Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Posts Tagged ‘Military’

He Says, They Say… (Reprise)

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, November 25, 2007

Darfur rebels spurn Chinese force

Rebels in Darfur have demanded that peacekeepers from China pull out of the Sudanese region just hours after the arrival of 135 Chinese engineers.

The army engineers arrived on Saturday to prepare for a joint UN and African Union peacekeeping force of 26,000.

The key Justice and Equality Movement (Jem) rebel group accuses China of being complicit in the Darfur conflict.

Last month the group attacked a Chinese-controlled oilfield, kidnapping several workers.

The Jem says it wants China to withdraw its support for the Sudanese government.

They say that oil sold to the Chinese is being used to fund government operations in Darfur.

Rebels would not allow the Chinese into areas controlled by their forces, Jem leader Khalil Ibrahim told the news agency Reuters following the arrival of the engineers.

“We oppose them coming because China is not interested in human rights. It is just interested in Sudan’s resources,” he said.

“We are calling on them to quit Sudan, especially the petroleum areas.”

Mr Ibrahim did not say whether he would target the Chinese engineers.

“I am not saying I will attack them. I will not say I will not attack them,” he said.

“What I am saying is that they are taking our oil for blood.”

The Chinese engineers are tasked with building roads and bridges and dig wells ahead of the deployment of the joint peacekeeping force planned for January.

The rebels have said they would not object to peacekeepers from any country other than China.

But on Friday, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir said his country would only accept non-African troops from Pakistan or China.

A month ago the Jem attacked Sudan’s Defra oilfield in the Kordofan region, run by a Chinese-controlled consortium, the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company.

Jem said at the time that the Chinese company had one week to leave Sudan.

An estimated 200,000 people have died during four-and-a-half years of fighting in Darfur, with a further two million people displaced.

BBC

But the Party mouthpiece, Xinhua, says this:

Chinese vanguards arrive in Darfur for peacekeeping

Vanguards of the Chinese engineering units arrived in the western Sudanese region of Darfur on Saturday to take part in the hybrid peacekeeping force of the United Nations and the African Union (AU).

The 135 Chinese peacekeepers, upon arrival in South Darfur State capital Niyala, were warmly welcomed by UN, AU and Sudanese officials at the Niyala International Airport.

The Chinese vanguards were also joined in the airport by five Chinese officers who had arrived in Niyala in August in order to receive the equipment of the Chinese peacekeepers, some of which have been transported there since September.

The 140 Chinese peacekeepers will dwell temporarily in a transitional camp before the camp of the Chinese unites is set up, an anonymous Chinese officer told Xinhua in a telephone contact.

The main tasks for the Chinese engineering units include building camps, roads and airports, and digging wells in addition to some other projects in preparations for the deployment of peacekeepers from other countries.

This is the first batch of the UN peacekeepers arriving in the region to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1769 adopted on July 31, which authorizes the deployment of a 26,000-strong hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur.

The Chinese government has exerted a lot of efforts to help resolve the Darfur problem since armed conflicts erupted in the region in 2003, including appointing a special envoy for the Darfur issues and providing a large amount of relief materials to the region.

And there is also this headline:

Engineering peace, prosperity in Darfur

And another one here, in case anyone missed the point:

Chinese peacekeepers honored in Sudan

Jeez, 1984 anyone? Brazil, perhaps?

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Posted in ChinaDaily, Human Rights, Lies & Damned Lies, Propaganda | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Word About Tax

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, November 9, 2007

Basically, China’s individual income tax is famous for its complication and rooms [sic] for different interpretation.

But don’t just take my word for it – that was an exact quote from Shanghai’s Government website. According to official statistics from the State Administration of Taxation (which I trust about as far as I trust the lowlife scum who run the Party), China took in 3.7636 trillion yuan (about 470.5 billion US dollars) in taxation alone during 2006. The figure does not include income from tariffs, tax on arable land use and that paid by real estate buyers, the administration said on its website. And it looks even better for 2007, with the aggregate tax revenue in the first nine months this year approaching the total generated in 2006, said Shu Qiming, Director of the State Administration of Taxation Department – that’s a whopping 3.72 trillion yuan (495.5 billion USD) in the first three quarters alone. Even stamp tax from securities trading sky-rocketed to 143.6 billion yuan (19.1 billion USD) for the same period. I’m not kidding – these figures were taken directly from the official website.

And yet, I’m constantly being told by the locals that “…China is a poor country, so other countries should help us”. And yes, it is true that there are, indeed, a great many very poor people living here. So, what on Earth do they spend it all on? Here are a couple of things they could reduce expenditure on:

Defence.
Let’s be reasonable, shall we? The Communist Party claim that they are spending a paltry USD$45 billion this year on the military (an 18% increase over 2006) – enough to buy a copy of Guns & Ammo for every soldier, but not much more than that. Yeah, sure. China’s published defence budget does not include large categories of expenditure, including expenses for strategic forces, foreign acquisitions, military-related research and development, and China’s paramilitary forces. And even with that in mind, a more credible figure is USD$85-130 billion. And why should this be surprising? After, the December 2006 Defence White Paper stated all-too-clearly that the goal was:

“…a three-step development strategy in modernizing its (China’s) national defence and armed forces, in accordance with the state’s overall plan to realize modernization. The first step is to lay a solid foundation by 2010, the second is to make major progress around 2020, and the third is to basically reach the strategic goal of building informationized armed forces and being capable of winning informationized wars by the mid-21st century.”

And it isn’t all about Taiwan, either, although with almost 1000 ballistic missiles currently aimed at Taiwan, and with that number growing by 100+ each year, China probably proposes to resolve that issue in its favour through non-peaceful means. The Japanese are justifiably concerned, and have expressed fears that with a consistently expansive military budget, Japan could one day even become a Chinese province. Don’t laugh – Chinese schools have recently begun telling schoolchildren that this will happen by 2020.

In any event, a sizeable chunk of my tax yuan are being spent on armaments, with China now having the second largest military budget in the world, larger even than Russia.

Space Program.
The Chinese claim to have spent a grand total of less than 19 billion yuan (2.4 billion U.S. dollars) on the first five Shenzhou spacecraft, and that their lunar probe project (part of the three-stage Chang’e Program which aims to place an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010) has a budget of 1.4 billion yuan (170 million U.S. dollars).

Bullshit.

The real figure is hard to state with certainty, due to both the opacity of the budgetary system, and the fact that the Chinese space program is highly integrated with the military. Nevertheless, most reliable estimates put the annual expenditure at between USD$1.3 and USD$3 Billion, with several tens of billions more invested in military-space programs. This places China in third place, spending more than anyone else except NASA and the European Space Agency. Not bad for a ‘developing country’.

By comparison…

Social Spending.
According to UNICEF:

– Relative to the size of China’s economy and the overall government budget, expenditure on the social sectors remains low by international standards.
– The structure of government expenditure in these sectors is tilted towards higher level institutions (higher education and hospitals at county level and above) at the expense of the institutions providing essential services at county, township and village levels.
– Expenditure is inequitably distributed both regionally and between urban and rural areas, due to the high degree of decentralization in the financing of education, health and other social services and the large differences in local levels of economic development and tax revenue, which are insufficiently offset by inter-governmental transfer payments.
– Government resources account for a relatively low share of total social sector expenditure, leaving individual households to assume much of the responsibility for paying for services, through fees and user charges, which has placed a heavy burden on the poor, particularly in the rural areas and among migrants in the cities.

Education got just 2.8% of GDP in 2004, Health spending accounted for 0.8% of GDP for the same period (although that said, Education is apparently getting 4% of GDP now. Big whoops). According to State Media, rural schools owe their teachers more than 10 billion yuan in back pay and failure to pay teachers’ salaries has contributed to the severe shortage of qualified teachers in the countryside. Annual revenue in one county in the poor, north-western province of Gansu was enough to cover only one month’s salary for its permanent teachers and public servants.

I guess it makes sense, though. After all, why help your poor, when you can simply buy a lot of weapons and high-prestige items. It worked for the National Socialists back in the 1930’s and it’s showing every sign of working just fine now for the Chinese Communists. Hell, they got their Olympics, too…

Anyway…

Back to the Government website. I’m going to leave you with some useful information, helpfully provided by the CCP. Just in case you wanted to live here, or anything.

Tax
Under some circumstances, foreigners in the city must pay taxes. Income tax is probably the most important and also the most unavoidable.

Basically, China’s individual income tax is famous for its complication and rooms for different interpretation. Sometimes, even overseas tax consultants feel puzzled when they deal businesses relate to China for clients.

If you worked in a local company (domestic or foreign invested) or the local office of a foreign company, you may have your income tax handled by your company, otherwise, you’d better ask for help from experts, such as consultants from accounting firms (local or international) or officials who work for local taxation, finance administrations. Normally, you won’t have a direct contact with local tax officials, unless you do business for your own.

Contact the local tax and finance administrations: Click here to access there official Website. English version is not available.

Pets
Import.
Bringing your pets (only cats or dogs are allowed) to the city is possible, but the quarantine procedure is as complicated as you can imagine. With a whole set of original certificates, including a health certificate and a rabies vaccination certificate, your pet will go through a 30-day compulsory quarantine by the entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities.

With one passport, you can bring only one pet. The quarantine service will cost you at least 2,000 yuan (US$250) and, after your pet has passed quarantine, you should register it at the local police department under the name of a local Chinese resident. You may need to seek help from a local Chinese you trust to accomplish the mission.

Buy or adopt.
You may also buy or adopt animals here. If you want to buy one, many are available at local pet markets. You should choose only licensed and vaccinated animals. Otherwise you may see the one you picked up die in a few days, because it has been kept alive by injected drugs.

Phone Numbers
Police: 110
Telephone Repair: 112

Money Transfer
To transfer money gained here to your home country is a technical job. You should seek help from law firms or accounting firms. First of all, you should obey Chinese laws. In some conditions, a foreigner needs to pay tax and some service charges. It’s better for you to make a plan with help from a lawyer or accountant on your money transfer project.

Internet
Don’t be frightened by its crude facade. Most Internet cafes in Shanghai don’t have pleasant conditions, but they charge very low. Remember the Chinese characters for Internet cafe.

Posted in Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

We’ve Changed. No, Really.

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, August 19, 2007

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Posted in Olympics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Fine Speech, Sir!

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, July 30, 2007

This is a speech given by Senator Frank Wolf, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee. The speech was delivered July 17th, 2007.

“Imagine a country where factory workers have no workplace safety, labor or environmental protections and are required to work 80 hour-weeks for no more than $110 per month to produce goods for export.

“Imagine a country which boldly supplies missiles and chemical weapons technology to countries that support or harbor terrorists.

“Imagine a country that oversees a network of espionage operations against American companies and the U.S.

“Imagine a country which tortures and imprisons Catholic bishops, Protestant church leaders, Muslim worshipers, Falun Gong followers, and Buddhist monks and nuns just because of their faith and systematically destroys churches and confiscates Bibles.

“Imagine a country which has a thriving business of harvesting and selling for transplant kidneys, corneas and other human organs from executed prisoners who are thrown in prison with no trial or sentencing procedures.

“Imagine a country which maintains an extensive system of gulags – slave labor camps, also known as the “laogai” – as large as existed in the former Soviet Union that are used for brainwashing and “reeducation through labor.”

“Sadly, none of this is imaginary. Such a nation exists. It is the People’s Republic of China.

“Sadly, too, that’s just part of the list of egregious actions.

“In 2006, the Chinese government arrested 651 Christians that we know of. Currently China has 6 Catholic bishops in jail and another 9 under house arrest. Renowned human rights advocate Rebiya Kadeer has watched from exile as the Chinese government arrests and beats her family members in her homeland.

“Late last year, western mountain climbers captured on videotape a horrifying scene: Chinese police shooting from their North Face tents at a group of Tibetan refugees crossing Nangpa Pass. A 17-year old Buddhist nun was killed and several others were wounded.

“There are some who assert that human rights are something that should come once stability has been attained. They say that protection of human rights comes second to attaining economic power and wealth. We must reject that notion.

“During the debate over granting China permanent normal trade relations status, proponents argued that economic liberalization would lead to political liberalization in China, that exposing China to the West’s ideas and values would lead them to play a more constructive role in the international community, and that the U.S. and other industrialized nations could influence China through economic activity to better respect the rights of its citizens to fundamental human rights and the unfettered practice of their faith.

“Instead, we have seen why the protection of basic liberties should not come second to economic growth. The China of today is worse than than the China of yesterday, or of last year, or of the last decade. China is not progressing. It is regressing. It is more violent, more repressive, and more resistant to democratic values than it was before we opened our ports to freely accept Chinese products.

“And now, in addition to all of the horrible things the Chinese government does to its own citizens, it does to other countries’ citizens as well. It poisons children in Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Australia, with toothpaste containing an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze. This toothpaste was marketed under the brand name “Mr. Cool.”

“Some 1.5 million wooden toys in the Thomas the Tank Engine line of children’s trains were recalled after manufacturers discovered that the Chinese-made toys were slathered in lead-based paint, a substance that is toxic if swallowed.

“China continues to send American consumers adulterated and mislabeled food products, including prunes tinted with chemical dyes, dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical, scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria, and mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

“Food and Drug Administration inspectors who traveled across the world to investigate the recent mass poisoning of U.S. pets stemming from tainted pet food from China arrived at two suspected Chinese factories, only to find the factories had been cleaned out and all equipment dismantled.

“On June 28, the FDA banned the import of five types of farm-raised shrimp and fish from China because they are so contaminated from unsafe drugs in China’s polluted waterways.

“A recent NPR story described how garlic from China outsold garlic grown in California for the first time last year. China began dumping garlic at U.S. ports below cost in the 1990s. Hefty tariffs kept the garlic imports at bay for a few years, but since 2001, imports of Chinese garlic have increased fifteen-fold.

“Several Fourth of July celebrations in my district, including in my hometown of Vienna, Virginia, included malfunctioning fireworks that injured 11 people, including children and an infant. These fireworks came from China.

“Some 450,000 imported tires were recalled from Foreign Tire Sales after it was discovered that the Chinese-made tires were sold without a critical safety feature that prevents the tread from separating from the tire. A blown tire can cause the driver of the vehicle to lose control of his or her car and crash.

“China is one of the world’s leading producers of unlicensed copies of goods ranging from movies and designer clothes to sporting goods and medications. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, 93 percent of DVDs sold in China are unlicensed copies. The MPAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups say that despite stricter Chinese enforcement, product piracy is growing amid China’s booming economic expansion.

“China is building a new coal-fired power plant every week and within a year will be the biggest source in the world of greenhouse gases. It is building factories and infrastructure all over the developing world, but we have no solid data on China’s plans or programs. A recent editorial in The Washington Post reported that World Bank experts estimate that toxic air and water in China kill some 710,000 to 760,000 Chinese each year.

“During a recent visit to Sudan, Chinese President Hu Jintao promised to build a new palace for the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, despite Bashir’s role in orchestrating the ongoing genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. This is in addition to the recent Amnesty International report that China is selling weapons to the Sudanese government, which are then being used to kill and maim innocent civilians in Darfur.

“China bullies neighboring Taiwan, repeatedly threatening to launch missiles from the mainland for Taiwan’s refusal to accept China’s claims of sovereignty over the democratically governed territory.

“And despite all of these abhorrent acts, China was still awarded the honor of hosting the 2008 Olympics. The Olympic Games: an event designed to lift up “the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles,” according to its own charter. Does China’s behavior sound like a “good example” to the rest of the world? Or that it is reflecting “fundamental ethical principles” that all nations should aspire to?

“Amnesty International reports that the Chinese government is rounding up people in the streets of Beijing that might “threaten stability” during the Olympic Games, and is detaining them without trial. Human Rights Watch reports that the Chinese government is tightening restrictions on domestic and foreign media, in an effort to control what information leaks out about China’s repressive and violent nature during coverage of the Olympics.

“China has even gone so far as to claim it will “force rain” in the days leading up to the Olympics, in order to have clear skies for the Games. They intend to fire rocket shells containing sticks of silver iodide into Beijing’s skies, provoking a chemical reaction that will force rain – despite mixed reviews on the soundness of this science.

“China s desperation to conceal its true character leading up to the Games smacks of the Nazi bid for the Olympic Games. Analysts are likening the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Olympics, in which Nazi Germany soft-pedaled its anti-Semitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, fooling the international community with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany under the guise of the Olympic Games.

“Like the Nazi regime in 1936 Berlin, the Chinese government is preparing for the Olympics by hiring U.S. firms to handle public relations and marketing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“Where is the outrage over China’s unacceptable behavior? The facts are before us. The United States can no longer say that things are improving in China

“But China would have America and the world believe that is the case. China has hired a number of large lobbying firms in Washington, DC to push China’s agenda with the U.S. government. Documents from the Department of Justice show these lobbyists as having a significant presence on Capitol Hill, including almost 200 meetings with Member offices between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006.

“America must be a country that stands up for basic decency and human rights. America must speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves – men and women who are being persecuted for their religious or political beliefs. Our foreign policy must be a policy that helps promote human rights and freedom. Not a policy that sides with dictators who oppress their own citizens.

“Next time you make a purchase, and you see the words “Made in China,” think of the poisoned toothpaste, the contaminated food, the polluted waterways and airspace, the exploding tires, malfunctioning fireworks, the human rights abuses, and the intimidation of religious leaders. Remember that China poses a threat not only to its own citizens, but to the entire world. American businesses have an opportunity to capitalize on China’s failure to protect the safety of its food exports. American businesses should seize this opportunity by reclaiming their place in the global market. The United States government and American consumers must be vigilant about protecting the values that we hold dear.”

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Thanks to A True Chinese Renaissance for the report.

Posted in Annexed Territories, Censorship, China, Corruption, Environment, Human Rights, Media, Olympics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

3..2..1..Fire!

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, July 9, 2007

Honestly, this one just blows the mind. The situation is this: July 7th marked seventy years since the so-called Marco Polo Bridge Incident (Roko Bridge Incident), in which Imperial Japanese forces exchanged fire with Kuomintang forces, which in turn kicked off the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Historians disagree over whether it was a genuine accident or a deliberate provocation by one or the other parties, and the reality is that both sides were bloody stupid, too full of their own face to be reasonable, and both looking for a fight on any pretext.

Anyway, fast-forward to 2007, and the anniversary. This peasant couple from the Beijing countryside, clearly deranged and in need of full frontal lobotomies, build their own cruise missile and start carting it towards Japan in a donkey-drawn buggy. They make it as far as downtown Beijing, where they are stopped by Police. Images below…

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All I can say about the wife, is that she is not only missing one can from the six pack, but that the plastic doohickey that holds them all together is missing as well. As for the husband, the wheel might very well be spinning, but the hamster is long since dead.

Anyway, this all gets put up on Global Voices Online, and the scary part, the really scary part, is in the quoted comments from Patriotic Chinese Citizens. Some examples:

Hehe, don’t know if that’s for real or not..
But I think, this kind of behavior is hundreds of times more noble than the Koreans’, taking knives and slicing the tips of their fingers off—hundreds of times more grandeur!
And hundreds of times more valiant!
If only it were for real :(

You’ll laugh your heart out at this, nothing sad about it yo…the country is thriving, everyone has to do their part

Non-compliance is not an option. What a cool guy this is.

Goes to show, lots of patriotic types out there. At least it came fro mthe heart…heart is all you need hehe

I hate the enemy just as much! Annihilate the Japanese dwarf invaders!

You never know, a few years from now another Chinese peasant might make an atom bomb……………then the Japanese dogs will have something worth seeing

Our China is so STRONG! Even peasants are making cruise missiles to attack Japan!! Extinguishing the Dwarfland is something that will happen sooner or later!!

I salute that peasant!!!!!!!!!

Valiant…!! Chinese people really are something else..hehe

That expert who was saying the Chinese government spreads anti-Japanese sentiment, did he die or what? Just look at the average folk..that expert is full of rubbish…

If every one of us were like this warrior, little Japan would go down at the first blow.

And these comments are from the people who are the next generation of Leaders…?

(Photos and comments via the Cultural Vanguard and from Iron Blood bbs)

Posted in Festivals et al, You're Joking? | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Know Thy Enemy: Flanker

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 1, 2007

Say what you want about the Russians, Winters thought,
they do build ’em pretty.

– Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising.

The Flanker, here in a few of it’s various flavours: The Su-30MK (multirole two-seater, export model), Su-27SK (multirole single-seat, export model), Su-30MKK (Chinese export variant), Su-32 (Two-seat dedicated long-range strike variant with side-by-side seating), Su-33 Naval (Carrier) Variant, Su-47 (Advanced Fighter Demonstrator)

The Su-27 (NATO designation Flanker), one of the world’s most agile aircraft, is a front line fighter aircraft designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. The aircraft is equipped to operate autonomously in combat over hostile territory, in escort of deep-penetration strike aircraft and in the suppression of enemy airfields. The aircraft provides general air defence in cooperation with ground and airborne control stations. A naval variant with folding wings exists.

China received 26 in 1991 and a further 22 in 1995 before signing an agreement in 1998 for licensed manufacture of 200 as the Shenyang J-11 (about 90~100 had been built by 2004). In 2006, China also purchased 78 Sukhoi Su-30MKK for the PLAAF (Air Force) and 48 Sukhoi Su-33 for the PLANAF’s (Navy’s) future carrier fighter.

Performance
Maximum speed: 2,500 km/h at altitude (1,550 mph Mach 2.35)
Range: 1,340km combat mission at sea level 3,530 km combat mission at high altitude (800 mi at sea level / 2070 mi at high altitude)
Service ceiling: 18,500 m (60,700 ft)
Rate of climb: 325 m/s (64,000 ft/min)
Wing loading: 371 kg/m² (76 lb/ft²’)
Thrust/weight: 1.085

Armament
1x 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds
8,000 kg (17,600 lb) on 10 external pylons
– Up to 6 medium-range AA missiles R-27, 4 short-range heat-seeking AA missiles R-73
+ Upgraded Su-27SM is capable of using R-77 instead of R-27
– Su-27IB can be used to launch X-31 anti-radiation missiles, air-to-ground missiles X-29L/T (laser/TV guidance, which may be projected to helmet), KAB-150 and UAB-500 bombs with laser, TV, or IR guidance

Currently, the Chinese Air Force has seven divisions equipped with the J-11:

1st Air Division based in Anshan, Liaoning, equipped with the J-11
2nd Air Division based in Suxi, Guangdong, equipped with the Su-27SK, Su-27UBK, and J-11
6th Air Division based in Yinchuan, Ningxia, equipped with the J-11
7th Air Division based in Zhangjiakou, Hebei, equipped with the J-11
14th Air Division based in Zhangshu, Jiangxi, equipped with the J-11
19th Air Division based in Zhengzhou, Henan, equipped with the Su-27SK, Su-27UBK, and J-11
33rd Air Division based in Baishiyi, Chongqing, equipped with the Su-27UBK

(Sources: Air Force Technology, Wikipedia)

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Posted in China | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Dear Dad…

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, June 16, 2007

My old man is a decent bloke. He’s one of those chaps who deeply, sincerely believes in the goodness and downright humanity of all people, everywhere. That belief has cost him a few times, when people with a little less goodness and humanity than average have taken advantage of his better nature, but by and large it’s a belief that has seen him right and won him many friends. Despite not being particularly religious, he’s a better Christian than most Christians will ever be, and kudos to him for it.

I used to feel much the same way. As I’ve stated elsewhere, I used to believe that all people were all basically the same, that all parents wanted a better life for their kids than they had themselves, that education was the key to progress, that when you smiled at people, the vast majority would smile back, that love really was the most basic human emotion.

And then I came to the People’s Republic of Cheats China.

I was chatting to my dad the other day on the phone – always a bit tricky, due to the difference in time zones (he lives 5 hours and 5,000 years ahead of China). Anyway, he happened to mention that he’d taken a look at this blog, and he’d been a bit unimpressed. Essentially, he thought it was just a bunch of people complaining about things for the sake of it. I pondered that for quite some time. Is that what we all seem to sound like? Sure, we complain, but isn’t it at least possible that there’s something to it all? What would it take, short of actually living here, to even begin to understand what is really going on in this Evil Empire?

Well, dad, this post is dedicated to you.

1. Do you remember a couple of months back, when you asked about the weather here in Shanghai? I think I replied something to the effect that it was a bit chilly, but not raining. Well, dad, I really shouldn’t have done that. You see, by telling you the current weather, I was in violation of both the 1988 Law on the Protection of State Secrets, and the 1990 Measures for Implementing the Law on the Protection of State Secrets. I can be dragged out of my home in the middle of the night by plainclothed thugs and made to disappear for that. Or I could simply be kept under house arrest without charge indefinitely.

New regulations to take effect next year will clamp down on the illegal acquisition of Chinese meteorological information by foreigners.

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has identified about 20 breaches of weather security since 2000, the paper said.

“Illegal meteorological surveys and data collection have infringed China’s sovereignty… and threatened the country’s security,” the paper quoted CMA Vice Minister Zheng Guogang as saying.

– China Daily, 2006

2. Of course, I’m not likely to really get into trouble for telling you the weather, am I? That would be silly. On the other hand, by telling you that the weather is a State Secret, I am in violation of the State Secrets Law. Boy, I’m really racking up the charges now, ain’t I?

According to New York-based Human Rights in China, the world’s most populous country needs to come up with a clear definition of what it considers to be a state secret, The Los Angeles Times reported.

In a study released Tuesday, Human Rights in China said citizens in China have been thrown into jail for mailing newspaper clippings, defending displaced tenants and writing a doctoral thesis using 50-year-old library records.

A Chinese woman whose son was imprisoned for revealing state secrets said the lack of a clear definition means they can call anything they want a state secret, the Times said.

“It’s a conspiracy. They can use these at will to punish people,” Gao Quinsheng said in the article.

3. Of course, it all sounds a bit, well, dramatic, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not the Cold War any longer, and we’re all friends now in this harmonious new world, aren’t we? Surely China has a right to look after its’ own interests, and anyway, there are plenty of laws to protect people. The Constitution certainly does.

Tell that to my friend, a lawyer who took on a class action against the Shanghai Municipal Government, on behalf of residents who had been illegally evicted from their homes. Their homes were demolished and the land use rights sold to property developers. He won his case, the first time in history that the Chinese Communist Party has lost a court case on its own turf. And then, a week later, my friend was bundled into a police car whilst walking down the street, and sent to the Laogai. Because the Laogai system is extra-judicial, there was no trial, no appeal, and little hope of survival. His family weren’t informed of this for some time. A large number of people gathered to protest (many of whom were the residents on whose behalf he had taken on the court case). Some twenty of them were taken away, too. They haven’t been heard of since. Oh yes, and the same week the ruling judge overturned his own verdict and exonerated the Shanghai Government.

4. But let us not concern ourselves with isolated events. Sure, there are a few unfortunate cases, but by and large China is a peaceful nation and the Party is working hard to improve the condition of the people. Right? I mean, yes, they have annexed Tibet, East Turkestan, and half of Mongolia, and they did invade India, Vietnam, and Korea, not to mention initiating hostilities against Russia and the UN, and supported (financially and materially) revolutionary and anti-government groups in literally dozens of countries. And sure, they were the force behind the Khmer Rouge, and have supplied weapons and intelligence to Osama Bin Laden, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, and various groups in the Sudan and elsewhere (and there’s always Taiwan to consider)… BUT, that’s all history, yes?

No. The Chinese Communist Party has an ambitious buying program underway for the Red Army, which includes Improved Kilo SSK’s and Sovremennyy DDG’s armed with SS-N-22 Moskit (‘Sunburn’) ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missiles (to which no defence yet exists). There are new main battle tanks, new mobile artillery, and a brand spanking new airforce that includes SU-27’s, SU-27SK’s, SU-30MK’s, and the new J-10’s. Look ’em up on Google, dad, they are rather impressive. They are developing their own aircraft carriers, and have already purchased the aircraft that will fly off them. There is a new generation of ballistic missile submarines (the 094) entering service now, armed with the DF-31 ballistic missiles (8,000 Km range, MIRV’d warheads). Not that they did it all on their own, the Los Alamos facility all but admitted that every one of their warhead designs were stolen by Chinese spies. Add to this list a manned space program operated for and by the military and the worlds largest army (1.7 million men under arms, which does not include other armed services such as the Peoples Armed Police or the Public Security Forces). What they don’t have is a functional healthcare system, social security net, or many of the other things countries that care about their people seem to have.

5. All well and good, but they wouldn’t actually use any of that hardware, would they? According to Major General Zhu Chenghu, they would:

China should use nuclear weapons against the United States if the American military intervenes in any conflict over Taiwan, a senior Chinese military official has said.

“If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone [China or Taiwan], I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons.”

In extensive comments, Zhu said he believed that the Chinese government was under internal pressure to change its “no first use” policy and to make clear that it would employ the most powerful weapons at its disposal to defend its claim over Taiwan.

Many military analysts have assumed that any battle over Taiwan would be localized, with both China and the United States taking care to ensure that it would not expand into a general war between the two powers, but the comments by Zhu suggest that at least some elements of the military are prepared to widen the conflict.

“If the Americans are determined to interfere, then we will be determined to respond,” he said. “We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”

Zhu’s threat is not the first of its kind from a senior Chinese military official. In 1995, Xiong Guangkai, who is now the deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told Chas Freeman, a former Pentagon official, that China would consider using nuclear weapons in a Taiwan conflict. Freeman quoted Xiong as saying that Americans should worry more about Los Angeles than Taipei.

Add to that the fact that they recently “blinded a U.S. satellite using a ground-based laser, and blasted one of its own satellites out of orbit with a ballistic missile”, not to mention what they are currently doing to the people in Tibet and East Turkestan…

6. But how do the Chinese people feel about this? That question was asked recently by the BBC. There were many replies, most slightly muted and not as extreme as we who live here hear. These were among the conclusions of the non-Chinese who saw the programme:

I see all these opinions from people of Chinese origin and they confirm my fears. They are not interested in a peaceful China, a tolerant China, a democratic and liberal China, they want to see the superpower, the best country in the world throwing its weight around and bullying the rest of the world. It seems to me that they want an imperialistic China as much as they detest any western superpower. Not good, not good at all.

The future will indeed be a scary place as China will likely be another superpower. A superpower that is undemocratic and has no respect for human rights. A nation that is getting stronger economically and militarily every day.

After speaking with many young Chinese people overseas, I was astonished by the amazing effect of nationalistic propaganda imposed on the new generation. Any criticism towards the communist party is regarded by them as an attack on the people and nation of China. The Chinese communist party has reinforced its grasp of power very well after putting down the massive democratic movement of 1989. I believe the students had good intentions 15 years ago but were overly naïve and hasty. The movement achieved exactly the opposite of its goals: Even if the government at the time was starting to slowly concede more political freedom to the people, it certainly changed its mind in 1989 and decided instead to re-educate the youths to ensure that such challenges to the absolute authority of the Party never happened again.

Amen.

7. And here I have to say, I lack the will to go on. Mind you, y’know the saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? Well I’ve written just under two thousand words here, but they cannot capture the Spirit Of China nearly as well as the following picture of a Police vehicle:

070616shotdead.jpg

‘If you ride a motorcycle [use a vehicle] to rob [commit a crime],
You’ll be shot to death on the spot’

If, after all this, you remain unconvinced, then all I can do is tell you that, whilst these people think chicken claws and rats intestines is good food, they hate both Marmite and Vegemite. And that should be enough to convince anyone!

Posted in Censorship, Corruption, Human Rights, Lies & Damned Lies | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »