After getting their communist hands caught in the cookie jar with cyber espionage and covert theft of our technology and IP, the sneaky Communist Chinese are shifting tactics and resorting to overt acquisition of our safe, efficient pig husbandry and processing technologies to save their crumbling communist pork industry rife with disease, contamination, poison, censorship, lack of freedom.
They have to be stopped. Write to your congressman, boycott Communist-China-made products and turncoats who sell out to the communists. Burn all your possessions contaminated with Communist-China-made parts, like you and your neighbor’s cars (especially if they are ChiComs.) The evil Communist Chinese even force-feed Tibetan babies rotten pork (Tibetans abstain from pork as muslins) while wrapping them in flea blankets infested with smallpox.
Communist China is evil, we are great, USA, USA, USA…
Freedom loving, patriotic but not nationalistic, America
Recently, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, a prominent Japanese politician, raised a storm in Asia when he pronounced that the “comfort women” Japan enslaved during WWII as “necessary.” According to this BBC report, Hashimoto said:
In the circumstances in which bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives…. If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a comfort women system is necessary. Anyone can understand that.
On May 8, Japan’s government lodged a “strong protest” with the Chinese government over an article that had run in the People’s Daily in which two academics questioned the basis of Japan’s sovereignty over the Lewchew 琉球 (in Japanese, Ryukyu) islands. The Chinese side of course rejected the protest, and opinion columnists the world over have been weighingin. The current press furor has produced exciting developments in Lewchew’s main island of Okinawa, where in May 15 two professors have founded the “Association of Comprehensive Studies for Independence of Lew Chewans”. Already, there exists in Lewchew rising tensions between natives and nationalist Japanese, a latent history of cultural and linguistic abuse of Lewchewans, and a culture of protest upon which independence campaigners can piggyback. The only missing ingredient in this karmic tinderbox of anti-Japanese sentiment is international diplomatic support for Lewchewan separatists, which does not seem to be forthcoming from China. The Wall Street Journal soberly notes that “individual commentaries”, such as those in the People’s Daily, “don’t necessarily reflect the views of top political leaders, and Beijing officials on Wednesday gave little indication that the commentary represents a potential shift in policy.”
Once in a while one runs into articles that seem to fly against convention wisdom, that seem to tear at the veil of world injustice, that seem to open one’s eyes to provide insight into the causes of so many of today’s ills. This article titled Why There is So Much Pro-War Reporting from “the Big Picture” blog is one of them.
In reading this article, I note how the article also parallel a lot of what Norm Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent) and David Swanson (War is a Lie) have written about pro war sentiments. Yet, I still feel that this article is flawed in so many ways. We are only scratching at the surface of, not diving deep into, the problem.
The article points to 5 major reasons why free media is not so free, and why it’s so pro-war. Read more…
For some time, I have been on a hiatus from the blog. That does not mean that I was tuned off from what’s going on in the world. Despite my temporary leave of absence, I till end up devoting non-trivial amounts of time to corresponding over emails with friends … and editors on this blog about current events.
I was just about to send another email when I realized that instead of not blogging, and just emailing, perhaps I can do some short posts (taking less than 20 minutes each, say) and share my thoughts here and there. It’s not the way I usually blog, but maybe I can do a few of those before I get time to get back to the way I used to blog.
STUPIDITY, a formidable globalised trend, is gaining momentum. Living in Hong Kong, I can feel its pressure wave on my face each morning I wake up. This 21st century bliss seems a Darwinian mystery at first.
Idiot genes don’t serve any obvious evolutionary purpose, yet are present in prodigious abundance. How did that happen, I wonder? Perhaps people supported imbeciles because they’re cute, or pathetic enough for charity? After all, plenty of garbage DNA, such as those that make pooches, are bred for their adorably lack of intelligence.
Unfortunately, both conjectures don’t stand up to observation. Read more…
In light of President Xi’s latest visit to Russia, it would be appropriate to provide a nuanced perspective to the current state of Sino-Russian relations. It is understandably difficult for the western media to deliver this kind of nuance; this difficulty stems not only from western biases against both Russia and China that obstructs objective analysis, but also the complications inherent in bilateral relations. For the sake of brevity, I will make just two observations which is inadequately emphasized in modern-day discourse on the Sino-Russian bilateral relationship – incentives for cooperation and Russia’s true value as a “comprehensive” strategic partner. Read more…
By now, the Cyprus government is still haggling with EU (and its banks) over how to save Cyprus economy, without anyone paying for it.
But just a few days ago, they almost managed to get away with a “deal” to pay for it by “taxing” 10% of all bank accounts in Cyprus. This didn’t have much of a shock value in the West, except for perhaps in Cyprus, where the populous protested and forced their representatives to vote “no” on the “deal”.
It should come though as no surprise for the pessimists, because Western Democracies have had a string of such “deals”, which gives new means to the lack of accountability.
Allen and I had a chance to chat with Professor Ann Lee a little over a year ago, and we continue to see her moderating the warped perspectives in the Anglophone press. In this short CNBC video, she debunks Professor Peter Navarro of UC Irvine. Actually, she’s mostly debunking CNBC’s narrative. China’s urbanization rate is still only about 52%. When China’s industrialization finishes, about 1 billion people would have moved. Demand for urban housing is astronomical in China this day in age. As Lee says, China is implementing various policies to curb escalating real-estate prices. Allen often like to say – this is an economics issue, but as you see in the narrative below from CNBC’s reporter and Peter Navarro, this issue sounds ominous and political doesn’t it? Kudos to Lee for sticking to her points which we wholeheartedly agree with.
CNN recently repeated an article from Financial Times on the news China has temporarily overtaken the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer. In spinning this news, their narrative went as follows:
“China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest net importer of oil, in a generational shift that will shake up the geopolitics of natural resources.”
First of all, China offers a lesson to the world, and especially to the NATO countries. You can become the world’s #1 net importer of oil without invading and occupying countries. You simply trade. China just did it. And, the last time I checked, it doesn’t appear China is upsetting any geopolitics. Is China kicking out American bases anywhere for oil? Nope. America may withdraw some ships from the region because America is becoming less dependent on Middle East oil, but that is on America’s own accord. So, all we have here is CNN and Financial Times agitating fear within the American public; corporate media and military industrial complex on display.
The following is a re-posted review (find the original on Amazon.com) of the book “Bend, not Break” by Ping Fu. For those who don’t know the context, this book is an “autobiography” detailing the horrors Ping Fu supposedly faced during the Cultural Revolution (a summary of her side of the story is on Wikipedia). When Chinese netizens started to investigate and voice skepticism about the accuracy of her stories, Ping Fu and her defenders in academia and media labeled these actions “online terrorism”. This is not surprising, given that anyone – especially someone believed to be ethnic Chinese – who supports the Chinese government and the PRC, or simply voices skepticism about western political/ideological dogmas, is immediately labeled as part of the “fifty-cent party” or a “brainwashed fool”. Well, here at Hidden Harmonies, we have some of the most infamous “brainwashed online terrorists” around, so we could hardly let this one go without giving it some proper attention. Enjoy the book review, everyone (for those who do not wish to read such a lengthy review, I’ve bolded some parts of the text to draw attention to the key issues).
Recently, Zack brought to our attention a great article at Asia Times by Thorsten Pattberg, who is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University. Pattberg dedicated his life to study Chinese philosophy, political thoughts, and culture in their original meanings. He concludes:
Western people are curious like all the people of the world. If someone gave them Chinese taxonomies, they would look them up, familiarize with them, and internalize them. They would stop calling a junzi a (British) “gentleman”, or a (German) “Edler”; instead they would call a junzi just this: a “junzi”.
To put “culture” back in a more economic perspective: Nations should compete for their terminologies like they compete for everything else.
I was too quick to disagree with the need for China to explicitly compete for her culture and for preserving her ideas in her own taxonomies, assuming a richer China will somehow automatically cause the problem to correct itself. So, I was really happy today seeing perspectivehere chiming in on this topic and later on Allen giving a good gist on what this means for him. I recommend Pattberg’s article linked above in its entirety and of course perspectivehere’s and Allen’s remarks below. Read more…
Searching on “China” in Russia Today’s Youtube channel led me to the following video from PressTV, which towards the end, I then learned it’s an Iranian station. It features three panelists, all from the United States and the U.K.. They all seem to agree that the U.S., U.K., and Japan are hijacked by a Wallstreet-London financial empire nexus of sort. Most readers will find this conspiracy difficult to accept. I certainly hope that a nuclear war is not so imminent nor likely. While the main conclusions are questionable, the panelists do offer unconventional views (absolutely unvarnished). Perhaps they are right though: it is time citizens of the world unite! Read more…
Joseph Nye recently spoke to NPR’s Neal Conan about the disputed islands in the East China Sea between China and Japan. Overall, I think Nye adds a helpful voice of moderation within the American public discourse on this issue. In the U.S.-China context, I also fully agree with him that if there is any sort of containment towards China, it is certainly not the same type as conceived by George Kennan against the former Soviet Union where United States allowed no Soviet students and had virtually no trade. However, when Conan posed America’s encirclement as the source of China’s containment fear, I thought it was a mistake for him to outright dismiss the concern in the fashion he did. First, here is how Conan phrased the concern:
CONAN: Yet if you were a Chinese admiral sitting there on the coast and looking out to sea and trying to figure out how to get your navy into the Pacific, all you could see was a series of islands from Japan in the north, all the way down to Australia, all United States allies, all controlling chokepoints that would prevent you from sending those vessels to sea.
The Founding of the New Republic
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, two events are so controversial that they almost cannot be discussed rationally or void of politics. One of them is the Great Leap Forward of 1958, and the other being the Cultural Revolution of 1966. A reference to history cannot be avoided for any event, more so an event as significant as GLF. The PRC was founded in 1949 October the 1st. What most people didn’t realize is, on that day, the Communist Party of China and its military arm, the People Liberation Army controlled less than 2/3 the territory of modern China. Areas such as Chongqing, Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Hainan, Xizang, Taiwan etc are still under the control of various Nationalist armies. In fact, Gansu and Xinjiang was only taken by the Communist in September. It would be June 1950 when all those regions except Hainan, Xizang and Taiwan were to be liberated.
In his latest essay (in both Chinese and English), Eric X. Li wrote, “Many developing countries have already come to learn that democracy doesn’t solve all their problems. For them, China’s example is important. Its recent success and the failures of the West offer a stark contrast.” Of course, Li is not arguing that democratic systems are invalid. He merely argues that the universality claim is invalid. He also explains how China’s system is meritocratic, and despite a single-party rule, is able to be very adaptable. For those who genuinely believe in universality, they would do well by explaining why a country as rich and as powerful as the United States is plagued with problems of dismal approval for her politicians and incessant budget crisis nationally and locally. Read more…
(This article is published here with permission from the author. His bio and links are at the bottom of the article. In sharing this article, he writes, “I am particularly happy that the piece will address Chinese readers. It had already been translated to Italian and Spanish; plenty of support for China coming from Latin America.
All the best, Andre“) [Update 20130109: In regards to the Cambodia-Vietnam-China relationship, make sure to check out reader Mulberry Leaf's contention in the comment below.]
The Irrational, Racist Fear of China
by ANDRE VLTCHEK
Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Libya are in shambles, crushed by the heavy boots of Western imperialism.
But we are told to fear China.
The entire nations of Indochina were bombed back to the stone age, because Western demi-gods would not tolerate, and felt they did not have to, tolerate, what some yellow un-people in Asia were really longing for. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos – millions of tons of bombs dropped on them from strategic B-52’s, from dive-bombers, and from jet fighters. The falling bombs rained on the pristine countryside, murdering children, women, and water buffalo – millions of people perished. No apologies, no admission of guilt, and no compensation came from the tyrant-nations. Read more…
It’s been some time since I last blogged. And my new year resolution is … to BE MORE REGULAR AT BLOGGING!
I actually have an excuse this time. In November, my grandmother – with whom I am close – passed away. In December, my second son was born…
This period of change has gotten me to reflect more deeply on life … and for here, to reflect once more why I spend the time to blog.
Life can be so short … so precious. There are so many people to touch, relationships to build, places to travel, creative endeavors to pursue. And blogging as I often do about the heavy hands of politics and history can be emotionally draining. Read more…
As Abigail Washburn shows us with her banjo and music, it’s actually really easy to connect with the Chinese and yet be so captivating. What an awesome soul!
When America throws her weight around with petty politics, she is squandering her privileged position to affect our world towards greater good. Judging from the audiences response, I guess I am encouraged her message is not lost. To the Americans who engage China and the world with a heart like Washburn, bless you.
The oddity of Tibetan Immolation: Nothing is changing, So Suicide ourselves until some thing changes. (And that’s when you know it’s a bluff).
There have been several posts on the Western Media, prevailing the opinions on the Tibetan Self-immolation as is or isn’t within the propriety of Buddhism (particularly Tibetan Buddhism).
Let me say clearly, YES, Self-immolation is fine within the boundaries of Buddhism. Indeed, Self-immolation and other forms of symbolic martyrdom are within the boundaries of most religions, and even FAVORED among the most EXTREME forms of religions and cults. Read more…
Given that the Dalai Lama and the TGIE are funded by the U.S. government, wouldn’t it be interesting if their communications are somehow transparent such that we could see the nature of the relationship? Are their interests aligned? Who calls the shots? Patrick French in an Op-Ed in 2008, advising the Dalai Lama to instead negotiate in good faith with Chinese authorities and abandon his Hollywood strategy, wrote:
The International Campaign for Tibet, based in Washington, is now a more powerful and effective force on global opinion than the Dalai Lama’s outfit in northern India. The European and American pro-Tibet organizations are the tail that wags the dog of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
Remember, French was a former director of the London-based Free Tibet Campaign. Interestingly, in this recent letter made public from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California to Lobsang Sangay, we get a glimpse of what French wrote about. Rohrabacher excoriates Sangay and his ‘cohorts’ for allegedly tampering with the Tibetan language version of Radio Free Asia. He wrote: Read more…
Savaged Again, Understanding the BBC’s Role
Monday, 26 November 2012 09:20
By John Pilger, Truthout | Op-Ed
In the Middle East, the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable “conflict” between equals. Understanding the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist is on no public agenda and it ought to be. Read more…
I have now been living in China for almost 4 month and I’d like to write a little about my impressions so far from personal experience and in talking to the people. As you all know by now, my views on things like the rule of law, human rights and democracy may be quite different from some of yours (see the posts and comments here, here, here, here, here and here for example).
Following segment is Russia Today talking to Brian Becker, an anti-war activist from ANSWER Coalition. Becker is critical of Obama’s foreign policy and interprets how current flash-points around the world tie back to the U.S. military industrial complex.
The coverage in the western media of leadership changes at the Chinese Communist party’s 18th congress has been almost uniformly negative. Critics say corruption pervades the upper echelons of the party, policy issues are not publicly discussed and the Chinese people are completely left out of the process.
There is some truth to such criticisms but they miss the big picture. The Chinese political system has undergone a significant change over the past three decades and it comes close to the best formula for governing a large country: meritocracy at the top, democracy at the bottom, with room for experimentation in between. Read more…
Following is a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared recently pitting Zhang Weiwei and Martin Jacques arguing together against Western assumption that liberal democracy is panacea for China. A few points raised by these two really struck me. Jacques cautioned the West to tone down its arrogance and engage China with more humility. Zhang pointed out that China’s present day system is one of meritocracy and intra-party elections. Zhang also stated that the Chinese are confident of their system. In the 1700′s when the British Empire first encountered the Chinese, China was arrogant and failed to recognized that a country of measly 20 million could industrialize and pull far enough ahead to invade it – then the wealthiest civilization on the planet. He cautioned that arrogance is gripping liberal Western democracies. China’s continuing rise economically will further undermine those who believe in this false dichotomy: that anything not exactly a Western liberal democracy must be “anti-democracy.” It’s like during the Crusades where many Christians believed non-believers must be evil.
Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business recently assembled a collection of views around its campus on the stakes China faces in the next decade as a new generation of leadership transitions into power. Topics addressed were economic reform, press freedom, education, future world order, and business opportunities. That collection is interesting because it sheds light on the general mindset at the university. In some ways, it indicates how Stanford students are biased in their studies about China. In short, some of the views are horribly wrong, and I want to explain why. Read more…
Having just read an interview (translated by Nordic Institute of Asian Studies) of Xi Jinping when he was still governor of Fujian Province back in 2000, I am struck by the differences between the current Chinese political system versus the American. Think about Obama before becoming president. The largest budget he’s ever managed was probably his 2008 election campaign. From that, he would inherit a budget in the trillions of dollars. In contrast, Xi went from village to cities, and then provinces. He would be placed into bigger challenges as he excelled, and not to mention, observed in the seat of the vice president for a full term before the National Peoples Congress formally anoints him into president. As much as the Western press would like to criticize the Chinese system, it is a genuine form of meritocracy. Today’s Romney or when President Obama was still a senator would probably not stand a chance becoming president in China. Read more…
We have completely lost to the old man who is seeking to change the world using his prayers and smile, and have given up critical thinking in front of him. If we look carefully at the history of Tibet under the rule of the Dalai Lama, we will find that Tibet was still a society of serfdom back then. Tibet's serfdom was not abolished until the middle of the 1950s. If we see only the Dalai Lama's smile, it will mean that we care only about the symbolic meaning of the Tibet issue instead of Tibet itself. (German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt