Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for April, 2011

Chinese Manners- Holding the Door

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 30, 2011

Earlier today I forgot I was in China, so being polite I held the door for a couple of men who were entering my complex. In order to enter you have to swipe a pass key which is a pain, so rather than being like the locals. I actually held the door for the guys. So the guys, being from China see me standing there holding the door and don’t speed it up, they actually slow down a bit as if to say, “ah there is no rush now, the dumb barbarian is holding the door for us.”
so they continue to joke and take their time, not acknowledging me at all. So I decide it wasn’t worth it and let go of the door. The second I do this these geniuses sprint madly to try and get it before closing. Typical China, take care of oneself before worrying about inconveniencing others….

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Birds of a Feather- Dictatorial Despots, Facists and China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 30, 2011

If the old addage about birds of a feather flocking together is true, then China is a thug country with no love for humans and a dictatorial empire bent on ethnic cleansing and self preservation…..read below about the chicoms thug friends and chicom foreign policy.

from here
On Feb. 21, 2010, the Chinese Embassy in Harare threw a birthday party for Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s heavy-handed and increasingly erratic octogenarian despot, complete with cake, almost 100 guests, and a “Happy 86th birthday” sign. Xin Shunkang, China’s dapper ambassador, led the embassy staff in singing the Zimbabwean national anthem in the Shona language. The embassy invited local students to sing Chinese folk songs. “The Chinese people sing the Zimbabwean national anthem in Shona; Zimbabwean people sing Chinese songs in Chinese,” recalled Xin when we met in Harare some months later. “It’s harmonious.” It was the first time Mugabe had visited a foreign embassy since Zimbabwe became independent in 1980. “It’s not easy to get a president to come to your embassy,” said Xin with a bit of pride. “Not every ambassador can do this, but I could do it.”

In Zimbabwe and many other countries far from Beijing, China’s hand is increasingly conspicuous these days, and its choice of friends, like the thuggish Mugabe, is increasingly under scrutiny. It used to be that the Western world lectured China most extensively about its poor human rights record at home, for detaining dissenters and silencing free speech. But as China’s power and influence grow, the Chinese government now finds itself weathering criticism for its support of cruel regimes around the world — from accusations, as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and others have put it, that “Beijing is financing, diplomatically protecting and supplying the arms

for the first genocide of the 21st century” in Darfur, to the recent warning by Win Tin, co-founder of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, that if Chinese leaders “praise the [Burmese] regime” without helping the public, then “China will fail to win the hearts of the people.” Chinese officials are newly sensitive to such reproaches, if not exactly responsive. As one Foreign Ministry official told me with surprise in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, “For the first time, China’s foreign position on human rights outweighs the world’s concern for China’s domestic human rights.”

Certainly, as Chinese trade and commerce have exploded over the last decade, they have been an economic boon to many developing countries, correspondingly boosting China’s clout in countries as remote from Beijing as Angola, Ethiopia, and Uzbekistan. But in many of those places, China has purchased its clout at the cost of maintaining warm ties with murderous governments, from Burma to North Korea to, perhaps most prominently, Sudan — where two U.S. presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have accused Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s regime of genocide.

Yet it is much less obvious how the Chinese government thinks about these awkward relationships. How does a generation of Chinese who opened up their own country to the world square China’s ongoing transformations with such ties to some of the most closed societies on Earth? How does a country haunted by awful memories of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution overlook suffering in other countries? Is the Chinese government defending its long-standing principle that national sovereignty should reign supreme, seeking natural resources to fuel its red-hot economic growth, or offering a new model of international development and diplomacy? Is there any way the United States can more effectively engage with China on these issues? Above all, what do China’s complex attitudes toward its rogue friends say about the kind of great power China will become?

continue here http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/02 /22/human_rights_last?page=0,0

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Ai WeiWei Art from Cainandtoddbenson.com

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

From here
also check out this animated gif from their site, I had posted it earlier, but if you did not see it then click here.

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Chinese Car Wash Pic

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

Here is a Chinese car wash. It is a pretty dingy affair with young short villagers doing the cleaning. As the vast majority of Chinese are poor, those with a car feel vastly superior to the rest. The owners, usually a by product of the chicoms buying their land, and now with a pocket full of cash usually lord over the workers while screeching on their cell phones and spitting on the streets.
A few years ago only about 5% of Chinese owned a car, today maybe the figure is closer to 6 or 7%, and a large part of these are cheap poorly made Chinese pos cars. The typical Chinaman, however, has never ventured far from his hut and therefor thinks that because China is the center of the universe, that all countries are like China and therefor because he is one in a million in China then it must be likewise the world over.

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Photo of Chinese Clutter

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

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Chinese Mr. Fixit Photo

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

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Communist Party in China in the Early ’50s

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

This is an excerpt from the Cambride History of China from 1949-65. It is interesting how the party still governs or lords over China as it did before.
“The most important of these were the campaign to suppress counterrevolutionaries that was launched in February 1951 and lasted into 1953, and from fall 1951 to summer-fall 1952 the Three Antis Campaign against corrupt cadres, the Five Antis drive against the
hitherto respected national bourgeoisie, and the thought reform campaign aimed at the intellectuals. All these movements were extremely intense and generated considerable tension and apprehension in society. As in the countryside, official violence was used on a
substantial scale, particularly in the counterrevolutionaries campaign and to a far lesser degree in the Three and Five Antis campaigns.25 In addition, intense psychological pressure was brought to bear by various measures, including forced confessions in small groups and mass trials attended by tens of thousands (and broadcast to millions).
This not only fostered a climate of distrust that broke down established personal relationships, it also resulted in large numbers of suicides – possibly on the order of several hundred thousand.26 These campaigns indicated to broad sections of society the full extent of the Party’s aims for social transformation.

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China’s Coal Fires a Burden on the Planet

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

Coal fires can be natural or man made. The excerpt from this site states that China’s coal fires are horrible and have gone unchecked, causing a problem in the ozone. China should address this issue but has not done so.

From here:

RUJIGOU, China — The barren hillsides give a hint of the inferno underfoot. White smoke billows from cracks in the earth, venting a sulfurous rotten smell into the air. The rocky ground is hot to the touch, and heat penetrates the soles of shoes.

Beneath some rocks, an eerie red glow betrays an unseen hell: the epicenter of a severe underground coal fire.

“Don’t stay too long,” warned Ma Ping, a retired coal miner. “The gases are poisonous.”

Another miner tugs on the sleeve of a visitor.

“You can cook a potato here,” said Zhou Ningsheng, his face still black from a just-finished shift, as he pointed to a vent in the earth. “You can see with your own eyes.”

China has the worst underground coal fires of any country on Earth. The fires destroy as much as 20 million tons of coal annually, nearly the equivalent of Germany’s entire annual production. The costs go beyond the waste of a valuable fuel, however.

Scientists blame uncontrolled coal fires as a significant source of greenhouse gases, which lead to global warming. Unnoticed by most people, the coal fires can burn for years — even decades and longer — seeping carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that warm the atmosphere.

“Coal fires are a disaster for all of humanity. And it’s only due to global warming that people are finally beginning to pay attention,” said Guan Haiyan, a coal fire expert at Shenhua Remote Sensing and Geo-engineering Co.

This article is part of an occasional series by McClatchy on how human activities affect global warming. The rising demand for coal worldwide to satisfy a hunger for energy has given way to greater mining, and a proliferation of fires in coal seams and abandoned mines. China, which has tripled coal production in the past three decades, has mobilized thousands of firefighters to combat the 62 known coal fires that are scattered across its north.

Major fires have been extinguished. However, Dutch scientists scribbling back-of-the-envelope calculations say that coal fires in China may still be the cause of 2 to 3 percent of the world’s annual emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. They call for greatly increasing efforts to extinguish China’s coal fires — and those in places such as India, Russia and Indonesia — as a practical step to fighting global warming.

“It’s a relatively cheap way to stop greenhouse gas emissions,” said Horst Rueter, a German geophysicist who’s the scientific coordinator for a Sino-German initiative to combat China’s coal fires.

Rueter said he thought that China’s coal fires accounted for at least half the global emissions from coal fires around the world, making them a steady source of pollutants.

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/11/17/55758/chinas-coal-fires-belch-fumes.html#ixzz1KvqwxcBM

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The Party Banned in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

Richard McGregor wrote an exceptional book called The Party, The Secret World of China’s Communist Leaders. I read it before and it is incredible and insightful. I tried to find it on Amazon, but all access to it is blocked.
It is truly odd to live in a country that will not allow one to read about its government.

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Chinese Cops Allegely Beat a Man Senseless, Crowd Demands Justice

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 29, 2011

from wantchinatimes.com

) Chengguan officers were surrounded by angry bystanders after the incident in Changsha. (Internet Photo)Chengguan officers were surrounded by angry bystanders after the incident in Changsha. (Internet Photo)

A team of Chengguan officers (Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau) got into a fight with a group of young men while removing vendors and hawkers from a street in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, on Apr. 26. The incident drew hundreds of passers by to gather around and get involved, according to a report from Red Net.

A couple of young men were buying drinks at a food shop near the north road of the bus station at around 10pm. As the shop owner had placed the refrigerator outside the shop, Chengguan officers were trying to remove it. Because the young men wanted to get their drinks before the officers removed the refrigerator, the situation escalated into a fight with one man was beaten to the ground, losing his teeth and unable to move, according to eyewitnesses.

With around four to five hundred bystanders blocking the Chengguan officers and demanding they hand over the one who attacked the young man and make an apology, the standoff lasted until midnight, with police dispatched to maintain order.

One netizen, named dg, said Chengguan officers are like a bunch of gangsters. Another netizen, 66, said that members of the public are not only gathering around but are showing their anger whenever they have the chance. A third netizen, using the name haha, said the tactics employed by Communist authorities are forcing people to get involved with the jasmine revolution (referring to online calls for political demonstrations).

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