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Jan 30

Uln posted a great piece on the Google matter on his blog. Go there to read the whole thing – a selection follows. Continue reading »

Dec 19

Apparently, after much drama, intrigue, and sleepless nights, we have some sort of agreement at Copenhagen. We’ll probably get the text of the Copenhagen Agreement soon. But I think the gist of it is as follows: Continue reading »

Nov 26

Officials from both China and the U.S. have lauded Obama’s recent trip to China as a great success.  While some have criticized the trip for producing little in terms of specifics, one should not casually dismiss the achievements actually made (see U.S.-China Joint Statement). In so many ways, the relationship between U.S. and China has never been closer.

Yet despite the goodwill generated by the trip, there is one sharp difference that festers between the two – and that is the value of the Yuan.  Many in America feel that the Yuan is not only undervalued, but has created a huge trade deficit, setting in motion the current global financial crisis and threatening to prolong the current U.S. recession. Continue reading »

Nov 14

minipost-Understanding China geopolitically

Written by: justkeeper | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | 139 Comments » newest 2009-12-08 20:45:29

I just came across this old post on Sun-Bin:http://sun-bin.blogspot.com/2008/10/john-mauldins-geopolitics-of-china.html, which I am sure most of you must have read, most of the points in that article are valid and verifiable, but there are two I believe to be particularly helpful in understanding the mindset of Chinese people and considerations of Chinese leaders in their policymaking:

  1. The statement “However — and this is the single most important fact about China — it has about one-third the arable land per person as the rest of the world. This pressure has defined modern Chinese history — both in terms of living with it and trying to move beyond it.” — understanding this will help one understand why the PRC leaders often talked about survival as one key elements of ‘human right”, they are serious about this, historically many people die (in fact, famine was commonplace in Chinese history) whenever there was upheaval (and vice versa).
  2. The geopolitical impreative that China needs to Maintain control of the buffer regions.(Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, etc).

Continue reading »

Nov 13

Fear of Kubin is the end of wisdom

Written by: berlinf | Filed under:Analysis, culture, language, Opinion | 38 Comments » newest 2009-12-20 10:03:33

Wolfgang Kubin, Bonn University Professor of Chinese Studies, is a well-known critic of Chinese literature, a critic in every sense of the word. Every time he speaks about Chinese literature, he makes waves among observers of Chinese literature. He was famous for “trashing” Chinese literature, which has at various times being interpreted as trashing of Chinese literature in general, Chinese novels in particular, or novels by the sentimental “beauty writers” to be more exact. Chinese writers probably can also claim that Kubin is trash, but they have not done so.  That shows a humility that contrasts sharply with Kubin’s elitist and dismissive criticism.  Continue reading »

Nov 10

The Fall of the Berlin Wall on our Mind…

Written by: Allen | Filed under:Analysis, General, News, politics | Tags:, , ,
54 Comments » newest 2009-11-23 03:54:10

The Fall of the Berlin some 20 years ago is again on the mind of many. According to the NYTimes, “[t]he historical legacy of 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell and the cold war thawed, is as political as the upheavals of that decisive year.”

For many in the West, the events of 1989 represents the ultimate triumph of the West over East – of democratic, capitalistic liberalism over communist authoritarianism. Many envisioned that we were entering an “End of History.” Writing in 1989, Francis Fukuyama (a professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University) wrote: Continue reading »

Oct 24

According to an op-ed by Paul Krugman in the NY Times today, China is not only a currency manipulator, but also a cause of the world financial crisis. I usually have some respect for Mr. Krugman, so I’ll try to take his op-ed seriously. Continue reading »

Sep 29

Responding to Zhang Weiwei – Democracy and China

Written by: Raj | Filed under:Analysis, General, Opinion, politics | Tags:,
90 Comments » newest 2010-11-21 01:26:09

I would like to thank btbr403 for translating Zhang’s article that was recently posted on to Fools Mountain. In it he said that he had never found an example of a developing country that had “realized its modernization through democratization”. He then proceeded to refute examples cited that could apply and called for a non-western form of democracy for China.

However, Zhang’s conclusions and the method he used to reach them are fundamentally flawed. It starts with a serious lack of understanding of what democracy means these days. As I discussed in a previous post, democracy is not just having elections. It is about an entire system that crosses the country, in regards to not just elections but also the media, judiciary, rule of law and civil rights. If one does not recognise how they are all linked and that if any particular aspect is attacked the rest can be equally compromised, the entire discussion becomes pointless. It also doesn’t help that he gives no definition of “modernization”. Continue reading »

Sep 21

In this installment, Compton talks to Fools Mountain about the business climate in China. As a venture capitalist and a business executive, Compton brings a very unique perspective on “where China is at” in her development. In producing the documentary film, “Win in China,” he has had chance to interact with many business leaders in China.
Continue reading »

Sep 20

admin’s note. The following is a blog post from 多维博客(h/t to Snow). Besides re-posting an article originally published on the Study Times (a weekly publication of the CCP’s Central Party School) in 2008, it drew a vigorous debate among Chinese with nearly 300 comments (I hope that someone could translate them too), many of them are interesting. Although we posted the Chinese version last year and A-gu commented on that, it was until recently that btbr403 volunteered to translate it. DeWang and Allen helped with the translation.

Following is the translation of the original post:

The Study Times of The Central Party School published an article by Zhang Weiwei (he was Deng XiaoPing’s interpreter, and he wrote an opinion piece The allure of the Chinese model ), a senior research fellow at the Modern Asia Research Centre, University of Geneva, Switzerland. He showed his excellent eloquence in the invitation only Marshall Forum on Transatlantic Affairs, saying that he had visited more than 100 countries, but couldn’t find one that achieved modernization via democratization. The European and American scholars present couldn’t find any examples to refute him.
Continue reading »

Sep 12

In the continuing saga that is Chen Shui Bian’s colorful life, a trial court in Taipei sentenced Chen to life in prison yesterday as the first phase of his dramatic corruption and embezzlement trial came to an end. Chen’s wife, Wu Shu-chen, received a life sentence on corruption charges. Their son and daughter-in-law, convicted of money laundering, received relatively lenient 2 1/2 – and one-year terms. Continue reading »

Sep 08

Bob Compton and U.S. President Obama

Bob Compton talks to U.S. President Obama abour education reform

More Americans are becoming aware of Bob Compton (standing next to U.S. President Obama in the picture to the left) for his efforts in changing America’s education system.Compton is one of the most successful businessmen in America.He has created numerous companies, lead companies with sales of a million dollars to hundreds of millions, and served as President of NYSE-listed companies.  He is an active venture capitalist as well as an angel investor.  Compton traveled the world extensively.  He is also keenly interested in what is happening outside the USA.  His funded companies hire engineers in China and India.

Compton produced two documentary films:  “Two Million Minutes” and “Win in China.”

Continue reading »

Aug 28

Dalai Lama is set to visit Taiwan next week. The Dalai Lama has been invited a group of local DPP officials representing several southern counties – where DPP support is especially strong.

The Dalai Lama has visited Taiwan twice, once in 1997 and 2001. However, soon after Ma took office on a platform promising to amend ties with the Mainland, a request for the Dalai Lama to visit was turned down by Ma, citing the timing as not proper. A Dalai Lama visit then could have derailed Ma’s plan for closer ties with the Mainland – and still has the potential to do so the same. Continue reading »

Aug 27

We’ve had many discussions here on Chinese Nationalism. Last year, Chinese nationalism was stoked in the aftermath of the West’s response to the riots in Tibet and in the lead up to the Olympics. Many in the West chided China on a host of issues – from domestic human rights abuses to China’s policies in Africa. Many viewed with wary eyes the rise of Chinese nationalism, with some depicting Chinese nationalism as a force for instability in the world – some going as fars as comparing Chinese Nationalism to Hitler’s Naziism. Many painted the notion of Chinese Exceptionism (the vague idea that China occupies a special place in history and has a special role to play in the world) in dark, ominous terms. Continue reading »

Jul 23

unity

The ethnic protests and clashes in China’s westernmost region of Xinjiang on 5-6 July 2009 and the following days have caused around 200 deaths. The deadly violence, mainly between the Uyghur (and Muslim) population and the Han Chinese – but also involving the security forces killing some protesting Uyghurs, in circumstances that are not yet clear – has shocked and polarised public opinion across China. They have also focused renewed attention on the sensitive and complex theme of the relationship between different ethnic groups in the People’s Republic of China.
Continue reading »

Jul 22

News of the suicide of Chinese worker Sun Danyong last Thursday after his employer accused him of stealing an Apple iPhone prototype has caused quite a stir in Chinese media and online community. Continue reading »

Jul 14

Journalist and historian William Engdahl lays out his case for the origin of Urumqi riot:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14327

After the tragic events of July 5 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, it would be useful to look more closely into the actual role of the US Government’s ”independent“ NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). All indications are that the US Government, once more acting through its “private” Non-Governmental Organization, the NED, is massively intervening into the internal politics of China.

The reasons for Washington’s intervention into Xinjiang affairs seems to have little to do with concerns over alleged human rights abuses by Beijing authorities against Uyghur people. It seems rather to have very much to do with the strategic geopolitical location of Xinjiang on the Eurasian landmass and its strategic importance for China’s future economic and energy cooperation with Russia, Kazakhastan and other Central Asia states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The major organization internationally calling for protests in front of Chinese embassies around the world is the Washington, D.C.-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

The WUC manages to finance a staff, a very fancy website in English, and has a very close relation to the US Congress-funded NED. According to published reports by the NED itself, the World Uyghur Congress receives $215,000.00 annually from the National Endowment for Democracy for “human rights research and advocacy projects.” The president of the WUC is an exile Uyghur who describes herself as a “laundress turned millionaire,” Rebiya Kadeer, who also serves as president of the Washington D.C.-based Uyghur American Association, another Uyghur human rights organization which receives significant funding from the US Government via the National Endowment for Democracy.

The NED was intimately involved in financial support to various organizations behind the Lhasa ”Crimson Revolution“ in March 2008, as well as the Saffron Revolution in Burma/Myanmar and virtually every regime change destabilization in eastern Europe over the past years from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine to Kyrgystan to Teheran in the aftermath of the recent elections.

Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, was quite candid when he said in a published interview in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

The NED is supposedly a private, non-government, non-profit foundation, but it receives a yearly appropriation for its international work from the US Congress. The NED money is channelled through four “core foundations”. These are the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, linked to Obama’s Democratic Party; the International Republican Institute tied to the Republican Party; the American Center for International Labor Solidarity linked to the AFL-CIO US labor federation as well as the US State Department; and the Center for International Private Enterprise linked to the US Chamber of Commerce.

The salient question is what has the NED been actively doing that might have encouraged the unrest in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and what is the Obama Administration policy in terms of supporting or denouncing such NED-financed intervention into sovereign politics of states which Washington deems a target for pressure? The answers must be found soon, but one major step to help clarify Washington policy under the new Obama Administration would be for a full disclosure by the NED, the US State Department and NGO’s linked to the US Government, of their involvement, if at all, in encouraging Uyghur separatism or unrest. Is it mere coincidence that the Uyghur riots take place only days following the historic meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

Uyghur exile organizations, China and Geopolitics

On May 18 this year, the US-government’s in-house “private” NGO, the NED, according to the official WUC website, hosted a seminal human rights conference entitled East Turkestan: 60 Years under Communist Chinese Rule, along with a curious NGO with the name, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO).

The Honorary President and founder of the UNPO is one Erkin Alptekin, an exile Uyghur who founded UNPO while working for the US Information Agency’s official propaganda organization, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as Director of their Uygur Division and Assistant Director of the Nationalities Services.

Alptekin also founded the World Uyghur Congress at the same time, in 1991, while he was with the US Information Agency. The official mission of the USIA when Alptekin founded the World Uyghur Congress in 1991 was “to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics in promotion of the [USA] national interest…” Alptekin was the first president of WUC, and, according to the official WUC website, is a “close friend of the Dalai Lama.”

Closer examination reveals that UNPO in turn to be an American geopolitical strategist’s dream organization. It was formed, as noted, in 1991 as the Soviet Union was collapsing and most of the land area of Eurasia was in political and economic chaos. Since 2002 its Director General has been Archduke Karl von Habsburg of Austria who lists his (unrecognized by Austria or Hungary) title as “Prince Imperial of Austria and Royal Prince of Hungary.”

Among the UNPO principles is the right to ‘self-determination’ for the 57 diverse population groups who, by some opaque process not made public, have been admitted as official UNPO members with their own distinct flags, with a total population of some 150 million peoples and headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands.

UNPO members range from Kosovo which “joined” when it was fully part of then Yugoslavia in 1991. It includes the “Aboriginals of Australia” who were listed as founding members along with Kosovo. It includes the Buffalo River Dene Nation indians of northern Canada.

The select UNPO members also include Tibet which is listed as a founding member. It also includes other explosive geopolitical areas as the Crimean Tartars, the Greek Minority in Romania, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (in Russia), the Democratic Movement of Burma, and the gulf enclave adjacent to Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and which just happens to hold rights to some of the world’s largest offshore oil fields leased to Condi Rice’s old firm, Chevron Oil. Further geopolitical hotspots which have been granted elite recognition by the UNPO membership include the large section of northern Iran which designates itself as Southern Azerbaijan, as well as something that calls itself Iranian Kurdistan.

In April 2008 according to the website of the UNPO, the US Congress’ NED sponsored a “leadership training” seminar for the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) together with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. Over 50 Uyghurs from around the world together with prominent academics, government representatives and members of the civil society gathered in Berlin Germany to discuss “Self-Determination under International Law.” What they discussed privately is not known. Rebiya Kadeer gave the keynote address.

The suspicious timing of the Xinjiang riots

The current outbreak of riots and unrest in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang in the northwest part of China, exploded on July 5 local time.

According to the website of the World Uyghur Congress, the “trigger” for the riots was an alleged violent attack on June 26 in China’s southern Guangdong Province at a toy factory where the WUC alleges that Han Chinese workers attacked and beat to death two Uyghur workers for allegedly raping or sexually molesting two Han Chinese women workers in the factory. On July 1, the Munich arm of the WUC issued a worldwide call for protest demonstrations against Chinese embassies and consulates for the alleged Guangdong attack, despite the fact they admitted the details of the incident were unsubstantiated and filled with allegations and dubious reports.

According to a press release they issued, it was that June 26 alleged attack that gave the WUC the grounds to issue their worldwide call to action.

On July 5, a Sunday in Xinjiang but still the USA Independence Day, July 4, in Washington, the WUC in Washington claimed that Han Chinese armed soldiers seized any Uyghur they found on the streets and according to official Chinese news reports, widespread riots and burning of cars along the streets of Urumqi broke out resulting over the following three days in over 140 deaths.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said that protesters from the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority group began attacking ethnic Han pedestrians, burning vehicles and attacking buses with batons and rocks. “They took to the street…carrying knives, wooden batons, bricks and stones,” they cited an eyewitness as saying. The French AFP news agency quoted Alim Seytoff, general secretary of the Uighur American Association in Washington, that according to his information, police had begun shooting “indiscriminately” at protesting crowds.

Two different versions of the same events: The Chinese government and pictures of the riots indicate it was Uyghur riot and attacks on Han Chinese residents that resulted in deaths and destruction. French official reports put the blame on Chinese police “shooting indiscriminately.” Significantly, the French AFP report relies on the NED-funded Uyghur American Association of Rebiya Kadeer for its information. The reader should judge if the AFP account might be motivated by a US geopolitical agenda, a deeper game from the Obama Administration towards China’s economic future.

Is it merely coincidence that the riots in Xinjiang by Uyghur organizations broke out only days after the meeting took place in Yakaterinburg, Russia of the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as Iran as official observer guest, represented by President Ahmadinejad?

Over the past few years, in the face of what is seen as an increasingly hostile and incalculable United States foreign policy, the major nations of Eurasia—China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan have increasingly sought ways of direct and more effective cooperation in economic as well as security areas. In addition, formal Observer status within SCO has been given to Iran, Pakistan, India and Mongolia. The SCO defense ministers are in regular and growing consultation on mutual defense needs, as NATO and the US military command continue provocatively to expand across the region wherever it can.

The Strategic Importance of Xinjiang for Eurasian Energy Infrastructure

There is another reason for the nations of the SCO, a vital national security element, to having peace and stability in China’s Xinjiang region. Some of China’s most important oil and gas pipeline routes pass directly through Xinjiang province. Energy relations between Kazkhstan and China are of enormous strategic importance for both countries, and allow China to become less dependent on oil supply sources that can be cut off by possible US interdiction should relations deteriorate to such a point.

Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev paid a State visit in April 2009 to Beijing. The talks concerned deepening economic cooperation, above all in the energy area, where Kazkhastan holds huge reserves of oil and likely as well of natural gas. After the talks in Beijing, Chinese media carried articles with such titles as “”Kazakhstani oil to fill in the Great Chinese pipe.”

The Atasu-Alashankou pipeline to be completed in 2009 will provide transportation of transit gas to China via Xinjiang. As well Chinese energy companies are involved in construction of a Zhanazholskiy gas processing plant, Pavlodar electrolyze plant and Moynakskaya hydro electric station in Kazakhstan.

According to the US Government’s Energy Information Administration, Kazakhstan’s Kashagan field is the largest oil field outside the Middle East and the fifth largest in the world in terms of reserves, located off the northern shore of the Caspian Sea, near the city of Atyrau. China has built a 613-mile-long pipeline from Atasu, in northwestern Kazakhstan, to Alashankou at the border of China’s Xinjiang region which is exporting Caspian oil to China. PetroChina’s ChinaOil is the exclusive buyer of the crude oil on the Chinese side. The pipeline is a joint venture of CNPC and Kaztransoil of Kazkhstan. Some 85,000 bbl/d of Kazakh crude oil flowed through the pipeline during 2007. China’s CNPC is also involved in other major energy projects with Kazkhstan. They all traverse China’s Xinjiang region.

In 2007 CNPC signed an agreement to invest more than $2 billion to construct a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China. That pipeline would start at Gedaim on the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and extend 1,100 miles through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Khorgos in China’s Xinjiang region. Turkmenistan and China have signed a 30-year supply agreement for the gas that would fill the pipeline. CNPC has set up two entities to oversee the Turkmen upstream project and the development of a second pipeline that will cross China from the Xinjiang region to southeast China at a cost of some $7 billion.

As well, Russia and China are discussing major natural gas pipelines from eastern Siberia through Xinjiang into China. Eastern Siberia contains around 135 Trillion cubic feet of proven plus probable natural gas reserves. The Kovykta natural gas field could give China with natural gas in the next decade via a proposed pipeline.

During the current global economic crisis, Kazakhstan received a major credit from China of $10 billion, half of which is for oil and gas sector. The oil pipeline Atasu-Alashankou and the gas pipeline China-Central Asia, are an instrument of strategic ‘linkage’ of central Asian countries to the economy China. That Eurasian cohesion from Russia to China across Central Asian countries is the geopolitical cohesion Washington most fears. While they would never say so, growing instability in Xinjiang would be an ideal way for Washington to weaken that growing cohesion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization nations.

William Engdahl is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order.

Jul 13

The letter was written to Mr. Ruan Yunfei 冉云飞, a well-known Chinese writer and blogger, by someone from a very small minority group in Xinjiang after the Urumqi Incident. It provides a unique perspective into the ethnic relations in the region. It is unique because the author is neither Han nor Uighur and the voice from smaller minority groups in Xinjiang is seldom heard. The author expresses her views with extraordinary candidacy and courage.

I thank Mr. Ran for helping me contact the author. I am very grateful to the author who gave me permission to translate the letter and publish it on the Fool’s Mountain. She also worked with me patiently in the past few days to clarify many points in the letter. Our communication is reflected in the translation and the notes at the end of the letter.

The author wants the readers to know that the information she provided in her letter about the policies and conditions of ethnic minority eduction reflects her experience in a particular university and at a particular time (early 2000) in Xinjiang. The author does not claim to know situations in every universities in Xinjiang or in the whole country. Readers should be careful when making generalizations. She also said there might be some changes in the policies and conditions of ethnic minority eduction in recent years that she is not aware of.

The original letter is here.

Letter from Xinjiang – Reflections on the Xinjiang Issue
Continue reading »

Jul 09

I came across an Op-Ed in the WSJ by Rebiya Kadeer regarding the recent violence in XinJiang.  I thought it would be interesting to post them here for our discussion. Ms. Kadeer is the president of the Uighur American Association and World Uighur Congress.  Chinese authorities have accused Kadder of inflaming ethnic tensions in XinJiang and orchestrating the most recent riots.

Continue reading »

Jul 08


Note: This post is a selective and partial translation of an article written by a second generation Han “settler” born and raised in Xinjiang. That article is titled “一个兵团二代的网文:告诉你真实的乌鲁木齐” (A net article by a 2nd generation Bingtuan kid: let me tell you the real Urumqi). It is a long and detailed account of the author’s memory of growth of and growing up in Urumqi as well as his perspectives on when and how race relationship between Uighur and Han deteriorated. It is a highly recommended read.


Update: Tian, via a comment at Telegraph, provided a short summary of the article referred above. That summary is appended at the end of this post.

Continue reading »

Jul 06

Chinese media has been reporting what appear to be ethnically-motivated riots in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.  Xinhua reports that casualty may have reached 140, with more injured.

Western press have also latched onto the story. Here is the latest report from the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading »