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Chinese Blogs, Netizens React To the Tibet Issue

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the unintended-consequences dept.

The Media 926

Bibek Paudel writes "Over the past few weeks Chinese bloggers and people on Internet forums have been reacting to events in Tibet and the protests disrupting the torch relay. The BBC and Global Voices have interesting insights on the recent happenings on the Net. A western commentator says, 'Lots of Chinese people now view the Western media, human rights groups, and Western leaders' criticisms of their country as part of the Racist Western Conspiracy to Stop China From Being Successful.' One of the most vocal appeals by the Chinese blogs, forums, and text-messages has been to boycott French goods in response to the protests that accompanied the torch relay in Paris. One response post reads, 'Who is abusing human rights? Who is bringing violence to this world?' There also are two versions of music video of the song Don't Be Too CNN, and its lyric has assumed the status of a cult catch-phrase. Sina.com has a popular page: 'Don't be too CNN, fire to the Western media.' Many analysts believe that the protests over Tibet have only served to strengthen Chinese nationalism rather than evoke sympathy for the Tibetan cause. Sina.com has a petition against the Western media which has reportedly accumulated millions of signatures. There is also Mutant Palm, a blog by an expatriate in China who has been watching and commenting on the fallout from Tibet and torch protests online."

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Uh.. (1, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117068)

From the summary:

'Lots of Chinese people now view the Western media, human rights groups, and Western leaders' criticisms of their country as part of the Racist Western Conspiracy to Stop China From Being Successful.'

Wh...WHAT? [census.gov]

Re:Uh.. (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117290)

'Lots of Chinese people now view the Western media, human rights groups, and Western leaders' criticisms of their country as part of the Racist Western Conspiracy to Stop China From Being Successful.'

You mean like the racist western conspiracy that instigated [geocities.com] a war [wikipedia.org] with a formerly allied country mainly because of that countries despicable actions in China? And how did the West get repaid for taking that stance and helping to liberate China? With the Chinese intervention against the United Nations (not just the United States) during the Korean War. Nice going -- we help to stop Japanese aggression and get repaid by China flipping off the entire World to support an aggressive regime that tried to conquer it's Southern neighbor.

If they want to make this into a nationalist cause celebre then somebody should remind them that there's a lot more history behind Chinese relations with the West then just the unequal treaties and not all of that history is the West "oppressing" China.

Re:Uh.. (5, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117652)

different leaders at different times...

china helping out north korea was one communist nation helping out another, after UN forced had chased north korean into chinese territory iirc...

on the other hand, the leadership of china during ww2 ended up fleeing to what is now taiwan after the communist uprising.

and btw, china do not recognice taiwan as a nation. they insist that its chinese territory. but they do not invade as that would risk all out war with usa, who helped set up taiwan...

got to love that stuff. in us eyes, anything other then communist leadership was good. it could be just as dictatorial or worse then the communists, as long as they where not communists...

Re:Uh.. (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117400)

"Conspiracy to Stop China From Being Successful."

It struck me as I read that that I've heard this line before in another sphere.

It's exactly what (some, mainly republican) Americans say about the rest of the world's concerns about pollution and global warming.
It's a conspiracy to stop the US being succesful, driven by jealousy of what they are achieving.

In both cases it's ludicrous.

Re:Uh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117638)

If China wants to "be successful", then it needs to provide free elections, free the media (and the internet), free (and feed) the poor, more dialog and openness would demonstrate that China wants to be a leader (as opposed to being a bully, in any number of places, including Darfur, forced repatriation of North Koreans (usually women married to Chinese men, and when repatratiated, the horrors really begin for these women(and their families), Tibet, etc.), well, it just goes on and on, doesn't it? Hosting the Olympics supposedly meaning that China 'is successful' is just another propaganda tool for the Chinese elite to foster on the poor, ignorant masses who are constantly fed only one side of the story, due to net censorship, etc.

Re:Uh.. (0, Redundant)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117426)

Many analysts believe that the protests over Tibet have only served to strengthen Chinese nationalism rather than evoke sympathy for the Tibetan cause.

I would say they already had a strong Chinese nationalism, and they are being able to channel it not.

Re:Uh.. (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117456)

Wow! I fucked up after mandatory preview.

I would say they already had a strong Chinese nationalism, and they are being able to channel it now.

well it's all relitive (0, Flamebait)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117532)

Surely the argument should be that the west is successful with a goodish human rights record and can't china be equally successful with an equally good human rights record.

poor branwashed masses.

Re:Uh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117616)

From the summary:

'Lots of Chinese people now view the Western media, human rights groups, and Western leaders'

criticisms of their country as part of the Racist Western Conspiracy to Stop China From Being

Successful
.'
China got successful in the first place thanks to copious western investments.

The conspiracy might instead be in the way enormous amounts of capital went outside dominant country to breed the competition. What are banks really after?

The protests on the olympics are part of the conspiracy to target a single event thus preventing the anti chinese sentiment (which might well exist in those losing their jobs) to be oriented towards more durable issues. When Peking 08 is over, protesters are over too.

They're Right (2, Insightful)

courtarro (786894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117072)

They're calling us hypocrites, and as a citizen of "the West" I can say they're exactly right.

Re:They're Right (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117098)

Mod parent up, I agree that current Western "civilization" is soaked in hypocricy.

Maybe, but you are wrong... (1)

motek (179836) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117152)

What is wrong, exactly, with hypocrysy? It is the homage that vice pays to virtue. Besides, being hypocrytical certainly beats being openly racist and paranoidal.

Re:They're Right (3, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117430)

I'm not sure that the west's hypocrisy is relevant. For one there are many United States politicians have the testicular fortitude to stand up and condemn China. Secondly I am unclear just how the US is even vaguely capable of stopping China from doing anything much less from being successful. Lastly the existence of one hypocritical government of earth isn't a get out of morality for free pass for the rest of the governments we have.

Re:They're Right (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117680)

sure they condemn china, but what about a nation in the middle east that seems to do everything they can to piss of the rest of the region?

Re:They're Right (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117134)

They're calling us hypocrites, and as a citizen of "the West" I can say they're exactly right.

So our past injustices excuse their modern day oppression?

Re:They're Right (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117244)

Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are not that far in the past. I am sure I there are more examples.

Re:They're Right (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117310)

Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are not that far in the past

So our ongoing injustices excuse their behavior in Tibet and towards their own people?

Re:They're Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117488)

I am not trying to find excuses for the Chinese, I am just saying the Chinese have a point when they call us hypocrites.
Hey, we criticize the Chinese, the criticize us. Where's the problem?

Re:They're Right (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117508)

So our ongoing injustices excuse their behavior in Tibet and towards their own people?
Would you consider our ongoing injustices an internal matter or one that should be roundly discussed, with a final course dictated by the international community?

Re:They're Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117336)

We admit and try to do something about our evil.

Do they?

Re:They're Right (2, Insightful)

courtarro (786894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117266)

So our past injustices excuse their modern day oppression?

We have our fair share of modern-day oppression. I know it's a beaten horse, but Iraq is the perfect example. We may justify our actions differently, but the end result is very similar. Of course, citizens and their governments don't have to agree, but the actions of the government are what typically represent its citizens in the international view.

Re:They're Right (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117464)

We have our fair share of modern-day oppression

And that justifies their oppression, how exactly? I've spoken out about this before -- every time a discussion about China comes up somebody tries to distract us/change the subject by bringing up past/current injustices of the United States/other Western powers.

If you want to have a discussion about Western injustices then fine but I really fail to see how it's relevant in a discussion about Chinese injustices. It's basically the same thing as bringing up the Holocaust as a justification/excuse for Israeli oppression.

This notion that we can't point out human rights abuses because we aren't 100% perfect ourselves isn't logical. During and immediately after WW2 we made tremendous progress towards ensuring basic human rights for all -- the founding the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Around the same time that the ground work was being laid for that we were in the middle of the Japanese Internment and Jim Crow/segregation. Should we have abandoned all of that beneficial work because of those imperfections in our own culture?

Re:They're Right (1)

Fredbo (118960) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117708)

No, it doesn't justify the oppression of their government, but it may justify the perception by their people of us being hypocrites. What percentage of the Chinese population knows what their government is doing in Tibet? Considering the censorship over there, very little I would say. And what do you think their government is letting through about what we are doing? Anything bad I would imagine...

Re:They're Right (4, Interesting)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117358)

I have long held that Tibetans are doomed. It is the exact reason why Gandhism fails - it has in the core a belief that oppressor will feel you pain at some point (or shame at oppressing you, whichever way you put it).

But in this day and age of "remote" media, there is no (visual) connection between people - and the assumption fails at the very premise.

If Tibetans had an army, fought a war - and lost - they would have a much better say.

Re:They're Right (1)

daliman (626662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117386)

They're calling us hypocrites, and as a citizen of "the West" I can say they're exactly right.

So our past injustices excuse their modern day oppression?

This word "past", I don't think it means what you think it means...

Re:They're Right (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117146)

WEll maybe we are hypocrites, but I can still write an invective against my government and not get trundled off to prison where I'm to be re-educated.

Better a hypocrite than a slave to tyrants.

Re:They're Right (4, Insightful)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117282)

Mod parent up, moral relativism is a bullshit creed of cowards and sophists.

Re:They're Right (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117618)

Don't leave out the sycophants and the cretins!

Re:They're Right (1)

BrotherBeal (1100283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117668)

<lebowski>
That's just, like, your opinion, man.
</lebowski>

No, they are not (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117356)

They're calling us hypocrites, and as a citizen of "the West" I can say they're exactly right.

No they aren't. There's no censorship in the west to the extent there is China. There's no individual right to keep and bear arms in China like there is in the west. The differences are staggering and people that proclaim dictatorship whenever politics don't go their way do more to undermine the very definition of what a dictatorship really is.

Re:They're Right (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117424)

I love retards who do nothing but bite the hand that feeds them. If we are such hypocrites why don't you try living in another country and see if it is any better? Try living in China the way you do here. It's easy to say we suck since it's all the rage, but if you think for one second that you'd get to say that about China if you lived there you are crazy.

I like the argument that we are just being negative towards blacks, I mean muslims, I mean chineese because we don't want them to succeed. I think I've heard that somewhere before.

Here's hoping you get run over by a tank soon!

the us slaughtered native americans (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117482)

europe sent crusaders to the middle east

both of these things are wrong

however, you wish to use events of 200 years ago and 1000 years ago to excuse and condone the same kind of colonization by han imperialists in tibet today, or the actions of violent muslim fundamentalists today

this is not morality or a human conscience

the only morally and intellectually defensible position is to condemn:
1. the slaughter of native americans
2. european crusaders
3. han imperialism
4. violent muslim fundamentalism

condemn all of it. that's morality and intellectual honesty

to excuse 3 and 4 because of 1 and 2 is i don't know exactly what, but its not morality or intellectual honesty. its some sort of weird kind of attempt to avoid a human conscience

History (5, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117088)

One of the most vocal appeals by the Chinese blogs, forums, and text-messages has been to boycott French goods . . . Many analysts believe that the protests over Tibet have only served to strengthen Chinese nationalism rather than evoke sympathy for the Tibetan cause.
And 5 years ago just about every American was in favor of war against Iraq, and boycotting French goods due to their being "against us" in the UN?

I'd like to say nationalism is the new evil, but, unfortunately it's been around for as long as there has been nations.

Re:History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117180)

I'm sorry where did you get this bullshit statistic from? Everybody I know was either against it or neutral. I would suggest before spouting out such crap you give some references to back up this claim.

Re:History (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117506)

Although not specifically about the war, Bush's approval rating is closely tied to it. view it here [bbc.co.uk]

Poll graphs related to the actual handling of Iraq and the war on terror can be seen here [washingtonpost.com]

As you can see, they all start hight after 9/11, and then go down linearly. I think the big thing was people gave him the benefit if the doubt, but more and more gave up on that over time.

Re:History (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117190)

I never quite got why we were supposed to boycott French goods. That one went over my head.

Re:History (2, Insightful)

zstlaw (910185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117276)

Well because they were against us going to war. They "claimed" the war in Iraq was unjustified and that there was no evidence of WMDs. But we showed them! Ha Ha! Take that you Frenchies! Gonna eat me some more freedom fries.

Re:History (2, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117366)

The French also had a strong economic interest in keeping the region stable as a larger percentage of their oil comes from the middle east.

Re:History (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117600)

Someone mod parent up.

Exactly. The ONLY reason the French and the Russians opposed the war in Iraq is they had their fingers in Iraq's economic pie. Remember the bogus "oil for food" [wikipedia.org] program?

Re:History (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117382)

Well because they were against us going to war. They "claimed" the war in Iraq was unjustified and that there was no evidence of WMDs. But we showed them! Ha Ha! Take that you Frenchies! Gonna eat me some more freedom fries.

That wasn't it at all. It was that Chirac was running around the world saying that France was being in charge of a new EU and a new world that would displace the USA, all the while hopping over to trash the USA in those freedom loving places like China.

I still would like to see the USA withdraw all troops from Europe and the middle east, and let those people get their own oil, for the things Chirac said.

F--- those people. But, hell, I do like French wine.

Re:History (5, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117470)

Umm, please don't revise history this way.

You know full well it was precisely because the french were not only not going to commit forces to Iraq, but actively opposed it and rubbished the evidence. They turned out to be correct.

yes, they may have had dodgy financial involvements in the region, but it was the sheer gall to oppose the US in its supposed hour of need (bullcrap) that caused the backlash.

Re:History (4, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117500)

I still would like to see the USA withdraw all troops from Europe and the middle east, and let those people get their own oil, for the things Chirac said.

A pretty significant number of people both in Europe and the Middle East would thank you if you did.

Re:History (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117694)

I drink locally-produced (Michigan) wine, but that's just out of economic self-interest and ecological concern. ("Buy local.")

The yahoos who were boycotting French goods and bellowing "freedom fries" during the rush to war a few years ago were doing so for one reason only: France was telling us (and the world) that Iraq apparently didn't have WMDs and that we should not invade it and destabilize the whole region. The yahoos accused them of being "cowards". The notion that these people were concerned about EU politics is just silly.

Re:History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117352)

I never quite got why we were supposed to boycott French goods.
Some people would say it is because the French had the gall to oppose the invasion of Iraq.

But lets be honest, who wouldn't want to chow down on Freedom Fries for lunch?

From time to time, the freedom in these fries must be replenished with the blood of tomatoes!

Re:History (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117674)

Because Chirac was not as cozy as Sarkozy.

Re:History (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117234)

And 5 years ago just about every American was in favor of war against Iraq, and boycotting French goods due to their being "against us" in the UN?


Not true, really. A lot of Americans were either ambivalent or against the war. It's just that our news media decided that they supported the war and that serious foreign policy thinkers were those that 1) supported the war, and 2) show up in the same cozy Washington/NYC cocktail party circuit as the reporters. Part of this was because the Republican party made damn sure to question the patriotism and intelligence of anyone who didn't strictly believe the Bush administration's bullshit.

One day, I hope to have a full accounting of exactly how intentionally bullshitty the case for war really was, as well as some nice war crimes trials in the Hague for the responsible party. I'll not be holding my breath.

Re:History (2, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117396)

It's just that our news media decided that they supported the war and that serious foreign policy thinkers were those that 1) supported the war, and 2) show up in the same cozy Washington/NYC cocktail party circuit as the reporters.
Wait a minute wait a minute... I think you just stumbled on something. Didn't China just recently stop blocking western English-language news agencies? I wonder if this anti-west anti-pro-tibet might be related.

Hmmmm...

Re:History (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117454)

One day, I hope to have a full accounting of exactly how intentionally bullshitty the case for war really was...
There are already plenty of books on the subject, so some of the information is out there. Congress, of course, has simply chosen to do nothing about it.

When asked about investigating actions by the current administration, Obama said if he takes office he'll have the DOJ investigate and prosecute if they find anything. But I will also not be holding my breath.

Re:History (1)

phlinn (819946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117534)

Not true really. Leading up to the war, a majority [wikipedia.org] supported [usiraqprocon.org] the use of military force.

Re:History (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117706)

I never said that there wasn't support for the war, or even that a majority didn't support it.

The original poster said "And 5 years ago just about every American was in favor of war against Iraq" which is not true. The polls you cite put the numbers at around 2/3 support (at the peak), which is a lot, but not "just about every."

And you didn't hear from those of us who didn't support the war and had an inkling what a debacle it was going to be, except that ridicule would then be heaped upon that person. And many those who supported this thing still don't want to admit what a fucking pointless mistake it was.

Re:History (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117478)

Every American? HARDLY.

Everyone I know questioned WHY we were attacking Iraq in response to Al Quida. It appeared to be a smokescreen for something. Today, it still is. A nation in shambles, a ridiculous number of our military missing, oil prices that are obscene, and still, no idea why the hell we went there in the first place.

The whole "boycott the French" thing was just stupid. It was started by leaders who were either misinformed or looking for publicity. Now, excuse me while I eat some french fries (not freedom fries!).

Nationalism will always be, but what you're saying is flat out wrong. The United States leadership is a complete disaster. I support the troops, but I sure as hell don't support the people who sent them there.

Racist (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117094)

Racist Western Conspiracy to Stop China From Being Successful.

China is a race? I thought the Chinese were Asian (or Oriental). Japan, Korea, Thailand, none of these Asian countries populated by Orientals have been stopped from being sucessful. When I was in Thailand in the USAF in 1974 it was incredibly primitive, but we had a Thai intern a few years ago who informed me that the roads are now paved, they have electricity and running water now, and it has become thoroughly modern and industrialized.

I'm starting to believe that whenever someone starts screaming "race" (Jesse Jackson et al) the one screaming "racist" is, in fact, the true racist.

Re:Racist (3, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117158)

China is pretty much a race. China has had a culture of extermination and assimilation for the last couple thousand years that has led them to have 92% of their subjects sharing a single ethnicity. This is what they're trying to do in Tibet - move in Han Chinese to overwhelm and eventually erase everything Tibettan about Tibet. It's the same way the U.S. basically stole Texas from Mexico a long time ago. I'm glad, though, that immigration and a relative attitude of acceptance toward diversity has made America such a diverse place. I'd hate to become a Borg.

Re:Racist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117440)

So Tibet fought and won a war of independence, and then petitioned China for annexation?

Because that's what Texas did.

Re:Racist (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117558)

Not to mention that Mexico was largely controlled by Spaniards or their descendants. It would be like the Han complaining if Russians colonised Tibet and kicked them out.

Re:Racist (2, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117546)

When I was in Thailand I learned that the Thais hated the Chinese, that China had been trying to take over Thailand for 5,000 years. Bit both are Asian countries populated by orientals, to say that the Chinese are a race is like saying the Irish are a race. Sure, the Irish and Germans are both caucasians but there are marked differences in looks and culture, far more than the difference between a Thai and a Korean (there are pretty much the same types of differences).

I agree with your post about diversity, and although I'd hate to be a Star Trek borg I'm already a cyborg by dictionary definition. I have a device planted in my left eye that replaces its focusing lens, the first IOL that actually can focus. Details are in the link in my sig, I just had another operation to that eye 2 weeks ago that replaced most of its vitreous (latest journal) because the retina detached.

I'm fond of saying "you will be assimilated. Resistance is not only futile but when the time comes you will beg to join us".

You have a great sig btw. So sad, too true.

Re:Racist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117586)

Hanling rush kekekekeke! ^__^

Re:Racist (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117644)

As has been said elsewhere in this post, our past injustices don't justify China's current injustice.

And while I have a lot of sympathy for the Olympic athletes who resent politics getting in the way of what is intended to be an example of international athletic unity, there's more going on in any Olympics than mere sports.

If it's fair for China to vie for and then promote its Olympic bid for political reasons and to celebrate its increasing influence in the world, why is it all of a sudden off the table to use this same event to call attention to the downside of Chinese domestic and foreign policy?

The idea that the Olympics is not supposed to be about politics is appealing, but remember, the torch run was a product of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and just like China now, was used by fascist Germany to promote its standing in the world, and the games as a whole to bolster eugenic theory by showcasing German and other "Aryan" athletes as the pinnacle of physical prowess.

Tibet has often been at the receiving end of China's racial policy of homogenization, which is pretty much just a slightly less violent way of accomplishing ethnic cleansing.

So far, nothing has succeeded in making the Tibet issue more important to the movers and shakers in the West than the temptation of the enormous Chinese market and its vast pool of lower-wage workers. The WTO, the UN, and most other important international bodies and powerful nations have either ignored the Tibet issue, or expressed their "concern" while continuing to shower China with favorable trade deals and economic ventures.

50 years of bumper stickers, far left activism, and rock concerts haven't done a thing for Tibet. So let's try a language they understand: economics and international reputation.

Re:Racist (1)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117164)

Hear hear!

Re:Racist (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117178)

Look at the Chinese' attitude on Tibetans, and the overt colonization of Tibet and continued efforts to wipe out Tibetan culture. The dominant Han are every bit as racist as the Europeans were in their treatment of the ethnic groups they've conquered.

Re:Racist (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117580)

Look at Hitler's attempted conquest of the rest of Europe. Same thing, different race/continent.

The reaction should not be surprising (3, Insightful)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117106)

Because of China's overt and explicit censorship of the news media, those outside of China (and probably those inside China, too, for that matter) can't possibly be aware of the actual sentiments of the Chinese people.

Basically, what's going to happen is that the pro-Tibet folks will be squelched, either by the Great Firewall of China, imprisonment, or self-censorship, and so only those voices advocating the pro-Tibet stance will be allowed through the filtering and be heard as the "popular" sentiment of the Chinese people.

Re:The reaction should not be surprising (2, Insightful)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117380)

Also, the news that's actually making it TO the Chinese people is so edited and biased that they're not getting the real facts about stuff.

I would think the Chinese Government would rather tells lies and half-truths to get as many people as possible pissed off at the West. If you can get everyone pissed off, you won't have to block or make up news coming out. We all know genuinely pissed off people have no problem telling the whole world about it on the internet. They'll be angry based on lies, but I'm pretty sure the Chinese Government (or any Government) is going to lose any sleep by lying to the public if it can make them - at least appear to be - stronger and more patriotic.

Brainwashed. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117110)

Just goes to show you how powerful the propaganda machine in China is. To give you an idea of how unsurprising this really is, consider the fact that there are many Chinese people who believe that Tiananmen Square never happened.

Re:Brainwashed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117280)

But just as many who believe there were WMDs found in Iraq and that Saddam planned 9/11. Propaganda is so universal it binds the human race together in collective lies.

Re:Brainwashed. (5, Interesting)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117676)

you have no idea how true this is.

I am currently teaching ESL in Korea.

there are a lot of Chinese people working in Korea, and since they speak limited English, and I am here with a friend who speaks Chinese, and we are foreigners in a strange land, we spend a lot of time together, talking.

One day, Tienanmen square came up, and they wondered why Westerners always made a big deal about that particular spot.

"it was just a bunch of bad students" one said to me. she knew something happened there one, but no specifics.

that was all they knew.
Tienanmen was just "A bunch of bad students"

I went online, showed them that famous footage.
there was shock, outrage, and disbelief.
2 of them now refuse to return to China.

makes you wonder what our governments are hiding from us.

My Chinese friends are always making little jabs at me here and there, because British Colonialism was so awful, and wrong. And being white makes me inherently guilty of everything wrong with the world. (despite the fact that i am not British)

They all agree that Tibet is a part of China

I told them all "fine, i will agree to that, Tibet is as much a part of China as India is a part of Britian."

That's ok. . . (0, Flamebait)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117126)

I don't buy stuff made in China anyway.

Granted, I don't buy much of anything to begin with, but what I do buy isn't made in China.*

*Except for sunglasses and gloves. Still haven't found a way around that. Yet. But then, how often does one buy glasses and gloves anyway?

Re:That's ok. . . (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117216)

Did you not buy the computer you are using? Do you not own a computer?

Re:That's ok. . . (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117390)

His/her boss bought it. Case closed.

Re:That's ok. . . (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117334)

I don't buy stuff made in China anyway.

I suspect you buy far, far more stuff made in China than you are even aware of. Did you use a computer to submit your comment? Where do you think 90% (or more) of the components inside were manufactured?

Totalitarian regime (4, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117128)

As long as they call all non-Chinese media "Western Media" they clearly cannot seriously criticize it in any meaningful way. I mean, Fox News, Slashdot, BBC, FAZ and Corriere della Sera are all part of same group of anti-Chinese conspiracy? With that argument, dear Chinese blogging friends, you are becoming pretty laughable.

a little note (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117130)

please never use the word "netizens" ever again, in any circumstance.

thank you,
the internet users who aren't douchebags

Matter of culture (3, Insightful)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117148)

Chinese culture is vastly different from western cultures. People either don't understand or refuse to acknowledge this. They've always been ruled by a totalitarian regime, communism is just another variation. They aren't apt to enact quick changes unless their is an actual benefit. Some of the people I've talk to, point to Russia as an example of why it's not a good idea to quickly move to a democratic system.

That and people don't like to be told why their country is bad. Just look at America.

so if you go over the urals, (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117388)

or go south of the rio grande, or south of the straights of bosporus or the rock of gibraltar... bzzzt, bap, pow... human nature suddenly radically warps, and the people there don't value things like freedom of speech, a fair say in their government, etc.

this is what you are saying, right?

it seems to me that "cultural difference" is doublespeak in your mind for "i don't give a damn"

the idea of a human conscience is exactly that. its not a western conscience, nor an american conscience

the only morally and intellecually defensible stand on issues like free speech or democracy is that it is deserved by everyone, on the entire globe. every other stand on this issue is morally and intellectually dishonest

do you believe human nature fundamentally alters when you cross a national border? if not, then "cultural difference" is a loaded concept for saying that you think people elsewhere are somehow less deserving, a soft racism

as for nationalism: yes, there are ultranationalists in china. as well as the usa. as well as russia, etc.

yet more proof that human nature is pretty much the same everywhere

"cultural difference" is a load of crap

Re:Matter of culture (4, Insightful)

Xenna (37238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117446)

That and people don't like to be told why their country is bad. Just look at America.

This is rubbish. There are always large numbers of Americans to be found who hate Bush and the Iraq invasion and are willing to say so loudly. For Pete's sake there are plenty of idiots who believe Bush planned 9/11.

Similarly, in Europe, there are lots of anti-government groups (just look at the anti-globalism nuts) who get lots of airtime.

Wherever the whole country agrees, you can be sure you're not in a western democracy.

Re:Matter of culture (1)

weyesone (1216104) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117544)

Russia isn't Democratic. Neither is the U.S. of A.

Re:Matter of culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117562)

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23420148-7583,00.html

Well, at least SOME Chinese are democratic. Even if it took them 55 years to get the whole idea cracked.

Re:Matter of culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117634)

Apparently, that culture involves ruthless suppression of their own peoples, overt oppression to neighbors when possible, and complete disregard for the truth despite all evidence.

I'll pass on that culture, thank you. Just because it is a culture or it is different, doesn't mean it is good.

Brilliant, evil, or both? (5, Interesting)

zstlaw (910185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117184)

On one hand I don't get good coverage of the situation in Tibet because western reporters just do not go there. And on the other hand Chinese reporting is state run and thus essentially a state run propaganda outlet.

Having observed the Dali Lama's tours and speeches for the last few year I find Chinese media assertion that The Dali Lama is running a terrorist network absurd, but their reporting to the contrary might be causing Tibetan supporters of the Dali Lama to become more extreme as the only media source available to them tell them that the Dali Lama is urging armed uprising.

In many ways the Chinese government is seeding the dissent which will give them an excuse for violent oppression of the Tibetan people. I am not sure whether this is evidence of a brilliantly executed evil agenda or standard government incompetence.

Re:Brilliant, evil, or both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23117300)

"brilliant"? Try "tried-and-true" or "old hat".

Of course you have to villify the outgroup to justify oppressing them!

Re:Brilliant, evil, or both? (1)

daliman (626662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117368)

Hmmm... I'm tempted towards the old "never ascribe to malice, what can be explained by incompetence".

Having recently resumed working for government and rediscovering the joys of bureaucracy it seems more likely to me!

so the french get it both ways (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117192)

do they call french fries fuck tibet fries in china?

Re:so the french get it both ways (4, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117434)

People's Fries.

we have a winner (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117514)

people's fries

with side order of mao's little red sauce ;-)

In all this noise... (2, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117252)

..the voice of the Tibetans is lost. I say, who cares about hypocrites and nationalists, who even cares about Olympic games and sponsors and the Great Market of China; isn't sympathizing with an oppressed minority a good thing - regardless? ESPECIALLY when the odds are stacked so firmly and outstandingly against them? Because being on the receiving end of China is, in the end, being on the receiving end of any country that wants to do business with and in China.

Just think about that, for a moment...

There is no unified "West" (1)

Reikachu (1192089) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117256)

The idea that the "West" is hypocritical hinges on the notion of a unified "West"; i.e. the "West" is opposed to Chinese human rights abuses, but this is hypocritical because the "West" has itself committed human rights abuses in the past. This notion of a unified "West" is pure fantasy. The group of Westerners protesting Chinese human rights abuses is not necessarily in any way identified with the group of Westerners committing human rights abuses -- if anything, I think it's highly probable that they're distinct. Everything I've said so far should be obvious, but from within the Chinese ideology of "a Western world, united against us", it is not so obvious, and this kind of craziness persists.

There is a thing called NATO (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117486)

The idea that the "West" is hypocritical hinges on the notion of a unified "West"; i

When China says "West", China means NATO. It is NATO that allows Europe and the USA to turn the Atlantic into our lake, and from there, we project power across the globe. China may be a billion people, but there are a billion people in NATO as well these days, and NATO is a much more powerful bloc. China may have a GDP of a few trillion dollars, but I think the EU+USA combined is around 30 trillion, give or take. So, even if the USA sags and Europe surges, or vice versa, NATO is still a pretty powerful bloc.

China and Russia's strategy really, is to keep driving wedges into NATO by catering up to stupid suckers like Chirac, and thus far, it hasn't really worked, although, if EU does bail, I'm all for the USA bailing too and just buying a mountain of nukes.

War in Iraq (1)

daliman (626662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117328)

Yeah, it's really incredible how people will believe in their government, no matter how batshit crazy they act...

Luckily, that would never happen in the West.

Welcome to the 21st century (3, Interesting)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117344)

I think this is a great example of what the 21st century has in store.

I have a lot of Chinese (national) friends, even one who is a member of the CCP. They definitely take the Tibet protests personally. The CCP has been very clever at manipulating national sentiment on this issue, and it is very interesting to me because it is a clash between the western narrative of China as a brutal oppressor and the eastern narrative of the west as a patronizing colonial force.

Talking to Chinese of all stripes, I find they don't understand the western image of China is a man standing down a tank. That isn't the life they came from. On the other hand, most can't grapple with the Maoist atrocities. They're taught all about the opium wars and colonialism, though. So when east meets west, both sides see the world in very different light.

Personally, while I do worry about Tibetan culture being diluted and people being oppressed, I'm not sure that (a) I have the moral standing to tell others not to opppress people (It's not like we're going to offer Hawaii autonomy now, is it?) (b) it's generally good for every ethnic group to live in its own autonomous enclave.

I also think that worrying about cultural dilution is something rich nations can ponder, along with rights for dogs, and all the other quandaries of affluence.

I do wish the Chinese would confront the human rights abuses in their past more fully. I wish they had better protections for workers and better labor laws. Communist regimes seem to always have this problem. If the government is made of labor unions ("soviets"), but the union is no longer responsive to the workers needs, who can they turn to?

It's not an idle question. Look at the coal mine riots in the USSR during the 30's. The workers "unionized" and complained about unsafe conditions and long hours. The government, nominally concerned primarily with the average worker, sent in the troops who busted the riot in a way that would make Pinkertons blush.

I'm not saying that's how life in China is, but I am saying it's a structural flaw of a one-party government. But if it looks like I'm casting stones from my glass house, I'd say that my own government was set up to have competition between branches that would protect my freedoms. However, the formation of political parties has lead to collusion between branches, undoing much of the good envisioned by the writers of our constitution. It'd be nice to have a structural change here to deal with that.

Re:Welcome to the 21st century (2, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117626)

I think this is a great example of what the 21st century has in store.

I have a lot of Chinese (national) friends, even one who is a member of the CCP. They definitely take the Tibet protests personally. The CCP has been very clever at manipulating national sentiment on this issue, and it is very interesting to me because it is a clash between the western narrative of China as a brutal oppressor and the eastern narrative of the west as a patronizing colonial force.
I very much agree with this. In highschool ~10 years ago, a good friend of mine was of Chinese origin. He had grown up in China until the age of 8, moved to Canada, and then to the US when he was 15.

Despite the fact that the majority of his thinking years were spent in Western countries, he was fiercely pro-Chinese government. He used to get in arguments with anyone that would bring up Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Tibet. Utterly unapologetic, and very much saw Americans/Westerners caring about these places as trying to keep the Chinese government down. He would defend crackdowns and government actions as the price of improving the nation, etc.

On the otherhand, another friend of mine from China had the exact opposite point of view he did. She was in fact VERY anti-Chinese government. Then again, she had vivid memories of hearing gunshots as she was in gradeschool a few blocks from Tianamen square when the protests there went down... I think that's the kind of thing that can change your perspective.

Re:Welcome to the 21st century (2, Interesting)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117656)

In all this controversy, where are the opinions of Tibetans? It has been either painted as "West" or "Chinese".

Read the wikipedia talk page - anyone on them related to the torch relay. Coming from nationalist family myself I can totally understand the knee jerk reaction from a Chinese - but it still baffles me that in this whole show, Tibetans are not even involved.

Chinese nationalism (1)

Ian Lamont (1116549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117402)

This shouldn't be surprising. For more than 100 years, Chinese nationalism has thrived on a steady diet of actual and perceived instances of imperialist aggression and interference, not to mention historical justifications and myths [wikipedia.org] for its own imperialist occupation of Tibet and other frontier areas populated by non-Han peoples. The interesting thing about these developments is how the government is reacting in the runup to the Olympics [blogspot.com] . The current regime, as part of its strategy for staying in power, has pumped up Chinese nationalism for decades by shrilly denouncing foreign 'insults,' but it has to tread very carefully as the Beijing Olympics approach. Spontaneous demonstrations against athletes, members of the foreign press corps, and foreign visitors would be a disaster for the Olympics and China's public image, but attempting to quiet or clamp down on Han anger might prompt Chinese to turn against the government.

And the Chinese Communist Party.... (2, Insightful)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117416)

... had absolutely nothing to do with starting this "backlash". Why do we even care what the average Chinese citizen thinks about this issue? They have no power, and would be arrested if they tried anything like the Paris protests.

The whole point of the protests is to embarrass the oligarchs, not to get the Chinese people to pay attention.

Re:And the Chinese Communist Party.... (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117574)

Yes they do have power, we should be very concerned about what they think as what they think will shape China in the future, whether that is continue with the status quo or move towards change.

Welcome to the age of mob rule (2, Interesting)

marketanomaly (1163583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117460)

Welcome to the age of mob rule. We created the tech tools for the world to raise it's voice and assert its values. I think we generally assumed that this voice would express our values better, more clearly. I do not think this is going to be the case. Maybe oppressive authoritarian regimes are actually a good thing. They seem to be pretty popular!

Don't make China angry... (2, Funny)

Dreadneck (982170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117466)

or else they might start shipping us lead tainted toys, poison pet food and contaminated medicines... oh, wait.

Xenophobes being xenophobic - why is this news?

A summary of the situation so far (1)

kaolin.z (1089257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117518)

Here are my understandings of the situation, in chronological order: 1. Crisis in Tibet, there were government crack down of demonstrations and riots by Tibetans, including hate crimes against other ethnic groups. 2. Western media (not all of them, but a majority) eager to paint the picture of evil Chinese, so that people can feel good about themselves being morally superior. 3. Chinese overseas who saw the news react to the distortion of media and (in my view) the ignorance of crimes committed by Tibetans. 4. media and politicians keeps feeling good about themselves, think that the Chinese doesn't deserve the Olympics. 5. Various humiliation effort against Olympic torch, Chinese react strongly. 6. (in my view) nationalism in China goes overboard.

Profit! (1)

RoloDMonkey (605266) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117540)

  1. The Chinese government abuses its power, and acts unethically.
  2. The Chinese government lies to its citizens about what it did and why.
  3. Chinese citizens are offended by the foreign backlash against their country.
  4. Chinese citizens give more blind support to their government.
  5. The Chinese government now has more power to abuse.
  6. The Chinese government abuses its power

Now replace the word Chinese, with the name of your country.

It's a matter of face. (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117658)

The chinese people are not going to suddenly admit that Tibet is not chinese and that they've been the bad guys "oppressing" the innocent natives. To do so would mean a great loss of face for them.

No, their only face-saving posture is to accuse the western media of being out to get them. For many chinese, it's very bad taste to ruin the Olympic games which bring honor and prestige to China.

Quite simple really.

cricitism of a part versus the whole (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23117710)

Some strong Chinese Nationalists take the position if criticize one piece of China'a policies you are criticizing the whole system and all the people. This is pretty thin-skinned in many non-Chinese view.
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