Are you biased against China?

I didn’t really have anything, or at least that much against China until I got here. I don’t know why, but the more I stay here in Taiwan, the more and more I seem to dislike China.

Am I being brainwashed here? Maybe I am just reading too much Chinese politics over the olympics.

General western media bias. They’re getting too big for their boots. Never mind, just wait till we stop buying toys and see how their social system (lack of) deals with unemployment.

Then wait to see how they deal with the knock on effects of the baby boomer generation. China will impoverish itself long before it becomes rich, whilst the UK, Australia, Canada and China allow the brightest and richest to immigrate.

Leaving aside the political issues for now, I love China as fantastic place to travel round, although I’ve never tried living there.
For me, the DPP loose a lot of credibility in the way they often portray China. I am especially appalled at the insinuation that if Taiwan lets any Chinese visit, they may pose some kind of ‘public health risk’, makes me wonder how the Chinese travel around the rest of the world without any problems.

A fascist, anti-democratic superpower where a man who takes pictures of the shoddy construction that led to the collapse of countless schools after the big Sichuan earthquake can be jailed for being a whistleblower: what’s not to like? :unamused:

Can you provide some evidence of that?

Can you provide some evidence of that?[/quote]

Oh its from the DPP blog.


It’s the Stockholm hostage syndrome.


I am, more and more, but not without reason. The more I see of China’s actions as a government and a people, the more I hear from Chinese of their views, attitudes, and of their aspirations, and the more I interact with Chinese from the PRC, the more I have come to dislike them. I used to love China, to be fascinated by its history, its languages, its different cultures, its cuisine, its architecture, and so on, but I realise now that the parts I liked were all representative of an idealised view of a China that is long gone. I began interacting more and more with Chinese people as I got older and became more and more disillusioned by the vast majority of them. It is a HUGE country, and there are bound to be some nice people in there, I am sure, and I have indeed met a couple, but the overwhelming sense i have from Chinese from PRC is one of arrogance and contempt, especially for big noses, but even for other Chinese.

I am certainly not against Chinese people as a race, but the PRC culture and their government suck. And I’m not afraid to say it, so I guess it appears to some of the Sinophiles out there that I am unfairly biased against China. But it’s all fair, and they’ve brought it on themselves.

Can you provide some evidence of that?[/quote]

Oh its from the DPP blog.

silly[/quote] … earthquake … quake.html

I guess trying to master chinese in a month is both addling your senses and taking away the time you would normally be reading the newspapers or even watching TV.

How bout this on an environmentalist jailed for whistleblowing?

Do you guys really need me to link to this kind of stuff? Live in a cave, do you?



This expresses my feelings on China. I think it’s all about information. The more of it you get about China, the less you will like it (them). As I have always said … the best parts of China are in Taiwan!

Right but the PRC does not equal China or the Chinese people. Most Chinese people remain peasants trying to scrape a living.
On the political angle, I know I will get accused of being an apologist, but the PRC has a much better record than the only comparable large developing country (India) in terms of educational and healthcare improvements, poverty reduction, controlling sectarian strife and so on. Sure, it might be great to live in ‘free’ India and ‘enjoy’ the right to vote and free speech etc, but it doesn’t much help if you are an illiterate slum dweller in Calcutta.

Once I realised that it’s almost impossible to say that there’s any ‘Chinese’ anything, the whole place made a lot more sense to me. It certainly helped me to understand why generalizations about the people and culture in the place are frequently useless.

The history on the other hand remains a good index of long term established trends which are shared by a large majority of the population. Perhaps the best comment I’ve read about Chinese history was made by a Chinese expat living in Australia (Fang Xiangshu, lecturer at Deakin University), who said that the much touted ‘5,000 years of Chinese history’ was in reality simply the same 100 years of history repeated 50 times.

He co-authored a book about his flight from China to Australia as a political refugee, which I found an interesting read. Here’s a brief review from a larger paper:

[quote=“Short review, page 5”]'East Wind, West Wind by Fang Xiangshu and Trevor Hay tells of a single life, that of Fang, who was born in Shanghai in 1953 and grew up during the Cultural Revolution. He first came to Australia in 1984 as an exchange scholar, was later recalled to China for unspecified political crimes, but managed to escape and return to Australia, where he was faced with a protracted battle with the Department of Immigration, finally resolved when he was granted permanent residence in 1990.

The structure of the book is one of concentric circles: the story of Fang’s childhood and youth is told as an extended flashback within the story of his escape from China. An outer frame, consisting of a prologue narrated by Trevor Hay, his co-author and friend, and an epilogue narrated by Fang, brings the story up to the present, at the same time as it introduces the story of Hay’s own struggle against authorities, a legal battle with the Victorian police.

In the prologue, Hay describes the story as “Fang Xiangshu’’s account of what it is like to be in trouble in a totalitarian society” (xiii), thus placing the text within the tradition of Wild Swans and other recent accounts of repression and hardship under the Cultural Revolution, suggesting, moreover, that China in the more liberal 1980s is still a totalitarian regime in which the state claims superiority over individual rights.

However, this “message ” is qualified by the frame narrative’s stories of what it is like to be “in trouble” in an
apparently non-authoritarian society – Australia – a reminder that no political system can offer the individual absolute protection against the authority of the state.’[/quote]

One part of the book I enjoyed particularly was the description of Fang Xiangshu’s return to his family village, where he was received with much sensation as someone who had not only visited a foreign country, but who had actually learned English. There was a hilarious section describing an argument among some of the locals as to whether or not it was even possible to learn English. Apparently some people refused to believe that an intelligible language could be constructed using only 26 characters. :laughing:

[quote=“Mawvellous”]Right but the PRC does not equal China or the Chinese people. Most Chinese people remain peasants trying to scrape a living.
On the political angle, I know I will get accused of being an apologist, but the PRC has a much better record than the only comparable large developing country (India) in terms of educational and healthcare improvements, poverty reduction, controlling sectarian strife and so on. Sure, it might be great to live in ‘free’ India and ‘enjoy’ the right to vote and free speech etc, but it doesn’t much help if you are an illiterate slum dweller in Calcutta.[/quote]

so which country does the PRC represent? Mongolia? Upper Volta?

of course the PRC equals China, the same way that The United States of America equals the country known as America (notice i did not include Canadia or Mexico in that), or Germany equals the country known more formally as The Federal Republic of Germany. you’re not including Taiwan in China now are you, or all the little Chinatowns around the world?

so what if the PRC are slightly better than India at things like raising the standard of living? it’s the equivalent of saying that Mussolini made the trains run on time, Mr Mawvellous. disingenious at best, completely missing the point at worst. it does not change my opinion of their dismal policies one jot, and nor does it change the personal attitudes of the arrogant selfish middle class, the group that should be the source of more and more criticism of the CCP’s policies, but instead are doing all they can to simply buy more LV handbags and ignore the stench from the ‘great unwashed’ in the countryside… and joining the nationalist bandwagon when they can.

there are just as many peasants living in dismal conditions in China than in India. and sure, they have perhaps less ability to change their position than the Chinese peasantry does, due to Hindu class structure. but this isn’t an argument about which of China or India is better, this is a discussion of why people are biased against China. hell, I’m a cranky old shit so I’m biased against everyone. get used to it.

Can you provide some evidence of that?[/quote]

Well, I can’t say that I have empirical evidence but it was reported on CNN, BBC and countless newspapers around the world. Do they ALL have it wrong? doubtful.
And BTW, why hasn’t the world heard more about what China is doing about this obvious shoddy construction? “We are investigating” Great! Now do something about it! Problem is, the issues rise higher than the investigators.

Am I biased against China? Biased is a sweet word for discrimination. So, do I discriminate against China. Absolutely, I do. I also discriminate against Coca Cola. First, I evaluated and found that I like Pepsi better. Now, I don’t buy Coke. I favor Pepsi because I like it better. So, first I evaluated China over other countries and found that I like other countries better - exceptions not noted. Taiwan is one of them. F*** the sematics, I would rather live in Taiwan than China for sooo many reasons. One of them is ability to post this.

But you could post that in China, heavens, our lost Lord Lucan, Elegua and even that starry-eyed PLA flag waver, Mucha Man have posted far worse from China and avoided the gulag.


As another poster pointed out, visiting China is a facscinating experience. The history and sense of scale when you stand on the (far too 20th-21st century) Great Wall or walk through the Forbidden City is amazing.

However, as most posters who seem to have lived there, as I did, have pointed out, the longer you are there, the more unbearable it becomes, if you have even an inkling of a deisre for a free-thinking, stimulating environment. Granted, I was in Beijing, so my impressions are probably of a place far more close-minded than Shanghai or possibly even Guangzhou with its western influences.

People who were otherwise highly intelligent and well-educated suffered such malnutrition in terms curiosity, and reason, it was tragic to witness. I happened to live there during the invasion of Iraq and SARS (my district was the worst affected area of all globally- the Haidian District - what an achievement), and seeing the ease with which the government managed to squeeze out of the noose with regard to their covering up of the SARS epidemic was frightening. And the way support among the people (even the educated ones) was galvanised in support of “fighting the enemy - SARS” once the propaganda machine swung into action, was sickening.

I even presented my students with two articles in our writing class. One they needed to put in point form summary, the other in prose. Both were articles on the number of SARS patients in Beijing. The China Daily said 33, the Washington Post said 300-odd. Even after having them summarise the articles, and with the government finally acknowledging far higher numbers than first claimed, they failed to see the point. And meanwhile, they stepped into line to help their government be rid of the scourge with a whopping dose of ill-founded nationalistic fervour.

The build-up to the Olympics, and the related step-up in censorship etc is par for the course. For an insight into Chinese thinking on the whole Olympics thing, I have attached a “sci-fi story” doing the rounds in Chinese forums (in Chinese of course). I apologise for the length, but I don’t have alink for it.

"Olympic Dream: A Sci-Fi Short Story

July in Beijing is the hottest time of the year; Old Zhao’s heart was pained as if baked to scorching.

“Chairman Zhang, didn’t you say that we could do it this week? We’ve waited for twelve days.” Old Zhao asked. Before the doctor in charge of his father, he tried very hard to control his emotions; but he held the doctor’s hand forcefully, as if in a moment of inattention the doctor would turn to smoke and float away.

“Hear me out, don’t be emotional, ” Chairman Zhang explained as he tried to pull open Old Zhao’s fingers. He had been a doctor for over twenty years, seen difficult and complicated conditions, seen medical accidents, and seen enough of unreasonable patient family. But never had a family member’s question given him such a headache, even made him feel a little ashamed to answer.

Old Zhao let go, but he still stood in front of Chairman Zhang, his mind made up to bring the truth of this matter to light.

“Please don’t be emotional, don’t be emotional,” Chairman Zhang repeated this sentence, working to clear his mind. “I’m very clear about your father’s situation. If we do it a month later, there will be absolutely no problem. Believe me. I promise, on August 26th, once the Olympic Games are over, I will schedule the operation for him.”

“What does doing an operation have to do with the Olympic Games?” This was what Old Zhao simply could not figure out.

“They’re not originally related. But, but they made these rules higher up, so hospitals have to follow them. During the Olympic period, all non-emergency operations must be postponed, the goal is to ensure an adequate supply of medical resources. You’re a resident of Beijing too – everything is for the Olympics, right? ” Dr. Zhang patted Old Zhao’s arm, squeezed past and walked away.

Yes, everything was for the Olympics. Since the day Beijing had succeeded in its bid seven years ago, the Olympics had been top priority. Born and raised in Beijing, Old Zhao knew that the Olympic Games had been the Chinese people’s dream for a hundred years, and he sincerely hoped the Games would be a total success. But for the success of the Olympics, did his father’s operation really have to be delayed? There seemed to be some relation between the two; but he thought carefully, and again there seemed to be nothing.

He came out of the hospital; rush hour had already passed. Scarce cars passed on the street, far fewer than last week. As the Olympics approached, the government had ordered that according to odd or even license number, only half of the city’s vehicles were allowed on the road each day. Air quality had improved quite a bit; who knew that when the International Olympic Committee’s people came to test it and said it still wasn’t up to standard, the government would promptly add restrictions, allowing only a tenth of all vehicles on the street each day according to the last digit of the license number?

Old Zhao had a Chery QQ, the last digit of his license number was 4; he had driven two days ago and now had to wait over a week. His neighbor Old Zhou‘s last digit was 1; he could drive July 31st and August 1st, two days in a row. Old Zhou was so pleased he mentioned it to everyone he met, as if he had foreseen today’s trouble years ago when he was getting his license plate.

Old Zhao’s house was a dozen stops from the hospital; he sweated from every pore as he biked home. It was not just the heat; every time he went through an intersection he was stopped for an ID check. He knew this was to ensure the security of the Games; it had gone on for several days. He pinned his ID on his collar with a clip, but the print on the card was really too small, and so he had to get down every time and come close before they could make it out.

The neighborhood where he lived was much clearer; no people yelling, no dogs barking; on the normally boisterous lawn it was quiet. People from outside the city had probably all gone home. But a few old neighbors of more than ten years had disappeared for no reason, as if dissolved by the fervent Olympic atmosphere.

Dinner was ready in the house, the kidney beans with pork that he loved. His wife’s skills were trained to perfection, but after a few bites he realized the beans were particularly small; they were dry to the bite and on closer inspection had dark specks on them.

“Why didn’t you buy better ones? We can’t always put others first!” Old Zhao felt that nothing in the world would go his way again.

“I went all over the market, they only have these. They say they’re restricting vehicles from outside from coming into Beijing, they can’t bring the vegetables in. In a few days we might not even be able to get something like this, ” his wife replied unpleasantly.

“Come on. We can’t even eat because of the Olympics?” In Old Zhao’s chest a nameless fire of anger shot up, but he was not sure where he could vent it. “Those foreigners who are coming here for the Games, do they get food, do they get vegetables?”

“I heard the vegetables for foreign athletes are all specially provided, after they’re planted, they don’t get water; they water them with milk or soy milk.”

On hearing this sentence, Old Zhao seemed to choke, a mouthful of rice in his mouth; he neither chewed nor swallowed. It seemed that the five Olympic rings had become five hoops, hung around his neck.

At this point the news started on the television. The top story was about Beijing residents happily welcoming the Olympics. Hearing the joyful banging of all the gongs and drums, Old Zhao could take a another breath after all; he reluctantly swallowed the rice in his mouth. He threw down his chopsticks and went in to watch television.

The next story said that movie star Xu Dong’e had arranged to leave Beijing for a month to avoid causing inconvenience during the Olympics, earning the united praise of the citizenry. In Every one of the interviewed masses stated: the Olympics are the biggest issue in China right now, all else must make way. Xu Dong’e could understand the country’s situation, expressing support for the Olympics through concrete action and helping Beijing’s citizens.

This time Old Zhao understood. So the government wanted everyone to leave Beijing. He thought about it: so many people lived in Beijing, there was every kind, who could say that something unexpected wouldn’t happen during the Games? To ensure the security of the games, it was certainly the fewer people, the better. If all the people in the city were pulled out, leaving only workers on the Olympic staff, wouldn’t that solve all the problems?

Having thought this far, he loudly asked, “Boss! Let’s answer the call of the nation, how about leaving the city and going around? The vegetables out there can’t come into the city, they must be cheap. ” He regretted it as soon as it was out of his mouth, and indeed he heard his wife sneer, “We can tour the world if you have the money. Your work unit is on holiday for three months to clear the air. They might even give you a double salary bonus at the end of the year, right?” she said.

“Forget I said it, forget I said it,” Old Zhao sighed. No matter what, the most frightening thing in the world was not the Olympic Games, it was when his wife was right. Just as he was caught between these two difficulties, the doorbell rang. It was Mrs. Zhou from the neighborhood committee.

“Good evening, Mrs. Zhou, you’ve come at just the right time.”

“Hello, have you eaten? What did you eat? Old Zhao, you’re too kind.”

“Such a virtuous and respectable person is welcome anywhere, ” Old Zhao said. He hurriedly invited Mrs. Zhou to sit and poured tea.

Mrs. Zhou asked a few questions about Old Zhao’s father’s health, and then got to the real point.

“The Olympics are getting closer each day. This a symbol of our country’s rising again, of the washing away of a hundred years of shame. So I’ve come to ask you what you think,” Mrs. Zhou said.

“You need to ask? As Beijing residents of the new era, we resolutely support them, we sincerely wish for the Games to be a complete success. Mrs. Zhou, don’t you know, on the night we won the bid, Old Zhou and I were so excited we downed three bottles of erguotou, we were drunk for three days before we went to bed."

“All right, all right, you needn’t mention your heroic exploits. I came to ask if you have any difficulties.”

“Ai… Honestly, although the Olympics are good, it makes ordinary people’s lives harder,” Old Zhao finally had a chance to let the bitter water out of his stomach. From his father’s operation, to the factory shutting down, to driving restrictions, to not being able to buy vegetables, he became more and more emotional and couldn’t help standing up. “Everything has stopped for the Olympics, it looks to me like the earth could stop turning, people could stop living, I can’t say that after the Olympics there will be a new beginning."

“What you’ve said is quite reasonable, ” Mrs. Zhou laughed and took out a medicine bottle. “Look, I came just to bring this medicine for you.”

Old Zhao was so frightened he nearly sat down on the floor. “Mrs. Zhou, I haven’t lived long enough, you can’t do this. How can you toy with human life?"

“What are you thinking?” Ms. Zhou kept smiling. “Read the instructions, it’s not poison. This is called a hibernation pill, newly developed by the Academy of Sciences. Take one and you sleep for a month, like a bear hibernating for the winter. You don’t need to eat or drink. After sleeping for a month, you’ll wake up, the Olympics will be over, cars will be able to go out, factories will be operating, vegetables will be fresh, and your father will be able to do his operation; isn’t that great?”

Old Zhao stood there, astonished. He felt vaguely that something was not right, but on second thought, it was suitable and rational, there was no problem with it at all.

“Don’t worry. The medicine has been distributed for two days, most people in this building have already taken pills and gone to hibernate. Our Old Zhou took it two days ago and now he’s enjoying a sound sleep.”

“Can my father take this medication?” This was his only question.

“He can. And during hibernation his condition will absolutely not get worse. Look at the instructions. Even the Ministry of Health has approved it.”

It seemed that this was the thing he needed. He saw Mrs. Zhou off. He took the medication to the hospital and made a point of asking Chairman Zhang about it, and Chairman Zhang said the same thing as Mrs. Zhou. So he gave his sick father a “hibernation pill” and watched him fall asleep. He hurried home, he and his wife lay in bed and each took one; within half a minute he felt woozy and lost consciousness.

The next thing he knew, it seemed that just a moment had passed; but from the hunger in his stomach he understood that he had not been sleeping for a short time. He turned on the TV, and they were already broadcasting the news for Aug. 25th. The news was about flood relief; already there was nothing related to the Olympics. His wife woke up too. She looked at the television and asked, “Are these Olympics over?”

“I guess it’s over, ” Old Zhao couldn’t say for sure. He switched a few channels but couldn’t find even a little information about the Olympics. The Olympic dream that the Chinese people had had for a hundred years seemed to have vanished like smoke on waking.

He made a call to the hospital and learned that his father had already woken up; the operation was confirmed for tomorrow, not even thunder would move it. A weight fell from his heart and he said to his wife, “Cook some noodles. I’ll go buy vegetables, and a chicken to make soup for my old man. I’m sure he’s hungry too.”

The vegetable market was just downstairs. There still weren’t as many people as usual, but there was every kind of fresh vegetable. As Old Zhao chose his vegetables, he saw a neighbor he knew and rushed to ask her: “Auntie, are the Olympics over?”

The neighbor Auntie answered: “I heard it’s over, I just woke up yesterday myself.”

Another Auntie said: “I heard it’s over. I heard it was quite successful."

A vegetable vendor said: “I heard that China was first in gold medals.”

Another person nearby said: “Yes, I heard that too, I heard it was more than forty.”

“I heard during the Olympics everything was quiet, there wasn’t even a tiny incident."

“I heard those days the air quality was excellent the whole time.”

“I heard the Chinese team took all the gold medals in ping pong and diving. ”

“I heard the Chinese men’s soccer team didn’t get a single goal, again.”

“I heard Liu Xiang broke a world record.”

“I heard there was algae in the sea at Qingdao, and the sailing events were moved to Kunming Lake.”

“I heard that Sa- what, Samaranch, … he’s not called Samaranch anymore, the guy who used to be called Samaranch, he said the Beijing Olympics were the most successful in history.”

“Yes, this time we Chinese really put on a show. I heard the laowai were all in awe. The Olympics have never been so successful.”


Old Zhao brought the vegetables home; the noodles were already done. His wife hadn’t waited and was bent over eating away; she saw red rings around his eyes and asked: “What wrong did you suffer? There’s still some in the pot.”

Old Zhao put down the vegetables and wiped his nose, his voice trembling a little: “Boss, when you’re done, take a walk outside. I heard, I heard … that now our country is strong!”"

I think there’s an argument for how concerned you are about a country’s government is a function of how much respect you have for the people.

E.g. in WWII the UK was OK with Spain or Portugal having a fascist government since they (wrongly) thought that those countries were a lost cause. But they regarded the Germans as being equals scientifically and technologically and so the Nazis had to go.

So in an odd sort of way the amount of flack the Beijing regime gets is a backhanded compliment to Chinese people. Something to think about as the nukes melt the skin off you in the coming WWIII - in our western culture this is sign that we respect you, just like we did with the Japs and the Krauts. If we didn’t we’d just let you stew in tyranny.

That was a mind numbing propaganda piece. I should point out that as a Christian I have my own specific biases against the Chinese government. I have nothing in particular against the people who live in the place, though I now know from experience that I shouldn’t trust them.