Author Topic: China - a Fascist State  (Read 54712 times)

Offline Nobby Reserve

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #600 on: February 25, 2022, 08:17:02 pm »

And wasn't that chap Hitler tremendously efficient in the 30's, eh? Autobahn, new currency and economy, restored German confidence to take on the world, all achieved in record time! You have to sit back and admire the speed and scale of what he did, don't you?

It's a great example of just what you can get done under dictators (no time wasted squobbling and pontificating).
Just, you know, pay no mind to all the concentration camps, and millions crushed under the wheels of the new machine. History really likes repeating itself doesn't it



He doesn't mention the millions of rural Chinese who have been forced off the lands that their families have owned and worked for generations, to make way for new cities, for industrial complexes, for dams.

A Tory, a worker and an immigrant are sat round a table. There's a plate of 10 biscuits in the middle. The Tory takes 9 then turns to the worker and says "that immigrant is trying to steal your biscuit"

Offline zadoktBeast

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #601 on: February 25, 2022, 08:19:37 pm »
Simply put, even 'the people of Hong Kong' aren't a monolithic entity. The situation remains more nuanced than people often assume.

To the CCCP, democracy isn't the solution, so why would they honour it or any agreement like that mindlessly or based on some intangible obligation? After all if it was, we'd be living in a Utopia here in the West wouldn't we?

I will throw you a small bone here, with regards to talking about Democracy. It does my head in when our media (and America's) repeatedly refer to 'Western democracy'. There is no need to put 'western' in front of it, they should just say 'democracy'. What does the 'western' mean - does it imply ownership, or origination, or that a Western democracy would inherently be different/better to one arising 'elsewhere'?

I don't get it...and the way I see it, the phrase probably only serves to enrage slightly peeved nutters like Xi Jinping even more, and make them more hostile and paranoid.

Democracy came from Greece (which is not a 'Western' place btw as most people understand the term), but it doesn't belong to anyone, it's like a precious bolt of lightning or a magic seed that should be encouraged to grow wherever.

And as for Hong Kong and Taiwan, i think the Cantonese and Taiwanese people have made their minds up which type of society they'd prefer to live in, and it isn't one where people get disappeared or censured for saying the Fuhrer looks like winnie the pooh

Offline zadoktBeast

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #602 on: February 25, 2022, 08:34:14 pm »
If the West, mainly the US, had chosen to pursue less self-centered options with regards to trying to contain and kneecap China's rise, perhaps China may have been more amenable to concessions, or felt less need to crack down so harshly.


The idea of China rising to become the most influential country in the world, in and of itself, is no bother to me. But if it's the CCP at the helm, with the 'values' that they have and which they'd propagate around the world given a position of uncheckable influence, then I'm very much in favour of containment

Offline zadoktBeast

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #603 on: February 25, 2022, 08:41:26 pm »


He doesn't mention the millions of rural Chinese who have been forced off the lands that their families have owned and worked for generations, to make way for new cities, for industrial complexes, for dams.

Good point! If you're a nobody in Communist China, then you're disposable - tar-smeared fodder to be crushed under the steamroller of industrialisation. Sadly we have become complicit in this in the West: the greed of big business has created a world where you can get a cheap Iphone and not spare a thought about the slave-driver conditions of where it came from, there is no Iphone app that gives you updates on the suicide rates of Chinese factory workers is there.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #604 on: February 26, 2022, 06:30:48 am »
That has surely been synchronized with Putin during his visit there. I predicted that he wouldn't invade Ukraine before the end of the Olympic games; he wouldn't risk distracting the attention away form China in their glory moment as he needs their support.

Any resolution on Ukraine in the UN Security Council will be vetoed by Russia and abstained by China, and the opposite act will happen on Taiwan.
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #605 on: May 10, 2022, 08:51:22 am »
A reminder that China is a Fascist state.

The ruling party owns every newspaper and TV station in China. They all say what the Fascists want them to say.

So how to blame Ukraine for all the bombs dropping on Ukraine. Simply take foreign news reports, such as from the Guardian, and substitute the word 'Russia' for 'Ukraine'.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/10/china-pro-russia-propaganda-exposed-by-online-activists-ukraine

Can you imagine living your life in such a shit hole?
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Offline ChaChaMooMoo

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #606 on: May 10, 2022, 10:38:17 am »
I am just curious. No form of extreme regulation has ever been sustainable on the longer run. Not especially when it comes to running governments and controlling people. Every fascist ruler in the history of humankind is an example for this.

Creativity, openness of thought, freedom of choices, that are fundamental for the development of any modern civilised society, only grows with this long term sustainable regulation. Modern 1st world nations are very much an example of this.

My question is, in China's current fascist form, how much longer can they sustain before they implode and break down and collapse (of society)?

Offline Sangria

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #607 on: May 10, 2022, 10:43:51 am »
I am just curious. No form of extreme regulation has ever been sustainable on the longer run. Not especially when it comes to running governments and controlling people. Every fascist ruler in the history of humankind is an example for this.

Creativity, openness of thought, freedom of choices, that are fundamental for the development of any modern civilised society, only grows with this long term sustainable regulation. Modern 1st world nations are very much an example of this.

My question is, in China's current fascist form, how much longer can they sustain before they implode and break down and collapse (of society)?

I think you are making the mistake of thinking that a majority of the Chinese people thinks like a majority of the British people do. Things like the Great Translation Movement represent the Chinese liberals, who are a far smaller proportion of the population than their equivalent here. Most of the Chinese population care far less about liberal ideals like truth and accountability, or even support the misrepresentation as an anti-west and pro-Chinese bloc stance.

I daresay the liberals in China are comparable to the liberals in Russia as a proportion of the overall population, with as much effect on general public opinion.
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #608 on: May 24, 2022, 07:42:44 am »
The faces from China’s Uyghur detention camps
By John Sudworth
Source: BBC
Quote
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 Xinjiang Police Files, as they’re being called, were passed to the BBC earlier this year. After a months-long effort to investigate and authenticate them, they can be shown to offer significant new insights into the internment of the region’s Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities.

Their publication coincides with the recent arrival in China of the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, for a controversial visit to Xinjiang, with critics concerned that her itinerary will be under the tight control of the government.

The cache reveals, in unprecedented detail, China’s use of “re-education” camps and formal prisons as two separate but related systems of mass detention for Uyghurs - and seriously calls into question its well-honed public narrative about both.

The government’s claim that the re-education camps built across Xinjiang since 2017 are nothing more than “schools” is contradicted by internal police instructions, guarding rosters and the never-before-seen images of detainees.

And its widespread use of terrorism charges, under which many thousands more have been swept into formal prisons, is exposed as a pretext for a parallel method of internment, with police spreadsheets full of arbitrary, draconian sentences.

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.

The hacked files contain more than 5,000 police photographs of Uyghurs taken between January and July 2018.

Using other accompanying data, at least 2,884 of them can be shown to have been detained.

And for those listed as being in a re-education camp, there are signs that they are not the willing “students” China has long-claimed them to be.

Some of the re-education camp photos show guards standing by, armed with batons.

Yet claims of coercion have been consistently denied by China’s most senior officials.

“The truth is the education and training centres in Xinjiang are schools that help people free themselves from extremism,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in 2019.

Many have been detained just for ordinary, outward signs of their Islamic faith or for visiting countries with majority Muslim populations.

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.

But she appears on a list of “relatives of the detained” - among the thousands placed under suspicion because of the “crimes” of their families.

This composite image contains 2,884 photographs of detainees from the cache.

The photos provide a unique visual record of the way whole swathes of Uyghur society have been swept up - into both camps and prisons - person by person.

The Xinjiang Police Files - the title being used for the cache by a consortium of international journalists of which the BBC is part - contain tens of thousands of images and documents.

They include classified speeches by senior officials; internal police manuals and personnel information; the internment details for more than 20,000 Uyghurs; and photographs from highly sensitive locations.

The source of the files claims to have hacked, downloaded and decrypted them from a number of police computer servers in Xinjiang, before passing them to Dr Adrian Zenz, a scholar at the US-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation who has previously been sanctioned by the Chinese government for his influential research on Xinjiang.

Dr Zenz then shared them with the BBC, and although we were able to contact the source directly, they were unwilling to reveal anything about their identity or whereabouts.

None of the hacked documents is dated beyond the end of 2018, possibly as the result of a directive issued in early 2019 tightening Xinjiang’s encryption standards. That may have placed any subsequent files beyond the reach of the hacker.

Dr Zenz has written a peer-reviewed paper on the Xinjiang Police Files for the Journal of the European Association for Chinese Studies and he has placed the full set of detainee images and some of the other evidence online.

“The material is unredacted, it's raw, it's unmitigated, it's diverse. We have everything,” he told the BBC.

“We have confidential documents. We have speech transcripts where leaders freely talk about what they really think. We have spreadsheets. We have images. It's completely unprecedented and it blows apart the Chinese propaganda veneer.”

The Xinjiang Police Files contain another set of documents that go even further than the detainee photographs in exposing the prison-like nature of the re-education camps that China insists are “vocational schools”.

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.

For decades, Xinjiang has seen a cycle of simmering separatism, sporadic violence and tightening government control.

But in 2013 and 2014, two deadly attacks targeting pedestrians and commuters in Beijing and the southern Chinese city of Kunming - blamed by the government on Uyghur separatists and radical Islamists - prompted a dramatic shift in policy.

The state began to see Uyghur culture itself as the problem and, within a few years, hundreds of giant re-education camps began to appear on satellite photos, to which Uyghurs were sent without trial.

Xinjiang’s formal prison system has also been massively expanded as another method for controlling Uyghur identity - particularly in the face of mounting international criticism over the lack of legal process in the camps.

It is in a set of 452 spreadsheets that this dual approach is most starkly exposed, complete with the names, addresses and ID numbers of more than a quarter of a million Uyghurs - showing which of them has been detained, in which type of facility and why.

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.

The spreadsheets show how lives are sifted in search of the slightest of pretexts, which are turned into the broadest of charges - “picking quarrels” or “disturbing the social order” - and then punished as serious acts of terrorism; seven years, 10 years, 25 years, the columns of sentences stretch on and on.

If the terrorism label is ever justly applied, it’s impossible to discern among a sea of data pointing to the internment of a people not for what they’ve done, but for who they are.

Tursun Kadir’s spreadsheet entry lists some preaching and studying of Islamic scripture dating back to the 1980s and then, in more recent years, the offence of “growing a beard under the influence of religious extremism”.

For this, the 58 year old was jailed for 16 years and 11 months. Photographs in the cache show him both before and after the Chinese state determined his expression of Uyghur identity to be illegal.

Even for those not in a camp or prison, the Xinjiang Police Files reveal the gruelling impact of such high levels of scrutiny and surveillance.

The images show that Uyghurs still living in their homes were summoned in large numbers to be photographed, with the associated image timestamps showing whole communities - from the very elderly to families with young children - called into police stations at all hours, including in the middle of the night.

A similar file-naming system as that used for the photos taken in the camps and prisons suggests a possible common purpose - a huge facial recognition database that China was building at the time.

It’s hard to tell whether their faces betray the knowledge of the camps, into which many thousands were already disappearing, but the accompanying spreadsheets make the danger all too clear.

Five months after their police photos were taken in 2018, husband and wife Tursun Memetimin and Ashigul Turghun were sent to a detention centre after being accused of having “listened to a recording of an illegal lecture” on someone else’s mobile phone six years earlier.

Two of their three daughters’ photographs are also in the hacked files - Ruzigul Turghun, who was 10 at the time of their parents’ disappearance - and Ayshem Turghun, who was six.

The spreadsheets give few details about the fate of such children whose parents have both been detained.

It’s likely a significant number have been placed into the permanent, long-term care of a system of state-run boarding schools built across Xinjiang at the same time as the camps.

In fact, the closely shaved hair visible in so many of the images of children is a sign, overseas Uyghurs have told the BBC, that many are already made to attend such schools at least during weekdays, even if still under the care of one or both parents.

The photographs give human form to a policy designed to deliberately target Uyghur families as a repository of identity and culture and - in China’s own words - to “break their roots, break their lineage, break their connections, break their origins”.

As well as exposing the inner workings of China’s system of incarceration more clearly than ever before, the Xinjiang Police Files provide fresh clues about its scale.

An analysis of the data by Dr Zenz shows that in just this one county, a total of 22,762 residents - more than 12% of the adult population - were in either a camp or a prison in the years 2017 and 2018.

If applied to Xinjiang as a whole, that figure would mean the detention of more than 1.2 million Uyghur and other Turkic minority adults - well within the broad range of estimates made by Xinjiang experts, which China has always dismissed.

Working with a consortium of 14 media organisations from 11 countries, the BBC has been able to authenticate significant elements of the Xinjiang Police Files.

Uyghurs living in Europe and the US were asked for the names and ID numbers of their missing relatives back home in Xinjiang. Multiple matches in the spreadsheet data were discovered, providing firm evidence that the information contains real people.

The BBC also asked Professor Hany Farid, an image-forensics expert at the University of California at Berkeley, to examine a subset of the photographs of Uyghur detainees.

He found no evidence that the images had been fabricated, with none of the usual tell-tale signs found in computer synthesised “deep fakes” nor any other indication of malicious, digital manipulation.

A strange effect visible on the edges of some of the images - as if they’ve been copied and then rotated slightly - can be explained in a way that also lends weight to the idea that they form part of China’s huge surveillance network in Xinjiang.

The glitches, Prof Farid believes, are likely to be the result of a commonly-used standardisation process for facial recognition databases, where any portraits that are slightly offset are automatically rotated to align the eyes with the horizontal.

“This is, of course, a completely innocuous manipulation,” he concluded in a written report for the BBC.

Further authentication can be provided by arranging the images in order of their accompanying timestamps and then observing the common details visible in the background, which show them to have been taken in real time and in real places.

After approaching the Chinese government for comment about the hacked data, with detailed questions about the evidence it contains, the media consortium received a written response from the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC.

“Xinjiang related issues are in essence about countering violent terrorism, radicalisation and separatism, not about human rights or religion,” the statement said, adding that the Chinese authorities had taken “a host of decisive, robust and effective deradicalisation measures”.

“The region now enjoys social stability and harmony as well as economic development,” it went on, saying that these things offer “the most powerful response to all sorts of lies and disinformation on Xinjiang”.

But there was no response to any of the specific evidence in the cache.

The Xinjiang Police Files contain another set of unique photographs that appear to only further highlight the extreme levels of physical control that Uyghurs are subjected to in the attempt to forcibly reengineer their identity.

They show what appear to be drills for subduing inmates - using similar methods to those described in the police documents for the camps - but this time in a detention centre.

There are also what look like indoctrination sessions, again showing the overlap between camps and prisons.

The descriptions on the back of the detainees’ uniforms place them at the Tekes Detention Centre in northern Xinjiang.

Satellite images of the exterior layout of this known detention facility in the city of Tekes…

…match perfectly with some of the photographs, making clear that the images are genuine and lending further credibility to the dataset as a whole.

The hacked files contain a number of speeches from high-ranking Party officials that allow an insight into the mindset behind the policies, as well as some of the clearest evidence so far for where responsibility ultimately lies.

In a speech, stamped as “classified” and delivered by Zhao Kezhi, China’s Minister for Public Security, on a visit to Xinjiang in June 2018, he suggests that at least two million people are infected with “extremist thought” in southern Xinjiang alone.

Peppered with references to President Xi Jinping, the speech heaps praise on the Chinese leader for his “important instructions” for the construction of new facilities and an increase in funding for prisons to cope with the influx in detainees necessary to reach that two million target.

And if the mass internment of Xinjiang’s Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities really does flow from orders given by the Chinese leader, then there are hints too about the kind of timeframe he has in mind.

The cache contains another secret speech, delivered in 2017 by Chen Quanguo - until recently Xinjiang’s hardline Communist Party secretary.

“For some, even five years re-education may not be enough,” he tells his audience of senior military and police cadres, a seeming admission that for as long as any Uyghur continues to feel a loyalty to identity or faith at least as strong as to the Party, there’s no end in sight.

“Once they are let out, problems will reappear, that is the reality in Xinjiang,” he says.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #609 on: May 24, 2022, 08:53:02 am »
I was about the post the same.

Do click on the link folks. It's superbly presented.
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Offline ChaChaMooMoo

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #610 on: May 24, 2022, 09:23:42 am »
I wanted to post the link as its more detailed.

Brilliantly researched article actually.

As usual, there will be denials and will be sweeped under the carpet.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #611 on: May 24, 2022, 09:43:13 am »
I wanted to post the link as its more detailed.

Brilliantly researched article actually.

As usual, there will be denials and will be sweeped under the carpet.

For sure. UN won't do a thing. The rest of the world is too scared to piss off China due to economic dependence. At best you will see some condemnation with no actions taken.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #612 on: May 24, 2022, 10:00:39 am »
China's economic strength (for now) and importance in global supply chains protect it, but that is in the process of changing.

Succinctly as possible: from early 2000s up to around 2015, you had flexibility and pathways to greater liberalisation, opportunities (and risks). Anyone who had business in China would've experienced a similar process. Once Xi started consolidating his power, you started seeing his policies in action...then it was clear that a substandard set of leaders had taken over. They let imprecision breathe, above all else, and that will kill you long term. In the censorship, in the frivolous patents, the real estate sector, in not taking responsibility, the Covid response. This isn't the China those of us had worked with even up to 2017 banked on.

The world is always evolving, looking for opportunities, companies that set up their manufacturing years ago would be looking at the political environment, transparency, labour costs, quality of human capital, and plenty of them will be looking for alternative bases in SE Asia, India and elsewhere, particularly after China's Covid response compromising supply chains. You're only as good as how well you manage the country,  if Xi and his underlings stay long term the world won't have to worry about China too long as they decline, and issues like Xinjiang will be more easily tackled, head on.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 10:03:30 am by surfer. Fuck you generator. »

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #613 on: May 24, 2022, 10:37:09 am »
Do you have first-hand experience of this?  I find it fascinating but I don’t know how to analyse and understand it, that society is like a closed book.  The things I’d thought would have big effects, like property bubbles, don’t seem to matter at all when it comes down to it, outwardly the place has just sailed on serenely for twenty-plus years.  What sort of signals should we be looking out for?

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #614 on: May 24, 2022, 10:53:43 am »
China's economic strength (for now) and importance in global supply chains protect it, but that is in the process of changing.

Succinctly as possible: from early 2000s up to around 2015, you had flexibility and pathways to greater liberalisation, opportunities (and risks). Anyone who had business in China would've experienced a similar process. Once Xi started consolidating his power, you started seeing his policies in action...then it was clear that a substandard set of leaders had taken over. They let imprecision breathe, above all else, and that will kill you long term. In the censorship, in the frivolous patents, the real estate sector, in not taking responsibility, the Covid response. This isn't the China those of us had worked with even up to 2017 banked on.

The world is always evolving, looking for opportunities, companies that set up their manufacturing years ago would be looking at the political environment, transparency, labour costs, quality of human capital, and plenty of them will be looking for alternative bases in SE Asia, India and elsewhere, particularly after China's Covid response compromising supply chains. You're only as good as how well you manage the country,  if Xi and his underlings stay long term the world won't have to worry about China too long as they decline, and issues like Xinjiang will be more easily tackled, head on.

Could you add to this the fact that in order to keep its people under control China kept the busy by building new "ghost' cities, major dams, bridges, etc. Then comes the lockdowns and a cessation to all the activity that kept the general population too busy to question the regime that rules over them.
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #615 on: May 24, 2022, 02:25:09 pm »

Do you have first-hand experience of this?  I find it fascinating but I don’t know how to analyse and understand it, that society is like a closed book.  The things I’d thought would have big effects, like property bubbles, don’t seem to matter at all when it comes down to it, outwardly the place has just sailed on serenely for twenty-plus years.  What sort of signals should we be looking out for?

I've dealt with (through work) some of their state-linked companies over the years, and we also maintain offices in China to source our own data on their economy, markets, research ecosystem.

For what's publicly available, other than the usual - Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, New York Times etc - I would recommend South China Morning Post and Caixin Global as decent quality sources (as of now, the latter two can change depending on who owns them later on). All five have people on the ground rather than rely on other providers / sources.

If you want to see what the CCP is pushing on a daily basis, then People's Daily, Global Times and CCTV contain those. You're not going to find China based, critical analysis of CCP policies on the Chinese internet (if you can read Mandarin), say Wechat or Weibo  easily available. This is by design due to their censors, hence you see a closed book.

The expat take on China is of course much easier to find on youtube or twitter, can be useful as long as you're discerning.

In terms of the indicators...well, we have offices for our own data for a reason haha. Their officially published economic and financial indicators vary from year to year on integrity, the same lack of rigor, honesty you see in how they talk about Ukraine or the US permeates, infects all aspects of their management of the country. That tone is set by the very top.

For now, good work is still done in tech, some areas of manufacturing, research, but the foundation for those was not Xi's policies, it was from before him. China's advantages from previous decades in cornering global manufacturing - cheap labour and easy access - will fade with demographic changes,  and a more closed and nationalistic China. You need research and innovation to drive the next phase, no amount of faking data can translate into solutions , as they found out with their Covid vaccine quality in comparison to others.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 02:38:44 pm by surfer. Fuck you generator. »

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #616 on: May 24, 2022, 02:31:46 pm »
Could you add to this the fact that in order to keep its people under control China kept the busy by building new "ghost' cities, major dams, bridges, etc. Then comes the lockdowns and a cessation to all the activity that kept the general population too busy to question the regime that rules over them.

It plays a part, but the bigger driver for all that construction was often local governments selling land and permits as funding sources. That need for funds has them approve projects that aren't needed / don't offer a good return.


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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #617 on: May 24, 2022, 05:33:09 pm »
In terms of the indicators...well, we have offices for our own data for a reason haha. Their officially published economic and financial indicators vary from year to year on integrity, the same lack of rigor, honesty you see in how they talk about Ukraine or the US permeates, infects all aspects of their management of the country. That tone is set by the very top.
Heh, I guess I was pushing it there, was hoping there might be a clear signal like the reëmergence of warlords or something.  Great post anyway, thanks.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #618 on: May 26, 2022, 08:48:05 am »


Slackerism comes to China:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/26/the-rise-of-bai-lan-why-chinas-frustrated-youth-are-ready-to-let-it-rot

The rise of ‘bai lan’: why China’s frustrated youth are ready to ‘let it rot’
Phrase bai lan gains popularity as severe competition and social expectations leave many young people despondent


Vincent Ni China affairs correspondent
Thu 26 May 2022 02.33 BST
Early this month China’s president Xi Jinping encouraged the country’s youth to establish “great ideals” and incorporate their personal goals into the “bigger picture” of the Chinese nation and people. “‘China’s hope lies in youth,” he said in a major speech.

But on China’s internet, some young people say their “ideals” simply cannot be achieved and many of them have given up on trying. Frustrated by the mounting uncertainties and lack of economic opportunities, they are resorting to a new buzzword – bai lan (摆烂, or let it rot in English) – to capture their attitude towards life.

The phrase, bai lan, which has its origin in NBA games, means a voluntary retreat from pursuing certain goals because one realises they are simply too difficult to achieve. In American basketball, it often refers to a player’s deliberate loss of a game in order to get a better draft pick.

On Weibo, the bai lan-related topics have generated hundreds of millions of reads and discussions since March. Netizens also created different variations of the bai lan attitude. “Properties in Shanghai too expensive? Fine, I’ll just rent all my life, as I can’t afford it if I only earn a monthly salary anyway,” one grumbled.


In recent days, this phrase – and more previously ‘tang ping’ (lying flat, 躺平), which means rejecting gruelling competition for a low desire life – gained popularity as severe competition and high social expectations prompted many young Chinese to give up on hard work.

But bai lan has a more worrying layer in the way it is being used by young people in China: to actively embrace a deteriorating situation, rather than trying to turn it around. It is close to other Chinese phrases, for example ‘to smash a cracked pot’ (破罐破摔) and ‘dead pigs are not afraid of boiling water’ (死猪不怕开水烫).

State media have taken note of this trend. “Why modern young Chinese like to ‘bai lan’?” one recent article in official media outlet asked. “In fact, this is as a result of negative auto suggestion, repeatedly telling oneself I cannot make it… And this kind of mentality often leads people to adopt the ‘bai lan’ attitude.”

But the reality is not quite as state media suggested, says Sal Hang, a 29-year-old creative industry professional in Beijing. He says that for his generation of young Chinese, this attitude of letting things rot is likely to be caused by a lack of social mobility and increased uncertainty in today’s China.


“Unlike my parents’ generation, young Chinese today have much bigger expectations, but there are many more uncertainties for us, too. For example, we cannot make any long-term plans for our lives any more, because we do not know what is going to happen to us even five years down the road.”

After working as a flight engineer in south-western China, Hang moved to Beijing three years ago to work in music, his passion. But the workplace reality changed his initial ambition.

“My boss often sets unrealistic targets for me. But however hard I try to meet his KPIs, I always fail. So in the end, I lose my motivation and just do my bare minimum.”

Prof Mary Gallagher, director of the Centre for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, says ‘bai lan’ is not necessarily a sentiment unique to China. “It is a bit like the ‘slacker’ generation in America in the 1990s. And like ‘tang ping’ last year, it is also a rejection against the ultra-competitiveness of today’s Chinese society.”


But in today’s China, the sense of hopelessness among the young is further exacerbated by shrinking economic opportunities, she says. In the past few months, while hundreds of millions of Chinese people were confined to their homes due to Covid lockdowns, the world’s second-largest economy also found itself struggling to boost growth.

More than 18% of young Chinese people aged between 16 and 24 were jobless in April – the highest since the official record began. “Hard to find a job after graduation this year? Fine, I’ll just bai lan – stay at home and watch TV all day,” wrote one netizen who struggled to find work, despite China’s top leader urged young people to fight for the future.

Kecheng Fang, a media professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, says young Chinese use ‘bai lan’ or ‘tang ping’ to show they are not cooperating with the official narrative. “All these popular phrases reflect a shared social emotion of the day. When people use them, they are not just expressing themselves, but looking for a connection with those who have the same feeling,” he says.

“Despite the grand official narrative from the leaders, in real life, we are all in the same situation, after all.”

Additional reporting by Chi Hui Lin and Xiaoqian Zhu
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #619 on: August 7, 2022, 01:03:34 am »
Not much conversation on the sabre rattling going on with Pelosi visiting Taiwan this week.

Quote
China halts ties with US on range of critical issues including climate crisis

China has halted ties with the US on a range of critical issues, from talks on the climate crisis to dialogue between their militaries, following the visit to Taiwan by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

The announcement of the counter-measures came as Beijing conducted military drills surrounding the island of Taiwan. Earlier, China announced sanctions against Pelosi and her direct family members. Beijing called Pelosi’s visit “vicious and provocative actions”.

The halted interactions ranged from climate talks, to dialogues between the leaders of Chinese and US military theatres, to the working meeting of Chinese and US defence ministries and consultation mechanism on maritime military safety between the countries.

Tensions are running high in the Taiwan strait. The military drills have forced a number of vessels to reroute their journeys, causing disruptions to regional – and global – economies. On average, 240 commercial ships have passed through the maritime zones each day over the past week, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data.

Earlier, the US condemned China’s launch of ballistic missiles around Taiwan during live-fire exercises as an “overreaction”, as a number of Chinese ships and planes again crossed the median line
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #620 on: August 8, 2022, 09:49:05 am »
Are the Chinese actively pursuing a ruck with the Americans?

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #621 on: August 8, 2022, 10:10:27 am »
Are the Chinese actively pursuing a ruck with the Americans?

Well wouldn't it be the same as Russia? They'd get hammered by a huge part of the World?

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #622 on: August 8, 2022, 02:23:10 pm »
Well wouldn't it be the same as Russia? They'd get hammered by a huge part of the World?

It’s a hundred miles from China to Taiwan across the sea so an invasion could be extremely costly.

Alternatively the Chinese could take a leaf from Russia’s book and just launch waves of missile strikes to destroy Taiwan’s infrastructure.

And conventional confrontation between China and America would turn messy very quickly.

Offline Indomitable_Carp

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #623 on: August 8, 2022, 03:57:24 pm »
Well wouldn't it be the same as Russia? They'd get hammered by a huge part of the World?

Thing is if China was looking to Russia and Ukraine for inspiration, they would see that most of the world wouldn´t militarily intervene to stop them, and many places would eventually come around to accepting the Chinese invasion once their economies started to tank. As far Europe is concerned, there is already question marks about whether they have the stomach for supporting Ukraine through a recession and rising fuel costs, and that is a conflict on their very own doorstep with an aggressor that is a very direct threat - not one on the other side of the world where the threat is more theoretical.

It would then be up to China to rally itself around militaristic nationalism in the face of its own tanking economy. Before the Ukraine war I thought that such an act of economic self-sabotage would be highly unlikely. Now I am not so sure.


It’s a hundred miles from China to Taiwan across the sea so an invasion could be extremely costly.

Alternatively the Chinese could take a leaf from Russia’s book and just launch waves of missile strikes to destroy Taiwan’s infrastructure.

And conventional confrontation between China and America would turn messy very quickly.

Regarding invading Taiwan, it would be very costly. But with Taiwan being an island it might also be unnecessary when they could blockade it instead, and, as you say, bomb it relentlessly. That is how Russia deals with its "brotherly nations". I haven´t seen much to suggest that China has a higher regard for life.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #624 on: August 8, 2022, 04:13:24 pm »
Well wouldn't it be the same as Russia? They'd get hammered by a huge part of the World?
It would escalate into a world war very quickly, NATO and the EU against China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #625 on: August 8, 2022, 04:31:25 pm »
It would escalate into a world war very quickly, NATO and the EU against China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

That would confuse some people. Who are the good guys?
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #626 on: August 8, 2022, 04:44:23 pm »
That would confuse some people. Who are the good guys?

Who are you talking about Yorky?  ;)

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #627 on: August 8, 2022, 05:10:24 pm »
Who are you talking about Yorky?  ;)

Oh you know, the ones who can't tell the difference.  ;)
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #628 on: August 8, 2022, 05:29:59 pm »
That would confuse some people. Who are the good guys?
You tell me fella, you're good at that, "telling people", you and your little band of sycophants on this News board.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #629 on: August 8, 2022, 05:43:02 pm »
You tell me fella, you're good at that, "telling people", you and your little band of sycophants on this News board.

It's actually quite an easy thing to work out.

Clue: it's not the Fascists.
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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #630 on: August 8, 2022, 05:43:19 pm »
 ;D

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #631 on: August 8, 2022, 06:45:54 pm »
What was the purpose of Nancy's seemingly lone wolf visit to Taiwan? Went against advice from Biden and the Pentagon. I'm all for standing up to China but what did it actually achieve apart from increasing tensions drastically.


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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #632 on: August 9, 2022, 04:36:31 pm »
What was the purpose of Nancy's seemingly lone wolf visit to Taiwan? Went against advice from Biden and the Pentagon. I'm all for standing up to China but what did it actually achieve apart from increasing tensions drastically.

Yep my first thought was what "Business interests" in Taiwan are connected to her family? Cruz and the right-winger shitheads were supporting her so ya know something ain't right.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #633 on: August 10, 2022, 07:26:02 pm »
I mean Taiwan is economically and geo-politically one of the most important countries in the world. Without the chip manufacturers in Taiwan, the electronics, car, and appliance industries will be bought to their knees.

Think Pelosi's visit was part of a larger trip to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. It makes sense to include Taiwan.

What does appeasing China through the One-China policy truly achieve anyway, if anything if China was to take drastic actions it makes it more challenging for the rest of the world to react. We have already seen what happened in HK, the Chinese government doesn't care about international norms.

Taiwan should be recognized as an independent country and in the long term give them a NATO membership.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #634 on: August 10, 2022, 09:28:12 pm »
Taiwan should be recognized as an independent country and in the long term give them a NATO membership.

I agree with the first half but disagree with the latter.

So far, only 5 or 6 countries around the world recognise Taiwan as a separate nation. So until more nations recognise Taiwan, NATO won't consider the participation of Taiwan in any capacity within the NATO ranks. Also, Japan and South Korea are global partners, not full-time NATO members. If anyone, their membership should be confirmed first before adding anymore nations from the far east.

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #635 on: August 11, 2022, 04:05:41 am »
What does appeasing China through the One-China policy truly achieve anyway, if anything if China was to take drastic actions it makes it more challenging for the rest of the world to react. We have already seen what happened in HK, the Chinese government doesn't care about international norms.

It's about playing nice, we've already had Putin destabalise the world economy. As you've pointed out the last thing we need is China making an actual move on Taiwan and the world going into never before seen depression.
:D

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #636 on: August 11, 2022, 04:24:25 am »
It's about playing nice, we've already had Putin destabalise the world economy. As you've pointed out the last thing we need is China making an actual move on Taiwan and the world going into never before seen depression.

China is going to do what its going to do. Pelosi's symbolic visit won't really have any bearing on it. Perhaps the best thing that can be done is stating out what the consequences will be if China does attack Taiwan.

That is what was so messed up about the war in Ukraine. The intelligence was there but many including the EU nations and even to some extent Ukrainians didn't really believe the threat of Russia attacking. Not much was done to deter Putin from invading before the war started. Once the war had started, sanctions aren't going to dissuade a dictator like Putin from backing off, he would lose too much face.

I am hoping that the quagmire that is Ukrainian war for Russia serves as a Cautionary tale for China.

Offline Indomitable_Carp

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #637 on: August 11, 2022, 07:03:53 am »
China is going to do what its going to do. Pelosi's symbolic visit won't really have any bearing on it. Perhaps the best thing that can be done is stating out what the consequences will be if China does attack Taiwan.

That is what was so messed up about the war in Ukraine. The intelligence was there but many including the EU nations and even to some extent Ukrainians didn't really believe the threat of Russia attacking. Not much was done to deter Putin from invading before the war started. Once the war had started, sanctions aren't going to dissuade a dictator like Putin from backing off, he would lose too much face.

I am hoping that the quagmire that is Ukrainian war for Russia serves as a Cautionary tale for China.

It is madness in hindsight. But lets not forget that we hadn´t had a war like Ukraine in Europe since Hitler and Mussolini were conquering countries in Europe for territorial gain. We managed to go the entire Cold War, even with the constant talk of a Third World War being a realistic possibility, without something like Ukraine happening. It was an era of unprecedented peace in Europe that has been shattered, and that I think most of Europe is still getting to grips with, even after the fact. That, plus a popular mistrust of NATO and NATO intentions that has been evident practically since Afghanistan/Iraq. "Oh what are the Americans up to this time?....".

Putin, before actually going through with the (latest) invasion of Ukraine, had done a fantastic job over the last ten years of sowing discord throughout the West that laid the groundwork for this.

You are right though. We can only hope that China looks at Ukraine and thinks, nope not worth it!!



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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #638 on: September 1, 2022, 12:20:05 am »
Obviously a surprise to no one but the UN finally releases their report:

Claims of torture of China Uyghurs credible - United Nations report
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-62744522
:D

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Re: China - a Fascist State
« Reply #639 on: Yesterday at 02:25:15 pm »
Rumours of a military coup circulating, but likely bollocks
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