20 votes

Do we really want a new Cold War with China? Corporate media is laying the ideological groundwork for a new cold war with China, presenting the nation as a hostile power that needs to be kept in check

55 comments

  1. [18]
    NaraVara
    Link
    This article seems a little too willing to gloss over actual issues with Chinese hegemony in the South Pacific to my liking. This is a general pattern with many critiques of US imperialism where...
    • Exemplary

    This article seems a little too willing to gloss over actual issues with Chinese hegemony in the South Pacific to my liking.

    This is a general pattern with many critiques of US imperialism where there seems to be an underlying assumption that because American imperialism is bad, any state of affairs that leads to less imperialism is good. The natural consequence of this bias is that they end up carrying water for a lot of really awful regimes, like Russia and China, and gloss over or minimize the egregious human rights abuses those governments perpetrate at home and abroad.

    It is absolutely fair to characterize China as a predatory nation. If you think the US Monroe Doctrine led to extremely unjust conduct towards Latin America, you should not be okay with China trying to enforce the South China Sea as “their” back yard. You should definitely not be characterizing US presence in the region at the behest of allies as “aggression” against China. The whole reason China doesn’t want us there is because they want to have a freer hand at being aggressive towards Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, etc. Without us to balance all those sovereign nations would be over a barrel. This is “aggression” in the same way that insisting on human rights for LGBT people is an “infringement on religious freedom.”

    The solution to the problem of American imperialism is strong, collaborative, international institutions with a firm commitment to democratic governance and securing fundamental human rights for individuals. It is, emphatically, not a multi-polar world where small nations become battlefields for proxy wars between upstart imperialist powers, like China and Russia.

    On the hierarchy of world orders, I rank US hegemony below strong international institutions and global cooperation, but well above a multipolar free-for-all between regional great powers. That latter scenario is a recipe for a race to the bottom in everything I care about: Human rights, (ir)religious freedom, workplace democracy, environmental protection, guarantees of a dignified standard of living, nuclear disarmament, no war. . .

    47 votes
    1. [17]
      nacho
      Link Parent
      It's a huge shame. Just like the US conservative press glosses over Israel's less than morally sound policies in certain areas, the left-wing US media does the same with socialist countries and to...

      This article seems a little too willing to gloss over actual issues with Chinese hegemony in the South Pacific to my liking.

      It's a huge shame. Just like the US conservative press glosses over Israel's less than morally sound policies in certain areas, the left-wing US media does the same with socialist countries and to an extent social democracies (like the ones in Scandinavia).

      With "the other side" being partisan media, that's giving up being part of the media of record. There must be a calculus to it, but I don't see how the math adds up. Being "on a team" and party press fell out of fashion many places with TV news outside of the largest countries because by being partisan, you'd alienate too many viewers.

      9 votes
      1. [16]
        ohyran
        Link Parent
        Trust me, we all wish you would exclude us an example in your political debates... o.O good OR bad, its exhausting being either "Heaven on Earth" or "Hell on Earth" depending on how the US...

        and to an extent social democracies (like the ones in Scandinavia)

        Trust me, we all wish you would exclude us an example in your political debates... o.O good OR bad, its exhausting being either "Heaven on Earth" or "Hell on Earth" depending on how the US political winds turn for the week. If someone in the US political or media landscape would say "Oh Scandinavia? I heard some things where shit there, others where great - but mostly it was so-so!" I would buy that person a beer.

        6 votes
        1. [15]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          If you think Scandanavia has it bad, you should see what they're saying about London and Paris. Our Right Wing media here is convinced that wide swathes of these cities are under the iron-fisted...

          If you think Scandanavia has it bad, you should see what they're saying about London and Paris. Our Right Wing media here is convinced that wide swathes of these cities are under the iron-fisted rule of Islamic warlords and innocent White girls are routinely kidnapped off the streets and groomed into being wives for ISIS soldiers.

          9 votes
          1. [14]
            ohyran
            Link Parent
            I live in one of the areas the US right wing defined as "A No-Go Zone" (where no police ever went, abandoned like Escape from NY style wastelands). This prompted a person asking if I wore...

            I live in one of the areas the US right wing defined as "A No-Go Zone" (where no police ever went, abandoned like Escape from NY style wastelands). This prompted a person asking if I wore protective gear when going outside, who also worried that a local conference would be a bad idea since if he flew over, he would be killed. The fact that the cozy middle class area I live in isn't exactly dangerous (unless you're some sort of exotic plant in which case a self-styled interior decorator guru may try to smoke you) - was impossible to convey. It had been on the news after all

            Not to mention the people who claim that I also live in magical fairy realm with no worries or problems. Candy, gold and kisses fall from the sky as everyone hug tightly and dance off under the rainbow.
            (THAT have made it hard to complain about local issues to people of another political bent in the US who feel angered that I, who obviously live in the perfect utopia, should dare complain at all)

            7 votes
            1. [8]
              vektor
              Link Parent
              To be fair, I think the US could improve a lot for 50-90% if it's citizens if it were to adopt some of swedish/german policy. Doesn't mean we got nothing to complain about (german here,...

              To be fair, I think the US could improve a lot for 50-90% if it's citizens if it were to adopt some of swedish/german policy. Doesn't mean we got nothing to complain about (german here, complaining is a national pastime), but honestly, sometimes I actually feel like I live in magical fairy realm when I look at the US.

              I can see where they're coming from. And I can appreciate that it's hard for them to appreciate that there's still stuff to bitch and moan about, when we have what they want.

              3 votes
              1. [7]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                It is interesting to me that our political media keeps pointing at Sweden and Denmark for healthcare, even though the German model is probably much more realistic to port over successfully with...

                It is interesting to me that our political media keeps pointing at Sweden and Denmark for healthcare, even though the German model is probably much more realistic to port over successfully with the government and bureaucracy we have. (Although it would be much harder to sell since it's more complicated).

                2 votes
                1. [6]
                  vektor
                  Link Parent
                  German healthcare's got biiig pitfalls. You would probably wanna do some low-cost optimizations if you're porting it. There's a huge amount of lock-in into private-sector healthcare. Deliberately...

                  German healthcare's got biiig pitfalls. You would probably wanna do some low-cost optimizations if you're porting it. There's a huge amount of lock-in into private-sector healthcare. Deliberately so, because it's the egotistical way. But that can happen accidentally and that can be really ugly. It should be mandatory for everyone to pay for public-sector healthcare, so we can assure funding for it and ensure everyone can go back to it when they want. The private sector ones should be for additional insurances only. (more coverage, better treatment, etc).

                  There's also extensive govt involvement in the healthcare industry too (as opposed to the insurance industry) - and I doubt that would survive a single term of deliberate GOP mismanagement.

                  3 votes
                  1. [5]
                    NaraVara
                    Link Parent
                    Laughs in American (Sorry, I had to). This is a bug, but it's also one of the big reasons I think it's more sellable to the American public. The health insurance industry employs more than half a...

                    There's a huge amount of lock-in into private-sector healthcare.

                    Laughs in American (Sorry, I had to). This is a bug, but it's also one of the big reasons I think it's more sellable to the American public. The health insurance industry employs more than half a million people collectively, and they all vote!

                    survive a single term of deliberate GOP mismanagement.

                    I am a little torn on this. On the one hand, I think it's bad when mismanagement causes people to get hurt or killed. On the other hand, I wonder if people being forced to live (or not) with the consequences of chronically electing idiots might make them, you know, stop electing idiots.

                    3 votes
                    1. [4]
                      MimicSquid
                      Link Parent
                      If that was going to happen, it already would have.

                      If that was going to happen, it already would have.

                      1 vote
                      1. [3]
                        NaraVara
                        Link Parent
                        Couldn't you say that about literally anything that hasn't happened yet?

                        Couldn't you say that about literally anything that hasn't happened yet?

                        1. [2]
                          MimicSquid
                          Link Parent
                          Yes, but in this particular case, we can show that whole human lifespans have passed with the consequences of chronically electing idiots not leading people to stop electing idiots. As such,...

                          Yes, but in this particular case, we can show that whole human lifespans have passed with the consequences of chronically electing idiots not leading people to stop electing idiots. As such, suffering alone has been shown to not have the desired effect.

                          1. NaraVara
                            Link Parent
                            The insulation of legislators from the consequences of bad policy goes up and down over time. Once upon a time, having a safe seat meant consistently delivering pork or other goods to your...

                            The insulation of legislators from the consequences of bad policy goes up and down over time. Once upon a time, having a safe seat meant consistently delivering pork or other goods to your district. They get away with far less than the used to now, and the pork goes to cronies more than the district as a whole.

                            1 vote
            2. [5]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              Look on the bright side. If you were Indian it would revolve entirely around: 1.) Do you do yoga? 2.) Why are you casteist? 3.) Can I come to your wedding even though we don't know each other? I...

              Look on the bright side. If you were Indian it would revolve entirely around:

              1.) Do you do yoga?
              2.) Why are you casteist?
              3.) Can I come to your wedding even though we don't know each other? I heard Indian weddings are amazing.
              4.) Something something curry

              2 votes
              1. [4]
                ohyran
                Link Parent
                Sorry for late reply, I didn't know what to reply to this because - to be totally honest I thought you where kinda overreacting. I know plenty of Indian-Swedes and neither of those (except the...

                Sorry for late reply, I didn't know what to reply to this because - to be totally honest I thought you where kinda overreacting. I know plenty of Indian-Swedes and neither of those (except the curry bit) feels even remotely like something anyone would say to them, they have said people say to them or I say to them/or think about them - not because "I am such a perfect being" or something, just because I don't associate them and their "indianess" with that (I got plenty of other things though... sooo)

                (tbh I know ONE dude who lives in India who told me about a wedding like that, but I thought it was just because his parents where loaded and insanely posh (horse riding, days and fancy dress and shit) and wanted to splurge out on their oldest daughters wedding, and sort of like a Swedish friend who's upperclass here who got married in the royal church, all tuxidos etc - it was just not about an ethnic/national/religious identity)

                So I just liked and rolled on...

                BUT so I was doing laundry and listening to this US podcast and the guest is Indian-American and the hosts go jammering on about weddings, and how fun it would be, and that they would love to go to one and then talk about casts AND arranged marriages... and I remembered this post and thought "Ooooooh now I see it" :D
                Who the hell asks to go to an almost-strangers wedding like it was some sort of museum?

                Hence a late reply <3

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  NaraVara
                  Link Parent
                  Oh yeah. Americans are bad at it. One time, when I was a contractor for hire, one of the clients just decided to randomly start pontificating about why there are so many Indians in IT and he...

                  BUT so I was doing laundry and listening to this US podcast and the guest is Indian-American and the hosts go jammering on about weddings, and how fun it would be, and that they would love to go to one and then talk about casts AND arranged marriages... and I remembered this post and thought "Ooooooh now I see it" :D
                  Who the hell asks to go to an almost-strangers wedding like it was some sort of museum?

                  Oh yeah. Americans are bad at it. One time, when I was a contractor for hire, one of the clients just decided to randomly start pontificating about why there are so many Indians in IT and he speculated that since computers are new it was a way to escape the caste system. Now this conclusion is so dumb and so profoundly fails to understand literally every subject it talks about that I was tempted to chime in, but this was a client so I just ignored it.

                  Then the guy decides to test his theory by being like "Hey you! What caste are you? Probably pretty low huh?" I gave him a pointed look, didn't answer, and went back to my work. Then he proceeds to talk to the person sitting next to me (who is also just trying to mind his own business) and speculates "Oh I guess he must be adopted or something or otherwise he would know."

                  Like. . .dude. . . what the fuck!? In any case I reported him to his manager. He was a federal govt. employee and I was a mere contractor though, so nothing happened but he did stop bugging me after that.

                  6 votes
                  1. ohyran
                    Link Parent
                    Hahaha omg 😀 when racism is so blatant it turns in to dark comedy or something. What a penis! Hope you don’t run into more of those <3

                    Hahaha omg 😀 when racism is so blatant it turns in to dark comedy or something.
                    What a penis!

                    Hope you don’t run into more of those <3

                    4 votes
                  2. cfabbro
                    Link Parent
                    Not much of substance to add, but your comment made me cringe so hard. I would be so incredibly uncomfortable if I observed someone behave as that coworker did to you. Sorry you had to experience...

                    Not much of substance to add, but your comment made me cringe so hard. I would be so incredibly uncomfortable if I observed someone behave as that coworker did to you. Sorry you had to experience that. :(

                    2 votes
  2. [4]
    BuckeyeSundae
    Link
    Official statistics aside, which will necessarily under-report China's stats (because they try their best to obscure many of the Chinese state's most sensitive secrets), it's striking to me just...

    Official statistics aside, which will necessarily under-report China's stats (because they try their best to obscure many of the Chinese state's most sensitive secrets), it's striking to me just how little imagination observers have when it comes to describing emerging dynamics in the world. We seem forever bound in the rhetoric of the immediate past.

    Simply put, the US and China will not be in a "Cold War" style conflict, where both support proxy wars across the globe in an attempt to win more allies and add more chips to their respective boards. The world has changed since that famous dynamic with Russia existed. No, the shape the new conflicts will be taking are all about information security, disinformation campaigns, and intellectual property theft. These conflicts turning digital in a way few want to acknowledge, because digital systems support the increasing complex military capabilities of modern armed forces, because digital infrastructure underpins the core societal functions of a nation from banking, to taxes, to spreading news and increasingly shopping and work. These are priors in modern nations, btw. It's not necessarily only a China and US thing. This is the shape conflicts are starting to take, as we saw in 2016 with Russia's visible foray into disinformation campaigns.

    I mean, real talk, there's a reason that the internet in China is so tightly controlled. The Chinese government sees the internet (and globalization generally) as a threat vector and have acted for years to limit the extent of the threat while trying to get the benefits of not saying no entirely. And they're not entirely wrong to take that approach. Just look at the little nuggets of allegations coming from Iran and North Korea about what the US is doing to get a sense of how this is playing out between non-warring adversaries. But that tight control over the flow of digital information also amplifies American concerns about the Chinese government's willingness to trample over its own citizens' rights with little more justification than "for the good of the state."

    Moving forward the non-war conflicts will be primarily digital and aimed at disruption of infrastructure or the target nation's legitimacy. It won't be a cold war in any meaningful sense as it applied to the 40-some years after WWII. In one sense, it's going to be more a reversion to tactics from the first world war: the more you can drive a wedge between a people and their government, the less of a threat that government is likely to be to you, the power with the means and interest in pursuing this strategy.

    19 votes
    1. [3]
      onyxleopard
      Link Parent
      I think you’re correct in highlighting the difference between current affairs and the US-Soviet Cold War. There is an issue, however, that has to do with linguistic nomenclature. If you reject the...

      I think you’re correct in highlighting the difference between current affairs and the US-Soviet Cold War. There is an issue, however, that has to do with linguistic nomenclature. If you reject the semantic drift of the term “Cold War”, then I feel like we have a lexical gap that demands a pithy name to encapsulate this new kind of indirect, adversarial, inter-state relationship. Maybe “Cyber War” would be preferable? I haven’t seen this term used in reference to the US-China relationship very much. I don’t see the new sense of the term “Cold War” as all that problematic—the main benefit of this terminology is to distinguish from “Hot” wars. It’s really quite difficult to derive good names to refer to highly complex and massive events like this that span over large geographic and temporal domains. And, without the benefit of hindsight, it can be difficult to even determine their scope and defining characteristics.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        BuckeyeSundae
        Link Parent
        I totally agree that it is difficult to characterize the dynamic now with the terms people seem currently most like to use. One of the biggest problems is with the term "war." We are simply not...

        I totally agree that it is difficult to characterize the dynamic now with the terms people seem currently most like to use. One of the biggest problems is with the term "war." We are simply not very good at coming up with terms to describe non-war conflicts. We want everything to be a war, even when it's not. The cold war itself included many actual wars so it usually gets a pass despite not itself being a war. One of the defining characteristics of a war is discrete, specific objectives. Another: physical violence. The era we're entering does not have much of either of those. It contains vague objectives of disinformation, instability, and state sponsored propaganda. It will be more "I wonder what damage I can do with this official's credentials" and less "I am going to target the servers containing information created by the secretary of defense to steal documents involving national secrets and diplomatic strategy." It will also include a lot less direct death (except via assassination).

        The lexicon hasn't caught up to the reality of what's happening, and that's probably a fair reason for why we always end up stuck in the rhetoric of the immediate past. But like, any student of the revolutions of the 1800s notices that just about everyone is talking about the French Revolution of the late 1700s when talking about how to proceed, clear up until and including the Russian revolution. Politicians in the run up to World War II were caught reacting to the world order that had caused the first world war. Those after the second, determined not to repeat the "mistakes" they perceived from the first's resolution.

        When people say that history repeats itself, what they really should be saying is that history rhymes, and one of the reasons it rhymes is because it's really quite hard to learn the patterns that drive these events and react to them before they come to a boiling point. China and the US are on an avoidable collision course. And not just them. Nationalism has seen a resurgence across the globe in a way that few have really grappled with in a meaningful way. What are those driving factors? What has driven people to retreat in the way that they have, when they have? These are the big questions that if you can get ahead of them, and if you can convince other people of the right view, you can improve the lives of billions of people. But that's the trick. Humanity is generally terrible at predicting, especially from priors. One of those reasons is they're generally looking to the wrong priors: those more immediately accessible, and whose narratives they can more easily recount.

        3 votes
        1. onyxleopard
          Link Parent
          I’m not sure I agree that the term of “war” is misapplied here. I consider information warfare to be an apt characterization of the activities carried out by entities like China’s Ministry of...

          I’m not sure I agree that the term of “war” is misapplied here. I consider information warfare to be an apt characterization of the activities carried out by entities like China’s Ministry of State Security, People’s Liberation Army, the United States National Security Agency, US Cyber Command, Russia’s Internet Research Agency, Israeli Defense Force, the European Agency for Cybersecurity etc. These are state-sanctioned entities—sometimes existing within larger military organizations—with the objectives of defending against and attacking adversaries via information warfare. Their aims are not all the same, but they conduct operations in similar manners.

          2 votes
  3. [13]
    Grzmot
    Link
    (short comment, am on mobile) So, I mostly disagree with this article. The fact is, the idea that interaction especially over the Internet will somehow fix China and cause its people to rise and...

    (short comment, am on mobile)

    So, I mostly disagree with this article. The fact is, the idea that interaction especially over the Internet will somehow fix China and cause its people to rise and topple the CCP has failed. And the fact is, China is getting more aggressive. They've taken the Western playbook of soft power and applied it masterfully themselves; taking control of various organization like the WHO and some international Internet organizations to flex their muscles. They've actively suppressed Honk Kong, attempting to fully integrate it into the Chinese system with force even though all they had to do was wait 20 years, a miniscule amount when it comes to waiting as a country. They've been bullying Taiwan and most countries have silently watched. And I'm not even starting about Tibet and the ongoing genocide.

    The CCP has been pursuing the position of the supposed global Nr 1 pretty hard and COVID has just shown this again. Chinese state media sold the story of China effectively and efficiently replying to the outbreak in Wuhan and then graciously rushing to help everyone else with free* aid.

    So cooperation is probably not going to lead to a regime change towards democracy, as China has built the most successful surveillance system in the world and we can't reliably interact with Chinese mainlanders without Chinese authorities vetting everything. The only reason we still bother is because of Chinas unique position as a hardware supplier and the expertise present in the Shenzen cluster. Our consumerism is actively fueling an oppressive regime. However, especially COVID19 has pushed China back into the spotlight, and politicians are trying to capitalize on it.

    The author tries to position the US as not being in the right in this conflict because they've got military everywhere and China doesn't. But in most cases, the military is there because the countries hosting camps have agreed to it due to geopolitics. Just as Germany has established itself as an engineering powerhouse, one of the main exports of the US is its military. It's not like the US has invaded the entire planet, although they've invaded a fuck ton of countries.
    Besides, just because media companies are banking on current fears does not mean that we have another Cold War on our hands, because the West and China are economically very tightly bound. And China cannot win a war with the US, so calling for pulling out production out of the country doesn't mean a step towards war, because that's what China relies on for power.
    The fact that articles like this fuel racism though sucks though.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      To be fair. Our consumerism actively fuels all the oppressive regimes, including organized crime. Usually it’s been drugs or natural resources because one country having the kind of production...

      Our consumerism is actively fueling an oppressive regime.

      To be fair. Our consumerism actively fuels all the oppressive regimes, including organized crime.
      Usually it’s been drugs or natural resources because one country having the kind of production monopoly on finished goods it would take to actually finance an oppressive government would have been impossible until the modern era of globalization.

      10 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I think it's less about buying stuff and more about unwillingness or difficulty policing the supply chain. Also that it's unreasonable for ordinary shoppers to do most of the policing, as they are...

        I think it's less about buying stuff and more about unwillingness or difficulty policing the supply chain. Also that it's unreasonable for ordinary shoppers to do most of the policing, as they are too far removed from what's going on. This requires cooperation and standards-setting within the supply chain and probably government regulation.

        Here's a simple example from electronics. It's a European standard that you can't use solder that has lead in it. (Among other things. This is called RoHS compliance.)

        Therefore, electronics parts distributors have a checkbox item for parts that meet this standard. Manufacturers who care about selling stuff in Europe (most of them) will shop for these items. It's only one attribute in a very long list.

        I don't think a consumer buying a product online should have to think about what kind of solder is being used in their TV. I'm not sure that a small manufacturer of electronics should have to worry about whether that checkbox on the distributor's website is accurate, either? They would be wise to double-check it, but you can't test everything.

        And that's just one tiny thing. Modern manufacturing is a big, complicated system. It needs to work. There needs to be inspection going on at all levels. Some people will lie and cheat. (Chinese manufacturers are notorious for this, but it happens everywhere to some extent.)

        All systems can be improved and any system is going to need to guard against cheating and corruption. I think it's a bit much to identify the system as the exploiter though? It's sort of like confusing an animal with its parasites. Yes, the calories you eat fuels them too, but it's not like you want them.

        We probably do need to think ecologically to fix it, though.

        6 votes
    2. [5]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I feel like wariness about China "soft power" has an unfortunate side effect of getting in the way of international assistance. When they want to send supplies to help other countries, we should...

      I feel like wariness about China "soft power" has an unfortunate side effect of getting in the way of international assistance. When they want to send supplies to help other countries, we should not only let them, we should encourage it. And saying something nice about humanitarian assistance is fine, it doesn't mean you have to consider yourself obligated or hypocritical when you also oppose the bad stuff.

      But I don't know what's happening with the WHO so I'd be interested in reading any links you might have.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        Grzmot
        Link Parent
        I can very much recommend this book which goes into detail how China has in the last two decades established its digital foothold in the world. It also goes into great detail on the culture behind...

        I can very much recommend this book which goes into detail how China has in the last two decades established its digital foothold in the world. It also goes into great detail on the culture behind it and how China as been lobbying for it's system outside of its borders using international organizations. While it mostly talks about international orgs regarding the internet, the WHO is briefly touched upon.

        I feel like wariness about China "soft power" has an unfortunate side effect of getting in the way of international assistance. When they want to send supplies to help other countries, we should not only let them, we should encourage it.

        While true, China has done this and then actively capitalized on it by claiming how badly everyone else is handling the pandemic and how democracy is to blame.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          What do you mean by "actively capitalized?" Is this more than talk?

          What do you mean by "actively capitalized?" Is this more than talk?

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Grzmot
            Link Parent
            To me propaganda is active capitalization.

            To me propaganda is active capitalization.

            1 vote
            1. skybrian
              Link Parent
              Yeah, okay. I doubt it's very effective propaganda so it seems better to encourage humanitarian assistance than discourage it.

              Yeah, okay. I doubt it's very effective propaganda so it seems better to encourage humanitarian assistance than discourage it.

              2 votes
    3. [5]
      est
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      There was never such an effort. Pushing ideology like "democracy" on Chinese Interweb is futile because it's not a native concept. It's like advocating the Chinese ideology of 仁 to western...

      The fact is, the idea that interaction especially over the Internet will somehow fix China and cause its people to rise and topple the CCP has failed

      There was never such an effort.

      Pushing ideology like "democracy" on Chinese Interweb is futile because it's not a native concept. It's like advocating the Chinese ideology of to western audience, it will never took off.

      The western media don't even bother translate their articles properly in simplified Chinese. The "overthrow CCP" agenda is laughably obvious to any reader with half a brain. It's like reading cringeworthy tweets from Chinese wumao tweets.

      The "interaction over the Internet" job never failed, it was never a thing, and often looked over.

      However, Chinese geeks on reddit did pull something off, together they successfully turned down a censorship spyware. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Dam_Youth_Escort It happened a decade ago.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        scissortail
        Link Parent
        While I agree with you that trying to push democracy onto China through the Internet is mostly futile, I don't agree that democracy is incompatible with the culture--just look at Taiwan.

        Pushing ideology like "democracy" on Chinese Interweb is futile because it's not a native concept. It's like advocating the Chinese ideology of 仁 to western audience, it will never took off.

        While I agree with you that trying to push democracy onto China through the Internet is mostly futile, I don't agree that democracy is incompatible with the culture--just look at Taiwan.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          est
          Link Parent
          Taiwan's democracy was introduced by Chiang's dictator son Chiang Ching-kuo in the 80s, by force. An authoritarian ruling party can force any ideology upon its population. In mainland china the...

          democracy is incompatible with the culture--just look at Taiwan.

          Taiwan's democracy was introduced by Chiang's dictator son Chiang Ching-kuo in the 80s, by force. An authoritarian ruling party can force any ideology upon its population. In mainland china the term "democracy" already has a bad rep.

          Also Chinese culture without democracy can flourish very well -- just look at Singapore. Deng's open & reform is basically a copycat of Singapore mode.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            scissortail
            Link Parent
            Not that you disallowed for this possibility in your post, but Communism (or its Mao-flavored perversion) was introduced to China by force, as well. Neither is more of a 'native concept' to...

            Not that you disallowed for this possibility in your post, but Communism (or its Mao-flavored perversion) was introduced to China by force, as well. Neither is more of a 'native concept' to Chinese culture than the other imo.

            Haven't done much reading on the Singaporean model, but I don't have any reason to doubt you there either.

            2 votes
            1. est
              Link Parent
              Communism is indeed an alien concept, that's why millions were starved to death when Mao tried to push "People's Commune" during great leap forward, however, today's authoritarian China was has a...

              Neither is more of a 'native concept' to Chinese culture than the other imo.

              Communism is indeed an alien concept, that's why millions were starved to death when Mao tried to push "People's Commune" during great leap forward, however, today's authoritarian China was has a strong tradition trait since ancient emperors unified the middle kingdom and centralized power 2.2k years ago.

              2 votes
  4. [11]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    (Admittedly I will sound like a neoconservative here.) Do we not want to oppose the most effective surveillance state in all of history which wants to assert itself at the top of the world by...

    (Admittedly I will sound like a neoconservative here.)

    Do we not want to oppose the most effective surveillance state in all of history which wants to assert itself at the top of the world by indebting nations and exploiting neoliberal capitalism? The US is a terrible nation and needs massive reform but at least it's still open to change without revolution or mass protest. The US should go to Africa to compete with China and attempt to bolster (ideally more mutually beneficent) relationships with Latin America and South East Asia. Main problem is dealing with their conservatives.

    8 votes
    1. [10]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      It isn't. The US government, however, is inefficient at the best of times when it comes to international politics, and atrocious at worst. I feel like making this distinction because it's one...

      The US is a terrible nation

      It isn't. The US government, however, is inefficient at the best of times when it comes to international politics, and atrocious at worst.

      I feel like making this distinction because it's one worth making: the country is not the people is not the government is not the nation.

      9 votes
      1. [9]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        The US is a democracy so the 2 are in some level linked, like it or not. Also to be honest in many ways the US seems to be more similar to a Latin American country like Brazil than...

        The people are not the government

        The US is a democracy so the 2 are in some level linked, like it or not. Also to be honest in many ways the US seems to be more similar to a Latin American country like Brazil than Northern/Western Europe (religious lunatics/extremists, comically high levels of inequality, defunded and terrible public services or really expensive private ones, private financing of political campaigns [although here at least the US requires companies/PACs to disclose their donations, which is probably the only thing holding the US populace back from complete apathy and the only thing that allows progressives to say they can fix corruption])

        As for international politics I think the goal of the US should be to 'Marshall' these countries out of poverty/the middle-income trap like how China did to themselves.

        3 votes
        1. [8]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Only one of these can be right at any given time. Is Russia a democracy, or is it more like Latin America? (religious zealots, comically-high levels of inequality...) Can't call it a democracy to...

          The US is a democracy so the 2 are in some level linked, like it or not. Also to be honest in many ways the US seems to be more similar to a Latin American country like Brazil than Northern/Western Europe

          Only one of these can be right at any given time.

          Is Russia a democracy, or is it more like Latin America? (religious zealots, comically-high levels of inequality...)

          Can't call it a democracy to justify "government == people" and then brush it off with "but actually...".

          3 votes
          1. [7]
            Kuromantis
            Link Parent
            More like Latin America, because of the latter factors. The main difference is that your government isn't a democracy, so your government has no reason to listen to you (and often uses state-owned...

            Is Russia a democracy, or is it more like Latin America? (religious zealots, comically-high levels of inequality...)

            More like Latin America, because of the latter factors. The main difference is that your government isn't a democracy, so your government has no reason to listen to you (and often uses state-owned media to make you listen to them) and pursues it's own goals (geopolitical goals mostly, like wrecking US democracy, however clumsy may it be)

            Can't call it a democracy to justify "government == people"

            Over here in Brazil our right-wing populist won by a 11-point margin and in the first turn of our elections he got 46% of the vote (nearly 50 million people) and polling indicated 20% of the population was with him a year before the election, meaning a large share of the population is to blame for our president.

            And then brush it off with "but actually...".

            Those things compound eachother, not overwrite themselves. Religious lunatics/extremists strengthen beliefs which are non-existent in western Europe (the Conservative party supports LGBT marriage for example) comically high levels of inequality make a climate conducive for anti-elitism which while not wrong/bad by default often results in scapegoating (anti-intelectualism being a good example of this), defunded and terrible public services or really expensive private ones make for uneducated or indebted populations, also fueling populism and making them more likely to cope with stuff like religion and fall for lies, private financing of political campaigns means that the candidates get their money from corporations, thus narrowing the political debate and pushing it to the economic right and legitimizing the feeling noone represents you politically.

            3 votes
            1. [6]
              ThatFanficGuy
              Link Parent
              I'm not sure how much agency you can assign to a populace that's being actively manipulated by those who are, or seek to be, in power. Fear, worry, intolerance, and xenophobia are not natural...

              I'm not sure how much agency you can assign to a populace that's being actively manipulated by those who are, or seek to be, in power. Fear, worry, intolerance, and xenophobia are not natural human traits to the extent where the majority of population would prefer to treat those who differ from them like genetic garbage.

              The US is different from your regular-case dictatorship-pretending-to-be-democracy because the beliefs that rule a large portion of the population have been fostered there for decades, almost a century, ever since the Republican party started to appeal to Deep South in order to win votes. Naturally, they did so by appealing to the values common in the territory – racism, anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, and religious and other conservatism...

              So...

              The main difference is that your government isn't a democracy, so your government has no reason to listen to you

              I'm not sure the same doesn't apply to the US. When the country's people have become so accustomed to being discounted, manipulated, and treated as simply a pair of working hands – when people of certain skin color have to face discrimination by parts of the government to this day – is that really a democracy? Is that really representative?

              I'm not sure holding the US to a higher standard than other countries because of its boisterous behavior is allowed anymore. You've been following Trump's disaster of a presidency, I'm sure. You've probably learned a few things about the way Roger Ailes and his propaganda machine for the Republican party have done to the country's collective mental state.

              Does this sound like a democratic machine in full working order to you?

              2 votes
              1. [5]
                Kuromantis
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Yes, that's the original part of my comment, the part where "The US is a terrible nation (admittedly government and media primarily, as you have reinforced) and needs massive reform". Problem is,...

                Is the US really a democracy? Is that really representative?

                Does this sound like a democratic machine in full working order to you?

                Yes, that's the original part of my comment, the part where "The US is a terrible nation (admittedly government and media primarily, as you have reinforced) and needs massive reform".

                Problem is, there is no democratic alternative/replacement/successor to the US in a global scale and short to medium term. Latin America has a long way to go to become a developed region (and Brazil is the only country large/populous enough to actually be a world power on its own if it were to become developed), South and South East Asia are leaning towards China, by force or trade and India is already on its way to becoming a Hindu Pakistan and Africa is being even more intensely swayed by China (and none of these nations are any closer to becoming developed) and Europe already was a part of the US umbrella when the Cold War began. (And using the term Western Europe implies unity and cohesion in the subcontinent which if defined as 'Germany, France, Benelux, Switzerland and Scandinavia' is already debatable.)

                1 vote
                1. [4]
                  ThatFanficGuy
                  Link Parent
                  Very well. You're pulling your own line here, and I have no time or reason to do the opposite. I've stated my discontent with your phrasing in the first comment, and I stand by it for the same...

                  Very well. You're pulling your own line here, and I have no time or reason to do the opposite. I've stated my discontent with your phrasing in the first comment, and I stand by it for the same reasons.

                  1. [3]
                    Kuromantis
                    Link Parent
                    What does this mean? Admittedly I go back and recursively edit my comments a lot.

                    You're pulling your own line here

                    What does this mean? Admittedly I go back and recursively edit my comments a lot.

                    1. [2]
                      ThatFanficGuy
                      Link Parent
                      This means that I think you're standing your ground too much, which prevents you from hearing what the other person – me, in this case – is saying. I raised a point that you ignored in favor of...

                      This means that I think you're standing your ground too much, which prevents you from hearing what the other person – me, in this case – is saying. I raised a point that you ignored in favor of your own.

                      3 votes
                      1. Kuromantis
                        (edited )
                        Link Parent
                        .......yeah. In that case, I guess I will amend (and admittedly terribly hyperbolize) my statement if you still care:

                        .......yeah. In that case, I guess I will amend (and admittedly terribly hyperbolize) my statement if you still care:

                        The US is a terrible country to live in, the people are indebted in debts that cannot be paid in less than dedcade or in some cases a lifetime, death can be preferable preferable to a surgery to the poor and healthcare is so expensive Americans near the mexican border cross it to get ther teeth fixed, young people are forced to work for stagnant wages while cost of living increases and if they're black, are much more likely to do so from jail as the owners of this property take the profit and caste-ify the system which is shutting itself off from the people beacuse of it's long term unsustainabilty in a democratic setting without universal indoctrination which was used until inviability.

  5. tempestoftruth
    Link
    Articles like these are often read as arguing that both the United States and China are "the same." I believe what this piece wants to highlight is the hypocrisy of politicians in the United...

    Articles like these are often read as arguing that both the United States and China are "the same." I believe what this piece wants to highlight is the hypocrisy of politicians in the United States when communicating to their constituents about foreign policy, specifically the ways in which politicians use racialized rhetoric to justify military expansion, aggression, and trade wars. These are outcomes which enrich arms companies and bribed politicians and impoverish and/or lead to the deaths of regular people. It's a shame that individuals who are aware of how our politicians employ this strategy, and voice their concerns about the racialization of Asian people and the prioritization of profits over the lives of innocent people, are painted as pro-CCP sympathizers who are unable to distinguish the tangible differences between governance in China and the United States.

    4 votes
  6. [6]
    skybrian
    Link
    It seems weird to blame it on the media when the Trump administration is pushing this hard and US opposition to China goes way back. While at times things have been more pro-trade in hopes that it...

    It seems weird to blame it on the media when the Trump administration is pushing this hard and US opposition to China goes way back. While at times things have been more pro-trade in hopes that it will loosen things up, it's not like the US ever wavered in supporting Taiwan, for example.

    One part that's new is increased caution about depending on Chinese manufacturing for electronics.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      tempestoftruth
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It's fair to say there's a relationship between the media and the government pushing this topic so hard, a bit similar to the way the media amplified narratives about Iraq having weapons of mass...

      It's fair to say there's a relationship between the media and the government pushing this topic so hard, a bit similar to the way the media amplified narratives about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction by chasing after "the scoop" without stopping to question whether or not what they were reporting was actually true. There's also something to be said about corporations possibly having business interests in trade war with China, so the media outlets they also own adapt to that message.

      7 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I think it's more basic than that. Reporters do sometimes report on what international policy wonks are thinking, because foreign policy is interesting. They don't necessarily have a lot of China...

        I think it's more basic than that. Reporters do sometimes report on what international policy wonks are thinking, because foreign policy is interesting. They don't necessarily have a lot of China experience, and anyway this is a big hairy topic that even academics can spend decades studying. Like, even Chinese people don't know about most of China, any more than someone who lives in Paris can be said to know Europe, or even Paris. There is too much.

        So influence happens at the level of broad ideas, among the half-informed. Like we do here. Who are the real experts and how would you find them? What would it even mean to be objective? How can we figure out what's "actually true?" You can only do that for individual facts, not broad, sweeping abstractions like "China."

        1 vote
    2. [3]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Was it on FOX News, though? If it wasn't, it might as well not have existed. I'm being facetious, of course, but I do want to know how long back does it stretch in the minds of regular Americans....

      and US opposition to China goes way back

      Was it on FOX News, though? If it wasn't, it might as well not have existed.

      I'm being facetious, of course, but I do want to know how long back does it stretch in the minds of regular Americans. All I remember is the Cold War and the US—USSR tensions. Not a mention of China.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        I think you're forgetting how anti-communist the US was during the Cold War. Before Nixon went to China, to most Americans, particularly conservatives but this was mainstream, the People's...

        I think you're forgetting how anti-communist the US was during the Cold War. Before Nixon went to China, to most Americans, particularly conservatives but this was mainstream, the People's Republic of China was just another bunch of commies, as bad as the Soviet Union. The US fought them, indirectly, in Korea and Vietnam. I think some of the war protesters during the 1960's were pretty pro-China, though, but that was more among people who were naive about the Soviet Union as well.

        This was all before I was born, but it seems like well-known history? But maybe I shouldn't overestimate how much history people have learned.

        3 votes
        1. ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          I know where my blind spots are. The concrete history of the Cold War is one of them. Can't estimate how many people know this well in the US itself.

          I know where my blind spots are. The concrete history of the Cold War is one of them.

          Can't estimate how many people know this well in the US itself.

          2 votes
  7. [2]
    Bullmaestro
    Link
    The growing sentiment here is yes, we really want this. Some people I spoken to are blaming China for the global spread of the coronavirus and rightly so. Had they not responded to the initial...

    The growing sentiment here is yes, we really want this.

    Some people I spoken to are blaming China for the global spread of the coronavirus and rightly so. Had they not responded to the initial outbreak by prosecuting journalists, covering things up, lying to the WHO and failing to lock down the country in time, the spread of COVID-19 wouldn't have been anywhere near as global.

    Other countries have played a major part in the virus's spread but even nations that locked down early like Italy suffered with one of the highest death tolls so far.

    I don't believe the conspiracy theories that this was a lab manufactured virus deliberately unleashed to depose Trump, but the only other country that royally screwed up its response this badly was the USA, which makes the current shit-slinging match between the two nations all the more baffling.

    2 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      China could have done a lot more right, but the virus could have escaped anyway. They also did a lot of things right that many other countries would have gotten wrong. I think the case for blaming...

      China could have done a lot more right, but the virus could have escaped anyway. They also did a lot of things right that many other countries would have gotten wrong.

      I think the case for blaming China for the pandemic is unreasonable and disturbing. International cooperation for public health is essential and attempts to undermine it should be resisted.

      11 votes