @ 11:12 am | Comment

Damn, these comments stack up quickly!

@Rhan #62: Succinctly put and nothing to add. :)

@ Cookie Monster #41: I wasn’t referring to you specifically so don’t take offense. But you bring up another good point…

My wife is from Taiwan. For the first decade of our marriage, I visited Taiwan once for a couple of weeks but the rest of the time we were either in Phoenix or San Diego. Since my wife was living in the States, her opinions about Taiwan were no longer the opinions of a Taiwanese but of an American. She had lived in the States for eight years when we met, arriving when she was 28. I didn’t mistake her opinions for those of a Taiwanese living in Taiwan. Once a person leaves a country, their political opinions tend to get stuck in neutral from what they were when they left.

People say “my Taiwan friend” but later in the discussion I find out their “Taiwan friend” is actually a Taiwanese American, again, a different species than someone living in Taiwan. Same goes for China. Once you leave a country (any country) your knowledge tends to become frozen.

I hear people in the States whose wives are from China or Taiwan refer to them in that way, yet they are really Americans of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. Not the same. When we moved to Taiwan and later Shanghai, the opinions I heard were completely different. The point I was trying to bring out was that if you’re not living there, you don’t know what people are thinking there. Expats and immigrants aren’t an accurate indication of anything. Most of our Taiwanese friends in San Diego are engineers or university professors, very smart people but their knowledge of present day Taiwan is way off. They still think of the country as it was when they left and don’t realize that what really concerns Taiwanese is the economy, not relations with China. Right now, Ma’s in trouble because the economy sucks. China is a minor issue but if you talk to Taiwanese Americans, all they talk about is the China/Taiwan issue. Once again, out of touch.

Now you might be typing your comments from Suzhou for all I know. If so, that’s great and your comments about what Chinese are thinking would have validity. At this time, the only accurate comments about China I can get are from Chinese friends living there, since I no longer do. However, I should be getting there more often in the future so at that time my comments will have more validity. So since now you know my background, what is yours? How long have you lived in China? Where did you live? What did you do there? What did you think of it? I’m always curious what others think of a place I’ve lived in. I especially love to hear specific personal stories of time spent there. When I look back on my time there, I don’t think of the GFW (annoying, but I put up with it) or government processes, I think of my interactions with individuals which were almost always very positive. That’s the easiest way to know if someone’s been in China, because those are the times that you cherish the most.

Comparisons annoy me because I’ve found that most of them aren’t even slightly applicable. “Let’s compare the treatment of Tibetans to the treatment of American Indians!” That’s great if you know something about American Indians (or Tibetans) but when I read the comments, I find that very few do, Miaka being an exception as she is from Albuquerque. Most of the people commenting about Indians have never had an Indian friend. First lesson? No such thing as Indians, they’re very tribal. I’ve known quite a few Navajo and Pueblo guys over the years because I’ve lived there, along with a lot of Cherokee for the same reason. I’ve never had a Sioux friend, know nothing about them. But I know enough about American history to know that most of what gets referenced in comments here is inaccurate and taken out of context. That’s one example but there are many more. The Irish troubles, Nazis, the list is endless and with very little understanding. I wrote my senior thesis on Chinese politics in the ’30s and had to do a lot of research, not Wiki it, so I have a pretty good background. The situation in China is unique in almost all respects, but it would take a lot more space than I’ll use to explain why.

So like Wukailong wrote, if you want to compare, give specific references from quality journals, not Wiki (fine for generalities but not specifics) or some goofy website. That’s valid. As I wrote previously, the biggest bitch I have with many, many comments is that they are logical fallacies. Even when I point that out, people are too damn lazy to argue logically. Richard, wouldn’t you agree?

@Hongxing, if you keep being called a troll, then maybe you ought to look in the mirror instead of attacking the person or persons calling you so. I’ve never been called a troll, regardless of where I’ve commented. So if you’re trolling and someone who is not calls you a troll, why not do a little introspection and see if you’re actually trolling? If you are, stop doing it and people will stop calling you a troll. It’s that easy. But you have no basis for calling them a troll if they’re not trolling. That’s illogical and just makes you look foolish.

November 30, 2011 @ 11:55 am | Comment

To 117:
“you can say “it really is terrible” (or some other trite and meaningless vomit). On the plus side the CCP is improving, rather quickly in fact.”
—I can do much better than that. I can say that the CCP sucks in regards to things like rule of law, and respecting laws. They also suck with extrajudicial detention and harassment. They can and should do better. THe CCP is improving in some things. In others, like the ones I’ve mentioned, hardly if at all, and not nearly quickly enough. And look, not one comparison to be found. See, not that hard if you put your mind to it.

“That’s just the way the world is.”
—nope. That’s the way the CCP world is, which is to say it is ass-backwards. Who cares about the CCP’s feelings. In the Chen case, they are flat-out, undeniably wrong. Not more wrong or less wrong. Just wrong. High time they did something about it. Might even be a good time for you to accept and acknowledge that too.

“You’d have to prove that the CCP wouldn’t do the same as part of a democracy”
—who says the CCP would be permitted by CHinese people to have any part in a democracy? It’s not as though the CCP has demonstrated a sterling comprehension of the concept. Do you honestly think a democratic government in China would have to keep a blind lawyer under house arrest without charge? Seriously, dude, you’re grasping at straws here.

“So you’re saying any transition would be a total crapshoot.”
—nope. Why would you erroneously assume that Chinese people can only be capable of a “crapshoot”?

“Because they’re making an implicit comparison…”
—are you sure about that? Given your proclivities, I think the more likely thing is that you’re inferring comparisons that aren’t in evidence. Besides, even if someone somewhere is making a comparison, you’ve yet to provide justification in view of your principles as to why you would see fit to make a comparison on this blog. If “they” are the ones making comparisons, you can adequately fulfill your need for comparison by doing so with “them”.

“Nope. The poor priorities of commentators and journalists is not my business to correct.”
—for sure. Other people’s priorities are really none of your business. But what does it show about your priorities to be mentioning the wealth gap of other countries here on a blog about China? Besides, my point wasn’t even about the journalists themselves. If you’re hot and bothered that Brazil has a bad wealth gap, for example, you should really be sharing those thoughts on a blog about Brazil. I’m sure they’d be highly appreciated. On the other hand, the relevance of that on a blog about China is highly questionable.

“The CCP already does things other nations would never allow to redistribute wealth.”
—great. What she really needs to do is to close the income gap, which in time will close the wealth gap too. But that has nothing to do with logical and intellectual consistency, to which I referred in my last comment which elicited this response.

“I’m not the one accusing authoritarianism or the CCP of fostering a massive “wealth gap” or “income inequality”. You are and the Western press is.”
—and it happens to be true. No comparisons required. Saying “more massive than so-and-so” would constitute a comparison, and would rightfully justify a comparison in response based on your principles. Saying she has a significant wealth gap and income gap is simply a statement of fact.

“The onus is on you to substantiate such an egregious claim.”
—are you now disavowing your own Credit Suisse report? What did the wealth GINI go up by in a decade, 15 points or something like that?

“My view is that “wealth gaps” or whatever else the West’s media crows about is the natural result of capitalism and industrialization. It’s just that the CCP has suppressed this far more than just about anyone else.”
—but she hasn’t suppressed it much at all, has she? THe wealth gap has gone up substantially in 10 years. It lags behind the income gap, which itself continues to grow. If that trend continues, there should be no surprise as to where the wealth gap is headed (up, in case you’re wondering). I agree, it is a result of capitalism. Trying to make the CCP look good (or to make democracy look bad) based on that is not going to fly.

“Which have about as much legitimacy as the mob.”
—here we go again, more stuff from dictionaries. Anyhow, I’d just let CHinese people decide for themselves, since they have stakes in it, unlike you (or me).

“I personally would hold China to higher standards because I think China is capable of better,”
—China capable of better? Absolutely. THe CCP? Not a chance.

However, on a positive note, that’s several comments now where you haven’t had the need to throw in some irrelevant comparison somewhere. Just like sobriety, it’s one day at a time. Hope you keep it up.

To 118:
“America has no semblance of morality”
—then by god you’ve chosen a funny place to live.

“China should not take after that example.”
—you might want to read Zhu again. He said China needs to develop moral authority, which she currently clearly does not have. He DIDN’T say China should take after America. Sometimes your apparent hatred of America seems to affect your ability to read. You should really seek professional help with that. Anger management, or something like that.

November 30, 2011 @ 3:38 pm | Comment

Look, America has done a lot of really fucked-up shit. In spite of that, there’s something about the US cultural ideal that is appealing to people all over the world.

So rather than going, “Oh, America, yer sooo eeeebil,” if you really are a believer in the Chinese century, you have to look at ways that China can do better than the US. Other countries in the word need to say, “We want to be like China.” This is not something as simple as providing a superior moral example. You have to be exemplifying a model for a way of life that appeals to people. And right now, most people in the rest of the world do not care if China has been less damaging globally than the US. They care about what kind of a life the ideal of China aspires to for its people.

If you can’t compete on that meta level of “who is modeling a life that I would like to live,” you will have a very hard time becoming the global hegemon. Because military power alone isn’t enough.

The question many of us have in the US is, can we break out of our own corrupt systems and economic stagnation to model something new and positive?

We’ll see.

November 30, 2011 @ 4:03 pm | Comment

America’s moral substance isn’t really most pro-Beijing commenters’ problem with America. What drives them is their belief that China should be in America’s global position, that America isn’t just giving way to them, and that – worse – few of their neighbors would agree that China should replace America as a hegemon.

That hurts, when you are a Chinese nationalist (and you don’t need to be a Chinese citizen to be a Chinese nationalist). But the root causes for this pain lies within China – not in America.

November 30, 2011 @ 6:21 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
I can do much better than that. I can say that the CCP sucks in regards to things like rule of law, and respecting laws. They also suck with extrajudicial detention and harassment.

So? Who doesn’t? Or are you holding them up to a higher standard? When you say “the CCP sucks” who does it suck compared to? It’s an implied comparison.

Singapore, Hong Kong, Norway and Iceland perhaps.

In the Chen case, they are flat-out, undeniably wrong.

So what?

Do you honestly think a democratic government in China would have to keep a blind lawyer under house arrest without charge?

They could and they could do worse, like perform so badly that the blind lawyer would never have been born. Or prop up a certain dictatorship that does even more objectionable things, like ban women from driving and sever arms for pickpocketing. But hey, that’s fine if you’re a democracy, because democracies are apparently held to much lower standards.

are you sure about that?

Uh, yes.

Why would you erroneously assume that Chinese people can only be capable of a “crapshoot”?

No. “People” (if by people you mean the stupidest 51%) period are not trustworthy. The Chinese may be a rare exception but it’s unlikely they’ll do much better – at this time.

But what does it show about your priorities to be mentioning the wealth gap of other countries here on a blog about China?

“This is about China!” No, it’s only about China when China is mentioned in isolation or a theoretical vacuum.

What she really needs to do is to close the income gap, which in time will close the wealth gap too.

So you want the CCP to raise the highest income tax brackets to 50-75%? If the CCP wanted to close narrow the “income gap” they could simply report transfer payments as income. The are already working hard at raising the living standards of the poor. So you need to explain why it’s “only bad when China doesn’t do it”.

Saying she has a significant wealth gap and income gap is simply a statement of fact.

Nope. Significant is subjective. It’s significant compared to a theoretical 0 Gini, but that’s about it. This alone tells you absolutely nothing. Again, so what?

but she hasn’t suppressed it much at all, has she? THe wealth gap has gone up substantially in 10 years.

I said the CCP suppressed a natural tendency for it to rise even more than it already has. A quick glance at the CCP’s taxation and redistribution policies makes this obvious.

Anyhow, I’d just let CHinese people decide for themselves, since they have stakes in it, unlike you (or me).

Except they wouldn’t be deciding for themselves. 51% of people lead by leveraged interests will decide. No matter how you dress democracy up with semantics it will always be a proven shit system.

China capable of better? Absolutely. THe CCP? Not a chance.

Yes, because 10% GDP growth, 15% asset value growth, the lowest wealth inequality of any major developing country, the highest increase in life expectancy, sanitation, and literacy in history, 15%-50% increase in patent output a year, the fastest building of infrastructure, vast market penetration of IT and transport technology, good disaster relief and security are so horrible.

But they’re “bread and circuses” right?

you might want to read Zhu again. He said China needs to develop moral authority, which she currently clearly does not have. He DIDN’T say China should take after America.

Except I wasn’t referring to Zhu. Reading comprehension. I was referring to your laughable notion that America is in any way moral. China needs to take America as an anti-example if she wants real moral authority.

December 1, 2011 @ 1:19 am | Comment

Other Lisa
Look, America has done a lot of really fucked-up shit.

America has done more fucked-up shit that anyone save Stalinist Russia, the British Empire, and the Third Reich and at least two of these are debatable. “We’ve done some bad things” really does not even begin to describe it.

In spite of that, there’s something about the US cultural ideal that is appealing to people all over the world.

Yes, there is. Hoard, hoard, hoard, spend, spend, spend. Who cares who you sell out, kill, lie to and bomb to get it. Anything beyond that is mere lip-service and self-deception.

So rather than going, “Oh, America, yer sooo eeeebil,” if you really are a believer in the Chinese century, you have to look at ways that China can do better than the US.

But China already is better than the US (and Europe) – simply by not having much of an international presence. The US/European involvement with the outside world is overwhelmingly negative, and this is a vast understatement. The looking part isn’t my issue.

Other countries in the word need to say, “We want to be like China.” This is not something as simple as providing a superior moral example. You have to be exemplifying a model for a way of life that appeals to people.

A salient issue today is that the US model for a way of life is not even 25% sustainable. That idiots all around the world think they can give the entire world US-style living without massive political and technological change just shows how utterly depraved the human condition is at present.

And right now, most people in the rest of the world do not care if China has been less damaging globally than the US. They care about what kind of a life the ideal of China aspires to for its people.

Sadly, most people are also pretty irrational.

The question many of us have in the US is, can we break out of our own corrupt systems and economic stagnation to model something new and positive?

I personally doubt it. If there is going to be positive change in America, the politicians will have little to do with it.

December 1, 2011 @ 1:27 am | Comment

Well, I can’t say that FOARPs round of well mixed drinks improved the tenor of discussion, since things now read like two extremely bad tempered football teams slugging it out in extra time.

BTW. I’m lodging a protest about the ghastly rum and ginger beer concoction I was served. I suspect this was payback for a past injudicious comment.

Thats it. I’m slapping a booze ban on this community.

December 1, 2011 @ 4:26 am | Comment

Cookie, you just totally missed my point. If you want to see China as the new global hegemon, how about focusing on what China needs to do to get there. Why do you always make it about the US? If the US were a person, I’d suspect a bitter love affair. :D

December 1, 2011 @ 4:35 am | Comment

To 125:
“Who doesn’t?”
—huh? Who doesn’t suck wrt rule of law, respecting laws, extrajudicial detention, and harassment? Many people. Including the US, actually. But again, comparison is irrelevant. I’m not saying China under the CCP sucks more; they just suck.

“When you say “the CCP sucks” who does it suck compared to?”
—indeed. See Rhan #62, and my response to Rhan in #69. The comparison is between what China should and could do, as opposed to what she actually does. And the comparison is to my own standard of what is right and wrong. The comparison is NOT to what so-and-so is doing.

“In the Chen case, they are flat-out, undeniably wrong.

So what?”
—most people, when they realize they’re in the wrong, would do something to rectify their error. That’s what China under the CCP can do. Besides that, not much, I guess. But for the CCP, that’s already quite a big project. And the sooner she acknowledges the folly of her ways, the sooner she can get started correcting them. I wish her luck.

“They could and they could do worse”
—and pigs COULD fly. But the question to you is why a democratic China WOULD have the need to lock up someone like Chen. That question, not surprisingly, remains unanswered. And I see that you have great faith in the potential of Chinese people. That’s hearwarming. I, on the other hand, am quite confident that Chinese people can take care of women and whatever else you were spewing about. Oh, and Chen was already born. We’re talking about moving forward, and not about revising history. I guess when you can’t invoke comparison, you reach for disingenuous arguments instead. Is that your gig?

“are you sure about that?

Uh, yes.”
—like I said, with your proclivities being what they are, it’s not surprising that you would infer comparison coming out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, you’ll have to figure that one out yourself, cuz no one else can help you. And as always, if “they” are making comparisons, you should take it up with “them”; it’s no reason to reach for comparison left/right/center on this blog, is it?

““People” (if by people you mean the stupidest 51%) period are not trustworthy. The Chinese may be a rare exception but it’s unlikely they’ll do much better – at this time.”
—once again, heartwarming assessment of the capacity of Chinese people. But ultimately, it should still be their decision. It most certainly isn’t yours.

“No, it’s only about China when China is mentioned in isolation or a theoretical vacuum.”
—and if China is being mentioned in isolation on this blog, based on your own principles, what justification do you have for invoking comparison? If I remind you, for instance (and thanks to your own data), that China’s wealth GINI has gone up from 2000-2010, on what basis arising from your principles would you be invoking “comparison”?

“If the CCP wanted to close narrow the “income gap” they could simply report transfer payments as income.”
—transfer payments DON’T go to individuals. How on earth (even with the CCP’s peculiar accounting methods) would they attribute that as income to individuals? If the CCP using funny accounting to make the problem look better, rather than truly making the problem better, is sufficient for you, well, that says a lot about you.

“So you need to explain why it’s “only bad when China doesn’t do it”.”
—when did I say it’s “only bad when China doesn’t do it”? You’re asking me to explain something I didn’t say? That doesn’t seem particularly logical to me.

“Significant is subjective. It’s significant compared to a theoretical 0 Gini, but that’s about it. This alone tells you absolutely nothing. Again, so what?”
—nothing, if you’re not one for wanting to identify it as a problem and perhaps working to reverse the trend. I see it as a problem. Since the CCP is in charge, the CCP should do something about it. No comparisons in sight.

“I said the CCP suppressed a natural tendency for it to rise even more than it already has.”
—there is no way for you to say this with justification. There is no comparator to say how China’s wealth gap would have evolved in the absence of CCP policies, good and bad. Besides, i wonder how Chinese people feel about the trend of the wealth gap under the CCP.

“51% of people lead by leveraged interests will decide. No matter how you dress democracy up with semantics it will always be a proven shit system.”
—which “leveraged interests”? Besides comparison, it seems you also can’t spend a day without whining about special interests. And why only 51%. It could be 99%. It’s true that in democracy, not every one gets what they want. But more people are represented than they are now under the CCP’s system. Would Chinese people prefer that over the CCP system? I don’t know. That’s why I’d ask them. You’d prefer to tell them what’s best for them, which is particularly ironic since you’re not even one of them.

“…are so horrible.”
—you keep recycling this. It doesn’t get more relevant if you say it more times over, you know. Yes, those are great things. Chinese people did that, and they can continue to do that without the CCP. Would Chinese people want all those things AND authoritarianism, or would they want all those things WITHOUT authoritarianism? I don’t know. I’d have to ask them.

“But they’re “bread and circuses” right?”
—again, I didn’t say that, so there’s your penchant for disingenuous arguments coming up again. You know (or should know) that you’re reaching the end of the line when you have to resort to that type of antic.

“I was referring to your laughable notion that America is in any way moral. ”
—well isn’t it ironic that most SE Asian countries still give her credit for that. All it took was one visit from Obama, and China is second fiddle once more. Too bad, so sad for an America-hater like you. Hey, where do you live again? LOL. And where did I say China needs to take after America’s moral example?

December 1, 2011 @ 7:04 am | Comment

To Other Lisa 123 and 128:
precisely. If China is to lead, China should be striving to do better than the US. Instead, we have dudes like the one here who are permanently fixated on how badly the US does things, without the intellectual capacity to realize that complaining about the US doesn’t make CHina any better. And clearly, at this point, China’s capacity for moral authority is not good enough. Ranting against the US changes that not one iota.

December 1, 2011 @ 7:18 am | Comment

Other Lisa
Cookie, you just totally missed my point. If you want to see China as the new global hegemon, how about focusing on what China needs to do to get there. Why do you always make it about the US? If the US were a person, I’d suspect a bitter love affair. :D

The thing is, I don’t want to see China as a global hegemon. The CCP should do right by its people (and no, that doesn’t mean democracy, SK) and if global power comes as a result then fine.

If the US were a real person he’d be my huge retarded adopted cousin that punches kittens for a living.

SK Cheung
Including the US, actually.

Wrong and comparison alert. The US blows at respecting rule of law, they’re just good at cover-ups (see: Iraq) and bending the rules.

most people, when they realize they’re in the wrong, would do something to rectify their error.

States aren’t “most people”.

why a democratic China WOULD have the need to lock up someone like Chen.

And why do democracies have to lock up people like Brad Manning? Or support monarchies that behead shoplifters?

But ultimately, it should still be their decision.

Misleading, and needs proof.

transfer payments DON’T go to individuals.

Do you even know what a transfer payment is? You definitely didn’t the last time we went over this, but I’m wondering if you learned. Yes, transfer payments do go to individuals. That’s the whole point, actually.

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

In economics, a transfer payment (or government transfer or simply transfer) is a redistribution of income in the market system. These payments are considered to be exhaustive because they do not directly absorb resources or create output. Examples of certain transfer payments include welfare (financial aid), social security, and government making subsidies for certain businesses (firms).

There’s the definition.

if you’re not one for wanting to identify it as a problem and perhaps working to reverse the trend.

Funny, many people wouldn’t even think of calling China’s wealth Gini a problem. It would be political suicide in most democratic nations to suggest a sudden redistribution of 30% of total household net worth – which America, Brazil and India would need to match China’s Gini. You also don’t seem to understand the nature of the Gini figure, each successive increment represents an exponential increase in inequality. Brazil’s 79 is not just slightly worse than China’s 69, it’s astronomically worse: especially when you consider that living expenses are a flat value as well.

There is no comparator to say how China’s wealth gap would have evolved in the absence of CCP policies

So it’s fine to compare China to a theoretical China but it’s not fine to compare China to REAL democracies that have failed miserably in everything that matters? The best countries to compare China to are Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan and all of these used authoritarianism to develop. China has just improved upon the model significantly in the last 30 years.

which “leveraged interests”? Besides comparison, it seems you also can’t spend a day without whining about special interests.

Oh yes, because special interests aren’t a problem at all. Nope, listen to SK Cheung.

It could be 99%.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Chinese people did that, and they can continue to do that without the CCP.

Citation needed.

I’d have to ask them.

Go ahead. Take your notebook to China and start recording.

again, I didn’t say that

So you’re saying slim is a moron? Glad we agree on some things.

well isn’t it ironic that most SE Asian countries still give her credit for that.

Isn’t it ironic that “most SE Asian countries” would also be deemed immoral by you? Isn’t it ironic that many SE Asian countries are essentially CCP-lite with more corruption and incompetence thrown in?

No, they don’t think America is moral. That’s something we call “lip-service”. They can use America and that’s about it, unless you want to start talking to me about how America and Southeast Asia are best friends and how international relations are based on good-will and adherence to morality.

All it took was one visit from Obama, and China is second fiddle once more

Kinda like how one visit from Obama got the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and shut down Gitmo, right? China’s status didn’t change. Economic ties are strong, political ties are not.

It’s nice to see a True Believer every now and then.

December 1, 2011 @ 9:09 am | Comment

SK Cheung
precisely. If China is to lead, China should be striving to do better than the US. Instead, we have dudes like the one here who are permanently fixated on how badly the US does things

I’m using the US as an anti-example of what China (and no other developing nation) should do.

without the intellectual capacity to realize that complaining about the US doesn’t make CHina any better.

Criticizing the US does make everyone better. It shows everyone how not to act. Whining and shrieking about China’s system like a little girl however, does indeed accomplish nothing. Well, except entrench them.

And clearly, at this point, China’s capacity for moral authority is not good enough. Ranting against the US changes that not one iota.

Citation needed.

December 1, 2011 @ 9:11 am | Comment

Oh good lord. You’re absolutely contradicting yourself here.

Criticizing the US does make everyone better. It shows everyone how not to act. Whining and shrieking about China’s system like a little girl however, does indeed accomplish nothing. Well, except entrench them.

You characterize criticism of China as “shrieking” and in your criticism of the US, fling around comparisons with Stalin, Hitler and kitten-punching retarded cousins. Come on.

You really do want to have it both ways, don’t you? No criticism of the US is too much and any criticism of China is out of line. We can’t even criticize the US without it turning into this kind of over-the-top name-calling.

If you can’t see the contradictions in your own head and your own behavior, I don’t know what else to say to you.

December 1, 2011 @ 2:28 pm | Comment

And as a p.s.?

DISCUSSION IS NOT ALWAYS CRITICISM.

I mean, wow. What you seem to be saying, CM, is that if it’s not fawning praise, we just shouldn’t talk about China at all. On a China-focused blog. Okay.

December 1, 2011 @ 2:32 pm | Comment

I’m being fair!

The kitten-punching adopted retarded cousin was a play off the bitter love affair thing. We may love our retarded adopted cousins, but it’s still wrong for them to punch kittens in the face.

And the shrieking part was a retort to SK Cheung’s predictable defense of corporatism – light on the facts or reason, heavy on the propaganda and unsubstantiated claims.

The main distinction between criticism of China and criticism of the US is that criticism of the US is generally toothless, as hundreds of millions around the world have been brainwashed by Western propaganda. “Criticism” of China on the other hand, is more often than not based on a mountain of outright lies accumulated over half a century.

You can’t deny that China (among many nations) faces an entrenched prejudice from any minds infected by the West’s corporate media. CCTV is not sophisticated or leveraged enough do damage control or wage their own propaganda war against the West.

Even in that link on the sidebar of Richard’s page you see a book about Tiananmen being advertised. The headline figure is “hundreds” now, down from thousands, down from tens of thousands (at the time).

The Dalai Lama has backed away from claims of 1.2 million Tibetans killed and mass sterilizations.

Whether anyone wants to admit it or not even the die-hard China haters are gradually seeing the truth.

December 1, 2011 @ 3:00 pm | Comment

Annnddd i just got a lovely email from “Mark.” Silly Mark. He seems to have some, uh, adequacy issues.

December 1, 2011 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

To 131:
“The US blows at respecting rule of law”
—actually the US as a state is very good at respecting US law, in part because the US has rule of law and the checks and balances that keep the state in line when dealing with her own people. But as I said, the comparison is irrelevant. Regardless of what the US does or doesn’t have, what CCP China definitely doesn’t have is the rule of law, and checks and balances that would prevent a case like Chen’s happening to Chinese people. CCP China doesn’t suck more in this regard. She just plain sucks.

“States aren’t “most people”.”
—that’s true. But in a “state” with the rule of law, even if the state refuses to admit it is wrong, the judicial branch will point it out in no uncertain terms, and even rectify whatever it is the state did wrong (wrt her own people). That would again be something that the CCP lacks. Actually, that would be the only reason why Chen still finds himself in his current plight. Doesn’t take a genius to recognize that to be wrong.

“And why do democracies have to lock up people like Brad Manning?”
—because he broke a law passed by the representatives of Americans, which so far has not been judged to be unconstitutional by the judiciary. Chen was jailed apparently because he sparked a public gathering, which, even when seen in its best light, only breaks a CCP law whereas Chinese people may not hold such public gatherings in similar disdain, had they been able to author the law themselves. Not to mention that a 5 year sentence for that crime seems ridiculous. And not to mention his current house arrest without charge is even more ridiculous. And not to mention keeping his 6 year old daughter from school is even more ridiculous still (although the CCP did recently relent on that part). THe ridiculousness just keeps piling up with the CCP. Now, this was your first comparison in a while. Hope you’re not having a relapse. But this one, at least I can loosely associate with your principles.

“But ultimately, it should still be their decision.

Misleading, and needs proof.”
—huh? Misleading how? Why does the concept of Chinese people making decisions for themselves need proof? What proof do you have that CHinese people shouldn’t make decisions for themselves? If your “proof” is how well Chinese people have done under the CCP, save it. THe Chinese people only did well under the CCP the last 30 years under capitalism, in contrast to the fiasco under the CCP the first 30 years under communism.

“In economics, a transfer payment (or government transfer or simply transfer) is a redistribution of income in the market system.”
—where in your scholarly “wiki” definition does it say that transfer payments go to individuals? How do transfer payments reduce the income gap? We already know transfer payments don’t reduce the wealth gap, since the wealth gap has increased in the last 10 years even with it. So yes, there’s the definition. And there goes your point sinking under the weight of its own irrelevance.

“many people wouldn’t even think of calling China’s wealth Gini a problem.”
—that’s fantastic. And many people would. I imagine many Chinese would too, especially the ones who don’t yet have it. So again, there’s no need to compare. If China’s income gap is a problem for Chinese people, it is a problem regardless of what the concept means for any other country. If China’s wealth gap is a problem for Chinese people, it is a problem regardless of what that concept means for any other country.

“There is no comparator to say how China’s wealth gap would have evolved in the absence of CCP policies

So it’s fine to compare China to a theoretical China but it’s not fine to compare China to REAL democracies”
—nope. Just read what I wrote. Not that difficult. I already said it’s NOT fine to compare to a theoretical CHina that was absent CCP policies, because there is no such comparator. And it’s NOT fine to compare to other democracies because they have no bearing on how China might evolve as a democracy herself.

“The best countries to compare China to are Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan and all of these used authoritarianism to develop.”
—I quite enjoyed the Freudian slip of referring to Taiwan as a country. Priceless. Those “countries” aren’t comparable because of size. Be that as it may, those countries did what they could with authoritarianism, then cast it aside, although Singapore is doing it much more slowly, but that is also the most irrelevant comparison because of the biggest size gulf. So yeah, Chinese got what they could out of authoritarianism for the past 30 years. If they decide it’s time to move on, good for them.

“because special interests aren’t a problem at all”
—oh brother. The challenge was for you to name some special interest that might somehow lead 51% of Chinese people astray. And all you can do is to regurgitate more of the same Kool-aid.

Yes, picking a random number like 99% is funny, and picking another random number like 51% is supposedly entirely legitimate. And of course, you ignore the rest of the paragraph. Typical. Seriously, if you don’t have a disingenuous argument, what do you actually have?

“Chinese people did that, and they can continue to do that without the CCP.

Citation needed.”
—gimme a break. You’re asking for a citation about a prediction about the future. How illogical can you go? Try this on for size. Do you have a citation to prove that Chinese people needed the CCP authoritarianism these last 30 years, rather than just capitalism? That’s actually more plausible, since those events have actually happened.

“Go ahead. Take your notebook to China and start recording.”
—good. We’re (finally) making some progress here. Now, i don’t live in China. I’m sure Chinese people are more than capable of tabulating their own opinions as to whether they feel they have any further and ongoing use for authoritarianism. I look forward to their response. You and the CCP should too. Might be of interest to everybody.

“again, I didn’t say that

So you’re saying slim is a moron?”
—and yet again, I didn’t say that either. Tell me, if you don’t make a disingenuous point, would you have any point to make at all?

“Isn’t it ironic that “most SE Asian countries” would also be deemed immoral by you?”
—(a) how do you figure that? (b) how is that relevant to how SE Asian countries view the US? (c) why the comparison? You’ve just contravened your own principle, so I didn’t make any comparison to justify a comparison on your part. Uh-oh, the meds are starting to wear off.

“Isn’t it ironic that many SE Asian countries are essentially CCP-lite with more corruption and incompetence thrown in?”
—relevance? Reason for comparison? Man, you really just can’t help yourself, can you?

“They can use America and that’s about it, unless you want to start talking to me about how America and Southeast Asia are best friends and how international relations are based on good-will and adherence to morality.”
—of course it’s quid pro quo. Even still, those countries would rather dance with the US than China. And ranting about the US isn’t going to make those SE Asian countries switch dance partners. China doing something to actually improve her own moral authority will, or at least might do so. You’d rather spin your wheels bitching about the US. Whatever floats your boat. I’d rather see CHina resolve some of her current shortcomings.

“Kinda like how one visit from Obama got the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and shut down Gitmo, right?”
—yet another baseless and groundless comparison. You really are an expert with this stuff.

“China’s status didn’t change. Economic ties are strong, political ties are not.”
—hey, that’s actually true. But the US status did. That must just burn, eh?

To 132:
“I’m using the US as an anti-example of what China (and no other developing nation) should do.”
—that’s cool. And your point would be ‘don’t behave like the US’. That is summarily different than ‘don’t become a democracy’, which seems more like your real cup of tea, but which doesn’t logically follow from you US fetish.

“It shows everyone how not to act.”
—that’s great. But for China to get better, not only does she need to avoid certain things, but she also has to actively do certain things. The second part would be where your proclivities fail you miserably.

“China’s capacity for moral authority is not good enough. Ranting against the US changes that not one iota.

Citation needed.”
—LOL. Positively sublime.

December 1, 2011 @ 4:34 pm | Comment

To Other Lisa 134:
maybe Richard needs to start a sister blog. I dunno, maybe call it Philly Cheese Steak. Replete with virtual self-immolation chamber. And CM can just have at’er with a beguiling combo of self-flagellation and some witty anti-American yarn.

December 1, 2011 @ 4:45 pm | Comment

Not completely related, but a general breakdown of Taiwan’s voting tendency is obviously, as in just about any democracy, complex and difficult to totally define, there are of course some very general outlines.

A.People who moved to Taiwan after 45 and their decendents are usually very likely going to vote KMT , probably around 80% or so.

B. People here before 45 are more split with stronger DPP leaning depending on various other factors, but overall something more like 4:6 in favor of DPP. though they are the biggest portion of the population so obviously this matters the most. but the line between the groups are generally thinner as generations past.

C. Hakkas are split more or less by where they live and is usually more of a swing element in the electorate but as a whole more blue than green though the volitality is bigger.

D. Aboriginals vote are very pro KMT but they make up a very small portion of the population so it hardly matters in general elections. though it does for legislature seats. (they’re guarenteed around 4-5 seats IIRC)

E. The most clearly DPP supporting profession of all is actually doctors, this is something of a Japanese legacy which I won’t get too deep into though. farmers are more DPP supportive but not a total brick wall in reality, it really depends on where they’re living . farmers in the north / east are probably more pro KMT, I use to live in a very farming oriented county in the north and it was dead blue.

F. Intellectuals are very split depending on many factors, there’s not a very clear divide based on being intellectual or not as much as the other factors.

G. Big busniess owners are generally more pro KMT due to it’s obviously less confrontational approach with the mainland, but they’re vote’s only one, and more problematic is the fact that many are living in China most of the time and not all of them find the need / will / time to come back to vote. If absentee voting was possible most observer think it would be considerablly more favorable to the KMT. IIRC they are starting to experiment with this a bit, though only starting with soliders who are on duty during voting days. (which given how all men here need to do mandatory service, is actually a considerable portion of votes.)

It is however not too hard to see why the DPP still have a market, the KMT at it’s top have a hard time breaking an elitest image (not that it is neccesarily limited just to them) while a lot of their legacy baggage remains legitimate gripes. They’re winning big time in the Cross-Strait policy aspect but

A. not everyone’s lives are so effected by the Mainland
and
B. over-playing this card will inevitablly let them fall into the “Beijing lap dog” image which even most blue voters would shun.

December 1, 2011 @ 5:44 pm | Comment

Lisa, I’m so sorry about the email. Mark/Wayne/MW is famous for doing that. He is evil and I shouldn’t have let him in.

December 1, 2011 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

Personalities like Mark/Wayne/MW thrive on human reactions to their behavior. Show no such reaction, and they’ll disappear.

December 2, 2011 @ 4:58 am | Comment

SK Cheung
actually the US as a state is very good at respecting US law, in part because the US has rule of law and the checks and balances that keep the state in line when dealing with her own people.

Which is ultimately meaningless as everything the US does is so far-reaching. Even at home people are often abused domestically but are not considered “citizens”. Mexicans, even descendants of those who lived in the parts annexed by the US or who were illegally deported in ‘Operation Wetback’ are not considered part of America’s obligation even though they live and work with citizens and are geographically very close to the Southern US.

China is criticized harshly for a lack of support for migrant workers or settled foreigners like the “Uighur”. There’s not a peep about American treatment of migrant workers and the indigenous. Two different sets of standards.

what CCP China definitely doesn’t have is the rule of law

They’re working on it. Meanwhile there are tons of democratic shitholes that not only do not have rule of law, but do not have any of the perks of Singapore/South Korea/China style development.

that’s true. But in a “state” with the rule of law, even if the state refuses to admit it is wrong, the judicial branch will point it out in no uncertain terms, and even rectify whatever it is the state did

*Ideally* it will. In practice, it rarely ever does. China can’t afford a slow system that allows millions of excess deaths a year as in India or Brazil.

because he broke a law passed by the representatives of Americans, which so far has not been judged to be unconstitutional by the judiciary.

So an immoral act is justifiable when agreed upon by the mob and okayed by a panel half-full of gerontocrat cronies appointed by a president elected by the mob and funded by special interests? Is this how killing hundreds of thousands in Iraq is justifiable? Or supporting oil-peddling monarchies stuck in the Dark Ages?

How will China or the world benefit from more of this?

And not to mention keeping his 6 year old daughter from school is even more ridiculous still

Ridiculous, sure. Sad, of course. What would be sadder is 5 million 6 year olds dying of malnutrition and diarrhea. Needs improvement, but what doesn’t?

Why does the concept of Chinese people making decisions for themselves need proof? What proof do you have that CHinese people shouldn’t make decisions for themselves?

You’re exaggerating. The typical Chinese person is not an automaton programmed or coerced by the CCP. And democracy is not “the people” making decisions, but 51% of the people (heavily influenced by special interests) making decisions.

where in your scholarly “wiki” definition does it say that transfer payments go to individuals?

Look, you first ask for a dictionary definition of transfer payments and now you want me to source you that they go to individuals? Are you joking? Ever hear of welfare checks, food stamps? How do they NOT go to individuals? How would you even spend food stamps if not as an individual? Buying in bulk with a group of 100 families?

I think you still don’t understand what a transfer payment is. I’m guessing you’re thinking of remittances which are completely unrelated.

We already know transfer payments don’t reduce the wealth gap, since the wealth gap has increased in the last 10 years even with it.

Fail logic. You know transfer payments don’t COMPLETELY CLOSE the wealth gap. You don’t know if they reduce the wealth gap. Well actually we do, the only thing that is debatable is to what degree. Aside from that, we know China’s system of wealth redistribution is rare and would never be politically acceptable in 99% of countries.

If China’s income gap is a problem for Chinese people, it is a problem regardless of what the concept means for any other country.

Good. Then tell the West’s media to shut up and mind their business. It’s a Chinese problem for the Chinese to deal with. But … this is about China !!!

And it’s NOT fine to compare to other democracies because they have no bearing on how China might evolve as a democracy herself.

So you just have your theories and convictions (most of which have been proven false).

I quite enjoyed the Freudian slip of referring to Taiwan as a country.

Freudian slip? It happens, I refer to Taiwan as a country a lot because I really don’t care about the semantics. Typically I use polities or refer to the ROC instead, but it’s the same difference. 0 points.

Those “countries” aren’t comparable because of size.

Exactly. Democracy has shown a tendency to get worse as it gets bigger, and this is born out by many examples we have today and the obvious, which is that people have a limited capacity to care about what happens across increasingly large distances. The best democracies are the smallest ones. Using this logic, China has even less cause to embrace the system.

The challenge was for you to name some special interest that might somehow lead 51% of Chinese people astray.

Ironically, the top contender in all scenarios would be … drumroll, the vestiges of the CCP. Wouldn’t that be a kick in your ass?

Yes, picking a random number like 99% is funny, and picking another random number like 51% is supposedly entirely legitimate.

Again, you seriously struggle with degrees. 99% never happens except dictatorships. 51% does happen, in case you forget the year 2000. Well actually 48% lost to 47%, but that’s just a side note. And since there is no semblance of moderation or sanity in American politics, the ensuing 8 years were radically different from what they would have been otherwise.

You’re asking for a citation about a prediction about the future.

So you’re admitting your best estimate for how China will do as a democracy (nevermind the transition period) is something you’d have to ask a fortune-teller. Yes, they’re about the caliber of democratic evangelists.

Do you have a citation to prove that Chinese people needed the CCP authoritarianism these last 30 years

That’s not the point. I don’t need to prove anything. All I need to do is point out the fact that in the last 30 years the CCP has done more for the Chinese people than any government has ever done for any nation. The burden of proof is upon you to prove that all of China’s progress should be derailed for your precious social experiment – which has a history of failure.

I look forward to their response.

You mean the response of an emo, unsophisticated minority of faux intellectuals and West-o-philes? Strolling. Then some crying into their lattes in the Western Quarter of their given city while they blog angrily using penis and hooker homonyms, I’m sure.

and yet again, I didn’t say that either. Tell me, if you don’t make a disingenuous point, would you have any point to make at all?

So you only feel slim is moron.

how do you figure that?

Because they do everything bad China does, except worse, only without any of the good parts?

You’ve just contravened your own principle

Uh, nope. By couching your argument precisely on the credibility of a group of nations, their judgment is immediately called into question. There is a legal term for this in case you’re wondering.

Even still, those countries would rather dance with the US than China.

So is that what you call it now? “Dancing”?

And ranting about the US isn’t going to make those SE Asian countries switch dance partners.

Unforgivably garbage writing, but that aside, I could give two shits who “those SE Asian countries” want to service.

China doing something to actually improve her own moral authority will, or at least might do so

What would also help is people getting their heads out of their asses, but the frothing at the mouth pro-democracy caterwaulers are impervious to reason or conscience.

You’d rather spin your wheels bitching about the US.

Projection. You sound like someone who has cried a second river into the Pearl over Hong Kong’s so-called lack of democracy. What you don’t realize is that history and the status quo deem me to be the winner, you could be a more graceful loser, you know.

But the US status did.

Uh, nope. Nothing new here. What changed is you actually crawling out from under your rock and fixating on something other than an obsession with mob rule.

And your point would be ‘don’t behave like the US’. That is summarily different than ‘don’t become a democracy’

They’re related concepts. True, the US would still be evil no matter what government it chose to make a horrible example of, but democracy certainly doesn’t help.

but she also has to actively do certain things

Like confiscating everything everyone owns and handing it out until SK Cheung thinks its fair? Or better yet, 70% of the population voting give themselves everything the remaining 30% owns?

December 2, 2011 @ 6:22 am | Comment

No worries, Richard. It’s really hard to take someone seriously who goes on about his “yellow dragon c0ck.”

December 2, 2011 @ 6:57 am | Comment

That sounds like something a white guy would post.

December 2, 2011 @ 7:16 am | Comment

It sounds like something a deranged guy would right. I don’t really care much about his nationality, though I’m guessing he’s American Chinese.

For those of you who’ve never been blessed with an email from Mark/Wayne, let me just say they are truly sick. I’m going to trust my instincts next time and, hopefully, keep him out.

December 2, 2011 @ 8:28 am | Comment

CM, I am pretty sure English is not the guy’s first language. Though maybe he’s just semi-literate….hmmm….

To me he is the equivalent of the Red State wingnuts who post violent, sexual rants from the safety of their parents’ basements.

Unfortunately sexist ass-hattery transcends borders…and there are crazy assholes everywhere.

December 2, 2011 @ 8:43 am | Comment

Forgot to mention, @SK, I like The Philly Cheesesteak!

(as a website–I’ve never actually eaten one)

December 2, 2011 @ 8:45 am | Comment

To 142:
“Which is ultimately meaningless as everything the US does is so far-reaching.”
—and if China is to “ultimately” reach with “moral authority” beyond her borders into the rest of her region, let alone farther afield, she needs to at least start by showing that she can uphold and support the rule of law within her borders. If she can’t even do that at home, it would be hard for anyone to believe that she could do it abroad. Sadly, that’s where China is starting from at this point.

“There’s not a peep about American treatment of migrant workers and the indigenous.”
—you’re “peeping” about it now. And once again, where’s the relevance. If China mistreats her migrant workers, what does it matter how the US treats illegal aliens? Regardless of what the US does or doesn’t do, China should improves things on her end. No comparison required.

“They’re working on it. Meanwhile there are tons of democratic shitholes…”
—that’s great. Cuz China has lots of work to do. The comparison is once again unnecessary.

“In practice, it rarely ever does. China can’t afford a slow system that allows millions of excess deaths a year…”
—we’re talking “rule of law”. What does that have to do with excess deaths? Besides, what China can or can’t afford to have is a question for Chinese people, and you’re not one of them.

“So an immoral act …”
—what immoral act? Manning broke the law. And he’s being punished. That you don’t like the law is irrelevant, since most of your fellow Americans don’t share your view. I brought up the constitution because that can override legislated law, but there seems to be no constitutional issues so far. Contrast that with Chen, who broke a CCP law, not a law of CHinese people. How can Chinese people benefit? Well, they can still have a Manning, but they wouldn’t have a Chen. I’d say that would be a good start.

“What would be sadder is 5 million 6 year olds dying of malnutrition and diarrhea.”
—indeed. But that’s not what’s happening in China. What is happening in China is that a 6 year old can’t go to school. Again, no one is arguing for revising history except you. We’re starting in 2011. Children dying en masse in China from malnutrition is no longer an issue. Children held under house arrest is. And that’s what democracy and the rule of law would rectify.

“The typical Chinese person is not an automaton programmed ”
—that goes without saying. I’m not saying the CCP prevents Chinese people from choosing what to wear in the morning. I’m talking about political choices, and choices that invoke their freedoms. Could you be a little less disingenuous?

“Ever hear of welfare checks, food stamps?”
—yes, those things go to individuals. And welfare cheques in particular count as income. But previously, in your verbiage, “transfer payments” went to subsidizing heating oil and electricity and such. That’s not income. All of that notwithstanding, China is doing that now, and in spite of that, she still has a growing income and wealth gap. So your “transfer payments” are no more than the proverbial little Dutch boy at this point.

“Well actually we do, the only thing that is debatable is to what degree.”
—umm, how is the wealth gap closing if the metric for wealth gap is increasing? What you possibly could get away with arguing is that transfer payments are preventing the wealth gap from increasing even faster than it is now. That could pass the logic test. But once again, cue the Dutch boy.

“Then tell the West’s media to shut up and mind their business”
—their business is whatever they want it to be. Just because it’s unpleasant to you is hardly their concern, or their problem.

“So you just have your theories ”
—you don’t even have that. All you’ve got is kool-aid.

“0 points”
—oh brother. You really are immature beyond your years.

“The best democracies are the smallest ones.”
—so are authoritarian states. Singapore is much better than CCP China. So size is moot, cuz China will never be small or sparsely populated. With the hand that they’re dealt, Chinese people are the best situated to make the determination of what is best for themselves. Simple as that.

“China has even less cause to embrace the system.”
—and CHinese people can duly factor that into their decision.

“the vestiges of the CCP”
—what makes you think the “vestiges” of the CCP will have any influence in a democratic China? They would have as much or as little influence as Chinese people choose to give them.

“And since there is no semblance of moderation or sanity in American politics”
—but Chinese people have no obligation to be held to American norms. For someone who hates the US as much as you do (despite living there, of course), you sure see them as the center of the universe much moreso than most sane people. If you think the American system doesn’t work, why would you pigeonhole Chinese people into the exact same thing? Dude, don’t you want democracy to work in China? Oh gosh, what am I saying….

“So you’re admitting your best estimate for how China will do as a democracy…”
—it’s just like asking you to predict the exact timing of demise of the CCP. Not possible. It’s going to happen, but exactly when/how, nobody knows. I mean, if you were to predict China’s trajectory in 1979, you wouldn’t have guessed where she’s at now. At some point, capitalism will render the CCP obsolete for the needs of Chinese people.

“I don’t need to prove anything.”
—of course you do. You’re saying that China’s continued prosperity requires the CCP’s unique brand of authoritarianism. Your turn to prove it.

“All I need to do is point out the fact that in the last 30 years the CCP has done more for the Chinese people”
—but we also know the first 30 years where the CCP didn’t do quite as much (good anyway; bad, certainly). It’s not authoritarianism that fuelled the turn-around; it was capitalism. Capitalism in China doesn’t require authoritarianism.

“You mean the response of an emo, unsophisticated minority of faux intellectuals and West-o-philes”
—the response of all Chinese people, obviously. I have seldomly seen someone as disingenuous as you. But you do what you gotta do. I do have some sympathy for someone trying to defend your position.

“So you only feel slim is moron”
—I know somebody is a moron around here. I’ll leave you to guess who. Take as many guesses as you need.

“how do you figure that?

Because they do everything bad China does, except worse, only without any of the good parts?”
—and how do you figure that, besides maybe Myannmar (who might just be opening up and is hosting Clinton literally right now)?

“By couching your argument precisely on the credibility of a group of nations, their judgment is immediately called into question.”
—I simply observed that SE Asian nations still give the US credit for moral authority. There is no reference to the credibility of said SE Asian nations. I didn’t even say they were right or wrong to do so. It’s simply what they’re doing. If you want to question their judgement, you can do so…without a comparison. Bringing in a comparison that those SE Asian countries aren’t so “moral” themselves does not speak to their judgement. So once again, you have no basis for bringing up the morality of SE Asian countries. Even with the obfuscation, still doesn’t fly. Is there a legal term for that?

“So is that what you call it now? “Dancing”?”
—oh brother. Rather shameless, I must say.

“I could give two shits who “those SE Asian countries” want to service.”
—that’s your call. But the CCP seems to care quite a lot. I guess you’re just not that in tune with even what the CCP wants, let alone what Chinese people want. Which shouldn’t be surprising, I guess, since you’re American and all.

“What would also help is people getting their heads out of their asses”
—so that’s what you equate to someone trying to improve their moral authority. Interesting. Like I said before, the fruit clearly does not fall far from the tree.

“What you don’t realize is that history and the status quo deem me to be the winner”
—huh? Dude you’re smoking something wicked fierce, and clearly deluded. Not to mention that this was yet again a non-response, but who’s counting, eh?

“Uh, nope. Nothing new here.”
—actually, if you cared to look, you’d realize that was the first time the US has asserted herself in SE Asia since 9/11. China kept the seat warm for a bit. But didn’t take much for her to get the heave-ho. That’s the problem when you’re lacking in moral capital. But it’s something China can certainly improve. Lord knows there’s room for improvement. Not more or less room than anyone else; just room (in case you felt another needless comparison coming on).

“They’re related concepts.”
—let me point out the logic for you. That the US is a democracy does NOT mean that a democracy must be the US (or be like the US).

“Like confiscating everything everyone owns and handing it out until SK Cheung thinks its fair? Or better yet, 70% of the population voting give themselves everything the remaining 30% owns?”
—you are a much poorer study than anything I could have ever conceived of…until now, of course.

December 2, 2011 @ 8:48 am | Comment

I simply observed that SE Asian nations still give the US credit for moral authority.

And I simply observed that their posturing doesn’t count for shit.

That the US is a democracy does NOT mean that a democracy must be the US (or be like the US).

You’re acting like the US is actually the worst democracy out there. It might be, but others are almost as bad. Like, all of the major ones. India and Brazil especially.

Manning broke the law. And he’s being punished.

Great! Then all China needs to do is slap Chen’s family with some BS law approved by the mob as well. Then all’s right with the world.

So once again, you have no basis for bringing up the morality of SE Asian countries

Bzzt. Wrong. My answer is perfectly valid, your talking in circles aside. YOU bringing in their judgment immediately puts their perspective and motivations on trial. The fact that you think America’s position in SE Asia has anything to do with how they perceive her “morality” shows you don’t actually know anything about how the world works.

It’s not authoritarianism that fuelled the turn-around; it was capitalism.

Citation needed. Clearly it’s not one or the other. Authoritarianism can do really well or do really poorly. Right now they’re doing just fine.

but we also know the first 30 years where the CCP didn’t do quite as much

No one gives a shit. What happened 60 years ago is absolutely not indicative of their future performance, as the people who ruled then are long dead and just about everything but the name has changed.

I know somebody is a moron around here. I’ll leave you to guess who. Take as many guesses as you need.

No need to put yourself down.

In the end, the CCP is still in power, you and other irrational democracy lovers are still put in their place in China, and China prospers as a result. I guess that means I win.

December 2, 2011 @ 9:24 am | Comment

Know this, if China ever becomes a democracy it will be on the CCP’s terms, like it or not.

December 2, 2011 @ 9:28 am | Comment

Anyway that’s the last time I respond to SK Cheung about his insane fantasies. It’s simply too tedious to crush your intellectual inferiors (no offense, SK, but it’s obvious) when you’re held to a higher standard and your messages screened before posting.

SK if you want to learn more about why your views are completely irrational and childish you can pick a different forum and I can continue to pick your points apart, but in real time.

December 2, 2011 @ 9:33 am | Comment

Look at it as Cookie Monster’s way of conceding, Cheung – if that’s where you wanted to get: congratulations. That said, I agree with King Tubby that you might have kept your own comments much shorter.

However, it is too early to judge if Bradley Manning broke the law, or if he didn’t. I understand that he will be in court later this month. And I think that Cookie Monster’s belief that China would only become a democracy “at the CCP’s terms” is not unlikely. That’s to say, China probably isn’t going to become a democracy at all, and will feel “threatened” by the mere fact that democracy is a more attractive concept to most other nations.

Within China, fear of the outside world will continue to perpetuate dictatorship – but obviously, I hope that the brave people within China who continue to believe that their country can do better will prove me wrong.

December 2, 2011 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

I’m not that pessimistic, The CCP does have one aspect that puts it above most other authoritarian regime, the fact that it’s leadership is not locked in within families or a very small portion of the population. Thus it is capable of adopting in the longer run . just look at 30 years ago to today, the changes are massive.

If we use a comparable, today’s China is very similar to Taiwan and South Korea in the 80s, with people getting wealtheir (but as a whole still below average) , with limited degree of inconsistently improving liberty. And irratic judisary branchs that often but not always is influenced by politic / money. Those aspects are all very similar, and in many case the situation in Taiwan/ SK may have been worse, since one was still being ruled by a family dynasty while the other was in a endless cycle of miliatary coup.

But within two decade both of those country made massive leaps in democratization. And the process was not very violent either (espeically in taiwan’s case) which was the most remarkable. China’s a tougher case due to it’s size and effect on the world, but the trending is unmistakablly similar to that of Taiwan especially. Which is what most of us here hope for, that the similarity would continue to run.

December 2, 2011 @ 2:26 pm | Comment

“And I simply observed that their posturing doesn’t count for shit.”
—umm, no you didn’t. You tried another of your random comparisons and tried to smear all SE Asian nations for being immoral. You got called on it, both for crappy logic and needless comparison. Now you’re trying to change your story. It’s not the first time, and sadly, knowing types like you, unlikely to be your last. But i will happily point it out to you each and every time. Consider it your lucky day.

“You’re acting like the US is actually the worst democracy out there.”
—dude, you really need to practice some introspection. What you describe here is precisely what you do. In fact, give or take, it’s all you ever do. But once again, that is beside the point. How the US performs as a democracy has no bearing on whether Chinese people should be availed the opportunity to manage democracy on their own terms.

“Then all China needs to do is slap Chen’s family with some BS law approved by the mob as well.”
—you’re right. That actually would be a slight improvement, if the CCP actually manufactured a BS law and judged Chen guilty of same. As it stands right now, he’s not charged or convicted of anything, and just finds himself under house arrest for literally no reason at all. But the larger point you have again chosen to avoid is that there is no reason why Chinese people in a democratic China would conceive of a law that would criminalize what Chen did before (organize a protest) or what he’s doing now (trapped inside his own home). Like I said, a democratic China might still produce a case like Manning, but it wouldn’t create a stinker case like Chen’s. You seem to like to compare. Well, there’s a comparison for you. You’re welcome.

“YOU bringing in their judgment immediately puts their perspective and motivations on trial.”
—particularly slow today, aren’t you? I’ll say it again. I didn’t bring in their JUDGMENT. I merely observed what those nations did, which was to recognize the US’s moral authority. You’re the one who tried to talk about their judgment and morals. You can’t even keep your own argument straight. Not to mention relevant.

“The fact that you think America’s position in SE Asia has anything to do with how they perceive her “morality” shows you don’t actually know anything about how the world works.”
—this was already addressed, although maybe it was directed at Capt. Wayne (the cock) Lo or whatever the hell his name is. THe US and CHina both have money and power. So they are both well-qualified to be benefactors in the region. But when given the choice, as of right now, they would choose the US. “morality” isn’t the only thing. But other things being relatively comparable, that becomes the tipping point. And right now, China is a distant second-fiddle on that front. She doesn’t need to remain there…but she’s got some work to do. The way to start is to recognize the shortcomings first. That’s clearly beyond your capacity. Hopefully, the folks in China are smarter than you are, which isn’t a very tall order.

“Citation needed.”
—crikey. Just compare 1949-1979 with 1980-2011. Authoritarianism the whole way through. Capitalism replaced communism in 1980. Gee, I wonder how things worked out after that? I’m sure you can wiki it if you’re so inclined.

“Authoritarianism can do really well or do really poorly. Right now they’re doing just fine.”
—sure. So keep the capitalism. Who needs authoritarianism anyway? And if given the choice, who would want it? You certainly don’t, since you’re living in the US instead.

“What happened 60 years ago is absolutely not indicative of their future performance, as the people who ruled then are long dead and just about everything but the name has changed.”
—actually, the authoritarianism has stayed very much intact. What changed was the introduction of capitalism.

“No one gives a shit.”
—I’m guessing the folks who lived through the CR and other fantastic things like that might in fact give a shit. What you should say is that you don’t give a shit, cuz you’re in no position to speak for anyone else. And certainly not for Chinese people.

“No need to put yourself down.”
—nope. Wrong guess. Take another one. In fact, take as many as you need.

“I guess that means I win.”
—guess so. And Chinese people lose. But I imagine that doesn’t concern you, since you’re not Chinese. Yes, the CCP is still in power, for now. For how long, who knows. But I can’t imagine Chinese people will put up with a loss position indefinitely.

“Know this, if China ever becomes a democracy it will be on the CCP’s terms, like it or not.”
—says the American. LOL. A real expert, eh?

“Anyway that’s the last time I respond to SK Cheung about his insane fantasies.”
—really? That’s too bad. But I imagine Richard will be pleased to a certain extent. You know what, let’s just say you win, cuz that seems to be really important to you. Rather juvenile, like the kid on the playground vehemently insisting “I win I win”. But as I always say, you do what you gotta do. I’m just here to be entertained, and you have more than served my purposes, so thanks for that.

I will also note that the recurring need to declare yourself the victor belies a certain underlying insecurity. As my parting gift to you, I would suggest you seek some professional help to determine the source of said insecurity. Maybe it’s borne from the position you’ve chosen to try valiantly to defend. Maybe you are really that little Dutch boy.

December 2, 2011 @ 2:52 pm | Comment

To JR,
one of the things that bugs me about CCP apologists is how they cherry pick what they will and will not respond to. Since I think that’s lame, I try not to do it myself. Which is why I do the point-by-point thing. Sorry to have worked your scroll wheel over-time.

I agree with Rollingwave. Once China progresses beyond a certain point (and I don’t know if GDP/capita is a metric you put much faith in, but it might be one to gauge the approach to a tipping point of sorts), I suspect she will go the route of the countries Rolling wave mentioned.

I also think the absence of a strongman dictator puts China in a better position for change than your typical dictatorship. There is no presumption of indefinite status quo until the guy croaks, only to be followed by that guy’s son, and so forth.

December 2, 2011 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

Given China’s vast population, I think it will take longer, but probably not outside of most of our lifetime.

December 2, 2011 @ 4:14 pm | Comment

Guys. I admit it. I am a troll, but a highly educated one. This and Custer’s site have nothing more to offer.Dreary WW1 trench warfare may sound like fun in the abstract, but it neither challenges nor educates.

There are other sites worth a visit, and JR I will provide a detailed response to you last comment tres soon.

Time to move up the food chain, companeros.

Or, as we say in Oz, dig ya later.

December 2, 2011 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

The CCP, the KMT, and the DPP actually all have some Leninist heritage in common – but that doesn’t mean that they can be compared. It is often said that Confucianism – without saying so – encourages conformism. That may or may not be so – Taiwan’s educational system, with all its emphasis on the classics, certainly did develop into a democracy either way.

But there are great differences between the Taiwanese “model”, and the Chinese “copy” (I’m exaggerating your statement here, Rollingwave), just for the sake of making our discussion somewhat more dramatic, coflictive, and thus pleasing King Tubby.

One difference is that Confucianism isn’t the Chinese model. There have been and there still are academics who advocate the great tradition (i. e. political, rather than just popular, Confucianism). But the party is far from adopting Confucianism. They’ve cherry-picked some of its most stifling aspects, like “harmony” – but even Mao liked to use the classics for creating slogans of his own. No party document refers to classical values, but each document refers to Leninism, Marxism, Maoism, Dengism and the “Three Represents”.

There is another decisive factor which makes China and Taiwan very different. Chinese people fear the world. The Taiwanese, if anything, fear China. A climate of fear perpetuates dictatorship. I think we have seen (comparatively sophisticated) beginnings of such a climate in America, after 2001, and they still seem to continue to exist in parts of American legislation – but there, such trends haven’t continued to reinforce themselves. Provided that efforts within civil society towards liberalisation are to continue in America, the 9-11 streak will abate.

I think the only time when the Chinese public made genuine moves toward the rest of the world was in the 1980s, and possibly at times during the 1990s and early this century. Especially if democracy continues to stumble forward in the rest of the world (in a number of Arab countries, for example), China’s leaders will continue to create fears, and make use of them.

The climate among urban Chinese, including some people who I know quite well, doesn’t make me think that GDP or purchasing power per person will be the defining metric here, Cheung. It isn’t an irrelevant factor in my view, but it’s not always a pivotal one either. Within Arabia, I think it’s possible that, despite a much lower GDP per capita than Saudi Arabia, Syria is a more likely democracy than its rich neighbor to the south, and that Taiwan, even if its GDP per capita was lower than China’s, would be a more likely democracy than China.

China is a country where many mortifications are felt. The roots for many of these can be found inside China as it is today, rather than abroad – but it is abroad where most Chinese people, even otherwise liberal-minded, seem to seek fault.

December 2, 2011 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

@JustRecently.

Your arguements have merits, but IMHO falls apart on many closer examinations.

1.The CCP’s attitude towards Confucisim is mixed, in more recent years it is embracing it more and more out of if anything else, the neccesity to fill the void of their collapsing Idealogy in Communism, the average Chinese learned student’s knoweldge in Confucism is not noticablly worse than those in Taiwan. And if anything nowadays CCP officials like to quote Confucism text than those in Taiwan (though that’s at least partly a nationalism thing )

More Over Confucism has many aspects. there are plenty of discussion in the Chinese world that direct towards the exact opposite conclusion as your arguing, in that Confucism supports Authoritarian regime due to it’s admiration in “saints” and “learned men” which suggest a elitest government (that was pervalent in Chinese history.) There are many aspect today that shows continued Confucisim legacy such as poor people with a grudge trying to go to Beijing to find a big shot to settle their problems etc.. Menzi argued that the people should come first, but he didn’t argue that the people should rule .

2.Taiwan in it’s authoritarian days was hardly the most “foreign welcoming” country either, many examples could be made such as the incidents where American Solidiers not very accidentally killing Taiwanese civilians was not allowed to be arrested by our police and was given a pretty lame trial by the US martial court and aquitted on short notice (a problem Japan / Korea only knows too well until rather recently) causing massive demonstration, when we left the UN and when the US and other major countries broke offical ties with us there were protest and riots that was not actually too far from what just happened in Iran aginst the UK embassy and certainly well on par with what happened when say.. Nato accidently bombed the Chinese Embassy in YugoSlavia or when US recon planes collided with the Chinese military jet a few yers back.

Another famous incidents was where the KMT ran newspaper ran a (fake) story on a story reportedly written by a South Vietnamnese in the late 70s, it was a not so veiled scathing attack on the US and Democracy that uses the similarity between S.Vietnam’s fate to our own plight back then. the KMT was well aware that it was fake from the start but went on a massive publicity binge for it

We can see further similarity in the number of students studying aboard and their inclination to return (from very low to much more willing, again similar) and their influence, guys like current President Ma Ying Jeou worked fine and without much obvious “democratic” leanings back in the 80s. Critiicism of the party back then was not unlike that in China today, sporatic, all over the place (within and out) , dissidents being jailed or not is often irratic etc…

December 3, 2011 @ 12:44 am | Comment

““Authoritarianism can do really well or do really poorly. Right now they’re doing just fine.”
—sure. So keep the capitalism. Who needs authoritarianism anyway? And if given the choice, who would want it? You certainly don’t, since you’re living in the US instead.”

Some food for thought on this debate. An article from the Wall Street Journal titled: “China’s Superior Economic Model The free-market fundamentalist economic model is being thrown onto the trash heap of history.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204630904577056490023451980.html

December 3, 2011 @ 12:48 am | Comment

My (somewhat German, but mostly Gomory) two cents re macro-planned economies, and partly a reaction to the Grove-Friedman camp here, New here

I’ll read closely and reply to your post later today or tomorrow, RollingWave. Ideologies are my favorite online dish!

December 3, 2011 @ 2:38 am | Comment

@ justrecently #158: Could you please explain what Leninist heritage the DPP has? I understand the CCP and KMT heritage but the third one puzzles me. Thanks.

December 3, 2011 @ 4:37 am | Comment

SK Cheung
And Chinese people lose.

Oh yes, that horrible, horrible economic growth, asset rallies, scientific and technological advancement, security and stability.

People just hate those. Democracy evangelists just can’t stand it.

You lose. The Chinese people win.

December 3, 2011 @ 6:14 am | Comment

Again Special Cheungsie, if you want to lose a debate choose to do it elsewhere. Richard feels the need to give me a posting handicap to match your personal one :)

December 3, 2011 @ 6:15 am | Comment

SK Cheung
one of the things that bugs me about CCP apologists is how they cherry pick what they will and will not respond to.

Hilarious. We’re not going to talk about your fantasies, but we can continue on your fabrications and hypocrisy. All you do is ignore points brought up by the opposition, make unsubstantiated claims, and use ad hominems. Then you set up arbitrary conditions (no comparisons) while breaking them consistently.

Again, pick a different forum, and you can continue to make yourself look stupid there.

December 3, 2011 @ 6:19 am | Comment

justrecently
Chinese people fear the world.

I don’t think “fear” would be the right word, and generally Westerners speak of themselves only when they are pitting “the world” against “the Chinese”.

You need only look at China’s overwhelmingly positive involvement in Africa, and the West’s shrill, entitled and paranoid response, to see who fears who.

December 3, 2011 @ 6:22 am | Comment

@Rolling

Just to add, afaik soldiers overwhelmingly support the KMT. I think the DPP’s repugnant Hoklo chauvinism puts a lot of potential voters off.

Although I hope China never becomes a democracy (or at least a shitty one like nearly all democratic governments in existence), if they do so I think it will be delayed as far as South Korean/Taiwanese economic or financial thresholds go.

China is in the West’s crosshairs and they will need additional security (financial, economic, military and technological) before the either the CCP or the Chinese people will accept a softer and more inefficient system.

China doesn’t have a much larger power funneling billions to its dictators to hedge against a third power, after all.

December 3, 2011 @ 6:29 am | Comment

I think Frozen Garlic‘s description of the DPP’s organizational structure describes it quite well. As for patterns of thought, poet and commenter Lee Min-yung (either a DPP member or close to it, and born in 1947) may serve as an example. In this article, he refers to the KMT as Leninist, but uses Leninist standards (or what he sees as such standards) himself to judge the “Taiwanese” revolution, around year five of Chen Shui-bian’s presidency.

Living under the Chiangs for most of your life doesn’t go past your hard drive without leaving traces there, no matter if you are dang-nei (within the ruling party, KMT or CCP respectively) or dang-wai (outside).

December 3, 2011 @ 6:43 am | Comment

Ahem. #168 is my reply to #162. There are some cookie crumbles in between.

December 3, 2011 @ 6:45 am | Comment

To 163:
Hey, look what the cat dragged in. I guess your principles are really not worth the pixels they’re written with. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. If that’s too much for you (and of course it is), then don’t bother saying it. Not that I’m surprised. Never confused you for someone with integrity….or intelligence, or logic, or compassion. Comparison – I think that alone is where you excel.

“Oh yes, that horrible, horrible economic growth, asset rallies, scientific and technological advancement, security and stability.”
—haven’t we been through this before? Chinese people should keep that and lose the authoritarian bits, if they so choose.

“All you do is ignore points brought up by the opposition”
—in the course of my line-by-line evisceration of you, did I miss something? If I did, please point it out. I’d be happy to go back and do it some more, if that’s what you require.

I think Richard has a leash on you because you have a tendency for profanity and vulgarity that is unnecessary for making a point, but is clearly a byproduct of your upbringing. He doesn’t seem to place you in the category of that Wayne dude. So keep your nose (and language)clean, and you’ll be fine.

“Then you set up arbitrary conditions (no comparisons) while breaking them consistently.”
—name one such occasion. You’re not good at responding to challenges, so what’s another one, eh? You, on the other hand, make all these sweeping statements not grounded in reality, but based only on your own kool-aid fuelled existence. To each his own. I didn’t say “no comparisons”. I suggested “no irrelevant and unnecessary comparisons”. It would require the capacity to comprehend relevance and to understand what is necessary, which may well exceed your pay-grade. But like I said, when you screw up (cuz it’s not really “if”, is it), I’ll just point it out to you.

December 3, 2011 @ 7:56 am | Comment

To New Here #160:
thanks for the link. Perhaps the US can learn some things from planned economies.

December 3, 2011 @ 8:00 am | Comment

I’m willing to take the leash off. Consider yourself on probation, Cookie.

December 3, 2011 @ 8:11 am | Comment

I tip my hat to you sir

SK Cheung
Chinese people should keep that and lose the authoritarian bits, if they so choose.

Don’t forget the chicken in every pot, rainbows, chocolate rivers, and personal unicorns for every Chinese child.

You have no support for your claim that China can rapidly develop with democracy.

in the course of my line-by-line evisceration of my straw man, did I miss something?

Hmm, maybe 70% of the content, and the entire point of every line?

I think Richard has a leash on you because you have a tendency for profanity and vulgarity that is unnecessary for making a point

You need to be on a leash for using tired catchphrases and stale writing. Otherwise you’re amusing.

name one such occasion.

Comparisons are absolutely valid when necessary.

I suggested “no irrelevant and unnecessary comparisons”.

Sorry, but you’re not the one who gets to decide what’s relevant and what’s not. Reason and logic vs. your fluffy cotton-candy feelings, I think the former holds more weight.

I require the capacity to comprehend relevance

Fixed.

December 3, 2011 @ 9:18 am | Comment

I don’t believe at all in free market fundamentalism. ALL markets are regulated to some extent; it’s all about on whose terms. The so-called “free market” in the US in the last 30 years is a money-funneling machine, designed to enrich a narrow segment of the population at the expense of the working and middle classes and public sector. But I’ve long felt that the oligarchy running the US is not made of of actual patriots, though they love using patriotic language to hoodwink a large percentage of the electorate.

Here’s some food for thought — The Big Short of China are the emigrating elites:

A recent survey conducted jointly by Hurun Institute and Bank of China’s private banking department found that 14% of Chinese millionaires (in dollar term) have emigrated abroad, and another 50% are considering it. Another survey by China Merchant Bank’s private banking department also found that 60% of Chinese millionaires have completed or are planning emigration. Let’s not forget that in China the amount of people who are applying for “skilled professional immigration” are 20 times that of people who are applying for “Investor Immigration”. Unlike the millionaires, the skilled professionals are not just diversifying their investment, they are actually leaving China, often with their families.

The top concerns listed by the emigrants include: environment, education. fairness, security, life style etc.;these words don’t appear often in the debates between bulls and bears among foreign investor. But these are issues that will determine the long term prospect of Chinese economy.

December 3, 2011 @ 1:07 pm | Comment

Migration does go both ways. It’s another one of those hopeful, triumphalist headlines the West’s media loves to publish like “10 million with AIDS in China by 2010″ “Hundreds of millions of obese Chinese children by 2020″ “China NPL collapse” “China housing bubble”

But it’s rarely so straightforward. As for the rest, watch out, SK Cheung may call you a whiner!

December 3, 2011 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

I believe the author of the piece (and the blog) is Chinese, but okay.

I think the environmental problems are a really big deal, though. Very hard to rectify. And with very real — and huge — costs.

December 3, 2011 @ 1:28 pm | Comment

The trend of pointing out how many Chinese millionaires were leaving didn’t start with him, I don’t believe. If I’m mistaken I take it back.

With all the power the CCP has it really should take more drastic measures to cut air pollution and improve water quality. If they manage that in the short term I think technology can take care clean up.

December 3, 2011 @ 1:46 pm | Comment

To 173:
“Don’t forget the chicken in every pot,…”
—seriously, could you be any more pointless? Chinese people should keep the gains they’ve made, continue on their current trajectory with capitalism, and lose the annoying bits about authoritarianism. Not a complicated concept…and yet you’re going on about rainbows. Your batch of kool-aid must have some wicked psychedelic ingredients.

“You have no support for your claim that China can rapidly develop with democracy.”
—that’s not my claim. China can continue to develop with her capitalist economy from this point onward without the shackles of authoritarianism.

“Hmm, maybe 70% of the content, and the entire point of every line?”
—listen, if I overlooked something, just point it out, and I’d be happy to complete the evisceration process. In fact, I already said the same thing in 170, so I don’t know what more you require. A formal invite?

“You need to be on a leash…”
—actually, I’m quite happy to crown you the champ for profanity and vulgarity. Perhaps you do have some skills besides comparison after all. Hopefully, you won’t feel the need to hone any of those skills any further on this blog.

“name one such occasion.

Comparisons are absolutely valid when necessary.”
—huh? You accuse me of breaking my “arbitrary conditions” of “no comparisons” “consistently”. So I challenge you to name one such occasion. And that is your response? I often say you use low-rent logic, but here you’ve displayed a complete absence of logic.

So when are “comparisons” necessary? Actually, according to your own principles, it is when someone else leads with a comparison. So for instance, if someone says China is better or worse than so-and-so, then you would be completely justified in providing another comparison in rebuttal. But if someone says China is good or bad, no comparison is required or necessary, even based on your principles.

Now, even when comparisons are “necessary” in accordance with those principles, that doesn’t make them inherently valid. The comparison you offer needs to be valid on its face. So you can’t compare apples and oranges, for instance, which is another one of your habits. Besides that, your comparisons are great.

“you’re not the one who gets to decide what’s relevant and what’s not.”
—I get to decide for myself. And when I feel it isn’t relevant, I will tell you in no uncertain terms (and throw your principles back at you to boot). If Richard disagrees with me, I have no doubt he will tell me in no uncertain terms also.

“I require the capacity to comprehend relevance”
—I guess you’ve moved on to flat-out misquoting people, eh? Cuz I said “It would require the capacity to comprehend relevance”. You just know no shame, do you? Nothing is too disingenuous for you, I suppose.

BTW, I agree with Other Lisa 174. There’s no question the US has work to do. The difference here is that while I recognize that to be a statement of fact, you prefer to use it as an excuse for China to go death-grip on the status quo.

December 3, 2011 @ 4:13 pm | Comment

The problem with counting on the CCP to deal with the pollution issues is two-fold, at least.

First, any attempt to cut back on pollution risks cutting down on growth. The CCP is unwilling to risk higher unemployment, because with that comes an even greater risk of social instability. Most people in China are living on narrow margins as it is. There were, what, 110K “mass incidents” by the government’s own reckoning in 2010. That’s a lot.

I do think that there are many in the central government who understand the need to repair the horrendous environmental damage in China. But they have to fight with the folks who don’t want the American Consulate tweeting about pollution numbers in Beijing on the one hand, and more seriously, with provincial officials and businesses who are not really under Beijing’s control and who are more concerned, again, with economic growth (and with the personal wealth said growth can bring).

I’ve long admired people like Pan Yue in SEPA, who has a firm grasp of China’s looming environmental catastrophe and said as far back as…2004? that if China didn’t get these problems under control that they would threaten China’s economic miracle. I am also hugely impressed by Chinese NGOs who do what they do to promote environmental reforms when what they do at times threatens central authorities by their insistence on the right of civil society to demand changes.

But they are pushing one huge boulder up a mighty steep hill.

December 3, 2011 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

And that’s not to discount the notion that promoting green technologies can be their own growth generators, but you have to fight against entrenched interests making their money a “dirtier” way, and of course, manufacturing things like solar cells can also be a very dirty, polluting process.

It’s a huge huge problem, and we should all hope that China comes up with successful strategies to heal the damage.

Frankly, one of the main reasons that I didn’t move to China a few years ago was the pollution and risks of food contamination and the like. Long-term, it’s scary stuff to be exposed to.

December 3, 2011 @ 6:22 pm | Comment

Other Lisa’s last two cut to the chase in a comprehensive manner. China can look forward to some serious domestic/non-harmonius conflicts over access to ever decreasing water supplies. Chinese cities are profligate in the way they use water.
A rural versus urban point of conflict.

Meanwhile, Bejing has ambitions to urbanise another 100 million (possibly more) rural folk by 2020.

December 3, 2011 @ 7:15 pm | Comment

there are plenty of discussion in the Chinese world that direct towards the exact opposite conclusion as your arguing, in that Confucism supports Authoritarian regime due to it’s admiration in “saints” and “learned men” which suggest a elitest government (that was pervalent in Chinese history.)
As I said, RollingWave, that Confucianism encourages conformism may or may not be so. As the great tradition it had been, until early last century, or maybe some decades beyond, it certainly did encourage conformism.
But I believe that an ideology deserves to be looked at both as the practice it has become, and the philosophy it originally meant to be – provided that the original concepts and later use of them may differ from each other.

I’m sure the CCP has nothing against Confucianism as a popular tradition, as long as it works the way you describe in your previous comment – if it’s conducive to perpetuating the powers that be should be alright. But that doesn’t elevate Confucianism to a guiding ideology within the party. You won’t find references to Confucianism in CCP documents, as far as they are published, to the end that Confucianism would be part of what they build their organization on. That would be everything from Leninism to the “Three Represents”, i. e. the ruling dynasty’s heritage to date.
It may be hard to think that Chinese rulers may not put Confucianism first, and what Chinese scholars put forward in that regard, even very palpable constitutional drafts as the one by Jiang Qing, or Zhang Xianglong‘s concept of “special Confucianist zones” – but the CCP is a very particular brotherhood, and I think there are Confucians who are too convinced of the “naturally guiding role” of Confucianism to understand the relativeness (if not irrelevance), in Beijing’s view of their ideas.

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but it seems to me that the last time Chiang Kai-shek undertook a genuine ideological effort to control peoples’ minds, and not just their behavior, was his “New-Life movement”. His rule on Taiwan was authoritarian, but I see no totalitarian ambition there. That authoritarian rule weakened has a lot to do with the vanishing ambition to “regain the mainland”, simply because that goal was becoming unrealistic. Taiwan counted in CKS’ books as a military base, not as something worth in itself to possess. Sure – Chiang Ching-kuo kept referring to the “recovery of the mainland” even in his last speeches, but these was somewhat ironic (and melancholic, I feel) scenes, just the more as Chiang was by then wheelchair-bound. All that stuff about getting the mainland back had become an empty slogan, waiting to be replaced by something else.

The meaning of Taiwan had begun to change, even among KMT loyalists from China. That’s one important factor which loosened the KMT’s grip in the first place. The CCP has no reason to follow that example. Another factor was that Taiwan is quite different from China. To keep myself from going from length to length, I’ll just drop the “yellow” and “blue culture” buzzwords for now. If they are of any use, and if they are relevant categories when it comes to Taiwan, I’d categorize Taiwan as rather “blue”.

December 3, 2011 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

When it comes to Chinese Confucians (or the more orthodox scholars among them, like Jiang Qing, or Zhang Xianglong), I think I should add this related link – hope it doesn’t look too self-promotional.

December 3, 2011 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
Chinese people should keep the gains they’ve made, continue on their current trajectory with capitalism

Read the article that quotes Andy Grove for why your notions are groundless.

China can continue to develop with her capitalist economy from this point onward without the shackles of authoritarianism.

What are your grounds for asserting the Chinese/South Korean/Singaporean/Taiwanese model are “shackles”?

So I challenge you to name one such occasion… China is good or bad

You just self-owned. Good and bad (especially when applied broadly to entire states) are relative.

I mince and selectively quote and then whine when the same is done to me

You do indeed.

December 4, 2011 @ 4:39 am | Comment

@Other Lisa
I think the CCP needs to realize that GDP growth isn’t really a big deal compared to an increase in the value of assets, and that value is diminished or destroyed by pollution.

They seem to be slowly getting the picture.

@King Tubby
Water can be treated, but it’s expensive. China can afford it technically speaking but it’d be better if they didn’t have to take on the expense.

December 4, 2011 @ 4:43 am | Comment

@ justrecently #168: I’m not disagreeing that there are some structural similarities between the KMT and DPP but they are pretty minimal. When the DPP was created, they received a lot of organizational and structural help from the American Democratic Party since they had no experience in either. In fact Bill Clinton, in his role as leader of the Democratic Leadership Council, came to Taiwan and helped the DPP in that regard. Later, three senators from the DPP went to Little Rock to observe how the Arkansas political structure worked. If anything, the influence from those workshops was just as influential as Leninist structure.

@ Other Lisa #170/180: Totally agree. In fact, the reason I didn’t head back to China was for exactly the reasons you specified. Having worked with many of the industrial accounts, I was very familiar with pollution controls, their quality and how often they were actually turned on. As you outlined, the problems are bureaucratic. The CCP bureaucrats working on environmental measure know exactly what’s going on, but they don’t yet have the pull within the Party to overcome the other bureaucracies concerned with growth and other factors. Regulations passed in Beijing are ignored in the provinces when doing so increases profits. When the electrical grid is pushed to the max during the hot summer months, it’s not uncommon for the pollution control equipment (which sucks up power) to be turned off as a local decision so more power is available. In terms of priorities, it’s there but not near the top of the list.

It’ll just take time but eventually it’ll move up the priority list. As the middle class grows and their lifestyle improves, they’ll demand clean water and air. It’s no different in China than anywhere else.

December 4, 2011 @ 5:40 am | Comment

To 184:
“Read the article that quotes Andy Grove for why your notions are groundless.”
—first of all, Grove is speaking from the perspective of what the US needs to do, such as investing in manufacturing capacity in the US to keep the fruits of job-creating innovative labours at home. You can infer that he might encourage some degree of a planned economy, though he only specifically mentions Beijing’s emphasis and financial support for the manufacturing sector. Second, he makes no mention, and indeed doesn’t even come close to implying, that authoritarianism is needed for such a change in focus to occur. Third, you might want to read the counterpoint that appeared in Newsweek 8 days after Grove’s piece. And fourth, there is nothing there to discount Chinese people being able to continue their economic progress with capitalism in the absence of the CCP. So if you think Grove’s article somehow contradicts me, you either didn’t read the article, or didn’t understand it. Knowing you, probably healthy helpings of both.

“What are your grounds for asserting the Chinese/South Korean/Singaporean/Taiwanese model are “shackles”? ”
—I didn’t say the “models” were shackles. The restrictions of authoritarianism are the shackles. But my fault for being unclear. I didn’t mean to imply that authoritarianism shackles capitalism. It doesn’t help it or hurt it. What I should have said is that Chinese people can continue to progress economically without the shackles of authoritarianism in other aspects of their lives.

“You just self-owned. Good and bad (especially when applied broadly to entire states) are relative”
—you are making, for the second time, the same point that Rhan already made in #62, to which I already responded in #69. “Good” and “bad” are relative to each person’s own moral compass of what “good” and “bad” denotes. No external comparisons are required, as previously explained several times more than once.

And of course, the challenge goes unanswered yet again. What else is new, eh?

“I mince and selectively quote and then whine when the same is done to me

You do indeed.”
—huh? Where did I write the line that you tried to attribute to me? You’ve gone from merely altering words in one of my comments to making one up out of thin air. Not only are you incapable of arguing against what I write, you’ve now debased yourself to actually completely fabricating something in order to respond to it. That is shameless and pathetic behaviour of a magnitude that I wouldn’t normally associate even with CCP apologists. You must be an outlier even among that noble cohort.

December 4, 2011 @ 7:13 am | Comment

SK Cheung
The restrictions of authoritarianism are the shackles.

Interesting, and where is your support for such a claim?

“Good” and “bad” are relative to each person’s own moral compass of what “good” and “bad” denotes.

And thus even less practical?

What I should have said is that Chinese people can continue to progress economically without the shackles of authoritarianism

You’re forgetting that the economy isn’t the only thing the CCP has managed well as of late. They’ve particularly excelled in rapidly raising living standards across the board. To do so they needed to do a lot of things that would never be tolerated in a democratic state like confiscating huge amounts of wealth and income and redirecting to the poor. There is also the One Child Policy, though that’s far more debatable.

ARGLEBARGLE BARGLE BARGLE!

No need for that, sir.

December 4, 2011 @ 8:58 am | Comment

To 188:
“Interesting, and where is your support for such a claim?”
—oh brother. There’s the censorship. Lack of freedom of speech or assembly. The absence of rule of law. Lack of respect for the constitution. Absence of freedom of information. And of course the lack of democratic rights. What “support” do you require to establish that Chinese people lack those things? Not really debatable, is it now? I’m also assuming that you’ve actually read through the entire paragraph of my response prior to commenting on it. On the other hand, given your cherry-picking tendencies, maybe you didn’t. Considering that you go back to the same point 2 paragraphs down, I should really stop expecting standard decent human behaviour out of you.

“And thus even less practical?”
—hardly. Do you not have your own metric for right and wrong, and for good and bad? On second thought, I guess you don’t. Everything for you is measured by the US. What the US does is wrong and bad. Right. I remember now. Anyway, excepting you as the special case of course, most people don’t need to use the US as their metric, since that’s just not necessary.

“There is also the One Child Policy, though that’s far more debatable.”
—this is possibly the best point you’ve ever made. You are correct, One Child would never fly in a democracy. At the time it was instituted, it was a necessary, effective, and certainly understandable step for China to take. And it is not without its benefits…though it’s also not without its drawbacks. The men/women ratio is so far out of whack that many many men face the prospects of never being able to marry and have a family. Of course there are also the more nefarious things like what Chen Guangcheng was shining a light on that occurred in the process of trying to enforce the policy. There will also be a reckoning down the road when the workforce shrinks while society still has to support the more populous aging demographic. Which might explain the rumblings that perhaps there may be gradual loosening of the OCP. But in its day, it served its purpose.

However, we’re still not talking about turning the clock back to the 1970s. China arguably needed the OCP then, and authoritarianism provided it. The question is whether China would still need OCP now. I’m not so sure. The other question is whether China still needs authoritarianism now. I’m considerably more certain about that one. But ultimately it should be up to Chinese people.

“They’ve particularly excelled in rapidly raising living standards across the board.”
—and they’ve been able to do so because of the economy. You also make it sound like China is alone in taxation and transfer payments. And we know about the trend in the wealth gap despite CCP policies, don’t we? At the end of the day, Chinese people can certainly factor in all the things the CCP “did” when it comes time for them to pass judgment.

BTW, did you go back and read Grove? Interesting, the stuff he says and the stuff he didn’t say, eh? Any luck with the earlier challenge of finding examples of where I “consistently” break the criterion of “no comparison”? Are there any of your previous comments that I forgot to eviscerate, the apparent oversight for which you would now like me to rectify? The problem with cherry-picking is it’s pretty evident what you pick, and what you don’t.

“ARGLEBARGLE BARGLE BARGLE!

No need for that, sir.”
—is that your new schtick now? Make something up each time? Like I alway say, you do what you gotta do. But the stuff you need to do are downright weird.

December 4, 2011 @ 11:33 am | Comment

Re: the environmental issues, a few final thoughts. The pollution itself has disrupted “social harmony” a lot, as I’m sure you all know–farmers finding their land contaminated, cancer clusters, and yes, middle-class expectations that they should have clean air and water — I don’t know what the number of those 110K plus “mass incidents” were related to environmental issues, but a pretty big chunk, I’m guessing.

The problem is the damage that’s already done is so tremendous — we are talking close to 80% of rivers that are now considered “dead,” and that’s just one metric — that stuttering steps forward and backward are not going to do the trick. This is going to require an all out mobilization, and on the one hand, an authoritarian society can do things like that rather effectively in some situations. But we’ve already discussed why the Central Government’s own regulations are not being followed in such an authoritarian system.

And China really doesn’t have time to waste. Whenever people make comparisons that “it’s just like what Western nations went through during the Industrial Revolution,” they aren’t considering or are purposefully ignoring that the scale of China’s modern industrial revolution is so much greater, and the environmental impact so much more severe and profound.

IMO, yes, significant pressure to change can come from the top down. But if it doesn’t also come from the bottom up, from the people living in communities affected by the problems, from NGOs who understand and can educate, there’s no way you’re going to get the change you need.

December 4, 2011 @ 12:24 pm | Comment

I’d have to agree. It’s also shameful that Overseas Chinese are doing so little to help, in my opinion.

December 4, 2011 @ 12:37 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
oh brother. There’s the censorship. Lack of freedom of speech or assembly. The absence of rule of law. Lack of respect for the constitution. Absence of freedom of information.

Ok, but how does any of this relate to authoritarianism? These problems clearly are not absent (or even less pronounced) in democracies.

Considering that you go back to the same point 2 paragraphs down, I should really stop expecting standard decent human behaviour out of you.

That’s a lot of rage.

Do you not have your own metric for right and wrong, and for good and bad? On second thought, I guess you don’t. Everything for you is measured by the US. What the US does is wrong and bad. Right.

Nope. Don’t put words into my mouth, selectively clip what I write, and then turn around and get angry when I do the same to you to make a point.

this is possibly the best point you’ve ever made. You are correct, One Child would never fly in a democracy.

And to continue what about the vast affirmative action policies for minorities? The “disproportionate” (as per their population) sums spent on cultural preservation? What about the overbearing top-down feminism that has put China at the top of their continent in Western-led “status of women” indices?

How about the rapid setup of SEZ and other centrally-planned economic development schemes? So on and so forth.

But ultimately it should be up to Chinese people.

But the standard model of democracy used now does not serve the people well. It’s little better or worse than authoritarianism. The primary difference is that it’s slow in exchange for stability. The thing is the CCP is on a winning streak. If they start to do poorly then yes, I can see justification for overthrow. But they’re not, they’re doing extraordinarily well in fact. That doesn’t mean they’re perfect or even good, as many governments leave much to be desired.

and they’ve been able to do so because of the economy. You also make it sound like China is alone in taxation and transfer payments.

Not quite. The CCP implemented vast rural electrification programs, built infrastructure and sanitation facilities, provides for at least some medical care, builds huge amounts of public housing, etc. India and Brazil do not PRECISELY because they were democracies when much of the populace was not educated and thus their votes were easily bought with propaganda. The results are nothing short of catastrophic.

December 4, 2011 @ 12:59 pm | Comment

“Ok, but how does any of this relate to authoritarianism? These problems clearly are not absent (or even less pronounced) in democracies.”
—I can’t say if it relates to authoritarianism in general. But it certainly relates to authoritarianism as practiced by the CCP. Obviously, that list was conceived with the CCP in mind. And you’re right…even democracies have some limitations on those things. I will readily stipulate that there is no such thing as “absolute” freedom. That said, democracy as conceived by Chinese people can do away with those listed problems as they see fit. Even if China as a democracy is not absent those problems, they can certainly be made to be much less pronounced.

“That’s a lot of rage.”
—not sure about that. Rage would require far too much effort. I think I just need to be realistic when it comes to what you are and are not capable of, that’s all.

“Don’t put words into my mouth, selectively clip what I write, and then turn around and get angry when I do the same to you to make a point.”
—huh? How did I “selectively clip what (you) write”? You only wrote those 5 words. What else was there to clip, exactly? I didn’t put words in your mouth. I asked you a question…which you again haven’t answered. I get annoyed when you try to make a point out of part of what I wrote, when your point is already addressed by me later in the same freakin post. Just like I pointed out in 189.

“And to continue what about the vast affirmative action policies for minorities? The “disproportionate” (as per their population) sums spent on cultural preservation? What about the overbearing top-down feminism that has put China at the top of their continent in Western-led “status of women” indices?”
—affirmative action already exists even in your favourite country in the whole wide world, where you happen to live. Investment in cultural preservation occurs in many countries, and it will always be “disproportionate”, since you obviously don’t have to spend much money to preserve the dominant culture. Feminism and women’s rights are noble goals as well, although I don’t see too many women in the Politburo central committee. All in all, you mention worthy things, but they aren’t the exclusive domain of authoritarian society, nor is there any realistic reason to think they will falter in a democratic one.

“How about the rapid setup of SEZ and other centrally-planned economic development schemes? So on and so forth.”
—again, they did happen under authoritarianism. But as Other Lisa suggests in #174, planning an economy is not the exclusive domain of authoritarianism. I have never denied that capitalism flourished in China in the last 30 years. But authoritarianism’s role therein is correlative, rather than causal. There is no reason to think that a democratic China would turn her back on what happens to work for her economy.

“But the standard model of democracy used now does not serve the people well. It’s little better or worse than authoritarianism.”
—if a certain model of democracy is inadequate, then the lesson to be learned is to not replicate that particular model. The lesson should not be to disavow the entire concept altogether.

“The thing is the CCP is on a winning streak. If they start to do poorly then yes, I can see justification for overthrow. But they’re not, they’re doing extraordinarily well in fact. That doesn’t mean they’re perfect or even good, as many governments leave much to be desired.”
—obviously, any change away from the CCP will not happen today or tomorrow. The CCP has a strong card to play with her economy, even if the CCP themselves were just a bystander. But I see the CCP demise happening in one of two ways. If the economy tanks, the CCP will bear the blame. Hopefully, that will not be the way it goes. But if the economy keeps chugging along, and when enough people accumulate enough wealth, authoritarianism will still eventually go the way of the dodo in China, under much happier circumstances.

“India and Brazil do not PRECISELY because they were democracies when much of the populace was not educated and thus their votes were easily bought with propaganda. The results are nothing short of catastrophic.”
—OK, that comparison was legit. China is not alone with transfer payments but she did better with them than Brazil or India previously, or so your argument goes. That’s true. What’s also true is that Brazil and India are making vast improvements as well. They may have started later than China, but they’re now following a comparable path. But again, we’re not talking about going back and instituting democracy in China 30 or 60 years ago. We’re talking about instituting it in the (hopefully not too distant) future. Give thanks to authoritarianism if you must, but no need to keep them around when they’ve outlived their usefulness.

December 4, 2011 @ 4:57 pm | Comment

I’m not disagreeing that there are some structural similarities between the KMT and DPP but they are pretty minimal.

I think nothing so far in this thread suggests that we would see the DPP very differently from each other, Steve. As I wrote earlier, The CCP, the KMT, and the DPP actually all have some Leninist heritage in common – but that doesn’t mean that they can be compared.. I’d like to add that to equate the KMT with the CCP wouldn’t make much nmore sense, than equating the DPP with the KMT.

My remark that all the three – the CCP, the KMT, and the DPP, have some Leninist heritage in common is meant to be an observation – it isn’t meant to be a criticism of the DPP. Rather, I conceded in my discussion with RollingWave that there are certain parallels between China’s and Taiwan’s development – but also pointed out where, in my view, these parallels don’t matter, given the differences between China and Taiwan.

December 4, 2011 @ 5:21 pm | Comment

[...] else’s comments from someone else’s blog. The Taiwaner’s views can be found here and here. The following is a re-mix of what I wrote in the same thread. It’s basically about [...]

December 4, 2011 @ 9:03 pm | Pingback

SK Cheung
But it certainly relates to authoritarianism as practiced by the CCP. Obviously, that list was conceived with the CCP in mind. And you’re right…even democracies have some limitations on those things. I will readily stipulate that there is no such thing as “absolute” freedom. That said, democracy as conceived by Chinese people can do away with those listed problems as they see fit. Even if China as a democracy is not absent those problems, they can certainly be made to be much less pronounced.

So you’d be happy with a Singapore-like situation in China? Somehow I don’t think you’d be satisfied.

affirmative action already exists even in your favourite country in the whole wide world, where you happen to live.

Again, it’s a matter of degree. I don’t see Native Americans being given 2-3% of GDP a year, whites being banned from having more than one children (even though unlike the Han Chinese, they’re native to no part of America).

nor is there any realistic reason to think they will falter in a democratic one.

I can see the CCP’s feminism being upheld, but the minority exemptions to the One Child Policy for Han only and excessive affirmative action, I can’t see a reasonable Chinese majority allowing these to stand.

again, they did happen under authoritarianism. But as Other Lisa suggests in #174, planning an economy is not the exclusive domain of authoritarianism. I have never denied that capitalism flourished in China in the last 30 years. But authoritarianism’s role therein is correlative, rather than causal. There is no reason to think that a democratic China would turn her back on what happens to work for her economy.

The Chinese model is tried and true, however – as Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan have all found success with it. The “Asian Tigers” as well as Japan were able to do well because they staved off pressure to open up their markets prematurely – they used their strategic position to do this. China on the other hand has size. Poor countries are often poor because they “liberalize” their markets before natives have a chance to develop their own independent industries. If China were to become democratic it’s pretty certain the people would not be able to present the unified front the CCP does to foreign pressure.

if a certain model of democracy is inadequate, then the lesson to be learned is to not replicate that particular model. The lesson should not be to disavow the entire concept altogether.

You could say the same thing about whatever the CCP is. They are visibly improving on their failures even if they still have a lot of work to do.

The CCP has a strong card to play with her economy, even if the CCP themselves were just a bystander. But I see the CCP demise happening in one of two ways. If the economy tanks, the CCP will bear the blame. Hopefully, that will not be the way it goes. But if the economy keeps chugging along, and when enough people accumulate enough wealth, authoritarianism will still eventually go the way of the dodo in China, under much happier circumstances.

The thing is it’s not really the economy the people care about. There’s a widespread notion that there is some kind of GDP threshold that the CCP can’t dip below for fear of revolt, but that doesn’t seem to be accurate. “The economy” as it’s commonly used is just an abstraction. It doesn’t translate well into living standards. India may have 1/3rd or so China’s GDP per capita but they have 7x as many starving children and far more people that are really poor.

The typical Chinese person will care more about living standards which is best defined by total assets owned, and on this front the CCP has put every developing nation to shame. Brazil, despite its vast mineral and natural wealth, head start, relatively small population, and stable neighborhood, has a lower PPP wealth than China. India is just a humanitarian disaster and is comparable to Africa in destitution and hopelessness. Both have much higher wealth Ginis than China and I have to state again for comparison that a 75-79 is exponentially worse than a 68.

There really is no precedent for any major country developing properly on democracy. They may become democratic after the fact, but that’s really not the same thing.

What’s also true is that Brazil and India are making vast improvements as well. They may have started later than China, but they’re now following a comparable path.

But back when China was as poor as either of them China still grew faster, had less inequality and better general living standards. Even *now* China is improving faster on a percentage basis despite the fact that India and Brazil benefit from favorable treatment from the rich world, are incredibly rich in good farmland, and in Brazil’s case awash in natural resources.

Give thanks to authoritarianism if you must, but no need to keep them around when they’ve outlived their usefulness.

Likewise, democracy has similarly outlived its usefulness. I can understand democracy at the local level (5-10 million people at most or a single city) but beyond that it becomes inefficient and arbitrary.

December 5, 2011 @ 1:43 am | Comment

FYI, Cheung (I’m usually avoiding discussions with Cookie Monster et al) – Huang Yasheng, a Sino-American economist or management academic, mentioned correlations between investment and growth in China and India respectively, in an interview in February 2009. According to him – at the time -, India’s investment volume was around 50 per cent of China’s, but India’s economic growth amounted to 80 per cent of China’s.

Just a remark along the way. I wouldn’t go to the lengths you do here, Cheung (as I said before), but I certainly respect your choice. Same as you, I have strong reservations about the idea that democracy needed to be inefficient holds water.

But even if there were convincing theories telling that democracy was less efficient than authoritarianism, I’d still believe that democracy is a value in itself.

December 5, 2011 @ 3:53 am | Comment

Investment does not translate directly into GDP, take a loot at asset value and household net worth instead.

Enough with the GDP obsession.

December 5, 2011 @ 5:05 am | Comment

To 196:
“So you’d be happy with a Singapore-like situation in China? Somehow I don’t think you’d be satisfied.”
—what I’d be happy with doesn’t really matter, of course. If it were up to me, the Singapore of today would be a good intermediate step, though hopefully not the endpoint of CHinese evolution.

“I don’t see Native Americans being given 2-3% of GDP a year,”
—give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life. To me, preferentially providing minorities with an opportunity for education or employment is doing them more favours than just giving them money. I really don’t think it’s all that probative to compare who is doing the more bang-up job in terms of affirmative action. But clearly, both countries are doing it in their own way. So the political system does not distinguish a country’s capacity for engaging in affirmative action. So if Chinese people want to maintain affirmative action, that is no reason to eschew democracy.

“whites being banned from having more than one children (even though unlike the Han Chinese, they’re native to no part of America).”
—but the one-child policy was not instituted to punish Han Chinese. It was borne out of the realization that China was simply accumulating too many mouths to feed, and at the time, didn’t really have good prospects of feeding them all. So they chose to try to deter the growth in the number of mouths. If anything, it was done to improve the prospects of Han survival (and the survival of other Chinese minorities).

“but the minority exemptions to the One Child Policy for Han only and excessive affirmative action, I can’t see a reasonable Chinese majority allowing these to stand.”
—that would be up to them, and we will have to see. The OCP may be going away anyway, with or without democracy. And while “reasonable Chinese” may well balk at “excessive affirmative action”, I suspect “reasonable Chinese” would support “reasonable” affirmative action within a democracy.

“as Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan have all found success with it.”
—and yet they’ve moved on, or are in the process of moving on slowly.

“If China were to become democratic it’s pretty certain the people would not be able to present the unified front the CCP does to foreign pressure. ”
—why would you presume this? It’s assumed that CHinese people place a premium on economic development. Simply by being left to their own devices, they would suddenly forgo their convictions? I don’t see how the disappearance of the CCP would change Chinese people’s economic priorities, nor their capacity to achieve them. I’m not sure why you would.

“You could say the same thing about whatever the CCP is. They are visibly improving on their failures even if they still have a lot of work to do.”
—you’re right. If the CCP could rectify and fix all the faults to their system that were listed earlier, that may well be sufficient. The only thing is that if the CCP ever got to that point, they would no longer be “authoritarian”. If the CCP is authoritarian in name only but behaved like a democracy, then it’s all just semantics.

“There really is no precedent for any major country developing properly on democracy. They may become democratic after the fact, but that’s really not the same thing.”
—I don’t think this is much different than what I had said (“But if the economy keeps chugging along, and when enough people accumulate enough wealth, authoritarianism will still eventually go the way of the dodo in China, under much happier circumstances.”). The point is that it is not “if”, but “when”, China reaches that point. And whatever metric foreigners try to apply is moot. Chinese people will know for themselves when they are good and ready. And hopefully it won’t take long to get to that point.

“But back when China was as poor as either of them China still grew faster, had less inequality and better general living standards.”
—once again, we’re not talking about “back then”. Can’t change “back then”. It’s water under bridge. China is what it is today because of everything that happened in the past, good and bad. If you want to give some thanks to CCP authoritarianism (for some of the good and some of the bad), that’s your prerogative. But moving forward, the point is that authoritarianism should not be required for much longer, if at all.

“Likewise, democracy has similarly outlived its usefulness. I can understand democracy at the local level (5-10 million people at most or a single city) but beyond that it becomes inefficient and arbitrary.”
—I can’t see how that can be the case, since China hasn’t tried it yet. But like I’ve said many times, I’d be happy to let Chinese people decide on how they would apply the principle for themselves. Far be it for me to tell them what to do.

December 5, 2011 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

I’m talking to Cheung, Cookie Monster.

December 5, 2011 @ 2:32 pm | Comment

To JR 197:
“I’d still believe that democracy is a value in itself.”
—indeed. I suspect Chinese people would also.

To 198:
whatever metric a non-Chinese chooses won’t matter. Chinese people aren’t waiting on a magic number.

December 5, 2011 @ 2:40 pm | Comment

Forgive me if someone brought this up already, I did actually go through much of the thread, but got glassy eyed at CM and SK, even when I was in agreement…

How about at least implementing a system for nested comments? That way SK and CM can have their little kumite with a nifty little plus minus to collapse or read?

December 6, 2011 @ 12:11 am | Comment

I agree that these long back-and-forths can be mind-numbing, and I wish everyone could make their points and then agree to disagree as opposed to rehashing the fine points. Nested comments would be great but right now I don’t have the time or energy to make the change.

December 6, 2011 @ 12:36 am | Comment

justrecently
I’m talking to Cheung, Cookie Monster.

Then dry up your tears and send him an e-mail.

December 6, 2011 @ 3:21 am | Comment

To be short, SK, the problem with democracy is that it’s always arbitrary. One thing that has always dogged the system is the BS metric used to deem who is and who is not a citizen. Once a democratic polity is established over some geographic space minorities are typically marginalized. This is why gerrymandering and redrawing city districts are such a major political issue.

If China were to become democratic, they could (rightfully) vote to deport the “Uighur” back to Uzbekistan where they came from in the 1800s, or choose to turn Tibet into a full-blown Disneyland and whore it out to Western sexpats ala Thailand. People 2,000 miles away from Tibet could dictate policy over an arbitrary distance set by imaginary lines.

Yet, it stands to reason that your typical person could care less what happens 2,000 miles away. They have little invested in any outcome as they’re not likely to experience the consequences of whatever policies they enact through sheer demographic heft. No group should be rewarded with the power to interfere with the lives of others they don’t care about for simply having a lot of people concentrated in a small geographic area.

In America, as an example, this is counteracted by another idiotic state of affairs that grants states with small populations disproportionate power, which leads in effective to the funneling of trillions (in Federal Taxes) from blue states to red states on a yearly basis. It’s a subsidy for backwardness and incompetence.

why would you presume this? It’s assumed that CHinese people place a premium on economic development.

Because history has shown this to be true. Democratically elected politicians have a tendency to want to just get in, make a quick buck, and get out – or service some insane ideology like theocracy or Market Fundamentalism. Foreign companies find it easier to bribe officials that have no real long-term vested interest in the well-being of the people they’re supposed to look after. This happens even in well-educated democracies. This is especially the case when you consider campaigns are expensive (especially in large nations) and thus candidates are typically rich or connected to money.

The way you put it – that you hope China will transition into “democracy” – sounds partially agreeable if you just mean rule of law and transparency. Though really, they’re not by definition part of the package. Singapore and Taiwan cleaned up their governments long before they were nominally democratic, though Singapore isn’t really democratic in the sense that the West wants it to be.

It should be noted that as soon as the ROC government allowed the public to choose a president, what would be the legitimate coalition was thwarted by infighting, and the second election was most likely won through deception. Despite what non-Taiwanese like Michael may say, the Chen government was worthless and utterly corrupt and Taiwan’s growth was far under what it should have been.

The best argument for democracy would be democracies doing well, but so far there has only been evidence of them failing.

December 6, 2011 @ 3:46 am | Comment

You are hypersensitive, Cookie Monster, and I’m a very patient man. I won’t have a discussion with you – that’s for your information, and a repeated service on my part. Thank you.

December 6, 2011 @ 5:17 am | Comment

Citizenship is arbitrary, in the sense that it is a man-made concept with man-made definitions. But if we go by that, almost all things, including national borders, are arbitrary, since those are man-made constructs as well. I don’t see how democracy as a system of governance is hamstrung by issues of “citizenship”. The PRC has rules for citizenship now. It is true that citizens are entitled to more things than non-citizens. But nothing needs to change in that regard in a transition to democracy.

It may be true, in a simple majority rule-in-isolation construct, that minority rights stand the chance of being usurped. But as I’ve explained previously, “democracy” as a system of governance is not majority rule-in-isolation. One other requirement is a constitution, through which the rights of all peoples (minorities or otherwise) are enshrined, and to which laws made by the majority must respect.

In that way, if Uyghur or Tibetan descendants are PRC citizens, there is no grounds whatsoever for “deportation”. I have no idea how or from where you came up with that one.

Politics are local, and people are usually more concerned with what directly affects them than more distant issues. But again, how is that different from the status quo? Tibetans are being dictated to from 2000 miles away as it is. Democracy would be no worse. But it would be better locally at least, because Tibetans (geographic, not ethnic) would get to decide what happens to Tibetans (again, geographic, not ethnic).

It’s ironic that you would argue against how smaller states have “disproportionate” powers in some arenas ( I presume you’re talking about the Senate where every state gets 2 senators regardless of size; and perhaps Electoral College to a lesser extent; but certainly not the House, where more populous states have more Representatives). By my understanding (though I’m not American), the founding fathers did that precisely to combat smaller states being trampled by the “will of the majority”. So on the one hand, you like to bring out “mob rule” every chance you get, but on the other, you complain of small states with disproportionate powers. You seem to be arguing both sides here.

On what basis do you suggest that democracy is structurally more prone to bribery and corruption than the CCP? It goes without saying that the CCP has a bad case of that. Humans can be tempted. The distinction is not in the governing philosophy they espouse, but in the systematic checks and balances in place to prevent or punish such behaviour (read rule of law). And that is one of those areas where the CCP is sorely lacking.

It is true that Singapore is not “democratic” in the way that i would understand the concept. But it seems to be moving in that direction like Taiwan and SK before it. Singapore may reach that point yet, if the most recent election is to be taken as any sort of trend. Hopefully, China will start on that road soon, and get there eventually.

December 6, 2011 @ 5:23 am | Comment

justrecently
You are hypersensitive, Cookie Monster, and I’m a very patient man. I won’t have a discussion with you – that’s for your information, and a repeated service on my part. Thank you.

Like I said, dry up your tears. I said my piece, the fact that you’re addressed doesn’t mean you’re the only one who is meant to read the message.

December 6, 2011 @ 6:20 am | Comment

SK, the point on citizenship and suffrage is that they’re arbitrary, even moreso than national borders which at least can make logistical sense. The nature of citizenship forces people into unnatural collectives they often don’t want any part of, or excludes people affected by policy from representation (e.g. those at the receiving end of military operations, foreign victims of domestic entities, etc).

I have embellished this with a lot of examples from the past where this exact failing has been used to abuse and disenfranchise a wide range of groups. Slaves in Athens, women, ethnic minorities, the poor, foreigners, etc.

The current discourse gives democracy far too much credit for representing the will of “the people”, when in reality the people most adversely affected by a government’s course of action tend not to have much say in what is done to them.

My point on the electoral college is that the founding fathers recognized inherent flaws in the democratic system and set up an undemocratic procedure that, today, far over-corrects some of its failings when employed. This resulted in the undemocratic election of George Bush in 2000. Adams and Hamilton have some interesting quotes on democracy if you want to Google them.

The difference between “Uighur” and Tibetans now is that now the CCP has treated them lightly and has a vested interest in holding onto Tibet (where the Tibetans are native) and Xinjiang (where the “Uighur” are squatters and the descendants of colonists) relatively peacefully. There would be nothing fundamentally undemocratic about stripping the “Uighur” totally of citizenship, and then putting them on reservations or deporting them to their region of origin – after charging their nation with war crimes and genocide.

So in essence, at the point where our arguments converge, democracy is a concept that fundamentally needs undemocratic checks against itself – rule and law is clearly separate, as the judicial branch often supercedes the will of the mob in democratic nations. No matter how you interpret this, it is a top-down, authoritarian dictat from a central government.

December 6, 2011 @ 6:37 am | Comment

We seem to agree that citizenship is arbitrary. But I don’t understand your displeasure with the concept. Are you suggesting that we do away with the concept altogether?

The concept of democracy is applied to a government, and a government governs a country. We are not talking about “global democracy” (whatever that might mean) or a borderless world…are we? You seem to be objecting to the international projection of power of certain democratically-governed countries. That is a reflection of the foreign policy of those countries, which could be construed as the pursuit of the interests of the people of that country. But how does that relate to the system of governance of that country? Unless you think that a different system of governance would bring with it a different set of priorities for the people, I don’t see how any of this is relevant. And if you did think that way, i would ask on what basis you do so. For instance, you might bring up (and have previously brought up) that Iraqis may not have asked for the US to overthrow Saddam, and that the will of the Iraqi people was not respected. But that’s not the purview of democracy as a system of governance in the US.

The founding fathers recognized that a simple majority rule had inherent flaws (likely the same ones you like to bring up), not that democracy had such flaws. Once again, democracy in practice is more than majority rule. But once again, you can’t take both sides. If you feel as you say here that the US system is inherently undemocratic, then all your earlier complaints about the US become irrelevant to a discussion about democracy, since the US would not be an example of democracy. On the other hand, if you choose to argue against the concept of democracy using the US as an example, then you need to stipulate that US democracy (like all functioning democracies) has a system of checks and balances in place to mitigate against the “mob rule” that you so enjoy yet abhor.

How the CCP currently treats Tibetans and Uyghurs is not some endorsement of the authoritarian way. It just is. But it wouldn’t be, and needn’t be, any different in a democratic China. How do you justify taking a person of Uyghur descent but who was born in China, and stripping him of PRC citizenship? That’s actually outrageous; forget about merely being fundamentally undemocratic. I have no idea how war crimes and genocide have anything to do with anything in this discussion, especially when we are talking about descendants.

As a functioning concept in practice, democracy is a concept that is much more than “majority rule”. It does require checks and balances. In fact, humans need checks and balances. In that regard, that is what authoritarianism sorely lacks, and what the CCP sorely needs. Any functioning democracy will have the rule of law, a constitution of relevance, and an independent judiciary. If you want to argue against a democratic system, you need to argue against a democratic system. Arguing against majority-rule in isolation is pointless, because no nation exists as majority-rule in isolation. You’d be arguing against an imaginary entity, which is where the pointlessness comes in. Even in a democracy, policies are conceived centrally that can affect people locally. The difference, however, is that said central government is placed in that position by the people, unlike the CCP.

December 6, 2011 @ 9:07 am | Comment

You are refusing to acknowledge that democracy just means majority rule, rule of law and everything else are embellishments. Even in the broadest sense, democracy is “rule by the people”. That’s it. The people aren’t of course inherently just, and constitution and rule of law has to be imposed to reign them in.

Citizenship in China is not jus soli, the vast majority of the “Uighur” there are thus anchor babies descended from mass murderers, squatters and colonists. It would be well within the rights of the Chinese state to expel them.

If you feel as you say here that the US system is inherently undemocratic

Not quite. I said undemocratic policies are needed to reign in the mob (and Hamilton and Adams specifically said so). There’s nothing fundamentally democratic about the Supreme Court striking down referendums. As Singapore shows, the mob rule aspect of democracy isn’t really necessary.

One of the many reasons why I bring up the poor conduct of democratic nations is to demonstrate that 1) China has little to gain from adopting any past or current version of democracy being made poor example of in other countries 2) the oft-cited canard (courtesy of Rummel) that democratic nations are peaceful is nonsense. Of course many realize this is total crap, but people who have a vested interest in the democracy propaganda (like Hillary Clinton) disregard the facts

December 6, 2011 @ 10:50 am | Comment

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/687107/Russian-democracy-receives-little-applause.aspx

“octavian

Monday, December 05, 2011 9:35 PM
China shouldn’t have Democracy. Ever.

The Chinese race is incapable of making a decision on their own. This is fact and is proven throughout China’s long history of dynastic rule. China’s brief experiment with democracy was a disaster.

Democracy isn’t for everyone, nor should it be. China should be and hopefully will always be an authoritarian nation; for the sake of the Chinese people and the world. “

December 6, 2011 @ 11:26 am | Comment

“Citizenship in China is not jus soli, the vast majority of the “Uighur” there are thus anchor babies descended from mass murderers, squatters and colonists. It would be well within the rights of the Chinese state to expel them.”

Apology revoked – and I’ll have that Kaoliang back as well. This is racist garbage.

December 6, 2011 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

To 211:
I am refusing to acknowledge that democracy just means majority rule for the simple reason that the statement is patently false. Once again, you are debating the word, as opposed to what is practiced in reality. If you think “democracy” as practiced in reality is only “majority-rule”, then you still have the unanswered challenge of providing an example of same, in reality. Also, if you truly believe that democracy is just “majority-rule”, then every single last one of your prior statements offered as examples of democracy are invalidated since those systems are comprised of more than just “majority-rule”. In particular, since it’s occurred most often, your statements about the US. I agree that a constitution and rule of law do have to be imposed, since people may not be innately just. But once again, the same applies to people in authoritarian regimes. They are, after all, people just the same. The difference, then, is that you have rule of law and constitutional protections in a functioning democratic society, whereas you don’t in an authoritarian one. You need look no further than CCP China for an exmaple of the latter.

I agree with FOARP. Your disgraceful bit about the Uyghur is racist garbage. Since it has nothing to do with the topic, I’ll just ignore it. But it’s disgusting nonetheless.

So let’s clear something up, then. Is the US a “democracy” in the form that you are arguing against? No point going further cuz you’re just dancing around the subject. Let’s pin you down to something, then we’ll talk.

Your discussion of the Supreme Court is a gross over-simplification. What does “fundamentally democratic” even mean? The judges are nominated by presidents that people elect. The judges are then approved by the Senate that the people elect. They are installed in their positions to uphold the laws passed by the representatives elected by the people, as well as the constitution devised by the founding fathers. Their role is enshrined in the functioning of democracy as practiced in the US. When they strike down a law or a referendum result, they are discharging the duties vested in them by the democratic system of the US. Again, it’s a system; not just “majority-rule” in isolation.

What Chinese people have to gain from democracy is up to Chinese people to decide. How Chinese people choose to implement democracy is also up to them to decide, and they are not bound by the concepts you insist upon (thankfully). Whether democracy is inherently “peaceful” is irrelevant to a decision by people on how they choose to be governed.

December 6, 2011 @ 1:40 pm | Comment

Wow, glad to see that things haven’t changed much here over my absence. Good to be back, though.

December 6, 2011 @ 3:28 pm | Comment

@foarp

Yeah, and there’s that whole part where Han settlers have moved in en masse to the traditional Uighur homeland. Yeah, I know that Han people and the Chinese state have had a presence and a ruling authority in Xinjiang since the Qing Dynasty. But Han people certainly were not the majority population or the majority culture until the last couple decades. It’s pretty heinous to both condone Han settlement of traditionally Uighur lands and condemn Uighurs as mass murderers depositing anchor babies hither and yon.

I was in Xinjiang in 2009 (before the riots) and it is truly one of the most fascinating places I have ever been. The Uighurs I talked to have a whole range of sentiments about their place in China. One of the more interesting, brief encounters I had was with a Uighur waiter in a restaurant in Urumuqi. I made a reference to Chinese or Chinese people — can’t recall now — and he corrected me gently, saying that what I referred to was “Han” — Han language. Han people. “We Uighurs are Chinese also,” he said.

Obviously not all Uighurs share this sentiment. But certainly blatant racism, whereby only Han (and Han-appearing “ethnic minorities”) are considered “Chinese” doesn’t encourage any visions of a pan-ethnic Chinese state.

And if this post gets a bunch of factoids and anecdotes about how racist the US is, well, you know, tell me something I don’t know. You can say all that and yet try pointing to other societies that have done a better job. You know one of the reasons I love and live in my birthplace, the state of California? Because it’s a genuinely multicultural, multi-ethnic state, and my life is infinitely richer because of it. And so is California.

(No dissing of my state. I’ll cut y’all! :D )

December 6, 2011 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

@Other Lisa – My big sis did her post-doc at UC Riverside (situated in a town about which 2Pac had something NSFW to say) and wasn’t all that jazzed with LA, although she loved Tahoe and San Fran.

RE: Xinjiang. My experience is mixed – I spent a delightful 元宵节 with a teacher friend of mine in Nanjing back in 2004 who had invited the local Imam/Mufti (not sure which) who was of the Hui minority, as well as a relative who was a colonel in the PLA and others. Both the Imam and the PLA colonel spoke of their visits to Xinjiang and their appreciation of the local culture, and we all enjoyed a delicious halal meal cooked by my non-muslim friend. However, the talk in most parts of China was and is mostly on the theme of how the people from Xinjiang are vicious thieves overly favoured by positive discrimination – opinions I have heard even university professors, lawyers, doctors etc. express.

Cookie’s views, however, are those of a disturbed person living in the United States, and who perhsp may never have even really met someone from Xinjiang.

December 6, 2011 @ 5:19 pm | Comment

@Mike Goldthorpe

Reverse psychology, eh?

@FOARP
Apology revoked – and I’ll have that Kaoliang back as well. This is racist garbage.

So it was racist to expel Germans from Poland? Should we demand that the Third Reich return to Eastern Europe? People say the same thing about the volunteer doctors and teachers in Tibet all the time, yet I don’t see anyone pulling the race card.

@SK Cheung
I am refusing to acknowledge that democracy just means majority rule for the simple reason that the statement is patently false.

Except democracy is simply majority rule. You can have democracy and rule of law, but it’s democracy and rule of law – they don’t come together. In the parlance of Freedom House, democracies without rule of law are called “flawed democracies”. They’re still democracies.

Also, if you truly believe that democracy is just “majority-rule”, then every single last one of your prior statements offered as examples of democracy are invalidated since those systems are comprised of more than just “majority-rule”.

Not at all. I bring up the bad influence majority rule has, and then cite the authoritarianism of laws as something that reigns the electorate in.

Your discussion of the Supreme Court is a gross over-simplification. What does “fundamentally democratic” even mean? The judges are nominated by presidents that people elect. The judges are then approved by the Senate that the people elect. They are installed in their positions to uphold the laws passed by the representatives elected by the people

Lets further elaborate – the President is elected by a majority of people dominated by a very limited number of corporate news outlets, and his wheels are greased by special interests. The President then selects a judge out of a list his political party approves of. The Senate, overwhelmingly derived from a rich minority, approves of them. Then the Representatives, often put into power (in America’s case) Bible-thumping degenerates, passes laws that few people even bother to read. That’s the unabridged version.

What Chinese people have to gain from democracy is up to Chinese people to decide. How Chinese people choose to implement democracy is also up to them to decide, and they are not bound by the concepts you insist upon (thankfully).

Whether democracy is inherently “peaceful” is irrelevant to a decision by people on how they choose to be governed.

The guns and tanks of the PLA say otherwise. If you throw morality out the window, we’re back at square one – might makes right, or numbers make right. What I want is the most autonomy for individual Chinese as possible, NOT arbitrary power in the hands of a fickle majority influenced by special interests.

Ideally democracy could make sense at the local level (a few million, tops). Any higher level of government would exist solely to resolve conflicts, collectively bargain, manage foreign affairs and coordinate resources efficiently.

December 7, 2011 @ 7:48 am | Comment

@Other Lisa
Yeah, and there’s that whole part where Han settlers have moved in en masse to the traditional Uighur homeland.

There’s so much wrong with this statement that I don’t even know where to begin. The Uighur originate from Siberia. But there is little ethnic continuity between the Uighur of old and the Uighur of today. For hundredof years the Uighur were officially extinct until it was revived by the Soviets and applied indiscriminately to random Central Asians around Uzbekistan.

Not only is Xinjiang not the homeland of the Old Uighur, it’s not the homeland of the Soviet Uighur. The Han predate the former by centuries. But I am not arguing that Han Chinese are “natives”.

But Han people certainly were not the majority population or the majority culture until the last couple decades.

Before then the dominant power (and majority population) was Dzungars. Then the Manchus took the Khalkhas and killed them all, and encouraged Han and others to settle the area. Then the Uzbeks came in in the 1860s, murdered around 7 million civilians of non-Uighur descent, and now some of their descendants claim the ENTIRE thing as part of their Sublime Islamic Empire – where the “racially inferior” non-Uighur should not be allowed to live.

But certainly blatant racism, whereby only Han (and Han-appearing “ethnic minorities”)

It’s ironic that the tension between Uighur and Kazakh, Uighur and Hui, Uighur and Han, Uighur and Tibetan, Uighur and Mongol, Uighur and Manchu should simply be dismissed as racism while in the same breath you seem to imply (and I don’t think you’re doing it deliberately) that the Han Chinese and all non-Uighur minorities comprise an unvarying morass of interchangeable faces. There is vast variation within the Han ethnicity alone, as there is among Tibetans and Hmong.

Because it’s a genuinely multicultural, multi-ethnic state, and my life is infinitely richer because of it. And so is California.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it genuinely multicultural. Cali like most other “multicultural” areas of the US is vastly segregated at least by class, but mostly by race. I’m sure well-off, educated white liberals may experience something else altogether but the typical black or Hispanic with all of $5,000 under their household’s name are unlikely to have such a rosy view of Cali’s “diversity”.

I don’t even need to mention the US because the Uighur themselves contain within their group such racist, supremacist, kaffir and non-Uighur-hating rage (including against their “fellow” Turkic Muslims, the Kazakhs) that it alone satisfies the point.

December 7, 2011 @ 7:58 am | Comment

FOARP
However, the talk in most parts of China was and is mostly on the theme of how the people from Xinjiang are vicious thieves overly favoured by positive discrimination – opinions I have heard even university professors, lawyers, doctors etc. express.

Certainly sounds like the “liberal” type. If you ask a Kazakh or a Hui, you might hear (unfairly) that they’re also insular bigots. All that needs to be said is that in the Urumqi Riots, only one Uighur female (and no children) was among the dead. As for the Han, Hui and one Kazakh who were killed? Take a look at the pictures yourself.

And are you surprised? The way they became the “majority” in the first place was by murdering 7 million civilians, something you (and Lisa) are not terribly bothered by.

Cookie’s views, however, are those of a disturbed person living in the United States, and who perhsp may never have even really met someone from Xinjiang.

My views tend to fairness. That’s why I don’t advocate harming the Uighur, just a gentle encouragement for them to return to their true homeland, Uzbekistan. Perhaps they could work something out with the Uzbeks – any Uighur that hates the Han and Hui can be paid to leave. There they don’t have to be vexed by horrible Han Chinese who have the audacity to live in cities founded by Han Emperors, like Urumqi.

December 7, 2011 @ 8:07 am | Comment

“That’s why I don’t advocate harming the Uighur, just a gentle encouragement for them to return to their true homeland, Uzbekistan. Perhaps they could work something out with the Uzbeks – any Uighur that hates the Han and Hui can be paid to leave.”

http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/09/02/china-account-forcibly-returned-uighurs

Seems when they do try to leave, the CCP asks for them to come back….

December 7, 2011 @ 8:44 am | Comment

What do you expect from Communists?

December 7, 2011 @ 8:54 am | Comment

To 218:
Democracy is “majority rule” only in a dictionary; not in reality. In fact, if democracy was nothing more than “majority rule”, people would call it “majority rule” and be done with it. Of course, in reality it’s a little more involved than just majority rule. That seems to be a fact you are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge. Which is fine. However, I imagine Chinese people won’t be confining themselves to a dictionary, and their opinion is much more important anyway.

Democracy and rule of law absolutely co-exist in functional systems. The challenge to you remains, to name a “democracy” in real life that is majority-rule in isolation and nothing more. But if you want to make a distinction with “flawed democracies”, then that is not what people are talking about for China. Why would you even discuss a system for CHina that is recognized as flawed? If Chinese people are to consider democracy, surely they would know better than to look to a “flawed” one for guidance. But at the very least, democracy can exist without flaws, if absence of rule of law can be considered one such flaw. On the other hand, authoritarianism would be by definition flawed, since it can’t co-exist with rule of law.

If you can stipulate that in a democratic society, laws are needed to “reign people in” from the “bad influence” of “majority rule”, then you’ve just stipulated that democratic society is more than majority rule alone. And you’ve yet to answer the direct question of what you exactly categorize the US as. Like I’ve said several times already, you can’t have it both ways. The logic is not complicated. So to review, if you insist that democracy is “majority-rule” alone, then all your criticisms of democracy are founded on imaginary entities since none of the countries you’ve mentioned in the past have “majority-rule” in isolation. But if you insist that criticism of the US (as one example) is criticism of a democratic system, then you have to stipulate that democracy is more than just “majority-rule”, because the US is more than majority rule (and you’ve even brought up Electoral College and the Supreme Court yourself). Either way, your argument is royally screwed. The choice is yours, unpleasant as it must be.

In this day and age, whining about media limitations is really a bit much. Especially in the US. In China, that’s a different story, where independent candidates can find themselves losing their internet service and having their weibo accounts deleted. It is true that in the US, not everyone can be President, or a Senator, or a Congressman. However, it’s infinitely better than in China, where, if you’re not a CCP approved candidate, you can even stand for lowest level elections without official harassment and intimidation. Is the US system perfect? No. BUt it’s infinitely better than the CCP authoritarian one. And ultimately, whether a democratic system of some form is good enough for Chinese people will be up to CHinese people to decide. Your “unabridged” version is nothing more than the usual Kool-Aid, and doesn’t address the point that the Supreme Court is very much an institution of the American democratic system as conceived by the founding fathers. You were trying to argue that the Court is somehow undemocratic, but your kool-aid certainly doesn’t cut it.

Yes, we’ve already seen what the PLA can do to Chinese people. I imagine they got the message, even if certain events officially never occurred. This would be part of the CCP’s moral deficit in comparison to the US. Her legitimacy, if one can call it that, is predicated on the threat of violence. And that’s even when dealing with her own people. No wonder her neighbours are wary of what she might be capable of with foreigners. Morality is very much in play. The difference is that in a democracy, it is possible for the people’s moral values to be reflected by their government, whereas in an authoritarian government, it is not.

December 7, 2011 @ 11:33 am | Comment

BTW, you do not want “arbitrary power in the hands of a fickle majority influenced by special interests”. But you’d rather have absolute power in the hands of an unelected minority motivated by personal interests of hanging onto power at all costs. Yeah, that makes sense. But enough of what you want. What about what Chinese people want? Does that come into play, even a teensy little bit?

December 7, 2011 @ 11:39 am | Comment

SK Cheung
Democracy is “majority rule” only in a dictionary; not in reality. In fact, if democracy was nothing more than “majority rule”, people would call it “majority rule” and be done with it.

They still prefer “democracy” for short. That’s the point of the word, of course. But take it instead from Hamilton:

“It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.

Speech in New York, urging ratification of the U.S. Constitution”

What you are thinking of is not a “pure democracy”. What you’re thinking of is some kind of hybrid of democracy and “legalist” authoritarianism.

Democracy and rule of law absolutely co-exist in functional systems. The challenge to you remains, to name a “democracy” in real life that is majority-rule in isolation and nothing more.

Democracy and rule of law absolutely are unrelated. Freedom House’s nomenclature is nothing more than brazen agitprop for democratic evangelism – an extended “No true Scotsman” fallacy. Democracies are labeled such after the fact, especially relevant as China stands to lose a lot at this particular moment (perhaps less so in the future). Unlike Freedom House, China can’t merely discard integrity and logic and skip from point A to point C.

You can say that an ideal democratic government has rule of law, but that doesn’t mean rule of law is exclusive to democracy (the angle I’m hearing) or inherent in democracies. History and modern day examples show otherwise and repudiate such claims. So what you should really be asking me is “name a real/ideal democracy”. I wouldn’t be able to. China can’t bank its future on an unproven ideal.

On the other hand, authoritarianism would be by definition flawed, since it can’t co-exist with rule of law.

Again, not really true. Singapore stands starkly as proof against this assertion unless you want to get really subjective. Rule of law in actuality is simply a very basic expression of authoritarianism.

And you’ve yet to answer the direct question of what you exactly categorize the US as.

I and most others characterize the US as a republic. It has some democratic elements and some non-democratic elements. Specifically, the founding fathers rejected “pure democracy” as absurd, and recent events have vindicated them.

My point is simply that democracy as defined not only by dictionaries, encyclopedias and the thinkers who developed the concept itself, is that in practice it’s very, very far from the progressive ideal you and many others have of it.

I am not arguing that authoritarianism is inherently good, just that it has its advantages and disadvantages and is really no better or worse than democracy. Right now China can benefit from authoritarian rule. They’d be no better off at best with a transition to democracy, and at worst it will completely derail the nation’s progress.

Especially in the US. In China …

Comparison noted.

Is the US system perfect? No. BUt it’s infinitely better than the CCP authoritarian one.

Again, completely unproven. There is no example in history of any major democracy developing as a near “ideal” democracy from the start. You admitted before that the CCP has delivered economically, financially, technologically and otherwise. You’re basically condemning the CCP for creating the conditions necessary to transition into a democratic state.

Your “unabridged” version is nothing more than the usual Kool-Aid

Another unsubstantiated claim, thrown in with your standard ad hominems.

This would be part of the CCP’s moral deficit in comparison to the US.

We’ve already established that you don’t take into account the lives of non-citizens when you’re judging moral deficits or surpluses, so we can disregard this as empty rhetoric.

BTW, you do not want “arbitrary power in the hands of a fickle majority influenced by special interests”. But you’d rather have absolute power in the hands of an unelected minority motivated by personal interests of hanging onto power at all costs.

Not really. If China were a democracy today and doing well I would oppose a transition into authoritarianism just as vehemently. What I see the problem as is potential destabilization. But China isn’t a democracy, it’s being run by the CCP – and rather well, in fact.

I’m arguing against the elevated position of democracy in political discourse, not against the fact that authoritarian rule has many flaws. The key distinction is that authoritarians don’t pretend their government is anything near perfect or ideal in order to sell it to the world at large (and cover for some nice violent profiteering at the same time).

But I’m not going to keep repeating myself. I think we can agree it’s best at this time to just watch what happens. I’m pretty sure my stance will be proven to be right one as time passes, as it almost always is.

December 7, 2011 @ 2:46 pm | Comment

* far from the progressive ideal you and many others hope for

December 7, 2011 @ 2:49 pm | Comment

To 225:
I would draw your attention to the fact that we are not in ancient times, and haven’t been for quite some time. And it seems Mr. Hamilton more than 200 years ago also realized that “pure democracy” isn’t “practicable”. In other words, democracy in practice is more than majority rule. So why are you still debating against democracy using an ancient construct, and one which the guy you quote realized centuries ago to not be rooted in reality?

I was never arguing for a “pure democracy”. I have mentioned democracy in the context of a functioning system that exists in reality, not one out of a dictionary or which existed a few thousands of years ago. On the other hand, it seems you’ve been busy arguing against “pure democracy”. Given that you’re the one to bring up Hamilton’s quote, one really wonders why.

So let me get this straight: earlier in the day, you’re happy to trot out Freedom House for a definition of “flawed democracy”. Later that same day, suddenly Freedom House nomenclature has lost its lustre. Do you flip-flop like this regularly? Whether democracies are labelled as such or not, and whether affixing of said label occurs at one time or another, is rather irrelevant. Like I said before, if you took the CCP system, removed the bad stuff and instilled the fundamentals of a democratic system, but still wanted to call it “authoritarianism”, who cares? I don’t think Chinese people would be too bothered by it. So no, rule of law needn’t absolutely be exclusive to a democratic system. If an authoritarian system can institute, respect, and uphold the rule of law, that would be great. I’m not so sure that would still be authoritarianism in the way I understand it, but the name hardly matters. Heck, the CCP is apparently still communist, when it is clearly not. I wouldn’t get too hung up with names.

Now, if you can’t name a “real/ideal democracy”, then what on earth have you been doing with all those reams of rants about “democracy” and “majority rule”? You’ve perhaps offered cautionary tales, like “don’t become like the USA”. But I think CHinese people can figure that out for themselves. If you can’t name one, then by your own admission, all this time, you’ve yet to provide any reason why China shouldn’t or can’t become one.

Singapore is not like CCP CHina for many reasons, especially now. Orders of magnitude difference in size. Singapore is moving away from authoritarian/single family rule. And I think you’re confusing “rule of law” with “rule by law”. Authoritarian states have plenty of the latter. But they’re incapable of the former.

OK, so the US is a “republic”. That’s fair. So really, what you’ve spent the majority of time establishing is that, in your opinion, China shouldn’t move towards being a republic. If they so choose, CHinese people can take that under advisement. And I don’t think anyone, including Chinese people, are talking about “pure democracy”. So you really needn’t worry your little heart out about that. I think Chinese people are best suited to judge whether they can continue to benefit from authoritarianism, or whether they would be better off with their version of a democratic system.

China is no longer “at the start”. It has developed for 30 years, and has the second largest economy in the world. THe CCP was around correlatively for the past 30 years of development. At some point, it will be up to the CHinese people to decide whether the CCP’s continued correlative presence is required. If China becomes a state governed by a democratic system, it will not be making the transition “from the start”. I am in no way condemning the CCP for creating the conditions necessary for transition. In fact, i don’t give them much credit for it, and especially not in comparison to the role of capitalism in the process. As I said before, whatever role you feel the CCP played, you can give them thanks for it. BUt if CHinese people decide that their presence is no longer necessary, then it is no longer necessary.

Now, it’s time to set up some further parameters. Are you talking about global governance and doing away with national borders? How do you justify judging the system of governance of one country on how it treats people NOT in that country? Morality, perhaps like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Doesn’t do much good to profess yourself to be moral, or beautiful; far more persuasive if someone else bestows that recognition upon you. And that’s what happened at the Asian summit for the US, and what didn’t happen for China. China has a moral deficit to the US because that’s how she is perceived. Likely, that perception starts by observing how the CCP treats her own people (and that already takes into account the education gains, life-expectancy increases, yada yada that you like to list, so just imagine what the negative side of the ledger must look like).

I highly doubt that a country flourishing under a democratic system would be clamouring for conversion to authoritarianism, so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that hypothetical. But would a country flourishing in the midst of authoritarianism seek a change to a democratic system? Now that is a much more realistic possibility. And one that Chinese people should be allowed to explore, if they so choose. I would agree though that authoritarianism does not have many attractive features that would motivate people to make a switch in its direction. THe only question for Chinese people is whether it has enough redeeming qualities to let it hang around for much longer. For that, I’d happily let Chinese people make the determination, since they’re the people most affected by it.

December 7, 2011 @ 3:54 pm | Comment

I will admit right now that I don’t know my Xinjiang history very well at all (which I admitted above), although I am aware that Uighurs are migrants there as well as Han. But certainly the Uighurs were a cultural majority in recent history until the last couple decades with the Han resettlement.

I had a lot of really amazing experiences there, including one memorable evening with the Uighur VP of a university, several Hui Muslims, Han friends from various parts of China, in a Kazak restaurant with a lot of crazy toasting and dancing. This isn’t to minimize the very real ethnic tensions there, and I’d never excuse the horrific violence that went on during the riots, which was largely committed by Uighurs, though there’s also a lot of talk about the actions of the riot police and how much violence they provoked.

Anyway, that’s almost beside the point. That is if I knew what the point was.

I guess I don’t really get what it is that you want, CM. Is it Chinese supremacy, meaning, Han supremacy? Is that it? It doesn’t seem to me that your vision of China has room for people who are not Han in it.

I live on a block with African Americans, Mexican-born Latinos, Mexican Americans and white folk, for what it’s worth. Yeah, there is a lot of segregation in California, and you can argue about the percentage of it that’s class-based versus race-based and of course the role that race plays in class as well. But I like where I live. I like that I can walk down the street and see people who don’t look like me and who bring different experiences to the table. I like that I live in a state with a large Asian population, where when I visit my sister in San Francisco, the street signs in her neighborhood are in English and Chinese.

Yeah, we have a lot of problems. If you’re going to talk about income disparity you can also throw in the difference between what men earn and what women earn while you’re at it. But I try to appreciate the good that’s around me, because if I just focus on the bad shit 24/7 I might as well stay in bed or shoot myself.

@FOARP, Riverside is…uh…well, the Inland Empire is pretty sad in a lot of ways. And Los Angeles is a difficult place to get a handle on. I love my part of it but there are huge swathes I could take or leave. San Francisco is a wonderful city. And of course there’s so much natural beauty here.

And hey, we’re still the 7th or 8th largest economy in the world. CA is one of those places that’s in the center of a lot of different things. I like that. One of the reasons Beijing is still near and dear to me, in spite of its downsides.

December 7, 2011 @ 5:05 pm | Comment

Other Lisa,

“the street signs in her neighborhood are in English and Chinese.”

Just curious, what if there is request from every ethnic to have street sign in their own language, what would your government do?

December 7, 2011 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

That self victimizing reflex is only a cover for racism used by many nationalists around the world. Every group or tribe has done bad things in the past, it does not mean you should be racist to them right now or tell them to go back to some other country. Han people started in villages around the Yellow river, everyone can tell them to go back there? Diversity and multiculturalism are essential for any large, successful country, and it does not mean to play the endless blame game on who did what, but to be tolerant in the moment.

December 7, 2011 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
I was never arguing for a “pure democracy”.

And I was never arguing against it. I’m arguing against what it is in reality, and identifying the component that is the problem.

So let me get this straight: earlier in the day, you’re happy to trot out Freedom House for a definition of “flawed democracy”.

You don’t have it straight. I have always had the utmost contempt for the shills at Freedom House. I brought them up at first to explain even the most shameless pro-West propaganda arms call places like Haiti and India democracies.

then what on earth have you been doing with all those reams of rants about “democracy” and “majority rule”?

I have been arguing about these aspects of the governments you are championing. Just for the sake of clarification, which democracies do you think are exemplary?

I think Chinese people are best suited to judge whether they can continue to benefit from authoritarianism, or whether they would be better off with their version of a democratic system.

Again, ideally it would be the “Chinese people deciding”. In reality, even with a gradual “democratization”, the CCP would still hold on to a lot of power through the PLA, media, former SOEs, and a network of wealthy party strongmen. It would take civil war to dissolve this power structure. In short, I don’t see anything even approaching your ideal coming into fruition for a long, long time.

How do you justify judging the system of governance of one country on how it treats people NOT in that country?

How can you not? Take a look at how the Iraqi Farce came to be. The people were harangued by a non-neutral media into voting for a disastrous war that is absolutely against their OWN interests, much less that of the typical Iraqis. And this isn’t even the first or the worst atrocity America has committed overseas in the name of the unproven ideal of democracy.

And that’s what happened at the Asian summit for the US, and what didn’t happen for China

Again, the opinions of any group of nations with no authority is irrelevant. Ad populum.

China has a moral deficit to the US because that’s how she is perceived.

I prefer to think of it this way: China, on balanced, has saved untold hundreds of millions of lives. The US, on balance, has destroyed untold tens of millions of lives. Popularity contests are good too, I guess.

December 8, 2011 @ 3:38 am | Comment

In my experience, virtually every blog or media outlet on which non-Chinese display the temerity to discuss Chinese affairs and which does not have a strict comment policy swiftly becomes a Pug_sterpalloozza of a Troll Fest. (Hell on most of them, pug_ster actually leads the charge!) One exception that comes to mind is China Law Blog, but they tend to focus on specialist topics and appear to moderate comments.

I prefer to think of Cookie Monster not as a troll but as a correspondent from some parallel universe of the type Lewis Carroll might have written about.

December 8, 2011 @ 5:14 am | Comment

You do love your fairy tales, after all.

Other Lisa
I will admit right now that I don’t know my Xinjiang history very well at all (which I admitted above), although I am aware that Uighurs are migrants there as well as Han. But certainly the Uighurs were a cultural majority in recent history until the last couple decades with the Han resettlement.

They only became a majority through mass murder. I know you mean well, but I can hardly imagine you trying to justify a continued Nazi presence in Eastern Europe today. They’re essentially the same thing.

I guess I don’t really get what it is that you want, CM. Is it Chinese supremacy, meaning, Han supremacy? Is that it? It doesn’t seem to me that your vision of China has room for people who are not Han in it.

Note that I mentioned that most other minority groups dislike the Uighur, to put it lightly. For some reason, of the “56 official” (more like 70 non-official with infinitely more subdivisions) ethnic groups in China, only the Uighur seem to have a problem with chronically hating everyone that’s not exactly like them.

Not surprisingly, they’re also the latest to arrive anywhere in China and the only ones who have established their presence through genocide. The other “non-Han” groups, including the Tibetans, are indigenous.

So yes, I have an issue with a non-indigenous mass of people expropriating the name and history of an unrelated and more prestigious group, revising history, and gloating about genocide.

I like that I can walk down the street and see people who don’t look like me and who bring different experiences to the table.

This is true for many places in China as well, even if whites think all “Asians” “look the same”.

@lavochkin
That self victimizing reflex is only a cover for racism used by many nationalists around the world.

No, Slavs use self-victimizing as a cover for their racism. Non-Uighurs are simply passing a valid judgment.

Every group or tribe has done bad things in the past, it does not mean you should be racist to them right now or tell them to go back to some other country.

Mass murderers should not be rewarded with land they have no rightful claim to and don’t deserve, especially if they’re still racist and believe in the supremacy of their religion. The Urumqi Riots showed that the “Uighur” have not changed in 150 years, the ability to fly into the streets (of a Han city, founded by a Han emperor) and wage race war and jihad against women and babies is still very much a part of their lovely enriching culture.

Han people started in villages around the Yellow river, everyone can tell them to go back there?

Except the “Han” today are mostly descendants of “natives”. The Han didn’t start around the Yellow River, the Huaxia did. The Han ethnicity embraces hundreds of millions of very different backgrounds.

Diversity and multiculturalism are essential for any large, successful country, and it does not mean to play the endless blame game on who did what, but to be tolerant in the moment.

Nonsense. Diversity and multiculturalism are something that need to be dealt with if necessary, but overwhelmingly bad when you already have a good culture to begin with.

December 8, 2011 @ 5:55 am | Comment

@Rahn, comment 229 (229 comments+?? Wow…)
Streetsigns in multiculti countries tend to reflect the dominant minorities…if they are put up in the other languages. Bradford has a lot of signs in Urdu on the shop fronts. Auckland has signs in Chinese and Korean as well as English. Generally you get bilingual signs if the area is like a “Chinatown” or “Little Italy” or Little Korea” – if you get my drift. Think Chinese and Manchu signs in the Forbidden City ;-)
The form for voting here in NZ was in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Arabic, Korean, what I assume is Hindi and I think another language.

I think trolls generally just want to argue for the sake of it. They’ll immediately take the opposite view even if it is patently absurd. Some of the arguments used to justify stuff are real doozies – really take the biscuit, if you pardon the pun ;-) Still, interesting to see how utterly stupid some people really try hard to be ;-D

December 8, 2011 @ 6:03 am | Comment

@ justrecently #194: Thanks for the comment. I missed it as it was caught between an endless barrage of, shall we say, a mild disagreement between two folks. I’m glassy-eyed… mind numbed… can’t take it anymore.

December 8, 2011 @ 6:10 am | Comment

To 231:
OK, so apparently you’re not arguing against “pure democracy”. So you repeatedly bring up “mob rule” as being the problem part of democracy. However, when the potential for “mob rule” is already constrained by a constitution, the courts, and the rule of law, how is it a problem in the context of a democratic system as a whole? Notice also that by acknowledging that you are not arguing against pure democracy, there is no point in bringing up “majority rule” in isolation, since you are also acknowledging that functional democracies are more than majority rule alone. The process is slow, but it seems you are slowly coming around to a more reasonable position, whether you are aware of it or not. But logic is a powerful thing.

Indeed, Haiti is a flawed democracy. India perhaps was, at one time. In any event, I imagine Chinese people will be wise enough to not emulate or re-create the Haitian situation of today, or the Indian situation of years ago. Your interjections might serve as a cautionary tale against flawed democracy, but not against democracy in general (as a system).

Since when did I champion simple “majority rule”? I have said all along that a democratic system requires several institutions above and beyond majority rule. You’re the one who has been slow to grasp the concept. I don’t know if any particular iteration of democracy can be “exemplary”, since each nation has unique features that may be better served by one version of the democratic system than another. Likewise, i’ve always said that China need not be bound by any particular system from any particular country, since China’s uniqueness is beyond compare. That said, I think the German and Canadian systems are currently functioning well.

I can’t predict the specifics of the eventual democratization of China. If there are to be vestiges of the CCP, SOEs, yada yada, are those reasons to simply maintain the status quo? Once again, that’s up to Chinese people. Powerful party strongmen is hardly something new. Even if the immediate aftermath of change doesn’t look drastically different right away, are the prospects of eventual change and continued improvement enough to compel Chinese people to make that change anyway? Again, that’s a question for them.

As I’ve said before, Americans going into Iraq is not an example of failed democracy. Now, the Americans were wrong in hindsight. But if you believe that they acted at the time with the best interests of American citizens in mind, then democracy has nothing to do with it. The American democratic system serves Americans, first and foremost. A democratic government can be wrong in their judgments and make poor decisions without impugning its own democratic nature. The foreign policy of a democratic government does not in any way alter the fact that it is still a democratic government. Now, on what basis (at that time before the invasion) do you say that it was NOT in the US’ best interest?

What does this have to do with “the authority” of those SE Asian nations? Are they not entitled to their opinion? I’m not saying that just because they feel the US is more moral than China, it proves IN FACT that the US is more moral than China. Actually, there really is no such proof, either way. How do you “prove” morality? But in the opinion of SE Asian nations, there is no question that they feel China has a moral deficit compared to the US. And their feelings are whatever they want it to be. You may disagree with their opinion…but I doubt they’re losing sleep over it. If anything, considering the recent news releases, it seems China is quite exercised about the recent chain of events. Surprisingly, you seem not to be. I guess you’re not that tapped into what’s going on, which is not entirely surprising considering where you sit. I’m actually encouraged by the CCP’s recognition of her moral deficit. Identifying and recognizing a problem is usually the first step in eventually rectifying it.

Of course, you are entitled to your own opinion about the relative morality of the US and China. Who will care? I’m not sure.

December 8, 2011 @ 6:48 am | Comment

Of course, you are entitled to your own opinion about the relative morality of the US and China. Who will care? I’m not sure.

This is called “moral relativism”.

But in the opinion of SE Asian nations, there is no question that they feel China has a moral deficit compared to the US. And their feelings are whatever they want it to be. You may disagree with their opinion…but I doubt they’re losing sleep over it.

I doubt anyone is “losing sleep” over the opinion of a few opportunists and crony nations, either. This a moot point.

December 8, 2011 @ 7:06 am | Comment

SE Asian nations feel that CHina has a moral deficit. You don’t care about the opinion of those SE Asian nations. I agree that by themselves, both observations are neither here nor there. However, as I also noted, it appears China does care, or is at least talking like it cares. So maybe it’s China who is losing sleep over what SE Asian nations perceive as its moral deficit to the US. And that’s really the most important thing, assuming that recognition of a problem will lead to attempts at solving it, though with the CCP admittedly that should not be a foregone conclusion.

Unless someone comes up with a universal metric for national “morals”, it will always be a rather subjective assessment. And people will naturally pick the parts they like, and ignore the parts they don’t like.

December 8, 2011 @ 8:44 am | Comment

The thread that keeps on giving….

December 8, 2011 @ 9:20 am | Comment

SK, no one has agreed that certain pissant nations think China has a moral deficit. They are just looking to use the US and vice versa.

December 8, 2011 @ 10:04 am | Comment

It will be fun to see how CCTV filters the rolling challenges to Putin’s crooks and thugs autocracy.

Things are getting closer to your home away from home FQ.

What with ‘potential’ democratic developments in Burma.

When the retread wheels fall of the social management cart, I look forward to jeering.

December 8, 2011 @ 12:00 pm | Comment

Great, now they’re “piss-ant” nations. Well, it seems China cares about what those “piss-ant nations” think, even if you don’t. Just shows how out of touch you are with China. And I’m just talking about with the CCP. It’s orders of magnitude worse when it comes to Chinese people.

December 8, 2011 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

Now I see you are a full rightist who only care for his own kind. If you are defending xenophobia then just say that in front. There are Slavs nationalists who self victimize to get sympathy but those people are despicable and your words are very much like theirs. I doubt violence is a positive part of any culture, it is a response to what is happening to them. If Muslim Turkic peoples were going into big Chinese cities so much they become the demography majority in the next 50 years, I don’t think Han people would take it nicely either. Those reasonings are the same as European colonials to native Americans. “The Indians killed each other over land and tribe so they should not complain when we do the same to them” or “The Aztecs invaded the original natives in Mexico so it’s okay when we colonize them”. That is nonsense. If you have hate in your heart the world will see it eventually.

December 8, 2011 @ 3:19 pm | Comment

Again, ideally it would be the “Chinese people deciding”. In reality, even with a gradual “democratization”, the CCP would still hold on to a lot of power through the PLA, media, former SOEs, and a network of wealthy party strongmen. It would take civil war to dissolve this power structure. In short, I don’t see anything even approaching your ideal coming into fruition for a long, long time.

Geez, back in 1985, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union thought so too. In 1991, the Soviet Union was gone not with a bang but a whimper. Who would have thought Qaddafi’s end would be like that?

December 9, 2011 @ 2:04 am | Comment

The one comment here was….well, a familiar refrain. Dehumanising of the “others”. I take it that Chinese in the comment actually means Han…
http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/687730/India-unwilling-to-be-drawn-into-US-China-conflicts.aspx

“Imperial Dragon

Friday, December 09, 2011 1:59 AM
India is not a normal country. It is actually an empire with a small, privileged and arrogant ruling class (high caste Hindus) ruling over a billion ignorant, hungry and easily-manipulated low caste Indians.

The Indian ruling class *racially* despises Chinese because during 200 years of British colonialism they absorbed the worse anti-Chinese beliefs. Indians worship their former rulers, the West, and fantasize about being “best friend and partner” of white people to dominate other nations like China. The Indian ruling class regards Chinese race as spiritually dirty and inferior because of Hinduism (cow are divine to them but we eat cows).

Peace and cooperation with Indians is impossible. They only understand the relationship of master and slave from their long period of colonialism. If China is not India’s master, India will then expect China to act as a slave.

1962 is a perfect template of India’s rabid chauvinism and impulsive hostility toward China. What we are seeing today is *exactly* the same kind of rabid chauvinism as in 1962. Today, India is seething with jealously at China’s economic success and so it wants to help USA contain China.

No illusions, please, Beijing. Indian minds are filled with poison, betrayal and deception. They are not China’s friend. India knows it needs water resources in the 21st century and taking control of Tibet is 100% necessary for national survival. This is why India’s ruling class is trying to get China to “share” Tibet for “win-win results” and “long-term cooperation.”

The most dangerous thing is many Chinese are ignorant about India. They romanticize and think India is a Buddhist country where everybody is vegetarian, meditates and lives in peace. LMAO.

Do not be deceived by the fact India is a populous country like China. Aside from population size, the two countries are total polar opposites — India is the “Anti-China”! China has an anti-Western tradition while Hindus in India have always truly admired and worshipped their colonial masters.

Make no mistake, Beijing! Any contradiction between India and the West is an internal contradiction between good partners. Both India and the West would prefer to work with each other than see China’s rise. It’s just like China and North Korea may have their issues but both would rather work together than see USA dominate.

Beijing must be careful not to fall into a trap by thinking, “It is irrational for India or Vietnam to fight a conflict with China because they are so poor and need to economically develop in peace.”

India and Vietnam both hate Chinese race and are jealous of China’s economic success. They are not rational. They are happy to sacrifice their own development and lose lives just for the satisfaction of keeping China down! Their evil intentions are obvious!

Both India and Vietnam have been colonized by the West and now they love the West and hate China. It is futile to expect peace from them until we slaughter at least half of their population to make them afraid. They are truly just like dangerous, irrational animals that need to be shot.”

December 9, 2011 @ 4:39 am | Comment

@Steve, #235 – I missed it as it was caught between an endless barrage of, shall we say, a mild disagreement between two folks.

I guessed so – that’s perfectly understandable. Probably, the best thing to do is to use the name of ones interlocutor whenever writing a comment, and to use the “find” function to scan the thread. However, if Cheung wants to have a discussion of the kind he’s having, it would seem to me that his approach is the only one which makes sense.

I took that approach myself once in a while before, and I therefore won’t criticize him. But it is a kind of debate which by its own nature can’t arrive at a decisive conclusion. Above all, people should understand that such a debate can’t be “won”. After a maximum of, say, six or eight exchanges, one might as well leave all possible conclusions to anyone else who cares to read along.

December 9, 2011 @ 5:36 am | Comment

lavochkin
If Muslim Turkic peoples were going into big Chinese cities so much they become the demography majority in the next 50 years

You mean like Urumqi? Or all of Xinjiang?

So how do you think Russians would react if “Muslim Turkic peoples” not only murdered nearly 10 million in your country, but started to claim 25% of your land as their territory?

SK Cheung
It’s orders of magnitude worse when it comes to Chinese people.

Apparently, Chinese people like all people, want stability before democracy. I’m not the one out of touch.

Mike Goldthorpe
Dehumanising of the “others”.

Please. How does pointing out the discrimination of others dehumanize them? According to you, anything any Chinese person does that isn’t groveling or receiving abuse means all Chinese are latent neo-Nazis.

We know your tired old act.

December 10, 2011 @ 12:09 am | Comment

And please, stop with the nonsense about “Han supremacism”. The West’s pathetic attempt to equate Han with everything bad is not having the effect you wish it was.

If the Han Chinese wanted to destroy every minority they would have done it thousands of years ago, kinda like how Germans ran the Celts into nigh-extinction.

December 10, 2011 @ 12:14 am | Comment

“Apparently, Chinese people like all people, want stability before democracy. ”
—that may well be true. But they already have stability, do they not? So I wonder how much longer it will be before they opt for democracy. And for that, we will have to ask them. On that concept, you are as out of touch as you’ve always been, and likely always will be. Good thing you’re not a CHinese in China.

December 10, 2011 @ 3:05 am | Comment

SK Cheung
But they already have stability, do they not?

Not if you ask the “CHINA COLLAPSE!!!” loons

So I wonder how much longer it will be before they opt for democracy. And for that, we will have to ask them.

Again ask “them” if you want, but I doubt the CCP is just going to roll over anytime soon

December 10, 2011 @ 3:43 am | Comment

Oh brother. Are you a “China collapse” loon? If so, then OK. If not, then is China stable now? If she is stable now, then see what I said in #249. The logic is not complicated here.

I agree about the CCP though. Waiting for them to do the right thing will make for a very long wait indeed. It’s that moral deficit thing of which we’ve already spoken.

December 10, 2011 @ 3:50 am | Comment

Before taking baby steps on the democratic path, or embracing democratic form without substance like Putin’s Russia, China would do well to make rule OF law (and not rule BY law) truly meaningful and predictable, starting in the realms of commerce and the economy, where authorities have a higher comfort level. Then work on making other institutions and areas, like the press and education, free of (or at least freer of) party interference. Many of these things were discussed (perhaps prematurely) in the Hu Yaobang era, before economic reforms had taken deep root.

December 10, 2011 @ 3:55 am | Comment

Wow, slim says something that isn’t completely idiotic.

SK Cheung
Waiting for them to do the right thing

Because better living standards for PRC citizens is the wrong thing.

It’s that moral deficit thing of which we’ve already spoken

Unsubstantiated claim.

December 10, 2011 @ 5:10 am | Comment

Oh brother. If you weren’t disingenuous, you’d be nothing at all.

Living standards is great. But there are many other things that China still needs to do right. It’s like groundhog day with you, where previous comments in this same thread are disregarded and you need to bring up the same stuff over and over again. Same goes with the moral deficit bit. You may not think China has one. Others clearly do. And until China starts to do more of the right things, others will likely continue to think so.

Nice points by Slim. Too bad you seem to have no response. Interesting that those are some of the same institutions of which I spoke which comprise a functioning democracy.

December 10, 2011 @ 6:56 am | Comment

S.K Cheung
Others clearly do.

Sucks for them. Others clearly don’t.

It’s like groundhog day with you, where previous comments in this same thread are disregarded and you need to bring up the same stuff over and over again.

No, Richard, Lisa and others are just tired of hearing me counter your arguments over and over again. It just takes too long for you to acknowledge you were proven wrong, so I’ll just let the years do that for me.

December 10, 2011 @ 7:02 am | Comment

And which others in SE Asia clearly don’t think China has a moral deficit, in your esteemed estimation, based on what transpired at the Asian Summit? This I’d love to hear. I’m also not sure how it would suck for those countries who feel that China has a moral deficit. Then again, logic has never been a prerequisite for you.

Hey, Richard took your leash off. So it’s a little lame to use that as an excuse. And I think the only thing you’ve proven is how obstinate you can be, though in that realm you’ve certainly proven it royally. I’m definitely looking forward to when China becomes a democracy. I trust you are too.

December 10, 2011 @ 10:49 am | Comment

1. Your interpretation of what happened at the “Asian Summit” makes the false assumption that it was of strategic significance
2. Your inference of Southeast Asian sentiment based on the summit is off the mark
3. Your final argument is ad populum

I don’t know why you keep going on about the summit as we’ve already established it’s irrelevant. When I bring it up you say morals are relative and agree that their opinions are meaningless.

December 10, 2011 @ 11:28 am | Comment

I’m definitely looking forward to when China becomes a democracy. I trust you are too.

Forgot. I’m looking forward to when China is stable enough to transition if it’s necessary, but I have my doubts about democracy. I can see a government with some elements of democracy, but every major current and past “democracy” is a failure.

December 10, 2011 @ 11:30 am | Comment

1. When have I assumed that it was of strategic significance? On the other hand, on what basis do you assume that it wasn’t of strategic significance? And who’s strategic significance are we even talking about? The US declared it was back in business in SE Asia. No one voiced concerns except the CCP and the PLA. So at the very least, China seemed to think it was of “strategic significance”.

2. If SE Asian countries felt that increased US involvement in the region was unwelcome, they certainly didn’t make themselves heard. China was the one who griped about it. I think the inferences are fairly clear.

3. I don’t know what your difficulty is. There is no ad populum argument. I am not saying that China has a factually proven moral deficit to the US simply because SE Asian nations say so. That would be ad populum. What I am saying is that whether she has one or not, SE Asian nations seem to perceive her to have one. And it would serve China well to do the things necessary to change that perception.

Who established that the summit was irrelevant? The US declaring a renewed interest in the region after a 10 year absence is quite relevant, I think. And China seems to agree, hence her hopped up responses.

Morals aren’t relative. Everyone holds to their own. It only becomes relative when you insist on comparing them. It’s not necessary, but comparing is what you do. SE Asian nations’ opinions aren’t “meaningless” because they will inform how those nations relate with the US and with China.

December 10, 2011 @ 11:48 am | Comment

I found a comment by slim, some seven positions ago (#252). #246 is another comment by someone other than you, Cheung, or by Cookie Monster.

It’s just my personal opinion, Cheung, but in my view, this begins to look abusive. As I said before, I understand your approach, but it seems to me that this has become a game at Richard‘s cost, as I guess he wants to run a blog open to basically everyone. I’d like to support King Tubby‘s (#84) question: Is it worth it?

December 11, 2011 @ 12:52 am | Comment

When have I assumed that it was of strategic significance?

So you’re just talking nonsense?

If SE Asian countries felt that increased US involvement in the region was unwelcome, they certainly didn’t make themselves heard.

What are you babbling about? You implied their dealings were a reflection of their feelings about America’s moral standing. It isn’t. States don’t do that, don’t be ridiculous.

What I am saying is that whether she has one or not, SE Asian nations seem to perceive her to have one.

No one cares.

And it would serve China well to do the things necessary to change that perception.

If you had been paying attention you’d realize that China is getting more “respect” (lol) from the pissants by getting richer. So I guess the CCP will just do what it’s been doing.

December 11, 2011 @ 1:37 am | Comment

This thread follows a typical pattern: It starts with a lot of comments from different people, then SKC and CM go off in a one-on-one, other commenters start to drop out, the back-and-forth gets more aggressive and lengthy and other readers’ eyes start to glaze over, and finally it turns into an endless shouting match. I’ve requested that commenters shut these conversations down once they reach the stage where we all know where the other stands before we sink into the quicksand of agonizing repetition. It makes things hard for me because I want to encourage a dialogue but also don’t want to chase would-be commenters away. Where to draw the line is the hard part and in a little while I will simply close this thread, once I get a new post up. And then we can start all over again….

December 11, 2011 @ 1:50 am | Comment

I already stopped responding to SK’s points, everyone knows he can’t back anything he says up.

But of course he moved on to a different subject, which I handled pretty quickly.

December 11, 2011 @ 2:33 am | Comment

To Richard,
my apologies. I’ve tried to shorten my comments since your last directive. I’m avoiding the line-by-line thing I used to do before, and converted to prose since. And I think I’ve adhered to your policies. But disingenuous cherry-pickers annoy me as you know, and CM continues to engage in that sort of thing even in #261. However, it seems that useless comparisons aren’t coming as quickly and furiously now, so I don’t think the exercise was all for naught.

December 11, 2011 @ 2:57 am | Comment

I don’t cherry-pick. I just ignore the arguments I’ve destroyed in earlier posts. It took maybe a whole page of text for you to finally understand the difference between income and wealth, and another few paragraphs for you to acknowledge that transfer payments go to individuals.

That was taking up too much space on people’s screens. The comparisons aren’t coming as quickly because you’ve backed away from using them to begin with, when you aren’t floundering with your “Southeast Asia” ad populum.

December 11, 2011 @ 3:55 am | Comment

I’m not sure what you think you’ve destroyed, but you’re clearly delusional. In any event, I realize that your goal is to “win”, since you’ve felt compelled to declare “I win” on multiple occasions. As I always say, you do what you need to do. I see that the logic of the various points of previous discussion remain elusive to you. And that’s fine too. You’ve yet to point out even one occasion when I led off with a comparison to justify your comparisons, but even that’s ok. At the end of the day, if you can be compelled to at least adhere to your own principles, such as they are, that would already represent progress.

December 11, 2011 @ 6:09 am | Comment

SK Cheung
I see that the logic of the various points of previous discussion

Came only from my side.

December 11, 2011 @ 9:08 am | Comment

“anything any Chinese person does that isn’t groveling or receiving abuse means all Chinese are latent neo-Nazis”

Uh huh. Yeah, you’re the victims again……

*Yawn*

December 12, 2011 @ 5:30 am | Comment

Nope, the Chinese are the injured party. That doesn’t mean they’re “victims” as many blubbering Westerners believe themselves to be.

December 12, 2011 @ 9:07 am | Comment

“Nope, the Chinese are the injured party”

*Yawn*

Heard it before. Boring then, boring now.

Next!

December 12, 2011 @ 9:44 am | Comment

@Justrecently:

You could of course, view it that way, but we’re really going into details where of course, each country have their own difference. I’m sure China won’t play out EXACTLY like Taiwan as well, but the general marco trend between China and those of Taiwan / Korea is too similar to ignore completely as well.

Also, IMHO, what you describe has more to do with Chang Chin Kuo’s decision to end the dynasty himself, which mostly helped in Taiwan not needing to go through a Taiwan Spring moment to move forward politically, but it’s not like the KMT old guards didn’t try to guard their interest, nor was the developements in the 90s a completely idealogically driven matter , as Lee Teng Hui was obviously struggling for his own power as well.

The CCP as we all agree on, at least does have the merit that it is not a family dynasty, (though there are worrisome trend of many next generation leaders being the sons of the first generation folks), so it’s at least not going to fight resistence based on family interest, which should help.

December 12, 2011 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

Mike Goldthorpe
Boring then, boring now.

Yes, the truth doesn’t seem to interest you much at all.

December 13, 2011 @ 2:13 am | Comment

“Yes, the truth doesn’t seem to interest you much at all”

No, your truth does not interest me in the slightest. You method of argument is infantile and tedious to read as well.

December 13, 2011 @ 7:07 am | Comment

“You method of argument is infantile and tedious to read as well.”

Oh yeah, those infantile and tedious sources you seem to loathe so much. But don’t worry, you don’t need those when you have ignorance, bias, and an overuse of the ellipse – to fill in where your anecdotes and out of context propaganda pieces leave off.

December 13, 2011 @ 7:52 am | Comment

This has turned into a troll-fest, so I suppose it’s on topic. :(

I find it interesting that both CM and SKC don’t really know much about China. The difference between the two is that SKC readily admits it while CM does not. For the people on this blog who have lived there, the whole thing sounds ridiculous and like some kind of fantasy, not based on any sort of reality. China is what it is, neither good nor bad. It’s simply China and is undergoing a remarkable transformation right before our eyes. I and I’m sure others in this comment section consider ourselves very fortunate to have lived through a part of that transformation, and were able to observe history being made.

Why can’t we all talk about real things instead of this garbage? How can we discuss utopia or hell on earth when it simply doesn’t exist over there? I’m sure there are fantasy websites where you can comment about vampires, aliens from other planets and a paradise with unbelievably enlightened rulers or hellholes with despotic tyrants, both called China. However, if you want to comment about the real China, you ought to spend some time there and find out what it’s actually like. The rest of it is just banality.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:41 am | Comment

I never claimed to be an expert on anything at all. My tone with SKC, Mike and others reflects the fact that I simply am far more knowledgeable on a wide range of topics than they are (combined).

That is not saying much.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:45 am | Comment

And I know more than many that China is not a utopia, but I know enough that the CCP is not being represented as is by the West’s media or their stooges of convenience like Mike and SK.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:46 am | Comment

CM, please don’t press your luck. I let you back in unmoderated on the condition you refrain from your signature personal attacks. Thanks.

December 13, 2011 @ 10:27 am | Comment

Wow, haven’t visited for a while. Nothing changes: vibrant debate punctuated by 50-cent banality and sprinkled with occasional vitriolic bile (you know who).

December 13, 2011 @ 11:34 am | Comment

speaking of Taiwan matters.. (sine this is a continuation of that thread), the Presidential election is really just a month away.

December 13, 2011 @ 11:35 am | Comment

Stuart
Wow, haven’t visited for a while. Nothing changes: vibrant debate punctuated by 50-cent banality and sprinkled with occasional vitriolic bile (you know who).

Now with 50% less intellectual dishonesty and circular logic now that you’re gone. Vitriolic bile is down quite a bit as nanhe has fallen off the internet.

speaking of Taiwan matters.. (sine this is a continuation of that thread), the Presidential election is really just a month away.

Good topic, Tsai doesn’t seem that bad at all.

Richard
I let you back in unmoderated on the condition you refrain from your signature personal attacks.

Stooge and “kool-aid drinker” are fairly equivalent, not counting the other 1000 roundabout ad hominems SK has squirted all over our monitors. That’s not even counting eco and slim’s outright and blatant ones.

But I acknowledge you hold some posters to higher standards, and it’s noted.

December 13, 2011 @ 11:42 am | Comment

Ok, it is game over

I have been reading this thread since Nov.25th

Going to finish it with

Song of the Article

Troll
-Anders Hagberg

If you are comment 280+
you got problems….

keep it real
keep it red
wumaodang.

-fin

December 13, 2011 @ 11:43 am | Comment

I’m sure CM is very knowledgeable in a wide range of topics. Does that intersect with the topic of this blog? Not so much. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

December 13, 2011 @ 11:54 am | Comment

It does actually, when you try to bring 1) transfer payments 2) wealth inequality 3) international relations 4) science and technology 5) geopolitics into the picture

Clearly you have been too busy with other things to have much of a grasp on any of these, but I assure you they’re all relevant.

December 13, 2011 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

I have to reiterate that these threads only become troll fests because anyone who “Steps out of line” (i.e doesn’t endlessly criticize the CCP without proper substantiation) is ALWAYS ganged up on. There’s a reason why no Chinese people post here. They get tired of you and leave. Only Hong Xing, Math, linger etc and I don’t even know if they’re serious 90% of the time.

December 13, 2011 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

Yes, that Credit Suisse report did come in very handy. Thanks again for that. You clearly brought your wealth of knowledge to bear on that one.

I’ve always observed that the recurring need to make self-aggrandizing statements belies a profound insecurity. But as I always say, you do what you gotta do.

December 13, 2011 @ 1:52 pm | Comment

It isn’t self-aggrandizing to say I’m more knowledgeable than you. Not in the least.

December 13, 2011 @ 2:42 pm | Comment

RollingWave – I’m voting Tsai Yingwen, or would be if I had a vote. I’m not crazy pro-DPP like some of the bloggers out there, in fact I preferred Ma in the last election, but Tsai offers decent new policies and, just as importantly, a new face.

December 13, 2011 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

In general, my view is pretty simple, the two parties in practice show very little difference in principals on domestic matters, both can essentially be classified as market socialist. they’ll argue on some details but almost never on principals. so far the only real spat of true policy discontinuity on domestic matter was Chen’s abrupt shutdown of the 4th Nuclear powerplant project, (which he later restarted again anyway). Other than that there isn’t much example of serious principal changes in domestic policy.

The difference of course of course, have always been cross-strait, and it certainly helps Ma’s case that he managed to do something that’s basically unthinkable during Chen’s day, actually getting pretty influential deals down with the PRC, it may be difficult for non long time residents to see the dramatic change this means, when I was born (and i’m not very old). it wasn’t even legal to send a mail to China, let alone most other things normal countries would take for granted with it’s neighbors, even just a few years ago if you want to fly from Taipei to Shanghai it would take longer than flying from New York to LA, because you’d have to go through Hong Kong and take another flight. Not to meantion all sorts of other non-sense.

The fact that Ma has essentially changed the cross-strait situation in everyday lifes of people by literally light years in just a matter of a few years should realistically be enough for him to be reelected.

Now, we can debate on other domestic matters where I would totally agree that Ma have not been able to change, like falling wages and reduced social mobility for one thing, Taiwan’s unemployment is low but newly grad today are working longer hours for lesser pay than 10 years ago while housing prices are going through the roof in the urban centers, that’s obviously bad, but my problem is that I have no faith in the DPP continuing a reasonable cross-strait relationship, and if they can’t do that even if they can solve the other problems (which is already debatable, since most of the trends are a continuation of Chen’s 8 years as well.) it still won’t help much.

December 13, 2011 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

So would I. Tsai Ing-wen is a moderate, and I see much less reason to suspect her of intransparent deals with China, than Ma Ying-jeou or the KMT respectively.

That said, I’m almost sure that – if she gets elected – there will be allegations against her, which aren’t too different from the ones president Ma is facing these days. I hope she will focus on the further development of industries which made Taiwan great – small and medium-sized enterprises.

Another good thing is that she seems to have nerves of steel. She will need them, abroad, and at home. Ma has flip-flopped too much to be seen as the best choice in January, in my view.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

“I simply am far more knowledgeable on a wide range of topics than they are (combined)”

If only we knew what these topics were ;-)

December 14, 2011 @ 4:30 am | Comment

“If only we knew”

My point exactly.

December 14, 2011 @ 4:58 am | Comment

“My point exactly”

And mine ;-)

Don’t worry, I’m only teasing. You do make me laugh :-)

December 14, 2011 @ 5:03 am | Comment

Amazing news – the town of Wukan is apparently under the control of independent Chinese forces. The CCP has been chased out of town with its tail between its legs.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8951638/Chinese-police-besiege-town-and-cut-of-food-supplies-in-bid-to-quell-riots.html

December 14, 2011 @ 6:36 am | Comment

To 288:
…as I was saying…

December 14, 2011 @ 7:20 am | Comment

To Rollingwave,
do you think the third party candidate will split Ma’s vote enough to have an effect on the outcome of the election?

December 14, 2011 @ 7:24 am | Comment

To Raj,
43 is pretty young to be having heart problems. I wonder if the police were investigated for such an in-custody death (of course not). I wonder if they did an autopsy (unlikely). The cutting-off-the-village bit is downright medieval. Or just a day in the office for the CCP, I guess.

December 14, 2011 @ 7:32 am | Comment

This bloated thread is hereby closed. Please continue anything left unsaid in the new thread above. Thanks.

December 14, 2011 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

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