China USA Human Rights

China, USA and Human Rights

human rightsThe United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was voted into existence on December 10, 1948 so that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. When judging a country’s human rights record, we must judge what it does and not what it aspires to do or says it’s doing. And we must discard all unproven allegations about human rights: there’s no easier way to defame a country by shrieking about fictitious or distorted ‘human rights’ abuses. Let’s read the Articles again and mentally check off how we – and the Chinese – are doing..

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. [Blacks? Indians?]. SCORE: USA 0 – CHINA 1? 

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. [Muslims?]. SCORE: USA 0 – CHINA 2?

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. [Assassinations are US state policy]. SCORE: USA 0 – CHINA 3?

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. [Florida fruit pickers? Louisiana prison workers]. SCORE: USA 0 – CHINA 4?

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [Torture is US state policy] 

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. [Guantanamo?]

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. [Bank CEOs? Blacks?]

Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. [Mortgage foreclosures? Poor, incarcerated Blacks?]

Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. [Our authorities practice all three – almost every day].

Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. [Bradley Manning]

Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense. [Unless he’s Black or we want to assassinate him by drone]. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. [Privacy?!!]

Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. [Unless he’s on a secret no-fly list]. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. [Except Edward Snowdon].

Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. [except Edward Snowdon]. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. [Julian Assange].

Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. [Unless you’re Muslim].

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. [Unless you’re a whistle-blower].

Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. [Hahahaha]. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. [If you have $100,000,000]. (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. [Only people funded by oligarchs may enter our elections].

Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. [US cops shoot 1,000 unarmed people each year].

Article 23. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. [Unless you’re poor or black]. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. [If you can live with dignity on $7.25/hour]. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. [Our trade unions have been deliberately destroyed].

Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. [Chinese get 3 weeks paid, mandatory vacation. We get none].

Article 25. (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. [Just kidding]. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. [Ask poor, working mothers about this].

Article 26. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.[Chinese kids better educated than ours]. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. [Unless we want to bomb, invade or assassinate you].

Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.  (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. [Except the USA invading other countries and destroying them].

Here’s Fourth Media’s Take on the Declaration:

  1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, except niggers and Iraqis And the guys in Guantanamo..
  2. They are endowed with reason (except niggers) and conscience (except Muslims) and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood – as we do toward niggers, Iraqis and Muslims.
  3. No distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Unless, of course, you’re a nigger, a Muslim, an Iraqi, a Libyan, an Afghan or a Jew.
  4. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Unless he gets in our way, like Martin Luther King, Khadaffi, Saddam, Julian Assange or Edward Snowdon, or those damn drug-dealing niggers. Oh, and those guys in Guantanamo and Baghram. Afghans, too.
  5. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Except for black slavery in the US and white slavery in Israel.
  6. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Really nothing to say here. “We do not torture.” G. W. Bush.
  7. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Except Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowdon and those guys in Guantanamo. And of course, the elites in the US have so much recognition before the law that they never actually appear before the law.
  8. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Except niggers, dissidents, Afghans, Iraqis, Muslims, and anybody else who pisses us off.
  9. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal. Except  . . .
  10. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.Except . . .
  11. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence.Unless the NSA needs to spy on you to protect you from the terrorism of the FBI.
  12. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Except for people we put on a no-fly list because they pissed us off.
  13. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. Except for Julian Assange, Edward Snowdon or anyone else who really pisses us off.
  14. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. Except in Saudi Arabia where 3-year old girls can now be betrothed, but we don’t talk about that because the Saudis are on our side.
  15. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Unless they piss us off, in which case, whether person, company or nation, we will “sequester” all their assets without regard to law.
  16. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Except Muslims and Chinese.
  17. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, unless he proposes a Muslim-led revolution in the US. That’s different.
  18. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Except those who protest against the banks, Wall Street and the FED. And anything else.
  19. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, except the 50,000 people Jeb Bush removed from the voter rolls to help get his brother elected. Mostly niggers, immigrants and other non-people.
  20. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government, unless of course the people don’t want a war in Iraq or Libya, or if they don’t want to lose their homes to the banks, in which case the people can go to hell.
  21. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Except for the millions of Americans living in tent cities and the 3,000 people living in the storm sewers under Las Vegas. Those are “special cases”.
  22. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. This is why the US and WHO have been innoculating women of child-bearing age with a fake tetanus vaccine that renders future pregnancies impossible. cf. Nicaragua, Malaysia, the Philippines. Also except the mothers in Iraq bearing babies horribly deformed from depleted uranium munitions.
  23. Everyone has the right to education. Most especially the 75% of Americans who can’t find their own country on a map of the world.
  24. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. But they will be taught that niggers, Afghans, Iraqis, non-whites, non-Jews and other non-humans needn’t any such development. Americans, too.
  25. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. Unless they want their kid to be a Muslim infidel and terrorist.
  26. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community. Especially Bradley Manning and the guys in Guantanamo. Afghans don’t count, because we destroyed all the cultural life when we destroyed all the communities.
  27. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. Rumsfeld and Cheney get to patent their torture manual and sell it in bookstores everywhere.
  28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. This international order shall be the New World Order as dictated by the Bilderbergers, the CFR and the Rothschilds. And you don’t have to like it.
  29. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Unless you’re the leader of the free world. In which case, both this list and the UN can go fuck themselves. More..

What do YOU think?

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European Human Rights & China

Von Rompuy Human Rights Inspector in China

Von Rompuy Human Rights Inspector in China

Strangely, this post is mostly about European Human Rights & China. China’s human rights record is slightly better than the USA’s – though neither is a paragon of virtue– and that China has drawn ahead of the US since the death of Mao. Most of the accusations against China are either total fabrications like the so-called Tiananmen “massacre” or gross distortions. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and a committed, right wing Capitalist. Here’s his take on this week’s “Human Rights Reports” from the US Government (Here’s China’s):

The US government is the second worst human rights abuser on the planet and the sole enabler of the worst–Israel. But this doesn’t hamper Washington from pointing the finger elsewhere.

The US State Department’s “human rights report” focuses its ire on Iran and Syria, two countries whose real sin is their independence from Washington, and on the bogyman- in-the-making–China, the country selected for the role of Washington’s new Cold War enemy.

Hillary Clinton, another in a long line of unqualified Secretaries of State, informed “governments around the world: we are watching, and we are holding you accountable,” only we are not holding ourselves accountable or Washington’s allies like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the NATO puppets.

Hillary also made it “clear to citizens and activists everywhere: You are not alone. We are standing with you,” only not with protesters at the Chicago NATO summit or with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, or anywhere else in the US where there are protests. (ref)

The State Department stands with the protesters funded by the US in the countries whose governments the US wishes to overthrow. Protesters in the US stand alone as do the occupied Palestinians who apparently have no human rights to their homes, lands, olive groves, or lives. Read more…

 

Glenn Greenwald writes: Drone filmmaker denied visa. Muhammad Danish Qasim is a Pakistani student at Iqra University’s Media Science and is also a filmmaker. This year, Qasim released a short film entitled The Other Side, a 20-minute narrative that “revolves around the idea of assessing social, psychological and economical effects of drones on the people in tribal areas of Pakistan.” A two-minute video trailer of the film is embedded below. The Express Tribune provided this summary of the film, including an interview with Qasim:

The Other Side revolves around a school-going child in Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan. The child’s neighborhood gets bombed after the people of the region are suspected for some notorious activities. He ends up losing all of his loved ones during the bombing and later becomes part of an established terrorists group who exploit his loss and innocence for their own interests.
On the reasons for picking such a sensitive topic, the film-maker said, “Most of the films being made right now are based on social issues, so we picked up an issue of international importance which is the abrogation of our national space by foreign countries.”
When asked how this film on terrorism will be different from all the others that have been released since 9/11, he said, “The film takes the audience very close to the damage caused by drone attacks. I have tried my best to connect all the dots that lead to a drone attack and have shot the prevailing aftermath of such attacks in a very realistic and raw manner.”

In particular, “the film identifies the problems faced by families who have become victims of drone missiles, and it unearths the line of action which terrorist groups adopt to use victimised families for their vested interests.” In other words, it depicts the tragedy of civilian deaths, and documents how those deaths are then successfully exploited by actual Terrorists for recruitment purposes. [Continue reading…]

The next time you see or hear an accusation about “human rights” in China, ask yourself this:  In China’s 3,000 year history, when has its people’s human rights been better?

You’ve probably guessed the answer: never.  China’s human rights have reached their highest level in 3,000 years and are steadily improving.  New laws are being debated and passed.  Police are being trained, judges schooled, prosecutors curbed, officials warned and jailed.

Specifically, China’s minorities (usually the worst-treated group in any country) are enjoying unprecedented freedom, prosperity, and privileges that Han Chinese can only dream about, like unlimited family size and access to higher education.  Unlike Australia’s Aborigines, America’s Native Americans, Europe’s Romany, Japan’s Ainu, India’s Naxalites…the list goes on.  Meanwhile, Americans’ human rights have been heading in the opposite direction.  In the past ten years the United States has made it “legal” for its government to

  1. Spy on its own people secretly.
  2. If you see the government spying you may not warn the subject.
  3. Arrest its own people secretly.  If you see the arrest you may not tell anyone.
  4. Imprison its own people indefinitely, without trial (Bradley Manning)
  5. Torture its own people (and anyyone else) secretly
  6. Kill its own people secretly, without trial (Anwar al-Awlaki)
  7. Attack any country, regardless of threat, and kill uncounted civilians. Iraq, Pakistan.)

In contrast, here’s a report on China’s human rights you may have missed, from the EU Observer:

EU officials more Nuanced on Human Rights After Trips to China. ANDREW RETTMAN

BRUSSELS – Recent trips to China by Catherine Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy have helped them to see human rights from a Chinese point of view, China’s EU ambassador has said.  The ambassador, Song Zhe, told journalists in Brussels on Friday (8 July) that some EU diplomats tend to “lecture” China on values.

“It has been 400 years since world power shifted from east to west and during this time people in Europe have developed a habit of viewing things from above and lecturing others,” he said.  He blamed the problem on lack of knowledge, saying Chinese society has come along in leaps and bounds in terms of people’s rights to economic development and rights to education even if it falls short in other areas.

Asked if EU foreign relations chief Ashton and EU Council President Van Rompuy take a hard line on values, Song answered that extensive visits by the top officials, in 2010 and in May this year, have seen them take a more nuanced approach.  “Ashton and other political figures from the EU, even ordinary people who have been to China and have seen the situation on the ground, the progress we’ve made, hold a more positive view of what China has achieved,” he said.  The ambassador zoomed in on two anecdotes.

“Ashton visited a small village, a very normal elementary school. Despite poverty in the region, the school was well equipped – this illustrates that despite economic difficulties the local authorities attach great importance to education, that the Chinese government is working to ensure that everybody gains access to education.”

When Van Rompuy visited a former disaster zone in the Sichuan province “what surprised him was the nice line-up of buildings in the area, with no sign of the [2008] earthquake.”
For its part, Human Rights Watch reports that China is currently undergoing the worst wave of repression in its modern history, with systematic censorship of free media, brutal crackdowns on ethnic minorities and hundreds of dissidents disappearing into so-called “black jails.” [Human Rights Watch ignores the USA’s much more serious offences.–Ed.]

Song noted that China is “far from perfect. There is huge room for improvement and a long way to go.” He repeated the often-heard line that his country should not be measured by Western standards because it is going through unique economic and social changes which are “unprecedented in world history” in terms of their speed. “We don’t speak of a Chinese model because we are still in an experimental phase. We’re still learning. Our model is constantly taking in new ingredients from the EU and US models.”

In an insight into how Beijing sees international relations, Song defended China’s opposition to an EU-sponsored draft UN Security Council resolution condemning mass killings in Syria. “The principle we uphold is to respect the will of the country to choose its own path of development,” he said.

CIA medical staff gave specifications on how to torture post-9/11 detainees

CIA medical personnel acknowledged that placing detainees in small boxes barely large enough to fit their bodies inside was not “particularly effective”, but they still provided guidance permitting interrogators to continue using the so-called “confinement boxes” for hours on end. Sensitive agency documents, declassified on Tuesday, provide a new level of detail on the intimate involvement of its medical staff during its post-9/11 torture program. Officials assigned to the Office of Medical Staff (OMS) provided precise specifications for enforcing sleep deprivation, limiting the caloric intake of detainees’ food, and the proper positions for waterboarding, as outlined in a 2004 document providing “guidelines on medical and psychological support” for torture. More…

China’s Human Rights? Who can judge?

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China Democracy Archives

From the China Democracy Archives: Edward S. Herman and David Peterson noted that “an unelected dictatorship of money vets the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties, reducing the options available to U.S. citizens to two candidates, neither of whom can change the foreign or domestic priorities of the imperial U.S. regime.”

Historian Laurence Shoup explained“Every four years many Americans put their hopes in an electoral process, hopes that a savior can be elected – someone who will make their daily lives more livable, someone who will raise wages, create well-paying jobs, enforce union rights, provide adequate health care, rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, and end war and militarism. In actuality, the leading ‘electable’ presidential candidates have all been well vetted by the hidden primary of the ruling class and are tied to corporate power in multiple ways. They will stay safely within the bounds set by those who rule America behind the scenes, making sure that members of the plutocracy continue to be the main beneficiaries of the system…It is clear that, at best, U.S. ‘democracy’ is a guided one; at its worst it is a corrupt farce, amounting to manipulation, with the larger population objects of propaganda in a controlled and trivialized electoral process”.  – Z Magazine

The Democrats and Republicans represent 30 percent of eligible U.S. voters. Democrats make up 17 percent and Republicans 13 percent. The largest category of eligible voters is those that don’t vote [48 percent!] followed by political independents [24 percent]. More from Rob Urie

Eligible Voters

Eligible Voters

As public opinion surveys have shown for decades, most members of the majority working class U.S. citizenry are left-leaning progressives. They are social democrats, egalitarians, environmentalists, and anti-imperial supporters of the common good when it comes to policy issues – and (for what it’s worth) to visions of a good and decent society.  Read more…

The Scientific Development Concept in China

An Essay in Political Philosophy, by William Hooper.

The Scientific Development Concept, or Scientific Development Perspective, is the current official guiding socio-economic philosophy of the Communist Party Of China. It was ratified into the CPC’s constitution in October 2007 under the leadership of President Hu Jintao. Key ideas include:

  1. A post-ideological vision of technocratic scientific government driven by pragmatism, analysis, experimentation and empirical validation.
  2. De-politicised, low public profile, collective, expert decision making. Efficient corruption free policy.
  3. A coordinated and interventionist approach to policymaking as opposed to laissez-faire.
  4. Policy targeting wide social gains in utility, not just economic growth – eg also addressing inequality and environmental damage.
  5. Maintenance of broad popular support for government based primarily on performance not democratic participation.
  6. Active participation in government and transparency at the elite academic level.
  7. A more passive role for the masses including a much greater emphasis on paternal guidance compared to modern Western Democracy. Increasing press freedoms and policy making participation at the popular level as society develops.
  8. Compared to Western Democracy, a greater focus on China’a evolution, on contentment in the future rather than the present.

One recent author, writing about China, Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, argues that it is more helpful to think in terms of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World than George Orwell’s 1984 – “Orwell emphasises the role of fear in keeping people in line, while Huxley pays more attention to how needs and desires are created, manipulated and satisfied”. Yet this statement sounds too cynical, this article will reveal the Scientific Development Concept to be a genuinely idealistic vision of paternalistic government.

read more From the China Democracy Archives

china war on poverty

China’s New Land Tax

China is implementing a new tax, a land tax. That’s highly significant because it’s the world’s first  national scale implementation of the best tax, the fairest tax, the least bad tax. Once again, China is learning from out mistakes and re-writing the book; this time on how to tax fairly and sustainably.  Here’s a good article that explains China’s land tax and gives some links to great sources of information on land taxes for further reading:

China Shifts to Land Tax

By  (about the author)

read more

mao great leap forward

Great Leap Forward Fatalities

How Many Great Leap Forward Fatalities Were There?

For 60 years our corporate media has told a horrifying tale of Chinese Government: cruel, oppressive, corrupt, and failing. Always failing. (That China has thrived as never in its 2500 year history is irrelevant to the narrative).

The Great Leap Forward, a eye-blink in that history and an experiment everyone embraced enthusiastically, was ill-considered. Mao gambled on revolutionary development because, he said, if China didn’t develop quickly it would be bullied and overpowered by the USA.  On that, everyone agreed. Mao’s stature allowed him generate enthusiasm and override the better judgement of his peers. The Great Leap’s failure sidelined Mao and allowed Premier Deng to propose – ta-dahhhh! – Reform and Opening Up. The rest is, as they say history. read more

Xi Jinping democracy

Democracy, China, and Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping said “democracy is not a decoration” yesterday as he delivered a speech to the government’s political advisers on his approach to developing China’s consultative political institution.

Speaking at the 65th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Xi called for building a practical political system to embody “consultative democracy”, one that included all levels of society.

“Democracy is defined not only by people’s right to vote in an election but also the right to participate in political affairs on a daily basis,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. “Democracy is not a decoration … it’s for solving people’s problems.”

read more

Democracy in China

Democracy in China: Democracy Archives. A new political science study that’s gone viral finds that majority-rule democracy exists only in theory in the United States — not so much in practice. The government caters to the affluent few and organized interest groups, the researchers find, while the average citizen’s influence on policy is “near zero.”

“[T]he preferences of economic elites,” conclude Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin I. Page, who work with the nonprofit Scholars Strategy Network, “have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do.”

read more

Press Freedom Alive in China

When I travel to China, I am indeed surprised at the number of critical and intelligent reports I come across on print, T.V., and internet media.  By comparison I feel American media to be quite stale.  Yes, there are always lively partisan criticisms, but criticisms that actually cast on the myriad problems of America … there is very little.

New York Times constant focus on freedom of speech in China for me is misplaced ideological attack.  As Norm Chomsky has already detailed in his theories on manufactured consent, government can readily control what the media reports and not report without any laws that on the face constrain the speech.  In a recent op-ed titled “the Fog Machine of War”, Chelsea Manning (a former United States Army soldier who has been sentenced to 35 years in jail for violating the Espionage Act and other offenses) described how through controlled restrictions on information access, the U.S. military can ensure virtually all reports involving the military will be a positive one.  Of course, the entirety of the U.S. does that on a system-wide scale, but Manning doesn’t get into that (35 years is enough, I suppose).  If China wants to chill speech, it can readily do so, without resorting to making new regulations.

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Xi Jinping: My Road Into Politics

Interview with Now-President Xi Jinping, Summer, 2000

(Xi Jinping at the time was 47 years old and governor in the Fujian province and Yang Xiaohuai was the editor of Zhonghua Ernü).

Xi Jinping: Welcome here.[1] I have previously said no thank you to personal interviews innumerable times. We all have different tasks. If you do not mention everybody, then you are only emphasizing yourself. You can also put it differently: When we are all doing our duty within our respective area of responsibility, then it is the community that creates the results. Therefore it makes no sense mentioning the individual. That is the reason why I have refused giving personal interviews. There are also people who write autobiographies. I do not do that either.

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