NYT: China Hindering MH370 Search, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Chinese ship in search for missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane.

Currently the most commented article of the week on Chinese web portal NetEase…

From NetEase:

American Media Claims China is Hindering the Search for the Malaysia Airlines Passenger Plane, China Strongly Objects

According to a report by The New York Times, a naval vessel of the Chinese government this month had announced detecting underwater signals of what may be the missing Malaysia Airlines airplane. However, this announcement by China was discounted within days. According to government officials and analysts, China’s announcement may been one in a series of moves to project competence, but in the end instead interfered and delayed search efforts. In the first week of the search, China made public several satellite photos allegedly showing wreckage in the South China Seas that it was later determined that those objects were unrelated debris. This statement provoked Malaysia Transportation Department officials to vocally criticize China as wasting other countries’ time in the search for the missing plane.

Global Times consolidated report — “China’s Actions in Hunt for Jet Are Seen as Hurting as Much as Helping” — Although the headline is somewhat polite, the main topic of the American New York Times report on the 15th boils down to one thing: China has “hindered” the search for the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane. This widely published article claims that in the first week following the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines jet, China announced satellite images misleading the search towards the South China Seas; later, “Haixun 01’s” mistaken detection of signals delayed the search for the plane’s black box… After the March 8th disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane, China’s national leaders have given numerous instructions with China dispatching the most ships and planes towards the sea area where the search is being conducted, but in the perspective of The New York Times, this is all a chance for “China to recover lost prestige, and at the same time project competence to the world”. The Voice of America said on the 15th that China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressed strong dissatisfaction in response to the criticisms of The New York Times and criticized it as being irresponsible. The report quoted the spokesperson saying that China’s only purpose is to do everything it can to find the plane, that the search for the Malaysia Airlines plane has entered a critical stage, and not knowing what purpose is behind this article by The New York Times.

“China’s claims have hindered the search for MH370” was the headline attached to a republishing of The New York Times article by American FOX News on the 15th. This New York Times report submitted from Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur starts off with a ridiculing tone saying that on April 5th, China’s “Haixun 01” “took the world by surprise in announcing that it may have detected underwater from the missing flight, and suddenly China looked like the hero of the multinational search effort”, “but several days later, the Chinese claims were discounted, and attention shifted to another set of signals recorded by American personnel aboard an Australian ship hundreds of miles away.” The article says China’s claims “have made officials from the United States and other participating countries angry [“exasperated”]”. “There are officials and analysts who believe that the purpose of this announcement may have been to project competence, but only served to distract and delay the search effort.” One anonymous American Defense Department official said: ““Everybody wants to find the plane, but false leads slow down the investigation.”

[The rest of the article reprinted from Global Times describes the content of the original New York Times article.]

Comments from NetEase:

于小小龙 [网易辽宁省丹东市网友]:

The most responsible party in this should be Malaysia. The behavior of United States, as the world’s police, with the most advanced equipment and resources, is also disappointing.

网易广东省深圳市手机网友 ip:113.116.*.*:

Bullshit, this is going too far. Other countries have also announced various photos of debris/wreckage floating on ocean waters. Are people not supposed to immediately announce when they’ve discovered clues? Are people supposed to be like Malaysia in being secretive?

网易湖南省手机网友 ip:222.246.*.*:

The Australians say the two pings that the Chinese have detected are the same pings detected by the Australians. This American dog hasn’t provided any manpower or physical resources in this missing Malaysia Airlines plane incident, and instead stays on the side making comments, as if watching a show, as the bad guy who complains first. Wherever American dogs are is wherever no peace can be found. Another United Nations should be established, one that excludes the American dogs.

网易福建省厦门市网友 ip:120.32.*.*:

Western countries have ulterior motives. This is a trick they often use, confusing right and wrong, inverting black and white [distorting the truth/facts], all with hidden agendas.

黄易特约小编 [网易四川省宜宾市手机网友]:

It is Malaysia who is continually hindering the search.

啤酒花1970 [网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市手机网友]:

Then Malaysia reporting the crash in the Thailand bay and American satellite discovering uncertain debris didn’t affect the search?

网易德国手机网友 ip:176.198.*.*:

If you can search better, then come. Stop criticizing from the sidelines.

网易河北省保定市手机网友 ip:111.11.*.*:

Although China may have been more of a hindrance than help, but no matter what, China is just trying to help!!!

网易江西省南昌市手机网友 ip:115.148.*.*: (responding to above)

A bunch of stupid cunts. Let me ask some questions. If it wasn’t for Malaysia being uncertain, would China have moved its satellites to help search? Has Malaysia delayed/hindered the search more or China? Could China not tell you all when it has found suspicions objects in its search? What help has the Americans given? Did China ever say the debris it found was definitely the plane? Has the plane been found yet? Is the plane certainly not in the South China Sea?

网易青海省西宁市手机网友 ip:223.220.*.*:

TMD, was it the Chinese who said the plane was in the South China Seas? Truth-distorting Americans.

20476685 [网易北京市海淀区手机网友]:

Perhaps it really is as they say, that we’ve harmed as much as we’ve helped. But I think maybe we are just unlucky. After all, it is like finding a needle in the ocean, and the probability of the things we find not being the needle is enormous.

网易福建省手机网友 ip:110.89.*.*:

Once again putting the blame on us. 👍

网易甘肃省兰州市手机网友 ip:125.75.*.*:

Oh, the information is from Global Shit Times

网易辽宁省沈阳市手机网友 ip:175.167.*.*:

Reports by Global Times cannot be completely believed/trusted.

网易山东省德州市手机网友 ip:119.189.*.*:

Those announcements/claims were all made by temporary workers

董雨田 [网易山东省日照市手机网友]:

A son wanted to join the military every since he was small. The day comes when he finally has the chance, so he goes up to his father and says:
“I want to join the army to defend the country. If Imperialist America truly dares to invade…”
“Whack!”, the father slapped him across the face.

Father: You can’t even defend your family, and you want to defend the country? Tell me, what can the Americans steal from you? What does the country have that needs your your defense?
Son: I want to defend our land [territory]…
Father: Heh heh, first tell me, what land do you have? You can’t even afford to purchase a home several square meters large, and even if you could, you’d only have 70 years of temporary usage rights, and you talk about land? Wait until you have land before you go defend it!

Son: The United States want to annex us…
Father: Don’t you talk about going abroad every day? Aren’t a bunch of your classmates also wanting to go abroad? If they annex us, then the expenses of going abroad can be saved.
Son: If we’re annexed, then it’ll be the white people who make decisions [who rule], and Chinese people will become second-class citizens.
Father: When Americans elect a president, it is one vote per person. If we’re annexed/merged, then it’ll be us 1.3 billion Chinese people versus 200 million white people, so who will be making decisions [rule]?

Son: If the Americans attack, they’ll topple our People’s Government, so I want to defend the People’s Government!
Father: “Whack!” (another slap). Just who do you want to defend? The Tax Bureau? The Ministry of Finance? The National Reform and Development Commission? The Securities Commission? The Health Department? The State Food and Drug Administration? The Housing Management Bureau? The Planning Department The Family Planning Office? The Chengguan? Or is it the National Football [Soccer] League? If you want to defend these bastards, just watch how I’m going to break your legs…
Son: (rashly/obstinate/sarcastically) I’ve figured it out now! If the Americans invade, I’ll just go open the door and welcome in the American armies!
Father: “Whack!” You think you’ll have the opportunity to do so? Those [Chinese] government officials have long ago already prepared the welcome feasts.

Many of the comments are mutual accusations and insults of “American running dogs” vs. “50 Cent Party.

Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Markus Peg

    No matter what you may think of the story or comments, you have to admit that this comment was funny, i smiled as i read it. Quote – “Those announcements/claims were all made by temporary workers…”

    • Poiuy098765

      And this is really an inside joke, on the fact that many “incidents” were created by “temporary workers” in China, whether they are government officials, police, public security, national security, firemen, taxi driver, security guard, etc. were all “temporary workers”.

      • Dr Sun

        As far as China goes if you’re not “on the list” your a temporary worker.

  • Joe

    I think it is a bit unfair to blame China on the search when the Australian navy gets the latest underwater search drones while the Chinese are literally sticking sticks into the water.

    • Poiuy098765

      sticking sticks into the water so noisily that interfered with other people’s instruments.

    • racist! If you understood traditional Chinese medicine you wouldn’t be so ignorant

    • steviewah

      Don’t think they were blaming insomuch as stating China shouldn’t be trying to project its technological capabilities which are not adequate for this type of mission. China is relatively new to the global stage and needs to understand there are inherit rules and procedures that are followed.

  • ex-expat

    The NYT article is right. They have acted like a bunch of spoiled children since day one. I especially love the idiot claiming that American dogs haven’t contributed anything, while in the same sentence mentioning the pings that were picked up by American technology. I wonder if they have any idea that a Chinese ship was trying to locate the blackbox by dragging a fucking hydrophone over the side.

    • Rick in China

      Obviously not. They also don’t know that the only vehicle that has gone to depth to search was provided by the US Navy (bluefin 21), or about other major military vessels. I suppose China paid some fishermen to go out into the south china sea and ‘search’ while they fish – to claim big numbers of contribution, but yelling about all the shit they potentially discovered then criticising malaysia for providing ‘wrong information’ (see any article about “the relatives”) is ludicrous. It’s fun to watch all the net warriors immediately jump to super strong defensive positions over any criticism, however, did you truly expect anything else?

      • ex-expat

        Exactly. It’s par for the course. I’ve been out of China for a year now, and I still let things like that affect me more than they should, albeit less than while I was there.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    12 fuckin ships doing the search…. and how many ships we have in the world again? 12 million maybe? LMAO at this a clearly failed multi-nation attempt to coverup what actually happened, and this “search”, is just a show put on to slience the people.

    • Poiuy098765

      Why don’t you send your ship if you want to find it ? It went down in international waters. Anyone wants to go can go. Go. Now. Immediately.

    • Rick in China

      Yes, all those ships can and should be deployed to the middle of the Indian ocean, as less than 300 dead absolutely warrants that. Stop all trade. Stop all national defense. Spend everything to find these people. After all, that is what ‘the relatives’ protesting in Beijing demand, and if The World Doesn’t Provide, They Shall Hunger Strike (at least in public), right?

      I’m with you brother. Give the order, let the ships fly!

  • KamikaziPilot

    One thing that bother my about this situation is that the Chinese relatives keep getting angry at Malaysia for not being open and giving timely information. Well if Malaysia truly doesn’t know what happened to the plane what are they supposed to say to the relatives? Unless Malaysia comes out and says “yes we’ve found the plane” and gave an exact cause of the crash, the Chinese relatives would be angry no matter what. Even other nations joining the search with presumably more advanced equipment (Australia, US) can’t even be sure what happened to the plane how can the Chinese expect Malaysia to give them specific answers about what happened? Granted in their state of grief and their distrust of government, you can’t expect them to be purely logical but seemed like they were over the top angry when Malaysia was trying their best. Maybe Malaysia should have given updates on a more regular basis, even if to say “nothing’s changed and we’re still looking is so and so area”.

    • MonkeyMouth

      ya, Malaysia just cant come out and say it was a false flag, or a CIA takedown to eliminate all those tech patent holders

    • ScottLoar

      Malaysian authorities can be faulted for many, many reasons. Failing to notify all of the plane’s disappearance until many hours after expected arrival even as traffic controllers knew the plane had changed course westward, which also meant the plane was most likely not in the South China Sea, and so the search went on for a week in an area the Malaysian authorities knew was wrong from their own radar plot; this also wore on the battery life of the black box. Failing to ask Thailand if their radar had tracked the plane in airspace the Malaysian authorities knew was crossed. The transponder and other directional indicators had been turned off which would lead any sensible person to understand the plane’s disappearance was not for reason of mechanical failure; this was immediately known to authorities yet they did not announce so. Even so simple a matter as the last transmission from the plane needed a month of questions and doubts before it was made clear. In view of all this is there any good reason why the Malaysian authorities’ competence and sincerity should not be doubted? Any reason why people who have lost relatives should not be screaming in frustration?

      • IsurvivedChina

        I think you meant “What was his mental state?” Nobody knows what happened to the plane, that’s why it’s a mystery. People just need to chill out. The Pilot may have known something or high jackers may have taken the plane to an island in the Indian ocean… we’ll never know! Playing the blame game is not the right way to go!

        • ScottLoar

          Past tense is correct, but saying “People just need to chill out” reveals your juvenile cultural attitude yet does nothing to resolve the disappearance or comfort those who, as I laboriously explained, are frustrated to screaming by MAS handling of known facts.

          That you would even suggest that “high jackers (sic) may have taken the plane to island (sic) in the Indian ocean (sic)” shows you either have little knowledge of those known facts or are gullible to any suggestion no matter how ridiculous.

          Transponders turned off, course changed towards the most remote part of the world to the very extent of the plane’s fuel, no cell phone calls from 239 passengers and crew, all point to The Pilot Did It! just as pilots are responsible for 54% of air crashes. So, why isn’t the investigation and news attention turned to that highest probability? Afraid of playin’ the blame game, yeah? Don’t think that everyone appreciates or imitates your laid-back, let’s-chill-out attitude as their frustration with the Malaysian authorities swells.

          • IsurvivedChina

            Like I said, chill out dude! getting angry over it on an online social media website is not going to bring the plane back.

          • ScottLoar

            Me? I’m not angry. I’ve gone to great length explaining why relatives are screaming at the Malaysian authorities and you interpret that as my personal ire. Just read, and if you don’t understand don’t volunteer opinion.

          • IsurvivedChina

            Oh I read it dude, while most of it was a bit long winded it made sense. My passiveness does not make me juvenile. I was talking about the comments some people have made and i truly believe some people here need to chill out! They rant on like school children.

      • Poiuy098765

        The most obvious reason for the plane’s disappearance is that it was shot down by PLAN, testing a surface-to-air missile in Indian Ocean, trying to create a reason for its presence in the ocean, and other ulterior motives, including inciting a hot conflict between US and Iran.

        • ScottLoar

          That convoluted explanation needing the co-ordinated cover-up of multiple entities with differing ulterior motives is not so obvious to simple me.

        • wnsk

          Ever heard of Ockham’s Razor?

      • KamikaziPilot

        While I tried to read every article I could since the beginning of this tragedy, I probably missed or forgot some things. I thought everyone knew it disappeared from radar as soon as it did (was on the major US websites). Are you saying Malaysia should be blamed for not notifying the relatives immediately that something was wrong? So was Malaysian radar the last to track the plane? Did they see it going off course and then it disappeared from radar? There’s just so much information out there I still think we all don’t know what happened. First media said it might have been the pilot deliberately crashing the plane, then another article saying the pilot could have been trying to help fix a mechanical issue by diverting the plane (I don’t know how)

        When I think about it again, the relatives really have nothing to lose by making as much noise as possible so I can’t really blame them. I just hope this doesn’t stir any kind of nationalistic hatred between the two countries.

        Your last sentence: Are you suggesting that the pilot deliberately avoided radar and crashed the plane in a remote area because he wanted to commit suicide and homicide and didn’t want anyone to find the plane?

        • ScottLoar

          Re my last sentence: Exactly, after 8 hours’ flying ditch the plane and it long-dead passengers beyond recovery. I have insisted so since day 5 or so. I have since moved to think the pilot’s intent would have been made known to MAS after the fact, either by postdated letter or otherwise.

          And, yes, when the flight was obviously hours overdue in Beijing and the plane was last tracked by Malaysian radar going well off course towards the west, Malaysian authorities should have revealed this and all they knew to the public, gaining trust and also sparing Vietnam and China from scouring garbage off the South China Sea for a week. The Thai military acknowledged they had tracked the plane moving westward through Thai airspace but didn’t say so for 10 days because Malaysia hadn’t asked them. It took how many weeks before the last words from the plane were definitely understood and recognized as from the pilot? And both on-board locators were shut off which fact would have been known to Malaysia immediately when the plane re-entered Malaysian airspace and could only be tracked by radar. A review of each days’ events – and I’m sure that review will come through the foreign press and not MAS – shows the Malaysian authorities hesitant, even dilatory in announcing anything other than sympathies, and not forthcoming about exactly what is known to them.

          Anger? Yeah, I can understand why each continuing revelation about the flight that does not come from Malaysian authorities only incites more anger from those who 40 days onward don’t know what happened.

    • donscarletti

      Malaysia has two things that China probably would prefer to be griping about but can’t:
      1) Bumiputra affirmative action policy discriminating against Malaysian Chinese.
      2) Malaysian Chinese males scoring way too much poontang in Shanghai.

      Seriously, those guys just put together western game, eastern game and famous sense of superiority to nail all sorts of mainland hotties. Also, unlike most western dudes, they actually bone all the chicks that the mainland dudes want. It’s not well publicised, because they don’t stand out, but Japan and America wouldn’t even be mentioned in “who to invade” discussions if netizens knew about this.

      • KamikaziPilot

        Interesting, I had a feeling there was something else going on behind the scenes. Mainland Chinese guys better step their game up, after all not everyone can be filthy rich (where you don’t need game), seems like they’re getting left behind in the dust way too often, hence the angry man complex.

        • Reptilian

          Yup, there’s another article here on ChinaSmack about a Chinese woman marrying an Indian man. Read the last article comment, it was refreshingly honest, and a view to how emotionally insecure mainland men are re: Chinese women intermarrying.

      • Reptilian

        Thing is, the mainland girls have got the Malaysian guys all figured out. Ticket out of town, sugar daddies, personal ATM, call ’em what you want, but the Chinese-Malaysians are being bilked for all they’re worth, and they’re still along for the ride =)

  • Insomnicide

    America blames China for hindering the search.
    China blames Malaysia for delaying the investigation.
    Malaysia blames Australia for not being transparent about their findings.

    Are we sure this isn’t the biggest international joke in history?

    • Free Man

      What do you expect from a multinational group of useless politicians? Something better then what they do for their own countries?

    • MonkeyMouth

      its because Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger are getting too old, and havent trained their lackeys quite as well

      • Poiuy098765

        But it is all China’s fault. They refuses to send their lackeys to be trained by Dick and Henry.

  • Guang Xiang

    Working with Chinese contractors at a chemical plant, I can relate to this article. They have a tendency to promise more than they can do, exaggerate their progress, and then make excuses when they fall behind.

    Though to be fair, there is one very professional Chinese contractor that follows international standards, but that’s because they are also responsible for the construction of the nation’s nuclear power plants. I would have expected the same professionalism from their navy.

    • Free Man

      In 8 years of working with chinese I learned this: don’t expect anything and you will never get disappointed!!!

      • Poiuy098765

        We decided not to buy or sell to Chinese unless it is a cash deal – cash in a trust account first – 50 years ago, and we handled all the shipping, through a western shipping agent.

        • ScottLoar

          I remember my first tentative deal with the PRC in 1984 or earlier, with payment through what was erroneously called letter of credit. But the Chinese L/C required I ship the goods to the customer and only on acceptance of the goods by the customer (!) would I receive payment from the Chinese bank, and that payment would be subject to deductions if the customer warranted so. I had no guarantee of payment from the Chinese bank; it all depended on the customer’s disposition.

          Had I accepted such terms I would not have needed payment by L/C, which is a bank’s guarantee that a shipment of goods will be paid by monies held by that bank if all terms are met. Of course I didn’t accept the order and explained so to the Chinese buyers who insisted such payments by L/C were routine business practice. But that was in the early 80’s.

          • xiaode

            I am currently working on a Gov. project where they require the very same condition… so it´s still like that!
            In fact, it´s kind of incredible with what demands the bidding company is coming up with… I can not imagine that any Chinese company could fulfill such requirements given (such as in my project) Impossible! I have dealt with very huge state-owned companies so far… which are market leaders with >50% market share worldwide… even they are far away from winning a bid under this circumstances…

          • ScottLoar

            Truest advice in business I ever heard: There’s money to be made on a deal like this, this deal can be done, but it’s not for me.

          • Guang Xiang

            Damn! I can’t imagine dealing with China in the 80s. Things are A LOT better now.

          • ScottLoar

            Dealing with the Chinese then was the same as with immigrants from the Soviet Bloc; they didn’t quite understand money was a fluid tool for application, they thought capitalism meant fuck everyone else on every deal, and freedom meant you can do whatever you want without consequences. Americans now, by example, think everyone understands and wants a “win-win” deal, and remain stubbornly naive to the truth that some cultures understand a deal is to make money, anybody’s money, including that of their erstwhile business partners.

          • Archie

            Sad but true.

    • MonkeyMouth

      this whole concept of ‘face’ doesnt mix with international standards of professionalism

    • Poiuy098765

      Have you ever listen to the PLA generals talking in TV. That’s Chinese professionalism.

      • Guang Xiang

        Nope I haven’t. I would imagine there’s a lot of thumb twiddling with their limited warfare experience.

        • Rick in China

          Unless you count silencing the rebels and keeping it out of the press as warfare. :D

    • Rick in China

      Does that mean the China supplied methylone on silk road is FAKE? :(

    • Le chat

      Maybe they’re just artistic…you know…artists tend to exaggerate or distort reality a bit. ;-)

  • Free Man

    The last comment about the father-son-talk is great. I wish there would me more fathers like this in China. I had similar talks with some people about invading Japan, but they all refuse to pick up a gun and take the lead.

    • mr.wiener

      That was my favorite too.

    • Insomnicide

      That was probably one of the best jokes I’ve heard lately.

      • Le chat

        It’s not a joke. It’s a bit of a drama, but it’s reality.

        • Insomnicide

          It’s meant to be a typical joke, but it’s also very true.

    • MonkeyMouth

      ya….pretty clever.

  • mr.wiener

    I’m reminded of that whole “Chinese icebreaker steams to the rescue” BS. The Chinese had good intentions , no denying it, but like a puppy whose paws are too big and wanted to impress everyone else, it got into trouble when it strayed into thick ice the big dogs were too wise to enter.
    China is still new to the world stage, They have to learn their limitations and how to play nice, but we should also cut them some slack.

    • MonkeyMouth

      agreed. this is a wise (aussie) man talking ;)

      • IsurvivedChina

        defining oneself as wise… mmm very wise!

        • MonkeyMouth

          was talking about wiener, you wiener! haha

          • IsurvivedChina

            I see grammar was not your strong point in school?

          • Poiuy098765

            It was perfect Chinese grammar.

          • MonkeyMouth

            there is nothing wrong with that sentence….

          • IsurvivedChina

            Of course.

      • mr.wiener

        Not that wise, but i do bullshit well.

        • Dr Sun

          and we love you for it

    • Poiuy098765

      The only intention Chinese had was to make a name for it self. Face is all they care.

      • Guang Xiang

        If you really believe China is the only country in the world stage vying for face, …okay.

        • Suzhou PRC

          We don’t believe we trust

      • Dr Sun

        ‘if it is there, we will find it’, says Tony Abbott

        • wnsk

          LOL. Is that meant to be a counterpoint? I never saw that comment in that light…

          • Dr Sun

            lets just say is was not in support of poiuy

      • Le chat

        In English, sometimes the equivalent word for “face” is “respect”, and it’s used a lot too.

        • Jahar

          And it’s also quite different

          • Le chat

            Oxford advanced dictionary gives three explanations for “respect”:

            1. a feeling of admiration for somebody/something because of their good qualities or achievements
            2. polite behaviour towards or care for somebody/something that you think is important
            3. [countable] a particular aspect or detail of something

            I think the Chinese “face” falls into “polite behaviour towards somebody that you think is important”. And one of the first few episodes of American TV series “Elementary” used it in real context as well. (Couldn’t remember which exact episode though.) Yes, it’s not commonly used that way, but it is an equivalent sometimes.

          • Jahar

            I’ve been doing my best to understand “face”, and the best I’ve come up with is that it’s more about what people say than what people actually think. the appearance of respect. Acting like a jackass doesn’t make one lose face, someone saying something about it makes one lose face.

          • Kai

            That doesn’t reconcile with Chinese people who describe bad behavior as “losing face” 丢脸 or 丢人. The behavior itself is considered “face-losing”, not just because someone observes it to be so. So acting like a jackass DOES make one lose face.

            What you’re referring to is more about whether or not someone contributes to someone losing face by drawing attention to a face-losing behavior/situation. That’s “face” as “embarrassment”. So, someone acting like a jackass makes him lose face. You drawing attention to it makes him lose face even more. You embarrassing him doesn’t change whether or not him acting like a jackass was inherently “face-losing” by itself.

            Does that make sense?

            It’s like how someone can do something embarrassing but you can also embarass them. They’re not mutually exclusive. Embarrassing someone for what they did doesn’t mean what they did isn’t inherently embarrassing.

            I think a big reason why many foreigners have a hard time understanding “face” is because so many different phenomena are tied into seemingly one word. While Chinese people usually grow up implicitly understanding the what aspect of “face” is involved in what context and situation, foreigners may have trouble understanding why “face” refers to this here but that there. That’s why its often better to simply substitute the most relevant word (respect, deference, embarrassment, shame, etc.) for the specific situation than trying to use “face” for a bunch of different situations.

            Hope this helps.

          • wnsk

            There are two components to “face” — “lian” and “mian zi.” Both literally mean “face.” But there’s a saying in Mandarin that illustrates the difference; “lian” is something you throw away yourself [see Kai’s example], “mian zi” is what other people give to you.

            Generally, “face” can be described as a form of social currency. Often people will say such things as “give me some face” in the sense of “do me a favour” with the implicit meaning that the favour will be returned someday (or the person making the request/demand has just somehow “earned” or deserves it by virtue of reputation, authority, etc.) A bit like a give-and-take thing.

            Excessively caring about “face” is seen to be a negative thing, a sign of an overly-proud person. On the flip-side, a person who demonstrates complete ignorance or wilful disregard of the “face” mechanism is seen as a social misfit; someone who doesn’t know how to behave properly in social situations.

            That’s my take on things. (Get a second opinion.)

            …Now, tell me something about your culture you think I probably don’t know, but should, please. :)

        • donscarletti

          Respect is an inward feeling, face is an outward display.

          Often by saving face one loses respect.

          • Kai

            Semantics.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Face_(sociological_concept)

            Some people are too eager to think of “face” being peculiar to Chinese (or East Asians) when frankly it is more or less present in every society when you analyze the phenomenon that are associated with “face”. There’s more difference between individuals than between cultures.

          • donscarletti

            I didn’t actually claim “face” is a purely East Asian thing, although the word face (Chinese 面子 or 脸) certainly is. But, for the purpose of lively argument, I’ll pretend that I did.

            I concede the desire remains the same between humans of all cultures to make themselves appear to be more than they are and to have others overlook their mistakes.

            However, the distinction is not with the desire, but the reaction from others and treatment by society. In China, it’s generally expected you should care about others face, not
            addressing certain problems directly, giving people a way out without
            admitting fault, openly deferring to elders and superiors (while
            ignoring them quietly). In the west, caring about face is seen as a character problem and westerners often consider giving people an opportunity to deal with these issues as helping them. The concept of face (more the 面子 type, and less the 脸 type) is treated with far more contempt in the west and those trying to preserve it, will be mocked far more openly.

            As a result, it is a lot easier for all people, both Chinese and foreign to lose touch with their own shortcomings in China, which I conjecture is one of the main reasons so many foreigners in China behave badly and Chinese behave so well in foreign countries. I for one would rather be liked but criticised/mocked, than disliked in private.

            Vices are common to humanity, but the social pressures that suppress them are very different.

            Postscript,
            It’s not semantics. It’s a real distinction. Someone can give you face while contempting you, but cannot respect you and contempt you. If you have never done this to others, then you are a better man than I, but regardless, it is common.

          • Surfeit

            I can only comment as a westerner, but it’s pretty obvious what you meant. The distinction is apparent, and the difference is great.

          • Kai

            No, you didn’t make that specific claim. I was responding more to the general notion that it is, as regularly advanced by various people here and elsewhere.

            I quite like the rest of your comment, such as this:

            Vices are common to humanity, but the social pressures that suppress them are very different.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame_culture
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilt_society

            My position is that the difference between societies considered “shame cultures” and societies considered “guilt cultures” is ultimately marginal and there’s more overlap than difference, to the the point where most differences in edge cases might as well be the difference between Chinese thinking its fine to burp and slurp while eating while Americans might think its impolite and bad manners. Most people everywhere are ruled by both guilt and shame.

            What I find objectionable are disingenuous attempts to exaggerate differences and exoticize “face”, usually for the convenience of arbitrarily blaming things one doesn’t like on it, as if it is simply impossible to understand or empathize with, often with overtones of derision and contempt.

          • Wa

            As tired as arguments on “face” may be, some people are also far too eager to assert equivalence where there are significant differences. Throwing the horse-blanket term of “semantics” over such differences is both affected and inadequate. Linguistic calques aren’t very convincing either. Slippage between respect or dignity and face is possible, but not without a considerable loss in meaning.

          • Kai

            I’m eager to argue there is more equivalence than not in response to those who are eager to exaggerate the differences.

            Please be clear though that I have no problem with people who have an academic and good faith interest in discussing differences in behavior and norms between societies/cultures. The problem I have is with people who want to use something like “face” as a convenient scapegoat and catch-all explanation for things they dislike about Chinese/East-Asian society, such as Poiuy098765’s comment.

            Most professed imcomprehension of “face” is in fact an issue of semantics. Have them cite a situation and simply changing “face” to the equivalent term in their native language helps with comprehension. That’s what Le Chat was trying to do.

            The vast majority of the time, there’s less loss in meaning in doing so than there is deprivation of conveniently exoticizing a situation with an amorphous larger concept it is only a subset of. Insisting on characterizing something as “face” and refusing to understand something with its more relevant linguistic equivalent is too often disingenuous obfuscation. “No, that’s ‘face’, not ’embarrassment'” is too often synonymous with “no, I want to blame something foreign rather than actually understand it”.

            @donscarletti:disqus articulated differences he sees in a very sincere and non-calculating way. I respect that. Unfortunately, Pouiy wasn’t alluding to face with such a mentality. He was deriding “face” as some sort of exoticized explanation for China possibly trying to “project competency”. It’s not hard for people to understand the desire to project competency, so why invoke the larger more amorphous concept of face if not to exoticize the desire to project competency?

          • Wa

            “Please be clear though that I have no problem with people who have an academic and good faith interest in discussing differences in behavior and norms between societies/cultures. The problem I have is with people who want to use something like “face” as a convenient scapegoat and catch-all explanation for things they dislike about Chinese/East-Asian society, such as Poiuy098765’s comment.”

            Sure, I understand that point, and convenience is rightly suspect. However, I do believe most attempts to replace “face” with an “equivalent term” fail to capture the performative value of the term’s invocation, fail to capture its nuances of application, and amount to little more than an uninsightful attempt to explain a joke. Le Chat’s attempt concluded with, “Yes, it’s not commonly used that way, but it is an equivalent sometimes.”

            “The vast majority of the time, there’s less loss in meaning in doing so than there is deprivation of conveniently exoticizing a situation with an amorphous larger concept it is only a subset of.”

            I disagree in two respects: first and foremost due to the fact that the loss in meaning is significant; second, because the desire for convenient familiarity can be as obfuscating as a desire for the exotic. This can be seen with great percipience in Bernard Williams’ treatment of heroic prestige in Shame and Necessity. Upon its publication, Williams was praised for first exoticizing the ancient Greeks in order to arrive at insights which had too often been precluded by the use of anachronistic ethical terms all too familiar to modern readers, familiar terms which failed to provide traction in our appreciation of the motives of Achilles and Agamemnon’s dispute in the Iliad or Aias’ tragic resolution.

            “donscarletti articulated differences he sees in a very sincere and non-calculating way. I respect that. Unfortunately, Pouiy wasn’t alluding to face with such a mentality. He was deriding “face” as some sort of exoticized explanation for China possibly trying to “project competency”. It’s not hard for people to understand the desire to project competency, so why invoke the larger more amorphous concept of face if not to exoticize the desire to project competency?”

            Understood, but my comment to you was a response to your initial point, which was directed to donscarletti. As for Pouiy’s remark, I believe he was addressing excess in the desire to “project competency”.

          • Kai

            However, I do believe most attempts to replace “face” with an
            “equivalent term” fail to capture the performative value of the term’s
            invocation, fail to capture its nuances of application, and amount to
            little more than an uninsightful attempt to explain a joke.

            I disagree, especially when those ascribing a behavior to “face” are too often unable to explain the concepts of “face” when pressed. Let’s keep it simple by discussing the “performative value” and “nuances of application” for each individual instance we come upon and find ourselves in disagreement. My position is that, in the vast majority of instances, a behavior casually ascribed to “face” is helpfully demystified when an equivalent term that is more familiar to beholders is substituted. Resistance to the substitution is too often the result of a questionable vested interest in mystifying or exoticizing the behavior overwhelming any good faith interest in understanding or empathizing.

            first and foremost due to the fact that the loss in meaning is significant;

            It’s not a fact. The best way to approach this would be to take an example situation/behavior that is ascribed to “face”, discuss substitutions, and then discuss how those substitutions result in a “significant” loss of meaning.

            second, because the desire for convenient familiarity can be as obfuscating as a desire for the exotic.

            Not when the goal is to increase understanding of a behavior that was described with a term or ascribed to a concept unfamiliar to the listener/beholder. So long as the goal is to understand why someone behaves the way they do, the explanation should be in terms most readily understood by the listener. Otherwise, it is like using university-level vocabulary to explain something to a kindergartener.

            I believe he was addressing excess in the desire to “project competency”.

            I think the phrase “desire to project competency” by itself suggests “excess” in the desire. People who consider themselves competent wouldn’t “desire to project” it. Therefore, if someone desires to project, it is because they have a vain insecurity they feel compelled to address.

            It’s important to review how this conversation developed to this point. Insofar as China’s participation in the search may stem from a desire to project competence to its domestic audience, i agree with Pouiy that “face” can explain that desire. What we’re on about now starts with the implications inherent in donscarletti’s response to Le Chat’s response to Pouiy.

            Le Chat is saying, yes, China may care about face, and he feels, in this instance, the facet of face involved is “respect”. He’s tempering Pouiy’s “Face is all they care [about]” by saying a lot of people/nations beyond the Chinese/China care about respect too. Therefore, how much contempt or derision should there be in “Face is all they care [about]”? In other words, who doesn’t care about face? Or, since Le Chat wasn’t asking a question, “a lot of people care about face”.

            donscarletti chimes in and argues what he feels is a difference between “face” and “respect”. It’s oversimplified, which I think he acknowledged in a subsequent comment, because “face” is most certainly not just an “outward display”. Facets of “face” are also “inward feelings”. Likewise, “respect” can also be an “outward display”.

            This is why I said “Semantics”.

            donscarletti’s second remark was to say you may lose the respect of others if you come across to them as caring too much about face. If applied to the NYT article, it’s saying that China is trying too hard to look good (or project competence) to its domestic audience and this is causing them to lose respect from other countries (because they’re hurting more than helping the search).

            The bulk of my response to donscarletti was to express an opinion about the general issue of how face is invoked as peculiar to East Asians. If there’s relevance to Pouiy, the arguable one would be any suggestion that “Face is all China cares [about]” suggests only China cares about “face”. Similar perhaps to Le Chat, I’m just saying “if you think this is unique to China (or East Asians), I disagree.”

            You joined the conversation suggesting I’m too eager to assert equivalence when you believe there is significant difference. My responses to you have been to argue that there are no significant differences but I’m willing to review and discuss any examples you can think of. To me, face is just an umbrella term for a concept comprising notions and behaviors that are universally human and thus have fully functioning equivalent terms in other languages. I believe using those terms often helps people better understand behaviors or phenomenon initially ascribed to “face”.

            I hope we’re on the same page here. Our disagreement is whether or not there are situations where equivalent terms are inadequate to describe a behavior that can be ascribed to “face”, where you feel there is “loss of meaning” in doing so. I don’t think there are but you’re welcome to offer examples for us to consider..

          • Alex Dương

            Please give an example of a “significant difference” between face in China and face in the West.

          • Wa

            The operative terms would be, say, face in China and respect in the West. One significant difference is situated in the deference required by face in China and its reciprocal presumptiveness and imposition on the part of the object of deference. Respect in the West varies far less by hierarchical standing and can only be ineffectively demanded.

            Take, for example, the case of China’s Foreign Minister in 2005, Li Zhaoxing. He apparently had high regard for his English though he still used an interpreter in public forums. On several occasions Mr. Li would “correct” his interpreter publicly on a word she translated. His corrections were always niggling points that served no purpose but to establish his control and superiority over the interpreter, yet these dickish moves were as a matter of course met with public praise for Mr. Li’s English aptitude…despite the fact that it clearly embarrassed and perhaps critically undermined his subordinate’s ability to do her job (and perhaps endangered her career). In no way could these acts be adequately characterized by “respect” in English, yet a desire for “mianzi” does serve to properly describe them. The hierarchical element is paramount in this example.

          • Alex Dương

            The operative terms would be, say, face in China and respect in the West.

            Again, this assumes that “face” doesn’t exist in the West, which is ridiculous. It is human to not want to admit when you’re wrong; admitting you made a mistake can be perceived as losing credibility or “prestige.” Losing credibility / prestige? Sounds like “saving face” to me.

          • Wa

            No, Alex, it doesn’t assume that “face” doesn’t exist in the West. “Face” is a linguistic calque. Do you understand what that means? I gave you an example of a significant difference, as you asked. I also provided an instance of its application. Please make your response more substantial than simply trying to find another verbal substitute which neither counters nor even addresses my comment. If you want to play round robin with the terms of your selection, we can. “Prestige” would not adequately substitute for respect in my comments above because it would have to apply to both figures in the example. Mr. Li certainly may have thought he was gaining prestige but such acts as his were entirely at variance with any prestige he may have left for his interpreter, yet he was roundly praised for them (if not by the interpreter herself). Again, the hierarchical element is in full focus.

          • Alex Dương

            “Face” is a linguistic calque. Do you understand what that means?

            The condescension here is rather ironic considering that you previously said, quote, “Throwing the horse-blanket term of ‘semantics’ over such differences is both affected and inadequate. Linguistic calques aren’t very convincing either.

            I gave you an example of a significant difference, as you asked.

            No, I asked for a significant difference between “face” in China and “face” in the West. You began your reply by saying, quote, “The operative terms would be, say, face in China and respect in the West.” You didn’t answer what I asked; you answered a change of what I asked.

            “Face” has got to be one of the most overexaggerated cultural “differences” between the West and China. “Saving face” is not a mysterious concept in the U.S., for example:

            http://youtu.be/rf0DA-IzJyI?t=2m45s

            That’s a clip from a Republican debate before the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Huckabee said, “Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor…” Gee, that sounds an awful lot like “saving face” to me, and unsurprisingly, Paul’s finished his retort by asking, “What do we have to pay to save face?”

          • Wa

            “The condescension here is rather ironic considering that you previously said, quote, “Throwing the horse-blanket term of ‘semantics’ over such differences is both affected and inadequate. Linguistic calques aren’t very convincing either.”

            What is ironic is that you don’t understand you CAN’T claim the conceptual equivalence of “face” to Western sociomoral notions based on a linguistic calque, which is EXACTLY THE POINT I am making in your italicized citation. A linguistic calque is a directly transposed word. Were there adequate substitutes in the language already to cover its significance, one wonders why it needed to be transposed to begin with. This is why linguistic calques are NOT convincing of the equivalence of concepts, and it is also why your attempt at incorporating Raul Paul’s comment is misguided and inept.

            “No, I asked for a significant difference between “face” in China and “face” in the West. You began your reply by saying, quote, “The operative terms would be, say, face in China and respect in the West.” You didn’t answer what I asked; you answered a change of what I asked.”

            You are very slow to understand. You didn’t use quotes in your first request, so I naturally thought you were asking me to explain the difference in conceptualization of comparative terms, which was precisely the point I made to Kai when I stated, “Slippage between respect or dignity and face is possible, but not without a considerable loss in meaning.” It was that comment to which you responded, right? The use of the specific sociomoral term “face” in the West is a direct borrowing (a calque) from China, which is why it would be utterly stupid to try to show significant difference in its conceptualization.

            “Saving face” is not a mysterious concept in the U.S.”

            This we agree upon. But here you once again show very limited understanding. There is nothing especially mysterious about “face” (it has been in use as a borrowed concept for some time), but that does not mean that it is a guiding principle of sociomoral suasion in the US, nor does it mean that it is equivalent to a host of Western concepts such as respect, dignity, honor, prestige, etc.

            “Huckabee said, “Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor…” Gee, that sounds an awful lot like “saving face” to me”

            And round we go. We are getting closer now, since honor typically has a hierarchical value. Sadly, though, we appear to be going back in time. Huckabee sounds like a fatuous fool utilizing a concept that has no application to either his party or that of its labors. This is not merely the Republicans’ fault. It is a choice of improper terminology. If you think people in the West currently live in the Roman Republic, La Mancha, or the antebellum South, then I will consider this as a rough equivalent for “mianzi”. Of course…if you recognize this as dated political rhetoric and realize people in the West do not currently concern themselves with how they honor or are honored by others on a daily basis (whereas Chinese do with “mianzi”), I’ll respect you more.

          • Alex Dương

            Were there adequate substitutes in the language already to cover its significance, one wonders why it needed to be transposed to begin with.

            I guess it was transposed because the people who did so originally didn’t realize that they were overexaggerating a cultural “difference.”

            You didn’t use quotes in your first request, so I naturally thought you were asking me to explain the difference in conceptualization of comparative terms…

            I can’t give you face here (*) because I said, quote, “Please give an example of a ‘significant difference’ between face in China and face in the West.” So it was not a case of my not being clear in my writing; it was a case of you not answering my question as it was written.

            No matter. Now that you know what I meant, I’ll ask again: Please give an example of a “significant difference” between face in China and face in the West.

            (*)

            An equivalent expression here would be “let this slide.” When you let things slide, aren’t you letting someone save face? Gee, what a huge cultural difference “face” is!

            that does not mean that it is a guiding principle of sociomoral suasion in the US, nor does it mean that it is equivalent to a host of Western concepts such as respect, dignity, honor, prestige, etc.

            Oh, please. It is human to not want to be embarrassed, to not want to admit when you’re wrong, to not want to “back down,” the list goes on.

            Huckabee sounds like a fatuous fool utilizing a concept that has no application to either his party or that of its labors.

            I don’t agree with anything he said in the part of the clip I showed you. But that is not the point. The point is that wanting to save face is hardly a “Chinese thing.” Here we have a former Governor of a U.S. state saying, to thunderous applause, that “…we should not lose our honor…” He didn’t want to admit that we made a mistake going into Iraq; he wanted to continue the mistake to maintain an image of honor.

            Maintaining an image? Huh, isn’t that saving face?

          • Wa

            “I guess it was transposed because the people who did so originally didn’t realize that they were overexaggerating a cultural “difference.”

            Great, guess as much as you’d like. The importance of the calque for our debate is that when a person uses “face” as a term of sociomoral suasion, they are essentially using a, however bastardized or corrupt, Chinese concept.

            “I can’t give you face here (*) because I said, quote, “Please give an example of a ‘significant difference’ between face in China and face in the West.” So it was not a case of my not being clear in my writing; it was a case of you not answering my question as it was written.

            No matter. Now that you know what I meant, I’ll ask again: Please give an example of a “significant difference” between face in China and face in the West.”

            Alex, when you previously argued that I didn’t answer your question, you put “face” in quotation marks and appeared to demand I explain the difference between that word and the same word used in the West, which was, as I said, a stupid request. Now, as you can see here, you did not put “face” in quotation marks when you first asked. Is that too difficult of a connection to make for you? Since you haven’t even addressed the explanation of a “significant difference” I’ve provided, could the quotes around “significant difference” be remotely relevant?

            No matter, now I’ll answer again: asking for an example of a significant difference between a Chinese word used in its natural context and a Chinese word borrowed in order to represent the same concept would be utterly inept.

            “An equivalent expression here would be “let this slide.” When you let things slide, aren’t you letting someone save face? Gee, what a huge cultural difference “face” is!”

            Can you positively use the phrase “let this slide” to represent face? Can you say you are going to give someone a slide in the sense of honoring him? Can you say he really loves other people sliding him? If so, then wonderful. I’d be happy if you got one solid hit out of this large discussion…even if it was your own sentence. But you may be aware that face is not merely instanced in acts of “saving face” despite your focus on explaining that tendency. What you are desperately trying to do is translate one phrase for another in order to find an adequate temporary substitute. That’s fine, but it doesn’t address the larger concept of face at all.

            “Oh, please. It is human to not want to be embarrassed, to not want to admit when you’re wrong, to not want to “back down,” the list goes on”

            Yes, the list of being human does go on. Nevertheless, this does not mean that all humans or cultures conceptualize desires or prioritize issues in the same way.

            “I don’t agree with anything he said in the part of the clip I showed you. But that is not the point. The point is that wanting to save face is hardly a “Chinese thing.”

            I don’t understand why you are arguing against points I haven’t made. If you look at the second comment I made to Kai in this thread, you’ll see an example of a Western culture (that of the ancient Greeks) which had a conceptualization of “honor” or “heroic prestige” that was in many ways very similar, if more intense, to the Chinese concept of face. Nevertheless, that age has passed and the emphasis given to the terms they employed, like kleos, no longer holds. Not only is the social situation radically different, the terms themselves used to represent that code have become etiolated.

            “Here we have a former Governor of a U.S. state saying, to thunderous applause, that “…we should not lose our honor…” He didn’t want to admit that we made a mistake going into Iraq; he wanted to continue the mistake to maintain an image of honor.”

            Right. Which is a completely vapid use of the term “honor” unsurprisingly embraced by an audience whose fatuity was merely mirrored in himself. He is using a term he doesn’t understand, elevating his argument by attempting to rely on its archaic gravitas, and misapplying it. In this sense, Paul’s “save face” comes across as more of a criticism of the benighted nature of his attempt. Of course, Ron Paul is equally foolish. For all he knows he may be saying “Down with the Fed”.

          • mr.wiener

            {Brian Blessed voice} RELEASE THE WALL OF TEXT!!!

          • Wa

            Eh. It can get worse.

          • Alex Dương

            Great, guess as much as you’d like. The importance of the calque for our debate is that when a person uses “face” as a term of sociomoral suasion, they are essentially using a, however bastardized or corrupt, Chinese concept.

            Except they aren’t. The concept is universal.

            Is that too difficult of a connection to make for you?

            Of course. You are basically saying that when I say one thing, “everybody knows” something else is “supposed” to be understood instead. That is ridiculous. You are literally just trying to save face here by pulling this stunt; seriously, if I had wanted an example of a significant difference between face in China and respect in the West, I would’ve asked you for that.

            asking for an example of a significant difference between a Chinese word used in its natural context and a Chinese word borrowed in order to represent the same concept would be utterly inept.

            The concept is, again, universal. I’m seeing it in action right now with your attempt to claim that when I asked you for one thing, I really meant to ask you for something else.

            Can you positively use the phrase “let this slide” to represent face? Can you say you are going to give someone a slide in the sense of honoring him? Can you say he really loves other people sliding him? If so, then wonderful.

            OK, this is pretty fucking pathetic. You know damn well what “let it slide” means: consciously, deliberately not pursuing a point because you think it isn’t worth it. Why isn’t it worth it? Because in your mind, you decided that the value of making the point isn’t worth the cost of embarrassing the other person. Hmm, sounds a lot like the social concept of face, no?

            I can’t believe you actually tried to argue that an idiom should be understood literally. You are really grasping for straws here. Say, when people do that, aren’t they desperately trying to…wait for it…save face?

            Nevertheless, this does not mean that all humans or cultures conceptualize desires or prioritize issues in the same way.

            Of course. But this doesn’t mean face is a “Chinese concept.”

            Which is a completely vapid use of the term “honor” unsurprisingly embraced by an audience whose fatuity was merely mirrored in himself.

            You seem to have forgotten your own point here. You can argue all you want that he is using “honor” inappropriately. But that was not your original claim that face is a “Chinese concept.” I gave you an example of a U.S. politician taking a position for no reason other than to maintain an image / preserve “honor.” That is exactly what “saving face” is.

            Of course there are cultural differences between China and the West. No doubt. But “face” is not one of them. Just look at your own replies to me: you misunderstood a simple, straightforward request, and you tried to tell me that it should’ve been obvious that when I asked you for one thing, I really meant to ask you for something else; and you actually tried to tell me to interpret an idiom literally. You don’t want to admit that you’re wrong here; you want to maintain your image / credibility / reputation. You want to “save face.”

          • Wa

            “Except they aren’t. The concept is universal.”

            No, it is not. Parts of the concept may correspond to concepts held in the West. Parts do not. It is not one concept which is universal.

            “Of course. You are basically saying that when I say one thing, “everybody knows” something else is “supposed” to be understood instead.”

            No, I’m basically saying that in the context in which I was addressing Kai (which you responded to), it is very clear I did not accept a single universal concept and I highlighted failed equivalence between signifiers. I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you wouldn’t idiotically expect me to have to focus on the term “face” in the West in order to address the corresponding concepts. In this I see I was mistaken.

            “You are literally just trying to save face here by pulling this stunt; seriously, if I had wanted an example of a significant difference between face in China and respect in the West, I would’ve asked you for that.”

            All that you are showing here is that face is a concern, one might even say an obsession, of yours. Pulling a stunt…setting a trap…the accusations abound with you. Again, the Western use of “face” in sociomoral suasion is a calque. This is a linguistically verifiable fact. If you do not accept the shifting of signifiers to address corresponding concepts, you are left only with a meaningless question. But of course, I know you do accept the shifting of signifiers since you’ve tried it repeatedly in our discussion.

            “I can’t believe you actually tried to argue that an idiom should be understood literally. You are really grasping for straws here.

            You know damn well what “let it slide” means: consciously, deliberately not pursuing a point because you think it isn’t worth it. Why isn’t it worth it? Because in your mind, you decided that the value of making the point isn’t worth the cost of embarrassing the other person. Hmm, sounds a lot like the social concept of face, no?”

            It’s not a question of the literal application of the idiom. It’s a question of how much of the concept of face is addressed by this idiom (take a look at one commenter’s distinction between “mianzi” and “lian” below for assistance): a very small part. No, this idiom does not capture “the social concept of face” because face is not reducible to “not pursuing a point because you don’t want to embarrass another person”. This is one aspect of face, to be sure. But this aspect is oblique to what Kwang-kuo Hwang described as the “projection of self-image and impression management.”

            “You seem to have forgotten your own point here. You can argue all you want that he is using “honor” inappropriately. But that was not your original claim that face is a “Chinese concept.” I gave you an example of a U.S. politician taking a position for no reason other than to maintain an image / preserve “honor.” That is exactly what “saving face” is.”

            No, I have not. I have made two claims and they do not contradict each other. You gave an example of a US politician taking a position on the basis of fatuity–fatuity in his dated rhetoric and fatuity in the vapidness of his position. Such fatuity was immediately recognized by another politician as “saving face” and rejected. One could argue, and I have, that the proper application of honor was rejected as well. So you do not have the correspondence of the concept of honor to that of “face”; instead, you have an adulteration of honor that is characterized with a Chinese concept.

            “You don’t want to admit that you’re wrong here; you want to maintain your image / credibility / reputation. You want to ‘save face.'”

            Do you want to keep going with this? You are starting to sound like whuddyshack with his repeated comments on penis size. One can only wonder where it comes from 0.o

          • Kai

            No, it is not. Parts of the concept may correspond to concepts held in the West. Parts do not. It is not one concept which is universal.

            It is a concept where all parts of it are universal. You feel some parts don’t. Okay, what parts? This is exactly what Alex was asking you when he asked for significant differences. He wants to know what parts, aspects, facets, sub-concepts, etc. of the concept of “face” do not have corresponding concepts in the West. Or more accurately, what behaviors, phenomenon, or motivations (suasions?) that are part of face don’t exist in the West and cannot be articulated with English terms of equivalent meaning?

            It’s not a question of the literal application of the idiom. It’s a
            question of how much of the concept of face is addressed by this idiom

            You have that question because you assume Alex thinks that is the only phenomenon represented by the concept of face when he was merely giving an example of a “face” phenomenon.

            He’s asking you, what’s the difference between “color” in China and “color” in the West, and then showing you Americans seeing “red” as “red” just as Chinese do. You then respond by saying “red isn’t the only color”. Of course not, and it’s a bit strange for accuse Alex of thinking that.

            Alex gave you an example of “face” common to both China and the US. Can you give Alex an example of “face” that is not in the West?

            But this aspect is oblique to what Kwang-kuo Hwang described as the “projection of self-image and impression management.”

            You mean caring about and managing your public image, or how others see you, of wanting how you see yourself to be how others see you?

            That’s in the West too.

            So you do not have the correspondence of the concept of honor to that
            of “face”; instead, you have an adulteration of honor that is
            characterized with a Chinese concept.

            You’ve misunderstood Alex.

            Anyway, let’s get back to the core issue: What parts of the concept of “face” are found in China but not found in the West?

          • Alex Dương

            Parts of the concept may correspond to concepts held in the West. Parts do not. It is not one concept which is universal.

            Yes, it is. Nobody wants to be embarrassed in public. Nobody wants to admit he’s made a mistake. Nobody likes being corrected. These are all human things.

            Again, the Western use of “face” in sociomoral suasion is a calque.

            Your “reasoning” here is that since “face” has a Chinese origin, it’s a foreign concept. “Pundit,” “guru,” and “juggernaut” are words of Indian origin that have been commonplace in English for quite some time. Do you really think that there was no equivalent for pundit, guru, and juggernaut before these words were borrowed? The West had no concept of experts / critics, teachers, and “unstoppable forces”?

            It’s very naive to think that just because something was borrowed, there was no existing equivalent concept. Wanting to maintain / preserve your image / reputation / credibility is a human thing. Speaking of which…

            what Kwang-kuo Hwang described as the “projection of self-image and impression management.”

            …if you want to define this as the core of “the social concept of face,” no problem. Please explain how wanting to maintain or preserve your image, reputation, or credibility in the West differs from “projection of self-image and impression management” in China.

            I have made two claims and they do not contradict each other.

            I never said they were contradictory; I only said that your second point is not at all relevant to your original point. You can say all you want that Huckabee was being an idiot and misusing a word. But your original point was that “face” is a Chinese concept, and I gave you a clear example of a U.S. politician caring about face. You yourself admit as much since you agree with Paul’s characterization of Huckabee’s remarks as nothing but an attempt to save face.

            One can only wonder where it comes from 0.o

            I didn’t bring up penis size in this discussion; you did. If you have some insecurities about your size, please see a urologist.

          • Wa

            You’ll have to view my future post to Kai on your problems with linguistic calques.

            “Please explain how wanting to maintain or preserve your image, reputation, or credibility in the West differs from “projection of self-image and impression management” in China”

            You’ll have to get around one of the more frequently cited aspects of face’s “self-image” first:

            “Stated simply, a person’s face is assessed in terms of what others think of him; the assessment does not include what a person thinks of himself, but may include what he thinks others think of him.” (From David Yau-fai Ho’s “On the Concept of Face”)

            “I only said that your second point is not at all relevant to your original point. You can say all you want that Huckabee was being an idiot and misusing a word. But your original point was that “face” is a Chinese concept, and I gave you a clear example of a U.S. politician caring about face. You yourself admit as much since you agree with Paul’s characterization of Huckabee’s remarks as nothing but an attempt to save face.”

            Sorry, it is relevant. I did say face is a Chinese concept, and it is. Review our argument. Whereas you exclusively focus on someone being worried about “face” in your characterization, I have addressed the inequivalence of concepts. Initially, you thought “we should not lose our honor” “sounds an awful lot like ‘saving face'”. You pursued this tack in a followup, focusing on preserving honor. I proceded to show how those terms are certainly not equivalent today (go back in time if you want them to be), and Ron Paul’s characterization was a criticism of the vapidity of his remarks. Yes, he wasn’t preserving honor; he was (just) saving face. Your argument is not forwarded by saying someone did something in the West which may be characterized by “face”. All that amounts to is Huckabee acted like he was Chinese. Your argument is only forwarded by stating that a Western conceptualization of an act is legitimately accepted as equal in motivation to the Chinese concept. A criticism through the characterization of Huckabee’s remarks as “saving face” will not warrant such a claim.

            EDIT:

            “I didn’t bring up penis size in this discussion; you did. If you have some insecurities about your size, please see a urologist”

            No, you didn’t bring it up. What you did do is repeat baseless accusations that I was trying to save face in our argument. This is precisely the same thing whuddyshack regularly does in his interactions with Westerners. Just because you two have obsessions with issues of your background doesn’t mean the rest of us do.

          • Alex Dương

            You’ll have to get around one of the more frequently cited aspects of face’s “self-image” first:

            “Stated simply, a person’s face is assessed in terms of what others think of him; the assessment does not include what a person thinks of himself, but may include what he thinks others think of him.” (From David Yau-fai Ho’s “On the Concept of Face”)

            Wow, so caring about how others think about you / perceive you is a “Chinese concept”? People in the West don’t care about how they are thought of / perceived by others?

            Thanks for defining face in a way that clearly shows how universal and human the concept really is. It is human to care about how you are seen by others. Your mistake is thinking that since “face” is a calque in English, it represents a foreign concept that did not previously exist in English before it was borrowed. That is wrong. The concept has always been there in the West; “face” is simply a convenient one word summary of that concept.

            I agree that before being borrowed, there may not have been a single word to summarize this concept. But the concept itself was not new or foreign. The concept itself is just a part of human nature that transcends borders.

            Initially, you thought “we should not lose our honor” “sounds an awful lot like ‘saving face'”.

            I still think that. The idea Huckabee expressed with those words is the same as the idea behind face: he cared about how others see him / the United States. He did not want to be seen as a “quitter” or one who “cut and ran.” He was willing to continue sacrificing hundreds or thousands of young Americans to preserve this image.

            Huckabee acted like he was Chinese.

            This is pathetic. If you told Huckabee or any of the people in the audience who applauded him that they were acting Chinese, do you think they’d agree with you? Or do you think they’d look at you like you were a complete retard? Probably the latter. He wasn’t “acting Chinese,” and he wasn’t “acting Western,” either. He was simply expressing the human tendency to not want to admit when you’ve made a mistake because doing so would make you look bad / damage your reputation / harm your image / hurt your credibility. This comes from the human tendency to care about how others think of you.

            Face is a human thing, not a Chinese thing. You can scoff all you like at this, but it remains that when you told me to interpret an idiom literally, you were desperately trying to save face.

          • Wa

            “Wow, so caring about how others think about you / perceive you is a “Chinese concept”? People in the West don’t care about how they are thought of / perceived by others?

            Thanks for defining face in a way that clearly shows how universal and human the concept really is. It is human to care about how you are seen by others.”

            That would be a typically stupid interpretation based on typically selective reading. You’ll have to address: “the assessment does not include what he thinks of himself, but may include what he thinks others think of him”. The self-concept in under face is merely social positioning.

            “Your mistake is thinking that since “face” is a calque in English, it represents a foreign concept that did not previously exist in English before it was borrowed. That is wrong. The concept has always been there in the West; “face” is simply a convenient one word summary of that concept.”

            Your mistake (and @Kai) is thinking that I haven’t acknowledged similar motivations in other cultures at other times in the past. Check back through the reading and observe. I’m the only one who addressed concepts that existed in the West prior to the introduction of face and noted their relative correspondence. I also stated, rather importantly, that the concepts which function as more proper analogues to face have etiolated. No capable reader today could properly describe Homeric kleos or Roman honor as the equivalent of our modern concepts of “prestige”, “dignity”, or “honor”. Those modern concepts do not formulate a code of behavioral strategies as their etymological ancestors did and as the Chinese concept of face does. And, for the West, face is a Chinese concept, not a foreign one.

            “I still think that. The idea Huckabee expressed with those words is the same as the idea behind face: he cared about how others see him / the United States”

            Good, then you are willing to compare concepts. Based on that quick clip, my knowledge of Huckabee, and Ron Paul’s reaction, I pointed out how vapid the concept of honor was here. In doing so, I see you have become more insistent that Huckabee’s desire to “preserve honor” is the same as saving face. So now we must ask, why does honor mean “how others see him/ the United States”? Are you referencing the rest of Huckabee’s explanation? Does he elaborate?

            “This is pathetic. If you told Huckabee or any of the people in the audience who applauded him that they were acting Chinese, do you think they’d agree with you? Or do you think they’d look at you like you were a complete retard?”

            It’s not. Consider this: if you told them your interpretation of what Huckabee is doing, and you pointed out that “preserving honor” was simply a way of not acknowledging a mistake, do you think they’d agree with you? The Chinese certainly would for mianzi. Do you think they’d clap? The Chinese certainly still would. Ron Paul made a critical evaluation of Huckabee’s inflated use of the word honor and recategorized it with a Chinese concept indicating the vapidity of this measure. Your job is to show how preserving honor–not the use of honor that Huckabee necessarily made, but that would help–equals saving face. There is no reason why we can’t see two concepts in contention here.

            “Face is a human thing, not a Chinese thing. You can scoff all you like at this, but it remains that when you told me to interpret an idiom literally, you were desperately trying to save face”
            I’ve explained that point to Kai if you care to read. You made several such accusations and I’ve responded to all of them by pointing out the logic of my argument. As I stated, if you have issues with your background, please do not project them onto others. This behavior is as bad as whuddyshack’s.

          • Guang Xiang

            Just chiming in to say it’s been awhile since I’ve seen good debating over a topic. Enjoyable reading and both sides make good points.

          • Wa

            Thanks, Guang Xiang. It bears mentioning that David Yau-fai Ho’s work, which I’ve cited above, does argue for the universality of the concept of face, but I find his case for that rather specious and the product of “occidentalism”.

          • Alex Dương

            You’ll have to address: “the assessment does not include what he thinks of himself, but may include what he thinks others think of him”. The self-concept in under face is merely social positioning.

            What’s there to address? Nothing. What you chose as a definition of a “Chinese concept” is universal.

            I’m the only one who addressed concepts that existed in the West prior to the introduction of face and noted their relative correspondence.

            Oh my God, when people today in the West care about how they are perceived by others, they aren’t thinking about “kleos” or “Roman honor.” It is HUMAN to care about how others think of you. “Face” is nothing but a convenient single word to describe this human tendency to care about how you’re seen by others. I will agree that a single word may not have existed to capture this tendency before “face,” but the tendency / concept existed nonetheless.

            And, for the West, face is a Chinese concept, not a foreign one.

            This is wrong for two reasons: (1) it’s a universal concept, and (2) if it’s a Chinese concept, then from the perspective of the West, it would be foreign.

            Good, then you are willing to compare concepts.

            I’ve been willing to do that all along. You’ve simply been ignoring those parts of my replies.

            In doing so, I see you have become more insistent that Huckabee’s desire to “preserve honor” is the same as saving face. So now we must ask, why does honor mean “how others see him/ the United States”? Are you referencing the rest of Huckabee’s explanation? Does he elaborate?

            Your job is to show how preserving honor–not the use of honor that Huckabee necessarily made, but that would help–equals saving face.

            I haven’t become “more insistent.” Your mistake is that you’re always too hung up on the words, even though you pretend to talk about concepts. When Huckabee said, “we cannot lose our honor,” he was not thinking about “Roman honor,” and neither was the audience. He was saying “we can’t quit / we can’t just cut and run / we have to stay the course.”

            What motivated those statements and sentiments? A belief, however misguided, that the image of the United States as a world power that “never backs down” is worth sacrificing hundreds and thousands of young Americans to maintain, even in the context of perpetuating a mistake (Iraq).

            He wanted to stay in Iraq to maintain an image. Maintaining an image? Gee, that’s what caring about face is.

            And even if you want to get hung up over words, honor is “is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor

            Being the first rate nit picker that you are, I’m sure you’ll say that “honor” isn’t “face” because “honor” involves self-evaluation whereas “face” doesn’t. That would be missing the forest for the trees; in both cases, there is a notion of caring about how you are seen by others. And it really shows just how severely you have overexaggerated “face” as a cultural “difference.”

            Consider this: if you told them your interpretation of what Huckabee is doing, and you pointed out that “preserving honor” was simply a way of not acknowledging a mistake, do you think they’d agree with you?

            No, they would do what you’ve done here. They would disagree and then come up with 100 different ways of saying “we don’t want to acknowledge a mistake” without using those exact words.

            As I stated, if you have issues with your background, please do not project them onto others.

            Save what little intellectual honesty you have, and please, don’t be a tool. I haven’t projected anything; you brought up penis size into this discussion, not me. In fact, I should’ve realized that when you did that, you pretty much gave up on this discussion anyway, so if you want to have the last word and continue to find yet another way of overexaggerating face as a cultural “difference,” please be my guest. I leave this discussion more convinced than ever that face is by far the most misunderstood and most overexaggerated Chinese cultural “difference.”

          • Wa

            Ok, I’ve finally located a video showing the broader context of Huckabee’s comments and am unsurprised to find that you’ve mischaracterized them. Watch this video beginning at 3:36.

            I was right of course about Huckabee’s fatuous and politically vapid emphasis on honor. His tell is just a bit too obvious: “We’ve got a responsibility to the honor of this country and to the honor of every man and woman who has ever served in Iraq and ever served in the military to not leave them with anything less than the honor…that they deserve.” That said, your assignation of his motive as, “A belief, however misguided, that the image of the United States as a world power that “never backs down” is worth sacrificing hundreds and thousands of young Americans to maintain, even in the context of perpetuating a mistake (Iraq)” is clearly erroneous. His fatuous remarks on honor are immediately prefaced by the statement, “Congressman, whether or not we should have gone into Iraq is a discussion the historians can have, but we are there. We bought it because we broke it.” “We bought it because we broke it” indicates the willful the maintenance of “the image of the United States as a world power that ‘never backs down'”? That reading is patently false. The motivation the Huckster is articulating is that our mistakes have created a situation in which we are now responsible for Iraq’s brokenness, and it would be dishonorable to leave Iraq in a broken condition and to have therefore sent our soldiers to fight and die in a conflict which yielded no positive outcome, to have brought upon the US nothing but an image of destruction. All of this lay outside of your boundaries of interpretation because you were so eager to find an episode of equivalence.

            Moreover, the citation you made refers back to this point. Ron Paul is arguing that the mistakes in Iraq can be pinned on the Neo-cons, that the American people are not to blame, and that we therefore ought to change course and get out of (or as the Huckster’s logic would have it: abandon) Iraq. The Huckster responds by stating that is incorrect. We cannot simply pass the blame off onto one group; we must address them as a nation which takes responsibility for them together. Paul responds by stating that it is the obligation of the American people to correct the mistake through their representatives, and proceeds to argue that the Republicans have dug a hole for themselves. His logic is that the people will no longer support the war in Iraq and the Republican party is out of touch, endangering the party. Huckabee’s point in response is that this is not about the elections or the party; this is about not losing our honor, i.e. fulfilling our responsibility to rebuild Iraq and justify our troups being sent into harm’s way. As a nation. Thus, his argument is not simply that we must “stay the course” to give an image of not backing down, but to fulfill obligations that we created by going their in the first place and letting the place fall into chaos.

          • Wa

            See my remarks on Huckabee’s comments below.

            “What’s there to address? Nothing. What you chose as a definition of a “Chinese concept” is universal.”

            Repeating your claims does not make them true. You merely try to side step the fact that face’s assessment does not include what a person thinks about himself. Of course you thought this point was so meaningless that you had to mention it in your desperate wikipedia-based assessment of honor.

            “Being the first rate nit picker that you are, I’m sure you’ll say that “honor” isn’t “face” because “honor” involves self-evaluation whereas “face” doesn’t. That would be missing the forest for the trees; in both cases, there is a notion of caring about how you are seen by others.”

            This posturing is simply asinine, and once again you are reaching for the most diaphanous definition of face. It matters whether or not Huckabee is calling upon a duty or responsibility we have to ourselves. It matters whether we feel right about what we’ve done. To care about how you are seen by others does not mean in every society that not having a conscience is inconsequential.

            “No, they would do what you’ve done here. They would disagree and then come up with 100 different ways of saying “we don’t want to acknowledge a mistake” without using those exact words.”

            Uh-huh. Now how about you address the full context of what Huckabee said for the first time.

            “I haven’t projected anything; you brought up penis size into this discussion, not me. In fact, I should’ve realized that when you did that, you pretty much gave up on this discussion anyway, so if you want to have the last word and continue to find yet another way of overexaggerating face as a cultural “difference,” please be my guest. I leave this discussion more convinced than ever that face is by far the most misunderstood and most overexaggerated Chinese cultural ‘difference.'”

            Actually, I brought whuddyshack into our discussion because his tactics match yours. Review our dialogue throughout the commentary section of this article. You’ve serially accused me of “trying to trap” you and “pulling a stunt” when we were engaged in a simple discussion, even after I stated I wanted to put you at ease and did not respond to your demonstrative anger with anger in turn. In a single post you claimed I was trying to save face at least three times for disagreeing with you and justifying my arguments with evidence. If you think you can conceal the vacuous nature of your claims with mere antagonistic posturing and projection of your issues, I’m not surprised that you would tuck and run.

          • Kai

            I think Wa either genuinely or disingenuously interprets statements very differently from what you think you’re saying.

            For example:

            Of course. But this doesn’t mean face is a “Chinese concept.”

            I understand you as saying all the behaviors associated with the concept of “face” are not peculiar to Chinese people/society.

            I get the feeling he’s reacting by thinking something like “the concept of ‘face’ comes from the Chinese, because the name itself ‘face’ is a loan word from Chinese, and the details and aspects of ‘face’ are all articulated by the Chinese, so it is of course a ‘Chinese’ concept”.

            Do you follow?

            It’s like him saying “Stockholm Syndrome” is of course a “Stockholm” concept without recognizing what you mean is that the phenomenon/behavior it describes is not peculiar to Stockholm and is universally found. (This analogy has a few flaws but it should serve to illustrate some relevant points of the confusion).

          • Kai

            appeared to demand I explain the difference between that word and the same word used in the West,

            Okay, I finally understand what all your loan word arguments are about. You interpreted Alex’s question very differently than I did. Whereas I thought it was obvious from context that Alex is asking you if there’s a significant difference in behavior and motivations associated with the concept of “face” between China and the West, you interpreted him as asking if there is a difference in the word “face”.

            Are you clear now on what Alex was asking? He used the quotation marks to indicate “face” as a named concept, not to highlight that being the word he wants you explain differences for.

            Can you positively use the phrase “let this slide” to represent face?
            Can you say you are going to give someone a slide in the sense of
            honoring him? Can you say he really loves other people sliding him?

            I get the feeling you’re intentionally misunderstanding Alex. “Let it slide” can be equivalent to “gei mian zi” or more accurately “给点面子”, a request or direction. Therefore, yes, “let it slide” would be a suitable substitute and thus “representation” for “give face” here.

            It is the phrase “let it slide” that can represent a sub-concept of “face” (“to give face”), not the word “slide”.

            If you want an English equivalent to “他喜欢别人给他面子”, it could be: “he likes other people letting him slide” as in not drawing attention to his faults, shortcomings, mistakes, negatives, etc. It depends on the context surrounding “gei mian zi”, because it could also be “he likes other people flattering him” or “he likes other people being deferential to him”.

            But you may be aware that face is not merely instanced in acts of
            “saving face” despite your focus on explaining that tendency. What you
            are desperately trying to do is translate one phrase for another in
            order to find an adequate temporary substitute. That’s fine, but it
            doesn’t address the larger concept of face at all.

            I think Alex knows that but it is the disconnect between you two that is resulting in him trying to give you examples involving subsets of “face”.

            “Face” is the loan word from Chinese for the concept as it is assembled by Chinese people. No one is saying there is another, equivalent English word to refer to the concept. As you said, in English, the concept simply is referred to with a loan word. What people are saying, especially me, is that everything in and under the concept of “face: can be understood with other English words that are more familiar to English speakers than “face”.

            Alex thinks you feel there are things in and under the concept of face that exist in China but not the West or applies to Chinese people but not to Westerners. He feels there aren’t. I feel there aren’t. The question is: Do you feel there are? If so, what? Once we know what you are thinking of, we can discuss whether or not they are peculiar to China.

            Yes, the list of being human does go on. Nevertheless, this does not
            mean that all humans or cultures conceptualize desires or prioritize
            issues in the same way.

            I think a lot of the disconnect here is because neither Alex nor myself think we’re saying all humans or cultures “conceptualize desires or prioritize issues in the same way”. If that’s what you think we’re saying, then we’re not on the same page.

            I don’t understand why you are arguing against points I haven’t made.

            I think it’s now clear both sides feel the same way because there’s a disconnect in understanding. I hope I’ve made clear what Alex is asking you above.

          • moop

            Why are we equating honor with face? Face is completely external, you can only lose face when other parties are involved. Honor is more internal, and in the modern sense (in the Western world, the Middle East still maintains a more archaic view of honor) is more linked with self-respect and personal pride. If someone cheats on a test and gets caught, they lose face. If someone cheats on a test and doesnt get caught they dont lose face at all. They might lose respect for themselves, and personally ashamed, they may feel that they have no honor.

          • mr.wiener

            Honor is a gift you give yourself.

          • Kai

            you CAN’T claim the conceptual equivalence of “face” to Western sociomoral notions based on a linguistic calque,

            Correct me if I’m misunderstanding you, you’re saying one can’t “claim the conceptual equivalence of “face” to Western sociomoral notions based on a” loan word?

            But who exactly is doing this? Le Chat and I are both saying the concept of face has many facets and an equivalent word for one facet of “face” that is often referred to as “face” (in Chinese, but also sometimes even in English) is “respect”.

            This is true.

            A linguistic calque is a directly transposed word. Were there
            adequate substitutes in the language already to cover its significance,
            one wonders why it needed to be transposed to begin with.

            Because “face” is an umbrella concept. Refer back to the Wikipedia link I provided. Face describes multiple behaviors and notions, all of which can be described with other terms when “face” is too ambiguous.

            Furthermore, just because a concept is known by a loan word doesn’t mean the concept doesn’t exist in the society using the loan word. “Hamburger” is a loan word but its not like the concept of meat between two pieces of bread didn’t exist prior to our society’s adoption of that loan word. Likewise for “face”.

            Is this whole loan word argument of yours about Alex Dương asking for a difference between “face” in China and “face” in the West?

            I interpreted Alex as asking you if there are any significant difference between China and the West in the behaviors and motivations for behaviors associated with “face”.

            but that does not mean that it is a guiding principle of sociomoral suasion in the US, nor does it mean that it is equivalent to a host of Western concepts such as respect, dignity, honor, prestige, etc.

            I disagree. Americans may not think of what guides their behavior as “face”, but the concept of “face” includes the things that do guide their behavior. The Chinese (and others) have a generalized term for a concept that is a host of sub-concepts that guide behavior. The Americans don’t, unless they use the loan word “face” and specifically in the sense of referring to the concept. But this doesn’t mean the sub-concepts guiding behavior are not equivalent and have suitable English words.

            The umbrella concept of “face” is indeed equivalent to a host of concepts whose English terms are “respect, dignity, honor, prestige, etc.”. Those things are all part of “face”. The thing is, when someone says “face” in Chinese, they aren’t necessarily referring to the entire “host” of concepts but often to a specific one. That’s precisely why we can substitute “face” with an equivalent English term that may be more familiar to an English speaker when “face” is ambiguous to them.

            EDIT: I have to review the context of Huckabee’s remark before I comment on it. I thought he was saying one thing but just realized he may have been saying something else.

          • Kai

            You’re saying:

            Li Zhaoxing “gained face” with the public when he corrected his interpreter. In doing so, he made the interpreter “lose face”. He did this because of “face”.

            Suitable equivalents for this would be:

            Li Zhaoxing “impressed” the public when he corrected his interpreter. In doing so, he “embarrassed” the interpreter. He did this because he’s “vain”.

            @haysoosnegro:disqus

          • Kai

            Unless I’m misunderstanding your use of the word “operative”, you seem to be equating “face” with “respect” when that’s not true nor is anyone saying the two concepts are fully analogous. Le Chat said, “sometimes the equivalent word for ‘face’ is ‘respect'” (emphasis mine), which is true. Sometimes the facet of face involved is the same thing as “respect”.

            Have I misunderstood what you’re trying to argue here?

            “Face” is an umbrella concept for which “respect” is a subset. You’re second paragraph here is arguing that one subset of “face” describes Li Zhaoxing’s behavior and “respect” doesn’t characterize that subset. Of course it doesn’t, because “respect” would be a suitable equivalent term to characterize ANOTHER subset of “face”.

            To use an analogy:

            “face” is to “color” as “respect” is to “blue”.

            If Li Zhaoxing’s behavior is the color “red”, you of course wouldn’t call it “blue”.

            What Li Zhaoxing did here is not remotely unseen or even uncommon in the West. There are tons of managers or bosses who nitpick, micromanage, or “correct” their subordinates in front of others, often those they are trying to make a specific impression on, often out of vanity and/or arrogance.. It’s one reason why employees commonly have contempt for managers they see as actually incompetent and undeserving of their higher positions.

            Your example doesn’t illustrate a “difference” between China and the West, much less a “significant” one, and even less what @haysoosnegro:disqus actually asked: “an example of a ‘significant difference’ between face in China and face in the West”.

          • Wa

            “Unless I’m misunderstanding your use of the word
            “operative”, you seem to be equating ‘face’ with ‘respect’ when that’s not true nor is anyone saying the two concepts are fully analogous. Le Chat said, ‘sometimes the equivalent word for “face” is “respect”‘ (emphasis mine), which is true. Sometimes the facet of face involved is the same thing as ‘respect’.”

            Yes, you are misunderstanding me. The term operative clearly refers to the terms which were already invoked for any capable reader. That is what operative means. If I have to do a genealogy of the thread to show how, I will. Le Chat commented on Pouiy’s remark by stating that there was some overlap between respect and face. Donscarletti picked up on these terms to affirm the distinction. You commented on that distinction with “semantics”, which I took as a rejection of the distinction between face and respect. I responded by stating the distinction held. I was asked by Alex, in light of the fact that I claimed “significant differences” and directly referred to “respect or dignity and face”, to elaborate upon them. Now, given this context, why would I equate “face” with “respect”? How would it make any sense for me to claim they are fully analogous? All I need to do to respond in good faith is to clarify the significant differences I mention which were already in contention in the thread.

            “I interpreted Alex as asking you if there are any
            significant difference between China and the West in the behaviors and motivations for behaviors associated with ‘face’.”

            That was not what Alex was doing. You can see this clearly by his attempt to substitute ANOTHER word for face (“prestige”) in response to the point I made. If he merely wanted to clarify that he was addressing the behaviors and motivations for behaviors associated with ‘face’, he wouldn’t suggest a quick substitution absent all context (unlike my treatment of respect). Yet he did:

            “Losing credibility/prestige? Sounds like “saving
            face” to me.”

            As you are aware, what you and Alex continue to do is
            attempt to find momentary substitutes for face in English in the hopes of dispelling any “ambiguity” of the term. You continue to let signifiers slide even within a singular context in the hope of seizing upon occasional relevance and reasonable equivalence. You (personally) have
            articulated your reasons for doing so:

            “‘Face’ is an umbrella concept for which ‘respect’ is a
            subset.”

            The problem with this argument is that the various
            “subsets” you’ve proposed are not reticulated into a singular concept universally. You’ve acknowledged as much when you stated, “The Chinese (and others) have a generalized term for a concept that is a host of sub-concepts that guide behavior. The Americans don’t unless they use the loan word “face” and specifically in the sense of referring to the concept.”

            So when you propose the (once again misleading) analogy:

            “‘face’ is to ‘color’ as ‘respect’ is to ‘blue’.”

            You have assumed the reticular element without it necessarily bearing any relevance to the non-Chinese usage of “respect”.

            A more apt analogy would include the possibility that these “sub-concepts” are not really sub-concepts for the societies that employ them at all, but occasionally linked and occasionally discrete ideas functional even without being subsumed under a general rubric of sociomoral
            suasion as they are in China. For example:

            “face” is to “color” as “respect” is to “denim”
            (Also a good strapline for Levi’s in China)

            “But that doesn’t mean the sub-concepts guiding
            behavior are not equivalent and have suitable English words.”

            It doesn’t mean that, true.But it does mean that your attempts to find suitable English words for individual instances are not bound by a common behavioral strategy unless one is able to be legitimately inferred.

            Now, to get closer to the specifics of our disagreement.

          • Wa

            Obviously this post should follow the one below it.

            ‘Li Zhaoxing “impressed” the public when he
            corrected his interpreter. In doing so, he “embarrassed” the interpreter. He did this because he’s “vain”.’

            So you’ve allowed your signifiers to slide to three
            completely different terms in a singular context. As a consequence, the intricate relationship between Li Zhaoxing’s “vanity” and his interpreter’s “embarrassment” is not salient. Moreover, why was the public “impressed”?

            You claim, “What Li Zhaoxing did here is not remotely unseen or even uncommon in the West. There are
            tons of managers or bosses who nitpick, micromanage, or correct their subordinates in from of others, often those they are trying to make a specific impression
            on, often out of vanity and/or arrogance..” Certainly, there are bosses like that. The difference is their nitpicking is typically not done in a forum as public as Mr. Li’s (a press conference) and it is not widely praised.

            A manager in the West who acts in such a manner in such circumstances, even in the willful hyperbole of a reality TV show, will be held in contempt, but under the terms of “face”, the interpreter and audience are left with
            little choice but to entertain his abuse as so accede to his assumption of mianzi. Due to the hierarchical nature
            of mianzi, Mr. Li’s action was painted as exemplary conduct while the girl’s was completely irrelevant. The girl did had to “let it slide”. And on that note…

            “I get the feeling you’re intentionally misunderstanding
            Alex. “Let it slide” can be equivalent to “gei mian zi” or
            more accurately “给点面子”, a request or direction. Therefore, yes, “let it slide” would be a suitable substitute and thus “representation” for “give face” here.

            It is the phrase “let it slide” that can represent
            a sub-concept of “face” (“to give face”), not the word
            “slide”.

            If you want an English equivalent to “他喜欢别人给他面子”, it could be: “he likes other people letting him slide” as in not drawing attention to his faults, shortcomings, mistakes, negatives, etc. It depends on the context surrounding “gei mian zi”, because it could also be “he likes other people flattering him” or “he likes other people being deferential to him”.”

            You obviously missed the term “positively”, and it would be nice if we had a set of corpus studies here. “Let it slide” unavoidably connotes a negative behavior that is allowed for. 给面子 does not always do so. Take, for example, that critical Chinese cultural question: 为什么不喝就是不给面子? There is no competent way to translate this as “let it slide”. The question does not translate, “If I choose not to drink, why don’t they let it slide?” Instead, the correct translation is: “Why, if I don’t drink, does it mean don’t I give them face (in a positive sense)/ respect them?” You certainly wouldn’t suggest “Why, if I don’t drink, do I not let them slide”, right? If this is “a sub-concept of face”, then it is one which is not adequately translated or represented by the terms
            you are embracing.

            The English equivalent you offered for “他喜欢别人给他面子” is similarly wanting. It simply can’t be “He likes other people letting him slide”. That is patently
            ridiculous, and substituting several other phrases as explanation make it only marginally less awkward. Notice that you then go on to shift significance into several other categories of meaning, further away from allowing for bad behavior and on to seeking flattery. The terms you’ve chosen have lost their purchase and others are required to explain even a singular “sub-concept”. Are you really going to go full sub here? This is not nuance but regression.

            “You have that question because you assume Alex thinks that is the only phenomenon represented by the concept of face when he was merely giving an example of a “face” phenomenon.

            He’s asking you, what’s the difference between
            “color” in China and “color” in the West, and then showing you Americans seeing “red” as “red” just as Chinese do. You then respond by saying “red isn’t the only color”. Of course not, and it’s a bit strange for accuse Alex of thinking that.”

            This is an overly sympathetic and inaccurate reading of Alex’s argument. Even in this example of a “face”
            phenomenon, he is forced to isolate only one aspect of a “sub-concept” and leave the others to dangle in the wind. You have attempted to justify that reading but have only revealed its dearth of meaning. I’ve already pointed
            out the erroneous assumption you are making by setting up equivalent umbrella concepts, and I’ve also shown that you know it is incorrect, so I don’t think I need to respond to this mischaracterization of our argument.

            I do note, however, that you are inclined to read much into Alex’s argument that is not there despite the differences between your assertions. Take your respective responses to my point, “No, it is not [a universal concept]. Parts of the concept may correspond to concepts held in the West. Parts do not. It is not one concept which is universal.”

            Yours: “It is a concept where all parts of it are universal. You feel some parts don’t. Okay, what parts? This is exactly what Alex was asking you when he asked for
            significant differences.”

            His: “Yes, it is. Nobody wants to be embarrassed in public. Nobody wants to admit he’s made a mistake. Nobody likes being corrected. These are all human things.”

            Alex actually regards this as a legitimate logical counter-argument, that people are human. Now this argument
            can be used for any range of ridiculous assumptions, e.g. the desire to avoid death would lead to equivalent behaviors in how to do so, which are made on
            precisely the same logic. His just happens to be that there is an equivalent concept of “face” in the West. Whereas you have attempted to shunt the assignation of equivalence to sub-concepts, he’s going whole hog.

            I’ll get to your equally sympathetic reading of his use of Huckabee and your convergence on linguistic calque in another post. For now, let’s address the crucial
            issue:

            “He wants to know what parts, aspects, facets, sub-concepts, etc. of the concept of “face” do not have corresponding concepts in the West. Or more accurately, what behaviors, phenomenon, or motivations
            (suasions?) that are part of face don’t exist in the West and cannot be articulated with English terms of equivalent meaning?”

            Let’s take an example of motivations drawn from the
            experience of a close friend. Consider a situation in which a superior asked a subordinate to fulfill certain “duties” that had nothing at all to do with either of their positions at work, like regularly visiting his home and cleaning up after his mistress before his wife got back. In a culture in which face is operative, this request will be interpreted in terms of mianzi and not authority or personal relationship. Both people understand that the superior’s position does not lend its authority to such a personal request, but neither cares. Both recognize that this is not a question of how much affection the subordinate has for the superior. A positive response to such a request will be a recognition of the “face” the boss has and intends to keep, however awkward it may be. A negative response to such a request will deny the boss face and implicitly criticize his choice of lifestyle. Here is essentially an indulgent demand made outside the rightful boundaries of authority and propriety between the individuals. Compare, if you will, a face related response and a Western response.

            Or you could just consider the behaviorial peculiarity of PRC’s human rights report on the US.

          • Surfeit

            Shit man, the snozberries taste like snozberries.

      • wnsk

        I would like to register a DOWNVOTE for this thoughtless and unnecessary display of cynicism. :P

    • Rick in China

      Cutting slack is one thing.

      However, they’re not asking for some slack. They’re defending an indefensible position. That’s the main difference.

      • mr.wiener

        Which means we sit back, roll our eyeballs a bit and take everything they say with a grain of salt. The same way you did when one of the gormless exchange students wanted to join the cool kids group back in school.

        • bujiebuke

          Hold it. Are you implying that he was one of the cool kids back in high school? My guess would have been angry chess savant.

          • mr.wiener

            I was going with gormless exchange student, but what the hell, chess savant works well too.

    • Dr Sun

      I dont know wiener, the USA is a relative newcomer to the world stage and look at the trouble they have caused since 1960.Are you still cutting them slack ?

      • mr.wiener

        Yanks? A necessary evil perhaps.

        • Dr Sun

          much like the bacteria that colonizes your bowels, that sort of necessary evil ?

          • mr.wiener

            Yep. E.coli. Too much, bad. Too little, bad. You have to get the balance just right.

      • Insomnicide

        Look at all the good they’ve brought to the world. I think they mean well but sometimes swing their mighty military dick blindly and end up hurting bystanders.

    • Repatriated

      I think it’s pretty pathetic when a group of people call anyone else -dogs. Tell us what you REALLY think about YOUR OWN local politics. Tell us how you really feel about the lazy rich fooks running your country getting more and more rich…while calling all you “peasants” hookers.

      Quite interesting looking at another thread where Korea pokes fun at Tuhao. Even then, locals in China are butthurt.

      Anyone else noticing the pattern here?

    • Suzhou PRC

      Couldn’t have said it better myself

  • narsfweasels

    If it’s hidden, how do you know about it?

  • MonkeyMouth

    cant help but agree with the local netizens here….. i think everyone is just trying their best. americans politicizing this plane crash seems to be in line with their usual shenanigans

    • IsurvivedChina

      and what shenanigans would that be?

      • MonkeyMouth

        where to begin….the coup to get rid of lincoln, the world bank takeover during Wilson’s term, the gulf of tolkein (sp), WMD in iraq, 9.11…..jfk, rfk, mlk, operation paperclip, assassination of william cooper…..need i go on?

        • Citing conspiracy theories to validate your argument is about as compelling as citing sooth-sayers.

          • Poiuy098765

            But they proved beyond any doubt that his theory is just another meaningless and groundless conspiracy theory.

          • MonkeyMouth

            haha…ya, maybe. but to proclaim or imply american innocence is just as lame, dontcha think?

          • Except…no one did any implying of American innocence. You just smeared Americans as politicizing this crash on the basis of an NYT article you probably didn’t even read, and when pressed further, you listed a bunch of conspiracy theories to “prove” that Americans are always up to no good. If you object to specific points presented in the NYT article, by all means rebut them, but denouncing it on the basis of its author’s nationality is classic ad hominem.

          • MonkeyMouth

            I didnt do anything of the sort. i was asked what shenanigans are/were carried out by americans and i gave a list. simple as that. as far as politicizing the crash….why the hell NOT politicize it? its a great chance for all sides. as usual…. thats what the media is there for, after all, aint it?

          • You gave a list of unfounded conspiracy theories that, even if real, could not be characterized as having been committed by “Americans” in the sense of the general American population. A few individuals acting in secrecy represent only themselves.

            There’s nothing political about the crash. It’s like politicizing a car crash. Despite our world of hyper-politicization, some things really just don’t have anything to do with politics.

          • MonkeyMouth

            i would indeed politicize the Hastings car crash in LA. but ya, you could be right…..maybe/probably not political. i am just adding my 2 cents

        • IsurvivedChina

          yes because the conspiracy must be true….LOL

          • MonkeyMouth

            sometimes yes, sometimes no. to say that sandy hook was carried out by actors is a bit weird, as is the ‘no plane’ theory of 9.11. holograms? gimme a break…haha

          • IsurvivedChina

            next you’ll be quoting wikipedia as a valid source for your claims.

          • MonkeyMouth

            LOL, no….. but i certainly would NOT claim mainstream media as a creditable, non-political source, either

  • MonkeyMouth

    ……and…so whats your point? of COURSE thats what countries do to countries…..

  • Germandude

    An absolute masterpiece of a post. Reading it, raised the sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day. Not in reality, but I mean mood-wise.

    You have successfully applied marketing basics by writing -ANY COUNTRY SEEN AS A THREAT WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISTORTED NEWS. This eye-catcher, which I bet 95% of the reader of this comment will have read first, is attracting the eye through its style and the meaning of the sentence will make you want to read the rest of the comment. Bravo!

    Additionally, I really found some hidden beauties, such as “creare” which melt my eyes and touch my heart. Most uneducated readers woud simply come up with the thought that you made a simple typing mistake and ignore it or beat you down on it; but”creare”, latin word from which “to create” comes from. I don’t know what to say. You simply set the barrier of “very good” 10% higher than before. No longer do I want to read other comments such as the one from mr.wiener above. (“That was my favorite too” is simply too short and boring)

    Another nice stylistic nuance was you writing “theres”. The usage of apostrophes is so much 80s generation. It’s even less popular than “the Beatles” right now.

    Bodied into this shell of creative beauty is a rather short comment of 4 lines and 2 words, which doesn’t sound like much, but which certainly holds what it’s artistic style promises. Everybody knows that the “US media carries a hidden agenda” as you correctly pointed out. How else could the US manage to export bullshit like Miley Cyrus into the world and others actually believing she is acting cool and follow that? Same goes for Lady Gaga and Justin Biber, eventhough he’s Canadian. Thanks to MTV and other media you mentioned such as reuter (where you skipped the last letter ‘s’, which gave me another boner), nyt and ap public is confronted with so much info, a constant media bombardement makes you belief you don’t know where is right and where is left.

    At this stage, thanks for not mentioning FOX news here, as that would have simply pulled down your comment as everybody knows FOX is for the braindead and degenerated and mentioning it would have reflected badly on your comment.
    Anyways, the correct statement of “creare” a bad image of China to the rest of the world is by no doubt absolutely true and your comment proves that. In fact, nobody having read your comment can come up and state “How should I’ve known?”, because nobody can seriously argue that he/she doesn’t have the time to read 4 lines and 2 words.

    So thanks a lot for writing this masterpiece.

    12/10, If just any comment no cS could meet your quality standards, I am sure this website would win awards and truely benefit mankind.

  • IsurvivedChina

    until they find the plane – it’s al conjecture! Who cares what the media thinks?

  • Probotector

    A lot of retarded Chinese comments, as usual. I loved this one

    “Another United Nations should be established, one that excludes the American dogs.”

    In that case, it wouldn’t a a UNITED nations, would it?

    • IsurvivedChina

      I laughed at that too…

    • Insomnicide

      A lot of nations aren’t represented at the united nations. Exclusion of a nation does not mean it’s not a United Nations. Inclusion doesn’t automatically equate to contribution either.

      • IsurvivedChina

        I think he was joking dude – but you knew that didn’t you?

      • Poiuy098765

        Which nation is not in the UN ? Name five, please.

        • IsurvivedChina

          1: Taiwan – for reason we need not go into
          2: Vatican City – has observer status
          3: South Sudan – a recent indépendance, application is in
          4: Kosovo – scared of Russia
          5: Palestine – application in process

          Mind you, these are the only countries that are not members of the UN, even North Korea is a member! LOL

          • Insomnicide

            Not to mention the Cook islands, Niue, Western Sahara, and dozens of micronations.

          • IsurvivedChina

            I think you’ll find that the micro-nations are annexed under a larger nation… i.e Guam and the US (probably a poor example) but are therefor represented under the Untied Nations!

            There are only a handful of countries ( 3 – 5) who are not members. Micronesia is a federated member which takes care of most of those little island nations. The cook Islands are New Zealand’s responsibility and oh I could go on but what’s the point…

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            Palestine’s membership will be blocked by the US. Palestine can enter other UN organisations but not the main group (due to US veto power).

          • IsurvivedChina

            interesting.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            I am just going by past incidences. Where the US has veto power relating to Israel, it has used it. It has even withdrew funding to one UN organisation due to it accepting the Palestinians into it.

      • Archie

        Despite its name, the United Nations is not made up of nations, but is made up of states. There are countless nations not members of the United Nations. Semantics, but it’s a key point here. What you’re talking about is United Nations member states. There were several hundred aboriginal communities in Australia before white settlement, each could be regarded as a nation in its own right.

    • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

      The United Nations is neither a fair organisation. We have seen the strong bully the weak or play power games using the UN.

      That isn’t to say the UN doesn’t do good work. It does. But there have been times when the UN has been hindered in what it is meant to do because of the big dogs supporting their allies instead of really doing what they are meant to.

      • IsurvivedChina

        As in Taiwan not being recognised as a nation?

        • Zappa Frank

          one of the many

        • Insomnicide

          Given that many countries support the rational idea of only having one ‘China’, that’s not the case.

          • IsurvivedChina

            the only reason they support “1” China is because they want the cheap labour!

          • Insomnicide

            Or because no one wants to have hundreds of different countries all called China.

          • IsurvivedChina

            what… I think Taiwan would be happy to drop China from it’s name

          • Insomnicide

            Many Taiwanese citizens, perhaps. But the government is still determined to uphold the KMT’s legacy.

          • IsurvivedChina

            Dude, they elect their own president – the legacy that you talk about died long ago!

          • Insomnicide

            Their current president represents the nationalist party of….China, not Taiwan. Democracy was introduced to Taiwan through the KMT, their government system, their society culture and customs and let’s not forget the vast majority of Taiwanese people migrated from China. A large number of personnel in the Taiwanese government and Taiwanese army today are Waishenren, Chinese citizens who fled to Taiwan during the civil war.

            So the KMT’s legacy is still alive and very well.

          • IsurvivedChina

            But that does not make them a part of China, I know this is hard for you to grasp but Taiwan has been independent from you guys now for as long as the CCP has been in power.

          • Insomnicide

            Maybe it’s hard for you to believe, but every time a country changes political parties does not mean it’s a new nation. Egypt just had a revolution a few years ago, but it’s still Egypt. People who live there are still Egyptian.

            Taiwan is not truly independent from ‘us guys’. It still claims to be the Republic of China and it still has a Chinese government. The sooner you guys realize this, the sooner you’ll be independent.

          • IsurvivedChina

            Yeah but Egypt went from a dictatorship to a democracy! they are now holding elections and letting the people decide who should be in power just like Taiwan. The KMT was the democratically elected party of China and before the communist came and stole it they had a pretty good thing going!

            The Taiwanese are happy about their Chinese heritage as much the same as most Canadians are happy about the British heritage but you are kidding if you think they’ll allow themselves to be annexed into a dictatorship by allowing China to take control! Freedom is a powerful tool and they’ve been using it a longer then the mainland!

          • Insomnicide

            Yeah Egypt went from a dictatorship to a democracy, but that doesn’t make it a new country entirely. It’s still Egypt, regardless of government change. If we follow the ‘communists stole China from the KMT’ line, then that would make Taiwan the ‘free area’ of China because in the concept it still recognizes the KMT government on Taiwan the legitimate government of China and the succession of the PRC illegal.

            It’s not about the ethnic heritage of Taiwanese people. I’m talking about their government. Their government is still Chinese, they inherited everything directly from the Republic of China. Taiwan was a territory of China during the Republican period and during the KMT’s migration. It is established as the government-in-exile of mainland China rather than a completely new government. The majority of politicians in the government are born in mainland China and see themselves as the citizens of (the Republic of) China.

            As for the part about dictatorship, if they want to declare independence because they don’t like the government then shouldn’t everyone declare independence when something doesn’t go their way? Should every Australian state declare independence because some states don’t like the legal reforms on homosexual marriage? Should every American state declare independence when there’s gun control campaign? Should every province of France declare independence because they don’t like how many mistresses Hollande has? If the problem is the style of governance, then are you saying if China was a democracy then Taiwanese independence is pointless and they would be happy to be annexed by big ol’ China
            ?

            Freedom is both a right and a privilege and they’ve been enjoying longer than their suffering brethren across the straits.

          • ex-expat

            There is a big difference between democracy vs dictatorship and seceding because you don’t agree with policy.

          • Insomnicide

            My point is change of government doesn’t not change the nation itself. For example Japan became a democracy, it was a dictatorship. But it’s still the nation of Japan. The people are still Japanese nationals. They haven’t suddenly become Americans or anything like that.

          • IsurvivedChina

            Dude, through upheaval comes change, what started out as a government in exile has emerged as a new country. Why is so hard for you to accept that Taiwan is in control of itself?

            Allow me to rebut some of your comments. The Australian states declaring independence because of homosexual marriage is in itself a bit homophobic on your regard. The Australians have one of the biggest Gay Parades in the world in Sydney and although they still have a long way to go before they allow gay marriage they are one of the most forward thinking countries in this regard.

            The American have the constitution to protect their gun rights so that argument is pointless.

            Your argument is full of so many flaws and is weak. The KMT legacy is democracy! the Communist legacy is control through fear and intimidation. Just because you transcribe long winded responses does not make them right!

          • Insomnicide

            The government in exile still claims to be the very same government. If you believe otherwise, you can take it up with the official KMT party of Taiwan. Why is it so hard for you to accept that regions can have autonomy without being independent nations?

            No you missed the point completely. Did you even read the ‘should’ part? The point is that a region does not automatically have the legitimacy to declare independence because they don’t agree with some policies of the central government.

            And how is the fact that there are homophobic people in Australia a fault on my regard? Did you know the Abbott government has vetoed the legalization of homosexual marriage in the Australian Capital Territory? Please do some research before talking about it.

            Now my point is if some states don’t like the legalization of homosexual marriage hypothetically, does that give them a right to declare independence? No.

            Your arguments aren’t even connected to my rebuttals, now that’s flawed and weak. A part of the KMT legacy is democracy, so how does Taiwan not carry the KMT legacy as you said? What does this have to do with communism?

            And lastly but not least, please learn the definition of ‘nation’.

            “Nation may refer to a large group of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history.”
            Taiwan and China match all of those criteria. Taiwan is more than qualified to be considered as a part of the Chinese nation. This isn’t about communist versus capitalism. This is about the Chinese nationhood. Are you saying communism disqualifies China from being one nation? And you haven’t answered my comment of your logic that if China became a democracy, Taiwan would happily be annexed.

          • IsurvivedChina

            But the communist party has never been the central government of Taiwan, so again your argument is pointless.

            your concept of “Nation” is thwarted with contorted insanity, from your rational America and Australia share the same values and common language and ethnicity so Australia should become a 52nd state.

          • Insomnicide

            But the nationalist party has been the central government of both mainland China and Taiwan. Again, this isn’t about the communist party.

            Secondly it’s not ‘my’ personal definition of nation but the definition of nation agreed upon by many academics. How hard is it for you to Google?

          • IsurvivedChina

            but you used those points to justify why Taiwan should be a part of China.

          • Insomnicide

            One party has been in control of both states. And that party, the KMT party claims to be still a government in exile as well as the legitimate government of China.

          • IsurvivedChina

            The KMT lost its legitimate control over mainland China when the CCP was formality recognised as the ruling party. Since then the Taiwanese have been working on building their own nation! just because you share some similarities does not make you the same country!

          • Insomnicide

            CCP was formally recognized by who? Certainly not the KMT and the government of Taiwan. Taiwanese have been working on building their own nation? Then why do they still need the persona of the KMT?

            Just because you share some differences does not make you two different countries.

          • IsurvivedChina

            The United Nations… how hard is it for you to google that one!

          • Insomnicide

            Nations. Plural.

          • IsurvivedChina

            yawn… I’m out of here, got me some food on the table!

          • Guang Xiang

            The international community does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation; however, they still operate de facto embassies known as Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices in most countries, and foreign nations effectively treat Taiwan as a sovereign state separate from China.

            I’m sure if I asked a KMT member if he’s Chinese or Taiwanese, he’ll say Taiwanese. My parents, who support President Ma will say they’re Taiwanese. Heck, even my grandma, who moved during the civil war will say she’s Taiwanese now.

            And I just showed a Taiwanese your ‘logic’ and he responds “Why does Chinese people always have to bicker about Taiwan being China.” and “Chinese people are always illogical about this issue.” and to “accept the way things are”

            But I really shouldn’t waste my time because you’ll continue to cling to what you believe (even though you know how bullshit your reasoning is with stuff like countries will find two nations with similar names confusing or two regions with common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history qualifies to be one nation) instead of really “talking to Taiwanese people” or “researching history”, if that’s what you call Googling.

            And if you can’t see your own bullshit, well i guess ignorance is bliss. I believe the cure for you is to find a girlfriend.

          • Insomnicide

            They treat Taiwan as the sovereign state of Republic of China, how hard is it to understand? North Korea and South Korea have separate embassies but people still recognize both people as Koreans and part of the Korean nation.

            And I’m sure if i asked a KMT member if he’s Chinese or Taiwanese he’ll say Chinese. People living in Shanghai say they’re Shanghainese, people living in Paris say they’re Parisian, Does that make them separate nations? No.

            What’s my ‘logic’? It’s a matter of fact that the government of Taiwan is and extension of the government of the Republic of China and still claims to be legitimate government of China. It’s a fact. How about you accept that? If you disagree, arguing with me about it is pointless. I’m not President Ma, I don’t make the rules for the Taiwanese government. Why are Chinese people so illogical? When other countries strive for democratic government, it’s progressive. When other countries seek to recover lost history, it’s protecting culture. But I guess when Chinese people do it, and only Chinese people, it must be illogical.

            I guess I shouldn’t waste my time either trying to tell you other wise but I can’t sit idly watching you spew all this bullshit while the representative government of Taiwan claims otherwise. If you have no reading comprehension, or you don’t know the formal definition of nation, then you should go back to school and get a real education instead of sprouting retarded uninformed opinions.

            There’s a cure for ignorance, it’s called reading a book or two in your spare time. But I guess mister meathead is too busy partying, boozing and hooking up with his girlfriend to learn a thing or two.

          • IsurvivedChina

            No they haven’t but the Japanese have become much better people! the nation went through great challenges and now they’ve emerged as a better people for it.

          • Insomnicide

            Still missing the point.

          • Dr Sun

            The colonists became American after the war of independence did they not or they still British ?
            The Change of govt in sudan created a new nation, as it did in Rhodesia, outer mongolia, North/ south Korea, India/Pakistan, and the break up of the soviet Union and I guess finally Crimea now becoming apart of Russia.

          • Insomnicide

            Crimea was not a part of Russia. Then it became a Russian territory and after the Soviet Union broke down it split off again. And now it’s a part of Russia again.

            So in the same vein, Taiwan would become China.

            The colonists became American because America was established on a different continent. They didn’t just take over England and call it America. The government in Sudan is still new and nothing’s solid yet. North and South Korean reunification is supported by many people, India and Pakistan was given a choice to unify but Indian president which I forgot the name of declared separation of the two and declined Nepal from joining India as well.

          • IsurvivedChina

            the colonist became americans because they did not want to pay the king’s taxes.

          • Insomnicide

            And because there were more than just Anglo-Saxon settlers there.

          • Dr Sun

            initially no, the pilgrims were all anglo saxon. Only after that once they got really heavily involved in the slavie trade others where forcibly brought. That was then follow by industrialisation, WW1 and immigration from Italy,Ireland, Germany etc, cheap labour needed.

          • Dr Sun

            Worked out well for them until amendment 17 came along (federal taxes), then losing the civil war freed their slaves, then they realized their ” f@%k again.

          • IsurvivedChina

            true.. lol

          • Dr Sun

            i guess the events in crimea recently went straight over your head ?

          • Insomnicide

            Crimea was a part of Ukraine, now it’s joining Russia. What did I miss?

          • IsurvivedChina

            a whole lot I think!

          • Dr Sun

            Egypt went from a dictatorship to a democracy and is very fast returning to be a dictatorship.

            The scottish are having a referendum to split from the Uk.

            The majority of the current Taiwan Govt were not born in China but in Taiwan, as is the greater part of the population.

            Its only a few of the govt dogs and business men that are invested in unifying taiwan with China, the vast majority of the people dont support it, according to polls conducted in Taiwan.

            http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2013/10/31/2003575806

            http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2014/02/23/2003584139

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_reunification

            http://thediplomat.com/2013/10/prc-is-biggest-obstacle-to-unification-with-taiwan/

          • Insomnicide

            Again with the point with Egypt. Egypt is still the same bloody nation, have you no reading comprehension?

            This isn’t about what the majority of Taiwan thinks. This is about what the majority of Taiwan is. A bunch of people who cry for independence while clinging on to the banners of the Chinese Nationalist Party.

          • IsurvivedChina

            the majority of Taiwan as you speak is free and independent!

          • Dr Sun

            you really think its the same nation ?

            Wrong they admire the democratic ideals of Sun Yat_Sen

          • Guang Xiang

            I’m honestly astonished that you would think that Taiwan isn’t independent, that the former KMT legacy is still alive, and that they are one entity just because they have China in the name or consists of Chinese.

            If I recall correctly, there are different immigration procedures for both Taiwan and China.

            I’m sure Chairman Deng can’t decide to just stroll around in Taipei unofficially.

            The large portion of the population being from the civil war is grossly false.

            I’m guessing you never been to Taiwan and are basing this off what your school/parents/media tells you.

            PS. Based on your logic, Inner Mongolia is confusing and should be part of Mongolia. Heck, aren’t we all mongol in blood?

          • Insomnicide

            Yes, the KMT legacy is still alive. The portrait hung in parliament is that of Sun Yat-sen, the first president of China rather than a Taiwanese native. The government system such as their form of democracy and the legislative Yuan is inherited directly from the Republic of China. They aren’t one entity only because of the name but also because they both claim to be the same entity.

            Just like there are different immigration procedures for North Korea and South Korea or East Germany and West Germany? Chairman Deng can’t just stroll around in Taipei unofficially but Ma Ying-jeou visits mainland China as the chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party.

            Your reading comprehension is awful. I said a large portion of the GOVERNMENT came from the civil war. Many politicians in the current government are Waishenren. Not to mention the ruling party is the CHINESE nationalist party.

            No I’m not basing this off what my school/parents/or media tells me because I’ve never heard my school, parents or media even talking about Taiwan. I learned from talking to Taiwanese people and researching history.

            Inner Mongolia wasn’t named Inner Mongolia until Mao and does not claim to be ‘the rightful’ Mongolia.

          • Dr Sun

            The KMT under Sun Yat_sen was a completely different organisation than that lead by the gangster general Chiang Kai-Shek. Hanging someones photo on the wall does not mean you follow his ideals at all.Migration into Taiwan had been going on for centuries before the KMT run off there.

          • Insomnicide

            KMT under SYT and CKS are the exact same organization. Very different system, but same organization. Hanging someone’s photo on the wall does not mean they follow his ideals but it means they idolize him. And they do follow his ideals, very rarely do people even in Taiwan disagree with the Three Principles of the People.

            I’m talking about the KMT migration and not ethnic Chinese migration. Missing the point entirely and irrelevant.

          • IsurvivedChina

            the Canadian and Australians still hang the picture of the Queen on the wall but that not mean they don’t follow their own ideals and aspirations as written down in their constitution!

          • Insomnicide

            Have you talked to any Australian patriot about the crown? I think you’ll find a very different world waiting for you.

          • IsurvivedChina

            have you even been to either country?

          • Insomnicide

            Yes I’ve been to Australia and I’ve known many Australians personally. The question is, have you? You didn’t even know about the veto of same sex marriage in ACT.

          • IsurvivedChina

            who cares!

          • mr.wiener

            Australian here.
            We [for the most part] think the royals are a bunch of useless bastards, but the current crop aren’t too crap as far as heads of state go…if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

            Edit: I didn’t know about the veto on same sex marriage either, but I’m hardly surprised. The ACT exists so a bunch of pork barreling politicians can go to brothels at the public’s expense.

          • Zappa Frank

            why should other countries care about one or many china?

          • Insomnicide

            It’s already confusing enough for people to differentiate from the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China…many entities claiming to be the same thing isn’t going to work out for anyone.

            Imagine multiple posters on CS claiming the name Zappa Frank for example.

          • Zappa Frank

            so you think people support one china only because in an elementary school would be too complicated to learn the names of the countries that call themselves china something?

          • IsurvivedChina

            while I see your point, I think the names Taiwan and China are different and they can co-exist with different names.

          • Seriously? Something being “confusing” is a valid reason not to recognize a country’s existence?

            Well hell, I guess we should only recognize one Korea, since it’s so confusing having two countries named Korea. And the Balkans are a confusing mess––let’s merge them back into Yugoslavia for simplicity’s sake. And as for all those obscure, hard-to-spell countries in Central Asia like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, let’s just call ’em Buttfuckistan to keep things simple (I’m sure they won’t mind).

          • Insomnicide

            Yeah we do recognize one Korea. Most countries and most people support the reunification of Korea, unless you’re one of those people who enjoy the suffering of Koreans. There’s no economic reason to support the movement, South Korea alone is already an economic powerhouse and taking North Korea’s burden would only weigh it down. Yet an overwhelming amount of nations and people still support the reunification of Korea just like how people supported the reunification of Germany.

            And for the rest of your comment, there isn’t multiple countries in the Balkans all claiming to be Serbia or Greece. Neither is there anything similar happening in central Asia. There is however two countries claiming to be China in east Asia.

          • Guang Xiang

            That’s really odd, I see two separate countries. One is called North Korea, the other South Korea.

          • *sigh*

            Looks like I’ll have to pull out the big guns:

            Republic of the Congo
            Democratic Republic of the Congo

            Checkmate.

          • Insomnicide

            I’ll give you that they recognize the two as states independently, but most people don’t even know there’s two Congos.

            And the nationhood of Congo is still up for debate as boundary lines were hastily and arbitrarily drawn by colonial governors rather than determined by the native people.

          • I’m not sure why most people not knowing there are two Congos matters; most people don’t know there’s a Burundi, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Both Congolese countries are over 50 years old, and there’s no particular reason to believe either of them are going anywhere within our lifetimes.

          • Insomnicide

            Well most people don’t even know there’s two Congos, so it’s unlikely for them to care about unification of the two.

            Both countries do have a decent history of being separate, however both North Korea and South Korea, China and Taiwan or China and Hong Kong has much longer history of being separated. But Hong Kong was reunited with China more than a decade ago and soon South Korea and North Korea might follow. So there’s possibility of unification, when central Africa’s a bit more stable.

          • mopedchi

            Since you bring up Korea, ask how many South Koreans want to unify under North Korean rule. I’m guessing… zero. Germany. Do you think it was feasible for West Germany to join East Germany to become one unified communist Germany?

            Same thing for Taiwan. I’m sure Taiwanese people are more willing to “reunite” if PRC would switch to democracy instead of communism. Otherwise, you are asking millions of people to give up their freedom for what? Non-Chinese people confused about country names… seriously?!

            I really don’t understand why mainlanders give a sh*t about Taiwan Independence. It’s been 60+ years and has NO IMPACT on their daily lives. Is it because misery loves company?

          • ptptp

            So lets just call it the Republic of Taiwan and recognize at as an independent nation.

          • MonkeyMouth

            like in costa rica a couple of years ago….they dropped taiwan and its embassy and went with china. and voila! highways, football stadiums…..

          • Reptilian

            Dollar diplomacy, they call it in international relations.
            Fair-weather friends, if on a personal level.

          • Zappa Frank

            countries don’t complain for economic reasons.. not for this ‘rational’ idea..

      • The UN is a contemptuous and corrupt disgrace that is both wasteful and irrelevant while over seeing some of the worst we crimes the world has seen. We don’t need a new one – just get rid of the current one.

    • North-eastern

      The United Nations??

      Whenever there is a conflict between two small nations, the conflict disappears. Whenever there is a conflict between a big and a small nation, the small nation disappears and whenever there is a conflict between two big nations, The UN disappears.

      • Reptilian

        Well said!

  • Poiuy098765

    That’s what is called “soft power”.

  • Poiuy098765

    Did you look in a mirror ?

  • Poiuy098765

    Hidden while it is published ? Must be some kind of hiding, with Chinese characteristics.

    • Insomnicide

      Why would the American government have Chinese characteristics? Seems like you fail at reading comprehension.

      • IsurvivedChina

        Dude, I think he was joking but you knew that, didn’t you?

        • Insomnicide

          He may be joking but it makes no sense.

          • IsurvivedChina

            to you maybe not, but some people got it! It’s called sarcasm – look it up!

  • China and the people of China are incompetent to do anything that involves logic or honesty….ok…I said it….I wonder why the NYTIMES blocked in China

  • xiaode

    Sorry dude… but the country (China) is producing it´s shit news by itself… others only publish it… and it´s really not difficult to find some shit to publish…

    • Konon

      China sentences activists for urging asset disclosure: lawyer

      I read this in reuters today. Why should a main stream media report this? If it’s for economic reason, who would read this news? But we know that if you keep publishing the same headline, it will be good enough, regardless if it’s true or not. Soon more ppl even the skeptics will bite it. Hey, the US is so good and innocent? Don’t tell me there’s no lawyers suing for discrimination? No human rights abuse?

      Malice is bad.

  • Walin

    Reply to xiaode…. Yes, I agree China news site produce low quality news (never timely and same boring rhetorics) but I believe no new or less news is still better than more malicious news. And one thing you have to remember, English is a foreign language to Chinese, the odds are always stacked against the Chinese.when they have to put up in English. Can you imagine if this scenario is reversed? I’m not finding excuses but this is a fact. Unless you want to stymie the Chinese, inevitably in another 30 years and they will be at the front.

    • Yes!

      Dream on. China will never be “at the front”. It’s not in Chinese DNA. Chinese are only good followers.

      • Alex Dương

        Yes, this is why Hongkongers can only be ruled by the British.

        • Yes!

          Hongkongers will happily accept rulership of the Beijing government, I’m sure, if said Beijing government is able to govern in the same way the British did, with the same basic tenets of political, social and economic development, maintaining an equally competent and corrupt-free civil service as the British did. Are the Beijing communists up to it? I don’t think it’s about race or nationality. It’s about quality of governance and competency for the job. To put it harshly, Hongkongers look down on the CCP and their country bumpkins. More so, they don’t want Hongkong society to regress to a Chinese state.

          • Alex Dương

            I don’t think it’s about race or nationality.

            Which is why you regularly make racist remarks about the Chinese being unable to do this and that because of their genes, amirite?

            To put it harshly, Hongkongers look down on the CCP.

            Do you really think something as mild as that is “harsh” while something like “the Chinese are only good followers / can never be democratic because of their DNA” doesn’t make you look like a racist retard?

            (Not to mention a complete hypocrite since Hongkongers, whether you care to admit it or not, are “genetically” Chinese.)

          • Yes!

            I’m just telling it like it is. If that makes me “look like a racist retard” so be it. Hope it doesn’t bother you. Suffice to say I know enough about the Chinese because I live among them, and my ancestors are Chinese.

          • Alex Dương

            Oh, so you’re a self-hating Chinese? How horribly sad and utterly pathetic. No matter how much you shit talk the Chinese as being unable to do this and unable to do that, and no matter how badly you want to be white, you’ll always be Chinese, and you’ll never be white.

          • Yes!

            Aww, you can’t be more wrong there. I never hope to be white. I’m not a self-hating Chinese. I just KNOW the difference between the mainland Chinese and the other Chinese who grow up in more advanced societies. That’s how I am able to see the differences. And don’t you come attacking me personally. If you can’t put up a decent point to debate my post about standard of governance, perhaps you can do yourself a favour and not engage my posts anymore. Just because I’m Chinese doesn’t mean I have to be blind to the deficiencies of mainland China society. By your line of reasoning, you’ll probably have lots to criticise about Lu Hsun and his ilk then.

          • Alex Dương

            I just KNOW the difference between the mainland Chinese and the other Chinese who grow up in more advanced societies.

            Difference? What difference? They all have Chinese genes, so according to you, they are all followers who can never understand democracy. It doesn’t matter if they grew up in the PRC, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.S., the U.K., wherever. Genes are genes, amirite?

            Seriously though, do you now realize how dumb your comments sound?

            Just because I’m Chinese doesn’t mean I have to be blind to the deficiencies of mainland China society.

            Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that making comments like “the Chinese are born followers / can never be democratic because of their genes” was a criticism of mainland Chinese society.

          • Yes!

            //Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that making comments like “the Chinese are born followers / can never be democratic because of their genes” was a criticism of mainland Chinese society.//

            I don’t think I need to be specific about the context as well. It is quite clear the subject is about PRC Chinese, hence you’re just nitpicking. What’s your agenda here, please declare. You’re a PRC Chinese?

          • Alex Dương

            I don’t think I need to be specific about the context as well. It is quite clear the subject is about PRC Chinese, hence you’re just nitpicking.

            Uh, no, I am not just “nitpicking.” You are not saying that mainland Chinese education and culture stifles risk-taking and hinders the development of leadership qualities. That would be a legit criticism. No racism, no prejudice.

            That’s not what you’re doing. You’re going full retard and saying, quote, “China will never be “at the front”. It’s not in Chinese DNA. Chinese are only good followers.” (Emphasis mine.)

            Yeah, well, since you’re Chinese, you have Chinese DNA, therefore by your own set of beliefs, you are not a leader and can never be one. You can only be good at obeying what other people tell you to do.

            Oh, you protest, I’m not like them! Don’t group me with them! I’m a Hongkonger! I’m different!

            Why are you different? Because you were (presumably) born and educated in Hong Kong? If that’s your answer, then congratulations, you just admitted that the Chinese can be anything and do anything with the right education and culture. It has nothing to do with genes. Do you get it now?

            What’s your agenda here, please declare. You’re a PRC Chinese?

            “Agenda,” lol. My parents were from the PRC. I was born in the U.S. Of course I consider myself lucky that I was born and educated in the U.S. rather than in the PRC. The difference between you and me is that I grew out of that self-hating phase a long time ago and made peace with my nationality and my ancestry. It seems like you never got over that. Your very life is a contradiction: you look down on the Chinese for having inferior genetics, yet you are yourself Chinese, and thus you have those same inferior genes that you despise.

          • wnsk

            What, you think you’re some form of “evolved Chinese”? LoL.

          • Most Singaporean Chinese see themselves as being more “evolved” than mainlanders as well. You can’t deny that.

            Hell, ask pretty much anyone in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Taiwan if they think they’re on the “same level” as mainlanders, and they’ll say the same thing Yes! has said. That doesn’t mean they hate themselves. That’s like saying white Americans who hold Europe in low regard are self-hating.

          • wnsk

            Most Singaporean Chinese see themselves as being more “evolved” than mainlanders as well. You can’t deny that.

            What is it I said that made you think I’m denying that? Whether I deny it or not has no bearing on anything. Unless you’re saying I can’t laugh at someone having an idiotic opinion just because some of my fellow compatriots hold the same idiotic opinion–which is ridiculous.

            Claiming to be more enlightened is one thing; implying you have superior DNA is quite another–not to mention ridiculous, since he is genetically Chinese.

            Hell, ask pretty much anyone in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Taiwan if they think they’re on the “same level” as mainlanders, and they’ll say the same thing Yes! has said.

            Again, I don’t see the significance of you saying that.

            I’m curious to know why you think you’re such an authority on Singaporeans, Hongkongers, Taiwanese, etc. How have you interacted with such people? Debating them on online forums? You lived in these places before?

            Do you seriously think I am less aware of my countrymen than you are? Are you trying to call me a hypocrite or something? What is the point of you saying all this?

            That doesn’t mean they hate themselves. That’s like saying white Americans who hold Europe in low regard are self-hating.

            …I upvoted Alex’s comment because I agreed that it was sad and pathetic for Yes! to imply that his DNA was somehow different.

          • I mainly responded to your comment because you upvoted Alex’s “self-hating Chinese” remark and shrugged off Yes!’s perfectly sensible comment:

            I’m not a self-hating Chinese. I just KNOW the difference between the mainland Chinese and the other Chinese who grow up in more advanced societies. That’s how I am able to see the differences. And don’t you come attacking me personally. If you can’t put up a decent point to debate my post about standard of governance, perhaps you can do yourself a favour and not engage my posts anymore. Just because I’m Chinese doesn’t mean I have to be blind to the deficiencies of mainland China society.

            I don’t see what’s so idiotic about that. I’m 100% sure he’s just joking about the whole “DNA” thing––aka, speaking metaphorically; I don’t think he literally believes Hong Kongers somehow have different DNA from people across the border in Shenzhen.

            Nothing I’ve said necessitates me being an “authority” on Singaporeans, Hongkongers, Taiwanese, etc. It is common knowledge that Chinese people outside the PRC generally have a poor perception of mainlanders. It’s just like Europeans generally have a poor perception of Americans––you don’t need to be an expert on Europeans to know that.

          • wnsk

            I thought it was pretty obvious I was referring to his DNA remark? That’s what I thought was idiotic, not that section you quoted. Even if it was a joke, it’s an idiotic joke (first implying that Chinese had inferior DNA, then immediately claiming his “ancestors are Chinese.”) I LOL’ed. So sue me.

            Nothing I’ve said necessitates me being an “authority” on Singaporeans, Hongkongers, Taiwanese, etc.

            Well, excuse me for having that impression. But it seemed like you were trying to lecture me—not for the first time—on the Singaporean mentality. Not least because you seemed so confident in tossing about such phrases as “Most Singaporean Chinese” and “Ask pretty much anyone in Singapore….”

          • Well, practically everyone on this website is discussing the PRC and its citizens in some form or another on a regular basis, even though none of us are PRC citizens. Is Singapore off-limits? Only Singaporeans are allowed to talk about themselves? I wasn’t lecturing you; I was simply arguing that “Yes!” is not nearly as ideologically eccentric as Alex characterized him to be. Considering “Yes!” presumably actually lives in Hong Kong, whereas Alex presumably lives in the US, you may as well say that Alex is lecturing “Yes!” on the Hong Kong mentality, not least because he seemed so confident in tossing about such phrases as “self-hating Chinese”, which implies that all anti-CCP Hongkongers are self-hating, which is far more inflammatory than anything I said to you.

          • wnsk

            You can talk about Singaporeans, sure. What I don’t get is why you keep trying to tell a Singaporean what Singaporeans are thinking?

            OK, I get your rationale now. But perhaps it would be better if you made an argument in response to Alex, since he is the one having a “serious” argument with the OP, rather than in response to my 2-line remark.

            Seriously, this was all pointless. I’m logging off now. Good night/day.

          • Kai

            To be fair to Alex, he’s implying that a Chinese person who says this comes across as being a “self-hating Chinese”.

          • Sounds kind of like Jackie Chan’s “Chinese need to be
            controlled” comment. I wonder if Jackie Chan couldn’t also be labelled self-hating.

            Support democracy and rights = self-hating
            Support being controlled = proud patriot?

            I think the level of discussion for this topic would be greatly improved if we jettisoned such obviously biased and loaded accusations of “self-hatred”. It’s an absurd claim that cannot conceptually be rebutted, and ultimately it’s nothing more than an empty ad hominem attack in lieu of providing a substantive argument relevant to the actual matter being discussed.

            Comments like these do nothing to add to the discussion:

            no matter how badly you want to be white, you’ll always be Chinese, and you’ll never be white.

            Not only are they vicious and nasty, they are racially divisive because they encourage people to “compete” against each other in proving who can be more anti-___(insert race here), as if racial antagonism is some sort of noble virtue. Incidentally, I think such comments can only come from a place of insecurity. How would someone supposedly proud of being Chinese find it in himself to phrase a declaration of Chinese identity in such a masochistic way, as if being Chinese is something to be ashamed of? I realize he was being sarcastic, but such a comment could only be projected from a certain mindset.

          • Kai

            Jackie Chan WAS roundly castigated by a bunch of people for similar remarks, especially by ethnic Chinese. It’s fair to argue that there was confounding context for both Jackie Chan and Yes!’s comments, but it’s also fair to question the remarks themselves and the mentality potentially behind them.

            Therefore your juxtaposition is unfair. You’re suggesting hypocrisy when there isn’t any. It’s not like you know Alex Dương was all cool and dandy with Jackie Chan’s remarks vs. Yes!’s, right? You also know Alex isn’t saying Yes! is “self-hating” for “supporting democracy and rights”. That’s a straw man. You know he’ saying Yes! is “self-hating” for this.

            I agree accusations of self-hatred are unproductive. So is the nonchalance of throwing out obviously inflammatory remarks like what Yes! did. Alex is at least putting more thought and consideration into his indignation reacting to Yes! than Yes! was in contributing to the discussiong in the first place. Moreover, the context Alex is responding to is at least a lot more readily apparent than the context that Yes! was supposedly limiting his inflammatory remarks to.

            I think any fair criticism of Alex’s indignation here has to give due consideration and acknowledgment to the comments and behavior of Yes! that directly prompted them. This is why I said “to be fair to Alex”.

          • Alex Dương

            Support democracy and rights = self-hating
            Support being controlled = proud patriot?

            This is complete bullshit. You’re straw manning me, and worse, Yes doesn’t even support democracy. At all.

            Setting aside his comments about Chinese genes and democracy, in that Chris Patten article from a few weeks back, I said that the Hong Kong activists should have advocated for an independent, sovereign Hong Kong. I said that they should want to choose their own representatives and leaders from among their fellow citizens; in other words, I said they should support democracy instead of being controlled.

            Is that what Yes said? NO. He shared the activists’ desire to be controlled by London!

            How would someone supposedly proud of being Chinese find it in himself
            to phrase a declaration of Chinese identity in such a masochistic way,
            as if being Chinese is something to be ashamed of?

            It really blows my mind that you give me hell for this and give him a free pass for his racist crap. He’s not joking. Notice how in his replies to me, he never repudiated his remarks on “genes”? He tried to euphemize them; he never outright rejected them.

            If you want to call me out for being immature and hot-headed in using an ad hominem, guilty as charged. But that isn’t what you’re doing. You’re willfully distorting his comments as the exact opposite of what they are.

            And you misread my ad hominem. I’m proud of my ancestry; Yes is ashamed of it. So I purposefully phrased my attack as viciously as I could to tell him that no matter how hard he tries to trash Chinese people, he will always be what he hates.

          • I’m sorry, but the fact is, after “Yes!” made some admittedly ignorant and needlessly offensive remarks, he then clarified his comment (isn’t that what you like?) with the following sensible comment that I think ought to have put a cap on the whole accusing-of-him-being-anti-Chinese debate:

            Aww, you can’t be more wrong there. I never hope to be white. I’m not a self-hating Chinese. I just KNOW the difference between the mainland Chinese and the other Chinese who grow up in more advanced societies. That’s how I am able to see the differences. And don’t you come attacking me personally. If you can’t put up a decent point to debate my post about standard of governance, perhaps you can do yourself a favour and not engage my posts anymore. Just because I’m Chinese doesn’t mean I have to be blind to the deficiencies of mainland China society.

            It’s true that is is not right to just glean the good things he said and pretend like the bad things he said never happened, but it is equally true that it is not right to just glean the bad things he said and pretend like the good things he said never happened. He said some stupid things and made some good points––I’d say that nets him at about a zero, don’t ya think?

            I realize you probably don’t share this mindset, but I find making offensive remarks against other groups of people (e.g., other races or other ethnic groups) to be far worse than making “offensive” remarks against one’s own group; the former often demonstrates hateful provocation whereas the latter often demonstrates critical introspection.

          • Alex Dương

            How is that a “sensible comment”? Because he isn’t repeating his racist remarks? Really?

            As I said, he did not repudiate those comments or otherwise distance himself from them. In fact, when I pressed him again, instead of saying something like “relax dude, I was joking,” he asked me if I had an “agenda” and if I was “PRC Chinese.” And this isn’t even the worst part of it all: he tried to spin his racist crap as criticism about “standards of governance” and commentary about “the deficiencies of mainland China society.”

            Like I said, if you want to criticize me for being unnecessarily vicious and immature with my remarks, fine. I’ll take that. But do not give him a free pass and try to pretend that he has said things that he hasn’t said.

          • We’ve all made careless comments we didn’t mean.
            I think it’s obvious “Yes!” doesn’t think his own genes are defective, and I think it’s obvious “Yes!” knows his genes are Chinese. Therefore, the only logical reconciliation of these two facts is that he said some shit he didn’t really mean. It’s the Internet; it happens.

          • Alex Dương

            Of course; we’re all human. I respectfully disagree with you that that is the only logical reconciliation. I think he has some self-hatred issues.

          • wnsk

            I don’t get why you are defending Yes! to the extent that you are doing now, when you came down hard on Insomniac to the extent that you did.

            As least Insomniac was being honest. Yes! is being dishonest by trying to pass off his blatantly discriminatory remark as mere criticism of “standard of governance” (fully agree with Alex here); it’s a trick, and you fell for it.

            Consider the words he’s using:

            “not in Chinese DNA”
            “Chinese are only good followers”
            “…difference between the mainland Chinese and the other Chinese who grow up in more advanced societies”
            “the deficiencies of mainland China society”
            “That’s in their DNA”
            “CCP and their country bumpkins”
            “regress to a Chinese state”

            It’s clear he’s not just referring to the CCP. There is virtually nothing in his words that qualifies as valid criticism of “standard of governance.” Even when he compared Chinese governance to British governance and claimed that “I don’t think it’s about race or nationality,” he goes on to imply that the Chinese are incapable of the same quality and competency…because why? A matter of DNA of course, if we follow his line of reasoning.

            He is not saying shit he doesn’t mean; he means what he’s saying about (mainland) Chinese “DNA.” The words he’s used throughout this thread (and on other threads) are consistent with regard to that.

            At the end of the day, he is criticising Mainland Chinese…because they are Mainland Chinese…and he isn’t. And you are indirectly defending him. (It’s your prerogative to defend whoever you want of course, but I just think you’re doing so from a misguided perspective on Yes!)

          • Kai

            No, another logical reconciliation is that he simply thinks mainland Chinese are “genetically” different from “Chinese who grow up in more advanced societies”.

            If we want to be charitable, we can say Yes!’s comment about “DNA” is an offensive hyperbole, figuratively referring to what he believes to be some sort of ingrained mentality with so much inertia that he can’t personally see when it will change. Therefore, China will “never be ‘at the front'” and “Chinese are only good followers”. We can say he didn’t mean what he said literally.

            The problem is, it should be him saying that, not us. He isn’t even defending himself to the level that you are defending him. You have to admit that isn’t reassuring.

          • Wa

            “To tell him that no matter how hard he tries to trash Chinese people, he will always be what he hates.”

            Despite how obvious that seems to you, I don’t think it is remotely true. And while I’m not sure I want to hear your life story, I do wonder if you’ve considered whether what you clearly regard as necessity puts your declared pride in a suspicious light.

          • Alex Dương

            Despite how obvious that seems to you, I don’t think it is remotely true.

            Is this your way of saying that I’m a liar? If it isn’t, then I’m not sure what you want to say here. If it is, then I’ll try once more to clarify my intention, and if you still think I’m a liar, well, then further discussion would be pointless, no?

            Of course Matt is right that being Chinese is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not ashamed of my Chinese ancestry. Yes, however, clearly is. So I phrased my attack as viciously as I could to rub it in his face that while trashing the Chinese might make him feel better temporarily, he can never escape the fact that he is Chinese: he is what he hates.

            I do wonder if you’ve considered whether what you clearly regard as necessity puts your declared pride in a suspicious light.

            Is this your way of asking me if I have PRC / CCP sympathies? Because if it is, please, don’t beat around the bush. I may have a very low opinion of Yes, but at least he is blunt enough to ask me outright if I have an “agenda.”

            Let’s get a few things straight. First, I’m a libertarian. Sympathizing with an authoritarian government would be rather inconsistent with my beliefs, no? And while we’re on this subject, why is calling people out on anti-Chinese prejudices always taken to be a sign of pro-CCP sentiment? Do you people realize that one of the cornerstones of the Chinese democracy movement is the idea that “China” is not the CCP and that hating the CCP doesn’t mean hating China / loving China doesn’t mean loving the CCP? Apparently not.

            Second, no, having pride in one’s ancestry is not a “necessity.” But this in no way justifies self-hatred; that’s not a “necessity” either.

          • Wa

            “Is this your way of saying that I’m a liar?”

            It isn’t, but I do thank you for asking before jumping to that conclusion. I think your response is mistaken and I’ll try to explain why.

            “So I phrased my attack as viciously as I could to rub it in his face that while trashing the Chinese might make him feel better temporarily, he can never escape the fact that he is Chinese: he is what he hates.”

            Yes, I understand your claim and the “viciousness” of your tone. As they stand, I do not think Yes’s comments are defensible. At the same time, I don’t see how you can “rub his face” in anything since there is no reason to believe he will always be what he “hates”, and this is your central objection to his assumption.

            Only claiming his “Chineseness” is a necessary feature of his selfhood and being would authorize the accusation that he is “self-hating” (and, as Matt pointed out, this is a pretty cheap polemical assertion), but the assumption that a Chinese person cannot “escape” being Chinese, should that be his/her goal or intent, is obviously debatable, not least because the position you’ve taken in your argument depends on being free from certain inherent limitations. Now, I understand you are focusing your retort on his crass remark on Chinese “genes” and his base claim of the strictures of that condition, and I acknowledge the logic in your response. But I do want to know: Do you think a Chinese person can free him or herself from the necessity of being Chinese? Perhaps you have seen volumes like 来生不做中国人 in Hong Kong addressing this topic. Would Yes’s remarks have been acceptable to you without the genetic focus?

            “Is this your way of asking me if I have PRC / CCP sympathies? Because if it is, please, don’t beat around the bush.”

            No, it is not. While your politics may be relevant, I don’t presume to know anything about your sympathies or lack thereof to the PRC.

            “Sympathizing with an authoritarian government would be rather inconsistent with my beliefs, no?”

            Inconsistent, certainly. But not out of the question. After all, one would only have to turn to the pages of the Guardian to see how frequently such stupefying acts of mental Balkanization are regularly carried out.

            “And while we’re on this subject, why is calling people out on anti-Chinese prejudices always taken to be a sign of pro-CCP sentiment?”

            Are you asking me for a general answer? If you genuinely would like me to provide one, I’ll take a shot at it. I won’t necessarily accept the terms of your question, but I do think it is a subject which warrants discussion.

            “Do you people realize that one of the cornerstones of the Chinese democracy movement is the idea that “China” is not the CCP and that hating the CCP doesn’t mean hating China / loving China doesn’t mean loving the CCP?”

            I’m not sure who “you people” is here. Yes, I recognize that the CCP is not China, and I’m sure you’ve noticed people of all stripes who criticize and/or castigate the CCP regularly indicate as much. At the same time, criticizing and/or castigating “China” does not mean doing the same to all Chinese.

            “Second, no, having pride in one’s ancestry is not a “necessity.” But this in no way justifies self-hatred; that’s not a “necessity” either.”

            Understood, although I do think self-hatred can be justified on many grounds. That’s not the point I was addressing, though. What I was commenting on was the degree to which you’ve accepted the “necessity” explicit in his account as a way to counter him. My point is simply that if you feel “he will always be what he hates”, i.e. that his being Chinese is a necessity, it would make your pride as much an act of convenience as anything else.

            Hopefully I’ve addressed this in a manner which allows you to feel at ease. I’ll understand if this is a discussion you do not choose to engage in.

          • Alex Dương

            But I do want to know: Do you think a Chinese person can free him or herself from the necessity of being Chinese? Perhaps you have seen volumes like 来生不做中国人 in Hong Kong addressing this topic. Would Yes’s remarks have been acceptable to you without the genetic focus?

            Thanks for directing my attention to Joe Chung. I was not aware of him or his writings, and I’ll see if I can find translations. As for your questions,

            1. It depends on what you mean by “freeing oneself from being Chinese.” Can a Chinese person adopt a non-Chinese culture and become non-Chinese culturally? Of course. Just take a look at Thailand. There are many Thais who are politically and culturally “Thai” but who have no problems whatsoever saying “I have some Chinese ancestry.”

            Can a Chinese person adopt a non-Chinese nationality and become non-Chinese politically? Of course. My parents did that.

            But can a Chinese person “free himself” from his Chinese ancestry / genes? No.

            2. I would not have had a problem with his remarks if the genetic component were removed.

            Yes, I recognize that the CCP is not China, and I’m sure you’ve noticed people of all stripes who criticize and/or castigate the CCP regularly indicate as much.

            At this point, I must respectfully disagree. Yes isn’t the only person who tries to pass off anti-Chinese prejudice as “criticism and commentary against the CCP.” Probotector is pretty unrepentant about that too. Actually, in general, I’d say you (specifically and in general) are in the minority if you clearly distinguish between “China” and “the CCP.”

            My point is simply that if you feel “he will always be what he hates”, i.e. that his being Chinese is a necessity, it would make your pride as much an act of convenience as anything else.

            His being culturally and politically Chinese is not a necessity. He is free to try to naturalize under any non-Chinese nationality that will take him; and he is free to try to adopt any non-Chinese culture he wants, if that’s what he wants. But since he was talking about Chinese DNA and Chinese genes, genetically, he will always be Chinese because he cannot get rid of his Chinese ancestry. In this sense, he will always be what he hates.

            Unless, of course, he stops shit talking Chinese DNA and genes. In that sense, yes, “always” would be too strong.

          • Wa

            “But can a Chinese person “free himself” from his Chinese ancestry / genes? No.

            2. I would not have had a problem with his remarks if the genetic component were removed.”

            …I’m not trying to trip you up here, but I find these two positions peculiar. What is ancestry other than culture (which you already said can be changed) and genes? Aren’t you just talking about genes, then? That is why I don’t entirely agree with your objection. If I be as fair as I can, you seem to be saying that Chinese genes don’t restrict Chinese from any particular achievement, but Chinese are restricted to Chinese genes. While I understand how this may be more appealing in social circles, one must note that it is an entirely passive articulation of genetic significance.

            My position is that genetics are not clearly determinative of very much. They can and do influence us, but not in a way that is unavoidable or insurmountable. Orphans need not understand their genetic heritage to understand themselves, though they may choose to. The widespread practice of cosmetic surgery makes genes’ influence on our appearance significantly alterable. Hence, there is no reason to claim Chinese people can’t become something other than Chinese should they wish to be. Would you agree with this position? I ask this because on numerous occasions I’ve seen considerable ire and viciousness directed toward other (typically overseas) Chinese based on the belief that “We are all Chinese”.

            “Yes, I recognize that the CCP is not China, and I’m sure you’ve noticed people of all stripes who criticize and/or castigate the CCP regularly indicate as much.”

            “At this point, I must respectfully disagree. Yes isn’t the only person who tries to pass off anti-Chinese prejudice as ‘criticism and commentary against the CCP.’ Probotector is pretty unrepentant about that too. Actually, in general, I’d say you (specifically and in general) are in the minority if you clearly distinguish between ‘China’ and ‘the CCP’.”

            I don’t know what you are disagreeing with. My statement is merely the reciprocal of your position on “one of the cornerstones of the Chinese democracy movement”. If you are pointing out that there will be times in which people intentionally or unintentionally conflate the CCP with China in their criticism, I acknowledge that. But the same holds true for those who would “defend” China. For myself, I’m not sure I always distinguish between China and the CCP–in part because I don’t always think that the distinction is meaningful, and in part because it is irrelevant. When it comes to imperial tendencies stemming from culture and history, there’s a lot of grassroot support for the CCP in “China”.

          • Alex Dương

            …I’m not trying to trip you up here, but I find these two positions peculiar. What is ancestry other than culture (which you already said can be changed) and genes? Aren’t you just talking about genes, then? That is why I don’t entirely agree with your objection.

            I have no idea what point you’re trying to make with this. It seems like a huge nitpick to me.

            If I be as fair as I can, you seem to be saying that Chinese genes don’t restrict Chinese from any particular achievement, but Chinese are restricted to Chinese genes.

            Yes, that is what I am saying.

            While I understand how this may be more appealing in social circles, one must note that it is an entirely passive articulation of genetic significance.

            Ridiculous. How am I “articulating genetic significance” if I am saying genes don’t restrict Chinese (or anyone!) from being able to lead others and participating in democratic elections?

            Would you agree with this position?

            You seem to be deliberately misunderstanding me. I don’t know why you think that I’m advocating genetic supremacy; I’m not. All I said was that no matter how much Yes trashes Chinese people because of their DNA and genes, at the end of the day, he can’t change that he also has Chinese DNA and genes, and thus whatever he says about “them” applies to him.

            I mean, come on: do I really need to say that I think everything he said about Chinese DNA and genes is complete fucking bullshit? I would’ve thought that was obvious, but if not, then I’ll clarify. You can change your customs and culture. You can change your nationality. You can’t change your ancestry. Does this mean you’re “constrained” by your ancestry? No. It just means you have no say in who your ancestors were. You have a say in where you choose to go with your life, not in how you came to this world.

            Sheesh. I accept that I was hot-headed and immature when I deliberately chose to be as vicious as possible in attacking Yes. If you have an issue with the way I said things, fine. But you’re trying way, way, way too hard to paint me as a eugenicist when I have said nothing that even remotely resembles support for eugenics. You’re misinterpreting what I said.

          • Wa

            “I have no idea what point you’re trying to make with this. It seems like a huge nitpick to me.”

            How is it nitpicking to say you are focusing exclusively on genes?

            “You seem to be deliberately misunderstanding me. I don’t know why you think that I’m advocating genetic supremacy; I’m not.”

            “But you’re trying way, way, way too hard to paint me as a eugenicist when I have said nothing that even remotely resembles support for eugenics. You’re misinterpreting what I said.”

            Actually, I’ve asked you questions and given you the opportunity to clarify your views. I did not even insinuate that you are advocating for genetic supremacy or eugenics. What’s with the anger? If you think I fairly characterized your views, don’t you think you could find it within yourself to calm the fuck down?

            “Ridiculous. How am I “articulating genetic significance” if I am saying genes don’t restrict Chinese (or anyone!) from being able to lead others and participating in democratic elections?”

            Again, I understand your objection to Yes’s comment and its assumption of closed loop logic. I pointedly asked about *the wider frame* of your views, and you responded that Chinese people cannot escape the genetics of their ancestry. The thing is, if you don’t think genetics are determinative, I can’t see the value in this statement at all. That is why I called it a form of passive significance.

            Is it fair to say you did not limit your assertion that you can’t be free from your ancestry (genetics) to Yes’s remark on the genetic inability to lead others and participate in democratic elections? Is it fair to say that if you do not think genetics are determinative, that they do not ineluctably restrict people from developing certain capabilities and therefore also do not actively give people such capabilities? Is it ridiculous then to say the position that you articulate provides only a passive significance for genetics? I’m struggling to understand but willing to consider how it is people cannot free themselves from the influence of something passive, and I wonder if you acknowledge the broader import of this claim.

            “You can change your customs and culture. You can change your nationality. You can’t change your ancestry. Does this mean you’re “constrained” by your ancestry? No. It just means you have no say in who your ancestors were. You have a say in where you choose to go with your life, not in how you came to this world”

            Well, no. This is rather simplistic. You certainly do have a say in who your ancestors are, at least insofar as they matter (and I can’t see much value beyond that). To acknowledge as much is as logical as acknowledging that we have only limited control over the future, but what degree of control we do have resolutely matters and is a component of our being, while what we don’t control is arguably not.

            We live in an age where extended relations are much more mercurial than in the past when the specter of blood crimes and inherited familial guilt was seen as determinative of one’s ancestry. You may struggle to free yourself from the genetic influence of the immediate generation prior to you, but anything earlier than that is subsumed into our social networks, personal choice, and correctable behavior.

          • Alex Dương

            I did not even insinuate that you are advocating for genetic supremacy or eugenics.

            Really? What’s this if not an insinuation that I advocate for genetic supremacy: “While I understand how this may be more appealing in social circles, one must note that it is an entirely passive articulation of genetic significance.”

            The thing is, if you don’t think genetics are determinative, I can’t see the value in this statement at all. That is why I called it a form of passive significance.

            Your problem is that you equate “Chinese people cannot escape the genetics of their ancestry” with “genetics are determinative.” You think they are equivalent; I do not. I have said nothing that suggests that I believe they are equivalent statements. My comments were made purely in the context of mocking Yes: anything he says about Chinese people applies to him, given his beliefs in genetic supremacy. I’m using his beliefs against him. Those aren’t my beliefs.

            I’ve clarified this so many times, yet you are still so keen to try to paint me as a genetic supremacist. And you ask me why I’m angry!

            You certainly do have a say in who your ancestors are, at least insofar as they matter (and I can’t see much value beyond that).

            How do I have a say in who my ancestors were? I didn’t choose my parents; they chose each other. I didn’t choose my great-x50-grandparents; they chose (or maybe forced themselves onto) each other. How do I have a say in this at all? Because…

            You may struggle to free yourself from the genetic influence of the immediate generation prior to you, but anything earlier than that is subsumed into our social networks, personal choice, and correctable behavior.

            …”having a say in who your ancestors are” is your way of saying I can choose my culture and customs? Wow, isn’t that what I said?

            So, no, I will not acknowledge your deliberate misinterpretation of my remarks as *cough* “passively” suggesting a belief in genetic “significance.”

          • Wa

            Alex, you don’t think you are being a bit over the top?

            “Really? What’s this if not an insinuation that I advocate for genetic supremacy: “While I understand how this may be more appealing in social circles, one must note that it is an entirely passive articulation of genetic significance.”

            Ahhhh…Not an insinuation that you advocate for genetic supremacy! How the fuck do you get from here to there? Walk me through it because I can’t see the connection. I have explained my understanding of a passive articulation of genetic significance, haven’t I? Was that in some way insulting?

            “My comments were made purely in the context of mocking Yes: anything he says about Chinese people applies to him, given his beliefs in genetic supremacy. I’m using his beliefs against him. Those aren’t my beliefs.

            I’ve clarified this so many times, yet you are still so keen to try to paint me as a genetic supremacist. And you ask me why I’m angry!”

            Have I not already addressed this point many times? Have I not already stated that you adopted his beliefs in a “closed loop logic”? Haven’t I acknowledged the reason you did that and stated that his comments were not defensible? Haven’t I also also asked you for your perspective outside of his comments? Didn’t you thereafter also state that you feel one cannot free oneself from Chinese genes? How does this paint you as a genetic supremacist? Yes, I ask why you are angry.

            “Your problem is that you equate “Chinese people cannot escape the genetics of their ancestry” with “genetics are determinative.” You think they are equivalent; I do not. I have said nothing that suggests that I believe they are equivalent statements.”

            No, read again. I don’t equate them. I am saying that I fail to see how the statement “Chinese cannot escape the genetics of their ancestry” can be MEANINGFUL if without some form of determinative genetics. After all, you’ve already excluded culture from factoring. So what is it that Chinese people cannot free themselves from if genetics are not determinative? I do not understand why you regard the word passive as a threatening term. I used it because, absent a deterministic view, I actually think it helps us consitute a ground for understanding what it is you are trying to formulate.

            “How do I have a say in who my ancestors were? I didn’t choose my parents; they chose each other. I didn’t choose my great-x50-grandparents; they chose (or maybe forced themselves onto) each other. How do I have a say in this at all?”

            As I said, this is simplistic, and I don’t think this is the right tack to take because it is an even weaker argument than some form of passive genetics. I have a family tree which has been passed down in my family for a few hundred years. I have names and a bit of biography. Do you know your great-x50-grandparents? So tell me, why do they MATTER? Surely you don’t walk around all day concerned with who they were…because they are a set of contingencies in your life, just as that significant portion of your future you cannot control is also a set of contingencies. Would it not be right to regard a person who viewed that future set of contingencies as an inescapable part of their being as, in precise terms, a fatalist? How is it any less fatalistic to say one cannot free oneself from ancestors they don’t even know or understand? Again I ask, why do they matter?

            “…”having a say in who your ancestors are” is your way of saying I can choose my culture and customs? Wow, isn’t that what I said?”
            No, that’s what I’ve said. And it is congruent with my argument that one may avoid or surmount the import of genetics. You, on the other hand, explicitly excluded culture from your argument on ancestry. You see the conundrum.
            Look, Alex, if you want to argue that I am deliberately misunderstanding you, that’s fine. I’ll leave this discussion be in that case. I don’t think your perspective makes a great deal of sense as it stands, which is why I asked you to elaborate on it. If you feel I’m maliciously attempting to inveigle you into a position you do not hold, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

          • Alex Dương

            I have explained my understanding of a passive articulation of genetic significance, haven’t I? Was that in some way insulting?

            It’s insulting because you are trying really hard to twist my words and despite your protests to the contrary, I can’t help but feel that you are trying to “trap” me into saying something where you can go, “Aha! See? You agree with Yes more than you think!”

            Case in point:

            Didn’t you thereafter also state that you feel one cannot free oneself from Chinese genes?

            This is you trying to “trap” me. Yes, I did say that, and in the context of mocking Yes, the only point I wanted to make was that everything he said about “them” applied to him equally. You, however, try to twist my words into something else:

            I am saying that I fail to see how the statement “Chinese cannot escape the genetics of their ancestry” can be MEANINGFUL if without some form of determinative genetics.

            You keep trying to misinterpret my comment as indicating that I believe genes are “determinative.” All it means is you can’t choose who your ancestors were. Being culturally and politically American doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly changed the past and altered my family tree so that my nth-generation Chinese ancestors have magically become Anglo-Saxon. I don’t need Anglo-Saxon ancestors to be culturally and politically American.

            So tell me, why do they MATTER?

            I have to try really hard to suppress the urge to write this in all caps: I am not the one saying this matters; Yes is. You’re arguing with the wrong person, and seriously, it really pisses me off that you are trying this hard to “trap” me into saying things I don’t believe in.

            I’ll say it one more time: I am not the one saying this matters.

            No, that’s what I’ve said.

            I’ve repeatedly said that you can choose your culture and customs, but you can’t choose your ancestry. You replied by arguing that culture and customs are products of ancestry, therefore by choosing another culture, I am choosing another ancestry. That is mindblowingly stupid to me. As I just said, being culturally and politically American doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly changed the past and altered my family tree so that my nth-generation Han ancestors have magically become Anglo-Saxon.

          • Wa

            “This is you trying to “trap” me. Yes, I did say that, and in the context of mocking Yes”

            This is the passage above where I asked you for your perspective. I am NOT trying to trap you. Get a grip.

            ME: Do you think a Chinese person can free him or herself from the necessity of being Chinese? Perhaps you have seen volumes like 来生不做中国人 in Hong Kong addressing this topic. Would Yes’s remarks have been acceptable to you without the genetic focus?

            YOU: Thanks for directing my attention to Joe Chung. I was not aware of him or his writings, and I’ll see if I can find translations. As for your questions,

            YOU: 1. It depends on what you mean by “freeing oneself from being Chinese.” Can a Chinese person adopt a non-Chinese culture and become non-Chinese culturally? Of course. Just take a look at Thailand. There are many Thais who are politically and culturally “Thai” but who have no problems whatsoever saying “I have some Chinese ancestry.”

            YOU: Can a Chinese person adopt a non-Chinese nationality and become non-Chinese politically? Of course. My parents did that.

            YOU: But can a Chinese person “free himself” from his Chinese ancestry / genes? No.

            These views are clearly not expressed solely as the assumption of Yes’s argument. This is not a trap. It is simply your words.

            “You replied by arguing that culture and customs are products of ancestry, therefore by choosing another culture, I am choosing another ancestry.”

            Actually, what I argued is that ancestry in the terms you’ve chosen simply doesn’t matter very much. I asked you to provide an explanation which reveals how it does without relying on cultural support.

          • Alex Dương

            These views are clearly not expressed solely as the assumption of Yes’s argument. This is not a trap. It is simply your words.

            Those are my words. And you’ll kindly notice that at no point did I ever say that genetics were “determinative” or that it matters who your nth-generation ancestors were.

            I asked you to provide an explanation which reveals how it does without relying on cultural support.

            So you want me to explain how ancestry matters very much when I’ve never said that it does? Wow, you’re not trying to trap me at all!

          • Wa

            So a Chinese person can’t free himself from Chinese genes. And it’s THAT which doesn’t matter. Got it. Here I thought that claim implied Chinese genetic ancestry had some significance. I suppose it is not at all strange that we find ineluctable the insignificant.

          • Alex Dương

            Yes, you can’t change who your ancestors were, and that doesn’t matter. We obviously have some, perhaps even many, disagreements, but this wasn’t one of them.

          • Surfeit

            Guy’s a dumbass yo, let it slide.

          • Dr Sun

            “everyone and none are” how do you know this matt ?

            and dont give me that “if its prefaced with” bs again.

          • Well, I know everyone on this website is discussing the PRC and its citizens because that’s literally the whole point of this website––just like everyone on koreaBANG is discussing Korea and Koreans and everyone on japanCRUSH is discussing Japan and Japanese.

            As for none of us being PRC citizens, I’m not aware of any regular commenters here who are (HKers don’t count). Are you a PRC citizen? Can you name any that are?

            Even if you manage to name a few, and as much as you’d like to believe otherwise, I did say “practically everyone”, and that’s not something you can just declare doesn’t matter. It’s not up to you to discard words I used so that you can alter the meaning of my comment. I use the words I use for a reason, you don’t get to decide which ones count and which ones don’t.

          • Alex Dương

            which implies that all anti-CCP Hongkongers are self-hating, which is far more inflammatory than anything I said to you.

            I really thought better of you, Matt; I thought you were smarter than this. I never said or implied that it’s self-hatred for a Chinese Hongkonger to be anti-CCP. I implied that it’s self-hatred for a Chinese Hongkonger to talk about how the Chinese can’t be leaders and can’t be democratic because of their genes, genes that he himself admits to having.

          • Well you have to acknowledge that there’s obviously a discrepancy between exalting Hongkong/Taiwanese/Singaporean governance and blaming “Chinese genes” for the endemic ills of the PRC. So either he really believes Chinese genes are defective and only facetiously exalts Hongkong/Taiwan/Singapore (which he secretly hates just as much as he hates the PRC), or he really has a positive opinion of Hongkong/Taiwan/Singapore and only facetiously mocked the PRC’s endemic ills as being due to bad genes. I chose to believe the latter because it seems far more feasible. The only other possible explanation is that he has multiple personality disorder and earnestly believes both; I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that’s not the case.

          • Alex Dương

            Well you have to acknowledge that there’s obviously a discrepancy between exalting Hongkong/Taiwanese/Singaporean governance and blaming “Chinese genes” for the endemic ills of the PRC.

            You are making up positive comments and attributing them to Yes. Yes has not exalted Hongkong, Taiwanese, or Singaporean governance with the implication that China, too, could hugely benefit if it more closely emulated one or more of these models. (Let’s set aside the slight irony that Singapore is authoritarian for a moment.) Rather, he has on multiple occasions now outright stated that “Chinese genes” cause the Chinese to be followers, not leaders, and to be incompatible with democracy.

            So there’s no “multiple personality disorder” here because he didn’t say what you claim he has said, at least not in this article.

          • Looking back through the thread, I see that he has not explicitly named Taiwan and Singapore. But he has made the following comments:

            I don’t think it’s about race or nationality. It’s about quality of governance and competency for the job. To put it harshly, Hongkongers look down on the CCP and their country bumpkins. More so, they don’t want Hongkong society to regress to a Chinese state.

            Sounds like he’s exalting Hongkong there.

            I just KNOW the difference between the mainland Chinese and the other Chinese who grow up in more advanced societies.

            This is the third time I’ve quoted the above line, and I’m pretty sure it makes it crystal clear that he’s clearly making an explicit distinction between PRC and non-PRC Chinese. Aka, the variable factor is the CCP, not the “Chinese genes” that he facetiously referenced before (and I believe it was only once, not multiple time as your comments seem to suggest).

          • Alex Dương

            Sounds like he’s exalting Hongkong there.

            Fair enough.

            Aka, the variable factor is the CCP, not the “Chinese genes” that he facetiously referenced before (and I believe it was only once, not multiple time as your comments seem to suggest).

            The first time I heard Yes refer to “Chinese genes” was in the aforementioned Chris Patten article:

            http://www.chinasmack.com/2014/stories/hong-kong-activists-surround-last-british-governor-reactions.html#comment-1297562895

            I called him out on it then too:

            http://www.chinasmack.com/2014/stories/hong-kong-activists-surround-last-british-governor-reactions.html#comment-1297598608

            You think he’s just being facetious / just joking. He isn’t. While you may loath the accusation and the term, I stand by it completely: he has self-hatred issues. One can easily focus one’s criticism mainly or even exclusively on the CCP without remarking on “Chinese genes,” which are an attack on Chinese people, not the CCP.

          • Alex Dương

            I’m 100% sure he’s just joking about the whole “DNA” thing––aka, speaking metaphorically; I don’t think he literally believes Hong Kongers somehow have different DNA from people across the border in Shenzhen.

            I don’t think he’s joking at all. He isn’t over-the-top the way “Fred” is or might be. He routinely makes these kinds of comments. Like Probotector, who regularly upvotes him, he tries to pass off his (self-hating) prejudice as “criticism” and “commentary.”

          • Alex Dương

            You of all people are defending Yes!’s trash comments? Are you willfully ignoring that he said, quote, “China will never be “at the front”. It’s not in Chinese DNA. Chinese are only good followers” and that he’s made similar comments about how the Chinese can never be democratic because of their “genes”?

          • Reptilian

            I take it you’re the type who’d criticize overseas Chinese to be “banana people”? If yes, then I have no further questions.

          • Reptilian

            There is a sociological phenomenon called social heritance, and it is passed on by genetic inheritance. Much like how newborn rats are immediately recorded to have stress hormones spike upon hearing the sound of a cat’s purr, even as they haven’t encountered any cats yet.

            So, however backward or retarded the DNA comment was, there is a grain of truth to it, and the phenomenon is documented in medical experimentation. Decades of continuous social re-engineering to be pliant citizens, I believe, will have an effect on a populace, esp one that has been led by a brutally efficient propaganda machine like China’s Commie Party.

          • Alex Dương

            If you want to run with this, compare how long democracies have been around with how long absolute monarchies have been around. Forget “decades of continuous social re-engineering to be pliant citizens,” what about centuries or even millennia of living under autocratic rule, as was the case in both Europe and Asia? Do you think that had an “effect” on the respective populaces?

          • Reptilian

            See, when much of the world was living under absolute monarchies, so was China. Actually China had been at it for millennia. But when the West and other Asian monarchies started having their popular uprisings and transitions to elected governments, China couldn’t muster enough support from within for Sun Yat-sen’s revolution, no matter how backbreaking the living conditions were during dynastic rule. People were still pining for a degree of familiarity, if not stability, to which they’d become accustomed.

            Soon the short-lived and chaotic era of Chinese republicanism was replaced by the utopian stability of Communist rule. For decades, Chinese people believed, despite evidence to the contrary, that China was the richest, happiest nation on Earth. Coupled with the iron-fisted control of an efficient propaganda machinery, most Chinese have come to believe that the CPC is the sole guardian of its stability, and has to be rewarded with loyalty. Thus legitimacy is vested on those who are most skilled at crafting tales for self-promotion.

            And this is the poisonous effect of having a unitary authority on information–the truth is only that which the government passes on to us. In the West and many other Asian states (except for NoKor), never has it happened that such an all-encompassing grip on infomation was wielded by such a concentrated source of power after dynastic rule had fallen. This is why, even as most Chinese detest the CPC in one way or another, they would more readily subscribe to the notion that,
            without the CPC there would be absolute chaos, and China’s economic gains would come to naught. That in my book is an absolutely pliant, obedient citizenry. Great feat of psychological engineering, no?

          • Alex Dương

            See, when much of the world was living under absolute monarchies, so was China.

            Uh, yeah, that’s why I said, compare how long democracies have been around with how long absolute monarchies have been around. Forget “decades of continuous social re-engineering to be pliant citizens,” what about centuries or even millennia of living under autocratic rule, as was the case in both Europe and Asia?

            But when the West and other Asian monarchies started having their popular uprisings and transitions to elected governments, China couldn’t muster enough support from within for Sun Yat-sen’s revolution, no matter how backbreaking the living conditions were during dynastic rule. People were still pining for a degree of familiarity, if not stability, to which they’d become accustomed.

            China couldn’t muster enough support from within for Sun’s revolution? Really?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinhai_Revolution

            In the West and many other Asian states (except for NoKor), never has it happened that such an all-encompassing grip on infomation was wielded by such a concentrated source of power after dynastic rule had fallen.

            Ever heard of the Third Reich and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party?

            Look, when you admit that most of the world was under the rule of absolute monarchies for much of human history, it’s pretty hard for you to justify a “genetic” argument that the Chinese and only the Chinese are “pliant.”

          • Reptilian

            I see you nitpicked on the introductory sentence and made it look like I had the same argument as you. The point of that paragraph was in the lower half–that, quite different from their counterparts in the rest of the world, the Chinese can easily be made to feel secure under a totalitarian system, if only that you don’t disturb too much of the old status quo. One way to do that is you make sure they get their rice bowls regularly. China today is living proof of that argument. Businessmen won’t be supporting any overthrow of Beijing, because, hey, Big Brother is taking care of us, why trip the apple cart?

            Oh wow, citing Wiki for backup. Nice try, but that won’t even fly in high school history class nowadays. The test of whether the Xinhai Revolution succeeded? I’ll leave you to answer that. Hint: much of Xinhai’s strength was drawn from outside China’s borders.

            If you think the Third Reich and national socialism truly had Germans under a spell during its heyday, boy oh boy, have you got a lot of history to catch up on. Hitler’s political dominance came from the barrel of a gun, from political assassinations, from events like the Night of the Long Knives, and not because he had the whole country hypnotized, notwithstanding Goebbels’ talents.

            I wasn’t making the point that it’s hardwired genetical condition, but that the phenomenon of social heritance can ingrain it in society for a while—a long while, in the case of China. I was expecting a riposte on how the CPC’s monopoly on information was a vehicle for this, and has guaranteed their political survival and the continuance of their myth of legitimacy, but I see you’ve chosen to not address that topic.

            I’ve made my points, and if you still cannot grasp them, I suggest rereading them above. You can have your last word in, to make you sleep better.

          • Alex Dương

            Oh, you’re one of those tool expats who thinks that he knows everything. Buddy, you lost the argument when you admitted that for most of human history, people have lived under the rule of absolute monarchies. If you want to talk about “social inheritance,” it would apply to pretty much all people, not just the Chinese.

            And why don’t we take a look at the Taiwanese, who are mostly descended from the same people the mainland Chinese are descended from? Taiwan was under the rule of one absolute monarchy or another from 1683 to 1895, colonial rule from 1895 to 1945, and a one-party dictatorship from 1945 until 1996. Your “social inheritance” *cough* “hypothesis” predicts that Taiwan should’ve continued to be a one-party dictatorship after Chiang Kai-shek’s death.

            Which is what happened, right? Oh wait, it didn’t happen? Taiwan had a free Presidential election in 1996? Well, so much for your “hypothesis.”

            God, you expats crack me up.

      • Le chat

        I agree with you saying “being at the front” is not in China’s DNA, but China is not merely a follower either. For now, as it’s still developing and catching up with whatever GDP or man-made standards that it believes in, it is indeed following. But if you look back on the Tang Dynasty when it’s a superpower, it was not the case. What China seems to like when it’s dominant is to have people come to TianChao (the capital) to “worship” or show some respect, you know, to put it on some moral high ground.

        • Yes!

          Hans always like to believe that they are the greatest people “under Heaven”. That’s in their DNA. Tang Dynasty wasn’t that much of a superpower in its time either, although it was “dominant” then; it was only overlord to the little “kingdoms” situated in its immediate environs, mainly the Indo-chinese civilisations in the south and southeast, compared to say, the US, whose influence today is pretty much global. Today, after a decade of making some good money by being the cheap factory of the world with foreign investment, China is now buying more war materials and building some aircraft carriers and taa-daaa it’s back to bullying its neighbours again. China’s main military strategy throughout history and hence projection of power even up till most recent time – Korean war – stem from its “people mountain people sea” 人山人海 doctrine i.e. my army is much larger than yours, therefore I will always defeat you. But China’s intrinsic culture and society as a whole do not have the necessary eco-system to put it in front of other civilisations, and never will. In 300 years, the US have become the world superpower, and it’s not just because of its military, but also its cultural power (for better or worse). China boasts of a 3,000 – some say 5,000 – year history and it still bear all the characteristics of feudalism and “un-civilisation” (can’t think of a better word) as it was just before the last Qing emperor stepped down. Nothing respectable or “worshippable” about China. The Chinese netizens, of course, will beg to differ. Frogs in the well.

          • ElectricTurtle

            Trying to compare superpowers of the ancient world with superpowers in the space/information age is intellectually dishonest. The Tang Dynasty was as great or greater than the Roman Empire (Chang’an was several times larger than Rome at the cities respective high water marks). To say that Tang China didn’t compare with the US is like saying Alexander the Great was lame because he didn’t have aircraft carriers. It’s prima facie ridiculous.

            Also you’re conflating culture with politics. China may not have much to offer politically or in terms of economic systems (though its disingenuous compromise between Marxism and markets has become the “China model” that has made other erstwhile Marxist nations like Vietnam relatively successful), but to throw out the real cultural value of China in terms of art, literature, music, etc. is boorishly myopic. US culture has become the de facto world monoculture primarily because a) the US has spent the last century sending troops around the world and b) the US has invented and popularized most of the underpinnings of rapid transit and communication, e.g. airplanes, satellites, the interwebnets. That piggybacked on the cultural conquest done by the Brits in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the same way that Rome’s cultural expansion was done largely as an overlay upon the previous wave of Macedonian Hellenism (an ironic contradiction actually, that Demosthenes killed himself not to see).

            China has been aggrieved with successions of shitty regimes, and honestly they have that in common with just about everybody else. It’s not much of an indictment really in the face of the whole of history.

          • Le chat

            It seems that all peoples tend to think they are the greatest people on this planet to some degree. And I believe China’s limited influence in Tang Dynasty was more due to the lack of technology, thinking of how the Internet among many other means has allowed the US to spread its culture. The Internet is global, so of course it reaches to almost every corner. (Ever seen a battered coca-cola ad in rural Madagascar?)

            I agree with your points regarding military strategy, as we all know, it’s the nation that holds the biggest population and not the best technology, so what can the world expect.

            And you’re right that the US becomes the world’s superpower in a short 300 years, but it’s exactly because of its military technology. I guess it’s just human nature that people like looking at (and maybe even imitate) the glamorous. It’s a star effect. So in a way, US strong military presence makes its culture appear to be more attractive. Throughout history, it has appeared to be like that. For example, the British made the world speak English, but it stays so because it happens to be a language of efficiency too, although the British is no longer dominant as it used to be. But on the other hand, you see more people picking up Chinese.

          • Archie

            I think its a bit harsh to just write-off Chinese culture. I think Taiwan is an example of what it could be if managed well, and the mainland is an example of what it looks like after a madman takes the helm and tries to strip the country of its culture. He did a pretty fucking awesome job of fucking shit up.

          • Le chat

            Yeah, the whole nation was packaged and was supposed to be sent to the right destination, but it got intercepted half way. Hmm…sounds like a kidnap.

        • Reptilian

          Chinese bred outside China, maybe. But as long as a person is brought up under a typically Chinese upbringing (ie., Confucian deference to authority, saving face, clannishness, a bit of xenophobia), the mindset of challenging accepted truths and established doctrines will never take root. And that tendency to “be different” is the most fundamental ingredient of being a leader (or an innovator)–something we don’t see in mainland Chinese society today.

    • Le chat

      I agree with you. When China becomes economically stronger and therefore its culture more accepted, more people will learn its language, although it’s a relatively difficult and ambiguous one. And hell no, I can’t imagine the amount of misunderstanding when the international community members are all speaking Chinese. We already see that happening right now from small things like the wider adoption and understanding of chopsticks. A decade ago, some American shows were still mocking it saying, “why don’t the Chinese use knife and forks? You can’t eat with a couple of pool cues.”

  • opinionator

    if a plane turns off its transponder does this mean its invisible to radar? if that is the case then it seems it would be very easy to attack a country by air, just switch it off and no one knows you are coming.
    i cant imagine with the technology available today that a plane could disappear from detection just because a transponder was switched off.
    the 2004 tsunami was detected from Hawaii, yet the base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, a large naval ship and submarine support base, military air base, communications and space-tracking facility, failed to report it and in the case of the missing airliner it has also failed to offer any information regarding black box signals,
    it seems to me that all that has been achieved during this tragedy is that many more warships are now positioned in the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean all there on the pretext of looking for the missing plane.
    Something is very fishy about the whole situation.
    My sympathies go to all the families of those missing.

  • that guy

    typical Chinese netizen reactions, resorting to name calling and immediately shifting blame from their home country without any self-assessment or self-criticism.

    following evidence where it leads is standard procedure, but what’s been happening is China has been sending its fleet of search ships to locations identified by freaking rafts. these rafts essentially say they’ve found something in spite of the fact that they possess no technology to be able to find debris, and China sends their resources to that location. A location that is not inside the search zone at all. Are the Chinese people REALLY going to look others in the eye and say that’s “helping” and consider themselves immune from any allegations?

    frankly, the Chinese netizen comments on this mirror EXACTLY the same insecurity that their government exhibits without knowing it. Behaviors and actions of both parties are clearly indicative of a country that seeks to find survivors so that it would entitle them to be “the FIRST” to do so (along with whatever prestige comes with that title)…not out of a sincere desire to find these missing bodies

  • Le chat

    It’s interesting that China makes its people concerned about what has been said by a fire-walled English website.

    • Yes!

      Anything to get the daft Chinese citizens all worked up against America. The Party needs to whip up nationalist sentiments every now and then as its main support base of peasants are growing restless at the malpractices of their government.

      • Le chat

        It might make less of fuss if it prints “these are all the fucks that we don’t give (and that’s why it’s blocked)” before it prints an article from NYT. And you’ll see how the netizens’s attitude changes.

        • Jahar

          Or, “We’ve been illegally reading NYT, and not getting in any kind of trouble for it.”

      • Insomnicide

        Or netizens bypass the firewall of their own accord and see the NYT article for themselves and mock it out of their own hurt feelings.

  • hujintao_nima

    i have a very high tech communication tool i can lend to my successor to inform the world we found the plane. almost as useful as placing a hydrophone over the side of a boat.

    • Dr Sun

      is it two cans attached to a long piece of string ?

      • hujintao_nima

        sure is.

        • mr.wiener

          I’ll bet the Chinese invented it too!

          • Alex Dương

            Nah, it was Antonio Meucci.

      • Probotector

        You’ve never heard of a tin-can phone?

  • Apothis

    If the plane had crashed in America’s back yard (instead of China’s) the plane would have already been found. Seriously.

    • Dr Sun

      I don’t think the southern Indian ocean is considered Chinas “backyard”

      • DavidisDawei

        Not Yet….

  • Subhajit

    1 month and 10 days going on by counting of today about the missing of the MH-370, black box data already shut down as batary life already devastated, nothing can be achieved now as those lives which lost and who lost their family person(s), will never return, should need to learn from this incident to inhibit future incident of such type to save the life of people.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Isn’t it a bit early to be fingerpointing?

    • wnsk

      Well, to play the (blame) game, you gotta be fast/first.

    • They call me “Laowei”

      NYT reporting: Its all Bush’s fault.

      • Bush Derangement Syndrome still in full force, I see.

        • They call me “Laowei”

          Not fluent in sarcasm, I see.

          • No, I’m perfectly fluent. It’s just that Bush Derangement Syndrome from the other aisle (“preemptive BDS”) is still BDS.

          • They call me “Laowei”

            My comment was about the veracity of the reports from the NYT, and less about Bush per se.

          • Have you read the article?
            Do you have specific objections to it?

          • They call me “Laowei”

            Yes, I’ve read the article. Why are you so dense?

          • Usually when one criticizes an article, he or she usually does so by criticizing things that are actually contained in it. You must have discovered some novel approach to editorial critique that completely bypasses the need to deal with such things as “substance” or “content”. Very impressive.

          • They call me “Laowei”

            And some dense people just love to argue for no reason. Bub-bye.

          • …and some people just love to make an inflammatory comment and then head for the hills when called out on it. They’re called trolls. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • jon9521

    No one has explained why suddenly China started searching out of the designated zone. Did they know something we didn’t or were they just hoping to get lucky? It is true that China has withheld information on the Chinese passengers that should of been sent to Interpol.

  • jon9521

    Firstly the Chinese authorities refused to pass on details of their passengers to Interpol (all other nations complied with this). Secondly no one has explained why Chinese ships were searching outside the designated search zone. Did they know something we didn’t or were they just hoping to get lucky?

  • Le chat

    And I even found online an in-depth conversation about its social “security” reformation.

    Q: “What is the social security reformation?”
    A: “It means that the hospitals will begin charging you 1000 kuai for an ailment that they can cure for 100. And they reimburse 600 to make you feel the nation cares about you, and for the rest 400, 100 goes for the doctors, 100 for the medicine, 100 for the hospital’s bank account, 100 for the government officials.”

  • When they flew to Perth they landed at the incorrect air port..

  • Jahar

    Why is it so difficult for average citizens to accept that their government bumbles sometimes? Even when it happens again and again, some people still seem unwilling to admit that their country can do anything wrong.

  • don mario

    its rather sad how they don’t let things go when its related to another country but anything that happens inside china is immediately wrapped up.

    what about those protests a few weeks ago where people were reportedly killed by the riot police, but the government denied it. where are the follow ups and protests to that?

    its sad to think of what would of happened if this exact same story happened in china. the government would of made up some bullshit story to wrap it up like we have found the plane, everyone died, nothing to see here. and that would of been it, there would be no disputing it.

  • Dr Sun

    I prefer to listen to those with a whole brain.

  • mike921

    Tough call, which are more incompetent, the Bumis or the Party. Both don’t deserve what they have.

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»