Tag: china


What is happening in China??

May 24th, 2010 — 2:21am

I mean, besides the obvious…

I’ve long since had “issues” with China, from their deplorable human rights record, to the way they devalue their currency and to the way they pretend to be on par with the Western leaders of the world, yet refuse to take the responsibilities that come with that when it comes to giving aid and correcting environmental problems. I have no issues with the Chinese as a people or their long, immeasurable history; I just cannot stand their government.

Recently, scores of young children have been murdered in their classrooms by random men who, for one reason or another, wish to take out their grievances against the world on innocent children.

What fascinates me about these reports of children being murdered in their classrooms, is that it was not much more than a year earlier that China claimed that US should not point fingers when it came to human rights records, since we were apparently being murdered in the streets at daylight.

In case you forgot:

The 9,000-word Chinese report depicts a bleak picture of the US, saying violent crime is a widespread threat to people’s lives, property and personal security.
The American people’s economic, social and cultural rights are not properly protected, say the Chinese, and many young Americans “have personality disorders”. (Source)

While I am sure Harlem at night may not be the best place to take an evening stroll while unarmed, but last I checked our five-year-olds could attend school without fear that random intruders would break into the building and stab their teachers and classmates to death. That’s why we have got all those metal detectors and cops in our schools!

What has also got me even more troubled than usual about China is its massive GDP and undervalued currency that live beside its astounding poverty rate. There are close to 500 million Chinese living on less than $2.00 USD a day. China’s bootleg industry alone should allow the communist state to have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Instead, an emerging “middle class” is receiving some of the benefits of global success and the corrupt government officials continue to reap the majority of all that comes into China. I simply cannot imagine that a country that rules global exports could have close to have of its population living at or below the poverty line. Even worse, China takes little regard for the environment and allows more than 200 million of its own people to drink polluted water. Eventually, a nation that is intent upon building multiple New York-sized cities within its borders, must take a serious action on human rights and the very same things it claims Americans worry needlessly.

I will give China some props, however, as they have seemingly been far more forthcoming with internal news than they have been in the past. So, I congratulate the government for making some headway, but some of us Americans who are apparently cowering daily in fear of everything have long, long memories.

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Oh, the irony!

July 9th, 2009 — 11:44pm

First, the article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8141867.stm
Now, my previous post: http://blog.doriennesmith.com/?p=386

I had originally planned this gushing, love-filled post about Michael Jackson (and, surely that will follow in the days to come), but this is current and reeks of a hypocrisy so blatant, that I could not allow it to pass without mention.

Not six months ago, China went on a rampage in their accusations over America’s abilities to curtail violence and racial discrimination and yet, here we are. A part of me wants to laugh at the irony, but my stomach is so turned by anger that I cannot manage it.

The US may (and does) have its problems, but as a testament to being who we are, Americans, we do not sweep under the rug that which we do not want the rest of the world to see. As a world leader, we do not have that luxury. Yet, even through our various problems with racism and violence, the US still values diversity and freedom. We recognize that our citizens come in all shapes sizes and colours and we are united in the states, not under a single racial identity, but by our love of freedom and of the republic that affords us said freedom.

I will admit that uniting one billion people under a single identity is most likely a daunting exercise (which makes one wonder what why it is even necessary), but to deny citizens their right to love and explore their respective cultures and histories speaks on every way China fails as it attempts to usurp the United States’ place as a leader in the world.

Again, I find it laughable that six months ago, China was boldly pointing the finger at the US over racial hatred and violence and yet, China’s in-house problems stem far deeper than they currently in the States. I do not presume to say that the US does not suffer from the sporadic racially-motivated span of protests, but here in the US, it is at least politically incorrect to presume that one “race” of people is the model and all “lesser” ethnicities represent everything undesirable. In China, Han Chinese are encouraged (via promises of success and wealth) to move into regions that are populated mostly by minority ethnic groups and, essentially, supplant them. These minorities, who are holding onto their culture, their language, their religion and their way of life, are already kept in near government-sanctioned poverty for simply being who they are and yet, the Chinese government wishes to take away even the small lifestyles that they have.

I do not harbor the delusion that the US had not done the same in the past (e.g. ousting of Native Americans from their lands, annexation of Mexican lands), but we have not committed the same atrocities while appearing on a global stage and trying to pretend that everything is sunshine and roses on the home front.

With its own people killing one another over something as simplistic as “racial” harmony and China cracking down on any forms of protest and (God-forbid) expressions of religion, now would be a splendid time for those UN reports about the continued deterioration of China’s human rights’ record to come around again.

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Oh…this is rich.

February 27th, 2009 — 10:59am

My disgust for China has been mounting over the past few years, culminating to near outrage in August 2008 and has been teetering there ever since. What riles me this morning is China’s obvious mudslinging in a report drafted just two days after we (the US) published a report that stated the obvious: China’s human rights conditions have worsened. However, China feels it appropriate to claim that violent crime is so sweeping in the US that we are terrified every day that we will be murdered on our way to work.

Crime, unfortunately, is a part of civilization and humanity and I find utterly laughable that China of all places would have the gall to publish a report condemning violence in the US when China refuses to make available the same kinds of statistics. Are they honestly going to produce a report saying the US is drowning in its own violence when its own country is even larger and far, FAR more of its citizens (if we even dare call those with no voice in their government and no venue for dissent such) are living under a poverty so great that few others could stomach it? But, take this into consideration, it is not only the US who finds China’s human rights record to be lacking; the UN on whole says the same.

There is an old saying about no ailments afflicting communist nations…because they simply refuse to report them. Who says that the level of crime in China is not equivalent to that of, or even greater than that found in the US? Regardless of a few signs allowed to appear in front of the cameras here or there, China does not allow its people the right or the ability to disagree with the government and it crushes any attempts to do so time and time again. It also sees its people gathering under the name of God to be likened to some kind of treason and Christians suffer in China almost as much as they would in Muslim countries. The government refuses to allow its own people unfettered access to the world’s greatest invention, the Internet, lest its people get some “crazy ideas” about democracy and dissent and it invites other countries to see its “progress,” only to mask the true pain and suffering of its people to paint as rosy a picture as possible for itself, but we are to believe that a country, who only twenty years ago would murder its own people in the streets to keep them from outpouring any discontent, is so devoid of violence that they can condemn the US for its issues with race and violence? Someone other than me has to see this as madness!

Their claims that racism is gripping the US to the point that we are pulled to our knees was the only part of their “he said/she said” that caused me to laugh. Of course we are going to have issues with race in our country. Few others were established in the manner that we were, few others manage the demographics that we do and the few that do resemble the US in establishment and demographics suffer from the same problems. People will find any reason to discriminate each other, just look at the UK where in some places there are simply not enough “different” people around so they poke fun at redheads. Discrimination is a human plight that effects all nations. I will take this moment to drag up Yang Peiyi’s brush-off again and ask if China really thinks that their government’s open preference for “whiter” Chinese over more “yellow” or even brown Chinese is somehow different from general racism in the US.

Previously, I kept my mouth shut when China had the nerve to “instruct” the US to stabilize its economy since they were at least giving the appearance that they were doing something about the companies that had intentionally added melamine to powdered milk (although, the fact that these companies even thought they could get away with outright deception and murder is a slam for China’s improved human rights claim) and also because they were, in some sense, correct; the world economy is dependent on the strength of the United States. If we fall, everyone falls. If we suffer, everyone suffers, so it is our duty as Americans to keep the world from falling into a depression. Now, however, I am convinced China has proved itself incapable of truly becoming the world leader it wants to be and, as I am an American who can do or say what she wants because of the rights guaranteed to me (in writing!), I can see no reason to speak with the proverbial kid gloves when it comes to China. It claims that the US should “stop acting as a human rights guardian,” but enlighten us China: If not us, then who? You?

I cannot say that China has not made any improvements in the last twenty years. They have and I am sure they have experienced more progress than deterioration of their citizens’ rights, but for them to even consider asking the US to look our “human rights issues” instead when the US is, more or less, an open book in regards to history and our current social climate…well, I find that to be a bit rich.

2 comments » | Politics, Rant

China: appearance vs. reality

October 19th, 2008 — 12:34am

I’m still aggravated by the whole Yang Peiyi/Lin Miaoke thing from the Beijing Olympics in August, but reading this just brings that aggravation to a whole new level: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7677529.stm

I focus plainly on these lines:

Suppliers are believed to have added the banned chemical, normally used in plastics, to watered-down milk in order to make it appear higher in protein.

Again, we see China putting “appearance” before reality and, this time, paying dearly for it. While I know it may seem simplistic to compare Yang Peiyi’s brush off with tainted milk that had killed four children, the fact is, this stresses the same exact problem. Instead of taking the steps to ensure that they had a quality product, they (China) took a short cut to make people believe what they were presenting was something more than it was. This is unfortunately telling and I’m just saddened that families just trying to live through communist oppression have to almost fight for their children’s lives.

During the earthquakes that ripped through the country, we saw another appearance China gave its citizens: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7430146.stm. The focus here is that all the other structures surrounding the school, hotels and places intended to bring income to the country, survived when the school, as it turns out, was built poorly. It placed the school in a “safe” area only to build it with “unsafe” materials and shoddy workmanship so that when it was placed to the test, it failed miserably and again, China’s families must suffer the effects of their government’s insistence on putting appearance ahead of reality.

I’ve been disgusted a lot in the past few weeks, but this just leaves a taste in my mouth that I just can’t remove.

2 comments » | Politics, Rant

Just digusted

August 12th, 2008 — 11:30am

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I need to stop reading the BBC. I find world news long before anyone else here does and, when it sickens me, it gets to sicken me more and more as the day progresses and I read more and more about it.

Olympic China ceremony star mimed

I am not even sure where to start when it comes to this. I hadn’t really considered watching much of the Olympics, but because of the number of articles about it, I couldn’t help but know what was happening and root for Michael Phelps. I think what is most interesting, for me anyway, is my initial perception about the title of the article. The Brits say “mimed;” Americans say “lip-synced.” When I first read “mime,” I thought, “Well, how wonderful! A little girl who is some kind of national celebrity over there put down the mic to do some kind of mime for the deaf community…” but as I continued reading, a clear understanding of the word “mime” came to me and my surprise over something that sounded so cute turned into absolute disgust. I’m not even going to get started on the CGI fireworks…

Through all the articles I’ve read, I have heard the word “mistake” used here or there. This was no mistake. This was a calculated move by that government and it sickens me. Instead of showing a China that has moved away from the dark and negative imagery of the latter part of the 20th Century, officials gave the naysayers exactly what they wanted.

There is nothing at all wrong with Yang Peiyi. She is a seven-year-old girl and by definition adorable in her own rights, but…the government officials took one look at her round face and little crooked teeth and said, “Um…sorry. You sing great love, but you look hit so we’re going with another girl…though we’re still using your voice.” If China had shown Yang singing just the way she is, it would have made a far greater impact on the world. China would be showcasing its sheer talent in its greatest form, not showing the world, and the West especially, what they think the world wants to see.

A little girl singing a perfect song would have been perfect no matter what she looked like. She may not have turned into an instant pop star like Lin Miaoke had, but what a beautiful message for China to send to the world and to its people. I know I must sound like just another American imparting the “American dream” on the rest of the world, but what is so wrong with letting the millions of other little girls who look more like Yang Peiyi than Lin Miaoke that they can still be someone. That no matter who you are or where you come from, you can still make something of yourself. But no…that is not the message China chose to display. Instead, they decide that the real singer, regardless of how much talent she has, is just note cute enough to represent her country. Thank goodness China does not choose its athletes like it chooses the “face of China.” Otherwise, we would see scandals emerging about swimmers who are actually Mexican, but have eyes that can pass as Chinese, Hungarian sprinters who have hair and skin just dark enough to appear Chinese, and eventually light-skinned black basketball players who had a little Chinese somewhere in the ancestry. I am thoroughly disgusted.

What disgusts me most about this is the fact that there were options other than this available. The rationales I keep reading, “It was the image of our national music, our national culture. And especially since it accompanied the arrival of the national flag in the arena, this was an extremely serious matter.” are all such bull. It wasn’t like they learned two weeks before 8/8/08 that they were going to host the Olympics. They had years to come up with this. Even if they started in January, there are a billion people in China! There is no way they could not find a little girl who had both the voice and face they needed. And, if little Yang was still not pretty enough by their standards, why not throw some braces and a wig on her and make it happen. Makeup artists and hair stylists do it all the time on American Idol. Clay Aiken looked like an alien before the makeup team got to him. Honestly, I think I would have been less horrified if I heard that they had Yang Peiyi lip-sync to her own song while wearing a wig, false eyelashes and dentures.

I just don’t understand how anyone could have thought this was a good idea at the time. It was bound to leak and do nothing but disgrace China. Instead of shining a positive light on themselves, the world is looking at them and shaking its head. If China had just presented themselves as they are, it would have been beautiful. An Olympics without global pause would have been the most perfect way for China to open themselves up to the world. Instead, here we are. What is even worse is that the imagery I saw from the opening ceremonies was beautiful, but none of that will ever be remembered no matter how hard anyone tries. When history looks back on the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic games in Beijing, the only thing to be mentioned is scandal.

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