Monthly Archives: August 2011

All your Schadenfreude are belong to us?


Lecturing others amounts to schadenfreude
Wait. What?


An interesting phenomenon seems to be in the air. With the current financial crisis in America and unrest in Britain, it appears that multiple western media outlets cannot resist the temptation to interpret China’s and other countries’ responses in terms of “schadenfreude“. Although not as amusing as accusing the politburo of smoking weed, it certainly has all the qualities that characterize the distinct flavours of garrulous western reporting about China and Asia in general.
In response to the crises in Washington, Xinhua, in a much cited phrase (One that the international media has gone completely gaga over), called upon the US to “cure its addiction to debt” . This was interpreted by The Economist as schadenfreude, claiming that “regional celebrations” have erupted in Asia over the debt crisis. Continue reading All your Schadenfreude are belong to us?

Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Fu Ying on China

Following is an interview of Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fu Ying, conducted by SPIEGEL. Many of you might know she was the former China ambassador to the U.K.. Her English is really good and articulates the Chinese perspective really well for the Western audience. For those of you who frequent this blog, you will immediately recognize many of her views are shared here as well. Continue reading Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Fu Ying on China

Rebels Enter Tripoli

It appears that the Rebels have entered Tripoli yesterday without much resistance, although pockets of intense fighting continue to exist.  The WSJ reported world reaction as follows:

U.S. President Barack Obama: “The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator. The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Gadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end.”

China: “The Chinese side respects the choice of the Libyan people,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said a brief statement posted Monday on the ministry’s website. “The Chinese side is willing to work with the international society to play a positive role in the reconstruction process of Libya in the future.” Continue reading Rebels Enter Tripoli

Bayi Rockets and Georgetown Basketball brawl, a key fact to remember

Georgetown University’s Hoyas (乔治城大学) basketball team is currently in China playing against various Chinese teams on a friendship tour. In an exhibition game against the Bayi Rockets (八一火箭队) yesterday, a brawl broke out between the two. This took place at about ten minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 63.

I haven’t watched the game, but according to Wikipedia, Bayi Rockets shot 57 free throws vs. Georgetown Hoyas’ 15. This clearly meant Hoyas fouling more and physically much more aggressive. A Washington Post reporter said this to NPR which I thought was rather dishonest. What he said was technically true, but through omission of the above key facts, his and NPR’s narratives cleverly biased the blame onto the Bayi Rockets. Continue reading Bayi Rockets and Georgetown Basketball brawl, a key fact to remember

Ministry of Rail spokesperson Wang Yongping dismissed

(Update: see Ray’s comments below. I originally had ‘sacked’ in the title which is probably too harsh given he is reassigned to another post.)
Out of the recent bullet train crash near Wenzhou, I think one of the biggest lessons for the Ministry of Rail is the importance of good PR. Spokesperson Wang Yongping (王勇平) has created many controversies and was subject of a lot of public anger and criticisms. (See here and here.) According to Caixing, Wang Yongping has now been dismissed from his post. Continue reading Ministry of Rail spokesperson Wang Yongping dismissed

Chinese Jew or Jewish Chinese?

I saw this article and feel like sharing. Frankly, I feel it is another poorly written piece but is an interesting read nonetheless.

I also find this very interesting when I first saw it. A Chinese-Jewish Admiral.,15240,155039,00.html

And some footage of Chinese Jews moving to Israel

Reader Naqshbandiyya chimes in on Tibet and ethnic nationalism

In an earlier discussion, reader Naqshbandiyya responded to this comment by Otto Kerner.  He was in fact commenting on the exchange between Otto Kerner and Raventhorn2000.  I want to repeat his point that for the most part, U.S. and China are interested in creating a tolerant society at home.  They prize harmony.  We all should watch out for those pushing for ethnic nationalism, for that is what divides us.  I simply liked how Naqshbandiyya articulated this view: Continue reading Reader Naqshbandiyya chimes in on Tibet and ethnic nationalism

Propaganda sprinkling

After first reading this article from the Associated Press (echoed by the NPR), I thought, well, it seems to be all facts based. Over the years, I have come to realize critical thinking is required when consuming Western press. Read the left column through first before reading my comments on the right.  Try to ignore my highlighting.  Let me know if you think I am being too critical.  Did my points of contention jump out at you during your initial reading? Continue reading Propaganda sprinkling

China’s Supreme People’s Court clarifies trial procedures in citizens suing local governments over information disclosure

In May 2008, the State Council issued “Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information” (中华人民共和国政府信息公开条例) went into law, requiring government departments to disclose a very wide range of information to the public and media. (See my prior article, “China’s determined and long march towards rule of law.”) Since then I have been keeping an eye out for new developments. China’s media watchdog, General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), few weeks ago declared illegal for governments or any other entities to blacklist journalists or to stop them from reporting. Continue reading China’s Supreme People’s Court clarifies trial procedures in citizens suing local governments over information disclosure

Broken Steam Valve of Democracy Explodes in UK (and other places)

London UK riots for 3 straight nights August 2011, after a suspicious police shooting death of a young man.  Now more than 1000 arrested.

Oakland, California, US, riot, July 2010, after transit police shoots and kills a young protester, and verdict on the police was less severe than expected; several hundred arrested.

Dresden Germany, about 1000 Neo Nazi riot February 2010, after they were banned from gathering at a memorial.

France race riot October 2005, after deaths of 2 teens.  Almost 2900 arrested.

Tampa Florida, US, riot multiple times up to 1992.

Los Angeles California, US riot, 1992.  Over 1000 arrested.  National Guard deployed.

Continue reading Broken Steam Valve of Democracy Explodes in UK (and other places)

A Singaporean view on racial harmony

Reader silentvoice recently made these remarks about racial harmony as a Singaporean. His thoughts resonated with me and I would like to highlight it here as a post. Do you think this is achievable in the West? Why would you be for or against such a policy? Do you think this is generally what China is also doing?

There’s a lot of things we Singaporeans dislike about our government but I think in the area of race relations our government did right. Over the years, policies that look drastic to Western eyes have helped us bury the racial divide and forge a common national identity. Unlike in the US, where minorities are left on their own to blend in, we actually mean it when we say we want to create a multicultural society. Through laws and incentives, different races are required to live together in the same neighborhoods, attend the same schools, and serve in the army. You cannot find race ghettos here, nor can you find affirmative action type policies that privilege one person over another based on the color of their skin. Continue reading A Singaporean view on racial harmony

Global Times: “Blood stains the Silk Road”

A group of security forces patrol central Kashi, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Tuesday. (Global Times)

Global Times carried some really good coverage of the recent attacks in Kashgar, shedding light on the tension in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Rest of this post is really just the Global Times article itself. That one idea I feel deserves still extra mentioning is the fact that people when feeling there is nothing to loose, will tend to engage in more extremist behavior. Thus, I feel China must continue her path of economic progress. Integrating young ethnic Uyghurs and helping them gain employment is a great idea. Perhaps America will learn to do that with Black youths from inner cities and Natives from Indian reservations across the country too.
Continue reading Global Times: “Blood stains the Silk Road”

China’s New Health-Care Push

The economic reform of the 1980s brought many benefits but  also meant that the health care sector was changed from the previous “universal coverage” to paid only service. This means that many of the poorer people  was unable to afford health care. It is one of the biggest source of grief for  the society. One component of affordable health care is the price of the  medicine. By allowing the various provinces to experiment with various system,  it seems the central government has decided to go with this  system. There are still many reforms ahead be it in education, health care  or governance but at least this is what I consider a big step ahead.

Continue reading China’s New Health-Care Push

McAfee’s Report on Operation Shady RAT

Given the attention that the recent McAfee’s report has generated, and in light of the fact that the report was not generally available when I wrote my post “Biggest-ever series of cyber attacks uncovered,” I have decided to do an updated post describing my personal response to the report.

Following are excerpts of the report – together with my observations.  I will necessarily be able to address only specific passages given that the report is some 17 pages long. If people have questions on other passages I did not address, please direct those to me in the comments. Continue reading McAfee’s Report on Operation Shady RAT

Biggest-ever series of cyber attacks uncovered

News of the uncovering of the “biggest-ever” series of cyber attacks by McAfee seems to be spreading through the media like wildfire.  In thisWashington Post article, it is reported:

A leading computer security firm has used logs produced by a single server to trace the hacking of more than 70 corporations and government organizations over many months, and experts familiar with the analysis say the snooping probably originated in China.

Among the targets were the Hong Kong and New York offices of the Associated Press, where unsuspecting reporters working on China issues clicked on infected links in e-mail, the experts said. Continue reading Biggest-ever series of cyber attacks uncovered

David Gergen on American politics

David Gergen has been adviser to four U.S. presidents, and recently, he had this to say about the state of politics in America (in telling his relatives):

I try to tell them that the United States is going through a rough patch: the rise of lots of problems that we have allowed to fester over the years now coming to a head just when our politics are polarized, poisoned and paralyzed. Moreover, there is almost no one in high places who commands the full trust of the country — from the White House to Wall Street, from Congress to the media.

Continue reading David Gergen on American politics

Knockoff? Maybe, but it says more about what the Chinese thinks of the American newsroom

Interesting story here. The truth is it says more about the American newsroom. As the Colbert Report revealed here, news can come out of American journalists’ asses, and they often do. See highlighted text below; so very true. Hence, newsrooms across America are going bankrupt. The only way to buck the trend, frankly, is to do real reporting and more truth! Continue reading Knockoff? Maybe, but it says more about what the Chinese thinks of the American newsroom

Fact Checking NYT’s Qi Chonghuai Jailed Journalist Story

Recently New York Times published a story on a jailed Chinese journalist Qi Chonghuai, and made some fairly severe, usual allegations (corruption, official misconduct, torture), and a new one – double jeopardy violation in resentencing Qi to more jail time for the crime he served 4 years already, because he vowed to continue to expose official graft.

Since it was written by Andrew Jacobs (someone I consider to be the grand wizard of NYT’s China reporting), and given NYT’s past record of biased reporting when it comes to China, I decided to dig into this story for details that might have been suppressed. Guess what? Continue reading Fact Checking NYT’s Qi Chonghuai Jailed Journalist Story

Who owns America’s $14.3 trillion debt?

Americans, of course! Various entities within the U.S. own $9.8 trillion and the remainder $4.5 trillion are owned by foreigners and foreign governments. My own tally shows China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan combined for about $1.4 trillion, about $500 billion more than Japan. These data come from Business Insider and make for great reference since America is undergoing debates about raising the debt ceiling. Top holders of U.S. debt are listed below: Continue reading Who owns America’s $14.3 trillion debt?