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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Avoiding the Dirty Business of Justice and Politics is Not a Good Solution

February 5th, 2014 1 comment

Politics and Law is the business of Justice.  And the Business of Justice, law and politics, is a very dirty business.

Periodically, whenever I feel safe and secure in the knowledge of my place in the world and in my profession as a lawyer practicing somewhat boring law fields, I go visit a court or a jail for a field trip.  If you have never done it, in whatever country you live in, you should.  Because the experience will remind you of the complexity of morality and fairness.

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Categories: Analysis, culture, General Tags: , ,

New Internet Economy Puts Dent In “Boycott China”

November 11th, 2013 3 comments

I have long maintained that boycotts rarely work well as a tool of political protest.  Even when mobilized as a collective national action like a trade embargo, history has not shown much effectiveness in causing political change, other than merely increasing bitterness (like the Embargo against Cuba).

Against a much larger target, with even broader scope, such as “boycott China”, the sheer size of lunacy of such a proposition is immediately apparent.  Chinese economy is not pinned down in a few special economic sectors, it’s large and diverse, and most importantly international.  It produces final products and components and material.  It’s not merely economical for businesses, it’s necessity of businesses to buy Chinese products.

But even more interestingly, the increase in the internet economy has shown that it’s not just companies like Walmart that dictates the improbability of “boycott China”, it’s increasingly the end user purchasers who are making it impossible to “boycott China”.

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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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You Scratch My Back, but I Won’t Scratch Yours

March 10th, 2010 45 comments

The two Asian Giants are still not able to figure out the line which divides them – in the longest running border dispute in modern history. This dispute offers interesting lessons on how to, and how not to, handle boundary issues. The analysis of Chinese behavior in the negotiations is doubly important given China’s perception in the west of it ‘flexing its muscles’, and China’s theory of ‘Peaceful Rise’.

About a century ago, Sir Henry McMahon, the then British Foreign Secretary, took a think red pencil and sketched a line between India and Tibet on a map – a line which has resulted in the two most populous nations in the world going to war, costing more than 2000 lives; and which has created enormous mistrust on both sides, especially in India.

Consequently, on 3rd July 1914 was signed one of the most bizarre and controversial agreements ever known to man – The Simla accord, the complexities of which have yet to be unraveled.
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Google – A New Approach to China

January 13th, 2010 206 comments

Google issued a press release on their blog just a few hours ago pertaining to their operation in China. It is big news and will take some time to digest. I don’t want to comment, just get the story out.  Read more…

Can Ma Ying-jeou Weather the Storm?

August 17th, 2009 50 comments

From August 6-9, southern Taiwan was hit with the worst typhoon in 50 years. Per the Associated Press story:

“Morakot dumped more than 80 inches (two meters) of rain on the island last weekend and stranded thousands in villages in the mountainous south. A total of 15,400 villagers have been ferried to safety, and rescuers are working to save another 1,900 people. The storm destroyed the homes of 7,000 people and caused agricultural and property damage in excess of 50 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.5 billion), Ma told the security conference.”

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Chimerica: James Fallows & Niall Ferguson

July 15th, 2009 144 comments

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.

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Topics on Democracy (Part 2) — A Model for the 21st Century

July 6th, 2009 58 comments
( A short thesis exploring the problems and viability of implementing a democratic system from a developing country’s point of view. The thesis concludes with an introduction of an interesting hybrid system that seems to be taking shape in the ongoing political evolutionary process in China.
This article is the final part of the 2-part series on democracy, and was first published on Jun 3, 2009 on the following website : chinablogs.wordpress.com )

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Topics on Democracy (Part 1) — Democracy War Game

July 1st, 2009 114 comments
( This article was first published on May 23, 2009 on the following website : chinablogs.wordpress.com )
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*** ( Important : Please note that this article is NOT a rebuttal of Raj’s recent Democracy article. Nor has it anything at all to do with his article in any way. It is a pure coincidence that his article was published just before mine. It has always been my intention to transfer my articles from my site onto FM. And my Democracy 2-part series happens to be the next and last articles to be transferred. The readers should NOT view this article as a response to any previous articles on this FM site ) ***

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India: Friend, Enemy, or Both?

June 23rd, 2009 423 comments

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.

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Iran & China: Is World Press Coverage Similar or Different?

June 22nd, 2009 55 comments

i38_19379493 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.

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Green Dam-Youth Escort

June 16th, 2009 117 comments

China Internet

It seems the western media and Chinese blogosphere agree on one thing; Green Dam is not winning any popularity contests. Today, the Chinese government backed down on the mandatory usage of the software, though it will still come either pre-loaded or be included on a compact disc with all PCs sold on the  mainland from July 1st.

There are several problems associated with this software, each one an interesting topic in itself. I’d like to run down the issues associated with its release, one by one.

1) Why the sudden announcement of this invasive software with virtually no implementation time given to the manufacturers?
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(Letter from raventhorn4000) Political paradigm

June 2nd, 2009 2 comments

A supernova occurring on July 4, 1054 formed the Crab Nebula, a well known supernova remnant in Taurus. The ancient Chinese recorded detailed observations. It was a previously unseen star that became for a time bright enough to be visible in the daytime. Some Native American Tribes also made records of the event.

Around the same time, Venice, Genoa, and the Byzantine Empire (or the Eastern Roman Empire) were near their full power. Yet strangely, none of these Christian nations of the time made any observation of the visible event, which lasted almost 2 years.

Historians attributed this to the problem of “paradigm” in scientific theories, where upon the scholars of the Western world were simply unable to break some basic assumptions of their theories, and thus consciously or subconsciously decided to ignore ALL data that does not fit their assumptions.

Western nations of the time, because of the Christian Church, believed in the “Immutable Heaven”, ie. the “celestial sphere” cannot change.

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Some historians have explained also, that Chinese astronomers were not bound by any theoretical assumptions, and therefore, they were able to make very detailed and accurate observations of the stars, without worrying about running into contradicting “Holy assumptions” of their times.

On the same explanation, there was a general argument that ancient Chinese were less interested in “theoretical causes”, ie. they didn’t bother to formulate too many theories about “why”.

Afterall, with the volumes of astronomical data in the Chinese historical archives, and the amazing astrological clocks built by the ancient Chinese, why is it that the Chinese never bothered to make many models for the solar system??

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Some have also theorized that the Chinese version of the “scientific theory” is more about systematic “trial and error” rather than a “Method and test” (as in the Western and modern scientific methodology).

Indeed, many Chinese inventions and discoveries were often more based upon “accidents”, rather than any methods of search.

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Of course, now we assume that the “Method and test” scientific method is the better way to get at the truth.

But we also know that historically, the “method and test” method has ran headlong into the “paradigm” problem over and over again.

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On the parallel of Political theories, analogous systems are seen in modern China and the West.

China, with its “trial and error” method of political reforms and leadership selections. Versus the West, “Method” is always right, regardless of the actual results.

Which one is better?

But let us challenge another basic assumption, Is the Chinese system really simply “trial and error”???

One could argue that one can develop mathematics and algebra by simple “trial and error”. Afterall, if one count the results of “1+1”, one can easily arrive at 2 as the answer.

One can reach “result oriented theories”, ie. 1 star will be at this location at this particular time of the year, just by repeated detailed observations. Without ever having known the composition or actual location of the star itself.

Given the problem of “paradigm”, I would posit that the “Western Method” of “democracy” is in a problem of “paradigm”, that its assumptions of “correctness” is simply another way for the adherents to ignore unwanted data.

In actuality, all political systems are based upon “trial and error”. Trying to develop a method to explain the correctness of own’s “accidental choice” is rather like explaining why one rolled a 5 in craps. Yes, you rolled the dice, but it’s not really a choice.

Categories: General Tags: ,

China in the Year 2020: Three Political Scenarios

March 24th, 2009 69 comments

In our Dalai Lama Warns of Looming Violence thread, Wukailong linked to this essay covering three political scenarios that China might face in the year 2020. The author, Cheng Li is Senior Fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution and William R. Kenan Professor of Government at Hamilton College. His summary is as follows:

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Song of the Grass-Mud Horse

March 16th, 2009 26 comments

There’s a new phenomenon sweeping China. Back in January on a Chinese web page, a new video made its way from there into the hearts of internet users all across the country, spawning a wave of related items such as cartoons, documentaries and grass-mud horse dolls.

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(Letter from chinayouren, Opposing Viewpoint) Shanghai’s Tower of Babel

December 5th, 2008 35 comments

If you’ve been reading the Chinese press this week, you might have come across two strikingly unharmonious pieces of information.

I am speaking of the treatment of the Shanghai Tower news by China Daily (ht Shanghaiist). In the space of 3 days from 11/28 to 12/01 China Daily has changed its tune radically in two articles about the construction of the new tower, which started last Saturday.

The first article is pretty neutral. It announces the beginning of the works, and has Shanghai CCP’s Lin Xu declare that spending on infrastructure will “help companies to weather the crisis“.

The second article, an unsigned editorial, is ripe with criticism of about every possible aspect of the project. Including some juicy ones: “symbolizes that blind worship and race for skyscrapers has reached a new high” and “The money could still be spent better elsewhere on so many priorities“.

What is going on here? Who forced this article into Beijing’s China Daily, the largest English language newspaper in China? It is a quickly written and poorly edited/translated article, someone obviously overrode the usual procedures of the newspaper to get this text to press ASAP. Someone you wouldn’t dare to edit or reject.

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Categories: Analysis Tags: , , , , ,

(Letter) Being a Chinese American….

October 31st, 2008 4 comments

Being a first generation immigrant, I sometimes wonder what right do I have as a Chinese/Taiwanese American to voice my opinion on Chinese/Taiwanese politics. Seems like every forum I join, I always get accused of because I am an “American” I just don’t get it. Of course being at a young age of 24, I took it as a personal attack. These last few months I have been part of this group at www.udn.com, but I have to keep my mouth shut because whenever I disagree with their opinion, they just say you just too ignorant because you are an American. Read more…

(Letter from sophie, Opposing Viewpoint) Imagining the current US election happens in China…

September 13th, 2008 57 comments

I have been following this year’s US election. As an onlooker, there is some kind of entertaining element in my interest. But, at the same time, I am asking myself how it would be like if this election process was run in China, a country of 1.3 billion population. Since i don’t know the US election process very well, I am asking simple questions here: how feasible is democracy or how to put it in practice in a large country without it being downgraded to image competition? Read more…

Quiz: What kind of Chinese are you?

May 23rd, 2008 95 comments

Take the little quiz below, and find out what kind of Chinese you are (politically). The questions and answers give great insight into the common points of conflict that divide the “left” and the “right” amongst Chinese.

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Categories: Analysis, q&a Tags: , ,