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Jun 02

An investigative report into the social and economic causes of the 3.14 incident in Tibetan areas

Written by admin on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 6:58 am
Filed under:Analysis, culture, Environment, religion | Tags:,
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Gongmeng Law Research Center

Contributors: Li Kun, Huang Li, Li Xiang

Research: Li Kun, Huang Li, Li Xiang, Wang Hongzhe

Contents

Foreword

I: Economic and social changes in Tibetan areas amid a process of rapid modernization

a) The centrally-directed rapid process of modernization

b) The social consequences arising from a process of rapid modernization under a specially formulated path

II: Hardships faced by young Tibetans born in the 70s and 80s

a) Serious problems in basic education

b) Vocational education and the lack of social opportunity

c) The sense of relative deprivation while living in a more open process of modernization as a catalyst for strengthening nationalist sentiment

d) The loss and forgetting of one’s nationality’s traditional culture and history

III: The main problems with structures of governance in Tibetan areas

a) The evolution of structures of governance in Tibetan areas

b) Problems in power structures within regional autonomy in Tibetan areas

IV: The government’s errors in handling the follow-up to the 3.14 incident

V: Problems of Tibetan religion and culture during this current complex phase

VI: Conclusion and recommendations

Appendices: [not available]

1) A review of the background history and culture in the Amdo and U-Tsang regions

2) Changes and modifications to the state’s nationality policies and legislation in Tibetan areas

3) Compilation of research and interview materials

4) Contact information for the subjects of this research


Translator’s notes

[1] U-Tsang, sometimes rendered as Central Tibet, is the Tibetan region roughly equivalent to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), which was established as a provincial-level administration in 1964; Amdo is the name of another Tibetan region mainly comprising modern-day Qinghai, as well as being the name a prefecture within the TAR. Throughout this report, the terms Tibet (Xizang), Tibetan areas (zangqu), and Tibetan regions (diyu), etc., have been used inconsistently and interchangeably, but it would appear that generally, the report broadly refers to Tibet as covering the various Tibetan autonomous jurisdictions as demarcated by the Chinese state.

[2] “3.14” refers to March 14, 2008, the date when peaceful protests over several previous days in Lhasa turned violent.

[3] The Hui are a Chinese-speaking Muslim people indigenous to large areas of northwest China.

[4] The ‘Two Basicallys’ (liang ji) is a centrally-led policy to ‘basically’ universalize nine-year compulsory education, and ‘basically’ eliminate adult illiteracy.

[5] The term menlu – using the characters for door and road implies an advantage gained by nepotism or favor, and is very similar in meaning to the more commonly heard term guanxi ­literally meaning connection – or houmen – meaning back door.


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Page :1. admin's note

  1. admin's note
  2. Contributors, Table of Contents, and Notes
  3. Foreword
  4. I: Economic and social changes in Tibetan areas amid a process of rapid modernization
  5. II: Hardships faced by young Tibetans born in the 70s and 80s
  6. III: The main problems with structures of governance in Tibetan areas
  7. IV: The government’s errors in handling the follow-up to the 3.14 incident
  8. V: Problems of Tibetan religion and culture during this current complex phase
  9. VI: Conclusion and recommendations
  10. ALL
3. Foreword

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

139 Responses to “An investigative report into the social and economic causes of the 3.14 incident in Tibetan areas”

  1. Hemulen Says:

    @admin

    I read the report in Chinese some weeks ago and I was waiting for someone to translate it. This is a very good step, thanks for sharing it!

  2. Khechog Says:

    Admin,

    Well said on your Intro. Thanks very much for posting this important document and your feedback in the translation.

    It should be noted that this report deliberately avoided any mention of the “800 lb gorilla” on Tibet i.e. HH Dalai Lama in resolving this problem. Baba Phunstok Wangyal, Wang Lixiong, and many other experts living in China and abroad have mentioned it that, “China needs Dalai Lama’s help in winning over the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people to resolve this problem for once and all “. Once that’s recognized by the PRC officials and if they are sincere in resolving this problem, then other problems will not be insurmountable (i.e. economic, social, soveriegnty etc).

    The authors are fully aware of it but I think chose not to include it so as not to be dismissed or banned by top officials, which I think is politically wise move as a first step. This would be precedented setting if this report was acknowledged and taken seriously by the PRC top officials instead of another on-the shelf collecting dust.

  3. Old Tales Retold Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I haven’t commented here in a while—I noticed I was getting a bit bitter and nasty. But this is great stuff.

  4. J. Dorjee Says:

    Adm@
    Thank you for creating a separate forum for this important report. I believe that debating on history makes no sense. We should leave this to the historians to debate and decide. We look forward for creating mutual understanding and peaceful resolution of the existing problems.

    This report summarized the reason for the 3.14 protest,
    1. “accumulation of frustration and anger over a long period of time with the added fuses of religion and external forces”
    2. “The poor understanding of the Tibetan people’s religious sentiment led to errors in the way monks and monasteries were treated in the wake of the 3.14 incident”
    and concludes
    “Defining the 3.14 incident as “beating, smashing, looting and burning by Tibetan splittists” lacks political wisdom.”

    I believe that religion and culture is the oxygen of the Tibetan people and that the Dalai Lama is in the DNA of Tibetan people. When I say Tibetan people, I also mean cultural Tibet including people outside of TAR and even the Himalayan belt of India, Nepal and Bhutan. What Tibetans are asking is autonomy with ‘Tibetan characteristics’. I like this term.

    The report must be applauded for its bold stand to tell the truth under a situation where every such move is brandished as anti national. This report has certainly increased Tibetan people’s respect and love for the majority of the Chinese people. Collectively we must expose those people in the government, who according to the founders of the Chinese Communist Party in Tibet, Mr Pingcuo Wangjie [Tib: Phuntso Wangyal] has said “There’s a large group of people in the government who eat the food of anti-splittism. They take every opportunity to play the splittism card, and while on the face of it they shout about anti-splittism, in reality their personal interests are involved. They are unable to admit their mistakes and instead put all of their effort into shifting accountability onto ‘hostile foreign forces’. And thus they are able to consolidate their positions and their interests, allowing them to accumulate even more power and resources.”

  5. pug_ster Says:

    You know, I’m going to be the devil’s advocate and say that it is not the Chinese government’s job to maintain Tibetan culture and language, but it is the job of the Tibetans themselves.

    As an Chinese living in the US and it is probably true in other Western Nations, the Chinese don’t expect the Federal, State and local government to maintain Chinese culture and language. Did you ever hear mainland Chinese protesting the US government maintaining Chinese culture and language? No. If the they want teach their kids to read and write Chinese, they have to pay extra for that. Come Chinese New Year, it is not a Holiday and the Chinese have to take a sick or vacation day to celebrate it with their family. Chinese organizations help out and maintain Chinese culture.

    I also want to note that this ‘independent report’ is from a bunch of lawyers who are at odds with the Chinese government one time. This investigative report tries to victimize the Tibetans as the suppressed. Heck yeah, it is poor in the regions where the Tibetans live, but Chinese are just as poor also in the same. But this kind of victimization will go so far then won’t gain the sympathy of the Chinese and perhaps it is the Tibetan’s job to help themselves instead relying on the Chinese government as the scapegoat.

  6. Wukailong Says:

    @pug_ster: In some European countries you have exactly that: children have the right to get tutored about their own language, for example. When I studied Chinese, I met this Cantonese girl who was taught Chinese as a kid in the local school.

    But whatever the truth is in any Western country, in China you have the additional problem that Tibetan practices, from what I’ve heard from the Tibetans commenting here, are curtailed. It’s certainly easier to help yourself when you’re not being interfered with. Also, the report doesn’t just mention poverty as the only problem, but also marginalization and the importance of local religions and cultural practices. That’s a completely different beast.

    Finally, is it a problem in itself to have a viewpoint that deviates from that of the government? It’s quite common here, actually, and if not too controversial even published. One thing that struck me with “中国不高兴” was its negative tone towards the authorities, something that sets it apart from “中国可以说不”.

  7. pug_ster Says:

    I also wanted to mention a story about what happened today when I signed my daughter up for pre-k for this fall. In my neighborhood, there is a gentrification going on that many Chinese moved here within the last 20 years where it goes from less than 5% Chinese to 40-50% Chinese. However, all the teachers and staff that I saw today are not Chinese. Yet I saw another couple whom barely speaks English managed to fill out the forms in English and not one of them complained.

    When I hear the the Dalai Lama complain Chinese government of ‘cultural genocide’ I think it is utter BS and they should start thinking darwinism. Obviously Tibetans in China have to learn to adapt or get left behind. It is unfortunate that most Tibetans in China have the reputation of being lazy and uneducated thus the reason Chinese won’t hire them. It is sad, but maybe it is the job for the Tibetans themselves to rise up to work for their goals and causes otherwise they will will feel socially and economically repressed.

  8. The Old Guy Says:

    @
    “it is the Tibetan’s job to help themselves instead relying on the Chinese government”

    This might be a surprise for your mindset, but this is all what Tibetans are asking for.
    Tibetans say, “Hey, let us help ourselves and guide ourselves.” Tibetans had been living on their own until new China, and surprisingly , at least for your mindset, that Tibet’s development then was more or less same as rest of China, except some coastal cities such Shanghai where foreigners “brought in development” with their “helping hand”.

    Tibetans are asking for an autonomy where they can help themselves, maintain their own culture. That’s all. Beyond this is dream for one and suspicion for other.
    Here is Tibetan saying:

    Tibetans die in hope,
    And Chinese (mainly Hans) die in suspicion.

    “As an Chinese living in the US and it is probably true in other Western Nations, the Chinese don’t expect the Federal, State and local government to maintain Chinese culture and language.”
    For this part, I don’t have to answer, because most of Chinese, especially those ultra-nationalists, won’t like this comparison as well and will answer you.

  9. pug_ster Says:

    @Wukliong, #6

    Yeah, there’s the tutor, but there’s no teacher teaching Chinese to the students in elementary school, isn’t it? I heard there’s alot of complains from the Tibetans who said that the Elementary/primary schools don’t teach Tibetan, well, maybe except for the TAR region. Maybe it is my belief, but I don’t understand the marginalization of the local religions and cultural practices. Like I said, where I live there’s no Buddhist temples and no places for any formal culture practices and we don’t complain to the government about it.

  10. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster

    “Obviously Tibetans in China have to learn to adapt or get left behind.”

    Are you ready to leave your culture and get adapted to western culture? If not, then don’t your “BS”.

  11. pug_ster Says:

    @The Old Guy #8

    Tibetans are asking for an autonomy where they can help themselves, maintain their own culture. That’s all. Beyond this is dream for one and suspicion for other.

    Why do they specifically need autonomy? Autonomy is asking for the government to maintain and respect their culture. Where I live, the government doesn’t do that, it is the job of the Chinese community to do it.

  12. pug_ster Says:

    @The old Guy #10

    Are you ready to leave your culture and get adapted to western culture? If not, then don’t your “BS”.

    Adapt is not leaving the Chinese culture, but rather live in Western society while maintaining your Chinese culture.

  13. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster

    “where I live there’s no Buddhist temples and no places for any formal culture practices and we don’t complain to the government about it”

    If you build temple by yourselves with your own fund to show your cultural identity, will the government label you as separatist who wants have to different cultural identity than rest people of the country where you reside now? If not, keep your “BS” for yourself.

  14. The Old Guy Says:

    “Adapt is not leaving the Chinese culture, but rather live in Western society while maintaining your Chinese culture.”

    Living in modern society with your culture is one thing and living in modern society with your culture being curtailed because someone think it’s backward or is enemy of unity is another thing.

  15. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster

    “Why do they specifically need autonomy? Autonomy is asking for the government to maintain and respect their culture.”

    Why Chinese government had to give the name of autonomy to this region in the first place? If you don’t know that, then any talk about autonomy in China will be “BS”.
    Autonomy is not asking for the government to maintain their culture, but asking the government to allow Tibetans to maintain their culture. Well, autonomy does ask government to respect their culture. I don’t think you have any problem about that.

  16. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster:
    if a Chinese person emigrates to a foreign land, it’s hardly the job of the destination nation to maintain that person’s Chinese culture/heritage/language etc. After all, you chose to go there. Having said that, hopefully there is no undue impediment to a person trying to maintain ties to their roots, even in a faraway land.

    But this in no way compares to the Tibetan situation. We’re talking about Tibetans in Tibet; they haven’t gone anywhere. It’s just that someone moved in and set up shop. So I think the CHinese do have a responsibility to maintain Tibetan culture, or at least provide necessary assistance therein.

    And if Charles Liu or Wahaha were reading this, I’m sure they’d be happy to tell you that the proper parallel would be the North American First Nations’ peoples. And I would agree that we have a similar responsibility in that regard.

  17. J. Dorjee Says:

    pug_ster @

    pug-star says “won’t gain the sympathy of the Chinese and perhaps it is the Tibetan’s job to help themselves instead relying on the Chinese government as the scapegoat”
    Your rhetoric of the very notion of Chinese government being the great benefactor, liberator and sympathizer to the Tibetan people projects inequality, something which the constitution of China tries to address for all the ethnic nationalities . Tibetans don’t seek Chinese sympathy but equality under the constitution. The report talks about education “The Tibetan translations of teaching materials from the interior which are used by students in Tibetan areas do not have separate syllabuses on Tibetan history and culture,”
    Isn’t this cultural genocide? Do you agree that Tibetan people have a distinct history and culture? If yes, do their children have the right to study? Why Tibetan remain uneducated even after 50 years of liberation? Certainly Tibetans in Tibet did not choose to be lazy and uneducated and Chinese people are born intelligent.

  18. The Old Guy Says:

    @ S.K. Cheung

    Thanks for making my point clear about the inappropriate parallel between Tibetans in Tibet and Chinese in foreign country made by pug_ster.

  19. pug_ster Says:

    @The Old Man

    Living in modern society with your culture is one thing and living in modern society with your culture being curtailed because someone think it’s backward or is enemy of unity is another thing.

    Why Chinese government had to give the name of autonomy to this region in the first place? If you don’t know that, then any talk about autonomy in China will be “BS”.
    Autonomy is not asking for the government to maintain their culture, but asking the government to allow Tibetans to maintain their culture. Well, autonomy does ask government to respect their culture. I don’t think you have any problem about that.

    It reminds me of why Scientology is being so hated. They think they are wronged by the government and by others who question their religion. Unfortunately, in most secular countries, the government wins and China is no exception.

    And please be more explicit about ‘maintaining the culture.’ If it is about the Dalai Lama, since he keeps spewing anti-China words, that’s why the Chinese government bans his teachings.

    @SKC,
    I’m sure that in the TAR region the Chinese government does try to maintain the Tibetan culture. However,I see it in my neighborhood, as more Chinese move here, and they set up Chinese shops and restaurants. Gentrification is the word that comes to mind and I don’t think there’s much the Chinese government can do.

  20. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Admin:
    wow, thanks to you and/or whoever translated this. It’s a tome, and must have taken an awful long time. Your intro was spectacular, and your method of allowing “tabbed” browsing is way cool.

    I think the final recommendations are fair. It’s also encouraging to see a thorough disavowing of this “us against them” mentality between Chinese and Tibetans. Nice to read a position that emphasizes what would seem to be legitimate Tibetans problems and grievances, and not play to the fanning of nationalistic flames whereby all Tibetan discontent must have been sowed by evil foreigners, without whom Tibetans would be happy as clams.

    At the same time, i am awestruck and somewhat in disbelief that a one-month immersion by this group of researchers could produce such a volume of perspective, garnered from all parts of a region with difficult terrain and populated by peoples who would seem not entirely uniform. I wonder what type of questions they asked, and how many people they interviewed. In other words, the nuts and bolts of how, if not why, they came to the conclusions that they did.

    Having said that, I’ve always maintained that, if you want to know what Tibetans think, it’s best to go ask them. And this research, if not the final word, is a much better start than anything that came before it.

  21. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster:
    “I’m sure that in the TAR region the Chinese government does try to maintain the Tibetan culture.” – I believe that’s part of the point of this report. Without judging what the Chinese government has achieved in the past, there is still way more work to be done.

    “I don’t think there’s much the Chinese government can do.” – but that’s not the Chinese government’s job. If I was a Canadian expat living abroad, i wouldn’t look to the Canadian government or my local Canadian consulate to help provide me with a sense of Canadiana somewhere beyond her shores; if that’s what I long for, that’s something I need to go and get/make for myself.

  22. pug_ster Says:

    @Dorjee

    Your rhetoric of the very notion of Chinese government being the great benefactor, liberator and sympathizer to the Tibetan people projects inequality, something which the constitution of China tries to address for all the ethnic nationalities . Tibetans don’t seek Chinese sympathy but equality under the constitution. The report talks about education “The Tibetan translations of teaching materials from the interior which are used by students in Tibetan areas do not have separate syllabuses on Tibetan history and culture,”
    Isn’t this cultural genocide? Do you agree that Tibetan people have a distinct history and culture? If yes, do their children have the right to study? Why Tibetan remain uneducated even after 50 years of liberation? Certainly Tibetans in Tibet did not choose to be lazy and uneducated and Chinese people are born intelligent.

    If they want to learn Tibetan History and culture, maybe they should learn it from their parents, or from other sources rather than from the Chinese schooling system. Cultural genocide happens when the Tibetan parents don’t make an effort to Teach Tibetan culture, culture, and history to their Children. Like I said, relying on the government to do that is just fruitless.

  23. J. Dorjee Says:

    pug_star says “And please be more explicit about ‘maintaining the culture.’ If it is about the Dalai Lama, since he keeps spewing anti-China words, that’s why the Chinese government bans his teachings.”

    China government called the Dalai Lama “an evil spirit with a human face and the heart of a beast.” “the chief ringleader of activities to sabotage the normal religious order of Tibet.” “A liar” and so on so forth. The “patriotic education” campaigns during which monks, nuns, and others are asked to denounce the Dalai Lama and sign statements agreeing that Tibet has always been a part of China. The police have searched for images of the Dalai Lama, tearing them up or forcing Tibetans themselves to take them down.

    Can you cite few anti-China words spewed by the Dalai Lama which made Chinese people really angry?

  24. The Old Guy Says:

    “And please be more explicit about ‘maintaining the culture.’ If it is about the Dalai Lama, since he keeps spewing anti-China words, that’s why the Chinese government bans his teachings.”

    If your understanding of Tibetan culture is limited to DL’s teaching, then you should first learn about Tibetan culture little bit more and the ground reality in Tibet little bit deeper. And do you know there is a language called Tibetan?

  25. Rhan Says:

    “If they want to learn Tibetan History and culture, maybe they should learn it from their parents, or from other sources rather than from the Chinese schooling system”

    If the Malaysian Chinese will to base on the same line of thought process, most probably we would be assimilated into the majority long time ago.

    We insist that our government have a duty to ensure the safeguard of the minority culture, including the Chinese schooling system. China could and should do better than America and Malaysia.

  26. pug_ster Says:

    @J Dorgee

    Can you cite few anti-China words spewed by the Dalai Lama which made Chinese people really angry?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/world/asia/29dalai.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=dalai%20lama&st=cse

    His latest rhetoric is ‘death sentence.’ Now the Dalai Lama calling what exactly a ‘death sentence’ is he referring to?

    @The Old Guy
    If your understanding of Tibetan culture is limited to DL’s teaching, then you should first learn about Tibetan culture little bit more and the ground reality in Tibet little bit deeper. And do you know there is a language called Tibetan?

    I don’t know what is your argument here. Unfortunately, the offical language in China is Chinese, and if the Tibetans want to get a decent job, maybe they have to learn speakable Chinese. Whether learning Tibetan or not, it is up to them to learn it.

  27. Charles Liu Says:

    Thanks for the translation, Admin.

    pug_ster @ 26, in US the Native Americans as a group has the highest unemployment rate in US, and if they want jobs they’ll have to learn English, move out of his desolate reservation and join white people’s society, and leave his culture, heritage, behind.

  28. pug_ster Says:

    @Charles Liu

    I don’t know about American Natives leaving the culture and heritage behind. Some Indian Reservations chose to isolate themselves and well, you know what happens. I have seen other Indian Reservations decided to adapt and opened up Casinos or any other tourist areas to attract tourist, capital and promote their culture and heritage. I know of 2 casinos in Connecticut like Foxwoods and Mohegian Sun that were very successful.

    That said, I think that the Tibetans can choose to isolate themselves from the Han Chinese and be poor, or they can adapt by creating some kind of business that will promote their culture and heritage. Unfortunately, they chose the former and blame on the Han Chinese for their social and economic problems.

  29. Hohhot Says:

    Another 800 lb gorilla in this case is “colonialism”. The authors of the report have managed to describe all the symptoms of a classic case of colonialism and assimilation backed by socio-economic force, and yet avoid using the most obvious and useful term. This must be Chinese answer to Tibetans’ middle way. Good start!

    the concept of the so-called “new aristocracy” needs to be further analyzed. If the local ethnic Tibetan officials do not have legitimacy, as suggested in the paper, and the exile government is not regarded as an alternative, who should have the legitimacy in Tibet government? Better educated, more virtuous over-ruling Chinese? That sounds familiar if you know a bit of colonialist history or what Chinese have been doing over the past 50-60 years in non-Chinese minority regions.

  30. Rhan Says:

    “Unfortunately, the offical language in China is Chinese, and if the Tibetans want to get a decent job, maybe they have to learn speakable Chinese. Whether learning Tibetan or not, it is up to them to learn it.”

    Being a minority in my country, I think the above statement sounds too arrogance and chauvinist. 这是一个五千年文明央央大国该有的气派吗?

    Hey, everyone is watching.

  31. Bridge Says:

    Charles and pug-ster
    You should come and visit Australia, the land of real wonder. We treat our aborigines brothers and sisters much much better.
    1 Learning English is not compulsory for the aborigines people, they can learn their own language in the school. Since there are so many different tribes and each has its own language, every school actually offers language courses for at least 5 of them. If an aborigines only speaks his own tribe language, he can still finding a well-paid job. Yeah, no problem at all, unlike what’s in USA and China.

    2 We preserve and respect their culture well. The aborigines don’t like to dress up, so basically, you can see naked(or half-naked) aborigines CEOs in office buildings. And sometimes, we also take our clothes off in front of them to show our respect and friendship.

    3 A huge portion of aborigines don’t like to live in the cities and they choose to be isolated from our civilisation, so we allow them to live in the wild and we don’t bother them anymore. We are so nice that we claimed we had killed these aborigines so people from outside won’t intervene with them, hence preserving the aborigines culture. I think the USA is doing the same good deed, so China has much to learn from us!

  32. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster
    “Unfortunately, the offical language in China is Chinese, and if the Tibetans want to get a decent job, maybe they have to learn speakable Chinese.”

    Fortunately, the Constitution of PRC say otherwise. It says every nationality has the rights to use her mother-tongue language in national autonomous regions. And nobody is asking for allowing using minority’s language use outside the autonomous region, it seems you are not clear about that.
    It’s not only China that has many different nationalities and languages. Look at Belgium, Switzerland and lots of other countries have different languages, no majority language is replacing minority language, and that’s not a problem for them. Chinese is in Chinese language call Hanyu, and is the language of Han nationality. Just because Hans outnumbered other nationalities won’t give Hans the rights to oppress the other nationalities’ rights to live with their own mother-tongue language in their own hometown. Japanese used to teach Japanese in eastern China and oppressed the local people’s rights to use their own language for a living. You may say they are foreign invaders. But then, why can’t Chinese government do better than an invader did, for their own people?
    And the founders of the nation recognized the importance of minority’s rights and put it on the Constitution, yet later coming arrogant Hans like you ignored the Constitution and violated the basic rights of the country’s Tibetan citizen and other minorities. As a result, social instability came, and again your kind of people blame it on DL and western force instead of looking for alternative possible reasons.
    Are you again comparing your situation in USA with Tibetans’ situation in Tibet? If so, S.K. Cheung has already answered you.
    About the culture part, think more before you spew another anti-Tibetan words.

  33. pug_ster Says:

    @The Old guy,

    I seriously think you should take a chill pill as you take personally of what I said. You don’t even know me yet you seem already putting words in my mouth and you seem to know what I think. You should read admin’s thread about Call of comments and code of conduct by talking my post and not the poster. Since you don’t want a civil debate, I have nothing to say to you because I deal with immature and self-righteous people everyday.

  34. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Charles Liu #27,

    “US the Native Americans as a group has the highest unemployment rate in US, and if they want jobs they’ll have to learn English, move out of his desolate reservation and join white people’s society, and leave his culture, heritage, behind.”

    Huh? Since you are an American, I would have thought you’d be aware that basically all American Indian people in the U.S., except for a few elderly persons, are native English speakers. There is a high level of unemployment among a lot of American Indian groups, but this is not caused by a failure to speak English.

  35. Wahaha Says:

    “all American Indian people in the U.S., except for a few elderly persons, are native English speakers.”

    Do you mean that their culture was already gone ?

    _______________________________________—

    Bridge,

    You should go to China to see how han chinese have been living peacefully with other minority.

    Without people like you stirring the pot, we wouldve had no problem with Tibeten people.

  36. Rhan Says:

    Bridge says “So we allow them to live in the wild….”

    Who you are to allow or disallow where the aborigine lives? Is this what can we learn from Auatralia, to dictate where the aborigines should live?

  37. Otto Kerner Says:

    Rhan,

    (He’s pulling your leg.)

  38. pug_ster Says:

    @Rhan 30

    Being a minority in my country, I think the above statement sounds too arrogance and chauvinist. 这是一个五千年文明央央大国该有的气派吗?

    Hey, everyone is watching.

    Thus the reason why it sucks to be the minority….

  39. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster,

    I have been reading and following the threads since as early as beginning of this blog. So, I clearly know who you are and what you think. And don’t lecture me if you can not answer my points. Don’t avoid questions, if you can not answer, just admit it.

  40. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster,

    “Siince you don’t want a civil debate, I have nothing to say to you because I deal with immature and self-righteous people everyday.”

    Can you point out some points where I did start an uncivil debate in my post? I can compile a book with list of your uncivil words from your posts.

    “I deal with immature and self-righteous people everyday.”

    Aren’t you, too, too self-righteous to decide which are uncivil debates and who are immature posters?

  41. pug_ster Says:

    @The Old Guy

    So, I clearly know who you are and what you think.

    Like I said, self-righteous is the word that comes to mind. That’s why I have nothing to say.

  42. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster

    “Like I said, self-righteous is the word that comes to mind. That’s why I have nothing to say.”

    You debate until you realize that your own logic and reasons have slowly framed you. When that comes, then you simply declare that the opponent is an “anti-China” or a “self-righteous” and call on others to denounce him/her, and will ask admin to ban him/her.
    So, I take your above sentence as a sign that you are run out of humanly reasons and intellectual logic, once more.

  43. pug_ster Says:

    @The Old Guy,

    Just because you said a statement that is anti-China, I don’t assume that you are anti-China in general because if I did that, I would be profiling you and that would be unfair. I’ve made some pro-China comments here and because of that you assumed that you know what I think. I don’t think it is fair because I believe you are profiling me. That’s why when you start making assumptions of what I said and that is the reason why I call you self-righteous.

  44. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I thought this was an intriguing report, and achieves something that, although probably imperfect, is still a laudable first attempt. So why is no one talking about the report? Instead, in the first 40 some-odd posts, it’s back to the old stand-by’s of comparing China to the US, the bemoaning of the abhorrent plight of Chinese in the US, sarcastic comparisons to Australia, etc. If this was a Pavlovian experiment, “Tibet” would be the bell, and some of you would be…well, you get the idea.

    To Pugster:
    I’ve read Old Guy’s #32 twice, and I can’t see where he’s so offended your sensibilities. If that offended you, then you’d best avert your eyes to about half the stuff around here. And you know, if he misquoted you, or misrepresented what you said, the easy thing would simply be to correct him, or clarify your own point, and move on. This whining about “putting words into your mouth” is unbecoming, and does make it seem like you’re throwing in the towel without the decency to admit as much.

  45. The Old Guy Says:

    @ pug_ster

    “I’ve made some pro-China comments here and because of that you assumed that you know what I think.”

    Not necessarily. However, as I said earlier, I have been following the threads on this blog for more than one year, and all this time I have never missed the majority comments of those representative figures on this forum, including you. So, as much as you are entitled to decide whether I am “self-righteous” or not, that much I am entitled to say I know your position when you talk on this forum.
    However, I appreciate that you have changed your tone towards me already. We are all human being with emotion, when someone hurts your feeling, you will also try to pay your bite back. Unfortunately, this fact sometimes lead all parties to extreme side, and that’s when we all start to lose our human inner goodness.

  46. kui Says:

    @ bridge.

    I am posting from sydney. How are Aborigines treated here? 200 years after white men landed on the continent, Aborigines’ life span is 20 years shorter than the rest of population. Aborigines CEOs? Never heard of. Aborigines have shockingly high unemplyment. Aborigines have a reputation of child sex abuse and alcoholism. Yes, they are still seen half naked on the TV. They live in isolation among rubbish. Many branches of aboriginal language have died out……The rest of the world knows this? Why I do not see anyfinger pointing at the Australian government by our big brother the US of A? There is no calls to “Free Australia” or return native land which is entire Australia to aborigines. As far as I know the USA’s NGOs are not interested to look after Aborigines human rights. When Aborigines riorted it was all their fault. The stupid government of China should send a study team to Australia immediately to learn! The Northern Territory invented by Australian government is a great idea to learn first. Just draw a small piece of land in north part of the TAR and put whoever wants autonomy there and let them live free life under Dalai Lama. I am off night shift and mentally drained because I do not get much sleep during day time but I still have this great idea! They should employ me to do the job! I will get them out of trouble immediately by copying Australian policies.

  47. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Here we go…yet again. Let’s not talk about China, even though this blog is ostensibly for that purpose. Let’s talk about China as she compares to Australia. Y’know, maybe when China is down under learning about treatment of Aboriginals (which sounds not so much like a shining example), she could learn a thing or two about parliamentary democracy to boot, and start implementing that besides.

  48. barny chan Says:

    Kui, maybe you’re not monitoring responses to your thread entitled “A recollection of the 1989 student movement in Tianjin”, but I recently posed the following question to you:

    “OK kui, can you identify the “Australian high school textbook” and the offending page that cites “thousands killed by the communist government”? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d like to know what it’s called and where it fits into the Australian school syllabus.”

    Maybe you can pop back over there and answer the question. Thanks, Barny.

  49. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Criticism is NOT an academic exercise of the “kettle calling the pot black”.

    The Kettle gets called on to answer in comparison.

  50. shane9219 Says:

    @KHan

    “China could and should do better than America and Malaysia”

    Yes, and it is already the fact for many years. It was actually the Tibetan exiles that did not teach native Tibetan language to their kids until fairly recent, before that they only used English in their schools in India.

    Below is a segment from Wiki article on Tibetan language.

    Note: English is a official and standard language in US, and China uses Chinese the same way.

    “Chinese sources claim that in much of Tibet, primary education is conducted either primarily or entirely in the Tibetan language, and bilingual education is rarely introduced before students reach middle school. However, Chinese is the language of instruction of most Tibetan secondary schools. Students that continue on to tertiary education have the option of studying humanistic disciplines in Tibetan at a number of Minority colleges in China.[3] This contrasts with Tibetan schools in Dharamsala, India, where the Ministry of Human Resource Development curriculum requires academic subjects be taught in English beginning in middle school.[4] Literacy and enrollment rates continue to be the main concern of the Chinese government. A large proportion of the adult population in Tibet remains illiterate, and despite compulsory education policies, many parents in rural areas are unable to send their children to school.

    In February 2008 Norman Baker UK MP, released a statement to mark International Mother Language Day saying “The Chinese government are following a deliberate policy of extinguishing all that is Tibetan, including their own language in their own country. It may be obvious, but Tibetan should be the official language of Tibet. The world must act. Time is running out for Tibet.” The rights of Tibetans, under Article 5 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity are to “express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue”, as well as being “entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity”.

    Some scholars have questioned this claim, however, as most Tibetans continue to reside in rural areas where Chinese is rarely spoken. Lhasa and other Tibetan cities have now become largely Chinese. In the Texas Journal of International Law, Barry Sautman stated that “none of the many recent studies of endangered languages deems Tibetan to be imperiled, and language maintenance among Tibetans contrasts with language loss even in the remote areas of Western states renowned for liberal policies…claims that primary schools in Tibet teach putonghua are in error. Tibetan was the main language of instruction in 98% of TAR primary schools in 1996; today, putonghua is introduced in early grades only in urban schools…Because less than four out of ten TAR Tibetans reach secondary school, primary school matters most for their cultural formation.”[5] On the other hand, Tibetans in India have noted a decline in the linguistic performance of newly arrived refugees fleeing their homeland.

    Tibetologist Elliot Sperling has also noted that “within certain limits in the PRC does make efforts to accommodate Tibetan cultural expression” and “the cultural activity taking place all over the Tibetan plateau cannot be ignored.”[6]”

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

  51. shane9219 Says:

    @Hohhot

    “the concept of the so-called “new aristocracy” needs to be further analyzed. If the local ethnic Tibetan officials do not have legitimacy, as suggested in the paper, and the exile government is not regarded as an alternative, who should have the legitimacy in Tibet government? Better educated, more virtuous over-ruling Chinese? ”

    Actually, Tibet will be able to get better and better managed and governed by native Tibetans as they improved their expereince and skills. The so-called “new aristocracy” is a notion overblown. Leadership is a natural process of selection, those who perform will stay, as Chinese government is so focused on performance of its offcials and civil servants.

    On the other hand, Tibetan exiles can better use their time and skills by returning to Tibet and extending a helpful hand to their native brothers and sisters, instead of sitting in a comfortable enviornment in western countries and making loud noises.

  52. TonyP4 Says:

    This is a condensed version of my e-mail with my high school classmate who is a teacher in Canada:

    A few students from each one of my classes are Chinese students who came from China (mostly from 福建) only a year ago or even a few months ago. They’re 16, 17, 18 and a couple of them are 19 and 20 years old. Very shockingly, they have never even heard about TSM from their parents or from their teachers back home in China. Can you guys just f@#king believe this??? Just like how we were not taught or told about the Rape of Nanking when we were in high school. Aahh, two thumbs down to that hush-hush traditional Chinese mentality, 一代過一代!! They had no idea what had happened in Beijing 20 years ago until I educated them this morning. Nobody has ever told them about this while growing up in China!. I guess news media about June 4th Incident in China vanished without a trace very quickly and conveniently, taken over by the rapid economic growth and materialistic pursuits by all. The painful, shameful past diminished and all erased in the minds of the majority, just like what happens when brand new ownerships take over belly-up companies in our modern world. People in China, are basically 向錢看 and not 向前看. There’s a real lack of morale and loyalty when it comes to $$$$$$$$$. I believe lots of corruptions would naturally take place either discreetly or even openly and it will only keep on spreading. May be it has become somewhat socially acceptable even?! Aahh, a 5,000 year old culture….the vicious cycle or circle of life in our ‘dear’ homeland?!

  53. Rhan Says:

    Otto 37, Bridge did that? Oh, I am so naïve.

    pug_ster 38, I know but I can’t sit here and do nothing right?

    Shane 50, I read what you paste here before, Chinese lack propaganda and rhetoric skill although we may know the facts well.

  54. Shane9219 Says:

    @TonyP4

    That is a typical reaction from those living outside of China and fed with western forms of ideologies when they grow up. They seem to totally forget the enormous challenges Western societies are facing nowadays, and they still think comfortably that they are living in a “paradise” in comparison to China, when actually the grounds are shaking under their feet. They thought Chinese do not have aspiration to better their spirits and culture and improve on their dreams along the way of prosperity. They will be suprised again once more in near future.

    The fact that openly making crack-down on corruption as an important part of Chinese political life is a sign of social progress in modern China. Those from UK saw recently how corrupt their MPs are, that is just a tip of iceberge. Those who stay in California, US knew how volunerable for years the state has been, and now is more than ever that the state faces over 30 billion dollars hole and is in danger of insolvency. California for years has been a pet model of ultra-democractic liberalists, in which they intend to legalize everything (you name it), including corruption and incompetency. Their utopia is coming to an end now.

    >> “Very shockingly, they have never even heard about TSM from their parents or from their teachers back home in China.”

    It is true that June-4th of 1989 is a political taboo in public place. It got its notoriety because of its scale and the number of people killed during the unrest. But what is wrong by moving on from a bad event. It’s like burying the dead in tombs and move on. People’s memory are selective by nature. Some people like to remeber their dead family members, some just want to forget about past bad experience. So what?!

    How many people in the west knew there were several small scale political events before June-4th of 1989 in recent Chinese history? How many people in the west knew those events that were far more bad, horrible and important than the June-4th of 1989 during the last 200 years of Chinese history? Are they saying much about them, or just be selective and narrowly interested in June-4th of 1989 ?

  55. Otto Kerner Says:

    I happened to notice a similar observation mentioned on Xujun Eberlein’s blog a couple months ago: “Among the so-called ’emancipated serfs,’ there is a small group of them who actually possess the ‘right to speak,’ and they are Tibet’s new noblemen. This interest group of Tibetans would never want to hand over their power, therefore they support the CCP. Though they are a small portion from the serf class, they are a quite powerful and dependable force for the CCP.”

  56. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane:
    “But what is wrong by moving on from a bad event. It’s like burying the dead in tombs and move on ” -don’t you go and pay homage to your ancestors’ grave sites at least once a year, every May?

  57. TonyP4 Says:

    If we do not learn from history, we most likely repeat history. We need to learn from bad events, but not to bury them. I accuse the Japanese of changing history of the Raping of Nanjing. Now, we have one in our backyard.

    I hope all the Chinese apologists will read the book ‘ugly Chinese’ by a Taiwanese author and it applies to mainlanders as well. It has a lot of truths in it. Personally I am guilty as charged. However, I admit my problems, learn from them, and never repeat them. Can it be more simpler than this?

    Compared to Mao’s miserable era when millions died because of bad governance, CCP is doing a good job to lift millions from poverty (thanks to Deng and US playing China card against Russia instead of India card). However, CCP has to do same: admit errors, learn from them, and never repeat them.

    Dumb nationalism is not patriotic, but just dumb!

  58. Shane9219 Says:

    @TonyP4

    It’s okay to be criticial of your countrymen. But my previous point is that you and many other living abroad did not get the whole picture.

    It is true that the current government is playing a strong hand on public media by shielding mainland Chinese from foreign disturbance and interference at CERTAIN critical point of time. There are some good modern and historical reasons for this. I don’t think you can call someone who understand the whole picture a “apologist”.

    To a large number of Chinese public, they now can afford the oppertunities to travel to HK, Taiwan and many foreign countries and communicate broadly on Internet with friends and strangers alike. It is native to think Chinese public do not know their own history and only liston to the government nowadays. The fact is that many Chinese are very criticial of their government on many aspects, yet on the hand, they don’t like foreigners to interfere their way of living, as well as on national unity issues. I have to often take pain to explain to those who don’t live in China and don’t understand how China works, 1) Chinese nowadays are very apolitical and cynical about any form of political movement (in a strong contrast to place like Taiwan or countries like US and European ones) 2) the educated population (both young and old) have been constantly pushing for social progress with concrete actions, and 3) the government has been keenly aware of their demands and making adjustment, and sometimes play guidance to direct this energy to a positive direction. Think about, if the government in 1989 was as smart as the current one, bad thing will not happen.

    So understanding your countryman better before waging your fingers

  59. Wahaha Says:

    The fact is that many Chinese are very criticial of their government on many aspects, yet on the hand, they don’t like foreigners to interfere their way of living, as well as on national unity issues.

    Exactly, Shane9219,

    Like 6/4, I want to talk about it with Chinese whose priority in their mind is making China better, but I am very suspicious of West politicians and Media and those who nonstop talk about ” human right “.

    WE WERE USED ONCE IN 1989, AND I DONT WANT TO BE USED AGAIN.

  60. Shane9219 Says:

    This is an article on Osel Hita Torres, a Spaniard chosen by 14th Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a high Lama.

    Boy chosen by Dalai Lama turns back on Buddhist order

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/31/dalai-lama-osel-hita-torres

    “As a toddler, he was put on a throne and worshipped by monks who treated him like a god. But the boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a spiritual leader has caused consternation – and some embarrassment – for Tibetan Buddhists by turning his back on the order that had such high hopes for him.

    Instead of leading a monastic life, Osel Hita Torres now sports baggy trousers and long hair, and is more likely to quote Jimi Hendrix than Buddha.

    Yesterday he bemoaned the misery of a youth deprived of television, football and girls. Movies were also forbidden – except for a sanctioned screening of The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy, about a kidnapped child lama with magical powers. “I never felt like that boy,” he said”

  61. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Osel Hita Torres”,

    Case study in Tibetan Buddhism Brainwashing.

  62. Wukailong Says:

    It seems certain pages of this website is stopped again. I’m happy the Chinese government follows the correct path and shields the public from foreign information during these perilous times. Unlike other one-party states, it’s done completely for the people and will lead to a perfect democracy in the future that exhibits Chinese characteristics and no horrid Western ones.

  63. raventhorn4000 Says:

    It’s simple propaganda.

    Interesting to know that NOT 1 “dissident” said anything about the selective racist prosecution of Wen Ho Lee by the US government.

    Yeah, I’m sure those “grants” they were getting from NED had something to do with it.

    *What most people don’t know is, many other Asians in US were similarly victims of selective prosecution as Wen Ho Lee, without any hope of redress. (Not just Chinese, but Japanese Americans as well.) Some had prison times, some were interrogated and deported.

    1 case was even about a Chinese “dissident” who worked with FBI to track down illegal technology exporters in US, and ended up being the scapegoat for the FBI handler. He got deported back to China.

  64. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Anyone who has seen how Wen Ho Lee was convicted by the US Media, and imprisoned by the government of the “People”, can easily see how easily the “Free Press” uses rumors and innuendos to destroy Truth and Livelihood.

    There is no counterbalance against the Western Media in the world today.

    Chinese government must defend China against such destructive influence. “Dissidents” have no interests in defending the likes of Wen Ho Lee. It is obvious that when the cause of violation conflicts with their “funding”, they do not stand with the Victim.

    You can go search http://www.wenholee.org and see if you can find any “dissidents” on the list of signatures supporting Wen Ho Lee. You will NOT!

    That alone tells me that these “dissidents” have no concept of “human rights”. They were in it for themselves.

  65. Wukailong Says:

    @raventhorn4000: Please don’t forget that there are more than 300 million inhabitants of the US. Everyone can’t get what they want from the government. There are injustices everywhere.

  66. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Wukailong,

    some seem to want more expedient justice from China than US.

  67. Ted Says:

    @Wukailong #62: Err… that was strange you feeling all right?

  68. Ted Says:

    @admin: I’m still reading the translation above post but want to say at the outset I really appreciate the work of you and the translators.

    BTW, There’s either something funny going on from posts 62 to 66 or Wukailong has a heavy fever.

  69. Wukailong Says:

    @Ted: Don’t worry about me. 🙂 I was kidding with some of the arguments put forth on this thread. But raventhorn’s last comment makes sense – it’s better to be like Amnesty, finding faults with all countries and not just one, though I think some of China’s critics are doing just that.

    Going back to the topic at hand, I agree that admin and others have done a great job on this report. I skimmed it through in Chinese earlier on and was impressed by the willingness of the original writers to see it from a Tibetan perspective. I’ve never been a fan of conspiracy theories explaining riots and demonstrations with small, evil cliques pulling the strings. 3.14, like 6.4, have their complex historical roots. I don’t think something like 6.4 would happen again, but a reenactment of 3.14 might come again in 10 years, which is a very sad thing.

  70. pug_ster Says:

    @TonyP4 57,

    That’s an interesting book. I think the main problem with many of the people involved who took part of the TAM square protests is that they had no regrets or remorse about it. It is not just the Students, but the workers, soldiers, leaders, etc… I’m sure that some of them did something wrong but they refuse to admit guilt, remorse, and maybe even ashamed to talk about it, and it seems okay for the government to censor it. The Western Media is actually making it worse by shaming China even more.

    It is good that the government start that they start to talk about it. I think the next step is to talk about the emotional part of it. I think that maybe the next ‘healing’ step is for all the people involved (Soldiers, workers, leaders, students, etc) who are involved in this incident to have a frank discussion in hopes of trying to reach a understanding and admitting their wrongs in this protest with good intentions that gone tragic, and maybe asking each other forgiveness. Unfortunately, to ask someone to forgive is seen as weak in Chinese culture because you are admitting that you are guilty. This incident has happened 20 years ago and we whatever happened has happened already. We should not punish any more people and it is probably better to bury the hatchet to move on.

  71. JXie Says:

    TonyP4,

    The book “Ugly Chinese” was authored by Bo Yang. It was a very popular book in China in the 80s, especially in colleges. It arguably had contributed to the 6/4. I was subsequently banned until a few years ago.

    I read it and some of Bo Yang’s revisionist Chinese history books long ago. It made quite a strong impression on me when i was a younger man. I give credit to him of his fresh way to look at history, and prompting me to read up a lot of Chinese and Western histories. Bo was locked up for near a decade in Taiwan. As an older man who has had the life experience of living in Chinese and Western societies and the knowledge to a wider spectrum of topics, I tend to think his central premises are all fundamentally wrong. His imprisionment drove him angry, and he being a Manchu, just couldn’t blame the decline of China on late Qing alone — he had to drag down the whole Chinese civilization.

    In recent years, “Ugly Chinese” has been allowed to be reprinted again in mainland. In the 80s youngsters would be enthralled by the stories told by those who were lucky enough to travel overseas, and fantasize what a wonderful world the outside was. Nowadays you can see Chinese practically everywhere in the world. The younger generation reads Bo Yang’s book, probably has more a “huh?” type of reaction.

    Look at Yao Ming. Chances are he hasn’t read the book yet, given that it was banned when he grew up. But can you see this so-called “post-80” young Chinese man, as ugly? Ancient Chinese said, “仓廪实而知礼节,衣食足而知荣辱”. Materialistic adequacy tends to produce better human beings overall, in China, or in any country.

  72. JXie Says:

    @raventhorn4000 #64

    There is no counterbalance against the Western Media in the world today.

    Actually there is. Al Jazeera is one. It turns the game around and now the US is seemed as the one that is actively stop its availability in the main cable/satellite distribution. You don’t need to be a victim per se, just need to play the game better…

    In an unrelated but similar note, for the longest time, it’s only the 3 major US-based credit rating agencies giving out sovereignty ratings on other countries. Now both Brazil and China will start their own credit rating agencies. It’ll very interesting to see what the rating of US government bonds would be. Somehow I think the UK government bonds may be rated as junks.

  73. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane:
    “1) Chinese nowadays are very apolitical and cynical about any form of political movement” – if that’s the case, and the CCP must know this since they somehow have their finger on the pulse of the nation without ever having to ask, why the need to shut down the 6/4 discussion and censor the internet even more than usual on a milestone anniversary? Why not just allow a free exchange, since people wouldn’t bother anyhow? It seems like common sense that you only shut something down to prevent it from happening, and the reason why you want to actively prevent something from happening is if you have reason to believe that it might actually happen.

  74. Ted Says:

    @Wukailong: opps sorry about that, guess I was reading things too literally 😉

  75. Shane9219 Says:

    14th Dalai Lama keeps on his trick …

    14th DL is now in Paris. He said his European trip is non-political, yet beyond what he already said at previous European countries, here is what said when arriving Paris:

    “”Since March 2008 I have the feeling that a very old nation and its heritage and culture have received a death sentence,” he told reporters at Paris airport on his arrival.

    The Chinese government makes a hard line policy, but the Chinese people are ignorant of the situation. The international community must go there to investigate, without restrictions.”

    After 50 years of exile, probably he is the one igorant of Tibet situation than anyone else. The trick he got under his hat is to keep lobbying and begging Europeans to stand by his separatist cause, he forgot that it is the old European that robbed the world and caused so much goe-political troubles in the first place. More ironically, even UK politicians chose to distance them from his cause last year.

  76. raventhorn4000 Says:

    JXie,

    “Actually there is. Al Jazeera is one.”

    Yeah, sometimes. Except until US “bombs” them by “mistake”, like they did with the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

    Now, I wonder what US Media would say about China if China “mistakenly” bombed a Associated Press building??

  77. JXie Says:

    Raventhorn4000,

    But after the “accidental” bombing (who are we kidding?) of the Al Jazeera office in Kabul, AJ continued its edgy on the ground reporting in ME that you simply couldn’t find in any of the major Western news outfits. Nowadays if all major US and UK news outfits report a story in ME one way, and AJ reports the other way. I think majority of the people worldwide (outside of the US/UK), if not the overwhelming majority of the people would believe AJ’s version. You earn that with your blood, and your perseverance.

    After the 1989, China’s worldwide reputation was at an all-time low. At one point the American president told the Chinese president about “the wrong side of the history” and very few in the world felt anything wrong with. Yet today reputation-wise the 2 are reasonably shoulder to shoulder. As hard as it is to take the “mistaken” Belgrade embassy bombing, it was a turning point between the 2 nations. The world is watching, and knows the wrong and the right.

    Like the recent way over-the-top Western news blitz of the 20th TAM anniversary, and the hypocrisy of the US government — yeah China needs to be reminded for something happened 20 years ago when yesterday’s Abu Ghraib pictures can’t be released — can only do wonder to the worldwide opinion on China.

    Now, how exactly do you propose to bomb an AP building “mistakenly”? Life is never fair — you work very hard to make it to your favor.

  78. Shane9219 Says:

    “American president told the Chinese president about “the wrong side of the history””

    I remembered Clinton said that to Jiang with a stern voice and equally disgusting looking. Clinton was brilliant president, but also rude and arrogant. When he arrived in Beijing, it was Hu who welcomed him at the airport, but he simply made a node to Hu and then stepped into his limos, leaving Hu standing in the cold alone for over 10-min to see him off (he probably treated Hu like a US marine when he got off Air Force One). However, when Clinton finished his presidency and deep in debt, Hu and Wen treated him very well, let Clinton do multiple talks in Shenzhen and HongKong and collected some fat speech fees. All these was done when Clinton was in his low point and no market whatsoever in US for him.

    President Obama also tried a stern voice (to China ?) during his inauguration, but quickly toned down his hash rhetoric afterward, so did his Treasure secretary. What a political drama!

  79. Raj Says:

    SKC (73)

    Good suggestion.

  80. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Raj:
    oh well, Shane doesn’t seem to wanna go there. For unknown reasons.

  81. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “But after the “accidental” bombing (who are we kidding?) of the Al Jazeera office in Kabul, AJ continued its edgy on the ground reporting in ME that you simply couldn’t find in any of the major Western news outfits. Nowadays if all major US and UK news outfits report a story in ME one way, and AJ reports the other way. I think majority of the people worldwide (outside of the US/UK), if not the overwhelming majority of the people would believe AJ’s version. You earn that with your blood, and your perseverance.”

    Doesn’t say much about the moral authority of those who did the bombing, does it?

  82. Oli Says:

    @SKC & Raj

    To answer your question and very simply put, because those who made the decisions on that day are still alive today and to do so will reopen old wounds and especially old divisions, for once the discussions are underway, people’s tendency to allocate blame will inevitably come to the fore. That would be largely pointless and counter-productive in the greater scheme of things at the moment, particularly when the focus should be on the current economic problems and the resulting varied social problems.

    In fact, having read many mainland Chinese language forums, while there are alot of curiosity as well as discussions about 6-4 among the younger generations, I find that there are no huge demand for a public examination of the events and even many such as myself who have witnessed the actual event remain ambiguous and is unconvinced of the benefit of such a course of action at this time. In fact I find it rather ironic that it is often those, ie foreigners and non-mainland Chinese, least impacted by the actual events itself who make the loudest noise. And my question is why?

    Personally, after twenty years I have very little sympathy or patience for the main exiled student leaders. I much rather save it in rememberance of the bravery and the sacrifice of the ordinary people who died protecting them and the young ordinary soldiers who did their duty and lost their innocence in doing so. I wonder if these exiled student leaders have ever spared a thought for these people.

  83. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    “to do so will reopen old wounds and especially old divisions, for once the discussions are underway, people’s tendency to allocate blame will inevitably come to the fore.”
    — I see what you’re saying, even if I don’t agree with it. How I interpreted Shane’s remark was that the CCP was suppressing discussion because there was no public interest for said discussion. That makes no sense to me at all. If I understand you properly, there may well be an interest to undertake such a discussion, but such a discussion might derail the pursuit of current and future priorities. Hence the CCP efforts at suppression thereof. If I interpreted poorly, well, I’m sure you’ll let me know. But that actually makes sense.

    That being said, I don’t agree with it. First, it suggests that Chinese society cannot at once pursue continued economic growth, while openly examining a significant prior event. Why would that be?

    Second, why must such an examination await the bucket-kicking of the main characters? Would CHina be circa 1989 tomorrow if the discussion were opened today?

    And finally, if there is a demand among the people, is it reasonable for the government to suppress them, against their potential wishes?

  84. Oli Says:

    @SKC

    Whether you agree or disagree with my personal interpretation of China’s current mood with regards to TAM is pretty much irrelevant as it hinges on your knowledge or non-knowledge as it may be of contemporary China and the projection of your own set of values unto what YOU THINK ought to be done under the circumstances.

    While there is curiosity and discussions among the younger generations on the internet, however obliquely or in private, currently within the society as a whole there is no noticeable upswell in demand for an examination a la South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The reasons are manifold and includes the society’s and the government’s pre-occupation with continuing development, the current economic conditions as well as the fact that many who witness or participated in those events, like myself and many who I have spoken to, have more or less come to understand them for what they are and the context and circumstances in which those events took place. In fact, they are currently doing precisely all that the demonstrators twenty years ago demonstrated for in order to be allowed to do. And non-mainland Chinese and foreigners wonder why there has been no urge to revisit TAM?

    For examples which you may find easier to empathise with, I suggest you look at the N. Ireland example of how compromises were made not to persecute and press Sinn Fein and the IRA to account for all the unresolved sectarian killings or force them to submit to an independently verifiable accounting of the weapons decomissioned in favour of embedding Sinn Fein in the peace process and a lasting chance at peace. I suggest you look at unified Germany’s reluctance to persecute each and every DDR era Stasi officer, how Allied occupation forces in the end employed many ex-Nazis and ex-Baathist to rebuild West Germany and Iraq and its efforts during the Cold War or how French Normandy civilian deaths and rape at the hand of Allied forces were hushed up in favour of defeating Nazi Germany.

    Making a choice not to do so does not denote an inability to undertake the other at the same time. It is simply a choice that the government or an individual have made according to what THEY believe is best. To imply otherwise not only hint at an inability to see beyond one’s limited perspective on the human nature of those not of one’s own, but also an inability to empathise with other people’s circumstances and priorities. Consequently, yours and other foreigners and non-mainland Chinese’ agreement or disagreement with the Chinese government’s or an individual’s choice of priorities is irrelevant. Ultimately, who are you to decide what and how the Chinese society, its individuals or its government should prioritise their needs? Are you resident in China? Are you a Chinese taxpayer? Yet you profess to know what its people need? Spare us the preachy, lecturing claptrap that is redolent of Western liberal, well-meaning, but oh-so-misguided sanctimony. Seriously, haven’t we had enough of all that already? Talk of major cringe inducing level of ignorance and hypocrisy there.

    Ultimately, unless you’re a five years old, I think you need to adjust your monochromatic perspective to include all the messy and uncomfortable moral grey areas of human history, otherwise conversing with an intellect as circularly refined as as yours is about as constructive as @*%$£ (feel free to insert whatever phrases you imagine I may be thinking lest you think I may be loosing it).

  85. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    I’m relieved that you had the wherewithal to at least acknowledge that the basis of your tiresome lecture is your personal opinion. For a second there, I thought I was living in the World According to Oli. Thankfully, such is not the case.

    It seems that, on the one hand, you suggest that there is a desire for some open reckoning of the events. Then on the other, you’re back to the well-worn fall-back position that there’s nothing to see here. Which yet again begs the question, which you seemed to answer then proceed to un-answer (if there is such a thing; but if there isn’t, then congratulations, you just invented it): why suppress something that isn’t there? I think that would be a concept that translates well in just about any culture, or language.

    As for your breadth of experience on TAM, it surely dwarfs mine. Nevertheless, it seems presumptuous to think that you, and those to whom you have spoken, represent the entire spectrum of opinion 20 years later. So, on that basis, if your point is that people have no desire to relive those events, that seems not much more compelling than someone saying that there is. Perhaps to you it does; but you should know that I’m beginning to value your opinion about as much as you value mine. At least on that, we can agree.

    You’ve listed some nice examples of situations where two groups have made compromises for the greater good, and in so doing, perhaps turned the other cheek to some moral ambiguities. I’m as pragmatic as the next guy, and as you say, I can certainly empathize with those situations. But those situations have no parallel whatsoever to TAM, except perhaps in the hallowed halls of your own mind. Where have the compromises been following the TAM incident to merit your comparison? What of the negotiations, and quid pro quo? The PLA, at some point after 6/4, said okay, that oughtta do, and stood down. And then for 20 years, it officially never happened. That seems like a fairly unilateral approach to me…but hey, that’s just me.

    Absolutely, making a choice not to do something in no way implies one’s inability to do said thing. However, in this case, as in many cases, the group making the choice is not the same as the group who have to abide by it. Yes, the government has indeed made a choice based on what they believe is best. If nothing else, the CCP can absolutely be counted upon to do exactly that, time and time again. I would surely not dream of implying otherwise, and as a result, am heartened by my apparent ability to empathize, as well as my resultant apparent new-found relevance. Of course, I would happily forgo any such relevance to see a society that allows her people to make choices for themselves, and not be treated, as you say, like five year-olds. Perhaps that’s something you share; perhaps not. No matter.

    I am disappointed that a well-spoken individual of your ilk needs to resort to questioning a foreigner’s influence on Chinese policy. Clearly, I have none. But considering your zip code, perhaps you should be reminded that you have frightfully little either. So since we’re just talking here, maybe you can consider sparing me the sermon, already uttered many a time previously, by people of a lower pay-grade. It bores me, and demeans you. It has achieved both those things with remarkable efficiency. If one day, a Chinese resident or a CHinese taxpayer can actually, regularly, meaningfully, and freely influence the choices of their society and their government, that, to me, would be a good day indeed. As for what such a day would represent to you, I don’t know, and frankly could not give a damn. On that last point, I’m sure we also agree with each other.

    So in the future, perhaps you can spare me your eloquent, but ultimately irrelevant, sentiments of my opinions. In the final analysis, you have been as successful in convincing me as I you. It hardly bothers me, since I’m just talking here. But if such a realization seems to affect you so, perhaps you should seek professional help, lest all that simmering anger and impatience cause some sort of meltdown which will subsequently deprive me and others of your continued words of infinite wisdom.

  86. Oli Says:

    @ SKC

    LOL, Okey Dokey, let me deconstruct your waffle for you.

    Para 1
    Self-contradicting, gratuitous, rhetorical, irrelevant and misapplication of literary reference, possibly from not having read the work in question.

    Para 2
    Demonstrating an inability to read and comprehend by interpreting and conflating curiosity and discussions among the younger generations as being a general, nation wide “desire for some open reckoning of the events”.

    An inability to identify, distinguish, not to mention understand the mood, feelings and priorities of different generations of the Chinese population.

    Confusing official unwillingness to discuss the events, to avoid assigning blame to the parties involved, including the students themselves, with active government control of discussions of the events that are deliberately left ineffective and failing to see or understand the purpose of why this is so.

    Para 3
    Again failing to read or comprehend by persistently interpreting what I said through the prism of absolutism, nevermind contradicting yourself between para 1 and para 3 with regards to what you think I am supposed to have said. Thereby demonstrating an intellect that is incapable of grasping neither the concept of deliberate ambiguity or of moderated gradualism in societies, in government policies as well as in general discussions.

    Para 4 & 5
    Provides an insight into a mind that is insecure, unsophisticated, narrow and overly literal in scope. It requires everything to be spelled out and enacted out in tedious pro forma and in accordance with his own particularly set of values, dogma and political/social modus operandi that he’s accustomed to. It demonstrates a noticeable lack in the ability, nevermind the necessary tolerance, to contemplate or accept the possibility for another culture that is not of one’s own to have a different way of doing things. Particularly when reconciling their own social, political and historical issues and any accompanying ambiguities in order to come to a compromise in their own manner and in a way that suits them.

    A tendency to view issues in static and simplistic freeze frames rather than an ever-evolving, living narrative. It speaks of an inability or politically-motivated unwillingness to see or understand how the Chinese society, the vast majority of the students and other demonstrators themselves have moved on and the way they’ve done so and what that says about their evolving perception and understanding of the events. Particularly when many of the same students who once demonstrated against the government are today themselves working in and for the government, both directly and indirectly and their understanding of the political and social necessity for the government’s stance, in spite of their often ambiguous feelings about it.

    It shows an intellect that is unable to penetrate the superficial by failing to understand what the Chinese students and the population in general have long come to understand in the past twenty years. Namely that they have in fact won and the hardliners have lost. The students have got the vast majority of what they campaigned for, hence making an unwritten and undeclared compromise possible. This is one of the reasons why in today’s China TAM matter a lot less than to those outside of China who have persistently projected and interpreted the wrong set of values and notions unto the events themselves and misunderstanding the nature of the event itself.

    Para 6
    An intellectually damming tendency to make assumptions in the absence of facts and jumping to unsupported and unsubstantiated conclusion. An inability to contemplate or imagine situations and circumstances that is beyond one’s ken.

    Judging by your rhetorical, but ultimately meaningless assertions, you obviously have very little understanding or experience of the many ways in which ordinary Chinese taxpayers, should they choose to, do actually affect government’s policies at any given level, both directly and indirectly, that is beyond direct elections and which, surprise, surprise may even include what is often regarded as an “un-free” Chinese press.

    Consequently, maybe you would like to tell me what YOU think my “zip code” is since you obviously know me so well and we are such great buddies, LOL! Would it surprise you if I told you that I pay taxes in more than one country and one of which happens to be China? Does that then mean I have more of a right to question a foreigner’s say on Chinese policy, LOL! Or how about that that on average I sleep only 3-4 hrs a day and irregularly so, since you’ve obviously try to ascertain my country of residence based on the timing of my postings, LOL! How endearingly juvenile.

    Para 7
    Touche, what can I say, the paragraph speaks for itself.

  87. pug_ster Says:

    Just read the ‘recommendations’ made by the so called ‘research panel’ is mostly idealistic, result orientated and often one sided while ignoring the social, economic and political hurdles between the Hans and the Tibetans. Let me give you some examples in response to the recommendations.

    1) While it is nice to respecting and protecting Tibetan rights and interest, how about the Tibetans do the same to the Hans?

    2) While it is ideal to reduce poverty between rich and poor, and helping economic prosperity, it fail to mention on the steps of how to do it, as this statement is mostly results oriented.

    3) Sounds like political policies that other regions in China doesn’t even follow, especially when they use the word ‘democracy.’

    4) With the issue with the young Tibetans, the recommendations are mostly idealistic and result oriented. The government can only do so much to provide an education but it is up the Tibetans to educate themselves. While it is nice to provide the skills for the young Tibetans, good jobs might not be there unless there is an environment for it.

    5) While is it nice to allow people religious freedom, China does not tolerate religion that support changing, challenging, or subverting the Chinese government.

    6) When resolving problems in Tibet… question is totally idealistic way to approach things. While it is idealistic for 2 conflicting parties what they want, most of the time one of the parties won’t get what he/she want and sometimes neither parties will get what they want.

    7) While there are local laws that should be respected, what if the laws conflict with the laws of the Chinese government?

    8) You know, I actually agree with this one.

    9) I agree with this, however, sometimes the Chinese government can do so much, but sometimes outside forces like the Dalai Lama and Western governments get in the way.

    Like I said, it is not just the sole effort of the Chinese government to address these social and economic issues, but the Tibetans as well. But this ‘independent report’ doesn’t mention anything about that.

  88. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    you’re really quite a funny guy. You’re really starting to amuse me. Of course, it is also disappointing that, for a guy with that much time to dive into a dictionary, he can’t actually find time to respond to straight-forward questions. To each his own, I suppose.

    Para 1 of 85 is in direct response to para 1 of 84. I’ve read the work in question, though it’s hardly evident that you have. And while you’ve clearly been busy with a thesaurus, it’s clear to me now that your only meager capacity is to flout words with no relevance to the context to which you purportedly refer.

    Para 2 of 85 is also a direct response to para 2 of 84 (are you seeing a pattern here, or should I spell it out for you?) The only difference is that I made no suggestion of there being any “general nation-wide” anything. That’s ok, it’s easier to attack someone’s point when they never made it. What else can a guy expect from stuff like you. Of course, I leave it to folks like you who have the pulse of the Chinese nation in hand, while it’s suppressed. Ah, but the true pulse that would emerge in the absence of such silly suppression? I don’t think types like you can even conceive of such a thing, hence the blinkers, and the tunnel vision. So I should definitely defer to you to identify the “mood, feelings and priorities” of Chinese people whilst under the CCP’s boots, since that seems your one and only specialty. And believe you me, in that narrow construct, you rock.

    “Confusing official unwillingness to discuss the events…with active government control…”
    —this is your best work yet. And that’s saying something. You’ve now gone from ‘there is some desire for discussion, and hence the suppression’ in #82 to ‘there is no real desire for discussion, but there’s suppression all the same’ in #84, now to “the government is simply unwilling to discuss”. So, if the government is unwilling to discuss officially, are they willing to let the masses discuss amongst themselves? If so, why all the internet shutdowns on the eve of 6/4? And if not, why not? Oh yes, I’m sure it’s for the peoples’ own good, cuz if there’s one thing the CCP knows, it’s that the CCP knows best.

    In para 3, if you want to see “the prism of absolutism”, you need only gaze into your nearest mirror. For you seem utterly convinced that your opinion and that of those to whom you have spoken aptly reflects that of all Chinese people. In furtherance of your zeal for absolutism, you also seem to believe that your understanding of the “context and circumstances” is the only possible one. So your “intellect”, such as it were, seems acutely intolerant of any dissenting opinion. Speaking of which, are you from China originally? Your mode of “thinking” seems oddly similar to a certain political party there.

    “Provides an insight into a mind that is …overly literal in scope.”
    — yes, that is definitely a limitation of mine. See, when people want to draw comparisons, I have this nagging tendency to insist that they compare apples with apples. I haven’t the abstract, and perhaps bordering on psychotic, mindset to routinely compare apples and oranges. That is a talent I’m glad you monopolize.

    I must say, however, that my Chinese upbringing never exposed me to that unique cultural phenomenon of having the CCP decide what can and cannot be discussed, and what is and isn’t a part of history. Even now, that is a part of Chinese culture that I fail to grasp, despite learning of such from a noted authority such as you. I wonder, however, why a Chinese culture that apparently so abhors choice and discussion in CHina would be so demonstrably different than the CHinese culture in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan. No matter…I’m sure it’s a cultural aberration and has nothing to do with the mode of governance.

    “This is one of the reasons why in today’s China TAM matter a lot less”
    — which is precisely why the government needs to continue its suppression efforts. See, in Oli’s world, it makes perfect sense to suppress something that isn’t there. Must be cultural.

    “you obviously have very little understanding or experience of the many ways in which ordinary Chinese taxpayers, should they choose to, do actually affect government’s policies at any given level, both directly and indirectly”
    — you are completely correct here. Though I suspect that our understanding of a meaningful effect on government policies is probably widely disparate. Again, clearly, a cultural thing.

    “Does that then mean I have more of a right to question a foreigner’s say on Chinese policy, LOL!”
    — it seems that, for a guy who’s one-trick is to tell others to re-read stuff, you should also embark in same. I have no influence in China’s policy. And if you’re a taxpayer, apparently you think you do, which is as good an example of wishful thinking as you’ll ever see. But nowhere have I implied any right to question a foreigner’s opinion. Though clearly, that is something you take upon yourself already.

    You know, the problem with you is not that you’re stupid, for someone has taught you English and you’ve been able to learn it well; it’s not that you’re necessarily illogical, save some apples and oranges comparisons, since you can construct a paragraph that is at least internally consistent, if not necessarily reflective of the preceding discussion that bore it; and it’s not that you lack factual knowledge, for you clearly in possession thereof. The problem with you is that you have a far-overinflated sense of self-importance that extraordinarily exceeds what can be remotely justifiable for a mere mortal, resulting in a complete dearth of tolerance for any opinion that even trivially deviates from your own. And your stereotypical response is to launch into a shower of useless verbiage that says in 10 sentences what could have been said in 1, the better to prove to yourself, if to no one else, that you are in fact in control and all must cower in the face of such a barrage of self-proclaimed intellect. The Achilles Heel, of course, is that your world exists only in the space between your ears, and has no real bearing on any points beyond.

  89. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC is always with the “apple and orange” thing.

    Not enough or too much fruit in your diet?

    Don’t talk about other people’s “problem”, stick with the issues.

    It’s obvious that you have no valid arguments, and you divert the topic to talk about other People. (or how wordy they are getting).

    I wouldn’t brag about your 1 liners as brevity.

    Cat got your tongue? Or are you gagging on all that fruit?

  90. Oli Says:

    @ SKC

    Consider the following as also my response to your posting in the other thread.

    Firstly, with regard to the literary work in question, let’s just say Garp! to you too and set free the bears from the Hotel New Hampshire with a prayer for Owen Meany, in accordance with the Cider House rules and a pity for Dr. Tiller in hope that you don’t have your penis bitten off on your driveway while dressed in a bear costume, LOL!

    Concerning your rant and without meaning to defend the Chinese government per se or know what motivate your intense antipathy towards said institution, it is clear that you remain deeply enmeshed in your outdated, monolithic perception of what you think the CCP and the Chinese government is today. Never mind your apparent narrow-minded discounting of the possible divergent and diversity of views within the CCP/government itself. Never mind the naturally differing quality, individualism and professionalism of the people working at various government levels, from the very best to the very worse that simply reflects the evolving nature of any society and system of governance. Never mind the constantly evolving Mainland Chinese and many Overseas Chinese’ attitude, perception and opinions of the Chinese government and society as well as that of foreign residents. To you the glass is not only half-empty, but unchangingly so and all opinion to the contrary are easily and stereotypically dismissed as being from people who have been “brainwashed” by the CCP or from people who know no better.

    It is clear that you are a convinced anti-“Communist” ideologue who is so stuck in the past as to be little different from the American neo-cons you often appear to disparage. For when it comes to the CCP or the Chinese government, you are little different from Rush Limbaugh et al, no matter the more nuanced and different opinions placed before you from PRC citizens, foreign residents or those who are more in tune with the situation there. The irony is that while China and its government are progressing beyond ideological dogma in favour of a more pragmatic approach, you persist to interpret it through the prism of ideologies and an imperfect one at that.

    The ultimate cliché of ironies is your failure to realize that the more you despise something, the more you become that which you think you despise, irrespective of all your superficially reasonable discourse and especially when your mask of civility fails after being pushed and challenged beyond your ethical and political comfort zone and convictions, as witnessed by your rant. In the end, when laid bare your attitude remains indistinguishable from other ideological zealots replete throughout history, with the only difference being in the ideologies that you seek to uphold.

    It is particularly disappointing that for someone who professes to be in command of certain, ahem, intellectual nous, you persistently fail to demonstrate any iota of ability to perceive issues beyond the absolutism of black and white. In your perspective, your world must be very dull having missed out on the full spectrum of colours and grey areas of human existence and interaction. How disappointing also that in your moral and political Weltanschauung the flow is always either on or off without the ability or room for subtle moderation, adjustments or discernment.

    This is clear from your inability to grasp or even attempt to grasp the ambiguities that necessary exists in every society when wrestling with contentious or divisive issues, irrespective of the different ways in which they approach or reconcile them and in spite of your lip service to the contrary. It seems this lack of intellectual dexterity and judgement along with your persistently one dimensional perspective is also carried over to your understanding and grasp of “Chinese culture”. Despite your assertion of having a Chinese background and upbringing, a claim which I incidentally find suspect, it is actually painfully obvious that it is your narrow Western education and experience that predominantly informs your ethos, Weltanschauung und Dasein.

    You’ve singularly failed to realize that what you perceive or understand as Chinese culture is in fact Hong Kong/Canadian Chinese culture. Which despite many similarities can in fact be markedly different from that of Mainland China, never mind from the other Chinese cultures of Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and beyond that have evolved with subtle differences since China’s century of socio-political convulsions, notwithstanding the beginning of a recent trend towards convergence in the last ten years with globalization and China’s continuing development. That within China, with its sheer size and physical, anthropological and socio-economical diversity similarly often renders the assumption of an uniform “Han”, let alone the positing of an overall Chinese culture, intellectually lazy as well as not very discriminating or sophisticated.

    As for what you consider to be my supposed intolerance of opinions not of my own, I am afraid that is correct in so far as should I consider them to be superficial, uninformed, one dimensional and in the end tiresomely and predictably dogmatic and doctrinaire, as according to the reasons I’ve laid out above. Regarding your assumption of me being in possession of “a far-overinflated sense of self-importance that extraordinarily exceeds what can be remotely justifiable for a mere mortal”, again I am afraid that, unfortunately for you, it is also true in so far as it is simply perceived by yourself as being so relative to your own self-perceived sense of inferiority, insecurity, self-doubt and conflict of identities, being the reasons why you hold so tightly on to your treasured convictions which ultimately stifle and suffocate any potential intellectual flexibility or elbow room you may have had. To put it in words you might find easier to grasp, the problem lies more with you than me, buddy.

  91. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Don’t talk about other people’s “problem”, stick with the issues.”
    — I’d love to. But neither you nor Oli seem all that interested in, or capable of, sticking to the issues.

    “SKC is always with the “apple and orange” thing.”
    — yes, I do have a tendency of wanting to compare things that are actually comparable. Clearly not an enthusiasm that you or Oli share.

    “Not enough or too much fruit in your diet?”
    — are you even CHinese? Clearly you are much different than the ones I associate with…much less class, way less intelligent.

    You know what I always say: whatever floats your boat. And given your recent behaviour, I would expect you to start saying that pretty soon too. I can educate you on one-liners, among other things, for many moons to come, given what you’ve shown so far.

  92. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “— are you even CHinese? Clearly you are much different than the ones I associate with…much less class, way less intelligent.”

    yeha, what I would expect from you, more 1 liners. Oooh, my “class”, or “intelligence”. Like I haven’t heard that one before. You just can’t help yourself to insults, can you?

    “You know what I always say: whatever floats your boat. And given your recent behaviour, I would expect you to start saying that pretty soon too. I can educate you on one-liners, among other things, for many moons to come, given what you’ve shown so far.”

    FACT: you bring irrelevant personal attacks in your posts. Your 1 liners are evidence of your behavior. Now that you have admitted to your mastery of 1 liners, I’ll leave the admin to tell you what you can do with them.

  93. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Your 1 liners are evidence of your behavior.”
    — for a lawyer, you employ a unique use of “evidence”.

    “Oooh, my “class”, or “intelligence”. Like I haven’t heard that one before.”
    — based on what I’ve seen of you here, it would hardly surprise me if others have had the same queries.

    Yes, I would love Admin to tell us whether he prefers one liners at the end of a point, or just sprinkled around randomly.

  94. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    thanks for the John Irving box set, though it was hardly requested, or required. All it takes is one reference, I guess. Maybe if I now mention Saleen, you might see fit to send an S7? That would make you extremely useful.

    You seem an expert, proven time and again, in the ability to paint people with broad strokes the size of highways, while offering little if anything as an example of how you might have arrived at such a conclusion. Thus, we are left with, for example, SKC’s writing is “Self-contradicting, gratuitous, rhetorical, irrelevant” (from #86). When the basis of such a belief is not offered, and thus cannot be disagreed with, the remaining option would be to disagree with the statement itself. Henceforth, we are left with a rousing rendition of “yes you are”/”no I’m not”, the type of debate to which any 5 year old would happily aspire. If you disavow typical 5 year old behaviour as you seem to suggest, you have a curious way of showing it. Granted, #90 represents a marginal improvement, and you should be commended.

    It seems also that you have a recurring predilection to lecture. And it seems inconsequential to you that some here have not registered for Oli’s View of the World 101. So while I’m sure you find your view to be fair, balanced, nuanced, objective to a fault, and beyond reproach, that others have the audacity to disagree with you does not auger well. Hence the snappy comebacks and the overheating thesaurus, with which the naysayers can be dispatched to wherefore they came, so that that world-view can identify the happy horizon again, and go forth merrily on its way. And so it is that we then get proclamations like: “no matter the more nuanced and different opinions placed before you from PRC citizens, foreign residents or those who are more in tune with the situation there” – because surely, in the face of such authority, all penitent men must kneel and bark in agreement, and forgo their own opinions for the sake of said authority’s.

    There is no basis for your accusation that I, essentially, ignore people as individuals with individual points of view. I have never suggested on this board that Chinese are brain-washed. In fact, what you describe is true of any group of individuals, be they in a company, or in the PRC. I don’t doubt Chinese peoples’ capacity for change or evolution; but I do have doubts about whether they are afforded the opportunity to exercise that capacity, in a way that actually allows them to effect the changes of which they are capable. And yes, I’ve read many a time about these oh-so-divergent views within the CCP. But the final CCP product is not so unique, at least not until such divergent views can be offered to the people based on their own merits.

    “This is clear from your inability to grasp or even attempt to grasp the ambiguities that necessary exists in every society when wrestling with contentious or divisive issues, irrespective of the different ways in which they approach or reconcile them”
    — is that so? Aren’t you, in fact, describing the CCP’s inabilities in this regard? I never suggested that Chinese society MUST discuss this or that, out in the open, before the world. I merely suggested that they should be allowed to do so, if they so choose. Isn’t it the CCP that’s in fact ignoring the ambiguities, and prohibiting one form of discussion outright?(ie, the open form). You may say: well, Chinese people discuss it in private, with hushed tones…and the CCP allows it. But that may be because even the CCP can’t control everything, and certainly not for a lack of trying.

    “You’ve singularly failed to realize that what you perceive or understand as Chinese culture is in fact Hong Kong/Canadian Chinese culture. Which despite many similarities can in fact be markedly different from that of Mainland China, never mind from the other Chinese cultures of Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and beyond that have evolved with subtle differences since China’s century of socio-political convulsions, notwithstanding the beginning of a recent trend towards convergence in the last ten years with globalization and China’s continuing development.”
    —again, what i’ve said is completely opposite. I’m the one who brought up Chinese culture in HK and in Taiwan. The point is that Chinese culture does exist in different environments and circumstances, and in certain such scenarios, Chinese people are able and willing to exercise their freedom of expression, and to engage in discussions as they see fit. So it is not some genetic quirk that robs Chinese people of such capacity. LIkewise, such a penchant for discussion may be lacking in China, but similarly not for a lack of genetic, physical, or intellectual capacity; perhaps you, with your exquisite wisdom, can guess what it is they lack.

    “unfortunately for you, it is also true in so far as it is simply perceived by yourself as being so relative to your own self-perceived sense of inferiority, insecurity, self-doubt and conflict of identities”
    — some people are smarter than they think; others merely think themselves smarter than they are. You, sadly, seem to belong to the rather dubious latter category. So no, when I accuse you of being over-inflated, it’s not that I think any less of myself. It’s just that: you’re overinflated, needlessly, repeatedly, ridiculously so. Lest we engage in another high brow debate about “I’m smarter”/”no you’re not”, I’ll just say that you can take Oli out of the playground, but you can’t take the playground out of Oli. I’ll admit my guilt in advance, since that is an unsubstantiated statement; for all I know, you could be swinging on the monkey bars as we speak.

  95. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “— for a lawyer, you employ a unique use of “evidence”.”

    It’s in this public forum, you wrote them. What’s “unique” about it?

    ““Oooh, my “class”, or “intelligence”. Like I haven’t heard that one before.”
    — based on what I’ve seen of you here, it would hardly surprise me if others have had the same queries.”

    yes, and that says much about yourselves, who write such comments in public forums, as discussion.

    “Yes, I would love Admin to tell us whether he prefers one liners at the end of a point, or just sprinkled around randomly.”

    I don’t want to know about your gastric waste disposal habits.

  96. Oli Says:

    @ SKC

    What yawn inducingly droll bully-boy tactics. If I’m not mistaken, I believe it was you who asked whether I know the work in question. Maybe you can tell us how Garp got his name, why his mother was killed and who her close companion and protector was? LOL!

    As for the next two and the final paragraphs of pure, unadulterated rant a la SKC, well what can I say, the insecurity, prickliness and resulting personal attacks when reason fails is all too evident. And should you wish to bark, well bark away. I suppose its better that than having you cock you leg uncontrollably all over the place. Can’t be very healthy for the young’uns to witness.

    “…but I do have doubts about whether they are afforded the opportunity to exercise that capacity, in a way that actually allows them to effect the changes of which they are capable.”

    – LOL, you’ve obviously been existing under a very large rock. Pray tell what do you think has been happening in China for the last fifty years both economically, politically and socially, in spite of, but also because of government regulations? Pray tell from whence do you think the CCP draws their members, leadership and their divergent views from?

    You obviously have no clue as to how much schtick party secretaries generally get and sometimes deservedly so, especially at the local level, how this leads to changes in policies and in this age of the internet, how views and opinions are fed up and down government/party hierarchy and from without, how more conscientious government officials/employees often deliberately leak or sabotage corrupt and ineffective officials/policies, never mind the developing role of a nascent domestic press that is increasingly showing a greater degree of pluck as a legal framework is being implemented. From your uninformed complaints, it is also obvious you have a very simplistic view as to how policies are formed and shaped in China, never mind a very naïve and idealistic view of the same process within Western governments. Indeed, the act of voting and of a supposedly “free” and “impartial” press often delude “Westerners” into believing that they are more “empowered” than they actually are.

    “…with hushed tones…and the CCP allows it.”

    – LOL!, pray tell when was the last time you were in Beijing or even China? While there are restrictions should you decide to make your views into a spectacle or organise to challenge the authority rather than consult on the issue, there is actually no restrictions on what one can discuss in public, say over dinner at a very public restaurant, over coffee at Starbucks, on the streets or at a village meeting. And should you say that its because the government can’t control it all, perhaps you should ask yourself why is it that they can’t do so now when they could apparently do so forty years ago? What has changed? And why should the government ignore one ambiguity and not another? Why allow a gay festival, yet discourage public discussions thereof or ban certain parts of it? Why does the US military have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy?

    “So it is not some genetic quirk that robs Chinese people of such capacity. LIkewise, such a penchant for discussion may be lacking in China, but similarly not for a lack of genetic, physical, or intellectual capacity; perhaps you, with your exquisite wisdom, can guess what it is they lack.”

    – HUH? Where the heck did this come from? What exactly is it with your pre-occupation with genetics anyway? You some kinda a heel-clicking, closet eugenicist? I sure as hell didn’t mention anything about genetics, so what is the statement in relation to? Should you find my vocabulary too difficult, I suggest you take my sincere advice and re-read the relevant paragraph in its entirety, preferably with the help of a thicker dictionary. But if it is the concepts you are having difficulty with, then I’m afraid I can’t help you much there other than suggest that you go and live in China for a few years to get some first hand experience, rather than persistently rely on second-hand accounts and your own out-moded political persuasion.

    Ultimately, what you seem incapable of comprehending or simply don’t want to understand because it is beyond the comfort zone of your political conviction, is that it’s not the Chinese government not wanting change, the very purpose of the reforms and liberalisation in the first place, but rather managing the pace and the manner of change, being something which a large portion of the Chinese society has come to tacitly agree with, particularly now that over the last forty years they’ve gained an increasing stake and interest in said change.

    For an insightful article on the topic, I suggest the link below from a China resident foreign journalist.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/KF11Ad01.html

    PS I’ve deliberately used simple, easy to understand words, less you SKC whine incessantly. Hope it helps.

  97. Wukailong Says:

    @Oli (#96): That article is quite good and could be used either as a new entry or the beginning of a new discussion here. Since I’ve lived in China for quite some time now, I have my own ideas about the situation, and I don’t agree completely with the observations of Mr. Sisci (for example, this obsession with Chinese culture to explain almost everything), but as I said it could be used as a starting point.

    More later, when work doesn’t hunt me.

  98. Oli Says:

    @ WKL

    Actually, neither am I fully in agreement with Sisci’s proposition particularly on the idea of preserving communist jargon (shudder, esp. when they are translated into English). However, from a socio-historical perspective and at the risk of over-simplification, I find the main thrust interesting, considering that at the fall of Ming dynasty and afterwards, many Ming officials opted to help the Manchus to stabilise the empire, how later repeated Ming revivial attempts failed to find traction and earlier at the fall of the Han dynasty, when Western Shu and Easter Wu ostensibly sought to re-establish the Han Empire, though the purpose of seeking legitimacy may have also been a political consideration.

    Having said that, i am also interested in your take on the issue, whether here or as a starting point in a new entry. You volunteering? 🙂

    (I would do it myself, if I wasn’t already pre-occupied with something I’ve long promised Admin.)

  99. Shane9219 Says:

    @ Oil, WKL
    Francesco Sisci’s article only told a half-truth about China, so did the various writings from other renowned China watcher, such as Nicholas Kristof. The root of their problems is that westerners tend to see China from western perspective, instead of historical Chinese perspective.

    They forgot the fact that China’s societies were never built upon the kind of explicit social contracts that western societies developed since 18th century. As the result, history often evolves in a different path down the road than people in the West would like to predict.

    Westerns also ignored the basic fact that there is a strong will and force from China’s long history and culture to bind China together, even when China was divied or ruled by new ‘foreign” rulers, such as the Yuan and Qing dynasties.

    One good example was written in a book called ‘China Wakes” by Nicholas Kristof of NYT and his wife (a third generation Chinese American, sigh! ). Kristof captured China’s late 80s and earlier 90s in his own reporting and writing. He made a grand prediction about China in late 90s when he left, yet missed the mark so much. As a reporter, he is smart and sharp. As a columnist and historian, he is both impulsive and clumsy.

    So recently, he has refrained from making another grand prediction, saying “Nobody’s ever made much money predicting how China is going to evolve politically”

    http://www.cfr.org/publication/19552/

    This is really a good one. I tempt sometime to create a ranking among popular China watchers, to see how good or bad they captured China’s transformation in modern time. However, I don’t have the energy nor have the time to devote to such project. It is a really interesting topic by itself though. Hopefully, someone can pick it up from here.

  100. Wukailong Says:

    @Shane9219: While I can’t name any scholar now, I read about the Chinese predilection for unity and stability before I even came to China, and those were Western works. If you mean that a lot of people miss this point I agree with you, but not that none of them understand it.

    I have to admit I didn’t know much about Nicholas Kristof. I’ve heard the name, and in this article he comes off as quite well-informed:

    http://www.cfr.org/publication/19552/

    I don’t believe much in predictions about any country or part. There are people who claim to have known beforehand there would be an economic crisis in the US, but either they’re just bad at PR or they were markedly silent about their findings. I think what we could do is to find out who the major actors will be and what alternatives there are for the future, but what direction the world will take is impossible to predict accurately.

  101. Wukailong Says:

    @Shane: This is one of the silliest mistakes I’ve ever made. I reference exactly the same article as the one you mention above. Unfortunately, there’s something wrong with the editing function with the browser I’m using… Anyway, most of the contents of the article seems reasonable to me.

  102. Wukailong Says:

    @Oli: I’ll volunteer! 🙂 Actually, I have made some promises to admin too… I need to get some more time and energy.

  103. huaren Says:

    LOL!!!

    SKC’s description of himself!

    “You know, the problem with you is not that you’re stupid, for someone has taught you English and you’ve been able to learn it well; it’s not that you’re necessarily illogical, save some apples and oranges comparisons, since you can construct a paragraph that is at least internally consistent, if not necessarily reflective of the preceding discussion that bore it; and it’s not that you lack factual knowledge, for you clearly in possession thereof. The problem with you is that you have a far-overinflated sense of self-importance that extraordinarily exceeds what can be remotely justifiable for a mere mortal, resulting in a complete dearth of tolerance for any opinion that even trivially deviates from your own. And your stereotypical response is to launch into a shower of useless verbiage that says in 10 sentences what could have been said in 1, the better to prove to yourself, if to no one else, that you are in fact in control and all must cower in the face of such a barrage of self-proclaimed intellect. The Achilles Heel, of course, is that your world exists only in the space between your ears, and has no real bearing on any points beyond.”

    My version of your blah blah blah in 1 sentence: SKC is a self-righteous, arrogant, and duplicitous crusader hell-bent on destroying how the Chinese wish to govern themselves.

    Sorry, Admin, and also to other law-abiding citizens of this forum. I couldn’t resist this violation.

    To WKL, I know, the CAPS and the !!! in LOL. Sorry buddy.

  104. Rhan Says:

    If we don’t look at the issue from an angle of dignity, probably SKC is providing everyone an opportunity to explore an additional option?

  105. Wukailong Says:

    @huaren: There is a difference between peppering your texts with caps and providing one nicely bold and italicized. I like the style. Don’t take it so personally, btw.

    @Rhan: Good point.

  106. raventhorn4000 Says:

    WLK, Rhan,

    I don’t mind “exploring other options”.

    I don’t much care for insulting snippy 1 liners and ignorant barrage of half-truths and white lies

    Like any person, I have tolerated innocent mistakes now and then, but habitual insults and half-truths have no place in civilized debates, whether in the West or in China.

    On that point, I have no interest in “exploring” further into the depth of those who insist upon such behaviors.

  107. Oli Says:

    @ Shane & WKL

    Personally, I think Western historians have often got it wrong whenever they simplistically describe the Yuan and the Qing dynasty as “foreign” as a juxtaposition to the “Han culture” in order to satisfy their desire for a neat and tidy Western worldview, rendering it akin to trying to forcibly fit a square peg into a round hole.

    Considering the length of China’s land borders, China’s minorities, whether within or at the periphery, have always exerted their own fair share of influence throughout China’s history, from the Turkic influence of the Tang, to the Mongol of the Yuan or the Manchurian of the Qing. What many Western historians often overlook is the fact that these supposedly “foreign” minorities often have had a long, intimate and official association with the imperial court of the preceeding, ostensibly “Han” dynasties. To the extent that many were in fact very much a part of the imperial establishment and when a dynasty failed internally at the center, it is these parts of the imperial establishment at the periphery who came in to re-establish order. This is perhaps also the reason why over the centuries, the Yuan and the Qing have come to be regarded as part of China’s heritage.

    This is in fact no different from the many emperors Rome have had who were not originally of Roman descent. The difference is that for some reasons, China as a political and civilisational entity somehow persisted whereas that of Rome did not. The reasons I personally suspect may be because Confucian culture, politics and philosophy is more meritocratic, humane and more tolerant and accepting than that of the Roman empire. That the economic foundation of succesive dynasties never relied on mass slavery or plundering probably also helped too in how minorities saw themselves with an interest in participating in the preservation and continuance of China as a civilisation.

    Personally, I have a strong dislike of Western media’s oft reference to the “Han” population vis-a-vis this minority or that minority, as if the “Han” population is a homogenous group of people, which is clearly not the case. Particularly considering that “Han” as a description for the groups of people in central and eastern China only came into use in the late 19th Century. Unfortunately, in the absence of an apt and less cumbersome description of all the peoples that make up the “Han”, I don’t see this changing any time soon.

    @Shane
    So consequently, I think a more interesting question to ask is where and why did this “strong will and force from China’s long history and culture to bind China together, even when China was divied or ruled by new ‘foreign” rulers” came from or came about?

    This being the sixty millions dollars question that have long baffled many Western China historians and watchers.

  108. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Oli,

    the key difference between China and Rome (and other ancient empires) is that there are 2 different kinds of Imperial systems.

    Roman Empire (and others) are what I would call “Unequal opportunity empires”.

    China on the other hand has consistently maintained a system of “Equal Opportunity Empire”.

    Rome (like many others) conquered very rapidly, but assimilated almost none of its conquered people. The key problem was that Rome, by law, treated its newly conquered people as 2nd class citizens. For example, Judeans became part of the Roman Empire by conquest, but they were not full Romans, allowed to participate as equal Romans. That system of legal discrimination naturally caused the conquered people to continue to hold onto their old cultural and national identity, because the Romans literally forced them to do so, whether they wanted to integrate or not.

    China on the other hand, since the 1st Imperial Dynasty of Qin, has been “equal opportunity”. The 1st Qin Emperor decreed upon unifying all China, that all in his realm are his subjects, no one is above him in rule, and his laws apply equally to all.

    Qin had a long history of “equal opportunity”, where its rise in power was largely attributed to its employment of wise counsels from non-Qin territories.

    *The other major difference is the slow pace of China’s historical expansion.

    The only time in Chinese history where expansion by conquest was rapid was the time of the Yuan Dynasty and its Mongol rulers. But also very telling is the fact that as soon as the Yuan rulers became “sinicized”, adopted Chinese cultural habits, they stopped their expansion plans to the West.

    China had plenty of military might in its ancient history to probably conquer all of Europe if it wanted to.

    But Chinese tradition of prudence countered that need for conquest. Instinctively, the Chinese rulers knew that they could not hold onto territories if they cannot assimilate the conquered people, that too rapid expansion could cause the whole “house of cards” to come down.

    *Instead, Chinese culture assimilated people nearby. Many of these nearby cultures began to participate in Chinese internal power struggle. Tributary kingdoms like Qi and Di rose in power during the North and South Dynasties, and tried to unified China on their own, during civil strife in China.

    They added their cultural strength to China in history.

    Tang Dynasty, began as a small outlying province of assimilated people with Turkish bloodlines, and it became 1 of the most enduring and prosperous dynasties in Chinese history.

    If it had been Rome, these tributary Kingdoms would have split off instead.

  109. raventhorn4000 Says:

    By “equal opportunity”, I don’t mean it in the modern sense.

    I mean simply that the average citizenry has the same approximate political social economic rights. (even if such rights are limited by the State).

    Of course, there are informal discriminations in every culture. But that’s far different than a legalized caste discrimination system like that in India and in Early Yuan Dynasty. (part of the reason why Yuan fell quickly, is that it was unwilling to completely abolish the Caste system. In contrast to the Qing Dynasty, Manchurian rule, where they had a Caste system in the beginning, but within a few generations, the system was abolished.)

  110. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I would also add that the current Western notion of “spreading Democracy” is an informal form of “unequal opportunity imperial system”, where the West maintained the right to intervene in other nations’ political affairs, but the recipient nations have no influence to be treated as “equals”.

    I mean, some can criticize that the Tibetan Governor and the Tibetan CCP cadres don’t really represent their people, but Iraqi people have no say whatsoever in US government, even when the US military is shooting up their neighborhoods.

    US of course shroud the argument in traditional Western geopolitical scheme.

    But they obviously neglected to consider that Rome also had client Kingdoms, that it spent enormous military resources to maintain.

    One can argue that Tibet is a “client state” of China. But Tibetans have seats (by quota) in the Chinese Parliament, and Tibetans are in CCP and the PLA. More than we can say about Iraqi citizens in US.

    *the point is, foreign interventions invite further political entanglement. If a state is NOT willing to assimilate the foreign client, it becomes a military imperialism, which will eventually become too expensive to maintain.

  111. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Predictions about China.

    One should 1st ask whether anyone has a truly good understanding of China to even be making predictions.

    1 good Western historian once wrote, “Even the average Chinese might not truly understand all the prevailing forces influencing China.”

    I would be the 1st to admit the truth of that. But of course, that is also true of most large nations. Only some “democrats” are deluded in thinking they know what’s going on in their own countries. (just look at Enron, the Recession, the Housing bubble, etc.)

    That’s why perhaps the Chinese populous give a wide tolerance for their governments, historically.

    *I think the only prediction is the universal truism, that “the only true knowledge is one’s lack of it”, or “beginning of wisdom is an admission that one knows nothing.”

    *And I find the general Western Predilection for predicting things (especially doom and gloom scenarios) for other nations to be generally arrogant, ignorant, and rude, and lacking in civility and humility and wisdom.

  112. Shane9219 Says:

    @Oil #107

    The forces that hold China together for over thousands of years, in my view, come from a strong belief on a common civilization identity — the Chinese way of life that include elements of both material and non-material such as Eastern philosophical thinking, religions, writing languages and many other cultural elements.

    It was common for older generations of westerners to see China as a unique civilization, and their attitudes towards China often sound reasonable. After all, there are not many civilizations, like Chinese, of this unique, splendid, peaceful, long lasting and having made great contribution to humankind.

    Younger generation of westerners, mostly grown up around WWII, saw or experienced the great political struggles of their times. Those experience made many into political or ideological nuts with mostly conservative or neo-conservative views. When coming to the subject of China, they don’t immediately see China as an unique civilization, they prefer to dedicate that topic to historians and archeologists. After all, Chinese civilization in their view has long faded and don’t deserve any admiration from them. Instead, they see China as a troublesome political entity that they have a mission or duty to “fight” against. Their views towards China often come with a sense of condescending, ridicule, discriminatory and even hateful beyond the fair and reasonable principle they usually embrace for themselves.

    I personally think it is important to start a Project Watch of China Watchers by documenting and tagging those renowned China watchers to see how their public view got evolved, and how their predictions on China come along. These people are quite influential in the West.

  113. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    “If I’m not mistaken, I believe it was you who asked whether I know the work in question.”
    —you are mistaken. I merely made a passing reference to Garp…but I guess you do know the work in question…good to know.

    “the insecurity, prickliness and resulting personal attacks when reason fails is all too evident.”
    —and we could go on accusing each other of exactly the same thing all day long. Fine by me if that’s how you like to roll.

    “…how views and opinions are fed up and down government/party hierarchy and from without, how more conscientious government officials/employees often deliberately leak or sabotage corrupt and ineffective officials/policies…”
    —where have I denied such occurrences? I am happy that people have increasing capacity and freedom to move along the “railroad track” of the CCP. But it still seems like a one-track setup, and what opportunities are afforded those who might prefer a different one?

    “there is actually no restrictions on what one can discuss in public, say over dinner at a very public restaurant, over coffee at Starbucks, on the streets or at a village meeting.”
    —why so literal all of a sudden. Surely you knew that “hushed tones” didn’t mean whisper level, under the covers, or in the privacy of your home. But you’re right about this: this is better than 40 years ago, so perhaps the CCP is lightening up just a bit, or perhaps Chinese in China are awakening to their ability and/or desire to have such discussions.

    “HUH? Where the heck did this come from?”
    —I say “genetic, physical, intellectual”…and you run wild with eugenics. Bravo! You seem to suggest in #86 and #90 that Chinese culture is such that the pursuit of choice and discussion of TAM is not consistent with same. And I’m suggesting that is simply not the case, since you even allow that Chinese culture under different influences in different places like HK, Taiwan etc have evolved differently. So Chinese culture, as you suggest it to be, in China, is merely reflective of the CCP’s influence. For a guy with your exquisite abilities, you are displaying a dogged inability to comprehend this. And puh-lease, nuff with the “re-read” bit. Your stuff is adequately nauseating the first go around, and reliving it will only serve to heighten the unpleasant experience, but to what end?

    “but rather managing the pace and the manner of change, being something which a large portion of the Chinese society has come to tacitly agree with, particularly now that over the last forty years they’ve gained an increasing stake and interest in said change.”
    —tacitly, indeed. That’s the first honest assessment out of you in ….well… possibly ever.

  114. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Huaren:
    “hell-bent on destroying how the Chinese wish to govern themselves.”
    —the day you can show me that Chinese are free to choose how they govern themselves, and perhaps would willingly choose the CCP way to boot, would be a great one indeed.

  115. Oli Says:

    @ SKC

    Eh, you may have made a passing reference to John Irving @ #85, however, may I suggest you also, ahem, re-read your implying what I may or may not have read @ #88, second paragraph. Sometimes it really does help the thinking process to re-read what has been written, particularly in your case it seems, LOL!

    Let’s see how the waffle continues –

    “Where have I denied such occurrences”

    – Let’s see, both directly, indirectly and by implication @ #88 para. 4, #94 para 5 and para 6. Furthermore, what is obvious is that, being typical of your Western education and in spite of your supposedly much referenced “Chinese” upbringing, you’ve consistently missed the forest for a single tree. It seems your focus on the few days the Chinese government blocks certain websites out of perceived security and political concerns, whether justified or not, without knowing or understanding what goes on the rest of the time both online, in private and at gatherings. I suggest you consider how Charter 08 came about and the background story to it.

    “But it still seems like a one-track setup, and what opportunities are afforded those who might prefer a different one? “

    – Ah, the SKC speciality of acknowledging something in the first sentence, then plays it down in the next, followed by lots of obfuscations and buts. Tactics worthy of a five years old trying to get his mother to buy something.

    I suggest you consider the nature of the provenance behind the study on the 3.14 incident that is the subject of this entry. I also suggest you research the work of Chinese and Chinese-foreign NGOs, whether environmental or social etc., and how they affect/influence government policies and decisions, whether successfully or not.

    Ultimately, despite China being a one party state, it does not exclude the existence of divergent opinions both within the party or society and their interactive dynamics. In fact even at the height of ideological excesses, China was never as repressive as the USSR was during the Cold War years. While it may be one-track setup, the overriding concern for many Chinese is whether the track is headed in the right direction and if it were not, incidents far worse than that of TAM or 3.14 would have happened a long time ago, government control notwithstanding.

    “Why so literal all of a sudden. Surely you knew that “hushed tones” didn’t mean whisper level, under the covers, or in the privacy of your home. But you’re right about this: this is better than 40 years ago, so perhaps the CCP is lightening up just a bit, or perhaps Chinese in China are awakening to their ability and/or desire to have such discussions.”

    -LOL, more buts. Unless you say what you mean and is cogent about it, you are obviously only worth being taken at face value and nothing more. FYI and which you obviously still fail to grasp is that mainland Chinese have always been able to have such discussions, the point of contention is rather how such discussions are expressed. I suggest you think carefully about that distinction.

    “I say “genetic, physical, intellectual…”
    – Eh, firstly why include genetics at all and how is it even remotely relevant? Ditto, your waffle about physical or intellectual capacity. What you’ve singularly and repeatedly failed to grasp is that not only is all that irrelevant, but your comparison of the Chinese societies and experience in Taiwan or HK with the historical, social, cultural, military, domestic-political and geo-political situation and imperatives of mainland China is equally pointless, not to mention juvenile and ignorant in the extreme, being akin to, eh, in your own words, comparing apples and oranges. And should you really need to ask why, I suggest you, ahem, re-read your history books on China, HK and Taiwan. I would also suggest you not just simply read what happened, but actually think about why it happened, ie try tracing the chains of cause and effect of China’s historical events. I would suggest you start from the beginning and consider why and how the CCP came to defeat the KMT and the role of the Chinese people in determining said outcome.

    In the end, through all your waffle and your hither and thither arguments you’ve demonstrated not only your ignorance of contemporary and historical China, Taiwan and HK, of Chinese cultures in general, but also an inability to reason coherently and logically. Frankly, you’ve rendered so many inconsistencies that I consider your claim to be of HK Chinese descent, among all the other personal claims, to be spurious at best, thereby casting serious doubts about the extent, if at all, of your supposedly and oft mentioned “Chinese upbringing”.

  116. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    good grief, more of your “re-reading” nonsense. The “work in question” is the basis of this thread (ie. the investigative report) and not John Irving’s piece. Talk about a genius who can’t read! And forget re-reading, sometimes you need to read it for a first time before responding. In fact, if you can try that even once in a while, that would be a fantastic development.

    “Let’s see, both directly, indirectly and by implication @ #88 para. 4, #94 para 5 and para 6.”
    — your sight is clearly in disrepair. First of all, my statement was having not denied the inner workings of the CCP, to which the statement was referring. On the other hand, the points you cite were in reference to Chinese people in general, and not just those within government. Once again, your penchant for comparing apples to stuff that shouldn’t be compared with apples rises to the fore again. And second: (“the rest of the time both online, in private and at gatherings”)- I’ve stipulated as much. Perhaps my idea of “open discussion” isn’t the anonymous, in private, over-a-plate-of-Peking duck kind, y’think? And speaking of Charter 08, you might then ask yourself what type of attention the authors garnered for themselves for their troubles, and how well that bodes for the next group who may want to foster “open” discussion.

    “While it may be one-track setup, the overriding concern for many Chinese is whether the track is headed in the right direction and if it were not, incidents far worse than that of TAM or 3.14 would have happened a long time ago, government control notwithstanding.”
    — that may be true. It’s unfortunate, however, that the expression of displeasure in this arrangement need take the form of TAM or 3/14. Surely, there must be some type of system where displeasure need not occur with such high drama, or bloodshed. I wonder what one such alternative might be….

    “acknowledging something in the first sentence, then plays it down in the next”
    — acknowledging something does not mean I need to agree with it; at least you know I’ve read it, and know what I am responding to. Not something you do too well…oh well, just a tiny blemish in your facade of perfection.

    “the point of contention is rather how such discussions are expressed”
    — does not an “open discussion” imply not only the presence of such discussion, but also the manner of expression thereof? It seems that, unless something is expressed in a construct that you employ, it becomes entirely incomprehensible to you. That might be another blemish…

    “firstly why include genetics at all and how is it even remotely relevant”
    — because “Chinese” are genetically similar, yet there are many variations of “Chinese culture”, as you even acknowledge. So the PRC version of CHinese culture is not “nature”, but “nurture”, courtesy of the CCP.

    “how the CCP came to defeat the KMT and the role of the Chinese people in determining said outcome.”
    — as I’ve discussed with others, yes, Chinese people got to make their own bed 60 years ago, and have been sleeping in it ever since. THe point is whether Chinese people will get to, or want to, make their bed again sometime in the future, perhaps this time with more than one set of linens to choose from.

    I must say that you have improved, in that your overarching statements are at least now in reference to something, rather than offered as the random musings of a guy on a street corner. If nothing else, that makes it a little easier to respond…assuming of course that a discussion is what you seek, and not just the opportunity to rise to the lectern and use a laser pointer. Your pointless presumptions about my background notwithstanding, I am extremely happy to note that our “Chinese upbringing” did not take a singular form, and once again I have my parents to thank, to whom I am truly grateful. I mean, gosh, look at the alternative!

  117. JXie Says:

    @Raventhorn4000 #108

    The only time in Chinese history where expansion by conquest was rapid was the time of the Yuan Dynasty and its Mongol rulers. But also very telling is the fact that as soon as the Yuan rulers became “sinicized”, adopted Chinese cultural habits, they stopped their expansion plans to the West.

    Not that I dispute your central thesis… It took Tang less than 50 years from establishment to reaching the Aral Sea, which is near 4000 km West from Chang’an — the distance to the capital was slightly narrower than the width of modern-day continental USA and the Roman Empire when Julius Caesar died. Quite probably the most famous Chinese poet Li Bai was born in modern-day Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan. However, Tang was only able to control the last 1000 km or so on and off for a few decades. The inability of building a transportation network connecting to the East, and the relative inhospitality for large settlements supporting the lifestyles Tang people used to, doomed any chance of long-lasting westward expansion. It was similar to Rome’s northward expansion — when you couldn’t grow grapes and make wine, you could only build military outposts there.

  118. Shane9219 Says:

    This is a balanced and constructive proposal I ever heard from a western politician regarding the Tibet issue. Maybe someone can translate it into English. Her view is similar to mine, that 14th DL and Tibetan exiles should brave enough to walk cross their ideological divide with China by dropping their political demand if any. This is the only way to reach a potential resolution.

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4313809,00.html

    “德国绿党政治家批评西藏流亡政府战略

    德国联邦议院前副议长福尔默女士日前表示,在她看来,目前,难以解决中-藏冲突,很大原因在西藏流亡政府。

    福尔默本周一晚在埃森参加”墨卡托基金会(Mercator-Stiftung)”举办的一次讲座中表示,去年,北京奥运前夕,中藏对话机会并不坏,但因达赖喇嘛和西藏流亡政府实施的战略而坐失。

    这位兼任北威州政府管理学院客座教授的绿党政治家称,考虑到奥运会,中国政府早在2002年就进行过对话的试探,但由于达赖喇嘛与外国国家元首和政府首脑的众多公开会面,以及通过示威和宣传进行的”许许多多最真诚的公民社会的努力”,使中国在世界面前蒙羞。福尔默提醒说,”一种政治解决办法必须能够向对方提供一条可行的道路”。

    这位拥有博士学位的福音教神学家指出,目前,西藏人自己也已认识到,”公民社会的巨大欢呼”以及所有那些国外访问,于事情本身并无多少助益。福尔默称,那种以为中国会像1989年后苏联一样解体的期待已经失去了现实感。

    福尔默研究西藏冲突问题凡20年,曾多次访问过喜马拉雅地区。她认为,中-藏冲突的任何解决方案建议都必须考虑到中国源于其殖民地历史的对国家分裂的忧虑。

    福尔默表示,解决中-藏冲突的第一步是做到国家不干预宗教生活,从法律上保障宗教自由。作为交换,藏人放弃政治权力要求。(据福音教通讯社)”

  119. raventhorn4000 Says:

    JXie,

    To further clarify the historical background.

    Tang royal family have a bloodline tracing back to their Turkish ancestors west of China. It was not surprising that they had a need to expand to their “historical domain”.

    However, such fetishes are almost always restricted to the early generations of a dynasty that’s not quite completely sinicized, like Yuan and Qing.

    Usually after 2-3 generations, the more sinicized emperors began to lose interest in far away territories, and prefer to stay home and guard the rich interior Chinese land instead.

    It’s probably more due to influence of Confucius, who wrote famously, “Do not befriend strangers who have no desirable virtues.” (Thus do not mix with “barbarians”.)

  120. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I have no doubt that DL’s followers will never accept the “middle ground” policy, (not to say that the “Middle Ground” is such a good idea. It’s frankly full of self-contradictions.)

    Frankly, DL is more frantically trying to appease his own followers than anything else.

    Reality is, everyone knows that if DL dies, his followers will go to violence as solution.

    Though bloodshed is terrible, but one can easily see that there is no hope for that cause, if the cause is a stone throw away from collapsing on its fundamental principles.

    As Tibetans have done countless times in history, there will be sectarian violence. DL is all that holds them together.

    They almost went to bloodbath amongst themselves when the Karmapa went to Exile, and the Exiles already had another Karmapa.

    And even the DL instigated his little crusade against the “Shugden” followers. Gee, I wonder what will happen to that issue when he dies?

    It’s a house held together by glue and duct tape. You pull that support beam, and the panels will start falling.

  121. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Of course, historically, the DL’s always needed some nearby power to enforce their own rule in Tibet. Sectarian dispute over DL’s succession is constant, so every DL needed some outside help to quell any potential rebellions.

    The whole ritual of Qing Court participating in the selection of DL’s was to legitimize DL’s rule, and serve as a warning to would-be rebels that the Chinese military would help crush any rebellions.

    Of course, the 13th DL first thought that China would help repel the British, and then realizing that the British was strong, he thought then British can help push China away, and Tibet can reclaim its “historical territories” in Amdo and Kham.

    And then it’s the Japanese who sent military advisors to Tibet to help them train an army.

    And then it’s the CIA.

    *Of course, from the historical pattern, you can see that Tibet hasn’t been independent for a LONG time. It’s always dependent upon SOMEONE to keep it together, in recent history. (By recent, I mean pretty much the last 700 years or so.)

    **The point is, the various factions and sects of Tibet have been feuding for a long time, and they still are even in Exile. They have consistently used outsiders to maintain the fracturing group called “Tibetans”.

    “Shugden” wasn’t even that remotely significant threat to DL, and he ordered the entire practice BANNED, as if he’s powerful enough to destroy an entire belief system just by his order. (I mean, come on, even the CCP needs more than just 1 order).

    And the DL calls for “unity” when he BANS “Shugden”! I guess he doesn’t see how similar he really is to the CCP!! (I have seen photos of a wall in Exile Community, with words in English written, “Long Live Dalai Lama!” Seriously, even Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin never got that kind of Red Guardish devotion. But are we talking a “cultural revolution” in Exile? Maybe!)

    Already, accusations of mutual assassination attempts in Exile, between the Shugden followers and the Tibetan Youth Congress. (Again, Tibetan “Cultural Revolution”?)

    And accusations of Tibetans colluding with the Chinese Government. (Again, Tibetan “Cultural Revolution”?)

    *Like I always tell people, It has happened before.

  122. Shane9219 Says:

    This article by Tangen offers a good point. Although it is still not the current perspective of mainstream media, soon it will be …

    “China redefined
    How it will influence the post financial crisis world
    By Einar Tangen

    Long before President Nixon’s first trip to China, we in the West developed the habit of trying to interpret Beijing’s ideas and actions as if we were reading tea leaves.

    We looked at China and wove our own picture of its workings and motivations claiming that it is the only recourse in deciphering an opaque and “inscrutable” society. Viewing China through the looking glass of our own perceptions and values has not always been helpful, too often we have seen what we wanted to see.

    As China’s influence waxes and ours wanes we need to see China clearly. We need to understand that China is an evolving construct of ideological elements and pragmatic policies applied to an old and unique culture, not a competing political ideology or business model. Instead of reading tea leaves we need to begin a dialog with Chinese political, business and social thinkers about the China Construct in the post crisis world”

    http://www.biztimes.com/news/2009/6/12/china-redefined

  123. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Shane,

    I completely agree with the point from Tangen.

    To illustrate, Confucian doctrines are the foundation of Chinese culture. And yet, for centuries, the West has not been able to properly understand these doctrines.

    The West attempted to classify Confucian doctrines as Religion, Philosophy, Moral code, or Law. It failed repeatedly, and in the end gave up.

    How the West could bypass this fundamental understanding and try to classify other cultural political issues in China, is entirely ignorance upon ignorance.

    *Many (Most) in the West simply have no knowledge of the great debates and writings of famous Confucian Scholars over the last 2000 years.

    For example, the extensive debates regarding the power of the government and the authority of laws, and the components of essential efficient government.

    I wonder if any Western advocates of democracy would feel comfortable debating Chinese politics in purely Confucian doctrine terms, as they seem to insist that all debates should be using Western ideological standards of “reasonableness”, etc.

  124. pug_ster Says:

    Just saw an article from TYC and we might see Tibetan Jiadhists in the future.

    http://chinamatters.blogspot.com/2008/05/tsewang-rigzin-gets-some-ink.html

  125. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “‘I answer that pacifism has led us on a blind alley. About us speaks only so incidental, limited. We are forgotten by the international community. Many fine words and then nothing. We look instead as they felt the Palestinians and activists in Iraq thanks to the suicide attacks. L ‘attention of world media is all for them. ”

    I think these words from the leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress don’t need any one to “see the worst”.

    As I have already written earlier, the Exile’s cause was always violent, since the beginning. The DL merely put a temporary halt on it, and dressed it up like it’s “all about the love” since the 1980’s. (Of course, he did it because once Nixon opened up to China, it was embarassing for the CIA to keep supporting DL’s people’s violent actions against China.)

    But if DL dies, his followers will naturally go back to violence if they could.

    Let’s not pretend here folks, DL’s exile followers were armed insurgents from the beginning. Throughout the 90’s, despite DL’s “peace”, bombing continued sporadically in Tibet. Even DL had openly admitted to it in NY Times. (He denies responsibility, but admits their occurrence.)

    But hey, I guess we’ll find out how “peaceful” they really are in their religion.

  126. raventhorn4000 Says:

    On 1 Tibetan Exile website, one Tibetan openly said, “Everyone knows that the Middle Way is merely a way for us to get back into Tibet, from where the real struggle would begin.”

    in a 1998 interview with NY Times,
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A01E7DC123EF932A35756C0A96E958260, the Dalai Lama publicly acknowledged that bombing had been going on in Tibet
    by Tibetans, 9 times in the 1st 4 months, all targeting government buildings. He clearly
    knew these acts of terrorism were going on. Yet he has chosen public plausible
    deniability.

  127. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Speaking of Palestine, food for thought for the Tibetan Jihadists,

    (1) The Jewish community was significantly split on the issue of Zionism before terrorism started to hit Israel. After the terrorist activities, anti-Zionist factions of the Jewish communities stopped virtually all of their protests against the establishment of Israel.

    (2) Then, the tiny nation of Israel (as compared to the much bigger nation of China), managed to hold out against all the Arab nations.

    (3) some 60 years later, still no nation of Palestine.

    *Of course, why let history be an inconvenience? What didn’t work for someone else might work for the Tibetan Exiles.

    Hmm… I wonder what Israel would have done to Muslim clerics rioting?? Perhaps China should try it. (Since Israel is a “democracy” and all).

    (A) Build a giant demarcation wall, and put the suspect ethnic group on the other side.
    (B) Have a bulldozer run over protesters.
    (C) Have tanks and troops shoot reporters, on the count of the camera looks like a RPG launcher, and the microphone looks like a grenade.
    (D) All of the above.

    If you picked (D), you are correct.

  128. raventhorn4000 Says:

    BTW,

    Between 700,000 to 750,000 Palestinians left or were expelled from Israel. Their properties were all confiscated by Israel. Israel passed laws to regard all Palestinians who try to return as “infiltrators”, and subject them to arrest and interrogation.

    Tibetans who left for exile: 80,000 to 100,000.

  129. barny chan Says:

    pug_ster Says: “Just saw an article from TYC and we might see Tibetan Jiadhists in the future.”

    We can only hope.

  130. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Hope? To see Jihadists?

    What are they, zoo animals? 🙂

    I certainly hope that I never see a Jihadist.

  131. Otto Kerner Says:

    … and now the Open Constitution Initiative has been shut down by the government: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/malcolmmoore/100003658/a-step-backward-for-law-in-china/

  132. raventhorn4000 Says:

    And Chinese legal reforms continue, with adoption of the 3rd Revision of Chinese Patent Law!

    Amazingly, there are more Chinese lawyers working!

  133. raventhorn4000 Says:

    And soldiers are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bombs are still going off in Indonesia. Turkey is still fighting war against PKK.

    Life still goes on.

  134. Otto Kerner Says:

    … and now Xu Zhiyong, one of the Open Constitution Initiative’s most prominent leaders, has been arrested:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2009/07/where-is-xu-zhiyong.html

    Judging from past comments, I gather than raventhorn does not care what happens to people in China. What about the rest of you?

  135. Shane9219 Says:

    @Otto Kerner #134

    There should be enough legal ground for his arrest. People’s opinion can be better formulated by looking into facts about the case before jumping out and waving a flag this earlier stage.

  136. Wukailong Says:

    What are the facts about the case? According to Baidu, his whereabouts are unknown. At least yesterday when I googled it and checked – today, with the same search term, the Baidu link has disappeared. (the search term is 许志勇)

  137. Shane9219 Says:

    His case appears not a standalone one, but an escalation of an earlier tax invasion case by his law firm (see the report below by South China Morning Post).

    It is known fact that Chinese government likes to keep radical liberals in check. For example, these liberals embarrassed the government a great deal by coordinating a wide protest echoing Pelosi’s name with banners and red graphite on government building when Nancy Pelosi was visiting Beijing earlier this year.

    Under current state law, once law enforcement gathered enough evidence, a suspect can be detained and put under “house” arrest (so called “under control, but not in formal legal custody”) for up to 6-8 months before he/she is formally charged. Sometime, an isolated hotel room is used to serve as the location of “house” arrest. One or two visitation of his/her immediate family members are arranged shortly after.

    http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2af62ecb329d3d7733492d9253a0a0a0/?vgnextoid=39acea0a69cc2210VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&ss=China&s=News

    “Dr Xu, as its legal representative, received a notice from the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau and the Beijing branch of the State Administration of Taxation on July 15 ordering Gongmeng to pay 1.23 million yuan (HK$1.39 million) in fines plus 180,000 yuan in back taxes.

    Two days later, the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau and police raided the office and took away documents, furniture and all computers and electronic equipment. Later, civil affairs authorities said they would shut down the organisation. “

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