Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Chp 251. Is China really bad? A Chinese argument.


Definitely one of the more in-depth and narrative feedbacks I have received regarding my post. A Chinese visitor – Jason Cheng - wrote me this long mail, touching various issues from China’s communism history to the defamation of China by Western and Indian media, and finally about Tibet.



I’ve always been a “Free Tibet” supporter. One of my good blog friends Aqua is an ardent pro-Tibet activist. I’ve actually never liked China (mind you, I’m talking about the Government, NOT the people). Hence I stood by Tibet because:
  1. China is oppressing the Tibetan people.
  2. China is brutally occupying a small and weak community.
  3. There is no freedom in Tibet or China.
  4. Chinese Government lies about everything.
  5. China invaded India and claimed Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of China.
  6. The last Wong Fei Hung movie was released way back in 1997! 10+ years have gone by and still no Wong Fei Hung! We want Wong Fei Hung!

On a serious note, I guess it’s hard not to sympathize with my Tibetan friends. What we read every day in the papers or around the blogosphere can more or less be categorized as mainly anti-China. Hence the reason why I feel this way, when in fact I’ve never even been to Tibet or China (although I’ve been jeered at as a “Chinese” many times here in India). I observe. And like most of you, I form my opinions from what I gather, because if only those who have first-hand experiences are allowed to have opinions, many of us would die opinion-less. (Can you imagine how peaceful the online World would be then?)

And like how blogger Sujai has aptly stated “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one. These are my opinions. They don’t matter much because they do not bring any change. People live as ever.” I too have my own opinion about various issues, from Tibet to reservations to racism to religion to homosexuality. But those are just my opinions. Likewise, I can point Jason Cheng to many of the sites which report atrocities committed by the Chinese Government and argue with him. Or we can all spend some time listening to what he has to say.

Listening may not hurt, right?

After all, we are fed everywhere that China is the big bad dragon. Read the papers, magazines, articles, columns, blogs, everywhere. We all see China as the epitome of evil. Anybody who shows sympathy to China is either branded as undemocratic or a communist (which actually isn’t bad here in India as we have communist parties coming to power during elections, though not much in the most recent poll, and a lot less overzealous than the McCarthyism communist witch-hunt of America, circa 1940).

The mail I got the other day from Jason Cheng said a lot about things I never knew. I even spent a considerable amount of time researching (read: Googling) about the facts that he mentioned, and they all turned out to be quite reliable.

And so I asked him if I could reproduce his mail for my friends here in India to read, (with a few formatting changes and rewording/restructuring) and he was kind enough to say yes. Therefore, here it is, the mail that Jason Cheng wrote.

-------------------------------------------


Dear Mr. Kima,

I am a Chinese who happened to come across your blog. I guess this is pretty unusual, since most Chinese have quite limited English skills to surf in English-medium internet world. It is very interesting to learn about India from a North-Eastern’s view. However, I am very much hurt by your comment about China in one of your articles, in which you called China “the big bad China”.

I am writing to you to show you the long covered facts and evidence that China is actually not a bad country as portrayed and well accepted in Western countries and India.


1. Historical behavior:

India had always claimed (proudly) that she had never invaded any other country in the past 1000 years. This is the same with China. India had been a rather weak and fragmented country then. It actually had little military strength to invade any countries before the British came. China had been a relatively strong country compared to many neighbors in the last 1000 years, yet it did not initiate any war to invade or occupy other countries. China occupied Xinjiang as a result of a war initiated by the west Mongols. I will talk about Tibet later in this letter.


2. China and communism:

There is a long covered fact (by all parts involved) about China and communism. Chinese communism was created with the help of Soviet Union, and to a large degree controlled by Soviet Union until 1959. After the Second World War, Soviet Union secretly supplied Chinese communist troops with captured Japanese weapons (enough for about 1 million elite Japanese troops—the Guangdong Army), including 2700 artilleries, and produced ammunitions and weapons for communists in Russia-occupied China’s north-east. Chinese nationalist government troops were poorly equipped with little artilleries, even less ammunitions. USA refused to give any heavy weapons after the Second World War to Chinese anti-communist government.

The US and the West had supported many countries to fight communist troops after the Second World War, such as Greece, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Angola. China was the only exception. USA considered it to be their advantage when China was overtaken by communists supported by the Soviet Union, and then began to isolate china. The US knew that communism would not work and that it would ruin the country. Americans were absolutely correct. All communist countries failed economically, including China.

After the death of Chairman Mao, the new Chinese leader realized that it was a grave mistake. He (Kima’s note: “He” referred to here is Chairman Hua Guofeng, who ousted the Gang of Four from power) launched reforms which brought a new life to China. The present Chinese ruling party is still called a “communist party”; However, communism is neither practiced nor believed in China anymore, although socialism and social welfare still have their place. The name-- “communist party” is retained, just to make sure the transformation would be stable and smooth under a hostile international environment. Chinese communist party openly recognized that China needed to build a more democratic country. What is in question is the kind of democracy, and how to achieve it. China obviously wanted to copy what South Korea and Taiwan did: develop first (so that people will be sufficiently educated), and then followed by democratic reforms.

Building a well functioning democracy (functioning to the society) is not easy. In many Westerners’ opinion, India is still not a well functioning democratic country even now. China preferred to do it carefully rather than quickly. Democratic election was introduced and practiced in rural village levels so that the least educated people could practice a functioning democracy, before it spread to higher levels.


3. Present China:

I am a pro-democratic person and attended the 1989 democratic movement. However, it has to be pointed out that most of the articles and news written (or broadcasted) by Western media and Indian media about present China is extremely biased or untrue.

Western and Indian media smeared China, and this smear campaign will continue or get worse even though Chinese people feel their country is improving rapidly from almost every point of view. After giving up communism ideology from 1979, China’s government had turned into a secular government focused on economical development and letting people enjoy life.

In present China, people have sufficient personal freedom, actually much more personal freedom (except for voting) than that in India. Religion beliefs are fully respected as long as religious people do not get involved into politics, as done by Falungong. The only two things that India media reported truthfully about China are that: Chinese cannot vote and they cannot challenge the government’s authority at present stage. But believe me, this will change. In China, we definitely can criticize government’s policy as long as we are not challenging the government’s authority. Actually, people are encouraged by government to give positive suggestions or opinions, and good suggestions are usually quickly implemented by the government.


4. Tibet issue:

4.1. Was Tibet an independent country before 1912?

Tibet was an independent country before 1246. From 1373 to 1578, Tibet rulers paid tribute to Chinese Ming dynasty government many times. In 1642, Dalai Lama invited a Mongol tribe’s troops to come into Tibet to fight other opposite Tibetan groups. Tibet was then controlled by this Mongol tribe. This Mongol tribe voluntarily submitted to the Chinese Qing dynasty in 1653 for Chinese support to defend against west Mongols. In 1705, Chinese emperor abolished the 6th Dalai Lama for his violation of Buddhist obligation, and ordered him to be arrested and sent to Beijing for punishment. He died on the way.

Since 18th century, Dalai Lama had kneed down towards Chinese emperor’s picture many times during ceremonies. China posted a garrison in Lhasa from 1751. Tibet respected Chinese government’s sovereignty, which is typically shown in the selection of the 10th Dalai Lama in 1822. Britain and Russia recognized Tibet as a part of China in 1906. China ruled Tibet directly from 1910 to 1911. Since Manchu are Chinese citizens and support China’s claim on Tibet, Chinese regarded China after Qing as a legal successor of Qing dynasty. (In fact, Western countries made sure China became the successor of Qing dynasty, so that China could continue to pay the huge ransom owed by Qing to the West countries after it was defeated in 1900.)

4.2. Was Tibet an independent country between 1912 and 1950?

After the collapse of China’s Qing dynasty in 1912, China witnessed a lot of civil wars and warlordism until 1949, but did not denounce its claim on Tibet. Tibet never declared independence towards China or other countries during this period. (The 13th Dalai Lama himself denied (to the British) that he had ever authorized the Russian subject--Agvan Dorjiev, to sign a treaty with Mongolians on behalf of Tibet. So, that 1913 treaty is not valid.) USA officially recognized Tibet as a part of China in 1943, way before communist China existed.

No country in the world recognizes Tibet as an independent country, or officially regard Tibet as not a part of china, or officially regard Tibet as occupied by China. (Kima: So where exactly does Tibet stand then, in terms of World’s view? Just another No man’s land?)

4.3. Why Tibetans rebelled in 1959?

Before 1956, most Tibetans were serfs, and most lands were owned by noblemen and monasteries. The part of Tibet (central) ruled by Dalai Lama enjoyed very high autonomy within China from 1950-1959. China launched land reforms in the Chinese directly ruled (east) Tibetan areas in 1956, taking land from noblemen and monasteries and distributing them to the serfs. Rebellion led by noblemen and monasteries broke out in east Tibet in 1956, with independence as the slogan to get support from serfs, and spread to Lhasa in 1959, encouraged and supported by the CIA.

4.4. Does China repress Tibetans and practice cultural genocide?

Although everybody in the western world believes China is repressing Tibetans, no valid example has been given on exactly and specifically how Tibetans are repressed (except for democracy or those involved in Tibet independence movement, such as showing Dalai Lama’s image in public for political purpose, which is not a Tibetan tradition). Can anybody give a specific example of Chinese repressive policy towards ethnic Tibetans and their culture, when it is not related with Tibet’s independence movement?

Foreign tourists are allowed to visit Tibet freely and talk to Tibetans privately, freely. Why are they not able to find ONE evidence showing China’s repressive policy towards the Tibetans? In my home city (Jinan city), there is a Tibetan middle school (Tibetan middle school students live and study in that school.) I know how well teachers and other people treat those students, although they still want independence. I fully respect their desire to seek independence. However, Tibetans desiring independence does not necessarily prove that they are ill-treated by Chinese. Specific evidence needs to be shown. What happened now is that some Tibetans took part in violent actions for independence, and the Chinese government had to respond, and then they use these crack downs as the reason to appeal for their cause in the international community. This does not make any sense. Only those evidences of repression while they were not involved in the independence movement can be used as the reason for asking for independence. However, they have shown none till now.

5. China and India’s 1962 war.

Since 1959, Nehru used his “advancing policy” to order Indian troops to advance across the McMahon line (a line China never recognized, and claimed and established by India before 1951 as India’s border) towards north and deep into Chinese controlled territories, attacked, captured and passed Chinese post stations, and deep into further north. China and India had been at war status since 1959. China had only very few troops fighting Indian troops from 1959 to 1962, since they were dealing with the rebellious Tibetans. Do people think that China has no rights to counterattack in 1962, if India can initiate the war with China and advanced deeply beyond the McMahon line and into Chinese controlled territory?


Reference book:

1. “The snow lion and the dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama”, Author: Melvyn. C. Goldstein, Director of Tibet Center, Case Western Univ. U.S.A.
2. “India’s China war” author: Neville Maxwell


I really encourage you to come and visit China, to see with your own eyes and to talk with people in person, and then you will discover that the real China and real Chinese is WAY different from what is being portrayed by Western countries and India.


---------------------------------------------------------


And so that was the mail from Jason Cheng. I have many friends who support the Tibet movement, and this post does not mean I no longer support Tibet. I still do. Politics is complicated and sometimes we have to let our heart make a decision for us, regardless of whether it is reasonable or not. Practicality takes a back seat when it comes to emotions.

However, it never hurts to read about things you don’t believe in, or don’t want to believe in.

This post has been an eye-opener to me on some issues. At one end, some may label Jason Cheng as a hardcore Han patriot, similar to the fanatical Christian extremists, Hindu extremists, Muslim extremists, regional and ethnic zealots etc that we find here in India, who see only the good that they do and the bad that others do unto them, and not vice-versa, passionately jumping into the defense of anything that dares to attack their sentiments and beliefs.

But at the same time, we can also treat this as the personal opinion of somebody who is from “the other side” and his perspective on many of the China-bashing articles that you find on the net. It is his prerogative to defend his own culture, just like how it is our duty to defend our country, our integrity, our culture, our religion.

Like I mentioned before, I can argue with a hundred points that he made, and he can do the same back. There is no end to such online discussions relating to invasion/occupation, especially when the very origin of any of us is obscure. Thank you Jason Cheng for allowing me to share your viewpoints with my readers. 2600 words and counting, so I don’t expect much response. But no matter what kind of debate or argument or even racial abuses this post may generate, let us all remember Bertrand Russell’s famous quote: “War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Peace.


41 comments:

VaiVa said...

Let me think...

Give me some time to reason the reasons!

Kartikey said...

Like I mentioned before, I can argue with a hundred points that he made, and he can do the same back. There is no end to such online discussions

there would be little need for discussion, then.
however, I am sure that certain story points can easily be counter argued.

feddabonn said...

good on you for posting this, kima. i increasingly wonder if any country is any more good or bad than any other. things seem to balance out a good bit.

having said that, the only point i would question is the 'freedom' angle. just recently, there has been a block on bloggers, documented on blogs i read regularly. is affectionately called the great firewall of china. doesn't seem very free to me!

apple88 said...

Hi, Guys,

Let me clarify one thing first. When I said "He" launched china's reform after the death of chairman Mao, I actually intended to refer Deng xiaoping, instead of Hua guofeng. Kima is correct. Actually Hua is the ruler after the death of mao. However, since he was in seat for only 2 years, and did almost nothing during his rule, chinese tends to forget him and regards Deng xiaoping as the second leader. Anyway, its my mistake.

Kartikey: I wish you can point out the exact story points.

Feddabonn: Although there is good reason to defend from western smear, chinese government is indeed stupid to block some websits sometimes. This is a kind of behavior left from mao's time and needs to be changed. Good point.

Vikram said...

I dont see on what basis the claim, "In present China, people have sufficient personal freedom, actually much more personal freedom (except for voting) than that in India."

I am in no way claiming that India has sufficient freedoms, but this strikes me as a very hasty statement. Sure, Indian society is very often repressive and discriminatory, but one of the underlying goals of Indian democracy is to turn it into a more open and liberal society. One example would be the recent Delhi HC ruling regarding homosexuality. This process of social change needs democracy and a free media to take place meaningfully.

I think if there is one thing we as Indians can learn from the Communist China, it is the dignity of labour and gender equality. I will quote from Pallavi Aiyar's excellent book 'Smoke and Mirrors',
“One of communism’s lingering legacies in China was a basic belief in the dignity of labour and to me it was this belief that created the broadest gulf between India and China; a chasm ultimately much harder to bridge than that of GDP growth rates or flashy infrastructure.”

Pixie said...

fantastic post Kima! :)
me will be back to read this in leisure and comment properly!

Right now, off to attend a TRaining... *sigh*

Vikram said...

Jason, I have two more questions/comments for you, you have accused the Indian and Western media of a smear campaign against China. Fine. A few months ago, a movie called Slumdog Millionaire won many Oscars. It was made by a Britisher for a Western audience, based on perhaps the worst elements of life in India. Should we Indians then denounce that movie as a smear campaign against our country ? Sure enough many Indians did not like the potrayal of India in the movie, but most Indians accepted the movie or were apathetic. And without democracy and freedom of speech, it would have never been made in the first place and the ensuing debate would have never happened.

I would highly recommend that you read the essay/book 'The Burden of Democracy' by Pratap Mehta. It is perhaps the finest Indian work I have come across. It explains why Indian society inhibits collective action and weakens democracy due to its casteist/racist nature. But after reading your letter and other posts by Chinese middle classes, it now occurs to me that there are other things that can prevent effective collective action: control and manipulation of information by the authority, an elite that has become too comfortable with the authority to challenge it and the wholesale invasion of a consumption culture, where individuals are mostly engaged in climbing the capitalist ladder and new ideas and politics are suppressed or ignored.

Again, I am not saying that the above dont happen in India and America, but democracy and free speech provides avenues through which they can be challenged. Democracy is not simply about local elections and voting, it is above all about political freedom at the grass roots, so that people can mobilize politically as they want in response to changes around them and can communicate their ideas and demands to the broader society.

Phew ! Sorry about the long comment Kima.

illusionaire said...

@ Vikram: Like I said, bro. The floor is yours :) Your discussions and Jason's replies are very interesting. We are looking forward to more participation.

claytonia vices said...

However silly it might sound, I still go by John Lennon's lines:

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

chhangte_ll said...

History had been repleted with the more advanced 'West' colonizing and pillaging 'Planet Earth' and it's inhabitants. Even in contemporary 'Geopolitics' the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan had nothing, even in the remotest sense, to do with 'Freedom and Liberty' - A mere glance of West-Asian 'Political Map' will indicate that it is the only plausible conduit left for the so-called 'Oil Pipeline'(Sadly they had lost the 'Chess Game' in Georgia, though they had managed to install 'Pro-West' leaders in Georgia and Ukraine). Wasn't that abomination called 'The Cold War' supposed to end after 'Berlin Wall' had fallen; Frankly, one might know the answer if NATO gains a foothold at the 'Gates of Moscow and Beijing'!!

One need not be reminded about the 'Post-Colonial Effects' that is still reverberating across some African and Asian countries - Sadly again, they are ready market for 'Surplus Western Weaponry', quite beneficial in Africa which is teeming with vast 'Unexploited Mineral Resources'. And for the umpteenth time let us be reminded again that some areas had been settled permanently for centuries; though, of late, it hasn't been the perfect rose-garden for some 'Whites' - A good example being Zimbabwe, where the merest form of 'Land Reforms' evoked 'Hue and Cry' amongst European Countries (Do keep trying President Robert Mugabe, and my blessings to you); "Isn't it Ironic" sang Alanis Morissette (Pardon me for being so out of context, but then the words just derailed my chain of thoughts).

Now one shuddered to think of the occupied 'Occidental Worlds' where the aborigines were systematically annihilated or absorbed after subjugation. I wonder if they are enjoying a Socio-Cultural 'Utopian Bliss'; it doesn't merit the slightest of reasoning - the answer is a foregone conclusion.

I guess these 'Western Media' reports should be taken with a 'Pinch of salts'. After all, they had ingrained in me a childhood fallacy - Yes, the biased view that the late President J.F.Kennedy kicked the hell out of the Russians in Cuba (Ha ha ha...It was a 'Give and take' deal vis-a-vis NATO Missile base in Turkey after all). The Sub-Continent and East Asia had one of the longest, and time-tested, Civilizations which is still continuing today. It will take more that these 'Reports' for the West to re-gain political mileage amongst the inhabitants and a toehold in these parts of the World (Read: 'Sphere of Influence'). I, for one, will not subscribe to their views (Believe me, I'm not bereft of logical reasoning at this age) as these countries are matured enough to handle and mange their own 'Internal Affairs'.

s.n.m said...

hi Kimsy boy,

hope u are keeping well.

made me laugh when i read Jason Cheng point on why Tibet was invaded and its status. makes him sound straight out of the "Little Red Book".

i would also ask Jason to widen his reference list to include arguments put forward by exiled writers. A peek inside works of post cultural revolution writers works include the real story (tolerance to factual narration was low and hence disguised as fiction)(suggestion: "Da Chen's Colors of the Mountain")

on cultural genocide, the resent Uighur protests and the crack down is a good example.

s.n.m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vana said...

bro, china atangin e-mail i dawng bik elo.. China government hi an khauh khop mai an ti. Thil pakhat ve mai mai chu China ram economy than dan en hian tih dik/fuh chu an nei chiang a ni. Nge an duplicate siam hrat ltk hian an economy a ti thang vak zawk ni ang?
Hetianga an than dan en hi chuan awh awmna lai an nei, mahse human rights erawh a violate nasa tih a chiang reng.

mang buhril said...

yelp!! it's always good to get the view from the other side, anything one-sided tends to be fanatical. Sure i support Tibet cause to the core and feel for my tibetan brothers. One thing positive about China is that the govt. there is much more efficient than what we have here in India, less corporate red-tapes and the likes. The progress in terms of infrastructure and devp. is there for all to see.

Makima said...

Before I really start reading, let me first say that i had long ago made up my mind that all the China bashing is really overdone... way too overdone, be it monosodioum glutamate or flip flops sold at Walmart. it all sounds like economical Cold War to me... bring down the big guy one way or the other. If it can happen to the USSR militarily, why not the Chinese economically?

That's just me... any I know nothing about economics, trade and international affairs.

Makima said...

let me get back to reading the article... that was just a preview :)

apple88 said...

Reply to S.N.M.:

“would also ask Jason to widen his reference list to include arguments put forward by exiled writers. “

If you read them, show me some important facts here, please.

“A peek inside works of post cultural revolution writers works include the real story (tolerance to factual narration was low and hence disguised as fiction)(suggestion: "Da Chen's Colors of the Mountain")”

Did you actually read this book? If I am not wrong he suffered before/during, not after the cultural revolution. We Chinese are victims of communism which is forced upon us by Stalin, with the help of U.S. You Indians are just lucky than us. So, what?

“on cultural genocide, the resent Uighur protests and the crack down is a good example.”

Does protest and crack down definitely caused by repression and genocide? What repression makes canada’s Quebecars and spain’s bask seeking independence? Oh, by the way, how you Indians repressed Kashmirs to force them seeking independence?


Reply to Vikram:

“a movie called Slumdog Millionaire won many Oscars. It was based on perhaps the worst elements of life in India. Should we Indians then denounce that movie as a smear campaign against our country ? And without democracy and freedom of speech, it would have never been made in the first place and the ensuing debate would have never happened.”

When I say “smear”, I mean “lie” or “distort” the nature of things. I have not ever heard any Indians claiming slumdog’s story is not possible or extremely rare in India. As far as I know, 25% Indians live in miserable conditions. 2000 innoicent Indian muslims were killed, including burned alive, based on groundless rumors several years ago in Gujrat. Does every Indian movie has to show India’s whole picture? Do you know Zhang-Yimou, who is the director of 2008 Beijing Olympic games’ open ceremony’s show. This guy got famous in china by making movies showing china’s poorest villages’ life 20 years ago. His movies won many awards in west countries and made lots of money in china. Oh, yeah, we did it 20 years ago.

“control and manipulation of information by the authority, an elite that has become too comfortable with the authority to challenge it and the wholesale invasion of a consumption culture, where individuals are mostly engaged in climbing the capitalist ladder and new ideas and politics are suppressed or ignored.”

You can think or dream anyway you enjoying. I am more concerned about facts.

“Democracy is above all about political freedom at the grass roots, so that people can mobilize politically as they want in response to changes around them and can communicate their ideas and demands to the broader society. “

So…, what is the result of your communication and response after 60 years of democracy? 50 millions slumdogs plus hundreds of millions of un-touchables? Don’t you feel india’s democracy tarnished the glorious word of “democracy”? If china was allowed to become a democractic country 60 years ago, china will be a much better country than now. If I were an Indian, I will be shamed to claim India as a real democracy.

Sorry for my harsh words. No intend to offend. In an old Chinese saying: “medicine may taste bitter, but good to your health; honest words may sounds harsh, but good to you.”

Jason

apple88 said...

Hi, Guys,

I would like to share some of my thoughts and knowledge about “lie”, a topic only loosely related with this page’s topic.

Why people lie after all? Lie does work, and lie does bring benefit. You can even win the heart of the people being cheated by you.

There is a known saying in west: a lie repeated for a thousand times will become truth. People cheated by a lie repeatedly will not only accept it and believe it mentally with their brain, but also, this lie will gradually dissolve into this person and become a part of this person, a part of his knowledge, value and himself. When there are clear facts to expose a lie, it is not only difficult for long-being-cheated person to realize a lie, mentally with brain, it is even much more difficult to reject a lie psychologically. People have accepted the liar with their heart. Liar and the lie has become a part of the being cheated person himself. Reject the lie would like to reject himself, to deny himself, to re-organize our whole value network. It is very hard.

For example, in china, there is still a lot of old people love chairman mao. Even if I put all clear facts in front of them to show them how bad a person/ruler chairman mao actually is, many people just can not accept it. My mother suffered a lot under mao’s rule. However, she has been cheated for so long that she can not reject Mao from her heart (psychologically), even though she recognized all the evidence I showed to her. It took her many years to psychologically accept the reality that Mao was a bad ruler.

For a person who got addicted to heroin/drug, it is not very difficult to get rid of the biological-addiction as long as he is put into a properly cared drug-relieve center. However, even after many years after he has got rid of the biological addiction, he still has much weaker resistance to the temptation of using-drugs than normal people if drugs are available at hands. This is call psychological addiction.

However, I must point out that from my knowledge, I do NOT think/regard most Tibetans-in-exile as intentional liars. A French writer had made up her mind to write a book about the sufferings of Tibetans in china. She lived with Tibetan refugees in India for several months to collect suffering stories. One lady’s stories touch her most. However, she accidently found that many of this lady’s stories just can not be true. She said in her own words that: she(this lady) can not distinct truth with what she imagined. For this lady, facts are not important, what is important is what she believed. She may be a very kind/nice kind-hearted lady, even still an honest lady in her heart.

However, if you allow me to choose only one from truth and good, I will choose truth. Because, without truth, we can not even know what is good, what is bad.

Jason

Vikram said...

Jason, you have not responded rationally. The point is how you respond to criticism. You are trying to give me some harsh medicine, but by calling Indians 'slumdogs' and 'untouchables' arent you engaging in the same smear that you accuse us and the West of ?

As for Zhang Yimou, have you heard of Satyajit Ray ?

Do you know why India has slumdogs ? Or do you know how India's untouchables have been trying to achieve equality in the last 60 years ? What books have you read and what qualifies you to make such a comment ?

In my comments did I say a single thing about China that was not quoted from a book, my comments were trying to explain to you the situation in India and why democracy is important here.

"You can think or dream anyway you enjoying. I am more concerned about facts."

Indeed the facts are your own hubris and racism, and your inability to respond to even the hint of criticism without smear words and arrogance.

"So…, what is the result of your communication and response after 60 years of democracy? 50 millions slumdogs plus hundreds of millions of un-touchables?"

The result is their political activism and their assertion of their identity and rights. The Chief Minister of India's most populous state is in your words 'untouchable' (they call themselves Dalit just so you know). And she got there by this political activism and campaigning. I am in no way claiming that the job is done, in many ways it is just the beginning.

By repeatedly calling people untouchable and slumdog you are reducing yourself to the same low level that many Indians who actually discriminate against these people are at.

"Don’t you feel india’s democracy tarnished the glorious word of “democracy”? "

Again, can you tell me what books you have read on India and Indian democracy ? Or did you rely on the Western and Indian media to arrive at your conclusions ? Let me tell you that India has not tarnished democracy. Democracy in India is an experiment trying to triumph over a hierarchical society. Read Pratap Mehta's Burden of Democracy. If you dont want to read and learn, shut up and dont comment on things you know little about.

s.n.m said...

@jason: yes i have read the book plus many others

Like i have said before Jason's argument and responses still makes him sound like a caricature of Mao Tse Tung, straight out of the little red book.

i rest my case here. no point arguing with a member of PLA.

Tetea said...

Firstly, I take no side in this. Because like you said "politics is complicated". And politics coupled with propaganda often makes people blind to see the truth.

Lets start with the pride of India that it never attacked/invaded another country within its entire history. As a student of history I find this downright blasphemous. What happened to the Chola invasion of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma etc? To come to post independent India, what was the real motive for the annexation of Goa? And what right did India have to send troops and take over the state of Hyderabad? These are just examples, mind you. And the aerial attack on Aizawl can never be left out.

And as for the China issue, the matter is not as simple as it looks. It was not entirely the fault of either nation. Both country can view what course of action it took as legitimate depending on what historical documents and evidences they want to believe so as to serve their purpose.

And I believe the question, "is China really bad?" is not something that can be easily answered. For many Indians there will always be a sentiment that the two biggest enemies of Independent India are Pakistan and China. This is because we have been conditioned by the media and our schooling. But to others who are on the other side, I know their perception of things will be different.

Lastly, was China the aggressor in the war? Or was it the other way round? Going through different books its difficult to say which one is right because it depends on what book you follow. But that is all history. And history has its own way of hiding the truth.

illusionaire said...

Nicely put, Tetea.

dr_feelgood said...

Not being a student of political science or history, the post and comments have enlightened me a great deal.Only proves there is two sides to a coin. Like Pontius Pilate, i have to ask 'what is truth?' Perhaps truth is what you beieve it to be.

Blind Dayze said...

Thank you Illusionaire, Jason and all others who've put in very interesting and enlightening comments.

"2600 words and counting..." hey i'm still reading but...

U Illusionaire.. can i suggest one small thing...font colour of the content text on your site.. if you change it from full white to a light shade of grey it would be much easier on the eyes... just a suggestion..

just to give an example.. just see for yourself..[plz copy paste link]

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YQEYlSuImRCAgowE4ABZHw?authkey=Gv1sRgCM-auvmSupb2kgE&feat=directlink

I took the liberty to take content from your blog.. anyways it's your blog your choice - font colour.. mahse.. pure white font colour on black bg chu mit a kap ..especially when the text content is a lot...

off topic kan ti duaih....sorry.

Pixie said...

wow! There seems to be a huge debate going on here! :)

I am not going to argue about which Country is the best and which country has the best policies or how well we function as a democracy.

I will say one thing though - I agree with Jason on the lines - " I really encourage you to come and visit China, to see with your own eyes and to talk with people in person, and then you will discover that the real China and real Chinese is WAY different from what is being portrayed by Western countries and India."

I will also say the same thing to him. Come to India. Meet us here in our land and see what a beautiful country we are.
Along with our negatives, we have plenty of positives which makes India as Incredible as it is! :)
Meet the Indians in India :)

Oh and just one polite point - please don't go around calling us Untouchables or Slumdogs.
Some might take offence. Whatever we may not be, we are a very proud country, extremely proud of our heritage, just like the Chinese :)

apple88 said...

I am not calling all indians as slumdogs and untouchables. Obviously this is not true. On the country, when I talk about slumdogs and untouchables, I actually stand on the side of the slum dwellers and dalits, and condeming you middle class indians. In china, we can not accept/tolerate the discrimination against dalits for a day. It has to be changed IMMEDIATELY.

By the way, if you know chinese a little bit more, you will realize the proud of chinese towards our nation simply can not compare with indian's proud. The gap is too big. To my knowledge, indian's proud towards your nation is definitely the number one in the world, way ahead of any other nations. Congratulations.

The best way to find truth is by presenting facts. Of course, if you don't love truth, you will never find it.

Why I have to cite those books when most books/authors are lying on this issue?

Jason

Vikram said...

Jason, I will not argue your claim that the middle classes of India need to be a lot more vocal and active in their condemnation of atrocities against Dalits. I have argued the same many times. The fact that they are not that way is a fundamental weakness/inhumanity of India and its society. And the only thing that can rectify this in India is democracy.

"The best way to find truth is by presenting facts."
Yes, the facts are not in question. It is your interpretation of facts and the conclusions you draw that needs analysis and books and opinions and so forth.

Pixie said...

Jason, I agree, we need to work on a plenty of issues. No doubt China too has its own share of problems...

the truth when it comes to history is usually distorted and many of the facts - whether it's about India or china.

you view point was interesting and yes, it did present a different face to china. My friend works there and he has been there for quite sometime now. He enjoys his work and his stay, so the mind set is surely changing, just like how things are changing in India or the policies in China.

Cheers!

apple88 said...

Again about facts and truth.

I had read of a lot of articles about Tibet’s history and present, written by both sides—the Tibetan in exile and the Chinese side. As you know their position and conclusion is just opposite. However, to my surprise, I find almost no conflicts between the dry facts presented by the two sides. Basically to say, neither side denies/rejects the dry facts presented by the other side. The analysis of these facts by both sides are pretty logical and reasonable. But the conclusion is opposite. Why?

Lets see all the steps to make a judgement/conclusion:
1. finding and examining facts
2. choose the facts to be included into the data for analysis
3. analysis and make judgement
4. conclusion

There is not problem in step 1 and step 3. Almost all the confilicts arise from step 2. Instead of including all the important facts presented by both sides, then analysis data and form an opinion, what people actually do is to have an opinion first, then choose only those facts in alignment/agreement with his opinion, and rejecting those facts confilicting with his opinion, then analysis data and draw a conclusion, and publish their article/books. This is the core of many confilicts.

Media is the one who controls whict facts will be fed to public, and which book should become wellknown to public. By this way, media can actually control public’s thought and opinion without letting them know.

To make any reliable analysis and judgement, we have to include all valid and important facts, no matter who presented them, or which conclusion it may benefit. For most confilicted issues, there is always one side who is reluctant to do this. The reason is simple. A complete analysis based on facts from both sides will harm one side’s opinion.

So....., the problem is not facts, not analysis, not logic, not even judgement. All the problem arise from the greed of humanbeings. It is not a problem if we can, but if we want.

Jason

illusionaire said...

@ Blind Dayze:

(sorry guys, a little off-topic comment here.)

I agree, the white fonts on a black background does not look very appealing when paragraphs are big. Works great only with short paras (like the rest of my other posts), from a design perspective.

That's the reason why I had to edit Jason's article and break it up in many paras, but even this is not enough.

I cannot put font color command on this, as the basic rule to designing a template on blogger (blogspot) CMS is to NEVER use font color command in the body post section. Font color has to be assigned in the CSS, because if I put white command here, people reading my posts using bloglines feedreader etc (which have a white background), will see white fonts on a white background!

Anyway, I set a CSS body font color on this and changed it from FFF to somewhere near CCC or AAA (as you recommended). It looked great (as you predicted) but the problem with CSS is that it applied to the rest of my other posts as well, and I don't want those posts to be in any other color except white. :(

So we are back to basics again. Thanx a lot for the feedback though.

illusionaire said...

Sorry, one more off-topic comment :-(

@ Blind Dayze: I did it! I used a div css and called it "jason" (in honor of our man of course) and simply did a <div class="jason"> on this entire post. So now the fonts are a little bit darker and eases up on the eye, and this of course applies to only this particular post and does not affect the rest of my posts, or change the color for those who are reading this post using a feedreader.

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odzer said...

The PRC government is run by a bunch of malefactors and thugs. The guy in charge now was responsible for mass killings of Tibetans when he was in charge there. I was in Tibet in 2001 and what I have seen with my own eyes convinces me beyond a doubt that the Chinese are nothing but brutal occupiers. Some of the things that I know can't be described in a public forum because individuals involved are still rotting in Chinese prisons and it may affect them but I know of several people who were tortured, brutalised and who lost every thing they had.

Thankfully though I think the Chinese decline has begun and they are going to go downhill from here. I mean you can be the world's factory with enough cheap labour but others are now replicating it and China is on its way out

One more thing, except for Nepal and North-Korea, which one of China's neighbour gets along with it? The Chinese tend to blame the entire world but the truth is it is their behaviour towards their neighbours that is sick. They do not get along with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, Bhutan, Russia, Mongolia...Do I need to continue?

apple88 said...

Reply to Odzer:

"The guy in charge now was responsible for mass killings of Tibetans. "

How do you know how many Tibetants were killed in 1989? You heard from you Tibetan friends? How do you know what they said is true?

"I was in Tibet in 2001 and what I have seen with my own eyes convinces me beyond a doubt that the Chinese are nothing but brutal occupiers. "

Great. So, tell us what you saw how chinese repressed tibetans. Please don't lie. Tell truth and truth only.

"Some of the things that I know can't be described in a public forum because individuals involved are still rotting in Chinese prisons and it may affect them"

A typical way to cheat foreigners about China as a police country. I can openly denounce Chairman Mao in street in china. No body will care. Why presenting some truth in an indian website will cause anyproblem in china? There are so many slanders against china in internet everyday.

"I know of several people who were tortured, brutalised and who lost every thing they had. "

For what? tell us the exact reason. What they did and what chinese did. Again, don't lie.

You have strong opinion. Acutlly everybody in this planet has an opinion. Why people should accept your opinion or believe in what you believe? Why you can not present a single fact? One fact worth more than a thousand words. If I were a pro-independence Tibetan, I will scrafice myself to let people know one specific repressing fact tibetans suffered, this is worth much more than any other sufferings. Again, please don't lie and make a story, such as did by Ugyhurs recently, who used a photo of the body rock killed Iraqi girl, and spreading it to Ughurs and claimed she was a Ughyur girl killed by chinese. Tibetans did tons of this kind of fake things. You are representing your nation here. For your nation's dignity, please don't lie. Give us some true fact.

"One more thing, except for Nepal and North-Korea, which one of China's neighbour gets along with it?

Actually, china settled land border dispute with most of the 14 bordering countries except for Tajikstan, India, etc. India stops china's talk with Bhutan. China has pretty good relation with Khazakstan, kykezstan, Afghnistan, Pakistan, Laos, Burma, and to some degree with mongolia and Russia. How many border dispute india has settled with neighbouring countries? 1 or zero?

polar said...

Great points of view! Its really hard to be purely rational when it comes to discussions that evoke deep emotions or sentiments, like discussions of our countries. I just googled and was linked to this blog because I kept hearing that China is bad...and I want to have a different point of view about it.

I think what the leadership of China is trying to do is building a solid foundation first. It beefs up its economy, which will increase income per capita of citizens and from there quality education and welfare of the masses will follow. If enough middle class accumulated in China, a real democracy might work. That's the reason for democracy's success in the west: the middle class.

If total democracy is introduced right now in China, different rich sectors of China's society and the world at large will take advantage of this for their own benefits. Because of its very, very huge poor and uneducated population, the masses of China will be a gold mine for western consumerism and thought. In the worst case scenario, it might lead up to a division of their nation, without the masses really knowing the real issues and differing interests and stakes at hand.

I am from the Philippines and we are a democratic country, patterned after the US. But democracy here serves only the interests of the few elite who have access to resources and political power. The democracy here is a sham because most of the citizens are poor and uneducated, and very gullible to making bad choices in exchange for a few alms from the powerful. But we are still hopeful, and educated ones (I would like to include myself to that list) are exploring what solutions we can have for our problems.

Almost the whole world glorifies democracy. The single most powerful aspect of it is, in my opinion, it's worst as well: that in democracy heavy emphasis is given to quantity over quality. It's a numbers game, and thus prone to forces like propaganda and biased dissent. Having access to economic and political power by a few can give a movement or campaign win by just winning the numbers, even if this movement or campaign will only benefit their sector or class.

But with democracy comes its evil cousin, which is capitalism. Capitalism provides an avenue for political and economic dynasties and a lucky few individuals to be on top, and democracy makes them sure they will stay there.

Why is there such a need to make all nations into democracy? If all nations will become a democracy as a result of these forceful physical and cultural invasion of the west, doesn't it defeat the purpose of democracy's central tenet, which is the freedom to choose? Is it the only proven way to make a nation or a region prosper and its citizens be happy? Just looking at the world right now, with majority of nations adopting democracy and capitalism, I don't think so. Why not let China develop itself in its own ideology and form of governance?

Right now the world is a hybrid. There is no total communism, nor total socialism, nor total democracy. China is opening its doors to investors and allows its people many basic rights like a democratic country, and the US is heavily regulating its economy and there are talks of socialized medical care right now there, just like communists.

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Geneza Pharmaceuticals said...

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Lilykins said...

You want China to free Tibet? Tell China to free Kashmir. Tell UK to give up northern Ireland. Tell USA to give up Texas to Mexico. Tell Russia to give land back to Chechens. Tell Russians to stop occupying eastern Ukraine. Tell USA to give back land to Native Americans. Tell the Afghans to give better human rights to Hazaras. Tell New Zealand to give back land to the Maoris. Bunch of stupids here arguing hopeless cases.

Anonymous said...

Oops sorry I meant India to Kashmir.

iumzoquo said...

Cheng had brought several interesting points here. But to my knowledge, his arguments and yours and others are still incomplete for the full story. Heck, the reconstruction of these stories is what historians paid for. Therefore, not being a historian professional, I am not gonna add my critique.

I grew interested in the Sino-India relation when I first came to the US. It was a dog day of summer and an indian graduate student and I ( I am from China ) were enjoying ice tea when he suddenly talked about Tibet, Aksai Chin and Pakistan. To me, Tibet is called Xi Zang, Pakistan sounds like a country, India is a populated country like us and what the hell is Aksai Chin? Yes, I knew almost nothing about these issue -- who cares about places you'll probably never visit in your life? You can imagine my embarrassment. So it didn't turn out a friendly conversation.

The result, I got interested in these topics, and above all, the Sino-India relation. Security situation in China also changed from then. Every year, a number of Tibetan riot and attack on Han civilians emerged (Of course, state suppression followed). As I read more, it turns out some Uyghurs also want independence and so are some Mongolians. As I read further, I found some North Irish Scottish wanted/want to break up from GB, some native people here in the US from US, Quebec from Canada, lots minorities from Myanmar, some minorities from India, some ethnic Chinese from south east Asia ... The list goes on. I didn't even mention the mess in East Europe/Eurasia, Middle East, Africa.

I also relearned the state building history of modern China, which holds the key, believed by many, to understand the dynamic evolution of the political situation of Tibet/Xinjiang/Mongolia/Machuria etc.

Then there was the 1962 war. As I read more and more (by read, I mean scholarly work), I become skeptical of the narratives from both parties, the Journalist op-ed and reviews/opinions, not to mention the emotionally and ideologically charge argument from Bloggers or online forums, like Cheng's. After I studies a global history course, I couldn't even not concern with the rhetoric people use to discuss the topics. It seems to me that the most if not whole rhetorics are spoken for various political agenda whereas the facts and intrinsic logics are not so important (unless it serves one's own purpose) for most people.

Having said so much, I just want to remind you, the complexity of these issues and the danger of speaking one's mind freely without proper serious research. Sorry but no, I couldn't agree with the statement that listening to more people is never bad. There is one truth and only one. Reconstruction of the truth is no democracy - there is good and bad analysis, reliable and unreliable conclusions . We should only read good research, professional works, reports with serious journalism, for the topics that matters human feelings and lives.

iumzoquo said...


Cheng had brought several interesting points here. But to my knowledge, his arguments and yours and others are still incomplete for the full story. Heck, the reconstruction of these stories is what historians paid for. Therefore, not being a historian professional, I am not gonna add my critique.

I grew interested in the Sino-India relation when I first came to the US. It was a dog day of summer and an indian graduate student and I ( I am from China ) were enjoying ice tea when he suddenly talked about Tibet, Aksai Chin and Pakistan. To me, Tibet is called Xi Zang, Pakistan sounds like a country, India is a populated country like us and what the hell is Aksai Chin? Yes, I knew almost nothing about these issue -- who cares about places you'll probably never visit in your life? You can imagine my embarrassment. So it didn't turn out a friendly conversation.

The result, I got interested in these topics, and above all, the Sino-India relation. Security situation in China also changed from then. Every year, a number of Tibetan riot and attack on Han civilians emerged (Of course, state suppression followed). As I read more, it turns out some Uyghurs also want independence and so are some Mongolians. As I read further, I found some North Irish Scottish wanted/want to break up from GB, some native people here in the US from US, Quebec from Canada, lots minorities from Myanmar, some minorities from India, some ethnic Chinese from south east Asia ... The list goes on. I didn't even mention the mess in East Europe/Eurasia, Middle East, Africa.

I also relearned the state building history of modern China, which holds the key, believed by many, to understand the dynamic evolution of the political situation of Tibet/Xinjiang/Mongolia/Machuria etc.

Then there was the 1962 war. As I read more and more (by read, I mean scholarly work), I become skeptical of the narratives from both parties, the Journalist op-ed and reviews/opinions, not to mention the emotionally and ideologically charge argument from Bloggers or online forums, like Cheng's. After I studies a global history course, I couldn't even not concern with the rhetoric people use to discuss the topics. It seems to me that the most if not whole rhetorics are spoken for various political agenda whereas the facts and intrinsic logics are not so important (unless it serves one's own purpose) for most people.

Having said so much, I just want to remind you, the complexity of these issues and the danger of speaking one's mind freely without proper serious research. Sorry but no, I couldn't agree with the statement that listening to more people is never bad. There is one truth and only one. Reconstruction of the truth is no democracy - there is good and bad analysis, reliable and unreliable conclusions . We should only read good research, professional works, reports with serious journalism, for the topics that matters human feelings and lives.