May 2015 – In Praise of China
Can You Trust China’s Media?
Can you – or anyone – trust China’s media? 80% of Chinese do, according to Edelman and Pew surveys over the years. And remember that the Chinese are smarter than us (as Henry Kissinger ruefully observed). How much to we trust our own media? Well, here are some examples from the UK’s wonderful BBC and the USA.
Under the Guardian headline, Russia Today’s interview on immigrants detention centres in UK faces inquiry we find that it is the sixth ongoing investigation into RT and the third to relate to its coverage of events in Ukraine. Gosh ! Sounds bad. But, reading from EU’s own laws (Relevant legislation includes, in particular, sections 319(2)(c) and (d), 319(8) and section 320 of the Communications Act 2003, and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.) should tell us about their “impartiality” from the start.
Most of what we read in the Western press about China’s “one-child policy” is based on myths and silly speculation. Here is a quick primer on the policy and how it came into being:
To understand Chen’s case, it is important to have a broader perspective on that policy objectively. Lawrence W. Green wrote the following abstract for an article in the Journal of Public Health Policy which provides that:
After years of urging China to take more aggressive action to control its population, the United States government withdrew support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities on the grounds that that agency supported China’s new policy. The policy provided for the achievement of a norm of one child per couple through economic incentives and rewards, and family planning services including abortion. Charges of forced abortion in the Western press led to withdrawal of the U.S. funds by the Agency for International Development. In this analysis of the policy and its implementation, the alleged incidents of forced abortion were found to be isolated cases of overzealous local functionaries trying to meet quotas. Publicity and public education surrounding the policy and campaigns to implement it provide the best assurances that most people would know that they have options and should not be subjected to coercion for abortion. The Chinese government has implemented new safeguards to prevent and punish cases of attempted abortion against the will of couples. 1
“The Chinese are Smarter Than Us,” said Henry Kissinger (Nixon’s China Game), and he’s right. Look at what Anatoly Karlin has to say about that:
This Featured, Post about China, Human Biodiversity, IQ, Psychometrics, Sociology was written by Anatoly Karlin on August 13, 2012 .
As human capital is so important for prosperity, it behoves us to know China’s in detail to assess whether it will continue converging on developed countries. Until recently the best data we had were disparate IQ tests (on the basis of which Richard Lynn’s latest estimate is an IQ of 105.8 in his 2012 book Intelligence: A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences) as well as PISA international standardized test scores from cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, the problem was that they were hardly nationally representative due to the “cognitive clustering” effect. The Chinese did not allow the OECD to publish data for the rest of the country and this understandably raised further questions about the situation in its interior heartlands, although even in 2010 I was already able to report a PISA representative saying that “even in some of the very poor areas you get performance close to the OECD average.”
SOME HISTORY OF TIBET AND CHINA
Tibetan society became Buddhist after the Chinese Princess Wencheng (and, though there is no evidence for it, the Nepali Princess, Bhrikuti Devi who is credited with founding the Jokhang Temple – the oldest Buddhist temple in Tibet) introduced Buddhism to the Tibetan elite. The Princess and her entourage, which numbered about 500 people, intermarried with the local elite and from the Princess established the Songsten Gampo blood line, which survives to this day.
Until 1959, most Tibetans were indentured serfs (chapa) or slaves (langsheng) who were bought and sold. Tibet was the last country to officially abandon slavery, and then only because it was forced to do so by the Chinese Government.
Most of our information about Tibet comes from expatriate slave-owners and nobles who refused to free their slaves and left Tibet in 1959. The US Civil War demonstrates the powerful attraction that slavery holds for the owners.
Lee Kuan Yew claims that unification is inevitable
In his latest book, One Man’s View of the World, Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew says that Taiwan’s unification with China is only a matter of time and that efforts to separate the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will only make the process more painful for the people of Taiwan. Unification has become a political taboo in Taiwan and as the former Singapore leader has been a friend to the country in the past, his frank remarks are difficult for many to accept. Moreover, the painful process of unification with China, as Lee describes it, is a reality the Taiwanese have already witnessed due to political disputes between pro-independence and pro-unification camps and the loss of its global competitiveness.
Are Trust and Corruption in China Identical?
The Edelman Corporation sells trust: if you want to set up a foreign branch or overseas business, you’d be wise to ask Edelman how trustworthy your new partners and their government are. For decades, Edelman’s annual surveys have charted the trustworthiness of governments from Burkina Faso to Brazil, following governments’ rises and falls in the eyes of their citizens.
I’m proposing that we consider ‘trust’ to be a proxy for ‘honesty’, since there is no useful international measure of trust (Transparency International is neither itself transparent nor international – it’s part of the US Government’s propaganda apparatus and, in any case, purports to measure foreigners’ perception of honesty of their host countries’ governments).