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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Random Chinese News Thread (Page 7)

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Author Topic: Random Chinese News Thread
BlackBlade
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quote:
Not applicable, those events are not analogous to modern political theory; Especially since those events tend to predate the modern system of party politics.
Well, if we don't even need to say why we are declaring things, then I hereby declare your arguments invalid.

I mean seriously, who gives a flying fig whether those events predate this so called "modern system of party politics". You can find 'party politics' all the way back to the pro-Athenian party that told the Spartans to bow the knee. Cliques and parties aren't a new idea, neither is one group trying to consolidate and carry the country into the next phase of civilization.

quote:
But I would say that Ghengis Khan is certainly is moderate compared to many conquerers at the time, a time when warfare and conquest was perfectly normal, along with Alexander the Great.
Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great are moderates? In what meaningful way?

quote:
Moral and ethical relativism sure, no doubt there but it doesn't really make sense to attempt to draw an equivalence to such far apart and disparate events.
Yes it does. Because as one book puts it, "There isn't anything new under the sun." History is one enormous round of new players acting out the same play.

There's nothing new about a central government, trying to keep the mob under control, letting a few peripheral local leaders slap up an innocent man who is fighting against their unjust acts. Or are we living in some proto-Star Trek universe where we are just about to depart money, disease, and all manner of silly human strife?

quote:
Maybe don't ask loaded questions? The purpose of honest discussion is to try to find common ground of agreement and consensus, this is impossible when you as a starting point frame the issue in emotional and alarmist terms.

Essentially you start from a situation from where the "Chinese people" are being "brutalized", a position I consider to be appallingly one sided and steeped within emotional language.

No, I started from a position that if you stand up and tell the Chinese government to stop attacking reformers, and actually gain a following, you will be harmed.

You keep saying that position makes all my questions "loaded" but no more than an abolitionist saying, "Slavery hurts human beings, and tears families apart."

I'm sorry no matter how you phrase it, you can't pretend those facts are not true. You can seek to justify it, (and that has been your tact so far) but you cannot deny that is actually happening.

You cannot pretend, disagree, or ignore that Chen Guang Cheng was brutalized by government officials. That he was operating within the confines of the law, or that he openly supports the government. You might not like that that's what I'm saying, or feel like it's missing the forest for the trees, but it's true. There's nothing "loaded" about calling a spade a spade.

quote:
I do not see a substantial difference, between malice and ignorance here, historical precedence in China is clear. A "Quiet Revolution" is exceedingly unlikely, any radical bottom up upheaval of political affairs is likely violent, chaotic, and bad and net negative for all involved and adjacent.
This would be true if you could find evidence of reformers saying, "Power comes out of the barrel of a gun." Sound familiar? But they are not, it's the government that talks about calamity when challenged. Tibetan monks self immolate, they aren't setting policemen on fire.

quote:
To still see revolution as preferable because of idealistic or ideological reasoning of principle "democracy good, authoritarianism bad" to be simplistic, is to still on one level and undeniably so, is to willingly accept responsibility for the consequences.

I'm not willing to support revolution if I knew demagoguery would result. Since we can't know, we gamble and throw the dice, and try to squelch Maos while they are in embryo form. But revolution produces Washingtons too.

quote:
In short your question is not a useful question, as you are not asking the right questions. No system is perfect and it is too easy to get caught up in trivial trumped up "travesties" and ignore the greater context and complexity that the system has to deal with and balance on the whole.

I reject this entire summation of my position. "No system is perfect" and "The Greater Context" are just poorly veiled versions of, "My perceived needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few of my opponents." It's a convenient defense for people doing the wrong thing.

And if we are seeking to make our aim, "stability, order, prosperity to force 1.4 to 1.5 billion people kicking and screaming into modernity as fast as possible."

Then allowing freedom of expression and establishing rule of law is the very first thing you need to get in place.

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Rakeesh
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Only where we live, BlackBlade. It's only mildly desireable elsewhere if a government you support finds it expedient to avoid it.
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BlackBlade
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I know. I just don't understand why Blayne waxes so cynical of today's reformers, but he's more than excited about all the great things communist reformers were trying to do.
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Rakeesh
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They're his guys. It's the merest partisanship, that's all. What makes it frankly strange and at least a little distasteful is that would-be reformers, and those who support them, are scorned for wanting just a piece of the sorts of rights that if they were to be violated by HIS government where HE lives in HIS person would be met with the severest outrage. And no, Blayne, let's not pretend otherwise. If you claim it, it won't be believed.

You see it in the throwaway sneer at 'liberal Western democracy', as though what you were aiming for was a system perfectly modeled on the American system, when I have a sneaking suspicion that you would be delighted with a system that didn't permit violence on government critics instead.

But no. Stability, stability, stability, and anyone who asks the question, "Alright, but what does peacefully pointing out government abuses have to do with causing instability?" is sneered at by someone who doesn't hesitate to criticize his own government's failings, and those of his neighbors, in terms that would invite a beating he wouldn't risk elsewhere.

It's frankly shameful, how willing you are to repeatedly write off guys like a peaceful lawyer. Without even the usual 'these things happen, let's punish this isolated instance of abuse', but actually scorning any challenges to 'stability'.

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
See again regarding my thoughts on this being a loaded question since you begin with the position that the central government is deliberately allowing disruptions to their harmonious big green dam (cutest thing ever over at Danbooru by the way, check it out, I showed some to a Chinese student I MSN with and he's like "OH! I've seen those! HOW DO YOU KNOW OUR MEMES!?" I'm still amused how I can say "xie xie" to a Chinese exchange student and she'll turn to her friend and say "*Gasp* He spoke Chinese! Isn't that amazing!?") society rather them simply pragmatically reacting to these situations in the however best Machiavellian way they can to insure their legitimacy through the tried and true method of "bad boyers good tsars".

Am I really reading this?
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Rakeesh
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It is generally a bad sign when a government's response to charges of trampling the rights and dignity of its citizenry underfoot is to showcase 'legitimacy'.

But then I suppose that when the benefit is that a government you like is upheld, broken bones of critics isn't too precious a currency. And then, many decades down the line when the campaign of periodic repression of other people has paid off, the government will cheerfully and smoothly make the shift to one which doesn't respond to peaceful criticism with violence. Because, you know since we're talking Machiavelli (another approach to government that is peachy until it's YOUR government), that is precisely what he would predict.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
To still see revolution as preferable because of idealistic or ideological reasoning of principle "democracy good, authoritarianism bad" to be simplistic, is to still on one level and undeniably so, is to willingly accept responsibility for the consequences.

I'm not willing to support revolution if I knew demagoguery would result. Since we can't know, we gamble and throw the dice, and try to squelch Maos while they are in embryo form. But revolution produces Washingtons too.
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
They're his guys.

There's some funny things going on with the terminology here.

Members of the CCP are hardly Blayne's guys. They're not even the Chinese people's "guys" given that China is decidedly not democratic and "a government of the people and by the people" does not apply.

Similarly, "we" won't be throwing the dice. The Chinese people will be throwing the dice when the time comes, and I acknowledge Sun Yat Sen (who I think was over-hyped), who was still an expat Chinese person.

That said, I would note that if the logic is that a person who supports revolution has to accept responsibility for the consequences (in terms of deaths and suffering, I would assume), a person that supports the status quo *also* has to accept responsibility for the consequences of continuing.

Personally, I think that Hong Kong, Taiwan, and to a lesser extent overseas Chinese, already demonstrated the success of transplanting and investing in the transfer of their economic models into the mainland. I think the time is ripe to transfer their political models as well. After all, Hong Kong and Taiwan (or even South Korea for that matter) have already made the transition from very violent authoritarian governments to democracy with very manageable upheaval.

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Rakeesh
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I meant 'his guys' as in 'he supports them', not 'is a constituent...subject...citizen...of theirs.'
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Samprimary
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This is an honest not-joking not-snarky statement: I would be very appreciative for someone to take Blayne's post and essentially translate it to a pretty coherent version so that I am sure of what he is saying. I don't know what I could pay someone to do it, but.
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BlackBlade
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Mucus: I didn't mean I myself would roll the dice for the Chinese, only that when you espouse revolution you are doing it. Squelching Maos Stalins and Napoleons would have more closely conveyed what I meant.
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BlackBlade
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An extremely interesting article on China's one-child policy, and its real estate market.

Link.

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Mucus
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Interesting, I find myself distracted by the contradictory/overblown subtitle though. It says "How lonely single men created China's dangerous real estate bubble" but in the article it only says bubble once here:
quote:
This demand has no doubt contributed to fears over China's housing bubble, which has been the source of concerned speculation now that China's economic growth has slowed to 7.6 percent, the lowest since 2009. A recent IMF publication shows how a decline in the Chinese real estate market could do everything from affect the price of zinc and nickel to trigger a trade slowdown with South Korea, Japan, and other G-20 partners. Yet from the marriage-market perspective, the demand for property appears unrelenting.
(my emphasis)

So the actual claim is significantly smaller, maybe it contributed to "fears" over the bubble but not necessarily the bubble itself. And if it is the case that such demand is "unrelenting" (a claim which I also find dubious), then it doesn't contribute to a speculative bubble at all. That's just a normal permanent increase in demand.

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Blayne Bradley
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Regarding the question as to whether I would be willing to live in a Canada where the government was willing to do even a fraction as to what the Chinese government does to keep order, well I have three words. "Just watch me".
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Rakeesh
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I'm not sure how seriously you think that advances your point, if at all.
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BlackBlade
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So is that a yes Blayne? As in you have no problem living in a Canada that does some fraction or all of the things China does?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Regarding the question as to whether I would be willing to live in a Canada where the government was willing to do even a fraction as to what the Chinese government does to keep order, well I have three words. "Just watch me".

You have gone 'off message' one too many times and we feel that this is continued justification of the relocation of people with your condition to designated housing. Your media and internet access are going to be significantly restricted, of course.
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Blayne Bradley
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Are you really going to cross that line Sam?
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TomDavidson
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What line? The "teasing Blayne about bravado on a point on which he cannot possibly be tested" line, or the "actually dispatching authoritarian Canadian commandos" line?
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Blayne Bradley
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The making disparaging comments about my autism to make a crude jab line.
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Samprimary
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Lol, wasn't even thinking about your ASD, but hey — it works that way too. The point is to note how grotesque human rights abuses in the name of 'stability' are okay, right? But wait, unless they cross lines you're individually sensitive to.
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BlackBlade
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Blayne: Sam was clearly talking about what happens in a nation state when you can't openly criticize the government.

Aren't you glad Hatrack isn't run like China?

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Blayne Bradley
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You mean actually being moderated badumtush. [Wink]

Point is, if restricting civil liberties was required to prevent Quebec from separating, it is a price worth paying. Since I couldbt leave Quebec to remain a Canadian citizen if it did.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Point is, if restricting civil liberties was required to prevent Quebec from separating, it is a price worth paying.
Christ, what a uselessly unqualified statement. Should Quebec become separatist to a point where the Canadian government would have to instill curfews, restrict all media to repeat state-approved dialogue, cut off the internet, and 'disappear' political dissents, to keep Quebec under canadian control, are all of these things still "a price worth paying?"
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Blayne Bradley
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People have already said that they would not believe my answer, and as Tom says its untestable; beyond which I consider it a red herring to respond with "Well I bet you wouldn't like if it X happened to YOU".
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Aren't you glad Hatrack isn't run like China?

Sadly, I think you over-estimate the number of people that would really object. Obviously, many Americans would object if the Chinese government ran Hatrack. But I suspect that if an American oligarch instituted the American equivalent, the protest would be much more muted.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Aren't you glad Hatrack isn't run like China?

Sadly, I think you over-estimate the number of people that would really object. Obviously, many Americans would object if the Chinese government ran Hatrack. But I suspect that if an American oligarch instituted the American equivalent, the protest would be much more muted.
I meant more I'd stifle individual posters just so they'd know who was boss. I'd only do my job if your last name was Card, or you bribed me, or I thought I'd get something in return.
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Rakeesh
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It's a bit peculiar, Blayne: you point out Tom's correct statement that this idea is untestable, as criticism for people who are skeptical of your personal willingness to tolerate the oppression you endorse on others.

...but you then go on to claim that if it were necessary, you would endure it, without ever seeming to realize that Tom's statement applies as much to your claim as the claims you think you're rebutting.

That said, yes, it is untestable. You'll never be a poor ill educated Chinese farmer or factory worker. The closest you'll ever get-and I mean this as no insult, only the truth for just about anyone-would be to be a Canadian living in China, subject to Chinese law but with an embassy more interested in your rights than the local government would be in your neighbors. So we can't test it.

But what we can do is measure your reaction to perceived injustices in your current life. You're apt to start making threats and angry, loud denunciations at even slight (though ongoing) prodding, whether you'd like to admit it or not. That kind of shit don't fly over in the PRC, certainly not in the long run, but currently you do it when even you eventually admit it's not necessary or involuntary.

So when you say you would peacefully and politely endure the many ways Chinese government enacts political repression, yeah, people are gonna cry bullshit. For pity's sake, you're not uncommonly rude to *BlackBlade* whose governing hand around here is extremely amiable and non-repressive, to say nothing of lacking in corruption. There's a reason why when this comes up, there aren't as many-or any-people chiming in that hey, he would tolerate it.

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Mucus
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BlackBlade:
Oh, that's kind of a weird match. I thought you were comparing Hatrack to a mainland website and the censorship mechanism rather than the whole country which is kind of weird.

I also think corruption is kind of tangential to the issue (i.e. there are corrupt repressive governments, there are non-corrupt repressive governments, there are corrupt non-repressive regimes, etc.) and it's not really a government strategy/policy employs in order to keep stability.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
BlackBlade:
Oh, that's kind of a weird match. I thought you were comparing Hatrack to a mainland website and the censorship mechanism rather than the whole country which is kind of weird.

I also think corruption is kind of tangential to the issue (i.e. there are corrupt repressive governments, there are non-corrupt repressive governments, there are corrupt non-repressive regimes, etc.) and it's not really a government strategy/policy employs in order to keep stability.

I'm contrasting my moderating paradigm with one he could expect with a repressive regime.
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Mucus
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Yeah, I'm totally confused now.

Are you mapping yourself to a moderator on a mainland Chinese website or are you mapping Hatrack to mainland China as a whole?

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BlackBlade
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Neither!

I'm mapping myself to a moderator who personifies Mainland China.

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BlackBlade
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Chinese newspaper finds itself in hot water amongst Chinese readers after calling departing US ambassador Gary Locke a "banana man"

Personally I loved his style of ambassadorship, and his posting of accurate pollution reports on Chinese social media sites was brilliant.

Sad to see him leave, and it looks like many Chinese feel the same way.

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Lyrhawn
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I think he was a fantastic Ambassador. From everything I read, regular Chinese citizens actually really liked him a lot. He made a serious effort to try to get in touch with regular people, and was both a great representative of America and a wise diplomat.

It really is too bad he's leaving.

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BlackBlade
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NSA hacking into Huawei's networks.

Little surprise the Chinese feel comfortable playing this game with us. We get to watch their business owners and government leaders say stuff, while they siphon billions in IP from us.

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Lyrhawn
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Now this is the sort of thing I think the NSA SHOULD be doing, and this is the sort of thing I think Snowden should go to jail for.
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Mucus
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Man, they should really have given Snowden asylum in Hong Kong rather than have him go to Russia.

BlackBlade: BTW, did you ever end up coming across any particularly interesting readings relating to China in your business course that I think you mentioned?

[ March 22, 2014, 08:46 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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BlackBlade
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Yes, although it's a bit dated, and the author is working on a second edition, Susan Shirk's China: Fragile Superpower was an excellent read.

Ms. Shirk has been involved in Sino/US affairs since Mao, and is clearly very passionate about the region. Her writing isn't heavy, but she covers a lot of great concepts. It's not a very long book, but if she does complete a second edition, I'd get it just to get her post Olympics commentary.

It was pretty great that we had a huge case study dealing with Malaysia just days before the airplane incident happened. It's like watching the text come to life, unfortunately I can't link that here.

Though not specifically China, Sinagpore Inc was a good read. It's a Harvard Business Review article.

I think it offers an enormously strong commentary on why Singapore has been phenomenally successful with their rule of law approach to economic/political management. It's also a fascinating consideration in the debate between the Washington Consensus and the Beijing Consensus (liberal open markets vs state run mercantilism). It also provides a strong discussion for what a developed economy like Singapore's must do to let go of manufacturing and become a fully service based economy. There's a lesson there for the US I think.

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Mucus
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I think I've heard of Fragile Superpower in some other context, maybe Sinica Podcast (which was great fun this week) or maybe twitter. I'll have to check it out, especially if there is a new edition (2008 feels so long ago ... sorta).

BTW, while waiting for permissions, I wanted to say that reading up on the threads in your role-playing game was pretty interesting.

Edit to add: BTW, the newspaper date on the first page reads 1922, is that consistent with Sun Yat Sen on the persons of interest page? (Is it supposed to be our world?)

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BlackBlade
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Mucus: Thanks!

It should be mostly. I tried to remain within the approximate chronology, but I'd only stand by the years, not really the months, weeks, or days. I think that particular newspaper article was vetted so during that date Sun Yat Sen should be in exile while Governor Chen is presently governor over Canton.

edit: I even made sure the South China Morning Post was in circulation at that time. [Smile]

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Mucus
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Oh, the governor's real as well.
(Google's his story)

Neat!

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BlackBlade
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Isn't he though? He's this invisible person who you'd think the CCP would applaud but because they've adopted the legacy of Dr. Sun they're required to speak against Chen because he opposed Sun.

I think one could do a fascinating biography about Chen Jiongming.

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Mucus
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Oh, I was just reading about the story of his military rebellion, haven't thought much about the modern-day implications.

Looking at least at the wikipedia parts on his policies
quote:
Chen disagreed with Sun about the direction that reform should take. Sun wanted to unite the country by force and institute change through a centralized government based on a one-party system. Chen advocated a multiparty federalism with Guangdong becoming the model province and the peaceful unification of China. Sun became suspicious that the federalist movement was being exploited by the warlords to justify their military fiefdoms.
quote:
From Hong Kong, he criticized the Nationalists' single-party system and continued to advocate multiparty federalism. After the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, he attacked Chiang Kai-shek's regime for its refusal to confront Japan and he organized boycotts of Japanese products. He died of typhus on September 22, 1933.
Putting aside that it would have been pretty cool for Guangdong to be the model province( [Wink] ), it doesn't seem obvious to me which side would have been more beneficial in the long term. I also think the CCP could find things to applaud (opposition to Japan, boycotts) or not applaud (opposition to a one-part system, advocacy of peaceful reunification).

Edit to add: Keep in mind, I've never even heard of the guy before this so I'm open to persuasion from my ambivalence.

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BlackBlade
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Yeah, there's no way to know if his multi-party system would have ultimately lead to a unified China after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Obviously we know what happened with the CCP ascending.

I would think the communists would applaud his opposition to a one-party system, because that was what they were fighting against with the KMT. Initially they just wanted a voice at the table, but eventually determined to kick out the KMT when the KMT tried to wipe them out. Chen was willing to give them that seat, against Sun's wishes. It's too bad he died at 55, I feel like he would have been an active voice in China's destiny during WWII.

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Mucus
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I guess I was more thinking a modern CCP wouldn't particularly want to talk about the benefits of a true multi-party system. I agree for contemporary CCP though.
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BlackBlade
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Ah, true enough.
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