Home > Analysis > US professors urge Western universities to end ties to China’s Confucius Institutes

US professors urge Western universities to end ties to China’s Confucius Institutes

aaupXenophobia and myopia knows no bounds, especially in America’s highly politicized and ideological and indoctrinating universities.  This has now manifested itself in AAUP’s call for American universities to end or modify their sponsoring of Confucius Institutes in the U.S.

In a statement, the AAUP said:

Globalization has brought new challenges for the protection of academic freedom and other faculty rights. In the operations of North American universities in other countries, administrators often refer to local customs, practices, and laws to justify practices that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) would not tolerate on North American campuses. In 2009, our two organizations adopted a joint statement—On Conditions of Employment at Overseas Campuses—setting forth appropriate employment standards for overseas campuses of North American universities and stating our commitment to see that those standards are met.

Globalization has also meant that university administrators have welcomed involvement of foreign governments, corporations, foundations, and donors on campuses in North America. These relationships have often been beneficial. But occasionally university administrations have entered into partnerships that sacrificed the integrity of the university and its academic staff. Exemplifying the latter are Confucius Institutes, now established at some ninety colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.  Confucius Institutes function as an arm of the Chinese state and are allowed to ignore academic freedom. Their academic activities are under the supervision of Hanban, a Chinese state agency which is chaired by a member of the Politburo and the vice-premier of the People’s Republic of China. Most agreements establishing Confucius Institutes feature nondisclosure clauses and unacceptable concessions to the political aims and practices of the government of China. Specifically, North American universities permit Confucius Institutes to advance a state agenda in the recruitment and control of academic staff, in the choice of curriculum, and in the restriction of debate.

Confucius Institutes appear designed to emulate the cultural ambassadorship and programming associated with, for example, the British Council, the Goethe Institut, and L’Alliance Franςaise. These latter three entities are clearly connected to imperial pasts, ongoing geopolitical agendas, and the objectives of “soft power,” but none of them is located on a university or college campus. Instead, their connections to national political agendas and interests require that they be established in sites where they can fulfill their mandates openly without threatening the independence and integrity of academic institutions in host countries.

Allowing any third-party control of academic matters is inconsistent with principles of academic freedom, shared governance, and the institutional autonomy of colleges and universities. The AAUP joins CAUT in recommending that universities cease their involvement in Confucius Institutes unless the agreement between the university and Hanban is renegotiated so that (1) the university has unilateral control, consistent with principles articulated in the AAUP’s Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, over all academic matters, including recruitment of teachers, determination of curriculum, and choice of texts; (2) the university affords Confucius Institute teachers the same academic freedom rights, as defined in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, that it affords all other faculty in the university; and (3) the university-Hanban agreement is made available to all members of the university community. More generally, these conditions should apply to any partnerships or collaborations with foreign governments or foreign government-related agencies.

The Telegraph in this article further explained,

China’s network of 300 Confucius Institutes – including 11 branches in on British university campuses – can be a lucrative source of funds for universities but are exempt from many of the basic rules government academic discourse.
They are designed to project a favourable image of China’s ruling Communist Party around the world through language and cultural programmes, but are allowed to restrict discussions of topics unpalatable to China’s ruling Communist Party such as the occupation of Tibet.

I find the AAUP’s statement disgusting.  The purpose of the Confucius Institute is for Universities to partner up with some of the most prestigious universities in China to help disseminate Chinese culture and language to a world that is largely ignorant of it – or hold biased and distorted views of it.  The promotion of Chinese culture and language means … well … professors that work within it should not have an agenda to denigrate it … such as by politicizing that they must have the freedom to teach, as the Telegraph article suggests, the “occupation of Tibet” in Confucius Institutes.

I have written in a recent post that many in the West seem to be infatuated with all sorts of conspiracy theories regarding the Chinese gov’t.  Academic freedom does not mean that Confucius Institutes ought to embrace such “research agendas.”  Just as a religious school / department does not need to dilute its curriculum or research agenda to make room for researchers whose research agenda is contrary to the core beliefs of these religions, or gay and ethnic or African-American or women’s studies department dilute its curriculum or agenda to make room for people who feels a curriculum blind to such focus is the only “objective” way to advance knowledge, so too Confucius Institutes need not dilute their purpose to make room for those who do not see a need for a special institute to promote and advance Chinese culture and language as a worthy academic pursuit.

Most Universities in the U.S. I believe will benefit from having a Confucius Institute.  This is because in this day and age, there is simply too much ignorance and bias against Chinese culture and language.  If you think promoting and advancing Chinese culture and language is somehow evil because that might contribute to the soft power of the Chinese Communist Party, that is a political position that should not become enmeshed in the promotion and advancement of Chinese culture and language.

Politics too often come in the form of “academic freedom” these days (see, e.g., this case study in Columbia University, or this op-ed opining that academic freedom does not mean a license to indoctrinate as most Western Universities do today, or this Conference on Academic Freedom: JFK, 9/11 and the Holocaust). U.S. universities routinely host programs with foreign government support where the purpose is to promote mutual understanding and awareness funded in part foreign governments.  For example, a casual search for programs supported in part by funding from Japan reveal:

Also – why limit the focus to strictly foreign government support?  For example, with Japanese patronage – whether in the form of direct government, Japanese corporate, or Japanese philanthropist support – and with a charter that is aimed toward “understanding,” “friendship,” and/or “passion” for Japan, I bet that “academic freedom” notwithstanding, not too many faculties whose focus is to study Japan’s suppression of the truths on Nankin massacre, comfort women, or other war atrocities … or brutal annexation and continued occupation of the Ryukyus … or the Japanese government’s coverup of the true extent of Fukushima radiation fall-out (see also e.g. this) will be considered to be productive under these programs – much less promoted.

The existence of Confucius Institute doesn’t prevent the host Universities from supporting Conspiracy type defamatory studies about China outside the Confucius Institutes.  Outside of such politically-motivated type of agenda research, I challenge anyone in the AAUP to come up with one documented case of infringement on academic freedom arising from the existence of Confucius Institute on a U.S. university.

The conclusion of the statement made by the AAUP shows its xenophobic roots.

The AAUP joins CAUT in recommending that universities cease their involvement in Confucius Institutes unless the agreement between the university and Hanban is renegotiated so that (1) the university has unilateral control… (2) the university affords Confucius Institute teachers the same academic freedom rights … it affords all other faculty in the university; and (3) the university-Hanban agreement is made available to all members of the university community. More generally, these conditions should apply to any partnerships or collaborations with foreign governments or foreign government-related agencies.

[boldface by me]

If this is a truly “academic freedom” issue, the focus would not be just on foreign government or government-related agencies.   This xenophobic fear is clearly expressed / intoned by the Telegraph article.

Earlier this month The Telegraph revealed that Cambridge University had allowed a charitable foundation linked to China’s former prime minister Wen Jiabao to endow a chair of Chinese development studies.

One academic accused Cambridge of allowing the Chinese government to “purchase a professorship” at one of Britain’s most prestigious universities.

Wealthy American and European philanthropists and organizations have long created endowments, why cannot a Chinese donor?  The suggestion here is that Universities who accept “free” money will tend to be more empathetic of the viewpoints of their donors.  Is that necessarily bad?  If that’s bad, shouldn’t it be bad too when Americans and Europeans donate too, not just the Chinese?

AAUP should be ashamed for getting into this type of politics – and so cowardly running under the fake banner of “Freedom”.

  1. Zack
    June 30th, 2014 at 18:19 | #1

    in the context of an Ascending China, this has caused anxiety on the part of individuals who could formerly feel superior over Asians.
    This is just another stop gap measure to delay the inevitable day when their grandchildren and great grandchildren will be speaking Chinese

  2. July 1st, 2014 at 09:26 | #2

    This is not surprising, given my personal experience. I’ve seen more xenophobia & social denigration in the American foreign language curriculum than anywhere else (of course, this only applies to certain languages of those who are designated enemies). The more sophisticated your language skills are, the more intense the demonization & xenophobia becomes. I took a 5th-year Russian language course during my final semester in grad school; if I were to believe all the bullshit that instructor try to feed (she was Russian herself, no less), you’d think Russia is an absolute hellhole. & all the other students just played along with that narrative without question.

    It’s not surprising therefore, that US academia would go after an organization that refuses to play that game.

  3. paoburen
    July 2nd, 2014 at 18:52 | #3

    Ryukyus are occupied territory? That’s a stretch 🙂

    Nice article, otherwise.

    Alternative view about academic freedom and how speech can be limited. The author is banned from entering China but is not sure at which point a line was crossed: http://chronicle.com/blogs/worldwise/the-long-shadow-of-chinese-blacklists-on-american-academe/33359

  4. July 3rd, 2014 at 09:00 | #4

    @paoburen

    I don’t know how to react to your “alternative view” link. It’s a bunch of speculation on why a person’s visa application to China is denied. If that person hasn’t figured out what went wrong, I certainly can’t.

    However I do want to address some general issues brought up in the linked article.

    The linked article went to great length lamenting about denial of visa to American journalists, but as we’ve discussed many times here (most recently here), in all cases we dug into, the denial took place because the applicant violated clearly stated rules.

    One should note also that visa rules are technical that can snare even diplomats as the recent India-U.S. diplomatic spat over Preet Bharara shows. Journalists may think they deserve special exemptions (because of freedom of speech, etc.), but when diplomats are not above VISA rules, how can journalists – especially biased journalists?

    Finally, let’s assume that China is withholding visa from journalists that it think is being unfair to China, what of that? The U.S. government routinely selective give out press passes to journalists it likes also (See e.g. my recent post where I referenced this NYT op-ed).

    Some people have lamented that as China’s economy gets stronger, professors, journalists, even the movie industry adjust their work to appeal better to Chinese consumers … as if this is something bad. No … this is called democratization of values. Before, people in the West have given no weight to Chinese perspectives. Now people – including journalists – might start being more sensitive, perhaps some day empathetic to Chinese perspectives. That is good news not bad news.

  5. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 09:56 | #5

    @Allen

    I am not sure if a few topics, such as the san buti (three T’s), mentioned in the article qualify as Chinese perspectives. Given the meritocracy system of governance in China, people must fall in line with the bureaucratic mission, which means little discussion on hot topics can happen in public view. This is fine and well for various reasons, but it makes it hard for non-Chinese observers to take seriously the notion that certain topics have consensus within the whole population. In this case, to state that there’s a democratization of values and more respect for Chinese views strikes me as a stretch. Of course, it’s a valid statement on your part, I just disagree.

    As the article clearly stated, the author was told by the Chinese authorities “you know why” when asked about the visa denial. This is of course unclear. If the author was clearly told why he was denied, such as clearly violated rules, then it’d be more acceptable. People, especially non-citizens, should not rock the boat.

    Bias, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.

    I am not sure if a comparison with the USA matters here. To say “hey, someone else does X so it’s acceptable now” is a poor way to view the world. In my opinion, of course, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Thank you so much for your links to recent posts on related topics. I’ll give those a read today!

  6. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 11:43 | #6

    “I am not sure if a comparison with the USA matters here. To say “hey, someone else does X so it’s acceptable now” is a poor way to view the world. In my opinion, of course, two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    Two wrongs make a REALITY, then your “right” is just imaginary.

  7. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 11:57 | #7

    @Black Pheonix

    I do not understand your comment.

  8. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 12:02 | #8

    I find it ridiculous that many advocates of Democratic values would run away at any actual comparison how Democratic values fare against others in REAL life, with such excuses as “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

    So I take it as an admission that “Democracy”, “freedom”, and “Rights” don’t actually exist in REAL life.

    So tell me more of this Hollywood fantasy of “right” world, where no one actually lives in.

  9. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 12:09 | #9

    @Black Pheonix

    what are you talking about?

    You wrote: “Two wrongs make a REALITY, then your “right” is just imaginary.”

    What does this mean?

  10. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 12:16 | #10

    @paoburen

    the 2 “wrongs” are REALITY in US and in China. What you think is “right” doesn’t exist.

  11. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 12:19 | #11

    @Black Pheonix

    Oh, gotcha now.

    I still find it laughable to excuse behaviour because some other person does it, too.

    To me, there is actual right and wrong, morality and so on. Perhaps it’s the Christian upbringing I had.

    So in this case, restriction of speech is unacceptable when its done by any group or institution.

    I don’t know what your “hollywood” comment means, because I never made any statement in line with that. Please, don’t paint me into your preconceived notions. It’s unfair and not very useful.

  12. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 12:24 | #12

    “So in this case, restriction of speech is unacceptable when its done by any group or institution.”

    “restriction of speech” is in EVERY legal system. So, is every legal system “unacceptable” to you?

  13. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 13:58 | #13

    @Black Pheonix

    Depends on the restrictions. Depends on where the restrictions are held.

    In academia, no restrictions on speech should be allowed. Academia needs free speech and transparency, even when views are controversial and offensive, in order to carry out its mission.

    Considering how your profile on this site mentions you earned degrees at American universities, I would think you would be pro-free speech, especially in academic settings. I cannot think of any topics that are 100% off limits in American schools.

    I once took a class, well after 2001, where we read Sayyid Qutb in-depth and discussed his views. Clearly, his views helped develop modern Islamist movements, but this did not stop clear and free discussion.

  14. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 15:14 | #14

    @paoburen

    “Depends on the restrictions. Depends on where the restrictions are held.”

    Now all the sudden, it “depends”, while just 1 comment ago, you were making sweeping claims of “unacceptability” for “any group or institution”.

    I’ll let you think for a while, and settle on a FINAL answer, before we start “comparing”, because I’m not going to go on a wild goose chase, just to have you continue to change your position.

    *If this is your FINAL answer, I will begin with REAL examples for comparisons, as within your defined parameter of “In academia, no restrictions on speech should be allowed”.

    Do you really want me to call your BS?

  15. July 3rd, 2014 at 15:35 | #15

    http://www.campusspeech.org/page/cfs/speech-codes

    Speech Codes

    Speech Codes and Other Restrictions on the Content of Speech

    Over the past decades, universities across the country have worked to create a comfortable campus atmosphere. It is important that this is a place where everyone who wants to speak, learn, engage and interact can do these things without impediment. To this end, campuses have implemented a number of well-intentioned policies to stop discrimination and harassment, and to encourage an environment where students from all backgrounds are truly welcomed. Unfortunately, in their effort to protect all students, some universities have adopted restrictive language that cuts down on the free exchange of ideas.

    While we should obviously work to make sure that campuses are learning environments accessible for all students, restrictions on speech interfere with a student’s ability to learn. These policies, often referred to as “Speech Codes”, harm the learning environment by restricting the dialogue between students and faculty. Rather than having an open dialogue on campus, there’s an atmosphere of censorship and sensitivity – students and faculty often feel they have to walk on eggshells to make sure they don’t offend.

    This is particularly problematic on a university campus where students should be encouraged to learn through debate, investigation and through exposure to a wide variety of opinions and ideas. Rather than restricting offensive speech, universities should be encouraging students to learn through open debate and study. Moreover, when prejudice and hate are out in the open on campus, students get an opportunity to expose, discuss, and dissect offensive language in a way that encourages communication rather than stifling it.

    How Speech Codes Restrict Speech

    Classic Speech Codes
    Vague Policies
    Policies that restrict too much speech: Unconstitutionally Overly-Broad Policies
    Prior Review: Opening the Door to Restricting Speech

    Classic Speech Codes

    The classic speech codes directly restrict speech because of it expresses views that are prejudiced against a particular group of students. For example, at Northern Arizona University (pdf), prohibited harassment is defined as “stereotyping, negative comments or jokes, explicit threats, segregation, and verbal or physical assault when any of these are based upon a person’s race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation.”

    These types of policies, regardless of their goals, not only restrict content that should be part of the campus dialogue but are often unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar policy in the City of St. Paul (R.A.V. v. St. Paul, 1992 {pdf}) because it banned speech due to its content:

    the remaining, unmodified terms make clear that the ordinance applies only to “fighting words” that insult, or provoke violence, “on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender.” Displays containing abusive invective, no matter how vicious or severe, are permissible unless they are addressed to one of the specified disfavored topics. Those who wish to use “fighting words” in connection with other ideas – to express hostility, for example, on the basis of political affiliation, union membership, or homosexuality – are not covered. The First Amendment does not permit St. Paul to impose special prohibitions on those speakers who express views on disfavored subjects.

    Vague Policies

    Many policies are so vague that it is next to impossible for anyone to understand what is off limits. Vague policies invite selective and inconsistent enforcement, often resulting in more controversial speech being stifled. Further, students, not knowing what is off limits, will often self-censor out of fear that their speech will land them in trouble. In either case, the end result is less opportunity for a truly open marketplace of ideas and a poorer learning atmosphere on campus.

    For example, at one point the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor had a policy that disciplined people for “any behavior, verbal or physical, that stigmatizes or victimizes an individual on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, handicap or Vietnam-era veteran status…” That policy was found to be unconstitutionally vague by the Eastern District of Michigan in 1989 (Doe v. University of Michigan {pdf}). The Court held that “looking at the plain language of the Policy, it is simply impossible to discern any limitation on its scope or any conceptual distinction between protected and unprotected conduct.”

    In another more recent example, the University at Buffalo (aka SUNY Buffalo) Guide to Residence Hall Living states in its community standards that,

    Students are expected to act with civility. To be civil means to be courteous and polite or, simply put, to be mannerly. Acts of incivility—whether verbal, written, or physical—will not be tolerated by the Residential Life community…Hostile or inappropriate language or gestures, words that penetrate and hurt, words that destroy relationships rather than sustain them, or physical aggression in any form are not welcome in our university or residence hall community.

    Again, it is unclear what speech would be “un-civil,” and thus off limits, under this policy.

    Policies that restrict too much speech: Unconstitutionally Overly-Broad Policies

    There is some speech—such as truly obscene speech—that is not protected by the First Amendment. But, to be constitutional, policies must be narrowly drawn to only restrict speech that is not protected. Unfortunately, many campus policies are overly broad, restricting not only speech that is not protected by the First Amendment, but other speech that should be a part of the campus dialogue.

    For example, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin struck down a University of Wisconsin policy that called for a student to be disciplined for

    Racist or discriminatory comments, epithets or other expressive behavior directed at an individual or on separate occasions at different individuals, or for physical conduct, if such comments, epithets or other expressive behavior or physical conduct intentionally:
    1. Demean the race, sex, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry or age of the individual or individuals; and…

    The US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin held that this policy was unconstitutionally over-broad. While the First Amendment may allow restrictions on “speech [which] by its very utterance, tend[s] to incite violent reaction” in the person to whom it is directed, “the [UW] rule regulates discriminatory speech whether or not it is likely to provoke such a response.” (UWM Post v. Board of Regents, 1991 {pdf})

    At the University of Minnesota-Crookston, a punishable bias incident is defined as:

    expressions of disrespectful bias, hate, harassment or hostility against an individual, group or their property because of the individual or group’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, age, marital status, disability public assistance status, veteran status and/or sexual orientation can be forms of discrimination. Expressions vary, and can be in the form of language, words, signs, symbols, threats, or actions that could potentially cause alarm, anger, fear, or resentment in others, or that endanger the health, safety, and welfare of a member(s) of the University community, even when presented as a joke…

    While genuine harassment and threats can be prohibited, this policy could bar speech that is merely disrespectful or annoying.

    Prior Review: Opening the Door to Restricting Speech

    On a number of campuses, policies require that posters, flyers and other printed speech receive approval before they can be distributed on campus. While these policies are often intended only to ensure that the materials are appropriate—for example stopping posters that are so large they take up nearly all of the space on a billboard—they often include few if any guidelines for approval. Unfortunately, this invites university staff that are not well versed in students’ free speech rights to deny approval because the content of a poster or flyer is objectionable. Worse yet, some policies explicitly allow student life staff to deny approval to a poster based on its content.

    For example, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (pdf) Campus Center website makes it clear that “student groups need to have the contentof their advertisements approved before posting” (emphasis in original). At Bridgewater State College (pdf), “the advertisement, posers, flyers, signs or banner must be in good taste and appropriate for [their] intended purpose. The college reserves the right to remove any posting that is obscene, discriminatory, libelous, misleading or offensive in any way.”

  16. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 15:39 | #16

    @Allen

    Oh now you done it, Allen.

    Now watch him squirm from his own position again, with some more “depends”, or “your comparison is nonsensical”.

  17. July 3rd, 2014 at 15:44 | #17

    Following up on my previous comment:

    I want to make a quick comment – this is just an example of restrictions that do go on in real life. The motivations are usually good – that is, it is meant to facilitate discourse. If we have free for all, people get emotional, angry, defensive, confused, and sometimes dangerous…

    This is related to the discussion we had earlier about commenting on science forums. It turns out for the discussion to be meaningful – for real good faith exchange of information to go on, restrictions on speech is almost always a necessity.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/2013/01/28/commenting-threads-good-bad-or-not-at-all/

    It’s also similar to food and drug labeling. We can say – let’s have unrestricted freedom where corporations can claim whatever they want about food, drug, supplement they want to sell – and let the marketplace of claims and counter-claims sort out the truth. But we don’t. Because things don’t go well that way.

    Restrictions on speech is always necessary … depending on the goals you want to facilitate. See, e.g., http://harvardlawreview.org/2010/11/two-concepts-of-freedom-of-speech/.

    If nothing else, speech that cause harm – such as above example, even strictly political speech such as advocating overthrow of gov’t or nazi ideals in Germany, wearing religious symbols publicly in France, divulging N.S.A. workings a la Snowden – will always be restricted.

    Note what causes “harm” is not an “intrinsic” property of speech – i.e. what’s said – but a combination of what’s said AND the environment in which the speech is uttered – i.e. people’s reaction. That’s why discussion on freedom of speech is so difficult. It depends on the cultural and social context of where the speech is spoke … which might involve deep understanding of norms that might pervade in other cultures and societies ….

  18. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 16:36 | #18

    @Black Pheonix

    can you please be more polite? You are being rude, and while this is the internet and you can hide behind a screen, it does not make it proper. Let us be civilised. The tone and diction of your writing is rude. Harmony can be had even when people disagree.

    Examples of how your diction is meant to incite, not foster dialogue: “BS” “wild goose chase” “squirm from his position”.

    In academia and related institutions, there should be NO restrictions on free speech. Just because some institutions, not all, have instituted restrictions on speech, as Allen pointed out, does not mean I agree. No movement from my original position. I disagree with speech restrictions on university campuses. The mission of a university requires free speech, even if that means people or groups will be offended.

    In institutions such as the military or private corporations, restrictions on speech are sensible. For example, as Allen pointed out above, free speech with vitamin/drug companies is clearly a problem because this opens up the chance for fraud. At the same time, this is more of an issue of lying and less of an issue of speech. There is a nuance here that we can definitely explore.

    I was clearly too broad in my original statement. I have tried to clear that up now. I hope I am now clear.

    BTW, comparing an online poll, with zero chance to change policy, to a legitimate election IS nonsensical. That is my opinion, and you have your own. Be polite, don’t incite.

  19. Black Pheonix
    July 3rd, 2014 at 18:12 | #19

    @paoburen

    “can you please be more polite? You are being rude, and while this is the internet and you can hide behind a screen, it does not make it proper. Let us be civilised. The tone and diction of your writing is rude. Harmony can be had even when people disagree.”

    It’s called SARCASM. I’m not here to adhere to your politeness standards. And Oh, politeness “depends” on whether your arguments are “proper”. I call BS as I see them.

    “In academia and related institutions, there should be NO restrictions on free speech. Just because some institutions, not all, have instituted restrictions on speech, as Allen pointed out, does not mean I agree.”

    Oh, you don’t “agree” with REALITY in US academia? Is US academia “unacceptable” to you now?

    Let’s just clarify your statement further.

    Can you please be more polite with REALITY?

  20. paoburen
    July 3rd, 2014 at 20:30 | #20

    @Black Pheonix

    Allen cited a few USA universities that do not have true academic freedom. I disagree with what these institutions have done.

    I find their behaviours unacceptable, yes.

    Does this mean all of USA academia is bad? Nope, absolutely not. What’s the saying… “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” I think that applies here.

    So Black Pheonix, do you have proof that 100% of USA institutions have rules and regulations like Allen cited, and that academic freedom is gone in 100% of USA academic institutions? If you can show a 100% rate, then I will concede to you. Otherwise, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    I don’t understand this whatsoever: “Can you please be more polite with REALITY?”

    Please clarify.

  21. N.M.Cheung
    July 4th, 2014 at 05:33 | #21

    @paoburen

    @paoburen
    If you check on the history of Ryukyus it was more associated with Chinese empire than Japan until recently, from Wikipedia,
    In 1609, Shimazu Tadatsune, Lord of Satsuma, invaded the Ryūkyū Kingdom with a fleet of 13 junks and 2,500 samurai, thereby establishing suzerainty over the islands. They faced little opposition from the Ryukyuans, who lacked any significant military capabilities, and who were ordered by King Shō Nei to surrender rather than to suffer the loss of precious lives.[25] After that, the kings of the Ryukyus paid tribute to the Japanese shogun as well as to the Chinese emperor. In 1655, the tributary relations between Ryukyu and Qing were formally approved by the shogunate.[26] In 1874, the Ryukyus terminated tribute relations with China.[27]
    As for the Chinese visa policy, I agree it probably need more transparency. Chinese bureaucracy tend to err more in caution, but most who were denied visa knew why. Just as U.S. has no fly list where appeal has to go through circles. China has right to deny those who threaten her national security interests, be that Tibet, Xinjiang, or others.

  22. Black Pheonix
    July 4th, 2014 at 05:53 | #22

    @paoburen

    “Allen cited a few USA universities that do not have true academic freedom. I disagree with what these institutions have done.
    I find their behaviours unacceptable, yes.
    Does this mean all of USA academia is bad? Nope, absolutely not. What’s the saying… “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” I think that applies here.”

    Some seem to think ALL US academia is bad. http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/29/us/bloomberg-harvard-speech/

    Do you have the data that SOME are not censoring? (You make the assertion, you should prove it).

    “I don’t understand this whatsoever: “Can you please be more polite with REALITY?””

    Er, you were the one calling REALITY as “unacceptable”. I think that’s rather rude. Get your own politeness checked.

    On the “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Which is the “bathwater”? Allen’s link showed that MAJOR US universities have speech codes for censorship.

    So, I would say, US academia is MOSTLY “bathwater”. If you can find a “baby” in there, please name 1 and prove it.

  23. Black Pheonix
    July 4th, 2014 at 06:01 | #23

    @paoburen

    BTW, if you really want to dig deep into your “bathwater” of “unacceptableness”, there is a DATABASE. (So here is the data).

    http://www.thefire.org/spotlight/

    Which illustrates pretty much EVERY US University has “speech codes”.

    Want to see the Ivy League schools in Mass. state? (Only “North Shore Community College” has a rating of “undefined”).

    Amherst College
    Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.amherst.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Read More
    Boston College
    Location: Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.bc.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Boston University
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.bu.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Brandeis University
    Location: Waltham, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.brandeis.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Bridgewater State University
    Location: Bridgewater, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.bridgew.edu
    Type: Public
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Clark University
    Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.clarku.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    College of the Holy Cross
    Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.holycross.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Fitchburg State University
    Location: Fitchburg, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.fitchburgstate.edu
    Type: Public
    Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Read More
    Framingham State University
    Location: Framingham, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.framingham.edu
    Type: Public
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Read More
    Harvard University
    Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.harvard.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
    Location: North Adams, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.mcla.edu
    Type: Public
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Read More
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.mit.edu/
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Read More
    Mount Holyoke College
    Location: South Hadley, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.mtholyoke.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    North Shore Community College
    Location: Danvers, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.northshore.edu
    Type: No type yet
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Undefined
    Read More
    Northeastern University
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.northeastern.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Salem State University
    Location: Salem, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.salemstate.edu
    Type: Public
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Smith College
    Location: Northampton, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.smith.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    Tufts University
    Location: Medford, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.tufts.edu
    Type: Private
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    University of Massachusetts – Amherst
    Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.umass.edu
    Type: Public
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More
    University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
    Location: North Dartmouth, Massachusetts
    Website: http://www.umassd.edu
    Type: Public
    Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Read More

  24. Black Pheonix
    July 4th, 2014 at 06:06 | #24

    @paoburen

    Stanford University has “Acts of Intolerance Protocol 13-14”

    ….

    I think that’s enough data for the “unacceptable” bathwater of US academia. I’m not going to copy/paste the entire database here.

    Is there a “baby” in there?

    If there is, it’s crime to have a “baby” in such polluted “bathwater”.

  25. paoburen
    July 4th, 2014 at 09:52 | #25

    @N.M.Cheung

    Cool, thanks for the info about the Ryukus. I don’t know much about it. Good to read.

    I think it would be best, however, to not press minority groups to revolt and declare independence. That’s a dangerous precedent to set.

    About visas:
    In the article I posted, some people were confused what blocked them from visas. In some cases, the authors of a book about Xinjiang, more historical than contemporary, have all been blocked. Xinjiang is, indeed, a sore eye and a problem, especially with recent spates of terror attacks that have filtered into other provinces — for example, a train station I go to perhaps three or more times a year recently was witness to an attack, luckily no one was fatally injured.

    At the same time, some authors who have written extensively on Western-defined human rights have been allowed new visas. It’s hard to know, perhaps.

    As for me, as a non-citizen, I have never had any problems with my visas, and everything within 3-5 days has been come back no problem. I am almost immediately let into the country now, too (at first, it took about 5 minutes of the agent clicking on his/her computer, now I am admitted in less than a minute in most cases).

    @Black Pheonix

    I don’t think you understand the idiom too well.

    Thanks for the info. Now, are these schools restricting what areas of research students and tenured staff may undertake, or what student groups may publicly say?

    As for the RED LIGHT restriction on CalTech, here’s what is restricted:

    “Some examples of inappropriate use are: … sending a communication or using electronic information resources, including webpages, to discriminate against or illegally harass, defame, offend, or threaten individuals or organizations, or to engage in other illegal conduct or conduct that violates Institute policy.”

    This seems to have little to with ACADEMIC freedom and more to do with online bullying, harassing and lying on the internet.

    “An action that places an unreasonable emotional burden on another person results in taking unfair advantage of that person. Actions which degrade an individual or group, promulgate damaging rumors, or place someone in a situation where he or she feels threatened, harassed, or victimized may also unfairly disadvantage members of the community.”

    Most of the reasons CalTech restricts speech is about sexual harassment and bully-tactics via the internet. These have nothing whatsoever to do with free speech — in this case, freedom to research say, Palestinian statehood in a heavily Jewish populated university.

  26. Black Pheonix
    July 4th, 2014 at 10:41 | #26

    @paoburen

    I think you are squirming in your “idiom”.

    “This seems to have little to with ACADEMIC freedom and more to do with online bullying, harassing and lying on the internet.”

    So, that’s not “censorship” by your definition? So, let’s get your FINAL answer straight yet again.

    (1) it’s not “any institution”, but “academia”.
    (2) it’s not ALL “academia”, just SOME “academia”.
    (3) it’s not all “speech”, censoring “online bullying” speech is OK.

    You want to settle down on your answer now?? Or do you want to weasel your position some more?

    Your “baby” is getting smaller an smaller.

    * On “bullying”, I think you are bullying, so maybe you should be censored.

    So, I guess if Confucius Institute thinks some Democracy advocacy is “bullying”, that has “nothing whatsoever to do with free speech”.

  27. paoburen
    July 5th, 2014 at 16:08 | #27

    @Black Pheonix

    I think you are trying to pick a fight with me so you can ban me from this webpage. Your tone and diction are combative, and I don’t see you take a similar demeanor with others. Why so with me? Don’t like new posters?

    I like this site. I won’t take your bait and fight, because you are a moderator and clearly I cannot win.

    Have a nice day 🙂

    MARKED for moderation for off topic discussion with no relevance

  28. July 6th, 2014 at 01:47 | #28

    @N.M.Cheung

    Ummm … that’s quite a sanitized version of history.

    In this recent comment, I had referred to a decent one written in English…

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/09/19/the-inconvenient-truth-behind-the-diaoyusenkaku-islands-by-han-yi-shaw/#comment-53430

  29. July 6th, 2014 at 01:55 | #29

    @paoburen

    You make many good points. I’ll attempt to write a new post because I think it’s off topic. But I think it’s an important topic because in many sense, if there is to be freedom of speech, I’d expect to see it in Universities where “mature” people come together for the sole purpose of learning sharing ideas. If there is really a marketplace of ideas anywhere, the University is sure to be it.

    In that post, I’ll definitely double up on Stanford’s (ongoing) speech issues … and also the Caltech code and observations about it you brought up.

    If I am successful in the post, I hope to demonstrate how “freedom” is defined by one’s political preferences … a rhetorical / ideological ploy to mask censorship that always happens anyways …

  30. Black Pheonix
    July 6th, 2014 at 07:00 | #30

    @paoburen

    I don’t like your “tone” either, but I have not banned you.

    We are not here to discuss “tones”, so you should stay on topic. And if you make ridiculous statements, others have the right to mock you. That’s your problem, not theirs.

    And since you understand my role as moderator, let me explain the rules to you.

    * If you make repeated comments to change the topic, for example, by making personal remarks that have no relevance to the topic, that will be considered “harassment” or “SPAM”, and you will be moderated and/or banned.

    You can take the “tone” of this comment however you wish. But as I emphasized, we are not here to discuss “tones”.

    Now, back to topic.

    Are you settled on your FINAL position above, or do you want to change it some more.

  31. paoburen
    July 6th, 2014 at 09:48 | #31

    @Black Pheonix

    Lol, I think I was quite clear. In academia, freedom to pursue research, even if it offends interest groups, should be protected. In personal blogs and other private matters, free speech should be protected. If I use my university email to call some classmate a whore, which is what most of the above-linked examples are about, then that’s not really free speech. That is cyber-bullying. Clearly, these are different concepts.

    Research on Palestinian-statehood should be protected; calling someone a slut because she stole my boyfriend is not “free speech”.

    In private employment or the military, when operating in an official capacity, it makes sense to restrict speech. In Snowden’s case, he was a federal worker who clearly broke the rules and he should be punished by relevant laws and regulations. If I work for IBM and publicly share their trade information, I should also be punished by relevant laws and regulations.

    Here is an example of where I think free speech needs to be protected, despite the fact it is offensive and clearly based on lies. I am in the USA on holiday, and yesterday someone put a private newsletter on my vehicle’s windshield. In it, it claimed that the USA President is a child molester. This is acceptable to me, despite the absurdity of the claim.

    In your opinion, is there any place for free speech? Should all speech be restricted? If so, who should decide? In a university, the trustees, the president, or in the case of public institutions, the government? How about with newspapers and their editorials?

    Your position seems to be it is okay and good to restrict speech, but I have not seen you give any specifics of where, how, by whom, etc.

    Thanks for the clarity on the rules. I hope I am not abusing said rules.

  32. Black Pheonix
    July 6th, 2014 at 12:05 | #32

    @paoburen

    “Lol, I think I was quite clear. In academia, freedom to pursue research, even if it offends interest groups, should be protected. In personal blogs and other private matters, free speech should be protected. If I use my university email to call some classmate a whore, which is what most of the above-linked examples are about, then that’s not really free speech. That is cyber-bullying. Clearly, these are different concepts.”

    Really? Is it that clear? So, if some “research” cannot call some classmate a “whore”, but can “offend interest groups”??

    So, which part of the “speech code” said “no calling someone a whore” specifically?

    Are you redefining their definition of “harassment” and “cyber-bullying”? Because I don’t know which rule you are referring to.

    That’s YOUR definition perhaps, but I don’t see how “academia” in US has accepted your definitions.

    “Here is an example of where I think free speech needs to be protected, despite the fact it is offensive and clearly based on lies.”

    So, your example of SNOWDEN proves that “free speech” doesn’t exist in US, (other than in academia)??

    So, has US academia been allowed to discuss Snowden’s leaked secrets?? Or are they also to be “punished by relevant laws and regulations”??

    “In your opinion, is there any place for free speech? Should all speech be restricted? If so, who should decide? In a university, the trustees, the president, or in the case of public institutions, the government? How about with newspapers and their editorials?”

    What’s “free speech”? Because you don’t seem to allow much “free speech” yourself. (Other than fitting a narrow class of speech into your definition of “free speech”).

  33. Black Pheonix
    July 6th, 2014 at 12:15 | #33

    @paoburen

    “calling someone a slut because she stole my boyfriend is not “free speech”.”

    If that’s your definition of “free speech”, that’ fine. But that’s irrelevant to the REAL definition of “free speech” in REALITY of US academia, (unless you can back up your assertion).

    We are not interested in what you think “should be”, but what IS in US academia.

    If you want to save the “baby”, the “baby” is not what you think should be.

  34. paoburen
    July 6th, 2014 at 13:36 | #34

    @Black Pheonix

    Thanks.

    What about you, you haven’t shared anything, and instead just tried to pick apart what I write…

    I’ll re-quote myself:

    “In your opinion, is there any place for free speech? Should all speech be restricted? If so, who should decide? In a university, the trustees, the president, or in the case of public institutions, the government? How about with newspapers and their editorials?

    Your position seems to be it is okay and good to restrict speech, but I have not seen you give any specifics of where, how, by whom, etc.”

  35. Black Pheonix
    July 7th, 2014 at 07:00 | #35

    @paoburen

    “What about you, you haven’t shared anything, and instead just tried to pick apart what I write…”

    I haven’t “shared anything”? I’m the one who shared the database information. If that information picked apart your fantasy writing of constantly shifting personal theories, that’s what it’s for.

    And I’ll EXPLAIN the rules again. We are here to talk about REALITY, not your personal fantasies.

    You stated your opinions, move on.

    Since you won’t support any of your shifting positions, I’m not answering your questions.

    I did my sharing. If you won’t do your “share”, then we have nothing to talk about.

    If you try to misrepresent what I wrote again, it will be considered “harassment”, and you will be moderated and/or banned.

  36. paoburen
    July 7th, 2014 at 14:54 | #36

    @Black Pheonix

    “So, has US academia been allowed to discuss Snowden’s leaked secrets?? Or are they also to be “punished by relevant laws and regulations”??”

    The issues of surveillance can and should be discussed within academia and society. In fact, if you open a newspaper or a web browser, it is easy to read about this information openly. I am currently in the USA and I can type many queries (e.g., Snowden) and come back with millions of results. I do not think there have been official restrictions on discussions. Has there? I don’t have evidence of censorship about NSA surveillance. It’s an embarrassment, and members of the government are most likely told to keep their mouths shut, but academia does not seem to have official restrictions. Once again, someone in an OFFICIAL capacity can have their speech curtailed, but this is sensible when you are employed. If you wish to speak, you are free to resign from your post. Having a job is not an inalienable right, but a choice.

    What Snowden did, which was illegal and not protected by free speech, was he used his position as a government agent to copy and disseminate classified information. Here is another NSA whistleblower (William Binney), who is not in jail. Mr. Binney did not use his position to steal information. Rather, he retired from his post and then became a whistleblower.

    Here is an interview with him about NSA programs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuET0kpHoyM

    And about the cyber policies of CalTech, the university does not seem to restrict any form of research. Certain actions on a UNIVERSITY network are not allowed, but these are not related to speech or research. For example, one may not do the following on a UNIVERSITY network: hack computer systems, commercial gain , violate copyrights, academic plagiarism, and several other banned uses (see HERE: http://d28htnjz2elwuj.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2005/02/Cal-Tech-Acceptable-Use-13-14.pdf). So CalTech does not seem to restrict speech or research in any meaningful way. Perhaps you could read this document, which comes from your posted link, and see something I do not see. I would appreciate your comments.

  37. Black Pheonix
    July 8th, 2014 at 07:16 | #37

    @paoburen

    “The issues of surveillance can and should be discussed within academia and society.”

    The “issues”? Can the “issues” be discussed without ACTUALLY discussing the “SECRETS”? And NO, we don’t know what the secrets Snowden is passing to the media, so we are not allowed to discuss the issue in full.

    “What Snowden did, which was illegal and not protected by free speech”.

    How do you know that? DO you even know what “secrets” he leaked? Are you allowed to see it, cite it?? Nope. Then you don’t have “free speech” to discuss whether his actions were legal.

    “Here is another NSA whistleblower (William Binney), who is not in jail. ”

    Funny you should emphasize he’s “not in jail”, yet you neglected to mention that he was subjected to numerous investigations and even a raid in his home by armed Federal agents, as ways to intimidate him into silence.

    If that’s how you would allow treatment of people in “free speech”, it’s not that “free”.

  38. paoburen
    July 8th, 2014 at 13:51 | #38

    @Black Pheonix

    As far as I know, Snowden passed a huge cache of documents to several news groups. Glenn Greenwald, a big part of this story and a person who helped share it with the world, has written a recent book on the matter. I haven’t read it, but it probably cites several of the specific documents.

    As far as what secrets were leaked, entire PowerPoint presentations were revealed that the NSA used internally. These can be accessed online.

    I think there is a difference between saying “there is no free speech” and saying “we cannot discuss these issues IN FULL”. To know everything about a certain topic, especially something with national security, is a pipe dream. I can understand your point, that there is not absolute transparency, but this does not mean there is no transparency. There is a degree of conversation that we have today, and no federal agents have knocked on my door for writing on this blog.

    Sure, I neglected to mention that Binney was searched by federal agents. What federal agents did to Binney is irrelevant. Is he in jail for what he has said publicly? Nope. The government made certain he didn’t, like Snowden, steal classified documents. Because Binney has not stolen any documents, he is a free person who can continue to speak if he pleases.

  39. paoburen
    July 8th, 2014 at 13:53 | #39

    @Black Pheonix

    Have you checked out CalTech’s list of specifically banned actions? I am interested in your comments about it. From my reading, it does not seem to restrict any sort of speech, especially with regards to students and faculty.

  40. Black Pheonix
    July 8th, 2014 at 14:37 | #40

    @paoburen

    “As far as I know, Snowden passed a huge cache of documents to several news groups. Glenn Greenwald, a big part of this story and a person who helped share it with the world, has written a recent book on the matter. I haven’t read it, but it probably cites several of the specific documents.”

    It has been thoroughly filtered. Even Greenwald complained about the censorship.

    Have you ignored the Guardian Newspaper getting a visit to destroy their harddrives??

    “Have you checked out CalTech’s list of specifically banned actions? I am interested in your comments about it. From my reading, it does not seem to restrict any sort of speech, especially with regards to students and faculty.”

    NOthing “specific” about it. And I asked you, what’s “harassment” according to CalTech? (No, I didn’t ask for your definition).

    “Sure, I neglected to mention that Binney was searched by federal agents. What federal agents did to Binney is irrelevant. Is he in jail for what he has said publicly? Nope. The government made certain he didn’t, like Snowden, steal classified documents. Because Binney has not stolen any documents, he is a free person who can continue to speak if he pleases.”

    So, as long as not “jailed”, there is no “censorship”?? REALLY??

    Anyone in Confucius Institute “jailed”??

  41. paoburen
    July 8th, 2014 at 16:22 | #41

    @Black Pheonix

    Um, of course Greenwald complains about censorship. He has an opinion and he states it. He’s not in jail. He wants to release more. Yep.

    I don’t know what harassment is according to CalTech, but the link I posted is about what I cannot do with their servers, not what I cannot do as a student/faculty.

    The issue with Confucius Institutes, since we definitely went off topic, is that the Chinese money will potentially limit free speech on campus. In this example, a Confucius Institute may make a stink about a pro-Taiwanese independence or other separatist speaking. Considering how sensitive the Chinese authorities are to issues they disagree with, and considering how all money in Chinese belongs to the authorities (that is Socialism with Chinese Characteristics), this fear could potentially prove true.

  42. Black Pheonix
    July 8th, 2014 at 16:27 | #42

    @paoburen

    “I think there is a difference between saying “there is no free speech” and saying “we cannot discuss these issues IN FULL”. To know everything about a certain topic, especially something with national security, is a pipe dream.”

    There is also a much bigger difference between saying “we cannot discuss these issues IN FULL” and saying “that’s FREE SPEECH”.

    Whatever you think the definition of “free speech” might be, “we cannot discuss these issues IN FULL” sounds more like CENSORSHIP.

    “I can understand your point, that there is not absolute transparency, but this does not mean there is no transparency. There is a degree of conversation that we have today, and no federal agents have knocked on my door for writing on this blog.”

    Transparency is a different topic than “free speech”, you are confusing 2 different issues.

    And we are not discussing any secrets on this blog worth knocking on anyone’s door, but that doesn’t mean “no federal agents are knocking on people’s doors”, BECAUSE THEY DID, for example, William Binney’s door (and his bathroom door, while he was showering).

    That FACT alone proves, just because you didn’t experience censorship in US, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist in US.

    (Once again, we are not here to discuss your own hypotheticals, they do not prove or disprove the REALITY in US. For one, there is NO WAY you can guarantee that Federal Agents won’t knock on my door for writing on this blog!!!)

  43. Black Pheonix
    July 8th, 2014 at 16:31 | #43

    @paoburen

    “I don’t know what harassment is according to CalTech, but the link I posted is about what I cannot do with their servers, not what I cannot do as a student/faculty.”

    Speech cannot be through “servers”? I think you just admitted to their censorship. What do you call COMMUNICATION via their “servers”??

    OK, so according to you, COMMUNICATION via someone’s “server” is not “speech”??

    “The issue with Confucius Institutes, since we definitely went off topic, is that the Chinese money will potentially limit free speech on campus.”

    You are avoiding the question: Did someone get JAILED in Confucius Institutes???

    Because according to you, if they didn’t get jailed, there was no censorship.

  44. paoburen
    July 8th, 2014 at 16:32 | #44

    @Black Pheonix

    Fair point.

    So then what, want to discuss the degree of free speech between the USA and other nations?

    Or can we ignore degree, and just say it’s all the same?

    That’s like saying manslaughter and murder are the same because someone is dead, or that murder and serial murder are the same. Censorship in the USA, to the degree it is there, is censorship-lite. If censorship were more serious, this blog would not be allowed to exist given it’s anti-USA establishment bent.

    Unless you can show some blatant examples?

  45. Black Pheonix
    July 8th, 2014 at 18:06 | #45

    @paoburen

    “So then what, want to discuss the degree of free speech between the USA and other nations?
    Or can we ignore degree, and just say it’s all the same?”

    1st, you have to admit, there is no such thing as “free speech” in US, because US has “censorship”. “Free speech” is BS.

    2nd, if you want to discuss “degrees” of censorship, then I can say, they are never the SAME, because no 2 countries would implement their laws the SAME way in any issue.

    I think you want to discuss which is better. But you are out of luck, because there is no ABSOLUTE standard of which “degree” of “censorship” is better in REALITY.

    If you think you have a “standard” of measurement, you better cite your evidence. Otherwise, it’s pretty much all BS opinions.

  46. paoburen
    July 8th, 2014 at 18:28 | #46

    @Black Pheonix

    I’d call this website rather free in its speech (at least from government…).

    Good chat!

  47. Black Pheonix
    July 8th, 2014 at 19:23 | #47

    @paoburen

    “I’d call this website rather free in its speech (at least from government…).”

    Well, I’m sure we are still subject to US “censorship”, so I’m not going to take the risks based upon your words alone.

  48. paoburen
    July 8th, 2014 at 20:07 | #48

    @Black Pheonix

    Ha, if this site was censored, it would simply not exist when I search for it. Trust me, I have been in countries with real censorship — lots of the internet simply does not exist.

    “This site cannot be found”

    This site may be watched, but that’s fundamentally different to have something watched and have something deleted by a third-party. Once again, my statement about degrees.

  49. Black Pheonix
    July 9th, 2014 at 05:40 | #49

    @paoburen

    “Ha, if this site was censored, it would simply not exist when I search for it.”

    Says who? Google is censoring /”forgetting” specific links, not necessarily entire websites.

    “Trust me, I have been in countries with real censorship — lots of the internet simply does not exist.”

    Trust you? Are you trying to establish some kind “better censorship” standard? Or going back to denying Censorship in the US?

    Well, I don’t “trust” anyone who changes his positions that much, because I don’t know what your position might become tomorrow.

    “This site may be watched, but that’s fundamentally different to have something watched and have something deleted by a third-party. Once again, my statement about degrees.”

    Well, Google admitted to removing links to specific blog articles. So, you are just delusional.

  50. Black Pheonix
    July 9th, 2014 at 05:47 | #50

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2013/12/20/government-takedown-requests-rising-says-google-but-how-much-does-this-really-tell-us/

    “In the US, there were 545 requests – up 70 percent on last year – putting the country in second place on the list. Most appear on the surface to have been related to defamation rather than censorship, with criticism of the government accounting for a tiny number.

    However, appearances can be deceptive. Some law enforcement agencies, for example, made take-down requests aimed apparently at whitewashing their own behavior, with one asking for the removal of a YouTube clip that allegedly revealed police brutality.

    “These officials often cite defamation, privacy and even copyright laws in attempts to remove political speech from our services,” says Infantino.”

  51. Black Pheonix
  52. paoburen
    July 9th, 2014 at 12:01 | #52

    @Black Pheonix

    Actually, you accuse me of changing my position, which is not the same as my actually changing my position. I don’t want to argue with you, so let’s move past this please.

    Censorship in China, in my opinion, is far more comprehensive. Never has a Tweet or Facebook post of mine been deleted, even when it’s been about sensitive topics — elections, gun rights, etc.. Perhaps we could discuss issues of free speech in what private citizens are allowed to say on their blogs?

    http://blockedonweibo.tumblr.com/

    What this means is the concern of Confucius Institutes is given their status as Chinese-funded, they may use their position to try to censor American universities. The Chinese have far greater sensitivity to many issues, and try to stop all conversation about certain topics — as the above link points out with various banned phrases on Chinese internet networks. So the crux of the concern about Confucius Institutes is the EXTENT of censorship, not the existence of censorship (since you declared it’s BS).

    So sure, free speech is “bullshit”, but some states have vastly more free speech than others. You seem to want to avoid the topic of “degree” and instead paint a broad stroke. That’s fine, but I would say it lacks nuance. Without that nuance, it is hard to grasp the concern that many have with Confucius Institutes on USA campuses.

    To be honest, it’s silly to learn Chinese in the USA. Anyone can score a visa for China and go learn!

    Thanks for your links.

  53. Black Pheonix
    July 9th, 2014 at 12:37 | #53

    @paoburen

    “Actually, you accuse me of changing my position, which is not the same as my actually changing my position. I don’t want to argue with you, so let’s move past this please.”

    I don’t know what you are trying to say. And no, I’m sticking to my position.

    “Censorship in China, in my opinion, is far more comprehensive. Never has a Tweet or Facebook post of mine been deleted, even when it’s been about sensitive topics — elections, gun rights, etc.. Perhaps we could discuss issues of free speech in what private citizens are allowed to say on their blogs?”

    Then, you don’t have all the evidence for your comparison.

    “What this means is the concern of Confucius Institutes is given their status as Chinese-funded, they may use their position to try to censor American universities.”

    I ask you AGAIN, did anyone get JAILED for Confucius Institutes?? (According to you, again, if no one got jailed, there is no censorship). No degrees, just NO censorship.

  54. paoburen
    July 9th, 2014 at 13:53 | #54

    @Black Pheonix

    Um, what about JAIL? That does not make sense.

    I’ll try to rephrase what I said:

    Or, put another way, if a university has a Confucius Institute, and said university also invites a pro-Taiwanese independence speaker, this may cause a tiff. That is the concern — will these Confucius Institutes try to use financial leverage to silence opinions that go against the People’s Republic of China. What this leads to is self-censorship — we cannot upset our financial benefactor, so let us toe-the-line.

    I do have evidence for my comparison about web censorship: http://blockedonweibo.tumblr.com/

    If you can, find me a list of banned words on other social networks, such as Facebook, please share. I would love to see what words are instantly deleted on Facebook because, as far as I know, there are no banned words on American internet — perhaps search logarithms overlook certain phrases, which is different from a third-party deleting something.

    Interesting article about Confucius Institutes, has both pro- and con-outlooks:

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/01/04/debate-over-chinese-funded-institutes-american-universities#sthash.S8C1zS5V.dpbs

    “Lionel M. Jensen, an associate professor of East Asian languages and cultures and a fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, writes critically of the Confucius Institutes in the forthcoming book, China In and Beyond the Headlines (Rowman and Littlefield, 2012): “[S]o far there have not been any events in which the academic freedom of the host university was explicitly threatened by authorities of Hanban. Most directors have gone on record in this regard to affirm the independence of their institutes. This, though, does not mean that U.S. Confucius Institute directors do not take special care in arranging programming that is uncontroversial in the eyes of their benefactor. By this I mean that their mindfulness of the funding source has affected consideration of what is appropriate programming. At its worst, this amounts to a persistent self-censorship, a practice common to the political survival experience of Chinese citizens today.”

  55. Black Pheonix
    July 9th, 2014 at 14:40 | #55

    @paoburen

    “Um, what about JAIL? That does not make sense.
    I’ll try to rephrase what I said:”

    No, we are NOT doing “rephrasing”.

    You said,

    “What federal agents did to Binney is irrelevant. Is he in jail for what he has said publicly? Nope. The government made certain he didn’t, like Snowden, steal classified documents. Because Binney has not stolen any documents, he is a free person who can continue to speak if he pleases.”

    Then, what you are saying about the Confucius Institute is also “irrelevant”, because they didn’t JAIL anyone for what they said in public.

    What did Confucius Institute ban (in words or in articles)? Nothing. They also didn’t JAIL anyone.

    Tell you what, when you can find Confucius Institute sending armed agents into the house of someone like Mr. Binney, then you can “rephrase”.

  56. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 9th, 2014 at 15:33 | #56

    @paoburen

    “Lionel M. Jensen, an associate professor of East Asian languages and cultures and a fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame,”

    And I might add that you just made a case affirming for title “US professors urge Western universities to end ties to China’s Confucius Institutes”.

    The University of Notre Dame is a faith based university that preaches discrimination against homosexuals and that the earth was created 6,000 years ago. And this Catholic university is fiercely anti- Communist and anti-China.

    If you are going to use sources from the University of Notre Dame, why don’t you use the Epoch Times, there are even more juicier anti-China fictions from the Epoch Times.

    It certainly does not bode well for your credibility when quoting from these sources.

    And I might add that you just made a case affirming for the title “US professors urge Western universities to end ties to China’s Confucius Institutes”

  57. paoburen
    July 9th, 2014 at 16:46 | #57

    “This, though, does not mean that U.S. Confucius Institute directors do not take special care in arranging programming that is uncontroversial in the eyes of their benefactor. By this I mean that their mindfulness of the funding source has affected consideration of what is appropriate programming. At its worst, this amounts to a persistent self-censorship, a practice common to the political survival experience of Chinese citizens today.””

    The issue is self censorship, especially where when financial leverage is indirectly controlled by the government of China. The government of China, as we all know, fiercely shouts down certain voices on certain topics.

    Some topics are simply off limits. This is why some people, for right or wrong, are fearful of Confucius Institutes. You can disagree with these assessments, which you clearly do, but that does not mean you can say they are 100% incorrect. Do you have proof that, in private, certain universities have decided to maintain funding levels instead of upsetting their financial benefactors (indirectly, the government of China)?

    If your argument is group A bans speech, so therefore it’s okay for group B to ban speech, then I can see your logic. I don’t think that argument is a strong one, however, because it relies on the assumption that no one can ever criticise anyone (because all humans/systems/groups have flaws).

    The way these Confucius Institutes are funded and implemented in universities is much different than similar programs that push foreign languages, e.g., those by the Germans.

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    The article quotes MANY different people, not just one from one university. I think a source is actually GOOD if its cites multiple and varied opinions. A bad source is one that neglects all opinions that do not already fit a prescribed narrative, or an article that declares a certain person should be entirely ignored. For example, often in the West if a newspaper writes something that is pro-China, it is often labeled “Communist propaganda” instead of being read for its merits.

    There are good arguments and points of view that are also pro-Communist Party, but unfortunately some in the West have decided that anything pro-Communist Party is bad.

    This faulty logic of being untrustworthy despite good argumentation is bad when applied to Christians and Communists alike.

  58. July 9th, 2014 at 17:00 | #58

    @paoburen

    The government of China, as we all know, fiercely shouts down certain voices on certain topics.

    This may be what people in the West are led to believe. In actuality, just because there is a law against something, or just because some speech is banned in some place at some time in China doesn’t mean it’s uniformly and vehemently banned everywhere for all times. The Western media often reports one instance of a “crack down,” and extrapolate the dots to narrate a “comprehensive ban.”

    I had first experience with this. When I traveled to Tibet and surrounding areas in late 2008, I had read that the picture of Dalai Lama is banned everywhere. To my surprise, in a border town near the TAR border, I visited a shrine, and inside was a Buddha with a small picture of the Dalai Lama permanently displayed.

    I asked the local monk about it. Since I was a Buddhist, he felt at ease talking to me about it. He said that yes, while there are tensions about the Dalai Lama given the riots earlier that year, the local officials understood that the temple was not housing subversive activities. They had been displaying that picture as a religious symbol not a political symbol for years, and the government repected that.

    Wow … and all this I hear about a ban!

    Just last year, I saw articles like these reporting that temples are allowed now to display pictures of the Daila Lama.

    http://world.time.com/2013/07/02/signs-of-the-dalai-lama-is-chinas-tibet-policy-changing/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/tibet/10147819/China-may-be-softening-position-on-Dalai-Lama.html

    Well … they have been allowed to for years. They are just not reported. Sure, some places known for political subversion were tightly controlled. But it’s not a comprehensive ban. And the “tight control” quickly passed…

    Another experience is related to me from a friend who spent a year in Chendu. In the college he attended, there were many frank and open discussions about issues of Tibet, of the exiles, etc. – with some openly expressing hatred for the Dalai Lama, but some also expressing respect even devotion. Yes, these are sensitive issues, and the government does care when people actively promote separatism, but it’s not the fiercely shutting people’s voice down that you may believe. It comes to protecting national integrity, security of peoples … It’s not about shutting out voices per se…

  59. Black Pheonix
    July 9th, 2014 at 17:11 | #59

    @paoburen

    “The issue is self censorship, especially where when financial leverage is indirectly controlled by the government of China. The government of China, as we all know, fiercely shouts down certain voices on certain topics.”

    Oh, now there is such a thing as “self-censorship”, which apparent doesn’t involve “JAIL”?

    OK, Any idea how much NED in US spends every year for “democracy advocacy”?

    How much money do US universities accept from US government every year?

    Sounds like “self-censorship” to me.

  60. paoburen
    July 9th, 2014 at 17:13 | #60

    @Allen

    Interesting. The problem is the line of where actual “subversion” begins, which is a truly subjective position. Who decides what is and what is not subversion? What criteria is used?

    Take another religious example, the Falun Gong. I never see or read about them while in Mainland China, and many of the practitioners were not political subversives — some probably were, but to say 100% were is foolhardy. When I am in Taiwan or the SARs (Macau, HK), I see Falun Gong information quite freely (but perhaps these are the actual subversives!).

    Can you link to some newspapers in China that discuss some of the three T’s (Tibet, Taiwan, Tiananmen) issues frankly? I would be interested to read some of them and see how these topics are presented in the varied media landscape. Issues like the three Ts are an area of concern where Confucius Institutes may try to silence voices that run opposed to Beijing’s clearly-highlighted stance.

    Let’s take this example of shouting down voices internationally. Recently, the representatives of the Norwegian government, due to economic sanctions after issues with the Nobel Peace Prize, neglected to meet with the Dalai Lama. Clearly, using economic leverage to stop conversations you do not like is a strong-arm tactic. These tactics are especially used with foreign public relations, something that seems extremely important to the Chinese rulers.

    So, using economic sanctions to silence voices is clearly evidenced in Chinese foreign policy. Why should people trust Confucius Institutes not to behave the same way? Unfortunately, it’s up to the Chinese to prove the Confucius Institutes are benign, and given tight government assistance in the institutes, this is a challenge.

    This article discusses this PR problem:

    “The reason is that the Confucius Institutes at the University of Chicago and elsewhere are subsidized and supervised by the government of the People’s Republic of China. But whereas the Goethe-Institut, like the British Council and the Alliance Française, is a stand-alone institution situated outside university precincts, a Confucius Institute exists as a virtually autonomous unit within the regular curriculum of the host school…”
    http://www.thenation.com/article/176888/china-u#

  61. paoburen
    July 9th, 2014 at 17:18 | #61

    @Black Pheonix

    The USA government is the government of the USA. China is a foreign government.

    Foreigners cannot interfere in internal affairs, domestic government can and should.

  62. July 9th, 2014 at 23:15 | #62

    @paoburen

    As far as I know, Snowden passed a huge cache of documents to several news groups. Glenn Greenwald, a big part of this story and a person who helped share it with the world, has written a recent book on the matter. I haven’t read it, but it probably cites several of the specific documents.
    As far as what secrets were leaked, entire PowerPoint presentations were revealed that the NSA used internally. These can be accessed online.

    Sure, I neglected to mention that Binney was searched by federal agents. What federal agents did to Binney is irrelevant. Is he in jail for what he has said publicly? Nope. The government made certain he didn’t, like Snowden, steal classified documents. Because Binney has not stolen any documents, he is a free person who can continue to speak if he pleases.

    I remember some time ago, people were talking about Tibetans escaping from China with documents that proved how bad China allegedly was suppressing Tibetans. Chinese gov’t denied the allegations and responded by prosecuting those who helped these “criminals” who stole these documents. People were saying how China is keeping truth away from the world.

    I don’t see the difference with Snowden. The U.S. had criminalized Snowden and those who would reveal certain information to the world because in the U.S.’ view, the information hurts U.S. interests.

    @paoburen

    Interesting. The problem is the line of where actual “subversion” begins, which is a truly subjective position. Who decides what is and what is not subversion? What criteria is used?

    These questions can be asked anywhere. Ultimately the government decides. They all justify it in terms of serving the people, national security, etc. though…

    Take another religious example, the Falun Gong. I never see or read about them while in Mainland China, and many of the practitioners were not political subversives — some probably were, but to say 100% were is foolhardy.

    Have you gone to any of the Falun Gong events? I have. They are intensely political. Sure I am sure there are good people there, but …

    Consider this observation:

    Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Israel and the U.S. Even if you are sympathetic to Israeli and U.S. interests, you cannot think they are 100% bad. That would be “foolhardy”?

    Al Qaeda is listed so too. But I am sure you do not think they are 100% bad.

    Neither U.S. nor Israel however allow these organization to propagate their information freely in their jurisdiction… In fact they go out of their way to reach beyond their jurisdiction to suppress them. Both can be considered bona-fide religious organizations too, their political activities nothwithstanding….

    Nazi parties are outlawed in Germany. But I am sure you do not believe that 100% of Nazis are bad… Yet Germany outlaws their parties…

    So China should not outlaw Falun Gong even if the organization is known to be subversive because some individuals may not be? Who are you kidding?

    When I am in Taiwan or the SARs (Macau, HK), I see Falun Gong information quite freely (but perhaps these are the actual subversives!).

    Perhaps China should also still house “terrorists” the West considers its soil too – because that is making the world “freeer”?

    Going by your logic, whenever any nation host a “terrorist” organization that another nation considers to be a terrorist organization and allow it to operate “freely” within the host nation, that host nation should be applauded for becoming a bearer of “freedom”?

    Can you link to some newspapers in China that discuss some of the three T’s (Tibet, Taiwan, Tiananmen) issues frankly? I would be interested to read some of them and see how these topics are presented in the varied media landscape. Issues like the three Ts are an area of concern where Confucius Institutes may try to silence voices that run opposed to Beijing’s clearly-highlighted stance.

    Recently I posted an article from guancha.cn. Check that site out and read the wide ranging opinions and views there. Also check out Caijing … Check out of course weibo …

    Let’s take this example of shouting down voices internationally. Recently, the representatives of the Norwegian government, due to economic sanctions after issues with the Nobel Peace Prize, neglected to meet with the Dalai Lama. Clearly, using economic leverage to stop conversations you do not like is a strong-arm tactic. These tactics are especially used with foreign public relations, something that seems extremely important to the Chinese rulers.

    So, using economic sanctions to silence voices is clearly evidenced in Chinese foreign policy. Why should people trust Confucius Institutes not to behave the same way? Unfortunately, it’s up to the Chinese to prove the Confucius Institutes are benign, and given tight government assistance in the institutes, this is a challenge.

    Can you imagine osama bin ladin jetting around meeting European leaders after 911? Can you imagine any head of state meeting with osama bin ladin after 911? The U.S. would probably bomb the shit out of your country if you do. Talk about “stopping the conversation”???

    So China does some trade retaliation when various leaders in Europe meet someone who China believes has done great damage to Chinese interests … who believes is a terrorist in his own right … and you are complaining about China “stopping the conversation”?

    When Snowden was on the run, do you remember that the U.S. actually got European nations to force a plane carrying the Bolivian president to land and to force search his plane on rumors that Snowden might be aboard?

    In case you think using economic leverage to promote a nation’s interest is somehow a worse “strong-arm” tactic than bombing the shit out of another country or force boarding the plane of another country’s leader, have you noticed that recently the U.S. has set up trade sanctions against Russia because Russia allegedly supports the “self determination” of the people in Crimea in a way not too different from the way the West supported Kosovo “self determination”?

    Oh by the way, it’s not just the U.S. So has the European Union applied sanctions. So have indeed most European nations…

  63. Black Pheonix
    July 10th, 2014 at 06:14 | #63

    @paoburen

    “The USA government is the government of the USA. China is a foreign government.
    Foreigners cannot interfere in internal affairs, domestic government can and should.”

    OK then, China cannot allow any foreign journalists or foreign NGO’s in.

  64. paoburen
    July 10th, 2014 at 14:19 | #64

    @Allen

    You compare Nazis and Falun Gong. What has Falun Gong did that was similar to the Nazi Party? I am curious. The Nazi Party carried out a genocide on an industrial scale; Falun Gong never did any such thing. Entirely unrelated.

    You compare the Dalai Lama with Osama bin Laden. What has the Dalai Lama done that was similar to Osama bin Laden? I am curious. Self-immolation is suicide; suicide bombing kills innocent bystanders. Entirely unrelated.

    Your examples of USA using its powers to gain its own interests are true. I don’t deny them. I also don’t agree with them. It is wrong when any state does that. Happy?

    As for Hamas, they supply health care and education and other public goods in their communities. Hamas is not 100% bad, there is evidence of that. Hamas does also, however, engage in acts of terrorism against the Israeli state.

    @Black Pheonix

    Sure, that is their right! If China did block all foreign media and NGOs, however, then people would have NO RIGHT to complain about biased and incorrect reporting about China from foreign outlets. China holds 1/5th of humanity and has economic and political interests all over the world, it cannot dictate what others say and think about it with absolute power. That is not how the world works.

  65. Black Pheonix
    July 10th, 2014 at 15:49 | #65

    @paoburen

    “If China did block all foreign media and NGOs, however, then people would have NO RIGHT to complain about biased and incorrect reporting about China from foreign outlets. China holds 1/5th of humanity and has economic and political interests all over the world, it cannot dictate what others say and think about it with absolute power. That is not how the world works.”

    You were the one making up the rules: ““The USA government is the government of the USA. China is a foreign government. Foreigners cannot interfere in internal affairs, domestic government can and should.””

    Don’t whine about its effects. Deal with the consequences of your rules.

  66. July 10th, 2014 at 16:49 | #66

    @paoburen

    You compare Nazis and Falun Gong. What has Falun Gong did that was similar to the Nazi Party? I am curious. The Nazi Party carried out a genocide on an industrial scale; Falun Gong never did any such thing. Entirely unrelated.

    Entire unrelated?

    First re-read my comment.

    Nazi parties are outlawed in Germany. But I am sure you do not believe that 100% of Nazis are bad… Yet Germany outlaws their parties…

    Now to my two points. First, even if you think I was referring to Hitler’s Nazi Party of the 1930’s and 1940’s, you can’t believe 100% of them committed genocide. Many Nazis did not. Many Nazis tried to save the Jews. Most Nazis knew very little of the “genocide.” By your logic on Falung Gong, even Hitler’s Nazi party cannot be outlawed.

    Second, what I was clearly referring to is the Nazi parties of today. Perhaps I should have used neo-Nazi instead, but I believe I was clear enough. Many neo-nazi parties have been outlawed in Germany for inciting violence, for subverting the current political order in Germany. Falung Gong is outlawed for inciting violence and subverting the Chinese gov’t.

    You compare the Dalai Lama with Osama bin Laden. What has the Dalai Lama done that was similar to Osama bin Laden? I am curious. Self-immolation is suicide; suicide bombing kills innocent bystanders. Entirely unrelated.

    I can’t afford to have to educate you on all that the Dalai Lama has done. There is Dalai Lama’s involvement of CIA to support various violent activities to promote Tibet succession in the 50’s and 60’s. There are also videos of monks starting the riots in 2008, evidence that the riots were planned. Chinese gov’t later arrested some of these monks and learned how the exile government – headed by the Dalai Lama – had helped to plan the riots.

    The Dalai Lama and exile government has promoted the ideology of racial and cultural cleanness similar to Nazi’s ideology for pure Germans. He has advocated creating a pure Tibetan land in areas that are populated by many other ethnic groups.

    Your examples of USA using its powers to gain its own interests are true. I don’t deny them. I also don’t agree with them. It is wrong when any state does that. Happy?

    You are the one singling out China’s gov’ts strong arm tactics in foreign policy as a basis for concern about Confucius Institutes’ infringing on freedom of speech. I called you out that the so-called strong arm tactics is not so strong when viewed in light of not just U.S. tactics, but the tactics of many European nations as well. If you want to single out China’s foreign policy as a concern for freedom of speech, for “stopping the conversation” – think how the combined foreign policy of the Western nations “stop the conversation” on a global scale.

    As for Hamas, they supply health care and education and other public goods in their communities. Hamas is not 100% bad, there is evidence of that. Hamas does also, however, engage in acts of terrorism against the Israeli state.

    Similarly, just as Falun gong practitioners or Dalai Lama’s monks may also be engaged in religious activities, they too participate in subversive political activities that Chinese see as terrorism.

  67. paoburen
    July 10th, 2014 at 17:02 | #67

    @Black Pheonix

    I don’t understand your meaning. NGOs and news media can be banned from China, but if they are, then foreign views of China will be even more biased and potentially false than they are today. I do agree that much non-PRC media is biased against the PRC, but if the PRC goes out and bans all foreign groups then the PRC would have no right to complain about its unfair treatment. What would it expect — the whole world to just trust what it says about itself? That’s foolhardy; that’s like believing USA Government press releases as Gospel!

    If all NGOs and foreign media are banned, that leaves only strongly filtered news. This of course would further distrust of the PRC. I think it is important for the PRC to improve its trust internationally, especially as a push for soft power. If foreigners write news that is biased then so be it, Xinhua and other Chinese-arms in foreign nations should do their best to write factual news.

    @Allen

    Okay, if you say Neo-Nazi that is actually entirely different!

    BTW, I don’t agree with banning of political parties. In the USA, for example, the KKK is still active, although no longer as a terrorist group — today they exist as a hate group. Neo-Nazi parties are hate-groups and not terrorist groups.

    Hate is evil and ruins the hearts of men, but you cannot outlaw hate.

    If the Dalai Lama is so bad, why was his picture allowed in that Tibetan area you visited? You said the local authorities did not find those people with the picture subversives, but if you have such an evil character on your wall, it questions judgement! Perhaps there are multiple sides to this, two sides to the coin?

    The ideology behind Al Qaeda is actually fascinating, but the actions of many adherents have been deplorable. It is useful to separate this.

    The Confucius Institutes embed themselves in universities and try to manipulate the way that students and researchers look at modern China. As an article I linked to above attests, Confucius Institutes look towards economic models, simplified language (as a means to control the flow of ideas through a PRC-framework), and ancient poetry. No discussions of contemporary issues are done. This is a disservice.

    Yes, Westerners are equally guilty of trying to manipulate opinions. I agree. We should call out everyone instead of just the so-called “west”.

  68. July 10th, 2014 at 17:24 | #68

    @paoburen

    If the Dalai Lama is so bad, why was his picture allowed in that Tibetan area you visited? You said the local authorities did not find those people with the picture subversives, but if you have such an evil character on your wall, it questions judgement! Perhaps there are multiple sides to this, two sides to the coin?

    Dalai Lama is bad because of his political activities. We in the blog and the Chinese gov’t have made that clear. For me personally, his political activities defines how I see him. I don’t like him. But many in China have a more nuanced view of him. Yes, he is a separatist, but he is also a religious leader. They see that as two. I see it as one, of a politician fighting behind the veil of religion, just like Hamas is accused of fighting behind a human shield.

    The ideology behind Al Qaeda is actually fascinating, but the actions of many adherents have been deplorable. It is useful to separate this.

    I believe both the political ideology and actions of Tibetan separatists are deplorable. I see the human cost in the partition of India, in the partition of Palestine (or the establishment Israel, premised on a forced deportation of peoples), and will do everything in my power to prevent similar ideologies or results from taking root in China.

    Yes, Westerners are equally guilty of trying to manipulate opinions. I agree. We should call out everyone instead of just the so-called “west”.

    Fair enough in the abstract. But please re-read what you wrote in context. You have singled out China for suppressing freedom of speech … citing China as despicable. I have in my limited ways pointed out the accusations you allege China happens everywhere … including free, democratic societies. I believe there is no absolute objective notion of freedom.

    If I were rude, I’d call you “hypocritical.” But if I try to be diplomatic, I would simply ask you to see that too often, our notion of freedom is defined by our political preferences, our worldviews. There is nothing sacred about freedom per se. Freedom is always constrained by what we perceive as harm, and what is perceived as harm depends on one’s politics.

    Oh … why can’t China tolerate Dalai Lama and allow freedom for him to promulgate his ideology because for China, breaking the nation up is harm, for Westerners … oh whether China should be split is a legitimate issue for political debate. It’s about the politics. It’s not about freedom.

    Guess what, I can turn around and play the same game regarding all the “terrorist” organizations … If China allows all these organizations to grow and fester in its territories, would that prove how “free” China is?

    But I am not sure if I have enabled you to see that…

  69. paoburen
    July 10th, 2014 at 17:26 | #69

    @Allen

    I agree that it is bad when political actors hide behind religion. Religion is a personal and wonderful thing (IMO, many would rationally disagree), but it is easy for subversives to use that to their advantage.

  70. July 10th, 2014 at 17:37 | #70

    @paoburen

    I just edited #68 – added a couple of paragraphs at the end (sorry, by policy, we allow comments to be edited a few minutes after a comment is posted).

    I agree that it is bad when political actors hide behind religion. Religion is a personal and wonderful thing (IMO, many would rationally disagree), but it is easy for subversives to use that to their advantage.

    And depending on one’s politics, one see one thing (political actors hiding behind religion) or another (religion being attacked by politics).

  71. Black Pheonix
    July 10th, 2014 at 18:15 | #71

    @paoburen

    “If all NGOs and foreign media are banned, that leaves only strongly filtered news. This of course would further distrust of the PRC. I think it is important for the PRC to improve its trust internationally, especially as a push for soft power. If foreigners write news that is biased then so be it, Xinhua and other Chinese-arms in foreign nations should do their best to write factual news.”

    So, then you admit that US is “censoring” its news and providing “biased” and “strongly filtered” news causing “distrust”??

    We’ll start with your admission on that issue 1st. If that’s REALITY, then we can discuss what to do about it.

    Otherwise, I see no reason going down another hypothetical of yours that you won’t stand on the REALITY.

  72. paoburen
    July 10th, 2014 at 20:03 | #72

    @Black Pheonix

    So if I agree with your preconceived notions we can have a chat, and if I don’t then I am just simply wrong and should not write anymore? Sorry, your reality is YOURS, that does not make it objective.

    As Allen pointed out above, “And depending on one’s politics, one see one thing or another.”

    It is indisputable that American media is more free to write about controversies than Chinese media. Do I need to prove to you that China has more media censorship than the USA?

    http://en.rsf.org/report-china,57.html

    http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/china#.U79S5fldXQA

    http://www.cfr.org/china/media-censorship-china/p11515

    This is not my opinion, this is not hypothetical. This is just factual — Chinese media is more censored, biased and filtered than American media. This does NOT mean that American media is without these issues, but to say they are one and the same is clearly incorrect.

    There is distrust about how the PRC is presented by foreign media, but let us be honest, if China were not so restrictive of how its own citizens report news, then the trust-deficit would not be so tremendous. Foreign media feels the need to report no the stories that are simply wiped from the Chinese media for the reason that they are not beholden to the government’s socialist powers over its own citizens.

    I posted links, I am not being hypothetical. Please do not misrepresent me! Have a conversation with me!

    “The mission of Hidden Harmonies is to articulate and seek out Chinese perspectives, smart perspectives, and translations of Chinese perspectives from around world. It is run by people who love China. It is about fostering a community of intellectual and influential citizens from around the world interested in China to comment, discuss, praise or critique (as the case may be) a world that is fast-changing.”

  73. July 10th, 2014 at 21:51 | #73

    @paoburen

    This is not my opinion, this is not hypothetical. This is just factual — Chinese media is more censored, biased and filtered than American media. This does NOT mean that American media is without these issues, but to say they are one and the same is clearly incorrect.

    These are not FACTS. They are propaganda – i.e. some selected facts and mostly hypotheticals. Remember what I discussed about Dalai Lama pictures? One restriction is reported as wholesale ban. It’s the narrative … the propaganda. The West is full of it. And these links you send, they represent places that I believe are some of the most hypocritical, politicized, propagandized sources of info.

    Besides have you ever checked out that freedom index at http://rsf.org/index2014/data/2014_wpfi_methodology.pdf? I laugh … because the methodology is so subjective, so meaningless.

    It’s hard to compare what’s free and what’s not free because it’s not just about gov’t, it’s also about the journalists, the people’s reception to info, about state of the nation, politics, etc.

    U.S. populace is some of the least informed, bigoted, ignorant bunch. U.S. media is some of the systematically biased, ill-informed lot.

    That I do know.

    We are now going into details that shape our worldviews …

    If you want to know my worldview, read our featured posts, and all the posts I have written here. Read all the comments I have written. And you will probably get .1% of my worldview…. So … it’s probably pointless for me to write more on this.

    But as a treat, check out this link. http://www.globalissues.org/article/163/media-in-the-united-states

    Read the first quote. “I challenge anybody to show me an example of bias in Fox News Channel.”

    I am guessing based on what you have written that you will laugh. But I challenge you to imaging that you have to convince someone saying that he’s wrong. It won’t be simple. I feel like we are at that point.

  74. paoburen
    July 10th, 2014 at 23:22 | #74

    @Allen

    While USA media can be full of distortions, there are no real blocks on people speaking their minds, and the internet is free and available. I can write anything I want on the USA internet and not have it deleted. I can publish the most insane pamphlets and hand them around my neighbourhood. I can write blasphemies and lies and so on and not receive any punishment. I can be ostracised by the community, sure, but I won’t be invited to a police station and threatened.

    Are 24 hour news stations garbage? Yep. Are all newspapers in America garbage? Nope. In the USA, it is possible to read many angles of the same story from different ideological bents. Recently, for example, given German-USA espionage issues, I was able to read stories that take all sides of the story — Germany deserves it, America is wrong, and a more middle-ground that tolerates both parties.

    So, for example, take a site like this: http://www.alternet.org/

    This goes well against the status-quo in the USA, it’s honestly a democratic socialist paper if anything. These sorts of anti-establishment papers are not on the Chinese internet. Can you show me some? Perhaps I am not searching well enough, and I assume you speak Chinese better than me, so you may have better luck searching. I cannot read traditional characters, so Taiwanese/HK papers are out of the question.

    In China, posts are regularly deleted if they say something against the status quo. If I print a pamphlet that is offensive and filled with lies I can be thrown into jail. If I criticise a local leader who wears fancy watches and has many houses I can be threatened and silenced. Now, we can either believe 1) Chinese news is honest and doesn’t report these things because they never happen; 2) western media reports this stuff and its all lies; or 3) these things happen, but Chinese media downplays it and western media plays it up. Which is it?

    The following site is not lying, because in China many of these phrases and topics are just unable to be searched for — the results come up with a network time-out:

    http://www.cfr.org/china/media-censorship-china/p11515

    This is not an issue of methodology. Entire sites simply disappear.

    Do you honestly believe that in China people have the freedom to protest when they are wronged by their government? Do you honestly people who are not satisfied with the status-quo in China, and there are some disaffected people, have the ability to speak their minds, protest their leaders decisions, etc.? Take the ability for citizens to protest local government problems to Beijing — do you believe this adequately exists for the people?

    I guess my question is, do you believe the current situation of speech for citizens in China is acceptable? That Chinese people, when cheated by businesses, other citizens, or government, have the ability to speak up? I do not mean their voice will make a substantial difference, but can they even speak without it being deleted, or without being threatened by powers that be — local business/local government, same thing at this point? What is the saying… “The mountains are high, and the emperor is far away”. I always hear over and over again in China, “If only Beijing knew!” As though all local problems could be magically solved!

    I do not mean to be harsh and get banned from this site… I honestly enjoy this place and enjoy the intellectual level of the conversations.

    Speaking of American media and how dumbed down, full of distortions, not helpful, etc. it has become, have you read the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman? If not, you may enjoy it.

    I do enjoy this site. It’s a good time to read, and it definitely causes me to question and rethink some of my perspectives. If anything, I suppose the site is carrying out its mission statement quite well!

  75. SinoXin
    July 11th, 2014 at 00:35 | #75

    First off I just wanted to say hi to everyone as this is my first post on this site (I’m a longtime reader/lurker but never posted anything till now). I love the discussions and topics on this blog and look forward to reading it when I’m at work. Though we can all agree China has many struggles and difficulties, I believe there are a substantial amount of Chinese (whether born, raised, or are studying/working in the west) that appreciate and love both China and our adoptive western countries, but do notice a ridiculous anti-China slant or misperception that is prevalent out here. This blog basically puts most of my thoughts and feelings regarding the biased media against China into words (though sometimes heated debates on here can get a little out of hand haha).

    @paoburen

    I just wanted to reply to this censorship debate on China. I remember reading a research article from Harvard where an experiment was performed to measure the actual censorship environment in China. The results from that research actually concluded that China actively censors any topics that may result in any collective action or protest, rather than just criticism about the state, society etc. The article further explains that many posts created just for criticism or discussion of touchy subjects usually weren’t subject to censorship. Even without this article, a thorough observation of conversational trends throughout the years show that controversial topics are actually regularly and publicly discussed in China whether on the internet, social media, or even radio talk shows that you can listen in (a favorite of taxi drivers). The main things censored are, as previously mentioned; any topics that call for collective mass action or result in collective action (protests, strikes), or rumors that may cause any adverse public harm from confusion or panic (like when Bo Xilai was under investigation some weibo posts spread the rumour around that a coup was taking place in Beijing and tanks were seen in the city).

    I’ll link the Harvard articles below (PDFs and urls):
    http://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/experiment_0.pdf

    http://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/censored.pdf

    http://gking.harvard.edu/publications/randomized-experimental-study-censorship-china

    http://gking.harvard.edu/publications/how-censorship-china-allows-government-criticism-silences-collective-expression

  76. July 11th, 2014 at 00:58 | #76

    @paoburen

    Yes I do believe that the current situation of speech overall for Chinese citizens are acceptable. People are free to speak whatever they want. The diversity of criticism and opinions are really truly astounding.

    Sure there are corrupt gov’t officials who censor speech for their own interests … but the problem is not just censorship per se, it’s corruption. They censor, they accept bribe, they breach the trust that people and the nation have placed in them….

    You might be interested in this study by harvard researchers last year.

    http://gking.harvard.edu/publications/how-censorship-china-allows-government-criticism-silences-collective-expression

    We offer the first large scale, multiple source analysis of the outcome of what may be the most extensive effort to selectively censor human expression ever implemented. To do this, we have devised a system to locate, download, and analyze the content of millions of social media posts originating from nearly 1,400 different social media services all over China before the Chinese government is able to find, evaluate, and censor (i.e., remove from the Internet) the large subset they deem objectionable. Using modern computer-assisted text analytic methods that we adapt to and validate in the Chinese language, we compare the substantive content of posts censored to those not censored over time in each of 85 topic areas. Contrary to previous understandings, posts with negative, even vitriolic, criticism of the state, its leaders, and its policies are not more likely to be censored. Instead, we show that the censorship program is aimed at curtailing collective action by silencing comments that represent, reinforce, or spur social mobilization, regardless of content. Censorship is oriented toward attempting to forestall collective activities that are occurring now or may occur in the future — and, as such, seem to clearly expose government intent.

    I have not talked to researchers about their methodology so I won’t comment too much about their conclusion. But note what they say: Chinese gov’t doesn’t censor politically sensitive content on the whole. If they censor, it’s done in a way that is “content neutral” – as lawyers in the U.S. would say – which is not bad really….

    China does censor however if it looks like the speech is going to spur mass mobilization and social unrest. And sometimes I concede I do feel some officials may be too fearful of social unrest. But that’s not such a bad thing in my opinion.

    For the U.S. imagine another 911. The notion of “freedom” will quickly change. China has suffered a million 911’s in the last century … So their notion of “freedom” is very different. People don’t want the freedom to spill whatever opinion they want … regardless of consequences. They want the freedom to make better lives for themselves and their children.

    My anecdotal sense is that the researchers’ conclusions are an oversimplification: it’s partly true and partly false. It’s false in the sense that Chinese gov’t actually support dissemination of information, of netizen input on social problems and gov’t corruption of all sorts. It’s true in that the Chinese gov’t doesn’t want though are things that inflame, that incite, that mobilze people to action based on emotion, based on rumor, that put salt in the wounds on fissures that exist in society … fissures that can’t be closed anytime soon…

    Note that China as a developing society has more fissures in society than developed nations, so a person from developed nation might not appreciate why China need to do this. Further, China is a huge nation. Imagine you travelling from U.K. to France to Spain to Germany to Poland etc, and aggregate the restrictions on speech you get, you will get a lot, because the cultural political backgrounds are so different. (see e.g. http://www.europeandme.eu/11brain/570-european-myth-freedom-of-expression, http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/01/eus-commitment-freedom-expression-freedom-information-hate-speech/, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/24/opinion/24iht-edrojan.html). Well China is a very culturally diverse nation … and many balances have to be made to ensure people don’t intentionally stroke the fissures.

    In any case, if the U.S. or Europe does come across speech that will cause social problems, they will supress it too. If it turns out China suppress more, it’s because there are more fissures that can erupt – a condition of development – not intolerance per se.

    You might also be interested in this from carnegie mellon a couple of years ago.

    http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3943/3169

    Abstract is here:

    With Twitter and Facebook blocked in China, the stream of information from Chinese domestic social media provides a case study of social media behavior under the influence of active censorship. While much work has looked at efforts to prevent access to information in China (including IP blocking of foreign Web sites or search engine filtering), we present here the first large–scale analysis of political content censorship in social media, i.e., the active deletion of messages published by individuals.

    In a statistical analysis of 56 million messages (212,583 of which have been deleted out of 1.3 million checked, more than 16 percent) from the domestic Chinese microblog site Sina Weibo, and 11 million Chinese–language messages from Twitter, we uncover a set a politically sensitive terms whose presence in a message leads to anomalously higher rates of deletion. We also note that the rate of message deletion is not uniform throughout the country, with messages originating in the outlying provinces of Tibet and Qinghai exhibiting much higher deletion rates than those from eastern areas like Beijing.

    I read the study carefully and corresponded with the authors through a series of emails probing for their methodology. Here is a blog entry I wrote when I was still a fellow at stanford regarding the study.

    http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2012/03/carnegie-mellon-study-censorship-and-deletion-practices-chinese-social-media

    If I have to summarize, these authors are guilty of finding in data what they presumed was there.

    Oh … by the way, I do read http://www.alternet.org/ sometimes. I also read http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/, http://www.counterpunch.org, http://antiwar, http://www.infowars.com/.

    They sometimes bring interesting perspectives … but for the most part, they are bland. They offer limited perspectives. They sing different parts of the same song in a choir. There may be counter-melodies, but they do not bring on a new song, a paradigm change. They all drink from the same post-WWII narrative America has spun, subscribe to the propaganda about democracy, rule of law, human rights … similar narratives on the West’s place in the world…

  77. July 11th, 2014 at 01:05 | #77

    @SinoXin

    Thanks for the harvard links! You beat me to them! 🙂

  78. SinoXin
    July 11th, 2014 at 01:23 | #78

    @Allen

    Lol no problem. I’m glad you decided to continue the blog, it’s a good read for the workdays.

  79. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 11th, 2014 at 04:35 | #79

    @paoburen

    “I can write anything I want on the USA internet and not have it deleted. I can publish the most insane pamphlets and hand them around my neighbourhood. I can write blasphemies and lies and so on and not receive any punishment. I can be ostracised by the community, sure, but I won’t be invited to a police station and threatened.”

    The following article reveals that the FBI/NSA/CIA have been monitoring the activities of Muslim-Americans who are upstanding citizens and have never committed any suspicious activities.

    Faisal Gill is a Muslim-american lawyer who works for Homeland Security. After he quit his job at Homeland Security in 2005, he was put on surveillance with all of his emails, phone conversations, daily activities, private and public under scrutiny. This guy did not do anything that would rouse suspicion and don’t forget he’s got top level security clearance yet he is being targeted because he is a Muslim.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/07/09/under-surveillance/

    Not too long ago, the head of the Canadian spy agency, CSIS, accused Chinese-Canadians of being spies for China, yet there was never one thread of evidence provided and not one Chinese has been outed as a spy. The common excuse was that CSIS cannot provide any evidence because that would reveal state secrets and in turn that would jeopardize the safety of the Canadian field spooks.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/government-infiltrated-by-spies-csis-boss-says/article4392618/

    And last year, there was this big wide open case of CSIS outing a spy for Russia. It was all over the newspapers and a lot of details were publicized.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-spy-jeffrey-delisle-gets-20-years-for-selling-secrets-to-russia/article8390425/

    Western freedom of the press is not free for Muslims and Chinese. It seems like you don’t have to do anything wrong, if they cannot find anything, they will simply accuse you of doing it. There is a certain hypocrisy with the Western logic that is nauseating. At least the Chinese government is being honest about it.

    I don’t know about censorship in China because I have never been there, but from the Chinese students that I have met here in Vancouver, they are quite aware of the issues on Tiananmien, Tibet and censorship. They appear to be quite critically objective on the issues unlike the brainwashed idiots we have here in the US and Canada that react to the Pavlovian trance of China-Bad, West-Good.

    As an experiment, you should go to the CBC.ca (the Canadian state media) and when there is an article about China, try to post a comment that is pro China but factual and you will find that your comment either never shows up or it will show up about 10 hours later when your point is no longer significant. On the other hand, post something that is completely false but anti-China and you will see your comment showing up almost instantly, like in a few seconds.

    “I can write anything I want on the USA internet and not have it deleted. I can publish the most insane pamphlets and hand them around my neighbourhood. ”

    Maybe you can write anything you want, but Snowden, Manning, Assange, are obviously having problems because of something they have said on the internet.

  80. Black Pheonix
    July 11th, 2014 at 07:39 | #80

    @paoburen

    “So if I agree with your preconceived notions we can have a chat, and if I don’t then I am just simply wrong and should not write anymore? Sorry, your reality is YOURS, that does not make it objective.”

    You are the one making the assertions, those are your preconceived notions.

    “It is indisputable that American media is more free to write about controversies than Chinese media. Do I need to prove to you that China has more media censorship than the USA?
    http://en.rsf.org/report-china,57.html
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/china#.U79S5fldXQA
    http://www.cfr.org/china/media-censorship-china/p11515
    This is not my opinion, this is not hypothetical. This is just factual — Chinese media is more censored, biased and filtered than American media. This does NOT mean that American media is without these issues, but to say they are one and the same is clearly incorrect.”

    Those are your assertions, not facts, and opinions from others are not PROOF.

    (1) as I asked you, do you even have a “standard” for your comparison? NOPE. Then how are you even comparing?

    (2) Did you prove your “standard” is objective? NOPE. Then what the F are you talking about “more free”?

    (3) Did you actually COMPARE 2 countries’ data to show which is “more free”?? NOPE, you cherry picked 1 country’s opinion of another as data.

    So, YES, you do need to prove your assertions, instead of just repeatedly calling them “facts”.

    And you obviously don’t know how to prove your assertions.

    So, Consider this as YET another WARNING TO YOU: If you continue to repeat your assertions without actual proof, your assertions will be considered SPAM, subject to moderation.

    Others have given their counter evidence to your assertion, So unless you can show others’ evidence as WRONG somehow, your assertion on this point of who is “more free” is thoroughly debunked.

    If you continue to repeat the same assertions, with more 1-sided opinion data as evidence, I will consider you as trying to SPAM this forum!

  81. paoburen
    July 11th, 2014 at 09:18 | #81

    @Allen

    Thanks for your link (and SinoXin!). As you said, it feels like we are just talking past each other. I have lived in China for several years and I strongly disagree with you given my experiences. That is fine.

    Ideas about developing nations and historical experience are quite relevant. At the same time, I think if China wants to assert itself as a superpower it is important to stop hiding behind its history and its developing status. China is basically developed in the eastern provinces at this point, and the nation’s lopsided development is a choice that is (hopefully) going to be remedied in the next few decades.

    Where I live, lots of land acquisitions have recently happened. People are pissed. People are being paid maybe 5% of what the sale price is on the new apartments, but all the apartments are sold and left fallow. The local people are kept quiet. This is unfair, they may grumble publicly about the officials, and with HARSH language, but they know they cannot write about it in their newspaper, hold a public demonstration, etc. These people earn maybe 3,000rmb a month (AFTER their government transfers). They have absolutely NO future. Their children cannot afford good schools, etc. It is sad. And rather than have a national conversation about so-called urbanisation, the phrase shows up in the news as though it’s the holy gospel!

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    Once again, two wrongs do not make a right…

    Snowden and Manning both used their career positions to STEAL information. If I march into work this week, copy proprietary data on a thumb-drive, and then post it online, is that “free speech”? Nope. That is theft. I will go to jail given my contracts I have signed.

    @Black Pheonix

    Here is my data point: I can load Baidu just fine in the USA, but since the end of May Google has been unable to load in China without trying 3-7 times. It is censorship to tell me which search engine I may or may not use.

    1) My standard: Can I access information that may put the ruling regime in a bad light? In the USA yes, in China, not really. A few years back, AJE was blocked during the Wukan Protests, for example.

    2) I think this is objective — do entire sites disappear/not exist on the internet? In the USA no, I cannot find any sites that simply do not load; in the China yes, many sites simply will not load. You can rationalise WHY these sites are blocked, but it does not change that they ARE blocked.

    3) lol yes, all three links I posted are just “opinions”. Is it also my “opinion” that I cannot use a google search engine in China?

    Unfortunately, I am not in China right now. When I return, I can happily post screenshots of all the websites that cannot load or require 3-7 attempts. I have found ZERO websites that cannot load on my USA internet connection. Can you find me a few websites that will not load on the USA internet — do not hide behind your “google puts it low on the search-list” argument, because that is irrelevant to my point. I mean direct-in-the-URL-box.

  82. Black Pheonix
    July 11th, 2014 at 09:38 | #82

    @paoburen

    “Here is my data point: I can load Baidu just fine in the USA, but since the end of May Google has been unable to load in China without trying 3-7 times. It is censorship to tell me which search engine I may or may not use.
    1) My standard: Can I access information that may put the ruling regime in a bad light? In the USA yes, in China, not really. A few years back, AJE was blocked during the Wukan Protests, for example.
    2) I think this is objective — do entire sites disappear/not exist on the internet? In the USA no, I cannot find any sites that simply do not load; in the China yes, many sites simply will not load. You can rationalise WHY these sites are blocked, but it does not change that they ARE blocked.
    3) lol yes, all three links I posted are just “opinions”. Is it also my “opinion” that I cannot use a google search engine in China?”

    None of what you wrote is valid “comparison”.

    (1) It’s already proved that US “blocks” information puts US in bad light. Your “standard” is not proven by your personal anecdote.

    (2) It’s subjective to you. Google has entire lists of US take down orders.

    (3) Yes, it’s your OPINION as to which ones you are choosing to search. You obviously have not shown any “comparison” of all the links/contents blocked by US (which you have admitted as blocked).

    Like I said, you are cherry picking your data as your BS “fact”, of which ones you can or cannot load.

    So, here is the end for that.

    Since you don’t know how to prove a “comparison”, you are done on this subject. I’m not going to accept any more of your SPAM.

  83. July 11th, 2014 at 10:43 | #83

    @paoburen
    Land dispute is a problem. A large part of local gov’ts budget is funded by land taxes, land sales, etc. This has led to perverse incentives and many instances of corruption. This is not a censorship issue per se … it’s a large problem that has been recognized, and the central gov’t is actively seeking netizens’ tips on getting down on corrupt officials.

    I have found ZERO websites that cannot load on my USA internet connection. Can you find me a few websites that will not load on the USA internet — do not hide behind your “google puts it low on the search-list” argument, because that is irrelevant to my point.

    I have discussed before … but at the risk of repeating … The U.S. controls the Internet. Most of the sites people access are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. – e.g. facebook, twitter, google, gmail, youtube, wikipedia, yahoo, blogpost, etc., etc. The U.S. does not need to block websites because it simply ask these sites to remove info. Most of this is done secretively, but even some of it is publicly known (or see e.g. this comment).

    Chinese’s great firewall is not about censorship, it’s about West’s continued flaunting of Chinese interests. Thanks for Snowden, we already know U.S. tech companies (Apple, google, microsoft, facebook etc.) have complied with U.S. gov’t on surveilling its citiznes (e.g. http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/6/4403868/nsa-fbi-mine-data-apple-google-facebook-microsoft-others-prism).. They do the same in terms of removing information deemed a threat to U.S. security, interests, or to spur social unrest. All big companies have to work with the gov’t because they cannot afford not to. They similarly comply to takedown and shut down orders from the gov’t. But when China make similar requests for their national security, these companies shrug and ignores … hence the firewall. China can’t have a large segment of its population outside its jurisdiction…

    It’s not just site takedowns or censorship or surveillance … I am talking about things that are much broader – jursidiction. When wikileaks disclosed documents the U.S. deems sensitive, the U.S. couldn’t shut it down because its servers were located outside the U.S. So, the U.S. tried to block it (the U.S. did not the great firewall, but it attempted to block it where it could, by library of congress, for federal workers, national archive, armed forces, etc.), and also enlisted U.S. companies to interrupt its services where they could, stop payment processing, disrupt dns routing, etc., as I had reflected here. If wikileaks did the same to China, China could only block it.

    So China’s firewall is a result of China’s limited jurisdiction and the Western companies (which dominate the internet still) collective shrugging off of Chinese interests. These companies are under the thumb and control of the U.S. so the U.S. need not do the same. These companies are generally sympathetic to U.S. allies’ interests, too … so these nations also need not do same, but as interests of these nations diverge, as other nations work through Snowden’s relevations, you may see increasingly different nations trying to copy Chinese model (see e.g. http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2010/03/16/what-does-internet-censorship-mean/, http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1995615,00.html, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/08/07/cens-a07.html).

  84. Black Pheonix
    July 11th, 2014 at 11:00 | #84

    @Allen

    1 thing that’s well known to be censored in US, is the “gag order” for censoring contents on internet and for monitoring people.

    The FACT of the matter is, the SECRET orders do exist in US, but by law, the public is NOT allowed to even know about them, or to discuss them. (In either quantity or quality of such SECRET orders).

    “A national security letter (18 U.S.C. § 2709), an administrative subpoena used by the FBI, has an attached gag order which restricts the recipient from ever saying anything about being served with one. The government has issued hundreds of thousands of such NSLs accompanied with gag orders. The gag orders have been upheld in court.”

    So, 100’s of 1000’s of such “gag orders” in US preventing people from publicly discussing issues.

    The effect of this is also intimidating people from using forums to discuss issues, for fear of being monitored or subpoena’ed themselves.

  85. July 11th, 2014 at 11:10 | #85

    @Black Pheonix

    The effect of this is also intimidating people from using forums to discuss issues, for fear of being monitored or subpoena’ed themselves.

    This brings me to a point that I want to share with everyone here. While I do not publicly announce myself my identity here, anyone who has been here for any amount of time knows who I am, as I often link to things with my real name, and I actually used my entire name (last and first) as my handle here.

    The site is run by a host that has my credit card info, my home address, etc. If the U.S. gov’t wants me, they will get me.

    I feel I can write whatever I want, and I can do the same in China, too, because I do not intend to subvert the gov’t. I write to try to enlighten, to articulate. I do not advocate overthrowing the U.S. gov’t or Chinese gov’t. I do not incite either…

    Call that self-censorship. But I have a responsibility as a U.S. citizen also.

    Whatever I write, I am comfortable standing in front of my colleagues standing up for what I write… Hopefully that frames what I write in context also.

  86. Black Pheonix
    July 11th, 2014 at 11:20 | #86

    @Allen

    Yes.

    And often with US and UK, “censorship” is PRIOR restraint. Which means, if someone is censored, they often won’t even have a web link, because the newspapers/ISP’s won’t even publish their stuff, under a SECRET gag order.

    There are 100,000’s of US “secret” gag orders issued. That’s 100,000’s of items of information that I can’t access, without any explanations to the public, because even the explanation is deemed secret.

    And some still pretend they have “more free” access in US? Oh please!

  87. paoburen
    July 11th, 2014 at 11:41 | #87

    @Allen

    But I can read anti-USA and anti-West sites in Chinese easily in the USA. None of the Chinese internet, aside from copyright films/TV, are blocked. This is different. If the USA started to block anti-USA websites in CHINESE LANGUAGE, then you would have a point. I have no limitations on the access to Chinese language internet in the USA.

    @Black Pheonix

    Can you show me one website that will not load in the USA? I named several sites that are 100% blocked or purposely slowed down to the point of irrelevance in the China.

    Let us take an example: If there was a Chinese-Snowden, a person who worked in the Chinese national security apparatus who stole secret documents and published them internationally, do you think in China you could write a website that praises him? Yes or no. In the USA, you openly talk about Snowden, would China grant you the same openness?

  88. paoburen
    July 11th, 2014 at 11:44 | #88

    @Black Pheonix

    MODERATED FOR SPAM

  89. Black Pheonix
    July 11th, 2014 at 11:48 | #89

    @paoburen

    “Can you show me one website that will not load in the USA? I named several sites that are 100% blocked or purposely slowed down to the point of irrelevance in the China.”

    Your question is ridiculously narrow and irrelevant. “Free speech” is not restricted to whether YOU (or some other individuals) can access some web links.

    US has 100,000’s of SECRET gag orders. If you can tell me how you can get those information onto a website, then perhaps you have some relevance.

    And this is my counter-evidence to your assertion that US is “more free”, because US has 100,000’s of items of information SECRETLY gagged, without public discussion, none of which is allowed to be discussed on any website, under threat of PRISON terms.

    If you cannot disprove this counter-evidence, then you are done on this line of questioning.

    Repeat it, and you will be moderated.

  90. July 11th, 2014 at 13:26 | #90

    @paoburen

    But I can read anti-USA and anti-West sites in Chinese easily in the USA. None of the Chinese internet, aside from copyright films/TV, are blocked. This is different. If the USA started to block anti-USA websites in CHINESE LANGUAGE, then you would have a point. I have no limitations on the access to Chinese language internet in the USA.

    Two points.

    U.S. is known to sponsor / host dissents from other nations. It has lots of NGOs that target to destabilize other countries. China doesn’t. So … you aren’t going to find that many anti-USA websites in China. In fact, you will find many (too many?) pro-USA websites.

    Second, at the risk of repeating myself again for our readers, I have stated that the U.S. and its allies command an unprecedented amount of pure military power in the world. It and its allies outspend the rest of the world by something like 10:1. The amount of threat they face is fundamentally different from the threat a nation like China faces. Hence, the type of restrictions each use will be different. I touched on that subject in this post.

    These two observations plus the fact that the U.S. still command jurisdiction over most of the Internet asset in the world (just discussed in above comments) … and the fact that most Americans don’t read Chinese … and you will see why the U.S. need not block China’s websites. As I referred in passing above, does China need to host subversive activities against other nations in its territories to prove it’s “free”?

    Let us take an example: If there was a Chinese-Snowden, a person who worked in the Chinese national security apparatus who stole secret documents and published them internationally, do you think in China you could write a website that praises him? Yes or no. In the USA, you openly talk about Snowden, would China grant you the same openness?

    Snowden is a controversial figure in the U.S. Many demonize him, but many also praise him. In my view, Snowden put U.S. in a bad light, but hardly does anything that really threaten the U.S.

    But imagine a Snowden that poses a true threat. I don’t see too many websites in the U.S. praising bin laden even though as you conceded his ideology is definitely interesting.

    And even bin laden poses only limited threat to the U.S….

    I’ll repeat again, to discuss freedom, you can’t just discuss what’s said, you have to have a good understanding of the social-economic-political-geopolical context … which is what makes it so difficult.

  91. July 11th, 2014 at 14:47 | #91

    To follow up on my previous comment on why U.S. doesn’t need firewall and China does to conduct internet censorship … and why many of the rest of the world don’t …

    Let’s do a specific example, holocaust denial. Germany outlaws it, many other nations don’t. But companies like Twitter and Google (youtube) adheres to Germany’s policy and censors materials that denies holocaust.

    From http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Germany:

    The first known case of internet censorship in Germany occurred in 1996, when the Verein zur Förderung eines Deutschen Forschungsnetzes banned some IP addresses from internet access.[7]

    Germany bans content showing Far Right material as well as content protected by the GEMA. YouTube for instance blocks various videos including music videos and video game screencasts which contain protected music tracks within the game. YouTube also doesn’t show videos which are banned: they don’t appear on channel pages or in search results, German users can only discover these videos if they are part of a playlist but will not be able to watch them anyway as they are blocked. The site Grooveshark is not available in Germany at all because of issues with the GEMA. Just as the issues with copyright protected material, Germany also blocks content containing Far Right material -– even Twitter has blocked a user’s account in Germany.

    Twitter has a censorship program now that honors German’s request to censor far right political materials, uphold French laws against “insulting” bureaucrats, respect libel laws in Australia and Portugal that in the U.S. would be considered “censorship,” British sensitivity to gay rights, blasphemy in Pakistan and pro-Ukranian tweets in Russia, and sensitive tweets about Fukushima in Japan (Japanese media even went to the extent of censoring Japan’s own emperor regarding the accident).

    Facebook, Google … all these companies respects the interests of U.S. allies and comply with laws of them. Google even bent to German laws to delete information (against the core “principles” of freedom and transparency) in the name of “privacy.”

    With everyone bending backwards to respect each other, however no respect is shown for China’s laws or norms.

    Of all the nations in the world that is truly independent, you can probably count just Russia and China. Russia the U.S. does respect. China it doesn’t. There is just this worldview that any restriction of speech in China is censorship while in other places, it’s about respecting others’ laws.

    One must understand the overall geopolitics to understand Chinese “censorship” policy. Why is China the only nation with a firewall? Well I ask, why is China the only nation with the capability to participate to be locked out of the “International” Space Station Program? It is because the U.S. doesn’t embrace and respect China’s political independence.

    But China is large enough to go its own way – in space and in Internet – if need be. This is ultimately why these companies are banned in China – to preserve and advance China’s political independence.

  92. paoburen
    July 11th, 2014 at 15:13 | #92

    @Black Pheonix

    You miss my point again… I am NOT denying that the USA has censorship. I am not denying that USA censorship is a problem. In addition, I was trying to talk about China, but instead you would rather just discuss the USA. That is fine.

    I will leave it at that, I have said my piece and others have said theirs. That is what is great about this website — free flow of ideas.

    @Allen

    Interesting viewpoints, as always.

    Most Chinese do not read English… Sorry, I have lived there for several years and the level of English language is horrid outside of Hong Kong. While it is probably true that a smaller percentage of Americans read Chinese than Chinese who read English, it’s hardly as though most Chinese are competent in English. Heck, many Chinese are barely competent in Mandarin — which explains why Chinese, at least in Guangdong where I live, must take tests to prove they can speak Mandarin.

    I do wonder why China reacts so poorly when Chinese firms are banned from foreign markets, such as Huawei has been. It seems like China would easily comprehend the need to ban foreign companies to preserve independence.

  93. July 11th, 2014 at 15:56 | #93

    @paoburen

    Most Chinese do not read English….

    I am a little confused. I had written “most Americans don’t read Chinese” – or am I missing a point somewhere?

    I do wonder why China reacts so poorly when Chinese firms are banned from foreign markets, such as Huawei has been. It seems like China would easily comprehend the need to ban foreign companies to preserve independence.

    Very good point. Some Chinese observers have advocated that … and one of the fallout from the Snowden revelations may indeed be that… But to be honest, China needs foreign companies, for their current know-how, but also as benchmarks against which new Chinese companies have to compete and rise up to … before China can achieve first world status.

    And big picture: despite the ideological battle between the West and China … on practical levels, the relationship is still friendly. I do hope that continues… Also China’s independence doesn’t mean China has to be the West’s enemy….

  94. Black Pheonix
    July 11th, 2014 at 16:48 | #94

    @paoburen

    “You miss my point again… I am NOT denying that the USA has censorship. I am not denying that USA censorship is a problem. In addition, I was trying to talk about China, but instead you would rather just discuss the USA. That is fine.
    I will leave it at that, I have said my piece and others have said theirs. That is what is great about this website — free flow of ideas.”

    NO, you were trying to assert US is “more free”, as an “indisputable” fact.

    You wrote, “It is indisputable that American media is more free to write about controversies than Chinese media. Do I need to prove to you that China has more media censorship than the USA?”

    I rather talk about how your “talk about China” is based on you making up BS about USA, and then pretend you don’t want to talk about USA.

    If you don’t want to talk about US, then there is no such thing as “free speech”, because there is no basis for comparison for you.

    By China’s own standards, it has “free speech”. It’s “free” as China defines it. So, take your definition of “free speech” and go jump off a bridge.

  95. paoburen
    July 11th, 2014 at 17:55 | #95

    @Allen

    “… and the fact that most Americans don’t read Chinese … and you will see why the U.S. need not block China’s websites. ”

    This implies that China needs to block English websites because Chinese can read English, no? In China, much of the English language web is not available, but in America, all of the Chinese web, even the fervent anti-Americanism, is fully accessible. If anti-Americanism in the Chinese language is easy to access in the USA because “most Americans don’t read Chinese” but in China anti-Sino writings are banned, it concludes because many Chinese can read English?

    As someone with a Chinese firm, I find the anti-foreigner sentiment disturbing. I am happy to see you are open-minded to the fact that China does not need to ban all the foreigners because they are worthless — this is a sentiment I have heard often, ironically from neighbours who work for Nissan’s engineering department!

    @Black Pheonix

    MODERATED FOR REPEATING GIBBERISH QUESTION BELOW

    You refer to secret cables and secret gags of what is not accessible in the USA. I would love it if you can go on the Chinese internet and find a me a website or two that will not load on my USA internet connection. Because frankly, you have no proof minus a few websites, and those websites I call biased propaganda against the American state, meant to defame and spread lies and rumours.

  96. Black Pheonix
    July 11th, 2014 at 18:55 | #96

    @paoburen

    “you have no proof minus a few websites, and those websites I call biased propaganda against the American state, meant to defame and spread lies and rumours.”

    That’s enough proof (by your own admission) that you have been cherry picking and “self-censoring” data.

  97. July 11th, 2014 at 19:26 | #97

    @paoburen

    This implies that China needs to block English websites because Chinese can read English, no? In China, much of the English language web is not available, but in America, all of the Chinese web, even the fervent anti-Americanism, is fully accessible. If anti-Americanism in the Chinese language is easy to access in the USA because “most Americans don’t read Chinese” but in China anti-Sino writings are banned, it concludes because many Chinese can read English?

    Please don’t cherrypick what I wrote and read in context.

    I wrote:

    These two observations plus the fact that the U.S. still command jurisdiction over most of the Internet asset in the world (just discussed in above comments) … and the fact that most Americans don’t read Chinese … and you will see why the U.S. need not block China’s websites.

    “These two observations” refer to 1.) U.S. actively supporting active programs that destablize other countries; 2.) U.S. is militarily secure in a way that China cannot dream of.

    But to your specific point that whether China needs to block U.S. site when most of its citizens don’t speak English that well. My response, definitely more people – a lot more – people in China speak / read English than people in U.S. speak / read Chinese … and qualitatively a lot better. English is the International Language. English is a required curriculum for primary school as well as state employees. Do we need to debate this?

    As someone with a Chinese firm, I find the anti-foreigner sentiment disturbing. I am happy to see you are open-minded to the fact that China does not need to ban all the foreigners because they are worthless — this is a sentiment I have heard often, ironically from neighbours who work for Nissan’s engineering department!

    Now I am getting lost again … what’s the relevance?

    you have no proof minus a few websites, and those websites I call biased propaganda against the American state, meant to defame and spread lies and rumours.

    I admit, there are few websites with biased propaganda against the American state – but how many with real propaganda, i.e. defamation and lies and rumors has a real chance of destablizing America?

    Unfortunately, many, many – way too many – Western websites do systematically feature information that routinely are meant to defame and spread lies and rumors about the Chinese state.

    Sigh…

  98. paoburen
    July 11th, 2014 at 20:10 | #98

    @Allen

    “Unfortunately, many, many – way too many – Western websites do systematically feature information that routinely are meant to defame and spread lies and rumors about the Chinese state.”

    I do believe if China had a more open media environment then foreign sites would not have the power they do have the destabilise. Fact is, most non-Chinese do not trust Chinese media given current rules, and this is what pushes them towards sites that often do use biases and stretch the truth.

    It’s unfortunate, and while you argue that Chinese censorship of discussion is necessary given history and current situation, the solution only creates other problems.

    China has a history of trying to export revolution in the developing world — just as the USA does. Do not ignore history, please.

  99. July 11th, 2014 at 22:36 | #99

    @paoburen

    I do believe if China had a more open media environment then foreign sites would not have the power they do have the destabilise. Fact is, most non-Chinese do not trust Chinese media given current rules, and this is what pushes them towards sites that often do use biases and stretch the truth.

    It’s unfortunate, and while you argue that Chinese censorship of discussion is necessary given history and current situation, the solution only creates other problems.

    Fair observation and fair argument. I don’t completely disagree and will leave it at that.

    China has a history of trying to export revolution in the developing world — just as the USA does. Do not ignore history, please.

    Please explain or cite … because I completely disagree.

  100. United Chinese Diaspora
    July 12th, 2014 at 14:05 | #100

    @paoburen

    “China has a history of trying to export revolution in the developing world — just as the USA does. Do not ignore history, please. ”

    Since the State of Washington legalized recreational marijuana, delusional comments like this are more prevalent.

    Maybe WA should legalize opium. The Chinese can certainly export some expertise in that area.

  101. Black Pheonix
    July 12th, 2014 at 14:36 | #101

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    I don’t think it’s MJ some are sniffing.

    I think the latest US drug craze, and perhaps more addicting, is called “Uncle Sam’s BS doesn’t Stink”.

    Because well, frankly, American kids just can’t afford the expensive drugs any more.

    (And well let’s also face it: the US kids are recycling the old BS propaganda from the 1980’s, and they still think there is gold in that pile of dung.)

  102. paoburen
    July 12th, 2014 at 16:32 | #102

    @Allen

    The support of North Vietnam, in conjunction with China, was essential to the triumph of the KR in the Cambodian civil war.[19] During the genocide, China was the main international patron of the KR, supplying more than 15,000 military advisers and most of their external aid.[20] As a result of Chinese and Western opposition to the Vietnamese invasion, the KR retained Cambodia’s UN seat until 1982.[21] China hosted KR military training camps from 1979 until at least 1986, and stationed military advisers with KR troops until as late as 1990.[21] After the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement, Thailand continued to allow KR guerillas to trade and move across the Thai border, although criticism from the U.S. and Australia caused it to disavow passing any direct military support.[22]

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

  103. Black Pheonix
    July 12th, 2014 at 16:45 | #103

    @paoburen

    Which part of that was “exporting revolution”?

    KR was formed in 1968 as an offshoot of the Vietnam People’s Army from North Vietnam.

    If any thing, KR was a negative reaction to US intervention in Vietnam.

  104. July 12th, 2014 at 17:35 | #104

    @paoburen
    Whew, talking of selective history! The PRC only supported the govn’t of Sihanouk but he was deposed by Lon Nol who has the backing of the US. Eventually Sihanouk turned to the Khmer Rouge to oust the subsequent Vietnamese invasion. The PRC would very much prefer a stable Kampuchea but was forced to get involved.

    It is the US that is expert in overthrowing foreign govn’t, did Iran, Chile, Indonesia, even the Republic of Vietnam ring any bell? If China is said to be exporting revolution it is from the US perspective. In China’s perspective China was offered no choice. For example, after WWII there are two govn’t in both Korea and Vietnam. Only one has diplomatic relationship with China so it is natural in a conflict China support the govn’t that it has relationship with. The same situation was extrapolate to Latin America, Africa, Asia etc.

    In China’s view, if you do not recognized us as a govn’t why should we recognize you? This was especially important in Africa as China eventually gained more and more recognition after the colonial or pro-colonial govn’t was overthrew. However, as soon as diplomatic relationship was established China’s support of the opposition would cease. For example, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore. Indonesia would be a special example, Indonesia under Suharto recognized the PRC, but after Sukarno diplomatic ties ceased and would be re-established later. For China it is a matter of getting enough recognition to get into the UN.

    The US would do it even to govn’t it has diplomatic relationship with, so who is actually causing destabilization and exporting revolution?

  105. paoburen
    July 12th, 2014 at 17:45 | #105

    @Ray

    It could be argued that the USA destabilised nations because of PRC and USSR meddling? I am not saying which is right or wrong, but you need to realise that the USA does not behave in a vacuum.

    “Since China bordered Vietnam, it was an immensely important conduit of material on land, although the Soviets also delivered some of its aid by sea. Soviet aid outstripped that of China, averaging over half a billion dollars per year in the later stages of the war, with some $700 million in 1967 alone.[6] China provided an estimated 150 million to 200 million annually, along with such in-kind aid as the deployment of thousands of troops in road and railway construction in the border provinces.[7] China also provided radar stations and airfields where North Vietnamese aircraft could marshal for attack, or flee to when in trouble against American air forces. These airbases were off-limits to American retaliation.[8]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Cong_and_Vietnam_People's_Army_logistics_and_equipment

    To pretend that China or the USA were innocent during the Cold War when it comes to meddling in other states internal affairs is selective reading of history. Perhaps one state is more guilty than the other, but neither is an angel.

  106. Black Pheonix
    July 12th, 2014 at 20:02 | #106

    @paoburen

    “It could be argued that the USA destabilised nations because of PRC and USSR meddling?”

    “meddling” is broader than “exporting revolution”. So, you should stop CHANGING your TERMINOLOGIES YET AGAIN!

    Providing aid and shelter is not “meddling”, nor “exporting revolution”.

    If China can’t even deploy troops and build bases in its own border provinces without being called “meddling”, then WHAT the F would you call US bases around the world?!

    “China provided an estimated 150 million to 200 million annually, along with such in-kind aid as the deployment of thousands of troops in road and railway construction in the border provinces.[7]”

    I seriously question how such numbers as “150 million to 200 million annually” in “aid” are derived, given even normal deployment in border provinces of China would be at least in the “thousands”.

  107. paoburen
    July 12th, 2014 at 21:00 | #107

    @Black Pheonix

    I did NOT change my meaning and intent. I used a different word.

    The PRC and USSR both attempted to export revolution in their communist heydays. The USA also attempted to export its own brand of revolution — so-called free market economics.

    Do you deny that the PRC was influential in the REVOLUTIONS in North Korea and Vietnam? How about Cambodia? It is not like the USA is the only country that tries to operate and manage Asia, and to blame America for everything in Asia is a curious reading of history. China is a big country, China can and does effect its neighbours!

    What do you call China sending military advisers and military weaponry to another country, especially one that hoped to change the national system into communist? I would call that EXPORTING revolution. It is also meddling in internal affairs — by trying to put THEIR system in place in ANOTHER country.

    Why do you always talk about the USA? I am talking about CHINA exporting revolution/meddling in foreign state’s affairs. The USA also does this. Like I said, neither is an angel.

    “I seriously question how such numbers as “150 million to 200 million annually” in “aid” are derived, given even normal deployment in border provinces of China would be at least in the “thousands”.”

    Hypothetical. What is “normal”? Can you please link to military statistics to back up your claims?

  108. July 12th, 2014 at 21:59 | #108

    @paoburen
    Your interpretation of history is so tainted by side taking it is shocking? One of the most important aspect in the study of history is in regard to timeline. No, China did not export revolution. It is an empty accusation by the US and its allies. For example, after WWII the US provided up to 8/10 of the military supplies used by the Dutch and French colonial forces to put down independence movement in Indonesia and Indo-China respectively. I would like to see how you justify those action?

    You are right that things don’t happen in a vacuum. However, China did not meddle in countries such as Iran, Indonesia, Chile that the US intelligent service eventually helped staged a coup. The Vietnam example you used failed the timeline test. The US support the French shortly after WWII and sent troops into Taiwan in 1950. The PRC only reacted to those hostile action.

    I thought you have a sense of what is right or wrong? How can you justify US action of upholding colonialism while it itself is a country that throw off the yoke of foreign domination. The PRC did what it believe was the right thing to do, that is to kick out the French colonizers. Another example, the PRC supported Nelson Mandela on day one while the US supported the apartheid govn’t. The US was clearly wrong when it supported the colonial authorities!

    @Black Pheonix
    During the 2nd Indo-China War, the USSR provided around $2.5 billion in weapon, equipment and other supplies, while the PRC provided around $2 billion. Those figure “150 million to 200 million annually” definitely means $.

  109. paoburen
    July 12th, 2014 at 22:16 | #109

    @Ray

    Oh goodness, I am not “justifying” anything the USA has done in foreign policy. I am not trying to say USA good, China bad. I am simply trying to point out that big countries, such as the USA and China, export their own preferred systems on smaller client states.

    China has exported revolution. You can say it was in “response” to American actions, but then I can easily say the USA acts in response to what another state did… It’s circular. You cannot excuse everything by blaming those damned Yankees.

    In the case of China, it was involved in some of the horrors of the 20th century, such as Cambodian’s genocide. In the USA case, yes, it staged coups in states like Iran.

    I love how everyone here blames the Cambodian genocide on the Americans and ignores that China sent military personal, weaponry, and other support for the ruling genocidal maniacs! Why did China support Cambodia’s regime? Gee, I think it was something called communism — that’s an example of EXPORTING revolution.

    If the PRC only did “what it believed was the right thing to do” I can easily retort that the USA also only did what it believed was the right thing to do! The USA acted in a way that the USA believed to be “moral”, and China acted in a way that it believed to be “moral”.

    I am sure many Chinese genuinely believe that supporting the DPRK in the past and present is a good thing; I am sure many Americans believe that support of Pinochet was good, etc.

    Not “justifying” anything. Both have done horrendous things. Neither is an angel on the world stage.

  110. July 12th, 2014 at 22:45 | #110

    @paoburen

    “Do you deny that the PRC was influential in the REVOLUTIONS in North Korea and Vietnam? How about Cambodia? It is not like the USA is the only country that tries to operate and manage Asia, and to blame America for everything in Asia is a curious reading of history. China is a big country, China can and does effect its neighbours!”

    Again, you got the timeline wrong! The US and USSR are the main reason Germany, Korea and Vietnam were split into two, China played no part. The DPRK was founded in 1945, the PRC in 1949! In fact, the aid go the other way round, the DPRK helped the Chinese communist forces in Northeastern China. Now you can go on spreading story that the DPRK exported revolution to China.

    As for Vietnam, the PRC did the right thing by supporting the Viet Minh. It is like saying the US is exporting revolution by supporting the French resistance in Nazi occupied France! As for Kampuchea, I have told you the PRC always supported the Sihanouk monarchy that is Buddhist. However, because Sihanouk tried to stay neutral in the Vietnam war he was overthrew by US backed Lon Nol. The US did the same thing in Iraq and Libya. The outcome is almost the same, extreme radical element took over! The PRC’s backing of Sihanouk never wavered, to the extent that he even passed away in Beijing.

    “What do you call China sending military advisers and military weaponry to another country, especially one that hoped to change the national system into communist? I would call that EXPORTING revolution. It is also meddling in internal affairs — by trying to put THEIR system in place in ANOTHER country. ”

    “Why do you always talk about the USA? I am talking about CHINA exporting revolution/meddling in foreign state’s affairs. The USA also does this. Like I said, neither is an angel. “

    Like I have said the US intervened in dozens of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America but please don’t drag the PRC down to the same level. How many country did China even remotely try to implement a regime change and force its govn’t to become communist? Please name one and provide source. If you are talking about Vietnam, China was merely doing its duty in the 1st Indo-China War. In the 2nd War, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam govn’t was already communist and already has its system in place. The Republic of Vietnam did not recognize the PRC so the PRC did not recognize it as a legitimate govn’t of Vietnam but rather a puppet regime of the US. The subsequent unification proved this theory.

    Here’s one perspective you will never get. In PRC’s view China was split up by foreign power intervention and want to help the neighbours which are in the same situation to unite, just common courtesy. And again it is US’s involvement first, the PRC only reacted. Also, you failed to see that it is not a communist movement that triumphed in Vietnam, it is a nationalist movement. The US failed to see it hence it lost.

  111. Black Pheonix
    July 13th, 2014 at 07:24 | #111

    @paoburen

    “I did NOT change my meaning and intent. I used a different word.”

    I have given you warning before about changing topic to the irrelevant tangent. So this is going to be your LAST warning.

    You are attempting to change the topic by using “different words” for the topic, and you are WASTING everyone time and the forum bandwidth by constantly “moving the goalpost”!!

    If you can’t make your “meaning” clear with your 1st assertion, and you have to keep changing words to redefine your meaning, then I will assume that you don’t know how to discuss your topics properly, or you have no idea what your words actually mean.

    So, I’m going to make this rule CLEAR to you as I possibly can:

    if you “change” your words of a topic relating to an issue under discussion, or if you redefine your terminologies in any way, or if you make any assertions without specifically defining your terminologies, your comments will be moderated as “irrelevant” SPAM.

    Again, this is your LAST warning.

  112. July 13th, 2014 at 07:45 | #112

    @paoburen
    The US’s action of supporting the French, Dutch, South Africa in putting down the resistance but still lost is not merely a reaction. The US made a wrong moral choice by supporting the colonizers, the PRC never made such a wrong moral choice. As I have said without the US supply of arms the war wouldn’t be waged either, please don’t skirt these issues again. The PRC never ever wanted to export its govn’t model. You have failed to give even one example.

    You keep on using Kampuchea as an example of China’s meddling of a foreign country but that’s against the fact. I said the PRC has supported Sihanouk since its founding. The US did otherwise and helped stage a coup. I assume you would say this action was merely a reaction? But reaction to what?

    The PRC only supported the Khmer Rouge after the Vietnamese invasion but that is because Sihanouk requested China to aid the Khmer Rouge. Like I have said, this is a moral choice China made. And it is done pretty much after the genocide is over. In case you don’t know, “The Khmer Rouge, still led by Pol Pot, was the strongest of the three rebel groups in the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea which received extensive military aid from China, Britain, and the United States and intelligence from the Thai military. Britain and the United States in particular gave aid to the two non-Khmer Rouge members of the coalition.”

    What happened after Vietnam’s invasion of Kampuchea and domination of Laos is merely geo-politics. The US, UK, PRC and other South East Asian countries are firmly against the USSR-Vietnam alliance. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the PRC, US, UK and a host of Islamic countries again supported the resistance. Indeed geo-politics made strange bed fellows!

    You are trying to imply that both the US and PRC made the wrong decision in those cases. What I am trying to tell you is the US made the wrong choices but China the right ones. Of course the US and China then supported the Khmer Rouge and Mujahedeen. Are those right, I am sure history will agree.

    “If the PRC only did “what it believed was the right thing to do” I can easily retort that the USA also only did what it believed was the right thing to do! The USA acted in a way that the USA believed to be “moral”, and China acted in a way that it believed to be “moral”. “

    I am sure many Chinese genuinely believe that supporting the DPRK in the past and present is a good thing; I am sure many Americans believe that support of Pinochet was good, etc. “

    There is a major difference there. If you think US support of colonial govn’t in Indonesia, Indo-China and South Africa against the local populace is good, I feel sorry for you. In history, although there are many gray areas, there is still outright black and white. In those cases the US made a wrong choice, same with the coup in Chile, Iran, Vietnam etc. The PRC did no such thing.

    Basically, the PRC has a different foreign policy from the US. The PRC would want stability at all cost and work with any current govn’t that is sometimes not friendly towards China. On the other hand the US would use threat, sanction, war, coup etc to remove any govn’t it doesn’t like.

  113. Rhan
    July 13th, 2014 at 08:42 | #113

    Ray, i don’t think the native from most SEA countries would agree with you that PRC never export revolution. i talked to retire army that go through Communist Insurgency War, all the weapon, equipment, were mostly from China. I think paoburen is not entirely wrong in his assertion, the difference are China is not as open and direct as USA.

  114. July 13th, 2014 at 10:01 | #114

    @Rhan
    Please read my respond on post #104.

    It is not true the weapon and equipment were mostly from China, in fact they are captured from colonial or post-colonial govn’t. In the case of Malaya, China doesn’t has the capability to supply the communist insurgent. And China only hosted Chin Peng after the war is lost in 1960. If you have a source that would show otherwise, please show them. Read Chin Peng book’s “My Side of the Story”.

    You must understand that before 1971 the Malayan govn’t recognized only the ROC. The PRC was dealing with a political entity that has mutual recognition. Is the PRC and US “supporting terrorists” in Afghanistan? Should we use the term coined by the Soviet? The difference is “exporting revolution” is a negative term the US used. If I want to sink to this name calling I would have called US action in Indonesia and Indo-China as “propping up corrupt colonial masters hell bent on oppressing and exploiting the locals”. Would that serve any purpose? We should discuss matter on equal footing and see if the outcome is positive or not. Please don’t be caught by political posturing of one side.

  115. Rhan
    July 13th, 2014 at 10:44 | #115

    Ray, that is why i use term like “native”, and my source is “retire army”, the right and wrong here is depend on where we want to position ourselves.

    “exporting revolution is a negative term the US used” however if translate to Chinese, does that not mean “”输出革命”?

    毛泽东输出革命,等于输出思想,支持穷人革命. How is this negative?

  116. Black Pheonix
    July 13th, 2014 at 12:24 | #116

    @paoburen

    “I have been clear. Other users just “disprove” me by saying “USA did X” and “USA did Y” when I am discussing China’s export of its own revolutionary ideals, specifically in relation to its neighbours, such as Cambodia. I will, in the future, just ignore them for being off-topic.”

    Others disprove your statements is not “off topic”, you are off topic by changing the subject when you are disproved.

    “To export revolution… To meddle in another state’s internal affairs… Are they truly that different?”

    Yes, they are DIFFERENT words, they mean different things. If they meant the SAME thing, then why did you need to use “different words”??

    you are WARNED as to what YOU were doing, not what others were doing. You just did it again! by changing the subject to other people. Thus, your comments will be moderated from now on.

  117. wwww1234
    July 14th, 2014 at 03:32 | #117

    @paoburen

    I don’t have time to re-read the whole thread and debunk all you mis-representations. Being so numerous I think they are intentional. I will start from here.
    “People are being paid maybe 5% of what the sale price is on the new apartments”

    that is totally non factual. People are paid far more than what a local apartment would sell. Often, if several related families lived in the same old house, each family are
    given either a new apartment in neighboring development, or cash, or a combination if they so prefer. They may be paid 5% of the sale price of the land, but no one owns land in china as land is all public owned. Residents only own the lodging, which were mostly simply given to them at a nominal price when housing was privatized years ago. No one should get a windfall
    at the expense of public good simply by luck of location.

    “they know they cannot write about it in their newspaper, hold a public demonstration, etc.”

    And you are telling everyone you have lived in China for several years? The newspapers are filled with sensational stories and photos, with many demanding exorbitant price by holding up project developments. Any district with mass relocations are hot spots for selling cars and luxury items, and they are the envy of their neighbors. Problem is, with spiraling price, people in retrospect think they are cheated. Now with the downturn and dropping price, we seldom hear these stories any more.

    “Their children cannot afford good schools, etc.”
    Almost all primary and middle schools are publicly run, with free and compulsive education up to grade 9. With the exceptions of the few top center schools, students belong to their district like in the US. Private schools are for those who don’t participate in the public exam, with the means and intention to study overseas.

  118. pug_ster
    July 14th, 2014 at 07:28 | #118

    Paoburen is wrong about ‘exporting revolutions’ pertaining to Cambodia. Go to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Export_of_revolution and this mostly pertains of how other countries influence other countries to overthrow their governments, not about providing material support to countries to Cambodia after the government is established. Exporting of revolution can be influenced by China in terms of Maoists in countries like Nepal, Philippines and Peru, but that’s stretching it.

  119. July 14th, 2014 at 14:27 | #119

    Went on a camping trip over the weekend so wasn’t able to keep up here. I think this issue brought up by paoburen
    is a red herring and kind of distracting. Maybe I’ll do a thread on “non-interference” another day. Still after reading what’s written here, I’ll make my own quick observation.

    When I first read paoburen mention about China exporting revolution, what I had in mind by exporting revolution is similar to what the Soviet Union had done or what the U.S. is doing today.

    It is the explicit support and agitation of domestic opposition forces in another country to bring about the collapse of the current government and replace with one that is ideologically more sympathetic or politically more friendly to the exporting sponsor.

    Paoburen mentioned KR. As shocking as the “genocide” in Cambodia is, as already mentioned, the “genocide” was carried out by the official gov’t of Cambodia at the time. Also as Ray mentioned, China began giving support to the KR only much later, after much of “killing” had taken place, to aid in Cambodia’s anti-Vietnam campaign. This if anything was an tragic chapter in Camobida’s history. This was not a civil war inflammed by China. This was not China exporting revolution.

    China’s support of Cambodia in the late 1970’s was based on geopolitical calculations to prevent Vietnam’s overruning of S. East Asia. China itself got into a “territorial” war with Vietnam that many in the West commonly tout as a “disaster” to China, but Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew has noted that “The Western press wrote off the Chinese punitive action as a failure. I believe it changed the history of East Asia.” Lee said that because China’s actions stopped Vietnam for over-running Indochina, which was China’s main objectives anyways, according to Kissenger.

    For more on that you can read here: http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/05/30/book-review-on-china-by-henry-kissinger/.

    The notion that China exported communism throughout S. East Asia is a myth … convenient propaganda. Vietnam serves as a great example. It’s true that China supported N. Vietnam, and many in the West may think it’s to export communism. But if you read carefully the history of that time, to what’s said between leaders of the two nations, you will know that the Chinese and Vietnamese made clear to each other that this was not an ideology battle, they were in it against Western imperialism. China was worried that U.S.-supported S. Vietnam would overwhelm the North and form a pro-U.S. state right on the border of China. N. Vietnam was fighting for Vietnam’s national independence, free from Western meddling.

    If Western observers did not believe this, they would see how this plays out right after 1975 after N. Vietnam vanquished the South. Vietnam’s sense of independence quick proved that it included to exerting independence against Chinese interests. This was not a communist block as feared. When it became clear to China what Vietnam’s design was on IndoChina, China moved, supporting various states in the area to fight against Vietnam. Hence today, you see four states in the area. You see Thailand and Malaysia preserved.

    Now one could go back to 1950’s and 1960’s and say that China often had party-to-party relations with communist parties throughout S. E. Asia as some of sort proof of China exporting revolution. But that was more the result of the distrust these nations had for P.R.C. Until the 1970’s, P.R.C. actually did not even have diplomatic relations with some of these states. As these states come to establish diplomatic relations, China cut off these party-to-party relations.

    It’s also worthy to note that in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, China did rhetorically supported all peoples to liberating themselves from imperialism – i.e. foreign hegemony of all sorts, which mostly included European and U.S. imperialism. But even then, it was less about about communism or about revolting against the domestic order, but about empowering peoples and nations to shrug off vestiges of imperialism.

    Rhan mentioend that a lot of Chinese arms and advisers were in S. E. Asia, but they were mostly there to support various gov’ts against what China saw as U.S. or Soviet hegemony (or Vietnam hegemony after its unification). They were not there to overturn domestic order of states. There are lots of politics involved here, and S. E. Asia had been one of the most violent places in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but it should not be convoluted with China exporting revolution.

    By contrast, U.S.’s exporting of democracy to various countries, which have all ended in great humanitarian disasters, have been clearly documented, see, e.g.,

    Anyways, I don’t think I will comment more on this topic in this thread. Perhaps in a post on non-interference?

    On that note, allow me to indulge in one last thing. I remember someone arguing me with once why China should not trade with this country or that because the gov’t there is bad. I argued back mentioning non-interference. The guy shot back, but if China doesn’t trade, the gov’t will be able to provide the people less, and people can revolt earlier.

    You see the problem here? It’s damned if China does, damned if China doesn’t. For me, it’s about perspectives. It’s tiring to argue such things ….

    All this reminds me of arguments we’ve had about whether there is a “West.” Yes someone actually came here to argue us about that!

  120. Rhan
    July 14th, 2014 at 19:38 | #120

    Allen is right when he says politics and perspectives.

    Until today, many still debate whether the communist “terrorist” act is or is not due to nationalism, or to subvert the local government to make Malaysia a satellite state of China. I read CP but he titled his book “My” Side of History, mean to say there is other side of history, I mostly agree to what Ray wrote, and take the same stance but I also hope we read and share the history of others. Thus i think paoburen is merely trying to be objective.

    We know the war between KMT and CCP is not limited to mainland, it was spread to SEA as well, most local government is closed to KMT and the so called “Western” power, the British would never hand over the political power to the enemy which are mostly the leftist, we can’t therefore expect the government to reject democracy system and capitalism after independence. However in the eyes of communist, all of this remain as imperialist, or at least their puppet, and unfortunately, communism ideology is not well accepted among Muslim, the number is less than 5% ie 95% is ethnically Chinese, and most stuff was Chinese written, since Taiwan and Singapore are KMT, where else this stuff come from?

    Like I said, there is no right and wrong, some believe the Communist intention is to fight the imperialist, a nationalist movement, but to those who support the government, the Communist is trying to overthrow a government elected by the people, the communist are mostly Chinese, China is Communist, the radio continue the propaganda of Communism ideology from Yunnan, which is part of China. Can we said it is totally wrong when some claim China “exporting revolution”?

    However the leaders from both countries is clear headed enough to establish diplomatic relationship later, as a much better approach to resist the world super power.

  121. July 14th, 2014 at 23:21 | #121

    @Rhan

    unfortunately, communism ideology is not well accepted among Muslim, the number is less than 5% ie 95% is ethnically Chinese, and most stuff was Chinese written, since Taiwan and Singapore are KMT, where else this stuff come from?

    I grew up in Taiwan. My grandparents grew up under Japanese administration. My father in law went to study in Japan. So did two of my uncles. The Japanese like to say that Chinese terms such as 民主 and 共产注意 came from Japanese translations.

    My point? With China falling communist, it’s not a surprise that many in Asia sympathetic to communist would learn about the ideology from Chinese sources – just like in an earlier era, Asia learned about technology and Western political and legal system from Japanese sources. The fact that someone finds Chinese communist literature per se is not proof that China was printing and shipping them over to overthrow governments.

    Besides, if the intent is really for China to incite the masses to overthrow the government, you’d have found all those literature translated … to all different types of local languages….

    Like I said, there is no right and wrong, some believe the Communist intention is to fight the imperialist, a nationalist movement, but to those who support the government, the Communist is trying to overthrow a government elected by the people, the communist are mostly Chinese, China is Communist, the radio continue the propaganda of Communism ideology from Yunnan, which is part of China. Can we said it is totally wrong when some claim China “exporting revolution”?

    Some good points. But Chinese never advocated or actively supported a revolution to overthrow government. I don’t deny that many governments in S. E. East were worried that communist insurgents in their nations might overthrow them, but there is no evidence of China ever actively supporting insurgency movements. Sure, many of these movements draw inspiration from Chinese gov’t. But that is not the same as China exporting revolution. It’s like the Maoists in India. So Many in India have hyped and speculated that China would use them to foment discontent and provide material support to destablize India. But even with India hosting Dalai Lama and the exiled gov’t, China has never over the years done that. (see e.g. this Times of India article). It’s the same elsewhere. There is much distrust and fear … but that per se should not be the basis for pronouncing that China exported revolution.

    Like I said, there is no right and wrong…

    At the risk of taking your words out of context, I believe America’s version of exporting revolution today is wrong. It’s not just the results in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. that make it wrong, it’s the whole intent, motivation, ideology … the whole package … that makes it wrong.

  122. Black Pheonix
    July 15th, 2014 at 06:28 | #122

    @Allen

    “The Japanese like to say that Chinese terms such as 民主 and 共产注意 came from Japanese translations.”

    I’m always very curious about that claim. I think there might be some basis in that claim, but I wonder why the Japanese would come up with such terms, using Kanji characters, instead of more exclusively Japanese characters.

  123. July 16th, 2014 at 07:04 | #123

    @Rhan
    If you read both Chin Peng and Lee Kuan Yew books you will draw the conclusion that the Communist movement in Malaya and Singapore has very substantial “native” support. Lee admit he came into power after riding on the popular support of the Socialist coalition which is actually a front of the communist party. The 1969 “racial” riot was caused by infighting in UMNO and the arrest of the labour party leadership. If not for continual arrest of those leadership which were very popular in election, the communist would most likely be elected the new govn’t. Basically, the British colonial govn’t subvert history by their arrest.

    I would also disagree with your retired military source as to the supply of Chinese weapon. If you look at the arms of the various communist faction there, communist bloc weapon is few and far between. You must understand that Beijing established diplomatic relationship with Malaysia in 1974 and stopped all support to the communist there. The communist in Malaysia was able to survive until 1989 because of tacit support of (surprise) the Thai authority. In both Chin and Lee books, China was never in the picture until the emergency was declared over and the support was mainly moral and monetary.

    I know you must have wonder why I am so insistence of how the support is called. If you use the phrase export, it implied that the movement is not native. The PRC deemed their action “in support of our Asia African and Latin American brothers in revolution”. Of course I would not use that phrase either. That’s why I want to use a neutral term.

  124. July 16th, 2014 at 07:30 | #124

    @Rhan
    I feel Chin Peng is right to choose that title because in Malaysia today, because if the British colonial govn’t is legitimate so is the subsequent BN govn’t and he is a most wanted criminal. I would throw another wrench in the bucket. Is the Japanese govn’t in Malaya legitimate? Or the Dutch in Indonesia.

    If you ask question this way it would open a new can of worms but it is only through putting everything on the table that both sides can air their point of views and come to a middle ground. I especially like this observation of yours “and unfortunately, communism ideology is not well accepted among Muslim.”

    Why is it that it is not well accepted by the Muslim? In Indonesia the majority of the communist are prior Muslim. It is not true that there is no right and wrong in history. There are victors and losers in history but eventually history will right them. You claimed that the communist is trying to overthrow a govn’t elected by the people but that is not true, the British colonial govn’t in Malaya was not elected and they actually fear the communist would win the election and hence outlawed the Malayan Communist Party! The MCP was forced to choose arms struggle because they are not allowed to run in election. (The same thing also happen in mainland China post war)

    And if we go back to your observation that the ideology is not accepted among Muslim, why is that so? If Muslim ideology is so binding why is it that there is now a law in Malaysia forbidding conversion to other religion? (Anyway the discussion of Muslim conversion is illegal in Malaysia, Rhan and I would be arrested if we discuss this openly in Malaysian forum. lol)

  125. July 16th, 2014 at 08:07 | #125

    @Allen
    If you look at the info I provided, the US, British and the Thai all provided material support to the Khmer Rouge after Vietnam invasion. The moral support extend into the UN. The KR retained their seat in the UN throughout Vietnam invasion meaning it got the support of the majority of the nations in the world. However, Paoburen comes to the conclusion that it is China’s support that caused the genocide!

    Like I have said before, what the PRC did was for recognition. The PRC didn’t get into the UN until 1971. If the PRC was passive it would still not be in the UN today. The PRC win recognition after the oppositions come into power or when the ruling govn’t was forced to negotiate with the PRC. Malaysia is a good example of the later case.

    Allen mentioned the Maoist movement in Nepal and showed evidence that the PRC never supported that movement in any way despite the name. The CPC might have party to party relationship to the Maoist but they told them upfront that they cannot expect material support as the PRC already diplomatic relationship with the ruling govn’t. Although history showed us that the Maoist eventually gathered enough support to form the new govn’t in Nepal.

    If it is still not clear by now the US and PRC practice very different foreign intervention policy. The US was not denied diplomatic recognition. Even Iran, N. Korea, Cuba want diplomatic relationship with the US, it is the latter that refused. The US would penalize any govn’t or company that deal with those countries. On top of that the US would use active measures like trade sanction or actively supporting and promoting opposition within and outside those countries. The US would do the same even with countries it has relationship with.

    By contrast, the PRC uphold a non-interference policy subject to non-interference from the other side or refusal of recognition. For example, if the other govn’t refuse to recognize the PRC the PRC would do likewise. And if the other side recognize the ROC, the PRC would not offer diplomatic relationship.

  126. July 16th, 2014 at 08:33 | #126

    As for whether the communist movement would come into power in Malaya/Singapore? This is my analysis. The CPM was the strongest party after the surrender of the Japanese in WWII. They enjoyed such prestige among the populace that their top 3 leaders were awarded the Order of the British Empire.

    As Rhan has pointed out, support was still lacking among the Malay Muslim population. This is due to CPM operated mainly in Japanese concentrated areas which is the urban centres and the rural areas close to them. In the case of Malaya this means the heavily ethnic Chinese populated areas. If what Rashid Mydin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_Maidin, Abdullah CD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_CD etc said is true. The Muslim population simply wasn’t exposed to the communist ideology in the 1940s and 1950s, if given the chance they would be converted as well. One might understand that unlike US interpretation of communism. Those native movement mostly concentrate on anti-colonialism and empowering the common people in term of living standard. In areas such as Vietnam and Malaya this theory was played out.

    However, why the different outcome? The CPM has strong support in the urban centres but arms movement can only thrive in the jungle. The British recognized this and forcefully relocated many rural villages into new ones which are more concentrated, fenced, guarded and all food rationed. As such although the CPM got lots of donation, they can’t get any food or grow them as govn’t will find plantation through aerial recon. Secondly, although having close to 8,000 armed men, they were totally outnumbered by colonial forces numbering many times that. Hence, the reality on the ground meant that the CPM will lose. It was due to both internal and external matter.

    The CPM was able to survive until 1989 because of Thai support. This is why when they lay down arms those that didn’t go to Malaysia got Thai citizenship. The Thai allow the CPM to operate because Malaysia supported the Patani Liberation movement. By late 1980s both govn’t decide to end support of each others’ insurgents.

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