Friday, November 19, 2010

China Commies and the Nobel Peace Prize: an inspiration to Chavez. Sub-title: what are you planning to do about it?

I am not too sure what our local bolibanana regime has said on this subject but after today's article in the New York Times we can be sure that support of the repressive Chinese regime cannot be far at hand.  The more so that the NYT also reports that Chinese folks, even many of those living overseas that should know better, approve of the regime not to let Mr. Liu or his relatives go to Oslo collect the Peace Prize.
Andrew J. Nathan, a political scientist at Columbia University who has been studying China for four decades, said he was struck by how many Chinese friends and associates, even those living the United States, had accepted the government’s contention that Mr. Liu was seeking to push China into chaos through writings that called for free elections and an end to single-party rule. “The Chinese people I speak to have quite readily absorbed the government’s point of view that this guy is a criminal nurtured by the West,” he said.
Indeed, China has been hard at work in its counter propaganda offensive and it has worked partially among some of its neighbors that are now in a position to be blackmailed.

China, emboldened by its rising economic might, appears to be more determined than many other authoritarian countries to confront the West’s notion that Western values are universal and to mobilize China’s citizens against what it views as an assault on its political system.

“Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo once again reflects the strong attempts of Western countries to intervene in the political process in China,” said a commentary that ran this month in the official newspaper People’s Daily. “It is a well-planned event, premeditated and long organized by Western countries, and is part of a series of actions by the U.S. and its allies and companies to undermine China.”

So far, it appears that Beijing’s diplomatic campaign has been only marginally successful. A handful of countries, among them Russia, Iraq, Cuba and Kazakhstan, have acceded to China’s plea for a boycott. But 36 other countries have said they will send ambassadors to a rump prize ceremony.
Cold comfort if you ask me because after its success in removing Tibet from the agenda and getting its most wanted Olympic games, courtesy of the infamous role of  IOC chair countlet Jacques Rogge of the suitable last name, China is going to get more and more assertive if we, in the West, do not stop taking their crap.

Admittedly confronting China is going to be more difficult than past cases of Human Rights abuse.  In a globalized economy boycott is nearly impossible since almost any electronic component has some chip or part made in China.  I personally have tried since Tien An Men to avoid anything made in China even if significantly cheaper.  But when I came to Venezuela this became impossible to do because Chinese trinkets dominate here, there is in general no option.  Thus I have resorted to buy non Chinese brands even if assembled in China (my latest computer was NOT a Lenovo) as a token gesture.

Boycotting Chinese restaurant is really not for me because I am not too fond of Chinese cuisine to begin with.  Short of calling the manager of a Chinese restaurant, AFTER your meal when you pay the bill and ask him his position over Mr. Liu (probable getting a blank stare in Venezuela) and letting know that you shall not patronize his establishment anymore as long as he supports the jail for Liu, there is little else I can do in Venezuela.

However there are associations and suddenly for the first time in years I feel the urge to support associations that defend Chinese dissidents, that confront everywhere Chinese leaders and more importantly that confront lobbyist for China.  Suggestions from readers are welcome, and I will add them at the end of this post if you send them with your own explanation on why it is worthy to support group X on its China freedom fight.

Because make no mistake, the current China political system must be confronted.  It has now the muscle to support bastard regimes like Venezuela if it wants (though the messy chavismo is fortunately a repellent for the more organized Chinese, the more so that Venezuela has become a narco country and since the Opium War in China, you know...).  If Al Qaeda is a terror based system, it has little potential in "converting" folks to its views in the West, and not that much in Arab countries actually except for the lunatics that can come from a London suburbia as well as from a Cairo slum.  But Chinese culture is a basically arrogant one, for all of its past brilliance (hit the history books if you do not believe me).  That it is now channeled through unscrupulous, corrupt, power abuse Commie leftovers makes it the more dangerous as even some Chinese in the West succumb to the defense of the regime, confusing culture and heritage with human rights and politics.

The paradox of China culture is that the Mao years have stunted a cultural aggiornamento that all other successful cultures have experienced.  For example, the West went through a wrenching XVIII century that ended in the blood bath of the French revolution and Napoleonic wars.  But after that slavery was out, Jews were in and democracy flourished to prove itself with all of its faults the system that gave a maximum of felicity to a maximum of people.  Not perfect, as colonialism and 2 world wars showed, but at least the West was on track.  Japan went through such a process too.  It started with the Meiji era and ended at Hiroshima.  But it yielded a very reasonable democracy which became for many decades the second economic power of the world.  Latin America is going through such a milder aggiornamento  these years and the most advanced countries in the process are unsurprisingly those who are performing best.

But the Arab world and China are nowhere close even though one can have high hopes for China once the extreme-capitalistocommies are out.  And thus our role, our need to support any group that helps China wake up to what are universal rights, no matter how much people in Beijing or in Caracas try to deny it.  Democracy and liberty is an everyday struggle and even if I must confront daily chavismo I must understand that I need to confront the current China regime.

To end this rant one last excerpt from the Times piece, to drive the point home:
According to the Nobel Web site, the last time no one was present to accept the peace medal was in 1936, when the German journalist and pacifist Carl von Ossietzky was not allowed to leave Nazi Germany.

Mr. Ossietzky had been held in Nazi concentration camps in the 1930s and, although the German Propaganda Ministry publicly declared that he was free to go to Norway, “secret police documents indicate that Ossietzky was refused a passport,” according to the Nobel Web site. Ill with tuberculosis, he was later sent to a hospital in Berlin, where he was kept under constant surveillance until his death in May 1938.
You are free to draw your own analogies.


One petition you can sign, for starters, from Milonga


  1. Milonga7:51 PM

    Here's where I signed:
    It doesn't surprise me, Nazi Germany and China having the same attitude. A dictatorship is a dictatorship, no matter what color. Although left-wing hypocrites always say "theirs" is good.

  2. amieres9:59 PM

    It doesn't surprise me that chinese people support their government, it's human nature. People always like a tough government that can keep things under control. And the chinese government right now it's viewed as successful with all the progress and economic growth.

    These people probably truly believe that a democratic government would loose control and bring chaos. They may think: why change something that's working?

  3. milonga

    i signed and put your link up.

  4. Hi Daniel,

    Indeed, it is puzzling to me as well. Just a week ago I was talking to a Chinese guest. He is an engineer with a graduate degree from a German university.

    He agreed with keeping Liu Xiaobo in jail because "not only he was against the government, he also wrote, marched and distributed leaflets. He even was one of those in Tian An Men!"

    What else can I say... and this comes from a guy who now lives in Germany. I did tell him that in western democracies that was not considered a crime.

  5. Giving the Nobel prize to Mr Liu was one of the best choices ever made precisely because of the strong reaction by the Chinese government.

    China has been getting somewhat of a free ride with its human rights abuses and dictatorship by keeping a low profile and taking a " strictly business " attitude.Their reaction focuses the attention on just how bad they really are and for those of the left hoping to see a world dominated by China instead of the US,it should make clear what this would imply.

  6. I know quite some Chinese, particularly from the IT sector. Not all of them are like that, but chauvinism and brainwashing are still very very very widespread.
    Even those who are not like that tend to be incredibly cautious about what they say. I have a Chinese teacher and he says it: you don't spend all your childhood getting your head brainwashed and then just act as if it never happened.

    I saw a very interesting interview with artist Ai Wei Wei where he was explaining about the dangers of Chinese chauvinism and how the state uses it.

    Let's remember China was not always unified and in a couple of occasions there were very big civil wars with a lot of chaos for decades. Even if those unrests were ages ago, they are very present in China's psyche. One of them was the decline of the Tang dynasty.

    And then there was the way in which Britain and other Western nations intervened in China (Opium Wars, etc). This has left quite some resentment, which leaders have used to manipulate people in the worst way.

    Chinese politicians and military have utilised this incredible fear for a new era of "chaos" or submission to keep people together...UNDER THEIR YOKE.

    I found amazing the reactions I got when I posted a couple of things about Liu. Some of the statements were the same rehearsed
    slogans one hears over and over from the Chinese "Popular" government.

    By the way: that teacher I mentioned told us to pay attention at how obsessed the Chinese regime is to label everything "popular" or "of the people".

    Déjà vu? "porque yooooo sooooy el pueblo, carajoooooo"

  7. It may be relevant to the Chavez-China dynamic that Fidel Castro has now said that China may be a good model for Cuba.

  8. I do my best not to call names, but this?

    "But after that slavery was out, Jews were in"

    Shame on you. The Jews ran the slave trade. Read some history, racist.

  9. m astera


    and the English lords did not run slave traffic? and the good burgers of Bordeaux or Amsterdam were not involved in slave trade? only the Jews?

    get a grip.....

  10. Many of us in the West are taught from our youth that it is wrong to criticize different groups of people.The problem is that in our culture, where kindness is elevated to the status of the highest of virtues, truth and justice often take a back seat.I am a lover of truth above all else, because in the long run I think truth is far kinder than the artificial kindness that come from hiding the truth.Of course what is truth to me might not be truth to you, so a certain respect for differences must accompany a mutual discourse.Calling people racist for example is not the kind of respect that feeds dialog, though it is quite the politically correct term that we can expect from the left.However at this point so many people and things have been called racist by the left that it has become almost impossible to define the term.

    I like what Ronald Reagan said: "Don't be afraid to see what you see" what we don't need is someone's attempt to coerce someone through falsely stigmatizing them with a term as hated and as loaded, and as vague as the term' racist.'


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