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Old 01-18-2012   #41
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Selective reading will only confuse issues.

The key sentence is - Don't confine to China alone!

In a totalitarian regime, it is not that easy to organise an insurrection, but there are other countries too where the gap has widened a wee too large to close it and there is insurrection!


Crass Consumerism can be controlled and of that there is no doubt. One cannot replicate the West overnight. Anything done suddenly will have negative repercussions.

Last edited by Ray; 01-18-2012 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 01-18-2012   #42
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Upon what evidence is that conclusion based?
It's an official line from China, component of their propaganda (thus widely known there), plausible, reinforced by history, I didn't find a single bit of evidence to the contrary for years since I learned about this aspect of Chinese political culture.

That may not be a positive proof, but I doubt there's a negative one either.
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Old 01-18-2012   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Selective reading will only confuse issues.

The key sentence is - Don't confine to China alone!

In a totalitarian regime, it is not that easy to organise an insurrection, but there are other countries too where the gap has widened a wee too large to close it and there is insurrection!

Crass Consumerism can be controlled and of that there is no doubt. One cannot replicate the West overnight. Anything done suddenly will have negative repercussions.
Are we talking about totalitarian regimes or about post-communist states turning to consumerism? Not a whole lot of overlap there.

In my experience "crass consumerism" usually refers to somebody else trying to get what he wants. What we want is never crass.

How would you propose to repress acquisitive impulses in post-communist environments? Restrict people's incomes? Control the goods available for purchase? Doesn't that suggest a return to communism, or something much like it?

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It's an official line from China, component of their propaganda (thus widely known there), plausible, reinforced by history, I didn't find a single bit of evidence to the contrary for years since I learned about this aspect of Chinese political culture.

That may not be a positive proof, but I doubt there's a negative one either.
Obviously one can't prove such a contention either way, but I doubt that many who watch China on a day to day basis would agree that there's that level of consensus supporting the pseudo-communist regime. There's a great deal of discontent in China, and if they encounter serious economic problems - which is looking more likely by the day - it's hard to say what will happen.
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Old 01-19-2012   #44
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Are we talking about totalitarian regimes or about post-communist states turning to consumerism? Not a whole lot of overlap there.

In my experience "crass consumerism" usually refers to somebody else trying to get what he wants. What we want is never crass.

How would you propose to repress acquisitive impulses in post-communist environments? Restrict people's incomes? Control the goods available for purchase? Doesn't that suggest a return to communism, or something much like it?
I am talking about countries across the globe that did not follow western economic models.

It is obvious that What we want cannot be crass, but what one wants to satiate vanity or keeping up with the Joneses is what could be termed as ‘crass’ almost vulgar and nouveau riche.

Indeed, one can argue as to so what? True, but when such a Nation has people who can flaunt wealth which was not possible under a command economy, people do tend to believe that wealth is ill gotten and at the expense of the honest taxpayers. Result: Discontent!

As from Crass commercialism, the link below indicates that your interpretation - "crass consumerism" usually refers to somebody else trying to get what he wants. - is at variation to it.

The link indicates that it is a term referring to articles of culture which are based mostly on capitalist pursuits, while masquerading as being material of substance.

The 'crass' aspect of this is the thinness of the disguise, as many capitalist cultural ventures do not make attempts to hide their true purpose. In capitalist societies, such articles are very common, and so what is crass commercialism depends largely on perception.
(http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/ency...commercialism/)

One does not restrict income to achieve limiting the symbols of vanity that creates a social discontent (and that is important for nations emerging with baby steps from the shadow of command economies i.e. State controlled economies). One merely increases the prices through taxation (which will go to the State coffers and help generate faster movement towards a market driven economy and narrowing the gap between social order). It would be something on the lines of heavy taxation on cigarettes in the UK to discourage smoking. Of course, there are possibly many other ways too!

It is obvious that such steps are hardly a return to communism.

In so far as China is concerned, there is discontent, as I discern, mainly because of the widening gap between the haves and have nots, the disparity between rural vs urban development and the disharmony in development between the interiors of China vs the coastal belt.

There must be many other reasons for the social unrest in China.

One could peruse “Social Instability in China: Causes, Consequences, and Implications”
http://csis.org/files/media/csis/eve...r_abstract.pdf

Last edited by Ray; 01-19-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012   #45
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In addition to the above, this is worth reading:

Quote:
Over half of China's people now live in urban areas

Over the next ten years the government remained wary of free movement, even as it made its peace with free enterprise. Touting a policy of “leaving the land but not the villages, entering the factories but not cities”, it sought industrialisation without urbanisation, only to discover it could not have one without the other.





http://www.economist.com/blogs/graph.../daily-chart-6
This influx will have to manage within the infrastructure available and that will not be adequate since the cities were not geared for such an influx.

The result is for everyone to see.
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Old 01-19-2012   #46
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Check this Youtube to see what are the conditions when the infrastructure cannot take the influx because the change to a market economy is done in a hurry. Applicable in all countries that are changing from command to market economies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2TLl6Nj6Oo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddU8r...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVuSc...eature=related

And see the misery of a migrant worker trying to return home for holidays all because the the railways are not geared inspite of modernisation.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/112011...y_15021198.jsp

All this adds to woes. Woes lead to anger. And so on......;..

Last edited by Ray; 01-19-2012 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012   #47
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I have never yet clicked on a You Tube link purporting to provide economic or political analysis, and I'm not going to start now. The format doesn't suit the purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The 'crass' aspect of this is the thinness of the disguise, as many capitalist cultural ventures do not make attempts to hide their true purpose. In capitalist societies, such articles are very common, and so what is crass commercialism depends largely on perception.
"Crassness" is entirely a matter of perception. As I said before, crass consumerism is what the other guy wants. Of course to the other guy, what you want is equally crass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
One does not restrict income to achieve limiting the symbols of vanity that creates a social discontent (and that is important for nations emerging with baby steps from the shadow of command economies i.e. State controlled economies). One merely increases the prices through taxation (which will go to the State coffers and help generate faster movement towards a market driven economy and narrowing the gap between social order). It would be something on the lines of heavy taxation on cigarettes in the UK to discourage smoking. Of course, there are possibly many other ways too!
The assumption that money going to the State will "help generate faster movement towards a market driven economy and narrowing the gap between social order" seems excessively optimistic to me.

Don't you think that State decisions on what should and should not be punitively taxed to discourage consumption has the potential to produce discontent as well... both among those who would like to consume those products and among those who earn their living producing them? Those who oppose crass consumerism often forget that without consumption there will be no production, and without production there will be no employment, and on down the line.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
In so far as China is concerned, there is discontent, as I discern, mainly because of the widening gap between the haves and have nots, the disparity between rural vs urban development and the disharmony in development between the interiors of China vs the coastal belt.

There must be many other reasons for the social unrest in China.
There are many reasons for discontent in China, but they are as much connected to the Stete's efforts to maintain control as they are to excessively rapid decontrol.
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Last edited by Dayuhan; 01-19-2012 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012   #48
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I have never yet clicked on a You Tube link purporting to provide economic or political analysis, and I'm not going to start now. The format doesn't suit the purpose.
Pictures tell a 1000 words!

If you have not started, then you have missed much.

As reliable as the media and think tank analysis! Since everything is but a Maya!

Better that others since one can see it with your one's own two eyes and accept or reject because one should have a mind of one's own!



Quote:
"Crassness" is entirely a matter of perception. As I said before, crass consumerism is what the other guy wants. Of course to the other guy, what you want is equally crass.
True.

But then, one cannot be cleverer than those who are by profession wordsmiths unless one is self opinionated as say, Churchill who had such a command over the language and its nuances, but still self opinionated. I go by what experts say.

I gave you the interpretation what is believed by the world, but then ofcourse, one will always have one's own interpretation.

No contest!



Quote:
The assumption that money going to the State will "help generate faster movement towards a market driven economy and narrowing the gap between social order" seems excessively optimistic to me.
Optimism helps one to hope.

However, I have an added advantage. I am living it and experience it, even though it is far from satisfactory.

Quote:
Don't you think that State decisions on what should and should not be punitively taxed to discourage consumption has the potential to produce discontent as well... both among those who would like to consume those products and among those who earn their living producing them? Those who oppose crass consumerism often forget that without consumption there will be no production, and without production there will be no employment, and on down the line.
Discontent is to be measured pragmatically.

Everyone cannot be made happy. That is so obvious and it requires no explanation.

However, the aim is achieved if the majority is happy!

Production of the irrelevant to the nation growth can be forsaken for the overall social good. Production giving money and riches to the rich and leaving the poor poor, maybe good statistically on the GDP etc, but can lead to social discontent and chaos. And then there maybe no nation!

Nowhere has it been suggested that production should stop!
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Old 01-21-2012   #49
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This country's not for sale ... not for all the yuan in China

In fact, just this week, the President of China, Hu Jinato, said in a Chinese Communist Party magazine that “We must clearly see that international hostile forces are intensifying the strategic plot of westernizing and dividing China … We should deeply understand the seriousness and complexity of the ideological struggle, always sound the alarms and remain vigilant, and take forceful measures to be on guard and respond.”
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...-1226238872468

Now, what exactly is this 'westernising' that he referring to?

What are the 'forces' that is causing it so?

Why is this 'ideological struggle' necessary when the Chinese people are getting all the want and having all the money in the world to buy such happiness?

Last edited by Ray; 01-21-2012 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Pictures tell a 1000 words!

If you have not started, then you have missed much.

As reliable as the media and think tank analysis! Since everything is but a Maya!

Better that others since one can see it with your one's own two eyes and accept or reject because one should have a mind of one's own!
Video is a medium remarkably well suited to illusion. I could take a camera into a Manila slum and cut together a piece showing that the people are happy and cheerful and loving life, or I could do the same and portray misery... depending on what pictures I use and how. The final product ends up telling the viewer less about the subject than about the prejudices of the person who made the video.

Media and think tank analyses are always suspect; they have to be approached with awareness of the implicit biases of the organization producing the report and countered with information from other sources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
But then, one cannot be cleverer than those who are by profession wordsmiths unless one is self opinionated as say, Churchill who had such a command over the language and its nuances, but still self opinionated. I go by what experts say.
"Experts" say all sorts of things, many of them incompatible with what other "experts" say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
I gave you the interpretation what is believed by the world, but then of course, one will always have one's own interpretation.
Is anything, anywhere ever "believed by the world"? Seems to me there's a fair variety of belief out there on almost every issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Production of the irrelevant to the nation growth can be forsaken for the overall social good. Production giving money and riches to the rich and leaving the poor poor, maybe good statistically on the GDP etc, but can lead to social discontent and chaos. And then there maybe no nation!

Nowhere has it been suggested that production should stop!
Who decides what the "overall social good" will be, if not the people themselves? Is not consumption and the personal decision to allocate resources the ultimate "vote"?

Suggesting that consumption be artificially constrained or externally directed implicitly suggests that production and employment must be similarly constrained and directed.

I dislike the whole "crass consumerism" construct because it's built on the idea that the elite have the right or obligation to decide what other people ought to want or have. That doesn't sound like a terribly good idea to me, and I see no reason to assume that it limits conflict. Where have we seen post-communist nations where security is threatened by "crass consumerism"? Certainly growth and the development of opportunities and options raises potential for conflict, but trying to artificially constrain growth and opportunity is going to create conflict too.

Who decides where the legitimate desire for a materially better life ends and "crass consumerism" begins? Would you want the State or some kind of elite telling you what you're supposed to want or how you ought to spend what you earn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Now, what exactly is this 'westernising' that he referring to?

What are the 'forces' that is causing it so?
Sounds to me like somebody's seriously worried over economic developments and wants to trot out the boogeyman to get people rallied behind the flag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Why is this 'ideological struggle' necessary when the Chinese people are getting all the want and having all the money in the world to buy such happiness?
The Chinese people aren't getting all they want, they don't have all the money in the world, and an awful lot of them want more than they can have. That's not a stable situation.
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Last edited by Dayuhan; 01-23-2012 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 04-24-2012   #51
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An update on the events in Wukan, with Communist Party officials being expelled from the party:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-17821844

There are two links to other reports. On a quick read it appears that a compromise was reached some months ago, unlike other villages involved in conflict with the state and party.
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Old 07-04-2012   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Probably exaggerated, still of interest... the list could be a whole lot longer:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...mic_apocalypse
Keep an eye on iTulip.com forum for analysis of the China slowdown.

It's well worth putting on the reading list for analysis on China as well as the entire GFC.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-04-2012 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Copied from China superpower thread to give context
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Old 07-04-2012   #53
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Default Simmering

Prompted by the wider context given in the link within the above post I have posted this BBC News report on recent public order incidents or rioting:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-18623085
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Old 10-30-2013   #54
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Default 10/28 Tiananmen Square: China's 9/11?

Was the jeep fire a "violent terrorist attack" in Tiananmen Square on Monday October 28th China's 9/11? The square IMHO is a similar iconic target, even if the two dead and thirty-eight injured are not comparable to 9/11.

The initial reporting was minimal, partly as the Chinese authorities moved rapidly to control information, taking images off Weibo (China's main social media site) for example and declaring martial law in the vicinity for a time.

Today China has admitted, citing Xinhua news agency:
Quote:
The police said that what happened at Tiananmen Square was a "violent terrorist attack" which was "carefully planned and organised".
Today five suspects have been detained who it is suspected come from the Muslim Uighur minority in the restive western region of Xinjiang.

Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-24742810 and http://news.yahoo.com/uighur-group-f...031852215.html

There is a thread which includes Xinjiang, China's Far West provinces (inc. Tibet) at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...splay.php?f=84
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Old 11-01-2013   #55
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Default ETIM blamed, they stay silent

Meng Jianzhu, chief of the commission for political and legal affairs of the ruling Communist party:
Quote:
The violent terrorist incident that happened in Beijing is an organised and plotted act. Behind the instigation is the terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement entrenched in central and west Asian regions
According to the story:
Quote:
Alleged terrorist group has not claimed responsibility and critics accuse China of using its name to excuse repression of Uighurs
Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...beijing-attack
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Old 11-02-2013   #56
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Default A family stays silent and strikes

A CSM article title and sub-title:
Quote:
What the Tiananmen Square attack reveals about China's security state; China blames a Uighur separatist group for the Tiananmen car attack this week. But that's highly unlikely, analysts say.
The key point:
Quote:
On the contrary, say a number of Chinese and foreign experts on security in Xinjiang. In the restive far western province where most Uighurs live, they say, it may have been the attackers’ very lack of ties to any organization that helped them evade the Chinese police.
Link:http://m.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pa...security-state
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Old 11-07-2013   #57
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Icon indeed.

But it has only caused China to 'lose face'.

And for China, one could assume it was as big an attack as 9/11.

'Losing Face' is a very big issue.

The terrorists seem to be slowly taking grip over and cocking the snook at the the Chinese 'harmony & stability' mantra.

Another iconic building, one of the State Communist HQ at Tiayuan, in the Shanxi Province was subjected to a terrorist attack, causing one death and several injured!

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Old 11-09-2013   #58
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Default One day we will do something ourselves

An explanation for the Tiananmen Square attack, via a link in The Guardian to Radio Free Asia:
Quote:
....recollected Hesen (the jeep driver) making an emotional speech soon after some 100 police officers surrounded the mosque as workers demolished the courtyard.

Hesen made the speech as he told the mosque community to stand down after they argued with the armed police.

“At that time, Usmen Hesen jumped in and persuaded the community to disperse by saying, ‘Today they have won and we have lost because they are carrying guns and we have nothing—but don’t worry, one day we will do something ourselves’,” Turdi said.

“As Usmen Hesen finished his emotional speech, [his mother] Kuwanhan Reyim (also in the jeep) went to him crying, and hugged and kissed his forehead because of her pride in him. The crowd was also moved to tears and retreated.”
Link:http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uygh...013163042.html

The Guardian article has other views and links:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ent-repression
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Old 03-01-2014   #59
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Default China's internal security problems (post Kunming)

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...03-01-13-30-50

China: Train station attack an act of terrorism

Quote:
BEIJING (AP) -- China's official Xinhua News Agency says authorities consider the attack by a group of knife-wielding assailants at a train station in southwestern China in which at least 27 people died to be an act of terrorism.

Xinhua did not identify who might have been responsible for the Saturday evening attack at the Kunming Railway Station in Yunnan province. But the news agency said authorities considered it to be "an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack."
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Old 03-01-2014   #60
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That is a shocker. I had to check Kunming's location, it is near the Vietnamese border and a very long way from the known, occasional flash point in Xinjiang Province - where knives have been the preferred weapon in attacks. This maybe a repeat of the jeep attack in Tienanmen Square last year.

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