A peaceful rise

You have to go read Jame Fallows’ alarming piece on a crazy threat by Hainan officials, who claim sovereignty over a vast swath of the South China Sea reaching almost all the way down to Brunei (!).

If you’re worn out worrying about Syria, Gaza, Iran, you name it, I give you: the announcement today by police on China’s large southern island of Hainan that, starting on January 1, they will assert a right to stop and board any vessel they consider to have violated China’s very expansive claim of territorial waters in the South China Sea.

….For months, Chinese patrol boats and other craft have scuffled with foreign vessels, mainly from the Philippines and most often over contested fishing grounds. But an assertion from officials in Hainan that they can stop and board any vessel passing through these waters is something quite different. The US Navy has had a lot of different missions over the centuries, but one of its elemental purposes has been defending freedom-of-navigation on the high seas. The Seventh Fleet is the regnant military power in this area. I am usually in the “oh calm down” camp about frictions, especially military, between China and America. But it is easy to imagine things becoming dangerous, quickly, if the new Chinese administration actually tries to carry out this order.

You have to see the map of China’s territorial claims to believe it. Let’s hope Xi shows us early on that he’s a reasonable leader devoted to China’s peaceful rise by scrapping this idiotic plan.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 59 Comments

I’ll believe it when I see Hainan police try to board a USN aircraft carrier. Otherwise . . . oh, calm down.

December 1, 2012 @ 2:28 am | Comment

The Japanese have been doing it for years around Diaoyutai. The S. Koreans routinely board Chinese vessels. So the Chinese cannot do it? Why? Because they are Chinese?

December 1, 2012 @ 3:44 am | Comment

Besides, China has always honored the international right of passage. Police would only stop violation of the laws. If the USN aircraft carrier is just passing through, there is no violation of the law. If the vessel is catching fish in China’s exclusive economic zone, of course the Chinese police has the right to enforce laws.

December 1, 2012 @ 4:09 am | Comment

Have to agree with Foarp – for now. It isn’t really big news yet. If the foreign ministry spokespeople should celarly endorse this next week, it becomes a bit bigger – but I seem to remember a number of scuffles there already.

Btw, and just fyi, the West Lake and adjacent territories of yet unspecified hectares have been JR-land since ancient time. There’s a map on my desk which proves it. (It was apparently drawn with a ballpen, but who cares.)

Stay tuned. Things are turning dramatic there.

December 1, 2012 @ 4:36 am | Comment

I as Chinese am personally offended by the tone of Westerners making comments on Chinese enforcing Chinese laws in Chinese territory. And you wonder why expats would feel unwelcome in China!! If that’s how you talk, what do you expect? That the Chinese would always grin and bear it?

If you say the area is not Chinese territory, are you willing to spend blood and treasure to prove otherwise? That is the bottom line, is it not?

Peaceful rise does not mean that China has to act the turtle with head drawn into shell. A superpower has to act like one.

December 1, 2012 @ 5:04 am | Comment

I as Chinese am personally offended by the tone of Westerners making comments

Maybe you should have a cry, Pigboy. Maybe we’ll feel bad about making you cry, maybe not.

Do you get personally offended by the tone of the comments from “Easterners” such as the Vietnamese, Filipinos, Malaysians, Koreans etc.?

December 1, 2012 @ 5:36 am | Comment

And you wonder why expats would feel unwelcome in China!!

zhubaajie, I’m not sure that you’ve realized, but you don’t appear to be terribly welcome on this blog. And to talk about a willingness to spend blood and treasure to prove your determination from a comfy (I hope) home in North America is pathetic.

Go to the PLA-N and volunteer now – if they take you. I doubt they will.

December 1, 2012 @ 5:37 am | Comment

@Atticus Dogsbody 6

My comment re blood and treasure applies to all – including the gnat countries that are suddenly fervent American allies all of a sudden. They are certainly welcome to prove otherwise, if they do not agree with the Chinese position.

Just look at Japan. China Daily recently ran an article on the collapse in Japanese auto sales in China. In a chart it compared the Japanese drop-off in October year-to-year to a rise in sales for some other suppliers:
* Mazda: down 45%
* Honda: down 54%
* Nissan: down 41%
* Toyota: down 44%

Contrasted with:
* GM: up 14%
* Ford: up 48% [8]

The implied message here is that Japan’s loss can be America’s gain. None of this even takes formal government action – it is all voluntary action by the Chinese people themselves. The Chinese CHOSE not to buy Made by Japan because of the Japanese position on Chinese territory. Same can and will happen with the Vietnamese, Filipinos, Malaysians, Koreans if they keep it up.

December 1, 2012 @ 5:56 am | Comment

China could talk itself into a very serious corner on this one: so much for centralised chain of command.

The Hainan govt has discovered the perfect mix likely to appeal to the vox pop: bellicose threats and sex. http://www.china.org.cn/travel/2012-11/16/content_27135000.htm

Basically, the place is one gigantic brothel, administered by an immensely corrupt provincial govt, what remains of displaced farming communities, totally unsustainable foreshore development with a submarine base appended.

You and your dodgy biro maps, JR. Westlake is situated in Fuzhou, Beijing, Guilin……

December 1, 2012 @ 5:56 am | Comment

@justrecently 7

You mean (it is not obvious) that only those who kiss behinds are welcome on this forum? That is not very welcoming of you.

December 1, 2012 @ 5:58 am | Comment

Westlake is situated in Fuzhou, Beijing, Guilin……

That’s exactly my claim, umm, point, KT.

December 1, 2012 @ 5:59 am | Comment

We’ve talked twice now, zhuubaajie, and I have nothing to add.

December 1, 2012 @ 5:59 am | Comment

Zoo-keeper volunteering for the PLA so that he might offer up his own butt on the line, and not just that of others? Please. This is a guy who sings the virtues of the ccp from California. You can’t seriously expect hypocrites like that to put their money where their mouth is, about anything.

December 1, 2012 @ 6:42 am | Comment

That map alluded to by Fallows, is that the nine-dotted-line nonsense, or even crazier still? Either way, the CCP would have to be smoking crack to think that those claims stand a hope in hell of international recognition.

So is it just some rogue local idiot? Or does the CCP need to fan up some nationalistic fervor in order to take the heat off some internal screw up?

December 1, 2012 @ 7:07 am | Comment

@S.K. Cheung 14

You are ignoring facts again. Crack smoking is uniquely American – the Chinese do not do crack.

This is actually going all as planned (yes, you may have hope, the Chicoms have plans). Chinese Soros have been initiated heavy plays on shorting everything Japanese – stocks, the Yen, etc. Abe, who is believed to be coming into office soon, talks about (a) selling military goods to all takers, and (b) sharply devaluing the Yen to boost exports. The Japanese “commentators” are angling for getting nukes in a hurry. All bode wonderfully well on shorting all things Japanese. The beauty is that it is mostly asymmetric, as it is very difficult to short Chinese securities (apart from the small number of overseas listings and ADR’s).

It looks like all is going according to plan, and it does not even require much government intervention. The Chinese people are voluntarily choosing to boycott Japan. If that holds up for another 24 months, a lot of folks will be a lot richer.

December 1, 2012 @ 7:43 am | Comment

@ All. To his credit, Richard runs a pretty free wheeling site here, and rarely exercises the delete button, and then only after a number of explicit warnings.

Now, it is patently obvious that Zhuubaajie is in the same mold as those HH Californian patriots with US passports, but he also gives as good as he gets (and really should have protested about being referred to as Pigboy*). So far, he seems to be maintaining a reasonable holding action even at the risk of contracting RSI.

My questions is this: what does one want in a discussion, a Greek chorus or a bit of good old keyboard conflict and difference?. And this question is unrelated to the fact whether Zhuu or whoever writes total drivel (which he doesn’t) or actually makes key contrary points within larger spurious arguments.

Now, if it’s a Greek chorus site, its a mirror image of the humourless HH crowd.

Also, it is not particularly educational watching the lets-pile-on-the contrary view: the equivalent of a street fight in China.

Okay, I’ve plumbed the juvenile depths a few times, simply because I reject restricted and totally humorless bipolar US-China threads.

I’m just curious what type of community do readers and commenters expect to find at this site?

*To my knowledge, there is only one Pigboy: The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw by Paul Butterfield.

December 1, 2012 @ 8:25 am | Comment

To 15,
oh brother. You and the CCP really deserve each other. It’s too bad you don’t just go there. But walking the walk is not a common characteristic among you CCP apologist folk.

To KT,
I wouldn’t be surprised if he was an HH dude. They’re all clones anyway…tough to tell them apart…just like a bunch of Agent Smith’s (Matrix reference, not sure if you’re into that sort of thing).

I agree this dude quotes facts. It’s the contextualization of those facts that trips him up.

December 1, 2012 @ 8:40 am | Comment

Please don’t use the term “pigboy,” even if the joke is tempting.

Zhuzhu: “You mean (it is not obvious) that only those who kiss behinds are welcome on this forum?”

It takes a lot of chutzpah for you to call someone out for ass-kissing.

Everyone is welcome on this forum, and if you haven’t noticed none of your comments have been deleted/censored.

December 1, 2012 @ 9:50 am | Comment

What is wrong with this week with Western media? The media’s (two biggest international media outlets Associated Press and Reuters) scaremongering tactic of “enemies of Western nations” Iran now China is putting The National Enquirer to shame.

AP scaremongering graph of Iran’s nuclear bomb bulls*** debunked http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/29/ap-iran-nuclear-program-graph-explanation

This China bulls*** debunked http://thediplomat.com/china-power/hainans-new-maritime-regulations-a-preliminary-analysis/

December 1, 2012 @ 11:00 am | Comment

Ahhh Jason,
Your inability to grasp logic is as acute as always. You do know where you went to debunk western media, don’t you? That’s right Einstein, you went to other western media. That you could do so means there was nothing about western media to debunk to begin with. You just need to use your brain, and not believe everything you read like a lemming. Perhaps the ccp education is simply too hard to shake.

December 1, 2012 @ 11:53 am | Comment

Totally off-topic: I was interviewed on National Public Radio today, and you may want to hear the story, which is China-related:

December 1, 2012 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

This is just a bit of puffery from provincial officials. The proper way to read this is that it’s not coming from the CMC or any Chinese institutions with actual trigger fingers, but from a bunch of policemen with patrol boats.

Another thing Fallows might want to re-check is that past 2015 and 2016 it will be very difficult for the 7th Fleet to be the regnant military power in the area. China already possesses more “damage potential” (strike payload x sortie rate x # of combat capable aircraft + naval and ground cruise missiles) out to a 600km bubble from its shoreline than any other adversary in the region; this bubble grows by 50 or 60 km a year. Any attempt by a hostile fleet to operate in the bubble would be suicidal.

December 1, 2012 @ 3:09 pm | Comment

Cool stuff Richard!

December 1, 2012 @ 4:45 pm | Comment

KT, the Butterfield Blues Band was great. May I suggest Roy Buchanan? If God played guitar he could only hope to be that good.

December 2, 2012 @ 9:33 am | Comment

Every thing depends on what China is looking to achieve here. Unlikely they will provoke an open confrontation with any other countries naval forces. Possibly some small scale pushbacks on perceived wrongful seizures of Chinese fishing vessels. PLA-N can rein in Hainian forces and lay off any blame for causing trouble on them and of course the other countries involved. Get to play the victim card and get to act all reasonable and peace loving. Then, if there are any serious confrontations, the Chinese can claim to have been intentionally provoked and therefore justified.

Or the PLA-N could just be using a proxy to run a bluff to see how everyone reacts.

December 2, 2012 @ 9:47 am | Comment

@ Goju. Uncle Roy – the man from Pixley – has warmed my heart since 1974… “The messiah will come again” – the album with the red cover. Unfortunately, very little great stuff of his is to be found on youtube.

A friend caught him at Byron Bay. A seventeen year local surfie sax player jumped on stage and joined for the rest of the set. They literally tore the house down and then rebuilt it.

(My faith in the musical taste of commenters on this site has just gone up a quite a few notches.)

True. God stepped aside when Roy strapped on his Telecaster.

Totally depressing finish to his life though.

December 2, 2012 @ 10:07 am | Comment

The tragedy that runs thru the whole music culture is gut wrenching. Roy made it look so easy. Effortless fluidity. Wayfaring Pilgrim. The Stones tried to recruit him, but Roy wouldn’t do it. He would not compromise his sound, not even for the biggest band in Rock. People today have no idea that artists like Roy even existed. Not just the kids, no one does.

December 2, 2012 @ 12:56 pm | Comment

Looks like here in Taiwan we have nothing to fear. We’re already included in the Celestial Dynasty’s passports, so there won’t be any problems for us. I’m waiting for cruises from Kaohsiung to Paracel Islands, I heard is beautiful there.

December 2, 2012 @ 5:58 pm | Comment

@ Goju. Try this: http://kingtubby1.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/the-luthiers-art-and-the-air-guitar-disease/

Thnx Richard

December 2, 2012 @ 6:00 pm | Comment

Is “Pigsy” ok? That’s how Zhu Bajie was referred to in the english-dubbed version of the classic Japanese TV series of Journey to the West. It was just “Pig” in the lovely six volume set I picked up in Changsha (and never returned to me by that damned Queenslander!)

December 3, 2012 @ 4:56 am | Comment

It would not be totally suprising if all the countries with territorial disputes with China were to form a loose alliance. Even if they have disputes with each other, the threat from China is greater. Facing off alone with China is problematic and relying on the US is not a sure thing. This would require the other countries to put aside their disputes with each other, at least temporarily. It would be ironic if China’s attempt to lay claim to this area ended up unifying the opposition to all of China’s claims.

KT thnx for the link. Loved it.

December 3, 2012 @ 11:52 am | Comment

Pretty well about it. Burma has wobbled totally West. Unfortunately, Laos has been turned into a Sino golf course plus casino, to the detriment of traditional farming communities.

And the Khmers/Cambodia are still afflicted by their recent totalitarian past – Hun Sen – and earlier. Khmer culture has always celebrated war and warrior nationalism.

Which leaves Vietnam, since no one takes Brunei and the Phillipines seriously, and nor should they.

When it comes to push back, bet the farm on Vietnam and South Korea.

December 3, 2012 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

@Kingtubby1 32

“When it comes to push back, bet the farm on Vietnam and South Korea.”

Do they have nukes?

Japan is much more worrisome, with the quick rise of the neo-fascists, and their horde of 9 tons of weapons grade plutonium. Much like the U.S. Senate submitting new legislation about taking sides on Diaoyutai, Beijing should have the NPC consider legislation to take resolute action if Japan takes steps to make nuclear weapons.

December 4, 2012 @ 2:39 am | Comment

How is China’s hawkish nationalism, atop a political system with no checks and balances and infused with its traditional imperial “zhongguo” world view, any more comforting than Japan’s supposed “neo-fascists”? Abe mainly has China to thank for his second crack at the premiership, BTW.

(I’m not one who runs around calling people or countries “fascists,” but minus the charismatic leader component, China does a solid impersonation of a “small f” fascist regime itself.)

December 4, 2012 @ 3:24 am | Comment

I’m not sure what the fascination is with “nukes”. Apart from crazy states like NK and Iran, is anyone actually seriously considering using them?

But if China is always paranoid about being encircled, her actions often do invite her neighbours to, at the very least, deeply mistrust her. And if those neighbours ever form a coalition, then China will have invited encirclement upon herself. Now, one could certainly say that China has nothing to fear militarily from her neighbours, individually or collectively. But if that’s the case, then her paranoia is entirely based on pointless fears.

December 4, 2012 @ 3:31 am | Comment

Off-topic, but amen to KT and Goju on Roy Buchanan, too. As someone who wore out some Roy cassettes in college (1979~) I would point Goju also to another ax-master who died an untimely death in the Washington DC area: Danny Gatton.

Among current players, I give great props to Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, Sonny Landreth, Derek Trucks and Joe Bonnamassa. I believe it is a mistake to overlook SRV’s older brother/mentor Jimmie Vaughan, too.

December 4, 2012 @ 3:40 am | Comment

Doubt SKorea will push hard against China. The China/Japan/SK triangle ensures that.

Which pretty much leaves only Vietnam. Vietnam has more in bilateral trade with China than any other country. Vietnam’s government is already dealing with dissension due to unemployment. If China wanted to, they could press gently (or not-so-gently) on Vietnamese trade and investment, let’s say by inducing capital flight from Vietnam’s banks, to bring them in line. Unlike military force, which the US can plausibly block against, the US has no way to protect Vietnam from this sort of pressure, since Vietnam’s capital controls paradoxically mean that the IMF can’t offer “help”. Vietnam knows this, and that’s why it asks (begs) China not to use such a lever. China knows this too, and that’s why China doesn’t give a fuck if Vietnam makes noises or not.

How can Vietnam play the role of an American proxy to China if it can’t pay its own bills?

Would it really want to?

It’s much easier for China to just focus on economic co-option of Vietnamese ruling officials. Force them to choose between their current course and risking a popular revolution that gets them all killed, versus working with China and getting rich together.

December 4, 2012 @ 4:24 am | Comment

I got the feeling that Chinas paranoia is more pointed at the US with the “return to Asia”, although technically US never left. Without US involvement probably China wouldnt be as worried as they are now even if the rest of east+southeast Asia bend together to get them. People knows this so countries like Phillipines, Vietnam and even Japan would be sticking closer to US, for now I see the US being the biggest winner unless of course if CCP lose its temper in the heat which would make everybody lose (should be very unlikely).

December 4, 2012 @ 10:14 am | Comment

That may be true, though it is in itself odd because the US is not going to attack China, and they both need each other financially. So I’m not sure where this paranoia comes from. Though I suppose paranoia by its very nature tends to be rather illogical. By pulling little stunts that agitate and alienate her neighbours, China just ends up driving those neighbours into the arms of the US. Unless, of course, China simply wants a self-fulfilling prophecy, in which case she’s doing a bang-up job. She openly frets about being encircled by US-friendly states, then pushes and prods until that exact thing occurs. Perhaps they need a ready-made keg of nationalism to tap into. Well, maybe that victimhood narrative is still deemed to have some mileage left, and they’re just adapting it for roll-out in the 21st century.

December 4, 2012 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

Well Chinas paranoia towards the US is also historical, and a bit of lefttover cold war mentality might be pretty normal for everybody. If China is being paranoid it would probably make more sense to target the US than any other nation on earth, if at all. Remember those past incidents between china and US like the embassy bombing and air planes collision? Use US to rally up nationalism could even be more effective than using Japan since most chinese see the US as bigger threat. Fine by me if they are not overdoing it, after all the US also using China as scapegoat in almost any major election now, since there are no major election in similiar fashion in China stirr up paranoia in general public might be the best way to make use of the situation. Personally I am also quite paranoid toward the US, its seems to me that wherever US turning their attention on conflicts is likely to follow, and also when they leave often there would be quite some mess left behind. Now the US is turning towards Asia with their “return”, please pardon me for lack of confidence that things would become more peaceful.

December 4, 2012 @ 1:37 pm | Comment

That’s ironic cuz it’s usually the CCP mouthpieces that wax on about “cold war mentality”. I guess you can’t expect People’s Daily, Xinhua, or even the CCP themselves, to look in the mirror sometimes.

I believe Belgrade was an accident. And regardless, that is orders of magnitude removed from military action against China itself. That being said, I agree that riling up nationalist hotheads is low-lying fruit for the CCP.

December 4, 2012 @ 3:20 pm | Comment

@SKC

I think you’re in a very slim minority of Chinese people if you claim Belgrade was an honest-to-god accident.

What’s more likely is that China was collecting military intelligence from its embassy (a normal, allowed activity in a war between unrelated third parties) and NATO bombed it (an extremely abnormal reaction.)

December 4, 2012 @ 4:44 pm | Comment

@SKC

Given that the US responded to a bombing of its Sudanese embassy with a unilateral investigation that led to unilateral cruise missile strikes on an innocent Tylenol factory, the CCP has actually exercised considerable restraint over the Belgrade incident.

Though, undoubtedly, the United States government treats its own citizens in a much better fashion than the Chinese government does, in the international arena, both have unclean hands. Whenever either side calls on the other for “restraint” or “rationality” or “discourse,” I have to chuckle. To expect consistently generous behavior from state actors fundamentally interested in their own security and influence is a fool’s errand, no matter what values they hold. It’s been true ever since the prototype of Western democracy, Athens, conducted their oh-so-moral foreign policy against Melos. The only solution that guarantees the welfare of the Chinese people–what ought to be the paramount goal of any Chinese government–is a sum of Chinese soft and hard power strong enough to mold relevant world affairs to her liking.

December 4, 2012 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

I should add that the Qin Empire practiced much the same foreign policy in the Warring States period as well. There isn’t much difference between East and West in this regard.

December 4, 2012 @ 4:56 pm | Comment

To T-Co,
the Kenyan/African embassy bombings were far less cut/dried than the Belgrade incident. THere was terrorism involved, the bombings were believed to be retribution for the treatment of some captured terrorists, and the US retaliation was a response to Bin Laden at the time (there was some belief that the drug factory was a part of Bin Laden’s network). The Belgrade incident was a result of the wrong coordinates being entered during targeting. Now, you can believe it was human error (either proper coordinates entered incorrectly by the fire control officer, or erroneous coordinates being used in good faith) or there was this major conspiracy. To each their own.

In international relations, countries pursue their best interests. That’s a given. I think almost all of these discussions are focused on how countries treat their own, and specifically how the CCP treats Chinese people. So when I mock the CCP for her behaviour in SE Asia, it is because her actions seem discordant from her stated goals, and because some of her stated fears seem ludicrous to me. I don’t mock them for wanting to preserve Chinese security, because that is in fact their duty.

December 4, 2012 @ 5:39 pm | Comment

@S.K. Cheung 45

I am assuming, from the spelling, you (or your ancestors) hail from Hong Kong originally. Either first or 2nd gen Chinese Canadian.

Honest question (with respect) – HOW does making the reigning government of China look bad, make you or your progeny better in the eyes of the society you live in? If you look into the mirror, you still look Chinese. The Chinese have not acquired the Jewish folks’ ability to marry so deeply into whatever society that they truly blend in (the several Jewish business partners I had over the years were all blond/blue). To mainstream Western society, as far as I can tell, there is no distinction made between a good Chinese and a bad Chinese – Chinese is Chinese. Over the course of the last 3 decades, I have personally observed that the perception of the Chinese in N. America has greatly improved. As China grew richer and more powerful under the capable leadership of the CPC, ALL Chinese, no matter where they reside, benefited.

Again, with respect, HOW does badmouthing the CPC and China (逢中必反) benefit you or your children as part of a Chinese minority in a Western society?

December 5, 2012 @ 3:59 am | Comment

@ZBJ
The CCP is not China.

December 5, 2012 @ 4:34 am | Comment

To #46,
born and raised in HK, now Canadian. Cantonese (naturally) and traditional Chinese in writing (none of this simplified stuff).

How the CCP looks, good or bad, has no bearing on my standing in society. I live in Canada as a Canadian, and draw no linkage to China whatsoever. If I get something, it’s not because I’m a visible minority; if I don’t get something, it’s not because I’m a visible minority. That I’m of Chinese descent is a fact; it is also irrelevant in my day to day existence in this country. Now granted, I live in a progressive part of the country, and things may be different if I were in a redneck part of the woods…but my experience is what it is.

Chinese is not just CHinese. There most certainly is a distinction between good and bad iterations of same. In my adult life here, I have not experienced the prejudice you allude to. That said, I made the effort to integrate into Canadian society, so I don’t attract some of the stereotypes that others might.

You have again fallen for the temporal correlation of China’s progress and peoples’ attitudes towards Chinese, and falsely attributed a causal relationship to it. I find that, over the past several decades, caucasian attitudes toward Asian minorities in general have improved, and it is not because of China’s economic growth. It is simply the evolution of social tolerance and understanding. I certainly have not benefited one iota from the CCP, and if anything, the CCP makes Chinese look bad rather than good.

Note what Mike said. The CCP is not CHina. The CCP needs China cuz no one else would put up with her crap, but China does not need the CCP. Calling out the CCP for what it is has no bearing on Chinese in Canada. In fact, apologizing for the CCP and making excuses for it would be a far more denigrating position to take.

December 5, 2012 @ 9:16 am | Comment

@SKC
I don’t think the fact that you (and indeed probably millions of other Chinese) are not in China and not stereotypically “Chinese” (whatever that may be). I have a feeling that the fact Zhubster can’t get it out of his head that people are not genetically of a culture – a person with an Asian phenotype does not mean that person is Asian, as that basketball player might testify.
I know of many Chinese that are not culturally Chinese of any sort. Some try, I’ll admit – Kylie Kwong the cook tries but she just comes across as an Aussie (which she is) trying to be Chinese. She looks the part but, like an American trying to be Irish, it doesn’t work. She, like her parents (mother at least – heard her talk on one of Kylie’s cooking programs), is an Aussie. A woman I know came from Shanghai and has been here 10+ years. She isn’t Chinese until she goes back to China – outside she’s NZ. Even her English is NZ, barring the odd mistake (but then my mother still makes mistakes and she’s been speaking English since the 60s), her daughters don’t speak any Chinese (only English, like the father) and her situation is replicated manyfold here. It’s only those who build a ghetto in their mind that persist with the stereotyping, trying to be more ancestral than even their ancestors and in doing so become blinded to the fact that an arsehole is an arsehole, regardless of ethnicity or gender or nationality. “To mainstream Western society, as far as I can tell, there is no distinction made between a good Chinese and a bad Chinese” is the best example – he (or she) is Chinese and they don’t fit in to the society they have, of their own free will and choice, decided to move to because they don’t want to. The fact that all around them are Chinese that have jobs, friends, go to BBQs with the neighbours, married “out of the blood”, are television stars and sports personalities, are an aspiration for kids, etc, etc is neither here nor there. People like Zhuzhu don’t want to integrate and so their experiences with western (or, in their case, American which must be western…because Americans are soooo ehtnically homogenous, eh? Just like most other western societies…) are hampered by the facts that no one likes them because they are arseholes, not because they are Chinese.
Sad.

December 5, 2012 @ 10:03 am | Comment

KT, Slim….what say we hijack this thread? I’ll start. Another overlooked guitarist is ……. Feel free to finish the sentnce.

Apologies, in advance, to Richard. Us old blues dogs don’t get much chance to talk like this.

December 6, 2012 @ 8:47 am | Comment

…Walter Trout…..Bwahahahahaha (think evil scientist laugh)

India seems to be doing some sabre rattling about the South China Sea. Not sure they have the ability to project any real kind of force there and India is backpedalling on the threats. Seems some Chinese fishing vessels are accused of cutting cables on a Vietnamese vessel doing hydrographic exploration of the sea floor.

December 6, 2012 @ 11:28 am | Comment

@Goju. I’m not sure if I want to be known as an old blues dog, as I haven’t played a blues LP for years with the exception of some Blind Willie McTell. Nowdays, I subsist on a diet of trashy 60s garage music (see my Garage land site), stuff from Mali and Italian opera. Oh yes, someone recently downloaded two terrabyles of music for me, but I’ve only dipped into the soul stuff. Not that I haven’t influenced others in the blues department in the distant past when I was a very young sprout eg. http://kingtubby1.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/book-alert-and-stuff-for-homies/

In other posts, I advance the argument that the sonic possibilities of the guitar have now been totally exhausted and that it should be put aside for other instruments, namely the Kora and various gourd based instruments from the Sahel. This is the new locus of musical creativity, not some all star blues festival with all the usual suspects who would positively bore me to tears.
http://kingtubby1.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/mali-and-radio-wassoulou-international/
However, if I had the energy to explore the guitar today, it would probably be some of Jack White’s stuff.

Thnx Richard.

December 7, 2012 @ 5:23 am | Comment

KT, have been rediscovering John Prine lately. Also Bessie Smith, Beethoven, Led Zepplin, and Billie Holiday. My daughter has left her high school teachers speechless just by mentioning Billie and Bessie, much less knowing who they were and their music. She loves strolling into class playing some unknown legend and having the tacher take up half the class asking her how she knows about these people. The upside is the other kids are finding out where their music came from. Her latest gambit was Etta James doing a live version of I’d rather go blind with Dr John. Left one girl crying – really.

December 9, 2012 @ 8:23 am | Comment

Etta’s I’d rather go blind has brass riffs (my big weakness) to die for.
Led Zeps BBC sessions and forget the rest. Time is on my side – Irma Thomas.

Anyway, Goju, I sold myself to the devil years ago.
http://kingtubby1.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/kt-at-the-cross-roads/

Want to put a serious musical post on my site? Had guest music correspondent on my site before.

Hear from ya: mail add on site.

Many thnx Richard.

December 9, 2012 @ 8:40 am | Comment

“It would not be totally suprising if all the countries with territorial disputes with China were to form a loose alliance. Even if they have disputes with each other, the threat from China is greater. Facing off alone with China is problematic and relying on the US is not a sure thing. This would require the other countries to put aside their disputes with each other, at least temporarily. It would be ironic if China’s attempt to lay claim to this area ended up unifying the opposition to all of China’s claims.

KT thnx for the link. Loved it.”

Too bad all of them have bloodier disputes with well … all of their neighbors. Vietnam with Cambodia, Philippines, and every single other SCS claimant, Japan with Korea and Russia, India and Pakistan.

China on the other hand managed to settle almost all of its territorial disputes peacefully, yet is called the bully. Hmm, I wonder why.

Unfortunately for many of you, Taiwan also makes the same “9-dotted line” claim. I guess it’s ridiculous because Richard says so, history be damned.

SK Cheung
I believe Belgrade was an accident

HAHAHA, based on what evidence? Pretty sure the people involved in the US side have more or less admitted it was deliberate.

December 18, 2012 @ 11:24 am | Comment

cookie: I guess it’s ridiculous because Richard says so, history be damned.

You had better show me the quote you’re referring to. Watch your step.

December 18, 2012 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

You have to see the map of China’s territorial claims to believe it

December 18, 2012 @ 12:09 pm | Comment

The maps are patently absurd and you know it, and have no historical basis in fact. Do you really believe China has claims to all the territory depicted on the map, going down almost to Brunei? Anyway, you are very late to the party on this thread and I don’t want to get into a shouting match about it.

December 18, 2012 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

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