Post-vacation thread

Life reverts to normal as we continue our futile quest to derive meaning in an irrational and ultimately meaningless world…

The Discussion: 187 Comments

“…as we continue our futile quest to derive meaning in an irrational and ultimately meaningless world…”

———–

wowwwwww

the world is meaningful or meaningless depending on who you are

it’s irrational or ratinoal depending on how you interact with it and the people around you

our quest to derive meaning could be futile or fruitful depending on how long you persist

all in all, everybody is a different world

October 9, 2005 @ 8:57 am | Comment

As long as death is certain, there is an inevitable futility to life, unless you believe in one of those religions promising eternal life, created to enslave people and give them rather ridiculous hopes (for which we all nevertheless strive because of the very nature of life).

This is a major theme of so many great writers from just about every culture. To me, Shakespeare said it with the most sublime beauty:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
the way to dusty death.
Out, out brief candle!
Life is but a walking shadow,
a poor player that struts and frets
his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.
It is a tale told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Matthew Arnold conveys the same sense of futility in his one great poem, Dover Beach, when he describes the rolling tides of the ocean and the sense of futility with which the waves echo:

Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery;

Man’s search for meaning, never completed, never fulfilled, is the entire reason we have philosophy and religion and a lot of literature, as well. It is fundamental. We see the earliest example perhaps some 6,000 years ago in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament:

1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

1:3 What profit hath man of all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun?

1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever.

1:5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he ariseth.

1:6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it turneth about continually in its circuit, and the wind returneth again to its circuits.

1:7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again.

1:8 All things toil to weariness; man cannot utter it, the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

1:9 That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.

1:10 Is there a thing whereof it is said: ‘See, this is new’? –it hath been already, in the ages which were before us.

1:11 There is no remembrance of them of former times; neither shall there be any remembrance of them of latter times that are to come, among those that shall come after.

1:12 I Koheleth have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.

1:13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven; it is a sore task that God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.

1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

1:16 I spoke with my own heart, saying: ‘Lo, I have gotten great wisdom, more also than all that were before me over Jerusalem’; yea, my heart hath had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

1:17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly–I perceived that this also was a striving after wind.

1:18 For in much wisdom is much vexation; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

All is vanity and striving after the wind.

October 9, 2005 @ 9:09 am | Comment

I can tell you the meaning of life, it is simply to live.

October 9, 2005 @ 9:18 am | Comment

Wait a second, let me write that down!

Actually, you’re right of course. To a degree. I would say it is not the meaning of life, but it is the best formula fo getting through it all. Of course, the next question is, what do you mean by “living”? Does it mean we should be hedonists and live each moment to the fullest as we see fit? Without rehgard for others? Does it mean we should live it in accordance with the Bible or the Koran or Mao’s Red Book? Obviously we each need to find our own answers on our journey, but all the options and conflicting advice and, of course, the ultimate promise of death make it so hard to determine what living our lives should be about.

October 9, 2005 @ 9:24 am | Comment

On a more mundane and far less pretentious note, there’s more advice on getting around China’s firewall (this time using RSS feeeds) over here.

October 9, 2005 @ 9:49 am | Comment

Richard,

OH, you have turned this into SUCH a COOL thread, with your reference to Ecclesiastes!

Ivan the Theologian is IN! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, Richard you suggested the Book of Ecclesiastes might be 6,000 years old. Actually, it is one of the most recent books of the Old Testament, written circa 300 BCE when Judeah was part of the Hellenistic Empire. And so, there is a lot of Greek sentiment in Ecclesiastes.

Jesus was, in all probability, fluent in Greek as well as Aramaic (an ancient version of Hebrew), and from what we can deduce from the Gospels, it seems that Jesus was conversant in Hellenistic Mysteries as well as the formal kind of Judaism which – contrary to popular belief – originated circa 400 BCE after the elite Jews were allowed to return from the Babylonian Exile.

(Not all Jews were exiled to Babylon, only the scholars and leaders were. And while in Babylon, after the Persian conquest, the Jewish scholars learned the notion of “The One God, The Only God”. That is not an originally Jewish idea -it’s Persian, Zoroastrian. Before the Jews encountered the Persians, the Jews believed that there were many gods, but they believed that THEIR ethnic god of the Jews was bigger and better than any other gods. The Persians taught the Jews how to imagine ONE god of ALL Humanity, and then the Greeks taught the Jews how to consider ALL Humans to have equal dignity….)

So, Jesus was born and raised in this wonderful stew of various religions. And Christianity (the original kind) came out of this.
Which is not to say anything about the possible divinity of Jesus – I’m just saying, this is the wonderful mix where he got his ideas from, during his mortal life in history.

Personally I especially appreciate the words of my patron Saint, John the Evangelist (I was baptised and anointed as a Catholic, at at Confirmation, anointment, all Catholics choose a patron saint), who did not fuss about the “meaning” of life, but he opened his especially poetic gospel with a song:

“In the beginning was the Word….”
and then more,
“…and the light shines in darkness, a darkness which did not comprehend it” (ie, the darkness did not comprehend, or conquer, the light.)

The meaning of life? The Jewish scholar (and Roman Citizen) Saint Paul: “For now, we see through a glass darkly…”

But I also like what Muhammed said, in the Koran. God said – in the Koran – “Muhammed, if it were not for you, I would not have created all of the stars” – meaning (according to SOME Muslims) that God created the entire universe for the sake of Humans, on this little planet.

Well, Richard, you started this, when you cited the Bible. ๐Ÿ™‚

October 9, 2005 @ 10:23 am | Comment

PS, also, about speculations about the “futility” of life: One of the essential symbols of the crucifixion of Christ, is that EVERY Human life can have eternal beauty and significance, EVEN IF it APPEARS to end in humiliation and oblivion.

October 9, 2005 @ 10:28 am | Comment

Great comment Ivan. How the hell do you know all this stuff? (and I mean that in a friendly way).

October 9, 2005 @ 10:32 am | Comment

What Social Problems Can Democracy Solve?

When fans of “democracy” discuss how Chinese society needs “democracy”, they often cite rampant corruption, prostitution, high crimes, unemployment as the major reasons. Their conclusion is that China must have “democracy” today, otherwise everything will go down in flames.

Now, I can’t help but be reminded of an infamous quack in ancient China named “Hu Wanlin”. This Doctor Hu gave only one kind of medicine to all his patients, and that is sulfuricum. If a patient went to visit Doctor Hu, he’d invariably tell him/her, “You have sclerosis of the liver, over-acceleration of the heartbeat, accumulation of gas in the lungs, and ulcer on the stomach, therefore you must take sulfuricum!

Are there are lot of problems in Chinese society today, a lot of ills? Of course there are, and some of them are rather serious. But can this drug called “democracy” cure all those ills?

To determine whether a certain drug can cure one or more than one type of disease, there is at least one way to find out. And that is to look at those patients that have taken that drug, and see whether their symptoms have subsided after taking the drug. If out of all those who have taken the drug, half of them see their symptoms subside, I will concede that that particular type of drug is effective. Ok, fine, even if 1/10 of the takers see their symptoms subside, I’ll say that the drug is potentially effective.

Therefore, I want to see which countries or regions of the world had certain types of social ills and saw the symptoms of the ills reduced after taking “democracy”. Even if I can only find one such country, that at least gives SOME credence to the drug.

Let’s first look at corruption. The countries that took “democracy” in recent decades include: Russia, East European countries, Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Montenegro), the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, and some African countries, plus Taiwan. Now, did corruption in Russia subside after taking the drug? Did it subside in Serbia and Montenegro? How about in South Korea? Indonesia?. I believe it did not subside in any of those countries. Is corruption not rampant in Russia today? Of course it is. And recently cases of human smuggling have been on the rise in Eastern Europe.

Now, onto unemployment. Russia, Eastern Europe, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, did they solve unemployment? No, not only did they not, unemployment is more severe in those countries. I’m someone who places great emphasis on practical results. If there’s such an example of a country that saw its corruption greatly curbed, and unemployment rate greatly reduced after taking the “democracy” drug, then I’ll clap my hands and sing praise for “demoracy” everyday. To those gentlemen who are already singing praise for “democracy”, please give me a such example. Some people use Taiwan as a classic model of how democracy leads to wealth, and visit different Internet forums carrying the question-and-answer: “Do you know why Taiwan is so wealthy? Because it practices democracy!”. Did Taiwan really grow wealthy under democracy? Or did it grow wealthy under the reigns of the Jiang (Kiang) family, and only start to squander the wealth after the introduction of democracy?

There’s this illusion that as soon as China opens up its press and starts general elections, the officials will suddenly become very clean, all the prostitutes will go home, the employment problem will be solved, crime rates will go down. Haha, I of course do not believe that. Those who disagree with me, let us hold a simulated election here on the forum for those fans of democracy, and let those who want to run for the president of China give us a policy outline on how he/she plans to tackle corruption, unemployment, prostitution, crimes. And let us compare his/her proposed policies to that of the current Communist Party of China, and see which side’s policies are better!

Not only can they not solve any social problems, they’ll create new ones. Then why are they still singing praise for that “miracle drug”? I think, they deliberately want to weaken and destroy China.

October 9, 2005 @ 10:46 am | Comment

I agree Martyn; Ivan’s knowledge is awesome – or maybe he’s making it all up. (Kidding.)

ZT, I notice your web site address is fake. What else about you is fake?

October 9, 2005 @ 10:49 am | Comment

Oh well. Ivan the Russian Holy Fool
cannot end any comments on a serious note. So, a good Jewish joke now (and I’m part Jewish by blood, if anyone here didn’t know):

Rabbi Goldstein died and went to Heaven. And then, Saint Peter greeted him there. Well, the Rabbi was a bit surprised, but St Peter said, “WELCOME, Rabbi Goldstein! We have been waiting for you! We have a room for you!

And then St Peter took the Rabbi past a long hallway, and they passed by one open room full of Muslims praying. And the Rabbi said, “this is not quite right for me,” and St Peter said, “No, don’t worry, you have your own room.”

And then they passed by a room full of Buddhists, and St Peter told the Rabbi, “No, your room is further down the hall.”

And they passed by other rooms, in Heaven. One room was full of Hindus, another room was full of Australian aborigines, another room was full of Navaho American Indians, another one full of Apache American Indians, and so on, room after room of Humans, who were all adoring God in their own ways.

And THEN they passed by a room where the door was shut! And the Rabbi reached for the doorknob, but St Peter held him back and told him to keep quiet.

And THEN, St Peter took the Rabbi to a room full of Rabbis, all arguing with each other about the Talmud. And the Rabbi said, “YES! THIS is perfect for me! But please tell me, WHO was in that room where the door was shut, and why could I not go inside?”

And St Peter said: “Oh, those are the Christians. You see, they think they’re the only ones here.”

October 9, 2005 @ 10:54 am | Comment

Martyn and Richard,

Thanks for the compliments. And you asked “how the hell do (I) know all this stuff?”

Two answers:

1. Email me and I will tell you more.

2. As a mystic with access to hidden mysteries, I can tell you that if you go to the satirical “flowingwaters” blog, you will find some new wisdom among the new comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

October 9, 2005 @ 11:20 am | Comment

I think the fake “flowingwaters” is just low and childish. I suppose Ivan has created that site…I bet it was fun, no?

October 9, 2005 @ 4:08 pm | Comment

My own meaning of life (not as inspirational as I’d like though) is that we have to keep advancing further, and each life has to lay down a brick so to speak for the next generation to build upon. Then we shall finally have the opportunity to attain what mankind has always striven for: To destroy the sun! (according to the philanthropist Mont. Burns)

October 9, 2005 @ 5:02 pm | Comment

On the subject of local democracy, I have just read the sickening report in the Guardian of what happened to activist Lu Banglie at Taishi village. He was kicked to death by local “police” for daring to challenge the village’s corrupt Party Committee chairman Chen Jinling. I wonder how the apologists will explain this one away? If China “is a country of laws” will anyone be brought to justice for this?

October 9, 2005 @ 6:53 pm | Comment

Zhuanjia, could you provide a link to that story?

October 9, 2005 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

zhuanjia, thanks for telling me the meaning of “mutikongka”.

if you could read chinese, here is a different story about democracy in china:

http://article.comment-cn.net/show.php

October 9, 2005 @ 7:36 pm | Comment

I found it, Zhuanjia. thanks. I’m going to put up a post about it.

Bingfeng, I would really like to read that article you cite but my chinese isn’t up to it. if a translation turns up, let me know, and I’ll post that as well.

October 9, 2005 @ 7:38 pm | Comment

oops, forget to use the tinyurl, sorry martyn

at the end of the story, the author talks about the legitimacy thing, it’s interesting how people start to use concept of “legitimacy” in their observations of local politics

October 9, 2005 @ 7:40 pm | Comment

Hey, maybe Martyn can translate!

October 9, 2005 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

briefly, the article reports the election for the ccp party leader in rural areas of 21 provinces in china. all people could vote and candidates are supposed to give speeches in public to gain support. it used to be the party members who could vote but now everybody could raise their candidates and vote.

one commentator says, “by including non-party members into the election, ccp is trying to get legal empowerment in the rural areas”

October 9, 2005 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, I’ve read some very positive things about the local elections. In a way, the story that Zhangjia mentions illustrates the potential power of this movement, because it threatens entrenched corruption. I’m not sure what the answer is to that.

October 9, 2005 @ 7:54 pm | Comment

I believe local elections are key to combat corruption. I too have seen the Guardian report and if true, then I find it appaling. I will wait for more reports, because I don’t have a clear image yet what has happened exactly, why and who and what now?

October 9, 2005 @ 8:04 pm | Comment

It seemes to me that the central government has to start enforcing some of the regulations that it drafts. Maybe in the case of local elections, this means some sort of monitoring agency with the power make sure the elections are fair and unhindered by the local authorities.

October 9, 2005 @ 8:08 pm | Comment

kao, police beaten senior citizens in new orleans?

October 9, 2005 @ 8:08 pm | Comment

Hey there, there are some excerpts from the SCMP (of course) article over about the mess in Taishi at my site, which I finally began posting on again today.
Also some comments on “thinking.”

October 9, 2005 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, you’ll note that both Richard and I posted extensively on the New Orleans disaster.

It’s really not something that should be held up as an example of why a different injustice is okay.

October 9, 2005 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

Lisa: “It seemes to me that the central government has to start enforcing some of the regulations that it drafts. Maybe in the case of local elections, this means some sort of monitoring agency with the power make sure the elections are fair and unhindered by the local authorities.”

I agree with you on this.

October 9, 2005 @ 8:16 pm | Comment

It’s really not something that should be held up as an example of why a different injustice is okay.

————-

why do you think i am trying to mitigate the crimes in taishi village? isn’t it a trick often played by japan apologists who use the issue of CR to defend their wwii atrocities?

i am jsut curious about what happened in new orleansand want to know more, but couldn’t find any english reports about it

October 9, 2005 @ 8:24 pm | Comment

“kao, police beaten senior citizens in new orleans?”
———————————————-
Do I have amazing psychic powers, or can everybody else also guess what bingfeng is going to say before he says it?

October 9, 2005 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

Back to Ivan’s theological comments. No disagreement regarding the milieu in which Jesus matured. Even other cultural phenomena can be ascribed to his world view such as the strong philosophical connection to the cult of Mithras. But be careful in quoting John. He is the most poetic of the gospel writers, but wrote (in Koine Greek), “in ‘a’ beginning”, not “in ‘the’ beginning”. Given the chronological distance between himself and the events he describes, you need to acknowledge the synoptic problem when considering the discrepancies with the first three gospels.

October 9, 2005 @ 10:25 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, I’ll try to come up with some good links for you. First suggestion is salon.com. They’ve done great New Orleans coverage. They are a subscription based site but I think you can access them with a “day pass.” Give it a shot, and let me know how you do.

October 9, 2005 @ 10:34 pm | Comment

Kevin asked:

Do I have amazing psychic powers, or can everybody else also guess what bingfeng is going to say before he says it?

Well, you could put three slips of paper in a fishbowl, randomly pull one out each time Bingfeng posts, and you will have a good chance of predicting his responses.

To prepare the three slips of paper, on one write:

“But the USA is worse!”

Make this slip the largest so that you choose this one most of the time.

On the other two slips write:

“It’s all the fault of the Little Japanese.”

and

“Taiwan / Tibet has been an inseparable part of China since the Earth was formed.”

Try it! You will feel like the Amazing Kreskin!. ๐Ÿ™‚

October 9, 2005 @ 11:29 pm | Comment

As Dougal McGuire once said: We aren’t meant to take the Bible sersiously now are we Ted?

October 9, 2005 @ 11:31 pm | Comment

you will have a good chance of predicting his responses.

To prepare the three slips of paper, on one write:

“But the USA is worse!”

Make this slip the largest so that you choose this one most of the time.

On the other two slips write:

“It’s all the fault of the Little Japanese.”

and

“Taiwan / Tibet has been an inseparable part of China since the Earth was formed.”

Try it! You will feel like the Amazing Kreskin!. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by Shanghai Slim at October 9, 2005 11:29 PM

———————

actually we could do the same thing for most westerners:

1) “but CCP is worse!”
2) “see, another nationalistic chinese”
3) “taiwan is not a province of china!”

October 9, 2005 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

four policemen beat an old man in the street of new orleans, i saw it on tv during lunch

October 9, 2005 @ 11:39 pm | Comment

bingfeng said:
“actually we could do the same thing for most westerners:
etc., etc., etc.”

It’s kind of funny that I also managed to totally predict that response after reading Shanghai Slim’s comment!

October 9, 2005 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

Oh, and bingfeng, did you by any chance happen to catch any Chinese reports on Taishi during your lunch?
For some reason, I just haven’t seen any!

October 9, 2005 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

Oh, and bingfeng, did you by any chance happen to catch any Chinese reports on Taishi during your lunch?

————-

i don’t think i need to answer your question because you will predict what i will say

October 10, 2005 @ 1:02 am | Comment

Haha! Good answer bingfeng.

October 10, 2005 @ 1:10 am | Comment

Haha, i’m guessing a “no.”

October 10, 2005 @ 1:45 am | Comment

>>
1) “but CCP is worse!”
Well, it is.

2) “see, another nationalistic chinese”
Well, most are, aren’t they?

3) “taiwan is not a province of china!”
Well, it isn’t.

I guess that is the difference, no?

But seriously, the “i was just curious about the New Orleans beating” line was hilarious…

October 10, 2005 @ 2:25 am | Comment

A Chinese who won’t say “No”….

heeheehee

October 10, 2005 @ 2:32 am | Comment

Sigh, THIS IS living….

October 10, 2005 @ 2:36 am | Comment

Haha, i’m guessing a “no.”

Posted by Kevin at October 10, 2005 01:45 AM

————

you are right again, kevin

i won’t expect china’s propaganda machines will ever report the taishi incident

keep on your good job of predicting …

heeheeheeee……

October 10, 2005 @ 3:05 am | Comment

A Chinese who won’t say “No”….

heeheehee

Posted by chester at October 10, 2005 02:32 AM

——————-

no westerner is capable of independent thinking since none of them will ever reach the conclusion that taiwan should be re-unified with mainland china.

do you agree with me?

October 10, 2005 @ 3:06 am | Comment

I see what you’re trying to do bingfeng but it’s not as black and white as that.

Many westerners reject China’s nefarious and all-encompassing territorial claims, particularly over Taiwan, because China wants to impose its rule on Taiwan and annex it irrespective of the feelings of Taiwan’s people.

The Mainland obviously don’t see it like this but self-determination and the will of the people is where it’s at for most of us westerners.

..and don’t you dare mention Hawaii.

October 10, 2005 @ 3:19 am | Comment

Hmm..I do think I recall people hinting at mainland china’s re-unification with Taiwan, if they haven’t perhaps..well, A+B=B+A

October 10, 2005 @ 3:31 am | Comment

no, martyn, i am not talking about taiwan or reunification here.

my point is this. westerners believe they are on the side of the truth, and chinese believe they are on the side of the truth too.

kevin’s attitute is like “my truth is truth and your truth is not truth”, in this way, there won’t be real exchanges of thoughts and mostly we can not find truth from a one-sided “debates”.

it doesn’t bother me so much that some people like observe the world in that way, it’s not my loss, even not china’s loss in the longer term.

October 10, 2005 @ 3:32 am | Comment

we have some academic research here in china on those old guards who try to defend the bankrupt ideologies in whatever means and find that it’s not their fault. they build up a “language system” works like a black hole and absorbs every piece of information to strengthen their own ideas.

the way some people think here just remind me of those “old gurad thinking”

October 10, 2005 @ 3:36 am | Comment

Ok, I will try to be more forward thinking and open-minded in the future (i.e. agree that taiwan is part of china, ignore china’s human rights record and criticize that of the US, change the topic whenever something unpleasant about China is mentioned, hate Japanese people, etc.)

October 10, 2005 @ 3:42 am | Comment

Many Chinese believe what they do because the schools systems and censored media spent years forcing their current opinions on them.
How can they truly be on the side of truth having been fed lies day by day since birth?

October 10, 2005 @ 3:45 am | Comment

I just wanna say that I don’t have a “my truth is truth and yours isn’t” opinion about anything. except for the fact that i have been gaining a lot of weight these past few years! that is truth and there is no denying it.
Anyway, I can give consideration to all kinds of opinions. And my opinions have changed drastically over the past three years in China. But as noted above, bingfeng, you usually have the same three responses to most topics, and I would characterize that as a more close-minded “my truth is truth” attitude.

October 10, 2005 @ 3:50 am | Comment

“no westerner is capable of independent thinking since none of them will ever reach the conclusion that taiwan should be re-unified with mainland china.

do you agree with me?”

Grammatic and logical errors in your statement, binfeng sir. Try looking at the single/plural verb agreement first. Second, Reaching one conclusion is NOT pending upon capability of independent thinking. Please consider this: perhaps all westerners are capable of collective thinking that Taiwan must not re-unify China. That’s what you meant right?

October 10, 2005 @ 3:50 am | Comment

Oops, my bad, you only have 3 answers.

October 10, 2005 @ 3:56 am | Comment

Chester, please don’t criticize commenters’ grammar. It takes a lot of courage for non-native English speakers in China to come onto this site and comment, and I don;t care about their syntax and grammar (and frankly, Bingfeng’s is pretty good). This kind of thing can turn them away when I want to encourage them to comment. Thanks.

October 10, 2005 @ 4:30 am | Comment

Richard,

appreciate the control you keep on this blog: indeed no-one should be blamed for grammatical errors.
As for this thread, am I the only one feeling that the chinese way of seeing things and the “western” way of perception are diverging more and more ?

October 10, 2005 @ 5:02 am | Comment

Lao Lu, it’s true. There often seems to be a great divide when it comes to seeing the other’s viewpoint.

October 10, 2005 @ 5:09 am | Comment

is there one chinese way of seeing things and “the” western way of perception cannot diverge from it?

does that exonerate myself for blaming?

October 10, 2005 @ 5:13 am | Comment

>>>no westerner is capable of independent thinking since none of them will ever reach the conclusion that taiwan should be re-unified with mainland china.

Actually, I know plenty of Westerners who think Taiwan should be re-unified with the mainland. In fact, I know many Taiwanese who think that also. The question is HOW? By force? On the mainland’s terms? Or peacefully through dialogue? Now or later? etc.

>>do you agree with me?

Well, no, since you are wrong. You are conflating several issues and statements:

– “Taiwan is a province of China”
If by “China,” you mean the PRC, then this statement is just silly.
The PRC has never controlled Taiwan in any way, so this statement makes no sense. If by “China” you mean the area historically known as “China,” then the statement has at least some sense to it.

October 10, 2005 @ 6:59 am | Comment

bingfeng

Sorry for getting the wrong end of the stick earlier.

Perhaps that also proves that your comments and replies are not predictable?!

October 10, 2005 @ 7:25 am | Comment

There was a old member of the Chinese Political Bureau during Deng’s time, named Wang Zheng, who has now passed away.

He was a semi-illiterate, never finished high school, and during the 1989 Tianamen Incident, once once quoted privated during a political bureau meeting: “Those kids on the square think you can make something out of it? You have 2000 students you say? You want to talk? Well we have 2000 tanks. How about I kill a few hundred of you and then see if you want to talk.” (Taken from the Tianamen Papers)

Why am I bringing up this? Because I believe this should be the attitude we use towards Taiwanese indepdence forces (note, not to the Taiwanese people or anyone who still have a shred of humanity left). And sometimes I feel this should be the attitude towards some of the posters here (I will not name names).

October 10, 2005 @ 8:10 am | Comment

Now you say “Another typical fascist apologist!”

Well yes I am, but I wouldn’t be if you actually are willing to reason with us in human language. But clearly Bingfeng and many here tried to communicate but just could not get anything through. So if you don’t understand human language, I have no choice but to talk in another language in the hope that you’ll understand.

Hu Jintao said “The Japanese do not understand human language, but they understand the sound from diesel submarine engines, so let’s try that.”

October 10, 2005 @ 8:14 am | Comment

Hm, now WHY do I suddenly get an image of “FlagBearer” as a scruffy little undergraduate college boy who has never had a girlfriend?

October 10, 2005 @ 8:31 am | Comment

Blind rage and rabid nationalism.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:34 am | Comment

Hi LW, good to see you back – you haven’t posted for a while.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:11 am | Comment

It’s funny, all this talk about nobody getting through to anybody else.

Chinese commenters complain that Westerners are stubborn and won’t accept other points of view.

Western posters – likewise – complain about Chinese commenters being stubborn and not accepting ohter points of view.

I’m obviously generalizing here but both sides are accusing each other of exactly the same thing.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:15 am | Comment

actually we could do the same thing for most westerners:

1) “but CCP is worse!”
2) “see, another nationalistic chinese”
3) “taiwan is not a province of china!”

See! Typical nationalist Chinese.

๐Ÿ˜‰

October 10, 2005 @ 11:13 am | Comment

Martyn noted:

Chinese commenters complain that Westerners are stubborn and won’t accept other points of view.

Western posters – likewise – complain about Chinese commenters being stubborn and not accepting ohter points of view.

I think the chief problem is different underlying assumptions (e.g. what is/was “China”). Sometimes the contrasting thinking/analyzing/debating styles get in the way as well.

However, on this issue I’m not sure it’s a Chinese view vs. a “western view”. I suspect (but am not certain) that on Taiwan and many other issues, this “western view” might not be confined to anything so small as “the west”. For instance, I doubt many Indians see Taiwan as a province of the PRC.

When it’s framed as China vs. western thinking, the “western” arguments can be brushed off by attributing them to uniquely western notions about democracy, western imperialism, or that most favored chestnut, the western desire “to hold China back”.

In fact, I don’t think there is anything particularly “western” about the idea that the people of Taiwan should have the chief voice in deciding what country they are or belong to.

I wonder, for instance, what the typical Palestinian viewpoint is about Taiwan.

October 10, 2005 @ 11:34 am | Comment

That’s a fair point Slim. I was, of course, generalizing to the extreme.

It goes without saying that for a lot of people, like Palestinians for example, either couldn’t give a monkey’s or know nothing about the China-Taiwan issue. However, if pushed, then I’d go out on a limb and say that they would probably support the right of the people in Taiwan to decide their own political fate.

They certainly would not recognise or feel any stirrings of nationalism that is so apparent in the natives of the Mainland.

Perhaps I should amend my comment to say “Chinese” and “Foreigners”?!

October 10, 2005 @ 11:45 am | Comment

Ivan mentioned:

Hm, now WHY do I suddenly get an image of “FlagBearer” as a scruffy little undergraduate college boy who has never had a girlfriend?

Ivan, you are like a reliable old bloodhound.

I say that because I thought the same thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

October 10, 2005 @ 11:50 am | Comment

Martyn offered:

Perhaps I should amend my comment to say “Chinese” and “Foreigners”?!

I wish I had a better idea. As my knowledge of China has increased, my knowledge of just about everywhere else has diminished. :-0

I’m sure you are right that probably not many outside of Asia and the west give a great deal of thought to the Taiwanese situation.

Where are the Ghanian, Peruvian and Iranian Peking Duck posters when you need them?

October 10, 2005 @ 11:59 am | Comment

Haha! exactly.

October 10, 2005 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

Lao Lu , how odd you should say that, My friends wife is from China, I made the mistake of talking about China with he, I was amazed how much she knew about China, I am so used to westerners not knowing anything, I tried to expalin to her, that for all I did know, it couldn’t match up to actually being CHinese, I felt as though I was in a very strange spot.

October 10, 2005 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

Ivan the Theologian, from Ivan Turgenev “Stronger” Love, I thought, is stronger than death or the fear of death. Only by it, by love, life holds together and advances.

October 10, 2005 @ 1:29 pm | Comment

When I was referring to the Chinese and the western viewpoints diverging more and more, I was mainly referring to the microcosmos of a blog like this one. I indeed have not the intention (“Oh vanity of vanities”!) to establish once and for all what is “the” chinese viewpoint and what is “the” western viewpoint. I merely just wanted to reflect on the feeling I get, as an avid reader (and modest commenter) of this blog.
Now Martyn was saying that both sides are accusing each other of the same thing: stubbornness, while in fact I think both sides have the same wish: we all would like to see China prosper (well, at least the big majority of the folks here, either western or chinese). It would be insane to say that all the criticism that is being heard in the articles and comments here are ravings of people who would like to see China remain the poor and destitute country it has been in the past.
China is a country on the rise, no doubt about that, and I have no problem with people feeling proud about it and establishing themselves as part of that growing power. It is bound to induce some exaggerated boosting of the national sense, but to a certain extent it is acceptable as it is only too human. The exaggerations from the kind as Flagbearer has been uttering here though, make me weary and utterly scared on how many like him are out there and the likes of him will only be able to diverge the different opinions on the way forward for China even further.
Flagbearer, it is clear you were not there when the students marched and demonstrated 16 years ago, because otherwise you would have known what people who carry the hope for their country in their hearts look like. They looked exactly like the opposite of you.

October 10, 2005 @ 3:41 pm | Comment

Lao Lu, what a great comment. Thank you.

October 10, 2005 @ 4:03 pm | Comment

Sigh, and do not forget, there are also passionate, rational, zealous and utterly human perspectives and intellectual endeavors from Taiwan or Tibet (let alone other “Easter view points from Korea, Japan…etc) that have not been heard enough or kindly invited on this site.

October 10, 2005 @ 4:08 pm | Comment

Lao Lu,
What I see is the opposite of what you see from the flagbearer’s comments.
I have seen exactly the same people, the same students with the blind passion fighting for nation’s glory. My Chinese fellow didn’t change too much…

October 10, 2005 @ 4:45 pm | Comment

BTW, here is an article about the incident Bingfeng mentioned, where New Orleans police beat a retired man. In case you can’t access, the officers were suspended and are awaiting trial…

October 10, 2005 @ 5:47 pm | Comment

Speaking of vacations, I’m just about to start mine. Right now im looking around for tickets, wondering if any of the frequent travelers here have experience finding dirt cheap tickets. As of now, the cheapest I’ve found is a round trip Newark to Beijing and back for around 850 US dollars (including all fees and taxes). Anyone else know of any cheaper tickets?

October 10, 2005 @ 6:47 pm | Comment

Lin, the difference I see between Flagbearer and others is a matter of human fraternity. Flagbearer lacks it. Saying, for example, that the Japanese do not understand human language is to classify them as animals not worth the same consideration as people. This is the utter vilification of those who are not of your nation.

The students in Tiananmen, or a great deal of them anyway, were interested in universalism, humanism and fraternalism. Becoming part of the world, the exact opposite of claiming Chinese people are a separate species on Earth from other human beings. The first is the hope of being a nation amongst others; the second holds no hope, merely bad faith.

October 10, 2005 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

thanks other lisa.

this is what i find in the taishi reportings:

http://tinyurl.com/8q2fb

October 10, 2005 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

Hu Jintao said “The Japanese do not understand human language, but they understand the sound from diesel submarine engines, so let’s try that.”

————

chinese told japanese that war dead in their shrine murdered millions of chinese civilians and shouldn’t worshiped by their PM, then the japanese PM replied, “i don’t understand why chinese are not happy with my visit to the shrine, i believe they will understand eventually” …

i have to admit that to some extents, some japanese don’t understand human languages

October 10, 2005 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

Jing,

I just bought that ticket a week ago — from newark to beijing. I searched for about a month and that was the lowest fare I could find. Guess it depends on your travel dates, though.

October 10, 2005 @ 7:25 pm | Comment

“Moreover, there were those who gave up their lives after the end of the Great East Asian War, taking upon themselves the responsibility for the war. There were also 1,068 “Martyrs of Showa” who were cruelly and unjustly tried as war criminals by a sham-like tribunal of the Allied forces (United States, England, the Netherlands, China and others). These martyrs are also the Kami of Yasukuni Jinja. ”

This is a direct quote from the official website of the Yasukuni Shrine. If I am a “fascist apologist”, then aren’t the people who run the Yasukuni Shrine more severe fascist apologists? And the Japanese head of state, along with many of his cabinet regularly visit that shrine. You honestly think there’s nothing seriously “f**d up” about that? Where are all of your outrage now? Wait, before you answer, I predit that your answer will be something like:

1) Don’t change the subject!
2) But Japan is a democracy but China is not! So shut up!
3) I don’t agree with what the prime minister is doing, ok? So now can we go back to China’s problems?
4) The prime minister is visiting there as a private citizen! He said so himself!
5) You are a fascist apologist!!!

Which response do you want to pick??

October 10, 2005 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

or…
6) You’re a f—ing idiot who uses quotes like “How about I kill a few hundred of you and then see if you want to talk.”
You clearly have no compassion for fellow people, and probably don’t have many friends.

October 10, 2005 @ 7:51 pm | Comment

None of your choices truly applies, FB. I’d say the answer is more in the realm of, “You’re an angry man so blinded by rage and prejudice and propaganda that I recomend professional help.”

By the way, I don’t think anyone here has ever stood up for the Yasukuni Shrine crowd; most of us have said they are idiots. You have more in common with them than you may know.

Living proof of an inferiority complex in action.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

7) we are free, you are not
8) you are brainwashed since you don’t have free media
9) this is a blog about china and the US, not about japan
10) i can predict what you are going to talk next, so shut up …….

and finally, flagbearer, you quote others’ words without indicating their source, you violent the IPRs

October 10, 2005 @ 8:07 pm | Comment

Living proof of an inferiority complex in action.

Posted by richard at October 10, 2005 08:05 PM

———

also applies to isreal jews who expelled a man who signed “hitler” in his dinner menu?

October 10, 2005 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

one thing i have respect for american occupying forces is that they act like a gentleman, i mean they kept their promise (a dirty deal) that japanese emperor and his evil fellowers will be safe and intact as soon as they surrender, certainly it’s not fair to victims of japanese criminals

October 10, 2005 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

Oh God, a true troll.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

most of us have said they are idiots. You have more in common with them than you may know.

They are just “idiots”? And nothing more? So when someone says good things about the CCP he’s a “fascist apologists with no compassion for human beings”. But those Yasukuni Shrine people are simply “idiots”? Very nice. Can you tell me what standards you used to call one group of fascist apolgists “fascist apolgists” and another group “idiots”.

“That guy who killed and murdered 1000 people is simply an idiot. Now let’s talk about that 100 dollars you stole! You evil monster!”

October 10, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

Did I say they were “Only idiots.” No, I said they were idiots. Hitler was an idiot, too. Was he more than that? Yes. Just because I call him an “idiot” doesn’t mean that is the only thing I have to say about him. But this is typical troll behavior: seize on every little phrase that might start a new fight and then run with it, regardless of how far off-topic it takes you.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

I disagree with Flagbearer’s certain view points. However, the quote from the official website of the Yasukuni Shrine in his previous post does say something important (and I did not know that). I think that since Japan is considered as a friend and China as a foe (or a potential foe), polititians and news media often turn a blind eye to what’s happening in Japan.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:24 pm | Comment

OK, Richard, can you at least admit to me that those Yasukuni Shrine people are just as morally reprehensible than those “fascist apologists” that sing praise for the CCP? CAN YOU AT LEAST DO THAT?!?!?

If so, please confirm it right now. Otherwise , PLEASE GIVE ME SOME LOGIC AS TO WHY THOSE YASUKUNI SHRINE PEOPLE ARE LESS CONDEMNABLE THAN CCP APOLOGISTS!!!! What about the Japanese Prime Minister and his cabinet who visit the shrine?!? How come every time people bring this up you brush it aside or whitewashes it!!?!??!

I’m SORRY, but I just can’t keep my emotions in check when people just F****ING use DOUBLE STANDARDS and BLATENTLY DOES SO!!!!

It’s like saying “You stole 100 dollars!! What? He stole 200? Well I’m sure there is some good explanation for that. But you stole 100!!!!! ”

October 10, 2005 @ 8:24 pm | Comment

Yes, FB, I can. They are morally reprehensible fascists. I have never, ever said otherwise and have no idea what you are ranting about. Really. This is really weird.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

Xing, what is the news in Japan that the media have turned a blind eye to? What has happened in Japan that has not been reported in the West that you feel should be reported? Just curious; I am sure there are lots of things, but want to know what you have in mind.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

FB,

i have to say that richard a person who try to be fair and open-minded, although he, like everyone else, have his own biased views towards to certain issues.

pushing him into a corner doesn’t help the dialogue, hard sale of your own ideas doesn’t work so well here

so please relax and don’t be too bellicose

October 10, 2005 @ 8:32 pm | Comment

FYI:
Unfortunately the Party killed more people than the Japanese, and they have yet to apologize, while Japan has to apologize all the time.

However, I must admit it’s unfair to engage in such comparisons when discussing human life.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

Sometime people just need a good rant just like somtimes I need a triple cheeseburger from Peter’s Drive In

October 10, 2005 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

Another thing. What do you think will happen if some organization builds a memorial for hitler and the SS, and officially says that “The history of the holocaust is something that is very complex, and we should not reach such hasty conclusions as we do today. And there were reasons to believe that the Jews were indeed a threat to the German national interests and security…….” And if an elected German Chancellor and some of his cabinet regularly visit that memorial, and says “I’m only doing that as a priviate citizen…”

SERIOUSLY, HONESTLY, what do you think will happen to the group who ran that memorial, to the German Chancellor, his cabinet members, his supporters?!?!?!? What WILL THE INTERNATIONAL REACTION BE TO THIS?!?!!? And this is not some rhetorical quesiton. PLEASE, TELL ME WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN.

And then compare it to what is happening to the Yasukuni Shrine thing and the international reaction to it!!! DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THIS IS FAIR?@!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

October 10, 2005 @ 8:36 pm | Comment

Richard,

In the last one or wo years, there has been many reports on the tension between China and Japan. But as far as I know, there are few reports detailing the reasons why the Chinese or Korean are upset on the Japan.

Richard, you know, Japan has a peaceful constitution, but now it has a military that is second only to the US. The military transformation has been happening with the encouragement of the US anf there has been very little report on this development in the news media. And now I read that the rightist elements in Japan are starting to look up to Americans as masters.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:44 pm | Comment

Xing, what is the news in Japan that the media have turned a blind eye to? What has happened in Japan that has not been reported in the West that you feel should be reported? Just curious; I am sure there are lots of things, but want

This is the kind of “canard” i hear too often. You say “Look, we reported this!”. Well last time I checked, many cases of villagers being beaten by the police are reported by sina, except they are 2 paragraphs long stay there for 1 hour and then gets drowned out by reports of other things. So no, I’m sorry, you DID NOT REPORT THIS.

Every American know about “Horrible Human Rights Violations” in China. How many of them know about the Yasukuni Shrine? If it has been “reported”, how come no one knows about it? Unless you believe the yasukuni shrine thing is much less of an outrage and it’s really not that big of a deal.

I actually read some of AP’s report on Koizumi/Yasukini, and it ALWAYS, ALWAYS has “append” things like “the CHinese gov’t has also frabicated its own history”, or “Experts say that the Chinese gov’t is using this as a political tool… ” etc etc etc. I mean why are those writers so “eager” to append those “explanations”? How come when they report on human rights abuses in China, they don’t have such “explanations”?

Not all news reports are born equal….

October 10, 2005 @ 8:44 pm | Comment

FB,

most western media are commercial, they have to write what their readers want to hear in order to sell. stories about japanese shrine won’t make western readers exicted or emotionally satisfied as those stories about taishi mafia beating.

consider two chinese reports, one saying china will have a war with japan in east sea oil field,another one is about china violated international law in south china sea, which story sells?

commercial media works in the same way everywhere.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

FlagBearer, you’ve now posted as FB and also FU. You’ve also posted using no less than 6 wildly different IP addresses which makes me very suspicious. You’re very close.

October 10, 2005 @ 8:53 pm | Comment

How many people are involved in the Yasukuni shrine issue, and is it a major piece of news anywhere, even in Asia? Is it part of a larger trend that might have ramifications for businesses in America that may be considering doing business in Japan? Is it worthy of major news coverage in terms of those impacted by it and its effects on the global economy and stability? Or is it an issue of emotional reaction among a small but very vocal group that goes into orgasmic fits of emotion every time the topic of Japan’s brutality toward China half a century ago is mentioned?

I’ve condemend the shrine lunatics here before. What do i have to do, go out and shoot someone? Yeah, they’re assholes, but in the scope of world events this is a very tiny story, and one that people are not much interested in aside from the interested parties (the Shriners and those who oppose them).

October 10, 2005 @ 8:54 pm | Comment

richard, do you still think it’s a small story if it’s a memorial in germany commemorating Hitler’s gov’t and nazi generals, and the Gehardt Schroeder announced that he and 10 members of his cabinet along with certain members of the German Parliament will pay a visit to that shrine next month?

October 10, 2005 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

richard,

shrine (and other japanese right-wing movement) is an indicator how japanese will interact with the outside world in the future, it’s not small issue, just wait and see, hopefully it won’t untill japan backfire on the US then you wake up

October 10, 2005 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

Oh give me a break, please. Japan is not a militarist country. Anyone who has spent any time there, as well as anyone who did not grow up in China, knows that. Japanese militarism is not on the rise.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

richard, do you still think it’s a small story if it’s a memorial in germany commemorating Hitler’s gov’t and nazi generals, and the Gehardt Schroeder announced that he and 10 members of his cabinet along with certain members of the German Parliament will pay a visit to that shrine next month?

Posted by FlagBearer at October 10, 2005 08:57 PM

——————

i think it was a big news in the west when british prince wear a nazi uniform in a private party for fun

October 10, 2005 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

Oh give me a break, please. Japan is not a militarist country. Anyone who has spent any time there, as well as anyone who did not grow up in China, knows that. Japanese militarism is not on the rise.

Posted by Kevin at October 10, 2005 09:03 PM

———–

a large part of winston churchill’s “history of wwii” talks about how people of his time don’t believe germany could become a threat someday, and how european countries didn’t prepare for the nazi germany

October 10, 2005 @ 9:10 pm | Comment

That’s great bingfeng, but I find many more similarities between contemporary China and pre-WWII Germany and Japan than I do for modern-day Japan. i.e. dreams of empire, lack of freedom of expression, involvement of the military in politics, a sense of being “wronged” historically. If you were to spend time in Japan and interact with the people there, I could never imagine anyone being truly concerned about the so-called “threat of Japanese militarism.”

October 10, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, it may indeed be a big story in the future. For now, it simply doesn’t qualify as big news for reasons you mentioned in your previous comment, which was exactly right. No news editor would see this as big news, especially at a time when we are grappling with war, natural disasters and a supreme court battle. Even in ordinary times, I doubt this would get much coverage. it simply doesn’t cut it in a nation where most people have never heard of the shrine – whether this is fair or not isn’t relevant, it’s just the way it is.

FB, the Holocaust is a topic much closer to the Americans’ hearts than the Rape of nanjing. That might be unfair and it might be wrong, but it’s simply a matter of fact, for whatever reasons, and the American media realize this. Of course the BS scenario you painted of Germany would get more attention than a story about a shrine in Japan no one in America has ever heard of. It’s an unfair world, get used to it. The media cover what their audiences are interested in. Luckily, with a free media you can start your own paper in America and devote it to the shrine 100 percent. Of course, no one will ever buy or read this paper, but you have the right to say it.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

God, I see somebody needs a BJ REALLY bad……

๐Ÿ™‚

October 10, 2005 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

Richard,

Free press has its limitation, sometimes, big limitations, particularly on reporting on unfriendly countries. Reportings on domestic issues often present different view points; but mat not be the case on international issues. And since people don’t have the background knowledge, they tend to blindly believe what’s on the paper.

I read an interview with Hugo Chaves of Venezuela, a foe of the US, on the Washongton Post. There is a section on Cuba. He talked about the relatively good health care and education that the Cuban government provides for its people (of course, it does not mean that I like the Cuban government because of this). I think, the Post’s interview, is rarely source in the mainstream media that one can get information like this.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

…come to think of it, in this case I like the imagery of “FlagBearer”, with his two hands grasping that pole…..

October 10, 2005 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

Richard,

I would very much like to know if you disagree with me on the media reportings on the relationship between China and Japan.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

…well, maybe just half a hand…

October 10, 2005 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

Maybe the Japanese shrine would get more coverage if there were idiots in the Japanese government like the ones we have here in China saying “we will reunify the motherland at all costs” and “we could start a nuclear war if the US gets involved in Taiwan.” The reason that China gains negative media attention is simply the behavior of those in power.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:31 pm | Comment

Ivan,

Can you not talking none-sense? If you have a view point, send it out.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

I would very much like to know if you disagree with me on the media reportings on the relationship between China and Japan.

Not sure what you are referring to, Xing. What is your point of view, and then I can say whether I agree or not, okay?

October 10, 2005 @ 9:38 pm | Comment

Xing: Free press has its limitation, sometimes, big limitations,

Absolutely true. But it’s always far better than its alternative (no free press).

October 10, 2005 @ 9:39 pm | Comment

Richard,

Below is what I posted. Thanks.

In the last one or wo years, there has been many reports on the tension between China and Japan. But as far as I know, there are few reports detailing the reasons why the Chinese or Korean are upset on the Japan.

Richard, you know, Japan has a peaceful constitution, but now it has a military that is second only to the US. The military transformation has been happening with the encouragement of the US anf there has been very little report on this development in the news media. And now I read that the rightist elements in Japan are starting to look up to Americans as masters.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

xing,

Alright. My point of view is that “FlagBearer” is a frustrated youth and that’s why he spouts all sorts of vicious, psychotically violent hatred.

More simply, he’s a nasty little wanker.

Satisfied?

October 10, 2005 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

Xing, I have read plenty of stories about why the Chinese and Koreans are upset with Japan. Maybe to some Chinese these stories seem too few and too insufficient in detail. But in comparison to how relevant this topic is to American, I think the media have done what’s expected of them. Could they do more? Probably. But as a former reporter, I know they are too busy running from one story to the next, and will only focus intensely on it when the issue flares up again. Is this good? No, but it’s reality. It’s how the media work. Everyone thinks they should give more coverage to their point of view. I think they should focus more on exposing George Bush’s lies. But I understand that they have their own priorities and they can never please everyone. Our media are highly imperfect and often plain incompetent and infuriating. But for all their faults, they do a pretty decent job.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:49 pm | Comment

I believe that according to the Japanese constitution military spending is limited to 1% of GDP.

Of course what gets defined as military spending is another story.

October 10, 2005 @ 9:55 pm | Comment

Unfortunately, not every media outlet in the world can spend all their time obsessing over Japan’s so-called “militarism.” Unlike Xinhua, most press agencies are required to report actual news.
RSF has an interesting article on Xinhua and how it works, with info from insiders, on its website.

October 10, 2005 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

1. W. Churchill’s memoir

Churchill’s WWII history book excerpt was a poilitical and historic after thought after the fact. There WERE always a lot of people suspecting/fear the “rise” of a German nation ever since the PRussian consolidation. And the rise of the NAtional Socialists is attributed to complex, historical as well as social-economic and international competitive reasons. Those are conditions not to be equated to those of today’s Japan.
As a lot of us would agree, modern China is now on its way to some exhilerating development and ever greater international influence. Then, would it be fair for special interests around the globe, of whether Western or Little Japanese origins or not, to begin campaigning against CHina? Perhaps. If so, then there ought to be and will sure be people coming out to speak of the ridiculous aspects of that as well. Oh, and please don’t equate Japan’s imperial past with German’s. There are superficial similarities, there were inherently different in nature.

2. Commercial media has imperfections such as “market pressure”. However, those don’t make state-controlled media better single alternative. Under state control, media can be much easily manipulated by power corruption. In addition, the discussion of media is not so focused on whether state controlled media is this much worse than commercial media; the key argument for a better modern society is about the diversity and accessibility of news and news sources. And I must say, in “Western”, Japanese or Taiwanese societies, those qualities are far better.

October 10, 2005 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

Richard,

Fair enough. On the reasons why the Chinese and Korean are angry, there are often a few very general passing sentences (as Flagbearer said, there are often something likes “the Chinese could not face up to their own history”, etc. in the end). And as I said, there are almost no reportings on the military development on Japan because the US encourages Japan to do that.

Because Japan has been ally of the US right after world war two. People here have very general knowledge, if any, of Japanese atrocities in China and other aisan countries. If a public figure in this country says something that defences the Holocost or slavery, he is almost certain out.

I can understand that. In big-power relationship, countries always act in their own interests and people should have no illusion.

October 10, 2005 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

And as I said, there are almost no reportings on the military development on Japan because the US encourages Japan to do that.

One mistake you are making, Xing, is believing the media in the US follow the orders of the government. Some do, like Fox News. But look at the coverage of Abu Ghraib and Cindy Sheehan and Hurricane Katrina and the losing war in Iraq and you will see that the American media can be very adversarial. Granted, post-September 11 most reporters became far too easy on Bush and failed to criticize him when they should have. Luckily, this cowardice seems to be improving and Bush is getting savaged all over the media (just check out the articles on harriet Miers). So the media are not avoiding the story of Japan’s “militarism” because Washington wants them to. They are avoiding it because they don’t see it as a big story and their viewers/readers aren’t very interested. If it would help them sell ad space, they’d be all over this story in seconds.

October 10, 2005 @ 10:23 pm | Comment

Ricahrd,

I did not mean that the news media “follow” the government order here; of course it is not the case. It is a country a young reporter can make govcernment officials nervous. But on some sensitive topics, many new medias still like to check with the government authority (for example, the pentagon) before releasing a article.

October 10, 2005 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

Let’s be clear on just how militaristic Japan is.

In the Times, General who leads an army that dare not speak its name:

โ€œFor people like me itโ€™s difficult to wear a uniform in a crowded train.โ€ This is the continuing paradox of the Japanese military: despite being more active in the world than at any time since 1945, it remains close to an embarrassment for many of its countrymen.

– General Mori, chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defence Force

Now let’s look at Chinese militarism:

PLA HK garrison holds military parade

Gee, which one looks more belligerent?

October 10, 2005 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

but on some sensitive topics, many new medias still like to check with the government authority (for example, the pentagon) before releasing a article

I don’t believe this is accurate, not in America at least. Do you know about the Pentagon Papers or the Abu Ghraib photos? Or the reports on the My Lai massacre? American reporters love exposing their government, especially the Pentagon. That’s how they win their annual prizes.

October 10, 2005 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

Richard,

My Lai massacre was explosed by Seymour Hersh. I listened to an interview with him on Fresh Air, I think, last year. Seymour said that, under the current administration, there were some intimidations from government authority and some reporters imposed self censorship on news reporting.

October 10, 2005 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

Yes, Xing. The whole point is that this is considered a worrisome development and against journalistic principles. As opposed to the way Xinhua works, where articles overwhelmingly praise the government and, according to the RSF report Kevin mentioned, reporters are total sycophants to the governments agenda. All of them are paid by the Chinese government.

Seymour Hersh would be in prison if he were a Chinese reporter. There’s just no comparison here; this is not a difference in degrees, this is a difference in kind.

October 10, 2005 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

Richard,

On Abu Ghraib photos, we can only see some of them, not all of them, not those that are considerd more damaging than those that the public have already seen.

October 10, 2005 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

Dave,

I agreed with what you said. But I am talking with Richard on the news media reportings on China and Japan.

October 10, 2005 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

Xing, the Abu Ghraib photos are completely beside the point. US journalists still endeavor to dig up these things and expose them, albeit they are imperfect and don’t always get everything right.

Chinese journalists, on the other hand, are walking talking nationalist rhetorical mouthpieces. They have to be, because otherwise they get fired/imprisoned/beaten up.

And this all is getting away from the original topic, Japanese militarism. Japan doesn’t talk about invading anything – inside or outside of their borders. China has. Japanese generals have not mentioned the nuclear option. A Chinese general has. A significant portion of the Japanese public, close to or in fact a majority, is uncomfortable with their role in Iraq, AND the increase in military buildups AND visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. The vast majority of the Chinese public, apparently, is impatient for an excuse to use the military against Taiwan, not to mention Japan, is inordinately proud of its growing military, attend pointless military parades that appear to be compensating for some insecurity, and glorify a founder who was in fact a mass murderer.

Now given that, as a reporter, which one am I going to consider the more pressing issue to write about?

October 10, 2005 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

Dave,

I agreed with what you said. But I am talking with Richard on the news media reportings on China and Japan.

If you want to have a private conversation with Richard, I suggest you take it off a public thread.

October 10, 2005 @ 11:13 pm | Comment

On Abu Ghraib photos, we can only see some of them, not all of them, not those that are considerd more damaging than those that the public have already seen.

The only reason we can’t see them is because we don’t have them, the government does. But the media is fighting like hell to get their hands on these photos! This is my point – the media tends to go after the government in America, not kiss its ass. Yes, there are sad exceptions, but usually the media and the leaders are at each others’ throats, which is they way it should be.

October 10, 2005 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

Xing, I guess we have to go ’round and ’round. If you read what I wrote, I said there ARE reporters who follow the government’s leads, unfortunately. But since we have a free press (or as free a press as there can be) stories like My Lai and the Abu Ghraib photos get out all the time, much to the embarrassment of the government. Ever hear of Watergate?

October 10, 2005 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

Xing writes: On Abu Ghraib photos, we can only see some of them, not all of them, not those that are considerd more damaging than those that the public have already seen.

Oh for god’s sake. The photos that WERE published were horrific. I do hope the rest are published, because American people need to know what is being done in their name. But the original photos were widely disseminated. The reporters who brought them to light were not arrested or beaten half to death.

Look, I am utterly appalled by the conduct of my country under the Bush Administration. I think what they’ve done in Iraq is criminal, I think it’s stupid and counter-productive, and I think it shames us all. But I still hope that the self-correcting nature of the American political system will be able to overcome the corruption and crony politics that I feel are driving this country to the brink of disaster. That’s the whole point. I will NEVER stand up and worship a flag. I am not a nationalist. But the American Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, these are something to be proud of. Not because they are perfect, but because they work pretty damn well.

We only need to live up to our own best principles.

October 11, 2005 @ 12:31 am | Comment

Thanks Lisa. You can’t say it more clearly or more convincingly than that.

October 11, 2005 @ 12:35 am | Comment

“shrine (and other japanese right-wing movement) is an indicator how japanese will interact with the outside world in the future, it’s not small issue, just wait and see, hopefully it won’t untill japan backfire on the US then you wake up”

Well Bingfeng, to follow your logic, what kind of interaction can the world suspect of a party which keeps worshipping one of the three biggest massmurderers of the 20th century?
Not my logic, Bingfeng, but yours.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:07 am | Comment

Nice, Shulan.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:13 am | Comment

Without naming names, I heard a fascinating anecdote recently. The American author of a op-ed piece on China was talking about how the article she wrote (picked up by more than 40 newspapers around the world) was altered by the American editor before publication to represent views totally different from those she believes/wrote about. So how’s that for an example of the lack of reliability of western reporting about China, when even the author of the article doesn’t agree with it!

October 11, 2005 @ 3:29 am | Comment

Well Bingfeng, to follow your logic, what kind of interaction can the world suspect of a party which keeps worshipping one of the three biggest massmurderers of the 20th century?
Not my logic, Bingfeng, but yours.

Posted by shulan at October 11, 2005 03:07 AM

——————-

not interaction with the outside world but with its own people

hint: taishi village

October 11, 2005 @ 3:37 am | Comment

Hey, Cui Jian played Beijing on Saturday.

Cool.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:41 am | Comment

Sorry, not last saturday, two saturdays ago.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:42 am | Comment

Shit happens, FSN9. Care to divulge which paper it was? Or what kind of changes they were? If it was just a matter of shortening the text, that happens all the time. of they actually changed her words and it was an Op-Ed piece, that is a big no-no. The NYT recently did that and it made quite an uproar.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:43 am | Comment

For those of you who enjoy bloodshed, Bingfeng and I are having it out in another thread, now buried deep in the blog’s bowels. Needless to say, I am right and he is totally wrong.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:50 am | Comment

Hope you don’t mean it as an endorsement, mr, bingfeng.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:56 am | Comment

To add to Shulan’s comment, following Bingfeng’s logic, what can you expect from the CCP/PRC based not only on its history regarding its own populatuion, but also keeping in mind its interaction with its neighbors?

Try the PRC and all the problems with: India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Xinjiang/Tibet, the USSR/Russia, North Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines.

This isn’t even mentioning its policies regarding minorities other than those in Xinjiang and Tibet.

When faced with a flaw Bingfeng, you try to narrow the scope of your argument. Yet the logical flaw is still there.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:57 am | Comment

“not interaction with the outside world but with its own people”

Well, when the own poeple is not treated with dignity and respect, why should people from other nations be treated with more dignity and respect?

October 11, 2005 @ 4:08 am | Comment

Richard said: “For those of you who enjoy blood, bingfeng and I are having it out….”

“BLOODY RICHARD! BLOODY RICHARD!” : Queen Margaret, in “Richard III”

October 11, 2005 @ 4:39 am | Comment

Ivan, you are Terrible!

October 11, 2005 @ 4:47 am | Comment

Ivan the Terrible.

October 11, 2005 @ 5:18 am | Comment

“not interaction with the outside world but with its own people”

Well, when the own poeple is not treated with dignity and respect, why should people from other nations be treated with more dignity and respect?

—————-

confused by what you are trying to say. are you suggesting that japanese should not be treated with respect by ccp when its own people are not treated well?

perhaps you should say it in german again.

October 11, 2005 @ 5:48 am | Comment

A horse – my kindgom for a horse. Take me off of this blog!

Returning to China, if you are in Shanghai you will definitely want to see this massive article on Shanghaqi dumplings and other culinary treasures available there.

October 11, 2005 @ 5:48 am | Comment

Try the PRC and all the problems with: India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Xinjiang/Tibet, the USSR/Russia, North Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines.

————

you forget one country in your list

hint: that country has a much longer list of nations with which it had problems

October 11, 2005 @ 5:51 am | Comment

“GRRROZniym bud’t!”

“Now, I will become what you all call me: The Terrible!” – spoken by Ivan the Terrible in Sergei Eisenstein’s movie (second part)

(Although, in “Ivan the Terrible Part Two”, I identify more with the Oprichniki, the forerunners of the KGB. There’s a BRILLIANT dance scene in color in that film, all the Oprichniki dancing wildly in black and mocking the Tsar’s enemies. ๐Ÿ™‚

October 11, 2005 @ 6:31 am | Comment

OK bingfeng, sorry that my English is that bad but you realy like to missunderstand if it suites you, don’t you.

One last try:
Your argument was, that Mao only murdered Chinese and that’s why my comparisasion does not work.

What I tried to tell you is, that if someone is able to murder millions of his fellow countryman, it is likely that he may have even less problems murdering people who are not his nationality or his ethicity to achieve his goals.

October 11, 2005 @ 6:50 am | Comment

Allways want people to undertsand me, cann’t bear it to be missunderstood, such a sad feeling. =(

October 11, 2005 @ 7:06 am | Comment

xing wrote:

Richard, you know, Japan has a peaceful constitution, but now it has a military that is second only to the US. The military transformation has been happening with the encouragement of the US

Xing, two things surprised me in your statement.

First of all, Japan’s military is second only to the US – ???

Xing, you need to get your facts in better order. France, Germany, Isreal, India, Russia, South Korea, the UK and China (!) all have militaries MUCH larger than Japan’s. Depending on how you measure military power, you could also add to that list Australia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Syria and Turkey as well.

Secondly, which do you think is a stronger influence on Japan to re-arm?

(1) a distant but friendly country that “encourages” Japan to increase military spending

or

(2) a large, neighboring country that constantly threatens Japan, is currently involved in a major military build-up, which openly discusses using nuclear weapons in a “first strike”, that gets involved in Japan’s internal politics, actively works to limit Japan’s role in the UN, holds public rallies to attack Japanese property, and encourages its people to hold terrible racist attitudes and hate all Japanese.

Which one of those countries, (1) or (2) do you think is a greater influence on Japanese military spending?

October 11, 2005 @ 7:15 am | Comment

What I tried to tell you is, that if someone is able to murder millions of his fellow countryman, it is likely that he may have even less problems murdering people who are not his nationality or his ethicity to achieve his goals.

Posted by shulan at October 11, 2005 06:50 AM

——————

from the track records of china and japan, which one is more dangerous to foreign countries? the answer is obvious.

October 11, 2005 @ 7:17 am | Comment

japan’s “defense” budget is second only to the US.

talking about military build-up and “first strike”, i think there is another country in this planet that is undergoing a much larger military build-up (like building nukes in the sky) and hold a “first nuking strike” policy in its government white papers

October 11, 2005 @ 7:23 am | Comment

So because Japan’s record is bad you will never be able to trust them. Is that whet you are saying? Because it was dangerous in the past it will be gangerous forever? What kind of logic is that?

October 11, 2005 @ 7:44 am | Comment

Bingfeng wrote:

talking about military build-up and “first strike”, i think there is another country in this planet (…)

Hmmm, another “But some other country is worse” argument, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me ask, is that other country threatening Japan? No. So your comment is, as it so often is, irrelevant.

October 11, 2005 @ 7:52 am | Comment

Richard … the changes essentially reversed the meaning of the article, and there was an additional conclusion added, which the author never wrote … It changed it from being an article about the Chinese governments attempts to deal with the problem of worker protests, to being an article about how the workers hate the government …

October 11, 2005 @ 9:14 am | Comment

So because Japan’s record is bad you will never be able to trust them. Is that whet you are saying? Because it was dangerous in the past it will be gangerous forever? What kind of logic is that?

Posted by shulan at October 11, 2005 07:44 AM

——————-

if you apply the logic to ccp, then don’t forget to apply it to japan, if you don’t beleve the logic should be applied to today’s japan, then don’t apply it to today’s ccp

October 11, 2005 @ 9:44 am | Comment

Hmmm, another “But some other country is worse” argument, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

————-

the question should be asked by me. whenever we talked abou japanese shrine visit, you guys point to ccp to “divert peope’s attention”

don’t you think it’s like you point to the mirror and say what you see is a monster

October 11, 2005 @ 9:52 am | Comment

So because Japan’s record is bad you will never be able to trust them. Is that whet you are saying? Because it was dangerous in the past it will be gangerous forever? What kind of logic is that?

Posted by shulan at October 11, 2005 07:44 AM

——————-

So because ccp’s record is bad you will never be able to trust them. Is that whet you are saying? Because it was bad in the past it will be bad forever? What kind of logic is that?

October 11, 2005 @ 10:17 am | Comment

Ok everyone, not to derail the debate here. But the Shenzhou VI launch has been announced! It’ll be in the afternoon of Oct 11, Beijing Time. There’ll be two Taikonauts on board, but it has not been revealed which two! So exciting! Anyway, CCTV will carry it LIVE together with Dong Song TV in Taiwan, as this is the pride of all Chinese in the world, not just Mainland. Sina.com is providing extensive online coverage:

http://news.sina.com.cn/z/szlhfs/index.shtml

CCTV as well:

http://www.cctv.com/news/special/C14684/default.shtml

I’ll be tuning it to CCTV-4 with my CCTV subscription package service here in the US (only 29.99 a month, it includes CCTV-1, 4, 5, 9) , I guess you can catch it on Phoenix TV as well.

For those of you living aboard who do not have the CCTV package subscription, you can watch the entire thing through online streaming at http://v.cctv.com/ Just need to download their free streaming client, register for a free username, and you can watch live streaming of all CCTV channels, and it’s pretty fast.

October 11, 2005 @ 10:50 am | Comment

Boy, this thread has gotten so long it’s taking forever to load. I think it’s getting time for a new one!

October 11, 2005 @ 11:07 am | Comment

Lisa,

How well you have said it! But I am afraid that you are among the minority of people with this kind of thinking in America (many people may be against the war, but for different reasons). This unnecessary war has costed tax-payer more than 200 billion, close 2000 americans and many thousands of civilian iraqi have died from it. For good reasons, the new medias are shy from the number of iraqi death. Most people don’t know it and even if they know, they pretend not knowing about it. This war was supported by most americans. After the fall of Baghdad, W’s approval rating went up to close 90% even if many people could see very clearly from the beginning that the cases for war were weak. And now, there are almost daily suicide car boom. Yes, they are done by the terrerists, but should americans feel a sense of responbility (or guilt if I can say that) for it. The country is on the edge of a civil war and the poll shows most americans want the troop to pull out.

October 11, 2005 @ 11:24 am | Comment

Lisa,

I will second what you said, more simply:

Arguing with nonsense just multiplies nonsense.

Sincerely yours,

Ivan the Occam’s Razor ๐Ÿ™‚ (“essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”)

October 11, 2005 @ 11:30 am | Comment

I do have to add that as far as I know, most americans have the good intention and want to help the Iraqi. But the results are very different.

I heard on NPR where a report asked a GI on his views on the war protection at home. The GI replied that the protect was healthy and *that’s the reason he was flighting in Iraq*. How good-intended and innocent this GI is.

October 11, 2005 @ 11:39 am | Comment

Ivan,

You would not consider it to be nonsense if you had a brother or sister flighting over there.

October 11, 2005 @ 11:56 am | Comment

Xing, I guess we have to go ’round and ’round. If you read what I wrote, I said there ARE reporters who follow the government’s leads, unfortunately. But since we have a free press (or as free a press as there can be) stories like My Lai and the Abu Ghraib photos get out all the time, much to the embarrassment of the government. Ever hear of Watergate?
=============

Richard,

I agree with all you said. But I think you missed my point where is reportings in the main stream news media are somtimes not objective on issues of unfriendly nations. I am in no way questioning the overall integrity of the main stream news media, ok. In reality, people do things in their best interests.

We just need to look at the discussions on forum and we can see how big a perception gap both sides look at issues. It is true for many of us, and it is true for many reporters out there.

October 11, 2005 @ 12:46 pm | Comment

So Bingfeng, in the end you understood the point I made in the beginning and came to the conclusion that such exagerations are not very helpfull in a political analysis. I knew you are reasonable person. Good night.

October 11, 2005 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

Xing, there are plenty of examples of how mainstream media is manipulated, cowardly , biased, focused on entertainment instead of news, etc. And frankly, if these trends continue unabated, I despair for our Republic, which requires an informed, educated citizenry. As you pointed out, many people in the States totally bought the Government’s line about Saddam being conected to 9/11 and the Iraq War being necessary for our security. But even as much of the press coverage of Bush and the war was fairly uncritical, there were also plenty of stories that told the truth and plenty of places to go and find better, more balanced coverage. That’s the point about a free press. It is not always going to be “free,” it is subject to outside influences, it can be used to manipulate as well as inform. But if you choke off coverage, discussion and debate before they can even occur, this is a huge, deadly mistake, and this trend in China is the one thing that is seriously making me reconsider my optimism for China’s future. As complex as other issues might be and as difficult as some of China’s problems are to solve, if you’re not even willing to talk about it, surely you won’t be able to fix it.

As for Bush, the longer the war goes on, the less popular he has become. As the truth comes out about the lies that got us into Iraq, the less popular he becomes. As the extent of the cronyism and misplaced priorities of his Administration become clear as evidenced by their response to Katrina, his popularity diminishes further.

I am not totally optimistic about the future of the US. I worry that we have gone too far in a bad direction, that the structural problems in our economy have been papered over and a reckoning will come soon, that a lack of education among the electorate combined with a mass media that does a better job of covering celebrity scandals than it does politics, has debased our political system to the point where it may be very difficult to change course quickly enough to avoid disaster. But at least we can talk about it. We can talk about it and organize and try to reorder our priorities and deal with our problems.

Without this kind of open debate, China has a very difficult road ahead.

October 11, 2005 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

Lisa,

Thanks. I agree with your points and what you said about China. As to the US future, I think the current US status can go on for a long long time.

October 11, 2005 @ 3:49 pm | Comment

I trust my Chinese government, I know that it has made many mistakes in the past, such as culture revolution or causing 3 year famine. But the Chinese government admits those mistakes. In China, there is a saying that “Admitting your own shame is the same as courage”.

Everyone in China today knows that the culture revolution and 3 year famine were serious mistakes and we should not make them again. And today, in the 21st century, the achievements of China are witnessed by the whole world. More investments are coming to China, more international cooperation, more countries are respecting China. And as a Chinese person, I feel very proud.

Of course I know my country has a long way before catching up with advanced nations like USA or Europe, and there are many advanced elements we should continue to learn from other nations and try to cooperate with other nations.

Democracy is a very good thing, and I believe China will eventually reach democracy. But it does not make sense for China to copy other nation’s path of development. Democracy in the style of US will not work in China. So China must develop its own form of Democracy, it’s democracy with Chinese characteristics. Currently we are still working hard at it, and hopefully one day we’ll develop a unique form of our democracy that fits our circumstances.

But I want to thank all friendly foreign friends who have benevolent wishes towards China and let’s hope China goes up day by day!

October 11, 2005 @ 3:53 pm | Comment

HingXing,

As a fellow Chinese, I think you are very innocent with your view points on China here. Of course, only insane people would want to see things like culture revolution again. I think nobody here question China’s economic achievement. You trust the government? I don’t trust Chinese government, or any government for that matter. I do believe that many China’s leaders are fairly capable people and seem to be good problem solvers which is China need the most now. Democracy does not fall suddenly from sky and work magically.

I think your view points are at least as simplistic as some westerners here on China.

October 11, 2005 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

> a unique form of our democracy that fits our circumstances.

When the government officials talk about the democracy with Chinese characteristics, more often than not, it is an excuse and trying to avoid it. Every thing is unique so there is no need to append XXX characteristics at the end.

>But I want to thank all friendly foreign friends who have benevolent wishes towards China.

I thought only formal Chinese government officials talk in this way. Sorry HongXing, I am just kidding.

October 11, 2005 @ 5:26 pm | Comment

Thread closed; feel free to cintinue the discussion in the new thread.

October 11, 2005 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

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