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  #51  
Old 11-26-2019, 05:34 PM
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Under Mao between 20-30 million or so died in a few years of famine. You honestly think with the same party in power that a million or two matter?
  #52  
Old 11-26-2019, 05:44 PM
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I always thought that China's leadership was made up of a bunch of Communist thugs. But I bought into the notion that expanding trade and access to the internet would help liberalize them and lead them into a transition to an eventual market economy as the influence of the West on their society grew.

Now it's beginning to look like the opposite - the rise in Chinese economic clout is allowing them to export authoritarianism to the rest of the world. And their growing economic might means growing military might, and this is translating into Chinese military and economic imperialism. These are dangerous trends.

So my view of China hasn't changed, but my hopes for a future, better China are diminishing daily.
  #53  
Old 11-26-2019, 05:51 PM
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You make that sound as if it's a bad thing as if all "influence" is created equal.

Yes, they'd like the influence of a democratic state largely supportive of free and open ideals as opposed to a brutal dictatorship, with an oppressive government and poor human rights record, focused on the intimidation of it's neighbors at best and invasion and subjugation of one of it's neighbors at worst.

Imagine that.
Yeah, I'd like to agree with you, but we could easily have greater influence over China if we were't so addicted to our cheap goodies, and if we weren't looking to others to bankroll our future. And if we were turning our back on trade and climate agreements. Tough to blame a bully for getting away with what you let him.

All fine and dandy to bemoan evil China, but the tiniest bit of hypocrisy if you are posting from your iPhone...
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  #54  
Old 11-26-2019, 06:04 PM
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I am lower on China because they are being more effective on the world stage. Their internal censorship is reading outside of China due to companies wanting to do business with them. Blizzard is willing to shut down people for supporting democracy. Movie studios are backing away from LGBT things because China doesn't like them. Talking about Chinese atrocities is being removed from their works. All of it is about avoiding offending the Chinese audience.

I've always before thought that democracy would win out, but I'm seeing those in democratic countries giving into the demands of an authoritarian one because they have managed to hold together long enough to become a desirable audience. I had thought that there was no way to become an economic powerhouse and also stay authoritarian, but they are pulling it off, and thus their ideology is spreading.

China's threat is ideological. If they have more money, they can push their ideas on the world. I had hoped before (or even assumed) that China's rise to becoming a bigger player would weaken their authoritarian control. But such does not seem to be the case.

Sure, Hong Kong is bad, but it is an improvement on things in the past. They actually seem to have made a lot of headway, getting the government to back down on the Chinese extradition laws, and now having voted against that government in elections.

It wasn't Hong Kong that made me think China was more of a threat. It was Blizzard supporting China. It's no longer just meaningless pandering by the Western businesses to get Chinese money.

Last edited by BigT; 11-26-2019 at 06:05 PM.
  #55  
Old 11-26-2019, 06:14 PM
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I always thought that China's leadership was made up of a bunch of Communist thugs. But I bought into the notion that expanding trade and access to the internet would help liberalize them and lead them into a transition to an eventual market economy as the influence of the West on their society grew.

Now it's beginning to look like the opposite - the rise in Chinese economic clout is allowing them to export authoritarianism to the rest of the world. And their growing economic might means growing military might, and this is translating into Chinese military and economic imperialism. These are dangerous trends.

So my view of China hasn't changed, but my hopes for a future, better China are diminishing daily.
Itís not in the nature of the powerful or the institutions they lead to give up power. How often in history does that happen willingly? Thatís what always puzzles me about those willing to cede more and more power to the state or its official and unofficial agents.
  #56  
Old 11-26-2019, 06:44 PM
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Worse, for the reasons a bunch of other posts have given. I'm really not interested in moral equivalence type arguments about who caused how many deaths. Xi's China's adaptation of technology to reach a new level of totalitarian control is scary to me as a human inhabitant of earth. It's not an endorsement of everything the US or West does. It's just Brave New World in sight if that country and regime dominated the world. And for now at least it appears still on the rise, which is as others said the silver lining to Putin's mafiaocracy, it's sits on top of a basically rotting country. Which could present real dangers as Putin struggles to reach peaceful death in his own bed, and what replaces him could be worse. But Russia has no chance of dominating the world.

Ten years ago there was more residual hope for an evolution to a freer China. Or at least a self stabilizing committee of equals type arrangement. Now as a personality focused dictatorship it's moving in the wrong direction for freedom or stability.
  #57  
Old 11-26-2019, 11:50 PM
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Worse.

I look forward to china's contributions to solving climate change and contributing to global medical, science and technology development. And I hope China helps lift Africa out of poverty. A world with a rich and educated China is a world where we can solve big problems faster.

But their use to big data to support totalitarianism, their treatment of Hong Kong and the Muslim minority makes me realize they will export and tolerate a lot of evil globally.
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  #58  
Old 11-27-2019, 01:04 AM
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I am lower on China because they are being more effective on the world stage. Their internal censorship is reading outside of China due to companies wanting to do business with them. Blizzard is willing to shut down people for supporting democracy. Movie studios are backing away from LGBT things because China doesn't like them. Talking about Chinese atrocities is being removed from their works. All of it is about avoiding offending the Chinese audience.

I've always before thought that democracy would win out, but I'm seeing those in democratic countries giving into the demands of an authoritarian one because they have managed to hold together long enough to become a desirable audience. I had thought that there was no way to become an economic powerhouse and also stay authoritarian, but they are pulling it off, and thus their ideology is spreading.

China's threat is ideological. If they have more money, they can push their ideas on the world. I had hoped before (or even assumed) that China's rise to becoming a bigger player would weaken their authoritarian control. But such does not seem to be the case.

Sure, Hong Kong is bad, but it is an improvement on things in the past. They actually seem to have made a lot of headway, getting the government to back down on the Chinese extradition laws, and now having voted against that government in elections.

It wasn't Hong Kong that made me think China was more of a threat. It was Blizzard supporting China. It's no longer just meaningless pandering by the Western businesses to get Chinese money.
Money wins out in the end, ironic that it's a "Communist" country proving it.
Which makes economic pressure as Trump is doing (hate him or love him, doesn't matter) the only way to move things into a better direction because moral appeals are just not going to register with the Chinese regime.
  #59  
Old 11-27-2019, 01:23 AM
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Well I have lived in China for 6 years, before that I didn't even know "nihao", so there is much I can talk about learning about the culture, people and much that I admire.

In terms of China as a government, and a superpower though, actually it is similar to many of the responses so far. I'm appalled to hear about Hong Kong and Xinjiang (and to not hear anything about these issues within China. e.g. the HK council elections were bascially not mentioned at all in mainland news. One brief mention was mainly to paint Trumpian conspiracy theories).

I remember a few years ago on the Dope ISTM that almost everyone belonged to one of two extreme camps: (1) China's prosperity was some kind of trick and it would all collapse any day now. Or that (2) China would very soon far eclipse the US economy and would drive innovation with Western companies following in their wake.
Living in China, I knew both of these extremes were unrealistic, and I think they are not common views on the Dope now either.
Some might still lean towards the latter view, but be more realistic on the timeframe.

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The “human rights” claim is bunk. No one thinks of them as some sort of saint. But dopers, most of whom live in countries whose political machinations in the last decade and a half has led to destruction and untold misery for millions from the East Med to the Persian Gulf, really have no standing to call them out.
Disagree with this sentiment. Frankly, Whataboutism is bullshit. X can call out Y's bad behavior and if X also has actions to call out, then sure we can talk about that afterwards.
There are no shortage of threads criticizing American, British etc foreign policy.

Last edited by Mijin; 11-27-2019 at 01:25 AM.
  #60  
Old 11-27-2019, 02:24 AM
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I evaluate my feelings on China as a global threat by comparing it to other countries I view as larger global threats. That's not whataboutism, that's just using a relative basis for threat assessment.

Outside the global threat issue, which seems to be a lot of people's concern, China's been as bad as it ever was.
  #61  
Old 11-27-2019, 08:32 AM
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Yeah, I'd like to agree with you, but we could easily have greater influence over China if we were't so addicted to our cheap goodies, and if we weren't looking to others to bankroll our future. And if we were turning our back on trade and climate agreements. Tough to blame a bully for getting away with what you let him.

All fine and dandy to bemoan evil China, but the tiniest bit of hypocrisy if you are posting from your iPhone...
I'd quibble with a few things here.

U.S. debt is largely owned by the U.S., not China.

But yes, we do trade with China, and increasingly that's hard if not impossible to get away from. But I don't see how that gives them a pass for being an increasingly brutal dictatorship that is sowing fear in the Pacific, or puts the west in a place where they can't condemn that.

Last edited by spifflog; 11-27-2019 at 08:33 AM.
  #62  
Old 11-27-2019, 09:04 AM
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Agreed.
China buys lots of American brands; it's the biggest market for brands from Budweiser to Buick.
Does that mean China agrees with the US invasion of Iraq, or else they are hypocrites? Of course not.
It's pretty hard to boycott all of a superpower's produced goods (Ok, USSR wasn't that hard). The US will end up buying chinese goods indirectly if nothing else.

On the subject of the iphone, once again it seems I need to say this: iphones are *assembled* in China. It's misleading to say they are made in China.
When you buy an iphone, many countries' companies get a cut, and China is at the back of the queue (self-nitpick: unless it's a model with a chinese battery, in which case we can say China is in the middle of the queue or something. Front of the queue is of course Apple itself).

Of course China does manufacture a lot of high-tech consumer electronics and components themselves, but iphones are always the example people go to, and it's really the worst example.

Last edited by Mijin; 11-27-2019 at 09:07 AM.
  #63  
Old 11-27-2019, 01:17 PM
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unless it's a model with a chinese battery
Given where rare earths mostly come from, damn near every cellphone battery is ultimately a Chinese battery
  #64  
Old 11-27-2019, 03:21 PM
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Given where rare earths mostly come from, damn near every cellphone battery is ultimately a Chinese battery
Never mind, I got magnets and batteries mixed up in my brain.
  #65  
Old 11-27-2019, 04:47 PM
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I'd quibble with a few things here.

U.S. debt is largely owned by the U.S., not China.

But yes, we do trade with China, and increasingly that's hard if not impossible to get away from. But I don't see how that gives them a pass for being an increasingly brutal dictatorship that is sowing fear in the Pacific, or puts the west in a place where they can't condemn that.
Thanks. I readily admit my ignorance re: such things as Chinese investments in US debt and other assets.

But as a nation, we HAVE been giving China a pass, through our selfish and short-sighted policies. Instead of increasing aid, and willingly participating in multinational agreements on climate, trade, law of the seas, etc. - we pursue our own short-sighted interests. China would not have been able to make the gains they've made in Africa, SE Asia, the arctic... if the US hadn't created a vacuum into which they could expand these past couple of decades.

Our nation has long been pretty inconsistent in its support for human rights. We eagerly condemn them, if we do not incur any economic or strategic cost by doing so. We COULD take significant steps both regarding imports and exports w/ China. But our nation - and I think most citizens - simply don't care enough to bear any significant cost/inconvenience.

As a general matter, I'm more interested in how my country acts, than in thinking my country should dictate how another country acts within its borders. And however China acts w/in its borders, the US COULD have taken FAR greater steps to limit their influence BEYOND those borders. Now, we are increasingly less able to do so.
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  #66  
Old 11-27-2019, 07:25 PM
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Never mind, I got magnets and batteries mixed up in my brain.
Also of course if we're also including the origin of the materials that went into the phone then the list of countries becomes much longer. Maybe China's not at the back of the queue any more because countries like DR Congo get completely screwed over.
  #67  
Old 11-27-2019, 10:19 PM
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But as a nation, we HAVE been giving China a pass, through our selfish and short-sighted policies. Instead of increasing aid, and willingly participating in multinational agreements on climate, trade, law of the seas, etc. - we pursue our own short-sighted interests. China would not have been able to make the gains they've made in Africa, SE Asia, the arctic... if the US hadn't created a vacuum into which they could expand these past couple of decades.

Our nation has long been pretty inconsistent in its support for human rights. We eagerly condemn them, if we do not incur any economic or strategic cost by doing so. We COULD take significant steps both regarding imports and exports w/ China. But our nation - and I think most citizens - simply don't care enough to bear any significant cost/inconvenience.

As a general matter, I'm more interested in how my country acts, than in thinking my country should dictate how another country acts within its borders. And however China acts w/in its borders, the US COULD have taken FAR greater steps to limit their influence BEYOND those borders. Now, we are increasingly less able to do so.
I don't feel this is really the case. I think China has been able to spread its influence in other countries by reaching out to regimes that other countries (like the United States) avoid.

Why do you think China has better relations with North Korea than any other country has? Because China is willing to work with Kim Jung-un without suggesting he should lighten up on his citizens. There's the same "no judgement" policy with Burma and Zimbabwe.
  #68  
Old 11-28-2019, 12:33 AM
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countries like DR Congo get completely screwed over.
Often by China (the biggest importer of minerals from sub-Saharan Africa)
  #69  
Old 11-28-2019, 08:24 AM
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I don't feel this is really the case. I think China has been able to spread its influence in other countries by reaching out to regimes that other countries (like the United States) avoid.

...
I'm sure there is some of that. Of course, no one would accuse the Saudis of being enlightened freedom lovers...

And just the other day I heard about China having invested heavily in Greenland's minerals. More effective than trying to buy the country...
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  #70  
Old 11-28-2019, 09:33 AM
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My view of China has changed for the worse over the last decade. There was a time where I thought that doing business and trading with them would moderate them on abuse of human rights and so forth. I no longer think that is true. We can do business with them and trade with them, and cooperate where it serves our national interests and helps the world overall. But we will not moderate their totalitarian abuse of people in HK and with some of their minorities, and their population in general. They are a Communist nation with no respect for human rights, and we should understand that. We will also not likely stop them from expanding into the sea, building new "islands", and exerting more control around international waters that are near China. I also worry that there will be a military invasion of Taiwan in our lifetime, as they see Taiwan as a renegade province, and not a free state.

So, what do we do about it? Well, Trump's trade war is not the right way.
Here's where I've changed on TPP. Back in the day, I did not support TPP. But I now view TPP as a geopolitical alliance of countries that could be a counter-weight to China in that region of the world. When we abandoned TPP, we only hurt ourselves and empower China. We also must not abandon our military obligations in Japan and Korea. And we should not abandon our role in multi-lateral trade organizations. Trump is pulling us inward, directly confronting China on trade, instead of helping us build up alliances with other nations to counter China. Finally, NATO should not be abandoned either. China and Russia both benefit when we turn our backs on NATO.
  #71  
Old 11-30-2019, 06:16 PM
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And don't forget the Cow's Tongue. Or that they seem to be essentially buying huge swaths of Africa.
Cow's Tongue?

My thoughts on China... they have dedicated themselves to becoming an economic and technological powerhouse, and they are moving mountains to accomplish it. However, they are turning back to authoritarianism. Cracking down on political criticism within and without, using force to coerce their own people and financial leverage to affect western countries, like with the NBA thing.

They use industrial espionage and intellectual property theft, they have little regard for international agreements on proper relations in these matters.

The way I see them, they are the very demonstration of the Trump Republican agenda - no EPA, no FDA, no OSHA. Rampant pollution, lead paint in toys, contaminated pet food, child workers, sweat shops. Criticize the government, go to prison.

As far as China vs. Russia, I'm not writing of Russia yet. Putin is pushing to make Russia great again, back to the glory days of the soviets. And Trump's policies play right into his hands, strengthening his role on the world stage, increasing his influence in Syria and Turkey, and weakening NATO. Neither country gaining power is a good thing for America or democracy or human rights.
  #72  
Old 11-30-2019, 07:16 PM
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Cow's Tongue?
[...]
Cow's Tongue. Strange names they give things.
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  #73  
Old 12-01-2019, 03:57 PM
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Now they're requiring their citizens to have their face scanned and tied to their phones.

They've shot passed any big brother techno-nightmare scenario imagined.
  #74  
Old 12-01-2019, 05:02 PM
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Melamine


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It's been 12 years since the melamine tainted pet food fiasco of 2007. Following that mess I stopped purchasing anything "made in China" if possible. My China boycott goes on today, although for certain items it's impossible.
Not just pet food, but also milk. Lottsa lottsa sick babies.
  #75  
Old 12-01-2019, 05:10 PM
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My feelings? Admiration for their technical achievements, which are impressive. Less admiration for them fucking up Tibet, and buildling hydro dams in the Himalayan valleys. Less still for their widespread use of video surveillance and facial recognition technology, and serious unhappiness at the warehousing of - how many exactly? - a million Uighurs. The dispute in the South China Sea was inevitable, because it goes way back to the Kuomintang, and I think it will end up as a possible reason for a war starting with China (the PRC, that is). They now have serious military muscle and could well be tempted to use it if Donnie decides to play the tough guy.

The protests in HK? Also inevitable, in a way, and not surprising given the attitudes and methods of the PRC, but I get the feeling that the PRC is avoiding excessive confrontation and the protesters are sometimes just making noise. Just what do they want, and what do they expect to get? And maybe like the students in 1989 they will underestimate the military.

Beyond that, not much change. I am just waiting to see if they officially bring back the emperor in the form of the present incumbent.
  #76  
Old 12-01-2019, 05:15 PM
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Why do you think China has better relations with North Korea than any other country has? Because China is willing to work with Kim Jung-un without suggesting he should lighten up on his citizens. There's the same "no judgement" policy with Burma and Zimbabwe.
Yes, notoriously so. It's not just a case of doing anything for the money, but they do like have some regimes who are syncophantically grateful to them and, from their point of view, have the balls to keep the populace in line and none of this namby-pamby democracy. Soul mates, with the gloves off. But this is nothing new, this was PRC policy all the time.

What I wonder is if they are going to go from neo-colonialism to actual colonialism. I saw somewhere a suggestion that the Chinese support Africa so much because they want to park a good chunk of their population there. At first I thought this was seriously weird, but on consideration it makes sense.
  #77  
Old 12-01-2019, 06:25 PM
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Now they're requiring their citizens to have their face scanned and tied to their phones.

They've shot passed any big brother techno-nightmare scenario imagined.
My wife and I went out to a nightclub here in Edmonton for the first time in a few years. To my surprise, everyone had to stand in front of a backdrop and be photographed, and they had to hand over their driver's licenses and have the front and back scanned. No entry without it. They said it was a new liquor board regulation.

And if they have location data for your phone, it's trivially easy to tie your license and photo to your phone.

If true, that that this is a new regulation, that will be the last time I go to a bar that does that. The possibilities for identity theft or other shenanigans are off the chart if someone has a fresh photo of you and a copy of your driver's license. And I'm willing to say that the local bar's data security policies are probably not NSA grade. Crazy.

Everyone in line seemed to think it was no big deal. Of course, they were a lot younger than me.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 12-01-2019 at 06:26 PM.
  #78  
Old 12-02-2019, 12:36 AM
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I tried googling Edmonton and liquor laws. didn't see anything. Doesn't sound like something Canada would do.

I don't think it would be very popular to try that in the States.
  #79  
Old 12-02-2019, 01:17 AM
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If anything, China's prosperity has shown that increased wealth and affluence can make people more OK with dictatorship, not less. It's when people are starving that they have less to lose by revolt.
  #80  
Old 12-02-2019, 02:37 AM
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I watched a large part of the video linked in OP. The part I watched had little to do with the issues being discussed; and, frankly, I found it boring. I found this video on the rapidity of China's growth to be more informative, and more exciting! The perspective of Americans working in China seems to be quite different from that of stay-behind political pundits.
  #81  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:59 AM
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I feel China wants to make the 21rst century the China century where Chinese power is projected around the world like Americas was in the 20th and Great Britains was in the 19th.
  #82  
Old 12-02-2019, 09:20 AM
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No real changes for me in the past decade. I'd love for the U.S. to be friends with the Chinese people, and to be widely seen as such over there, but as long as their government is an oppressive semi-Communist oligarchical one-party state that goes out of its way to deny individual liberties, make unwarranted territorial claims in the region, oppress religious minorities, practice industrial espionage, do little to protect the environment and wage aggressive if not hostile trade policy, I'm not feeling too chummy towards the PRC.

And I still remember the Tiananmen Square massacre and its aftermath very well.
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