Hu Jintao: Beware of creeping Western culture

For a minute I thought I was reading a post on Hidden Harmonies:

President Hu Jintao has said that China must strengthen its cultural production to defend against the West’s assault on the country’s culture and ideology, according to an essay in a Communist Party policy magazine published this week. The publication of Mr. Hu’s words signaled that a new major policy initiative announced last October would continue well into 2012.

The essay, which was signed by Mr. Hu and based on a speech he gave in October, drew a sharp line between the cultures of the West and China and effectively said the two sides were engaged in an escalating war. It was published in Seeking Truth, a magazine that evolved from a publication founded by Mao as a platform for establishing Communist Party principles.

We must clearly see that international hostile forces are intensifying the strategic plot of westernizing and dividing China, and ideological and cultural fields are the focal areas of their long-term infiltration,” Mr. Hu said, according to a translation by Reuters.

“We should deeply understand the seriousness and complexity of the ideological struggle, always sound the alarms and remain vigilant, and take forceful measures to be on guard and respond,” he added.

At least he admits the CCP is paranoid and scared shitless of a citizenry that is well informed and free to express itself. Hu should read what Han Han wrote just the week earlier:

“The restriction on cultural activities makes it impossible for China to influence literature and cinema on a global basis or for us culturati to raise our heads up proud,” Han Han wrote.

That really says it all. You never stimulate creativity by limiting what your citizens can think, say and do.

This is an open thread. Feel free to comment on this article or anything else. I’ll be busy with my China project the next few days.

______________

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: 151 Comments

We should keep in mind that Hu is conflating “Western Culture” with Hollywood movies, pop music, and television. I doubt that serious observers who feel that European and American (and Japanese, Indian, and Korean) culture have something to offer China, that these are the ideal vehicles. But Han Han is right (on this point, if not others), and one has to conclude that the alarmism underlying this originates in a largely accurate perception that China has little cultural influence in the world, and it is laughable that the principal manifestation of this influence is in the form of Confucius Institutes.

Another way to look at this is how far the “revolution” has come since the all-out Westernization promoted by the May Fourth Movement in the 1920s. The Chinese Communist Party has traditionally coopted the May Fourth Movement, crowning it as China’s modern move toward revolution and independence from imperialism. Now they seem to have abandoned all that and all we’re talking about is how the world is consuming Chinese manufacturing products and China is consuming our “culture” in its most commercialized forms. It will be interesting to see if “culture” as we normally understand it will return to the stage, as it had conspicuously done in the early years of the Reform and Opening period in the 1980s.

January 4, 2012 @ 8:29 am | Comment

I think that Han Han has an excellent point that artists need the space provided by freedom of expression to create interesting works. But more over, I think westerners will have a hard time stomaching any cultural product that is the fruit of the Communist Party. Initial reactions to “The Flowers of War,” showed just how hard it is for a critic to sit down to watch a film backed by the Party without dissecting its political aims.
On the other hand dissident artists and authors are popular in the west perhaps not only because of their politics, but because we can be certain that they are free Party influence. In our arts we enjoy a lively discourse about the state of our gov’t and others, but Party approved arts lack these themes completely.
However in typical Party fashion, it’s not that they’ve fundamentally misunderstood the west, it’s that the west has actively engaged in cultural espionage.

January 4, 2012 @ 8:36 am | Comment

I think I recall that the CPP learned its economics from a German and its police state design and methods from a Russian.

January 4, 2012 @ 8:49 am | Comment

This is quite consistent with the new directives for broadcast tv, where it seems a few reality shows have been deemed to be a little bit too contrary to the ccp’s preferred morality (though the ccp expounding on morality continues to be a rather delicious irony).

In sum, it appears hu is embarking on an exercise in cultural protectionism. That’s not the way to go if the stated goal is greater Chinese cultural relevance.

January 4, 2012 @ 9:32 am | Comment

Come on, how come creativity has anything to do with Hu’s speech?

Talking about creativity and innovation, I recalled a post by an English teacher from the US. His post went like this:

I am an English teacher from the US and I have spent three years teaching English to Chinese middle school students.

My Chinese students simply lack any innovation and creativity. They resort to memorization and rote learning.

One day I went to a local bar, and this hot Chinese bartender cane up to me and asked: “What the fuck do you want?” …

I immediately said to myself that this hot girl has great innovation and creativity. I wish she were in my English class.

The statements were paraphrased based on my rote memory of a post on the NYT.

January 4, 2012 @ 9:34 am | Comment

To be fair, it was the Communist Party Magazine, where rhetorics die much slower than it does in reality.

January 4, 2012 @ 4:30 pm | Comment

And I was so looking forward to “Real Housewives of Zhongnanhai”!

January 4, 2012 @ 5:00 pm | Comment

I’d sorta welcome a zealous US cultural cadre who could drive the Kardashians off the air.

January 4, 2012 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

Lady Gaga is obviously on the payroll of the CIA and NED. And don’t get me started on Girls’ Generation and Perfume…

January 4, 2012 @ 9:55 pm | Comment

So JR was right about that agit-prop-laden document on ‘culture’ produced by the 17th Central Committee meeting being important (see here: http://justrecently.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/17th-central-committee-6th-plenary-session-culture-document-published/ ).

Here, if you like, is the proof of Hu as a hard-liner. Hu genuinely seems to believe that there is an international plot to undermine Chinese culture and replace it with ‘western’ culture (whatever is meant by this) – or at least likes to give out that he does.

January 4, 2012 @ 10:22 pm | Comment

If Hu is correct, then I label Just Recently as the ultimate warrior (in the scholarly and objective sense, that is, with the most translations of what the CCP is actually saying). Glad FOARP is on the same page with this; thanks to Richard for the post.

January 5, 2012 @ 2:24 am | Comment

@slim, throw in Justin Bieber and I’m with you all the way.

January 5, 2012 @ 2:35 am | Comment

Other Lisa – LOL. I put Bieber in a different/lesser circle of Hell than the Kardashians — I guess because there is some actual achievement/talent behind his fame (although his sound is not my dance and would not have been when I was 12).

January 5, 2012 @ 3:34 am | Comment

Since we are taking a silly turn here for once, I would off anybody with a connection to the recent infestation of animated movies. Serious.

January 5, 2012 @ 4:15 am | Comment

Hard to top Just Recently for a serious look at the broad cultural crackdown that is gathering steam in 2012.

January 5, 2012 @ 5:25 am | Comment

Apparently the number of “entertainment” shows during primetime has fallen from 126 to 38. You have to wonder what this will really accomplish — I mean, does anyone seriously think they will crack down on, oh, DVDs? (streaming, maybe)

They are actually ceding control to the pernicious West in a way, by driving audiences even further from state-controlled media.

January 5, 2012 @ 5:58 am | Comment

Just what will be the consequences of this media crackdown?. Bloombergs account here is as good as any. http://snipurl.com/21jkpia

Trashy stuff cut by two-thirds during the golden hour/prime time, plus addition of two news reports.

Will it make people feel more harmonious when you pitch in more official type news reports? Probably not.

Young folk will just retreat earlier to their computer entertainment. The barrow guys selling dvds will experience an uptick. Old folk will keep their thoughts to themselves and keep the tv on to provide background static to their insular/family based concerns.

TV stations will lose advertising revenue and more folk will migrate to net type entertainment activities.

And now the existential question. Will people start to question their system of governmemt when deprived of their quota of trasho entertainment and confronted with more ‘acceptable’ watching fare (which they already reject).

If you ask that existential question, you should be banned from shopping expeditions for the duration of 2012.

January 5, 2012 @ 6:02 am | Comment

Is this too silly?. Trasho entertainment driven off the official aiwaves and into the unregulated underground. It will then exist in parallel with the real Chinese cinematic underground. Custer today provided a fab link in relation to the latter.

January 5, 2012 @ 6:13 am | Comment

In my WIP, I did come up with a line that really cracked me up…

“When the revolution comes, it will be fought over kitten videos.”

January 5, 2012 @ 6:53 am | Comment

Even a broken clock is right twice per day and in this case, Hu Jintao is correct. America, and by extension the West is conducting a crusade of ideological subversion against not only China but any nation or individual who has the temerity to oppose the hegemoniacal liberal international order. China is merely the largest, the most tempting, and Im afraid the most vulnerable target. America is the Whore of Babylon whose corrupting tentacles are everywhere and who is waging a subaltern war for mastery over the hearts and minds of man. A monstrosity born of the titanic struggle with the Soviet Union. A monstrosity, as Nietzsche predicted, created from staring too long and too deep into the abyss.

In a similar manner of the erstwhile Soviets, America seeks to recreate man in his own image. Rather than the New Soviet Man, it is now Davos Man. A degenerate pitiful creature who owes loyalty to none but himself. An agent of nihilism and entropy that seeks to undermine the societies he is nominally a member of.

The only question is why does the Communist Party notice this? Considering it is the primarily actor responsible for the weakening of the Chinese nation to foreign subversion and it’s very root ideology is the ultimate manifestation of the desolation that America is spreading today.

Han Han also happens to be a witless imbecile. Having dilettantish foreigners fawning at the feet of Chinese “culturati” is meaningless. For the Han race to raise up its face in pride, the Han race must first be Sovereign in their own land and the ultimate masters of their own destiny. This is not presently the case and it will not be the case until the Communist Party’s grip on political power is destroyed.

January 5, 2012 @ 7:49 am | Comment

@20 Heil Hanzu!

January 5, 2012 @ 7:55 am | Comment

I’ve missed this site… :D

January 5, 2012 @ 7:58 am | Comment

First bowdlerised Thomas Hobbes, now Nietzsche.
Give us an address and I send you some Derrida and you will reach the pinnacle of your um .. expression.
Okay, bad suggestion. How about some excerpts from Mein Kamph which, as I have already noted, has been translated into Mandarin.

January 5, 2012 @ 8:07 am | Comment

America is the Whore of Babylon whose corrupting tentacles are everywhere and who is waging a subaltern war for mastery over the hearts and minds of man. A monstrosity born of the titanic struggle with the Soviet Union. A monstrosity, as Nietzsche predicted, created from staring too long and too deep into the abyss.

Oy vey.

January 5, 2012 @ 8:13 am | Comment

Oh the hyperbole. So the CCP must go, not because it is a burden on Chinese people and a scourge on Chinese people’s freedoms, but because it is a burden on the true and unbridled expression of Han nationalism?!? Yikes.

January 5, 2012 @ 10:09 am | Comment

Okay, I already chastised myself for putting up an overly outspoken post about Shaun Rein yesterday, and I’m not going to put up a new post about him anytime soon. But please, please check out his latest article and tell me: Do you think he’s pimping his new book? Just asking….

January 5, 2012 @ 11:32 am | Comment

After his references to the sex industry, I think the correct term is pandering.

January 5, 2012 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

but, but, I love your Shaun posts! :D

January 5, 2012 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

Wow, yeah, like, every other line.

January 5, 2012 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

Gosh, did Forbes pay Rein to write that, or did Rein pay Forbes to print it? It should’ve been the latter. That thing read like a cheap infomercial on late night TV. The only things missing were some guy with a bad haircut, and some disclaimer from Forbes about not vouching for the content of the piece.

I don’t always agree with Krugman, but he does have a Nobel in economics, while Rein has…a consulting firm, apparently. I imagine Krugman is deeply concerned about Rein’s criticism of his ideas.

January 5, 2012 @ 1:16 pm | Comment

In a similar manner of the erstwhile Soviets, America seeks to recreate man in his own image.

In fact, the problem (from the CCP’s point of view) is that they are the ones who want their movies to recreate (Chinese) man in some other image. They want them to be morally edifying, to teach New Socialist Morality with Chinese Characteristics, to contribute to a unified Chinese identity with no cross-straits disharmony and so on. Meanwhile, Hollywood’s task is very simple: all they have to do is produce stuff which people will pay to watch. And unfortunately for the CCP, what Americans will pay to watch often turns out to be profitable in China as well.

So the CCP’s is really asking too much of its “cultural producers”. They have an impossible task: to be both effective political propaganda, and successes at the box office. They can never compete with Hollywood under these conditions.

January 5, 2012 @ 1:38 pm | Comment

Substitute ‘Westernization’ for ‘modernity’ and ‘Chinese Culture’ for ‘CCP vested interests’. That’s what Hu is really talking about.

January 5, 2012 @ 2:52 pm | Comment

True Chinese culture is found in Taiwan. Not sure, what Hu is talking about.

January 6, 2012 @ 12:11 am | Comment

33
True Chinese culture is found in Taiwan

Bullshit. You can say Taiwan is where a minority of ugly girls throw themselves at fat white guys, but just because some enjoy that culture doesn’t mean Taiwan embodies “true Chinese culture”. Taiwanese culture is one of many variations of Chinese culture.

That said …

The Dalai Lama has said that Tibet must strengthen its cultural production to defend against China’s assault on the country’s culture and ideology, according to an essay in a Tibetan nationalist policy magazine published this week. The publication of Mr. Gyatso’s words signaled that a new major policy initiative announced last October would continue well into 2012.

The essay, which was signed by Mr. Gyatso and based on a speech he gave in October, drew a sharp line between the cultures of the China and Tibet and effectively said the two sides were engaged in an escalating war. It was published in Seeking Truth, a magazine that evolved from a publication founded by his older brother as a platform for establishing Tibetan nationalist principles.

Suddenly, the anti-Chinese, anti-Han peanut gallery is cheering. Jing is the only one here is on target, everyone else needs to stop projecting.

January 6, 2012 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

Really, certain faux-intellectuals need to understand that 1) Chinese nationalism is nothing at all like European nationalisms 2) The West is not the wonderful thing you think it is.

Somehow I don’t think anyone here would be pleased if China imported the West’s time-honored anti-semitism, homophobia. Lets also not forget that Communism is a Western idea.

The West is poisoning and killing Chinese culture not just in China but all around the world. Non-whites all around the world are bombarded with pro-white propaganda. There’s a huge body of literature on the subject if any of you could be assed enough to familiarize yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqSFqnUFOns

One of my favorites, for any loons that deny the power of pro-white propaganda.

January 6, 2012 @ 12:53 pm | Comment

“Jing is the only one here is on target, everyone else needs to stop projecting.”

It’s more of a swastika than a target, IMHO, but thanks for confirming you are marching toward it — as if that was needed.

January 6, 2012 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

slim
HITLER! NAZISM! HUR DUR DUR

Guess what? Hitler was the pure essence of the West.

January 6, 2012 @ 1:07 pm | Comment

I guess both Jing and CM need to take a Han nationalism chill pill.

Hu Jintao could take a lesson or two from the Dalai Lama. “must strengthen its cultural production” should be the focus for China, just like it is for Tibet. Cultural protectionism and isolationism as Hu suggests, and as the broadcast TV regulators are enacting, aren’t going to increase the international prominence of Chinese culture.

January 6, 2012 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

Han nationalism chill pill.

Laughable, how is it “Han nationalism” to point out that the West’s cultural infiltration and subversion is poisonous to not just Chinese, but all non-whites?

No one cares about the “international prominence of Chinese culture” – not like Chinese restaurants are going to be suffering. Just the Chinese prominence of Chinese culture is good enough for me.

January 6, 2012 @ 1:59 pm | Comment

The fact that an 2011 Iranian film, “A Separation” with the blessing of Iranian Ministry of Culture is being consider as a favorite to sweep foreign film categories in the award season, this cliched argument “stimulate creativity by limiting what your citizens can think, say and do.” is such a mockery on individuals who try to circumvent the censorship to have a satisfying product.

January 6, 2012 @ 2:12 pm | Comment

Hitler was the pure essence of the West.

You have to explain that, especially in light of the fact that much of the west was destroyed and millions of its peoples killed in its existential fight to destroy Naziism.

January 6, 2012 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

I don’t think the situation in Iran is quite the same as the situation in China (aside from it being, you know, a different country) but it’s fascinating to see the kinds of films getting made there — the Iranian film industry has been putting out really well regarded films for years. There would seem to be less content restrictions there than in China, where SARFT makes it very difficult to deal with controversial subjects in contemporary settings. The hardest-hitting Chinese films (at least that I’ve seen) were made without approval — I’ve plugged this elsewhere, but BLIND SHAFT is an amazing film IMO. That’s like 7 years old at this point though — if anyone has any recommends for more recent Chinese films, I’d love to hear them.

January 6, 2012 @ 2:33 pm | Comment

Richard
You have to explain that, especially in light of the fact that much of the west was destroyed and millions of its peoples killed in its existential fight to destroy Naziism.

You can’t deny Europe’s centuries-long tradition of genocide (against other Europeans as well), superstition (Jews ate my baby) and imperialism.

The fact that Hitler ravaged Europe in a rage just shows how inherently crazy and self-destructive the West is.

January 6, 2012 @ 2:40 pm | Comment

“how is it “Han nationalism””
—you seem to think Jing was onto something. But frothing about Han nationalism seems to be all he’s got.

If no one cares about the international prominence of Chinese culture, then someone should tell Hu Jintao. To top it off, cultural protectionism and isolationism doesn’t do much for Chinese culture either, although the version of “Chinese culture” where the CCP’s word is the law may well be something that Hu wants to preserve.

And seriously, enough with the crazed references to Nazis and Hitler. Don’t you have anything more constructive to say? Generalizations using Hitler are no better than saying that Mao reflects the inherent craziness and self-destructiveness of Chinese people. Both guys belonged to the wing-nut factory, as do generalizations based upon them.

January 6, 2012 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

@42

Well no, there is also a lot of restriction there as well, it’s just that the Iranian films makers are focusing on more touching issues that modern folks (espeically those in the outside world) can relate to (such as poverty, or morality issues etc) but China’s tend to lean hard towards glorious past films which foreigners wouldn’t really care much for and gets repetitive fast even for domestic audiance.

For example, one news is that this year the best selling Chinese film is a film from Taiwan which is based on a contemporary romance novel. it smashed the previous record held by Hong Kong film “Kong Fu”.

Either way, who really cares what Hu is saying now, he’s leaving office and it was said on a magazine that’s designed to be a properganda rhetoric house . What Xi would say.. especially in more exposed situations (aka talk with students, or foreign press) woul be far more interesting.

January 6, 2012 @ 5:30 pm | Comment

Also, another serious factor to contemplate on China going foward is Taiwan’s upcomming election, at this point it’s very murky as to who is going to win, it seems anything from a super tight victory to a pretty significant victory for either Ma or Tsai are all possibility, and the legislature seats are going to be much closely split this time around for sure.

If Tsai wins and really follows with her whole “Taiwanese consesus” thing, what will happen would most likely effect the PRC as much as it does Taiwan.

Like wise, if Ma wins and actually pushes foward the whole peace deal thing quickly (though most folks find that unlikely) , how the situation would unfold is also anyone’s guess.

January 6, 2012 @ 5:34 pm | Comment

@RollingWave, I in now way understand all the intricacies of Iranian versus Chinese film content restrictions, but from what I do understand and from what actually gets made, there seems to be less latitude in China to deal with contemporary controversial issues than in Iran–and I say this primarily based on the films getting made in these two countries, which have official approval and which don’t.

It’s not that films dealing with contemporary controversies don’t get made in China; they do. But they are made without official approval, and they certainly aren’t put forth as the nation’s choice for international awards.

I do think that at times it’s hard to separate “market forces,” or perceived market forces, from actual content restrictions. I mean, a lot of crap films get made in the US because they are what the big studios think will make money, which you could argue is its own form of censorship. But is this the case in China? Maybe audiences do prefer period films, and Hollywood films, for that matter, but I don’t think that’s why hard-hitting contemporary dramas aren’t getting made.

What I know is that SARFT can be pretty heavy-handed in terms of the content it will approve. That’s why, for example, so many of Zhang Yimou’s early films were set in the past but were still commenting on current (at that time) circumstances. And they STILL were banned within China for years. Not now. But I would love to hear examples of recent Chinese films dealing with controversial issues that did so with official approval.

January 6, 2012 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

@RW

Xi’s own daughter is studying at Harvard right now. If he agrees with Hu, he would register pretty high on the hypocrisy meter.

January 6, 2012 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
To top it off, cultural protectionism and isolationism doesn’t do much for Chinese culture either

Yes, it does.

And seriously, enough with the crazed references to Nazis and Hitler.

Tell that to your buddy, Slim.

t_co
Xi’s own daughter is studying at Harvard right now. If he agrees with Hu, he would register pretty high on the hypocrisy meter.

Not really. Assuming she really is at Harvard, it means that 1) she’s educated enough not be poisoned 2) she’s already at least 18, far less prone to brainwashing.

That said Harvard is nothing at all like the rest of the West at large. Harvard is the West as much as a rich apartment complex in Beijing is China.

January 7, 2012 @ 5:42 am | Comment

Somehow I don’t think anyone here would be pleased if China imported the West’s time-honored anti-semitism, homophobia. Lets also not forget that Communism is a Western idea.

Nobody would be pleased, but it would fit in well with China’s habit of importing the West’s worst ideologies (nationalism and communism), while railing against ones which are harmless.

January 7, 2012 @ 11:09 am | Comment

To 49:
You’re right, “cultural” protectionism and isolationism could do much for “Chinese culture”, because, as JR nicely points out, “Chinese culture” as referred to by Hu is just code for the CCP’s grip on power. And for that, absolutely, it is best if Chinese people don’t get too much of a taste of the possibilities beyond China’s four walls. Though of course, the genie is already out of the bottle, and forcing her back in might take some force. But we know the CCP is not averse to that.

There is no good time for cheap comparisons to Hitler and Nazis. So lose the comparisons, starting with yourself, m’boy. ‘I’m doing it cuz so-and-so is doing it’ is for schoolboys…and not very mature ones at that.

By your logic, if you’re a CCP citizen who is “educated” and over 18, the CCP’s new cultural decrees shouldn’t apply, since those people should be immune to Western cultural influences, much like Xi’s daughter. For once, Hu Jintao should listen to you and factor that into their policy. Or at least Xi should change the policy to allow “educated adults” open “cultural” access, lest he be pegged a hypocrite.

January 7, 2012 @ 12:28 pm | Comment

Peter
it would fit in well with China’s habit of importing the West’s worst ideologies (nationalism

Nationalism isn’t a Western ideology, either that or whatever China has is mislabeled. Chinese “nationalism” isn’t much different today than what it was during Yue Fei’s time.

Also, you forgot Christianity. Take that one as the barometer the other two I mentioned will follow.

S.K. Cheung
There are no “comparisons” here, missy. slim pulled Hitler out of his ass – I gave it the proper label, Hitler is entirely Western.

You’re right, “cultural” protectionism and isolationism could do much for “Chinese culture”

You’re the only one thinking in euphemisms here. Cultural protectionism works just like how economic protectionism works for developing nations – to a certain extent.

January 7, 2012 @ 3:08 pm | Comment

“The fact that Hitler ravaged Europe in a rage just shows how inherently crazy and self-destructive the West is.”
-as shaun rein commented, “Far too many in the West indict China’s whole governing class and system when a single local official does something stupid or brutish.”

“Generalizations using Hitler are no better than saying that Mao reflects the inherent craziness and self-destructiveness of Chinese people.”
-the difference is that Mao is still well respected by many from china, while Hitler is universally hated throughout the west.

January 7, 2012 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

True, Leo, about Hitler and China and the broad brush. I love China and never blame its people for the sins of local or central officials. Where I disagree with Shaun Rein is that it’s almost never “a single local official” who does the brutish stuff. They have support, often from thugs, and the government, oiled by patronage and corruption, too often turns a blind eye. When awful things happen due to local officials and the government is well aware of it and does nothing, they, too, are complicit. That holds true both for the US and China.

Shaun Rein, as I’m sure you know, has a long history of defending the central government and placing the blame for bad things that happen on “a single local official.” Ever the apologist, when truly ghastly things happen, even if they win international coverage, Shaun simply dodges the issue and says he “has no idea” about it. He is entitled to his opinions, but when he lies outright he only harms his own reputation. So he may not be the best source to quote.

January 8, 2012 @ 2:13 am | Comment

Yes, Hitler was Western, but westerners are not all Hitlers. So there is no point using Hitler as an indictment of westerners. You just need to exhibit some logical consistency (not to mention honesty). Would you accept that Mao should be an indictment of all Chinese people? Of course not. So why bother with the Hitler smear? It’s utterly pointless.

If you think Hu was referring to Chinese culture in only the literal sense…well, that’s great! I’ve got some bridges I’m sure you would love to buy.

To Leo,
there are tens of thousands of protests in China every year (and that’s just the official reporting), even if most of them don’t get the coverage of a Wukan or a Chen Guangcheng. So any over-generalization by the west is not merely based on a “single local official”, but at least tens of thousands of “local officials”. At some point, the basis for any said generalization gains merit.

I agree that some still admire Mao (although some skin-heads might still admire Hitler). The number of “likes” of Mao vs Hitler on their Facebook page is not my point. My point is that you can no more indict Chinese people based on Mao than you can of “westerners” based on Hitler.

January 8, 2012 @ 2:20 am | Comment

Nationalism isn’t a Western ideology, either that or whatever China has is mislabeled. Chinese “nationalism” isn’t much different today than what it was during Yue Fei’s time.

As a system of thought used as the basis to unify states, that is as far as I know a Western invention. I could be wrong? Of course the idea of solidarity based on language and culture is not unique to anywhere.

Regarding Christianity. I believe it’s been and continues to be a net positive in the world. But you can also see it as a bit like Qin Shihuang’s empire, in that it made the West (and beyond) what it is today. It’s a legacy which can’t be erased.

In any case I didn’t “forget” it because it’s not indigenous to the West. It came from Palestine.

January 8, 2012 @ 4:06 am | Comment

I may have this wrong, but I think @Leo was using Shaun Rein as a source for ironic purposes. Also, that it is a positive that the West has almost universally rejected Hitler, while the continued admiration for Mao (and I think more to the point, his use as a symbol to legitimatize the current regime) is not positive by comparison.

That’s how I interpreted what Leo was saying, anyway.

January 8, 2012 @ 5:16 am | Comment

If I misunderstood Leo I apologize. I may have been too dim-witted to spot the irony.

By the way, readers may be interested in the lovey dovey interview over at Hidden Harmonies.

January 8, 2012 @ 6:20 am | Comment

Noooo, I think I’ll be skipping that one.

January 8, 2012 @ 7:19 am | Comment

It’s a match made in heaven.

January 8, 2012 @ 7:45 am | Comment

I’m with Lisa. Made one visit to HH last week after your reference, out of curiosity and against my better judgment. Not about to make that mistake again.

January 8, 2012 @ 8:02 am | Comment

Come on, guys. Give the interwiew a go. Parts actually read like a gentle spoof.

DeWang:Ok, Shaun, last year there were tons and tons of traffic accidents.

Shaun:I actually drive myself, DeWang, and it scares me every day. I don’t have a chauffeur. I drive myself, and almost every day I feel like I almost get into a car accident. Because the road system is absolutely chaotic. A lot of it comes from the scooters and mopeds. When you are driving down the street, you can get a guy on a bicycle, or a guy with chickens, a guy on a motorcycle, a scooter, a truck, a car, there are just too many different types of vehicles and nobody is obeying the laws.

Can’t wait for Part Two when our pair get onto to the issue of “hate sites” and anti-Sino trolls. Since I have already been named and shamed, I think it is time to review all personal security measures and double my all female bodyguard. Probably add a sauna to the safe room while I’m at it.

January 8, 2012 @ 8:06 am | Comment

Are there guys on scooters with trussed, chickens, ducks and geese driving along Lujiazui Dong Lu. Never been to Shanghai. Curious, since I had a very different image of the Shanghai CBD>

January 8, 2012 @ 8:14 am | Comment

SK Cheung
Yes, Hitler was Western, but westerners are not all Hitlers.

You make the common and fatal mistake of laying all blame on a single “bad man” as Westerners are wont to do. Keep in mind that a majority of Germans supported Hitler.

But that’s enough. I’m sure Singapore should be considered sufficiently “open” by whites and their worshipers.

I’m guessing when many bloggers (whiners) talk about China opening up, they mean to laughable farces like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyQb5t6Z5Js

January 8, 2012 @ 8:37 am | Comment

Peter
I believe it’s been and continues to be a net positive in the world.

I believe you believe wrong, but we can discuss elsewhere.

In any case I didn’t “forget” it because it’s not indigenous to the West. It came from Palestine.

The brand of Christianity poisoning the world is more or less wholly Westernized.

January 8, 2012 @ 8:40 am | Comment

SKC, once Wayne started commenting there I made a vow never to comment there again. Let them enjoy their echo chamber; like you, I’ll have no part of it.

January 8, 2012 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

thanks otherlisa for helping me clarify

TO SK

“My point is that you can no more indict Chinese people based on Mao than you can of “westerners” based on Hitler.”

-I agree with you. I’ve met numerous open-minded people who grew up in china that are well aware of, and are objective about what happened, so i would also disagree with generalizing the chinese people that way. but let’s just say i wouldn’t criticize mao in front of someone from china unless i’m already close to the person, but would feel ok to call hitler crazy in front of pretty much anyone. but then to be fair, hitler is further in the past than mao. so maybe it just takes time.

also, such blind devotion for past leaders is not only seen in mainland china. it occurs pretty much in any culture. even now, many in taiwan would still feel really irritated when chian kai shek is called a dictator, and it’s not uncommon for me to hear stuff like “i don’t see there was anything wrong with martial law, it was so safe everywhere cuz no one would dare commit any crime.” just to clarify, i’m not dpp nor kmt.

January 8, 2012 @ 1:20 pm | Comment

at the same time, many in taiwan still feel the previous president, chen, shouldn’t serve any sentence despite being proved guilty.

January 8, 2012 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

To 63:
This must be logic by baby steps here. As a further extension of what I said in #55, Germans are all westerners, but not all westerners are German. So even at the time that Hitler enjoyed popular German support, you can hardly generalize that to westerners. Furthermore, at the time Hitler enjoyed popular German support, he hadn’t yet done the unseemly things that made him Hitler. I wonder how much popular German support Hitler enjoyed in 1945. You might have a point insofar as Germans are concerned if they still supported Hitler at the end of WW 2 in light of all his true colours. But even then, still a non-starter when it comes to the generalization of “westerners”. And of course, we’re talking about people of some 80 years ago, whereas Jing, in #20 which started all of this, was referring to the here and now. Crazed, to be sure; but at least contemporary.

January 8, 2012 @ 1:44 pm | Comment

SK Cheung
So even at the time that Hitler enjoyed popular German support, you can hardly generalize that to westerners.

Yes, you can. In fact it was generally considered “fact” by the vast majority of Westerners that non-whites were inferior. The only real debate was whether to commit mass murder, to colonize, or to enslave. There was absolutely a pervasive white supremacist (and misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic) sentiment.

Germans are concerned if they still supported Hitler at the end of WW 2 in light of all his true colours.

Germany was occupied and browbeaten into shame. No one should be fooled by their crocodile tears, however, German arrogance and racialism runs deep, especially in the East and the countryside – and German areas outside of the Republic proper.

whereas Jing, in #20 which started all of this, was referring to the here and no

But Jing proposes nothing remotely near anything as bad as Nazi Germany, or the British Empire, or contemporary America. It takes centuries of vileness to reach that level of utter despicable evil.

January 8, 2012 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

I should have said “I would say you can”, to be more diplomatic – sorry.

January 8, 2012 @ 1:56 pm | Comment

I believe you believe wrong, but we can discuss elsewhere.

We could, but what would be the point?

The brand of Christianity poisoning the world is more or less wholly Westernized.

I would say that everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but perhaps that would be an example of the insidious Western ideology that Hu is so concerned about?

January 8, 2012 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

is it possible that cookie monster is being an a$$ just cuz he’s bored and just wanna mess with with forum?

January 8, 2012 @ 1:59 pm | Comment

*mess with this forum

January 8, 2012 @ 2:00 pm | Comment

Speaking of cinema of China and the west, I once came across this book 郎咸平說中國即將面臨的14場經濟戰爭 (Liang Hsien Ping on the 14 economic battles China will soon be facing). In the chapter “the cultural war: when Confucius meets Avatar,” Liang argues that in the movie Avatar, the protagonist cleverly embodied the values of Jesus, FDR and Lewis Morgan (a loving handicapped individual, with perseverance, who grew compassion for the natives) into an exciting 3D action film, while Confucius is just a painful 2-hour re-play of the lectures that Chinese philosopher gave to his students, who all look the same in the movie. Liang then adds, “would people wait in line to watch the films Jesus Christ, FDR, or Lewis Morgan?”

January 8, 2012 @ 3:10 pm | Comment

“In fact it was generally considered “fact” by the vast majority of Westerners that non-whites were inferior.”
—huh?

“The only real debate was whether to commit mass murder, to colonize, or to enslave.”
—pardon?

“German arrogance and racialism runs deep, especially in the East and the countryside – and German areas outside of the Republic proper.”
—say wha?

That’s quite a few head-scratchers for one post.

I do agree that whatever crazed Han nationalism Jing may be proposing is not comparable to Nazism. Nothing would be.

Remind me again, why do you choose to live in the land of apparent “despicable evil”? Seems like a rather peculiar choice, especially since you’re eschewing CCP nirvana in its stead.

January 8, 2012 @ 4:58 pm | Comment

“In fact it was generally considered “fact” by the vast majority of Westerners that non-whites were inferior.”

Until after WW2, it was taken for granted by virtually everybody (Chinese included) that some races and cultures were inferior to others, but of course there was disagreement about their relative positions in the hierarchy, and what was justified as a result.
Even today it’s not hard to find evidence among Chinese people that not everyone thinks all races are created equal – in fact if anything they are far more open about it than Westerners. I read an article about life in Fiji once which was full of racial stereotypes and read like something from the 1930s. It would be impossible to publish anything like that in English today, but you can easily find similar examples in Chinese.
It’s understandable if today Chinese people are more focussed on confronting Western people’s racial prejudices than their own, but one would have to be blind to think that they don’t exist or aren’t widespread.

January 9, 2012 @ 4:00 am | Comment

Peter puts it very well.

January 9, 2012 @ 4:02 am | Comment

Peter puts it very well.

January 9, 2012 @ 4:02 am | Comment

SO well, that apparently I had to say it twice!

January 9, 2012 @ 4:32 am | Comment

If you turn on TV in China at prime time, what shows do you see? Full of entertainment, game shows, “talent” shows. In those shows, I can no longer tell if someone is a man or woman. In those shows, the topics are about celebrity gossip, s*x, nothing of substance or educational value. The degeneration of the spirit of our TV programs, what message does it send to the children, to the parents? A young, healthy, robust boy, watches these shows, and grows up dying his hair, walking like a female, no positive traits, no male traits, no ambition in life, pursing the life of a eunich. If my son becomes like those in the shows, I would choke him to death immediately.

The first step to reform culture in China is to arrest the producers of these shows and shoot all of them.

January 9, 2012 @ 8:04 am | Comment

How do I know when a comment section is on its last gasp and dying? Why, look for references to Hitler. I suppose next we’ll hear all about American Indians, the Irish Rebellion, the British Raj and the Opium Wars. I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition…

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.

January 9, 2012 @ 8:54 am | Comment

NOT the Comfy Chair!!!!

January 9, 2012 @ 9:05 am | Comment

Red Star is absolutely right! I mean, who in their right mind would turn on the tele in search of entertainment?!? Perish the thought. Absolutely, the television, radio, internet, newspapers should all be devoted to “education”. What kind of “education”, you ask? “government-mandated” “education”, of course. In Red Star’s ideal world, I wonder if school could in fact be rendered redundant.

January 9, 2012 @ 9:40 am | Comment

Did I say there should be no entertainment? Did I say that? [Deleted for obscenity.] There is positive and healthy entertainment, and there’s degraded entertainment. Do you want your children to watch these shows in prime time?

January 9, 2012 @ 9:46 am | Comment

No, Red Star, we want the government to choose for us what our children, and we, can watch. The party always knows best.

By the way, if you include another personally directed obscenity as you did in your last comment you’re out.

January 9, 2012 @ 11:44 am | Comment

HongXing: “Do you want your children to watch these shows in prime time?”

I don’t think many people would argue that some TV shows are inappropriate for younger viewers. The argument is about the extent that the government gets decide what is “positive and healthy”.

January 9, 2012 @ 11:47 am | Comment

Ugh. Comment fail. My first sentence should say “many people would argue with the idea…”

January 9, 2012 @ 11:48 am | Comment

To red star,
You seem to lament prime time tv being “full of entertainment”. So maybe you need to exhibit better word choice. And maybe a bit less obscenity. I was always taught that if you can’t say something without an obscenity, it is probably not worth saying. I am repeatedly surprised by the number of people who seem to have missed similar lessons.

Do you honestly believe the Ccp is cracking down to shield impressionable children from inappropriate “entertainment”? After I sell Cookie a couple of bridges, I can probably scare up a few for you too. What happened to letting parents decide what’s best for their kids? Why not create a rating system based on age-appropriateness, and stipulate that shows not suited for “kids” should not be aired until such hour that “kids” should be in bed? Instead, they mandate that shows be changed, and greatly restrict the number of shows that can be aired by any channel at any time, to be replaced by ” educational” programs. Yeah, they’re doing it for the kids. Gullibility, thy name is red star. Of course, we both know you don’t actually believe your own argument, but this is what you gotta do sometimes when you defend the Ccp.

January 9, 2012 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

@Steve – Gratuitous Python references are AMONGST the three indicators that a comments thread is going to pot, the other four being . . . no wait that’s not right either . . .

January 9, 2012 @ 2:52 pm | Comment

@FOARP – Pretty red suits!

January 9, 2012 @ 3:17 pm | Comment

“A young, healthy, robust boy, watches these shows, and grows up dying his hair, walking like a female, no positive traits, no male traits, no ambition in life, pursing the life of a eunich (sic).”

Doesn’t this describe most of the CCP apologists, fenqing and wumao, with their unhealthy diet of official propaganda and poor intellectual hygiene?

And, of course, TPD readers have my apology for violating Godwin’s law in registering my disgust for the racialist claptrap spewed above by the usual suspects.

January 9, 2012 @ 8:45 pm | Comment

If my son becomes like those in the shows, I would choke him to death immediately.

Anybody who can say something like this either does not have children, or does not deserve to.

January 10, 2012 @ 3:56 am | Comment

Trust me, he’s said far worse.

January 10, 2012 @ 4:00 am | Comment

You know, with 30-40 million surplus men coming of age, it’s probably not a bad idea to feminize some of them. After all, Hongxing, would you rather your son turn effeminate, or be masculine, angry, and getting tear-gassed on a protest line?

January 10, 2012 @ 11:14 am | Comment

@Hongxing. When you start rabbiting on about non-masculine traits, its a sure sign that you are experiencing some sort of inner struggle. Be brave and give in to those inner demons. Start off in a small way at first. Bleach your hair blonde and take your purse when you go out shopping.

January 10, 2012 @ 11:34 am | Comment

Did y’all see Shaun Rein’s latest tweet: “Grumpy. My book temporarily banned from selling in China. Hope we can fix that. So much for my book being a 50 center, eh?”

Is this a bit ironic? He sings China’s praises but then he faces the inherent injustices of the system as his book gets banned.

And he is still a 50 center and much, much worse. Nothing can change that.

January 10, 2012 @ 12:19 pm | Comment

That is beautiful irony. The brown-noser gets clipped by the very people whose ass he’s kissing. However, I’m sure he can “fix that” in short order. He just needs to kiss the ass of someone higher up to reverse the decree of some lower level minion. I doubt he’d see it as an “injustice”. Probably just business as usual.

January 10, 2012 @ 12:56 pm | Comment

That is soooo rich. Maybe he’ll call the “very senior official” he likes to go fishing with to get him off the hook, so to speak.

Well, as Shaun infamously said, “China is like a teenage boy” flexing its muscles. Now that the teenage boy with raging hormones and uncontrollable muscles is kicking Shaun in the face maybe he’ll do a bit of soul searching and ask himself whether the Chinese government is quite as magnanimous and fair-minded as he’d have us believe.

January 10, 2012 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

maybe it’s his prostitution chapter

January 10, 2012 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

The CCP is just swimming against the tidal wave.

The thing is the West rocks!

I have just come back from a business trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong, the first time I have been to China. And I tell you what – Chinese just love white people. I was treated like a king.

The fact is Chinese aspire to be like us, have the things we have, and even want to look like us. Proof?

Just go to Shanghai or Hong Kong – it seems the number of white faces on advertising billboards outnumbers Asian faces. And these are places which are 99% Asian. The advertisers obviously knows that white sells. Otherwise why not use black or Indian, or even East Asian faces?

And another thing these fenqing cannot stand is this. Most Chinese women would prefer a white guy over a Chinese guy any day of the week. That is what really makes them mad!

January 10, 2012 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

Errrrrr. . . . yeah, this is why first impressions maybe aren’t the thing you should instantly go with. Thing is, the CCP has been swimming against the tide for quite some time now, and has even made progress against the tide.

True, there is a weird obsession with white skin – this is basically a cultural thing in China though. Hong Kong is very different to the mainland and really shouldn’t be discussed in the same breath except on a few subjects. No, I certainly don’t think that all Chinese women are just itching to run off with a laowai, but sure, they know that the average European, Australian, and North American is richer than the average Chinese, and they aspire to do better than they are now – this is natural.

January 11, 2012 @ 2:47 am | Comment

Peter
It’s understandable if today Chinese people are more focussed on confronting Western people’s racial prejudices than their own, but one would have to be blind to think that they don’t exist or aren’t widespread.

That’s because “Chinese people’s” racial prejudices, of all groups of people on the planet, are perhaps the least widespread and least intense. If you want to learn something about discrimination, racial killing and hatred, go to Afghanistan (or really, any other Muslim country), or anywhere in America – especially the ghettos.

They have their priorities right.

January 11, 2012 @ 5:51 am | Comment

First time in China
Just go to Shanghai or Hong Kong – it seems the number of white faces on advertising billboards outnumbers Asian faces. And these are places which are 99% Asian. The advertisers obviously knows that white sells. Otherwise why not use black or Indian, or even East Asian faces?

This is exactly what people don’t like. Whites think its their god-given right to force their culture on others. What can China do? Ban white models? But Chinese people are content to go with whatever the stooges running Western agencies are using – I doubt they’d care if they chose to throw some Indians and blacks into the mix. So much for Chinese racism and protectionism.

And another thing these fenqing cannot stand is this. Most Chinese women would prefer a white guy over a Chinese guy any day of the week. That is what really makes them mad!

Bzzzt. Wrong. Not even most Chinese prostitutes would prefer a white guy over a Chinese guy. A tiny minority of brainwashed ones do, however, and it’s a lucrative racket.

January 11, 2012 @ 5:53 am | Comment

This is exactly what people don’t like. Whites think its their god-given right to force their culture on others. What can China do? Ban white models? But Chinese people are content to go with whatever the stooges running Western agencies are using

Cookie, you are so wrong it’s incredible. When I was studying in Shanghai I was hired to appear in a real estate commercial (it payed hardly anything; they just walked over to me in a coffee shop and asked if I’d do it). They told me Chinese people prefer to see Western people in certain types of ads, like ads for luxury housing, high-end goods, fashion, etc. Ask any Chinese working in an ad agency and they will tell you that for certain types of products the Chinese client will insist they use a Western model. For you to stupidly say that the Chinese are being forced by “Western agencies” is you at your most ignorant. First of all, these agencies are run locally in China, not from the US, and they are paid only to measure what works with potential clients. Most of their management is local Chinese. When their research shows a Chinese face would resonate more with the viewer that’s what they’ll use. Leave it to you to accuse them of racism. Seriously, you have no idea what you’re talking about, and cry “Racism!” at anything and everything. Typical Chinese-American inferiority complex, those mean Westerners who looted the Summer Palace are discriminating against you, and they are your enemy now as they were then. Repeat: you don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

January 11, 2012 @ 6:27 am | Comment

A few deeper digs into Hu’s speech by China analysts (as opposed to journalists) suggest it is more an anti-peaceful liberation exhortation to the 5th generation than any battle with Western culture:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NA11Ad02.html
However, Hu’s warning is better understood against the backdrop of the CCP’s 18th National Congress, which when held later this year will endorse a new central leadership.

It is a long-term task for the CCP to fight against “peaceful evolution”. But Hu will step down as party general secretary. So his statement could also be read as: “During my tenure, I have successfully safeguarded party rule against the threat of ‘peaceful evolution’. I hope the new leadership will continue to do so.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/beijings-culture-war-isnt-about-the-us-its-about-chinas-future/250900/
“I have a bit of a different take on Hu’s politically charged essay. I am of the view that the “politics” of it are predominantly aimed at the Communist Party itself rather than an abstract “external enemy,” in this case the West or specifically the United States. It serves as a warning to both current party members and incoming leaders to remain vigilant, not simply because it is a political transition year but because of the existential fear that peaceful evolution (和平演变) may just be around the corner. Indeed, one of the longstanding fears for the party-state is not that it will go out with a bang but that it will fold quietly in a whimper of irrelevance.”

January 11, 2012 @ 6:37 am | Comment

You’re going off on a tangent, Richard. The vast majority billboard ads are not advertising cram schools. They’re usually taken by big companies, many of them MNCs, simply too lazy to look for local talent. I already faulted the Chinese for being so passive and accepting of racial propaganda, reading comprehension.

Typical Chinese-American inferiority complex, those mean Westerners who looted the Summer Palace are discriminating against you, and they are your enemy now as they were then.

Nice try. Those “nice” Westerners are currently engaged in worldwide international terrorism responsible for the deaths of millions. It’s amazing how shameless you are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4PgpbQfxgo

Whites are killing millions of civilians right now. And you want to imply they’re harmless and act only in China’s best interests. Oh but we in the advanced West ended racism and bigotry in the 50s! Praise us!

January 11, 2012 @ 7:13 am | Comment

“But Chinese people are content to go with whatever the stooges running Western agencies are using”
—huh? Let’s work through the logic here, shall we?

Those “western” agencies are selling stuff to Chinese people. So they’re gonna wanna use whatever works…ie. they will be selling what Chinese people want to buy. If they’re using “western” models, it’s because that’s what Chinese people want to see. Heck, if Martians could help move product to Chinese people, that’s what the ad agencies would be using.

The real question is why would Chinese people prefer to buy something that is being hawked by a “western” model as opposed to, say, a CHinese one. That would require some serious societal psychoanalysis.

January 11, 2012 @ 7:24 am | Comment

To Slim,
Damien Ma and JR on his own blog have made similar points earlier. “culture” is just a euphemism for the CCP’s continued grip on power.

January 11, 2012 @ 7:27 am | Comment

SK Cheung
So they’re gonna wanna use whatever works…ie. they will be selling what Chinese people want to buy. If they’re using “western” models, it’s because that’s what Chinese people want to see.

No, they wouldn’t. Western firms simply dump a product they developed at home onto China. The Chinese people don’t complain so they don’t search for new ones. I mean really, how do you think Chinese people can compete with so much plastic surgery and photoshop?

Even the typical WESTERN WOMAN (and increasingly, man) gets seriously mindfucked by these ads. I can tell that none of you have actually cared enough to know whats going on in the heads of young women these days. And you’re implying that they should somehow be more kind to non-whites? Anything you can add, Lisa?

It amazes me how some of you will stoop to any low and grasp at any straw in a failed attempt to score points against me.

January 11, 2012 @ 7:28 am | Comment

I’m not going off on a tanhgent, just calling you on your BS. This statement is patently false:

The vast majority billboard ads are not advertising cram schools. They’re usually taken by big companies, many of them MNCs, simply too lazy to look for local talent.

I worked in China for a global media company. I know how they work and you don’t. The only thing that matters are sales numbers, and they do arcane market research and focus groups to determine what will sell in China and what won’t. Your entire premise is bullshit, for a change.

And there he goes on his Hidden Harmonies rant about how the west is butchering “millions,” his most common reflexive response when he gets proven wrong about stuff.

January 11, 2012 @ 7:42 am | Comment

I mean really, how do you think Chinese people can compete with so much plastic surgery and photoshop?

LOL, any agency in China which wants to use Photoshop will already be using it, and probably without paying. Plastic surgery is not exactly unknown these days either.

January 11, 2012 @ 9:13 am | Comment

To 110:
Huh? What potent blend have you been smoking today? You sound even more out-there than usual, and you’re typically pretty nutty at the best of times. I’m not talking about any “product” in particular. I’m simply noting that ad firms make ads to sell whatever it is they’re selling. If they use white models in their Chinese ads, it’s because that is the IMAGE Chinese consumers apparently want to buy, regardless of what the actual product might be.

No idea what you’re whining about with the photoshopping. They could just as easily photoshop a Chinese model in an identical ad. For some reason, white models are considered to sell whatever it is they’re selling better to the Chinese consumer. The reason for that would be a question for the psyche of said consumer, as I said earlier. Obviously you’re not qualified to answer, since you’re not Chinese.

No idea what thus has to do with “caring about young women”. But if you care about young women in the same way you care about Chinese people, I’m not sure that is a sentiment that will be deemed desirable by the intended recipients.

There you go again with the juvenile nonsense about keeping score. Why would anyone concern themselves with winning against an anonymous idiot like you? When it comes to you, I’m just In it for the entertainment, which is all you’re good for to me.

January 11, 2012 @ 9:37 am | Comment

To Richard,
It is surprising that he doesn’t just go and set up camp at HH. It is after all the home for disenchanted Americans of Chinese descent.

January 11, 2012 @ 9:42 am | Comment

It’s the subliminal advertising for the NED embedded in those billboards — and the white founding father on the $100 bill — that’s really keeping China contained and repressed.

January 11, 2012 @ 9:59 am | Comment

@slim Thanks for that Atlantic link. I somehow missed it.

I think we’re almost always safe in assuming that Chinese political speeches are intended for a Chinese audience and best understood to current Chinese political context. Hu Jintao is likely throwing some red meat to a conservative audience that needs to be appeased during the political transition. This could very well just be words without subsequent action, but I guess time will tell.

January 11, 2012 @ 10:43 am | Comment

Sad to say, I just had to ban Cookie again for general nastiness, hostility and immaturity.

On another note, if any of you are not following the sublimely funny CCP spokesperson spoofers “The Relevant Organs” on twitter, do so now. Their latest tweet, after Shaun complained that his new book is banned in China:

The Relevant Organs @relevantorgans

We didn’t ban Shaun Rein’s book. But we are crushed he didn’t use our blurb: “Shaun Rein is the Edgar Snow of our time!” What’s not to like?

Every one of their tweets is side-splitting.

It is odd, SR’s book getting banned. But then again, they banned Fool’s Mountain and China Divide for a while, and Danwei, and me of course.

January 11, 2012 @ 12:24 pm | Comment

“If they use white models in their Chinese ads, it’s because that is the IMAGE Chinese consumers apparently want to buy, regardless of what the actual product might be.”

Exactly. White people sell. Period.

Cookie Monster is just jealous that white people are cool and Chinese people not. Afterall does Chinese connote status and prestige in the west…errrr…no.

I doubt if it is simply because of the economic disparity. Singaporeans, and Japanese, and Hong Kong people also worship whites.

“The real question is why would Chinese people prefer to buy something that is being hawked by a “western” model as opposed to, say, a CHinese one. That would require some serious societal psychoanalysis.”

Perhaps this is because of cultural ‘imperialism’, or whatever, but I doubt this. Perhaps whites are simply more attractive than other races…after all the desire for white skin is apparent in almost all cultures, not just Chinese.

Sorry Cookie Monster. I am more attractive to Chinese women than you are, while most white women find the thought of a Chinese man simply revolting.

Cookie Monster is just mad about this. Simple. No ‘serious societal psychoanalysis’ required.

Now watch the shit hit the fan after Cookie reads this.

January 11, 2012 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

First time with Syphilis
Cookie Monster is just jealous that white people are cool

Oh yeah, white people are so popular that people fly their planes right into your buildings to meet you.

January 11, 2012 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

Do Chinese people (or Japanese, or Singaporeans, etc.) “worship” whites? Some may do. But to take it beyond something strictly anecdotal into something resembling a scientifically valid generalization, I’d like to see evidence to sustain such an assertion. And even beyond establishing that such “worship” exists, one would still need to establish the reasons behind it.

As for who is more attractive to whom, again I don’t think anecdotes alone are of much probative value.

January 11, 2012 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

First time in China is EXACTLY what Hu Jintao is talking about. Is it any wonder why everyone, from Arabs to Africans to Chinese, regard Westernization with some degree of skepticism?

January 11, 2012 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

Relevant Organs are a must-follow…

Speaking of Zhang Yimou, here’s an interesting portrait in the NYT.

January 11, 2012 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

@67 /68 :

Well, CKS when compared to Mao is certainly much less nasty, that’s not exactly a high bar but hey…. the irony is that he’s a dictator turned democrate turned dictator , he’s certainly not innocent, but more or less a product of his time. the 1947 genearl election in China was quiet fair and open by the standard of it’s day, but that’s completely wiped out by what happened immediately after.

As for CBS: I’m a big KMT supporter (mostly due to cross strait stance, I abosalutely abhore the previous state where Taiwan to China restriction was like Cuba to the US ). But I will point out that I don’t think the whole trail was fair, in the sense that at least part o teh accusation if applied to everyone would see almost all civil servants in jail, even things as low as Elementary school principals (hell they are having that sort of problems now.). though other aspect, he’s largely done in by his wife IMHO, there’s probably at least some truth to his claim that he didn’t know EVERYTHING that his wife was up to.

In short, I think CSB is not as guilty as he’s being painted, it’s a problem that there’s quite a bit of grey area when it comes to both money and civil servants, and even more when it comes to President and his wife, where even the constitution is rather greyish on. If I were Ma I’d pardon him at some point in the near future.

But still, I will support the KMT until the DPP show the ability to negotiate with the PRC in good faith, and I don’t think that’s very likely any time soon.

January 11, 2012 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

Here’s an ominous-looking trend, partially related to the original post topic:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-denounces-hong-konger-trend/2012/01/10/gIQAmivNqP_story.html

January 11, 2012 @ 11:43 pm | Comment

Thanks for the link. Somewhat similar to surveys of how Taiwan residents view themselves. Always a little ambiguous when you survey about being “Chinese”, because there is a distinction between ethnicity and nationality. However, any bias would be towards inflation of the “Chinese” number due to people answering on basis of ethnicity alone. So this survey certainly shows that HK people are not keen to identify with the PRC.

As is typical of the CCP, they go into full-on blustery and whiny mode about the observation, rather than reflecting on the underlying factors which might account for what is being observed. And they go after the guy for simply scientifically documenting the observation. Yeah, that makes sense…not that it isn’t entirely in line with the standard CCP MO. Of course the CCP would just rather no one ask such questions…I mean, why ask questions if you’re not going to be interested in the answer, eh?

January 12, 2012 @ 2:25 am | Comment

That’s because “Chinese people’s” racial prejudices, of all groups of people on the planet, are perhaps the least widespread and least intense. If you want to learn something about discrimination, racial killing and hatred, go to Afghanistan (or really, any other Muslim country), or anywhere in America – especially the ghettos.

I can’t speak about Afghanistan, or Ghettos in America. You are right in that the Chinese racial prejudice I’ve observed is along the lines of:
* I don’t want my kids going to this school, too many dark-skinned people
* Negroes

January 12, 2012 @ 4:00 am | Comment

Sorry about that.

These are the sorts of Chinese racial prejudices I’ve encountered:

* Schools with fewer dark-skinned people are better places for your kids
* Negroes have less self-restraint (particularly in sexual matters) and are mostly interested in music and dancing
* Polynesians are lazy and undisciplined, and often violent
* For your children to marry a white person or Japanse/Korean is OK, less so for a Malay or Filipino. Marrying an African would be incomprehensible.
* A whole host of generalizations, some complimentary some not, towards people from different parts of China

In other words, mostly low level stereotyping, often benign but not always. It is definitely something which might concern you if you are a brown person trying to find a job, or move into a managerial position.
I wouldn’t call it “the least widespread and intense” on the planet, but on the other hand Cookie’s right in that it’s not the sort of stuff which will lead to lynch mobs.

January 12, 2012 @ 5:08 am | Comment

“For your children to marry a white person or Japanse/Korean is OK”

Best if white person is not Russian or similar ex-Communist Eastern European, apparently. Not 100% sure where the line is drawn but Romanians are within the unacceptable limit.
Mother in law is very dismissive of Russians. I’m OK as an Englishman :-)

January 12, 2012 @ 5:59 am | Comment

Best if white person is not Russian or similar ex-Communist Eastern European, apparently. Not 100% sure where the line is drawn but Romanians are within the unacceptable limit.

I once heard some of the poorer European countries referred to as “inferior nations”. But as Cookie Monster will tell you, that’s OK because worse things happen in Afghanistan.

January 12, 2012 @ 8:45 am | Comment

I thought every country was an inferior nation according to CM… Not, of course, that living among us “inferiors” seems to be too onerous for him…..

Liked this comment from him
“Is it any wonder why everyone, from Arabs to Africans to Chinese, regard Westernization with some degree of skepticism?”

Funnily enough, these are the same people that flock to our western shores to live and enjoy our western lifestyles (plural – there are more than one western cultures).

Once came across a site that showed immigration from countries. Was interesting to see immigration numbers from Arab to African to Chinese countries as compared to immigration to said countries….. I should try and find it again, was rather fun…

January 12, 2012 @ 9:11 am | Comment

Mike
Funnily enough, these are the same people that flock to our western shores to live and enjoy our western lifestyles (plural – there are more than one western cultures).

Funnily enough, these are also people who flock to the shores of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Central America and other wonderlands and gleaming beacons of liberalism and democracy.

Was interesting to see immigration numbers from Arab to African to Chinese countries as compared to immigration to said countries…

People move where the money is. Shocker.

January 12, 2012 @ 10:48 am | Comment

Not that Central America is rich, but business opportunities still present themselves.

January 12, 2012 @ 10:49 am | Comment

“People move where the money is. Shocker.”

And of course to desirable places set up by white enterprise, ingenuity, and rationality.

“For your children to marry a white person or Japanse/Korean is OK”

Actually white is the preferred partner of choice for most non-white people, especially Asians. I was treated like a king in Shanghai. Again, Cookie Monsters angst comes from knowing almost any white man is considered more sexually than a Chinese man, not only by white women (of course), but by a large majority of Chinese women. Otherwise why would they use us to plug their status and high-end products.

Face it Cookie. You should bow to your betters, and just accept things the way they are. You will feel better for it.

January 12, 2012 @ 2:40 pm | Comment

@Mike Goldthorpe, Peter and the rest

“Best if white person is not Russian or similar ex-Communist Eastern European, apparently. Not 100% sure where the line is drawn but Romanians are within the unacceptable limit.”

Interesting remark if you view it in the light of this:

http://mashable.com/2011/09/21/fastest-download-speeds-infographic/

This is probably completely random, but maybe Chinese people don’t like superfast uncensored internet or something?

Oh wait, they probably don’t even know that the internet can be either fast or uncensored…

(Also, can someone explain to me how Eastern Europe, as a region, leads the world in terms of internet speed? Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine – aren’t they supposed to chug along in donkey carts, live in adobe shacks and be really, really poor?)

Hell, I’ve been using Romanian/Hungarian proxies for the past 5 years.

Now that I think about it, FOARPistão lives in Poland. How’s the internet over there and why?

January 12, 2012 @ 9:19 pm | Comment

To #133

“You should bow to your betters, and just accept things the way they are.”

Really dude? Really?

I really hope you meant that just for Cookie Monster only. Just because Chinese racists aren’t welcome on this site, it doesn’t mean white ones are.

January 12, 2012 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

I gotta agree with our Resident Poet @135 here that this is a particularly unhealthy, troll-feeding drift for this thread. It is easy enough to incite indignation in Chinese nationalists with truthful observations and inconvenient facts that one should not need to go racist on them.

I still want to hear more from informed folks on the ground in China or with a record of insightfulness what exactly they think Hu is up to with this and how wil it play out in practical terms.

January 13, 2012 @ 12:42 am | Comment

“It is easy enough to incite indignation in Chinese nationalists with truthful observations and inconvenient facts…”

That is exactly what I have done. Lets not go all PC.

Fact 1: Most Chinese women find white men more sexually attractive than Chinese men.

Fact 2: Most white women would be revolted by the thought of sleeping with a Chinese man.

I’m sure there are few here who could place their hand on their hearts and deny the above (especially the second point).

I am also sure that the above two facts leads to a lot of rage within Chinese men, and Asian men in general. After all the Virginia Tech mass killings of Seung-Hui Cho, clearly relate to this ‘problem’, and I’m sure some of the wild irrational outbursts of people like Cookie Monster, and the folks at Hidden Harmonies relate to simply not getting enough sex – they not only get zero sex from white women, but Asian women themselves are more and more eschewing Asian men and instead dating white men.

There was a survey recently carried out in the US on dating preferences. Whites are the most preferred race, and find it easiest to get a date. Asian men find it the hardest.

Now again. Either what I have said above is true, or is not true. It has nothing to do with racism.

January 13, 2012 @ 1:19 am | Comment

@RollingWave

can you elaborate more as to why you’d pardon chen? personally i think not enough people are in prison for the chen scandal. pretty much every leading banking family bribed chen, and yet none of them were charged (except Koo Jr who’s charged for embezzling funds, not committing bribery).

January 13, 2012 @ 1:39 am | Comment

@First Timer

“Fact 1: Most Chinese women find white men more sexually attractive than Chinese men.”

I actually don’t believe this – sure, you can point to a whole range of things (or just visit Scarlet’s in Nanjing on the average friday night), but when it comes right down to it, there are only a very small number of white guys in China, so even if only a small minority (1% or less) of Chinese women were actually attracted to white-boys demand would still greatly out-strip supply.

Sorry, but this doesn’t appear to be a ‘fact’.

“Fact 2: Most white women would be revolted by the thought of sleeping with a Chinese man.”

Don’t agree with this either. I’ve known a several European and US white girls who dated Chinese men, none of them expressed themselves dissatisfied. Two of them eventually got married. I’ve never actually heard a white girl say that she was ‘revolted’ by the idea of sleeping with a Chinese man – but even if I had, what would this prove?

Sorry First Time, but you’re turning into the white version of Wayne Lo/Mongol Warrior. In fact . . . . .

@RP – Not bad at my end. My guess is because they don’t have so much in the way of legacy infrastructure – all the stuff is newly installed.

January 13, 2012 @ 1:50 am | Comment

I’d still say First Timer is applying racist interpretations to selected bits of info (show us a link on that dating survey, for starters) that may be partly factual but are not representative of the whole picture. You are completely off base on the VT shooter, for whom not having a sex life (do we even know this?) was the very least of serious untreated problems dating back to primary school.

I would agree broadly that the folks at Hidden Harmonies need to get away from their computers and out more in the World Wide World, and diversify their reading and thinking away from the closed-loop jingoist fever swamp stuff that currently (mal)nourishes their minds. But who has any basis for speculating about their sex lives or for linking it to their lack of critical thinking skills?

January 13, 2012 @ 2:15 am | Comment

Fact 1: Most Chinese women find white men more sexually attractive than Chinese men.

Fact 2: Most white women would be revolted by the thought of sleeping with a Chinese man.

It seems that at least some people think that Chinese men make good relationship partners, very thoughtful and considerate.

I also remember hearing somewhere that in Indonesia it is the other way around: where there are international relationships it is often a white girl with an Indonesian man.

Of course it’s also been said that once you go black you don’t go back…. :-)

January 13, 2012 @ 3:26 am | Comment

This reads like ChinaSmack on a bad day.
Forget the click greed
Shut the thread down.

January 13, 2012 @ 5:28 am | Comment

@RP, #134
Interesting!

About the discrimination thing, I found that out during my month visiting family last summer. One of my sister in law’s friends has a daughter studying in Australia. She’s going out with a Romanian there and seems it’s deep and serious…wedding bells and all that. Said friend came around to look at my daughters to get an idea what her prospective grandkids might look like. When she left, mother in law started muttering something about “bloody Russians” and “her grand children won’t look as nice because he’s a bloody Russian” or words to that effect. Wife then explained it’s a differentiation thing – not all westerners are equal, apparently. Odd….especially as Romanians aren’t Russian.

Regarding inter-racial couples here – there’s all sorts of combinations here. Aisan girls with white/black/brown guys, white/black/brown girls with Asian guys and the same with same sex couples. Common both ways.

Discrimination – it’s as understandable as religion.

CM
“People move where the money is. Shocker.”
Bit of a difference between expats and immigrants…..

January 13, 2012 @ 5:56 am | Comment

First time with Syphilis
Fact 1: Most Chinese women find white men more sexually attractive than Chinese men.

Wrong. The vast majority of Chinese women are honestly disgusted by foreigners. The same goes with Japanese women.

There’s a tiny minority of girls that like white men. Many of them have a reputation of doing 3-5 different foreigners on any given weekend – expats even report some of these “ladies” “visiting” their room-mates right after they’re done with business.

The observable pattern is that these women are generally less attractive or less intelligent, but usually both.

Fact 2: Most white women would be revolted by the thought of sleeping with a Chinese man.

Also wrong. Most white women, like women in general, don’t really think of sleeping with men they’re unfamiliar with to begin with. But those who just meet “Asian” men on the street don’t seem to have an inherent dislike. This is not true for the majority white men, who almost all Asian (especially East Asian) women find physically repulsive. Even the white men that are attractive weird them out. A lot of these girls can’t get past the BO.

And of course to desirable places set up by white enterprise, ingenuity, and rationality.

You mean the places where whites deposit what they steal from other nations. White ingenuity? I don’t think so. Whites are good at hiring Asians (Indians and East Asians) into their companies. Otherwise, they are just silver-spoon brats with capital. Rationality? Your high religiosity says otherwise.

Actually white is the preferred partner of choice for most non-white people, especially Asians. I was treated like a king in Shanghai.

Wrong. They’re the preferred partner of choice for people on dating sites in Western countries. I’ve never heard of any Chinese or Korean American couples who have met through OKCupid. So yeah, the dregs prefer whites. Thank you for supporting my point.

January 13, 2012 @ 6:17 am | Comment

and by “unfamiliar with” I mean the race of men they’re not raised around, not strangers.

January 13, 2012 @ 7:10 am | Comment

Cookie, you are one sick, jealous man who does a lot of projecting.

I’ve been busy, will shut this thread down shortly.

January 13, 2012 @ 7:21 am | Comment

Poor Cookie.

January 13, 2012 @ 7:28 am | Comment

Did you all forget the two occasions on which I already stated that I have dated a white guy myself? I mean, you’re not all assholes.

January 13, 2012 @ 7:37 am | Comment

Between First Time in China and CM, well, I’ll just say this whole thread has gotten very toxic.

January 13, 2012 @ 10:48 am | Comment

His delusions, my facts – neither are particularly pleasant, I admit.

January 13, 2012 @ 11:14 am | Comment

I am sending this thread to Thread Heaven. No one will miss it.

January 13, 2012 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

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