Archive for March, 2009

Letter: A Brief Memoriam for the Yellow Flower Hill Uprising

March 31st, 2009 53 comments

Yellow Flower Hill Uprising could be the most significant event in our time. The following is written by Bai Ding, my high school classmate. I have his permission to publish it here. Bai is the descendant of one of the patriots. I bet this history event is written differently in China, Taiwan and even Hong Kong, so feel free to express your point of view. The two poems in Chinese are written by Bai.
Read more…

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(Letter from Lime) No Such Thing as China

March 29th, 2009 36 comments

A week or so ago, in one of the final classes of the fourth year history seminar on Christianity in China that I am currently taking, the professor, in an apparent effort to coax us into some critical thinking, posed these questions; “Did Christianity become a Chinese religion? And if so, when and how did this happen?” The answers that we came up with in class included when the first Chinese person converted to Christianity, when the first independent churches (meaning churches that were not controlled by foreign missionaries) were established, and when Christianity was indigenized (meaning transformed by existing factors in Chinese culture to create a form of Christianity unique to China).
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Categories: Letters Tags: ,

(Letter from tibetan, Opposing Viewpoint) Smurf Emancipation Day: 50 years of harmonious oppression

March 29th, 2009 142 comments

In light of the mega attention and millions of yuans that chinese government use to establish a new holiday in Tibet “Serf Emancipation Day”, and advertise this around the world, clever Tibetan youth in Tibet created the following cartoon: “Surf Emancipation Day: 50 years of harmonious oppression”.

smurf chinese-1.jpg

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A Chinese view of governance and the financial crisis: An interview with ICBC's chairman

March 27th, 2009 17 comments

In response to Steve’ question on what is the difference between Chinese version of capitalism and American version of capitalism, I think there are many.  The most important, I think, is the respective role of government, market in running / in governing the economy.  Another important aspect, I think, is the goal of economic prosperity.  China takes a more “holistic,” perhaps results-oriented  view to economic prosperity whereas America tend to take (historically at least) a more “individualistic,” equal-opportunity point of view. Read more…

Friday Musings on China's Bad Press in the West

March 27th, 2009 79 comments

I have been thinking about two questions about China’s image in the Western Media (AKA “international public opinion”).

Question 1: Why is China portrayed as either collapsing (“this time it’s over for China”, “chaos”) or menacing (the “China threat”) so prevalently (despite notable exceptions)? Why these particular traits?

Question 2: How should the Chinese (在朝和在野的中国人) react to their national image in the “international public opinion”? Particularly, what should we do about our “bad press”? Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, News, politics Tags:

Should Chinese Leaders Learn to Speak Up More?

March 27th, 2009 10 comments

I think Chinese leaders are among the tamest leaders in the world.

Despite being called “butchers of Beijing” (or much worse),  constantly being maligned by a maniacal Western press, and even having one of its own be the target of a shoe throwing protester, leaders from the CCP continue to consistently keep up their cordial and composed demeanor. Read more…

What I talk about when I talk about copycatting

March 25th, 2009 60 comments

Recently a friend asked for help with the etymology of the word 危险。   She’s writing her thesis on the edge that artists have when they skillfully play with “danger.”  Her whole thesis revolves around the concept of Danger in art and all her professors keep telling her that 危险 has a different connotation in Chinese than danger does in English.  So she needs someone to help her to figure out what 危险originally means in Chinese.  Read more…

Categories: General Tags: , ,

China in the Year 2020: Three Political Scenarios

March 24th, 2009 69 comments

In our Dalai Lama Warns of Looming Violence thread, Wukailong linked to this essay covering three political scenarios that China might face in the year 2020. The author, Cheng Li is Senior Fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution and William R. Kenan Professor of Government at Hamilton College. His summary is as follows:

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(Letter from ecodelta) Tai Chi Scooter One-Ups The Segway

March 21st, 2009 No comments

“A mechanical engineer at Purdue University has one-upped the Segway guys with a hands-free scooter that uses the principles of Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese martial art, to keep you from falling on your face.”

Original article can be found here.

Categories: technology Tags: , , ,

Informal Discussion – the Lessons of Nazi and Japanese Aggressions in WWII

March 20th, 2009 96 comments

I have not done any research in writing this post, but I hope that does not detract us from having a vigorous and good discussion here.

In our recent Chinese Nationalism thread, Shane9219 started a discussion on a just released movie relating to the Nankin Massacre.

This got people discussing what the lessons of Nazi and Japanese Aggressions in WWII were. Read more…

Chinese Nationalism – a Chinese Immigrant’s Perspective

March 17th, 2009 337 comments

Since the Olympics torch relay last year, much have been written about Chinese nationalism (see, e.g., this time article, this newsweek article, this new yorker article) – often in a negative (and unfair) light.

Earlier today, we at foolsmountain ran across a more thoughtful, subdued but perhaps equally critical view of Chinese nationalism – written from an immigrant’s perspective. In this wall street journal op ed, Ms. Ying Ma, an American educated Chinese American, wrote: Read more…

(Letter from sophie, Opposing Viewpoint) Cultural Reflections on Tibet

March 17th, 2009 158 comments

In a previous thread, Steve asked why, with so much material improvement in Tibet region shown by MAJ, the Chinese government still can’t win Tibetan’s heart? I have been asking the same question too.

Following recent MAJ’s comments, I came across this article ‘Reflections on Tibet‘ by Wang Lixiong published in 2002. Wang Lixiong is the writer of ‘Roadmap of Tibetan Independence’ published last year. In the article, Wang Lixiong “considers some of the bitter paradoxes of Tibetan history under Communist rule, and their roots in the confrontation of an alien bureaucracy and fear-stricken religion”. It’s worth pointing out that the original article 西藏问题的文化反思 was published in Chinese in 2001 and therefore we need to be careful how relevant it is to today’s Tibet issue.
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Categories: Analysis, culture Tags: ,

Song of the Grass-Mud Horse

March 16th, 2009 26 comments

There’s a new phenomenon sweeping China. Back in January on a Chinese web page, a new video made its way from there into the hearts of internet users all across the country, spawning a wave of related items such as cartoons, documentaries and grass-mud horse dolls.

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(Letter from ecodelta) Is China the plug in hybrid vehicle paradise?

March 16th, 2009 13 comments

Casually browsing through the internet I stumbled over this article about plug in hybrid cars. Here is the link

The article compares the relative costs and advantages of plug in hybrid vehicles respect to conventional gas powered vehicles.

The article makes some major claims about energy resource consumption and pollution, that when translated to CH would have a greater impact that in the US, mainly:

  • Powering a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would cost the equivalent of roughly 75 cents per gallon of gasoline—a price not seen at the pump for 30 years.
  • 52% of US oil imports could be spared.
  • three-quarters of the country’s current small vehicle fleet could be charged by our existing electrical grid without building new power plants.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gases from 3.4 to 10.3 billion tons.

Some of the major promise of (PHEV) can, of course, only be achieved if certain conditions hold.

  • Average daily displacement within range of vehicle batteries
  • Hybrid vehicle able to be propelled by electric engine only
  • Increase electric load would not mean an increased pollution of coal fired power plants or could be taken by renewable non polluting energy sources: Solar, wind power and hydro power(non polluting?).

Which type of vehicle would provide the greatest economic and envriomental advantages when substitured by its equivalent PEHV?

  • Personal cars
  • Taxis
  • Trucks
  • Public buses

Given the rapid growth on car ownership, trucks on the road, industrial and traffic generated pollution in CH main cities, population density, etc. Could be CH the PHEV paradise?

What do you think?

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Silly Taiwan Acronyms

March 14th, 2009 18 comments

Reading TonyP4’s comment this morning on the Numbers as Language thread, I noticed he used the acronym FOB meaning “Fresh Off Boat”. That reminded me of my Taiwan days and especially Catherine, one of the gals at my office in Hsinchu who was one of the funniest people with one of the driest wits I’ve ever encountered. She seemed to have an acronym for everything! So I thought it’d be fun for everyone to share the ones they know. I’ll start it off: “That stupid MBA made a pass at an MIT while married to an ABC. He’s just an IBM anyway.”

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(Letter from mroberts) Crouching Dancer, Hidden Jargon

March 14th, 2009 18 comments

Thu, March 12 2009

At the food court in Vancouver’s Sinclair Centre, a young well-dressed Asian woman was last week handing out glossy leaflets promoting something called the Divine Performing Arts, or DPA.

She spoke softly, explaining to those who took her yellow pamphlets that the show, which is slated to hit a Vancouver stage next month, is about China’s culture and heritage. Read more…

Numbers as Language

March 13th, 2009 39 comments

NPR once broadcasted an interview talking about why Asian students are better at math (if I can be excused) . The speaker explained that in these mostly agricultural societies, the mindset is you reap how much you plant, hence their greater commitment. In America, there is more emphasis on “working smart” than “working hard”. Translated into educational jargon, he is saying that time on task still makes a difference. Read more…

Categories: language Tags: ,

Translation: Why aren't we requiring finanacial disclosure by common folks?

March 12th, 2009 6 comments

[NOTE] This is a translation of a report filed by (王和岩) Wang Heyan in (财经网) Caijing Net two days ago. The content of this report has been making quick rounds in various Chinese Internet forums. It was also picked by other news medias.

The Communist Party Group of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) is staying at the Friendship Hotel. The members of this group are mostly current and former chairmen of CPPCC at province, city and regional levels. They are all experienced officials. [Note: CPPCC is generally where officials are parked after losing or retiring from power (i.e., active party or government positions).] Since they are no longer in the administrative structure and are not constrained in what they can say as before, I had high hopes to dig out something interesting from them.

However, things didn’t exactly go as I planned. Even though they are no longer in power, they kept their arrogance dignity intact, and are simply inaccessible.

Read more…

What is the best country to get sick in?

March 12th, 2009 32 comments

This may start like a bar story, but it may end as a rant: one day, a Canadian colleague, an American colleague and I (Chinese) were having lunch, and we were talking about the health care problems each face in our countries.   In Canada, you pay high tax, but health care is free.  In America, you pay relatively low tax (according to the Canadian), but healthcare is ridiculously expensive.  China’s medical system is so diverse and constantly changing that I don’t know where to start.  Read more…

U.S and China Scuffle in South China Sea

March 11th, 2009 143 comments

The U.S. accused China of harassing a U.S. surveillance ship in the South China Seas earlier this week.  According to this CNN report,

During the incident, five Chinese vessels “shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity to USNS Impeccable, in an apparent coordinated effort to harass the U.S. ocean surveillance ship while it was conducting routine operations in international waters,” the Pentagon said in a written statement. Read more…

German and/or Chinese?

March 10th, 2009 23 comments

In a recent commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 6, 2009, A33), Professor Brockmann (professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University) pointed out that the study of foreign languages should not be a zero-sum game.His commentary is a response to the University of Southern California’s plan to eliminate the German Department to usher in studies of Eastern Asian languages such as Chinese and Japanese. I think he has got a point in saying that this is not a zero-sum game.

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(Letter from Shane9219) China’s Interaction with Israel and the Jewish People

March 9th, 2009 8 comments

The unique history of China and the interaction of Chinese people with the rest of world give China many friends around the world. Those ties have been both strong and historical, despite Chinese’s common animosity towards old Western colonists and Japanese imperialists. This historic foundation will continue to benefit both China and the world for a long time.

The following article is an interview with a well-known Jewish scholar, covering topics both past and present, including sensitive ones such as Muslim world and China, 2008 Beijing Olympics and Steven Spielberg.

Dalai Lama warns of looming violence

March 8th, 2009 247 comments

As reported by the Reuters, Dalai Lama just issued an ominous warning in Frankfurter Rundschau on Friday:

I am very worried. Many Chinese citizens have armed themselves, and they are ready to shoot. It is a very tense situation. At any moment there could be an explosion of violence.

I suppose Dalai Lama was referring specifically to Han and Hui Chinese citizens, who were on the receiving end of  indiscriminate violences by Tibetan mobs freedom fighters a year ago. Leaving aside the plausibility question of Chinese citizens stocking up guns in China, I wonder why they would feel the need to arm themselves nowadays?

Read more…

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Chas Freeman's view of the dominant view on June 4th in China

March 7th, 2009 178 comments

This post is perhaps a bit ahead of its proper time since the 20th anniversary of June 4th is still about three months away. Nevertheless, the recent chatters in the blogsphere made me check out the background of Chas Freeman, Obama’s choice as the head of the National Intelligence Council, and his comment concerning June 4th. Well, it’s kinda difficult to keep on skipping through posts concerning Freeman, about whom I knew absolute nothing, when James Fallows decided to jump into the fray with a post titled “A fight I didn’t intend to get into: Chas Freeman“.

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Categories: General Tags: ,

On the State of China's Economy and the Global Economy

March 5th, 2009 18 comments

As the current world economy crisis drags on, there are still lingering hopes that China just might remain a bright spot in the world economy and help lead the world back to recovery. Read more…

The Mysterious Death of Li Qiaoming

March 1st, 2009 18 comments

Chinese officials in Yunnan have recently taken the unusual step of inviting internet users to help in investigating the suspicious and controversial death of Li Qiaoming in policy custody last month.

The controversy began a little over a week ago, when on February 12 in Puning county of Yunnan province, a public security bureau announced that inmate Li had sustained fatal brain trauma during a game of 躲猫猫 (eluding the cat) with fellow prisoners.  躲猫猫 appears to be a physical game of rough and tumble played by inmates within some Chinese prison systems, and the term 躲猫猫 has since become a hot search term on the Internet in China, generating over 35,000 comments on alone.  Read more…