This is the full session between Niall Ferguson and James Fallows at the recently held Aspen Ideas Festival. Allen had posted excepts and we promised you the complete discussion as soon as it became available. Niall Ferguson had coined the term “Chimerica” to describe the symbiotic relationship between the economies of China and the United States. He currently sees this relationship as being in jeopardy, while James Fallows feels the relationship is far stronger the most realize. This video is slightly over 75 minutes.
This article was printed in the People’s Daily on June 19th. Since this is a state controlled publication, whatever is published will usually have the blessing of the CCP leadership.
Chinese President Hu Jintao and India PM Manmohan Singh recently appeared together at the BRIC summit in Russia. Things seemed friendly enough at the time. What has changed since then? And why would China have a problem with the Asia Development Bank financing development projects in Arunachal Pradesh? I would think economic development in an area that China considers to be a part of her territory would be viewed by China in a positive manner, as it would be beneficial to the people of that region.
Events of the last week in Iran have been widely reported by the world press. Not long before, the press also reported on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989. Were these two distinct events reported in a similar manner or were they treated as different and unique events? Let’s take a look at each and see what we can find.
1) Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?
Based on the coverage I’ve seen, both governments were cast as being in the wrong and both protest movements as in the right. In the case of China, the government sent in tanks and used live ammunition to break up a protest movement that was alleged to have turned violent. Most of the reporters in the world press were located in or near the same area, and their reports reflected what occurred in that vicinity. Analyzes of this event in most cases pointed to the government as the culprit and the demonstrators as being victims and responding in a suitable fashion. Is this an accurate assessment? The Chinese government attempted to confiscate film of the event from foreign sources but those attempts were successfully evaded in most instances.
I was reading an opinion column in the Washington Post that contained information I thought might be of interest to the group. It concerned a BBC World View poll showing how countries view each other, either positively or negatively and the percentages of each. It was interesting to see not only how countries viewed each other, but also how the view a country has of itself can be very different than the actual reality. Per the Post column, “A whopping 92 percent of Chinese surveyed believe that China has a mainly positive influence on the world; whereas a mere 39 percent of people polled in 20 other major countries agree. This was the largest perception gap among the countries’ polled.”
A week or so ago, in one of the final classes of the fourth year history seminar on Christianity in China that I am currently taking, the professor, in an apparent effort to coax us into some critical thinking, posed these questions; “Did Christianity become a Chinese religion? And if so, when and how did this happen?” The answers that we came up with in class included when the first Chinese person converted to Christianity, when the first independent churches (meaning churches that were not controlled by foreign missionaries) were established, and when Christianity was indigenized (meaning transformed by existing factors in Chinese culture to create a form of Christianity unique to China). Continue reading (Letter from Lime) No Such Thing as China→
This article is a comprehensive look at a few young Chinese nationalists, both inside and outside of China. I recommend it completely. If the facts and people presented in this article became recognizable in the West, this blog would (almost) have no reason to exist. Thanks to FOARP (I believe) for recommending this in an earlier thread.
An advertising campaign commissioned by the human rights group Amnesty International has raised flames of anger throughout China. For previous discussions, see ESWN and Danwei.
Wall Street Journal has more details on the backlash, reporting:
Weeks before the Olympics put Beijing and the Games’ corporate backers on the world stage, an advertising heavyweight has stumbled over the divide between how some view China and how the nation views itself…. Word of the human-rights campaign is now spreading through China, and TBWA and Amnesty International are disavowing the ads.
Chinese bloggers, spurred by a report in state-run media of the Amnesty campaign last week, are now calling for a boycott of all TBWA ads, among other measures.
And many in China are indeed very angry. But there are other voices as well; below is a translated internet post from Xinmin Net: (原文):
Seems like a simple enough question. Actually… while the question of what it means to be Chinese is very simple, it is all of the numerous, equally valid answers that make the issue complicated. We have to accept that there are different answers for different people.
Here is one answer, translated from a post written by an American-raised Chinese on MITBBS (原贴):
I was eating lunch with a good friend (both a colleague and a classmate) a few days ago. He’s a true Englishman, having lived in England from birth through university. Although he’s now attending school with me in the United States, he naturally does so with the identity of an Englishman. Whereas I, as an ethnic Chinese person raised in the United States, have in his eyes been categorized as an “American”. And I will often correct him by saying “I’m Chinese”. This time, when the topic popped up again, he laughed and asked: “From your point of view, what is a Chinese person?”
Ah, wonderful article published in Time. Of course, I’m biased as her perspectives very much mirror mine. If only we could convince Ms. Liu to submit an article for us once in a while… I’m tempted to paste the entire article here, I find it that compelling. Instead, you can read it here: Time – True Pride.
Just a few weeks ago, the west’s view of china was dominated by thuggish torch guards, hypersensitive nationalists and a repressive government. But since the earthquake in Sichuan, the immense state-led rescue effort and the outpouring of charity from the Chinese people has taken center stage. Has the country really changed that much? Not really. The two phenomena on display — nationalism and compassion — are related facets of the vast, multidimensional nation that China is. When it comes to my homeland, I feel them both.
The debate over the Internet lynch mob’s attack of Wang Qianyuan continues. Roland at ESWN brings us this exchange between one of Grace Wang’s supporters at Duke and members of the Chinese community. Grace Wang’s self-stated goal was to help the two sides “communicate”, but the final results show that hasn’t happened.
Unfortunately, many in the West continue to conflate the Internet mob’s behavior with Chinese nationalism at large. The truth is, the two are not directly related. As a proud Chinese nationalist who “defended” the Olympic Torch, I too am absolutely appalled by the Chinese Internet mob.
As far as Wang Qianyuan’s rough treatment being used to criticize those of us who love China… enough is enough. If the verbal attack on Wang Qianyuan suggests something is wrong with Chinese nationalism, then what does the physical attack on Jin Jing in Paris suggest? That something is fundamentally wrong with French liberalism?
The LA Times follows in the footsteps of the New York Times in publishing an article discussing Chinese nationalism. See the LA Times article here , and previous NY Times editorial here.
These articles do insert some much-needed balance into the Western understanding of Chinese nationalism. The LA Times article is especially notable for offering a view that most Chinese would agree is mostly balanced. However, even in the excellent LA Times article, it seems the journalist buys into a persistent Western myth.
Myth: Chinese nationalism was recently created by the Communist Party.