Author Archive

Time for China to go on the offensive?

February 16th, 2012 35 comments

I’ve noticed repeatedly that when western reporters interview Chinese diplomats or politicians they almost always take an apologetic tone and talk about criticisms as if they were outright true and ought not be questioned. Most of us know that many of these criticisms are either not accurate or given not out of a spirit of true dialogue and constructive, friendly criticism but out of more nefarious motives.

Take the issue of human rights. The latest example is Xi at the State Department. At his speech, Xi talked about the criticisms of alleged human rights violations from his “old friends” in the US. He was quick to mention that China has improved drastically in human rights during the last 30 years.

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Refilling the Liberal vacuum

February 10th, 2012 4 comments

In a previous post I talked about the Liberal tradition (that is, the explicit and formal human rights framework, not to be confused with how people often use the term to refer to a political or economic “left” or being “progressive”) as being a byproduct of religious, political and other kinds of oppression in the west. I also talked about the importance of instituting rule of law and rights protection for China in the coming years in the comments section.

However, I always have had serious reservations about the Liberal model on philosophical grounds.

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Rethinking democracy

February 8th, 2012 14 comments

This blog will essentially be a second part to the important discussions Allen and raventhorn started about democracy. I will present a philosophical discussion so that we may better think from a different and deeper perspective about this notion than everyday people may be used to by looking at its fundamental structure.

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Human Rights Revisted

January 21st, 2012 66 comments

This blog will be a continuation of the interesting dialogue started by Oli on human rights and China. I agree with Oli that Chinese culture does have considerable resources to take into account concerns raised by many human rights discourse. The value of human rights is universal and ancient. Many such values, though implicitly already there in Chinese culture, may be accounted within a modern Chinese cultural framework. Read more…

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Revisiting the Sino-Indian War of 1962

December 24th, 2011 129 comments

As the new year approaches, we should take some time to reflect that 2012 is the 50th anniversary of the Sino-Indian war of 1962. The war has shaped and will continue to shape the attitudes of people towards each other from two global nuclear (presently or soon to be) superpowers.

The war was not only interesting in itself but interesting in how current powers in the west and India have viewed it since. Tens if not hundreds of millions of Indians today continue to believe that China is blameworthy for it. They imbibe their media’s version of the events and the versions fed to them from their politicians past and present. Since India is an ally of the US, an important strategic partner in “containing” China, criticisms of India’s policies are often muted or events described to give India a favorable light and China is treated with the opposite response. Read more…

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Finally, a somewhat balanced editorial in the NYT

December 3rd, 2011 8 comments

On China by a law professor teaching in Shanghai. The article is about the legal systems in the US compared with China’s and how people’s views on law and social justice are both similar and different. Reasoned criticisms of each other’s legal systems can be beneficial for both societies but they would need to get off on a ground of mutual respect and understanding. It’s too often that the criticisms from the west (especially, IMO) are based not on legitimate reasoned criticisms but on misunderstandings, prejudices, and ulterior motives. The author illustrates that many of the same issues are hotly debated in Chinese society as well as in American society such as capital punishment and that Chinese views may be important to shed light to the debates. Crude characterizations often make real reasoned criticisms much more difficult. Read more…

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Got freedom of expression?

October 29th, 2011 89 comments

The west loves to criticize China for its lack of freedom of expression. I personally think that this is a serious problem for China (though not the most serious problem facing the society which I consider problems with social justice and the environment). But the west has serious issues with freedom of expression as well.

The US has sent its own people to prison in recent years for making youtube videos, selling cable subscriptions and even assassinated without trial two citizens for nothing ostensibly more than making recruitment videos or writing articles for al Qaeda. Read more…

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China’s role in the international community

October 21st, 2011 54 comments

I’d like to extend DeWang’s last post on the possible role of China in the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict with a more generalized discussion of what China’s role should be in international affairs in the future.

China seems to be taking a more active approach in engaging with the world’s conflicts and affairs and other pressing issues and I think this is the right way to go. It has increased its role in the UN and provided peacekeeping troops. It has also taken up an active role in establishing law in jurisprudential debates, making its side’s perspective more known and defending the interests of other developing nations. By being more active here, it makes its own viewpoint and interests known to the world instead of being passive recipients of the rules that continue to govern the world. China has been more actively involved with disputes, economic, social, cultural, environmental, etc. Read more…

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Article uses Kaifeng Jews to put China down

October 18th, 2011 178 comments

A story published a few days ago in the LA Times talked about an Israeli organization, Shavei Israel, which helped a few Keifeng Jews to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel). It quoted a few Kaifeng Jews having made the trip as saying how Israel is superior to China. Consider the title of the article: Read more…

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Collective Defamation

October 17th, 2011 183 comments

What is the worst thing you could say or write about someone? Maybe alleging that they are a murderer. Perhaps it is labeling them a child molester. Both these accusations, when used without factual merit, constitute serious slander or libel. But what is the worst thing you could say about a group of people, a nation or ethnic group?

During the Middle Ages in Europe, Blood Libel was used to devastating effect towards harming and justifying the persecution of Jews.

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Liu and al-Awlaki

October 9th, 2011 92 comments

As you may have known, recently the US assassinated two of its own citizens in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Say what you will about these two but the actions taken by the government of assassination without trial certainly is an extreme if not wholly unconstitutional measure as witnessed by some constitutional lawyers and experts. It may also violate international law.
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No Goodwill

October 6th, 2011 14 comments

The recent “goodwill” game on August 18th between the Chinese basketball team the Bayi Rockets and the American college team the Georgetown Hoyas will unfortunately go down in history as an infamous case of unsportsman-like conduct. But the coverage of the game by the American press will also go down as an exemplary case of unabashed bias and sinophobic bigotry.

Even in the US’s long history of yellow(peril) journalism against China, coverage of this game is a salient example of lack of balance and outright prejudice against China and its people. Read more…