Questioning Democracy Goes Mainstream?

April 10th, 2014 3 comments

What’s going on? Criticising the occult of Democracy has suddenly gone mainstream?

Just within the past few weeks, I’ve read, with utter disbelief, first in The Economist, then The Washington Post, warnings that Democracy could collapse unless reformed. Even Professor Francis Fukuyama, writer of “The End of History and the Last Man” who declared liberal democracy to be the ultimate political model of mankind, has joined rank. It’s like witnessing the Vatican expressing doubt over the Genesis.

I’ve listed the links of these incredible but excellent essays, plus a couple of my old blasphemous pieces which questioned the viability of Democracy, especially when coupled with extreme capitalism and mass petulance. Hey, these “eccentric and cynical” views are now kinda mainstream! I still find it difficult to take in, and wonder what the catch is. . .

IN RESPECTABLE AND PREDICTABLE MEDIA

1) Democracy in Trouble? (The Economist)

http://www.economist.com/news/essays/21596796-democracy-was-most-successful-political-idea-20th-century-why-has-it-run-trouble-and-what-can-be-do

2) American Democracy Headed to Extinction (The Washington Post)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-american-democracy-headed-to-extinction/2014/03/28/f8084fbe-aa34-11e3-b61e-8051b8b52d06_story.html

3) 弗朗西斯·福山:美国政治制度结构特征的问题

http://www.guancha.cn/fu-lang-xi-si-fu-shan/2014_04_08_220260.shtml

A COUPLE OF MY OLD PIECES

4) Democracy Mission — A Conspiracy Theory

http://guo-du.blogspot.hk/2011/02/democracy-mission-conspiracy-theory.html

5) Democracy Debate and Chinaman’s House (a satirical flash fiction)

http://guo-du.blogspot.hk/2012/11/democracy-debate-and-chinamans-house.html

Categories: Opinion, politics Tags:

Taiwan’s Student Mob?

April 9th, 2014 8 comments

Taiwan ProtestThis is a belated post.  I have been busy with a project at work the last couple of weeks…  Still, I believe what I have to say is still relevant.

It appears that the student protest occupying the Legislative Yuan the last 2-3 weeks is coming to an end.  Depending on which media you read, the significance of the protest meant different things.

Some think this is just a purely economical issue.  The Taiwanese students are not happy with the trade agreements agreed upon but not yet signed into law between the Mainland and Taiwanese side.  This is understandable.  College graduates in Taiwan has had a tough time getting (good) employment this past several years (decade?).  Many – unfortunately – have come to feel protectionism – legal protection from globalism – is the best way to “compete” in the global economy.

However, this is oversimplification.   If you listen to the speeches and talks within the protest, you have no doubt this is about partisan politics between KMT and DPP – and also emotional politics invoked against the Mainland.  As I noted earlier in a comment in another thread, the main impetus of the protest is not about economics, but about the uneasy unsettled status of Mainland-Taiwan relations.  The real reason is unification/independence politics.

But if this is all there is to the protest, I’d not write this post – as there is not much for me personally to write about.  It’s just about normal democratic politicking – built upon base politics, misinformation, distortion, emotional rants, hateful or divisive rhetoric, and what I might call ethno/religious/identity politicking. Read more…

American lackeys of Hong Kong: Martin Lee & Anson Chan

April 7th, 2014 10 comments
It seemed that there is no unending support from NED to ‘help’ Hong Kong’s democracy.  They have brought Martin Lee & Anson Chan with meetings in Washington and Congress in order to get their 15 minutes of fame and go back to destabilize Hong Kong some more.
 
 
In 5:15 American Lackey Anson Chan says: “We are facing an identity crisis in Hong Kong, particularity in the younger generation, people born after 1987 which never known alive than Chinese sovereignty.  Hong Kong people pride themselves that we have an identity a separate from the rest of China, we have core values to the rule of law, a open transparent and accountable government, and protecting rights and freedoms under British colonial rule and is protected under the constitution. But today we see all these values eroded.”
 
Clearly Mrs Chan who has worked under the old British Colonial rule agrees with this and want to go back the ‘glory days’ in old Colonial days.  As far as I know, the Chief executive was appointed from someone few thousand miles away, not from people in Hong Kong.
 
Yes, we have people like Martin Lee who complains about direct democracy where they can vote for their own Chief Executive, however, he didn’t mention that under Hong Kong’s basic law, that he/she is elected by a 1200 people election committee.  Also, Hong Kong is following more like UK, Australia’s democracy where people don’t directly vote for their leader.  FYI, Martin Lee formed the ‘Democracy’ party after it was known that Hong Kong was going to be handed over to China.  
 
FYI, it didn’t take long for the American Lackey duo to appear in Western funded ‘Asian’ organizations.
 
 
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Fact Checking US Government Propaganda On Maoming PX Protest Death

April 3rd, 2014 5 comments

It is often said Chinese government propaganda like Xinhua, People’s Daily, are highly agendaed and utterly unreliable. But how about America’s government propaganda? Here’s a recent example as illustration.

Recently, news of protesters killed in Maoming over a chemical plant made suspicious rounds – only in the usual propaganda outlets, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, and ancillary outlets like Epoch Times, Boxun. These accusations of Chinese government killing protesters were accompanied with photos of citizen laying on the ground bleeding. However, a quick Google image-based search revealed these photos are not from the PX plant protest, but were victims of violent crime elsewhere in China:

- RFA used a photo from a hacking attack that occurred in 2012, and was subsequently regurgitated by Falun Gong outlets like Epoch Times:

RFAprop Wenzhoutruth

- VOA used a photo from a hacking attack that occurred in 2013 that was then Echo Chambered by Boxun:

VOAprop Qinhaitruth

As a loyal tax payers I am completely disappointed by how my hard earned tax dollars are misused.

What is a Holocaust?

April 1st, 2014 5 comments

Earlier today, I stumbled upon a curious article in the Washington Post titled “This is why Germany doesn’t want China anywhere near Berlin’s holocaust memorial”.  According to the article, President Xi was (in short) barred from visiting German’s Holocaust memorial in Berlin because Germany was worried about embarrassing Japan.

Here is a copy of the article in full:

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Germany for the next two days, meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German officials. It’s the third leg of Xi’s European Union trip, and an important one – as Deutsche Welle notes, Germany is China’s most important trade partner in Europe.

There is, however, once place that Xi isn’t wanted during his time in Germany: Berlin’s famous Holocaust memorial. Der Spiegel reported this month that German authorities had refused a request from Xi’s entourage for an official visit to the site. While the Chinese president may visit the site on his own, it will not be a part of the official itinerary and Merkel will not accompany him.

Visits to the Holocaust memorial, officially known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas), are a key part of a trip to Berlin for many visitors. Why wouldn’t Xi be granted an official visit? Read more…

Taiwan’s opposition to the CSSTA = trade isolationism?‏

March 28th, 2014 5 comments

With the recent Student protests in Taiwan reached to a breaking point where the Students occupied the Legislative Yuan and Executive Yuan, it seems that the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) might be open for renegotiation or disband it in its entirety.  While it is within their right for the student to protest against the government about this Trade Agreement, but is it in their best interest to do so?  The bigger question is if the student protesters don’t want to be ‘annexed’ by China, are they in danger of trade isolation because of protectionism in their country?

In 2010, China and Taiwan have agreed on the ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement) and has brought a lot of benefit to Taiwan.  It has allowed many companies for cheaper exports to China and Taiwanese companies to set up presence in China, but there are consequences to this trade agreement.  This means that if a talented Taiwanese wanted a prospect for a decent job they will have to move in China to work, which cause this kind of brain drain away from Taiwan.  Also, Taiwan have put much restrictions on Chinese citizens to allow them to work in Taiwan so Chinese companies are not as willing to set up presence in Taiwan.

Morever, even with the ECFA signed, it still needs more FTA’s with other countries, namely to compete countries like Japan and South Korea which already have global Conglomerates which Taiwan does not have.  China is already following South Korea and Japan’s lead in developing giant companies and set up presence in many 3rd world countries, but faces many restrictions in Western Countries like in Huawei’s case.  In CSSTA, it allows Taiwanese companies to start setting up presence in China and in doing so, they can go global.  However, CSSTA must go the other way and allow less restrictions for Chinese companies to set up presence in Taiwan.

My fear is that if CSSTA is not passed, Taiwanese companies would be even less competitive and many of these Taiwanese companies would simply wither away leaving Taiwan dependent on Western Companies to set up their presence in Taiwan.   This is what is happening in many of the ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.  Even worse, if the radical right in Taiwan decides to cut off ties with China would be bad for China and worse for Taiwan.

Categories: Analysis, Uncategorized Tags:

Destroying History via Imperialistic Propaganda of the West

March 26th, 2014 18 comments

In recent days, I had some (too many) debates on line with people who challenged Chinese history in various different ways.  From the claim of 5000 years of history, to Chinese historical claims on territories.

I thought to ask myself, why such hostility toward Chinese history?  Was I that wrong about Chinese history?

As it turns out, I wasn’t.  I knew more about Chinese history than most non-Chinese.  That’s my identity and my culture.  I’m proud of that.

Then, it hit me.  My “Chinese-ness” is in my sense of my history as a Chinese person.  Without my history, I would not be much of a Chinese.  Without Chinese history, China wouldn’t be much of China.  It would just be another region with forgotten traditions.

And that would expose China (the region) to take over and foreign influence.

And that’s the REAL reason behind the dispute over history.  History is often written by victors.  To destroy another, Empires have to resort to destroy their history (sack their temples, burn their records, etc.).  Enslaved and Oppressed are often robbed of their history, which robs them of their identity.

“Assimilation” of the Conquered, begins with destruction of identity and history.  African Americans and the Native Americans are oppressed minorities, unable to stand up for themselves, because precisely they were robbed of their history and their identity.

Read more…

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The Winter of Obama’s Discontent

March 16th, 2014 12 comments

Into every life a little rain must fall – even that of a behemoth superpower.

Picture the President of the United States and his masters of the universe – more formally known as the American Cabinet – with Ukraine-driven nuclear umbrellas unfurled against a downpour of unexpected setbacks in foreign policy lately.

In the winter of his discontent, Barack Obama must be yearning for the new hope of spring heralded by cherry blossoms of Washington’s Tidal Basin. But he should also heed the Japanese proverb: “ “Though on the sign it is written: ‘Don’t pluck these blossoms’ /it is useless against the wind, which cannot read.”

Indeed, the winds of change have blown against American directives, and scattered its best-laid schemes, from the South China Seas to the West Eurasian plains. Read more…

Yet another myth about democracy: “democracy+capitalism = prosperity”

March 15th, 2014 8 comments

When I wrote my first commentary on this blog, I outlined three common myths that people frequently believe without question when they think about democratic governance. Obviously, an idea as blindly and fervently worshiped as ‘democracy’ will have far more than just three myths associated with it. I continue my exploration of this ideology by discussing another myth that is frequently accepted without critical examination. Read more…

An end to Japan’s elegant deception

February 18th, 2014 10 comments

World War II began near an unremarkable town called Wanping, China in July 1937 and ended with soul-destroying fury that ballooned as giant mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

With two atomic bombs, the United States stuffed the genie of Japanese militarism into the American bottle. Under its watch, post-war Japan has maintained an elegant deception as a beacon of pacifism.

But the benign façade is cracking under the pressure of China’s rise and rise. The resurgence has sparked an existential crisis for Japan, its sense of drift even more acute as its erstwhile victim steams ahead.

Japan must find fresh bearings. The bad news is that whenever Japan casts around for new directions, it leaves a bloody trail of terror and destruction. Read more…

The Cultural Revolution and Free Speech

February 6th, 2014 14 comments

PBS’s Frontline recently aired a documentary of behind the North Korea scene.  Among all of the images of the expected misery, poverty, hunger, want, there was 1 segment which I thought was greatly overlooked.  A quick exchange between a few North Koreans behind closed doors.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/secret-state-of-north-korea/transcript-55/

NARRATOR: Behind closed doors, even members of the North Korean elite have voiced unhappiness with the regime, like this businesswoman filmed at a private lunch.

[subtitles]

1st MAN: All we’re saying is give us some basic rights, right? We don’t have any.

WOMAN: It’s not like that in China. In China, they’ve got freedom of speech, you know. They went through the Cultural Revolution.

2nd WOMAN: We North Koreans are wise and very loyal. An uprising is still something we don’t understand.

1st MAN: But even that’s only to a certain point.

WOMAN: There can’t be a rebellion. They’ll kill everyone ruthlessly. Yes, ruthlessly. The problem here is that one in three people will secretly report you. That’s the problem. That’s how they do it.

2ndMAN: Let’s just drink up. There’s no use talking about it.

The Western Net users picked up on the line, and laughed at the irony of what they could only attribute to as ignorance of a North Korean.  But the real irony is, the North Koreans may have the better understanding of “Free speech” and “cultural revolution”, as do the Chinese who experienced it.

“Freedom of Speech” through “Cultural Revolution”.  It couldn’t happen in North Korea, because the regime would “kill everyone ruthlessly”.  Need to digest that a bit more.

Read more…

Avoiding the Dirty Business of Justice and Politics is Not a Good Solution

February 5th, 2014 1 comment

Politics and Law is the business of Justice.  And the Business of Justice, law and politics, is a very dirty business.

Periodically, whenever I feel safe and secure in the knowledge of my place in the world and in my profession as a lawyer practicing somewhat boring law fields, I go visit a court or a jail for a field trip.  If you have never done it, in whatever country you live in, you should.  Because the experience will remind you of the complexity of morality and fairness.

Read more…

Categories: Analysis, culture, General Tags: , ,

Shinzo Abe – Little Napoleon of neo-militaristic Japan

February 4th, 2014 28 comments

“History is a set of lies agreed upon,’’ is a gem from Napoleon Bonaparte’s treasure-chest of quotations.

The Prime Minister of Japan might take a shine to that saying from France’s greatest empire-builder.

Shinzo Abe is resolutely convinced that the staggering horrors of World War Two are falsehoods; the punishment meted out on defeated but beatific Japan – it had waged war only for good, kind reasons of `liberating’ Asia from colonialism – is `victor’s justice’.

Lies, damn lies: in the alternate universe inhabited by Abe and his right-wing cronies, Japan has done no wrong.

The in-your-face evidence of sexual slavery, forced labor, biological and chemical experiments on humans, “kill all, burn all, loot all’’ policy, etc, are – at best – inconvenient truths ( mere incidents,  such as the Nanjing Massacre, for one) to be cast into the dustbin of forgotten history. Read more…

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A Brief Note on Elections – that Bedrock of Modern Democracy…

February 2nd, 2014 5 comments

This is a brief note on elections – that bedrock of modern democracy.

A key and indispensable pillar of modern democracy – heck modernity – is the notion of elections.  Elections, many believe, are a fundamental way for people to express their voice, and some believe even for people to engage in self-determination as envisaged in the Charter of the United Nations.  Without elections, there can be no political accountability, no political legitimacy.  Oh yes, there might be, once in a while, a government such as the one in China today that gains popular approval without elections, but such a political structure cannot be sustained.  Over time, bad leadership inevitably arises.  Non-democratic political orders provides no means for the people to get rid of a “bad emperor.”  Over the long haul, the only way to rid governments that don’t serve the people is elections.

This may sound all fair and good except in real life, elections don’t work that way.  In real life – elections rarely project a “people’s voice,” too often detracts from the routine act of governing.  And the world has never witnessed – nor do I expect to witness – elections to overturn a truly unjust order.

Let’s pierce the facade using a real example to see how things add up. Read more…

Happy New Year – Year of the Horse!

January 31st, 2014 2 comments

One of the great things about being a Chinese in the “modern era” is that in this international age where we all seem to start celebrating the new years starting as early as Thanksgivings … then “Christmas,” then the (solar) “New Year,” we always find ourselves crescendoing to celebrate the lunar New Year.  It is no different this year.

So – Happy New Year Everyone and Welcome to the Year of the Horse!

Horses traditionally are known to be hardworking and independent. They are very intelligent and ambitious.  They do not quit and always strive to succeed. They are strong but also kind and gentle.

May your new year be prosperous, healthy, and meaningful.  Cheers!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Image from http://photo.elsoar.com/happy-lunar-new-year-2014-pictures-wallpapers.html.

My Humanitarian Intervention, A Morality Tale in US

January 23rd, 2014 Comments off

Those who read my writings would probably get the impression that I’m very strictly non-interventionist and somewhat cold-hearted.

But those who know me in person would see a more complex side of me. I actually do help people a lot, beyond my work. I tutor students of poor background. I donate blood. I even volunteer at a local food bank to prepare meals for the homeless.

So perhaps I believe on interventions on a personal level or for some specific goals. I don’t know if that’s true.

Perhaps 1 of my recent experiences of morality tale in US would better illustrate the lessons of interventions more clearly.

Read more…

Perceptions of corruption in the US and PRC – not exactly what one would expect

January 20th, 2014 3 comments

I was casually browsing through Transparency International’s website, and noticed something peculiar – even though citizens of the Republic of Georgia have a much higher opinion of their country’s ability to deal with corruption in their country relative to their counterparts in the US, and a much more optimistic outlook on the future of public institutions, Georgia ranks 55th on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), whereas the US ranks 19th (see 2013 rankings). Given the inherent difficulty in measuring actual levels of corruption, I understand why PERCEPTION of corruption is widely considered the best available proxy. But IF public perception is so important, I still didn’t understand why Georgia is 36 places lower than the US, when its citizens have a far more positive perception about their country’s ability to contain corruption in virtually every category measured.

I did a little digging and asking around, and I found that CPI rankings actually place LITTLE, IF ANY weight on public perception within the countries being ranked. If Wikipedia is accurate, CPI rankings are actually based on aggregates of “expert opinions” from select institutions that Transparency International (TI) deems “credible”:

“Transparency International commissioned Johann Graf Lambsdorff of the University of Passau to produce the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The 2012 CPI draws on 13 different surveys and assessments from 12 different institutions. The institutions are the African Development Bank, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, Global Insight, International Institute for Management Development, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, Political Risk Services, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the World Justice Project.”

On the other hand, there is a section in TI’s website that covers public opinion, known as the “Global Corruption Barometer” (GCB), from which I noticed the peculiar results in Georgia and the US. This inevitably made me curious about Chinese public opinion of their own institutions compared to that of Americans, so I found the latest dataset (2010/2011) in which both the US and China were included, and here are some excerpts of the survey results, along with my personal interpretation thereof. What I found so far is that IF public perception is supposed to be a good proxy for actual corruption, then one CANNOT conclude that corruption is somehow worse in China than the US, at least not if you’re to believe the citizens of each country.
Read more…

A History of US Strategies in South China Sea

January 19th, 2014 3 comments

We often hear of the accusations of China’s ambitions and designs in the South China Sea.

Some of it is undoubtedly true and expected, China has claims in the area for a long time now.  It’s not new claims.  So, certainly China would have ambitions to meet its claims.

However, rarely discussed is the US ambitions in the SCS.  When it has no claims in the area, it trumps up its “interests in freedom of navigation”.  That’s akin to a tourist getting into a local land dispute.  So, there must be more to it.

There is.  And the history of SCS demonstrates US’s strategy and ambitions, when analyzed in clarity and details.

Read more…

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A Tribute to Run Run Shaw

January 8th, 2014 1 comment
Run Run Shaw

entrepreneur, filmmaker, philanthropist

It is with sadness that we learned that Run Run Shaw – entrepreneur, investor, filmmaker, philanthropist – died Tuesday in his home in Hong Kong at the age of 107. There are few men in modern China – anywhere actually – with the stature, reach, and heart of Run Run Shaw. People who don’t pay attention sometimes may associate Shaw with just low-budget Chinese action and horror films, or just kung fu movie flicks, when in truth, his impact is much broader.   As Neda Ulaby of the NPR recently noted:

A world without Run Run Shaw would’ve meant a world without Quentin Tarantino…

Or the Wu Tang Clan…

Or “The Matrix.”

That global pop culture vernacular came from a Hong Kong media mogul who dominated the industry for decades. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, News Tags: ,

Happy New Year

January 1st, 2014 No comments

I want to wish everyone Great Health, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

                                                                                          
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Above generated by using this ASCII Art tool and using the 漢鼎繁中楷 font that can be downloaded here.

Categories: Announcements Tags:

Errors of Soft Power, a Year-end Review

December 29th, 2013 6 comments

As 2013 comes to an end, we draw upon some lessons of this past year, particularly in regards to the concept of “soft power”, which is discussed often on this forum and in the Western media.

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Another Suspicious Chinese Espionage Case

December 17th, 2013 5 comments

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/china-military/#article/part3

http://m.ice.gov/news/releases/1309/130906denver.htm?f=m

A Chinese national, who was residing in Oakland, Calif., pleaded guilty Sept. 3 to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and to Smuggle Goods from the United States.

This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney John Walsh, District of Colorado, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar C. Kibble.

Philip Chaohui He, aka Philip Hope, is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel Dec. 18. He is currently in federal custody.

According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, He attempted to illegally export to China radiation-hardened computer memory circuits used in satellite communications with a value of almost $550,000. He, the only employee of Oakland, California-based Sierra Electronic Instruments (SEI), purchased 312 radiation-hardened circuits from a Colorado manufacturer. The circuits purchased by He are categorized as defense articles within the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Lawfully exporting defense articles requires licensing from the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

A Sobering View of Asia, Why Pivot Will Fail

December 16th, 2013 7 comments

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/john-glaser-intelligence-foreign-policy-world/2013/dec/13/americans-can-do-without-bogus-narratives-china-po/

This is a rare big picture sobering look of Asia, boiling down the Asian Pivot as nothing more than “bogus” and “propaganda”.

But more practically, unstatedly, the facts are ripe for the reasons why the Pivot will fail.

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Full Time Nationalistic Journalism In Review

December 15th, 2013 6 comments

There comes to a level of nationalism in journalism that trends a full time full-tilt kind of bias, to the point that “bias” seems almost inadequate.  This is now in the Western media.

Take couple of stories, (really non-stories made into stories).

(1) “USS Cowpens: Why China forced a confrontation at sea with US Navy“.

uss cowpens location

(2) “China Rejects More US Corn Amid Trade Tensions“.

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Rich Texas teen kills 4, injures 2, gets away with slap on wrist

December 13th, 2013 4 comments

I wanted to follow up on YinYang’s previous post about racial privilege by providing an example of another form of privilege in the US justice system – class privilege. I posted this story (reported through a different source) under the comments section in his post. But since more details have surfaced, I wanted to highlight this story in its own post because it reinforces YinYang’s point in another way. Unlike the bicycle incident, this is not some media experiment, this actually happened in REAL LIFE under a judicial system that promises “liberty and justice for all”.

Remember all that talk in the US media about judicial injustice in China? I wonder how the Chinese public would react to the type of “justice” meted out in this US court:

Rich Teen Kills 4, Avoids Prison Thanks To ‘Affluenza’

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Categories: culture, News, Opinion, politics, Uncategorized Tags:

Two bicycle thieves, two reactions from society

December 11th, 2013 4 comments

Have you ever wondered what “white privilege” is? The following segment is produced by ABC to highlight the American public’s racial bias towards Whites and Blacks. For good measure, it adds a twist – by adding a “beautiful” blonde as the final case. It is a short segment and totally worth watching.

Now think about this – when everything Chinese – the people, the companies, the culture, and the country herself are explicitly or implicitly trivialized or demonized in American media constantly, then what do you expect? While the days of Slavery of African Americans and Chinese Exclusion Act are over, the racist sentiments are still teething beneath the surface – as we see in these bicycle theft reactions.

Categories: Opinion Tags:

China “Withholding” Visas From Foreign Journalists. Plenty of Self-Censorship At Home.

December 10th, 2013 16 comments

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/china-withholds-visas-nyt-bloomberg-reporters-21144608

This is apparently a continuation of an old story of how China is “expelling” foreign journalists en masse.  However, there are some conflicting details in the story itself.

“Withholding” visas means they accepted the applications, but won’t issue the the visas.  However the article later explained, “Chinese authorities had initially accepted resident journalist visa renewal applications from The Times’ reporters. But they stopped doing so — and in some cases returned applications to reporters — after the newspaper ran a report last month detailing ties between JPMorgan Chase and a consultancy in China run by Wen’s daughter.”

If they won’t accept the applications, or return the applications, that’s not “withholding” the visas.  The Applications were just REJECTED for some reason, usually technical.  As previous story on this noted, the Chinese government had explained that the applications were rejected for technical /formality reasons.

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Chinese Interpretation of Property Rights

December 6th, 2013 30 comments

This post is supposed to be respond to @ersim and @Black Pheonix but grow into the following:

I want to note that before Qin re-united the country, the title of huang(皇) and di(帝) mean sage or saint. The Qin king combined that title and make it huangdi(皇帝) which becomes the title emperor. And I also want to say that before the Xia dynasty, leader in China is elected rather than being hereditary. Read more…

Categories: history, human rights, Opinion Tags:

African Economist Dambisa Moyo: Is China the new idol for emerging economies?

December 1st, 2013 26 comments

Dambisa Moyo – Is China the new idol for emerging economies

It is refreshing to see public intellectuals other than Eric X Li speak openly against the blind faith that most westerners place in their own brand of democratic governance and market capitalism (a faith that they attempt to impose on the rest of the world). However, I wanted to voice my skepticism on two of Moyo’s assumptions that I noticed in this linked video.

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Thanksgiving, a celebration and a tragedy

November 29th, 2013 5 comments

For most Americans, Thanksgiving will be about a turkey feast and homage to people they are thankful for. I too celebrate this occasion. However, the real history behind it is of course extremely dark. I just searched on Google for images related to “thanksgiving“, and there were only scant hints of Native Americans, let alone mention, as American writer, David Quammen puts it, a genocide. America has systematically been whitewashing this history. I recently came across an article written by Dennis W. Zotigh, a Native American Indian, who works as a writer and cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.. After reading it, I have been contemplating how might American society eventually come to grips with this appalling history in a honest and fair way. So far, the only way I can imagine it is that Native American Indians grow in sufficient numbers and then fight to have popular media represent their history more fairly. This will likely never happen. That then got me thinking: in the same vein, in order for Japan to apologize sincerely and for Japanese society to fully accept their invasion was wrong, China will have to become much stronger financially and politically. There is no other way. Anyways, since we are celebrating Thanksgiving, we mind as well know the whole truth.
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Categories: history Tags: