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From the Beijing Olympics, Come the Drums of Change

Harold Meyerson at the Washington Post compares the Beijing Olympics with Russian involvement in Georgia and believes that the Olympics are a game-changing event in world history while Russia’s Georgian adventure is not. The theme of the Chinese model of development offering an alternative to Western democracy has been repeated by many in Western media.

The Drums of Change, Herald Meyerson, Washington Post

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  1. wuming – wumaodang
    August 14th, 2008 at 02:00 | #1

    Meyerson clearly thought about the matter a little more than most of the Western media types. David Brooks of New York Times also thought about this.

    I thing, however, this collectivism vs. individualism dichotomy between China and US is still superficial. But I have to think a little more before I can state my objections coherently,

  2. MoneyBall
    August 14th, 2008 at 02:35 | #2

    He overstated it about the individualism v collectivism. It’s more just a culture thing than -ism.
    To me 2008 ppl beating drum isnt scary at all, they were just doing some labour work. a little bit stupid, maybe.
    However, seeing thousands of Americans singing praying crying all together in a megachurch scared the shit out of me.

  3. BMY
    August 14th, 2008 at 02:56 | #3

    his tone is very familiar(cold war) when he talks about Russia.”Russia’s invasion is surely the most shocking”
    Georgia unnecessarily attacked south ossetia ,where most of people hold Russia passport , before he got shocked by Russia’s action.

    sorry, no more of the topic on this thread

  4. August 14th, 2008 at 11:03 | #4

    @BMY- Why not? It’s certainly an issue. I would be interested to see what the reaction of people in China is to a country trying to take back a province that has achieved de facto independence through invasion, and being kicked out of that province by the forces of a super power.

  5. BMY
    August 14th, 2008 at 11:31 | #5


    Let me state my point (not CCP ‘s point):

    I am against any violence and bloodshed.

    to regain a de facto independent region by force: I am against it. That said, I don’t agree to take south ossetia back by shelling it. In China’s case, I am against taking back Taiwan by shooting missiles on it.

    to separate a peaceful country under the name of self-determination by force and bloodshed: I am against it. that’s the case in south ossetia in the early 90s

    My bottom line is : co-exist and peace between different people

    please note: above only represent my view and my daughters’ view for now.(they might change their view when they grow up under the influence of the self-determination ideology under any condition)

  6. CLC
    August 14th, 2008 at 14:11 | #6

    reaction of people in China

    Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun 😉

    Check out this cartoon for A brief history of the Georgian fiasco.

  7. August 14th, 2008 at 14:36 | #7

    This guy is way over the top. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The kid is a hero and we should leave it at that. He is no different from the firefighters who went into the twin towers on 9/11 who were frequently quoted as saying they were just doing their job.

  8. S.K. Cheung
    August 14th, 2008 at 20:11 | #8

    To FOARP #4 and BMY #5:
    I too agree that the South Ossetia issue, and China’s and Chinese people’s position on same, would be of great interest, though not necessarily appropriate for this blog.
    On the one hand you have Georgia, pro-Western and NATO-aspiring, trying to forcibly take back an area that has exerted self-determination for over 15 years. On the other hand, you’ve got Russia, aiding and abetting a breakaway “state”. The ironies are enormous. For Russia, they’ll support South Ossetia’s (and Abhkazia’s) self-determination while refuting Chechnya’s.
    So, will China side with Russia while giving tacit approval for self-determination, or will they side with pro-Western Georgia in renouncing it? I’d love to find out…go with old allegiances, or with principle.

    In a couple of years, I’m sure there’ll be books documenting the Georgian brain-cramp of August 2008.

    Looks like I’m clearly a generation older than BMY’s daughters; I’m already there with the self-determination bit.

  9. wuming
    August 14th, 2008 at 20:26 | #9

    @S.K. Cheung

    There is a very easy solution for China in regard to the South Ossetia issue — support neither side. Entirely consistent with its non-interfering stand, while tell the world to “butt out my affairs” too.

  10. CLC
    August 14th, 2008 at 21:21 | #10
  11. S.K. Cheung
    August 15th, 2008 at 02:34 | #11

    To CLC:
    absolutely, said my bits back then, as I’m sure both of us recall. Which is why I only made passing mention of it in response to BMY’s point. No need to rehash, right? WHere did Allen Yu go, anyhow? 🙂

  12. yo
    August 15th, 2008 at 02:36 | #12

    me thinks self-determination is used by many, not just Russia, to push cold-war politics. 🙂

  13. S.K. Cheung
    August 15th, 2008 at 02:54 | #13

    To Wuming:
    good point. Maybe she can at least support the ceasefire then, no?

    The “butting out” bit does appear to be the default Chinese position; however, the Chinese saying also goes that, if you’re on the road and witness an injustice, it behooves you to help out/ speak up (which is far preferable to drawing swords).

  14. S.K. Cheung
    August 15th, 2008 at 02:58 | #14

    To Yo:
    I would disagree with you on this one. The cold war is long gone, but the aforementioned concept is very much contemporary, I would say.

  15. yo
    August 15th, 2008 at 03:02 | #15

    Cold war politics still exists in the sense that it’s Russian influence vs Nato influence.

  16. S.K. Cheung
    August 15th, 2008 at 03:17 | #16

    To Yo:
    agreed. Sad but true reality of the early 21st century.

  17. BMY
    August 15th, 2008 at 03:19 | #17


    “Looks like I’m clearly a generation older than BMY’s daughters; I’m already there with the self-determination bit.”

    myself is not there yet with that “bit ” . don’t say ” I’m clearly a generation older than BMY” 🙂

  18. S.K. Cheung
    August 15th, 2008 at 03:30 | #18

    To BMY:
    that’s cute. I suspect we’re of the same generation, give or take a couple of years. I agree that “bit” is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I do think it grows on you after a while, especially in a western society.

  19. Wahaha
    August 15th, 2008 at 03:44 | #19

    US and Poland signed the missile shield deal.

    2nd cold war is around corner.

    China (or CCP) is off the hook.

  20. BMY
    August 15th, 2008 at 04:09 | #20


    I believe we are of the same generation. 🙂
    I totally agree “it grows on you after a while” . Then I will be debating with my daughters on this blog in 20 years .:-)

  21. MoneyBall
    August 15th, 2008 at 04:36 | #21

    This is a fight between yankies and ruskies, ruskies are not only demonstrating their sheer power and will, but also mocking US on its hypocrisy and double-standard. For the first time in recent history, US feels it cant do nothing militarily, or morally. This is the most serious challenge US has faced after vietnam. Its impact to the new world order will be profound, way beyond caucus.

    What would China do? stay as far away as possible, and pray to all Gods to catch a break while Russia is getting all the spot lights, LOL, first al Qaeda now ruskies, the Chicoms are really lucky sobs.

  22. BMY
    August 15th, 2008 at 04:56 | #22

    we are all off the topic.
    BXBQ 老师 would like to discuss collectivism vs. individualism here.
    come on , people.

    Joel and Oldson are expats on these culture differences.

  23. bianxiangbianqiao
    August 15th, 2008 at 14:13 | #23


    I am sick and tired of the Olympics. One more bite will make me throw up.

  24. CLC
    August 16th, 2008 at 11:16 | #24


    Allen is still commenting from time to time under his alias. Pls see About page 😉

  25. S.K. Cheung
    August 17th, 2008 at 01:47 | #25

    Thanks CLC.

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