June 17, 2005

Hanson On China

But the real question is how both China and India, nuclear and arming, will translate their newfound economic clout and cash into a geopolitical role. If internal politics and protocols are any barometer of foreign policy, it should be an interesting show. We mostly welcome the new India - nuclear, law-abiding, and English-speaking - onto the world stage. It deserves a permanent seat on the Security Council and a close alliance with the United States.

China, however, is a very different story - a soon-to-be grasping Soviet Union-like superpower without any pretense of Marxist egalitarianism. Despite massive cash reserves and ongoing trade surpluses, it violates almost every international commercial protocol from copyright law to patents. It won't discuss Tibet, and it uses staged domestic unrest to send warnings to Taiwan and Japan that their regional options will increasingly be limited by Beijing.

China could rein in Kim Jong Il tomorrow. But it derives psychological satisfaction from watching Pyongyang's nuclear roguery stymie Japan and the United States. China's foreign policy in the Middle East, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia is governed by realpolitik of the 19th-century American stripe, without much concern for the type of government or the very means necessary to supply its insatiable hunger for resources. The government that killed 50 million of its own has not really been repudiated and its present successor follows the same old practice of jailing dissidents and stamping out freedom. When and how its hyper-capitalist economy will mandate the end of a Communist directorate is not known.

The world has been recently flooded with media accounts that U.S. soldiers may have dropped or at least gotten wet a few Korans. Guantanamo, we are told, is like the Soviet gulag - the death camp of millions. Americans are routinely pilloried abroad because they liberated Iraq, poured billions into the reconstruction, and jumpstarted democracy there - but were unable to do so without force and the loss of civilian life.

This hysteria that the world's hyper-power must be perfect or it is no good is in dire contrast to the treatment given to China. Yet Pavlovian anti-Americanism may soon begin to die down as the Chinese increasingly flex their muscles on the global stage and the world learns better their methods of operation.

So far they have been given a pass on three grounds: the old Third World romance accorded to Mao's Marxist legacy; the Chinese role as a counterweight to the envied power of the United States; and the silent admission that the Chinese, unlike the Americans, are a little crazy and thus unpredictable in their response to moral lecturing. Americans apologize and scurry about when an EU or U.N. official remonstrates; in contrast, a Chinese functionary is apt to talk about sending off a missile or two if they don't shut up.


Posted by Kate at June 17, 2005 12:06 PM

You fail to mention the power of a country with the largest standing army on earth. And as to the 'rightuousness' of the United States, you would probably not want to mention that the intervention of Chinese troops into VietNam was a direct response to the bombing of Hanoi on CHRISTMAS DAY, on the orders of Henry Kissinger:
"We will bomb them back to the peace table."
(Those that failed to learn the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat them")

Posted by: dave at June 17, 2005 12:17 PM

Who's "you" and exactly where do you see a reference to Vietnam in the essay?

Posted by: Kate at June 17, 2005 12:18 PM

Paul Martin Family Sends Ship Contracts to China

Bombadier/China Railroad Project in Tibet

Chinese Defector Claims Spy Network Working in Canada

China Censors the Internet

Posted by: HappyDaze at June 17, 2005 12:25 PM

But, China is our friend and trade buddy and we employ her spies in our military vendor supply chain...but, hey, how about that "scary-gloomy" Steven about that eh? about that there's a story! ;-)

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at June 17, 2005 12:30 PM

I respect David Hanson a lot. I've read him for years.

I would like to see the US put severe trade restrictions on China including those 'American' corporations that have set up shop in China so as to use cheap slave labour.

This would hurt China immensely and also hurt the corporations. But it would help the American worker and the American economy.

I'm not a protectionist but international trade is not a level playing field. I don't see why the politicians can't see this.

I don't ever expect Canada to ever take the lead in anything important. But it distresses me to see Alberta allowing China to make investments in Alberta's oil sands. Why?

Neither China nor Russia are our friends.

Posted by: John Crittenden at June 17, 2005 12:30 PM

JC: How exactly can you stop a country from buying shares in a publicly-traded company?

Posted by: Candace at June 17, 2005 12:36 PM

SCREENSHOTS OF CENSORSHIP: Rebecca MacKinnon tried to set up a Chinese blog on MSN Spaces using the phrase: “I love freedom of speech, human rights, and democracy.”

She has screenshots of the rather disturbing results.
posted at 08:44 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink

Posted by: maz2 at June 17, 2005 12:49 PM

How To Hack Chinese MSN Spaces to Use Banned Words
Filed under: General, Tools, China — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 11:25 pm

Thanks to Bennett Haselton of for the following public service instructions for Chinese users wanting to circumvent the word filters on MSN Spaces China to put e.g. “democracy” in the title of their blogs.

If somebody would like to translate these instructions into Chinese, please feel free to do so, post the translation on your blog or website, and please give us the link in the “comments” section of this post. Alternatively, if you don’t have a blog or website, you can post the whole translation directly into the “comments” section.

UPDATE: The Working Man blog in Taiwan now has a translation.

ALSO NOTE: Doubleaf says he has tried using MSN China Spaces and the sensitive words are no longer blocked. Are other people out there having the same experience?

FURTHER UPDATE (9:15PM June 16th) - I just tried setting up a Chinese Spaces blog myself using the Chinese characters for “democracy” “human rights” and “freedom,” and got an error message telling me I could not use forbidden words.

Also, if you’re in China and try this, if you have problems, questions, or if it doesn’t work, please also let us know in the “comments” section.


The power of the Internet. Amazing, truly amazing.

Posted by: maz2 at June 17, 2005 12:57 PM

The Infrastructure of Democracy
Filed under: General — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 11:34 am

The Infrastructure of Democracy
Strengthening the Open Internet for a Safer World
March 11, 2005

Recommendations produced by the internet subgroup at the International Summit on Democracy, Security and Terrorism:

I. The Internet is a foundation of democratic society in the 21st century, because the core values of the Internet and democracy are so closely aligned.

1. The Internet is fundamentally about openness, participation, and freedom of expression for all — increasing the diversity and reach of information and ideas.
2. The Internet allows people to communicate and collaborate across borders and belief systems.
3. The Internet unites families and cultures in diaspora; it connects people, helping them to form civil societies.
4. The Internet can foster economic development by connecting people to information and markets.
5. The Internet introduces new ideas and views to those who may be isolated and prone to political violence.
6. The Internet is neither above nor below the law. The same legal principles that apply in the physical world also apply to human activities conducted over the Internet.

II. Decentralized systems — the power of many — can combat decentralized foes.

1. Terrorist networks are highly decentralized and distributed. A centralized effort by itself cannot effectively fight terrorism.
2. Terrorism is everyone’s issue. The internet connects everyone. A connected citizenry is the best defense against terrorist propaganda.
3. As we saw in the aftermath of the March 11 bombing, response was spontaneous and rapid because the citizens were able to use the Internet to organize themselves.
4. As we are seeing in the distributed world of weblogs and other kinds of citizen media, truth emerges best in open conversation among people with divergent views.

III. The best response to abuses of openness is more openness.

1. Open, transparent environments are more secure and more stable than closed, opaque ones.
2. While Internet services can be interrupted, the Internet as a global system is ultimately resilient to attacks, even sophisticated and widely distributed ones.
3. The connectedness of the Internet – people talking with people – counters the divisiveness terrorists are trying to create.
4. The openness of the Internet may be exploited by terrorists, but as with democratic governments, openness minimizes the likelihood of terrorist acts and enables effective responses to terrorism.


Much more at Global Voices Online.

Posted by: maz2 at June 17, 2005 1:03 PM

Is it all part of a larger plan?

UN's Paul Volker/Maurice Strong Bancrupting America?

Posted by: HappyDaze at June 17, 2005 1:06 PM


Nice find. I think the next logical question out of this article is how will Islamofacism and Chinese "Communism" work and play.

Will the OBL's of the world cut a strategic alliance with China for arms etc and keep their "islamic" uprisings in Western China under control all to cause havoc with the USA and the West. They would find common cause against India. Imagine India surrounded by an agressive China on one front and post revolution, nuclear armed Pakistan on the other front....yikes...I still say the number one bet for the next nuclear weapon to go off is somehwere in India or Pakistan.

China are the ultimate realists and they will play both sides against the middle for Chinese interests.

One final thing to consider. China has a long history of not being able to keep a centralized country together, essentially 5 countries within one. One trend to watch is how the different regions grow and how they exert their power. The idea of a greater china is a powerful one and may overcome these centrifigal forces. Something to watch...if they pull it off then the new superpower is on its way...if history repeats itself China will find a way to shoot itself in the foot. I wouldnt bet on the latter though.

For the moment the Chinese dont really have a world class navy....but I am sure that will change in the next few years as well.

The US needs India to be successful and find a way to quell the Islamofacist insurgency. Then China is contained....without it we are in a lukewarm war for the next 30 years.

Posted by: Stephen at June 17, 2005 1:07 PM

Candace asks - How exactly can you stop a country from buying shares in a publicly-traded company?

I presume the same way we’d stop the Mafia from buying. Also maybe it ought to be part of our Foreign Policy that we don’t let Commie despots use their country’s money to buy our companies – whoops I forgot – we don’t have a Foreign Policy, our Policy is to just do the opposite to Americans.

Posted by: nomdenet at June 17, 2005 1:21 PM


Can you please explain why you think it is so egregious to bomb the Hanoi on CHRISTMAS DAY??? (emphasis yours).

In a Buddist country, I really don't think this is too much of a cultural affront. The strategic advantage behind the decision was that the North Vietnamese wouldn't be expecting this action from the US on one of their most important holidays.

As for the troops themselves, I imagine it could have been a morale booster in that efforts are being made to extract the US from the conflict so they won't be there next Christmas.

I especially love that thanks to you ultra-liberals, I can no longer wish my colleagues at work "Merry Christmas", but you're still willing to accuse the US of desecrating CHRISTMAS DAY...

Posted by: Anon at June 17, 2005 1:29 PM


Actually, the CCP has been laundering OBL's drug money for some time.

There is, in fact, a book out on Communist China's ties to terrorism. It's a little old, but the data is still eye-opening (FD: at the risk of over-the-line self-promotion, yours truly wrote said book).

Posted by: The exiled American at June 17, 2005 1:29 PM

As for Dave,

"You fail to mention the power of a country with the largest standing army on earth."

If that was supposed to be a reference to the U.S., it's wrong. Communist China (so labelled so as not to be confused with the long-suffering Chinese people) has the largest army on the planet.

"you would probably not want to mention that the intervention of Chinese troops into VietNam was a direct response to the bombing of Hanoi on CHRISTMAS DAY, on the orders of Henry Kissinger"

So, was it HK's fault when the ChiComs invaded Vietnam in 1979? Or tried to shoot it out of the Spratleys in 1988?

Posted by: The exiled American at June 17, 2005 1:33 PM

Dave, isn't it time you stopped imposing your religious beliefs on other people?

Posted by: ebt at June 17, 2005 1:36 PM

Personally, I got no religious beliefs, ( but I do have some admiration for the Buddha, who said: "If you know the difference between right and wrong, and yet you choose to do wrong anyway, then your shame will follow you for the rest of eternity.")Too bad that is not a deterrent for those who figure they can be forgiven on their deathbeds and then go immediately into their Happy Hunting Ground.

Posted by: dave at June 17, 2005 3:14 PM

Dave I wish you were as concerened about Pol Pot's killing fields or Saddam's mass graves...or any other of the atrocities committed in the furtherence of leftist political solutions which has killed over 500 million people in the last century.

Anti individualist political solutions and post modernist utopianism holds less hope than the old line theocratic rule of law solutions.

The misery of the human condition is man made and finger pointing is a fruitless exercise.

That does not change the fact there is far less human suffering and injustice in democratic nations.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at June 17, 2005 4:28 PM

"intervention of Chinese troops into VietNam " ???

Korea yes, Vietnam no.

Posted by: Fred at June 17, 2005 4:52 PM

Dave ("fidel net nut"),

I've noticed that some lefties are intelligent. I wish they would comment here sometimes. It's scary to realize how many people are walking around with bizarre half-formed paanoid delusions and notions buggering their brains 24-7. Scarier than Stephen Harper ans Stockwell Day combined!

Re: "You fail to mention the power of a country with the largest standing army on earth."

Is this a reference to the PRC? If so, then all I can say is "More of them to kill!"

Ah, if only big armies always beat smaller armies. Wouldn't life be simple?

Re: "The intervention of Chinese troops into VietNam was a direct response to the bombing of Hanoi on CHRISTMAS DAY, on the orders of Henry Kissinger"

First of all -- in passing -- since Kissinger is a Jew, and most of the people in Hanoi were either Budhists or Godless commie scum, I don't think that either party would care have cared too much about the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour.

And perhaps you are referring to the 1979 PRC invasion of Vietnam in response to Vietnam's overthrow of the Khmer Rouge.

How could a 1972 bombing be the "direct" catalyst for a 1979 invasion?

And who gave the US Secratary of State he authority to command the US military?

What planet are you living on?

Should I take you seriously, as some sort of expert, because you quoted, "Those that failed to learn the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat them."

Is this some sort of commandment, or something from a Greek tragedy? Nostrodamus? Jimmy Page? Karnak?


Well, at least YOU are not doomed, since you have obviously learned so well "the lessons of history."

A serious question, about something I cannot have firsthand knowledge of: Is ignorance bliss?

I may be foolish, but I'm not ignorant.

I am foolish for doing things like wasting my time and energy on a beautiful summer day debating with rocks and pieces of dried wood, when I could be engaged in much more productive activities, such as masturbating, or helping O.J. find "The Real Killer."

Posted by: Brian O'Neill at June 17, 2005 5:31 PM

The Battle of Trenton.

George Washington attacked the Hessians camped in Trenton on Christmas Day, 1776.
He ordered his troops to cross the Delaware River and take the enemy by surprise. Upon his discovery that the crossing had wet their gunpowder, he ordered the patriots to fix bayonets and they took Trenton at bayonet point. The Americans captured Trenton in little more than an hour of battle, with only minor casualties.

Realizing the danger of remaining in Trenton, Washington secured the weapons and prisoners captured and recrossed the Delaware River to return to the safety of Pennsylvania. Upon learning that the British had abandoned Trenton for a safer position in Princeton, Washington took the offensive again. This time, he moved into Trenton and the British closed with the Americans hoping to destroy Washington's weakened army. Washington used their deployment to Trenton to his advantage by ordering a detachment of men to delay the British army while the American army maneuvered around them to attack Princeton. In doing this, Washington faced the smaller British element in Princeton and briefly took it from British control before retiring for the winter in Morristown.

Although he never intended to maintain control of either town taken in the campaign, Washington's actions in this campaign bolstered the morale of his demoralized army. As a result, he had bought some more time with his "part-time" soldiers by motivating many to renew their enlistments.

Posted by: S at June 18, 2005 7:11 AM


The people of China have a marvelous degree of patience.
They also extend and value respect.

Why then do the [enlightened] Controllers of China, devoid of patience,
lower the huge boot of state force, and randomly crush beautiful and promising young spirits who are merely voicing an opinion.

China's Controllers may wish to advance from behind Kruchev's shoe and selectively detain protest leaders to tone things down, and then release them later when things cool off.

China's leadership would thus display some measure of patience and earn at least some respect for improving leadership skills; For advancing into modern times along with the rest of Chinese living today.

It is just that primitive behaviour that bars China from international clubs she longs to be part of.

73s TonyGuitar

Posted by: TonyGuitar at June 18, 2005 2:54 PM


SHANGHAI, China -- Twenty-eight floors above the traffic-choked streets of China's most wired city, blogger and tech entrepreneur Isaac Mao sums up his opinion of Microsoft and its treatment of the Chinese bloggers with one word. "Evil," says Mao. "Internet users know what's evil and what's not evil, and MSN Spaces is an evil thing to Chinese bloggers." . . .

The Chinese version of MSN Spaces is linked to the new MSN China portal, launched last month in partnership with Shanghai Alliance Investment, a company funded by the city government here. Last week that partnership plunged Microsoft into the long-standing controversy surrounding the Chinese government's internet censorship policies, after Asian blogs and news reports revealed that MSN Spaces blocks Chinese bloggers from putting politically sensitive language in the names of their blogs, or in the titles of individual blog entries.

The words and phrases blocked by Microsoft include "Taiwan independence," "Dalai Lama," "human rights," "freedom" and "democracy."

Read the whole thing.
posted at 03:45 PM by Glenn Reynolds

Posted by: maz2 at June 20, 2005 7:06 PM