An Overstretched Empire feels the pressure of its own inadequacies from all directions. Thus, it feels that it’s always the Strongest, and yet never Strong enough. The Overstretch causes a kind of internal bipolar self-identity, from which it views the rest of the world as inferior and yet simultaneously with great fear.
Zigong inquired, “What if everyone in a village despises a person?” The Master said, “It’s not enough. It would be better if the best villagers love and the worst despise, this person.”
There’s no one more emblematic of Chinese wisdom than the ancient Chinese sage, Confucius (Kong Zi). His legacy as a philosopher in Chinese history is unsurpassed and his influence still seen even two and half thousand years after his death. The spirit of his ideas can be felt in the words, actions and future hopes of the Chinese people despite the fact that much of the influence has been diluted during contemporary times.
I came across this video couple of days ago of a failed performance on China’s Got Talent, but the contestant begged the judges instead for a chance for his wife to sing. I was deeply moved by this couple, their modest means to life. The song the wife end up singing is about a toast between two friends. In many ways, the song is about the two of them too. Friendship alone can defeat a mountain of bitterness. When thinking about China’s last couple of centuries, I am of the same mood too.
On the recent Plastic cup pelting/ “attack” on the vehicle of U.S. Ambassador, Gary Locke, a Western Blogger gathered evidence of Chinese government’s “not doing enough”, and then implied that the Chinese government, by “not doing enough”, was fanning the flame of nationalism, (even perhaps planning it).
The following tweet by Gady Epstein, a correspondent for the Economist based in Beijing, is not surprising. The way I read it, he seemed dissatisfied that China and Japan haven’t yet escalated their tension into war.
Yes, this is that same trash magazine that had a sort of mea culpa not too long ago for their role in justifying British imperialism against the Chinese. Remember the Opium Wars? Yes, they ‘regretted’ fueling that war! Earlier in the year they announced a dedicated section to China coverage, and in response I suggested they have an editorial overhaul, because that very announcement were filled with bigotry they said they wanted to avoid. Apparently, that overhaul didn’t happen, and their century-old tradition of fact-twisting continues. Here we are today, on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute, I just want to share a few bits of the anti-China propaganda this thing, The Economist, is. Continue reading The Economist’s Anti-China Stance on Diaoyu Islands→
The following short article is by Han-Yi Shaw, a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies, National Chengchi University, in Taipei, Taiwan. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has decided to publish it on his blog, with a short forward. It is an important piece of work tracing the history of the ownership of the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands, using both Chinese and Japanese official documents.
September 19, 2012
The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands
A lot has been discussed on this blog recently with regards to censorship, most of the discourse so far have revolved around the justice and standards of censorship. I want to take a different but related direction, and discuss yet another myth propagated by the democracy/freedom advocates – the notion that “free” societies are always more innovative than their “non-free” counterparts. To what extent is this actually true? More fundamentally, where does innovation come from, what actually stimulates innovation? How does innovation come about? I won’t pretend that I have all the answers, but here are some of my observations so far. Continue reading Rethinking the Freedom-Innovation Nexus→
Whenever a for-profit – or even non-profit – organization professes to do good, to be a society’s guardian – as Google has – I feel queasy. It’s not that I think Google (or more generally corporations, NGOs, charities, even churches) is inherently evil. It’s just that no non-government entity owes society at large a fiduciary duty 1 per se, as governments do.
Take as a case study Google – that self professed guardian of Freedom.
The purpose (legal duty even) of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders. The obligation of non-profits is to their sponsors and donors … and incestuously to itself. The duty of churches is – well if you are pious – to God, although often a God who cares only for a segment of society, who may be so hateful of the rest as to condemn them all to eternities of hell. ↩
One of the most influential people of the twentieth century, but who is almost unknown by name, is a man named P.C. Chang (1892-1957). He (along with Charles Malik) were the two principle drafters of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the most influential documents of the twentieth century.
Recently a TED video featuring Michael Anti on China’s censorship seems to be making the rounds. I think Anti does bring some unique insights to the English speaking audience about China that we don’t generally see in Western media; hence I am providing his video below. However, I think Anti can also be a stubborn ideologue who insist on viewing the world through ideological blinders.