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Hacked By AdGhosT

Hacked By AdGhosT & Tayeb TN & bo hmid

 

 

 

 

 

close your eyes and listen Elfen Lied <3

Greets~:AdGhosT-- adel pro tn- Anonback Tnx - A_Ghacker - xvirus -Malousi Foryn - MaxKiller - Nexamos

People call me a traitor » The Peking Duck

People call me a traitor

So says Li Chengpeng, described as “a writer and a blogger who has over five million followers on Sina Weibo.” In this shocking excerpt from a long article he wrote on the 2008 Sichuan earthquake he describes firsthand watching the horrors unfold in Beichuan, where he saw children trapped under the rubble of the tofu school buildings moving their fingers, pleading to be rescued. All of them died.

Li describes himself as a former Chinese patriot who had sucked in all the propaganda and lies verbatim. He describes how he was manipulated like a soft lump of clay.

I was a typical patriot before 2008. I believed that “hostile foreign forces” were responsible for most of my peoples’ misfortunes. As a soccer commentator covering games between Japan and China, I wrote lines like, “Cut off the Japanese devils’ heads.” I saw Japanese soccer players as the descendants of the Japanese soldiers who brutally killed Chinese civilians in the 1937 massacre of Nanjing. I used to curse CNN for its anti-China commentaries. I was one of the protesters who stood in front of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu and raised my fist after the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999.

Now he wants to know how it happened, why some schoolhouses crumbled “like crackers” while others, built with the supervision of the PLA, stood unscathed. He wants to know what stands at the root of the problem, the graft, the corruption, the kickbacks, the sleaze. And by asking these questions he exposes himself as an agent of “foreign devils.”

A month after the quake, I returned to Beijing. One day I bumped into a respected journalist from CCTV, the state television news channel. We talked about the shoddy “tofu structures” that claimed many lives during the quake.

“Corrupt officials deserve to be shot dead,” I barked.

“No,” responded the respected wise man while gazing intently at me. “Tackling such issues in China must be a gradual process. Otherwise, there will be chaos again. After all, we have to rely on these officials for post-quake reconstruction.”

I used to have a lot of respect for that man. Now we are strangers.

Some people now call me a traitor. Some call me an agent of the foreign devils. But how can I be an agent of the foreign devils when I don’t even have a U.S. green card, when unlike much of the Chinese elite my child doesn’t drive a Ferrari or study at a prestigious foreign university, when I don’t own any real estate in the United States or Europe. I love my country, but I cannot love a government that is responsible for so many shoddy “tofu structures.”

He is still a patriot. He still wants Taiwan to return to its mother’s arms. But now he sees his patriotism in a new light.

Patriotism is about taking fewer kickbacks and using proper construction methods when building classrooms. Patriotism is about constructing fewer extravagant offices for the bureaucrats and building more useful structures for farmers. Patriotism is about drinking less baijiu (a fiery Chinese spirit) using public money. Patriotism is about allowing people to move freely in our country and letting our children study in the city where they wish to study. Patriotism is about speaking more truth. Patriotism is about dignity for the Chinese people.

I love this article. I love its love for the Chinese people. I love its drawing a distinction between being pro-China and being pro-corruption, the folly of believing you can only be a patriot if you accept carte blanche all the propaganda and injustices brought by venal officials who abuse their power. I love its definitions of true patriotism as opposed to blind allegiance. I love its honesty and the author’s willingness to challenge his own principles.

Read it. Cut it out and paste it on the wall. Refer to it whenever any idiot tells you it’s impossible to be critical of the Chinese government without being “anti-China,” a “China basher.” Li has exposed them as lemmings incapable of thinking for themselves even in light of the strongest evidence. This blind acceptance of all the government’s crap isn’t patriotism at all, it’s self-delusion and the surrender of one’s critical faculties. We all know that. But it’s wonderful to hear it from a former true believer who came to see for himself what the truth actually is. And that makes him a traitor and a threat.

______________

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: 144 Comments

If Wen Jiabao is the superego of the Chinese reform movement, Li Chengping has just become its id. Who is the ego? Who will be the one who ties all the disparate forces together with a coherent strategy?

May 26, 2012 @ 1:16 am | Comment

Also noteworthy: Li’s tribute to the honest construction supervisor whose six Beichuan schools all proved safe. “The mainstream media is prohibited from praising this man. They may not even mention his name.”

And the shocker:

“One evening two years ago, I received a call from him. He said he had been forcibly treated for fictitious mental problems and his wife had left him.”

I wouldn’t hold my breath for reform.

May 26, 2012 @ 2:18 am | Comment

Gou Yandong. Thanks for sharing this article. Very sad, but also moving.

May 26, 2012 @ 2:25 am | Comment

Great article. Nice to see a blind patriot become an enlightened one. Too many of the former, not enough of the latter, it seems.

May 26, 2012 @ 2:45 am | Comment

This is irrelevant to your post.

Nonetheless, I must say I find it interesting that Li Chengpeng mentions rich, privileged Chinese kids driving Ferraris.

Especially after what happened with a Ferrari car in an accident in Singapore recently.

May 26, 2012 @ 3:39 am | Comment

Now that China’s on the ascent, Chinese people don’t want anybody to burst their bubble. The implicit social contract between Chinese citizens and Beijing leaders is, people can enjoy the economic prosperity if turn a blind eye to extreme social control policies. I find once a country has had a highly unstable history, in China’s case widespread famine, violence, etc. when the situation improves, you don’t complain. Especially when the situation improves to the point you can drive a Ferrari. It’s happens everywhere under authoritarian regimes, as long as the oppression is happening to someone else, mind your own business.

May 26, 2012 @ 4:59 am | Comment

He presumably still understands that certain foreign powers are indeed a threat, and are responsible for many bad things that do happen to Chinese people.

I HIGHLY doubt the typical Chinese nationalist loves corrupt officials. I despise them far more than any of you do, I’m sure, but a true nationalist doesn’t let either side (bad foreigners or bad natives) off the hook because one just happens to do something ridiculous on any given day.

In fact almost all of the progress China has seen in the last 30 years is due to nationalists and patriots who realize that corrupt officials are just as bad as “foreign scum”.

May 26, 2012 @ 5:52 am | Comment

What is Scientific Democracy?

Democracy, whether in China or in the West, is a big and sensitive topic, both theoretical and practical. Generally speaking, democcracy can be interpreted in three different ways.

The first interpretation is democracy as a political system for a state, otherwise known as ‘democratic politics’. When interpreted this way, democracy is strong bound to classes, politics, and ideology.

The second interpretation is demcoracy as a organizational form, specific to an organization or an operation and its associated principles. Democracy in this sense serves a specific purpose, a specific organization, a specific politics, a specific class. Whatever it serves, it exhibits the characteristics of its host.

The third interpreation is democracy as a value system, a philosophy. Democracy in this sense is bound to ideology and classes.

These three interpretations of democracy are inter-related, complementary, and distinct.

No matter which interperation, democracy is specific, historic, dynamic. There never existed a form of democracy that is an abstract, supra-class, supra-history, permanent, and universal. To adapt to the economic development of capitalist market economy, the capitalist class created ‘capitalist democracy’. Capitalist democracy was historically progressive and revolutionary during the rise of capitalism. However, Capitalist Democracy was, from the very beginning, democracy for the few. It was a democracy based on a minority governing a majority. It was a democracy preconditioned on the protection of the economic interests derived from private ownership of wealth and property of the capitalist class. Therefore, it is limited, reactionary, hypocritical, and deceptive. For the proletariats and the workers, Capitalist Democracy is not real democracy. It is cloaked in a superficial apperance of popular representation, and in reality masks its class nature of a minority governing and suppressing a majority.

Socialist Democracy practices a people’s democracy, and is based on socialist public ownership system. It is a scientific democratcy. In the political ecosystem of socialism, all operations of socialist democratic politics, and the political operation of its governing political party must invariably be conducted under the principles of democratic centralism. Democratic Centralism is an organic unity between centralism under democracy and democracy guided by centralism. It is the most fundamental orgnaizing principle and operating system of proleterian political parties an socialism countries. The Chinese Communist Party, in its course of realizing Democratic Centralism, has continously solidified, systematizied, codified, and sinicised the principles of Democratic Centralism, and made great contributions to the theories of Marxist Democratic Centralism. The success of building the Socialist democratic politics under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party proved the scientific nature of Democratic Socialism.

In our country, the reason socialist democracy is scientific is that it is based on solid economic fundmentals, solid organizational fundamentals, solid social fundamentals. Of course, nothing is perfect in the world, and Socialist Democracy continues to improve itself as it matures.

May 26, 2012 @ 7:49 am | Comment

The Clock — is Math back???

May 26, 2012 @ 9:00 am | Comment

“Democratic Centralism is an organic unity between centralism under democracy and democracy guided by centralism.”
—just as a circle is a line that happens to go around in a circle. Dude, your little essay is the epitome of circular reasoning, using “reasoning” in its broadest and most flattering sense.

Rarely has someone said so little with so many words. But forgetting about any of the concepts bastardized therein, the essay simply fails merely as an essay. While the essay purports to define a “scientific democracy”, such a definition is never provided. So just as a writing exercise, it is garbage.

THe concepts, of course, are equally moronic…but we’ve been through all of that before. Don’t know if Clock is Math, but they do sound like idiotic twins separated at birth. And I highly doubt that China is “his” country. Much more likely that “his” country is the US of A.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

To CM:
“but a true nationalist doesn’t let either side (bad foreigners or bad natives) off the hook because one just happens to do something ridiculous on any given day.”
—actually, that could be true. The thing is that most CCP types are far too ready to let CCP misdeeds slide…as you well know. And I think that’s Li’s point: someone willing to turn the other cheek for the CCP is not a true nationalist. Couldn’t agree with him more.

May 26, 2012 @ 9:40 am | Comment

In our country, the reason socialist democracy is scientific is that it is based on solid economic fundmentals, solid organizational fundamentals, solid social fundamentals.

And when will it begin to work, By the Clock? So far, it just tries to mask a totaltitarian dictatorship.

Democracy, whether in China or in the West, is a big and sensitive topic, both theoretical and practical.

That’s the onbly line that mentions the practical aspects of democracy in China – no surprise that the rest is all about “theory”.
Once “ordinary people” stop buying shares in corporations, and get force-fed with them in turn, I might agree that “is limited, reactionary, hypocritical, and deceptive”.

Socialist Democracy practices a people’s democracy, and is based on socialist public ownership system.

Which is nice for corrupt officials who fix the prices for farmland turned to development areas – and who decide who gets the lion’s share of the sales. When socialist democracy comes from the top, it is bound to be limited, reactionary, hypocritical, and deceptive.

People where I live use two different kinds of currencies – the euro, and a local currency, agreed to by those locals who use it. The same thing is happening in other regions in Germany. If the economy was based on public ownership, no such experiment could work, and the only way to put pressure on monetary and social systems to improve would be to write big, theoretical posts.

Once a system without freedom of contract and rule of law is called a “democracy”, you only have “the masses”, who are not supposed to have individual ambitions.

May 26, 2012 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

In China, Li Chengpeng is best known for his sports writing. Aside from a great many essays, he also wrote a scathing, best-selling exposé on Chinese football (soccer). Unfortunately for him, he is also known for having been arrested for patronizing prostitutes. During the last World Cup, following an exiting U.S. win over Algeria, Li wrote the following essay (in Chinese) praising the U.S. team’s effort and spirit – not his best work, but one of my favorites:

要敢动 不要感动 美国精神值得人们去学习

http://sports.shangdu.com/wz/2010_6/24/article-29316-1.htm

May 26, 2012 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

@Cookie Monster

‘but a true nationalist doesn’t let either side (bad foreigners or bad natives) off the hook because one just happens to do something ridiculous on any given day.’

I don’t think the author is trying to let ‘bad foreigners’ off the hook. You state that foreigner powers ‘are responsible for many bad things that do happen to Chinese people.’ So, in the interests of balance, how do you think the author could improve the article, which I summarise below:

I was an unquestioning patriot.
I was taught and believed that foreigner powers were dangerous.
I saw massive corruption and questioned my beliefs.
But I am still a patriot, and support use of force concerning Huangyan Island.
We should focus on domestic issues.
And foreigners are still bad and do bad things in China such as….

What recent examples would you add?

May 26, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

I think the key thing to remember in all considerations of so-called “China Bashing” is that the Party and the nation are two separate entities.

In other words, criticism of the Party is not criticism of China. Only authoritarian governments unshakably equate themselves with the state as a whole.

Furthermore, as I pointed out to Richard during our delightful afternoon tea the other weekend, Party members actually represent a minority of the population at 80 million. There are, in fact, more mentally ill people in China (110 million) than there are Partymembers.

However, you could be forgiven for regarding them as one and the same at least.

May 26, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

@Nars,interesting stats. This is what you get if you calculate party membership as a percentage of total population:

China:

Communist party: 0.06%

US:

Democratic Party: 0.1%
Republican Party: 0.9%

May 26, 2012 @ 6:25 pm | Comment

[…] best reaction to the piece so far comes from The Peking Duck: I love this article. I love its love for the Chinese people. I love its drawing a distinction […]

May 26, 2012 @ 9:58 pm | Pingback

The thing is most people attack the party to attack China, i.e to destabilize the nation. They have no real interest in helping the Chinese people. In fact many key China-haters that are the source of most anti-Chinese propaganda despise the Chinese people.

May 27, 2012 @ 1:10 am | Comment

Wow CM, how many gross generalizations can you utter in one day? Between here and the Devil thread you must be gunning for a personal best or something.

Take Xilin’s stats: if you criticize the CCP, you are at most criticizing 1/16 of the population (and that’s assuming that all party members are true believers, and not in it just for the guanxi/nepotism benefits).

May 27, 2012 @ 8:53 am | Comment

“This is what you get if you calculate party membership as a percentage of total population…”

I think there are meaningful differences between “party membership” in China and the United States, especially with regards to admission standards, benefits & membership responsibilities. A simple comparison of membership rates probably doesn’t tell us much.

May 27, 2012 @ 3:43 pm | Comment

Apologies all. The figures I gave are incorrect. I missed off some zeros. My fault entirely, I should have checked them.

Party membership as a percentage of population:

China:

Communist party: 6%

US:

Democratic Party: 10%
Republican Party: 9%

Once again, my apologies for misleading people.

May 27, 2012 @ 4:14 pm | Comment

@Matt, I agree that there are stark differences between membership. The comparison shows that for whatever reason, be it difficult entry requirments or the responsibilities of membership, as a percentage of population, fewer people join the Communist Party than join the Republican Party.

May 27, 2012 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

Matt raises a good point about admission standards.

According to Xinhua, in 2010 only 3.075 million of the 21.017 million who applied to join the party were accepted. As a percentage, that is only 14%.

May 27, 2012 @ 5:07 pm | Comment

“China:

Communist party: 0.06%

US:

Democratic Party: 0.1%
Republican Party: 0.9%”

So… which can claim popular legitimacy and therefore be credibly taken to “speak for” the people? Is it the people who are voted for at regular intervals by universal suffrage or is it the self-appointed oligarchs who will shoot you in the back as you run away if you attempt to change the self-perpetuating system?

May 27, 2012 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

I don’t think a direct comparison of party enrollment rate between the CCP and US political parties is relevant. As others have said, the bar for acceptance is different.

In the US, even if only 19% are members of one party or the other, 100% have access to democratic institutions.

In China, the apologists like to say that within the CCP, “democracy” is at play…although you’d be hard-pressed to see it with the whole Bo fiasco. But even if you accept the initial assertion hook/line/sinker, that still leaves 94% of Chinese people who cannot avail themselves to “democracy”, even nominally. That to me would be the bigger and more relevant difference.

May 28, 2012 @ 2:33 am | Comment

Xilin
And foreigners are still bad and do bad things in China such as….

The US and much of the West is, at the very least, a strategic competitor. But it’s stated policy for them to contain Chinese influence, as part of a broader global strategy that strives to impede the growth and self-sufficiency of all major developing nations and blocs of nations (Russia, Middle East, parts of South America).

Likewise, Western firms and individuals are inclined to rent-seeking and are not at all invested in the welfare of the Chinese people. The influx of Western culture and the disease of West-worshiping are the result of the CCP’s lack of spine.

May 28, 2012 @ 3:28 am | Comment

Cheung
100% have access to democratic institutions.

On paper. The simple fact is, however, that 30-60% of eligible people don’t vote, which tends to mean only those with more extreme political leanings turn out.

That said the point is moot because “democratic institutions” have not been proven to be of benefit to anyone. As a package deal, that is, since I’m sure you will claim human rights and rule of law are exclusively democratic, and I don’t feel like going over why you’re utterly wrong once again.

if you criticize the CCP, you are at most criticizing 1/16 of the population (and that’s assuming that all party members are true believers, and not in it just for the guanxi/nepotism

There’s a fine line between criticism and propaganda designed to destabilize a nation. Too many people who make absolutely ridiculous claims against the “Chineee gubmint” have no clue what they’re talking about or have some kind of ulterior motive.

99% of all lines that include “the Chinese government is …” are simplistic if not idiotic.

May 28, 2012 @ 3:35 am | Comment

I think most people are well aware of the following:

The US and much of the West is, at the very least, a strategic competitor. But it’s stated policy for them to contain Chinese influence, as part of a broader global strategy that strives to impede the growth and self-sufficiency of all major developing nations and blocs of nations (Russia, Middle East, parts of South America).
Likewise, Western firms and individuals are inclined to rent-seeking and are not at all invested in the welfare of the Chinese people. The influx of Western culture and the disease of West-worshiping are the result of the CCP’s lack of spine.

But that’s wholly irrelevant to the question of whether foreigners in China share some sort of collective guilt.

Most of the things you’ve listed are the crimes of Western institutions, and only a certain subset of them. Granted, these institutions (the Pentagon, Western media conglomerates, investment banks) are powerful, visible, and extremely aggressive. But they in no way represent the entire Western civilization any more than unscrupulous Chinese manufacturers or hackers or IP thieves represent the entire Chinese civilization. Even if we established that these institutions stood in the majority, it’s still yet another logical shift before you can start assigning collective guilt to individuals within that civilization. Once you put aside ethnic and class biases, each of these logical shifts becomes very, very difficult.

Furthermore, I’d argue that China is not “West-worshiping” because the CCP lacks spine. People everywhere look for strength–strong models of growth, strong models of social organization, strong technologies, economies, and militaries–but it is not the CCP’s sole onus or responsibility to bring those things to the Chinese people. As has been mentioned before by numerous commentators here, the CCP is 6% of the Chinese people. How is it fair to make it so that only they are the ones to bear this cross of iron? If China wants to become strong, respected, then Chinese people should look in the mirror and start from there. Solve their own problems–from this perspective, the CCP’s greatest task ahead is not to build *spine*, but to show restraint, and nurture a civil society, even if it may feel politically uncomfortable doing so. This is not an easy task–I would argue that the United States did not have a truly independent, vibrant civil society until the bloodletting following Nixon’s resignation caused the FBI and CIA to dramatically scale back their domestic activities. But if China can make the shift from agarian communism to industrial capitalism, then I have every confidence that China can make this leap as well.

May 28, 2012 @ 5:51 am | Comment

t_co
But that’s wholly irrelevant to the question of whether foreigners in China share some sort of collective guilt.

I wouldn’t broadly accuse Westerners of being guilty of the disgusting crimes their governments commit, but it’s INDISPUTABLE that individual Westerners (relatively speaking) are the ones on the offensive and playing pawn in the “culture/civilization” wars that the people and institutions you name instigate.

It’s also indisputable that as far as being cronies and apologists of said entities, Westerners as a whole are more guilty. When’s the last time you saw an obnoxious, preachy column directed at the West’s institutions by a Chinese individual, that wasn’t some kind of reaction to provocation? When’s the last time you’ve seen a Chinese citizen claim that the PRC’s model of governance is the end-all-be-all of governments and social organization?

The thing about authoritarian governments is that there is, as many mention, a clear distinction between the people and its ruling political party. In democracies, there is no such thing. There’s no way to proceed logically from this point without either criticizing the electorate or the core ideas of democracy itself.

As far as individuals in the West go, some blame for the problem (poor relations between the West and China/rest of world) can indeed be ascribed to them. “They” are at best complacent and do not challenge the corporate/elite line on a wide range of subjects. But all of this needs to be taken into context, of course.

As far as where the onus lies for China’s development, the people have been taking part, of course. The CCP hasn’t been solely responsible for either everything bad or everything good that happens in China, which brings up a relevant point: in many cases the “horrible” things that happen in China, and which are pinned on the government, are committed by private citizens in China and not the government. This is another way in which the “CCP vs. Citizens” trope puked up by corporate/USGov rectums is manipulated to cynically prejudice their readership against China as a whole.

Likewise, China has already been in a decades long (if not longer) process of solving its own problems. But primary sector reform and building infrastructure is a lot less glamorous and newsworthy than political agitation. Similarly, over-acceptance of everything foreign is likewise not necessary for civil society to flourish. A pragmatic approach is always best, and the kind of excuse-making on the laowais’ behalf you see from the (allegedly hypernationalist) Chinese public is a sign of poor critical thinking skills and general ignorance.

May 28, 2012 @ 6:13 am | Comment

“But it’s stated policy for them to contain Chinese influence, as part of a broader global strategy that strives to impede the growth and self-sufficiency of all major developing nations”
—insofar as the US (and the world, for that matter) are in competition with China as well as with each other, of course policy is positioned such that each individual entity/state strives to make sure it stays competitive and doesn’t get wiped out. That’s not “containment”; that’s just competition. But the ongoing fallacy of suggesting that western nations are “keeping people down” the world over is just needless overuse of the victim card.

It is true that voter turnout can be terrible at different times and places. Alas, people have the right to vote but cannot be compelled to exercise that right. If you can vote and choose not to, then obviously one can’t bemoan the result. But it’s also not the fault of the system. Rights are there if you choose to exercise them; rights are not there such that you are forced to.

Democratic institutions are indeed a package deal, but in theory I guess you can go a-la carte. I suppose “human rights” and “rule of law” need not be the exclusive domain of “democracies”; but I’d love to hear of some real-world examples of authoritarian states which preserve human rights and sustain the rule of law. Even Singapore, which seemed to be the go-to example in the past, is moving to multiple parties and away from single family rule. In China at least, you’d be hard pressed to find human rights and rule of law that don’t get trampled the moment the CCP feels like it.

““democratic institutions” have not been proven to be of benefit to anyone.”
—scientifically? Probably not. Has a parachute ever been scientifically proven to be of benefit to anyone jumping out of a plane? I don’t think so either. My guess is most people would prefer a parachute nonetheless. My guess is also that most people would prefer having democratic institutions over not having them, if given the choice. What’s lacking in China is that choice.

“Too many people who make absolutely ridiculous claims against the “Chineee gubmint” have no clue what they’re talking about”
—nice unsubstantiated gross over-generalization yet again. You’re full of those lately. But I suspect most people on this board don’t speak with a southern drawl, and can easily distinguish the CCP vs China as a nation vs Chinese as a people.

“The CCP hasn’t been solely responsible for either everything bad or everything good that happens in China, which brings up a relevant point: in many cases the “horrible” things that happen in China, and which are pinned on the government, are committed by private citizens in China and not the government. ”
—that’s fair. But as the government, the buck stops with it. If private citizens are committing “horrible” things, it’s the government’s job to put a stop to it. Take the CGC case, once again. I can believe the central party did not demand that he be held in illegal detention. I can accept that it was the work of local bad apples. But to be aware of it and do nothing makes the CCP an accomplice after the fact, and counts her into the list of those culpable.

May 28, 2012 @ 8:41 am | Comment

@SK

One thing your post made me think of was the way that a substantial amount of the injustice that goes on in China today is not a result of the Party wanting to do something, but a result of special interests using the system the Party has set up to pursue their own narrow ends. This doesn’t absolve the Party of anything, since the relationship is mutual; the core of the system is that the Party is the only way to get anything, good or bad, done in China, and it prefers to use any means necessary to stay that way.

Harping on good anecdotes or bad anecdotes that arise from this system is not a productive way to advance debate. What is far more compelling is an examination of the systemic benefits or flaws of such an arrangement.

May 28, 2012 @ 9:05 am | Comment

When’s the last time you saw an obnoxious, preachy column directed at the West’s institutions by a Chinese individual, that wasn’t some kind of reaction to provocation? When’s the last time you’ve seen a Chinese citizen claim that the PRC’s model of governance is the end-all-be-all of governments and social organization?

Why would it be such an awful thing if some Chinese individuals did write articles like that? It’s not as if it could start a revolution, undermine social stability or whatever. Even if the intention was to destabilize “The West”, I don’t imagine any real harm could result apart from hurting the feelings of some people. It might even lead to some benefit, who knows?

May 28, 2012 @ 9:46 am | Comment

I love my country, but I cannot love a government that is responsible for so many shoddy “tofu structures.

Nobody ever defined patriotism as love for one’s government. Otherwise we would have to say that all CCP members prior to 1949 were traitors.

May 28, 2012 @ 9:50 am | Comment

Li Chengpeng is lucky to be living in a democratic country like China. If this were in the fascist USA, he would’ve been shot in point blank range by FBI agents, and his body made into pate from a Boeing airplane engine running on full speed.

May 28, 2012 @ 10:11 am | Comment

To T-Co,
agreed. Moreso than in democracies, the CCP’s way is the only way. So she has even less wiggle room to absolve herself of responsibility for the bad stuff that goes on.

I also agree that a global assessment is the way to go, rather than the nickel and dime route. The parameters for such an assessment might be cause for some debate. As well as who does the assessing.

To Peter,
exactly. A Chinese person who wants to criticize western institutions can get in line with all the westerners who readily do precisely that.

May 28, 2012 @ 10:26 am | Comment

SK Cheung
But the ongoing fallacy of suggesting that western nations are “keeping people down” the world over is just needless overuse of the victim card.

Care to substantiate this arrogant nonsense? I want to know just how tight the blinders are wrapped around your skull. I could similarly dismiss your claims of abuses against the Chinese people by the CCP as mere whining.

But it’s also not the fault of the system.

No, but it demonstrates a flaw in the idea.

I’d love to hear of some real-world examples of authoritarian states which preserve human rights and sustain the rule of law.

There are no real-world examples of any state that preserves human rights and sustains the rule of law but if you want one that’s relatively tame, try Singapore or Taiwan in the late 90s.

Has a parachute ever been scientifically proven to be of benefit to anyone jumping out of a plane?

I don’t think you understand the scientific process.

My guess is also that most people would prefer having democratic institutions over not having them

It doesn’t matter what “most people” prefer.

If private citizens are committing “horrible” things, it’s the government’s job to put a stop to it.

You just lost. I don’t even know where to begin on how this statement completely destroys everything you’ve tried to argue up until this point. Are you saying that the government is responsible for every single thing that happens within the borders of a state?

May 28, 2012 @ 10:39 am | Comment

Peter
Why would it be such an awful thing if some Chinese individuals did write articles like that?

It’s just dangerous to believe in absolutes and ideology, especially where government is involved. Look at where America’s blind, foaming at the mouth jingoism has gotten them.

May 28, 2012 @ 10:41 am | Comment

@xilin Agreed. My limited understanding is that it’s comparatively harder to be admitted to the CCP than US political parties.

I’ve never bothered to become a “card carrying” member of a US political party, but I think you simply have to make a small donation. I have “registered” with a party to vote in a primary election, but that’s simply a box that I checked while filling out my voter registration form. I think few Americans join a political party because there’s little (maybe no?) practical benefit.

May 28, 2012 @ 11:57 am | Comment

It’s just dangerous to believe in absolutes and ideology, especially where government is involved. Look at where America’s blind, foaming at the mouth jingoism has gotten them.

You may well be right, but I still don’t see why it would be a problem if Chinese people criticised Western institutions. If hostile governments are doing this to destabilize China and undermine it’s political system, why not retaliate in kind if it’s such a powerful weapon? Also, it’s not hard to imagine blind jingoism getting China into trouble given that the government actively fosters it.

May 28, 2012 @ 12:19 pm | Comment

“Care to substantiate this arrogant nonsense?”
—are you asking me to prove a negative (that western nations DON’T hold people down)? Come now. Logic 101, dude. The onus is on you to establish your point. I can wait.

“I could similarly dismiss your claims of abuses against the Chinese people by the CCP as mere whining.”
—that wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Except there’s lots of proof of those abuses…let’s start with CGC, shall we?

“No, but it demonstrates a flaw in the idea.”
—and what is the “flaw”? That people can’t be compelled to exercise their right to vote?

“try Singapore or Taiwan in the late 90s.”
—see, I knew Singapore would come up. And have you seen where they’re headed? Look at the multi party elections in Singapore. Look where Taiwan is now. Not a bad trajectory for China to emulate in terms of the evolution of human rights preservation and acquisition of the rule of law.

“I don’t think you understand the scientific process.”
—LOL. Is that the best you got?

“It doesn’t matter what “most people” prefer.”
—yes, we know, we know. It only matters what the CCP wants. Spoken like the gold-star CCP apologist that you are.

“Are you saying that the government is responsible for every single thing that happens within the borders of a state?”
—obviously not every single thing. If someone gets divorced, that’s not the government’s fault. If someone dies of a heart attack, that’s not the government’s fault. But if something bad happens that is within the jurisdiction of the government (like law and order, for instance), then ultimately that is the government’s responsibility. Failure to discharge that responsibility properly would be the government’s fault. That doesn’t mean a person committing murder or rape is the government’s fault. But doing nothing in response to a rape or murder (such as if a government institution like the police don’t do their due diligence in investigating those crimes) would be the government’s fault. And as I said, in CGC’s case, I am willing to stipulate that his initial illegal detention is not the central CCP government’s fault (though it certainly is the fault of the local government), but turning a blind eye to the illegal activities of lower levels of government is certainly the fault of those higher up the food chain.

May 28, 2012 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

“Patriotism is about speaking more truth.”, says Li Chengpeng.

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2012/05/china-arrests-man-suspected-of-killing-11/

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2012/05/sensitive-words-foreigners-and-cannibals/

That there unfortunately was a serial killer in Yunnan is not the point. Sadly, there are crazy people everywhere. But why is the CCP deleting weibo references to the case? Isn’t that speaking less truth? Wouldn’t that almost be…gasp…unpatriotic? Yes, I know that is readily apparent to most, but not all, people on this board.

May 28, 2012 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

“Are you saying that the government is responsible for every single thing that happens within the borders of a state?”
—obviously not every single thing. If someone gets divorced, that’s not the government’s fault. If someone dies of a heart attack, that’s not the government’s fault. But if something bad happens that is within the jurisdiction of the government (like law and order, for instance), then ultimately that is the government’s responsibility. Failure to discharge that responsibility properly would be the government’s fault. That doesn’t mean a person committing murder or rape is the government’s fault. But doing nothing in response to a rape or murder (such as if a government institution like the police don’t do their due diligence in investigating those crimes) would be the government’s fault. And as I said, in CGC’s case, I am willing to stipulate that his initial illegal detention is not the central CCP government’s fault (though it certainly is the fault of the local government), but turning a blind eye to the illegal activities of lower levels of government is certainly the fault of those higher up the food chain.

True. In addition the first key question any citizenry has to ask themselves, on a constant basis, is “what should our government care about?” Applying it to China today, we see that many, many Chinese citizens want the government to care about different things rather than just simply preventing riots and keeping GDP growth high via artificially lowered interest rates.

May 28, 2012 @ 1:40 pm | Comment

@SKC – Somehow you appear to have failed to see the point: When Chinese people express themselves to be generally happy about the state of things, this means they are happy with the CCP, but when people complain about a specific case, this is nothing to do with the CCP.

May 28, 2012 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

Peter
You may well be right, but I still don’t see why it would be a problem if Chinese people criticised Western institutions. If hostile governments are doing this to destabilize China and undermine it’s political system, why not retaliate in kind if it’s such a powerful weapon? Also, it’s not hard to imagine blind jingoism getting China into trouble given that the government actively fosters it.

The government does not foster jingoism. Chinese nationalism is the natural reaction to foreign provocations, they simply channel this sentiment to meet certain ends – often incompetently.

And there is definitely nothing wrong with criticizing foreign governments on reasonable grounds, but of course the CCP tries to keep things tame.

May 28, 2012 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

are you asking me to prove a negative (that western nations DON’T hold people down)

Like how you constantly ask people to prove that the CCP doesn’t “oppress” the Chinese? And no, you’re not being asked to prove a negative. You can likewise frame any argument as a negative. The onus is on you to disprove consensus and established fact.

I think what you’re looking for in your logic 101 textbook is “argument from ignorance”. Read up.

?Except there’s lots of proof of those abuses…let’s start with CGC, shall we?

I see your CGC and up you $30-50 billion funneled to the Mubarak regime by the West for torture and military occupation. You lose by a factor of some 50,000 or more.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/05/egypt-hosni-mubarak-trial_n_949099.html

That people can’t be compelled to exercise their right to vote?

Ugh, that democracy does not even begin to express the will of the people, much less their interests.

Not a bad trajectory for China to emulate in terms of the evolution of human rights preservation

In that case China still has 20 or so years of authoritarian capitalism to go.

Is that the best you got?

I don’t know, can you make any worse arguments?

It only matters what the CCP wants.

Nope. It only matters what is good for the people and the country, and stability is good.

But if something bad happens that is within the jurisdiction of the government (like law and order, for instance), then ultimately that is the government’s responsibility.

Good to see you pin the full blame of high crime rates in Brazil and the US on democratic government, the Iraq and Afghan Wars on democracy, mass starvation and millions of child deaths per year on India’s government, etc.

What were you saying again about regime change in China?

May 29, 2012 @ 12:02 am | Comment

t_co
Applying it to China today, we see that many, many Chinese citizens want the government to care about different things rather than just simply preventing riots and keeping GDP growth high via artificially lowered interest rates.

Do you really think that’s all they do? Many young Chinese want the CCP to heavily militarize, vastly expand their nuclear arsenal, adopt a confrontational stance toward neighboring territorial revisionists, and be more assertive on the national stage.

Aside from that, the people appear to be satisfied, for now.

May 29, 2012 @ 12:06 am | Comment

The government does not foster jingoism. Chinese nationalism is the natural reaction to foreign provocations, they simply channel this sentiment to meet certain ends – often incompetently.

What’s the difference between “fostering jingoism” and “channeling this sentiment”? In any case, you are wrong. The Chinese police were providing anti-Japanese demonstrators with eggs to throw at Japanese cars and visitors in 2005. The government was in the forefront until their ends were met, and they quickly brought it to a halt. They constantly keep alive memories of sensitive issues (we all know what they are) and periodically stoke them to cause distractions.

Richard has the flu and can’t comment very frequently at the moment.

May 29, 2012 @ 12:19 am | Comment

Richard
The Chinese police were providing anti-Japanese demonstrators with eggs to throw at Japanese cars and visitors in 2005.

I think you are proving my point, Richard. They provided the eggs to throw, not the will the throw them. I’m laughing by the way, throwing eggs is pretty insignificant. Who should we blame if Koreans are cutting their fingers, lobbing molotov cocktails, and beheading dogs in front of the Japanese embassy?

The Chinese police has more of a hand in CONTAINING the protests than anything else. Something Westerners may not understand is that it’s not just China who protests Japan. And why does China not have the right to remember its own history? Do they need to start removing the Nanjing Massacre or maybe all of World War 2 from their history books to please foreigners? The Opium Wars and foreign abuses during the late Qing?

Considering they are uniquely positioned in never receiving sincere apologies (some scripted nonsense from Japanese PMs are meaningless) or reparations for any of the crimes mentioned, it’s absolutely far to assume the relevant parties are not the least bit remorseful.

May 29, 2012 @ 12:24 am | Comment

“Like how you constantly ask people to prove that the CCP doesn’t “oppress” the Chinese?”
—since when have I done that? It is patently obvious to all but the most indoctrinated that the CCP routinely oppresses Chinese people wrt human rights and rule of law.

“And no, you’re not being asked to prove a negative.”
—then I guess this statement from #29 is good to go: “the ongoing fallacy of suggesting that western nations are “keeping people down” the world over is just needless overuse of the victim card”

“The onus is on you to disprove consensus and established fact.”
—consensus and established fact in whose eyes? Yours? Don’t make me laugh.

“I see your CGC and up you $30-50 billion funneled…”
—here we go yet again. How does talk about proof of CCP abuses lead to mention of Mubarak? When the argument starts to go south, start bringing up irrelevant comparisons. In fact, that will be the new litmus test for you: when you start to compare, I know your argument is down the tubes. Again, typical, and predictable.

“democracy does not even begin to express the will of the people, much less their interests”
—thus again demonstrating your lack of comprehension of the concept.

“In that case China still has 20 or so years of authoritarian capitalism to go.”
—hey, at least there is an end in sight. Say, will you be there to enjoy any of that authoritarianism, or will you just cheer it on from the comfort of the US of A?

“stability is good.”
—indeed. Stability isn’t the problem. The CCP is the problem. That hasn’t changed.

Absolutely, high crime rates are a government issue. The US war on drugs is a failure. The Mexican one ain’t going so well either. Childhood illness and poverty in India is a government issue. Just as food safety, shoddy construction, and poverty are government issues in China under the CCP. Not to mention, of course, the human rights stuff, and the lack of rule of law. Oh and the corruption. Oh and the pollution. So no, “democracy” doesn’t cure all that ails you, and that was never the point. Neither does authoritarianism, obviously. The point is that looking for “perfection” is not a realistic discriminator. Once you get that through your thick skull, you can weigh the pros and cons of each. The choice is clear. A CHinese people need is the freedom to make one.

May 29, 2012 @ 2:18 am | Comment

sorry…”all Chinese people need…”

May 29, 2012 @ 2:20 am | Comment

Do you really think that’s all they do? Many young Chinese want the CCP to heavily militarize, vastly expand their nuclear arsenal, adopt a confrontational stance toward neighboring territorial revisionists, and be more assertive on the national stage.

Of course this isn’t all they *do*. But those are the only ends they are trying to *achieve*. There are a multitude of means by which they achieve them.

When you look at the implicit promotion criteria within the Chinese bureaucracy, you’ll see that the only two consistent points that propel an administrative official (not advisory official, e.g. the MOFCOM, NDRC, or Foreign Ministry) upward are preventing riots and maintaining economic growth. Every other metric (environmental, elections, etc) fails a statistical significance test.

Officials aren’t stupid. These are the incentives they face, which means that they are the only things they care about.

In that vein of logic, your first three points (nuclear arsenal, confrontational stance, and militarization) all drive towards the same goal of being more assertive on the (inter)national stage. Perhaps that will be what the Party adopts as an “official” goal after the next congress, though I hope not. China shares a number of geopolitical similarities to Germany–too big for East Asia, but not yet big enough for the world. It took the Germans two World Wars to figure out the correct way to leverage their power into influence within Europe–looking at the EU today, we see its multilateral institutions and economic mechanisms give Germany indirect control over far more countries than its armies could ever conquer. I hope China can draw some lessons and pursue a similar integrationist model of foreign policy in East Asia.

May 29, 2012 @ 2:52 am | Comment

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