Say what you will

Because this is an open thread, no time for a new post. Can we make it kinder and gentler than the thread directly below?

The Discussion: 123 Comments

Man, that last thread ended like a racist convention with cm and first timer as the keynotes. What’s up with that?

January 13, 2012 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

That thread was very interesting. Having just read it, I note how most commentators here were quick to condemn ‘Cookie Monster’, but slow to condemn the much more outrageous racial slurs of ‘first time in china’. In fact ‘Cookie Monster’s’ more intemperate comments were in response to the racism of ‘first time in china’.

In any case I agree with most here. Racism should be eschewed in whatever form it takes.

January 13, 2012 @ 2:17 pm | Comment

How’s about another round of drinks?

January 13, 2012 @ 3:19 pm | Comment

CNN, Bloomberg, the Hurun Report and others have reported that about 50% of Chinese millionaires are trying to leave China. About 15% are currently working on emigration. The top destination is the U.S.

Officials, and the official media, keep lecturing the average guy about pro-Chinese culture this and that, and warning against idolizing Western culture.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, they are all quietly planning to take advantage of superior Western living standards, freedom and education for their kids. I’m sure their wives have European designer goods, and their kids are being groomed for the Ivy League or Oxbridge. And if you take a look at Chinese elites buying at Hong Kong auctions, you’ll see that this distain for Western culture doesn’t seem to apply to their own appetites for French wines or British art.

Nothing wrong with that, of course. But there is a double standard here. So lower- and middle-class Chinese should be fighting this “ideological struggle,” while the elites fly off to take advantage of the best the West has to offer?

January 13, 2012 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

Who’s going to win the election in Taiwan tomorrow – and by how much?

January 13, 2012 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

Seems to me that Tsai Ing-wen is likely to win, Raj, but it’s just a more or less educated guess, based on the prediction market at National Chengchi University / Xfuture, my impression that even pan-blue media seem to come around to the mere possibility that it might not be Ma Ying-jeou, and on my impression of Radio Taiwan International coverage which seems to have quoted Tsai much more often recently (i. e. in the past two months or so), than in the past.

January 13, 2012 @ 5:42 pm | Comment

And a shot from the hip: Tsai will lead over Ma with a margin of about five per cent.

January 13, 2012 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

Well said Joyce.

What are some new or ‘undiscovered’ sites folk are visiting?

January 13, 2012 @ 6:31 pm | Comment

My educated guess is that Ma will win by around 4-7%, we shall see.

I’m basing this on

A. most polls before closing 10 days ago had Ma leading at roughly that margin, even the pro green polls showed a basically non-existent margin lead for Tsai (like 1% or sub 1%).

B. Most gambling circits I saw (wether online or real) have Ma with leading. that’s actually even more accurate than polls.

C. If you look at the two candidate’s facebook page, Ma’s winnning by a mile in terms of likes. the KMT have not been known to utilize internet properganda folks nearly as much as the DPP have been. and facebook is not quite as destroyed by folks with multiple accounts as other social medias.

D. Yesterday sources from both party, the KMT says they’ll win by around 500-700 K (which is roughly in the range I predicted) the DPP says they’ll win by 200 K, 200 k is only 1 percent of the vote, I dunno about you but I’m very skeptical whenever anyone says they’ll win within the margins of statistical adjustment errors.

We’ll talk more about it after the tally starts tomorrow afternoon, it is much closer this time, but from the ground view there is still good reason to believe that Ma will win. and recent day developments actually make me think he’ll win by more than we perceive.

January 13, 2012 @ 10:51 pm | Comment

yihe, I closed the last thread because of the two of them. You have to know CM’s history here. And others did object to both commenters and said the thread had degenerated because of them.

All of you need to see this post and the comments to it. Extraordinary. Go there now.

January 14, 2012 @ 12:35 am | Comment

without an “assassination attempt” this years, let’s see if the polls are accurate indicators this time.

January 14, 2012 @ 12:43 am | Comment

No matter what happens, I’m really glad that we managed two strait Prez election without that sort of crazy shit, though the son of Lian Zhang was shot in the previous mayor election a couple years earlier (the shot miraculasly went through his mouth and out the other way so he survived fine… but he shot went on to hit another men in the stands nearby in the head and he was not nearly as lucky.

January 14, 2012 @ 1:04 am | Comment


this blog reminds me of how back in college ppl complained about HK and Indian students irritated them by being too active in class discussions with annoying accents. once on the campus bathroom wall someone wrote “if you can’t speak english, please don’t be a TA.” however, now college kids are complaining about chinese students doing the opposite. there always seems to be something for ppl to complain about.

January 14, 2012 @ 1:14 am | Comment

@Richard – Yihetuan is Mongol Warrior – it’s his latest moniker. So, probably, was First Timer – the phraseology is very similar (particularly “white enterprise”).

January 14, 2012 @ 1:25 am | Comment

Thanks for the tip, FOARP. I see how he’s taken over at China Geeks, with his same BS argument about the GLF being a prosperous time for China.

January 14, 2012 @ 1:31 am | Comment


Cookie Monster commented? I can’t find him.

January 14, 2012 @ 1:33 am | Comment

Yeah, First Timer was trolling something fierce. Anyone who comes onto a board and starts with the “I’mma f***ing yer wimminfolk” is deliberately looking for a fight.

As for Yihetuan, Richard, there’s a thread on FB you need to check out. Someone with that handle sent a couple of vile emails to a mutual friend of ours.

January 14, 2012 @ 5:18 am | Comment

I just saw the thread, and Yihetuan will never, ever comment here again, trust me. I’m guessing he and First Timer and probably Wayne are one and the same. He’s bad news.

January 14, 2012 @ 6:41 am | Comment


I still hears the same argument and I concur with some of it “those who can’t speak clear understandable english [no thick accents] shouldn’t be TA, or teach for that matter”

what I find worse is the mainland chinese TA (or RA) don’t care about their undergrads (or research groups) and makes life harder for other TAs (or RAs in research groups)

January 14, 2012 @ 8:01 am | Comment

Nothing wrong with that, of course. But there is a double standard here. So lower- and middle-class Chinese should be fighting this “ideological struggle,” while the elites fly off to take advantage of the best the West has to offer?

Different groups of people, entirely.

what I find worse is the mainland chinese TA (or RA) don’t care about their undergrads (or research groups) and makes life harder for other TAs (or RAs in research groups)

It can’t be worse than the virgin sacrificing and child eating those horrible Mainland Chinese do.

January 14, 2012 @ 8:33 am | Comment

So is “Wayne” a regular troll on the China blogs? (Sorry — I am only an occasional commenter, so I don’t pay attention to the trolls’ names). Because he left a few crazy messages on my personal blog back when I reposted a NYT review I did on an Opium War book.

And that was followed by two anonymous comments. One was only minorly irritating about my being “bourgeois” (ha! so Cultural Revolution). But the second picked on the race of my child, which is both personal and racist. I deleted the second one.

Unlike most commenters, I don’t post anonymously. Plus, I’m a mom. So I have to be a bit more careful about personal attacks on my family.

Anyway — I’ll be moderating comments from here on in. But who are the usual trolls?

Thanks, guys.

January 14, 2012 @ 9:55 am | Comment

That’s not to say that “Wayne” is also “Anonymous.” I’m sure there are quite a few of them out there.
How do you deal with them?

January 14, 2012 @ 9:56 am | Comment

Joyce, below is an email that “Wayne” wrote to a friend of mine just today, one of the nicest people in the world, referring to his child:

“… The type of hatred which would make one want to pick up a mallet and smash the fucking brains out of a kid like [child’s name], or getting little [child’s name] and sawing his arms and legs off in front of his mother and father and then feeding them to their family dog.”

“Don’t you reckon [child’s name] would look even cuter with a cross hairs placed over his fucking little mongrel head, and then his head transformed into tomato ketchup :)”

You can find a similar email he sent to me personally here.

If you go to this thread at China Geeks you will see how Wayne operates.

As soon as someone gets on your blog talking about white people taking “our women,” and ranting about how the Great Leap Forward was a time of prosperity and happiness for China, you know Wayne/Mongol Warrior/Mark Lau, etc. is infecting your comments. He usually posts with a Hong Kong IP address, but he also uses a proxy. But look at the China Geeks thread and you can recognize his voice.

He is a very dangerous man, bursting with rage, and he will lunge at you with the most personal, hateful, hurtful attacks you can imagine. You just have to keep in mind, he is psychotic, love-starved, lonely and fucked up beyond all repair. Delete, block, repeat.

January 14, 2012 @ 11:07 am | Comment

Richard, hate to say it but that kind of stuff is pretty common on the internet.

January 14, 2012 @ 11:35 am | Comment

Oh, great! Just how I want to start my weekend.
Thanks for the tips, Richard.

January 14, 2012 @ 11:39 am | Comment

The usual MO seems to be to try to sound almost reasonable for a while. But it never takes more than a couple of rounds of direct, pointed, and uncomfortable questioning for the underlying psyche to reveal itself.

January 14, 2012 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

My missive from “Wayne” used a proxy in Australia, IIRC.

And you’re right, CM it IS common, way too common IMO. The internet removes a layer of restraint and makes it far too easy for people to depersonalize others and act out in really vicious ways.

My rule is, if I’m not willing to say it to a person’s face, I’m not going to say it online.

January 14, 2012 @ 12:49 pm | Comment

All of you need to see this post and the comments to it. Extraordinary.

I believe this line of yours is part of the problem, Richard. What, except boredom, should make people want to reward commenters of that kind with constant attention?

If you feed monkeys with sugar, they will keep following you. To complain about that makes no sense.

January 14, 2012 @ 1:43 pm | Comment

JR. You nailed it correctly. HH on the other side of the divide.
Very no thoughtfull

January 14, 2012 @ 1:48 pm | Comment


This sort of stuff only goes so far.

January 14, 2012 @ 1:52 pm | Comment

I thought it was quite brave of Dan to write that post. I guess you can take it or leave it.

January 14, 2012 @ 1:54 pm | Comment

KT, what are you referring to?

January 14, 2012 @ 1:56 pm | Comment

I really enjoyed reading Dan’s post, plus some (lots of) supplementary reading.
And I’ve worked in that gig.

Pugster, Mr Rein, MW and all their variants don’t matter…. China is far too interesting at the moment (Year of the Dragon), to be caught up in all this counter-trollery.

That said, I always enjoy this site for the leeway it provides commenters.

January 14, 2012 @ 2:12 pm | Comment

No objections re Dan‘s post. But all pug_ster & Cie. deserve is a pat on their shoulder, plus a line of the kind that serious issues are being discussed, and that they better add something original if they want to be part of the discussion. And after that, they should be left talking to themselves – or be deleted, if they begin to flood the thread.

Every blogger has to make his or her own decisions. But to complain if one isn’t ready to ignore useless babble is inconsistent. Unless you are paid for paying attention to that kind of stuff, of course.

January 14, 2012 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

Voting finished in Taiwan and tally is starting, though only about 2% of the vote have been counted so far.

Though so far the votes have been very close to my expectation.

We shall see

January 14, 2012 @ 4:41 pm | Comment

About 20% of the votes tallied now, I’m fairly confident to say that I probably hit it right on the nails , and may have even underestimated Ma a bit.

January 14, 2012 @ 5:21 pm | Comment

most channals have about 50% of the votes tallied and Ma’s leading by 7-8% on most of them, it’s over for Tsai.

I’ll make a more thorough analysis on what happened.

January 14, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

@RW – What happened is that more people voted for Ma. A pity, I would have liked to see a Chinese-speaking society elect a female leader, and Tsai certainly was a capable candidate.

January 14, 2012 @ 7:07 pm | Comment

FOARP: Taiwan’s politicians are decisively well gender represented espeically in recent years and in elected offices, being a women was hardly the reason why Tsai lost.

85% of the votes out so it’s pretty much official that Ma will win with more than half the votes and it looks like he’ll win with 700-800k or so of the vote, which if you look back to my first post in this thread is basically a bullseye. I’ll post a longer post later on why the outcome was like that.

January 14, 2012 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

it seems soong’s involvement has almost no impact. made a total fool of himself.

January 14, 2012 @ 7:42 pm | Comment

@RW – No argument here – Tsai has lost, Ma has won. Good also to see that there has not been any last-minute shenanigans of the kind seen in the last two elections.

January 14, 2012 @ 7:51 pm | Comment

Ok so it’s pretty much Final, Ma won around 770-780 thousand votes, which was in the higher end of my projection. the KMT also still retain majority in the legislature by a pretty large margin. the DPP have gained some seats and have gained about 4% more vote than last time around in the Presidential election, but obviously it was still a pretty crushing defeat for them and Tsai announced she’ll step down as chairmen just then.

To be frank, the reason why Tsai lost can be simply put as the continued inability for the DPP to have an solid and acceptable cross-strait agenda. Tsai went for the “Taiwan Consesus” theme this time around which was basically just throwing smoke and mirror and hope to by pass this issue. Meanwhile, Ma have made giant breakthroughs in Cross-Strait relationships, it may be hard for people to fathom that accesability between China and Taiwan was ALMOST as restricted as between Cuba and the USA, Taiwan’s basiclally one of the 3 last iron curtain remaining in the world as late as 2007, (Cuba and North Korea is the other two) at this time and age, and given that for all the problem the PRC have, it is obviously not North Korea, or even Cuba (and Taiwan’s definately not the USA). This was basically unacceptable.

The real “surpriese” this time around at the last stage of the election was that HOARDS of busniessmen came out STRONGLY to endorse Ma, or at least Ma’s cross-strait policy. most of them previously never make public political comments, and donates to both side, some were even known to have had better ties with the DPP, but this time they overwhelmingly supported Ma. and put money where their month is so to speak. The reality is that MORE than 4 % of Ma’s original votes went over to Tsai, but a certain percentage of the DPP votes are starting to go over to Ma as well.

Tsai’s final demise probably came when faced with the ever more busniess folks speaking out openly for Ma, tried to label this as a “Evil Corperation vs the common folks” war, when in reality the vast majority of Taiwan’s busniess people made their mark starting from scratch and in manufacturing sectors, (unlike say the US.)

Other factors played some role, but none were as decisive as the Cross-Strait factor , it would help if the DPP made a better cut with the CSB years and a lot of it’s people, and obviously Ma does have the advantage of being the incumbent etc.. also that most folks probably realize that the DPP’s clamour of using renewable energy to replace Nuclear Power in the near future is too unrealistic. but these were not decsive factors.

The DPP did grab Ma’s weakness in that wages have been stagnate in Taiwan for over a decade now, despite that growth in Taiwan have been much better than the world average (especially compared with developed nations) over the last couple of years, unemployment while not high has crepted up some , and more over young people while not unemployed in huge numbers find it hard to find GOOD employment. that was the major reason for Ma’s fall in the votes, which was totally expected, and if he can’t reverse this trend (And the DPP can find a more managable cross-strait agenda) the KMT’s odds of losing 2016 is quite high.

Other observations:

James Soong actually won, because he managed to get his PFP party just barely over the hump of 5% of party votes which gives them 2 seats in the Legislature, add in another seat I think from the Aboriginal guarenteed seats they have something like 3 seats, so they remain alive, the other big surprise was probably that Taiwan Union, which didn’t win a single seat last time, managed to win 9% of the party votes and end up with like 4-5 seats, Tsai camp invited Lee Teng Hui in the final day to stand up with them actually ended up costing the DPP a couple of seats in this regard.

In conclusion, perhaps too many folks don’t realize how important Liang Zhang’s visit with Hu Jin Tao really was in terms of reshaping the KMT and Taiwan’s political field, I’ll put it simply that if Ma hadn’t been able to open cross-strait direct flights / shipping and Chinese visting Taiwan, he would have lost today. but he did, something that most people thought should have happened in more 1995 took till 2010 to accomplish. this is basically the reason he won, if the DPP want my vote, their first move is to be able to make something similar to that happen, aka a high party official be able to meet with a high CCP official and have a serious realistic dissucssion.

January 14, 2012 @ 9:04 pm | Comment

RW, I can’t agree with that. The DPP did not lose because of cross-Strait relations. From memory polling before the election showed that people trusted Tsai more on China relations than they did Ma. Note the reaction to Ma’s suggestion of a peace treaty – it wasn’t good. The thing is that for the moment relations with China are not the deciding issue in Taiwanese elections. If anything that helps the KMT, because China is never going to accept that Taiwan is (already) independent. When China starts demanding unification, it’s going to get ugly for the KMT.

In any event if Tsai had won things wouldn’t have been that bad with China. Even whilst Chen was in office relations between China and Taiwan improved from 2000. Tsai was seen as being more moderate than Chen, so things would have been ok.

It’s also no surprise that big business backed Ma. Big business loves the KMT.

January 14, 2012 @ 11:11 pm | Comment


The fact of the matter is that polls, espeically when it is limited in sampling or timeframe, can be very misleading, you see how Justrecently in #6 based his guess on the future exchange market poll, which he probalby don’t realize is a purely online poll that only a limited audiance goes to, it made a name for itself in the early 2000s for being accurate but after the word got out it increasingly got hijacked by a small group of folks which skewed the numbers. it’s final poll had Tsai winning by 6% AND that was actully lower than the number it was at before it shut down 10 days ago due to disclourer laws .

Ma’s peace threaty thing came out of nowhere and was a pretty bad move at the time, but he then backtracked fast and greatly limited the damage it caused.

For Chen, the fact is that total trade and investment during the Chen era to China already became huge (which is inevitable if only due to geographical reasons), but it was TECHNICALLY ILLEGAL. most of the money were invested VIA Hong Kong or other off shore islands, ALL the exports had to park in either Hong Kong or go through Japan / Korea first. That made no sense on any economic level, the only “opening” Chen did was first allowing flights to only have to fly OVER HK airspace instead of actually land there before going to places like Shang Hai or Bejing (which still meant it took twice as long as it should have.) and then at the very tail end opened up extremely limited number or chartered flights to China. (IIRC it was like 5 per WEEK or something ridiculas like that, today it’s over 100 a DAY and even now tickets are exceptionall hard to get on short notice.)

Chen era saw the government sueing big busniess for doing partnership investment in China, said busniessmen ended up renouncing ROC citizenship in rage and applied for a Singapore one. today that particular type of busniess is basically destroyed in Taiwan. after dominating the market during the late 90s. (DRAM)

Tsai’s biggest problem was the open denouncement of the so called 92 consus based on what was mostly technicality problems, but her answer to base relationship with Beijing on (the so called Taiwan Consus) had no clear form or even timeline , that was what scared the shite out of everyone.

Big busniess have always been friendlier to the KMT that is true, but they had almost always donated to both sides and when Chen was elected in 2000 he had many big busniessmen stand behind him as well , (ironically the 2 most feverant supporter at that time both bailed over and publically endorsed Ma’s cross-strait policy this time around.)

Sure, if Tsai had won she probably retract most of her statement if only out of pressure from the US (who even had fromer AIT head come out and condemn her Cross-strait policy view, an extreme rarity) . but the uncertainty she was giving from her remarks was more than what most busniessmen, and folks here who make a living in anything that has to do with China, can stand.

Before Chen was elected, he said he’ll open flight / transport / postal service with the mainland as well, but 8 years and nothing, Ma managed to do it almost immediately, while the DPP went from violently protesting against the talks to later half admitting that they probably won’t revoke ECFA was a huge blow.

January 14, 2012 @ 11:51 pm | Comment

My comment about the election is that having one is not such a big deal anymore and things ran rather smoothly. The Taiwanese made their decision on who will run their country, Soong is officially a political nonentity and the DPP is back to being a competitive party again.

Compared to where they were just four years ago, it’s been an amazing transformation that we sometimes take for granted but should not. Regardless of Tsai’s losing the election, she took her party from one foot in the grave to again becoming a viable alternative and maintaining a two party system.

I agree with FOARP that cross-strait relations were not the deciding factor in this election, at least among the Taiwanese. That’s all the world media talked about so I can understand the impression that was cast but it just wasn’t that big an issue in Taiwan. My wife is in Taipei now and I’ll hopefully talk to her soon to get her impressions. This was the first time she’s ever voted over there so I’m curious as to how the process went. Hey, it’s their country, who we like or don’t like is pretty much irrelevant.

I did lose my perfect track record at picking Taiwan elections, though. I thought Soong would do better and Tsai would squeak one out. Soong’s dismal showing was the main factor in creating a Ma victory. In that respect, the Blue side is wising up to the self-defeating purpose of voting for a third party.

January 15, 2012 @ 12:07 am | Comment

In that respect, the Blue side is wising up to the self-defeating purpose of voting for a third party.

I hope not only the blue side sees that. All in all, a system of two major parties has a lot of advantages. However, the choice was basically between one party that favored a liberal-conservative approach at home, and close ties with China on the one hand, and a center-left and anti-nuclear party with more distance between themselves and China. These are pretty big different alternatives, with little else to choose from. Imagine a voter who loves Ma’s domestic policies, but the DPP’s China policies, too – or vice versa. That could be somewhat frustrating (but no reason not to make up ones mind, obviously).

January 15, 2012 @ 1:14 am | Comment

now Taiwan is done, Mitt Romney!!! 2012!!!

January 15, 2012 @ 1:54 am | Comment

What happened is that more people voted for Ma. A pity, I would have liked to see a Chinese-speaking society elect a female leader, and Tsai certainly was a capable candidate.

Yeah, too bad her party is complete shit. She did well in spite of them.

January 15, 2012 @ 2:19 am | Comment

No, I’m not sold on it being specifically Ma’s success on the cross-strait issue being the main drive behind Ma’s win. Raj mentions the polling on the cross-strait issue showing more support for Tsai’s position than Ma’s – I don’t know how accurate it is, but it does indicate that it probably wasn’t what put Ma over.

I hear you on how things were before cross-strait travel was loosened up. Working at Foxconn I regularly used to travel between Taiwan and the mainland, and the slog through HK was defintely a hastle. Pace Turton, I think Taiwan as a whole will benefit from cross-strait trade, but it was always obvious that people in manufacturing and agriculture in Taiwan were going to take a hit from competition from cheaper mainland producers.

I think if it was related to the cross-strait issue, it was the basic lack of a coherent policy on Tsai’s part on this issue, than on the popularity of Ma’s present policies. The anti-nuclear policy also came of as an attempt to jump on a bandwagon – never mind that renewables aren’t likely to be able to replace nuclear in Taiwan in the short-term.

January 15, 2012 @ 2:23 am | Comment

Big business loves the KMT.

So does some other 50% of the Taiwanese population, apparently.

January 15, 2012 @ 2:28 am | Comment


The fact of the matter is that polls, espeically when it is limited in sampling or timeframe, can be very misleading, you see how Justrecently in #6 based his guess on the future exchange market poll

The future markets were people BETTING on the result. The actual polls (i.e. people being randomly selected and asked for their opinions), funnily enough, were generally accurate in predicting a Ma win.

January 15, 2012 @ 4:28 am | Comment

Another dissident writer leaves China.

January 15, 2012 @ 8:52 am | Comment

@FOARP : that is a correct assesment that the it was less of Ma’s cross-strait success than Tsai’s complete lack of a coherent policy in that regard that was the big difference, and that the anti-Nuclear bandwagon probably didn’t do her much good (though total net effect might be neutral enough).

As for 2 party system etc… given how Taiwan elect it’s President I’d guess we have little choice on this .

As for the comparison of the KMT and DPP on non-cross strait issue, IMHO they essentially fall on the same political specturm, no one in Taiwan would run on something like the Republican Party’s agenda for example, (Pro Gun , anti – Abortion , anti health care etc) if they did that they’re vote result would be comically bad. Both sides are essentially left leaning parties with the KMT tilting slightly mre to the center. but only very marginally so, that is why even during the Chen years when the DPP didn’t have a majority in the Legislatures most bills not involving foreign relationships were still going through just fine. because at the end of the day the two sides only disagree on details, but very very rarely on principals

January 15, 2012 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

@RW – It’s true to say that both the KMT and the DPP are left-leaning by American standards – but then by American standards pretty much every centre-right party in the world is left-wing. Even the British or Canadian Conservatives support policies that you see US Republicans happily labelling “socialism”.

It’s telling that my left-leaning expat friends in Taiwan (who, like nearly all expats who are interested in Taiwanese politics, support the pan-green parties) think the KMT is a right-wing party, but when asked why they think so cannot give you a solid reason. My guess is that, if they were a British party, the KMT would be considered a centrist party.

January 15, 2012 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

@FOARP : the general reason is that, most people in commercial or manufacturing sector would support the KMT, but those more in the Academic / cultural realm would be more likely to support the DPP, so it depends on the “expat” your talking to , since if said expat was a busniessmen working in China he’d most likely be a huge KMT supporter. Though most foreignrs are obviously likely to be in contact with the academic / cultural type of expat on average.

It is true that depend on which country your comparing to, though with the possible exception of comparing to maybe Northern Europe states, it would be unrealistic to lable the KMT, a supporter of government companies and generally have no problem with market interventions (albiet not to the same extend as the DPP) , be considered a real right win party. you are correct to point out that by most standard they would be either center or center left. while DPP leans somewhat more left but not exactly by a ton.

If there’s any real policy aspect the DPP was clearly more left than the KMT, it was that in the late Chen era they froze Gas prices, that was the last stage of the crazy finacial bubble before the 08 meltdown, Ma’s government have restrained from doing that so far. though they do tackle supposed price hikes that are orchestrated by a small group of companies . The DPP’s energy policy is supposedly more left than the KMT in theory, but they can’t put it into realistic practice so that’s pretty pointless, Taiwan’s energy price is already too low by any standard (the Tai Power company is infact running yearly losses) , and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that closing nuclear power early and not lettting current running onces run would be definately not help in that regard. Taiwan actually faced considerable brownout problems in the late 90s, most voters certainly have memory of those.

Taiwan actually invested in about 200+ windmills so far, each at a cool 3.5 million USD a piece and all 200 + of them combined generates about 0.5% of Taiwan’s power need, and most of it during the less power demanding Winter, again it doesn’t take a mathmatician to see the problem with that.

January 15, 2012 @ 6:48 pm | Comment









January 15, 2012 @ 7:25 pm | Comment

Tron, thanks for commenting, but do remember this is an English-language blog.

To the spammer who keeps sending me nasty comments: Please note, I wrote above the earlier post, “Taking this post down,” and that’s what I did. I was totally up-front about it. My blog, I can handle it however I choose.

January 16, 2012 @ 1:34 am | Comment

Richard why do you delete all the comments from people who support China and only show comments by people who want to hurt China?

January 16, 2012 @ 8:19 am | Comment

Dude, I have deleted zero comments. Cookie and Hong Xing and many others who disagree with me comment here every day. Anyone who wants to comment civilly and without personally attacking other commenters is welcome here. If all of you commenters from that other website want to comment here you are welcome to. I even let my most notorious troll comment here for a few days, until he got ugly.

January 16, 2012 @ 8:45 am | Comment

Ready? it’s just about to start.

January 16, 2012 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

Seriously, since when did any of the people here want to hurt China? 99% of what is said on this board is about how China is in reality – and this by itself is hard enough to actually get a hold on. If reality in China is negative in some ways, then do not blame the commenters on this board for saying so.

Back in the real world, appearances to the contrary, the heat never did go down in Tibet after 2008, did it?

January 16, 2012 @ 8:44 pm | Comment

If you wanna see what an anti-china board look like you might wanna check on about 80% of the Taiwanese political blogs (those in English) 😛

January 16, 2012 @ 9:26 pm | Comment

Richard, just wanted to mention… great post title!

January 16, 2012 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

deleted – fake commenter

January 16, 2012 @ 10:24 pm | Comment

Deleted – posted by someone pretending to be KT

January 16, 2012 @ 11:00 pm | Comment

KT, I won’t even look. I suspect any intelligent reader will see what’s going on there, and I really can’t be bothered. I’ve taken heat before from other blogs, and it’s never made a difference.

January 17, 2012 @ 12:07 am | Comment

Deleted – posted by someone pretending to be KT

January 17, 2012 @ 12:35 am | Comment

KT, there are a lot of positive things to say about China. Wonderful things. I give its government credit for many of these things and am personally familiar with its efforts, for example, to help bring its rural population online and equip them with computers, its efforts to improve its citizens’ quality of life, its loosening of laws that restricted personal freedoms. There’s also the very bad things about its government, and a culture that, caught up in the dash to get rich, doesn’t do enough to protect its environment, and that caters to corruption. But China is a great country and I only wish it well. We can’t dismiss the fact that life is way better for a lot of people in China than it was just a few decades ago, even if the role the government played in getting there is a topic for debate. It happened under their watch, and it’s one of the most remarkable transformations in the history of the planet. The Chinese people are among the world’s most hospitable and gracious, even if we can find anecdotes about how awful some of them are, just as we can with Americans. So no, I don’t subscribe to the notion that the only things we can say about China are negative. Unfortunately, the CCP leaves itself open to criticism by its uneven or non-existent approach to rule of law. That’s getting better too especially in the international cities, but they sure have a long way to go.

January 17, 2012 @ 12:44 am | Comment

Deleted – posted by someone pretending to be KT

January 17, 2012 @ 1:17 am | Comment

KT, China is not Nazi Germany, and I really wish you wouldn’t draw such a comparison. Nazism reduced the country and much of Europe to rubble in 12 short years. Life in China has only improved for the vast majority, and its neighbors have mainly benefited from its growth, The Chinese do not practice genocide and don’t seem intent on conquering and enslaving the world. I don’t even want to continue that discussion, it’s so unfair. People can point to the annihilation of the American Indians and the Iraq war as “proof” America is like Nazi Germany, but that, too, is a ridiculous comparison.

January 17, 2012 @ 1:46 am | Comment

Wake up team and Richard. I’ve been hijacked …67, 65 and 69.

Ask yourself, do I write like that?

Think hard about it and you will identify the perp.

January 17, 2012 @ 4:11 am | Comment

Shit, sorry about that KT. I was wondering why you were talking like that. I will take immediate measures.

January 17, 2012 @ 4:27 am | Comment

Richard. And 67 and 69.

Go thru all my backposts. Have I ever used italics to set up a comment.

When was the last time I mentioned Nazi Germany???

Also the perp fails to capture the generally sarcastic scribble style I use.

It was a creative and probably a very time consuming attempt nonetheless.

Check the IP address.

I was going to mention absence of nookie, but why bother.

January 17, 2012 @ 4:42 am | Comment

It would appear that our perp with the the joke gmail moniker just got in touch with me on my site. (However, you can stay in unapproved limbo until you improve your writing style, pal.)

Got to thank the dude really, since my extremely well-researched and written piece on Chinese mass murderers is going thru the roof stats wise.

January 17, 2012 @ 5:41 am | Comment

Richard, love the site,
been following you for along time
This is the second time I have commented on your site, and I shall only comment on extreme cases…..

Interet Verification, the only way to turn the tide aganist these trash commentators, am with the wumaodang, sersiously, and it is embarassing reading some of these comments from my comrades.

If your name is in red and linked to your own site allow the comment, ban-delete-hexie everybody else.

Song of the Article

Wild Boys
-Duran Duran

no link….. listen to it yourselves….

my quote,
“keep it red
keep it real
buy it for 50c!”

I spend 90% time online reading, 10% commenting

January 17, 2012 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

Whats wrong with eating cat? Naturally I can understand why a deracinated hanjian would have emotional issues with eating cat yet I have never seen anyone make a logically coherent and consistent argument against it what is otherwise simply another source of animal protein.

As for the rest of the so-called “civilized” world; it’s a world of madmen and imbeciles. The adulation of fools is worth less than dirt.

January 17, 2012 @ 12:54 pm | Comment

Oh boy, looks like some pro-CCP morons will go to any lengths, or stoop to any depths, to try to sing the CCP’s praises. To try to pretend to be someone else…then to write something that sounds like it may have been rather inflammatory and try to attribute it to that person….man, that’s deranged. And what was #60? A signal or something? Idiots.

January 17, 2012 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Calling someone you don’t know “deracinated” based on their views of eating certain animals is stupid as well as deliberately insulting. FWIW I know plenty of Chinese born and raised and still living on the mainland who do not believe in eating animals that have come to be classified as “companion animals.”

January 17, 2012 @ 1:37 pm | Comment

There is nothing wrong with eating cats and dogs.
Western pounds put to sleep thousands of strays every year.
Most of the cat and dog carcasses go into the incinerator.
That’s a lot of food energy wasted no matter which way you cut it.

Frankly, it’s stupid to condemn people for eating a type of domesticated
animal, when you’re all too willing to eat many other types.

Nevertheless, Jing crossed the line with the personal attacks although his
position was sound.

January 17, 2012 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

Contrary to what my nationalistic detractors have sometimes assumed, I tend to be fairly sympathetic to unificationists in Taiwan. Historically, Taiwan was part of China (of course, it was originally Austronesian, but that is a fait accompli as much as Americanization of America). I have no interest in telling Taiwanese people they have to be politically part of a Chinese state, but I would be happy to see both sides reunified under the ROC constitution if that were an option on the table. I wonder what fenqing would think of that idea.

The very unscientific sample of Taiwanese people I’ve met don’t seem very enthusiastic about China, however. I was practicing my Mandarin with a Taiwanese lady a couple days ago, and when I mentioned going to Tibet, she said, “可是,中国和西藏有问题吧。“ (“but China and Tibet have problems [with each other], right?”), which is a sentence which I expect few well-educated Chinese people would be willing to utter to a foreigner. Doesn’t everyone know that Tibet has no problems, and what’s this about “China and Tibet”? You might as well talk about my hand and my palm having problems with each other.

January 17, 2012 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

I agree that there is a degree of arbitrariness in what animals are considered appropriate to eat and what animals are not. You could make the argument that eating animals that have been bred for thousands of years for human companionship is crossing a line. I’d also argue that it’s inappropriate to eat animals that are endangered, and I’m personally not comfortable eating animals that are highly intelligent, like whales & monkeys (though I have friends who say they are okay eating pig because a pig will eat you :D). I limit the amount of meat I eat and am choosy about how it was raised in any case.

One of the difficulties with this issue in China is that you have very different views developing of whether or not it is appropriate to eat dogs and cats, and a number of very unscrupulous dealers of such meat who are willing to kidnap family pets to make their quotas. At some point the two positions simply become incompatible.

And the number of animals killed in supposed shelters in the US is disgusting, IMO. Some people shouldn’t have kids or pets.

January 17, 2012 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

and as a p.s., I should say that I’m grateful to be in the position to be able to choose how and what I eat. I fully realize that the majority of the world’s population doesn’t have the luxury of such choices.

January 17, 2012 @ 2:38 pm | Comment

@80 : hah, yeah that would be the amusing aspect of course, if we were to say ok let’s unify but we use the ROC constitution and fly a new flag (so neither the KMT or CCP symble are represented). I’m pretty sure most fengqing would go berserk. (not that Taiwan would actually be hugely supportive of such idea either, but we would probably laugh at the irony.)

Let’s be pretty clear that, most folks in Taiwan don’t actually dislike “China”, but they dislike “The People’s Republic of China”, but since those two are often drawn as the same, hence the result.

January 17, 2012 @ 3:01 pm | Comment

deleted, fake commenter

January 17, 2012 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

Unless one is vegan, there is always some threshold to cross in terms of what you will and will not eat (or consider the eating of which to be right or wrong). I mean, eating an egg would be incredibly cruel to that chicken that might have been…

So I don’t know if there is a universal threshold here that would separate right from wrong. It’s different points of the spectrum, short of cannibalism which I presume to be universally abhorrent.

For me, I wouldn’t eat anything that a normal person could reasonably consider to be a pet. So that’s cats, dogs, hamsters, parrots, and the like. I say “normal person” and “reasonably consider” because someone might say they have a pet cow, or a pet salmon. That would just be weird. And I’m not about to give up steak, or sushi.

January 17, 2012 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

deleted, fake commenter

January 17, 2012 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

I suspect this thread is leaning towards vegetarianism. Whatever the flesh in question, it is best to give it a miss. Folk who eat meat regularly lack basic cooking skills.

January 17, 2012 @ 4:45 pm | Comment

Wayne is getting a lot of attention here – oxygen for trolls. I can’t help but feel that he’d be missed, if he stayed away.

January 17, 2012 @ 5:39 pm | Comment

@ #84 – I would cool it with the stereotyping too, if I were you. Two wrongs do not make a right, and responding to Jing’s comment with an insulting stereotype does not make you look good either.


1. “The US is ruled by a consensual democratically elected government, China by a bunch of mafiosi like thugs.”

I think any pro China / anti US blog could hash this repeatedly, but do not forget that Americans elected George “Dubya” Bush. Twice. Not to mention some of the American government’s actions past and present (water-boarding, secret police aka CIA renditions and assassinations, propping up proxy governments, and of course, invading sovereign states on a whim and lie) would make any proud mafiosi point to them and say: “Now that’s a great chip off the Mafia block, si.”

Then, go into the fact that folks like Hitler and Mussolini were consensually democratically appointed too, and many folks will probably be amused that you think a democratic government is the one government to rule all others.

2. “The tragic thing is a large part of China’s population is not ‘normal’, and the reason for this is not poverty, not bad luck, but rather a deliberate eschewal of civilized values in the name of some idiotic notion of national pride.”

Cue stereotyping and sweeping statements again. And again, something that would make quite a lot of people chuckle with your … type of thoughts.

3. Eating of dog meat, cat meat, some meat, yada yada, etc.

Personally, I do not eat meat of companion animals. However, neither do I judge the quality of a person, race or nationality based on the different types of meat they eat. The very fact that I eat the meat of some animal alone should disallow me from discriminating on the type of animals others eat, if such animals are not endangered. But then people of the “superior” mindset always think otherwise eh, *chuckle*

4. “Perhaps Liu Xiaobo was right when he said it would take 300 years of Western colonialism to cure China.”

Well, I don’t think the West will need 300 years to drug the whole of China and turn it into the next big source of slave labour, LOL! They pretty much took down places like India and the African continent in a much shorter period…

January 17, 2012 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

Jing, you are going to far. And you know it. That brings the personal attack to a whole new level.

January 18, 2012 @ 12:11 am | Comment

fake commenter, deleted

January 18, 2012 @ 1:05 am | Comment

OK, Jing is either MW or just as bad.

January 18, 2012 @ 1:52 am | Comment

I nominate #91 for deletion.

January 18, 2012 @ 2:30 am | Comment

It’s gone. I don’t necessarily agree with all of Joyce’s points; democracy isn’t one-size-fits-all, and not every country is ready for Western-style democracy and some may never be. But Jing’s borderline obscene response is way out of line.

Joyce, sorry, your last comment got caught in my spam filter for a couple hours.

About Wayne: he is dangerous.

January 18, 2012 @ 2:51 am | Comment

Had to look up “hanjian” – what an outdated concept…
I’m with Joyce on the Sino-Euro relationship issue. I have no problem when in China….well, apart from the girls in supermarkets peeking around the corners to see my daughters. Makes my girls start to play to the audience. No malice, though – never had any malice. We don’t get the same in Shanghai, mind – guess it’s not a biggie there 🙂

Regarding the “westernisation” of China – which west are we all talking about? I’m assuming America…which isn’t quite the same as Europe….or Australasia…. As it is, the Communist Manifesto was penned in London by a German – one could say we have already westernised China 😀 They’re using our (European) system of government 😉 Had to laugh at Hu’s anti-western schtick. Betcha he dictate that wearing a western style shirt and tie, western pants (albeit trousers being a horse riding thing apparently brought to Europe from the steppes…so I read) and a western jacket 😉

January 18, 2012 @ 5:22 am | Comment

It seems some of the more recent commentators here harbour a rather medieval view of women.

January 18, 2012 @ 6:29 am | Comment

Joyce Lau,

honestly – Brad Pitt is far more sexy than Andy Lau.

At the risk of getting myself into a messy discussion, allow me to say I am interesting in this topic and this topic alone. I have a basic idea of your upbringing and surroundings, just kind of curious of their effects on you. Just so that you know the coolest actor ever to me has got to be Steve McQueen. BTW, Bruce Lee called himself Oriental Steve McQueen.

The biggest knock on Brad Pitt by most Asian women (born & raised in Asia) I know is his bad skin. Andy Lau is called by some as Oriental Tom Cruise — both of them are a tad too slight.

Ok, how about Rain, the Korean singer, who has better skin & couple of inches taller than Pitt, and has an equally lean physique if not a hair cutter? I venture to say he doesn’t eat dog meat. Granted, Pitt is a better actor but Rain is a better dancer.

Speaking of lean physique, how about Lin Dan? Other than outsize personality, his stamina has got to among the very best in the world. Or Hidetoshi Nakata, a footballer who was raved by some pretty important fashionistas? Want some exotic type? How about Yu Darvish?

Ok, I have not asked young Danzel Washington or Anthony Mackie yet.

If I have a bigger point, is when you are young, you are limited by your own upbringing and surroundings. Unlike Wayne or Jing, I actually don’t dislike you — just wanna say, oh boy, what a huge huge huge world out there you are missing.

January 18, 2012 @ 6:51 am | Comment

Richard, what sentence in my post contained a single obscenity to warrant censure? I simply remarked that I do not approve of miscegenation. An attitude altogether not unduly unique. Of course it flies in the face of the entitled liberal attitude of committing actual obscenities while demanding others accept and “tolerate” them. Hurt feelings being of paramount importance in this day and age.

Joyce, you are neither my sister nor my daughter and I have no control over your decisions. I do not care one iota about whatever well rehearsed specious rationalization you choose to tell yourself and others.

January 18, 2012 @ 7:22 am | Comment

Jing, cut the crap. Telling another commenter she thinks with her uterus is going too far, period. Your comment was offensive on several levels, but you got censored for the incredibly inappropriate personal attack. I’ve never deleted you before and don’t want to do it again, so please clean up your act. Thanks. (And I don’t want to argue about this.)

January 18, 2012 @ 8:26 am | Comment

Shit, Rchard – you sure do get the strangest people here!

January 18, 2012 @ 8:45 am | Comment

It’s been a tradition for more than nine years.

January 18, 2012 @ 8:49 am | Comment

I have come across the same fringe members of society – I generally move to another seat on the bus when they start telling me about their foil hatted theories 😉

January 18, 2012 @ 9:00 am | Comment

It seems some of the more recent commentators here harbour a rather medieval view of women.


But I want to put in a vote for sexy Asian men. Toshiro Mifune…OH yeah. I could list some others but he’s in the perennial hawtness category.

January 18, 2012 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

@83, ooh, now I have start thinking about what a new ROC flag would look like. I guess the old five-stripe flag is right out because it became associated with the Japanese collaborationist governments. Maybe something harking back to the old Qing dragon flag? Green dragon rampant on red, perhaps? Green-and-red might have a bit of an eyesore quality.

January 18, 2012 @ 2:22 pm | Comment

Yes, Toshiru Mifume is a girl hunk in his sword westerns, and a stone lady killer in his non-samurai flics.

When it comes to Asian women, I vote for the Japanese/Chinese pro surfing sisters whom I have already blogged on.

Other than that and if you have the cojones, Miki Sujimoto and the rest of the really dangerous Sukeban eye candy.

However, when it comes to a personal resurrection, I want to return as Seijun Suzuki.

January 18, 2012 @ 3:13 pm | Comment


No idea, the 5 stripes flag was suppose to represent ethnic harmony, though not sure how that’s going to play nowadays, especially back then it considered Mongolia part of China.

I’d guess the old Qing flag would draw too much irk of us going back to the old days as well. truth be told I have no idea what a new flag could be like, China isn’t really much of a religious country either. I guess in the end the dragon would be the closest apporixmation of what everyone could agree on without a huge degree of obvious bias on anything.

January 18, 2012 @ 4:15 pm | Comment

deleted – scam comment by Wayne

January 18, 2012 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

Okay, dating preferences are one thing. But I’m really uncomfortable with the notion that any particular race is better at governing than another. Because there are certainly plenty of negative examples of Caucasian men as rulers (you know, your Hitler, for instance).

And by “really uncomfortable” I mean, words fail.

January 18, 2012 @ 4:36 pm | Comment

@Richard – Looks like MW is posing as Joyce Lau.

Do us all a favour and just close comments for a while. Ta-nehisi Coates often calls a 12/24-hour halt on commenting on his blog when it starts getting intense/weird and it has good results – gives people an opportunity to chill out and reflect.

MW may come back, but my guess is that his sudden appearance on all the China blogs is due either to him getting laid off, or due to him being on holiday over CNY. If it’s the latter this will encourage him to find other entertainment.

Oh, and MW, Richard knows my IP and you won’t be able to trick him, though I doubt this will stop you from trying.

January 18, 2012 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

FOARP is right Wayne has now posed as another commenter, Joyce, and is intent on destroying the comments. I will think about what to do.

This deleted comment was scary and cunning.


January 18, 2012 @ 9:57 pm | Comment

This Wayne sounds like a waste of oxygen in the World Wide World, not merely a waste of bandwidth on the World Wide Web. Nary a logical or accurate sentence in that whole screed.

January 18, 2012 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

Wayne, nice try.

January 18, 2012 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

Apologies to everyone for the evil commenter who is stealing commenters’ identities and posting as them. I’m trying to put in better filtering controls and it shouldn’t happen again. It says something abut the quality of their lives that they have nothing better to do than lie.

January 18, 2012 @ 11:57 pm | Comment

It’s how the CCP is trying to win our hearts and minds, Richard. Or maybe it’s an evil US capitalist running dog plot to tarnish the reputation of the CCP…

Shit, think I need to go lie down – they’re watching us, you know…


January 19, 2012 @ 6:07 am | Comment

Hi Richard,
I just wanted to warn you that none of the comments from #64 down written under my name were actually written by me. I presume someone is making up fake comments that link back to my blog to drive more trolls there? Or something?
Anyway, could you please delete them, or take my name off of them.
I can’t believe how much time people will waste lying and cheating to make someone else look back just because they disagree with an opinion.

January 19, 2012 @ 7:57 am | Comment

I mean, my whole family is made up of wonderful Chinese men!
Plus, I would never write in quite such terrible English. 🙂

January 19, 2012 @ 8:02 am | Comment

I believe it’s comments #64, #84, #86, #87, #92. Maybe there are more.
And hey — I LIKE Andy Lau.

January 19, 2012 @ 8:07 am | Comment

I have never been trolled like this before. Now I know what to look for. I’m sure the perpetrator thinks this is such a lot of fun.

January 19, 2012 @ 8:40 am | Comment

Holy crap, Joyce. I wondered about “your” comment because it was so out there, and yeah, it did occur to me that it might be a spoof. But it should have been the first thing that occurred to me. Apologies for even responding.

January 19, 2012 @ 9:00 am | Comment

No problem, Other Lisa. Just remember that if it sounds insane, it’s probably not me.

January 19, 2012 @ 9:44 am | Comment

@ jxie. I’ve never blogged about Brad Pitt. Maybe I’d get more hits if I did! Just kidding.
Yeah, all that weird racial dating celebrity nonsense was not by me.
But if you want to see something pretty hilarious about Rain vs. White Guy, check out the Stephen Colbert video where the two have a dance-off.

January 19, 2012 @ 9:52 am | Comment

I’d suggest we just start a new thread with a real direction.. Richard you interested in talking about Taiwan’s election? that seem to be the bigger news with some long term consequences in the Chinese world these few days

January 19, 2012 @ 10:35 am | Comment

Thread closed.

January 19, 2012 @ 10:36 am | Comment

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