There’s a plethora of good stories out about China today and I don’t have time to post about them all. Allow me to simply list two that caught my eye:

This upsetting article chronicles the short, sad history of the Peasant’s Survey (Zhongguo nongmin diaocha). It concludes:

An estimated 8 million copies of the Survey have now been sold in pirated form. Though Chen and Wu were allowed to collect an international prize in Berlin in October 2004, they were subsequently sued for libel by Zhang Xide, the former Linquan County Party boss—clearly with official backing. Their witnesses were subjected to the same well-calibrated mixture of bribery and repression that the Survey reveals to be a mainstay of the Party’s continued rule over hundreds of millions of angry and impoverished peasants: ‘Though their numbers are vast, they are not united, and are unable to combat the many pressures they face. But the rural cadres are, on the contrary, a very well-organized force’. When Chen and Wu petitioned for the trial to be moved to a neutral location rather than Zhang’s home district, where his son is a judge, their appeal was rejected. In March 2005 they were found guilty and given heavy fines. The suppression of the Survey of Chinese Peasants is surely as good as a confession, confirming who the real criminals are.

Yet another piece on the Beijing-Tokyo crisis, this one a bit more well-rounded and thought out than most:

Things are not quite what they seem, of course. What upsets Beijing most is not some textbooks that no non- Japanese-speaker will ever read. It is Tokyo’s recent declaration that preventing a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is a vital Japanese interest, and Japan’s increasing closeness to the Bush administration in defence matters (notably by signing up to the Ballistic Missile Defence project), and a dispute over the seabed resources around some islands (Senkaku in Japanese, Diaoyu in Chinese) that are claimed by both countries.

But it’s hard to get people worked up about such abstract questions, whereas the textbook issue touches a raw nerve in China, where the horrors of the Japanese occupation are within living memory. So the Chinese regime cynically plays this issue to whip up nationalist fervour – and the Japanese Government, with equal cynicism, pretends not to understand that it has committed an offense. For there are ultra-nationalists in Japan, too, and some of them are close to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Both governments are at fault – but it is the ease with which the Beijing regime can rouse popular anger against Japan that is truly alarming. It will be hard for the regime to resist using this device again whenever it needs to deflect public anger away from its own failings. Nor can we be confident that a democratic China would be immune to this kind of manipulation by politicians using nationalist rhetoric.

Man, I hate nationalism.

Both of these articles are well worth reading.

The Discussion: 46 Comments

The second article made a very good points, i.e., rapid democratization is often accompanied by a surge in nationalism. I will add that, rapid economic growth in a country with a humilated history will also accompany a surge in nationalism. South Korea is case in point.

If this nationalism is out of control, it will do tremendous to the world given the size of China. The question is, how we can manage this transition?

In my opinion, China should realize the damage of extreme nationalism and respect the rule of games.

On the other hand, foreign powers should be sensitive to chinese feeling.

For long term US strategic interest, we need a democratic China friendly to US. Encouraging Taiwan independence will be a sure way to achieve the exact opposite, i.e., China will be resentful for a long time and CCP will have more excuse to stay in power. Unfortunately, not many people seems to understand this issue.

April 25, 2005 @ 9:42 pm | Comment

The extreme nationalism is the thing that I am worrying most if China convert herself into a westernized democratic country. (plus extreme religion if possible) Study taiwan politics? have seen the violence at the airport on TV today? Study Russian politics? Know why Putin got elected? you will see. Dirty politicians will take advange of the young nationalists (+religious people) for sure, …120% sure! As a “moderate nationalist”, I am worrying about it. no laugh pls..

April 25, 2005 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

Lin, you are right to worry. Real patriots don’t want to see their countries descend into dangerous nationalism. I certainly feel that way about my own country these days…

April 25, 2005 @ 10:22 pm | Comment

What makes me feel better is the strength of ordinary Chinese people. The observation by Chris in the comments of another post is pretty accurate. Ordinary chinese people are moderate and concerned about themselves (sadly speaking selfish sometimes). Once they keep themselves awake and start knowing not to allow speculators misleading them, China will be safe. Who will keep them awake? I believe enough numbers of middle class people will do. As long as the middle class people keep growing fast, I won’t oppose the current system too much.

April 25, 2005 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

Dear All,

This is written more in sorrow than in anger (though I am a little angry still nevertheless) and as further proof of the fact that “The quality of mercy is not strained/It cometh as the gentle dew from heaven…” – as that sweet young lady once said, I’m sure with me in mind. I’m becoming adept at turning the other cheek, whether of the upper or the lower anatomy must remain a matter for fascinating conjecture at the moment, but all careful readers of Plato will know that all phenomena of the ideal upper world have their imperfect (indeed, sometimes odiferous) counterparts in the world below.

After that portentous introduction I shall proceed to sordid facts. I have recently made a number of contributions to Richard’s Peking Duck site, to the April 21st thread, titled “More on the riots – and a must read.” Some of you, I know, have been following the debate that I entered into with Richard regarding both the nature of Chinese village elections and later, the SARS issue.

My final defence on the SARS issue, in which I outlined my three basic arguments in what turned out to be, I must confess, a rather lengthy series of comments, was to meet Richard’s challenge to either “put up, or shut up.” Naturally, I had chosen the former!

What deeply disturbs me, and this is the reason why I am writing to you all, is that Richard has violated standard blogger ethics by seriously distorting my views, and in such a way as to mock me, to trivialise me, and in an effort, it would appear, to damage my credibility as a person of any intellect.

If this wasn’t upsetting enough, he has also closed the thread in order to prevent me from responding to his outrageous diatribe. By doing so, he has effectively defamed me to some degree. This in fact not only violates blogger ethics, but also, arguably, U.S. law. I shall return to this point later, but first allow me to explain to you the details of how Richard has offended my ethical sensibilities.

I shall not outline here what my arguments are regarding the SARS issue. If you are interested enough, you can open the pages of Peking Duck and read them for yourselves. I will focus instead on Richard’s last commentary, which also happens to be the final word allowed on the thread.

I’m not sure how old Richard is, or of what level of English language comprehension he possesses, but one thing for sure is that he has very clearly misrepresented my entire argument, and in such a way as to call into question my very sanity. Just read his opening line: “Ladies and Gentlemen,” he writes, “step right up and see Mark Anthony Jones in action! Look at how he proves SARS was a hoax – by quoting one Dr. Rath who insists it was a non-issue that could be treated with vitamin C and the amino acid lysine.”

I must say that I was extremely shocked when I read this nonsense this morning. How could somebody completely distort my views in such a ridiculous and obvious way? Either Richard’s reading comprehension is very poor, as I surmised earlier, or he is behaving in a manner that is just plain malicious.

At no time have I ever used Dr Rath to support any of my views, on any topic. Never. I have never quoted Dr. Rath’s views to support a position of my own. In fact, I made it very clear that I do not support Dr Rath’s views. “Do not assume that I agree or endorse Rath’s argument,” I wrote, “because it sounds a little too over the top to me.”

Furthermore, it must be said here that I did not even refer to Dr Rath when presenting my arguments about the SARS issue. I mentioned him, in a completely separate commentary, in order only to provide an example of someone who has argued a link between SARS and the war on terrorism. I did so in response to a question by Pete. At no time, as I made very clear to both Richard and Pete, have I ever even argued a link between the war on terrorism and the outbreak of SARS. All that I ever said was that the timing of the SARS crisis is “suspicious.” Nothing more. My statements ought to be viewed carefully, and in their context.

Richard attacks my intellectual integrity when he says to me: “All of the statistics you quote from Dr. Rath are a testament to how you operate, going on at lengths utterly horrifying to contemplate, full of sound and fury and ultimately signifying far less than nothing.”

Once again, I have never quoted any statistics from Dr Rath to support arguments of my own, or arguments that I in any way endorse. Never!

It was Richard who sparked this debate, by taking a short simple statement that I made about SARS out of context. In doing so, he challenged me to either “put up or shut up.” I thus went to considerable lengths in terms of both time and effort to carefully outline my position on this issue for him. I used only credible, empirically verifiable evidence to support all of my arguments – but instead of addressing my actual arguments, instead of challenging my evidence with credible evidence of his own, Richard, once again, as usual, has chosen instead to trivialise me, to mock me, to misrepresent and totally distort my views, and in ways that simply defy belief. And in a rather un-gentlemanly manner, even closes the thread after making his last comment, thereby preventing me from launching into a defence.

This brings me back to the question of blogger ethics, and the law. Just because Richard pays for and runs Peking Duck does not give him the right to defame those who contribute to his site. I have a basic, fundamental right to uphold and to protect my reputation. I don’t expect, when I contribute to blog sites, that the host will seriously distort and misrepresent my views on an issue while preventing me from making a rebuttal. In my opinion, this amounts to defamatory behaviour on Richard’s part.

I did, rather briefly and perhaps childishly, entertain the possibility of pursuing legal action, having contacted Blake, Dawson and Waldron for their professional advice, though now that I have calmed down a little, I can see that any such action on my part will be most unlikely, and no doubt best avoided. The costs involved would no doubt far outweigh the risks of me not succeeding, and at any rate, I don’t wish to brew too much of a storm in what many will consider to be merely a teacup.

I am well aware too, of the fact that the boundaries of permissible public discourse have evolved significantly over the last half-century, and that previous such court rulings in the United States, such as in the case of Stephen Barrett verses Hulda Clark et al for example, have resulted in failure. In the case just mentioned, the judge argued that the Internet provides for a “three-wheeling and highly animated exchange” of ideas, and that you don’t want to hold ordinary people, who are engaged in such discussions as the type common to the pages of Peking Duck, to “the same standards or restrictions that you would hold a sophisticated publishing house or a newspaper.”

Faced with this reality, and the present ambiguities of the law on this issue, my only recourse of defence in this instance rests in writing this letter, and in being able to distribute it to you all. I do so in the hope that all interested parties who have been following the debate in question will come to judge me in a light more favourable than the one that Richard has so unkindly portrayed, and that you will use your sober senses to evaluate the strengths and the weaknesses of my arguments. It is my wish that anybody who opens the thread in question will not simply scroll down to the last comment, and be left, having read it, with the defamatory and scandalous portrait that Richard has painted of me.

Finally, I thank all of those among you who have been good enough to engage with in debate since I fist began contributing to the pages of Peking Duck, last November. Regretfully, I shall not be contributing any longer.

Best wishes to you all,

Mark Anthony Jones

April 26, 2005 @ 12:56 am | Comment

The Sydney Morning Herald has a story in it today … about how Japan is planning to investigage Chinese textbooks for bias and distortion … everybody hurry and put on their raincoats … you’re going to need it to keep dry from all the outraged spluttering that’s going to come out of Beijing as a result. Unfortunately, that paper is now insisting on registration, and on principle I refuse, so I can’t post the link. The registration is pretty random … sometimes it will let you read things, other times not … so you might get through.

April 26, 2005 @ 1:16 am | Comment

Got it: here.

If you can’t get access to it, I’ll also cut and past the full text here. Apologies for the length.

April 26, 2005 @ 1:23 am | Comment

Japan accuses China of teaching biased history
By Deborah Cameron, Herald Correspondent in Tokyo
April 26, 2005

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Japan will probe China’s history textbooks for errors and bias in a move that seems calculated to provoke its neighbour again.

Japan’s Foreign Minister, Nobutaka Machimura, has described textbooks published in China and South Korea as inaccurate and presenting unbalanced views of the past.

“There is a tendency toward this in any country, but the Chinese textbooks are extreme in the way they uniformly convey the ‘our country is correct’ perspective,” Mr Machimura said.

His attempt to turn the tables on China, which criticises dishonest textbooks published in Japan, undermined a diplomatic truce called during a Saturday meeting between the Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, and China’s President, Hu Jintao.

Japan would examine China’s official history books and report the findings to Beijing, Mr Machimura said.

In an editorial on Sunday the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s highest circulation daily newspaper, said China should prove its commitment to rebuilding the relationship by ending pro-nationalist, anti-Japanese education in schools.

AdvertisementThe newspaper editorial alleged Japan had apologised for its wartime past more than 20 times since 1972, including Mr Koizumi’s renewed apology last week. The editorial insisted it was Beijing’s turn to apologise for damage done to diplomatic missions during recent protests in China.

Disputes about school book interpretations of history have been an undercurrent for decades as Japan’s neighbours have demanded a more honest official account of the brutality of Japan’s colonial-era occupation of Korea and China.

A spokesman for the Japanese Government said the leaders’ meeting had been “very significant” and “the first step toward bringing things back on track”.

Japan said it was important for the countries to strengthen their relationship and claimed it believed it could still win Beijing’s support for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

But other sensitive topics remain to one side. Mr Koizumi’s persistent refusal to rule out future visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates war dead including convicted and executed war criminals, and a territorial dispute over gas and oil deposits along a shared sea border, were not discussed at the leaders’ meeting last weekend. “The focus was on the future, rather than pointing to each other’s faults,” a Japanese official said.

 Chinese police have detained a man who used the internet to try to organise an anti-Japanese protest in Nanjing, state media reported yesterday.

April 26, 2005 @ 1:24 am | Comment


I answered you in the post below.


I really hope you’re right, and I think that you are, actually. In any society, having a strong middle class is what creates stability. And to paraphroase what you said, I think Chinese culture tends to seek balance and a middle way.

It’s interesting because both a free market and government intervention are necessary to create and maintain a strong middle class. If either government or the market isn’t strong enough, you end up with the powerful few controlling the poor masses. I believe that representative democracy and freedom of association is what helps to provide the balance between these two forces.


April 26, 2005 @ 1:27 am | Comment

And Mark … shame to see you go … but talk of legal action? Lighten up man. Its Richard’s blog, and as far as I’m concerned, that makes him “king of the hill” here. Royalty always has the right to be arbitrary when it chooses. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you establishing your own petty principality and administering your domain as it so pleases you.

To be honest, I haven’t read the exchanges to which you refer, and can’t be bothered. (It’s a busy week). If indeed Richard’s words are such a gross distortion of your argument, then it should be plain to all concerned. Thus, readers have been given all material necessary to draw their own conclusions, and may indeed decide that you’ve been defamed, and that Richard is an unreasonable autocrat. Or, they may decide they agree with Richard. I pose no opinion on this aspect. I would compare it to a recent attack I read directed at Jing (the link for which was posted in a comment at Jing’s website), by someone called Joseph, if I recall correctly. After having read through Joseph’s rant, I concluded that he was an idiot, and my respect for Jing increased, because anyone who can attract this class of enemy can’t be all bad! Not that I’m accusing Richard of this.

I think you would have just cause for moral outrage if Richard had in fact edited your comments, but you haven’t accused him of doing that. So, back to my original point. Lighten up.

April 26, 2005 @ 1:34 am | Comment

Dear Filthy Stinking No.9.

Funny you should mention that – because Richard, earlier in the year, did in fact edit one of my comments, which I protested about. His response was to ban me from his site, only then a few days later he sent me an email informing me that I was “unbanned”.

He has, without even telling me this time, banned me again! I cannot post on this site using my own office computer. I am posting this using a computer in the adjoining office to mine.

I suspect that he will delete all of this as soon as he discovers it, which is fine. As I said in my letter above, I no longer intend to contribute further anyway – and for very good reason I think.

I respect your position – I am not trying to seek allies here.

Thanks for all of your constructive criticisms over the last, what, 7 months. I really do appreciate them.

Richard might be king of the roost, so to speak, but by providing a public forum for discussion and debate, he ought to behave a little more ethically.

On that note, I shall respect his blackbanning of me, and will refrain from making any further comments.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

April 26, 2005 @ 1:54 am | Comment

Be realistic Richard. Every people and every country practices nationalism including America. America is probably the most nationalistic nation on earth! The chants of USA, USA at international sporting events, the proud boasting of being the country of the free, the bastion of democracy and goodness in a world of evil. The world’s only superpower (especially in debt), the greatest military force on the planet, Pax America! Isn’t that nationalism?

In America, nationalism has a bad name as it was one of the primary causes of the First World War. So Americans call it patriotism but it’s no bloody different from the nationalism practiced in Japan or China. Patriotism allows Americans to swoon over a few hundred dead soldiers in Iraq while ignoring the tens of thousands if Iraqis killed. It allows them to believe they’re winning the war as the insurgents are switching their targets to other Iraqis so fewer Americans are killed.

April 26, 2005 @ 5:07 am | Comment

Oops, comment spamming is getting worse.

I’m sorry, but … is the first commenter ‘steve’ the same steve that frequents this blog? I can’t believe I have agreed so much with this steve.

April 26, 2005 @ 5:27 am | Comment

wkl: Yes, it’s at least akin to nationalism, but as a ‘alien’, I feel this American brand of nationalism somewhat different than the other brand brew in my home country. American version is based on ideology rather than ethnic origin, so it’s more like Catholocism (or ironically, communism) and more inclusive.

Need some native born to explain their view.

And I believe the world wouldn’t be a better place under Pax Sinica.

April 26, 2005 @ 5:39 am | Comment

As I wrote in another thread Mark spammed:

Mark, your comments are there untouched for all to see. I responded in a maner I thought was fair. I have told you before that if you want a soapbox, start your own blog. This is my soapbox. I try to be open minded, to let Bingfeng and Bellevue and FSN9 and JR — people of tremendously diverse opinions — to have their say. When you try to take over and spam my comments with encyclopedia-length diatribes it’s bad enough, and I have previously asked you to refrain from doing so. When these diatribes are truly offensive – such as when you say the Iraqi insurgency, despite being feared by the majority of the population it so cavalierly butchers, must win over the Americans, I don’t have to tolerate it. When you seek to prove SARS wasn’t a threat and that the CCP was okay in how it handled it, I don’t have to accept it. Period. You want to complain or express these views, do it elsewhere. I don’t have to give you bandwidth or space I pay for to spread messages I find offensive and contrary to logic and decency. Thanks. And if you keep on abusing my comments, I will delete, which I haven’t done yet.

April 26, 2005 @ 7:58 am | Comment

Mark, I never edited your comments. Also, I only banned you after you sent me a rather hysterical email giving me the name of your attorney who would be taking me to court — over comments in a frikkin’ blog! After getting that email, why would I want you having free reign to my Web site? (These are rhetorical questions; please, don’t answer.) I will not embarrass you by posting your emails; that’s not what I want to do. But you and i both know they were a bit over the top. The thread you are telling everyone about was dead and buried, but now, by bringing this up, you’ve alerted everyone to it for reasons I don’t fully understand. Please, let it go. Peace.

April 26, 2005 @ 7:59 am | Comment

wkl, I despise nationalism in every country. I look at the jingoism so often seen in America today and I cringe, this idea that we rule the earth and you are either with us or against it. I was not in any way condemning Chinese nationalism or Japanese nationalism, but the phenomenon of allowing dedication to one’s country (which is good) cloud one’s rational thinking and allow it to become justification for violence or hatred.

April 26, 2005 @ 8:03 am | Comment

the article about the chinese peasants survey is an unconfirmed. the verdict should have been rendered last august, but it is kicked upstairs for review. there is a rumor that the district court founded against the authors for 70,000 yuan and the publisher for 30,000 yuan, but one wonders if the rumor is being floated to test the public response. the authors do not lack for money, since they won 50,000 euros (more than 500,000 yuan) in the lettre ulysses award.

April 26, 2005 @ 9:12 am | Comment

Seconding Rchard – nationalism sucks, no matter what country practices it.

April 26, 2005 @ 10:02 am | Comment

Thanks eswn – I wondered when I read about the verdict why I hadn’t seen anything about it anywhere else.

April 26, 2005 @ 10:13 am | Comment

To those who say nationalism sucks, I couldn’t agree more. It makes those who pratice it just as bad as racists.

April 26, 2005 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

Other lisa,
you got the excellent point.

April 26, 2005 @ 2:09 pm | Comment

By the way, Lin, I am both Lisa and Other Lisa. Sometimes I forget to add the “Other.” Or perhaps it is my Evil Twin posting…. 🙂

April 26, 2005 @ 2:56 pm | Comment

Probably someone here is also interested in Taiwan, which has been considered as the role model of the mainland China for long. Here is a post by a foreigner living in Taiwan. His comments on the airport violence yesterday will tell you what equals to (democracy+nationalism).
By the way the average taiwanese income has not improved much for the last 7 years. (It’s about the length of their democracy) Taiwan’s experience keep beating my democratic dream to death, all the time. I once thought Taiwan is the hope and the torromow of the mainland, how sad.

Republic of Taiwan – Asia Nightmare Center

Today’s chaotic scene at the airport was really quite something spectacular. To many under-educated (or un-educated) “grass-roots” blue-collar socio-economic losers in the bottom class of Taiwan society who were led by some sick but ambitious politicians under the tacit command of the old Japanese soldier, Lee Dumb-hui, they thought they were doing their “patriotic” duty to try to stop the “traitor”, the Chairman of KMT, who has no position in the current government under Chen Shit-bin, from going to visit China.
Eggs, tomatoes, sticks, what have you, were flying around in the mad crowd. The police, half-heartedly, tried to keep some order but they failed totally. Just imagine how they could cope if a real well-trained terrorists group should appear.
Taiwan is supposed to be a role model of democracy and freedom, for China. The right wing politicians and media in the US have all along praised Taiwan as a “successful” democracy. But in more than one decade, this so-called democracy is increasingly becoming democrazy. Under KMT, there was not much real democracy, but under the green, it is outright crazy. Today’s airport is a jolly good place to observe how democrazy is working in Taiwan. Absolutely sick and ridiculous. In addition, the minds are so narrow, the vision totally myopic, Taiwan failed in the past to become some sort of center of Asia-Pacific, now they will surely succeed in becoming the Asia/Pacific Center of Nightmare Horrors.

April 26, 2005 @ 3:29 pm | Comment

Lin, have you ever heard of the “vote by foot.” If things are bad for the people in Taiwan, they always have the freedom to pick up and leave. Also, do you have a link for the quote you gave us? The guy sounds a little …strange. (“blue-collar socio-economic losers in the bottom class of Taiwan society who were led by some sick but ambitious politicians under the tacit command of the old Japanese soldier, Lee Dumb-hui…)”

April 26, 2005 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

The post is near the bottom. Richard, you think the author is a fake? That’s even more twisted.

Vote by Foot? For homeland, easy said than done.

April 26, 2005 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

Lin, you are an interesting person. I never thought the post was a fake. But it is standard practice on blogs to link the stories you refer to. The guy sounded quite weird and I wanted to know who he was.

You seem to be angry for no reason. I request that you try to tone it down, and not refer to people as “twisted” unless you have a real excellent reason to do so.

April 26, 2005 @ 5:57 pm | Comment

Lin, democracy in action contains plenty of examples of this kind of thing. It’s not an uncommon thing to have eggs thrown, battles with riot police, all sorts of things, in Australia. Now, would you say that the working of democracy in Australia is beating your dream to death? I don’t think these people were right to act in that way, but real freedom includes the right to act like an idiot. Perhaps you should meditate on the following quote from a famous American: “I will fight to the death to defend your right to say those damb lies.” Until you truly understand this saying, then your understanding of democracy is still lacking.

As for the economic argument to which you allude … the logical extension of your reasoning is, that you will be required to renounce your support for the leadership in the PRC if China should ever suffer a recession. Are you ready to do that?

April 27, 2005 @ 1:46 am | Comment

You are too sensitive. I meant that political catfight would be more twisted if someone would fake a foreigner. My poor english.
The airport violence is not as simple as you thought. The violence supporters including “senators”, famous TV hosts. There were more than 3000 policemen who were supposed to but didn’t stop the violence which only involves hundreds of people. The reason? They are corrupt. Furthermore, there were gangs, party leaders, farmers… you name it. By the way, dozens of people shed blood. About that quote? I know. The following sentence should be “sure you can lie as long as you don’t break the law.:)”
If the law can’t be respected, you see the result of democracy. In my eyes, an independent judicious system in developing country is far difficult to be established than a democratic system.
By the way, if the leadership can’t provide the constant and enough improvements of the living conditions for ordinary Chinese people, I sure will oppose it. However if you ask me to kill certain CCP member some day, As an average joe, I will hesitate:)

April 27, 2005 @ 4:40 pm | Comment

An independent judiciary and a rule of law are absolutely necessary in a democracy – otherwise, you have a “Rule of Mob.”

April 27, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

richard: on the question of vote by foot, i will note that taiwan has a theoretical population of 23 million, and one million of them either live on mainland china extensively there or have business there. why? money talks. china is the big market with the cheap labor.
those 1 million people could not cast absentee ballots in taiwan elections, or else the election results might have been quite different.
if there should be an escalation of conflict across the taiwan straits, how would these 1 million people vote with their feet? stay put in china and claim chinese citiizenship, or pack up and go home? my guess is the former. money talks.

April 27, 2005 @ 9:45 pm | Comment

True enough, eswn. Money certainly talks, in China more than anywhere else. But if they want to, the people of Taiwan can leave at will, and I stil think that’s an important differentiator. As to the scenario you present, I’d have to agree with you that they’d most likely stay put in China. It’s the practical; thing to do, and God knows the Chinese are a very practical people (a sincere compliment, said with a touch of envy).

April 27, 2005 @ 9:51 pm | Comment

Nothing he says or does will be good enough.

While I was in Hong Kong, ( Sadly, not that I will back there anytime soon…..) I had a chance to read about the Japan -China dispute from the “other side”. Reading the South China Mornng Post each morning was very illuminating indeed. Especially th…

April 28, 2005 @ 7:05 am | Comment

Lin … who do you think is simple? I would suggest that it’s you. Wake up. Seems it’s a favourite technique of yours to project simplistic notions into the heads of those who disagree with you. Frankly, I find your comment that “it’s not as simple as you think” to be grossly insulting. Go stick it up your ****. I understand the situation perfectly well, but would suggest that you have a completely false notion about how democracy actually works. Government leaders in the ranks of the protests … have you any idea how common a sight that is in “successful” democracies? Obviously not. Your understanding is “simple” to use your word.

Hmmm, well, I’ll give you an opportunity to educate yourself. Just type in the names of two prominent members of parliament in Australia. A senator in the upper house called “Senator Bob Brown” and an MP in the lower house called “Labor MP Peter Garrett” and have a look at the articles that come up. Pretty quickly you should find photos of them in the front ranks of protestors, chaining themselves to trees, all sorts of stuff.

I repeat, and this time you might like to listen. What happened in Taiwan is nothing unusual. It’s how democracy is supposed to work. Think on it this time.

April 28, 2005 @ 8:52 am | Comment

Oops … type their names into google … preferably at google’s Australian portal, if you can get access to it.

April 28, 2005 @ 8:54 am | Comment

Your words are just as disgusting as your name. you understand the situation perfectly well, Oh, really?
You do understand it’s normal for a senator to encourage violence in a democratic society, don’t you? You do support changing dirty personal attack words each other, don’t you?
Would you stop putting your words into my mouth and shifting my points to whereever you want?

April 28, 2005 @ 10:02 am | Comment

Lin, I believe FSN9’s name was created by Mao and his Cultural Revolution architects.

April 28, 2005 @ 10:09 am | Comment

got it, LOL
Mao only entitled FS#9 to really really wise persons though:)

April 28, 2005 @ 10:32 am | Comment

I’m wondering if an independent judicious system can be built before a democratic society, or people don’t have urge to build one until the mob rules.

April 28, 2005 @ 11:11 am | Comment

Dear Lin,

I know that many in China are striving to create an independent judiciary. Qiao Shi was very much in favor of this but he lost out to the Shanghai gang. One of the things he said was that even the CCP could not hold itself above the law. The success of such a project has to do with the willingness of all parties to submit to a rule of law – that includes the CCP. Some factions are obviously in favor of this – others are not.

Aside from a fear or experience of mob rule (and wouldn’t the CR have been enough of that?), another motivation is China’s economic development. Without a consistent rule of law, you can’t have enforceable contracts. Without enforceable contracts, it’s very difficult to do business. Corruption flourishes.

Well, we have to hope for the best. I don’t think China can continue to practice this sort of “soft authoritarianism” indefinitely – let’s hope for a positive, peaceful evolution to something better.

April 28, 2005 @ 11:50 am | Comment

Good points, Lisa. It is very hard to reveal the real motives of Qian Shi, but I personally believe he is not a bad person from the facts that he didn’t allow his daughters to take advantage of his power. (From this point of view, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang ZeMing, Li Peng, Zhu Rongji…… hardly convinced me) It seems that his daughter is still working independently in US.

April 28, 2005 @ 5:37 pm | Comment

Lin, there’s nothing like a fool who refuses to be educated. It’s obvious that you ignored my advice, and refused to actually do any research to support your opinion. If you had, you would know perfectly well that yes indeed, those things are perfectly normal in successfully working democracies. Ignorance can be forgiven, but willful ignorance is unforgiveable. You have the tools readily at hand in order to prove my points, but rather than actually learn the truth, you prefer to continue to make statements that are so lacking in merit or evidence that they constitute foolishness. As for your comments about the use of the term “filthy stinking no.9”, you reveal yourself to be just a ignorant about China’s own history as you are of democratic society … and yes, I agree … it is a disgusting name. It was a name applied to the best of China’s people, given to them by the worst. Seems like you’d feel more comfortable sitting alongside the latter, rather than the former.

I’ll give you two sayings, one from the west and one from China, both of which you would do well to consider.

1) Better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and leave no doubt.
2) Kong Fuzi’s Lunyu, Book VII.8: “If I hold up one corner and a man cannot come back to me with the other three, I do not continue the lesson.”

Lin, you’ve been given 3 corners, and clear instructions about how to find the 4th … Until you’re willing to expend a little brain power and research to actually think about opposing arguments, it’s not worth entering into discussion with you. So, I leave you to your foolishness. I won’t bother to respond to any more of your messages.

Kong Fuzi XV.30: The Master said, “I once spent a whole day without food and a whole night without sleep, in order to meditate. It was no use. It is better to learn.”

April 28, 2005 @ 11:48 pm | Comment

Man, what a great great self entitled teacher! Give me a break, savvy man.

April 29, 2005 @ 1:21 pm | Comment

In South America, democracy stumbles in second act

April 29, 2005 @ 5:00 pm | Comment

You are one interesting guy, Lin. So what’s your point, that democracy must be a bad thing? True, it’s not perfect and it’s not right for every country. But you’re trying to make it look like something bad, aren’t you? I can show you plenty of articles of communist governments that collapsed, like Romania and Poland and the rest of the USSR.

April 29, 2005 @ 5:05 pm | Comment

No, I am not trying to make it bad. Quote: “I think I hate on China so much because I’m so connected to it”

You will get mine if you replace “China” with the “democracy”

Just I don’t know what is the key to make it work in developing countries. Instead of bashing democracy, I am desperately searching for inspirations and solutions as you mentioned communist will collapse eventually.

April 29, 2005 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

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