Ongoing Events in China

Metrist

The Living Force
About the protests

It was reported a couple weeks ago, that foxcomm promised a sizeable bonus to the daily wages for people who stay at the factory and keep working...
A video I saw yesterday said they were not getting their bonuses as promised. That on top of zero covid, and you can see how distrustful the Chinese would feel toward their govt.
And the quality of Apple phones will dip as a result.
 

Novelis

Jedi Master
I'm starting to think that China is still worried that this virus is in some way ethnic-specific, although over the past two years there hasn't been any evidence of a higher rate of infection or death among Chinese people around the world.

Look, I’m a Caucasian guy from the UK, whereas my wife is Taiwanese, while our son is obviously half of each. We are from totally different ethnic backgrounds, and we all had Covid this year at the same time, but our symptoms, along with the severity of each case, were pretty much exactly the same (if anything, MY symptoms were worse).

I know this doesn’t prove anything, but if the idea of this virus being ethnic-specific looks so self-evidently bogus to us – with our limited access to data – why then would the CCP, with all of the resources at its disposal, think otherwise?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but It just seems to me that, either, A) you are right, and the CCP has completely lost touch with reality and is acting in a hysterical/paranoid manner, or B) there are other reasons for the Zero-Covid policies to be put in place as they were… Either way though, these policies don’t exactly “cast the CCP in the best light”, shall we say?
 

Joe

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Either way though, these policies don’t exactly “cast the CCP in the best light”, shall we say?

Well, what remains unknown, and what is really the only important thing, is what the Chinese people think of the ongoing restrictions. From what I can tell, the protests are in a few places, but certainly not across the whole country. It's very difficult for the average non-Chinese person to understand the perspective of a Chinese citizen. It's also very difficult for the average Westerner to understand what it's like to live in a country of 1.5 billion people.
 

Metrist

The Living Force
In previous years, you'd hear in the news about Asian clothing companies being investigated for employee abuse: young children, too many hours, not enough pay, ect. ... And these companies would be threatened with some kind of sanction until they complied by our politicians concerns. Maybe it was because we had Republicans or Democrats in power, and would flip flop in accordance to that....
But with China, U.S. interests and Chinas are the same, as it is about business transactions and are tied together. So, if there is a uprising, the U.S. in it's part, would suppress information as much as they can about conditions in China, and China would lock people in their workplace - citing a zero-covid policy.
Now that the protests are too big to ignore, zero-covid is a perfect cover to hide discontent: by placing a dumb bureaucratic policy on top of and in unison with corporate exploitation. 'Covid is serious, we'll lock you down in the factory to keep production going, feed you poorly, and if you try to leave, you are spreading Covid. Covid! How dare you!'
And in the U.S. the scope of protest coverage is limited to the zero-covid policy. At the time Covid 1st became news, there were protests, I don't know how bad it was, but there was some discontent.
So, it's like a world govt. in operation, with the Chinese people resisting exploitation, and the U.S. maintaining a plausible distance from Chinas position, but secretly in support of China in regard to its policy's. Why? Business.
 

iamthatis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In previous years, you'd hear in the news about Asian clothing companies being investigated for employee abuse: young children, too many hours, not enough pay, ect. ... And these companies would be threatened with some kind of sanction until they complied by our politicians concerns. Maybe it was because we had Republicans or Democrats in power, and would flip flop in accordance to that....
But with China, U.S. interests and Chinas are the same, as it is about business transactions and are tied together. So, if there is a uprising, the U.S. in it's part, would suppress information as much as they can about conditions in China, and China would lock people in their workplace - citing a zero-covid policy.
Now that the protests are too big to ignore, zero-covid is a perfect cover to hide discontent: by placing a dumb bureaucratic policy on top of and in unison with corporate exploitation. 'Covid is serious, we'll lock you down in the factory to keep production going, feed you poorly, and if you try to leave, you are spreading Covid. Covid! How dare you!'
And in the U.S. the scope of protest coverage is limited to the zero-covid policy. At the time Covid 1st became news, there were protests, I don't know how bad it was, but there was some discontent.
So, it's like a world govt. in operation, with the Chinese people resisting exploitation, and the U.S. maintaining a plausible distance from Chinas position, but secretly in support of China in regard to its policy's. Why? Business.

Sounds kinda plausible, in particular when thinking about the idea China and America have linked economies, and that could be connected to the idea that there could be a one world government which is actively engaged in those linkages. I've gotten the basic sense that in a globally interconnected world such as ours, each nation is in some respects very dependent on a network of other nations. And also that there seems to be some shadowy people in dark rooms who have megalomaniacal delusions of grandeur - and most likely a lot of control. But I don't think we can necessarily say that because economies are linked that there must be a higher level of omnipotent control coordinating the whole thing. It's possible, but that would take a lot of substantiation - and I think that it's important to remember a few of the the fatal weaknesses of psychopaths, namely their wishful thinking, their tendency to overextend their reach, and the technical incompetence that seems to lead to their downfall.

I wonder what the actual case is with China and America, the world's two biggest economies - how dependent are they on each other? How are they actually connected? And on that point, to what degree are they actually in cahoots? Huge questions.

I tend to disagree with your overall viewpoint that the Chinese and American governments are in cahoots, or that their interests are the same... that seems like mostly speculation without much to back it up.

On the contrary, I think that the certain psychopaths in Washington are very concerned that American hegemony and the unipolar world of their 'rules-based international order' is under threat, and that they see China is their primary adversary. My understanding comes mostly from economist Michael Hudson's work, but also others like Pepe Escobar, Matthew Ehret, Andrew Korybko and some other dudes who have been writing about the progress of China's BRI (plus a whole host of other Eurasian economic cooperation initiatives that fly in the face of America's dominance since WWII). If I were to put it in a sentence, what's at stake between China and America is a battle of ideas about economics - in other words their interests are definitely not the same.
My main take is that China has evolved into the power that it has become today due to pretty sound economic policies, all things considered. Its based on national control of the financial system to a certain degree, which has allowed the Chinese to prevent predatory financial interests from gaining a significant foothold. They have also invested massively in public works, industry, research and technology and infrastructure to improve the lives of their citizens. Paraphrasing Hudson, China's main mode is a 'mixed socialist/free market' superpower that is focused on growing its real economy, which has benefits for its population. China is following a proven effective policy that made America great in the first place - called 'the American System' by Ehret. America's main mode is a deregulated and deindustrializing oligarchic superpower that is focused on the 'unreal economy' of the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) and draining the wealth and lifeblood of its citizens (and the global population) to this privileged 1%. That includes China's lifeblood. However, the American's haven't figured out how to operationalize their desires to take down China yet. One can imagine they'd love another Century of Humiliation.

So that's the domestic policy dynamic in a nutshell for each country as far as I understand it. You could also look at their foreign policy, and see that they are definitely not aligned, with a simple graphic of the oodles of US bases around the world, which is the most telling sign of America's true colors. I think China has something like 1.5 external overseas bases, last time I checked. China seems to be less focused on exerting military-fiscal pressure and more on developing external economic ties, which they profit from, yes, but so do others, in what is said to be a rising tide that lifts all boats. There's also the Taiwan business of late - that seems more to me like America trying to mess around in Chinese affairs. All the frothing at the mouth about China as the enemy in American media... I don't think any of that is come clever ploy to hoodwink the public into thinking that the two countries are at odds. I think they are actually at odds. America has held the world in an economic death grip for decades, and now that hold is loosening, with China (and Russia) being the 'threat of an alternative', which is driving the psychopaths mad.

In saying all of this, I'm not going to try to say that China good - America bad! either. There's a moral implication with what I've written, with China seeming to have more of a peace and prosperity themed foreign policy, and a more effective domestic policy. It's kind of surprising to write, actually. It does seem that China has a better policy framework that is better for its citizen in many respects. I do have to say that don't know much about China, though, nor do I think I ever really will. When I see the lockdown info with regards to China, it seems pretty horrible to go through as a person, and I can only speculate as to the reasons why it is happening. Yes, it could be blatant tyranny. But I think that view should also be balanced by the fact that America, in an attempt to keep a stranglehold on its hegemony, has a playbook of colour revolution tactics, industrial terrorism, economic sanctions, media smear campaigns, and biological warfare to try to keep their dominance. Jumping to the conclusion that this policy in China has been given a rubber stamp by American power because they are in cahoots seems oversimplified given the facts on the ground.

In a way you are correct, though - China and America both have the same interest, which is to put their country first and to develop along the lines that are sensible to them in order to do so. Because of their inherent self-interest, however, their interests are diametrically opposed at this point in history.
 

Mr.Cyan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Well, what remains unknown, and what is really the only important thing, is what the Chinese people think of the ongoing restrictions. From what I can tell, the protests are in a few places, but certainly not across the whole country. It's very difficult for the average non-Chinese person to understand the perspective of a Chinese citizen. It's also very difficult for the average Westerner to understand what it's like to live in a country of 1.5 billion people.

Fully agree - i think the current level of protests are not even in the 1-5% range of the total Chinese population and by far the CCP understands this. Hence i think they will work to contain the situation and still keep their "dynamic zero" strategy as protective strategy again US/Empire bioweapons. This strategy could change if the critical mass of Chinese citizens (say 30-40%) dont accept the restrictions - but until then, i think they will continue to maintain it.
 

Novelis

Jedi Master
Joe said:
It's also very difficult for the average Westerner to understand what it's like to live in a country of 1.5 billion people.

It seems to me that the main barrier to understanding the Chinese people has far more to do with its incredibly rich and complex cultural/historical background, rather than the fact that it’s a country of ‘X amount’ of people, no?

With that in mind:

Joe said:
This is an informative thread on twitter for those who have swallowed the West's long-term anti-China propaganda.

How much of this thread (I did read through it) is disinformation or an accurate reflection of reality? Well, I don’t live in China (and never have), so I’ll readily admit a degree of ignorance, but it’ll take a lot more than a mere Twitter thread to understand the nuances and complexities of Chinese history/culture, that’s for sure.

Take Frank Dikotter’s book, ‘The Cultural Revolution’ for example, wherein he describes in detail the years from 1962 – 1976, we read:

Frank Dikotter said:
Real change was driven from below. In a silent revolution dating back at least a decade, cadres and villagers had started pulling themselves out of poverty by reconnecting with the past. In parts of the countryside they covertly rented out the land, established black markets and ran underground factories. The extent and depth of these liberal practices are difficult to gauge, as so much was done on the sly, but they thrived even more after the death of Mao. By 1979, many country leaders in Anhui had no choice but to allow families to cultivate the land. As one local leader put it, ‘Household contracting was like an irresistible wave, spontaneously topping the limits we had places, and it could not be suppressed or turned around.’ In Sichuan, too, local leaders found it difficult to contain the division of the land. Zhao Ziyang, who had arrived in Sichuan in 1975 to take over as the head of the provincial party committee, decided to go with the flow.

By 1980, tens of thousands of local decisions had placed 40 per cent of Anhui production teams, 50 per cent of Guizhou teams and 60 per cent of Gansu teams under household contracts. Deng Xiaoping had neither the will nor the ability to fight the trend. As Kate Zhou has written, ‘When the government lifted restrictions, it did so only in recognition of the fact that the sea of unorganised farmers had already made them irrelevant.’

In the winter of 1982-3, the people’s communes were officially dissolved. It was the end of an era. The covert practices that had spread across the countryside in the last years of the Cultural Revolution now flourished, as villagers returned to family farming, cultivated crops that could be sold for a profit on the market, established privately owned shops or went to the cities to work in factories. Rural decollectivisation, in turn, liberated even more labour in the countryside, fueling a boom in village enterprises. Rural industry provided most of the country’s double-digit growth, offsetting the inefficient performance of state owned enterprises. In this great transformation, the villagers took centre stage. Rapid economic growth did not start in the cities with a trickle-down effect to the countryside, but flowed from the rural to the urban sector. The private entrepreneurs who transformed the economy were millions of ordinary villagers, who effectively outmanoeuvred the state. If there was a great architect of economic reform, it was the people.

Deng Xiaoping used the economic growth to consolidate the communist party and maintain its iron grip on power. But it came at a cost. Not only did the vast majority of people in the countryside push for greater economic opportunities, but they also escaped from the ideological shackles imposed by decades of Maoism. The cultural Revolution in effect destroyed the remnants of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Endless campaigns of thought reform produced widespread resistance even among party members themselves. The very ideology of the party was gone, and its legitimacy lay in tatters. The leaders lived in fear of their own people, constantly having to suppress their political aspirations. In June 1989, Deng personally ordered a military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, as tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square. The massacre was a display of brutal force and steely resolve, designed to send a signal that still pulsates to this day: do not query the monopoly of the one-party state.

Now, the above quote wasn’t chosen to counter anything Joe had said, rather to bolster it and expand its scope, as well as to demonstrate how easily one can succumb to myths (such as the one quoted below) due to the difficulty of navigating such a rich history/culture such as China’s:

iamthatis said:
My main take is that China has evolved into the power that it has become today due to pretty sound economic policies, all things considered. Its based on national control of the financial system to a certain degree, which has allowed the Chinese to prevent predatory financial interests from gaining a significant foothold. They have also invested massively in public works, industry, research and technology and infrastructure to improve the lives of their citizens. Paraphrasing Hudson, China's main mode is a 'mixed socialist/free market' superpower that is focused on growing its real economy, which has benefits for its population.

…namely, the highlighted common misconception that it was top-down governmental policies that brought about the “economic miracle”, and not that it was the people who brought themselves out of poverty, DESPITE government policy (if Dikotter’s to be believed, and I find his work quite solid).

Finally (and tangentially):

Laura Knight said:
(L) Obviously, working as a group is highly desirable. What one doesn't see, the other one sees. What one doesn't think of, the other one thinks of.

Now, I wasn’t present at that session (as I am not present in China), but that’s not quite right, is it?

There are subjects that differ in degrees of “knowability,” subjects that are widely known about, and subjects that nobody knows anything about, as well as all those that lie in between. Now, I wouldn’t want to presume the knowability of the “China Subject” in regards to the community on this forum, but I think it’s safe to say the subject of understanding China is one that lays on the further end those two extremes, and is therefore not to be approached lightly.

For example, from my attempts of translating the Wave into Mandarin, I have come to think that a certain degree of knowledge of the Mandarin language itself is somewhat of a prerequisite for understanding China and its people, and that even then, it’s best to approach the subject assuming oneself to be a complete layman (which is something I need to do, despite my knowledge of Mandarin, so please correct me, as always, if I am mistaken).
 

Metrist

The Living Force
I tend to disagree with your overall viewpoint that the Chinese and American governments are in cahoots, or that their interests are the same... that seems like mostly speculation without much to back it up.

When I said there is a world order, I didn't mean in the context of megalomaniacs, or psychopaths plotting nefariously to subdue humanity on a conscious level, with master plans and a bigger picture.... I meant that in practice, this is happening. I said operation, but maybe that wasn't the best word.
There needn't be people wringing their hands and saying: 'It's all going according to plan'. No, the scope in the context of the world order I imagine is fiscal. Business. Narrow and oblivious to anything other. And this may play out as if it were diabolical overreaching, but is greed to the exclusion of all other concerns. And this leads to the discontent. And protests, censorship, ect.
So, the leaders themselves are constrained in their endeavors and the citizens are used towards that end.
If everything is about the narrow scope of economics, the world becomes too complex for anyone to manage it. Chinas role as manufacturer of the world leaves little for its own people, as the demands of the world keep wanting more, driving them to despair.
So, it wasn't meant to demonize the leaders so much as set aside politics and say what I think the problem lay... Business ahead of country.
 

Chad

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
[...]

In a way you are correct, though - China and America both have the same interest, which is to put their country first and to develop along the lines that are sensible to them in order to do so. Because of their inherent self-interest, however, their interests are diametrically opposed at this point in history.

If i'm understanding the above correctly, the difference to me is that what China's leadership is doing is actually benefiting its people - poverty has/is being eradicated, living standards are improving, its leaderships goals with regards to social development reflect that of the people (e.g. educational reforms, and what's promoted/condoned culturally) - whereas what the US is doing is benefiting only those at the top, and the cultural and societal trends reflect that of a (warped) minority.
 
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Novelis

Jedi Master
Chad said:
If i'm understanding the above correctly, the difference to me is that what China's leadership is doing is actually benefiting its people

I’d like to see your evidence for this.

Chad said:
- poverty has/is being eradicated,

Your grammar here is pretty poor. If you put a slash between ‘has’ and ‘is’, then the following verb (being) has to work with both ‘has’ as well as ‘is’, but the sentence “poverty has being eradicated” isn’t grammatically sound. The verb ‘to be’ has to change into ‘been’ in order for the sentence to be correct, so you really should have said:

“poverty has been/is being eradicated”

Is that what you mean? And if so, “poverty has been eradicated”?! Pardon me, as in, poverty in China is a thing of the past? Are you kidding?

Chad said:
living standards are improving,

Yes, but as I already said above, thanks to the people, despite governmental policies to suppress it, not thanks TO the CCP.

Chad said:
its leaderships goals with regards to social development reflect that of the people (e.g. educational reforms, and what's promoted/condoned culturally)

Yes, with NO motive whatsoever in:

Chad said:
benefiting only those at the top

Either you’ve succumb to an extremely simplistic narrative regarding the CCP and life on the ground in China, or everything I’ve learned from 20+ years of living, learning and studying in Taiwan has been nothing but propaganda and lies.

I am prepared for the case to be the latter and for my mind to be changed (difficult though that may be), so please let me know where you’re getting all this.
 

iamthatis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
…namely, the highlighted common misconception that it was top-down governmental policies that brought about the “economic miracle”, and not that it was the people who brought themselves out of poverty, DESPITE government policy (if Dikotter’s to be believed, and I find his work quite solid).

Hey, thanks for this, and your quote from Dikotter's book. He has the common Western narrative Tiananmen Square, which is not true, as far as I can tell. I found this one to be pretty interesting:


He also says that the peoples' inherent drive for enterprise and development rid China of Marxism. I think he's probably overstating the case a bit. Marxism is still around.


All that said, I think you bring up a good point. When talking about geopolitics, it's easy to focus policy and therefore assume a 'government is the driver of change' approach. The people can be easily forgotten as political agents. Policy effects or national changes occur at the interface between government policy and the population, with each involved and co-shaping the other. So I definitely agree with your point that without the hard work of the masses of Chinese people, we'd never have seen the changes in China in the past few decades.
“poverty has been/is being eradicated”

Is that what you mean? And if so, “poverty has been eradicated”?! Pardon me, as in, poverty in China is a thing of the past? Are you kidding?

Well, there's this - China has pulled the equivalent of two whole populations of the USA out of poverty.

China to mark 40th anniversary of economic miracle, reforms pulled 700M out of poverty -- Sott.net

Yes, but as I already said above, thanks to the people, despite governmental policies to suppress it, not thanks TO the CCP.

It's a romantic idea, but I think you're overstating the case that it was all bottom-up. Did Chinese policy-makers since 1989 only legislate based on fear of the people's wrath, for instance? I don't think it fits with reality. As much as I used to entertain certain anarchist self-organization ideals, I've come to see that the people are often a chaotic mass without political leadership or some form of coherent regulatory framework. In the words of Paul, the law is the child-minder, and it's there for a very good reason (here's a very good article that goes into this in detail). Government is the source of that law, like it or not. It's reasonable to assume that the overall status of any country has been a product of the government and the people in a constant state of negotiation. So I don't think we can easily say 'it's all bottom-up' in the same way that we cannot say 'it's all top-down'.

By the way, the grammar policing isn't really adding much to the conversation...
 

Chad

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I’d like to see your evidence for this.


Your grammar here is pretty poor. If you put a slash between ‘has’ and ‘is’, then the following verb (being) has to work with both ‘has’ as well as ‘is’, but the sentence “poverty has being eradicated” isn’t grammatically sound. The verb ‘to be’ has to change into ‘been’ in order for the sentence to be correct, so you really should have said:

“poverty has been/is being eradicated”

Is that what you mean? And if so, “poverty has been eradicated”?! Pardon me, as in, poverty in China is a thing of the past? Are you kidding?

Report from the World Bank:

BEIJING, April 1, 2022— Over the past 40 years, the number of people in China with incomes below $1.90 per day – the International Poverty Line as defined by the World Bank to track global extreme poverty– has fallen by close to 800 million. With this, China has contributed close to three-quarters of the global reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty. At China’s current national poverty line, the number of poor fell by 770 million over the same period.

China’s approach to poverty reduction has been based on two pillars, according to the report. The first was broad-based economic transformation to open new economic opportunities and raise average incomes. The second was the recognition that targeted support was needed to alleviate persistent poverty; support was initially provided to areas disadvantaged by geography and the lack of opportunities and later to individual households. The report points to a number of lessons for other countries from China’s experience, including the importance of a focus on education, an outward orientation, sustained public investments in infrastructure, and structural policies supportive of competition. [...]

Meanwhile in the West the number of people falling below the poverty line is rising, and life expectancy - and this is prior to the lockdowns - for the poorest has stalled or is falling:


Yes, but as I already said above, thanks to the people, despite governmental policies to suppress it, not thanks TO the CCP.



Yes, with NO motive whatsoever in:



Either you’ve succumb to an extremely simplistic narrative regarding the CCP and life on the ground in China, or everything I’ve learned from 20+ years of living, learning and studying in Taiwan has been nothing but propaganda and lies.

I am prepared for the case to be the latter and for my mind to be changed (difficult though that may be), so please let me know where you’re getting all this.

Well, please bear in mind that i'm not here to change your mind. However there is this from Harvard's Ash Center:


[...] Thus July 2020 polling data from the Ash Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government revealed 95% satisfaction with the Beijing government among Chinese citizens. Our own experiences on the ground in China confirm this. Most ordinary people we meet don’t feel that the authoritarian state is solely oppressive, although it can be that; for them it also provides opportunity. A cleaner in Chongqing now owns several apartments because the CCP reformed property laws. A Shanghai journalist is paid by her state-controlled magazine to fly around the world for stories on global lifestyle trends. A young student in Nanjing can study propulsion physics at Beijing’s Tsinghua University thanks to social mobility and the party’s significant investment in scientific research. [...]
 
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SOTTREADER

The Living Force
@Novelis appears to have some interesting points though there's a strong anti-CCP bias I presume because your wife is from Taiwan. From my reading of your recent posts, it appears you are using intellectualism to mask the underlying emotionally driven dislike of the CCP which at some level you recognise as non-logical (hence the need to compensate with intellectualism). It's the equivalent of the UK government saying it has no problems with Russians, just Putin - we know that is a lie.

You know, it's best to just say you don't like the CCP.
 
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