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Snowden vs Human Rights Lawyer

July 29th, 2017 2 comments

Recently I saw Oliver Stone’s film on Snowden from Showtime and read NYT magazine article on Chinese human rights lawyers and feel the need to discuss both here. Mr. Snowden and the lawyer Liang Xiaojun and his client Xie Yanyi are in both cases dissidents. Yet their stories are so different and revealing. I suspect Chinese propaganda department could learn something from both Mr. Stone and NYT in the treatment of stories when they bemoan the soft power deficits. I hope maybe they can hire Mr. stone to do a biography on Xi Jinping.
The NYT article is by Alex Palmer. The article reads like a gothic novel, heavy laden dreads, implied threats everywhere, worried spouses and innocent children, tea meetings for interrogations, ending with Mr. Liang free but uncertain, and his client freed after 1 year in detention because prosecutor dropped the charges. Nowhere does Mr. Palmer stated how did the lawyers make their living or their economic status. Did they get subsidies from West? From lawyer’s fees? Rich families? Suddenly my memory stirred about the 709 ( July 9, 2015) incident. There were swirling rumors before then of a police brutality in Chinese internet. A beggar was shot and killed in a railroad station by police. There were demonstrations and lawyers and “big V”s demanding justice on Weibo. Then the government initiated crack down, some lawyers were arrested and law firms closed. Then the truths were revealed. Surveillance video showed a professional beggar, yes, he makes his living by traveling from Northeast to major cities with his 2 children begging for living, got into a scuffle with the security police at the checkpoint in rail station. He was drunk and used his young daughter as a battering ram against policeman, and using that distraction attempting to disarm the policeman. In self defense the policeman fired 1 shot and killed him. And those demonstrators? more than half were professional demonstrators traveling place to place and paid by the lawyers to extort from local governments weary of mass incidents. I also recall there was a film about murders committed by gangs throwing unwary recruits down coal mining shafts and pretending grieving families to extort from mine owners and local government trying to hide unsafe working conditions. I guess they also need human right lawyers to negotiate a price. The only thing I gleam from Mr. Palmer is they both have military officers as parents, corrupt enough to send one to Singapore to study law? Where he learned rule of law, the law from British colonial days where communists were jailed from 30-40 years without trial? I did learn from the comment section one claimed that 14 student activists were awaiting beheading in Saudi Arabia and nowhere from the newspaper.
Mr. Stone is a gifted story teller. I am his fan since “Platoon”. Snowdon portrayed by him is a patriot who volunteered for Special Force because of 9/11, he broke both of his legs due to stress fracture in training. He didn’t finish high school because of family circumstance, yet smart enough self studying computer to pass CIA school in flying color. His politic is more like a conservative unlike his liberal girl friend. He revealed law breaking by NSA and CIA, and willing risk jail for the rest of his life. He’s an American dissident and a worthy contrast to those Chinese lawyers.

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Fair Trade Links

July 24th, 2017 3 comments

When Trump was voted president last year, I was hopeful that the door for next level of U.S. China cooperation will be opened. I am still hopeful, but when things like this happen, it makes me realize just how hard change can be.

The U.S. and China share many differences that should be smoothed out. Here, I am not talking about garbage talks about “human rights” or “democracy,” or boastful jousts protecting “freedom of navigation” in the S. China Sea. I am talking about straight-forward win-win deals between Chinese and U.S. Companies.

In an earlier post, I had noted that a big part of the “deficit” between China and U.S. is because on the balance, many more U.S. companies invest in China as compared to Chinese companies investing in the U.S. I had written: Read more…

Liu Xiaobo: RIP. But we should never forget the 14 million yuan from the National Endowment for Democracy!

July 13th, 2017 5 comments

1. Grants in US$ from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US government entity, to «Minzhu Zhongguo» or «Democratic China, Inc.», where Liu Xiaobo was the founder:

2005: $136,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2005/
2006: $136,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2006/
2007: $145,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2007/
2008: $150,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2008/
2009: $213,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2009/
2010: $220,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2010/

(Comment added in 2018 by Rolf: The links above are not working any longer. It seems that NED is trying to conceal their support for Liu Xiaobo. But by using the WayBackMachine, it is still possible to find the original pages. See further below)

Total sum from NED to «Democratic China, Inc.»: $1,000,000 (2005-2010)

2. Liu Xiaobo also received money from National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as president of «Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.»:

2005: $99,500; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2005/
2006: $135,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2006/
2007: $135,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2007/
2008: $152,350; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2008/
2009: $152,950; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2009/
2010: $170,000; http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2010/

Total sum from NED for «Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.»: US $844,800 (2005-2010)

Total support from NED during these six years is US$1,844,800, which at that time was about 14 million yuan – a huge sum of money in China – where salaries were about 25% of the level in the West.

Addition:

Original links recovered by using WayBackMachine at https://archive.org:

(Uses for unknown reasons 10-20 seconds to load)

http://web.archive.org/web/20170718023142/http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2005/

(Then scroll down to Democratic China, Inc. and Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.)

https://web.archive.org/web/20170718023154/http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2006/

https://web.archive.org/web/20170718023158/http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2007/

https://web.archive.org/web/20170718023203/http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2008/

https://web.archive.org/web/20170718023209/http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2009/

https://web.archive.org/web/20170718023214/http://www.ned.org/region/asia/china-2010/

 

What’s the purpose of National Endowment for Democracy (NED)?

The purpose of the National Endowment for Democracy is to fund individuals, political parties and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) favorable to US interests.

In 1991, Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, candidly said: «A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.» (Washington Post, Sept.22, 1991)

Testifying before the Sub-committee on International Operations and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives on March 13,1997, Mr.Carl Gershman, President of the NED, said: «I just want to say that the Endowment’s work is based upon a very, very simple proposition. And that is, where there are people who share our values, where there are people who might be called the natural friends of America, then it is our obligation to help those people in some way.»

Bill Berkowitz of «Working for Change» writes: «The NED functions as a full-service infrastructure building clearinghouse. It provides money, technical support, supplies, training programs, media know-how, public relations assistance and state-of-the-art equipment to select political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, and other media. Its aim is to destabilize progressive movements, particularly those with a socialist or democratic socialist bent.»

Ralph McGehee writes: «… the current US policy of using (rightly or wrongly) the theme of human rights violations to alter or overthrow non-US-favored governments. In those countries emerging from the once Soviet Bloc that is forming new governmental systems; or where emerging or Third World governments resist US influence or control, the US uses ‘human rights violations,’ as an excuse for political action operations. ‘Human Rights’ replaces ‘Communist Conspiracy’ as the justification for overthrowing governments.»

Republican congressman from the Texas, Ron Paul, who is more Libertarian than Republican, writes: «The misnamed National Endowment for Democracy is nothing more than a costly program that takes US taxpayer funds to promote favored politicians and political parties abroad. What the NED does in foreign countries … would be rightly illegal in the United States. … The National Endowment for Democracy, by meddling in the elections and internal politics of foreign countries, does more harm to the United States than good. It creates resentment and ill-will toward the United States among millions abroad. It is beyond time to de-fund this Cold War relic and return to the foreign policy of our founders, based on open relations and trade with all countries and free from meddling and manipulation in the internal affairs of others.»

British writer Patrick French writes: «The NED constitutes, so to speak, the CIA’s ‘civilian arm’».

Conclusion:

By receiving money from the US government funded «National Endowment for Democracy» Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese citizen, became an American agent.

 

Response to Nicholas Kristof

July 9th, 2017 4 comments

After reading his column from July 8 in New York Times, I found his arrogance unbearable and have to respond. Although there is a comment section there, it is usually censored and full of praise, so I decide to write a rebut here.
As most of us have preconceived biases and opinions on Liu Xiaobo, yet mostly ignorant of his real writings I decide that Wikipedia might be a good place to start. Mr. Kristof compare Liu to Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in jail fighting against colonialism and racism, while Mr. Liu wants China to surrender and subservient to West completely.
“In a 1988 interview with Hong Kong’s Liberation Monthly (now known as Open Magazine), Liu was asked what it would take for China to realize a true historical transformation. He replied:
“[It would take] 300 years of colonialism. In 100 years of colonialism, Hong Kong has changed to what we see today. With China being so big, of course it would require 300 years as a colony for it to be able to transform into how Hong Kong is today. I have my doubts as to whether 300 years would be enough.”[22][23]
Liu admitted in 2006 that the response was extemporaneous, although he did not intend to take it back, as it represented “an extreme expression of his long held belief.”[23] The quote was nonetheless used against him. He has commented, “Even today [in 2006], radical patriotic ‘angry youth’ still frequently use these words to paint me with ‘treason’.”[23]
Known for his pro-West stance, Liu once stated in an interview: “Modernization means whole-sale westernization, choosing a human life is choosing Western way of life. Difference between Western and Chinese governing system is humane vs in-humane, there’s no middle ground… Westernization is not a choice of a nation, but a choice for the human race” [24]”
Now it might seem I am quoting him on his extreme position, he might walk back a little. He did claim, “I must: 1. Use Western civilization as a tool to critique China. 2. Use my own creativity to critique the West.'”[27]”. Yet he did nothing of that sort, as we can see from his opinion on Iraq War.
“Liu also published a 2004 article in support of Bush’s war on Iraq, titled “Victory to the Anglo-American Freedom Alliance”, in which he praised the U.S.-led post-Cold War conflicts as “best examples of how war should be conducted in a modern civilization.” He wrote “regardless of the savagery of the terrorists, and regardless of the instability of Iraq’s situation, and, what’s more, regardless of how patriotic youth might despise proponents of the United States such as myself, my support for the invasion of Iraq will not waver. Just as, from the beginning, I believed that the military intervention of Britain and the United States would be victorious, I am still full of belief in the final victory of the Freedom Alliance and the democratic future of Iraq, and even if the armed forces of Britain and the United States should encounter some obstacles such as those that they are currently facing, this belief of mine will not change.” He predicted “a free, democratic and peaceful Iraq will emerge.”[29] During the 2004 US presidential election, Liu again praised Bush for his war effort against Iraq and condemned Democratic Party candidate John Kerry for not sufficiently supporting the wars in which the U.S. was then involved. He commented on Islamism that, “a culture and (religious) system that produced this kind of threat (Islamic fundamentalism), must be extremely intolerant and blood-thirsty.”
As we look at Iraq today, Libya today, and Syria today, we can see why Mr. Liu is the darling of the neocons and liberals like Mr. Kristof. For them China Dream is a threat to their way of life. A divided, broken China, with pseud-democratic farces like U.S. where presidents are elected with minority votes, where republicans dominates in the House when their vote totals less than Democrats is his beacon. The 1.3 billion Chinese people standing up against poverty is less important than his concept as a savior. It’s sad and certainly a personal tragedy for his family on his liver cancer. The Chinese government has gave him medical parole and allowed German and American specialists to treat him. It was his choice to stay in China, and certainly China is under no obligation to allow him to die in U.S. as an anti-China martyr.

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Hong Kong: Is One Country 2 system actually hurting them?

July 1st, 2017 3 comments

Hong Kong was once a prosperous 20 years ago, but its economic stagnation is dwarfed compared to the Rise of China, even to a point that I see where neighboring Providences like Guangzhou and Shenzhen is equal or better than Hong Kong in terms of technological innovation and lack of economic integration to Hong Kong.

Let’s be accurate here, the Rise of Hong Kong in the years leading up to Hong Kong is because China was opening up and Hong Kong was the gateway to the world, not because of British rule. Now that China has already opened up to the world, it no longer needs Hong Kong to be its gateway. Because of this, much of the economic prosperity has been bypassed by China. For example, Hong Kong was innovative when it used Octopus cards for Cashless Payments. China has eclipsed Hong Kong’s innovation in Mobile Payments yet Hong Kong largely failed to adopt them.

Another Criticism of Hong Kong’s government is that they try to bolster up its existing industries like tourism, financial hub, services, and retail instead of trying to create new industries like IT, health and renewable energy. In fact, much of Hong Kong has not been built up like in the New territories like what it has been built up in the southern parts like in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The new Chief Executive Carrie Lam doesn’t have the priority is not doing this, but rather try to fix the housing problem.

Another problem is with its Lego failed Hong Kong because of political deadlock which failed to implement many legislation but instead there was lots of political infighting. In fact, much of Hong Kong has been trying isolate themselves of “International City” instead of integrate with China as a gateway to Hong Kong’s economy. Until then, Hong Kong will probably flounder for the next 20 years.

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