Loading
Jul 25

Chinese Directors Withdraw from Australian Film Festival

Written by Allen on Saturday, July 25th, 2009 at 4:28 am
Filed under:General | Tags:, , , , , ,
Add comments

This week, several Chinese directors, including world-renowed independent film director Jia Zhangke, abruptly withdrew their works from screening at the upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival, which starts today and runs through Aug. 9. Organizers of the Melbourne International Film Festival touts the festaival as “a feast of cinematic delicacies from over 50 countries,” making this result that much more tragic.

According to this Reuters report:

Three Chinese films have been withdrawn from Australia’s biggest film festival in an apparent boycott after China’s government protested over the inclusion of a documentary about restive ethnic Uighurs.

Chinese consular staff last week contacted organisers of the Melbourne International Film Festival to demand they dump a film about exiled Uighur businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer, blamed by Beijing for instigating this month’s ethnic riots in Xinjiang.

Now three Chinese films, “Perfect Life,” “Petition” and “Cry Me a River”, have been withdrawn in protest at Kadeer’s planned attendance at the festival next month.

“It’s a terrible inconvenience but more than that, beyond the inconvenience, it’s a terrible thing to happen to the festival that all this political pressure has been brought on us this year,” festival organiser Richard Moore told state radio.

“Perfect Life” producer Jia Zhangke, whose company was also behind “Cry Me a River”, wrote to Moore to say he had withdrawn both films to protest against Kadeer’s involvement.

The third film, “Petition”, depicts the struggle of ordinary Chinese battling the country’s corrupt bureaucracy.

China’s consulate in Melbourne telephoned Moore last week to insist the documentary “The 10 Conditions of Love” be withdrawn ahead of its Aug. 8 premiere.

The documentary tells of Kadeer’s relationship with activist husband Sidik Rouzi and the fallout on her 11 children of her push for more autonomy for China’s 10 million mainly Muslim Uighurs. Three of her children have been jailed.

“We stick by our guns. We’ll play it and we won’t bow to that form of bullying,” said Moore after the boycott became clear. China’s government accuses Kadeer’s World Uighur Congress of being a front for extremist militants pushing for a separate East Turkistan homeland. She was arrested in 1999 and found guilty of “providing secret information to foreigners”.

At the center of the controversy is a documentary film called 10 Conditions of Love.  The UHRP has this description of the film:

THE 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE is a story of a woman, a man, a family, a people and a homeland. It is the story of Rebiya Kadeer, China’s nightmare, the woman it accuses of inciting terrorism.

It is also the story of the other Tibet, the Muslim Tibet – the country its people call East Turkestan, but which the Chinese call Xinjiang Province – the other stain on China’s moral character.

It is a big story: a story of the ruthless oppression of 20-million people; of the global politics of energy; of Super Power politicking over the War on Terror; and of the pain of a deeply loving family torn violently apart.

Exiled in the US, Rebiya Kadeer is fighting for the human rights of her people, the Uyghur (pron. wee-ger), China’s oppressed Muslim minority. But Rebiya Kadeer’s campaign condemns her sons to on-going solitary confinement in a Chinese prison. Having done six years’ solitary herself, she understands the appalling consequences for them of her actions – but she will not relent.

Twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, once the richest businessperson in China, Rebiya Kadeer is a remarkable woman who pays daily a terrible price for patriotism.

And it will never be over.

A film by Jeff Daniels

An Arcimedia and Common Room Production

According to this report from the WSJ,

Festival director Moore told [reporters] that he was unable to confirm whether the filmmakers had been pressured by [Chinese] authorities to steer clear of Melbourne.

The directors who pulled out of the festival are not exactly known for bowing to Beijing’s orders. Jia started his career making semi-legal underground films, and his work often takes a critical view of China’s massive modernization project, while Zhao Liang’s documentary, 12 years in the making, tackled the sensitive topics of corruption and injustice in China’s legal system.

Personally, I believe that each of the Chinese directors pulled out of the festival according to each person’s own conscience.  For many Chinese, it is not a stretch to compare Kadeer to Osama bin Laden. If you can understand that, imagine how incensed American film directors would be about going to a film festival that featured a documentary that glorified Al Quaeda and bin Landen in the immediate aftermath of the 911.

Nevertheless, regardless of how justified (or not) the directors may have felt about Kadeer, I believe it is a mistake for the directors to withdraw from this film festival. According to Time, “Festival Director Richard Moore [having] refused demands by the Chinese Embassy to drop the film [also] hung up on an official who called last week to insist he justify its inclusion.” Thus not only have the Chinese people lost face, but also another opportunity to build bridges and to share their stories with the rest of the world.

The Chinese people must learn to interact with the world better. Now people who go to the festival will see Kadeer’s film (and perhaps her in person also), but nowhere in the festival would there be any Chinese presence.

The Kadeer documentary film was most likely made and entered into the Australian Film Festival long before the Xinjiang events (or planning for the event, as the case may be) earlier this month. Yes – the Chinese government should have asked the film to be withdrawn in the wake of recent events. Whether organizers of the Festival comply, the point would have been made. The directors should however have stuck to their original roles and shown up and shared their films with the world.

That’s my two cents.  What do people think?

  • Should the Kadeer film be shown in the festival?
  • Should politically motivated documentaries in general have a place in “cultural” devents such as the Melbourne International Film Festival?
  • Should the Chinese government have demanded the film to be removed?
  • Should the Chinese directors, despite their strong wounded pride and sense of justice, have persisted and stayed in the film festival?
  • Does the withdraw successful send a message to the world?  What is the message?

There are currently 2 comments highlighted: 44098, 44394.

134 Responses to “Chinese Directors Withdraw from Australian Film Festival”

  1. huaren Says:

    Allen,

    I agree with your view – “Thus not only have the Chinese people lost face, but also another opportunity to build bridges and to share their stories with the rest of the world.”

    And if you really think about it – China maintains her trajectory of growth, and her self confidence grows proportionately – then from some point and forward, they wouldn’t need to withdraw anymore. Rather wait til then, why not start that trend now.

    But I don’t want to “blame” how the Chinese directors decided. Their decisions are based on their view of the world – not how we view it.

  2. Charles Liu Says:

    Well, the film festival is a private event, people are free to change their mind, not go for whatever reason. Since there’s no proof these directors were forced to withdraw their films, IMHO their sentiments reflect how ordinary Chinese feel.

    NED’s patronage of Kadeer or WUC and the group’s false accusations that led to the inflammed sentiments, at a minimum, contributed grately to the unprecedented death and destruction in Xinjiang for both Han and Uyghur. Did the NED further the cause of democracy in China? Looks like it only made the CCP more popular.

  3. JXie Says:

    Should the Chinese directors, despite their strong wounded pride and sense of justice, have persisted and stayed in the film festival?

    Oh well, I certainly wouldn’t go. Not sure about “wounded pride”, but why should I sanction a festival if its action displeases me enough?

  4. Wukailong Says:

    “* Should politically motivated documentaries in general have a place in “cultural” devents such as the Melbourne International Film Festival?”

    I’m associating to Michael Moore’s documentaries, movies that seem to be loved in Europe (and parts of Asia) but probably not too much on US soil. I can very well imagine patriotic American directors refusing to take part if he’s there… It’s hard to say if it’s right or wrong. As Charles say, it’s a private event, and they’re free to act accordingly.

    Though as Allen said, it’s sad that they lose a chance to communicate.

    I think that ultimately, a TV debate between Kadeer and Hu Jintao (like Al-Jazeera does it) would be the greatest way to communicate, but then again that just wouldn’t happen. We can still dream.

  5. Alessandro Says:

    @ wukailong….

    Why should Hu Jintao debate with Kadeer? Do u think Bush (or Obama now) would debate with Bin Laden, or, don’t know, the spanish king would debate with ETA chief….Or, during the period know as the “Lead Years” here in Italy, our President debating with the Red Brigades terrorist organization leader?

  6. Raj Says:

    Allen, in answer to your questions.

    1. I have no idea as I haven’t seen it – it’s up to the organisers.
    2. What is a “politically motivated documentary”? Lots of films have politics inside – “Hero” had a blatent Chinese nationalist message. Is that something that should be banned?
    3. No.
    4. First, I don’t know that the directors would have cared that much. Second, yes they should have stayed.
    5. I cannot see how any success can be taken out of the withdrawal. The message is a very negative one, that China has to get its way or it won’t play with anyone.

    China needs to stop boycotting things because it doesn’t win the argument. It has to understand that sometimes you have to agree to disagree. If you do want international sympathy in cases like this you should only withdraw for important events where non-Chinese are likely to be sympathetic. Pulling out of a film festival is completely the wrong time to be making a scene.

    Of course the Chinese government may not care about the message it sends because it’s just playing to the Chinese general public. But Chinese people should care about the damage this attitude does to how China is seen in the world. It’s a repeat of the World Games opening ceremony boycott.

  7. Michael Says:

    A classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    ‘I don’t agree with this person so I will boycott the event and you won’t see my film and Australians won’t hear any Chinese views …’

    Australia is already feeling angry and humiliated about the Chinese government’s treatment of the Australian citizen working for Rio Tinto … now this – it’s as if China is determined to alienate one of its strongest supporters and business partners in the west.

    What kind of message is China trying to send to the world? The message we’re getting is not impressing anyone here. Just the opposite.

  8. susan Says:

    Films are art.Political or otherwise. Many people in USA love Moore’s films..the poster is wrong about Moore.
    China loses face when Chinese directors pull out. These directors display weak minds ..Can’t stand the heat of international discussion. If I would bet, I would bet Chinese Consulate influenced them to pull out .Congrats to Melboune organize committee for not bowing to China’s bully tactics that China uses all over the world. Chinese Consulate officials are like spoiled children who don’t get their way.

  9. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Australia is already feeling angry and humiliated about the Chinese government’s treatment of the Australian citizen working for Rio Tinto … now this – it’s as if China is determined to alienate one of its strongest supporters and business partners in the west.”

    That would explain why Australia wants to spite China with this Kadeer film.

    But hey, why can’t China return the favor?

    At least China hasn’t gone to the length of a propaganda film about plight of Australian aboriginals.

  10. BMY Says:

    Kadeer is a very remarkeble woman. Like her or not, with little education and a mum of 11 , made a business star (with the help from her local Chinese officials) and now a political star (with the help from Chinese central offcials)

  11. Ted Says:

    Wukailong “I’m associating to Michael Moore’s documentaries, movies that seem to be loved in Europe (and parts of Asia) but probably not too much on US soil. I can very well imagine patriotic American directors refusing to take part if he’s there…”

    I have to say that’s not true, Michael Moore has a huge following in the States. I’m a patriotic American and thought Bowling Columbine was an excellent film, Farenheight 9/11 was a little heavy on the conspiracy but still great but I haven’t seen the movie about our health system (I’ve had my own drama there so I figure I don’t need to see a movie about it).

    “* Should politically motivated documentaries in general have a place in “cultural” events such as the Melbourne International Film Festival?”

    It can be argued that almost any film has a political element and when it comes to censorship it just depends on the inclination of leadership at the time as to what’s “too sensitive”. This is a slippery slope and I’m glad that my country is on the other end. This makes me think of my job last year and the year before. We weren’t allowed to discuss politics or religion and if a student wanted to in open discussion we were told we should change the subject. Well, depending on one’s interpretation of what is “political”, that rule eliminated about 50% of student driven discussion. Starbuck’s in the Forbidden City… can’t talk about it. Gay marriage… can’t talk about it. Globalization (which leads to gay marriage)… can’t talk about it. Any government policy… can’t talk about it. Russians sinking Chinese freighter… can’t talk about it.

    That being said, considering Kadeer’s statements and interviews over the past few weeks I wouldn’t blame the Chinese directors for pulling out. If these are individual decisions then I support them, if it was suggested that they boycott then I can’t.

  12. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Kadeer is a very remarkeble woman.”

    Yes, she’s remarkably shameless.

  13. Michael Says:

    @raventhorn4000 “At least China hasn’t gone to the length of a propaganda film about plight of Australian aboriginals.”

    Well China could always remake The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith/Rabbit Proof fFnce or any one of the numerous other scathing films on Indiginous themes that have been made (uncensored) in Australia. How many slef critical films has China made in a similar vein about the Uighurs?

  14. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Well China could always remake The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith/Rabbit Proof fFnce or any one of the numerous other scathing films on Indiginous themes that have been made (uncensored) in Australia. ”

    Well, I think China can do much more than that, and see how much Australia would enjoy “criticism”.

  15. Raj Says:

    RT, I doubt Australia would care that much given they already criticise themselves – something China rarely (if ever) does!

  16. Charles liu Says:

    I don’t recall speilberg being labeled weak minded when he pulled out of Beijing olympics.

  17. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “RT, I doubt Australia would care that much given they already criticise themselves – something China rarely (if ever) does!”

    Really? Then why am I hearing people whine about Chinese film directors pulling out of their little festival?

    Gee, I wonder how mad they will get when some real protests happen?

  18. alice Says:

    If you look at the statements that Jia Zhangke has made (you can find it on Evan Osnos New Yorker Blog), he disagrees with the “politicization” of the film festival, feels uncomfortable and is therefore pulling out.
    I don’t think there is evidence that the director’s themselves were pressured by the Chinese government.
    If everything is about freedom of expression and freedom of speech then why can’t they pull out if they want to? Why do they have to behave in a manner that western audience thinks is “right because it’s subversive to the Chinese government?” Jia Zhangke and the other directors have their own opinions and why can’t they express them?
    I, of course, agree that if they were pressured by the Chinese government then their move is regrettable but there isn’t concrete proof that the directors were influenced. Jia and Emily have both denied it and explained that they were pulling out of their own volition. Why must western readers infantilize them and suspect that their moves are made from fear when they have always made very brave films in their political climate. It’s ridiculous to think that people don’t have conflicting ideas and nuanced opinions. It’s not all black and white, or suppression versus subversion.

  19. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Hmmm… Trivializing “Genuine Chinese Grievances”.

    On 2nd thought, in the future, Jia and Emily should attend such festivals, and then disrupt the festival by running up stage and unfurling giant banners reading “Stop Genocide Australia”.

    (Since such disruptions are now quite fashionable among some Western countries.)

  20. Raj Says:

    Really? Then why am I hearing people whine about Chinese film directors pulling out of their little festival?

    How does criticism of a temper-tantrum withdrawal from a film festival relate to the fact that:

    a) Australia wouldn’t care about China making a film of you the sort you mention; or
    b) China doesn’t make such self-criticising works?

    You’re diverting the discussion away from things you don’t want to address.

  21. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    How do you not read the above Australian whining about it, and NOT see Australia DOES care?

    China has films on Tibet and Xinjiang (very self-critical), and won some awards in China. (though you will not ever say they are “self-critical”).

    Try watching Kekexili.

    *
    How does your temper tantrum back up your assertions?

  22. Steve Says:

    I agree with Alice. The film festival arranged for this film to be included in the festival BEFORE the Xinjiang riots but by including not only the film but then inviting Kadeer to the festival AFTER the riots, I can perfectly understand why these Chinese directors would pull their films. In their position, I’d do the same as a matter of conscience. I don’t see any evidence that they were forced to pull their films and even if there was some pressure, my guess is that they would have pulled those films without any pressure.

    The Xinjiang riots changed everything. The Chinese films along with this documentary were included in the festival program before the riots but after they occurred, the situation changed and not to acknowledge that change occurred seems shortsighted to me. Yes, the film was political before the riots but afterward, the film became an politicizing event. By inviting Kadeer to the festival it seems to me that the festival was overtly endorsing her viewpoint.

    I agree with Allen that withholding those films probably hurts more than helps China’s world image, but I can’t fault the directors for making a decision based on conscience.

    @ BMY #10: Well said.

  23. Charles Liu Says:

    Raven, Raj’s accusation China rarely criticize itself is without merit. On the point of violence there should be no argument – nothing justifies it.

    And just like race riots in other countries, after Xinjiang riot the Chinese are discussing their ethnic relations. While condemnation of the violence is expected and reasonable, there is also a wide rage of opinions calling for introspection, re-examination of ineffective (thou well-intended) ethnic policy, and changes.

    One only need to look on Baidu to find more articles like Bulloger Ruan Yunfei’s “Letter from Xinjiang – Reflections on the Xinjiang Issue” (which FM carried):

    http://www.baidu.com/s?wd=%D0%C2%BD%AE+%CE%CA%CC%E2+%BF%B4%B7%A8

  24. Otto Kerner Says:

    Self-criticism is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. “reexamination of ineffective (thou well-intended) policy” sounds like a laughably insufficient critique to me, but it all depends on what you think is a valid criticism and what isn’t.

  25. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Self-criticism is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. “reexamination of ineffective (thou well-intended) policy” sounds like a laughably insufficient critique to me, but it all depends on what you think is a valid criticism and what isn’t.”

    True enough. I guess we won’t know the limit of “critique” until we make the Australians whine.

    (Oh, too late. 🙂

  26. Charles Liu Says:

    Otto, the parenthized phrasing is mine only. I guess it’s clear where you stand if you believe Chinese government makes policy with mallace towards its citizens in mind (and where’s your proof?)

    I also included the search link for anyone who’s interested. Here’re some sampling of people’s criticism:

    – one day the leaders will wake up and not subjectively simplify the ethnic problem (this is from Ruan Yunfei)
    – Uyghurs are exteremely dissatisfied with the poverty in Eastern Xinjiang and uneven distribution of wealth (a Han blogger talking about Uyghur friend)
    – use of force can only solve probelm in the short term; how long can this force sustain?
    – if Chairman Mao is still with us, there wouldn’t be riot in Xinjiang
    – Xinjiang’s oil did not bring wealth to the local population
    – government’s monthy subsidy to Uyghurs have effectly trapped them between feast and famine, leaving them idle and discontent

    Above is what I’m able to gleam off the fiest two pages of search results. there are another 20 pages if anyone is interested.

    I think I’ve made my point who are the ones that lack introspection.

  27. Bob Says:

    @BMY # 10 – “Kadeer is a very remarkeble woman. Like her or not, with little education and a mum of 11 , made a business star (with the help from her local Chinese officials) and now a political star (with the help from Chinese central offcials)”

    Brah, you could say the same thing about Osama bin Laden.

    OBL is a very remarkeble [sic] man. Like him or not, OBL left his wealth and comfortable life in Saudi, organized and funded Mujahideen with some covert help from the United States, and has since 9/11/2001 become the most prominent leader of Al-Qaeda (with the overt help from the United States) battling the Western World and its allies. It’s even more remarkeble [sic] considering OBL is a fragile man on dialysis tube and is being hunted 24 x 7 by the most potent and sophisticated anti-terror force in the world.

  28. Bob Says:

    @BMY #10 – “Kadeer is a very remarkeble woman. Like her or not, with little education and a mum of 11 , made a business star (with the help from her local Chinese officials) and now a political star (with the help from Chinese central offcials)”

    I guess you could easily be a fan of Osama bin Laden.

    By all accounts, Bin Laden left his wealthy and comfortable life behind in Saudi, organized and funded Mujahideen (with a little covert help from the offcials [sic] of United States) to fight against the Soviets, and has since 9/11/2001 become the most prominent leader of al-Qaeda (with the overt help from the United States). Even more remarkeble [sic], Bin Laden, who is being hunted 24 x7 by the most powerful anti-terrorism forces and coalition, is a frail man on dialysis tube.

  29. Stinky Tofu Says:

    DELETED FOR AD HOMINUM ATTACK

    Stinky Tofu, I deleted my own comment the other day for the same kind of remark.

  30. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “It seems to me that one of the defining characteristics of a great power is tolerance.”

    What’s wrong with Jia standing up and protesting? Why can’t you be tolerant about it?

    Imagine the belly aching Australia would be doing, if Jia made an actual film in protest of Australia support for a Terrorist.

  31. JXie Says:

    Fundamentally it’s about a choice, by the event organizer or the film directors. There is nothing wrong with either choice — we all make choices and bear the consequence of them. To me personally, I can understand the choice made by the film directors — after having read enough about kadeer, I certainly wouldn’t stand to be in the same social setting as that woman.

  32. Steve Says:

    @ R4K: Though I can understand Jia’s decision, I believe that if he made a film as you described, not only would Australia not be bellyaching, they’d allow the movie to be shown in theatres there.

  33. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    I’ll bet quite a few Australians would be complaining about Chinese propaganda. (Of course, That would require Jia to lower his directorial standards to make such a film, based purely upon selective evidences and innuendos, etc. Maybe finding some homeless in slums, or make a few “political dissidents” out of street punks.)

    Hey, how about a sensationalized “Spy trial” with the Australian Rio Tinto executive? Jia can stereotype the heck out of Australian “spies”.

  34. Steve Says:

    @ R4K: Sure, you can find Australians that would complain but that would happen in any country. However, you said “Australia” which I took to mean the government.

    I don’t think we’ve done anything on Rio Tinto yet but if we do, that should be on another thread. However, if you feel that the Rio Tinto arrests affected the film festival’s choice, then you should address that specifically. Some have speculated that it has had an effect.

  35. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    Well, obviously, we were talking about individuals like Jia who supposedly “belly ached”.

    Actually, it was the poster “Michael” in post #7 who brought up the Rio Tinto business, and complained:

    “Australia is already feeling angry and humiliated about the Chinese government’s treatment of the Australian citizen working for Rio Tinto”

  36. Kevin Says:

    Given the level of interest expressed by the Chinese government in the film festival, it would not be surprising in the least that pressure was applied. While these filmmakers may have been provocative in the past, they certainly rely on government support or would suffer by being put on any black list. Otherwise, Why would you expect any filmmaker to want to not show his film? They probably wouldn’t have even known Kadeer’s film was in the festival. These are busy people, not 窄男

    As for michael moore’s films, they are very popular here in america; they are shown at film festivals and no “patriotic” filmmaker would decline to be in a film festival with Moore.

    There is a fundamental difference between Kadeer and Osama: Kadeer does not advocate violence. That’s probably why she was nominated for a Nobel peace prize. There is a serious disconnect between what the PRC says and its people believe, and what the West says about both Kadeer and the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, by making such hyperbolic statements (kadeer is equivalent to Osama) you lose your audience, and your comments become a self-licking ice cream cone

  37. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “There is a fundamental difference between Kadeer and Osama: Kadeer does not advocate violence. That’s probably why she was nominated for a Nobel peace prize.

    you lose your audience, and your comments become a self-licking ice cream cone.”

    Nobel peace prize isn’t worth what it used to be. Arafat actually won one of those in 1994, and how quickly he is later denounced and forgotten for his “peace”?

    (speaking of losing audience, Kadeer has actually never won. Maybe the “audience” aren’t too sure about her “peace”.)

    If you are sure about your “audience”, then you have nothing to worry about. (but I think you are just trying to reassure yourself.)

    🙂

  38. Wukailong Says:

    @Alessandro: “Why should Hu Jintao debate with Kadeer? Do u think Bush (or Obama now) would debate with Bin Laden, or, don’t know, the spanish king would debate with ETA chief….Or, during the period know as the “Lead Years” here in Italy, our President debating with the Red Brigades terrorist organization leader?”

    As I said, it is a dream. I don’t think Bush would debate with Bin Laden, but I would love to watch it if it ever came to pass. Actually, Bin Laden’s videos and Bush’s remarks over the years have been a bit like a low-level debate.

    Ahmaninejad has been proposing a debate with Obama… It’s a joke of course, but it would be a great thing if it happened.

  39. Bob Says:

    @Kevin # 36 – “There is a fundamental difference between Kadeer and Osama: Kadeer does not advocate violence. That’s probably why she was nominated for a Nobel peace prize.”

    Hey, the initial proposition was not about one advocating peace or not, it was about one’s “remarkability.” Osama is every bit as remarkable as Kadeer in that sense, if not more.

    Besides, being nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in and by itself doesn’t mean squat. Something you should know, Hitler was nominated for NPP in 1939 (Godwin’s Law rarely fails LOL). Even NPP winners can be extremely controversial. For instance, if you are one of those from South America, chances are you won’t think of highly Kissinger’s award.

  40. Wukailong Says:

    @Bob (#39): You’re not the first one to discuss the nomination of Hitler. However, the truth of that case is more interesting and amusing than most know. This is a translation from a Swedish website about common misconceptions:

    (Original text at http://www.faktoider.nu/hitler.html, under “Hitler och nobelpriset”)

    “Hitler and the Nobel prize

    The 27th of January, 1939, Swedish Social Democratic member of parliament Erik Brandt proposed that Adolf Hitler be given Nobel’s peace prize. This has amazed people ever since, and also been used in political and historical discussions, etc.

    But what has been misunderstood from the beginning is that the award was a joke. It was a sarcastic comment on the heaping on praise on Chamberlain, whose appeasement at Munich the year before saved (as many hoped and believed) the world from a major war.

    Bengt Nilsson has gone throught the reactions in contemporary newspapers. Some have understood the sarcasm, others not, and several have been uncertain on what was actually meant. Only one newspaper that unreservedly appreciated the joke has been found: the one edited by the untiring Nazi critic Torgny Segerstedt:

    “The whole thing is of course poking fun on the dozen of so of Mr Brandt’s parliamentary colleagues, who have written to the Norwegian parliament and prayed for Chamberlain.”

    (…)

    When you read the nomination (that can be found on Nilsson’s webpage) it is still, I think, very hard not to realize that the ones who did not realize the sarcasm were the ones who did not know about Brandt’s [political] orientation. Because certainly, at this time there were people who with a straight face could accept claims such as “Adolf Hitler, however, is our time’s most imcomparable, divinely gifted freedom fighter, and millions of people look up to him as the prince of peace on earth.”

    The nomination was revoked five days later, the 1st of February (which is also mentioned in the Nobel committee’s database).

    “I thought the nazis would be furious over me poking fun at their führer, a thought that misfired, but I still think my actions were valuable. What I’ve gleaned about the Swedish popular sentiment is simply amazing.”

    Erik Brandt in the Swedish Morning Post

    (…)

    It should be mentioned that Hitler had prohibited Germans from receiving the Nobel prize. The decision was taken after the despicable citizen and pacifist Carl von Ossietsky had received the peace prize in 1935, something the German media couldn’t even mention. In 1939, no peace prize was awarded (but the other prizes were).”

    Sorry for the awkwardness of the translation.

  41. B.Smith Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Kadeer once a darling of the Communist Party? At least until she spoke out against them on their handling of Xinjiang? This is where China first loses its credibility. Kadeer is seen as sacrificing enormously for the good of her people (being imprisoned, losing her children, her money, etc.), whereas the CCP is seen as simply suppressing dissent, as usual.

    Second, the comparisons to Osama further ruin China’s credibility. Where is the evidence? A phone call? Anyone with half a brain could have predicted unrest after what happened in Guangdong. Osama Bin Laden has spent years directing specific terrorist attacks, taking full credit afterward, and openly advocating more violence and the killing of innocent civilians. Where is the evidence that Kadeer has done the same?

    Chinese people are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. However – and forgive me for saying so – their critical thinking skills are often abysmal. They tend, even more than Americans, to see things in pure black and white. Feel sympathy for Tibetans? Oh, you must support the riots last year and the killing of innocent Han! You are an exiled former CCP member who is working on behalf of your Uyghur countrymen? You must be the new Osama Bin Laden! Wearing kimonos in a public park?? You love the Japanese devils! Get out!! (http://www.chinasmack.com/stories/cherry-blossoms-wuhan-chinese-women-in-kimonos/) Please. No one supports the killing of innocent Han, not even (gasp!) Kadeer herself. That was totally and completely wrong and disgusting. But China only strengthens Kadeer’s position by flying off the handle and making absurd comparisons.

    China can do much better than this.

  42. Charles Liu Says:

    Yo B, I’m American, and after weighing the evidence I agree with Chinese investigator’s conclusion that Kadeer and the WUC had a big role in the 7/5 riot:

    – Kadeer and WUC called the 7/5 protest, by fabricating false slavery and genocide accusation against the Chinese government. Kadeer twisted the minority works program that incentivized the Guangdone toy maker to recruit in Xinjiang, into claim of Uyghurs forced to work for Han. Kadeer also exaggerated the Guangdong factory brawl casualty count – all to inflame sentiment and foment violence.

    – You are aware of Kadeer’s phone call to her brother warning the violence prior to the riot. Chinese authority also found large number of text/qq messages prior to the protest Kadeer’s group organized, and subsquent riot.

    – Investigation revealed the 7/5 riot was organzied. Most of the rioters were from out of town (when they were arrested train tickets were found on them.) There was 50 simultanious attacks that night, and people wearing burkas (women in Urumqi seldom wear burkas) were handing out weapons hidden underneath.

    – After the riot, instead of calling for calm and verifying facts, Kadeer and WUC accused the Chinese government of killing 800 Uyghurs, while international reporters on the ground contradicted her claim. 7/5 riot’s 190 dead were predominately Han Chinese.

    – Kadeer and WUC also fabricated accusaiton that large number of Hans took revenge, killing more Uyghurs. However Peter Foster of London Telegraph reported riot police had in fact directed Han Chinese protesters away from Uyghur districts and protected Uyghur Chinese.

    Evidence supporting these facts have been discussed in detail under other blogposts, IMHO it would serve you well to take a look.

  43. FOARP Says:

    How to write a Charles Liu post:

    1) Remove all objectivity from your mind

    2) Assume the poster is an American unfairly writing critically about China – try enough times and you’ll get it right. It really doesn’t matter if the thread is about Australia – Australia, America, they both start with ‘A’s don’t they?

    3) Write something about the NED, it doesn’t matter what. The fact that you may have started 8 different blogs on this subject all of which attract only wingnuts like yourself is not important.

    4) Don’t forget to say that you are an American and not Chinese. Apparently nobody knows this even though you mention it on every thread.

    5) Repeat 1) – 4) until you’re banned from every China blog except Fool’s Mountain.

    6) Turn every Fool’s Mountain thread into a discussion on the NED’s plot to destroy China.

  44. raventhorn4000 Says:

    A Chinese hacker has hacked the Film Festival’s website, and ticket sales online were slowed as a result.

    The documentary’s director, Jeff Daniels, blamed the Chinese government for the protests.

    “I personally find it appalling that the Chinese government has put the film festival and filmgoers in the position where they need police escort and private security to see a film,” Daniels told the ABC.

    *
    Mr. Daniels, get used to “democracy”.

  45. B.Smith Says:

    It amuses me how every time some non-Chinese media gets the facts wrong, the Chinese nationalists become rabid with righteous indignation. “See!?!” they bark. “They’re purposely trying to smear China!! They can’t be trusted!! They’re anti-China!”

    Conveniently forgetting the rubbish that passes for journalism in rags like the China Daily, the CCP creates this situation, then cleverly blames the results on the victims. The CCP’s insane media restrictions often mean that there is no firsthand, reliable information available from the ground. This was seen in the Tibet riots, when the CCP barred foreign journalists, then blamed them for not having the facts exactly right. Well, duh, morons – of course they couldn’t independently verify the facts when they weren’t even allowed in Tibet. In Urumqi, the CCP took a slightly more open route, and benefited from it. Still, it effectively enforced a media blackout at times, so that Kadeer and her organization only had rumors to go on. Can they be blamed for that? In my mind, no. The CCP and its repressive policies are to blame for the lack of good information.

    I don’t care if Kadeer is right or wrong, that’s not my point here. The point is that you can’t blame people for having an incomplete or even wrong picture when you’re the one who’s turned out all the lights. Furthermore, people will wonder why you felt the need for such drastic measures. Perhaps you have something to hide?

    If history is any guide… *cough* Tian@nme…*cough*

  46. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “The point is that you can’t blame people for having an incomplete or even wrong picture when you’re the one who’s turned out all the lights.”

    Only a fool shouts “fire” in the dark. And only a fool would run into a dark room on purpose, and insert foot in mouth.

    Who would be the “Nationalist”? The one running and shouting in the dark room, or the one who see the obvious idiocy?

  47. JXie Says:

    Gosh, B. Smith, don’t you have a load on your mind that you want to get off. Do you even get the gist of this blog and the participants?

    Second, the comparisons to Osama further ruin China’s credibility.

    I think here Bob (and maybe a few others) compare Osama to Kadeer. Many others (including your truly) would like to reserve judgment until further proofs are presented — the intercepted phone call by itself wasn’t the smoking gun. Kadeer gave out a lot of false information, but she could be just a propagandist that lying is almost a part of the job description. On the other hand, we have establshed that Kadeer is a racist.

    Chinese people are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. However – and forgive me for saying so – their critical thinking skills are often abysmal.

    There are some 1.3 billion Chinese out there… judging the critical thinking skills of them is an impossible task. But juding yours, is far easier. Why don’t you calm down and start reading more comments? I am sure you are a smarter fellow than the first impression.

    It amuses me how every time some non-Chinese media gets the facts wrong, the Chinese nationalists become rabid with righteous indignation. “See!?!” they bark. “They’re purposely trying to smear China!! They can’t be trusted!! They’re anti-China!”

    I think you really wanted to talk to the anti-cnn.com crowd — you are in the wrong forum.

  48. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Kadeer once a darling of the Communist Party?”

    Yes, she was, and that should tell you about the companies she chooses.

    Do you honestly think you know better than the Chinese people which “Communist”/crony is better one?

    Or just the fact that she’s playing a “democracy” tune instead of the old “Communist” tune?

  49. scl Says:

    B. Smith: “It amuses me how every time some non-Chinese media gets the facts wrong, the Chinese nationalists become rabid with righteous indignation. “See!?!” they bark. “They’re purposely trying to smear China!! They can’t be trusted!! They’re anti-China!”

    Did you realize that Chinese were angry because they had access to Western media? If the Chinese were really fooled by their government like you suggested, there would be no anti-CNN.com! Contrary to what you thought, the information age has arrived in China, and Western media can no longer get away with their biased report on China.

    B. Smith: “Conveniently forgetting the rubbish that passes for journalism in rags like the China Daily, the CCP creates this situation, then cleverly blames the results on the victims. The CCP’s insane media restrictions often mean that there is no firsthand, reliable information available from the ground. This was seen in the Tibet riots, when the CCP barred foreign journalists, then blamed them for not having the facts exactly right. Well, duh, morons – of course they couldn’t independently verify the facts when they weren’t even allowed in Tibet.”

    If the Western media do not have information about an event in China, they should shut up, instead of reporting rumors as facts. If there is information on the Chinese sites, they should at least analyze them and mention them in their report, if they are deemed true. But the attitude of Western media toward Chinese news sites is that they are all government propaganda and unreliable. Anti-CNN, on the other hand, usually point out what is exactly wrong on the Western media, instead of painting with a broad brush, like the Western media do to the Chinese media.

    B. Smith: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Kadeer once a darling of the Communist Party? At least until she spoke out against them on their handling of Xinjiang?”

    Personally, I do not trust anyone who change their believe if they are older than 30. After watching the video of Kadeer’s probation hearing, I was convinced that she is not honest at best, and a pathological liar at the worst. The fact that she is the “leader” reflects the hopelessness of the Uighur movement.

  50. Hemulen Says:

    @Charles Liu

    I don’t recall speilberg being labeled weak minded when he pulled out of Beijing olympics.

    I didn’t realize you were capable being so sarcastic

  51. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Sadly, too many worshipers of the Western Media have lost the “culture” of Sarcasm, and now must subsist on the meager diet of left over 1 liners and Orwellian newspeak terms like “cultural genocide”.

    I suppose “Cultural Cannibalism” isn’t too far behind in Western Media. (For those who can’t get the meaning of “Cultural Cannibalism”, it means the Western Media is eating your brains out, making you incapable of appreciating cultural diversities.)

    🙂

  52. Steve Says:

    @ R4K: I never met anyone who ever ‘worshiped’ the western media. Me thinks you exaggerate. 😉

  53. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Steve,

    –>> Sarcasm. 🙂

  54. Allen Says:

    @Steve, raventhorn4000,

    This is off topic, but I do believe there are worshipers of Western media. There are many here who give much more weight to what is reported in Western media much more than what is reported in Chinese media or say Arab media. When there are conflicts what are reported, many here would tend to believe what is reported by Western media much more than other media outlets.

    There are many causes for this. Some believe Western media is more reliable because it is “FREE” (as in freedom). Some believe Chinese media is nothing but propaganda and low quality journalism. Many subscribe to the same type of pseudo-liberal bias that Western media is known for, and hence naturally worship Western media. Of course Western media is heavy with propaganda (as in Chinese media). Some prefer Western media simply because they subscribe grew up with and subscribe to the worldview pronounced by Western propaganda.

    Whatever the reason, I definitely see a lot of Western media worshiping out there. (How come the Chinese didn’t let us in to report on Tibet last year; without Western media, knowledge is impossible!) Nothing wrong with it in my opinion. Religion runs deep in many cultures: the West is no exception.

    Note: this is way out of topic, I know…

  55. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Interesting,

    So in a sense, Western media is kinda like organized religion of Polytheism. (Many independent free Gods)

    Of course, that would make the Chinese Media the organized religion of Monotheism. (1 strict punitive vengeful God.)

    I had no idea that the West is still such Pagans, and Chinese are so Judeo Christian.

    🙂

  56. Wukailong Says:

    @raventhorn4000 (#55): That’s a good one! 🙂

    @Allen (#54): I think you have a point. It might not be worshipping, but there’s definitely a sense among many that media from Western countries are more reliable, objective and less censored (at least during the war in Iraq back in 2003, there was a sort of governmental censorship for the “embedded journalists”).

    Personally, I tend to believe the “intellectual media” more. In China, 南方周末 is definitely more reliable than 环球时报, Wall Street Journal is more reliable than USA Today, and The Economist is more reliable than Time/Newsweek. But if you asked me to justify this belief, it would be hard… I guess I could say that it’s more important for the “gutter press” to sell sensational news, where the others caters to a more intellectual crowd.

  57. vantes Says:

    I would personally love to see a documentary on Osama Bin Laden, just as I like to see documentaries on Nazi’s, even though I hate religious fanatics and my grandfather died in WWII. If art gives in to black-and-white ideological or moral motivations, then it just becomes political propaganda or contra-propaganda. I believe art is made in the conviction people are intelligent and wise enough to decide for themselves what is good and bad. It is up to the audience to decide if this Kadeer woman is a leader or much less so. These Chinese documentary makers, by retreating from the Melbourne International Film Festival, and thus not giving the audience the opportunity to share their visions on Modern China, are apparently convinced we are not critical enough; they deliberately classify their work as being ideological in nature.
    In my view, they are simply not artists.

  58. B.Smith Says:

    @JXie: Yes, I do have a load on my mind 😉

    There are some 1.3 billion Chinese out there… judging the critical thinking skills of them is an impossible task.
    I’m going to politely disagree with this, based on my (admittedly short) time in China. I remember a class we did on stereotypes. My style of teaching for this class was NOT to say what I thought was right or wrong, but just to let the students state their views (it was an English class, I wasn’t trying to get into ethics). They listed stereotypes of various nationalities, until we got to Japan. They went nuts. Only negative descriptors were used: Evil, greedy, sinister, violent, etc. I asked them if a 7 year old girl living in Japan was aptly described by these adjectives. Without hesitation, 75% of the class shouted “YES!” This kind of attitude was also shown in their comments about Xinjiang people, who were well known to all be thieves, dangerous, etc.

    These were some of the nicest people I ever met. They were always willing to help, eager and ready to learn, and generous to a fault – yet ready to challenge me when I needed it because of my misconceptions. I constantly use my 600+ students from that year as an example of how wonderful Chinese people can be, and how they shouldn’t be judged only in light of the various incidents of the last few years. That said, these kids – however well-intentioned they were – were amazingly predisposed to think in dichotomies, and to see not only overt action but often mere disagreement as offensive.

    When it comes to Kadeer, despite the lack of evidence you yourself admitted, it seems that many Chinese and certainly the CCP have already passed down a verdict. Do you think this helps? Do you win the support of Tibet by calling their leader a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Will you win the support of the average Uyghur by blatantly defaming someone many of them see – rightly or wrongly – as trying to help them before all the facts are in? No way. You don’t like it when foreigners talk about how evil the CCP is, right?

    The Uyghur people have legitimate grievances. China can take a self-critical look and deal with these, or it can dismiss all the unrest as the plotting of an evil exile. The first option will be more difficult for China as a whole, but it will yield greater understanding and respect for everyone. The second option will only encourage more protests and more violence. Pulling films from a festival merely because another director entered a film about Kadeer makes China look arrogant and unwilling to even think about the possibility of its having something to learn. It conveys the same self-righteous attitude that many have criticized America for. That’s not what China wants, right?

  59. Steve Says:

    @ Allen #54: Allen, I don’t disagree with a word you said. All I disagreed with is the use of the word “worship”. Nothing you describe indicates worship. So I looked it up just to make sure…

    1. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
    2. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
    3. Ardent devotion; adoration.

    That’s why I called it an exaggeration. “Worship” is a religious word and I think we can all agree that typical reporters are worthless, lazy rumormongers (with a few worthy exceptions) and not to be worshiped. 😉

  60. JXie Says:

    B. Smith, but aren’t you a bit stereotyping, drawing your experience based on a bunch presumably relatively young Chinese students communicating in their second language? You should’ve asked them, how many Japanese, or Uighurs they personally know. Sadly your time in China was short. Had you stayed longer, and learned Chinese to the level that you can read and speak fluently, you might notice that the opinions in society as a whole are quite diverse — though I will say still overly negative to the said 2 groups.

    Heck, let me flip this around. I have known enough Americans who are older than your 600+ students. When the guard is down, and no more PC constraint, a large percentage of them have very negative opinions on Middle Eastern Muslims — yet most of them know exactly zero such type in real life.

    It’s a whole lot more complicated than you think… Keep an open mind and start reading this forum.

  61. JXie Says:

    @Vantes #57

    Assuming bin Laden/Nazi are still live and kicking, and more importantly they are still quite viable, would you still watch documentaries made by them or somebody who admire them?

    Be honest with you, I probably wouldn’t mind watching the documentary on Kadeer myself just so that I know her better. But the thought of being in a social setting with that woman, after her white skin/yellow skin comment with La Stampa, kind of makes me want to throw up.

  62. Steve Says:

    @ JXie & B. Smith: I’ve also run across what B. Smith talked about concerning Japanese, but I agree with JXie that Japan is a cultural exception. When I asked about Japan to some of my friends, they could relate specific instances where their own family members suffered atrocities by the hand of the Japanese army during the war. These stories are far more common than you might realize. Combined with the frequent showing of WWII documentaries on Chinese TV, it’s understandable that B. Smith’s students would feel that way. When a tragedy affects your family personally, you tend to view it differently than something out of a textbook.

    My wife’s cousin in Taiwan was a young boy attending elementary school during the war. To this day, he won’t buy anything made in Japan though he has no problem with German made things. When I asked him about this, he said that Germany was sorry for what they had done and had made amends but Japan was not. They still elect many politicians that deny the Rape of Nanjing, deny that they forced conquered women into prostitution, deny that they performed horrid medical experiments on Chinese citizens, etc.

    The last shipment Japan received from Germany (via U-boat) was uranium to be used in their atomic testing lab in Korea. But the Japanese always seem to forget to mention that fact. They also forget to mention that they took a bubonic plague strain and made it far more virulent, then tested it on Chinese villages, wiping them out. They solved the problem of keeping the carrier fleas alive by making the bombs out of clay. When the war ended, they were working on building eight engine bombers with the range to strike the US west coast with these bombs. When they realized the war would be over before they were finished, they tried to get the Japanese Navy to use submarines to use these bubonic plague bombs on the US west coast but the Japanese Navy refused.

    If a Japanese person is too vocal in arguing with them, that person can still be attacked in Japan. This current nationalistic spirit from not only a part of the population but also some of the elected politicians is what riles the Chinese so much. To elect a politician who denies these events means that they must win over 50% of the voters in their district. That’s not a vocal minority.

    All cultures have stereotypes of other cultures, and those stereotypes are usually from a lack of knowledge or understanding of that culture. Since B. Smith has lived in China, my guess is that he has quite a bit of knowledge but in a few areas, might lack some understanding of some of the history associated with certain feelings. China/Japan relations are a landmine subject but though the Chinese government sometimes exploits the situation, the Japanese government gives them plenty of ammunition to do so.

  63. Allen Says:

    @Steve #59,

    I am sure you can find some deities who are worthless, lazy rumormongers…! 😈

  64. Charles Liu Says:

    Wow, B Smith, I’m sure stuff like “I don’t care if Kadeer is right or wrong”, “Chinese nationalist… rabbid”, and the standard retort wrt Tiananme, are very emotionally satifying.

    As to your “legitimate grievances”, pray tell do they justisfy killing of innocent people, Han or Uyghur?

  65. Charles Liu Says:

    vantes, “These Chinese documentary makers, by retreating from the Melbourne International Film Festival”

    Do you think Americans film makers would not withdraw from film festival held after 9/11, where Osama Bin Ladin was invited for a documentary on his struggle and legitmate grievances against US middle east policy?

    I’m American, and I can tell you no American would do different than the Chinese.

  66. B.Smith Says:

    @Jxie: I can only speak from my experiences, and they tended to show me a China that was very ready to think in terms of black and white, and very reluctant to consider itself wrong. That’s my opinion. I will say that by the end the term, I had few students who would claim that a 7 year old Japanese was evil. So obviously there was progress, but it required a totally new outlook other than “Japan bad; China good”.

    And I’ve followed this site on and off since its inception, I just happen to strongly disagree with many of the viewpoints. It has been valuable in providing a uniquely Chinese insight into many topics, though.

    Lastly, I won’t deny that many Americans have negative stereotypes of Muslims, and hopefully this is changing. But America also has no shortage of people arguing that 9-11 and other attacks were caused directly by our policies in the Middle East, and casting some of the blame on America itself. Is this happening in China in regards to Urumqi? I don’t know, I’m not Chinese.

    @Steve: I agree with some of your points, but I was dealing with 18-19 year old students who had never been personally affected by the Japanese any more than I have been personally affected by Nazis. Of course what Japan did was horrible – but there are many Japanese who will admit that. It was 60 years ago, and there is no reason why events like that, with most of the perpetrators dead, should continue to poison relations between the countries. And once we had established that no one chooses to be Chinese, American, Japanese, etc. – you can’t choose your country of birth – and that 7 year old girls have no control over what 80 year old former soldiers did when they were 20, a lot of the blanket anti-Japanese attitude started to change.

    @Charles Liu the AMERICAN: Yes, Chinese nationalists are rabid, just like hyper-nationalists from other countries who never believe their homeland is at fault in any way, and flip out whenever anyone insinuates as much. And no, innocent civilians should never be killed, no matter how bad the current policies in Xinjiang are.

  67. Ted Says:

    @JXie & B. Smith:

    “B. Smith, but aren’t you a bit stereotyping, drawing your experience based on a bunch presumably relatively young Chinese students communicating in their second language? You should’ve asked them, how many Japanese, or Uighurs they personally know. Sadly your time in China was short. Had you stayed longer, and learned Chinese to the level that you can read and speak fluently, you might notice that the opinions in society as a whole are quite diverse — though I will say still overly negative to the said 2 groups.”

    I spent several years in China doing the same thing that B. Smith did. Even taught what was probably a similar class on stereotypes. I had the exact same responses over those 2 years from students ranging in ages from 15 to 50. I handled my classes the same way B.Smith did, staying out of it (unless someone said something extremely inflammatory… we had some Japanese and minority students). You are right in that any of the students who actually knew anyone from these groups would usually have a different opinion but for an outsider, it took alot of effort to break though to those students. B. Smith’s impression reflects exactly my own at the time. I still hold that impression (as a stereotype) but I recognize that everyone doesn’t think that way.

    Part of the problem, I think, is the negative stereotypes of Uighurs and Tibetans that existed before the recent incident. Why is it that those stereotypes existed? How can they be combated? To me it doesn’t seem like the government is proactively managing the relationships between its various ethnicities, and when problems arise they just look for an external source to blame as the catalyst. Was the recent riot by miners at Tonghua Steel labeled as a terrorist incident? What about Shishou or any of the thousands of riots, many violent, that occur around the country every year?

  68. Steve Says:

    @ B. Smith #66: I may not have been very clear about one thing when I replied to what you wrote, and that is I certainly agree that there’s no way 7 year old girls in Japan should be considered any of those things. My best friend is from Japan (she went to school in the States) and she thinks what Japan did in the war was an abomination. Both she and her husband think the idea of an emperor is an anachronism. No one in China should hold little kids responsible for things that happened decades before they were born.

    What I was trying to express were the reasons for the emotional reaction you see in younger people in China when the subject of Japan comes up. Remember, most people make emotional decisions and then use reason and logic to justify those decisions. We’d like to think it’s the other way ’round but it’s not.

    @ Ted #67: When I was living in Shanghai, what I was told about Uyghur restaurants was that the food was good but it was also a place people can buy drugs (I was never told what kind of drugs) and hookers. I never ate in a Uyghur restaurant so I have no factual information about it but that was the scuttlebutt.

    Here’s an article from the China Daily about a riot this past Friday at another steel company that involved 30,000 workers.

  69. JXie Says:

    @B. Smith & Ted,

    First, the bit about negative stereotyping of _Middle Eastern_ Muslims. One thing you ought to realize that in today’s America (or today’s many Western countries for that matter) everybody has this political correctness guard with which nobody speaks their minds to a relative stranger. As an “Asian”, sort of an invisible minority, so long as you are personable, you end up hearing a lot of whites talking about blacks, or blacks talking about whites, or all of them talking about Middle Eastern Muslims in very negative ways that they wouldn’t speak out-loud in a large gathering for sure. I am afraid you way underestimate what is in Americans’ subconsciously stereotyping mind. By itself it isn’t a sin per se — not until you start dropping bombs on others, or knifing others to death on the street. I tend to believe stereotyping is a part of the natural human learning process.

    One thing you and many expats/reporters have done is going to China with this clear idea of what China’s future should be, without first getting to know what China is and how China has got here. One of my favorite TV shows is AMC’s “Mad Men”, with the early 60s (the Camelot years) New York Madison Ave. as the backdrop. Watching it and comparing to today’s America can really give you an appreciation of the events having happened in between. Gaining an understanding of the evolutionary process can give you a 2-dimensional view of the world. And there you have it, an opportunity in China to gain an understanding in 3-dimensional, yet you have blown or is blowing it by insisting viewing everything through this 1-dimensional lens.

  70. Ted Says:

    @ Steve 68: I heard the same rumors you did but I (and my salary) gave them the benefit of the doubt and the lower-end Muslim restaurants turned out to be some of my favorite. Almost like McDonald’s in the consistency of their offerings, taste, and quality. I miss chou mian pian and the soup they give you before the entree, Can’t wait to get back!

    N.B. That’s the riot I was referring to in my previous post #67.

  71. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    One thing you and many expats/reporters have done is going to China with this clear idea of what China’s future should be, without first getting to know what China is and how China has got here. One of my favorite TV shows is AMC’s “Mad Men”, with the early 60s (the Camelot years) New York Madison Ave. as the backdrop. Watching it and comparing to today’s America can really give you an appreciation of the events having happened in between. Gaining an understanding of the evolutionary process can give you a 2-dimensional view of the world. And there you have it, an opportunity in China to gain an understanding in 3-dimensional, yet you have blown or is blowing it by insisting viewing everything through this 1-dimensional lens.

    This paragraph sums it all up. China is a primordial force that has to be understood. An unchangeable country, yet constantly evolving, and has to be known on its own terms, lest we get a one-dimensional view. We should never have any ideas about China’s future, no, but humbly listen to what people can tell us. The United States, on the other hand, can be understood just by look at the two-dimensional TV screen!

  72. bluetiger Says:

    off topic but as Japan seems to have been brought up, here’s my two cents.
    I only share my views on what some Japanese may be feeling based on living in Japan for 10yrs or so for work and through my readings and discussions.

    Anyway, I basically agree with the few of the thoughtful commentators above that things aren’t so black and white and when you try to categorise so neatly you lose the nuance/context, making it that much harder to understand, learn, and hopefully progress. This goes for Bush’s categorisation of them vs us, but also the China vs West (ern media) and other similar dichotomy and even the monolithic religions (I used to be Christian).

    Before many of you start to believe that the majority of Japanese people are in complete denial of many of the atrocities the Japanese imperial army perpeprated in China and beyond, you should actually do some research.

    Of course I don’t speak for the Japanese people but here’s my two cents… take it as one Japanese guy’s opinion…

    I believe you often hear about the those people denying the actions because in Japan, they are free to express these opinions. Some say the post-war imposition of democracy has led to their being a very twisted sense of freedom of expression where you have these black vans blurting out crap driving around Tokyo (don’t know about other cities). They were seen as just a nuisance by many people I knew.

    The newish controversial textbook that supposedly focused less on the Japanese crimes were written because the authors believed the current batch of textbooks used by the majority of schools were too masochistic and would influence the young to hate their own country. (The weight given to the textbook as evidence of the Japanese people’s denial of war time atrocities feels a bit like deciding many in China like queuing in lines because you see a lot of notice telling customers to form a queue…when in fact the notices are there precisely because many DON’T form a line…)

    It’s ironic how the right wings in the Korean society (and politicans) are complaining just like the Japanese right wings about the masochistic view on Korean history in the textbooks after Korea changed their textbook system to one based on approval (so you get more than one textbook within a certain guideline), not having one official narrative like they used to before (I understand China still has this system).

    I personally did not attend school in Japan as I grew up overseas but I’ve talked to many of my friends about it. It’s probably part of the japanese education that focuses on rote memorry that’s causing some issues. Many knew about the Nanjing massacare but only as something they remembered as fact, just as they would memorise the date of the end of the war, when the Kamakura Bakufu started, etc.

    It’s obviously based on a small sample but (I’ve written this elsewhere) my friends and I used to meet up to study about topics of interest on the weekends. We were a bunch of youngish Japanese guys and gals in our mid-late 20’s, with the majority having attended Keio, Waseda, Tokyo universities. One guy did a session based on a book denying the Nanjing massacare. A few of my friends can be considered right wing, who do not necessarily believe the Japanese were fully at fault in the war (not black and white as some make it out to be. We are wrong because we lost. As they say, Kateba Kangun, Makereba Zokugun 勝てば官軍、負ければ賊軍…probably based on a Chinese saying…).

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, even the most ardent nationalist in our group, who never fails to go to the imperial palace on new year’s to catch the emperor waving hands nor fail to visit yasukuni shrine, thought the presentor was an idiot and believed it was based on a consipiracy theory (seems to be a favourite with Chinese netizens but don’t worry, they also exist in Japan!) and that no intellectual should believe such a thing.

    And to Steve, historical views held by politicians aren’t major deciding factors in the election of politicians in Japan. From what I can see in the press, etc, it’s mostly focused on worries about the today, and the future (aging population, pension, increasing medical expenses, bureaucracies screwing up personal info related to pensions, falling wages, etc).

    Having said that, many Japanese will also be seeing the WWII as a thing of the past. And as mentioned above, there seems to be a great deal of issue with the educational system in Japan. These are readily discussed on TV, mags, press, etc. I remember reading a piece written by a journalist or researcher (can’t remember the details as I read it over 5 years ago). It was likely a Bungei Shinbun article. The writer was lamenting the quality of education in Japan by telling us what he overheard on the tube/subway in Tokyo. Two high school kids were talking…It went something like this:

    DELETED FOR PROFANITY

    And no, I was not alive when Japan invaded many Asian countries. As far as I can tell, I’ve not killed anybody though you never know with the world so connected…the butterfly flapping its wings in Beijing…

    And no, trying to understand does not mean to condone. And no, most Japanese people are not likely to be evil. There were many who may have done evil deeds during the war. But I do not subscribe to the inherently racist view that the Japanese are evil. (and nor does it apply to any other race)

    I agree with the commentator who said we don’t choose to be Japanese/Chinese/American, etc. Especially when the classification is man-made, whether nationality, ethnicity, etc. Do you think cats and other co-habitants of our mother Earth recognise our nationality or ethnicity or whatever? (I would actually like to ask them…). That’s why I find nationalism or even patriotism based on one such man-made classification just overwhelming. There are many ways for us to be classified. If we must accept nationality and ethnicity as one, we can also classify by gender, age, colour of eye, size of feet, number of fingers, etc. Must we identify ourselves primarily through one such classification?

    As someone with a size 40 foot, I believe the recent article written by the journalist with size 45 feet was biased and I must protest at this inherent bias towards those with smaller feet. We, the small foots, must unite to fight against this prejudice and attack on our nation and our right. (I must be getting tired. sorry for the long comment).

  73. Alessandro Says:

    @ Hemulen

    Come on, don’t try the “offended” card here…U know all too well what Jxie meant, it’s simply u can’t accept it.

  74. Bob Says:

    @B.Smith #41 – “Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Kadeer once a darling of the Communist Party? At least until she spoke out against them on their handling of Xinjiang? This is where China first loses its credibility. Kadeer is seen as sacrificing enormously for the good of her people (being imprisoned, losing her children, her money, etc.), whereas the CCP is seen as simply suppressing dissent, as usual.”

    Wasn’t Osama bin Laden once a darling of the U.S. in the proxy war fought against the Soviets? At least until OBL waged all-out terrorist acts against the U.S. and its interests? This is where you B.Smith loses your credibility as you can’t see the obvious connection. OBL “is seen” as sacrificing enormously for the good of his followers (being bombed, chased, losing ties to his Saudi families, his money, and his son whereas the U.S. “is seen” as simply fighting terrorism.

    BTW, where is evidence Kadeer lost her children due to CCP’s policy. Back that allegation up or you will be forever recognized as a liar.

    “Second, the comparisons to Osama further ruin China’s credibility. Where is the evidence? A phone call? Anyone with half a brain could have predicted unrest after what happened in Guangdong. Osama Bin Laden has spent years directing specific terrorist attacks, taking full credit afterward, and openly advocating more violence and the killing of innocent civilians. Where is the evidence that Kadeer has done the same?”

    In post #42, Charles Liu did an outstanding job presenting the case against Kadeer and the WUC waging covert terrorism acts in Xinjiang, China.

    Needless to say, the comparison between Kadeer and Osama bin Laden shall continue.

  75. Ted Says:

    JiXie #69: First, I didn’t go to China with any assumptions about its future, I moved to China because I knew nothing about it. Maybe my comment wasn’t clear. I actually agree with much of what you said in 69 regarding China and the US in the 50’s.

    I know the PC filter in the US zeros out much of the stereotyping in open conversation in the US. I’m just echoing B.Smith in his initial impressions. It’s an impression that many expats have and one that Chinese should care about if it wants others to interpret the words and actions of its people and government fairly; or at least understand why foreigners sometimes react the way they do.

    I guess if I disagreed with anything, it seemed that earlier you dismissed B. Smith’s initial comment and said he just didn’t understand China. Many of the things people said in my classrooms were entirely inappropriate by any standard. If I hadn’t had a serious desire to understand China and took-off after 6 months then I would have returned to the states with pretty bad impression of the country and the people. It seems to be acceptable to some to simply say, you don’t get it. Personally, I would be embarrassed if I had a foreign friend visit the states and have a negative experience. I would likely tell my friend that the offender was ignorant and to disregard their comment. I wouldn’t tell my friend that he didn’t understand my country.

  76. Hemulen Says:

    @Alessando

    No, I’m not playing offended. I just point out that JXie is making blanket assumptions about the US that he would never accept if it came to China.

  77. Alessandro Says:

    @ Hemulen #76

    If u’r referring to some “blanket” assumptions, then comment those…not something which is clearly not such….

  78. Raj Says:

    Steve (68)

    I find it amazing that the people you heard it from would consider what you said notable enough to discuss it. Prostitution is so obvious in China, unless you’re an extremist nationalist with your head stuck in the ground. I remember walking around a mid-sized city with a friend – he told me the main street we were walking down was brothels on both sides. I asked how they avoided being closed down, and he said it was because plenty of officials visited them on a regular basis.

  79. Steve Says:

    @ Raj: I’m quite aware of prostitution in China. I just related what I was told; I didn’t make a value judgment on the information given. I didn’t say anything, so I’m not sure what your first sentence means. Why would you find it amazing? Someone had mentioned Xinjiang food and I said I had never eaten it and those were the two remarks I heard. Maybe they mentioned it because it was run out of a restaurant and not out of a barbershop with a spinning pole or a massage parlor? I honestly have no idea.

    Speaking of brothels, they were illegal in Taipei yet two doors down from our condo was a barbershop with two chairs that were never used, a 24 hour lookout on the street and lots of girls coming in during the afternoon and leaving early in the morning. Ma Ying-jeou was bragging about how he had cleaned up all the prostitution in Taipei (he was mayor at the time) when soon after, a magazine did a piece on how Japan had sex tours in Taipei. It was a big embarrassment.

    Two blocks down the same street in the other direction was a police station. 😛

  80. Steve Says:

    @ bluetiger #72: I’m with you on everything in your post except this:

    “And to Steve, historical views held by politicians aren’t major deciding factors in the election of politicians in Japan. From what I can see in the press, etc, it’s mostly focused on worries about the today, and the future (aging population, pension, increasing medical expenses, bureaucracies screwing up personal info related to pensions, falling wages, etc).”

    That’d be like a candidate in Germany running for office who declares himself a Nazi and denied the Holocaust but is elected because of other issues. I’m not buying that as a reason. Historical views in certain contexts DO matter. If a candidate for US Senate, no matter what state he’s from, said segregation never happened or it should never have been abolished, he/she would NEVER be elected.

    bluetiger, you might want to check out our blog rules. We don’t allow profanity so I’m going to delete the dialogue and leave the rest of the post because you’re new to the site. The normal policy is to delete the entire post. And no, using a @ or a ! doesn’t cut it. I’m sure you weren’t aware of it so no problem now, just check out the rules for future posts. Thanks!

  81. Steve Says:

    @ JXie #69: Like Ted, I also didn’t go to China with any idea of what it’d be like. I’ve traveled enough to learn that a place is never like what you imagined so I stopped imagining a long time ago. Personally, I thought China was terrific and loved being there. It was one of the best experiences of my life and to this day, one of my favorite countries to visit. If I didn’t like it so much, I wouldn’t be on this blog. I believe Ted feels the same. I don’t know B. Smith so I’ll let him speak for himself.

  82. B.Smith Says:

    @Steve: I also loved my time in China! Just because I criticize some aspects doesn’t mean I don’t like China (not that you were saying that, but it seems that’s what many people infer 🙂 ). I learned a lot from my time in China – its an amazing country, and I still keep in close contact with a number of my students there. I hope to one day live in China again. That doesn’t mean I’m going to keep quiet on things I perceive China doing wrong, just as I’ll call my own country out when it does stupid things. Why? Because criticism, if taken with an open mind and an willingness to learn, will only make both of us better. I don’t want things in Xinjiang to get worse, I honestly hope they get better. But for this to happen China needs to understand what’s causing unrest in the first place. Blaming it all on Kadeer is the not the way forward.

    @Bob: Good point. The US did use Osama, although he certainly was never a darling or a high-up in the government like Kadeer was. So your comparison isn’t really accurate. In one instance the US used a man (unwisely) to defeat their common enemy; in the other China expelled a friend because her political views changed. And Charles Liu did not prove anything, he just repeated a few talking points that might look semi-suspicious to people ready to believe the worst about Kadeer.

  83. JXie Says:

    One of my a-ha moments in understanding race, prejudice, and the overall progression of societies was a casual conversation with a few Brazilian friends of mine. Among them, there were white, kind of brown/black & Japanese Brazilians. The topic was the different playing styles between Robino/Ronaldinho and Kaka. What initially shocked me was that they believed R/R played certain styles because they are black, and Kaka played somewhat different styles because he is white. Now you don’t hear that kind of talk often in your typical Western countries.

    Despite poorer, Brazil is quite likely happier and racially more harmonious than most Western nations with similar racial diversity. Mind you, Obama in Brazil would be a “Pardo” not a black. Yet in their daily conversation, they seem to be far less inhibitive in “sensitive” topics and more “racist”, if you will. If with all that, and Brazil’s racial tension is less than say that of the US, then the question is, why the path taken by the US, has to be the chosen one? There was slavery in Brazil, but that was no equivalent of KKK, lynching of blacks, etc. Maybe because of it, people are less restricted in stereotyping each other publicly, and this in kind of a strange way actually further reduces racial tension.

    My point is, each country has its own distinctive path, with layers of layers upon its own history and stories build on top of each other. Sure, I grant you it seems horrible how those Chinese you dealt with viewed the Japanese. But even at the peak of anti-Japan fervor, you didn’t have a single case of Japanese being attacked in China. So if you look at the big picture, maybe it’s not that bad.

    Oh, BTW, once in a while, you may read something written by some Americans on Brazil’s racial awakening. Brazilians just laugh at them.

  84. Rhan Says:

    I still remember years back when that multi million environmentalist which was previously the second man of the US president perform an idiocy act shouting “Reformasi” at the Malaysia Apac dinner. While I support fully the reform movement of my country but I despise the uncouth manner of the hypocritical West.

    We Asia should invite Jemaah Islamiyah member to participate in our movie award, and hope they would win the best documentary with the title “Why we bomb the Australian in Bali”

  85. Raj Says:

    Steve, I never made any accusatory remarks towards you – why are you being so defensive? I was expressing surprise that it was a source of gossip.

  86. FOARP Says:

    @Allen – “even at the peak of anti-Japan fervor, you didn’t have a single case of Japanese being attacked in China”

    Not sure where you get this from – were you in China at the time? There were attacks on Japanese owned (or even themed) businesses, all the shops shops which were even incidentally associated with Japan in Nanjing suddenly all sprouted Chinese flags, wall-length pictures of Mao etc. and Japanese of my acquaintance were roughed up and insulted in the street.

  87. Steve Says:

    @ Raj: Sorry if I came off as defensive. I wasn’t trying to be, I just wanted to get across the point that my statement was an objective one and not related in any way to taking sides on any issue but just something I had heard. I also didn’t understand your first sentence so I suppose I ended up “over-explaining” my position. Sorry about that.

    @ JXie & FOARP: I wasn’t in China at the time but I had American friends tell me the same thing as FOARP described. After they let it escalate, the government got the whole thing under control pretty quickly but it wasn’t a good idea to be Japanese and in China at the time. I felt sorry for the Chinese owners of Honda and Toyotas who had their cars destroyed because of the brand name. I just hope the insurance coverage (if it exists) helped them out.

    JXie, in my experience and under normal circumstances, the Japanese living in China have never been bothered outside of certain specific instances. It’s normally never a problem.

    (JXie, thanks for the correction. I changed the names so it wouldn’t confuse new readers)

  88. JXie Says:

    FOARP, that was me, not Allen. Kind of regretted writing it. Away from a computer for a while, couldn’t and didn’t edit it. The problem of my comment was raising China to a level that no country on earth can remotely hope to reach — if that’s debunked, then my central thesis may be hurt.

    I knew about the property damage and some bodily scuffling, but as far as I know, no body was killed or seriously injured. Not try to get cute here — but would you rather be a Japanese in China then, at the anti-Japan peak in a few decades, or a local around some visiting English football hooligans just about every Sunday? My point is that you ought to see overall it’s quite commendably peaceful. In a way, I’d rather you address my central thesis than some careless wording.

  89. Charles Liu Says:

    B Smith, have you ever said “I don’t care if Bin Ladin is right or wrong”?

  90. Steve Says:

    @ B.Smith: I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed your time in China as much as the rest of us. The point of the blog is to share ideas, opinions and FREELY discuss what we feel and believe. Glad to have you on board.

  91. Raj Says:

    Not try to get cute here — but would you rather be a Japanese in China then, at the anti-Japan peak in a few decades, or a local around some visiting English football hooligans just about every Sunday?

    JXie, would you want to have an encounter with Chinese football hooligans (or indeed any sport yobs)? You can avoid sports yobs – you can’t avoid the entire population of the country you’re in.

  92. Steve Says:

    I read in the paper this morning that the showing of this movie at the film festival sold out so they added a second show and that also sold out. Looks like the previously unknown Kadeer is now a media star. As they say in showbiz, negative publicity is still publicity.

  93. FOARP Says:

    @JXie – ” . . . or a local around some visiting English football hooligans just about every Sunday?”

    Football culture in the UK is complex. Despite the often highly-contested rivalry between the two big teams in Liverpool (near where I grew up as a Liverpool FC fan) – Liverpool and Everton, fans of the two teams almost never get involved in violence. In fact the Liverpool derby (I don’t know if you use this term in the US – it means when two teams in the same area play each other) is one of the few games in the UK where the fans from opposing teams aren’t separated into home and away stands but sit next to each other. Having said that, I have got into confrontations watching matches in pubs in London, especially when Chelsea fans have been in the same pub, and the “Old Firm” matches in Glasgow between Celtic and Rangers have often seen violence, including stabbings and murders by fans of opposing teams. However, unless you are identified as a supporter of an opposing team, either by wearing a team shirt or by singing songs (and Liverpool fans have the most well-known football chants on the planet) you are unlikely to get into trouble, but that doesn’t mean that plenty of people aren’t frightened when a crowd of drunk young men descend on their peaceful town singing songs and making a general nuisance of themselves.

    Would I have liked to have been Japanese in Nanjing back in spring 2005? The Japanese who I knew their mainly only got into trouble when others heard them speaking with a Japanese accent, and although they spoke of large crowds of people gathering round, my guess is that these people were simply kan-ing the renao in the typical Chinese fashion, and all they suffered was a bit of shoving and jostling. None of this happened at the actual demonstrations, which the Japanese sensibly avoided, but the demonstrators seemed pretty clear about what they wanted to do to the Japanese – unless you think they were joking about all that 杀死日本鬼子 stuff.

    So basically, I’d much rather have been a Japanese student hiding in his dormitory back in 2005 than a Celtic fan in a Rangers pub during the Old Firm match, but also I’d much rather have been a Liverpool fan at Anfield for the 2005 Merseyside derby (which we won) than a Japanese person who accidentally walked into a bunch of demonstrators.

    @Raj – “Sports yobs”? I can’t think of any sport which raises the kind of passions that football does. One of the great things about the whole Beckham/LA saga is to see the American fans becoming at least part-way as passionate about their teams as us Brits are (or at least most of us are). Still, I understand why a lot of cricket/rugby fans label football a “sport for hooligans, played by hooligans” and think that football players and their fans are a pack of thugs who give the UK a bad reputation.

    Chinese football fans have shown themselves to be quite capable of getting pretty excited about the national team, but the local teams aren’t really that well followed. In Nanjing I went to see the local team play at the Wutaishan stadium – they’re called the Yo-Yos and at that time were languishing in the Chinese second division – and a lousy damned team they were. Half the locals spent most of the match cussing away at them in pungent Nanjinghua. Hell, it was worth being there just to listen to all that, the match certainly wasn’t worth watching!

    Foreign teams also have quite a firm following. Having desperately searched for somewhere in Nanjing to watch the 2005 Champion’s League final a Kenyan friend of mine told me that there was a bowling alley near Wutaishan which would be showing the match. I wandered in to find the place absolutely jam-packed with Nanjingers wearing black-and-red A.C. Milan shirts. I hadn’t thought there were that many A.C. Milan fans in the whole country, let alone in Nanjing, so I did my best to hide my Liverpool scarf and found a corner for me and few other fellow Liverpool fans to sit down and watch the match. However, I needn’t have worried, as none of the people there felt like picking on us, even though there were only four or five of us in a pub filled with AC fans. Perhaps that is because the match was quite simply one of the most brilliant matches of all time (Liverpool won) and we were all riveted to the screen, but I just don’t think that the locals had the kind of stupid attitudes that the average Arsenal or Chelsea fan in London does.

  94. bluetiger Says:

    @Steve #80,
    (again, very long and off-topic…sorry)

    Thanks for not deleting the whole post…didn’t know the rule.

    Though I thought the exchange between the students was in fact the highlight of my post…i guess i tried to make it sound like they were highschool students by including such profanity…my mistake.

    Let me try again (this exchange was used by the author of an article lamenting the decline in Japanese education in general):

    Student A: Hey, did you know that Japan fought the US of A!? Isn’t that cool man?
    Student B: What! You’re not talking about some game are you? No? Wow, that is so cool. When did it happen?
    Student A: Ages ago, way before we were born man.
    Student B: So, did we win?

    I guess one reason why an utterance of a greyish statement on the war (with the idea that Japan wasn’t an evil empire but was fighting for its survival or related themes) is that a) many have some sympathetic view on this; b) see it as a reaction to the politicisation of history by neighbouring countries and are slightly fed up (haven’t we said sorry enough?); c) want to leave history to history and get on with life today (man, the war was lost so long ago…). Or some combination of these and perhaps other reasons.

    I’m not saying how voters may feel about politicians’ statements is right or wrong, I just think the statement (and inevitably followed by an apology) is soon forgotten by the voters and the issue of the day reverts back to today’s issue.

    I forgot to mention the following:
    I was reading a fiction (quite old, first came out in 1989) by a writer called Jo Sasaki – seems quite a mainstream writer of fiction (currently focused on police related stories but has covered many genres). I read one book about the war time, with a Japanese-american criminal sent in by the American as a spy to find out more about japan’s plans to start a war vs USA that they’ve started to hear about. The guy is helped in Japan by an American priest who became involved in helping the US gov because his Chinese fiance when he was in Nanjing as a missionary was brutually raped and murdered by the Japanese during the Nanjing occupation.

    Anyway, whole sections of the book were devoted to Nanjing and how this idealistic missionary became involved in a spy ring in Japan. This wasn’t some obscure book but something written by a best-selling author which received many awards as well as being made into a TV series (http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/エトロフ発緊急電).

    I’m not saying there aren’t those that deny a lot of bad things happened in Nanjing. But, perhaps the fact that a mainstream writer (albeit a fiction writer) would use the Nanjing occupation as a major plot does point to something other than a complete denial of the event by the Japanese society at large?

    Coming on-topica little, as you may be able to guess, I don’t really believe in censorship (whether by gov or by some kind of mob mentality which seems to be the case here).

    Extremist views (I have no idea what this documetary is about so this is more a general statement) should be aired for review/ridicule rather than be cut off. I do hope many in China will get an opportunity to watch the documentary to see what the fuss is about. I for one will hopefully watch it sometime in the future given the fuss created by the chinese netizens (as well as the initial pressure to drop the documentary by officials of the Chinese embassy).

    btw, I’m an Everton fan though i grew up in london! i still remember the glorious days in the late 80’s and early 90’s…my best mate was a Liverpool fan…the good old days..

  95. Think Ming! Says:

    I’m guessing the directors pulled out because they were terrified of the backlash from China’s huge population of xenophobic nationalists.

    Oh, and maybe the comparisons to Bin Laden are just a little weak?

    I know China’s desperate for external enemies, but really. . .

  96. Think Ming! Says:

    I was at the anti-Japanese riots in Shanghai by the way, right in front of the Japanese consulate as Chinese vandals attacked it.

    The whole thing was pretty extreme.

    My girlfriend’s father came close to being assaulted by the violent crowd of Chinese xenophobes.

  97. wukong Says:

    @Ming #96

    A “peaceful protest” or “demonstration” by Xinjiang Uighurs left 200 plus people dead, hundreds of stores destroyed, and numerous vehicles damaged.

    So if you are going to categorize the whole Chinese crowd there “xenophobes” or having a “riot”, you are going to have to do better than your girfriend’s dad “came close” to being assaulted.

  98. Nimrod Says:

    It seems a couple of Hong Kong films and a movie filmed in Taiwan were withdrawn as well.

  99. HJZ Says:

    A heavily propaganda documentary film could be tolerated, a highly political and symbolic visit in person will not. It’s simple. Those guys are either idots or pretend to be idots or think other people are idiots.

    There are no credibility with the woman and those “human rights” organizations when you hear them talking about 10k people shot dead in the sqaure after the lights turned off. Even the idots in this forum will not believe it.

    Sorry I’m using this word “idiot”, but the whole thing is really about that there are too many idiots around the world.

    And I think the Chinese government is an idiot too. All those western medias writing all those biased reports and you still let them report in China? You know what I’m talking about here, right? All those photos with delibrate framing, purposeful angles, or just outrightly using wrong images. If it just happens once or twice, it could be understood, but look at all those fake photos from the time of Xizhang riots to the Xinjiang riots. So I think there are too many idiots.

    HJZ

    San Jose, CA, USA

  100. Cissy Says:

    #92 Steve Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I read in the paper this morning that the showing of this movie at the film festival sold out so they added a second show and that also sold out. Looks like the previously unknown Kadeer is now a media star. As they say in showbiz, negative publicity is still publicity.

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

    Steve, by now you probably know about the truth of “sold out”? I can’t believe it took them so long to realize the “sold out” on their website is a hack, and even happily announced it to media. Don’t they count the money to match with the number of tickets sold?

  101. Steve Says:

    @ Cissy #100: Yeah, I read that later in the paper, but my point of negative publicity as publicity still holds. A few Chinese hackers unfortunately give a bad name to China rather than bring attention to the negative aspects of Rebiya Kadeer. This actually makes her look better in the eyes of others, when I’m sure the hackers wanted to make her look worse, so I think it’s a self defeating strategy. Sometimes it’s best to take the high road.

    Now a film festival that would have received minimal attention in the rest of the world (I had never heard of it before) will be covered to the nth detail and Kadeer’s visit and speech will be announced in every worldwide media outlet. All this hacking has done is focus even more attention on her.

    There is a saying from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To be hoist by one’s own petard.” I think if these hackers had just left her alone, she would have torpedoed her cause by her ridiculous statements without anyone doing it to her. Now she will garner sympathy along with the film festival because of these hacker attacks. In the end, it makes China look bad though it is only a very small minority that did this.

  102. Cissy Says:

    #101
    Steve, you over-estimated her. She’s not on the same level as Dalai Lama.

  103. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “To be hoist by one’s own petard.”

    I think giving Kadeer much exposure as she wants is equally fitting to that quote.

    Let her have all the stages and limelights in the West. She will discredit herself with her ridiculous claims and discredit her Western supporters. (At least to reasonable people.)

    For the conspiracy nuts, (such as the Birthers), they will believe whatever they want to believe about China any ways.

    If she wants controversy, let her have it. Put her under the spotlight and see how quickly she retracts her statements one after another.

    (Oh, too late.)

  104. FreedomOfSpeechHawk Says:

    * Should the Kadeer film be shown in the festival?

    Yes, by all means. Not showing it would be the worst thing the festival organizers could do. It would mean powerful states could dictate what can and what cannot be shown. It should b e criticized based on what is shown in the movie. Are there distortions? If yes, what are they?

    * Should politically motivated documentaries in general have a place in “cultural” events such as the Melbourne International Film Festival?

    Culture and politics cannot be separated. A movie about corruption is also a movie about politics. A movie about poverty is too. Do you want only nature documentaries?

    * Should the Chinese government have demanded the film to be removed?

    Only if they can make their claim specific: for instance, this part of the movie is a lie, etc. and back it up with evidence and not the usual propaganda! China wants to make Kadeer the Dalai Lama of Xinjiang because it is easier to personalize the problems there than to really deal with the issues (Han migration, cultural problems, religious issues)

    * Should the Chinese directors, despite their strong wounded pride and sense of justice, have persisted and stayed in the film festival?

    Yes, everyone has a right to speech. You can then say why you disagree with the film. Hold a press conference, and so on. But many Chinese cannot really deal with criticism especially if it comes from foreigners. Furthermore, a Michael Moore film could never be produced in China and there could never be a Chinese version of the Daily Show.

    * Does the withdraw successful send a message to the world? What is the message?

    Actually, it shows the opposite from what is intended. Many people outside China see this as the evil China trying to bully others to accept its views. If anything, it destroys the idea that China’s rise is peaceful.

  105. Steve Says:

    @ Cissy #102: Cissy, I think you have misinterpreted my position. I don’t overestimate Kadeer but I think the Chinese government has overestimated her and placed her on a villain pedestal that she doesn’t deserve. I personally believe she is fairly insignificant and it was a mistake to give her this publicity and status. Now she has an actual platform to air her somewhat strange views. She’s already been caught out in several inaccurate statements and that is why I used the Shakespeare quotation. I completely agree with you about comparing her to the Dalai Lama.

    @ FreedomOfSpeechHawk #103: I can also see why the festival kept the film in the program after being pressured by the Chinese government. They would have lost all credibility if they had given in. However, I disagree with your statement about the Chinese directors. Pulling their films, if done of their own accord, is definitely a form of freedom of speech. This criticism isn’t coming from foreigners, it’s coming from one of their own who is an expat.

    There could not be a Michael Moore film or Daily Show in most countries, not just China. That’s not a fair comparison.

    I don’t see the film withdrawal as the problem, I see the hacking as a much bigger problem. It’s a very immature response.

  106. Wukailong Says:

    @Steve (#105): Nietzsche said something to the effect that there’s nothing more mean-spirited than arguing for a good cause in a dumb way. If I were a Chinese hacker, I would put away my hacking skills and instead claim to represent Kadeer with stupid arguments. Of course, personally, I would never do something insidious like that. 😉

    I also agree with leaving the festival as freedom of speech. Zhang Yimou left the Cannes Festival once because he felt everything he did was being viewed through a sharp political lens.

    @HJZ (#99): “And I think the Chinese government is an idiot too. All those western medias writing all those biased reports and you still let them report in China?”

    You know, they tried exactly that last year, at least in Tibet. Did it work? Also, most of the pictures you mentioned were shot outside China.

    By the way, I saw the other day (on BBC) a picture of foreign protesters with slogans in English and Korean calling for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released, obviously not taken in Burma. Under the picture it said something like “Burmese protesters have been beaten by police.” Last year there were demonstrations where South Koreans burned pictures of Kim Jong-il. At least one newspaper claimed this was a picture of North Koreans being fed up with their dear leader. Finally, a picture claimed to be of an Israeli police officer yelling at a bleeding Palestinian man, was in fact a picture of a policeman trying to help a bleeding Israeli man who had been beaten up by Palestinians. (I can find sources for all of these, if someone’s interested)

    This just goes to show that there are a lot of biases out there, or maybe just that editors don’t worry too much where their pictures are from.

  107. HJZ Says:

    “You know, they tried exactly that last year, at least in Tibet. Did it work? Also, most of the pictures you mentioned were shot outside China.”

    What China did in Xizhang is not enough. China is very weak in the media area as a matter of fact. I’m sure CCP knows fully well the power of the the news media, as evidence from the tight control from the very beginning and the critical support that control brought to the eventual success.

    I think they need to hit back with legal actions against those idiot media. I think there are a lot of thing they could do. It’s not that hard to find those deliberately biased actions of some of the reports and many people in CHina will be willing to help locating them. You know, at the end, all those reporters just want to make some money to support their families and the media tycons to make a profit. Money and law will rein them in somewhat.

    HJZ

  108. Bob Says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/03/AR2009080302264_pf.html

    Whoa, whoa. Didn’t see this coming.

    So there is a terrorist problem after all in Australia. Maybe, just maybe, the Australian government should address the legitimate grievances these ethnic minorities have in the first place? Something like featuring a documentary film on these people would be a good start?

  109. Ian Says:

    For those who claim that the directors were forced to withdrawn from the film festival, I say, you are more brainwashed than anyone.

    The Chinese lost face? It’s better than to lose their lives to terrorists.

    The Chinese lost another chance to build a bridge? Why build a bridge to people who wouldn’t use it.

    To those who purposefully ignored the fact that the Chinese were the victims of last month’s riot, and instead hail Rebiya, I say, what did your parents teach you? Did they teach you that just because of some people believe in different things than you, you should hail the killers and humiliate the victims?

  110. FreedomOfSpeechHawk Says:

    Does anyone have an article that credibly shows evidence of Ms. Kadeer’s link to the riots? The few things I have read have not really convinced me. Ethnic tensions have been part of Xinjiang for a while as they have been in Tibet. The Chinese government’s claim that it has done all it could to manage the ethnic question is just not credible. Why would there be riots and unrest? A serious question is, why do you even need to entice Han to move to these areas? That is the main problem. Secondly, I have read an article in a Chinese paper that claims that Kadeer is an example that even Uyghurs can succeed. But, it seems to me she is rather an Uncle Tom, an exception, who became disillusioned. In my opinion, Chinese news reports are very biased in there reporting on Xinjiang and even more so than the Western media.

  111. HJZ Says:

    FreedomOfSpeechHawk :

    These are all “reasonable” and typical questions from the more reasonable people from the West.

    For the evidence, there are plenty already. You just have to connect the dots and use some common sense. The same with the mobster situation in the US. Everybody knows the ring leader killed someone, but all they could do was to trial them with tax fraud. Ya, I understand it, but this is ot going to work this way in China, I hope.

    “why do you even need to entice Han to move to these areas? ”

    For this you have to read more on Chinese history and then you can have another thought on if Han Chinese has the right to be in the Xinjiang region. Once you agree Han could be in Xinjiang, then you might understand why CCP want to entice Han to move there. There is a lot of interesting histroy. Give it a try.

    “Chinese news reports are very biased in there reporting on Xinjiang and even more so than the Western media.”

    Oh ya, for sure. That’s why CCP has specifically and clearlly and publically called this propaganda from the very beginning. They admit it, but not the West.

    HJZ

  112. FreedomOfSpeechHawk Says:

    dear HJZ,

    please show me the evidence (like news reports that report about it). It needs to be explicit in the sense that Kadeer needs to have ordered violence. Anything less does not qualify! She was not in China at the time and she cannot know exactly what happened. She talks a lot more than she should but it is VERY hard to imagine that she organized violence from overseas.

    Even though everything that is written is by nature biased, the Western press tries to follow guidelines of balance. If they do mistakes, they are often highlighted and discussed, often by other media. My favorite show about the media is NPR’s On the Media (http://www.onthemedia.org)

    Bias in the media requires many different voices, I believe in the principle of checks and balances. In China, you virtually only have one voice, in the West you have many different papers and you can read the Chinese media. In China, many websites that voice different opinions are blocked, so even if you want to get a different perspective, it is difficult.

  113. HJZ Says:

    “It needs to be explicit in the sense that Kadeer needs to have ordered violence”

    You’re probably looking for direct evidence, like they had a meeting and drafted a plan to do this and that. I don’t see that. And I don’t think they would be so stupid to do that. Still there could be other kind of direct evidence. My understanding is that CCP is collecting tons of information. I’m suspecting you might find some more “direct” evidence from the social networking stuffs. I don’t know if Twitter has those records or if they will be willing to share.

    Now there are a lots of circumstantial evidence which you have to try to dig out yourself if you’re really interested (most westner will stop here.) I’m not going to keep those things even if they are just news reports. From some of the earlier posts it looks like there might be some blogger who summarized what’s published so far. And I was told by a judge once as a jury in a trial that circumstantial evidence could be used to convict someone (I don’t care about this rule either way.) Now I rate the US jury system pretty low but that’s another story.

    “I believe in the principle of checks and balances.”

    This is just an idea. It does happen in some of the domestic areas in America. I find most of the local reporting having excellent quality. However, there is no check and balance in international affairs, niehther in international political news coverage. Show me one mainstream news report that has sympathy for the almost 200 people died in Xinjiang. I’m not even asking for a balanced report, just showing of sympathy for the people died. I used to read NYT and USA Today etc, not any more. But if you can find me that kind of report, it will help me adjust my view a little bit. And I agree with you on China news media, although it’s more western now (that is pretending to be objective.)

    HJZ

  114. FreedomOfSpeechHawk Says:

    Just read this article, I think it is pretty balanced:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6684928.ece

    I think a good way to get different viewpoints is to read the news at http://news.google.com which automatically collects news (no editor) and highlights the news that is talked about the most. It even features articles critical of Google itself.

    The problem with news from Xinjiang and Tibet is that journalists cannot independently verify the news. That is most important thing for objective journalism. The government says X but you cannot trust that source alone. That’s why journalists need to investigate. However, I agree that it is increasingly difficult to cover international news because it is expensive.

  115. HJZ Says:

    This article is probably more “balanced”, relatively speaking. Still I don’t feel there is much sympathy shown. And there is not much mentioning of the influence of separatist activities (heavily emphasized in Chinese news.) See, for me I have access to both sides and I got a “balanced” view. But how could a busy westner get that without access to the Chinese version? So the fact that I got “balanced” view is accidental, while the intention for the ordinary westners is to feed in-balanced view. Anything towards neutral here will be considered politically incorrect, or pro communist, and might not get published (so will loose the job,) I’m guessing

    OK, show me another article in mainstream westner media (the source most of the population watch only) the mentioning of the alleged fact, “Most of the rioters were from out of town “, metioned in post #42.

    “The problem with news from Xinjiang and Tibet is that journalists cannot independently verify the news. ”

    I think CCP is trying different strategies, controlling the westner media in Tibet which did not work, and openning in Xinjiang which did not work either. There is no balanced report reached to the west.

    As I suggested before, they should continue to keep it open but establish legal rules to punish those who deliberately twist the fact.

    Someone need to “check” them in order to the “balance”. Do you know who is checking them now?

    HJZ

  116. Steve Says:

    @ HJZ: This article is from Reuters and talks about the rioters being from southern Xinjiang. Hope this helps.

  117. HJZ Says:

    Ya, that’s a report as good as it could be, but look at the title “China flexes its muscles over Xinjiang”. Even with that title, I don’t think this kind of report can make it to those mainstream publications or portals like Yahoo News which is the only one I read now. But I realize that I could be wrong simply because I don’t read much any more. It’s so sad that now everytime I read a western report on China or other places like Korea, I become immediately suspicious. And most of the time, the reports turned out very biased which only re-enforce my suspicsion.

    HJZ

  118. Steve Says:

    @ HJZ: I don’t disagree with you, but I did want to point out that Reuters does not write the header, that is written by the individual newspaper. It’s only fair to Reuters to say so.

  119. Allen Says:

    @HJZ,

    Don’t lose faith. NYT, Time, Guardian, BBC, CNN, etc. are still all invaluable sources of information. Why tune out?

    Personally I think that between last year’s coverage of China and this year’s, many Western journalists have matured quite a lot – although, of course, you will still find a lot of imbeciles out there… 😉

  120. HJZ Says:

    Used to be so nice to sit in the Cafe or dinner Sunday morning reading NYT in hand. The writing was beautifull, the images were real, all the people interviewed had real names…. Not anymore. Now I feel everything is so fake, it’s less like news more like a movie. In fact one of the NYT reporter that I was able to communicate commented that there is now news TV anymore, they are all show to get the rating. Well a little bit extreme but I know what he was saying.

    Now it does not matter how much I say here, most people will still stick to NYT, BBC, … because they mostly have never seen the other side of the story. Those media all belong to one side. So there is no multiple outlet of news information.

    On the big picture, I think the western media industry loses big on the China market with their bad reputation (it does not matter how people think here.) But with what I know of the western world, they are usually quick to correct, if it is for the money. I hope it will happen. I think the money and the legal things I talked about will bring the “check and balance” the other post mentioned.

    HJZ

  121. ryan lee Says:

    like in all other areas china is quickly catching up even in the media arena. so I think the west should expect a more savvy and sophisticated media competitor in the future.

  122. FreedomOfSpeechHawk Says:

    dear ryanlee, I really hope so. Probably the first step would be to be more critical of the government and what it says. But that is still risky, so I won’t expect that anytime soon. Just look to Singapore, the Straits Times is distrusted by most Singaporeans when it comes to local affairs. It, however, does good international reporting.

    Google News often shows Chinese sources, like Xinhua.

    Finally, you have to have a little mistrust of everything you read and hear. There are no absolute facts, but only perceptions. The Chinese would do well to understand the perceptions of the Uyghurs better because that would help avoid a reoccurance of such a riot! Don’t take a Han nationalist view only as fact.

  123. HJZ Says:

    There is really nothing to be too proud of the fact that the western media could criticize the government. If, for example, a left leaning news media becomes influrential and criticizing say the US political system and calls for some kind of dramatic change (like the US media is trying to do that to China), I’m sure the FBI will start to pay attention and knock their door. Remember, it has to be influrential. So insignificant organizations do not count. And it did happen in the past. That’s the Mccarthy movement.

    (also look at it how hard it will be for the few mainstream media to publish reports on corporate corruptions etc.)

    If you read Chinese media, there are lots of local news/commentary criticizing the government. Of course those who attacks the political system are banned, because my understanding is the society is not politically stable enough.

    The bottom line is very similar although the two countries of US and China are quite different the degree of development and culture.

    Now let me say this, despite all the problem US has it is still a great country and with great system. (I just don’t want someone to knock my door, but again I’m nobody.)

    HJZ

  124. raventhorn4000 Says:

    To apply some of the Western Logic:

    Democracy is ultimately about giving the populous just enough “stake” in the “system” so that they would impose self-censorship.

    Ultimately, create big enough of a “Middle Class” that they would naturally go after “unpatriotic dissenters” on their own.

    Who needs police state, when you have a flag waving Conservative old fashion family valued gun owning Middle class?

    *On that note, China is well on its way to that “Democracy”.

    🙂

  125. HJZ Says:

    I think this is very interesting to me, but more academic or philasophical.

    In the “field”, I feel “democrocy” was used as a weapon for imperialistic gain. You have to ask why the West is so eager with the democratization of other nations, sometime even resorting to wars. I think more and more young and old people in China are realizing this. In another more or less philasophical way, I think “democracy” could not be imposed but should be agreed upon. I look at some of the places, like Taiwain, where the population is polarized and they call themselves democratic. Forget about it. It’s not going to work.

    Alright, I’ve spent too much time here and feel like I’m running out of steam and start to get ahead of myself and act stupid now. That’s all I know about politics.

    HJZ

  126. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Obviously, “Foreign Democratic well wishers” are the ultimate “5th Column”.

    In the Colonial Era, Religion was a tool of imperialist exploitation.

    Today, it is a new religion of “democracy”.

    (And really, it is a religion, organized, and completely dependent upon a leap of faith. If the system works, Oh it’s because of Democracy, but if it doesn’t work, it’s because you haven’t prayed hard enough or not “democratic enough”. Same logic for God and miracles.)

    🙂

  127. FOARP Says:

    @Raventhorn –

    1) The phrase ‘5th Column’ is used to indicate internal enemies, not external ones. I think you mean a ‘Trojan horse’.

    2) Odd to mention that practically everyone I have spoken to at any great length since I arrived back in China yesterday (at the moment I am visiting) has spoken of their desire for democratic reform without prompting. It would seem that you are in a minority.

  128. Wukailong Says:

    @HJZ: “Used to be so nice to sit in the Cafe or dinner Sunday morning reading NYT in hand. The writing was beautifull, the images were real, all the people interviewed had real names…. Not anymore. Now I feel everything is so fake, it’s less like news more like a movie. In fact one of the NYT reporter that I was able to communicate commented that there is now news TV anymore, they are all show to get the rating. Well a little bit extreme but I know what he was saying.”

    Hmm, when reading the discussions last year after 3.14 I realized a strange fact: a lot of people actually believed the “Western media” as a whole was objective and everything was real. If you held this viewpoint, I can understand you’re shocked, and have turned to the other side, so to speak.

    Even before my teens, I remember a case where the local media got names wrong and even put in the wrong pictures of an event I was present at… Even worse, in highschool there was a case where some youngsters had put explosives in a locker. Me and two of my friends found out by forcibly open the locker (we had seen a group of younger students around that particular locker, so we were curious). Later, when the newspapers learned about the case, they didn’t know how it was discovered and simply made up their own versions!

    I could speak at greater length about this, but suffice it to say that I would hope that people were more aware about how the media works before something like 3.14 happens… It could spare them some nationalist anger. In the Chinese case, they could stop seeing Western media as specifically against China.

  129. Wukailong Says:

    Although I should add that you probably need some sort of heuristic to read any newspaper. It’s not realistic not to read any media at all. Personally, I usually accept descriptions of events (disasters, attacks, shoot-outs, industry/tech news) – they’ll probably be quite accurate. I tend to be skeptical towards reports about conflicts and specific persons, especially if one side is portrayed as evil. Two examples are the contested elections in Iran and what Mugabe has really done in Zimbabwe. I do have a negative feeling about these examples, but I’ll keep my options open because I realize that, if I were Chinese, I would think the same thing about Dalai Lama, for example, and that only because the media says so.

  130. Steve Says:

    @ FOARP #127: It seems that many people living in a democracy like to complain about it a lot, while many people not living in a democracy wish they had more of it. It’s quite a paradox!

  131. hongkonger Says:

    (And really, it is a religion, organized, and completely dependent upon a leap of faith. If the system works, Oh it’s because of Democracy, but if it doesn’t work, it’s because you haven’t prayed hard enough or not “democratic enough”. Same logic for God and miracles.)

    Very well said. Very well said indeed.

    Democracy is a nice idea….the greek came up with it but thousands of years later the idea is incorporated in Marxism …. The West finally used and abused it — such are the facts of history. The concept is akin to the modern day Amun-Rah-cum-Judeo-Westernized concept of monotheism and the slew of empty promises of a place where “the lion shall lie with the lamb,” without mentioning that soon after that, the lamb is torn to pieces when the Lion got hungry.
    Ok, although the phrase of “the lion shall lie down with the lamb” is one of the more popular quotes from the Bible, it’s really misquoted. In the King James version of Isaiah 11:6, it’s the wolf that dwells with the lamb, and it’s a leopard that lies down with a kid, and “the calf and the young lion and the fatling together.” Hm, wolves in sheep skin, a ferocous spotted feline among the young & innocent, fodders & fatling readily available for the powers that be. What a wonderful world to be.

  132. raventhorn4000 Says:

    FOARP:

    “2) Odd to mention that practically everyone I have spoken to at any great length since I arrived back in China yesterday (at the moment I am visiting) has spoken of their desire for democratic reform without prompting. It would seem that you are in a minority.”

    I will repeat my earlier comment to you, since you missed it.

    “Who needs police state, when you have a flag waving Conservative old fashion family valued gun owning Middle class?

    *On that note, China is well on its way to that “Democracy”.”

  133. Otto Kerner Says:

    @raventhorn #124,

    “Who needs police state, when you have a flag waving Conservative old fashion family valued gun owning Middle class?”

    It’s funny, I can sense the derision with which this description was written, but none of these qualities look like bad things to me.

    “*On that note, China is well on its way to that ‘Democracy’.”

    Could you please tell me more about China’s gun-owning middle class?

  134. HJZ Says:

    Just read about a report “China says plane diverted to Afghanistan by threat” on Yahoo News.

    The first line says:
    “A plane scheduled to land in China’s western region of Xinjiang that was rocked by ethnic riots last month was diverted to southern Afghanistan by a bomb threat, state media said Sunday.”

    Blah blah blah.

    So my impression was that this is a Chinese plane having problem and had to divert to Afghanistan.

    Then I quickly checked my Chinese news: “”阿富汗一架飞赴中国新疆的客机遭遇炸弹威胁”.

    What a difference. Why this guy did not report this plane was from Afghanistan? Why he missed one of the most important details of this offical account?

    I started to remember this guy, “GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer”. Many very biassed reports of Tibet and Xinjiang are from him.

    Now near the end of the above report, he wrote:

    “The government has said that Urumqi has slowly been returning to normal since the rioting erupted on July 5 after police stopped a protest by ethnic Uighur residents. The Uighurs went on a rampage, smashing windows, burning cars and beating Han Chinese — the nation’s dominant ethnic group. Two days later, the Han took to the streets and attacked Uighurs.”

    It sounds like, there was a protest and the police mistreated them so Uighurs had to vent the anger by beating the Hans. But the Hans attacked Uighurs later.

    Technically all correct, but the impression is almost like the almost 200 deaths might be the result of the Han attack. He never mentioned that the deaths were caused by the “beating”, did he? The “attack” is almost like equal to, if not worse than, “beating” (what a balanced reporting.) How cunning this Wong is! Anybody knows any background informatin on him?

    HJZ

Leave a Reply


Warning: fsockopen(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home/chenlc03/blog.foolsmountain.com/wp-content/plugins/sweetcaptcha-revolutionary-free-captcha-service/library/sweetcaptcha.php on line 81

Warning: fsockopen(): unable to connect to www.sweetcaptcha.com:80 (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known) in /home/chenlc03/blog.foolsmountain.com/wp-content/plugins/sweetcaptcha-revolutionary-free-captcha-service/library/sweetcaptcha.php on line 81