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seanm123
04-09-08, 07:17 PM
San Francisco - Olympic torch relay canceled, what does that say for the future of the USA?


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/olympic_torch;_ylt=AmXAxTg1wR8_q3vLxN9dS1is0NUE

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Olympic-Torch-Relay-Tibetan-San-Francisco-China/ss/events/sp/040708olympictorch/im:/080409/483/f68c1b59a7d14690b9e9fcdccb86b10d/;_ylt=ArDmpA03nvqAIao49oBDPuas0NUE#photoViewer=/080409/483/daf56fcbbfa148c8a72a597e96e243bd

Starving Steve
04-09-08, 10:22 PM
I don't know what this says about the future of America, but the future of the Olympics is in doubt, that is for sure.

My view is that these protestors are just professional trouble-makers. Any cause will do for these idiots to protest something.

It is really sad that America and the world have become so politically- correct that they just have to think up any excuse to protest the Olympics. Some of these PC trouble-makers even want their nations to drop-out of the Olympics.

There are lots of things wrong and divisive in the world, but the Olympics is a force for good; it unites the world.

Finally, turning-away from the Olympics is a retreat back into the dark days of nationalism. I don't want to go that direction.

Better to unite the world and no better way to unite the world than in the Olympics. This is one world, one planet Earth.

As far as Tibet vs. China is concerned, I have little sympathy for Tibetans. China should be one unified democratic nation comprised of many diverse states, and Tibet should be one of those states.

President Ju Jin Tao, president of China, speaks of a vision of a united world: The world would be diverse, just as an orchestra is made-up of diverse instruments, but each instrument must harmonize with the others in the orchestra to make music. Each instument must find a place to fit into the orchestra and the music.

Tibet must harmonize with China and the world. And the protestors against the Olympics should harmonize with the Olympic movement and the world.

Mega
04-10-08, 08:01 PM
Back to the Future?

Verrocchio
04-11-08, 08:46 PM
There are lots of things wrong and divisive in the world, but the Olympics is a force for good; it unites the world.

Finally, turning-away from the Olympics is a retreat back into the dark days of nationalism. I don't want to go that direction.

Better to unite the world and no better way to unite the world than in the Olympics. This is one world, one planet Earth.

As far as Tibet vs. China is concerned, I have little sympathy for Tibetans. China should be one unified democratic nation comprised of many diverse states, and Tibet should be one of those states.

President Ju Jin Tao, president of China, speaks of a vision of a united world: The world would be diverse, just as an orchestra is made-up of diverse instruments, but each instrument must harmonize with the others in the orchestra to make music. Each instument must find a place to fit into the orchestra and the music.

Tibet must harmonize with China and the world. And the protestors against the Olympics should harmonize with the Olympic movement and the world.

I am aware that Tibet's history and sovereignty have been strongly influenced and compromised by its giant neighbor, China; but it is hard for me to understand how this would allow anyone to conclude that Tibet should be compelled to become an instrument in Hu Jin-tao's orchestra. Ironically, I suppose that they will be playing the March of the Volunteers (http://www.geocities.com/ccparty2002/chinaanthem.au), national anthem of the PRC.

Starving Steve
04-12-08, 12:28 AM
I am aware that Tibet's history and sovereignty have been strongly influenced and compromised by its giant neighbor, China; but it is hard for me to understand how this would allow anyone to conclude that Tibet should be compelled to become an instrument in Hu Jin-tao's orchestra. Ironically, I suppose that they will be playing the March of the Volunteers (http://www.geocities.com/ccparty2002/chinaanthem.au), national anthem of the PRC.

I disagree. Sub-nations ( i.e, nations contained within a larger nation-state) should not necessarily have the right to break-up the larger state.

While I support a strong Scotland, I don't think Scotland has the right to break-up the UK. Similarly, while I support a strong Quebec province in Canada, I don't think Quebec has the right to break-up Canada.

Other examples: The Basques in north-west Spain should not have the right to break-up Spain. The Palestinians in and out of Isreal should not have the right to tear-apart Isreal.

Back to Tibet, their place is within a greater China--- along with Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

While I strongly champion diversity and local autonomy within larger nation-states, there must be unity. And the world's nation-states need to unify into trading blocks and participate in world organizations such as the U.N.

Every nation and every sub-nation must co-operate to form an harmonious world.

Contemptuous
04-12-08, 12:38 AM
Starving Steve - I vote for precisely the opposite. A fragmented crazy quilt of federated micro-states. The more the better! Let them fragment, and preserve their unique identities far into the future - as they will be preserving the richness of our small world. Then the challenge is to develop federal systems that allow them all to function together.

If you encourage the continuing unification of federalized states you will end up with a grey porridge of uniform peoples - and mainland China is the apotheosis of everything in that grey porridge I'd seek to avoid. It all blends into one grey drab uniform color after one or two generations of what you praise as "super-state integration". No Thanks!!

Verrocchio
04-12-08, 01:26 AM
Back to Tibet, their place is within a greater China--- along with Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
SS, lumping Tibet and Taiwan with Macau and Hong Kong suggests that you may not understand the history of these very different entities. You seem to have a definite opinion, but you haven't given a justification for your politically controversial statements.


Every nation and every sub-nation must co-operate to form an harmonious world.
Is the basis for your harmonious world cooperation or hegemony. Do you mean that it is the weak that should cooperate with (bend to the will of) the strong to achieve a harmonious world? If not, then under what conditions can the strong be expected to cooperate with the weak?

EJ
04-12-08, 11:29 AM
San Francisco - Olympic torch relay canceled, what does that say for the future of the USA?


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/olympic_torch;_ylt=AmXAxTg1wR8_q3vLxN9dS1is0NUE

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Olympic-Torch-Relay-Tibetan-San-Francisco-China/ss/events/sp/040708olympictorch/im:/080409/483/f68c1b59a7d14690b9e9fcdccb86b10d/;_ylt=ArDmpA03nvqAIao49oBDPuas0NUE#photoViewer=/080409/483/daf56fcbbfa148c8a72a597e96e243bd

http://www.itulip.com/images/taipeisheepMED.jpgI plan to write an article about China one of these days tentatively titled, "Has Appeasement Failed?" Here's a preview.

Since writing China vs USA: Economic M.A.D. (http://www.itulip.com/economicMAD.htm) a few years back my observation is that the US is becoming more like China more quickly than China is becoming more like the US. Certainly with respect to the involvement of the State in financial markets the US is quickly catching up with the Singapore and China approach. In the political realm, with the creation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and government eavesdropping on US citizens' email without a warrant moves by the State toward a more totalitarian model are apparent. We're not there yet, not by a long shot, but the direction we are headed in is undeniable.

Totalitarianism in China is understandable from a historical standpoint. China has been ruled by the same families for over 500 years. The various political systems that have been employed in China over that time period are relevant only insofar as they are improving with respect to generating and extracting wealth from the population. It should be remembered that the Chinese people are there to serve the state in China, not the other way around as is ostensibly the case in the US and most western democracies. Capitalism is a far better wealth creator than Communism so for that reason it has been adopted in China; a left wing Communist totalitarian state has evolved into a right wing Capitalist totalitarian state. The method and the "brand" have changed but the same leaders are in charge.

It is tempting, at least for Americans, to view all nations including China as like the USA but populated with people who speak a different language – in the case of China, Mandarin. But the relationship between most of China's provinces and the Chinese State is close by analogy to Balkan states and the ex-Soviet Union, with distinct histories, cultures, and languages and no small animosity toward the State for centuries of political and economic repression. Many want to break away.

The Chinese leadership starting in the 1970s adopted Capitalism as a means to avoid the economic fate that later befell Soviet leadership. In this way the Chinese leadership are clearly more competent. Another lesson China's leaders learned from the Soviet breakup is that satellites of the State cannot be allowed to behave in ways that encourage political dissidents in the provinces of the State to get the idea that they can break from the State. The real news of Tibet was not the violence in Tibet but the spread of violence into the provinces of Western China. Thus Taiwan and Tibet have to be carefully managed with the objectives of preventing the development of political independence but without cracking down so hard that the objective of increased economic development fails.

I met the new President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou at a venture capital function in Boston a two summers ago. The tall, handsome – or so my wife said – well spoken Harvard graduate was then the Mayor of Taipei and thought to be next in line as president after the incompetent and corrupt Chen. The complexity is that Chen is Taiwanese while Ma is Chinese, and the majority of Taiwan's population – about 70% – is Taiwanese not Chinese. In recent elections by voting Ma as their new president the majority of Taiwan's population voted for a Chinese leader that they feel will both look after the interests of Taiwan but also constructively manage the country's political as well as the economic relationship with China.

Without going into the complexity of the political history I'll say only that factions within Taiwan remain concerned that their democratic system might succumb to China's totalitarianism if the relationship is not well managed. The image above is one I took of trucks that rolled past me and my wife on our last visit there. A woman was shrieking from the bullhorn you can see mounted on the back of the last truck. Pedestrians walking past us smiled embarrassedly. Chinese generally avoid confrontational speech and the woman in the protest truck was screaming, "Wake up you f*cking sheep! Don't you see what is happening? Soon the Commies will be running our nation! Snap out of it, f*cking stupid sheep or go to your slaughter!"

It was a reminder for me that under the placid surface of compliance and conformity that an American sees in many Asian countries course strong emotions and wills. Do not be surprised to see these erupt at some time in the future in China in unexpected ways.

Verrocchio
04-12-08, 02:15 PM
[wrapright]the woman in the protest truck was screaming, "Wake up you f*cking sheep! Don't you see what is happening? Soon the Commies will be running our nation! Snap out of it, f*cking stupid sheep or go to your slaughter!"


Truly shocking, and perhaps an indicator of the vituperation seen in the 2008 presidential campaign. To place the lady's language in context, however, democratic politics are rather new to Taiwan, and entrenched political figures and factions have played hardball from the beginning. The frequent fisticuffs in the Yuan, the Taiwanese legislative body, have earned the island nation a reputation for violent politics.
http://simonworld.mu.nu/archives/brawl.jpg

Chen Shui-bian (DPP) was an utter disappointment who went from hero to zero in a few short years, so the KMT are back in power. Hopefully, the "tall, handsome" Ma will deliver on the expectations people have of him.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a6/Ma_Ying-jeou_1.JPG/200px-Ma_Ying-jeou_1.JPG
Ma Ying-jeou, President-Elect
Republic of China

World Traveler
04-12-08, 02:43 PM
I spent 3 weeks in Xinjiang China last summer - it's the far northwest province of China - used to be called East Turkestan. Its history, cultures, religion (Islam), and peoples are far more linked to Central Asia than to rest of China. Has many of the same issues as Tibet and other provinces with large minority populations. China officially annexed it as an "autonomous region" in 1949.

The native and majority population are called Uyghurs, they are descended from a mixing (60%,40%) of the Turkish and Mongolian tribes of Central Asia, speak their own language, are observant Muslims, look very different from the Han Chinese, and feel they have little in common with them. China has an official policy of encouraging Han Chinese immigration to the region and now the Han are 70% in capital city of Urumqui, although Uyghurs are majority in rest of province. As article link below shows, some resent the Chinese. I spent 3 days in Urumqui and I have to say it seemed very Chinese to me.

I was there on an archaeological tour of the Silk Road, and we visited many of the oasis towns that surround the Taklamakan Desert, Yarkand, Kashgar, Kucha, Khotan, etc. We also went up the Tien Shin mountain to visit some settlements of Kyrghyz people, another ethnic minority.

Outside of Urumqui, vast majority are the Uyghurs, there were very few Han Chinese, but you could see that China ran the show. Chinese decided what happened at a political level, where markets were located, had built the broad boulevard streets in the center of each mid-size oasis town, and roads in the countryside. I watched Uyghur TV at night in hotel, couldn't language understand of course, but I saw local Uyghur officials meeting with Chinese provincial administators on this or that local issue.

The Chinese will never leave voluntarily - oil and gas exploration has discovered deposits in the Taklamakn Desert/ Tarim Basin area.

My opinion - from a developmental point of view, the Chinese are doing a good job. I did not see any grinding poverty, everyone looks well-fed, we stopped at a Uyghur school (unscheduled stop, to use restroom), and I interacted with some 13 years olds. By law, all children must complete grammar school and they do. The main roads are new and in very good shape. Agriculture is main industry and is doing well. To us, it looks "quaint", because the Uyghurs dress "Islamic", still use many donkey carts, are primarily rural and very conservative. But in every oasis town, I also saw tractors hauling goods, motorcycles, and cars alongside the donkey and camel carts.

I have been to many third world regions, Xinjiang seemed more orderly, prosperous, and safe, and its farmers earning enough to adequately feed, clothe, educate their families.

Materially they're doing ok, but there is definitely a feeling of us and them between the Uyghur and Han Chinese.

An intereing side note: some Han Chinese I talked to Urumqui resented the fact that the Chinese authorities allow the Uyghurs to have 2 children but they are allowed only to have 1 child.

http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=19971&article=Xinjiang%3A+China's+'other+Tibet'

Verrocchio
04-12-08, 02:53 PM
WT, your travel report is consistent in terms of economic, political, and family planning policy with what I recall from a trip to that part of China in 1990. I remember Ms. Mao, a government-supplied interpreter/guide, explaining to me that the Wei-people (Uighurs) were not to be trusted because they smuggled gold and drugs.

Starving Steve
04-12-08, 03:26 PM
SS, lumping Tibet and Taiwan with Macau and Hong Kong suggests that you may not understand the history of these very different entities. You seem to have a definite opinion, but you haven't given a justification for your politically controversial statements.


Is the basis for your harmonious world cooperation or hegemony. Do you mean that it is the weak that should cooperate with (bend to the will of) the strong to achieve a harmonious world? If not, then under what conditions can the strong be expected to cooperate with the weak?

The devil, of course, is in the details of unification, but I envision the strong being tolerant ( and bending ) to the differences among the sub-states, and the sub-states being tolerant of the parent state. Back to Ju Jin Tao's orchestra analogy, a balance between the needs of the orchestra and the unique contribution of each musical instrument is what is called for.

Of course, a corruption of this balance would be a Soviet-style hegemony where the sub-states become subordinated to the needs of the greater federal state. We also have this now in the USA where the needs of Washington are paramount, and the states have no powers except to issue license plates and to sometimes ( at the pleasure of the Dept. of Transportation in Washington ) set speed limits.

What makes me an optimist here is the experience in the UK where London has divested itself of certain powers. Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, if I am correct, have their own legislatures now. Also, they have their own languages, cultures, and even some local coinage and currency--- Scotish pounds, for example.

China has let Hong Kong continue with its own currency, the Hong Kong Dollar. And China has let HK be democratic.... So I am optimistic that Ju Jin Tao will be wise and divest certain powers to the sub-states of China, in exchange for unification.

Serge_Tomiko
04-13-08, 10:03 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/taipeisheepMED.jpgI plan to write an article about China one of these days tentatively titled, "Has Appeasement Failed?" Here's a preview.



Sounds like propaganda to me.

All governments are oligarchies. The primary issue is demoracy is now proven to be a sham. Oswald Spengler's prediction that democracy necessarily is plutocracy is plain as day to anyone with a brain.

China is a complex nation - but one big difference between their government and ours is this: The leaders of China are ALL engineers. They are not Harvard educated sycophants like the other Taiwanese fellow you mention.

You have too much faith in Western democracy. It is a failure. China may not be perfect, but the Chinese Communism versus American Democracy is as false a dichotomy as you can get.

Contemptuous
04-13-08, 10:19 PM
The primary issue is demoracy is now proven to be a sham. Oswald Spengler's prediction that democracy necessarily is plutocracy is plain as day to anyone with a brain.

Spoken like a quintessential Western nation gadfly. Light, elegant, disdaining. Ignorant of a broader experience of the relativity of freedom. Freedom is not a precious absolute, as you so elegantly suggest. It is on a sliding scale, and every degree to which you can inch towards it's summer end is precious. Your comment indicates you are in avid search of a harsh lesson.