Comments on: China’s cutting-edge authoritarianism Fri, 31 Jul 2015 03:37:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: mgunn Sun, 20 Nov 2011 15:47:26 +0000 So sad for anyone to wish someone failure… reveals how disingenuous we really are. We have problems, they have problems. Lets concentrate on ours. Instead the author is invited to go there, probably treated with respect but basically ends up trying to bad-mouth them in a very eloquent way. And makes it sound like they have a monopoly on corruption and for all our ills he never mentions once how corrupt our own system is.

Lets be clear on one thing which is a VERY common false notion held in the west. The chinese DO have GIGANTIC struggles within their one party, just like we have gigantic struggles in congress under our one constitution. Their are reformers and hard-liners probably going at vehemently (probably with hand and fist!) They just do it behind closed doors. This party has almost a hundred million members and apparently mobility within the ranks is based at least partially on performance. Importantly, they don’t preach their system onto others worldwide. We do of course, and are so judgmental like this author.

I hope both systems (ours and theirs) flourish and treat each other with respect. Sadly, I’ve visited china too and they respect us a lot more than we respect them.

By: johnhuetteman Sat, 19 Nov 2011 03:34:54 +0000 Ai wei if said in Spanish is a REALLY funny thing!


On a more serious note, @daxiongben, what you wrote is truly poetic and really made me think. This is just a question that I have to ask:

Based on what you said, that “only by becoming bigger than life can you hope to achieve anything, only by becoming something that cannot be ignored can you still have hope,” do you think that if you turn around and replace the people from this statement and replace them with countries instead, do you think that perhaps China as a whole, having been essentially dormant for such a long time during the years preceding the past 30 years, has been on a trajectory to reach larger than life status so that they, too, could be free, and the only way to get there due to the stiff competition was precisely by stifling out dissent and committing the human-rights violations they commit so as to maintain a tunnel-vision focus and reach their destination?

I am not saying this is a good thing nor that it is worth it – I am simply asking with genuine curiosity. I agree and feel that growing up “American,” I would have a hard time not having a voice to freely speak my thoughts or witness injustice and not be able to say or do anything. It is definitely an almost suffocating level of control. But I understand Gao when he says while talking about self-censorship “You might not agree with me, but that’s the way we are,” he said. “And we have been very successful the last thirty years,” and feel that perhaps the only reason why there will not and cannot be any type of political revolution is because secretly, all Chinese people are very proud of where they are today and cannot allow their journey to come to an end before they reach their destination, at any cost.

By: daxiongben Thu, 17 Nov 2011 04:52:30 +0000 Good article but too short. Too much of the cliche ‘ikea soundbite’ approach.
Remember: Beijing is not China, nor is Shanghai. Beijing in particular is repressive, becoming increasingly intolerant of waidiren (eg closure of migrant schools, difficulties in buying houses for non Beijingren, access to medical care, access to local law courts). Doing business in Beijing is increasingly difficult and really requires political connections unless you want to stay under the radar.
Outside of Beijing you depend far more on the local conditions and whatever local powers are allowing or failing to observe. Some places are supposedly good, others (eg Linyi), well Hell may seem a cosy alternative.
One thing is quite correct: the number of people with money seeking to secure a future outside of China either for themselves or for their children is increasing. Students going abroad are at levels never seen before. Health care in China is on the verge of collapse. Even with a one-child policy hospitals are unable to cope with demand for maternity rooms. Only guarantee is hongbao (“donation”) in many places.
The law is a joke. It is used as an instrument of repression when needed and an instrument of coercion, but not as an instrument of social equality or even to resiolve crimional matters. The law is whatever is seen as being fit to be claimed as “the law”, “the relevant regulations”, but not what is written nor what is meant. The law is political. Hence the use of “the law” against Ai wei wei, as it can be used against him arbitrarily by people in power who don’t have to justify anything, but he has to justify everything. Just remove his ability to justify himself (deny him access to his own accounting books) and you have won. That is a travesty of the law.
No wonder that people have to resort to violence and desperate acts, as only by becoming bigger than life can you hope to achieve anything, only by becoming something that cannot be ignored can you still have hope.
Can you then understand why so many would rather hope elsewhere? Is it not logical that having made money you want to run away from such a terrible system that takes away your personailty and soul? Only those who have no hope of being somewhere else (the migrant workers) still look up at the Party for their salbvation. What else *can* they look for, what else is there available for them?

By: HaleyStar Thu, 17 Nov 2011 03:11:55 +0000 Do American Corporations and politicians know what they are doing? When they let alone middle east corruption for interest of oil, they should know bad things like 911 would happen one day. Now they are dealing with a county with 13 billion people, do they know they set free a real juggernaut?
What the author is thinking? Does he think American Innovation will curb China? He is so wrong! China will drag the whole world into a world of non-innovation. Look at American technology corporations, which can make some money in China? Only bureaucratic and corrupt big Corporations like GE and IBM!

By: Politica Mon, 14 Nov 2011 18:52:30 +0000 In support of your article:
APEC started as diplomatic talk of economic cooperation & ended with blunt accusations of unfair currency & trade practices. Was it motivated by coming US political campaign or biting reality of China’s increasing domination of global trade? More critically, is China an opportunity or threat on economic & political level?  /blog_post/obama-gloves-off-on-currency -trade-by-ambassador-mo/41743

By: aristidis500 Sun, 13 Nov 2011 09:57:48 +0000 I don’t know what David Rohde is on about.

Freedom and democracy are soo yesterday. Some types will always get persecuted. There are always dissidents who’d like to sail against the wind. In Europe people are more interested in a house, a car and a bag of money than this democracy nonsense. Why do you think an authoritarian organisation like the EU-commision gets so much support? They’re now installing their Kommissars in the member states. As long’s the money is OK, who cares about the rest…

By: jlpeng Sat, 12 Nov 2011 18:27:48 +0000 It is obvious that the Western-style democracy has to be be anchored in a strong economy. A well fed and housed people will participate in democratic political activities. In China the number one concern for the populace is still “rice” (rice symbols livelihood, and therefore a greeting in Chins is “Have you had rice yet?”). It is therefore still a minority of people in China who revolt against the government demanding more political democracy. But as the generation born before 1976 (the year Mao died) is fading away into sunset, the Chinese will have different set of priorities. A depressive government cannot live forever. Just look at the Soviet Union.

By: txgadfly Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:36:58 +0000 China is not doing more authoritarian things than the USA. The difference is simply what is suppressed, which is understandable. But both systems are authoritarian. Neither offers meaningful alternative to what the Government wants. The people are told what to want.

Here, we must want war on Muslim countries and we must want a religious / racially based government in Palestine. There are no political choices to not do this. In a country where these wars have had less than 25% support from the population for years, this is a clear indication of “soft” authoritarianism. Do as we tell you.

China learns from us.

By: GotIQ Sat, 12 Nov 2011 03:29:31 +0000 Yeah, China is a real threat. They started an imperialist war in Iraq and killed thousands of people, caused chaos, caused hundreds of thousands of injuries, built secret prisons and gave people over to be tortured to repressive governements, started shooting missles from drones and killing innocent people left and right in a tribal society in Pakistan, they really failed strategically there, started proxy wars who knows where, spy on their own people, their economy is on life support, fat superficial and uninformed people with high cholesterol, they think the world ends at their border. The kids are apathetic, passive, satisfied consumers, looking to be entertained. China’s days are numbered. Oh, yeah, their politicians are backed up by big money. Bad China, bad, bad, bad.

By: edgyinchina Sat, 12 Nov 2011 01:54:53 +0000 “I acknowledge western democracy’s current paralysis, indulgence and failure to reform. But I hope the Chinese Communist party fails first.”

Well Ai, its going to be a race….. And right now I’d say the US is failing faster than China….