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Jun 04

Six Four: The person I admire the most is myself

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Letters | Tags:,
36 Comments » newest 2008-06-08 10:46:41

It is early June, and the minds of many Chinese again return to the tragic political upheaval of 1989. Over the next few days, we will translate a number of messages that tries to capture our conflicted feelings towards that violent summer.

This message also comes to us from MITBBS; the translation is below.

Of course, in the face of all those who died… whether students, city people, or People’s Liberation Army soldiers… I don’t dare claim to be superior.

I was always participating in the marches and protests, but I never lost my ability for independent thought. Although, I was still too young, and wasn’t very clear what I should’ve been considering… regardless I was there at the critical juncture. On the night of June 3rd, with the help of others I rescued two soldiers, and helped bring them to a safe spot.

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Jun 04

Six Four: A rational review of history

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Letters | Tags:
13 Comments » newest 2008-06-06 09:35:59

It is early June, and the minds of many Chinese again return to the tragic political upheaval of 1989. Over the next few days, we will translate a number of messages that tries to capture our conflicted feelings towards that violent summer. We especially welcome submissions from those with first-person memory of 1989.

This article comes to us from MITBBS, and represents just one of many personal opinions. Because of the great depth and well considered tone of this article, however, it has gathered great support (and of course criticism) from many other readers. I describe this opinion as the moderate view, embraced by many Chinese who have reviewed all of the historical material on this issue… without actually being personally involved.

During 6.4, I was in Beijing. I wasn’t an adult at the time, but I witnessed the entire process, and saw part of the actions of both the students and the government sides.

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Jun 03

Six Four: He Xin’s 1990 speech at Beida

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Letters | Tags:, ,
18 Comments » newest 2013-05-18 11:04:00

It is early June, and the minds of many Chinese again return to the tragic political upheaval of 1989. Over the next few days, we will translate a number of messages that tries to capture our conflicted feelings towards that violent summer. We especially welcome submissions from those with first-person memory of 1989.

He Xin (何新) is a noted Chinese scholar from the ’80s, variously labeled as “neo-conservative” or “ultra-nationalist” by Western analysts. Before and after June of 1989, he was attacked from both the left and the right: the left accused him of fomenting a coup alongside the students, and the right attacked him for being a “running dog” of the Communist Party for opposing the protests.

Below is a translation of the speech he delivered to the 1990 graduating class at Beijing University. He was received in a very hostile way, but spoke candidly of the reasons why he opposed the Tiananmen protests. Everything from this transcript is interesting; keep in mind the timing of the speech, and the (hostile) reactions of the Beida crowd… it gives us a flavor of China during the late 80s. Nineteen years later, a significant number of young Chinese believe He Xin made excellent points about the protests.

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Jun 03

Internet Lynch Mob gets their Fan

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Analysis, News | Tags:,
9 Comments » newest 2008-06-04 16:26:59

Roland at ESWN gives us this excellent account of the Internet Lynch Mob again blindly rushing after a target… and sadly, this time, it’s gotten the wrong person.

Fan Xiaohua (范晓华) produced the official statement form the Mianzhu Communist Party Committee: “Comrade Fan Xiaohua (范晓华) has not been to Mianyang since May 12. She has not been to the May 1st Plaza of Mianyang. Mianyang and Mianzhu are not the same place. Comrade Fan Xiaohua (范晓华) and her family did not have any tents since May 12, so they could not be staying in one. Each night, Fan Xiaohua (范晓华) and her colleagues slept inside cars. Comrade Fan Xiaohua (范晓华) and her family have never owned a car. The Mianzhu city Communist Youth League car has license number Sichuan F70034. The Sichuan BD3732 license plate has been found to belong to Fan Xiaohua (范小华) of Jiangyou city who is not Mianzhu Communist Youth League secretary Fan Xiaohua (范晓华).

After Fan Xiaohua was involved in first stealing a disaster tent and second assaulting an old woman, arguably, he/she deserved some amount of public scorn. The problem with the Internet Lynch Mob is that it spreads rumors blindly. The Internet Lynch Mob has become judge, jury, executioner in one, and operates with little rational thought and discourse. I increasingly believe it’s becoming a scourage on modern Chinese society.

Roland provided a translation of part of a Southern Metropolis article on this. I’ll translate the rest; I completely agree with its sentiment:

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Jun 03

Today’s Xinhua article brings to our attention that China’s forex reserves have ballooned to $1.76 trillion as of the end of April. To put this number in perspective: it is about 15% of the US annual economic output.

Before people get carried away, allow me to explain what the forex reserves is not: it is definitely not the government’s money, so there is no sense in talking about the government spending it. It is also not some kind of surplus money sitting around with no purpose. The forex reserves is part of the collateral that backs RMB-denominated debt obligations of China, and that includes all Chinese money and government bonds.

According to this Xinhua article, which quotes AFP, which got its information from a “Chinese media source” (got it?), China’s forex reserves increased by $74.5 billion in the month of April, or $100 million per hour. (The article and all the English ones that copy it say $10 million, but they all did their math wrong!)

China’s (mainland) forex reserves is followed in size by Japan’s at $1 trillion, Russia’s at $548 billion, India’s at $316 billion, and Taiwan’s at $287 billion. Of course, only Japan is part of the G7 in this group, so it is an exercise for the reader to figure out how much the remaining 6 of the G7 have.

A large forex reserve gives currency stability and can be a defense of a country’s credit-worthiness. On the other hand, its rapid increase adds to the inflationary pressure in China. Besides trade surplus and foreign investments, nobody has a good idea for where all this extra money is coming from — from Chinese expats, perhaps? I know many of them have sent money back as the RMB rises something like 8% a year against the USD. (On a side note, isn’t it interesting that the shrill rhetoric of Congress to make China revalue the RMB or face punitive tariffs has all but vanished…)

Something to ponder, where is this all headed?

Jun 02

Grace Wang wins “Chinese Youth Human Rights Award”

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:News | Tags:,
101 Comments » newest 2008-06-10 06:25:29

Grace Wang Qianyuan has apparently been awarded the 8th annual Chinese Youth Human Rights Award. This award is granted by a select group of dissidents (veterans of Tiananmen in 1989), and includes with it a “minimum $1000 cash award”.

Her acceptance letter firmly plants her in the corner of the dissidents, and dashes the insistence of some that she was a “moderate” voice. After all, she chose to end her acceptance letter with a quote from Patrick Henry’s famous speech:

There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!

I think it’s notable that she leaves out the last and most famous sentence from that speech: “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” I guess that’s one choice she isn’t quite ready to adopt.

Many of Grace Wang’s earliest critics described her as the next Chai Ling, a student dissident leader of the Tiananmen protests now widely pilloried and hated. The description now seems surprisingly accurate.

Jun 02

“Running Fan”: The freedom to be selfish

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:culture | Tags:,
39 Comments » newest 2009-07-03 20:00:48

Here is how one of the most controversial Chinese blog posts in recent memory begins:

“I have been engulfed in sadness that I was not born in a country like the United States, a country which respects freedom, democracy, and human rights!  This is due to the pain I’ve suffered in the 10+ years since graduation, and it’s also due to the 17 years of pathetic education that I received before that.  I’ve repeatedly questioned God: why did you give me such a freedom, and truth loving soul, but then force me to be born in a dark, authoritarian China?  Why are you forcing such suffering upon me?”

These are the words of earthquake survivor Fan Meizhong (范美忠), a man who has also been given the moniker “Running Fan” (范跑跑).

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Jun 02

“Communist-inspired” Chinese language teaching

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:education | Tags:,
13 Comments » newest 2008-11-19 11:44:08

Many Chinese speak of “anti-China” sentiment being behind some of the criticism that China receives.  Many Western critics, in turn, argue that Chinese are being too sensitive.  Articles like this column published in the Vancouver Sun, however, will go to reinforcing the opinion of many Chinese that the West is still gripped by anti-China fervor.

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Jun 01

We have moved!

Written by: admin | Filed under:General | Tags:,
3 Comments » newest 2008-06-02 23:29:42

Did you notice that? Everything should still work as before. But if you encounter any problem, please let us know. I will put up a detailed update later.

Jun 01

An open letter from a Chinese NBA fan

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Letters | Tags:,
40 Comments » newest 2008-06-08 10:22:18

An open letter to NBA commissioner David Stern, and former Cleveland Cavalier Ira Newble.

Dear NBA commissioner David Stern, and Ira Newble of the Los Angeles Lakers:

As a long time fan of NBA basketball, I can tell you unabashedly: I love this game. I have followed the league since Michael Jordon’s first MVP season in 1988, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching NBA basketball in person in nine different arenas from coast to coast.

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