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Why China Sentences 70-Year-Olds

If anyone needs an example of how brittle China's Communist Party leaders think their country is, look no further than the case of Wang Xiuying and Wu Dianyuan. The elderly women, who both walk with canes and have failing eyesight, were sentenced to serve one-year terms in a labor camp after they applied to hold a legal protest in Beijing. And if you think there was no method to this madness, that it's somehow the fault of some random thug in the Ministry of Public Security, I'd caution you to think again.

Wang and Wu wanted to protest because they believe they did not receive sufficient compensation when their homes were flattened to make way for redevelopment in Beijing. Their complaint is probably the most common type of problem faced by average Chinese who happen to live in the way of their country's economic juggernaut. Over the last several decades, Chinese researchers estimate that more than 100 million Chinese have lost their homes to redevelopment plans and many of them were tossed out with scant recompense.

So when Wang and Wu heard that, with the Olympics, authorities in Beijing had set aside special protest zones in three parks, they applied. Not once but four times. On the fourth time, they were detained and then sentenced -- by the cops, not a judge -- to a labor camp. (They haven't been incarcerated yet but will if they violate various provisions or regulations.) [note: Some people commenting on this piece think they might have been sentenced because they allegedly set off firecrackers outside the party's headquarters at Zhongnanhai, but as far as I can determine the firecracker incident occurred -- if at all -- more than a year ago in a failed attempt to get some attention and that they were busted this time because of their sheer cussedness.]

To me, the granny case sums up the conundrum that is China, today. Here you have this amazing country that has lifted millions out of poverty, that has sported a world-beating growth rate over the last 15 years, that is exploring space, dominating the art world and now the Olympics. And how do they treat grandmas who want a little extra cash for their homes? They toss 'em in jail. Chairman Mao said "in order to make an omelet, you've got to break a few eggs." But, man, two ladies in their 70s?

So on one hand we have confident China. On the other a party-state that views even geriatrics as "disturbers of the public order."

Now, China enthusiasts will argue that, there must be a mistake, or this was obviously the action of a thuggish cop who must have gone too far, or perhaps it's the fault of a dreaded "conservative faction" of the party in the parlance of Chinese political tea-leaf readers. I'd say, however, the grandma case is completely consistent with CCP standard operating procedure; it's not an anomaly. Here's why.

By setting up the protests zones, the party has done something it's never really done before. It's told its people that protesting is legal and here are the places you can do it. Yes, 47 applications were received, 44 from Chinese, and, according to the official New China News Agency, 44 people withdrew their applications after their problems were miraculously solved! (Several others were banned from applying; I guess Wang and Wu fell into that category.)

But as the Olympics wind down, the party is looking to the future, completely aware of how, for example, the Seoul Olympics in 1988 spurred change in that Asian Tiger. It has to send a signal to people that it won't tolerate threats to "stability" and that if they think the Olympics are heralding a new era of freedom, they'd better think again. The party also has to inform its people that the protest application process cuts both ways; it might open the way to air long-repressed grievances, but it also can be used by the security services to ferret out dissidents and toss them in the hoosegow -- a Communist tactic since the Hundred Flowers movement and before. What better way to accomplish these two goals than by sentencing two old ladies to jail? In one fell swoop you show others with grievances just how low you will go. It's the madman theory of Chinese domestic politics. And Wang and Wu are the victims.

Finally, however, in sentencing the pair, the cops gave themselves an out. The two aren't in a labor camp now and could stay out of jail if they "behave," which probably means stop talking to Western journalist and confine themselves to their new homes. But the party has put Chinese malcontents on notice. We should take notice as well.

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Comments (252)

鴻文共欣賞:

鄉親們

別与那些西方無賴混在一起,浪費我們無价的生命和青春.
請讀下面這篇鴻文"大国游戏".把它介紹給你認識的人.


http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_521090fd01009ggk.html

LOL:

Flyingtuna:

Look into the disasters in Latin America and many places in the world, democracy and freedom helps nothing. If that is the truth, why blame PRC?
=================================

The point is not about the true democracy and freedom,which are acclaimed and pursued by human beings with conscience and integrity.

The issue here,though,is the veiled thugs in name of "democracy and freedom" are disrupting the existing order of foreign societies and throw people over there into bloodshed. So that's why we saw the intruders spree in humiliating and killing others in excuse of all sorts,while at the wit end of building a "prosperity" look to the world to justify their cause of invasion. They are professional killers,but they are not the humanitarian and professional rescuer.

We can never imagine if Saddam Hussein could be so efficient and professional in eliminating Iraq civilian from the earth like American and British achieved.

How to call a nation being the power of domestic democracy yet international tyranny??--Imperialism.

Invading others,killing others,supporting regional tension,giving green light to country without signing nuke non-proliferation...you name it.Are those promoting democracy? No.Yet,they are under the name of "democracy."

Countries in this world now learn:power talks,power dispenses democracy.

Flyingtuna:

Look into the disasters in Latin America and many places in the world, democracy and freedom helps nothing. If that is the truth, why blame PRC?

MrsDocChuck:

I sincerely apologist for my husband's racist and xenophobic commentary.

He is not a well man.

null:

FATE

Jiaming wrote: "China has 1500 years of rule by intellectural elites. But it didn't have a middle class until the last 10 years."
America did not have a middle class until around 1900, over 100 years after it formed a democracy.

[NULL] tell me what america did have when it formed a democracy?

what jiaming implicitly referred to is that in the past 1000 years chinese elites failed to solicit the support from people who can constructively support the reforms. those reforms failed miserably because of the inter parties or interested groups. soliciting the support from middle class is the third way to boost the reformer's chances to carry on the reform. otherwise disaster fall.

Jiaming wrote: "Currently, the middle class is getting bigger, but not big enough."
What do you mean "big enough"? What has a middle class have to do with human rights and freedom to choose your leaders. Should only the middle and upper classes have rights that the lower classes do not?

[NULL] "big enough" means that if the majority elected a leader or a party, there is no majority yet. majority defines the human rights and freedom. middle class most than often tries to align itself w/ elite class, while ruling class will always preach for the rights for lower class and it is just preaching, nothing would get done.

Jiaming wrote: "The danger of a country like China under a democracy is that the majority of the voters may not have enough education to select the right leaders."
You are not serious are you? Just how educated were the voters in America when they elected Lincoln? You are a bigot if you believe that people with less education or a lower class should not have rights that you do. Rights are just that, rights, that you are born with, not attained through education or wealth. You have no idea what freedom and democracy mean or how they drive the a nation to prosperity if you believe rights come with class. That is the British way of thinking, something America fought against and tossed on the trash heap of history.

[NULL] when people elected lincoln, black were still slave, think about that and the civil wars afterwards. even in 1970, black was still separated from the upper class white. when middle built up, then finally slavery went down.

Jiaming wrote: "They are far more vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous polticians."
And the upper class are not? Here in America the Republicans promise to lower taxes for the wealthy, and the wealthy support them. That is manipulation. Any one can be manipulated in any class. You need to understand one thing: Human beings are equal. They have different amount of wealth, education, gender, color, but ALL are equal in the eyes of the law here in America and everywhere. If you deny that you deny humanity, and as I said, are a bigot.

[NULL] human beings are not equal: in 1962 when asked regarding arm reservist protesting against recall to duty, JFK said: there are always inequity in life. some men get killed in battle while some are not, and some wounded while some never leave the country. life is unfair. even in bible jobs asked god: why do the wicked enjoy long life, hale in old age, great and power? so please, don't preach, face the reality.

Jiaming wrote: "For instance, if China is a democracy today, and a presidential candidate promises the voters that he will reunite Taiwan, by force if necessary, he will likely be elected."
I doubt that. Are the Chinese people really ready to go to war with Taiwan, and the US and probably Japan, to reunite Taiwan, a reunification that is on its way to happening in the future anyway? Do you think there would be no opposition candidate explaining that this would be a very bad move? And if you look at how democracies act, no leader in a democracy has come to power promising war. The People don't like war and will not vote for it. Promising a war is a way to lose an election in a democracy.

[NULL] georgia president, aka democratically elected, promised to his people that he would reunite 2 separated areas supported by russia. please tell me one thing and one thing only: where the heck did you get the impression that democracies don't kill and war?

Jiaming wrote: "A democratic China today is not a necessarily good news for America."
Maybe not, but democracies do not go to war against one another. That is a historical fact. Authoritarian regimes however are prone to war. China is more likely to go to war with Taiwan as an authoritarian regime that doesn't answer to its people than a democratic China that answers to its people. Right now the power in China is in the hands of a few elite people. You will see this fall that in America the power is in the hands of We The People.

[ NULL ] which history are you talking about? do you have any power to save the poor and humble one in US? yes, on paper it said so, but in reality can you do it? if so, you were my hero.

LoL:

Western media pick and chose the words to misguide audience on report of China. Fortunately the Olympic game fared well,but still they tried so hard to fault.Anyway,western media had lost credibility to Chinese since the Tibet riot and malicious bashing at any reason. Many Chinese disillusioned.Good thing for Chinese,especially for the younger generation.

The Chinese government is doing right thing to protect China's territory integrity and law and order. The anarchy in Iraq is terrifying and people died everyday.Who need that liberty at such cost? Chinese do not want and do not need.

The Chinese government's handling with some civic affairs has been purposely demonized by western media. All things going along with this Olympic game make all Chinese realized the ugliness of western media's propaganda,which is no better than autocratic mouthpiece.

This plot of playing ordinary Chinese against Chinese government so as to weaken China does not work now.We are used to the Western media's exaggeration and we are able to discern those malicious purpose from the constructive push to China.

Jake:

This is a comment by Netizen KACEY1:

To OneAegis:

You said and I quote: “Surly locking up two elderly women with legitimate grievances deserves some mention”

You statement bothered me to no end.... Let’s check the fact and truth, from the bias.....

First of all, these two elderly was not locked up. Please look at the orginal article, they were not lock up yet.

Ecomoist said and I quote: “...... though the sentences are suspended as long as they behave well....”.

In addition, Government took over their property with compensation. But, the grievance is they were not happy with the amount of compensation.

Look around the world, how many people think they got enough compensation, if government ‘public domain’ their proerty? I am willing to bet, it happens more than you think.

Let me tell you a story, I live in San Francisco, one day the city of San Francisco wanted to take 400(?) square feet of land from my lot and they only pay me $750. My house worth 1.5 million US dollar, take a chuck of my lot for traffic control equipments ( several boxes about 3 feet tall each) is very annoying, I spent more than a year in court and I lost. I talked with many people and find out it is more often than you and I belived.

Have you investigated the whole story/history? How do you know it is a not a fair compensation?

Jump into coclusion and start accusing someone is a dangenous behavior, just like George Bush said Iraq had WMD and caused millions of people’s death, because of Bush’s personal opinion and Bush’s advisor’s ulterior motives.

China spent 40 billion US dollar for the Olmpic Games, there are thousands and thousands inspiring, spirit lifting story Economist could report.

Saddly, Economist chooses a questionable importance story to report, in order to put down China.

For GOD sake, Economist at least admit these two elderly woman were not in labor camp yet.

You take half the sentence, twist and turn it. No wonder this is not a peaceful world.....


Anonymous:

既使我與若辯矣,若勝我,我不若勝,若果是也?我果非也邪?我勝若,若不吾勝,我果是也?而果非也邪?其或是也,其或非也邪?其俱是也,其俱非也邪?我與若不能相知也,則人固受其黮闇。吾誰使正之?使同乎若者正之,既與若同矣,惡能正之!使同乎我者正之,既同乎我矣,惡能正之!使異乎我與若者正之,既異乎我與若矣,惡能正之!使同乎我與若者正之,既同乎我與若矣,惡能正之!然則我與若與人俱不能相知也,而待彼也邪?

OVERSEA CHINESE LEGION:

I GUESS FROM ALL THE SILENCE AND NO TAKERS ON MY REMARK, THAT...

ALL OF YOU ARE EATING YOUR HUMBLE PIES IN SILENCE.
HOW SWEET?

Raoul:

Questions Jiaming doesn't want to answer:

1. How would the government deal with those who refused to accept their exclusion from political participation based on education level? (“Get educated” is not an answer to this question…a large group of people will likely refuse to accept this governmental model; how would the government deal with this?)

2. You suggest there would be free speech in your model. What if disenfranchised groups advocated a change in the franchise? Is there freedom of assembly and organization as well? What if the disenfranchised organized to demand the right to vote?
3. How would you deal with the results if this “education requirement” led to a disproportionate number of ethnic minorities being disenfranchised? Wouldn’t this just be Jim Crow in disguise?

4. What would prevent elites from merely pursuing their narrow class interest? In short, how would you prevent one segment of society from “capturing” the state and using it for its own ends?

5. What empirical evidence do you have that “group” outcomes would be of higher quality if one restricts the franchise to those with a certain level of education? (Highly questionable assertions that “elites know best”, or that educated people vote for Obama, etc., are not enlightening.)

6. How can you justify this model as “just”? What about the rights of those excluded?

7. In advocating this plan, would you be willing to apply a Rawlsian Theory of Justice test? (i.e., would you still advocate the model, even if you might turn out to be one of the disenfranchised?)

8. How is your model different from past Latin American-style Bureaucratic Authoritarian regimes?

Cueball:

I love all these comments from fenqing saying "Well democracy SUCKS so shut up, whitey!"

Ok, guys, tell you what we'll start rounding up your grannies living in the US, Europe, wherever and send them off for a year to work in similar camps. We'll say they werent loyal to their countries and were enemy agents or something. You'd then be screaming for their democratic rights.

Most of you sit in democratic countries, enjoy all the democratic rights they have to offer and then complain about their flaws. Ok, off to be reeducated all of you - no freedom from jail until you love the fatherland/motherland.

OVERSEA CHINESE LEGION:

Yes go on bragging....USA was built on the sweat of slaves that your ancestors forcibly removed from AFRICA. Having badly treated them and their descendent until very recently, now one of their son is going to be your C in C and your master...ha, ha. ha.

I sincerly hope he will have the wisdom to repair the damage that short sighted scumbags like you and FATE are doing.

AND DON'T GIVES US THAT CRAP ABOUT HOW ANGELIC OR RIGHTEOUS YOU PEOPLE ARE...NOT AFTER GUANTANAMO BAY, NOT AFTER USING WATER BOARDING AND RUNNING ALL THESE RENDITION PROGRAMS AND NOT AFTER BOMBING ALL THESE INNOCENT CIVILIANS TO PIECES IN IRAQ AND CALLING THEM COLLATERAL DAMAGE...HOW NICE??

OBAMA, YOUR NEXT PRESIDENT AND C IN C WILL INJECT SOME SORELY NEEDED WISDOM INTO YOU PEOPLE DUMB HEADS IN THIS FORUM.

WHAT GOES AROUND WILL COME AROUND. YOUR ANCESTORS ENSLAVES AFRICAN AND NOW ONE OF AFRICA SONS WILL BE YOUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF BY NEXT YEAR.

IT IS TIME TO EAT HUMBLE PIES.


JiaMing:

Raoul,
There you go again. When you can find nothing to say you just resort to insults. What a pity.

FATE,
Please don't play word games. The son of a farmer and an elite? you want to find some sort of inheritance of nobility in my idea but you know you could so you just want to insinuate. Very typical political language. Anyway, I'll entertain your tricky question. If the "son" of a farmer is a PhD and the "son" of an elite is a highschool dropout, then "son" of the farmer should get political influence in an election than the "son" of an elite. Got it? If you want to talk about the farmer instead of the son of the farmer, without the implied nobility, then I can tell you this. The farmer, if not at least college educated in agriculture, would not know much about how to raise the productivity of the farm or how to lower the cost of transportation. It takes a highly educated, knowledgeable individual with critical thinking to realize that offshore drilling doesn't lower gas prices by much. An uneducated farmer will be easily fooled into believing that it does.

It doesn't matter which party is in power, the US is ruled by big interest groups back by big business. This is only possible when the public is not well-educated enough to question the corporate owned media and the political rhetorics.

Ronald:

To those who still thinks western democracy is the best: May I remind you that Hilter was elected under a western democracy system in Germany. Read the history book, you will find out how a small group of people can manipulate the whole nation into a disasterous war under the pretence of democracy. Just like US, there was supposed to be check and balance by the parliment in Germany. What a joke.

Zxl0001:

FATE and RAOUL, What your guys think of the political system of SIngapore? "Western democracies consider the form of government in Singapore to be closer to authoritarianism rather than true democracy and could be considered an illiberal democracy or procedural democracy." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Singapore).I think that is what Jiaming was aiming for and many chinese thought it a better system than the western democracy. Singapore did prosper peacefully since its independence.


Fate:

JiaMing wrote: "I do not believe China's autocracy is better. I simply believe that a democracy that gives the educated elites more political influence is better than the current US system."

And why is the son of an elite more politically adept than the son of a farmer? Does the elite son know anything about farming, about the needs of farmers, about the problems farmers face or the political requirements of farming, such as fuel prices, transportation, etc, to bring China's farming to its most productive level?

JiaMing wrote: "Some mistakes are not reversible no matter who made them, even the "people". China will move toward a democratic system. It has been changing for 30 years. It is the American public who believe that the US has be best form of government and there is no need for political reform."

In the US political reform is part of the process. Democracy is called a "continual revolution", and right now the republican party being thrown out of power and the People are less trusting of evidence the president presents. Look at how America reacted to Bush's warning of Iran's nuclear bomb making. A lot of suspicion and no will to start a war again based on unverifiable threats. Even Bush, who has said he would attack Iran seems unlikely DUE to the American people not wanting him to do so. How can the Chinese stop their leader from doing something foolish when a 70 year old woman who complains to the local CCP about compensation gets arrested?

Fate:

Zxl0001 wrote: "FATE, agree with many of your points. Iraq war is a example dispute your point here. Who started the Iraq war? Did democracy prevent the Iraq war?"

Almost. There was a large debate here in America and between democracies, many of which were against the war. Many nations refused to participate as Bush tried, and failed, to internationalize the war. His "coalition of the willing" is a joke here in the US and probably elsewhere.

Zxl0001 wrote: "Beside the right to protest, did the democracy change anything? Did the election of Democratic Party change anything?"

Yes, in one way. Bush has the lowest approval ratings now because the voices (heard thanks to open debate and free speech) in the leadup to the war who were saying there was little evidence of WMD were correct. Bush looks like an idiot (well, he is) and he would now never win an election even for a small town mayor. He has been discredited through the democratic process.

Zxl0001 wrote: "Yes, you can protest all right, Bush did whatever he wants to do. Even the election of either McCain or Obama will not change much. Where is the power of We The People?"

Iraq is a good case to study. Historians are already showing that Americans were duped either directly through manipulated intelligence or simply on false intelligence. But either way the lead up to that war took many steps. First Bush began proposing it. He went to Congress with the "evidence". Many in Congress believed it or simply deferred to the president. But look what happened as the mistakes unfolded. Many republicans lost their seats in Congress, enough to lose their majority. They were punished by The People and they are likely to be punished further this fall, and it will mostly be Iraq and the republican president's decision to go there and screw it up royally that puts them in the minority. The People of America are doing this, not some judge or other leaders, the People through democracy are tossing out the republicans for their lies and mistakes. What happens when a Chinese leader screws up royally? Do you debate it? Do you even hear about it?

Democracies make mistakes, but the People will react to fix them. When China makes a grave mistake, like attacking Vietnam to save the Khmer Rouge, who learns? When a government arrests old ladies for what they say, who will stop them from doing it again. Authoritarian regimes do not evolve and do what they want.

Zxl0001 wrote: "Finally, correct me if I am wrong, wasn't Hitler elected and majority of Germans supported him until he started to lose?"

Read you history. He was elected on economic promises during the great depression and he actually kept many of his promises, bringing Germany to be an economic power and a strong military that would not suffer as it had in WW1. However, his skillful political moves removed many democratic institutions until his subsequent abolishment of parliment. Germany moved from being a democracy to being an autocracy, and the move to war was very easy after that. Would Hitler have invaded Poland if he were facing an election? Maybe, his sanity was suspect. But it would have been much less likely since he only feared the international community's reaction and not the reaction of German opposition figures and voices. If China were to attack Taiwan, would the autocrats in China worry about the Chinese People's reaction or any Chinese opposition? Maybe, but only in terms of a revolution, not the next election.

I've heard that Chinese autocracy is needed for "stability", but autocracy only leads to instability. Look at Russia and see where its move toward being an autocracy is leading it. Look at North Korea or Sudan or Iraq under Saddam. China just needs one crazy leader and all the benevolent leaders before will make no difference since there will be little to stop him/her except the international community. You won't, don't, have any control unless you are a CCP member, a tiny minority of Chinese.

As Winston Churchill said:
"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."
Churchill also said the following, which is applicable to this question of the two women: "Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization."

Raoul:

Jiaming,

You present a vision of "politics without politics", including an idealized elite, cohesive, without class interest, pursuing only "the good". Wonderful vision.

The underside of your vision is your apparent contempt for those who have not enjoyed your advantages in life -- it is their fault, you seem to suggest. Do you really have any clue how hard it is for people with bad schools, poor job prospects and assorted family problems to get ahead in life? In addition to the structural disadvantages these citizens face, you would turn them into "subjects", wards of the state, equivalent to children.

Do you honestly believe your magical elites would put the interests of these disenfranchised subjects on a par with their own? Do you honestly believe your model is in any way "just"?

You offer a retrograde model of ruler and subject, a fundamentally ugly, unjust scam, presented as "rational" governance.

Of course, I imagine that you would categorize yourself as one of the enfranchised "educated" elites. What luck.

JiaMing:

BUD,
Please read my posts. I do not believe China's autocracy is better. I simply believe that a democracy that gives the educated elites more political influence is better than the current US system. Some mistakes are not reversible no matter who made them, even the "people". China will move toward a democratic system. It has been changing for 30 years. It is the American public who believe that the US has be best form of government and there is no need for political reform.

Bud:

JiaMing wrote:
Eight years of George W. Bush, with his war, lies and deregulated economic policies nearly ruined the US. Guess who put him into office twice? The undereducated masses. Giving the educated more political power is not aristocracy. The educated are not necessary rich, but just educated, period.

There are many who are against the war and the Bush administration, even those who voted for him in the first place. There are many "educated" people who voted for Bush and based their decision on factors outside of the war. As you yourself state, a country the size of the USA is a complex thing. One has to examine many facets of a party when voting and weigh both the positives and negatives.

Yes, the President does indeed have alot of power. But it is not absolute as it is in a dictatorship. There are checks and balances and even ways to remove this person under the constitution.

But you seem to under the misguided impression that all democracies are perfect, and when you find an example of one that is not, that justifies your argument that a dictatorship is better. Let's try a comparison to illustrate the difference.

We are both faced with a Bush-like leader who wages unnecessary wars, etc. We here in the USA have the option of voting the man out of office and electing a new leader. Yes, it may take a full 4-year cycle, perhaps more. But eventually the people will wake up and remove the party. If the situation is severe, we have the option of impeachment. This will result in (almost) immediate removal of the leader. But, you say, the People cannot initiate this, only Congress can. True, but we the people have direct access to our members of Congress through email, telephone, etc, to make our wishes known. If a member of Congress chooses to ignore a significant portion of the population (s)he represents, that person will ultimately be voted out of office as well.

Now let's try the same example with your dictatorship. You, the people, have absolutely no power, say or influence whatsoever in removing the leader. You are stuck with this person until the members of the leading party themselves decide to remove him/her. Several people have pointed out that reform has indeed taken place in China's leadership, but this takes 100's, if not 1000's of years. So, where would you rather be if stuck with a Bush-like leader?


JiaMing:

BUD wrote,
Certainly the more informed people are, the better citizens they become. But to require a certain level of education in order to vote is just plain elitist. Sure, you will always get some people who will just randomly pull a lever, but people soon realize that their way of life and even survival depends on who is elected into public office. It is then a natural progression to have them make an informed decision for whom they vote for. And in a matured democracy, most people do care and are not random lever-pullers.
---------------------------------------------
I fundamentally disagree with your assumption that people will learn their mistakes and make better decisions after they get hurt. This is exactly the thinking of the "free market" extremists that dismantled most of the regulations on the financial sector in the last 10 years that led to an unprecedented level of irresponsible lending and now the housing and credit crisis still unfolding. Their theory is that people will make the smart decisions when get burned by the market. Human instinct is to follow the crowd, like those who borrowed way over their head to buy a big house when everyone else seems to be doing it convinced that prices will keep going up forever. It is the "elites" who kept their cool and refused to jump into the feeding frenzy. Yes, people may not make the exactly same mistake again, namely to borrow too much to buy a house (even that is very doubtful). But they will make similar mistakes like losing their life savings in a red hot stock market that crashes. This is why regulations are put in place to stop uninformed, less intelligent people from killing themselves with their unwise decisions. Yet when it comes to politics, people should be allow to make as many mistakes as they want before the whole thing blows up? The US owes $53 trillion in debt(government, trade deficit and entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare), yes with a T, 4x the US GDP, due to the reckless spending and mismanagement of this popularly elected government. What do the masses want from their government? push down gas prices and drill offshore for more oil so they can continue driving their big SUVs. The Chinese government had been doing everything it could to cool down the overheated housing market for the last 3 years while the US Congress has been pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make more home loans available to the "under-served" communities (aka those who couldn't afford to buy homes). Yes, it is certainly desirable (and politically correct) to give every citizen a McMansion. But it is not realistic. Only the well-educated segment of the US public knew the Iraq War was wrong and the economic was heading for a meltdown. Yet there was nothing they could do. America was politics as usual.

What is wrong with "elitist", other than the word sounds politically incorrect today? The American democracy is all about balance of power, yet there is never any balance of power between the well-educated and under-educated because there are always a lot more of the former than the later. This is why an independent minded politician like John McCain has to stoop so low these days in order to win an election in the US. Politicians have to go down to the lowest common denominator to please the masses like some circus clowns. Not that the Chinese government today is a better form of government by any means, but at least it is constantly adopting and changing for the better. Americans on the other hand are so convinced that they have the best form of government in the world that anything else would be unthinkable.

Independent:


Anyone who thinks "democracies" do not start wars is naive and wrong. The United States, a quasi-democracy, militarily intervened in numerous countries since 1945, including invasions of the Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Grenada and Iraq.
Britain and France, supposedly democracies, maintained colonial rule over tens of millions of people who yearned for their freedom.

Great Britain and France did not fight Germany during World War Ii for democracy, freedom or human rights. They fought to prevent Germany from dominating Europe. The British, French and other Europeans denied democracy, freedom and human rights to the people who they ruled over in their many colonies. Great Britain, France and minor European powers gave up, often only after prolonged wars, control of most of their colonies after World War Ii because they were not militarily strong enough to maintain colonial rule.

One of the great injustices in China today is how corrupt governments have confiscated homes from millions of their people, often with inadequate compensation. Although the central authorities try, to some extent, to limit these injustices in the provinces, they often are ignored or do not assert effective authority to enforce their supposed policies.

There are similar injustices in this country, whereby millions of Americans have been denied the retirement pensions, especially health care benefits, promised by their employers. Millions more workers have had their future pension plans, often including any health benefits, greatly reduced. Many people in the United States are being cheated out of the retirement pensions and health care coverage they thought they would have when working with many employers.

Bud:

"It took a almost 100 years and a civil war to give blacks the right to vote in the US. Add another 50 years for women to vote."

Yes, this is a sad, but true fact. But this was based more on the notion at that time period that blacks and women were thought to be inferior (to white men), and thus should not be allowed to vote for almost the same reasons that a child should not be allowed to vote, more than due to lack of education. We now, of course, realize that these notions were very wrong and were based in ugly prejudices. And if we had to redo the introduction of democracy today, we would not make the same mistakes again.

"Children still don't have the right to vote - I suppose that's because they aren't mature enough, but education must have something to do with it."

Yes, it has everything to do with maturity and very little to do with education. Today's kids who are in High School are probably better educated than most adults were 100 years ago. But they do not possess the emotional maturity to grasp the full importance of their actions. It's similar to saying that a child under a certain age does not have the emotional maturity to understand the consequences of sexual activity. And hence having sex with such an under aged person is a crime.

"How can anyone say that educated voters are not a necessary component for a sustainable democracy?"

I don't think anyone is saying this. Certainly the more informed people are, the better citizens they become. But to require a certain level of education in order to vote is just plain elitist. Sure, you will always get some people who will just randomly pull a lever, but people soon realize that their way of life and even survival depends on who is elected into public office. It is then a natural progression to have them make an informed decision for whom they vote for. And in a matured democracy, most people do care and are not random lever-pullers.

Any newly formed democracy will certainly experience some problems and growing pains. But to argue against the idea of a democracy based on previous failures which are now well understood and easily correctable is just plain illogical.

JiaMing:

Eight years of George W. Bush, with his war, lies and deregulated economic policies nearly ruined the US. Guess who put him into office twice? The undereducated masses. Giving the educated more political power is not aristocracy. The educated are not necessary rich, but just educated, period.

A question was raised as to what to do with the uneducated when they refused to accept their place. The answer is simple, get educated. There is no class that keeps people from moving up in both America and China. You should have freedom of speech whether you are educated or not. It is a free society where anybody can strive for a better education which comes with more political influence. This is clearly different from the aristocracies of old Europe where the rich and poor were systematically divided and one could not advance through education.

We can throw politically correct jargons around all day, but the fact remains that political participation needs well-educated people. Running a modern country is far more complex than any other professions including brain surgeon. Just like you would get recommendations from medical experts for a surgeon to treat your brain tumor rather than trusting the entire population of the country to vote for one, selecting a leader to run a country the size of China or the US by all adult citizens is ridiculous. The educated (not the rich, there are plenty of poor college professors and school teachers with a PhD) should have more say because they know more and make more responsible decisions.

Zxl0001:

FATE: "Maybe not, but democracies do not go to war against one another. That is a historical fact. Authoritarian regimes however are prone to war. China is more likely to go to war with Taiwan as an authoritarian regime that doesn't answer to its people than a democratic China that answers to its people. Right now the power in China is in the hands of a few elite people. You will see this fall that in America the power is in the hands of We The People."

FATE, agree with many of your points. Iraq war is a example dispute your point here. Who started the Iraq war? Did democracy prevent the Iraq war? Beside the right to protest, did the democracy change anything? Did the election of Democratic Party change anything? Yes, you can protest all right, Bush did whatever he wants to do. Even the election of either McCain or Obama will not change much. Where is the power of We The People? Finally, correct me if I am wrong, wasn't Hitler elected and majority of Germans supported him until he started to lose?

Mike:

It seems to me that some of the political differences between China and the United States have to do with the comparative scarcity of natural resources in China-- the result of having enormous populations living there for thousands of years. Many of the resources like forests in China were used up by past dynasties, leaving the people of the present to deal with the consequences. A lot of Americans smugly criticize China for its environmental problems, while using personally using a great deal more energy, water, etc. here. I hope the United States will learn to better conserve and treasure its natural resources, or else it may gradually become like China with more restrictions on personal freedoms.

Peter:

Suffragette City,

You point to failures in the US to live up to the ideal of democratic governance, both at home and abroad. Excellent -- this is precisely the critical attitude needed to maintain a system of democratic governance. But you then conclude that, because of these instances of failure, democracy is therefore meaningless, a principle not worth defending.

You seem to inhabit a world of absolutes. Any failures to live up to ideal-type democracy are seen as a reason to discard the very principle of democracy.

Also, no one said that educated voters are not important to a democracy. I believe people were arguing against an "education requirement" for the right to vote.

Finally, this discussion, in my view, is not "a plain and simple power struggle to see who stays on top," as you put it. Rather, it is a forum to debunk facile reasoning of the kind you present.

suffragette city:

While it's comforting to be able to hide behind the skirt of democracy, all you suffragettes should read a page from wikipedia on the topic. If you did so, you'd quickly realize that 1 (wo)man 1 vote too a very long time to come about.

It took a almost 100 years and a civil war to give blacks the right to vote in the US. Add another 50 years for women to vote. An it's conveniently forgotten that our founding fathers only gave the wealthly landowners the right to vote. Children still don't have the right to vote - I suppose that's because they aren't mature enough, but education must have something to do with it.

How can anyone say that educated voters are not a necessary component for a sustainable democracy?

Lets take democracy out of this discussion and call it what it is -- a plain and simple power struggle to see who stays on top. Don't forget -- the US govt overthrew democratically elected governments in Iran (1950s) and Chile (1970s).

Raoul:

Jiaming,

You might do some research on the historical precursors of your bright idea: perhaps read up on Bureaucratic Authoritarianism in Latin America in the 70's, including the "disappearances" of those who just wouldn't accept the technocratic government model. For kicks, you might also research arguments in Europe against democracy in the 1930s. Exactly the same arguments you make.

As for your idea that China's history of elite rule provides a viable model: maybe read Marx's Grundisse, particularly regarding the fallacy of grabbing concepts from radically different socio-economic historical periods (i.e.,premodern China) and applying them thoughtlessly (i.e., to industrializing China). You seem to take the post-WW2 East Asian developmental state model as your foundational idea. But you do so in a haphazard way, ignoring the range of factors besides authoritarian rule that facilitated these countries' rapid growth. Read Bruce Cumings, Atul Kohli, David Waldner, and others, for the full range of conditions that came into play in that growth episode. Meredith Woo-Cumings' "The Developmental State" reader is a particularly good reader on the subject. My point is that you simplify to the point of absurdity.

Most importantly: what would you do if the "under-educated" in your system refused to accept their place? Arrest them? "Disappear" them?

For one who argues so strongly regarding the value of education, your arguments reveal a woeful absence of the same.

Fate:

Jiaming wrote: "China has 1500 years of rule by intellectural elites. But it didn't have a middle class until the last 10 years."

America did not have a middle class until around 1900, over 100 years after it formed a democracy.

Jiaming wrote: "Currently, the middle class is getting bigger, but not big enough."

What do you mean "big enough"? What has a middle class have to do with human rights and freedom to choose your leaders. Should only the middle and upper classes have rights that the lower classes do not?

Jiaming wrote: "The danger of a country like China under a democracy is that the majority of the voters may not have enough education to select the right leaders."

You are not serious are you? Just how educated were the voters in America when they elected Lincoln? You are a bigot if you believe that people with less education or a lower class should not have rights that you do. Rights are just that, rights, that you are born with, not attained through education or wealth. You have no idea what freedom and democracy mean or how they drive the a nation to prosperity if you believe rights come with class. That is the British way of thinking, something America fought against and tossed on the trash heap of history.

Jiaming wrote: "They are far more vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous polticians."

And the upper class are not? Here in America the Republicans promise to lower taxes for the wealthy, and the wealthy support them. That is manipulation. Any one can be manipulated in any class. You need to understand one thing: Human beings are equal. They have different amount of wealth, education, gender, color, but ALL are equal in the eyes of the law here in America and everywhere. If you deny that you deny humanity, and as I said, are a bigot.

Jiaming wrote: "For instance, if China is a democracy today, and a presidential candidate promises the voters that he will reunite Taiwan, by force if necessary, he will likely be elected."

I doubt that. Are the Chinese people really ready to go to war with Taiwan, and the US and probably Japan, to reunite Taiwan, a reunification that is on its way to happening in the future anyway? Do you think there would be no opposition candidate explaining that this would be a very bad move? And if you look at how democracies act, no leader in a democracy has come to power promising war. The People don't like war and will not vote for it. Promising a war is a way to lose an election in a democracy.

Jiaming wrote: "A democratic China today is not a necessarily good news for America."

Maybe not, but democracies do not go to war against one another. That is a historical fact. Authoritarian regimes however are prone to war. China is more likely to go to war with Taiwan as an authoritarian regime that doesn't answer to its people than a democratic China that answers to its people. Right now the power in China is in the hands of a few elite people. You will see this fall that in America the power is in the hands of We The People.

Bud:

Jiaming wrote:

"The danger of a country like China under a democracy is that the majority of the voters may not have enough education to select the right leaders."

OMG - is this serious? So one must have a certain level of education in order to vote??? Who determines what that level of education should be? One could probably say the same thing about democracy in the USA (or any other democracy). Alot of people (according to you) would probably not have enough education to vote. But we still let them anyway. And the system still works pretty good. It is very clear you do not understand the meaning of a democracy.

OVERSEA CHINESE LEGION:

Anonymous wrote,

Not American CHERKA. You no GRINGO is not a plesent word. Now try finding out what the one I used means? Clobber what. Man you have a very slanted view of Iraq. US has not lost Iraq in the least. What, a few thousand troops dead, please. You appear to have a very strange view of victory and defeat. Was it not the communist plan to take Korea? Then how is that a loss if South Korea is free? Vietnam, I will give you that, but that was a war of occupation, which the US has not the best record. But no one has a better record then the US at pounding the HELL out of people. Vietnam was pretty beat up, ten times more Vietnamesse were killed then Americans, if not far more. Iraq, very beat up, WWII Japan and Germany, very few buildings standing. Hay, come to think about it, WHO SAVED CHINA FROM JAPAN??? USA, USA, USA..... If the US did not defeat Japan, China would probably still be Japan's slaves, if they wouldn't have killed you all by now. Waite a second, from my friends and what I have seen in CHina, most Chinese women are Japanese mens slaves or should I call them HOOKERS. 20 million and counting or maybe SEX SLAVE is a much better term. I do not know many other cultures that so easily kidnap children and women and force them into sweat shops and sex parlors. And Yes I have been to China, about 25% of the last 10 years.

Yes go on bragging....USA was built on the sweat of slaves that your ancestors forcibly removed from AFRICA. Having badly treated them and their descendent until very recently, now one of their son is going to be your C in C and your master...ha, ha. ha.

I sincerly hope he will have the wisdom to repair the damage that short sighted scumbags like you and FATE are doing.

AND DON'T GIVES US THAT CRAP ABOUT HOW ANGELIC OR RIGHTEOUS YOU PEOPLE ARE...NOT AFTER GUANTANAMO BAY, NOT AFTER USING WATER BOARDING AND RUNNING ALL THESE RENDITION PROGRAMS AND NOT AFTER BOMBING ALL THESE INNOCENT CIVILIANS TO PIECES IN IRAQ AND CALLING THEM COLLATERAL DAMAGE...HOW NICE??


Jiaming:

FATE wrote:
Why are you Chinese so afraid of determining who will serve in your government and who will not. Are you not smart? Are you so used to being subjects at the whim of the CCP? Stand up for yourselves.
--------------------------------
This is a very good question. The answer is not simple, but I'll try to simplify it as much as possible. Being a leader of a country is not nearly as simple as being a highschool class president. In today's world, governing a country, especially a country the size and population of China, is far more complex than 1776 America with a population of a few millions. A leader must have a pretty good understanding of economics, history, world affairs, and even some knowledge of technology. Even the founding fathers of America understood the danger of mob rule and created a system of indirect presidential election called the Electoral College. The original intention of the system was for popularly elected Electors, who are experts in the business of governing, to select the most appropriate leadership for the country. Also, for 6 decades after the US was established, most states required their citizens to have certain amount of properties in order to vote.

China has 1500 years of rule by intellectural elites. But it didn't have a middle class until the last 10 years. Currently, the middle class is getting bigger, but not big enough. The danger of a country like China under a democracy is that the majority of the voters may not have enough education to select the right leaders. They are far more vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous polticians. For instance, if China is a democracy today, and a presidential candidate promises the voters that he will reunite Taiwan, by force if necessary, he will likely be elected. A democratic China today is not a necessarily good news for America.

Fate:

OVERSEA CHINESE LEGION wrote: "USA lost the Vietnam war and run away with its tail between the legs."

In 1979 China lost a one month war with Vietnam, the Sino-Vietnamese war, as they tried to save the barbaric Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from the Vietnamese. China lost in just one month against a country that had been at war for over 10 years and was currently at war. In that one month the Chinese lost 26,000 soldiers and over 50,000 wounded. One month. Not only did China lose big but they lost while trying to save the Khmer Rouge, a regime that went beyond what Nazi Germany did in horrific human rights abuses. How does China live with itself after that?

Today China says it will defend North Korea to the end, a regime that has left its citizens to starve. You only need to compare how the South Koreans have fared compared to their Northern brothers and you can see just how bankrupt communism and authoritarianism is. If China will not become a democracy for 50 years, China will not become a world power in our lifetimes.

Why are you Chinese so afraid of determining who will serve in your government and who will not. Are you not smart? Are you so used to being subjects at the whim of the CCP? Stand up for yourselves. An American Patriot during the American Revolutionary war said to "Live Free or Die". That is how much freedom means to Americans, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to choose our leaders. If the CCP will arrest and threaten old women for that they say, who in China is free? No one.

I understand China is coming out of a dark age, but America in 1776 was not a rich nation, not a powerful nation and not even a nation with a rich heritage. CHina is starting with so much more. Americans were poor and small, yet they chose to put freedom above all and were willing to fight for it. They succeeded and became the richest and most powerful nation on earth in less than 200 years. Imagine what China could do if it adopted freedom and human rights not just as new laws, but as their national core value. Just imagine. Not just China, but the world would be transformed.

109:

At the opening of the chinese national people's congress this year, two speakers highlighted two important things about chinese contemporary life. wen jiaobo said that only 3% of the entire population was actually enjoying any real benefit of china's economic boom; the other speaker, hu jintao, said that it would be at least 50 years before chinese were ready for any kind of democracy. well, there it is. I think that says it all.

The Truth:

If one cannot see the PRC for the fascist, collectivist and oppressive regime that it is, then I'm afraid you've bought into the biggest lie ever sold. Keep watch on those Chinese nationalists screeching about their pride in their homeland; they shall screech the same while they lay waste to Tokyo, Hanoi, New Delhi, Moscow, and, yes, Washington, DC. Trust China at one's peril.

Anonymous:

It all comes down to one thing; TRUST or lack of TRUST. Neither side trusts the other and for good reasons.

Wells:

Everyday,the perverted China bashers would never let you down by making news. They use the same reasoning for all cases.So lame.Lol.They never felt tired. They just want to make you puke. Worm.Urrrp....

Anonymous:

The Beijing Olympics are over. Thank goodness.

I watched very little of the Games. Not because I'm anti-sports: I happened to see the men's 5K last night, and I was riveted, watching a dozen-plus men engaged in perhaps the simplest, most elegant sport (captured most aptly by Montrose track coach Ken Greeno in four words: "Go hard, turn left").

For all the grace and power of world-class runners, I'd still rather go for a run myself than watch others doing it. And I'd rather not give any of my time to a PR campaign orchestrated by a totalitarian regime. No, not NBC—China. You know, the dictators who have been happy to take advantage of the Olympics to make themselves look good while crushing dissent.

This morning's case in point: The Chinese government's offer of three public spaces in Beijing for peaceful demonstrations during the Games was really just a ruse to lure protestors to apply for protest permits. Over 70 applications were submitted. The Chinese government approved none of them. Instead, the Chinese government used the applications to track, detain, harass, and even arrest and punish potential troublemakers.

Among the threats to Chinese security: two elderly, illiterate Beijing grandmothers, who applied to hobble down the park on their canes and complain about how the city government demolished their homes and never compensated them. The Chinese government's response: sentence the women to one year of "re-education." The government is actually giving them a break: the women can serve their sentence at home, but any more trouble from them, and it's off to a labor camp. Meanwhile, plainclothes cops are staking out their neighborhood, and their neighbors are under orders to watch the old ladies.

And those ladies didn't even mention Tibet. Ugh.

Anonymous:

"Look who is talking...ha, ha, ha!

USA lost the Vietnam war and run away with its tail between the legs.

USA cannot even pacify IRAQ or Afganistan.

Please don't take on the Iranian for they will be sure to clobber you left and right.

THE USA HAS NOT LEARN A SINGLE LESSON SINCE THE KOREAN WAR WHICH IS,

DETERMINATION WILL TRIUMP OVER TECHNOLOGY, COMPENDRE GRINGO??"

Not American CHERKA. You no GRINGO is not a plesent word. Now try finding out what the one I used means? Clobber what. Man you have a very slanted view of Iraq. US has not lost Iraq in the least. What, a few thousand troops dead, please. You appear to have a very strange view of victory and defeat. Was it not the communist plan to take Korea? Then how is that a loss if South Korea is free? Vietnam, I will give you that, but that was a war of occupation, which the US has not the best record. But no one has a better record then the US at pounding the HELL out of people. Vietnam was pretty beat up, ten times more Vietnamesse were killed then Americans, if not far more. Iraq, very beat up, WWII Japan and Germany, very few buildings standing. Hay, come to think about it, WHO SAVED CHINA FROM JAPAN??? USA, USA, USA..... If the US did not defeat Japan, China would probably still be Japan's slaves, if they wouldn't have killed you all by now. Waite a second, from my friends and what I have seen in CHina, most Chinese women are Japanese mens slaves or should I call them HOOKERS. 20 million and counting or maybe SEX SLAVE is a much better term. I do not know many other cultures that so easily kidnap children and women and force them into sweat shops and sex parlors. And Yes I have been to China, about 25% of the last 10 years.

BBCCNNtoHell:

Game is over smoothly,though China haters did so much more. Never give a hoot on and just give sh*t to those professional China haters-this is the lesson we Chinese learned.

2012:

"I declare the Games of the XXIX Olympiad closed, and I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in London to celebrate the Games of the XXX Olympiad," said the IOC chief at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-08/24/content_9691718.htm

OVERSEA CHINESE LEGION:

Anonymous,
"If the USA was at war with China, there would be no invasion, there also would be no Three gordge damn or many other structures."
----------------------------

Look who is talking...ha, ha, ha!

USA lost the Vietnam war and run away with its tail between the legs.

USA cannot even pacify IRAQ or Afganistan.

Please don't take on the Iranian for they will be sure to clobber you left and right.

THE USA HAS NOT LEARN A SINGLE LESSON SINCE THE KOREAN WAR WHICH IS,

DETERMINATION WILL TRIUMP OVER TECHNOLOGY, COMPENDRE GRINGO??

AFP:

"The re-education orders seen by AFP said that Wang and Wu will be allowed to serve their sentences at home, but will be sent to a labour camp if they cause further trouble.

Wang and Wu were seated together in a ramshackle one-room apartment without electricity in which Wu now lives after her home in central Beijing was demolished to make way for a development.

The Beijing city government insists that residents who have been relocated have received adequate compensation. But Wang and Wu said they received nothing.

Wu's son, Li Xuehui, said that plainclohes police were camped in cars at the end of the lane watching for any further trouble from the grannies.

But they insisted they did not care about the intimidation."

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gG4zGF4ey2Sp28UDcxcfbkbNxkoA

Don't creat myths:

Although I'm outraged by how these elderly women were treated, when did a threat of sentence become a real sentence? Read your own newspaper's article. Why do you sensationalize the story in the headline?

Reva Rasmussen:

Reply to David Xi:

Your point of view is valuable and needed, so I have quoted you in full in my own blog about China. I spent three years living in China. I am critical of the Chinese government, and I'm sure some of my thoughts would be disagreeable to you, but I understand that most Chinese have better lives than any time in past centuries. Furthermore, China must determine its own course.

Expat:

The "protest" zones were introduced shortly before the Olympics. Will they be removed when the Games end?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-letter-china_osnosaug24,0,6488642,print.story

Sherlynn:


The negativity and hostility expressed here by many toward China during the Olympics reflects a complete lack of understanding of Olympic ideals, which true have been sadly tainted by extreme nationalism, including most media coverage in this country, greed, professionalism and commercialism. The vast majority of the Chinese people have tried their best to be friendly and hospitable hosts toward foreigners during the Olympic games in China.

Those who seek to express their hostility toward other governments, countries, races, religions, etc. should take a time-out for merely about eighteen days out of every four years, to try to promote greater understanding among people and cultures. Then they can revert to their true provincial, narrow minded, selves.

The Olympics are supposed to be above politics, but this seems too much to ask from many people. The ancient Athenians and Spartans lived in radically different societies, but temporarily abandoned their differences during the Olympic games. Many people in the contemporary era lack their maturity and balance.

Anonymous:

A US-based group of exiled Uighurs issued a statement yesterday saying it feared the Chinese government would launch a “fierce” repression of Uighurs in its northwestern Xinjiang region after the Olympics.

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) said recent comments made by top Chinese officials and the tightened restrictions and many arrests following a spate of deadly attacks this month were indications that China may be planning a tough crackdown once the Olympics end.

The region’s Communist Party secretary, Wang Lequan (王樂泉), recently stated that all levels of government officials should understand that China faces a “life or death” struggle to quell Uighur unrest.

China’s Political Consultative Committee head Zhu Hailun also said in a televised news conference on Monday that government forces must “strike hard” at the three “evil forces” (terrorism, separatism and extremism), and mobilize the masses to guard against these forces at all levels of society, the group said.

It said that another group, the Uyghur Human Rights Project, had heard reliable reports that all non-resident Uighurs in the city of Korla in Xinjiang had been detained and told they would be released after the Beijing Olympics were over.

The alleged detention of non-resident Uighurs in Korla reportedly began following a series of bombings China said were carried out by Uighurs in nearby Kucha County on Aug. 10.

UAA reiterated the Munich-based World Uighur Congress’ (WUC) recent reports that more than 100 Uighurs have been arrested in Kashgar following an attack on paramilitary police in the city on Aug. 4, which killed 16 officers.

In addition, at least 90 Uighurs, including several women, have reportedly been arrested in and near Kucha following the Kucha attacks, the UAA said, also backing the WUC’s claims.

“At present, Uighurs do not feel secure anywhere in China, including East Turkestan, as they are seen as political suspects by the PRC [People’s Republic of China] authorities,” the group said.

UAA quoted Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the Uighur human rights movement, as saying: “I am extremely concerned that the Chinese government will launch a ‘life and death struggle’ on the Uighur people once the international community’s focus has shifted from China.”

NO ENTRY

Meanwhile, an exiled student leader who took part in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 said yesterday that China had blocked him from visiting Hong Kong during the Olympics.

Wang Dan (王丹) said in a statement from Los Angeles that the Chinese consulate in that city refused to accept his application for a visa to visit Hong Kong for a talk yesterday.

Wang said the consulate rejected his application because his Chinese passport expired in 2003 — but Chinese officials have also refused to renew his passport. He currently travels on a travel document issued by the US government.

“As the Olympics are being held, we’ve seen the Chinese government promise to be more open to the world. But it can’t even be open to its own citizens. How can this kind of openness convince people?” Wang said in his statement.

The former student leader said he applied for a Hong Kong visa once before and was also denied.

A former British colony, Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, but it maintains separate political and financial systems from the mainland and has promised Western-style civil liberties commonly denied in China.

Wang rose to global prominence as one of the students who led the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989. After a deadly crackdown on the demonstrations, Wang was jailed and later went into exile in the US.

RELEASE

Meanwhile, the US urged China to release eight US nationals detained after pro-Tibet protests in Beijing during the Games.

“We have asked for their immediate release and are continuing to follow their cases closely,” embassy spokeswoman Susan Stevenson said.

She said US officials had met the pro-Tibet activists, who did not complain of being mistreated.

“The US government encourages the government of China to demonstrate respect for human rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion of all people during the Olympic Games,” Stevenson said.

Facade:

'Amid all of the hoopla about the Beijing Olympics ..., we must keep in mind that China is also a land of forced labor camps. These camps constitute a Chinese Gulag - the laogai - filled with an estimated 4 million to 6 million prisoners, including tens of thousands whose only crime was to criticize publicly the communist regime...'

http://www.theolympian.com/opinion/v-print/story/515168.html

Anonymous:

"Western media focus on negativity and try their best to identify weakness in their perceived opponent like China.

We Chinese on the other hand focus on the positive aspect of life.

Thoughs becomes things...that is the secret of life!

That is why we Chinese will RISE AND RISE and you matured, stagnant, decaying western societies will SINK AND SINK ever lower!

Go on and continue whinging...who cares?"

You obvious care, why else would you post this? Stagnant, decaying? Really. You really think what is happening now is anything? Who is the fool. You just said that the west focuses on the negative (and this is for everything, our own politics, economy, crime, etc) and the chinese focus on the positive, which means the west ignores the positive and china ignores the negative. By your own words you have proven a point. The west seems worse off then it is and China appears better off then it is. Bingo, you are so correct. Thanks for your insight. You actually think the credit crunch that is happening now is a big dealy. $300 billion in bad debt in a $14 trillion dollar a year economy? Please, this is just the latest economic issue and by far not the worst in decades. I remember the early 80's with 20% interest rates, I remember 1987 stock market drop, I remember the 1993 recession and the 2000 tech bubble, this is just another necessary lesson, like a dozen others in the past 50 years. Savings and loans anyone, Enron anyone, etc....... Reading this blog is so entertaining.
US stock market down 12%, China's down 55%. Who do you actually think is going to take the brunt of the wealth lost from the credit issues? China that holds a trillion in US debt or the US the consumers of the world. I am not America. This will pass. The US will change presidents and poeple will get an instant boost of confidence. The economy will start to strengthen. China rising, very similar to South Korea, Japan, Tiawan, HK, etc... Rising. Hear is an assignment for you, research US growth rates over the past 100 years. They have had extended periods of double diget growth and slow growth, it is called an economic cycle. High food prices, has hapened many times, high oil prices has happened many times, China growing, has happened before, US in a reccession, has happened before.

Anonymous:

" I live in Brazil and nobody bothers us, yet we maintain a fairly big army, why, because anything could happen. "

i just don't understand it. why people don't use their heads but their butt. if you insist noone is bothering u, then jumping to maintain a fairly big army, because anything could happen.

please learn some basic logic for god's sake."

their butt, what does that have to do with anything. it is you who needs some basic logic. So if not at war, no country should have an army? what type of logic is that. To tempt others due to weakness?

Overseas Chinese:

I am an ordinary Chinese. I believe in this government (the last 3 administrations, not Mao) because it has done a remarkable job moving the country forward. We look at how Russia followed everything the West told them to do during the 1990s and got completely screwed. But the West certainly liked Russia back then. Russia was "free" with a "vibrant democracy". Remember "Shock Therapy"? the advise that the West gave Russia to turn its economy into a free market. The Russian ruble turned into the Russian rubble almost overnight. So if the West believe this is a horrible government for China, maybe the Chinese people really do have a chance of success. The thing is, you can't argue with results. As the US president Bill Clinton said, "Its the economy stupid".

unanonymous:

Here is a tip for those anonymous posters. If you don't want to put a name on your comments, don't try to start a discussion with others. It's stupid.

China's complexity:

I have a love-hate relationship with China. It's a beautiful country with its rich history and culture, however the politics of her government oppresses the freedom of the people's soul and mind...makes your heart bleed, doesn't it?
Kelly Yip August 23, 2008

Citizen of the post-American world:

It is interesting and extremely encouraging to see that, assuming Associated Press is to be believed this time, “China attracts more US college students”. ***

“Even before the 2008 Games, China was already on its way as the hot new destination for study abroad… At Purdue University in Indiana, the number has doubled in four years, and last year China became the No. 1 study abroad destination... "It's probably the most different and most unorthodox place I could think of," said Benjamin Zilnicki, who chose Beijing over a yearlong program at Oxford. "I kind of wanted that as opposed to England, where the prestige is there but the life experience is kind of similar." … "Honestly it's the best thing I could have my done for my career," said Melissa Sconyers.”

I am no missionary, no salesperson. I have nothing to sell. Yet having followed my heart’s desire like those US college students, many years ago, having visited and/or lived for extensive periods of time in more than 30 countries, I encourage everyone who can to visit China, live there if at all possible, and see for themselves.

Don’t believe anything I may have posted about China. Forget what everybody and anybody has to say about China. Forget everything you have been told, everything you have been shown. Forget Pomfret’s China. Go discover China. Meet Chinese people, spend time listening to what they have to say. Discuss with them. Observe and think. Try and understand why things are different from where you have always lived, why people think and act differently. There is no hurry for you to conclude that this is right or that this is wrong. Make the most of your freedom. Take your time.

This method is by no means foolproof. I have known people who had lived in Europe for years and who, amazingly, had not been transformed in the least, had not learned anything, had remained the same… as though they had never left home. Those were exceptions, though; they were the dogmatic, religious type who had never been to Europe to learn in the first place.

Erasmus, one of the greatest humanists of his time, was of the opinion that one learned more by travelling and knowing people, than by reading books. That is why he insisted so much young people be provided with an opportunity to travel extensively. That is why an Erasmus EU programme for universities exists today.

By all means, go live in China. It is the best way for one to stand a chance to move beyond vicious, sterile China bashing. As a young person, you can do much better with your life, as China rises and the world awakens to China.


***

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j8qHn8MTLQ_g2GyIWIpTJ2bEXsFgD92MI2GG0

Anomalous:

How Educational is Re-Education?

"The emphasis in re-education-through-labor is on the labor: People sentenced to so-called laojiao may spend as much as 12 to 14 hours a day, according to some accounts, doing work like construction, making bricks, or mining.

Since the re-education-through-labor camps were created in the late 1950s, they have—at least in theory—been oriented toward "rehabilitating" inmates both politically and morally. Over time, however, the emphasis on political study sessions appears to have declined. Some laojiao camps do have rules requiring inmates to study two hours a day, although one in-depth report on a camp in southern China found that sessions occurred only when there was a lull in production.

Re-education-through-labor provides local authorities with a way to detain citizens without filing criminal charges..."

http://www.slate.com/toolbar.aspx?action=print&id=2198321

Shawn, NJ, USA:

DocChuck:
WOW, I think that if people wish to bash Americans on AMERICAN forums such as this, then those "people" should learn how to properly use the English language.

I patronize a barber shop here in Columbia that is owned and operated by chinese (both males and females).

They have been in the country for three years and are very productive and quite proficient in the English language.

Last Wednesday, while I was getting my hair trimmed, I engaged in a rather lengthy conversation with several of them. They told me that they know "many" chinese people in this ethnically diverse area, but that they are not familiar with a SINGLE chinese immigrant to America that has any desire whatsoever to EVER return to china.

I guess these chinese business owners don't bash Americans on this forum.
--------------------------------------------

Chuck:

These "Chinese" are what we call "Uncle Tom" Chinese here - Jews for Pat Buchanan kind of guys!

hebeichina:

don't worry about these grannies. they won't be thrown into jail even if they don't 'behave',because i think the police would rather wrestle with thieves and robbers than take care of two grannies who "walk with canes and have failing eyesight". that's too big a challenge for them.

the whole thing boils down to money rather than freedom of speech.

Fate:

Abugraib wrote: "The fact is Americans are the most terrible human rights abuser in this world, what credit do they have to criticize others? Get the point?"

You missed the point entirely. America may be the worst human rights abuser in the world. That is not what we are debating here. China abused the human rights of these two women. That is the topic. If you will not accept that because there are larger abuses going on in the world, then you accept human rights being abused in China. How communist of you.


Tim:

DocChuck thinks people need to speak English to criticize Americans on this AMERICAN forum. Maybe DocChuck and other "people" should learn Chinese before they take it upon themselves to bash China.

To DocChuck,
-It would be great for you to explain why you have "people" in quotations. Are they only human if they agree with you? Or are they only human if they speak English?
-Glad to hear your Chinese barbers are proficient in the English language. Apparently they're doing a better job at learning another language than many of the Americans I meet here in Asia where I currently live. So many of these "people" expect the rest of the world to accommodate them by learning English for them.
-Well done on your extensive survey of Chinese immigrants.

Tim:

I'm an American living in Asia. It's interesting to see how quickly we Westerner's criticize China. Maybe we would have a platform to say that if we had developed the US into what it is today without stealing land from the Native Americans and building up our early economy by slave labor. I agree with the fight for human rights. I also (by living in Asia) have come to see that we understand so little about the way things are done in Asia. We should be much slower to judge.

DocChuck:

WOW, I think that if people wish to bash Americans on AMERICAN forums such as this, then those "people" should learn how to properly use the English language.

I patronize a barber shop here in Columbia that is owned and operated by chinese (both males and females).

They have been in the country for three years and are very productive and quite proficient in the English language.

Last Wednesday, while I was getting my hair trimmed, I engaged in a rather lengthy conversation with several of them. They told me that they know "many" chinese people in this ethnically diverse area, but that they are not familiar with a SINGLE chinese immigrant to America that has any desire whatsoever to EVER return to china.

I guess these chinese business owners don't bash Americans on this forum.

Cheryl:

Quig--according to NBC news reports, everyone that has applied for a protest permit has been arrested. Not a single permit has been allowed.
Let's remember that China is still very much COMMUNIST China, not a free country or a democracy.

HLL:

People, relax! The media were just following the guildlines for covering the Beijing Olympics. They were just doing their job :-)

http://time-blog.com/china_blog/2008/07/a_reporters_guide_to_covering.html

“Reporter Guidelines for Covering the Beijing Olympics:

1) On arrival, set the scene by saying a few nice things about the infrastructure—the high rises and the multilane highways, the interchanges. Developmenty sort of stuff.
2) Make an amusing, self-deprecating comment about your inability to speak or read the funny language they have in China. Play down the fact that you are dependent on a translator for quotes and newspaper reading. Never admit in print to getting story ideas or borrowing quotes from the China Daily.
3) Get story ideas and borrow quotes from the China Daily. Make sure you do this discreetly. For background only.
4) Now for reportage. After saying the nice things about the new buildings, get your translator to find a Beijing yam seller whose slum was knocked down to make way for the Olympic badminton hall. Do a few paras on him, and how all the money thrown at the Games is not helping the poor, and how terrible the huge income gap is. Make sure you write at least three times as much about the yam seller whose slum was pulled down as you do about all the new apartments, new metro lines, the growth in car ownership, the expanding health insurance and all the other good news about China that nobody in the west really wants to know about.
5) Say how horrible the air in Beijing is, even if it isn’t on the days you are there. Everybody says Beijing air is horrible, so play along.
6) The political bit. Interview a token party member, but reword him subtly to make it sound like he is just spouting the party line. Bend the translator’s words to fit—it’ll be rubbish English anyway. (Ditto in all quote treatment). Then find a good Chinese, one who is fluent in English, has lived in America or Britain, and is prodemocracy. Give them lots of space, let them sing. Martin Lee types, but preferably younger and female, for the mugshot. If you can get an interview with the Olympic artist, Ai-whatsisname, who is an anti-Commie quote machine, give him full throttle. Hopefully, he hasn’t been arrested yet.

Lastly, please remember: Chinese who love their country are called “nationalists.” Never use this word for Americans, French, Tibetans and other civilized peoples who love their country or territory. When demonstrators protest over Tibet they are acting in a heartfelt, spontaneous way, waving pretty flags you would be happy to see woven into your granny’s bedspread. When Chinese counter-demonstrate, they are always “bussed in,” the mood is “ugly”, and they are draped in intimidating red flags that can be made to look a bit Hitler Jugend-ish with the right kind of photo. (They probably did arrive in buses as this is the cheapest way of moving numbers of not-very-well-off people around, but you don’t need to prove the insinuation that the regime laid on the vehicles). Beijing is always a “regime,” by the way, and is not to be confused with western “governments.” (But: Hong Kong is an exception. Because it was under benign, enlightened British dictatorship for a long time, it cannot be a “regime.” “Regime” only applies to dictatorships in rubbish countries).

That’s about it. Don’t be deceived by all that friendly smiling and optimism, that’s just a front. It’s your job, with your long days of experience of the Far East and your fluency in a language spoken by nearly 0.005% of the locals, to get under the radar and ferret out the truth. Did I mention how bad the air in Beijing is?”


James Wu:


Western media focus on negativity and try their best to identify weakness in their perceived opponent like China.

We Chinese on the other hand focus on the positive aspect of life.

Thoughs becomes things...that is the secret of life!

That is why we Chinese will RISE AND RISE and you matured, stagnant, decaying western societies will SINK AND SINK ever lower!

Go on and continue whinging...who cares?

like Clint Eastwood says....KISS MY ..SS!

J. Conrad:

I'm wondering what's going to happen to whoever was in charge of the 119 medals program. China is going to have to pick up about 25 today and tomorrow. Certainly the idiot in charge of faking gymnasts ages will never be heard from again.

Maggie xu:

How silly this article is!!!! It's totally fake! have u ever really come to China?

Through the opportunity of Olympic Games, u should know that Chinese are very friendly, if the leader was so cruel to the people, the Chinese could never be so optimistic, we also have our own rights!

please respect the Chinese, and please respect yourself! u are an adult, u should be responsible for what u said!!!

Fisch, BN, Germany:

What a non-sense.

The court said what is right and wrong in Chinese law. It is not difficult to understand the logic of the decision.

A misuse of a political right is obvious. The old ladies wanted nothing more than more money for a rased house.

Political rights are political rights. If the old ladies had asked to protest against the razing of their house, the razing of art architecture and general history, the case would have been completely different because this would have been a political topic. Well, you can say everything is political but this would mean in reality that nothing is political.

On the other hand nobody is actualy sent to prison.

The old ladies live happily ever after. There is just a legal Damocles sword hanging over them. This may look like an unnecessary symbolic punishment for a minore offense but China is different. One third of mankind, the inhabitants of the U.S. are nothing against this. And the old ladies did hurd real political issues by nerving the authorities. Something against their permanent activities for selfish reasons, the lowest sociual activity that you can imagine, terrible, had to be done. Insofar a mild decision. In the West they may have been put into a mental institution.

afg:

Chese Communist Party is crazy !

K25990:

难道她们会笨到如此吗?去推翻自己一手建立起来的政府!!

===========================================
你疯了吗?!要自己的房子和权益就是推翻政府,连国民党都没这么无耻过!!

CHINA:

当中国人都傻呀~

这么大年龄了,都是经历过抗日战争,内战,新中国的成立,文革,改革开放,现在又是奥运会,这些她们都参与其中的,

难道她们会笨到如此吗?去推翻自己一手建立起来的政府!!


PIG!

Western Press?:

It is very interesting how many times I hear "Western Media" Don't all the angry Chinese people who say this realize that Indian, Korean...media basically says the same thing.

When people point out your governments' lies, that is not the time to talk about other people's hypocrisies. If you don't admit your own government's lies then everyone knows you are not worth listening to.

Media is plural. The "Western Media" has biases, but each publication/show has its own bias. They are not the same biases When there are tens of thousands of sources and many different organizations covering foreign issues, then people get perspective.

The people who listen to Xinhua but then call the Western Media, biased, are doing absolutely nothing other than being complicit in letting their own government treat them like little children who can't think for themselves.

zqll:

Independent wonders why "so many" Americans have such a hostile perspective to the rest of the world.

I don't know that "so many" Americans have a "hostile perspective" to the rest of the world. I know I don't. Much of American citizenry is made up of people from the "rest of the world."

But speaking for myself, I am cautious of the "rest of the world." Just speaking of the last century, the 20th, the "rest of the world" introduced some of the vilest political philosphies known to mankind; nazism, communism, fascism and militarism.

Just in the last century the "rest of the world" through willful ignorance, neglect, carelessness and spinelessness, led us into two world wars with the deaths of millions.

The US was very neglectful in washing its hands of Europe after WWI with the result that just 22 years later Europe was again involved in another war with more millions dead.

This time the US had learned its lessons and we decided to stay in Europe and in the Far East. Since our presence in Europe and in the Far East since 1945 there has not been another world war even though there was a very real nuclear threat that put the whole world in danger of extinction. The US played a role in creating tensions, but more often than not, those tensions never came close to exploding into another world war.

As for the rest of the world, I don't remember them ever taking the lead in trying to maintain world peace after WWII. Complain and demonstrate against the US, yes. But taking the lead to maintain world peace, no.

Right now, and hopefully in the future new leaders will arise in the rest of the world like Sarkozy and Blair but I am not going to hold my breath waiting.

As for the rest of the world, if they want to take the lead they can go right ahead and just do it and not complain all the time.

Abughraib:

-----------
FATE Wrote:

"Your attempt to stop this debate by bringing up Iraq, which has nothing to do with these women or China's treatment of them, will continue to fail.

Let me explain it another way. A Catholic nun once asked me what I would do in the following situation:

"While you are driving 20mph over the speed limit a car flies by you going 50mph over the speed limit. A few minutes later a policeman pulls you over for speeding."
A) Should you tell the policeman about the other guy going 50mph over the speed limit and the policeman should chase him down and leave you alone?
B) Should you accept the ticket since you broke the law?

My answer is B, what is your's?"
--------------

My answer is also B, provided the person who pulls me up is not that bustard that flied by me going 50mph over the speed limit. I would be enraged if the policeman, who himself drove 50mph over the speed limit when he was off duty, accuse me of speeding. The fact is Americans are the most terrible human rights abuser in this world, what credit do they have to criticize others?

Get the point?


ABUGRHIAB:

ZQLL Wrote:

"Also, let's not forget that Hitler and the nazis also put on an "amazing" Olympics.

Geez! It seems like some people never learn.."

Yeah, you are absolutely right - people never learn. Guess which country was awarded the right to host next Olympic Games? A country, teamed up with Americans, that in the last five to six years, have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people including babies and their mothers and have made millions upon millions homeless who are starving to death. People just never learn.

Chinationreport:

Synopsis

In the race to bash China, stop... read:
"Ignoring outpouring hospitality of the Chinese people, Mainstream Western media has waged a negative campaign against China recently to punish the country’s failure to comply with Western requests at the Beijing Olympics. This article examines the roots of the mainstream Western media's anger towards China, exposes its hypocrisies and double standards, and advocates the development of a positive-spirited media system that is built on the basis of upholding Chinese public welfare and interests."

Full text:
http://www.chinationreport.com/ChinaBashingMarathon.html


Independent:


Somebody should write a book trying to describe why so many Americans, especially among neo-conservatives and Republicans, have such a hostile perspective toward much of the rest of the world. Their hypocrisy, ignorance, racism and xenophobic nationalism are certainly factors. Economic insecurities and an inability to look at issues from another country's perspective also influence some people's "thinking."

Neo-conservatives seek global domination under their rule and Republicans generally primarily favor corporate interests to the neglect of workers, unions, the poor, those without health care coverage, as well as the environment. Bush, Cheney, McCain and most Republicans need adversaries to try to justify unnecessary spending for the military industrial complex, about which president Eisenhower warned Americans. Yet Ike was a moderate Republican, a group which hardly exists any longer in the GOP.

Americans should read William Fulbright's "The Arrogance of Power," which is still highly relevant and Al Gore's "The Assault on Reason."

kells:

Let's place the same case in the United States and say we had protesters for a highway used fireworks in front of the courthouse because they weren't being allowed into the courtroom.

First they would need lawyers at about $300 an hour if they actually wanted to protest against the sentence, which the judge said was one year suspended. The lawyer told the two old ladies they could take the case to court and it would eventually cost them at least $10000 dollars. The two ladies then simply accept the suspended sentence, but guess what happens if they protest again. We would accept this as reasonable in the US.

By the way if you protest in court and risk the $10000 dollars you could also be held liable for additional court cost should your case be found to be without merit.

I in no way want to defend improper Human Rights issues, but the US seems to be doing alot of judging lest they be judged, especially in light of Global Economics and our aggressive large corporations.

smith:

that's funny,you might think prosecutors in china are so leisure that they would bother to play around with those granny protests?besides,focus on your own problem first.If you are so sophisiticated on legislative stuff,why are there so many innocent students killed by shooters?

zqll:

I am sure that they teach history in Journalism schools but sometimes journalists forget.

Pomfret writes:
"To me, the granny case sums up the conundrum that is China, today. Here you have this amazing country that has lifted millions out of poverty, that has sported a world-beating growth rate over the last 15 years, that is exploring space, dominating the art world and now the Olympics. And how do they treat grandmas who want a little extra cash for their homes? They toss 'em in jail."

Pomfret forgets that in 1918, Germany and the German people incurred a tremendous debt to repay reparations to the victors of WWI.
In less than 20 years the "amazing" Hitler and the "amazing" nazis brought millions of poverty-stricken Germans back to an "amazing" material well-being. Hitler and the nazis developed one of the most, if not the most industrialized and "amazing" countries in Europe if not the world. But at whose expense and to what final end?

Also, let's not forget that Hitler and the nazis also put on an "amazing" Olympics.

Geez! It seems like some people never learn.

To paraphrase a line from an old Eagles song, this post global era "is still the same old world it used to be."

snapplecat07:

Scroot:

Not only, as some have already pointed out, does the U.S. have the most people in prison, but in converse to this story, the U.S. has more minors serving life sentences without parole (ie, tried as adults) than all the other countries of the world combined.

-Scroot, yr lost , you have very little knowledge of the outside world. Common sense would tell you that the Chinese control all sources of info regarding there domestic affairs, i.e prison data. So if the Chinese told you there was only one minor in jail in the whole country, you would believe it ?. Just the fact that the current regime is related to the one which killed 20,000,000 of there own people should give you pause about winning about US domestic prison stats. China's got us beat many times over.

BILL OF RIGHTS:

Stefanie at 2:19pm: No, you're not a Chinese-American. An American would never suggest citizens 'need a firm hand' and would instead look to Jefferson, Washington, and other founding fathers who crafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as guiding documents in the social compact between the people and the government. You have a lot to learn; or better yet, why don't you return to China and try spending a week at a laogai prison camp before you dare defend the corrupt CCP regime?

jay byrd:

I do not blame the Chinese government. Most of the problems in my neighborhood are caused by those pot-smoking, flag-burning septuagenarians whose front yards are often littered with empty bottles of alcohol and articles of clothing.More than once have I had to call the police to break up their noisy late-night sex-and-drug parties; on work nights, no less. I am all for sending these people to rehab before returning them to society. The Chinese are ahead of the curve once again.

homesower:

to Independent:

Its true that in certain locations you will need a permit to host a parade or a large demonstration, but there are few public venues where two old ladies walking around with signs would get arrested. Nor am I aware of any city which will arrest people for applying to organize a protest.

Tsk tsk Tut tut:

Such a shame that the commie apologists here don't even care about their own grannies!!

zhangqi:

I am wondering during reading this ridiculous article: how much many did the author get from CIA, more or less than DaLai laMa?

To Scroot::

You are reading the "Post Global" section, and your demand the auther to write about US domestic issues?

I am sure there's many many reports regarding the issues you are interested, in the "National" or "Domestic" section. Go there.

Come back if you are ready to understand the world.

null:

"It's called the Host City Contract , and you can contact the IOC for a copy."

do you have a copy and did you read it before? i thought it a confidential contract between IOC and host city. did not know it is a public document. failed to google it out.

Anomalous:

'... The two women have applied five times for permission to protest in the designated Olympic Protest Zones.

We found them in the single rooms they were allocated as temporary accommodation seven years ago.

They told us they had demonstrated by holding up banners and setting off fireworks which they carried in a plastic bucket(!).

By the time they applied for an Olympic Protest Zone permit, they had long been identified as trouble-makers.

Translation of protest application
Place: World Park
Slogan: "Nobody helps the victims of forced eviction. Government ruling by law comes first, harmonious society comes after."
Noise-making device: None
Number of people: 4
Vehicle used: Taxi
Time: Aug. 10th, 7am-7pm
Date of application: Aug. 5th

Here is the re-education department's document in part:

Re-education Through Labour
Decision by Beijing Municipal People's Government Management Committee of Re-education Through Labour.
Illegal activities: From March to June 2008, administrative detention 5 times for disturbing public order;
Warning: Once.
Evidence: From March 2008, she ignored the advice of the police and went many times to Zhongnanhai and Tiananmen to hold banners and let off fireworks in order to appeal their relocation issue. They seriously disturbed the public order of key public areas and were caught by the police. She admitted to the above facts...'

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/meeting+mrs+wu+and+mrs+wang/2430867

DON'T CRITIZE CHINA !:

No no no, you can't critized China.

We like to put 70 years old ladies in the labor camp for 1 year, that's our business, that's for Chinese people to decide.

Of course, if they are my grand mothers, then that will be another story. I will need so called human rights activists to help me to keep my family safe. Otherwise, don't critize China!!

ALL Chinese are happy, don't critized China.

Westerners shouldn't pay any attention to China, don't. But please give us your money and investment. That's the ONLY attention we want.

Scroot:

Not only, as some have already pointed out, does the U.S. have the most people in prison, but in converse to this story, the U.S. has more minors serving life sentences without parole (ie, tried as adults) than all the other countries of the world combined.

This article is ridiculous.

Turn that analytical and critical gaze back towards home, please, so we can actually get something accomplished here.

Anonymous:


Null said: "where did you get this impression or pledge? show me the signed agreement. otherwise, are you daydreaming?"

It's called the Host City Contract , and you can contact the IOC for a copy.


Amused viewer,

Who says the US has a 2 party presidential election? You've never heard of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, or many other third party candidates that run in each presidential election? Third parties are welcome in all US elections if they can gather a critical mass of signatures to support their place on the ballot. Were you sleeping in civics class?

Independent:


Contrary to what the neo-conservatives, reactionaries and ignorant persons think, there are limits on peaceful protest in the United States. People can not go around protesting wherever they want, especially on government property and in many public places. Usually organized protestors have to obtain a permit to exercise their right of peaceful assembly. Still there are often common sense limits, such as not allowing protests too close to political conventions. Any persons who violate these rules, even in the name of "freedom of speech" are and will be arrested.

There are limits, mostly justifiable, on all four basic freedoms in the First Amendment. While people in this country have generally greater freedom of expression than in most countries, the attempts by Bush administration officials to stifle freedom of speech, dissent from Democrats between 2002 and 2004, and self-censorship in much of the media, especially leading to the invasion of Iraq, are very deplorable.

Also despite what Fate said, there have been very few substantive, if any, investigations into violations of the law and Constitution by high level officials in the Bush-Cheney administration. The human rights abuses according to the Bush-Cheney regime were supposedly the actions of a few guards. Yet clearly these abuses were approved at the highest levels of the government.

Colin Powell's former chief of staff said a month or two ago certain high level officials, including a previous attorney general, could be indicted in other countries for committing war crimes.

null:

"Chinese authorities have sentenced a British woman arrested in Beijing during a pro-Tibet protest to 10 days in jail, the Britain's foreign ministry said Friday."

stupid chinese. they should hold those and ask for heavy fine. jail time does not matter much. just fine those idiots and let them experience a bit of economic downturn.

null:

"The arresting and jailing of foreigners during the Olympics is disturbing. China signed an agreement that if it hosted the games, it would not suppress peaceful protests or freedom of expression."

where did you get this impression or pledge? show me the signed agreement. otherwise, are you daydreaming?

null:

" I live in Brazil and nobody bothers us, yet we maintain a fairly big army, why, because anything could happen. "

i just don't understand it. why people don't use their heads but their butt. if you insist noone is bothering u, then jumping to maintain a fairly big army, because anything could happen.

please learn some basic logic for god's sake.

null:

"But the 73-year-old Nobel Peace prize winner insists he wants autonomy and religious freedom and not independence for Tibet. "

to listen whatever dalai said just likes listening bill clinton's explanation on why he did not have sexual relationship with "that" woman.

mikie44:

John, you twit, I'm a 66-year-old American and I am contemplating committing a serious felony in order to finance my medical care. Right now I'm searching for the best state in the Union in terms of prison medical care; in the event plan A doesn't work out, this will be my plan B.
You don't have to go to China to find stories about inequity.

Anonymous:

"Only time will tell? from the way the US behaved when Russia invaded Georgia, I can tell you now. The United States dare not provoke China into a war. This is why every single US President talked tough but always came out against Taiwan Independence. So good luck waiting. You will be frustrated for a long time, likely for the rest of you natural life."

Why would I be frustrated? It is one senario. Do you actaully believe many people are actually looking forwarded to the next war? Do you actually think I care one way or another. I live in Brazil, not much bothers or touches us. Lots of sun, lots of food and lots of fun. You discount the idea of China going to war so easily or that Russia and the US may eventually end up on the same side? Though it is all speculation, to discount the possiblity is foolish. One thing history shows us, things repeat. Chinese tend to believe the US will fall and China will rise, why? Because of current economic growth, which is just playing catch up and requires another twenty years of the same? Why, because your army is big, yet the technology is still very much behind? I live in Brazil and nobody bothers us, yet we maintain a fairly big army, why, because anything could happen. For us, Argentina and Venezuela could team up with Russia military support and try to take posetion of our Resources, which are extensive. Brazil is around the same size as China in land mass, but has 1/7th the people, yet from all surveys we have more farmland, more forests, more oil, more natural gas, more water, more gold, more etc... China has more coal and more people? come to think about it, us in Brazil maybe more at risk, we have something worth invading us for. Why would anyone invade a country that has mostly people, for what gain? So, now I agree with you. China is not worth invading, no real strategic value or resources. 1/4 desert, 1/4 mountain, 1/4 polluted and 1/4 floods.

letthemspeak:

The arresting and jailing of foreigners during the Olympics is disturbing. China signed an agreement that if it hosted the games, it would not suppress peaceful protests or freedom of expression. It has consistently done both before and during these Beijing games. In addition, it has shown great paranoia that foreigners will get the truth out about its abuses.

Example: Great Britain's Olympic Committee forced its athletes to sign contracts stating that they would not share any "political opinions" or other thoughts "offensive" to the CCP. If they did, based on the agreement, they would be immediately removed from the games and sent back home. This is the first time that a clause like this has ever been included. It was clearly at the request of the CCP.

Don't believe me? Look it up for yourself if you value knowing the truth.

Since I know so many of you do not want to hear the truth and often will say "why do you believe the western biased media" when we share stories like the above, I will share my personal one.

My friend has been in China for several months in a study abroad program. He decided to stay for the Olympics. He and a few other "foreigners" moved closer to the games in an apartment. Several hours after they moved in, the chinese police showed up and took them to the station. Everyone was freaking out.

The police grilled them for hours about "why they were in the building," and "why they were in Beijing." They examined all of their documents (passports, visas) and treated them like they stole something. No one was allowed to call their consolates or friends. And as I said, they were all scared because they had done nothing wrong but were being interrogated. How would you feel if you were in a foreign country and suddenly taken from your residence at night for no reason? Then add in the fact, that the country extols the virtues of communism and jails people at will.

After a time, they were let go. They all returned to the apartment building. The rest of their stay was peaceful but this incident is etched in my friend's brain.

Before he went over there, he had studied the Chinese language and history and had an open mind about the country, people and government. After this incident and other things that he has seen, he still has an open mind but it is no longer positive. He feels like I do. The Chinese people we have met are great but the CCP is not. It is an oppressive, murderous, brutal regime.

Anonymous:

SAN JOSE (AFP) — A Tibetan group said Friday that Costa Rica had asked it to postpone a visit by the Dalai Lama to the Central American country ahead of a trip there by Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in October.

The president of the Tibet-Costa Rica Cultural Association said President Oscar Arias had telephoned the group to ask it to withdraw its invitation to the Tibetan spiritual leader.

"Exactly what they said was that if the Dalai Lama comes to Costa Rica, Hu Jintao won't come, and that's not convenient for Costa Rica," Maritza Pacheco told journalists here.

The president's office declined to comment on the matter.

Arias said it would have been an insult to cancel the visit and that she had written to the Dalai Lama to ask him to postpone the visit to next year, to coincide with a Nobel Prize Winners' meeting in San Jose.

Arias said that the Dalai Lama's planned visit was private, and was to be financed by her organization.

Costa Rica and China signed some 50 million dollars of bilateral deals in May during a three-day visit by Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, the highest-level Chinese official ever to visit the country.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet, a Himalayan territory ruled for the last six decades by Beijing, and of fomenting unrest to sabotage the Olympic Games currently under way.

But the 73-year-old Nobel Peace prize winner insists he wants autonomy and religious freedom and not independence for Tibet.

Joe Mickey:

For example, can anyone give me a Website originating in China where I can just drop in as I can here and give these links to our films on Tibet?

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/269

or this by a Tibetan Film Maker
Voices in Exile
http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/268/Voices-In-Exile

Anonymous:

CHINESE AUTHORITIES HAVE SENTENCED A BRITISH WOMAN ARRESTED IN BEIJING DURING A PRO-TIBET PROTEST TO 10 DAYS IN JAIL, THE BRITAIN'S FOREIGN MINISTRY SAID FRIDAY.
MANDIE MCKEOWN, 41, FROM BRISTOL, WAS DETAINED ON THURSDAY IN THE CHINESE CAPITAL DURING A PROTEST BY THE FREE TIBET SOCIETY.
SHE WOULD BE DEPORTED TO BRITAIN ON AUGUST 31 AFTER SERVING HER SENTENCE, THE FOREIGN OFFICE ADDED.
A SPOKESMAN SAID CONSULAR OFFICIALS WERE IN CONTACT WITH MCKEOWN AND HER FAMILY IN BRITAIN.
"WE CONTINUE TO UNDERLINE TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT THE NEED TO RESPECT ITS COMMITMENT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION," THE SPOKESMAN SAID.
"AT THE SAME TIME, WE ENCOURAGE ALL UK VISITORS TO CHINA TO RESPECT LOCAL LAWS," HE ADDED.
TWO AMERICANS AND A GERMAN CITIZEN WERE REPORTEDLY ALSO DETAINED ON THURSDAY DURING THE PROTEST NEAR AN OLYMPIC SITE.
POLICE IN BEIJING SAID THURSDAY THEY HAD ALSO SENTENCED SIX FOREIGNERS, BELIEVED TO BE AMERICANS, ON WEDNESDAY TO TEN DAYS IN JAIL FOR PUBLIC ORDER OFFENCES.

Joe Mickey:

Our perspective http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com

One thing we have been trying to find inside China, is any Website that any person in the world can simply type their name and add any comment or link or information they like.

We have not found one in all of our China and Tibet discussions across the net.

Anonymous:

thmak:
If you think USA is the land of the free, think about the fact that USA has the highest number of people per capita in jail in the world.

=================================================

Answer: USA is the land of the free. China shoots people accused of wrong doings....USA tries to rehabilitate them.

Anonymous:

"Better Question" asks: Why does Israel murder children?

answer (possible): becasue it has been established on Socialist principles, much like China. Kibbutz is a socialist/communist concept...freely practiced and encouraged as a human settlement/survival alternative to capitalism.

thmak:

If you think USA is the land of the free, think about the fact that USA has the highest number of people per capita in jail in the world.

supportoldladies:

pomfret: you have my vote---way to go?

are the chinese bad or stupid?

judith:

The fact that we are having this conversation without fear is enough to merit the idea that America has more freedom then China.
Speaking to taxi drivers...you will only receive a response that is dictated by the Chinese Government... the taxi drivers are given a script especially ones who come in contact with foreignors in the Beijing olympic village (This was on the NBC nightly news).
China isnt Communist- it is an autocratic dictatorship. This is a misnomer by the Western media.

zxl0001:

White House Sidewalk Protest Leads to Arrest of About 370
By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 27, 2005; Page B01

About 370 antiwar demonstrators were arrested yesterday after planting themselves on the sidewalk in front of the White House, a protest that stretched out for nearly five hours as police removed them in stages to avoid a backlog at a processing center.

The demonstrators, who had stayed in Washington after Saturday's antiwar rally and march past the White House, were carted away in Metro buses and police vans. Fingerprinting and booking continued late into the evening at a U.S. Park Police operations facility in Anacostia.

Anti war demonstrators hold up signs as they march in front of the White House Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (Pablo Martinez Monsvais - AP)
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Tens of thousands of people packed downtown Washington and marched past the White House and on the National Mall.
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Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan is arrested while protesting in front of the White House on Monday.
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Those arrested were charged with demonstrating without a permit, a misdemeanor that carries a $50 fine and -- like a traffic ticket -- can be paid by mail or challenged later in court, said Sgt. Scott Fear, a Park Police spokesman.

In an action that they had planned several weeks ago and discussed with police, the demonstrators went to the White House gate on Pennsylvania Avenue NW about 12:30 p.m. and tried to deliver to President Bush the names of all the soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq. When the president did not meet with them, they sat down for their protest.

With bullhorns and hoarse voices, they yelled at the executive mansion, asking whether the president was peeking from behind a curtain or hearing them at all.

"You are a coward! You didn't meet us in Crawford; come meet us now," said Beatriz Saldivar of Fort Worth, whose nephew, Army Sgt. Daniel Torres, was killed in action nearly eight months ago during his second tour in Iraq. In August, Saldivar had joined antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan during a protest outside the president's Texas ranch, when Sheehan had asked to talk with Bush about the death of her son, Casey Sheehan, in Iraq.

Cindy Sheehan, who was among the demonstrators yesterday, was the first to be taken into police custody. She smiled at the crowd when police lifted her from the sidewalk and escorted her to a van.

At his daily news briefing yesterday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush is "very much aware" of the past few days of protests and "recognizes that there are differences of opinion" on the Iraq war.

"It's the right of the American people to peacefully express their views. And that's what you're seeing here in Washington, D.C.," McClellan said. "They're well-intentioned, but the president strongly believes that withdrawing . . . would make us less safe and make the world more dangerous."

The group arrested yesterday was led by a coalition of religious leaders. They were joined by anarchists, military families, Iraq war veterans and political activists of various stripes.

"Only people can stop the war," said Laura Linder, 44, of Chicago. She was wearing a red, white and blue bandanna and a Plexiglas hockey mask, and her hands were trembling. She said that the weekend's protests were the first she had attended and that she had never been arrested. "I'm afraid of getting my face bashed in."

But the relationship between police and protesters was placid, even jovial at times.

The crowd had headed for the White House with signs, chants and guitars. Four monks kept time with drums and a gong. Half a dozen women pulled off their shirts, standing topless with signs that read, "Breasts, Not Bombs!"

In front of the White House, however, the chants and songs grew quieter as the remaining protesters wilted in the humid afternoon.

Earlier in the day, 41 protesters were arrested about 6:30 a.m. at two entrances to the Pentagon and charged with disorderly conduct, said Maj. Todd Vician, a Defense Department spokesman. They were all released and given court dates, Vician said.

Frida Berrigan, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who organized the protest, said the demonstrators unfurled signs that read "War is Terrorism" and blocked workers' access to the building.

Anonymous:

Users of Apple's music store in China have been reporting problems downloading music since the beginning of the week.

Chinese authorities have not directly confirmed blocking iTunes. Requests for comment have gone unanswered, or reporters have been told officials had no information on the block. However, the timing of this latest blockage seems to coincide with the release of a pro-Tibet album by the Art of Peace Foundation, which was released on Sunday.

Anonymous:

Chinese authorities have sentenced a British woman arrested in Beijing during a pro-Tibet protest to 10 days in jail, the Britain's foreign ministry said Friday.

Mandie McKeown, 41, from Bristol, was detained on Thursday in the Chinese capital during a protest by the Free Tibet Society.

She would be deported to Britain on August 31 after serving her sentence, the Foreign Office added.

A spokesman said consular officials were in contact with McKeown and her family in Britain.

"We continue to underline to the Chinese government the need to respect its commitment to freedom of expression," the spokesman said.

"At the same time, we encourage all UK visitors to China to respect local laws," he added.

Two Americans and a German citizen were reportedly also detained on Thursday during the protest near an Olympic site.

Police in Beijing said Thursday they had also sentenced six foreigners, believed to be Americans, on Wednesday to ten days in jail for public order offences.

Independent:


The United States should be held to a higher standard than China because this country has claimed to be a democracy, respecting individual freedoms for over two hundred years. Mind you, this country was clearly not intended by the founding fathers to be a democracy and basic human rights of millions of Americans were systematically denied until the early 1970's.

I do not know in China, but in the United States there is a very limited role by people in the political process. This is partly or largely because most people believe they have very little or no influence or meaningful say in the political process. For whatever reasons, only about half of eligible voters actually voted in recent presidential elections, significantly less vote in elections during other years.

There is a widespread perception in this country corporations and the rich, whose interests are promoted by the Republican party, dominate this country, politically and economically. One does not need to be a supporter of Ralph Nader to realize this is true, to a large extent.

There are some clear similarities between the Communist and Republican parties. Both favor business interests and the wealthy over most other people. Both largely neglect the needs of the poor. Both seem to have little interest in providing health care to those lacking coverage.
Both consider the interests of business interests to be more important than protecting the environment. Both use propaganda to try to win support from people in their countries.

Overseas Chinese:

bkoneko,
I do agree with you that the trade imbalance is bad for America, but it is also bad for China. My personal belief is that China's domestic market will grow very fast and absorbs a lot of the Chinese made products as well as importing more from the US. Either that or the two sides stop trading and both suffer. But the highly imbalanced trade won't go on forever.

Zxl0001:

Anonymous wrote: "And why did Americans visit China during the Olympics? Why patronize a country that sends us poisoned toys, pet food, and medicines? Why patronize a country that is unapologetically communist and imprisons it's citizens for such innocuous reasons? A country who is the leading environmental polluter in the world, sending it's airborne pollutants even to the United States.
Could it be that they have embraced American-style capitalism? Possibly."

Anonymous, I hope you do not own anything made in China, otherwise you are patronize China, making you a hypocrite. BTW, you also need to tear apart the computer you are using, I bet there are parts made in China.

TW, USA:

FATE wrote:

"No, it would be more like Iraq under Saddam."

Saddam was a good friend of US until August 2 of 1990 when he marched into Kuweit against US will. He since was the enemy of the world. Before that, he started a war against Iran and close to one million killed. That's OK because US likes it. Shaw of Iran was much worse than current leader, but that dictator was a good friend of US.

The reason I mention this part of history is to point out the hypocritical nature and the self-rightious mentality. Although there is nothing wrong to create certain moral value to pump up the spirit of a nation, such as we are the good guys and they are the bad guys. No country is perfect and any country seeking moral perfection can be extremely dangerous. But we just have to know behind all those language, it's all matters of self-interest.

As to Communist countries talking about "people", it may be laughable by you but Communist China did care about poor people before the current market economy reform. Of course they overdid it by killing rich people..

But, regardless who has the best system, it's simply wrong to think of destroy the other system by killing millions of people, either your own people or people of other countries. It's simplt wrong.

Overseas Chinese:

Anonymous,
Only time will tell? from the way the US behaved when Russia invaded Georgia, I can tell you now. The United States dare not provoke China into a war. This is why every single US President talked tough but always came out against Taiwan Independence. So good luck waiting. You will be frustrated for a long time, likely for the rest of you natural life.

Overseas Chinese:

bkoneko,
Global trade goes both ways for China and the West. While China had provided much of the low-end manufacturing so that the West could devote more resources to high-end design and services. The latest trend in China can't be more obvious. China is transitioning away from labor intensive industries to more technology and capital intensive areas. What this means to the West, particularly the US, is high inflation. I used to think that India could pick up manufacturing from China. But the facts say otherwise. India has neither the infrastructure nor the pro-business environment to replace China. Vietnam is similar to China but the scale is too small. Inflation will be the story of the decade for the Western industrialized countries as Chinese wages rise, environment protection enforced and workers' rights upheld. A few months ago, China forced Walmart to agree to let its Chinese workers unionize. Many dirty manufacturing businesses were fined and ordered to clean up, thus driving them out of business or move to other countries. The Chinese currency, Yuan, has appreciated 20% in the past year, further elevating the wholesale prices of US importers. This is why wholesale inflation jumped 9.2%, the highest since 1981. This is why I don't believe China will be hurt much if Westerners stop buying shoes and underwear from China.

As for manufacturing jobs coming back to the US, it is pure political rhetoric. I don't believe Americans will ever be making shoes at $1/hour. I truly do not wish my neighbor Bob have to do that for a living.

Anonymous:

"Overseas Chinese:
Military Strategy,
That makes a very good fiction novel. Keep on dreaming while China is still rapidly growing as you speak. Maybe you can talk to Dick Cheney about your master plan of world domination. He'll love you. Hahaha!"

We will see what is a dream and what is reality. Only time will tell.

Fate:

Abughraib wrote: "No - it [Iraq] is not a distraction. It is a matter of priority! If you see a murder stabbing a child while you are chatting over a coffee with a friend, you have obligation to stop chatting immediately and do something to stop the killing."

Your attempt to stop this debate by bringing up Iraq, which has nothing to do with these women or China's treatment of them, will continue to fail.

Let me explain it another way. A Catholic nun once asked me what I would do in the following situation:

"While you are driving 20mph over the speed limit a car flies by you going 50mph over the speed limit. A few minutes later a policeman pulls you over for speeding."
A) Should you tell the policeman about the other guy going 50mph over the speed limit and the policeman should chase him down and leave you alone?
B) Should you accept the ticket since you broke the law?

My answer is B, what is your's?

You see, I agree Iraq is a bigger issue, but that does not make the plight of these two woman a smaller issue than it is. Their human rights are being violated and it should not go unnoticed because a bigger issue may be happening elsewhere, and you should not distract people from the discussion of this smaller issue by pointing out a larger unrelated issue, especially when this blog's topic is the two women and not Iraq.

Anonymous:

And why did Americans visit China during the Olympics? Why patronize a country that sends us poisoned toys, pet food, and medicines? Why patronize a country that is unapologetically communist and imprisons it's citizens for such innocuous reasons? A country who is the leading environmental polluter in the world, sending it's airborne pollutants even to the United States.
Could it be that they have embraced American-style capitalism? Possibly.

bkoneko:

Overseas Chinese:
Your comments are very interesting. One thing I do disagree with: your saying that if everyone stops buying Chinese exports, it won't matter.

I think it does matter. If Walmart, 100 Yen stores, and other retailers in outside countries stop buying Chinese-made products, the Chinese economy would slowly start to fall. They are making a ton of money because of the exchange rates involved with importing and exporting and the demand for cheap products.

People are seeing the repercussions of importing cheap-costing (labor and materials) products in the form of a recession. The one area in the US that is actually booming is farming in the mid-west due to demand for corn and other products that have a horizontal usage (fuel etc.). All other areas are consolidating and laying off workers. China is not alone- India can also say they have picked up a great deal of business from U.S. outsourcing. The results in the U.S. resulting in the same - layoffs and consolidation of jobs.

The ironic thing is- the rumor is Chinese labor is on it's way out. Other countries in S.E. Asia are picking up the manufacturing abilities and are eager to take on the same jobs for less. This of course depends on exchange rates at the time of the contract.

I still try to buy from places other than China if I have the option. Not just because I'm wary of their questionable chemicals and toxin control, but because I want to keep cousin Billy employed at the toothpaste factory. I still look for Made in the U.S.A.

ABUGHRAIB:

C wrote:

"So many folks write in saying that since the U.S. is involved in Iraq or is responsible for the suffering of others, that Americans do not have the right to comment on outside/international events such as this China issue. That is patently absurd. Why must one create a utopia domestically before trying to improve or critique another country's faults. As individuals, we owe it to one another to help in whatever way we can. And, as Americans, we have a greater ability to help others than someone suffering from oppression, hunger, disease. At the end of the day, these two 70-year-old women should not be going to labor camp or even threatened with it. Don't try to justify it by distracting us or trying to shift the discussion to Iraq. It is a separate issue and should be treated as such."

No - it is not a distraction. It is a matter of priority! If you see a murder tabbing a child while you are chatting over a coffee with a friend, you have obligation to stop chatting immediately and do something to stop the killing. I am not saying what you chatted was not important, I am saying there is a much more urgent thing that demands your immediate attention. At the moment Iraq needs your immediate attention as your country is killing innocent people there and as an American you have the means to stop that killing. If you choose to do nothing to stop that you are a complicit in that crime!

Sorry really need to go to sleep, No more post from me. Good night.

Fate:

Obiwan China wrote: "Even this may sound China trashing, but I still remain hopeful, largely because the current top leaders are making good changes to the existing systems. How far will they go, it's up to anyone's guess!"

Well that's the problem isn't it? Its the "leaders" that are deciding change in China, not the Chinese people. Who voted to destroy whole villages? What representative of the people brought complaints to the attention of the government? There is a difference between a government that rules and a government that serves. American government serves and when it displeases the people or the people want new government servants they vote out the old and vote in the new. In China you can only hope its rulers are doing good because there is nothing you can do about them short of revolution.

As long as China has an authoritarian government China will never enjoy the wealth it is building, though its rulers will.

FunnyChina:

If one needs to apply to publicly protest in China beforehand, that just about sums up China's censorship, doesn't it?

ABUGHRAIB:

TONY wrote:

"ABUGHRAIB: We're multi-tasking. You should try it."

Tony, thanks for advice. I am tired at the moment. I am going to bed now. Nice to talk to you. Bye.

Fate:

TW, USA: "Chinese government is in lot of ways more republican than Republicans in US."

The republicans in the White House are about to be voted out. When will the Chinese leaders and the CCP face a vote?

TW, USA: "They used to be authoritian and communists. It's kind of like a Democratic administration without the check and balance from the Republicans."

No, it would be more like Iraq under Saddam.

What you are not facing up to is that the problem is not what the government does, how many 70 year old ladies they arrest for protesting, how many lands they invade, or how much development they provide. What is important is that the Chinese people have NO control over their leaders. In China power is at the top and flows down. In free societies the power starts with the people and flows into the government. That is why Bush has a 25% approval rating and his agenda is sitting idle. It is also why the republicans will loose many seats in Congress this fall, and there is little they can do about it. The people of America will determine their government and they must face the people's will.

I've always laughed at communist nations that talk about the "people's" this and the "people's" that, yet deny the "people" any shred of power of oversight and instead, as Stephanie's cab driver says, accept the need to keep the "people" under tight control" by an elite authoritarian government.

C:

So many folks write in saying that since the U.S. is involved in Iraq or is responsible for the suffering of others, that Americans do not have the right to comment on outside/international events such as this China issue. That is patently absurd. Why must one create a utopia domestically before trying to improve or critique another country's faults. As individuals, we owe it to one another to help in whatever way we can. And, as Americans, we have a greater ability to help others than someone suffering from oppression, hunger, disease. At the end of the day, these two 70-year-old women should not be going to labor camp or even threatened with it. Don't try to justify it by distracting us or trying to shift the discussion to Iraq. It is a separate issue and should be treated as such.

Tom Miller1:

Since the Olympics started, I have changed my opinion about whether the Olympics should have been conducted in China. Yes, I agree with this post that the Olympics won't immediately change much in China but I don't believe that the exposure of China to the outside world and the outside world to China is bad in the long run.

The situation of Wang and Wu is absurd and extremely mean to those of us from the outside. However, I would argue that we are better for seeing firsthand this aspect of the Chinese government in a story that is clearly not a fabrication of western journalists. We have also seen more light shed on the dissident Chinese provinces thanks to these Olympics. That won't translate to freedom for the provinces but even the Chinese government has to know that the entire world understands a lot more about these areas of China than before the Olympics. What will it benefit China to continue to ignore their human rights?

Behind every oppresive government there are always charming, sincere, and kind people. Yes, some of the charm from the Chinese in these Olympics has been somewhat artificially created for the moment but there have also been splendid moments when it's obvious that at heart we are all the same and the Chinese are no exception to this rule.

I don't believe that the Chinese government will ever be able to close the walls around its people after this experience as they have effectively done in the past. They were already losing their traditional iron-clad control of information to young internet savy Chinese and video capturing cell phones in a society that is rapidly changing.

I believe that the opening of doors by these Olympics for a reality check was healthy for us all even if nothing particular comes of it for a while.

ABUGHRAIB:

FATE wrote:
------------
GY wrote: "Anybody thinks the U.S. has a perfect human rights record should think again. I suggest you examine Bush/Cheney human rights record first. Is torturing not human rights violation? Is rendition not human right violation? Is illigal wiretaping not human rights violation?"

You are correct and all of these things have been exposed and are being reviewed by various courts, not secretly but publically. And people have gone to jail for some and the investigations continue. Would that have happened in China?
------------

Yes China lacks press freedom, but China did not kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people, including many babies and their mothers. American did and is still doing it now. Whatever faults China has in the area of human rights, they pale into insignificance compared to the horrendous crime that America is committing now. All these elections and change of governments will do nothing to do stop that - because whatever Bush/Cheney did and is still doing is in the American interest. No change of government will change that.

Hay, if you are so concerned about the human rights, why didn't you do something to stop this terrible crime?

What is human rights? The biggest human rights, before any other human rights (freedom of speech included), is the right to life! You are a hypocrisy if you criticizing China's lack of press freedom without doing your utmost to stop your country's crime in Iraq.

Obiwan, China:

Some of the comments imply that all the progress made in China over the past 60 years should be credited to the CCP's rule. I think that's just absurd!

In the same logic, what about millions of people died during the various "movement"? How about innocent lives taken simply because there was a need to kill certain amount of people in order to show that the local leaders were loyal and were revolutionary?! Or, how about millions of houses got torn down without proper compensation in the name of "national interests"?

The reason that China has made progress in recent history is due to the fact that the leaders had come to the senses and knew if they continue to run the country like they did, they would be toppled from within or from outside. Policies had shifted toward economical development. Chinese people are the most hardworking bunch in the world. Giving them any chances, they will produce. The economical miracles that the world had witnessed came with the price of underpay for the migrant workers, injustice for the powerless and corruption and lawlessness for the leaders, from villages to high ups.

The readers should ask the question why these 70 years old beijing residents would want to set firecrackers in ZNH? It's because there is no way to appeal for justice right now in China. And there are so much injustice in the land and a lot of people have gotten used to. People have always been asked to put the "national interests" first, but whose interests are these after all? Should national interests include a welfare system for the poor and needy, a medical system that people can afford, an education system that the next generation can really learn, and a fair distribution system that all the citizens can share the wealth that they have created, especially those who worked so hard. Or the national interests are just the cover-up for looting the country by those who have the chance!

If CCP wants to remain in power, then it must try to take care the people where its support comes from. We had chance to visit various places in China. when looking past the superficial prosperity, there lies bloody ugliness almost everywhere. This is not another "uprising or riot in Tibet" made ups, this is real situation. [For proof, go talk with Taxi drivers, construction crews, migrant workers, or even business owners]. When the power base is eroding, the government will try to solidify either through propaganda, or heavy hand and that's exactly what we are witnessing now.

Even this may sound China trashing, but I still remain hopeful, largely because the current top leaders are making good changes to the existing systems. How far will they go, it's up to anyone's guess!

Fate:

Stafanie:

China has made great steps toward openness but that should not stop the criticism. The problem is that criticism is not allowed in China.

As for America not criticizing other nations until it is perfect, sorry, that does not fly. No one here is complaining that the Chinese on these blogs, considering China's poor human rights record, do not have a right to criticize the US, in Iraq or in other areas. I and other Americans welcome it even though we may disagree at times. Argument and debate is what determines whether a topic has merit or not. Staying quiet because our nation may have done something wrong is just stupid. As another blogger pointed out, should we stay quiet on Dufar?

There is much debate going on in this blog Stanfanie, with many Chinese bloggers, which shows me the Chinese are just as good at debating topics as Americans. The problem is such debate cannot take place in China without fear. That is why its happening in an American online newspaper.

And your cab driver's comment on liking China's strong control just made me sick. A government that distrusts the people it serves does not deserve to govern. Maybe you should have asked the cab driver if he would like to live in America away from the strong government control he likes so much. My guess is he would have jumped at the chance as these Chinese bloggers here are jumping at the chance to have an honest debate in a forum without fear, a forum America guarantees and China forbids.

TONY:

STEPHANIE:

Both China and the U.S. are great countries, but neither is without fault. We're currently discussing the faults of China. You may come back later when we (as we frequently do) discuss the faults of the U.S.

With all due respect to your impromptu survey, the criteria should not be whether or not you're happy with what the government allows you to do. Rather it should be if you're allowed to do what you want to do.

When I first traveled to Beijing, I couldn't access Google because the government had blocked it. Now I can access it, but it's censored. I trust that the 1.3 billion Chinese people can use Google without descending into "chaos".

TW, USA:

MZBOND wrote:

"China's government will always be communist"

This is wrong and you need to Check the facts.

Chinese government is in lot of ways more republican than Republicans in US. I don't know you call that good or bad. At this time, they are authoritian government, but not communists.

They used to be authoritian and communists. It's kind of like a Democratic administration without the check and balance from the Republicans.


At this time, they are less authoritian than South Korea and Taiwan in and before the 70's. As you know, Taiwan and South Korea have been good friends of US and free world, and may be admired by people like you, even if they may not be that free. (We should ignore those not so important details, right?)

Is this too complicated for you?

August:

Economic success doesn't mean agreeing with the Chinese government. China has a long long long ways to go before standing stabily on the world stage.

Having cars, apts doesn't mean anything compared to true freedom. But change won't happen overnight. Your kids and their kids may not have the same opportunities, but freedom is on their minds.

The reunification of Germany, the crumbling of the former U.S.S.R were defining moments in history. Perhaps China will writing another definitive chapter in history.

Zxl0001:

TONY wrote: "Hey!!! Stop yelling at me for avoiding the Iraq question. Dick Cabesa said something totally mean about the Chinese."

You are worthy of debating, because you made your case with logic. The people like Dick Cabesa, we just need to ignore. It is like you are hiking and a vicious dog is keeping barking at you, do you bark back or ignore it?

Stefanie:

I am a Chinese American and I am fully aware of the atrocities China has committed. However, what I cannot tolerate is the American self-righteous attitude and its tendency to force its own cultural standards on another country. For a country criticizing the displacement of Chinese residents while destroying the homes of innocent civilians in Iraq, leaning heavily on unbalanced negative coverage of China while decrying Chinese media censorship, and touting its values of freedom and tolerance while sentencing China without trial, it has some right to judge others! The hypocrisy is unbelievable! China is not right by any means, but I ask the U.S. to fix its own shortcoming before condemning others for theirs.

I also spent three months in Beijing last summer and I think it will shock people to hear what I've found. I've had the good fortune to speak candidly with many people I've met during my stay (e.g. cab drivers, shopkeepers, etc.) and I asked them how they felt about the government's steel grip on its people. To my surprise (and I'm sure to many others), they were pleased with the amount of control the government had. In the words of one man, "The Chinese people need a firm hand. That's just how we are as a society. Without proper control, there would be chaos. Can you imagine chaos with 1.3 billion people?" Maybe the U.S. needs to stop judging other countries based on its own standards because it only emphasizes the petty nature and intolerance of our great nation.

TONY:

ABUGRHAIB:

Hey!!! Stop yelling at me for avoiding the Iraq question. Dick Cabesa said something totally mean about the Chinese.

Fate:

GY wrote: "Anybody thinks the U.S. has a perfect human rights record should think again. I suggest you examine Bush/Cheney human rights record first. Is torturing not human rights violation? Is rendition not human right violation? Is illigal wiretaping not human rights violation?"

You are correct and all of these things have been exposed and are being reviewed by various courts, not secretly but publically. And people have gone to jail for some and the investigations continue. Would that have happened in China?

GY wrote: "If your first write an article critisizing the Bush/Cheney human rights abuses before you publishign this article, then I would agree with your stands."

Articles written about Bush/Cheney abuses have been written by thousands of journalists in America and elsewhere. You can read about them here in the Post and other publications which have no fear of a government response. But where can anyone read about criticisms of Chinese leaders? Anywhere but China?

As with people, if you cannot face up to your own problems and shortcomings you cannot improve. China's growth has happened for two reasons:
1) It unleashed the energy its own people to make a better life for themselves.
2) Foreign investment which invested in those people.

But economic gains are meaningless if the government cannot trust its own people. Love of China seems not to be enough. Love of the CCP is demanded and no law can protect a Chinese from the CCP once they have embarrassed or exposed the CCP. China can become the richest country in the world but without freedom it will be nothing more than another Saudi Arabia, rich but full of unhappy people who live in fear of their unelected leaders.

TONY:

GY, I totally agree.

We shouldn't be doing anything about the Rwandas, Sudans, Zimbabwes, Burmas and the like until we get our house in order. After all somebody might be listening in on our conversation about genocide.

ABUGHRAIB:

TONY wrote:

"Your argument is the equivalent of stating that the Rwandan genocide was not a problem because the WWII genocide killed more people. I'm not going to sit here and have a playground argument about who is worse because, frankly, they're unrelated"

You are twisting the logic! Your country is killing innocent people now, today and this very minute! It is not something happened in the remote past like WWII. Why don't you do something to stop your country's killing in Iraq. I don't care who will be in government next year or next four years. Frankly that's your business. What I care is that every American, you included, should do your utmost to stop your country's crime, not in four years' time, but NOW!

When that happens I will join you in cursing China.

TONY:

OVERSEASCHINESE:

Don't conflate economic success with agreeing with the government. I know plenty of Chinese who have cars and apartments, but get quiet when I start talking about my kids.

Here's an exercise: Step 1)Think of one thing the Chinese gov't does that you think should be changed. Step 2)Think about what you could do to make that change happen.

August:

It's important to realize each country has its own challenges and strengths. While human rights in China has always been the sore spot in the international arena, China has made great strides in economic advancement. The Chinese are now living better lives and exploring their emotional side.

The new generation of Chinese are better educated, open to new ideas and embrace freedom. Perhaps it will take a few generations of government to recognize/implement human rights.

China did an impressive job putting on the Olympic games and it would be unfair to using the games to attack them of their domestic/international issues. Afterall, no country is perfect.

mzbond:

China's government will always be communist - so why do the free-world countries think China is making progress? Even Hitler had a fine-tuned army and government for a short while. Why is China's communist government still alive and stronger then ever.

They will be in Tibet the day after the Olympics, killing the Tibetens

Fate:

Independent wrote: "An example is those who criticize rising nationalism in China, while ignoring pervasive nationalism in this country."

I don't see anyone criticizing Chinese nationalism. I see people criticizing the CCP for blatant human rights violations of the Chinese people.

Independent wrote: "The Bush preemptive doctrine, rejected by many Democrats, gives him the authority to attack any country, for any reason, even if the country is not a present threat to the United States."

And what is Bush's approval rating these days?

Independent wrote: "All Americans should read Al Gore's "The Assault on Reason," where he strongly criticizes this mentality, as well as the serious violations of the Constitution by the Bush-Cheney regime."

And what book published in China should the Chinese read which strongly criticizes CCP policies and mentality?

We can make comparisons of the deeds and misdeeds of each country but you cannot claim that China has a free and open society nor claim that American's freedoms are oppressed by its government. That is the core issue that lead to a 70 year old woman being arrested for threatening to protest, and the many others arrested for daring to speak out in China.

GY:

Anybody thinks the U.S. has a perfect human rights record should think again. I suggest you examine Bush/Cheney human rights record first. Is torturing not human rights violation? Is rendition not human right violation? Is illigal wiretaping not human rights violation?

And think twice before nick-pick on other country's human rights, especially making comments on circumstances you (Mr. Pomfret) don't know anything about.

Self-righteousness is very dangeous to your credibility when you are not that perfect, Mr. Pomfeit.

If your first write an article critisizing the Bush/Cheney human rights abuses before you publishign this article, then I would agree with your stands.

ABUGHRAIB::

BRUCE wrote:

"Yes, the US invaded Iraq. We get that. The US invaded Iraq, and China invaded Tibet. The difference is that in three years the Americans will be gone form Iraq, and hopefully leave it with an independent and freely elected democratic government. And no one in America gets sentenced to a re-education camp for saying publicly that we shouldn't have invaded Iraq"

So you are no better than China! Stop killing innocent Iraqis before criticizing other country.

Zxl0001:

Fate worte: "The whole war lasted a month. How many Chinese were killed in that one month? And China turned tail and left when it found it could not fight the Vietnamese. And did China achieve its purpose, which was to stop the Vietnamese from toppling the Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia? No. So I think "butt kicked" is a good description of what happened to China. And China claiming victory is about as worthless as a Chinese gymnast's passport."

Both side suffered equal casualties, about 20,000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Vietnamese_War#Aftermath). In fact, Hanoi was within reach. China withdraw because USSR threatened to attack from its back according to the USSR-Nietnam alliance treaty. But US did indeed get its ass kicked in vietnam with 58,000 dead and 300,000 wounded, despite all the modern weapon.

TONY:

ABUGHRAIB:

Your argument is the equivalent of stating that the Rwandan genocide was not a problem because the WWII genocide killed more people. I'm not going to sit here and have a playground argument about who is worse because, frankly, they're unrelated.

Also, your assertion that if everyone were unhappy, the gov't would be overthrown is an insult to the 8k people who were run over by Chinese tanks or shot by Chinese soldiers in Tiananmen.

Haven't seen a protest in Tiananmen since have you? Is that evidence that everyone is happy? Maybe it's because the square is ringed by the military every night to keep people from gathering.

For us in the US, the wrong direction of our government can be corrected every 4 years--as will be the case this November; for the Chinese, they have no recourse.

ABUGRHIAB:

MARVIN STANDRID Wrote:

"The radicals of the World will blame the United States of America for all of their problems."

It is a plain fact that Americans have committed and are continue to committing the biggest crime in our time. Tell me another country that kill more innocent life in the 20 years!

It is not just a blame - it is a plain fact!

I am sorry we are not radicals, We are just ordinary people concerning about the terrible sufferings brought upon by your country.

Yes your country has done some good things but that is nothing compared to the crime of murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent people, many of them babies, mothers, grandpa and grandma. It is an absolute hypocrisy for Americans nitpicking and lecturing others on human rights while they do their best to kill innocent people in other countries.

Independent:


There is little surprise so much ignorance is apparent by many people in their comments. The majority of Americans have little understanding of United States, let alone Chinese, history. One result is also a considerable amount of projecting, whereby some persons' statements criticizing one country actually apply at least as much, usually more so, to their country. An example is those who criticize rising nationalism in China, while ignoring pervasive nationalism in this country.

The United States government, regardless of which party is in power, but especially pronounced by the Republican neo-cons, seeks global hegemony. Under the neo-con "doctrine" no country is allowed to act according to its own perceived national interest, unless such actions are in accord with the perceived interests of the United States, according to the neo-conservatives. The Bush preemptive doctrine, rejected by many Democrats, gives him the authority to attack any country, for any reason, even if the country is not a present threat to the United States.

All Americans should read Al Gore's "The Assault on Reason," where he strongly criticizes this mentality, as well as the serious violations of the Constitution by the Bush-Cheney regime. As Al Gore and others have observed, the Bush-Cheney administration has sought a unitary executive, whereby the executive branch is paramount, with a meek, deferential judiciary and subdued, acquiescent Congress.

Bruce:

ABUGHRAIB -

Yes, the US invaded Iraq. We get that. The US invaded Iraq, and China invaded Tibet. The difference is that in three years the Americans will be gone form Iraq, and hopefully leave it with an independent and freely elected democratic government. And no one in America gets sentenced to a re-education camp for saying publicly that we shouldn't have invaded Iraq.

Fate:

ZXL0001 wrote: "Both side claimed victory so depend on whose side you are on (Ironically, at that time, the US was cheering for China, since USSR-Vietnam was the enemy). As far as I know, China occupied several strategic locations that belonged to Vietnam until 1990's."

The whole war lasted a month. How many Chinese were killed in that one month? And China turned tail and left when it found it could not fight the Vietnamese. And did China achieve its purpose, which was to stop the Vietnamese from toppling the Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia? No. So I think "butt kicked" is a good description of what happened to China. And China claiming victory is about as worthless as a Chinese gymnast's passport.

Overseas Chinese:

Yes Tony, you are dead on correct. People in China are suffering immensely from this horrendous government that brought about double-digit economic growth for the past 2 decades and lifed 500 millions out of poverty. The few people who are still defending it must be either delusional or coerced by this evil government. I have such fond memories of the good old days when China was poor, weak, war-torn and everybody was hungry. The West had such high regard for China only 30 years ago. Ok, at least the Western media was harping all over it like today. 70 years ago China was actually ally of the US when it was barely able to survive from foreign invasions and Shanghai was still a colony. How can the Chinese go back to those good times?

TW, USA:

Marvin Standridge:wrote:

"One can see by the fraud of the singer and the under age athletes,"

I thought whoever read WP have to be smarter that that. Do you really think Lin Miao Ke's voice was a "fraud of the singer" while Chinese government controlled media announced it first? Have they EVER said it was her voice? For kids wearing ethnic cloths, Chinese TV said they were from a school in Beijing?

Also, simply because some media say Chinese athletes are underaged, it automatically becomes a fact?

I don't know your age and education level, but looks like you believe your own lie and are enjoying it. What a joke.

zxl0001:

Fate wrote: "Wasn't that the Chinese when they invaded North Vietnam and got a swift kick in their butts, not by Americans but by their brother communists?"

Both side claimed victory so depend on whose side you are on (Ironically, at that time, the US was cheering for China, since USSR-Vietnam was the enemy). As far as I know, China occupied several strategic locations that belonged to Vietnam until 1990's.

ABUGRHIAB:

TONY Wrote:

"Your post completely lacks perspective. As the article states, China has forcibly relocated over 100MM people. I have personally seen vast swaths of hutong demolished to make way for nice, wide roads between tourist sites. The fact that they only have a "few activists" to deal with should be a GLARING clue as to the core problem"


I think you are too ignorant to believe what that article said. If "100MM people" are all unhappy the Chinese government would have already been overthrown by the people - this had happened many many times in the past. Over the Chinese history no government could last very long if it continuously failed to meet people's expectations. The housing redevelopment/relocations have benefited majority of residents involved (as well as many corrupted officials :-)). Just in any large scale redevelopment, there is no way you can make everyone happy. Hence the protests. The issues here are that some residents feel that they were not adequately compensated.

But to be fair you wouldn't talk about these redevelopment problems in the same breath as murdering of hundreds of thousands of innocent life, do you? Yes Americans have made millions and millions of Iraqi families homeless (note not relocation - these people are scattered around Iraqi and Jordanian borders with nothing and are starving to slow death). Unless Americans redress their crime, no American citizen has the right to criticize other countries on human rights issues!

Sorry I know you don't like what I said, but human life are just too precious, be it American life or Iraqi life! Innocent Iraqis are being killed day by day and minute by minute. As an American citizen, you are committing a crime if you do not use every waking minute of your time to stop your government's murderous adventure in Iraq. How can you find time to criticize other countries while your country are using all your military might to kill innocent poeple in Iraq. Where are you conscience?

I am absolutely amazed!

questionist:
TONY:

OVERSEASCHINESE:

China's a great country. It's government, however, is powerhungry, fearful, capricious, proud, calculating and coldhearted. It opened up the gates of the forbidden city only to move it a few blocks away to the walled compound of the party headquarters.


Fate:

ZXL001 wrote: "And whose big ass got kicked in Vietnam?"

Wasn't that the Chinese when they invaded North Vietnam and got a swift kick in their butts, not by Americans but by their brother communists?

Marvin Standridge:

This argument will never find an end. Read "Monkey Smash Heaven" The radicals of the World will blame the United States of America for all of their problems. They don't consider all of the Billions of Dollars our Government gives to the World as welfare money with no pay back required. It is the American peoples hard work that affords the taxes that helps third World Countires. One can see by the fraud of the singer and the under age athletes, that China will do anything to look good to the World. I would presume that they believe that lying and cheating is OK if they get the results they want. This type of opression will spill over into the rest of the World. Comunism will never survive neither will fredom without constrants. All peoples of the World need to consider how their action will affect others, good or bad then pick the road of good.

Fate:

Tony wrote: "People in China deal with it and move on because they are just cogs in the machine."

No, they deal with it because without a representative government they have no one to turn to. And we know what happens if, out of frustartion, you try to raise awareness by speaking out in public. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and if anyone knows this it is the Chinese.

I admire anyone that loves their country, but love of their government is a seperate matter. Americans may disagree with whomever is in power but they love to vote and they love to write letters to their representatives without fear of arrest and they love being able to protest decisions or negligence by the government. Do the Chinese "love" their government or the CCP? I really doubt it. They love China. The two should not be confused.

zxl001:

Anonymous: You are arrogant and ignorant beyond reasoning. Even the US military is not proud of the Korean War. The general that signed the treaty ending the war said he is the first US general signed such a treaty without a victory. And whose big ass got kicked in Vietnam?

Fate:

Geja wrote: "Allowing people to demonstrate publicly is not a sign of progress."

Its attitudes like this in authoritarian countries that keep them behind. Japan and South Korea leaped ahead of China and other authoritarian nations once they had freedom. China's current building of wealth is only temporary if its people are not free to express their opinions publicly.

Can you explain how suppressing the thoughts of people is a sign of progress? Its more a sign of fear by the CCP that others might hear what the woman had to say and show the lack of progress the CCP has made. Consider why the CCP would be afraid of what a 70 year old woman has to say in public.

Clint:

First of all GEJA get your story straight before you defend this abusive country. If you believe for one second these ladies were arrested for lighting firecrackers... then you are an idiot who would believe anything the lying government of China would tell you.

nd if you think it it is OK to lock people up for REQUESTING a permit to protest, then you have more issues than you could ever imagine. I simply hope to God you are not living in this country... the land of the free. If you like the way the Chinese operate them live over there. I would also hate to think you ... as an American citizen... would allow our government to treat you like this.

Shame on you.

Anonymous:

Geja: "China has a system for individuals to express their grievances to the government, ..." [by writing a letter of complain] "and most of the times they are resolve through consultation with relevant government agencies," [which will swiftly arrest any plaintif expressing deviant ideas, anti-Party sentiments, or issues which will mar the "national image" (aka careers of high officials).]

I can understand that street demonstrations are sometimes useless or confused, that many "letter to the Editor" never appear in print in the West, and that freedom of expression cannot condone threats of violence or baseless rumors or slander, but why can't an old lady stand up and say whatever she pleases?

TONY:

ABUGRHIAB:

Your post completely lacks perspective. As the article states, China has forcibly relocated over 100MM people. I have personally seen vast swaths of hutong demolished to make way for nice, wide roads between tourist sites. The fact that they only have a "few activists" to deal with should be a GLARING clue as to the core problem.

Imagine if the U.S. gov't told everybody in California, New York, Texas and Florida that it was taking their homes and they were going to have to move elsewhere.

People in China deal with it and move on because they are just cogs in the machine.

Wolfcastle:

adobelane, what you are referring to eminent domain not manifest destiny. Manifest destiny is/was the belief that the United States should extend from the east coast to the west coast.

ABUGHRAIB::

UDITH:

"China has a long way to go before I would put it on the same pedestal as the United States. Many people living in the United States are always saying that America isnt a "perfect democracy". Yes, America isnt perfect. But the fact that I can say that President Bush and the the United States is committing genocide in a public forum without the fear of being put into a labor camp, only cements the fact that there is freedom of expression America and not in China!
Imagine if I board a train in Beijing with a pin simply stating "free Tibet". Let's just say, I
wouldn't have my one phone call to call a lawyer."

That is true but China may have locked a few activists in their own country and that is bad, but they did not send their troops to other country and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent life in order in order to take other country's oil. Are you seriously suggesting that killing hundreds of thousands innocent life is a lesser crime than locking up few activists? I can imagine that you will simply shrug your shoulder and say to yourself those are bloody foreigners and in any case you have protested.

All these talks of freedom of speech ( " I can say that President Bush and the the United States is committing genocide in a public forum without the fear of being put into a labor camp") are just too shadow if they do not stop the killing!

Geja:

Allowing people to demonstrate publicly is not a sign of progress. China has a system for individuals to express their grievances to the government, and most of the times they are resolve through consultation with relevant government agencies. It's not perfect, but public demonstration is neither.

The fact is that majority of Chinese are happy with their system, and have no problem living in there. WP should try to look at China from Chinese perspective.

As of the two old ladies, from Chinese perspective the police are very lenient without actually forcing jail time. If two 30 year olds light firecrackers in front of Zhongnanhai (equivalent to White House), I am sure they will be prosecuted and sentenced promptly.

R. Kalathoff:

We fail to take into consideration the size of both the Chinese and Russian populations. Our government works for the USA, but I doubt that it would work if our population was as vast as it it in China and Russia. Why do we think everyone must be just like us? We have been warned by people like Winston Churchill, George S. Patton and Douglas McArthur to beware of the Russian Bear and the Yellow Peril.

adobelane:

Same thing happens in the U.S. It's called Manifest Destiny. The government condemns your property and pays whatever they want. You have no recourse. If you set off fire crackers in front of the court you too would be arrested. This tripe is propaganda. China isn't a democracy. Either is the U.S.

TW, USA:

FATE wrote:

What has that (Obama keep on declaring not being a Muslim) to do with being arrested for demonstrating peacefully? No muslims have been arrested in America for demonstrating peacefully. No one is arrested for demonstrating peacefully. There are over 1 million muslims in America living in every American state.

True, you don't have to be arrested for peaceful demonstration.

But Arabs were arrested for buying discount cell phones from Walmart.

Arab students were arrested for chatting in a restaurant while American lady "heros" not understanding what they were talking about.

Arab truck driver was arrested while got lost in port, which happens all the time, and made to national TV news.

A Chinese young man was beaten to death after running for a few blocks by white father-and-son for looked like Japanese worker. And the DEMOCRATICALLY elected judge only sentence the killers to 6 month jail time bacause if not because of the Japanese imports, thewy will not kill, meaning it's less a crime if you kill someone look like who sell you too many products.

Yes, the judge can still tell the dead Chinese man's mother "We didn't arrest him if he demonstrates peacefully. But white Americans killing your son is a small crime and only costs 6 month jail time."

Anonymous:

Give us time and we'll catch up, with the help of our ever-expanding "surveillance" equipment and the dog-pens for "protesters" at conventions et al. The "security state" is all the rage these days, and even grannies may be "terrorists." Watch your back!

Michael 1945:

Fireworks are illegal in dc. I'm glad these games are almost over. We can then go back to our ignorance with regards to China and they can go back to locking up old ladies without press coverage.

It is what it is and nobody in China will challenge the Party.

Judith:

China has a long way to go before I would put it on the same pedestal as the United States. Many people living in the United States are always saying that America isnt a "perfect democracy". Yes, America isnt perfect. But the fact that I can say that President Bush and the the United States is committing genocide in a public forum without the fear of being put into a labor camp, only cements the fact that there is freedom of expression America and not in China!
Imagine if I board a train in Beijing with a pin simply stating "free Tibet". Let's just say, I
wouldn't have my one phone call to call a lawyer.

ABUGHRAIB::

FATE:

"Can you give me an example of Muslims being arrested for just being Muslim or for protesting. Don't make me bring up Tibet, or how Tibetans are treated when they travel to Beijing. Talk about keeping one's head down..."

Excellent point! No Muslim or Arabs in America who are in their right mind would venture out to do these useless protest - all they could get will be the unwanted attention from FBI and they know what would be waiting for them once FBi sets their eyes on them. This proves that America is a FREE country and can do anything (so long you are not classified as "terrorist sympathizer" by FBI)


Mike:

Wow, these comments are creepy. The blind nationalism being spewed by writers on both sides of the argument truly scares me.

The US has made many many mistakes historically and is far from perfect today. It is perfectly fair to argue about human rights violations re: the Iraq invasion, Bush's protest zones, etc. No silly sense of nationalism prevents me from addressing the wrongs the US has committed, and then working to correct those wrongs.

All of that is for another discussion, however.

Fate:

TW, USA wrote: "While I agree that US has much better human rights records, the rules are different for Muslims or Arabs."

No they are not.

TW, USA wrote: "Every Arabs or Muslims in US know how to keep their heads down."

Can you give me an example of Muslims being arrested for just being Muslim or for protesting. Don't make me bring up Tibet, or how Tibetans are treated when they travel to Beijing. Talk about keeping one's head down...

TW, USA wrote: "When is the last time Obama sware once for all "I AM NOT A MUSLIM." Was it yesterday or this morning? Congratulations Barack, for not being a muslim."

What has that to do with being arrested for demonstrating peacefully? No muslims have been arrested in America for demonstrating peacefully. No one is arrested for demonstrating peacefully. There are over 1 million muslims in America living in every American state.

Face it, arresting grannies who make the party boss made is an abuse of power, nothing more. The absolute power has corrupted, as it always does in any society. The reason America has more rights is that it does not have a government of absolute power and therefore less corruption. China's government is by definition an absolute power and therefore corruption will prevail, absolutely. The granny's arrest just proves it as has many other incidents of the party breaking laws and abusing citizens rights.

Nathan:

To those that keep asking "what would happen if you set off fireworks in front of the White House", probably nothing. You may not agree with our foreign policy, but at the very least people here are able to do so in the open without fear of a stint at a "re-education" camp.

SG:

Before anyone gets too smug, one should look at how protesters have had their civil rights violated in this country in the last few years. Why do the people who are so indignant about China's behavior (and it is deplorable) indifferent to the human rights abuses by their own goverment?

http://www.nlgnyc.org/rnc/contemptarticle1.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/nyregion/20about.html?em

TW, USA:

Overseas Chinese said:

I would really like to see you try pulling out some firecrackers and set them off in front of the White House. My bets are the secret service will shoot you as a terrorist so fast you won't even have time to say "free Iraq".

I believe even if someone with long beard wearing white Arab thobe fire up fire crackers in front of White House and shouting "Free Iraq", they WILL NOT be shot to death. Some people camp their already.

However, one may got shot to death when walking in an airport unarmed while mentally illed and not responding to police order, as in the case a few years ago in Miami Airport.

Or, one may be part of the thousands killed in any US city, everyyear. But that's only statistics in the most advanced democracy - United States. It's too "distasteful" to talk about those death. It's too unWashingtonPostish.

Tim, USA:

How can a country as large and diverse as China, not take care of a few old ladies in their seventies when Government needs their homes. If they as a society are to prevail in the 21st century, then they will need to provide for their elderly. Same goes for America. What happened in the ER waiting room whereby a handicapped lady DIED from unattention was and is deplorable. Both countries can do better! Get with it young ones!

AbuGhraib:

It's terrible what China did to the two grannies but compared to what US did in Iraq where hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqis were murdered by the Americans, many of them children, women, yes grannies, and millions made homeless, China must be a Mother Teresa. If anyone genuinely cares about human rights, they should know where the priority is! If they nitpick China because they envy China's progress, by all means they can keep doing it but nothing will stop China from moving up.

TW, USA:

On those two ladies, can Chinese government simply declare "mistakes were made by low level clerks", then solve their problem and release them?

This October 7 is the lunar Sept 9 Chun-yang Day for Chinese to honor senior citizens. Chinese respect older people. How can Chinese people face this fact that two old ladies go to jail because light up a fire cracker in front of Party Office?

Overseas Chinese:

Sane,
I would really like to see you try pulling out some firecrackers and set them off in front of the White House. My bets are the secret service will shoot you as a terrorist so fast you won't even have time to say "free Iraq". But that's just my opinion. Feel free to try and see who is afraid of who, the government or you?

TW, USA:

FATE Wrote:

"And not one of them (in US) is in jail for speaking freely or protesting.

China needs to repect human rights. To do otherwise is dehumanizing and the sign of a barbarian government. Absolute power corrupts!"

While I agree that US has much better human rights records, the rules are different for Muslims or Arabs. Every Arabs or Muslims in US know how to keep their heads down. When is the last time Obama sware once for all "I AM NOT A MUSLIM." Was it yesterday or this morning? Congratulations Barack, for not being a muslim.

And we all know in US, people change - good guys become bad guys, Noriega of Panama, Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez. That good looking, innocent Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili may become a bad guy one day. Who knows. We cannot and should not be too serious on these silly national value games. Absolutely not serious enough to die for it.

Pom-Fret, Fret not ! The truth is unearthed!:

北京公安机关判处两位申请在"奥运示威区"进行示威的北京居民一年劳动教养。中国方面表示,这两位居民被判劳教肯定有其他原因。当事人家属则对公安部门做出劳教决定的时间表示怀疑,认为这样当局这样做是为了剥脱他们示威的权利。
中国人权及家属称是因为多次申请示威

总部设在纽约的人权团体中国人权在8月19号发出的一篇新闻稿中说,北京居民吴殿元和王秀英由于多次申请在官方指定的奥运示威地点进行示威而被北京公安部门判处一年劳动教养。


中国人权说,从8月5号到8月18号,79岁的吴殿元和77岁的王秀英先后5次前往北京市公安局,要求在北京奥运会期间官方指定的示威区内举行抗议活动。她们的申请既没有得到批准,也没有得到拒绝。8月5号,公安人员还对吴殿元和王秀英进行了10个小时的讯问。

王秀英的女儿王凤仙在接受记者电话采访时表示,通知书上说,劳动教养的决定是北京市公安局丰台分局7月30号做出的,但是直到8月17号才递交给吴殿元和王秀英。王凤仙怀疑决定是否真的是在7月30号做出的:"做的决定是7月30号,送达的是8月17号,这期间,我们去过北京市治安总队4次,没批,劳教一年的通知才送到我们家里。我们怀疑是不是阻拦我们申请。"

王凤仙介绍说,吴殿元和王秀英两家是邻居。2001年,她们两家被迫从天桥附近的旧家搬迁,两位老人家便开始上诉。

2002年5月,她们在丰台区的周转房被断电。几年来,两位老人层层上访,各级政府都没有作为。今年6月和7月,两位老人曾到天安门广场打出横幅,还到中南海外放过鞭炮。

公安称是因为在中南海外燃放鞭炮

吴殿元的儿子李学惠表示,公安部门说,判处劳教是因为两位老人在中南海西门燃放鞭炮,说她们非法示威。他认为,当局判处两位老人劳教就是为了 剥夺她们申请在奥运示威区里示威的权利。

他说:"根据中华人民共和国游行示威法的规定,劳动教养的人不能示威游行。我们街道的警察告诉我的,说俩老太太不能去了, 没有权利了。"

记者向北京市公安局新闻办公室求证此事,对方表示不了解情况。记者又给丰台区公安分局打电话,对方要求记者找北京市公安局新闻办公室询问。

7月底,北京宣布奥运期间在三个公园内开辟示威区。到目前为止,这三个示威区内还没有举行过任何示威。批评人士认为,繁琐的申请和审批程序以及苛刻的要求使得这些示威区形如虚设。

中国官方新华社报道说,从8月初以来,主管机关一共接待了77项示威申请,其中绝大多数是中国境内人员提出的。在77项申请当中,已经有74项被申请人自行撤回,还有两项申请属于手续不全,现正在补办相关手续,还有一项属于违反中国法律,主管机关已经做出不予许可的决定。

奥运官员称不太可能因申请示威劳教

在星期三早上的新闻发布会上,北京奥组委执行副主席兼秘书长王伟对此做出解释:"示威的意思,是为了解决问题,不是为了示威而示威。我很高兴地听到有70多个示威的问题得到了解决。得到解决是通过咨询、对话解决的,这也是中国文化的一部分。"

新闻发布会后,记者询问王伟是否知道有两位北京居民由于申请示威而被判处劳教的事情,王伟回答说:"我没有听说过这种消息,而且我也不大相信。因为我想只是因为申请示威而被劳教两年,这是不大可能的。一定会有其他原因。"

Jaxon:

And... numerous people were also arrested in the US at these protests, unlawfully, by the secrete service. Many of the cases are just now being resolved after being kept under wraps.

Again, the difference is...?

sane:

Overseas Chinese:
Well, they didn't blow up firecrackers in front of the forbidden palace, they blew them up in front of the party's headquarters. But, either way, if I were to go to the whitehouse or my local republican party headquarters and blow up fireworks, I could probably get a ticket and fine for the fireworks, which are often not legal within the city limits of a US city. But if I were to continue my protest without fireworks, nothing would happen to me. I wouldn't get one year of probation. Not even for the fireworks. In fact, it is most likely that in lieu of it being a protest, I would just be asked not to use fireworks, because the police would be afraid of cracking down on protesters. In the US the government fears the people, which is the way it is supposed to be.

Jaxon:

"By setting up the protests zones, the party has done something it's never really done before. It's told its people that protesting is legal and here are the places you can do it."
-------------------------------------------

Hey! That sounds familiar! HalliBush, Inc. did the same thing when he was running for office and when he traveled around giving speeches.

The difference being is that in the US, freedom of speech has always (supposed to have) been legal. But with HalliBush, Inc., they "created" protest zones far away from where he was so as to keep them out of camera shot.

Yup, manipulating the media for political gain. What's so different?

Honest American:

For all the China-defenders -- who are nothing more than transparently insecure, chauvinist nationalists making pathetic excuses and tu quoque 'arguments' -- I have only one thing to say about China: 5,000 years of culture, and yet you still haven't learned not to lock up grannies for peacefully expressing their freedom of speech. Take your Olympics, your diseased government, and your tawdry self-obsession and shove it!

Overseas Chinese:

Mr. Pomfret,
What will happen to a US citizen who sets off firecrackers in front of the White House?

Bev:

It would be nice if you'd get this exercised about our own government setting up "protest zones" and then siccing the IRS on those protestors who get to belligerent for the officials.

Overseas Chinese:

Military Strategy,
That makes a very good fiction novel. Keep on dreaming while China is still rapidly growing as you speak. Maybe you can talk to Dick Cheney about your master plan of world domination. He'll love you. Hahaha!

Believe it or not:

Not all in the CCP are smart.

The ones who made the decision to hand down sentences to the grannies are pretty pig-brained. PR is not a prized discipline in Chinese universities.

Please allow stupid ppl who are their best running a country of 1.3 billion to make mistakes. Plenty of them.

Military Strategy:

"It's not like the USA or any Western powers can invade China anymore."

Does anyone hear know how Western Strategy works or Russian military history? Research the Nepolianic wars or WWII, and many other military strategy of Russia and US/EU. Russia was an ally of Neolean, yet made moves that forced Nepolean to attack them and in the end Russia allied with England, Portugal and Spain to defeat France, how? Russia was an ally of Hitler, yet made moves that forced Germany to attack Russia and in the end Russia was on the alliances side with the US and England. This has played out many times. Why you ask? Russia is a part of the west, but functions like the bad uncle, in conlict, yet always in the end on the wests side. Why do you think China is desperate to build its military? If they were smart they would not consider Russia a real ally. The US is building a massive missile shield in East Europe and it will be 5 times bigger then currently disclosed. This gives Russia an opportunity to build their own in Western Russia, in three years the US will build one int Eastern US and Canada, the Russians will pretend to want to build one in Cuba again, but will settle for building in Eastern Russia. All the while Russia will station more army in it East, claiming to fear attack. With those missle defenses all defending eveything against nukes "China's nukes" plus the claimed threat of war, both the US will arm up India and keep SK, Japan and Tiawans military strong. Europe will also make preperations, not like they need more, they just do not bother demonstrating it. Russia will appear to be on China's side, then bang, China will take an aggressive action, thinking Russia its ally (like Hitler thought and Nepolean thought), then it will find itself surrounded, with Burma and NK as allies, at war with India, US, Europe, Russia, etc.. Its 100 nukes useless and it submarines sold to it by Russia trackable, then Russia will come out with very impressive tech, same with the US as China is buying 30 year old junk. Does anyone think that if China was stealing important tech, that the US would not take a more forcefull approach. The Chinese are copying three generations old tech, period. This is just one senario, but it is much more likely in my opinion than you will think, it has happened in history many times.

Overseas Chinese:

Anonymous,
"If the USA was at war with China, there would be no invasion, there also would be no Three gordge damn or many other structures."
----------------------------
Hahaha, all talk and no walk.
China can level the US too if its homeland is being destroyed by the American military. China drove the best US troops half way down the Korean Peninsula over half a century ago, so she doesn't need to prove it again. But if the West wants to have a total destruction of the entire earth just to keep China from rising, I guess it could. Don't hold your breath for that day though. Meanwhile, China is still rising rapidly everyday and there is nothing anybody else can do about. Oh well, thanks for the entertainment.

Anonymous:

"The People's Republic of China ranks second with 1.5 million"

Depends how accurate China's numbers are and what they consider being in jail? Are re-education campers included in this number?

"It's not like the USA or any Western powers can invade China anymore."

First, in a war who is talking about invading? If the USA was at war with China, there would be no invasion, there also would be no Three gordge damn or many other structures. The US would do to China what they do all the time. Destroy all infastructure, period. Second. Russia could very mush invade China. Unlike China, Russia really knows how to fight and win wars. What wars has China won in the last 300 years? Maybe civil war. Japan, no they kicked your ass and it was the US that saved China. Korea, no another ass kicking, when China went after Vietnam, no, another ass kicking, etc... Only Tibet it seems has China's military been successful. And a small skirmish war with India, not mush success in war.

nancy:

Despite announcing that there would be areas for demonstrations during the Olympics, NOT ONE HAS BEEN ALLOWED!!!!

Also, where would China's "great economic expansion" be without American designed products, American owned companies, and American consumers?

Fate:

Seala wrote: "The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate' and total documented prison population in the world..."

And not one of them is in jail for speaking freely or protesting.

China needs to repect human rights. To do otherwise is dehumanizing and the sign of a barbarian government. Absolute power corrupts!

Seala:

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate' and total documented prison population in the world As of year-end 2006, a record 7.2 million people were behind bars, on probation or on parole. Of the total, 2.2 million were incarcerated. More than 1 in 100 American adults were incarcerated at the start of 2008. The People's Republic of China ranks second with 1.5 million, despite having over four times the population of the US
America complaining about China???

chryal:

communist governments have always used methods that ignore human rights. They are have no belief in true goodness. This article on the 'grannies" is only one that points out a government that is afraid of people speaking out and afraid of free thought. the persecution of people who practice Falun Dafa, free Christians, Tibetans and others is ALWAYS denied by Communist China, dispite massive proof to the contrary. But that doesn't mean its not happening. Talking with those who have been raised in communist China is often like talking with someone who has been fed poison all their lives..its sad and reflects many years of lies and brainwashing..
Even with solid proof to show the communist government lies about it. Also, any group that actually speaks about this is called liars, China backs the horrors in Darfur and continues to enjoy the turmoil it tries to cause as well as its lies. Most governments have their places to improve but what CHina has done is doing to people will meet with karmic retribution.
Also the entire olympic games only showed the world how RIDICULOUS communisism is..all the fakes, the lies, the beatings and the disappearances of even people from other countries highlight a vicious and ill government.

jc:

Chinese in general, not just the government, do not like confrontation. These two grandma made a horrible mistake by choosing to confronting the government at a very sensitive time. So I am definitely not suprised that they are being spanked.

There are also certain people that are just "bitter" --- like those customers who can never be satisified. These two grandma appears to be like that. Thousands have been moved due to Olympic, and only a small faction are not happy. The reality is, no plan will make anybody happy. There are other channels to settle such matters other than straight show down with the government, which rarely works in China and these two poor grandma just doesn't get that.

fsc:

Reading the NYT, WaPo, they never said the 2 elderly ladies were sent to jail. They were returned to their shack and told people could come anytime to take them away. It's speculated it's to save face for the olympics.

serendipper:

I am a Chinese but I won’t defend the Chinese government this time if this is true that two old ladies are sentenced to labor camps because they applied for a permission to protest. However, this whole story is told only by their relatives. This is the same amusing as “a prisoner was sentenced by a New York City police station to three years in jail because he withdrew cash from a bank, according to the prisoner’s mother”. First, even in the dictatorial China, police cannot “sentence” anything, only a court can. Second, if somebody is sentenced to prison, I don’t think any police dare to say this: “the police told the two women that their sentence might remain in suspension if they stayed at home”. Obviously the police was just bluffing. Why did their sons let their old moms to go to the police station, instead of themselves? My guess is that they knew that in China being rude to the elders is unforgivable. And actually nothing happened to those old ladies. Who knows those old women were not shouting and yelling at the police station? To my guess, many those old women know nothing about demoncracy, human rights, or protests, or can even read. They just want more money by any means, which I don't think has anything wrong btw. NYtimes and Washington post made it such a big deal based only on these old women's two obviously incorrect irresponsible sentences?

I understand that most articles by Western media are negative, not just those about China. But something intersting is that the communist propaganda teaches people to love, but the western media teach people to hate. Take a look at today’s Olympic column, all three headline news are politics in the evil China. In China, the state-run media never have these kind of one-side-accusing irresponsible articles about any other country, no mention baseless stories like this. As a result, Chinese people are happy, optimistic, hard working with less complaint. Once I went to a Christine church on a Thanksgiving night. The pastor said we should always, at least try to see the good side of everything, to appreciate life and to praise the God. I don’t believe in God, but I believe if I try to think of the good side from everything, at least my own life will be happier. When the American people always read about dark stories, when they are always told to blame others for their problems, this nation is not psychologically healthy. These media always stir up hatred between two nations. If someday there is really a war, will they be happy?

Overseas Chinese:

I see some Western posters here claiming most pro-China posters are Chinese living in the China. Here is one bit of information for those people. The truth is, most of them are overseas Chinese. The Chinese in China can care less what Washington Post or NY Times has to say about their country.

I have adopted this attitude also. Whenever an American starts repeating what they read from the news media about China to me, I just say "Yeah, aren't you glad you are not in China?" The fact is, I don't give a rat's a$$ what they think of China. China is doing really well regardless of the attitude of the West. Ironically it is the Westerners who are still under the illusion that China's growth is at the mercy of the West. Some are calling for boycott of Chinese goods, like it matters. They only thing that can bring China down is a war. Let's face it. It's not like the USA or any Western powers can invade China anymore.

So here is what I got to say for Mr. Pomfret and the rest of the Western media.

You are so right! China will crash and burn with all the human rights issues and other problems. The West will forever be on top above the rest of the world!

Shuai:

Free Tibet? Free China first, otherwise what a joke about free tibet.

LZ:

Does the reporter write nothing but fact? I don't think so.

If the said thuggish and retard behavior is true, I am sure the guy will be kicked ass, and his boss in hot water, and his boss's boss will be scrutinated for secret agenda.

Guys, CCP is a party always with hidden power fight, you western journalists are also used as wagging dogs, by you boss and our boss together.

BTW, we will keep Tibet to exile our treasons some day and Taiwan for the FUTURE of China.

chinationreport:

This is a true story from a personal friend James Shen:
'Personally I had a painful experience demonstrating on London streets in 1989. It was cold in that morning and I stepped out of the picketing line for a few minutes to get some desperately-needed sunshine. I was subsequently handcuffed by force and arrested by the London police. When my petite wife disputed their action, she was also handcuffed and arrested. We were locked into separate cells for hours with no food and water, not to mention access to a phone and legal advice. We were only released after the demonstration organizer intervened and after being forced to sign the British equivalent of confession statements.'
And here is his full article about the Western Media's China Bashing Marathon. Who won gold? You judge! http://www.chinationreport.com/ChinaBashingMarathon.html

EnglishLearner:

I am a Chinese. And I am learning English now.
I am working for a UK company.
I have worked with a lot of people from different countries such as UK, USA, Germany,India,Ireland, Japan,Indonesia, France, Spain, Canada, Malaysia and so on. When I fist talked to them, I found a lot of funny things. The understanding about China of some foreigners are still in the years of 1960s. They asked me a lot of funny questions, such as: Are you eating dogs? Religions are limited in China? Is it safe to go to the Church? Are you still going to spread communism to the world?...

Too many funny questions. I wouldn't offend them, but sometime I would have to tell them: Do not ask so stupid questions. Come to China first, to have a look at this country.

I want to travel the world. So I have put a lot of time to learn English. China will be an important country. You cann't ignore her. why not come to this country to understand her using your own eyes?

Joe Mickey:

http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com
explains our perspective.

A couple of interesting lessons here. Very typical from China here is the response that says the elderly ladies were paid to be in the picture. Absolutely no regard for the truth when it comes to defending the party.

To understand the depth of China's human rights abuses, suggest reading Tears of Blood, a Cry for Tibet.

Our own feature films can be found here / Voices in Exile by Tibetan film maker Tenzin Wangden Andrugtsang
http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/268/Voices-In-Exile

and here
Visually and Respectfully Yours
The Story of The Tibetan Photo Project
http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/269/Visually-and-Respectfully-Yours---The-Story-of-The-Tibetan-Photo-Project

PekingDuck:

If you don't know it already, John Pomfret is a China-basher. I am surprised his "Chinese friends" don't know that already? I challenged anyone to find one article of his that is not anti Chinese.

:

David XI,

you are sold on putting the individual's interests after group interest. Don't you think that this kind of mentality is what is holding China back? You are justifying totalitarian policies. Chinese are not asked what they want; the state apparatus does the thinking for them. Those who do not agree are silenced...the state knows best.
China is too big a country to care about individual wishes and needs. It would serve individual needs more efficiently if it is broken up into independent states. individuals, in such situations, would be closer to the political apparatus that helps run the affairs of the state.

Anonymous:

"Did Jesus won a Nobel Prize?

Maybe west should give Jesus one, huh?"

2,000 years later. That is a very good idea. Another good idea is that you keep the name of Jesus out of this type of argument. It will win you no fans.

Second, 5,000 year culture? hardly. Chinese history is not unbroken nor has it been consistent. Is the China today the same as China 5,000 years ago? Was it not many different kingdoms, then united, then broken up, then united, then rulled by outsiders and then some? Egypt, Greece, Persia, India, etc... Can claim 5,000 year culture. So can many, if the only requirement is that some people have been their for 5,000 years, which is what China is doing when making such a claim.

Anonymous:

>>" How is sincro diving even a sport, how? or ping pong or bandminton???


What a self-centered idiot here. Are you saying sprots that the Americans are not intereted in should not be competed in Oylmpics? Come on, can you use your head before you open you damn mouth?"

What is so self-centred about asking a question, which you did not answer. Please look up sports and opinion, while you at it figure out what type of people lower themselves and get inulting, talk about not using ones head before you openning your mouth. An intelligent person could have found a dozen ways to respond, then your mindless approach. example "I do not agree with your assessment of ping pong and others not being sports. There is a wide range of what could be viewed as a sport, especially for Olympic approval. Such as it must be competetive and also scorable or measurable. It must include some type of physical exertion, which if you have ever played ping pong, it can be both physical and intense. Another requirement is that it must be widely played. Maybe you should try some of those sports and you may rethink your opinion, which you are entitled too." WOW, that sounded like a response and it took my head and and from a self-centerred idiot too. Talk about judgemental.

Anonymous:

"What a self-centered idiot here. Are you saying sprots that the Americans are not intereted in should not be competed in Oylmpics? Come on, can you use your head before you open you damn mouth?"

Thanks. By the way, I am not American, not even close. Thanks for making an (ass)umption. Second, it is called an opinion. I also hate Golf, why not make that an Olympic sport? Midget tossing anyone? Roller hockey anyone? Rugby, American Football, Cricket, etc... Please they are far more like sports then ping pong. Why not shuffle board, horse shoes, lacross, racketball, squash? Sincro diving, please, why not cliff diving, why not sky diving? I also think BMK is stupid and they are getting rid of Softball and Baseball? By this standard, why not skateboarding and roller blading? Diving is great, but pairs diving is a bit much. I will refrain from lowering myself in making personal attacks, but thanks for proving your own point.

polaris:

German sports editor dismissed for pro-China stance

When Dieter Klaus Hennig held the sacred torch in his hand on the morning of August 6th, he was less than two miles away from the National Stadium, better known as the Bird’s Nest, where the opening ceremony was going to debut in two days. Hennig, 64, was selected the No. 234 torch-bearer of the final Beijing leg of the flame’s international relay.

While two days before and thousands miles away back in his hometown Germany, something not so exciting awaited him. He was dismissed from the senior editor position with SID (Der Sport-Informations-Dienst), a Germany sports news agency, where he was supposed to retire soon in fall this year.

“Dieter Hennig could participate in the Olympic torch relay as a private man, but not a newsroom editor with SID”, Michael Cremer, supervisor and president of SID, was quoted in a blog article by reporter Jens Weinreich with Die Zeit. Michael confirmed the dismissal on August 4th, but refused to offer further details or comments. However, he insisted that reporters need to keep certain distance from Beijing and thus deliver a clean news coverage.

The dismissal took effect immediately even before Hennig’ departure from Beijing on August 7th, one day ahead of the Games. According to report on Die Zeit, the dismissal is deeply rooted in the pro-China stance of Hennig’s Olympic coverage, which SID think is biased.

On August 1st when the Olympic International Broadcast Center (IBC) first opened its door to media workers, international news agencies were immersed in slashing internet block to certain websites which were actually ruled illegal according to Chinese laws. The block was later loosened. Hennig quoted in his report IOC president Jacques Rogge as saying “There has been an improvement this is unprecedented for this country.” Hennig’s articles were later withdrawn from SID website. A quarrel in SID newsroom ended unhappily before Hennig took his role as torch-bearer in Beijing. Disagreement over Tibet coverage lingered as well after the regional riot occurred. Hennig’s perspective and attitude, which he persistently stands by over decades of journalist career, seems odd amid his over-critical western peers.

Germany news agency FAZ in France, or Frankfort General Newspaper, said Hennig was a renowned prudent reporter and deserved his role as flame-bearer in Beijing. FAZ perceived the decision by SID as overreacting. And a review on Daily, a Germany newspaper, argued that Hennig might have committed a mistake in not joining other media peers in the criticism against IOC but that didn’t amount to a dismissal. Online comments by netizens focused on the essential of freedom and objectivity of media report where human right receded into a catch word for all.

Independent:

Twofish says that many Chinese and Americans look upon "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" as sources of accurate, unbiased news. I hope readers in all countries will not uncritically look upon any newspaper or television news program. Unfortunately "The Washington Post" seems to have a largely neo-conservative perspective in covering international events and its coverage of the Olympics in Beijing has been excessively nationalistic. "The New York Times," in my opinion, generally offers somewhat objective reporting of international events.

The Communist party should change its name since its policies are generally the antithesis of socilism or communism. Contemporary government policies in China are somewhat similar to Nationalist policies during the 1920's and 1930's.
This is especially noticeable in the government favoring business interests, the wealthy over peasants and workers.

The greatest injustice in recent China, in my opinion, has been the forced eviction of millions of persons from their homes and traditional neighborhoods, often with inadequate compensation.
The Chinese government at the central and local levels has shown a clear lack of sensitivity toward the needs of many of their people.

On the other hand, there are also many shameful scandals in the United States, which are largely unreported and/or ignored by most people. The widespread human rights abuses have been widely reported, but most people do not care. "The Washington Post," to its credit, and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, recently reported about persons detained for minor immigration violations being denied medical care in United States detention centers, with some dying as a consequence.

Keith Olbermann recently reported a person who had been shackled, denied medical care and died in a United States detention facility. He was strongly outraged by this event, but most Americans probably do not know about this and if they did, likely would not care. As harsh and unnecessary as the potential punishment meted out to the two elderly Chinese women, this incident in the United States is far worse.

Trash_WP:

How odd the Western medias always getting the stories and pictures bad mouthing China? It’s Hollywood. Everything is staged. There is no credibility for these medias any more.

How about Salt Lake City bribery scandal of buying the Olympic games. Should US return all the Gold, Silver and Bronze?

Kacoo:

China has long had soft camps for the miscreant citizens.

They are like Camp Cupcake where Martha Stewart spent her time, but can be even less harsh but more socially structured. Various types of drug addicts and prostitutes have been helped by the combination outward bound and boot camp program that the Chinese have used. It doesn't take a judge to send you there though. A person who becomes a public or political nusiance can be sent there directly by the local police.

I have not seen anything on the harsh Chinese labor camps where the career criminals reform themselves through tasks like mowing the lawn by hand with scizzors. That's the China of long ago.

Lalalal:

>> How is sincro diving even a sport, how? or ping pong or bandminton???


What a self-centered idiot here. Are you saying sprots that the Americans are not intereted in should not be competed in Oylmpics? Come on, can you use your head before you open you damn mouth?

Twofish:

Anonymous: What is disturbing to me is that whenever a China-based person responds to criticism of their government, they always defend it.

This isn't true. China-based people often criticize their own government. What annoys people is not the criticism but rather the "we know how to run China better than Chinese people" attitude which comes with that criticism.

Twofish:

If you read the Voice of America transcript the son mentions that the Beijing police stated that the RTL sentence was for setting off firecrackers in front of Communist Party headquarters, and the VOA transcript says that the firecrackers were set off in June and July.

One question that I have for the Washington Post staff. It's a rude question, but it is one that I'd really like for you to think about. Do you guys really do any sort of fact checking before you print articles or was this just copying a Human Rights in China press release? The VOA story and the HRIC press release I got through a few minutes of googling.

If all the Washington Post and the New York Times are doing is reprinting press releases from HRIC and VOA without basic fact checking, then maybe the paper newspaper is dead. Because even the HRIC and VOA had two crucial details (i.e. the RTL order was dated before the women tried to apply for a protest permit and the women had set off firecrackers in front of Communist Party headquarters) that change the frame of the story considerably.

Did anyone think about looking at the RTL order? Talking to the people involved? Even having hyperlinks back to the original sources would be useful.

Western newspapers like the Washington Post and the NY Times are important because both Chinese and Americans look up to them as sources of accurate, unbiased news. If the pressure to get a juicy article starts overwhelming the need to check the facts, then this is really going to hurt efforts at getting a more open press environment in China.

Anonymous:

What is disturbing to me is that whenever a China-based person responds to criticism of their government, they always defend it. I say China-based because Chinese that are no longer there are very honest and clear about the atrocities committed by the CCP. I personally have known several people from China for years. China has serious issues perpetuated by its government, military and law enforcement officials.

In America, we have issues. We are free to openly discuss and debate those. When faced with clear examples of persecution, injustice and inhumane treatment of US citizens, we do not defend our government. Instead, we step up and change the situation or help. Heck, we even help those outside of our country.

Do any of you remember the amount of assistance we gave Indonesia after the tsunami?

I will never tell another country what form of government they should have. But I am not going to stand idly by while any human being is denied basic rights - a decent place to live, a chance to earn a wage to take care of themselves and their loved ones, and an opportunity to speak out and work for change when things are not right. For that matter, a home to live in that they were not kicked out of for some development effort like the Olympics. At the very least, those ladies and the other millions deserve fair compensation for the destruction of their property.

Moreover, do any of you CCP supporters realize the role that your government is playing in the Sudan? CCP is providing economic and weaponry support to the Sudanese government and its militia - a group guilty of systematic rape, torture and murder. Genocide is going on in Darfur and other parts of the Sudan right now. China could work to stop it. Instead, it continues to fuel it.

And please do not throw Iraq back in my face. I never agreed with going to war there. I never believed that Iraq had anything to do with 9-11. And I am distraught at this so called "pre-emptive strike" policy my government has adopted.

The difference between you and I is that I can freely speak out against it which I have. And can take action to change it which I have.

Twofish:

Here is the original HRIC press release.

http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/press?revision_id=72408&item_id=72405

The interesting thing here is that the two women went to see the Beijing PSB from 8/5 to 8/18. Although the RTL order was delivered on 8/17, the RTL decision was dated 7/30.

Here is the VOA article, according to that article the two women were setting up banners in Tiananmen square and setting off firecrackers at Communist Party headquarters in June and July of *this year*.

http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-08-20-voa47.cfm

It's is possible that the one year suspended sentence that the two women got had nothing to do with their Olympic activities? You can imagine a time line in which the two women set up firecrackers in June and July. The Beijing Municipal Government hands down a decision in late July. The two women then apply for Olympic protest permits, and then get a RTL sentence that was based on their pre-Olympics activities. Their son then contacts Human Rights In China who issues a press release, and then to goes all over the world.

From an Amused viewer:

Human rights! democracy thats a word bandied about in the western media a great deal. But tell me does a country like the US have a true democracy ? Do the people really have a choice when they are being asked to select a president in December .Choose Mcain or Obama - like a magician with a card trick and this deck has just two cards. Is a two party system very different than a single party system in China.

Does a common american really belive that he can change the world he lives in. Reduce the budget deficit, higher taxes, or the mortgage crises....by protesting. ..no..he has to be a part of an influential lobby or a special interest group .,,is that very different from China Freedom today is a make beleive..can we blame China.. when the system here is so broken

Anonymous:

To Yang,

You are right! That time they were also supporting Free China!

And now China are free! Tibet are free! Taiwan has all the independence under the name of One China!

Yang:

The CCP and their government is a bunch of polical thugs, by the way, they supported FREE TIBET and Taiwan independence in the 1930s.

Anonymous:

the rule is rule,

if a 90 year old grandpa killed someone, then he must be locked up.

If Dalai lured his monks to throw stones and to separate China, then he should not be allowed to return to China, whether he holds Nobel prize or not, it is no different he is separatist.

By the way, what Nobel prize means anyway, a god of peace?

people could make any idol and prize to make the world worship something.

Did Jesus won a Nobel Prize?

Maybe west should give Jesus one, huh?

Who decides other or anyone is a spiritual leader or not?

Who decides good or evil?

people gather the clouds, and say: "look! it rains! it rains!"

What about those who never received Nobel?
So they don't work for peace?
Then they are the low life and must recognize those who win the Nobel?

You guys set your own game, set your own rules, and pick your own players, and in the end give your own rewards, and make others to worship them?

funny!

Joe Mickey:

In many many cases, the West has rushed into China without a clear understanding of China

Tibet's modern history with China offers insight to the future leadership of China.

The Tibetan's experience offers insight into the nature of future leadership in China

• Mr. Hu Jintao, former Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), was installed as the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the 16th National Congress of the CCP held in Beijing November 8-15, 2002. He replaced Jiang Zemin as Chairman of the Party, and assumed Jiang's position as State President at the National People's Congress (NPC) in March, 2003.

• Mr. Jintao made much of his political reputation during his four-year tenure as China's Party Secretary of The Tibet Autonomous Region where he oversaw a brutal crackdown on the Tibetans and the imposition of martial law in 1989.

• An example of China's rising power on the world stage was demonstrated when the Nobel Peace Prize winning Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader in exile, visited Australia in May 2002. For fear of upsetting deals with the Chinese, prominent Australian leaders refused to meet with one of the world's great spiritual leaders...

More at

http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com/tibet2.html

Joe Mickey:

We have been speaking at colleges for the past few years and our position has been what you can learn about China with their dealings with Tibet.

Like this, the picture is not good.

http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com

SF:

It's amazing how many apologists are on here. Just because a civilization has lasted for "5,000 years" it doesn't confer perfection upon that civilization. Actually, looking at it objectively, it would seem that the PRC still has the same problems that existed in Western government that long ago, maybe if their "civilization" collapsed they could actually move up into the late Middle Ages or even the Renaissance. You know -- the era when human rights started to be recognized.

It seems to me that China has stagnated while the rest of the world has passed it by. There will be many who protest I go to far here, but who wants to be one of those eggs that is broken while making the omelet? Do any of you particularly care to be those crushed under tank treads or sentenced to hard labor for not agreeing with me? Were I in China that is what would happen to me or anyone else who wishes for personal freedoms and actual Rights.

David Xi:

Answer to someone called "ANONYMOUS"

There's no argument that if both economical and political freedom can be achieved at the same time, then it is a better approach. However, give me an example where this has been done and achieved on a big country as complex as China. The closest that was tried was the reform of the former Soviet Repulics, we all know that has failed miserably.

I am a freedom loving Chinese, and I have seen the current goverment as one of the best government we've seen in centuries. We are not saying we don't want freedom, we are saying please be patient and give us time to put things in the right order.

What I am saying is, don't under estimate the wisdom of the Chinese people. They have chosen the current way, and are quite successful. Your way may not be the only way.

I quote a comment I saw today below, which I think has a good perspective:

=================================================
This is how China's system works. If you don't like it, don't go there. Feel free to criticize or ridicule China because it's different. Better yet, stop buying Chinese goods or borrowing from China if you dislike it so much. But you can not expect Olympics or any other events would change China's system.

Most of Chinese live in the system and have no problem with that. Throughout 5,000 years of history, China has always been a collective society where individual rights come second after public interest. The system obvious works, as China is one of the longest lasting civilizations in the world. On the contrary, the western human rights concept has only a few hundred years of history. It's arrogant to assume it's a better system and should be imposed everywhere in the world - almost oxymoron that the very concept of democracy is to let the majority decide what they want.

And in China, the majority (82% to be precise), thinks the country is on the right track. So, enjoy your freedom, but leave China alone.

Anonymous:


David XI,

your comments are apologies for the excesses of the State. You down play freedom becasue 'standard of living' of the ordinary Chinese has improved. There is no denying that ecomomic improvements have taken place in China. There is no reason why political progress and economic progress should not go hand in hand.

Cows and pigs love hay while pinned in a barn. People have more needs than hay.

Please, do not justify the atrocities the Chinese state does to its freedom loving people.

Beck Childs:

What's so shocking is that the WaPo has a self-invested myope as its only China correspondent.

jiaming:

I will reserve my judgement until somebody confirms whether the two elderly women were arrested and sentenced for the protest application or setting off fireworks. Mr. Pomfret, you really need to give whatever information you know about this issue.

David Xi:

It is easy to take the high moral standard, and accuse China of human rights violations. For NY Times and Washington Post, it is a sure way to grab headlines and generate support from general American viewers who don’t understand China.

It takes courage to recognize a government, who in the past 30 years (since 1978) guided China in its economic reform with close to 10% annual growth, and lifted more than 300 million people out of poverty. China was not close to an economic player on the world stage in 1978, now China ranked number one in world wide steel production, cement production, electronic and home appliances. China will soon take over the US as the number one in car production. The list goes on and on in every category.

So the message the western media is sending to the ordinary Chinese: You have a bad government, I want to change that so you can have free election tomorrow (and possible chaos). You think they will buy that?

China has made significant progress on political reform. If you ask any Chinese (not westerners), compare to the Mao era, they feel a big difference. It is true that political reform is not up to western standards. But is this the priority for ordinary Chinese? Ask any Chinese, would they trade the current course with a radical political reform that will give them free election tomorrow? They will ask you at what price? Is this the same advice given to the Russians in the early 90s? They will tell you they’ve seen it, it failed. They will prefer a stable country with fast economic progress. Political reform? It will come naturally, not a priority for now.

I have been waiting for stories of political oppression during the Olympics from western media (I know they are looking hard). If this story was what they come up, then I will congratulate the Chinese government for doing a good job in managing such a world wide stage successfully. Two old Chinese ladies sentenced to Labor Camp? Good headline which gives what the western viewers wanted to hear. However, it does not resonate and make sense if you are a Chinese, it’s not part of the culture. Is this the same government that have orchestrated a massive relief effort for the May earthquakes, and have organized a successful Olympics? Wake up western viewers, use your common sense. You are not dealing with the rigid Communist government that was 30 years ago. There are no labor camps in China now. The issue at dispute is economical, not political. What you saw on TV for the Olympics is true, you are dealing with a new China with a confident, effective and popular government that enjoys support of the Chinese people. I challenge the reporter to follow up on this story and let us know where the two ladies end up in a month.

Anonymous:

"look at the opening ceremony the best ever n the gold medals china won n what you call these?"

Money completely waisted. The US is getting its normal amount of medals. China is winning them mainly in sports that the US does not car about or the west does not care about. How is sincro diving even a sport, how? or ping pong or bandminton??? No one will remember the positives of the Olympics two weeks after it is done, but the negatives will last forever.

Kenneth3:

If it had happened as "reported", it was aweful. But again how much can we trust the report? Remember the report of "uprising" instead of "riot" in Tibet? You can be sure that there are many serious problems existing in China with her huge population. Just think what US would be like if it has four times of the population as it has now. China is undergoing an evolution; just do not quickly jump to the conclusion that the westen democratic system is better than the form of their government when it finally evolve! I am pretty sure that it would not be the communism as we knew.

Cavazos:

Mr. Pomfret,
Were there fireworks set off by the elderly ladies? If so, is it common to send people to one year terms at reeducation camps for using fireworks? How many people go to reeducation camps on Chinese Lunar New Year?

Locke:

"Police on Thursday also detained eight Chinese would-be protesters, including a 14-year-old girl, as the group gathered to press their case in front of the compound that houses the offices and residences of China's top leaders."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/21/AR2008082101975.html

Sara B.:

Who decided it was a good idea to have the Olympics in China in the first place?

Anonymous:

to see these old ladies n i like to know who paid them to do that? n to see this picture teaches you to b the best liars.

e. bong:

you know it is very easy to hide the bitterness n sadness when you see the super power from the east is rising n the west super power is declining n we all sorry for the poor little men like trashing china n get over it n get used to it n help to stop the killing in iraq n afghanistan n i wonder who paid these old ladies to do that? look at the opening ceremony the best ever n the gold medals china won n what you call these?

Chin Whi:

Why is it that for a United States citizen it is a crime to go shopping in Cuba, but nearly everything one owns has Chinese components? Or you can come visit China and spend a half-year salary here watching olympics, but you say you don't support tyranny? Is Castro really any worse than this?

K:

"The son of one of the two says precisely that in the Chinese press from Voice of America, but for some reason the myopic Western press (including you apparently) purposefully ignores that paragraph."

Ah the Chinese press said that? Phew, for a second I thought maybe there were human rights issues afoot.

Anonymous:

As a chinese I cant really blame the unirary state system which has been developed since the first unification of china in Qing dynasty, because it did helped maintaining and developing the country as whole and made "miracles". However on the other hand it did sacrifised indivisual freedom and human right and it is really brutal. I guess that's why even with the economy booming at home, most of my western educataed chinese friends still prefer to choose to live in the western country and cheer for the great development back in china at the same time.

and thank you for the post, it really hit the point.

sorry for my poor English.

center:

what the Party, called China, is not surprising.

i think that the ugly things we know now about china is just the tip of the iceberg of abuse.

Tang Buxi:

Actually, John, the two grandmas were hit with the sentence for setting off firecrackers as part of a protest at Zhongnanhai... not for a legal application for a protest permit.

The son of one of the two says precisely that in the Chinese press from Voice of America, but for some reason the myopic Western press (including you apparently) purposefully ignores that paragraph.

quig:

This should come as no surprise to anyone, unless they have been raised in a bomb shelter since the late 1950s. The Chinese Communist Party wants to have its cake and eat it, too - and the free world is providing the ice cream!!!

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