Alarming News

April 30, 2008

China and Tibet

Chinese Students in U.S. Fight View of Their Home

Though I’m an immigrant to the U.S., I have no loyalty to Russia, the country where I was born. I see it for what it is, a country with a strong heritage that can produce great beauty in the form of literature, art, dance and so on, but also that can impose a system of destruction on their people for generations and not think twice about it.

I wonder about these Chinese students. They have to know the truth about their home country. They live here, after all, and they see that we don’t kill baby girls or lock up critics of the state. And yet they feel defensive in the face of criticism of China. Is it loyalty or denial?

On a separate note, the popular Facebook program Superpoke recently added this poke:

“Love China with _____”:


Of course, you can also Free Tibet:


Posted by Karol at 11:59 AM |
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I wonder about these Chinese students. They have to know the truth about their home country.

I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. The handful of native Chinese people I’ve talked to have all asserted that Tibet was always a part of China, for example. Remember, also, that while most of the Chinese students we see in the states live in postmodern cities like Shanghai, the bulk of the country’s hideous problems—infanticide, riots, pollution, HIV epidemics, laogai—take place out in the countryside. And heaven knows most Americans have no idea that a laogai is the Chinese equivalent of the Soviet Gulag, and we have an uncensored media.
So it’s possible that these students genuinely don’t know how evil the Chinese regime is. Remember a great Eric Hoffer quote: “To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth. Though it is held before our eyes, pushed under our noses, rammed down our throats

Posted by: Hubbard at April 30, 2008 at 12:55 pm

“No matter what China does, these students say, it cannot win in the arena of world opinion.”

Ha! If they stay long enough and become Americans, then they’ll really know what this sort of thing is like.

Posted by: someone at April 30, 2008 at 1:33 pm

China also has a much much stronger sense of, for lack of a better term, ancestor worship. The culture still puts a primacy on respect for elders … and not just for your own personal grandma, but for the entire elder generation … which also feeds into country pride.
Also, as Rev. Wright once said, “Russians and Russian-Americans clap like this and Chinese and Chinese-Americans clap like that.”

Posted by: Ken at April 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Most people, no matter what country they are from, will stand up against some foreigner criticising their homeland, even if there is some merit in the criticism, I have found. There’s the old truism about finding a scot, an irishman and a scouser (someone originating from Liverpool) anywhere you go in the world, and they will go on and on about how great it is there, never themselves to return.

Posted by: bryan at April 30, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Don’t you ever thought that the media in the west is not doing a responsible job in terms of reporting china with fair and balance approach? That’s a reason Chinese living oversea are so fed up and become defensive for their home country.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm

the chinese government are masters of manipulating their people’s nationalist tendencies. it’s a pretty easy thing to do when you dictate what people learn in school and see in newspapers, television, and the internet.
it’s not too hard to do with the american people either.
don’t you remember how reagan single-handedly brought down the soviet union? he generated enough of a breeze from all the flag waving he inspired to blow down the berlin wall.

Posted by: wza at April 30, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Most people, no matter what country they are from, will stand up against some foreigner criticising their homeland

Rich irony. This coming from a non-American (check the email) who insists on coming here and lecturing us on how things should be here.
None are as blind as the willfully ignorant.

Posted by: Radical Redneck at April 30, 2008 at 9:59 pm

You may love Russia and want it free. However despite being born there, you weren’t Russian the same way these students are Han Chinese.
Ethnicity matters even when we are dealing with sheep, who have fallen for communist appropriation of nationalism.
No offense intended.

Posted by: RonL at April 30, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Tibet is more proof that the stupidest people on earth are communists.
Tibet has absolutely no military or economic value. If fact it has been a huge money pit for the Chinese government. Plus Tibet has been a public relations disaster for the communists. Even the radical left of Hollywood is against them.
China has forced Chinese to immigrate to Tibet in an attempt to have more Chinese in Tibet than Tibetans. Every Chinese in Tibet hates being there because of the harsh conditions I can personally attest to.

Posted by: Jake at April 30, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Karol, it may be that the Chinese students you encounter know the Chinese system all too well. All of them may have relatives back home who may need varying degrees of re-education if their visa-ed students speak too loudly.

Posted by: chsw at May 1, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Redneck: thanks for proving my point. By God you are too fucking easy…
btw, I am posting from Birmingham, England. I am British and my parents were both born in Dublin, Eire.

Posted by: bryan at May 1, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I suspect those students are carefully selected by the Chinese government.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at May 4, 2008 at 2:03 am

Erm. As Han Chinese myself (although about 5 generations alienated from the motherland, so to speak)…
1. China has always been weird that way. You can have Americans of Japanese ethnicity who are thoroughly Americanised and will never step foot on ol’ Nihon in their entire lives. Sure, and why would they? But Chinese? Not like that much. Maybe it’s in our blood. I tell you, if the KMT has continued to control China and properly converted itself into a working democracy, I’d be the first one back given a chance. Still would, if those old fogeys in the Chinese Politburo would actually hurry up, die off, and have a real capitalistic, free-market, democratic government.
2. China is weird in other ways too. Given any encouragement at all, they’d swallow up Mongolia as well. I’m betting there are other reasons, such as sheer bloodymindedness, China is loath to let Tibet go.
3. China and expatriate Chinese (of the many and myriad Diasporas) have weird relationships with each other. I actually think China believes there is no such thing as Chinese nationals of other nations. That is to say, every Chinese is, well, Chinese. I have been told that a Chinese reporter asked a Filipino of Chinese descent whether she was loyal to the Philippines or to China. Keep in mind that she’s a government minister!
So; the guy who speaks about ethnicity? He’s got a point. It’s not a question of liberation, or brainwashing, or whatever. It’s something like ‘Yes, they’re jerks, but they’re our jerks’.
Of course, the view that they’ve got people to worry about back home may have informed their actions slightly, no doubt.

Posted by: Gregory at May 5, 2008 at 3:30 am
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