As the year is coming to a close, we want to take this opportunity to recap and to tell you interesting information about our Hidden Harmonies China blog.
Allen and I launched this blog on February 14, 2010, coinciding with the lunar new year of the tiger. We felt most of the English language “China” blogs out there offered basically the same narrative as the Western media, and it was time we offered one purely of Chinese perspectives.
During the first month of this blog, we were shy of 1,000 page views. December 2010 is our highest yet, approaching 15,000. Our RSS feed subscribers are steadily growing in number as well. We are still relatively small, and it is possible we grow 10x in traffic in 2011. We are also happy with the fact that the second largest base of readers come from inside China.
Some of you familiar with Fool’s Mountain may also know that we branched from it when we started back in February this year. A full copy of Fool’s Mountain’s contents (both posts and discussions) was our starting point. For example, all articles from Buxi and earlier articles by Allen and others are fully accessible and searchable here.
During the course of the year, we have been fortunate with many of your contributions. Foremost, we would like to thank Admin from Fool’s Mountain for agreeing with our launch. Many of you offered interesting leads which served as basis for many of our posts. You dug up facts and offered valuable insights in the comments. I won’t name you, but you know who you are. Thank you.
raventhorn2000 and couple of you are authors on this blog. Very interesting posts. Thank you. We hope to continue to expand our pool of perspectives.
Many of you are linking to our posts from various forums on the Internet, including in comment sections of articles in the Western media. From time to time, we see spikes in our traffic. That is a huge help to get the word out. Again, thank you.
Perhaps the biggest encouragement comes from all of you readers for visiting our blog regularly. We can see our traffic going up steadily, and that gives us confidence we are offering up useful perspectives.
We have written 150+ articles since the launch of this blog. Following are some of the topics or themes which preoccupied us:
Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo
The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo climaxed with the dog and pony show of the “lone chair” awarding ceremony with Thorbjorn Jagland calling for Liu’s release and Norwegian actress Liz Ulmann performing a translated version of Liu’s own statements before his sentencing. I responded with my indignation to the ceremony. Professors Sautman of Hong Kong University of Science Technology and Yan of Hong Kong Polytechnic University exposed Liu Xiaobo’s politics for the West to see.
“The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and what it means to the Chinese” showed the Chinese view of Liu. Charter 08 amounts to superficial understanding of what Western democracy is. Details of the $1million+ funding Liu had received from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) were revealed.
Remember, Liu was convicted for ‘attempt to subvert state power.’ The Western media (and the Nobel Peace Prize committee) ignored these facts and reduce this, in Sautman and Yan’s words, “to a story of a heroic individual who upholds human rights and democracy.”
Shaun Rein offered an idea on granting the Nobel Peace Prize to Deng as a way to repair the strained relations between China and the West.
Korean Peninsula, Japan, and America’s “Asia President”
We saw tensions in the Korean peninsula escalate this year with the sinking of the Cheongnan followed by DPRK’s shelling of Pyeongyong. Emotions in the U.S. ran very high. The Western media immediately blamed the DPRK the aggressor and speculated all sorts of reasons for these “aggressions.”
On Cheongnan, a supposed “international” investigation team concluded the Cheongnan was sunk by a DPRK torpedo, but a Russian investigative team said that conclusion is invalid. Stephen Gowans tried to piece all the facts offered, but the narrative offered in the West simply didn’t add up for him: “The sinking of the Cheonan: Another Gulf of Tonkin incident.”
North Korea shelled Pyeongyong, an island held by the South, killing two marines and two civilians. While the Western media again narrated this as an aggression unprovoked, the North claimed the South firing into the North’s territory first, never-mind constantly holding military exercises with the U.S. in disputed territories.
I feared a West drumming for war: “America enters Thanksgiving with trumpet for war over North Korea.” While I believe it was wrong to shell an inhabited island, I pleaded for understanding, “The bully has been stabbed by the smaller kid, but now what?“
Former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama resigned, partly over his inability to move the U.S. base on Okinawa. He also announced a strategic shift towards an East Asian Community when he took office, but quickly drew condemnation from the West. A fishing trawler collided with Japanese coast guard vessels at Diaoyutai (Senkaku in Japanese) strained relations between the two countries. We have a number of posts related to this topic. The gist is that Japan’s attempt to trial the trawler’s captain is tantamount to Japan’s unilateral rejection of China’s claim to the islands. Rationality prevailed and the captain was finally released.
The Western media lashed out at China’s “aggressiveness” against Japan. Do you see a pattern here?
The longer the U.S. can help the Japanese fear China, the easier it is for the U.S. to continue to occupy Japan.
In South East Asia, Secretary Clinton declared disputes in the South China Sea a multilateral issue and of important concern to the U.S.. All these developments certainly paved the way for Obama’s publicly stated goal of being America’s “Asia President.” After much neglect due to America’s heavy involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama promised “re-engaging” with Asia.
Trade between China and ASEAN continues to roar. Despite U.S. efforts to secure verbiage to divide ASEAN countries and China, nothing happened.
U.S.’s geopolitics in Asia is simply to exploit fault lines and leverage them for footing into Asia. However, the China-U.S. relationship is broader than just geopolitics: “Opinion: Keeping a cool view of the U.S.-China Cooperatition.”
Google shut down Google.cn because it refused to comply with Chinese censorship laws. This planned withdraw was accompanied by the company’s insinuation that the Chinese government was sponsoring hacks against the company in China. Google has not offered any evidence to date. However, the Western media took Google’s insinuation as fact. In the latest Wikileak scandal, they in fact were overzealous in interpreting leaked U.S. diplomatic as proof (“The New York Times Propaganda: “Vast Hacking by a China Fearful of the Web”).
From a sensationalist perspective, pitting a mighty American corporation against a country of 1.3 billion is a story that sells. What does “Internet Censorship” Mean? Google seeks profits, irregardless of what taglines it might have. EU Investigates Google too. We have more filed under the “google” tag.
Individualism vs. Collectivism
In this post, we introduced William Hooper, and his essay, “The Scientific Development Concept“. The ideological divide on issues of “freedom”, forms of “democracy”, paternalism, and individualism between China and the West are perhaps best summarized by Hooper from the perspective of political philosophy.
We have long discussions about Western media bias, and perhaps the “divide” there were too a result of the degree of individualism or collectivism we subscribe to each on our own.
U.S. Trade Deficit with China and “Currency manipulation”
As the Developed Countries were hit hard by the global financial crisis, the U.S. lashed out at China for the trade deficit. The Yuan was politicized. The U.S. China Dispute over Renminbi: Who is Right? It really boils down to Fighting for Jobs in a Globalized World.
At the government level, the U.S. seems to be playing the same game as the U.S. media of blaming others. Here, Allen and I spent substantial efforts and made “A point by point rebuttal to the 2010 USCC Annual Report“.
The economy was a big topic and occupied many posts.
Economically, China is making great strides in all fields; from bullet trains to super computers, space exploration to commercial aircrafts, and clearly green technology innovation. The COMAC C919, Challenging the Boeing and Airbus Duopoly drew many hits from searches both on Baidu.com and Google.com.
From a geopolitical standpoint, we have few articles from Tsinghua University Professor Yan Xuetong talking about China’s rise. Chinese State Councilor Daig Bingguo articulated China’s “Peaceful Development”, where I framed it, “Peaceful rise, the biggest international relations issue of our life time.”
Here are few features of the blog we would like to highlight:
Quoting You: This area will display a random quote – taken from your comments on this very blog or from somewhere else on the Internet. A new one appears every time you visit the blog or reload.
Complete Archives: Under Resources at the top, you will see a Complete Archives drop down; listing every single post on this blog – all the way back to 2008!
Visitors: You might notice our visitors come from all over the world. Hidden Harmonies is completely accessible from within China. We hope this situation remains the same.
Subscribe to comments: At the bottom of every post, you may subscribe to comments by entering your email address. Each time a new comment is posted, you will receive it via email.
Feed URL’s: If you use RSS readers, you may use our feel URL’s:
- Posts RSS Feed URL: http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/feed/
- Comments RSS Feed URL: http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/comments/feed/
Finally, would like to hear from you. Please reflect and take some broad strokes (or narrow ones) and let us know your thoughts about our posts and the blog. What more do you like to see? How would you like us to improve?
Happy New Year!