Taiwan and the WHO

The last time Taiwan tried to apply for observer status in the WHO, China slammed it down.  When the SARS crisis arose and China offered Taiwan help, Taiwan denied and declined.

That was 2003, when President Chen of the DPP still governed Taiwan.

Fast forward now six years – how things have changed!

Last week, WHO officially invited Taiwan to attend this year’s assembly meeting under observer status. According to xinhua,

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) — The World Health Organization (WHO) has invited health authorities in Taiwan to attend the 62nd World Health Assembly (WHA) with observer status, China’s Health Ministry confirmed Wednesday.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan sent an invitation to the Taiwan health authorities, asking that they attend the assembly from May 18 to 27 as observers, according to a statement from the ministry.

“Such an arrangement shows our goodwill to achieve practical benefits for Taiwan people and indicates our sincerity to promote peaceful development of cross-Strait relations,” said Mao Qun’an, spokesman of the Health Ministry.

The spokesman said the mainland and Taiwan had recently held talks and negotiations regarding Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, but he did not provide any details.

Mao said the mainland had always been concerned about the well-being of the Taiwan people and their desire to take part in WHO activities.

He said the mainland supported Taiwan medical experts’ participation in international health technology exchanges and acquisitions of information from the WHO.

He said the proper settlement of Taiwan’s participation in the WHA would promote cross-Strait health exchanges and cooperation and increase mutual understanding for the peaceful development of the relationship between the two sides.

Chiu Wen-Hsiang, head of the Health Department of Taipei City Government said attendance of the WHA had been desired by Taiwan medical and public health sectors for many years.

Cross-Strait exchanges in the medical and health care sectors had never ceased, and Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as an observer would boost exchanges and cooperation of the medical and health care sectors, he said.

The move would enable the two sides to better prevent and treat epidemics and diseases, he said.

“At a time when the world is threatened by swine flu, this giant step forward will enable Taiwan to have easier access to relevant materials and information from the WHO, so as to better protect the health care rights and interests of the people in Taiwan.” he said.

Mainland analysts have hailed Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as a gesture of goodwill and sincerity by the Chinese mainland.

Rao Geping, professor of law at Peking University, said that without the consent of the Chinese mainland and its support, it would be impossible for Taiwan to attend this year’s WHA.

“This could be an important evidence that cross-Strait relations have made tremendous progress, and it is the latest sign that cross-Strait relations will continue to develop in a peaceful manner,” he said.

So Ka-hong, a political scientist at Kaohsiung, said international space has always been a concern for people in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as an observer fully proves that only by relying on the basis of the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and steadily accumulated mutual trust of both sides can interaction between Taiwan and the outside be expanded, he said.

On Dec. 31, 2008, when commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Chinese mainland’s “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan”, President Hu Jintao offered proposals to promote the peaceful development of relations.

Hu said the mainland was willing to discuss with Taiwan “proper and reasonable arrangements” for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, as long as such activities did not create a scenario of “two Chinas” or “one China and one Taiwan.”

The WHA is the supreme decision-making body for the WHO. It is held each year in May in Geneva, attended by delegates from all 193 members.

This is great news indeed! Something like this could never have happened under ex-Pres. Chen. This is a sign that economic engagements promoted by both sides of the strait (see for examples this article or this article) is leading not just to tighter economic, social, and cultural integration, but also genuine political confidence on both sides of the strait.

The NY Times reported:

In an interview at the presidential palace in Taipei on Feb. 12, Mr. Ma was mostly conciliatory toward Beijing but emphatic that Taiwan’s international space be protected.

“There is a clear link between cross-strait relations and our international space,” he said then. “We’re not asking for recognition; we only want room to breathe.”

This is understandable. I don’t think Mainland nationalists should worry too much. Even a die-hard Chinese nationalist like me realizes that there are situations where the Taiwanese government in serving its citizens may want to work with International organizations. Of course, with respect to the WHO, I would prefer that Taiwan simply works under the framework of the Mainland’s WHO organization, but I also understand that until the political situation is completely worked out across the strait – many people in Taiwan would be uncomfortable with such an arrangements. So for now, an arrangement like this will have to do.

I really think the CCP deserves a lot of credit for allowing Taiwan to join the WHO even as only an observer. There are genuine real risks, to be sure. If Taiwan’s electorate should boggle up and elect some incompetent like Chen again, that person may want to distort this event into some sort of precedence for Taiwanese sovereignty.

But rather than speculate the worst, I prefer to simply take this moment to celebrate!

The economies of both Mainland and Taiwan are holding up much better than anticipated. The pace of economic and cultural integration (see for example this article) between the two sides are growing to unprecedented levels. The political trust between the two sides have matured to a point worthy of a congratulatory toast.

So to both my birthplace Taiwan and to the Mainland, Cheers to all!

In addition – here is a toast to even better days ahead! 🙂

144 thoughts on “Taiwan and the WHO

  1. Great news indeed… now Taiwan also needs to be able to have access to regional economic organizations and some UN organization, less for politic but more for economic needs and some particular dire necessities (for example, earthquake relief). If CCP and Taiwan can find creative ways to allow that to happen, it would certainly build a better cross strait atmosphere. It serves nobody’s interest if Taiwan’s non-political interest itself is severely undermined because of the diplomatic posturing. Hopefully the WHO case is an impetus for more such effort.

  2. “Mao said the mainland had always been concerned about the well-being of the Taiwan people and their desire to take part in WHO activities.” – that’s funny, China didn’t seem so concerned about Taiwanese well-being 6 years ago. So really, it has nothing to do with China giving a damn about Taiwanese; it’s just carrot and stick diplomacy. Give Taiwan the stick when she was uncooperative, and show her a little leg now that she’s humming a more conciliatory tone.

    Or maybe it’s Taiwan showing a little leg, and China falling over trying to curry more favour. If I were Taiwan, I’d continue to whisper sweet nothings and string’em along for a couple of decades. This way, they’d get more carrots.

  3. @Falen,

    I don’t know if there will be too many other situations that require such drastic actions. But we’ll see. I just think the CCP is very generous in this case. This should be the exception rather than norm.

  4. Something like this could never have happened under ex-Pres. Chen.

    If that is true it goes to show that Beijing’s change of tune depends purely on whether Taiwan is doing what it wants or not. Doubtlessly if the DPP win the presidency again, the invitation will conveniently not be offered – unless the party changes all of its policies and openly supports unification/the position that Taiwan is part of China. This sort of approach works fine whilst the Chinese and Taiwanese governments are in agreement, but what’s going to happen as soon as they come into dispute? There still haven’t been any political negotiations yet, and they could be quite frightful.

    Or, if I be really cynical for a moment, maybe the CCP and KMT have already worked out the political ground work at those closed-door meetings so they know exactly how relations are going to change over the next 3 years and what we see in public is mostly for show.

    I just think the CCP is very generous in this case.

    Why? It is in China’s interests to have Taiwan in the world health framework. Plus it needed to throw its golden boy, Ma, a bone. Otherwise it would have risked undermining his support (such as it is) in Taiwan and helping the DPP in elections later this year. If you don’t accept my early comment that China refused to work with (former) President Chen simply because he wouldn’t kowtow to Beijing, the other interpretation is that China didn’t want to give him credit for anything lest it help Frank Hsieh beat Ma.

    These developments are positive, but allowing Taiwan to observe meetings is hardly generous. After all, even the Red Cross can observe. Allowing it full membership would have been generous. And before anyone says it would have been “impossible” because Taiwan isn’t an “independent state”, who’s going to stop an exception being made if China allowed it?

  5. It’s an elegant demonstration that the welfare of the ROC’s people (who are supposedly also the PRC’s people) is a secondary concern to the political ambitions of the CPC. This, to me, is the government of the PRC at its very worst.

  6. This is understandable. I don’t think Mainland nationalists should worry too much. Even a die-hard Chinese nationalist like me realizes that there are situations where the Taiwanese government in serving its citizens may want to work with International organizations.

    So even a die-hard Han chauvinist like Allen does understand the fact that leaders have their constituencies they need to please in order to be effective? Does this understanding extend to other Chinese, like the Dalai Lama? Compare this to the previous thread we had about Tibet, where anything short of a 110 per cent commitment from DL to the official policy of the PRC is interpreted as proof of this dishonesty.

  7. Great, let Taiwan have some thing, then it’s not enough.

    Well, I guess, there is no pleasing some people, unless China just fall on its own swords make everyone happy.

    “Government of the PRC at its very worst”???

    OK then, I guess hardcore CCP with no compromises would be much better alternative to LIME?

    Me thinkst LIME had one too many exaggerations for breakfast.

  8. “110 per cent commitment from DL”

    Ridiculous. DL has already verbally stated his commitment to PRC’s “1 China policy”, but DL won’t sign anything to confirm that commitment.

    That’s political double talk, not amount to a hill of beans, let alone 110% commitment.

    Words alone are 0% meaningful commitment.

  9. DL has already verbally stated his commitment to PRC’s “1 China policy”, but DL won’t sign anything to confirm that commitment.

    Has Ma Ying-jeou signed any agreements with China? If anything, the KMT:s commitment to reunification remains as vague as ever.

  10. Raj,

    Of course it is a political game. Taiwan has its bargaining chips, mainland has its bargaining chips.

    What’s inevitable is that Taiwan, being so close to mainland China, would be inevitably tied by economics and culture closer and closer.

    Beyond the political costs, the economic costs and the social costs of trying to assert “independence” is simply too high in the long run.

    But ultimately, that is Taiwan’s choice.

    But all choices come with a price.

    The populist notion that “sovereignty” can just materialize without a cost, is rather ridiculous.

    That sort of “sovereignty”, if given freely, is worthless. (meaning, If China really would give up Taiwan, then Taiwan is worthless to have.)

    Taiwanese people will one day have to decide, once and for all, do they really want to pay the price for defending/asserting their “independence”, just as mainland China has always been paying costs of maintaining its hold on Taiwan to a point.

    If a conflict comes? Then it would be costly to both sides.

    Want China to just give up Taiwan? There is a cost to both sides for doing that too.

    War has a price, Peace has a price.

    It’s far too early to say which is more costly to whom in the long run.

  11. “Has Ma Ying-jeou signed any agreements with China? If anything, the KMT:s commitment to reunification remains as vague as ever.”

    KMT and CCP has a 1992 Concensus agreement on “One China”.

    That’s hardly “vague”. Far more commitment than DL has ever shown.

  12. KMT and CCP has a 1992 Concensus agreement on “One China”.

    Well, that was a “consensus”, not a formal agreement, almost 20 years ago. The PRC has threatened Taiwan with war several times since then. And representatives of the PRC and TGIE have meet an agreed on things too, only to launch a propaganda war against each other.

    The point is that the PRC and its Han chauvinist groupies over the world apply different standards to Han Chinese and other Chinese. They can out up with quite a lot of vagueness from Mainland Chinese from Taiwan, but no prevarications are allowed if you happen to be Tibetan or Taiwan-born. If you don’t have the proper bloodline, which establishes your allegiance to the empire, nothing short of full compliance is considered treason.

  13. Overseas Tibetans warned against ideologize Tibetan issues
    LONDON, Apr 28, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) — A visiting Tibetologist urged overseas Tibetans on Tuesday to offer practical assistance to Tibetans in China and not to ideologize the Tibetan issue.

    Ge Lek, a renowned Tibetologist from east Tibet Autonomous Region of China, made the remarks at a forum on modern Tibet held here at the University of Westminster.

    “Tibetan compatriots living abroad should help Tibetans back in China live a happy and better life and not to over ideologize the Tibetan issue. Otherwise, it might lead to confrontations between countries, and estrangement among nationalities, which are of no good to grassroots Tibetans,” said Ge Lek, deputy director general at China Tibetology Research Center who is leading a delegation of Tibetologists for an academic exchange in Britain.

    Convergence in Telecommunication Learn more, download free white paper.

    Ge Lek used case studies from his long-term research and study to show a vivid modern-day life in Tibet, where in pursuing business opportunities in a market-driven society, Tibetans start to rediscover their traditions and culture.

    During the one-day forum on Tuesday, the Chinese Tibetologists briefed a 50-strong mainly academic audience on both historical issues such as disagreement between China and Britain over the status of Tibet in the past century, as well as development and reforms in Tibet in the modern age.

    Presentations were met warm responses from the participants whose questions ranged from sustainability of Tibetan culture and tradition, religious freedom, to dialogues between Dalai Lama and the central government, as well as the balance between modernization and preservation of traditions.

    The academics also interacted with Tibetans living in Britain, trying to understand their concerns. Ge Lek called on them to focus more on the 4 million Tibetans living in China, which is an overwhelming number compared with those living in exile.

    The forum was jointly hosted by the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture and Dibyesh Anand from the University of Westminster.

    Anard was impressed with the open-minded academic air at the forum, and hoped to attract more international Tibetologists for future exchanges.

  14. Hemulen,

    You are picking semantics where it doesn’t exist. the 1992 consensus is an AGREEMENT. How formal do you want it? There are written documents of that agreement.

    There are NO written documents of anything that DL committed to. DL has said that his words are not binding. End of story. Not much commitment, not even on paper.

  15. Furthermore, Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly acknowledged publicly the existence of a 1992 consensus as the basis of current situation for Taiwan.

    DL has referred to NO agreement of any kind. DL has acknowledged that he has not committed to anything.

  16. @raventhorn4000

    Where is the written document? What is it called? By whom and when was is signed?

  17. It’s called the 1992 consensus. There were faxes of the document. in 1992 HK meeting between representatives of ROC and PRC.

    Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly acknowledged the existence of the 1992 consensus.

    Even in that he has shown more commitment than DL.

  18. According to Raymond Burghardt, the chair of the American Institute in Taiwan, the US’s de facto embassy in Taiwan:

    “[There was] some language [in the faxes] that overlapped and some language that differed.” Then Taiwan and China agreed to conduct dialogue based on their statements written in those faxes.

  19. Hemulen,

    If DL has committed to something similar to the 1992 consensus, please show it.

    as far I have seen, DL has consistently denied any agreement or consensus with China.

    As I said, DL has shown NO commitment at all.

  20. raventhorn

    What’s inevitable is that Taiwan, being so close to mainland China, would be inevitably tied by economics and culture closer and closer.

    If that’s the case, even more reason to not give too much away to China.

    Want China to just give up Taiwan? There is a cost to both sides for doing that too.

    There is no cost to Taiwan. What is the cost to China – face? I don’t think China is going to split up because Taiwan is an exceptional case for many reasons. Of course China would lose a strategic advantage, but then most Chinese people like to deny they want to annex Taiwan for military reasons from my experience.

    Taiwanese people will one day have to decide, once and for all, do they really want to pay the price for defending/asserting their “independence”

    You may mock Taiwanese independence, but they already enjoy it. China has no authority in Taiwan, it can only try to bully other countries to isolate it. Taiwan is a fully-functioning state independent of China – get over it.

    Your comment is also a veiled threat about a military attack, because there is no price to pay for declaring or retaining independence unless China tries to extract it.

    +++++

    Just to open the discussion up a bit (sorry in advance, Allen, if it’s wandering off topic), but do people here think that Taiwanese should be reassured about their futures after unification (assuming it happens) by the apparent attitudes of Chinese people?

    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20090430_1.htm

    If you look at the bottom (ignore the Jackie Chan stuff, please), you’ll see a polling result that 63.8% of PRC Chinese think that Taiwan and Hong Kong have too much freedom. Given that Taiwanese don’t want to give any freedom up, why would they want to give Beijing any sort of jurisdiction or authority over their lives? Just because China has an autocratic style of government doesn’t mean that the CCP never adopts/shares the views of Chinese people.

  21. Well it is interesting that you quote an article from Taipei Times (“AIT pans `1992 consensus'”, 2006-02-28), where the same Burghardt said that “To me, I’m not sure why you could call that a consensus”. The whole point of Burghart’s intervention was to cast doubt on the agreement. That is what happens when you do research by Google, like Mark Anthony Jones. Again: where is the agreement?

    And again: the point here is that only Han Chinese with the true mainland bloodline are trusted by the PRC government. Only they are allowed to deviate from the line and only their domestic constituencies are respected as legitimate. Because they are Han Chinese with a true mainland bloodline. Tibetans like DL or Taiwanese like Lee Teng-hui, are expected to comply 110 per cent, anything else is treason.

    And that is why Han chauvinists like Allen Yu feel comfortable with the CCP, because he doesn’t even see the inherent xenophobic assumptions behind CCP policy.

  22. Raj wrote:

    There is no cost to Taiwan.

    in response to Raventhorn4000,

    Want China to just give up Taiwan? There is a cost to both sides for doing that too.

    Taiwan’s antics under the DPP isolated itself from access to Mainland’s market – putting many Taiwanese companies at a big disadvantage to companies from other countries. That is a big cost to Taiwan. That is one reason (among many others) for DPP’s fall.

  23. @Hemulen,

    What defines a Han Chinese with a true mainland bloodline vs. a pure Taiwanese like Lee? I like to see you wiggle out of this blunder.

  24. Hemulen,

    Then Taiwan and China agreed to conduct dialogue based on their statements written in those faxes.

    That’s enough of an agreement for me.

    “Treason” is treason. It’s simple enough to understand.

    It’s hardly an alien concept in the world. Every country has laws defining “treason”.

    “Xenophobic assumption”?

    I don’t think assuming Tibet and Taiwan are part of China is “xenophobia”. It’s assertion of sovereignty as recognized by other nations in the world.

    Your fear of CCP, on the other hand, qualifies as “xenophobia”.

    “Han Chinese with a true mainland bloodline”?? Ridiculous assumption, and in fact quite racist and ignorant. Han Chinese are descendants of countless distinct cultures joined together over time. Geneticists have traced mapped out some of the diversities of Han Chinese DNA. I myself may have some Hui family members in my ancestry.

    Taiwanese can trace their family origins back to some parts of mainland China.

  25. Raj,

    “If that’s the case, even more reason to not give too much away to China.”

    You don’t give, they don’t give. there is still a cost to both sides. You don’t gain anything by giving nothing away.

    “There is no cost to Taiwan. What is the cost to China – face? I don’t think China is going to split up because Taiwan is an exceptional case for many reasons. Of course China would lose a strategic advantage, but then most Chinese people like to deny they want to annex Taiwan for military reasons from my experience.”

    I wouldn’t deny it, there is always a military reason. If Taiwan can become ardently militarily neutral like Switzerland, most Chinese would have no problem with Taiwan becoming “independent”. (of course, Taiwan won’t get any more Military aid from US, either.)

    “You may mock Taiwanese independence, but they already enjoy it. China has no authority in Taiwan, it can only try to bully other countries to isolate it. Taiwan is a fully-functioning state independent of China – get over it.”

    So enjoy it already, and enjoy the cost too. Why whine about the consequences?? Let’s not forget, Taiwan was playing the diplomatic isolation game against mainland no so long ago. Learn to behave more graciously when losing the game.

    “Your comment is also a veiled threat about a military attack, because there is no price to pay for declaring or retaining independence unless China tries to extract it.”

    There is no price to pay for current Taiwanese “independence” (which you say they already enjoy), unless Taiwan wants more. Sorry, you gotta pay to get more. Taiwan can assert, doesn’t mean others will recognize it. China doesn’t have to extract the price. The diplomatic agreements are already in place.

    +++++

    Just to open the discussion up a bit (sorry in advance, Allen, if it’s wandering off topic), but do people here think that Taiwanese should be reassured about their futures after unification (assuming it happens) by the apparent attitudes of Chinese people?

    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20090430_1.htm

    If you look at the bottom (ignore the Jackie Chan stuff, please), you’ll see a polling result that 63.8% of PRC Chinese think that Taiwan and Hong Kong have too much freedom. Given that Taiwanese don’t want to give any freedom up, why would they want to give Beijing any sort of jurisdiction or authority over their lives? Just because China has an autocratic style of government doesn’t mean that the CCP never adopts/shares the views of Chinese people.

    Your interpretation of China’s intent and authority is frankly ridiculous and contrary to facts.

    Despite the “polls”, HK remains its current form of government since 1997 handover. China has hardly moved in to assert additional control/authority.

    As for Taiwan, China has repeatedly offered even more concessions to Taiwan under the 1 China, 2 systems terms, even to the point to offer Taiwan the ability to maintain its own military and election systems.

    Mainland Chinese may feel HK and Taiwan have too much freedom. That’s hardly a war chant to plow HK and Taiwan under. That’s just personal feelings and opinions.

    Who asked Taiwanese to give up their “freedom”?? Nobody I know.

  26. @raventhorn4000

    Nice maneuver, let it be noted that you did not answer the question. It is the CCP who decides who is a traitor, not any laws.

    @Allen, raventhorn4000

    I’m not getting into the discussion of who is a “pure Chinese” or who is not. Han Chinese are just as mixed as any other ethnicity the world. The point I’m making is that the CCP (and its Han chauvinist groupies) are only comfortable dealing with Han Chinese, who should preferably be of relatively recent mainland extraction. It is OK if Ma Ying-jeou departs from CCP protocol or prevaricates somewhat about reunification, because he is a mainland Chinese ans you respect his constituency. But the DL has to comply 110 per cent with PRC policy in writing or else he is a traitor. Because he is a Tibetan and you do not respect his constituency – you even deny its existence. Former capitalist roaders, KMT generals and triad bosses can be forgiven, their cases can be reversed because they are Han Chinese. Exile Tibetans, Uighurs or other minority groups can never redeem themselves by less than a complete declaration of submission to the CCP.

  27. @Hemulen #26,

    I will agree with you on one thing: the Taiwan-CCP conflict and the DL-CCP conflict are very different in nature. I have never tried to confuse the two – even though some Tibetan exiles and Taiwan pro-independence folks got in bed for – uh – short-term political expediency.

    As for your point that CCP is comfortable only dealing with Han Chinese – I wonder if you would have said that a couple of years ago when Chen – another Han Chinese – was in power…

    In short – yes CCP does treat Ma differently than the DL. But that’s because the conflicts between the two are so different in nature. The rhetoric and the actions are so different (do you see Ma traveling the world asking Western powers to apply pressure on CCP to negotiate with Taiwan???).

    Anyone who is not blinded by an ethnic only lens (everything in the world is motivated by ethnicity and ethnicity only) will understand that the difference is not due to Ma being Han and DL being not Han.

  28. The point is that the PRC and its Han chauvinist groupies over the world apply different standards to Han Chinese and other Chinese. They can out up with quite a lot of vagueness from Mainland Chinese from Taiwan, but no prevarications are allowed if you happen to be Tibetan or Taiwan-born. If you don’t have the proper bloodline, which establishes your allegiance to the empire, nothing short of full compliance is considered treason.

    First, what’s up with using all the emotionally charged words? Thinking it’ll make your argument better?

    Second, the bloodline thing. You may have projected some non-Chinese idea onto China. Historically, A. it’s super easy to become a Han, unlike say a noticeably non-white drop of blood you would be a non-white. It’s almost the reverse for Han. B. There were plenty of cases that non-Han rose all the way to the top in dynasties started by Hans.

    Third, it’s all about the leverage, and DL/TGIE have very little. On the other hand, Taiwan/ROC has quite a bit leverage. PRC would prefer status quo w.r.t. Tibet, but not status quo w.r.t. Taiwan. Adding a racial/ethnic layer to it, it’s intellectually sloppy at best.

  29. Or maybe it’s Taiwan showing a little leg, and China falling over trying to curry more favour. If I were Taiwan, I’d continue to whisper sweet nothings and string’em along for a couple of decades. This way, they’d get more carrots.

    Great game plan… Only be mindful of not overplaying a hand though. Let’s say in a couple of decades, Jiangsu and Guangdong become richer than Taiwan, the leverage may become less useful.

  30. @JXie #29,

    As someone who loves Taiwan, my problem with Taiwan is that Taiwan will only become less “special” as the rest of the Mainland rises.

    If it were due to me, I would negotiate a sweet deal with the CCP today while Taiwan still looks “special” – such as reunifying right away – thereby getting the Mainland to shoulder all military defense of Taiwan immediately for free, getting significant tax breaks from the central government for the next 50 years or so – while still retaining significant Provincial autonomy. Imagine all the money Taiwan can save in defense alone to be pumped back into its economy or investment across the Mainland.

  31. @JXie

    You may have projected some non-Chinese idea onto China. Historically, A. it’s super easy to become a Han, unlike say a noticeably non-white drop of blood you would be a non-white. It’s almost the reverse for Han. B. There were plenty of cases that non-Han rose all the way to the top in dynasties started by Hans.

    I think you are projecting a snap-shot of US racism at its worst (the blood drop theory) on to the entire history of Europe and America. There are as many different concepts of “whiteness” as there are “white people” and it has looked very different historically. You can bring up some exceptional examples of non-Han advancing up the hierarchy in Han Chinese dynasties, but any European historian can give you plenty of examples of similar things, the Russian or the Austro-Hungarian empires being cases in point. In premodern Europe it was the rule rather than the exception that the rulers spoke different languages than their subjects. There has been a lot of religious bigotry, parochialism and xenophobia in Europe historically (just like in China), but racism in the sense we give the word today is a rather recent phenomenon in Europe – as in China.

    As for my argument about the PRC, the fact remains that the CCP is only comfortable dealing with Han Chinese that have the right type of background. It is next to impossible to advance to the very top in China unless (1) you are a male, and (2) a Han-Chinese with both parents born inside China proper. If you map up the entire political leadership in any region of China, you would see the same pattern, even locally, even in areas where the local inhabitants are not Han Chinese. Just look at the CCP itself. Again, I bring up Tibet here because it is the most notorious example of this: 71 out of 73 county-level party secretaries in TAR are Han Chinese. Half the cadres in the TAR CCP regional are Han Chinese and the secretary has never been Tibetan. These actions speak louder than words. A Benjamin Disraeli or a Gary Locke would never get anywhere in China under the current political system, and forget about a Chinese Barack Obama. I would be happy to be refuted on this point.

  32. @ Hemulen #31

    Largely agree with the difference between ancient Europe and the new continent (not just in the US). In Roman time, there were black Roman citizens and white slaves — heck there were even black Roman emperors.

    A Benjamin Disraeli or a Gary Locke would never get anywhere in China under the current political system, and forget about a Chinese Barack Obama. I would be happy to be refuted on this point.

    Actually I am not sure if Obama had been white, given his biggest accomplishment prior to 2008 was arguably writing 2 books about himself, he would have been able to win the Democratic race. Is it better that way? I don’t know. Are we really becoming color/ethnicity-blind, or as I suspect, once color/ethnicity is involved, we are indoctrinated in a way totally incapable of judge one’s true merits?

    We don’t know if the over-representation of Han males at certain PRC political level, or Jewish financiers in the US financial industry, or black athletes in NBA, are

    a. racism/prejudice, or
    b. something else.

    You can hardly blame the latter 2 to reason a, since the enterprises involved would have strong meritocratic motives. I think for a better argument, you would have to give me names of qualified minorities or women being denied chances of promotion.

  33. “The point is that the PRC and its Han chauvinist groupies over the world apply different standards to Han Chinese and other Chinese. They can out up with quite a lot of vagueness from Mainland Chinese from Taiwan, but no prevarications are allowed if you happen to be Tibetan or Taiwan-born. If you don’t have the proper bloodline, which establishes your allegiance to the empire, nothing short of full compliance is considered treason.”

    _____________________________

    With some BS like this, CCP has the right to censor the internet.

    Allowing individual to spewing BS like this is not about freedom of speech, it is about if individuals are allowed to stir the hatred among people, like Thailand.

    There are always some scumbags who cant wait to see chaos in China, some of them are so called human right scumbags. If these people are given the freedom, China would be in complete chaos or maybe civil war.

  34. This little episode that Allen has been good enough to bring up for discussion is an excellent example of why nationalism is such a weak and often dangerous excuse for a philosophy. Even if we agree that resurrecting the territorial unity of the late Qing dynasty is a legitimate or even respectable goal for the PRC’s government to undertake, should it really be the number one priority? I mean, going around insisting to everyone who will listen that ‘Taiwan is an integral part of China’ and ‘the PRC is the only legitimate government of China’ is one thing, but refusing to allow the ROC to join the WHO until a government more sympathetic to this quest for territorial integrity was elected means potentially screwing over normal people with normal lives by cutting them off from the services offered by an international health agency. And these people, according to the PRC’s government, are technically their countrymen themselves. This means that this intangible idea of the ‘Chinese nation’, the strict obedience to the territorial dictates of the Qing dynasty’s ghost, are more important to the CPC than the welfare of real people- real Chinese people- with real lives living in the here and the now. This is case of not being able to see the trees for the forest, I think.

    @Hemulen
    I have to side with JXie and Allen on this one. Ma is just in a much better position to negotiate than the Dalai Lama. He has a state with a respectable sized economy, a military, and a tentative alliance with the United States. The Dalai Lama has a refugee camp and a lot of faith and wisdom. The PRC just doesn’t have to offer him as much because of the situation, not necessarily because of racism.

  35. @JXie

    Not everything is racism and discrimination, and the fact that Han males dominate politically in China overall is not be wondered. But the most reasonable explanation that the entire political apparatus in Tibet and Xinjiang are dominated by Han males is, I’m afraid, systematic discrimination of the majority (i.e. Tibetans and Uighurs). If you don’t accept that, we can just as well explain away the fact that every single Hong Kong governor was a white male for the entire span of British rule.

  36. “…If you don’t have the proper bloodline,…”

    ____________________________

    This is another self-contradict BS.

    When we defend the policies in China, we are told that we have been brainwashed, right ?

    I guess idiot like you forgot that CCP had ‘brainwashed’ us for 60 years that we are ‘one family’, and there is no bloodline in China.

  37. all,
    Why are people so shocked and outraged when they see politicians playing politics? Stop being so coy.

    It’s like being upset that your hooker really wasn’t in to you…

  38. @Lime #34,

    You wrote:

    This little episode that Allen has been good enough to bring up for discussion is an excellent example of why nationalism is such a weak and often dangerous excuse for a philosophy … refusing to allow the ROC to join the WHO until a government more sympathetic to this quest for territorial integrity was elected means potentially screwing over normal people with normal lives by cutting them off from the services offered by an international health agency. And these people, according to the PRC’s government, are technically their countrymen themselves. This means that this intangible idea of the ‘Chinese nation’, the strict obedience to the territorial dictates of the Qing dynasty’s ghost, are more important to the CPC than the welfare of real people- real Chinese people- with real lives living in the here and the now. This is case of not being able to see the trees for the forest, I think.

    This is a good point. Except I like to point out that it was the Taiwanese government under Chen that acted to the detriment of the Taiwanese people by playing politics. In 2003, China’s did offer Taiwan the opportunity for Taiwan to obtain all the information and coordination and resources it needs with WHO by working with China’s WHO representatives and organization – i.e. effectively joining WHO under the rubric of China’s representative organization.

    The CCP provided a solution that would have helped the Taiwanese gov’t gain direct access to WHO resources, but it was the the Taiwanese gov’t which decided to play politics and rejected that – insisting then it must join WHO as an independent country. When China blocked that – people cry foul???

    P.S. Lime, I understand you may want to reply that well – in this case, nationalism per se is bad – both of the Chinese and Taiwanese variety. You may be right – if you look narrowly enough. But on a policy level – on a broad enough level – I don’t think there is any doubt that having a strong country is good for the people of the country (just look at recent history, say over the last 100-200 years). And the key to building a strong country remains nationalism.

  39. @Raj #4 – Word.

    @Allen – This is a particularly disappointing piece from a website I used to read often. The analysis simplistic beyond belief, and easily predictable from the title. This last few months truly has outed the Fool’s Mountain crew as being Chinese nationalists before anything else.

  40. @FOARP #39,

    Ok … sorry about being simplistic beyond belief. This is why we have comments – from which everyone can learn.

    If I have been oversimplistic – people can correct for that by throwing out issues that deserves attention (I think people are doing that). A lot of times the discussion here at foolsmountain takes on a life of their own anyways. The intelligence of this website does not reside in the editors alone (maybe I am being presumptuous in even thinking that). I bet you a lot of people come to this website to read what’s in the comments and not what the editors write.

    In any case, I hope for you that nationalist perspectives – even if you might not agree with them – count as legitimate viewpoints too.

  41. Raj wrote:
    “If you look at the bottom (ignore the Jackie Chan stuff, please), you’ll see a polling result that 63.8% of PRC Chinese think that Taiwan and Hong Kong have too much freedom. Given that Taiwanese don’t want to give any freedom up, why would they want to give Beijing any sort of jurisdiction or authority over their lives? Just because China has an autocratic style of government doesn’t mean that the CCP never adopts/shares the views of Chinese people.”

    Mainland Chinese may feel HK and Taiwan have too much freedom. That’s hardly a war chant to plow HK and Taiwan under. That’s just personal feelings and opinions.

    Who asked Taiwanese to give up their “freedom”?? Nobody I know.

    Exactly, I think the logical reading of that is the mainland Chinese do not want necessarily to emulate the society of Taiwan. The illogical reading is Taiwan should emulate the mainland Chinese society. That’s the whole point of 1C2S: to be a bidirectional diffusion barrier, live and let live, until the day the two sides naturally equalize. Rightly or wrongly, 1C2S wasn’t just designed to not affect Hong Kong, it was designed also to not affect mainland China.

  42. @Allen #40

    You have become a real problem for antagonists of Chinese “nationalists” on this blog because in the end, it’s the truth (as you have well presented) that hurts even scary as Hemulen admitted in another thread.

  43. “FOARP Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    @Allen – This is a particularly disappointing piece from a website I used to read often. The analysis simplistic beyond belief, and easily predictable from the title. This last few months truly has outed the Fool’s Mountain crew as being Chinese nationalists before anything else.”

    +++++
    FOARP, I don’t know who “the crew” is since people can not only comment, but even write their own posts. Should we have a designated devil’s advocate who writes the anti-nationalist view? But then wouldn’t you mistake it for sarcasm?

    Back to the topic, the WHA observer status is pretty much expected under somebody who is not antagonistic. It doesn’t matter if it’s Ma or Chen or Joe Wong. Ma just happens to be sensible. Maybe in your view it is not generous enough, but let’s just say 1) it is more generous than before and 2) it contradicts what the doomsday prognosticators of the Taiwan independence camp said, which was that China would not allow Taiwan observer status under any name because China hated Taiwanese health.

  44. Hemulen wrote:

    Former capitalist roaders, KMT generals and triad bosses can be forgiven, their cases can be reversed because they are Han Chinese. Exile Tibetans, Uighurs or other minority groups can never redeem themselves by less than a complete declaration of submission to the CCP.

    +++++
    That’s the most ridiculous thing. It has been policy since some time ago to welcome any of these groups back despite past history: members of DPP, 6/4 participants, exiles of all kinds. Nobody cares. And many have done just that, gone to China and done well whether in business or social service. Now some may have crapped their own pants about going back to China due to brainwashing themselves into thinking they will be executed or some such non-sense.

    Ge Lek, a renowned Tibetologist from east Tibet Autonomous Region of China, made the remarks at a forum on modern Tibet held here at the University of Westminster.

    “Tibetan compatriots living abroad should help Tibetans back in China live a happy and better life and not to over ideologize the Tibetan issue. Otherwise, it might lead to confrontations between countries, and estrangement among nationalities, which are of no good to grassroots Tibetans,” said Ge Lek, deputy director general at China Tibetology Research Center who is leading a delegation of Tibetologists for an academic exchange in Britain.

  45. @William
    There are a lot less sensible arguments on this site than it was about 5 months ago when I joined. There are nationlist GREAT! But when you disagree with them, the insults and the condescending remarks starts. Have you notice less “anti nationlist” posts? why? Could it be because they are tired of being attacked personally? Its a great place to exchange opinions and ideas, but when someone disagrees, they automatically gets labeled “evil west”, “brainwash” or even gets assumed that their opinion does not matter because it comes from a different history book or different background or assumed race, this place becomes a platform where insults are exchanged and not ideas.

    @original topic
    I think it is awesome that Taiwan gets to become an observer. This is a huge progress. There are many many organizations that Taiwan should be part of for the sake of the people in Taiwan. Taiwanese independence crew just needs to suck up their pride and save the battle for another day when things improve. Political wars should not be at the expense of its own people.

  46. Nimrod

    That’s the whole point of 1C2S: to be a bidirectional diffusion barrier, live and let live, until the day the two sides naturally equalize. Rightly or wrongly, 1C2S wasn’t just designed to not affect Hong Kong, it was designed also to not affect mainland China.

    Yes, but how do the two sides equalise? I don’t see China moving much towards Hong Kong’s political system, yet there are concerns among many people in Hong Kong that China is carefully prodding the city to be more like it would like it to be – e.g. self-censorship in the media to avoid displeasure in Beijing. Although there’s a difference between a city and an island, you have to realise that post-1997 Hong Kong does not reassure most Taiwanese about what their home would be like after unification. This is why the 1C2S method of unification won’t work with Taiwan. You can call the process/mechanism whatever you like, but the actual detail will have to be different.

    FOARP, I don’t know who “the crew” is since people can not only comment, but even write their own posts.

    Nimrod, I think you’ll have to admit that the list of people who can write and publish their own entries is fairly restricted both in terms of numbers and views. The letters aren’t the same because they have to be approved by others first.

    Should we have a designated devil’s advocate who writes the anti-nationalist view? But then wouldn’t you mistake it for sarcasm?

    This seems to just prove FOARP’s point. You suggest that not agreeing the nationalist view cannot be rational and that a person would have to force themselves to do it as a devil’s advocate. Would it be so hardto open the system up more than you have done and actively try to recruit more people with a broader base of views?

    Why not ask FOARP to discuss becoming a writer here, for example?

  47. @Nimrod
    Are you aware that the CCP spies on these people, and once they do something that they think it is wrong they arrest them? They are the worst version of the CIA.
    Everyone knows about the House Churches in China. Many of these House church ministers gets harrassed by local police, and on a larger level there are people who spies on them… What kind of life is that when someone is spying on your every move like paparazzi on a star…. I also read a blog post story on ifeng couple of months ago, a Chinese guy who fights injustice for the poor and reports any corruption and complaints about the local government to the central government, him and his family are under constant watch by local police. No one is allowed to visit them. If any outsider goes into the village, they get chased out. Why is CCP allowing behaviours like that?

  48. miaka9383, I think sometimes people take an attack on their idea as an attack on the idea carrier. It’s kind of inevitable. But you are right in one sense in that more civility will welcome more points of view. Christopher Hitchens probably should not be our model debater.

  49. Raj,

    This seems to just prove FOARP’s point. You suggest that not agreeing the nationalist view cannot be rational and that a person would have to force themselves to do it as a devil’s advocate.

    Oh no, I only meant forcing somebody like Allen to take a side that is not his.

    Would it be so hardto open the system up more than you have done and actively try to recruit more people with a broader base of views? Why not ask FOARP to discuss becoming a writer here, for example?

    Good idea. Also for certain kinds of posts, we should just have a box called rebuttal as part of the post. That elevates it above a peanut gallery comment. Maybe it can be promoted from a comment by a vote. I don’t know, just throwing out some ideas.

    While I’m making suggstions, a “quote” button would also be nice.

  50. @FOARP, #39

    “This last few months truly has outed the Fool’s Mountain crew as being Chinese nationalists before anything else.”

    I just think you are not used to seeing attacks against CCP, China, whatever countered. Lately those on such perspectives are getting a good dosage.

    @JXie, #29
    @Allen, #30

    You guys said exactly what I was thinking. Few years ago, some renowned Japanese economist made the same argument.

  51. Yeah, I think this blog has gone down the drain recently and it does enormous harm to the image of Chinese nationalism. If you had any doubt what these cyber patriots are really up to, all you need to do is to read a thread and just wait until you hear oblique threats voiced against whoever the PRC has decided is an enemy. For me, the moment of truth was when Allen was thinking aloud about putting unpatriotic Tibetans in internment camps last year. Of course, he claimed that he did not mean that, but at that moment I decided to not comment anymore. I think I’m out for now.

  52. “This last few months truly has outed the Fool’s Mountain crew as being Chinese nationalists before anything else.”

    More like some people keep talking about the look of the food, while most chinese here focus on the taste of food.

    and the funny thing is you forgot how fiercely you defended your country when I questioned what British had done to Northern Ireland. Can you recall now ?

    Nationalist ? it is more like a lame excuse that you have failed to convince us.

  53. …. all you need to do is to read a thread and just wait until you hear oblique threats voiced against whoever the PRC has decided is an enemy…..

    Blah, blah, blah, blah ….

    Yeah, we decide who is enemy to us, just like westerners think China is or will be their enemy. does it matter if we repeat hundreds of times that this is not the case ? Wasnt West very kind to soviet unions ? what did they do to them, huh ?

    or will any of you here be able to present an example of pro-west country in which West media keeps bashing human right ? If not, shouldnt a normal person suspect their real purpose ?

    Before your posting, please switch “china” with “west”, “Chinese” with ” westerners”, see if that makes sense to you, OK ?

  54. Before, you use the word “communism”, now you use “nationalism” , what will be the next ?

    Let me tell you :

    Enjoy your damn pseudo-democracy in which 99% of protest and free speech are about “give me the fucking money”; as a result, your people will never unite together for a great deed. China now stays focusing on only one thing : economy; Decmocracy will SURE come to China gradually.

    Dont ever, ever think your democracy is the only form of democracy, get it ?

  55. @Raj #46

    As I have stated in my emails to you, we published all submissions, unmodified, except one ( it was not posted because it contained unverified accusations against some members of the Chinese overseas democratic movement). Furthermore, we have published multiple pro-Tibet independence posts on the main page, including those from Otto Kerner and Skylight, to name a few. And may I ask you to name another China-related blog that actively encourage posters to write and submit posts that are critical to us?

    Since we established open submission policy, everyone is invited to write a post. I openly invited Hemulen to write a post, which he never did. And If recall correctly, FOARP claimed he did not want to write a post here. So I particularly appreciate your interest to write for this blog and I am looking forward to your entry soon.

    The approval process is for quality control and logistical purpose only. Submissions are usually approved in 24 hrs. However, if you really want the instant satisfaction to publish what you write immediately, we can set up a forum. Otto Kerner once floated that idea, but not many people are interested besides me. So if you are willing to help out on that front, please let me know.

  56. @Hemulen #51,

    You seem to always have a peculiar way of reading what I write – distorting what I write – taking things out of context – etc.

    Again I will provide a link to the post in question.

    If you go back to read that post again – you will see that I was warning against letting our desire to fight Tibetan nationalism degenerate into a rejection of Tibetan identity and culture altogether.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve also said that I’d sacrifice my Taiwan brothers and sisters if Taiwan declare independence. I’d fight against anyone who wants to split the country. Any patriot for any country would do the same.

    I am fascinated by your continual reading my posts as well as Chinese history in general out of context. Oh well – to each his own. I can see why I may seem so scary to you. Perhaps you just need to get a new set of glasses. A new set of glasses may help you see – and even read – better!

  57. @ miaka9383 #45

    I don’t understand your point for two reasons. 1) There are personal attacks on both sides but you only point out one side, and 2) You have practiced some personal attacks yourself. So what’s problem?

    On this thread, some people are whining not because personal attack but simply because they have been proven wrong and felt embarrassed. Two examples are FOARP #39 and Hemulen #51. They both have problems with Allen’s point of view. Did Allen make any personal attack? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, it was Hemulen who attacked Allen personally multiple times in another thread. Therefore if Hemulen wants to stay away from this blog because Allen disagreed with him, it’s his problem as far as I am concerned.

    Like I said, moral crusaders are usually the worst sinners and this blog is no exception.

  58. To JXie #29 and Allen #30:
    “Jiangsu and Guangdong become richer than Taiwan, the leverage may become less useful.” – so let me get something straight. Does China want Taiwan back in the fold because of warm and fuzzy brotherly love, or is it to show it off in the trophy case as an instant injection of financial prowess to the portfolio (much like HK was in 1997)? The latter, I don’t get, because it would simply show what Chinese people can do in the ABSENCE of the CCP over 60 years. But if it’s the former, then Taiwan can become the most downtrodden piece of real estate occupied by Chinese, and the CCP should still want it back.

    On the other hand, if Taiwanese are happy with the status quo, and over the decades she becomes less attractive to the CCP, then so much the better for everybody. Of course they can still do the same song and dance, cuz who doesn’t like a little leg every now and again.

    “thereby getting the Mainland to shoulder all military defense of Taiwan immediately for free” – that’s not much of a carrot. I think most of Taiwan’s defense is geared toward defending her from the mainland anyway. As for investment and economy, looks like this opening up process will provide that for Taiwanese business anyway.

    As for the 50-year free ride, that sounds like the deal HK got. If I’m still alive and not yet senile, I’d like to see how that turns out when that agreement reaches its best-before date.

    And BTW, how do Chinese nationalists feel about the fact that this current “concession” towards Taiwan shows that it’s all politics, and China doesn’t really care about the well-being of Taiwanese people? Or maybe, as Allen says, those are expendable brothers and sisters in the game of Chinese sovereignty.

    “Any patriot for any country would do the same.” – not me. I love Canada, and if Quebec wants to leave, they should go right ahead. Well, maybe she can still let us have a few good hockey players…and maybe take the Maple Leafs with them instead.

  59. Cheung, First I can hardly call myself a Chinese nationalist. To me the welfare of myself trumps everything else, which may not be what Allen is like. It’s all about dispassionately looking at the whole picture and seeing where I fit in and how I can benefit from it, which brings up the point of why I am hanging out here so often… Allow me to ramble a bit.

    In Lee Kuan-Yew’s memoirs, he recalled his first encounter with Deng Xiaoping after he ousted The Gang of Four and Hua Guofeng. Lee in his trademark candor, told Deng along the line — Singapore was built by mostly Chinese stocks from Guangdong and Fujian that were educationally inferior to their northern kinsmen historically, and look at Singapore now, compared to mainland China. The message was that the old communist system was essentially failing. After Lee left China, soon there was the announcement of building the 4 Special Economic Zones. One has to wonder what Deng was thinking. Was it that the system he helped build was wrong? Or was it that he never got to build the system per his specs? Or was it that the great “architect” himself wasn’t sure but heck let’s try that? Or was it that the patriarchal authoritarian Singapore with state-directed capitalism was the real model? Anyway, the 50-year promise many actually believe Deng intended to change China in 50 years to be more like Hong Kong… But to me even as pragmatic as Deng was, he was also a prideful man. He probably genuinely believed his flavor of socialism with Chinese characteristics just needed another 50 years. Anyway, my money is that in 50 years you would hardly notice any difference between Hong Kong to say Shanghai, which may including Taiwan all be under one monetary regime by then.

    A very popular platform run by local DPP politicians in the 90s was to compare mainland’s and Taiwan’s per capita GDP and show that it’s to the detriment of Taiwanese to unite with mainland. At least the early TI advocates believed Taiwan would be better off getting away from mainland as far as possible.
    Nowadays there are some 1 million Taiwanese working and living in mainland. If you golf in the Pearl River Delta or the Yangtze River Delta, you will get to meet a lot of Taiwanese (and Koreans and Japanese). If you ask them what they do, including Koreans and Japanese, they would likely answer you in Mandarin 打工仔 in each’s own accent. Sam Hui (the original Cantonese singer of “我地呢班打工仔, 一生一世為錢幣做奴隸…”) would be proud.

    The economic integration is irreversible, and it’s becoming increasingly impossible for Taiwan to go independent without causing severe harm to itself, even if there is no military conflict and mainland is only pissed. As time goes by, it will become clearer to the decision makers in Beijing. Think about this, let’s say after 10 years some currency appreciation and fast growth later, the PRD and YRD actually have higher per capita GDP than Taiwan, would Beijing be able to still maintain a favorable treatment to Taiwanese businesses over mainland ones?

  60. @William
    I actually have never done any insulting. Feel free to prove me wrong. I will always remember how you and W and H paid respect to my family.
    It has been a lot of insulting on both sides but person start with name H and W and R have flung many many unwarranted, unrelated insults for no REASON.
    I have been insulted by YOU… which I let go.. but this needs to be a civilize forum. I came on here to express opinion and hear others, not to argue with you…. it just seems like a battle between people who thinks they know what the west is like and/ or what china is like to people who actually know.
    I have actually given up posting my opinion.. but this is getting out of hand. You and others have ganged up on me, because my opinion is “wrong”, yet you guys refuse to see the other side. vice versa on some people, but I am expressing exasperation on my own personal account that these uncivility has to stop. I liked it when MAJ posts but he has stopped coming, now we are chasing another person who seemed to be knowledgable away. This is ridiculous. This has to stop.

  61. @miaka9383 #60

    “I actually have never done any insulting. Feel free to prove me wrong.”

    Well, you did call Chinese people being crying baby and vicious. As a Chinese, I found that that pretty insulting. So check out your own posts in 2/23/09 and 3/17/09 threads. Let me remind you, the topics of both threads are not about Chinese people’s behavior or national characters.

    “I will always remember how you and W and H paid respect to my family.”

    I never mentioned your family. Please don’t make up story. Show me the evidence.

    “I have been insulted by YOU… which I let go.”

    I may have insulted some people on this blog but I never insulted you personally. Again, show me the evidence.

  62. @William
    LOL… You should have said cry baby comment offended you. And to check the context, we were talking about overreaction.
    That was not towards anyone personally. Taking things out of context does not help things here does it? I am talking about personal attacks, discounting someone’s opinion because of their identity and because they don’t agree with you is just Petty… much like this argument….

    Well and I apologize that it wasn’t you who paid respect to my family… But …
    You condoned Huaren’s behavior by ganging up on me.. You have actually insulted my intelligence and I have personally told you that I was offended by you. Have I not?

    Either way MY POINT..
    there is no allowance of difference in opinino on this forum, without getting insulted. It has got to stop. And William, once finals are over, I will be Petty and go dig through past threads where you have insulted me by saying I don’t know anything.
    I have never taken your opinions as insults until you made reference to my personal being. Yes you have. I am not making things up. Those people have insulted me personally its just you, Wahaha and Huaren. And it amazes me for such an intelligent person, you think that is an ok behavior.
    I am done commenting about this subject. But no more insults people. Threads are getting degenerated with these petty comments, yes myself is at fault also, but its got to stop.

    This argument is pointless…. either way stop insulting people…. yes its on both sides… and no I am not takiing sides.. but there are more insulting comments coming from your side because there are more of you…
    Here’s to you personally,
    我最討厭大男人欺負小女子。我發言的時候 我常常被欺負。有你有欺負過我。 現在有人寫了你們不同意的話所以大家都冒起來罵他們。。。 我問你 這樣對嗎? 我問你 當華人 在侮辱我的人格時,你也附和他的意見。。。 你說。。 你這樣跟糞青有什麽不同? 我剛來時 我曾經欣賞過你的意見, 但是你竟然認爲最近這些行爲是對的? 我很失望。。。
    我問你 這些行爲你認爲是對或錯。。。

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2009/02/23/paris-court-rejects-chinas-saint-laurent-art-claim/#comments
    Here is the exchange between you and I… #203-#207
    You disagree with me fine.. then accusing me of stretching the truth? That’s gone a bit far. I did apologize for “going to far about cry baby” Yet, none of you ever apologized to me for insulting my being… hmm interesting…
    Either way I am done talking about who said what when.. believe what you want… I am just a dumb college student to you anyways… No you didn’t say it… the attitude in your words imply that

  63. @SKC

    ““Any patriot for any country would do the same.” – not me. I love Canada, and if Quebec wants to leave, they should go right ahead. Well, maybe she can still let us have a few good hockey players…and maybe take the Maple Leafs with them instead.”

    Okay, I get it. Even though you are Canadian, you are not patriotic to Canada. That makes you a “minority” of all Canadians in this context of patriotism, no? LOL, you are not expecting majority of Chinese people to be “minorities” are you? Crazy sick logic.

  64. @SKC #58,

    You wrote:

    “Any patriot for any country would do the same.” – not me. I love Canada, and if Quebec wants to leave, they should go right ahead. Well, maybe she can still let us have a few good hockey players…and maybe take the Maple Leafs with them instead.

    You know … that’s fine.

    If Canda wants to settle the issue of Quebec by allowing Quebec to hold a referendum (using an electoral map that does not predestine the result this time!) – and Quebec elects to go – then fine, you would be right to let them go. In fact – as a Canadian patriot – if that’s the process Canada decides for Quebec to decide – you have to respect the result of that process – you can’t fight against it!

    The U.S. fought a civil war – and did not offer the South a referendum. If you were a U.S. patriot – you’d be right to fight to take back the South.

    Anyways, I’ll agree with you that I may have spoken too quickly if I had said all patriots must always fight to keep the country together. Some times – if a country decides the best course of action is to fragment itself (happens very rare if ever in history), a patriot should allow the country to fragment … I suppose … Though I don’t know what would make the patriot a patriot …

  65. @miaka

    You, yourself said disrespectful things about your father in a public forum as this. (That’s a big no no in my book.)

    As long as you make racist or disparaging remarks against Chinese people – any people – you will get countered.

    For you specifically, I suggest you finish up your school and live the world 1 or 2 decades before you try to be forceful with your views. 🙂

  66. @Allen, #64

    I don’t think its necessary to perverse the definition of patriotism that much. As you said it “rare” – actually, name one case where it was a country’s “patriotic” thing they did to carve a piece of it out?

  67. @miaka9383 #62

    Once again, the topic of the thread never was about overreaction. Obviously you didn’t like what Chinese nationalists were saying so instead of offering your point of view, you resorted to name calling.

    If I say that anti-Chinese nationalist crowds on this blog are retards, are you offended? If you are, can I say it’s not towards anyone personally?

    Also, it was you who kept bringing up your identity/background as a defense for the point of argument and I was entitled to question that identity. It’s one thing to share your personal information on this blog but it’s another to use it as a point of discussion. For example, you tried to make a point that somehow, Taiwanese are more generous than Chinese (again, it had nothing to with the topic) and yet, when I refuted your so-called “facts”, you mentioned yourself as Chinese as though you should be allowed to make jokes about Chinese. Therefore, I simply questioned if you are Taiwanese or Chinese at your convenience to deflect the real issue. Even in this post (#62), you identified yourself as a girl as though you should be treated differently.

    For your personal note written in Chinese, I am not going to reply. This thread is not about you and me and I don’t want to waste everybody else’s time. I am done with this issue and you can have the last word.

  68. @Williiam
    Its fine. It is your right to deflect my opinions but not my identity. I use my identity to show that I do have an understanding.
    But by defending nationlists who doesn’t have anything constructive to say but insults?
    Do you think its right to argue like that on an intellectual level?
    Because all I see lately is that many unintellectual nationalists are bullying those with a different opinions.
    This is an intellectual blog, not a place for those people here who can’t express themselves with civility.

  69. @ miaka9383 #69

    I agree with you that name calling and personal insult is not right way to communicate and I wish things can be better. That said, we all are human beings and therefore we have shortcomings. I see reading FM blog as a learning experience. I have learned quite a bit from large number of people including some whom I disagree with completely in not just the method of communication but also history, politics, writing, personal experiences, etc, etc.

    It is also true that FM blog is lacking fresh and exciting topic to discuss lately but I am not sure it’s anybody’s fault. China is not something everybody is talking about everyday considering what other urgent matters need to be taking care of in the world.

  70. To JXie #59:
    Sorry if I lumped you into the Nationalist fold; being in the pragmatic subset of that group seems not a bad place to be, particularly given some of the alternatives on display.

    It would be fantastic if much of China could parallel HK in 50 years. For one thing, it would be an enormous accomplishment. And once the “basics” are provided for, perhaps the appetite for meaningful reform in other spheres will be greater.

    “my money is that in 50 years you would hardly notice any difference between Hong Kong to say Shanghai” – I agree. The business district waterfront rivals, if not exceeds, most cosmo places today. The Expo should be a good showcase for it.

    Thanks for bringing up Sam Hui…that jiggle hasn’t been in the brain for quite some time. He’s also got a good Chinese New Year tune I listen to every New Year…the one about the God of Fortune arriving.

    If there comes a time when it’s clearly in Taiwan’s advantage to rejoin the mainland, economically or otherwise, i’m sure that will be reflected in Taiwanese sentiment. And Taiwanese will be able to show it. That would be a good thing.

    To Huaren #63:
    “Even though you are Canadian, you are not patriotic to Canada. That makes you a “minority” of all Canadians in this context of patriotism, no?” – I am patriotic to Canada for Canadians who want to be Canadians. Canadians who don’t want to be Canadians are of no concern to me, and I certainly would not want to force it upon them. You would be well served to note that, when the question of Quebec separation was put to the test, the question was posed to Quebecers, and not all Canadians. Which is as it should be. That’s a thought process you folks don’t seem to get, but the reasons for your failure to grasp it no longer interest me. As for whether most Canadians want or would condone Quebec separation, I don’t know the answer, as the question has never been posed in a vote. But to me, that’s irrelevant.

    Some “patriots” like you seem more concerned about lines on a map; me, I’m more concerned about the folks within those boundaries. But hey, to each his own, I always say…

    To Allen:
    just wanted to clarify that the referendum in question was no different than, say, the California referendum on same-sex marriage ie. it was a popular vote; voting districts has nothing to do with it.

  71. @SKC #71,

    We’ve discussed this before – and I spent time last time to give you several links (too lazy to dig them up again) – but the question is whether Montreal with its newly migrated population should count. From the Quebec French’s perspective, Quebec was invaded by these migrants from rest of Canada. They believed Quebec should be drawn to subtract out districts that had these large migrant population. The gov’t objected, forcing the hand. If you have to ask again: should not the voting map align with the old administration map of Quebec? The answer is no since the premise of self determination is that not old boundaries do not matter – new boundaries need to be drawn. Who should draw that boundary within which self determination is to be applied – well that’s an argument you and I have not agreed.

  72. @SKC, #71

    “You would be well served to note that, when the question of Quebec separation was put to the test, the question was posed to Quebecers, and not all Canadians. Which is as it should be. That’s a thought process you folks don’t seem to get, but the reasons for your failure to grasp it no longer interest me.”

    My eye balls just pushed my eye lids to my forehead!

    Until Quebec becomes an independent country, your argument is basically a load of crap.

    Furthermore, even if Quebec becomes an independent country, what does that say about you the Canadian? Oh please, get a load of yourself.

    “Some “patriots” like you seem more concerned about lines on a map; me, I’m more concerned about the folks within those boundaries. But hey, to each his own, I always say…”

    Blah blah blah. And I am a saint too.

  73. To Allen:
    yes, questions of self-determination and Tibet seem to orbit around FM (with extremely small radii) such that they rear their head every time you look. And the issues you raise in #72 represent stuff on which we will likely never agree, and not for a lack of talking about it.

  74. To Huaren:
    “Until Quebec becomes an independent country, your argument is basically a load of crap.”- fantastic. Care to tell us why you say so, or are you only capable of affixing labels? Notice that I never bother to call your “arguments” “crap”; I merely go about showing you why they are nothing but.

    “even if Quebec becomes an independent country, what does that say about you the Canadian?” – it says that I the Canadian respect self-determination, and that those who remain Canadians are happy to do so. Again, making the large assumption that you have one, what’s your point? I suppose it goes back to the thought process you evidently lack.

  75. Every people draw from their own history. Canada is certainly not China. There are only 3 countries in North America, and all with short histories. Where the line is drawn probably means quite a bit more to Greeks than to Canadians. When a line was redrawn in the early 1900s, in late 1900s China had to stare at thousands of Soviet tanks 700 km from its capital instead of 2000 km away. At a personal level, I know personally people whose families in military-sensitive industry had to adjust to moves from Beijing to Southern cities as a part of the national defense contingency plan.

    When “strong government” is used, many Americans (and Canadians) immediately think about an evil government that is gradually taking their rights away. But in China, to many it brings up the memory of the best times in China: a strong government that was able to defend its people from foreign invaders, and supported periods of unrivaled peace and prosperity, during which tax was low and culture thrived.

  76. JXie #76 wrote:

    When “strong government” is used, many Americans (and Canadians) immediately think about an evil government that is gradually taking their rights away. But in China, to many it brings up the memory of the best times in China: a strong government that was able to defend its people from foreign invaders, and supported periods of unrivaled peace and prosperity, during which tax was low and culture thrived.

    Well put…

  77. To JXie:
    “a strong government that was able to defend its people from foreign invaders, and supported periods of unrivaled peace and prosperity” – the memory you describe may be emotive; but to me, the fears borne of the emotions you speak are historical in nature, and aren’t really contemporary concerns. Mind you, it does make for good fodder for the CCP to play on those fears.

  78. @SKC, #75

    “Care to tell us why you say so, or are you only capable of affixing labels?”

    Man, this is the thing with your types. I made the point that you are not a patriotic Canadian if you supported Quebec independence. Majority of patriotic Canadians would not support it.

    Now you are fixated on this “self-determination” thing – like a religious fundamentalist.

    So, what, you don’t respect the self-determination of the 1.3 billion Chinese people?

    Btw, my point was simple – until you can get Quebec to become an independent country, your self-proclaimed respect for “self-determination” is a load of crap. Don’t get excited yet. I don’t even agree with your self-determination as a concept – it is not practical and its only an ideology.

    Just curious – how does the Natives in Canada “self-determine” their land back and become an independent country?

  79. Genuine Tibetan “self-determination” cannot come from receiving funds for rebellion from other nations. That’s the very definition of “foreign dependence” and “foreign influence”.

  80. If any US party was receiving foreign funding for “self-determination” of a US state, that political party would be investigated for corruption by “foreign influence”, and quite possibly also treason.

    Canada has similar laws on the books.

    Thus, the TGIE is best classified as a “foreign funded” insurgency group, not a “self-determination” movement.

  81. I wonder why people in democratic countries all around world would not support Iranian people’s “self-determination” in building their own nuclear power generator.

  82. @William Huang: I support it. Or at least I support a little more consistent viewpoints – either all countries dismantle their nuclear weapons, or none do.

  83. To Huaren #79:
    “I made the point that you are not a patriotic Canadian if you supported Quebec independence.” – I suppose you did. But it’s not much of a point.

    “Majority of patriotic Canadians would not support it.” – I would love to know how you would know this. Really, I would…pray tell.

    “you are fixated on this “self-determination” thing – like a religious fundamentalist.” – and you are fixated on this nationalism thing in much the same fashion. So how ’bout we move on?

    “until you can get Quebec to become an independent country, your self-proclaimed respect for “self-determination” is a load of crap.” – It’s not for me to “get” Quebec to become independent. But if Quebec wants to become independent, they should. It’s something for them to seek, and not something for me to force upon them. That’s the whole point of SELF-determination. You don’t seem to get it.

    “you don’t respect the self-determination of the 1.3 billion Chinese people” – gone over all of this at length with Allen. So I respect the self-determination of Chinese people, but not to the extent that it should supplant the Tibetan peoples’ similar rights. The “boundaries” question, both in terms of geography and whose self-determination trumps who, is one where we will never find agreement.

    “I don’t even agree with your self-determination as a concept” – fantastic. Your sentiment, plus $1.50 (assuming bus fare where you live is $1.50) ought to get me on one of them buses.

    “how does the Natives in Canada “self-determine” their land back and become an independent country?” – that’s an excellent question. But the “natives” are not a homogenous group. Each tribe has their ancestral territory. And IF one or more of those tribes wanted to become their own country, I would support it. But so far, the land claims process in Canada at least has resulted in most tribes agreeing to monetary settlements and/or retention of veto rights with respect to land usage. And if the tribes themselves determine that there is no need for further redress, it’s really a non-issue.

    To R4000:
    “Genuine Tibetan “self-determination” cannot come from receiving funds for rebellion from other nations. That’s the very definition of “foreign dependence” and “foreign influence”.” – I disagree. If Tibetans get to exercise SELF-determination, then surely they also get to decide how to exercise it. And if they decide to seek the help of foreigners, well, that’s their decision.

    To William:
    “I wonder why people in democratic countries all around world would not support Iranian people’s “self-determination” in building their own nuclear power generator.” – I support it too. But that’s something for the Blog for Iran.

  84. “- I disagree. If Tibetans get to exercise SELF-determination, then surely they also get to decide how to exercise it. And if they decide to seek the help of foreigners, well, that’s their decision.”

    Well, you disagree with US and Canadian laws then (democratically decided). Accepting foreign aid for a province/state “independence” is corruption and probably treason.

  85. “Well, you disagree with US and Canadian laws then (democratically decided). Accepting foreign aid for a province/state “independence” is corruption and probably treason.” – No idea what it would be in the US. You might be right about Canada, I’ve never looked into it. And IF you’re right, then yes, i would disagree with those laws.

    But if a state/province became independent, then US/Canadian law would no longer apply, so it’d be moot.

    Should’ve stated this earlier, but the desire and impetus for Tibetan self-determination (of the genuine or fake variety, it matters not) comes from Tibetans. The exercise of that desire self-determination may be funded from anywhere. But i hope you’re not suggesting that the desire itself can be bought. That’d be a classless cheap shot.

  86. @SKC, #84

    ““Majority of patriotic Canadians would not support it.” – I would love to know how you would know this. Really, I would…pray tell.”

    Extremely simple. If majority of patriotic Canadians supported Quebec independence, Quebec would be an independent country today. That’s simple logic and even the common man would agree, no?

    ““you are fixated on this “self-determination” thing – like a religious fundamentalist.” – and you are fixated on this nationalism thing in much the same fashion. So how ’bout we move on?”

    I personally have never given this “nationalism” concept a thought – whatsoever. I think those religiously paying homage to “self-determination”, “democracy”, “human rights,” and other ideology are stupid and need to be exposed for their utter lack of respect for what they preach.

    ““until you can get Quebec to become an independent country, your self-proclaimed respect for “self-determination” is a load of crap.” – It’s not for me to “get” Quebec to become independent. But if Quebec wants to become independent, they should. It’s something for them to seek, and not something for me to force upon them. That’s the whole point of SELF-determination. You don’t seem to get it.”

    Another classic tactic of your types. Playing with semantics. I’ll let the sane people on the forum decide. No need to say more. 🙂

    “So I respect the self-determination of Chinese people, but not to the extent that it should supplant the Tibetan peoples’ similar rights.”

    Funny, I don’t get any such sense from reading some of your comments.

    ““how does the Natives in Canada “self-determine” their land back and become an independent country?” – that’s an excellent question. But the “natives” are not a homogenous group. Each tribe has their ancestral territory. And IF one or more of those tribes wanted to become their own country, I would support it. But so far, the land claims process in Canada at least has resulted in most tribes agreeing to monetary settlements and/or retention of veto rights with respect to land usage. And if the tribes themselves determine that there is no need for further redress, it’s really a non-issue.”

    Hmm, where is that passion for fighting for the self-determination for the Natives? Your “But” came so so so soon. Your types always screw up on your priorities too. Don’t you want to correct the most egregious wrongs first around the world?

    “To R4000:
    “Genuine Tibetan “self-determination” cannot come from receiving funds for rebellion from other nations. That’s the very definition of “foreign dependence” and “foreign influence”.” – I disagree. If Tibetans get to exercise SELF-determination, then surely they also get to decide how to exercise it. And if they decide to seek the help of foreigners, well, that’s their decision.”

    Man, I am glad the majority of the world don’t think like you do, because this world would otherwise be full of sufferings from war and conflict.

  87. To Huaren:
    “If majority of patriotic Canadians supported Quebec independence, Quebec would be an independent country today. That’s simple logic and even the common man would agree, no?” – I’m surprised you still don’t understand the principle here. If the majority of Canadians wanted to kick Quebec out of the country, then yes, we would have. But support for Quebec’s independence does NOT mean forcing it upon them, if they don’t want it. Quebec’s independence is for Quebecers to seek. And self-determination to me means that if they seek it, then they should have it. I’ve explained this in so many ways now that I would’ve thought it within the grasp of the common man. So work with me, ok?

    “I personally have never given this “nationalism” concept a thought” – that’s a good one. Didn’t know you to have a sense of humour. The world is full of surprises…

    “Playing with semantics. I’ll let the sane people on the forum decide. No need to say more.” – see above. Humour, you may have. Logic, evidently, not so much.

    “I don’t get any such sense from reading some of your comments.” – based on some of your other remarks, perhaps you just need to read them a bit more carefully.

    “where is that passion for fighting for the self-determination for the Natives” – again, your inability to comprehend English is baffling. And your English seems pretty good. So I’m left to wonder if you’re willfully ignoring my responses just to be argumentative. If you are, well, that’s fine too, cuz I’m game. The “Natives” should have the right to self-determination. It’s for them to express. You seem to think that, if I support self-determination for the “Natives”, then I should fight for them to become an independent country. If I’m fighting for them to get something they don’t want, it’s no longer SELF-determination on their part. Again, if you want to be thick, or pretend to be just to argue, be my guest. You know where to find me.

    Let me put it in a way that types like you should have no trouble grasping. I support Tibetan self-determination. That is NOT the same as supporting Tibetan independence outright. If Tibetans are given the right to self-determination, and choose the status quo and want to remain in China, that is as much an exercise of that right as choosing independence. Is that clear enough?

    “Man, I am glad the majority of the world don’t think like you do” – right back at ya, pal.

  88. SKC

    “a strong government that was able to defend its people from foreign invaders, and supported periods of unrivaled peace and prosperity” – the memory you describe may be emotive; but to me, the fears borne of the emotions you speak are historical in nature, and aren’t really contemporary concerns. Mind you, it does make for good fodder for the CCP to play on those fears.

    So I guess we reach a permanent plateau of some sort, i.e. “the end of history”, that those past historical experiences are all useless? Mind you, Canada as a dominion with its own independence has been around shorter than 150 years, and the current multiracial identity has been around at best 70 years or so. 150 years into the Han Dynasty’s existence, they surely would be able to feel that they reached a permanent plateau of their own, and another 270 years or so they were no more.

    Even without contemplating what were there in the universe and on the earth prior to the last big ice age, and after the next big ice age that in all likelihood will render our current human civilization an “evolutionary cul-de-sac” (HT to the late George Carlin), if you look at the human history alone, there have been a lot of ups and downs. We happen to be in a warming period that worldwide agricultural yields are high, and we are in an age of plenty. During the warming period prior to the last one (Medieval Warming Period), Roman Optimum Warming Period, we saw the Roman Empire to the west and the Han Dynasty to the east. But when the climate turned colder, both crumbled and down it went with them the peace and prosperity.

    If the Earth continues getting warmer, man-made or otherwise, Canada (and Siberia) will become more habitable and some other countries (Sudan, etc.) will become less so. It’ll soon be the interest of others, but not necessary the interest of the Canadians to have a far more open immigration policy in Canada. There are currently 33 million Canadians and Canada is taking some 200k immigrants each year. At this pace, surely the overall racial composition and the self-identity of Canada can be reasonably maintained, but what about the others outside of the gate?

    Let’s say Quebec gains its own sovereignty, so do some native tribes, Quebec and some of these newly minted countries sign defense treaty with China or India, whoever eventually becomes the top dog in the world toward the late 21st century. The “top dog”, with its troop stationing outside of the shrunken Canada, then demand Canada to open its gate. At that time, I think the Canadians then will love the “peace and love” mindset of some today. In the real world though (not in your fantasy land), Canada is well grounded as a reasonably shrewd player…

  89. To JXie:
    you are making some eye-popping assumptions, and speaking of a timeline so far into the future that, to me, it’s pointless to talk about. Yes, the earth’s temperature is projected to go up by 3 degrees celsius or something like that by 2100. IF that happens, the Antarctic ice shelf will shrivel up, the Arctic Passage will be open year-round, the glaciers the world over will go the way of the Dodo. Sea levels will rise, and current waterfront properties will only be accessible by submarines. Shortly thereafter, the sky will fall. Not long after that, the Sun will burn out, and the Solar System will be no more. I’m sure some people worry about stuff like that. But better you than me.

    My point is this. Must strong governments be authoritarian or autocratic in nature? Will the China of today, but functioning with democratic principles, automatically become weak? Does a more democratic China once again become susceptible to foreign invaders? Will a democratic China wake up and find itself in 1949, or worse yet, 1978? Perhaps you think so; but I don’t. And that’s your prerogative, and mine.

    I have no aversion to learning from history. But I do have an aversion to being bound by it.

    “I think the Canadians then will love the “peace and love” mindset of some today.” – I think Canadians will always appreciate that mindset. Are Chinese only capable of that mindset under the domain of an autocratic/authoritarian government? Will Chinese become hateful war-mongers if left to their democratic devices? As for the remainder of your last paragraph, it is stipulated on so many ifs that any response would simply add to the conjecture.

    Whenever “self-determination” comes up, I’ve often seen retorts of “fantasy-land”. Here’s a news flash: without self-determination, there is no Chinese sovereignty to speak of.

  90. SKC, those were not assumptions, but rather a plausible scenario a few generations into the future. The Earth can go warmer or go colder, and those who couldn’t even project the cooling of the last several years, certainly are hopeless to project the climate in 2100. The projection was more for wasting public funding and enriching pompous politicians such as Al Gore.

    Sudan gives you a glimpse of what the civilization may become when the foundations of a society just change a little — we ALL can become savages pretty quick. Sudan was getting dryer as the climate worldwide was getting warmer, it drove nomads into the traditional territories of the farming population, and conflicts ensued. (The “Arabs vs Africans” version is a typical dumbed down line of world news the media people tell.) The real solution to the Sudan’s problem is allowing some Sudanese to move to other countries such as Canada. But no, that’s too hard, calling out China is better. But I digress. Just imagine the worldwide agricultural production decreasing by 20% for a decade or 2, and we will all be just like Sudanese. Chinese have seen that in the history many times.

    You kind of bumbled a lot of concepts together — democracy, authoritarian, autocracy, etc. The topic in hand is related to “self-determination”. It can be done or rejected in any form of governments. Lumping those in this conversation only obfuscates the core issue.

    In a nutshell, in my opinion, self-determination is a totally unworkable concept. If Quebec wants to go its own way, what about the areas with majority pro-Canada Quebecers? Don’t they have a say to their own future? Then of course you can keep this going until the number of independent nations matching the population count, before the lines are even drawn. Haven’t we seen this in Georgia already? Even in the former Yugoslavia, it was a mess of random application of the “principles” of self-determination and territorial integration, only served a reminder that might is right.

  91. @SKC, #88
    I give up on this particular debate with you. I just realize, this is the same variety as “human rights” or “freedom” and blah blah blah. Let FM readers decide who’s arguments are stupider.

    @JXie, #89
    You are a wise man.

    @SKC, #90
    Your “self-determination” only works in your “fantasy-land.” I am afraid you have not “enlightened” people of my perspective on this self-determination thing. So, that’s where we are I am afraid. 🙁

    Okay – last words are yours.

  92. S.K. Cheung wrote:

    Whenever “self-determination” comes up, I’ve often seen retorts of “fantasy-land”. Here’s a news flash: without self-determination, there is no Chinese sovereignty to speak of.
    +++++
    This statement can’t even be right.

    I sense you are afraid that without self-determination there will be nothing to guarantee people will not be oppressed. This dogmatism, while admirable, is against all the evidence and current practice. China, like all the countries, is formed from a combination of self-determination, nationalism, traditional boundaries, inheritance of successor states, conquest (might-is-right), and various historical accidents. Come to think of it, self-determination is probably the least applicable of these.

    So of course it is fantasy-land. Now, if you want to talk about self-determination as political theory, fine. You wouldn’t be the first one to put down such a theory. Just to give you the other side though, maintaining sovereignty also has a liberal theoretical foundation — not just might-is-right. I’ve posted this many times, so why not get back to me on your thoughts on this?

    The Constitutional Right of Secession in Political Theory and History
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/17_4/17_4_3.pdf

  93. To Nimrod:
    “China, like all the countries, is formed from a combination of self-determination, nationalism, traditional boundaries, inheritance of successor states, conquest (might-is-right), and various historical accidents. Come to think of it, self-determination is probably the least applicable of these.” – oh really? China as she is known today may be a by-product of history, lines on a map, yada yada. And if you want to talk about China’s sovereignty yesterday, those would serve as a great foundation. But if you want to talk about China’s sovereignty tomorrow, those things would be as useful as yesterday’s newspaper, with the exception of self-determination. Sovereignty is for Chinese to propose to others (ie applied outwardly); and Chinese can claim her sovereignty in the face of other peoples because she (ie her people) have a right to self-determination. If someone didn’t respect CHinese rights to self-determination, do you think that person would respect Chinese sovereignty? Do you think Chinese sovereignty comes from a map? If you think self-determination is the “least” applicable, be my guest. As I’ve said so many times, whatever floats it for ya. BTW, I love the “inheritance” bit. Kinda like the Stingray I referenced previously.

    “This statement can’t even be right.” – and you’ve shown this, how, exactly?

    “Just to give you the other side though…” – I’ve seen the “other side” – and to me it’s a little darker over there, as I’m sure mine is to you. No surprises there.

  94. To JXie:
    “those were not assumptions, but rather a plausible scenario a few generations into the future.” – by definition, any guesses about what happens tomorrow and beyond are assumptions. Some assumptions may be more “plausible” than others, but still doesn’t change what they are. I have no quibble with the whole temperature rise business; that’s science, and many scientists have made those claims who know far more about it than me (and you, I presume). But all your speculation about the human responses is distinctly less scientific. You’re entitled to your opinion; and I’m entitled to not agreeing with it.

    “The real solution to the Sudan’s problem is allowing some Sudanese to move to other countries such as Canada. But no, that’s too hard, calling out China is better.” – are you serious? The “real” solution is to make current Sudanese into former Sudanese? If that’s your “real” solution, then I think your “fake” solutions would make for great fodder over a couple of beer. Nomads needing to find newer resources and arable land as a result of climate change is legitimate; rape and pillage as a means of acquiring those things, is not. And if the Sudanese government is failing to meet the needs of her nomadic peoples on the one hand, and allowing the slaughter of Sudanese by other Sudanese on the other, then that government is failing in more ways than one. And if China as a trading partner is turning a blind eye, that’s a legitimate cause for criticism.

    It’s curious you accuse me of confusing concepts, when I’m merely answering to issues raised in your previous posts. Perhaps you can stick to one theme, and we can focus on one conversation.

    So, to take this (“a lot of concepts together — democracy, authoritarian, autocracy, etc”) again, must a strong government look like China’s government? Would a democratic China be weak and overrun by foreign invaders, and beset by a failed economy?

    “In a nutshell, in my opinion, self-determination is a totally unworkable concept. If Quebec wants to go its own way, what about the areas with majority pro-Canada Quebecers? Don’t they have a say to their own future?” – as I’ve discussed with Allen on NUMEROUS occasions, the application of self-determination, particularly the defined geographic area where it is to be applied, cannot be determined by a general rule. It is to be defined by those who seek it. If you take it to the extreme, I suppose you can go house by house. However, would John Q in house #1 really want to become his/her own nation, with all of the practical ramifications that would entail? I guess that’s for John Q to decide.

    I have no problem with South Ossetia leaving Georgia, or Croatia being separate from Serbia, or Kosovo leaving Serbia. The last one, in particular, is a no-brainer, especially when you throw in the preceding ethnic cleansing. To me, that’s not a mess. And I imagine they don’t find it particularly messy either. Even if it was a bit messy, my guess is they prefer that to the alternative.

  95. To Huaren:
    “Okay – last words are yours.” – that’s very gracious of you. All I’ll say is that, as words go, “stupider” isn’t.

  96. SKC,

    “But if a state/province became independent, then US/Canadian law would no longer apply, so it’d be moot.

    Should’ve stated this earlier, but the desire and impetus for Tibetan self-determination (of the genuine or fake variety, it matters not) comes from Tibetans. The exercise of that desire self-determination may be funded from anywhere. But i hope you’re not suggesting that the desire itself can be bought. That’d be a classless cheap shot.”

    That’s a circular logic, and you might as well say laws don’t apply to you because you MIGHT become independent.

    Well, that’s absurd. If you live in Canada, Canadian laws apply to you on accepting “foreign aid” for independence.

    Your argument has simply gone to lala land, completely contrary to US/Canadian legal systems.

  97. SKC,

    In lieu of quoting blocks of your texts back and forth, I will do something different. You seemingly are an intelligent fellow… what exactly I said you haven’t heard, or what I see you don’t see, or what I know you don’t know? Let me start with a story.

    Back in the days of early Tang, when Tang Taizong, arguably the best emperor in China’s history, ruled China. Once he released all death-row prisoners, allowed them to stay with their families, and asked them to come back next year. Get this, ALL of them went back to await for their executions. Surely at that time, the absolute belief of the legal codes, the moral standards, and the self-righteousness of the system and the rule of the empire, were at a peak that is unrivaled in the history. It only took a few hundred years for that beautiful Tang to degenerate to no better than today’s Sudan. What changed?

    Canada is a beautiful place and Canadian is a beautiful people. Every time I drove through the vast uninhabited land in Canada, I had the flashback of visiting some Chinese scenic places where at the edge of the national parks you saw small parcels of land each no larger than maybe 1/8 of an acre cultivated. Here is a thought exercise, round up some of the nicest Canadians and put them into a harsh environment with subsistent food, shelter and clothing. Give them a decade and make sure they don’t have the hope of returning to the beautiful Canada. Will they fare better than Sudanese? My take is that there certainly will not, and “rape and pillage” will be common.

    BTW, separating nations through “self-determination” is an extremely bloody and messy business. It’s not a choice between pizza and Chinese takeout, or even which talking head you cast ballot for. A large number of Serbs were forced out from their homes in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and many were killed, without much coverage in your typical news sources.

  98. JXie,

    Actually, it’s the Sui Dynasty, the 1 before Tang Dynasty. And Sui degenerated within 2 emperors. And your story has a few other minor mistakes:

    (1) it was a county warden who released 11 death row prisoners. It was a time of great famine, People in the Western part of China were moving in large numbers to the East to get to food supplies. 1 lowly county warden said to the 11 immates, “we have very few people left to escort you to the Capital city. So I will release you, and hope that you will all reach the Capital on your own. Otherwise, I will take the responsibility for your escape and go to my death.” The 11 immates all promised to show up at the Capital. At the appointed time, all 11 showed up. The Sui Emperor heard the story, and decreed that all 11 immates are pardoned. The Emperor threw a banquet for the immates and their families, and bestowed high office onto the County Warden. He said to his court officials, “Beyond the laws, men can be taught to be kind and generous.”

    Laws are only as good as those who enforce them. Men make laws and keep laws. Good wise men make and keep laws to the benefit of the People. Evil foolish men make and keep laws to the ruins of societies and civilizations.

  99. To R4000:
    if you had read the segment of my response in #86 preceding what you quoted, it essentially says that IF you are correct about those Canadian laws, then that’s a law I disagree with. And I would similarly disagree with other such laws in other countries.

    And contrary to what you suggested, the quote you used says that a country’s law no longer applies if you’ve already become independent of that country; not that you MIGHT do so.

    To JXie:
    worry not. I’ve heard what you’ve said, and seen what you’ve shown me. I simply disagree, that’s all.

    Why do we have laws? If people can reproducibly be counted upon to “do the right thing”, then laws would be unnecessary. And Allen would need alternate employment. But people can’t be counted upon to do the right thing when left only to their own devices, which is why a legal system is necessary to define the line, and punish those who cross it.

    Rounding up Canadians might cause a violent response, not because Canadians are fundamentally different from Sudanese as fellow humans, but because it would be a totally arbitrary and artificial construct. The Sudanese drought and migration patterns are hardly artificial constructs; they’re actually happening at the behest of climate forces beyond their control. So comparing “assumed” responses of essentially wrongfully imprisoned Canadians to the reality of Sudan seems rather pointless. Furthermore, it’s not necessarily the “rape and pillage” mentality of some of the people of Sudan that I find surprising; it’s the unwillingness or inability of the Sudanese government to deal with it that is deplorable.

    So I think I see what you’re saying; and I’ve gone on to deconstruct it for you.

    To R4000:
    “Men make laws and keep laws. Good wise men make and keep laws to the benefit of the People.” – fantastic. But I’ll keep the keys in terms of deciding who the good and wise guys are, thanks very much.

  100. S.K. Cheung wrote,

    But if you want to talk about China’s sovereignty tomorrow, those things would be as useful as yesterday’s newspaper, with the exception of self-determination. Sovereignty is for Chinese to propose to others (ie applied outwardly); and Chinese can claim her sovereignty in the face of other peoples because she (ie her people) have a right to self-determination. If someone didn’t respect CHinese rights to self-determination, do you think that person would respect Chinese sovereignty? Do you think Chinese sovereignty comes from a map? If you think self-determination is the “least” applicable, be my guest.
    +++++
    You’ve got to be kidding. China has sovereignty because she can guarantee her own security. Nothing more, nothing less. If you think it comes from others’ “respect” for Chinese rights to self-determination, then I suggest getting in touch with reality.

    “Just to give you the other side though…” – I’ve seen the “other side” – and to me it’s a little darker over there, as I’m sure mine is to you. No surprises there.
    +++++
    Have you read the paper, especially regarding the role of the state to guarantee fairness through distributive justice? It also relates to JXie’s point. I don’t see any side as “dark” or not. It’s stupid to moralize these things, as they are political theory with little direct influence on practical events, something you still fail to recognize.

  101. To Nimrod:
    China’s military might allows her to express her self-determination, and defends her against outside infringement of her sovereignty. But if you think her sovereignty is based solely on might, then I guess that aptly sums up your world view. And it’d be a slightly scary place.

    Consider, however, that many countries in the world have armies much less mighty than China’s. So, um, are they entitled to less sovereignty than China? Or perhaps theirs is based on the respect to the rights to self-determination. That respect might be bolstered by a few tanks and missiles; but I don’t think it is derived solely from such.

    No, haven’t read the paper yet. But I plan to. So far, just basing things on what you’ve said. Obviously, I think my view is the “right” one, otherwise I wouldn’t espouse it. I’m sure you feel the same way with yours. In terms of what’s theoretical and what’s practical, the difference lies in a government’s willingness to allow people to put theories into practice. In China, clearly not so much. Thankfully, in my time zone, considerably more so.

  102. To R4000:
    “Good wise men make and keep laws to the benefit of the People.” – I’ve suggested previously that you seem to think voting should be a privilege and not a right. You didn’t seem to have a problem with that. I disagree, but for argument’s sake, let’s go with that for a bit.

    So how do you determine who gets that privilege? How does someone of merit judge that of another? Gut feeling? Or is there something a little more objective…say, a test? Now, you’ve also said CCP itself is a democracy, and anyone can join. Let’s just accept that for a second. So if (as you’ve said) anyone can apply to be a member of the CCP, and once in the club, you avail yourself to CCP style democracy, then how is it ensured that only meritorious people are allowed into the CCP? Is there a test for that too?

    What if a person passes Test for Voting Privilege, and fails the Test for CCP Membership? It would seem the person is now excluded from the meritocracy game. But should they be?

    Somebody suggested that there are a few examples of people part way up the food chain who are not CCP members. That’s a good start. But even assuming all of the above, to me, there’s a ways to go.

  103. S.K. Cheung wrote:

    “Consider, however, that many countries in the world have armies much less mighty than China’s. So, um, are they entitled to less sovereignty than China? Or perhaps theirs is based on the respect to the rights to self-determination. That respect might be bolstered by a few tanks and missiles; but I don’t think it is derived solely from such.”
    +++++
    I never said anything about “entitlement”; I’m not being prescriptive in the least. As I said, that’s a theoretical discussion. In the world we know as reality, however, small countries either find an alliance with a large power as guarantor, or nobody is interested in them, or yes, they arm themselves to the teeth. On the last type, Switzerland and Singapore come to the mind. I’m just describing reality. If you think that’s scary, it still doesn’t make something not scary one bit true. In any case, as theory, self-determination is not some elixir or only way out of “scary”, so I don’t see the point of hugging its leg to the exlusion of other possibilities.

  104. SKC,

    “- I’ve suggested previously that you seem to think voting should be a privilege and not a right. You didn’t seem to have a problem with that. I disagree, but for argument’s sake, let’s go with that for a bit.

    So how do you determine who gets that privilege? How does someone of merit judge that of another? Gut feeling? Or is there something a little more objective…say, a test? Now, you’ve also said CCP itself is a democracy, and anyone can join. Let’s just accept that for a second. So if (as you’ve said) anyone can apply to be a member of the CCP, and once in the club, you avail yourself to CCP style democracy, then how is it ensured that only meritorious people are allowed into the CCP? Is there a test for that too?”

    I didn’t assume that CCP system is the best possible meritocracy system, or that any meritocracy system would be 100%. Afterall, even morons will get lucky on tests!!! Don’t put assumptions into my mouth.

    “What if a person passes Test for Voting Privilege, and fails the Test for CCP Membership? It would seem the person is now excluded from the meritocracy game. But should they be?”

    (1) modern day CCP membership only “test” on basic moral character, no criminal backgrounds, no questions of ethics. You might as well ask if a SMART criminal drunk drug dealer could vote? Well, I don’t think felons can vote in US either.
    (2) Merit does NOT mean “tests” for intelligences! Moral character, and past ethical violations obviously count. US Bar associations “test” for potential attorneys’ personal references to identify psychological problems. Many dimensions of “merits” can exist.
    (3) what do you mean by “test for CCP membership”? Do you even know what you are talking about?? Or just assuming things that you don’t know anything about??

    “Somebody suggested that there are a few examples of people part way up the food chain who are not CCP members. That’s a good start. But even assuming all of the above, to me, there’s a ways to go.”

    Your way seems to be simply give up Meritocracy when you can’t come up with a good solution. That’s simply avoiding the hard questions. If you just want to give up Meritocracy, float your own boat. But this kind of Nay-saying is not constructive in a debate.

  105. To R4000:
    “Don’t put assumptions into my mouth.” – why so touchy? I didn’t “assume” anything; I was just asking some questions. Is that too much for you too?

    1. if CCP membership only looks as “basic moral character”, nebulous as that may be, that’s actually a good thing, since it would seem to be less exclusive. Of course, depends on how you define such character, but as I said, a good start.
    2. “Merit does NOT mean “tests” for intelligences! Moral character, and past ethical violations obviously count.” – as I said, morals is nebulous. What’s an ethical violation? And besides, I wasn’t talking about one’s ability to add. Since you like to talk about merit, I wanted to know if there’s some objective way to gauge it, rather than the “gut feeling” metric. I guess not.
    3. “what do you mean by “test for CCP membership” – (from #103: “how is it ensured that only meritorious people are allowed into the CCP? Is there a test for that too?”) – that’s what I mean. Clear enough yet?

    “Your way seems to be simply give up Meritocracy when you can’t come up with a good solution.” – no no, I don’t give up on meritocracy. We use it ourselves in selecting a whole host of bureaucrats. It’s just that it needs to be within the context of a democracy, where the people, through their elected representatives, are the ultimate judge of merit. It’s a great solution, and not the first time I’ve said it. I guess you must have blocked it out. I’m not sure how willful blindness contributes to a debate either, but whatever turns your crank (feel free to borrow that phrase too when the urge arises).

  106. @Raventhorn4000, it happened in Tang too. It was recorded in 资治通鉴. The specific passages were “辛末,帝亲录系囚,见应死者,闵之,纵之归家,期以来秋来就死。仍敕天下死囚,皆纵遣,使至期来诣京师”, also “去岁所纵天下死囚凡三百九十人,无人督帅,皆如期自诣朝堂,无一人亡匿者,上皆赦之”. Total there were 390 death-row prisoners.

    @SKC, the whole discussion is getting long-winded, so I will only wrap up a couple of points I tried to make, and don’t think you can clearly see them. A good way of communication is really putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. “Round up” was a poor choice of wording, but rather “try this mental exercise imagine for some reason a handful of the nicest Canadians all of sudden are in the shoes of Sudanese, irreversibly for a decade with no hope of going back…”

    If you ask Chinese who visit Canada the first time their impression of the country and people, likely the answers are the quality of air, high living standard, plenty of fresh water, extremely sparsely populated… and the people are very nice, speak softly, never cut in the line, and never show any hurry. Maybe, just maybe if the Chinese are in Canadians’ shoes, they will soon become soft speaking and give ample space when they are in a line, and they will be far more willing to let Quebec go if most Quebecers choose so; and if the Canadians are in the Chinese’ shoes, I bet they will be far less willing to let Tibet and Taiwan go.

  107. Just as an aside

    http://www.hanyimin.com/post/205.html
    清儒赵翼的《陔余丛考》,其中有一篇叫《纵囚不始于唐太宗》,共举后汉、晋、南北朝、隋唐、宋元、明正史和笔记所记官吏、皇帝纵囚之事共二十余条,其中皇帝纵囚的,还有元世祖忽必烈。

  108. To JXie:
    ““try this mental exercise imagine for some reason a handful of the nicest Canadians all of sudden are in the shoes of Sudanese, irreversibly for a decade with no hope of going back…” – so I’ve tried it. My response hasn’t changed. Those Canadians might succumb to the same “rape and pillage” instincts of the subset of Sudanese who are committing it now. That’s not the point. The point is that the government (I’m not sure whether it should be the Canadian or Sudanese government, since it’s unclear whether those theoretical Canadians are on Canadian or Sudanese soil in your example) should be putting a stop to the expression of those instincts, and better protect those who are on the receiving end (also dispensing with the notion that Canadians on Sudanese soil should expect assistance of Canadian consular services etc). As i said in #100, “Furthermore, it’s not necessarily the “rape and pillage” mentality of some of the people of Sudan that I find surprising; it’s the unwillingness or inability of the Sudanese government to deal with it that is deplorable.” So I wonder how well you’re seeing my point.

    “if the Canadians are in the Chinese’ shoes, I bet they will be far less willing to let Tibet and Taiwan go.” – that’s a good example. And your assumptions may well be correct. I would be keen to meet a Canadian who came to feel that way. Perhaps they could better explain to me why Chinese feel the way they do. Until then, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  109. To Nimrod:
    “I never said anything about “entitlement”” – and neither did I. So since you’re bringing in a new term/concept, I’m making the following assumptions of your position: 1. entitlement tends to refer to things that are more “rights” than “privileges”; 2. you seem then to deny nations any automatic right to sovereignty, since that would be “prescriptive”; 3. nations are only as sovereign as they can make themselves, strategically and/or militarily; 4. therefore, self-determination has nothing to do with sovereignty. If I’ve assumed poorly, I apologize, and am sure you will correct me forthwith.

    I guess that’s how wars get started. Perhaps scary was poor word-choice; unsavoury might serve better. And obviously, I think as much of your position as you do mine. Reality in this arena is what men make of it. It’s not gravity and laws of physics. So in some societies, some theories progress no further, perhaps out of political expediency; in others, ideas are adopted to forge a new reality, especially when it reflects the will of the people. I thank my lucky stars every day that I live in one belonging to the latter category.

  110. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “I never said anything about “entitlement”” – and neither did I. So since you’re bringing in a new term/concept, I’m making the following assumptions of your position: 1. entitlement tends to refer to things that are more “rights” than “privileges”; 2. you seem then to deny nations any automatic right to sovereignty, since that would be “prescriptive”; 3. nations are only as sovereign as they can make themselves, strategically and/or militarily; 4. therefore, self-determination has nothing to do with sovereignty. If I’ve assumed poorly, I apologize, and am sure you will correct me forthwith.
    +++++
    No, you must be misreading. Do you understand prescriptive vs. descriptive? You use words like “entitled to” (your words, not mine), “deny nations any automatic right”, all of which are prescriptive. I can’t make other countries do what they do, and it was never my point to decide what they could or should base their sovereignty on. I’m describing what I actually see: countries act in ways that demonstrate their only guarantee to sovereignty is their actual ability to maintain their security. This is done by a variety of means, diplomacy, alliances, and yes, by means of defensive and sometimes offensive arms. This seems completely obvious to me, but somehow seems like you don’t believe it or don’t want to believe it.

    I guess that’s how wars get started. Perhaps scary was poor word-choice; unsavoury might serve better. And obviously, I think as much of your position as you do mine. Reality in this arena is what men make of it. It’s not gravity and laws of physics. So in some societies, some theories progress no further, perhaps out of political expediency; in others, ideas are adopted to forge a new reality, especially when it reflects the will of the people. I thank my lucky stars every day that I live in one belonging to the latter category.
    +++++
    That’s a fallacious argument. How does war necessary start from countries ensuring their security? In fact, as JXie kindly pointed out to you, how does war not start from indefinite assertions of self-determination? War has scant direct connection to all of this and seems to be thrown around as red herring. But forget that, as I said, so what if you think the current reality is unsavory, doesn’t make it not a true description of the world as it currently exists. Even more delusional is the implication that a bunch of libertarians in Canada are going to change Canadian national security policy to some utopian vision of yours — “to forge a new reality” as you say. Not going to happen no matter how many lucky stars you thank.

    However, if there is to be a new reality, then I have my own theoretical views, which do not place such emphasis on self-determination as you, and it is not the least bit unsavory. As far as political science, there are many theories on organization of the state. Why should it even be surprising that self-determination isn’t the only way or the highest priority in every one of them?

  111. SKC,

    ” – why so touchy? I didn’t “assume” anything; I was just asking some questions. Is that too much for you too?”

    Your assumptions are obvious in your questions. “Test for CCP membership”? Where do you get this stuff?

    1. if CCP membership only looks as “basic moral character”, nebulous as that may be, that’s actually a good thing, since it would seem to be less exclusive. Of course, depends on how you define such character, but as I said, a good start.”

    Nothing “nebulous” about it. Moral character tests are required in many professions, accountants, Lawyers, doctors. Why surprised that MAYBE politicians should be required?

    2. “Merit does NOT mean “tests” for intelligences! Moral character, and past ethical violations obviously count.” – as I said, morals is nebulous. What’s an ethical violation? And besides, I wasn’t talking about one’s ability to add. Since you like to talk about merit, I wanted to know if there’s some objective way to gauge it, rather than the “gut feeling” metric. I guess not.”

    You guess wrong, as I said, many professions in the West already do this. If you want to question the objectivity of such tests, go up stream against history as you wish.

    3. “what do you mean by “test for CCP membership” – (from #103: “how is it ensured that only meritorious people are allowed into the CCP? Is there a test for that too?”) – that’s what I mean. Clear enough yet?”

    Who said that CCP membership itself is a measure of “merit”?? Tons of ordinary people of ordinary education and intelligence and wisdom are in the CCP. Doesn’t mean that they will all get to run the President’s office!

    “Your way seems to be simply give up Meritocracy when you can’t come up with a good solution.” – no no, I don’t give up on meritocracy. We use it ourselves in selecting a whole host of bureaucrats. It’s just that it needs to be within the context of a democracy, where the people, through their elected representatives, are the ultimate judge of merit. It’s a great solution, and not the first time I’ve said it. I guess you must have blocked it out. I’m not sure how willful blindness contributes to a debate either, but whatever turns your crank (feel free to borrow that phrase too when the urge arises).”

    Oh yes, I’m sure letting EVERYONE decide is the best way to find Merits. Heck, why even bother with standardized college entrance exams? Let’s just have a vote!! Ridiculous. You are putting a pre-condition on meritocracy that you are fixated with. How many times do I have to tell you that you are talking about something, just it’s not “meritocracy”. Why does it “needs” to be within the context of a “democracy”??!!

  112. Self determination is not a god-given right, it has to be earned, through the economic or military power of the entity/people who seek it, or the alliance of others who has these powers. Why would those with these powers be your willing allies? I’d hate to say this, but among all the reasons, morality is really not on the top priority, at least not before geopolitics. All of us won’t live to the day that self-determination can happen on this planet without the guarantee/deterrence of the mighty, so let’s stop pretending as if it would.
    For the suppressors, (many on this forum would argue for china being one towards tibet and taiwan), they should provide good governance /opportunities to guide the demise of the desire of the self-determination, or face the spread of it and the ensuing consequences; for the suppressed, they should either find that mighty partner and be ready to fight themselves — if they succeed, good for them; if not, then suck it up like a real proud people and wait for the comeback– or make the best of the current situation. For tibetans, for example, the people can stop sending bright young boys to the monasteries for the time being, and make them study hard and become the national leaders as a technocrat, then reverse the policies of the “religious suppression” for all — sounds too optimistic? it’s more likely than gaining independence at least, wouldn’t you all agree? For the taiwanese, how about calling for a three-way election between CCP/KMT/DPP in both mainland and taiwan, and fight for the benefits of all Chinese. Even though the CCP most likely wont’ agree, but at least some respect from the mainland chinese population can be won. You see, in that case, all the mainland Chinese who have been “brainwashed” to think of the taiwanese people as families would know that their taiwanese “brothers/sisters” are willing to fight for the “salvation” of all them as well, not just to keep their own tidy little home and leaving the mainland people to the “atrocious suppression of the CCP”.

    IMHO, whining about what is right or wrong, and what is moral or not, can go on forever, but has never been how nations were built/rebuilt. It’s an ugly reality, isn’t it? But unless you can face this reality, and come up with the corresponding strategy, it’s difficult to see how self-determination can be won. Maybe I’m just pessimistic, but I hope I’m just pragmatic.

  113. To Nimrod #111:
    I am not sure what I’ve misread. My paragraph 1 of #110 was my assumption of your reasoning. Your paragraph 2 of #111 basically paraphrases it. If fact, this (“3. nations are only as sovereign as they can make themselves, strategically and/or militarily;) from me and this (“their only guarantee to sovereignty is their actual ability to maintain their security. This is done by a variety of means, diplomacy, alliances, and yes, by means of defensive and sometimes offensive arms) from you are nearly identical. So i’d say I’ve read you pretty well.

    Which is also why, in response to that type of reasoning, I said this in #110: (“Reality in this arena is what men make of it. It’s not gravity and laws of physics. So in some societies, some theories progress no further, perhaps out of political expediency; in others, ideas are adopted to forge a new reality, especially when it reflects the will of the people. I thank my lucky stars every day that I live in one belonging to the latter category.”) The concept, obviously, is self-determination.

    “How does war necessary start from countries ensuring their security?” – because a military formed for security purposes can just as easily be directed to invade another sovereign nation deemed to have a weaker one. That, for instance, is how WW 2 came to be, or at least how Japan invaded Asia and Germany, Europe.

    “how does war not start from indefinite assertions of self-determination? ” – (from #94): “If someone didn’t respect CHinese rights to self-determination, do you think that person would respect Chinese sovereignty?” – the answer’s in there; see if you can spot it.

    I’ve literally answered you before you asked the question. The fallacy seems to be you suggesting you’ve read anything I’ve written before responding.

    “Even more delusional is the implication that a bunch of libertarians in Canada are going to change Canadian national security policy” – huh? How would respecting self-determination modify Canada’s national security policy one iota? It’s something we do already. And maybe Allen can fill you in on Quebec.

    “some utopian vision of yours ” – so how is self-determination “utopian” again? I suppose for Chinese, having a government respect the will of the people is far-fetched. That’s actually not my problem; it’s the Chinese peoples’ problem. Maybe someday, they’ll be in a position to do something about it.

  114. To R4000:
    “Your assumptions are obvious in your questions.” – considering you barely seem capable of reading what I write, I think trying to read between the lines would not be advisable for someone like you.

    “Moral character tests are required in many professions” – are you kidding me? Character references as part of the screening process, maybe. Moral character tests? Well, since Allen has taken the LSAT, maybe he can tell us what section those questions were in.

    “many professions in the West already do this” – we’re talking about merit, and evaluation thereof. Since i’ve yet to meet a “merit” professional (as opposed to, say, a legal professional or engineering professional), I’m not sure what test the West would employ. Be that as it may, the point is how does the CCP objectively judge merit. You haven’t even come close to answering that one yet.

    “Doesn’t mean that they will all get to run the President’s office!” – no, evidently not. But you were the one who said that the CCP is a meritocracy. Within the party, merit judges merit. So golly gee, at the very least, those in the CCP must be meritorious. But how do you assess the merit of those CCP members, to know that they’re of sufficient merit to judge the merit of those who would be president? If “Tons of ordinary people of ordinary education and intelligence and wisdom are in the CCP”, then in fact, what’s judging what?

    “I’m sure letting EVERYONE decide is the best way to find Merits” – maybe not the best way. But it’s certainly a better way than letting NO ONE, except club members, make those decisions.

    Sometimes, I wonder if you’re a child. And I shouldn’t be berating a kid. “why even bother with standardized college entrance exams? Let’s just have a vote!!” – if you want to take a college math course, you have to show proficiency first. And that proficiency can be tested objectively. But when it comes to running a nation, there are many way to skin that cat. And there is not an objective “best” way. That’s when you let people decide which way they’d prefer. You’re comparing apples and oranges…not surprising coming from a fruitcake, i suppose.

    “Why does it “needs” to be within the context of a “democracy”??!!” – because I said so. It is, after all, my opinion. If what’s getting your goat is that I’m not agreeing with you, then boy have i got some important news for you: deal with it already.

  115. S.K. Cheung,

    My patience has run out after you cannot distinguish between prescriptive statements vs. descriptive statements, or between necessity and sufficiency, and you continue to appeal to inverse logic when you want the contrapositive.

    Out of that potpourri, the gem has got to be this line of reasoning:
    1. S.K. Cheung believes in unfettered self-determination
    2. Reality is what men make of it
    3. S.K. Cheung is a man in Canada
    Therefore, 1+2+3 gives reality is unfettered self-determination in Canada.

    Forget it.

  116. To Neutrino:
    “Self determination is not a god-given right, it has to be earned,” – I actually haven’t read your whole post yet. But since I disagree with your first sentence, I’m guessing…..
    You “earn” your privileges. To me, self-determination is a right, though “god-given” has nothing to do with it for me.

    Okay, just read the rest of it. It was good. Nice interlude to some of the other stuff I’ve been reading. If CCP held elections, I’d have very little else to say on a blog like this.

  117. To Nimrod:
    suit yourself, if you want to turn tail. As you hurry back to wherever it is that people like you go, ask yourself this: which rights aren’t prescriptive? So does the prescriptive nature bother you, or the right itself? And if it’s the right itself, is it only because it makes China’s position a little less defensible?

    No need to answer, since you’re on your way…assuming, of course, that you mean what you say.

  118. All so-called “natural” rights (inalienably endowed in a theological sense or not) are sheer horseshit, if you don’t mind me being brutally honestly with you. Going back or forth a few or a few thousand years, once you fall off an age of plenty, to an age of scarcity, your priority #1 is being at the dinner table not on it. Forget all those supposedly natural rights.

    What we have always had are self-interest, and the competition of self-interest. What’re constructed as modern rights are no more than a moral/legal framework to facilitate the competition of self-interest.

    Those rights are often in conflict with each other. For example, if you come to my living room and exercise your free speech right, you violate my property right, and I may opt for blowing your head off if you persist. In the example of Tibet, the “right” to self-determination of some Tibetans (a loosely defined superset of current and previous residents of Tibet), violates the right to self-determination of some other Tibetans, and the right to not being threatened by outside forces at the southwest flank, perceived or otherwise, of many other Chinese (likely super majority of). In the end of day, it’s the competition of all the participants’ self-interest.

  119. SKC,

    “Sometimes, I wonder if you’re a child. And I shouldn’t be berating a kid. “why even bother with standardized college entrance exams? Let’s just have a vote!!” – if you want to take a college math course, you have to show proficiency first. And that proficiency can be tested objectively. But when it comes to running a nation, there are many way to skin that cat. And there is not an objective “best” way. That’s when you let people decide which way they’d prefer. You’re comparing apples and oranges…not surprising coming from a fruitcake, i suppose.

    “Why does it “needs” to be within the context of a “democracy”??!!” – because I said so. It is, after all, my opinion. If what’s getting your goat is that I’m not agreeing with you, then boy have i got some important news for you: deal with it already.”

    “Because you said so”?! And you wonder if I’m a child??

    Nope, your answers demonstrate your own childishness. You “deal with it already”!!!

  120. “And there is not an objective “best” way. That’s when you let people decide which way they’d prefer.”

    Do you decide whether to have a “vote” or just let someone appoint someone else? NOPE! You are stuck with your elections every few years.

    Let me know when you actually have a choice to HOW to make decisions, instead of just picking reps to make decisions for you.

  121. To JXIe:
    let me ask you this, in light of # 119. Is not self-determination the ability to control the exercise of the very “self-interests” of which you speak? You criticize self-determination, but your arguments seem to show exactly why it is necessary.

    The unit upon which self-determination is to be practiced, to me, is the only real question. And as I said before, the unit should be decided upon by those who would seek to practice it.

  122. 两岸特色的“社会主义”

    By 杨锦麟(香港)

    This is a very interesting article to read

    http://www.zaobao.com/yl/tx090513_502.shtml


      蒋经国百年诞辰纪念活动期间,冠盖云集,但在外界的观察中总觉得缺少点什么。这样的纪念活动,仪式感太强,有为主政者造势背书的意味。而面对当前的两岸关系,也没有多少人去深入探究蒋经国当年对两岸前途的思考,特别是他的内心世界。

      从1974年至1988年,宋楚瑜在蒋经国身边工作达14年之久,对蒋经国对大陆的感受、看法和政策思考有长期和直接的观察。宋楚瑜甚至认为,虽然两岸的社会制度不同,但追求的目标和治理方式却是“不约而同”。

    蒋经国在台湾的社会主义

      在我最近和他的一次访谈中,宋楚瑜数次重申自己的一个观点,那就是,台湾在70年代经济成长,80年代政治转型的所有决策思考出发点,事实上可以理解为台湾所实行的“具有中国特色的社会主义”。为了说明这个观点,他特别指出,现在中国大陆的领导人也强调“权为民所用,利为民所谋,情为民所系”的“新三民主义”,强调“以人为本,立党为公”的施政理念,强调提高执政能力。在这些方面,两岸有很多共通之处。

      宋楚瑜说,这些年来,两岸交流互动日趋频繁,大陆人自豪地说,他们实施的是有中国特色的社会主义,重视农民、取消田赋,实行九年义务教育。但每每听到这些,宋楚瑜就对大陆朋友说,早在三、四十年前,台湾就已经做到这些。大陆所探索的具有中国特色的社会主义,就是新三民主义,强调无私、为民所用、以民为本、均富且追求社会正义,建立廉能政府的制度,冀盼达至“老有所终,壮有所用,幼有所长,矜寡孤独,废疾者,皆有所养”。

      他深有感触地说:“这些不就是蒋经国曾经在台湾推行和实践过的吗?两岸纵有分隔,但目前追求的不都是小康之后,还要大同吗?”

      1977年,美国派代表到台湾做形势简报,当时的会议纪录上有一些歧视大陆的用语。在外交部正式存档之前,蒋经国亲自审阅,凡是“匪”字都被他圈掉,更将侮辱邓小平的字样删除。

    删除“矮邓”、“共匪”

      蒋经国曾私下对宋楚瑜说,台湾有些新闻报道叫人家“矮邓”,称对岸为“匪”,实在不好。这样讨人便宜、吃人豆腐不对。此后,台湾官方的文件、会议记录,都不再有任何政治不雅的字眼。

    由此,宋楚瑜联想到当前两岸之间依然存在的很多误解。他认为,未来双方要进一步改善关系,首先就应该建立共识,确认完整的历史论述与架构,没有历史,怎会走到今天?如此才有助于海峡两岸取得真正意义上的了解与谅解。
      所以,未来的两岸互动必须建立新思维,但目前还欠缺共通的历史架构和互信。不只是两岸,台湾岛内不同政党、甚或同政党内都不见得互信。因此,必须还原历史真相,站在中华民族大历史的角度。他说:“在台北宾馆,矗立着当年外交部长叶公超和日本代表河田烈签订中日和约的铜像,足以证明台湾地位不是‘未定’。那就是历史,忽略这个环节,历史如何就不能完整建构。”

      宋楚瑜认为,这些年来,大陆确实有长足的进步,值得赞扬和肯定。同样的,蒋经国在台湾的贡献与成就,也值得大陆方面肯定,其中的一些经验和教训值得大陆总结。此次蒋经国百年冥诞,在两岸都引发了极大的回响。不是要歌功颂德,而是要找回那份勤政典范,期盼所有政治人物以蒋经国的精神进行自我要求。任何党执政,中央也好,地方也罢,都要真心诚意为老百姓做事。

      宋楚瑜说,海峡两岸不能活在过去,更不能活在成见里。历史是一面镜子,而不是绳子。镜子能让我们认真检视而继续出发,而不是心中的绳子难于解套,使历史和意识形态继续纠缠和束缚彼此。蒋经国晚年讲了一句让大家冲击很大的话:“我也是台湾人!”这句话值得大陆方面思考。大陆的朋友爱说:“台湾是中国不可分割的领土”,而蒋经国“台湾人论”的意涵就是:台湾同胞更是中华民族不能割舍的骨肉。

      两岸的命运是共同的,并将逐渐发展成生命共同体。一个贫穷好战的中国大陆,不是台湾的福气,而是台湾最大的威胁;富强有礼的大陆,才是台湾人最佳的保障。

  123. To R4000:
    “because I said so. It is, after all, my opinion.” – adults, through education, practice, and brain development, tend to synthesize the entirety of a point. Children, through attention-deficit or some other limitation, can only focus on a part thereof.

    “You are stuck with your elections every few years.” – how many times are you going to recycle the same stuff over and over again. The answer is the same as the last time you raised this point, and the time before that, and so on, and so on…. Even in a democracy, it is impractical to have a vote on every single issue. So we elect our representatives, to whom we delegate the responsibility of making the country’s decisions. Does that sound familiar? It should, because I’ve said it enough times.

    “instead of just picking reps to make decisions for you.” – hey, that’s no small feat. For comparison, you can ask the average Chinese how much input they have on government decisions. Oh, that’s right, none.

  124. @SKC #122

    Is not self-determination the ability to control the exercise of the very “self-interests” of which you speak? You criticize self-determination, but your arguments seem to show exactly why it is necessary.

    If you interpreted self-determination as a desire to excise one’s self-interest, then sure everybody is entitled to their own. But it’s not your interpretation so far. You have taken one’s self-determination as some sort of right, as if I deny it, I trample on your (god-given) right — never mind exercising your right may violate my rights.

    If my desire is my right, heck who is respecting my rights of banging some hot supermodels?

    The unit upon which self-determination is to be practiced, to me, is the only real question. And as I said before, the unit should be decided upon by those who would seek to practice it.

    Done anything in real life for your vision? You know, a wise man once said that a vision without an execution plan is just daydreaming.

  125. To JXie:
    “If you interpreted self-determination as a desire to excise one’s self-interest…” – no, no, it’s a right. Surely, when you said “what we have always had are self-interest, and the competition of self-interest”, you weren’t speaking simply of desires. And again, “god-given” has nothing to do with it, at least for me.

    “never mind exercising your right may violate my rights.” – I would mind. And just in case I didn’t mind, that’s why there are laws.

    “who is respecting my rights of banging some hot supermodels?” -nobody, unless one or more of those supermodels wants to oblige, in which case, good for you. But you can’t exercise your rights in violation of theirs, and in case you tried, that’s where those laws come in again.

    The difference between your supermodel dreams and a Tibetan one (if this is in fact what they want), is that they may no longer want to be subjected to Chinese laws and rule. They would be giving up a lot, for whatever they may get in return. And you know, if you’re willing to give up a lot (like your freedom, and, considering the beefy bodyguards, possibly your physical well-being), there’s nothing else stopping you from trying to exercise your dreamy rights either.

    “Done anything in real life for your vision?” – nope. In Canada, I think we’re doing pretty well. In China, not so much. Maybe someday, someone will have a similar dream. What have you done for your vision, apart from kissing the CCP’s feet?

  126. @SKC,

    Okay, I’ve said earlier you have last word on this “self-determination” thing on this thread. So I am staying away from it.

    Here is another infatuation you have – your attacks on the Chinese government:

    “For comparison, you can ask the average Chinese how much input they have on government decisions. Oh, that’s right, none.”

    – Well, I heard the current draft of China’s healthcare reform, the government got over 20,000+ input from all around China. How is that “none”?

    The thing that really baffles me – why so hell bent on bitching about how the Chinese govern themselves?

  127. To huaren:
    “the government got over 20,000+ input from all around China. How is that “none”?” – I didn’t know that, so I stand corrected. Ideally, it’d be nice if it was more than 20K out of 1.3B. And it’d also be good to know how much of that input was incorporated into the final product. But it’s a start.

    “about how the Chinese govern themselves?” – but that’s just it. To me, the Chinese don’t govern themselves; the CCP governs them.

  128. @SKC,

    “Ideally, it’d be nice if it was more than 20K out of 1.3B.”

    You couldn’t think of any other way to get broad and proportioned response representative of the population? Pretty closed-minded take on it, isn’t it?

    “To me, the Chinese don’t govern themselves; the CCP governs them.”

    Absudity aside, okay, I accept that’s your personal view. Do Canadians and Americans govern themselves? (Yes or No would suffice.)

    Every country supposedly not having achieved “that” has what drawbacks? (2-3 worst drawbacks you can think of would be great – either for the citizens or the world)

  129. To Huaren:
    “You couldn’t think of any other way to get broad and proportioned response representative of the population? Pretty closed-minded take on it, isn’t it?” – sorry, don’t know what you mean here.

    “Do Canadians and Americans govern themselves?” – no. But we do get to choose who does. As I’ve suggested before, I’d have next to nothing to say on a blog like this if the CCP governed at the behest of the Chinese people.

    Just so we’re clear, does “that”=democracy?

  130. @SKC

    ““You couldn’t think of any other way to get broad and proportioned response representative of the population? Pretty closed-minded take on it, isn’t it?” – sorry, don’t know what you mean here.”

    20k responses being too low for a population of 1.3B is a naive criticism. The Chinese government likely made sure the responses came from all the right demographics. From all regions, from all classes of society, occupations, etc.. I personally don’t know how they went about getting the populations input, but I wouldn’t count on them being stupid.

    Every country supposedly not having achieved your definition of “democracy” has what drawbacks? (2-3 worst drawbacks you can think of would be great – either for the citizens or the world)

  131. 两岸合作发扬中华文明

    By 蔡逸儒 from Zaobao.com

    http://www.zaobao.com/special/china/taiwan/pages12/taiwan090516a.shtml

      经查,中国学界对于软实力的定义、解释和内涵迄今并无定论,官方特别强调文化面向,认为文化为软实力的核心,但学界讨论则包罗万象,有政治价值、思想观念、制度设计、外交政策,甚至讨论到软实力的内涵、如何提升、如何建构、如何运用,目的何在,软实力到底是互利或零合、中国是否应该外销其软实力的影响力、中共的软实力对中美关系有何影响、北京应否藉此提升其影响力,等等。

      有些大陆学者甚至把国际吸引力、国际动员能力、国际组织建构、能否吸引同盟、如何实现承诺,和平共处五原则、推动多边外交、海外援助、参与维和部队、主张和谐世界、和谐社会、内政的改革、经济的发展、政治的现代化都视为是中国软实力的一部分。简单地说,官方强调文化就是软实力,学者则认为政治力量和操控力量才是软实力的核心要素。

    大陆开始注重软实力

      一般说来,大陆著名国际问题专家、战略发展学者都同意,中国要发展王道的精神文明,而非霸道的物质文明,北京发展中国的软实力应该内外兼顾,要在发展具有中国特色的社会主义文明的基础上培养中国的软实力,当前中国制度的吸引力不足、合理性不够、竞争力仍差、大家多半主张不要奢谈北京共识或发展模式,以免被视为对美国挑战,中共的软实力仍然不足无法与美国竞争,中国大陆应该让非政府组织有更大的发展空间等等。

      整体来看,北京这些年来强调软实力是有针对性的,消极的一方面是为了回应中国威胁论为主,积极的方面则是希望改善中国的国际形象与影响力,培养一个有利于中国发展的国际环境。当前北京发展软实力的做法是非对抗性的,避免以倡导社会主义价值观来取代西方价值观,避免以所谓的北京共识来取代华盛顿共识。根据研究,中国虽然在主观上已经理解,对软实力的发展应有整体规划,将内政与外交结合起来,但截至目前为止似乎仍未发展出一个全面、一贯的国家软实力战略。

      另外,若再以中国所谓的人本外交、和谐外交、北京共识而言,大陆显然理解,中国大陆要在创新、实验、循序渐进、符合国情的基础上找出自己的发展模式,不必照搬、照抄西方的经验与制度,由过去的韬光养晦到今天的有所作为,大陆希望有G2及北京共识发展模式的事实,但不必在名称上大做文章。此之所以为何部分学者甚至把中国外交政策中的和平共处五原则、和谐社会、世界和平、两岸和解,都视为软实力的一部分。

      观察中国外交战略及思维转变的过程,大家难免想到毛泽东当年“天下大乱,形势大好”、“世界大战不可避免”的主张,随后出现邓小平世界大战可免,区域冲突不断,经济发展为重,韬光养晦、绝不当头的发展策略,90年代以后又有以和平与发展为核心的战略调整。进入新世纪,则是在全球化下推动建设和谐世界、有所作为的总体对外战略。从过去的斗争与革命,到现在的和谐与发展,中国的变化不可谓不大,让人印象深刻。

    台湾应利用优势与大陆合作

      其实,从台湾的角度来看,大陆回归中华文明,遵循正道、王道,只要北京不把发展软实力视为对抗性的行动,不变成你输、我赢的竞赛,对台湾并非坏事。毕竟大家乐于见到一个文明、理性、王道、改革、开放、发展、融入国际社会、接受国际行为规范的中国。这对区域安全、对世界和平、对中国人民、对两岸关系都是好事。一个有志恢复中华文明,寻回汉唐文明盛世、历史光荣的中国,应是两岸所有中国人所乐于见到的。

      对台湾来说,本来全台上下引以为傲的是台湾保留了中华文化的精华,为素有民本、民有思想、但缺民主精神的中华文化注入新的血液,但这些年来民主异化的发展,去中国化的错误政策,已让台湾付出惨痛代价。台湾一旦丧失了对中华文明的发言权,经济成长又停滞不前,政治上需要北京的包容,外交上需要大陆的善意,经济上要靠北京的掖助,军事上还得靠对方的自制,前景实在让人无法乐观。

      从大陆的经验出发,台湾或应理解,发展软实力不应成为对抗、零和的斗争,而是一种双赢、多赢的政策取向,应该多层次、多面向、多角度的出发,举凡教育、文化、科技、学术、生态、艺术、宣传、宗教、体育都可以成为发扬软实力的方法,而所谓的民主、自由更应该落实到生活、法治的层面。台湾各界当前最需要的是思想解放、换位思考,以竞争、合作、双赢来取代对抗、内耗,这种选项利多于弊,台湾的优势在于创新发展、生活方式、民主价值,台北方面如能和北京采取合作,或以良性竞争方式,来共同发扬中华文化、文明。此或为当务之急。

    作者是台湾中国文化大学中山所教授

  132. To Huaren:
    “20k responses being too low for a population of 1.3B is a naive criticism.” – how is it naive? Any poll uses statistics. The larger the sample size, the better the power of the estimate, and the smaller the confidence interval. 20K out of 1.3B seems like a pretty tiny sample to me. In fact, naivety would be assuming that such a small sample is representative of anything of importance.

    “The Chinese government likely made sure the responses came from all the right demographics.” – that’s even worse. The only thing worse than a small sample is a non-random small sample.

    And going back to where this all started:
    ““For comparison, you can ask the average Chinese how much input they have on government decisions. Oh, that’s right, none.”
    “Well, I heard the current draft of China’s healthcare reform, the government got over 20,000+ input from all around China. How is that “none”?
    – input from 20K out of 1.3B on one issue is not “none”; it’s a teensy tiny bit.

    “but I wouldn’t count on them being stupid.” – nor would I. Which is why, statistically, I’m sure they can elicit exactly what they wanted to hear.

    “what drawbacks?” – it starts with people being denied the right to representation, and to have their input in the country’s governance. It then leads to infringements upon other rights, such as those of speech, and religion. It can also extend to a disregard for the rule of law, or creation of a set of laws designed to assist in the infringement of the aforementioned rights.

  133. @SKC

    I suppose I should acknowledge your sport in engaging in this debate. But, Dude, your sense of logic is way too cynical for my taste. Is this some kind of crusade against the Chinese governing themselves?

    You gave a fair response on drawbacks.

    Actually I was looking for something simpler and more practical. Maybe I should just get to the point. If in your mind, USA/Canada have the most ideal form of government, why does it commit the worse atrocities still as of late on this planet. Say, 500,000 Iraqi deaths to start with. Canadian are guilty because you supported the Iraq invasion.

    I guess the priest who molests a young boy has some godly justification for his sin, err, action. Enlighten us, please, Mr. Crusader.

  134. To Huaren:
    “Is this some kind of crusade against the Chinese governing themselves?” – as you pointed out, and I stand corrected, no one “governs themselves”. I merely prefer that people have input in who governs them, and how.

    “USA/Canada have the most ideal form of government” – I don’t think we have “ideal” government. But I do think it’s preferable to what the CCP currently has on offer.

    “priest who molests a young boy has some godly justification for his sin, err, action.” – as I’ve suggested elsewhere, “god” has nothing to do with it for me. Someone might have an explanation, or perhaps vaguely fathomable motivation, for committing certain crimes/sins; but that hardly qualifies as justification, or an excuse, for deplorable actions. Besides, I’m not sure how that relates to governance structures.

    “Canadian are guilty because you supported the Iraq invasion.” – we never supported Iraq, which is why our Parliament voted against sending troops there. We did (and do) support the Afghanistan mission.

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