China following the path of Nazi Germany? (No, I don’t think so.)

While this irresponsible news analysis appears in the loathesome Washington Times, it’s from UPI (which I didn’t even realize was still in business) so I’m surprised it’s so vitriolic.

Chinese President Hu Jintao signaled Friday that he remained determined to crack down on intellectual dissidents, a likely sign of considerably increased repression in the years to come.


The massive precautions [after Zhao’s death] taken to prevent any rekindling of the popular democratic flame was far from being an isolated move. In a recent study for the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation, Willy Wo-Lap Lam, one of the most respected observers of Chinese domestic politics, noted that Hu, originally widely expected to be a reformist, liberalizing leader, began very clearly to swing back toward doctrinaire Marxist-Leninism in line with Mao Zedong thought when he approved a lavish celebration of the 110th anniversary of Mao’s birth a year ago.

This development, Lam wrote, “has been exacerbated since the new supremo (Hu) took over the post of Central Military Commission chairman from ex-president Jiang Zemin last September.”

Lam also reported that top officials in the Chinese Communist Party and its Leading Group on Foreign Affairs had observed with alarm pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko’s victory, on the wave of widespread popular protests, in Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” over the past two months. “The Hu leadership agreed with Moscow’s assessment that Yushchenko’s victory the second time around was due to heavy support from the Western alliance led by Washington,” Lam wrote.

As a result, Lam continued, Hu’s advisers now fear a domino effect may develop across Eurasia with former Soviet Central Asian republics in the Russian and Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization such as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan developing their own irresistible popular movements until eventually the destabilizing contagion of democracy, as Beijing leaders see it, re-infecting China itself.

Lam also cited a widely quoted editorial in the official People’s Daily in early January warning that “hostile forces have not abandoned their conspiracy and tactics to Westernize China and to divide up the country.” Now, Lam continued, the Chinese Communist Party’s “leadership’s fears about ‘subversion’ allegedly spearheaded by the U.S. have been translated into tough tactics against the nation’s liberal academics, writers and journalists.”

These moves fulfill a prediction we made in these columns more than two years ago on Nov. 16, 2002, that “if the 1990s proved to be China’s equivalent of America and Germany’s 1920s Jazz Age, there is the very real possibility that China’s coming decade may parallel the rise of nationalist fascism in 1930s Germany.”

Well, how’s that for scare journalism? And it gets even worse (so read it all).

Remember, this newspaper is conservative Washington’s bible, so I view it as a barometer of the Bushniks’ viewpoints. We all know Bush doesn’t want to make trouble for China, but he is under serious pressure from his beloved right-wing bible-thumping base, which still sees Red when they see China.

While I happen to think the writer makes some valid points, I also fear we’re seeing a reactionary campaign against China, based on burning fears that the US will fall under the PRC’s shadow (a fear that’s pretty groundless, at least for the next 100 years). I want to see Hu pressured and tamed and liberalized. But articles like this only stir up fear and loathing and are unhealthy in every way.

The Discussion: 50 Comments

UPI is owned by the Moonies now as well. Not that everything UPI publishes is crazed right wing propaganda, as is generally the case in the WT (Josh Marshall has a column there, I believe), but one of its chief editors is Arnaud de Borchgrave, who also is a chief editor of the Washington Times.

January 28, 2005 @ 5:16 pm | Comment

Thanks — I knew something happened to UPI and that it was no longer the great wire service it used to be. That sure explains it.

January 28, 2005 @ 5:34 pm | Comment

Richard – I’m sure that you’ve read the original commentaries by Willy Lam at the Jamestown Foundation. Right? He has become more pessimistic about Hu being a reformer. I personally am holding my breath and hoping for better.

Of course the added commentary by the UPI author trying to parallel the current leadership to the Nazis is extremely over the top and sad.

January 28, 2005 @ 6:21 pm | Comment

I would love to say that I disagreed with the main arguments of this article, but I am inclined to agree with them. Though not with the use of Nazi Germany as a comparison, which is clearly designed to make us fear the worst.

When we think of Nazi Germany, we thing of death camps, but a lot happened before that, and there are a lot of parallels, including the erosion of freedom of speech and the suppression of liberal figures, both in from the past and present. Maybe we should compare China to Germany in the 1930s only or America during the height of the McCarthy years. Books are being burnt instead of blogs, liberal intellectuals are being denounced instead and foreign interference is being blamed for social changes.

It is true that the Chinese government is relaxing its grip on industry, but it is also tightening it on personal expression, and what is worse is that we are not hearing many complaints about it because the mediums that they would normally use to complain through are steadily being restricted, leading many people to believe that there are no complaints, and to believe that what is being done is to protect them from ‘unhealthy influences’.

The Chinese government is seeking stability over social reform right now and economic growth is its priority. The economy is booming under quasi capitalist reforms, and this is good, but if the government were to implement social reforms then it would mean relaxing its grip on power, and that, as we all know, is something that the current Chinese government doesn’t want to see happening

January 28, 2005 @ 6:37 pm | Comment

Yes Tom, I’ve read Lam’s treatises at Jamestown’s site. My big problem with the article was the author’s fear mongering.

January 28, 2005 @ 6:45 pm | Comment

I agree with you up to a point ACB (I’ve always used the CCP as a model of a fascist regime for my students) and while one might see positive comparisons here with the Nazi’s euthanasia programme, I don’t think we’ll see any repeat of the Nuremberg Blood Laws which took place a mere 2 years after Hitle’s assumption of power. While using nationalism to maintain its support over the people, I can’t see a virulent racism permeating the regime or the people. I doubt too that Hitler would have acknowledged all the various “national groups” and cultures as the CCP has regardless of the latter’s actual moves against any group other than Han.

January 28, 2005 @ 6:49 pm | Comment

I can’t understand why so many people are talking about the erosion of the freedom of speech in China under Hu Jintao. It’s not like China was a haven for free speech before Hu took over. Yes, some government critics like Liu Xiaobo got visits from the police and others like Beijing University professor Jiao Guobiao are being muzzled, but what would have happened back in the old days? How many years in jail did Liu serve under Jiang Zemin? Can anyone even imagine such an open and direct attack on the government like Jiao’s happening anytime after the Cultural Revolution and before Hu?

January 28, 2005 @ 9:00 pm | Comment

Interesting article in today’s LA Times about how China has contributed a million dollars to help fund Iraq’s upcoming elections and the questions this raises about the lack of elections in China (,1,5727259.story?coll=la-headlines-world – sorry, don’t know Halo commands yet…). The article quotes several Chinese academics, including this fellow, who was rebutting the old saw that China’s masses are too poor and too badly educated to understand the issues and vote: “Two years ago I went to Cambodia, which is poorer than China, and watched a very good election,” said Li Fan, director of the World and China Institute, a Beijing think tank focused on rural democracy. “It’s a silly argument.”

So it’s really interesting that someone like this academic feels that he can make pointed criticisms about government policies in today’s China. This was really unthinkable not too many years ago. I think those experts who compare today’s China with the Taiwan of 20 or 30 years ago in terms of political development have a pretty good point. And there’s simply no comparison to the lack of personal freedom in the Mao and immediate post-Mao era, in spite of the abuses that are still taking place.

The problem, I think, is that authority in China tends towards the arbitrary. It’s okay to say or do something on Monday in Beijing, but maybe the same thing will get you busted on Wednesday in Kunming. And in Xinjiang or Tibet, well…

January 28, 2005 @ 9:45 pm | Comment

it’s very interesting to find that the impressions of today’s china are so different from people living OUTSIDE of china and people living IN china.

while you are talking about all the negatives, i could find a lot of more positives everyday, much more than before.

last night i find the aritcle, the one talks about the super-nationalist mr. soog, appeared in a chinese newspaper (run by Xinhua news agency), and a book attacking china’s nationalism will be published here soon. and in today’s top domesitic news, an article says that don’t allow peasants to practice democracy because of their low education level is just bullshit and is stupid. just a few examples. there are hunderds of them everyday.

i am not saying there is no problems in democracy and humuan rights here, on the contrary, plenty of them, everywhere. but from my observations, there are many positive signs that society and the government made great efforts to improvements, and the speed is quicked a lot.

just feel very strange why people from outside of china feel the other way.

personally i will blame that on western “free” media, which are like their money-polluted chinese counterpart, tend to make people exicted rather than better informed. how to make people excited when it comes to reporting china? well, those news that make them fear, angry, hate will do that, not others. all in all. people will be happy if news report confirms how they think of china. but sooner or later, truth will come to them, and those who can realize the truth earlier benefit the most.

if you only believe what bellevue tells you, or believe the news of “chinese terrorists in boston”, well, i can’t control you. satisfy your ego with all these stuff and suffer from the truth someday.

January 28, 2005 @ 10:20 pm | Comment

btw, about the campaign of crackdowning the internet porn

including those top portals like sina began to provide short message services including porn materials, kids could get porn pics sent to their mail boxes via a monthly service with very low service fees.

parents just got angry and attacked the government not respond quickly and enough. as i know, some of them organized protests and visits to government and attacked some internet cafes (reported by many newspapers) who offer unlimited services to their kids.

the government responded and besides these porn sites, not other sites (as i know) were affected.

and some would interpret this as a political crackdown. this is just amazing. i think there are a fixed way of interpreting news from china – if the news is bad, it’s bad, if the news if good, it’s false, if it’s something in between, it’s bad.

what do we call that?

January 28, 2005 @ 10:36 pm | Comment is considered a cyber porn?
Why is also blocked?
Tons of typical CCP lies to their teeth.

January 28, 2005 @ 10:51 pm | Comment is considered a cyber porn?
Why is also blocked?
Tons of typical CCP lies to their teeth.

Posted by bellevue at January 28, 2005 10:51 PM

How about that for freedom of speech in China. Not bad, not bad at all when you can call your government Nazi, can you do the same in Mainland China? Oops bellevue just prove you can do that.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

“ is considered a cyber porn?
Why is also blocked?
Tons of typical CCP lies to their teeth.”

these are blocked before the anti-porn campaign

i have to say such policy is stupid, but in terms of bad influence, those commerciallized chinese media is much more worse than the media-control

January 28, 2005 @ 11:08 pm | Comment

this is what i just copy from in shanghai:

it is not blocked.

Business & Money
Business News, E-commerce, Your Money…

CBBC, CBBC Search, CBeebies…

Collective, Comedy, Film…

Healthy Living, Parenting, Relationships…

Ancient History, Family History, Wars…

Languages, Revision, Schools…

Food, Gardening, Holidays…

Artist Profiles, Gigs & Concerts, Music News…

Politics, UK News, World News…

Science & Nature
Animals, Human Body & Mind, Space…

Society & Culture
Arts, Disability, Religion & Ethics…

Cricket, Football, Rugby Union…

Can’t find it?
Try the A-Z Index

Watch/Listen to BBC News News
Killings hit run-up to Iraq vote
Documents show Guantanamo claims
News in 43 languages

January 28, 2005 @ 11:13 pm | Comment

bellevue, where do you learn that is blocked in china?

perhaps it is only blocked when there is media brainwashing like the one posted by mr. b in danwei?

January 28, 2005 @ 11:16 pm | Comment

In America, Republicans will tell people to move to China if anyone dares to compare Bush to Hitler, for if you compare the communist government to the nazi, they will murder you. I guess it is not the case for Mainland Chinese PRC passport holder bellevue.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:19 pm | Comment

Be more involved. Support your local PBS station and innovative PBS programming.
Join or pledge now.

bellevue, why do you think pbs is blocked in china?

it’s much quicker than peking duck here in shanghai. it’s not blocked either.

well, this is another example of media brainwashing. people just believe the bullshit from people like bellevue, who everybody knows is a china-hater.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:22 pm | Comment


Thank you for revealing another typical bellevue’s LIE. LOL


January 28, 2005 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

this article from PBS is interesting:

“Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president of George Washington University, discusses political correctness on campus. ”

January 28, 2005 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

yes, there are some sites blocked in china, but there are many chinese sites i know attack CCP, government, Mao, etc., still keeps running very well here.

but you should be very careful to read what bellevue tells you.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:33 pm | Comment

bellevue, if you sometimes can’t find enough china-bashing materials, just ask me for help, i have developed several media brainwashing “models”, and based on these “models” i could find tons of materials you need.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:39 pm | Comment

Internet block in China is an on-off thing. and were/are all blocked sometimes in somewhere, and by certain ISP. For example, I have helped my friends in Beijing and Shandong to access BBC news site. Even regular proxy won’t work. If China is not doing such a nasty job, I won’t bother to set up SSL-based proxy.

Many expats living in China also report that BBC was blocked. When I refer people in Guangzhou to China in the Red movie cite under PBS, they couldn’t access it, but people in Shenzhen could.

As for the daily progess in China, here is one.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

thanks for making the correction. and thanks for not lying to other readers that all foreign sites are blocked in china.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

China in the red, the PBS frontline movie blocked in China, now and then.

You can read the comments in movie site. On that PBS Frontline talks about China’s block of PBS.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

bellevue, some stuff for your work agenda tomorrow:

1) how lenovo uses the deal with ibm to harm US national security
2) how china use the non-stop flight with taiwan to intimidate taiwanese
3) how china use the auschwitz commemoration to foster nationalism
4) how china use the 8 chinese freed in iraq for propaganda
5) how the Tian Liang incident reveals that there is no individual freedom in china

this list will keep you quite busy tomorrow, satisfied?

January 28, 2005 @ 11:55 pm | Comment

Did I say ALL foreign sites are blocked? Another typical Chinese lie.

Is this PBS statement also a lie?

FRONTLINE’s editors respond:

According to those who have studied internet censorship in China over the past couple of years, there are variations, both geographical and over time, for sites which are blocked. PBS has been blocked in the past, but PBS web viewers in China like Mr. Allanson show that it is possible to access there at the present time. Read more about Internet blocking in the “Democracy” section of this web site.

January 28, 2005 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, well, I thought I was making a pretty positive point overall. There is freedom of expression and freedom to choose one’s own life course in China today that was unimaginable 25 years ago, and the fact that the academic I quoted felt comfortable making that public statement is an example. I am saying this based on my own experiences, limited though they are, with living and teaching in China years ago and visiting multiple times in recent years. Stuff like dissidents holding press conferences and parents calling news outlets when schools are blown up in fireworks accidents wouldn’t have happened not that long ago. But the arbitrary stuff, the lack of consistency and stringent application of a system of law – this is still a problem. The arbitrary censorship, the fear that the CCP still has of being challenged, people being arrested for speaking their minds, these are problems. And of course corruption, but I think we all agree on that. But corruption is what you get when authority is personal and arbitrary, and the rule of law isn’t respected or consistently applied.

Hey look, if you want, I’m more than happy to discuss everything I think is wrong with my own country too…believe me, I have plenty of criticisms , and I’m not shy about voicing them.

The bottom line is, most of the people on this blog care deeply about China, or we wouldn’t be here. I personally think the future of this planet will be pretty grim if China doesn’t succeed. I’m rooting for you. And studying Mandarin so when the economy here goes down the toilet, I’ll have some options… 😉

January 29, 2005 @ 12:00 am | Comment

The PBS Frontline’s official response neatly exposed the lie that China goverment’s censorship is targeting cyberporn. On the other hand, my friends in China never have much trouble find hot stuff on Internet.

Cyber porn is an already bankcrupted Chinese government excuse for censorship. Everyone online in China knows it, regardless of their political stand.

Another friend of mine in Germany espressed his reluctance in going back to China after graduate school mainly on one reason: Internet censorship.

January 29, 2005 @ 12:06 am | Comment

The bottom line is, most of the people on this blog care deeply about China, or we wouldn’t be here. I personally think the future of this planet will be pretty grim if China doesn’t succeed. I’m rooting for you. And studying Mandarin so when the economy here goes down the toilet, I’ll have some options… 😉

Thank you for being so sweet. =) but I do not think bellevue gives a damn about China. He will be happy if China disappears from the planet.

January 29, 2005 @ 12:07 am | Comment

“my friends in China never have much trouble find hot stuff on Internet.”

your friends or you??? LOL

January 29, 2005 @ 12:08 am | Comment

thank you lisa. i am not upset by any criticism towards china, i am upset by mindsets like bellevue’s, there are a lot of similar mindsets in china, and they are the real troubles to china’s progress and peace and understanding between china and other countries.

you know what i mean.

January 29, 2005 @ 12:09 am | Comment

Thanks all, and with that, it’s studying for me, or “buhao yisi” in class tomorrow…

January 29, 2005 @ 12:26 am | Comment

I used to be able to access the BBC educational sites in China, including the site about learnign English, but I couldn’t access the BBC news site.

I also found that Geocities and a number of other free sites were blocked because they allowed people in China to publish websites without having to pay for them.

Web censorship in China is a bit patchy, I’ve managed to accessed one or two raving anti-China sites, and I mean super actavist, lets start a counter revolution sites, and yet I’ve not been able to access some sites that aren’t even about China.

January 29, 2005 @ 1:54 am | Comment

Internet censorship aside, the physical crackdown took place today proves Beijing regime is as thuggish as it was 15 years ago.

January 29, 2005 @ 2:26 am | Comment


Yes, the first page of could be loaded pretty fine. Then you click on something else, or go to, then it will give you a time-out or 404 error.

Sometimes you can still access one page or two before it gives you time-out error. It all depends on the technology they employed: keyword screening, or DNS manipulation. In latter case you will be directed to another site. Remember the Google blockage in 2003?

They think they can get away with; they can’t. So many expats have China experiences now, and each one can tell you what censorship is in China. Sometimes this censorship just goes crazy. Last tax season, I had to set up proxy server to help my friends working in Shanghai filing their state tax return – somehow Californian State website was blocked! No one knows why.

January 29, 2005 @ 2:54 am | Comment

Though annoying, the blockage of news site such as BBS and CNN is only a small part of the big picture of China’s internet censorship, and not even the most important one.

What China fears most is grassroot, Chinese-language website that dares to challenge or mere question the power abuse of CCP. That’s why Du Daobin got jail terms, and innocuous college student Liu Di was incarcerated without charge for one year. Intimidation, warning, closing down (in ytht case) are all just business as usual.

I guess all these constitute a ‘positive’ picture of China its cheerleaders happily proclaimed.

January 29, 2005 @ 3:06 am | Comment

Thank you, bellevue, for your clearness. Don’t be surprised. Every dictatorship has always had its cheerleaders (and most of all if a communist one). Unfortunately China is no exception. We’ll always have cheerleaders. We can only hope we won’t have dictatorship any time soon.

January 29, 2005 @ 4:27 am | Comment

Somedays, just on rare occassions, I vaguely wish China would become an expansionist totalitarian state with a fascist racialist ideology and a thirst for lebensraum that many already believe it is. As the saying widely goes, everyone loves a champ, nobody likes a chump. The truth is, humans have an underlying respect, even if it includes aversion, for the exercise of naked power and aggression. It is something that mesmerizes us however much we seek to distance ourselves from our more primal urges.

January 29, 2005 @ 5:02 am | Comment

In case you don’t know, Jing, many in China share your view. No, they are never ‘vaguely’, and also far from ‘occassional’.

For example, one of the longest running topics in Jianchuanzhishi is titled “US army medal diary”. Up to this day, the thread has 14,752 posts, and has been visited 831,506 times.

What’s that about? Sports? Collectible? No. It’s a happy recount of US daily casualty in Iraq. For each fallen American soldier, the original poster (nicknamed ‘BinLaden the old guy’) would issue a medal in terrorists’ honor. A laud applaud will then follow. For year 2005, they have wished 2005 more deads on US.

Jianchuanzhishi is a government website with China’s defense industry (navy) background. It’s an official vehical for propaganda of Chinese supremacy and militarism education. A couple of years ago I still managed to post something alternative there, but now they no longer tolerate ‘being soft’ on US and Taiwan.

Yes, Jing, at the moment PLA military is only capable for domestic brutality against your own people. On the contrary of what paranoia Washington Times wants us to believe, PLA is so corrupt that it’s not even up to the job of invading Taiwan, and it will keep that way for quite some time. But they are planting the seeds of hatred into younger generation. They are ambitious, bloodthirsty, eager to kill American ‘bastard’ more than any generation of Chinese.

Will they get their wish granted? It’s an open question. Too few in America is even ‘vaguely’ aware of that. Even with Internet.

January 29, 2005 @ 5:51 am | Comment


You are quite a character. I can not understand why you keep inciting hatred. Well, you go to Free Republic, then you will see how americans hate chinese. Lots of americans will love to kill chinese bastard.

So, what is your point? Just as Richard will rightly tell you so, those people are idiots. The same with chinese side. You keep using those idiots as an example of chinese. You are either being vicious, or simply idiotic.

January 29, 2005 @ 6:26 am | Comment


Did I say EVERY Chinese is embracing neo-Nazi philosophy? Certainly not. But since when we should solely have our attention on over 50% population and ignore all the rest? Look, in history atrocities were often committed by a small group of victious, determined perpetrators. And better put America on notice so that won’t happen.

January 29, 2005 @ 7:02 am | Comment

And Steve, who after all is inciting hatred, the official ‘nationalism education’, or who just exposes their agenda?

I’ll talk about Chinese-Americans shortly, especially those who benefitted from the June 4 massacre and its aftermath but waited no time to subotage and back-stab the US. So stay tuned.

January 29, 2005 @ 7:10 am | Comment

What’s blocked here:
Over 50% of the time – Google news
BBC home page ok after that 404
Geocities and Angelfire

Porn – give me a break! It’s easier to get that junk than it is to get news.

Chinese want to kill Americans, Americans want to kill Chinese. Stupid people and they don’t represent the majority of their respective countries.

The military and so on apparently has to use whatever means necessary (propaganda) the curtail any thoughts, desires, etc. that could or would remotely suggest democracy or it s views. That ain’t hard to figure out. So what, all countries promote their political ideologies. China is no different.

But for a westerner living here, I like living here despite the differences. I have never been bothered, been cussed a few times for being an American but that happens, so what. We don’t live in the Garden of Eden.

January 29, 2005 @ 8:04 am | Comment

Haikou: So what, all countries promote their political ideologies. China is
no different.

Well, I suppose it’s a matter of degree. When they can haul you off for writing an essay, with no hope of a fair trial and no one to appeal to, it’s a lot more serious than in the US, where censorship is a little more subtle. A major factor in my decision to leave China was the government’s direct and obnoxious interference in my life in a manner we’d never see in a free (or at least relatively free) country.

January 29, 2005 @ 8:12 am | Comment

I’m trying to figure out how pointing out major improvements while enumerating serious problems constitutes cheerleading. Oh well…

Bellevue, I appreciate a lot of what you say, but you undermine your own credibility by your extremism.

January 29, 2005 @ 2:41 pm | Comment

Thank you Lisa. I’m also trying to figure out how to preserve my conviction to truth finding (naked truth) without leaving a false impression of being radical. Not easy, I should confess, since the situation I talked about is often polarizing at the very least.

January 29, 2005 @ 11:06 pm | Comment


I tried to trackball other blog here but got this:

Your comment was denied for questionable content. If you think this was an error, send an email to Richard and I’ll get it fixed.

It’s a bug or a policy? Thanx.

January 30, 2005 @ 1:40 am | Comment

Bellevue, you need to send me what you wrote in the comment, and then I can tell you why it got blocked.

Update: I checked the log, and you were listing a URL with the word “online” in it. I have banned URLs with this phrase, because I was getting huge amounts of spam comments for online sex, online drugs, online gambling, etc.

January 30, 2005 @ 10:37 am | Comment

I see. It’s a blog of Chiu Yung and his URL contains on.line (sorry, have to use the same trick circumventing CCP censorship). He reports Haloscan the comment engine was blocked at that time. Maybe you already knew it. It’s back now.

Another blogger rightly commented: There is one Internet (not internets as dubia said – bellevue), but you and me are jailed in two different networks.

January 30, 2005 @ 5:38 pm | Comment

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