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Aug 05

The mathematics of 10,000 disappearing Uighurs: refuting a refutation of Kadeer’s claim

Written by DJ on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 2:20 am
Filed under:General | Tags:, , ,
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In recent days, there have been widespread and unchallenged reports of Rebiya Kadeer’s accusation in Japan that 10,000 Uighurs disappeared overnight in Urumqi on July 5. I can not find a transcript of Ms. Kadeer’s press conference speech. The following, from the Guardian, is one of the more detailed and also seemingly the most critical account of her accusation:

“Almost 10,000 people attending the protests in Urumqi disappeared in one night,” Kadeer, president of the pro-independence World Uighur Congress, said. “Where did they go? If they died, where are their bodies? If they were detained, where are they being held?”

It was unclear where Kadeer got her numbers from.


Therefore I was quite excited to have found a first person’s description of Ms. Kadeer’s words. Xu Jingbo (徐静波), president of Asia News Service, posted an entry titled “my conversation with Kadeer: where did 10,000 people go?” (我与热比娅对话:1万人上哪了) in his blog. The following is a translation of the relevant section.

[Kadeer said] “The Uighurs went on streets to protest violent oppressions by the Chinese government. More than 10,000 people gathered in the downtown square. Suddenly, the lights were shut down in the square, and gun fire was heard. When the lights were switched back on, these 10,000 people were no where to be seen. No one knew if they were killed or detained.”

I found this hard to believe. So I said to her, in Chinese, that it would have taken at least 30,000 police or soldiers, and several thousand vehicles. If there were so many bodies on the street, it would have been even more difficult to mop up the scene. And that was just common sense. While the riot was going on, where could those 30,000 military members come from? …

Well, I think Mr. Xu’s refutation of Ms. Kadeer’s claim was highly misguided. Here are some simple calculations to show that it would take much less than 30,000 soldiers to snatch 10,000 people.

  1. The fundamental mistake made by Mr. Xu was to assume that it would take a massive number of soldiers to control 10,000 people. He must not be aware that PLA soldiers were well trained in witchcraft. See the photo of two broom riding flying soldiers below for proof.
  2. broom

    • There is a well known spell “Impedimenta” that causes a person to freeze for about a minute. So assuming that each PLA soldier wizard can shout out that spell and point the wand to the target once per second, he would be able to freeze and control 50 subjects indefinitely by continuously casting the spell. (As for the remaining 10 seconds of a minute, he can drink water and take a break.)
    • Therefore it would only take 200 PLA soldier wizards to keep the 10,000 people under control.
  3. Let’s further assume that each military truck, similar to the one shown in the infamously cropped image from CNN, can hold 50 people. It would only take 200 such trucks to take all 10,000 people away, not thousands.
  4. 20080315cnntibetcroppedimage

  5. Assuming it takes 10 seconds to carry and position a person onto the truck, (we are talking about ruthless Chinese military efficiency here), then loading a truck with 50 people would take 10 minutes. (100 seconds are added in to account for the overhead for the truck to be driven in, positioned and driven away.)
  6. According to Gaisma, the duration from dusk to dawn on July 5 in Urumqi lasts about 480 minutes. But let’s be realistic. No one should assume the operation would have started exactly at sunset and ended at sunrise. So let’s say 400 minutes were available for the whole operation.
  7. This means there should be a minimum of {200 trucks / (400 minutes / 10 minutes per truck loading) } = 5 trucks being loaded in parallel at any time.
  8. For each truck being loaded, let’s assume two soldiers were needed to carry one person. So it would take 100 soldiers per truck. (One could argue that a pair of soldiers could carry more than one person per truck loading. But let’s not go there. Just imagine what it means for you to carry a person every 10 minutes for a whole night.)
  9. So the total number of soldiers needed is { 200 wizards + 200 drivers + (100 loaders per truck * 5 trucks) } = 900.
  10. Oh, and there was that one more guy needed to switch off and on the lights in the square.
  11. That makes it 901, which is far less than 30,000 as claimed by Mr. Xu.

Oh, I should also state my admiration for Ms. Kadeer’s source. He/she must have be a very patient (to stand there for a whole night) and lucky (to not being picked up) witness.


There are currently 13 comments highlighted: 44736, 44766, 44774, 44787, 44805, 44923, 44926, 44973, 44981, 44983, 45001, 45006, 45014.

154 Responses to “The mathematics of 10,000 disappearing Uighurs: refuting a refutation of Kadeer’s claim”

  1. Uln Says:

    Good one DJ! and 沙发 again, amazing!

    It is things like this that make me think: what are we all doing listening to this lady? Why dont we send more people there to try to research on the ground, instead of just relaying and analyzing her messages? Are they even worth analyzing, when it is unclear how many Uyghurs she really represents?

    BTW, I dig the picture with the Chinese soldiers on the broomstick, did you get it from some Chinese forum, or did you take it yourself during a visit to China. Actuallly it is a very common sight over here! 🙂

  2. Charles Liu Says:

    Kadeer’s lies have already been discredited. However these facts continue to take a back seat to general focus on Uyghur’s “legitmate grievances”, all seem to rationalize and justify the violence.

    For example, this particullar from Telegraph reporter on the ground, was never picked up elsewhere:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/5778736/China-mounts-massive-security-operation-to-contain-ethnic-violence.html

    “Miss Kadeer, 62, has denied the accusations and on Wednesday repeated her claims that 400 Uighurs had been killed in Urumqi and a further 100 in Kashgar, the second-largest Uighur city in Xinjiang.

    However her claims appear to conflict directly with witness testimonies and other reports gathered by international media on the ground in Urumqi over the last three days.

    In the People’s Hospital No.2, the overwhelming number of the 360 casualties were Han Chinese who, according to doctors, had injuries consistent with being beaten with rocks, sticks and other blunt instruments.”

    Instead, our military-industrial-media-complex reported verbatem Kadeer’s made up Uyghur casualty counts, 100, 400, 800 – whatever she said seems to be the gosple. That’s something I’m pretty sure the Chinese government had nothing to do with.

  3. DJ Says:

    Uln,

    Actually, I am not particularly interested in criticizing Kadeer or her words since, like you pointed out, I see her as unworthy of any attention. My problem is with the media. How difficult is it for any reporter to poke through this paper thin claim? This is just pathetic.

    As for the photo of the broom riding soldiers, it seems to have originated from the U.S. military.

  4. Steve Says:

    @ DJ & Uln: If David Copperfield can make the entire Empire State Building disappear, surely the PLA is more than capable of making 10,000 Uyghurs disappear. Oh, wait a minute. That is an ILLUSION!!

    So does that mean the PLA has created the illusion that 10,000 Uyghurs disappeared when they were there all the time? Or does it mean that Kadeer’s sources and explanations are an illusion?

  5. Cissy Says:

    Whoever takes this old lady seriously needs to get his head examined. I’d rather go for Sarah Palin.

  6. Porfiriy Says:

    “Why dont we send more people there to try to research on the ground, instead of just relaying and analyzing her messages? Are they even worth analyzing, when it is unclear how many Uyghurs she really represents?”

    Because the Chinese government is not permitting “us.” Speaking of “illusions,” one of the media coups the PRC has pulled off in the wake of the 7/5 riots is to provide the West with the “illusion” that it has opened up Urumqi to Western reporting when in reality Western reporters are given just enough slack to create a positive illusion but not enough to ferret out underlying details. Reporters are only allowed to go to specific parts of the town and meet with specific people. They’ve been booted out of Kashgar, which although was not a site of violence, can help provide a more complete picture of the Uyghur sentiment towards regional ethnic policy (which in my oh-so-humble opinion is the real culprit behind the riots).

    The China blogosphere is laying a lot of very deserved criticism at the Uyghur diaspora and their claims. What’s getting on my nerves is that at the same time people are overcompensating, patting the Chinese media on the head, and saying, “You’ve been misunderstood all along, but this time we’ll believe you!” when in reality the same level of skepticism should be applied at China’s claims as well. People cry “double standard” all the time when they criticize Western coverage of China but then succumb to a double standard as well when it comes to evaluating the claims of Chinese state organs.

    As for Rebiya, yeah, she’s being pretty opportunistic, and yeah, Uyghur organizations outside of China are being *extremely* unprofessional about handling this sitaution. But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. To interpret Rebiya’s ineptness as a go-ahead and say that she must’ve been the mastermind behind the riots is to display a similar level of ineptness. Do not ascribe to malice what in reality is incompetence. Other than one phone call that proves nothing, we’ve yet to see any hard evidence that Rebiya or “outside elements” for that matter instigated the attacks.

    This is not a zero-sum game, people. Just because “one side” (the Western media) is wrong or biased DOESN’T MEAN the “other side” (Chinese media) is right.

    Frankly, the blogging on how silly Rebiya’s claims are is getting cliche and tiring. I honestly think Rebiya’s claims are so outrageous and naive that to constantly highlight how silly they are is akin to picking on a retarded kid – it’s OBVIOUS that these claims don’t have any backing and by so consistently pointing it out to your readers you’re kind of insulting their intelligence. We get the point! We can figure it out! If you’re mad that the Western media is reporting on Rebiya’s claims (which almost all media outlets repeat as that, as “claims”, NOT as facts), then you should be equally mad that the Western media is reporting the Chinese’ media’s statistics without being shown a list of the names of the victims and detained individuals to substantiate the numbers, and mad that the Western media is reporting the Chinese allegation that Rebiya is the “mastermind” without offering any proof but a single phone call, that the Western media is accepting Chinese casualty reports without seeing any detailed reports of casualties and injuries on July 6, and 7, and 8.

    Basically, I believe BOTH sides have an agenda, that BOTH sides are fudging the numbers, that BOTH sides are clouding what actually happened, and what we really know about July 5th is pathetically small. But English-language Chinese blogs are having a field day criticizing the Western media when a blog that is concerned with ferreting out biases and challenging untruths (like this one) should be pointing a healthy skepticism at BOTH sides. People are being intellectually lazy by blogging on Kadeer and her claims, which are easily seen and proven as false, and ignoring the more obscure and intellectually challenging issue of the Chinese media’s portrayal of events.

  7. rthth Says:

    china has no idea what its dealing with. if u dont believe me ask to armenians or greeks about the events they lived. it’s highly possible that chinese people ate them… it’s very logical! don’t they eat their babies or insects for example?

  8. Tom Riddle Says:

    I’m sorry DJ, but you are a noob when it comes to magic. The “Impedimenta” does not freeze people, it simply slows things down. [1]

    I believe only 1 PLA wizard was used in the disappearance of the 10,000 peaceful protesters. This wizard is a Parselmouth [2], and he bred a basilisk [3]. As a direct look into the eyes of a basilisk causes instant death, this PLA wizard simply raised the snake into the air using the Wingardium Leviosa spell [4], and then made a loud bang with the Avis spell [5] to make the 10,000 protesters look up, thereby killing them all instantly. Then, he used some Transfiguration [6] magic and turned the stunned protesters into dusts which he then blew away with a conjured large fan.

    As to the turning off of the lights, that was done either through the Deluminator, stolen by the PLA crackzards from Ronald Weasley, or the Peruvian instant darkness powder, again stolen by the PLA thievzards from George Weasley’s shop in London.

    Please don’t embarrass yourself with your lack of magical knowledge in the future.

    Signed

    Lord Voldemort

    [1] http://www.hp-lexicon.org/magic/spells/spells_i.html#impedimenta
    [2] http://www.hplex.info/magic/parseltongue.html
    [3] http://www.hplex.info/bestiary/bestiary_b.html#basilisk
    [4] http://www.hplex.info/magic/spells/spells_w.html#wingardium_leviosa
    [5] http://www.hplex.info/magic/spells/spells_a.html#avis
    [6] http://www.hplex.info/magic/transfiguration.html

  9. pug_ster Says:

    #4 Porfiriy

    Perhaps Chinese Media should portray how innocent bystanders are trapped into a back alleyway and many of these innocent men, women and children are slaughtered by having their throats slit? Maybe China doesn’t want to rub salt into the wound and not telling the gruesome side of the story.

    As for Chinese media making false claims or not telling the truth, can you tell us what is it? I don’t see anything wrong with the Chinese Media making false claims. (EDIT- I should’ve said I don’t see the China making false claims. Sorry)

    We all know that Kadeer has a few screws loose inside her head. The problem is that somehow the Western Media lets her speak her mind without checking the facts. It reminds me of how the Western Media allows some crazed Tibetan Leader to speak his mind. That’s not journalism, that’s sensationalism or false propaganda, whatever you want to call it.

  10. Steve Says:

    @ pug_ster #9: How can the western media check the facts when the facts can only be supplied by the Chinese government? As Porfiriy wrote, the government claims certain things but doesn’t back up those claims with solid proof. So you have a situation where reporters report what this side says and then balance it with what the other side says. When nothing can be confirmed, then everything can come into play.

    You wrote, “I don’t see anything wrong with the Chinese Media making false claims.” I see plenty wrong with it, to be honest. If someone continually makes false claims, it’s the story of the boy who cried wolf so when they make truthful claims, no one believes them. Once trust and credibility are shot, it’s hard to get back no matter how honest you then become. If you become known as a government propaganda outlet, then that’s what people will assume you are and will take what you write or say with a grain of salt.

    I respectfully disagree with your comparison of Kadeer with the Dalai Lama. Regardless of your view of the DL, he does have worldwide credibility and more importantly, high credibility with Tibetans themselves. I’m not convinced that Kadeer has much credibility within Xinjiang itself. She’s a classic populist opportunist demagogue; a publicity hound. She made her money by becoming a party bigwig and taking advantage of the guanxi that her position provided, then blew it by her sense of personal self-importance and was jailed and deported, and now looks for ways to be a player again. China provided her those ways, big time, by placing her in the DL category.

    Tibet and Xinjiang are two completely different circumstances and can’t really be compared, though it is easy to do so and now even easier since she has been compared to the DL by the government. I believe that was a mistake.

    @ Tom Riddle #8: Sorry, you died at the end of book seven. Imposter!!

    Sincerely,
    A Muggle 😉

  11. pug_ster Says:

    I also think that the Chinese Media did the right thing to go out of the way and discredit Kadeer. If the Chinese Media did nothing, other western Media outlets could easily make speculations about repeating her lies of the 10,000 disappearing Uyghurs. Chinese Media could easily lose the information war like how John Kerry got swiftboated in the 2004 election.

  12. pug_ster Says:

    @Steve #10

    When I say “I don’t see anything wrong with the Chinese Media making false claims.” I meant to say that I don’t see the Chinese Media making false claims, at least in this situation. Sorry I word it wrong.

    Most of the stories out there, including msnbc, are mostly re-hashed stories from AP or according xinhua or something, but not all the reporting are from ‘original’ reports from Western outlet themselves.

    As comparing the Dalai Lama and Kadeer, I am not comparing what Uyghur’s think of Kadeer to the Tibetans think of the Dalai Lama. I’m saying the similiaries between the 2 people is that when Western journalists have interviews with both of these people, these people did not ask the ‘tough questions’ instead just let them speak their minds.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24073087

    Here’s another ‘interview’ by Ann Curry earlier this year, sorry I couldn’t find a transcript.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/29623208#29623208

  13. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, why aren’t you demanding porfiriy for proof the other way around? “BOTH sides are fudging the numbers”, where’s the evidence that the 200 dead, mostly Hans, is fudged?

    You demand abolute proof from the Chinese government, but such proof arn’t necessary when it comes to indicting the Chinese government. That’s called demonization. Such double standard is utterly disgusting.

    IMHO what the Chinese media released so far is a lot more credible than Kadeer’s number that grew from 100 to 400 to 800 to 10,000 – but like DJ said our media is happy to give her a free pass.

    Steve, I really don’t think comment 8 deserves a highlight. What porfiriy is doing is conceeding the obvious that Kadeer had lied all along, then turn it around and indict the Chinese government as no better – but where’s the proof?

    Yet, people like you are ready to swallow this propaganda hook line and sinker, without any proof.

  14. American Says:

    What can you say, the westerners hate china.

  15. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: I didn’t highlight comment #6 or 8 but that’s the prerogative of individual editors. I don’t highlight many comments and my criteria is that it brings something new to bear on the discussion, not that I agree or disagree with it.

    Proof of the numbers from either viewpoint can only come from the government. No one else has access to them. So whether you want to prove the numbers are high, low or accurate, it still has to come from the government. I didn’t indict anyone, I just said there is no proof and none can be had until the government provides it.

    @ pug_ster: I agree with you completely when it comes to media asking tough questions. So far, all I’ve heard are ‘softball’ questions.

  16. American Says:

    @Steve:

    You wrote:
    @ pug_ster #9: How can the western media check the facts when the facts can only be supplied by the Chinese government? As Porfiriy wrote, the government claims certain things but doesn’t back up those claims with solid proof. So you have a situation where reporters report what this side says and then balance it with what the other side says. When nothing can be confirmed, then everything can come into play.

    Give me a government that is trustworthy, we were told Saddam had WMD? LOL.

  17. Porfiriy Says:

    @Charles, #13

    I’m not sure I grasp your understanding of logic.

    The burden is not on me to prove that the Chinese media’s numbers are WRONG, the burden is on the Chinese media/state to prove that their numbers are RIGHT, i.e. not fudged. One of the vital details here that distinguishes the Chinese media from Western media is that the Chinese media is part of the state apparatus. Therefore, it is within the media/state’s means to provide all the information required to understand what happened on July 5th and the following weeks, and what the numbers of detained individuals are; the Western media, as non-state organizations, does not have the means to access that information – they can only report what they have access to and, as I pointed out, the government was strategically limiting (dare I say manipulating) what Western reporters in Urumqi had access to.

    Furthermore, you’re obfuscating the discussion. The “numbers fudged” discussion vis-a-vis the original post is not the number of people killed, but the number of people detained in relation to the crimes. I don’t need evidence that the riots were violent – I have seen pictures of murdered people and burning buildings. I don’t dispute that. However, pictures and videos do not constitute numbers, and furthermore the detained of suspects was a far less documented occurance.

    Your criticism of Kadeer’s numbers is, “If you’re goign to say this number, you must prove it.” Kadeer must show names, must show photos, must reveal sources.

    Well, I’m saying, regarding the Chinese media and government’s numbers, “If you’re going to say this number, you must prove it” The government must release names, describe charges, publicize evidence against criminal suspects, and allow neutral third party international observers (from the UN, or from another country) to observe the criminal proceedings against Uyghur suspects, starting from detainment.

    You accuse me of “disgusting” double standards, but that’s a completely inaccurate portrayal and a misunderstanding of the concept of “proof.” I don’t need to prove that China’s numbers are wrong, they need to prove that their numbers are right, just like Kadeer and anyone else making numerical claims about the incident and the aftermath.

    Frankly, the government is more at fault, precisely because Kadeer is a random, discredited element making bogus claims but it IS within the government’s ability to show us, the world, all the evidence we need to piece together what happened that day, but they don’t. They feed us disconnected bits of information that 1) give us the impression of openness and 2) shifts blame for the incident away from the Party’s own policies and towards Rebiya Kadeer.

    If anyone has a double standard, it’s you – you demand Kadeer to prove her numbers but don’t ask the same of the Chinese media or government. I am asking both sides to present evidence. Simply saying that x Uyghurs have been detained or y Uyghurs have been charged is insufficent, for EITHER side. That, as far as I can tell, is applying the same standard to everyone.

    In terms of the Western media’s coverage of Kadeer, I make two important points:

    First, almost every single major news outlet I have seen regarding Kadeer’s claims report them as claims. You need to pay attention to the wording. These stories are saying, “Kadeer SAYS that blah blah blah.” They are not taking it as fact, they are reporting what another person said. It’s not that the numbers Kadeer says are factual, therefore the news agencies are reporting it. Rather, the fact that kadeer is simply SAYING it is newsworthy, and THAT is why the news agencies are reporting it. which brings me to my second point:

    Why are Rebiya Kadeer’s words newsworthy? Because the Western media is biased and want to give an anti-China opposition leader a platform? Maybe. There’s partial truth in that. But I want to invite everyone to put their brains on this question – and if you do, you’ll realize that Rebiya Kadeer has risen to media promincence exactly because the Chinese media has been so vehement in villifying her. Can you really blame the Western media? With Xinhua and China Daily being so outspoken and enthusiastic about accusing Kadeer as a mastermind, demonizing her past, and getting her family members to denounce her, the Western Media will naturally and fairly ask, “Who is Rebiya Kadeer, and what is she saying?” You need to lighten your assumptions about the Western media, which are partially true, and realize that the Chiense government itself has played a huge role in drawing the spolight to Kadeer.

  18. Steve Says:

    @ American: Good point, but it also ended up that by lying about WMD, the Republican party was throw out of office with scant prospects of getting back in power so it eventually came back to bite them.

    In this case, the government can provide the names of the dead and also provide the names of the rioters who are currently under arrest. If they do so, then Kadeer looks like a fool, right? Remember, I’m no fan of Kadeer’s and I’ve been consistent in my criticisms of her. I’d like to see her discredited as much as Charles and others here, but I also understand that there is another factor that comes into play.

    The Chinese system is different than what is common in the rest of the world. This isn’t good or bad, it just is. The government sees no need to provide “proof”. Once the party has assigned guilt, that should be enough in their eyes and to be questioned for proof to them shows a lack of respect. Outside of China, if people don’t see “proof” (even fake proof as your example shows), they will report both sides as equal. They call this “fair and balanced” reporting. Again, this isn’t good or bad, it just is. Fighting either one is like fighting the setting of the sun. You can rail against the dying of the day, but in the end the sun still sets.

    The problem is that the non-Chinese world wants China to change to their style, and China wants the non-Chinese world to change to their style. And that’s the great conundrum. Since neither is about to change, there’s this constant clashing of wills between the two forces. Rather than share information, the government tends to hoard it even when sharing would be to their advantage. It’s just not their way.

    American, I don’t hate China, I really like China. But having lived in both places, I was always seeing how the two systems clashed in certain ways of presenting information and how those clashes hurt understanding between the two. It frustrates me when non-Chinese countries don’t take China’s ways into consideration and it frustrates me when China doesn’t take non-Chinese countries’ ways into consideration.

    I’m a pragmatist. Have a goal and then figure out how to achieve your goal. When your plan of action isn’t accomplishing your goal, create a new plan. By withholding this information, in my opinion the Chinese cat just isn’t catching any mice.

  19. Charles Liu Says:

    Porfiriy, “not fudged”, how does one prove a negative? You are the one making the “it’s fudged” accusation. Where’s the evidence.

    As to Kadeer fudging numbers, you’ve already conceeded this is true, so that horse is out of the barn already. As to proof, please see citation provided in comment 2, per Peter Frost Kadeer’s number has been contradicted.

    Please show some evidence the Chinese government’s number has been contradicted. And yes, I blame the Western media for giving Kadeer a free pass, something that would’ve happened regardless. Had the Chinese government kept silent, our media would’ve reported it as silent admission.

    Same with “detained of suspects was a far less documented occurance”, it’s not there’s no reports comming from China, just our media is not interested in casting Uyghurs in negative light, as it goes against our official narrative of China. For examples:

    http://www.xjrb.com/news_view.asp?id=7104 (another 319 riot suspects detained since 7/29, adding to the 263 already detained)

    http://www.gxnews.com.cn/staticpages/20090804/newgx4a782c97-2199688.shtml (83 warrants as of 8/3, for Uyghurs and Hans. Suspects named for grange arson where 5 people died)

    http://news.sdinfo.net/gnxw/688382.shtml (8/4 press conference annoucing 718 suspects detained, exhibition of evidence including DNA, fingerprints, 92 groups of electronic evidence, 2169 photos)

    http://moj.gov.cn/0801/2009-07/30/content_1131093.htm (names and phots of wanted)

    http://news.ifeng.com/mainland/special/wulumuqisaoluan/zuixinbaodao/200907/0707_7229_1238039.shtml (7/7 announcement of 1000 some detained suspects, those misled individual who did not commit serious crime, are released to home districts.)

  20. American Says:

    @Steve:

    You wrote:
    The Chinese system is different than what is common in the rest of the world. This isn’t good or bad, it just is. The government sees no need to provide “proof”. Once the party has assigned guilt, that should be enough in their eyes and to be questioned for proof to them shows a lack of respect. Outside of China, if people don’t see “proof” (even fake proof as your example shows), they will report both sides as equal. They call this “fair and balanced” reporting. Again, this isn’t good or bad, it just is. Fighting either one is like fighting the setting of the sun. You can rail against the dying of the day, but in the end the sun still sets.

    When was the last time any government provide proof to support their claim? The reason western countries seem to have an upper hand when dealing with China is that China need their help to improve their economic stand which in term supports social stability. Otherwise, China will simple give the finger.

  21. Steve Says:

    @ American: Not sure exactly what you’re asking here. If most governments arrest someone, they provide the names of who were arrested. If people are killed, the names are provided as soon as they are known.

    Your outlook about China’s attitude to the rest of the world seems pretty negative. If China is only using the rest of the world until self sufficient rather than a vital part of the world community, she’ll end up like she did when the Ming dynasty turned inward. Fortunately, the leaders running China don’t think that way. They get along fine with most governments. That doesn’t mean there aren’t occasional differences and those differences tend to get played out in the media, but overall I think things are getting better and better as time goes on. Win/Lose scenarios are never as successful and Win/Win ones. I see the friction diminishing over time, not increasing. Maybe I’m overly optimistic but that’s the way I see it.

  22. Brad Says:

    @Steve #18

    ” The problem is that the non-Chinese world wants China to change to their style, and China wants the non-Chinese world to change to their style. ”

    This is incorrect.

    The problem is that the West (self-claimed democratic world) insists that China change to the western style; whereas, China keeps saying do not interfere with China’s affair, you don’t know what you are talking about. It is all about western arrogance, ignorance rooted from colonial supremacy. The west wants to dictate.

  23. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, Brad is right; look up what “Western Exceptionalism” is:

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=Western+Exceptionalism

  24. American Says:

    @Steve,

    You wrote:
    @ American: Not sure exactly what you’re asking here. If most governments arrest someone, they provide the names of who were arrested. If people are killed, the names are provided as soon as they are known.

    My question was a statement. My point was government can provide anything as a proof. Evidence was provide to UN that Saddam had WMD, right? Do you believe western country invest their money in China is to help develop China? If you do, than I think you are a person with good heart. The reality is profits, profits and profits. In some way, it is a win-win for both China and Westerners.

  25. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, names were released, there are warrents out there. Please see news reports cited in comment 19. You can’t find it doesn’t mean they are not there.

    Here’s a Baidu search with keywords “Urumqi suspects”:

    http://www.baidu.com/s?ie=gb2312&bs=%CE%DA%C2%B3%C4%BE%C6%EB+%B2%B6&sr=&z=&cl=3&f=8&wd=%CE%DA%C2%B3%C4%BE%C6%EB+%CF%D3%D2%C9&ct=0

    It shows press conferences along the way announcing suspects detained, released, as well as warrants for those with sufficient evidence of serious crimes.

    If you want to see just government announcement add “site:.gov.cn” keyword.

  26. uln Says:

    @Porfiry – As I said before in other posts: yes, I am not being completely fair to the Wesern media. I understand that it is very difficult to actually do investigative journalism in China because the authorities do not allow it. That is because China has no rule of law, or freedom of speech, and because the only real law there is the party. And I am against this and I think China will be a better place when it changes.

    But having said this, really, to be fair: the blogosphere as you say has written WAY more in favour of Kadeer than against her. I am refering to the English language blogosphere, which is the one that the readers of this blog are likely to check. So I think comments like these ones are still necessary. And you know why? Because I phone my friends back in Europe and I ask them what they think of the situation, and they are convinced that the CPC went out a-hunting Uyghurs in July! That is the responsibility of the Western Media, who are paid to inform them better!

    And finally, if I am being very harsh with the Western Media it is because 1- I expect a lot more from them than I expect of their Chinese counterparts 2- I just happen to have been focusing on that particular point these days, but I will be back to normal service and soon making fun of laughable Xinhua (the problem is its so easy, there is no challenge!) 🙂

  27. American Says:

    @Charles,

    You worte:
    Steve, names were released, there are warrents out there. Please see news reports cited in comment 19. You can’t find it doesn’t mean they are not there.

    You are right, that fact that western media repeatedly quote ridiculous claim by this so called minority leader showed western media and government just use this event as another opportunity to bash China.

  28. Charles Liu Says:

    American, do you think our media is interested in covering this Urumqi news?

    http://www.zqga.gov.cn/policenews_view.asp?id=15009

    ‘Two elementary students dead (age 9 and 10), 1 teadher and 3 elementary students injured

    According to witness the incident occured during lunch break.While teacher and studends of Urumqi Elementy #65 crossing street, a middle aged man with mechete charged and started cutting them down.

    “This man attacked the teacher and studends in about two mintes, I am shocked, it’s scary.” according to witness Mr. Liu, who is still shaking.

    According to reports, two neighborhood leaders who were across the street at Yanan Street immediately confront the suspect, and restrained him with the corwd’s help.

    Initial police investigation shows, suspect Abdulhalik Mijit, 38 year old Uyghur male from Kashgar, who is tempoarily living near Urumqi Elementry #65.’

    He’s subsquently sentenced to death for killing two children. Case is clear cut, evidence is abundant and widely reported in China – I challange anyone to find it reported in Western media.

    (clue: green M&M)

  29. Porfiriy Says:

    Charles,

    Alright, I concede your point about the wording. In that case, let’s flip the phrases a little bit: Please show some evidence the Chinese government’s number has been substantiated or verified, by something other than the mere fact that “the Chinese government said so.”

    Both you and American are selectively looking at the Western media to promote a misconception that the media is actively promoting Rebiya’s claims but ignoring China’s statistics. But a Google search, just as the ones you are using, can be used to disprove that:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=HS6&q=site%3Anytimes.com+urumqi+detained&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=SS6&q=site%3Awashingtonpost.com+urumqi+detained&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=mol&q=site%3Acnn.com+urumqi+detained&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=TU6&q=site%3Areuters.com+urumqi+detained&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

    As you can see, major Western outlets are dutifully reporting what China has to say about the situation as well.

    The Western Media is consistent in this regard, in that they are writing about what they have access too. When Rebiya says something, the Western Media says “Rebiya says this.” When Xinhua says something, the Western Media likewise says, “Xinhua says this.” You can’t say that the Western Media is giving Rebiya a platform merely for reporting what she says, otherwise, the accusation that Western media is being a mouthpiece for the Communist Party is equally valid.

    Re: the links you provided in 19, again, none of this constitutes proof. This is exactly more of the government saying it was so and you believing it. Even the discussion of DNA evidence was a *press conference* talking about DNA evidence. You don’t seem to understand that *talking about having evidence* is NOT *evidence.*

    Take, for example, the aftermath of 9/11. You could accuse the American government and the Western media for being as shrill as China is being in the ensuing discussion of Osama Bin Laden’s culpability. However, the United States government did not simply say “we have evidence it was him,” and left it at that: it discussed the evidence, presented the evidence, and, later, documented the whole investigative effort in a publicly available report, the 9/11 Commission Report, that can be bought by anyone, scrutinized, criticized, and verified by anyone: the Western media, the Chinese media, some random guy who’s curious. This is precisely what I’m calling for – this needs to happen before anyone swallows accusations about Rebiya Kadeer whole.

    Contrastingly, there is another instance in US history where the government did what the Chinese is doing now – namely, CLAIM to have evidence without bothering to be open about it and offer that evidence to third party scrutiny – I’m talking, of course, about the decision to invade Iraq. That was a huge, grievous error but one of the differences between China and the US is that in the US we are willing to admit mistakes and hold our government accountable for them. In China, unsubstantiated claims are being made about who is responsible for the riots and who must be held accountable; unsubstantiated numbers are being thrown about by all sides and the Chinese government is willing to be open only to the extent that “outside forces” are made to be the only culprit and any culpability on the part of government policies is denied.

    I’m not saying China is inherently bad or the Western media is inherently good, I’m calling for the investigation and criminal proceedings related to the riots be held in a transparent, accountable manner, and NOT cloaked by the state control media which can make any statements about numbers or the existence of evidence without being challenged to substantiate their claims – thanks, in part, to consumers like you who are willing to take Xinhua’s word at face value and yet through a fit when the Western media bothers to report on what a crazy lady happened to say (in addition to reporting what the Chinese government has to say).

  30. American Says:

    @Charles

    LOL!

    I can write up something that if indeed this news is going to be titled in the western media.

    “Minority Uyghur fights back under communist repression”

  31. American Says:

    @proforiy

    You wrote:
    … I’m talking, of course, about the decision to invade Iraq. That was a huge, grievous error but one of the differences between China and the US is that in the US we are willing to admit mistakes and hold our government accountable for them.

    Do you really think the 911 commission get every piece of information they want? Have have read their report? How much information in the report that was unkonwn before the report came out? Government always pick and choose the information they want you to know and protect the ones they don’t want you to know. Have ever heard the “National Security”? The beauty of democracy is that nobody is accountable for anything, because it is decided by vote. Beside, who was held accountable. I think we the taxpayers were held accountable since trillions of dollar were wasted.

  32. Charles Liu Says:

    Porfiriy, do you have any evidence that led you to doubt the criminal investigation that’s been conducted in Urumqi? If you are in Urumqi I’m pretty sure you can see the arrest warrants, as well as the evidence presented during the press conference – they showed video footages and photos.

    I find your assertion that whatever the Chinese authority says should be doubted by default, unconvincing. On what basis do you assert this claim?

    You are acting like the 9/11 doubters.

    Also, do you know if you replace “uyghur detained” with “uyghur oppressed” in your search link, you find more articles?

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Anytimes.com+urumqi+uyghur+oppressed

    One of the more serius case referenced in comment 19, is a group of named Uyghurs torching a grange and killing a family of 5 inside. Did any of our western media outlets, in their infinite wisdom, objectivity, impartiality, professionalism, cover it?

    Same thing with the 5 young shopgirls torched alive During Tibet riot last year, our entire western media cloud, only one IHT report that got no attention – effectively censored in a sea of “legitmate grievences” reproting justifying the violence.

  33. Porfiriy Says:

    Well, Charles, first of all, you’re wrong. The link you’ve presented in #32 yields 156 results, my corresponding NYT link yields 286 results.(Wapo: 5 vs. 80, CNN: 1 vs. 234, Reuters: 30 vs. 1160).

    Secondly, I don’t need evidence to be skeptical of claims by state organs. I believe it’s my duty as a citizen to not only personally investigate claims to the extent possible, but also promote a nationwide civil society which produces institutions, organizations, watchdog groups, and a media that holds a government accountable to its statements – this is precisely what is lacking in China and would play a vital role in the handling of the Urumqi riots. Chinese government or US government alike, I consider a civic duty to approach claims from alternate angles.

    To accuse me of being like a 9/11 doubter is frivolous. There is a difference between calling for scrutiny of governmental claims and fabricating an elaborate and dubious conspiracy to explain gaps in governmental accounts. Believing that flawed and improperly executed governmental policies created a simmering discontent that boiled over on July 5th is not crackpot thinking. It’s a phenomenon that happens in state-ethnic relationships all over the world, including in the US (see race riots throughout US history), and, actually, it’s 9/11 doubter style conspiracy thinking that could so sloppily and shoddily place all responsibility for violence in Xinjiang in the hands of a scheming, genius level, evil-mastermind, James Bond villain like, wooo, Rebiya Kadeer.

  34. Charles Liu Says:

    Go ahead, backup your skeptcism with some evidence. I backed up my skeptcism of Kadeer with evidence from Peter Frost.

    And try again on the NYT article count: with “uyghur detained” – 147, with “uyghur oppressed” – 156.

  35. Steve Says:

    Wow, a lot of action on this thread!

    @ Brad #22: You succinctly presented the Chinese government point of view. I said there were two points and this is one of them. The inability to recognize the other viewpoint, on both sides, leads to misunderstanding and statements like “the westerners hate China” or “China hates the west”.

    @ Charles Liu #23: Sure, there’s American exceptionalism, there’s Chinese exceptionalism, there’s French exceptionalism, etc.

    @ American #24: I think they invested in China for profits and also to see China develop. It’s not one or the other. If you take the big view, having 1/4 or so of the world’s population disconnected from the rest of the world is not a good thing, either for those 1/4 or for the rest of the world. I guess I have a good heart, but many of those profits have gone into the Chinese people’s hands and have been used to develop China and bring prosperity to hundreds of millions of people. I’ve seen good friends over there develop a nice, comfortable life when that didn’t even seem like a possibility a couple of decades ago. Isn’t this a good thing?

    @ Charles #25: Sorry Charles, I can’t read Chinese. Have all the names and addresses of the dead and their ethnic background been released by name? Have the names and addresses of all the people incarcerated by the government as terrorist suspects been released by name? If so, then I completely agree with you. If not, that information should be released. If it’s been released to reporters and also to the Urumqi community and there isn’t a rush of folks coming forth saying their relatives’ names aren’t on the list (a few coming forth might be fake but hundreds would be a problem), then that would certainly convince me.

    Approximately two hundred people died in the riots, 75% Han and 25% Uyghur per the numbers I’ve seen from the government. There were other property crimes committed so there should be more suspects than 200 but thousands would be overkill. The suspects should be approximately in the same ratios ethnically as the death totals, shouldn’t they? So I don’t think it should be too difficult to release enough information to satisfy the media.

    @ Charles #28: The death of two people is typically local or national news, not international news. The death of dozens or hundreds is international news. China wouldn’t apply the same standard to two deaths in a foreign country, would they? I think you’re using a double standard here.

    As far as the tragedy in Xinjiang, my personal feelings are that what happened was horrible, by far the predominant ethnic group that suffered were the Han, there was a certain amount of organization to the violence and people should be arrested, charged, tried and convicted if they were guilty. There is no reason, no excuse and no forgiveness for the brutal murder of innocents. But by asking for some level of proof and making the collected evidence public, I’m suddenly a westerner who hates China? By stating that all your complaints aren’t going to change either the Chinese or non-Chinese media, I suddenly agree with all non-Chinese media? By trying to bring the two cultures closer together, I’m suddenly an enemy of both of them?

    Saying “West bad, China good” is no different from saying “West good, China bad”. Each is a knee-jerk reaction. Both sides might as well be arguing with a wall.

  36. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, here’s a partial list:

    http://culture.chinaguideblog.com/archives/not-forget-the-dead-urumqi-riot.html

    The links show names are released by local media. Some bodies are charred beyond recognition (from bus/building being torched?)

    Again, you can’t find it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Also is it possble the Chinese government is not releasing the list due to 1) privacy reason; 2) avoid inflame sentiment since most of the dead are Hans?

  37. American Says:

    @Steve,

    I think you are a good heart person, peace with you.

  38. Steve Says:

    @ American: I think you are too. I just wanted you to know that there are many non-Chinese people out there that sincerely wish the best for China and China’s future development and prosperity. When I think of China, I don’t think of some huge invisible bureaucracy, I think of my former colleagues, my friends, my loved ones and my dear wife.

  39. rolf Says:

    For the attention of the Editor, Xinhua News Agency

    It has been brought to our attention that you are publishing an article on your website with an interview with a mother and daughter who say they were pictured in a photograph that was reproduced in the London Evening Standard. The women say in your article that the caption to the picture wrongly said that they had been attacked by police. Up until this point, we were unaware of the identities of the women in the picture which had been supplied to us by the agency Associated Press. On the basis of what the mother and daughter are saying took place, we would like the following published on your website and transmitted to anyone who received your article through your agency.

    Mr Doug Wills, Managing Editor of the London Evening Standard said: We understand that a caption to a photograph supplied by Associated Press news agency of two women injured in the recent riots in Xinjiang province gave the wrong impression. The caption was based upon information supplied and said that the women had been attacked by police. We now understand that the women pictured say this was not the case and they were attacked by rioters. We are sorry for the misunderstanding.

    I would be grateful if you could make clear on your website that the original caption was printed in good faith and that it was removed from the website when its accuracy was questioned.

    Please let me know if I can be of any further help.

    Yours faithfully Doug Wills
    Managing Editor London Evening Standard

    (The photo can be seen at http://www.anti-cnn.com/forum/cn/thread-179429-1-1.html)

    Mail protest to info@ap.org

  40. Charles Liu Says:

    What would be nice is if the retraction is publically and prominently posted somewhere. This reminds me of the piss poor retraction I got from London Telegraph when they mis-reported on Green Dam.

    I’m sorry Mr. Wills, to hell with your “good faith” when the damage is already done. What happened to fact check?

  41. Steve Says:

    @ Charles #22: I’m assuming that this list published 22 names. Is that correct?

    First of all, I’d like to see all 22 of these names translated into English and stories written about the families left behind. I know they call these “human interest stories” but someone ought to put a “face” on the victims so people around the world can realize they had full lives that were brutally cut short. Right now the dead are just a list of names, but personalizing allows others to understand the true tragedy of what happened and the senselessness of the deaths. I know if I were a reporter over there, that’s what I’d write.

    I respectfully disagree about publishing the rest of the names. I think it is necessary in light of the claims being issued by Kadeer and her organization. Nothing works better on the media than specifics. The privacy claim has more bearing on the victim’s names but as far as those arrested and incarcerated, I can’t see the relevance of maintaining privacy or worrying about a reaction from the Han population since they’re already in jail.

  42. Charles Liu Says:

    Right, and when the Chinese does anything like that, they are accused to making a name for Kadeer, or emphasizing Han deaths to oppress the Uyghurs. From the get go the fact majority of the causualty are Hans, is played down – precisely because the Chinese government didn’t want to rile sentiments.

    Unlike Kadeer or you, they have to be responsible to a billion people.

    Now, if you are not talking about the dead, I posted a wanted list in 19, also the warrants issued are public record, you can’t find it does not mean they are not there. Of the 1000 some initially arrested I also cited report many were released back to home district because they were misled and didn’t commit serious crime.

  43. scl Says:

    When you judge the fairness of media reports, how the reports are written is not the only factor to consider. Where the news article is placed, when it is published, and how frequently the news items are repeated are also important. The Western media can put the opposition’s view in the front page, and the Chinese view on B9; the Western media can report the opposition’s view as soon as the event occurs and repeat them every half hour, in the first 5 minutes of each news broadcast segment, while the Chinese view is mentioned only once, after many hours of delay. The Western media may spend 10 minutes on the opposition’s view and only 30 seconds on the Chinese view. All of these tactics have been used by Western media’s “fair and balanced” reporting!

    Steven: “@ American: Good point, but it also ended up that by lying about WMD, the Republican party was throw out of office with scant prospects of getting back in power so it eventually came back to bite them.”

    You forget that American people waited 8 years for the Bush government to go. Ordinary Americans were powerless in preventing the Bush administration from transferring billions of tax payer dollars to the private military-industry complex, squandering billions in Iraq, maiming, killing and dislocating millions Iraqis. Despite the 4 year congressional and presidential elections, ordinary U.S. citizens could not do anything about the jobs that moved overseas, and the reduction in their pensions brought on by the financial crisis.

    You also forget that all Chinese government officials have a 5 year term limit, and they usually have to leave office when their terms expire. What the Chinese government lacks compared to their Western counterparts is their skills in public relations. For the U.S. Republicans, they will not deny the accusations to the Bush administration. But they will emphasize that the Bush gang is but some bad apples, or an exception to the norm. What Chinese government should learn is that it is always ok to admit regret, or even responsibility. And afterwards, all you have to do is to claim that the persons who committed the deeds are but a few exceptions to rule! The Chinese should also learn to set up committees and hearings on public affairs, where few persons will take responsibility, and few issues will be really solved. But it shows your “concern” and “transparency”, and serves as an excellent venue to vent public anger. Actually, some of these can be done over the internet.

  44. JO Says:

    When I read that 10,000 number, I almost laughed. it is such a convenient and nice round up number. It big enough to give an emotional rise, but not too big to make people really doubt like 50,000. Not too small to lend legitimacy to the Chinese government account.

    I have come to the conclusion that neither Kadeer or Dalia Lama know what the hell they are talking about. It is pretty obvious now that anyone who have anti-China feeling and a good public image in the West can make a career and get a book deal out of trying to split China.

    After all, the West wanted to do that since the Opium and the 8 Nation Alliance. It is pretty hilarious really.

  45. JO Says:

    I think the Chinese media is doing the right thing in playing down the atrocities. If people learn the truth about the brutality, they will even be more divided, which has always been the goal of people in the West. It is simple divide and conquer. China should play up the unity message and don’t give in to division tactics that the West so desperately wants.

    I hope the Han don’t seek revenge, because that will make situtation worst and play right into the hand of the West. China need to be strong to beat down this white supremacism and hegemony in the world.

  46. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I have been wondering lately, what evidence to point to Kadeer’s motives and intentions.

    There is so scant evidence either way, but I was wrong, there is evidence, clear evidence.

    *Kadeer admittedly knew about the “protest” planned, and then called her family in China to warn them about the event.

    She says she only heard rumors about it.

    Clearly, she knew enough that she was sure something bad was going to happen.

    Did she warn anyone else? Nope.

    Did she warn other Uighurs in China? Nope. (many were caught in the violence by other Uighurs.)

    Did she go public to someone to prevent deaths of some innocent lives? Nope.

    Clearly, even if she didn’t plan the whole thing, she had no intention of “peace”.

    *In old Common Law tradition, this would be the crime of “misprision of crime”, which is concealment of information about ongoing or future crime, or failure to report crime.

    (Same goes for Dalai Lama.)

  47. huaren Says:

    Hi raventhorn4000, #46,

    Two more pieces of circumstantial evidence:

    Heyrat Niyaz:

    (Link originally posted by admin: http://siweiluozi.blogspot.com/2009/07/heyrat-niyaz-on-july-5-riots-in-urumchi.html)

    “Looking at it from today, it was certainly organized. As for premeditated, between June 26 and July 5, there was already plenty of time for that. But the most crucial thing was that the government did not take prompt measures to prevent deterioration of the situation. On July 4, I was continually listening to Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America. On that day, World Uyghur Congress President Rebiya [Kadeer] and others were truly a bit out of the ordinary on that day, with nearly all of the leaders going on the air to speak.”

    2. Kadeer’s Op-Ed in WSJ on 7/8th meant she had the statement pre-planned and written (or she commissioned someone to write) well in advance to coincide with the “protest” news.

    I am really curious to know when WSJ actually got her Op-Ed.

    Any FM reader’s in the news business? How long for a media like WSJ to get an Op-Ed and how long is their process to get to publication?

  48. raventhorn4000 Says:

    As I jokingly eluded to before, (which now I say with all seriousness), if there are 10,000 Uighurs “missing” from Xinjiang, most likely they have gone into terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Even in US and Europe, there are increasing reports of American and European born Muslims sneaking into Afghanistan and Pakistan (and Middle East) to join “Jihad”.

    Consider how porous is the Western border of China, 10,000 Uighurs joining the terrorist groups would not be unexpected.

    *Kadeer is obviously eluding to a number that she knows that China would suspect as Uighur terrorists.

  49. hzzz Says:

    Profiriy,

    Am I reading something which you are not? I mean, you managed to change the subject from discussing Rebiya Kadeer’s attempts at misinforming the media and the Western media’s complete lack of courage to challenge the most basic logistical facts, to asking evidence to prove that the Chinese official media is lying?

    Considering how many pure factual errors Kadeer has made so far in her press conferences, and the fact that many Western reporters have backed up the Chinese official media’s accounts, unless you let bias get in the way it’s pretty obvious which side you should believe in more.

  50. Charles Liu Says:

    hzzz, the logic fails me here, if profiriy is making the claim there are evidence to suggest the Urumqi criminal investigation is questionable, shouldn’t he/she be on the hook to produce said evidence?

  51. Brad Says:

    @Steve 35

    “You succinctly presented the Chinese government point of view.”

    Thank you for telling me that.

    Since Brad#22 not only represents the majority of grassroot Netizen’s view, but also represented the CCP government point of view, according to Steve #35, the logical conclusion is that the Chinese government is truely representative of public opinion. The CCP gets my nod on this one.

    Another point, you are confusing “point of view” from “fact”. China’s “non interference” foreign policy position is a well-known fact, whereas, the west invaded and bombed Iraq and Afghanistan to impose their point of “democracy” view. These are facts regardless of which side you are with.

    My point is your claim that “China wants the non-Chinese world to change to their style” is false.

  52. Porfiriy Says:

    Charles, at this point we’ve simply reached the crux of our disagreement (barring the fact that you’ve completely ignored several of the points I’ve made). You have different standards for what should be taken as fact and what should be re-examined. I don’t need “evidence” for skepticism, I need evidence to consider something true. Apparently you believe something as long as it hasn’t been *disproved.* There’s a vital distinction there.

    Say, for example, I claim that John Smith killed Jane Doe. The burden of proof is on me to put forward, in a transparent manner, incontrovertible evidence that John Smith killed Jane Doe. An positive assertion, one that says something exists or a condition exists or an event happened, must come with evidence that proves that case. In your system, I can claim that John Smith killed Jane Doe, and you take that as a fact, provided nobody comes for and provides contradictory evidence. Basically, I subscribe to an innocent until proven guilty style of logic – a claim is made, evidence must be provided. You believe in a guilty until proven innocent style of logic – if a statement is made, it’s true as long as contrary evidence is *not* provided.

    This discussion began regarding Uyghurs who were detained in relation to the riots, their numbers, and the question of culpability vis-a-vis the riots. You dimiss Rebiya’s versions and endorse the State’s verison of events. The state is making a positive allegations about culpability, e.g., the Uyghurs who have had their arrests approved are under significant suspicion of criminal activity, the riots were “planned” and “implemented” by outside forces, and that Rebiya Kadeer is the “mastermind” of the violence. In my worldview, these allegations require evidence to be taken as true. In yours, they don’t. A key point of mine is that evidence has not been provided; all the government has done is talked about evidence and I repeat, a second time, that talking about evidence and holding press conferences about evidence is not evidence.

    So if I say that John Smith killed Jane Doe, I have to produce incontrovertible evidence to prove it. If Rebiya Kadeer says 10,000 Uyghurs disappeared from a square, she has to produce incontrovertible evidence to prove it, and she hasn’t. And if the government is going to make unequivocal claims about who is responsible for the violence and conduct mass detainments and arrests, it has to produce incontrovertible evidence to prove it, and it hasn’t. This is the equal application of one particular standard to all parties. It’s being fair. You don’t need proof to doubt claims – the doubt comes first, and proof dispels the doubt. That’s the basis for our law system, for the scientific method, and a trillion other things in the modern world.

    I could claim that there’s a giant space monster named Zoogleblarg that lives in the Andromeda galaxy, and since you can’t produce evidence that that is a false claim, are you to believe it? Rebiya Kadeer or the Chinese government and Xinhua news agency could make a claim that there’s a giant space monster named Zoogleblarg – just state it as a fact, *claim* it has evidence, but not produce it for third party scrutiny. And you’d believe them, according to your own standards. I wouldn’t, I’d require evidence before biting.

    But beyond your broken system of logic, there’s plenty of proof that the Chinese government’s claims concerning and description of the riots should be questioned, and that is the well-documented phenomenon of the governemnt and the state-controlled media manipulating information, witnesses, evidence, lawyers, and every other element of the criminal process to pursue a political agenda. Since you’re so fond of pointing to google, I say go to google and search for the keyword “china” and “witnesses harassed,” “witnesses detained,” “lawyers harassed,” “closed trials,” “reporters blocked,” “reporters deported.” Search for “media coverage” and “2008 Tibet riots,” do a search on censorship in China, do a search on the 2008 August attacks in Kashgar and see how open the trials of the two suspects were – then, the Chinese said they had suspects, said they had evidence, and executed them. No non-state-media observers, no 3rd party participants, nothing. That’s my “evidence.” If someone or something consistently acts in a certain way then you are wholly justified to take that in account if something happens in the future. The Chinese government and media has set itself up to come under special scrutiny because of the way it has behaved in the past. Given their poor track record, there is no reason to believe that China is conveying the whole truth now – unless, of course, they provide evidence to third parties, which is what I’ve been asking for all along.

    Finally, your little Google war is getting frivolous – you’re manipulating the data to conform to your views, a classic tactic: by removing the keyword URUMQI from the search, you’re preventing the results from being confined to the Urumqi incident, and so of course there will be more instances of “uyghur oppressed” because “uyghur oppressed” covers a much larger time frame than “uyghur detained” and so includes hits from before July 2009 and beyond. Furthermore, a difference of 9 is statistically insignificant, and you unintentionally verify what I’ve been saying all along: that the Western media is merely reporting what it has access to and will report in equal quantity on Chinese detainment numbers (because they have access to that) and the Uyghur diaspora’s understanding of oppression (because they have access to that).

    I want China to be transparent about its criminal proceedings, not to just talk about them to provide the illusion of transparency. The point of my whole involvement in this discussion is that all claims about the riots should be held to the same standards, because not doing that is a double-standard.

  53. Steve Says:

    @ Brad #51: You wrote:

    “China’s “non interference” foreign policy position is a well-known fact, whereas, the west invaded and bombed Iraq and Afghanistan to impose their point of “democracy” view. These are facts regardless of which side you are with. My point is your claim that “China wants the non-Chinese world to change to their style” is false.”

    If it’s false, then why does China constantly complain that other countries are trying to interfere in China’s internal affairs? Isn’t that asking them to change to China’s worldview?

    Individual countries want to dictate; China wants to dictate. Every country wants to promote its own strategic interests and cultural values. Just about every country believes that their cultural values are superior to any other country, including China, the USA, Japan, the UK, France, etc. Instead of looking at it as “us vs. them”, wouldn’t it be more realistic to look at it as “we are one of many who think our way is the best way”?

    All governments represent public opinion and all governments try to manipulate public opinion. Some are more successful than others. People in North Korea truly believe their country is the most advanced in the world. So does that mean the government represents them, or does it mean the government has successfully manipulated their opinion? Whether a government represents public opinion is a complex issue and is more a matter of gray than black and white, and applies to all countries.

    The United States went to war in Afghanistan in an alliance with other governments and various tribal factions against the Taliban not to “impose their point of democracy view” but because the government was harboring the Taliban on its soil, so I would not agree with your “facts”. Afghanistan and Iraq are two separate events with completely different sets of circumstances. To lump them together does a disservice to both.

  54. Allen Says:

    Do open trials – or jury trials lead to results that are “more just” than closed trials – or bench trials … maybe, maybe not? When the public is angry and some segment even willing to lynch, when most foreign media has a political bias against the Chinese system, a trial closed from the public and foreign media presided by administrative judges may be the better way to go. Remember the OJ trials – that was open and by jury – but was justice served? My point is not to take sides per se, but I do want to point out, from a lawyer’s perspective, while I do believe that an open, transparent system in theory do tend to produce more just trials than closed systems, serving justice is not as simple as following some Constitution in practice …

    As for what is the proper burden of proof to ensure a fair trial? This is always a tricky question balancing the cost of allowing the guilty to go free against unfairly punishing the innocent. These costs cannot be made in the abstract, but are deeply entwined with the social, cultural, political context of the locality and times as well. Remember, punishment is not just about reforming the guilty (whatever that means), or giving just desert to the guilty (whatever that means), but also about prevention – i.e. sending out a message such as to enforce norms, to calm public anger, etc.

    Should we hold open trials for ethnic Uighurs charged with committing crimes during the riots? That would not just politicize and bog down the trials, but also polarize the society.

    Should we be concerned that innocents may be inadvertently incarcerated in closed trials? Yes. But I trust the gov’t would do everything it could to minimize that because the gov’t’s stated goal is peace and stability in the region. Mass scale incarceration of the innocent would not be compatible with that goal.

  55. Allen Says:

    @Steve #53,

    You are technically correct that at some level, both China and the West are simply jockeying for influence. At the risk of over simplifying, China wants the West to adopt its world view that the world is made of sovereigns, each of which is endowed with full rights to rule as it sees fit within its borders. The West wants everyone to adopt the worldview that Western liberalism is the truth, truth, and nothing but the truth.

    In some ways, both are striving to change each other…

    But if we look at the substance of each respective worldviews, I believe that China’s perspective is much more respectful of others while the Western perspective that nations that do not sport Western sorts of government must somehow be suppressing its people is more intrusive and narrow minded.

    It’s sort of like Christianity v. Buddhism. Christians believe in only one and only one path of salvation. Buddhists believe there are multiple paths to Nirvana. You can say the two worldviews are strictly incompatible, since how can both polytheism/atheism (however you want to characterize Buddhism) and monotheism both be true? However, I believe the Christian worldview is less tolerant because it characterize itself as the “truth” while all others as “false” while the Buddhist worldview allows for multiple paths leading to the truth – thus allowing for each person’s spiritual experiences, including those of Christians, to be true – as long as each is moving forward toward enlightenment.

  56. Porfiriy Says:

    Allen,

    It’s difficult if not impossible to compare the impact of public opinion on court proceedings in China and the US because the two have different legal systems. China has civil law and US has common law. Sentences in the US are determined by jury, in China it’s a panel of 3 judges, which totally alters the dynamic between public opinion and the court proceedings. If there’s a concern about criminal proceedings in China in general, it’s not the influence of the public, it’s the influence of the corresponding Party officials on the impartiality of the judges passing the sentence. Regardless of whether or not the court is open or closed.

    Oh, and public opinion can influence trials in China just like they can in America, as in the Deng Yujiao case. I don’t think the public opinion’s influence on the serving of justice is at stake here, being transparent is what’s at stake, and I think justice is bettered served when there’s an open trial that potentially may be roiled by public opinion than a closed trial where the evidence and the reasoning behind sentencing is not public domain.

  57. Porfiriy Says:

    Err, I have no idea why I said 3 judges. Must’ve popped into my head. Anyway, it’s a panel of judges that makes the decision, the number of judges at any given trial varies.

  58. Charles Liu Says:

    Porfiriy @ 55, “Basically, I subscribe to an innocent until proven guilty style of logic”

    – Quite the opposite I’m afraid – you assume the Chinese government is guilty, yet you have thus far provided no evidence to back it up.

    “This discussion began regarding Uyghurs who were detained in relation to the riots, their numbers, and the question of culpability vis-a-vis the riots”

    – Please see the citations provided in comment 19.

    “You dimiss Rebiya’s versions”

    – And I provided citation from Londong Telegraph, see comment 2.

    “and endorse the State’s verison of events.”

    – I claim the Chinese media is more credible than Kadeer. Do you have any evidence showing numbers, accounts of events, from Chinese media, contradicted?

    “The state is making a positive allegations about culpability, e.g., the Uyghurs who have had their arrests approved are under significant suspicion of criminal activity,”

    – Please see citations in coment 19.

    “the riots were “planned” and “implemented” by outside forces, and that Rebiya Kadeer is the “mastermind” of the violence. In my worldview, these allegations require evidence to be taken as true.”

    – And according to Chinese media accounts, such evidence have been obtained and publicized. I find them credible:

    1) 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 Guangdong 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.

    2) 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.

    3) 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 were 50 simultanious attacks that night, and people wearing burkas (women in Urumqi seldom wear burkas) were handing out weapons hidden underneath.

    4) After the riot, instead of calling for calm and verifying facts, Kadeer and WUC accused the Chinese government of killing 800 Uyghurs in crackdown, while international reporters on the ground contradicted her claim. 7/5 riot’s 200 dead were predominately Han Chinese.

    5) 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.

    “there’s plenty of proof that the Chinese government’s claims concerning and description of the riots should be questioned”

    – Can you provide any specific citation? So far you have provided no proof, yet you claim proof are plenty. If they are plenty in this case let’s see it.

    “someone or something consistently acts in a certain way”

    – This only proves you are operating under presumption of guilt, not presumption of innocence.

  59. Brad Says:

    @Steve #53

    “why does China constantly complain that other countries are trying to interfere in China’s internal affairs? Isn’t that asking them to change to China’s worldview?”

    This is the way how western media spins.

    Normal people do not see complain to a bully for sticking his ugly nose to China’s business as ” to change to China’s worldview “.

    The West is forcing and imposing their worldview, Iraq, Afghanistan for example. China do not force her worldviews onto others. Viewing China’s polite and civilized “no interference” reminder as “to want the west to change to China’s worldview”, is absurd. “no interference” is neither a government system nor a worldview. It is a matter of expressing displeasure and self-defence, the same as “leave me alone”.

    According to your logic, by saying “leave me alone” to the bully is to want to change the bully’s worldview to the victim’s.

  60. huaren Says:

    I share Charles Liu (#58) sentiments. “Innocent until proven guilty” sounds real nice. People should try extremely hard to not be selective when comes to such principles.

    About evidence – I think most on the “pro-China” side are in agreement the Chinese government has not shown much evidence to the world.

    Those of you assuming Kadeer and WUC have done no wrong – I think it’s premature to defend them as if they are completely innocent. Wait until the murderers are interrogated and the Chinese authorities have chance to investigate further. I think it’d be fair to give the investigation time.

    We simply don’t know what the Chinese investigators know.

  61. Porfiriy Says:

    “Quite the opposite I’m afraid – you assume the Chinese government is guilty, yet you have thus far provided no evidence to back it up.”

    Incorrect. The Chinese government isn’t on trial here, it is, in reality, a political entity which is actively making claims about the guilt of other parties, namely, Uyghur defendants and Rebiya Kadeer. It is holding these individuals responsible for the riots – accusations of guilt. This may be true, but it is incumbent on the government to produce openly accessible evidence to settle the accuracy of the accusation. I hold innocent until proven guilty, you hold guilty becuase the Party says so.

    “Please see the citations provided in comment 19.”

    This marks the third time I’ve addressed this. Talking about evidence and holding press confidences about evidence is not evidence. A trend on your part of ignoring inconvenient points is becoming evident.

    “I claim the Chinese media is more credible than Kadeer. Do you have any evidence showing numbers, accounts of events, from Chinese media, contradicted?”

    Do you have any evidence shoing the numbers and accounts of events from the Chinese media are factual? This far, all you have provided are accounts from the Chinese media and the Chinese media saying the authorities have evidence. This is riddled with conflict of interest, since the media is an organ of the state and the state is pursuing criminal cases against the defendants and is the creator of the “Kadeer is the mastermind” narrative. Again, your logic is broke. A claim has is proven by the existence of evidence, not by the non-existence of counter-evidence.

    Please see citations in coment 19.

    For the fourth time, talking about evidence is not evidence. The evidence should be made transparently observable and discussable by third parties that are not agents of the state.

    “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 Guangdong 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.”

    This may be true, but you have no evidence that this is directly responsible for the riots except what the Chinese media is saying. However, for the fifth time, talking about evidence but not showing it to anyone is not evidence.

    “2) 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.”

    A phone call does not constitute guilt. And, for the sixth time, the “Chinese authority” talking about evidence it found is not evidence. Non-state actors have yet to be given access to these text/qq messages. The Chinese government simply says they’re there and you swallow it whole without thinking.

    “3) 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.”

    For the seventh time, the Chinese government and Chinese media talking about evidence is not evidence. Where are the photos? Where are scans of the tickets? Where are the ticket purchase records? Where are the suspects’ ID cards? Where are the suspects? Where are the suspects’ family members?

    “4) 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.”

    So? You have a very polarized worldview, my friend. You seem to have this prejudice that says if I’m arguing against the Chinese government, I must be on Kadeer’s side. Not so. I’m avoiding double standards and applying skepticism to all parties. I think Kadeer is naively and opportunistically making outrageous claims and that the Chinese government is not being transparent about its investigation. Telling me that Kadeer has made false or laughable claims contributes nothing to this discussion and merely serves to illustrate that you’re operating on a set of pre-formed assumptions about anyone who disagrees with you.

    “5) 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.”

    So? This may be true. However, Peter Foster is only one man. A full accounting of all the events of that day must be provided and supported with evidence and witness testimonies.

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

    For the eigth time, the government and Chinese media talking about evidence is not evidence. All I can find on the internet is the government making statements through media outlets and people like you parroting what they say without any critical examination.

    “Can you provide any specific citation? So far you have provided no proof, yet you claim proof are plenty. If they are plenty in this case let’s see it.”

    You’ve thrown links to google searches at peole who disagree with you, but you can’t take it when someone does the same to yoU? And you’re the one talking about double standards? Also, I’ve cited both the Tibetan Unrest and the 2008 August Attack. In both those instances, the criminal investigations were not transparent. Foreign media coverage was controlled, “proof” and “evidence” were entirely provided by the state or state-controlled organizations without any media verification, and the suspects were quietly imprisoned or executed. Here are two specific instances of ethnic unrest in which criminal proceedings were obscured and obfuscated. No one is disputing the violence that occured in Tibet or in Kashgar at that time. However, as long as the criminal proceedings were opaque, third party observers, including us, including world audiences, can never be sure that justice was served. Thus, the government has done it before, and therefore it is totally within rights to seek access to evidence, records, and court proceedings especially if the Chinese government is making a big deal about how open it’s being over these riots. You’re asking for proof that the government is not going to be frank, open, and transparent in instances of ethnic unrest, and that is proof.

    “This only proves you are operating under presumption of guilt, not presumption of innocence.”

    It’s touching that you treat the Chinese state as an individual that deserves defense against accusations of guilt – such a view of the Chinese government, that it’s a cuddly individual that gets picked on too much, also explains your leniency towards it. However, as I have already illustrated above, this kind of reasoning is weak because it assumes that “burden of proof” is equivalent to “presumption of guilt.” To ask someone to provide proof for a claim is not accusing them of being guilty. Demanding someone to provide evidence to back an accusation is not “finding them guilty.” But I guess in your worldview, where proof isn’t needed to believe a statement, such broken logic is permissible.

  62. Steve Says:

    @ Brad #59: “Bully”, “ugly nose”; those are “loaded” words and express your worldview. I’m not looking to argue with you at all, but I don’t see the world as black and white and it seems you see it as “China good, West bad”. That’s fine, but it doesn’t leave much to discuss. I see good and bad in the West and good and bad in China. You see bad in the West and good in China, and if I don’t agree with your point it seems I am not “normal”. I see big differences between Iraq and Afghanistan while you seem to see none, at least for the purposes of this discussion, so I don’t really know how to go on from here. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground to discuss, though I wish there was.

    @ Allen #55: I agree with you to an extent, but sometimes there are sovereigns that don’t deserve respect. On the other hand, some governments can get very “preachy” while living in glass houses. If each country lived independent of every other country in all matters, then the Chinese system works fine. But that’s not how the world is set up and China recognizes that; witness her past desire to join the UN, WTO and other international organizations, etc. In trade, each nation has to give up a certain amount of control in order to accommodate other nations. The lack of “fairness”, which is just another word for equality, leads to trade disputes as each country tries to stretch the rules for its own benefit. Political relations are no different; each country must make concessions to others in order to create or maintain smooth relations. These can’t be one-sided or the opposing party will opt out of the agreement. I think you paint the argument as a little too “black/white” but I agree with your basic premise.

    I do think the religious analogy is too simplistic. The major difference between the three “book” religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and the eastern religions (Buddhism and Hindu) is that the book religions see god as separate from man while the eastern religions see god in every living thing. On a deeper level, they’re more similar than different.

    The Catholic Church has a yearly meditation conference and one year they decided to have it in Bangkok. Their procedure is to interact with the local churches which in this case was the Buddhist temples there. When the Catholic clergy met with the Buddhist clergy, they had nothing in common because each was mostly concerned with dogma. But when the Catholic monks met with the Buddhist monks, they understood each other completely and got along great. Both were taking different roads to the same place because on the highest levels of spirituality, everything comes together. Religion moves from dogma to metaphor and applies universally to the human condition.

    At one time in Korea, the kingdom was officially Buddhist and run mostly by Buddhist monks. They made a mess of things, as usual for theocracies, and were finally thrown out by a new king who installed Confucianism as the official doctrine. Buddhism was so discredited that even today, Christians form the majority in the country. My point is that all religions are capable of corruption if given temporal power.

    Having said that, historically Christian and Muslim intolerance has been much greater than Buddhist intolerance. Outside of brief periods, the Buddhists never had much political power in Asia. Atheism is in essence a religion of no religion and typically intolerant of religion. Agnostics tend to be the most tolerant.

    The one Buddhist organization that has really impressed me is the Tzu Chi Foundation founded and run by the nun Cheng Yen. For me, this is what true spirituality is all about.

    Your ideas about trials are good ones; since you are a lawyer you have a better idea of how to balance the needs of China vis a vis her government and culture. I think whatever works best to achieve more transparency is fine and doesn’t have to imitate anyone else. I am surprised at some of the comments on the blog saying the Chinese people should be kept from the truth because they could react violently. I think the Chinese people can handle the truth, especially if they feel the government will hand out just punishment to the murderers and other lawbreakers. As long as they have confidence in the system, things should be fine. The truth is a window to understanding what actually happened and being able to learn by it. How can that be a bad thing?

  63. Porfiriy Says:

    Re huaren, #60,

    This is a statement I can totally agree with, and it’s basically what I’ve been saying all this time.

    We don’t know what the investigators know, you say.

    The natural conclusion that flows from this statement is that we don’t know what we know.

    I entered this discussion because several people seemed to interpret the inaccuracy and incredibility of Kadeer’s statements as permission to swallow everything the Chinese government says as fact.

    All this time, I’ve disputed this line of thinking as flawed, and maintained that we all should admit that neither Kadeer nor the Chinese government is providing accurate or complete accounts and thus our knowledge as world observers is minuscule.

    So I echo your sentiment. We can wait. In the time being, however, in such a paucity of information, it’s just as incorrect to take the Chinese media and government on their word as it is to take Kadeer on her word.

  64. Charles Liu Says:

    Thank you huaren, @ 60. It’s only been a month, and “government and Chinese media talking about evidence is not evidence.” is the only evidence profiriy can come up with. Is everything even on the Internet? I bet not. It’s ridiculous 9/11-style conspiracy to say the Chinese government would put people on wanted list, or issue warrent, without real cause.

    While the Chinese media reporting are consistent and credible. Reporters went to press converence and reported they saw evidence such as video and photos.

    I’ve provided links so people can find the information they are looking for. Unfortunately profiriy isn’t keen on doing homework, only to complain “not transparent”, “no evidence”

    You can’t find it does not mean it’s not there.

  65. Porfiriy Says:

    Charles,

    You have consistently failed to address the numerous holes in your reasoning and your understanding of evidence and proof that I have come up with, and the fact that dozens of points, counterpoints, allegories, and examples I have made remained unaddressed by you speaks for itself.

    The government is making a narrative about what happened in July but has yet to provide solid evidence verifying its stories. I am faulting you for ridiculing Rebiya Kadeer’s account of events (which, in my opinion, is perfectly justified) then simultaneously and hypocritically accepting the Chinese version of events, part and parcel. It’s naive and it demonstrates a double standard on your part.

    You quote me, saying that speaking of evidence is not evidence, in a mocking manner. However, your sarcasm thinly disguises the fact that you have failed to address this point. Talking about evidence is not evidence. It’s a fact. I can’t go to a trial and convict someone on evidence I describe. I can’t claim I saw a bloody handprint or a fingerprint but then tell the court that I can’t show it to them. It’s simply a fact, and you’re resorting to sarcasm simply due to the fact that you have no counterpoint.

    As for the videos and photos, sure, we’ve all seen them. We see several instances of Uyghurs committing violence against Han. That’s not in dispute; you can go through all of my comments and see that’s not in dispute. However, we have yet to see mysterious figures in burkas, we have yet to see train tickets, we have yet to see qq messages or phone calls implicating Kadeer. Huaren may be right, this all may be forthcoming. However, until then, I’m perfectly correct in faulting you for readily believing these claims before they have been verified or validated.

    I’ve looked at all your links, and all of them are quite easily dismissed because speaking of evidence is not evidence. I’ll quickly kowtow, however, if you can link me to a UN investigative team’s report, or direct foreign media coverage on this evidence based on first hand observation, or an NGO’s report on the evidence. However, you only link to state media sources or quotes of state media sources. I’ve made a point about conflict of interests which, as usual, you ignored because you are incapable of addressing it.

    “You can’t find it [sic] does not mean it’s not there” may be your mantra, but the phrase “Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you should believe it” is equally valid.

  66. hzzz Says:

    “China wants the West to adopt its world view that the world is made of sovereigns, each of which is endowed with full rights to rule as it sees fit within its borders. The West wants everyone to adopt the worldview that Western liberalism is the truth, truth, and nothing but the truth.”

    LOL. No, the Western nations are just as notorious, if not worse than China when it comes to the issue of sovereignty. John Huang and Mochtar Riady for example, were fined millions of dollars and served with felony conviction for bring in foreign money into the US political system. Most Western nations in fact, have explicit laws to preserve sovereignty against foreign influences. Imagine China arrests some politicians receiving money from the NED or some foreign government, the so called “human rights activists” would be crying a river. Why don’t they do the same for Huang and Riady?

    “China has civil law and US has common law. ”

    So Profiriy wants the Chinese legal system to be more like the US’? Why not? But it just so happens that Profiriy conveniently forgets to mention about US’ use of military tribunals which was used to try against the few lucky Gitmo detainees who even went on trial. If China were to follow the US on how exactly to treat suspected terrorists it should simply detain the Uighur detainees indefinitely and let them rot in a jail.

  67. Porfiriy Says:

    Dude, hzzz, what the heck are you talking about? I was merely pointing out that the difference was there for the sake of the discussion, not saying that China should pick one over the other. You’re putting words in my mouth.

  68. Charles Liu Says:

    Porfiriy, “I’ve looked at all your links, and all of them are quite easily dismissed because speaking of evidence is not evidence.”

    I guess that’s where we disagree. Based on what evidence do you make this assertion? I reject your claim by the fact you can’t find it does not mean it’s not there. Photos and names of the wanted are posted, do you have any proof they are wrongly accused? The 80 warrants were issued few days ago, do you seriousely expect them to be on the Internet?

    Is there reason not to belive it? You have provided no evidence, other than your demonstrated slant and presumption of guilt.

  69. Allen Says:

    @Steve #62,

    Fair enough about my analogies being too simplistic.

    You also wrote:

    I am surprised at some of the comments on the blog saying the Chinese people should be kept from the truth because they could react violently. I think the Chinese people can handle the truth, especially if they feel the government will hand out just punishment to the murderers and other lawbreakers. As long as they have confidence in the system, things should be fine. The truth is a window to understanding what actually happened and being able to learn by it. How can that be a bad thing?

    I think Porfiriy would agree with you. Perhaps me, too.

    But I still don’t think even on this narrow point, it’s not that simple.

    Remember the Rodney King Beating Trials in L.A.? It polarized L.A. – as multicultural a city as any in the U.S. – to such an extent it caused a massive riot. And that only involved three officers…

    Imagine an open trial of a few hundred ethnic Uighur; imagine the ethnic tension they would engender especially given the crimes being charged can be characterized by many as ethnically or politically motivated hate crimes or even terrorist acts.

    I agree with you and Porfiriy that in stable, developed societies I prefer open trials. But in this particular instance, I am not so sure…

  70. huaren Says:

    I am also in agreement with Allen. With RFA/VOA assisting WUC waging an open ideological war on behalf of the separatists in Xinjiang, I think the danger to society in terms of further polarization needs to be managed.

    (Note, I am not making an accusation. Its a fact Kadeer and WUC leaders were on RFA/VOA pushing their agenda the day before the riot.)

  71. Charles Liu Says:

    huaren, I’ll give you an example of the asymetrical reporting. If you look at the reports cited in comment 19, especially the last article from Phoenix Online, you’ll see the reason the number of detained changed throughout the weeks – many people questioned were subsquently released.

    But the VOA/UWC/HRW “Echo Chamber” leaves out this very reasonable explination so they can twist the number into some evidence to fault the Chinese government:

    http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-07-30-voa8.cfm

    Sure, profiriy sees what the Chinese government says is reported, but 2/3 of the above VOA article is to cast doubt and manufacture an allegation.

    And we wonder why people like profiriy is so brainwashed?

  72. hzzz Says:

    “Dude, hzzz, what the heck are you talking about? I was merely pointing out that the difference was there for the sake of the discussion, not saying that China should pick one over the other. You’re putting words in my mouth.”

    Porifiy it’s pretty clear to anyone here that you prefer the US justice system over the Chinese one.

    While you spent much effort to talk about how the US system would THEORETICALLY treat its terror suspects, I am merely pointing out how the US justice system ACTUALLY treats its own terrorists suspects.

    There are reasons why Bush enabled the Military Commission to handle terror suspects. While it’s easy to dismiss Bush as a simple war monger there are legitimate reasons why Obama revived the military tribunal to try terror suspects. If the US public cannot handle the truth why should the Chinese be expected to?

  73. Steve Says:

    @ Allen & Huaren: I agree with both of you that a “US” style trial would not be a good idea and that’s not what I am advocating so I’m sorry if I gave that impression. Allen, you’re right about racially charged trials but if I remember correctly (and my memory isn’t what it used to be), wasn’t the danger time right after the original incident? That’s when emotions tend to run highest but I don’t seem to remember any violence occurring during the trial itself or after the verdict. I can’t condone the mob reaction to the initial murders in Urumqi, but I can certainly understand the emotion behind it and might have engaged in the same thing when I was younger. However, I don’t see that as a danger now.

    I don’t expect an open trial either. China hasn’t had open trials in the past as far as I know, so this is no time to experiment with the legal system. However, releasing actual evidence to the public and media that applies to these cases would go a long way in making the system more transparent not only to the rest of the world, but also to the Chinese people themselves. And that includes Uyghurs living in Urumqi, most of whom I believe abhorred the violence and murders committed by a few members of their ethnic group and want justice done just as much as the Han members of their community. When those men wanted to start another murderous rampage and brought weapons into the mosque, there were no takers.

    @ Huaren: I wasn’t aware of the Kadeer broadcasts but if you say so, I believe it. It’d be interesting to hear what she or her group actually said in the broadcasts, but I’m sure they were in Uyghur and not Mandarin or English.

    @ Allen: I know we’ve talked about James Fallows before and I found his piece from today very insightful. After returning from 3 years in China, he and his wife are having to resettle in the States and he’s noticed the differences between the media when he left and the media today. What he said about the WAPO, his hometown newspaper, was pretty harsh, especially about their Mouthpiece Theater experiment:

    In fact, it was so unfunny and ridiculous that these two guys mocked it pretty effectively in their own video:

    Fallows has written a book that really goes after media called Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy.

  74. Steve Says:

    This is an article from China Daily about the arrests, releases and upcoming trials:

    83 Face Charges for Urumqi Riot
    (China Daily)
    Updated: 2009-08-05 09:39

    Authorities in Urumqi said Tuesday that 83 suspects, including Uygurs and Han, have been arrested so far in connection with the Urumqi riot on July 5, which left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured.

    The suspects are facing charges of intentional homicide, intentional injury, arson, robbery, damaging vehicles, disrupting the social order, causing disturbances, instigating ethnic hatred as well as ethic discrimination, said the chief procurator of Urumqi People’s Procuratorate Tuesday.

    While preparing for the trials of the first batch of suspects, procurators will speed up working procedures and quickly arrest and prosecute detained suspects, the procurator said.

    He also stressed that legal procedures would be strictly adhered to, from criminal detention and approving arrests to public prosecution and the first trials.

    So far, 718 people have been detained in connection with the Urumqi riot, said Chen Zhuangwei, head of the Public Security Bureau of Urumqi.

    But according to previous figures released by the authority, more than 1,500 had been detained since the riot. Chen didn’t mention the number of suspects who have been released.

    More than 3,300 pieces of evidence including DNA, fingerprints and video footage have been collected and analyzed by police, Chen said.

    Efforts over the past weeks to cope with the riot and to ensure social stability across the region have paid off, said Wang Lequan, secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Committee of the Communist Party of China on Monday.

    No serious incidents have cropped up in major prefectures since then, he said.

    However, some instability still exists.

    “We should ruthlessly crack down on criminals who attempt to stage terrorist attacks,” he said. “Efforts should be made to foil any terrorist sabotage schemes before they materialize.”

    Also on Monday, China’s anti-terrorism sources said police forces and state security agencies have prevented five organized terrorist attacks on civilians in the autonomous region.

    Five organized terrorist plots were successively crushed in Urumqi, Kashgar, Aksu and Ili in Xinjiang.

    This is the newest article I could find on Chinese media that was pertinent to the discussion we’ve been having.

  75. Porfiriy Says:

    @ Charles #71

    “And we wonder why people like profiriy is [sic] so brainwashed?”

    Well, if you’re going to resort to name-calling, then I’m going to call you out and say you should at least 1) spell my name right and 2) use correct English.

    You point to a VOA article and call me brainwashed? It’s a VOA article for Christ’s sake. Voice of America is funded by the American government. It deserves just as much scrutiny and skepticism as something coming from China Daily. Now you’re just flailing around: what sort of thought process led you to link myself and VOA? Who the heck said I wouldn’t be just as scrutinizing towards VOA or RFA reporting? I’ve maintained quite constantly throughout this discussion that I, unlike, you apply equal standards towards all the reporting I read. It’s just grasping-for-straws assuming that leads you to make such an off-the-wall connection. It’s incorrect and again your actions are illustrating how desperate you are becoming to make ad hominem attacks. Your actions are speaking for themselves.

    If anyone is brainwashed, it’s you. Though I level equal skepticism to articles from Xinhua, VOA, and everything in between, I welcome the fact that multiple voices are commenting on the subject and I hold that the more people there are reporting on the situation, the more likely that the truth can be worked out. You, however, operate on a principle that if it doesn’t agree with your presumptions, it shouldn’t be printed for the public to read. I encourage more discussion, more debate – I’ve been calling this time for more transparency, more critical discussion of all sides, more reporters on the ground, more access to information. You, on the other hand, call for less discussion – though I have never called for China Daily and Xinhua to stop their reporting, your ideal situation is for media outlets that report contrary to your beliefs to cease their reporting and “toe the line.” If I recall correctly, you’re the one who whined about my original post being highlighted – your interest is not in lively discussion between competing viewpoints, but rather the domination of your own viewpoints. As such, you complain when alternative viewpoints get highlighted and consistently ignore any arguments, objections, or counterpoints that put holes in your theories.

    I’m a fan of Fool’s Mountain because it provides alternative viewpoints to my own beliefs – I’ve placed it in my reader and am proud such a blog exists in the Chinese blogosphere, and that’s why I’ve engaged in discussion here in the comments, because Fool’s Mountain seems to be the blog that by its existence seeks to encourage dialog between competing viewpoints. You, however, seem to be interested in whining and moaning when alternative viewpoints get highlighted, plugging your ears and going “la la la” to several points made against your statements, and finally resorting to ad hominem when your under the gun. Seriously, who’s brainwashed? I’ve seen others in this comment thread hold civil discussions despite very different viewpoints, see Steve and huaren, but you just act like a child.

  76. Porfiriy Says:

    @hzzz

    “Porifiy it’s pretty clear to anyone here that you prefer the US justice system over the Chinese one.”

    Um, actually, it’s not clear to me. Perhaps you’d like to use my own words to demonstrate this alleged preference? I simply brought up the distinction between civil and common law because *Allen* was drawing a comparison between Chinese courts and American courts vis-a-vis public opinion. My stance in this comment thread has been transparency – not a single time have I said that the American courts are a model in this regard (and if I have, I welcome you to show me). Two words: red herring. You should look it up on wikipedia or something.

  77. Porfiriy Says:

    Re Steve #74

    “More than 3,300 pieces of evidence including DNA, fingerprints and video footage have been collected and analyzed by police, Chen said.”

    This is great stuff. But the state is the one prosecuting the defendants, the state is the one who runs the media, and the state is the one who has a stake in portraying the riots as instigated by “outside forces.” So there’s just one eensy-weensy step left and I’ll be a “believer:” if China is so confident in this evidence, and believes it can prove this was an outside job and had nothing to do with internal policy, it should allow foreign reporters, non-governmental organizations (emphasis on the non), international watchdog groups, and UN observers to explore the evidence. Should it do something along those lines, I’ll be a happy camper.

    For example, the US government made an allegation that Saddam had WMDs. I wanted a third-party, non-state opinion. The UN went in there, didn’t find any WMDs, and that’s when I felt it was safe to start forming my own opinion about Iraq. The same standards should apply here.

  78. Charles Liu Says:

    Porfiriy, you have so far offered no evidence as to why you think the criminal prosecution is questionable or any number is fudged.

    I’ve offered evidence why Kadeer’s number is fudged. I honestly believe the Chinese media is more credible in this case. If you disagree show some evidence.

    Has there been any state-level accusation of China? Has any such case gone thru the process in UN and voted by UNSC? What’s your basis for making such demand? Are you a head of any state?

    The 83 warrants are out there as public record, why don’t you find someone you trust to verify them? You can’t find them does not mean they are not there.

    So far you’ve offered nothing but presumption of guilt on the part of the Chinese government.

  79. Porfiriy Says:

    I’ve already conceded the “fudged” wording issue in #29. I’ve intricately explained my approach when it comes to burden of proof and accusations of guilt. I’ve also offered evidence as to why I think the criminal prosecution is questionable, multiple times. You’ve just ignored them. I, on the other hand, have consistently addressed each of your points. Go back and reread comments, as long as they may be.

  80. Porfiriy Says:

    “The 83 warrants are out there as public record, why don’t you find someone you trust to verify them? You can’t find them [SIC] does not mean they are not there.”

    Because the Chinese government allows only limited access to third party observers, kicks out reporters from areas they deem sensitive, only permits non-state reporters to interview certain witnesses, blocks the Internet in the area from citizens who could potentially play balancing roles as citizen journalists, shuts down the cell phone network, and overall does whatever is necessary to create a convenient and agenda-serving narrative that is then subsequently and uncritically swallowed whole by people like you. There is no single “someone I trust.” I trust that the more access is permitted to the area, and the more open reporting, observing, and monitoring there is, the more likely a trustworthy account of events can emerge from competing and differing viewpoints. That is what I trust: a “marketplace of competing accounts,” if you will – one that both Xinhua and VOA are welcome to join in on. However, the Chinese government is only permitting exploration and media reporting that confirms to a specific agenda. I support an open, transparent information environment, you are content to let the Chinese media spoonfeed you ideas you like to hear.

  81. Porfiriy Says:

    “So far you’ve offered nothing but presumption of guilt on the part of the Chinese government.”

    Nope. “Burden of proof” is an entirely different concept from “presumption of guilt.” Oh, wait, I’ve said that before. Did your mother drop you on your head when you were a baby? I’m finding that I have to repeat myself a lot. It must mean you are a “special” type of learner, or that you’re deliberately ignoring the points I’m making.

  82. Charles Liu Says:

    porfiriy @ 80, “kicks out reporters from areas they deem sensitive” – Can you cite some evidence to back this up?

    Some thing with the rest of your accusation. “shuts down the cell phone network” to affect the criminal investigation in Urumqi? The autority stated they received large amount of test messages prior to the 50 simultanious attacks, so it would make sense to disrupt the terrorist who are directing the riot and their communication.

    Please, you’ve offered no hard evidence, only baseless accusation with false logic like past behavior to sustain your presumption of guilt on the part of the Chinese government – thou you’ve proclaimed “innocent until proven guilty”.

    If there’s no “someone I trust”, then you need to there yourself. The events and avalable evidence so far has led me to believe the Chinese media is more accurate than Kadeer, VOA, and NYT.

    “Burden of proof” is on you to back up your claim. So far you cited nothing.

  83. Porfiriy Says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/world/asia/23kashgar.html
    http://www.barcelonareporter.com/index.php?/news/comments/11669/

    Charles, do you understand the concept of “burden of proof?” Because, seriously, you’re coming off as willfully ignorant – I’ve mentioned this concept several times. You could bother looking it up if you don’t understand it. If the Chinese government makes a statement like “Rebiya Kadeer instigated the attacks” or “Mysterious women in burkas passed out machetes” or “The WUC triggered the attacks through QQ and text messaging” the *_-%^BURDEN OF PROOF^%-_* is on CHINA to prove it, not on me.

    The burden of proof is often associated with the Latin maxim semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, the best translation of which seems to be: “the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges.”

    “The burden of proof” refers to the reasons that have to be met for one to change from the logically valid default position. It falls on the person proposing change from the logically valid default position, or anyone who is making a positive claim when there is an unknown logically valid default position.

    CHINA is laying charges against Rebiya Kadeer, therefore, the BURDEN OF PROOF is on the Chiense government to provide the NECESSITY OF PROOF, which it has FAILED TO DO up to *this point* because CLAIMING you have evidence is NOT EVIDENCE. Merely POINTING OUT that the BURDEN OF PROOF is on CHINA, which is WHAT I AM DOING, is NOT a presumption of guilt, unless you live on a different logical realm, which, apparently you do. This may change. China may indeed produce evidence and allow third-parties to verify this evidence. However, until then, it is just as biased to take China on its word as it is to take Rebiya Kadeer on her word, regardless of what you “honestly believe.”

  84. Charles Liu Says:

    In this youtube footage, CCTV showed example emails as well as footage of suspect in netbar:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab8Vqns6uYk

    Wait, don’t tell me porfiriy, you don’t believe it.

    I have presented citataion to support why I doubt Kadeer. Where’s your evidence doubting the Chinese government? Where’s your evidence any of the wanted cited in comment 19 are falsely accused? Where’s your evidence any of the 83 warrants are falsely accusing Uyghurs? How about the Hans?

    Here’s what your citation said:

    “Kobayashi and his cameraman were detained after they refused to stop filming”

    In US if someone doesn’t do what the police says, especially on hot crime scene, they too will be arrested.

    So, have you really proved journalists (there are hundreds of international journalist in Urumqi then) were arrested to affect the integrety of criminal investigation? No you haven’t – the few arrested could be for public order, or even criminal activity. Do you have all the circumstance of these arrestes, or you are just jumping on them without scrutinizing them?

    Irony. The prepondrance of evidence shows the Chinese media accounts are more accurate then Kadeer, VOA, NYT.

  85. Porfiriy Says:

    Did you actually watch this video? This video discusses “fake evidence” regarding the Shaoguan incident. This proves that people lied, intentionally or unintentionally, about the death count in Shaoguan. It does NOT prove that the WUC instigated the riots. By the way, do you read Uyghur? I do. The emails in the video are an exchange between this individual in Shaoguan and RFA and the WUC. It’s an exchange about how many Uyghurs died at Shaoguan. So, what have you proven? The RFA and the WUC were talking with a person in China to find out how many people died in Shaoguan. The person gave them an incorrect number. None of those emails say “Okay secret Uyghur agents in Urumqi, execute plan kill a bunch of Han people.” You’ve proven nothing. It’s my personal opinion that the overseas Uyghur groups are pretty incompetent and gullible. What’s your point?

  86. Porfiriy Says:

    “Where’s your evidence any of the wanted cited in comment 19 are falsely accused? Where’s your evidence any of the 83 warrants are falsely accusing Uyghurs? How about the Hans?”

    Um, Charles, do you understand the concept of burden of proof? I think I’ve discussed it before. I don’t need evidence that they are falsely accused. The burden of proof is on the Chinese government to provide evidence that they are rightly accused.

    “So, have you really proved journalists (there are hundreds of international journalist in Urumqi then) were arrested to affect the integrety of criminal investigation? No you haven’t – the few arrested could be for public order, or even criminal activity. Do you have all the circumstance of these arrestes, or you are just jumping on them without scrutinizing them?”

    I’ve proven that the Chinese government will order journalists to stop recording when it doesn’t want them to record. Where’s YOUR proof that they were disrupting public order? Burden of proof is on you, bud. And what about the other article? Cherrypicking responses. This is become typical behavior on your part.

    “Irony. The prepondrance of evidence shows the Chinese media accounts are more accurate then Kadeer, VOA, NYT.”

    So? What’s your point? Even if the Chinese media accounts are more accurate it doesn’t make them right. It seems like I’ve addressed multiple times your absolutely incorrect and biased assumption that just because I’m skeptical about China’s accounts I MUST be accepting Kadeer’s accounts. Nope. Wrong. Look up: straw man. Might learn something.

  87. Charles Liu Says:

    This is a dead end. Let’s try something else. Let’s put aside the fact we disagree on the veracity of the Chinese media’s reporting on email, text/qq messages, phone calls.

    Porfiriy, do you agree since Kadeer and WUC called the protest that turned violend, are they at a minimum responsible for mismanaging the crowd that turned violent? Do you agreee Kadeer should not have twisted the Gaundong toy factory minority works program as “slavery”? Do you agree Kadeer should not have cited unverifable or false Uyghur death figures?

    Or do you insist Kadeer and UWC are blameless in this riot? “incompetent and gullible” does not exhonorate them from the fact they called for and organized this protest that ended up killing 200 people.

    “doesn’t make them right”? It makes them more believable.

  88. Porfiriy Says:

    Alright. I’m game.

    – I believe that from the start Kadeer’s influence in Xinjiang was negligible at best. The Chinese government has been conducting a demonizing propaganda campaign against Kadeer in Xinjiang for years. It is impossible for the Kadeer’s speeches and writings to circulate among Uyghurs in Xinjiang precisely because the government is so efficient at cracking down on anything associated with her. Kadeer is no Osama bin Laden with hidden mole networks, elaborate international financing schemes, and weapons smuggling networks: descriptions here at Fool’s Mountain are on the whole correct – she’s an opportunist with a loud voice that runs a shabby, poorly run organization in DC. Therefore, I don’t believe Kadeer and the WUC are responsible for “mismanaging” the crowd, not because they are saints or they are right, but because their influence in Xinjiang is so negligible and insignificant in the first place. Uyghurs students desire to hold demonstrations in Xinjiang, without Kadeer egging them on. I was actually in the region when a planned student protest against alcohol sales was crushed by authorities. I think the students organized a demonstration and it turned violent. I don’t hold Kadeer culpable for for mismanaging the crowd because they weren’t “managing” it in the first place. As for the ONE piece of evidence we have seen verified – Kadeer’s call to her brother – that proves nothing beyond the fact that Kadeer was aware that the students were up to something. It’s unsurprising that she is aware, and she may very well have warned her brother because *every* Uyghur knows that if there’s any sort of protest or demonstration, peaceful or violent, the whole city of Urumqi is going to go under lockdown and it’s not exactly the best time for the brother of a demonized overseas dissident to be out on the streets.

    – I believe in freedom of speech. Kadeer can say whatever she wants about the Guangdong work program. Anyone can say whatever the want. As an individual consumer of information, I look at a wide range of sources – from Xinhua to Fool’s Mountain to Peking Duck to New York Times to Radio Free Asia – evaluate evidence, evaluate the reliability of the sources, and I formulate my own opinions. If Kadeer wants to call it slavery, fine by me. If you want to call me brainwashed, go ahead! It’s your right. But both you and Kadeer and anyone who makes a positive allegation has to prove it (see burden of proof)

    – Kadeer can make up as many figures as she wants, in my opinion, because I believe in freedom of speech. You mentioned 9/11 doubters – they, too, can say whatever they want about the attacks, because that’s the value I adhere too. However, whether or not you can actually PROVE a SOLID, DIRECT, CAUSAL link between Kadeer’s false statistics and the riots themselves is an entire different question. The burden of proof is on the government to do that, and they have to do that in a transparent way.

    I believe that Kadeer and the WUC are guilty of reporting on the riot in an incompetent, biased manner. However, I see both of these for what they are – small time set ups with no real power in Xinjiang – and conclude that the riots were long-standing discontent simmering over, that was merely triggered by the Shaoguan event.

  89. Porfiriy Says:

    ““incompetent and gullible” does not exhonorate them from the fact they called for and organized this protest that ended up killing 200 people.”

    Where’s the evidence that *they* called for and organized the protest? The only people definitively saying this are Chinese news sources and the burden of proof is on them. So far, they’ve come up with a phone call and exagerrated numbers regarding the Shaoguan incident – neither of them which constitutes proof for a claim as large as “they *called for* and *organized* the protest.” Burden of proof is on you and the Chinese gov.

    “doesn’t make them right”? It makes them more believable.

    Just because it’s more believable doesn’t make it right. At one point in world history, some people believed that the world was on the back of a giant turtle. Others believed that the sun went around the earth. The latter was more believable. But both were still wrong.

  90. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Just because it’s more believable doesn’t make it right.”

    It does meet the burden of proof.

    “At one point in world history, some people believed that the world was on the back of a giant turtle. Others believed that the sun went around the earth. The latter was more believable. But both were still wrong.”

    So is at this point, when some chooses to believe a woman who spews random numbers.

  91. Porfiriy Says:

    “So is at this point, when some chooses to believe a woman who spews random numbers.”

    This isn’t even a grammatically correct sentence. I have no idea what you are saying.

  92. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “This isn’t even a grammatically correct sentence. I have no idea what you are saying.”

    I need some burden of proof on that assertion.

    🙂

  93. Porfiriy Says:

    “So is at this point”

    This clause is missing a subject.

    “when some chooses to believe a woman”

    The verb and the subject don’t agree.

  94. Charles Liu Says:

    Good lord, Porfiriy, I think I’m wasting my time. It is a FACT Kadeer and WUC called and organized the 7/3- 7/5 protests:

    http://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/News.asp?ItemID=1246487096&rcid=-768458094&pcid=1110134820&cid=-768458094

    “without Kadeer egging them on”, that’s your opinion not fact. I disagree with you. Your description in attempt to exhonorate Kadeer and WUC (while ignoring the American power behind them) is completely self-serving, and again your opinion not fact. I again disagree with you.

    Freedom of speech has limits, even in US. Her speech inflamed sentiments and formented violence, and I believe she should be held responsible. Also what’s telling is even after the riot, she continued her propaganda, and not once appealed to her followers for calm. Yet our media at large did not scrutinize her claims, seemingly lock step behind our “official narrative” of China.

    You obviousely have an agenda, by your “conclude that the riots were long-standing discontent simmering over”, as if anything the Chinese government may have done can ever justify killing of innocent people.

    Forgive me for not wasting more of your time as well. You may have the last word.

  95. Porfiriy Says:

    Charles, are you illiterate?

    “WUC calls all Uyghur organizations around the world to organize protests in front of the Chinese embassies”

    This is the second time you’ve presented “evidence” that has nothing to do with your allegation. Go ahead and show me where this link demonstrates that the WUC organized the Urumqi riots. Last time I checked there wasn’t a CHINESE EMBASSY in Urumqi.

    “in Germany

    in front of the Chinese General Consulate in Munich,

    (Romanstr.107, 80639 München)

    At 15:30, on 3 July 2009 (Friday)

    In Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, Canada, USA, France, Turkey and Japan,

    the demonstrations will be staged in following days.”

    Where is any reference to Urumqi at all? Where is the call to violence? Where is the elaborate Xinjiang mobilization system? Where are the women with burkas?

    This is a call in democratic, free countries for Uyghurs outside of China to exercise their right in these countries to assemble. Your “proof” is bunk. Burden of proof is still on you.

    Jesus.

  96. Charles Liu Says:

    Raven, can you explain “prepondrance of evidence” is?

  97. Porfiriy Says:

    “You obviousely have an agenda, by your “conclude that the riots were long-standing discontent simmering over”, as if anything the Chinese government may have done can ever justify killing of innocent people.”

    Charles, you’re conflating the explanation of a violent event with the justification of a violent event. A very common logical fallacy of people like you with questionable reasoning abilities. If I say “Joe Smith killed his wife because he was drunk and caught her cheating,” that is explaining it, not morally supporting it. If I say racism and discrimination in America was the foundation for the Watts riots in LA, that’s explaining it, not morally supporting it. And if I say unfair and poorly executed ethnic policy in Xinjiang caused the riots, that’s explaining it, not morally supporting it. I unequivocally denounce the violence in Urumqi on July 5th and desire justice against the perpetrators. I also demand evidence be shown to prove the guilt of the sentenced and the allegation that Rebiya was the mastermind. These demands aren’t mutually exclusive.

  98. Porfiriy Says:

    “Raven, can you explain “prepondrance of evidence” is?”

    The evidence of the Chinese government does not meet the criterion of “more probable than not” as long as the Chinese government simply talks about the existence of the evidence without exposing the evidence to third party scrutiny. Saying you have evidence is not evidence. We’ve gone over this before. There can be no preponderance of evidence if there is no evidence.

  99. hzzz Says:

    “Two words: red herring. You should look it up on wikipedia or something.”

    Actually porifiriy, I was about to ask you to look up the terms “thread hijacking” and “trolling”. Your first post on this thread accused the original poster of “being intellectually lazy by blogging on Kadeer and her claims, which are easily seen and proven as false, and ignoring the more obscure and intellectually challenging issue of the Chinese media’s portrayal of events.” Your own words, despite the fact that you have ZERO idea whether the author did any research on his/her part to prove the official government data wrong or not. Your own website site (or at least the one which you associated your handle with on Twitter) The New Dominion, itself hardly presented any evidence which challenges the events presented by the Chinese government on the riot.

    You came to this thread to merely flame the original author for posting what you considered a “one sided view” although taking a one sided view is what exactly you have been doing here and in your own blog.

    Your subsequent posts have been to challenge various posters to “prove” that the “evidence” provided by the Chinese is “correct” while fully knowing that the official Chinese media is the only source of actual numbers (Western media left the city shortly after because they have other tales to chase) so whatever items anyone can ferret out you will simply discard as “non-3rd party” source.

    Ultimately you know you will never get the “proof” which you are asking for because you know very well that Chinese media is non-transparent. Even if someone on this thread were to have access to actual information which could prove the Uighurs guilty or whatever, there is no reason whatsoever for that person to reveal this evidence to you, yet another internet slacktivist at the best. What’s the point then, to insult the original poster and other posters’ intelligence by trolling about “gimme evidence” routine?

  100. Steve Says:

    @ R4K: I’m no lawyer, but isn’t “preponderance of evidence” used in civil suits only? I thought criminal suits used “proof beyond a shadow of a doubt”. These are definitely criminal suits so I’d think preponderance of evidence would not be enough, would it?

    I also see “evidence” as more than accusation or a published list of names, etc. I’m sure there is hard evidence to prove these murderers guilty since many were caught on camera or there were eyewitnesses that can testify. These murders weren’t exactly done in secret. Convictions based on evidence should not be difficult.

  101. kash Says:

    It is unlikely that all “close to 10,000” are killed by the Chinese soldiers that night. Kadeer’s point is that if those are killed where are the bodies, if those are captured, where are their whereabouts. I have been there and lived there for 20 years. I know how Chinese handle the cases like this. Actually, the 10,000 Kadeer has mentioned may not be a big enough number considering the size of the protest. It happened in many parts of Urumchi that day. The city has at least a million Uyghurs. Uyghurs are normally very anti-government, and are always ready to publicize their outcry to the government. July 5th is a perfect day for Uyghurs publicly criticize their government. The event is triggered by a brawl between Uyghurs and Han in Shaoguan but Uyghurs took advantage of the situation to express their long overdue complains about their treatment by their government. Chinese never have short of soldiers or army. Urumchi itself, in anyone time, at least a few thousand police patrol the city, this is in addition to civillian clothe army or police. Kadeer’s accounts include uyghurs dissapeared in all parts of the city. Chinese actually went door to door and take away many Uyghur men from the Uyghur homes that day. All the men were undressed and taken away in army truck. No one knows how many were taken away, but Kadeer according to my understanding got the estimate by phone calls. When it comes to China’s handling of civil protests like this one, 10,000 is not a big number. Even in a normal day, Chinese arrest a few hundred Uyghurs daily in the city like Urumchi. Normally, for example, if there is a fight between Uyghur and Chinese, common practice is that Chinese police come and arrest the Uyghur. They take Uyghur guilt as guaranteed. Suppose if Chinese beat a Uyghur to the extent that person is almost dying, in the circumstance like this, Chinese capture the Chinese who beat the Uyghur, but normally police let the Chinese go away as soon as the police is out of sight from the uyghur. If you want to know how Chinese handle a protest, you need to go and visit the region.

  102. Uln Says:

    About the number of victims, this is what I wrote a minute ago in my comments:

    Xinhua is clearly and openly an instrument of the State, and as such it cannot be considered an impartial source. I don’t take their figures for granted, but in the general lines, when we see what Western journalists and witnesses on the ground had to say, there is nothing that contradicts Xinhua’s account of large-scale killings of Han on Sunday night.

    Nobody has managed to seriously contest the official numbers, even though many Western journalists had all the motivation to try it. Sadly, Kadeer only contributes to the confusion by throwing in senseless data. She is seriously harming the credibility of the Uyghurs and, through sheer incompetence, she is actually making things easier for Chinese authorities.

    One more thing, it is not even sure that officials and Xinhua had initially a motivation to exaggerate the number of Han victims. This would have only pushed for more Han radical reaction, which is not consistent with the messages the official media were sending out. Also this was making lose extra face to Hu in the Italian summit, and the maximum CPC responsible in Xinjiang is precisely Hu’s protege.

    Perhaps we will never know for sure the exact number of victims, but I think it is safe to say there was deliberate violence against the Han of an unprecedented scale, not consistent with usual violent rioting, but rather with active premeditated persecution. Whoever organized and executed this has lost all credibility and all legitimacy, however Just their initial claims might have been.

  103. Porfiriy Says:

    ” Your own words, despite the fact that you have ZERO idea whether the author did any research on his/her part to prove the official government data wrong or not.”

    Actually, I do have an idea, because the author is choosing to blog on Kadeer’s claims, and not the official government data.

    “The New Dominion, itself hardly presented any evidence which challenges the events presented by the Chinese government on the riot.”

    The New Dominion, like Fool’s Mountain, is a multi-blogger site. Posts being produced in wake of the riots are all by the other authors – I’m on hiatus as I work on the technical, coding side of the site. What’s the point of bringing up the site? I’ve presented all of my challenges here in this comment section. Where precisely I post my opinions is a moot point. There are more visitors to Fool’s Mountain anyway so it’s better that I put my thoughts here, in a less formalized comments section. But thanks for visiting!

    “You came to this thread to merely flame the original author for posting what you considered a “one sided view” although taking a one sided view is what exactly you have been doing here and in your own blog.”

    Flaming is a handy backup for internet debaters like yourself. In fact, you seem so well-versed in the art (slacktivist! I like that!) that you probably are aware that calling “flaming” has become so cliche in online discussions that it’s pretty much a form of flaming itself. But seriously, I readily admit that my comments tend to be long and rambling – but you can accuse me of everything but flaming as *flaming* is substanceless insulting and offensive behavior, whereas every post I’ve made – from the start – has been filled with analogies, counterpoints, allusions, and observations. No, you can’t accuse me of flaming, but you sure as hell can accuse me of being aggressive with my ideas, sure. Also, a one sided-view? Please enlighten me and tell me which side my “one side” is, because as far as I can tell, my comments have been frank about my doubts over both Kadeer’s account of events and the Chinese state media’s accounts. And don’t shout “flaming” or “trolling.” It’s really contrived. Someone with “slacktivist” in their vocabulary can do better than that.

    “Your subsequent posts have been to challenge various posters to “prove” that the “evidence” provided by the Chinese is “correct” while fully knowing that the official Chinese media is the only source of actual numbers (Western media left the city shortly after because they have other tales to chase) so whatever items anyone can ferret out you will simply discard as “non-3rd party” source.”

    “Ultimately you know you will never get the “proof” which you are asking for because you know very well that Chinese media is non-transparent.”

    Bravo! This is precisely the point I’m making. You seem to be proud of you’re little psychoanalysis of my posting, but it does make me chuckle, because your self-congratulatory excavation of my internet psyche has done little more than uncover the central point I have been advertising in flashing neon lights throughout all of my posts. The Chinese media is non-transparent. Check. The Chinese media is the only source of actual numbers. Check. Doing good. And so, as a result of the non-transparent context that the Chinese narratives are sitting it, it would do well for Internet slacktivists like ourselves to question it. Just like we do with Kadeer. Which brings me full circle back to the original post – debunking Kadeer in a clever sarcastic tone is, actually, not clever at all. I’m sure I could write a pretty satirical post about a retard running for class president, but what’s the good in that. Let’s take on the hard stuff! Let’s revisit Tibet in March of 2008. Let’s go back and look at how the Chinese handled the attacks in Kashgar, in Kuche, over the olympics. Let’s see how the Chinese approach evolved – how the media, how the witnesses, how the suspects were handled the same, or differently. Now that’s a challenge – a stimulating intellectual exercise. Making fun of Kadeer isn’t. But making fun of Kadeer is easier. And making fun of Kadeer is more in line with the tastes of a majority of this site’s fans.

    Thanks for hitting a home run vis-a-vis the points I was trying to make. I totally love the whole “ferret out the psyche of the troll” cloak you put on your comment but the “obvious reality” you’ve so readily identified in the underlying themes of my post apparently aren’t so obvious to people like Mr. Liu.

  104. Uln Says:

    @kash #101 – “Even in a normal day, Chinese arrest a few hundred Uyghurs daily in the city like Urumchi. Normally, for example, if there is a fight between Uyghur and Chinese, common practice is that Chinese police come and arrest the Uyghur. They take Uyghur guilt as guaranteed. Suppose if Chinese beat a Uyghur to the extent that person is almost dying, in the circumstance like this, Chinese capture the Chinese who beat the Uyghur, but normally police let the Chinese go away as soon as the police is out of sight from the uyghur. If you want to know how Chinese handle a protest, you need to go and visit the region.”

    You see, the problem with you and the pro-Kadeer is that you don’t seem to have a clue of what you are talking about. I want to like you, I want to support the honest Uyghurs because I sympathise with their suffering and I know they are not always treated fairly. But you guys just dont let me do that, you dont give me a single solid reason to hold on for your defence!

    Look, it doesn’t make sense for me that 100+ Uyghurs are taken away daily in a single city, and even less that 10,000 men went missing. In the close communities of the Uyghurs that would mean about 100,000 wifes-cousins-brothers-sons-daughters-etc who lost their loved family member. With the foreign correspondents in Urumqi, I guarantee you that we would have heard from THEM long before we heard the informations that Kadeer got”by telephone”, 4 weeks after the facts!!

    Besides, your story about the Chinese-Uyghur bar fights is in contradiction with most of what I have read about the treatment of Uyghurs by the police. All sources indicate that police are usually MORE lenient to minorities, not less. Read previous post about it in this blog about Chinese policy in the field, under “2 restraints and one leniency”.

  105. eswn Says:

    @kash #101

    “I have been there and lived there for 20 years … The city has at least a million Uyghurs.”

    Wikipedia: According to the 2000 census, Ürümqi has 2,081,834 inhabitants, with a population density of 174.53 inhabitants/km². Of these, 75.3% are Han Chinese, 15.8% are Uyghurs, 8.0% are Hui and 2.3% are Kazakhs and Kyrgyz.

    15.8% of 2,081,834 is 328,946, which is not quite one million (unless there are 770,000 or so transient Uyghurs from elsewhere).

    “No one knows how many were taken away, but Kadeer according to my understanding got the estimate by phone calls.”

    Nice to have someone close to Kadeer, who was making phone calls with people in Xinjiang at a time when the telephone and Internet systems were shut down over there.

    Or maybe it is just like how the Shaoguan report came about:

    http://www.cctv.com/program/cctvnews/20090805/110478.shtml

    32-year-old Qurban Keyum worked as a chef in a restaurant in Guangdong Province. He’s also the liaison man in China for the World Uyghur Congress. After the big fight at the toy factory in Shaoguan city, Guangdong, Keyum collected information on the matter under the direction from Dolgun, Aysa and other lead members of the WUC, through email. Qurban Keyum, WUC member in China, said, “I was busy, so I never thought go to Shaoguan. I just made up some fake information and sent emails overseas.” Keyum wrote that 17 or 18 Ugyhurs died in the fight, and 3 of them were women. On July 2nd, the WUC spread the false information through the world by email.

  106. Steve Says:

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…

    Kadeer has claimed that far more Uyghurs died in the riots than the official count of ten people. Enough time has passed that if this is true, the names of those mysterious Uyghurs who died should have been released by the WUC. Again, allegations by the WUC of injustice but no data, no facts, no evidence.

    @ eswn: I had seen that video before and noticed a few things. The guy appears to be some kind of official government building used for taped confessions. He is obviously extremely nervous, just look at his hands and eyes throughout the interview. He is making a self-confession as the guilty party that provided false information. If indeed this man had provided false information to the WUC, that would let the overseas WUC off the hook as being deceived. They say the fake video was spread by a key WUC member, but never give that member’s name, so another generalized accusation. For me it’s just not very convincing, which is too bad because I believe the WUC has been so inept that all the government has to do is dispassionately lay out the evidence in a more specific way and they’d accomplish their goal of discrediting them far more easily.

    All this shows the WUC as rather incompetent and if anything, less capable of organizing the riots because of that incompetence. If the riots were indeed planned by another radical Muslim organization in southern Xinjiang, the pursuit of Kadeer as the sole villain is actually counterproductive for China in the long run.

  107. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, you seem to have fell for the “VOA/UWC/HRW” trap I demonstrated in comment 71.

    Please read your China Daily article again: Of the 197 dead, 156 are innocent victims. The 10 dead are from the 156, meaning there were more Uyghurs killed than 10, as surely there were Uyghurs among the 41 not-so-innocent killed that night, namely rioters.

    (Chinese media also reported 12 Uyghur rioters where shot that night, but I don’t blame you for not knowing, as our media didn’t focus on this.)

    Add it up, the numbers make sense, but our military-industrial-media complex is pursuing bad math in order to direct official narrative and manufacture public opinion.

    Surely our Echo Chamer will start with Kadeer ignoring the math and allege “more than 10”, “more than 12”, and VOA/NYT repeat the allegation verbatem, and underline it with self-righteous indignation from HRW/Freedom House/Blue Team Congressional members.

  108. DJ Says:

    @Porfiriy #103,

    Haha. What a small and connected world! I didn’t realize that you were from the New Dominion team until now. Welcome. It’s nice to have you here.

    I have been a silent visitor of your site for about a year now, and checking it daily over the last month. Nice work there. Actually I happened to be the one who recommended the New Dominion to the editors of Fool’s Mountain last September. The Admin subsequently added your site to our blog roll. 🙂

    ” Your own words, despite the fact that you have ZERO idea whether the author did any research on his/her part to prove the official government data wrong or not.”

    Actually, I do have an idea, because the author is choosing to blog on Kadeer’s claims, and not the official government data.

    I didn’t write about the numbers coming from Chinese government because I have nothing concrete to say about them. I am skeptical of their accuracies. I suspect they are purposely under-reported, particularly in terms of the non-Uighur dead count. As many have pointed out, the government has a strong motivation not to enrage Han and Hui population further in this tense situation.

    Of course, it is nearly impossible at this moment for anyone to provide a close to reality assessment. Hopefully over time things will become more clear. But I am not sure about it.

    So far, I can only look for clues from neutral witness accounts, preferably no more than 1-2 hops away from the original source. For example, this line from This is Xinjiang really caught my eyes:

    The official death toll was 197 people, and over fifteen hundred injured, two-thirds of them being Han. Locals in Uruмqi, not just the overseas Uуghur community, continue to dispute this statistic; everyone I have talked to believes that it is much higher. For instance, a Han friend of mine from Kuytun, a city three and a half hours away from Uruмqi, personally knew eight victims of the riots. To her and many others, the two hundred dead, while mathematically possible, seem improbable in reality.

    I also recall reading about (but forgot where) a Hui person disputing the single number of Hui fatality in the breakdown of the initial dead count by saying he knew or saw three Hui (of a party of four?) killed that night.

  109. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: I think you might have misread my point. I’m getting on Kadeer’s case for not supplying the names of the “innocent” Uyghurs she claims were killed in addition to those ten. Charles, I’m AGREEING with you on this one!

  110. DJ Says:

    For your amusement, the TibetanReview played the telephone game with Kadeer’s charge and its version had 20,000 Uighurs held and missing.

  111. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, at this stage (a month after, still chaotic) I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect to know names. But I do expect people, especially our media, to get the numbers right after a month.

    At least same order of magnatude, not this 100, 400, 800, 10,000 (now has again snowballed to 20,000 – I feel the “genocide” charge comming up).

    Just wanted to point out the 10 you mentioned isn’t the whole picture. Same thing with the changing arrest counts due to people being released. False interpretation by GO/NGO with agenda doesn’t prove Chinese media is wrong or inaccurate.

  112. Allen Says:

    @DJ #110,

    They are being too kind. The last I heard, wasn’t it something like 10,000 in interrogations, 10,000 in detention centers, 10,000 in prisons, 10,000 in slave camps, 10,000 in organ donation centers, 10,000 awaiting executions, 10,000 in forced abortion clinics, 10,000 missing … etc.?

  113. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: How can anyone come up with a number if they don’t have names? A number without names has no meaning since there’s nothing to base the number on. So if Kadeer and the WUC come up with a number, I expect that number to have names behind it or it has no meaning… no meaning… no meaning… 😉

    @ Allen: Is there any particular significance to the number 10,000 in Chinese culture? It seems to be coming up a lot lately.

  114. wukong Says:

    @DJ

    Thanks very much for pointing to the “This is Xinjiang” blog. it’s great to hear a first person account from someone who was actually there in Urumqi during the riot, and who has been working and living in Xinjiang.

    She thinks that the state TV played a positive role in calming down the riot:

    http://blogs.princeton.edu/pia/personal/schristmas/2009/08/read_this_riot.php

    “Likewise, CCTV and other news stations broadcasted the same bland footage of the riots, stressing heroic stories of Uуghurs or Han rescuing each other in the melee. At the time, it was the only way to restore public
    order.”

    Uln more or less said the same thing about Xinjiang TV in one of his blog post.

  115. Allen Says:

    @Steve #113,

    I guess 10,000 is an arbitrary number Chinese take for “many” – sort of like “google” today – esp. even more popular.

    Hence the great wall is referred to as 10,000 mile long wall. In Taiwan, we say long live the Republic by proclaiming ROC 10,000 years! 😉

  116. wukong Says:

    @DJ #110:

    This is really cracks me up.

    from Tibetan Review’s “About Us” section:

    http://www.tibetanreview.net/index.php?id=74&type=p

    “Tibetan Review news stories are analytical, with the facts meticulously verified and details well researched. As a result they are credible, objective, balanced and as complete news stories on the concerned subjects and issues as they can be. These frequently cannot be said of the mostly wire news stories available on the internet, which are mostly written to beat close deadlines and wtih little opportunity for cross-verification of facts and background circumstances. “

  117. Jason Says:

    The Qurban Keyum piece is interesting. Not one Western major media has picked up this story nor WUC and Rebiya has denies it. Could this be a nail to the coffin for WUC?

  118. rolf Says:

    Swissinfo.ch

    http://www.swissinfo.ch/ger/news/newsticker/schweiz/Tibetisches_Oberhaupt_fordert_unabhaengige_Berichte_aus_dem_Tibet.html?siteSect=113&sid=11037092&cKey=1249393575000&ty=ti&positionT=1

    [in translation]

    The outbreak of violence during the demonstrations of March 2008 was caused by “agents provocateurs,” declared the the Dalai Lama during his press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    The first demonstrations were held on March 10 in a peaceful manner. The Chinese authorities initially only observed the demonstrations. It was only on March 14 that the capital Lhasa went up in flames.

    The Dalai Lama said that he learned from reliable sources — including from the BBC reporter who was right on the spot (translator’s note: this is probably James Miles for The Econonmist) — that exile Tibetans went to Lhasa between March 10 and 13. They were the ones responsible for the outbreak of violence.

  119. Allen Says:

    @rolf #118,

    CAn you translate the whole article. I did a google translation – and am not sure if I got the gist of it.

    It appears the Dalai Lama was saying that Tibetan society is peaceful, the violence were triggered from exiles abroad. But somehow the article took the stance that the exile involvement was justified since Tibet has been occupied and cultural genocide carried out…?

    Below is the google translation:

    Lausanne – The Dalai Lama appealed to the international community, itself an impression about the situation in Tibet to provide.

    The media should the Chinese information on the riots last year nachrecherchieren spot.

    The outbreak of violence during the demonstrations of March 2008 was of “agent provocateur” angezettelt been declared the Dalai Lama during his visit to Switzerland before the media in Lausanne.

    The demonstrations had on 10 March, and were peaceful. The Chinese authorities had initially only the processes observed. Only on 14 March were in the capital Lhasa suddenly burned houses.

    BBC-Reporter – From reliable sources – including from a spot at that time because the BBC reporter – he had learned that between 10 and 13 March Tibetans from abroad had come to Lhasa, said the Dalai Lama. They are for the outbreak of violence responsible. The violence, the Chinese authorities then brutally beaten down.

    According to Samdhong Rinpoche, the President of the Tibetan government in exile, are the names of 200 known dead. He suspect but that there is more than 1000 deaths and 4000 gave people currently still in prison, he said.

    The Dalai Lama does not believe, however, that the nonviolent struggle for the autonomy of Tibet because of the outbreak of violence before the failure is. Tibetan society was profoundly peaceful and the violence came from the outside.

    Clearly, however, that the situation on the ground to give little hope. For 60 years the country was now occupied. “Whether consciously or unconsciously, a kind of cultural genocide instead,” said the religious leader of Tibet continues.

    That he no member of the Bundesrat has been received, said the Dalai Lama repeatedly as “no problem”. He will be on Thursday, only the President of the National Council Chiara Simoneschi-Cortesi meet for a conversation.

  120. hzzz Says:

    “The Chinese media is non-transparent. Check. The Chinese media is the only source of actual numbers. ”

    First of all, media transparency is a complete separate topic and I think most of us would agree that a more open Chinese media in general would be better for everyone. Heck even the Chinese hacker who hacked the Australia film site was against censorship. However, there are also reasons why for some cases open media is not the way to go. I started going down this road by mentioning about the US’ military tribunals which is not open to the public and deals with secret evidence to try the Gitmo terrorist suspects, yet you accused me of red herring. Now you are saying that media transparency is the main point you are trying to drive at.

    Furthermore, just because the Chinese media is non-transparent and the only source of actual numbers does not automatically make the information which they provide wrong, it merely creates skepticism. For me at least, the biggest reason why I don’t doubt the Chinese media’s reporting on this riot is because many of the Western Reporters who were there at the time were actually agreeing and collaborating with the official Chinese media’s report. Also, for all of the claims about slaughtering of the Uighurs by the police force, the victims with gunshot wounds etc, where are the pictures and videos? You see videos of Hans getting slaughtered but not the other way around. Why is that? Despite the fact that there was an internet clampdown, it does not require the internet to record videos or take snapshots, only a camera phone. The reason why I don’t trust the Chinese media over last year’s Tibet riot coverage was because the pictures of dead Tibetans showed up, which contradicted what the official media reported. If hundreds or even dozens of Uighurs were killed by the military in this riot, I find it unbelievable that not even one single Uighur used the camera phone to capture anything.

    “Which brings me full circle back to the original post – debunking Kadeer in a clever sarcastic tone is, actually, not clever at all.”

    Judging by your tone, Porfiriy, you must consider yourself extremely clever. Yet if you think you are so much more clever than other posters you mock, why do you even bother to spend hours and hours debating with them on the internet? What is your goal, to prove that you are smarter than some guy on the internet? This is exactly why I called you a flamer and troll, however cliched that maybe, because you are doing exactly that.

    Why not do what you want other bloggers set out to do, which is find evidence to prove that the stuff posted by the Chinese media on the riot is wrong or misleading? You scream “where is the burden of proof” as if we are lawyers in a court, except that other than you most of us don’t even pretend to be. If you want us to be more suspicious of the Chinese media, then do what the author of this article did and find a factual contradiction in the stuff reported by the Chinese media and mock it. Mocking us is a waste of time.

    “Let’s see how the Chinese approach evolved – how the media, how the witnesses, how the suspects were handled the same, or differently.”

    Agreed on this point 100%. On your blog you already mentioned Rebecca Mackinnon who does a great job at this without the bias. Hopefully some others will follow the suit.

  121. hzzz Says:

    @Allen 119,

    The EastSouthWestNorth blog has the translated text (http://www.zonaeuropa.com/200908a.brief.htm#012 ). It’s very close to the google translation.

  122. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “The Dalai Lama does not believe, however, that the nonviolent struggle for the autonomy of Tibet because of the outbreak of violence before the failure is. Tibetan society was profoundly peaceful and the violence came from the outside.”

    The Dalai Lama obviously is out of touch with reality of Tibetan history, and drinking too much of his own crazy juice.

    I noticed that Tibetan society is profoundly self-delusional when it comes to violence.

  123. Porfiriy Says:

    “I started going down this road by mentioning about the US’ military tribunals which is not open to the public and deals with secret evidence to try the Gitmo terrorist suspects, yet you accused me of red herring.”

    This is a classic pro-China tactic – when criticizing China, the other party does, well, a red herring indeed by pointing out an analogous American situation. Discriminatory policies in China? You’ll bring up racism in American history and treatment of American Indians. Pollution bad in China? You’ll bring up Victorian London in the 19th century. Court proceedings opaque in China? You’ll point to Guantanamo.

    But this is cliche – like, frankly, many of the “tried and true” tactics your deploying. This operates on the completely, 100% erroneous assumption that just because I’m critical of the Chinese system, I’m supportive of the American one. I hope you can see however, when I state it this clearly, that this assumption is wrong. How the heck do you know what my views on the opaque, unfair Guantanamo Tribunals are? How do you know what my views on the detainees there are? How do you know whether I’m not spending ever single fiber of my civic being campaigning on behalf of fairness in Guantanamo? How do you know whether or not I’ve written a letter to my representative? Called my senator’s office? Debated about it in other forums? Testified at congressional hearings? Worked as a Muslim chaplain on the base itself? How do you know that I’m not in Bermuda right now working on the legal defense of the freed Uyghurs to help accelerate the closing of the base and hold the government accountable? You know nothing – and you’re operating entirely on “If you’re critical of this, you must believe that” axiom. It’s wrong. Oh, and if you would *like* to discuss this topic with me, you’re more than welcome to, but the reason I’m not bringing up Guantanamo is because this is a China blog. Pardon the sarcasm, but: durrrrr. You fault me for challenging the OP to explore the Chinese media’s account rather than Rebiya’s – that’s a fair challenge, because both are within the scope of this blog. Throwing out criticisms of American military tribunals IS a red herring, because that is NOT within the scope of this blog. Heck, for all you know, I may agree with you 100% on the tribunal issue. You are more than welcome to email me or invite me to discuss the topic on another blog or forum where criticizing America makes sense. But this is a blog about China.

    I will point out at this juncture, that that is one difference between the US and China – as evil as the Guantanamo tribunals were, at least in the United States there were political, media, and personal outlets to express discontent with the tribunals and discuss them. There is room for all sorts of viewpoints. However, in China one would be hard pressed to write blog posts about how actually CCP ethnic policy played a role in the riots on sina or netease. Get harmonized in a snap.

    “Furthermore, just because the Chinese media is non-transparent and the only source of actual numbers does not automatically make the information which they provide wrong, it merely creates skepticism.”

    You’re absolutely right. If you have firefox and press ctrl + f and type in “skepti,” you’ll see that that’s exactly what I’ve been freaking saying all this time. I have that skepticism. Skepticism is addressed by evidence. I am waiting for the evidence. If you’d bother to notice, my discussion has been primarily directed at Charles Liu, whose argument is that the *skepticism itself* is unwarranted. If you think I keep on rattling on about something put my posts in *context* and realize that I’m repeating myself because I’m conversing with a person who refuses to listen.

    “For me at least, the biggest reason why I don’t doubt the Chinese media’s reporting on this riot is because many of the Western Reporters who were there at the time were actually agreeing and collaborating with the official Chinese media’s report.”

    Western reporters aren’t *agreeing*, they are *reporting.* They are doing their job by telling the world what information the Chinese state and media is releasing. However, that is not addressing the problem that thus far we have only one source of official information and up to this point the only thing the Western media can do is parrot what the government says *rather than* actively and aggressively investigate their claims.

    “Also, for all of the claims about slaughtering of the Uighurs by the police force, the victims with gunshot wounds etc, where are the pictures and videos? You see videos of Hans getting slaughtered but not the other way around. Why is that?”

    Why are you saying this? I invite you with all openness to find content in ANY of my comments where I argue that there wasn’t any violence against Han people. I’m quite aware that there was violence against Han people. I’ve actually WRITTEN that several times. NOR am I arguing that Uyghurs were slaughtered in greater numbers. I’ve actually WRITTEN my skepticism about Rebiya Kadeer several times. Why can’t you or Charles get it through your head that you can be skeptical of BOTH sides at the same time? Why is the assumption that if I’m critical of the Chinese media, I must believe Rebiya Kadeer? Why do you assume that if I want evidence for Chinese claims I must believe that Han people weren’t killed and Uyghurs were? It’s simply revealing a simplistically bipolar worldview on your side. Porfiriy is either “with us” or “against us.” He either “believes China” or “believes Kadeer.” He either thinks “Han people were killed” or “Uyghur people were killed.” Free your mind, for Christ’s sake. You don’t have to believe one side or the other. You don’t HAVE to know something about Urumqi. It’s entirely possible we know VERY LITTLE about what happened – and I said exactly that in my very first post.

    “Despite the fact that there was an internet clampdown, it does not require the internet to record videos or take snapshots, only a camera phone.”

    You DO require the internet to share videos and pictures.

    “If hundreds or even dozens of Uighurs were killed by the military in this riot, I find it unbelievable that not even one single Uighur used the camera phone to capture anything.”

    Again, red herring, red herring, red herring. Go ahead and quote any of my comments where I make arguments that Uyghurs were killed. Never made that argument. Nope. My argument this whole time is that we should be willing to be critical of the Chinese version of events and demand transparency in legal proceedings. Whether 10 thousand Uyghurs or 50 Uyghurs or 0 Uyghurs were killed has no bearing on my arguments. This is your bipolar worldview. Just because I’m critical of the Chinese account, you assume I must support the Uyghur one. I don’t.

    “Judging by your tone, Porfiriy, you must consider yourself extremely clever. Yet if you think you are so much more clever than other posters you mock, why do you even bother to spend hours and hours debating with them on the internet? What is your goal, to prove that you are smarter than some guy on the internet?”

    I do this because I believe in the value of free speech, honestly. I believe the situation in Xinjiang is a very tense and complicated one and finding a solution in Xinjiang – where Uyghurs and Han coexist peacefully, is just as much about the exchange of ideas as it is preventing violence and prosecuting criminals. Honestly, the riots occurred because of huge misunderstandings and distrust that exist between ethnic groups in Xinjiang. All the parties involved – people who love Xinjiang, like myself, and who are interested in China, like all of us, need to be willing to talk, and, yes! challenge each other’s assumptions about what happened. That’s a value I hold, and so I’m willing to argue. I’ve lived in Xinjiang. I’m a student of both Mandarin and Uyghur. My life has been profoundly impacted by my experiences in Xinjiang, with both Han and Uyghur, and so I feel very strongly about the area and that is what motivates me to argue in the comments section of a blog. However, my belief in the value of debate and my personal passion for understanding Xinjiang is “flaming” to you. So be it. If you want to make that value judgment against me, then I’ll consider myself permitted to claim that you cry “troll” whenever someone disagrees with you and is persistent and articulate about it.

    “Why not do what you want other bloggers set out to do, which is find evidence to prove that the stuff posted by the Chinese media on the riot is wrong or misleading? You scream “where is the burden of proof” as if we are lawyers in a court, except that other than you most of us don’t even pretend to be.”

    Stop for a moment and consider that the very POINT that I am trying to prove is that we DON’T have much evidence. I’m trying to get people to put their fairness caps on, apply the same standards to all sides, and say, “Hm, you know what, we don’t know alot. We’ve got Rebiya on one side ranting like a crazy lady, and we’ve got the government on the other side which has huge conflicts of interest, is not transparent, and tightly controls information. I guess we should reserve judgment!” Your assumption is that I’m trying to PROVE certain version of events. This is incorrect. I’m trying to convince people who are having a field day with Rebiya’s clutzy claims and consequently sucking on Xinhua’s teat with delight to reserve judgment If you’re bamboozled that my arguments are leading you all to a place where you can’t argue anything, THAT’S THE FRIGGIN’ POINT. You can’t argue anything because there’s nothing to argue with except an old Uyghur lady and a vast state-run information managing apparatus. With the paucity of knowledge acknowledged as a fact (and, to your credit, you seem to have at least some grasp of this), it becomes necessary to point out that Rebiya’s wild claims do NOT translate into the saintly trustworthiness of the Chinese government.

    “Agreed on this point 100%. On your blog you already mentioned Rebecca Mackinnon who does a great job at this without the bias. Hopefully some others will follow the suit.”

    Glad there’s something we agree on. Now, if you would simply shed your bipolar assumptions about my stance – stretching all the way back to assuming an endorsement on my part of the common law system when I was simply making an observation to Allen – you might be surprised to discover that we actually agree on many more things.

  124. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I just want to say, there are 10,000 Muslims, 10,000 Chinese, 10,000 Hispanics missing in US.

    I urge the UN to investigate, and US to come clean.

    🙂

  125. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Speaking of shifting responsibilities, burden of proof, and silly numbers:

    A reaction might take place as a result of the US government’s hitting Muslim civilians and executing more than 600,000 Muslim children in Iraq by preventing food and medicine from reaching them. So, the US is responsible for any reaction, because it extended its war against troops to civilians.

    Osama bin Laden
    CNN interview 1997

    As for their accusations of terrorizing the innocent, the children, and the women, these are in the category of ‘accusing others with their own affliction in order to fool the masses.’ The evidence overwhelmingly shows America and Israel killing the weaker men, women and children in the Muslim world and elsewhere. A few examples of this are seen in the recent Qana massacre in Lebanon, and the death of more than 600,000 Iraqi children because of the shortage of food and medicine which resulted from the boycotts and sanctions against the Muslim Iraqi people, also their withholding of arms from the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina leaving them prey to the Christian Serbians who massacred and raped in a manner not seen in contemporary history. Not to forget the dropping of the H-bombs on cities with their entire populations of children, elderly, and women, on purpose, and in a premeditated manner as was the case with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Osama bin Laden
    In Nida’ul Islam magazine October-November 1996

  126. Wukailong Says:

    “This operates on the completely, 100% erroneous assumption that just because I’m critical of the Chinese system, I’m supportive of the American one.”

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s funny, I remember the strong reactions against the war in Iraq back in 2003. If these people who demonstrated against that war would now criticize China, they would be met with “but the US does the same thing.” Huh?

    I can understand that US hypocrisy creates this situation, in a way, but as said above it is based on the assumption that if you criticize the Chinese government you love the American one.

    Btw, Japan and Italy criticized the West for hypocrisy back in the good old days, thinking along the lines of “if you can be colonialists, why can’t we.”

  127. Allen Says:

    @Porfiriy and Wukailong #123, #126,

    Porfiriy worte:

    This is a classic pro-China tactic – when criticizing China, the other party does, well, a red herring indeed by pointing out an analogous American situation. Discriminatory policies in China? You’ll bring up racism in American history and treatment of American Indians. Pollution bad in China? You’ll bring up Victorian London in the 19th century. Court proceedings opaque in China? You’ll point to Guantanamo.

    But this is cliche – like, frankly, many of the “tried and true” tactics your deploying. This operates on the completely, 100% erroneous assumption that just because I’m critical of the Chinese system, I’m supportive of the American one. I hope you can see however, when I state it this clearly, that this assumption is wrong. How the heck do you know what my views on the opaque, unfair Guantanamo Tribunals are? How do you know what my views on the detainees there are? How do you know whether I’m not spending ever single fiber of my civic being campaigning on behalf of fairness in Guantanamo? How do you know whether or not I’ve written a letter to my representative? Called my senator’s office? Debated about it in other forums? Testified at congressional hearings? Worked as a Muslim chaplain on the base itself? How do you know that I’m not in Bermuda right now working on the legal defense of the freed Uyghurs to help accelerate the closing of the base and hold the government accountable? You know nothing – and you’re operating entirely on “If you’re critical of this, you must believe that” axiom. It’s wrong. Oh, and if you would *like* to discuss this topic with me, you’re more than welcome to, but the reason I’m not bringing up Guantanamo is because this is a China blog. Pardon the sarcasm, but: durrrrr. You fault me for challenging the OP to explore the Chinese media’s account rather than Rebiya’s – that’s a fair challenge, because both are within the scope of this blog. Throwing out criticisms of American military tribunals IS a red herring, because that is NOT within the scope of this blog. Heck, for all you know, I may agree with you 100% on the tribunal issue. You are more than welcome to email me or invite me to discuss the topic on another blog or forum where criticizing America makes sense. But this is a blog about China.

    I need to put my 2 cents on this point because it has come up in various guises – from FOARP, Raj, Steve, and others…

    I personally don’t think it is a “tactic” to deflect attention or to change topic by pointing out other country. A lot of times, there is huge hypocracy between what the West does / preaches and when it comes to China – the critism is simply tuned up magnitudes more.

    I think bringing up actions of West is relevant because we do not discuss politics in a reality vacuum. It is the nature of policy that things may make sense on an aggregate level, but that you can find injustice at the individual level. That is the nature of policy. But in case of China, I feel many critics of China miss the big picture and focus on the small picture. It is then that it is worth pointing out that even with “good policies” (such as those in the West), bad things (at the individual level) still happens.

    China is developing. Its immediate goal is to alleviate poverty. To me, that is the most important and noble thing a gov’t can do. We can talk “human rights,” “branches of government,” “capitalism,” “rule of law,” “democracy” and so forth – none of which trumps the fight against poverty.

    So what I am ranting about?

    If I point to other countries in response to criticism on China – don’t jump to conclusion that is a “tactic.” It is not. I am trying to say something. In this case, closed tribunals are often necessary.

    If you are a true human rights “humanist” and would criticize governments of all sorts and is not playing geopolitics wielding the false sword of “human right concerns,” I welcome you. Say are against so and so policy in China – as well as so and so policy that is comparable in the West. That would go a long way toward mutual communication.

    My 2 cents…

  128. Wukailong Says:

    @Allen: I never said I agreed with Porfiriy that it is a tactic in these discussions to compare with China with the US, but since I agreed with him in general, I guess I bought the whole package without seeing the fine print. Though I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong either. I think it depends very much on the person doing the comparison. When somebody one-sidedly attack China and clearly holds the US to other standards, I agree that bringing up US’ crimes is the right thing to do. Some recent examples:

    * An American colleague of mine said, as a comment to the riots in Ürümqi, that China is the “last remaining empire in the world,” apparently because they don’t have the right to be in Xinjiang in his opinion. In that case I thought “but what about Iraq and Afghanistan?”

    * Another American asked me about democracy in China and what I thought about it. I said that the symbolical role played by the US is more important than anything else. “If you want democracy in China, you should look at what image you project abroad. If the president wants to spread democracy or human rights by force, you’re giving the concepts a bad name.”

    Let me make a simple analogy: if you criticize eating dog meat for being barbaric, but eat other kinds of meat, I think you’re a hypocrite (sorry, the argument that dogs are cute doesn’t cut it with me 🙂 ). However, if you’re a vegan and criticize eating dog (and poultry, chicken, pork etc) I don’t have a problem.

    I think we agree on this, so let’s move on to four other points: (when I use the word “you”, I refer to it in the abstract, not to Allen)

    1. China is very diverse. There is a group of people who constantly bring the US into arguments – and they do so even in internal discussions. Some people in this group even like to call their opponents “traitors” (I guess this is similar to the American habit of accusing others of being “unpatriotic”). This group is very visible, but it doesn’t represent the majority. I would definitely said this bunch are using a tactic when they are bringing up the US.

    And yes, this tactic appears in other countries as well, in different guises.

    2. If you’re not from the US or China, what do you do? I can’t call “my senator,” I can’t describe Fox News as “my media” (thank god 😉 ) and unfortunately my knowledge of the US is quite limited, even though I’m trying to read up. Of course, this might be an unfair point since the US-European world often speaks with one voice on China. However, it’s also unfair to assume all non-American westerners would be swayed by the point that the US has done the same thing – Europeans, for what they are worth, often protest US’ policies more vehemently than they do China’s.

    This is not obviously visible in the media, though. During the Iraqi war, European media tended to be more pro-US than the populace as a whole.

    3. It’s natural to assume that somebody who opposes you on a certain question is against the whole package you advocate, but it’s unwise. I think that’s Porfiriy’s main point. This isn’t just happening in discussions between Chinese and Westerners, but just about any discussions between different camps.

    4. I agree that one of the grand policies of China is to make the country rich and alleviate poverty in the process. However, internal debates now are very much about the problem of only focusing on raising the GDP, without fixing all the problems that come as a result (environmental, social, ethnical etc). Most of these problems aren’t individual but systemic. Some of these problems have been and will be present no matter if the country is poor or rich.

    I should add that most problems I read about these days that pertain to the US and sometimes Europe (terrorism, crime, lack of trust in the democratic process) aren’t individual cases, but systemic cracks that appear because of oversimplified policies.

  129. admin Says:

    Buxi and FOARP had an exchange a year ago and I think it’s worth to be repeated here.

    @FOARP,

    Too often I see the argument “The US has done X, so China can do Y” – what kind of morals is this?

    It’s not always about morality.

    When we use “the US has done X”, we usually mean it as… an open, democratic society of educated, wealthy, religious people with a functioning, legitimate legal system has also made the mistake of doing X.

    Therefore, perhaps “X” is a reflection of the human condition, a common mistake difficult to avoid.

    In other words, this isn’t justification for what China has done, but a plea for humility, a plea for recognition of how hard it is for humanity to do well even when it means well.

  130. Otto Kerner Says:

    *sigh*, what ever happened to Buxi …

  131. rolf Says:

    Never forget the outside forces:

    India, US planned to carry out an “anti-China campaign” through Nepal: Prachanda

    Global Research, August 7, 2009

    Maoist chief Prachanda has made a sensational charge that India and the US had planned to launch anti-China campaign, even a possible attack on the Communist giant, using Nepalese territory.

    “I had to quit the post of Prime Minister as my party was opposed to allow our territory to be used against China,” Prachanda was quoted as saying by the Rajdhani Daily.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14686

  132. Steve Says:

    @ Rolf #131: This comment belongs on the open thread, not here. It has nothing to do with the topic so I collapsed it. If you want to start another discussion on India/China relations, it’d work great in the “Letters” section. Thanks!

  133. Steve Says:

    @ Allen #127: Allen, you bring up a good point and I’d like to chime in with a few thoughts. I think it’s fine to compare under certain circumstances but in a certain way and under certain conditions, as Wukailong has illustrated. However, most of the time those comparisons are used as a logical fallacy or fallacies and that’s where I have a problem.

    1) Porfiriy has brought up the “red herring” fallacy and he’s correct in that this is used to deflect the argument away from the original topic and on to something that isn’t really related. “Red herring” is essentially thread hijacking. The biggest annoyance I see with the red herring arguments is that not only do they devolve into irrelevant discussions, but many if not most of the time the “facts” about the comparison presented aren’t even accurate. Many here know a lot about China but unfortunately have very simplistic, stereotyped knowledge of the alternative subject, which ends up turning off readership of that particular thread. These usually descend into a “back and forth” argument between two or three people that are only relevant to those two or three people. It becomes a case of stubbornness more than discussion.

    2) Beyond the “red herring” fallacy is one that is even worse in my opinion, the “two wrongs make a right” fallacy. Since this is a China blog, we’re talking about China and some might criticize certain actions the government has taken. That is typically met with “well, the (fill in the blank, usually US or UK) government did this same thing 5, 50, 150 years ago so why are you criticizing China for it?” Justification by previous example isn’t justification and isn’t just thread hijacking, but illogical thread hijacking. First of all, historical eras can’t be compared because the world changes with attitudes and cultures also change. What was acceptable in one era might no longer be acceptable in another. Two, previous behaviors have been strongly criticized in the countries where they happened. Modern behavior is criticized AS it happens in the countries where it happens. For example, the US invasion of Iraq isn’t a justification for invasion of another country without just cause, it is an example of the folly, both human and financial, of invading another country without just cause. Logically, using it as an example to criticize another country is valid, but to use it as an example to validate behavior in another country is “two wrongs make a right”.

    3) Many criticized (and rightly so, in my opinion) the Bush administration’s “you’re either with us or against us” policy. That all or nothing approach to the policies of a government with no middle way is based on some HUGE assumptions being made. I’ll use myself as an example. I was highly critical of Jiang Zemin’s Taiwan policy and said so at the time. Was it because I was “pro-independence”? Not at all. What I saw was a policy that was not only NOT working, but was actually having the opposite effect of what was intended as it was turning more and more Taiwanese towards independence. Was being against that policy pro-independence or pro-China? I’ve always said that China was the seller and Taiwan was the buyer, and China had to give Taiwan a reason to buy (re-integration), yet for the “with us or against us” crowd, I would have been considered “pro-independence” because I was against Jiang’s policies. On the other hand, I think Hu Jintao has handled Taiwan in a more positive manner and have therefore become much less critical of China’s policies. My basic position never changed; what changed was China’s (and Taiwan’s) policies towards each other.

    On this blog, if I write 90% positive but 10% critical of China, it’s that 10% that gets attacked like it was 100%. This is not only illogical but also counterproductive. You’ve taken an ally and turned them into an antagonist. The attack is usually the “two wrongs make a right” argument. This whole approach stupefies me.

    So it’s not the criticism of other governments that’s the problem, but how that criticism is presented. Allen, you typically do not present it in an illogical way and that is why you normally have discussions and not arguments when you go back and forth with someone. Buxi perfectly summed up the correct way to use comparisons.

    As Wukailong wrote, trying to spread democracy by force is self-defeating since you gave it a bad name before the program even started. Also, for a democracy to succeed it needs to have the institutions of democracy in place. The reform of China’s court system is more important in my mind than having everyone vote for multiple candidates. If the court system was working in the eyes of the Chinese people, there’d be a lot less dissatisfaction with the overall system. In my time there I never met anyone who had confidence in the courts.

    There is one final aspect of China vs. other nations in terms of criticism and that is in the allowance of criticism within one’s own country. No one on this blog can criticize the American system more than Americans already do, no one on this blog can criticize the UK system more than Brits already do. However, if one of you wrote a letter to a Chinese media outlet criticizing the policies of the CCP, it would not get published and you could get into trouble.

    I’m not criticizing the system, I’m just pointing out the differences. So someone who brings up American policy mistakes isn’t saying anything you can’t read in all kinds of American media outlets, but someone who brings up Chinese policy mistakes is saying something that is simply not tolerated in China. The only places those criticisms can appear is outside China either in media outlets or on blogs such as this one.

    I think this hurts China in the long run because it allows people who do NOT understand China to frame the argument while if allowed in China, the argument would be framed in a more “Chinese” fashion and have far more relevance. Most actual Chinese aren’t looking for democracy, they’re looking for economic development in conjunction with environmental progress. They’re looking at things that affect their daily lives, such as the inspection and quality of the food they buy, the products they use, etc. They’re looking at lowering government corruption, not changing the governmental system. They’re just looking to live happy, fulfilling lives and take care of their families. They want to be a part of the world, not separate from it.

  134. Allen Says:

    @Wukailong #128,

    I can agree with most of what you wrote – esp. your point that disagreeing on one factor does not mean disagreeing on everything – more specifically, criticizing China on certain policies does not mean attacking China’s right to exist.

    But I will disagree with you on the minor point of comparing Iraq and Afghanistan to Xinjiang. Xinjiang is internationally recognized territory of China. Even the biggest “imperialist” in America is not thinking of Afghanistan and Iraq as American territory per se. If you want to make a comparison, compare Xinjiang to Alaska, or Hawaii, or California … except you can’t completely, because the U.S. is much more integrated than China is today (by whatever metric you want to use, ethnicity, religion, etc.).

    Which brings me to a related point: if someone is attacking China’s general policy of closer ethnic integration today, my pointing out of U.S. policy in the past is not a distraction. If closer integration (I am refering to the free movement of people, not destruction of people) in the U.S. is legitimate (and in Europe, too – as I believe the lack of integration of Islamic immigrants in many European countries have led to certain amount of home brewed radicalism in Europe) and leads to more stable society today, when can’t China pursue the same for a more stable tomorrow? Now people can disagree with the comparisons or details of China’s policies, they might even think the comparison is wrong; but I don’t think it’s a red herring to mention America’s past…

    Now to Steve’s post #133. I can also agree with most, especially with the bit about many readers here jumping on Steve as anti-China (if Steve is considered anti-China, then 99% of the people here should be considered anti China!). But I respectfully disagree on this point. Steve wrote:

    Beyond the “red herring” fallacy is one that is even worse in my opinion, the “two wrongs make a right” fallacy. Since this is a China blog, we’re talking about China and some might criticize certain actions the government has taken. That is typically met with “well, the (fill in the blank, usually US or UK) government did this same thing 5, 50, 150 years ago so why are you criticizing China for it?” Justification by previous example isn’t justification and isn’t just thread hijacking, but illogical thread hijacking. First of all, historical eras can’t be compared because the world changes with attitudes and cultures also change. What was acceptable in one era might no longer be acceptable in another. Two, previous behaviors have been strongly criticized in the countries where they happened. Modern behavior is criticized AS it happens in the countries where it happens. For example, the US invasion of Iraq isn’t a justification for invasion of another country without just cause, it is an example of the folly, both human and financial, of invading another country without just cause. Logically, using it as an example to criticize another country is valid, but to use it as an example to validate behavior in another country is “two wrongs make a right”.

    The main disagreement I have is with the assessment that since attitudes change – cultures change, the past is irrelevant. I give two simple examples. Some might say, freedom of speech is an absolute right. China’s aggressive policy at censorship is wrong. Some might say, running a country undemocratically is wrong. China’s government is fundamentally illegitimate. In both caes, bringing up the past is not a red herring.

    On the freedom of speech, I think mentioning the (second) red scare in the U.S. is total legit. At a time when Americans perceive communism to be a real immediate ideological threat, the U.S. became a society that is decidedly much less free. Accusations of unpatriotism or traitorship ran rampant. People’s acts and lives were examined. Freedom of speech suffered.

    The comparison is valid because many of China’s governments attempt to control speech stem from a similar source. Despite all the talk of China as a rising superpower, China is still a relatively weak country (even economically; on a per capita basis, China ranks with Congo, El Salvador, Armenia). You can say – but the U.S. has changed. I counter – the U.S. seems to have changed because its economy, military and relative geopolitical strength has changed. But when the U.S. ever feels less secure, it will become more like China today (many of that did happen after 911 – less freedom, more government control, accussations of unpatriotism, etc.).

    On China’s lack of democracy bit, I also think it legit to comapre to the experiences of the U.S. If we can look back to history and see that even though U.S. did declare itself to be a democracy some two hundred years ago, it really wasn’t. It had slavery. It had limited suffrage. Prejudice was (is still) rampant. Overt suppression took place against blacks, Chinese, and other immigrants. Even today – despite its long history of alleged democracy and unprecedented prosperity – there are still much racial inequity throughout the land (without equality, you can’t have real democracy). Now I admit that U.S. is more democratic than China today.

    But when America got started, it was ruled by a privileged few, with power slowly being shared with the broader populace over centuries only after it became the undisputed leader of the “free world.” Despite its soul of democracy, America chose to fight a civil war to preserve the Union – instead of holding a referendum to see what the “peoples” of each state want. America also killed, drove out, destroyed the many native people of the land…

    You can argue that Americans became more enlightened throughout its history. That if given a chance again, we would do many things differently. I do not buy that. Reading the writings of the original founding fathers, they knew what democracy was. They knew about slavery. They knew they were competing with the Native Americans for land and resources and deliberately fashioned their policy accordingly. If we roll back the information revolution and the industrial revolution to a “virgin” America, we will fight the Native Americans again, women will be back in the kitchen in an agrarian society, we will have a slave based sytem again in areas of the country where such an economic arrangement is profitable (remember, the founders knew full well what slavery meant). I believe the (true) form of our government – the value of our culture – our identity – are mostly a reflection of our circumstances. To think otherwise, I believe, is to be snobbish. We are not all angels today just like our ancestors were not all devils. They are a product of their times. The many changes that have occurred in America over the last century or two reflects more of America’s growing power, conditions, etc. than the fundamental character of we as a people.

    Having said all that, I will end on a note that siganls my acknowledgement of your position. Wukailong wrote earlier:

    Btw, Japan and Italy criticized the West for hypocrisy back in the good old days, thinking along the lines of “if you can be colonialists, why can’t we.”

    I heartily agree with that (was Italy actually a colonial power?). While I have argued that we humans have really not changed over the last two centuries, that we are but a product of our circumstances, I also want to believe that hopefully through our collective experience, we have also progressed fundamentally in some ways…

  135. Heavensent Says:

    @steve
    “3) Many criticized (and rightly so, in my opinion) the Bush administration’s “you’re either with us or against us” policy. That all or nothing approach to the policies of a government with no middle way is based on some HUGE assumptions being made. I’ll use myself as an example. I was highly critical of Jiang Zemin’s Taiwan policy and said so at the time. Was it because I was “pro-independence”? Not at all. What I saw was a policy that was not only NOT working, but was actually having the opposite effect of what was intended as it was turning more and more Taiwanese towards independence. Was being against that policy pro-independence or pro-China? I’ve always said that China was the seller and Taiwan was the buyer, and China had to give Taiwan a reason to buy (re-integration), yet for the “with us or against us” crowd, I would have been considered “pro-independence” because I was against Jiang’s policies. On the other hand, I think Hu Jintao has handled Taiwan in a more positive manner and have therefore become much less critical of China’s policies. My basic position never changed; what changed was China’s (and Taiwan’s) policies towards each other.”
    I disagree with your interpretation of Jiang Zemin’s policy toward Taiwan as the cause of more people turning pro-independence in Taiwan. China’s policy toward Taiwan has stayed pretty conisistant since Deng. People turning pro-independance has everything to do with the DDP. The mainland has always pushed for closer ties; it was Lee and Chen’s sepratist policies that caused more friction, which in turn sour the relations between people’s across the strait. The ease of tension across the strait has everything to do with Ma being elected. Ma has finally realized that the three cross strait links, which the CCP has been pursuing before Jiang, was what changed the relations and not Hu’s policy toward Taiwan. It’s your wrong analysis on something so simple that is drawing fire. Maybe it’s time you rethink your position on those 10% before you criticise others for criticising you.

  136. Allen Says:

    @Heavensent #135,

    I agree with you that DPP is primarily responsible for souring cross-strait relations. But DPP became popular partly by leveraging off many of CPP’s tactial actions – e.g. the missile tests.

    Now – many of us Taiwanese didn’t feel too threatened even when Beijing tested missiles (it was stupid political posturing), but the DPP was successful in druming up fear and hatred among many Taiwanese based on that episode.

    I don’t pretend to understand DPP’s brand of Taiwneswe nationalism – esp. since some of my relatives are strong DPP supporters (I feel they are irrational and emotional) and with many more proud to be Chinese, but to say CPP has no role to play in the rise of DPP is probably not completely correct.

    Reunification of ROC/Taiwan and PRC will be inevitable. The DPP even its heydays never commanded a real mandate (Chen’s first election resulted from fracturing of the KMT, his second was from sympathy points of a missed bullet).

  137. Jason Says:

    @Wukailong

    I really gets a kick out of American giving Mainland Chinese a lesson in Democracy and human rights.

    Half of the US supports torture (has anyone read the NY Times propaganda articles [using a euphemism for torture in the US “harsh interrogations” and using the word “torture” on China and Iran])

    Ask them why the US House is not interested in investigating allegations that US government officials and employees approved and practiced torture against detainees. Where is the Congressional investigation of the US-operated “secret prisons” overseas? What about the administration’s assertion of the right to detain individuals indefinitely without trial?

  138. Steve Says:

    @ Allen #134: I agree with most of what you wrote and realize that I might not have communicated my position well enough. I have no problem in bringing up the past, as long as it is brought up in the proper context and in a logical fashion. Using the past as justification is where “two wrongs make a right” comes in. The past is very relevant since everything we do is based on what we have previously learned or observed.

    The freedom of speech and “red scare menace” example is a good one. The “red scare” is pretty much universally considered to be an odious time in American history. Used as a statement that all cultures have the tendency to restrict speech when under internal pressure is valid. Saying that the past mistakes of one country somehow validate and justify the present mistakes of another is where the false logic comes in. As many spoke out against the red menace when it was going on, so many should speak out against any injustice when and wherever it happens. Remember, it was Edward R. Murrow’s opinion piece on CBS news that exposed McCarthy and finally brought an end to the red menace. Someone has to speak out or nothing changes.

    On democracy, you might have noticed that I don’t push Chinese democracy at all. The country simply isn’t ready for it and it would not fit in with the present culture. What happens in the future is up to the Chinese people, so I can’t disagree with you at all. If you go back to the original American democracy, it was way ahead of its time but obviously lacking compared to today. But there isn’t an ethnic group in America today that would ever want to go back to the past. For them, the good old days are right now. The key point in my mind is that the country continually progressed over its history just as China is continually progressing since the end of the Cultural Revolution. Maybe that’s why I might have more patience than most when it comes to the evolution of Chinese government practices.

    You asked if Italy was a colonial power. They ruled a few countries such as Libya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. Because they didn’t unify until after most countries had been conquered by European powers, their actual colonial empire was small.

  139. Steve Says:

    @ Heavensent #135: I have no problem with your disagreeing with my interpretation, I simply don’t agree with yours. I feel China’s policy HAS changed and for the better. Hu Jintao’s administration hasn’t threatened, it hasn’t shot missiles off the Taiwan coast, it hasn’t used bellicose language in dealing with Taiwan. Under Chen, the mainland not only didn’t push for closer ties but would not engage in any talks with the Chen administration, feeling it would give the Taiwan government legitimacy.

    Why did more Taiwan people turn pro-independence? Here are a few points to consider:

    1) The DPP was NOT founded as a pro-independence party, it was founded as a party of democracy and human rights. It only became a pro-democracy party during the Jiang administration. I know this because I’ve talked to my brother-in-law about it and he was a founding member of the DPP in 1986 (he was originally elected as an independent in 1978 and had also been asked to join the KMT but he felt they had committed too many atrocities in the past and couldn’t overcome that antipathy) who believed in eventual reunification, not independence. The pro-independence vote in Taiwan has never been close to a majority of the public, just as the pro-reunification vote has always been quite small. Most want things to remain as they are for the time being.

    2) The missile strikes off the coast of Taiwan had a very large influence. I can remember the reaction at the time. Not only did it breed animosity towards China, but it also bred animosity among the Taiwanese towards the KMT faction who tried to leave the island in large numbers during and right after the missile strikes. Many Taiwanese felt they were being abandoned by people they now considered “carpetbaggers” and that animosity continued after the danger had passed.

    3) The original Chen victory was given to him on a silver platter by the KMT when they chose Lien rather than Soong to run on their ticket, and were unable to stop Soong’s independent run. Chen won with a plurality under 40%, but Soong would still have won if not for the missile strikes. That swung the polls about 4% and caused Soong to lose. The KMT candidate Lien was a dismal third with only 23% of the vote. So though the main reason for the loss was KMT inspired, it was the missile strike interference that actually swung the final vote and gave Chen the election.

    4) The second Chen victory, as Allen says, might have swung on that attempted assassination but the true cause of the loss was the KMT’s running Lien, a failed candidate, once again. They thought putting Soong as his running mate would swing the election and it almost did, but in the end Chen won in a squeaker. If the KMT had run Ma in that election, I believe the enormously popular Ma would have won easily so again, it was the KMT that blew it. The Chinese government’s influence in this election was not as direct as in the last, but what many of the Taiwan people felt were international “snubs”, especially the way their representative was spoken down to at the APEC in 2001, helped to bring in votes to the DPP. The key point from this election is that Chen won with a majority and not a plurality so his actual increase was over 11%. That is pretty impressive in just four years.

    5) Lee won two elections; Chen won two elections. Obviously their “separatist” policies had resonance with the public in some fashion, or they wouldn’t have won. People support “separatist” policies when they have a reason to do so. Taiwan people are not stupid, but they can be pretty emotional and when they felt China had snubbed or threatened them, they reacted at the ballot box. I don’t know how you can say these practices had no influence on the elections.

    6) I was living in Taiwan during some of this period. I learned that the opinions and attitudes of the Taiwan people are very different from the opinions and attitudes of Taiwanese Americans. Politics there is openly discussed on an almost daily basis. The Taiwan people are very proud of their democracy and right to vote. Most of the people I talked with had well thought out ideas about where the country should go and they weren’t knee jerk in their opinions. I was actually quite impressed with their depth of knowledge. That’s why so many shift from one party to another during presidential elections. The majority don’t belong to a “party machine”.

    Heavensent, how have you formed the basis for your opinion? Did you ever live in Taiwan or visit there? How do you know what many Taiwanese are thinking? I’ve tried to present the reasons for my opinion using various examples. Could you try to illustrate how you formed yours with specific examples? Then I might be able to, as you put it, rethink my position on this issue and the other 10%.

  140. Allen Says:

    @Steve #138,

    You wrote:

    You asked if Italy was a colonial power. They ruled a few countries such as Libya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. Because they didn’t unify until after most countries had been conquered by European powers, their actual colonial empire was small.

    Big or small .. that’s no excuse! You – as an Italian American – are now officially doubly damned as a imperialist!

    hehe… stupid joke…

  141. Steve Says:

    @ Allen #140: Thinking about the old Fascist government, I remembered Jack Oakie as Benzino Napaloni in Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’ (1940). And of course, who could forget the the end of the movie, where Chaplin’s Adenoid Hynkel was replaced by the look alike Jewish barber who gave ‘the speech’.

  142. raventhorn4000 Says:

    2 wrongs don’t make a right.

    But 2 supposed wrongs makes a good reality check, on what is supposedly “right”.

    🙂

    Time to reconsider idealistic “right” vs. practical realities.

  143. stuart Says:

    At the end of the day the legitimate grievances of Xinjiang’s Uighur community remain unaddressed by a Chinese government that doesn’t give a damn about anything but peddling its own ludicrous message of harmony while stripping the region of its culture and resources.

    I see Rebiya Kadeer’s numerical difficulties (numeracy is something the Chinese government also struggle with) as a symptom of her concern at what is happening to her people. Not very savvy, but hardly the terrorist that mainland Chinese have been fooled into thinking that both she and the DL are.

    She was in Melbourne for the film festival yesterday, where “Ten Conditions of Love” was screened despite Beijing’s affected apoplexy. Good on Australia.

  144. Heavensent Says:

    @steve
    I think Allen pretty much answer your question on post 136.
    “Now – many of us Taiwanese didn’t feel too threatened even when Beijing tested missiles (it was stupid political posturing), but the DPP was successful in druming up fear and hatred among many Taiwanese based on that episode.”
    Sounds alot like Bush using the 9/11 in drumming up fear and hatred among Americans to invade Iraq. Should we blame OBL for the US invasion of Iraq.
    From what my Taiwanese friend (he claims to know Chen and is in favor of independence) told me, Taiwanese simply do not trust the CCP and communism. They were taught to hate communists as far back as they can remember. Since it is highly unlikely that the CCP will lose power in the foreseeable future many Taiwanese out of fear and hatred for communism has decided that independence is the only garrantee for them to stay democratic. According to him, majority of Taiwanese still want to be brothers and sisters with their compatriots on the mainland but they want nothing to do with communism. This to me isn’t far fetch cause every democratic country I know teaches it’s people to fear and hate everything that has to do with communists.
    For the record Hu did threaten war if Chen dare to declare independence. It was actually passed into law. So in actuality Hu took a more hardline stand on Taiwan then Jiang.

  145. Steve Says:

    @ Heavensent # 144: I respect Allen’s opinions, but remember he is Taiwanese American and not Taiwanese, same as my wife who came here as an adult but is an American citizen. As far as I know, Allen wasn’t living in Taiwan when that happened. Enough Taiwanese felt threatened to try and leave the country when it happened, though I’m sure some didn’t feel threatened. As with most things, feelings were different among different groups of people.

    Is your friend who is Taiwanese actually living in Taiwan?

    Sure, Taiwanese were taught to hate all Communists as Communists were taught to hate democracy and all Capitalists, both as far back as they can remember. I read the China Daily and Shanghai Daily for years when I lived there. Everyday in the paper there was a negative article about Taiwan so the propaganda went both ways. If anything, far more Taiwanese have visited the mainland than mainlanders have visited Taiwan, so the understanding on the Taiwan side should be much greater. I don’t see the CCP losing power in the foreseeable future either, and think it would be a disaster for China if they did. I understand the positive nature of stability but I worry that sealing the pot while the water’s boiling without a pressure release will create a dangerous situation. Just look at the amount of demonstrations each year in China; the numbers are staggering.

    Every poll taken in Taiwan disagrees with your friend. They all report that the vast majority of Taiwanese are not for reunification or independence but for maintaining the status quo. These numbers have remained consistent for many years. Admin published the latest polls awhile back on the blog, though I can’t remember which thread it was on.

    Both Jiang and Hu threatened war if Taiwan declared independence. That law you mentioned didn’t help reunification’s popularity in Taiwan either. Since that time, Hu has lightened up to the benefit of both Taiwan and China. But Hu never shot missiles near the island and didn’t try to interfere in elections, so overall his stance has been far less interfering than Jiang’s.

  146. Heavensent Says:

    @Steve
    My friend didn’t say majority Taiwanese was in favor of independance, I used the word many. Anyways as far as the missile test goes, like everything else it was just a tool to gain votes and nothing more. Your pov might be relevent if the CCP have a history of bombing Taiwan.
    As for your accusation that people on the mainland were taught to hate democracy, you are totally wrong. The CCP does not preach fear and hatred toward democracy, only toward governments that they deem a threat. But the west and western influenced democracies like Taiwan are taught to hate communists regardless what country it is. This was the cold war mentality and it is still being used today to exploit the people for their own gains.

  147. Wukailong Says:

    @Heavensent: “But the west and western influenced democracies like Taiwan are taught to hate communists regardless what country it is.”

    I wasn’t taught to hate communists at all. What we were taught in elementary school, as I remember it, was that communist countries were generally poor and a bit on what they thought about capitalist countries. The morale was that some countries are too capitalist (like US), making them unequal, whereas some countries are too communist, making them unfree and uniform/boring.

    I’m from northern Europe. Others here who’re from France, Italy or other Western countries with sizable communist parties (at least until the wall fell) might be interested in describing more about what it is like in their countries.

    In China, there certainly was (and is) a lot of negative comments on democracy and what adverse effects it can have. When I went to watch the movie 黑金 (Island of Greed), for example, the mainland version had an extra scene in the beginning showing a row in the Taiwanese parliament. Big characters appeared over the screen, saying: “This is the parliamentary system on Taiwan, a so-called multiparty democracy built on Western standards. See what it has caused this society!”

    The cold war mentality exists in both places and it is quite alive in China too.

  148. Heavensent Says:

    @wukailong
    “This is the parliamentary system on Taiwan, a so-called multiparty democracy built on Western standards. See what it has caused this society!”
    I think the quote was meant to imply that Taiwan does not have real multiparty democracy hence the words “so-call.” But before you go find another negative quote about democracy I hope we can agree that domocracy is far from perfect, like wise communism. Since both systems still has many holes it is reasonable for people to bring it to light, but the difference is the west goes beyond mentioning the holes. The west blames communism for the killings committed by few individuals, yet when someone like Bush and the coalition of the willing (which were all democracies) invaded Iraq, I didn’t hear anyone condemning democracy. But had it been China that invaded Iraq I can bet my life that communism will be prtrayed as evil. I really don’t think it’s necessary to debate about what kind of image communism have in the west. If you choose to deny it than that’s fine. From what I can remember communism has always been portrayed as evil. I have never heard anyone from the west that has anything positive to say about communism.

  149. Wukailong Says:

    @Heavensent (#148): Two points:

    1. You have a good point about double standards when it comes to blame, for example with the Iraqi war. I think I mentioned above somewhere that the image of democracy as a whole will (and did) suffer from that particular war, but certainly that’s something we should discuss more.

    2. “I really don’t think it’s necessary to debate about what kind of image communism have in the west. If you choose to deny it than that’s fine.”

    What I am denying is that communism is uniformly considered bad in Europe and other parts that are also Western. There’s always been a difference in interpretation about the system between the US and Europe. What most Europeans dislike are authoritarian or one-party systems, mostly for historical reasons – back in the 70s, for example, parts of Western Europe war ruled by rightist dictatorships, and the Eastern parts were satellites of the Soviet Union.

    What this all boils down to is that at least I didn’t learn to hate communism as a kid, just like you didn’t learn to hate democracy. There’s no lying or denying on my part, it’s what I remember seeing in school. The propaganda on both sides is about the same.

  150. Porfiriy Says:

    @Allen

    “China is developing. Its immediate goal is to alleviate poverty. To me, that is the most important and noble thing a gov’t can do. We can talk “human rights,” “branches of government,” “capitalism,” “rule of law,” “democracy” and so forth – none of which trumps the fight against poverty.”

    Allen, I have to take issue with this statement due to the implicit assumption that “fighting against poverty” is mutually exclusive with “human rights” and “rule of law.” Arguably it is not a situation where if you have one set, you must lack the other, and visa versa. It is also important to point out that in terms of things such as “democracy,” “rule of law,” or “transperancy,” these issues are not a simple binary choice between “having them” and “not having them.” That being said, approaching China’s issues is not a question of whether or not China *has* or *doesn’t have*, for example, “transparency,” or “rule of law” – the question or not is whether or not these things are adequately present in Chinese society. It is my personal belief that they are not.

    Also, the opposite of your statement could be very persuasively argued – that if China had *more* transparency and *more* freedom of speech that economic growh and the alleviation of poverty could proceed at an even agreeable pace. Again, I emphasize that it’s not a “have it” or “don’t have it” option – I’m not arguing that China do exactly what India does because obviously that system has issues too. But China certainly use more transparency, more accuontability to ensure that companies balance the need for economic growth with a respect for the welfare of the people (see tainted milk case, just for one illustration). But that’s the topic for a whole other post. Bottom line, I believe that it is the whole “growing the economy must come before transparency and human rights” mindset that creates, for example, scenarios where peasants get forcibly evicted from their property to make a shopping center or a factory. The most ideal scenario, in my opinion, is neither yours nor the “American hell yeah” democracy of Iraq – it is a scenario where Chinese leaders consider human rights, transparency, etc., an integral component of economic growth. Instead, they believe that economic growth can only be attained at the sacrifice of human rights. It sounds as if you have come to believe their theory.

    ***

    As Steve has argued, whether or not a reference to the behavior of Western countries is a “red herring” depends on the parameter of the argument. For example, Hzzz refers to Guantanamo when I demand transparency and accountability for the detained Uyghurs in China. Within the parameters of the argument, this indeed is a red herring because what I am demanding is not an exclusively American feature. If, for example I were arguing that China should unilaterally adopt American strategies vis-a-vis its prisoners, then pointing out the Guantanamo debacle is a valid debate tactic. However, I wasn’t calling for “American transparency” in China. I was calling for transparency, period, a concept that transcends a particular national ideology. If it is valid for Hzzz to bring up Guantanamo Bay, then it is just as valid for me to counter with Iceland’s humane and transparent treatment of *its* prisoners (Iceland also being a Western, democratic country that enshrines transparency). My platform is transparency. Therefore, as to my personal views, I criticze the handling of prisoners, regardless of the country, where there is no transparency, and I support the handling of prisoners, regardless of the country, where there is transparency. And the reason I happen to be criticizing China here is because… drum roll please… this is a China blog. If this were a blog about US politics you can count on me criticizing any non-transparent legal processes occurring in America.

    As I have stated quite clearly in my rebuttal of hzzz’s post, much of the misunderstanding that is occuring in the dialog that has ensued in this comments section is based on the assumptions that pro-China individuals have about the people about the peole who are calling for more transparency and skepticism regarding China’s criminal proceedings against the detained individuals. People like Charles Liu and Hzzz are assuming that just because I am critical of China’s transparency that I must unilaterally be supportive of American methods. It’s incorrect, and as long as I’m arguing in support of a trans-national value such as transparency, bringing up American methods truly is a red herring because it is not within the parameters of the argument and it is a mischaracterization of the opposing side’s argument, which is another logical fallacy: the straw man.

    So understand, there are several instances where invoking comparisons is entirely valid. For example, should an American businessman or politician criticize China passing protective legislation during the economic crisis, it is valid to point out that American trade policy is also threatening to become protective as well (save our jobs). That is a valid comparison. Bringing up the McCarthy era is quite valid too, when it comes to political witchhunts, though doing so in a discussion of China brings up the separate issue of whether or not the mechanisms exist in China to address political witchhunting. But when the argument is calling for a value that is transnational – such as transparency – it is a red herring to mention Guantanamo because the United States because transparency isn’t exclusively American property. In fact, doing so inadvertantly supports my argument because it simply brings in another instance in another part of the world where lack of transparency resulted in an unacceptable abuse of human rights.

    But hey! I have to say, Allen, that I appreciate your involvement in this discussion. It’s always refreshing when people with different views can have a civil discussion. 🙂

  151. Sonia Says:

    I think the issue here is we’re connecting two matters, that while associated, need to be considered independently.

    Also, I agree with Porfiriy in #52 that whoever makes a claim needs to back it up with evidence. But I think what there’s a difference between public opinion and legal court proceedings.

    1) The CCP claims that Kadeer engineered the riots. Thus, the CCP needs to provide us with the evidence. It’s fine to claim via the state media that “it has evidence”. However, there is no “trial” here, at least for the CCP, so we are not deciding on a concrete verdict or punishment. The objective here is public opinion, which is more fickle and abstract, and is influenced by lots of things that court decisions are ethically and legally bound to not consider. Due to the nature of Chinese politics and media construction, there is a lot of doubt cast on the media’s ability to objectively critique the the Party and the State. Thus, in order to convince not only the domestic public, but also the international public, the Party, the media, the court proceeding, all have to be a heck lot more transparent than it is being currently. I don’t want to come to a conclusion about whether it’s lying or not, but that doubt exists in my mind is a fact. That doubt exists in many people’s minds is a fact. If we were simply on trial, then a concrete verdict is all we need, regardless of doubt and public opinion. But since public opinion IS the goal, then the State should definitely try harder to eliminate doubt, since doubt is not going to go away just because certain very nationalist individuals are extremely passionate and vocal.

    2) Kadeer claims that the CCP murdered/vanished 10,000 people. As ridiculous as I personally find it, it could be true. The possibility exists. But that doesn’t mean I believe it. And if Kadeer claims it, then she definitely needs to prove it in order for me to believe it. Here again, we have the goal as public opinion and not as a concrete verdict. Thus, Kadeer is certainly not required to prove anything since she is not on trial. But, in order to convince me, she will need concrete evidence. Now Kadeer is both advantaged and disadvantaged. On one hand, she can’t really reveal her sources (if they exists and are presumably from within China) without giving them away and putting their lives in danger. On the other hand, she already has the international community leaning in her favor, thanks largely to the Dalai Lama. We can wax poetry about how undeserving she is and unjustified international opinion is, but that doesn’t change public opinion. For her to convince me, she’ll need to do more work. But for me to convince others that she’s a fraud, I would also have to do more work. Legal procedures may say “innocent until proven guilty”, but unfortunately, public opinions don’t work the same way, and neither does my personal opinion.

    So I think we’re mixing up a couple of things. First, the fact that Kadeer accused the CCP of XXX without proving it doesn’t make the CCP more credible; it just makes the Kadeer less credible. This is also true vice versa. Secondly, public opinion is not a court proceeding. When we make decisions that have legal consequence, we may be required to adhere to ethics and principles and “innocent until proven guilty”. But opinion doesn’t have to adhere to anything, and we can’t expect people to think “innocent until proven guilty”. Thus, that argument is moot when we talk about public opinion.

  152. Allen Says:

    @Porfiriy #150,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. Here is a very brief reply.

    You wrote:

    Allen, I have to take issue with this statement due to the implicit assumption that “fighting against poverty” is mutually exclusive with “human rights” and “rule of law.”

    I agree that the fight against poverty need not be mutually exclusive with human rights, rule of law, etc. But I don’t think that’s what I said. All I said in my various comments in this thread (I think) was that the most important policy for China now is the fight against poverty – not necessarily to build democracy, to have free speech, or to comport to a western standard of rule of law. I feel that sometimes critics of China look to democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, transparency, etc. as an end – while I tend to view them as a means. Where democracy, freedom of speech, transparency, etc. will further China’s stated policy – in this case to enhance China’s economic development, they should be employed. Where they don’t, they may be delayed or even entirely put off.

    Perhaps our ultimate disagreement is on whether the ultimate policy of China should be on social stability and economic developments – or something more many in the West advocate – democracy, transparency, etc. I think whatever the answer is, we need to take into account the many many factors intimately associated with the society that is China. I am against people who flatly say since we cherish so-and-so in the West, China must do so … I am however more receptive to arguments rooted in the specific conditions China find itself. For example, one might argue for more transparency not simply because of some religion, but because transparency in China’s case cuts down on corruption and lead to more efficient allocation of resources for China’s continued economic development.

    As for your point about China, Guantanamo, and Ice Land’s alleged transparent treatment of prisoners, I personally don’t see Guantanamo as a red herring. Now I am the first to agree that Guantanamo and what is happening in China are not completely analogous, but if we have to make analogies, I believe that the experiences of U.S. – being a major power with a diverse religious and ethnic population definitely – compares better with China than say Ice Land (something you brought up). I can understand if the point you are trying to make is that U.S. and China are both in bad company and that what we ought to strive for is to be more like Ice Land… but I don’t see anything wrong with China wanting to be more like the U.S. – a major power in the world.

    Major powers like the U.S. (G. Britain, Spain in its hey days, and China, Arabia, and Egypt in ancient times) are beacons of light in human history that contribute much in terms of science, arts, culture, technology, etc. to humanity. They will always be constantly under attack at the periphery (terrorism in today’s context) – that is the nature of being a big power. But I have no problem with big powers fighting back against such attacks – despite the nature appeal of trying to caste big powers as evil in light of recent history involving big powers of militaristic Japan and Nazi Germany – or Great Britain and U.S. (in some quarters).

    Anyways – I appreciate your many comments here – irrespective of whether we agree of not. We rarely get the chance to hammer out issues like we do here. To have the opportunity to do so here – and with intelligent people – is a real asset!

  153. Chops Says:

    (Reuters) – Protesters massed in the capital of China’s far western region of Xinjiang on Thursday demanding the ousting of its top official, who faced the crowd amid a scare over syringe stabbings that has reignited ethnic tensions.

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE5821PT20090903?sp=true

  154. Steve Says:

    Chops, I read the same report from the AP report this morning. I had no idea this was happening! Here are some excerpts:

    “Thursday’s protest came after days of rumors that gangs roamed the city stabbing mostly Han people with hypodermic needles, scaring residents. City officials and state media confirmed the attacks, saying 21 had been detained. A report read on Xinjiang TV’s newscast Thursday said 476 people sought treatment for stabbing, though only 89 had obvious signs of being pricked.

    While no motivations for the attacks were given, the report gave a breakdown of the victims showing almost all, 433, were Han Chinese with the rest drawn from eight other ethnic groups. The tally suggested the attacks were ethnically motivated and indicated the breadth of unease in the city.

    Concerns about the stabbings may be high because Xinjiang has the highest rate of AIDS virus infections in China, with about 25,000 cases of HIV reported last year. The problem is fueled by needle-sharing among drug users.

    The mostly Han demonstrators seemingly took care not to rile ethnic grievances, calling out “maintain ethnic unity” and venting their anger on local officials. They called for the ouster of Xinjiang party secretary Wang Lequan, an ally of President Hu Jintao.”

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