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Jun 25

“True Pride” – Time magazine

Written by Buxi on Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 7:02 pm
Filed under:media | Tags:,
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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.

Money quotes:

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.


But I became perplexed by the behavior of the supposedly neutral media. No report of China was ever complete without a mention of Tiananmen; no Chinese interviewee ever had anything positive to say about his or her life. It seemed to me that Western media were exclusively highlighting the worst side of China.

My Western compatriots, normally so skeptical of the media, seemed to buy this depiction of China. Friends would tell me in low, excited tones that they were going to China. Would they be arrested? No, I would say: Chinese criticize the government all the time.

China is proud of its culture but also curious about other ones. Chinese people genuinely regard the Olympics as a wonderful way to introduce the world to their home. Opening your doors only to have them flung back in your face with misinformed and misguided moral disdain is deeply insulting. The Western press and public opinion are filled with condescension toward China, and the attitude that the West alone knows what is best for all peoples.

Perhaps my views qualify me as a nationalist. Personally, I have always thought of myself as trying to understand China and explain what the Chinese point of view might be. I have loved my international upbringing precisely because understanding — and appreciating — diverse cultural perspectives helps me overcome misconceptions, respect others and settle differences. The Sichuan earthquake, tragic as it was, has shown the world the compassionate face of Chinese nationalism. The human spirit underpins it and connects us all.


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245 Responses to ““True Pride” – Time magazine”

  1. JL Says:

    There is truly a lot about China that its patriots can be proud of, and I concede that there is occasional bias in the media, but I still have trouble understanding this:

    “The Western press and public opinion are filled with condescension toward China”
    “It seemed to me that Western media were exclusively highlighting the worst side of China.”

    Has anyone ever thoroughly investigated the proportion of negative press about the Chinese government versus, say, negative press about the Russian government, or the American government? In the media I read (mostly the British ‘serious’ papers like the Guardian), I genuinely don’t think the Chinese government comes over any worse than the other governments.
    Furthermore, it is easy to show that the Western media pays far more attention to the shortcomings of societies it sees as similar to “the West”. If Guantanamo Bay had been established by an African nation nobody would know about it. That we now read about the Chinese governments shortcomings demonstrates, I think, that our media is coming to view China as ‘one of us’.
    Therefore I maintain that the real bias is against Africa and India -it takes catastrophes and government failure of colossal scale before the our media can be convinced that the suffering of Africans is as equally newsworthy as that of Chinese or Americans.

  2. DJ Says:

    Interestingly, the Time’s China blog also talked about this very article. And the post narrowly focused on how it was mistranslated into Chinese, while insinuating a deliberate attempt at distortion.

    “The Western press and public opinion are filled with condescension toward China and the attitude that the West alone knows what is best for all peoples,” is changed. In translation it becomes, “The Western press and public opinion are filled with condescension toward China, and this is the only attitude the West knows and the attitude that most fits all (Western) people.

    So I went to the linked Chinese version and found the “offending sentence”.

    西方媒体和舆论对中国充满一种高高在上的屈尊态度,这就是西方唯一知道的、最适合所有人的态度。

    Gee, I would say it was probably just an innocent mistake. The proper translation should be 这就是唯有西方唯一知道的、什么最适合所有人的态度。 In essence, the word “only” needs to be moved to before “the west”, and a word “what” should be added. That’s it.

    By the way, Austin Ramzy, in pointing out the mistranslation, mistranslated the Chinese version himself.

  3. sun bin Says:

    I think JL is right about Guardian.

    But Guardian is a rarity these days, being a traditionally “left-winged” paper sympathetic to the socialists(?), i think. (and many people still assocaite China with socialism!!!, despite the fact that it is as capitalistic as the US)

    i guess if we do a fair/random sampling one would find:
    1) guadian/asahi/LA Times has much smaller market share than ‘the rest’
    2) british papers are, in general, more critical and more focused in facts compared with, e.g. the american (eg, cnn/wsj/nyt — which are most US-centric and, perhaps mainly for commercial reasons, tend to use stereotypical description to appeal to its readers more often), which has much larger market share.

  4. yo Says:

    Sunbin,
    I think your interpretation of the American press is dead on. There definitely is some stereotyping going around. That’s just lazy journalism imo.

  5. snow Says:

    I’d say that the western media giving larger coverage on China than on India or Africa does not mean that they have less bias against China. There is always substantial economic and political reason, the national interests that underline or dictate whatever they find “newsworthy.”

    The western mdeia’s bias against China is deeply ingrained, and you can feel this even from reading the articles published by the so called liberal journalists plus “China experts” from left-leaning newspapers and journals (such as The Guardian). Not long ago and even today some politicians or think-tank scholars in the US would carelessly use “communist China” in their China articles and interviews. On web discussion forums even a moderate explanation of facts in clarifying the senseless attack on Chinese government would be commonly called being CCP apologist by western netizens. The Prejudice against China has taken more sophisticated and subtler forms in recently years as more and more of journalists and academia are able to have first hand experience in China but nevertheless it is rooted in the Pride (a cultural imperialism which says my set of values is superior than yours and therefore my perception of reality in China is more accurate than yours). Some of them would take as personal insult if you say he or she does not understand China in such and such issues. The Cold War mentality is also a factor, almost a fixation of western sensibility, unmovable like a mountain.

  6. Ma Bole Says:

    I have no beef with patriotism, per se. But Chinese patriotism is particularly thin-skinned, angry, frightened, and exclusive. It’s true that China is frequently the target of criticism in the western press, but who isn’t? Moreover, are the U.S. and Japan treated any better by the Chinese media? How many times during the last eight years (i.e., since George W. Bush first took office) have French or German politicians insulted the U.S.? Do Americans respond by taking to the streets in protest, angrily demanding apologies, and threatening boycotts? In fact, contrary to the Ms. Liu’s assertion, I see much less condescension in the western media’s treatment of China than I do in the Chinese media’s treatment of the U.S. and Japan. By way of example, I remember buying a newspaper in Beijing three or four years ago – the front page headline read (in Chinese) “The U.S. A Danger To World Peace”. Likewise, on September 18 of last year (i.e., the anniversary of Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931) I watched a Beijing television reporter interview a 7 or 8 year old elementary school student. When asked about the significance of the anniversary, the student replied that he didn’t know very much, just that the Japanese were very bad because they invaded China sometime in the past and killed many Chinese. Great stuff. Very patriotic. I suppose that if you’re Chinese, that’s all you really need to know. Fair treatment? Hardly. On an almost daily basis, I find the most outrageous, vitriolic, bombastic, and conspiratorial crap about the U.S. offered up as news in China. (While modest, legitimate criticism of the ruling regime is nonexistent.)

    The truth about the western media is that it thrives on conflict and crisis. The protests surrounding the torch relay, for example, is news. Crowds of happy Chinese supporters are not news – at least not until they become angry and start beating up China’s critics. Perhaps many Chinese would be surprised to learn that westerners frequently express the opinion that the media is too negative. Even so, such negativity sells, and sells well. As the saying goes, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Get used to it. And stop your whining.

  7. EugeneZ Says:

    @Ma Bole,

    You are kidding yourself for being so ignorant of the prevalent media bias in the west and attitude of condescension or even hostility towards China among many prominent media figures such as Jack Cafferty (who calls Chinese “goons and thugs”) and Lou Dubbs (who refuses to refer to China as “China”, but always as “Communist China”).

    I am extremely pleased that Jiajia Liu wrote such an eloquent piece on a fairly complex subject for a person of her age and experience. She did take advantage of her life experience and her unique background as a Chinese living in the west. I wish that my daughter will be able to have such enlightened perspective and write something like this when she grows up.

  8. DJ Says:

    Ma Bole,

    Please try read my following comment to you in a friendly tone:

    Just look at your rant! Perhaps you should consider take some of the medicine you suggested to the “whining” Chinese for yourself.

  9. Buxi Says:

    @JL,

    Have you always been this reasonable? I mean that, I think you pose a good question.

    The truth is, people have always blamed media bias. Those familiar with American politics should be well-aware of the growing divide between, say, “liberal media” and Fox News. In Taiwan, the leading Taiwanese Independence website is actually called “Anti-Media”… I think that should tell you something; they spend all of their time railing against what they call the “unification media”. I’m sure similar criticisms exist in Europe.

    I think there’s good reason for in this, and also a little exaggeration. The truth is, media do have specific perspectives. Obviously, articles can be written with a biased perception… the recent series of Olympics-related articles in the NY Times fall in that category, I think. And even if their articles and analysis are completely factual, they can be biased just on the basis of how they choose the stories they pursue.

    There is also exaggeration, because I don’t think this is done intentionally (in almost all cases). I don’t think editors necessarily have an agenda. And when people complain about “liberal” versus “conservative” media, the moderates who spend the time to watch more than one TV channel will usually get a balanced perspective.

    But China is a special case. There is no Fox News channel to provide a “fair and balanced” perspective on the Chinese government. The debate in Western editorial pages tends to be how evil and hopeless the Chinese government is, rather than an informed discussion of whether it’s evil at all. And this is the part that really angers many Chinese: the result is a Western public that has an incredibly warped, twisted view of Chinese society.

    Other than the most ardent liberals, few Americans would take at face value an editorial written by Saddam Hussein’s former information minister criticizing George Bush’s foreign policy… they know the other side of the story here.

    But when it comes to China, no one bats an eyelash when Rebiya Kadeer or the Dalai Lama’s envoy writes an equally biased editorial for the Washington Post… because they simply don’t know the other side of the story. As someone who’s seen what people on the streets say (or at least type online)… they really, really do not know the other side of the story on China. I’ve talked about this before, in reference to the Olympic torch.

    The biggest reaction amongst average Americans after Chinese crowds turned out to “defend” the torch was complete shock: you mean there are Chinese people who actually support the Olympics? You mean there are people who don’t believe Tibet is a country invaded in 1950, in which the Chinese government is committing genocide? (This of course led to the follow-on question: are all these Chinese brain-washed, or are they being paid? But I’ll take this as progress.)

    The fact that this shock exists is more than sufficient proof, for me, of persistent and systematic media bias. I’m glad Time published Ms. Liu’s editorial… when average Americans at least know this perspective exists (even if they don’t share with it), then I’ll say the bias has finally disappeared.

  10. hotshotdebut Says:

    BBC ran an article about a report by the Chinese government detailing the ratio of negative and positive news about China. I cannot find the news now, but I think the government keeps a tally.

    One thing I think about western media is that they are overrated.

    And the solution to this prejudice is not closeness, but rather openness.

  11. Nimrod Says:

    Buxi,

    I would also add that there is a kind of ideas monopoly and peer pressure going on. If you dare to express anything but “canonical” views on topics like TAM or Tibet, chances are you will be shouted down as a panda hugger or communist sympathizer. This happens in news and also in conversations, and you get this from both the left and the right in the US. The bias is that deep. The atmosphere is that dead. It’s that kind of closed-mindedness that shackles people from even thinking there is an “other side”.

  12. Ma Bole Says:

    I’ve said it before in other forums, but I say it again. I look forward to the day when ignorant buffoons like Jack Cafferty of CNN can criticize China and China’s government and people won’t feel compelled to respond – or will choose to respond by saying something like, “Great men do not bear grudges against petty men” (大人不記小人過) or “Ivory does not grow from the mouths of dogs” (狗嘴裏長不出象牙來). It is unseemly for the government of a country as important and influential as China to lower itself to the level of an ignorant nobody like Jack Cafferty. The result? Cafferty wins and China loses. Lesson learned? Probably not.

    To those of you who disagreed with my first post, I say again, quit whining and demanding apologies. So your feelings are hurt. Big deal. China and its people must learn to take it on the chin like real men. 你們的臉皮太薄了.

    To be sure, freedom of speech is a bitch. People frequently take advantage of it to express all kinds of ignorant, hurtful, misguided, and misleading ideas. Just as often, they use it to express truth to power. More importantly, freedom of speech raises the quality of a people by making them tolerant of ideas other than their own. China and the Chinese could use a bit more freedom of speech, I think.

    Let the attacks begin.

  13. yo Says:

    hotshotdebut, et al

    I don’t even think the number of “negative” stories matter either. IMO, true criticism points out good and bad qualities, you basically call it like you see it, and personally, that’s fine with me. I know other posters here would agree with that sentiment because, hey, what’s wrong with that, you are pointing out flaws or things that can be improved, the media is being a watchdog, that’s good. However, that is based on the assumption that the “negative” stories are FAIR criticisms.

    If journalists are stereotyping or pigeonholing issues related to China, then they are not being fair and that is where I have my issues with. I’ll repeat it again, it’s lazy journalism.

  14. Buxi Says:

    @Ma Bole,

    I think you’re missing the point, and the existence of this blog as well as many of the events you observed prove your conclusion wrong.

    – this blog, and many other similar Internet arguments, exists because many Chinese patriots are tired of “complaining” and “whining” about Jack Cafferty’s comments. I’m done having hurt feelings. The only one to win the debate in Western terms is to engage in the debate, and that’s what we’re here for.

    – many Chinese patriots also understand that when talking nice doesn’t work, a slap to the face is the only way to get attention. Free Tibet protesters understood that in London and France, and as you saw in every subsequent city, we heard the message loud and clear.

    So, Chinese patriotism isn’t always “thin-skinned”, “frightened”, although sometimes we can be “angry”. We are certainly not complaining and whining. We, as Chinese patriots, are here planning, discussing, educating, and debating. We welcome all takers (although preferably the reasonable ones).

    Get used to it.

  15. DJ Says:

    Nimrod,

    I think your point on ideas monopoly and peer pressure is a good one. And one should take a look at what happened in the Duke university to appreciate the damage of such things. No no no I wasn’t talking about Grace Wang, but rather the infamous false rape accusation against the Duke lacrosse team and its fallout. Regarding that case, the writings by KC Johnson at his Durham in Wonderland blog are well worth a read. Johnson particularly hammered at the ugly and despicable words and behaviors of those “progressive” professors and their enablers (and their unrepentant stances to this day). One of the key themes of the criticisms was on how ideas monopoly and peer pressure of all those involved contributed to this fiasco.

    Come to think of it, I have to say that those professors’ thought pattern and expressions remind me strongly of a significant portion of the anti-China voices all over the places in the west.

  16. Buxi Says:

    @DJ,

    Great catch on the mistranslation… I actually found the article through their blog too. I knew they were insinuating *something*, but gave up trying to figure out what. Hope you hope over there and correct them on it.

  17. Ma Bole Says:

    Sites like this exist largely to complain about the unfairness of the western media. Both those who write the main posts and many of those who respond to them fixate on the western media’s alleged unfair treatment of China without ever bothering to examine the western media’s treatment of other issues. This is patently whining. On any given day, CNN, the New York Times, the BBC, Le Monde, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – just to name a few – spend much more time criticizing their own governments and each other than they do criticizing China. Spare me the protests. The lack of freedom of speech has rendered the Chinese a people hardly capable of listening to foreign criticism, much less considering it. And in so far as the relative merits of the western and Chinese media go, the West wins hands down. Recent news of the CCP’s renewed efforts to tighten its control of the Chinese media (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bda7cc42-4206-11dd-a5e8-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1) as well as its efforts to indimidate western scholars who publish on sensitive topics (http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2008/06/want-access-go-easy-on-china/) are proof enough of this. Your highminded defense of your blog, notwithstanding, you spend far too much time combatting the foreign media than you do fighting the larger fight against the predations of the CCP. You are nothing less than a flag-waver and an apologist.

  18. DJ Says:

    Buxi,

    Seems I would be late to hop over and comment on the Time blog now. I just saw that someone by the name Lemean already had the following:

    “这就是西方唯一知道的、最适合所有人的态度。” This is the only attitude that the West knows, the only attitude that befits all people.

    “这就是西方唯一知道最适合所有人的态度。” This is the only attitude the West knows that befits all people.

    The Chinese translation is closer to the original text than you think.

  19. tommydickfingers Says:

    bu xi

    all due respect but you are an American citizen and are in no way representative of the Chinese patriots that Ma Bole writes about. If you were here on the ground in China you would immediately see that Chinese patriots are not the slightest bit interested in ‘educating’ and ‘debating’, rather that complaining, whining and boycotting this and that are the order of the day.

    thanks
    tommy

  20. Nimrod Says:

    Ma Bole,
    Thanks for proving me right with name-calling. But we can really use less of that, keep that in mind.

    tommydickfingers,
    Now why do you get to pick who the “patriots” are? Why is it that we don’t represent them, rather than that they don’t represent us? By the way, even in the raucous crowds, some people held up well made signs and posters to get their point across. Good job for being blind to that.

  21. Ma Bole Says:

    @Nimrod

    My “name-calling” is descriptive. A bit like referring to someone who rapes people as a “rapist”.

  22. Buxi Says:

    @tommydickfingers,

    First of all, I’m a Chinese citizen. (And China doesn’t recognize dual citizenships; I’m certainly not an American citizen.)

    Second of all, I rather like the attitude shown in these quotes from Xi Jingping (on a visit to Qatar) this week:

    In terms of the incidents that have preceded the Olympics, including the Lhasa riots, interference in the Olympic torch relay, Xi Jingping believes they should be faced with a normal attitude. He said: “As far as liking or not liking Beijing hosting the Olympics, we don’t have time to worry about that. The world is large, and all kind of people exist. This world has always been very lively.”

    Xi Jingping also emphasized, the Chinese people has developed in the face of difficulties. “Don’t blame God, and don’t blame anyone else. Just aim in the right direction and go our way. As long as we decide this road ourselves, and the people support us, then we will keep going with determination. The light of dawn is right in front of us.”

    Damn straight. Less complaining about the hurt feelings of the Chinese people, and more determination on the path we will take.

  23. DJ Says:

    Ma Bole,

    Regarding your protest:

    you spend far too much time combatting the foreign media than you do fighting the larger fight against the predations of the CCP. You are nothing less than a flag-waver and an apologist.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t bother to point out the classic logic flaw in your first sentence. So I won’t.

    Instead, some questions:

    Why do you believe that there is such a thing as a “larger fight”? And if there is one, why should it be against the CCP? Why do you assume that it is a settled matter that the most important and most beneficial thing for China and the Chinese people is to fight the CCP? Where did you gain the confidence in knowing things would be better in China without the CCP?

    Maybe it’s because you don’t care about the consequences if things could get worse, or there would be little chance for it to get better.

  24. Ma Bole Says:

    Blog on this:

    Beijing blocked access within China to “In the Hepatitis B Camp,” a popular website and online forum for carriers of the virus and which was the world’s biggest such forum with over 300,000 members. China’s 120m carriers of the virus are widely discriminated against by companies, universities and some government departments, even though the virus cannot be spread through casual contact.

    (http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2008/06/group-warns-china-on-website-shutdown/)

    Lots to feel proud of there!

  25. Buxi Says:

    I’m of the firm opinion that we can better evaluate someone on the basis of what he says, than what is said about him.

    Reading Nimrod, DJ, and Ma Bole’s posts above… well, I’m certainly biased, but the contrast seems obvious. Ma Bole, I think your accusatory posts reflect more of your own inadequacies, than any ability to “score points”.

  26. Buxi Says:

    @Ma Bole,

    Beijing blocked access within China to “In the Hepatitis B Camp,” a popular website and online forum for carriers of the virus and which was the world’s biggest such forum with over 300,000 members. China’s 120m carriers of the virus are widely discriminated against by companies, universities and some government departments, even though the virus cannot be spread through casual contact.

    Lots to feel proud of there!

    The forum is still available here: http://www.hbvhbv.com/forum/

    I have no problems accessing it.

  27. Ma Bole Says:

    @DJ

    My degrees are in History, not philosophy. I would, in fact, appreciate it if you’d point out the “classic logic flaw” in my comment. Thanks in advance.

  28. Ma Bole Says:

    I just MSN-ed a friend in Beijing. She says that she cannot access the forum from her computer at Peking University but will continue trying.

  29. DJ Says:

    Ma Bole,

    Your logic is as follows: “you are wrong to should/can not fight one wrong because you are not fighting another wrong (or all wrongs).”

  30. Buxi Says:

    I just MSN-ed a friend in Beijing. She says that she cannot access the forum from her computer at Peking University but will continue trying.

    The forum has numerous posts, today, from users claiming to be in Beijing. For example:

    http://www.hbvhbv.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=731946&extra=page%3D1

    We can discuss this topic and the false report on that forum in a different thread. But I don’t really like the way you’ve hijacked the thread into a tangential topic that has absolutely nothing to do with what we’re discussing here.

    Americans, British, French, and Chinese can be proud of their country despite whatever many flaws it may still have. As one American patriot said: “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

    We’re not here to claim China is flawless, nor are we here to claim that China is always right. But even as the Chinese go about the task of setting China right, we must also distinguish between what is actually right, and what is actually wrong. If you’re interested in debating that process, stay. Otherwise, find somewhere else to vent.

    EDIT: By the way:

    Sites like this exist largely to complain about the unfairness of the western media.

    Makes me think you don’t read this blog at all. Go down the list on the right side of your screen. There are 15 blog entries there. Scan through, do the math, and tell me how many of them “complain about the unfairness of the Western media”.

  31. BMY Says:

    Many overseas Chinese have been living in the west for years and well know about the western media’s nature of criticizing and well know how often the media criticize China .Overseas Chinese had never gone to the street to protest the media bias and criticism before. my personal feeling is early this year we went on the streets was because the bias was just too much and seemed well coordinated and was bashing China’s national pride everywhere in front of the whole world. It was crossed the line .

    I agree with the criticizing nature of west media while at the same time I also agree the bias towards China is very deep and some time caused by ignorance and other time are politically motivated.

    When people agree with media complaining, whining and boycotting China because is selling weapons to Zimbabwe , have people ever checked is China the biggest weapon supplier to African countries

    Is China the biggest buyer of Sudan’s oil ? Dose Japan buy much less oil from Sudan.

    So why people are complaining, whining and boycotting China just because China is doing something some other western countries are doing but have not been massively whining about. So I clearly see the different treatments.

    I believe Ma Bole and tommy can read Chinese or is in China. If you go to these Chinese websites or popular bloggers , you certainly see all different forms of Chinese “patriots”. Some are more extreme and some are more rational just like in any country.

  32. FOARP Says:

    @Snow – I guess we can’t call China ‘communist’ anymore? And how are we to distinguish it from that other China? I’m sorry, but I cannot see how refering to a country governed by a communist party as ‘communist’ is a sign of bias. If you don’t want your country to be called ‘communist’, then get rid of the communists.

    @Sun Bin – The Guardian isn’t that much of a rarity – check out the Independent for a more left-wing issues-driven view. Hell – I don’t know why everyone has to bash the ‘western’ media on this – The Times of India, the South African Guardian and Mail, and the Straits Times have pretty much the same slant on the recent riots in Tibet.

    @Buxi –

    “The debate in Western editorial pages tends to be how evil and hopeless the Chinese government is, rather than an informed discussion of whether it’s evil at all. And this is the part that really angers many Chinese: the result is a Western public that has an incredibly warped, twisted view of Chinese society.”

    And those westerners who have lived in China also? I’m sorry, but the reality pretty much reflects the version found in the western press. Let’s see: Corruption [Check], Abuse of human rights [Check], Censorship [Check], Poverty [Check], ‘Patriotic education’ [Check], Dictatorial government [Check], Military build-up [Check], Expansive policies [Check] – I say wake up and smell the dofu.

  33. zuiweng Says:

    @ Buxi, Nimrod, DJ et.al.
    “Scoring points” , which seems to be the main intent of a lot of the postings in this thread, should better be left to soccer.
    “Winning an argument” by twisting logic, distorting facts and maligning your opponent will possibly provide you some cheap satisfaction – you are welcome to it. But in the end you are lying to yourselves and none of the problems in China (one-party system, non-independent judiciary, lack of freedom of speech and association, ethnic tensions, environmental degradation and so on) will be tackled by constantly thumping yourselves on the chest and focusing on foreign media, who are not sufficiently enthusiastic about China’s progress.
    News and commentary on China (at least in the English and German language press) is indeed sometimes highly critical and/or negatively biased and quite often these negative comments are not backed up by sufficient knowledge. But this goes for a multitude of subject matter (relations between european states, reporting on african or southamerican matters,…) and it is balanced by the existence of quite informed commentary in other media. If you are searching the press and internet with the intention of being offended in your patriotism, you will no doubt be successful, but what is the point?

    @Bole
    Excellent postings. Real pleasure reading them.

    Greetings,

    Sulishan Zuiweng

  34. Ma Bole Says:

    @Buxi

    You think I’m doing this to score points? 放你媽的狗臭屁! I don’t care about points. I actually believe what I write. Moreover, my comments are among the best your sorry blog gets. Be grateful. You are pathetic if you ban me.

    For the record: My wife and I live in Taipei, Taiwan. My wife is from Beijing. I am half Chinese – the other half being American. I was raised in Hong Kong and I speak Cantonese as well as anyone you will meet. In addition, I lived in Beijing from 1999 to 2005, so my Mandarin, though accented, is also quite good. My degrees – all from U.S. universities in the SF Bay area – are in China-related fields (Literature and History).

    Lastly – I’m no enemy of China. Far from it. YOU get used to it.

  35. snow Says:

    Ma Bole ,

    The wind would not change and justice would not be done without the grass-root fight and protest joined by the Chinese netizens all over the world against western media distortion on 3.14 riots in Lahsa a few months ago. “The West wins hands done?” I doubt.

    You talked eloquently about freedom of expression.
    In my experience of participating online forums on China related issues, I was shocked to know that even the highly educated and liberal minded westerners had hard time accepting that the rights to free speech is reserved for all. For them people from a “totalitarian” country should especially be excluded from such rights as whatever they say seemed to automatically qualify to be something brainwashed. This was why they made a big deal out of a few Chinese “fenqing”’ wording as if they were more dangerous than the media distortion itself. So in the end whatever the West says about your damn country is final and you have no rights to say otherwise or you are CCP apologists or communist sympathizers or you are a pathetic “whining” and “complaining” lot.

    In the past I was impressed by quite some incidents testifying to the open-mindedness and tolerance of the society practiced in the name of freedom of expression in the West. I now realize that the westerners hold such a double standard in their practice of this fine principle in international affairs. If only I came to this realization earlier.

  36. Ma Bole Says:

    @Buxi

    You hate that I’ve hijacked your thread? Not my problem. Ban me if you like. Very CCP of you. (Are you a Party member?) Or you could go the democratic route and take a vote.

    It’s all very nice that Ms. Liu’s essay in gave you a warm fuzzy. Meanwhile men like Hu Jia and Chen Guangcheng are in prison for expressing an opinion – with nary a peep from you in their defense. Likewise, where’s your coverage of the tens of thousands of internet police and increasingly sophisticated technologies that the CCP uses to control the spread of information (what do you want to bet it’s not just porn their worried about?). Who cares what Jack Cafferty and Sharon Stone said!! Who cares about a few mislabled or poorly-cropped photos!! Who cares about Ms. Liu and your warm fuzzy!!

    Ban me, please. Put me out of my misery.

  37. Ma Bole Says:

    By the way, no more comments from me on this thread. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.

  38. DJ Says:

    [edit: Oh well. This comment comes two minutes too late. Never mind, Elvis has left the building.]

    Now now. It’s time to calm down. Everyone, please watch the language you use.

    Why did the discussion (or to whatever degree it resembles a discussion) get to this point?

    Let’s take a step back, shall we? Buxi made a simple post because he really liked what Ms. Liu wrote in Time.

    So, Ma Bole, could you explain what your problem is with Ms. Liu? Or perhaps you don’t like the fact that Buxi liked that article. How is that unacceptable?

  39. FOARP Says:

    @Snow – Yes, and such forums that discuss topics opposed to CCP policy get closed down when discovered.

    And the nationalistic protest – especially the mind-bending “Anti-CNN” – do not constitute a shift in the wind, but a re-doubling of the phenomenon of the 2005 protests.

  40. DJ Says:

    Well, it’s too bad that Ma Bole only let it be known that he lives in Taipei in his parting shots. I have wanted to ask someone living there about a thought of mine that came up recently:

    I know that in the past it was an insult to call someone “too CCP” in Taiwan, and I imagine it is perhaps still quite true. (And it is not unlike calling someone “too CNN” in the mainland nowadays.) I wonder, are people using “you are so DPP!’ as an insult at all?

  41. snow Says:

    FOARP,

    “Yes, and such forums that discuss topics opposed to CCP policy get closed down when discovered.”

    Well, at least those in the West who hold double standard in practicing freedom of expression seems not much better than CCP in essence. But CCP never promises unconditional freedom of expression and has always said that cretain restrictions apply….

  42. snow Says:

    FOARP,

    “But I cannot see how referring to a country governed by a communist party as ‘communist’ is a sign of bias. If you don’t want your country to be called ‘communist’, then get rid of the communists.”

    Even a person moderately informed on China affairs would know that communist party is now a label without much substance. For a western politician or a high profile journalist referring China as communist is not only an ignorant bias but also suspicious of deliberate misleading (as for some Cold War is far from over and anti-communism sells).

  43. Davidpeng Says:

    @Buxi,

    I can’t acces the forum from Shanghai.

    http://www.hbvhbv.com/forum/

  44. Davidpeng Says:

    China is just too diversified and complex to be simplifed by either side.

    Ordinary Chinese enjoy most of freedom on lifestyle, certain level freedom of speech and expression. There are still lots of taboos in political domain as listed by FOARP. If you dare stepping into these area, you will feel dark side of China, like Hu Jia and Chen Guangcheng.

    However, China society becomes more and more open and tolerant especially after the country turns richer. The level of freedom and the consciousness of citizenship in China is unimaginable 10 years ago, even in political domain. That is the game between the Party and the people. I am optimistic about its outcome with cautiousness.

    Actually, one paragraph in Ms. Liu’s article (which is not in Buxi’s excerpt) reflects how Chinese intellects/elite think about the political democracy:

    ============

    As for democracy, it remains to be seen what kind is suitable for China and when it can be introduced. Democracy is effective only when supported by the appropriate institutions and by cultural maturity. China is a vast country accustomed to imperial rule, where preserving overall harmony by suppressing individual freedoms is accepted. The current government is autocratic, but it is also adept at keeping the nation together by fast-tracking reforms. As an autocracy, moreover, Beijing can act with unparalleled efficiency for good, as shown in the massive rescue operation after the recent earthquake.

    ===========

    Definitely China has many flaws on its political system. It need to be improved according to the economical development. Part of the discussion happened to fall into Hu Jintao’s scientific development. That’s not coincidence. China may develop kind of democracy with Chinese’ characteristics. The democracy can only brew from inside but not be pushed from outside.

  45. Theo Says:

    I think Jiajia Lu’s article is an interesting insight into Chinese pride and also the Chinese conscience. She is proud of the progress of China, its stability and material wealth compared to 20 years ago. That’s understandable. To me the article shows what appears to be a cultural difference in conscience. In the Judeo-Christian societies I think many people would find it hard to express unalloyed pride in such achievements if they were achieved at the expense of jailing dissenters, curbing free speech and denying the rights of individuals to justice and the law. Does economic power alone justify national pride? In my Euro-centric view, a truly successful society takes pride in its human values and achievements, how both government and people treat the most vulnerable in society, and in civic values.

  46. 游子 Says:

    English translation below is by Buxi; any complaints or corrections, let me know.

    既然BUXI先生称自己是中国公民,而且发言人似乎大多都懂中文,我就用中文来说说自己的想法。这样,可以显得更加爱国吧。

    Since Mr. Buxi claims to be a Chinese citizen, and most posters here seem to understand Chinese, I’ll use Chinese to express my thoughts. This way, maybe I’ll seem even more patriotic.

    关于西方媒体对中国的偏见,近年来老是听见某些中国人说起。这一部分中国人能够时时看到西方媒体的道,应该不是一般的中国人——要知道,本人可是在中国生活了这么多年,除了官方媒体转述的西方报道,平时是看不到CNN或者ABC的。所以,西方媒体的“偏见”,对我们这些普通中国人而言根本没有任何意义,我们也不在乎。再说了,很多时候中国政府被别人骂,与我等平民百姓真的没什么关系。即使别人对政府有偏见,也不关我们的事。何况,我们即使想骂也不敢公开骂。

    In terms of Western bias towards China, in recent years, I’m always hearing this from certain Chinese. The group of Chinese that can see Western reporting, shouldn’t be a group of average Chinese – you have to know that I’ve lived in China many years, and other than official media descriptions of Western reporting, I normally can’t see CNN or ABC. So, the “bias” of the Western media, to normal Chinese like me have absolutely no meaning. We don’t care. Besides, when the Chinese government is being cursed at by others, that doesn’t have anything to do with average citizens. Even if others have biases towards the Chinese government, it doesn’t affect us. Besides, even if we wanted to curse, we don’t dare do it openly.

    我承认世上没有绝对客观公平的媒体。而客观事实也不是通过哪个客观公正的独家媒体所能认定的,就象真理不会掌握在某个人或者某部分人手上一样。我们所需要的是言论和新闻的自由环境。在这种环境下,你认为别人说的不对,你可以进行公开反驳和辩论。在不同的观点的互相辩论中,真相和真理便逐渐浮出并清晰。从这一点来说,自由是公正的基础。没有自由,在新闻控制的环境下,公正的种子绝不会发芽。

    I admit that this world doesn’t have any absolutely objective media. But objective truth can’t be determined by any specific fair or objective independent media, just like the “truth” can’t be held in the hands of any certain person or group of people. What we need is a true free environment for discussion and news. In this kind of environment, if you disagree with what others are saying, you can participate with open rebuttal and debate. In the debate between different perspectives, the truth and true logic will gradually become apparent. From this point of view, freedom is the foundation of fairness. Without freedom, in an environment in which the news is controlled, then the seeds of truth will never blossom.

    CNN当然不是真相的天然代表,谁都不是。如果你认为CNN报道有错,你自然有权去抗议——说到这里,我这个土生土长的中国人就郁闷得很——中国的CCTV天天讲假话,我们就没有权利去抗议。当然,我们这些小民也不敢奢望有抗议的权利。我只是希望,以后你们这部分中国人在和西方媒体吵架的时候,不要又把我们这些中国人扯进去,好不好?我们只是希望站在一边看热闹。如果你们和CCTV吵架输了,就掉回头来向我们哭着说:“我们中国人被人欺侮了”;而我们这些中国人,还是会当笑话看的。

    Of course CNN isn’t the angel of truth, no one is. But if you believe CNN reporting is flawed, you of course have the right to protest — on this point, this native born/native bred Chinese gets frustrated — China’s CCTV is lying every day, but we don’t have the right to protest. Of course, us little citizens don’t dare to expect the right to protest. I just hope that, as your group of Chinese argue with the Western media, don’t drag us Chinese in the discussion. Ok? We just want to stand on the side and watch the action. And if you lose your argument with CCTV, then turn around and cry to us: “We Chinese are being humiliated!” But my group of Chinese, we’ll treat it as a joke.

  47. Fu Jieshi Says:

    1. I immigrated with my parents and older brother to the U.S. from Chongqing in 1991 when I was 14. Looking back, I’m very glad we left China. It’s clear to us all that we never would have done as well had we remained in China. While I am very happy at the tremendous progress that China has made in recent years, frequent trips to Chongqing, Shanghai, and Beijing over the last few years have convinced me that life in China is still a brutal grind for most people. In recent weeks, much has been made over the popular Chinese response to the tremendous suffering that took place following the earthquake in Sichuan. The story that my relatives in Sichuan tell differs greatly from the story we see told on Chinese television and on the internet. In particular, people continue to suffer terribly, the government is either unable or unwilling to help the victims, and there is widespread theft and corruption. In other words, I feel fortunate that I am now a U.S. citizen. And I feel tremendous sympathy for the hundreds of millions of Chinese who did not have my good fortune. What good is patriotism when you make so little money? Everything good in my life came from coming to the U.S. China has done nothing for me. Really. Absolutely nothing. The Olympics are a meaningless fiction. A distraction. For me, China is a place to visit, and then leave. I would rather live in the U.S. during a recession than in China. Patriotism is a luxury that only people with time and money can afford. The poor are too busy struggling to survive to worry about patriotism. China is a nation full of poor people.

    2. I applaud the people who started this blog with the idea of creating a forum where people interested in China could learn more and exchange ideas. However, after reading through many of the comments, I must say that I agree with those that point out the hypocrisy of Chinese “patriots” who criticize the U.S. media for its anti-China bias while saying nothing about the anti-U.S. bias of the Chinese media. The Chinese media is far worse. I don’t know how any reasonable person could deny this.

    3. I am frequently embarassed at the closed minds of many Chinese. To me, China needs more open-minded people. Who cares about the Olympics? What good are gold medals? China has too much pride already.

  48. Fu Jieshi Says:

    I agree with much of what 游子 said.

  49. zuiweng Says:

    游子:

    Yours is the most reasonable, straight-talking post in the whole thread. Thank you.

    Greetings,

    Sulishan Zuiweng

  50. Fu Jieshi Says:

    Anyone who wants to understand what China is really like should read “中国农民调查”. The English translation is called “Will the Boat Sink the Water: The Life of China’s Peasants”. The book was originally praised by the Chinese government. Then it was banned. It was very popular in China before it was banned. Forget what you see on television during the Olympics. Read this book instead.

  51. CLC Says:

    @游子

    Since this is an English blog, it is better to make your comment (mainly) in English. Some readers may have a good command of Chinese. Some may not.

    我就用中文来说说自己的想法。这样,可以显得更加爱国吧。
    You probably are aware that Mr. Wang Jingwei (汪精卫), who headed a Japanese-supported collaborationist government, wrote beautiful Chinese poems while Mr. Sun Yat-sen (孙中山), the founding father of modern China, was a US citizen.

    西方媒体的“偏见”,对我们这些普通中国人而言根本没有任何意义
    Well, that “Bias” affects public opinions and government policies in the Western countries. In turn, it affects bilateral relations, trade, tourism, etc. It affects every ordinary Chinese.

    向我们哭着说:“我们中国人被人欺侮了”;而我们这些中国人,还是会当笑话看的。
    You are entitled to your opinions, but do you mean all Chinese are like you?

  52. Buxi Says:

    Boy, lots of good discussion topics here. We could have a long-lasting thread on every single one. I’m going to try to not get too greedy here and talk about all of them at once. I’ll just take it in reverse order, and then focus on the topics I think is most interesting:

    1. – @Fu Jieshi, 中国农民调查 was banned from publication about a year after a violation of privacy rights case went ahead in Chinese courts. Fortunately, just about all Chinese who care remotely about China have read the book. And even today, the book appears to be available again:
    http://www.douban.com/subject/1051363/
    review on Xinhua:
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/book/2004-02/04/content_1297883.htm

    I’m not going to defend the fact the book wasn’t published for 2 years. I don’t know the legal reason behind it, and it’s probably a dark story. But what I *do* want to say is that the book mostly refers to events in the ’90s (even early ’90s). I personally think the book achieved its purpose, the uproar it caused was a huge wakeup call to Beijing, and in my opinion led directly to the 三农 policy over the last 5 years. And this policy has paid huge rewards. We’ll definitely discuss rural China on this thread.

    – @Fu Jieshi again, you and I can agree on one thing. Achieving wealth is far more important than anything else (this is why millions of Mexicans would leave their democratic country and flood into a country where they have zero political or legal rights).

    But I suppose the difference is, you see China’s poverty, and thus question why anyone would love a poor country that could do little for it; this motivates you into dismissing or ignoring China. I see China’s poverty, I love my country, and therefore I’m motivated to see it prosper and grow wealthy.

    – @游子, I hope you’re not suggesting those that post in English on this blog are not patriotic! If you are more comfortable writing in Chinese, I have no problem with that. If you don’t mind, I would like to translate your comment into English , because our goal is to make this discussion available for English-speakers… oh heck, I’ll go ahead and just do that now, and then reply to it. Let me know if you dislike the translation, if you want to make any changes.

    We’ll also do that translation for anyone else that prefers to write in Chinese.

    – @Ma Bole, I have no intention of banning you on the basis of what you’ve said so far. I’d prefer to leave your postings up, so that readers can compare what we’re all saying side by side. I’m comfortable with the conclusion that our readers will draw.

    However, I will keep a tight leash on unproductive ranting, from all sides. If you don’t know the difference between an unproductive rant and a well-argued comment…well, stay tuned, we’ll school you yet.

  53. DJ Says:

    Fu Jieshi,

    Could you elaborate on why a Chinese would be “close-minded” if he/she cares about Olympics? And is procession of such a logic evidence of an open-mind?

  54. CLC Says:

    @Fu Jieshi

    Everything good in my life came from coming to the U.S. China has done nothing for me. Really. Absolutely nothing.

    Nothing good for the 14 years while you were in China? What a waste of life! And a quote from JFK, “ask not what your country can do for you.”

    What good is patriotism when you make so little money?

    Tell that to May 4th students. China was even poorer then (1919).

  55. Buxi Says:

    @Youzi,

    We agree on one thing. An environment for free debate and discussion is the only way to get at the truth, its the only way to get at the underlying truth. There is an underlying truth about China; I don’t pretend to know the full truth, and you shouldn’t pretend to know it either. Only through debate will we have a better idea of what that truth actually is.

    But the key to having free debate and discussion is to hear both sides. For decades, there has only been one side in the West. The only one to argue the counter-point to foreign criticism has been the Chinese government, and government propaganda in English sounds as ridiculous and unbelievable as it does in Chinese. So, instead, the discussion in the West has become dominated by one voice.

    If you misunderstand the purpose of this blog, if you think we’re only here to complain or argue, then you’re sadly mistaken and your insults are misguided. We are only trying to do exactly what you said: help the truth about China come out through discussion and debate. CNN and the foreign media aren’t at all evil, they’re only biased because they have too little insight in China for decades.

    Now, I’m well aware that the Chinese government restricts access to overseas TV broadcasts; it’s a shame, because it means you don’t have any idea what those of us living and working overseas are able to see. The foreign media simply doesn’t understand the issues that the Chinese care about, both positive and negative. Do you think the foreign media cares about (or even knows about) the Southern China Tiger? Do you think CNN and NY Times talk very often about official corruption? When it comes to the Chinese Peasant Review, the foreign media cares more the lawsuit than the actual lives of Chinese peasants.

    If you look at what we discuss here, CNN and foreign media “bias” is a tiny percentage of what we have focused on. My goal for this blog is to introduce China from the Chinese perspective, not “fight” the Western media. We have translated threads from MaoYan, TianYa ZaTan, and we will continue to do so. We also have “free” Chinese forums, where government intervention doesn’t exist, and we draw heavily from those conclusions and posts as well. I think you personally would be much more enlightened if you could see the “truth that has blossomed” in many overseas Chinese forums, where we do have the ability and opportunity to debate topics to its end without government intervention.

  56. Wu Kong Says:

    What good is patriotism when you make so little money?

    Exactly!

    You should also add:

    What good is “democracy” when you make so little money?
    What good is “free press” when you make so little money?

    Chinese government has often said:”The right of (economic) survival is the biggest human rights” (生存权是最大的人权)。 And they are right , most people who grew up in developing world would understand it instantly. You have more common with Chinese government then you think.

    Economic development is key, and for sustained economic progress, you need social stability. Chinese leadership figured that about 30 years ago, Deng Xiaoping was hammering these ideas into his colleague’s heads when he famously said “Development is the hard truth”(发展就是硬道理)and “Stability is of paramount importance)(稳定压倒一切)

    You can faulted Chinese government for many things, but you can’t fault Chinese government drive and focus for bettering the living standards of majority Chinese for the past 30 years.

  57. AC Says:

    @Ma Bole

    Please stay, just cut the verbal insult and keep your comments on topic. I can’t speak for Buxi, but I think he might even be willing to gant you an entry on this blog if you have something intelligent to share. Personally I think we need more dissent on this blog.

    That said, what you wrote here are nothing but ideologically charged rants, I doubt that you have anything intelligent to offer. You are not here to try to understand the issues, rather, you are here to confirm your deeply held views on China.

  58. Buxi Says:

    @AC,

    I personally would give Youzi a blog entry…

  59. snow Says:

    “说到这里,我这个土生土长的中国人就郁闷得很——中国的CCTV天天讲假话,我们就没有权利去抗议。当然,我们这些小民也不敢奢望有抗议的权利。”

    I visited China every year. I’ve seen a great deal of in-depth criticism of CCP and government policies published on web sites and newspapers and journals and I’ve heard people of all walks criticizing those in power freely. If you are not one of those people who let their voice heard you have yourself to blame for relinquishing your rights and responsibility as a dutiful citizen.

  60. Fu Jieshi Says:

    @DJ
    Perhaps I didn’t express myself clearly enough. I did not mean to suggest that any Chinese who cares about the Olympics is close-minded. I meant to express two main points: first, that the kind of patriotism we see expressed in forums like these is a luxury that has little relevance to the lives of most Chinese; and second, that such patriotism, particularly as it obsesses over the foreign media’s so-called anti-Chinese bias is both wrong-headed and narrow-minded. In the final analysis, the Olympics are a distraction. A two-week party. An excuse to build more monuments and feel good about ourselves. Liu Xiang will win a gold medal, and for five minutes we will all feel better about being Chinese. Meanwhile, China is still poor and backward. Four hundred million people still live on $2 or less. Hundreds of millions more earn more than that but are still very poor. Only one hundred and fifty million make more than U.S. $10,000 per year. The air is unfit to breathe and the water unfit to drink. Still twenty-two percent of the world’s population, but only eight percent of the world’s arable land. Rising oil and commodity prices. Rising inflation. And then there is the endemic corruption, the continued repressiveness of the CCP, and the virtual absence of morality and empathy. China is a nightmare for most Chinese. That is a fact that complaining about the U.S. media cannot change. By all means, enjoy the Olympics. I know I will.

    @Buxi
    You and I are very similar, I think. We both escaped the fate that awaits most Chinese. Compared to other Chinese, we two have been improbably fortunate. Do I want China to be wealthy and stable? Yes. But I’m not holding my breath. As for “中国农民调查”, it’s true that the events described in the book took place a decade ago. However, conditions in the Chinese countryside are still very grim. While average rural wages have increased, average urban wages have increased even more. The result has been that the gap between the average rural and urban resident has widened. Recent inflation has made things even worse, particularly since the prices of things such as pork and cooking oil have risen faster than other items. You can obviously afford your optimism. Me? I’m just glad I don’t live in China anymore. My family in Chongqing and Chengdu remind me of this regularly.

    @CFC
    I owe China nothing. Certainly not my loyalty. Several of my family members were persecuted throughout the 1950s and 1960s. My grandfather and grandmother were both music teachers in Chongqing prior to the Cultural Revolution. When the Cultural Revolution began, my grandfather was forced to leave his home and wife to work in the mountains of Sichuan. He had no warm clothing, became sick, and died during his first winter there. My grandmother died of grief soon after. In addition, during the Cultural Revolution, my two uncles were sent to the countryside to work. One day, one of them was driving a tractor. He drove the tractor into a ditch and damaged it. As a result, he was beaten and permanently injured. He was accused of “intentionally damaging the people’s property”. My other uncle was beaten too. So, keep the self-righteous “ask not what your country can do for you” bullshit to yourself. China did nothing for us. People like you have no f-ing idea what you’re talking about. The U.S. is my country now.

  61. yo Says:

    FOARP,
    “… I cannot see how refering to a country governed by a communist party as ‘communist’ is a sign of bias.”

    China being governed by “communists” aside(I would disagree but that’s not the issue), I would also like to add, it is said to inflict an emotional response. They are “communist”, boo!!!! It’s a scare tactic. I actually watch Lou Dobbs from time to time and it’s quite comical.

    He is another example which is the same exact situation. Republicans calling Barrack Obama, Barack Hussein Obama. That IS his name, so what’s the problem? The problem is that people use it to cause a fear response(he’s not an American, he’s Muslim, he’s a terrorist, etc etc); it’s a cheap attempt at character assassination.

  62. Nimrod Says:

    Well, well, this post has turned into one of the more interesting ones. I absolutely agree with AC. For those of you who still don’t “get” what we are about here, we absolutely welcome more dissent (and less name-calling). Why? It’s very simple. You can’t clap with one hand. Your dissent is the proving ground for others’ ideas. After all, what good is an idea that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny? I’m comfortable with my own ideas, and I hope you are with yours, too, because they will be scrutinized.

    Now about Fu Jieshi’s and Youzi’s comments, I congratuate FJS for finding a better life. But just as FJS said, China is still a poor country, and nobody else, and I mean nobody, will help China to become a rich country, except Chinese people themselves. Even if you “don’t care” about China and would rather forget about it and run to the US to live a good life like FJS, you can’t. Let me give you a large hint: it’s not the Chinese government holding you back. During the Cold War, when Reagan or somebody accused China of restricting freedom of travel, Deng Xiaoping retorted that the US could take as many as she wants. How about 100 million? That shut him up pretty quickly.

    Now China isn’t going to become rich over night. So what we are a poor country? Everybody was poor once, and we need to grind it through on our path. A patriot wants the best for his/her country no matter if it is rich or poor. There is a reasoned approach to this, and you can remove the emotion from it all, but a patriot is still a patriot. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

  63. Nimrod Says:

    FOARP wrote:
    “I cannot see how refering to a country governed by a communist party as ‘communist’ is a sign of bias.”

    +++++
    Maybe it’s not a sign of bias but it sure is a sign of juvenility. To tell you the truth, it sounds retarded. Imagine if every time I mentioned America, I said “Bushite America” because George Bush is President.

  64. Buxi Says:

    @Fu Jieshi,

    I think your crude insult to @CLC reflects very poorly upon you. You have the right to be whatever you want, but your ignorance about China is appalling.

    We have more in common than you think. Do you honestly believe your story is some how unique in China? Do you honestly believe that CLC doesn’t share your story? For that matter, do you believe your suffering during the Cultural Revolution is worse than what, say, Deng Xiaoping or Hu Jintao suffered?

    My grandfather was also detained in a “cow-pen” at his University during the cultural revolution, during which he was subjected to constant persecution (including by one of his sons/my uncles); he died shortly after. All of my uncles and aunts were sent down, as well as my parents. I have an older sister that died as a baby during the Cultural Revolution; she died of treatable pneumonia while sharing a closet with another family, in a factory in the farthest corner of the northeast.

    We might have similar backgrounds, but the way we view them is clearly very different. When I look at the older generations in my family, I see voluntary sacrifice and a love of country; some chose to return from the United States, Hong Kong, and Europe around 1949 because they wanted to help. Many paid a very, very high price for what they did. But when I sit around the table with them now, few of them regret their choice. Although China remains poor today, although many of their contributions were ignored and they suffered, China is a far better place today in 2008 than it was when they returned in 1949.

    I’m not going to tell anyone how to live their lives. I don’t get off on being on the moral high-ground, and I don’t think we all have to reach the same conclusion. But I will tell you at least how I evaluate the situation.

    My education was partly paid for by American tax-payers. Every penny I have has been made in the United States, from American (and other international) customers. So, I do appreciate the opportunity that the United States has given me. But in the US, the relationship has always been strictly a commercial one. They gave me a green card and a working permit, they allow me to work… because in doing so, I produce value. I think in being productive, in respecting the US, and in paying taxes to the United States, I have upheld my half of the bargain.

    But my education was also partly paid for by Chinese tax-payers (and that’s certainly true for you, if you left at 14). I don’t know under what condition your brother and father left China, but if its at all like mine, many Chinese far poorer than our family sacrificed so that we could have the opportunity. If your father is a university graduate, then that’s certainly the case.

    We’ve talked before about confusing China and the Chinese people. I think the Chinese government of the ’50s and ’60s owe my family an apology, but I don’t think the Chinese *people* owe me a damn thing. In contrast, even if I don’t have a debt to repay to the Chinese people, I still feel a great deal of responsibility for my people, not to mention my relatives and friends still there. I refuse to wash my hands of my many relatives still in China, and just enjoy the good life in America.

    If previous generations of Chinese made the choice that you’re making, if Sun Zhongshan (as an American citizen) simply decided to enjoy the good life in Hawaii and San Francisco, then I firmly believe we’d still be wearing pigtails and living a life far worse than the one we have today. I doubt you would’ve had much of a chance to make it out of Chongqing and thrive in the United States.

    And just for your information, the question my wife and I are debating isn’t whether we should think of ourselves as Chinese… but when the situations in our career will stabilize enough for us to live in China on a regular basis.

  65. yo Says:

    Nimrod,

    ehh, exciting but not interesting or informative. If I wanted to read inflammatory remarks, insults and childish name calling, I’ll go to a forum discussing gay marriage.

    ……on the other hand, ……F#$k it, I’ll join the party too :-P:

    “WHAT’S WITH THESE CHINESE PEOPLE WITH THEIR CHING CHONG AND KUNG FU, BREATHING THE WHITE MAN’S AIR… I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU,……GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM…WHITE POWER!”

    Alright, got that out of our systems, lets move on…. 😛

  66. AC Says:

    @游子

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, glad to hear from someone who is inside China. I agree that freedom of speech is the key to get to the bottom of the truth. I believed in that then when I was on TAM square protesting 19 years ago, and I still believe in that now 19 years later.

    However, what you need to understand is that free speech doesn’t necessarily always guarantee truth. Despite the fact that there is a wall-to-wall free press in the US, Bush still went to war with Iraq, and the majority of the American people supported it. Think about it and tell me why? What is more dangerous than lack of freedom is the blind faith in freedom.

    Just to be fair, the Western media are more objective when they report domestic issues. This is because people are more familiar with issues in their own country, and there are mechanisms of checks and balances in place. But when it comes to China reports, these mechanisms are nonexistent, and that’s why those reports are often biased. That’s why we feel that there is a need to present the other side of the story on this blog.

    Pursuing freedom is patriotism, challenging biases is also patriotism. The two are not mutually exclusive. Ma Bole and the like always try to lecture us about free speech, but sadly they don’t understand the true meaning of free speech, because they fail to see that what we are doing here is defending free speech.

    追求自由是爱国,挑战西方的偏见也是爱国。两者并不互相排斥。难道说因为中国没有言论自由,中国人就没有捍卫真理的权力了吗?这种逻辑通吗?

    自由不会从天上掉下来,如果你不去挑战偏见、追求真理,哪来的自由?游子兄是不是把因果关系搞混了呢? 我们在这个blog上讨论,不就是追求自由的一种具体表现吗?

  67. Fu Jieshi Says:

    Edit: Fu Jieshi, you are welcome to express your views but you must refrain from further personal attacks + profanity. Consider this a serious warning.

    @Buxi

    Your defense of CFC is heartwarming. Even so, f- you too for being a condescending nit. My ignorance is “appalling”? Now you sound like my dissertation advisor. Call me a hanjian, but China has done nothing for my family but hurt it. And as for turning my back on our family in Sichuan – it never happened. Not only have I been back 8 or 10 times, my family has purchased homes and paid tuition for nearly every member of our family who has needed the help – help that no one else – certainly not the Chinese government – could offer them. Your family suffered too? Your grandfather was detained in a cow pen? Hardly sounds like “voluntary sacrifice” to me. They family decided to stay? Sounds less like “love of country” than “glutton for punishment”.

    Your relationship with the U.S. “has always been strictly a commercial one”? You’ve upheld your “half of the bargain”? Wow. (LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! DIRECT FROM DEEPEST, DARKEST, IMPOVERISHED CHINA. THE MERCENARY WITH THE HEART OF GOLD. THE ONE. THE ONLY. BUUUUUUXIIIIIIIII!!!!!) Ridiculous. I bet you wrote that with a straight face. Go on, admit it.

    My guess is that you’ve benefitted much more from your relationship with the U.S. than the U.S. has. Just as I have. Ask yourself how many Chinese would kill (really, I mean it, KILL!) for the opportunity you’ve had. In the end, you needed the U.S. far more than the U.S. needed you. After all, Chinese are a dime a dozen. You and I are replaceable. The U.S. isn’t.

    Your impassioned defense of China – indeed, your patriotism – smacks of insecurity and the need to establish equivalence. Best of luck. To you and your wife. I’m sure you will both be very happy living in the countryside on $2 a day. At least you’ll have each other – and your one child.

  68. CLC Says:

    @Fu Jieshi

    Several of my family members were persecuted throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

    I am very sorry for your family’s sufferings. Many, many people suffered greatly during that era, including my own family. My grandfather was also prosecuted to death during the CR (he could have left Shanghai in 1949 but he stayed) and every one of his children’s life was changed to the worse (he had 10). However, that was more than 30 years ago and not everybody will hold a grudge forever.

    People like you have no f-ing idea what you’re talking about. The U.S. is my country now.

    I am afraid a judgment like that is not for you to make. And I think the very presence of you at this blog demonstrates that you still care about China, probably more than you are willing to admit. If so, I am looking forward to your ideas on how to make China a better place.

  69. somebody Says:

    Speaking of the culture revolution, my grandparents got hit really hard by people angry at them because they own a company or something like that and my grandfather was going to be shipped to some middle of no where and he somehow get himself out of that and it was a nightmare everyone for that time.

    I don’t really think you can blame the government for that because the origin Chinese society and American society. In fact I don’t even think anyone should compare either one of them because people just come from different background. I believe everything happen for a reason that I know the government didn’t do everything as perfectly as some other country but I believe that the government is trying to making adjustment toward things.

    I have to admit that everyone from Chinese Amercian to mainland Chinese I meet and talk with it about it seen to admit that there are still a great deal of restiction on things.

  70. JL Says:

    Buxi,

    Some Western people do get incredibly warped perceptions of China, and there are definitely reports that help skew those perceptions.
    But to prove the case for bias, I think you would need to show that the media’s coverage of China makes it seem like a darker place, than say, Russia, or Mexico. The Western media always pays far more attention to conflict and social problems than it does to positive stories about progress. So I still don’t buy the arguement that its doing so in the case of China is an example of bias against China, rather than a case of the media just reporting China through the same lenses that it reports every country.
    You write: “And even if their articles and analysis are completely factual, they can be biased just on the basis of how they choose the stories they pursue.”
    Couldn’t the Bush government make the same complaint -that the media has paid more attention to the failings than the successes, even though most reports might be factual?

    If you want positive reports about China, read a few books, like ‘China at the Crossroads’. Books are a media that allows for a more comprehensive analysis of the subject, and therefore do not tend to dwell exclusively on conflict and sensation.

    Finally, the notion that the negative coverage of China is a sign of systematic bias against China has become an article of faith for many Chinese patriots. It’s a topic worthy of discussion but I would very much like to see a more systematic investigation of it; i.e. counts of percentage negative articles about the Chinese govt. vs percentage negative articles about other governments / countries.

  71. Buxi Says:

    @JL,

    You’re certainly right that, rigorously speaking, we would have to do much more scientific work to “prove” bias. For that matter, we still have to do much more scientific work to “prove” evolution, do we not? The lack of such proof is not, however, proof that these things don’t exist.

    Now, I would be interested whenever that research is done, but only as trivial. From a practical point of view, I really don’t care what percentage of the coverage of China is biased in a negative way; I’m not a journalist, I’m not an investor in media, and I’m not an academic.

    What interests me most, as a Chinese person living and working in the United States, is that the two communities have such dramatically, dramatically different views of modern China. I say that based on personal experience and those I see around me (not to mention the thousands who post in overseas Chinese forums). And we do have some statistical confirmation of that, as well, in the Pews Global Attitudes Survey.

    So, that’s what motivates me. I want to bridge that gap. I don’t want to “defeat” the Western media; I don’t care how much alcohol I pour into Jack Cafferty, he’s never going to change his mind. I’ll settle for a better, deeper understanding of both communities.

  72. Buxi Says:

    @Fu Jieshi,

    I don’t expect to change your mind (or any specific individual’s). My only purpose in writing is to put my words out there, and give others the opportunity to compare my words to your words. They will draw their own conclusions, and I can’t imagine your rants make you more convincing. But, 仁者见仁.

    I did not call you ignorant because you disagree with me. I called you ignorant because you seemed to suggest, in your comment to CLC, that your experience is unique, and that none of us have a clue what your family has gone through in the Cultural Revolution. Frankly, if what you’ve explained so far is the extent of it, then you have had it far better than many. Regardless, just about everyone from our generation understand exactly what you’re talking about.

    Your choice in life isn’t mystifying to me. You feel “fortunate” in your escape, and now revel in your fortunes. I understand where you’re coming from; whoever gives milk is your mom, right? You’re not the only Chinese to feel that way, so you don’t need to feel like your position is being attacked.

    However, it sounds like my choice (and the choice of many overseas Chinese before us) is completely mystifying to you. If you’re here just to vent and spew, you probably don’t care on clarifying that mystery. If you have any intellectual curiosity why someone with a background similar to yours would feel differently, then read what I wrote again. Let’s get your allegations out of the way. I don’t believe I’m insane. I’m not a glutton for punishment or masochist. I don’t believe I’m insecure, at least that’s not something often said about me.

    As far as being in the United States being a commercial transaction… I don’t know what basis your family stayed, but our path to staying here, like many others, was on the basis of a H1B visa. We were allowed to stay because of a “specialty skill” that “no other American citizen” was able to offer. We didn’t receive asylum, we didn’t receive charity. American industry needed a cog for its wheel. We all got what we needed from the deal.

    Keep in mind, too, that even American citizens can be Chinese nationalists and forward Chinese interests, without sacrificing American interests. Sun Zhongshan, for example, comes to mind. China is a big enough project to need the help of anyone interested in providing it.

    And as far as the future of China… well, like I said, I’m very optimistic. The growth in China, the prospects of China are incredibly exciting in my eyes. It won’t happen in a few decades, it might not happen for a century… but it will happen. And who knows, if your descendants are anything like you and happy to change identities for greater wealth… they might be applying for Chinese citizenship in half a century.

  73. Charles Liu Says:

    Another example of US media bias towards China is how we’ve reported on the Dalai Lama vs. our own “Tibet” (Native American issues.) When it comes to China it’s alwasy “oppression/occupation”, but when it comes to ourselves, it’s “long, complicated history”, “established sovereignty/current states”, “progress”…

    A while back a Nativer American leaders made some sort of declaration – I didn’t see it in US news, had to read about it from Baidu news.

    Somebody already metioned “glasshouse”?

  74. AC Says:

    @Fu Jieshi

    I can understand why you feel the way you do and I think your feelings are justified. However, being so young when you left China, your knowledge of China is limited to family contacts and personal anecdotes. Your lack of knowledge on Chinese politics, society and history is very evident.

    You are so emotionally attached to China, yet it seems you hate her so much or maybe you are just embarrassed being a Chinese. I think you are in some sort of identity crisis. Being an American citizen doesn’t mean you have to renounce and hate your home country. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the contrary. You should consider yourself the bridge between the two countries.

    How can you say you have nothing to do with China when the two economies are so deeply intertwined? Misunderstanding and inaccurate information can often lead to conflicts (think Iraq). As a Chinese American, isn’t it your responsibility to help the two peoples to understand each other better? If there is a conflict between the two countries due to misunderstanding, what would you do?

    As a Chinese American, the Chinese face of yours will be with you for the rest of your life, I don’t care what citizenship you hold, there is no way you can escape it. In the old days, Chinese immigrants were treated as second-class citizens in America. Why? Because China was weak. They were called all sorts of names. Why? Because the misunderstandings of our culture. Now Chinese culture is getting more and more popular in the world. Why? Because China is getting stronger! The social status of Chinese Americans in America is hopelessly connected to China whether you like it or not.

    So get off that China-bashing wagon and do something useful for yourself. You can start by learning more about your home country and help clearing some of that bias and misunderstanding. It’s for your own good!

  75. Wahaha Says:

    I think most Chinese felt offended by West media as West media never paied attention to their voice and what most Chinese thought.

    I dont see where the ” whining ” came from, chinese people have been quiet for over 15 years under the suppress of west media. Now only 3 months, chinese are “whining” ? Maybe West doesnt want to face the embarrassing mistakes they made.

  76. Charles Liu Says:

    Yes, Chinese people finally decided to speak up (the anti-CNN movement) after been fairly apolitical, until recently after such outlandish treatment by western media. Reporting on Tibet riot has been a one-sided “anti-government protest” story, with little to no attention paid to the victims of the riot.

    I didn’t learn about the 5 shopgirls torched alive from CNN, had to learn about it from anti-CNN. For years I thought I was the only one with this “WTF” feeling, but now I know I’m in the right.

    America’s resurgence in anti-Chinese sementiment is something we need to be vigiliant. It has happened before you know.

  77. Wahaha Says:

    Freedom is built on three assumptions,

    1) Everyone will do thing out of good will, meaning, he wlll not do something for himself if it will harms the interests of other people.

    2) The person is intelligent enough to anticipate the potential problems due to his speech, believes and behaviors, even his speech and behaviors are out of good will of his.

    3) People around are with good conscious and are intelligent enough to react in right way.

    Be careful of what you ask, because when government gives you the right, it also gives the right to 100 times more criminals and greedy SOB.

  78. Buxi Says:

    @Wahaha,

    Be careful of what you ask, because when government gives you the right, it also gives the right to 100 times more criminals and greedy SOB.

    I’ve thought about this issue a lot. Those of us in the “free world” have much exposure to the kind of criminal and greedy SOBs that can exist, and the low quality of political and intellectual debate that can result. The idealism of many Chinese reformers is cute, but also naive. This is why so many Chinese talk about becoming more “left” (favoring the government) after leaving China.

    But I also completely agree with what 游人 said above: only through real, open, informed, free debate can we figure out what the truth is. That’s why this blog exists with an open forum… we want real, open, informed debate. We want to prove the truth, not just preach it.

    I think the ideal policy is to find a balance between the two. If the government has a role here, it should be the same role that all Internet moderators find themselves doing eventually: restrict extremist speech, restrict hateful speech, restrict personal attacks, restrict intentional slander, restrict fabrications… but do not restrict discussions on the basis of message or political opinion.

  79. Wahaha Says:

    FJS,

    You dont care about Olympic, you dont know what that means to Chinese, you dont love China anymore and you dont care about China, that is fine. We will treat you as a westener, fair ?

    Now if you, as a westner, want to talk about China, you should FIRST know what Chinese want most, right ?

    Chinese want to live better, and Chinese people believe that the current government give them the best chance of living better in the nearest future, did west media and westners like you ever try to understand that ?

    We care about millions of chinese who are living under $2 a day, Are you gonna teach them that freedom of speech is far more important than the next meal ? We would be all ears if you can introduce a better system that help those people better and faster. (real example, not text book.)

  80. Wahaha Says:

    @Buxi,

    I agree, and I think the key word is “informed”, which you know is far from reality.

    Also freedom assume people are willing to “wait for his turn” or scrafice his own interests for majority, which is light years from reality.

    _________________________________

    Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.

    —- Clement Atlee

  81. opersai Says:

    @FOARP

    I guess we can’t call China ‘communist’ anymore? And how are we to distinguish it from that
    other China? I’m sorry, but I cannot see how refering to a country governed by a communist party as ‘communist’ is a sign of bias. If you don’t want your country to be called ‘communist’, then get rid of the communists.

    If communist/communism isn’t so charged with such negative connotation here; if when communist/communism is mentioned people here don’t instinctively think about dictatorship, evil, horrifying and stop at that. I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

    @Fu Jieshi

    Your defense of CFC is heartwarming. Even so, f- you too for being a condescending nit.

    Now who’s the condescending nit?! Who’s the one that told the rest of us you are suffering soooooo much more than us and we just simply can’t understand your situation?!

    Call me a hanjian,

    Now, I’m not as nice and mature and Buxi and CLC, so tell you this. I’m NOT going to call you a hanjian, coz you are NOT Chinese. You said yourself, you are American. So next time, when somebody asks, tell them you are not Chinese. Better yet, put a sign on yourself: “I AM NOT CHINESE!”. I’ll appreciate not to be classified as same sort as you are!

  82. BMY Says:

    Dear comrades and friends,

    Can we please keep our emotion down and just ignore when someone jump up and vent. It’s waste of time to reply someone is venting.

    I’ve been following this blog since the beginning and most of people here are either Chinese or westerners who have experience of living in China(like FOARP ,Anon,OZer etc) or related to China(like Jim,Ma Bole etc).most of people here are well educated and well informed about China((I have to see from my experience most of westerners have little knowledge about China) and are interested or care about China.( FJS says he doesn’t care about China which I don’t believe. He wouldn’t have spent time to write his comments if he doesn’t care.)

    I repeat my call , please ignore extremist or personal attackers who can not be avoided on blogs like this. we keep talking about China with people like FOARP,JL who are well informed but have different opinions.(I don’t see most of westerners are China haters .some might dislike Chinese government)

    well, I was only educated by CCP and am not trying to teach morality here. just my 1 cent

  83. EugeneZ Says:

    Fantastic posts on this thread – one of the most exciting. I must chip in my two cents.

    (1.) Great contrast between Fu Jieshi and Jiajia Liu. Fu Jieshi must be in his 30’s, but he seems to have a lot of growing up to do as compared to Jiajia Liu who is in her 20’s. I hope that Fu Jieshi learns from the readers on this post, a lot of comments are very helpful. It is never too late to let go of the old grudge, grow up, and live a more healthy life. To me, Fu Jieshi sounds like a lost kid – you will be helped if you open your heart. There are a lot of nice people on this blog, as I have noticed.

    (2.) “Communist China” by Lou Dubbs. I met Lou Dubbs one time when he was living on his “speach fees” about 10 years ago. He was fired from CNN “money talk” back then. He came through as someone who is very insincere, detached, unauthentic, and shrewd. He is using this ridiculous term to name “China” out of cold political/commercial calculation. He is doing this for his rating, by resorting to fear-mongering and hatred-inspiring, which has quite a market today in the western society. By the way, Lou Dubbs is not a highly regarded figure among enlightened liberals in America.

  84. BMY Says:

    @zuiweng

    I guess people would like to see your own opinions about articles/issues rather than just simply judging other comments good or bad like “Yours is the most reasonable, straight-talking post in the whole thread”

  85. FOARP Says:

    “Maybe it’s not a sign of bias but it sure is a sign of juvenility. To tell you the truth, it sounds retarded.”

    The Chinese Communist Party is a retarded name then? And those big hammers and sickles that can be seen everywhere throughout China? And the way every politician has to repeat the mantra “Marx-Leninism with Chinese characteristics, Mao Zedong thought, Deng Xiaoping theory, the three principles, etc.etc. etc.”?
    The red flag with its stars representing the position of various elements of society relative to the party?

    What is wrong, inaccurate, juvenile or otherwise about calling China a communist country?

    @Snow – “Well, at least those in the West who hold double standard in practicing freedom of expression seems not much better than CCP in essence.”

    And what essence would that be? Equal freedom of speech is given to all within the law in the west, but this is obviously not the standard in China, where terms like ‘state secrets’ and ‘incite rebellion’ can be stretched to cover any form of criticism of the government.

    “I visited China every year. I’ve seen a great deal of in-depth criticism of CCP and government policies published on web sites and newspapers and journals and I’ve heard people of all walks criticizing those in power freely. If you are not one of those people who let their voice heard you have yourself to blame for relinquishing your rights and responsibility as a dutiful citizen.”

    Mate, why talk in such an obviously self-defeating manner? The Chinese government does not allow criticism in ‘sensitive areas’, which covers most of what most ordinary people care about. No, this man cannot publicly protest the carrying of propaganda on CCTV.

    “Even a person moderately informed on China affairs would know that communist party is now a label without much substance. For a western politician or a high profile journalist referring China as communist is not only an ignorant bias but also suspicious of deliberate misleading (as for some Cold War is far from over and anti-communism sells).”

    The thing is, the label ‘Communist’ was almost always a hollow one, since no communist country ever acheived ‘true communism’. However, China is still ruled under a communist political system – of this there can be no doubt. You see, communism constitutes not only an economic system but also a political one – in 1979 Deng Xiaoping led the way away from ‘socialism’ towards the capitalist economic system, but the political system remains the same. The country is still ruled by a politburo, the government still issues ‘theories’ that the people are supposed to follow, the army still undergoes political indoctrination and is still essentially the armed wing of the CCP and not actually a national army, party schools still produce fresh crops of cadres every year, party membership is still the route into power and influence, high school students still join the Chinese version of Komsomol, primary school students still don the red neckerchief of the youth pioneers etc. etc. etc.

    @Opersai –

    “f when communist/communism is mentioned people here don’t instinctively think about dictatorship, evil, horrifying and stop at that. I wouldn’t have a problem with that.”

    It is the communist party itself that has created this impression. You may not like people calling China communist because of the negative connotations that go with that, but there is nothing inaccurate in calling China a communist country. Change the system and lose the label.

    @Yo – It does indeed inflict an emotional response, one similar to that which one gets when one calls the Nazis ‘fascist’, the KKK ‘racist’, the IRA ‘terrorist’, or the catholic church ‘sexist’. It reminds people that China is still a dictatorship, and this should be remembered in all dealings with the Chiese government.

    @Buxi-

    “For that matter, do you believe your suffering during the Cultural Revolution is worse than what, say, Deng Xiaoping or Hu Jintao suffered?”

    As far as I know, there have never been any reports that Hu Jintao came to any harm during the cultural revolution. For all I know, he might have even taken part in it.

    @BMY –

    “Many overseas Chinese have been living in the west for years and well know about the western media’s nature of criticizing and well know how often the media criticize China .Overseas Chinese had never gone to the street to protest the media bias and criticism before. my personal feeling is early this year we went on the streets was because the bias was just too much and seemed well coordinated and was bashing China’s national pride everywhere in front of the whole world. It was crossed the line.”

    Your main objection seems to be to the fact that the west criticises China, even though you yourself do not seem to deny that there was substance to this criticism. You may believe that there was a conspiracy agaisnt China – but there is no evidence whatsoever supporting this view.

    As a Brit, I have often seen Zimbabweans, Argentines, Iranians etc. burning the British flag and hanging our leaders in effigy. During the cultural revolution. Britain caught its share of the ‘anti-imperialist’ fevour during the cultural revolution – more than a dozen British citizens were held as hostages in China for years without charge, and Chinese embassy staff rushed out of the embassy in Portland Place and attacked passers-by in an effort to provoke a response. Here in Britain we pretty much take this kind of thing on the chin, as do most Americans, it is part of being an active player in world affairs.

    Anyway, as someone who took part in the demostrations you say ‘bashed China’s national pride’, my goal was only to take part in a demonstration which would draw attention to the Chinese government’s abominable record on human rights. Which is more important – ‘pride’ or human rights?

  86. Wahaha Says:

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=10078

    ……..
    At the beginning of that trip, I had hoped to get a quick introduction to China, learn the basics and go home. I had imagined that China’s intellectual life consisted of a few unbending ideologues in the back rooms of the Communist party or the country’s top universities. Instead, I stumbled on a hidden world of intellectuals, think-tankers and activists, all engaged in intense debate about the future of their country. I soon realised that it would take more than a few visits to Beijing and Shanghai to grasp the scale and ambition of China’s internal debates. Even on that first trip my mind was made up—I wanted to devote the next few years of my life to understanding the living history that was unfolding before me. Over a three-year period, I have spoken with dozens of Chinese thinkers, watching their views develop in line with the breathtaking changes in their country. Some were party members; others were outside the party and suffering from a more awkward relationship with the authorities. Yet to some degree, they are all insiders. They have chosen to live and work in mainland China, and thus to cope with the often capricious demands of the one-party state.
    ………

  87. Wahaha Says:

    When West tries to teach Chinese the “rule”, they better explain to us what kind of result we should expect if we follow their “rule”.

    Millions of beggars on streets like in India or less freedom of protesting on streets? which will chinese choose ?

    I guess 99.999999% of people on earth will pick the 2nd one.

  88. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahaha – Strangely enough, when interviewed more than 80% of Indians said they were not willing to give up their freedoms to have quicker economic growth – it seems they have some pride also.

  89. Wahaha Says:

    FORAP,

    That is fine with me. I think Chinese have made their decision, and they just demand West respects their choice.

  90. Wahaha Says:

    Also, I dont believe your number.

    I simply dont believe a person who makes less than $1 a day would take freedom of speech over better life.

    This is clearly proved in Russia.

  91. BMY Says:

    @FOARP,

    I don’t agree with you,mate.

    Let’s say if you and me don’t like each other and I strongly believe you need to know you have a lot to do to improve your moral records as a man. But I won’t argue with you or protest in your wedding because I need show respect and I can find plenty other chances to do so.

    it’s the same thing, people have been protested ,demonstrated of China’s “human rights” many times in the west before the torch relay and I didn’t feel a thing. But during violent protest of the torch relay, I felt really hurt.

  92. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahaha – When did they decide? Who decided? Who even suggested that there was a direct pay-off between freedom and economic growth?

  93. Wahaha Says:

    FORAP

    Yeah, Chinese people didnt elect this government. But after 30 years of economic improvement, they want this government.

    Dont ask me to prove it. You can see the approval rate of Putin in Russia.

  94. Nimrod Says:

    FOARP wrote:

    What is wrong, inaccurate, juvenile or otherwise about calling China a communist country?
    +++++
    I already told you: it would be the same as referring to America in every mention as “Bushite America”. Now if you want to behave that way, that’s your problem, not mine.

    FOARP wrote:

    similar to that which one gets when one calls the Nazis ‘fascist’, the KKK ‘racist’, the IRA ‘terrorist’, or the catholic church ’sexist’. It reminds people that China is still a dictatorship, and this should be remembered in all dealings with the Chiese government.
    +++++
    Look, I don’t know why you need to twist it into something so complicated. Who uses the phrase “fascist Nazis” in every discussion about Nazis? Who says “racist KKK” in every mention of the KKK organization? Who uses phrase “terrorist IRA”, “sexist Catholic Church” in every mention of those organizations? Nobody. If you do, that’s very bizarre. Most people make their points about China, Nazis, KKK, IRA, and the Catholic Church without resorting to robotically prefixing some adjective every time, espeically when making some unrelated remark. Is it a crutch for a lazy mind? You can introspect and answer that for yourself. I just know that “The Archbishop of Sexist Catholic Church in Hong Kong is surnamed Zen” sounds incredibly retarded, as I said. Has got nothing to do with the truthfulness of the matter, but simply reflects on the utterer.

  95. FOARP Says:

    @BMY – Am I planning to hold my wedding outside your house, knowing what your response will be? Will a million pounds be spent protecting my wedding whilst drug dealers still sell their wares on your street corner?

    I did not support violent protest against the torch relay, but I thought that it must be protested. The goal was not to insult, but to draw attention – something that most of the previous protests had failed to do.

    @Wahahahaha – It was on ‘From our own correspondent’ on BBC radio 4 a while back. It seems strange that so many people should complain of the ‘inaccurate’ picture of China that is presented in the western media, and then create their own inaccuracies when talking about India. Firstly, you should not ignore the pride that many Indians have in their democracy – especially when compared to Pakistan. Secondly, free speech is part of having a ‘good life’. Thirdly, the average Indian income is close on $2 – so the opinions of someone on less than a dollar would not be representative of the average Indian.

  96. Ma Bole Says:

    I love the direction that this thread has taken. While I don’t condone Fu Jieshi’s use of profanity, neither does it bother me. In any case, I certainly understand his point of view. Let’s not be so quick to dismiss his ideas simply because he has offended our delicate sensibilities. Are we not 好漢? Then let’s act like 好漢 and stop whining. Fu Jieshi’s posts were excellent.

    As for Fu Jieshi’s comments – it seems to me that most of you miss the point. He is most assuredly NOT gloating at his “good fortune”. And while his pessimism regarding the challenges facing China may not sit very well with many of you, it is a fact that his views are shared by a great many other Chinese – inside and outside China. Likewise, the resentment that he feels concerning the great harm done to his family (i.e., his grandparents and uncles) during the Cultural Revolution is perfectly understandable and deeply personal. I’m sure that there is much more to his family’s story than he has shared here. Who are we to cast aspersions? Who are we to suggest that he is not properly patriotic? Who are we to deny the terrible truth in what he says?

    Allow me to share my own family’s story. As I said before, I am half Chinese. My mother is originally from Beijing. During the Cultural Revolution, when she was still a teenager, my mother’s father, a high-ranking officer in the PLA, was killed (or driven to suicide, I still don’t know which) during one of the CR’s various, unexplicable campaigns. Like many other Chinese at the time, my mother and grandmother fled to Hong Kong. I am nearly 40 years old, and I still don’t know the specific circumstances surrounding either my grandfather’s death or my mother’s journey to Hong Kong. Neither my mother or grandmother will talk about the incident. Moreover, neither of them has a good word to say about the CCP. Ten percent economic growth? They don’t care about that. What matters to them is that my grandfather was murdered during a spasm of collective madness presided over by the madman, Mao Zedong. Who can blame them? Who doesn’t love his father or husband more than money?

    My wife is from Beijing. Her father is a professor at Peking University, and her mother is a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS – 中國社會科學院). My wife’s father entered PKU just in time to see the school’s president Ma Yinchu (馬寅初) attacked for daring to “speak truth to power”. That is, Ma had the temerity to suggest to Mao Zedong that there were too many Chinese people – for which he was then charged with “discrediting the superiority of socialism” and dismissed. Once my wife’s father graduated from Peking University, he went to work as a professor there. Soon after, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution began. As an intellectual in a “sensitive” field, he was repeatedly struggled against and beaten. To this day, he cannot raise his shoulders because they were damaged from being forced to remain in “stress positions” for long periods of time. Strangely enough, in spite of all the suffering he went through, he is not bitter. On the other hand, neither is he patriotic. Rather, he is one of the most ideologically unencumbered men I have ever met. I suppose that he had a choice to make – bitterness or peace of mind – and he chose the former. He recently finished a book on the subject of “The History of Acceptance in China” (i.e., the history of the Chinese people’s susceptibility to propaganda). Unfortunately, although many of my wife’s father’s other books have been well-received, the subject of this most recent one is rather politically sensitive and so it cannot be published in mainland China. It has been turned down by numerous publishers already. As such, my wife and I are working with Academia Sinica (中央研究院) in Taiwan to have it published here and in Hong Kong.

    My wife’s mother, on the other hand, is quite angry. Not only was her husband badly injured during the Cultural Revolution, she also feels betrayed by the CCP’s anti-intellectualism. Though she was never struggled against, she cannot forgive the regime that presided over what is certainly one of human history’s strangest and needlessly destructive chapters. What the Cultural Revolution and the CCP represent to her is a monumental waste of human capital. The diary she kept during the Cultural Revolution was recently published in Hong Kong under a pseudonym. She, too, could not find a publisher for her book in mainland China. The fact that the Cultural Revolution is still such a sensitive topic in China – with few non-Party approved histories on the subject and no discussion of Mao Zedong’s responsiblity – is an insult to people such as her. Is this so difficult to understand? (My American grandfather fought in WWII. Fifty years later, he still could not bear to visit Europe. It damaged him that much.) Who are we to suggest that all Chinese should rally behind the CCP? Who are we to determine the proper expression of patriotism?

    I feel nothing but empathy for people like Fu Jieshi. It seems to me that he remains committed to his family in China, if not to China as a whole. Did he not say that he has purchased homes and paid tuition fees for his family in Sichuan? He seems like an admirable guy – even if he did tell Buxi to fuck off. His suggestion that China has done nothing but harm his family is shared by many people, including several members of my own. My own wife, who was born, raised, and educated at Peking University, does not support the Beijing Olympics. Is she a traitor? The emphasis on gold medals, impressive stadiums, and winning the West’s acceptance is unseemly to many people, particularly considering China’s continued poverty and backwardness. Is this that difficult to understand? No one said that you must necessarily agree with Fu Jieshi, but are his opinions regarding the nature of life in China really so objectionable?

    In an earlier post, I expressed the view that freedom of speech is an essential quality of life in the U.S. As a self-governing people, Americans rely on the free exchange of opinions in order to make informed decisions. In addition, and just as important, free speech raises the quality of a people by making them more tolerant of different viewpoints. Again, it seems to me that China could do with a lot more freedom of speech.

    Start whining, you big babies.

  97. BMY Says:

    @FOARP,

    please don’t take “the wedding thing ” personal. I was just trying to use a example to make my point.

    If you were planning your wedding out side my house,I will be coming out to cheer like all your guests.

    For you and other, it might be a “to draw attention” not a insult. But for me and I beleive also for other millions of Chinese, it was a insult and unrespect.

    When the torch relay run through Beijing street before 2004 Olympic , if massive Chinese protesters came out in Beijing to protest the torch relay I beleive the Greeks won’t be happy at all.(I am not here to offend Greeks please don’t misunderstand)

  98. Wahaha Says:

    FORAP,

    1) Sorry, I believe BBC lied.

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

    A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 25% of Indians, or 236 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day[6] with most working in “informal labour sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty.”[7]

    20 rupees is about 0.5.

    Are you telling me that 236 milllion indians who made less than half dollar take freedom of speech over better life ? They cant even afford education, what do they know about freedom of speech ?

    2) Yes, free speech is part of having a ‘ good life ‘, but there is priority, and the so called human right by west media is not #1. As you clearly tell that low income Americans dont give damn about human right.

  99. Wahaha Says:

    Ma Bole

    to your comment

    “In an earlier post, I expressed the view that freedom of speech is an essential quality of life in the U.S. As a self-governing people, Americans rely on the free exchange of opinions in order to make informed decisions. In addition, and just as important, free speech raises the quality of a people by making them more tolerant of different viewpoints. Again, it seems to me that China could do with a lot more freedom of speech.

    Start whining, you big babies.”

    Do you know US is facing burgeoning population ?

    There will be 40 to 60 million more POOR people in American in 25 years.

    You know what ?

    In 25 years, trillions of dollars will be needed for infrastructure expansion and repair.

    Let me tell you, in california, 6 billion dollars are needed for the repairment of jail, now.

    Can you imagine what situation will be like in democratic country with 100 million poor people ?

    You will see.

  100. Wahaha Says:

    TO FORAP,

    1) BBC lied.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_India#cite_note-Reuters-1-6

    Despite significant economic progress, 1/4 of the nation’s population earns less than the government-specified poverty threshold of $0.40/day. Official figures estimate that 27.5% [4] of Indians lived below the national poverty line in 2004-2005.[5] A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 25% of Indians, or 236 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day[6] with most working in “informal labour sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty.”

    20 rupees is about $0.50 dollar/day.

    Now dont tell me those 236 million would take freedom of speech over better life, they cant even afford education. what do they know about freedom of speech ?

    2) Yes, free speech is part of ‘better life’, but it is not the #1 on the list. no low income Americans care about human right OF OTHER PEOPLE, all they care is to profit as much as possible from the right they have. Is this the kind of human right you talk about ?

  101. Wahaha Says:

    Mod, why my 2nd post didnt show up ?

  102. DJ Says:

    Ma Bole,

    Welcome back. Besides the last sentence, your latest post is quite alright to facilitate a respectful discussion. I dare say it is way better than the angry ones the day before. Let’s keep it that way. Should we?

  103. admin Says:

    Sorry about that. Your comment was caught by the system’s spam filter. I de-spammed it.

  104. BMY Says:

    @Ma Baole,

    good to see you back and thanks for sharing your own family stories. I feel sorry for what happened to your grandfather during culture revolution. we all know millions of families, including those top leaders like LiuShaoQi and DengXiaoPing ,suffered as much as other families did. Culture revolution was one of the darkest time in our history. I fully understand you have your views with the background of your family horror. I personaly know quite few people who suffered during culture revolution, some can’t forgive CCP and some try to forget and move forward. I respect and understand both. not everyone can be or should be a DengXiaPing who suffered a lot including his son was forced to jump out of a building and became disabled person permanently and still loved CCP. I can’t image how I would react if same thing happened to my daughter.

    a side note as I said before, please put your emotion down as well when other people disagree with you. some dislike and some like Chinese government with all own reasons. we have difference and that’s why we are here to talk and share.

  105. Buxi Says:

    @Ma Bole,

    For a 40 year old man, you obviously haven’t learned to play with others. Pretty embarrassing. I’m done catering to your tantrums and name-calling. You’re not banned, but I will delete and modify your posts with free abandon.

  106. Buxi Says:

    Who are we to suggest that he is not properly patriotic?

    Considering he insists he’s not Chinese, and “AMERICAN!”… I think we have pretty good grounds for declaring him not properly “patriotic” from the Chinese perspective. If he wants to correct our understanding of what he said, I look forward to hearing it.

    One possible minor correction to your story. Your history and timeline doesn’t seem likely. If you’re nearly 40, and your mom was a teenager at the time, then your grandfather was not likely to have been killed in the Cultural Revolution. The CR ran from 1966-1976.

    I have not, and I will not discount Fu Jieshi’s opinion as being anything but his opinion. I don’t need to demean him; I even mentioned that many share his opinion. But I don’t, and I’ve explained the reasons why. Everyone is welcome to their own conclusion.

    There are certainly many who hate the Communist Party of the Cultural Revolution with a red hot passion, including my own mother (who blames both my grandfather and my sister’s death on the Communist Party). Most of us, including my mother, have moved on however. Hong Kong was once a bastion of anti-Communist sentiment, but that’s also no longer the case… they too have moved on with the times.

    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/200806c.brief.htm#014

  107. BMY Says:

    Buxi,

    Sorry, I didn’t read your own family story. I feel sorry for that.

    Ma Baole’s history time line seems all right to me. I am heading towards 40 and My mum was 20 in 1966. anyway, it isn’t really matter of the timeline. we know millions of similar stories and did happene.

  108. yo Says:

    FOARP,
    lol, yeah, if you choose to believe it’s an appropriate characterization, you see no problem with using a rhetorical device to instill fear, “us” vs “them”, but then again, you are bias (it’s in your name!). You have the right to your opinions so that’s fair enough. But that wasn’t the issue, the issue was is its use biased? Judging by your comment, you seem to agree with me.

  109. Buxi Says:

    @FOARP,

    As far as I know, there have never been any reports that Hu Jintao came to any harm during the cultural revolution. For all I know, he might have even taken part in it.

    First of all, just about every family I know “took part” in the cultural revolution. That’s one of the great tragedies of the event; it was a huge anti-social, social movement that made just about every family a victim as well as a criminal. Peking Duck had an interview with Xujun Eberlein, who is publishing a book on the subject.

    Again, I’ll take my own family as an example. I had one grandfather persecuted, and who died shortly after his release from the “cow-pen”. But part of the evil of the event, of course, is that one of my uncles participated in the ritual denouncing of my grandfather. Part of the greater evil of the event, is that one of my other uncles went basically insane (I’ve never heard him say more than 5 words at a time at any point in my life) due to his own time spent in the countryside.

    There are precious few people you can point to simply as “victims” and “perpetrators” during the Cultural Revolution. All you can say is all Chinese all survivors.

    Now, as far as Hu Jintao and the Cultural Revolution goes… this is the story according to Asia Times Online: (I actually had only read the Chinese version on Boxun… and got half way through translating it before realizing this translation already exists):

    When Hu Jintao was in his teens, communist authorities appropriated his father’s tea shop as a public and private joint enterprise. His father, Hu Jingzhi, thus became an employee of the Tai County Distribution Center. Because Hu Jingzhi had offended some local people during the 1966-78 Cultural Revolution, the pro-Mao Zedong rebels declared that Hu Jingzhi had embezzled public funds. They dragged him on to a stage for public denunciation and struggle sessions. He was then imprisoned.

    Hu’s father tortured and imprisoned
    Hu Jingzhi suffered cruel physical punishment during his imprisonment and his body withered away. When the Cultural Revolution ended in 1978, he died at the relatively early age of 50. Hu Jintao, then 36, was assigned to the Qinghai region in the far west, and was already a deputy-level cadre (fuchuji ganbu).

  110. Ma Bole Says:

    @Buxi
    this post has been edited for cleanliness
    I turned 36 less than a month ago. In any case, I’m closer to 40 than 30. Do the math. While I am not clear about the circumstances surrounding my grandfather’s death, I am quite certain that he died during the Cultural Revolution.

    My point about patriotism is that you have no right to define it. Dissent is patriotic, yes? Who defines dissent? Was Fu Jieshi’s family’s choice to leave China and pursure U.S. citizenship unpatriotic? An act of treason? Are he and his family hanjian? What should their proper attitude be now? Should Fu Jieshi simply keep his mouth shut? Is the only proper patriotism your brand of patriotism? Is it patriotic to oppose the Olympics? Were Hu Jia and Chen Guangchen patriotic when they expressed the idea that China needs human rights more than it needs the Olympics? Is it patriotic to reject China’s historic claim to Tibet? Is it unpatriotic to disparage Mao as a monster? Is it unpatriotic to believe that current authoriatarian system is inhumane? Is is unpatriotic to be pessimistic? To prefer life abroad to life in China? Is it possible for someone in Taiwan to be patriotic while opposing unification with the mainland (Is Taiwan a 國? Can you speak of 愛國 with respect to Taiwan?)? If you change your mind and remain in the U.S., are you somehow less patriotic? If you and your wife have children, that child will be a U.S. citizen. Will your child be a patriotic Chinese or a patriotic American? Both? (Obviously, according to your comment, you believe that Fu Jieshi’s status as a U.S. citizen makes it impossible for him to be patriotic vis-a-vis China. Will this apply to your child, if he or she is born in the U.S.?) Is the current head of Chinese beverage maker Wahaha less patriotic because he possesses a U.S. green card? His daughter is a U.S. citizen. Can she be a Chinese patriot?

    Where is the list of things one must believe and do to be considered patriotic? Who wrote the list? You?

  111. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Nimrod:
    actually, the equivalent to “Bush America” is “Hu China”; the equivalent of “communist China” would be “democratic America”. I’m not sure “Bushite” smacks of compelling maturity either.
    But I agree that, since “Canada” is “Canada”, and “France” is “France” etc, China shouldn’t be stuck with an adjective either.

  112. Ma Bole Says:

    More on Chinese patriotism and Tibet –

    Why can scholars not investigate the map collection in the Beijing First Historical Archives (北京第一歷史檔案館), the largest collection of Qing imperial documents in the world? Why do they not have access to the archive’s documents regarding China’s relations with ethnic minorities? Why, if Tibet is part of China, do many Ming and Qing dynasty maps in foreign museum (e.g. British Museum) and university (e.g. Harvard’s Yenching Library) collections show Tibet as a separate country? Why not simply admit that Tibet’s status as part of China prior to 1950 is very difficult to answer? Why not simply say, “We wanted Tibet, so we took it. And there is nothing anyone can do about it.”

    For that matter, why no access to the CCP’s Central Party Archives outside Beijing?

    I know Chinese scholars who have asked these questions? Are they patriotic?

  113. Buxi Says:

    @Ma Bole,

    Keep your posts on topic, and we might let you hang around.

    My point about patriotism is that you have no right to define it. Dissent is patriotic, yes? Who defines dissent? Was Fu Jieshi’s family’s choice to leave China and pursure U.S. citizenship unpatriotic? An act of treason? Are he and his family hanjian?

    I don’t know who you’re having your debate with, but it’s no one here. If you’re having a debate with a fictional strawman, then you should perhaps find a fictional blog to hold it on.

    I, and as far as I know no one else here, has made any of those comments. I certainly don’t believe pursuing US citizenship is necessarily unpatriotic, because as pointed out before, Sun Zhongshan sought US citizenship and held a US passport. He, not to mention many of his supporters, are and will be remembered in our textbooks as overseas Chinese who earnestly wanted to help their fellow Chinese. They risked their lives and interests to help hundreds of millions of Chinese they could’ve left behind.

    I don’t really care about labeling him as “unpatriotic” or Hanjian, I think everyone here can draw their own conclusions. Fu Jieshi has made it concretely clear he doesn’t care about the interests of the Chinese people or the Chinese nation; those aren’t my interpretations, that’s not me disliking dissent, that’s how he describes his own views. In that sense, he’s exactly living up to his words, and living like an American. That’s what he wants to be, so that’s what he is.

    I think it’s interesting we seem to be able to discuss Chinese issues more civilly with expats, like FOARP and even Anon, who don’t claim to have special insight into China by virtue of distant blood relations.

  114. Wahaha Says:

    Ma Bole,

    I just ask you one question,

    West democracy has failed to deliver in poor and developing countries globaly.

    Why not simply say “Ok, our system failed, maybe you should try other way. for example, chine economic model.” ?

  115. S.K. Cheung Says:

    So so much talk about bias, uttered by so many with such large reserves for same (me included). The media has some fiduciary duty, but their bottom line is the selling of papers and attracting of eyeballs ie the bottom line. In order for media to provide more balance (in some people’s eyes) in their coverage of China, they need a market prepared to consume more of such a perspective. In order for their market to undergo a sea-change in that direction, consumers need more compelling reasons from the source. So in essence, China needs to be more open, and to have information flowing outward other than from laughable propaganda sources, in order for people to realize that PRC citizens are not that much different than them.

  116. Wahaha Says:

    S.K,

    Do you know who Faris Odeh is ?

  117. Buxi Says:

    @Wahaha,

    I appreciate your passion, but I appeal to you to also try to keep the discussion on topic. We can not resolve all of the problems in this one thread. I think S.K. Cheung has made a good point about what China can and should do better, and Faris Odeh’s story doesn’t change what China should do as well.

    Furthermore, S.K.Cheung (and most Westerners on this thread) already acknowledge that the Western media can biased… S.K.Cheung ascribes it to the “bottom line”. And when it comes to Faris Odeh, not many people are buying newspapers on the story of the dangerous Israeli military. That’s unfortunately the way the world is.

    Let’s 存异求同, and focus on a positive platform for discussion.

  118. BMY Says:

    @Buxi,

    are you referring 牛棚 as “cow pen” . it should be “cow barn” in English I guess.

  119. Nimrod Says:

    Ma Bole,

    Half the things you listed have got nothing to do with patriotism, and besides which nobody here has questioned people’s patriotism based on them. What a big strawman argument. Chip on your shoulder from some other forum?

    As for Fu Jieshi’s patriotism, it’s not important, and we’ve hardly been talking about that. Looking back, the main thread has been the following: he claimed that he got nothing from China, that everything good he got from the US, owes China nothing and certainly not his loyalty. When challenged on whether he really got “nothing” from China, he went off on a rant about the suffering of others in his family decades ago during the Cultural Revolution, which was hardly unique, but he cursed out a couple of people for having “no f-ing idea” anyway.

    What do his incoherencies mean? I didn’t get much out of them. Whatever, moving on…

  120. yo Says:

    SKC,

    Good points. I would also add that the out pouring of Chinese voices because of the Olympics have shocked “western” media, in the sense that they are like whoa, who the hell are these people? Any sort of stereotyping or preconceived notions they had I believe are slowly withering away.

    I’m on the fence with your market forces opinions, but I’m leaning in your direction. With Al Jazera, Fox news, MSNBC news, etc It’s hard to deny it’s influence.

  121. Wahaha Says:

    @Buxi,

    thx for your advice,

    But I really hate the sentiment that every problem in China becomes a problem of human right. If they really care about human right, why didnt they every talk about the child labor in China ? why didnt they talk about people in rural cant afford medication ? WTF ? Didnt they see the report of millions of beggars in India ? What is more important, helping hundreds of millions of poor people or the F@#$ing right of free speech for couple thousand dissidents ?

  122. Buxi Says:

    @Wahaha,

    I completely, completely, completely agree with you on what you said. I promise you, that issue will be brought up time and time again. There will be an opportunity to talk about that topic, because it’s one of the most fundamental divides between West and Chinese perceptions of the situation.

  123. Wahaha Says:

    and what is even more disgusting is those West media thought they are moraly superior.

    Here is a story that happened in Shui dynasty,

    the last emperor was a natual born idiot, and became an emperor when he was 10. One year, cuz of natual disaster, a lot of farmers died cuz there was not enough rice. When the idiot emperor was told about famine by his servant, he asked ” why didnt they eat chicken ? “

  124. Buxi Says:

    @BMY,

    are you referring 牛棚 as “cow pen” . it should be “cow barn” in English I guess.

    Yes… I don’t know where/how I decided 牛棚 should be “cow pen” versus “cow barn”. The meaning is similar anyways.

    For those not familiar with the term, “cow pens” are basically unofficial prisons setup on many university campuses, used to detain people for years during the Cultural Revolution.

  125. BMY Says:

    I guess it was 晋惠公”何不食粥糜”

  126. JL Says:

    Buxi,

    You’re interested in building bridges, fine -that’s a laudable aim. And you “really don’t care what percentage of the coverage of China is biased in a negative way.” And that’s great.

    What gets me is this kind of talk: “The Western press and public opinion are filled with condescension toward China, and the attitude that the West alone knows what is best for all peoples.”

    Notice that it slips from talking about the press, to public opinion, to “the West” in general. In short an accusation that all people in the West are uniquely condescending towards China. I simply think this is grossly inaccurate. As I’ve said above, there is media bias, but the media views everything through its own special industry lenses. Above Charles Liu made a comment that while American media put the spotlight on Tibet, they ignored America’s own indigenous people. To Charles, its an example of anti-China bias. To me, its an example of anti-Native American bias.

    In sum, the comment I quoted above does the opposite of what you want to do. It works against bridge-building by promoting the idea that Westerners are all ignorant and full of unique predjudice against Chinese, any critical views they might hold must result from bias.

    I think the author, and other Chinese patriots, would do much better to use whatever voice they have to write Chinese news from the perspective that they want it to be told, rather than telling Westerners that they are ignorant and mean (which might be true sometimes, but saying so is only going to put people off listening.)

  127. Buxi Says:

    BMY,

    I think it’s ”何不食肉糜”, so somewhere between what you and Wahaha said. 🙂

    What’s interesting, is that the West has an almost identical, and very well-known phrase: “Let them eat cake”. Most people say this was said by Marie Antoinette, the consort of the French king… shortly before the French Revolution that led to her head being cut off.

  128. BMY Says:

    @JL,

    I am not speaking on behave of Buxi or any other Chinese patriots here.

    From my understanding by following the posts I don’t think others say all westerners are ignorant in general. some people and some medias are. I know westerners here like yourself ,FOARP,SK Cheung and others are all very knowledgeable and thoughtful even I don’t always agree. maybe we need be careful the wording. I’ve learned a lot from everyone. Thanks.

    to be honest, if we talk about ignorance, in general, westerners are better educated than Chinese due to all sorts of facts.Better education is one of the goals China is trying to achieve.

    ignorance exist in every society but my personal feeling is general Chinese know more about the west than the generaaal westerners know about China.

    When I just came overseas years back , one of my colleagues asked “Did you come here as a refugee” and another asked me” Did you see abandoned baby girls in the street?”

    they were people had degrees.

    well,certainly some people came as refugees but most of Chinese come overseas are not refugees. Abandoning baby girls do exist in China but I lived in China for 30 years and I’d never seen and everyone I knew never seen baby girls lying in the streets in person.

    So I know how powerful the media influence is. And people like Buxi and other guys here are trying to change

  129. yo Says:

    JL,
    You have some interesting comments, it’s a shame it’s getting lost in the whole shuffle in this particular thread. As a reminder, you can go to #13 to get my views on this issue.

    I agree 100% with your statements about the over generalization of “Western”(e.g. Mexican 😛 ) news media. I personally don’t believe the original author herself wishes to characterize all “western” media, but she should have been more clear because it’s misleading.

    As for myself, I can only attest to the media outlets I go by: MSNBC, AP, CNN etc. But to overstate things and say “all western media” is not fair, and goes beyond one’s own qualitative evidence. But I would like to point out that you are generalizing too by not qualifying “Chinese patriots”, because surely, not all of them agree with Charles’ pov.

    “In sum, the comment I quoted above does the opposite of what you want to do. It works against bridge-building by promoting the idea that Westerners are all ignorant and full of unique predjudice against Chinese, any critical views they might hold must result from bias.”

    The best anyone can do is state one’s opinion, perhaps debate, and move on. I don’t fully agree with Charles’s characterization, but he has a right to them, so do I and so do you, what else can anyone do.

  130. Ma Bole Says:

    I certainly hope that no one here is attempting to rejuvenate the tired argument, “We Chinese understand the West better than the West understands us.” While it is perhaps true that the educated Chinese middle class understands the West better than the educated western middle class understands China, the difference is purely relative and very, very marginal. I’m reminded of the saying, “五十步笑百步”, only I’d change it a bit to read, “九十五步笑百步”.

  131. EugeneZ Says:

    @JL,

    You asked for statistical survey data of how negatively the western media portrays China. I am interested in seeing such data myself. But, there are many ways to analyse the situation anecdeotely.

    For example, have you noticed the dramatic increase of overseas Chinese voices on the internet blogs since the Tibetan unrest this March? This dramatic increase happened in response of the extremely biased reporting of the Tibetan unrest by the western media, especially during the first several weeks.

    I would even argue that such strong voices of reason and logic had made a significant impact in swinging the pendulum back towards to neutrality to a certain degree.

  132. XHY Says:

    it might be out of topic.

    I went through the whole thread again and found out a interesting part from one of Buxi’s comments #64 “if Sun Zhongshan (as an American citizen) simply decided to enjoy the good life in Hawaii and San Francisco, then I firmly believe we’d still be wearing pigtails and living a life far worse than the one we have today.”

    First of all, I fully respect GuoFu Sun Zhongshan and his revolutionary comrades who used their lives to create modern China.

    I just had a imagination and it’s just a imagination please don’t be offended if you are a Chinese patriot like me or a Taiwanese patriot like A-Gu.

    some of the Chinese words I don’t know their English terms if Buxi can help.

    As the history seems be more clear to us. 戊戌变法 (Hundred Days reform)failed. But in the last few years of Qing dynasty, there were lots of talks about 君主立宪 (constitutional monarchy) in the cabinets and in the royal family. 摄政王and皇太后 were willing to do 君主立宪.

    Let’s assume 孙中山和革命党人辛亥革命 (1911 Xinhai revolution) and all other resolutioners all totally failed but 君主立宪 (constitutional monarchy) succeeded. China political system would had be like pre world war II Japan’s system then.

    Before 1912
    The industry revolution had been introduced into China by people like 李鸿章
    the western style school system had been imported already
    the new western style army had been started to build
    among with other advanced western things

    So what would have happened I assume(you might draw different conclusions):
    there would be no war lords time from 1912-1927
    there would be no civil war between KMT and CCP 1927-1949
    there would be no isolation for 30 years after 1949
    there would be no Tanwan issue
    there would be no practice of class struggle for 30 years
    Confucianism would be still taught in schools
    Would China be better or worse than today? I don’t know

    Some might say China must be fully colonialized if Qing continued for more than 20 years. Well I don’t see ROC from 1912 till Japanese invasion was a much stronger country than late Qing

    Even if Qing existed till today, I won’t think we still wear pigtails . Qing was forced to make lots of changes/reforms 100 years ago.

    My imagination dosen’t want to hurt anyone during the weekend. Please still do your barbecue and please still drive your kids to swimming classes

  133. 游子 Says:

    Translation by Buxi, corrections and comments, please let me know.

    看了众多网友的发言,我觉得有必要再说一说。

    After seeing the comments by many other netizens, I feel a need to say a little more.

    关于西方媒体的“偏见”问题,对不同的中国人而言,其感受相差甚远。象海外华人,由于处于不同的文化环境,在与当地人相处过程中容易产生隔阂。少数族群往往对社会主流的评价比较敏感。其实中国内部,此类现象也很常见。比如外地人总是觉得被本地人歧视,其根本原因是文化差别。这种基于文化差别的歧视是一种普遍现象,只有通过文化融合才能消除。明显的、产生损害后果的具体歧视行为,可以通过法律诉讼寻求救济。因此,发生在西方国家的基于文化差异的歧视行为,只要当地存在健全的法治,就应该是法律问题法律解决,文化层面的问题只能通过文化交流来解决。

    In terms of the problem with Western media’s “bias”, different Chinese can have different feelings. For overseas Chinese, because they exist in a different cultural environment, it’s easy for them to develop some isolation while interacting with locals. Minorities will often feel more sensitive about mainstream media’s criticisms. In reality, the same reaction can be seen in China’s interior as well. Furthermore, outsiders always feel discriminated against by locals, and the most basic reason is a cultural gap. This sort of discrimination due to the cultural gap is a very common phenomenon, and can only be erased through integration. Clearly, any sort of specific discrimination that causes injury or loss, can be rectified through a lawsuit seeking economic compensation. Therefore, the discrimination due to cultural differences in the West should be resolved by law if effective rule of law exists; cultural problems can only be resolved through cultural international.

    除此之外,将文化问题、法律问题政治化,只会令问题陷入泥潭。不幸的是,这个问题已经高度政治化--作为一个中国人,我认为中国政府对此负有很大责任。在处理西方媒体的负面报道问题上,中国政府长期实行愚蠢的信息封堵政策,让大多数中国人基本接触不到西方媒体,假装事情没有发生;另一方面,一旦事情闹大,再难掩盖时,便采取民族主义和爱国主义的政治方式进行回击,鼓动国内无知民众仇恨西方媒体。在这样的僵化思路下,西方媒体报道是否真实或者部分真实、问题能否改进等,都成为政治的牺牲品。当然,它这样做也有自己的苦衷:因为西方媒体的报道很多确有其事,而且直指政治体制的核心,这恰恰是它很难面对和回答的。而且我相信,中国国内官方媒体所散布的“偏见”,尤其是“政治偏见”,是绝不会输给西方媒体的。

    Other than this, politicizing cultural and legal problems, will simply suck issues into the mire. Unfortunately, this problem is already very political – and as a Chinese person, I believe the Chinese government bears great responsibility. In processing the negative reporting from the western media, the Chinese government has for a long time blocked outside news in order to create stupidity, keeping the vast majority of Chinese from coming in contact with the Western media, pretending as if things didn’t happen.

    On the other hand, once things are escalated and difficult to cover up, then it selectively uses nationalism and patriotism as tools for a counter-attack, encouraging China’s ignorant masses to hate the Western media. In this rigid approach, the question of whether the Western media’s coverage is accurate or partially accurate, whether it can improve, etc, all become sacrificed for political means. Of course, the government does this because it has its own difficulties: because many of the Western media’s reporting truly do have these problems, and often points directly at the heart of the Chinese political system, and these are exactly the problems that are difficult for the government to respond to. I also firmly believe that the “biases” being spread by China’s official statement media, especially “political bias”, can not possibly lose to the Western media.

    从这个意义上说,海外华人对西方媒体的“偏见”主要基于文化差异,而且在西方社会有诸多反制和法律救济手段;而中国国内的愤怒则主要是基于政治斗争。但我要在此声明:并不是所有的中国人都对此表示愤怒。除了官方媒体和粪青,我们这些打酱油、看热闹的中国人也绝不是“一小撮”。因为我们坚持认为,在新闻自由的前提下,谁都可以发评论,特别是针对政府的评论。你认为不对的评论,也许别人就认为是对的。比如卡佛蒂关于过去50年“中国人是呆子和暴徒”的评论,虽然很不中听,但我经过回顾过去50年中中国人自己对自己实施的种种暴行,就认为基本上没什么错——不信,大家可以算算过去50年中各种政治运动造成了多少人的非正常死亡,那数字远远超过外国侵略所造成的。

    So, from this point of view, overseas Chinese complaints of western media’s “bias” originates from a cultural gap, and western society also has a number of legal methods for fighting back; but the anger in China originates from a political war. But I do want to declare here: not all Chinese feel this anger. Other than the official media and fenqing, us Chinese who’re buying soy sauce and watching the action are absolutely not just “a handful”. Because we firmly believe that, assuming a free media exists, then anyone has the right to criticize, especially criticism of the Chinese government. The criticism you disagree with might seem perfectly valid to someone else. For example, Cafferty’s statement that for the past 50 years “Chinese are idiots and thugs”, although it doesn’t sound nice, but thinking back to what I experienced and the past 50 years of Chinese using violence against Chinese, then it’s not really very wrong — if you don’t believe it, you can go back and calculate the number of abnormal deaths from all of the various political movements over that period. That number is far greater than the number caused by foreign invasion.

    我还要向WAHAHA先生说几句:请你不要动不动就代表中国或者中国政府。我不知道你是留学生还是外籍华人,但中国无论强大还是弱小,都不是为了要使你觉得在西方人面前更有面子、更威风。还有,中国的经济增长,是我们中国公民辛勤劳动的结果,不是中国政府的恩惠;我们的生活改善,是我们自己劳动的回报,不是政府或者某个党派的施舍。相反,政府是我们养着的。至于政府制订好的政策以促进经济,这本就是它的职责,做不好就应该滚蛋,难道你还想要我们感恩?至于俄罗斯、印度的经济好不好,这与中国有什么关系?与民主有什么关系?你为什么不举北朝鲜和古巴作例子?另外你的中国历史也没学好,希望你继续努力,以进一步了解中国。

    I also want to send a few sentences to Mr. Wahaha: please do not so easily “represent” the Chinese or the Chinese government. I don’t know if you’re an oversea student or overseas Chinese, but regardless of China is strong or small, it doesn’t have anything to do with you having greater face and authority in the face of Westerners. Furthermore, China’s economic growth is the result of hard work by Chinese citizens, and not the government’s charity; our lives are improving, because these are the returns from our own work, not because of a government or certain political party has bestowed them on us.

    In contrast, we feed the government. In terms of the government designing policies that advance the economy, that’s its job. If you can’t do it, then get out. Do you really want us to feel gratitude? As far as Russia and India’s poor economy, what does that have to do with China? What does that have to do with democracy? Why don’t you compare to North Korea and Cuba as examples? Besides, you don’t have a good grasp of Chinese history, and hope you can keep making an effort in trying to better understand China.

  134. Wahaha Says:

    to 游子,

    Thx you for your advise. (sorry, I dont know how to type in Chinese.)

    I am an oversea chinese who used to believe that the moon over America is brighter than that over China. I said over other board that China is still far behind America and West, what China has accomplished in last 30 years is just make up the time we lost.

    As you dont want to give credit to this government, that is your opinion. I give lot of credit to this government. Dont say that it is just me, why ? you can talk to the new geneartion of oversea chinese students, (we all know that in any country, students are usually very critical of their government, right?) and ask them how much credit they want to give to this government

    Now economys in Russia and India do have little to do with China’s economy, but we do want to learn from their system and experiences, dont we ? especially their political reform, right ? Do you know People in Russia abandoned west democracy after only 8 years and selected a former KGB as their prime minister ? do you know what the west democracy did to their society and economy ? Please don tell me that government has nothing to do with the economic improvement in China. Before you teach me government’s role in economy, why dont you google “India infrastructure.” first ?

    Cuba and North Korea ? are you comparing the current China to Cuba and North Korea ? that is funny, why dont we just compare the current China to China 40 years ago ? there would be much easier. Cube and North Korea, their political system and economy system are still like what they were 40 years ago, of course it wont work.

    It is ignorant to claim that India economy and China economy have nothing to do with each other, the whole world is watching and comparing their economic models, the outcome will have huge impact on the politics of world in this century.

  135. Theo Says:

    “Fu Jieshi has made it concretely clear he doesn’t care about the interests of the Chinese people or the Chinese nation”

    Did you learn to write like that at Renmin Ribao or Xinhua? To me it seems he cares very much about China and the Chinese people.

  136. zuiweng Says:

    @BMY (No. 84)

    Sorry if my short endorsement of 游子’s comment came across as being judgemental. I didn’t know that seconding an opinion in this forum is not welcome. Duly noted.

    As to my opinion on the original subject (Liu Jiajia’s article, remember?), I’m quite sympathetic of Liu’s feelings and share her impression of a negative slant in China reporting in large sections of western media, particularily in connection with the Lhasa riots. In fact I have written several letters to German and Swiss newspapers on their often sloppy reporting and evident bias. But the fact remains that at no point was there any suppression of differing opinions, which could readily found in other media („quality newspapers“, blogs and so on). Mainstream media opinion on any subject is liable to be over-simplifying, one-sided and short on facts. The important thing is that ways of expressing differing opinion remain freely accessible to those who want to use them.

    I do object to one point in Liu Jiajia’s article though, and that is her insinuation that an authoritarian regime is somehow more efficient in dealing with catastrophes. This has been proven wrong time and time again – in China’s case by almost every natural disaster and the government’s reaction to it, this year’s earthquake being the striking exception to the rule.

    Another thing: Bias can go both ways. In the last two or three years before the run-up to the OG, there was no lack at all of positive reporting on China in the German-Language press: enthusiastic praise for China’s economical reforms, duly respectful articles on China’s cultural achievements and starry-eyed travel writing were just as prominent then as the constant eulogies of the Dalai Lama are today.

    My point being: Don’t get too excited either way about what foreign journalists say and focus on bringing about a greater degree of freedom of speech for Chinese people. This blog is already a very encouraging step in this direction.

  137. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahahaha – Actually, it is a dubious proposition to say that the Russian government was ever anything more than a proto-democracy. The elections held under Yeltsin all suffered from irregularities comparable to the recent ones. Yeltsin’s crushing of the rebels at the White House was as anti-democratic as anything that Putin and Medvedev have done, and it was him who ordered the first invasion of Chechnya, and was instrumental in orderin the second. Even if you except the slant in he western media given at the time of Yelstin as a crusader against the hard-liners (which was accurate, but a vast over-simplification), it is hard to see how Putin’s policies differ all that much from Yeltsin’s, except in the area of relations with the west and the nationalisation-by-stealth of the industries which were ‘pri-theft-ised’ after 1991.

    India’s transition to an open free market economic system started at least ten years latter than China’s, the average income in India is now close to $600 dollars a year, which, while not brilliant, is better than it was. India’s economic growth is lower than the Chinese average, but not by a great amount.

  138. CLC Says:

    @游子
    除了官方媒体和粪青,我们这些打酱油、看热闹的中国人也绝不是“一小撮”。

    I am not sure if Buxi will again graciously translate your comment into English. So I am going to post a short note in Chinese. Anyway, this is just a side note.

    凡是有人群的地方, 就有左中右。 所以我想你的意见也绝不只代表“一小撮”。实际上, 你的有些观点, 我也相当认同。

    但把与你意见相左的人称为粪青, 恐怕欠妥。贴标签和谩骂无助于寻求真相和真理。依我看,“五四”运动的学生可以算是中国的第一代愤青,恐怕也是最没有争议的一代。之后的愤青被骂的越来越多了。 但不管是奋青也好, 粪青也罢,青年有尝试的权利, 有探索的资本,有反思的机会, 更有那弥足珍贵的的一腔热血。没有了他们, 怎么会有少年中国?

  139. Buxi Says:

    @Theo,

    Did you learn to write like that at Renmin Ribao or Xinhua? To me it seems he cares very much about China and the Chinese people.

    From Fu Jieshi’s posts:

    For me, China is a place to visit, and then leave.
    The U.S. is my country now.

    You’re right he also made comments in which he talks about feeling sympathy for the suffering of the Chinese people… but it seems clear to me he doesn’t feel much responsibility, doesn’t see himself involved in doing anything about it, other than celebrating the fact he’s no longer one of them.

    If my interpretation is harsh, well, I don’t hold grudges, and I don’t call names. I hope Fu Jieshi will return to explain himself better. But if he wants to be seen as American and nothing else, I’m willing to do him that courtesy.

  140. Buxi Says:

    I’m glad Youzi showed up… partly because it saves me the trouble of translating one of the many messages from the Chinese internet that says exactly what he said. He helps us prove the point that we originally wanted to make on this blog, that Chinese society has healthy, interesting debate about every issue.

    His perspective is not new or unique, but it deserves attention. I’m going to start a new blog entry with Youzi’s post. I hope everyone (Wahaha and CLC) will repeat their comments there.

  141. AC Says:

    @游子

    关于西方媒体的“偏见”问题,对不同的中国人而言,其感受相差甚远。象海外华人,由于处于不同的文化环境,在与当地人相处过程中容易产生隔阂。少数族群往往对社会主流的评价比较敏感。其实中国内部,此类现象也很常见。比如外地人总是觉得被本地人歧视,其根本原因是文化差别。这种基于文化差别的歧视是一种普遍现象,只有通过文化融合才能消除。明显的、产生损害后果的具体歧视行为,可以通过法律诉讼寻求救济。因此,发生在西方国家的基于文化差异的歧视行为,只要当地存在健全的法治,就应该是法律问题法律解决,文化层面的问题只能通过文化交流来解决。

    May I ask how long you have been following the Western media? I know you have access to almost all mainstream western media’s websites inside China.

    As for how oversea Chinese view Western media bias, you are certainly entitled to your own opinion. But based on my own experience, I have to disagree. Cultural differences is certainly a factor, but there are also ideology, ignorance and ill will. You can’t eliminate bias and misunderstanding by law suits, that’s a silly idea. You can only do that through education, communication and debate.

    除此之外,将文化问题、法律问题政治化,只会令问题陷入泥潭。不幸的是,这个问题已经高度政治化--作为一个中国人,我认为中国政府对此负有很大责任。在处理西方媒体的负面报道问题上,中国政府长期实行愚蠢的信息封堵政策,让大多数中国人基本接触不到西方媒体,假装事情没有发生;另一方面,一旦事情闹大,再难掩盖时,便采取民族主义和爱国主义的政治方式进行回击,鼓动国内无知民众仇恨西方媒体。在这样的僵化思路下,西方媒体报道是否真实或者部分真实、问题能否改进等,都成为政治的牺牲品。当然,它这样做也有自己的苦衷:因为西方媒体的报道很多确有其事,而且直指政治体制的核心,这恰恰是它很难面对和回答的。而且我相信,中国国内官方媒体所散布的“偏见”,尤其是“政治偏见”,是绝不会输给西方媒体的。

    That is not completely true. I had access to all major western media websites last time when I was in China. I agree with you though that the idea of censorship is pretty stupid and the Chinese official media is definitely biased. It would be hypocritical for the Chinese media to blame Western media bias, but it would not be the case for the Chinese people to do so. After all, “Western media bias” is not a Chinese government fabrication. We are talking about “Chinese” vs “Western bias” here, not “Chinese government” vs “Western bias”, so what you have here is really a strawman argument.

    比如卡佛蒂关于过去50年“中国人是呆子和暴徒”的评论,虽然很不中听,但我经过回顾过去50年中中国人自己对自己实施的种种暴行,就认为基本上没什么错——不信,大家可以算算过去50年中各种政治运动造成了多少人的非正常死亡,那数字远远超过外国侵略所造成的。

    I am not sure about that, do you have the numbers? If you don’t, then how did you draw that conclusion? Has it ever occurred to you that the backwardness of China is a direct result of the Western invasions? And has it ever occurred to you that those “非正常死亡” is also a result of the Western sanctions and embargoes?

    还有,中国的经济增长,是我们中国公民辛勤劳动的结果,不是中国政府的恩惠;我们的生活改善,是我们自己劳动的回报,不是政府或者某个党派的施舍。相反,政府是我们养着的。至于政府制订好的政策以促进经济,这本就是它的职责,做不好就应该滚蛋,难道你还想要我们感恩?

    Of course the Chinese economic miracle is a result of the hard works of the Chinese people. But your dismissal of government’s role in economy only shows your own ignorance on the subject. There is a reason why a CEO is paid millions of dollars while some employees are only paid $6 an hour. The success of a corporation largely depends on the management, it’s common sense. Gee, now I sound like a Republican.

  142. MutantJedi Says:

    Whoa! I joined this thread late or what. Ma bole’s got a chip as big as all Texas on his shoulder, eh. But, cool, I learned some new colorful language. 🙂 Thanks dude!

    I read the original article when Buxi posted it. I enjoyed it and, though not Chinese, I felt many of the same things she expressed while wandering Beijing this last Feb.

    I also picked up on what Davidpeng (#44) mentioned about the development of Chinese style democracy. I also feel that over time China will grow its own version of democracy.

    The value of an English blog about China like this one… To my mind it is invaluable. I deeply appreciate the translation efforts of Buxi and others. It is a bridge to a window that otherwise would not be available to me. Too often the Anglophone is excluded from the conversation. As one Chinese writer questioned Buxi about translating his words into English, if I remember right, the Westerner isn’t going to understand anyhow.

    Also, I find this blog to be very open to discussion and to dissenting ideas.

    While it is annoying to sift through the childish bits from some posters, I find their perspective to be part of the whole picture, hence valuable.

    I am also grateful for the sharing of the CR accounts.

  143. somebody Says:

    Hi,

    Dear Blogger:

    How to start a topic to talk about?
    I had read some Danwei report on Hepatitis B blog being block and that I also read some news about HIV activist being arrested. Can someone gave me more information regard these things.

  144. Buxi Says:

    @MutantJedi,

    As one Chinese writer questioned Buxi about translating his words into English, if I remember right, the Westerner isn’t going to understand anyhow.

    Thanks for remembering that. It was the story of a Six Four student protester, who stayed on the Square until the very end. She has lived in the United States for 8 years, but was still concerned that Americans couldn’t understand her story. And it’s not because of a “cultural gap”, but because of the huge gap in political understanding and background.

    And I think that’s a situation Youzi probably doesn’t understand.

    Many Chinese in the West are frustrated like Ms. Liu, because we are able to see the misunderstanding on both sides. I think it’s actually distracting from the debate to focus strictly on her one sentence about “media bias”. The *point* of her article, and the underlying *point* of this blog, is that many in the West for whatever reason has a political view of China that is so dramatically warped and different from the Chinese view of China. The media bias isn’t the only (or even primary) reason for the existence of this warped view, so I see it pointless as focusing on that. In fact, I’d argue the media bias is probably a symptom of the bias, not the cause of it.

    Now, I’m not going to pretend to be wiser than anyone else, but I do claim an advantage here. Those of us comfortable in both English and Chinese, and those of us comfortable in any Chinese or Western city, we have probably the best view of that gap. And therefore we have the opportunity, and in my mind, the moral responsibility to do our best to bridge that gap.

    I believe Youzi has a far better view of the problem inside Chinese cities than I do. I haven’t had to deal with property issues, and I don’t deal with the chengguan 城管 every day, so I’m not qualified to speak on those problems with authority. I instead respect the opinions of people who intelligently debate these things in China, and I will just translate their words instead. However, Youzi is equally unqualified on the Western world (I’ll discuss this in detail in a blog entry I’m working on for later…), and I hope he’ll put time in respecting our opinion as well.

  145. Buxi Says:

    @Somebody,

    We talked about the Hepatitis B forum above. I can still access it, I can also see current posts on it from users in Beijing and Shanghai. Since that forum is an ICP license, I assume if the government wanted to block it, they’d simply close it down. If people can’t access it, I’m more likely to assume a technical problem.

    But if you have a topic you’d like us to focus on, we’re always welcome to ideas and submissions. Please give us details (Chinese or English is fine). You can also email us; click on the “About” tab above.

  146. Wahaha Says:

    @FORAP

    1) Your comment about Russia is just what a lot of chinese believe : China is not ready for West democracy. (that is why Chinese buy government’s policy of stabilization. )

    Russia had far less population, better education ,better economic foundation, much larger land and much more natual resources, and its democracy reform turned out a disaster. What would have happened in China if she had imported West democracy ? how much time would China need to settle down before people could start working on economy, 30 years, 50 years ?

    If you ask me ” do you want freedom?”” do you want to vote ?”, of course I want freedom, of course I want to have a say in the election of governers. But I am just an ordinary chinese, if government gives me the right, there is no reason it should give out the right selectively, it should give the right to every one, including scholars, students, workers, farmers, poor people who make less than $1 /day, poor people who cant read, criminals, greedy SOB, mafia, drug dealers, In a country with 1.3 billion people, can you imagine the situation ? the situation would be like 1850 in China, that is why I support this government though I dont like lot of its policy regarding freedom, information and media.

    2) the first period of China’s reform is land reform, from 1979 to 1985, it hardly improve anything else. from 1984 to late 1980s, it was more a period of experiment of Deng’s idea “let some people get rich first.” and SEZ was set up to attract FDI. The real economic development started in early 1990s based on the success of SEZ.

    A lot of West investors put money in China, not in India cuz of the poor infrastructure in India. If you go to an India forum, you can feel that their national pride was hurt a lot cuz China was on the same level as India in 1990, and now China is way ahead of India in most areas. This trend pushed India to change, as a result, in some towns, people were able to put aside their endless democracy process aside and do what is necessary. But even now, India still have great trouble building a SEZ along its coast cuz local people feel that the compensation is not enough.

    They also need labor reform, which will take 10 years at least to pass a law, cuz every party has its own intepretation of reform, and there are at least 30 partys in India. Their population is another huge problem, every year, there are 20 million more labor entering market,(in China, about 9 million each years, China solves this problem by absorbing huge FDI.) this trend will continure forever as democratic system cant do nothing about it. Under the law of democracy, every big project (of infrastructure) needs at least 5 to 10 years to get approval, then 5 to 10 years to build. How will it catch up the increasing population ?

    _______________

    Listen, there are lot of things I dont like about the current government in China, I feel sorry about those people who are mistreated. But based on what happened in Russia and India, I believe there would be at least 100 times more Chinese who wouldve suffered the EXTERME poverty under west democracy.

  147. Buxi Says:

    @zuiwang,

    First of all, thanks for staying on topic and bringing us back to Liu Jiajia’s article. 🙂 And second of all, I enjoyed your comments, and thank you for your compliment. I’m glad people are using the platform we provide; you guys provide the force, we’re just the catalyst.

    I do object to one point in Liu Jiajia’s article though, and that is her insinuation that an authoritarian regime is somehow more efficient in dealing with catastrophes. This has been proven wrong time and time again – in China’s case by almost every natural disaster and the government’s reaction to it, this year’s earthquake being the striking exception to the rule.

    I’m not sure you can really draw that conclusion convincingly. Seems to me there are convincing arguments both for and against that point of view. There’s two things we can do in cases like this: look at it inductively, or look at it deductively.

    Deductively, looking at past history… this isn’t the only disaster that the government has reacted relatively well to. In my opinion at least, the government did reasonably well during the Yangtze floods of 1998, in facing a very difficult problem. And as you might know, many Chinese have compared the government’s response to this versus the American reaction to Katrina. I don’t mean to throw any more insults at Bush, so I’m not looking to place blame. But I think just about anyone on this planet would agree the reaction to Katrina was incredibly mismanaged, incredibly slow, and led to the death of hundreds and suffering of thousands.

    Inductively/logically, because China is an authoritarian government, it does have the ability to bring resources into action more quickly. It can bypass the market economy, and order different provinces/companies into action in producing desperately needed material. This includes tents, medication, and temporary housing.

    Many also believe the Katrina response was slowed because of political infighting. Politicians at different layers didn’t want to take blame for mistakes, and didn’t want others to take glory for victory; they’re all thinking ahead to the next campaign, even while they’re doing their jobs. Many wonder if the Democratic governor of Louisiana would have cooperated better with a Democratic president, for example. That, obviously, isn’t a problem in China.

  148. somebody Says:

    Continue about Hepatitis B stuff:

    I am educated in USA when I was ten, I was always under the impression that freely express information is very good thing because when people don’t know anything about some danger like HIV, if people has more understanding of it beforeward I believe that people can prevent it really well. I think that there are still alot of people in China don’t have good understanding of how the world or China work, there is why when I was in my biology class, I was always worry that someday some disease it going to infest and wipe us out of something like that because people are educated about it or the government didn’t response fast enough and suppress the information at the same time.

    Which was why I always believe that more freely expression of opinon, ideas, and crizism can let to faster understanding and resolving of issues. I guess that the government in China or at least the leader in China really had this things against people talking about democracy that they believe China current is needing it critically. I am not sure is because of that Tiananmen Square thing that got the government really scare about things. I still don’t know what scare thing about it, just do it like the Russians.

    I have to say I was quiet relieve to find that the current generation of Leaders in China make alot of quick understanding of things like HIV and pollution because sometime it may take sometime to realized and understand these things.

    Which is why it really depress me to hear that guy got arrested, I really hope the government had a good reason behind it because it really going to put a strain on things.

    Still, how do I start a topic on this blog or any blog to talk about this.
    Again I how that after some years the government would relax this about critizing the government and going about democracy.

  149. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahaha – India’s democracy is its own, the institutions that were left by the British in 1947 were largely done away with when India transitioned into a republic and left the commonwealth. This is not me trying to make out that India is not democratic, but other systems might be used quite different to that currently operating in India. You say that democracy would block devlopment through NIMBY-ism, but in countries like France the president has the final say, and need not be swayed by local arguments. You say that democracy encourages corruption, but there are equal arguments against this, and many systems would be better than the ones currently in place. You say that China is not ready for democracy – but when will it ever be? Even Hong Kong is denied sufferage, and no-one can say that people there are uneducated or poor.

    On the subject of Russia, is it not obvious that what caused the economic disaster was the ‘shock therapy’ economic reforms and not the political reforms? The political reforms ended the role of the communist party and the one-party system and new parties filled the gap, but the economic reforms, and especially the privitisation, led to the collapse of the state-run industries. The Russian council of deputies rebelled against these reforms, but Yeltsin used the army against them in a move which killed at least 180 people, and perhaps as many as a thousand – it was here that democracy died in Russia.

    You see, both Russian and Indian history is equally as complicated as that of China

  150. zuiweng Says:

    @ Buxi

    What I was trying to say is:
    Obviously a media/press relatively free of governmental restrictions does not alway produce 100% objective reporting, neither does an executive elected under democratic lines necessarily produce 100% good government/management, nor even an independent judiciary always be 100% right in all cases, but – and this is the only saving grace of having to put up with ignorant journalists, incompetent politicians and bigoted judges – it is possible to publish refutations of wrong reports, it is possible to agitate for the dismissal of dunces in high office and to appeal against wrongful judgements. In other words. there is more room for self-corrective measures within the subsystems of society.
    Are you really trying to say that a military-like command structure in government at all times is the best way of dealing with natural disasters? I doubt it. And at what cost comes this supposed rise in efficiency? (The word has a sinister ring in my language, having been used as an excuse for every kind of crime against humanity)

    The examples you mentioned are certainly relevant, but very selective (as are the following):
    – flooding in eastern parts of Germany 1998: quick and resolute response by the government
    – reactions to the tsunami catastrophe in SO-Asia: the military dominated government of Indonesia was anything but efficient in their response (even though they bypassed the market economy…)
    – devastation of Myanmar this year: words fail me when I want to describe the regime’s reaction.

    The above is not to suggest in any way that an authoritarian government is always more incompetent/inefficient in its dealings with crises, nor do I want to compare an affluent society’s resources to those of developing countries and be dismissive of their efforts. I merely suggest that democratic structures in society provide a bigger potential for correction of mistakes being made by those exercising power – a power which is after all emanating from the people and which should be used in their interests.

    And: political infighting / bureaucrats not wanting to take responsility for their faults / regional factions are only a problem in multi-party systems? Nice one…

  151. Wahaha Says:

    FORAP,

    I never said democracy encourage corruption, I said democracy ecourage people being selfish and not respecting the right of other people, or in other word, fight “legally” for every penny.

    I will focus on answering your question when China is ready for democracy. You know I am not big fan of west democracy, and I will just list some conditions needed in China to be as democratic as or more democratic than the political system in Singapore, I certainly believe there are some other conditions.

    1) Most people enjoy a decent life. That, in my opinion, is #1 human right.

    For MOST people, without decent income for daily expense, housing, relaxation, they wont care about THE RIGHT OF OTHER PEOPLE, the human right and freedom will be abused in their hands. Like in America, poor people only care how to profit from their right, lot of them simply enjoy living on social security.

    2) People must feel secure about their life and future.

    There are some chinese here accusing people in China only care about making money. Well, they have to buy apartment, they have no medical issurance and no retirement plans, and not like west, parents in China are usually responsible for the education fees. They simply dont have time to care about anything else.

    3) Legal system, (this one needs a lot of work.)

    Without proper legal system, freedom is a joke as there is no clear line of guility or not guility, people dont have to be responsible for the result of his action and speech. It is a total chaos.

    4) privitisation of big state corporations and private corporations can access natual resource legally through free market.

    This is extremely important. Without financial resource, no party can exist for long. If state controls natual resource, bank system and major industry, it controls the flow of the wealth. By this control, even if a small party can legally exist, it has no influence in society, political system is essentially still an authoritarian, like singapore, Taiwan and Japan till 1980s, and current system in Russia.

    ______________________________

    Also, I suggest you read the following link, a very famous article about China.

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=10078

    I believe the following is an official view of democratic reform in China in 2003.

    http://www.ceibs.edu/ase/Documents/EuroChinaForum/liuji.htm
    ___________________________

    I believe you will be very pessimistic about the future of democratic reform in China after reading my post, but if you do some research, you will see that some west scholars believe that the way China is going now is similar to the way by the west in 300 years of industry of history.

    I believe China will be more and more democratic, but I dont think that China’s democracy will be ever close to West democracy within this century. In my opinion, the political system in China will be more like the system in Singapore.

  152. Wahaha Says:

    To somebody,

    Which was why I always believe that more freely expression of opinon, ideas, and crizism can let to
    faster understanding and resolving of issues.

    Faster understanding, maybe.

    Resolving of issues, most of time not true. (reason in post #77)

  153. 游子 Says:

    Translation by Nimrod. Direct corrections and complaints to me.

    正如我上文所说,本土中国人与海外华人在谈到西方媒体“偏见”时,其感受相差甚远。生活在西方国家的华人,不管他们自己是否感受到“偏见”,起码他们能够享受到基本的政治和社会权利。而这一点,是大多数生活在国内的中国人所享受不到的。对于后者来说,如何在严峻的社会环境中挣扎求存,远比所谓西方媒体的“偏见”问题要重要得多。

    Just as I said before, when Chinese in China and overseas Chinese talk about Western media “prejudice”, their feelings are quite different. Those Chinese living in Western countries — doesn’t matter if they feel “prejudice” — at least they can enjoy the basic political and civil rights. And this is something that the vast majority of Chinese living in China are unable to enjoy. For them, how to struggle to survive under grim social circumstances is a much more important problem than the so-called problem of Western media “prejudice”.

    是不是为生活而打拼的国内人,就不关心言论自由以及民主、法治这样的价值呢?当然不是。虽然很多中国人受教育程度有限,但每个人都知道关心自己的切身权益。除了在现行体制下既得利益者,我确信绝大多数中国人都不满贪污腐败的官员、权力不受限制的政府,因为这使我们应有的权益受到损害。我们这些生活在这块土地上的人,正亲身承受着损害。所以,西方媒体对中国是批评还是称赞,对我们而言真的没所谓。而你们这些生活在西方的海外华人,以及在国际事务中经常抛头露面的中国政府,就会很在意西方媒体的评价了。我们之间的区别是:国内的中国人关心的是在国内生活中的尊严,而海外华人和中国政府,关心的是在西方人面前的荣誉和面子。事实上,海外华人对西方媒体的抗议,并没有在国内引起多大反响(如果你们通过国内官方媒体的报道获得相反的信息,那也不奇怪。坦率的说,这些媒体的信誉在国内都很不好)。很多普通中国人反而会觉得,这些海外华人虽然口头上说是为中国人名誉而抗争,实际上是为自己面子抗争。不然,许多普通中国人在国内遭受种种不公正,你们海外华人为什么就不抗议?因为你们不在国内生活,正如你们所说的,生活内国内的人不了解你们的状况,反之亦然。我们在生活环境和心理上是有重大差距的。

    Is it true that those in China, just because they fight for their livelihood, don’t care about such values as freedom of speech, democracy, and rule of law? Of course not. Although the education many Chinese received is limited, but every person knows to care about his own self interest. Except for those with vested interest in the current system, I am convinced that the overwhelming majority of Chinese are not satisfied with corrupt officials and a government whose power is not subject to checks, because this injures our deserved rights and interests. We who live on this land are personally bearing these injuries, so whether Western media criticizes or acclaims China really doesn’t matter to us one bit. Whereas you overseas Chinese who live in the West, along with the Chinese government who always likes to be conspicuous in international affairs, will obviously mind the appraisal of the Western media very much. The difference between us is: Chinese in China care about the dignity of their lives in China, whereas overseas Chinese and the Chinese government care about their honor and face in front of Westerners. In reality, the protestations of overseas Chinese against the Western media didn’t really cause much of a stir in China. (If you found something contrary in the official Chinese media, I’m not surprised. Frankly speaking, these media have little credit in China.) Many common Chinese will instead feel that while these overseas Chinese say they are working for the reputation of Chinese, they are really contending for the sake of their own face. If that’s not so, then why don’t you overseas Chinese protest the injustices many common Chinese suffer in China? Because you don’t live in China. Just as you say, those in China don’t comprehend your situation, so the reverse is also true. We have a substantial gap in our living conditions and mentalities.

    我虽然生活在国内,但也会通过网络了解西方社会(虽然中国的互联网是有网络控制的,好在也有反控制的技术),另外也曾出国学习过。作为受过高等教育的人,我认为自由、民主、法治等价值没有西方和东方之分,也不是哪个国家的专利。好东西应该大家分享。中国是否自由、民主,我们这些生活在国内的人自然会有亲身感受,也应该有资格进行评价。令我们奇怪的是,某些海外华人也在这里大谈“西方民主”不适合中国,中国有自己特色的“民主”等,在实在让我感到恶心:你凭什么决定我们这些国内人享受你所说的“中国式民主”,而你自己却跑到外国享受“西方民主”去?既然你有权上街去抗议西方媒体的“偏见”,你为什么不支持我们也有上街抗议的权利?你竟然还为中国政府限制我们的权利进行辩护,认为这才适合中国人?WAHAHA先生还有更奇特的说法:

    Though I make my living in China, I also know how to get an understanding of Western society through the internet (though China’s network is controlled, good thing there is anti-control technology too), and I’ve also gone abroad for training before. As someone who has received higher education, I believe values like freedom, democracy, rule of law have no distinction of Western or Eastern, nor are they exclusive to some country. Good things should be shared by all. Whether China is free or democratic, we who live in China naturally have first-hand feelings and should have the standing to evaluate. What is strange to us is how certain overseas Chinese also hang around here, sounding off on “Western democracy” not fit for China, China has “democracy” with its own characteristic, etc., which are really disgusting to me: what right do you have to decide that we Chinese should enjoy your “Chinese-style democracy”, whlie you run off to a foreign country to enjoy “Western-style democracy”? As you have the right to go out on street to protest the Western media “prejudice”, why don’t you support our right to go out on street to protest? You even have the guts to defend the Chinese government for limiting our rights, believing such is what befits Chinese? Mr. WAHAHA has even more interesting ideas:

    But I am just an ordinary chinese, if government gives me the right, there is no reason it should give out the right selectively, it should give the right to every one, including scholars, students, workers, farmers, poor people who make less than $1 /day, poor people who cant read, criminals, greedy SOB, mafia, drug dealers, In a country with 1.3 billion people, can you imagine the situation ?

    看来,在WAHAHA先生眼里,如果人人享有平等的权利,后果是不可想象的。那么请问WAHAHA先生,你又凭什么标准把权利有差别地分配给不同的人?谁又有这种分配权利的资格、能力和权力?即使按你的标准,象我这样受过高等教育、收入也算稳定的人,都没有选举国家领导人的权利,谁才配有这个权利?西方国家都没有因为你是个外国人、有等级意识、对民主抱有敌意而剥夺你上街抗议的权利,你反而希望在中国按照你的所谓等级标准实施差别对待?我们这些生活在国内的中国人强烈建议:请你回到国内来,享受你所谓的“中国式民主”,否则,请你闭嘴!

    It seems in the eyes of Mr. WAHAHA, if everyone enjoyed equal rights, the consequences would be unimaginable. So let me ask Mr. WAHAHA this, what standard do you use to assign rights differently to different people? Who has the qualification, capability, or power to make assigments? Even by your standard, somebody like me who received higher education, with a reasonably stable salary, does not have the right to vote for the country’s leader, then who fits to have this right? Western countries didn’t even strip your right to protest on the street though you are a foreigner, you are elitist, and you harbor hostility to democracy, but now you turn around and want China to use your supposed elitist standards to apply different treatments? Those of us Chinese living in China strongly suggest that you come back and enjoy your so-called “Chinese-style democracy”, otherwise please shut up!

    还有一个叫AC有网友质疑比如卡佛蒂关于过去50年“中国人是呆子和暴徒”的评论,虽然很不中听,但我经过回顾过去50年中中国人自己对自己实施的种种暴行,就认为基本上没什么错——不信,大家可以算算过去50年中各种政治运动造成了多少人的非正常死亡,那数字远远超过外国侵略所造成的。

    (Edit: There appears to be some editing problems in the original post.)

    还有一个叫AC的网友对中国过去50年中各种政治运动造成的非正常死亡数字:

    There is another netizen called AC who questions the number of abnormal deaths caused by various political movements of China in the past 50 years:

    I am not sure about that, do you have the numbers? If you don’t, then how did you draw that conclusion? Has it ever occurred to you that the backwardness of China is a direct result of the Western invasions? And has it ever occurred to you that those “非正常死亡” is also a result of the Western sanctions and embargoes?

    如何AC网友有兴趣,查以上网搜查一下相关资料,比如反右、“三年自然灾害”、文化大革命等,相信你会有自己的判断。这些都与“西方侵略或者制裁”无关。

    If netizen AC is interested, go online to search for the relevant materials, e.g. Anti-Rightist Movement, “three years’ natural disaster”, Cultural Revolution, etc. I think you can judge for yourself. These have nothing to do with “Western invasion or embargoes”.

    最后,只想告诉海外华人尤其是生活在西方国家的华人们,你们的生活状况是大多数国内人羡慕的。你们中的大多数既不了解中国的惨痛历史(并不仅仅是西方侵略的原因),也无法体验目前普通中国人的困境。我们不反对你们抗议西方媒体的“偏见”,但不要把中国的政治制度作为辩护的对象,因为你们不是生活在其中;也不要把所有中国人都“绑架”到你们的立场上,因为我们之间心理感受差距太大。

    Lastly, I only want to tell overseas Chinese, espeically those living in Western countries: your living conditions are something envied by the majority of those inside China. The majority of you neither understand China’s painful history (not all due to Western invasion), nor have a way to experience the difficulties currently faced by ordinary Chinese. We don’t object to your protests against Western media “prejudice”, but don’t defend China’s political system, because you don’t live in it, and don’t hijack all Chinese to your standpoint, because our feelings differ too much.

  154. 游子 Says:

    Edit: Youzi is explaining the saying of “getting soy sauce”, but he didn’t realize we’ve already discussed it here.

    顺便解释一下“打酱油”这个词的来历:

    有官方媒体记者在路边询问一男子关于近期重大事件的看法,如西藏骚乱、火炬传递、西方媒体反华等,该男子回答:这都不关我的事。我是出来打酱油的。

    于是打酱油一词成为近期中国网络的流行语,表示漠不关心、不在乎的意思。

  155. Ma Bole Says:

    It’s a shame that Fu Jieshi hasn’t returned to defend himself. He probably has better things to do. In his absence, however, I’d like to say a few things.

    It doesn’t seem to me that Fu Jieshi has turned his back on China. In his original post (#47) he writes:

    “I immigrated with my parents and older brother to the U.S. from Chongqing in 1991 when I was 14. Looking back, I’m very glad we left China. It’s clear to us all that we never would have done as well had we remained in China. While I am VERY HAPPY [caps are mine] at the tremendous progress that China has made in recent years, frequent trips to Chongqing, Shanghai, and Beijing over the last few years have convinced me that life in China is still a brutal grind for most people.”

    Sound like gloating? Hardly. Seems to me that he’s expressing support for China’s recent progress. Perhaps he’s not the enthusiastic flag-waving, fist-shaking fan of China that most of you prefer, but he’s hardly closed the book on China.

    Does “frequent trips to Chongqing, Shanghai, and Beijing”(#47) sound like turning one’s back? He goes on to write, “Not only have I been back 8 or 10 times, my family has purchased homes and paid tuition for nearly every member of our family who has needed the help.”(#67) Is this an example of turning one’s back? Is not helping one’s family in China also helping China? Doesn’t the act of purchasing homes for one’s family in Sichuan also contribute to the development of China’s economy? When one pays tuition for one’s relatives, is than not also a contribution to China?

    Buxi writes (#139) that, “It seems clear to me [Fu Jieshi] doesn’t feel much responsibility, doesn’t see himself involved in doing anything about it, other than celebrating the fact he’s no longer one of them.”

    Again, is it fair to say that Fu Jieshi is “CELEBRATING”?

    He writes (#47) that, “I feel FORTUNATE that I am now a U.S. citizen. And I feel tremendous SYMPATHY for the hundreds of millions of Chinese who did not have my good fortune.” Moreover,

    When he recommends (#50) that we all read ‘中國農民調查’ (English title: ‘Will the Boat Sink the Water: The Life of China’s Peasants’) to better understand the lives of China’s peasants, does that sound like he’s turned his back? On the contrary, it sounds to me like he is deeply committed to understanding contemporary China. He could have read something else, something more uplifting, something more entertaining, something about the U.S. Instead, he chose to read about the lives of Chinese peasants. As such, my guess is that he is far better informed and intellectually committed to the subject of China than your average commenter. I congratulate him. You should too. Instead, Buxi tells him that his ignorance of China is “appalling”(#64) Shame on Buxi.

    In another comment (#60), Fu Jieshi writes, “[Buxi] and I are very similar, I think. We both escaped the fate that awaits most Chinese. Compared to other Chinese, we two have been improbably FORTUNATE. Do I want China to be wealthy and stable? YES. But I’m not holding my breath.” Is Fu Jieshi a bit pessimistic? I guess that depends on your point of view. Certainly, Fu Jieshi’s pessimism, however well-informed or well-intentioned, has no place on such an obviously optimistic forum.

    When Fu Jieshi writes, “The U.S. is my country now,”(#60) he is, at once, stating a fact, expressing gratitude, and making the point that China, the country of his birth, killed and injured many of his family members. You don’t like the way he expressed his opinion, and so you dismiss him and the substance of his comments.

    As an ethnic Han, born and raised to the age of 14 in Sichuan, what does Fu Jieshi properly OWE China? What did, in fact, China give to him? Again, it seems to me that many of you who express objection to Fu Jieshi’s comments are far too influenced by the fact that he told CFC and Buxi to fuck off.

    Again, Fu Jieshi is simply expressing a fact, a fact that many Chinese would certainly readily acknowledge, when he writes, “In the end, [Buxi] needed the U.S. far more than the U.S. needed [him]. After all, Chinese are a dime a dozen. [Buxi] and I are replaceable. The U.S. isn’t.”(#67) Chinese people ARE a dime a dozen. How many, indeed, would love to have had Fu Jieshi’s opportunity? How many, indeed, would have killed for Buxi’s chance to study and work in the U.S.? The fact that Buxi provided a service to the U.S. does not change the fact that many Chinese would have willingly provided those same services for the chance to live and work in the U.S. Had Buxi not been the beneficiary, some other Chinese would have been. It was the indispensable U.S. system that made it possible for both Buxi and Fu Jieshi to “escape” the fate that awaits most Chinese. That was Fu Jieshi’s point.

    When Fu Jieshi dismisses popular expressions of patriotism and the Olympic as wastes of time, isn’t he largely agreeing with 游子 (#46). In fact, Fu Jieshi (#48) says exactly that.

    Finally, Fu Jieshi writes:

    “In the final analysis, the Olympics are a distraction. A two-week party. An excuse to build more monuments and feel good about OURSELVES. [caps are mine] Liu Xiang will win a gold medal, and for five minutes WE [caps are mine] will all feel better about being Chinese. Meanwhile, China is still poor and backward. Four hundred million people still live on $2 or less. Hundreds of millions more earn more than that but are still very poor. Only one hundred and fifty million make more than U.S. $10,000 per year. The air is unfit to breathe and the water unfit to drink. Still twenty-two percent of the world’s population, but only eight percent of the world’s arable land. Rising oil and commodity prices. Rising inflation. And then there is the endemic corruption, the continued repressiveness of the CCP, and the virtual absence of morality and empathy. China is a nightmare for most Chinese.”(#60)

    Nothing but the cold, hard truth in that statement. It’s unpleasant. It certainly seems out of place here. But it is a valid, even compassionate, statement of fact. Get used to it. And quit your silly whining.

  156. Ma Bole Says:

    More good stuff from 游子. If I do say so myself, this thread would not have been even half as good without 游子, Fu Jieshi, and Ma Bole.

  157. Ma Bole Says:

    @Buxi

    I agree with several of the others who have suggested that you translate 游子’s comments and post them as the beginning of new thread.

  158. Cao Cao Says:

    Minor disagreements aside, I agree with MA BOLE’s post (155). BUXI the WISE has been very unfair to FU JIESHI.

    For example, BUXI the WISE says, “Fu Jieshi has made it concretely clear he doesn’t care about the interests of the Chinese people or the Chinese nation; those aren’t my interpretations, that’s not me disliking dissent, that’s how he describes his own views.” (113)

    Pardon me, BUXI the WISE, but that most certainly IS your interpretation. How, in fact, do you, BUXI the WISE, defend your assertion that FU JIESHI “doesn’t care about the interests of the Chinese people or the Chinese nation”??!! Outrageous nonsense! As MA BOLE reminds us, FU JIESHI has returned to China many times (8 or 10 times since 1991) since he emigrated to the U.S. In addition, he has bought homes and paid tuition for members of his family who are still in China. As MA BOLE rightly points out, such actions benefit China. This being the case, where do you get off suggesting that FU JIESHI doesn’t care about China? You are completely out of line for saying so!

    In (106), BUXI the WISE, says, “Considering that (FU JIESHI) insists he’s not Chinese, and “AMERICAN!”… I think we have pretty good grounds for declaring him not properly “patriotic” from the Chinese perspective.”

    Excuse me, BUXI the WISE, for pointing out that FU JIESHI never denied his Chinese heritage. I’ve read all four of FU JIESHI’s posts (47, 50, 60, 67). Nowhere does he say anything resembling, “I am not Chinese. I am an American.” Nowhere!!

    You, BUXI the WISE, dare to question FU JIESHI’s patriotism? Who died and put you in charge of deciding which Chinese are properly patriotic? Might not purchasing homes and paying tuition fees for one’s relatives in China be regarded as an act of patriotism? YES! What have YOU done? Or is patriotism simply something that hangs on the lips of most Chinese (只挂在嘴上) where a single misspoken turn of phrase can disqualify one for life? Well? If FU JIESHI offends you by saying that he is “glad I don’t live in China anymore,” who can blame him? YOU???? Where do you live? Who pays your salary? FU JIESHI rightly points out that China is still very poor and that the lives of most Chinese are “grim”. Who wouldn’t want a better life? You certainly do. Does FU JIESHI gloat? NO!! You and people like you wear your patriotism on your sleeve. FU JIESHI got it exactly right when he says, “Patriotism is a luxury that only people with time and money can afford.” 游子 says very much the same thing in his posts. You, BUXI the WISE, are decidedly NOT representative of most Chinese. You live in the U.S. You were educated in the U.S. You earn your living in the U.S. As FU JIESHI says, you, BUXI the WISE, can afford your patriotism. You can can afford to spend your days considering such abstractions.

    You, BUXI the WISE, wrote:

    “There are certainly many who hate the Communist Party of the Cultural Revolution with a red hot passion, including my own mother…Most of us, including my mother, have moved on however. Hong Kong was once a bastion of anti-Communist sentiment, but that’s also no longer the case… they too have moved on with the times.”

    Are you, BUXI the WISE, recommending that ALL Chinese must, as you say, “move on with the times”? Have the Chinese “moved on with the times” regarding the Nanjing Massacre? Have the Chinese “moved on with the times” regarding the Opium Wars? Have the Chinese “moved on with the times regarding” any of the various perceived slights that have been directed at them by foreigners? NO! On the contrary, the Chinese cling to all wrongs, real and imagined, perpetrated against them by outsiders with the stubborness of a pitbull biting down on a rat covered in ketchup. They also contrive slights where there are none, and seek apologies for “hurting our feelings.” CNN insults the Chinese and the Chinese rage. The Chinese Communist Party sends a poor AIDS activist to prison for drawing attention to the problem and the Chinese say nothing. NOTHING! Your hypocrisy is suffocating, BUXI the WISE. Why, for the love of God, do you insist that FU JIESHI (and others like him) must “move on” with respect to the great injustices commited against them by the Chinese Communist Party? Explain yourself, BUXI the WISE. Otherwise, you are a BUFFOON! A BUFFOON!

    I am also from Taiwan.

  159. Nimrod Says:

    Now a response to the points Youzi raised, and I preface that I speak for myself only, not for “overseas Chinese”.

    First of all, I don’t support the government. If I happen to support something, it is because it’s what I believe is right. Most of the time I just write what I think, and there is no notion of “supporting” or “opposing”. For god’s sake, don’t pigeonhole me into some political association that isn’t there to begin with. I don’t give a hoot if the government agrees. If they don’t, not my problem. If they do, not my gain.

    I also don’t subscribe to the idea that there is such a big difference in “mentality” between Chinese in China and me because our interests do not align. There is a difference, yes, but it isn’t on knowing the poor conditions of people in China — we know that. We lived through it. And don’t be ridiculous. We don’t need advice on how to search for “Cultural Revolution”. Even now, many of us have extensive connections to China, family, jobs, whatever, and I know at least some live there on a semi-permanent basis. To reiterate something already mentioned: I’d like to think that with more years to consider these issues under both cultural perspectives, and with a fully open society in which to evaluate everything, (without having to take any little thing that leaks through the Great Firewall as some great catch of Truth, for instance), I see things more clearly.

    It’s not that I haven’t considered things like freedom, democracy, and rule of law, (and not in the abstract but in their actual usage) — in fact, been there done that. Way past that, actually. I think there was a period where each one of us thought gee, why can’t China be like these rich, nice Western countries. If everybody just had a vote, things would magically get better. Why is the stupid CCP holding us back. But then after years of thinking about it critically I found the CCP is really only a small part of the problem and that what’s holding China back isn’t some conspirational “vested interest groups” but simply the plight of China’s state of development on the world historical stage, both in terms of economics (industrialization) and society (urbanization). Forget about abstractions of rights and patriotism, we’re talking about the nitty gritty of standard of living, the basis of a good life. You can’t jump the queue. There is no way around it. No way. Accept it, Youzi, Chinese have to work hard and struggle through this time and you have to wait your turn. This isn’t me being elitist. It’s me being realistic.

    So the difference really lies in the solutions we see. I don’t support another Western import of ideology. I don’t support another tumultuous revolution. I don’t support another group of self-serving people brain-washing ignorant people on their way to the top, replacing junk with junk. I don’t say this because I want to strip your rights. I say this because the downsides are all too evident. But by all means, fight for your constitutionally protected rights in constitutionally protected ways (a necessary step with a small incremental effect). I, an overseas Chinese who seems to disgust you so much, will support you in this more than overseas “dissidents” ever will, even though you basically regurgitated the latters’ talking points.

  160. Buxi Says:

    All,

    I finally got around to making my responses to Youzi.

    Apologies to all of those who made detailed comments here… because this thread has already DRAMATICALLY grown in length. I hope all of you will consider repeating your comments, if relevant, on the two new threads.

    I’ve tried to divide Youzi (Traveler)’s words up into two different topics:

    – one on the western media and overseas Chinese. http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/06/28/the-chinese-debate-part-1-the-west/
    – one on democracy and the economy,
    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/06/28/the-chinese-debate-part-2-democracy-and-the-economy/

  161. Buxi Says:

    @游子,

    The majority of you neither understand China’s painful history (not all due to Western invasion), nor have a way to experience the difficulties currently faced by ordinary Chinese. We don’t object to your protests against Western media “prejudice”, but don’t defend China’s political system, because you don’t live in it, and don’t hijack all Chinese to your standpoint, because our feelings differ too much.

    You make good points that are worthy of discussion and debate. But your unsupported assumptions about the Chinese posting here make you appear ignorant, not intelligent. I’ve heard these assumptions repeated in various online forums in China, and it’s a shame you absorbed these thoughts without actually using your brain to process them more closely.

    In case you didn’t read carefully, as AC mentioned, he was a student protester in Tiananmen in 89. That is the case for *several* of the posters here.

    I suggest you focus on the issues, instead of repeating your false theories in terms of what we know of China and the Chinese government.

  162. Cao Cao Says:

    @ Nimrod

    “You can’t jump the queue. There is no way around it. No way. Accept it, Youzi, Chinese have to work hard and struggle through this time and you have to wait your turn. This isn’t me being elitist. It’s me being realistic.”

    You sweet talker. I’m sure this comes as some comfort to people who earn $2 a day or less.

    In fact, it sounds a lot like the good old “transition myth”. (Read Wang Hui. Read Pei Minxin.) In the end. The CCP has failed. Why? Because, in the end, the revolution failed. All it did was replace one group of privileged elite with another. Time to face facts. China will become old before it becomes rich. And those who have gotten rich first will likely be the only ones.

    And for the record, none of this makes me very happy.

  163. Buxi Says:

    @Ma Bole,

    I really don’t know if Fu Jieshi wants to be the topic of debate here, but I for one am not really interested in the topic. This meta-analysis of what was said before and why is completely uninteresting to me. This is “Blogging for China”, not “Blogging for Fu Jieshi” or “Blogging for Buxi”. If Fu wants to come and further explore these issues, rather than keeping track of score, he’s absolutely welcome.

    If Fu Jieshi does come back and want to continue on with the discussion, I would suggest he starts with these reasonable replies to his post:
    CLC’s comment
    Buxi’s comment
    AC’s comment
    EugeneZ’s comment

  164. Buxi Says:

    @Cao Cao,

    You sweet talker. I’m sure this comes as some comfort to people who earn $2 a day or less.

    Fortunately, a small and shrinking percentage of the population in China.

    There are numerous projections for the future of China. If your crystal ball is 100% accurate, I’d love to borrow it… could find some great uses for it. In the mean time, feel free to get engaged into the discussion by telling us specifically why you believe China will get old before it gets rich… (preferably on the new thread).

  165. Hong Says:

    Great thread. How many threads get better the longer they get. Not too many.

    My two fen:

    (First, I’m ethnically Chinese. Born and raised in a Chinese speaking household in the good old U.S. of A., but with frequent trips to both Taiwan and Hong Kong to visit relatives. Been to Beijing and Shanghai, but just once – last summer for two months. I know jack about Chinese history, but I read the paper, watch Phoenix and CCTV, and listen to my family. So, I’m no expert, but I’m no idiot either.)

    1. Liu’s essay in ‘Time’ makes me want to vomit. I have to seriously question the character of someone who gushes about such a poorly written, overdone piece of writing. Really, there is no pathos. Know what overdone pathos is? It’s bathos. Bathos is what that essay does have, and in spades. Whoever chose to post it (Mr. Buxi?) was either drunk, very tired, or sorely lacking in good judgement. As I read through the various comments here, I thought to myself, “No wonder people aren’t responding to the essay in ‘Time’ — it’s a piece of shit written by a hack.”

    2. There are several excellent comments. Some of the longer ones are particularly good. Perhaps those people should think of writing their own blogs. In particular, Ma Bole’s are very, very good. Great flare for the dramatic. I’m sure many of the people here hate his guts, but the thread would be, as he reminds us with not a hint of shame, less without his contribution. Did Mr. Buxi really say so many nasty things about Mr. Fu Jieshi? Bad, bad, bad. You should really apologize.

    3. Everyone (And I do mean everyone!) in my family hates the Chinese government. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat down to a meal in either HK or Taiwan and listened while 20 of my relatives have verbally flayed the Party. Don’t kid yourselves guys, there are a lot of us out here. We are perfectly happy with being ethnically Chinese but are desperate to remain separate from the mainland — at least while the cadres are in charge. As far as the Beijing Olympics go, we are curious and mildly supportive, but the whole thing has turned into such a disgrace — perhaps the people of China deserve the opportunity to stage the games, but to the extent that they have been politicized by the governement of China I do not support them. I am praying for rain, lots of rain during the Olympics. Beijing can use the extra water anyway.

    4. Patriotic. No way! Patriotism = Ignorance. The famous scholar Eric Hobsbawm once said, “One can not be both a patriot and an intellectual. To be a patriot requires that one believe things that are patently false.” I agree totally. Keep that in mind Mr. Buxi.

  166. FOARP Says:

    @Buxi –

    “Fortunately, a small and shrinking percentage of the population in China.”

    As of 2005, 35.9% of China’s population lived on less than $2 a day. and 9.9% on less than $1. I totally buy the whole ‘hang on, economic growth is coming’ argument, but it’s going to have to show results.

  167. Nimrod Says:

    FOARP, do you realize the scale of things we are talking about here? To get a 20% increase in urbanization, a modest and insufficient goal, means to build an entire Japan or an entire US from scratch.

  168. werew Says:

    @Hong

    1. I thought Liu’s article was written way better than Kritof’s column on Tibet, where it just hammer the wrong stereotype in even hard. All it does is to reaffirm people’s misconception about Tibet. TAR is not free, but it is not an Orwellian nightmare that many made it out to be. I think we are both judging the quality of a writing based on whether it agrees with us, not on whether it is well-written, articulate an argument well, or presents facts.

    2. The reply is same as above. The right leaning comment is not written way better than the left leaning comments. The righties accuse the lefties as not knowing enough facts on the ground in China, just as the lefties accuse the righties as overcritical of a system that is working fine and not loving China enough. I think your and any other right leaning user’s perceptions are misguided or “biased”. No doubt the opposite is also true.

    3. Well, there are also a large number of people inside and outside mainland that disagree with your family. There is no evidence that you can claim that your family held the mainstream opinion. But one thing is certain, many people in China care about the Olympics as national pride, not pride for CCP. I think those people will be very angry with you if you wished to bash their party. They don’t see it as a power exhibition for the CCP. They see it as China’s rise to glory or an important milestone of opening-up reforms that has been occurring in the last 30 years.

    4. I think the assumption of the definition of Patriotism (on this blog at least) is the love of one’s country with rational thinking and not ignorance. The ignorant patriotism is sectioned off to the word nationalism. Whether you think that this blog is exhibiting patriotism or nationalism is another question, but the goal of this blog is trying to reduce ignorance through open debate.

  169. FOARP Says:

    @Nimrod – Urbanisation does not automatically mean enrichment, look at Sao Paolo or Mexico City. And, like Youzi said, it is the Chinese people who will be doing most of the work – the government just need to keep out of their way.

    @Werew – The difference between patriotism and nationalism is not one of ‘good and bad’ – read George Orwell’s ‘Notes on Nationalism’ for an interesting piece on nationalism -at least as Orwell saw it.

  170. admin Says:

    In going through the blog’s spam queue, I found two posts identical in content but under different monikers and adjacent IP addresses. One is by CaoCao from 211.xx.xxx.9, another one by Buxi’s Conscience from 211.xx.xxx.10.

    I then searched comments from those 2 IP addresses. And guess who posted from those two IP in the last few days? They were Fu Jieshi, Ma Bole, Hong and Cao Cao. No wonder that they think each other’s posts are great.

    I publish this because this behavior has seriously crossed the line. I hope whoever is behind Fu Jieshi/Ma Bole/Hong/Cao Cao could come out and offer an explanation. Thanks.

  171. Buxi Says:

    @admin,

    I then searched comments from those 2 IP addresses. And guess who posted from those two IP in the last few days? They were Fu Jieshi, Ma Bole, Hong and Cao Cao. No wonder that they think each other’s posts are great.

    I’m not especially surprised, since this sort of behavior is pretty common on just about every Internet forum in every country on every topic, ever. Is there a way to enable display of IP addresses after every comment…?

    I will say this. I don’t know if they need to give us an explanation, but I think this is just a reminder to everyone of a very important lesson about these online discussions. Don’t believe how people describe themselves (that also applies to me), pay attention to the content of what they actually say.

  172. admin Says:

    @Buxi,

    I am reluctant to display IP for every comment, as some readers may feel it’s a breach of anonymity. Besides, for dedicated trolls, they can always post from multiple IP addresses.

  173. MutantJedi Says:

    @admin – displaying IP for comments would be a bad idea. It would put legitimate posters under undue scrutiny while trolls would easily make the system useless as you say.

    my 2 fen from Alberta Canada.

  174. AC Says:

    @admin

    Actually, if possible, you can display the last two numbers of the IP address (e.g. xxx.xxx.255.123). This way, there is no way people can tell where an user is from, but you can still tell if two (or 4 in this case) posters are the same person by looking at the third number. Because the odds of two users having the same third number at any given short period of time is VERY SMALL. (255 x 255 = 65025, I don’t think we have that many users)

    Of course, this method doesn’t work if an user uses a proxy. But still, the trouble of having to use one proxy for each user name sometimes discourages spoofing.

    Jusr my 2 cents.

  175. FOARP Says:

    @Buxi –

    “Don’t believe how people describe themselves (that also applies to me)”

    Don’t worry, I’m already convinced you’re a CIA mole trying to take down the Chinese nationalist movement from the inside!

  176. admin Says:

    @MutantJedi and AC,

    Thanks a lot for your advice. For now, I just want our readers be aware of this kind of abuse.

    BTW, this multiple identity person started posting again on our blog with a new moniker. Apparently he used a proxy this time. However, I am not going to finger him unless he plays the same tricks again.

  177. EugeneZ Says:

    @Buxi, and @Admin,

    This is weird to me. I only started blogging recently, partly as a result of my fixation on the Tibet unrest, partly because it is a slow year on the business front (I certainly got more time at hand as compared to previous years!). I am aware that people can hide behind the anonymity of internet and can act less responsibly than they would normally do in a face-to-face situation. But the behavior by Fu Jieshi/Ma Bole, is still too strange for me. Why? I sense some kind of craziness.

    And more relevantly, this does have some implication on my newest pursuit (internet blogging). Even in the world of internet, some level of trust building is needed to have some meaning in participating in it. If more people act like Fu Jisehi/ Ma Bole, it will ruit it, I think, at least for me.

    Coming to think of it, Buxi, you are a key person on this blog, can you stand up and tell us that you have not been using another name to support your views? You do not need to, in my opinion. But I do think that Nimrod and you have extremely similar views. We learned quite a bit about you as a real person, but almost nothing about Nimrod. By the way, I have a personal favor to ask of you. I am taking my daughter to Beijing Olympics, already got visa and purchased non-refundable airplane tickets. But I have great difficulty in getting game tickets, you mentioned you got tickets to the Men’s Basketball game between US and China. What are the available channels to get game tickets in Beijing? Share with me if you can.

  178. Nimrod Says:

    EugeneZ,

    Rest assured that I am not Buxi. Of course there’s no good way to prove this to you while allowing me to maintain a certain level of anonymity, except for you to judge for yourself. Our views have some nuanced differences. Even our translation styles are somewhat different.

    On the issue of displaying IP addresses, I’ve seen websites that hash the IP address, so it isn’t difficult to maintain anonymity while ensuring uniqueness in a much better way than using the third and fourth IP parts.

  179. Buxi Says:

    @EugeneZ,

    Fair question! I’ve been on the Internet for years and years… and the unfortunate truth is that there are people who are a little sick, a little crazy, a little obsessed with winning. It’s pretty disappointing. But for what its worth, there *are* things technically we can (and will) do to make these people less of a distraction, and we will start putting those into play.

    As far as me and Nimrod… well, I don’t really depend on anyone agreeing with me. I don’t really remember Nimrod posting “Buxi is right!” in many of my threads, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t done that in his. I don’t need a cheerleader (hopefully you’ll agree), I prefer people to read what I write line by line.

    On the Olympics, I’ve bought my tickets as a package through a Canadian company called Roadtrips.com. (Because I’m bringing my parents, wife, and daughter… I really couldn’t count on the lottery to get me enough tickets together.) You can find ticket trading message boards on Tianya and Baidu. But I think if you’re going to buy tickets from a private Chinese source, you might as well wait until you’re in Beijing. As long as you’re willing to pay, I am expecting that tickets *will* be available. Good luck!

  180. Nimrod Says:

    FOARP wrote:

    Urbanisation does not automatically mean enrichment, look at Sao Paolo or Mexico City. And, like Youzi said, it is the Chinese people who will be doing most of the work – the government just need to keep out of their way.

    +++++
    You wanted to see results. I just told you why visible results may legitimately take some time by pointing out the scale of the problem relative to scales we can all understand. Perhaps you ought to be looking for results at smaller scales that are more appropriate and reasonable.

  181. DJ Says:

    EugeneZ,

    I tend to agree with many of Buxi’s positions on a fairly frequent basis as well. But please be assured that I am not his alias on this blog. I mean, I just don’t see any point in watching basketball games at all…

  182. Buxi Says:

    @FOARP,

    @Nimrod – Urbanisation does not automatically mean enrichment, look at Sao Paolo or Mexico City. And, like Youzi said, it is the Chinese people who will be doing most of the work – the government just need to keep out of their way.

    Urbanization isn’t about enrichment (not directly), but if done correctly, it means dramatically improving the productivity of the rural class, which *will* lead to enrichment.

    Rural China, just like any other developing country, is incredibly unproductive economically speaking. Consider that the average Chinese farmer has something like 1.5 mu, compared to the hundreds of acres that American farmers are working… the difference is obvious. It always bothers me when people (including many Chinese) talk about “saving” Chinese farmers… frankly, the truth is, the only way to save Chinese farmers is to make as many of them not farmers as soon as possible. Urbanization is a critical part of that.

    Sao Paolo and Mexico City reflects what happens when you have urbanization without providing urban jobs that actually takes advantage of the new urban population. And if you think job creation in the developing world is as easy as government “staying out of the way”… well, I’d like to hear your explanation for post-WW2 world history. Apparently, there are remarkably few governments that have mastered the art of staying out of the way, not even the failed governments that have basically no policy instruments at all.

  183. EugeneZ Says:

    Alright! Nimrod, Buxi, and Admin,

    Here is my finding from my little detective work the last 15 minutes – Despite of the closeness of your views, I am 99.999% confident that you two are NOT the same person. There are a couple of things that are consistent within one person but distinct from one person to the other. I am comfortable in moving on from this.

    I also found a common tone between Ma Bole and Fu Jieshi, they both come across as being unstable, immature, and full of anger. I guess one can not hide emotion even in the invisible world of internet, even with different names and identities.

    As you can see, I like to base personal relationship on trust, even in the psudo-fictional world.

    The reason to spend time on internet blogging, the way I understand it, is two-fold. One – I can learn from the others. Two, I feel that I have something to contribute from my own life experience. I can understand that not all think the same way, for some, it is a way to kill time, perhaps to vent, to act badly, or just induldge in the worst side of themselves – I am referring to people like Fu Jieshi / Ma Bole. I am in full agreement that to improve the quality of this blog, such distraction needs to be managed and kept at a minimal. They should start their own blog. Maybe a vision statement and a set of core values should be published by the Admin for this blog.

    Have you heard the stories why hitch-hiking is pretty much dead? – because a hitch hiker killed the driver one time. What about the origin of sign “customers only” at the restrooms in the restaurants? Because someone, who is not a customer, made a mess in the restroom. Jokes, but you know what I mean. Do not let Ma Bole / Fu Jieshi ruin an otherwise healthy and high quality blog like yours !

  184. Wahaha Says:

    游子,

    LOL,

    You think you are in China, so you know more about China ? If so, I am 100% sure that you know little if any about West democracy.

    Do you know how deomcracy caused tons of troubles ? you have absolutely no clue, let me show you an example :

    Suppose 100 families have to be relocated for a project. By calculation, government decides to compensate each family $100,000. At beginning, 99 families are willing to accept the deal, but one family insists asking $200,000 .

    On surface, it is not that big deal, but do you see the huge potential problem ? (use your brain for 10 minutes before reading.)

    Some people may ask why not give the family $200,000 ? it is only $100,000 more. But actually it is $10 million more!!! cuz once governments agree to pay the family $100,000 more, other 99 families would regret and ask for $200,000 too.

    As the government doesnt have extra $10 million dollars, the project is abandoned.

    Get picture ? get idea HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS ? Need another example? I give you another example.

    The shareholders (the riches) of a fightjet factory donates lot of money to a candidate who is running for senate, hope that he will be elected and will give the factory huge contracts. To get elected, the candidates promise to his supporters that he will take care of the big problems in his states by raising the tax on the riches.

    Now, use your brain again for 10 minutes before reading : Do those shareholders care about his promise ?

    No, they dont give a damn. they will keep donating money to his campaign. Because they KNOW that no way will he raise their tax, they KNOW he will give them the fat contract.

    Now you may ask what the senator will do to his supportors, well, if possible, he will try to get money from somewhere else to do something for his supportors, like cutting education budget, cutting mony from building new medical centers (for the poor), etc.

    Just ask yourself, in over 230 years of American history, there was no third party that was able to gain political power. ever wonder why ?

    Listen carefully, I dont care what is right or wrong according the test books under your pillow, I care about result, you hear me ? result. If you can prove that West democracy can bring more good to China than bad NOW, then I will apologize to you.

    Oh, Yeah, corruption, right ? you believe West democracy wouldve solved that problem corruption, then you sure have good idea why corruption is widespread in India and in Russia under Yeltsin, care to elaborate ? If you dont know why, then please stop yelling at me “I want freedom.” because you know absolutely nothing about what freedom can “accomplish”. As I said, show me the result or shut up.

    By the way, dont treat us like you are the only one who knows what happened in 50s and 60s, I know CCP tried to minimize the impact of disasters then, like every government does. I have been in US for long time, and I was “well educated” hundreds of times that CCP is evil. I dont need someone to blah blah blah to me.

  185. somebody Says:

    I think Democracy is something very helpful to the people and the government, because it help build trues with both and it help communication with the government and the people. I think that free speech is not about goving the people, it is about giving people more freedom and let them be more themselves than something the government want them to be!!

    I think that it gave alot of freedom and room to do things and let people pursue what they want to do. There are time where the whole nation sometime need things just to substain themselves and feed their people, but I don’t think that we should let go of democracy for it.

    Also, gave people a sense of pariotism is not bad, but don’t push too much on it.

  186. somebody Says:

    Does any one here hear about the story of the violent protest over the girls death within southin China, I think there are alot of people distrues the government and the police and believe they are lying and covering things up.

    This is a good example that the current government in China need to find some way to gain people’s trues and let the people decide somethings like elected major, governer, and/or president.

  187. somebody Says:

    Ok, maybe I shouldn’t have say that, I really don’t know what is happening there.

  188. yo Says:

    lol, I’m not surprised that there are trolls roaming around this forum, nor am I shocked if all their back stories are totally made up to help prove their points. Why let inconveniences like reality stop you when just saying it is so much easier.

    @admin
    Nice work on the clean up. IMO, while countermeasures just slow down determined trolls, it definitely discourages them.

  189. Buxi Says:

    @somebody,

    The incident involving the riot is in Guizhou, which is in southwestern China. This sort of thing is unfortunately not uncommon in modern China. Wasn’t there a similar riot somewhere in Chongqing, just last year?

    I think the Chinese government does have a major problem with credibility. Many don’t trust “the system” to be fair. I think a more active media is the only way around this problem. It’s no longer acceptable for the government to “promise” to take care of these problems behind closed doors. I personally think China should have a TV network dedicated to broadcasting trials in cases like this; that’s one obvious way of allowing the people to “monitor” government.

    I talked about this before. These cases always tend to happen in poor, rural areas where the government absolutely doesn’t have credibility. They need more supervision and attention from everyone, including the media.

  190. Buxi Says:

    On the Guizhou riot, the fact that Xinhua is publishing detailed articles like this is reflection of a new open attitude towards media:

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-06/30/content_8466981.htm

  191. MutantJedi Says:

    From the Xinhua article:

    The provincial government has set up a work team to handle the incident. It also sent 10 criminal investigators and forensic experts to reinvestigate the death.

    This is an excellent first step. The next step is to publish the results of the inquiry.

  192. Wahaha Says:

    @somebody,

    I dont think you get what we “pro-chinese-government” mean.

    There is no question that democracy has its good side, otherwise, there wouldnt be so many advocates of democracy. The question we raised here is that there will be lot of problems and toubles caused by West democracy, and most pro-democracy never realize or NEVER EVEN TRY TO ACCEPT IT, EVEN after democracy failed to deliver in poor and developing countries globally. While we oversea chinese may have trouble understand about the problems in China, we know 10 times more if not 100 times more about what kind of outcome West democracy would deliver in China than people in China.

    So the question is :

    If China imports West deomcracy TODAY, will the good brought by democracy be good enough to offset the bad under democratic system ?

  193. XH Says:

    @Buxi, this is certainly a positive step, and I’ve also heard that the People’s Daily 强国论坛 and Xinhua Forums have been left open as a kind of clearinghouse for comments. However, this highly detailed account of the riots from Xinhua seems only available in English, so it’s audience would automatically be limited within China. Do you know of any corresponding Chinese-language reports, because from what I’ve seen, they are mostly talking about punishing those who violated the law.

    http://www.gz.xinhua.org/2008htm/xwzx/2008-06/30/content_13677934.htm (sorry it’s in Chinese)

  194. DJ Says:

    XH,

    I just put in two comments in the latest blog post created by Buxi specifically for the Weng’An Riot. They might be able to answer your question a bit.

  195. admin Says:

    @EugeneZ,

    I am also 99.999% confident that Buxi and Nimrod are not the same person, and just slightly more (100%) confident that I am not Buxi, or Nimrod, or DJ. 😉

    For others who are new to this site or who haven’t read our About page , I want to make a clarification that I also use a handle CLC in posting comments. The reason for doing this is twofold. I have been using CLC for several years and I don’t want to change it. On the other hand, I think my job as an admin will be temporary and I will pass on the duty to someone more capable when the time comes. Generally speaking, I post as admin when I talk about site related issues; and I post as CLC when I express my personal opinions.

  196. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wahaha #184:
    “Suppose 100 families have to be relocated for a project. By calculation, government decides to compensate each family $100,000. At beginning, 99 families are willing to accept the deal, but one family insists asking $200,000…etc” – that is the dumbest example I’ve ever read. How does 1 of 100 families asking for more compensation, and government somehow capitulating to said request, render this an example of democracy??? You’ve got to be kidding me! As we’ve discussed before, that rogue family can ask all it wants, but should not have any realistic expectation of getting it. If you think that’s how democracy works, then you’ve got a ridiculously warped understanding of it, and you are clearly in no position to lecture someone else on it. Maybe in another 10 years of being in the west, you’ll have a better idea.

  197. Wahaha Says:

    S.K.

    In China, such things happened everywhere, it is called “Ding Zhi Hu”. (family refuses to move)

    By the rule of democracy, government has no right to force anyone to relocate, it is famliy’s right to live in their home unless they are willing to move (after being paid the money they think they are entitled to.) A lot of dissidents in China are fighting for such families and villages, Hu Jia is one of them.

    Here is the case in India (I bet you didnt read the link before).

    http://ia.rediff.com/money/2006/may/08spec1.htm

    You want to see correspondent example in US ?

    A woman was injured in New York cuz an underground pipeline explored, she asked for $100million dollar from government.

    Because the rule of democracy, she could ask as much money as she wanted, she didnt have to consider if govenment was in financial trouble of not. and she wouldnt be ridiculed by media as it was her right of being selfish.

    It is common sense that if you want 10 million dollars for compensation, you cant ask for only 10 million, you have to ask for 30 or 50 millions dollars.

    Do you know the effect of such cases ?

    Any injured person will routinely ask for 50 million dollar compensation.

    Do you know what that leads too ?

    High insurance fee by doctors and hospitals.

    It is called chain effect, cuz everyone is watching what government will do, and reay to jump in once the government gives in. Dont try to teach me, just tell me : what the government should do if the family insists asking for $150,000 at least ?

    There is no solution under democratic system.

  198. Oli Says:

    @SKC

    Further to Wahaha’s point, there is also in Florida zoning laws that allow city or municipal officials to compulsorily purchase homes and property, often at values perceived by the owners to be below market, ostensibly for redevelopment to the “greater good” of the community.

    Additionally, in London there are now also tens of cases going through the courts on the inadequacy of compensation offered to property and business owners who were forced to move because of the London Olympics. In the UK cases, while there are judicial avenue to address the grievance, the developers and the responsible agency themselves also have extra-judicial ways of disadvantaging the claimants/plaintiffs to such an extent that it becomes cold comfort for businesses that were forced to close and redundant workers and families as their cases creep through the judicial process in hope of obtaining compensation.

  199. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wahaha:
    actually, in a democracy, if the government needed a family to move, it can exercise a right-of-way, if one exists. If not, then the remedy is through the legal system. However, if the government has no legal claim to expropriate said land, then it is out of luck, as it should be. And if you were the family asked to move against your will, I think you too would appreciate that the government’s power has limits. I certainly do.
    As for your woman in the subway, she could ask for a $trillion…she could ask for the moon…literally. Doesn’t mean she’ll get it. So is your problem the fact that she could ask to begin with?
    The American system admittedly does allow punitive damages, and the litigation atmosphere does escalate the cost of medical malpractice. And that does eventually trickle down to an increased cost of health care. Does that mean the whole system is worthless? Maybe the pendulum has swung a little too far to one side, but it’s not a fundamental flaw of the pendulum itself. Again, if you’ve been on the receiving end of medical malpractice, you might find the system more palatable.
    Again, your examples are arbitrary, and your conclusion that a democratic society systematically “has no answer” is unfounded. Besides, I much prefer a system where a government is held to account, rather than your apparent preference for a government being able to do whatever it pleases, wherever, whenever.

  200. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    I guess it depends on how realistic the perceptions and expectations of those owners are. Besides, wouldn’t those bylaws be more to Wahaha’s liking, in fact?
    Same goes for the UK cases. They have legal recourse…the result may not be to everyone’s liking or satisfaction, but there’s a system to address grievances. Not bad for a democratic society…and London might actually be building infrastructure for 2012, which might surprise Wahaha who a few weeks ago suggested that western democracies have no capacity for such planning.

  201. Wahaha Says:

    SKC.

    “which might surprise Wahaha who a few weeks ago suggested that western democracies have no capacity for such planning”

    My answer :

    Please pay attention to “tens of cases ” in Oil’s statement. With “tens”, government had to go through all those trouble. Now multiply those “tens” by 100, that means 5 to 10 years at least.

    _______________________________

    “However, if the government has no legal claim to expropriate said land, then it is out of luck, as it should be.”

    My answer,

    Do you mean ” Sorry, you were born being poor, as it should be.”

    _____________________________________________

    “And if you were the family asked to move against your will, I think you too would appreciate that the government’s power has limits. I certainly do.”

    my answer:

    Yes, I wouldnt be happy, but I wouldnt complain to West media, and cuz ” it is about business, nothing personal.” especially if I would benefit later from the project, especially if my child would benefit later.
    ____________________________________________

    “and your conclusion that a democratic society systematically “has no answer” is unfounded. ”

    My answer :

    show me the answer for the following problem.(building the dam.)

    http://ia.rediff.com/money/2006/may/08spec1.htm

    To build three gorge dam (which produces 1/9 of the electicity power in China), 1.2 million people had to be relocated. How long would a deomcratic process last to move those people? how about 40 years ?

  202. Buxi Says:

    @Wahaha,

    I don’t think it’s necessarily true that a democratic country can’t build the Three Gorges Dam. There is such a thing as eminent domain in Western countries, and there can/should be a legal process before taking land or property from anyone.

    China now actually has a pretty developed legal process for determining proper compensation for people, and that has really prevented many of the problems we had in early years.

    @S.K. Cheung,

    I do think there is a good point being made here by Wahaha, but it might be getting confused in some of the discussion. And we’ve touched on issue this before… namely, one of the disadvantages of democracy in a developing country, is that it’s difficult to beat populist officials who can redirect long-term investment dollars in favor of local interests.

    In a developed country, that’s not such a big deal… you don’t need the Three Gorges Dam. But in China and any other developing nation, many decades of steady planning and implementation is needed to actually get over that “hump”. So, for now at least, catering to populist opinion is just not a good idea.

  203. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Buxi:
    I think I’ve previously acknowledged your point that China may not be ready for democracy today, for the reasons you’ve previously elucidated. But I think we both agree that some China-specific form of democracy at some point is feasible, and even desirable.
    My point with Wahaha is that, if a recipient is not ready for a system, it’s not necessarily some fundamental flaw with the system, but that the recipient has issues to overcome to improve her readiness.

  204. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wahaha:
    “Now multiply those “tens” by 100,”- sounds like you’ll need a more robust legal system.

    “Do you mean ” Sorry, you were born being poor, as it should be.”” – nope. Just means the government has to do her homework and engage in better planning of capital projects the next time.

    “but I wouldnt complain to West media…” – and that is your prerogative, good on you. But perhaps you would allow others to react in a manner that they personally see fit.

    “building the dam…” – I don’t know; we’ve never tried. But if Americans can put people on the moon in 1969, perhaps they could find a solution if the problem actually presented itself. As for your 40 years, was that sort of arbitrary again?

  205. Wahaha Says:

    To S.K.C

    so you didnt read the link I showed you , 20 years has gone, and they didnt even start building the dam.

    http://ia.rediff.com/money/2006/may/08spec1.htm

    a “better” planing by your understanding is that no1 is offended, there is no such planing in a densely populated country.

  206. S.K. Cheung Says:

    NOT no one is offended; just that no one’s legal rights are trampled upon.

  207. Wahaha Says:

    SKC,

    Legal right ?

    Do 7 million New Yorkers have the legal right to enjoy a nice walk in central park at night ?

    Somehow they dont have that right,

    Why ?

  208. baoziboy Says:

    The article writer should thank his lucky stars that they only mention Tiananmen, imagine what it would be like if every article started with “China, the country were not one person was brought to trial involvement in the deaths of 50 million people”?

  209. baoziboy Says:

    The article writer should thank his lucky stars that they only mention Tiananmen, imagine what it would be like if every article started with “China, the country were not one person was brought to trial for involvement in the deaths of 50 million people”?

  210. matt wei Says:

    Spot on. Abso-effing-lutely spot on article. It has neatly summed up the sentiments of Chinese diaspora worldwide.

    Bravo!

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