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If you are wondering why you’ve not really heard much about the call for a “Jasmine Revolution” style protests in the Peoples Republic of China, well there is a reason for that. The Chinese authorities are not waiting around for the protests to grow and become something like Tiananmen Square or Tahrir Square in Egypt.

As I posted about before they have been taking strong steps to crack down on pro-democracy activists for a couple of weeks. They have been preventing text messages from being sent to an entire list and have blocked all websites with key words like Jasmine Revolution.

This combined with flooding the urban areas where the protests were proposed with security forces and actually placing pro-democracy advocate under house arrest and even
disappearing more than one attorney for these groups apparently is not enough for the Communist Government in China


In a move that shows just how worried the “workers paradise” is about its workers getting together to insist on a real voice in the governance of their nation, the Chinese government is now putting restrictions on foreign reporters inside China.

NPR is reporting this morning that the Chinese government is saying that you must have pre-approval to talk to any one in Beijing in advance. Think about that for a second; this means that if you wanted to do a “man on the street” interview about anything even say the weather, you would be in violation.

Already foreign journalists are claiming that they are having their e-mails hacked and that plain clothes police are watching them movements and their apartments. This is the kind of things that the state security apparatus use against home grown militants.

It is pretty clear that the government in China is doing all it can to keep its people from an uprsing as has been seen in the Arab world. Sadly it seems they have learned the lesson of not letting things get started. They are also learning the lesson that any kind of international reporting means, in these days of the internet, that the story will get out, no matter how hard the technological curbs come down.

To me all of these measures seem pro-active. They have been cracking down on activists before any real protests could start. Now they are putting the squeeze on journalists with an eye to making things so hot there that news organizations either pull their staff or the staff feels like they can not take chances to get the story out.

For all that the Olympics and its massive economic engine has, somewhat, rehabilitated the Chinese image in the world, the reality is that it is still very much a totalitarian regime and one where the cracks are starting to show. Corruption is rampant in China. Given the nature of its political system the corruption comes mainly through officials of the Communist Party.

Through the loosening of economic rules there has emerged a large and growing income disparity. There is a huge migrant work force that is trying to leave the countryside and move to the factories of the cities. This combined with a growing exposure to the ideas of democracy through education and the internet has left the Communists holding on to the tigers ears.

The take away from the revolutions in the Arab world seems to be that a failure to harshly and completely crack down on any dissident movement, no matter how peaceful is one that could cost you control of your nation. The Chinese, never being that flexible in the first place are doing all they can to keep a lid on the idea of democracy and political freedom.

As much as I would love to think that the people united will never be defeated, the reality is that China is not an Arab autocracy. The sheer number of the people at the top of the Communist Party keeps them from making the mistakes of a Gaddafi or Ali, and while there are orders of magnitude more people in China than any Arab nation, there is also a multiple security forces who are well paid, well trained and well equipped.

This combined with the unlikelihood of any of the security forces being punished or singled out makes the window for a popular upraising much smaller. One of the conditions that is required for a true upraising is a large percentage of the population being ready to rise.

If the protests in Egypt had only been in Cairo, they probably would not have been enough to topple Mubarak. Until the rebels in Libya managed to capture Benghazi the rest of the nation did not take the uprising as serious.

With a population of 1.4 billion people the numbers of citizens ready to rise against the government in China will need to number in the tens of millions before any such effort can hope to succeed. Given the willingness of the government there to rigidly control the media, both domestic and foreign and to limit the organizing ability of cell phones and social media, they are effectively keep discontent citizens from finding out that they are not alone, or are even in the majority.

As long as that is true, the size of this giant Asian nation will work against the cause of popular uprising. If there can not be millions on the streets of not only the Chinese capital but several of its major cities, there is no chance that the people in the countryside and distant provinces will even know that there are people protesting.

That is the single biggest constraint that will limit reform in China. So, for the sake of those billion plus people living under the iron heel of oppression, keep your ears open for any news out there and do what you can to support the dissemination of that information.

It is said that information wants to be free. If that is true then it is to be devoutly hoped that it allows many, many more humans to hitch a ride to that freedom.

The floor is yours.

Originally posted to Something the Dog Said on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 06:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Foreign Relations, The Amateur Left, and US - China Forum.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips? Flames? (107+ / 0-)

    Some respect for people who live in real oppression as opposed to the faux repression that Glenn Beck and his ilk claim is here?

    Getting Democrats together and keeping them that way is like herding cats that are high on meth, through L.A., during an earthquake, in the rain -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 06:29:44 AM PST

    •  We musn't lose perspective (20+ / 0-)

      that China is a belligerent international bully that does not respect human rights or values fair negotiations.

      The U.S. may not have the moral authority to remind China of this fact, but it is true nonetheless.  

      We must not forget this fact.

      THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

      by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:49:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  May I state (7+ / 0-)

        that the new recommend button is very hard to find.  Please put it back where it used to be.

        THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

        by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:52:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Curious (12+ / 0-)
        a belligerent international bully that does not respect human rights or values fair negotiations.

        Has there ever been a nation of any major size and power that has not been described this way?

        "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

        by weasel on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:21:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You have a point, (2+ / 0-)

          but there are "degrees" of how bad a nation can be in this regard.

          As an authoritarian state with threats against neighboring countries (most notably Taiwan -- with 1,500 + missiles pointed at this democratic nation) China, in particular, is one of the worst.

          THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

          by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:30:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Meh (7+ / 0-)

            "Threats"?  The US threatens neighbors all the time (Cuba), and invades or undermines plenty of countries and governments.  The China-Taiwan hostility seems like a poor example of China's evilness.

            "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

            by weasel on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:49:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  China / Taiwan (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              If you feel that diplomatically interfering (the WHO is a perfect example -- where Taiwan can not be directly involved with the health threats to its nation) and the continual threat (with missiles & bully diplomacy) of annexing the CURRENT freedom and democracy of 23 million people who were never governed by the PRC is a poor example of China's evilness -- then I guess you wouldn't mind living in China, would you?

              THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

              by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:58:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  STOP George (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                weasel, cpresley, XinShangHaiRen

                Stop, calm down, and look at the facts of the situation.

                Most certianly in the past the relationship was acrimonious - helped along quite a bit by the US and Japan, but the fact is the relationship has been normalizing and ties are quite close now.

                I think a rational take on the situation is that we will remain at peace and the relationship will continue to evolve - something the people of both should decide and can decide.

                Of course, others may not like that for their own reasons and if you have some by all means state them.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:03:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i totally disagree with that, actually (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  badger, STOP George, neroden, koNko

                  just because the ma admin is happy to play puppet state to the PRC does not mean that the public is behind it, nor that ties are particularly close. ma has just been happy to use riot police and gangsters to keep the protesters away from chinese officials when they visit, and legislative maneuvers to prevent any votes or referenda on the deals he's cutting in private (that he did not campaign on passing, so his majorities do not reflect public support for them; it was a bait-and-switch).

                  and quite frankly, the PRC has not reduced its military threats towards taiwan, nor has it given taiwan space to exist internationally, any different than what was the case in the chen or li administrations. the trade "concessions" are more about trying to get the taiwanese economy dependent upon a flow of income from china that can then be threatened to be withheld, it's not a goodwill effort.

                  i strongly disagree with the usual american tendency to demonize china as a whole, but the policy of the PRC towards taiwan is not a beneficial one, and the taiwanese public by and large can see this.

                  •  I think it's a two-way street. (0+ / 0-)

                    First, the military bit has been tit-for-tat for 60 years, enabled in no small part by the US, yet there continues to be peace so I have to question some of the jingoistic ranting on this thread.

                    Second, I have to ask you to explain how China and Taiwan can continue to extend diplomatic and economic ties - something a fair number of Taiwanese, including farmers, seem to support - if Taiwan is a free Democrati state and this is not the will of the people who voted back the KMT. Let's see how the next election goes, should be interesting.

                    I don't go from there to leap off a cliff to suggest Taiwanese are of one mind, as I have suggested the issues are quite complex and Taiwan is hardly a historical "Chinese" state (anymore than a Japanese colony) although, unless I am mistaken, ethnic Chinese are now in the majority.

                    And as I clearly stated, this is for the people to decide and I think the burden to convince is on the PRC side.

                    If you think the econmic ties are a mistake I suggest you raise the issue to Foxconn et al who seem to be pretty happy with their 800,000+ Chinese emplyees they are not always very kind to, and strangely, this has semed to had some benifit to Taiwanese as the culture there has improved to some degree not in a small part due to exporting a manufacturing culture that used to tie them down and now something carried on the backs of Chinese workers.

                    Not a simple issue, and not a one way street.

                    And so far, the US Government and Japanese Rightists have not quite forsaken Taiwan, so let's see what happens.

                    Your thoughts?

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 01:16:22 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the military tit for tat ended in the 70s (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      neroden, koNko

                      when the jinmen-mazu bombardment exchanges ceased. after that, it has just been chinese military threats towards taiwan, with a trend since democratization of KMT mainlander generals defecting to china or collaborating with the chinese to undermine taiwanese defenses. taiwan has not threatened china in any way, yet the military preparations to attack taiwan continue to expand.

                      as for #2, taiwanese farmers tend to be hostile to the economic ties; the bigger "beneficiaries" of the increased trade have been KMT-connected tourism industry types. the KMT did not run on merging taiwan with china, economically and politically, and they have taken loss after loss since they started to push the EFCA business. i suspect ma will lose the next presidential election, although the KMT still have a strong advantage in legislative races because of their vast party funds (a legacy of the party-state days, they never gave back those state assets) used for wooing local factions and vote-buying.

                      finally, taiwanese businessmen in china are increasingly of mixed opinion on the wisdom of doing business with the PRC. on the one hand, it's a cheap, non-unionized labor force to exploit, and a lever for wage arbitrage back home in taiwan (foxconn does not distinguish itself in the rapacity of its corporate bosses, and those types detest taiwanese unions). on the other hand, many of them have been burned in china, and have less enthusiasm of investing there. the DPP increasingly has corporate funding from disillusioned taishang.

                      personally, i think offshoring industry to china was a colossal strategic mistake by taiwanese corporations, but then the mainlander segment of the business/military/political elite really hates the local taiwanese, and has responded to the pluralism of democratization by shifting their core ideology from anticommunism to chinese nationalism. in one sense, it's a bizarre about-face to see these guys cozying up to the PRC, but if viewed from this sense of nationalism, it's easier to make sense of.

                      the populace as a whole is moving in a different direction, though, and i think we'll eventually see that reflected in taiwanese elections. most taiwanese see themselves as han ethnically, but very few think of themselves as the same people as 大陸人. the increased contact in the past decade has made that clear, save for the rich taipei mainlander scene, who tend to idealize shanghai.

                      •  Sorry, missed this first time. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        wu ming

                        Somehow I missed this the first time. Actually it says everything I asked for in a diary. Last October I visited Taiwan and after a busy week got the chance to get out, hanging out in a bookshop and a teahouse Saturday and biking with some friends Sunday. It's always good to see how the other half lives and talk, and we did that.

                        I don't find anything strange about the relationship of the KMT and CCP. They were enemies before they were friends before they were enemies before they were friends, and you hit the nail on the head, Nationalism, which is a deep well in Chinese society. And in some ways they think alike.

                        One thing I took away from my trip is the pluralism of Taiwan today, and the internal struggle to find the third way. Chen really screwed-up by picking the wrong fights - that's what one of my friends said.

                        Most of the Taiwanese I know in China are older and a product of the post-war period so they are kind of Chinese first. Some students I met in the 誠品 bookstore teahouse I'd say are a lot more open and international in their outlook and that picture is worth a thousand words. I don’t think they know much about China but just want to live their lives their way.

                        As I said, I don't assume Taiwanese are of any one mind anymore than Chinese are.

                        Actually, I think it was the SME Taiwanese companies making consumer products that led the way to China in the early 1990’s after the Asian financial crisis, mostly in South China, because they could fly below the radar to channel investment capital through Hong Kong to set up small factories. Those guys got hammered by the mid 00’s but I think it had more to do with structural changes in manufacturing – plenty of Hong Kong, Chinese and Korean companies went with them.

                        The big industrial companies actually had a lot of difficulty getting approval for the capital investments in the beginning and it was only in the early to mid 00”s that these companies took off and most of the big companies have at least doubled their size if not more. And what they typically do is to keep their R+D and high end products in Taiwan and mass-market stuff in China. So in fact, in some sectors, when people complain about “Chinese companies” what they are actually complaining about is Taiwanese companies in China – even Chinese workers!  So, yeah, that flips the table on identity in a strange way.

                        The thing about farmers is news to me. Guess I get the party line on that but my impression coming out of the financial crisis was that this business is good for them – but maybe the middlemen. I must admit I am their customer.

                        Hey, stick to your desertion and forget about this place for awhile. That stuff takes time. Do you mind if I ask your subject? Just curious.

                        See you.

                        What about my Daughter's future?

                        by koNko on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:39:02 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  song and yuan geography/ethnography (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          of guangxi/gunagdong and the south seas. fun stuff.

                          •  Great choice. (0+ / 0-)

                            Guangxi alone could fill a library. Incredible history & geographical/cultural diversity. Zheng He. Yeah!

                            What about my Daughter's future?

                            by koNko on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:58:18 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yeah, i am def. going to work zheng he in there (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            if just because he's the only thing about china and the south seas that any non-china faculty on a hiring committee would know about.

                            i would love to be able to write the book that put a stake through the heart of gavin menzies' BS once and for all, some day, but that's a ways off yet.

                            guangxi is pretty wild stuff back then, esp. because hainan is included in guangnan xi lu.

                          •  Gavin Menzies. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wu ming

                            Ug. Nutty. The Chinese concensus seems to be he got no further than Africa via the Indian Ocean and he surely didn't take Italy by storm or there would be Paparazzi photos all over the internet.

                            But Hainan pirates were/are? an intersting bunch.

                            What do you think of the the claim by some historians that Guangzhou had an ethnically diverse population of traders before Europeans arrived? I'm only familliar with this by casual reading but it seems possible given the reach of the Mongolian Empire and the fact India escaped their reach. The Mongolaian Empire was actually kind of liberal if bloodthristy, religiously tolerant and good at pillaging, appropriating and redistributing all sorts of tangible/intangible stuff.

                            The South China Sea region is such a rich cultural mix which is why I think you picked a great subject. Whether by sea or land there was a lot of migration and trading in this region and although Guanzhou is pretty far East Chinese have always been pretty enthusiastic traders. Sure pisses-off Paul Krugman!

                            Have you ever visted Singapore? It's actually quite a melting pot, La. I have a few Singaporian collegues working in GZ and HK.

                            What about my Daughter's future?

                            by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:26:35 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yeah, i'd say east africa was it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            part of what confuses people is that the chinese sources have a 'marco polo effect' going on, where the authors spend a lot of time talking to arab merchants, and so get geographic information about areas - like sicily or spain - that they never actually saw with their own eyes (to say nothing of some of the more fantastic mythical islands). the trick is trying to sort of what is likely to be eyewitness, and what is hearsay (although both kinds of diffusion of knowledge are interesting).

                            as for the pre-european diversity of the trading population of guangzhou, that's beyond question, i think. just the archaeology alone shows a significant muslim and tamil religious presence there (and quangzhou) from the tang through early ming, and there's a ton of textual evidence starting from the song as well.

                            yeah, singapore, KL, malacca, etc. all have a very south seas feel to them (and the best food in the freaking world IMO). i imagine that there was a similar sort of melting pot bazaar port community feel in guangzhou and quangzhou way back when, in the foreign quarters. there's reason to believe that a significant % of the south seas trade between the song and the ming was by a sort of hybrid bicultural population made up of the descendants of arab/SEAsian merchants who grew up in chinese ports and followed the trade winds to and fro. teasing out identity/ethnicity info from sparse sources is difficult, though, so it might not ever be provable.

                          •  Thanks. I will study up. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wu ming

                            I don't really know the history of Guangdong well but geographically it's almost a natural to beome a melting pot.

                            And it would make sense from a political perspetive as well because Guangzhou is do far from the historical capitals of China that it has been left to do it's own thing.

                            What about my Daughter's future?

                            by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:41:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  guangzhou was the southernmost port (0+ / 0-)

                            so it got designated the official south seas trade port pretty early on. china's first mosque was built there, IIRC.

                          •  oh, a good place to start reading (0+ / 0-)

                            about the south seas/guangzhou is pretty much anything by wang gungwu. there are a bunch of denser academic books too, but none of them are terribly light reading, and they tend to be fixated on less than thrilling discussions such as whether the critical period of south fujian's development as an urban center was in the five dynasties or the song dynasty, and whether that was driven by trade or whether the trade followed the development, blah blah blah.

                            me, i like the weird stuff lurking in the shadows and on the edges of the map.

                    •  as for the US govt and japanese rightists (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      the US policy types are increasingly involved in china investments, and are more and more open about abandoning taiwan as an unnecessary irritant in sino-american trade. the only pols who seem to care about taiwan are the awful fascist anticommunist neocon types, who probably haven't been told that taiwan's now a democracy. it's very strange to me that there does not seem to be a pro-taiwanese wing of the democratic party, or in liberal circles generally. some unions are anti-chinese because of outsourcing, but since taiwan is also an economic competitor, it doesn't really make a natural ally.

                      japanese rightists are more reliable, and i suspect the PRC's recent aggressive moves on the ryukyus will strengthen their hand in japanese politics vs. the japanese left's interest in improving ties with china.

                      as a left american with fond feelings towards both taiwanese and chinese people, and a desire to try and reduce conflict in the area but not at the expense of democracy, i have basically no allies anywhere in american politics, which is rather odd. there should be, but 90% of the political world knows next to nothing about east asia besides dumb slogans, and those who know something are mostly heavily invested in chinese trade.

                      best hopes for a sane 21st century. i hate choosing between sides.

                      •  Look at the voting records (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        wu ming

                        For Arms.

                        You can probably count Clinton and Gates who pushed the War Games in the South China Sea last year.

                        In my viepoint, the American Left is skizophernic on Foreign Policy with activist and isolationist wings, but the eonomic rise of China nearly gaurentees continued friction between them in East Asia. Add to that the tendancy of Americans to constantly question Chinese motives (or supply thier own answers) and Chinese paranoia about "Containment". Seems we have issues.

                        I don't think you need to depend on Japanese Rightists who are unreliable in other ways; they punch above their weight on foreign policy but nobody likes them. The sentiments of the Japanese public have taken a big negative shift toward China in the past few years and the recent Fishing Boat Incident has driven a majority back toard alliance with the US and toward becoming a "Normal Nation". Add to that the growing dependancy of Japan on the Chinese market - where they face quite a bit of competition and compelled to invest more - and you get a mix that makes Japanese people uneasy. It is an aging, shrinking nation that is less confident and at present consumed with domestic politics (as it should be) so I'd say this shift is permanent.

                        Give Peace a Chance?  I think the conflicts are bulit-in and some degree of accomodation is good, but again, I don't have any illusions about the mixed sentiments and interests of the Taiwanese people.

                        I read an interesting article that sparked a response ariticle and debate on Foreign Relations the first titled (I think) "The Finlanization of Taiwan". Give it a read, it is on their website. If not that site, maybe "The Far Eastern Economic Review" which has ceased publication but still has a website.

                        So why not post a diary on this issue yourself? There are several groups related to Foreign Affairs including that named and my own US-China Bumper Car Club that are coalesing users with these interests. So far I'm pretty happy with the results of DK4, it really seems to be putting people with common interest toetger without the Balkinization predicted.

                        I'd be very interested to read such a diary.

                        What about my Daughter's future?

                        by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 06:55:54 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  while i have opinions (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          my expertise on that complicated and loaded an issue is not sufficient, in my opinion, to float and moderate a diary-length discussion. as hard as it is in practice, i'm trying to limit my time and effort here, so as to finally finish the ^$#! dissertation. i was actually planning on quitting cold turkey during the dk4 transition but then wisconsin and libya got interesting, so there goes that resolution.

                          i agree though that the japanese right is not a terribly great or reliable ally. it's just the most reliable one for taiwan. mostly they're on their own, truth be told. to say nothing of clinton, whom i do not trust further than i could throw her. i've been pleased with the US getting smarter about following southeast asian governments' requests for help balancing china, rather than stomping in and being assholes about it. relative to america's track record on such things, it's pretty subtle, respectful foreign policy, and smart geopolitics (acting as restrained and invited counterbalance, not aggressive invader and colonizer).

            •  Relativistic hogwash (6+ / 0-)

              Why don't you defend the tyrannical government on its own merits rather than saying "well they do it, and they're just as bad."
              I'm so sick of people defending China's appalling., tyranical, corrupt police state with this line of argument.

              "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

              by badger1968 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:23:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  What's your point? (0+ / 0-)

              Is SG speaking as a representative of any or all of the US past actions?

          •  You need to read a little more history (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            about "threatening neighbors" and what has been done to China and her people in the past.

            Furthermore, Taiwan is part of "Two Chinas" now (and the indigenous Austronesian population... like all indigenous populations... has been decimated over time and not necessarily as a result of China).

            Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. --Thurgood Marshall

            by bronte17 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:09:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wu ming, Justanothernyer, badger1968

              You need to spend some time in Taiwan -- as I did.  And not read propaganda spouting from China.

              Taiwan NEVER was part of China.  And it is currently a "de facto" independent state.  It has been for a few decades.  Before the invasion of CKS, Taiwan was ruled by Japan.

              The "official" current status of Taiwan as a state is "undetermined".

              China continually bullies Taiwan diplomatically and is a constant threat to its people and the freedom and democracy that they now enjoy.

              THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

              by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:16:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh sheesh... get a grip george (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko, Anak

                Where do you think your propaganda comes from?

                Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. --Thurgood Marshall

                by bronte17 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:21:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Propaganda? (0+ / 0-)

                  I have reiterated "facts".

                  It's a pity that you don't wish to live in the fact-based world.

                  THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

                  by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:25:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are selecting information (0+ / 0-)

                    And ignoring information.

                    The facts are more complex and exist beyond the sope of your comments so far. But if you wish to be seletive to present an over-simplified rethorial arguement you are welome, of course.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:11:28 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  it's not propaganda (3+ / 0-)

                  taiwan was part of the manchu-ruled qing empire (so was mongolia), but it has never been governed by the people's republic, and has been separate from various regimes on the mainland since 1895. it has had a democratic government for the past three decades, and has governed its own affairs as an independent country (independence from japan, to be clear) for over a half century.

                  •  Parts of Taiwan (0+ / 0-)

                    were ruled by the empire.

                    THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

                    by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:43:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  true, primarily the west coastal lowlands (0+ / 0-)

                      it really is anachronistic to apply contemporary ideas of territoriality to seventeenth-nineteenth century qing frontier administration, to be honest. before the 1680s, though, there's not even an arguable chinese historical claim to taiwan, west coast or no.

                      •  So you're saying (0+ / 0-)

                        that the Republic of China has nothing to do with China?  Are there any plans to return the contents of the Look at all the cool stuff we stole on the way out museum?  What about the 38 year persecution of the original inhabitants of the island?

                        I'm not saying that modern China has any particular case against modern Taiwan, but I do believe the current situation has much more to do with the aftermath of the 20th century civil war than 17th to 19th century imperialism.

                        For example, if Taiwan (as Formosa) had no relationship to mainland China then why accept the Chinese UN seat and security council veto?  

              •  You shouldn't apologize (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You hit the nail on the head.  The China apologists should apologize to you.

                "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

                by badger1968 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:28:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Actually you are mistaken (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                weasel, neroden

                Taiwan, historially, was not always part of China anymore than North American was not always dominated by the decendants of Europeans. But certianly has been (and was before it was annexed by Japan for a century).

                And, I must say, Taiwan is also not exclusively Chinese and that is a significant political issue.

                Maybe you need to spend some more time in both Taiwan and China.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:08:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Parts of Taiwan (0+ / 0-)

                  were controlled by the empire.

                  THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

                  by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:46:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I agree.... you might like this.. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Charlie Rose had John Mack, Chairman of Morgan Stanley on his show (1/21/11) talking about China:


                  Mack: What the Chinese want, I think, is a better understanding, having the U.S.
                      really understand what they’re trying to do.  I was there in December,...and I had a discussion with one of the vice premiers, and he talked about our congressmen, our senators coming to visit him and talking you know, you should be doing this, you should be doing that.  And after a while, he said "excuse me" -- this was a senator --
                      "excuse me, Senator, how many books have you read about my country?" And he said none.  Of course I start saying how many have I read?  At least I have
                      got five.  

                      He said, "I’ve read over 100 books about your country.  I know something
                      about your culture, but I’m not an expert.  To come and preach to me what our country should do when you really don’t have an understanding I find
                      very resentful."  

                      I think what they’re looking for, clearly, is a better understanding, and
                      you cannot take, you know, that society, that culture and make one or two
                      visits.  We need to spend time.  

                      One of the things as a businessperson I found, our elected politicians do not travel enough.

                  You Never Get the Problem You Can Handle

                  by gc10 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 01:13:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Tripe (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mogolori, elwior, scarysota63

              Oh please.  Because China has a tragic past, we therefore must give a pass to the odious current government?  Please defend the actions of China's tyrannical government on its merits.  Everyone's got an excuse.  
              The British burned DC during the War of 1812.  So, by your logic, we have cover for our aggressive actions forever?

              "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

              by badger1968 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:27:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  my view as an old asia hand (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY, beijingbetty, XinShangHaiRen

            anyone who thinks the chinese need to revolt against
            their government should step away from the plate of msg laden giant lo mein noodles with orange sauce and go outside for a breath of fresh air  

            in little more than a generation the chinese leadership
            has created an economic miracle unrivaled in all of human history

            the relentless calls for them overturn the mandarin orange cart is absurd
            and the chinese people will have none of it

          •  An American obsession (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weasel, truong son traveler

            Actually, relations between the two have never been better and dispite the oasional sabre-rattling on both sides, they have been a peace for 60 years, no?

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:57:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

              Relations between the KMT and CCP have never been better.

              Why?  Because the KMT are now in the process of selling out Taiwan to China.

              You seemed to have missed the time when China was lobbing missiles into the Straight  back in the 90's when they were trying to influence the Presidential election in Taiwan.

              THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

              by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:49:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, didn't miss that stuff. (0+ / 0-)

                And this is 2011. And the KMT was voted into office and presumably could be voted out, unless Taiwan is not as Democratic as some claim.

                The relations benefit quite a few Taiwanese including farmers and hotel owners and bookshop owners, etc.

                We have normalized ties in some significant ways and that is a good thing unless you think war is inevitable or desireable, which has not happened in 60 years despite some periods when it was a more real possibility.


                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 01:27:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Politics in Taiwan (0+ / 0-)

                  is very complex.  Even though it has been a democracy for 20 years, it is still a young democracy.  Corruption from the authoritarian era runs deep.  Local elections are decided by this corruption, which puts Taiwan's long-term interests at jeopardy.  

                  "Normalized" relations is too strong, IMO.  It will be "normalized" when China accepts the current defacto status-quo and accepts the fact that the overwhelming majority of Taiwanese want this status-quo to remain indefinitely.

                  THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

                  by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:56:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  not to diminish the threat against taiwan (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica, weasel, scarysota63

            or for that matter, against japan, vietnam, the phillippines or malaysia, but china's not anywhere near the amount of violent threats that the rest of the security council states engage in, in particular the democratic ones, ironically enough.

            that we are bastards does not make them less so, but it's important to have a sense of scale here too.

          •  Unfortunately, in comparison to the US (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            China is more of a a pussycat than an international bully.

            China's last shooting war was a border dispute with the former Soviet Union in 1969.

            Since that time the United States of America has waged 4 "major" wars in which over 100,000 troops were committed (Vietnam; Gulf War; Afghanistan; Iraq).  In three of these the US was not attacked first.  (In the one where the US was attacked first, it was attacked not by the existing government of that country (the Taliban) but by a terrorist organization based inside the country.)

            In addition to the 4 major wars, over the same period the US has been involved in three "minor" wars in which our invading forces overthrew the existing governments:  Grenada, Panama, and Haiti.  Such is the level of our aggression and military might that here in America we don't even regard such minor campaigns as wars.  The residents of the countries on the other end of our guns would tell a different story.  China, by comparison, has engaged in zero such wars.

            The number of American air and missile strikes employed during that time to punish various regimes and terrorist groups is too numerous to mention.  The few Chinese air or missile attacks during that period have been limited to its ongoing dispute with Taiwan.

            Nor am I aware that the Chinese have used covert ops to overthrow any governments during that time; while we Americans have done so at least once, in Guatemala.

            Some of the US actions mentioned above may have been justifiable; the point of this comment is not to claim that each American use of force was an international crime.  My point simply is that compared to the actual use of force by the United States, China's international "bullying" is hardly worth mentioning.

            Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

            by Simian on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:40:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The United States under Wilson (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:36:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            People didn't view Wilson personally that way, but the US?  It dove into WWI, sent troops into Mexico, refused to ratify the League of Nations, etc, etc, etc.  The US still played hardball, even if Wilson was acknowledged as an internationalist and idealist.

            "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

            by weasel on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:51:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely incorrect. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The United States under Woodrow Wilson engaged in even MORE invasions and uses of force than it did under the noted imperialist Theodore Roosevelt.  Wilson's lofty rhetoric was never matched by the brutal reality of his governance.  Among other incidents, Wilson invaded Mexico and sacked the town of Veracruz; Wilson invaded the Dominican Republic, overthrew the government, and stole its rightful customs revenues to pay for that tiny  country's defaulting on its international debt.

            There has NEVER been a time when the United States was not an aggressive, belligerent country with a preference for settling disputes with a gun whenever its adversary is  weaker.  Never.  From the Northwest Indian War (1790-95) during Washington's Presidency, forward through nearly the end of the 19th Century, the US continually waged wars of aggression against native tribes, and occasionally found time to attack its neighbors to the north and south (War of 1812; Mexican-American War).  Once the continent was secured, the US engaged in a war with Spain.  After wresting control of the Phillipines from Spain, the US waged a long, bloody war to pacify the native Filipino population, inflicting over a hundred thousand casualties.  Meanwhile starting in the second half of the 19th century and continuing through the Clinton presidency, the US has invaded countries in the Caribbean and Central America literally dozens of times, mostly to punish the existing government for defaulting on its debt, and to recover the same by collecting and stealing the customs revenues from the unfortunate debtor country.

            Rather than go on ad nauseum, here's a fairly complete list of American military interventions since 1890.

            Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

            by Simian on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 01:01:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Longer list of US wars: (0+ / 0-)

              I was wondering if there were any breaks before 1890.


              Looks like the 1820s were relatively low-key but it may be missing some of the Native American wars.

              1876-1880 is low-key, but that's because the South was refighting the Civil War (and implementing Jim Crow) and the government was massacring union members.  So, um, I guess they were too busy to invade foreign countries, not that similar situations stopped other Presidents.

              Full-scale interference in Central and South America, putting in "friendly" governments, gets going in the 1840s and has never stopped.  Thank goodness we're no longer capable of overthrowing Brazil, Venezuela, or Bolivia.

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 06:49:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Which means that our military budget (0+ / 0-)

        may not be as inflated as we might think.

        If you don't think the relative military power of the US versus China isn't going to play into the foreign policy of states such as Japan and South Korea you should have your head examined.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:35:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Taiwan. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark

          That is why I truly wish the U.S. would stop wasting trillions on this crazy war against a man in a cave and start paying attention to China.  

          THANK YOU FOR NOT IMPEACHING PROSECUTING PROTECTING THE TERRORIST ENABLERS. I look forward to the next generation of American war criminals!

          by STOP George on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:48:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What does "paying attention to China" mean? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica, XinShangHaiRen

            Why the war context?

            Yes, Chinese oppression of its own people is as noteworthy as what the US has done to the Middle East the last decade, or SE Asia in the 60s, Panama and Grenada, corporate looting and death squads in S and Cent. America under Reagan, Jim Crow laws, slavery, genocide and relocation camps for our own host Nations, the Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin, internment of Japanese Americans in WWII, the current incarceration campaign against black folks, ICE internment for immigrant families and the class warfare which we've enabled banks and global corporations to wage against the world under our American "freedoms" for which we are "hated".

            I can't think of a single fuck-you we've issued at gun point or point of law that wasn't attached to some greater overriding interest, like "Manifest Destiny" or the "war on Terror" or the "Domino effect". I sort "balancing Chinese influence in Asia" into the same bullshit basket.

            Yes we absolutely dropped the ball during the "liberation of Tibet", and should stay resolute in our insistence that the Taiwanese question be resolved peaceably. And yes we should continue to do whatever we can for the well being of Chinese in China with the pen, airwaves and laptop - not the bullet or the bankbook (which proves equally deadly and counter-productive).

            Tips to diarist for revealing an important situation without rattling his saber.

            Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell - Edward Abbey

            by ZAP210 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:57:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Meaning? (0+ / 0-)

            Sounds serious. Provocative, even.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:13:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't understand. At a cost of over a (7+ / 0-)

          TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, our military budget consumption of revenue might not be inflated and maybe on par with being prepared for Chinese expansionist plans?

          They've got one hell of a "Big Brother" apparatus in China, which, I believe absorbs a goodly portion of the attention of their military already.

          Expanding outside their already immense borders at this time is probably way off their short, or long term plans.

          So using China as an excuse to justify the TRILLION DOLLAR a year expense doesn't work for me.

          Color me in need of a head examination I guess.

          •  Hmmm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Did I say we were going to be in a shooting war with China next week? No. I said that relative military power of Great Powers has an effect on the decision making of other nations.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:20:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  When (0+ / 0-)

              In the last 60 years, has the US not maintained a siugnificant military presence including nukes in East Asia?

              Sounds to me like you advocate good old fashioned military hedgemony.

              Now that is a Liberal and Progressive idea!

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:17:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'll share your shrink (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tacet, mmacdDE, OIL GUY

            Let's take the example of navies, since an invasion of Taiwan would certainly require one.  MIC Hawks are constantly beating the drum that Beijing intends to make the Pacific 'China's Lake'.  Here's  an example:

             The US has 10 aircraft carriers in service.
            China has none.

             There is one Chinese carrier under development , but it lacks the ability to move under its own power.  Meanwhile, the Pentagon has proposed building several more carriers to boost the 7th Fleet to meet the challenge of China's anti-carrier capabilities, which are comprised of exactly one missile ship, the Dong Feng.  Why not concentrate on neutralizing that one asset, as opposed to building more multi-billion dollar targets?  (the answer lies in defense contractor profits/congressional home district pork per appropriation)

            So the suggestion is that we should we borrow even more money from China to build more ships to protect us from the very country that owns the greatest number of foreign held US Treasury Bonds?    

            Call me crazy, but that one doesn't make any sense to me. If China wants to attack us, it can and will do so economically.

            "Welcome to Costco, I love you" -- Greetings from "Idiocracy"

            by martinjedlicka on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:35:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The Chinese/Borg Style Of Industrial Urbanization (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ....provides a target rich environment.

          For instance, take out the Three Gorges Dam...

          •  China's economy depends on a few large ports (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dave925, bernardpliers

            You take out the 10 largest ports with air strikes, they go bankrupt.

            Who will they trade with? Vietnam?

            OK, you might have to hit the rail lines to Siberia.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:21:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hummmm (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Bit of war-mogering here tonight. Most interesting.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:19:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The idea of China as a friend (0+ / 0-)

                is far from proven.

                Sometimes nations DO fight. I don't see too many comments indicating anyone wants that to happen.

                In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:38:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are we enemies? (0+ / 0-)


                  There is a fair amount of jingoism on display here which is not surprising.

                  One thing I have learned on Daily Kos is American Liberals are fairly polarized on the issues of China and there doesn't seem to be much middle ground because the discussion tends to escalate to demonization from one side and unqualified defense on the other.

                  But the relationship of our countries is actually very close in some ways importiant to both and is certianly one of the most importiant to the world, so it would be wise to talk substance more and tone down the retoric.

                  That is why I have repeatadly questioned people knowledge of actual Chinese policy and conditions in the face of some very broad and unqualified statements.

                  And what I find is no substantial response from people making some of the most provocative claims.

                  Well, that is the Internet. (;-)

                  So, what do you think of the 12th 5 year plan released this week verses some of the issues discussed here?

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:11:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Got something in mind? (0+ / 0-)

            Just wondering.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:18:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  China's Limited Potential As A Military Aggressor (0+ / 0-)

              Could they muster a 50 million man human wave in defense of North Korea? Yes, but not that they'd want to.

              Other than that, there's not a lot they can do. Invade Taiwan? OK, I'm guessing the US would promptly cancel all its debt to China, everyone else would cancel their orders for plastic salad shooters, and China would be reduced to smoking rubble without a shot being fired.

              •  Well, that is my point. (0+ / 0-)

                China has to deal with the DPRK whether we like it or not (take my wife - please) and so far has not invaded Taiwan nor shows any signs of doing so.

                So why all the fuss and this talk of reducing our brothers to rubble?

                Pretty unlikely.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:17:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ummm Because PRC Are Hegemonists ? (0+ / 0-)

                  Tibet belongs to them, Taiwan belongs to them....

                  First time I said that to someone from the mainland they got all flustered and said "No you guys are the hegemonists!"

                  •  Unless you are Native American (0+ / 0-)

                    You might want to buy a boat before we start this because that is where the debate eventually leads.

                    With everyone going back to where they came from and us metaphorically haking-off the arms and legs of people of mixed ethnic heritage because they don't fit the narrative of arguement.

                    But if you insist to compare the last 10,000 years or so of history, I'm game. Or even just the last 500 years or so that Europeans dominated North America and staked various claims around the world. Or even the last 100 when the US has done so.

                    It's always an interesting debate and it's surprising how much history some people know.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 02:50:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  look for that to change soon (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          US is (as of 2010) 18% of world industrial output.  China is 16%.

          By 2015, those numbers will likely have flipped.

          We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

          by ScrewySquirrel on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:58:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Working conditions: (0+ / 0-)

      The Koch brothers would love to be able to implement these working conditions:

  •  BBC on this (17+ / 0-)
    China has mounted a huge security operation in the capital in response to renewed online calls for protests.

    Anonymous postings had urged people to stroll silently in areas of major cities, as a way of calling for change.

    The BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing says crowds of shoppers were out but it was not clear if any were protesters.

    The massive police deployments are being seen as a sign of the Communist Party's nervousness at the civil unrest and revolutions across the Arab world.

    The security blanket thrown over the parts of Beijing on Sunday afternoon was extraordinary, our correspondent says.

    This was the third week of calls for protests and the anonymous posts urged people to take a walk through Xidan, a busy shopping area.

    At Xidan and another shopping area, Wangfujing, there were hundreds of uniformed police; men posted every few yards. Reporters were banned from filming or interviewing anyone.

    Data signals on mobile phones were blocked and everywhere were huge numbers of plain clothes security men; wearing ear pieces, watching everything, our correspondent reports.

    He says uniformed police politely checked his identity documents - in contrast to the previous weekend when the BBC team was taken away violently by plain clothes officers.

    In Zhongguancun near Peking University, police also closed down the subway and mobile phone networks, and police helicopters were reported hovering overhead.

    Online messages said there may have been a planned gathering of students there.

    In Shanghai, at least 17 foreign journalists were detained at the protest site, People's Square, for not having permission to be there.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.

    by amk for obama on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 06:54:58 AM PST

  •  the Chinese seem to (9+ / 0-)

    have a prediliction for efficiency, never put off supression until tomorrow if it can be more effective today.    It really is an important principle of behavior modification.  Much less effort is required to anticipate and stop an undesirable behavior and extinguish it if you make the effort as the thought forms and before it has moved towards an act.  Train the mind to not even consider the act of rebellion or protest.

    Here we have lulled people by sating appetites, the equivalent of bribery.   But now the powers are pulling back all the bribes.   How long before the natives get truly restless?

    •  Unfortunately True (5+ / 0-)
      Much less effort is required to anticipate and stop an undesirable behavior and extinguish it if you make the effort as the thought forms and before it has moved towards an act.

      Action is the antidote to despair---Joan Baez

      by frandor55 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:14:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do you aount for (0+ / 0-)

      40,000+ public demonstrations pre year in China.

      FYI it is a Constitutional right, we exercise it and it seems we are not quite brainwashed.

      Nor are American if the WI demonstrations are an indicator - a bit rusty, perhaps but still in working order.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:33:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "account" (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry too many typos today.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:33:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  the report in the diary (0+ / 0-)

        was that the Chinese government is being very proactive in sqelching conversation and protest at this point in time.   So it doesn't become like the middle east.  Seems to me if you are picking up people off the streets, cutting off websites, and there haven't yet been any massive demonstrations in China,  it seems they are being proactive.

        As for China, it would seem to me its a far cry from a democracy where true freedom of speech is practised.  It isn't that widely practised here. The Americans are more than a bit rusty, but there are probably many multiples of 40,000 demonstrations about something a year here, they are mostly tiny.    Wisconsin is heartening because its been one of the most persistant with wide public support even if it isn't the numbers of some of the anti-war protests.   Do you argue that a group of people could protest in a major government facility and have the police defy the orders of a top government official in China and see no arrests or suppression of the organizers?

        I think there is a difference between true freedom, which has disappeared in the US with FISA and the Patriot Act and the FBI's invasive spying programs, free speech zones.   If you can prove China is really that much more liberal, fine.   But stating that there are demonstrations, my response is there are demonstrations and then there is telling the government to shove it.   Can you tell the government to shove it and make it stick?  That's a demonstration.

        •  Did I say China was much more Liberal? (0+ / 0-)

          What I have said is we enjoy freedom of speech and assembly but not to the extent of Americans (I have lived in the US in the 1980s and visit frequently so have some basis of comparrison) and that greater freedom and Demoratization are significant topics from the top down.

          A majority of politics is local and so too are most demonstrations in China. But if your acid test is for demonstrators is too surround government buildings that test has been passed numerous times and the response not uniform, depends on the case.

          Make it stick? What would be the criteria of that? In my viewpoint demonstrations are mostly about raising public dialogue to a higher level not mob rule; any government that wants to stand would treat it as such and the Chinese government does, actually, listen. If you are saying they don't, please list what you think are the major public concerns and your evidence these concerns are ignored. And I'd be interested in your viewpoint on the 12th 5 year plan this legislation is of major importiance in China in terms of shaping policy so if you are a China watcher perhaps you have already read it.

          The Chinese government is very sensitive to public unrest as is the public, we have had enough of that in our history and the consequences are not uniformly good. I think we need to get over it but that will take time.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:56:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Also, Rural and Urban Populations (10+ / 0-)

    in China are practically different countries when considering "world view."

    Chinese communist leaders have always been very clever in employing the rural proletariat against the urban intellectuals.  Revolutionary plots spring from the minds of the educated who yearn for more, less so or not at all from the minds of farmers who still believe Mao improved their lives, and are more content with things the way the are.

    Remember how Tienanmen was put down?  Authorities "imported" rural military units and propagandized them against the urban youth before setting them loose.   They had gauged the reluctance of the Beijing military contingent to attack Beijing university students.

    •  The same principle happens here or in Iran (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Whenever discontent arises and people rise up, the regime sends in counterforces who hold countervailing perspectives.

      Like in Katrina... bush ii sent in forces who were not from Louisiana and they had no qualms about the use of excessive force in subduing the drowning citizens of NOLA. Same thing happened in the Iranian uprisings.

      Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. --Thurgood Marshall

      by bronte17 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:19:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Point Taken (0+ / 0-)

        Spouse and I just concluded some lunchtime speculation about how Iran would respond in the face of a massive pro-democracy movement like we've seen in Egypt, especially if it morphed into violent rebellion like we're witnessing in Libya.

        We concluded, based on wild-eyed speculation, that, as in the past, Iran would respond by invading either a neighboring Arab country or launching a attack on Israel.

        It would quell rebellion by herding its young males into the army in order to "eliminate" the problem with promises of martyrdom and money for their widowed mothers, knowing that canon fodder is their fate.

        Again, the undereducated demographic would be the first to go.  More deliberately selected educated "agitators" would be taken care of by direct means.  The overall effect that would be produced would result in a lesson that would not be lost on the educated who hadn't managed to find refuge in exile.

        It's a win-win for Iran's theocratic tyrants.

    •  Parts of rural China are already (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite, neroden, scarysota63

      rebelling against the government. There are riots and revolts on a regular basis among those who are not allowed to migrate to the cities, and remain barely able to feed their families.

      Despite the remarkable achievement of reducing poverty from 85% of the population in 1981 to 15% today, there are still over 200 million Chinese living in poverty.

      They are unable to escape in many cases because they can't afford to educate their children. They are also victim to weak property laws and great corruption among rural administrators.

      These revolts are usually very localized and primarily directed at local issues and officials. The central government has suppressed such dissent, but it also tends to prosecute those local officials whose corruption is revealed, as a means of placating the protesters.

      Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

      by OIL GUY on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:57:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you follow Chinese policy & politics? (0+ / 0-)

        I mean in substance, not the highly filtered trickle that  leaks through the Western media with it's predictable bias, but the facts of public policy, current events and perhaps - if you are fluant in Chinese - what the body polit thinks vis a vis the internet with it's 400 million plus Chinese netzen, a large fraction of whom are avid bloggers?

        What, for example, would you call the basic objectives and accomplishments or lack thereof of the current administration? And in particular, since you mention it, addressing the concerns of rural Chinese and Migrant Workers drawn from such areas?

        And how would you characterize - since you mention it - the differances between Central and Local government?

        I often read comments such as L

        The central government has suppressed such dissent, but it also tends to prosecute those local officials whose corruption is revealed, as a means of placating the protesters.

        Well, that is one perspective I suppose, but another might be that it is doing something about the problems and holding official accountable.

        A penny for your thoughts, experiences and observations?

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 09:31:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We see this and (3+ / 0-)

    still we are not screaming our heads off at the people in our government who seek to limit our internet freedom.

    I shave my legs with Occam's razor.

    by triv33 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:25:49 AM PST

  •  "Tiananmen Square or Tahrir Square" (3+ / 0-)

    Maybe we can start calling these the "T-

    Steal this idea (or not).


    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:34:55 AM PST

  •  There are more reasons than this. (9+ / 0-)

    Perhaps more importantly, the Chinese people are relatively happy.

    Unlike in Egypt, the prosperity gained by China's rapid economic growth is trickling down to the poor and the emerging middle class.  

    In a country where just 50 years ago people were eating tree bark to survive the disastrous effects of Mao's Great Leap Forward, shiny new luxury cars now crowd the roads.  In 2002, demand for cars in China soared by 56%.  The next year growth expanded by 75% until the government tightened the rules on credit for car purchases.  

    People are buying new houses as the construction industry continues to expand even during a global economic downturn.

        Secondly, the people in the countryside are comparatively happy.  China recently adopted a policy that provided 9 years of free education in rural areas.  Education is extremely important in Chinese culture and while still lacking compared to American standards; this program provided about 30 million students from poverty-stricken families in rural areas with free education .  

    China also scrapped a centuries-old agriculture tax and provided farmers with subsidies to increase income.  Official statistics indicate that these policies increased income to China's 900 million farmers by 45.1 billion yuan (US$5.4 billion), according to the state-run newspaper, China Daily.

    In answering the question, "Who is next?" it is my opinion that it will not be China.  During its 5,000-year history, China has seen numerous revolts.  Many were peasant revolts, and with nearly 1.5 billion people, one can be sure that the totalitarian government in Beijing is well aware of the dangers of a disgruntled populace.  

    The government is nimble enough to adjust to socio-economic pressures in order to insure a "harmonious" society.  The farmers are happy with their new schools, reduced taxes, and the right to vote for local leaders.  City dwellers are satisfied with their upward mobility, and other than dissidents who are quickly silenced by the Communist party, there is little or no interest by the everyday Chinese citizen in the right to vote.

    Dream machines.  (2005). Retrieved from

    Rural Education in China.  (2008). Retrieved from

    Agricultural tax to be scrapped from 2006.  (2005). Retrieved from

    “At noon in the desert a panting lizard waited for history, its elbows tense, watching the curve of a particular road as if something might happen.” William Stafford

    by Zwoof on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:42:09 AM PST

    •  yeah, everybody's happy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Nothing to worry about. Censorship's all about a harmonious society. Cars for everyone!

      We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

      by minorityusa on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:46:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Materially happier, spiritually bereft. (0+ / 0-)

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:00:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Retorically neat, philosopically smug. (0+ / 0-)

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:01:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So the desire for democratic rights doesn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          beat in the hearts of the Chinese?

          Smug is inadequate to describe that.

          "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

          by Mogolori on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:07:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope... haven't seen it... (0+ / 0-)

            Only been here a year and my Mandarin is still pretty basic but nothing I've seen here has suggested a clamouring for 'democracy' in the "we, the people, get to pick what idiot is in charge" sense.

            There's certainly a feeling that government jobs are overpaid and under-worked but it's tempered by the fact that the trains run on time and, when push comes to shove, the government here is actually pretty good at getting stuff done these days.

            "Spiritually bereft" also has no relationship to the China I'm living in - this is a country with deep family traditions like Tomb Sweeping Day running back thousands of years and while there aren't temples on every street corner (like I saw in Taipai) they are here and well visited.

          •  Who said that? (0+ / 0-)

            Perhaps you could read my various comments here and get a more clear picture what I actually think instead of projecting.

            I directed my comment to what I percieve (perhaps mistakenly) as a rather judgemental and morally superior attitude on your part.

            So let me kick the ball back to you this way:

            :: How would you rate the importiance of enough to eat and a roof over your head for people that struggle to attain that and don't really have time or means to answer you directly here, verses what you have decided they ought to be doing with their lives?

            :: How many millions of your compatriots have died from famine, civil war and the effects of socisl and political insability over the past century or even past 50 year? How many in your immediate familly?

            :: How many millions of Amercians live on less than $2 a day? (FYI about 400 million Chinese still do.)

            And, most importiantly, what is the basis of your glib remark suggesting Chinese are "spiritually bereft", as if having a decent standard of living somehow less enobling than struggling in poverty?

            My experience is a decent meal comes first. Make whatever moral judgements you like about that, after all, it was a millionaire working class hero with a Rolls Royce and a penthouse appartment who wrote "Imagine no possessions" and lots of well-fed faces sing along with that tune on their iPods made with the busy little hands of Chinese workers as they dive to the shopping mall. Guess they know what they are talking about.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 10:07:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  republished... (7+ / 0-)

    from the Foreign Relations Group, for obvious reasons.

    There are holes in their information wall if you know where to look, but what amazes me is the degree to which they've succeeded in their clamp down. And the degree to which what does get out goes unreported.

    If the neoliberal talking point, that prosperity tends to bring about democratic change over time (not their goal, just how they sold it to us), then the deal made in China after Tiananmen: market liberalization in exchange for zero political and social rights, was a fools bargain for those in power.

    "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
    Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University.

    by papicek on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:52:27 AM PST

  •  Free internet is crucial. Compare: Egypt, Iraq. (4+ / 0-)

    Compare 2011 so far to the invasion of Iraq. Moral to story: we'd be a lot smarter to invest a small portion of our defense, er, "defense" dollars in providing free, uncensorable satellite internet to everybody on the planet. Then virtually all dictatorships would come crashing down in short order. No American troops required.

    A fascinating proposal to make it happen:

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:04:50 AM PST

    •  what I am wondering (0+ / 0-)

      is how easy it is for an average 'middle class' person to get around the censorship. If the government did succeed to completely black out any information on dissent and global news of the revolutions taking place as well as electronic messaging referencing the above, then it'll be almost impossible to achieve any kind of critical mass to bring about change. Behind the Iron Curtain, there was at least Radio Free Europe, what do the Chinese people have?

      We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

      by minorityusa on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:53:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No problem. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, neroden

        Google CCTV International and you can even get feeds of the English language news reporting of these events.

        The censorship is just keyword based mainly on internal blogging and is gotten around by various means, my post to the diarist links to a diary on the subject here.

        International news sources are open.

        Internal political matter. Cat and Mouse.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:34:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the corporations would never allow that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, neroden

      unless such a system were banned from use in their areas of operation.

      Zombie Reagan gives the most peachy speeches.

      by The Dead Man on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:48:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As long as their economy is booming (4+ / 0-)

    with double-digit growth every year, I doubt we'll see any semblance of an uprising.

    It is a shame too, because their income inequality is even worse than ours. A billion people there are right on the razor's edge.

    They need a real grassroots mov't.
    I suggest wearing T-shirts that say "Mao was a Murderer!"

    Yeah, on 2nd thought...that might not got over too well just yet.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    by LaughingPlanet on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:07:25 AM PST

  •  China the laboratory of autocracy (9+ / 0-)

    If China can figure out how to be dictatorial yet economically successful and entrepreneurial, the model will be exported to other countries.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:34:25 AM PST

    •  The central authorities punish both sides severely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      for their transgressions.
        "The workers must toil, entrepreneurs must manufacture, everybody must do what it takes.  Do not step over the line, or there will be harsh consequences, possibly capital punishment.  We'll tell you where the line is."
         Enormous damage can be done in the name of progress with this approach, to everything imaginable.  Rivers, air, people, cultures, climates, freedoms, probably even our very DNA are at risk.  But there is all that money and power in the balance, so I think you're right.

    •  China is without a doubt the world's (0+ / 0-)

      greatest danger to democracy.

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:01:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How so. (0+ / 0-)

        Care to elaborate in detial, I'd be interested because it's inreasingly a topic of public disussion these days.

        I don't think we are in any danger of it breaking out tomorrow, but if you really follow Chinese politics I suppose you would be aware it is an issue.

        Step-by-Step. We still have 400 million people living on less than $2 per day and I think that will come first.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:38:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those 400 million are an afterthought to the (0+ / 0-)

          modern CCP.  Greed was pronounced good 30 years ago, and without freedom of expression, there is no other opinion.

          "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

          by Mogolori on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:09:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

            If you follow the recent and pending ledal eonomi and soial reforms it suggest these people are not forgotten.

            It's interesting to me to compare the public and governmental disussion about inome disparity in the US vs China these days. Both have a similar and increasing Gini Index (China's is worse) but while the Chinese government has taken this as a problem to be solved, the US government sems to be largely living in denial.

            So perhpas you could compare policies related to this and comment.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:53:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gesh (0+ / 0-)

              Got to fix this keyboard.

              If you follow the recent and pending legal economic and social reforms it suggest these people are not forgotten.

              "C"is definately non-responsive.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:56:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Economic disparities are a wash. (0+ / 0-)

              Both countries have them.  All countries have them.  The disparity at issue is whether individuals have political redress.  

              "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

              by Mogolori on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 01:01:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The question is (0+ / 0-)

                What are they doing about it?

                China has been moving on this with reforms for approximately the past 6 years and it is now a major topic in the public dialogue and focus of pending policy.

                Recognition is the first step and Chinese poliy has already gone beyond that stage with some positive results but a long way to go.

                I think the US Congress has barely sratched the surface of the first step although I would give Dems some credit for giving it a try.

                Are you versed in Chinese domestic policy?

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:55:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Been done. Singapore. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, roadbear

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

      by beijingbetty on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:31:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And has evolved (0+ / 0-)

        Into a fairly affluant, stable and open society.

        Gesh, Papa Lee sounds like a flaming Liberal these days, comparatively speaking.

        Haven't seen you for awhile, what are you up to these days?

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 10:17:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's what I think: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Something the Dog Said, Wolf10

    China will have to maintain good times indefinitely.  That never happens.  They'll have to be perfect in their suppression of information, in their crackdown on troublemakers.  They never are.

    Though some in the Chinese government are effective in their response to  the problems of the populace, There's no way they can stay perfect in their responses forever, if they are at all.

    The problem with a Dictatorship or an oligarchy, is that the balancing act of such governments is dependent on the judgment of the few, and their biases are not counteracted.  So, if the main party beliefs are wrong, self-correction is almost literally a tortuous process.

    China is one financial crisis or mismanaged political problem away from a critical failure in their regime.

    The Republicans: Let's kill jobs and cut deficits until the economy recovers. The Democrats: Let's create jobs and boost the economy until it can help us resolve the deficit. Who needs to win the next election?

    by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:43:26 AM PST

    •  Perhaps you should persue (0+ / 0-)

      Mr Wen's comment of this week. And the main point of the 12th 5 year plan.

      I don't think China lacks self-awareness of it's problems and seems to be dealing with them.

      Living in denial is a mistake.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:41:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chinese are walking a dangerous line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Something the Dog Said, Wolf10

    While the ruling party continues to tout its economic growth, China has felt the effects of the world wide recession as well. However, due to what is essentially blatant currency devaluation, they've managed to stave off any kind of major collapse.

    If the charade is revealed and a major collapse occurs then I expect to see the kinds of demonstrations like those in the middle east - with the major caveat that a economic collapse in China could still be a decade off.

    Falling forward, tumbling backward

    by campionrules on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 08:46:30 AM PST

  •  This is the model neocons love so much. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Wolf10

      People in general have barely enough to feel invested in their country's policies, and those in power have a huge array of talented people and technologies to subvert the will of the people without repercussion.
       This is what the teahadists stand for.

  •  Chimerica rules! A realization of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mogolori, badger, FinchJ

    U.S. investor class wet dream: capitalism without democracy.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:08:12 AM PST

  •  Chinese Women Can Vacation For The Next 30 Years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All they need to do is make men compete for their attention.....

    •  Make? LMAO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Your best snark of the day.

      And there I as defending you in the Bradly Manning diary!

      Greetings from Mrs koNko, I'm sure she'd like your 30 year plan.

      I blogged Daily Kos for 6 years and Ill I got was another lousy 5 year plan and a free pass to blog in my long underwear.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:46:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spelling! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What the #%@ is wrong with this &*#! Chinese keyboard?

        "There is was ..."

        "I blogged Daily Kos for 6 years and all I got ..."

        But then, maybe "ill I got" is better.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:09:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They Can Quit Busting Their Butts In Grad School (0+ / 0-)

        Seriously, that 45% of the young adult Chinese population can just get off the overachiever treadmill and go clubbing while the guys stay up late Saturday night studying electrical engineering so they can earn enough money to ask those women out 10 years down the road.

        I think there is likely to be a swift cultural change via the social networks as all those young women realize "What the hell am I doing?"

        •  You underestimate the ambition (0+ / 0-)

          Of young Chinese ladies. And their ability to go clubbing.

          Social networking took off in Asia including China long before it did in the US, it was pretty much the dominant theme here by the early 00s.

          QQ has globally about 600 million active acounts and something like 80% penitration rate in China, which has 400 million plus internet users. China Japan and Hong Kong are very phone-centric internets; because of the outside lifestyle and low cost of handsets verses PCs, phones actually led.

          Behind the great wall of screaming text are millions of user pages.
          Have fun.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 10:37:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Who loves you, Baby? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Something the Dog Said

      OMG, now Dkos is pimping our women.


      Damn You, pliers, Damn You!

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:04:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  they've taken high-tech (3+ / 0-)

    to a whole new level. naomi klein had a typically magnificent article a couple years back, but it doesn't seem to be online anymore. but here's a taste, from an interview with amy goodman and juan gonzalez:


    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:25:39 AM PST

  •  Eek! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, koNko

    Not to make an entire nation's struggle for self rule all about me, but I'll be traveling there on vacation with 3 fiends next month.

    If my mother hears about this, she's going to go into heart palpitations...


    Republicanism: the political theory that the poor have too much money and the rich do not have enough.

    by bacchae1999 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:04:36 AM PST

  •  We live in an increasingly interdependent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and non-convergent world.

    China will not become a liberal democracy any time soon. If ever.  Thinking that they will is like thinking we will become an autocratic one-party oligarchy steeped in neo-Confucian precepts.

    •  Quite a few Libeal ideas (0+ / 0-)

      Have taken root in China of late.

      Democracy? That take a little longer.

      But don't worry, we have the CPCC to cover the corporate human thingy.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:43:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Name two (0+ / 0-)
        •  OK (0+ / 0-)

          Reversing the increasing trend in income disparity
          Clean energy, mass-tranist and environmentalism
          Abolition of regressive taxation on the poor
          Greater funding of eduation for the poor
          Improving the health care system
          Improving the welfare and rights of migrant factory workers
          Greater autonomy for labor unions
          Greater freedom of expression

          All of the above are significat public issues that are being addressed by leagal and poliy reforms or initiatives or pending ones. All are work in progress.

          And all it seems, conerns aligned with Amerian Liberal concerns if Daily Kos is a reliable indicator.

          If you doubt this I suggest you get up to speed on policy economic and current events in China and spend some time on Chinese blogs to read more public opinion, people might be more outspoken than many suppose.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 07:48:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  First off, (0+ / 0-)

            that China has done any of these is still a matter of you claiming so.  And claiming something is so does not make it so.

            I asked you to name two.  You have named more than two.  I now ask you to substantiate your claims.

            Second, all of these policies are not necessarily liberal reforms.  They are national developmental state reforms, the kind of reforms pionered by Japan over one-hundred years ago along a German economic model.  Such reforms are not liberal reforms; they are geared to strengthen the state, where the people are the subjects, not citizens, of the state.  

            All but one, of course, and that greater freedom of expression.  Which is NOT happening in China.  China controls speech, and its relaxation of control is not indicative of liberalism.

            •  Nice try. (0+ / 0-)

              Do your own work. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Chinese current events would know the basics of most of these issues including several that have made news in the US.

              As for your retorical arguement about Liberalism, well how would you define that? Or do you need me to answer that too?

              These are all issues that benifit people. If you think that makes for a stronger "state" we have found a point of agreement.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 03:31:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  This is why (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I simply cannot buy that China is going to be a global superpower anytime soon. You can't have 1.5 billion people within your borders, with all the issues they have, and still have enough energy left to be a global superpower along the lines of the US or the former Soviet Union.

    They are always going to have divided attention/energies.

    •  There is a certian amount of projection (0+ / 0-)

      At work. And self-justification. Cold War hangover.

      China is and will remain a significant economic power but in real terms, is not going to lead what are presently the living standards of leading Western countries simply because it is not sustainable economically or environmentally, and the Chinese government figured that out several years ago.

      Different place/time/model.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 10:57:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What liberal Westerners want is not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what most Chinese want. Please. In Latin America, people are asking: "Why the hell aren't we moving forward like China?" And you're saying the Chinese themselves don't realize that and would rather look like Libya or Egypt right now? I don't think so.

    "This will hasten the fading of the case from the political radar screen." - Wikileaks Cable 05Rome1593

    by Anak on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:51:52 AM PST

  •  It hard to say who is over-reacting more (0+ / 0-)

    In this situation; the Chinese government or you.

    You are not hearing about a revolution because there is none; Chinese people have been there and done that and found evolutionary change is a better deal.

    I'll grant you our government is hyper-sensitive to the issue and prospect of social unrest, and the reaction here has been typical - censorship of key words on the internet, PSB lurking about and a couple of lawyers jailed, but it will blow over just as surely as your take on it is overblown. However, these lawyers are unlikely to be treated like Bradly Manning, for what it's worth.

    Actually Chinese people have the Constitutional right to public assembly and protest, and exercise it a lot more frequently than Americans - an estimated 40,000 public demonstration occur each year.

    But about the Revolution thingy: this week the 12th 5 year plan was issued and I suggest, for balance, and to answer your own question, you pursue that and understand the key issues and how they relate to the concerns of the Chinese people and problems we need to solve. Short version: every major element is what the US government should be addressing but failing to debate in a meaningful way these days.

    I also suggest you read the Diary China: Salute to Peru! by xgz wich covers the topic of how Chinese bloggers get around the censorship with a bit of art and a lot less emotion.

    Since it is past 2:45am here and I have to work tomorrow I'm going to cut it short here and may come back to comment more tomorrow, but I have created the group US China Bumper Car Club  as a repository for diaries about US-China relations and the surrounding issues and will republish this diary there.

    I think it's importiant for us to understand each other better and cooperate more, and part of that process is for people to vent when they feel the need, because even when we go over the top, it can lead to valuable discussion and understanding.

    Chinese don't quite yet enjoy the degree of freedom of speech Americans do, nor the degree of political self-determination (although of late it's reasonable to question what that gets the average US voter), but to suggest China is a repressive society on the brink of revolution or dissolution is simply innaccurate (or possibly strangely wishful thinking?).

    If you want to know what Chinese people think - the range of thinking of the body politi so to speak - I invite you to join the 400+ million internet users who are not shy about speaking their minds. It could be interesting.

    Like any country China does a lot of things wrong (suggest you take Mr Wen's comments this week to the effet) but it also does a lot of things right, and as this incident suggests, is pretty sensitive to public opinion. And as the 5 years plan suggests, fairly responsive to it as well.


    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 10:54:45 AM PST

  •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

    China has a long history of fighting with itself rather than expanding. One reason many (hardly all) tolerate the regime is that they have brought economic prosperity to a small section of the public. That on top of social stability after the disaster of The Cultural Revolution has somewhat developed a mild but temporary complacency. I don't think many Chinese are eager to go back to the chaos of The Civil War or The Cultural Revolution. Now let's wait ten years for those feelings to wear off, the poor realize they are getting screwed, and the inevitable huge gender gap which will cause a population contraction, reducing the work force.
    Also Chinese Military Offensive capabilities are extremely exaggerated. They still use launcher pads for ICBM's and are simply incapable of cutting off the US Governments head, while The US is quite capable of ending China as a political and economic power for a thousand years. These factors are why there will never be a war between the two powers. It is in no one's interest. There will be another Chinese Civil War before there ever is a US-China War. Hell, France could crush China in a military confrontation.
    The West should be more concerned about a China/India war in the next fifty years. India will become a Superpower before China ever does. China is the only Security Council member who does not want India to have a permanent seat, they have also been blocking Japan from having a permanent seat. They are completely aware of their inevitable pop, and don't want to give an advantage to other regional powers. Also The Russians are still a force to be reckoned with in Asia. China is essentially surrounded by potential belligerents who would just crush them if a war arose.

    •  China and India (0+ / 0-)

      Have a long, long history of peaceful co-existane.

      400 years ago they were the 2 most wealthy societies on earth.

      Keep in mind they are nulcear states that have never gone past the brink, and in the case of India, that is a notable acomplishment given their neighbors.

      What the West should be more concerned with is how to adjust in a changing world where they struggle to maintain what they have got to lose and the effect on their own societies.

      In less than 20 years, when resources become the more dominat issue, those prepared to do with less will be the winners and all the military might in the world won't buy oil that is not in the ground.

      That India and China are not building is an advantage, if they play their cards right.

      China invested almost twice what the US did on clean energy in 2009 and should have exceeded that in 2010.  And the US spend more than the next 20 countries on the military with what result?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 11:13:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You must have missed that ugly conflict in the 60s (0+ / 0-)
        •  No. Didn't miss that. (0+ / 0-)

          The Sino-Indian War (or Sino-Indian Conflict as many historian call it) was a limited border conflict from October 20 - November 21, 1962. It was not a significant or protracted war. It resuted in the following casualties:

          Indian -

          1,383 Killed
          1,047 Wounded
          1,696 Missing

          Chinese -

          722 Killed
          1,697 Wounded

          These nations are two of the oldest societies on earth.

          Draw a timeline for the recorded history of these nations and mark the dates of major conflicts between them.

          Then do the same for Europe or any other major region.

          Compare them.

          Remarkably peaceful.

          If you want to make that claim do the research to support it, I think you will change your mind. Not much there.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:35:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  not totalitarian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, neroden, koNko

    even if it's not a nice regime, there is a stark difference between the maoist years of actual totalitarian rule, where people could not voice their opinions even in private without risking state retribution, and the present day, where people are free to say what they think in private but get cracked down on when they start to organize protests in public.

    funny thing about those protests is that the only attendants were plainclothes cops and journalists. i would not be surprised if eventually a protest movement breaks out in china (i would also not be surprised if it fizzles, for reasons not regarding state attempts to put it down; the conditions in china are different from the middle east, in some important ways), but it's not likely to grow out of an overseas dissident-led attempt to start something over the internet, but rather it will grow out of cross-class alliances in specific locations with specific grievances rooted in local problems.

  •  Why does China want Taiwan? (0+ / 0-)

    I know I should probably understand the situation better, but they don't need Taiwan as they are doing just fine without it.

    As I quickly glanced over an article about Taiwanese aborigines, it is my impression that the island was not settled by the Chinese so I don't see much of a basis for a claim that it is lost part of China.

    Is this mostly a point of national pride having lost a colony to the Japanese and then to democracy?

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:49:34 AM PST

    •  Mindless territorial expansionism (0+ / 0-)

      Same reason they're still contesting the borders with Russia, the other former Soviet states, India, and Pakistan, and claimed Mongolia for decades after they lost control.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 06:54:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We may not like to admit this, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Repression of dissent is not the only reason we don't see popular uprisings in China. Another reason is that the majority of the Chinese people are happy with the status quo. They've seen their incomes and quality of life improve dramatically in recent years. They know there's corruption and inefficiency in the current regime, but that's always been a fact of life in China. It's important to remember that Asian culture tends to prioritize deference to authority much more than American culture does. A combination of government propaganda and nationalist fervor ensure that most Chinese consider movements like the pro-democracy or pro-Tibet activism to be the work of outside agitators who are trying to destroy the country.
    We may believe that a desire for individual liberty and human rights is the goal for everyone in the world, but it's not. Hell, it's not even the goal for everyone in America!

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. - John Stuart Mill

    by vulcangrrl on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 11:54:55 AM PST

    •  From what I've read, in the Chinese tradition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      protests against authority come traditionally in the form of demanding that the authority be just and follow its own rules.  "I am only complaining because it is my duty..."

      Corruption is a much deadlier accusation than tyranny in China, from what I've read -- whereas the opposite seems to be true here.

      The corruption is therefore a serious issue.  The regime recognizes it as a serious issue and individuals keep being prosecuted -- and executed! -- for corruption.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 06:57:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Acurate assesment. (0+ / 0-)

        The major issues in China today, which the government understands and is working on are increasing income disparity due to systematic and structural problems, corruption, and eonomic/environmental sustainability.

        Those are the root problems.

        BTW, greater freedom of expression and self-determination are on the map and will become more importiant as expetations rise with living standards and the eonomy becomes more information dependant, but I would not put that above the affore-mentioned at this point.

        And the failure to understand the above is the root of many common Western mis-coneptions about China.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 11:23:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My two cents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My knowledge of China is kind of scattershot, pretty deep in some areas and shallow in others, so I am no means an expert...

    But I think one of the most important aspects of China is a deeply ingrained ethical investment in Confucianism - one of the primary aspects of which is a belief in hierarchy as a means to maintain peace.

    Another way of putting it - there is a belief that people must submit to a powerful chain of command because if they DON'T - society will turn violent and chaotic (because people are inherently barbaric).

    MUCH more than in European history, there is in China a long history of brave idealists rising up to get rid of 'bad' authority figures.

    HOWEVER - leaders have been overthrown in order to (hopefully) put a "good" leader in their place, not to overthrow the hierarchical system and give 'equal rights' to all people.

    For all the talk of China as a communist country - I think this is not really that significant - that the aspects of Communism that have taken hold are those that are in sync with Confucianism.

    What I'm getting to is my skepticism as to how good a chance there is that the Chinese people as a whole WANT Democracy - that a philosophy of 'all men being created equal' may be an uneasy fit with Confucianist values.

    As a western progressive deeply invested in those values, I of course would LOVE To see China become a country where equality and human rights were respected, but I recognize that there is a certain 'logic' to Confucianism and am not to sure the Chinese people are ready to divest themselves of that.

    If china becomes a 'democracy' - I don't think it can happen by a group of chinese idealists pleading for western-style democracy - but for some brilliant scholars (Chinese history is BIG on scholars) to come up with a "Chinese-style" democracy that incorporates Confucianism.

    Middle Eastern countries are VERY different then China, without such a strong grounding in a centralized bureaucratic system of govt, and so in a way are more open to re-invention.

    •  Confucious (0+ / 0-)

      Originated the concept of universal eduation as a means to improve society and the core of his philosophy was balance and civilized behavior, including the rules to attain that including the excercise of authority for the common good and respet for that authority.

      And the extent to which authority fullfills that obligation and the basis of it's continuance.

      There is no conflict with Demorasy, and I would even say what he considered "civilized society" to be a nescessary pre-cindition to it's orking well.

      Ons should differentiate Conficianism and New Confucianism (an imperial corruption of it to assert authority by those who did not meet the criteria).

      So yes Chinese tend to seek stability and take things step-by-step unless conditions deteriorate at which point the ruling lose the "Mandate or Heaven" beause as the present Constitution states, it is a "Dictatorship or the People" - worst case.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 11:38:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec's for the debate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Something the Dog Said

    Fun stuff.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 12:21:28 PM PST

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