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Jun 03

Tiananmen, 1989 – a need for dialogue 20 years later

Written by Raj on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 at 6:44 pm
Filed under:Analysis, media, politics | Tags:, , ,
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tiananmen square 1989 tank man

The Chinese government still attempts to restrict public discussion in China about the events surrounding the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Its real reasons for doing so can only be guessed at – its official stance on the matter is vague and unsubstantiated. However, the fact that it does at all is highly important.

The “Tiananmen Mothers”, a brave group of campaigners, have long called for an open discussion of and investigation into the circumstances concerning the death of those who were killed 20 years ago. They have done this despite the harrassment many of their members have received from the Chinese authorities. Last week they issued a fresh public statement, calling for an investigation.

Tiananmen Mothers: Public Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre

This year is the 20th anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre. As a group of Chinese citizens who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, and with profound grief buried in our hearts, we are releasing the following statement to our countrymen at home and abroad, and to all righteous people of good conscience worldwide:

1. Between June 3 and June 4, 1989, a large-scale massacre of peaceful demonstrators and city residents, ordered by the government and carried out by the army, took place in China’s capital, Beijing. Thousands of civilians were injured and lost their lives in the bloodbath. Chiefly responsible for this bloody tragedy are: former Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Deng Xiaoping; former Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Li Peng; former President of the People’s Republic of China, Yang Shangkun; former Mayor of Beijing, Chen Xitong; and former Beijing Municipal Party Committee Secretary, Li Ximing. Some of them have already passed away. Some of them have stepped down. But Li Peng, who is still alive, took part in decision-making on the highest level that led to this massacre and was, moreover, directly in charge of carrying it out. It was the martial law that Li Peng signed as the country’s Premier that directly led to the large-scale massacre of the capital’s peaceful residents by the special martial law emergency troops.

As everyone knows, there was no armed rebellion or rioting in the Beijing district between April and June 1989, and yet the government mobilized several hundred thousand troops to enter the city and massacre peaceful demonstrators and residents—an action that was clearly an illegal use of the country’s armed forces. Based on the provisions against violation of the citizens’ personal freedoms in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China; based on the fundamental human rights, the dignity and worth of the human person reaffirmed by the Charter of the United Nations; and in accordance with the international human rights standards confirmed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other United Nations conventions, we believe that this military action taken by the government authorities not only severely violates our nation’s constitution and the international commitments it has made as a sovereign state to safeguard humanity, but that its persistent contempt for human rights and civil liberties constitutes an outrage against humanity.

In the recently published memoir based on audiotapes recorded by the former General Secretary of the CPC, Zhao Ziyang, Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang, he says that he “didn’t want to be a General Secretary who opens fire on the people.” This shows that at the time Zhao differed in opinion from Deng and Li on how to handle the student movement, on whether to pursue a peaceful or a military solution. In the end, Zhao went down in defeat.

Nowadays, different people from various levels of society have all kinds of interpretations of this tragedy. But the basic facts of what happened at that time have not changed. The nature of this tragedy has not changed either. It remains a bloody massacre of peaceful civilians.

2. As a community of victims of the June Fourth tragedy, we have devoted all our energy and spared no effort during the past twenty years to, one by one, look for every single person who died in the massacre. As of this day, we have found 195 people. We have already publicly released lists of names four times: 96 individuals in 1994, 155 individuals in 1999, 185 individuals in 2004, 195 individuals in 2009. The number of people we have uncovered thus far cannot be either the majority or the total number of victims. To those victims whom we have not yet found, we offer our heartfelt apologies and remorse. We are especially troubled knowing that for twenty years their relatives have been suffering in torment, pain, and solitude, unable to receive humanitarian care and assistance from people at home and from overseas.

We hereby earnestly appeal to all those who have information about the tragedy: Please, provide us with clues about the victims, even if they be just the slightest traces of clues. Do not let a temporary oversight result in a lifetime of regret.

3. It has been almost twenty years since the June Fourth Massacre. During the first few years following the massacre, Secretary General of the CPC Jiang Zemin categorically declared: “If we had not taken absolute measures at the time, we would not have the stability we enjoy today. A bad thing has turned out to be good.” It is now more than ten years later, and today’s top leaders have stopped mentioning the words “June Fourth,” classifying ”June Fourth” as a taboo topic. That is to say, today’s China is monopolized by a social stratum born of the conspiracy between capital and power-based privilege. They control all the national resources and allocate the entire nation’s opportunities and lifelines. They only care for profit, and categorically refuse to discuss “June Fourth.” Through twenty years of cover-up and deceit, the government authorities have turned the entire society into an exquisitely beautiful empty shell filled with ostentation, indifference, instant gratification, and depravity, and devoid of fairness, justice, honesty, shame, reverence, remorse, tolerance, responsibility, compassion, and affection . . . All this has distorted the history of June Fourth beyond recognition, to the point that it has become a blank.

There is only one core matter the CPC cares to uphold, and that is its determination not to lose absolute power. They can confidently talk about human rights, freedom, democracy, and legal institutions, but, like illusionists, they are only switching bait, while taking undeserved credit. As for the western democratic system, namely the parliamentary democracy and multi-party competition adopted by most states, they are not prepared to make even the smallest concession. They will especially never let the political opposition around them challenge the power of the Communist Party. For the past twenty years, Chinese leaders, from the second generation to the third and now to the fourth, have grown increasingly confident in this solid “hidden rule,” and more unshakable than ever. The severe purge of the signers of Charter 08, issued by civil society last year, is but a loathsome example.

Over the past twenty years, the June Fourth Incident has become the watershed of China’s contemporary history and politics. Will control be loosened or tightened? The people are waiting to see.

4. On the basis of the above considerations, we have repeatedly sent letters to the National People’s Congress in the course of the past ten and some years to express the following views:

The bloody 1989 Tiananmen tragedy was not a result of the government’s inappropriate action, but the government’s crime against the people. Consequently, the June Fourth Incident must be re-evaluated. The issue of the June Fourth legacy cannot be handled according to the will of individual leaders, regardless of who they may be, and it cannot be handled in the manner of the so-called “rehabilitations” and “exonerations” that followed each successive political movement in the past.

To this end, we are reiterating the following three demands:

1. That the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress form a dedicated June Fourth investigation committee and conduct an independent and fair investigation on the entire incident, and that it furthermore make public the results of the investigation to the entire nation, including the names and numbers of those who died in the incident;

2. That the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress instruct the departments in charge to issue individual explanations to the relatives of each deceased person in accordance with the statutory procedures; the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress should also draft and adopt a “June Fourth Incident Victim Compensation Bill” and give the victims and their relatives appropriate compensation in accordance with the law;

3. That the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress order the Procuratorial Bureau to file the case and investigate the June Fourth tragedy, and to affix legal responsibility and prosecute those responsible in accordance with the statutory procedures.

The above can be summarized in three words: Truth, Compensation, Accountability. The reason we did not mention “rehabilitation” of June Fourth victims in our three demands is because as a citizen group, we have learned through painful experience: we want justice for the dead, but we do not beg those in power. The so-called “rehabilitation” and “exoneration” used by the Communist authorities in the past are merely a throwback to the methods of the imperial era. For several decades the CPC has repeatedly carried out political campaigns and purges, followed by “rehabilitation” and “exoneration,” managing to get those who had been “rehabilitated” to later even thank the “brilliant” and “mighty” CPC, as though they were bowing to the imperial throne. For several decades, the common people have been paying an enormous price for this kind of hypocrisy of the authorities and for their own ignorance. How can we let this type of history go on! We have come to the realization that we must rely on ourselves to fight for and protect the rights and dignity that belong to us, as well as for the rights and dignity of our dead relatives. We cannot depend on the charity of others.

5. For the fair and reasonable solution of the June Fourth issue, we have always believed that we must uphold the principles of peace and rationality and follow the tracks of democracy and rule of law. The National People’s Congress should follow legal procedures and make a special motion to hand the June Fourth issue to the General Assembly for discussion and deliberation, and come to a decision on matters concerned. Using one sentence to summarize this position: Use legal means to resolve political problems. We believe that using legislation and judicial procedures is the only way to solve the issue of June Fourth. However, this matter cannot be resolved in a day.

To break the impasse in resolving the June Fourth Incident, and so that the matter can develop positively and smoothly, we suggested a guideline in 2006: Tackle simple problems first, then gradually move on to harder questions. Following this guideline, the issues on which consensus cannot be reached easily because of serious differences of opinion can be set aside temporarily, and the issues involving the basic rights of the victims and their personal interests be resolved first. These issues include: 1) removing all monitoring of and personal restrictions imposed on the “June Fourth” victims and their families; 2) allowing families of the dead to openly mourn their loved ones; 3) ending interceptions and seizures of domestic and international humanitarian aid donations, and returning all the aid money that has been frozen; 4) having government departments in charge, in the spirit of humanitarianism, help the victims who are living in straitened circumstances find employment and guarantee them a basic livelihood, without attaching any political conditions to the assistance; 5) eliminating political discrimination against the disabled victims of “June Fourth” and treating them the same as all other disabled individuals in matters such as communal participation, social safeguards, etc. The settlement of the aforementioned issues ultimately depends on the soundness of the entire legal process.

6. Since 1997, we have been imploring the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to change its attitude of ignoring public opinion and turning a deaf ear to popular demand, and to engage in a direct, sincere dialogue about the problems of the June Fourth victims with their families. On the 10th anniversary of June Fourth, we formed the “June Fourth Victims Dialogue Group” and put forth an appeal for a just and impartial resolution of the June Fourth issue by way of negotiation and dialogue based on democratic principles and rule of law. In 2006, we put forth that this should be an open dialogue among equals, without preconditions, and that we do not endorse the so-called “administrative resolutions” and private settlements that violate the principles of the rule of law. In 2008, we specifically suggested to the government to establish a communication mechanism. In an open letter titled “An Appeal from the Tiananmen Mothers to the Government: Set a Timetable for Dialogue on the June Fourth Massacre,” we explicitly pointed out:

The world has entered the age of dialogue, yet mainland China remains behind, stagnant, in the age of resistance. This embarrassing and intolerable situation, which no one is willing to face, must end as soon as possible. We note that the Chinese government advocates the use of dialogue to solve differences and disputes in international affairs. We therefore have even stronger ground for our request that the government solve domestic differences and disputes through a similar method. If China, with its historical tradition of despotic rule, can strive to replace hostility with dialogue, it would benefit the entire nation and be a blessing to all people. As this country enters into more dialogue, it will manifest more civility and legal order and less ignorance and despotism. Dialogue should not lead society into opposition and hatred, but rather, into tolerance and reconciliation. Using dialogue to solve the June Fourth issue is the only way to achieve social reconciliation.

We believe that the time for dialogue is gradually ripening and that the government leaders should facilitate the dialogue about the June Fourth Incident by tolerantly keeping an open mind and daring to accept the consequences.

7. In the course of the past twenty years, the manner in which western democratic countries dealt with China’s June Fourth Massacre was at first sanctions and boycott, but later became “private” negotiations with Chinese leaders. During the most recent few years, as China’s economy boomed and its role on the international stage grew in importance, many countries, especially some dominant nations, have been seeking China’s support in dealing with important global issues, including its support in extricating themselves from the current financial crisis. Under these circumstances, there have also been subtle shifts in their attitude towards the June Fourth Incident.

During the past twenty years, we have not given up a single opportunity, despite facing the dangers of intimidation and oppression by the authorities, to turn to the overseas media without hesitation and keep talking, keep writing, to do all we can to reveal the truth about the June Fourth Massacre to the world, to appeal to the international community to show concern for the victims of the tragedy and their relatives, and to take practical action to pressure the Chinese government into fulfilling [its commitment] to universal human values. This type of advocacy has had positive effects in the past.

Still, the past 20 years have been very long and challenging for those of us who have suffered the loss of loved ones. As the time went on and seasons gradually changed, things remain but people are no longer the same. What was once the truth that couldn’t be clearer has become so blurred as to be almost turned upside down. Utilitarianism and pragmatism have replaced the idealism and passion of former days. China is not getting closer to freedom, democracy, and human rights, but rather drifting farther away. We deeply regret that the Chinese people have once again missed a historical opportunity for peaceful transformation in the course towards democracy. Why is China still bitterly struggling in this age-old morass?

The Chinese version of the statement is available here.

The Chinese government, however, does not want dialogue at the moment. Various outspoken members of Chinese society have been asked to leave Beijing or placed under house arrest, as this and other reports indicate. There has been increased disruption of online services and access to various websites in the last few days. Danwei has provided analysis on some of this, which further suggests that at least some of the disruption is planned given the 4th June anniversary.

The Chinese government does not have a monopoly on “truth”, and whilst it may have its own opinion on events of June 1989 it has no right to tell everyone else to follow that line. Indeed, Professor Cui Weiping (Beijing Film Academy) believes there is a real need to discuss the subject more than is officially allowed. Her original comments can be found on her blog. The translated version is available here.

With 20 years having elapsed since all those people were killed in Beijing, I don’t see what the justifiable reasons are for the government continuing to not just avoid talking about but also try to suppress open, public discussion of this subject. I salute all of those people who doggedly push for the authorities to change their position and allow for the full, open discourse that the victims deserve.

I’ll finish with a comment from the BBC’s John Simpson.

After all this time, being open and honest about what happened that night in Chang’an Avenue and Tiananmen Square will not put Chinese society in danger.

On the contrary, it would help China develop into a country which is at ease with itself and its past.

Amen.

Update

4th June Hong Kong vigil

As many as 150,000 people rallied in Hong Kong on 4th June to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen killings. This was probably the largest ever rally in the city for a 4th June anniversary, and I wanted to share this amazing picture with all of you.

It’s a real shame that this photograph was not taken in Beijing. Maybe some day we will be able to see similar commemorative events, though we cannot be sure when that might be. However, the attendance of Hongkongese of all ages is encouraging and suggests that even if it will be a long time until the Chinese government allows free discussion of the protests and subsequent killings, let alone make an apology, Hong Kong’s people will help keep the memory alive.

Interestingly the recent publication of Zhao Ziyang’s memoirs (Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang), as I discussed previously, may have helped increase interest.

Throngs of men, women and children gathered at a park here on Thursday evening for an enormous candlelight vigil to mark the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square killings.

The organizers said that 150,000 people joined the vigil, tying the record set by the first anniversary vigil in 1990 and dwarfing every vigil held since then. The police estimated the crowd at 62,800, their largest estimate for any vigil except in 1990, which they put at 80,000.

Even before the vigil began at 8 p.m., the tens of thousands of people assembled represented the largest crowd for the annual event here in recent years. The only crowd since the early 1990s that came remotely close was in 2004, when the fifteenth anniversary of the military crackdown coincided with a surge in pro-democracy sentiment in Hong Kong.

Throughout the park, banners in Chinese demanded the vindication of the students and other Beijing residents who perished during the Chinese government crackdown against the protesters. There were people of all ages, from grey-haired retirees to young children whose parents accompanied them to explain why they felt so deeply about an event that took place before they were born.


There are currently 3 comments highlighted: 38606, 38756, 38831.

392 Responses to “Tiananmen, 1989 – a need for dialogue 20 years later”

  1. pug_ster Says:

    That article posted in HRI China should end with “This message has been paid for and approved by the United States Government and the National Endowment of Democracy.” :)

  2. Raj Says:

    pug_ster, HRIC receives funding from a number of groups – not just the NED. Furthermore, merely hosting a message does not mean that organisation has significant influence in the drafting of said document. Unless you have evidence to the contrary, it’s fair to take the Tiananmen Mothers’ statement as being genuine and honest.

    It is unfortunate that given the thoughtfulness with which many people are approaching this subject, making requests for mere open discussion of and investigation into the killing of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people, that your only input is to make light of such a serious matter.

  3. pug_ster Says:

    I don’t think it is serious, I have little sympathy for these Tianamen mothers and here’s why.

    The Tiananmen Mothers remind me of how Maman in Slumdog Millionaire would ‘cripple’ the kids so that they can be ‘professional beggars’ and Maman can profit from them. That said, these Tiananmen Mothers are nothing more than Cannon Fodder in NED’s fight to destabilize China. I think many Chinese realize this and has little or no sympathy for these Tiananmen Mothers. The Chinese should turn their anger toward at the people who exploit them in the first place.

  4. Raj Says:

    I don’t think it is serious

    That comment implies that you think that the deaths of hundreds/thousands of people resulting from the State’s use of force against its own people and the lack of independent, public discussion to understand the full events is a trivial matter.

    The Tiananmen Mothers remind me of how Maman in Slumdog Millionaire would ‘cripple’ the kids so that they can be ‘professional beggars’ and Maman can profit from them.

    pug_ster, you make some ridiculous comments sometimes, but this really takes the biscuit. The Tiananmen Mothers’ relatives were “crippled” (wounded/killed) by the Chinese State, not by them. They would much prefer that they had survived in good health. They do what they do today because they still feel pain about what happened and only want proper discussion of what happened.

    Try to get the basic facts right in your head before you make daft and insensitive comparisons.

  5. pug_ster Says:

    @Raj,

    I do feel sorry for the dead the dead of hundreds (thousands according to you) of people who died. China try to make amends with these Tianamen mothers but somehow these their attitudes is like ‘sorry is not enough.’ I think many Chinese will feel sorry in the beginning, but after a while of repeated and unrealistic demands from China, the Chinese will lose their sympathy.

    pug_ster, you make some ridiculous comments sometimes, but this really takes the biscuit. The Tiananmen Mothers’ relatives were “crippled” (wounded/killed) by the Chinese State, not by them. They would much prefer that they had survived in good health. They do what they do today because they still feel pain about what happened and only want proper discussion of what happened.

    The problem is that they those people died and nothing they can do can bring them back. China won’t change its ways so what else there that people can do? You can sugar coat how we should feel sorry for the Tiananmen Mothers but the NED try to use the these people as cannon fodder to exploit people’s emotions.

  6. Raj Says:

    pug_ster

    thousands according to you

    I’ve indicated that the death toll might be in the hundreds or thousands. No one knows for sure, which is why I leave it open.

    China try to make amends with these Tianamen mothers but somehow these their attitudes is like ’sorry is not enough.’

    When has the Chinese government made an honest and full public statement of apology for the State’s actions back then?

    I think many Chinese will feel sorry in the beginning, but after a while of repeated and unrealistic demands from China, the Chinese will lose their sympathy.

    Most Chinese won’t know the detail of their positions. If they did I think they’d be extremely sympathetic. In any case, I’m not sure how all of the 3 requests they make in the statements are unrealistic.

    Perhaps you could address the main point of my blog entry on the need for dialogue and explain why full, open and public discourse of this subject cannot be allowed.

    The problem is that they those people died and nothing they can do can bring them back.

    No, but they can ensure that the victims are fairly remembered and not subjected to politically-convenient demonisation.

    China won’t change its ways so what else there that people can do?

    I think you mean the Chinese government won’t change its ways – it isn’t the entire country. However, governments change their views and then change composition. The Chinese government is no different from others in that respect. If the Tiananmen Mothers keep up then they make get a result for one reason or another.

    You can sugar coat how we should feel sorry for the Tiananmen Mothers but they try to use people emotions to exploit people.

    How are they improperly exploiting feelings of sympathy? They have a simple list of reqests that is not entirely unreasonable. If they had to choose between appropriate compensation and a full public account/discussion of what happened with a government apology, they’d go for the latter. In that case they receive no material benefit.

  7. Berlin Says:

    pug_ster, if you are a parent, you probably would say differently. No matter what a person’s political stand is, fundamentally one should try to be human first and feel what a fellow human being is feeling.

    All these conspiracy theories are simply rubbish. There are so many people involved in the demonstration, from many age groups and all walks of life, it couldn’t be possible that they are simply imperialist pawns to jeopardize China’s development. What the democracy activists end up doing (business men or women, Tibet or Xinjiang Independence supporters) is all together another issue, and it should not be used to discount the original good intentions of many people who were frustrated with deep-rooted and widespread corruption.

    I agree with Raj here, I think China seriously need to engage in open discussion about what happened then. It may not necessarily threaten their rule if they do so. Keeping things under the lid would.

  8. pug_ster Says:

    Raj,

    I don’t mind discussions about the need for dialogue, but not in an oblivious exploitive way of bringing up the stupid subject of tiananmen mothers. I am not born yesterday and this lame report does not appeal to my emotional vanity either.

  9. Bridge Says:

    Among those who got killed were peaceful student protestors, innocent bystanders, violent mobs and PLA soldiers. No matter how you want to discuss it, there will be a lot of emotions and we all know that when emotions are involved, no good discussion can come out. Just like in FM, we only have a dozen or so people commenting on the TAM issue, but, is our discussion going anywhere? Just wait and let the future generation judge this historical event.

  10. Bridge Says:

    Berlin #7. I agree! If my child was killed in the event, I’d be heartbroken too, hence losing the ability to view the whole thing objectively.

  11. pug_ster Says:

    @Bridge,

    Exactly. An emotional appeal to China by the Tiananmen mothers to Change its laws is not right. The Western Media wants to bring up the June 4 killings and the Tank Man because they are emotionally charged subjects. The Western Media obviously somehow want China to repent for what happened on that day but there’s really not much to discuss about. It is definitely fair game to discuss social, economic, and political problems leading up the the June 4th incident and ways to prevent it in the future.

  12. Wahaha Says:

    Raj,

    What are you gonna talk about tomorrow ?

  13. Berlin Says:

    It’s Okay, it’s normal, and it’s healthy to discuss “emotionally charged” topics like this, topics that test one’s bottom line as a human being, as a mother, or father. I respect those who sacrificed their lives in pursuit of a better China. One can also be emotionally charged in discussing about those rebels that used student demonstrations to vent their hatred of the society.

    I’ve heard eyewitness telling me various facets of what happened 20 years ago. It is more complex than the black-and-white impressions this silence is producing.

    That’s why there is a need for open, honest dialogue because current and future generations need to find out what really went on.

  14. pug_ster Says:

    @Berlin,

    ‘emotionally charged’ topics usually doesn’t lead to civil discussions and usually gets personal.

  15. BMY Says:

    @pug_ster

    I often agree with you. But this time to say” stupid subject of tiananmen mothers” is disappointing and is disrespect to the students,workers,soldiers who got killed in the tragedy.

    I might not agree with some of the mothers unrealistic demand but I have my full sympathy for these Tiananmen Mothers. After all ,we all have loved ones.

  16. pug_ster Says:

    @BMY

    I said. “I don’t mind discussions about the need for dialogue, but not in an oblivious exploitive way of bringing up the stupid subject of tiananmen mothers.” Yet you just want to highlight 4 words in my sentence and you ignored the whole context of my sentence.

  17. Berlin Says:

    @pug_ster at 14,

    ‘emotionally charged’ topics usually doesn’t lead to civil discussions and usually gets personal.

    Well, there are emotions and emotions. Hatred and cynicism can lead to not-so-civil discussions. Compassion and sympathy can be a part of a civil discourse.

  18. fang zhe Says:

    My English is not good enough. Could you or someone send the Chinese version of the statement to my email? The chinese link can not open. Thanks. My email address is: fangzhe2004@126.com

  19. pug_ster Says:

    @Berlin 17,

    I think this is thread is pretty much of how George Bush used the dead soldiers as emotional advantage for the support of the Iraq war. I recall that GWB used the Media about saying that if they don’t support the Iraq war, they don’t support the deaths of the Soldiers who died in Iraq. What kind of BS is that?

    Same track here. I certainly do have sympathy for the Tiananmen mother’s dead family members. But I don’t support for those Tiananmen mothers who exploit the deaths of the love ones so that they can make the case for their unrealistic demands. Although some people here seems to refer that if you don’t agree what the Tiananmen mothers think, you don’t respect the deaths of their love ones.

  20. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster:
    “It is definitely fair game to discuss social, economic, and political problems leading up the the June 4th incident and ways to prevent it in the future.” – nice to see you’ll at least stipulate to that. Too bad the CCP aren’t so generous.

  21. kui Says:

    Sad. No conspiracy? Whatever population chosen by the Voice of America as a target will end up in bloodshed. Lived through the time I know it is a very efficient brainwashing machine. CCP’s brainwashing has no way to compete with it.. After the sons and daughter being used, the mothers are. They may be better off financially but I am afarid the sympathy from Chinese people and the possibility of a real dialogue with the current Chinese government are both gone. Why should Chinese government allow foreign money and puppets it bought become part of Chinese politics?

  22. MutantJedi Says:

    Echoing BMY, attacking mothers is not productive pug_ster. Your point could have been made without using the word “stupid.”

    Moreover, the basic message of their position is transparency and accountability. The issue should be discussed openly. The families should be able to put their loss to rest. The government’s pigheaded insistence to cover up only embarrasses itself. By extension, the government, by its actions on matters like 6.4 also embarrasses its supporters inside and outside of China.

    I may not totally agree with their version of events as detailed above but I do feel that, more than any other group, they entitled to a full accounting of the Incident.

  23. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Kui:
    should the Chinese government allow Chinese people to become part of Chinese politics? Maybe as a start, by having a little discussion with the people about past “incidents”? Sometimes I do wonder about the long-term effects from these US government schemes to purportedly spread democracy, since it’s created an entire generation (well, at least some members thereof) who focus on the evils of foreign involvement, and can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.

    To MJ:
    once again, well-said.

  24. pug_ster Says:

    @MJ 22

    Please don’t emotionalize the word ‘mother’ as I think these people who happen to be mothers are ‘stupid’ enough to become willing cannon fodders for the NED.

  25. MutantJedi Says:

    But kui, if you were a mother who lost a child, what do you do? Going to your government, you only become a person of interest, perhaps there are even consequences for you at work. What do you do? Where do you find solace?

    What should be on the table of Chinese politics is the government’s own role in feeding the foreign interests puppet fodder. In this case, grieving mothers. Heartless. Shameful. And now, when some mothers have turned to outside interests to support their quest for answers, they are rebuffed with language that falls short of calling them traitors.

    I actually believe that the government did what had to be done. Order had to be restored. The government’s approach to the incident only adds oil to the Western narrative. Remonstration of mothers only finds resonance with a very narrow and unproductive viewpoint.

  26. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster:
    “Please don’t emotionalize the word ‘mother’ ” – huh? How did MJ do that? Saying that the people who lost kids in the event deserve to see some accountability and transparency is now “emotionalizing”? Your metrics are…unusual.

    And you know what? If their own government won’t listen, might as well go somewhere else to find someone who will. You’re quick to blame them for going elsewhere, without even thinking to stop to think about why they may have felt so compelled.

  27. kui Says:

    SKC.

    Resorting to foreign NGOs has blocked the way for any negotiations. Wrong move.

    Chinese polititians are all Chinese people, Chinese people are allowed to become part of Chinese politics. To become a polititian play on low level many university graduates choose to become a public servant. One of my roommate is seriously considering joining the CCP. She said she decided to lead rather than being lead. Think about this. A former student who protested against the government now wants to join them. In my recent visit to China I had seen so many young and middle age professionals joining the CCP. They are China’s future polititians. These people are very different and I suppose they will form new branches or join the already exist branches of CCP? How long ago did you visit China? You can speak Chinese? I hereby welcome you visit China again. I have been going back every one ot two years and every visit is an eyeopening experience for me. China is not democratic yet but I have no doubt that she is heading toward democracy.

    China will develop democracy of herown kind that is different from the western democracy.

    The USA is spreading democracy? At its best it is forcing democracy of its own brand onto other nations without considering culture differences. Spreading democracy? Then why they form allies with the dictators in the middleeast? To get the maximum interest they can get. Sorry, Chueng. I do not believe the USA is spreading democracy. They are using democracy as a weapon to break their enemy states into pieces and derail other country ‘s development so they can dominant forever.

  28. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Surly, “Democracy” is not a total absence of censorship. If it was, how does anyone explain “no protest zones” in US?

    Too bad US isn’t as “generous” as it made itself out to be.

  29. TonyP4 Says:

    Random thoughts.

    * The brighter side is it is relatively small compared to millions of folks died of hunger in Mao’s Era for the last 30 years. Chinese are doing good despite of this incident that forced US/EU take some actions against China. Feel bad for those who lost their lives for liberty and their country. The guy standing in front of the tanks is an icon for democracy for ever.

    The Chinese students in US could stay after the incident. It is the worst brain drain. However, now a lot of sea turtles returning due to better career opportunities in China.

    * The whole country was frozen for a month at least. No country murdered their students (Kent State is not a good comparison in term of no. and ordering from the top).

    * On the bright side, we Chinese can unite and sacrifice ourselves for the country (very different from the war with Japan). Both sides learn not to repeat history. Folks spend their energy in making money to improve their living standard.

    * TSM cost Deng a shoot at the Noble prize – how many millions have been lifted from poverty by his vision?

    CCP was challenged for survival at TSM and Deng happened to be the leader. Any one in charge would do sth similar and be blamed no matter the outcome was. It is a sad day that we cannot forget. The official description is different from the outside world. Many parents are still looking for their missing children.

    There will be many sides of the same story. To me, it is sad and emotional. I bet it is the same feelings for 911 in the US.

    An forgettable YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHusFlwVIjU&NR=1

  30. kui Says:

    MutantJedi.

    I am in nowhere close to calling these mothers traitors. I can feel their pain. But, it was very unwise for them to seek “support” from foreign organisation. In Chinese culture a problem that can be solved within a family will become unmanagable once outsider get involved. Does DalaiLama have foreign support? Plenty. Because of the foreign support he will die in exile. I can bet on that. Wait and see. The mothers have lost their chances. There is one thing in common between them is that they think they can pressure Chinese government by using foreign support. Very poor judgement. It had make it impossible for the government to compromise. And I do not think these mothers are ready to compromise either.

  31. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I heard a recent radio interview with a 89 student protester, who now lives in UK. She said that many of her 89 classmates are now all back in China doing business, and that they don’t much care about politics.

    I feel that the braindrain would have happened any ways, if US/Canada/Europe gave so many permanent residencies. (over 100,000′s)

    I mean, it was like a Greencard lottery. But if US gave the green cards, MOST Chinese would have taken them, whether there was a Tiananmen or not.

    But it’s not much of any brain drain. A lot of these guys were going to do business with China any ways. Now they just had a green card, so that they don’t have to get visa renewals any more.

    It’s global economy. A Chinese in US/Canada is still contributing to China, just by doing business with China through the internet and mail.

  32. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I have seen the recent campaign by the Lakota Native American tribes in trying to get “sovereignty” for themselves, based upon US violation of treaties.

    I suppose China should “raise the Lakota human rights” question up with Secretary Clinton and president Obama during every future meeting now???

    I suppose Cindy Sheehan really got somewhere with the “depose Bush” campaign?

  33. TonyP4 Says:

    Hi Raventhorn, the green card lottery is a lottery and does not give residency out to all.

    Most educated foreigners are trying to get the H1 visa working as a educated staff and then try to get a green card (a lot of my Indian friends got this 2 years ago and they’re all jealous of the Chinese students – it is not that easy today for every one to get H1). Without TSM, most would not stay and I can count how many of my friends got their green cards due to TSM. In 1980, it was quite hard to get a green card contrary to what you think.

    It is very tough even getting a H1 visa this year no matter how Microsoft, Intel… argue for many H1 visas with this recession.

    If China did not provide the opportunities, there will be no return turtles just like India. Who wants to return to a place with low living standard, low income, high pollution (air and water), primitive conditions like India and some parts of rural China?

  34. Hemulen Says:

    @kui

    I am in nowhere close to calling these mothers traitors. I can feel their pain. But, it was very unwise for them to seek “support” from foreign organisation.

    The problem is that the mothers lost, not that they have appealed to foreign organizations. Just look back at the 20th century and tell me how many future leaders that did not receive some support from abroad? Sun, Mao, Chiang, they all got money from abroad…

  35. Raj Says:

    Ravernthorn (32), if the Chinese government wants to it can comment on US affairs. If it chooses not to, that’s its loss.

    Moreover, I don’t believe that the Tiananmen Mothers are trying to depose the Chinese Communist Party or the government, so I’m not sure what Cindy Sheehan has to do with this matter. Though the fact she could have such a campaign whilst the Tiananamen Mothers get harrassed for merely asking for an investigation into historical events says something.

    I remember something in the proposed conduct rules for this blog on the matter of staying on topic. Perhaps you could address future comments on the subject raised by the main entry – the need for public dialogue and discussion.

  36. Ted Says:

    @Kui: “In Chinese culture a problem that can be solved within a family will become unmanagable once outsider get involved.”

    20 years on, what steps have been taken to solve the problem? I agree with MutantJedi #25. How can this be handled in the family? Are there any mainland charities or groups devoted to reconciling the grievances of the parents? (I’m not trying to be sarcastic, that’s a real question) Who else are the families left to turn to?

    @Pug_ster: I think it’s abhhorent to criticize anyone for trying to find out what happened to their children. It reminds me on Ann Coulter’s attack of the 9/11 mothers. Would you regard the mothers of the Children who died in collapsed schools in Sichuan in the same manner. What channel do you recommend these groups operate through. I would very much like to hear what their options were/are.

    To me, what’s interesting about all this is that this need for “stability” will never end, there will always be anniversaries. By the time authorities have finished analyzing how they managed this crisis they will have to begin preparing to smother another inconvenient date. It just doesn’t seem healthy. Only four years until the 5th anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake. Then, oh lord, then the silver anniversary of this event. Is anything on the table for next year?

  37. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Tony,

    I meant, it’s like wining the greencard lottery.

    I know it was hard to get a H1B in the 80′s. That’s why a lot the Chinese took the greencard from the special bill in US granting them permanent residency.

    I think many Chinese have the “need to return home” beyond mere economic reasons. Many have returned for less pay, uncertain jobs.

    Of course, there are more opportunities in China now. But I would argue that many Chinese who returned in the 1980′s help create the opportunities, by teaching or generally passing down their foreign education to younger generation, or transforming/privatizing existing state industries.

  38. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    yes, China can comment. But some governments are smart enough to know NOT to comment about futile subjects.

    Oh, I’m sure everyone is convinced that Cindy Sheehan did NOT get harassed! Riiiiggghhhttt..

    As for the subject, “need for public dialogue”, PUBLIC dialogue does not include “Media campaign” for 1 side.

    Of course, such campaigns just invite counter campaigns, and Public dialogue turns into a shouting match. (which any sane person would recognize as NOT a Public “dialogue”.)

    I would suggest that PUBLIC DIALOGUE should be done in orderly fashion. Get in line, take a number.

  39. pug_ster Says:

    @Ted 36

    There’s one thing about an request about trying to find out what happened to their children. However, ‘the need for dialogue’ above contains an essay with an unknown number of requests. The fact is that there was a martial law in place and most of the people who died shouldn’t be out there in the first place. To squarely hold the government accountable for those actions is ludicrous.

  40. shane9219 Says:

    Raj:

    Nice try.

    Mainland Chinese have learned to move on from this bad June-4th Incident and to focus on important tasks on hand. The same reflected by the wisdom from our beloved Deng ” Don’t debate (socialism or capitalism)”

    However, it seems that a bunch of western ideological idealists or radicalists are so commited to push China off a dangerous cliff since 2008 that they are really making a fool of themselves, or “headless flies” in one Chinese saying.

    Here are a couple of insightful articles from Global Times

    Prosperity tangible along Chang’an Ave
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/www/english/top-news/2009-06/434370.html

    Evolution of Chinese intellectuals’ thought over two decades
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/www/english/top-news/2009-06/434370.html

  41. Raj Says:

    pug_ster

    You talk about an emotional appeal to change China’s laws (11). How would the law be changed by having an independent investigation or public discourse on this subject?

    You also talk about unrealistic demands yet you say you think public discourse should be allowed, so you acknowledge they’re reasonable. If their demands are unrealistic it’s because the Chinese political elite are unreasonable. In which case the Mothers deserve not just sympathy but also praise for not letting the issue lie. I also think it is very realistic that some day their demands will be met. If they keep up the campaign it will allow other people to continue it if they die before political opinion and/or public understanding changes.

    On another matter, in using the word “exploit” are you suggesting that the Mothers are using sympathy for profit and/or selfish reasons? That is the implication, though you may not have meant it.

  42. Raj Says:

    kui (21)

    I think your reference to “puppets” is very inappropriate here given that the Tiananmen Mothers as far as I can see merely seek assistance in spreading their message. They would say the same things whether or not they had a voice in China.

    (30)

    Like Tony I am puzzled by your reference to “keeping it in the family”. The Tiananmen Mothers have tried to seek redress inside China but they have been rebuffed repeatedly by the government. They can’t discuss their story through the Chinese media or by their own means in public. They’re hounded by the State for trying to get somewhere with their case. I’m sure they would love to keep it “within the family” if they could, but the Chinese authorities have forced them to look elsewhere.

    raventhorn (38)

    So Cindy Sheehan has been placed under house arrest without trial, the authorities told her who she could and could not see, where she could and could not go, when, etc because of her campaign? Really? I don’t think so. Now let’s stick with the topic at hand.

    Media coverage is one-sided, but not in the way you think it is. In many non-Chinese countries, the focus is on the State’s victims. Of course the Chinese government might have its side of the story presented more if it actually made detailed statements about why what happened was right. If one side in a dispute refuses to speak, the only voice heard will be that of the other party.

    However, in China media coverage is biased towards the Chinese government because there is no media coverage at all of the event. The authorities would prefer it not be discussed at all, so the general silence shows the advantage it has. I’m sure the Tiananmen Mothers would love the ability to have a proper debate in China. Currently they’re not allowed to get in line and take a number, as you put it.

  43. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    “However, in China media coverage is biased towards the Chinese government because there is no media coverage at all of the event”

    LoL, Gloabl Times articles are published by China

  44. Raj Says:

    shane (43)

    First, the Global Times article you provided (you linked to it twice) danced around the subject. If you didn’t know what happened on June 4th you wouldn’t understand it properly. Most of the Chinese media wouldn’t even go that far in discussing it.

    Second, it was in English.

    Third, it actually admits that:

    “Twenty years after the June 4 Tiananmen incident, public discussion about what happened that day is almost nonexistent in mainstream society on the Chinese mainland.”

    How can public discussion of the subject be almost nonexistent if the Chinese media talks about it?

  45. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    Below is a new link to Global Times aritcle

    Evolution of Chinese intellectuals’ thought over two decades
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/www/english/top-news/2009-05/433565.html

    >> “How can public discussion of the subject be almost nonexistent if the Chinese media talks about it?”

    Because currently there is no point of debating on this topic. We all knew it was a bad event. More importantly, Chinese are true believers of doing not talking.

    Like I mentioned in #40

    “A bunch of western ideological idealists or radicalists are so commited to push China off a dangerous cliff since 2008 that they are really making a fool of themselves, or “headless flies” in one Chinese saying.”

    And a few original participants of June-4th event wanted to get even with the government and stick to their cause of overthrowing CCP.

  46. pug_ster Says:

    Raj,

    You talk about an emotional appeal to change China’s laws (11). How would the law be changed by having an independent investigation or public discourse on this subject?

    You also talk about unrealistic demands yet you say you think public discourse should be allowed, so you acknowledge they’re reasonable. If their demands are unrealistic it’s because the Chinese political elite are unreasonable. In which case the Mothers deserve not just sympathy but also praise for not letting the issue lie. I also think it is very realistic that some day their demands will be met. If they keep up the campaign it will allow other people to continue it if they die before political opinion and/or public understanding changes.

    I’ve said it in the beginning of the thread that I don’t take seriously of this ‘dialogue’ because it comes from the HRIC website.

    On another matter, in using the word “exploit” are you suggesting that the Mothers are using sympathy for profit and/or selfish reasons? That is the implication, though you may not have meant it.

    Yes I meant what I said and read the thread again of what I think about the Tiananmen Mothers.

  47. Brad Says:

    @ Raj:

    “After all this time, being open and honest about what happened that night in Chang’an Avenue and Tiananmen Square will not put Chinese society in danger.

    On the contrary, it would help China develop into a country which is at ease with itself and its past.”

    Really? Who says so? Running a country is a serious business. Does John Simpson, or Raj has any concrete experience in running a country, a province, a city, a town, even an organization?

    Do you have any concept of “risk management”?

    I challenge you Raj, before you complain that Chinese dismiss your point of view: ask yourself what have you done for China? What kind of credentials do you have in governing? Why should Chinese listen to you?

    The current CCP government have proved that they are running the country into prosperity and growth well. They have earned the trust of majority of Chinese. Talk is cheap. Face it.

  48. Raj Says:

    shane, you’re ignoring the fact these articles are in English, from just one publication and make at most partial references to the important events. Where are the articles in Chinese in the mainstream Chinese newspapers? Where’s the discussion on the Chinese language TV stations? Where’s the discussion of the people killed, the fact that campaigners for an investigation are hounded by the State, that the government won’t name the dead, etc? There is no dialogue.

    Also it’s complete nonsense that all Chinese people are fully informed on this subject. A few know a lot, a number do know a bit about it, but the general ignorance in the population is significant. Out of my Chinese friends, some are well informed but even they’ve said that their co-workers know little or nothing about it.

    Chinese people love to talk all the time. Nationalists especially love to talk about when China was wrong by foreign countries.

    Brad, act like a mature person. This is an open blog. No one’s “qualifications” are assessed before they post here. If you don’t like that, too bad. You’re free to find a website that only allows people to express opinions on what they’re “experts” on. Not sure what that would qualify you for, but each to his own I guess.

  49. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    “Chinese people love to talk all the time. Nationalists especially love to talk about when China was wrong by foreign countries.”

    That only happens when Chinese are being offended too much by some radical and narrow-minded westerns. Let’s face it, no one likes to be a constant “whipping boy” by the West’s ideology talks.

    Let’s taking the environment issue for example, Chinese are both listening to the West and improving on this important issue at the same time. There is a quite healthy dialogue there, and some people in the West also noted that China has emerged as a leader in certain areas.

  50. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (46)

    I’m still waiting to hear how an independent investigation and open discussion of the subject would require a change in Chinese law. As for your complaint over the fact the message was hosted on the HRIC website, that is such a trivial point I don’t know why you even brought it up. If the Chinese government doesn’t want them to have a Chinese-run website, the Tiananmen Mothers are free to look elsewhere for free offers of to paste their message.

    I would also like you to respond to the second paragraph in my post #41, please.

    You also haven’t shown how they profit from their campaign and/or are being selfish. You just allege that they are.

    Shane (49)

    First you say that Chinese people are believers of doing not talking. Then you say that Chinese nationalists only talk about foreign-inflicted wrongs because they’re offended. Finally you say that Chinese people have a good dialogue with other parts of the world on the environment.

    Thanks for contradicting yourself and showing that Chinese people really do enjoy talking about things.

  51. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    “Finally you say that Chinese people have a good dialogue with other parts of the world on the environment.
    Thanks for contradicting yourself and showing that Chinese people really do enjoy talking about things”

    Raj, why pity yourself on such small thing? Did I mentioned “Chinese people” on the environmental issue? No, I said it is Chinese government.

    Many local goverments in China mendate the banning of plastic bag usage at stores, and saved around 1.3M barrels of oil a year. This is a feat not possible even in US. HongKong just started recently on this.

  52. colin Says:

    Since when did Raj become an author here? It’s time to spend less time on this site.

  53. Raj Says:

    Shane (51)

    Did I mentioned “Chinese people” on the environmental issue? No, I said it is Chinese government.

    Where did you use the word “government”? I don’t see it. I just see references to “Chinese” doing things.

    colin (52)

    I have been an author since about three weeks ago. If you don’t want to visit the site it’s your choice.

  54. pug_ster Says:

    Raj,

    Whenever I hear an independent investigation, I hear outside parties or some pro democracy involved. Then china can get some pro china party in the investigation and the western media will probably cry fowl. So what is the point of having one in the first place?

    people in china have their public all the time by protesting all the time. At least they don’t have to risk getting beaten down by the police like here in the us.

  55. Ted Says:

    @ Pug_ster: “However, ‘the need for dialogue’ above contains an essay with an unknown number of requests.”

    As far as I can tell, the essay sets out only one request: that the government act according to the laws set fourth in its own constitution.

    “The fact is that there was a martial law in place and most of the people who died shouldn’t be out there in the first place. To squarely hold the government accountable for those actions is ludicrous.”

    That’s what the investigation is for.

    “people in china have their public all the time by protesting all the time. At least they don’t have to risk getting beaten down by the police like here in the us.”

    This last comment I don’t quite understand… are you from China?

  56. Shane9219 Says:

    @Ted #55

    Meaningful investigation means accountability and responsibility on people and organizations, and a thorough investigation on a large scale event like this one must include two sides. Who is going to hold those active participants accountability ? By the people in West? Of course not. The west has made those few people into “cheerleaders” of Chinese democracy, even though their own actions violated the basic prinicple of democracy if they indeed tried to push back in 1989.

    On that generation of Chinese government, who had to shoulder government’s utimost responsibility? Everyone knew the answer. It was already part of Deng’s legacy, hom much more can be said?

    Yes, people still don’t know the actual number of people got killed and wounded, and may not know the exact number eventually. But that is just about the details. The outcome won’t make any difference, and best left it to historians in my opinion.

  57. pug_ster Says:

    @Ted

    “people in china have their public all the time by protesting all the time. At least they don’t have to risk getting beaten down by the police like here in the us.”

    This last comment I don’t quite understand… are you from China?

    No I was using my blackberry to write up this note. People protest despite it is illegal. They get rounded up, processed and leg go by the afternoon.

  58. JXie Says:

    @TonyP4 #29

    * TSM cost Deng a shoot at the Noble prize – how many millions have been lifted from poverty by his vision?

    Nobel Prize just doesn’t hold much weight to me. It reflects the value, or sometimes just whatever the world a few old Swedish men know. Gao Xingjian won the Nobel Prize Literature award, yet to me he isn’t worth holding a candle for Jin Yong who is the greatest novelist having ever walked the Earth. To this man, giving out the award to Jin Yong will actually lend the Nobel Prize committee some credibility.

    Anyway, Al Gore and Arafat also won the Nobel Prize. What does that tell you?

  59. kui Says:

    Hemulen.

    China had terrible time under Sun, Jiang, Mao. I am against any foreign invovement in Chinese politics no matter what excuses are there. I do appreciate the help China received during WW2. That help was needed when China was overwhelmed by brutal foreign forces.

    Raj.

    Money corrupts and money speaks. To me people are always manipulated in some way by the people who pays them.

    Ted.

    Since I was a student participated the student movement I am also responsible for the social instability I as a student caused. But it is these poor mothers paying the prize. I agree with you that the Chinese government has not done enough to reconcile the families. But turning to foreign organisations only means they are going to loose sympathy from Chinese people. After 200 years Aboriginals in Australia finally got a reconciliation from Labour Party government not long ago(No compensation though). During the last 200 years Aborigines lost their native land, got killed, had their chidren taken away from Aborigine mothers. Even under democratic government the reconciliation arrived much slower than it should have. The biggest hurdle is a reconciliation with the families will be seen as some kind of encouragement or acceptance to the CHAOS caused by tyhe student movement at least by some people in the Chinese socienty. I do not think it is possible. Adding to the situation is the mother group ‘s poor judgement to resort to foreign NGOs I think it is hard to keep a cool head when people lost their love ones. And by the way, Pls donot interepret the word “family” in such a rigid way.

  60. Ted Says:

    @Shane: I’ll point to admin’s recent post as an excellent example of reasonable and rational investigation.

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2009/06/02/an-investigative-report-into-the-social-and-economic-causes-of-the-314-incident-in-tibetan-areas/4/

    I’m still reading the above but it reminds me of several conversations I was fortunate to have with someone from the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. It has been reports like this and conversations with individuals like the person I spoke with that give me the greatest hope for China.

    I think relegating the incident to history before even the parents of the students are deceased is a tad premature.

    @pug_ster #59: “People protest despite it is illegal. They get rounded up, processed and leg go by the afternoon.”

    That’s one of the most outlandish claims I’ve heard on this site and it strikes me as a deliberate provocation. I don’t really know how to respond so I’ll just let it be.

  61. Wukailong Says:

    @JXie (#58): The peace prize is actually decided on by a Norwegian council. One explanation I’ve heard for this is that Nobel wanted to snub Swedish militarists intent on keeping Norway in a forced union, but I haven’t been able to find any verification of that claim.

    By the way, I think it was Charles Liu who brought up that Hitler was nominated for the prize back in the late 30s. He forgot to mention that that nomination was a joke which was revoked the next day.

  62. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Kui:
    “Resorting to foreign NGOs has blocked the way for any negotiations. Wrong move.” – what would have been “the right move”? And would the right move have achieved anything?

    “China will develop democracy of herown kind that is different from the western democracy.” – I am anxiously awaiting that. But I’ll believe it when I see it.

    To R4000:
    “I would suggest that PUBLIC DIALOGUE should be done in orderly fashion. Get in line, take a number.” – considering the event in question happened 20 years ago, how long is this line? And how many people already have numbers? These mothers, I presume, aren’t getting any younger. How much longer would they have to wait before being able to partake in a form of dialogue that you approve?

  63. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (54)

    That’s a really jaded and paranoid view of it. You’re suggesting that there are no objective organisations and/or persons in the world. Clearly that is not the case. Many countries have independent investigations all the time.

    No one would complain about pro-China people being involved in the investigation. After all the killing of civilians is against China’s interests, not in favour of it.

    kui (59)

    You have evidence the Tiananmen Mothers are being paid?

  64. huaren Says:

    @SKC

    ““China will develop democracy of herown kind that is different from the western democracy.” – I am anxiously awaiting that. But I’ll believe it when I see it.”

    Let’s be serious here. You are a Canadian, why should the Chinese care whether you are anxious or not? And why should they give a damn whether you believe it or not?

  65. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Huaren:
    “why should the Chinese care whether you are anxious or not? And why should they give a damn whether you believe it or not?” – perhaps you can show me where I said I was expecting Chinese to care. Of course they have no reason to care what I think, just as they have absolutely no earthly reason to care one iota what you think, to use the term loosely. But they should care that China eventually evolves from the political system she has now. However, if I was a Chinese in China, i would probably still say: I’ll believe it when I see it.

    “Sorry to say, but I just can’t stand this thread.” – on a similar note, I might ask, do you think WE care?

  66. huaren Says:

    @kui, All,

    I would say there’s always a handful of Chinese too willing to align themselves with foreign groups whose agenda they have no idea – as a result, even though they may have legitimate grievances, they end up breaking the country’s laws. These groups know full well what would end up to those Chinese.

    This is strategy for some such groups:
    a. Find some Chinese who have legitimate grievances with the government
    b. Give them money and incite them to break China’s law
    c. Once law enforcement in China takes action, get sound bite, videos, pictures, etc..
    d. Feed the media in the West:
    1. on the legitimacy of the gripes
    2. show how heavy-handed and inhumane the Chinese law enforcement is
    3. get the NGO’s name in the press
    e. Raise more money to continue receiving funding for next year

    Repeat a.) through e.) and its a career. You don’t need to do anything productive in society. Many “Directors” of such groups can make $120k-$150k a year. It is lucrative.

    I recommend warning those within China and not get further victimized.

  67. S.K. Cheung Says:

    You do realize that, in order for someone to show that Chinese law enforcement was heavy-handed and inhumane, the Chinese law enforcement themselves had to provide the requisite fodder. So hey, if they’re going to be heavy-handed and inhumane, i say do it well, do it with pride, and don’t be afraid to sing it, baby.

  68. huaren Says:

    When I said “show” in my d2 step, I actually meant Hollywood style show. You know what I mean?
    Yeah, and of course, the Chinese are not as “sophisticated” in the Western view (as of today), so its easy to angle it “correctly.”

    Hey, so does that mean you don’t dispute with any other point I made in #66?

  69. huaren Says:

    LOL you are way too fast.

    ““Sorry to say, but I just can’t stand this thread.” – on a similar note, I might ask, do you think WE care?”

    In case you did not realize, I’d edited out that comment knowing you will responded exactly the way you did.

  70. Ted Says:

    Kui: “I agree with you that the Chinese government has not done enough to reconcile the families. But turning to foreign organisations only means they are going to loose sympathy from Chinese people.”

    I understand your point and acknowledge that for some/many Chinese, if someone associates with a foreign government or organization it might weaken their claims, but to me that reveals a weakness of the system. I don’t know, maybe we’re talking about the same thing from different directions. Certainly the people of a country should be hardened against outside propaganda, but to wholly disown an aggrieved group for using outside help when all local channels are cut off tells me that the system has deliberately designed this catch-22 to spin off anyone who might threaten the leadership, no matter how corrupt or despicable an act.

    It may be a reflex for some to dismiss these mothers’ opinions as influenced by outsiders but I see such a dismissal as a protective reaction that is as irrational or emotionally charged as the mother’s decision to seek outside help. Hmm… I hope that makes sense, I’m trying to state that depending on one’s point of view, the other is being irrational or emotional…

    Perhaps you are only stating that given the circumstances the mothers made a bad move but I don’t see how that should prevent discussion by those who wish to simply analyze their request on its face.

    Here I see a group with a set of legitimate grievances and, based on what they set fourth, the right to request an inquiry at the highest levels of government. What I haven’t seen is anyone demonstrate that:
    a) their request has been satisfied or,
    b) their request is without merit.

    NB. My earlier comment should have said 9/11 wives not mothers.

  71. pug_ster Says:

    @Ted

    I understand your point and acknowledge that for some/many Chinese, if someone associates with a foreign government or organization it might weaken their claims, but to me that reveals a weakness of the system.

    I would say this. Imagine that someone like Cindy Sheehan who is protesting against the Iraq war when the war was in full swing, support for the Iraq war was high. All of the sudden, someone found out that he was indirectly funded by government of Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, or Egypt. At most, Cindy Sheehan only needs a couple of million of dollars which is a measly amount, but I’m sure that alot of people would probably call a Muslim sympathizer.

    So to some people, these Tiananmen Mothers are nothing but Western Sympathizers, and that’s why I don’t really sympathize with their cause.

  72. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    “So Cindy Sheehan has been placed under house arrest without trial, the authorities told her who she could and could not see, where she could and could not go, when, etc because of her campaign? Really? I don’t think so. Now let’s stick with the topic at hand.”
    You said “harassment”, that is not just “house arrest”, etc.

    “Currently they’re not allowed to get in line and take a number, as you put it.”
    Not true, ton of Chinese people use the court petition procedures. If they don’t like the outcome, that’s a different matter. But there is a “LINE”.

  73. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    ““I would suggest that PUBLIC DIALOGUE should be done in orderly fashion. Get in line, take a number.” – considering the event in question happened 20 years ago, how long is this line? And how many people already have numbers? These mothers, I presume, aren’t getting any younger. How much longer would they have to wait before being able to partake in a form of dialogue that you approve?”

    There are 1.3 billion people in China. That’s the line. Everyone has some things they want from the government.

    300 million in US, and the bureaucracy is already pretty bad. It’s not unheard of that some death row immate in US don’t get exonerated until 20-30 years later, or never.

    Why such a surprise?

  74. kui Says:

    SKC.

    To achieve? We protested and wanted to achieve. We sat on the square would not go because we havenot achieved anything. If we did not think that we have to achieve only protested and left then a large and peaceful protest itself would be a big achievement?

    Did those anti-war protesters achieve anything at all? Did you go there and tell them “Hey, guys, you havenot achieved anything!” Would it be accepted by the democratic governments if those protesters found a way to achieve? stop a wrong war from happening? For example: Get foreign organisation’s funding and block the port to stop battle ships from leaving?

    Raj

    What is the meaning of funding?

    Ted

    I do not know where you are posting from? Do the people in your country like foreign organisations get involved in your country’s politics? I guess they would not like it. Being associated with a foreign organisation always weakens the claim no matter in which country, democratic or not because the foreign organisation may exert inflences on the person who make the claim. This influence is often designed to pursue the best interest of the foreign organisation not the person or the country”s best interest. And I think Huaren explained better than I did. Resorting to foreign organisation may only results in these mothers’ further victimization even if they have legitimate grievances.

    Anyone in China who has the potentials to threaten Chinese leadership/overthrow Chinese government/cause social turmoils in China most of time will find foreign organisation/media/government kindly offer moral/financial support/help/cheers for them in the name of democracy/freedom/humanrights/ religion and most of all, Chinese people’s interest. We had that when we were young students. I know very well what it is.

  75. Raj Says:

    Ted (70)

    That was a really good post.

    pug_ster (71)

    ….someone found out that he was indirectly funded by government of Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, or Egypt. At most, Cindy Sheehan only needs a couple of million of dollars which is a measly amount……

    You have evidence that the Tiananmen Mothers have been paid millions of dollars by foreign governments? Please, I keep hearing this allegation that they’ve received money but no evidence to back it up.

    raventhorn (72)

    You said “harassment”, that is not just “house arrest”, etc.

    I was talking about serious harrassment by the State of the sort the Tiananmen Mothers have received. Apologies if I had not made that clear in the comment you were reading.

    Not true, ton of Chinese people use the court petition procedures. If they don’t like the outcome, that’s a different matter. But there is a “LINE”.

    In that case you’re missing the point made by myself and others that they’ve already tried going through official channels. I.e. they’ve been in the line, got to the front, submitted their petitions and nothing happened (other than the fact they’re now a target for the security forces).

    kui (74)

    What is the meaning of funding?

    You tell me. I keep seeing allegations of them receiving “something” from foreign governments or agencies, but no one will say what.

    Let’s make it simple. Are they being given money? If not money, what are they receiving that takes away their credibility? With some evidence, please, given the seriousness of the allegation.

  76. pug_ster Says:

    Raj,

    You have evidence that the Tiananmen Mothers have been paid millions of dollars by foreign governments? Please, I keep hearing this allegation that they’ve received money but no evidence to back it up.

    I never said that the Tiananmen Mothers are being paid millions of dollars, but millions of dollars are used to promote their cause. This money can be used for things like setting up, running and maintaining this HRIC website, ‘convincing’ the media to give out favorable interviews, foreign funded NGO’s helping them with protests, etc…

  77. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (76)

    Where is your evidence that HRIC is solely funded with US government money, whether directly or indirectly? From my understanding it receives money from lots of sources.

    Where is your evidence that millions of dollars of anyone’s money is being spent to “convince” (you mean “bribe” – just say it) every single media group that does a news report on them to make it favourable?

    Where is your evidence that millions of dollars of money is spent organising their protests?

    Come on, gentlemen. You’re quick to claim the Tiananmen Mothers lack credibility or are compromised somehow but won’t back up your claims with anything more than speculation.

  78. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    “I was talking about serious harrassment by the State of the sort the Tiananmen Mothers have received. Apologies if I had not made that clear in the comment you were reading.”

    I wasn’t. If you must make such distinctions, I must say that there are more People in China who have NOT received the light harassment as Cindy Sheehan and others like her.

    “In that case you’re missing the point made by myself and others that they’ve already tried going through official channels. I.e. they’ve been in the line, got to the front, submitted their petitions and nothing happened (other than the fact they’re now a target for the security forces).”

    Surly, lots of injustices happen. some immates in US don’t get exonerated until 20-30 years after imprisonment.

    So what? China has 1.3 billion people. Everyone has something they want from the government. 4-5 times of population of US. You want to take a guess as to how many people don’t get justice in India’s 1+ billion population??

  79. Wahaha Says:

    I think Chinese want government to tell them what really happened on 6/4, for those who participated in 1980s democratic movement, they talk about it all the time, privately.

    The issue here is we dont trust West, we dont want to talk about it with West media. And General speaking, there are only three kinds westerners who want to butt into Chinese’s politics : One is those who want China into chaos one is who hated CCP, and want it disappears from earth; three are those who are brainwashed to believe that China is as she was 40 years ago. None of them care what Chinese want most, so why should we talk about it with them ?

    De Gaulle almost used military force on students and people in 1968, but in 1974, the airport in Paris was named after him.

    JFK slept around with movie stars and was unfaithful to his wife when Jacquelin was pregnant, but he was loved by Americans all the time.

    Russia people voted Stalin as #3 most loved Russia.

    So why cant we say something that is different from media in democratic regimes, huh ? and once we do that, some morons then throw ” nationalism ” tags around. This is typical way West media has used : put themselves on a morally high ground like they hold the truth while 1.3 billion chinese are idiots and dont know what is best for them.

  80. pug_ster Says:

    Raj,

    Where is your evidence that HRIC is solely funded with US government money, whether directly or indirectly? From my understanding it receives money from lots of sources.

    Where is your evidence that millions of dollars of anyone’s money is being spent to “convince” (you mean “bribe” – just say it) every single media group that does a news report on them to make it favourable?

    Where is your evidence that millions of dollars of money is spent organising their protests?

    Come on, gentlemen. You’re quick to claim the Tiananmen Mothers lack credibility or are compromised somehow but won’t back up your claims with anything more than speculation.

    None of us work for the HRIC, or any other foreign funded NGO’s so we don’t know any of their accounting information. We can’t prove anything unless this information becomes public. Maybe these NGO’s should be more forthcoming about what they do with their slush funds then we can debate on that. However, NED does fund these democracy or human rights NGO’s so we can only speculate. Maybe the problem is that you can’t add 1 + 1 = 2.

  81. pug_ster Says:

    R4000,

    Exactly, this kind of call for transparency in China of utter BS. Millions of dollars disappear in this big NED black hole and the information you gave above is just the tip of the iceberg. Millions of dollars in slush funds are spent in these Chinese human rights, Tibetan, Uyghur, pro-democracy and other NGO’s and nobody knows where it goes. One of the demands of these Tiananmen Mothers is to allow these foreign funded NGO’s to operate without limit in China. Millions of NED dollars funding these NGO’s stir up the revolutionist minds in Chinese students that caused the 1989 protest in the first place. Why does China want them back?

  82. Ted Says:

    @Kui: “To achieve? We protested and wanted to achieve. We sat on the square would not go because we havenot achieved anything. If we did not think that we have to achieve only protested and left then a large and peaceful protest itself would be a big achievement?”

    I think there-in lies a disconnect. In my opinion, to have protested and then left as you mentioned you did in your previous write-up was an achievement. You said your piece and it was heard. Based on all I’ve read it seems to me that there were groups that did not really know what it was to protest and groups who didn’t know how to disperse/deal with the protest. As someone wrote in a previous thread, this all happened in a bit of a info-vacuum, at least the protesters can claim they were in a vacuum, I don’t think the leadership can make such an argument.

    Who knows, after an investigation maybe people on all sides will find the blame is more spread around than any had previously thought.

    I tried to address your second comment in my previous post.

    @raventhorn4000: Can you please provide a link rather than copying directly from Wikipedia? Also if they are just links, perhaps you can group them together in a single post.

  83. Wahaha Says:

    Here is another picture of Tankman.

    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/behind-the-scenes-a-new-angle-on-history/

  84. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (80)

    We can’t prove anything unless this information becomes public. …. we can only speculate.

    So why are you assuming the worst about these old ladies? Whatever happened to “inncoent until proven guilty”? Or do you believe in “guilty until proven innocent”?

    1 plus 1 does equal 2, but you don’t have 1 and 1 to add together in the first place.

    raventhorn, this is a thread about dialogue and Tiananmen. At least keep it to the events of 1989. This isn’t a rant about evil America and/or the NED. I draw your attention to the draft conduct rules that have been posted.

  85. huaren Says:

    @Raj, #75

    “I.e. they’ve been in the line, got to the front, submitted their petitions and nothing happened (other than the fact they’re now a target for the security forces).”

    Let’s be practical. Its gotta stop some where. For example, rulings at the U.S. Supreme Court is the ultimate end of the line for those who wish to over-turn judgement against him – if you are a U.S. citizen. So, do expect this is also true for Chinese citizens for China.

    The Tiananmen Mothers broke Chinese law by colluding with Western human rights groups.

    You may not agree with the Chinese law, but that’s your problem.

    Now, imagine that U.S. citizen really wants “justice” really bad. So, they go and get some groups in Russia to help them take up their cause against the U.S. government. Where do you think that will lead to?

    Btw, this is not just some group – they are groups the U.S. government believe to be subversive – they are groups the U.S. citizens believe to be anti-U.S..

    (If there are Russian friends here, please, I don’t mean disrespect. I am just giving a credible country who could pose a threat to the U.S. as an example here.)

    The Tiananmen Mothers will get lots of mileage if they can succeed in getting ordinary Chinese citizens to sympathize with them. That was their original strategy. Hence, this keeping within the family concept first mentioned by kui.

    Don’t forget, ordinary Chinese citizens know that martial law was declared. Those chose to violate it need to take some responsibility as well.

    If the Tiananmen Mothers ultimate goal is to get as much help to the mothers as possible (financially and psychologically) without politicizing their cause and get “used” (or use whatever word you want) by the so-called human rights groups, I believe they’d be extremely successful.

    From my perspective, these so-called human rights groups actually create more friction and prolongs suffering for these victims mothers.

  86. Raj Says:

    huaren (85)

    Let’s be practical. Its gotta stop some where. For example, rulings at the U.S. Supreme Court is the ultimate end of the line for those who wish to over-turn judgement against him – if you are a U.S. citizen. So, do expect this is also true for Chinese citizens for China.

    Your example doesn’t work because before you get to the Supreme Court you have lots of other means of getting redress. Furthermore the courts will consider your case before you get a decision and are generally independent of the government. The Tiananmen Mothers weren’t allowed to go to court, they weren’t allowed to put their case to an independent body – the decision was made before they even opened their mouths. They have simply been harrassed.

    The Tiananmen Mothers broke Chinese law by colluding with Western human rights groups.

    Which law?

    The Tiananmen Mothers will get lots of mileage if they can succeed in getting ordinary Chinese citizens to sympathize with them. That was their original strategy. Hence, this keeping within the family concept first mentioned by kui.

    How exactly do you expect them to get sympathy from Chinese citizens when they can’t spread their message without assistance from outside of China? They can’t give TV interviews to the Chinese media, they can’t campaign in public, they can’t run websites based in China, they can’t demonstrate. The Chinese State has tried to gag them, so they have nowhere else to turn.

    To be honest, this argument of “keeping it within the family” strikes me in some ways as being part xenophobic and part a case of sour-grapes. Xenophobic because the main problem is that non-Chinese are involved – their motives aren’t necessarily important. If they were then “keeping it within the family” would be irrelevant. Sour grapes because some people can’t stand the idea that the relatives of Chinese victims would find more assistance from foreigners than their own people and their own government.

  87. seo china Says:

    China blocked twitter and flickr today. We don’t know why. Maybe to help its new comers like the chinese competitor of twitter ( fanfou.com ). http://www.them.pro/blog/china-twitter

  88. huaren Says:

    @Raj, #86

    How exactly do you expect them to get sympathy from Chinese citizens when they can’t spread their message without assistance from outside of China? They can’t give TV interviews to the Chinese media, they can’t campaign in public, they can’t run websites based in China, they can’t demonstrate. The Chinese State has tried to gag them, so they have nowhere else to turn.

    Are you serious? If I am one of the mothers, this is what I do:

    1. Do not have any political agenda.
    2. Set up a support network for the victims – much like one that was set up for the firefighters families in the Wold Trade Center on 9/11:
    – get funds organized for the victims families
    – get organized around how to cope with lost of family
    – yes, set up web sites
    – yes, get on CCTV to get the message out
    – get organized so as to be able to live as normal a life as possible
    3. I would lament and have to suck it up – because I failed to stop my son or daughter from disobeying martial law – - tons of other parents succeeded in getting their child to stop their foolishness.

    There’s tons of sympathy, as evidenced by people here for those mothers.

    As I said, the so-called “human rights” groups have further victimized these poor mothers. If there is justice, those channeling these poor mothers energy towards revenge or to take up on their own agenda ought to be brought to justice.

  89. JXie Says:

    @Wukailong #61

    Hey thanks for that piece of knowledge. Your comment is already interesting to read…

    The comment about “a few old Swedish men” was more about Jin Yong. Some recommended for him to be considered as a potential Nobel Prize Literature winner, he needed to do a bit PR, and knew about the committee. To me, “are you kidding me?” The fantasy worlds interwoven in the Chinese history, with its built in honor, love, loyalty, betrayal, desire, etc. — the fantasy worlds built by Jin Yong, are WAY cooler than those old Swedes and the second best writers they picked.

  90. Zhou Says:

    In China, all things operate in this fashion and it’s simply the way it is. If the majority is ok with it, (which they are) then that’s the way it should be.

    Let’s take the following example for comparison purposes: in Western countries, if a parent beats his child senseless, gives him a few black eyes, social services will be notified, take the child away from the parents. In China, if a parent beats his child senseless, it’s accepted by society as the child should respect his parents Confucian-style. There’s no social services that will bail out that kid. If that kid is dumb enough to seek a third party for help, the kid will get beaten again for having told on his father. That’s the way it is, and I respect it.

    I do agree that it’s not good that foreigners interfere with other countries affairs. I’ll never forget how the Chinese people banded together to prevent Quebec from separating from Canada during the 1995 referendum. As many Chinese had immigrated to Canada, and settled in Quebec, they feared that if Quebec separated from Canada, they would lose their Canadian citizenship, thus become Quebec citizens. The Chinese immigrants unanimously voted “NO” to the separation of Quebec. The final total count was 50.58% voting “No” to separating. Had they not voted, Quebec would have been a country.

  91. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Huaren:
    “I actually meant Hollywood style show. You know what I mean?” – actually, no. Do you mean a CGI or green screen routine, where something never happened, but someone digitizes a photo or video to make it look like it did? If that’s the case, that’s wrong. But if it means putting snippets of real events together to make a point that is not taken out of context, and putting it to song, hey, as I say, it’s depicting real events, and if Chinese security forces will do it, why not do it with pride, and show it to the world, baby?

    I have no problem with a, c, d, 1, 2, 3, or e. If there’s a legitimate point to be made, and such a model is how someone needs to go about making it, I see no problem with it.

    For (b), it would depend on what you mean by inciting them, and in particular, what law was being targeted.

    “I’d edited out that comment knowing you will responded exactly the way you did.” – and if you had that much foresight, then next time maybe just don’t bother posting it at all.

    To Pugster:
    if Cindy Sheehan received financial support from Iran, does that change the legitimacy of her grievance? If the TAM mothers needed to go elsewhere to be heard, after they were stonewalled for 20 years by their own government, does that change the legitimacy of their grievances?

    To R4000:
    “Everyone has some things they want from the government.” – have all those people had children killed at the hands of the PLA? Does China not have small claims vs more substantial cases, and provincial vs federal jurisdictions? Is it all just ONE line? And even so, how far has this line moved in 20 years? If these mothers were at the back of the line 20 years ago, where are they now?

    “It’s not unheard of that some death row immate in US don’t get exonerated until 20-30 years later, or never.
    Why such a surprise?” – that’s completely different. These people have had their day in court, followed by the automatic appeal of capital cases. Then the appeals to the governor, as well as appeals to all manner of state and federal courts, up to and including the Supremes. I’d say they would’ve had multiple days in court. I believe the TAM mothers are awaiting the first, over the same period of time. Not to mention that you should only hope for exoneration if you’ve been wrongfully convicted; otherwise the best you can hope for is commuting of death sentence to life imprisonment.

    To Kui:
    “To achieve? We protested and wanted to achieve…” – my point was, if going elsewhere to be heard was the “wrong move”, what to you would’ve been the “right move” for those mothers? And even if they did what you thought was the “right move”, do you think they would get the transparency and accountability that they seek?

    To huaren:
    “1. Do not have any political agenda.” – what constitutes “political agenda”? Does asking questions about a political event mean you have a political agenda? Ultimately, these mothers seem simply to have some questions they want answered.
    “because I failed to stop my son or daughter from disobeying martial law” – it seems lots of parents failed to stop their kids from disobeying martial law. These mothers’ particular failure seems to have been failing to teach their kids how to dodge bullets.

  92. Raj Says:

    huaren (88)

    I’m still waiting to hear what law the Mothers have violated by associating with foreign organisations.

    Do not have any political agenda.

    Given the State frequently defines complaints against it as being “political” that would preclude them from doing or saying anything. However, I don’t think that calling for an investigation

    -Set up a support network for the victims – much like one that was set up for the firefighters families in the Wold Trade Center on 9/11
    - get funds organized for the victims families
    - yes, set up web sites
    - yes, get on CCTV to get the message out

    So you think that the Tiananmen Mothers deliberately and immediately went to foreign sources and have ignored all of these “opportunities” in China? Huaren, I think it is common-sense that they would have tried this before. But we know that CCTV will not get their message out. Take what happened two years ago when someone managed to put an advert into a newspaper.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSPEK6927320070604

    An advertisement saluting mothers of students and workers killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown appeared in a newspaper in southwest China on Monday, two witnesses said, in a rare public criticism of the massacre. The advertisement, in the lower right corner of page 14 of the Chengdu Evening News, read: “Paying tribute to the strong mothers of June 4 victims”, two local residents who saw it told Reuters.

    Police are investigating how the advertisement got into the newspaper, one local resident who requested anonymity said.

    Its publication was an accident and the Police actually investigated. If the authorities made such a fuss over a local/regional newspaper there is no way they would let national organisations get away with publishing their views and calls for support.

    It’s also true that they can’t organise into a group, get funds and set up websites in China. They’ve been placed under house arrest simply because of the date, arrested properly, had their movements restricted, etc. The State wouldn’t waste so much time making life difficult for them if they were freely able to operate in China.

    get organized around how to cope with lost of family

    Why does caring about deceased relatives, especially ones that you believe were wrongly killed, mean you can’t cope?

    get organized so as to be able to live as normal a life as possible

    So move on, sit down and shut up?

    I would lament and have to suck it up – because I failed to stop my son or daughter from disobeying martial law

    Most of the victims were adults – the parents weren’t responsible for them. Plus you’re being completely heartless.

    There’s tons of sympathy, as evidenced by people here for those mothers.

    Most people here aren’t Chinese citizens and they can read English.

    As I said, the so-called “human rights” groups have further victimized these poor mothers.

    Yes, they’re being victimised by being offered support. How horrible of those nasty foreigners!

  93. Wukailong Says:

    @JXie: (#89): I hope Jin Yong got nominated for the prize, at least. Actually, one of the members of the Swedish Academy which nominated Gao Xingjian is an old sinologist, Göran Malmqvist (马跃然). He has translated Journey to the West and Water Margin into Swedish, as well as several works by Lao She. I don’t doubt his knowledge, but since he’s friends with several famous authors, there might be reasons Jin Yong doesn’t get the prize. I’m just speculating here, though…

    Some authors, like Günther Grass and Orhan Pamuk, are truly great writers. In other cases, I don’t understand why they got the prize at all.

  94. pug_ster Says:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/malcolmmoore/blog/2009/06/04/why_china_is_not_going_to_say_sorry_for_what_happened_at_tiananmen_square

    This is an interesting article of why China won’t have the dialogue of the Tiananmen incident. Many of the leaders involved are still here, though have more junior positions at the time. I think that China will probably address this when these current leaders retire and step down and next generation of CCP leaders who weren’t involved in the incident would step up.

  95. huaren Says:

    @SKC, Raj

    LOL. Some nerves got struck hard, no?

    Raj, I skimmed through your comments and am satisfied your types of views are going to exist. Prove to me they were harassed when they were following my formula and not after they started colluding with the so-called “human rights” activist.

    SKC, #91,

    Whatever your types are doing, try not to break other countrie’s laws. Hey, humans are humans. We all very frequently do not understand the consequence of our actions regardless of intentions.

  96. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (94)

    Yes, I had read that, but thank you for sharing it with other readers who might not have seen it. That said I’m a bit sceptical in part because China watchers/academics/etc have often made predictions based on generations of leadership. There were comments about the possibility for change (generally, not specifically on Tiananmen) when Jiang Zemin stood down. Then again when he was no longer head of the CMC. Then in advance of the next groups of leaders being announced.

    To be honest, given that future senior politicians are selected and nurtured by the elite of the time, a new batch of leaders won’t necessarily change anything. I mean, sure, Wen and Li might feel embarrassed by an apology, but the former is going pretty soon and the latter will be firmly in power at roughly the same time. If they and their allies would kick up a fuss when they’re in government they would do so when retired.

    I think it’s more down to there not being anyone influential enough to push for an apology and the public lacking much awareness of/interest in the event. If those were to change then, assuming Wen had finished his term as Premier by that time, I doubt Li alone could veto it. But chances are he’ll be “safe” because his peers will think the same way as he does.

    hauren (95)

    It’s so boring when you try to change the direction of the discussion. You’ve made allegations about breaking laws without saying what laws would be broken. You’ve made ridiculous suggestions about campaigning in China that the Tiananmen Mothers obviously cannot do, yet have tried anyway. Now you demand evidence that they were victimised before they started seeking assistance from overseas, despite the fact that it is you who are making the allegation that they’re only being treated badly because they have help from non-Chinese sources!

    Do your own work! :D

  97. Carey Rowland Says:

    Raj, thank you for the informative posting, and for your monitoring of the subsequent discussion. This American, who will soon visit Tiananmen Square, has learned a lot from reading the Mothers’ statement , and the 96 comments that accompany it on this site.

    I wish to express my condolences to all mothers, including mothers of PLA soldiers, whose “children” were killed during that 24-hour period.

    All people of the earth owe a debt to any citizens anywhere who contribute their “last full measure of devotion” to make the world a better place, or a safer place.

    I notice that kui writes in #27: “A former student who protested against the government now wants to join them…” This is a pattern we see in America as well (or probably anywhere for that matter). I protested US involvement in Vietnam years ago. Now I am a teacher in the system. I have a daughter who has recently visited Vietnam and said that Americans are now welcomed there. And I have a son who is living in China. So that’s one reason I am interested in this, and will therefore take a chance on offering a foreigner’s opinion. After all, it doesn’t really matter what a Westerner thinks. I’ll say it anyway, because I am free to do so.

    But I digress. I mention kui’s point in @27 about protesters later becoming involved in government, for a reason. That little thread runs surreptitiously beneath the entire discussion until it is is picked up again toward the very end in an exchange between pug_ster #94 and Raj #96.

    And that, gentlemen, is what makes this kind of discussion so educative, and so valuable. Although pug_ster had risked the group’s censure by expressing some contrarian views, he managed to hang in there without seriously jeopardizing his position, and then post a very thoughtful, legitimate point in #94:
    “I think that China will probably address this when these current leaders retire and step down and next generation of CCP leaders who weren’t involved in the incident would step up.”

    …which was immediately followed by Raj in #96: “…To be honest, given that future senior politicians are selected and nurtured by the elite of the time, a new batch of leaders won’t necessarily change anything…”

    This is constructive dialogue. Let’s work toward expanding it beyond the limits of meaningless English debate and Western sensitivity. Maybe one day Chinese citizens will have similarly productive exchange among themselves in Mandarin. If that sounds condescendingly democratic…well, it can’t be because I’m a Republican.

    Thanks to all for providing me a new perspective on the Middle Kingdom. And thanks to you Chinese guys for financing our exhorbitantly leveraged western excesses. We are indebted to you. You’ve got a stake in America; and we, like it or not, have a stake in you. So get used to it.

  98. pug_ster Says:

    @Raj 96

    I think the next group of leaders will be more open after the incident after Wen and Li retires much like how Deng Xiaopeng talked about the CR after Mao left. However, I doubt that the new leadership would criminalize the previous leaders involved because many Chinese agree that these leaders who did what they had to do. Perhaps they will use Zhao Ziyang as a scapegoat to blame him for the failed economic policies and the failure to control the youth that caused this mess. Chinese government would probably say something like ‘sorry for the deaths,’ but not ‘it is our fault for these deaths.’ I would also doubt that an ‘independent investigation’ would happen as it seems to be that the Western Countries want this ‘independent investigation’ to look for damning evidence that they will never find.

  99. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (98)

    Then you don’t really seem to be suggesting a future Chinese leadership would allow open dialogue, more that it would merely issue a new decree about the “correct” historical view of the protests and killings – even if it was one that was more sympathetic towards the students.

    As for Zhao Ziyang, maybe he would be made a scapegoat. But then again why not Li Peng (who will be dead by the time Li Keqiang has had his second term) or the hardline Communist old guard? I think they all have their supporters in the party. Besides if they blame Zhao then people will want to know who he is in more detail, that will generate interest in his memoirs and they will contradict the official line. If you want a scapegoat you want to blame someone who hasn’t already got his story out.

    One other thing. It will be 2023 by the time Li Keqiang steps down – assuming the unthinkable doesn’t happen and he doesn’t get a second term – unless China has dragged its feet over reform there might not be much point in issuing an “imperial decree” about 4th June 1989 and demonising Zhao. By that time there might be enough freedom to openly challenge the government’s view. Thus it might make more sense just to let people argue things themselves and criticise someone who did actually back the crackdown. Or just say that there were lots of factors and there was no particular party at fault.

    On the point of the investigation, I don’t quite know what it is you think non-Chinese expect from it. The only points I think most people would want to see are:

    - A full list of the dead
    - An admission that the students weren’t counter-revolutionaries/whatever term is currently affixed to them
    - An admission that the protests were generally peaceful for a long time
    - An admission that unarmed civilians were killed
    - General detail about how the deaths were caused – possibly examples could be that people really were crushed under armoured vehicles, ambushed in narrow streets, etc

    What is it that you’ve read that says people want admissions of events that never happened or whatever?

    By the way, Shane, if you want to post an article in Chinese with no English translation can you do it on the open thread or the Chinese version of the site? Thanks.

  100. Shane9219 Says:

    @Admin

    How come this site allow someone like RAJ to remove my post which is totally relevant to this discussion. Even a link to the original article was removed too. No wonder more and more people are leaving this site .. Some liberalists are just fake with intolerance of different POVs.

    中国“政治表述”的说服力
    杜平

    http://www.zaobao.com/yl/tx090606_501.shtml

  101. Shane9219 Says:

    @Raj #99

    This forum is shared by Chinese speaking people. Lots of materials are posted here in Chinese, if you are here long enough. You may share your opinion, but you should not remove my post which is totally relevant.

  102. Shane9219 Says:

    中国“政治表述”的说服力

    杜平

    http://www.zaobao.com/yl/tx090606_501.shtml

    对欧洲来说,20世纪是一个短暂的世纪,它于1989年提前结束。那一年,东欧和苏联社会主义阵营开始崩溃,导致二战之后形成的冷战秩序迅速消融。笔者当年身处“欧洲神经中枢”布鲁塞尔,一边感受着近在身边的大变局,一边关注着遥远中国的命运。

    再看东欧和苏联剧变

      那场惊心动魄的政治剧变始自波兰,然后一发不可收拾。1989年9月,波兰举行首次政治选举,共产党政权黯然下台;同年12月,罗马尼亚发生大规模暴乱,继而催生了极其血腥的政变;1990年3月,柏林墙在一片混乱中被推倒,东德共产党垮台;此后,保加利亚和捷克斯洛伐克也相继变天;1991年,苏联在兵不血刃中骤然溃散,东西方冷战由此正式盖棺;1992年,南斯拉夫陷入旷日持久的战乱,国土四分五裂,人民生灵涂炭。

      在如此短暂的时间里,欧洲共产党政权如同骨牌游戏一触即倒,堪称世界历史上罕有的奇特现象。毫无疑问,剧变的根源存在于各国自身,但加剧动荡的力量却来自外部。一方面,由于长期的政治高压和经济落后,各国内部积聚了太多的不满与怨愤;另一方面,西方阵营持续几十年的强大政治攻势,使这些国家内部倾向西方的力量受到鼓舞。

      无论在苏联还是在东欧,以变革者身份出现的政治势力和个人,往往都在有意或无意之间、主动或被动地扮演了呼应西方战略、承载西方意志的角色。不用说那些不满现状、头脑发热和盲动盲从的普通民众,就连共产体制的受益者和驾驭者,都在那股所向披靡的西化浪潮中身不由己、推波助澜。其中,戈尔巴乔夫和耶尔辛是最具代表性的人物,看似顺应时势,实际上是毫无方向感地随波逐流。

      在旧秩序被打破之后,人们期待的新秩序并没有出现,相反,新一轮危机随之而来。政客、政党和不少民众,人人背负着充满仇恨的历史包袱,用极端民族主义、分离主义和种族清洗行动,填补了专制政权留下的真空,要么是制造新对抗,要么是干脆自相残杀。在革命的冲动得到满足之后,他们的命运并未好转。

      以欧洲的这段历史作为反衬背景,隔着遥远的时空回望相同年代的中国,也许有助于我们增广视角,暂时忘却某个定论、某种成见,努力用不同于以往的心态,去回首那段不堪回首的往事。

    始终被外部世界牵引

      1980年代中后期,中国在政治和经济上依然落后,但思想界已经相当自由活跃。经过十年的开放,源自西方的各种政治思潮,广泛而凶猛地渗透到知识界和大学校园。诸如“存在主义”和“异化学说”,这些哲学理论在它们自己的故乡可能早已乏人问津,但在中国知识分子当中却是炙手可热、如获至宝,对青年学生更有一种神秘的魔力。

    由于社会的长期封闭和压抑,加上“五四”之后反传统潮流不断泛起,中国开放之初的知识分子和青年学生如饥似渴,对一切外来的事物都感到新奇无比,不加区分地热情拥抱,毫无保留地信奉推崇。可以说,80年代的中国在思想上是一片广阔的待开垦之地,它为形形色色和稀奇古怪的西方思潮,提供了滋生蔓延的肥沃新土壤。这是改革开放所不可避免的结果,只是到后来才发现过犹不及。

      西方政治思潮的蜂拥而至,使原本万马齐喑、思想单一的中国知识群体,变得异常地活跃和兴奋。但是,在无条件接受外来思想意识的同时,人们几乎完全忽视了自身文化所该有的位置,使改革开放进程从一开始就没有自主和独立的思想灵魂。就像当初无条件拥抱马列主义一样,中国未来蓝图的设计者和实践者,再次犯下了急于求成、舍本逐末的错误。

      意识形态的辩论和不同思想的碰撞,使人们对中国自己的文化思想体系越来越没有自信,越没有自信就越要怀疑和批判,结果变得激进偏狭、愤世嫉俗。某些抽象和花哨的西方政治理论,被一些特定的人群视为自己的专有诉求。这不仅过于天真和理想化,而且也使文革之后好不容易凝聚起来的全民新共识开始动摇。

      对于1989年北京发生的社会和政治动荡,不同的人群会有截然不同的理解与看法。而到目前为止,所有的政治定论、学术研究和民间记忆,都是不同的眼睛看到的不同的历史碎片。当所有这些碎片拼凑在一起时候,我们才有可能看到完整的图像,才不会固执己见和过于沉湎,也才有可能从历史中真正汲取教训,并且不让历史去羁绊或牺牲未来。

      为此,笔者只想补充的一点是,任何一次重大的历史事件,都不可能孤立地发生、孤立地演变。在历史的大视野之下,当年的中国是世界大变局的一部分,其内部局势的演变难以抗拒外部世界的牵引力。

      1980年代的西方,经济实力处于顶峰状态,意识形态的霸权地位也是登峰造极。对于急于摆脱孤立和贫穷的中国来说,来自欧美社会的任何“政治表述”都极具说服力和吸引力。因此,只要经济形势有任何风吹草动,中国的政治生态就会失去平衡,就会有人不由自主地把眼光投向西方,试图用西方的制度来解决中国的问题。中国在80年代中后期的几次政治失衡,就是因为缺乏政治定力所导致。直到今天,这样的缺陷依然没有解决,危险依然存在。

    缺乏政治定力和精神内聚力

      事实上,近现代以来,中国就一直在这种缺乏政治定力、缺乏精神内聚力的状态下循环往复。以清末洋务运动为起始,经辛亥革命、国民政府、五四运动、共产党诞生、新中国成立、改革开放和1989年,一直到眼前的2009,中国似乎一直在为别人的理论、别人的概念和别人的主张,而不知疲倦地自我折磨、自我戕害。看看过去一百多年,中国对未来方向的辨识和把握,始终都要假借于外人的眼睛和头脑,在迈出脚步之前必须借助西方的“文明棍”。

      对于当代中国,对外开放是必须坚持的道路,但用历史长镜头看,它只是一种政策、过程和手段,不能必然导致民族灵魂的重新发现。相反,浑然忘我的开放反而有可能使之湮没。单看有形的物质,当今中国也许确实是百年未有之“盛世”,但盛况之下却是精神空虚,因为至今为止还没有找到思想上的“主心骨”。

      改革开放30年间,中国涌现了大批“思想开放”的管理者、学者和精英分子,但“思想开放”的内涵,却止于接纳某些外部事物的态度。这么多年以来,政府和民间一直喋喋不休地强调“对外开放”是何等重要,久而久之便导致全民认识出现偏差,以为最好的东西、最有效的办法统统都在西方世界。中国民族自信心的增强之所以赶不上对外开放的步伐,其中部分原因也许就在于此。

    中国的对外开放已经成为常态,但其本身并不能解释一个民族为何要存在和强大的意义,也解决不了中国面对的根本性问题。因此,中国决策者接下来的任务,就是要更多地重视“内修”,通过政治管理体制的改良与创新,来增强“政治表述”的说服力和吸引力,使振兴国家的进程具有思想内涵的定力。否则,中国就会继续成为各种外来思潮的竞逐之地,并且继续为此争吵不休、折腾不已。

  103. pug_ster Says:

    @Raj 99

    I’ve said that Chinese government shouldn’t admit guilt as it is some of the protesters acted badly also. Second, you shouldn’t go around censoring other people’s posts just because you don’t think it is appropriate. I’ve had complaints with Richard with that very same issue at least he was reasonable.

  104. Wahaha Says:

    raventhorn, this is a thread about dialogue and Tiananmen. At least keep it to the events of 1989. This isn’t a rant about evil America and/or the NED. I draw your attention to the draft conduct rules that have been posted.

    Raj,

    then stop throwing the stupid tags of nationalism when we say something you dont like to hear.

    As long as you use some stupid words, you deserve being called out.

    By the way, why do people like have to butt into China’s business ? do you know how many kids vanish each year in your country ? You sound more like you care the TiananMen mothers than those kids killed in your country.

    If Kids in China had disappeared at the speed as in your country, I am sure CCP wouldve put it on the top of their list.

    So you better expalin.

  105. Wukailong Says:

    @Shane: That’s an interesting article that should certainly be translated and published on this blog. Having said that much, I think the author is viewing Europe completely through a Chinese lens; while this is understandable and perhaps necessary for the conclusions he draws, it’s about as misleading as when Westerners view China through a US-European lens.

    First of all, the change is viewed as some sort of disaster that had internal origins but was aggravated by foreign, predominantly “Western” forces. That viewpoint neglects the influence of the greatest foreigner in the area at the time, the Soviet Union, and its use of military force to keep its allies in line. Some of these allies even attempted Chinese-style reforms, like Hungary, and were met with the might of the Red Army.

    Also, would it have been better if the Cold War have just gone on, until this day?

    A funny detail is the mention of how Yugoslavia was broken up. Sure, it was – but Germany was reunited because of the fall of communism.

    Finally, the way the author describes the horrors of Eastern Europe is, well, a bit outdated. Mistakes were made. Shock therapy is probably not a good idea. But look at the Baltic countries, or Poland, or why not Hungary. To claim that these countries were somewhat better off during the Cold War just doesn’t make it. In many ways, China went through the same problems in the 80s, but like Deng Xiaoping said, “people might be against me, but they’re not against the reforms.”

  106. pug_ster Says:

    @Wahaha,

    I would disagree. This article is about ‘having a dialogue’ from an HRIC website. All bets considered, I would like to question the authenticity from the website. Is there an actual census from ALL Tiananmen Mothers to ask for these questions in this website? Are there signatures or endorsements from All the Tiananmen Mothers themselves? Personally, I don’t see that and that’s why I wrote in #1 and these questions are nothing but a sham as these questions are being asked by the US government rather than from the Tianamen mothers themselves.

  107. Shane9219 Says:

    @Wukailong #105

    I don’t think the author made a point to judge whether it was good or bad to end Cold War. In reality, Soviet block already lost the Cold War, and its member countries could no longer carry on the old way, so did China. NATO countries, on the other hand, were doing very well especially for US after its strategic withdrawal from Vietnam by President Nixon. The author did implied that there was a genuine need to reform the old Soviet system and open up to the West.

    The author further pointed out the unexpected quick and disorderly failing of the old soviet system, and equally quick and mindless switch to full western-style system caused a complete mess and inflicted tremendous pain to those population, and so far have not bear major fruition to those people.

    China, nowadays, is on the other side of story, basking under the wild “praises” from the West. However, the author then pointed out that it is not a time for celebration but to do more soul searching. There is a critical need to discuss among Chinese in term of what could make China really stand up in the world politically and socially, and what vision can China bring into a new world order. So far, the case from China has been vague and unconvincing.

  108. admin Says:

    Raj,

    The power of deletion is to be used carefully and in a transparent manner, especially when rules are not finalized. Otherwise how can people tell your censoring is different from CCP’s? I am in a conference for a week and we can discuss this later.

  109. Shane9219 Says:

    @Admin #108

    Thanks for the comment. I do think moderation on discussion is a good idea, but hopefully apply more to spam.

  110. Wukailong Says:

    Er… Does everyone with an account have administrative rights? I couldn’t find one of my entries last week, but I figured it had been fried by the system. Deletion should not be used lightly and hopefully not at all.

  111. Wukailong Says:

    @Shane: I agree with most of the things you wrote, and the Chinese experience is one of foreign occupation (West, Russia and Japan). I guess the area of contention is how horrible the experience was for the Eastern European countries. Russia and Yugoslavia have certainly done horribly and Germany has had its issues, but several of the other countries have been quite successful all along.

    The Soviet Union and subsequently Russia is an interesting example of how to do things wrong. First Gorbachev tried reforming the economy with some small reforms that basically did nothing. Then he tried to do a lot and the whole economic system basically collapsed. The new Russian leaders then added their part of gasoline to the fire by quickly privatizing.

  112. Shane9219 Says:

    @Wukailong

    I agree that several small Eastern European countries emerged out of their change of system okay. But now they are mostly in deep debt with high inflation, having borrowed heavily for their development with an out-flow of investment (sounds familiar ?).

    Given the recent history of regional division and multi-ethnicity situation in China, a destabilization of its nation-wide political & economical system would be a real disaster. If you read one of 14th DL’s Bio (available on link below), the first page of the book presented a map with his vision of Great Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Taiwan and then PRC. And we know the west will be very glad to accept this map. Even worse, the Southern China and Northern China could get into wars and ended up splitting like they did during recent history.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=nQ7n_5UPX3IC&pg=PA151&dq=Dalai+Lama+biography++Freedom+in+Exile#PPP13,M1

    Even in the recent “Charter 08″, those Chinese liberals readily accept the notion of so-called “the republic of great Tibet” .

  113. Raj Says:

    Shane, this website is not only for Chinese-speaking people. But, ok, I shouldn’t have deleted the comment so quickly. Can you at least try to provide a summary in English next time for non-Chinese speakers? Thanks.

    By the way, can you please explain why allowing the Tiananmen Mothers dialogue is going to lead towards the breakup of China and/or economic trouble? I don’t see the link – perhaps you could explain the link you’ve drawn more clearly, thanks.

    pug_ster (106)

    So because you don’t have all the facts to your liking, you’re assuming the worst? Why? The signatures are there and you have no evidence as to how that compares to the membership. To be honest I don’t think you want to believe the statement is genuine and you’re coming up with whatever reason you can think of to doubt it.

  114. real name Says:

    112
    - several small Eastern European countries emerged out of their change of system okay
    concretely my small country had 6% average annual gdp grow in last 15 years (what is absolutely per capita higher that chinese 10%), inflation is low (and i think was lower than chinese year ago), recet years goverment debt (except this year) about 3%, …
    - the first page of the book presented a map
    maybe wrong link? what year it was published?
    - Even in the recent “Charter 08″, those Chinese liberals readily accept the notion of so-called “the republic of great Tibet”?
    aren’t they speaking about something like chinese federation for all nations (= also minorities)?

  115. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “”“Everyone has some things they want from the government.” – have all those people had children killed at the hands of the PLA? Does China not have small claims vs more substantial cases, and provincial vs federal jurisdictions? Is it all just ONE line? And even so, how far has this line moved in 20 years? If these mothers were at the back of the line 20 years ago, where are they now?”

    No. Yes, and NO. Get your measuring tape out for the line. It’s LONG. It’s REALITY.

    ““It’s not unheard of that some death row immate in US don’t get exonerated until 20-30 years later, or never.
    Why such a surprise?” – that’s completely different. These people have had their day in court, followed by the automatic appeal of capital cases. Then the appeals to the governor, as well as appeals to all manner of state and federal courts, up to and including the Supremes. I’d say they would’ve had multiple days in court. I believe the TAM mothers are awaiting the first, over the same period of time. Not to mention that you should only hope for exoneration if you’ve been wrongfully convicted; otherwise the best you can hope for is commuting of death sentence to life imprisonment.”"

    Supreme Court reviews are always discretionary. Same in China. That’s reality. Deal with it.

  116. Wukailong Says:

    real name: Just curious, what country are you from?

    I met this guy from Hungary once who said he hated communism because of what it did to the economy of his country. I guess that sentiment is quite common, but there are also people nostalgic for the old system.

  117. pug_ster Says:

    @Raj 113,

    So because you don’t have all the facts to your liking, you’re assuming the worst? Why? The signatures are there and you have no evidence as to how that compares to the membership. To be honest I don’t think you want to believe the statement is genuine and you’re coming up with whatever reason you can think of to doubt it.

    Where are the signatures in this particular document? You ask for ‘proof’ of the funding for their cause of these Tiananmen mothers and yet you give these Tiananmen mothers the latitude that they approve this statement? If they approve this statement shouldn’t these Tiananmen mothers sign this statement like how Charter 08 was signed or you see the Tiananmen mothers come out in public to urge China for this dialogue? I see maybe 2 of them come out but the rest of them are not talking. This is extreme bias and that’s why you are self-righteous in your views.

  118. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (117)

    How often do you see letters, petitions and other similar documents on the internet that carry people’s actual signatures? The normal thing that happens is that they sign a paper document sent to the organisation that hosts it or express their consent in another way. The electronic copy then carries their printed names, as is the case with this document. That’s what happened with Charter 08 as far as I know.

    http://www.inmediahk.net/node/1001730

    There are no electronic signatures there. Do you have a link to page that does?

    I asked you for some form of evidence that the Tiananmen Mothers were being directly funded by outside groups because it’s a serious allegation and you raised it.

    It was you who said that you doubted the authenticity of the signatures, that this was the view of the US government and that the statement represented the group’s true feelings, etc. Thus it is for you to substantiate those claims. You’re making a schoolyard “you prove that I’m wrong” argument, which is very silly.

    I did not make any assertion that all the signatures are genuine – I started off with a good-will view that they were genuine. If you don’t start with the assumption that signatures on petitions, articles, etc are genuine then how can you ever believe any electronic document’s authenticity? How do I know that professor so-and-so really wrote a paper? How do I know this person even exists? How do I know this isn’t really an evil organisation working in disguise?

    As I said, I think you’re starting off from the position that you don’t believe the article’s authenticity because you don’t like the views contained therein.

  119. pug_ster Says:

    Raj,

    I did not make any assertion that all the signatures are genuine – I started off with a good-will view that they were genuine. If you don’t start with the assumption that signatures on petitions, articles, etc are genuine then how can you ever believe any electronic document’s authenticity? How do I know that professor so-and-so really wrote a paper? How do I know this person even exists? How do I know this isn’t really an evil organisation working in disguise?

    Your ‘good-will view’ is also a biased view. If you can’t verify the source of this article, then why did you bring up in the first place? Basically, you bring up anti-china propaganda for everybody to see and ask us to have a discussion on propaganda. Like what Wahaha says on #12, maybe you should talk about other things instead.

  120. Raj Says:

    pug_ster (120)

    You don’t get the point. It is almost always impossible to verify the source of any electronic article. You see the announcement as an invention because you don’t like it. If that’s the way that you want to treat then I’m very sorry to hear it.

    I like the topics I choose, thanks.

  121. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Well onto basic fact:

    many of the Tiananmen protesters were CCP members. So were Zhao and Bao.

    As far as I’m concern, they “signed up” to the party, they live with the consequences.

  122. Raj Says:

    raventhorn, even in China the authorities should abide by the rules. Zhao was placed under house arrest without going to trial/having a court order approving it. Furthermore, I am not aware that Chinese law authorised the Army to shoot unarmed civilians even in a state of martial law.

    Party membership does not mean you should be treated more or less favourably by the law. The Party itself can take some action like remove your membership, but apart from that the law should do its work.

    Also I don’t believe you know who amongst the dead/injured was a CCP member, so that point is a bit redundant.

  123. raventhorn4000 Says:

    It’s called “Martial law”, shooting of rioters is permitted.

    and who said they were “unarmed civilians”? You can hardly claim that when we all seen the footages of burnt army vehicles.

    Who said a CCP member would have to go through “trial” for house arrest? He signed up on CCP membership, he must live by CCP rules.

    “law should do its work”? Whose law? Chinese law says he could be placed under house arrest. I don’t know what law you are talking about. (And don’t bother bringing anybody else’s law. That’s irrelevant).

    You “don’t believe”? Well, we are not here to discuss your beliefs.

  124. Raj Says:

    Martial law does not allow you to do whatever you like. It just means that the Army is able to apply the law instead of the Police. Yes, there were rioteers, but that was a small proportion of the number of people on the streets. Moreover committing a crime like rioting doesn’t permit you to execute someone. If not all then most of the deaths happened when people had already left the Square and were running away. They were not a threat to anyone.

    The CCP does not have the legal right to place people under house arrest without trial. What Chinese law says Zhao can be placed under house arrest for the rest of his life without trial?

    Lastly, even if people have the right to do something that doesn’t mean they should do it. It’s a choice. Even if soldiers had the right to kill protesters, did they have to kill people who had already left the Square, even crushing them with their armoured vehicles? Even if the CCP had the right to place Zhao under house arrest, was it fair and necessary to do that for the rest of his life? The people making these decisions are humans capable of deciding for themselves, not robots who have to act according to their programming.

  125. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    You and other June-4th appologists are holding on a simplistic and naive view of Tiananmen incident, despite all the materials available saying it was a very complex and chaotic event badly carried out to a sad ending.

    Here is a link to a speech by Qiang Ling on the sqaure. People can see what an extremist she was then. She went nuts, screaming publicly in the very fashion of a Red Guard during Cultural Revolution.

    She wanted 1) to over-thrown the government, and 2) to have bloodshed on the square and willing to stay till the last moment.

    Where was she at the final minutes of June 4th night, 1989? She went into hiding and ran away way before the last moment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8fGgkSNkP0

    Listen to 3:03 “Only when the sqaure is awash with blood..” Also, she talks about knowing there would be bloodshed, that she wanted it to happen. She urged others to stay and die but she escaped herself way before the last minute

  126. real name Says:

    ad 116
    Just curious, what country are you from?
    slovakia
    it’s similar to hungary, not just economy losts in that period
    any sentiment is natural, my father always speaks man likes to recall ‘great time’ of army training (was necessary for every health boy here) even in fact it were (in his time) two lost years of creeping in mud, fortunately already we have professional army only

  127. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    Continue …

    But the Chinese government first sent in its PLA unarmed. A decalssified US NSA document also confirmed the same.

    Not only did the PLA soldiers not have pepper spray, they had no tear gas, no shields, no riot gear, and no training in how to push back “friendly” crowds. They had requested help with these items from local government, and were refused. This was consistent with my personal observation during those days.

    Several innocent soldiers were tortured, murdered and burned-to-death in days before the square was finally cleared.

    Chai Ling, on the other hand, accused Chinese people in general of being selfish, not worth her struggle. What kind of senseless and shameless remark ! She must see herself staying above cloud, like a god.

  128. shane9219 Says:

    Someone sent me this wiki link with a translation of Chai Ling words

    “The students kept asking, ‘What should we do next? What can we accomplish?’ I feel so sad, because how can I tell them that what we are actually hoping for is bloodshed, for the moment when the government has no choice but to brazenly butcher us. Only when the Square is awash with blood will the people of China open their eyes. Only then will they really be united. But how can I explain this to my fellow students? And what is truly sad is that some students, and famous well-connected people, are working hard to help the government, to prevent it from taking such measures. For the sake of their selfish interests and their private dealings they are trying to cause our movement to collapse and get us out of the Square before the government becomes so desperate that it takes action.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chai_Ling#cite_note-12

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gate_of_Heavenly_Peace_(documentary)

    “The New York Times article also quoted from a controversial interview that was used in The Gate of Heavenly Peace. On May 28, 1989, just days before the massacre, American journalist Philip Cunningham interviewed one of the student movement’s most prominent leaders, Chai Ling. In this interview, Chai indicated that “the hidden strategy of the leadership group she dominated was to provoke the Government to violence against the unarmed students. With statements [in the interview] like ‘What we are actually hoping for is bloodshed’ and ‘Only when the square is awash with blood will the people of China open their eyes,’ Ms. Chai denounced those students who sought to bring an end to the occupation of the square.” (op. cit.) The May 28, 1989 interview was undertaken at Chai Ling’s request. She then asked Cunningham to release it internationally as her political statement on the student movement. The Gate of Heavenly Peace makes extensive use of this interview (necessitated in part by Chai Ling’s repeated refusal to be interviewed for the film).

  129. Shane9219 Says:

    Chai Ling and the company run together by her latest husband (a partner of Bain & Co) is suing the studio Long Bow that produced the documentary ‘The Gates of Heavenly Peace”. Look at what radical liberals like, Chai Ling, are doing !

    “For nearly two years the Long Bow Group tried to negotiate a settlement with Chai Ling and Jenzabar’s lawyers. During this time, we were careful not to publicize the lawsuit. In April 2009, Jenzabar’s lawyers declared that they had no interest in settling the case; given our limited resources, Long Bow has decided to appeal to the public for help.

    The following open letter asks for your support of the principles of free speech and academic freedom which we feel are being threatened by this lawsuit. Please know that signing this appeal letter carries no legal obligations, responsibilities, or commitments of any kind, nor does it mean that you necessarily agree with opinions expressed in either the Long Bow Group’s films or its websites.

    Please note that Jenzabar’s formal response to our appeal can be found at the bottom of this page. ”

    http://tsquare.tv/film/appeal-online.html

  130. JXie Says:

    @real name #114

    Your numbers are somewhat off. Based on data from a book (available via Google) named “The Slovak Republic – A Decade of Independence” (for 1994 to 2001), nationmaster.com (for 2002 to 2007), and the news (for 2008), from 1994 to 2008, Slovakia’s GDP growth had been 5.3% annually. Slovakia’s population growth is a bit above 0%, and China’s is a bit under 1%. Factoring in the population growth, Slovakia had underperformed by about 4% each year. For 4% extra each year, in 15 years, the economy would be 80% bigger.

    Also the inflation numbers were better in Slovakia only in recently years (around 2005 to 2007), not in the decade between 1994 and 2003. The reason why recently China’s inflation was higher is simply — the food component is much bigger in China and food inflation was high worldwide.

    Slovakia’s fiscal deficit is admirably low, though I may argue it was enforced by the Maastricht Treaty to prepare the entry of eurozone. Either way, just to compare: China ran a fiscal surplus in 2007.

    Don’t get me wrong, Slovakia has done a very respectable job in managing its economy, but it’s no China, not even close.

  131. Shane9219 Says:

    @JXie #130

    Good analysis work. Thanks.

    Facts can eventually speak louder than misleading arguments , but not always. Big sigh !

  132. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Get your measuring tape out for the line. It’s LONG. It’s REALITY.” – I have no problem with that. My question was, how far has this line moved in 20 years? How much longer would the mothers’ wait have been, if the line continued to move at its average rate of speed over those 20 years? Those seem to be fairly objective queries. The more subjective one is, after 20 years, with the type of grievance they had, how much longer should they have to wait. Clearly, we will disagree on this last point. Better yet, has anyone with a non-political grievance had their issue at least acknowledged, if not resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, in a quicker time. It would be wrong if these mothers were ignored for nothing more than political reasons.

    “Supreme Court reviews are always discretionary. Same in China. That’s reality. Deal with it.” – and so I will. Just as soon as the Supreme Court equivalent in China hears the case of these mothers’ grievances. Otherwise, it’s no comparison, as I’ve already suggested.

    To Pugster:
    “then why did you bring up in the first place?” – because it was Raj’s prerogative to bring it up. Just like it’s your prerogative if you want to participate in the discussion. You complain about it, yet here you are…

    To R4000:
    “who said they were “unarmed civilians”? You can hardly claim that when we all seen the footages of burnt army vehicles.” – that’s a fair point. SOme were armed, just as some were not. I wonder if there is any accounting of how many of those killed were armed, and how many weren’t. Since even basic facts about this event are debated, i suspect getting derivative information like that will be a pipe-dream.

    To Raj #124:
    well said.
    “What Chinese law says Zhao can be placed under house arrest for the rest of his life without trial?” – that one, I’d like to see.

    To Shane #127:
    “They had requested help with these items from local government, and were refused. ” – what, you mean the PLA asked the local Beijing government for non-lethal means of dispersing the crowd, and were refused? And who runs this local Beijing government? So ok, the PLA were “forced” to resort to lethal force, and it’s certainly not the soldiers’ fault that they had no option. Still doesn’t absolve those who sent them in, or the “local Beijing government”.

    “it was a very complex and chaotic event badly carried out to a sad ending.” – and there’s no use evaluating or discussing complex and chaotic events, since, i mean, how can a person or an administration be expected to cope with such a thing with any other ending than a sad one? There’s really no room for improvement, and no blame to be laid.

  133. Shane9219 Says:

    @SKC

    It is clear you demonstrate the need for others to lead you through a logical reasoning every step of the way.

  134. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane:
    what, the sarcasm a bit too much for you. I suggest you go and deal, baby.

    Besides, i just asked some simple questions. If you don’t have the answers, hey, that’s fine by me. But #133 is lame.

  135. pug_ster Says:

    @SKC #132,

    Seriously, you missed the whole discussion between me and Raj and try to take a snipe at part of my quote? Not to mention that you are taking my quote out of context. So my response is… ‘duhh… ok, whatever.’

  136. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster,
    what, still here? Thought there was someplace else you’d rather be…

    “taking my quote out of context” – how much context does that quote deserve, y’figure?

  137. pug_ster Says:

    @SKC

    What’s your e-mail address? Maybe I can paypal you some money so that you can buy yourself a clue.

  138. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “Duh” is your usual response.

    Others are just more 1 liners.

    And you accuse other people of “sniping”.

    Cat got your tongue?

    Why so quiet?

    Are you thick or just pretend to be?

    Care for more of your irrelevant comments on the record???

  139. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “I have no problem with that. My question was, how far has this line moved in 20 years?”

    They have their “chance”. That should be enough for you.

  140. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    “Martial law does not allow you to do whatever you like. It just means that the Army is able to apply the law instead of the Police. Yes, there were rioteers, but that was a small proportion of the number of people on the streets. Moreover committing a crime like rioting doesn’t permit you to execute someone. If not all then most of the deaths happened when people had already left the Square and were running away. They were not a threat to anyone.”
    Police AND military are authorized to respond with “deadly force” during riots. LA riot had 35 people killed by gunfire, including eight people shot by law enforcement and two by National Guardsmen.
    “small proportions”?? try “small proportion” that managed to turn over city buses, and set fire to armored military vehicle. Who are you trying to propagandize with this BS?
    Committing ANY VIOLENT CRIME will likely get you killed by the police, if you attacked the police. That’s the LAW of most nations, including US and Europe. “Burnt armor vehicles” for example!! See Threat!!

    “The CCP does not have the legal right to place people under house arrest without trial. What Chinese law says Zhao can be placed under house arrest for the rest of his life without trial?”

    CCP internal disciplinary procedure, as well as “suspicion for inciting mob violence”. Such offenses will entitle you to INDEFINITE detentions, in many countries, including Taiwan.

    “Lastly, even if people have the right to do something that doesn’t mean they should do it. It’s a choice. Even if soldiers had the right to kill protesters, did they have to kill people who had already left the Square, even crushing them with their armoured vehicles? Even if the CCP had the right to place Zhao under house arrest, was it fair and necessary to do that for the rest of his life? The people making these decisions are humans capable of deciding for themselves, not robots who have to act according to their programming.”

    If it’s the soldiers’ individual choice, then it’s their problem. In the eyes of the law, they had their duties. You don’t like it, too bad. You can’t sue them.

  141. Bai Ding Says:

    Dear learned friends of all sides,

    It did not matter what were the reasons, political, social and physiological. It did not matter who made the mistake and who was wrong. The wrong belonged to the ones who did the shooting and slaying. AND IT DID HAPPEN!!!!! The Chinese army shot at its own unarmed citizens. It was a national crime even if the students were “wrong”.

    Raventhorn4000, this was not the same “violence s” as in Kent State in the US or any where else. In any other countries, people could talk about it openly. These events were recorded in history and the whole country and the world can talk about it. The kids will be taught. Get it now? And if even if it was the same, it was still wrong, vile and a sin beyond any justification.

    For those learned friends who kept on trashing me by making this uncomplicated, raw bloodshed into a complicated ideological debate, I will say, “You are wrong. It did happen! To the ones who died, it happened! To the locals who were there or nearby, it happened. To those who are luck not living within China’s boundary today, it happened!” And you would never have the guts and judgment to stand up for what’s right, like those young martyrs 20 years ago. Some said there no one died. Some said less than 500 had dies or someone else died. What’s the difference? I certainly saw some blood when I was watching the news. Historical truth is a weird animal. It will permanently change according to the political atmosphere of the times.

    The falsification of the past deprives China of its potential for moving towards a more promising future. No legitimate government would allow its own people to be disgracefully ignorant of their own national history. The German is a good example. The Chinese Communist’s use of bogus “history” as a substitute for the truth and to avoid the burden of responsibility for historical crimes and wrongdoing is a crime against the people. A new understanding of the modern and contemporary history of China is, in essence, a search for the pathway to building the China of the future. It is unfortunate that the Chinese government is still unaware of this point and continues to explain history through lies, which it passes on to the next generation.

    To forever destroy the evidence of this crime, The Communist did the following:

    1) Keep telling its people that the West cannot be trusted and their ideology does not fit the Chinese. This effectively blocked any hope that the Chinese will view and believe any authentic footage and report that the outside word has collected and captured on film. This will effectively move its people away from the democracy as the way most of the world believe in.

    2) By education and brainwashing its young people in patriotism. The country’s security is always in jeopardy. The country’s security is more important than freedom and democracy. It is certainly more important than what is right or wrong. We’ve seen plenty evidence from the responses here.

    3) Turning China into a prosperous society and everyone just buried this incidence. Using materialism instead of brutal force. Making everyone rich did magic for the Communist Party. In fact, China just tore out a page from its own history. And that’s okay as long as everyone makes money. Deleted.

    4) Complete authoritarian style control. Completely suppress it. No one is allowed to talk about it. Of course, it will be taught in school.

    The regime is counting on everyone who knows what happened to give up or die in the next forty years. This will be forever erased.

    However, the serious state crime of June 4th will never be expunged from history through deliberate attempts at cover-up and distortion on the part of the Chinese government. Ultimately, distortion by the Chinese government will be limited to those “history” books within Chinese borders and to those brainwashed individuals who refused to believe anything else except what the Party said to them.

  142. pug_ster Says:

    @Bai Ding,

    Yes, it is certainly easy to say in your oversimplified view that people died and someone has to pay for it. So the Chinese government came to mind as the scapegoat. But why is it so different from the Kent State Shooting?

    But what we are discussing about is the intent. Maybe some of these protesters provoked the soldiers and these soldiers are shooting in self defense. Maybe their commanders do it as a way to maintain order. Whatever it is, murder is, by definition is unlawful killing with intent. Is that what happened in the 6/4 incident? Perhaps you should ask yourself that question.

  143. Oli Says:

    @ Bai Ding

    Whooooaaa! You are letting your emotions get away with you. I think you need to get some perspective and be fair about this. Nobody is falsifying anything here and neither is anybody denying that it happened or that anybody died. I do not see the government covering anything-up and if it hasn’t released any official account of what happened how could it have distorted anything. All I see is that the Chinese government has simply chosen not to discuss it, whether publically or in official history books. It ill behooves you to exagerate or fabricate things that is not there for whatever reasons you deem fit.

    And in case you haven’t noticed most people back then, the students themselves included, WANTED to get rich, they wanted to be able to wear Nike or to take their girlfriends out. It may seem trivial or insginificant to sombody growing up in Hong Kong or is living in HK now, but that was what mattered to many people back then and still matters to many there now. It is disingenuous and shoddy historical analysis for you to project your own contemporary set of values to interpretation of pass events in order for it to fit in with the current Zeitgeist in HK.

    And before you continue arguing about the role of the army, let me tell you that the army is there to protect and defend the STATE of which the people is but one component, even if it is a major component of what consitute the STATE. I suggest you check out different nation’s oath of allegiance and look at their exact wording and think about what the STATE means.

  144. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Bai Ding,

    “Raventhorn4000, this was not the same “violence s” as in Kent State in the US or any where else. In any other countries, people could talk about it openly. These events were recorded in history and the whole country and the world can talk about it. The kids will be taught. Get it now? And if even if it was the same, it was still wrong, vile and a sin beyond any justification.”

    We all “talk about it”, openly or not, doesn’t make it MORE or LESS wrong.

    Violence is Violence. Sometimes justifiable. Some are not.

    You have to do better than justifying “Kent State” with “we can talk about it AFTERWARDS”.

    And if it is the SAME, then I see nothing wrong with “Chinese Democracy”. It’s working just like US!!!

  145. Wukailong Says:

    @Oli: “And before you continue arguing about the role of the army, let me tell you that the army is there to protect and defend the STATE of which the people is but one component, even if it is a major component of what consitute the STATE. I suggest you check out different nation’s oath of allegiance and look at their exact wording and think about what the STATE means.”

    This is basically correct, but in China the army pays their allegiance to the Party, rather than the country. Calls for nationalization of the army are usually rebuked by saying it’s part of a Western plot to split China. I guess you could say that the Party is the state, or rather that the army is defending the party-state.

    @raventhorn4000: “And if it is the SAME, then I see nothing wrong with “Chinese Democracy”. It’s working just like US!!!”

    Perhaps that’s the problem. If I only had to choose between the systems of US and China, I would consider the moon.

  146. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Perhaps that’s the problem. If I only had to choose between the systems of US and China, I would consider the moon.”

    That IS the problem. the “democracy” advocates speak of “democracy” as if it exists on the Moon.

    Obviously, it is not a real place on Earth!! LOL!!

    Hence, the stream of Exceptionalism for “democracy” in real life.

    *The word “Lunatic” comes from the word “Moon”.

    So the Lunatic Democracy would give land away to anyone who chooses, and will exempt people from pay taxes individually, if they don’t feel that their government did a good job.

    And of course, anyone can speak, anywhere, any place, even standing on their neighbors’ heads.

    So, obviously, the ONLY thing standing in US’s way to the LUNATIC Democracy, is the voting system, which restricts the People’s choice and their free speech. (Only once every 2 years?! Are you kidding me? Why not Once every HOUR??!!)

    * Of course, I have seen a real life example of the LUNATIC Democracy. It’s called a CIRCUS!!

  147. Oli Says:

    @WK

    Yes and no. For better or for worse, in accordance with Communist doctrine the State is the Party is the people is the State is the Party. So go figure.

  148. Wukailong Says:

    @raventhorn4000: “Obviously, it is not a real place on Earth!! LOL!!”

    Well, I guess you could say that, or you could look at some other examples. In the US, the problem as I see it is that the two-party system is too ossified for any real change to be possible. Then you have all the lobbyism and big business affecting decisions of the two parties.

    I’m not sure that’s what you’re after, though. You seem to be heading in the “democracy is chaos” direction.

  149. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster and R4000:
    #137 – 139 are fairly typical responses from the both of you, which is to say fairly useless. And birds of a feather do indeed flock together, it seems.

    ““I have no problem with that. My question was, how far has this line moved in 20 years?” …They have their “chance”. That should be enough for you.”
    — and if you bothered to read, the question is when will they get to exercise it? Having a chance to have their grievances heard, then waiting 20 years and still not having that chance actually materialize in the form of a hearing of some form, is hardly good enough for me. For you, perhaps.

    To R4000 #140:
    “If it’s the soldiers’ individual choice, then it’s their problem.” – so now it’s no longer the responsibility of those who gave the order, but those who carried out the order? Interesting.

    “CCP internal disciplinary procedure” – party discipline calls for indefinite house arrest? Wow, where can I join up?

  150. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    “All I see is that the Chinese government has simply chosen not to discuss it, whether publically or in official history books.”
    — an event that everyone here can stipulate did in fact most certainly occur, is not in the official history books. Perhaps cover-up is not the best descriptor; but how would you describe such an arrangement. It’s also one thing for the CCP, in their infinite wisdom, to say that a discussion about it is not in the best interests of the party/state/people. But does that mean its occurrence can’t be officially acknowledged?

  151. real name Says:

    130
    i had 6% from goverment page
    underperformed? depends, with higher basis even with smaller absolute grow gdp and incomings per capita can grow more absolutely, if any area gdp per capita should be comparable but averge incomings are diffrent than are some incomings underperformed and someone lost 80%?
    surely also our grow should be bigger, anyway there are also another criteria than pure economy, f.e. ecology – that are hidden costs not calculated here
    also china grow is specific by moving of rural people to economy etc.

  152. Rhan Says:

    Not sure what is meant by “its occurrence can’t be officially acknowledged?” How official is official?

    I notice China people especially the youth today wish to talk more about having a good life instead of engage political issue, which probably are a good sign that happen after the last 100 years when Kang Youwei wanted reform, to Sun Yetsun political revolt and Mao Zedong cultural revolt.

  153. Wukailong Says:

    @JXie: Numbers are always numbers, but I also think we should respect the experience of someone growing up in the country. After all, one of the main criticisms of the fast change in Eastern Europe is that it created a lot of suffering for people, rather than how high GDP growth or inflation was during the time.

    China started from a very poor state compared to most Eastern European countries. I doubt it can continue to have growth rates of 10% when its GDP reaches middle income levels, but I might be wrong.

  154. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Rhan:
    “How official is official?”
    — for starters, in the official history books to which Oli referred.

  155. Oli Says:

    @SKC

    Frankly your contradictory reasoning is baffling and I fail to see the point you’re trying to make. I suggest you re-read your own comments at 150 and arrive at your own conclusion.

  156. Shane9219 Says:

    @Bai Ding

    Where were you in 1989? It is utterly unfair and not right to draw your own experience and understanding of the world and place them onto participants of the events. Yet, I have seen in recent months so much has happened that way.

    Going forward, I would take the view of a proper conciliation of all involved, a view shared by then Journalist Phillip Cunningham (who had an interview with Chai “Red Guard” Ling), although I don’t share his poetic and romantic description (see below), because it was really a very bloody event even days before the final ending and impacted many lives in very unexpected ways … not only students and bystanders got killed, innocent soldiers were killed by mobs days before June 4th.

    “Now that twenty years have passed, it is time to go beyond the hate inspired by the crackdown, beyond the ad hominem attacks on inept octogenarians, dithering party cadre and inexperienced student activists, and instead to look at the larger picture of a million souls gathered purposefully and with great self-discipline on the streets and plazas of Beijing, and many more across China, who were part of a rare transformative moment in history. Nearly everyone involved, despite their disagreements, stubbornness and imperfections, exhibited a potent love for country and fellow citizens.

    Now that twenty years have gone by, it is a time for reconciliation, a time to ponder the tragedy not with a desire for revenge or recrimination but with a plain telling of the truth, as best as a multidimensional and in some respects unknowable truth can be told, and to accept that this revolutionary drama-turned-tragedy, this alternatively uplifting and gut-wrenching karmic kaleidoscope, was composed of ordinary, mostly well-meaning people acting in predictably human, if not always completely noble, ways.”

  157. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    your inability to read, among many other increasingly noticeable traits, is also becoming most annoying. For starters, if you can’t understand something, it behooves you to re-read it, and not me. That would seem simple enough. For all the attributes you seem to suggest yourself to be in possession of, that common courtesy seems clearly in short supply.
    But being the charitable type, let me rephrase in a manner which my little one can understand (and just so we’re clear, my kids’ ages add up to the grand total of 16, and they’re 2 years apart…so for those keeping score at home, 2X+2=16 where X is my little one’s age): if something happened, and it’s not in the “official history books”, what do you call that, if not a cover-up?
    Surely, even for a sparkling mind such as yours, to further simplify it from this point should be unnecessary.

  158. real name Says:

    156
    very bloody event even days before the final ending
    could you be more concrete?

  159. kui Says:

    Raj.

    The mother group’s “five point demand to the Chinese governmet” includes “The right to accept humanitarian aid from organizations and individuals inside and outside China”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen-Mothers

    Definition of humanitarian aid? Material/logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purpose…… You know what is material support, do you? Raj? They got detained for that.

    Human Rights in China’s NED link.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-Rights-in-China-(organization)#NED-Link

    And this

    “……to promote democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the US congress……being set up to legally continue the CIA’s prohibited activities of support to selected political parties……”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National-Endowment-for-Democracy.

    I am against any manipulation of Chinese politics by foreign powers.

    S.K.Cheung.

    I think the right move for the mother group is to distance themself from HRIC immediately. HRIC may have made their voices louder but did mothers really get anything from having a tie with foreign NGOs? Detained by the government and looses sympathy from the Chinese people? Is it all worth it?

    Did those millionss killed in US lead wars ever get an apology or compensation? Did the USA government apologise for the death of millions in Vietnam, Iraq……? Transparency, fairness, freedom of speech…… Will they get it? By the leading democracy? As I said before, the biggest hurdle to any compromise from Chinese government ‘s side is that such a compromise will be seen by some as an acceptance of lawless chaos, political and social turmoil. Next round of destability is around the corner if the government makes any compromise to such request.

    Chueng, to me, there is nothing worse than seeing these mother being politically exploited.

  160. Wukailong Says:

    @kui: The third link from above should be:

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

  161. kui Says:

    Oop, Sorry, I did not type these web adress correctly. I will copy and paste next time Thanks, Wukailong for finding it out.

    It should be:

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_in_China_(organization)#NED_Link

  162. Ted Says:

    @Kui #159: “I think the right move for the mother group is to distance themself from HRIC immediately. HRIC may have made their voices louder but did mothers really get anything from having a tie with foreign NGOs? Detained by the government and looses sympathy from the Chinese people? Is it all worth it?”

    I think most people would happily agree with your statement, but it brings us back to the same point. What mainland organization should they turn to for support?

    Having seen the back and fourth here I think the mothers will be forever faulted for having turned to an outside party for help. Someone will always go digging around and find that so-and-so has a friend/relative living outside China who said/did something at some point to oppose the party. In the adjacent thread on Tibet pug_ster commented “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.” Can we move past this and get to their request?

    How about point 1:

    “1. That the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress form a dedicated June Fourth investigation committee and conduct an independent and fair investigation on the entire incident, and that it furthermore make public the results of the investigation to the entire nation, including the names and numbers of those who died in the incident;”

  163. kui Says:

    Ted.

    What I mean is that the mothers should have their own independent movement not a movement links to foreign NGOs. The mothers group should realise that this is about politics. They should know seeking material assistance from abroad in whatever names is a sensitive issue.

    Leaving foreign NGOs is the first step. I think the Chinese government will interpret this as a guesture of goodwill. Once they are seen as “not from enemy camp” then they may get help from Chinese NGOs. I had an interesting talk with my aunt when I was in Beijing in April. She is a hardliner communist. She lives in a retirement village build for high rank army officers. She stated that Wen Jiabao’s uncle was mayor of Tianjin during Japanese occupation of the city. Wen’s uncle was executed by CCP as a traitor. Thus Wen Jiabao is from “enemy camp” and is not trusted enough to be granted with the in-charge position. This could be a rumor circulating among these old hardliners but through this I can certainly look into the mindsets of some CCP members. Linking themself to foreign NGOs will certainly be seen as a prove of “from enemy camp” by some CCP members. Leaving foreign NGOs will give rooms to further negotiations and dialogue. Things like point 1 seems to be a reasonable request to a chinese person like me but certainly not so reasonable to some hardliners such as my aunt. And to be honest I think the Chinese government will never 平反 6.4 for the sake of China’s stability nor do I think they should.

  164. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    ““If it’s the soldiers’ individual choice, then it’s their problem.” – so now it’s no longer the responsibility of those who gave the order, but those who carried out the order? Interesting.

    I didn’t bring up the scenario of “individual choice of the soldiers”.

    “CCP internal disciplinary procedure” – party discipline calls for indefinite house arrest? Wow, where can I join up?”"

    If you join up, that’s your business, you live with the consequences. Zhao did. None of your business.

  165. real name Says:

    163
    “from enemy camp”
    i just wonder when this kind of thinking will finaly disapear in also china
    believe me you will have simply one problem less when starting to deal with something

  166. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “Lastly, even if people have the right to do something that doesn’t mean they should do it. It’s a choice. Even if soldiers had the right to kill protesters, did they have to kill people who had already left the Square, even crushing them with their armoured vehicles? Even if the CCP had the right to place Zhao under house arrest, was it fair and necessary to do that for the rest of his life? The people making these decisions are humans capable of deciding for themselves, not robots who have to act according to their programming.”

    If it’s the soldiers’ individual choice, then it’s their problem. In the eyes of the law, they had their duties. You don’t like it, too bad. You can’t sue them.

    * that was my FULL response to Raj.

    Raj brought up the scenario. You inability to read is quite annoying. And you “vote”? That explains a lot.

    Cat got your reading glasses?

  167. Wukailong Says:

    @real name: Sorry to keep asking you personal questions, but as a european myself I’m really curious about this time in history. Did you grow up when communism was dismantled? How did people in general react to it?

    I agree completely about the enemy thinking. It’s not healthy at all.

  168. TonyP4 Says:

    @142 pug_ster

    I could have posted same before. You cannot compare Kent State with TSM. Only 4 vs hundreds (no one really knows the exact no.) and it was not ordered from the top.

    The rural soldiers ordered by Deng were drugged in one report – I cannot verify it.

    HKers remember this incident but not the mainlanders. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat them. My theory: the mainlanders are busy making money, improving their living standard, and eventually fighting for democracy. Wishful thinking.

    There is an article in Boston Globe about the student leader of TSM tried to shut down freedom of speech of a web site with her new-found money. How ironic!

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/06/07/beijing_lesson_unlearned/

  169. raventhorn4000 Says:

    TonyP4,

    Obviously, we can compare by PROPORTIONS. How many killed in how many protesters. Kent State was obviously WORSE, since so few protesters were there in the first place. I mean, how can there be HUNDREDS killed, when there might not even be that many protesters??? Tiananmen had 100,000′s of protesters. Kent State had approximately 500 protesters!!

    Additionally, In May 2007, Alan Canfora, one of the injured protestors, demanded that the case be reopened, having found an audiotape in a Yale University government archive allegedly recording an order to fire (“Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!”) just before the 13 second volley of shots.

  170. pug_ster Says:

    @TonyP4 169,

    HKers remember this incident but not the mainlanders. Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat them. My theory: the mainlanders are busy making money, improving their living standard, and eventually fighting for democracy. Wishful thinking.

    HKers would probably remember the 6/4 incident and many would argue on how would China learn History so that they would not repeat it again. Most HKers and in the Western media would probably argue on how China stop cracking down killing its own citizens. But I would rather argue on the economic and social issues that caused the Students and Workers to be so upset in the first place and how China should stop this from happening. My guess is that China probably don’t want Western Style Democracy in the near future, and be more like Singapore rather Taiwan, South Korea or japan.

  171. raventhorn4000 Says:

    TonyP4,

    “The rural soldiers ordered by Deng were drugged in one report ”

    What does this mean? Drugged as to silence them? or Drugged to perform the shooting??

  172. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “HKers remember this incident but not the mainlanders. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat them. My theory: the mainlanders are busy making money, improving their living standard, and eventually fighting for democracy. Wishful thinking.”

    yeah, as oppose to having the colonial masters of Great Britain “give” “democracy” to HK? wishful thinking.

  173. JXie Says:

    @real name & Wukailong #151 & #153,

    The reply was in specific addressing the points raised by real name in comment #112, related to the economic growth, inflation, government deficits, etc. Moreover, when comparing 1994 to 2008 we effectively neglect the post-1989 shock period, but include the fast growth period in preparation of entering the eurozone. At a personal level, I fully respect the choices of those nations including Slovakia have made, and their experience. I tend to believe each one of us has our own path.

    Have been to Europe myself plenty of times, including Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe, one can easily notice that the predominantly Protestant/Catholic former Warsaw bloc nations have been doing reasonably well, and the predominantly Orthodox ones have been doing relatively poorly. In those Protestant/Catholic countries, very few people I knew of yearned for the old communist days, or looked at China as any sort of potential role model. What for? If nothing else, they are relatively small, and easily integrable to the eurozone economy. The integration itself will likely drive up their living standard for another decade at least.

    The Orthodox Eastern European nations on the other hand, would less likely have that option. For starter, they including Russia are way too populous. Also everything being equal, geographical distance and relative lack of cultural affinity will make them less desirable an investment destination compared to the other former Warsaw bloc nations.

    I agree that most Chinese tend not to be able distinguish the nuances between those nations, and project their superficial understanding of a few of them to the whole group. But equally you can see that in those relatively well-off Eastern European nations’s view of China, they project their own experience onto China, without realizing China is many ways is almost the diametric opposite of their former selves.

  174. real name Says:

    167
    - in time of change i had 18 years, 17th november 89 friday we had a student’s party with program for parents where (i still have VHS tape at home) friend holding newspaper looked at it and called “new goverment!” like a joke
    teachers were cooling down school director (party member) offering she will deal with it after weekend (what will be better for us)
    during weekend i got news from foreing radios about friday student demonstration in prague so (fortunately) next week we started country-wide strike
    directly in my class we refused pass exam about soviet writers, director came to room and was crying we all will be fired…
    - from begin nearly every one supported changes, similary to chinese people we did not know realy what means democracy and free market, surely expected more or easier to get, living common life nothing is perfect and not every one is satisfied now, but actual problems are very different to older ones (with enemy thinking) – if one day i will say about that newspaper to my daughter she already will not undestand what was the problem
    - communists quickly moved to other parties (without problem also to right oriented ones) and there was soon no chance for change back, btw. man here who later became president later said even in time of party membership he was always religious – one time i was joking with chinese you will have communist-buddist president one day
    - one more memory from september 89: when we had new-type class about “civic education” teacher said “you can ask me anything” and one friend asked “do you really believe to it?”, i never seen such surprised person like this teacher, she simply never thought before there is even possibility someone will not believe to ‘great ideas’, unfortunately soon after change her father died so i afraid she takes whole period like personal disaster
    - sorry for longer post

  175. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Ling Chai was a sell out to foreign money from the very beginning.

    She can’t tolerate democracy or free speech when it costs her money.

    Tiananmen Mothers should sue her. She has MONEY!!

  176. Shane9219 Says:

    @TonyP4

    Chai Ling’s money is from her new American husband and from selling software to American universities.

    I have a link (#125) to her final video recording on the square. In which you may hear what she said to the public and journalist Cunningham


    CHAI LING speaking to crowd in the Square

    I am Chai Ling. I am the Commander-in-Chief of the Defend Tiananmen Headquarters.

    We will mobilize Chinese people around the world to protest martial law! Martial law won’t succeed in ten days, in a year, in a hundred years! Those who lose the hearts of the people will perish! Overthrow the illegal government headed by Li Peng!”

    and later

    “I’ve been feeling very sad recently. The students themselves lack a developed sense of democracy. To be honest, from the day I called for a hunger strike I knew we would not get any results. Certain people, certain causes are bound to fail. I’ve been very clear about this all along, but I’ve made an effort to present a staunch image, to show that we were striving for victory. But deep down I knew it was all futile.

    The more involved I got, the sadder I became. I already felt this back in April. All along I’ve kept it to myself, because being Chinese I felt I shouldn’t bad-mouth the Chinese. But I can’t help thinking sometimes — and I might as well say it — you, the Chinese, you are not worth my struggle! You are not worth my sacrifice! But then I can also see that in this movement there are many people who do have a conscience. There are many decent people among the students, workers, citizens, and intellectuals.

    The students keep asking, “What should we do next? What can we accomplish?” I feel so sad, because how can I tell them that what we are actually hoping for is bloodshed, for the moment when the government has no choice but to brazenly butcher the people. Only when the Square is awash with blood will the people of China open their eyes. Only then will they really be united. But how can I explain any of this to my fellow students?

    And what is truly sad is that some students, and some famous, well-connected people, are working hard to help the government, to prevent it from taking such measures. For the sake of their selfish interests and their private dealings they are trying to cause our movement to collapse and get us out of the Square before the government becomes so desperate that it takes action.

    If we allow the movement to collapse on its own, then the government will be able to wipe out all the leaders of the movement, as well as those leaders in the Party and in the military who dare to oppose them, who represent the people. Deng Xiaoping has made it very clear that there is this small handful of people, not only in the Party and in society, but also among the students.

    That’s why I feel so sad, because I can’t say all this to my fellow students. I can’t tell them straight out that we must use our blood and our lives to call on the people to rise up. Of course, the students will be willing. But they are still such young children! ”

    http://www.tsquare.tv/film/transmay27.html
    ————————–

    The Chinese government at the time always saw college students as future assets they have to protect, since they made large investment and they were the future of China. They first resorted to persuasion and coercion until the final days when things really got out of hand. On the hand, those students felt themselves as a privileged bunch within their families and their country. They saw themselves standing above the cloud.

    Nowadays, students have to pay their own tuition, and some may have to work to earn money to support themselves. That made a HUGE difference on the attitudes of students.

    For the Tienanmen population nowadays, they have gained great benefits from Deng’s reform and open-up, live improved a lot to many. So there is no much incentive to protest.

    Why folks in Hong Kong protest with a much larger turn-out in comparison to years ago? I personally think there are several reasons:

    1) Hong Kong’s long tradition of supporting political movements in inland China (so you don’t see the same in Taiwan)
    2) It’s a really bad economy time!
    3) Hong Kong’s diminished role to mainland China’s development. Unlike Taiwan or Singapore, HK lacks of modern manufacturing powers. HK’s financial function is no longer in monopoly. All of these leads to a trend of popular discontent and insecurity
    4) Discontent and insecurity about further assimilation into mainland China, HKers want more international space.
    5) Pushed by foreign media

    ..

  177. Raj Says:

    kui (159)

    You tell me what you think their definition of “humanitarian aid” is – clearly you wouldn’t accept the non-conspiracy/evil-foreigners-out-to-undermine-China view.

    (163)

    Why is it that when dealing with the Chinese government or CCP, the other party must always make a major concession just to get the hope of the State treating them better? Why can’t the CCP make an act of goodwill by allowing them to seek help from Chinese NGOs?

  178. Shane9219 Says:

    @Raj #178

    It is not from CCP, it is from general public who don’t like foreign interference. Why it is so hard for you to learn some Chinese history.

    Same in US, there are laws to prevent agents of foreign government from working inside US. People lobbying for foreign organization must register themselves.

  179. Wahaha Says:

    You tell me what you think their definition of “humanitarian aid” is

    hmmmm,

    When you name an aid as a humanitarian aid, you must make sure that the provider for the aid doesnt want to gain something from the aid.

  180. Wahaha Says:

    “— an event that everyone here can stipulate did in fact most certainly occur, is not in the official history books. Perhaps cover-up is not the best descriptor; but how would you describe such an arrangement. It’s also one thing for the CCP, in their infinite wisdom, to say that a discussion about it is not in the best interests of the party/state/people. But does that mean its occurrence can’t be officially acknowledged?”

    SKC,

    I dont want to get into the hot debate between you and R4. But even you are right, what has CCP done is different from ruling governments in other countries ?

    We know how Japanese government always downplays what they did during WWII, especially the role of their emperor.

    We know how West describles how they conquered America, more like the movie “dancing with wolves” in which white man saved an native girl.

    Can you or Raj tell us how Britain students learned their history of exploiting China and India ? show us something.

    So you have to make a point why Chinese government should be different in your opinion. ( I m neither defending nor blaming CCP for what happened 20 years ago.)

  181. pug_ster Says:

    In terms of “humanitarian aid” organizations, there’s a big difference between the Red Cross, and Doctors without Borders.

  182. shane9219 Says:

    #176

    “Tiananmen Mothers should sue her. She has MONEY!!”

    That will be an ultimate American way of settling this “business” with radical liberals like Cai Ling. But I doubt those mothers knew anything about Amercian culture at all. Maybe one of those American lawyers working inside China can step out and help.

  183. real name Says:

    174
    good notes
    i just want say few orthodox countries like greece (was never part of soviet block), bulgaria and romania are already part of EU, many others were part of soviet state longer time
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eastern-orthodoxy-world-by-country.png
    China is many ways is almost the diametric…
    surely it’s not the same, anyway once someone said communist countries in EE were something like mirror for western society, for me it’s similar with china, can see own mistakes from another perspective

  184. Raj Says:

    Shane (179)

    It is not from CCP, it is from general public who don’t like foreign interference.

    A group of relatives of Chinese victims campaigning for justice is foreign interference? How does that work?

    Same in US, there are laws to prevent agents of foreign government from working inside US.

    Your point being? The Tiananmen Mothers aren’t foreign agents.

    WH (180)

    When you name an aid as a humanitarian aid, you must make sure that the provider for the aid doesnt want to gain something from the aid.

    The only thing the donees normally want to gain is the knowledge that they’ve helped people and thus made their world a bit better. There are no truly selfless acts – we all do things that benefits ourselves somehow.

    (181)

    But even you are right, what has CCP done is different from ruling governments in other countries ?

    http://www.bloody-sunday-inquiry.org.uk/

  185. huaren Says:

    @Raj, SKC,

    You asked me which laws these women broke. I did a quick search on the web and found TIME’s article back in 2004:

    “”conspired with overseas forces to evade Chinese customs and import illegal goods to China … and engaged in other activities in violation of China’s State Security Law.” ”

    Why do you assume they broke no law? Oh, let me guess, its OK in your books to break other countries laws you disagree with. Therefore, no breaking of laws. I see how that logic works for some.

    These women colluded with HRIC, etc. That’s not foreign interference?

  186. Wahaha Says:

    The only thing the donees normally want to gain is the knowledge that they’ve helped people and thus made their world a bit better. There are no truly selfless acts – we all do things that benefits ourselves somehow

    Raj,

    I guess you are willing to believe China had good intention if China had similar org like NED.

    Sorry, we dont believe.

  187. Oli Says:

    @ SKC 157

    Bravo, I am thrilled for you and your little ones that the apple has fallen so very far away from the tree. It’s obvious that they take after your better half. You must be very relieved.

    Now ask yourself this, if something is not publically mentioned in detail, but are privately acknowledged and discussed, is that a “cover-up”? And if yes, how and why is it a “cover-up”?

    Now ask yourself, why is it that if many Chinese are able to accept this compromise, you and other foreigners or non-mainland Chinese are not?

    Does the problem lie more with you guys or does it lie with us, who have a greater stake in China?

    The sanctimonius irony of it all never ceases to amaze me.

  188. Wukailong Says:

    @JXie (#173): Thanks for the clarification. I didn’t intend to criticize your analysis so much as to turn to the experiences of people in all the affected countries. It is natural for people from any country to view things through the lens of the country they come from and the only reason I raised this point is because some other posters here tend to ascribe this only to Westerners. ;)

    As you said, being a small country probably helps with adjustment. In China and Russia different strategies are needed just to cope with the sheer size of their territories and populations.

    Still, I think comparisons between China and former communist countries could be interesting if both sides acknowledge the differences and try to find what they have in common. I once met this Romanian guy who was very comfortable in China and didn’t have the usual complaints Westerners tend to have, but at the same time he noted that his view of communism was probably different from the mainstream Chinese one. Your viewpoint about protestant and orthodox countries is also illuminating.

  189. Oli Says:

    @ Wukailong

    If you’re interested in comparing the Eastern European post communist experience with China’s reforms, I can suggest the following book,

    “Winds of Change: Economic Transition in Central & Eastern Europe” by Daniel Gros and Alfred Steinherr

    However, be warned that it can be quite academic, but you can compare it with your experience of China’s development.

    Btw. I’m a sucker for rakfist.

  190. shane9219 Says:

    @Wukailong

    “In China and Russia different strategies are needed just to cope with the sheer size of their territories and populations”

    The cultural and social tradition (including religions) also play a very significant factor, aside from social-economical policies and implementation.

  191. Wukailong Says:

    @Oli: Thanks! No problem with being academic as long as the writing is good too. :)

    Rakfisk, is that the Norwegian version of surströmming?

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

    It’s a bit too much for me, I’m afraid…

  192. Oli Says:

    Sorry I meant rakfisk, and it is similar to surströmming, but I think surströmming is much more pungent and I am rather ambiguous about it having tried it a few times at my aunt’s place, especially when I am the one responsible for opening the can. :(

  193. Wukailong Says:

    @Oli: I feared surströmming as a kid. In the same way that I was all excited on Christmas eve, I used to have this ominous feeling about the can opening all day.

  194. Ted Says:

    @kui #163: Makes sense to me, thanks for that. Interesting rumor about Wen Jiabao, I would think that almost everyone will have some relationship or family member who falls outside the fold, its a wonder how anyone is trusted.

  195. Oli Says:

    @WKL

    LOL you gave me a very good chuckle! Glad that I’m not the only one feeling apprehensive whenever my aunt or uncle deliberately take the piss out on me by making me open the can. Especially when the can start squirting violently at the first puncture like it did the very first time I had to open the damn stuff as a twelve years old kid! Imagine my shock-horror and the smell just dosen’t seem to want to wash off.

    Hmmm, wonder if you’ve ever tried this SE Asian fruit call durian and which you think is worse?

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

    Read the section about its odour and flavour.

  196. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000 #164 and #166:
    your “full response to Raj” in fact was a cut/paste of Raj’s post in #124, followed by your statement :”If it’s the soldiers’ individual choice, then it’s their problem”.

    So then you go and say this:”I didn’t bring up the scenario of “individual choice of the soldiers”.”
    — I didn’t say you made the scenario, and I wasn’t questioning the scenario. I was questioning the statement you made in response to Raj’ scenario (y’know, that FULL response you were talking about). So, you wanna rephrase? Or should we be blaming individual soldiers who fired weapons in 6/4, and absolve the government?

    To Kui:
    appreciate your points in #159, and your response to Ted in #163, who asked the same question I would have. My question is, did these mothers not exhaust their options within China, before going outside for help? If they sat on their hands for 20 years, and their first organized act was to go to HRIC, I can understand why that would turn off Chinese citizens. But if they did all they could with Chinese NGO’s, and still got no joy, it seems to put their actions in a different context.

    To Wahaha #180:
    I agree with you, that when a government goes to investigate themselves, the general presumption is that the government will get a passing grade. True of Canada, the US, and should be no less so in China. However, there are also exceptions. At least in Canada, the sponsorship investigation cost Prime Minister Chretien his job (well, he was forced to step down within his own party), then the sponsorship report cost the Liberal government of the day (and replacement PM Paul Martin) the election. So what would result from an inquiry into 6/4? It won’t cost anyone his job, since most of the main players are dead or retired. Would it cost someone their freedom? Doubtful, since, whatever mistakes and ill-advised decisions were made, they are unlikely to have risen to the level of criminality. So perhaps it comes down to an accounting of the events, and maybe results in a version of history to which most Chinese could agree. And possibly, compensation, not only for civilians, but also for soldiers who were killed. I don’t know the routine for Chinese soldiers killed in the line of duty. But if those killed were not recognized for their ultimate sacrifice because “it never happened”, that could be corrected.

    I would find a cover-up difficult to support, and that’s not specific to the CCP.

    To huaren #185:
    “”conspired with overseas forces to evade Chinese customs and import illegal goods to China … and engaged in other activities in violation of China’s State Security Law.” ”
    — I don’t think the mothers imported anything, except ideas. I don’t think you can tax and charge duty on that. So were their activities in violation of this law, and if so, how? I don’t think they’re trying to bring down the government. They’re asking for transparency and accountability.

  197. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Oli:
    “if something is not publically mentioned in detail, but are privately acknowledged and discussed, is that a “cover-up”?”
    —yes

    And if yes, how and why is it a “cover-up”?
    — because whispers and private opinion amount to nothing more than innuendo. If something happened and you pretend it didn’t, that’s a cover-up. Now, that it is privately discussed simply means that the people know there’s a cover-up. But even if the people were completely unaware of an event which actually happened but the government pretended it didn’t, that’s still a cover up, only it’s one to which the people are unaware.

    “why is it that if many Chinese are able to accept this compromise,”
    —if only that were true; but right now, I think Chinese are only resigned to this “compromise”, since they haven’t much choice in the matter.

  198. huaren Says:

    @SKC,

    “I don’t think the mothers imported anything, except ideas.”

    Are you sure it was not more than “ideas”?

    And just how the heck did you come up with that conclusion?

  199. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “Are you sure it was not more than “ideas”?”
    — no, I’m not. But what else do you think they imported?

  200. Raj Says:

    huaren (185)

    Actually I was assuming they had broken some law, but it’s important to know what law it is. The State Security Law is a big joke that is so wide it can cover just about any activity the government wants it to. Let’s look at the charges.

    conspired with overseas forces to evade Chinese customs and import illegal goods to China … and engaged in other activities

    Wow, were they trying to import some banned books or something? And “other activities” – that’s not exactly specific is it?

    Yes, that definitely requires repeatedly placing people under house arrest and harrassing them.

  201. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “I didn’t say you made the scenario, and I wasn’t questioning the scenario. I was questioning the statement you made in response to Raj’ scenario (y’know, that FULL response you were talking about). So, you wanna rephrase? Or should we be blaming individual soldiers who fired weapons in 6/4, and absolve the government?”

    I “rephrase”?

    Raj wrote: “Even if soldiers had the right to kill protesters, did they have to kill people who had already left the Square, even crushing them with their armoured vehicles?”

    This is EXACTLY the question of individual discretion and individual choice of the soldiers.

    Which part of this question from Raj even talked about the “government”???

  202. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Actually I was assuming they had broken some law, but it’s important to know what law it is. The State Security Law is a big joke that is so wide it can cover just about any activity the government wants it to. Let’s look at the charges.”

    Law is the law. You may not like it, doesn’t mean that you can avoid it. That’s not an argument, that to you “it’s a big joke”.

    “conspired with overseas forces to evade Chinese customs and import illegal goods to China … and engaged in other activities
    Wow, were they trying to import some banned books or something? And “other activities” – that’s not exactly specific is it?”

    If you want specifics, you have to read the DETAILED court documents, instead of just the charges. Guess what, that’s how CHARGES are. They can’t list out every detail on the title.

    “Yes, that definitely requires repeatedly placing people under house arrest and harrassing them.”"

    Your failure to read the more specific details is not an argument of excessive punishment.

    and frankly, all nations’ judicial systems have different requirements for “initial charges” and public disclosures of them.

    If you don’t like it, nothing you can do about it.

  203. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj wrote: “Even if soldiers had the right to kill protesters, did they have to kill people who had already left the Square, even crushing them with their armoured vehicles?”

    Martial law was not confined to the SQUARE. It was for the whole city.

  204. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “—if only that were true; but right now, I think Chinese are only resigned to this “compromise”, since they haven’t much choice in the matter.”

    It’s not a matter up for your “think” or your “vote”. I think you are resigned to your “votes”, since you don’t have much anything else in life to control.

  205. huaren Says:

    @Raj, SKC

    The point is you are completely clueless what laws they broke conspiring with HRIC or some other “human rights” group.

    Now read your post and your prior comments. How dare you make the statements you made not knowing what laws they broke? Incredible.

    LOL. I actually think you are doing a disservice to HRIC. I’d think they don’t want ignorance monkeying with their agenda. :)

  206. pug_ster Says:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/06/07/beijing_lesson_unlearned/

    I thought I want to share a link from the infamous Chai Ling who complained about free speech in China, yet she is suing another company who tries to exercise their right to free speech because they are critical of her.

  207. huaren Says:

    Thx for the link, pug_ster.

    Some of those people attacking her now probably would have bowed down to her 20 years ago and kissed her feet. She didn’t quite turn out to be what they were hoping for. :) So is the likes of Wei jingsheng, Wuerkaisi, etc.. The attack dog side of “human rights” is on the loose!

    Wuerkaisi recently tried to enter Mainland – to hopefully become more like what these attack dogs wanted. But it seems China knew better to not play that game.

  208. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Pretty sad these “Democrats”, Whining about Chinese laws, when they don’t know either Chinese laws or Western Laws well enough to even understand the meaning of the LEGAL terms and concepts.

    And then, when they have MONEY, they turn around and hire lawyers to SHUT other people up!

    Pointless to debate with such idiots.

    All you will ever get back are ridiculous half-assed BS statements on laws, and stupid 1 liner slogans.

    “Duh, Cat got your tongue?”

    “Are you sure you went to law school?” (Obviously, that’s what I get for questioning their BS use of legal terms).

    FACT: They lied!

    Maybe once is an honest mistake. Keep spinning ridiculous stories is just habitual lying.

    It’s obvious that they don’t know the laws well enough, and yet they keep making up BS statements about Chinese law, US law, laws in general.

    My standard response from now on: “Your BS does NOT correspond to the LAWS of US or China”.

  209. pug_ster Says:

    Huaren,

    Wuerkaisi tried to go thru the mainland thru Macau and he was rejected right there. I think if he had tried to go to Hong Kong he would’ve probably made it. Personally I don’t know why he doesn’t want to thru Macau because they aren’t very tolerant to Hong Kong pro-democracy politicians. There was much controversy regarding passing Article 23 (laws against treason, secession, sedition and subversion) which didn’t pass in Hong Kong but passed with ease in Macau under the “Macau national security law.” My guess is that since much of the NED’s slush money can’t be passed to China directly, it was somehow passed thru Hong Kong.

  210. raventhorn4000 Says:

    the website Chai Ling is trying to shut down has a very good timeline of 6/4:

    20th CENTURY CHINA: A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGY

    1919
    Beginning on May 4th, college students staged a series of demonstrations to protest the terms of the Versailles Treaty, which ceded German territories in China to Japan rather than returning them to China after World War I. These demonstrations inaugurated a new phase of national consciousness in China, and the term “May 4th Movement” came to symbolize the spirit of patriotism among youths. In modern Chinese history, the term “May 4th Period” signifies an era of intense intellectual debate concerning the roles of traditional Chinese culture, modern science, and Western style democracy.

    1949
    Atop Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) on October 1, Mao Zedong proclaims the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

    1966-76
    A ten-year period which Mao calls “the Cultural Revolution.” Since Mao’s death, it has often been referred to as “the ten years of turmoil.” The period is characterized by power struggles among the Chinese leadership, by the rise of “Red Guards” and “revolutionary rebels” among the populous, and by extensive political persecutions involving all sectors of Chinese society. Deng Xiaoping and many other high ranking leaders fall from power.

    1976
    Premier Zhou Enlai dies on January 8. In April, thousands of people gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate him and criticize Mao’s closest associates. Clashes between mourners and police result in the “Tiananmen Incident,” which the government brands as a counter-revolutionary event.

    Mao Zedong dies on September 9. On October 6, Mao’s four closest associates–including his wife, Jiang Qing–are arrested. Deng gradually rises to power once more, and the official verdict of the “Tiananmen Incident” is overturned.

    1978
    Deng Xiaoping launches economic reforms and proclaims the “Four Modernizations,” in industry, agriculture, science and defense.

    A stretch of construction wall near a busy commercial district in Beijing attracts nation-wide attention as the “Democracy Wall,” a place where people put up posters to voice their criticism of the political system.

    1979
    On January 1, the United States and the People’s Republic of China formally establish diplomatic relations.

    Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping arrives in the U.S. on January 28, the first official visit ever by a senior Chinese Communist leader.

    The government suppresses the “Democracy Wall” and arrests several activists, the most famous among them being Wei Jingsheng. Wei is sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

    1981
    In June, Hu Yaobang is appointed as the Party General Secretary.

    1986
    In late fall, college students in several cities stage demonstrations to demand political reform.

    1987
    In January, Hu Yaobang is accused of being soft on the student protests and on “bourgeois liberalism,” and is forced to resign. Later, Zhao Ziyang becomes the General Secretary of the Communist Party, and Li Peng the Premier.

    1988
    The Central Committee endorses Premier Li Peng’s policy to slow the pace of economic reforms, a setback for Zhao Ziyang.

    PART TWO: 1989
    April 15
    Former Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang, deposed in 1987, dies of a massive heart attack. People began to gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Hu and voice their discontents.

    April 22
    The official memorial service for Hu Yaobang is held in the Great Hall of the People. Demanding to meet with Premier Li Peng, three student representatives carry a petition and kneel on the steps of the Great Hall in front of the 100,000 students who have gathered in the Square the night before. Li Peng does not respond, and the students refuse to let minor officials pass on the petition. Angered by official apathy, students begin boycotting classes.

    April 26
    The Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily publishes an editorial accusing a “small handful of plotters” of stirring up student unrest and creating turmoil in order to overthrow the Communist Party and the socialist system.

    April 27
    Ignoring warnings of violent suppression, students from more than 40 universities march to Tiananmen in protest of the April 26th editorial.

    May 4
    Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, in a meeting with foreign bankers, makes a speech which in essence contradicts the April 26th People’s Daily editorial.

    May 13
    Several hundred students begin a hunger strike at Tiananmen Square in the afternoon.

    May 14
    Second day of hunger strike. In the afternoon, elected student representatives charged with the responsibility for dialogue with the government begin formal talks with the government. The talks breaks down because the promised broadcast does not materialize. In the early evening, twelve of China’s most famous writers and scholars present their emergency appeals at the Square, calling on the government to acknowledge the movement as a patriotic democracy movement and calling on the students to end their hunger strike. Their efforts fail.

    May 15
    Third day of hunger strike. Gorbachev arrives in Beijing for the first Sino-Soviet summit since 1959. The government cancels plans to welcome Gorbachev at Tiananmen Square.

    May 18
    Sixth day of hunger strike. Li Peng summons several student leaders for a televised talk at the Great Hall of the People. Nothing is achieved. [Full transcript of this televised meeting available.] The government prepares to declare martial law.

    May 19
    Seventh day of hunger strike. The government’s plan for martial law is leaked to student leaders, who call off the hunger strike and declare a mass sit-in.

    The Independent Workers Union (IWU) is founded at Tiananmen Square.

    In an evening speech, Premier Li Peng calls for “firm and resolute measures to end the turmoil swiftly.” [Full text of speech available.]

    May 20
    The government formally declares martial law in Beijing, but the army’s advance towards the city is blocked by large numbers of students and citizens.

    May 23
    The troops pull back to the outskirts of Beijing.

    The Alliance to Protect the Constitution is set up in order to coordinate the actions of the various groups involved in the movement.

    May 24
    The Defend Tiananmen Square Headquarters is set up. Chai Ling is named Commander-in-Chief.

    May 27
    The Alliance to Protect the Constitution decides by a unanimous vote to recommend that the students end their occupation of the Square on May 30th. The resolution is announced at a press conference in the Square.

    May 28
    The Defend Tiananmen Square Headquarters rejects the May 27th resolution to end the occupation of Tiananmen Square.

    [Read an account of the above events in Black Hands of Beijing, by George Black and Robin Munro.]

    Chai Ling gives a long interview to Philip Cunningham, an American journalist. A transcript of the complete interview in its original Chinese is available.

    May 30
    The ten-meter-high Goddess of Democracy is unveiled. [Read more about the Goddess in Wu Hung's "Tiananmen Square: A Political History of Monuments" in Representations 35, Summer 1991.]

    June 2
    At 5:00 pm, Liu Xiaobo, Hou Dejian, Zhou Duo and Gao Xin start a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square.

    June 3
    Troops receive orders to reclaim Tiananmen Square at all cost. Around 10:00 pm, soldiers open fire on people who try to block the army’s advance, as well as on those who are simply shouting at the troops. Tanks and armored personnel carriers move toward the center of the city. Many people in the streets are killed or wounded, including bystanders.

    June 4
    Around 1:00 am, troops surround Tiananmen Square and await further orders.

    Around 4:00 am, the four men who began a hunger strike on June 2 negotiate with the troops to allow the students to leave the Square.

    Around 5:00 am, several thousand students, and their teachers and supporters leave the Square at gunpoint.

    [Read a detailed account of the night of June 3-4 in Black Hands of Beijing, by George Black and Robin Munro.]

    June 9
    Deng Xiaoping, in a nationally broadcast television appearance, speaks to the commanders of the martial-law units. [Full transcript of his speech available.]

    ADDITIONAL READINGS
    The documentary film, The Gate of Heavenly Peace, focuses on the events of April-June 1989 as they occurred in Beijing. The protests that spring, however, were not isolated to the capital; while time did not allow the film to examine events in other cities, additional readings on this topic are available on this site. See The Pro-Democracy Protests in China, edited by Jonathan Unger.

  211. Rhan Says:

    SKC @154

    Many demonstration happen in China, the same take place in America but it seem only some are put under the microscope, depending on that individual mood and fancy. As I have no access to history textbook from the Western country, I am not too sure what is the criteria on how they officially acknowledge an event.

    I am from Malaysia hence I take country in the SEA as reference point. Malaysia and Indonesia textbook don’t mention anything about the Reformasi movement happen in 1997 and 1998. Thailand will not tell much about the red, yellow or blue demonstration in the very near future and even Taiwan, one of the so-called most democratic country in Asia, may not talk much about who shoot their president at this point of time. I think some incident just need more time if an objective view is to be desired.

    The failing from Wang Anse Bian Fa to Kang Youwei Wei Xin to Sun Yetsun San Min is either running too fast or without real political power as back up. Implementations lack pragmatism apart with some idealism rhetoric and hasty decision. The same happens to Mao Zedong as he is getting too old and trying to rush with time. His cadre lack the required experience to push through his vision and like most of us, he actually does not have an alternative for bureaucracy and elitist class that he hated too much. Unlike Mao, I believe the current batch of CCP leaders should have the luxurious of time and control plus the unpleasant memory and history as guide to make things work. Hence, a little sense of nationalism among its people is needed to counter the wicked influence and propaganda from outsiders.

    Talk about nationalism, Oli did tell many times that the weak point of China in the past is due to wrong policy. My opinion is not limited to policy alone but cause by a lack of nationalism spirit with strong government who appreciate economy development, and no thorough understanding of the world affair. Of course we are well aware that nationalism is a double edge sword, however our cultural background that include the three major philosophy of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism should be the mitigate factor.

    If eating is no more an issue, the emphasized on education will be an inevitable subject matter. The universal (not Western) values of democracy and fairness may come along. Shall we not give them more time?

  212. Raj Says:

    raventhorn (202)

    The law in this case is a big joke. “The law is the law” does not justify it. If the law forced you or your relatives to lick the street clean, you wouldn’t accept that would you?

    Moreover, you

    (203)

    You’re ignoring my point. The fact there is martial law doesn’t mean people have to be shot, especially if they are trying to run out of the martial law zone!

    Rhan (211)

    Most (if not all) demonstrations in China are illegal. It’s just that sometimes the Police know better than to try to end them prematurely – you can still be arrested for organising and/or participating in one. Also I think your comparison is wrong – Tiananmen happened 20 years ago, not 10. There’s been plenty of time to have a discussion about it.

    But if we do agree that time is needed to form an “objective” view, how can that occur if public and academic discussion on the events is limited and controlled by the State? The government shouldn’t get to decide what “correct” history is.

  213. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000 #201:
    “Which part of this question from Raj even talked about the “government”???”
    — the question makes no mention of the government. But when you say that the acts of killing were based on the individual choice and discretion of the soldiers themselves, does that not also place the responsibility for those acts on the soldiers? And if they bore the responsibility, does it not absolve the government of that same responsibility (MAJ’s concept of shared responsibility notwithstanding)? This question does not seem difficult to comprehend, and my answer would be yes.

    #202:
    “Law is the law. You may not like it, doesn’t mean that you can avoid it.”
    — no one is talking about avoiding it. But what exactly does this State Security Law encompass, and what does it expressly prohibit? Is its reach so vast, and language so vague, that it becomes open to all manner of interpretation to the point where, gasp, maybe it’s not a very good or reasonable law? Your response will probably be: “doesn’t matter; good or bad, law is the law”. That is true. But surely the reasonable-ness of a law can be discussed, no?

    “you have to read the DETAILED court documents”
    —and are they accessible?

    #204:
    “It’s not a matter up for your “think””
    —seriously, dude. “I think” in the context of my statement is equivalent to “my opinion is”. Are you in such an advanced rabid state as to deny others their own opinions? You are certainly something….not much, but something nonetheless.

    To Huaren #205:
    “clueless what laws they broke conspiring with HRIC”
    — well I was hoping you’d tell me. Much like I was hoping you’d tell me what the mothers imported besides ideas.

    To Rhan:
    nice post.
    “Shall we not give them more time?” — we’re going to have to.

  214. Rhan Says:

    SKC,
    Yes, have to. Sometimes we don’t have much choice. I am from a country where majority is Muslim and this could be one reason why my tolerance level is difference from yours. And to be frank, Chinese need commentator like you to work as balance.

    Raj,
    I think Asia culture and politic might not be as what you have expect, what I mean by time is not 10, 20 or 30 years, it is about the party and person that are still in power. For an example, Malaysian don’t openly discuss the racial riot that happen 40 years ago. Though Malaysian Chinese is the major victim but ironically, probably we are one who wish the case is closed.

  215. pug_ster Says:

    #Rhan 215,

    It is sad, the international community won’t pressure Malaysia about the race issues like how China was pressured with the issues with Tibetans and Uyghurs simply because Malaysia is a ‘democracy.’ I doubt that China probably wouldn’t apply any pressure because they respect other countries sovereignty.

  216. kui Says:

    SKC.

    I have lot of guilt when I talk about these mothers but, still I think I am doing the right thing to express my view. No socienty can progress in one single day. If China could do as these mothers wished, then China was much advanced than all current democratic countries on earth. That is unrealistic. I hope these mothers realise this. Sad for these mothers in their frail old age. I went back to China when my Mum became ill early this year. I spend almost my entire 2 month looking after her. These mothers deserve the same but their beloved child is gone. There is nothing can replace a lost family member. The Chinese government definitely will disappoint these mothers but is there any hope on the otherside? These poor mothers are trying to cling to false hopes and being made use of by these foreign NGOs. Sad.

    Those student leaders havenot been sitting on their hands. They have plenty support from foreign NGOs. What have they achieved? They have already lost support from Chinese people. This is a little assessment from me. You can say that I can not make such statement on the behalf of Chinese people. But I believe this is an accurate assessment.

    Ted.

    I think my aunt forgot that she is daughter of a big landlord and also considered a person “from enemy camp” in the past. Can you honestly answer me a question please. I am a person left China when I was 30 years old. I speak English with an accent. When I express my pro-China view on the internet I have been accused of being CCP spy, should be deported, 50 cents party…… I zip my mouth at work and never dare to talk politics. I think that “enemy camp” mentality also exist in the population in democratic countries? What do you think?

  217. real name Says:

    216
    “enemy camp” mentality also exist in the population in democratic countries
    yes, people everywhere are naturaly simplifying and enemy responsible for my problems makes life easier
    just now i wrote somewhere else: in my country national party gets the most votes in areas where people haven’t real contact with people they like to hate

  218. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    “The law in this case is a big joke. “The law is the law” does not justify it. If the law forced you or your relatives to lick the street clean, you wouldn’t accept that would you?”

    You pose a ridiculous hypothetical, since the Chinese law is not that significantly different from the Western Counterparts on national security issues. Care to read the 59 charges against Wen Ho Lee?? You are talking BS on HOT air.

    “(203) You’re ignoring my point. The fact there is martial law doesn’t mean people have to be shot, especially if they are trying to run out of the martial law zone!”

    What facts do you base your assumption that they were “running out of the zone”?? They were TRESPASSERS who had been given over 30 days to clear out, and they didn’t, and made every effort of violence to block legal authorities. FACT is, there were Molotov cocktails being thrown, soldiers hurt and dead. They even had a “DEFEND the Square” command center set up like a military operation.
    It’s RIOT, MARTIAL LAW HAS BEEN IMPOSED. PEOPLE are going to get hurt in RIOTS!!! Do you understand the meaning of the word “RIOT”??

  219. Wahaha Says:

    SKC #196,

    I have said before : I dont care how government officials were criticized of not in democratic countries, as I dont believe they are the one who have the real power, they are just like 光緒 who was controled by 慈禧, the rich.

    As in China, you can do anything as long as your action will not be a threat to the ruling of CCP.

  220. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “— the question makes no mention of the government. But when you say that the acts of killing were based on the individual choice and discretion of the soldiers themselves, does that not also place the responsibility for those acts on the soldiers? And if they bore the responsibility, does it not absolve the government of that same responsibility (MAJ’s concept of shared responsibility notwithstanding)? This question does not seem difficult to comprehend, and my answer would be yes.”

    If the soldiers are the ONLY subject in Raj’s question, we are discussing SOLDIERS’ responsibilities. Anything else is irrelevant. I don’t care what it IMPLIES to YOU. I didn’t bring up the question, I responded it as it was posed. If you don’t like the implication, go bug Raj.

  221. Wahaha Says:

    SKC,

    The following documentary film will help you understand how we view human right and freedom.

    Raj, if you are not afraid of being exposed, you should watch it too.

    Independent lens : Lakshmi and me

    http://documentary.org/content/independent-lens-lakshmi-and-me-broadcast-premiere

  222. pug_ster Says:

    @Shane 9219

    Why folks in Hong Kong protest with a much larger turn-out in comparison to years ago? I personally think there are several reasons:

    1) Hong Kong’s long tradition of supporting political movements in inland China (so you don’t see the same in Taiwan)
    2) It’s a really bad economy time!
    3) Hong Kong’s diminished role to mainland China’s development. Unlike Taiwan or Singapore, HK lacks of modern manufacturing powers. HK’s financial function is no longer in monopoly. All of these leads to a trend of popular discontent and insecurity
    4) Discontent and insecurity about further assimilation into mainland China, HKers want more international space.
    5) Pushed by foreign media

    Might I want to add there’s several other reasons:
    - Mainland direct trade and travel between Mainland China with Taiwan gained at the expense of Hong Kong because they used to be the intermediate hub.
    - The Recession hit harder in Hong Kong because they are in more exposure of the international companies especially financial ones, one company in particular Lehman Bros.
    - Many international companies are moving their Asian Headquarters from Hong Kong to Mainland China. This is especially true for financial companies because Shanghai wants to compete with Hong Kong as the financial hub.
    - a daily quota of 150 immigrants from mainland China to Hong kong are granted for ‘one way leave’ to settle in Hong Kong, most of them is a resident of Hong Kong married someone in mainland China or have kids in China.

    Hong Kong has been much of the loser of the handover back to China. A casino boom in Macao benefited them as the result of the handover because they get alot of the gamblers are from Mainland China. Gambling is illegal in Mainland China.

  223. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    “— no one is talking about avoiding it. But what exactly does this State Security Law encompass, and what does it expressly prohibit? Is its reach so vast, and language so vague, that it becomes open to all manner of interpretation to the point where, gasp, maybe it’s not a very good or reasonable law? Your response will probably be: “doesn’t matter; good or bad, law is the law”. That is true. But surely the reasonable-ness of a law can be discussed, no?”

    You are obviously criticizing laws that you don’t even know. And now you are asking questions of “reasonableness”?? Sorry. Go learn basic legal concepts on your own. I’m not here to teach basic legal concepts. All I can tell you is, criticizing laws while you don’t understand basic legal concepts is NOT reasonable.

    ““you have to read the DETAILED court documents”
    —and are they accessible?”

    Just because court documents are SECRET, doesn’t mean they are unreasonable. Look up US FISA courts. Secret court documents are common in all jurisdictions.

  224. Bai Ding Says:

    I still don’t understand what we are arguing about. What’s to argue? The PLA brutally shot and massacred unarmed people who were participating in a peaceful demonstration in an area that’s supposed to be public. Bang bang bang and then blood and more blood. It happened. End of the story. Who the hell cares about who was right,or wrong, who were the cowards, who might had sex, and how many actually died, how big Tiananmen Square was, and the West ? Deng gave you two doors: money or political. You opened the wrong door, you are dead. Bang bang bang, end of the story!

    【百字令】遙寄六月

    荒唐年代,已淪亡不改,奴隨腥跡。
    亂世中原污臭局,惟待臊狐來奕。
    民主呻吟,鬼王遲死,勇士吼長戟。
    聲吞六月,史篇遮眼全失。

    激我熱淚如流,非關年老,世事因何寂?
    更欲把乾坤剪下,塗片春紅秋碧。
    奉主迎時,腐儒編戲,天幟吾人織。
    文章酬贈,壯歌先用橫笛。

  225. Raj Says:

    raventhorn (218)

    The hypothetical is quite valid. Your reaction goes to show that “the law is the law” is not an acceptable argument by itself – thanks for proving my point for me. There is a discretion in who is prosecuted and who isn’t. That’s why although in the UK it is illegal to help someone commit suicide (you can do it yourself), there hasn’t been a recent case where someone has been prosecuted under that law because the authorities decided not to bring charges.

    On your claim that the Chinese law in question is not too widely phrased compared to foreign ones, can you tell me, for example, which British security law is as widely phrased as the Chinese one and when the last time was we kept placing old ladies under house arrest, stopping them from meeting people, etc when they were not under charges at that time?

    The Chinese government today doesn’t have to harrass these old women. Even if it didn’t give them a public platform it could easily allow them more freedom than they currently do.

    On the point about people fleeing the area, I’ve read a number of witness accounts that people were killed needlessly, whether or not whilst running away. You can ignore that if you want, but I certainly haven’t read anything from witnesses who were present in the areas the killings happened and said that no unarmed people were killed, chased and then killed, etc.

    223

    You’re confused – I didn’t write that.

  226. huaren Says:

    @SKC

    I did my work to find out what laws were broken. Why should I bother do the homework for you, especially if you already took the position that no laws were broken not knowing the facts?

    Looking at you and Raj’s comments, its more accurate to say that you don’t care about the facts because they don’t agree with your agenda.

    This is pretty nasty behaviour!

  227. real name Says:

    221, Lakshmi and me
    thanks for tip, also i will try have a look for this film
    (using http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/lakshmiandme/film.html
    i computed she earned 50% more than chinese farmer average incoming, can’t believe, is it 6*600/month?)

  228. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    Selective prosecution itself is NOT an indication of right or wrong of a law. And frankly, you are still talking non-sense. Murder (including assisted suicide) generally has INDEFINITE statute of limitation. (To explain to you in plain terms:) UK might not prosecute that case for NOW, but they can prosecute that case LATER if they changed their minds (or political parties). [see what important detail you missed by NOT understanding a basic legal concept such as "statute of limitation"?]

    And UK Security Law? How about “rendition”, where British security cooperated with US? is that specific enough? (I didn’t know that UK OBEYED US!)

    Oh now, it’s not “running away”, but rather just “killed needlessly”? (whatever that means). Maybe YOU should be more specific about your “charges” against the CCP. I mean, it’s kinda silly that you, on 1 hand, complain that the CCP doesn’t give the “mothers” specific enough charges, then you come along and accuse the PLA of “killing needlessly”??

    By your own logic, your wishy washy story and your highly vague accusations are “BIG JOKES”

    Here are a few more legal terms for you to look up: Contributory negligence, RIOT, Prior UNSAFE conditions.

  229. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a type of immunity that in common law jurisdictions traces its origins from early English law. Generally speaking it is the doctrine that the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution; hence the saying, the king (or queen) can do no wrong. In many cases, governments have waived this immunity to allow for suits; in some cases, an individual may technically appear as defendant on the state’s behalf.

    US has legislative immunity and executive immunity.

    Legislative Immunity, or the Speech and Debate Clause, is an absolute bar to lawsuit for any action or speech made by any US federal legislators in the course of federal legislative process. Legislators’ aids are also covered by this clause.

    Executive immunity in US, is recognized by judicial decisions, is an absolute bar to civil lawsuits for any action taken by the President and his aids while in office.

    Canada, like England, has “parliamentary privilege”, which bars lawsuit INDEFINITELY for any members of the Parliament, including the Prime Minister, for any action or speech taken in office. This privilege works very similarly to the US Legislative Immunity. The Current Canadian PM Harper exercised this privilege in 2007.

  230. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Correction 223 is not for Raj,

    Also correction: 223 add: SKC, you don’t know the law. Stop asking ridiculous questions based upon your wrong assumptions.

  231. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wahaha #219:
    “I dont care how government officials were criticized…”
    — then that really makes comparisons between scenarios in “western” governments and the Chinese one completely irrelevant. On that I would agree.

    “you can do anything as long as your action will not be a threat to the ruling of CCP.”
    — wait a second. I think it’s completely goofy, but at least it’s fathomable that actions which might affect the “stability/unity” of China would be prohibited. But why are things that threaten the rule of the CCP also prohibited? Does the CCP think that she is the one and only way to maintain stability and unity in China?

    To R4000:
    “we are discussing SOLDIERS’ responsibilities.”
    —ok, if you need me to “draw the intestines” as well….let’s say the soldiers bear responsibility. As a stand alone question, with no reference to Raj’s initial question, does that mean the government has no responsibility?

    “You are obviously criticizing laws that you don’t even know. And now you are asking questions of “reasonableness”??”
    — I haven’t come close to criticizing it yet. I’m just asking a question. If you can’t answer it, just say so.

    “Just because court documents are SECRET, doesn’t mean they are unreasonable.”
    — I didn’t say they are unreasonable. But first you tell us to read the court documents. Then when I ask if they are accessible, you tell us they are secret. So maybe you can tell me how to go and read Chinese secret documents. Once I’ve read those secret documents, maybe I can tell you if they are reasonable or not. But you’ll have to give me a few minutes…cuz y’know, they are secret documents.

    To huaren:
    “I did my work to find out what laws were broken. Why should I bother do the homework for you”
    — then don’t. Fine by me.

  232. Ted Says:

    Kui: “When I express my pro-China view on the internet I have been accused of being CCP spy, should be deported, 50 cents party…… I zip my mouth at work and never dare to talk politics. I think that “enemy camp” mentality also exist in the population in democratic countries? What do you think?”

    Sure it does, but I feel like there are alot of different “enemy camps” and in general people are more open to discussion. I can’t speak for Australia though, I’m from the US. I have just returned home after almost 3 years in China and can say that a number of my views have softened, become more nuanced, and in some cases changed entirely. I’ll be entering a China focused business program so, honestly, I am curious to see what directions my conversations take. I’ll be able to better answer your question in about 6 months :)

  233. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “—ok, if you need me to “draw the intestines” as well….let’s say the soldiers bear responsibility. As a stand alone question, with no reference to Raj’s initial question, does that mean the government has no responsibility?”

    Define “responsibility”, do you mean “criminal liability”, or “civil liability”, or just “moral responsibility”?? Obviously, government ALWAYS have moral responsibilities for everything that happens in society. For “criminal/civil liability”, see Immunity.

    ““You are obviously criticizing laws that you don’t even know. And now you are asking questions of “reasonableness”??”
    — I haven’t come close to criticizing it yet. I’m just asking a question. If you can’t answer it, just say so.”

    I’m also asking a question. ARE you criticizing the laws?? If you can’t answer, just say so.

    ““Just because court documents are SECRET, doesn’t mean they are unreasonable.”
    — I didn’t say they are unreasonable. But first you tell us to read the court documents. Then when I ask if they are accessible, you tell us they are secret. So maybe you can tell me how to go and read Chinese secret documents. Once I’ve read those secret documents, maybe I can tell you if they are reasonable or not. But you’ll have to give me a few minutes…cuz y’know, they are secret documents.”"

    You can read it if you have security clearance.

    Not my business whether you can or cannot have access to the documents. I don’t care.

  234. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “— wait a second. I think it’s completely goofy, but at least it’s fathomable that actions which might affect the “stability/unity” of China would be prohibited. But why are things that threaten the rule of the CCP also prohibited? Does the CCP think that she is the one and only way to maintain stability and unity in China?”

    Well, if anyone want to call out CCP out for a fight, then why is it a surprise that CCP would fight back?

    Do the GOP or DNC do everything for the advancement of “democracy” or more likely fight over for “political grudges”? See Clinton’s “oral sex” impeachment.

    Do they really think the President’s private sex life in office is part of the “democratic process” to warrant MILLIONS of dollars for an impeachment??

    Goofy? Are you totally naive to politics?

  235. raventhorn4000 Says:

    ““I dont care how government officials were criticized…”
    — then that really makes comparisons between scenarios in “western” governments and the Chinese one completely irrelevant. On that I would agree.”

    You wanted to care, then comparisons are for your criticism discussion.

    if you want to find the comparisons Irrelevant, then it’s obvious that you care about biased criticism.

  236. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Texas removes duty to retreat

    It removes the duty to retreat from buildings and vehicles. No longer do you have to try to retreat before retaliating.

    It creates a legal assumption that an intruder is there to cause death or great bodily harm and that victims have the RIGHT TO USE DEADLY FORCE.

    March 2007

  237. raventhorn4000 Says:

    US law:

    The duty to retreat is not universal, however. For example, police officers are not required to retreat when acting in the line of duty.

    Deadly Force can only be employed under one or more of the following conditions:
    Self defense or the defense of others.
    Defense of assets involving national security.
    Defense of assets not involving national security, but inherently dangerous to others.
    Protection of public health or safety.
    Prevention of serious offenses against persons.
    Arrest or apprehension.
    Criminal escapes.

  238. raventhorn4000 Says:

    In Common law, the Fleeing Felon Rule permits the use of force, including deadly force, against an individual who is suspected of a felony and is in clear flight. Force may be used by the victim, bystanders, or police officers. In some jurisprudence failure to use such force was a misdemeanor which could result in a fine or imprisonment.

  239. Shane9219 Says:

    @Ted #232

    “I’m from the US. I have just returned home after almost 3 years in China and can say that a number of my views have softened, become more nuanced, and in some cases changed entirely.”

    Yes, person-to-person contact on the ground can surely help the removal of ideological divide.

  240. kui Says:

    Ted.

    Hopefully one day you will write an essay or a book about your China experience. I will be your reader if you do that. Just let you know I got another two nice titles a little while ago “……trojan horse to demonise student leaders and people who support democracy. Shameful” and plus a liar from one of the blogers at fools mountain(another forum) Nice. Maybe I should simply shut up.

  241. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Define “responsibility””
    —fair question. I think the mothers are seeking a finding of criminal liability, so based on that assumption, I’ll go with that one as well.
    Since you said this:”“we are discussing SOLDIERS’ responsibilities.”” — how do you define it?

    “ARE you criticizing the laws??”
    —like I explicitly, directly, and literally said, in so many words: “I haven’t come close to criticizing it yet. I’m just asking a question.” So I think your query has been asked and answered.
    So maybe now you can see fit to grace us with not only what you think of the “reasonable-ness” of those State Security Laws, but also why you feel it might be so.

    “You can read it if you have security clearance.”
    —well that’s the end of that then. Since none of us have security clearance, then we can’t read the secret court documents. So any discussion of the reasonable-ness of the charges against the mothers is pointless.

    “Not my business whether you can or cannot have access to the documents. I don’t care.”
    — your sentiments curiously also reflect your desire to have a meaningful discussion about anything.

    “Do the GOP or DNC do everything for the advancement of “democracy” or more likely fight over for “political grudges””
    — a bit of both. What helps to keep it from devolving entirely into the latter is that they have to face judgement day at regular intervals. That’s a nuisance with which the CCP need not concern herself.

    “Do they really think the President’s private sex life in office…”
    — that’s the saucy view of life. The legal view is whether he had lied under oath.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say in 235. 236-238 seem to belong in another thread.

  242. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “—fair question. I think the mothers are seeking a finding of criminal liability, so based on that assumption, I’ll go with that one as well.
    Since you said this:”“we are discussing SOLDIERS’ responsibilities.”” — how do you define it?”

    Since Raj brought up the scenario of “did they have to shoot”, it could be either criminal or civil liability.
    Since you want to talk about “criminal liability”, SEE IMMUNITY, SEE TRESPASSER.

    ““ARE you criticizing the laws??”
    —like I explicitly, directly, and literally said, in so many words: “I haven’t come close to criticizing it yet. I’m just asking a question.” So I think your query has been asked and answered.
    So maybe now you can see fit to grace us with not only what you think of the “reasonable-ness” of those State Security Laws, but also why you feel it might be so.”

    SEE FISA Court in US, upheld as Constitutional by US Supreme Court. That’s good enough for me.

    “You can read it if you have security clearance.”
    —well that’s the end of that then. Since none of us have security clearance, then we can’t read the secret court documents. So any discussion of the reasonable-ness of the charges against the mothers is pointless.”

    That’s right. It’s pointless.

    ““Not my business whether you can or cannot have access to the documents. I don’t care.”
    — your sentiments curiously also reflect your desire to have a meaningful discussion about anything.”

    Most “reasonable people” don’t have high security clearance. Those who do, can’t discuss it. I don’t see why you can’t understand basic national security rules.

    ““Do the GOP or DNC do everything for the advancement of “democracy” or more likely fight over for “political grudges””
    — a bit of both. What helps to keep it from devolving entirely into the latter is that they have to face judgement day at regular intervals. That’s a nuisance with which the CCP need not concern herself.”

    Well, despite the lack of nuisance, I think it’s rather great that CCP hasn’t had a “Lewinsky sex trial”. Seem you have gone from “Representation”, to “Behest”, to “Choice”, to “Chance”, and now down to “Nuisance”???
    Yes, I would classify your “vote” as a very Little “nuisance” for the politicians who supposed to work at your “behest”!! LOL!!
    Certainly not enough to stop them from wasting MILLIONS of dollars from such “pointless” debate.

    ““Do they really think the President’s private sex life in office…”
    — that’s the saucy view of life. The legal view is whether he had lied under oath.”

    The legal view is whether that question is worth MILLIONS of dollars. Oh yes, that’s a highly difficult question to ask and answer, whether he “lied under oath”!!! NOT!!!
    Are you sure you understand the meaning of “REASONABLE”???

    “I have no idea what you’re trying to say in 235. 236-238 seem to belong in another thread.”

    Laws for your reading. See Duty to Trespassers. Negligence. Right to use deadly force.

  243. raventhorn4000 Says:

    2 reposted links for some very good reading on 6/4.

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-02.htm

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20040915gc.html

  244. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “SEE FISA Court in US, upheld as Constitutional by US Supreme Court. That’s good enough for me.”
    — I’m not sure what the point is to compare FISA with the State Security Law. But if FISA is good enough for you, then by extension, the State Security Law is as well. So, mind telling us why you think FISA is reasonable? Might shed some light on why you think the State Security Law to be similarly so. BTW, you really do need a reason, because if you go with “if it’s good enough for the US, it’s good enough for CHina”, that’s got implications that might be discomforting for your general POV.

    “That’s right. It’s pointless.”
    —ok, so Raj criticizes the charges against the mothers, and you say, wait a sec, you can’t just go by the filed charges, you need to see the entirety of the court documents to appreciate the justification. Then you say that those documents are secret, and none of us will likely ever see them. This doesn’t prove that those charges are baseless; there may be justifications that we will never know about; but what is your basis for defending those charges, whose justification you similarly know nothing about?

    “I don’t see why you can’t understand basic national security rules.”
    — ohh, i understand what secret means. What I don’t understand is why you brought up secrets that none of us will ever know? What was the point of that?

    “What helps to keep it from devolving entirely into the latter is that they have to face judgement day at regular intervals. That’s a nuisance with which the CCP need not concern herself.” (SKC #241)
    “Seem you have gone from “Representation”, to “Behest”, to “Choice”, to “Chance”, and now down to “Nuisance”???” (R4000 #242)
    — it really does seem like I need to “draw the intestines” and clearly label each reference. On second thought, why deprive myself of this opportunity for daily reading pleasure? The “nuisance” is how the CCP might perceive the need to face judgement day at regular intervals, with which she “need not concern herself” presently. It’s not how we might view democracy. There, intestines and everything.

    “The legal view is whether that question is worth MILLIONS of dollars”
    —nope. That might be the practical view. Nothing wrong with that. But if the legal view is that straight-forward to you, then you are clearly a superior prosecutor to Mr. Starr. You should have just said so, given what I’m sure are countless appointments as special prosecutor that you’ve enjoyed.

  245. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “— I’m not sure what the point is to compare FISA with the State Security Law. But if FISA is good enough for you, then by extension, the State Security Law is as well. So, mind telling us why you think FISA is reasonable? Might shed some light on why you think the State Security Law to be similarly so. BTW, you really do need a reason, because if you go with “if it’s good enough for the US, it’s good enough for CHina”, that’s got implications that might be discomforting for your general POV.”

    It’s good enough that it’s “reasonable” to a high court in the West. You need a better reason to say it’s UN-reasonable for China.

    ““That’s right. It’s pointless.”
    —ok, so Raj criticizes the charges against the mothers, and you say, wait a sec, you can’t just go by the filed charges, you need to see the entirety of the court documents to appreciate the justification. Then you say that those documents are secret, and none of us will likely ever see them. This doesn’t prove that those charges are baseless; there may be justifications that we will never know about; but what is your basis for defending those charges, whose justification you similarly know nothing about?”

    Well, I’m not the one asserting anything about the charges, RAJ was. And I’m not here to defend “the charges”. Just pointing out the POINTLESSNESS of some “criticisms”.

    ““I don’t see why you can’t understand basic national security rules.”
    — ohh, i understand what secret means. What I don’t understand is why you brought up secrets that none of us will ever know? What was the point of that?”

    Because you are not going to know the secrets anywhere, just so you know where you stand in your futile quest.

    ““What helps to keep it from devolving entirely into the latter is that they have to face judgement day at regular intervals. That’s a nuisance with which the CCP need not concern herself.” (SKC #241)
    “Seem you have gone from “Representation”, to “Behest”, to “Choice”, to “Chance”, and now down to “Nuisance”???” (R4000 #242)
    — it really does seem like I need to “draw the intestines” and clearly label each reference. On second thought, why deprive myself of this opportunity for daily reading pleasure? The “nuisance” is how the CCP might perceive the need to face judgement day at regular intervals, with which she “need not concern herself” presently. It’s not how we might view democracy. There, intestines and everything.”

    Yeah, try get some national security secret documents from Canada or US. We’ll see how long that line you will be in.

    ““The legal view is whether that question is worth MILLIONS of dollars”
    —nope. That might be the practical view. Nothing wrong with that. But if the legal view is that straight-forward to you, then you are clearly a superior prosecutor to Mr. Starr. You should have just said so, given what I’m sure are countless appointments as special prosecutor that you’ve enjoyed.”

    I’m superior enough to know NOT to take that job and waste the taxpayers’ money on the “Depends on what you mean by “yes”" argument. If you need a law degree to understand that, there is no hope for “democracy”, because “YES”, your little “nuisance” means nothing at all, compared to that LEGAL view of “whether he lied under oath”.

    Guess we know what kind of BS you were brought up on to go along with that.

    But if you really want, I can tie you down with ALL KINDS of LEGAL view questions, as much as the GOP or DNC or any other party can do.

    Indeed, I think the CCP will hire likes of Mr. Starr to deal with the West. (He probably already works for them.)

    But you don’t need me to tell you about it, you will have your “nuisance” to deal with your PARTIES (plural) to make sure they don’t sell you out.

    I’m sure that will work great for you in the long run.

  246. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “It’s good enough that it’s “reasonable” to a high court in the West. You need a better reason to say it’s UN-reasonable for China.”
    —so are our democratic/legislative/constitutional principles. See, not so unreasonable for China either.

    “And I’m not here to defend “the charges”. Just pointing out the POINTLESSNESS of some “criticisms””
    —fair enough.

    “Yeah, try get some national security secret documents from Canada or US. We’ll see how long that line you will be in.”
    — that’s totally non-responsive, dude, when the point was what may or may not constitute a nuisance for China.

    ““Depends on what you mean by “yes”” argument”
    —I believe the argument hinged on the definition of “is”, but no matter.

  247. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    ““It’s good enough that it’s “reasonable” to a high court in the West. You need a better reason to say it’s UN-reasonable for China.”
    —so are our democratic/legislative/constitutional principles. See, not so unreasonable for China either.”

    I didn’t say it was. So China has a vote system in the CCP, and charges, and national security secrets, what’s your problem?

    ““And I’m not here to defend “the charges”. Just pointing out the POINTLESSNESS of some “criticisms””
    —fair enough.”

    Good enough.

    ““Yeah, try get some national security secret documents from Canada or US. We’ll see how long that line you will be in.”
    — that’s totally non-responsive, dude, when the point was what may or may not constitute a nuisance for China.”

    The discussion is about National Security Laws and Charges, NOT “nuisance” for CCP, that was your tangent.

    “““Depends on what you mean by “yes”” argument”
    —I believe the argument hinged on the definition of “is”, but no matter.”

    Certainly doesn’t.

  248. raventhorn4000 Says:

    From an unclassified website, http://www.rense.com/general84/red.htm

    “Most of the time, Starr spent in his PRIVATE law practice. His client? Wang Jun, head of the Red Chinese Secret Police. From time to time, Clinton met with Wang Jun in or near the White House. As the assassinated flag officers were prepared to document, their Commander-in-Chief Clinton reportedly turned over to Wang Jun, U.S. financial, industrial, and MILITARY secrets, constituting the classic version of treason, aiding and abetting a sworn enemy of the United States.”

    I find this extremely humorous. All the geopolitical personal labels. And of course, I figured that if I speculated some past politician was working for China, I would be able to find some conspiracy nut-page that would give supporting accusations for the same.

    Of course, that says SO MUCH about the Western Free Press, Western Free Blog, and Western Democracy:

    Paranoia, and Nuisance, and Pointless.

  249. barny chan Says:

    kui Says: “I got another two nice titles a little while ago “……trojan horse to demonise student leaders and people who support democracy. Shameful” and plus a liar from one of the blogers at fools mountain(another forum) Nice. Maybe I should simply shut up.”

    There’s a better option than shutting up, and that’s putting up – something you’ve as yet been able to do on the thread in question.

  250. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “So China has a vote system in the CCP…”
    —but a single party voting system where only party members vote, and the general public can’t, would clearly not be acceptable to US courts. The current democratic voting system, however, is a “reasonable” system in the eyes of US courts. So, where’s the “better” reason to say that it is unreasonable in China? This should be fun. Surely, if the FISA equivalent is “good enough”, then a multi-party democratic system should suffice as well.

    ““Do the GOP or DNC do everything for the advancement of “democracy” or more likely fight over for “political grudges”” (R4000 #234)
    — a bit of both. What helps to keep it from devolving entirely into the latter is that they have to face judgement day at regular intervals. That’s a nuisance with which the CCP need not concern herself. (SKC #241)
    —if that was a tangent, then it was one you started. I was simply responding to your tangent.

    ““Yeah, try get some national security secret documents from Canada or US. We’ll see how long that line you will be in.” (R4000 #245)
    — that’s totally non-responsive, dude, when the point was what may or may not constitute a nuisance for China. (SKC #246)
    —see how non-responsive your response was?

    “The discussion is about National Security Laws and Charges”
    —and if that’s the case, what might I ask were you doing in #234 where I quoted you above? Going off on a tangent, perhaps? What do “political grudges” have to do with National Security Laws? And listen, if you wanna fly off the handle, happy trails to you. But why get so prickly when you get called on it?
    BTW, I would hope that it would be as impossible to get Canadian secret documents as it would be to get CHinese ones. Though based on some recent events, I wonder. Nevertheless, the Chinese secret court documents would at least be relevant in determining if/how the mothers contravened the State Security Law. Getting Canadian secret documents of any kind is truly, utterly, and completely irrelevant to that discussion. Yet there you were in #245, getting right in there. Why so many tangents?

    Are you still completely clueless as to the context where I used “nuisance”? It seems like your “word of the day”, and you can’t stop using it, in the complete absence of rhyme or reason.

  251. real name Says:

    243
    “Troops were only sent to remove the students when things were getting out of hand and the square needed to be cleaned up in advance of a Beijing visit by Soviet leader, Mikail Gorbachev.”
    in advance? gorbi came in middle of may, troops in june

  252. Raj Says:

    SKC (250), nice post.

  253. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    ““So China has a vote system in the CCP…”
    —but a single party voting system where only party members vote, and the general public can’t, would clearly not be acceptable to US courts. The current democratic voting system, however, is a “reasonable” system in the eyes of US courts. So, where’s the “better” reason to say that it is unreasonable in China? This should be fun. Surely, if the FISA equivalent is “good enough”, then a multi-party democratic system should suffice as well.”

    It might suffice, but who said China must adopt every feature of other systems?? It’s “good enough”, but that’s not an obligation to adopt.

    “““Do the GOP or DNC do everything for the advancement of “democracy” or more likely fight over for “political grudges”” (R4000 #234)
    — a bit of both. What helps to keep it from devolving entirely into the latter is that they have to face judgement day at regular intervals. That’s a nuisance with which the CCP need not concern herself. (SKC #241)
    —if that was a tangent, then it was one you started. I was simply responding to your tangent.”

    Nope, I asked a direct question about GOP and DNC, I didn’t bring up the “nuisance” on the CCP. You brought it up to avoid my question and change the subject. (Once again, you want to divert it to the issue of your little “vote”, which has nothing to do with the topic here.)

    “““Yeah, try get some national security secret documents from Canada or US. We’ll see how long that line you will be in.” (R4000 #245)
    — that’s totally non-responsive, dude, when the point was what may or may not constitute a nuisance for China. (SKC #246)
    —see how non-responsive your response was?”

    I’m giving you the best measurement of “access” you wanted to know about. Obviously, if you can’t find out about the length of that line in Canada, you won’t have much luck with “access” elsewhere either.

    ““The discussion is about National Security Laws and Charges”
    —and if that’s the case, what might I ask were you doing in #234 where I quoted you above? Going off on a tangent, perhaps? What do “political grudges” have to do with National Security Laws? And listen, if you wanna fly off the handle, happy trails to you. But why get so prickly when you get called on it?
    BTW, I would hope that it would be as impossible to get Canadian secret documents as it would be to get CHinese ones. Though based on some recent events, I wonder. Nevertheless, the Chinese secret court documents would at least be relevant in determining if/how the mothers contravened the State Security Law. Getting Canadian secret documents of any kind is truly, utterly, and completely irrelevant to that discussion. Yet there you were in #245, getting right in there. Why so many tangents?”

    I direct your attention to your post #231, you asked, “But why are things that threaten the rule of the CCP also prohibited?” I gave you the answer, “political grudges”.
    If you don’t want to compare Chinese national security laws to other nations, then FINE! Chinese laws are reasonable, STANDING ALONE!! I don’t want hear from any Canadians or Americans about why it’s “unreasonable” to you!!

    “Are you still completely clueless as to the context where I used “nuisance”? It seems like your “word of the day”, and you can’t stop using it, in the complete absence of rhyme or reason.”

    Nope, I’m quite conscious of your continual Freudian Slip. All the more amusing to highlight your own apparent decreasing faith in your own “vote”. LOL! Only shows that you don’t really believe in the value of your own “vote” either. In your own eyes, you are just a “nuisance” to those in power in Canada.

    Truth comes out when unconsciously said/written.

  254. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “It’s “good enough”, but that’s not an obligation to adopt.”
    —alright then. So some things might be “good enough”, and worthy of adoption by China; other things might be “good enough”, but China might choose not to adopt it. In that case, what makes the FISA law a “good enough” example worthy of adoption by China, or at least worthy as justification for China’s State Security Law? What makes a democratic multi-party political system “good enough”, but not worthy of adoption? The first question goes to your statement in #242 (“SEE FISA Court in US, upheld as Constitutional by US Supreme Court. That’s good enough for me.”). The second question…well…goes to making this interesting.

    “I asked a direct question about GOP and DNC, I didn’t bring up the “nuisance” on the CCP. You brought it up to avoid my question and change the subject.”
    —huh? I answered your question point blank. Sometimes I wonder….

    “I’m giving you the best measurement of “access” you wanted to know about. Obviously, if you can’t find out about the length of that line in Canada, you won’t have much luck with “access” elsewhere either.”
    —dude, we’re talking about “secret” documents. There is no access. We’re not talking about John Q making a garden variety freedom-of-info request. So right off the bat, that’s an irrelevant comment – access is zero. Second, the comparison of zero access in Canada vs zero access in China notwithstanding, the issue is court documents in China. Any comparison is again irrelevant. So you’re being doubly irrelevant in your serial responses to one point. Good going!

    “I direct your attention to your post #231, you asked, “But why are things that threaten the rule of the CCP also prohibited?” I gave you the answer, “political grudges”.”
    — first of all, that was a question to Wahaha. But I’m sure he appreciates your effort in answering on his behalf. Cheque’s probably in the mail.
    Second, how does this (“Do the GOP or DNC do everything for the advancement of “democracy” or more likely fight over for “political grudges”?”- R4000 #234) even begin to answer the question that you claim it does? Only god (if he/she exists) and R4000 knows, it would appear.

    “Chinese laws are reasonable, STANDING ALONE”
    —we’re not talking “in general”, or all laws taken in sum; as you say, we’re talking about Chinese State Security laws. If you want to compare, that’s your prerogative. But if you’re going to compare, you should at least tell us why you think they’re comparable, and how, in this case, FISA justifies China’s laws.

    “I’m quite conscious of your continual Freudian Slip”
    —umm, oops, sorry, nice try, better luck next time. No “slip” there; just progressively increasing evidence of your inability to comprehend a sentence despite numerous attempts at clarification. Only you know the cause of the persistent defect. Well, I’m the gregarious type, so here goes another attempt: we are perfectly good to go with the whole democracy thing; only the CCP would find such a concept to be an annoyance. I must say I am impressed by your ability to multi-task…you’re digging multiple holes at the same time! You go, boy!

  255. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    ““It’s “good enough”, but that’s not an obligation to adopt.”
    —alright then. So some things might be “good enough”, and worthy of adoption by China; other things might be “good enough”, but China might choose not to adopt it. In that case, what makes the FISA law a “good enough” example worthy of adoption by China, or at least worthy as justification for China’s State Security Law? What makes a democratic multi-party political system “good enough”, but not worthy of adoption? The first question goes to your statement in #242 (”SEE FISA Court in US, upheld as Constitutional by US Supreme Court. That’s good enough for me.”). The second question…well…goes to making this interesting.”

    I don’t believe in the facade of representation, when the entire systems of social contract is based upon “implied consent”. You yourself IMPLIED that those who did not vote simply “acquiesced” to the majority, and the Minority also “acquiesced” to the Majority. That’s NOT “consent”. Your system merely IMPLIED that there are. It is no better than any other system that also IMPLY “consent” from the people.
    That is what some have called “MANUFACTURED CONSENT”. I see nothing added value to adopt. It’s “good enough” for some people, but that’s their “acquiescence”. Not like you can do much to change your system, if you really wanted to, other than to do more Merry-goround of who’s the corrupt politician.

    “I asked a direct question about GOP and DNC, I didn’t bring up the “nuisance” on the CCP. You brought it up to avoid my question and change the subject.”
    —huh? I answered your question point blank. Sometimes I wonder….”

    Your answer: “— a bit of both. What helps to keep it from devolving entirely into the latter is that they have to face judgement day at regular intervals. That’s a nuisance with which the CCP need not concern herself.”
    That’s not much of an answer. And you immediately tried to change the subject to CCP.

    ““I’m giving you the best measurement of “access” you wanted to know about. Obviously, if you can’t find out about the length of that line in Canada, you won’t have much luck with “access” elsewhere either.”
    —dude, we’re talking about “secret” documents. There is no access. We’re not talking about John Q making a garden variety freedom-of-info request. So right off the bat, that’s an irrelevant comment – access is zero. Second, the comparison of zero access in Canada vs zero access in China notwithstanding, the issue is court documents in China. Any comparison is again irrelevant. So you’re being doubly irrelevant in your serial responses to one point. Good going!”

    It’s a rhetorical answer. It took you this LONG time to get it?? Oh geez.

    ““I direct your attention to your post #231, you asked, “But why are things that threaten the rule of the CCP also prohibited?” I gave you the answer, “political grudges”.”
    — first of all, that was a question to Wahaha. But I’m sure he appreciates your effort in answering on his behalf. Cheque’s probably in the mail.
    Second, how does this (”Do the GOP or DNC do everything for the advancement of “democracy” or more likely fight over for “political grudges”?”- R4000 #234) even begin to answer the question that you claim it does? Only god (if he/she exists) and R4000 knows, it would appear.”

    You seem to be reading lines that you want to read, instead of my ENTIRE reply. But Oh well, I’ll wait until when you finish reading the whole response, rather than just argue based upon part of my answer.
    Thanks for equating me to God, but you are delusional.

    ““Chinese laws are reasonable, STANDING ALONE”
    —we’re not talking “in general”, or all laws taken in sum; as you say, we’re talking about Chinese State Security laws. If you want to compare, that’s your prerogative. But if you’re going to compare, you should at least tell us why you think they’re comparable, and how, in this case, FISA justifies China’s laws.”

    Well, I made no exceptions in my statement. If FISA doesn’t justify the Chinese security laws, then I also do see what would UN-justify the Chinese laws. Just your “reasonableness” standard? Not here to compare your preferences to the reality.

    ““I’m quite conscious of your continual Freudian Slip”
    —umm, oops, sorry, nice try, better luck next time. No “slip” there; just progressively increasing evidence of your inability to comprehend a sentence despite numerous attempts at clarification. Only you know the cause of the persistent defect. Well, I’m the gregarious type, so here goes another attempt: we are perfectly good to go with the whole democracy thing; only the CCP would find such a concept to be an annoyance. I must say I am impressed by your ability to multi-task…you’re digging multiple holes at the same time! You go, boy!”

    Yeah well, It’s still your little “nuisance” that you like to avoid using now as a word. Looks like a “slip” to me.

    The Hole is where you live, boy, that’s why you can’t see the world outside, and blurp out 1 liners. That’s all your “democracy” ever taught you to do.

  256. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “It is no better than any other system that also IMPLY “consent” from the people.”
    —our system has implied consent from those who did not vote, and those who supported the losing side(s). But it has expressed consent from those who supported the winners. The CCP has implied consent, and nothing else. Moreover, in our system, we can withdraw consent; in the CCP’s version, not so much. I see that you don’t believe in what you call the facade of representation; you’re more of a believer in no representation at all. How nice.
    ““MANUFACTURED CONSENT””
    —that’s a good one. Seems to describe the CCP nicely. She can claim to have the peoples’ support, without ever having to ask to find out. Nice system.

    “That’s not much of an answer. And you immediately tried to change the subject to CCP.”
    —dude, you asked an (a) OR (b) question. I said “a bit of both”. How much more of an answer does that question deserve? I think a comment on the CCP is hardly a change of subject, when given on a blog on China, in a thread about TAM. Talking about the GOP or Dems, now that’s an irrelevant topic if I ever saw one, on a blog like this, on a thread like this. Besides, you can ask a question however you like, and I can answer in similar fashion. Maybe you can tell me which is more relevant here: the CCP, or American political parties?

    “It’s a rhetorical answer.”
    —-you have got to be kidding me. Are you a child? First of all, where did I ask a rhetorical question? Second, for someone who likes to talk about relevance, how much more irrelevant can you be? Third, it looks like you’ve gone for a non sequitur rather than own up to the fact that you were once again in a deep dark hole. You haven’t much character, have you?

    “instead of my ENTIRE reply.”
    —painful as it was, I already did that. If the question was about things that threaten the rule of the CCP, I would certainly like you to explain how a comparison to GOP/Dems, mention of political grudges, and a reference to Clinton’s titillating exploits go to answer said question. Oh, and I wasn’t equating you to god; the point is you would be the only mortal being who would have the faintest clue what on earth you’re talking about. Dude, I’m not employing difficult literary devices here. Try to keep up. And to think that someone would compare you to god…well, you are a lawyer, I suppose…but that is, if not delusional, certainly ego-maniacal.

    “If FISA doesn’t justify the Chinese security laws, then I also do see what would UN-justify the Chinese laws. Just your “reasonableness” standard?”
    —actually, if anything, just trying to explore what you would consider reasonable. Despite all this obfuscation, you’ve yet to explain how the presence of FISA is good enough to justify the Chinese Security laws. And again, it’s not for a lack of asking…

    “It’s still your little “nuisance” that you like to avoid using now as a word.”
    —OMG! The CCP finds as a nuisance the concept of having to seek her peoples’ input. Just for your enjoyment, I will try to use it every time.

    Hey, you’re finally gonna start using my “deep dark hole” references? A little slow on the uptake there. I’ve been calling you out on it for days now.

  257. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    Like “democracy” asks for “consent”, you have already admitted that it merely IMPLIES the “consent”.

    ““a bit of both”. You keep demanding Yes or No from others, why can’t you answer a simple choice? Or do you vote “a bit of both” for the elections too??

    “—-you have got to be kidding me. Are you a child? First of all, where did I ask a rhetorical question? Second, for someone who likes to talk about relevance, how much more irrelevant can you be? Third, it looks like you’ve gone for a non sequitur rather than own up to the fact that you were once again in a deep dark hole. You haven’t much character, have you?”

    Are you a moron? I can answer with a rhetorical answer if I wanted to. Who says I can’t. Not my fault it took you long enough to realize it.

    “Maybe you can tell me which is more relevant here: the CCP, or American political parties?”

    Well, since you want, A BIT OF BOTH!!! Does that clear it up for you?

    ““If FISA doesn’t justify the Chinese security laws, then I also do see what would UN-justify the Chinese laws. Just your “reasonableness” standard?”
    —actually, if anything, just trying to explore what you would consider reasonable. Despite all this obfuscation, you’ve yet to explain how the presence of FISA is good enough to justify the Chinese Security laws. And again, it’s not for a lack of asking…”

    SEE US Supreme court rulings. If you don’t think that’s good enough for “reasonable”, I don’t know what you want as “reasonable”. Even though You will just ask why “CCP won’t consider other things reasonable”. That’s of course, your usual tangent.

    ““It’s still your little “nuisance” that you like to avoid using now as a word.”
    —OMG! The CCP finds as a nuisance the concept of having to seek her peoples’ input. Just for your enjoyment, I will try to use it every time.
    Hey, you’re finally gonna start using my “deep dark hole” references? A little slow on the uptake there. I’ve been calling you out on it for days now.”

    I thought I was the one using it, and you keep whining about my use of it. How quickly you forget, your little “nuisance” means nothing to me. LOL!

    Oh, I know about your 1 liners, why do you assume people don’t understand them, when it is just you being a little “nuisance”.

    Gee, 1 liners, must taken you days to come up with “deep hole” reference.

  258. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    here is you whining about me using “nuisance”. Just so you remember.

    “Are you still completely clueless as to the context where I used “nuisance”? It seems like your “word of the day”, and you can’t stop using it, in the complete absence of rhyme or reason.”

    Yes, your vote is still a very little “nuisance” on everybody. You can’t boot anyone out of your own government. Sucks to be you!

  259. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Like “democracy” asks for “consent”, you have already admitted that it merely IMPLIES the “consent”.”
    —unbelievable. You manage to plumb new depths each and every time. You are, if nothing else, consistent. Well done. Implied consent is still consent, for starters. Plus I already said we have a large group who have expressly given their consent. And our government asks for the consent to remain as our government at regular intervals. All of which are understandably foreign concepts for the CCP in China.

    “You keep demanding Yes or No from others”
    —umm, you have a short memory. Coping mechanism, I suppose. Recall, for instance, when I asked whether you want to preserve Tibetan land, or Tibetan culture? I actually gave you 4 choices: (a), (b), both, or neither. And besides, I can answer as I see fit, as can you. And the fact that you may disapprove of my answer is most definitely, unequivocally, not a concern of mine.

    “I can answer with a rhetorical answer if I wanted to.”
    —and as I said above, yes, certainly your prerogative. But such an answer is hardly relevant to the discussion. Since you’ve been on a bit of a “relevance” kick lately, might I suggest that you try to walk the walk.

    “Does that clear it up for you?”
    —nope. No worries though. Like I said before, not expecting a whole heckuva lot out of you.

    “”SEE US Supreme court rulings. If you don’t think that’s good enough for “reasonable”, I don’t know what you want as “reasonable”.”
    —the Supremes said FISA is reasonable. They didn’t say the Chinese State Security Law was reasonable. Unless one is a carbon copy of the other, how do you extrapolate their approval of one as justification for the other? If the Chief Justice Roberts says he thinks the American-made SSC Aero is an awesome car, that doesn’t mean he would think the Chinese-owned H2 to be similarly awesome, even though both the Aero and H2 are cars.

    “your little “nuisance” means nothing to me.”
    —yes, we all know you don’t care about voting, representation, and peoples’ rights. But who cares about you? I sure don’t. Hopefully Chinese people will get the chance to care about those things, someday…

    “why do you assume people don’t understand them”
    —I don’t assume “people” don’t; I assume you don’t. Notice the distinction. And my assumption is based on observing the way you use, or rather, misuse them.

    “You can’t boot anyone out of your own government.”
    —I see you’ve moved onto non sequiturs. Good idea. Might as well try your hand at something else. Cuz you were simply getting yourself half way to China doing what you were doing before.

  260. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “Implied consent is still consent, for starters. Plus I already said we have a large group who have expressly given their consent. And our government asks for the consent to remain as our government at regular intervals. All of which are understandably foreign concepts for the CCP in China.”

    I think you will find that 70 million CCP members’ regular votes are quite “express”. And it’s more than the population in Canada (33 million, eligible voters 24 million, voted in 2008 14 million).

    FACTS are alien concepts to you.

    “ask for the consent of the remain”?

    Anyone can join the CCP if they wanted to, even business people. if they don’t want to, that’s also their “acquiescence”. IMPLIED consent!

  261. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “I think you will find that 70 million CCP members’ regular votes are quite “express”.”
    —must we go around and around every time? The CCP has votes…fantastic. Wow, more people voted in the CCP than in Canada the last time around! That’s incredible news! Oh, but it seems only CCP members got to vote, and it seems CCP members make up only about 5% of the population. So China’s “eligible voter” rate is only about 5%. In Canada, seems to be about 75%. Facts are a funny thing, aren’t they? Must even be a bit of a nuisance to some folks around here.

    So I’ll tell you what. I’ve told this to Charles Liu many times before. How ’bout you wake me up when 75% of Chinese people are CCP members, and they all get to vote. Then we’ll talk about parallels and comparisons. Though I’ll grant you that 5% of the population being able to expressly give their consent is much better than zero. So…congrats…I guess.

    Listen, if you wanna go around thinking that China/CCP is “democratic”, you go right ahead. Far be it for me to care one flying fig. But as numbers go, let’s just say your version of democracy and my version of democracy differ by about 1500%.

  262. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    Nope. As I said, everyone (above 18) is “eligible” to join the CCP and Vote. If they choose not to join and vote, it’s their “acquiescence”. They have their “chance” to join the CCP and vote, any year.

    You are quite wrong on that factual point.

  263. real name Says:

    262
    “everyone (above 18) is “eligible” to join the CCP and Vote”
    really so easy? just apply to join automaticaly?
    and what about f.e. religious people?

  264. raventhorn4000 Says:

    real name,

    there are always background checks, just like in voter registration.

    What’s “f.e. religious people”? I don’t know that term.

    Communist party is officially against religious practices for its members, but in China they generally look the other way. Many CCP members are very religious. They just don’t wear it on their sleeves.

  265. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “everyone (above 18) is “eligible” to join the CCP and Vote.”
    —if that’s the case, why even bother with CCP membership as an extra step? Why not just give everyone above age 18 the chance to vote, and leave it to the people as to whether they choose to exercise their vote or not?
    Voter registration does not mean background checks. If you are a citizen, and you live in the riding you say you live in, then you’re good to go. Voter registration is not contingent upon your religious beliefs, political views, etc.
    Besides, if everyone can join the CCP and be accepted, what good is membership? On the other hand, if only members can vote, and membership can be denied, then please see # 261. If someone wants to join, and is rejected, that’s far from constituting acquiescence.

  266. SD Steve Says:

    @ SKC: Yes, you can join the CCP and then vote for vanilla or vanilla. If you don’t like those options, there’s always vanilla. ;)

    China is a one party dictatorship. It claims it’s a one party dictatorship. It’s proud to be a one party dictatorship. As Charles has rightly pointed out, there is some experimentation with local democracy in certain areas, but that’s more the exception than the rule. Even so, until the local party chairman is elected rather than appointed, it’ll continue to be a one party dictatorship. I don’t mean this as a criticism, it’s just reality.

    Even the hazy concept “Democracy with Chinese characteristics” is seen as a future rather than an immediate goal. Let’s all just sit back and watch it play out over time.

    As I said before, joining the CCP is 1% political interest and 99% business interest. The CCP’s biggest worry right now is the central authorities maintaining control over the local authorities. Most Chinese I know are reasonably satisfied with the central authority, but very dissatisfied with the local bosses, whom they see as corrupt.

    And who wants to listen to those political lectures? Can you imagine wasting a beautiful Saturday morning having to listen to a lecture on Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents”? zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  267. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    there is always “French Vanilla”, if one doesn’t like plain vanilla. I mean, CCP is just a specialty shop with over 20 flavor of vanilla. :)

    Speaking of flavors, I can’t tell the difference between some GOP and DNC, but I suppose that there must be a huge difference between the GOP Arlen Specter and the now DNC Arlen Specter, or the former DNC Joe Lieberman and the now independent Joe Liberman.

    I know good many people who have wasted more than a few beautiful mornings trying to understand the difference. Oh well, if people want to make a huge deal out of these labels, “1 party, 2 party, multi-party”, it’s their time to waste.

  268. Steve Says:

    @ R4000: I’m sorry, sir. French Vanilla has been taken off the market. We have discovered it contains Sarkozy swirls and Dalai Lama chunks, a serious contamination. Could we interest you in today’s special, Venezuelan Vanilla??

    I used to be a Republicrat, but now I’m a Demolican. ;)

  269. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    I used to be a Vanilla Bean, and now I’m a “banana”. (according to some)
    :)

    And my mother went to school with a former CCP Party Secretary General, (the one after Zhao). But my cousin is a Capitalist Millionaire, my aunt is a religious nut, and I’m a blood sucking lawyer.

    haha.

    I guess I’m currently in the “Blood Sucking Lawyer Party”. Long Live Unreasonable Fees!!

    *
    BTW, “reasonable fees”. It’s funny that the only people who get to say what’s “reasonable fees for lawyers” are basically all lawyers.

  270. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Steve #266:
    well, i don’t mind vanilla. But I certainly wouldn’t want to just have vanilla 24/7/365. Usually I like Rocky Road. But some days I feel like mint. And other times I’d rather have sorbet. Good thing I’m on this side of the pond.

    ““Democracy with Chinese characteristics” is seen as a future rather than an immediate goal.”
    —when it does arrive, I wonder if it’ll only have choices like vanilla with walnuts, and vanilla with raisins, and vanilla with coconut sprinkles; or if it’ll be a full on ice cream parlour…Chinese style of course. And I wonder if it’ll still only be the card-carrying CCP members who make the dessert choices for everyone.

  271. Wukailong Says:

    It takes some time to join the CCP if you’re up for it. There’s a background check done, and you write a letter describing your reasons for joining the party. This webpage contains some examples:

    http://www.itlearner.com/article/class/rdsqs.shtml

    As for the internal party democracy, it’s also more or less a plan for the future. There aren’t really any large movements where the 70 so million party members vote, and none of the party members I know have voted, though they aren’t really into politics anyway.

  272. Wukailong Says:

    @raventhorn4000 (#269): “I guess I’m currently in the “Blood Sucking Lawyer Party”. Long Live Unreasonable Fees!!”

    Then you might be interested in this party. :) There’s a reference to blood-sucking further down:

    http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=regressive

  273. raventhorn4000 Says:

    WKL,

    CCP members do vote regularly. It’s part of the Parliamentary election process, through lower level to upper level representatives.

    Local party organizations elect their representatives, who then elect more higher representatives, etc. etc.

    Of course, it’s not always done at the same time. There is no massive 1 day balloting event. No massive media campaigns.

    *
    I’m not a Vampire. I do my blood sucking in the day time! :)

  274. SD Steve Says:

    Hey, let’s be fair to R4000! He only swallows 1/3 of the blood he sucks, and returns the other 2/3 in the form of $5 blood vouchers to the masses. :P

    @SKC: In the end, by its very nature a one party system can never be truly democratic. Personally, I’d rather see a country be honest about not being democratic than try to pull some sham democratic election, where the supreme leader gets 99.7% of the vote. (make that 100% of the vote in North Korea)

    @R4000: It’s been my understanding that the internal CCP elections are for administrators but that the local party chairmen, who hold the real power, are appointed. Is this correct? Charles, you’re very informed in this area. Can you fill us in?

  275. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    1/3, 2/3, that’s the US Tax scheme. But of course, 33% is standard contingency fee arrangement for most lawyers I know.

    :)

    *
    I don’t any system is truly democratic any how. Most voters are incapable of forming informed consent, because they simply don’t want to be informed.

    *
    Regarding CCP elections, as far as I recall, from my 7th grade civics classes in Shanghai, CCP members do elect their local party chairs, general secretaries, etc.

    Generally, there are “recommended candidates” from the previous officers of position, but it’s not binding to the result.

    CCP internal local elections can be very bitterly fought.

  276. Steve Says:

    @ R4000: Ahh… but there’s the rub. Non-Chinese speculation is exactly that, speculation. Internal Chinese reporting repeats exactly what the government tells it to. Discussion of the internal workings of party elections will get you arrested for spilling “state secrets” so in the end, no one has any idea how people are actually elected (or appointed) on the party chairman level. Obviously, someone or something picks and chooses. When Hu Jintao was appointed Party Chairman of Tibet way back when, was he elected to the post or did Deng basically appoint him and his appointment was rubber stamped?

    I’m not saying that’s how it works, what I’m saying is that no one really knows how it works except at the highest levels of government which we are not privy to. My speculation (for that’s what it is) is based on various reporters being convicted for revealing state secrets when they have reported on these internal selections. If they were convicted, then their articles must have been reasonably accurate, right?

    If there’s nothing to hide, then why hide it? Why is it considered a state secret?

  277. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    Transparency of the election process is a different issue. Generally, CCP members know about the election process, in their own levels of authority.

    Jiang Zemin had an interview with a US TV network once, and told them flat out that he was elected through a process of representative elections, from the lower levels up to the upper levels.

    Hu Jintao was the Secretary General of CCP in Tibet, back then, I believe. Such a position would have been directly elected by national level CCP representatives. I don’t think such high positions are by appointment.

    Deng himself was also elected by high level CCP representatives. I think the only appointment positions are military commanders and central government administrators.

    *Convictions are not evidence of reasonable accuracy for reporting.

    Sometimes, it’s just defamation.

    Some have speculated that high level CCP elections are “rubber stamps” of appointees. However, that’s merely a fundamental misunderstanding of the CCP election process.

    Candidates for CCP posts conduct their “campaigns” largely behind the scene. There are some speeches made, but rarely huge amount of debate.

    By the time the votes are cast, all the candidates and voters are pretty much certain of the results already. And usually, the supporters of the losers switch side to the apparent winner, so to avoid the appearance of public hostility. (plus, they don’t want to be on the bad list of the winner.)

    But in modern times, some of these contests are quite bitter, leading to very divided votes, especially in the lower levels.

    *
    The “if that’s not true, what do they have to hide” argument does reach back to Area 51. And yes, I’m hiding what I know too.
    :)

  278. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Here is a link from Globalsecurity, but I would read it with a grain of salt.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/china/ccp.htm

  279. Steve Says:

    @ R4000 #277: I have read in numerous places (not saying that because they’re numerous, they’re correct) that Jiang Zemin was handpicked by Deng and Deng also handpicked Hu, making the next election the first one in a very long time that doesn’t have Deng’s stamp on it. Is this correct?

    Jiang can any anything he wants but I don’t see the voting made public, so there’s no evidence that he’s telling the truth. Without transparency there is always room for doubt, no matter what country, no matter what system and no matter what office. Anything done “behind the scenes”, as you wrote, is subject to criticism. Human nature doesn’t change from culture to culture, it is always consistent. If contests are open, then why would they be ‘bitter’? ‘Bitter’ implies a power struggle, which by its nature is not democratic.

    “The “if that’s not true, what do they have to hide” argument does reach back to Area 51.”

    All kidding aside, I don’t get your point or see how that answered my question. Area 51 is an off-limits military base, but we’re talking about the election procedures of the most populated country on earth. They are not related in any way and the comparison is specious at best. I’m not arguing one way or the other here, I’m just asking questions so I can better understand the procedure. I tend to ask a lot of questions…

  280. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    “Hand picked” by Deng is not always what it sounds like.

    I mean, you can pretty much say “Deng Handpicked every CCP high level official in Beijing today”.

    Seriously, “Handpicked” usually means in the West, some sort of Accelerated promotion system, or bypass appointment procedure. But come on, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao hardly had any accelerated promotions in their careers compared to other high ranking CCP members.

    Hu Jintao got sent to Tibet, whereas Jiang Zemin was in Shanghai.

    Western media make it sound like Hu got sent to Tibet, because that’s the place to be to get promoted??

    Are we kidding? Tibet is the backwaters. In the old days, CCP officials get sent there as a form of political exile.

    And Jiang in Shanghai, well lots of people went to work in Shanghai. Not that many of them are on the top now.

    In fact, Hu’s faction of non-Shanghai CCP members got the upper hand now, and they are investigating heavily corruptions of ex-Shanghai officials.

    *
    And I think you underestimate the power struggle behind the scene in CCP elections. There is a reason why these guys make it to the top, and it’s not because they were “handpicked” by so-and-so big shot.

    “Hand picked” successors are all potentially weak. CCP leaders learned historical lessons well. If they really wanted to do “handpicked” successors, they would have kept the dynastic succession in the families, (Like North Korea).

    “Hand picked” successors are extremely vulnerable to hostile factions taking over.

    Factions with the CCP jockey for their own group to take over influential positions within the CCP. But they can’t do so, if they end up with members who are merely “handpicked”.

    They latch onto members who show political savvy to influence other CCP members, or know how to play politics in the party. (And it’s far more than merely giving gifts and bribes.)

    CCP elections are very behind the scene. Unlike the Western elections, candidates in CCP continually spend their time gaining influence and friends and allies to support for their bid for the next power step, or to keep their current positions.

    *”Bitter contest” is only bitter in the sense that it is contested heavily. It does not imply “not democratic”.

    **
    all kidding aside.

    the election procedure is surprisingly simply and ordinary. (as is with the nature of Area 51 as merely an off limits military base.)

    some people insists that something sinister is going on, merely by the fact that the ballots are not open for foreign journalists to examine. (Well, actually, the election of Hu Jintao was by open vote in the Parliament.)

    I mean, how does one discuss something as simple as a “vote” to make it more complex?

    Why jail some reporters? Nuisance. Simple nuisance.

  281. Steve Says:

    When Jiang became Chairman, I was already reading how Hu would succeed him. That was eight years before Hu became Chairman. Based on what you wrote, the last guy Jiang wanted to succeed him was Hu. Yet Hu succeeded him, exactly as predicted, and Jiang’s old Shanghai power base has been decimated while Hu’s had been building. Where’s the power struggle? It happened exactly as Deng said it would.

    Your description of the election method isn’t democratic at all. The Party doesn’t say it’s democratic, they say that democracy is coming in the future and it’ll be a democracy that suits China, not a western democracy. So why do several of you on this site constantly run this “China is democratic” line by us? It’s not. It’s an admitted one party dictatorship. The party structure is Marxist Leninist, as originally set up under Soviet advisors many years ago (no different than the KMT). The Chinese government says so. Why don’t you?

    I fail to see the purpose in calling a dog a cat. Why not just admit it’s a dog and down the road China will have a black cat rather than a western white cat? I agree with Charles, the beginnings of actual elections have taken place in some villages and those are good signs for the future. But that doesn’t make the country a democracy. Why are you so hung up on the western concept of democracy? You don’t need to be democratic to be legitimate or even to govern well.

  282. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    If Hu is handpicked, then once Deng is dead, Jiang could have named whomever he wanted to succeed him. Hu got on top, NOT because he was handpicked, but because his faction gained power over Jiang’s. That’s the internal power struggle. Deng, the dead guy, can’t very well ensure Hu gets power, can he?

    Your description of “democracy” is rather limited by Western terminologies. China actually always said it’s a “democratic dictatorship” in the old socialist doctrines.

    It merely says it’s not going to have a “Western style democracy” any time soon.

    it is a black cat, but still a cat. Voting is a common way to reach consensus, even within the CCP. Why so surprised that CCP might “vote” for its leaders and even issues?!

    I mean, come on, look at Chinese history, Chinese leaders before the Xia dynasty were all “elected” leaders, including Yellow Emperor.

  283. Steve Says:

    Jiang’s faction did not have enough power to overthrow Deng’s wishes and his supporters, who trusted his vision. I’m sure the ones who supported Hu were able to finagle more power from him than they had under Deng and later Jiang. I’d guess that with each leadership generation, the more recent Chairman has less power than the Chairman before him. By going after Jiang’s faction without going after Jiang himself, Hu creates a precedent protecting himself and his family after he steps down from power.

    Democracy is limited by western terminologies? It IS western terminology. Rule by an elite is not a democracy. You can call the government style in China communist (which they do), you can call it autocratic, you can call it oligarchic, but you can’t call it democratic. Just because you ‘elect’ someone doesn’t make it a democracy. It just doesn’t fit the definition. Until the Politburo is elected by universal suffrage, your argument just doesn’t hold water.

    When you take a term with a certain meaning and change the meaning to suit your purposes, then things begin to sound like Animal Farm, don’t they? The term, “democratic dictatorship” is at best a misnomer.

  284. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    Western Democracy is a rule by the elites, even if some choose not to see it that way. But it is not an entrenched elite.

    China of today has little in entrenched elite. Even the CCP must now accept business men into their ranks.

    Classification of “democracy” and “oligarchy” is not all that clear cut. It’s contextual. That much the Ancient Chinese wise men understood.

    Western societies try to make things black and white, and all we see today are exceptions upon exceptions.

    That is the basic notion of “Animal Farms”. And who says it doesn’t exist in the West?

    “Democratic dictatorship” is a translation.

    Andrew Jackson had a similar term, “To the victor Spoils!”

    Why not recognize that complexity and uncertain terms/categories are inherent in politics?

    It does not suit practical wise men to be constrained by definitions that have no real life meaning.

  285. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    I don’t think Deng’s power base exists any more. And his old factions have pretty much all retired or died.

    If Hu inherited Deng’s power base, he had to make it on his own. People come and go in and out of the CCP high level hierarchy all the time.

    My mom’s university classmate was CCP’s Secretary General in all of China for about a few years after Zhao got pushed out. But he didn’t stay up there for very long either.

    CCP’s modern rule of leadership is quite young, and they run on the philosophy of “promoted or leave”.

    Deng’s generation was pushed out by that process. Li Peng didn’t stay up there for very long, even though he supposedly was the “winner” of 6/4 over Zhao.

    Hell, if Deng really had his way, Hu could have been promoted instead of Jiang. Why bother having Jiang?

    *Anyhow, I would just say that, I think your construct of CCP power struggle is not realistic to modern events.

    CCP had to deal with its shortcomings after the Cultural Revolution, and Deng absolutely hated the cult of personality regime by succession, which caused all the Cultural Revolution problems, as Mao’s wife and close friends wanted to keep using Mao’s name to keep themselves in power.

    The young cadres after Deng’s generation were all against the old Mao’s way of doing things. And they promoted a more cordial form of competition within the party.

    No more purges on different factions (nothing outright or violent).

    And there was an inherent notion that the old guards need to know when to leave their power, and let the younger cadres take over.

    Deng’s power base simply does not exist for long.

  286. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To WKL #271:
    “It takes some time to join the CCP if you’re up for it. There’s a background check done, and you write a letter describing your reasons for joining the party.”
    —that would probably explain why only 5% of CHinese are “eligible voters”.

    To Steve #274:
    “In the end, by its very nature a one party system can never be truly democratic.”
    —certainly don’t have to tell me twice.

    To R4000:
    even if we accept that the CCP has “internal elections”, and upper echelon positions are filled in a “democratic” fashion, it’s still more akin to a country club voting in its board of directors. Sure, the club members get a vote, and sure, there might be backroom jostling to get to the head table. But it doesn’t change the fact that non-club members have no opportunity to impact on the selection process. Now, if I wasn’t a member of that club, I wouldn’t care who the club chose to be its executive, since it has absolutely no impact on me. But when the club is also running the country, I’d say that’s a different kettle of fish. If you want to say that such an arrangement is “Chinese democracy” for today, be my guest. It shouldn’t, however, be confused with our version of democracy. And there’s really no comparison.

  287. Shane9219 Says:

    @Steve

    I came across an article by a renowned Chinese sociologist, very thoughtful to read, and maybe you can host it on this forum.

    “一场关于民主的辩论”
    http://news.cctv.com/china/20090520/105990.shtml

    Also, from Chan’s China Blog, here is what he saw the potential China’s model for its political system:

    http://chinablogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/on-the-topic-of-democracy-part-2-a-model-for-the-21st-century/

    “the Chinese Model :

    If democracy requires preconditions that can not be met by poor developing countries, then it may be worthwhile to explore viable alternatives. The following is a brief introduction of an interesting hybrid system that seems to be taking shape in China.

    (a) From the Bottom :

    China has long stated that it would never adopt a Western style democracy on a national level. However it has at the same time been experimenting with the idea of democracy on local levels continuously since the 1980s.

    The first experimental elections were held in the early 1980s in remote villages. Today, more than 600,000 villages across all of China conduct open, competitive elections every 3 years. These are very much like the city council elections in Western countries, and are monitored by American NGOs based in Atlanta, USA that operate around the world. These open and transparent competitive elections cover more than 1 billion of its citizens, accounting for approximately 75% of the entire population.

    This is almost certainly only the first step in an evolutionary process. Provided there are no major social upheavals (which often have the effect of turning the clock backwards in China), these democratic elections should eventually be expanded to include at least one, or maybe more, higher level administrative divisions.

    (b) From the Top :

    While the top Chinese leaders today are not elected through universal suffrage, they are not dictators either in the original sense of the word.

    No leaders in China are born into the position, and no leaders can overstay their set terms. The national leaders don’t happen to fall on the leader’s seat. There is a selection process not very different from the selection process of party leaders in most democratic systems. In China’s case, the leades are appointed for a set term by an experienced panel that includes current leaders and national advisors.

    This is essentially a meritocratic system that is in use today in all major corporations worldwide. The benefit of such a system is its inherent ability to place the right person in the right job.

    The chosen candidate is then put in an “apprentice” position within the cabinet for a maximum of 5 years. This safeguard procedure would ensure that the right person is chosen for the job. This also enables the new leaders to be proficient in handling the immense responsibilities by the time he/she gets into office.

    (c) Combining (a) and (b) — The Final Model :

    The resulting model would then be a hybrid system where the local affairs and demands of the population would be handled by local authorities that are elected by the people themselves through democratic means, while the macro management and foreign affairs would be handled by capable people trained for the job and are selected based on their abilities by an experienced panel.

    This system is not only more effective and efficient than a democratic system, but should also be inherently fairer than both democratic systems and monarchy based systems. Unlike a monarchy based system, there are no hereditary leaders. And unlike a democratic system, there are no campaign cost burdens and considerations which tend to limit the average person’s ability to apply for the top job. This new system would ensure that ALL members of the society have equal access to power.

    At the end of this evolutionary process, the eventual hybrid system should have most of the humanistic benefits of a democratic system combined with the stability inherent in a single party system, while at the same time preserving the effectiveness and efficiency of a meritocratic system.”

  288. shane9219 Says:

    Below is an intruging question extracted from the artcle with translation


    我便再追问了一个问题:“在座的都来自发达国家,你们能不能给我举出一个例子,不用两个,说明一下哪一个今天的发达国家是在实现现代化之前,或者在实现现代化的过程之中搞普选的?”还是没有人回答。我说:“美国黑人的投票权到1965年才真正开始的。瑞士是到了1971年,所有的妇女才获得了投票权,瑞士才实现了真正意义上的普选。如果要推动西方式的民主化,西方自己首先要向别人解释清楚为什么你们自己真正的民主化过程,毫无例外,都是渐进的,都是在现代化之后才实现的?这个问题研究透了,我们就有共同语言了”。

    Translation:

    I then asked a question: “You are from developed countries, can you give me an example, not two, to explain today’s developed countries, which one implemented universal suffrage before modernization, or in the process of realizing modernization ? ” Not one answered. I said: “The right to vote for African Americans really began in 1965. It took Switzerland to 1971 when all women received the right to vote, Switzerland was then only realized in the real universal suffrage. If you want to promote the Western-style democratization, your people would have to explain why your own process of democratization, without exception, are progressive, and only achieved after modernization? This important issue has to be thoroughly studied, Then we have a common language (with China). “

  289. real name Says:

    280 “Tibet is the backwaters. In the old days, CCP officials get sent there as a form of political exile”
    is there any statistics how many winters they really spent there? about man just before hu (?) i was reading he had health problems in highlands

    281 “I was already reading how Hu would succeed him”
    newsweek special issue 2007/2008 speaks about xi jinping for 2012

  290. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “even if we accept that the CCP has “internal elections”, and upper echelon positions are filled in a “democratic” fashion, it’s still more akin to a country club voting in its board of directors. Sure, the club members get a vote, and sure, there might be backroom jostling to get to the head table. But it doesn’t change the fact that non-club members have no opportunity to impact on the selection process. Now, if I wasn’t a member of that club, I wouldn’t care who the club chose to be its executive, since it has absolutely no impact on me. But when the club is also running the country, I’d say that’s a different kettle of fish. If you want to say that such an arrangement is “Chinese democracy” for today, be my guest. It shouldn’t, however, be confused with our version of democracy. And there’s really no comparison.”

    Nice try, the “country club” is full of members from farming communities. Only recently has the CCP started to recruit heavily from Universities and business communities.

    Technically, I guess it is a “country club”, since it has been filled for generations with people from the country side.

    Here is some reading of Hu Jintao’s biography:

    “Hu Jintao was born in Jiangyan, Jiangsu on 21 December 1942. His branch of the family migrated from Jixi of Anhui Province to Jiangyan during his grandfather’s generation.
    Even though his father owned a small tea trading business in Taizhou, the family was relatively poor. His mother died when he was seven, and he was raised by an aunt. Hu’s father was later denounced during the Cultural Revolution, an event that (together with his relatively humble origins) apparently had a deep effect upon Hu, who diligently tried to clear his father’s name.”

    If the son of a tea trader like him could get into the “country club”, it’s a different kettle of fish than Bush Jr. getting his way to Governorship of Texas and Presidency.

  291. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Real name,

    “is there any statistics how many winters they really spent there? about man just before hu (?) i was reading he had health problems in highlands.”

    I don’t have that kind of data. Since the Secretary General of CCP for provincial level is a high level position, they are generally shifted around the country. CCP doesn’t like to keep 1 high level person in 1 location for too long, in fear of building too much local network of nepotism and influence. But sometimes, they keep someone in Tibet, just because that person is not well liked.

    Yes, the officials fear Tibet as a post, because it is high altitude area.

    Altitude sickness affects significant percentage of the population in general.

    During the Qing dynasty, the imperial court would sometimes send disfavored officials to Qinghai for duty, but everyone knows it’s a death sentence, especially for an elderly official, who would not be able to adjust to the altitude easily.

    *That’s why I laugh at the notion that Hu was “hand picked”.

    If he was hand picked, no one would dare to send him to Tibet. (the more sought after posts were in the big cities, like Shanghai or Beijing or even Shenzhen.) If he was hand picked, he should have gotten a post in one of those big cities.

    In those days, the mere fact that he was sent to Tibet, would suggest to many CCP high ranking members that he was exiled.

  292. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Nice try, the “country club” is full of members from farming communities.”
    —dude, no need to be so literal. “country club” was but an example; I could’ve used “fly fishing club”, “cycling club”, “chess club” etc etc, and the point would’ve been the same. If a club executive makes decisions that only affect club members, most people wouldn’t care. Such is not the case in China, where the club is making decisions for the whole country, and not everyone gets to be in that club, due to background checks etc etc.

    Since the rest of your post is predicated on continued fixation with the “country” club reference, rather than the point I was trying to make, I’m going to take a pass.

  293. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    it’s sarcasm, not literal.

    Any one can join the club. It’s a voter pool and wide eligibility.

    It’s implied consent. Just like Canada. Or did you forget your admission that Canada also implies consent from non-voters?

  294. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Funny that you went to Hu Jintao’s biography whilst not taking it excessively literally. But whatever, dude.

    “Any one can join the club. It’s a voter pool and wide eligibility.”
    —yes, they can, after background checks etc etc. Again, Chinese style “democracy”? Sure, if you say so, buddy. Actual democracy? Not so much. Kinda explains why only 5% of Chinese end up qualifying as “voters”, and they’re all club members. Ahhh, membership does have its privileges….just like AE says.

  295. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    Sarcasm is best served with real information.

    “—yes, they can, after background checks etc etc. Again, Chinese style “democracy”? Sure, if you say so, buddy. Actual democracy? Not so much. Kinda explains why only 5% of Chinese end up qualifying as “voters”, and they’re all club members. Ahhh, membership does have its privileges….just like AE says.”

    Who says only 5% actually end up “qualifying”? Only 5% chose to “qualify”. Rejection rate for CCP membership is actually quite low.

    Yeah, like Canada doesn’t do background checks on voters who try to “qualify”. (Sarcasm)

    “Privileges”? Only if you make it to the high ranks. Ordinary CCP members are still ordinary citizens. Yeah, my non-CCP cousins have more “privileges” than some CCP farmers.

    My Capitalist Grandfather who managed a factory in Shanghai had more “privileges” than some of my neighbors who were CCP and in the PLA.

    My non-CCP parents both had more privileges than some of the CCP members they know.

    Why? They were educated people with skills.

    That’s called “reward for knowledge and skills”.

  296. Shane9219 Says:

    @SKC #294

    I don’t think you really know how the political system works in China, so take some time to educate yourself before putting out any more post.

    Hu Jingtao was elected to the President of PRC by NPC. Most 3000 NPC members in turn were elected by lower-level people’s congress. The members of people’s congress at county-level were directly elected by electorates. So In theory, Hu was elected by the representation of all Chinese citizens.

  297. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Yeah, like Canada doesn’t do background checks on voters who try to “qualify”. (Sarcasm)”
    — we don’t, unless confirming citizenship and place of residence constitutes “background checks”.

    ““Privileges”?”
    —the privilege to which I referred was being afforded the opportunity to vote (recognizing that some, like me, actually think that’s a right).

    “Rejection rate for CCP membership is actually quite low.”
    — if it’s zero, then we’re talking.

    To Shane:
    “So In theory, Hu was elected by the representation of all Chinese citizens.”
    — and in reality….?
    Like I said to R4000, if you want to believe that China’s system constitutes “democracy” with a definite Chinese flair, that’s entirely up to you. But to try to compare that to ours, I’d say they are more dissimilar than they are similar, and I’m putting it mildly.

  298. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “— we don’t, unless confirming citizenship and place of residence constitutes “background checks”.

    Well, wouldn’t rational person see a check of citizenship and place of residence with the Government’s records as “background check”? Duh!.

    *
    ““Privileges”?”
    —the privilege to which I referred was being afforded the opportunity to vote (recognizing that some, like me, actually think that’s a right).”

    Well, then how can it be a “privilege”, when even farmers could “qualify” to vote?

    ““Rejection rate for CCP membership is actually quite low.”
    — if it’s zero, then we’re talking.”

    No such rational standard. US doesn’t allow criminals and ex-con to vote, and if you vote in the wrong place, you are out of luck. It’s not zero in most places.

    To Shane:
    “So In theory, Hu was elected by the representation of all Chinese citizens.”
    — and in reality….?
    Like I said to R4000, if you want to believe that China’s system constitutes “democracy” with a definite Chinese flair, that’s entirely up to you. But to try to compare that to ours, I’d say they are more dissimilar than they are similar, and I’m putting it mildly.”

    I think you are the one who wants to compare. Some of us just want to call China a form of “democracy”, since when is that comparing?

  299. Shane9219 Says:

    @SKC

    I said, and lots of scholars from China also agree, there is no point of a comparison with western library democracy, because those known inherent and fundamental difference. However, it is still good to learn from each other. China is quite open-minded on this, but not western countries. They have been persistent on interjecting politics into developing countries, even though failed at many countries. The so-called “universal values” is basically a rehash of those failed politics. They forget blacks and women only get rights to vote as recent as 60s and 70s in their own countries. What a shame to market those new political rights as “European values”

    These fundamental difference of two political systems and social traditions has obviously made many foreigners, living both inside or outside China, very uncomfortable.

  300. Steve Says:

    R4K & Shane: Shane, thanks for linking to that article. Unfortunately, I can’t read Chinese so someone else would have to turn it into a post.

    I’ve gotta take SKC’s side on this one. China is not a democracy. China makes no claims to be a democracy. China talks about eventually becoming a democracy with Chinese characteristics, but they certainly don’t claim to be a democracy at this time. Charles has given some excellent examples of local elections but the examples you give for national elections that you claim are “democratic”, are not democratic at all. There is no way you can stretch 5% into an open political voting pool. Forcing voters to join one particular party in order to vote, by its very nature, isn’t democratic.

    Trying to compare party registration in China with voting pools in past democracies is a misleading argument. When women couldn’t vote, all women couldn’t vote. When minorities were denied voting registration in the south, those prohibitions were applied to all minorities. Minorities in the north did not face similar prohibitions. The restrictions in those democracies limited their democratic nature, so were they pure democracies? No, they were not. In order to have a pure democracy, every citizen with the exception of convicted felons, should have the ability to register to vote without having to belong to any specific faction. In order to have a pure democracy, ballots must be secret.

    In China, most everyone is Han Chinese. Within that set, most cannot vote. No one can vote unless they join the party. Factionalism within a single party is not democracy.

    The thing is, there’s no rule saying only democracies should exist. If China has a different political system, why can’t you support it the way it is? One of the reasons Allen is respected by commentators who don’t always agree with him is that he factually states what he believes, rather than try to paint it in misleading terms. Though I might not always agree with him, I admire his willingness to honestly state his opinions in a very factual way.

    Definitions are not relative, they are specific. Within those specific definitions, you can have variances. For instance, democracy can be direct and it can be indirect. I vote for my congressman but I also vote on propositions. The first is a form of indirect democracy and the second, direct. However, the creation of the voting pool in both instances is democratic.

    This is right out of Political Science 101. We shouldn’t even be discussing it, to be honest. And you can’t have a democratic dictatorship in any form. Those are contradictory terms. The second a government becomes a dictatorship, it ceases to be a democracy. That’s why China has such a problem with corruption. Corruption under a dictatorship with a small geographic area can be controlled to an extent a la Singapore, but a country as large as China (or the former Soviet Union) simply cannot control corruption because the land area is simply too large. You’ll find that no large country or empire throughout history, using a dictatorial form of government, has been able to control corruption for a long period of time. This is the precedent that the CCP has been trying to break but so far, has been unsuccessful.

  301. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    All democracies function by “implied consent”, of those who were in the minority and those who are silent.

    The “silent majority” doesn’t matter. (If Nixon’s episode taught us anything.)

    “Implied consent” is a form of “democratic dictatorship”. Of the “voting yes” few dictating the “silent majority”, and those who voted against.

    *
    Corruption cuts “democracies” equally, if not more easily.

    How else do historical “democracies” break down into dictatorships??

    Rome lasted only a few hundred years as a Republic. Weimar Germany with its constitutional safe guards, easily gave away to corruptions of the people’s nationalism and paranoia.

    And need I even mention California of today, where the People vote in endless referendums but politicians can’t even balance the budget of city of San Francisco.

    *
    You know, some would call the chaos and the deadlocks of some bureaucratic form of democracy as “corruption”.

  302. Wukailong Says:

    As always when discussing corruption, we ought to have some sort of scale so we just don’t say that countries are equally corrupt. I linked to Transparency International before and was told it’s “racist” by a commenter. If someone has a better link, then please put it up, otherwise I think this is the best we have for the moment:

    http://www.transparency.org/news_room/in_focus/2008/cpi2008/cpi_2008_table

    While most countries that do well on the list are liberal democracies, there are also democracies that don’t perform well. Singapore performs well even though it’s an autocratic government. It seems to be more linked to GDP than political system, though it’s not a linear correlation.

    Steve, I do believe that nondemocratic governments have a harder time to curb corruption than democracies, but I’m not sure that the size of China in itself makes it impossible. Though what I’ve gleaned from other lists, it seems that big countries in general have more problems with good governance.

    raventhorn4000: I would call chaos and deadlock of any state a lack of “governing power.” I’ve seen this concept somewhere, though I can’t remember where now.

    As for direct democracy, I once read a Swedish report about the concept where different countries/areas with a large amount of referenda where used for analysis (notably Switzerland and California). The conclusion was it works well at times, bad at times.

  303. Shane9219 Says:

    @Wukailong

    Do you ever hear about the notion of institutionalized corruption and incompetency.

    In US, the Congress has the lowest approval rating all the times, yet people can not do anything about. Since it is a democracy that people choose to put up at the first place. Democracy does post a problem of institutionalized corruption and incompetency, even conservative folks in US acknowledge it. The interesting thing to note is that media has long lost its interest on this subject and people are in capable of finding an alternative. Even lots of them want a change, but change never comes to Washington. Keep making updates on election laws to ban things does not make things better either. sigh!

  304. Wukailong Says:

    @Shane9219: The US doesn’t fare too well on the index I posted above. As far as I know, there are no claims above that there is no institutionalized corruption and/or incompetency in democracies.

    But now that you mention incompetency, you’re in the field of governing power again. We can certainly discuss that. I’m just trying to make the concepts clear, so we’re on the same ground. If we’re all using different definitions, there won’t be much communication.

    As for the US itself, I find the way it is discussed quite entertaining. There seems to be some idea around here that “Westerners” all love the US, or agree with everything it does, or puts it up as a shining beacon for the world to follow. I grew up as a fundamentalist anti-American, and have only recently (that is, the last 5 years) changed to a more nuanced viewpoint.

  305. JXie Says:

    @Steve #300

    In China, most everyone is Han Chinese. Within that set, most cannot vote. No one can vote unless they join the party. Factionalism within a single party is not democracy.

    This is fundamentally untrue. China has this multi-tier representative electoral system. Every Chinese citizen at or older than 18 (other than convicted criminals whose political rights are terminated temporarily or permanently), gets to vote his or her local People’s Congress representatives once every 5 years (used to be once every 3 years). You can declare your own candidacy as a local representative and campaign for it, and there have been successful cases. But it’s hopeless to organize a viable nationwide 2nd party because of,

    #1 logistics
    #2 the potential illegality given that in the Constitution “led by CCP” is spelled out. If the goal of the 2nd party is to change the leadership of CCP…

    There have been discussions in some NPC sessions that the verbiage “led by CCP” should be taken out of the Constitution, but so far they’ve been mostly academic.

  306. JXie Says:

    @Wukailong, thanks for bringing up the CPI list. If say there is a Gorbachev in China tomorrow, chances are China will not end up like Denmark, New Zealand or Singapore, but rather like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, or Thailand — all more corrupted than China today. Worse yet, things will probably start to break down like in those countries, i.e. urban slums, high crime rate, trains not running on time, roads not getting built, etc. Pretty soon politicians will figure out how to rob the treasury to buy votes…

  307. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “wouldn’t rational person see a check of citizenship and place of residence with the Government’s records as “background check”?”
    —I think when you say “background check”, most rational people would take that to mean something a little more involved than citizenship and address. But if simply being a PRC citizen residing in China is enough to satisfy the CCP background check (and stuff like political view and religious affiliation is of no importance), and in so doing guarantees entry for all who want it into the CCP member club, and thus access to voting privileges/rights, then I’d actually be more inclined to accept that the 95% of CHinese who have no vote whatsoever are in fact giving “implied consent”. I’m guessing that the CCP background check is a little more involved, however. And I’d still wonder why the additional step/barrier is necessary, if the “intent” is that everyone who wants a vote can have it…which is why I think that was never the intent all along. And that makes the consent more “forced” than “implied”.

    “then how can it be a “privilege”, when even farmers could “qualify” to vote?”
    —huh? Farmers can’t have privileges? No idea what your point is.

    “No such rational standard.”
    —OK. I say that having only 5% of people as eligible voters is pathetic; you say no no, everyone is eligible if they ask, not the CCP’s problem if only 5% asks. But at the same time, some (apparently a small number, according to you) are rejected. So my point is that if zero people are rejected, and everyone who asks gets in, then the 5% voter eligibility rate is not the CCP’s problem, since it’s up to the people to ask. Then you turn around and say there’s no such standard. Well, you can’t have it both ways. Simple as that.

    In the US and Canada, the only “membership” you need is citizenship. And with absentee ballots, you can actually vote from anywhere…but your vote goes to the riding to which you belong, by previous address I suppose.

    “Some of us just want to call China a form of “democracy”,”
    —you’re more than welcome to. China is a “form of democracy”, nudge nudge, wink wink.

    To Steve:
    once again, well said. I too am glad that Allen is finally back from vacation.

    To Jxie #305:
    Charles and others have mentioned the local voting mechanism. A good start…but without applying it to the top of the food chain, and constrained in a one-party system, as Steve points out, a democracy it is not.

  308. JXie Says:

    @SKC,

    First, I would never argue China is a democracy.

    Second, I would argue China being a democracy now may not be such a great thing to Chinese’s total happiness.

    Third, What Charles mentioned (village-level elections — directly voting for the heads of villages) has nothing to do with what I wrote, which is about electing local PC representatives, who will subsequently vote for the next level of PC presentatives, until at the NPC level. One day when I am bored and don’t feel like such a waste of time, I may write something about the 1986 student movement, all the nuances of the Chinese election process, and some possible future scenarios.

  309. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Jxie,
    sorry, I wasn’t being clear. But this (“electing local PC representatives, who will subsequently vote for the next level of PC presentatives, until at the NPC level.”) was exactly what I was referring to, insofar as Charles and R4000 having alluded to it previously in various past threads, if not this one.

  310. foobar Says:

    The People’s Congress (what JXie wrote about) and the Congress of the CCP (what R4k wrote about and what SKC seem to refer to) are two different things.

    The village level elections that Shane, Charles and various others have mentioned is yet another thing. It produces the administration of the village, but is not exactly part of either the two systems above.

  311. Steve Says:

    @ R4K #301: I tried, but I couldn’t follow your argument at all. I’m not sure what “implied consent”, which I thought was a legal term relating to things like drunk driving, etc., has to do with democracy.

    Nixon’s “silent majority” was a political label to justify his policies. The majority wasn’t so silent when they voted most Republicans out of office after Watergate in the 1976 elections.

    “Implied consent” is a form of “democratic dictatorship”. Of the “voting yes” few dictating the “silent majority”, and those who voted against.

    Just saying “implied consent” is a form of “democratic dictatorship” doesn’t make it so. First of all, I have no idea what you mean by “implied consent”. Secondly, “democratic” and “dictatorship” are mutually exclusive terms. A “democratic dictatorship”, by its very definition, cannot exist. Your next sentence, to be honest, isn’t a sentence and I have no idea what it means.

    Corruption cuts “democracies” equally, if not more easily.

    Examples, please?

    Rome lasted only a few hundred years as a Republic. Weimar Germany with its constitutional safe guards, easily gave away to corruptions of the people’s nationalism and paranoia.

    Rome lasted ONLY a few hundred years? And what does Rome have to do with anything? Rome was never a democracy; it was an oligarchy.

    Weimar Germany, which I unfortunately had to study in college (it’s pretty boring, to be honest), is really reaching for it in terms of an example. Must I remind you of the Treaty of Versailles and the onerous burden it placed on Germany? Must I remind you of the Great Depression? Must I remind you of hyperinflation that was so bad, people carted money around in wheelbarrows? Must I remind you of the Nazi brown shirts who used intimidation rather than law to cower the populace? The Weimar Republic operated under so many restrictions that it’s really a terrible example to use. Germany had never experienced a democracy before and hadn’t built democratic institutions or created a democratic mindset in the nation.

    You know, some would call the chaos and the deadlocks of some bureaucratic form of democracy as “corruption”.

    Uhh… chaos and the deadlock of bureaucratic forms of democracy are chaos and bureaucratic deadlock. They are not corruption. Corruption means something completely different. No one I know would call it that. And I wouldn’t recommend you put that down as an answer on a test if you want to receive a passing grade.

    @ Shane #303: Change actually does come to Washington, it just rarely happens. They’re called “watershed years” and the most recent ones have been 1976, 1980, 1994 and 2006. So occasionally the bums DO get thrown out, it just takes a lot for that to happen. Most voters tend to hate Congress but approve of their personal representative. They just hate everyone else’s. In a watershed year, they get so annoyed that they throw their own guy out.

    @ JXie # 305: I agree with you about the People’s Congress, but by its very nature, the Party operates under a “top down” structure. Who elects the Politburo? It’s supposed to be appointed by the Central Committee, but the actual system these days is kept secret as far as I know. You can correct me on this if you have a better understanding. I’m not talking theory here, I’m talking actual practice.

    If it is illegal for any party but the CCP to run China, then China cannot be a democracy. Thank you for illustrating that. However, I don’t think China will end up like any of the countries you mentioned. China is unique, and will have a unique form of government and a unique society. Though this might not fit your perception of most westerners, I feel positive about China’s future prospects. Thanks for pointing out that China isn’t a democracy. I could use the company. :P

    @ foobar: Thanks for clarifying the difference.

  312. Shane9219 Says:

    @JXie #306

    Excellant points. The possible dire situation may also include territory seccessions and civil wars like in-fights, similar to what went on during the first half 20th century.

  313. real name Says:

    302
    “Transparency International”
    just note: this is list how local people feel corruption, not how real corruption is (what is hard to measure)
    i remember another survey about how people feel happy (?) and north korea was at first places, followed by china (shanghai citizens were asked)
    “size of China in itself makes it impossible”
    i do not think it is size related, usa and canada are at the top of list
    in my coutry helps making things public, at any level
    f.e. if there will be any green dam software to be chosen it has to be public competition with predefined rules
    if not newspapers will immediately start hunt for contract details and resposible persons
    and if is corruption related to something hard to get (f.e. stamp from office)
    than simply make it easily available instead of less productive searching criminals only

  314. Ted Says:

    @Kui 240:

    Sorry for the late response. Hopefully you’ll keep writing and forget those who tell you to do otherwise. I’ve enjoyed our chats and your posts. As for me, I’m still in the midst of my China experience and hope to be for some time so it may be a while before I’m able to do a retrospective ;)

  315. MatthewTan Says:

    @224 Bai Ding Says: “I still don’t understand what we are arguing about. What’s to argue? The PLA brutally shot and massacred unarmed people who were participating in a peaceful demonstration in an area”

    Bai Ding,

    I see that you are not here for real discussion.

    Let me say this to YOU. If I am the soldier, and you are the student or worker or hooligan protestor ANYWHERE, in the state of Martial Law, if you throw Molotov cocktails or other flaming objects, I WILL BE THE FIRST TO SHOOT AT YOU. I don’t care what you are protesting for – money or God or gay sex or “democracy”. And I don’t care whether you will live or die. And I know for sure I can sleep peacefully every night.

    And if you are the Tank Man, I will arrest you and charge you for “obstructing the performance of duty of public servants” (a law worded something like that in my country, Singapore), and plead with the Government to impose the MAXIMUM jail term/fine on you.

    And if you are the Tank Man, and I am the soldier living in a lawLESS country, I wll tie you up, and hang you up on the gun barrel of the tank, and parade you around for at least one hour.

    I will do all these because I cannot allow copy-cats to repeat your foolish acts and bring turmoil to my nation and my countrymen. My first duty is to my nation and my people – not to brainless and lawless mobs who gather and shout as if they are “the” people.

    And I don’t care if you or anyone else label me as a “brutal” soldier shooting at “peaceful” protestors.

    And I have the bible to support my action. Romans 13:1-7.
    (I am a Catholic)

  316. Raj Says:

    If I am the soldier, and you are the student or worker or hooligan protestor ANYWHERE, in the state of Martial Law, if you throw Molotov cocktails or other flaming objects, I WILL BE THE FIRST TO SHOOT AT YOU.

    What if the person is not throwing any “flaming object”? Would you shoot at unarmed civilians or people otherwise running away and not attacking anyone/anything? If you are a Catholic then the response will be “no”.

    Unless you buy the Chinese government’s line 100% and believe those critical of the crackdown might be telling even a degree of truth, you have to accept that innocent people were killed by the PLA.

    That’s what Bai Ding is saying. I’m surprised you don’t get that.

    And I have the bible to support my action.

    First, that’s not a helpful thing to say because anyone can quote the Bible to make a point. For example, I can raise Psalm 82:3 – “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.” If people are oppressed it’s not enough to say that the authorities want to arrest/shoot them.

    Second, that particular extract says you should submit yourself to the authorties. It does not give people working for the authorities permission to do whatever the hell they like.

  317. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    “What if the person is not throwing any “flaming object”? Would you shoot at unarmed civilians or people otherwise running away and not attacking anyone/anything? If you are a Catholic then the response will be “no”.”

    What if that person was throwing flaming objects?

    What if that person just throws flaming objects at you, and then put up his hands?

    How about, just admit this simple fact, what if you were NOT the soldier at the square, can you give every conceivable sequence of events in the “fog of war” at NIGHT, to point out to us who throw what at whom and when?

    Soldiers were killed, vehicles were burnt. If they were shooting indiscriminantly from the 1st moment, there wouldn’t even be any “flaming objects” thrown.

  318. MatthewTan Says:

    Raj Says, “… What if the person is not throwing any “flaming object”? Would you shoot at unarmed civilians or people …That’s what Bai Ding is saying. I’m surprised you don’t get that.”

    ***

    Do I have to repeat?

    And if you are the Tank Man, I will arrest you and charge you for “obstructing the performance of duty of public servants” (a law worded something like that in my country, Singapore), and plead with the Government to impose the MAXIMUM jail term/fine on you.

    And if you are the Tank Man, and I am the soldier living in a lawLESS country, I wll tie you up, and hang you up on the gun barrel of the tank, and parade you around for at least one hour.

    I will do all these because I cannot allow copy-cats to repeat your foolish acts and bring turmoil to my nation and my countrymen. My first duty is to my nation and my people – not to brainless and lawless mobs who gather and shout as if they are “the” people.

    ***

    And what if the outlying Tiananmen streets (not Tiananmen Square, where ZERO death occurred, where “peaceful protesting students” congregated) were places of little “civil wars”, as described by Gregory Clark (an ex-Australian diplomat)?

    ***

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20090611gc.html

    Thursday, June 1, 2009

    Sri Lanka and Tiananmen: Time to accept the truth

    By GREGORY CLARK

    Which brings me to Tiananmen. The true record of events there has long been clear. In 1989 the Chinese regime was still only gradually emerging from long-lasting incompetence, Cultural Revolution traumas and petty despotism. Student activists, supported by long-suffering Beijing citizens, protested by occupying the iconic Tiananmen Square in central Beijing. Even the regime to some extent realized why the students were demonstrating, which is why they were allowed to remain in the Square for so long.

    But clearly the regime could not allow the students to remain there forever, particularly after they had rejected concessions offered by Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. The first move was to send in unarmed troops to clear the square. That was quickly stopped by angry citizens.

    [My comment: note "unarmed troops"]

    When armed troops arrived, the citizens, helped by students, set up blockades and fire-bombed the trucks, incinerating many inside. Inevitably the troops panicked and began shooting wildly in return. In short, on the night of June 3/4, in the streets of Beijing leading to Tiananmen, there was something close to civil war, with dozens, maybe hundreds, of citizens and students shot and killed and quite a few soldiers beaten or burned to death. But by the time the troops finally reached the square, U.S. Embassy and other reports confirm that the fighting had largely ended and most of the students had left.

    The popular version of events is quite different, however. It says the troops simply marched directly into a square crowded with students and began to mow them down with machine guns. This, despite the fact that several observers, including a Reuters correspondent and a Spanish TVE television crew, who were in the center of the square the entire night of June 4 not only deny the massacre story; both also confirm how the remaining students negotiated peacefully with the troops and left quietly.

    There may have been killings on the periphery of the square. A U.S. Embassy report speaks of students killing a soldier at the square entrance and photos suggest a vicious tank response. But the machine-gun massacre story is fabricated.

    So how did we get the fabricated story? Researchers have tracked it down to an anonymous front-page Hong Kong newspaper report by someone claiming to be a student who had fled the Square. No one has been able to find the author ever since. But that did not stop the report from traveling the globe, and continuing to be regurgitated ever since despite published denials by some of those researchers, including the then Spanish ambassador in Beijing (I have a copy of a book he wrote indignantly denying the massacre story).

    That anonymous report has had its effect, however. It is now journalistic license to write about the “blood-stained Tiananmen Square,” “thousands of students mown down by machine guns” (commentator David Brooks in The New York Times) and so on. Along with Tibet, where reports are also distorted, it has entered the pantheon of Beijing evils that critics who ignore far worse outrages against student demonstrators in other countries love to use to denounce China.

    Ironically those critics miss the true ugliness of events that night, namely the violence of the proletarian citizen revolt against a government that based its legitimacy on claiming the full support of those proletarian citizens.

    No wonder Beijing has been angry ever since against the students who triggered that revolt. But that anger in turn is then turned around to perpetuate the claim that Beijing remains quite unrepentant for the mythical machine-gun massacre.

    Indeed the EU governments still use the massacre myth to deny arms exports to China, including the riot police equipment that, if available at the time, could have prevented the riots and killings. The casualties from truth denial are many and varied.

    Gregory Clark is a former Australian China-watching diplomat, correspondent and academic. A translation of this article will appear on http://www.gregoryclark.net.

  319. MatthewTan Says:

    @225 Raj talks about British security law:

    “which British security law is as widely phrased as the Chinese one and when the last time was we kept placing old ladies under house arrest, stopping them from meeting people, etc when they were not under charges at that time?”

    Singapore inherited the British emergency law imposed on Malaya (now Malaysia) and Singapore when they ruled over these lands. The law, now called Internal Security Law, enpowered the Government to DETAIN INDEFINITELY WITHOUT TRIAL anyone deemed to be of security threat to the state. At that time, and decades after the independence of Malaysia/Singapore, the law was used mainly at communist insurgents, their supporters and propagandists. The law is still in operation TODAY, recently used against propagandists and activists who were suspected of stirring up racial hatred in Malaysia, and against Islamic terrorists and their supporters both in Singapore and Malaysia.

    The British TODAY may like to boast they are more civilised and advanced than we Asians, when the survival and security of the British nation is not at stake. But we view ourselves as newly-born nations facing many threats to our survival. So, we will keep the law. And we will arrest and detain, without trial, indefinitely, anyone who try to stir up anti-regime or other “hate” sentiments that will potentially disturb the peace, security and public order of our nations.

    And Singapore has furthered amended and strenghtened the Internal Security Act such that detentions are deemed to be “political” decisions under the authority of “Executive Power” NOT to be subjected “judicial review”.

    ***

    And the Malaysians are still waiting for an apology and compensation from the British people for the 1948 massacre of 24 unarmed village people, and for the rectification of this bit of colonial history.

    You all can NOW shout back at the British for not coming to terms with the ‘Batang Kali massacre’ of 1948. Let’s demand an independent public inquiry for British colonialist “crime against humanity”!

    ***
    http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20080820-83360.html

    Malaysians demand British apology

    Wed, Aug 20, 2008
    AFP

    KUALA LUMPUR – MALAYSIAN activists are seeking an apology from Britain for the 1948 massacre of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops during the start of a crackdown against a rising communist insurgency.

    The killings, known here as the ‘Batang Kali massacre,’ occurred in central Selangor state on Dec 12, 1948 when 14 members of the Scots Guards killed unarmed Chinese villagers and torched their village.

    Cabinet minister Ong Tee Keat, who was present at the signing on Wednesday of a petition calling for an official apology and compensation, said the history of the guerrilla war between colonial British forces and the Communist-led Malayan National Liberation Army should be accurately portrayed.

    ‘This event has been glossed over by the colonial government administration. This has been kept under the rug for so long,’ Mr Ong told AFP.

    ‘What these people are seeking really is historical redress as those that were killed have for long been described as bandits and Communist sympathisers,’ he added.

    Quek Ngee Meng, head of the Campaign Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre said the group wanted Britain to apologise and hold a public inquiry into the killings.

    ‘Let us show our evidence and if we have proven our case then meet our demands. If the outcome favours the British government, then we will stop this protest,’ he said.

    In March, the group had demanded 80 million pounds (S$210 million) from London as compensation for the incident but has yet to receive a response.

    Mr Quek said an earlier British inquiry in 1970 had been halted in order to protect the reputation of the military.

    Mr Ong, who is vice president of the Malaysian Chinese Association, a key party in the ruling coalition, said the matter should be discussed by both countries.

    ‘I have raised this with our foreign ministry and they will have to decide if it can be pursued further (on a government level with Britain).’

    The Batang Kali raid was part of an operation against Communist insurgents after a state of emergency was declared by the British colonial government of the country, then known as Malaya, in 1948 and lifted in 1960.

    The guerrilla war left thousands dead and formally ended only in 1989 with the signing of a peace treaty with the Malayan Communist Party. — AFP

  320. MatthewTan Says:

    STOP THAT NONSENSE THAT IT WAS “PEACEFUL” PROTEST.

    I WILL SHOOT!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8061483.stm

    China’s Tiananmen generation speaks

    1. Soldiers Attacked But Did Not Shoot

    When the tank troops managed to come into the centre of the city and through our street, my father could not control himself and hurled a brick at a soldier although he missed the target. That worried my mother for years, for fear of my father going into prison.

    My mother’s classmate’s little brother, who was a high school student, was imprisoned for one year for playing with a helmet on the ground left by a passing soldier who had also been attacked by the angry, fanatical mass.

    2. Not Many People Died.

    That was quite a sensitive day. I remember it. My home was not far from Chang’an avenue where the tanks were driven through.

    On that day you heard alarms everywhere [and] saw police cars, ambulances. I don’t know what happened but I heard gunshots.

    To my knowledge, not many people died.

    To be honest I didn’t even know that the rest of the world had a big interest in what happened in 1989. I was surprised when I found out that other people were interested.

    3. Gangsters and anti-Chinese elements, mobs, soldiers killed, fires

    As far as I know, the protests were peaceful at the very beginning. But then different kinds of people mixed into the group. Among them were some gangsters and people who were incited by anti-Chinese forces abroad.

    They set fire to buildings and cars, some of them even took guns from the Liberation Army soldiers and burned some soldiers to death.

    In order to maintain the social security and stability, the Chinese government sent troops and suppressed the riots.

    Without the crackdown, China would be torn apart and we could not enjoy the happy life we are having now.

    4. Historical verdict of crackdown

    In my opinion, the crackdown on the movement in some way harmed the development of democracy in China and resulted in a tighter ideological control of the people.

    But history also witnessed the unprecedented economic rise of the country by following the policy made by Deng Xiaoping and his political protégés.

    We can say that China’s ever-rising power has now benefited from a relatively stable political atmosphere.

  321. MatthewTan Says:

    Okay…Now I understand more about China’s internet policy.

    There is a massive BLACK information campaign against China – that “evil” “communist” “dictatorial” country of “yellow peoples”. They killed “thousands” of innocent “peaceful” students protesting for “democracy”. Their soldiers were so cold-hearted that they used their tanks to crush people.

    One day…the Chinese might counter attack with their own BLACK information campaigns against those countries they deem are anti-China.

  322. raventhorn4000 Says:

    If Democracy is so great and powerful, why haven’t they pulled out all of their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan yet?!

    Instead, they are still paying taxes to send their own kids to die in the deserts and mountains, and sometimes electrocuted in showers by bad generators from no-bid contractor KBR.

    *
    but of course, if we talk about the efficiency of “democracy”, it would be irrelevant “apples and oranges” again. (Funny how that 1 liner always get repeated by the detractors of “democracy”.)

    *
    But seriously, back to China,

    I have lived in US for almost 30 years now. And for all that time, not 1 year, not 1 month has gone by, with someone in Western media giving the “doom and gloom” prediction about China, or someone who felt they have the “right solution” for China to become “democratic”.

    Seriously Folks, I have heard it all.

    And seriously folks, (for all you who want to follow in the wet footsteps of well traveled mud roads), be my guest. Knock yourselves out.

    I have heard it all before, and I have heard it from wiser and smart people, for almost 30 years.

    Track record: China has defied 30 years of that.

  323. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “If they were shooting indiscriminantly from the 1st moment, there wouldn’t even be any “flaming objects” thrown.”
    —this is true. They must have only started shooting indiscriminately sometime after the first moment.

    To Matthew #318:
    if the PLA only arrested people that day, I think 6/4 would’ve been a much smaller deal. That we are still talking about it 20 years later is in part because it wasn’t just arrests that were going on.

    To #319:
    that’s a law that Singapore will hopefully one day change. It seems just as wrong as Gitmo, which is something the Americans should address, and Obama needs to carry through on.

    To #320:
    personal anecdotes and the opinions of those who were there are of course important. But a select smattering may not tell the whole story. And the absence of the CCP’s side ensures that the whole story can not yet be known.

    To R4000 #322:
    I’m not sure that the presence of democracy directly means that armies need be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan. But Canada is leaving Afghanistan in 2011, by vote of our Parliament.

    I have no idea what your middle segment means.

    Your last bit is fair enough. If your point is that time will tell, well, that goes without saying.

  324. MatthewTan Says:

    S.K. Cheung Says:
    “if the PLA only arrested people that day, I think 6/4 would’ve been a much smaller deal. That we are still talking about it 20 years later is in part because it wasn’t just arrests that were going on.”

    In truth, you are talking about it because of black information campaign waged by the Western media.

    Have you ever carried a rifle, aim and shoot while walking, at night?

    I have had 2-and-half-year military training. In broad DAYLIGHT, STILL POSITION AND AIMING, my hits are about 1 out of 3 bullets at 300 metres. If you get 2 hits out of 3, you are considered a “marksman” – very good. And there are not many good marksmen.

    The Tiananmen incident was NIGHT TIME, LARGE CROWD. The soldiers were not necessary in still position, not necessary aiming. (Because they did not have the luxury of time and/or coolness of nerve). If you never have a chance to shoot a real rifle, try shooting with your camera while moving, or shooting with a shaky hand. And see what how many good hits you can get out of 30 bullets. Just move you camera a few millimetres left or right. And you miss the focus of your target!

    ***
    “that’s a law that Singapore will hopefully one day change. It seems just as wrong as Gitmo, which is something the Americans should address, and Obama needs to carry through on.”

    There are VERY GOOD reasons WHY you MUST detain such people without trial. You have never thought through it.
    NO! Singapore will NEVER give up this law. In a criminal case, you charge the person and are done with it. In national security cases, to charge and to convict a person is NOT the primary goal. GET IT! You want to demolish the whole terrorist network.

    Malaysia recently arrested a Singapore terrorist Mas Selamat. Nobody in Singapore knew about the arrest except the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee H.L. Not even the Cabinet ministers of Singapore were informed. If you tell the world that you have arrested Mas Selamat, all the other terrorists from the same network would have escaped. THINK HARD. I say, it is STUPID to talk about “human rights” in such cases. National security rights are also “human rights”, and they trump your “human rights”.

  325. MatthewTan Says:

    SK Cheaung,

    Another democracy failing – Honduras!

    And Iran’s presidential “democratic” election … well….well….

    Actually I believe he wins. But the West does not like him. So the election is “in dispute”.

    Don’t be a democraZy “fundamentalist” !

  326. MatthewTan Says:

    Sk Cheang,
    “personal anecdotes and the opinions of those who were there are of course important. But a select smattering may not tell the whole story. And the absence of the CCP’s side ensures that the whole story can not yet be known.”

    I suggest you are the one who should see the whole story.

    I am a born skeptic. I don’t buy CCP story so easily.

  327. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Kinda hard to arrest people in mobs who had Molotov cocktails and rocks in hand, at night.

    Maybe SKC can give us a demonstration in person.

  328. MatthewTan Says:

    S.K. Cheung

    “They must have only started shooting indiscriminately sometime after the first moment.”

    I tell you as a soilder how I will shoot. A lot of shooting will be towards the sky, and some towards the floor (to instil fear). Some shootings are REALLY meant to be targeting some people. But bullets have no eyes. Let me emphasize: it is not that easy to hit a target! NIGHT TIME. MOVING. SHAKY HANDS and NERVOUS. LARGE CROWD. POOR VISIBILITY.

    But NOW YOU AGREE I HAVE TO SHOOT, RIGHT?

  329. Steve Says:

    @ Matthew Tan #328: A soldier shoots where he’s ordered to shoot. The bullets land where they land. None if it is definitive except the order to shoot. The commander knows the shots won’t be accurate. That is taken into account before he gives the order to shoot. Any time live ammunition is used, casualties are expected. In those situations, most soldiers don’t aim at anything specific but just in a general direction.

    Was 300 meters the distance at Tiananmen in one of the confrontations? Can you be more specific about “black information campaign waged by western media”? Who coordinated this campaign? How were the orders to coordinate passed from headquarters to the reporters on the ground? Specifics would be helpful.

    Honduras and Iran have nothing to do with this topic. Those situations might better be brought up in Raj’s democracy thread.

  330. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To MT#324:
    “you are talking about it because of black information campaign waged by the Western media.”
    —I’m talking about it because it’s the subject of this blog post. Why are you talking about it, “in truth”, as you say?

    “Have you ever carried a rifle, aim and shoot while walking, at night?”
    —this is relevant how? Hopefully the PLA soldiers sent out that night had.

    “And see what how many good hits you can get out of 30 bullets. Just move you camera a few millimetres left or right. And you miss the focus of your target!”
    —if your point is that those soldiers must have had a hard time hitting their intended targets, that’s fine. But if that’s the case, should they have been shooting, given the odds you quoted?

    “There are VERY GOOD reasons WHY you MUST detain such people without trial.”
    —not to me, there aren’t. Probably explains why we aspire to very different systems. And if understanding you requires me to “get” that, then I think I’ll pass, thanks.

    “I am a born skeptic. I don’t buy CCP story so easily.”
    —fantastic. But I don’t yet see the CCP side of this story on the shelves anywhere.

    To R4000:
    “Kinda hard to arrest people in mobs who had Molotov cocktails and rocks in hand, at night.”
    —now that’s a curious point for you to make. I thought the CCP sent the PLA in to “arrest” people, according to you. Now even you are saying that that would have been difficult. Of course, I don’t know if you are speaking in foresight or hindsight. But let’s say it’s in foresight (cuz I mean, you wouldn’t criticize people only after given the benefit of hindsight, would you?), then you are smarter than the CCP! Congratulations! This should make for interesting fodder on the other thread.

    To MT#328:
    your anecdotes about how you would’ve handled your weapon are as fascinating as they are irrelevant. I’m actually not interested in what the foot soldier would or would not have done, of their own accord. I’m way more interested in what said soldiers were “ordered” to do. If you’ve got the skinny on that, then I’m all ears. LIke I said, too bad the CCP isn’t sharing. Wonder why.

  331. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “—now that’s a curious point for you to make. I thought the CCP sent the PLA in to “arrest” people, according to you. Now even you are saying that that would have been difficult. Of course, I don’t know if you are speaking in foresight or hindsight. But let’s say it’s in foresight (cuz I mean, you wouldn’t criticize people only after given the benefit of hindsight, would you?), then you are smarter than the CCP! Congratulations! This should make for interesting fodder on the other thread.”

    Did they have molotov cocktails on May 20th, when they were sent in? I don’t think so. Gee, I guess you will keep assuming things don’t change on the ground?

    Just because it’s not “foreseeable”, do you assume that it will NEVER happen??

    It’s just this or that extreme assumptions with you, isn’t it?

    Congratulations, you are officially “unreasonable person” according to the definition of law.

  332. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “Did they have molotov cocktails on May 20th, when they were sent in? I don’t think so.”
    —which might explain why the PLA was sent in unarmed the first time. But we’re talking about 6/4. And you’ve got it backwards (again): I’d be assuming that things could’ve changed on the ground, which is exactly why sending the PLA in on 6/4 to “arrest” people “would have been difficult”, as you even now admit. Which is precisely why believing “arrest” to be the task of the PLA on 6/4 is totally absurd. My guess is also that the CCP would have assumed that things could have changed on the ground, which is also why they should’ve foreseen what might happen by sending in the PLA locked and loaded the second time. So again, either they failed to foreseen what they should have foreseen (cue the legal spiel), or they did foresee it and simply didn’t care, which is why mum’s the word for 20 years.

    “Just because it’s not “foreseeable”, do you assume that it will NEVER happen??”
    —not at all. My point all along is that it was foreseeable, because it might happen.

    Also, allow me to congratulate you on #331. You’re making a habit of getting stuff collapsed. Fine work, m’boy.

  333. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    Actually, they sent them in before 6/3, armed.

    Why would you “assume” things “could’ve changed on the ground”??

    Police carry guns or don’t carry guns, they don’t need any situation on the ground to justify carrying weapons.

    PLA are normally armed in any case. The initial force on May 20th just didn’t have weapons available, so what?

    All the rest of your assumptions are equally flawed based upon this false assumption.

    “—not at all. My point all along is that it was foreseeable, because it might happen.”

    Wrong again, “might happen” by itself is not foreseeable.

    You didn’t foresee the Molotov cocktails, neither did the PLA on 6/3. armed or not armed.

    *I don’t mind getting my posts collapsed. I’ll keep pointing out your ignorance. :)

  334. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “PLA are normally armed in any case.”
    —so why send them in unarmed the first time? And if the CCP assumed that nothing had changed, why not just send them in unarmed the second time as well? Do you think the CCP gave different orders just for kicks, or do you think they gave different orders because they felt it necessary? And if the latter, why did they feel it necessary? So many questions…so few answers…too bad the principals aren’t in a talkative mood.

    “I don’t mind getting my posts collapsed.”
    —that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said in a long time. And you seem to be getting your wish on an increasingly regular basis. Congratulations!

  335. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “—so why send them in unarmed the first time? And if the CCP assumed that nothing had changed, why not just send them in unarmed the second time as well? Do you think the CCP gave different orders just for kicks, or do you think they gave different orders because they felt it necessary? And if the latter, why did they feel it necessary? So many questions…so few answers…too bad the principals aren’t in a talkative mood.”

    Your speculation of “motives” is not a proof of “foreseeability”. Again, your ignorance of law is showing. Whether someone chooses to NOT to some thing they normally would, does not prove that when they RESUME what they normally do is a sign of “foreseeing danger”.

    “—that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said in a long time. And you seem to be getting your wish on an increasingly regular basis. Congratulations!”

    why congratulate me on your ability to see the obvious?? I don’t mind when they collapse my repost of your ignorant 1 liners.

    :)

  336. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “Your speculation of “motives” is not a proof of “foreseeability”.”
    —of course it’s not. If you want “proof”, you’ll have to get it from the CCP. Which is what I’ve been trying to say all along. It really is unfortunate that they’ve decided to clam up for 20 years and counting.

    “Whether someone chooses to NOT to some thing they normally would, does not prove that when they RESUME what they normally do is a sign of “foreseeing danger”.”
    —-you’ve written a lot of winners, but this is right up there with your best sentences ever. Given the funky English, I’m going to respond to what I think you’re trying to say. If I’ve guessed wrong, then I apologize, and I’d be happy to try again after you fix your sentence. So here goes: I don’t claim to have proof. Do you? But i don’t think the CCP does things randomly. So if they send in troops unarmed the first time, then locked and loaded the second time, what would explain the difference in their approach? To me, a plausible explanation is that they foresaw a change in circumstances, and the potential for violence the second time around. Perhaps there are other explanations…you tell me. But ultimately, the proof lies within the CCP. If you want proof as much as you seem to suggest, then shouldn’t you be asking for it just as much as I am? Instead, you seem content to go around and around in circles.

    Sigh. Once again, your post was collapsed not because the one liners were bad, but because you simply offered a laundry list of one liners with no context or reference….just like the guy muttering on the street corner that I’ve been telling you about.

  337. barny chan Says:

    SKC, why not do yourself and the rest of us a big big favour and let him mutter into the void? There are others here far more worthy of your time and attention.

  338. Raj Says:

    Ok, children, if you want to have a verbal punch-up you can do it somewhere else, or I can delete your comments as I did right now – your call.

    In the future I may delete comments much earlier if you do that again.

  339. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    By all means, delete earlier for the personal insults and 1 liners.

    But I find your application of your delete power rather biased.

    I see no reason why I have to put up with all the silly 1 liners, and you deleting my restrained responses. (I used their own words of insult and 1 liners in response.)

    If you wish, I will put up my complaint with the Admin. But no personal offense, unfair use of deletion authority is censorship.

  340. MatthewTan Says:

    @329 Steve Says:
    A soldier shoots where he’s ordered to shoot. The bullets land where they land. None if it is definitive except the order to shoot. The commander knows the shots won’t be accurate. That is taken into account before he gives the order to shoot. Any time live ammunition is used, casualties are expected. In those situations, most soldiers don’t aim at anything specific but just in a general direction.

    Me: The order could be anything: “shoot (now)”, or “shoot at your own discretion”. There is a Tiananmen video on You-tube that shows two soldiers actually shooting. They stood STILLL in shooting position, REALLY took aim at DISTANT targets, and shot a few shots, stop for a while, then took aim and a few shots again. And then they stopped shooting and relaxed themselves. On the video, you cannot see the targets. It could be rioters or anything else. They were many civilians around nearby. The civilians were peaceful, UNafraid, NOT running about, TRUSTING that the soldiers would NOT hurt them. There could be a commander next to the (only) TWO (shooting) soldiers, but the video was not very clear because it was very dark.

    Now, when you talk about “commander”, it could be a commander of 10, 50, 100 and so on. Somewhere down the line, someone will have to exercise his own initiative whether or not to shoot. In my army training, we were repeatedly (you can say almost everyday) told to “take your own initiative”, even in routine non-military things, such that it became habitual.

    I have emphasized that “bullets have no eyes” because of the charge that “innocent” people were shot, and that troops “shot indiscriminately”.

    You have to put yourself in the position of the soldier. And as a trained ex-soldier, I felt the need to say certain things.

    @329 Steve Says: Was 300 meters the distance at Tiananmen in one of the confrontations?

    Me: Not likely given the darkness. I just wanted to say it is not easy to aim and shoot accurately, whatever distance. That’s why I also use the example of a camera.

    @329 Steve Says: Honduras and Iran have nothing to do with this topic. Those situations might better be brought up in Raj’s democracy thread.

    I know. But they are talking about it here also.

  341. MatthewTan Says:

    To PRC Chinese, and Steve

    @329 Steve Says: Can you be more specific about “black information campaign waged by western media”? Who coordinated this campaign? How were the orders to coordinate passed from headquarters to the reporters on the ground? Specifics would be helpful.

    I think the best way to answer your question is to show you a passage from Tom Grunfeld’s book, _The Making of Modern Tibet_. Yes, it is about Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s escape into India. I hope it answer your questions to your satisfaction. I got this typed out only hours ago.

    (Just want to add this: Black information came not only from the West, but also Taiwan’s anticommunists and Hong Kong’s “democrats”.)

    To PRC Chinese: this is ammunition for your use.

    The making of modern Tibet
    By A. Tom Grunfeld

    p.143-145

    [Copyrighted text deleted]

    [Tom Grunfeld also severely criticizes he International Commission of Jurists for their one-sided investigative reports on Tibet on pp 146-148].

  342. MatthewTan Says:

    @330 To MT#328: your anecdotes about how you would’ve handled your weapon are as fascinating as they are irrelevant. I’m actually not interested in what the foot soldier would or would not have done, of their own accord. I’m way more interested in what said soldiers were “ordered” to do. If you’ve got the skinny on that, then I’m all ears. LIke I said, too bad the CCP isn’t sharing. Wonder why.

    Me: please refer to my reply to Steve @342 about “command” and “commander”, and “take your own initiative”.

  343. MatthewTan Says:

    To Westerners, Raj, and raventhorn4000:

    raventhorn4000 Says “I don’t mind getting my posts collapsed.”

    Agree. It catches eyeballs. I don’t mind too. I didn’t know someone has so much power. Can you or someone explain this, just for curiosity sake?

    By the way, I was not just talking about Singapore and Malaysia. I was also suggesting that the same principles I talked (above) about apply to China (I used the term “we Asians” deliberately) – in case you think that I am talking about irrelevant things.

    Newly born small Asian nations fear about survival of their nations. Big nation China fears about survival of their nation IN ONE PIECE (not many broken pieces), and social unrests, especially repeat of Tiananmen-style protest movements.

    Although China is an ancient civilisation, yet it is newly born also, first as PRC (1949), putting together broken pieces, then as re-born PRC (1979), fully committed to continue to hold all the pieces together. So, China faces some of the same kinds of problems, threats, and challenges as small newly born nations like Singapore and Malaysia – social cohesion, political stability, outside aggression, survival of the nation in ONE PIECE.

    You advanced Western nations have reached the state where you do not have to worry about many of these things that we worry about. You are secured, politically stable, rich, and have the money to solve many problems, have well developed institutions and laws, have highly educated population. You cannot expect us to live up to your standards – demanding this and that kind of “human rights”, and adherence or non-adherence to laws when there are no clear written laws,

    Bear in mind that China still does not have a fully developed legal system and institutions, and full set of laws that cover everything, and lack well-trained experienced personnel in many areas,

    Where there is no law, such as law on “house arrest”, then of course customs and traditions apply. Can you argue against that? Are not many British laws based on “customs” also? Please enlighten me on this. I find it so strange that Chinese government’s right to hold someone under “house arrest” is questioned because there is supposedly no law.

    (By the way, I have no knowledge about Chinese law).

    If the Tiananmen mother is/was or under house arrest, it is because of her foreign-linked activities that are/were considered to be a threat to the social stability and political status quo. (She is not held up in prison or detention cell.) Her freedom is restricted so that she cannot engage in these foreign-linked activities. She may be an old lady. But she is very capable. (Many Popes were very old. Yet they were very capable of getting BIG things done.)

    I agree with some of the PRC writers here that the Tiananmen mother(s) have lost the sympathy of the Chinese people because of their foreign-linked activities. The Chinese are very wary of possible designs of foreign NGOs to work up a “colour revolution” in China.

    Is there a great threat at this moment of a “colour revolution”? Probably not. But what responsible government would allow any anti-regime movement to have any chance to grow and multiply? This is to “nip things in the bud”.

    China is not a Western liberal democracy, and will not be so for at least ten to twenty years. The CCP government is the only possible government, and this CCP-led government system is writtten into the PRC Constitution. To dethrone the CCP is to destroy the only possible government. Can you imagine what great chaos China will be if the CCP is allowed to be overthrown by a “colour revolution”? Is this what you Westerners are hoping for? (I know for sure that hard-line anticommunists and “democracy fundamentalists” are hoping for that day.)

    In a Western liberal democracy, you can say anything and do anything to overthrow the government. And you go on and elect another government. Can you organize a new government within a reasonably short period when the CPP is overthrown?

    And the Tiananmen mother’s political activities will probably be considered illegal and against the PRC Constitution if the ultimate goal is to upset the status quo and set up a mutli-party political system. (According to wikipedia, some Tiananmen mothers “had been detained for engaging in what were described as illegal activities sponsored by overseas forces”).

    And I always like to talk about Singapore when I discuss about China, because Singapore has ONLY ONE political party CAPABLE of ruling Singapore, for a long time to come it will remain so. So, Singapore will also “nip in the bud” whatever things it considers dangerous to one-party rule. (We have many weak and small political parties, and they are unable to attract qualified people with accomplished track records, so Singaporeans will not elect them to power.)

  344. MatthewTan Says:

    Raj,

    I purposely bring up the ‘Batang Kali massacre’ of 1948. I know it will irritate British people. (You people probably have never heard of it! )

    But do you Westerners know that in China it is considered bad behavior for you and Western governments to meddle in Chinese internal affairs (especially openly in public), unless you are invited to do so or unless you belong to the “same family”, like Taiwan and Hong Kong and Macau? It is very irritating to Chinese people. And they are not going to change their ways of doing things just because of your meddling (and pressure and sanctions). They will do what they think is right for them, and for their national interests – don’t always think that it is ONLY for CCP’s interest and to perpetuate CCP rule – given the “characteristics” and conditions of their country, NOT because it is right for you Westerners.

    I know that this forum is for discussion of such topics, and you are welcomed, and probably invited, I supposed, by the Chinese to discuss them.

    But I hope that people like you will also reflect to your Governments how NOT to behave in front of Chinese people. The “human rights” issue has been a constant and persistent irritant to China-West inter-government relations. And it also irritates people like me who think in many ways like PRC nationals.

  345. MatthewTan Says:

    Steve, and SKC
    further on the Black Information Campaign by the West.

    I strongly recommend that you read Gregory Clark. He has a number of articles on this, and on what used to be called “Yellow Perils”.

    Here is another one by him on black information related Tiananmen. It is more detailed than previous one, and very “solid”.

    It is “black”, in my opinion, because the “grey” and “white” are totally and deliberately ignored and left out. Facts of rioting and protesters throwing molotov cocktails, bashing up soldiers with iron bars and bricks, robbing rifles and firing with them, over-turning army truck full of soldiers, setting fires to over one thousand vehicles, violently taking over armoured vehicle/tank and them driving away at least one tank recklessly, attacking and killing soldiers – all these were hardly mentioned. Also not mentioned was the fact that troops at first moved in without arms, thus indicating no intention and no order to kill. And when the soldiers were attacked, they did not shoot at them initially. Now, these people were lawless and mindless mobs, not the “peaceful” students who gathered at Tiananmen SQUARE itself and were peacefully evacuated.

    Commanders gave a command. Soldiers acted on it, and/or on their own initiative and discretion.

    Commanders and soldiers are just like you and me. It is not in the nature of commanders and soldiers to kill a person without reason, worse still to crush a person by rolling the tank over him. (If tank crushing happened at all, it was probably due to poor visibility and accident. Deng Xiaoping acknowledged that the troops did shoot and kill people, but STRONGLY denied that tanks (deliberately) crushed people.)

    Gregory Clark attributed the black information campaign against China to anti-communist cold war mindset and the fear of “Yellow peril”. Google: site:www.gregoryclark.net Yellow Peril

    Here is Gregory Clark’s article on black information relating to Tiananmen. It is an excellent article and worth your time reading. So, I copy the entire article below.

    Here is one sentence from him: “The mystery report was very likely the work of U.S. and British black information authorities ever keen to plant anti-Beijing stories in unsuspecting media.”

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080721gc.html

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Birth of a massacre myth

    By GREGORY CLARK
    With the Beijing Olympics looming we see more attempts to remind the world about the alleged June 4, 1989, massacre of democracy-seeking students in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

    The New York Times, which did so much to spread the original story of troops shooting student protesters there with abandon, has recently published several more articles condemning the alleged massacre, including one suggesting there should be an Olympic walkout. Other media, including Britain’s usually impartial Guardian and Independent, and Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald, have chimed in. None are interested in publishing rebuttals……

  346. MatthewTan Says:

    BBC has been singled out by Gregory Clark for inaccurate reporting. Now, BBC acknowledges some of the inaccuracies, and the need to revise the Tiananmen story. But I still want to protest against BBC for too much black, little grey and devoid of white.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8057762.stm

    Tiananmen killings: Were the media right?

    Reports of the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and their violent end have had a huge impact on how the outside world sees China. James Miles – who was the BBC’s Beijing correspondent at the time – reflects on the difficulties of covering the story.

  347. real name Says:

    347
    “If tank crushing happened at all, it was probably due to poor visibility and accident.”
    see
    Then just at that intersection, when they arrived at the Boulevard of Eternal Peace, some students swore at the tanks who were waiting, and the tanks turned on their motors and crushed about 10 or 11 students. This is about 6:00 a.m., so it’s daylight because it’s June, so everyone can see this. …
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/interviews/wong.html

  348. MatthewTan Says:

    #343 “Fiction is what they want. Pure fiction. Well, by God, fiction is what they are going to get.”

    I want to say it again, that the article by Ma Jian in Guardian is fiction, and Guardian published it like it is a real eye-witness account.

    He wrote,

    “I heard machine-gun fire in the distance, and saw the Goddess of Democracy being rammed by a tank and topple to the ground …”

    The fact is, a number of videos (in Youtube) show that the Goddess of Democracy was not rammed by a tank, and it was standing in Tiananmen Square, and was “toppled” to the ground by a few soldiers using their bare hands.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/02/tiananmen-square-protests-1989-china

    The great Tiananmen taboo

    It is 20 years since students and lecturers filled Tiananmen Square, demanding democracy, only to be crushed by tanks and fired on by the Chinese army. Banned novelist Ma Jian, who was there at the protests, returned to Beijing to find a country desperate to erase all memories of the thousands of innocent lives lost

  349. Raj Says:

    rt4000, you can complain to the admin if you like, but he supported my deletion of those posts.

  350. MatthewTan Says:

    #347 real name:

    I am afraid the student account is also fiction.

    I am more afraid that the whole Western media will one day be proven again to be irresponsible, unprofessional, biased, publishing fictions as if they are facts.

    Would you trust the newspapers or books written by or edited by professors who took time to do serious research? and do you rather not trust academic journal like Columbia Journalism Review.

    Your link:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/interviews/wong.html
    At the introduction on the left, the writer claims that she was “at the Beijing Hotel overlooking Tiananmen Square” witnessing things.

    But according to Gregory Clark (above), from the Beijing Hotel, you cannot see “happenings” in Tiananmen Square – “Out-of-sight”.

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080721gc.html

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Birth of a massacre myth

    By GREGORY CLARK

    He points out angrily that most of the reports of an alleged massacre were made by journalists hunkered down in the safe haven of the Beijing Hotel, some distance from the square.

    …Mathews also lists an inaccurate BBC massacre report, filed from that out-of-sight Beijing Hotel.”

    ***

    Jays Matthews:

    “A BBC reporter watching from a high floor of the Beijing Hotel said he saw soldiers shooting at students at the monument in the center of the square. But as the many journalists who tried to watch the action from that relatively safe vantage point can attest, the middle of the square is not visible from the hotel.”

    ***

    The Tiananmen Papers, edited by Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link. page 382.

    “Many investigations have established that in the entire process of clearing the square, martial law troops did not shoot a single person to death and no person was run over by a tank.”

    ***
    Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China’s Democracy Movement, George Black and Robin Munro.

    pp. 234 – 246.

    “…The survivors had then either been chased across the square by tanks and crushed, or clubbed to death by infantrymen. But it was all pure fabrication.”

    ***

    Chinese language newspapers (outside of China) published Hou Dejian’s account of the final hours in Tiananmen Squarequare. In one interview, Hou Dejian related:

    “Some people said that two hundred died in the Square and others claimed that two thousand died. There were also stories of tanks running over students who were trying to leave. I have to say that I did not see any of that. I don’t know where those people did. I myself was in the Square until six thirty in the morning.

    I kept thinking, are we going to use lies to attack an enemy who lies? Aren’t facts powerful enough? To tell lies against our enemy’s lies only satisfies our need to vent our anger, but it’s a dangerous thing to do. Maybe your lies will be exposed, and you’ll be powerless to fight your enemy.”

    [Hou Dejian's testimony is on You-tube video.]

    More:

    http://www.alternativeinsight.com/Tiananmen.html

    The following excerpts are taken from

    Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China’s Democracy Movement, George Black and Robin Munro (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1993), pp. 234 – 246. The complete report can be accessed at: http://www.tsquare.tv/chronology/BlackHchrn01.html

    “The phrase “Tiananmen Square massacre” is now fixed firmly in the political vocabulary of the late twentieth century. Yet it is inaccurate. There was no massacre in Tiananmen Square on the night of June 3. But on the western approach roads, along Chang’an Boulevard and Fuxingmen Avenue, there was a bloodbath that claimed hundreds of lives when the People’s Liberation Army found its path blocked by a popular uprising that was being fueled by despair and rage. To insist on this distinction is not splitting hairs. What took place was the slaughter not of students but of ordinary workers and residents – precisely the target that the Chinese government had intended.”

    “Imagination filled the gaps. Into the vacuum rushed the most lurid tales of the supposed denouement in the square. Wu’er Kaixi, flamboyant to the last, reported that he had seen “about two hundred students” cut down by gunfire in the army’s predawn assault, but it was revealed later that he had been spirited away to safety in a van several hours earlier. A widely recounted eyewitness report, purportedly from a student at Qinghua University, spoke of the students on the Monument being mowed down at point-blank range by a bank of machine guns at four in the morning. The survivors had then either been chased across the square by tanks and crushed, or clubbed to death by infantrymen. But it was all pure fabrication.”

    Excerpts from
    Columbia Journalism Review, September/October 1998,
    The Myth of Tiananmen and the Price of a Passive Press, Jay Mathews.
    For the complete article go to:http://www.cjr.org/year/98/5/tiananmen.asp
    Note: Jay Mathews was the Washington Post’s first Beijing bureau chief and returned in 1989 to cover the Tiananmen demonstrations.

    “Over the last decade, many American reporters and editors have accepted a mythical version of that warm, bloody night (Ed: June 4, 1989). They repeated it often before and during Clinton’s trip. On the day the president arrived in Beijing, a Baltimore Sun headline (June 27, page 1A) referred to ‘Tiananmen, where Chinese students died.’ A USA Today article (June 26, page 7A) called Tiananmen the place ‘where pro-democracy demonstrators were gunned down.’ The Wall Street Journal (June 26, page A10) described ‘the Tiananmen Square massacre’ where armed troops ordered to clear demonstrators from the square killed ‘hundreds or more.’ The New York Post (June 25, page 22) said the square was ‘the site of the student slaughter.’”

    “The problem is this: as far as can be determined from the available evidence, no one died that night in Tiananmen Square. A few people may have been killed by random shooting on streets near the square, but all verified eyewitness accounts say that the students who remained in the square when troops arrived were allowed to leave peacefully. Hundreds of people, most of them workers and passersby, did die that night, but in a different place and under different circumstances.”

    “Most of the hundreds of foreign journalists that night, including me, were in other parts of the city or were removed from the square so that they could not witness the final chapter of the student story. Those who tried to remain close filed dramatic accounts that, in some cases, buttressed the myth of a student massacre.”

    “For example, CBS correspondent Richard Roth’s story of being arrested and removed from the scene refers to ‘powerful bursts of automatic weapons, raging gunfire for a minute and a half that lasts as long as a nightmare. Black and Munro quote a Chinese eyewitness who says the gunfire was from army commandos shooting out the student loudspeakers at the top of the monument. A BBC reporter watching from a high floor of the Beijing Hotel said he saw soldiers shooting at students at the monument in the center of the square. But as the many journalists who tried to watch the action from that relatively safe vantage point can attest, the middle of the square is not visible from the hotel.”

    The Tiananmen Papers, compiled by Zhang Liang (pseudonym) and edited by Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link, published by Public Affairs, 2001, contains transcripts of high-level meetings between April and June 1989. The Tiananmen Papers have been considered by the editors, both professors at major U.S. universities, to be authoritative transcripts from Chinese authorities.

    P.382 of the Tiananmen Papers has an excerpt from State Security Ministry, “Trends in Tiananmen Square,” fifth of six overnight faxes to Party Central and State Council duty offices, 6:08 A.M., June 4.

    “Many investigations have established that in the entire process of clearing the square, martial law troops did not shoot a single person to death and no person was run over by a tank.”

  351. real name Says:

    350
    “from the Beijing Hotel, you cannot see “happenings” in Tiananmen Square”
    once i already asked chinese here for this
    later i found
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nXT8lSnPQ
    see just begin – is from hotel?
    than can see north side of the square and of course (by Wong mentioned) east Boulevard of Eternal Peace (Chang’An) where (at corner with Wangfujing) is hotel situated
    also can see
    http://www.beijingcentre.com/Beijing-Travel-Information/Beijing-Serviced-Apartments-Tian-An-Men-Square/beijing_centre_tian_an_men_square.htm
    where sqare on the map has 880x500m

  352. real name Says:

    350
    for me such strong no is a fiction
    “Many investigations have established that in the entire process of clearing the square, martial law troops did not shoot a single person to death and no person was run over by a tank.”

    i think Charlie Cole from Newsweek speaks about smashing still out of square (i assume that square, except (north) barier, was quite bus/vehicle-empty) but i have no contact to him to check it
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4313282.stm
    At about four or five in the morning, tank columns raced into the square smashing buses, bicycles and humans under their treads.

    btw.
    here is reply to me from John Pomfret (Washington Post), who declares was at the 4 6 morning by memorial at the square, “I … am unaware about any deaths in the square”

  353. MatthewTan Says:

    Westerners,

    The Xinjiang riots last week is sad. China really needs to improve and quicken up employment and business opportunities for Uighurs and Tibetans. But the positive thing this time is China is allowing media access.

    With the Black Tiananmen (and other) information campaigns floating around, you Westerners should understand why China did not trust Western media. (See above). The lady Chinese ambassador in London said last year that Western media needed to earn the trust of Chinese people, shortly after the Lhasa riots of March 14. I guess the Western media got the message.

    This time I see reporting from a good number of non-Chinese newspapers. Perhaps after seeing some “self-corrections” in Western media reporting/analyses on Tiananmen “Massacre”, China is again giving Western media a chance to report fairly. I hope China will not feel let down again. Otherwise doors to Xinjiang will be closed.

    As I said, China is a newly re-born nation with many problems and facing many threats. These problems are not easily solved, and definitely not by adopting Western liberal democracy. And what is most fearsome is a repeat of Tiananmen – when hundreds of cities went into protests. The primary reasons were more due to economic deprivation and corruption. So let China pursue economic development for another 10 or 20 years, stamp out official corruption, strengthen the rule of law, spread wealth to the under-developed Western regions, even out the income distribution, improve on cutting pollution and go green, improve on food and drugs and building safety – all these it is trying to do very hard. There are a lot of things that are more important than “voting rights” and “freedom of the press”. What benefit will China gain if press reporting are full of “black information”, rumours, hearsays, careless reporting that heighten ethnic tensions, encourage separatism, and foster the spirit of rebellion (which I understand was the scenario just before the Tiananmen “massacre” when newspapers encouraged the student protests), etc? Capitalist style media will have a lot of these things because of competition and the need to sensationalize and to challenge authorities, in order to survive – until a few trustworthy press which are both reliable and profitable emerge and outlive all the unreliable media, and this process will take many years.

    And even the most reputable Western newspapers have been found lacking on Tiananmen reporting! – reporting the black, under-reporting the grey, and no reporting of white.

  354. MatthewTan Says:

    #352 real name says: here is reply to me from John Pomfret (Washington Post), who declares was at the 4 6 morning by memorial at the square, “I … am unaware about any deaths in the square”

    Thanks for this confirmation.

    You say that from Beijing Hotel you can see the Square. I will look at the video later.

    I have been a bit careless. What Jays Mathews wrote was “from a high floor of the Beijing Hotel…from that relatively safe vantage point…the middle of the Square is not visible from the hotel”, where alleged killings occur.

  355. real name Says:

    354
    remember: i’m not 100% sure it is from hotel
    but if than can see a north part = mathews should be right

    note: part of Wong is also used in wikipedia article where i think is misinterpreted

    i have also this 89 square links saved
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz5c1eDU7G4
    6th minute north baricade night breaking (can see short view of mao portrait)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O10_L8UvhtY
    daylight look at destroyed (center of) square
    (here i extended my private comments a bit, haven’t access to videos now to check it again)

    according to this
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3769371.stm
    north shooting happened

    and (do not know if it was already published here) one great street picture just from hotel front
    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/behind-the-scenes-a-new-angle-on-history/

  356. Raj Says:

    Matthew, I have collapsed some of your comments where I considered them off-topic or otherwise not helpful towards the main discussion. That does not mean I thought they were exceptionally offensive or trolling – if that was the case they would have been deleted.

    If you are not satisfied that some of your comments have been collapsed you can e-mail the admin and ask him to reverse that action. Please note that the system currently allows other people to vote down comments such that they can be collapsed, so in some cases it may be the case that ordinary users have hidden a comment.

    But please remember that this is not a forum, it is a blog. Your views are welcome, but comments are a privilege, not a right, and you should not use them as a soap-box.

    Please stay on topic, which was not “were the Tiananmen killings justified” or “is the foreign media out to get China” but the need for dialogue on the event itself. Do you believe that the Chinese government should allow more public discussion of the event, for example? I am invited to blog on matters concerning China by the admin who runs the site, and you are invited to leave your comments (I suppose by myself as I can make a selection to disallow comments, though I have never done so).

    You should also not re-publish large extracts of work as it makes the comments unnecessarily long. You can put a link in and/or quote relevant pieces. In post # 341 I deleted the long extract because it was about Tibet and from a published book, which I would take to be copyrighted. Similarly I’ve cut down other verbatim articles you’ve posted. It makes it a lot easier to read some of your comments.

    Thanks.

  357. Raj Says:

    Maybe we can get back to the main topic – the need for dialogue over the event itself. It’s all very well to complain about the reporting of the event at the time by the foreign media, but that has already happened and cannot be undone. It’s impossible to tell what really happened if the Chinese government is going to artifically limit the discussion.

    Matthew, you say that the students’ account (I presume in regards to people being crushed under tanks) is fiction, yet I’m not sure what you have to back this view up. James Miles, for example, says that did happen. You mention Gregory Clarke, but most of what he talks about are the events in the square itself – he is pretty much silent on the point of the killings that happened elsewhere. They had to happen somewhere, after all. As Miles says, the focus on the mistaken belief that the deaths mainly occured in Tiananmen Square is what the Chinese government has used to undermine the foreign reporting that it could not and still cannot censor. Note that you won’t see much time devoted to trying to undermine the belief that hundreds of civilians were killed, some ambushed in narrow streets and/or crushed under armoured vehicles.

    We have moved on from talking about the “Tiananmen Square massacre”. If that term is used it should refer to the massacre that followed the Tiananmen Square protests. There is a need for dialogue, and if the foreign media really is “biased” then there’s an even greater reason to allow Chinese people to discuss, research and debate the subject freely in China so that the matter is not monopolised by the non-Chinese media. If the facts fall down on the Chinese government’s side they have nothing to fear. That they continue to clamp down on discussion where possible shows they’re scared there’s real basis to differing views.

    On a separate issue, you implied that it’s ok the Tiananmen Mothers are harassed and that some are placed under house arrest because they’re not in prison. Do you know whether they have a pending charge and/or there has been a court order authorising the house arrest? As far as I understand it, there is no legal basis for the house arrest, and the Police/security services merely deny them their freedom because they physically can.

    Moreover, I don’t think house arrest is tolerable, I think it’s actually very unpleasant. When I’ve been too sick to leave the house except maybe get a bit of good, even with the TV, internet and telephone working properly I’ve got bored after just a few days. If I had to go through that for even a number of weeks I’d really hate it. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my life controlled for a period of months or longer and neither can you, so I wouldn’t dismiss the Tiananmen Mother’s situation so easily.

  358. raventhorn4000 Says:

    There is always a need for dialogue, but you can’t force a dialogue either.

    We can always make a list of all the tragic events and have dialogues on the event by going down the list.

    We can always say to Japan, “hey, you need to have a dialogue about WWII!”

    Or to UK, “Hey, you need to have a dialogue about the Opium War, etc. etc.”

    But that sort of exclamation is pointless, non-productive, and frankly disrespectful.

  359. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Speaking of House arrest, it’s actually common practice in many legal jurisdiction for detention without charges.

    Taiwan for example, can have someone detained without ever filing a charge. Its ex-president faced more than 1 month without charge, and could have gone much much longer. His daughter is banned from leaving the island.

    (now talk about unpleasantness, she’s stuck on the Island of Taiwan and surrounded by media around her place, 24 by 7.)

    US states can issue warrants of “recognizance” to prevent breach of peace, lasting up to 1 year, without any charges. If anyone refuses to accept “recognizance”, he/she can be immediately locked away for no charges. If anyone on recognizance violate the term of recognizance, he/she can be immediately locked away for no charges. (other than the violation of recognizance)

  360. Raj Says:

    RT4000, thanks for your comments.

    Although China may benefit from an official process of dialogue on a range of issues (not unlike South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee) that have arisen in the last half century or so, I do not remember suggesting that anyone must be forced to talk about the Tiananmen Square protests. My point has been that the Chinese government tries to stop people from doing so in public in China. There’s also a difference between saying that people should be forced to do something and saying that in one’s view it would be a good idea to do that thing.

    In the UK, we can talk about the Opium Wars, and there are books available on the subject. There is certainly no government line that must be obeyed. In Japan you can say on a TV chat show that the IJA committed war crimes, write an article about it in a major national newspaper, etc. The same isn’t possible in China over June 1989.

    Furthermore, if Matthew really does believe that the foreign media have got it all wrong/too wrong, then he should support an open, public dialogue because it would set the events out as they really happened. Then both Chinese and non-Chinese would be clear on the events that lead to the deaths.

    On the matter of house arrest, I know that other countries detain people without charge, but I am not saying they are always right either. I do not support detention without a charge, unless it is to be used to investigate a crime and the maximum period of detention is reasonably short. Here you’re looking at no more than 4 days detention without charge, unless it’s a terrorism case where it’s 28 days. I understand that these Tiananmen Mothers have had their lives controlled for a lot longer than 28 days (and I don’t think anyone could accuse them of being terrorists). Also, as I said earlier, my understanding of the situation is that there is not event a legal basis that allows these women to be treated this way.

    There have been criticisms of the use of the powers you refer to against the former president of Taiwan, but at least he was charged subsequently. That’s another of the issues concerning the Tiananmen Mothers. They’re not detained in advance of having charges brought against them, it happens just to make the government’s life easier.

  361. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    It’s a matter of priorities.

    South Africa, that’s a long period of deep racial hatred and divide. Their dialogue was inevitably timed to when they couldn’t avoid it any more.

    China, has a lot of other problems. Frankly, China is still resolving the “dialogue” over the Civil War. Then maybe talk about the rules of KMT and CCP in 1950′s on. Then, so on so forth.

    Like I said, China has other things to talk about, 1 thing at a time.

    “Reunification” or split with Taiwan, that’s a dialogue all Chinese can agree to.

  362. Raj Says:

    RT4000, with all due respect are you properly reading and responding to what I’m writing? The key points are very clear and easy to understand.

    If the Chinese government wants to focus its attention on resolving a different matter for now, that’s it’s choice. But if the Tiananmen Mothers want to focus their attention on Tiananmen then that’s their choice. The point about China having something like the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee was that it would be a separate process from allowing public discussion of Tiananmen.

    The government doesn’t have the right (and there certainly is not the need) to try to micro-manage every single issue that some Chinese people feel unhappy about, or indeed are curious to learn more about. Chinese people are not the Borg from Star Trek – they are capable of doing different things at different times, by themselves or in groups smaller than the entire population.

  363. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    Every government has exercise their own due influence through their own media to private issues.

    Seems to me, you just don’t like the use of Chinese “propaganda”. But why the surprise?

    The governments don’t “micro-manage”? God, where did all those billions of dollars in PR money went?

    Better yet, what has “Voice of America” been doing with US government money for the last few decades?

    *
    Chinese government can use all of its power to influence private debates.

  364. Raj Says:

    RT, I’ve tried to discuss this with you, but you’re only seeking to divert the conversation away from the main topic, so I have collapsed your comment. This is a blog about China, not a conspiracy website about other countries’ governments. If the admin does not reverse my decisions when you complain I would have thought you’d got the message by now you shouldn’t keep doing this.

    EDIT (to comment below): I never said that other countries have the right to micro-manage all forms of debate. This is a blog about China, so if you want to complain about what other countries do go find blogs on those countries.

  365. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    I will complain about this one. You wanted to talk about “right to micro-manage”, why collapse my post, when I discussed “right to micro-manage” by governments?

    Even if I don’t complain, your answer by collapsing my post is just evidence that you are avoiding the key issues, ie. you bring up rights questions without defining what they are.

    “Social engineering” and “political influence” are 2 key functions of any government. It’s obvious that any government would use its power to influence private matters if important enough.

  366. real name Says:

    347, 355
    but must say wong mentions also mausoleum had no chance to see from hotel

  367. Steve Says:

    @ Matthew Tan: You sure seem to like generalizations. Addressing your posts to “Westerners” as if everyone who lives outside of China belongs to some monolithic group? It really detracts from the points you are trying to make. Lumping everyone’s separate opinions together is not much of an argument.

    I asked you about the black information campaign, specifically “Who coordinated this campaign? How were the orders to coordinate passed from headquarters to the reporters on the ground? Specifics would be helpful.” None of the Gregory Clark articles answered any of these questions. All they dealt with was some inaccurate reporting. When you don’t allow reporters to report from the scene, when you try to confiscate their film and restrict their movements, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that events aren’t always reported accurately. I’m not trying to be an apologist for some of the media; in general I think they suck. But I don’t see any coordinated “black information campaign by the west” here either. That just sounds like paranoia to me.

    I was a trained sharpshooter so I don’t need the lecture in weaponry or tactics. I haven’t touched a gun in over 30 years and hope to never touch one again. Normal soldiers in very dark conditions (your words) possess little accuracy. The officer who gave the order is responsible, not the soldiers under his command. Most civilians will not recognize the sound of gunfire because it doesn’t sound like what they’d expect, especially in a country like China where most Beijing residents have probably never heard the sound of real gunfire in their lives, just movie sound effects.

    “I’m way more interested in what said soldiers were “ordered” to do.” - On this we can agree.

    Can you name an activity that the Tiananmen mothers can engage in that is NOT illegal?

    “And I always like to talk about Singapore when I discuss about China, because Singapore has ONLY ONE political party CAPABLE of ruling Singapore, for a long time to come it will remain so. So, Singapore will also “nip in the bud” whatever things it considers dangerous to one-party rule. (We have many weak and small political parties, and they are unable to attract qualified people with accomplished track records, so Singaporeans will not elect them to power.)”

    Not sure what Singapore has to do with any of this. I spent a lot of time in Singapore and the guys in my office sure didn’t think this way. The opinion you’re stating certainly isn’t a consensus one.

    “With the Black Tiananmen (and other) information campaigns floating around, you Westerners should understand why China did not trust Western media. (See above). The lady Chinese ambassador in London said last year that Western media needed to earn the trust of Chinese people, shortly after the Lhasa riots of March 14. I guess the Western media got the message.”

    Would you care to mention media that is non-Chinese and non-western that you feel is accurate? In the past, some have mentioned Al-Jazeera but I’m not sure if they’re still as gung-ho on them concerning the Urumqi riots. Does ‘western’ mean every other country besides China, Hong Kong and Singapore? What about Taiwan media? Are they also ‘western’?

    @ R4K #361: Your comment makes no sense. South Africa had apartheid and you’re comparing it to China? Wow! And China is only allowed to discuss one thing at a time? And that one thing is the Civil War? So you’ve managed to get all the way up to the late 1940s?

    “Reunification” or split with Taiwan, that’s a dialogue all Chinese can agree to.”

    Uh… if you went to China, stood in the park and started to tell everyone that Taiwan should split from China, you’d get your visa revoked pronto. I believe you’ll find that you’re only allowed to agree with reunification. No dialogue is currently allowed.

    Let me get this straight. You left Shanghai when you were 12. You’ve lived in the States ever since. By your comments on this blog, you certainly seem to hate the States and love China, yet you live in the States. Why? Why not go back to a place that you love and help build it up? Why not help to create a legal framework so the country can develop? I know this kind of expertise is needed because one of my close friends, who was Dow Chemical’s former corporate lawyer for Asia, spent several years in Shanghai after his retirement as a consultant to do exactly that. I can’t recall you ever making a positive comment about the country where you live. Then why live here? I’m not trying to be critical; it just makes no sense to me to live somewhere you despise. If you feel the US is trying to destabilize and destroy your country, wouldn’t living here make you a traitor?

  368. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    Raj brought up South Africa, I was only responding by comparing the situations.

    “if you went to China, stood in the park and started to tell everyone that Taiwan should split from China, you’d get your visa revoked pronto. I believe you’ll find that you’re only allowed to agree with reunification. No dialogue is currently allowed.”

    LOL. We are just throwing you out of the proverbial “taxi” like they would in Taiwan. You might be entitled to dialogue, but you are not entitled to a “visa”.

    *
    And Steve,

    I do plan on going back to China to help with the legal reforms. I currently help out the ABA China law committee on ABA’s recommendations of new Chinese law drafts. (China solicits ABA’s feedback on all these new laws, and I am helping.)

    And just because I dislike Western attitudes toward China, doesn’t mean that I dislike Western People in general.

    Really, most of the time, Western People have little or no influence on the politics of their country. So, living among Westerners doesn’t really aggravate me much. (Though, if I could afford to, I would go back to Shanghai in a heart beat. But even with my “blood sucking” fees, I still can’t afford to move back to China yet. I’ll let you know for sure, when I find a job in China.)

    Besides, It’s the “global economy”. I can live anywhere and China will still benefit from my help.

    *
    “If you feel the US is trying to destabilize and destroy your country, wouldn’t living here make you a traitor?”

    Well, fortunately, the Chinese government doesn’t appear to share your concern about my current living arrangements or my loyalty.

    “Sea turtles” like me are quite welcomed back home. My other foot has never left China. I have a lot of family members back in China.

    For an old Shanghainese like me, my 30 years in US is just a boarding school experience.

    :)

  369. Steve Says:

    @ R4K: There is no comparison between South Africa and China. There’s also a big difference in being asked to get out of a taxi and having your visa revoked.

    I guess we’re just different people. I felt it was a privilege to live in China and appreciated the opportunity to do so, not just from the people but also from the government. It takes both to make an experience possible and I was able to witness a time in China’s history that has already passed and will never come again. I never looked at it as if it was a “boarding school experience”. I defend China all the time over here in the States, not that others are saying bad things about the country but that they are saying things that might be incorrect and I try to enlighten them to the reality of living there. It’s normal for people to imagine a place as it used to be rather than as it really is, and the quicker it changes the more likely this is to happen.

    When my parents visited me, they took a tour before they reached Shanghai and my Mom was surprised that people weren’t running around in Mao jackets and that they had modern buildings. She’s a retired schoolteacher and she was still thinking it was 30 years ago. Now she knows and I’m sure they have both enlightened many of their friends as to the true conditions there. My favorite city in China is Shanghai, but I’d still rather live in San Diego. In fact, I’d rather live in San Diego than anywhere in the world but that’s just me. That doesn’t make Shanghai a bad place, it’s a great place. But for me it doesn’t compare with San Diego. I don’t see why I have to denigrate one in order to compliment the other.

    I can understand why the Chinese government isn’t concerned about you living here. After all, most of them have children living here. But after living 3/4 of your life in the “west”, I’d say you are western but not willing to admit it. As Pogo once said, “we have met the enemy… and he is us”.

    30 years living in a boarding school? Egads!

  370. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    “There is no comparison between South Africa and China. There’s also a big difference in being asked to get out of a taxi and having your visa revoked.”

    Raj brought up the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation commission, I was merely commenting that South Africa definitely needed it, considering its history.

    Big difference, yes, China is a very LARGE “taxi”. Remember the #1 in Taiwanese politics? Extrapolate that for China. I learned that a long time ago.

    *
    and on US and my experience, sadly, my impression of US was not all that bright in the start. Though I would not say so far as being “ungrateful” for the experience.

    Almost ALL of my friends are Americans, since I only have a few childhood friends in China. I loved every school I attended in US, and I loved studying US history, US culture, US laws.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that I am Chinese, and my learning in US was my boarding school experience, since I planned all along to go back.

    It’s a good “boarding school”, but it never really felt like home. And the reason is the lack of understanding of China in US. For All I tried to learn from US, I am surrounded by people who simple do not understand China, and probably never will. So, I always feel like an outsider.

    So I do not think my problem has anything to do with my inability to surpass some basic prejudice about US.

    No, on the contrary, I spend most of my last 30 years studying everything I could about US.

    And just as you have noticed in your life in China that China has some dark sides, I have noticed some dark sides about US. (and sometimes, I have personally experienced them.)

    And I’m not “denigrating” any city I lived in, or any of my friends in US. I’m merely noting the lessons of US’s dark side for China’s benefit. Obviously, China should not repeat the same mistakes US made. That’s simple wisdom.

    If we are to talk about “democracy”, let’s be honest about what actually happens in a “democracy”.

    *
    “I can understand why the Chinese government isn’t concerned about you living here. After all, most of them have children living here. But after living 3/4 of your life in the “west”, I’d say you are western but not willing to admit it. As Pogo once said, “we have met the enemy… and he is us”.

    30 years living in a boarding school? Egads!”

    I admit that I am very comfortable with Western lifestyle. (Though, deep down, I know it won’t last long. All those decades of easy living and high standards and waste is catching up with the West very quickly.) And China is quickly adopting many aspects of Western life style today. (In my father’s days in China, he was in a public boarding school funded by the Chinese government, and it was the best school in the area. A Chinese person with virtue of educated mind, would not feel bad about a “boarding school”.)

    As for freedom of speech, etc., not sure I really had much exercise in that. I don’t spend any time campaigning. (I spent most of my last 30 years Studying and working, not showing off my freedoms in the face of entrenched political establishment by shouting, waving signs, or chaining myself to a tree).

    As for Pogo, yes, he is quite right, except, his saying is much more applicable to Westerners. Inevitably, your systems of “democracy” will change, to become more and more like China’s. The “exceptions” will blurred and soften your past nobilities.

    One is often one’s own greatest enemy.

    Or as Frank Herbert wrote, “Every revolution carries within it the seeds of its own destruction.”

  371. Steve Says:

    @ R4K: I appreciate your reply. China is a very LARGE taxi, ha ha! That’s a good one. I’ll have to remember that the next time I hear it in Taipei.

    From some of your comments here, I sometimes think you were just raised in the wrong part of the country. I think if you had lived in a different state you’d have had a much better experience. I agree with you that most Americans don’t understand China, as most Chinese don’t understand America. I always felt that their impression of me would be their impression of all Americans, so I tried to make it a good one. Hopefully it worked.

    What? You are not a tree sitting Julia Butterfly R4K?

    I’m not sure the two country’s systems will ever be that similar, since the priorities of each culture are so different. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  372. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Yes, wait and see. Time will tell.

    I’m sure even if the systems do become same, some will try to make them look like they are different.

    But I don’t care much for what people call their system, only the effects.

    *
    I count myself lucky to have grown up in a college town in US. Lots of liberal friends. Some even chained themselves to trees for protests. (I didn’t join in the fun.)

    I really don’t think it would have mattered much where in US I grew up in.

    1st moment I got off the airplane in US, I was only 12, and I felt like everyone in the airport looked strangely familiar, like people I knew from back in China.

    At first I thought that it was a feeling of home.

    After a few years, I realized that it was just the instinctive realization that most human beings are the same. Same flaws of characters, same weaknesses, same noble principles, same needs and wants.

    Sometimes, people set themselves up on “systems” of governance, to set themselves some how more noble than others. But that is often just more for Pride and Ego.

    Systems do not make men noble. Virtuous men make themselves noble.

  373. Raj Says:

    Steve

    I agree with you that most Americans don’t understand China, as most Chinese don’t understand America.

    I think that the phrase “you do not understand China” is often used as an alternative way of saying “your views on China are not compatible with mine”. There is often a lack of factual knowledge in countries about foreign places, but that’s nothing new.

    When I was in China, most Chinese people that I met were big on preconceptions about the UK but had little real knowledge of it, apart from knowing about celebrities, football, etc. But that was something for me to change by informing them of what the situation was. I never felt that the place was alien or unwelcoming because people had the wrong idea. In fact I felt happy that I was a source of information for people.

    I also get the feeling that China’s political system will eventually move towards ours. What is interesting is whether dialogue on matters like Tiananmen will happen before or afterwards. As for your comment to Matthew, I can guess one legal activity he’d suggest would be “sitting down and shutting up”!

  374. Steve Says:

    @ Raj: You make a good point. Having said that most Americans and Chinese don’t understand the other country, there are certainly some who do. In fact, sometimes an outsider can see things an insider cannot. I know when I came back to the States, I noticed characteristics of my own culture that in the past I had always taken for granted and never thought about, but could now see in a more objective light. I’m sure the same thing happened to you when you returned home.

    When I was in China, it wasn’t as if people were telling me what the US was like, but asking me about their preconceptions thinking they were factual. When they found out their preconceptions were not accurate, they seemed to be open-minded about learning more. It also gave me the opportunity to ask about their culture and undo my cultural preconceptions. In fact, this is one way to point out how inaccurate media is no matter where you live, since those preconceptions are a result of media exposure.

    To be honest, I really have no idea where the Chinese political system will end up. I used to think I did, but changed my mind over time. I think they need to invent their own variation and you might be correct in that it would take on certain characteristics of the UK or another western country, but I hear Singapore as the model more than England. However, I truly don’t believe the Singapore model would work in China. Singapore is a small city/state, not a massive country with 1.3 billion people. Things that work in one would not work in the other. Right now the focus is on individual problems rather than the creation of a new system. Politically, can the system adapt to necessary changes within the current structure or is a new structure needed? That’s a decision for another day but right now, the structure isn’t going to change.

  375. Zepplin Says:

    Raj,

    I find myself doubting this need to redress historical wrongs. I actually happen to be in Hong Kong this June 4th and saw a bunch of signs like “China cannot move forward without redressing six-four”, “There can be no future without facing the past” etc.

    Really?

    I hear the same talk every single year, and it seems to me the future comes along anyway. It’d be great if time would stop for the massacre / event / whatever, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. At least I’m getting older.

    You say that China has no justifiable reason to not address this after 20 years, but I can think of a few off the top of my head. Let’s say you are a reform-minded politician in the CCP, do you want to spend the political capital, and possibly your future on this? What’s the point? Oh goodies I righted a historical wrong, now what? China miraculously become enlightened and the conservatives in the CCP melt away like snow?

    What I would do is work towards a political future where this “issue” will be redressed automatically. Isn’t that a better way to use my political capital?

    Where is the urgency? It’s already been 20 years, why not 30 or 40 or 50? Oh the TAM moms will be dead, how sad for them. But aren’t there more pressing concerns?

    It’d be great if this can all happen in a vacuum, but I can’t see this re-examination as being politically risk-free. The question is whether this is a worthy cause.

    Also, say Hu goes and apologizes, does this mean there won’t be anymore protests on June 4th? Look at the poor folks over in Japan, they’ve been apologizing for decades and it has gotten them nowhere. (Not that it matters since the future certainly doesn’t seem to have forsaken Japan) I wonder how many massacres has gone unrecognized with no effect on the prosperity of the perpetrators..

    In the end, while I certainly sympathize with the TAM mothers, the students to a lesser degree, and the current day bleeding hearts to a lesser extent still, I also find it completely reasonable that the CCP hasn’t apologized.

  376. Raj Says:

    Zepplin

    I doubt that it’s a simple case of “liberal” CCP members cashing in political capital. In my view this sort of decision is taken by a very small group of people – the Politburo, or even a smaller sub-group. They’re going to reach a decision on it by consensus in the end. Maybe someone’s going to push the issue from inside or outside the group, but if they want to push it they’re going to do it anyway.

    Plus I don’t think I said anything about an apology. The word I use is “dialogue”, i.e. allowing people to talk about the event, conduct research, etc in public. It’s far more important for that to happen than Hu Jintao say a few words. Besides, after the dialogue has continued for a while the CCP elites might change their view and decide an apology isn’t a bad idea after all.

  377. Zepplin Says:

    @ Raj

    I would say there is considerable political risk in initiating a dialogue on the TAM massacre/incident, or to “push” it from in the group. After all the status quo is to not have a dialogue. I would even say that certain factions will view this as a power play. But that is just my speculation.

    If you believe that there is a united top circle of oligarchs who will not face any ramifications for initiating this dailogue, and that these dialogues would not lead to political ramifications for them or the CCP, then I agree with your logic. But I thought the whole point was to have greater ramifications.

  378. Raj Says:

    Why does it need to have greater ramifications? There’s no reason why every single incident in Chinese history since 1950 has to have political repercussions. Sometimes History is just the study of past events. Politicians politicise it. If the CCP wants to, it can back off, stop restricting discussion of Tiananmen and let people get on with it without it having to do anything else.

  379. Zepplin Says:

    Raj,

    I take it that you are saying breaking the status quo and opening a discussion on TAM massacre/incident would not have any political risks for the individual or the CCP since 20 years is long enough. Therefore, someone with the clout should just lay it in the open so the grievance can be addressed.

    I disagree with your assumption, but otherwise that seems reasonable.

  380. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Politicians politicise it. If the CCP wants to, it can back off, stop restricting discussion of Tiananmen and let people get on with it without it having to do anything else.”

    Problem is, too many people have already politicized it. It becomes a government concern. It is no longer a private issue.

  381. Raj Says:

    Zepplin, I’m not sure if you quite get the point – there is no need for the CCP to open a discussion. If it merely backs off from persecuting/punishing anyone who wants to raise the issue, people will have the discussion out of choice.

    EDIT: RT, please stop reposting views you’ve made several times, especially if it’s your regular conspiracy nonsense and the other person’s comment(s) is/are not addressed to you.

  382. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “people will have the discussion out of choice.”

    Or they will have the discussion well funded by foreign governments and foreign media.

    The danger is not the private domestic agenda, but an agenda set by others.

  383. Zepplin Says:

    Raj,

    Opening a discussion and backing off from persecuting/punishing is the same thing. They are both active changes to the status quo. If no one from the top initiates on this, the propaganda and security bureaucracy is not going to change on it’s own since that’s beyond their jurisdiction.

  384. Raj Says:

    Where did I say that this could be something that the bureaucracy could change even if it wanted to? They’re given orders on a matter like this, so of course it requires orders from that same level to reverse it.

    But opening a discussion and allowing it to flourish is not the same thing. The first requires effort to make it happen. The second means that you stop exerting effort to try to stop it from happening.

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