Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Hitler and the Chinese Internet generation [Asia Times Online]

Asia Times: A seemingly baseless rumour has surfaced that Adolf Hitler was raised by a family of Chinese expats living in Vienna. This has prompted an internet sensation on China’s version of Facebook, Kaixin. 170,000 views and 40,000 comments does seem significant; and the author argues that if this idea does gain mass tractio it will be the antithesis to the image of its ‘peaceful rise’. Perhaps especially so that China’s internet generation is still in its infancy and susceptible to the agenda setting consequences of a mass dumbed-down culture fueled by fervour.

Of the people who left comments, 38.8% believe that Hitler was raised by Chinese, 7.1% believe that Hitler supported China in World War II, 4.6% regard Hitler as a hero, and 9.1% hope that China will have a leader similar to Hitler.

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Hitler and the Chinese Internet generation
By Richard Komaiko
Source – Asia Times Online, published May 25, 2011 

On Thursday, May 19, prominent Danish film director Lars von Trier publicly expressed sympathy for Adolph Hitler. The board of directors of Cannes, the world’s pre-eminent film festival, promptly announced that Von Trier was no longer welcome at the festival. [1]

This was a brave decision, especially considering that Von Trier’s latest film is considered a contender for the festival’s top prize. Meanwhile, an ocean away, sympathy for Hitler is proliferating, but bravery is nowhere to be found. There is a growing trend in the Chinese blogosphere to vocalize praises and expressions of support for Hitler. If Chinese authorities fail to address this problem, dangerous consequences may ensue. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asia Times Online, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Germany, Influence, International Relations, Nationalism, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China makes its North Korea move [Asia Times]

An excellent insight into the China / North Korea differences from the Asia Times.

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China makes its North Korea move
By Peter Lee
Source – Asia Times, published September 3, 2010

The Barack Obama administration’s policy of “strategic reassurance” vis-a-vis China appears to be yielding its first fruits – the profoundly unreassuring image of President Hu Jintao clasping Kim Jong-il’s hand in Changchun and, very probably, heralding the survival of the sclerotic North Korean regime into its third generation.

This denouement should not have been unexpected as a riposte to the joint United States-South Korean strategy of responding to the Cheonan sinking in March with heightened rhetoric, referral of the issue to the United Nations, and a show of military force in Northeast Asian waters – all designed to challenge China’s role as acknowledged stakeholder in matters of the peninsula.

China and North Korea set aside their many differences and presented a united front to the world on the future of the peninsula, effectively repudiating the US and South Korean formula of reunification in favor of the continued division of Korea. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asia Times Online, Beijing Consensus, Culture, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, North Korea, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Sinking of South Korean Warship Cheonan 2010, Strategy

SINOGRAPH – Stillness conquers heat (on Lao Zi) [Asia Times]

This is a great read if one wishes to delve deeper into the Chinese mind.

Although Confucianism (more facets than the complete teachings) has been arguably chosen as contemporary China’s public face, Tao (as first expounded by Lao Zi and pre-dates Confucianism by a century) helps explains the Chinese fascination with harmony, good form, and ultimately balance – leading to the middle path.

I must note though that this alludes to Tao in its original form, a set of wisdom passed down from the ages; not popular Taoism as we might see today in its religious form.

In history, however, Lao Zi’s teaching have been known to be embraced by anti-authoritarian movements in Chinese dynastic history. So.

In a world growing in the export of Chinese cultural capital, the current set of self evident cross-pollination are locked into Confucianism and its meritocratic emphasis on hierarchy, Fengshui (a component of Tao), Zen, Kung Fu and of course, a voracious work ethic capable of offering good margins. If practicing what one preaches is good measure, I am not sure if Tao institutes are the way to go. But what is evident from China’s rise is a tilt towards polarity – economic growth alone, and having a say in the conditions for that growth, is arguably the Chinese imperative today. The Chinese have to remember what Tao is first, before they share and pass on the word.

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SINOGRAPH – Stillness conquers heat
By Francesco Sisci
Source – Asia Times, published September 2, 2010

BEIJING – Laozi parts ways with Confucius, as they have different interests in the world and in their thinking. Laozi moves west from the great plains of central China to the borders of the Chinese civilization, and to the state of Qin, because “if the sun rises from the East, people came from the West”, reasons Laozi.

In the state of Qin, where customs and manners are still not as corrupted as in the smaller and more ancient states of the central plain, the local people are struck by Laozi, a man with white hair but still with the face of a boy, untouched by the passing of time. They talk with him and then are sure that this man can help them to be great.

So starts Laozi’s Biography, a quasi novel by Yu Shicun that deals with the other half of the Chinese soul, the darker and more ethereal side of the Chinese binary system of yin and yang. On one side sits the Confucian method and practical mind, and on the other towers the fascination with nature and mysteries harkened in the ancient cryptic verses of Laozi, a central figure in Taoism, who, according to Chinese tradition, lived in the 6th century BC. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asia Times Online, Chinese Model, Confucius, Culture, Environment, Greater China, Influence, Lifestyle, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Tao

Rising China tests the waters [Asia Times]

“For decades, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Malaysia have claimed sovereignty over all or part of the South China Sea. China’s claim, which encompasses roughly the entire body of water from China’s south coast past Vietnam and the Philippines, reaching almost to Singapore, is by far the most ambitious. Its claim is based on maps from the 1930s and some shards of Chinese pottery discovered on currently uninhabited islands.”

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Rising China tests the waters
By Abraham M Denmark and Daniel M Kliman
Source – Asia Times, published August 20, 2010

With joint exercises between the navies of the United States and Vietnam kicking off, Washington and Beijing’s rivalry over the South China Sea is heating up. Although exercises with Vietnam involve non-combat training such as search and rescue, they reinforce recent remarks by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Speaking at last month’s meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Clinton affirmed that peacefully resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea amounted to a US ”national interest”. What followed was a sharp retort from one claimant – Beijing – with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi labeling Clinton’s remarks as an ”attack”.

Conflicting claims in the South China Sea, which involve China and five other nations in the region, have long flown under the radar in Washington. Only now, as the South China Sea makes headlines, has understanding of the issue increased. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asia Times Online, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Influence, International Relations, military, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power

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