Here is an excerpt from the Christian Science Monitor: Continue reading Xinjiang in the News Again … as Political Islam is Ignored Yet Again
Well, it is that time of the year again. And the publicity stunt of a little know town in Guangxi, China, has succeed beyond the wildest expectation. Yulin, is now well known in the so-called animal lovers circle, including those in China. It is estimated that up to 10,000 of dogs and perhaps cats will be eaten. We see a ridiculous outpouring of sympathy for those animals killed. Many are calling for a boycott of China because of this made up festival. Some extremists even called for eradicating China as a nation.
Continue reading Stop Yulin 2015: Hypocrisy at its utmost
Recently news headlines in U.S. suddenly switched on a dime from the police shootings on black men/boys to Rachel Dolezal on her fake black identity. It’s as if all those police shootings which Guardian keeping count exceeded 500 killings this year never existed, with fake and real outrages at Ms. Dolezal dominating all discussions. Meanwhile Hong Kong legislature vetoed the election plan with the news of arrests of some Hong Kong independent advocates planning violence, with some democracy advocates displaying British flag as their loyalty/protest. In China, because of recent killings on the border from renegades from North Korea, Kim dynasty being in low esteem, there was an attempt by anti-Maoists to blacken PLA by questioning the veracity of PLA martyrs during the Korean War. The revisionism of history even extended to the initial entry of PLA to Xinjiang by posting a supposed conversation between Mao and General Huang, commander of troop there, offering the reformed prostitutes from Shanghai as wives for the battalion and above commanders there.
All those stories revolve on the question of identity. I lived in Shanghai until 1959. To me Korean War hero like Huang Jiguang who used his chest to silence a machine gun so his comrades can triumph in attacking the enemy position was something to emulate. He was my hero. I think of the exhortation of to go to where the motherland needs you the most as natural. I think if I stayed in China I would have volunteered to go to Xinjiang as a pioneer. Having lived in U.S. for so many years bred cynicism, yet I don’t question as some do in China on the heroism of Huang. After all, even in U.S. we hear about the Medal of Honor Winner from Vietnam War who throw his body on top of a grenade to save others. Even those terrorists who committed suicides in hijacking planes during 9/11 can’t be because of the 77 virgins after death, for they did go to a strip joint to drink and ogle the night before.
So it really saddens and angers me when those Hong Kongers unfurled British flag to show disdain for China, and author Sun Junhong insulted those second and third generation off springs of demobilized soldiers in Xinjiang with genes of whores. I understand her Weibo account was closed after complains from others, and surely there will be cries of censorship. I think China should tighten the rules of censorship, initiate more education reforms away from market, subsidize patriotic education in Hong Kong, and maybe force those independents out of Hong Kong. Professor Zhang said he’s not worried about emigration, as more people away from China learned about the real world, the more patriotic they became. I agree with him completely and wish China allows those dissidents to emigrate to learn real world of so call democracy.
So it looks official now, Hong Kong’s Legislature has officially rejected the Election Reform promulgated by PRC’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. (For more on this topic, see this previous post late last year) The central government has responded that the election rules stands and now it is the hope of many that Hong Kong will continue to find a way to execute full democracy under the Basic Law and NPC rules.
Continue reading Hong Kong Legislature Rejects Election Reform
Recently, I had an interesting debate about the “Tiger Mom” culture in Asia, against the backdrop of a Chinese American mother who criticized the Tiger Mom’s suppression of children’s “autonomy”. So, since we had lively discussions of this subject here, (http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/01/13/the-truth-is-out-amy-chuas-chinese-moms-attack-on-american-moms-is-actually-a-wall-street-journal-creation/), I thought we should visit with some updates.
First, it’s actually amazing how many people criticize “Tiger Mom” without actually reading what she wrote.
More details on this later, but let me just say that Chinese children are not born or brought up to be mindless robots. Plenty of them get into trouble, plenty grow up to disobey and challenge authority. Tiger Mom is about challenging a child’s autonomy. Amy Chua’s own 2 daughters questioned everything she made them do. In challenging the child’s autonomy, the child must struggle to strengthen his/her own will and discipline. Without self-will and self-discipline, autonomy/”individualism” is weak and useless. My parents never tried to “suppress” my autonomy. On the contrary, they always insisted to push me to learn to do the right things on my own initiative.
Second, I’m yet again reminded of how non-individualistic Chinese kids are, and how creative and individualistic Western children are. Beyond the obvious (and somewhat racist) stereotype that such assumptions are based on, I came across this rather interesting story: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/21/nyregion/standardized-testing-is-blamed-for-question-about-a-sleeveless-pineapple.html.
While we were in China we read about the news of Baltimore riot and protests in Cleveland. There were also lively discussions of a police shooting on May 6, at Heilongjiang in Weibo. For long time residents in U.S. like us it’s second nature when stopped by police for speeding, that you pull up, put your hands on the wheel, do not make sudden moves, follow the directions of the police, ask permission to slowly reach your wallet and glove compartment for registration and insurance, so you don’t spook the police. Guacha.cn now has released a 44 minute video of an documentary by CCTV 13 of the entire event, from footages of 5 surveillance cameras to interviews with police and witnesses.
It shows a drunken 40s peasant using his 82 years old mother and 3 young son and daughters as professional beggars in various cities, clashed with a policeman, in his drunken rage, he used his mother as shield, throw his daughter at the policeman, and wrestled the baton from the policeman and started hitting him on the head. The policeman on self defense shot once and killed him. It raised a lively discussion on whether police should shoot to kill, whether he should make warning shot first. It is really instructive comparing how so called authoritarian China and democratic U.S. react to a police shooting. Viewers can draw their own conclusion on the value of a human life.
Recently we visited Zhoushan which was the biggest island of Zhoushan archipelago group which is located about 100 miles southeast of Shanghai. we landed at Beijing and transited to domestic terminal to Shanghai, from there we took a high speed train to Ningbo, and where our cousin pick us up and drive about 1 hour to Zhoushan. Zhoushan is about 1/3 the size of Long Island and with a population about 1 million.
The first impression we have is the infrastructure. Smooth ride in the highway, 4 bridges we crossed to get to that island, the first is 20 kilometer long, another suspension bridge probably longer and equally impressive as Verrazano Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island. The second impression is the ubiquitous horizontal cranes building apartment blocks and highways. the third was when we arrived at our cousin’s house, it was a solidly built, 3 stories, brick house, in the middle of the city which used to be a small farming village as my wife who has visited it in ’74 informed me. My parents were from the area, but I don’t know any relative there now, but my wife has an extensive web of uncles, aunts and cousins. we traveled with her 88 years old mother, and her brother flied in from Beijing, as other relative converge from various towns in Zhejiang for the reunion. We stayed with our cousin for the 2 weeks there and additional 3 days in Shanghai on the way back. Continue reading Reflections on Visiting Zhoushan
Recently, the news has been ablaze with growing tension in the S. China Sea. First, the U.S. held military drills with Philippines near islands Philippines disputes with China in the S. China Sea. Then Japan passed and the U.S. welcomed a new law that allows Japanese military to support U.S. air patrols and directly even carry out its own patrols in the S. China Sea. Then Japan and Philippines announced they would conduct their first military drills in the S. China Sea. And most recently, the U.S. decides to publicly challenge China’s assertion of rights on disputed islands by flying through those areas and releasing tapes of the verbal responses between the military.
There is no question among observers that the U.S. is ratcheting up the pressure on China in its assertion of sovereignty in the S. China Sea. (see e.g. some of our posts). But this latest round of military provocation is completely irresponsible. Continue reading U.S. Irresponsible Acts in S. China Sea
The Emperor in Washington has no clothes, laid bare by his naked lies and soon without a feather to fly with.
Well, maybe he has P8-Poseidons to conduct provocative flights around Beijing’s South China Seas islands, and a giant nuclear-powered fig leaf spread over 800 known global bases to cover his, uh, security. But navel-gazing American politicians have already been lobbed a big punch to their guts by Vladimir Putin who flashed his own missile-laden cojones at Obama et cie over Ukraine.
China really should thank Victoria “Eve’’ Nuland for sparking off the crisis that has pushed Beijing and Moscow closer than ever expected. Was that cookies – or apples? – that she was handing out to Maidan protestors in Kiev with the temptation of a champagne `n’ roses lifestyle just like f**k-the-EU Eden? Continue reading Washington whips up fog of war in South China Seas
It is becoming more and more common to hear cries that China is becoming less competitive in its manufacturing industry and factories are moving overseas. Of course, rising cost of production and particularly that of labour doesn’t help. China’s average yearly wage in manufacturing has increase from RMB 15,757 in 2006 to RMB 46,431 in 2014, and is still increasing. The US has been the largest manufacturing nation since around the late 19th century or early 20th century. UK briefly held the number one title after replacing China in mid 19th century. What is the real state of manufacturng in China since surpassing the US in 2010? At that time, China’s share of world manufacturing was 19.8% ($2 trillion) compaes to the US’s 19.4% ($1.94 trillion). However, the contrast is extremely great in the make up of the industry. China’s factories hire around 100 million workers compare to around 11.5 million for the US. Continue reading The Future of China’s Manufacturing Industry
Recently there were a bunch of announced arrests of Chinese American scientists and the indictments of Chinese nationals for spying or/and economic espionage. For Chinese who are naïve about American laws who aspire to be Americans this is a sobering warning that should be taken seriously. As Snowden revealed NSA spies on everyone, but especially foreign national that considers as enemy. Any innocent meetings with former colleagues and mentors and exchange of scientific ideas may be construed as spying or economic espionage. As China develops her own science and technology while U.S. lacks resources due to financial difficulty, many sees more opportunity in joining or starting their own company in China. They are somewhat naïve in believing the freedom of expression and exchange, but U.S. is very strict in interpreting the laws and embargo cutting edge science and technology to China. If you worked for U.S. government or any companies with contracts with government or even performed research resulting in patents that belonging to the company, then you may be in violation of obscure laws if you try to strike out on your own. Downloading files to your own computer as Wen Ho Lee discovered can result in spy charge. Recent case of Goldman Sack against Sergei Aleynikov, even if the 97 months jail term were reversed can be debilitating.
I was naïve also after 1979, when U.S. and China established normal relations. I was working in Alaska in a Dew Line communication site which was frontline against possible Russian nuclear attack. I wrote a letter to the new Chinese Embassy in Chinese expressing my pleasure on the new relation, and inquire about visa procedures to visit China. After about a month of no response I was surprised to learn from my boss in Anchorage, that an FBI agent will be chartering a plane to interview me. The agent spend a couple of hours asking my background and nothing affecting my secret clearance came to pass, but it was an unnerving experience, and I never did hear back from the Chinese Embassy.
Nothing spurs me to rethink about the Orwellian Newspeak of today’s US World Order than a news filled with Newspeak. Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis, 2 former US diplomats, both with close ties to pro-India lobby groups, authored a paper for Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) arguing for US to take a tougher stand against China. http://www.cfr.org/china/revising-us-grand-strategy-toward-china/p36371
For those who read Chinese, here is a great article that calls on all Chinese to reject russophobia & get our strategic priorities straight.
Like a sharp constant pain that slowly raws the nerves and turn into a dull persistent ache and eventually forgotten completely, people in the West should be shocked at the every day repressions that they suffer, where their “freedoms” are restricted with the bare minimum of justifications of moral platitude.
If you watched the movie “V for Vendetta”, the opening scenes showed a dystopic London where “curfew” is imposed on all except the police every night, and loudspeakers warn people that they can be arrested if they violate the curfew. That is the sign of the police state.
Except a REAL police state would not even bother to announce it through the loud speakers. The REAL London, as with 75% of cities in US, already have “curfews” for the young, under 18. They don’t tell you loudly, they just arrest the young, “for their own protection”, and then demand that their parents pay fines to bail out the children.
China doesn’t have it. US, Canada, UK, France, Taiwan do.
Even Libya and Egypt don’t have it. Which is how they went through the “Arab Spring” Revolutions at the hands of protesting teenagers. They were only too late to impose curfews AFTER the revolutions started.
(1) in 1857, the British enacted Ordinance No. 9, the “light and pass” ordinance of HK, imposing a curfew on HK’s Chinese residents between 8PM and sunrise. Any Chinese who wanted to be on the streets during the night must first obtain a pass.
(2) in 1942, many US cities passed curfew laws banning Japanese Americans from the streets at night.
(3) similarly, during WWII, Nazi Germans imposed curfews on Jewish populations in several countries in Europe.
Of course, the rationales were that the Japanese Americans during WWII might be prone to crimes at night, and the Chinese in HK might murder the White British at night (or are just all criminals any ways).
Funny how the Americans are now treating their own children with similar disdain.
Have you guys run across this little post at antiwar.com?
– because we have a page showing the Abu Ghraib abuses.
Update: After channels of communication were opened as a result of this article on Gawker, Google contacted us and said they would be restoring our ads.
However, Friday morning I received another demand to remove content from our site. Google has decided this page must be removed.
We have no intention of letting Google dictate our editorial policies.
On 3/18/15 we received a note from Google Adsense informing us that all ads for our site had been disabled. Why? Because of this page showing the horrific abuses committed by U.S. troops in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.
This page has been up for 11 years. During all that time Google Adsense has been running ads on our site – but as Washington gets ready to re-invade Iraq, and in bombing, killing, and abusing more civilians, they suddenly decide that their “anti-violence” policy, which prohibits “disturbing material,” prohibits any depiction of violence committed by the U.S. government and paid for with your tax dollars. This page is the third-most-visited page in our history, getting over 2 million page views since it was posted.
To say this is an utter outrage would be an understatement: it is quite simply the kind of situation one might expect to encounter in an authoritarian country where state-owned or state-connected companies routinely censor material that displeases the government.
Is Google now an arm of the U.S. State Department?
If one must examine Western bias, one can easily begin in a single historical moment of confrontation: In 1793, England sent envoy George Macartney to China. The mission was a failure of many disagreements and no agreements, and ultimately led directly or indirectly to the 2 Opium Wars.
The story goes (from the British perspective): China required the British personnel to perform the Kowtow to the Emperor, the British refused, the Emperor grew angry and thus refused all British requests in an angry letter to King George III.
How true was this story?
Last night, I woke up thinking incessantly about “Cults”. What makes a “Cult” a “Cult”? Is it not a “religion”, or is it? What’s the difference between a “spiritual movement” and a religion?
If a child pretends to talk to an imaginary friend, is that a “Religion”, a “Cult”, a “spiritual movement”.
If there are things impressed upon modern Western Liberal Democracy, there are 2 arguably essential things claimed: Free speech and Rule of Law. Indeed, “free media” in the West touts these 2 things often enough, and the Courts of the West equally pay tribute to these 2 things often enough.
Yet, underneath, the reality is a strange contradiction of these 2 things butting against each other in interests, and often require delicate balancing depending on where.
There are in fact, 2 different kinds of “courts” in the West: The Court of media/public opinion, and the Court of Law. The 2 do not mix well. The 2 keep each other out. The 2 often bad mouth each other, and yet also tries to influence each other.
Recently there is some controversy of Xi’s promotion of Maoist’s old Ye’nan spirit, not only attacking the corruption, but worries of the return of leftist policies of “Cultural Revolution”. Of course corruption cannot be isolated from economic, political, and cultural norms in society, and some should worry it might spread beyond the tigers and fliers to them. The recent success and popularity of Movie like “Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy”, one of the old standard from CR era, and the TV series “Ordinary World” speak volumes of nostalgia of simpler time with heroic yet ordinary people with beliefs, honors, and courage other than money.
The controversy with CCTV host Bi Fujian in a private banquet, secretly videotaped, singing arias from “Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy”, and changing the words in the arias to denigrating Mao and Chinese army remind me of Romney sayings of the 47%. The left in Chinese internet is boiling over demanding CCTV fire Bi. His program is temporarily suspended for 4 days at present. It remains to be seen whether he can survive the storm. Bi is a suave host, annually on the spring festival gala. Some spring to his defense, claiming it’s a freedom of speech issue. Other consider it an indirect attack on Xi and firing offense, that’s he’s feeding from the communist party trough and attacking communist party privately. The official media has been pretty silent on the topic. I do hope he would be make an example of and show Xi’s determination to finish the attack on corruption.
Some of us have heard much ado in the news about the sexual discrimination lawsuit of Ellen K. Pao recently, (which she lost). http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/2/8328115/ellen-pao-kleiner-perkins-venture-capital-verdict
It got me into some discussions with some friends about discrimination, particularly in employment, which led to some interesting questions: What is discrimination? and why do people do it?
This news is probably all over the net now so I am just repeating the obvious. It is interesting to do a search and read the negative comment on China’s humanitarian action though.
Eric X. Li recently interviewed Francis Fukuyama on Political Systems, Political Legitimacy, Political Renewal and Decays for his Guancha views. The interview (about 53 minutes) is carried out in English with Chinese subtitles. A link to the video on youtube can be found here. A link to the video on tudou can be found here. A transcript of the interview on gunacha in Chinese can be found here.
The interview covers a lot and it is not my intention to discuss everything about it. However, one thing I do like is the tone it sets. For example, it doesn’t pose the questions such as whether electoral democracy or meritocratic democracy is superior. Instead, it poses question that ask what are the benefits and risks of each.
It is also witty. For example, there is a segment where Fukuyama exemplifies the respect for “rule of law” in terms of rulers not able to take things away from the citizens arbitrarily. Eric wittily retorted something to the effect: “or to get permission to get a divorce!” Laws are but a tool: it can “protect” while at the same time also invade. Ah … the double edge sword of law.
Nevertheless, there are several things I don’t like though. Continue reading Eric X. Li Interviews Francis Fukuyama on Political Systems, Political Legitimacy, Political Renewal and Decays
In 2012, YinYang on HH made this post, http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/01/12/responding-to-china-law-blog-chinese-students-in-america-its-bad-out-there/
about a Blog article on China Law Blog by Dan Harris, http://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/01/chinese_students_in_america_why_do_they_even_bother.html.
both generated a lot of controversy. Unsettled, it seems.
Ah, but we all know sooner or later some of this come back in different forms.
Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, passed away on 23rd march 2015. His supporters called him a great leader and outstanding politician who turned Singapore from a poor British colony into one of the richest country (if wealth is calculated per capita wise) in the world. His detractors would derided him as a dictator, and violator of human rights and civil liberties. Continue reading Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Recently, I heard an exchange on a Canadian radio show. An interviewee criticized a new Canadian government effort to pass an anti-Muslim law. The radio host let slip a “standard” excuse /justification: “The Canadian legislators are legitimate representatives duly elected by the people.” The interviewee replied interestingly, “That doesn’t mean their actions are legitimate.”
Thus, it hit the nail on the head for the issue that we have been dancing around the ideologies for decades and centuries: What is legitimacy in politics?
In honor of passing of the Singaporean leader, I ponder this question.
Lee Kuan Yew passed away yesterday (March 23, 2015). It is a sad day for Singapore, for Chinese everywhere, as well as for the world. Under Lee’s leadership, Singapore became not only an economic and technological Mecca, but has also developed a unique multicultural melting pot that help it escape the many racial and religious violence that have gripped its earlier history and has continued to grip other parts of Asia and the world.
One of our contributors here passed along a commemorative issue from The Strait Times. I thought it’s fitting to link and archive a copy here.
The news about China the last few days is about how it is scoring a diplomatic coup d’état against the U.S. vis-a-vis Europe. On March 12, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the U.K. had applied to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member. If accepted, Britain would have been the first major Western country to become a member.
Japan appears to be the odd-power out in Asia now. Given its history of deference to the U.S. (e.g. Plaza Accord) and its current diplomatic row with China, my money is on Japan not joining at this stage. But even nationalistic and deferential Japan has not has not ruled out the possibility of joining at the founding stage.
The editorial board of the NYT today penned an editorial titled “U.S. Allies, Lured by China’s Bank.” The notion that China is “luring” U.S. allies seems to me … err … funny – even laughable. Continue reading The Tussle over AIIB – So Much ado about Influence?
I was driving last night and tuned onto WNYC of “On Point” program about “Xi Jinping and his Anticorruption Campaign”. The introduction was about the Wall Street Journal article by David Shambaugh about the coming crackup of China. The usual format with 3 professors or China experts exponding on the topic. The 3 experts and the listener callers generally agree with David Shambaugh with some reservations that the anticorruption campaign is doomed to fail, that it’s a factional jockeying for power, and we better be prepared for the coming collapse.
Since the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949, there were innumerable books about the coming collapse of China. Every few years the thesis reared its ugly head and proved wrong. I am sure CIA spent millions consulting those China experts regularly and issued dire warnings to no avail. Today, with China on the verge if not already surpassed U.S. in total GDP (Price parity), the threat of China and concomitant theme of coming collapse is gaining currency to the chattering classes. One of the experts, a professor from San Diego State, expressed puzzlement why Xi, being himself suffered from Cultural Revolution, and his father also suffered and purged, still seem to admire Mao and want to continue his policies in culture and art. She said that Deng has to give lip service to Mao because he has to appease Chen Yun, but Xi has no apparent foe to pull to the left. To me the answer is obvious yet it seem to be beyond her understanding.
U.S. bills herself as a Christian nation. Yet as some said if Jesus is born today he’ll either be ignored as a crackpot, jailed as a subversive, or lock up in a mental institution. The real god in Capitalism is money/profit. The tenets of Capitalism a priori assume competing philosophies as false gods. To the good professor factional struggle is about money, fame, and power. She doesn’t ask what’s the purpose of power? She assumes self interest. She can’t imagine that Xi’s fond memory of flea and mosquito bites in Yan’an in his youth as genuine. It must be theatre and propaganda. Xi’s speech can’t possibly be genuine. I beg to differ. I remember the week I spent in 1958 when my 7th grade school moved in mass to the countryside. We spent 1 week harvesting soybeans, picking cottons, and eating 2 meals of soybeans. Some students never suffered the attack of mosquitoes in the city now showed bites all over their head. and laughed at each other. I am sure that we did more damage and ate up the surplus value at the commune than our labors generated, but it was the happiest week during my childhood. Xi is a Marxist, he believes China will be a moderately prosperous country soon, and working to make it true. He personifies China Dream.
In science, a theory is postulated to explain some facts, the theory is tested by its predictive power. If the predictions don’t fit the facts it must be modified or abandoned. Yet those so called China experts continuously predicted the demise of China and find a receptive market for their chatters. It’s a puzzlement.
“Under the Dome” originally was a novel by Stephen King about a community in Maine enclosed by an alien force field and the how the people reacted under the stress. CBS adopted it later for a TV drama series. Chai Jing was a reporter for CCTV. She resigned after she got married and became pregnant. Recently she made a documentary about smog and pollution, using her own money, and it went viral and caused quite a stir in China.
In the documentary Chai Jing, using the format like TED talk, on a stage with a projection screen showing pictures, statistics, and interviews with experts showed how pollution affects hundreds of millions of Chinese people. The blanket of smog makes people like living under a dome of cancer causing pollutants. As a former reporter she knows how to communicate effectively in simple language to common people, using personal anecdotes about her new born baby, some basic science, and experts combined to pull the heart strings of viewers. The response has been tremendous with some comparing her to Rachel Carson and “Silent Spring”. The minister of environmental protection was forced to comment on the documentary and praised it. The overwhelming response on the web is positive with some inevitable sniping about her being a former smoker causing her baby’s benign tumor rather than smog and possible effect on jobs and economy. One funny result was the stock prices of all the companies involve in pollution controls in China jumped the day after the showing of the documentary.
China has agreed with US in capping the CO2 emissions and are investing heavily in green technologies. Local officials now can be fired for failing pollution standards. The documentary is in Chinese, I do hope it will be translated to English or with English subtitles. It can be viewed at Todou or Yukou.