China sends in the clowns

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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by climber07:
    However, I will tell you mine definition between Patriotism and Nationalism:

    "Patriot" is someone, when given a choice, , choses to truly love, serve and support his/ her country for the betterment of it's citizens (often through selfless acts). (i.e. in the words of JFK - "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!"

    "Nationalist" is someone who is determined to achieve unity, independence, and often domination of his/her nation at any cost. Nationalistic movements are typical under regimes which allow no other choice (i.e. Nazi Germany, Soviet Union / Russia, etc). When you can't criticize your government or face retaliation, your only choice is to support it and "try to Make it great". Thus making the Superiority and ambition as no real other choices exist.

    Thus, in my book, it's the fact that that flag waiving American has a choice to burn it and piss on it (along with the photo of the president) in front of the White House, but yet choses to waive what makes him a Patriot rather than a Nationalist.

    Now go get your "I Love China" or "China Wins" t-shits, I heard they're selling like hotcakes. Giordano has an advert in today's local newspaper, their new Patriotic shirts will go on sale May 1 (May Day). I'd get in the queue now
    EXACTLY! My point is that the choice of words is extremely influential - basically chinese people are "nationalist" and the west are "patriotic" - by calling the cheering chinese crowds nationalistic, the western media portrays these people as brainwashed and their love for their country as fake and trivial... when you see HK people waving the Chinese flag, are they nationalists or patriotic...? again, word choices can make a world of different

    by the way it is NOT ACCEPTABLE for americans to publicly burn the American flag... !! Are you nuts?! You'll get arrested right then and there!! If you're of another ethnicity, you'll probably be assumed a terrorist... C'mon, didn't you see how Obama's preacher was criticized for being 'anti-american'?? It was a huge controversy - which means it is NOT widely acceptable to be anti-american in the U.S....! You can disagree, up to the certain point. China has a lot of work to do, but the west is NOT honky dory either... racism, classism, ageism, sexism... very well practiced in the west as well. For example, it sucks to get old in the U.S., here at least there's more respect for the elders...

    I, along with many people, do love china, what's so wrong with that. This love is not only shared in hk/china, but overseas Chinese even more... my love wasn't borne out of being brainwashed - as I've been living outside of HK/China for the past 25 years. But just like you probably love the country you're from wherever that may be... is that wrong? Especially as an overseas chinese, you see the injustice, you have no representation in the media (lucy liu is like the only asian-american actress... and she's barely working...), no political clout... living as a second class citizen in a foreign country actually brings out your love for your country even stronger. You value an identity and recognition that chinese /asian people living in asia take for granted... bottomline, you're never the mainstream once you leave your homeland, expats should identify - hence sites like geoexpat / expat communities exist... as a support system. This is why you see such strong support from overseas chinese - even more so than in the mainland...

    USing words like patriotic vs. nationalistic gets people to think that the west is soooo open minded and soooo value free speech while chinese people around the world are brainwashed... let see how far free speech goes if African Americans start burning White businesses and killing white people because they've been suppressed for the past 150 years... i'm sure the national guards would be called in --- uhh... remember the LA riots anyone... no killing but imagine if violence was escalated? I was in LA at the time and it was not a pretty site... maybe foreign countries should have marched and protested against racism in the states...oh yeah, it's an INTERNAL AFFAIR to be sorted out INTERNALLY....

    As for Giordano's shirts, kudos to them, how many stars and stripe shirts i have seen the gap / american eagle etc make...??? huh??? Why is it to wrong and negative when CHINESE people want to show pride for their country.. especially after having gone through hundreds of years of western imperialism.

    Sorry to go on and on, but needed to share. Thanks Geoexpat for giving us this forum... hey perhaps the free-est speech is on HERE!!

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by jgl:
    Because the repercussions from an dead head of state are a little more serious than a doused fire-stick?
    Here... an example of biased western media having done it's job. kudos...

    if french security actually did its jobs and protected the athletes from being violently attacked by protesters.. then maybe we wouldn't need these so called 'thugs'. again violent protesters are never portrayed as 'thugs', but peace-loving people. i guess once some truly horrible terriorist acts are actually committed, then the world will realize - or they might just spin it and say it's a chinese govt conspiracy to blow up it's own stadium... this thing is a joke and its amazing how many people are sucked in...

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Raiqi:

    The idea that a foreign government can send in mercenaries to harass or intimidate citizens of another country (and don't even get me started on boycotts of French goods) is frankly disgusting.
    I know, totally agree... it's very disgusting just like u.s. army in iraq and putting their army bases located all over the world...with their military men raping local young girl eg. in Japan. Very disgusting indeed. Would love to know your perspective on the boycott, wonder what's wrong with it? is it because chinese people should still be patrons of businesses from countries that detest them or maybe "business and politics shouldn't mix"... LVMH probably makes more $$ in this region (LV and Hennessy) than any other region in the world... maybe that's the reason. But of course, it's probably not because the staff and the people hurting during the boycott are actually chinese employees... no that would be too 'pro-china'...

  4. #24

    Join Date
    May 2005

    I have to wade in here ... the security and safety of the torch bearer should be a responsibility of the Olympic Committee and the host country. So Le French f****d up so what? The use of PLA or whatever thugs from your own country to protect the torch bearer (or was it the torch?) just makes you wonder what is at stake here. My memory may not be as good as yours so remind me which other host nation sent their people to escort the torch.

    It is despicable that the Chinese acted this way and of the Australian Chinese who took part? They have it both ways - speak out with impunity and participate in public protests (a luxury they don't have at home) and enjoy the hospitality of a country that has more to offer than their own (to which they will undoubtedly return if they are students).
    At the same time the pro-Tibet protesters are also to be despised for their use of the event to publicise their frustrations. The ancient Olympians are surely turning in their graves.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Discobay, you give a very balanced perspective. Honestly, all i'd like to see is apples to apples comparisons. Just like foreigners are enjoying the hospitality here in Hong Kong, it would not be acceptable for foreigners to take the streets to protest against china during the HK run either... but then again the aussie-chinese were not protesting the aussie govt, but supporting their own country... it's as if there's aussie-day here in hk, i would expect expat aussies to cheer on?

    Last edited by goleoboy; 26-04-2008 at 08:47 AM.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    fyi - tibetian organizations have been preparing for this olympic ever since beijing won the hosting duties... they started sending their people to 'presentation / speech giving' classes three years ago for god sakes... this is much more organized than the media would let you believe. the falun gong groups is just having a field day... they're seasoned protesters... hell they have a presence at pretty much ever major u.s. city ...

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Ex Sai Kunger Sunny Qld for now
    Quote Originally Posted by goleoboy:
    Discobay, you give a very balanced perspective. Honestly, all I'd like to see is apples to apples comparisons. Just like foreigners are enjoying the hospitality here in Hong Kong, it would not be acceptable for foreigners to take the streets to protest against china during the HK run either... but then again the Aussie-Chinese were not protesting the Aussie govt, but supporting their own country... it's as if there's Aussie-day here in hk, i would expect expat Aussies to cheer on?
    It is illegal in Australia to protest about anything publically, or what is directly or indirectly seditious by nature, under the provisions of an international student visa. Only Australian citizens have the right to protest legally. Those PRC international students broke the laws of Australia, regardless of what they were protesting about. I think the Australian govt displayed a large amount of tolerance in this case, and didn't terminate a single student visa. It was allowed to happen, with a bending of the law. However, if the protests were to turn violent, I am sure visa's would have been terminated, no matter who, their parents ranked in the PSB in China are.

    If western students studying at a Chinese university protested during an Olympic torch relay in China, what do you think the chances of the same level of tolerance being given ?

    Not going to happen, right ?

    The very fact that the Chinese consulates recruited/seditiously encouraged international Chinese students from majority of Australia's university campuses, really gave disrespect to their "Australian Hosts". They were paid $ 350AUS to fly to Canberra from other locations in Australia, given accommodation and food etc .

    But thats o.k, under the circumstances, a blind eye stance was given, even considering the recalcitrant move by the PLA, to send the torch thugs anyway ! They were told point blank NOT to!

    Australian Federal Police officers who ran along side the torch bearers were given the green light to man handle any PLA security detail member, the moment it made physical contact with any member of the Australian public. Which did happen in one instance, creating a bit of tension politically.

    In fairness though, the Australian leg of the Olympic Torch relay has gone pretty well, the AFP can be highly commended for their professionalism maintaining that the event runs smoothly..
    Last edited by Skyhook; 26-04-2008 at 12:00 PM.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Ex Sai Kunger Sunny Qld for now

    Looks like the Torch Relay in Nagano, Japan, is another disaster for China.

    "THOUSANDS of Chinese supporters and Japanese nationalists scuffled today, as the Olympic torch ran through Nagano on its troubled worldwide relay.

    The streets of the central mountain town of Nagano were a sea of red Chinese national flags interspersed with dozens of large Tibetan flags, for the latest leg of the relay which has been marred by anti-Beijing protests.

    Some right-wing groups waved Japan's old imperial flag and shouted, "Chinese, go home!"

    One Chinese student at the rally suffered a cut to his forehead in a scuffle with Japanese nationalists. He was taken to a hospital but his injuries were not serious, a fire department official said.

    The relay was briefly stopped as nationalists threw objects that media reports said were flares. Police immediately sealed off the area as furious Chinese shouted, "Arrest them! Arrest them!"

    At another point, police tackled down one person who tried to jump into the road and seize the torch.

    "At first I didn't think I would come here as I didn't have the time or money," said Xin Xin, a 24-year-old Chinese student wearing a Chinese flag.

    "But many things happened this past week. We had to come here to support the Olympic games in China," he said.

    The torch relay has been dogged by demonstrations against China's rule in Tibet and its human rights record, protests that have outraged China, which had hoped to make the Games a symbol of their nation's rising international clout.

    China, under intense international pressure for dialogue over Tibet, announced yesterday it would meet envoys of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, in the first talks since violence erupted there last month.

    The Nagano leg kicked off in a parking lot rather than a celebrated Buddhist temple, which withdrew as the starting point in a protest over China's crackdown in predominantly Buddhist Tibet.

    The Zenkoji temple instead held a prayer ceremony to mourn both Chinese and Tibetans killed in the recent unrest. Some 300 people prayed in silence as 20 orange-robed monks read out the names of victims and hit a gong.

    Senichi Hoshino, head coach of Japan's Olympic baseball team, was the first of 80 runners to set off on the 18.7km, four-hour relay, accompanied by two lines of Japanese police.

    In keeping with Japanese government requests, only two Chinese guards were accompanying the torch. China has specially trained a crack squad to guard the flame, but their brusque treatment of demonstrators has caused controversy.

    Police said late yesterday they had made one arrest in Nagano, that of a man clad as an apprentice monk carrying a blade and a letter opposing the relay.

    More than 3,000 police were deployed along the route in Nagano, the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics, which has raised security to a level usually accorded to Emperor Akihito.

    Japan has been trying to repair relations with China, which remain uneasy due to war memories, and has pledged to ensure top security for the relay.

    China is one of the main targets for Japan's far-right activists, who are notorious for noisy demonstrations.

    "I support the Tibetans, Uighurs, Mongolians and Taiwanese who are against China. We support any group that's against Communist China," said Yasuhiro Yagi, a self-described Japanese right-wing activist.

    Robert Menard, the founder of rights group Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders), also travelled to Nagano where he planned to wear his trademark T-shirt showing the five Olympic rings as handcuffs.

    But he hailed China's announcement that it would meet Dalai Lama aides.

    "If opening dialogue with the Dalai Lama's people is a sign of a broader discussion by Chinese authorities on human rights and freedom of expression in China, then we'll take another look at our strategy," he said."

  9. #29

    Here is another interesting read on the Chinese nationalist at Duke University, this article appeared on Washington Post. I feel for this Chinese student and her parents who did nothing except try to be rational.

    Caught in the Middle, Called a Traitor

    By Grace Wang
    Sunday, April 20, 2008; B01

    I study languages -- Italian, French and German. And this summer -- now that it looks as though I won't be able to go home to China -- I'll take up Arabic. My goal is to master 10 languages, in addition to Chinese and English, by the time I'm 30.

    I want to do this because I believe that language is the bridge to understanding. Take China and Tibet. If more Chinese learned the Tibetan language, and if Tibetans learned more about China, I'm convinced that our two peoples would understand one another better and we could overcome the current crisis between us peacefully. I feel that even more strongly after what happened here at Duke University a little more than a week ago.

    Trying to mediate between Chinese and pro-Tibetan campus protesters, I was caught in the middle and vilified and threatened by the Chinese. After the protest, the intimidation continued online, and I began receiving threatening phone calls. Then it got worse -- my parents in China were also threatened and forced to go into hiding. And I became persona non grata in my native country.

    It has been a frightening and unsettling experience. But I'm determined to speak out, even in the face of threats and abuse. If I stay silent, then the same thing will happen to someone else someday.

    So here's my story.

    When I first arrived at Duke last August, I was afraid I wouldn't like it. It's in the small town of Durham, N.C., and I'm from Qingdao, a city of 4.3 million. But I eventually adjusted, and now I really love it. It's a diverse environment, with people from all over the world. Over Christmas break, all the American students went home, but that's too expensive for students from China. Since the dorms and the dining halls were closed, I was housed off-campus with four Tibetan classmates for more than three weeks.

    I had never really met or talked to a Tibetan before, even though we're from the same country. Every day we cooked together, ate together, played chess and cards. And of course, we talked about our different experiences growing up on opposite sides of the People's Republic of China. It was eye-opening for me.

    I'd long been interested in Tibet and had a romantic vision of the Land of Snows, but I'd never been there. Now I learned that the Tibetans have a different way of seeing the world. My classmates were Buddhist and had a strong faith, which inspired me to reflect on my own views about the meaning of life. I had been a materialist, as all Chinese are taught to be, but now I could see that there's something more, that there's a spiritual side to life.

    We talked a lot in those three weeks, and of course we spoke in Chinese. The Tibetan language isn't the language of instruction in the better secondary schools there and is in danger of disappearing. Tibetans must be educated in Mandarin Chinese to succeed in our extremely capitalistic culture. This made me sad, and made me want to learn their language as they had learned mine.

    I was reminded of all this on the evening of April 9. As I left the cafeteria planning to head to the library to study, I saw people holding Tibetan and Chinese flags facing each other in the middle of the quad. I hadn't heard anything about a protest, so I was curious and went to have a look. I knew people in both groups, and I went back and forth between them, asking their views. It seemed silly to me that they were standing apart, not talking to each other. I know that this is often due to a language barrier, as many Chinese here are scientists and engineers and aren't confident of their English.

    I thought I'd try to get the two groups together and initiate some dialogue, try to get everybody thinking from a broader perspective. That's what Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu and Confucius remind us to do. And I'd learned from my dad early on that disagreement is nothing to be afraid of. Unfortunately, there's a strong Chinese view nowadays that critical thinking and dissidence create problems, so everyone should just keep quiet and maintain harmony.

    A lot has been made of the fact that I wrote the words "Free Tibet" on the back of the American organizer of the protest, who was someone I knew. But I did this at his request, and only after making him promise that he would talk to the Chinese group. I never dreamed how the Chinese would seize on this innocent action. The leaders of the two groups did at one point try to communicate, but the attempt wasn't very successful.

    The Chinese protesters thought that, being Chinese, I should be on their side. The participants on the Tibet side were mostly Americans, who really don't have a good understanding of how complex the situation is. Truthfully, both sides were being quite closed-minded and refusing to consider the other's perspective. I thought I could help try to turn a shouting match into an exchange of ideas. So I stood in the middle and urged both sides to come together in peace and mutual respect. I believe that they have a lot in common and many more similarities than differences.

    But the Chinese protesters -- who were much more numerous, maybe 100 or more -- got increasingly emotional and vocal and wouldn't let the other side speak. They pushed the small Tibetan group of just a dozen or so up against the Duke Chapel doors, yelling "Liars, liars, liars!" This upset me. It was so aggressive, and all Chinese know the moral injunction: Junzi dongkou, bu dongshou (The wise person uses his tongue, not his fists).

    I was scared. But I believed that I had to try to promote mutual understanding. I went back and forth between the two groups, mostly talking to the Chinese in our language. I kept urging everyone to calm down, but it only seemed to make them angrier. Some young men in the Chinese group -- those we call fen qing (angry youth) -- started yelling and cursing at me.

    What a lot of people don't know is that there were many on the Chinese side who supported me and were saying, "Let her talk." But they were drowned out by the loud minority who had really lost their cool.

    Some people on the Chinese side started to insult me for speaking English and told me to speak Chinese only. But the Americans didn't understand Chinese. It's strange to me that some Chinese seem to feel as though not speaking English is expressing a kind of national pride. But language is a tool, a way of thinking and communicating.

    At the height of the protest, a group of Chinese men surrounded me, pointed at me and, referring to the young woman who led the 1989 student democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, said, "Remember Chai Ling? All Chinese want to burn her in oil, and you look like her." They said that I had mental problems and that I would go to hell. They asked me where I was from and what school I had attended. I told them. I had nothing to hide. But then it started to feel as though an angry mob was about to attack me. Finally, I left the protest with a police escort.

    Back in my dorm room, I logged onto the Duke Chinese Students and Scholars Association (DCSSA) Web site and listserv to see what people were saying. Qian Fangzhou, an officer of DCSSA, was gloating, "We really showed them our colors!"

    I posted a letter in response, explaining that I don't support Tibetan independence, as some accused me of, but that I do support Tibetan freedom, as well as Chinese freedom. All people should be free and have their basic rights protected, just as the Chinese constitution says. I hoped that the letter would spark some substantive discussion. But people just criticized and ridiculed me more.

    The next morning, a storm was raging online. Photographs of me had been posted on the Internet with the words "Traitor to her country!" printed across my forehead. Then I saw something really alarming: Both my parents' citizen ID numbers had been posted. I was shocked, because this information could only have come from the Chinese police.

    I saw detailed directions to my parents' home in China, accompanied by calls for people to go there and teach "this shameless dog" a lesson. It was then that I realized how serious this had become. My phone rang with callers making threats against my life. It was ironic: What I had tried so hard to prevent was precisely what had come to pass. And I was the target.

    I talked to my mom the next morning, and she said that she and my dad were going into hiding because they were getting death threats, too. She told me that I shouldn't call them. Since then, short e-mail messages have been our only communication. The other day, I saw photos of our apartment online; a bucket of feces had been emptied on the doorstep. More recently I've heard that the windows have been smashed and obscene posters have been hung on the door. Also, I've been told that after convening an assembly to condemn me, my high school revoked my diploma and has reinforced patriotic education.

    I understand why people are so emotional and angry; the events in Tibet have been tragic. But this crucifying of me is unacceptable. I believe that individual Chinese know this. It's when they fire each other up and act like a mob that things get so dangerous.

    Now, Duke is providing me with police protection, and the attacks in Chinese cyberspace continue. But contrary to my detractors' expectations, I haven't shriveled up and slunk away. Instead, I've responded by publicizing this shameful incident, both to protect my parents and to get people to reflect on their behavior. I'm no longer afraid, and I'm determined to exercise my right to free speech.

    Because language is the bridge to understanding.

    Grace Wang is a freshman at Duke University. Scott Savitt, a visiting scholar in Duke's Chinese media studies program, assisted in writing this article.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    May 2005

    That's mob mentality for you. And it's the same wherever and whoever you are. I sincerely hope she and her loved ones do not become a statistic.

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