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Archive for August, 2012

U.S. and Western “Blood Money Out of Africa”

August 29th, 2012 2 comments

Ron Paul has a sizable following which agree with his view that senseless wars or “humanitarian” interventions around the world actually undermine peace and future prospects for the United States. (Believe it or not, some paper even called Ron Paul “dangerous.”) While few, there are other U.S. politicians who hold similar views. Back in 2001, then Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D), GA, boldly sponsored a forum to criticize the West and the U.S. for having “set in motion a policy of oppression, destabilization and tempered, not by moral principle, but by a ruthless desire to enrich itself on Africa’s fabulous wealth.” The full proceedings are still available here, at From The Wilderness Publications. So our readers may piece this all together, Ray, in his recent article, “Debunking Myth of China exploiting Africa Again!” shared with us a debate where Deborah Brautigam, Professor in the School of International Service at American University and Stephen Chan, Dean of Arts and Sciences at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) handily beat their opponents spouting Western media narratives in how China is supposedly exploiting Africa.

Great American dupe (or dope?)

August 28th, 2012 30 comments

One of the greatest American heroes in recent memory has lately fallen from grace. Lance Armstrong was considered one of the greatest sportsmen in the world and his story of coming back from cancer to win the Tour de France inspired millions. He was seen as an All American hero embodying everything Americans value: hard work, determination, charisma, and moral character. So when the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found that he had cheated by using performance enhancing drugs, the reactions of the US public was predictable. It was predictable because we know how effectively the media works in a society with a cult-like mentality.

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Categories: Opinion Tags:

CNET’s “Espionage anxiety over Huawei”

August 28th, 2012 23 comments

Despite full access to Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen and her executives (including Chen Lifan, a board member and a senior vice president), CNET continues to report with astounding accusations and insinuations. At the heart of the issue is American and Australian press accusing Huawei of potentially assisting the Chinese government of hacking into American and Australian computers. The CNET report is wrapped up by a segment where writer Jay Greene (who along with Roger Cheng wrote the article) is interviewed by CNET’s Editor, Bridget Carey, titled, “The espionage anxiety over Huawei.” Now, how do you prove that you are not a spy when your accuser merely accuse you of spying? Isn’t the accuser obligated to present evidence? How does a person prove that he is not a savage to a racist who accuses him of such? The video segment below shows what’s wrong with CNET and the American (and Australian) media in general when they lose faculty in judging how ludicrous their own narratives are.


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Categories: Analysis, media Tags: , , ,

China Daily’s LIU Yuhan talks to Supermodel LIU Wen

August 24th, 2012 30 comments

China Daily USA has recently started doing short video segments, and I mainly want to give it a shout out. Below is China Daily’s LIU Yuhan talking to supermodel LIU Wen. (Do check out their Youtube channel for more.) Nice to see Liu Wen so down to earth. Notice she’s talking about modeling for some Chinese brands. Top European designers are being hired by Chinese firms too. Such firms are definitely moving up the value chain hoping to capture some of that luxury spending by the newly rich Chinese. China is already Louis Vuitton’s second largest market! This is how Chinese designed stuff becomes cool.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Good to see Chinese media going on the offensive in an unapologetic manner

August 22nd, 2012 2 comments

This is a good start, but we need more articles like this in the Mainland press, not just HK:

West has no reason to be smug
Graeme Maxton says Western leaders who lecture the rest of the world about democracy, human rights and the free market should first practise what they preach, then learn to respect other ways.

http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2c913216495213d5df646910cba0a0a0/?vgnextoid=a4f0d84791439310VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=teaser&ss=Asia+%26+World&s=News
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On the recent Diaoyu Islands Dispute

August 21st, 2012 24 comments

There’s been another round of commotion related to the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands (in Japanese it’s called Senkaku) between China and Japan. It all started with a Tokyo mayor trying to ‘buy’ the island from some supposed private citizen who ‘owns’ it. We know these islands’ administrative control was simply given to the Japanese by the U.S., and in the Chinese government’s view, a violation of the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, which stipulate that Japan must return all lands it usurped during the Second World War. In response, some activists from Hong Kong and Macau landed and was soon captured by the Japanese coast guard, though couple of days ago, were released. That sparked protests in Japan. In turn, some Japanese activists have landed on the Diaoyu Islands. That then sparked protests in China. At the moment, the U.S. is conducting military exercises with Japan, designed to deal with China in case China one day takes it by force. China’s reaction to that exercise here. What now? I want to weigh in with couple of thoughts. Read more…

Does China need a new religion for the 21st century?

August 21st, 2012 31 comments

(This will be a controversial post so let me explain in detail before throwing any cyber tomatoes) Hu Jintao and many other top ranking Chinese officials have spoken about the need for cultural influence and development of Chinese culture. But Chinese culture does not have as much influence in the rest of the world today and now even among Chinese, much of their traditional culture is being replaced with outside influences. I believe that as China becomes more wealthy and politically influential some level of cultural influence will come with that as well. But I don’t think economic development alone will do the trick for seriously developing one’s own cultural influence among one’s own people and others people.

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Categories: aside, culture, General, history, Opinion, religion Tags:

“十送红军”

August 21st, 2012 2 comments

刀郎和云朵的声音太美了! 下面是他们唱的老歌: “十送红军.” 我小的时侯听过这首歌. 不知道是那一年代的. 你认识吗?长征时候的红军真正了不起.

The Myth of Chinese Non-Intervention

August 19th, 2012 21 comments

Unlike most other myths about China that are created and perpetuated by the West, this myth – the notion that China does not ever interfere in the internal affairs of other sovereign nation states – was created by China itself. It is perpetuated primarily by China’s historical record of non-intervention. Consequently, over time this principle of non-intervention has unnecessarily taken on an absolutist and unilateral character, while casting aside one small but vital element of Premier Zhou’s original doctrine: 互.

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“Journey to the West”

August 17th, 2012 5 comments

Following is Dao Lang (刀郎), one of my all-time favorite Chinese singers, performing the theme song to the new “Journey to the West” (“新西游记”) movie (or is it TV series?). Also in the video are behind-the-scenes of the production. As you all should know, “Journey to the West” is a Chinese classic, about a monk heading to India in search of scriptures. He is accompanied by three disciples, with Sun Wukong (孙悟空) the most powerful, and really, the main character. Lyrics are beneath the video.


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Riots in Assam

August 16th, 2012 19 comments

There has been terrible violence in India’s Assam region recently and the violence has spread to other parts of India.  Since this is a blog on China, not India, I am not going to dig too much into the cause or even meaning of the riots.  But I do want to point out the relatively “favorable” coverage India is getting.

In almost all reports I see, India is cast as the force of stability (and humanity), with the forces of conniving politicians and ethnic-based politics the root of instability.  By comparison, when ethnic violence occurs in China, the opposite story is told, with ethnic-based politics held in high regard (under the guise of “human rights”) and any efforts to stabilize the situation seen as somehow oppressive and barbaric.

You see this fairly uniformly across Western media in all Western countries, including even self-professed “independent” news sources such as the global post.  Here is a recent article global post had on Tibetan self immolations – which place the blame squarely on China.  The Tibetans who burned themselves – and by extension the Tibetans who rioted in 2008 – were seen as oppressed people who had a right to riot, to fight back and were cheered on for their presumptive courage. There was never a reference to the official Chinese perspective on what’s really going on. Read more…

The Myth of Chinese Mass Migration into Russia

August 14th, 2012 18 comments

I stumbled upon a rather entertaining Reuters article a few days ago, reporting Russia’s latest move to supposedly defend against a so-called “soft invasion” from China – in which massive yellow hordes from China’s over-populated Northeast will systematically migrate into and outnumber the dwindling Russian population in the Russian Far East (RFE), and eventually assume de facto control. This article includes some very comical anecdotes, including the not-so-subtle hint that Russia recently deployed two additional submarines to counter Chinese influence in the Russian Far East, while making no mention whatsoever of recent Russo-Japanese maritime territorial disputes over resource-rich islands in the Sea of Japan. If I were a five year old, I might be led to believe that submarines are far more useful in guarding sparsely-populated land against illegal migrants, than showing resolve in a maritime dispute… which would inevitably make me wonder why the US Navy does not deploy SSNs in the Rio Grande against illegal Mexican migrants. Read more…

Stephen Prothero tells CNN viewers “Dalai Lama should condemn immolations”

August 13th, 2012 6 comments

The world seems to be on pause while everyone’s attention have been put on the Olympics. Shortly before the Olympics, Stephen Prothero, a religion scholar from Boston University wrote in CNN’s blog that the Dalai Lama should condemn the immolations:

If the Dalai Lama were to speak out unequivocally against these deaths, they would surely stop. So in a very real sense, their blood is on his hands.
. . .
The Dalai Lama isn’t just a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He is also a man of peace. It is time in this crisis that he started to act like one. Read more…

Xinhua: Details of intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai, Zhang Xiaojun

August 10th, 2012 4 comments

Following are trial details of the Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun murder of British citizen Neil Heywood just released by Xinhua on Twitter. Given the great interest for this case within the Western press, I’ve decided to quote the report below.

HEFEI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) – The attention-grabbing intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun opened Thursday in east China’s Anhui province.

All seats in the courtroom of the Hefei City Intermediate People’s Court in Anhui were occupied when the trial began.

More than 140 people attended the trial, including relatives and friends of the two defendants, relatives and friends of British victim Neil Heywood, diplomats from the British embassy and consulates in China, media representatives, deputies to China’s legislature and members of China’s political advisory body, as well as members of the general public.
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The Political Olympics

August 9th, 2012 27 comments

As the Olympics wind down in London, there can be little doubt in anyone’s mind that this Olympics is about politics.  How else can one explain the string of smears against Chinese athletes and their performances – coming from unexpected sources such as the prestigious journal of Nature – all in the name of “science and objectivity” – as well as expected sources such as the NY Times – where personal tragic setbacks such as Liu Xiang’s can be made into a kind of political statement?

Nature’s article on Ye Shiwen was especially troublesome.  The editors of Nature wrote:

At the Olympics, how fast is too fast? That question has dogged Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen after the 16-year-old shattered the world record in the women’s 400-metre individual medley (400 IM) on Saturday. In the wake of that race, some swimming experts wondered whether Ye’s win was aided by performance-enhancing drugs. She has never tested positive for a banned substance and the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday declared that her post-race test was clean. The resulting debate has been tinged with racial and political undertones, but little science. Nature examines whether and how an athlete’s performance history and the limits of human physiology could be used to catch dopers.

Nature then went through the “science” of how unusual, super-human Ye’s performance and how a clean drug test during competition does not necessarily rule out the possibility of doping. Read more…

Nature apologizes to readers and Ye Shiwen

August 9th, 2012 8 comments

If there is anything that the British should be the most proud of, it is their establishment of the science peer review process. Because of it, science research work are inspired to be top notch and published works stand scrutiny. This culture has taken root firmly in America and other developed countries. Developing countries like China are too working to have it ingrained. And, perhaps, no other than the science journal, Nature, epitomizes that culture the best. Nature is the most revered around the world and the most cited magazine within the science community. Scientists around the globe dream to have their work published by Nature. Once published, it is instant fame and even promotions for the scientist. So, what does the paper have to do with Ye Shiwen? I will start with the journal’s apology to readers and Ye Shiwen by Chief Magazine Editor Tim Appenzeller and Editor-in-Chief Philip Campbell. Read more…

Ye Shiwen follow-up: media scorecard (BBC & New York Times)

August 9th, 2012 28 comments

First, let me emphasize that I don’t believe or even suspect the 800m freestyle Olympic gold medal winner Kathie Ledecky is doping.  Yes, she came from nowhere (ranked #55 in 2011) and had a huge one-year improvement (4.2%), but these aren’t unheard of for teenagers.  For example, the 2004 200m backstroke gold medal winner, Zimbabwean Kristy Coventry had the similar trajectory (ranked #19 in 2003 and one-year time improvement was also 4.2%).  Compare to Ye who was fairly well known prior to the Games, they truly came from nowhere and had much larger one-year improvement (Ye’s one-year improvement was 1.9%.).

While on the topic of suspicion of doping, I am having a hard time to believe Carmelita Jeter is clean.  Jeter’s personal best of 100 meter dash was at age 26 11.48”, at age 27 11.02”, and she has managed to improve to 10.64” at age 32.

The purpose of this post is examining the coverage of Ye and Ledecky by a couple of major Western media outlets, and scoring them in terms of being fair and balanced.

 

BBC – A

It aired the viewpoint of John Leonard; it also aired the rebuttals by Ye, her team and her Australian coach.

It reported the WADA test result as it is, and Lord Moynihan’s view.

Its guest commentator Ian Thorpe offered his defense of Ye.

At the end, with all information available so far, it has done a couple of fine pieces of summary reports (report A, report B).  Also the pictures of Ye Shiwen aren’t the unflattering ones, certainly not PS’d.

 

New York Times – F

What an embarrassment of horrendous journalistic integrity!  I know New York Times has sunk into hell, but I simply can’t imagine it can sink this low.

Like everybody else, it provided a stage for John Leonard’s viewpoint.  It made no mention of the rebuttals, but had no problem of summarizing the reactions by the Chinese media and the public — in its twisted way I might add.  It didn’t report the WADA test result, or Moynihan’s defense, or Ian Thorpe’s defense, or Michael Phelps’ defense of Ye.  It also didn’t report the doping questions being raised on Ledecky because of her improvement being far better than Ye’s.

Finally, check this piece out. Like the great Ludacris asked, how low can you go?

Categories: Analysis, media Tags: ,

Two-time Olympians Misty May and Kerri Walsh defeat China’s beach volleyball pair Zhang Xi and Xue Chen to possible 3rd gold

August 7th, 2012 2 comments

China’s Zhang Xi (张希) and Xue Chen (薛晨)

America’s Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings

I just watched two of my favorite teams in the London 2012 Olympics compete on NBC: two-time Olympians American pair Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings and China’s Zhang Xi (张希) and Xue Chen (薛晨). The American pair won in closely contested sets, 22-20 and 22-20. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese team lost to the pair and settled for bronze. Since then, they have defeated Kerri Walsh and Misty May three times, including at the recent 2012 Beach Volleyball Moscow Grand Slam. It was intense and a true contest of will. Congratulations to the American team. If the pair wins again, it will be 3 Olympic golds; a truly impressive feat! Read more…

The Guardian bitterly fights tarnished image from propagating Leonard’s lame accusation over Ye Shiwen

August 7th, 2012 45 comments

Seeing Phelps and other Olympians defend Ye Shiwen against wild accusations by Leonard has given the Chinese hope that China and the West can see eye to eye on issues. While Leonard’s accusations were problematic, the true culprit in this whole affair are in fact the British and American media, for they were the ones to glorify and propagate that seemingly racist charge. For every single gold medal winner, there will bound to be sour grapes. If the media collectively cherry-picks only certain sour grapes targeting athletes of certain nationality, that is willful defamation. The British and American media in fact voiced no perspective defending Ye Shiwen, but instead gave credence to Leonard. Chinese on Weibo responded with anger. Chinese media have brought this ridiculous behavior on the Western media’s part to light. Now that this whole affair has back-fired, I’d like to share with our readers how the British paper, The Guardian, unrepentant, still tries to be on the offensive. Read more…

A Follow Up on the Hong Kong Curriculum Protest – Who’s doing the “brainwashing”?

August 6th, 2012 9 comments

@DeWang already addressed this topic, but I felt it appropriate to add a more visual perspective on this, and a simple commentary to the last blog entry simply does not suffice. I did an image search on the term “Hong Kong education protest”, and here are just a few of the numerous pictures that appeared. The question that comes immediately to my mind is: Anyone notice all those little kids that came out to protest?


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Letter to mom by then 9 years-old badminton superstar, Lin Dan (林丹)

August 5th, 2012 21 comments

Gold Medalist Lin Dan at the London 2012 Games (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Today, badminton superstar Lin Dan (林丹) triumphed over Malaysian friend Lee Chong Wei (李宗伟) for gold at the London 2012 Olympics. This is one of the most highly anticipated match-ups at the London games as both athletes have faced each other at major competitions in recent years, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics finals. In both Olympics, Lee has been Malaysia’s first gold medal hopeful in the country’s history. Earlier in the year at the 2012 London Open, Lee lost again to Lin, but it was due to injury. Badminton fans around the world, especially in Asia, adore them. Knowing the weight on Lee’s shoulders and his injuries, Chinese fans had a soft spot while watching him live. It was a nail-biting show for the Malaysian fans too. Lee took the first set at 21-15. During the second set, Lin over-powered, forcing Lee to give up hustling and instead conserving his energy for a final round of show-down. And, a show-down it was; the third set was neck-in-neck until Lin triumphed at 21 over Lee’s 19. So, who exactly is this Lin Dan? His letter home when he was a little boy said a lot. Read more…

Three Common Myths about Democratic Institutions

August 3rd, 2012 16 comments

It is obvious to any China watcher that in the western media, there is ample criticism and exposure of the numerous social and political side effects that accompanies China’s rapid modernization. Three such side effects seem more frequently mentioned than the rest: abuse of unaccountable power, the rise of violent civil unrest, and the growing wealth gap between rich and poor. While such criticisms are valid to varying degrees, problems arise when Western (AND WORSE YET, MAINLAND CHINESE) public intellectuals implicitly or explicitly prescribe democracy, freedom of expression, and transparent, participatory governance (or broadly speaking, western liberal democratic institutions) as the cure for such ills. These commentators frequently attribute imaginary benefits to democratic institutions vis-a-vis non-democratic counterparts. This commentary briefly illustrates three such myths. Read more…

The politics of the Olympics, more unfounded unfair criticisms

August 3rd, 2012 10 comments

One of my favorite Western reporters in China is Rob Schmitz of the Marketplace program from American Public Media. (In contrast to propagandist variety like Andrew Jacobs who once wrote for the New York Times that China was banning the jasmine flower.) Today, I must take exception to a narrative he offered about Yang Yu and Wang Xiaoli for being disqualified from throwing matches as a sign the Chinese government is hellbent on getting gold medals. The best explanation there is that the badminton rules are designed such that better players can throw matches to influence which opponents they are paired against in subsequent rounds to up their chances at winning ultimately. See Scott Page and Simon Wilkie’s article, “Bad(minton) by Design,” published today at the Harvard Business Review.
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CCTV America on Qiao Liang and Gabby Douglas before the games

August 3rd, 2012 3 comments

Curriculum protest in Hong Kong a sign some still prefer wearing dirty British laundary

August 2nd, 2012 71 comments

At a personal level, I can easily imagine Joyce Lau being a friend, and perhaps that may end up being one day. As some of you know, she reads this blog. Her latest article in the New York Times about the recent curriculum protest in Hong Kong over “patriotic” education is tantamount to pushing a British propaganda line. It’s misguided. Her article said nothing about the curriculum itself. It sheds no perspective from the Chinese side. Incidentally, before her article’s publication, reader perspectivehere had left a comment on this very topic. Through law, the British had already brainwashed Hong Kong citizens long time ago to propagate a friendly narrative towards British colonial rule. Apparently, for some (not all, but the 32k some where the brainwashing succeeded), wearing dirty British laundry has become a desirable fashion worthwhile taking to the streets for. And, sure enough, the expat ‘China’ bloggers will say what the NYT want their readers to think: “ominous, vile and dictatorial.” Another variation of that garbage can be found here, all without examining what’s in this education. Let’s see what perspectivehere had to say. Read more…

Categories: Analysis Tags: ,

Spectacular Shanghai

August 2nd, 2012 1 comment

I took the following photos of Shanghai’s Lujiazui and Bund areas on July 30th. (h/t to Shaun Rein for recommending the Hyatt where I took the night shots and 龙信明 for taking me up to the 91st floor of the World Financial Center.) It was a beautiful day in Shanghai with fog completely gone, showing a pristine blue sky with white clouds lazily meandering about. Emperor Qianlong left his writings at the Shaolin Temple proclaiming his greatness, for during his visit, rain finally poured in Henan Province ending months of drought. Well, I hence forth proclaim my visit has brought Shanghai spectacular blue skies!

The Oriental Peal Tower with blue sky and white clouds. (Click for hi-res view)


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With conviction

August 2nd, 2012 No comments

On my way to Shanghai from Guiyang few days ago, sat next to me was a business executive, not much of a conversational type. Past initial greetings, the conversation went like this, with me asking, “你觉得中国这几年发长有什么看法?” In response, he exclaims, “很正常!” I pried, “上海的空气不是污染吗? 中国如何解决这个问题?” With not even a pause, he declared, “这是过程!” I looked straight into his eyes, expecting elaboration. Few seconds later he blurted out, “英国,美国, 都不是有这个过程的吗?!” Then I laughed, and he knew I know he knows what he is talking about. Actually, he became much friendlier afterwards, and perhaps I’ll share other bits and pieces on another blog post. His conviction was striking.

Categories: General Tags: