Apr 19

“Chinese need to be controlled”

Written by: Raj | Filed under:-guest-posts | Tags:, ,
16 Comments » newest 2009-04-24 17:46:54

Jackie Chan: Chinese People Need To Be Controlled

Action star Jackie Chan said Saturday he’s not sure if a free society is a good thing for China and that he’s starting to think “we Chinese need to be controlled.”

Chan’s comments drew applause from a predominantly Chinese audience of business leaders in China’s southern island province of Hainan.

I have often thought that actors should stay out of politics, though as everyone is entitled to their view this was a useful way of addressing something I’ve noticed in the past. It seems to me that rich Chinese can be quick to assert similar sentiments. Certainly the article mentioned that the business leaders applauded him on that point.

If all Chinese were incapable of making decisions no Chinese person could be a politician and China would be run by foreigners, so he must think some Chinese can be in control. Thus I suspect what people like Chan actually mean when they say these things, but could never say because they would be ripped to shreds, is “people with lots of money like me can act sensibly but the majority of Chinese are too dumb to make the right decisions”.

Chan added: “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”

So Chan thinks that currently Chinese are not doing what they want to do? Is their sense of freedom really just an illusion? This seems like a highly controversial statement to me.

What are your thoughts on these comments and more widely how poor, middle class and wealthy Chinese see this subject?

Jan 12

The recent tragedies in Gaza have reminded me again the mind-numbing role the sensationalistic use of emotionally charged words can play in international politics.

Recently, Israel railed against the Vatican when Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Vatican, characterized Gaza as a “concentration camp.”  According to the NY Times: Continue reading »

Jan 07

For many Chinese website operators, 2009 didn’t start very well. China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre, a semi-government agency, has published a list of websites which contain “vulgar and unhealthy information” deemed to be harmful to the country’s youth. The list (in Chinese) can be found here.

The interesting thing about this list is that it covered majority of the most popular websites in China. Google was ranked number one “vulgar” site (see, e.g., NYTimes article), followed by Baidu and Sina.

I’m very confident that every Chinese netizen have visited at least one of such vulgar websites. I myself must have visited at least 75% of the websites listed and would probably be diagnosed as psychotic under the Chinese guideline. Continue reading »

May 23

Written by Allen Yu

Increasingly, self-determination is used as a rallying cry for separatist movements around the world, from Kosovo to Tibetan independence. Many separatist movements have leveraged symbols of European Imperialism to cast their cause as a fight for freedom.

On the one hand, such use of self-determination seems to be appropriate. The West conquered a large part of the world over the last 500 years, causing wide devastations and detriments to many peoples across the world. Calls for self-determination by former colonies in the aftermath of WWII rightfully became a rallying cry for all dispossessed people in the world.

On the other hand, today’s zeal for self-determination along religious and ethnic lines may also be fanning unnecessary religious and ethnic divisiveness around the world (see, e.g., book excerpt from the “Self Determination of Peoples” and book excerpt from “Modern Law of Self Determination“). From Rwanda to Serbia to the Middle East to Tibet, heightened religious and ethnic consciousness is stoking unprecedented strife and discord.
Continue reading »