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politicus
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2012, 07:16:42 am »
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Philippine, Chinese ships face off near Spratlys
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Meanwhile, another Philippine military officer said his country agreed with Vietnam to stage a joint military exercise near the Spratlys.

Vietnam is also engaging in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. The Philippines and Vietnam are apparently boosting their military collaboration to keep China in check.
Good luck to the Phillipines - standing up to the Chinese takes guts. Cooperation with Vietnam is definetly the way to go on this one.
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2012, 02:22:34 pm »
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Another big update: Bo Xilai has been fired from the Politburo and Central Committee and is being investigated by the Party Central Investigations Committee. The press release still referred to him as Comrade, proof they acknowledge he still has a base of support. In the same update, they named Bo's wife and the family servant as suspects in the death of Neil Heywood.
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2012, 11:08:20 pm »
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Philippine warship 'in stand-off with Chinese vessels'

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The Philippines says its main naval vessel is engaged in a stand-off with Chinese surveillance ships at a disputed South China Sea shoal.

The Philippines said its warship tried to arrest Chinese fishermen anchored at the Scarborough Shoal, but was blocked by the two surveillance boats.

Both countries dispute the ownership of the shoal, which lies off the Philippines' northwestern coast.

Now the Paracels are at least partly Chinese, and some of the Spratleys are far enough from the nearest land that a Chinese claim to at least some of them is not inherently bogus, but Scarborough Shoal is clearly Philippine.

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« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2012, 12:49:36 am »
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It's good to see the Philippine Navy sticking it's biggest/best/newest ship out there.  I hope the PLA doesn't push the issue to try to cover up the BS happening back home, but if they do, I'm certain the rest of the people in the neighborhood plus the USA will teach them a lesson in not beind a dick to your neighbors.
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« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2012, 06:59:21 pm »
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China should simply reach an agreement with the ASEAN countries with claims in the Spratlys to jointly divide and explore the area. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what you claim, they can't go ahead to exploit any potential oil reserves in the region due to the territorial disputes anyway.
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« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2012, 11:04:53 pm »
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Why would the countries with good claims to the Spratlys concede anything to the PRC?  The Paracels, sure, share the wealth, but not the Spratlys.
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2012, 12:19:01 am »
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Why would the countries with good claims to the Spratlys concede anything to the PRC?  The Paracels, sure, share the wealth, but not the Spratlys.

Why would the PRC concede anything from the islands it controls in the Spratlys? And why would the PRC contemplate relinquishing control over the Paracels, which it gained by defeating South Vietnam in 1974 (when they were collapsing)? Remember, when Chiang Kai Shek heard the PLAN was about to attack the South Vietnamese (his ideological comrades in arms) on the Paracels, he specifically ordered his forces not to impede them, so this isn't an issue specific to the Communist (in name only) regime.

Besides, China isn't the only nation with sketchy claims in the South China Sea. Vietnam also claims virtually the entire basin as its own, on the same "traditional fishing grounds" reasoning. A practical solution will require all sides to give up claims they have held for a long time.
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« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2012, 12:49:48 am »
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So you think they should get ALL the Paracels AND get a share of the Spratleys?  You've seen the map right? 

I do agree that Vietnam's claim is ALMOST as absurd as the PRC's (there is that faint praise thing again).  The PRC's claim the Spratleys because some old chinese pottery washed up on shore there once, do we really want to have that set some kind of precedence?  I'm sure there are some old Roman coins around Cyprus, should they share oil revenue with Italy?
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« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2012, 03:49:32 am »
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Like it or not, the PRC de facto controls all the Paracels and a good section of the Spratlys. In both cases this occurred after Chinese naval victories against Vietnam (South Vietnam in 1974, all Vietnam in 1988), which the KMT in Taiwan explicitly didn't impede when their SOP was to sink any PLAN vessels.

And besides, where does Vietnam's claim to virtually the same area come from? Where does the Philippines claim over the entire Spratlys come from? According to the map, the only somewhat understandable claim is from Malaysia.  Politicians from all countries are using this as a chance to wave the flag and distract from domestic problems. Therefore, for China (which includes the RoC in Taiwan, which makes the exact same claim) to unilaterally relinquish its claim is as logically absurd as the US unilaterally relinquishing nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

As for the Cyprus analogy, AFAIK Italy doesn't claim anything around Cyprus.
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« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2012, 04:09:58 am »
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Like it or not, the PRC de facto controls all the Paracels and a good section of the Spratlys. In both cases this occurred after Chinese naval victories against Vietnam (South Vietnam in 1974, all Vietnam in 1988), which the KMT in Taiwan explicitly didn't impede when their SOP was to sink any PLAN vessels.
The people that are for a return to the pre-67 borders for a new Palestinian state aren't going to like that train of thought.  But I'll concede here that the PRC could share in any resources found around the Spratleys.

How do you feel about the current situation in the Scarborough Shoal?  And other issues with Chinese fishermen fishing in waters that clearly are not theirs?
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« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2012, 10:31:00 am »
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Why would the countries with good claims to the Spratlys concede anything to the PRC?  The Paracels, sure, share the wealth, but not the Spratlys.

To reach a political agreement settling the area of control, and thus not have to spend money on an arms race. Instead giving them the opportunity to jointly explore and exploit the area. The current situation is unresolvable and is preventing the area from being used, although if you are an environmentalist with Greenpeace that may be a good thing. Smiley But the main Filipino interest in the area is for the potential economic benefits, just as with China and everybody else [well, except for some hotheaded nationalists and generals who have both their own self interest and pigheadedness to ignite reason for China's sabre-rattling]. In the status quo, it provides no benefits and is only a sink for military spending. This is one area where Europe is still far ahead of Asia; they would recognize great power politics as 19th century thinking. Asia would do well to banish it into the past as well.
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« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2012, 08:53:52 am »
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link
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Taiwan plans to purchase four warships from the United States as part of the island's efforts to modernise its forces and offset the perceived military threat from China, local media reported on Sunday.

The defence ministry briefed President Ma Ying-jeou on the proposed arms deal during a meeting last month and is prepared to set aside the budget next year, the United Daily News said, without specifying the cost.

The ministry declined to comment on the report.

If finalised, the arms deal will increase to 12 the total number of such warships owned by Taiwanese navy.

The four Perry-class frigates, separately built in the 1980s and to be retired by the US navy lately, are aimed to replace the Taiwan navy's fleet of eight Knox-class frigates, the daily said.
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« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2012, 11:09:43 pm »
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Change of command for the PLA's 2nd Artillery (the group that controls the much talked about anti-ship missiles and the nukes).  link
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Leaders in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) strategic strike force will be transitioning during the 18th Party Congress this coming autumn. But while the focus of the China-watching community has largely been on the top-brass of the central party leadership, much less is openly discussed about the changing leaderships within the armed services – especially the military’s strategic strike force.

Leadership positions within high-placed grades of the services are important indicators of future rank and seniority within the military hierarchy. In addition, the backgrounds of these new Second Artillery leaders, the section of China’s military that controls much discussed anti-ship ballistic missile weaponry and nuclear weapons, may reflect upon the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Central Military Commission (CMC) priorities for Second Artillery as the PLA continues to modernize its military capabilities.

<snip>

Given the apparent emphasis being placed on cyber operations by the top leadership, one single organization within the PLA likely is charged with planning for and conducting deliberate cyber attacks against computer networks upon which opposing national command authorities and supporting critical infrastructure rely.  If supported by GSD intelligence, integration of nuclear, conventional strike, and strategic cyber warfare planning, programming, and budgeting within a single Second Artillery headquarters staff department would be significant.

At the very least, the promotion patterns of Second Artillery leaders may be seen as a reflection upon the CCP and CMC priorities for the force as the PLA continues to move to more jointness and modernize its military capabilities under a new strategic environment.
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2012, 08:34:30 pm »
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China should simply reach an agreement with the ASEAN countries with claims in the Spratlys to jointly divide and explore the area. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what you claim, they can't go ahead to exploit any potential oil reserves in the region due to the territorial disputes anyway.

On the contrary, I think the US should lead an agreement among the disputing nations to the detriment of China. The US must leverage its position in SE Asia to form a bloc of nations opposed to China. Getting an agreement would be a good way to do that. But I'd like to see an APTO, so what do I know.

Also, what came of that letter by party members calling for the dismissal of Bo's security chief? To me it sounded surprisingly brash, or is this more common than I think?
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« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2012, 03:05:21 am »
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China should simply reach an agreement with the ASEAN countries with claims in the Spratlys to jointly divide and explore the area. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what you claim, they can't go ahead to exploit any potential oil reserves in the region due to the territorial disputes anyway.

On the contrary, I think the US should lead an agreement among the disputing nations to the detriment of China. The US must leverage its position in SE Asia to form a bloc of nations opposed to China. Getting an agreement would be a good way to do that. But I'd like to see an APTO, so what do I know.

Also, what came of that letter by party members calling for the dismissal of Bo's security chief? To me it sounded surprisingly brash, or is this more common than I think?

That will not work. All these countries have disputes among each other over the basin, and trying to forge an anti-China coalition will merely blow up in Uncle Sam's face down the road when two US allies are threatening each other.

In addition, many of these countries have friendly relations with China, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Indonesia.

And here's the final kicker: Taiwan has been engaging in standoffs against Vietnam and plans to beef up its military presence in the South China Sea using Stinger missiles it purchased from the US. Taiwanese officials have also visited the area to call for stronger defense. Two days ago, the director of the Taiwanese intelligence agency stated that the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam privately urged Taiwan not to ally with Beijing on the territorial dispute. In other words, there's the real possibility that if push comes to shove, Taiwan will be using its US-equipped military to attack other US allies in order to do the bidding of Beijing. China would be essentially outsourcing its wars to a party it officially regards as a renegade in true Sun Tzu fashion. It's impossible to overstate how catastrophic that would be to US interests.
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« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2012, 10:25:10 am »
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The US must leverage its position in SE Asia to form a bloc of nations opposed to China. Getting an agreement would be a good way to do that. But I'd like to see an APTO, so what do I know.

Out of the US wheelhouse- it depends entirely on what China does. If China plays nice and builds economic relations with ASEAN, then they will be drawn into the Chinese orbit and there's nothing the US can do about it. However if China is aggressive and bullying, it'll drive these countries into the arms of the US and all we have to do is open them- which shouldn't be hard (given that we've been there before already- the muscles are already well trained). In other words I think it's more of China's choice than the US choice how this plays out. The US can't force China's neighbors to be hostile to China. Nor should it.

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Also, what came of that letter by party members calling for the dismissal of Bo's security chief? To me it sounded surprisingly brash, or is this more common than I think?

What letter?
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« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2012, 08:25:59 pm »
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My take on the Bo Xilai incident.  Various friends of my refers to it as a CCP civil war.  My view is that it is more of a guerrilla war at this stage. To understand this civil war one has to understand the last significant CCP civil war, the Tienanmen crisis of 1989.

Back then Deng Xiaoping led the Right faction which was for economic reform and some of which were for political reform. The Left was led by Chen Yun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chen_Yun) who led what is now called the "Old Left" which was for the economic/political policies of the 1950s plus some market reform. Leaders of the Old Left all were victims of Mao and his various purges over the years and were opposed going to a system like the 1960s or 1970s. Significant leaders of the Right in the 1980s were Hu Yaobang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hu_Yaobang) and Zhao Ziyang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhao_Ziyang). Both were for different degrees of political reform which they saw as necessary to break the power of the Old Left who were getting the the way of market reform. Another leader on the right was Xi Zhongxun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xi_Zhongxun) who if anything was even more radical in his demands for political reform. On the issue of political reform Deng did not agree with his diciples. Another major figure of the Old left is Bo YiBo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo_Yibo) who suffered at the hands of Mao and was more liberal on market reforms than most on the Left but was dead opposed to any political reform. In 1987 a battle broke out between Right and the Left which let to Hu Yaobang stepping down (Chen Yun hated Hu who other than Xi was one that was more for political reform) but in return the Right won on market reform policy issues, and in turn Zhao Ziyang took on the reins as the COO for the Right (Deng was chairman of the board). When Hu died in 1989 it triggered student protests who supported Hu and were angry at the way he was forced to stepped down. The Left took advantage of this to start the Right-Left battle and at the same time Zhao took advantage of this to push Deng out of the way to make himself the #1 on the Right. Zhao lost that battle as Deng threw his weight behind the Left to defeat what he saw as a power grab by Zhao which resulted in the crushing of the student protests. Bo YiBo was also critical to the victory of the Left and Bo was very much for a strong show of force to make sure that political change is not dictaed by protests. Zhao bitterly opposed to move to use military force and Xi Zhongxun as well. Zhao was ousted and Xi retired in anger. One Wen Jiabao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wen_Jiabao) who was Zhao secretary and very close to Zhao was also very bitter about this turn of events but instead of being forced to retired was kept on due to the intervention of Deng.

After the crisis the Left was in control by by 1991 Deng and the Right struck back, retook power and the new nominal leader Jiang Zemin executed on the policy of the Right. Wen's career with Deng's support despite what happend in 1989 continued to rocket upward. So that by 2002 when Jiang retired and Hu JinTao took over as #1, Wen was made #2. Now here is where Bo Xilai comes in. Bo Xilai is the son of Bo Yibo. Wen always blamed Bo Yibo for his old mentor being ousted (when he really should blame Deng but it is hard to blame your benifactor) and looked for ways to block Bo's career in politics. Likewise Bo hated and feared Wen due the the rivalries between his father and Wen's mentor back in the 1980s. Bo decided to protect himself by re-invinting himself as a neo-Maoist populist and aligned with a new movement called the "New Left." The people that make up the New Left in the CCP mostly have no direct contact to the various Mao's purges most because of age (they were too young.) The New Left uses Maoist arguments on equity and social justice to attack market reforms where the Old Left was mostly using arguments of "control." The Old Left themselves were purged and put in jail by Mao in the name of social justice and were very negative on using those arguments. But Neo-Maoist populist New Left have no such contraints. Bo Xilai is special because he himself was locked up by Mao in the 1960s due to his father Bo Xibo and would otherwise NOT be inclinded to use Neo-Maoist arguments. But I guess to protect himself he took on the mantle of the New Left. The New Left became a significant power in the CCP due to some negative affects of market reform (income inequity, loss of welfare state like support, and just a more riskly world for anyone in the labor market.) Because of the New Left support of Bo, Wen was not able to get rid of Bo but kept him out of the central government and instead made him party secretary of Chungking as a result of Right/Left compromise. Bo ran ChungKing as a personal Neo-Maoist populust fiefdom. Bear in mind, despite all his propaganda about Neo-Maoism, he was basically a opporturnist (Like Chen Shui-Bien) and had no issues with all kinds of domestic and foreign capital and do their thing in Chungking to keep up economic development as long as him and his wife got their share of the cash.
 
Now fast forward to 2011-2. It turns out that one Xi Jinping (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xi_Jinping) will be made the #1 in CPP after Hu retires. Bad news for Bo, because Xi Jinping is the son Xi Zhongxun who was a rival of Bo YiBo and really hated the 1989 crackdown and blamed Bo YiBo for it (Deng was a major benifactor of Xi Zhongxun and Xi Jinping so they really tried not to blame Deng for 1989 but Bo. Same logic as Wen.) Bo decides to double down and try to push himself a candidate for the #1 spot by making himself a "man of the people/fight for the people ect ect). It also involved stuff like bugging Xi. At this stage both Wen and Xi had enough. There were already lots of rumors of the slimy stuff that Bo was up to and they decided to use that to get rid of Bo once and for all. So his activities were disclosed to the public and Bo osted. The Right now also is using this to crack down on the New Left. The New Left is split on this. They are caught between defending Bo in the open which is really not sustainable or dump him but that would prove to the public that the idealism of the New Left is not pure since they pumped up Bo for year. The Taiwan Independence movement is trapped in the similar way with Chen ShuiBien. At this stage Xi will be in charge after 2012. Given how his father thought about 1989, he might even come back and reverse the decision of 1989 to beat back the New Left and link economic reform with political reform as opposed to the New Left argument that economic reform erodes social justic. One way or another the New Left will be in trouble but the social tentions that led to the rise of the New Left still remains. Only more radical economic market reforms is the way out in my view.


 
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« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2012, 11:35:56 pm »
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China starts "combat ready" patrols in disputed seas
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China has begun combat-ready
patrols in the waters around a disputed group of islands in the
South China Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the
latest escalation in tension over the potentially resource-rich
area.

Asked about what China would do in response to Vietnamese
air patrols over the Spratly Islands, the ministry's spokesman,
Geng Yansheng, said China would "resolutely oppose any
militarily provocative behaviour".

"In order to protect national sovereignty and our security
and development interests, the Chinese military has already set
up a normal, combat-ready patrol system in seas under our
control," he said.

"The Chinese military's resolve and will to defend
territorial sovereignty and protect our maritime rights and
interests is firm and unshakeable," Geng added, according to a
transcript on the ministry's website (www.mod.gov.cn) of
comments at a briefing.

<snip>

Last week, China said it "vehemently opposed" a Vietnamese
law asserting sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands,
which straddle key shipping lanes and are thought to contain
rich energy reserves.

That row came days after an easing in a months-long standoff
between China and the Philippines, but shows the persistent
cycle of territorial frictions triggered by what some see as
China's growing assertiveness in the area.

<snip>

CNOOC, China's offshore oil specialist, said on its website
last weekend that it would invite foreign partners to explore
jointly and develop nine blocks in the western part of the South
China Sea this year.

On Tuesday, Vietnam said CNOOC's plan was "illegal" and the
blocks encroached on Vietnamese territorial waters.

At a regular briefing on Wednesday, China's Foreign Ministry
spokesman, Hong Lei, insisted that the tenders were in accord
with Chinese and international law and urged Vietnam not to
escalate the dispute.
Also reports out of Philippines are saying that there are Chinese fisherman on the Scarborough Shoal again.
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« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2012, 02:19:26 am »
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Maybe it's time to revive this thread. Some articles of interest:

China's second quarter GDP grew at a rate of 7.6%, less than the government-set goal of 8% for the first time.

After housing prices in major cities slightly increased, the Ministry of Land and Resources maintains price controls and warns of further tightening.

Officials in Southern China have a very Chinese way of dealing with the homeless.

Hardliner Zhou Yongkang approves of Guangdong's handling of the Wukan incident, strangely enough. Nobody knows how much power he still holds.
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« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2012, 12:30:23 pm »
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Maybe it's time to revive this thread. Some articles of interest:

Officials in Southern China have a very Chinese way of dealing with the homeless.

First comment: "American homeless not only get free food provided for them every day, there are even volunteers who regularly come give them medical checkups.
If a certain country [China] keeps cracking down on the homeless, the homeless will end up having to go to public places to sleep."

Which America is this?
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« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2012, 01:09:12 pm »
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Yeah, this is totally the socialist way to treat the indigent.
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« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2012, 04:19:47 pm »
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First comment: "American homeless not only get free food provided for them every day, there are even volunteers who regularly come give them medical checkups.
If a certain country [China] keeps cracking down on the homeless, the homeless will end up having to go to public places to sleep."

Which America is this?

Most importantly, that last sentence would be better translated as "With a certain country cracking down on the homeless, they can only sleep in public places from now on."

Anyways, statements about the rest of the world by Chinese highlight more about China than anywhere else.

Yeah, this is totally the socialist way to treat the indigent.

With Chinese characteristics, of course. Even if the intention was to prevent illegal parking the officials must've felt good about the alternative purpose.
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« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2012, 07:37:29 pm »
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Yeah, this is totally the socialist way to treat the indigent.

With Chinese characteristics, of course.

Naturally.

It wouldn't even have been considered particularly Confucian for...millennia.
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« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2012, 04:09:07 pm »
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It wouldn't even have been considered particularly Confucian for...millennia.

Confucianism's death spiral since the 20th Century has only been accelerated by capitalism's introduction. These days it exists to justify "filial piety" by the middle aged, a concept whose roots are probably resentment and the lack of a national safety net.

The problem with Chinese philosophy is that thought flourishes absent central control, but once one state unifies the nation all philosophy is replaced by a certain flavour of absolutism. The last wave of Chinese philosophers was American-educated and heavy pragmatics, so maybe there's still room for growth there.
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« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2012, 04:54:55 pm »
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I believe I once identified 'that godawful Fa Jia ideology from the Spring and Autumn Period' as the real governing philosophy of modern China, not communism, Confucianism, or any combination thereof, and I stand by that.
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