sp00ky's recent activity

  1. Comment on US House Speaker Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, defying Beijing in ~news

    sp00ky
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    People are finally waking up to the fact that Russia has no interest in peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world, and it’s about time that people get more serious about China. Actually it’s...

    People are finally waking up to the fact that Russia has no interest in peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world, and it’s about time that people get more serious about China. Actually it’s long overdue. Hu Jintao’s “peaceful rise” phrase was a smokescreen to distract from the CCP’s real intentions, establishing a CCP-centered hegemony at any cost. Hopefully Pelosi’s visit is part of a well thought out, coordinated plan among the U.S. and allies. This may not result in more than fist shaking from China, but someday it’s going to get really nasty.

    Don’t forget Mao’s famous thoughts about getting involved in nuclear war:

    “I’m not afraid of nuclear war. There are 2.7 billion people in the world; it doesn’t matter if some are killed. China has a population of 600 million; even if half of them are killed, there are still 300 million people left.”

    The CCP doesn’t put the same value on human life as most developed countries do. That makes the calculus of lethal escalations very different.

    16 votes
  2. Comment on Tiananmen: Hong Kong students hide tiny "democracy goddesses" on campus in ~news

    sp00ky
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    … …

    Students at a Hong Kong university this week have hid tiny figurines of a "democracy goddess" around campus in the lead-up to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    The figurines created by students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) are a copy of the "Goddess of Democracy" statue which was pulled down by university officials last December.

    The statue had been a fixture on the campus for 11 years, and was modelled after the original democracy symbol paraded by students at Tiananmen Square in 1989 before they were killed by soldiers.

    But in the end, organisers ended the activity on Thursday night as "we are afraid the university would interrupt our event".
    They said they had received word that university staff were monitoring students taking part in the hunt yesterday.

    Outside of China, diasporas around the world including in Taiwan, the UK, US, Canada and Australia have planned commemorations.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 25-26 in ~news

    sp00ky
    (edited )
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    (And… this was meant to be a private message. I’m not sure how I messed that up. Sorry!) Sorry, I was too late to reply to your question about the effectiveness of state sponsored propaganda and...

    (And… this was meant to be a private message. I’m not sure how I messed that up. Sorry!)

    Sorry, I was too late to reply to your question about the effectiveness of state sponsored propaganda and don’t want to necrobump it now. I don’t have a quantitative answer to your question. The general answer though is that dis/misinformation propaganda campaigns do have impact, as seen in Russian social media “meddling” during the US presidential election in 2016. But more generically, the level of impact will vary with the target audience’s awareness of the campaign and the audience’s posture for critical consumption of media. When these are lower, the propaganda will be more effective. I’m mainly thinking of social media, but it also applies to traditional media (TV, newspapers, etc.). If a media platform’s ownership is convinced to suppress certain topics (e.g. on human rights abuses or topics critical of authoritarianism), they can reduce common awareness and thereby mobilized responses to them.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 25-26 in ~news

    sp00ky
    Link Parent
    This is veering further away from relevance to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, of course, but I'll just point out that "Chinese state media" is far broader than branded TV stations or newspapers...

    This is veering further away from relevance to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, of course, but I'll just point out that "Chinese state media" is far broader than branded TV stations or newspapers (although yes, I believe Sloss's comments were aimed at these overt entities -- so I'm not really disagreeing with your question). China fully understands the importance of information warfare and is increasingly using it to push authoritarian, anti-liberal-democracy messages and ones that dilute or disarm any criticism of the CCP. It does this through ownership of foreign media outlets, planting CCP-trained journalists, flooding the internet with pro-China bloggers, commenters, etc. This is not new news.

    I'll quote from a past Reporters Without Borders report:

    Over the course of the last decade, China has actively sought to establish a “new
    world media order” under its control, an order in which journalists are nothing more
    than state propaganda auxiliaries. Beijing is lavishing money on modernizing its
    international TV broadcasting, investing in foreign media outlets, buying vast amounts
    of advertising in the international media, and inviting journalists from all over the
    world on all-expense-paid trips visits to China. The regime even organizes its own
    international events as an additional way of promoting its repressive vision of how
    the media should function.

    Through its embassies and its network of Chinese culture-and-language Confucius
    Institutes, China no longer hesitates to harass and intimidate in order to impose its
    “ideologically correct” vocabulary and cover up the darker chapters in its history.
    International publishing and social network giants are forced to submit to censorship
    if they want access to the Chinese market. In Southeast Asia, authoritarian regimes
    are adopting Internet control regulations based closely on Chinese legislation.

    This expansion – the scale of which is still hard to gauge – poses a direct threat
    not only to the media but also to democracies. If democracies do not resist, Chinese
    citizens will lose all hope of ever seeing press freedom in their country, and Chinese-
    style propaganda will increasingly compete with journalism as we know it outside
    China, thereby threatening the ability of citizens everywhere to freely choose their
    destiny

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 25-26 in ~news

    sp00ky
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    Chinese and Russian propaganda work in tandem to blame the West for war in Ukraine

    Chinese and Russian propaganda work in tandem to blame the West for war in Ukraine

    A new ASPI report demonstrates that in the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, social media posts by Chinese diplomats on US-owned platforms almost exclusively blamed the US, NATO and the West for the conflict. Chinese diplomats amplified Russian claims about US biological weapon labs in Ukraine and linked this disinformation narrative with conspiracy theories about the origins of Covid-19. Chinese state media mirrored these narratives while replicating the Kremlin’s language describing the invasion as a ‘special military operation’. As Western governments collectively encouraged Silicon Valley to restrict the reach of Russia’s disinformation ecosystem, China’s propaganda system quickly became an alternate vehicle for the Kremlin’s false narratives.

    For some, this situation has become untenable. Professor and former US diplomat David L. Sloss suggests that the time has come to ban both Russian and Chinese state media from US social media platforms. This position may sound extreme to some given how fundamental freedom of speech is to democracy. Yet authoritarian regimes are exploiting democratic openness in their political warfare campaigns and calibrated strategic responses must be taken to shift this calculus.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Replica of Hong Kong's 'Pillar of Shame' unveiled in Norway – artist behind the work, Jens Galschiøt, vowed that the statue's symbolism would live on in ~arts

  7. Comment on The faces from China’s Uyghur detention camps in ~life

    sp00ky
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    Thousands of photographs from the heart of China’s highly secretive system of mass incarceration in Xinjiang, as well as a shoot-to-kill policy for those who try to escape, are among a huge cache of data hacked from police computer servers in the region.

    The documents provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a policy targeting almost any expression of Uyghur identity, culture or Islamic faith - and of a chain of command running all the way up to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

    With the threat of physical force again visible in the background, this woman’s photo highlights the widespread use of “guilt by association”.

    Documents describe her son as having “strong religious leanings” because he doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke. As a result, he was jailed for 10 years on terrorism charges.

    A set of internal police protocols describes the routine use of armed officers in all areas of the camps, the positioning of machine guns and sniper rifles in the watchtowers, and the existence of a shoot-to-kill policy for those trying to escape.

    Blindfolds, handcuffs and shackles are mandatory for any “student” being transferred between facilities or even to hospital.

    They paint a picture of relentless internment in both camps and prisons, with row upon row documenting the prejudicial prying of Chinese officials sent deep into Uyghur society - backed with big data surveillance tools – to arbitrarily detain at will.

    There are countless examples of people being punished retrospectively for “crimes” that took place years or even decades ago - with one man jailed for 10 years in 2017 for having “studied Islamic scripture with his grandmother” for a few days in 2010.

    Many hundreds are shown to have been targeted for their mobile phone use - mostly for listening to “illegal lectures” or having encrypted apps installed.

    Others are punished with up to a decade in prison for not using their devices enough, with well over a hundred instances of “phone has run out of credit” being listed as a sign that the user is trying to evade the constant digital surveillance.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Microsoft reportedly censors searches for politically sensitive Chinese personalities in ~tech

    sp00ky
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    The Citizen Lab, a research lab based at the University of Toronton's Munk School, has analyzed Bing's autosuggestion system and found that names of Chinese party leaders and dissidents don't automatically show up like they usually would when you start typing. They're apparently the second largest category of names censored by autosuggest, next to names related to pornography and eroticism.

    Citizen Lab's senior research associate Jeffrey Knockel called censorship rules bleeding from one part of the world into another a "danger" when internet platforms have users around the world

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - April 29-May 1 in ~news

    sp00ky
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    One more commonality between Russia and China. Programme of ‘patriotic education’ aims to create next generation of Putin faithful …

    One more commonality between Russia and China.

    Programme of ‘patriotic education’ aims to create next generation of Putin faithful

    Young people have not only been charged with preserving the state’s version of history, they are also expected to be vigilant and denounce efforts by others to “falsify” and “diminish” Russia’s historical role in the world.

    In the longer term, patriotic education aims to establish a deep and enduring sense of patriotism, duty and love of country in the next generation of Russian citizens, along with a great deal of respect for the military as an institution. Key to this is Russia’s systematic presentation of its history to new youth groups, while cutting them off from opposing worldviews. The creation of future generations that can be easily moulded to believe the Kremlin’s messages and fulfil its agendas is an important feature of Putin’s toy soldiers.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - April 4-5 in ~news

    sp00ky
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    The Chinese government is fully aware of the scale of atrocities the Russian invaders are inflicting upon Ukraine, and they are actively suppressing their citizens’ awareness of the war and...

    The Chinese government is fully aware of the scale of atrocities the Russian invaders are inflicting upon Ukraine, and they are actively suppressing their citizens’ awareness of the war and manipulating them with a fictional authoritarian-friendly alternate reality narrative. China has the ability to put an end to this war, to this genocide, and it coldly and deliberately chooses not to. China is demonstrating to the world that it sees this level of death and destruction as acceptable in its attempt to undermine western democracies. (Sorry, the recent imagery from Ukraine has me a bit more emotional right now.)

    Bristling Against the West, China Rallies Domestic Sympathy for Russia

    9 votes
  11. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 30-31 in ~news

    sp00ky
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    China Praises Russia for Preventing Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine …

    China Praises Russia for Preventing Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

    In the meeting, Wang expressed to Lavrov that Moscow had Beijing's backing in its efforts to continue peace talks with Ukraine, saying the country "supports efforts made by Russia and other relevant parties to prevent a large-scale humanitarian crisis."

    Taiwan officials have said that China is committed to protecting Russia over fears that losing the war in Ukraine could result in the country's collapse, with Russia effectively abandoning China in its effort to present a strong front against Western countries.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 28-29 in ~news

    sp00ky
    Link Parent
    It’s certainly no secret that China is viewing Russia’s invasion as a test case for their Taiwan planning. And Taiwan is definitely hoping that Ukraine doesn’t give an inch in these “negotiations”.

    If some future dictator tries to emulate Putin

    It’s certainly no secret that China is viewing Russia’s invasion as a test case for their Taiwan planning. And Taiwan is definitely hoping that Ukraine doesn’t give an inch in these “negotiations”.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 16-17 in ~news

    sp00ky
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    Chinese carrier sails through Taiwan Strait hours before Biden-Xi call Just a few minutes from this post, Biden and Xi will discuss the Russia/Ukraine situation. This might be a very important...

    Chinese carrier sails through Taiwan Strait hours before Biden-Xi call

    Just a few minutes from this post, Biden and Xi will discuss the Russia/Ukraine situation. This might be a very important point in the war. It should at least be very telling about the geopolitical strategy China intends to pursue.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 11-13 in ~news

    sp00ky
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    War in Ukraine Needs to Be Understood in Context of New Russia-China Alliance This is a great read, a very broad synthesis of the seismic geopolitical implications of Russia's Ukraine invasion and...

    War in Ukraine Needs to Be Understood in Context of New Russia-China Alliance

    This is a great read, a very broad synthesis of the seismic geopolitical implications of Russia's Ukraine invasion and the Russia-China alliance. This critically underscores the need for solidarity among democratic nations in opposition to Russia's war.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 11-13 in ~news

    sp00ky
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    Xi Jinping Places a Bet on Russia (Sorry if you can't read this. You do get three free articles a month if you sign up for an account though.) It is no secret that China wants to replace the...

    Xi Jinping Places a Bet on Russia (Sorry if you can't read this. You do get three free articles a month if you sign up for an account though.)

    It is no secret that China wants to replace the post-WWII dominance of liberal democracy in the world order with authoritarianism. By not urging Russia to back off, and by continuing to support Russia by echoing Russian propaganda, China is showing the world the level of destruction and death it finds acceptable in this pursuit. There is not enough emphasis on the broader implications of this war. If Russia is allowed to win, both Russia and China will begin taking far more aggressive steps to expand their authoritarian (even fascist, Russia?) ideology.

    Neither Russia nor China expected the solidarity NATO countries would summon in response to the invasion of Ukraine, but both are still betting that this resolve will dissipate. This cannot happen. This war is not just about Russia taking back former Soviet territories. This is about an expanding and emboldened authoritarian alliance that is willing to take extreme military actions to extinguish democracy. People are now saying "we should have known Putin would do this"; but guess what, China is just waiting for its own turn. The most important thing we can do now is to keep the spotlight on this threat and strengthen solidarity of people opposing it.

    9 votes
  16. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 9-10 in ~news

  17. Comment on Daily megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 2 in ~news