Jun 16

China Internet

It seems the western media and Chinese blogosphere agree on one thing; Green Dam is not winning any popularity contests. Today, the Chinese government backed down on the mandatory usage of the software, though it will still come either pre-loaded or be included on a compact disc with all PCs sold on the  mainland from July 1st.

There are several problems associated with this software, each one an interesting topic in itself. I’d like to run down the issues associated with its release, one by one.

1) Why the sudden announcement of this invasive software with virtually no implementation time given to the manufacturers?
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Mar 17

minipost-Cultural Reflections on Tibet

Written by: sophie | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis, culture | Tags:,
158 Comments » newest 2009-04-30 00:17:30

In a previous thread, Steve asked why, with so much material improvement in Tibet region shown by MAJ, the Chinese government still can’t win Tibetan’s heart? I have been asking the same question too.

Following recent MAJ’s comments, I came across this article ‘Reflections on Tibet‘ by Wang Lixiong published in 2002. Wang Lixiong is the writer of ‘Roadmap of Tibetan Independence’ published last year. In the article, Wang Lixiong “considers some of the bitter paradoxes of Tibetan history under Communist rule, and their roots in the confrontation of an alien bureaucracy and fear-stricken religion”. It’s worth pointing out that the original article 西藏问题的文化反思 was published in Chinese in 2001 and therefore we need to be careful how relevant it is to today’s Tibet issue.
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Dec 25

minipost-Dalai Lama to retire from politics?

Written by: Otto Kerner | Filed under:-guest-posts, -mini-posts | Tags:, ,
75 Comments » newest 2009-12-03 00:25:45

In recent statements (http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2008/12/dalai-lama-talks-of-complete-r.php), the Dalai Lama has strongly implied that he might retire from politics completely. I’m not sure how seriously to take this sort of talk—I tend to think it’s more likely that he’s sort of testing the waters.

However, if it turns out that he really does retire from politics, I wonder if that might not end up being better for the Tibetan movement in the long run. I think that the fundamental problem with the negotiations between Beijing and the Dalai Lama so far is that they are not interested in negotiating on the same subject. The Dalai Lama wants to negotiate on behalf of the Tibetan people for political reforms in Tibet. The government in Beijing has never said they wanted to talk about that; instead, they have said they will negotiate about the Dalai Lama’s personal status. If the Dalai Lama gives up his political role and leaves it to the exile prime minister to have political negotiations, then maybe it will become possible for him to start negotiations with Beijing regarding his personal status. That is, he might actually be able to return to Tibet as an individual. By doing so, he might be able to create a degree of trust and goodwill which would eventually make political reforms possible.

The tricky part that remains, though, is that the Dalai Lama can give up his political role, but I don’t think he can retire from his religious role. In order to return, he would probably need some kind of reliable assurances that there would be reduced political interference in Tibetan religion. Most importantly, how could he return to Tibet if he thought the CCP would still control the selection and education of the next Dalai Lama?

Jul 12

Speaking about the Three Self Patriotic Chinese Christian

Written by: snow | Filed under:Analysis, culture, q&a, religion | Tags:, ,
16 Comments » newest 2008-07-21 14:56:59

In response to Marc (who wrote in #189 “What Does It Mean to Chinese”)

“However, the reason that I brought up house church vs. Three-Self church initially has a lot to do with nationalism. You see, Three-Self church was started by some nationalistic Chinese Christians in the early 1900’s (way before communist took over power in China). Hence they called themselves Three-Self (meaning self-governing, self teaching, self supporting). They hated Western Christians in China then. They teamed up with communist government later in the 1950’s to start persecuting other Chinese Christians who didn’t see things their way. That’s when house church Christians started to emerge. Anyway, the whole conflict started out with nationalism.”

I am glad that you put Christianity in China in historical perspectives, but your interpretion of important, complicated historical events is a bit oversimplified and biased. Still, you are right, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement was initiated by patriotic Chinese Christians and endorsed by the government, not “created” by the government as the PBS article claims to be (http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/china_705/history/china.html, a companion piece to Frontline/World Jesus in China).

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Jun 25

A Discussion On Religion in China

Written by: Oli | Filed under:Analysis, culture, q&a | Tags:, ,
31 Comments » newest 2010-01-24 23:20:17

This is a continuation of the discussion from the June 14th 2008 blog entry “Chocolate City” – Africans seek their dreams in China“, an article originally published in The Southern Metropolis Daily Jan 2008. Because of axes and grinding the discussion morphed from a debate about race relations in China to one about religions in China. As I have been invited to turn it into a blog entry and the issue of religions in China appears topical, I am posting the extract from my comments and other posters’ responses and questions, sans editing (apart from my own extract’s typos).

Please Note: I am a newbie at blogging and nor am I a full- time blogger. Any perceived expletives occurred in the heat of passion(ate) (debate), as these things are wont to happen and I beg readers’ indulgence.

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May 03

Written by Tang Buxi, May 2nd, 2008

This past week, leaders of the American Jewish community called upon Jewish athletes and tourists around the world, as well as U.S. President George Bush, to boycott the Beijing Olympics (more, more). They claim their activism is motivated by the Chinese governments’ relationship with Muslim nations like Syria and Iran, as well as claims of Chinese-funded genocide in Darfur. This wasn’t just an abstract media statement; I’ve seen personal evidence of grass-roots efforts from local Jewish communities calling on American Jews to support this boycott with more direct political action.

In recent years, discussion of Jews and Judism has become something of a “third rail” in the Western world. It’s a highly controversial issue that makes intelligent discussion nearly impossible, and certainly very dangerous. Touch the issue from the wrong angle, and you risk (intellectual death). This is understandable. Few peoples in recent memory have legitimately faced the risk of “genocide”, the violent extermination of an entire people on the basis of race and religion. In even trivial remarks, we can imagine the echoes of dangerous anti-Semitic extremism.

However, this is an important topic that can’t be left aside. I’m going to make an effort to explain why the American Jewish community’s stance on this is wrong, and why their policy might ultimately prove counter-productive.

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