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Letters to
April 3, 2008

Why They Hate China

I must take issue with Justin Raimondo's characterization of China's changes over the past decade or so as the development of a free market and an unleashing of the "entrepreneurial sprit." China's reforms have indeed been capitalist, but hardly laissez-faire. Rather, the Communist state is simply using the same old apparatus of repression and coercion to create wealth for those it chooses; this is state-capitalism, not the free market. The state's forcing peasants off their land to build industrial parks is among the more visible examples of this.

Mr. Raimondo is right to point out the faults of the anti-China crowd and to enlighten us on the history China's interaction with Tibet, but he should reconsider his notion of China as a nascent bastion of the free market, because China is hardly that.

~ Ethan Foote

Justin Raimondo's report "Why They Hate China" is right on the mark and the best review of why there is so much anti-Chinese rhetoric in American media.

The quality of life now in Tibet as compared with 20 years ago should be illustrated with a photo essay. The Tibetans were previously living like animals with no hygiene, education, decent housing, hospitals, etc.

I hope that Justin will also report on why so much concern about Darfur when the death toll in the Congo is at least 100 times greater than Darfur – Congo has no oil!

~ Austin Atwell, Hangzhou, China

I'd like to express my appreciation for Justin's latest piece on China and Tibet. I've been a Buddhist for over 35 years, but I am fully aware of the way the West tends to romanticize Buddhism and Buddhist history. Buddhists are just ordinary people and their history is no different from the history of any other large religious community. That is to say it is just as steeped in sectarian strife and violence as any western religion. On the specific question of Tibet, it is simply a fiction that Tibet was some kind of pacifist paradise. The Gelug hegemony was maintained by eliminating sectarian rivals, such as the Kagyu, Sakya, and the Jonang, forcibly converting their followers and appropriating their monastic estates. This is the heritage of the Dalai Lama, or a good part of it. And, as Justin points out, the alliance between the Gelugs and the Mongols specifically benefited Tibetans at Han Chinese expense. This is another part of the Dalai Lama's heritage that westerners tend to ignore, but which the Chinese are vividly aware of.

Daniel Lopez in his book Prisoners of Shangri-La notes that westerners just won't let Tibetans be people, that is to say ordinary people with the same hopes, fears, and limitations that all human beings have. Ultimately this works against the Tibetan cause because no one, and no group, can live up to such projections. What will follow when these projections are punctured is a sense of betrayal followed by condemnations. Can't you just imagine the limousine liberals' sense of righteous anger when they discover that Tibet is just a country and Tibetans are just ordinary people? But it is ordinary people who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and the sad thing is that it is precisely because Tibetans are ordinary people that their cause is just, not because they are exceptional or extraordinary.

None of this justifies China's treatment of the Tibetan people, but as Justin rightly points out, China's policy is standard behavior on the part of powerful states, including the U.S. It is my hope that Americans can learn to clean their own house and mind their own gardens first, because there is a lot of work to be done here.

~ Jim Wilson

Dear Justin,

This is the best analysis of the current Sino-U.S. relationship I have ever read. Incisive and well-reasoned. I want to thank you for getting to the bottom of this and tell the truth to the world. I came to the U.S. from China and became a citizen of this great country after the student protests in 1989, when the majority of the Chinese students in the U.S. were against the government back home. Almost 20 years later, I dare say the majority of us are disillusioned again, not about the Chinese government, but about the anti-China crowd here and elsewhere that you mention in your article. I have the same fear as you that a war will break out between China, the land of my birth where my parents and brother still live, and the U.S., the country who welcomed me into its wonderful melting pot and where my children enjoy a good life. I am a translator by trade and am thinking of translating your article into Chinese so that many more people will understand the situation better and know that there are good, wise people in America who want to see China succeed and prosper alongside other members of the international community.

Yes to peace, no to war!

~ Daniel Zhu

You have nailed it, Justin. You are spot on in your analysis of the mentalities of Pelosi type liberals and neocons towards China, as well the feelings of the Chinese – both the leadership and the mass – towards the West.

There is hardly a better issue than China that can forge the kind of unholy alliance between the Pelosi type Chardonnay-sipping liberals and the neocons. And as always, the mainstream media are not content to be left out of the party. Frustrated with the lack of a single picture or video clip that shows the Chinese police or army cracking down on the Tibetan rioters, the Western media, with CNN and the Washington Post leading the charge, resorted to facts (pictures)-twisting to get their China-bashing message across. CNN cut off a portion of a picture which shows the rioters pelting stones to an army truck, and gave readers the impression that people panicked and were running away (see attached pictures). The Washington Post captioned a photo of Nepalese police hitting a Tibetan protester with a stick as Chinese police cracking on Tibetan protesters in Lhasa. The other Western media including Time Online, BBC and many European media outlets are not any better (see this site: www.anti-cnn.com for more pictures). When protested by Chinese netzens, the explanation given by CNN is that the picture is too large and they have to crop it. CNN must think the Chinese netzens are so stupid as to believe that CNN knows how to crop a photo but doesn't know how to re-size it. This type of explanation, so casually thrown around, is as insulting to the Chinese people as the "wrong map" explanation given by the U.S. government for bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, and serves only to further infuriate people who are already outraged by the biased reporting. Already pictures and videos of this nature are raging through the Internet like wildfire and the Chinese government’s net shield can do nothing to stop them spreading to the more than 250 million Chinese netzens. One of the YouTube videos had more than 1 million hits in three days, and Internet sites like www.anti-cnn.com are sprouting up everywhere. As always, the western media blame the Chinese government for inciting nationalist sentiment among the Chinese people. What they fail, or are simply unwilling, to recognize is that the reputation of the government mouthpieces like the People's Daily is as good as that of the National Enquirer in the U.S. It's politicians like Nancy Pelosi and the biased media who are doing all the work for the Chinese government.

~ Jian Zhao, Wagga Wagga, Australia

"... a sentiment that probably understates popular resentment of Western criticism in the Chinese 'street.'"

Actually, not so, although things might change. Ordinary people in China associate the U.S. with the NBA and movies like Sleepless in Seattle, not idiotic politicians. My source: 10 years teaching English in China. Give us a visit, like you did Malaysia a while back, and it'll be an education.

~ Lester Ness, Kunming, China

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