Worker-soldier-peasant-teacher thread

worker-peasant-soldier-student.jpg

The Discussion: 90 Comments

Wow, for some reason, you seem to be blocked here in Shanghai, at least from my office. I can surf the web normally, but can’t open this site without assistance. Anyone else having similar problems? If it’s only me, that would be freaky…

October 31, 2005 @ 1:58 am | Comment

Kevin, my guess it’s the healdine of the post below. I just respelled the name of that controversial city as “Tai$hi.” Maybe that’ll help.

Isn’t it sick, that we have to play games like this? Oh, the joys of living under a paternalistically authoritarian government.

October 31, 2005 @ 2:10 am | Comment

Richard, out of interest: have you got a policy on use of ‘blocked’ words in comments. For example, when talking about T-aiwan T-ibet T-aishi etc. would you prefer it if people altered the spelling?

I have no idea whether it actually makes a difference, and which words are considered sensitive.

I don’t want to inadvertantly help get your site blocked by saying something rude about Chairman Mao …

October 31, 2005 @ 2:31 am | Comment

Strangely enough, still can’t open it normally… oh well, no need to worry about it too much unless other people are experiencing the same problem.
If no one else is having the same problem… then… er… leave all the worrying to me.

October 31, 2005 @ 2:56 am | Comment

I’m having no problems opening TPD where I’m at. So it seems to vary locally.

October 31, 2005 @ 3:39 am | Comment

David, I’ve said it all already – if they haven’t blocked me by now, I can’t imagine them doing it ever.

The only time these keywords seem to slow my site down is when they are in the headlines, so I wouldn’t worry about it in comments.

October 31, 2005 @ 3:46 am | Comment

I can’t access TPD either. I’m here via proxy.

October 31, 2005 @ 4:02 am | Comment

Took me ages to access TPD via proxy.

October 31, 2005 @ 6:32 am | Comment

Generally when I’m posting or commenting, I play with spelling of sensitive words – I don’t think it’s a bad idea. they are always tweaking the Nanny, best not to feed her!

October 31, 2005 @ 10:23 am | Comment

I wonder if Nanny could stand up to a full-scale onslaught by underground Russian hackers? I bet a team of Russian hackers could knock out most of the system for weeks. Beats phishing. Great PR stunt as well, like “tagging” the White House.

Hmmm, who around here might have conenctions to the Russian hacker underground?

October 31, 2005 @ 10:56 am | Comment

China’s continued rise is the biggest worry for the United States. China is the biggest enemy of the US, at least a potential enemy in the future. Everyone can see this clearly. I’m a rather uneducated and ignorant person, but even I can see this.

Recently America has been very busy, increasing military presence at Okinawa, increasing military cooperation with Japan, sending Rumsfeld and John Snow and its entire economy team to China, all designed to test China’s reactions.

America is really taking China seriously now, especially the rapid influence of China into the South Pacific, and the increased military cooperation with Russia. America cannot help but be aware of it.

South Korea is aligning with China ever more closely, it’s entirely possible America may lose its ally in South Korea. This is a big worry for US strategic planners. There’s a real chance that South Korea may become part of China’s sphere of influence in the near future.

North Korea needs China. And Hu just visited North Korea, and gave a 2 billion dollar aid package to Kim Jung Il, this is definitely a needed help to Kim, and something that will force Kim to stay close with China.

China has also been infiltrating the entire Central Asia. Especially that China is using its huge trade-deficit to entice Central Asian countries into closer ties with China. This is also something America cannot stand to watch.

Russia continues to sell advanced weaponry to China, and China’s military is now modernizing at 3 times the pace it would normally take.

China is also striking successive strategic offensives against Taiwan, and Chen Shui Bian has been isolated politically by the CCP. Recent polls in Taiwan shows unprecedented support for engaging the CCP. Again, America knows that losing its leverage on Taiwan to China means its strategic bluemap of the Pacific will be totally messed up.

In the Southern Pacific, China also has been making many moves, especially the push against Japan. Japan is now panicking, and is calling for re-militarization. America is also worried, thus it just sent a new Aircraft Carrier to East Asia as a deterrence.

This type of dynamic strategic interplay is normal for big-power politics, and it’s nothing to be surprised at.

In fact, America is still very very strong, and China is still quite backward. America can stay worry-free for about 15-20 years. After that? Well, hehe. .. hehe… who knows.

October 31, 2005 @ 2:02 pm | Comment

HTT, Stick with the last sentence of your first paragraph.

I find it interesting how you feel that a reduction of military forces on Okinawa is actually the US augmenting it’s military presence on Okinawa.

I don’t think it is wise to drop acid then blog…

October 31, 2005 @ 7:04 pm | Comment

I think we need to stop with the “China threat” attitude. The States is living unsustainably, unquestionably. And we will lose our position on the top eventually. God know’s the UK, France, Austria, Egypt and Mongolia know a thing or two about losing the top dawg position. But does it really matter? It matters to hawks in washington, who aren’t really worrying about their constituents but instead about money, and it matters to China, who are desparate to be the best.

I don’t think it’ll pan out as easy as China wants it to pan out, but I think the US is currently in decline. It may resurge, it may not. I don’t worry too much about it, I worry instead about the poor in the US and the middle class, who will be hit hard. Being economic idiots has only been sustainable because of our top position in the world, and as the US declines we’ll have to pay the piper. So it goes. Even if China does get to the top, I doubt that will last much more than a century or so. It irritates me how much people I read on BBS etc. get so cocky. who said “this too, shall pass” ? I feel like it’s from some sci-fi novel I read.

peace

October 31, 2005 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

As much as i despise my government, I disagree with Laowai that we will lose our No. 1 position – if it happens, it’ll be generations from now. There are reasons for this, many. Like the military bases around the world, an army with nothing even close to serious competition, vast resources, wealth that dwarfs everyone else’s (even China’s and even with our budget deficits and economic problems). And it has been this way ever since 1945, when the rest of the world was shattered and the US stood up and became the great superpower. Not fair, not good, not right, not healthy – maybe so. But that doesn’t change anything, and before we all get going about China emerging as the next big superpower, take a deep breath and remember it is still a “3rd, 4th and 5th world country” in so many ways (and if you are new to this site, be sure to read that entire post, a classic). So I wouldn’t be writing the US obituary yet. There is virtually no serious competition in sight and whoever is America’s president is virtually the Lord of the Universe. Which is why it’s so vital the next president be a Democrat.

October 31, 2005 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

In response to HTT, I’ll offer a quote from General Leon Laporte (USA): Think capabilities, not numbers.

In other news, is that the Godfather of Soul in the worker-soldier-peasant-teacher picture?

October 31, 2005 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

I couldn’t visit this site normally too.blocked?
I am in zhuhai, Guangdong.

October 31, 2005 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

crazy

crazy

October 31, 2005 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

crazy

crazy

October 31, 2005 @ 8:35 pm | Comment

Of course US will not collapse the next day, and it probably will never “collapse”. The UK has lost its position as a superpower, and it took them about 50+ years to decline to its state today. But does that mean that UK today is a third world country? Of course not. UK is still a pretty powerful and wealthy country, but its power and wealth is nowhere near its climax days.

The same thing with the US. I believe the US started declining since around 1970’s. Of course during its general course of decline, it still had bouts of resurgence such as the winning of the cold war, the winning of the First Gulf War, the economic growth during Clinton’s years, etc. (this is a pattern of history for all empires during decline). But these bouts of resurgence cannot revert the overall direction of decline for the US.

China, on the other hand, has been on the ascendency since Mao’s death. Of course there are bouts of decline, such as embarge it suffered during 1989, the gap between the rich and the poor today. But these bouts of decline does not change the overall direction of its ascendency.

So the US will continue to decline, and China will continue to rise. Give it about 15-20 years, and we’ll see. (Of course China’s military will still not match the US’s. But asymetrically speaking, if you have 10000 nuclear warheads, and I have only 20, I’m still on equal footing with you. Because 20 is more than enough to destroy you.)

October 31, 2005 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

Hm. I see yet another commenter who is badly in need of a blow job.

October 31, 2005 @ 9:33 pm | Comment

Not mentioning any names of course.
Res ipsa loquitur, “the thing speaks for itself”

October 31, 2005 @ 9:34 pm | Comment

“20 is more than enough to destroy you.”

“Four inches is enough to make the earth move. And it looks even bigger if I stand in the mirror the right way.”

October 31, 2005 @ 9:39 pm | Comment

It should of course be remembered that it took not one, but two world wars to knock the UK from its top position. I don’t see that happening to the US, as another world war would wipe us all out. furthermore, the us’s reach and power is immeasurably greater than that of the British Empire.

October 31, 2005 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

I think that America is indeed being too arrogant, and that China is working very diligently to catch up. I know many American friends who are amazed at China’s progress, and they all are puzzled how so many Chinese immigrants have so much money to buy big houses, and BMW cars, many times they are richer than Americans!

I know a personal friend in America who participated in Korean War. And today whenever he talked about the Chinese Army in the Korean War, he’ll raise his two thumbs and say “Chinese Army is the best in the world!” He admitted himself that the only reason the US Army appears so strong today is simply because of high technology.

Also, I think McArthur has once said, “You must be crazy to fight the Chinese army.”

Of course, when China rises, it will not try to seek hegemony. It wants to peacefully coexist, and having cultural exchanges with other nations. I think the essential difference between East and West is that Chinese people are peace-oriented and tame. While Westerners are quite outwardly-oriented and aggressive. They are good and bad sides to each one. So I think it is interesting to see both cultures try to learn from each other and build a better human civilization hand in hand.

October 31, 2005 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

It really only took one world war. After WWI, the US was pretty much invincible.

About HX’s “The Chinese are peaceful people, the Westerners are aggressive people,” all I can say is that you have a good programmer.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:09 am | Comment

Hu’s think tank is right on when he said “Because 20 is more than enough to destroy you”. Of course 1 is enough to do such bad damage as to bring a country to its knees. All the more reason we can’t look at purely militaristic defenses like the missile shield, submarines and the like for security. But sadly the bargaining power diplomatically of having just one nuke is so great that we have to deflect it at all costs. Just look at NK to see what the ‘threat’ of nukes gives them in terms of diplomatic concessions. It is definitely in line with China’s goal to actively work to dissuade the NK’s in this line of defense even if they see it as a slight counter to US hegemony. Sorry for the rambling!

November 1, 2005 @ 12:13 am | Comment

Hong Xing,

thanks for the cut and paste job from the People’s Daily. I don’t think it is blocked in China though.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:15 am | Comment

People often define superpower in the military term. China’s military is several decades behind the US and the US will still the by far most powerful military power for at leat one hundred years.

But military power has its limitations, as is being shown in Iraq; the US is having great difficulties handing the insurgents in the number of 20000.

The US is still by far the most inovative nation and attracts talents around the world. But with the rise of China and India, the living standard will continue to decline for large segment of population of the US.

But exactly how important the superpower status is? Neo-cons care lots about it for their pet projects. For average people, it does not mean much, what use does it have for the 40 millions who can not afford health insurrance.

The decline of the US may not be a bad thing. It may create a more balanced and peaceful world.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:20 am | Comment

HongXing,

Your bit about “Westerners” being “outwardly oriented and agressive”:

Do you have ANY IDEA, how DIVERSE the “Westerners” are?

“Outwardly oriented”: The people of Norway, Sweden and Finland, all Westerners are NOT outwardly oriented. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO FINLAND? Good God. An old Finnish joke goes:

Two Finnish men went fishing in the forest for a week. Every day, for a week, they sat and fished, and drank beer, and said, nothing. Then after seven days, one Finnish guy said to the other, “Nice day, isn’t it?” And the other Finnish guy said, “Did we come here to talk, or to drink?”

AGGRESSIVE? Switzerland, a neutral country for hundreds of years.
Sweden. Norway. And when it comes to military affairs, Good God, think of Italy. Individually, Italians can be agressive – just like individual Chinese. But as a nation, the Italians are among the most hopeless warriors in the world. (Well, in recent centuries anyway – ancient Rome was another story.)
The Italian Army has been a JOKE in the West, for the last 65 years.
During the Second World War, the Italian Army was rife with desertion.
Why? Because Italians don’t like to fight wars. They’d rather do sensible things like eating and making love.

And on that note, I think I want to move to Italy.

๐Ÿ™‚

November 1, 2005 @ 12:22 am | Comment

PS,

ALSO, HongXing, may I point out the MOST IDIOTIC thing about your suggestion that “Westerners” are “aggressive” – what, do you mean Far Eastern people are NOT as aggressive as Westerners? I have a one word answer to that:

Japan.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:27 am | Comment

> I think that America is indeed being too arrogant, and that China is working very diligently to catch up.

HongXing,

I don’t think China should work very hard for the sake of catching up the US. For average people, the word “superpower” is an illution, it is true for americans, and will be true for Chinese (if China achieves the status in the future), -:)

November 1, 2005 @ 12:28 am | Comment

Haha. Nice one Ivan. That post certainly brought a smile to my face. Thanks.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:29 am | Comment

Martyn,

Hey Man! Good to see you again!

And always glad to oblige, with satire with an occasional slight English accent. ๐Ÿ™‚ On that note, please alert me whenever you and Lisa and Richard decide who wins the “Caption This Photo” thread’s contest. I felt like I was in close competition with davesgonechina in that contest. Dave’s sublime sarcasm makes me work hard to match it…. ๐Ÿ™‚

November 1, 2005 @ 12:53 am | Comment

Also – just as a frivolous anecdote, on my previous bit about the Italians:

I remember what my Dad said about the Italian prisoners of war, whom he encountered when he was based in England:

“We just felt sorry for them. The Italians weren’t worth shit as soldiers, but we all really liked them. We didn’t even guard them. We’d just give them passes to go into town and we knew they’d always come back, unless they were getting laid. And we didn’t mind if they went out and got laid – as long as it kept them happy, and they always came back because we fed them – the Italians never gave us any problems.”

๐Ÿ™‚

November 1, 2005 @ 1:00 am | Comment

Oh and then there was the running joke, among the Americans in WW II, about the Italian War Medal shaped like an ice cream cone…..

November 1, 2005 @ 1:06 am | Comment

Boy, Ivan, I think I have to take myself out of the running on the “best photo caption” contest. That picture is so funny that my brain goes into vapor lock and can’t come up with anything at all…

November 1, 2005 @ 1:41 am | Comment

Lisa,

Oh don’t underestimate yourself!
Just imagine what it would be like if YOU were unzipping GW’s fly!

Sorry, you just caught me in one of my more imaginative and undisciplined moods. At the moment I’m listening to the music at the end of the DVD, “Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears” (USSR, 1980) (and by the way one of the actresses in that movie is a friend of mine, so don’t you DARE take the piss about that movie):

Translated into English, the lovely song which I keep rewinding, goes:

“Not everything works out right away,
Moscow was not built in a day,
It never took your word for it,
It only believed in love;
Whether covered with soft snow,
Or in the Autumn glow,
It will warm a truthful soul
And nurture a tree in a grove….
…Moscow does not believe in tears..”

…which, a bit more seriously, is a reminder for us to be patient with America, and to laugh and have hope meanwhile….If Russia could survive 1000 years of tyranny, America can survive eight years of GW Bush….

๐Ÿ™‚

(PS, any other commenters who make fun of me for being sentimental here: You can suck on my Russian missile. And it’s bigger than anything you will find in this photo of GW Bush…. ๐Ÿ™‚

November 1, 2005 @ 2:33 am | Comment

I prefer to take the “Economist”s view of China. If the level of economic growth continues, AND China does not suffer another great upheaval as it is wont to do every 60 years or so, China should achieve economic parity with the United States sometime between 2041 and 2050. (gleaned from various issues, and it may not be “their” present view) That said, there is no reason that China’s rise is, per se, a threat to the United States. An ultra-nationalistic, expansionist, single party state with a large and capable Army and Navy would be a potential threat to the United States, but their is still time for China to develop along other lines. With the Republic of Korea and Taiwan, both states with a strong Confucian cultural make-up, economic development was followed by moves to political pluralism and democratic trends. An economic healthier China could develop along similar models. If so, the mid-century China would be an economic competitor of the U.S., and not necessarily a military competitor. That said, IF China approaching mid-century is under the rule of a despotic, single party regime that has spent serious capital psychologically conditioning its population to hate and detest outsiders, and finds itself losing power and under threat of being turned out, then China as a military power will be a threat to both the United States and its neighbors.

Regarding “best” Armies. Military forces are the sum product of their leadership, organization, training (to include doctrinal development), equipment, and experience. (But NOT genetics. That idea was tested in 1939-45, and it failed.) The Chinese Army of 1951 is not the Chinese Army of 2005. (Witness it’s tactical drubbing at the hands of the Vietnamese in 1979) The United States is the world’s most powerful Army due to technology, and the fact that it has the world’s premier Navy and second best Air Force operating in support of it. (None of those facts will necessarily guarantee success in Iraq.) In 1950, it had allowed the victorious Army of 1945 to wither, and its poor performance during Korea’s first battles were the price paid. China’s Army could develop the forces and technology to equal those of the United States, but to challenge the U.S., they would have to develop a Navy that is on par with the U.S. Navy in assets, readiness, and power projection capabilities. China could do that, but it would be at the price of economic development. Presently, they appear to be investing far more in military improvements than they are reporting. If that trend continues, they could find themselves in the same situation as the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Essentially, the Soviets bankrupted themselves building a massive military machine. China would undercut its economic development by doing the same. Let’s hope they see the light in time.

November 1, 2005 @ 3:09 am | Comment

Hm. A choice of two paradigms:

1. lirelou’s paradigm, see above. (By the way I think it was very intelligently written. But too prolix.)

2. Ivan’s paradigm:
“Not everything works out right away,
Moscow was not built in a day….”

Economic paradigm? Or poetic paradigm? Which one offers more realistic hope for the future of Humanity?

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

November 1, 2005 @ 3:43 am | Comment

Anyone interested in the progress of the rule of law in China? Read this:
“Dispute Leaves U.S. Executive in Chinese Legal Netherworld”
http://tinyurl.com/764u2

November 1, 2005 @ 3:55 am | Comment

Shulan, I was blogging it while you were commenting.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:12 am | Comment

Shulan,

I’m very interested. Thanks for the link!

And now – what the hell, on a roll here – further lyrics, in defense of the Rule of Poetry, from “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears”, in which my friend starred:

(Translating roughly, from Russian):

“In Winter,
Cozy, sleepy homes beckon me,
To enter and stay for eternity,
(A girl asks): “Then what?”
“Then comes January,
“January? You believe?”
“Yes, I think.
And I have read that white book
Since I was a child,
The primer with pictures of
Trees covered with snow,
“Well, what will come next?”
“April will arise,
“April? You’re sure?”
“Yes indeed.
I really heard, and it was no folly,
The sound of music on a near farm,
“So what comes of this?”
“We live!
And we make summer clothes
from fuzzy cotton”
“But will we get the chance to
wear it?”
“Just do it, and believe and hope!
We must prepare for winter,
Because no matter how hard
The blizzards are,
The bondage is destined to end,
So, Lady, I give you my hand,
To dance at the New Year’s Ball,
A waltz, three steps again and again and again, until Spring comes again…”

Hm. So once again, I ask: Shall we believe in the Rule of Economics and cynicism? Or in the Rule of Poetry?

๐Ÿ™‚

November 1, 2005 @ 4:17 am | Comment

I think what HongXing said above is the classic line that the Chinese gov’t spews forth: we won’t be a hegemony. We want things to be mult-faceted, we want the world to be in harmony.

But this is total BS, because when you look at the notion of harmony, it doesn’t include rampant xenophobia, racism and classism that modern-day china possesses. I really think that what China wants is to be on top so that they can define for the world what harmony is, and then go around calling other nations “dangerous elements” and shizzit like that. That is to say, I don’t see china as being too much different from the cynical views of the the US. I don’t think China really wants a concensus of nations, otherwise they’d work harder to resolve the crap they have with Taiwan and Japan with an air of respect for both sides and not just their own. china doesn’t want to co-exist. they’ve had a chance and they’re blowing it. they can’t even exist harmoniously with their neighbors.

And the Chinese – tame? have you seen the riots? have you seen the articles about Chinese tourists abroad? please. Please. come back to reality.

November 1, 2005 @ 6:14 am | Comment

I think what HongXing said above is the classic line that the Chinese gov’t spews forth: we won’t be a hegemony. We want things to be mult-faceted, we want the world to be in harmony.

Well, sometimes I do agree with many of Chinese gov’t’s position, is that illegal? The Chinese gov’t may not be perfect and may have may flaws, but it is undeniable that its top-level policy makers and strategists are on a much higher level of thinking than us regular people, and there are many long-term and complex problems that we cannot even analyze. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong of listening to the gov’t. In fact, many of my American friends also repeat what the Bush gov’t says and what CNN says. What is wrong with that?

But this is total BS, because when you look at the notion of harmony, it doesn’t include rampant xenophobia, racism and classism that modern-day china possesses. I really think that what China wants is to be on top so that they can define for the world what harmony is, and then go around calling other nations “dangerous elements” and shizzit like that.

How ridiculous that is. Xenophobia and Racism? If a foreigner visits China, he’ll be treated as a respected guest, and I think even you agree that Chinese people are very very friendly to foreign guests and always try to be hospitable. There are so many Chinese families eager to host foreign exchange students in their houses. There are many Chinese students who want to look for online chatters with foreigners on MSN or QQ. There are millions and millions of Chinese students applying to study in the US and Europe every year.

In fact I have many American friends who visited China and came back and exclaimed that “Chinese people are such hospital and friendly and enthusiastic people!” And many of them maintain long-term relationships with many of their Chinese friends they met during their trips to China.

Sometimes I just don’t understand why some people has such anger and hostile feelings towards China: “everything about China is bad and everything positive about China is a lie. ”

But clearly the world does not agree with you, because recent international polls show that many more people have friendly feelings towards China than they have towards the USA.

November 1, 2005 @ 7:33 am | Comment

I have some wonderful hospitable friends in China. I love the Chinese. So does Laowai, I suspect. But everything he said about the racism and xenophobia is correct. One thing doesn;t contradict the other. You can be charming and loving and racist and xenophobic all at once. As for the poll you cite, that’s based on the actions of the US government, not on the respondents’ personal relations with American and Chinese individuals. How much do you want to bet that practically none of the people who took that survey have ever spent time in China, and that they know few if any people from the PRC?

November 1, 2005 @ 7:43 am | Comment

You can be charming and loving and racist and xenophobic all at once

Why would those people try to be friends with you if they are racist and xenophobic? Why would millions of Chinese families eager to host foreign students in their homes if they are racist or xenophobic?

November 1, 2005 @ 8:04 am | Comment

More density, I’m afraid (with all due respect). Would these families be as sweet and delightful to Japanese students staying in their home as they would be to Americans or Canadians? Think about it and answer honestly. Or maybe you haven’t heard about the reactions many in China have toward the Japanese.

November 1, 2005 @ 8:12 am | Comment

I think the essential difference between East and West is that Chinese people are peace-oriented and tame. While Westerners are quite outwardly-oriented and aggressive.

Hongxing, I wouldn’t expect you to understand prejudice, since you express it without even realizing it.

November 1, 2005 @ 8:15 am | Comment

More density, I’m afraid (with all due respect). Would these families be as sweet and delightful to Japanese students staying in their home as they would be to Americans or Canadians? Think about it and answer honestly. Or maybe you haven’t heard about the reactions many in China have toward the Japanese.

The Chinese people do not have ill feelings toward those peace-loving Japanese people. But we do have strong feelings against the right-wing segment of the Japanese goverment as well as population. So if a peace-loving Japanese person visits my family, I will be very glad to host him and be friend with him. But if a right-wing Japanese comes to my family, I will not be so polite.

November 1, 2005 @ 8:42 am | Comment

“But everything he said about the racism and xenophobia is correct. One thing doesn;t contradict the other. You can be charming and loving and racist and xenophobic all at once.”

Sorry, I’m not good at deciphering oxymorons. Realistically, how does that last sentence work?

There is some elements of both interracism and intraracism in China, as in Japan and other Asian countries, true. But xenophobia? Come on. That denotes fear towards anthing foreign. Even judging solely by the choruses of “Hello!Hello!”s that greet/ambush many a passing Caucasoid on any street in China, that’s hardly the case.

Laowaibunchofnumbers: Let me see if I have this straight. On the one hand, the Chinese are perceived by the expats here as Party stooges with slavish, conformist mentalities, perpetuating a culture of obedience…on the other hand, they are disrespectful thugs prone to riots and the disruption of social harmony. So, which is it? These two representations seem quite polar to me.

If I were not Chinese, I would not be able to see how anyone could like (let alone love!) China or the Chinese, judging by the opinions thrown about on this board. I mean – agressive, racist, and xenophobic? What a ringing endorsement! Eh.

And yeah, mainland Chinese host families might not be as friendly to Japanese exchange students as they would be to Europeans or North Americans. History has a long mileage. Would you expect otherwise?

I’ve had Chinese friends working in Japan who were discriminated against by their Japanese colleagues because they were Chinese, spoke Japanese with a strong accent, and were therefore perceived as “backward”. And in the case of those Japanese colleagues, there’s no historical grudge that can even explain away their intraracism.

P.S. Ivan, “Moscow does not believe in tears” is a great movie.

November 1, 2005 @ 8:48 am | Comment

Well in any case, recently an insider of the CCP leaked a record of an internal meeting of the political bureau in Zhongnanhai. Here are excepts of somethings Hu said during that meeting:

1) Recently, we all heard report about the Hainan Submarine fire incident. In order for an Army to win, it must be formalized. Next time, any sailor caught hanging clothes on the deck of a ship should be court-martialed.

2) Right now, we have repeatedly increased the budget for education. If we still fail to resolve the education problem in the rural poor, and fail to rectify those unfair things in the education system, then how can we face our future generations?

3) These days, veterans have trouble finding jobs. Can we start some national program that provides job training and placements for veterans? Anyway, can the state council look into that?

4) We should not change our policy of staying open to the outside. Yet, we should also try to support our own industries and companies, especially fund our domestic R&D. I think on this point, we should learn from South Koreans. Look at their car industry and electronics industry!

5) In our education system, we should rectify the current situation where focus too much on introducing Western culture and not enough on our own culture. These days, students know more about Plato and Socrates and Freud than they know about Confucious and Mencious and Li Bai. We can’t forget our own culture.

6) I heard that recently all Japanese government buildings have regulations that prohibit the AC from going below 28 degrees to save energy. Well, I think that’s a pretty good idea. Can we have something similar here in our offices? I think 28 degrees is enough. Energy conservation starts from us leaders.

7) On the recent corruption case of comrade Chen JianHua. I think he’s a pretty good guy. I watch his program on CCTV’s Economic Forum a lot, and I agree with a lot of what he says. He’s basically a compassionate and patriotic intellectual, and we should love him. I don’t want to interfere in the agency’s investigation, but please be more thorough and don’t hurt innocent people.

November 1, 2005 @ 10:53 am | Comment

The United States is the world’s most powerful Army due to technology, and the fact that it has the world’s premier Navy and second best Air Force operating in support of it.

Lirelou: And who exactly do you think is the world’s best air force?

November 1, 2005 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

I think we can all admit that there are a number of inconsistancies in what nations hold up to characterise themselves. My point is that China is no different, and that when we are able to get past the rhetoric, that China is actually much like the nations it preaches against, in terms of military aggression, racial subjugation, rhetorical stubbornness and a lack of historical atonement. China has more skeletons in the closet than most countries, I would say. People just don’t talk about them, and keep them in the closet, which I think accounts for what I’m going to say below about materialism in China.

I’m not here to defend my feelings about Chinese culture and history. On the one hand I really really like a lot of it, and think that at it’s best Chinese culture is modest, beautiful, caring and generous, but I’m just so disgusted by the spirit of “to get rich is glorious” if only because I think it breeds a certain aggression, a certain denial of a basic state of humanity, in a vain and transfixed effort to escape what was previously another cultish mindset – that of socialist communism. My chinese friends are people who basically do not care too much about money and know how to open their mind up, and don’t want to compete too much, and like who they are and who are comfortable with themselves. I like these people the world over.

I would point out that thinking that the leaders of a nation are somehow on a different level than the common man is bollocks. They might know more about what is happening, they might not. In any case, they are not on a higher level, and must not be allowed to think that they are on a higher level, as this is when corruption occurs.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

Now that I finally accessed the site today, I’m so far down this commentary that what I was going to say is now irrelevant….

November 1, 2005 @ 3:46 pm | Comment

Hahah, that Senator’s picture is photoshopped. But I support you! I just read how the senate is being closed down because of bickering between the two parties.

Is this your “great democracy” of America, stop joking me!

November 1, 2005 @ 4:02 pm | Comment

Hongxing, you’re an idiot. That is democracy. We argue. We disagree. That’s how it works.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

This is “democracy” in your terms. Yes I agree that there is a larger degree of speech openness in America. But that is also not absolute, there are also many reporters losing their jobs over their correct report of the truth in Iraq. Also, if you hold a banner that says “Bin Laden in my hero!” and you gather 200 friends to march with you in front of House White with that manner, what do you think will happen to you?

I’m not saying that democracy is not good. China also likes democracy. But it must be democracy that fits the conditions of the individual country. Every country is different, and every country can choose its own mode of development. So comparing American democracy to Chinese democracy is comparing apples to oranges, you cannot really say which one is better or worse.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

But it’s not harmonious. What we need is a strong China to tell us what is harmonious and how we should proceed. Maybe we need to learn the lessons of history.

Actually, I say this tongue and cheek (above) but having seen the UK parlimentary system (besides the awful gerrymandering) I really like it. It leaves time for actual debate and not just disgusting one-liner rhetoric like we get out of Congress so often. I wish we could switch to a parliamentary system of the legislative branch in the states.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

Hongxing, I was referring to the fact that we have more than one party. Opposition to the government is, in fact, encouraged after a fashion.

I don’t know of any American reporters fired for reporting the war accurately. Your assertion is mindbogglingly uninformed.

I can march in front of the White House with a sign that says “Bin Laden is My Hero” if I get a permit beforehand. The current administration might send the secret service after me to question me (in public, not in a grotty dark room somewhere), but as far as our laws go, that kind of protest would be legal.

As for your comment on Chinese democracy, its completely irrelevant to the conversation, so I don’t know why you brought it up except to repeat something that someone burned into your brain. Judging from the way you wrote it, I’m led to believe this is simply a string of words to you that would have no more or less actual meaning in your mind than the sentence “Grobble grobble pold rikikikiki faaaaah”.

Laowai, I so wish we had Question Time.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:21 pm | Comment

Dave, what would we do without you? Thanks.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:27 pm | Comment

Richard, go check out my Frist picture.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:28 pm | Comment

Hongxing, I was referring to the fact that we have more than one party. Opposition to the government is, in fact, encouraged after a fashion.

The keyword is “after a fashion” ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know of any American reporters fired for reporting the war accurately. Your assertion is mindbogglingly uninformed.

There were a few CNN reporters and local newspaper writers fired for criticizing the Bush administration during the Iraq war. I don’t remember their names, but I can give you their details if you want.

I can march in front of the White House with a sign that says “Bin Laden is My Hero” if I get a permit beforehand. The current administration might send the secret service after me to question me (in public, not in a grotty dark room somewhere), but as far as our laws go, that kind of protest would be legal.

I live in the USA too, I think you make a too optimistic assessment of that scenario ๐Ÿ™‚

November 1, 2005 @ 4:29 pm | Comment

I’m waiting for those names, Hong Xing.

As for the Bin Laden sign, why don’t you go try it? Don’t forget your permit.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:31 pm | Comment

There were a few CNN reporters and local newspaper writers fired for criticizing the Bush administration during the Iraq war. I don’t remember their names, but I can give you their details if you want.

Typical. This never happened. He has no names and no proof. It’s a fantasy. A reporter (like Geraldo) may have been fired for breaking their agreement as an embedded journalist, but none was ever fired for criticizing the administration. This is the kind of BS you have to deal with when “arguing” with pre-programmed automoatons. HongXing is obviously bright and passionate and cares about his country, but his willingness to tow the party line and spew out unsupported “facts” ruins his credibility.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:41 pm | Comment

HongXing,

Democracy is a great thing. My only concern is that politians seem like to say things people want to hear (use sount bites for evening news); avoid tough problems and argue all the time but cannot get much done for the benefits of ordinary people. But maybe that’s how it works.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:48 pm | Comment

Ok, I don’t have the names in my head. But I will investigate this thoroughly and I will give you a satisfying answer.

But I am not repeating the “party line”. I often joke about articles I read on Chinese newspapers and I often write many posts criticizing the CCP on Baidu Forums. But anyway, why do you call me “automaton” and “idiot” in another post. I am not angry of course, but I think that is disrespectful and it lowers the intellectual level of conversation. I visit your site because I enjoy what you write and I hope there can be more exchanges between China and the world, and I want to call my friends to write here too.

November 1, 2005 @ 4:50 pm | Comment

HongXing, it took me a while before I called you an idiot, and I wasn’t even the first one. It was when you fell into the trap of, “Well, America does bad things, too” to try to silence any criticism of China. And by citing BS, like these imaginary reporters fired for criticizing Bush. Sorry, but you risk being called an idiot when you say things that are pure nonsense.

November 1, 2005 @ 5:11 pm | Comment

And thanks for visiting my site and for interacting., I really appreciate it. But be careful of your facts, and don’t be so reflexive in your answers – those automatic responses are what qualifgies you for automaton status. The usual, “well America did bad things, too.”

November 1, 2005 @ 5:12 pm | Comment

To stop the thread from concentrating on HongXing’s banal nonsense, how about this article?

China’s Water Crisis Worst In World –

November 1, 2005 @ 5:14 pm | Comment

My only concern is that politians seem like to say things people want to hear (use sount bites for evening news); avoid tough problems and argue all the time but cannot get much done for the benefits of ordinary people

A good government does these things. So we have the New Deal, a minimum wage and civil rights, and Clinton tried to fight for national health insurance. Unfortunately, the present government is more interested in business owners than their workers. But we elected them so we have to dal with them. And we can vote them out.

November 1, 2005 @ 5:15 pm | Comment

>Clinton tried to fight for national health insurance.

US is such a healthy nation and more than 40 million poeple have no heath insurance. This issue comes up as a big issue in every presidential eletion. But people forget it once the eletion is over. Why it is so hard? I guess it says something about the US system.

November 1, 2005 @ 5:22 pm | Comment

That is some article on China’s water supply, James. Is anyone listening? No water, no life.

November 1, 2005 @ 5:22 pm | Comment

Xing, Clinton didn’t forget about it. Business didn’t want to pay so it was defeated. It was an imperfect plan and needed a lot of work, but America still has a do-it-yourself mentality and shies away from ideas like this — stupidly.

November 1, 2005 @ 5:25 pm | Comment

“healthy nation” should read “weathy nation”.

November 1, 2005 @ 5:26 pm | Comment

agreed. Education and health care are the bastard children of the US. why? I think because if you are poor then it affects you but the poor don’t vote enough, and if you are rich you don’t have to worry about it. it comes down, then, to the middle class, which are given pork-barrel political incentives to forget about it – like with politicians drawing the attention away by bringing up abortion and tours of duty/manliness/pro/anti-vietnam etc.

It’s defintely the biggest hole in the american dream, and hopefully one day we can get to a point where we can start to fix it.

November 1, 2005 @ 6:51 pm | Comment

You wanna talk scary, what’s happening with American pension plans is another crazy aunt in the attic issue. People who played by the rules, put in their time and planned their retirement around what they had been told to expect as a pension are getting screwed left and right as American businesses dump their pension plans.

I’m not sure what the answer to this is, but it’s a very alarming trend.

As to this whole, “who will be stronger in 20 years, the US or China?” I’m not terribly impressed with the performance of either system in recent years. But I do think that China’s current tendency to not allow open debate on serious issues is a real disadvantage. And solving the puzzle of how to enforce regulations and laws at the local level is a huge challenge. Combine that with China’s looming environmental crisis, and I don’t think China has that many years to figure out how to avoid massive social collapse. I think it can be done, but by limiting debate and muzzling the press, you are already increasing the odds of failure.

Ask me after the 2006 midterm elections what I think of America’s chances to get on the right track and build a better, healthier society might be…I believe that my country is terribly off-course, and I’m not really sure we have that much time to correct our direction before there will be some real hell to pay. We need to have a serious discussion in this country of what kind of society it is that we want to live in.

Throwing 200 billion dollars a year down the Iraqi black hole isn’t going to get us where we need to go, that’s for sure.

November 1, 2005 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

Who will be better off in 20 yrs!!!!! Are you serious? Obviously America. China has the following problems to overcome – the pensions crisis, the power crisis, the water crisis, male/female imbalance, the wealth gap, an overheating economy….the list goes on and on. the idea that china is going to smoothly keep rising and rising under the amazing tutalage of a corrupt and closed govt without any bumps (unprecendented in the history of the world) is an utterly risible suggestion.

November 1, 2005 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

If you’re responding to my comment, Si, I didn’t name a winner in the contest. That wasn’t my point.

Sure, I think odds are that the United States will be more prosperous in 20 years than China. But I also think that the US is pissing our national well-being down a drain, and that we are facing some really serious problems of our own.

November 1, 2005 @ 10:56 pm | Comment

Lisa, your comment was really sobering. I absolutely cannot return to America under its present leadership and won’t even consider moving back until some semblance of sanity has been restored.

November 1, 2005 @ 11:13 pm | Comment

Well, I do have some hope. Harry Reid was great today. I think a lot of people are questioning the direction of this country and that FINALLY some of the more moderate Republicans might be willing to part ways from the Bush Administration. With his poll numbers, he doesn’t have much to offer them, at this point.

Oh, and Trent Lott said he thought Rove should resign. Ain’t that a hoot?

November 2, 2005 @ 12:05 am | Comment

Thanks James for that tip on the article re. China’s water crisis, atopic I deeal with in class. It strikes me as ironic that “the government welcomes foreign investment to bring in cutting-edge technologies and management methods.” They’ll take our money but throw away the rest. Which is why this site and Wikipedia are STILL blocked. They don’t even bother to explain why.

November 2, 2005 @ 2:38 am | Comment

I can’t hear it anymore. This stupid, relativistique nonsense that every culture has to have it’s own way of democracy. Sure there are different democratic systems all over the world. But they have some principles in common: free, equal and secret elections, one vote for every cyticen, a free press and division of powers to name only the most impotant. Nothing of that exists in China and so to speak of a Chinese way of democracy is just nonesense.
There are a lot of different kinds of dogs, but when it has only two feet, feathers and makes Quak only a fool will call it a dog.

November 2, 2005 @ 8:32 am | Comment

Sorry Lisa, I was just expressing surprise that anyone would consider which out of china and the us wil be better off in 20 yrs.

surely the bush administration isn’t that markedly different from many previous administrations – those of reagan and nixon come to mind. perhaps the difference is that bush and co are so monumentally arrogant they can’t bothered to cover up their real motives.

November 2, 2005 @ 8:34 am | Comment

Si, there are certainly some striking parallels between Bush, Reagan and Nixon. With Nixon, the paranoia. With Reagan, the out of touch leader. But – and I can’t believe I’m about to defend Nixon here – Nixon inherited a war; he didn’t go out of his way to start one (granted, he expanded it into Cambodia). I think the major differences are that as paranoid and divisive and criminal as Nixon was, not everything he did was divisive and serving of only one small class of Americans (Nixon started the Environmental Protection agency, for example). The Bush Administration, by contrast, seems determined to prove time and time again that they really don’t care about governing on behalf of the American people. I don’t expect to agree with most of the actions of a Republican president; I am still furious, however, at having my nose rubbed into their contempt for people who think like me with practically every action they take (this latest Supreme Court nominee, for example).

Yes, it’s about the arrogance, it’s about the incompetence and it’s about the utter disregard for our national welfare that make the Bush Administration so very special…

November 2, 2005 @ 10:33 am | Comment

I generally agree with you Lisa, but I can’t help feeling that the Bush administration is merely the logical end product of republicanism of the last thirty years. The republicans have been beholden to special interest groups for over a generation now if not longer.

Nixon didn’t start a war – he didn’t need to. however he failed repeated to end one, expanded into cambodia as you point out, and was happy to help overthrow a democratically elected govt in chile. i fail to see how nixon and reagan would have acted any differently after 9/11. surely nixon and reagan contributed greatly to foreigners seeing the us as a big bully – a perception now reinforced by the bush administration.

November 2, 2005 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

I was directed to this site through asiapundit, and found it very difficult to access – it took me ages. Now that I have read some of it, I realize I was wasting my time. Most of what here isn’t worth reading, just ranting.

November 2, 2005 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

Thanks for your constructive and enlightening comment, master.

November 2, 2005 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

Well, Si, I’d have to agree with you as well. I think the difference is, there used to be Republicans you could do business with. Now they seem to be so beholden to this fundamentalist, oil industry complex mafia that I would never vote for one again.

My hope is that with Bush’s approval ratings in free fall, with so many of his policies being repudiated, that the more moderate voices in the Republican Party will perhaps show some independence and vote according to their consciences. I don’t agree with most Republican policies, but there used to be plenty of Republican politicians who believed in environmental protection, just to take one example. And Congress’s beating back Bush’s effort to rescind the Davis-Bacon Act for the rebuilding of New Orleans is a positive sign as well.

November 3, 2005 @ 12:12 am | Comment

La commedia e finita. Next thread.

November 3, 2005 @ 1:20 am | Comment

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