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Thread: The current excitement in China

  1. #1
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    Default The current excitement in China

    I’d welcome HR Davies’ opinion here.

    I am not of the opinion that the street demonstrations are significant.

    Chinese people like French people like a chance to have a demo, they always have. I can remember having to fight my way into our Shanghai head office through a picket line of company pensioners calling for an increase in the pension payment, and I recall several other outbreaks of stroppiness in the elderly. The conduct on that picket line would have been illegal in Britain!

    I also remember the huge demonstrations against the US and UK embassies after the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was bombed.

    These demos look rather small, in comparison.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Hmm, the Chinese admin are quite capable of dealing with demonstrators. The subject though is the inadequacy of that admin in to deal with Covid and aimed at the top.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Oh, I think an adjustment to the policy is likely to be along shortly.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    I heard a radio piece saying that in some cities they have been able to control the demonstrators. That implies that in other cities they have not been able to control them. They are openly calling for the removal of the party leadership. I’ll look into that now…..

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    From Norway’s largest newspaper:

    175A503E-3690-4E66-A442-A575B041A79A.jpg

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China


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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    I don't think we've reached the 'revolution' stage yet, and anyhow that would require the Chinese military to either stand back or change sides. But the intolerant attitiude to dissent may not be goood for stability.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    HRDavies won't be happy that even the Chinese are critical of his hero Xi. He's been to Shanghai don't you know.

    I love the blank paper protest.
    Its illegal to write anything that criticises the party, or especially Xi. So people/shops are sticking blank sheets of paper on their windows as a protest. Police can't arrest you for that.

    The ring leaders of those protests are looking at many years in jail.

    The death rate from Covid is low especially compared to the US and this is a point of pride for Xi - he can't loosen the zero-Covid policies. If he does there would liekly be a flood of Covid and this will hurt his pride. Herd immunity is almost zero. Covid vacination rates are low. Chinese vaccines are not as effective as western ones.

    They're staring down either Xi swallowing his pride (unlikely) coupled with a wave of Covid, or, more of the status quo resulting in worsening conditions, further unrest and inevitable violence from police as the batons come out to quell protests. Where the violence could lead....?

    HR will no doubt be along to tell me I'm wrong, because I have never been outside my hometown, and chuck in a few insults to boot.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Students at China's best university, Tsinghua University call for Democracy, Freedom of Speech and Rule of Law



    https://www.reddit.com/r/ADVChina/co...sity_tsinghua/

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Letting too many of their young people leave China for education. Gives them impure thoughts.

    Why isn't Xi using all this lockdown time getting everybody vaxxed? Even a less good vax is better than so few people vaxxed.
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Quote Originally Posted by elf View Post
    Letting too many of their young people leave China for education. Gives them impure thoughts.

    Why isn't Xi using all this lockdown time getting everybody vaxxed? Even a less good vax is better than so few people vaxxed.
    It's my understanding that the Chinese vaccines don't work well, particularly in the elderly, against the current variants. They have refused offers of the mRNA vaccines for whatever reasons, and so they may be in a bit of a corner when it comes to current covid. However keeping their population really locked down for more months or years seems unworkable. Something has got to give. These protests seem like the first big sign of that.

    From a few months ago: https://www.economist.com/graphic-de...s-mrna-vaccine

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    They could always buy a bunch of mRNA vaccins, that would be a relatively small investment of 60 billion Euro's for an initial and a booster vaccination of 1,5 billion people. I think that's cheaper than the current continuous lockdowns.
    The question is "how to do this without comrade Xi loosing face?"
    Last edited by dutchpp; 11-28-2022 at 11:50 AM.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    From what I have been reading and listening to, it appears that these protests are "different" in that they not only show disapproval of the way Xi's government is handling the COVID epidemic, but also disapproval of Xi and the party - very Tienanmen-like in some regards. Unlike Tienanmen, these protests appear to be much more widespread.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    I would think it wouldn't be that hard for Xi to tell the people that the lockdowns have been wildly successful for the first phase of covid but now it's time to vaccinate and open up - including adding the now proven mRNA vaccines. But it's really hard for autocrats to change direction. Plus maybe he likes having this tight control over the population. That's fine until a billion or more Chinese come for his head.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    The Chinese vaccines have efficacies as low as 20% for older people. 50% for the population overall.

    Worse, their population is naive - most people have not being exposed to covid. And the current variants spread much faster than the ones that caused so much grief in other countries in 2020-21. No chance of flattening the curve once it gets going.

    If they ease restrictions now, they are looking at losing maybe .15% of their population - say, 2 million people - within 3-4 months. Worse, they will have five times as many severe cases, which will totally collapse their health care system and lead to millions more deaths.

    The only way out would be to import mRNA vaccines at any cost, start vaccinating 1.4 billion people, and hold the lid on the pressure cooker during the 6-12 months that would take. The problem with that solution is that it is the mother of all losses of face.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    On our national TV news tonight.
    The football matches of the World Cup in Quatar are transmitted with a considerable delay in China, this enables the Chinese state director to choose different images from within the stadium, images of partying people on the stands are cut out.
    The Chinese population is not allowed to see that in the rest of the world people are moving on after Covid.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    The Chinese vaccines have efficacies as low as 20% for older people. 50% for the population overall.

    Worse, their population is naive - most people have not being exposed to covid. And the current variants spread much faster than the ones that caused so much grief in other countries in 2020-21. No chance of flattening the curve once it gets going.

    If they ease restrictions now, they are looking at losing maybe .15% of their population - say, 2 million people - within 3-4 months. Worse, they will have five times as many severe cases, which will totally collapse their health care system and lead to millions more deaths.

    The only way out would be to import mRNA vaccines at any cost, start vaccinating 1.4 billion people, and hold the lid on the pressure cooker during the 6-12 months that would take. The problem with that solution is that it is the mother of all losses of face.
    I think there is also the issue that the lock-downs have done some damage to China's GDP, so "at any cost" maybe a hurdle that they can't surmount. Also, when considering the vaccination of a large portion of the population, that is going to take time, and a _very_ well coordinated effort.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    I wonder what'll get us first? Ciimate change, drone warfare, disease or Intelligent AI?

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    George beat me to it. China is stuck between a rock and a hard place. I also think Andrew is right, these demonstrations are not a serious threat to the regime.

    If China changed it's current Covid containment policy to one that matches the US you could see several hundred million people all sick within the same 60 day period. That might be a threat to the regime but the regime knows this and is trying to avoid that kind of outbreak.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    I agree with George. and with Tom.

    The most likely consequences of the sort of rather gleeful reporting that almost all western news outlets are going in for at the moment is that the Chinese media turn them into “evidence of Western hostility to China”, and retail them domestically in that form.

    Results: more xenophobia, more wolf warrior nonsense and a pretty grim time for anyone caught demonstrating.

    The grown up response is to start talking quietly to the Chinese foreign office about the supply of MRNA vaccines to China.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Saw a story re Twitter and China. Supposedly (I’m not a Twitter user) China is spamming porn onto threads about the protest, making it harder for the rest of the world to see the apparent discomfort it is currently experiencing.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    So Xi's choices seem to be:

    1) Lockdown forever

    2) Quietly start buying mRNA vaccines and "boosting" the most vulnerable, boiling the frog slowly to avoid loss of face.

    I think option 2 would take years. Can the population be kept docile for a few more years? At what point does the pressure cooker's lid burst, and repression be damned?

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Some commentators here say that the Party machine and Xi have been rather quiet on directions re covid, one announcement saying it is the individual's responsibility, and another telling regional party organisations to run their own show. This apparently, allows the blame for a rise in Covid deaths to be sheeted home to anyone else but Xi and the party, thus avoiding said loss of face……………. almost…………..

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Most people in China are unaware of other vaccines.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China


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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    wall street is worried about a tiananmen square repeat
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Brilliant. And very « Beijing » with that style of repartee.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-29-2022 at 03:16 PM.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Brilliant.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    After being brainwashed for 60 years plus, the number of Chinese willing to protest is small in comparison to even just the army.

    Push comes to shove, Xi will have no problem slaying demonstrators; Tianenmen Square on a massive scale.
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Marx and Lenin were foreigners; Mao was a homeboy. China remains communist.
    One of Dostoyevsky's favorite words, often used ironically, was "fact" (fakt, a harsh-sounding foreign loan word in the Russian language) . . .

    William Mills Todd, Introduction to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (1868) Penguin Books edition 2004.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    OK, so they are not as brainwashed at the North Koreans. Xi will still squash them like bugs if he wants.

    Meanwhile, as HR Davies noted, the youth are checking out? : Mutiny In China - Youth is giving up on life "Let it Rot", CCP worried - YouTube
    Gerard>
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Good comments HR.

    I went to China 145 times. Never stayed long or went anywhere -- all visits were pilot-layovers in big cities.

    But you do gather some impressions... I saw demonstrations and protests quite a few times. Was woken up by police gunfire once in HKG. Chinese people can be fiercely un-brainwashed. Quite ready to protest.

    The Chinese people have had to evolve long-standing ways of co-existing in such large numbers, and high density. It's different. Example - they were wearing masks in public to reduce disease transmission 20 years ago, voluntarily. They had airport terminal sensors to detect fever-laden airline passengers way back then too. That part of the world has been through more plagues than anyone can tally-up.

    Politics: it's a one-party state, but not communism as we knew it from the USSR experiment. I call it Entreprenurial Communism, and it really works. A person can reap the rewards of their own labour. And the one-party government can make long-term plans in a way we can't. It can make infrastructure happen in incredibly short times. (They built the new Beijing Airport in less time than the environmental-study alone would take where I live.) Highly functional.

    It's not to my taste. I don't like the environmental destructiveness -- descending an airliner into Beijing smog is like diving into a bath of rotten onion soup -- and I don't like the censorship (the internet is fenced off). I also don't like the work-every-day-until-you-die expectation.

    I don't want to go on vacation there. But there's no denying that it all works.

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    I wonder what'll get us first? Ciimate change, drone warfare, disease or Intelligent AI?
    old age

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    …true Lee….true…...

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    Default Re: The current excitement in China

    Thanks HRD.

    I can understand and follow your comments, which « feel right » to me, although I haven’t been to China since the Covid-19 thing started.

    Same goes for Dave Hadfield’s comments.

    I think, or rather I guess, that a lot of the youth dissatisfaction is to do with the examination hell, the huge pressure to get into the right university, the pressure to get the best degree - and then no good job at the end of it, so far as boys are concerned, often no chance of a girlfriend that you actually like, and so far as the girls are concerned even less chance of a good job and the dreaded « you will be left over » from your parents, followed by « where’s our grandson? » and « of course we can spoil him! »

    An old friend, now dead, used to say « The Chinese are the most civilised people on Earth - they have been living in cities for longer than anyone else! »

    As a footnote, I originally signed up to the WBF in I think 1997 on the PC on my Beijing office desk but (a) those were simpler times and (b) I very strongly suspect that our IT department had tunnelled through the Great Firewall for the benefit of everybody in the building (they were like that).
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