News From China

Yithian

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Chinese government dismantles outdoor buddhist statues: https://bitterwinter.org/all-outdoor-buddhist-statues-must-go/

Last time I was in Dali, Yunnan, they had just closed all mosques in town. Seems like they're serious about cracking down on religion again.
Have they ever considered that the way to encourage loyalty to the state might not be to abolish all alternatives but to be a decent state?

You can generate a lot of patriotism and support by, well, running your country well. China is fast-becoming a (literally) toxic and political dystopia.

I won't go into the politics of the matter, but when you jettison your culture for (first) ideology and (second) money, you'll eventually wake up and find that you live in a toilet.
 
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James_H

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Have the ever considered that the way to encourage loyalty to the state might not be to abolish all alternatives but to be a decent state.

You can generate a lot of patriotism and support by, well, running your country well. China is fast-becoming a (literally) toxic and political dystopia.

I won't go into the politics of the matter, but when you jettison your culture for (first) ideology and (second) money, you'll eventually wake up and find that you live in a toilet.
For the average person on the mainland, though, life is better than it's been for a long time. There's a lot of prosperity, great products to buy, lots of things to see and do, etc. Quality of life is also better than it ever has been in the 20th Century in terms of things like health, public services etc. Couple that with highly controlled access to information, and 'the man on the street' doesn't see a problem at all. Also nationalism is highly encouraged and many people in China are very reactive to any criticism of the state or of anything 'Chinese' and will dismiss any negative information about China out of hand as being simply untrue.

At least that's the impression I get. Of course there are critics, but they have to keep their heads down because it's the kind of place where you can get in big trouble for being vocal.
 

Yithian

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For the average person on the mainland, though, life is better than it's been for a long time. There's a lot of prosperity, great products to buy, lots of things to see and do, etc. Quality of life is also better than it ever has been in the 20th Century in terms of things like health, public services etc. Couple that with highly controlled access to information, and 'the man on the street' doesn't see a problem at all. Also nationalism is highly encouraged and many people in China are very reactive to any criticism of the state or of anything 'Chinese' and will dismiss any negative information about China out of hand as being simply untrue.

At least that's the impression I get. Of course there are critics, but they have to keep their heads down because it's the kind of place where you can get in big trouble for being vocal.
What you say is true--certainly chimes with what I've seen on my brief visits--but they're sailing into the choppiest of waters with full-sail. I am not an environmental Cassandra by any stretch of the imagination (although let's recall that she was actually right), but when I see the smog in Seoul and note the fact that it is literally so bad in the spring that people stay indoors, and then I note that even the masssaged indices show that multiple cities in China and India are significantly worse for significantly longer periods, I think that they're sitting on a health timebomb (wait for the cancer figures in twenty years).

And it isn't just physical health. We don't read a fraction of the tales emerging from China (language barrier etc.), but there is a clear picture of an increasingly atomised society. Now this is true everywhere in the developed world, but the cultural safety-nets that insulate people from the depredations of hyper-capitalism are more eroded in China than, say, in Japan, Korea and Taiwan (No, I'm not going to pretend that it's part of mainland China). Those horror stories that seep through to us: slaves kept in animal sheds, massacres in childcare centres, drivers 'finishing off' pedestrians they've hit, endemic sexual abuse etc.: when you bear in mind that's the tip of the iceberg, I think (to mix my metaphors) we're getting a glimpse through a crack in the curtains at a society in poor mental shape.

Again, I am quite relaxed about societies that allow successful individuals to accumulate great wealth (a rising tide raising all ships), but in China (and worse India), philanthropy is at abysmal levels and, frankly, the first thing newly minted tycoons do with their wealth is educate their offspring outside of China and relocate their families overseas. Yes, similar things happen elsewhere, but it seems to be the norm in China.

Controversial points, but what are we here for if not to float ideas: the Chinese are (excessively) chauvinistic and nationalistic, most of the wealthy east-Asian populations are, but with the Chinese it seems to be an extension of a semi-solipsistic individualism: the Chinese are a great 'race' (this would be more fairly phrased 'the Han Chinese'); this is because I am one of them and I prefer to think that I am great, so the group I am part of must also be great.

With Japan and Korea (smaller, more homogenous and more geographically limited societies, although historical homogeneity is changing in Korea, to an extent), it's more of a case that they view themselves as a family and view their society is a family of families (this too is breaking down, slowly). Couple this with a myopic historical education that focuses squarely on the local and over-emphasises that local role in the overall tapestry of world history, and you get a similar chauvinism ('behold all we have done!'), but one that is less self-centred. That may not seem like much of a distinction, but one is easier to alter than the other as it doesn't directly challenge the individual's sense of self-worth.

So many of these factors are in play elsewhere, too, but owing to the size of the Chinese population and the rapidity of economic and cultural change, they're going to get the dark underbelly of all that advancement in spades. We can only hope that they gain a concomitant appetite for controlling their own fates and begin to demand real representation and accountability.

Lest readers think this is all too harsh on the place, I will say simply that I could write (and have written) far more negative things about the state (and the State) of modern Britain, but that is not the title above this thread. I also have considerable affection for Hong Kong and Hong Kongers.
 
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Chinese government dismantles outdoor buddhist statues: https://bitterwinter.org/all-outdoI or-buddhist-statues-must-go/

Last time was in Dali, Yunnan, they had just closed all mosques in town. Seems like they're serious about cracking down on religion again.
Any reports of Buddhist liberation movements in China? Buddhists aren't necessarily peaceful given the examples in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka and lets not forget that most of the Gurkhas are Buddhists.
 

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Have they ever considered that the way to encourage loyalty to the state might not be to abolish all alternatives but to be a decent state?

You can generate a lot of patriotism and support by, well, running your country well. China is fast-becoming a (literally) toxic and political dystopia.

I won't go into the politics of the matter, but when you jettison your culture for (first) ideology and (second) money, you'll eventually wake up and find that you live in a toilet.
Probably because to do so would actually require some higher-order thinking and competence across the board. Joined-up thinking, if you will. It's actually easier for them to send in thugs to dismantle stuff and kick up a fuss rather than to sit down and engage with the people.
 
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Controversial points, but what are we here for if not to float ideas: the Chinese are (excessively) chauvinistic and nationalistic, most of the wealthy east-Asian populations are, but with the Chinese it seems to be an extension of a semi-solipsistic individualism: the Chinese are a great 'race' (this would be more fairly phrased 'the Han Chinese'); this is because I am one of them and I prefer to think that I am great, so the group I am part of must also be great.
A good post, Yith. I agree on most points. The final argument doesn't IMO represent the complexity of their perceived narcissism, however. There exists an intertwinement of the indirectness of han culture, of its nature strongly collectivist and hierarchical, and traditional filial piety which although tempered by exposure to the attractive elements of pro-choice individualist societies remains a core value of every generation. What characterises the current type of hardwired mentality most is fear. The threat of punishment for contravening in any way the prevalent social authority freezes out any appeal to critical response outside the groupthink.

The incumbent regime knows this and they have indeed formalised conformist self-glorification as official state policy known as United Front. The policy is established throughout mainland China but has its tendrils extending strongly outside China through the actions of its expatriate citizens, a strategy they call huaren canzheng or "ethnic Chinese political participation". This manifests most candidly in foreign political and business influence, but is also heavily engendered in the control of Chinese student learning at foreign universities, where CCP plants keep a close eye on the students both in and out of classrooms.

All of this serves to keep the minds of their people inside the collective bottle Add unfettered consumerism and rampant greed to the mix within the burgeoning new wealthy class, and there's no need to worry about internal criticism. The big daddy at the tip of the pyramid has all of your cares well in hand, so let the choir sing of our glorious achievement. Sloganeering is all that's required to turn the herd in any direction you see fit.

I felt pity for the mental plight of some of my students, but once you acknowledge the fact of that great stone wall, pretty soon you stop banging your heart against it.
 

Yithian

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I want to be a bit careful of extrapolating from a small pool of knowledge, but I am tempted to say something about knife attacks on children in China being indicative of more than just individual psychosis. Within certain classes and locales in China there are enormous pressures on some people while many of the traditional coping/support mechanisms and structures having been crumbling for half a century or more. The result? Some people just mentally snap. And an attack on innocent/defenceless infants can only be seen as a literal and metaphorical assault on society: a desire to outrage decency and strike the public where it most hurts. There are obviously parallels with the 'school shooter' phenomenon in the U.S., but also many points of variance.

Anyway, it's unspeakably awful, but not the first of its kind--as they article explains:

China knife attack injures kindergarten children
At least 14 children have been injured in a knife attack at a kindergarten in Chongqing, south-west China.​
Police say a 39-year-old woman carrying a kitchen knife entered the school in Banan district on Friday morning, as the children were in the playground.​
The motive for the attack is unclear, though some reports on social media say the woman had a grievance against the government.​
The woman, whose surname was given as Liu, was arrested at the scene.​
Continued:​
As this other article explains of an earlier attack, the motive seems to be to 'take revenge on society'.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...hiji-woman-knife-injured-latest-a8602111.html
Again.

This is clearly a phenomenon and not a series of isolated outrages.

China school attack: Eight children killed at Hubei primary
  • 2 hours ago
Eight children have been killed in an attack outside a primary school in China, on the first day back at school after the summer holidays.

Police said they arrested a 40-year-old man at the scene of the attack in Hubei province in central China.

Officials did not say how the students were killed and the attacker's motive was not immediately clear.

The victims' ages were not released, but children at the school range between six and 13 years old.

There have been several high profile attacks on school children in China in recent years.


Full Article (really just a review of the attacks mentioned upthread):
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49563337
 

Lord Lucan

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Again.

This is clearly a phenomenon and not a series of isolated outrages.

China school attack: Eight children killed at Hubei primary
  • 2 hours ago
Eight children have been killed in an attack outside a primary school in China, on the first day back at school after the summer holidays.

Police said they arrested a 40-year-old man at the scene of the attack in Hubei province in central China.

Officials did not say how the students were killed and the attacker's motive was not immediately clear.

The victims' ages were not released, but children at the school range between six and 13 years old.

There have been several high profile attacks on school children in China in recent years.

Full Article (really just a review of the attacks mentioned upthread):
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49563337
That's horrific. You're quite right, clearly a phenomenon of the very worst kind or copy cat killings equally as vile.
 
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Again.

This is clearly a phenomenon and not a series of isolated outrages.

China school attack: Eight children killed at Hubei primary
  • 2 hours ago
Eight children have been killed in an attack outside a primary school in China, on the first day back at school after the summer holidays.

Police said they arrested a 40-year-old man at the scene of the attack in Hubei province in central China.

Officials did not say how the students were killed and the attacker's motive was not immediately clear.

The victims' ages were not released, but children at the school range between six and 13 years old.

There have been several high profile attacks on school children in China in recent years.

Full Article (really just a review of the attacks mentioned upthread):
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49563337
Indeed. It's similar to the phenomenon of mass shootings at US schools.
 

Yithian

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A bit old, but this is sinister as all hell.


See article published at the time:

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia’s police will get reinforcements from China to cope with a growing number of Chinese tourists and workers, the Serbian interior minister said on Friday.

China includes Serbia and other Balkan countries in its One Belt, One Road plan to open trade links for Chinese companies. It has invested billions in loans to build railways, roads and power plants, mainly with Chinese workers.

Thousands of Chinese tourists are also visiting Belgrade and other Serbian cities.

Nebojsa Stefanovic, the Serbian interior minister, told reporters Belgrade and Beijing have agreed about joint police patrols which may start in October.


Full Text:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-serbia-china-police-idUSKCN1US1W1
 
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A bit old, but this is sinister as all hell.


See article published at the time:

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia’s police will get reinforcements from China to cope with a growing number of Chinese tourists and workers, the Serbian interior minister said on Friday.

China includes Serbia and other Balkan countries in its One Belt, One Road plan to open trade links for Chinese companies. It has invested billions in loans to build railways, roads and power plants, mainly with Chinese workers.

Thousands of Chinese tourists are also visiting Belgrade and other Serbian cities.

Nebojsa Stefanovic, the Serbian interior minister, told reporters Belgrade and Beijing have agreed about joint police patrols which may start in October.

Full Text:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-serbia-china-police-idUSKCN1US1W1
British Police have served in Thailand and other Far-Eastern countries to assist with tourist problems. There have even been reality tv shows about it.
 

Yithian

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British Police have served in Thailand and other Far-Eastern countries to assist with tourist problems. There have even been reality tv shows about it.
Yes, they have.

But they didn't come from non-democratic and authoritarian state that is set on extra-territorial extensions of power.
 
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Yes, they have.

But they didn't come from non-democratic and authoritarian state that is set on extra-territorial extensions of power.
But are they helping with tourist problems or taking over the country?

By seizing an Iranian tanker because of EU sanctions the UK was implementing an extra-territorial extension of power.
 

Yithian

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But are they helping with tourist problems or taking over the country?

By seizing an Iranian tanker because of EU sanctions the UK was implementing an extra-territorial extension of power.
Tourism first, more later. See also what is happening with the Chinese in Africa.

The tanker was in the waters of a British territory and in violation of European law in Europe--no comparison.
 
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Tourism first, more later. See also what is happening with the Chinese in Africa.

The tanker was in the waters of a British territory and in violation of European law in Europe--no comparison.
The EU unlike the US doesn't usually try and impose it's sanctions on other countrires.

The tanker was in international waters. Every comparison.
 

Yithian

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The EU unlike the US doesn't usually try and impose it's sanctions on other countrires.

The tanker was in international waters. Every comparison.
Grace 1 (the tanker) entered BGTW (British Gibraltar Territorial Waters) just after midnight on 4 July.
Marines boarded in the early hours of the morning that same day.
 
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Grace 1 (the tanker) entered BGTW (British Gibraltar Territorial Waters) just after midnight on 4 July.
Marines boarded in the early hours of the morning that same day.
They say they were in international waters same as British tanker seized by Iranians claim. Straits of Gibraltar are international waters.

We really should get a n expert om Maritime law
 

dejanmikic

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I live in the capital of Serbia, in the heart of the city, and tbh I am yet to see my first Chinese policeman. I suspect this was more of a political decision - maybe Serbian government had to promise something on increasing safety of Chinese tourists (which there are a lot) in return for more Chinese investments.... who knows. But, as I said, I have never seen one although I am in the city centre.
 

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There is mention above of China and pollution.

But the thing is, if China decided to wipe out the pollution, it probably is the only country that could.

Over here we have committees droning on with studies etc, then votes for and against, then protest groups blocking everything.

I suspect that if the Chinese government said,' ok, we will cut the pollution by 80% in two years', it would happen.

A case of 'no argument, just do it'.
 

Yithian

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I don't think you've factored in how that pollution is created--it's not an option that they've decided to plumb for on top of normal life.

It's a by-product of their vast industry, the enormous quantities of traffic and the power-stations that keep the lights on and homes warm.

Just enforcing such a change--even if possible, which I doubt--would collapse their country in short order.
 

INT21

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I allowed for that.

what I meant was, as a one party country that has made huge strides in their infrastructure, they would be the one country that would really put some effort into making it happen if they wanted to.
It could be that, like Britain in the 18th-19th Century, they have to use the polluting technology to get of the ground. Once they are rolling they can reduce the damage causing things and change to less polluting methods. A combination of change and elimination of old tech.

We did it with the Clean Air Act.
 

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It's another one of your hypothetical questions. Let's be honest - it's not going to happen.
 
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