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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.

It would be arrogant of me to suggest that other countries learn from our example. However, looking at the situation in the US, UK, France and Italy, it’s clear that racial harmony don’t come about without government policies that bring people together. You just cannot have a hands-off approach because people have a tendency to form groups with others most like themselves. However unpopular in the short-term, some amount of forced integration is necessary for the sake of nation building.

I hope China gets the formula right with regards to Tibetan Chinese and Uyghur Chinese. The worst thing Chinese leaders could do is to learn from failed examples of the West.

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  1. Mick
    August 10th, 2011 at 02:04 | #1

    Last month a PRC student was expelled from Singapore college for making racist videos poking fun at Singaporeans (I presume the non ethnic Chinese ones). Singapore seems to have a huge problem with the ‘new talents’ from the PRC. Read any of the many Singaporean blogs or sites like Temasek Review to get a feel for the real racial tension in Singapore – there is a huge amount of resentment against the arrogance of mainland Chinese in the city.

  2. Rhan
    August 10th, 2011 at 02:44 | #2

    To understand Singapore racism, you have to talk to a Malay Singaporean or Indian Singaporean, or FT (Foreign Talent) from Mainland China and India. One of the prime reason that draw the three race closer is when they feel threaten by this FT, just like how Tibetan Chinese feel when there is a influx of Han Chinese into Tibet. So what is the difference between Singapore forced integration and USA assimilation policy? Perhaps the only difference is Singapore PAP lock you up and shut you up with speedier action, even CCP can’t beat them.

  3. silentvoice
    August 10th, 2011 at 05:47 | #3

    @Mick

    I think you provided the answer yourself — the PRC student you mentioned was expelled because he made *racist* videos. If you’ve seen some of his videos, you would note that he made fun of all Singaporeans including Chinese Singaporeans (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jS5aM_Liy4). Although both are of the same ethnic group, PRC Chinese =/= local Chinese.

    It is true that Singaporeans increasingly feel uncomfortable with foreigners. But the discomfort cuts across different races and it’s not race based. A Chinese Singaporean feels the same way about FTs as does a Malay Singaporean. A such, I wouldn’t call it racism. It’s more like nationalism or xenophobism. Nevertheless, the blame for failing to integrate foreigners can be laid squarely at the door of the government. They have tried to expand the population through immigration too quickly without thinking about the social consequences.

    @Rhan

    I’m not sure I’m getting what you mean. If you are insinuating that Malay or Indian Singaporeans have less economic, political, or social standing because they are minorities, then I only need to point you to the fact that both groups do just as well as the majority Chinese in society. According to Census 2005, 48% of Chinese earn between $2-6k per month, while the comparable statistics for the Malays and Indians are 41% and 46%, respectively. Our first president is a Malay Singaporean, while our current president is an Indian. The number of minority Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers is much higher than their proportion in the population.

    The FT issue that you spoke about does help to draw the three races together, but the influx of foreigners is a recent phenomenon. Malays, Indians, and Chinese have been living together in harmony for some 30 years before the government started the mass immigration policy in 2004.

    With reference to your question on the difference between Singapore integration and USA assimilation — I think I’ve already answered the part about Singapore in the previous write up. As for the US, well, I did not see any kind of government action to promote assimilation during my time there. Your last sentence pointing out Singapore’s lack of political freedom and harsh laws –while true, is of little relation to the topic at hand.

  4. raventhorn2000
    August 10th, 2011 at 06:19 | #4

    Singapore does have 1 of the toughest censorship law systems in the world.

    Speech deemed to ridicule or mock people based upon religion, ethnicity are banned, and criminal prosecutions are often called for.

    This I believe is very important for racial equality and tolerance in Singapore.

    When 1 man makes fun of another man’s religion or ethnicity, BOTH groups are hurt.

    China should adopt something similar.

  5. August 10th, 2011 at 15:05 | #5

    raventhorn2000 :Singapore does have 1 of the toughest censorship law systems in the world.
    Speech deemed to ridicule or mock people based upon religion, ethnicity are banned, and criminal prosecutions are often called for.

    So, suppose someone were to refer to the most beloved leader of a particular religion as “a wolf in a monk’s robe” and “a monster with a human face” … would that be a punishable offense?

  6. August 10th, 2011 at 15:07 | #6

    “we actually mean it when we say we want to create a multicultural society.”

    I’m never sure what people mean when they say “multicultural”. Applied to Tibet or Xinjiang, what you’re talking about would produce a monocultural nation, which is exactly why it might not seem desireable to everyone concerned.

  7. August 10th, 2011 at 15:22 | #7

    “So, suppose someone were to refer to the most beloved leader of a particular religion as “a wolf in a monk’s robe” and “a monster with a human face” … would that be a punishable offense?”

    Sure, if that Monk didn’t violate the domestic sovereignty law first, and hide in exile like a fugitive.

    Note, I think under Singapore speech law, there is a VERY FINE line between when you can call for “autonomy”, and when you cross over into SEDITION.

    here is Singapore’s law on Sedition. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition_Act_(Singapore)

    “3. —(1) A seditious tendency is a tendency —
    (a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government;
    (b) to excite the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure in Singapore, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;
    (c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Singapore;
    (d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;
    (e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.”

    *
    Now if a MONK runs out of the country into Exile for acts/SPEECH/rebellion against the Sedition Act, then he’s a fugitive.

  8. August 10th, 2011 at 15:31 | #8

    “I’m never sure what people mean when they say “multicultural”. Applied to Tibet or Xinjiang, what you’re talking about would produce a monocultural nation, which is exactly why it might not seem desireable to everyone concerned.”

    Now who’s being simplistic?

    “would produce a monocultural nation”??!! Please! Tell me you polished your crystal ball recently.

  9. Rhan
    August 10th, 2011 at 20:58 | #9

    silentvoice

    Singapore is relative success in managing race relationship due to following:

    1) Pretty small country and city state status, actually the Colonial British already built up the basic infrastructure and put in order the administration in term of law and bureaucracy, the best part is Singapore have election.

    2) Continuous growth in economy with a ready workforce, the Chinese and Indian immigrant that are willing to work very hard to put food on table because this is the reason why they migrate out from their mother country. Unlike China, Singapore was not facing any hostile threats from the West. Lee Kuan Yew never had a Chiang Kai-shek who had threatened to invade the mainland every October 10th. Singapore are willing to be a USA lapdog to ensure stability.

    3) Surrounded by countries that is relatively underdevelop and therefore create the opportunity to make it port and logistic serveise a success.

    4) Strict (cruel and brutal) law to ensure any dissenting voice is being diluted, create a seize mentaltily among it people toward Communism, Muslim and Malay.

    5) Adopt foreign language and culture to establish a neutral environment that cater for all race, realized that the Anglicization would create a generation that is without roots, and revert to bilingual language and multicultural.

    Review of Teo Soh Lung’s memoir:
    Teo Soh Lung’s book should be read by all people who are interested in democracy and the rule of law. Not only is it a poignant personal account of official ill treatment, but it is a brilliant testimony to the cruelty of authoritarianism, even, indeed especially — when it comes in the guise of legal due process. This is perhaps the most shocking aspect of her story: the abuse of the law in a republic which is democratic in theory, but sacrifices its most democratic citizens to the whims of the rulers. — Ian Buruma, Henry R Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights and Journalism, Bard College

    Chia Thye Poh wrote:
    It is a belated move. In 1966 when I was arrested, I was only 25 years old, but now I am nearing 58. The best part of my life was taken away just like that, without even a charge let alone a trial in the court.

    Dr William Keng Mun Lee in a paper entitled The Economic Marginality of Ethnic Minorities: An Analysis of Ethnic Income Inequality in Singapore:
    Much of the income difference between Chinese and the other ethnic groups was due to discrimination. Further examination of occupational distribution patterns showed that Malays and Indians were disproportionately found in low-paying occupations across all industries. These findings, together with educational differences explaining very little of the ethnic income inequality, substantiated the conclusion that exclusion of Malays and Indians from higher-paying occupations across industries has contributed to ethnic income inequality.

    To American, all language is foreign language except English, is this not assimilation, what is? Pray tell why the immigration is mainly Chinese and Indian but not Malay from Indonesia and Malaysia? How many Malay Singaporean become Malaysian in the last 30 years? I wish not to touch on the Malay Minister and Indian President, we shall know well why they are there.

    Honestly I think Singapore is good, but I don’t know what China can learn from Singapore with regards to Tibetan Chinese and Uyghur Chinese.

    My comment could be wrong, I apologise in advance if my views offend you.

  10. JJ
    August 10th, 2011 at 23:33 | #10

    I’ve only been to Singapore once, but I do have a few friends from there and also from what I hear in the media I get the impression that there’s still a type of colonial mentality going on there—where everything Western is seen as better or higher class. Is that really the case?

    I’m sure it’s more complicated than that but I would love to hear from someone with more knowledge of this.

  11. silentvoice
    August 11th, 2011 at 02:53 | #11

    @Rhan
    I’m not going to reply point by point because you’re just randomly throwing out everything there is to criticize about Singapore. Yes, there is a lack of political freedom in Singapore but that has little relation to the topic of race, in the sense that it affects everyone, not just a Chinese or a Malay. Judging from your post’s laundry list of complains and seeming familiarity with Singapore, I am going to guess you are a Malaysian, am I right?

    “Much of the income difference between Chinese and the other ethnic groups was due to discrimination.”

    I don’t agree with this assertion at all. If you look at the statistics I’ve pointed out in post #3, middle class income levels are pretty equal across all three races. (Source: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/stats/themes/people/demo.html)

    “Honestly I think Singapore is good, but I don’t know what China can learn from Singapore with regards to Tibetan Chinese and Uyghur Chinese.

    If I’m allowed to make one suggestion, that would be for China not put too much faith in affirmative action. So far, such policies have not worked in the West, why expect them to work in China?

    @JJ
    Not quite. Certainly there are those who covet the West, but I don’t think its on the same level as what went on in Japan from the 50s to 70s or China in the 80s.

  12. silentvoice
    August 11th, 2011 at 03:09 | #12

    Otto Kerner :
    “we actually mean it when we say we want to create a multicultural society.”
    I’m never sure what people mean when they say “multicultural”. Applied to Tibet or Xinjiang, what you’re talking about would produce a monocultural nation, which is exactly why it might not seem desireable to everyone concerned.

    Why would a monocultural society be so bad if the monoculture is born from the merging of different cultures? Remember, culture is not static. If discarding parts of one’s original culture and accepting other cultures help to bring forth societal harmony, why not? Isn’t that what Tibetans in the US are doing by learning English and dressing in western clothes?

  13. raffiaflower
    August 11th, 2011 at 09:02 | #13

    JJ: Singaporeans can be insensitive, like new rich mainlanders. Sometimes, they are called `birds’ bcos they go “cheap, cheap!” at everything they see in Bali, Bangkok, Johor, etc.
    But the Little Red Dot (as a former Indonesian president snidely called it) has also pulled itself out as a colonial backwater with no natural resources to have the second highest income in Asia after Japan. Whatever we dislike about them, that is a major achievement.
    It makes sense, imo,to benchmark themselves against other developed nations, or other rising powers, ie, the best, rather than the laggards around them. That comparison is quite different from having a colonial or victim mentality.
    A friend of mine, who has regular meetings with his Spore HQ, has an anecdote that is quite revealing about the competitive (kiasu) mentality. His Spore counterpart was Singaporean, period.
    In a meeting shortly after the opening of the Beijing games, she was raving about Zhang Yimou’s opening spectacular, while my friend did the listening.
    At the end of her monologue, she declared: we are all Chinese, aren’t we? There you go.
    *How many Malay Singaporeans become Msian in the past 30 years?*
    That remark itself is revealing of the success of Singaporean’s meritocratic policies. The fact that “oppressed” Malays are not deserting the city-state in droves for Malaysia – where they would have a communal advantage in everything from housing to education – says more for the failures of Malaysia’s affirmative policies than for Singapore’s hardnosed ones.
    More anecdotal proof: on the way to a Chinese New Year lunch, I was in a taxi driven by a 20something Malay. He said he was going to join an online university to study taxation, soon. After that, he wanted to leave Msia and work in Singapore.
    Me: but Malays are bullied in Singapore!
    Driver: no lah, there are better job opportunities and pay.
    Me: But your leaders will say you are belot! (traitor)
    Driver: looks in the mirror at me and stays silent.
    Again,there you go.

  14. August 11th, 2011 at 16:03 | #14

    silentvoice :Why would a monocultural society be so bad if the monoculture is born from the merging of different cultures? Remember, culture is not static. If discarding parts of one’s original culture and accepting other cultures help to bring forth societal harmony, why not? Isn’t that what Tibetans in the US are doing by learning English and dressing in western clothes?

    But Tibetans are less than 0.5% of the population of the PRC, so the “merging” of different cultures probably wouldn’t include a very strong Tibetan influence. It’s like taking a single drop of milk and placing it in a gallon of water: few people would think of that as a “mixture of milk and water”, and, what’s more, a lot of people would prefer to drink milk rather than a milk/water mix (just as many Tibetans perhaps would prefer being Tibetan rather a Tibetan/Chinese mix).

    I agree that culture is not static, but it’s a strawman to conclude from that that any cultural change that happens is a normal, healthy evolution. Languages, cultures, and societies can be disrupted or destroyed, as anyone who knows about American history should know.

    I don’t think it makes sense to compare the future of Tibetans living in Tibet to that of Tibetans who have willingly chosen to move to a foreign country.

  15. August 11th, 2011 at 17:34 | #15

    “But Tibetans are less than 0.5% of the population of the PRC, so the “merging” of different cultures probably wouldn’t include a very strong Tibetan influence. It’s like taking a single drop of milk and placing it in a gallon of water: few people would think of that as a “mixture of milk and water”, and, what’s more, a lot of people would prefer to drink milk rather than a milk/water mix (just as many Tibetans perhaps would prefer being Tibetan rather a Tibetan/Chinese mix).”

    I don’t think Cultures are like liquids, proportion isn’t even the main factor in determining outcome of mixture.

    Again, I think you are fortune telling. There is no way anyone can possibly know what would happen to ANY culture in the future, not for the “Han” Culture, not for the “Tibetan culture”.

    Hell, we can easily end up with a “Han” Culture in the future with heavy influences from Tibet. It wouldn’t be the 1st time in Chinese history that “Han” Culture adopted the ways of other cultures.

    Your prediction (along similar predictions) merely reflect paranoia about the Future UNKNOWN. And it is completely pseudo-science to talk about “culture” using population proportions.

    If you want to be scientific, a better analogy is genetics. STRONG cultures survive like Dominant Genes, NOT because they have high numbers, but rather they generally present characteristics that impart some benefits to the gene carrier. (MOST dominant genes start out being some mutation, 1 out of MILLIONS at first, but they multiply over time, because they are dominant).

    If Tibetan culture, (or Han culture) have some value, then people would hold onto them, adopt them, convert to them. Otherwise, OTHER cultures may take over in China, and that new mix will become the “Han culture”.

    *Again, it’s like genetics and evolution, not like mixing milk and water. (Obviously, if people can adopt cultures, cultures are not finite in proportions!)

  16. Rhan
    August 11th, 2011 at 17:57 | #16

    Thanks for the reply silentvoice, and raffiaflower

    I don’t know if affirmatice action and meritocracy is the solution. Just a hypothesis, what if China government relocates 5 million Shanghai Ren and 5 million Wenzhou Ren into Tibet and Xinjiang, how meritocracy helps? The Malay can cross the causeway and said bye bye to Singapore but where else we expect the Tibetan and Uyghur go? Don’t we think affirmative action on a certain point of time do helps? Chinese believe in the middle way but in practice they treat their ancestor wisdom and philosophy like myth and bedtime story

    I think the statistic of middle class income in every country depict more or less the same thing, that is why we call it middle class.

    When Communist China were poor like dirt we are Malaysian and Singaporean, but today many claim ‘we are all Chinese, aren’t we?’

  17. August 11th, 2011 at 18:14 | #17

    Speaking of Cultures,

    I was discussing with a friend about why some Chinese people tended to find affinity with Jewish people. (I among them. I have many Jewish friends).

    Part of it is some cultural similarities.

    But part of it is an admiration for an ancient culture that survived 1000’s of years, during when, the Jewish People were heavily (for REAL) persecuted.

    The Jews in 1900 numbered only about 8 million among 411 million Europeans. That’s about <5% of the European Population. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jewish_population_comparisons. (similar to Tibetans being 5% of population of China).

    But through out much of last 1000 years, the Jewish people in Europe were being forced into special areas in European cities. In Germany, they couldn't own land, so they had to live in tight quarters in cities. Some European countries would periodically chase them out.

    Let's face it, the Jewish people literally were living in Reservations in Europe. (Not to mention the Holocaust they suffered later). (And that became a prelude to what the Americans did to the Native Americans).

    Yet, the Jewish people held onto their culture and survived.

    (Regardless of your politics about Israel, I would say that the Jewish people are admirable for their tenacity).

    Theirs is a dignity in preserving the memories of their ancestors. That dignity is something that Chinese would appreciate.

    And they did it despite the persecution they suffered in Europe.

    *
    I personally consider myself a respectful person, when it comes to other people's cultures and religions. I have visited many churches and temples, and I traveled around the world.

    But I don't buy the notion that cultures must be "saved".

    I hold onto my culture. I consider it my basic duty as a human being to do so, regardless of hardship in the world. I don't expect other people to do it for me.

    And if my kids do not hold onto my culture, then either (1) my culture no longer has real value in the future, or (2) I failed to my job as parent to pass down my culture.

    Either way, it's no one else's fault.

    *This is part of Chinese culture too, the culture of taking responsibility for oneself. And it is part of the reason why China has survived so long.

    If we Chinese depended upon others to "save" us, (like some Exiled beggars), then we might have gone the way of the Dodo birds.

    *And if Tibetans REALLY want others to "save" their culture, then what will be "saved" would dependent other people's choice picks, and it won't be Tibetan culture any more.

    Just look at the Shugden sect! Banned in Exile, only flourishing now in Europe among Western Shugden followers, and soon to become alien and political antagonizing to the Exile government.

    You want to talk about a Cultural War.

    TGIE's banning of Shugden is a great example of how a call to end an ancient sub-culture, ended up causing it to be "saved" by others and almost forcing it to flourish elsewhere in completely different form.

    (and before someone draws a parallel to the Exile Community, let's be clear, they went into Exile for politics, not culture. VERY VERY CLEARLY, documented by released CIA files, with no prior discussion of "culture").

  18. Naqshbandiyya
    August 12th, 2011 at 10:49 | #18

    It’s both amazing and deplorable that even China-sympathetic people are comparing the Tibetans of today to the Jews and the Native Americans, when the central government actively sponsors Tibetan-language education, prints Tibetan literary classics, and puts Tibetan Buddhist clergy on the government payroll. Tibetan culture benefits not only from the auspices of the Chinese government, but from the Dalai Lama and “Tibet support” groups, who promote the study and proliferation of Tibetan culture internationally, and raise millions of dollars to sponsor a population that is half illiterate in the Tibetan language, much less Chinese.

    Tibet is simply not relevant to a discussion about racial harmony in the context of people of different racial groups living side by side or adapting to each other, because neither regularly happens in a monoculturally Tibetan, homogeneously Tibetan, and lavishly fossilized Tibet. Raventhorn2 raises the Dorje Shugden tragedy, but you needn’t look further than the language death among Ladakhis and other Tibetan subgroups in India to see that when Tibetan is supplanted by Hindi or English, that’s “modernization” and “progress”, but when Chinese makes meager inroads into Chinese territory, that’s “imperialism” and “cultural genocide”. I’ll go further than to say that this is “politics”, because what it really is is a a privileged, racist and colonial mentality by ignorant people with no other cultural reference point than North American aboriginal history (which they don’t know much about anyway).

  19. August 12th, 2011 at 10:56 | #19

    @Naqshbandiyya #18

    A little harsh, but very good points…

  20. August 12th, 2011 at 15:05 | #20

    @Naqshbandiyya

    I agree with the exact opposite of Allen’s response: I think you have expressed your points clearly and with little resort to invective, but the points themselves are wanting. It’s a strawman argument when you bring up flawed analogies that unnamed others have made in order to criticize them. The only arguments I have seen from “China-sympathetic” parties comparing the treatment of Tibetans and Native Americans were in order to argue that treatment of Tibetans is much, much better (which is true, but it’s an exceptionally low standard, and one that was set in a very different era and context). I’ve never seen a comparison to the Jews. Are you referring to raventhorn2’s comment above? I believe he was actually comparing the Chinese to the Jews, although I do sometimes have trouble figuring out what his point is.

    It’s true that the Chinese government has supported the Tibetan language, which is a lot better than doing nothing. However, the degree of support is a lot less than what could reasonably be expected in an independent or autonomous Tibet, that is, if Tibetans could actually decide what kind of education their children would receive. I don’t really think that it’s a good thing for clergymen to be on government payrolls in general, but in any event the only reason Tibetan clergymen would need government funding is because the government expropriated the monasteries of all their property back in the 1960s.

    What do you mean by “lavishly fossilized”? Tibet is changing a lot. Many Tibetans speak and are literate in Chinese. Lhasa is a completely different city than it was 60 years ago (in the old days, the Potala Palace used to be just outside of town). 60 years ago, nobody ever listened to VOA. It’s true that most Tibetans are still poor farmers and herders, but isn’t that more the result of an economic policy that has failed to benefit them rather than a planned fossilization?

    Toward the end, you are again referring to someone’s views, but it’s not clear whose. Who exactly is it that thinks that language loss in Ladakh and Sikkim is okay? Tibet is a lot bigger in land and population and more famous than those places are, so it receives a lot more attention, but who has actually come out against Ladakh and Sikkim? You are painting with a pretty broad brush and reach some pretty strong conclusions about the motivations of your interlocutors.

  21. August 12th, 2011 at 17:46 | #21

    “The only arguments I have seen from “China-sympathetic” parties comparing the treatment of Tibetans and Native Americans were in order to argue that treatment of Tibetans is much, much better (which is true, but it’s an exceptionally low standard, and one that was set in a very different era and context).”

    Who would you suggest we compare the treatment of Tibetans to?

    “A very different era”??! You speak as if the Native Americans are already extinct. No, they are still alive, with a dying culture.

    So, is it US and Canada’s fault that their cultures are CURRENTLY still dying??!!

  22. Naqshbandiyya
    August 12th, 2011 at 19:25 | #22

    @Otto Kerner
    When I first read raventhorn2000’s comment, I thought that he was going to compare the Chinese to the Jews, in that both the Chinese and the Jewish diasporas experienced (and in some places, still experience) centuries of violent persecution and forced assimilation by their host countries. Alas, he turned it into a moralizing lesson about how Tibetans should “save their culture” themselves instead of relying on Tibetan exiles.

    The “unnamed others” I refer to are those Tibetan exiles, who while relatively well-integrated in the West, self-segregate themselves in India into tightly controlled communities that are bound by poverty, religion, and an essentially anti-Chinese nationalism. (Dissenters are viciously persecuted within the Tibetan exile community, as the Dorje Shugden episode tells us, but you can find some criticisms of this unhealthy insularity from Jamyang Norbu.) According to these exiles, everything the Chinese do to promote Tibetan culture is attacked (like you attack it), because an “independent or autonomous Tibet” could supposedly do it better; i.e., because the Chinese are doing it. Build a train from Qinghai to Tibet? China’s planning to send hordes of Han settlers to Tibet! Don’t build a train from Qinghai to Tibet? China is keeping Tibetans poor. Are the Tibetans rioting now? Chinese socialism has failed! Are they not rioting? China has imposed a brutal reign of terror over Tibet! These are not strawmen; these are the rhetorical staples of an exile population that receives through the National Endowment for Democracy, Radio Free Asia, and other programs a blank check from the U.S. government to stoke the flames of anti-Chinese sentiment both within Tibet and outside of it.

    And the rhetoric gets very tiring, because it fundamentally hasn’t changed in 50 years. Tibet is always in some “crisis”, some “tragedy”, or to quote the Dalai Lama, “some kind of genocide”. When is the Han population going to overwhelm the Tibetan population in Tibet, after all of these warnings from exiles of mass population transfers? When is the Chinese language going to eclipse the Tibetan language in Tibet, after all of these warnings from exiles of the perils of compulsory schooling? The answer to both questions is never, because both propositions are based in the fantasy of a fossilized Tibet with zero Chinese influence, and not in Tibet’s reality (which is still somewhat stunted, thanks to the political pressure that exiles create). Moving forward, China has changed a lot in 50 years; have the exiles changed? Despite much talk about “democratization”, another Lama (this time Karmapa) is making the rounds in Washington, scheduled to become “leader of the Tibetans” upon the Dalai Lama’s death.

    The audience for the exiles’ alarmist warnings of cultural destruction, which you happily regurgitated in comment #14, are strictly Westerners, who miss no opportunity to let the Chinese people know how they feel about China—whether by assaulting a wheelchair-bound Chinese torchbearer on the 2008 Olympics torch relay, or by simply disrupting China blogs by bringing polemics about Tibet into every discussion. The exiles have no genuine interest in dialogue with China or Chinese, as meeting basic preconditions to show good faith (such as to stop distorting history to create the legal fiction of an “independent” “occupied” Tibet) would be impolitic. Maybe it’s just politics, but the behavior of the Tibetans-in-exile and their western supporters are completely inconsistent with the ideals of the multicultural nation-state to which Singapore, China, and the United States strive. Indeed, the Free Tibet movement is a regression towards the Bad Old Days of hysterical, exclusionary, and eventually genocidal ethnic nationalism.

  23. August 12th, 2011 at 21:11 | #23

    raventhorn2000 :
    “The only arguments I have seen from “China-sympathetic” parties comparing the treatment of Tibetans and Native Americans were in order to argue that treatment of Tibetans is much, much better (which is true, but it’s an exceptionally low standard, and one that was set in a very different era and context).”
    Who would you suggest we compare the treatment of Tibetans to?
    “A very different era”??! You speak as if the Native Americans are already extinct. No, they are still alive, with a dying culture.

    No, I meant that most of the really bad policies toward indigenous Americans happened a long time ago. The current policies are still not very good, but they don’t match the genocidal policies of previously centuries.

    Modern Tibet is sui generis so no comparison is thoroughly relevant. With that caveat, I suggest comparing to the situation of the Irish, the Filipinos, and the Mongols. Other interesting comparisons could be made to the situation of indigenous people in the United States since the 1930s, the Åland Swedish, the non-English countries of the UK, the Basques, the Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe in the 1980s and 90s, Finland during the Cold War, and the decolonization of the overseas European empires in general, perhaps with particular reference to India.

  24. August 13th, 2011 at 08:01 | #24

    @Otto Kerner #23

    No, I meant that most of the really bad policies toward indigenous Americans happened a long time ago.

    That may or may not be relevant. In my mind, this is just to divert attention. The West (U.S. included) is built on its colonial heritage – its fortune today derives directly from that tradition and history. To merely say, oh that’s bad, after it has obtained what it wants and become what it is – with land spanning the globe, peoples and civilizations bent to its will – and then to extrapolate and twist to analogize what remaining other civilization are doing to West’s ignoble past and wag a finger no-no – that’s hypocrisy.

  25. Pete North
    August 13th, 2011 at 08:31 | #25

    I can’t imagine why you emigrated there Allen…..surely by doing that you are benefiting from this plunder, and have blood on your hands too then…?

    Amazing how the West is a hypocrite but you and your ilk aren’t.

  26. August 13th, 2011 at 08:51 | #26

    @Pete North #25

    I can’t imagine why you emigrated there Allen…..surely by doing that you are benefiting from this plunder, and have blood on your hands too then…?

    I suppose I am on a personal level. We who currently live in the West all are. For each of us, if we are moved to China, or Africa, or India, or Brazil …. each of our individual well being will probably cut (hopefully less and less in the case of China as China continue to develop) – not because we are any less of a person, but because we now become part of society that has been the brunt of Western pillage the last few centuries…

    My writing here has never been a personal indictment of individuals living in the West (if so, your accusation of my hypocrisy would be well taken)- but only the politics of the West, especially and in particular the politics of the West on the International stage.

  27. August 13th, 2011 at 09:58 | #27

    I’ve not commented to the topic of this thread because it touches on an issue that I do not necessarily have a position on: should China as a civilization state be run as a Federal Union or as a strong centralized national state? I can see the pros and cons of both.

    On the one hand, one of the things I love about China is its diversity. And on some levels, I want China to maintain that diversity. I want to feel the localism as I travel from the East to the West, South to the North. I don’t want to see the same design of “people’s square” in every town I go to, for example. I want to see localized versions of gardens, public spaces, etc.

    On the other hand, we are in a modern era and I want to see China to be more cosmopolitan, more International, outward looking. When ethnic minorities like the Tibetans move east to Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai and beyond, you see (for the most part) a great harmonious cosmopolitan mix. That’s the model of China – universal tolerance for diversity – not the racist Nazi ideology we see being spawn in places like Mongolia (see, e.g., http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/05/mongolian-protests/#comment-41843).

    So my view as to the future of China, I vote for integration. That’s not the same as assimilation – which has a connotation of being one way. Integration represents a multi-way exchange.

    Now I know some will inevitably argue that integration of a dominant majority with small minority is effectively assimilation on the dominant majority’s terms (looking beyond the false illusion that the han is one monolithic culture / people). That may be so in a pure democracy, but in China, that’s where the State comes in. The State is not viewed as just a representation of the people; it is the guardian of the Chinese civilization. People today would not bat an eye if it decides to spend a disproportionate amount of $ promoting, restoring, developing minority regions to maintain that richness, diversity in culture.

    Chinese culture is not just Han culture, but a tapestry of traditions contributed from its vast diversity of people. Integration has been the past and remains the future of China. As someone who cares about China as a civilization state, I ask only that integration today should be done carefully, to make sure that all the color and variations of the vast Chinese tapestry is preserved, and not swamped in the haste to modernize.

  28. August 13th, 2011 at 12:46 | #28

    “No, I meant that most of the really bad policies toward indigenous Americans happened a long time ago. The current policies are still not very good, but they don’t match the genocidal policies of previously centuries.”

    I don’t see the logic in separating the past “genocidal policies” from the “current” ones. Afterall, the current legal standing of the indigenous Americans are based upon the OLD policies that put them on “reservations” and leaving them with virtually no means of feeding themselves and developing their own economies.

    In US, most Tribal lands are “held in trust” by US government, and not even directly controlled by the Tribes.

    “Still not very good”? You mean they are merely continuing the “genocidal policies” to finish off what’s left of the Tribal cultures.

    I don’t see any reversal of past policies. I only see maintenance of the same policies.

  29. wwww1234
    August 13th, 2011 at 22:11 | #29

    @Otto Kerner
    ==I meant that most of the really bad policies toward indigenous Americans happened a long time ago.==

    see:
    20-to-1 – Wealth Gap Grows Between Whites and Minorities

    http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=1291&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pewresearch%2Fall+%28PewResearch.org+|+All+Feeds%29

    there are many factors leading to this distribution. But that many rules and regulations are deeply embedded and institutionalized is beyond doubt.
    I have traveled in various minority regions in China and have never seen anything remotely close to this extreme inequality.

  30. August 14th, 2011 at 09:30 | #30

    Otto Kerner :

    raventhorn2000 :Singapore does have 1 of the toughest censorship law systems in the world.Speech deemed to ridicule or mock people based upon religion, ethnicity are banned, and criminal prosecutions are often called for.

    So, suppose someone were to refer to the most beloved leader of a particular religion as “a wolf in a monk’s robe” and “a monster with a human face” … would that be a punishable offense?

    Those statements as best could only be regarded as personal attacks, it has nothing to do with race or religion.

  31. August 14th, 2011 at 09:39 | #31

    Again, no bobdy raised the fact that the majority of Tibetan do not live in Tibet proper and that it is the Tibetan that has been moving East for the past thousands of years. It is incorrect to compare the First Nations of N.America to any minority groups in China.

    If one want to split hair, China might be the only country after India that does not have a clear majority group. The so-called Han Chinese have more than a dozen different spoken languages and regional cultural differences. The larger of the groups still constitues less than 10% of the total population.

  32. August 14th, 2011 at 17:11 | #32

    Allen :
    @Otto Kerner #23

    No, I meant that most of the really bad policies toward indigenous Americans happened a long time ago.

    That may or may not be relevant. In my mind, this is just to divert attention. The West (U.S. included) is built on its colonial heritage – its fortune today derives directly from that tradition and history. To merely say, oh that’s bad, after it has obtained what it wants and become what it is – with land spanning the globe, peoples and civilizations bent to its will – and then to extrapolate and twist to analogize what remaining other civilization are doing to West’s ignoble past and wag a finger no-no – that’s hypocrisy.

    Yeah, but, seriously, so what? Every country has a past and almost all of them include a healthy dose of violence, a lot of which is pretty ugly and ignoble. I don’t think that justifies ongoing or future injustice. I might be more sympathetic if I were speaking to a nationalist from a small country on the same subject, like, if a Sri Lankan said to me, “Look, we live on this tiny island. If we let the Tamils secede, what’s left is starting to hardly look like a viable country anymore”, that makes sense. But China is a huge country and a global power with or without Tibet or Xinjiang (economically, it would probably be a little better off without).

    I guess the more basic difference between us comes down to what justice based on the current facts on the ground would mean. I think of civilian categories as primary, such land ownership by private parties and questions of who was born where and who has been a long-term resident where. From my perspective, those are the facts on the ground that matter. Political arrangements are secondary and they can and should change to fit civilian demographic realities. My understanding of your perspective, however, is that political claims are a primary category, so accepting the “facts on the ground” would mean accepting established claims by a state to its territories. So, therefore, if I’ve understood you correctly, from your perspective “letting bygones be bygones” means accepting that China owns Tibet as something similar to a property right. But, from my perspective, Tibetans own Tibet.

  33. August 14th, 2011 at 17:18 | #33

    Ray :
    Again, no bobdy raised the fact that the majority of Tibetan do not live in Tibet proper and that it is the Tibetan that has been moving East for the past thousands of years. It is incorrect to compare the First Nations of N.America to any minority groups in China.

    You know, FYI, First Nations of North America moved around, too. For example, the Navajo were moving into their current territory from Canada at about the same time Columbus was landing in the Caribbean. This was not really very long before the Navajo made contact with the Spanish. I don’t think that seriously compromises Navajo claims to be a pre-existing indigenous population (although they may have to balance their claims with other surviving indigenous populations).

    Likewise, Tibetans are an “indigenous” local population throughout ethnographic Tibet (I’ve never heard anyone but you use the expression “Tibet proper”, although it would correspond to what Sam van Schaik says is the common usage in Tibetan). It hasn’t always been Tibetan, but it has been for hundreds of years. The Tibetan parts of Qinghai and Sichuan are no more or less Chinese than any other part of Tibet.

  34. August 14th, 2011 at 17:25 | #34

    “You know, FYI, First Nations of North America moved around, too. For example, the Navajo were moving into their current territory from Canada at about the same time Columbus was landing in the Caribbean. This was not really very long before the Navajo made contact with the Spanish. I don’t think that seriously compromises Navajo claims to be a pre-existing indigenous population (although they may have to balance their claims with other surviving indigenous populations).”

    You only show 1 tribe as your example? (others have been in America MUCH LONGER). Well, hey, I would support Navajo’s claim to part of Canada at least.

    And you do not mention that ALL of the tribes on the East Coast of America have been there for MANY centuries, before they met the White Colonists.

    “Likewise, Tibetans are an “indigenous” local population throughout ethnographic Tibet.”

    Han Chinese are more “indigenous” to Tibet than “Tibetans” by your definition.

  35. August 14th, 2011 at 20:15 | #35

    Otto Kerner :

    Ray :Again, no bobdy raised the fact that the majority of Tibetan do not live in Tibet proper and that it is the Tibetan that has been moving East for the past thousands of years. It is incorrect to compare the First Nations of N.America to any minority groups in China.

    You know, FYI, First Nations of North America moved around, too. For example, the Navajo were moving into their current territory from Canada at about the same time Columbus was landing in the Caribbean. This was not really very long before the Navajo made contact with the Spanish. I don’t think that seriously compromises Navajo claims to be a pre-existing indigenous population (although they may have to balance their claims with other surviving indigenous populations).
    Likewise, Tibetans are an “indigenous” local population throughout ethnographic Tibet (I’ve never heard anyone but you use the expression “Tibet proper”, although it would correspond to what Sam van Schaik says is the common usage in Tibetan). It hasn’t always been Tibetan, but it has been for hundreds of years. The Tibetan parts of Qinghai and Sichuan are no more or less Chinese than any other part of Tibet.

    You have missed my point completely. Did any First Nation people move en mass to Europe? That’s one major difference in relationship between the First Nation/European and the Tibetan/Sino groups. Tibetan and other Sino groups have been intermingling at least since the founding of the Qin dynasty. The most famous occurrence has been the marriage of King Songtsän Gampo and Princess Wencheng in 640. The Tang Princess travelled there with hundreds of companion and also help founded the Jokang Temple. So don’t tell me modern Han Chinese are not allowed to call Tibet their homeland while Europeans can claim US, Canada as their own. Oh did any First Nations ever sacked any European capital?

    Like I have said many time, it is obvious that the majority of Tibetan no longer live in the province/autonomous region called Tibet but spread over all over western China. This fact simply showed that more Tibetan has been moving East than other Sino groups have been moving West. I am using the term Tibet proper as purely a geographic term, although the PRC still claim the region called Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet proper. Do you mind telling me what is your position on South Tibet?

    I assume you must know that what constitute the Sino-Tibetan group of languages. Although I have used the Qin dynasty as a reference point, I am sure that if we go back five thousand years the Sino-Tibetan probably belong to the same family. The various Tibetan language/dialect, culture, religion would not be what they are today without input and interaction from other Sino groups and vice versa. This is the MAJOR different between First Nation/European and the Tibetan/Sino groups. There is no genocide, or institutional discrimination against the Tibetan ever. Various groups of different Chinese people have been moving back and forth, not to mention intermarrying in China since the dawn of time.

    I find your continual pushing of the TGIE narrow agenda very unproductive. Whenever I hear a group want to maintain its pureness, indigenousness, exclusiveness to differentiate and discriminate against a certain others, no good will come of it. Tell me what is the difference between the agenda of the TGIE and that of Anders Behring Breivik? You like to portray that the other Sino groups have no right to be in Tibet proper but somehow repeatedly ignore the fact that the majority of Tibetan Chinese live in other place other than Tibet. Why is that?

  36. August 14th, 2011 at 20:34 | #36

    @Otto Kerner
    “But China is a huge country and a global power with or without Tibet or Xinjiang (economically, it would probably be a little better off without).”

    You are seriously naive if you believe in that statement of yours. The PRC fought a border war with India in 1962, the USSR in 1969 (at that time the 2nd largest military power in the world) over a tiny islet. In the 1980s, the PRC also fought Vietnam several times over some small hills near the borders. It showed your total ignorance of the reality on the ground.

    One major reason the Qing dynasty fell was that it allowed China to be carved up. If you can’t accept the position of the PRC, I suggest you look into the ROC’s geographic definition of China in its constitution. It is a much earlier historic claim.

    Since time immemorial, there have always been the “separatist faction” versus “unification faction” in China, either group could be the majority “Han” or other minority groups. In the end the “unification faction” always win because it is to the interest of ALL people in China. That’s why on and off even if there is fragmentation since Qin dynasty, China always come back in one piece. To ignore this reality is like pissing into the wind.

  37. August 14th, 2011 at 20:36 | #37

    Not that this matters all that much in terms of Beijing’s claim to Tibet – since the claim does not rest on ethnicity or language.

    But if we must trace, we might as well trace by genetics also. Here is what Wikipedia has to say (I referenced this for simplicity’s sake; but the important thing is to follow the references – also given)

    In 2010, a study of genomic variation suggests that the majority of the Tibetan gene pool may have diverged from the Han around 3,000 years ago.[13] However, there are possibilities of much earlier human inhabitation of Tibet,[14][15] and these early residents may have made contribution to the modern Tibetan gene pool.[16] Further anthropological and genetic studies will be needed to clarify the history of human settlement in Tibet.

    [13] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/329/5987/75.abstract
    [14] http://www.springerlink.com/content/t5243n80x623v051/
    [15] http://www.springerlink.com/content/t132w381212312j2/
    [16] http://www.pnas.org/content/106/50/21230

    To sum, Tibetans came from the “Han”, with possibly intermingling of indigenous people living in Tibet prior to the arrival of the “Han.”

  38. August 14th, 2011 at 20:52 | #38

    Pete North :I can’t imagine why you emigrated there Allen…..surely by doing that you are benefiting from this plunder, and have blood on your hands too then…?
    Amazing how the West is a hypocrite but you and your ilk aren’t.

    Allen never called for the return of those of European descends to Europe, nor does he called for the the abolition of the USA. Hypocracy is when one does not do as it preach. Allen would probably leave willingly when those who argued so strongly for the “poor opressed natives” make the first move.

  39. raventhorn2000
    August 15th, 2011 at 06:34 | #39

    I would think that Allen (and other Asians), by moving to US, is not benefiting from the “plunder”, but rather getting “compensation” for the damages that Western Colonialism have taken on Asians.

    🙂

  40. August 15th, 2011 at 06:46 | #40

    raventhorn2000 :I would think that Allen (and other Asians), by moving to US, is not benefiting from the “plunder”, but rather getting “compensation” for the damages that Western Colonialism have taken on Asians.

    Is the phrase “A Chinaman’s chance” coined for getting compensation? Of course there is also the Chinese exclusion act.

    Allen and other immigrants actually contributed to the built up of the US of A rather than being welfare recipients. I believe half of the silicone valley start-up are foreign born.

  41. raventhorn2000
    August 15th, 2011 at 07:20 | #41

    Good point.

    I know I didn’t inherit some land from some White guy, who stole it from the Native American Tribes.

  42. Pete North
    August 15th, 2011 at 07:24 | #42

    raventhorn2000 :
    I would think that Allen (and other Asians), by moving to US, is not benefiting from the “plunder”, but rather getting “compensation” for the damages that Western Colonialism have taken on Asians.

    I guess china will get a flood of immigration from Africa in the next 150 years seeking compensation too.

    Talking of the Chinese exclusion act, can someone give me a statistic of the number of Chinese America has allowed to immigrate to the US, and conversely the number of Americans China has allowed to immigrate to China, say over the last 200 years?

    Be good to get an idea of who is excluding who…

  43. raventhorn2000
    August 15th, 2011 at 07:39 | #43

    “I guess china will get a flood of immigration from Africa in the next 150 years seeking compensation too.”

    Why would you think that? Lots of Africans want to go to US and Europe for “compensation”. China only give them DEALS that they can’t get from US and Europe due to “sanctions”.

    “Talking of the Chinese exclusion act, can someone give me a statistic of the number of Chinese America has allowed to immigrate to the US, and conversely the number of Americans china has allowed to get Chinese passports, say over the last 200 years?”

    Correction, you need to go find the number of Americans who filed for Chinese citizenship 1st.

    As far as I know, it’s very easy for Americans to obtain “permanent residence” in China. http://www.gov.cn/english/2005-08/29/content_27379.htm

    Naturalization in China
    Article 7 Foreign nationals or stateless persons who are willing to abide by China’s Constitution and laws and who meet one of the following conditions may be naturalized upon approval of their applications:
    (1) they are near relatives of Chinese nationals;
    (2) they have settled in China; or
    (3) they have other legitimate reasons.

  44. raventhorn2000
    August 15th, 2011 at 07:46 | #44

    China’s Naturalization guideline:

    http://eng.hengyang.gov.cn/showdetail.aspx?newsid=1394

    China does not have a blanket racist ban on naturalization of some people by ethnicity.

    When HK was handed back to China in 1997, foreign residents of HK were notified that they may naturalize to become Chinese citizens if they wished.

    From 1997 to 2005, over 4000 foreign residents of HK applied for and received Chinese citizenship (about 95% approval rate), majority were Indonesians, Pakistanis, Indians, and Vietnamese (by former citizenship).

  45. August 15th, 2011 at 08:16 | #45

    Pete North :

    raventhorn2000 :I would think that Allen (and other Asians), by moving to US, is not benefiting from the “plunder”, but rather getting “compensation” for the damages that Western Colonialism have taken on Asians.

    I guess china will get a flood of immigration from Africa in the next 150 years seeking compensation too.
    Talking of the Chinese exclusion act, can someone give me a statistic of the number of Chinese America has allowed to immigrate to the US, and conversely the number of Americans China has allowed to immigrate to China, say over the last 200 years?
    Be good to get an idea of who is excluding who…

    You actually believed in the cool aid “your” propaganda created aka China’s new colonialism in Africa. 80% of Africa’s natural resources go to the west and China is suddenly the new colonist by importing 8%? In case you don’t know China has twice the number of population compare to N.America and Europe combined, who is the one polluting the earth?

    China would have no problem accepting new immigrants when it is ready. With the household registry system still in place, new immigrants would have an unfair advantage over those restricted to the rural areas. Would new immigrants accept to be assigned under the household registry system? If not, your retort is simply a straw man’s argument.

    European and Asian are both immigrants to the America but only the racist would be so despicable as to commit genocide, enslaving or colonizing a whole nation of people, of course the Chinese being the discriminated are also by your perverse reasoning somehow at fault. By your reasoning the Chinese has to be allowed to immigrate to the Americas. Bravo! Your moral standard is truly upstanding here. Yes, the Americas belong to you guys only, you get to decide who can immigrant. Just like what have you been arguing all along, you are the man, you get to tell people what to do. Next time when you are here don’t even bother thinking of anything stupid to say. Just repeat this mantra “Do as I say not as I do.” and we would do just fine.

    One major reason, western policy is becoming untenable is that it is actually practising neo-colonialism masquerading as human rights crusaders. Frankly, you would feel more at home frequenting skin head neo-Nazi or KKK websites, not here. And spare me your crocodile’s tears for the oppressed Tibetan or Uighur. Get your own house in order first.

    In the movie Star Wars, the bad guys is the high tech empire using drones to kill and the good guys are those wearing robes and yielding swords. Wake up and smell the coffee. This year, over four hundred NATO soldiers have already lost their lives for the empire. You better join them or you would missed the action.

  46. raventhorn2000
    August 15th, 2011 at 08:20 | #46

    US Department of Homeland Security report:

    Chinese immigrants in US:

    China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1975 entry) 14,375 permanent resident 72% naturalized 26,496 total foreign born 53% naturalized (1995 entry) 13,714 permanent resident 98% naturalized 41,708 total foreign born 38% naturalized.

    The number show that while total foreign born from China in 1995 is increase from 1975 level, majority of them were not allowed to become legal permanent residents (or unable).

    US immigration laws imposes numerous quotas for legal permanent residents for each country. Thus, the permanent resident number from 1995 did not increase from 1975 for China.

    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_naturalizations_fs_2004.pdf

  47. August 15th, 2011 at 08:29 | #47

    @raventhorn2000
    The current global economic model still favour those in the US. US companies easily make several times the profit of their OEM counterparts in China. The per capita GDP of the US is ten times that of China.

    Any immigrant seeking a better economic future would naturally choose the US over China, it is just common sense. Today, China is still struggling to lift a few hundred millions people out of poverty. There is simply no contest, economic opporturnity lead to economic freedom and in many sense is equal to how much freedom one can obtained. China is behind and is still catching up. I see nothing wrong here.

  48. raventhorn2000
    August 15th, 2011 at 09:17 | #48

    me neither.

    China’s immigration policy is relatively open and relaxed, considering how fierce the competition is inside China.

  49. August 15th, 2011 at 11:44 | #49

    I don’t know if it makes sense to compare U.S. immigration policy with that of China’s. U.S. has always been – by its history, demographics, after the original inhabitants in the new world has been decimated – “the land of immigrants.”

    The racist component of U.S. immigration policy cannot be told in terms of U.S. vs. France, or U.S. vs. China, or U.S. vs. India, etc. It comes when one compares the number of immigrants allowed to immigrate here from one location vs. another.

    I don’t think anyone can argue that the U.S. has for the most of its history favored immigrants from Europe, not Asia – and definitely not China. Thus the U.S. has always been run by white Caucasians – its culture and traditions are mostly European – its interests lies with Europe – its demographics are dominated by descendents of Europeans (the recent changes in demographics from Latin America notwithstanding). It is not surprising that Chinese immigrants have traditionally been kicked out and treated like dogs.

    In there lies the real story of prejudice…

  50. raffiaflower
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:18 | #50

    Rhan #16: seems to have missed the point about the Singaporean lady proclaiming her newfound Chinese ethnicity. She is identifying with China,not because of its new wealth – as you suggest dismissively – but with its seminal creativity and innovation, as displayed so impressively by Zhang Yimou with his Games opening.
    For the past 150 years, China struggled with chaos and poverty; when you are desperately trying just to put your s**t together, you don’t worry too much about inventing or discovering, right? Wealth is liberating China from the scramble for survival and to again explore the creative spirit that made it a great civilization. This is what the Singaporean woman – and the ethnic minorities, and Taiwanese eventually will – identifies with; “soft power” will hold China together.
    For the record, there is a district of Barcelona called the Barrio Xines – Chinese quarter; when I visited long ago, a friend told me it was named during the days when being Chinese=poverty. Today,
    China is mulling the possibility of helping to bail Spain out of its economic woes. Full circle.
    If neither affirmative action or meritocracy helps to lift a backward community, what can? Along with the suggestion that Tibetans would be disadvantaged by overwhelming Chinese settlement, you sound more like one of the ultranationalist Malays who demand nothing less than “special rights” for perpetuity. These rights have been exploited to benefit not so many, unfortunately. But you are Chinese, right?

  51. August 15th, 2011 at 15:47 | #51

    Ray :You like to portray that the other Sino groups have no right to be in Tibet proper but somehow repeatedly ignore the fact that the majority of Tibetan Chinese live in other place other than Tibet. Why is that?

    Because it is not true. Almost all Tibetans live in the ethnographic Tibetan region, by which I mean the areas that have been inhabited primarily by Tibetans for hundreds of years. Please see the Wikipedia articles on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_Tibet for more information. The people who lived there before the Tibetans were tribal groups who did not speak Chinese. Therefore, the entire ethnic Tibetan region is no more or less Chinese than, for example, Lhasa, and it is highly misleading to say that Tibetans moved from Tibet into China. They moved from one non-Chinese area which was later claimed by China into another non-Chinese area which was later claimed by China. All of this happened hundreds of years ago and I don’t think it’s very relevant to current politics. The whole region belongs to the Tibetans the same way that China belongs to the Chinese.

  52. August 15th, 2011 at 15:57 | #52

    I think not,

    Early Chinese civilization, Yangshao Culture moved into Tibet regions around 3000 BC, during the Neolithic period. The current Tibetans did not migrate into the regions until around 300 AD.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic_Tibet

    Further more, your “ethnographic Tibetan region” is based upon an Unified Tibetan military empire that did not exist until around 600 AD during the rule of the 1st Tibetan King, Songtsän Gampo. It was during this time, that “Tibetans” spread out their population and settlement into those regions that they conquered from other people near by, and forced other ethnic groups like Sherpas to convert to Tibetan Buddhism.

    AND, that Tibetan empire disintegrated after less than 300 years.

  53. August 15th, 2011 at 16:05 | #53

    Ray :Do you mind telling me what is your position on South Tibet?

    It’s a bit more complicated than most people realize. Actually, none of Arunachal Pradesh is inhabited by Tibetans per se. The bulk of it (by land area and head count) is actually inhabited by tribal peoples who have basically nothing to do with Tibet (these are referred to as Lhobas by the Chinese government; they have their own names in their own languages). Outside observers of all persuasions tend to ignore that fact. They tend to focus on the smaller area around Tawang which is inhabited by Monpas, an ethnic group with close ties to the Tibetans who practice Geluk Buddhism (there are some Monpas living in the TAR, but most of them live in Arunachal Pradesh). I would support two separate referenda to settle the dispute over Arunachal Pradesh, one for the so-called “Lhoba” part and one for the Monpa part.

    There was a commenter back on Fool’s Mountain who actually is from Arunachal Pradesh (he is a Lhoba) and gave some insights on the local situation. He estimated that popular opinion among the Monpas would go for the following options, in order of preference: 1st choice) independent Monpa country; 2nd choice) become part of an independent Tibet; 3rd choice) remain part of India; last choice) become part of China. As for the Lhobas, he said they aren’t very happy with India and they have no interest in Tibet one way or the other, so they might actually have some interest in joining China.

    According to this plan, the Monpa area would either become independent, or if it is deemed too disruptive to international order to create such a small country, if Tibet were free it would join Tibet; otherwise, it would remain with India.

  54. August 15th, 2011 at 17:08 | #54

    Otto Kerner :

    Ray :You like to portray that the other Sino groups have no right to be in Tibet proper but somehow repeatedly ignore the fact that the majority of Tibetan Chinese live in other place other than Tibet. Why is that?

    Because it is not true. Almost all Tibetans live in the ethnographic Tibetan region, by which I mean the areas that have been inhabited primarily by Tibetans for hundreds of years. Please see the Wikipedia articles on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_Tibet for more information. The people who lived there before the Tibetans were tribal groups who did not speak Chinese. Therefore, the entire ethnic Tibetan region is no more or less Chinese than, for example, Lhasa, and it is highly misleading to say that Tibetans moved from Tibet into China. They moved from one non-Chinese area which was later claimed by China into another non-Chinese area which was later claimed by China. All of this happened hundreds of years ago and I don’t think it’s very relevant to current politics. The whole region belongs to the Tibetans the same way that China belongs to the Chinese.

    The history you’ve learned are way too political and selective! Do you actually believe what you are saying? So if the Chinese moved into Americas or Europe setting up an enclave it is considered part of China. This is actually what you are trying to imply here. Somehow wherever the Tibetan Chinese moved are non-Chinese area??? So how do you classified Wencheng and her followers who settled there? One Tibetan king even sacked Xian. You should read raventhorn article on how the Hui regard the Tibetan as interlopers into their home turf. http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/08/reader-naqshbandiyya-chimes-in-on-tibet-and-ethnic-nationalism/#comments

    The problem I have seen with all those who are pro-seperation seems to have selective amnesia and use a specific cut off point in history to justify whatever agenda they are pushing. You try to paint a picture that somehow all the Tibetan Chinese somehow have a specific area marked as Tibetan that no one but they can move into. And no body else existed except them and the Chinese. Another example of playing with date is this, they try to say that China annexed Tibet in 1959 but cannot produce a single modern map prior to this date that showed Tibet as a seperate country. Not a single country recognized their claim but some how everybody is drunk on this cool-aid that Tibet is a seperate country that include all areas that is settled by Tibetan Chinese. Do you know that Qinghai is a province of Tang dynasty? The poet Du Fu wrote about wars in Qinghai in his poem. And according to your logic Tibet would have been one of the largest empire in history since it is probably 4th in size after modern day Russia, Canada and USA. But how many historian has heard of this great empire that existed until 1959?

    You should know that the 5 million Tibetan Chinese classified as such in the PRC speak many different dialects and also have different culture by regions. And suddenly according to you, South Tibetan are no longer Tibetan. Do you know that the 6th Dalai Lama came from Tawang? So by your definition he is not a Tibetan?

    And have you ever question why the NED did not support any Monpa independent movement. The same question can be presented to the various govn’t who donated to TGIE. And why the Indian government while supporting the TGIE but supressed so many indigenous movenment for self rule or independence.

    I will just be very blunt here. Many in TGIE dreamed of being a George Washington but in reality they have become Jefferson Davis without realizing it. And when the current Dalai Lama passed away, there will be a vacuum and then there will be two Dalai Lama (like there have been two Popes). What exactly would the future of those exiles be? The TGIE has been used first by India, then by the CIA and now by countries that want to antagonize China. It sort of reminded me of those KMT remnants that was told by Chiang to remain in the golden triangle. The end result was a couple generation of Chinese people with no country to call their own. Are the TGIE going to suffer the same fate?

  55. August 15th, 2011 at 17:34 | #55

    Regarding Otto Kerner #53 regarding FM blogger from Arunachal Pradesh / South Tibet, here here are a few direct quotes from Buru himself (don’t want Otto to twist his words too much):

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2009/06/23/india-friend-enemy-or-both/#comment-40171

    I am from the land under dispute..Arunachal Pradesh.

    It is tragically comic to see Indians and Chinese debate ownership of my land without giving a flying glance to the actual inhabitants views.

    This is totally in line with the underlying hypocrisy of both Governments– both the Indians and the Han fought tooth and nail against ” colonialists ” and ” imperialist” foreigner, but when those powers went back to their own land both Indians and Chinese had no compunction forcibly occupying the land of others AGAINST the will of the native populace’ ,even going to the extent of killing and raping thousands–examples being Kashmir and Tibet.

    If the Indians and Chinese are so cocksure of their positions why dont they allow referendum under UN auspices to disputed areas like Kashmir, Tibet and Arunachal?

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2009/06/23/india-friend-enemy-or-both/#comment-40245

    Re Referendum: I just made that rhetorical point for bringing down both parties to earth.I know they wont allow it under any circumstance for they know they are there against the will of the natives.Just the thought of Referendum makes ‘ nationalists’ of both sides shit their pants:)) . As far as I am concerned, my people are crushed like ants in a fight between two elephants(mostly economic).So my request is for the two governments to solve this issue permanently so that we(ie people of Arunachal/South Tibet) could get a breather.

    * Just as an hypothetical aside: If only two choices are given stat, India will definitely get more votes. If however, say both parties are given equal access for a few months for propaganda, it can go either way.

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2009/06/23/india-friend-enemy-or-both/#comment-41504

    Ramesh statement is bang-on in 2 districts of Tawang& West Kameng– the people here are related to the Tibetans in every single way.In fact the Tibetans were collecting revenues till 1951 when the Indian military ejected them by force( the date is important, since India got independence in 1947).

    The rest of the state people are not related to these Tibetan-like people in any way..and have no particular allegiance to anybody.In the past these areas were fully independent of any outside power,Tibet/China/India or even Assam.In fact it was the habit of these people to get tributes from plainsmen as well as Tibetans, not the other way round.The British never set foot on certain areas of the state and when the Indian military entered certain areas for the first time there was armed resistance.But all are peaceful and Indianised now.

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2009/06/23/india-friend-enemy-or-both/#comment-41835
    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2009/06/23/india-friend-enemy-or-both/#comment-41838

    Albert Pinto Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 8:40 am

    @baru

    Can you elaborate on your earlier comment where you mentioned that Tibetian and Bangadeshi refugees are settling in AP ? As far as I knew, the long standing policy has been that only people from AP can legally buy land in AP just so that hordes of people from rest of India don’t end up moving into AP and destroying the local culture and environment?

    Also, what is the current state of affairs with setting up an “Autonomous Council” for Tawang and West Kameng? Any progress on that? Last I heard was that it got approved by the state assembly, but there were some complaints from other areas in AP regarding giving special status to Tawang and West Kameng.

    Although, I think I am going way off topic now.

    July 7th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Pintoji,
    181,
    Q1.Refugees: not only Bangladeshis, but East Pakistanis were settled in tens of thousands in large tracts of fertile land in AP by Indian Govt in 60-70s.They were encouraged by Delhi to migrate out of East Pak,trucked in all the way( crossing Mizoram/Tripura/Manipur/Assam, but settled in AP!)from the border, given free land, money,ploughs, bullocks, seedlings, money etc etc per family, and settled in AP.

    Lesser #s of Tibetans were settled with less facilities.
    Gurkha ex-servicemen were settled in hundreds(now thousands) in prime lands near Indo-China border.
    A conservative estimate should put them at over 200,000 in a state with population of 1000,000. Students unions have been agitating against this for long, peacefully.

    re local culture and environment: Caught between brainwash& propaganda campaigns of competing interests like Church, Hindu Nationalists and Hindi nationalists its best left unsaid.

    Q2.Autonomous status: non-starter as of now.

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2010/03/10/you-scratch-my-back-but-i-won%E2%80%99t-scratch-yours/#comment-65222

    I think India should thank its stars that it occupied Arunachal b4 the Chinese did..as it never was part of India( not even the British controlled/explored all of it).
    Its acting like a greedy deluded thief..
    China is the thief who knows how to be satisfied with what it stole.. 🙂

  56. August 15th, 2011 at 19:37 | #56

    Allen :
    Regarding Otto Kerner #53 regarding FM blogger from Arunachal Pradesh / South Tibet, here here are a few direct quotes from Buru himself (don’t want Otto to twist his words too much):

    Why do you think I would twist his words? That was a very hostile thing to say. I appreciated buru’s contributions very much. I don’t think I misrepresented him. Did I not say in so many words that he said that the Lhobas (who are the majority in the province) are not happy with India and might vote for China if given a chance?

  57. August 15th, 2011 at 20:10 | #57

    @Otto Kerner #56

    I apologize if I seemed “hostile.” I was referring to this part:

    He estimated that popular opinion among the Monpas would go for the following options, in order of preference: 1st choice) independent Monpa country; 2nd choice) become part of an independent Tibet; 3rd choice) remain part of India; last choice) become part of China.

    I don’t remember Buru ever saying anything about China being “last choice”…

  58. August 15th, 2011 at 20:17 | #58

    Ray :
    The history you’ve learned are way too political and selective! Do you actually believe what you are saying? So if the Chinese moved into Americas or Europe setting up an enclave it is considered part of China. This is actually what you are trying to imply here.

    I don’t know why you find it necessary to respond with insults. In any event, you have understood me correctly. Tibet is the land of the Tibetans, i.e. where Tibetans live (not where one or a few Tibetans happened to live from time to time, but where they settled and were the predominant population for a long period of time). English is fairly inconsistent about how we use terms like this, but there’s nothing strange about this usage. England is the part of Britain where English people live. The Basque country is where Basque people live. It wouldn’t make sense to say “most Basques live outside of the Basque country” unless they moved recently or had been living as a minority like the Jews in Europe for a long time.

    Somehow wherever the Tibetan Chinese moved are non-Chinese area???

    When I say “non-Chinese”, I mean that the people who lived there didn’t speak a Chinese dialect and probably would have been surprised if you told them they were Chinese (provided you could figure out how to say that in their languages). Whether you want to classify them and/or the Tibetans as “Chinese” is up to you.

    Actually, there were some Chinese towns that were conquered by the Tibetan Empire, but they didn’t hold onto them for the long term. They were effective settling in the tribal areas and

    So how do you classified Wencheng and her followers who settled there?

    They Chinese people who moved to Tibet. One Chinese person and some of her employees who moved to Tibet doesn’t change the identity of the Tibetans. Catherine the Great, the Russian empress, was German, but that doesn’t make Russia part of Germany (and she was an actual reigning monarch). Nor did China become part of Germany when Li De went there.

    One Tibetan king even sacked Xian.

    I don’t think this is relevant. I was talking about long-term settlements.

    The problem I have seen with all those who are pro-seperation seems to have selective amnesia and use a specific cut off point in history to justify whatever agenda they are pushing.

    Or maybe I simply reached a different conclusion than you did! No, wait, that’s probably impossible. I must be dishonest.

    Another example of playing with date is this, they try to say that China annexed Tibet in 1959 but cannot produce a single modern map prior to this date that showed Tibet as a seperate country.

    http://www.savetibet.org/resource-center/icts-maps-project

    But please don’t believe your lying eyes. I must be using my selective amnesia to produce evidence of the thing that you said nobody ever produced evidence for, which I found by doing one Google search.

    You should know that the 5 million Tibetan Chinese classified as such in the PRC speak many different dialects and also have different culture by regions.

    True, and so what? Every country has regional differences. Tibetans have a clear sense of identity as Tibetans, despite local differences.

    And suddenly according to you, South Tibetan are no longer Tibetan. Do you know that the 6th Dalai Lama came from Tawang? So by your definition he is not a Tibetan?

    So what? The 4th Dalai Lama was a Mongol. The Chinese government agrees with me that Monpa (门巴) and Lhoba (珞巴) are different ethnic groups than Tibetans, although the Monpa are very closely related. I must be getting confused by my selective amnesia again.

  59. August 15th, 2011 at 22:55 | #59

    @Otto Kerner

    You have never been consistent with your argument on Chinese history. For example, it is ok for you to call England, the land of the English but not ok for the Chinese to call Tibet part of China despite the fact that I have provided evidence that the Han married and settled there in similar time frame as the Anglo-Saxon invasion. And I’ve never call for the secession of the Basque region from Spain but would you support the Basque separatist the same way you support the TGIE? And you have avoided the legality of countries like US, Canada, Australia, NZ etc, because according to your arguments so far they shouldn’t exist because they are creation of invasion and genocide.

    And never for once did you even try to refute my claim that the TGIE is pushing a racist, xenophobic and exclusive national agenda. For this reason alone TGIE will not win any legitimacy. You have been ignoring the fact that Wencheng is the queen of Tibet and might well have given birth to subsequent Tibetan rulers, not to mention that Tufan wasn’t Buddhist before her arrival. Wenchang and her followers are there for long term settlement much like the Anglo-Saxon who eventually become one of the ancestors of the English. The Han Chinese has contributed positively to Tibet and vice versa. Again, you choose to ignore the fact the further east the age of the Tibetan Buddhist temples are younger. Clear evidence of Tibetan moving East. Yes, I am actually calling you dishonest on this blatant double standard. If you want to split hair, should the Norman be ask to leave or considered non-native of England? And what about the status of the Channel Islands, should they be return to France?

    I am simply using the argument of maps to bait you. Tell me which maps correspond to modern world map today? And tell me which version you would choose? And why you support this claim and not that one? The reality is we must respect the status quo. Israel did not exist in any of those map but since it is part of the UN we must respect this reality. By choosing not to answer the 2nd part of my question pertaining to whether any country recognized the sovereign state of Tibet is very telling of your method of debate, you simply skirted the issue whenever the reality doesn’t suit your agenda. And why the silence on the NED selective funding of independence groups? Let me tell you it is all politics! Gaddafi used to support groups as diverse as the IRA (to spite the British) to the Moro Liberation front, Patani Liberation Front etc but crack down hard on Al-Qaeda.

    The 4th Dalai Lama being Mongolian showed that the various groups Chinese people have had official interaction. If no special relationship exist they would not become in line to become Dalai Lama. And by Chinese govn’t definition, the Tibetan, Monpa and Lhoba are all Chinese. I know you have an aversion to see the term Chinese use similar to the term American is used, but this is the reality. You are who you are by the passport you hold. By your selective usage of historical fact you are simply ignoring reality. Like I have said many time, the PRC’s claim is inclusive, South Tibet is part of China. The ROC claim in this area is similar. Both their claim are base on history, that’s why neither PRC nor ROC ever bother sending troops into Nepal or Bhutan.

    And if you are interested in learning about the other side of the story, you might want to try to read some book by this Tibetan author http://baike.baidu.com/view/254060.htm#4
    One of his book deal with the last stage of Tibetan feudalism before being replaced by the PRC’s system.

  60. raventhorn2000
    August 16th, 2011 at 05:22 | #60

    Otto’s concept of “ethnographic regions” as a basis for claims of sovereignty is illogical.

    One can always make ever smaller claims of “ethnographic regions” to claim that one was there 1st.

    For example, if I narrowed down the region to my townhouse, (which used to be a dog park), I can claim that’s my “ethnographic region” where a Chinese family 1st came to inhabit about 2 years ago, and before that no one inhabited my “region”!

    “ethnographic regions” is meaningless. The proper theory of territorial claims and sovereignty is “1st to discovery/explore”, not 1st to settle on (and Tibetans were not 1st to settle in Tibet).

    The entire concept of “ethnographic region” is based upon the Erroneous (and racist) concept that the White Europeans were the 1st to settle the American continent.

  61. August 16th, 2011 at 15:27 | #61

    Ray :And I’ve never call for the secession of the Basque region from Spain but would you support the Basque separatist the same way you support the TGIE?

    Of course I would, although I’m not sure that’s what most Basques actually want.

  62. August 16th, 2011 at 15:32 | #62

    Ray :And never for once did you even try to refute my claim that the TGIE is pushing a racist, xenophobic and exclusive national agenda.

    The same could be said about literally any nation-state on Earth, if you insist on putting them in the worst possible light. Try having a conversation with an Estonian, a Latvian, or a Lithuanian about how racist, xenophobic, and exclusivist they are for wanting to be independent of Russia, and see what kind of reaction you get.

  63. August 16th, 2011 at 15:41 | #63

    Ray :
    I am simply using the argument of maps to bait you.

    I don’t understand why you would try to go back and change your story when anyone can go back and read your previous comment. Your exact words were “Another example of playing with date is this, they try to say that China annexed Tibet in 1959 but cannot produce a single modern map prior to this date that showed Tibet as a seperate country” which was a false claim. I’m not interested in talking to you about the significance of these maps. I don’t think they are very significant. You were the one who brought them up. And I took the bait by pointing out that you didn’t know what you were talking about. If your goal is to waste time, then I say well played, sir, well played indeed.

  64. August 16th, 2011 at 15:50 | #64

    “The same could be said about literally any nation-state on Earth, if you insist on putting them in the worst possible light.”

    Then, that only means the TGIE’s claims are worthless.

  65. August 16th, 2011 at 15:52 | #65

    Ray :By choosing not to answer the 2nd part of my question pertaining to whether any country recognized the sovereign state of Tibet is very telling of your method of debate, you simply skirted the issue whenever the reality doesn’t suit your agenda.

    On the contrary, I have discussed the issue of Tibet’s diplomatic status with various other people in the past (probably on FM or HH at point, I can’t remember). I didn’t reply on that subject this time because I didn’t think we would have anything interesting to say to each other about it, so I didn’t think it was worthwhile to spend time typing up my opinions about it again. I have no compunctions about responding to you on the basis of what I think would be interesting.

  66. August 16th, 2011 at 15:58 | #66

    Ray :And why the silence on the NED selective funding of independence groups? Let me tell you it is all politics!

    I want to be completely clear about this: I am not answerable for NED policies. I am not a spokesman for the NED, for the CIA, for the ISI, for RAW, for SPECTRE, or for THRUSH.

  67. Al
    August 16th, 2011 at 16:16 | #67

    @Otto Kerner “I want to be completely clear about this: I am not answerable for NED policies. I am not a spokesman for the NED, for the CIA, for the ISI, for RAW, for SPECTRE, or for THRUSH.”

    Nobody accused you to be. This kind of meaningless statements only are easy excuses to “escape” from the issue at hand.

  68. August 16th, 2011 at 16:17 | #68

    Drink their cool-aid, but don’t ask why.

    I guess it shouldn’t surprise you if one day, it turns out all to be a lie, as much as they had lied to the Tibetan Exiles, who fought and died for a cause sold to them for 30 pieces of silver.

    Isn’t it Ironic that those who defend “freedom” are so willing to sacrifice others for their convictions in their own opinions?!

  69. Al
    August 16th, 2011 at 16:20 | #69

    @Otto Kerner “I don’t understand why you would try to go back and change your story when anyone can go back and read your previous comment. Your exact words were “Another example of playing with date is this, they try to say that China annexed Tibet in 1959 but cannot produce a single modern map prior to this date that showed Tibet as a seperate country” which was a false claim. I’m not interested in talking to you about the significance of these maps. I don’t think they are very significant. You were the one who brought them up. And I took the bait by pointing out that you didn’t know what you were talking about. If your goal is to waste time, then I say well played, sir, well played indeed.”

    How come you don’t consider facts and datas significant when they prove you wrong (you are not at all new at this kind of attitude). Those maps are COMPLETELY significant, much more than any other speculations, and are a clear proof.
    And, if it is a false claim, produce some materials that prove it, saying it alone won’t make it become real..

  70. August 16th, 2011 at 16:25 | #70

    Al :How come you don’t consider facts and datas significant when they prove you wrong (you are not at all new at this kind of attitude). Those maps are COMPLETELY significant, much more than any other speculations, and are a clear proof.And, if it is a false claim, produce some materials that prove it, saying it alone won’t make it become real..

    I think that you did not bother to read the comments you are referring to before responding. Had you done so, you would have seen that I posted a link above, which I will duplicate here for your benefit:

    http://www.savetibet.org/resource-center/icts-maps-project

    These maps show Tibet as an independent country. You are on record above as saying, “Those maps are COMPLETELY significant, much more than any other speculations, and are a clear proof”. So, you are either saying that Tibet was an independent country prior to the 1950s or you did not actually pay any attention to what you were agreeing with. Which is it?

  71. August 16th, 2011 at 16:29 | #71

    Otto Kerner :

    Ray :I am simply using the argument of maps to bait you.

    I don’t understand why you would try to go back and change your story when anyone can go back and read your previous comment. Your exact words were “Another example of playing with date is this, they try to say that China annexed Tibet in 1959 but cannot produce a single modern map prior to this date that showed Tibet as a seperate country” which was a false claim. I’m not interested in talking to you about the significance of these maps. I don’t think they are very significant. You were the one who brought them up. And I took the bait by pointing out that you didn’t know what you were talking about. If your goal is to waste time, then I say well played, sir, well played indeed.

    By showing me a few maps you have taken my bait because for every one you showed’ve I can countered with a hundred that showed Tibet as part of China. This is what I meant by selective fact or selective amnesia. This is the problem I have with those who claimed TGIE is legitimate because India is hosting them but never explained why India never recognized it as an official govn’t. Same with the countries who hosted Dalai Lama then pledged and gave support but never recognized it. At least there are around twenty countries who recognized the ROC. There is none for the TGIE. Even the alternate govn’t in Libya has official recognition. Even in time of extremely bad relationship with the PRC no countries be it the heavy weight US, the USSR dare recognized TGIE. The PRC wasn’t even admitted back into the UN until 1971. You can argue to death the legitimacy of the TGIE claim but no country in its right mind would want to rock the boat. And the sole reason TGIE was able to exist was because of support from NED, CIA etc.

  72. Al
    August 16th, 2011 at 16:51 | #72

    From Savetibet? Come on Otto, can’t find anything less “partial”?

  73. Al
    August 16th, 2011 at 19:24 | #73

    @Otto, have u taken a closer look to the first map in the link u posted? here’s a link to the full version: http://memory.loc.gov/gmd/gmd7/g7400/g7400/ct001982.jp2

    u can see two names in the brown area in the north and north-west of China:

    1) TANGUTI REGNUM in the northwestern part
    2) NIUCANUM REG in the north

    TANGUTI REGNUM means Tangut Kingdom…I may be wrong but the Tangut Kingdom is usually also known as XI XIA Dynasty (1038-1227 AD) (also the position on the map with respect to the SONG Dynasty is consistent)
    NIUCANUM derives from NIUCHE, which is a kind of medieval definition for the Jurchen people (JIN dynasty 1115-1234 AD)..the position is also consistent with the SONG era situation.

    I may be wrong, but that map, from a historical situation point of view, has many faults…

  74. August 17th, 2011 at 08:19 | #74

    Maps based on individual maps of the Jesuit fathers (1730) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CEM-44-La-Chine-la-Tartarie-Chinoise-et-le-Thibet-1734-2568.jpg

    Map in Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, Leipzig (1890). – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Asien_Bd1.jpg

    A Rand McNally map (1914) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1914_map_of_Asia.jpg

    UN map of world (1945) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Decolonization_-_World_In_1945_en.svg

    These are official maps from trusted sources. Of course, I can also point readers to Chinese maps – which I think really should carry the most weight in this instance (who better to trust than the Chinese regarding Chinese lands?).

    As for the maps linked in savetibet, I don’t know the contexts in which they are used. But it seems a joke to use some these maps to establish the independence of Tibet. Before the British expedition to Tibet in early 1900’s and Germany expedition in 1930’s, the West really had little knowledge of the area except from the accounts of the Jesuits (Jesuit maps are linked above) and hearsays.

    The really interesting part of the any Tibet question was whether Tibet was a nation in the early part of the 20th century. At that time the notin of nation-state were well developed. China was weak at the time (no one really knew who controlled what). That’d be the best (and only) time to make a case. And it’d also seem understandable if some maps show Tibet as an “independent nation.” I mean even today, depending on which map you use, you can see maps showing Kashmir as part of Pakistan … or India. You can find Aksai Chin or South Tibet as part of India, or China … depending on which map you use. Pointing to one map shows nothing… unless it’s from an “official” organization or some source we trust.

    Yet curiously, if you look at the real reputable maps – including maps from the UN – even at this time when China was weakest, you find only one narrative…

  75. raventhorn2000
    August 17th, 2011 at 08:33 | #75

    I find Otto’s “nuanced history” argument rather ironic and self-contradictory.

    If history is “nuanced”, then it is illogical to point to some small segments of time periods and call it certainty and conclusive that there was a “ethnographic Tibet”. It’s simply ridiculous.

    Tibetans and other ethnic groups lived in pockets of small communities throughout Tibet province, and Qinghai, Sichuan, etc.

    How can anyone claim there is a “ethnographic Tibet”? Well, it’s more based upon “historical Tibetan Empire” then.

  76. Al
    August 17th, 2011 at 23:15 | #76

    @Otto “These maps show Tibet as an independent country. You are on record above as saying, “Those maps are COMPLETELY significant, much more than any other speculations, and are a clear proof”. So, you are either saying that Tibet was an independent country prior to the 1950s or you did not actually pay any attention to what you were agreeing with. Which is it?”

    Please, tell me you are smarter than that, tell me you don’t really think this kind of cheap rethorical tricks can really work….

    As already I and the others have pointed out, the issue is not simply “maps”, I too can draw a map and pretend it to be reliable and accurate….this is not the issue at all..maps have to be from reliable and recognized sources, and those sources must have a detailed knowledge of the actual situation in the area. As u see with the first map of that Savetibet site u linked (only the first, cause seeing the results I didn’t have much time nor will to check the others), it can be it has been drawn in the XVIII century, but it depicts eastern asia as it was in the XII-XIII centuries, cause the author clearly lacked real knowledge of the places he was pretending to map.

  77. xian
    September 8th, 2011 at 20:35 | #77

    I rather admire Singapore’s approach to race, a non-nonsense sort of equality. In the West you see uneven attempts at “empowerment” at the same time as regular racism occurs. Their system has pushed every ethnic group into enclaves, and that division always takes precedent over their national identity. I have heard Singapore forces every ethnic group to live together, a certain quota of residents per block. That may seem too harsh to Westerners, but it is just the ticket to ensure a truly blended society.

  78. raventhorn2000
    September 12th, 2011 at 09:59 | #78

    I was reading a book on history of Ming Dyanasty.

    And it essentially stated that Ming’s 1st emperor when he rebelled against the Yuan Mongol rulers, he set in policies that were essentially identical to the Yuan Dynasty, except for 1 major difference: He abolished the Mongol’s political caste system, and integrated all ethnic groups.

    Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (he gave himself that name, which literally meant to “overthrow Yuan”) was forced to deal with the question of ethnic co-existence, because he knew that if he set out to completely destroy the Mongols, the Mongols would be forced against a wall and turn to fight to the death.

    Instead, every Northern Chinese cities he conquered, he simply ended the Mongol’s privileged class, and let integration happen naturally. (Naturally as possible, but he lured them to integration with the wealth of Southern China).

    His strategy was simple. Once he showed to the Mongols that it would not be easy for them to use traditional Raiding tactics to plunder cities, he offered to hire Mongols to work for him as his soldiers, and offered to settle their families in comfortable living in the guarded cities.

    (The alternative Mongol way was that the Mongol soldiers could only profit from what they captured as loot in raids, and they had to pay a portion of loot as tribute. Ming, on the other hand, gave them stable salaries and food, for sitting behind well-fortified walls).

    There were some resistances. But they often did not require too many battles to convince to a surrender.

    Ming China as a result employed 10,000’s of elite Mongolian troops, a tradition that persisted in China, until modern time.

    *Now, some would call that set of policy as “erosion of Mongolian culture”. Turning horse-riding city-sacking warrior Mongols into Wall-guarding city-dwelling Mongolian Chinese troops? shocking!

    But I think Europe should thank Ming China for that policy.

    Had Ming China not done so, (for China’s own sake), European history might have been completely different as well. Because Ming China was militarily pushing the Mongols ever further and further north and west, away from China.

    Had Ming China not found a way to integrate the Mongols into its own regional economic/social/political region, the Mongols might have move into Western Europe, much as the Huns did when Han Dynasty China drove some of them out of Asia.

  79. raventhorn2000
    September 12th, 2011 at 10:07 | #79

    Come to think of it, the current Chinese ethnic integration policy is very similar to Ming’s “carrot and stick” approach.

  80. Otto Kerner
    September 12th, 2011 at 22:54 | #80

    Very confusing analogy. Did the Ming integrate Mongols in Mongolia? Maybe at the edges, but Inner Mongolia wasn’t integrated until the very late Qing period, and Outer Mongolia still isn’t integrated into China. Northern Xinjiang was Mongolic if not Mongolian per se until the late 18th century.

    No, it sounds like we are talking about integrating minority Mongol populations living outside of Mongolia. This is neither very difficult nor very controversial. No one is worked up about Tibetans outside of Tibet becoming integrated into Chinese society.

  81. zack
    September 13th, 2011 at 00:00 | #81

    raventhorn2
    can u link me up to that book? thanks dude.

  82. raventhorn2000
    September 13th, 2011 at 06:26 | #82

    @zack

    This is the book I was reading. It’s very entertaining, but historically quite accurate. The author would periodically quote old historical texts along with his modernized descriptions.

    http://english.cri.cn/4026/2007/11/07/164@291906.htm

    If you look around, you might be able to find the full Chinese version online somewhere, (because the author originally published it as his own blog).

    *I would qualify my earlier comments about Ming’s policies of integration.

    Mongolia did become part of China during Ming, Maps of Ming (and later Qing) clearly showed this. Under Ming’s rule, Mongolians became integral part of the Northern defenses.

    There was a Mongol rebellion, which prompted Ming to build up the Great Wall for defenses. However, even during this rebellion, there were substantial portion of Mongol troops in China defending against the rebellion.

  83. zack
    September 13th, 2011 at 07:39 | #83

    thanks a lot raventhorn2!:)

  84. September 13th, 2011 at 09:40 | #84

    @raventhorn2000
    Zhu Yuanzhang does have Mongolian wives thought. Zhu Di (who usurped the throne from his nephew) was born of such union. However, due to needing to fight the Northern Yuan to secure the border, he kept this as a secret from the public.

    Anyway, one of the biggest defender of the Yuan was a Han/Mongolian general. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Baobao

    I would say easily one out of ten Han Chinese has Mongol blood, as the majority of the Mongol garrison switched sides after the fall of the Yuan. It is simply common sense, it would take over a year to retreat from say Yangzhou, Hanzhou, Guangzhou, to the north. And it would be impossible as they would have old folks, women and children to take care of.

  85. kchew
    September 13th, 2011 at 15:07 | #85

    Zhudi’s mother is reportedly to be a Mongol woman whose family was one of those that were left behind after the fall of Yuan.

    The Mongols were basically divided in two main tribes after the retreat to the north. Zhudi went all the way to northern Mongol hinterland in order to punish one of the tribes. After that defeat, the Mongol tribe sued for peace and pledged allegiance to Ming.

    CCTV’s public lecture series on Zhudi (百家讲坛 永乐大帝 ) :

    http://search.cntv.cn/tansuo/index.shtml?qtext=%u6C38%u4E50

  86. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 07:57 | #86

    Interesting factoids:

    (1) 1st paperback currency, banknotes, were invented in China during Tang dynasty, and also later used during Song dynasty. But these “banknotes” were backed by merchant associations, and limited to durations.

    (2) 1st paperback currency guaranteed by a government, was invented and used in China, during the Yuan Dynasty, and later used during Ming dynasty, but discontinued after the currency became hyperinflated and worthless.

  87. silentvoice
    September 14th, 2011 at 08:10 | #87

    My impression is that on the whole, the Tang, Song, Yuan, and Early Ming Dynasties were more inventive and forward looking than the Qing, which appears to be very conservative from the beginning.

    Lately I’ve been reading books on the late Qing, early Republic era and its now clear to me why Mao thought Confucianism was keeping China backward.

  88. September 14th, 2011 at 09:09 | #88

    @silentvoice
    My study of China gives me the conclusion that pretty much all Chinese dynasties are anti-commerce. That’s the major reason China wouldn’t go out and take colonies. Confucian belief also reinforced that belief. In many ways, old China is the same as India in enforcing a very rigid caste, the only difference in that in India, your family name pretty much mean that you are stucked in your caste for life (unless you embrace Sikhism or Islam). In China even an ophan begger can become an emperor as in the case of Zhun Yuanzhang. The Han dynasty was started by a commoner too.

    I think Mao and a lot of the early communists are against Confucianism because of its advocation of a class society. Unfortunately, in all market economy system there are bound to be winners and losers. To counter this, a lot of smaller countries practiced socialism despite having a market economy. The PRC imo is still trying to find a suitable system.

    It is easy to talk the talk. I have always asked people what Canada would look like if 30 million poor farmers moved from India or China and settled there. Can the US absorb 300 million? That’s the realistic question human activists should ask. As of now, nobody dares give an answer. If the US socio-economic political system is a cure all than it should absorbed the 300 million with ease. However, we all know that it would create near chaos. That’s why I always keep this in mind. China and India are both hosting anywhere from 600-800 million poor farmers!

  89. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 10:22 | #89

    @Ray

    I would disagree that Chinese dynasties are anti-Commerce.

    Ming dynasty perhaps had the highest anti-Merchant laws, they restricted merchants from purchasing too much of certain types of household goods, for example. But Ming and Yuan set up dedicated districts in provinces for foreign traders and embassies.

    It was not anti-Commerce, but rather the Chinese emperors wanted to Monopolize foreign trade under Imperial royal control. (Same is true for Salt trade in China historically, where laws dictated that ONLY “official salt” could be sold, private trade of Salt was punisheable as a severe crime during later Yuan dynasty).

    Ming and Yuan, for example, had both imposed laws stating that it was a crime to cross ocean without Imperial approval. During Ming, officials were required to report the arrival of foreign traders and envoys.

    *It’s not so much that they did not want to go out and set up colonies.

    China during much of its history was the CENTER of commerce. Ming took in huge amount of foreign trade. Tang dynasty sent ship loads of porcelain to Europe, but on Persian ships.

    China didn’t need to go out much, because EVERYONE was coming to China, for silk, for porcelain, etc. (You can draw an analogy about US today).

    Think about it, why go out, when everyone is coming to your country to trade with you? Why take the risks of long voyages, cost of maintaining fleets?

    *No, China was not anti-trade, it just got too comfortable, being the “mega-mall” of the world during the ancient time.

  90. September 14th, 2011 at 14:55 | #90

    @raventhorn2000
    The examples you gave showed that the Ming is anti-commerce. The govn’t always try to restrict the power of the merchants. By monopolizing salt, sometimes certain metal, alcohol or even certain textiles during the Ming, it is supposed to stop merchants from getting too powerful and ensuing a reliable supply of revenue. In contrast, the Dutch govn’t supported the Dutch East Indies company in expanding overseas. After the Zeng He expedition, the Ming even prohibited the building of ships with certain number of masts, a practice continued by the Qing.

    And the Tang govn’t did not send porcelain overseas, it was all done by the private merchants. When I read up on the adventure of Tang Sanzang (Xuanzang), I was surprised that the Tang is not as open as I have believed. Did you know that although foreign traders are free to travel into Xian, Tang citizens are not allow to go overseas unless with official sanction? Xuanzang by going west actually risked the death penalty of unauthorized travel, he was arrested several time but got away.

    The fact that, the Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming etc are so prosperous are because the govn’t is stable and provide a safe environment for innovation and trade. The govn’t since Han dynasty always treat merchants with distrust. The merchant class was ranked at the bottom rung of the four social classes and have many social restriction placed on them.

    Yes, I would say China is ahead of many parts of the world prior to 16th century but the Portugese, Spaniard moved ahead with their global mercantile and colonial policy, they were in turn surpassed by the Dutch and then British model. Of course by 1900s the premier world trading power has become the US. What I am saying is the various Chinese dynasties never remotely have a policy of supporting local merchant until recently.

  91. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 15:56 | #91

    @Ray

    well, they would be “anti-Free market” perhaps, and “anti-Merchant”, but not “anti-Commerce”.

    They obviously wanted to generate commerce, and encouraged trade with foreign nations, but they wanted to control it.

    “And the Tang govn’t did not send porcelain overseas, it was all done by the private merchants. ”

    I meant the Tang Dynasty allowed foreign traders to buy porcelain in China. I correct my generalized statement.

  92. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 16:03 | #92

    @Ray

    “What I am saying is the various Chinese dynasties never remotely have a policy of supporting local merchant until recently.”

    Yes, they were certainly very “anti-Merchant”. But that is different than “anti-Commerce”.

    I think the traditional Chinese economic model is that they dislike the idea that a person can make profit simply by “buying low, and selling high”.

    The traditional model does encourage “commerce”, but ONLY “commerce” straight from the producers to the consumers, with NO middle men.

    So, farmers sold their own food, Ironsmiths sold their own metalware, etc.

    That’s the “commerce” that was encouraged.

    Thus, again, I don’t believe ancient China was per se “anti-Commerce”, more it was “anti-Middlemen Merchants”.

    *Yes, that would kind of limit “commerce” as we know it in the MODERN sense, but then again, to the ancient-Chinese, they were simply encouraging 1 type of commerce (the type that focuses on PRODUCTION) over another type (the type that focuses on SALES and Marketing and financing).

  93. September 14th, 2011 at 21:49 | #93

    @raventhorn2000
    OK, I think I got what you are saying. I agree saying anti-commerce is a bit harsh, however, when a govn’t is anti-merchant it is just a thin line from outright anti-commerce. Before 15th century despite all the limitation, China is still far ahead of most of the world in promoting internal commerce and to a lesser extend international commerce. The Qin state policy made commerce profitable for merchants and it was one of the source of power (other than farming) that made it the premier power. The unification of writing script, measurement, building of roads and canals all have a positive effects on trade. A process continued by subsequent dynasties, hence China has been the largest and most advanced economy as you stated.

    Well, since Qin/Han, the state has been wary of merchant influence on govn’t. Remember Lu Buwei saying that helping a prince into power is the most profitable business venture. The govn’t wanted commerce because it is a big source of revenue but doesn’t like the merchant gaining power (more realistic consideration then decrying greed of merchants). By adopting Confucianism, the Han dynasty pretty much set the stage for all future dynasties in the national trade policy. Even today, in the PRC the govn’t control the big business and the banks not the other way round. The biggest difference is that the PRC has awaken to the world around it this time round and adjusted its policy accordingly.

    During the Ming and Qing, a person who is classified as a merchant is not allowed to sit for the civil exam. As you know a scholar is the highest class, and they do not have to pay taxes during the Ming and Qing dynasty. During the Qing, the banner men (the noble class) are only allowed to join the civil or military service, becoming a merchant or other tradesmen is not allowed. This showed how much contempt the court has for the merchant. And if you compare Dutch or British trade policies in the 16th century onwards, the Ming and Qing are downright anti-commerce. When a govn’t treat its merchant class with such contempt it is not hard to imagine why China eventually fall behind in commercial development from the 16th century onwards. I am not saying that since Han dynasty, the court purposely restrict commerce but is merely tolerating commerce. As a result when China has to face countries who actively support international trade, China find itself technologically and commercially behind by hundreds of years.

  94. September 14th, 2011 at 22:05 | #94

    @raventhorn2000
    “So, farmers sold their own food, Ironsmiths sold their own metalware, etc.”

    I think this is an ideal rarely realized. A farmer will rarely have the resource to move his own crops to the town and market them. He usually need a middle man/store keeper to sell his crops. If it is sold by himself, it would be like a flea market. Can you imagine if we only have flea market type economy today?

    Even in old China it is the merchants who moved wares all over the country that make commerce so profitable to the govn’t. In fact they are the driving force of urban economies. It is through a national or regional sales network that high quality and advanced products come about. However, the govn’t don’t really like the wealth and influence they have, hence they set up their own shops or factories to check their influence.

    I am not exactly disagreeing with you but rather want to point out that advanced commercial developement in China come about despite the govn’t mostly negative intervention. Can you imagine what the Ming and Qing merchant would be like if they have a govn’t in the mold of the Dutch or British in the 16th, 17th century?

  95. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 05:32 | #95

    @Ray

    That was unfortunately, the assumption of the old Chinese Confucian system, which looked down upon the Merchant “middlemen”.

    Thus, the old system did not seek to promote the “middlemen” merchant systems.

    But, as I said, the Confucian framework did not view that as “anti-Commerce”, nor a “negative intervention”. (perhaps in 20/20 hindsight, it was negative in result, relative to the European system).

    One has to realize, the Confucian framework was seeking to protect the Producers and the Consumers, FROM the abuses of the Middlemen.

    And in history, Chinese economy was THE strongest in the world for a LONG LONG periods of time. There was no way from the old Chinese point of view that they could have predicted that a system that worked so well for so long could be considered inferior in any way to the European’s.

    Again, today we are looking at it from the 20/20 hindsight.

  96. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 06:17 | #96

    @Ray

    On the other hand, I do have to give a caveat. I think the Western system may be reaching its own extremes, and coming back full circle to the Chinese Confucian view.

    Consider the current Western economies, which are losing their manufacturing through outsourcing, whereas the “Middlemen” in the West, the bankers, the financiers, the VC’s, the Wall Streeters, are making piles of money, even as they subprimed, derivatived, pressured the corporations to cut man power, outsource, and lower wages, etc., and used their influence to force governments to reduce social benefits and cut taxes on the Rich.

    This is the kind of Abuses of the “Middlemen” Merchants that the Chinese Confucian view always feared and frowned up.

    One has to remember, China had similar experiences with its Merchants early on (infamously the 1st Emperor of Qin Dynasty was the illegitimate son of the Merchant turned Prime Minister, Lu Buwei, who used his money to scheme his own son onto the Throne, and then used his power to enrich his own clan).

    *in a way, the current Chinese economic system of “State-Capitalism” is still very Confucian in nature. That being, it still seeks to protect the Producers and the Consumers against the excesses of the “Middlemen”, except that it has acknowledged the necessity of the “Middlemen” as a vital part of the economic system, thus it has now given some recognition of important status to the Merchants.

    But the Chinese economic system is still very “Producer” heavy and “producer” friendly, designed to promote PRODUCTION foremost, instead of keeping track of short term profits. (Thus, again, very Confucian view of “development”).

    Another traditional Confucian view of economics is heavy investment in “infrastructure”, which is still considered valid policy today in China.

    (The old saying is “Build a Large Nest, and Wait for the Pheonix to Settle”).

    *In sum, I think there are some wisdom in the old Chinese economic views that are proving to be valid again in today’s world.

    It’s just that even if a system is correct in its long term views, it cannot always be the strongest. It depends on the situations of the time, such as war, famines, etc.

    But I think the Chinese traditional views may be proving to be a LONG term success, and the Western successes in the past few centuries were merely a small blip in history. (Afterall, it was not for the Opium Wars, the foreign invasions, China might have gone through a period like the Meiji Restoration, a reform period that would have allowed China to catch up in technologies, etc.).

  97. September 15th, 2011 at 14:29 | #97

    The developed countries only give up the industries that is no longer profitable. Any manufacturing industry that makes 3-5% margin would no longer be invested by the bank. I have told my friends that anyone who want to open those one dollar store factory in the west is either a dream talker or a liar. No bank would lent you any money to start such a factory, however, they will lent you money to start a restaurant, retail store or gas station. Service industry is actually the high margin, profit and low carrying cost business. For example, HK’s economy is 90% service industry, thus having the highest per capita GDP in China. The developed market is already too developed for these low end industries. Just look at it this way, do you ever want to milk your own cow, grow your own food? Your time would be more profitable doing something else. And if you have $1 million to invest, what would you invest in, a factory or a MacDonald? For me I would choose the later, but for some they prefer to put the money in a hedge fund/mutual fund/stock/properties for even greater return. This is the problem with the developed economy today, 1/3 of their tax revenue comes from the banking/finance sector.

    The biggest disparity between China and the US is the under development of the former. Despite having an even bigger farming industry the US only hires around 7 million workers in the agricultural industry while it is 400+ million for China. This is why China is so poor, half its working adults work in slightly better than subsistence farming industry. That’s why $4000/year job is still attractive.

    I think you are idealizing Confucianism a bit, since Han dynasty onwards all long lasting dynasties use a Legalist system coupled with a Confucian ideology. The fairness of law and rule of law is in essence the foundation of the strength of China since Qin. The Qin state was the first to put meritocracy into practice. On top of that they are the first to practice 天子犯法,与民同罪 ending the concept of 刑不上大夫 which lasted for the last two thousand years before. And the Lu Buwei event make sure that subsequent dynasties want to keep an arm length from powerful merchant. European govn’t have no such stigma and actually borrowed a lot of money since the middle age from private merchants. This allow the European to develop a more sophisticated banking industry than China eventually but also allowed merchants to be king makers.

    As for the Meiji reform, the Japanese also copied western imperialism which ended badly for them. Basically, after the Taiping rebellion the Qing is already a zombie, it still lives on but is already dead. Since then, Chinese patriots and philosophers have been trying to find a system that will work for China. When the CCP come to power they inherited all the problems carry over from the 1800s that is still waiting to be solve. Of course the various opium wars and invasion didn’t help matter. The current policy makers in China are just planning things meticulously and taking all necessary caution. I have always asked myself if a character like Meiji had existed in the Qing would he really be able to reform the system? Unfortunately, I don’t think it will come to pass, the whole Qing govn’t system of emperor, 8 banners and civil service have decayed beyond repair. A new system is needed.

  98. zack
    September 15th, 2011 at 15:14 | #98

    i think the system China has now is pretty good, a technocratic meritocracy; and of course the ‘China consesnsus’ really is that there is no consensus; each country develops according to their own history and culture; of course, this upsets the propagandists who ardently want to believe that the washington consensus is the only model of development

  99. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 15:21 | #99

    @Ray

    It’s true, but there is perhaps a point in time when one gives up too much manufacturing (and other low profit margin) sectors.

    Service based economies depend on SOME minimal amount of manufacturing as basis for the economic stream. Without that basis of manufacturing and other low profit margin sectors, the Service based economy could become too top heavy, and collapse.

    “European govn’t have no such stigma and actually borrowed a lot of money since the middle age from private merchants. This allow the European to develop a more sophisticated banking industry than China eventually but also allowed merchants to be king makers.”

    I think you are idealizing the European a bit. For significant part of European history, it was considered a Sin to “lend” money, thus (As in Merchant of Venice) ONLY non-Christians were the “money lenders”, and that profession was heavily stigmatized.

    It was only LATER, that the banking industry in Europe took off. (But in that, we saw a lot of rule bending, and hypocrisy).

    One could say that European Merchants were in the historical business of “Breaking rules and then call their Breaking the rules the New rules” type of development.

    Which also explains the foundation of “liberal democracy”, a system where the old rules are continuously broken and new rules are invented to explain why.

    *I would agree that Meiji would not have been able to change China.

    China was too rich right before the Opium War.

    Even if the Chinese Emperor wanted to change the system, he would have been faced with widespread revolt from his Nobles and the Chinese population in general.

    (sort of similar to where US and Europe are right now, they still think that their systems are still working. There is no need or impulse to change their systems, until they face a total catastrophic failure).

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