Nobel Peace Prize Award, and reactions from Russia

The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize award to Liu Xiaobo yesterday at Oslo made headlines in the West, and as expected, the Western media continued the same narrative. As I was hearing Thorbjorn Jagland over the radio presenting the award and then followed by Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann’s reading aloud Liu’s statements (written two days prior to his 11-year sentencing), I was imagining what runs through a typical Westerner’s mind when they hear this presentation. No doubt, Liu would seem like an angelic figure, who wants nothing but the most fundamental things a human desires for all the 1.3 billion Chinese, and for that, he was jailed to 11 years. According to Ullmann’s utterances, there could not be a soul on this planet more gracious and peace loving. For that, Liu deserves the worthy Nobel Peace Prize.

If you have had not already read our two recent posts on this very topic, I recommend resuming this post after doing so. In, “The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and what it means to the Chinese” we discussed how the Chinese views Liu and what he was actually convicted for. For a better understanding of Liu’s politics, Barry Sautman (a political scientist and lawyer at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology) and Yan Hairong (an anthropologist at Hong Kong Polytechnic University), did a lot of research to come to this conclusion: “Liu Xiaobo Deserves an Ig Nobel Peace Prize.”

Despite Ullmann’s performance, I was not particularly moved.

You see, my grandparent’s home was destroyed by Japanese bombers during WW2. They told me the Japanese army at that time took over the radio stations and were broadcasting songs and messages telling the Chinese they should embrace Japan’s vision of an Asia co-prosperity sphere. It would also deliver the Chinese from the evil European colonists. All they had to do was to turn against their leaders and embrace Japan. The suffering would end.

The Japanese at that time believed in it. Perhaps our history would be completely different if the Chinese were convinced and fought on their side instead. By the way, the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor was just few days ago. Let’s suppose Japan defeats the U.S. in WW2. Under Japan’s wings, China undergoes industrialization 30 years earlier, starting in 1940’s rather than 1970’s. If Deng’s “black cat white cat” axiom was followed, the Chinese people would have embraced Japan when they invaded.

But, the Chinese people didn’t take that path. It was their choice to resist and fight.

Ms. Ullmann’s performance was impeccable, and no doubt of the same convincing qualities of the invading Japanese from WW2. Obviously Norway is not holding a gun, nor is it capable of invading China today. But, the point here is it is up to the Chinese to decide how they move forward on ‘democracy.’ Not up to the Norwegians. Not up to the West. The attitude of the Chinese is best expressed by Buxi:

I think the dominant attitude you’re hearing from the Chinese is basically, if it works for you, great… but we might prefer a different path, especially if it works for us. If you understand that our values and the view they engender might be different… why do you insist on forcing your values and single view on us? Why do you insist that we must eventually follow in your path, if we tell you with all seriousness, that we’re not sure we want to?

Perhaps if the Norwegians can articulate a vision for a ‘democracy’ where it is truly benevolent and won’t invade other countries out of pretense of WMD, then I think the Nobel Peace committee stand a chance of getting the 1.3 billion Chinese to embrace it. The Chinese in fact are embracing elements of ‘democracy’ if you bother to watch Chinese Premier Wen on CNN here: “Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao interview by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria ignored by English ‘China’ blogs.”

But, ‘democracy’ alone is not satisfactory. The CPC has adopted the concept of the Scientific Development Approach into its constitution to guide the country. Here is a version of it articulated by a Westerner, “William Hooper: “The Scientific Development Concept”.”

Do you understand Buxi’s point above?

The Nobel Peace Committee needs to explain why Deng didn’t get the award instead. Deng was responsible for plotting China’s course towards integration with the world and for raising hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens out of abject poverty. They will also need to explain why Obama won the year before and not Deng.

Some argue the way the Chinese government manages China offends their values. Well, some argue the way the Westerners consumes and plunders this planets resources do the same (never-mind their wars). How do we move forward? If the 2010 Nobel Peace Committee wishes to honor what Nobel originally sought to do, they would award the person who could concretely address this question. They should set their sight higher and not be a prostitute to short term politics.

Since the award money is unclaimed, and if there is any humanity in this award, I dare it donate to the Hope Project.

Anyways, I originally set out to simply share what the Russians thought of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. And, here they are from Russia Today:



58 thoughts on “Nobel Peace Prize Award, and reactions from Russia

  1. The elderly widow of a mathematician in the movie Oxford Murders (with Elijah Woods from Lord of the Rings) kind of sums up the truth about the Nobel Prizes with the line that: her brilliant husband could easily have won a Nobel but he never bothered sucking up to the politicians.

  2. Very different than the “violent sex predator” official narrative we see in US media. So what’s the chance Assange will ever be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize?

    – He is by any right a journalist who blew the whistle on America’s imperialistic foreign policy

    – He did not tak any money from foreign powers that might wish to weaken America’s globel influence, for example some foundation created by the Russian parliment.

    – His arrest seems to be orchestrated by the US government. This MO has US fingerprint: false sex charge to discredit the messenger, employing tradidtional puritian/prostestant notion of sex shame not prominent in Europe; the same tactic was used against another anti-war activist, Scott Ritter. Ritter was exhonorate of pedofile by the court and his case sealed, but it still got leaked to the press to silence him.

    IMHO by any standard, Assange has done more for “world peace and fellowship among nation” than Liu Xiaobo. I for one would like to join a grassroot effort to award this man the next Nobel Peace Prize.

  3. I think there is also an increasing number of Westerners who understand what this 2010 Nobel Peace Prize truly means. Given the searches on the Internet and the links coming over to our recent posts on this topic, the Chinese perspective is at least heard.

    A bit more here:

    Thomas Jones says:
    12 December 2010 at 4:11 pm
    A couple of links:

    http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-10-25-liu-xiaobo-stands-for-war-not-peace

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2010/10/liu-xiaobo-deserves-an-ig-nobel-peace-prize-the-latest-reaction-to-buzz-the-west/

    Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong have a much longer and fully annotated piece on Liu Xiaobo forthcoming in Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique

    tanyajeffrys says:
    12 December 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Sorry Fredrik about getting your name wrong. But the discussion gets hotter by the minute. The notion that human rights is an unproblematic concept these days when it is used to justify war and occupation and has become a central pillar of NATO strategy is something that needs discussion at length somewhere. But to argue that as long as you’re ‘fighting’ for ‘human rights’ your views don’t matter is absurd. How can you defend ‘human rights’ if you favour war to do so. Are the Iraqi people better off after a million dead, five million orphans, three million refugees and continuous civil war? And the Afghans? Only recently a survey said that the condition of women has worsened in Afghanistan since the occupation. It was not a survey carried out by pro-Taliban organisations! For those who want citations, here is something from one of the websites cited by Thomas Jones above:

    ‘Liu Xiaobo’s statement that he does not repudiate his comments re colonialism is found at http://www.open.com.hk/0701p26.html. This same cite was forwarded to a South China Morning Post fact-checker prior to the publication of the Sautman/Yan article on Liu Xiaobo. As with op-ed pieces everywhere, not everything authors want to include is allowed to be included. With Liu Xiaobo, for example, one would have liked to say something about his vituperative support for the Iraq War and George W. Bush or perhaps something about how all the five Norwegian politicians who comprise the Nobel Peace Prize Committee are representatives of political parties that have backed the Iraq and/or Afghanistan wars.’

  4. If you look closely, none of the nations that boycotted the NPP ceremony owned any foreign colonies. India, South Korea & Japan would be hard to talk out of it given the geopolitics. Had China been able to talk South African, Brazil & Indonesia out of the ceremony, China would’ve successfully painted the award in the frame of anti-colonialism and pro-colonialism. Actually the participation of South Africa, Brazil & Indonesia gave the event host quite a bit of relief.

    I blame the inapt Chinese diplomats. It was a major opportunity wasted. Slavery ended in the independence of Brazil from Portugal. Racial equality, international multiculturalism & anti-colonialism are all parts of the Brazil self-identity. Unlike the major Western media, the Brazilian media would be open to report what LXB has said and written without exercising self-censorship — if they are provided the information. From what I can gather, Brazilians are totally unaware of Liu’s “300 years of colonialism” comment, and many other of his nuggets that violate not just Chinese’ sensibilities but also Brazilians’.

    The same can be said about South Africa. If they are told what Liu has said and written, it’s quite probable that neither Brazil nor South Africa would support an award to a pro-colonialism and pro-Iraqi war (without UN sanction) person. Indonesia is not as idealistic as Brazil and South Africa, but if Brazil and South Africa are out, a bit more economic incentive should be able to push Indonesia over to the boycott camp.

    Now that would be something! China needs to stop seeing the world in the prism of “China vs. the world” — instead China needs to see there are many other actors with their own distinctive motivations and worldviews.

  5. Then there is that silly Confucius Award. Confucius stands for far more than just peace… Whoever thought about using his name in a juvenile pissing contest is a moron that needs to be demoted to 凤姐’s assistant.

    In life, if you are not dictating the conversation, then you are in a conversation dictated by others. NPP is a declining franchise anyway. Instead of playing victim, China should’ve once for all killed its relevancy.

  6. @jxie,

    Great points. It does indeed seem China is often on the defensive when it comes to these political games.

    JXie – only if you have time to write down your “forecasts” – even as posts on this blog. Some one’s cousin who is a friend of a friend of a relative working for some one in the Foreign Ministry might pick up these ideas. 🙂

    You’ve just given me an idea for a post. Stay tuned.

  7. I think our media downplayed the number of nation that did not attend the NPP ceremony. For example I had no idea Philipines boycotted.

  8. “Perhaps if the Norwegians can articulate a vision for a ‘democracy’ where it is truly benevolent and won’t invade other countries out of pretense of WMD,”

    except that ever since the first “democracy” , democracies has abhorred anything other than

    you see, the same tendencies to “invade other countries out of pretense of WMDs” has the same roots as in those for Nobel prize… an over whelming desire to impose one’s own ideals and ideologies onto another. (I am starting to think this is a Western urge not an ideological tendency.)
    in such I think the “West”, if there is a singular “West” has violated The Golden Rule: One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.

  9. And where’s all the righteous indignation? Some fool in China gets in a pissing contest with the authority, accuse the police of gang rate and got thrown in jail, all the ex-pat China bloggers promoted the hell out of it with that “Your Mom want call you home for dinner” stuff.

    Where’s Assange’s “Your Mom call you home for dinner” movement??? I’d say we start one right here. Write a Christmas card to Assange:

    Julian Assange (DBO 03/07/71)
    C/O Wandworth Prison
    PO Box 757
    Heathfield Road
    Wandsworth, London SW183HS
    United Kingdom

  10. “none of the nations that boycotted the NPP ceremony owned any foreign colonies”

    Right, right, except for Russia, Vietnam, Sudan, and China. With those minor exceptions, and possibly a few others, this is a really good point.

  11. @Otto Kerner,

    curious,
    did china owed any foreign colonies? in recent memories?
    oh,
    are you going to dust off the old favorite list of Taiwan Tibet Mongolia EastTurkminestan, Manchuria etc etc.
    i.e. want to chop china up into little peices just like the old imperialists for your own convience, except this time the goal is moral superority and may be even “stop the rise of china”… instead of sphere of influence/colonialization, as it was before.

    yeah yeah, you can then argue that I am a nationalistic xenophobe and that you habor no such intent.

    oh but we knew better do we…

  12. Oh the good ol’ Otto, you trivialize Colonialism. You fail to see the crucial difference between natural expansion of an empire/nation and Colonialism. In the natural expansion of an empire/nation, the newly gained people quickly become the same people (though the process is reversible). Corsican Napoleon became the French Empire; Georgian Stalin became the head of Soviet Union; a prince of a surrendered Xiongnu tribe name 金日磾 became the chancellor of the Han Court.

    Would it be possible in any one of the Western European colonies, some of which lasted for centuries? You can easily tell the difference, for instance, how inter-marriage is perceived by the society. You just refuse to see it.

  13. Another interesting tidbit is that the nations covering the 4 ancient civilizations, Egypt, Iraq (bulk of Mesopotamia), Pakistan (bulk of Indus Valley Civilization), and China, chose not to go. I know if I try harder, I can somehow work the angle of Eurocentric monotheism against humanity into this… 😀

  14. Of the nations invited to the Nobel show, 1/3 did not show.

    That’s a 1st for Nobel.

    As one relatively sane Western Journalist wrote,

    The rising China of today is not a fair rational comparison to USSR in decline, or South Africa (which wasn’t much to start with).

    I would agree, and add: The Western comparison of China using Nobel show is rather demonstrative of what the West desperately HOPE to be true, a declining China.

    No, China is not in decline, and Liu is not some savior who will prevent that decline (nor some moral prayers for the gentle good night, e.g. Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama).

    *As a symbol goes, a Nobel show with 1/3 empty seats is quite a symbol, of Nobel’s decline, of Western decline.

    They may mock the Confucius Peace prize. But Confucius knew well the importance of symbolism and social stability.

  15. Charles, are you sure about the Philippines?
    In this BBC artcile: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11961018 they wrote that:
    At least 18 nations are set to boycott the event. Ukraine, which had earlier declined an invitation, will now attend, the Nobel Committee said, as will the Philippines.
    About the Confucius Peace Price: I dont think it was a good idea as it underlined more a parallel with Ossietzky,- quotation from China Post.
    China is not the first nation to be rankled by a Nobel Peace Prize. During Nazi Germany
    era, Adolf Hitler created the German National Prize for Art and Science in 1937 as a
    replacement for the Nobel. He had forbidden German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky from
    accepting his Nobel awarded in 1935.

  16. @SilentChinese,

    What is “recent memories”? To take the least controversial example, what about Mongolia? Is that not a foreign country which was at one point incorporated into China? Has China been chopped up now that Mongolia has been separated from it?

  17. @jxie,

    I trivialize colonialism? Do you think, if you ask around in Tbilisi, Georgians would think that the fact that a Georgian became emperor makes the Russian occupation of their country okay?

  18. @Otto Kerner #19,

    Yes Otto. You have travalized colonialism by politicizing it. Any secession movement, any terrorist movement as well, can frame their causes in terms of your version of colonialism.

    It is similar to the way many have trivialized the holocaust and genocide – by comparing Hitler to leaders or governments they do not like, holocaust to death in military conflicts caused by powers they do not like.

    It is similar to the way many trivialize human rights by politicizing human rights, by seein human rights as an ideology, by imposing politics in the name of human rights.

    Instead of being about humanity, many horrors and lessons of the human experience now has now been framed as a tool for regular politics.

  19. @Otto Kerner,

    Lol, you need a refresher on imperial Chinese history. Look up how Yuan Dynasty came about – The Mongols conquered China, not the other way around. Mongols became sinicized later had nothing to do with colonialism.

  20. But you are ignoring the fact the Mongols were not, and did not stayed sinocized, as result of colonialism by China. Soviet Union’s desire for a buffer between itself and China is also a historical fact that demonstrated colonialism, but again not by China.

  21. Charles, I would expect (amongst many others, there was a heated discussion in Germanys newspapers on that) that the U.S would stay away from the ceremony, but I doubt that they would create another prize as alternative. And yes, this comparison is absolutely ridiculous, nevertheless leads to a bad press, that’s what I wanted to point out with “bad idea”.
    About the Philippines I also share your opinion: I did not find the answer if the Philippines attended in the net (yet), but staying away or not from the ceremony mainly reflects the influence China has on the countries, rather than the topic itself.
    I cant help to comment on Jixie’s statement too: “In the natural expansion of an empire/nation, …”
    Allen, this might answer your question #3 in the North Korea thread, where you asked:” If North Korea were no more, why the alliance with the U.S.?”
    Countries neighboring to a superpower might be afraid of some “natural expansions”…

  22. @Josef #28,

    Countries neighboring to a superpower might be afraid of some “natural expansions”…

    Perhaps. But I trust that if most of America’s neighbors can find ways to make peace with a violent, imperialistic America, so can most of China’s neighbors find ways to make peace with a peaceful China.

  23. @Charles Liu

    I don’t understand your response. About half of Mongolia has been permanently Sinocised, viz Inner Mongolia. That was under the late Qing. However, what I basically don’t understand the standard you’re applying here. If a territory was not Sinocised, then it was not a Chinese colony? By analogy, if a territory was not Anglicised, then it was not a British colony? By that standard, India and Nigeria were never British colonies.

  24. @Otto Kerner #30,

    Not to butt in, but now I’m really concerned. Depending on far you go back in history, most of Britain today has been colonized by a small British tribe, and German by a small German tribe, and France by a small French tribe. So I guess, most of China today is a colony of what once was a small Chinese tribe? Where are we going with this?

  25. @Otto Kerner

    What’s there not to understnad? Your Mongolia example is a bad one:

    1) China did not invade Mongolia; the Mongols invaded China
    2) The Mongols sinocized during Yuan Dynasty thru voluntary adoption of Confucianism
    3) The Mongols stayed sinocized after end of Yuan Dynasty, again voluntarily

    There’s no colonialism by China; the barbaric Mongols conquered China, and decided to adopt the more civilized Han culture on their own.

  26. The British forced their language on India, that’s why Apu talk like that in The Simpsons, not to mention driving on the wrong side of the road (which explains high traffic fatality in India). Substantial colonial exploitation also occured in India. These differing facts do substantiate Britian’s colonization of India.

    Again you use bad example, Otto.

  27. @Josef

    Have you forgotten about the 1984 Olympics? After Unocal failed to win the Afghan oil concession, US started training Osama Bin Ladin and pump arms into Afghanistan in the name of Freedom. we rallied behind the Mujahadeems and held our own Olympics. Our freedom fighters stopped the Russians from building oil pipeline, but after we abandoned them they become Al Qeada. 9/11, blow-back, etc., etc.

  28. Charles,

    Now I understand you. You are saying that the Mongols were Sinocised, but not because of colonialism, right? So, does that mean that you are claiming that the people who live in Mongolia today are Sinocised and are Chinese people? I was referring to the Mongol people in general, not the élites who ruled during the Yuan dynasty.

  29. @Charles – Facts never were your strong point, were they? Here’s a little list:

    -The US Olympics boycott took place in 1980, not 1984.

    – US support for the Afghan Mujahideen started in 1979 after the Soviet intervention in that country, once again, not in 1984. Unocal was not involved in any bidding for oil pipelines in Afghanistan during the Soviet period.

    – Just like the rest of the world (China and the United States included), Indians drove on either side of the road depending on which city they were in until historically recently. The main point at which they changed to driving on one side only was during Napoleon’s conquest of Europe, and the countries which were most influenced by Napoleon (the US included). Had India not been a British colony, it would not necessarily have selected driving on the right side.

    – There is no evidence that driving on the left side of the road results in higher traffic fatalities.

    – ‘Sex shame’ exists as much in Europe as it does elsewhere – see any edition of the Daily Mail, Sun, etc. for a range of examples.

    – The Philippines boycott has been widely reported, as has their reason for not attending:

    “MANILA, December 12, 2010 (AFP) – The Philippines did not send a representative to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in an attempt to encourage China to spare the lives of five of its nationals on death row, a government spokesman said Sunday.

    President Benigno Aquino told a newspaper staying away from the ceremony to honour jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo had been “in our national interest”, a reference a government spokesman confirmed was to convicted Filipinos in China.

    The comments in The Daily Inquirer were published the day after the Philippine press rounded on Manila’s decision to apparently bow to Chinese pressure and turn down an invitation to the ceremony in Oslo.

    “Our interest is to advance our citizens’ needs first,” the paper quoted the president as saying in an interview.

    The daily said Aquino had written a letter to the Chinese government seeking clemency for five Filipinos sentenced to death for drug trafficking.

    “It’s in our national interest that we do not, at this time, send a representative to the Nobel award rites,” he told the paper ahead of the ceremony.

    Foreign department spokesman Eduardo Malaya confirmed that Aquino was referring specifically to a bid to obtain clemency for the five drugs mules.”

    – As for China never having had a colony, the conquest and thousand-year subjugation of Vietnam during the what are referred to in Vietnam as the first, second, and third era of Chinese subjugation are clear examples of colonialism, including economic exploitation and replacement of the subject culture with that of the overlords. Whilst you will dispute the other oft-cited examples of Chinese colonialism (Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia etc.) Vietnam’s conquest and subjugation by China is undeniable. This is not to say “China is bad”, but merely to point out that the statement “China has never had a colony” is simply incorrect. China has had colonies, one of which was Vietnam.

    Don’t even get me started on your lionization of Assange against the ridiculous dirty-tricks campaign against him whilst simultaneously buying into and propagating exactly the same kind of campaign against Liu Xiaobo.

  30. @FOARP #36,

    I have plenty of Vietnamese (and Korean) friends – including many various different ethnicities within each. Vietnam has its own politics to play today … and to use a certain political rhetoric to as proof of colonization is to politicizie the injustices of colonization for your own pet political causes – and shows once again your biased and limited perspectives.

    Read #21.

  31. @Otto #35,

    What is a people? It is but an amalgation of races, languages, cultures, etc. Your constant attempt to politicize things in the name of “peoples” is funny and myopic. What is defined as a people is defined only from a certain era’s and certain political perspectives. Sinicized or not – Britisized or not – Frenchized or not – Germanized or not – Vietnamized of not – Japanized or not – Koreanized or not – Saudized or not – Europeanized or not – Americanized or not … a people is a people – made of many sub-cultures, traditions, heritages, races…

  32. Charles,

    Obviously, I never said that India was not colonized by the British — I was trying to point that out as a contradiction entailed by what you seemed to be saying, in this comment:

    “But you are ignoring the fact the Mongols were not, and did not stayed sinocized, as result of colonialism by China.”

    Later, you apparently explained that you meant something else by that, so this response is not particularly relevant in hindsight. You seem to think it characterises someone’s opinions, but I’d like to know who that is.

  33. Had Martin Luther King known more about the ancient Confucianism societies, he would’ve realized his dream was long fulfilled, just in a very far foreign land. Look, I am not trying to sell you a honky dory fairy tale where ancient empires and kingdoms infused while singing their contemporary equivalent of kumbaya. There were wars and some were very brutal, quite possibly more so than some of the wars of which the Western European victors secured their Colonies.

    The point is, in its core, there is no equivalent of 天下为公 and 四海之内皆兄弟也 in the Eurocentric worldview. After those wars in and around the area of modern-day China, very soon, the people of the losing end were treated as the same people. Zheng He who was 3 generations removed from a Persia or Arab nobleman, born in the newly annexed Yunnan, rose all the way to be the one who oversaw the Ming navy. In Tang, there were by some count, some ten of Prime Ministers were either Xianbei or Xianbei descents.

    Yeah centuries after the Colonies were established, even those interracial children out of necessity, such as the children of British soldiers stationing in India, Australian cattle herders settled in northern Australia, bore the social stigma. There is some very good reason why Han is now the largest ethnicity in the world, while “whites” are becoming a minority in the West.

  34. @Allen

    You say that I am politicizing “the injustices of colonization for your [my] pet political causes”. Excuse me, but where did I do this? In fact I specifically said that my point was not to make China look bad, but merely to correct a statement made in error: that China never had a colony.

    Did China conquer Vietnam? I think this is indisputable. Was Vietnam a satrap of the Chinese empire? This too is indisputable. Go ask your Vietnamese friends and they will tell you as much, my Vietnamese friends certainly tell me this, and my Chinese friends do not try to deny it – are you denying it?

    The rest of your comment leaves me somewhat dismayed. Perhaps it is best if I simply ask you this: Imagine if you had spent time in the UK as an expat, and you had gone on to a website to discuss issues related to the UK (perhaps one proudly proclaiming to “help British people speak”), and someone on that website had baldly stated that “Britain has never had a colony”. In such a circumstance I do not think you would call it “[politicising] the injustices of colonization for your own pet political causes” to point out that this was incorrect. I also do not think you would agree if, say, an American citizen, perhaps one born in Zimbabwe when it was still Rhodesia but who identified with Britain for racial reasons, then accused you of playing politics with colonialism and criticised your “biased and limited perspectives”. I would think that you would agree that anyone who made such an accusation would find better subjects for such criticism closer to home.

  35. @FOARP,

    Did China conquer Vietnam? Yes. But it’s not what you understand to be.

    Parts of what is Vietnam today was part of China before – but so have part of present day China been part of Vietnam. One might say that former territories has been conqured – colonied – by China – just as one might argue the latter had been colonized – conquered – by Vietnam. Many parts of what is Vietnam today has also only recently been incorporated under one Vietnmese – conquered if you must – Vietnamese polity. All those territories can be considered colonies of Vietnam under your definition of colonization.

    The coming and goings of polities – the changing of the boundaries of polities – do not amount to colonization as we see it in the last 500 years.

    Frankly – your cheapened view of history – trivilization of colonization … of the pain it brought across the world … of history – continued ignorance and lack of ability to reflect – imbued by so many other automatons in the developed world – make me sick to my stomache. The same moral corruption that has led the West to destory so many people around the world – to embark on the holocaust – remains largely intact.

  36. @Jxie –

    “The point is, in its core, there is no equivalent of 天下为公 and 四海之内皆兄弟也 in the Eurocentric worldview.”

    I presume that by ‘eurocentric’ you mean European? I would not refer to the Chinese viewpoint (if such a thing actually exists) as necessarily ‘sinocentric’, but this is the only way I can understand your comment. At any rate, without getting preachy, it is quite obvious that you have never read the bible. 天下为公, which I have always interpreted as meaning that the world was the common property of human kind, can be found on the very first chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Christian bible and the Torah:

    “27 So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein life, every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

    Likewise, 四海之内皆兄弟也, which I have always interpreted as reference to the brotherhood of man (see, we even have a nice little phrase for it), is, apart perhaps from his message of self-sacrifice, the central teaching of Jesus of Nazareth:

    “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    Of course “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” was the sixth commandment in the book of Moses, but Jesus, in one of the central teachings of the bible, which, with the teachings of the great classical philosophers, forms the cornerstone of the western cultural heritage, made it jointly the most important.

    The two passages I quote above were among the first I, and millennia of children raised in the Christian heritage before me, ever learned in school. Now, you can question the degree to which Europeans and those who claim their cultural heritage from Europe, even those who are avowedly Christian, live up to these lessons, but it is simply wrong to say these concepts do not exist in western philosophy or culture – I would say they are basic concepts which humanity as a whole shares.

  37. @Allen

    Once again, I do not see what possible basis you could have for such statements. I have made no comments about colonialism on this page other than the bare historical fact that Vietnam was colonised by China – something very uncontroversial. I do not understand what possible grounds you have to accuse me of trivialising colonialism here, nor have you deigned to cite an example.

    Your comment on the holocaust is in extreme poor taste. It is hard for me not to feel this personally, although you did not, as I did, have the advantage of meeting my grandfather, who worked to destroy fascism and defend Britain against the scourge of despotism in the RAF. Nor did you meet my grandmother, who worked as a nurse at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after its liberation. Neither of them would agree with your analysis, to say the least. In fact I believe they might find some of the rhetoric on this page supporting the CCP dictatorship rather familiar.

  38. @FOARP #46,

    Please re-read my comments again then. I have confronted as directly as I can your contention that Vietnam had been “colonised” by China. To say that we don’t have an argument (since your contention is “very uncontroversial”) makes me wonder if it’s worth our time discussing anyting on this forum.

    It would have been a privilege for me to meet your grandfather and grandmother – as I respect all people who have suffered the horrors of WWII. However, I am not as blind as you think. Ignoring the people I know who suffered through WWII in China, both parents of my best friend in high school were survivors of German concentration camps. My godmother, who is also my math teacher in junior high, was also a survivor.

  39. We may also find some current Western policies extremely distasteful and their victims suffered more than Liu, but does Nobel represent these victims of inhumane policies, or is Nobel’s representation rather fashionable and expedient?

    How about all the “renditioned” people? Some British and American citizens, some citizens of Middle Eastern countries or African countries.

    How about all the forgotten victims of “Red-Scare” in the West.

    Or How about all the victims of US support military dictators? Do they get a Nobel?

    *Of all the Nobel prizes, the “peace prize” is the most irrational and subjective. At least in the sciences, results are objective, literatures are recited.

    The “Peace prize” winners brought no solid peace of any kind, and seem to be voted according to how much they suffered and mostly how popular the cause in Western Media.

    At the very least, Nobel Peace prize has forgotten so many victims of history, even recent history, that it has little credibility to claim it represent any kind of hope for peace by common bond of humanity.

    As with many things, it is not what we say or do, but rather what we do not say and do not do, and what we forget, that say clearly of our humanity.

    The business of Nobel Peace prize, it seems, is the business of “Pet Charities”.

    Not the hard business of weighing the costs and benefits of “Peace”.

  40. Our media just reported Assange is a “free man”. But guess what? He’s under house arrest:

    – travel restricted, fixed residence with tight curfew
    – must report to UK police daily
    – must wear tracking device, watched constantly

    Let’s see: exposed America’s unjust foreign policy, received bogus charge, imprisoned then placed under house arrest. This man is a dissident. Give him a Nobel.

  41. @Charles Liu
    Charles, I know you know nothing about the law here in England & Wales, but even you should know the difference between being released on bail (i.e., can leave house) and house arrest (i.e., cannot leave house). Let’s see –

    Liu Xia:
    1) Cannot meet journalists
    2) Cannot leave home (that’s why it’s called house arrest, sheesh)
    3) No court proceedings
    4) No appeal
    5) No charge
    6) Cannot receive legal advice
    7) No end date

    Assange:
    1) Can meet whoever he likes
    2) Can leave home, but with curfew and tag
    3) Has been through court proceedings
    4) Proceedings subject to appeal all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
    5) Knows the charges against him
    6) Has received legal advice of the highest calibre
    7) Has clear end-date for extradition proceedings

    I oppose the proceedings against Assange which appear to be no more than a cheap attempt at censorship. I hope that the judge in his case will have the good sense to deny extradition as the crime of which he is accused would not be a crime in the UK. I will be very disappointed if this is not the case.

    However, if Assange is under “house arrest”, then every single person out on bail in the UK is also under “house arrest” since the conditions placed on his bail (tagging, curfew, surrender of passport) are quite standard. Only the bail money was excessive, but bail is usually set pretty high depending on the person’s means.

  42. Foarse u wind bag, many people are reporting Assange is under house arrest:

    http://www.bc.co.uk/news/world-12022673

    “He is under house arrest while awaiting extradition…”

    If u don’t know PRC law on administrative law, look up Chapter VI Article 54 Paragraph 2:

    “citizen…shall have the right to make an appeal or accusation against an administrative penalty imposed…”

  43. Assange:
    1) Can meet whoever he likes

    Except, he says, his associates are being arrested and targetted.

    2) Can leave home, but with curfew and tag.

    He doesn’t have a home to go to. Technically, he’s in Exile and under watch, and under ongoing investigation and prosecution.
    If he tries to go home to Australia, he would likely be under arrest or extradited.

    3) Has been through court proceedings

    Lots of political prisoners go through “court”. I thought the whole point was you don’t like the other country’s “court”.

    4) Proceedings subject to appeal all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

    Not if he’s extradited to US first. (Hence, there is always a catch-22. You can’t appeal in Europe, if you are not in Europe).

    5) Knows the charges against him

    Yeah, whatever “charges” necessary to rendition him to somewhere US can put him away. “Tax evasion”, Jaywalking, anyone?

    6) Has received legal advice of the highest calibre

    …as much as the system allows. But let’s not go “highest calibre” until he’s free for sure. Otherwise, it’s still a loss for the lawyers, and a win for the government. Doesn’t even matter what “charges” are used.

    7) Has clear end-date for extradition proceedings

    There is no statue of limitation on targetted prosecution, nor for rendition (which UK did allow to happen to its citizens, according to the UN).

  44. @Charles Liy (nice name change by the way, suits you) –

    Love the statute excerpt – one problem, Liu Xia isn’t imprisoned under this statute, or any statute, she’s under house arrest extra-judicially, PRC authorities haven’t officially arrested her. Welcome to dictatorship 101 – you can’t appeal against arrest that hasn’t officially happened.

    You might also try to do better links – that one didn’t work. I did check the BBC News website, but couldn’t find anything supporting what you were saying. Here’s what the Guardian, chief newspaper in the UK supporting Wikileaks, says:

    “Here’s a final summary of the day’s events:

    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was freed on bail and vowed to continue to fight against the rape allegations he faces in Sweden. He said he hoped to reveal evidence to proved his innocence as and when he obtained it.

    • High court judge Mr Justice Ouseley, upheld the decision by City of Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday to free Assange on strict conditions. But there was a wait of more than four hours before it was confirmed that the bail conditions would be met today and he would not have to face another night in jail. The bail conditions were as follows: a £200,000 cash deposit, with a further £40,000 guaranteed in two sureties of £20,000 and strict conditions on his movement.

    • Lawyers acting for the Crown Prosecution Service argued that Assange was likely to abscond. But the judge noted that Assange had made arrangements at an early stage of his stay in Britain for his lawyers to be in contact with the Metropolitan police over the ongoing case in Sweden. “That is not the conduct of a person who is seeking to evade justice,” the judge said.

    And here’s the text of Assange’s full statement delivered outside the court on his release:

    It’s great to smell the fresh air of London again.

    First, some thank yous. To all the people around the world who have had faith in me, who have supported my team while I have been away. To my lawyers, who have put up a brave and ultimately successful fight, to our sureties and people who have provided money in the face of great difficulty and aversion. And to members of the press who are not all taken in and considered to look deeper in their work. And I guess finally, to the British justice system itself, where if justice is not always the outcome at least it is not dead yet.

    During my time in solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison I had time to reflect on the conditions of those people around the world also in solitary confinement, also on remand, in conditions that are more difficult than those faced by me. Those people also need your attention and support.

    And with that I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter and to reveal, as we get it, which we have not yet, the evidence from these allegations. Thank you.

    That seems like a good moment to end the live blog for today, so thanks for all your comments. Goodnight.”

    So Assange is saying that he’s out on bail, as is the chief newspaper supporting him here. Having checked around on the intenet a bit more, this is how the conditions of his bail are described:

    “As well as wearing the security tag and surrendering his passport, the Australian must observe a daily curfew between 10pm and 2am and 10am and 2pm and report daily to police in the market town of Beccles between 2pm and 5pm.

    Norfolk Police would not discuss whether police would be posted around Ellingham Hall for Mr Assange’s protection and to check on his whereabouts, but it did confirm that an officer would be available on 26, 27 and 28 December and 1 and 3 January, when Beccles’ police station would be shut.”

    That is, the claim of ‘house arrest’ seems to be a product of his curfew – but he is free to move between the hours of 5PM and 10PM. Is this genuine house arrest, where the subject cannot leave the house and is forbidden to meet people? No.

    @Raventhorn –

    1) Yes, he says his associates are being hassled, but he has not cited any examples here in the UK. From what I have read of his statements, he appears to be referring to people having their computers searched on entry to the US.

    2) He’s been offered an address by his supporters.

    3) The important point here is that there has been some sort of process involved in these extradition proceedings – both he and we have had an opportunity to see the arguments against him. This is important in any future appeal.

    4) Hopefully that won’t happen, but even if it does the decision can still be challenged. If there is a good case against extradition (if, for example, Assange’s human rights under the ECHR are threatened by extradition), then extradition will be blocked. This has happened in the case of people who might be subject to the death penalty if extradited to the US.

    5) Once again, knowing what the actual charges are is important in challenging them.

    6) This does matter, guilty or innocent. If the accused has had no access to legal advice they will not be in a position to challenge the decision of the court.

    7) By this I mean that he knows when he will be called back to court. This is not an open-ended process whereby someone disappears into the system never to re-appear.

  45. Good lord foarse, you treuly are a wind bag – even a stupid iphone typo gets a long retort.

    Look, take up your “pot, meet kettle” study of what is or is not house arrest with:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12022673
    “under house arrest while awaiting extradition proceedings”

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/world/assange-under-virtual-house-arrest-112054139.html

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/assange_look_for_more_leaks_05qD0UGM9XBgNpbGjfZV7M
    “under house arrest for the next two months”

    Just google “Assange house arrest”, it’s very easy to find.

  46. 1) Yes, he says his associates are being hassled, but he has not cited any examples here in the UK. From what I have read of his statements, he appears to be referring to people having their computers searched on entry to the US.

    Nor has UK protested US’s actions. Thus, you must be condoning it.

    2) He’s been offered an address by his supporters.

    Still homeless!

    3) The important point here is that there has been some sort of process involved in these extradition proceedings – both he and we have had an opportunity to see the arguments against him. This is important in any future appeal.

    No, the important point is that he’s a prisoner of 1 system, no different than a prisoner of another system. They all went through A system.

    4) Hopefully that won’t happen, but even if it does the decision can still be challenged. If there is a good case against extradition (if, for example, Assange’s human rights under the ECHR are threatened by extradition), then extradition will be blocked. This has happened in the case of people who might be subject to the death penalty if extradited to the US.

    “HOPEFULLY?!” Yeah, you sound pretty unsure of your system.

    5) Once again, knowing what the actual charges are is important in challenging them.

    HOPEFULLY, that doesn’t appear to be of any use.

    6) This does matter, guilty or innocent. If the accused has had no access to legal advice they will not be in a position to challenge the decision of the court.

    Well, HOPEFULLY, the court will give that “high calibre” much credit, but I’m a lawyer in US, I know that doesn’t amount to much.

    7) By this I mean that he knows when he will be called back to court. This is not an open-ended process whereby someone disappears into the system never to re-appear.

    Liu “re-appeared” since he was previously arrested. So, I think you are making a false premise for your position.

    In comparison, no one is really sure of WHEN they will re-appear from the system, ANY system. By that I mean, YOU don’t know WHEN Assange will re-appear from the system FREE either.

    “Called back to court?” There is more than 1 case and 1 charge possible. Don’t be so eager, you haven’t even seen all the charges yet.

  47. Liu “re-appeared” since he was previously arrested. So, I think you are making a false premise for your position.

    In comparison, no one is really sure of WHEN they will re-appear from the system, ANY system. By that I mean, YOU don’t know WHEN Assange will re-appear from the system FREE either.

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