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George Jung
12-08-2010, 10:34 PM
I've found the recent spate of editorials concerning Chinas' dissident Nobel laureate, and their perception of the Prize as yet another propaganda tool of the West, interesting reading. The degree of contempt expressed in these stories, as well as their perception/competition with the West, rather surprised me - though truth be told, I found the forthrightness a bit refreshing, all the same.
The genesis of the Confucious Peace Prize was interesting reading, as well. Rather entertaining, and the failed attempt amused, though the degree of support Taiwan reportedly has for mainland China does not. I had thought there was more of a divide, and stand-off, than this.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/world/asia/09wikileaks-oslo.html?hp

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the link to a good article.

Xenophobic nationalism (see the comments) is one of the things that bring Taiwan and the rest of China together.

purri
12-09-2010, 12:54 AM
Karma beats Xen every time.

Gerarddm
12-09-2010, 09:53 AM
Astonishing how thin-skinned the Chinese are.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 10:07 AM
Not really. The Chinese have a lot to fee thin skinned about.

Suppose the USA had been the centre of world civilisation, not for a century or so, but for a couple of thousand years, and was then, within two hundred years, attacked by a bunch of drug smugglers using vastly superior technology, forced to allow drug smugglers to carry out their illegal trade without interference and without even the power to arrest them for anything at all (including murder). Imagine that the central government of the USA then collapses (as well it might) and the USA was then brutally invaded and occupied by Canadians who had suddenly turned from being the civilised folks you know to brutal oppressors, murdering and raping civilians at will. Now imagine that a new Government attempting to rebuild and reunify your nation is embargoed by the United Nations for twenty years...

Would you perhaps feel ever so slightly resentful?

This really matters because so far we have only seen the beginnings of "China's quest to resume its rightful place"

S.V. Airlie
12-09-2010, 10:11 AM
The Boxer Rebellion....

Milo Christensen
12-09-2010, 10:21 AM
The Boxer Rebellion....

....do continue this thought, the freakin' suspense of how this could be even remotely related to anything posted so far is just absolutely killing me. I beg you for mercy.

TomF
12-09-2010, 10:25 AM
...then brutally invaded and occupied by Canadians who had suddenly turned from being the civilised folks you know to brutal oppressors, murdering and raping civilians at will...I deeply resent the notion that Canadians have ever been thought civilized. We may be polite, but we're still barbarians.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 10:25 AM
Happy to oblige on Jamie's behalf, Milo.

Think of the Boxer rebellion as a sort of Tea Party to the power ten, with added violence - an attempt to turn the clock back - which results in the imposition of yet more severe "penalties" by the untouchable drug smugglers.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 10:28 AM
The underlying point is this - almost everyone in China feels this resentment, and feels it deeply.

Milo Christensen
12-09-2010, 10:34 AM
When I sorta had this opportunity to take a look around Southeast Asia in the very late 60's and early 70's and I saw centuries old expat Chinese capitalists reigning supreme throughout Southeast Asia, and then just a few years later Nixon went to China and all the John Birchers had heart attacks, I publicly said: "Watch out when the Chinese Communists finish educating most of the population of China, because lurking in the heart of every Chinese is a fanatic capitalist."

TomF
12-09-2010, 10:34 AM
The underlying point is this - almost everyone in China feels this resentment, and feels it deeply.Understandably so. And a 200 year displacement from being the center of things is a very short time, from the perspective of Chinese history.

It will be an interesting century.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 10:44 AM
I don't have any doubt that this will be the Next Big Thing and that the past decade's obsession with "Islam vs The West" will be no more than a footnote in the pages of history, much like, say, Alexander Severus' campaign against Ardashir in the 230's.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-09-2010, 10:51 AM
I deeply resent the notion that Canadians have ever been thought civilized. We may be polite, but we're still barbarians.


but we're barbarians with universal health care. Thank you.:D

George Jung
12-09-2010, 12:05 PM
The underlying point is this - almost everyone in China feels this resentment, and feels it deeply.

This was the sentiment I found stunning, at least initially. Superficially, China would appear to be something of an ally, and our economies certainly intertwined. Dig a bit deeper, and note China now owns, per buying our debt, a good part of the USA, with prospects of recovering at least appearing to be less than AAA rated, with no apparent resolve on the part of the Americans to seriously address this problem. It has to be maddening for the Chinese, with their success posited to some extent on Americans need to over-consume everything, and a continuing remarkable trade imbalance which, sooner rather than later, is going to bite both parties on the arse (I mean, really, what does China do with North Dakota, in the event of a default?). There was an article in the Times reporting Shanghai children had blown the top off a standardized test, besting all other Asian countries, and far outstripping the US/UK/Canada etc. group. Resentment in China, and I'd suspect, a perception of superiority, perhaps even disdain, for most things west. I know most here knew that; I had some appreciation for it, as well. But what I've been reading the past several months had brought it into much sharper focus. With the 'compromise' on the tax bill, it appears we're still unwilling to grab this one by the horns, or any other handy appendage. When the bill finally comes due, I suspect we'll be on the receiving end, and they won't be cupping our horns.

George Jung
12-09-2010, 12:12 PM
I'm a bit slow getting up to speed today (took a day off, slept in.... ahhhh....)

The Times is full of good news. The Chinese/Nobel split stays front page:



SHANGHAI — Chinese censors apparently began blocking the news Web sites of CNN, the BBC (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/british_broadcasting_corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and the Norwegian broadcaster NRK from appearing in China on Thursday, a day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is to be held in Oslo to honor Liu Xiaobo (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/liu_xiaobo/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the imprisoned dissident.The Chinese authorities have denounced the decision by the Nobel Committee to award this year’s prize to Mr. Liu, who is serving a 11-year prison sentence for subversion after he led a pro-democracy campaign here.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/world/asia/10china.html?_r=1&hp

Considering the resources being devoted to this effort, this continues to be a real eye-opener.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 12:13 PM
(I mean, really, what does China do with North Dakota, in the event of a default?)

China will grow soya beans in North Dakota. The climate is similar to much of North China; the crop originates in China, which imports most of it already, and the local population is small.

It may be necessary to improve the railroads, but China is good at that.

This is not a joke, but a perfectly serious answer.

George Jung
12-09-2010, 12:18 PM
Oh, I know very well this is no joking matter.

The way we've responded, to date, would suggest most haven't even seriously considered that possibility.

Depressing, isn't it?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 12:20 PM
George, I entirely agree.

We are sleepwalking into disaster on a scale comparable only with WW1 - which had similar causes in the growth of, and resentment in, the newlty united Germany.

pefjr
12-09-2010, 12:40 PM
Don't panic now.

Ian McColgin
12-09-2010, 01:06 PM
Well, Liu Xiaobo joins Aung San Suu Kyi just as China joins Burma.

They are hardly the first laureates to be jailed. Albert John Lutuli, Martin Luther King Jr., Pérez Esquivel, and Bishop Tutu served their time. Andrei Sakharov lived under de facto house arrest and internal exile.

Carl von Ossietzky was executed.

Laureates like Jane Addams and Shirin Ebadi were widely reviled and governmentally sanctioned for their activities leading to the Nobel.

All in all, the Nobel committee has managed to pick a fair number of people who pissed off those in power. China’s not the first, won’t be the last, and really needs to grow a skin.

S.V. Airlie
12-09-2010, 01:09 PM
....do continue this thought, the freakin' suspense of how this could be even remotely related to anything posted so far is just absolutely killing me. I beg you for mercy.

Why don't you grab a book and relax Milo.

George Jung
12-09-2010, 01:16 PM
Well, Liu Xiaobo joins Aung San Suu Kyi just as China joins Burma.

They are hardly the first laureates to be jailed. Albert John Lutuli, Martin Luther King Jr., Pérez Esquivel, and Bishop Tutu served their time. Andrei Sakharov lived under de facto house arrest and internal exile.

Carl von Ossietzky was executed.

Laureates like Jane Addams and Shirin Ebadi were widely reviled and governmentally sanctioned for their activities leading to the Nobel.

All in all, the Nobel committee has managed to pick a fair number of people who pissed off those in power. China’s not the first, won’t be the last, and really needs to grow a skin.


Somewhere I read the comment that the very fact China was 'thin skinned' about this/free speech gives cause for hope; they actually are afraid of the power of the pen, therefore are trying to muzzle it. The write commented that the US presented, perhaps, a more dire case, cause for concern - our government isn't as concerned about dissident voices.

S.V. Airlie
12-09-2010, 01:20 PM
When I sorta had this opportunity to take a look around Southeast Asia in the very late 60's and early 70's and I saw centuries old expat Chinese capitalists reigning supreme throughout Southeast Asia, and then just a few years later Nixon went to China and all the John Birchers had heart attacks, I publicly said: "Watch out when the Chinese Communists finish educating most of the population of China, because lurking in the heart of every Chinese is a fanatic capitalist."

Umm stick to the topic... The screaming seems to be coming from China's leaders not the masses of educated or uneducated individuals..

Milo Christensen
12-09-2010, 01:34 PM
Why don't you grab a book and relax Milo.

Well, the book I'm interested in, I'll have to write. Working title: Mental exercises to use when recovering from debilitating Lyme disease.
Subtitle: The FRFRFRFR method to rebuilding your brain.

Ch.1: Focus
Ch.2: Read
Ch.3: Focus
Ch.4: Reflect
Ch.5: Focus
Ch.6: Research
Ch.7: Focus
Ch.8: Respond.

I'll tell you what, Jamie, your non-thought processes are only too obvious to all since your return. Focus, read, focus, think, focus, research, focus, respond. If your illness has made you mentally enfeebled, the extra work will be therapeutically necessary at some point in the future anyway, so why not start now? But this continuous outpouring of whatever runs through your mind at the moment is just painfully embarassing to see. Do you understand? I'm embarassed for you when you behave this way. You can do better. You need to try harder to do better.

George Jung
12-09-2010, 01:44 PM
I don't suppose you gents would consider taking this off-line, would you?

No?

I figgered...

Osborne Russell
12-09-2010, 02:09 PM
If your illness has made you mentally enfeebled, the extra work . . .

Why take the trouble? Who says you can't be rational whenever it suits you?

Ch.1: Focus
Ch.2: Read
Ch.3: Focus
Ch.4: Reflect
Ch.5: Focus
Ch.6: Research
Ch.7: Focus
Ch.8: Respond.

-- Sarah Palin's Alaska Method to Be Smart

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 05:09 PM
Somewhere I read the comment that the very fact China was 'thin skinned' about this/free speech gives cause for hope; they actually are afraid of the power of the pen, therefore are trying to muzzle it. The write commented that the US presented, perhaps, a more dire case, cause for concern - our government isn't as concerned about dissident voices.

In Julian Assange's blog, quoted here.

George Jung
12-09-2010, 05:49 PM
That wasn't it (found it later, in the Times), but apparently yet another well-known 'fact'. (Perhaps they were quoting him....)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-09-2010, 06:01 PM
Well, Liu Xiaobo joins Aung San Suu Kyi just as China joins Burma.

They are hardly the first laureates to be jailed. Albert John Lutuli, Martin Luther King Jr., Pérez Esquivel, and Bishop Tutu served their time. Andrei Sakharov lived under de facto house arrest and internal exile.

Carl von Ossietzky was executed.

Laureates like Jane Addams and Shirin Ebadi were widely reviled and governmentally sanctioned for their activities leading to the Nobel.

All in all, the Nobel committee has managed to pick a fair number of people who pissed off those in power. China’s not the first, won’t be the last, and really needs to grow a skin.

Carl von Ossietsky died of TB in a prison hospital.

And you are missing the point, I think.

The549
12-09-2010, 06:15 PM
Somewhere I read the comment that the very fact China was 'thin skinned' about this/free speech gives cause for hope; they actually are afraid of the power of the pen, therefore are trying to muzzle it. The write commented that the US presented, perhaps, a more dire case, cause for concern - our government isn't as concerned about dissident voices.

i haven't heard this idea...link?

George Jung
12-09-2010, 06:24 PM
I think I read it in a Times article (magazine); sorry, no link.

But I did google it, and came up with this - not the same article, but tangential, anyway. And I believe ACB indicated something similar in Assantes' blog.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/world/asia/05wikileaks-china.html

pefjr
12-09-2010, 09:35 PM
Nobel committee secretary said Liu will be represented "by an empty chair ... the strongest possible argument" for awarding it to him.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101210/ap_on_re_as/as_china_nobel

George Jung
12-09-2010, 11:05 PM
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police are surrounding the home of the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/liu_xiaobo/index.html?inline=nyt-per) in the hours before the award is due to be bestowed on the imprisoned writer.
Liu's wife Liu Xia has been under informal house arrest ever since October's announcement that her husband was being honored with this year's award. Her phone has been cut off and friends, family and colleagues in China's dissident community have been placed under house arrest or tight surveillance and forbidden to leave the country.
Officers Thursday guarded the entrance to the residential compound and checked the identities of all who entered. About a dozen journalists stood outside while officers patrolled inside the compound in central Beijing.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/12/09/world/asia/AP-AS-Nobel-China.html?hp



Wow

pefjr
12-10-2010, 06:54 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101210/ap_on_re_us/nobel

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20101210/capt.31dff16e0d494ee7ad941286737e1318-31dff16e0d494ee7ad941286737e1318-0.jpg?x=400&y=332&q=85&sig=qpxsTXBRszSlp0lGaeA_Ng--
http://l.yimg.com/a/i/us/nws/p/ap_small.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/brand/photos//SIG=10qgqrhua;_ylt=Aqv9FQjCNK8VqMEEkt8TqE7lWMcF/*http://www.apimages.com/)
Fri Dec 10, 9:01 AM ET

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-10-2010, 07:34 PM
A BBC commentator remarked that when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to an Iranian dissident, Shirin Ebadi:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirin_Ebadi#Nobel_Peace_Prize

the Iranian government made a fuss, but eventually sent its ambassador to the ceremony. This did not stop the Government of Iran from breaking into her bank vault in 2009 and stealing the medal, but at least they turned up.

The Chinese reaction has been different, either because as Ian thinks the Chinese are thin skinned and need to grow up, or else because, whereas Iran's government thinks of itself as a part of what we call "western" civilisation, China's government emphatically says that it does not.

Indeed Lui Xiabo's Charter 2008:

http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/article?revision%5fid=191250&item%5fid=173687

opens with a preamble which asserts (do please read the whole document at the link above - the emphasis below is mine) that:

This year marks 100 years since China’s [first] Constitution, the 60th anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Democracy Wall, and the 10th year since the Chinese government signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Having experienced a prolonged period of human rights disasters and challenging and tortuous struggles, the awakening Chinese citizens are becoming increasingly aware that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values shared by all humankind, and that democracy, republicanism, and constitutional government make up the basic institutional framework of modern politics. A “modernization” bereft of these universal values and this basic political framework is a disastrous process that deprives people of their rights, rots away their humanity, and destroys their dignity. Where is China headed in the 21st century? Will it continue with this “modernization” under authoritarian rule, or will it endorse universal values, join the mainstream civilization, and build a democratic form of government? This is an unavoidable decision.

The tremendous historic changes of the mid-19th century exposed the decay of the traditional Chinese autocratic system and set the stage for the greatest transformation China had seen in several thousand years. The Self-Strengthening Movement [1861–1895] sought improvements in China’s technical capability by acquiring manufacturing techniques, scientific knowledge, and military technologies from the West; China’s defeat in the first Sino-Japanese War [1894–1895] once again exposed the obsolescence of its system; the Hundred Days’ Reform [1898] touched upon the area of institutional innovation, but ended in failure due to cruel suppression by the die-hard faction [at the Qing court]. The Xinhai Revolution [1911], on the surface, buried the imperial system that had lasted for more than 2,000 years and established Asia’s first republic. But, because of the particular historical circumstances of internal and external troubles, the republican system of government was short lived, and autocracy made a comeback.

The failure of technical imitation and institutional renewal prompted deep reflection among our countrymen on the root cause of China’s cultural sickness, and the ensuing May Fourth [1919] and New Culture Movements [1915–1921] under the banner of “science and democracy.” But the course of China’s political democratization was forcibly cut short due to frequent civil wars and foreign invasion. The process of a constitutional government began again after China’s victory in the War of Resistance against Japan [1937–1945], but the outcome of the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists plunged China into the abyss of modern-day totalitarianism. The “New China” established in 1949 is a “people’s republic” in name, but in reality it is a “party domain.” The ruling party monopolizes all the political, economic, and social resources. It has created a string of human rights disasters, such as the Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, June Fourth, and the suppression of unofficial religious activities and the rights defense movement, causing tens of millions of deaths, and exacting a disastrous price from both the people and the country.

The “Reform and Opening Up” of the late 20th century extricated China from the pervasive poverty and absolute totalitarianism of the Mao Zedong era, and substantially increased private wealth and the standard of living of the common people. Individual economic freedom and social privileges were partially restored, a civil society began to grow, and calls for human rights and political freedom among the people increased by the day. Those in power, while implementing economic reforms aimed at marketization and privatization, also began to shift from a position of rejecting human rights to one of gradually recognizing them. In 1997 and 1998, the Chinese government signed two important international human rights treaties.2 (http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/article?revision%5fid=191250&item%5fid=173687#ft2) In 2004, the National People’s Congress amended the Constitution to add that “[the State] respects and guarantees human rights.” And this year, the government has promised to formulate and implement a “National Human Rights Action Plan.” But so far, this political progress has largely remained on paper: there are laws, but there is no rule of law; there is a constitution, but no constitutional government; this is still the political reality that is obvious to all. The ruling elite continues to insist on its authoritarian grip on power, rejecting political reform. This has caused official corruption, difficulty in establishing rule of law, the absence of of human rights, moral bankruptcy, social polarization, abnormal economic development, destruction of both the natural and cultural environment, no institutionalized protection of citizens’ rights to freedom, property, and the pursuit of happiness, the constant accumulation of all kinds of social conflicts, and the continuous surge of resentment. In particular, the intensification of antagonism between the government and the people, and the dramatic increase in mass incidents, indicate a catastrophic loss of control in the making, suggesting that the backwardness of the current system has reached a point where change must occur.

This seeming statement of the obvious (obvious to Eleanor Roosevelt!) has started a furious row inside China about whether indeed "values are universal".

George Jung
12-10-2010, 09:51 PM
I was hoping you would weigh in; that last post was pretty startling. Perhaps you could flesh this out a bit - how much support for this reform mindset, opposed to the entrenched government?

Osborne Russell
12-10-2010, 11:04 PM
1984 on its way to Brave New World . . . slowly, maybe with a relapse or two. Fun to watch them try it without drugs and sex.

paladin
12-10-2010, 11:59 PM
I listened to both sides of the argument in China, I listened to the stories of the opium wars. I had dinner and after each would speak his piece the discussions over sake were very polite. I was allowed to speak not as a guest, but as part of the group. The Chinese have legitemate complaints.

Tom Hunter
12-11-2010, 07:46 AM
There is clearly a debate going on within China that will have huge impact on the world. Traditional Chinese thinking, I'm going to lable it Qing Dynasty thinking, says China is special and gets to play by it's own rules. The Qing are the people who decided that China did not need to change, because it was obviously superior to the rest of the world.

As Andrew points out, there are people in China who believe there are universal rules that are not unique to China and the Chinese. The world will be a better place if these people eventually win the arguement. There is no guarantee that they will.

Unfortunately for all of us the USA is also suffering from Qing Dynasty thinking. We believe in our superiority so much that we are ignoring the important issues and focused on the unimportant. We spend huge amounts of money on a small group of fanatics who can't really hurt us, while ignoring issues like energy, education, infrastructure and the economy. The result is that we are hurting a lot, and going to hurt more.

This focus on the wrong thing is feeding the trade imbalance with China, and that gives Chinese Qing thinkers leverage to use on the USA (the debt) and it makes their arguements stronger inside of China.

Great countries like China and the USA don't fall apart because of outside pressure, they fall apart because of a lack of internal flexibility. The Qing proved that in the 19th and 20th century. I'm hoping that the USA still has the flexibilty to reform itself in the 21st, but the current state of affairs is worrying.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-11-2010, 07:53 AM
1984 on its way to Brave New World . . . slowly, maybe with a relapse or two. Fun to watch them try it without drugs and sex.

Far from being "without drugs and sex", China is positively heaving with both.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-11-2010, 07:54 AM
There is clearly a debate going on within China that will have huge impact on the world. Traditional Chinese thinking, I'm going to lable it Qing Dynasty thinking, says China is special and gets to play by it's own rules. The Qing are the people who decided that China did not need to change, because it was obviously superior to the rest of the world.

As Andrew points out, there are people in China who believe there are universal rules that are not unique to China and the Chinese. The world will be a better place if these people eventually win the arguement. There is no guarantee that they will.

Unfortunately for all of us the USA is also suffering from Qing Dynasty thinking. We believe in our superiority so much that we are ignoring the important issues and focused on the unimportant. We spend huge amounts of money on a small group of fanatics who can't really hurt us, while ignoring issues like energy, education, infrastructure and the economy. The result is that we are hurting a lot, and going to hurt more.

This focus on the wrong thing is feeding the trade imbalance with China, and that gives Chinese Qing thinkers leverage to use on the USA (the debt) and it makes their arguements stronger inside of China.

Great countries like China and the USA don't fall apart because of outside pressure, they fall apart because of a lack of internal flexibility. The Qing proved that in the 19th and 20th century. I'm hoping that the USA still has the flexibilty to reform itself in the 21st, but the current state of affairs is worrying.

+1.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-11-2010, 08:15 AM
I was hoping you would weigh in; that last post was pretty startling. Perhaps you could flesh this out a bit - how much support for this reform mindset, opposed to the entrenched government?

I have the pleasure of having several Chinese friends, most of whom are "devoutly apolitical", but I would identify three as "liberal". Two of them are ultra-low profile in their opinions and the third is just fairly low profile - his stance has certainly cost him promotion but he has been able to keep his job He is not a Party member. One of the others is an emigre and the last one (I kid you not) is a Commissar.

None of the three think that a challenge to the Party is remotely likely to suceed and all three agree that the Party will fight tooth and nail to retain its position.

None are optimistic - all three agree with Charter 08 but none think it will come to pass.

There is however a proviso - if the Party "loses the mandate of heaven", to use a very old fashioned term, all bets are off.

What this means in practice is that if the party fails to deliver 8% GDP growth with 3% inflation, year after year, there will be a bloody revolution. Every schoolboy knows that. So far, the Party has been well up to the task, by dint of becoming ever more technocratic and by trading away restrictions on personal freedom for economic growth.

Keith Wilson
12-11-2010, 09:45 AM
What this means in practice is that if the party fails to deliver 8% GDP growth with 3% inflation, year after year, there will be a bloody revolution.They may be able to do this while they're still catching up to the west. Growth using existing technology is easier. When their growth starts to depend mostly on developing new ideas and technology, it will slow, not because the Chinese are any worse at it that than westerners (they certainly aren't), but because that's simply more difficult.

Andrew, your post #5 is probably the best one-paragraph summary of recent history from the Chinese point of view I've ever seen, It should be required reading for all westerners. Perhaps we should worry when they stop caring who gets the Nobel prize.

pefjr
12-11-2010, 10:23 AM
I see this as nothing more than a little child pitching a fit because the world is not listening. It's a dilemma for some leaders of China at present, but the fit will end , and China will move closer to Democracy, and Liu will eventually become the Mandela of China. Profit is very addictive, and much better for you than opium. Old Chinese proverb: One generation plants the trees; the next gets the shade.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-11-2010, 11:13 AM
I see this as nothing more than a little child pitching a fit because the world is not listening. It's a dilemma for some leaders of China at present, but the fit will end , and China will move closer to Democracy, and Liu will eventually become the Mandela of China. Profit is very addictive, and much better for you than opium. Old Chinese proverb: One generation plants the trees; the next gets the shade.

. . . . I have but one aim in view, namely, to maintain a perfect governance and to fulfill the duties of the state: strange and costly objects do not interest me. If I have commanded that the tribute offerings sent by you, O King, are to be accepted, this was solely in consideration for the spirit which prompted you to dispatch them from afar. Our dynasty's majestic virtue has penetrated unto every country under heaven, and kings of all nations have offered their costly tribute by land and sea. As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all things. I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country's manufactures. This then is my answer to your request to appoint a representative at my Court, a request contrary to our dynastic usage, which would only result in inconvenience to yourself. I have expounded my wishes in detail and have commanded your tribute Envoys to leave in peace on their homeward journey. It behoves you, O King, to respect my sentiments and to display even greater devotion and loyalty in future, so that, by perpetual submission to our Throne, you may secure peace and prosperity for your country hereafter. . . . .

You, O King, from afar have yearned after the blessings of our civilization, and in your eagerness to come into touch with our converting influence have sent an Embassy across the sea bearing a memorial. I have already taken note of your respectful spirit of submission, have treated your mission with extreme favor and loaded it with gifts, besides issuing a mandate to you, O King, and honoring you with the bestowal of valuable presents. Thus has my indulgence been manifested...

Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its own borders. There was therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our own produce. But as the tea, silk, and porcelain which the Celestial Empire produces are absolute necessities to European nations and to yourselves, we have permitted, as a signal mark of favor, that foreign hongs (Chinese business associations) should be established at Canton, so that your wants might be supplied and your country thus participate in our beneficence....

Nevertheless, I do not forget the lonely remoteness of your island, cut off from the world by intervening wastes of sea, nor do I overlook your excusable ignorance of the usages of Our Celestial Empire. I have consequently commanded my Ministers to enlighten your Ambassador on the subject, and have ordered the departure of the mission....

Do not say that you were not warned in due time! Tremblingly obey and show no negligence! . . .

George Jung
12-11-2010, 11:27 AM
I just want to thank the contributors to this thread, esp. ACB, and Mr. Hunter. Your contributions have added a facet to my perceptions of China I'd not previously appreciated, and your insights have really been invaluable, and given me much to mull (I awakened this morning, considering this very thread/topic).

Thanks.

Keith Wilson
12-11-2010, 11:36 AM
To clarify, ACB's long quote is from Emperor Qian Long's letter to George III, written in 1793. The English diplomatic and trade mission was, to put it mildly, less than sucessful. Here's the rest of it. (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1793qianlong.html)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-11-2010, 05:07 PM
Just so. Please excuse the "plug" for this long essay on Hong Kong which began life here in the Bilge:

http://gwulo.com/ACBs-history-of-hong-kong

The quick dips into mainland history are relevant - sections one, two, four and twelve.

Allison
12-11-2010, 05:59 PM
I see this as nothing more than a little child pitching a fit because the world is not listening.

Bud have you actually read any of what people like Andrew are posting or are you just determined to stick to a narrow superficial view? Your comments seem to indicate that as most likely.

pefjr
12-11-2010, 09:49 PM
I see this as nothing more than a little child pitching a fit because the world is not listening.

Bud have you actually read any of what people like Andrew are posting or are you just determined to stick to a narrow superficial view? Your comments seem to indicate that as most likely.Dr Allison , slinging hash again? ACB is the resident expert on China, Hong Kong and area and history of this area. If you want to know something about this country and area, ACB is your source. Have you read this thread:
ACB, where is the Hong Kong thread you promised? (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?105664-ACB-where-is-the-Hong-Kong-thread-you-promised)

This is a very interesting thread but may take you some time. So, you are right , my view does seem.. uh... as you say superficial when compared to ACBand his knowledge in this field. I don't pretend to be otherwise, and sorry my opinion disappoints you so.

paladin
12-11-2010, 10:44 PM
There's a little park in Sai Kung where I had my "apartment". It was my hideout away from work. I would sit for hours and play chess and have tea. It was a bit away from some of the "high rise" structures, and businessmen would visit there for the quiet. The Chinese are experts at understatement but if you ask a question, you will get a truthful answer. It's one of the few places in the world where I felt at peace with my surroundings.

Osborne Russell
12-12-2010, 09:37 PM
Far from being "without drugs and sex", China is positively heaving with both.

Was that

1. The Great Leap Forward
2. The Cultural Revolution
3. Now for something completely different

I predict they will become like America, changing quickly and radically while becoming accordingly delusional about their fidelity to their founding principles.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-13-2010, 09:08 AM
Sex (amateur and commercial) drugs (prescription and otherwise) and rock and roll (officially tolerated and mildly subversive) are all part of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics.

I am fairly sure that only in China would you hear, as indeed I have, an interview with the multi millionaire boss of an electronics firm saying that she made her start up capital working as a call girl.

Osborne Russell
12-13-2010, 11:17 AM
Thanks Andrew. Good to start the day with a smile.


Socialism With Chinese Characteristics.

That's got a ring to it, all right. Like a hammer falling into mud.


I am fairly sure that only in China would you hear, as indeed I have, an interview with the multi millionaire boss of an electronics firm saying that she made her start up capital working as a call girl.

I bet she rubbed shoulders with captains of industry. In America we call it networking. Shows what can be done when ambition and scruples are in proper perspective.

pefjr
12-13-2010, 11:38 AM
I am fairly sure that only in China would you hear, as indeed I have, an interview with the multi millionaire boss of an electronics firm saying that she made her start up capital working as a call girl.Only in China? hmmm... we must have traveled on different paths.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-13-2010, 12:32 PM
Evidently I have not spent enough time in the States, but my impression is that, amongst us, call girls usually morph into "celebrities" rather than into captains of industry.