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Archive for July, 2009

(Letter) China-America story compare

July 30th, 2009 No comments

Here are two stories of neglect and abuse, both involving children:

China: six year old locked in chick coop for a year

US: three children locked motel bathroom for a year

Thou oceans apart, both are tragic, inexcusable, and similar in terms of public reaction, sympathy for the victims, and reflection on each’s values.

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,

(Letter from John Morrison) China?

July 29th, 2009 15 comments

Hello to Fool’s Mountain:Blogging for China. I have been watching the furor over the global economy for the past 8 months as a past time, being unemployed union carpenter since thanksgiving of ’08. Much has been made of the “cause of this global crisis’ mostly revolving around mindspeak from the economic community on Wallstreet. Television reports assure us daily that everything will soon be corrected and America will continue to lead the world down the primrose lane towards happy ever after, or something akin to this.

Read more…

Categories: Letters Tags:

First U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue of the Obama Administration Underway

July 28th, 2009 19 comments

Today marked the beginning of the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue under Obama Administration. The meetings are considered to be important even though they may not yield immediate results. Read more…

(Letter from TonyP4) Are you a Chinese basher or a Chinese apologist?

July 27th, 2009 14 comments

Most likely your answer is neither. It is human nature to assume him/herself is unbiased.

Both the bashers and apologists have been brain washed. They will not listen to a different point of view, let alone discuss with you with open minds.

Depending on the topic I could be guilty as charged.

I wrote a piece in comparing human right between China and US. I have the highest approval rating from one forum. More than 100 read the long comment and voiced their approval.

The piece is here.

My piece on Tibet did not fare that well. Judge it for yourself.

There were more comments on my comment than the original article. Most are Tibetan exiles I guess. So, their POVs are completely different from my Han’s POV. I understand and accept their disapproval.

We hope we’re all be able to understand each other’s POV even if it completely different from yours. We do not want to limit our point of view like the frog under a well but a fool that can move mountain.

Reading the recent posts inspire me to write the above. Hope it will not offend any one.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Chinese Directors Withdraw from Australian Film Festival

July 25th, 2009 134 comments

This week, several Chinese directors, including world-renowed independent film director Jia Zhangke, abruptly withdrew their works from screening at the upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival, which starts today and runs through Aug. 9. Organizers of the Melbourne International Film Festival touts the festaival as “a feast of cinematic delicacies from over 50 countries,” making this result that much more tragic. Read more…

WSJ: to Indian "kids": Can Economic Sanctions Drive Democratic Change in China?

July 25th, 2009 26 comments

I am sorry to say, WSJ has really gone to the extreme.  On their “China” section, they have an article titled, “Can Economic Sanctions Drive Democratic Change in China?
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Categories: politics Tags:

(Letter from Hohhot, Opposing Viewpoint) Xinjiang, Tibet, beyond: China’s ethnic relations

July 23rd, 2009 161 comments

unity

The ethnic protests and clashes in China’s westernmost region of Xinjiang on 5-6 July 2009 and the following days have caused around 200 deaths. The deadly violence, mainly between the Uyghur (and Muslim) population and the Han Chinese – but also involving the security forces killing some protesting Uyghurs, in circumstances that are not yet clear – has shocked and polarised public opinion across China. They have also focused renewed attention on the sensitive and complex theme of the relationship between different ethnic groups in the People’s Republic of China.
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Chinese worker commits suicide after iPhone prototype goes missing

July 22nd, 2009 14 comments

News of the suicide of Chinese worker Sun Danyong last Thursday after his employer accused him of stealing an Apple iPhone prototype has caused quite a stir in Chinese media and online community. Read more…

(Letter from TonyP4) China auto after Detroit

July 15th, 2009 21 comments

China is finally coming after Detroit from this WJS article
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124761586630042303.html

Random thoughts.

* With the recent bad quality problems of Chinese products, China really cannot establish a name brand outside China – at least for a while. It is a good way to buy a brand name.

* Cost too much to build dealerships in foreign countries and learning international marketing and laws. It is a good and cost effective way. They are many former US dealers begging for dealership with ample of cheap retail space.

* China still lacks a lot of expertise in top auto technologies such as engine, transmission and environmental control devices. All these can be transferred from Volvo. A win-win situation.

* With China’s (or the company’s) reserve, it is a timely bargain that will return better than most of the past foreign investments, let alone the US treasuries.

* Why China will succeed in this deal?
– The $25 or so (with exception of Mexico) hourly wage cannot compete with $1 hourly wage else where.

– The huge and growing market of China itself.

– The Chinese engineering graduates are no dummies. They’re so dedicated and they work longer hours than most in the west. 12 hour work for one engineer actually equates to 16 hour work of the counterpart in the west working 8 hours when you consider coffee breaks, socializing in the office, holidays, vacations…

* It is the major part of the auto market. Electric cars from another Chinese company is a very small part of today’s auto market. I was a little surprised they did not bid on some division of GM like Pontiac.

* Volvo is a good and reliable car, but on the more expensive side. My friend after surviving from a could be fatal accident with a Volvo is buying Volvo cars for life.

Hope it will not go to Germany way to build cars so sophisticated that it is a big problem to own one in US with expensive parts and unqualified technicians.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Chimerica: James Fallows & Niall Ferguson

July 15th, 2009 144 comments

This is the full session between Niall Ferguson and James Fallows at the recently held Aspen Ideas Festival. Allen had posted excepts and we promised you the complete discussion as soon as it became available. Niall Ferguson had coined the term “Chimerica” to describe the symbiotic relationship between the economies of China and the United States. He currently sees this relationship as being in jeopardy, while James Fallows feels the relationship is far stronger the most realize. This video is slightly over 75 minutes.

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(Letter) Engdahl: Washington Is Playing a Deeper Game with China

July 14th, 2009 No comments

Journalist and historian William Engdahl lays out his case for the origin of Urumqi riot:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14327

After the tragic events of July 5 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, it would be useful to look more closely into the actual role of the US Government’s ”independent“ NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). All indications are that the US Government, once more acting through its “private” Non-Governmental Organization, the NED, is massively intervening into the internal politics of China.

The reasons for Washington’s intervention into Xinjiang affairs seems to have little to do with concerns over alleged human rights abuses by Beijing authorities against Uyghur people. It seems rather to have very much to do with the strategic geopolitical location of Xinjiang on the Eurasian landmass and its strategic importance for China’s future economic and energy cooperation with Russia, Kazakhastan and other Central Asia states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, General Tags: , , , ,

(Letter) Straight Times: Three Blade Weilding Uyghurs Shot

July 14th, 2009 No comments

According to this AFP report three men disrupted prayer service, attacked  an unarmed police inside the mosque, before they were shot by armed police outside the mosque. Two died one injured:

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_402959.html/

BEIJING – THREE Uighur men tried to incite other Muslims to launch a ‘jihad’ and attacked a mosque security guard before police shot and killed two of them, state media reported on Tuesday.

The incident began when around 150 Muslims were praying in a mosque in Urumqi, the capital of the northwest Xinjiang region on Monday, Xinhua news agency said, citing an unnamed imam who was giving a service at the time.

One man stood up and tried to take over the prayers but was stopped, the imam told Xinhua. A few minutes later the man reportedly stood up holding a green banner and started calling for a ‘jihad’.

The imam then ended the prayers, adding: ‘We will definitely not follow you. Get out!”, according to Xinhua.

As the man was being ordered from the mosque, two other men took out three 50 centimetre long knives from a bag, Xinhua said.

Security guards then tried to stop the men. One of the guards, aged in his 40s who did not want to give his name, said the group chased him out of the mosque wielding the knives where they met patrolling police, Xinhua said.

Police fired warnings shots to try to stop the men before shooting at the three, killing two and injuring one.

A government statement released on Monday soon after the attack said: ‘Police shot and killed two suspected lawbreakers and injured one suspected lawbreaker using legal means.’ The statement said the three Uighurs were trying to attack another person from the Uighur minority group.

The government’s statement and the Xinhua report conflicted with accounts by two Uighurs who said they witnessed the incident from 50 metres away and that three Uighur men had been trying to attack security forces. ‘They hacked at the soldiers with big knives and then they were shot,’ said one of the witnesses, who said the incident took place across the street from a mosque.

The incident showed the city remained volatile despite a huge security clampdown following unrest on July 5 which left more than 180 people dead, in the worst ethnic violence to hit the country in decades. Thousands of Han Chinese retaliated in the following days, arming themselves with makeshift weapons. Despite a hefty security presence, authorities have since struggled to keep a lid on sporadic violence. — AFP

Categories: General Tags: , ,

(Letter from may) Translation: Letter from Xinjiang – Reflections on the Xinjiang Problem

July 13th, 2009 116 comments

The letter was written to Mr. Ruan Yunfei 冉云飞, a well-known Chinese writer and blogger, by someone from a very small minority group in Xinjiang after the Urumqi Incident. It provides a unique perspective into the ethnic relations in the region. It is unique because the author is neither Han nor Uighur and the voice from smaller minority groups in Xinjiang is seldom heard. The author expresses her views with extraordinary candidacy and courage.

I thank Mr. Ran for helping me contact the author. I am very grateful to the author who gave me permission to translate the letter and publish it on the Fool’s Mountain. She also worked with me patiently in the past few days to clarify many points in the letter. Our communication is reflected in the translation and the notes at the end of the letter.

The author wants the readers to know that the information she provided in her letter about the policies and conditions of ethnic minority eduction reflects her experience in a particular university and at a particular time (early 2000) in Xinjiang. The author does not claim to know situations in every universities in Xinjiang or in the whole country. Readers should be careful when making generalizations. She also said there might be some changes in the policies and conditions of ethnic minority eduction in recent years that she is not aware of.

The original letter is here.

Letter from Xinjiang – Reflections on the Xinjiang Issue
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(Letter) A Tiny Memorial For A Tiny Life

July 12th, 2009 No comments

“This maybe the world’s tiniest memorial hall. Not quite 5 meter by 5 meter, it’s intent is not to mark an important historical event, or eulogize a famous person, only to remember an ordinary life.”
Read more…

Categories: culture, Letters Tags: ,

Uighurs and population control in Xinjiang

July 11th, 2009 73 comments

Amid all the debates regarding how and to what extend Uighurs benefited or suffered from preferential policies or discriminations in Xinjiang, there is much confusion in one particular subject. Namely, are Uighurs subject to the (in)famous population control regulation (AKA family planning)? And if so, what kind of restrictions do they face? This post tries to answer these questions with some concrete details.

Update: According to reading notes from Chistiane Reinhold, Uighurs were exempted from family planning till 1988.
Read more…

Translation: phone conversation with my Uighur college classmate after the riot

July 11th, 2009 18 comments


Note: this post is a translation of an article titled “phone conversation I had with my Uighur college classmate after the riot“. There have been allegations in recent days that most of the deadly violences were carried out by outsiders of Urumqi (i.e., not residents of the city). This article contains some details of such allegations.

Read more…

Categories: General Tags: , ,

(Letter from Willow) China’s Ethnic Fault Lines

July 11th, 2009 38 comments

I would like to bring readers’ attention to this article in the WSJ. As I do not personally live in China, I do not wish to comment at length on the issue though I personally feel the natural regionalism is countered by an equally strong cultural ethos of staying united, especially after so many attempts to divide up the country.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Michael Jackson – A Brief Commemoration

July 10th, 2009 15 comments

While we at Foolsmountain have been preoccupied with discussing XinJiang the last few days, I think we can take a brief aside to commemorate the amazing life that was Michael Jackson.

Michael is one of those few figures whose influence knew no boundaries – neither political, religious, national, ethnic, gender ….  Not just the “king of pop”, Michael was also the king of charity.  The world has mourned his passing. Read more…

Categories: General Tags:

Op-Ed from Rebiya Kadeer: the Real Uighur Story – How Chinese propaganda obscures what sparked Sunday's riots.

July 9th, 2009 257 comments

I came across an Op-Ed in the WSJ by Rebiya Kadeer regarding the recent violence in XinJiang.  I thought it would be interesting to post them here for our discussion. Ms. Kadeer is the president of the Uighur American Association and World Uighur Congress.  Chinese authorities have accused Kadder of inflaming ethnic tensions in XinJiang and orchestrating the most recent riots.

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Two restraints + one leniency = a backfiring minority policy on all

July 8th, 2009 55 comments


Note: This post is a selective and partial translation of an article written by a second generation Han “settler” born and raised in Xinjiang. That article is titled “一个兵团二代的网文:告诉你真实的乌鲁木齐” (A net article by a 2nd generation Bingtuan kid: let me tell you the real Urumqi). It is a long and detailed account of the author’s memory of growth of and growing up in Urumqi as well as his perspectives on when and how race relationship between Uighur and Han deteriorated. It is a highly recommended read.


Update: Tian, via a comment at Telegraph, provided a short summary of the article referred above. That summary is appended at the end of this post.

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Chinese Ethnic Policies and the Affirmative Action: One Rationale, Two Failures

July 7th, 2009 56 comments

Recent riots in Urumqi have been attributed by the Chinese government to the instigation of Rebiya Kadeer and her World Uyghur Congress. This may distract from a potential public debate on ethnic policies that badly need reform.

Years ago, in a high school politics class, I heard our teacher tell us a story about a Han soldier in Tibet. When this soldier saw broken pieces of human body being exposed at mountaintop and pecked at by birds of prey, not knowing this is a part of the Tibeten “sky burial”, Read more…

Categories: General Tags: ,

(Letter) Details And Time line of the Urumqi Riot

July 7th, 2009 27 comments

Details and time line of the incident as reported by China News Service:

Details of Urumqi violence: rioters kill Han people on sight

In the afternoon of 7/5, a crowd gathered in Xinjian’s capital Urumqi, attacking pedestrians, torching vehicles. They toppled street dividers, causing traffic to stop. Police have arrived to maintain order.

On 7/5, violent incidents involving vandalism, arson, murder occurred in the City of Urumqi. Up to now, 140 people have died, 816 injuries, 196 vehicles torched and vandalized, some store fronts and two buildings were torched. Police have arrested over 100 people suspected of assault, vandalism, robbery, and arson. Right now, Urumqi traffic and social order have returned to normal.

On 7/6 local authority reported the situation during a news conference. Preliminary investigation indicates this incident is premeditated. Separatist element headed by Kadeer’s “World Uygher Congress” has exploited the Guangdong Shaoguan incident to incite, organize, and coordinate these severe violent crimes in China.

On 6/26, a group brawl between Uygher and local workers occurred in Shaoguan, Guangdong. It is an ordinary public safety case being handled carefully. After the incident “World Uygher Congress” used it to denigrate China’s ethnic and religious policy, using it to foment unrest, create disturbance. Some inside China also started inciting on the Web.

Since the evening of 7/4, some netizens on QQ, forums and blogs, started calling for gathering on 7/5 5pm at Urumqi Square’s south gate, to coincide with “World Uygher Congress” demonstration overseas. Large amounts of text messages were sent to gather people towards Urumqi. “World Uygher Congress” leader Kadeer publicly announced that a large incident will occur in Urumqi, and asked people within China to observe and collect information pertaining to this incident.

As directed by outside, two hundred some people gathered at the Square at 6:20pm on 7/5, and was dispersed by the police. Around 5:40pm, around 300 people were on Renmin Road, South Gate area blocking traffic, was again dispersed by police. Around 8:18pm, people started vandalizing, tipping over street dividers, destroying three buses, the police again dispersed them. The incident escalated around 8:30pm, rioters started burning police cars along Jiefan Road South, Longchuan street, chasing and assaulting pedestrians. 700-800 people moved toward West Gate area from the Square, looting, burning, killing along the way. Initial investigation at 11:30pm shows, 3 people were killed, 26 injured, including 5 police, as the incident escalated for the worse.

In order to protect Urumqi’s social stability, local government and police headed towards People’s Square, South Gate, Tuanjie Street, stable district, Xinhua Road South areas according to law. At 10:00pm, rioting in the main streets and business districts were under control. But the rioters altered their course and split down multiple streets, acting out outside the patrolled area, in streets and alleys in the fringe of town. Han people were killed on sight, cars were trashed, torched. Local authority immediately adjusted tactic, organizing a mobile teams to rescue citizens and arrest rioters district by district.

Right now there are still people on-line inciting, plotting to create, expand this incident. Local authority is strengthening prevention and control, resolving to ensure societal stability, protecting citizen’s life and property.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Violence in Urumqi – Details still Sketchy

July 6th, 2009 428 comments

Chinese media has been reporting what appear to be ethnically-motivated riots in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.  Xinhua reports that casualty may have reached 140, with more injured.

Western press have also latched onto the story. Here is the latest report from the Wall Street Journal. Read more…

Topics on Democracy (Part 2) — A Model for the 21st Century

July 6th, 2009 58 comments
( A short thesis exploring the problems and viability of implementing a democratic system from a developing country’s point of view. The thesis concludes with an introduction of an interesting hybrid system that seems to be taking shape in the ongoing political evolutionary process in China.
This article is the final part of the 2-part series on democracy, and was first published on Jun 3, 2009 on the following website : chinablogs.wordpress.com )

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(Letter from raventhorn4000) Honduras, Iran, and China, Part Deux, Detractors missing basic point

July 4th, 2009 51 comments

There has been much comments, analysis, blogs over the Honduran “Incident”.

But the detractors of the current “new government” of Honduras miss the fundamental contradictions of their own arguments.

They argue that “this is not a coup, because ex-President Zelaya was removed for a good reason”. But that is simply an “end justifies the means” argument. Military Coups are wrong, not because we judged upon the justifications of the coups, but because we recognize that use of military force to change a government is simply the wrong means. It cannot be a Constitutional method.

They argue that “this is not a coup, because the military acted under the order of the Supreme Court of Honduras.” But they simply miss the point of even having a Supreme Court. A Supreme Court cannot simply make an order legal, when the Articles of Constitution of Honduras clearly does not prescribe “exile”.  “Removal” simply means removal from official authority.   After that, Zelaya would be powerless to act upon anything, but he should still be able to rally his supporters as legitimate politcal expression.  “Arrest” or “Exile” are fundamentally beyond the scope of “removal” as written in the Constitution of Honduras.

In this, I am reminded of the foundational principle of “Separation of Power”, and “Judicial restraint” in many Democracies.

In US history, a case was decided by the US Supreme Court, Marbury v. Madison, where the justices refused to sanction President Thomas Jefferson for ordering non-delivery of “appointment letters” for several judges. Thomas Jefferson had essentially refused to execute laws and appointments passed by the US Congress on the previous term. The US Supreme Court avoided the confrontation with the Executive body by dismissing the case on a “standing” issue.

The US Supreme Court believed that such issues would work themselves out by the People over the long term. And “judicial restraint” means that the court should refrain from making any orders to compel the other 2 political branches in show downs. Let alone use the military or side with the military in any arguments with the President.

They speak of the “unconstitutional referendum”, and how unpopular Zelaya is. But if he is indeed unpopular, then why worry about the “referendum”? Even if he won the “referendum”, it would not legally change the “Constitution”. The Honduran high court has already ruled that the “referendum” would have no legal effect on the Constitution.

The detractors have simply missed the whole point. The fundamental wrongfulness of “military coup” is in the madness of the “method”. Undoubtedly, many previous military coups listed similar “justifications”, but we do not look up the “justifications”, only the process of law. Whether Zelaya should be removed is not the question, but whether the Supreme Court of Honduras had the legal authority order “exile”, and whether the military of Honduras could legally execute such an order.

For such an order, and such justifications, the Supreme Court and the Military of Honduras, have done far more damage to the Democratic process of Honduras than a single Zelaya could possibly do with his “referendum”.

Had Zelaya succeeded in his “referendum”, it would at least be representative of the People’s will, and political branches of Honduran government can reach compromises, or even stand firm and refuse to accept Zelaya as President for a new term. (Surly that cannot be that difficult, if Zelaya is so unpopular.)

But now, we have a precedent of Honduran Supreme Court ordering the military to “remove” a president into “exile”.

The damage to the credibility of the Court’s impartiality and the military’s non-involvement in politics is untold.

And now, the Supreme Court of Honduras will have to deal with the consequential question, can they now be “removed into exile” by the foreign and domestic supporters of Zelaya?  Whatif tomorrow, 1 of the generals use his troops to “remove” the Justices into “exile” on the order of Congress?

*
I for one, now finally and fully appreciate the wisdom of Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, and the principle of Judicial restraint.

Categories: Analysis Tags:

Chimerica – Reflecting on the State of the Relation between China and America this Fourth of July, America's Independence Day

July 3rd, 2009 59 comments

Below is a video of a recent exchange between Niall Ferguson (of Harvard) and James Fallows (of the Atlantic) over the state of the relation between U.S. and China – and perhaps more importantly – over the future of that relationship (Aspen Ideas Festival). Read more…

A survey: did Britain purposefully create a "democratic" fervor in Hong Kong leading up to the 1997 hand-over?

July 2nd, 2009 87 comments

Chan wrote the article, “Topics on Democracy (Part 1) — Democracy War Game,” and he argued that Britain purposefully created a “democratic” fervor in Hong Kong leading up to the 1997 hand-over.  I think it would be really interesting for all FM participants to answer this yes-no survey and see how everyone responds.
Read more…

Categories: politics Tags:

Topics on Democracy (Part 1) — Democracy War Game

July 1st, 2009 114 comments
( This article was first published on May 23, 2009 on the following website : chinablogs.wordpress.com )
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*** ( Important : Please note that this article is NOT a rebuttal of Raj’s recent Democracy article. Nor has it anything at all to do with his article in any way. It is a pure coincidence that his article was published just before mine. It has always been my intention to transfer my articles from my site onto FM. And my Democracy 2-part series happens to be the next and last articles to be transferred. The readers should NOT view this article as a response to any previous articles on this FM site ) ***

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Addition To My "Follow-On Article (2)"

July 1st, 2009 45 comments

*** ( NOTE : This is an addition to the 2nd “follow-on” article I wrote recently. I would highly recommend you read that article first before starting this one if you haven’t already. The purpose of this article is to answer a couple of questions raised by some readers. ) *** ( click here to read that follow-on article )
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