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Svartalf
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 117
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:16 pm 
 

The People's Liberation Army has just ordered all tourists out of the city of Lhasa so that they can brutally suppress the population there (without fear of international witnesses), a substantial portion of whom for some reason seem to resent having been occupied for the last 50-odd years by the most consistently brutal, totalitarian nation on Earth, 5000 years running.

Up to two million Tibetans were slaughtered during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, many of them monks trapped inside their monasteries, which were then shelled to the ground by the PLA. Thousands of monasteries were destroyed in this manner, taking with them most of the cultural artifacts and heritage of Tibet.

China claims that Tibet has always been a part of China, and yet, the Chinese characters that mean "Tibet" are the characters for "hidden in the West," which hardly seems to me to be how you would refer to a locale you considered part of your own nation. China brutally suppresses the Tibetan people, their language (which is totally unrelated to Chinese and uses a Sanskrit-based script), their religion, and their culture.

In my opinion (for this reason plus the fact that China is far and away the most flagrant environmental criminal on Earth), the West should begin weaning itself off of Chinese made goods, and refuse to participate in any way in China's Olympic Summer Games. It is also my opinion that this is exactly what the Tibetan government in exile is trying to accomplish.

Any thoughts?


Last edited by Svartalf on Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DGYDP
Leather Lion

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:19 pm
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Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:49 pm 
 

Definitely agree. The world needs to end this madness. I'm afraid nothing will happen at all though ...

It's the same story like Russia: everybody knows that what's going on there is horribly wrong, yet nobody dares to actually do anything.

I'm usually sceptical about regions wanting independence, but Tibet should be able to break away from China.
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greysnow
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:01 am
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:22 pm 
 

I'm with you on the same page, Svartalf, and have nothing much to add, except for a small factual correction: though Sanskrit is an Indo-European language, its script, and all Indian scripts including the Tibetan script, is derived from Aramaic. Sorry to interrupt the discussion. Carry on.
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oneyoudontknow
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:37 pm 
 

Svartalf wrote:
In my opinion (for this reason plus the fact that China is far and away the most flagrant environmental criminal on Earth), the West should begin weaning itself off of Chinese made goods, and refuse to participate in any way in China's Olympic Summer Games.

It would be nice to see such a behaviour, but this will not gonna happen. The politicians do not have the guts to stand up on the behalv of the Tibetian interests as China has become a global player in economy and a market that is rising in its importance... money makes the world go round and the Chinese rather tend to deal with countries who 'support' their ideas of government and treatment of people.
[Sarcasm]
Let us wait a week, then will the topic be of the table again and we can finally discuss more important things. Who cares about such a group of people far away. Perhaps they are the same kind of radicals that caused that uproar in Myanmar.. why can't people just live under the given conditions?[/sarcasm]
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Balth
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:47 pm 
 

While I believe that China should allow more religious freedom in Tibet and loosen up there, I do not support Tibetan independence as I don't see the necessity of it today, especially after if China decides to grant more freedom to Tibet.

As for the current riots:
- Unless the situation escalates even further into absolute anarchy and carnage, it is highly doubtful that Chinese forces will “brutally suppress” the Tibetans, when it has become such a focal point for global media, so close to the Olympics.

- The Tibetan population is far from innocent in the current situation. I understand their anger at the decades of repression; however, beating innocent Han Chinese civilians, looting Chinese shops and ruining the lives of innocent Chinese is unacceptable. This disgusting racial violence tends to be ignored by most of the pro-Tibet West, who instead focus on the “brutal, heavy-handed suppression” of the situation by Chinese forces, which so far hasn’t been very brutal at all, which I will describe in my next point.

- So far, despite the attempts of biased Western media groups desperately trying to pick out any tiny point to make it out as if the Chinese were being brutal, the Chinese police and PLA really haven’t been extreme or heavy-handed in their measures at all. In fact, I’d say they’re handling this situation a bit too lightly and hesitantly, which has now allowed the riots to escalate to such a level. There has been no gunning down of random protestors, no tanks rolling in to crush rioters, no beating of any random civilian that is encountered by police. The extent of the measures used by Chinese forces so far is tear gas, gunshots to disperse crowds, and arrests of troublemakers. Basically typical anti-riot police behaviour in situations like these. Yet just because this is the Chinese we’re talking about, the “evil commies”, the Western media and population have accused them of “brutal, unnecessary violence”. What do people expect them to do? Sit by and watch while Tibetan criminals rip apart the infrastructure of the city and murder Chinese civilians?

- The Tibetans are being quite foolish for deliberately trying to provoke the Chinese into violent action when they are very well aware that the Chinese government are often over-strict regarding attempts at derailing social stability. They’re being very unrealistic and immature if they think that acting like violent hoons and wreaking havoc are going to bring them closer to independence. If anything it’s taking them further away from it, decreasing the chances getting China willing to negotiate over more freedom, and increasing oppression and simply making their situation worse. Even the Dalai Lama has expressed opposition to the violence of the monks and Tibetans.


I realize my post will be controversial, as there seems to be many passionate pro-Tibet people around, but I'm passionately against over-passionate and often unreasonable and uninformed opinions on Tibet, so there's my point of view.
No, I do not think the Chinese's actions in Tibet in the past are completely justified and I do not support the oppression of Tibet, but I am highlighting the fact that it is not the Chinese who are entirely at fault in this situation, like pro-Tibet groups exaggerate facts to be.

EDIT: Oh, and boycotting the Olympics will do shit-all. It is penalizing innocent athletes, wasting their effort and training, crushing their dreams, as well as wasting the billions of dollars and effort from not only Chinese organizers but also international members of the Olympics organization.
If anything it'll have only a negative impact as it will not only piss off many athletes and officials around the world, but also the Chinese government who, if the Olympics are boycotted, will have nothing to hold them back from punishing the Tibetans who had caused such a global embarassment. The end result will be an even more oppressed Tibet with very little hope of improved freedom. Anyone who thinks boycotting the Olympics will help the situation is being totally immature and inconsiderate.
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Noisenoir
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:00 am 
 

Last week we had some Tibetan athletes protesting at Ancient Olympia against the Chinese goverment not allowing them to participate in the Games. Don't know though if they would like to participate as members of the Chinese team or as Tibetans.

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Balth
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:18 am 
 

Noisenoir wrote:
Last week we had some Tibetan athletes protesting at Ancient Olympia against the Chinese goverment not allowing them to participate in the Games. Don't know though if they would like to participate as members of the Chinese team or as Tibetans.

I highly doubt that they weren't permitted into the team just because they are Tibetans. Maybe they weren't good enough? I'm faily certain that there are other Tibetan athletes in the team, so this isn't a case of discrimination.

Now that I have the time, I will refute some more points of the OP:
OP, much of the statements you presented in your original post are highly inaccurate and exaggerated.

China, the most consistently brutal country on Earth for the last 5000 years? What about the Romans, the Vikings, Britain, France, Nazi Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, and North Korea, just to name a few? Whatever China has ever done in its entire history don't even come close to the genocide, brutal occupation and oppression associated with the afore-mentioned empires/nations. I can't even begin to comprehend where you even pulled out the fact that China has been oppressive for 5000 years when it's only been in the past century that they've shown it. In ancient times it wasn't particularly oppressive or aggressive in any way either, perhaps even less than the level of oppression and corruption shown by Western civilizations in those times. China never went on conquests across the world brutally murdering and enslaving other civilizations like the Romans, Mongolians, British and French did either.

China itself suffered and was humiliated by a coalition of greedy Western nations following the Opium Wars in the 19th century. Western powers and Imperial Japan took advantage of the military weakness of China at that point and oppressed it economically, so China can hardly be described as a brutal, oppressive regime when it was at the mercy of the UK, France and Japan.

Totalitarian? Virtually ALL civilizations were totalitarian prior to the 17th century or so. All European nations were under total control of a Sovereign. The Aztecs had emperors. African tribes had tribe leaders who held total rule. Look at any civilization in the world, they were all totalitarian at the same time as China, so that doesn't really set China apart. The only difference in China is that it remained totalitarian for slightly longer than Western nations.

The figure of 2 million Tibetans killed in the Chinese invasion is quite absurd and exaggerated. The American historian Michael Parenti wrote:
Quote:
Both the Dalai Lama and his advisor and youngest brother, Tendzin Choegyal, claimed that “more than 1.2 million Tibetans are dead as a result of the Chinese occupation.” The official 1953 census--six years before the Chinese crackdown--recorded the entire population residing in Tibet at 1,274,000.37 Other census counts put the population within Tibet at about two million. If the Chinese killed 1.2 million in the early 1960s then almost all of Tibet, would have been depopulated, transformed into a killing field dotted with death camps and mass graves--of which we have no evidence. The thinly distributed Chinese force in Tibet could not have rounded up, hunted down, and exterminated that many people even if it had spent all its time doing nothing else.


The Tibetan government-in-exile do not push for a total withdrawing of support of China by the West, nor a boycott of the Olympics, nor even Tibetan independence. The Dalai Lama wishes only for more religious freedom in Tibet, an idea which I whole-heartedly support. Like I mentioned in by earlier post, boycotting the Olympics is an absurd idea. Cutting off trade with China is even more absurd, considering how much global economies rely on China.

"Most flagrant environmental criminal on Earth"? China is investing massive amounts of money and planning into pollution control, and as a result conditions are improving, so don't assume China is a mindless polluter with no regard to the environment. And do you realize that the US, despite its much smaller population, releases more greenhouse gasses each year than China?

China is modernizing rapidly, and is improving its human rights records and on every criticism you aimed at it. Whether you like it or not, nobody can deny that China is a rising superpower.

So there you go, my point of view. I suggest you look deeper into the issue you're arguing about before you make exaggerated assumptions derived from Western propaganda, OP.
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oneyoudontknow
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:39 am 
 

Balth wrote:
As for the current riots:
- Unless the situation escalates even further into absolute anarchy and carnage, it is highly doubtful that Chinese forces will “brutally suppress” the Tibetans, when it has become such a focal point for global media, so close to the Olympics.

China's problem is quite compliacted. On the one hand they want to use th Olympics to polish the image in the world and to present their country to the peoples as a modern and civilized one.

On the other site it has the same problem than Russia: too many cultures in one state. Especially towards the West (of China), there are several counties which strife for independence and they will use their chance to draw broader attention towards their goals; as long as they can use the media for their purposes. see :Joris Luyendijk's latest book.
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Svartalf
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:29 pm 
 

Balth wrote:
Now that I have the time, I will refute some more points of the OP: OP, much of the statements you presented in your original post are highly inaccurate and exaggerated.


And your apologetics read like entries from a People's Liberation External Security Force pamphlet entitled How To Talk To Revisionist Foreignah Who No Rike Chiner. :lol: Seriously, you're reading out of the same playbook as every heavily debriefed PRC graduate student I've ever tried to talk to about the situation in China, to say nothing of Tibet.

More importantly, I also noticed you didn't even touch the third paragraph of my OP, which was a thorough if brief refutation of Chinese claims on Tibet, a claim which is laughable at best and cynical and evil at worst.

Balth wrote:
China, the most consistently brutal country on Earth for the last 5000 years? What about the Romans, the Vikings, Britain, France, Nazi Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, and North Korea, just to name a few?

I notice you seem to have deliberately overlooked the timescale issue.
  • The Roman Empire in the West lasted (to be charitable) five centuries
  • The Viking era lasted roughly 250 years
  • Britain as presently constituted goes back only to the Roman era, and as presently populated (Angles, Saxons, Danes) only to the latter half of the first millennium CE. "Britain" as a unified political construct goes back only a few hundred years.
  • France? As presently constituted, it's (charitably) 1500 years old, and simply lacks the scale and consitency of oppression found in China. Brief periods, to be sure, but nothing like China.
  • Nazi Germany lasted twelve years. They got a lot of bang for their buck, but not even in the same league.
  • The Soviet Union lasted only about seventy years, and didn't even manage to kill the same number of people as Mao managed to in about thirty. Russian civilization as a whole goes back maybe 2000 years and has nothing on China in vicious brutality.
  • North Korea is fifty-five years old, and was in large part created by, you guessed it, China, so thanks for helping me make my argument by offering me something else to pin on China.
Balth wrote:
Whatever China has ever done in its entire history don't even come close to the genocide, brutal occupation and oppression associated with the afore-mentioned empires/nations. I can't even begin to comprehend where you even pulled out the fact that China has been oppressive for 5000 years when it's only been in the past century that they've shown it.


Even if this were true, which it isn't, China has certainly made up for lost time in the last half century. Charitably speaking, Mao probably killed off between 30 and 50 million of his own people.

Balth wrote:
In ancient times it wasn't particularly oppressive or aggressive in any way either, perhaps even less than the level of oppression and corruption shown by Western civilizations in those times. China never went on conquests across the world brutally murdering and enslaving other civilizations like the Romans, Mongolians, British and French did either.


They never needed to. There were millions of people to kill right at home. And not as bad as the Mongols? Now that's something to strive for. :lol:

Balth wrote:
China itself suffered and was humiliated by a coalition of greedy Western nations following the Opium Wars in the 19th century. Western powers and Imperial Japan took advantage of the military weakness of China at that point and oppressed it economically, so China can hardly be described as a brutal, oppressive regime when it was at the mercy of the UK, France and Japan.


The "brutality" of British and French colonialism in China is over-stated. As for the humilation of the Opium Wars, I'll grant you it wasn't terribly nice, but compared to what the Chinese have done in Tibet, well, there simply isn't any comparison. As for brutality and the Opium Wars/Boxer Rebellion, take another look at the endgame, particularly the China Inland Mission incident in which every European man, woman, child, and baby was slaughtered in their mission after being promised safe passage out of China.

Balth wrote:
Totalitarian? Virtually ALL civilizations were totalitarian prior to the 17th century or so.


So China has been dragged kicking and screaming into the 1600s. How proud they must be.

Balth wrote:
The figure of 2 million Tibetans killed in the Chinese invasion is quite absurd and exaggerated.


Wow--it's not Holocaust Denial if you do it to Tibetans! If you want to see mass graves, look for the monasteries shelled into the ground with their residents stll inside. Two million may be a misremembered figure, but in any case it was a HUGE percentage of the overall population. I personally know people whose whole families were slaughtered.

Balth wrote:
"Most flagrant environmental criminal on Earth"? China is investing massive amounts of money and planning into pollution control, and as a result conditions are improving, so don't assume China is a mindless polluter with no regard to the environment. And do you realize that the US, despite its much smaller population, releases more greenhouse gasses each year than China?


There are measures of environmental pollution other than greenhouse gases. Every major river in China is so polluted with heavy metals that you can no longer eat the fish. Those rivers run to the sea. The water in China is so polluted that the only way they'll be able to supply water for the Olympics is to shut off fresh water to the half dozen or so closest cities and make the residents boil sewage for drinking water.

I don't have to assume anything; I just read international news sources. Unless they're all just lying out of rampant and pervasive Sinophobia...

Balth wrote:
While I believe that China should allow more religious freedom in Tibet and loosen up there, I do not support Tibetan independence as I don't see the necessity of it today, especially after if China decides to grant more freedom to Tibet.


Not shooting people in the head on a regular basis for being Tibetan Buddhists and "more religious freedom" are hardly one and the same. As for your "freedom," have a look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veQIdaR0J70

Balth wrote:
As for the current riots:
- Unless the situation escalates even further into absolute anarchy and carnage, it is highly doubtful that Chinese forces will “brutally suppress” the Tibetans, when it has become such a focal point for global media, so close to the Olympics.


Riddle me this, Batman: Unless the PLA were really planning to take the gloves off in Lhasa, why would they want to be rid of all of the tourists, except to make sure that nobody can take footage out to the BBC (or whomever)? The Tibetans have absolutely not targeted tourists in the current unrest, nor have they done so at any time in living memory. Whatever scant information escapes Tibet in the next few days, likely at the cost of Tibetan lives, will tell the tale.

Balth wrote:
- The Tibetan population is far from innocent in the current situation. I understand their anger at the decades of repression; however, beating innocent Han Chinese civilians, looting Chinese shops and ruining the lives of innocent Chinese is unacceptable.


I'm on the same page with you, here. The Tibetans are doing themselves no favors by attacking Han civilians. However, the fact that they are doing so can be laid at the feet of the PRC/CPC in that they have been forcing Han settlement in Tibet so as to cement their tenuous claim on the land.

Balth wrote:
So there you go, my point of view. I suggest you look deeper into the issue you're arguing about before you make exaggerated assumptions derived from Western propaganda, OP.


And I suggest you be sure and print out your brave defense of Communist China the next time you're debriefed by External Security upon entry into the PRC. Maybe they'll give you a presentation copy of the Little Red Book.


Last edited by Svartalf on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:42 pm 
 

You just tore him several new assholes.

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Nightgaunt
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:48 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain, stop corkifying the thread.
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LORD_VAG
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:04 pm 
 

OP although you've made a "hero" of yourself, you still haven't given account to the "5000 years claim" Mao was something that happened in the last century. What about the past 5000 years that has made China so brutal?
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Svartalf
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:56 pm 
 

LORD_VAG wrote:
OP although you've made a "hero" of yourself, you still haven't given account to the "5000 years claim" Mao was something that happened in the last century. What about the past 5000 years that has made China so brutal?


Had no intention of making a hero of myself as such; I was really just interested in my OP in gettiing people talking about what was happening. After that, I just reacted to what seemed fairly cynical apologetics from someone who ought to have known better.

In answer to your question:

China is the only major civilization that has 5000 years of more or less continuity, and throughout that period it's been brutal and authoritarian. Other civilizations have had periods of democracy: Greece had Athens in around the middle of the first millennium BCE, Rome had the Republic up until the reign of Julius Caesar, England has had fits and starts of constitutional monarchy which became the parliamentary democracy it enjoys today. China has had despotism more or less forever. Brutal suppression of the peasantry (or more recently, BY the peasantry), death penalty for any infraction, the iron fisted rule of the Emperors... I guess that was what I meant by what I said, but I mostly said it to mock the sort of proud claim that I hear a lot of Chinese make that they have 5000 years of glorious culture, and how dare the West criticize them for doing whatever they feel like. It was really the least of the points I was trying to make, insofar as I was trying to make that claim at all. It was the least important of the things I said in the OP, but I hope I've somewhat explained where I was going with it. I may have to make another attempt tomorrow when I'm less tired if that doesn't make sense to you.

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LORD_VAG
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:22 pm 
 

Although I don't really agree I accept what you said because it now makes sense
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Thorgrim_Honkronte
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:27 pm 
 

LORD_VAG wrote:
Although I don't really agree I accept what you said because it now makes sense


If you don't agree would you care to refute it?
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Leify
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:50 pm 
 

Do you really think that US companies care about the deaths of those in Tibet to the point that they would stop imports and consequently cut profits? It would require government sanctions to stop trade with China, and I can't foresee that happening.

There's also the matter of the 350+ billion dollars (4% total US debt) in US debt China holds.

Like it or not, we will be heavily linked econmically to China for awhile, if not forever.
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ebulus
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:16 am 
 

2 million doesn't seem to be that absurd of a number, 3 million or so were killed when Bangladesh gained independance, but then again Bangladesh has over 140million people

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LORD_VAG
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:46 am 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
LORD_VAG wrote:
Although I don't really agree I accept what you said because it now makes sense


If you don't agree would you care to refute it?

I will when I've gathered my thoughts. If at all I can construct a post worthy of this thread and Mother CHINA!!!!!!!! [/sarcasm]
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Sir_General_Flashman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:17 am 
 

If china starts a severe crackdown, no more olympics. I'll be bored this summer.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:24 am 
 

Svartalf wrote:
And your apologetics read like entries from a People's Liberation External Security Force pamphlet entitled How To Talk To Revisionist Foreignah Who No Rike Chiner. :lol: Seriously, you're reading out of the same playbook as every heavily debriefed PRC graduate student I've ever tried to talk to about the situation in China, to say nothing of Tibet.
[...]
And I suggest you be sure and print out your brave defense of Communist China the next time you're debriefed by External Security upon entry into the PRC. Maybe they'll give you a presentation copy of the Little Red Book.


Just so you know: ad hominems do not help your argument. I liked the rest of the post fine though but that was just kind of cheap.

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Vrede
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:41 am 
 

I'm curious what will happen to the worldwide economies when China eradicates Tibet.
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Svartalf
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:46 am 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
And your apologetics read like entries from a People's Liberation External Security Force pamphlet entitled How To Talk To Revisionist Foreignah Who No Rike Chiner. :lol: Seriously, you're reading out of the same playbook as every heavily debriefed PRC graduate student I've ever tried to talk to about the situation in China, to say nothing of Tibet.
[...]
And I suggest you be sure and print out your brave defense of Communist China the next time you're debriefed by External Security upon entry into the PRC. Maybe they'll give you a presentation copy of the Little Red Book.


Just so you know: ad hominems do not help your argument. I liked the rest of the post fine though but that was just kind of cheap.


True. I felt I was replying in kind to his implying I had no idea what I was talking about, which I hope I have demonstrated is not the case. Point taken and internalized. Thanks for reading my screed. :)

By the way, in my environmental crime paragraph I totally forgot to mention that the Chinese are systematically exterminating tigers in a quest for tiger body parts to be used in traditional medicine, if not directly then by providing a market for poachers in countries where people are too poor to resist the kind of money that could feed their families for a lifetime. Someone else has just started a topic about bear farming, so that might be a more appropriate place to discuss this so as not to derail the thread.

Vrede wrote:
I'm curious what will happen to the worldwide economies when China eradicates Tibet.


What makes you think this would be possible/desirable/tolerated? And what do you mean "eradicate"? Tibetan culture exists in Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh, parts of Kashmir, and Himachal, and I rather doubt China wants a war with India. So in terms of the culture, it would be nearly impossible to eradicate completely, though Mao did a great job of eradicating it inside Tibet for several decades. In terms of the landmass, it's a pretty big area.

This seems more like a trolling attempt than anything else, though.

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RickJames
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:07 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
I'm with you on the same page, Svartalf, and have nothing much to add, except for a small factual correction: though Sanskrit is an Indo-European language, its script, and all Indian scripts including the Tibetan script, is derived from Aramaic. Sorry to interrupt the discussion. Carry on.


Ouch. Any information on how a Semitic language is connected to an Indo-European one?
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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:13 pm 
 

Svartalf wrote:
China brutally suppresses the Tibetan people, their language (which is totally unrelated to Chinese and uses a Sanskrit-based script)


It's the same language family, albeit distantly related. Script doesn't mean anything - the Japanese adopted Chinese characters ill-suited to their language, just as Vietnamese use a cumbersome system of pseudo-Latinate written phonemes.

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Balth
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:24 am
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:57 am 
 

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
Now that I have the time, I will refute some more points of the OP: OP, much of the statements you presented in your original post are highly inaccurate and exaggerated.


And your apologetics read like entries from a People's Liberation External Security Force pamphlet entitled How To Talk To Revisionist Foreignah Who No Rike Chiner. :lol: Seriously, you're reading out of the same playbook as every heavily debriefed PRC graduate student I've ever tried to talk to about the situation in China, to say nothing of Tibet.

How very nice of you to resort to personal attacks and blatant racism after someone has stated his perfectly valid point of view and reasoning. Well done. :rolleyes:

Svartalf wrote:
More importantly, I also noticed you didn't even touch the third paragraph of my OP, which was a thorough if brief refutation of Chinese claims on Tibet, a claim which is laughable at best and cynical and evil at worst.

Tibet was a part of China in the Yuan dynasty, and since then has been alternating between being a part of China and being independent, all the while maintaining close ties with China. So yes, the Chinese government do have some historical basis for occupying Tibet.

Svartalf wrote:
North Korea is fifty-five years old, and was in large part created by, you guessed it, China, so thanks for helping me make my argument by offering me something else to pin on China.

North Korea was in large part created by the USSR. They were backed strongly by the PRC in the Korean War, but weren’t “created” by them.
And did I mention in my posts that I was proud of everything the PRC has done? No. Supporting North Korea was understandable back in 1950 when it simply appeared to be a state that showed similar ideologies, had historical ties with China and was at the time more powerful than its US-supported Southern brother. However, I won’t deny the fact that North Korea is the single most oppressive and fucked up nation in the world today, and that I am ashamed that the PRC backed and continues to back it (although Chinese support has been diminishing in recent years).

Svartalf wrote:
Charitably speaking, Mao probably killed off between 30 and 50 million of his own people.

Mao caused the deaths of those people with a poorly formulated, extreme, and ultimately disastrous social and economic plan that caused widespread famine and economic collapse. I do not consider this deliberate genocide as it was a plan formulated with intentions of moving China forward, but the stupidity and unrealism of the planning led to its failure. It is a blemish on China’s history and like all people I am ashamed of it. However I am pointing out that the majority of those deaths were not caused by executions by government authorities but by poor planning. I understand that there were bound to be many people executed in the social aspect of the Great Leap Forward, however the discrimination and number of people executed aren’t extraordinary when compared to the USSR, Nazi Germany and others.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
In ancient times it wasn't particularly oppressive or aggressive in any way either, perhaps even less than the level of oppression and corruption shown by Western civilizations in those times. China never went on conquests across the world brutally murdering and enslaving other civilizations like the Romans, Mongolians, British and French did either.


They never needed to. There were millions of people to kill right at home.

Other civilizations also have slaughtered millions of their own people. China may have killed off more (though the only significant mass killings prior to the 20th century occurred in the Qing dynasty) but considering China’s much larger population, uprisings and rebellions are also made up of larger numbers of people and therefore, more people are punished. That’s just how it is.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
China itself suffered and was humiliated by a coalition of greedy Western nations following the Opium Wars in the 19th century. Western powers and Imperial Japan took advantage of the military weakness of China at that point and oppressed it economically, so China can hardly be described as a brutal, oppressive regime when it was at the mercy of the UK, France and Japan.


The "brutality" of British and French colonialism in China is over-stated. As for the humilation of the Opium Wars, I'll grant you it wasn't terribly nice, but compared to what the Chinese have done in Tibet, well, there simply isn't any comparison. As for brutality and the Opium Wars/Boxer Rebellion, take another look at the endgame, particularly the China Inland Mission incident in which every European man, woman, child, and baby was slaughtered in their mission after being promised safe passage out of China.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard details about the China Inland Mission incident prior to this, and that it was indeed very horrible. I guess the anger of the Chinese at the Westerners over boiled and drove them to such inhumane acts of violence.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
Totalitarian? Virtually ALL civilizations were totalitarian prior to the 17th century or so.


So China has been dragged kicking and screaming into the 1600s. How proud they must be.

There was a typo there, I meant 18th century, as that was when the US, and a full democracy, came into existence. And I don’t know what you’re talking about as I was simply pointing out that your “totalitarian” accusation is invalid if all countries were totalitarian.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
The figure of 2 million Tibetans killed in the Chinese invasion is quite absurd and exaggerated.


Wow--it's not Holocaust Denial if you do it to Tibetans! If you want to see mass graves, look for the monasteries shelled into the ground with their residents stll inside. Two million may be a misremembered figure, but in any case it was a HUGE percentage of the overall population. I personally know people whose whole families were slaughtered.

I am not denying that many Tibetans were killed in the invasion. I was stating that such figures are an exaggeration.
I will point out, however, that the monasteries weren’t simply shelled for no reason – at that time there were various groups of guerrillas fighting the PLA, who took refuge in the monasteries. The PLA shelled those monasteries to eliminate the rebels. Very heavy-handed, yes, and I am not saying the destroying of monasteries and monks was justified, only explaining the PLA’s reasoning for doing it.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
"Most flagrant environmental criminal on Earth"? China is investing massive amounts of money and planning into pollution control, and as a result conditions are improving, so don't assume China is a mindless polluter with no regard to the environment. And do you realize that the US, despite its much smaller population, releases more greenhouse gasses each year than China?


There are measures of environmental pollution other than greenhouse gases. Every major river in China is so polluted with heavy metals that you can no longer eat the fish. Those rivers run to the sea. The water in China is so polluted that the only way they'll be able to supply water for the Olympics is to shut off fresh water to the half dozen or so closest cities and make the residents boil sewage for drinking water.

I don't have to assume anything; I just read international news sources. Unless they're all just lying out of rampant and pervasive Sinophobia...

Maybe you need to take all things into consideration (which international news sources most often don’t), such as the fact that China, being a developing nation with a fifth of the world’s population, needs to keep up power and resource supplies for themselves with relatively cheap methods. Suddenly switching to expensive, environmentally friendly factories and plants would cost a massive amount of money, as well as not producing enough for the population and large land area. Telling China to switch to green-friendly in a short amount of time is an unrealistic demand that can’t be fulfilled (without negatively affecting all other economic aspects of China) until China becomes a developed nation at least. China is making efforts, however, which can be seen in its building of Asia’s largest wind power plant and conducting extensive research into renewable energy sources.
Before criticizing China’s pollution, one must also take the huge population into account. Developed Western countries produce much, much more pollution per head than China does. You simply cannot expect a country with over four times the population of the US to produce less pollution than the US, especially when it’s a developing country. In the words of Mr Yang Jiechi: “It’s like there is one person who eats three slices of bread for breakfast, and there are three of them who eat only one slice. Who should be on a diet?”
Like I said before, China is already investing huge amounts of money into trying to reduce the effects of pollution of the environment, but at this current stage in China’s development, as I mentioned above, it is impossible to reverse the effects, unless the government ignore every other responsibility in running China and focus all their effort and budget into saving the environment.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
While I believe that China should allow more religious freedom in Tibet and loosen up there, I do not support Tibetan independence as I don't see the necessity of it today, especially after if China decides to grant more freedom to Tibet.


Not shooting people in the head on a regular basis for being Tibetan Buddhists and "more religious freedom" are hardly one and the same. As for your "freedom," have a look at this.

First of all, Tibetan Buddhists are not shot “in the head on a regular basis” for being Buddhists. In case you haven’t noticed Buddhism is a popular and historical religion in all of China and many Buddhists exist in other parts of China, who aren’t shot for their religion.
I don’t see how you could have possibly assumed what my standards of freedom are after I stated in good will that Tibet truly deserves more freedom. By more freedom I honestly mean that they should be treated equal to the rest of China. Please, don’t insult my morals like that.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
As for the current riots:
- Unless the situation escalates even further into absolute anarchy and carnage, it is highly doubtful that Chinese forces will “brutally suppress” the Tibetans, when it has become such a focal point for global media, so close to the Olympics.


Riddle me this, Batman: Unless the PLA were really planning to take the gloves off in Lhasa, why would they want to be rid of all of the tourists, except to make sure that nobody can take footage out to the BBC (or whomever)? The Tibetans have absolutely not targeted tourists in the current unrest, nor have they done so at any time in living memory. Whatever scant information escapes Tibet in the next few days, likely at the cost of Tibetan lives, will tell the tale.

Tourists are not getting totally cleared out of Lhasa. There are still many tourists there, though the security has become much tighter with troops and police patrolling the streets to prevent more violence. Also, Chinese authorities have issued a wanted list of 12 offenders… that’s it. If you were expecting a brutal clampdown, looks like you’ve been disappointed so far.
Anyway we shall see in the next few days what happens. However I maintain my prediction that the Chinese forces won’t do anything outrageously violent and stupid. Whether you want to accept it or not, China is modernizing and as a result is improving its human rights record.

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
- The Tibetan population is far from innocent in the current situation. I understand their anger at the decades of repression; however, beating innocent Han Chinese civilians, looting Chinese shops and ruining the lives of innocent Chinese is unacceptable.


I'm on the same page with you, here. The Tibetans are doing themselves no favors by attacking Han civilians. However, the fact that they are doing so can be laid at the feet of the PRC/CPC in that they have been forcing Han settlement in Tibet so as to cement their tenuous claim on the land.

Well, good to see we agree on something. :)

Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
So there you go, my point of view. I suggest you look deeper into the issue you're arguing about before you make exaggerated assumptions derived from Western propaganda, OP.


And I suggest you be sure and print out your brave defense of Communist China the next time you're debriefed by External Security upon entry into the PRC. Maybe they'll give you a presentation copy of the Little Red Book.

I find it interesting you’d say such a thing, in addition to the racial slurs at the beginning of your post, considering my views haven’t been very extremist at all, unlike yours. Do you consider anyone who doesn’t share your view and takes a softer stance on China a brainwashed Communist? Throughout your post you maintained that I was a one-eyed Communist, despite the fact that I was only diminishing your exaggerated and often offensive claims and not denying them nor aggressively glorifying the Chinese government in any way. You cannot expect to write something degrading China and not prompt a defensive reply from an offended person of Chinese background.
I cannot tolerate it when people who take an over-extremist, negative and one-eyed view of other countries (or organizations, or individuals, for that matter) to the point that they’re actually ignoring any positives of that country. Believe me, on multiple accounts I have defended Australia from over-patriotic Chinese, defended New Zealand from ignorant Australians with only negative, derogatory views of that country, and in one case even found myself defending France (despite my slight dislike for that country) from more ignorant and one-eyed people. I never consider myself belonging to one side only in political (and social) matters, and always observe both negative and positive aspects of whatever subject the argument is regarding.
I’m sorry if I just sounded like showing off, but I needed to explain the reason for my reaction, and the reason why I’m not one-eyed like you accuse me of being. In refuting your arguments I may have sounded so, however I in no way believe the Chinese government is perfect, and I do not deny that it has committed human rights abuses and political stuff-ups. I also do not support the Chinese government’s criticisms of the Dalai Lama and accusations that his government-in-exile masterminded the protests. In fact I view the Dalai Lama in a positive light overall.
However your intent seemed to be to mislead neutrals into viewing China with an extremely negative image it does not deserve. There are many positives of the government which you chose to ignore, such as how it has created the fastest-growing economy in the world (on which most countries rely heavily on), maintained relatively low domestic crime rates, brought down poverty rates from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001, created very high youth literacy rates, maintained an exceptionally thriving cultural scene (after the Cultural Revolution, anyway, another policy I opposed), improved life expectancy by 32 years in the time of just over half a century, and basically turned China from a third-world country into a modern, prominent international competitor and an emerging superpower predicted to rival the US in a few decades.

Anyway, I’d just like to restate that I do not support brutality and oppression in Tibet, and human rights abuses in general, and I do not deny the fact that the Chinese government has its flaws and its crimes. However I found your derogatory breakdown of China in your OP offensive, and misleading to people neutral or less knowledgeable on China. China is certainly not as bad as you imply, and is rapidly improving on its old tarnishes on its reputation. If everyone was like you and wanted to boycott everything to do with the PRC, it wouldn’t even have the chance to move forward, to right its old wrongs, and would ultimately lead to a worse, more oppressed China than the one you complain about.

I understand your anger at the PRC for the oppression of Tibet, and I also disapprove of the conditions there, but it is really quite unfair to pile such degrading insults and exhibit such one-eyed views on a great country, even if it does have its dark side that nobody is proud of.

Well, I’m over my initial anger now and I won’t hold anything against you for having a different political view, and I hope you won’t hold it against me (unless you really consider a soft opinion on China to be brainwashed Communism and want to hold a grudge against me even regarding matters outside of politics ;)). I just disapprove of what I consider an over-reaction and failure to consider all factors in your argument.

We can let this debate/discussion on China continue, by all means, but I hope in a more reasonable, considerate manner that is less offensive and one-eyed.
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Svartalf
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:20 pm 
 

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
Now that I have the time, I will refute some more points of the OP: OP, much of the statements you presented in your original post are highly inaccurate and exaggerated.


And your apologetics read like entries from a People's Liberation External Security Force pamphlet entitled How To Talk To Revisionist Foreignah Who No Rike Chiner. :lol: Seriously, you're reading out of the same playbook as every heavily debriefed PRC graduate student I've ever tried to talk to about the situation in China, to say nothing of Tibet.

How very nice of you to resort to personal attacks and blatant racism after someone has stated his perfectly valid point of view and reasoning. Well done. :rolleyes:


Which part of that was racist? The implication that the PRC debriefs students studying abroad when they return and that it coaches them on how to respond to criticisms of the PRC while abroad or that some Chinese speak English in a fashion quite similar to what I said in jest? Both are true; neither was a "personal attack." Furthermore, I know tons of full-blooded Han who speak English flawlessly, so that has NOTHING to do with race or racism.

You had just basically said that I was lying and had no idea what I was talking about. The Han are an ethnicity; the PRC is a country. Again you sound like the heavily coached grad students I come in contact with: any criticism of the PRC means you're "racist." As for personal attacks, I think telling someone they're racist falls neatly into that category.

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
More importantly, I also noticed you didn't even touch the third paragraph of my OP, which was a thorough if brief refutation of Chinese claims on Tibet, a claim which is laughable at best and cynical and evil at worst.

Tibet was a part of China in the Yuan dynasty, and since then has been alternating between being a part of China and being independent, all the while maintaining close ties with China. So yes, the Chinese government do have some historical basis for occupying Tibet.


So what you're saying is that because Tibet was part of China during a time when China wasn't even ruled by Chinese, 800 years ago, after both had been conquered by the Mongols, it should now have no right to independence. Wow! Now there's some logic for ya!

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
North Korea is fifty-five years old, and was in large part created by, you guessed it, China, so thanks for helping me make my argument by offering me something else to pin on China.

North Korea was in large part created by the USSR. They were backed strongly by the PRC in the Korean War, but weren’t “created” by them.
And did I mention in my posts that I was proud of everything the PRC has done? No. Supporting North Korea was understandable back in 1950 when it simply appeared to be a state that showed similar ideologies, had historical ties with China and was at the time more powerful than its US-supported Southern brother. However, I won’t deny the fact that North Korea is the single most oppressive and fucked up nation in the world today, and that I am ashamed that the PRC backed and continues to back it (although Chinese support has been diminishing in recent years).


The PRC were the only thing that kept UN forces from completely overrunning North Korea and smashing the Communists. USSR may have given money, the PRC sent the PLA. You were trying to say that North Korea is worse than the PRC; I pointed out that not only wasn't it, but that it was a satellite of of the PRC, and thus largely the responsibility of the PRC.

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Charitably speaking, Mao probably killed off between 30 and 50 million of his own people.

Mao caused the deaths of those people with a poorly formulated, extreme, and ultimately disastrous social and economic plan that caused widespread famine and economic collapse. I do not consider this deliberate genocide as it was a plan formulated with intentions of moving China forward, but the stupidity and unrealism of the planning led to its failure. It is a blemish on China’s history and like all people I am ashamed of it. However I am pointing out that the majority of those deaths were not caused by executions by government authorities but by poor planning. I understand that there were bound to be many people executed in the social aspect of the Great Leap Forward, however the discrimination and number of people executed aren’t extraordinary when compared to the USSR, Nazi Germany and others.


So what you're saying is that given that Mao managed to kill about 50,000,000 of his own people through sheer stupidity, we should be grateful that he only managed to kill off a million or two Tibetans? Pardon my ingratitude.

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
In ancient times it wasn't particularly oppressive or aggressive in any way either, perhaps even less than the level of oppression and corruption shown by Western civilizations in those times. China never went on conquests across the world brutally murdering and enslaving other civilizations like the Romans, Mongolians, British and French did either.


They never needed to. There were millions of people to kill right at home.

Other civilizations also have slaughtered millions of their own people. China may have killed off more (though the only significant mass killings prior to the 20th century occurred in the Qing dynasty) but considering China’s much larger population, uprisings and rebellions are also made up of larger numbers of people and therefore, more people are punished. That’s just how it is.


I think I just said that, but if you want to take the position that having more people to kill makes it OK to kill more people, that's your business.

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
China itself suffered and was humiliated by a coalition of greedy Western nations following the Opium Wars in the 19th century. Western powers and Imperial Japan took advantage of the military weakness of China at that point and oppressed it economically, so China can hardly be described as a brutal, oppressive regime when it was at the mercy of the UK, France and Japan.


The "brutality" of British and French colonialism in China is over-stated. As for the humilation of the Opium Wars, I'll grant you it wasn't terribly nice, but compared to what the Chinese have done in Tibet, well, there simply isn't any comparison. As for brutality and the Opium Wars/Boxer Rebellion, take another look at the endgame, particularly the China Inland Mission incident in which every European man, woman, child, and baby was slaughtered in their mission after being promised safe passage out of China.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard details about the China Inland Mission incident prior to this, and that it was indeed very horrible. I guess the anger of the Chinese at the Westerners over boiled and drove them to such inhumane acts of violence.


So when Chinese do it to Westerners, you can chalk it up to righteous anger, but when Tibetans do it to Chinese, they need to have the PLA unleashed on them to indiscriminately fire into crowds? Seems like a double standard.

Balth wrote:
]
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
Totalitarian? Virtually ALL civilizations were totalitarian prior to the 17th century or so.


So China has been dragged kicking and screaming into the 1600s. How proud they must be.

There was a typo there, I meant 18th century, as that was when the US, and a full democracy, came into existence. And I don’t know what you’re talking about as I was simply pointing out that your “totalitarian” accusation is invalid if all countries were totalitarian.


Except that all civilizations WEREN'T totalitarian throughout history. Greece had a democracy for a couple of centuries, Rome was a republic with a Senate for a few centuries, and even had a Senate during the Empire. England was a constitutional monarchy since the Magna Carta, and has had a parliament since the Renaissance. So how was my assertion that China has been totalitarian since 3000 BCE (that we know of) rendered invalid again?

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
The figure of 2 million Tibetans killed in the Chinese invasion is quite absurd and exaggerated.


Wow--it's not Holocaust Denial if you do it to Tibetans! If you want to see mass graves, look for the monasteries shelled into the ground with their residents still inside. Two million may be a misremembered figure, but in any case it was a HUGE percentage of the overall population. I personally know people whose whole families were slaughtered.

I am not denying that many Tibetans were killed in the invasion. I was stating that such figures are an exaggeration.
I will point out, however, that the monasteries weren’t simply shelled for no reason – at that time there were various groups of guerrillas fighting the PLA, who took refuge in the monasteries. The PLA shelled those monasteries to eliminate the rebels. Very heavy-handed, yes, and I am not saying the destroying of monasteries and monks was justified, only explaining the PLA’s reasoning for doing it.


So given that the Tibetans dared to try to defend their country from an illegal invasion by the PLA, during which you yourself have admitted many Tibetans were slaughtered, that gave the PLA the right to commit whatever war crimes they wanted to punish those who dared to resist their war crimes? That's not an explanation, that's a revolting excuse. Furthermore, expert on Tibet that you surely must be, you would know that there are vast tracts of Tibetan countryside that had NO structures at all but monasteries, and that particularly in the winter, the temperature is often -40 degrees C? Pray tell me, where were the freedom fighters to go other than a monastery?

Balth wrote:
Maybe you need to take all things into consideration (which international news sources most often don’t), such as the fact that China, being a developing nation with a fifth of the world’s population, needs to keep up power and resource supplies for themselves with relatively cheap methods. Suddenly switching to expensive, environmentally friendly factories and plants would cost a massive amount of money, as well as not producing enough for the population and large land area. Telling China to switch to green-friendly in a short amount of time is an unrealistic demand that can’t be fulfilled (without negatively affecting all other economic aspects of China) until China becomes a developed nation at least. China is making efforts, however, which can be seen in its building of Asia’s largest wind power plant and conducting extensive research into renewable energy sources.
Before criticizing China’s pollution, one must also take the huge population into account. Developed Western countries produce much, much more pollution per head than China does. You simply cannot expect a country with over four times the population of the US to produce less pollution than the US, especially when it’s a developing country. In the words of Mr Yang Jiechi: “It’s like there is one person who eats three slices of bread for breakfast, and there are three of them who eat only one slice. Who should be on a diet?”


So you're saying that because the PRC out breeds the rest of the world, that gives it the right to eat species into extinction, conquer however much territory it wants, and choke the rest of the world with its industrial waste? I'm sorry, but you have offered nothing but apologetics and excuses.

As for what the PRC should have done during its rapid spurt in development over the last two decades, many clean energy technologies had been developed and implemented in the West before China began its growth. The PRC CHOSE not to use them out of arrogance, out of lack of concern for environmental regulations (of which there were none in the PRC), and and the fact that the PRC cares for nothing but what the CPC bosses want.

As for quoting some cynical asshole from the CPC to justify the PRC's abysmal record on the environment, why not consider that the only reason why the PRC's "pollution footprint, if you will, is spread amongst so many people is because there ARE so many people, most of whom live in squalor. You can't use the argument that it's OK to kill lots of people because there are so many people and then use the argument that the PRC is more environmentally responsible because there are so many people to blame the environmental devastation on.

Balth wrote:
Like I said before, China is already investing huge amounts of money into trying to reduce the effects of pollution of the environment, but at this current stage in China’s development, as I mentioned above, it is impossible to reverse the effects, unless the government ignore every other responsibility in running China and focus all their effort and budget into saving the environment.


Then that's what they should do, instead of mucking up and environmentally raping Tibet (along with itself, the world's atmosphere, the Pacific Ocean, shall I go on?). Just imagine what the PRC could do to impress the rest of the world if instead of wasting billions on the Olympics and suppressing dissent, it cleaned up its own house.

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
While I believe that China should allow more religious freedom in Tibet and loosen up there, I do not support Tibetan independence as I don't see the necessity of it today, especially after if China decides to grant more freedom to Tibet.


Not shooting people in the head on a regular basis for being Tibetan Buddhists and "more religious freedom" are hardly one and the same. As for your "freedom," have a look at this.

First of all, Tibetan Buddhists are not shot “in the head on a regular basis” for being Buddhists. In case you haven’t noticed Buddhism is a popular and historical religion in all of China and many Buddhists exist in other parts of China, who aren’t shot for their religion.
I don’t see how you could have possibly assumed what my standards of freedom are after I stated in good will that Tibet truly deserves more freedom. By more freedom I honestly mean that they should be treated equal to the rest of China. Please, don’t insult my morals like that.


Morals? Don't insult people's intelligence. My point, as you can read (but ignored), was that just because the days when people were shot in the head on a regular basis for their faith (and those days were very, very real) are largely past--though I saw some photos today that make me think that may no longer be the case--doesn't mean there's any sort of meaningful religious freedom for Tibetan Buddhists, who have their leaders selected for them by the PRC, and who are constantly under scrutiny lest they do something "counter-revolutionary," among many, many other complaints.

And did you totally ignore the video of the teenage girls being SHOT IN THE BACK?

Any idiot knows there are a lot of Buddhists in the PRC--no thanks to the Great Hero Mao who tried to eradicate them during the Cultural Revolution--but it takes a special kind to ignore the fact that Tibetan Buddhism is quite different, and has largely been under attack precisely because of its essential role in Tibet's identity as a nation, precisely because Tibet is a traditional theocracy run by the Lamas, and that is precisely this reason why it has continued to be targeted by the PRC, long after they decided that Chinese Buddhism, so thoroughly shot through with Confucianism and its blind respect for "Authority," is actually a great implement of subjugation when properly controlled by the CPC.

In prolepsis, while Tibet is a theocracy, which is also a form of unelected government, the fact that the Tibetan people WANT IT THAT WAY makes its implementation an expression of democracy.

Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
As for the current riots:
- Unless the situation escalates even further into absolute anarchy and carnage, it is highly doubtful that Chinese forces will “brutally suppress” the Tibetans, when it has become such a focal point for global media, so close to the Olympics.


Riddle me this, Batman: Unless the PLA were really planning to take the gloves off in Lhasa, why would they want to be rid of all of the tourists, except to make sure that nobody can take footage out to the BBC (or whomever)? The Tibetans have absolutely not targeted tourists in the current unrest, nor have they done so at any time in living memory. Whatever scant information escapes Tibet in the next few days, likely at the cost of Tibetan lives, will tell the tale.

Tourists are not getting totally cleared out of Lhasa. There are still many tourists there, though the security has become much tighter with troops and police patrolling the streets to prevent more violence. Also, Chinese authorities have issued a wanted list of 12 offenders… that’s it. If you were expecting a brutal clampdown, looks like you’ve been disappointed so far.

Tourists not cleared from Lhasa? EVERY SINGLE international news agency I have seen begs to differ. As for the "twelve offenders," why have hundreds been arrested and driven away to god knows where on trucks? Why are there NO young men on the streets of Lhasa?

Balth wrote:
Anyway we shall see in the next few days what happens. However I maintain my prediction that the Chinese forces won’t do anything outrageously violent and stupid. Whether you want to accept it or not, China is modernizing and as a result is improving its human rights record.


I like your choice of words. Its human rights record, as opposed to its human rights situation. I totally agree. It's amazing how much you can get away with if you so tightly control the media and foreign press that no one can record what you're doing. If the PRC put half the budget into cleaning its environment that it puts into sanitizing its image, it'd be the cleanest place on Earth.


Balth wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
Balth wrote:
So there you go, my point of view. I suggest you look deeper into the issue you're arguing about before you make exaggerated assumptions derived from Western propaganda, OP.


And I suggest you be sure and print out your brave defense of Communist China the next time you're debriefed by External Security upon entry into the PRC. Maybe they'll give you a presentation copy of the Little Red Book.

I find it interesting you’d say such a thing, in addition to the racial slurs at the beginning of your post, considering my views haven’t been very extremist at all, unlike yours. Do you consider anyone who doesn’t share your view and takes a softer stance on China a brainwashed Communist? Throughout your post you maintained that I was a one-eyed Communist, despite the fact that I was only diminishing your exaggerated and often offensive claims and not denying them nor aggressively glorifying the Chinese government in any way.


I never once called you a Communist (and I certainly never implied you were a Cyclops), nor did I ever once use a racial slur, even though you told me I was exaggerating and deluded by Western propaganda, the first of which is untrue and the latter of which is pretty inflammatory in and of itself.

Balth wrote:
You cannot expect to write something degrading China and not prompt a defensive reply from an offended person of Chinese background.


Ah, the race card! What does being Han have to do with supporting the PRC? I have good friends from Singapore, the U.S., Taiwan, and Canada, all of whom are Han in origin, all of whom totally despise the People's Republic of China, for no reason moreso than that it dares to try to define for others what it means to be Chinese, and thereby generates loathing against the Han diaspora. I do not make that mistake; do not call me a racist, even by implication, sir!

Balth wrote:
I cannot tolerate it when people who take an over-extremist, negative and one-eyed view of other countries (or organizations, or individuals, for that matter) to the point that they’re actually ignoring any positives of that country.


It sounds like you're mainly concerned about the PRC. As for positives about it, I eagerly await it demonstrating, in any way (be it trade practices, human rights, positive influence abroad, respect for minority populations, environmental responsibility, hell, I'm not picky) some positive action or aspect (other than film, which is good, largely in spite of CPC censorship and a repressive climate toward the arts). I do not anticipate having my wish granted any time soon, however.

Balth wrote:
However your intent seemed to be to mislead neutrals into viewing China with an extremely negative image it does not deserve.


You don't need to worry about that; I was simply pointing out the negative image it does deserve. No-one with a speck of conscience should be neutral about that.

Balth wrote:
There are many positives of the government which you chose to ignore, such as how it has created the fastest-growing economy in the world (on which most countries rely heavily on), maintained relatively low domestic crime rates, brought down poverty rates from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001, created very high youth literacy rates, maintained an exceptionally thriving cultural scene (after the Cultural Revolution, anyway, another policy I opposed), improved life expectancy by 32 years in the time of just over half a century, and basically turned China from a third-world country into a modern, prominent international competitor and an emerging superpower predicted to rival the US in a few decades.


I didn't "choose to ignore" anything. This wasn't a thread about how the PRC has been able to create one of the world's fastest growing economies by brutally raping the environment and cynically ignoring the human rights of many of its workers, nor yet how its economists have managed to juggle some statistics to make it appear as if the utterly failed Communist system (pardon me if Ive misread Marx, but how does a system that is supposed to create economic equality for all manage to produce a system in which over half of the people live in poverty?), nor its life expectancy, nor the fact that its managed to create of itself an upstart economy based on shoddy goods and wholesale theft of intellectual property. This was and is a thread about how a communist dictatorship has spent the last fifty to sixty years obliterating its own beautiful culture and has defaced, defiled, and demolished the unique, beautiful, irreplaceable culture of one of its neighbors along with it.

Balth wrote:
I found your derogatory breakdown of China in your OP offensive, and misleading to people neutral or less knowledgeable on China. China is certainly not as bad as you imply


No, I have neither time nor energy to make implications equal to the PRC's malevolence and disregard for human dignity, nor would I even try to do so.

Balth wrote:
, and is rapidly improving on its old tarnishes on its reputation. If everyone was like you and wanted to boycott everything to do with the PRC, it wouldn’t even have the chance to move forward, to right its old wrongs, and would ultimately lead to a worse, more oppressed China than the one you complain about.


So if the world doesn't shut up and let the PRC do whatever it wants to its own people, to the environment, to the Uighurs, and to Tibet, it'll just do something worse?

Balth wrote:
I understand your anger at the PRC for the oppression of Tibet, and I also disapprove of the conditions there, but it is really quite unfair to pile such degrading insults and exhibit such one-eyed views on a great country, even if it does have its dark side that nobody is proud of.


I don't think you have any idea how angry I am, but I do sincerely apologize if you find the truth degrading. That's something you share in common with the PRC.

Balth wrote:
Well, I’m over my initial anger now and I won’t hold anything against you for having a different political view, and I hope you won’t hold it against me (unless you really consider a soft opinion on China to be brainwashed Communism and want to hold a grudge against me even regarding matters outside of politics ;)). I just disapprove of what I consider an over-reaction and failure to consider all factors in your argument.


I'll get over my initial anger when the last PLA soldier leaves Tibet and takes his railroad with him. I absolutely have nothing against you except that I see a cynical apologism unworthy of your obvious intelligence. I'm sure you're a great person when you're not defending that which by its very nature is indefensible. I do find it a little ridiculous, though, that you assume that simply because someone reaches a different conclusion from your own that they failed to consider all factors in their argument.

Balth wrote:
We can let this debate/discussion on China continue, by all means, but I hope in a more reasonable, considerate manner that is less offensive and one-eyed.


I'm glad we have your permission. ;) I apologize if you found my reaction to your post offensive; I was offended by your implication that I had no idea what I was talking about. Others can be the judge that of that one way or another.

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Balth
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:34 am 
 

For some reason this thread now feels empty like it's only you and I getting into it. I can almost see the virtual tumbleweed. :lol:
But yeah, I'm in too good a mood right now to write up anything serious and thoughtful, but I'll admit you're very well-informed and very good at arguing. I apologize for implying that you were poorly informed on the subject earlier.
Unfortunately I don't think anything can turn me against my birth country, after living there for several years I can't help but love it (and I'm not part of the high-class in China, my family are just average middle-class people).

But don't assume I've surrendered my point of view yet, we'll discuss some more when I'm in the mood ;).
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cinedracusio
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:15 am 
 

Leify wrote:
Do you really think that US companies care about the deaths of those in Tibet to the point that they would stop imports and consequently cut profits? It would require government sanctions to stop trade with China, and I can't foresee that happening.

There's also the matter of the 350+ billion dollars (4% total US debt) in US debt China holds.

Like it or not, we will be heavily linked econmically to China for awhile, if not forever.

This world crisis... heard it's gonna be hot'n'heavy because of bank capitals ruined by loads of credits and debts that haven't been honored. That's what you get when rednecks get their hands on all those money without knowing how they will be able to pay back.
By the way, Svartalf, man, do I feel honoured that you sigged me. That was some serious battle in the paragraphs above.:drool:
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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:48 am 
 

Balth wrote:
the Chinese government do have some historical basis for occupying Tibet.

Svartalf wrote:

So what you're saying is that because Tibet was part of China during a time when China wasn't even ruled by Chinese, 800 years ago, after both had been conquered by the Mongols, it should now have no right to independence. Wow! Now there's some logic for ya!

Strawman. He didn't say that. "Historical basis for occupation" != "Tibet has no right to independence".

Svartalf wrote:
So what you're saying is that given that Mao managed to kill about 50,000,000 of his own people through sheer stupidity, we should be grateful that he only managed to kill off a million or two Tibetans? Pardon my ingratitude.

He also did not say that we should be "grateful".

Svartalf wrote:
if you want to take the position that having more people to kill makes it OK to kill more people, that's your business.

Nor did he say that.

Svartalf wrote:
So when Chinese do it to Westerners, you can chalk it up to righteous anger, but when Tibetans do it to Chinese, they need to have the PLA unleashed on them to indiscriminately fire into crowds? Seems like a double standard.

Nor that.

And it goes on like that. Seriously, lay off the strawmen. There are good arguments strewn around your posts, but the number of times you twist and deform the meaning of Balth's statements only to knock them down after really makes you look like a complete ass.

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Svartalf
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:04 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
And it goes on like that. Seriously, lay off the strawmen. There are good arguments strewn around your posts, but the number of times you twist and deform the meaning of Balth's statements only to knock them down after really makes you look like a complete ass.


I wasn't really reacting so much to what he said as much as the natural conclusions/implications of what he said--taking that train of thought all the way to crazy-town as it were. I don't think I twisted anything as much as trying to get at what the implicit denials in his arguments could be used to justify. But if you had such a strong reaction in that direction, you're probably not alone, and it's certainly something to consider for future posts.

You know, I was really going for "partial ass," so complete is an unexpected bonus. :lol: Again, thanks for taking the time to read.

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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
Posts: 2903
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:10 pm 
 

Svartalf wrote:
I wasn't really reacting so much to what he said as much as the natural conclusions/implications of what he said--taking that train of thought all the way to crazy-town as it were. I don't think I twisted anything as much as trying to get at what the implicit denials in his arguments could be used to justify. But if you had such a strong reaction in that direction, you're probably not alone, and it's certainly something to consider for future posts.

You know, I was really going for "partial ass," so complete is an unexpected bonus. :lol: Again, thanks for taking the time to read.


While it might be very reasonable to have the assumptions you did and to address them, in a formal arguement where logic should be used strictly to confront each point it can destroy the credibility of your position.
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Svartalf
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
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Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:27 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
While it might be very reasonable to have the assumptions you did and to address them, in a formal arguement where logic should be used strictly to confront each point it can destroy the credibility of your position.


It's true. You know, on some level, I guess I just get so pissed, because of the people I know whose lives have been ruined, families imprisoned or killed, that I forget that even though I think my position is strong, I still have to adhere to the Marquis of Queensbury rules and restrain from nut-punching.

@Balth: You fought well, my friend. And as long as we're not shrieking and mooing at each other any more, I obviously know there's tons of great stuff about Chinese culture--I did a Religion/Art History double major entirely focused on Eastern religions and art. Plus there's Xiao Long Bao, my single favorite food on earth. And Amy Yip. Who could forget Amy Yip?

It's only the fucking commies who get my knickers in a twist. And they just need to expand in another direction and leave the Tibetans the fuck alone--they have enough money now to buy a big chunk of the Russian far East from the Russians; that could be good for everybody.


Last edited by Svartalf on Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SilenceIsConsent
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:46 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:39 pm 
 

Svartalf wrote:
The People's Liberation Army has just ordered all tourists out of the city of Lhasa so that they can brutally suppress the population there (without fear of international witnesses), a substantial portion of whom for some reason seem to resent having been occupied for the last 50-odd years by the most consistently brutal, totalitarian nation on Earth, 5000 years running.

Up to two million Tibetans were slaughtered during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, many of them monks trapped inside their monasteries, which were then shelled to the ground by the PLA. Thousands of monasteries were destroyed in this manner, taking with them most of the cultural artifacts and heritage of Tibet.

China claims that Tibet has always been a part of China, and yet, the Chinese characters that mean "Tibet" are the characters for "hidden in the West," which hardly seems to me to be how you would refer to a locale you considered part of your own nation. China brutally suppresses the Tibetan people, their language (which is totally unrelated to Chinese and uses a Sanskrit-based script), their religion, and their culture.

In my opinion (for this reason plus the fact that China is far and away the most flagrant environmental criminal on Earth), the West should begin weaning itself off of Chinese made goods, and refuse to participate in any way in China's Olympic Summer Games. It is also my opinion that this is exactly what the Tibetan government in exile is trying to accomplish.

Any thoughts?


Yeah we should do exactly that. Tibet is one of the most culturally rich nations on the face of the earth. I do not believe any nation preserves Buddhism as well as Tibet, but the stupid Maoist Chinese (who ironically enough do not agree with most of Mao Zedong's ideals) feel the need to expunge Tibet from history. It really does not make any sense? What threat does Tibet pose to China? Absolutely none!

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