All People Who Support China Should Support the Olympic Protests

I support China. That is why I support the Olympic protests.

Since Deng Xiaoping’s rise to power, the Chinese Communist party has lifted more people out of poverty than any government in the history of the world. China’s continuing economic growht means that she is not done. China continues to create jobs and “middle-classness,” both at home and abroad. Under President Hu Jintao’s idea of the “harmonious society,” economic development in China is increasingly focused on the historically poor inland provinces of that country. Further, China’s appetite for raw materials is creating jobs everywhere from the Iron Range of Minnesota to the lumberyards of Siberia.

China should give the world even more goods in the future, as well. As China’s investment in Africa continues, China will naturally move from merely providing jobs to providing security. From supporting local police forces to even putting “boots on the ground,” China will soon be in a position to do more good for Africa than anyone since the European empires of the last century.

And like any growing country that does good in backwards regions, China will face trouble. There will be protests and riots. 50 years of failure in Tibet will doubtless continue until a new direction is taken, meaning the world will see more soldiers kill more monks in 5, 10, and perhaps 15 years. There are many peasant riots in China these days — ignored by the media because the locals are too earth-bound and ignorant in their demands to capture much sympathy — that will grow to a larger scale. Further, just as there were riots in Africa against European colonalism, there will be riots in Africa against Chinese influence.

There’s are not hopes. Indeed, they are barely predictions. They are things that will come true.

Is China ready?

The answer is no. While certainly China was justified in protecting innocent people from rioters in Tibet, the People’s Armed Police made the situation worse. Soldiers entering a monastary to take down a picture of the Dali Lama — and killing monks in the process — is emblematic of China’s unsophisticated and stupid handling of the Tibet crisis. Making the situation worse and enraging global public opinion is fine for now: China is rich and growing, and can afford to alienate its friends (such as Australian PM Kevid Rudd, who announced the Blue Men will not be welcome in his country). However in the future China will face a protest/riot crisis at a moment of weakness. If China is unable to handle the situation effectively then, the results could be bad for China and the world.

So, how to preprae China for the future?

The answer is to help China learn now. If China believes what she is doing now is working, it will not change, and next time she will behave the same way. This is the nature of governments. However, if China believes what she is doing now is not working, she will behave a different way. So the important thing is to help the Communist Party recognize failure.

So, how do help the Communist party recognize failure?

The answer is to provide feedback to the Communist leadership in a way that does not materially hurt our relationship with China. So a government-led trade war or total Olympic boycott would be foolish. However, people-powered protests that get noticed are cheaper. This is why it’s good when protestors extinguish the Olympic flame, as they wil hopefully do in San Francisco today: it gets noticed, it creates feedback, and its entirely symbolic.

There is evidence that pressure is working. For instance, Ai Weiwei [艾未未] is an outspoken critic of the Communist Party — and the designer of the Beijing National Stadium. Weiwei’s recently criticized the Communist Party’s handling of the situation are noted that the real problem was ethnic tension caused by Han intolerance on insensitivity… he did all this on his State-censored Sina.com.

Ai Weiwei\'s Beijing National Stadium

We should support China. The best way to support China is to convince the Communist Party that its policies are failing in Tibet. The best time to do that is now. The best way to do that are for common people to join in Olympic Protests, up to and including the extinguishing of the Olympic Torch.

Support China!

One World, One Dream, One Protest.

18 thoughts on “All People Who Support China Should Support the Olympic Protests”

  1. Powerful words, Dan. I wonder if your actions will be as powerful. Do you plan to travel to any of the cities on the planed Olympic Torch relay route? Will you travel to San Francisco to extinguish the torch?

  2. Heh.
    Nope. Not going to wackyland to protest. Why? Seems rather counter productive. DAn and I can get just as much a reaction behind our screens as we can trying to flood into SF to hold up signs, without having to deal with the patcholi smell outta Berkely.

    And it’s a stupid challenge, really. The point is you build up a negative re-inforcement cycle. China behaves bad you tell them they behave bad and have consequences for that behaviour. China finds it is is their best interest to not do that anymore. You don’t get that by spending $500 to fly to SF to put out the Olympic torch once.

  3. are you suggesting that European empires were overall a positive force for Africa?

    why do you criticize the rural poor for being ingnorant? it’s the government’s fault if they are ignorant. why do you so callously disregard the complaints of the rural poor?

    do you think African riots against Europeans were unjustified?

  4. J,

    Thanks for the comment.

    are you suggesting that European empires were overall a positive force for Africa?

    Yes.

    why do you criticize the rural poor for being ingnorant?

    I don’t. I note their ignorance as a cause for lack of media sympathy — at least at the present time.

    it’s the government’s fault if they are ignorant.

    Partially, yes.

    why do you so callously disregard the complaints of the rural poor?

    My point is that the western media is currently callously disregarding their complaints.

    do you think African riots against Europeans were unjustified?

    Partially yes, partially no.

  5. “Partially yes, partially no.”

    Dan, you are going to have to work on this nuanced, complex, subtle, analytic approach.

    This kind of crap is not going to fit on a t-shirt or bumper sticker, and no one feels better about their own moral superiority after they chew and swallow it.

    Listen, son. Here’s how you do it. Pick a side, and start hurling invective. Otherwise you are just some kind of isolated crazy person looking at facts, evidence, applying rationality, etc.

  6. Actually, I think I’d like to get “Partially yes, partially no”-tdaxp on a t-shirt.

    Good post Dan. I’ve been of amixed mind on this whole protest-the-torch-carrying thing. On one hand, I think the Olympics should be a time for building harmonious relationships politcally, and on the other… Free Tibet.

    My concern will be the level of protest that will be presented at the actual games. Will there be protesters disrupting events? Will the Chinese police/military get carried away and kill an American/European protestor accidentally? How much international damage could be caused by an overzealous rifle butt placed to the side of a hippies head?

  7. The defining event in Chinese history is the Taiping Rebellion, which was a peasant rebellion led by a Christian fanatic. It killed 30 million people. Event as a percentage of population this was three times as deadly as the Civil War.

    For this reason, peasant protests set off alarm bells in China the same way neo-Nazi protesters, white supremacist militias, or Islamic fundamentalists set off alarm bells in the United States.

    I can’t really say I blame them. In fact, I fully support the Chinese government in doing anything it thinks it needs to prevent a civil war – including putting down protests early.

    When a country as country has 1.5 billion people packed into a relatively small area, good governance is far, far more important than political freedom. Democracy is a means to an end, not the end itself. As long as the Chinese government is accomplishing the end, I see encouraging populist revolts as extremely dangerous.

  8. Lexington,

    Listen, son. Here’s how you do it. Pick a side, and start hurling invective. Otherwise you are just some kind of isolated crazy person looking at facts, evidence, applying rationality, etc.

    I think that’s the way to go. For a side: I pick Republican Crimean Khanatism. Over time, you will graduatelly see this blog change from my attempt to understand the world to a home of increasingly paranoid rants against my movement’s many oppressors, including especially a shadowy conspiracy between Moscow, Kiev, and the always-threatening Giray dynasty.

    biz,

    Props for the props.

    My concern will be the level of protest that will be presented at the actual games. Will there be protesters disrupting events? Will the Chinese police/military get carried away and kill an American/European protestor accidentally? How much international damage could be caused by an overzealous rifle butt placed to the side of a hippies head?

    American blood in Tiananmen would definitely complicate things.

    Incentivist,

    The Taiping Rebellion (which was as Christian as Louis Farrakhan is Muslim) was the bloodiest of a series of attempts to liberate China from Manchu domination.

    A better mirror to the past is the end of the Cultural Revolution. The People’s Liberation Army restored order by declaring its dominance in cities, and killing those who made trouble. It was a very effective solution to the problem. It also was a bloodbath.

    One of the Party’s problems is that it views that ruleset as still successful and appropriate, so attempts to use it in Tibet and other provinces. This is too bad, because what is needed moving forward is de-escalation, not an internal civil war.

  9. Heh. Looks like you made it onto someone’s radar screen, Dan, if you’re getting the ‘political freedom=chaos’ stuff from pro CCP posters. Funny how they show up.

    Which was my point to ortho.

  10. Biz and Dan,
    I myself have been wondering how the CCP was a) going to stop protesters from entering the country b) react when some non-Chinese protesters unfurl a banner in a public (and recorded) place. Some of the reaction of the blue-clad protectors of the flame do not engender confidence in a calm response.

    One of my old professors wrote a book about “God’s Chinese Son”:
    http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Chinese-Son-Taiping-Heavenly/dp/B000B85BGY/ref=pd_sim_b_title_3

    It’s a very interesting use of a ‘foreign’ religion to agitate against a larger power and an interesting case where the Manchu’s come out looking better.

  11. “Republican Crimean Khanatism”

    Sign me up.

    We need a t-shirt and a bumper sticker.

    Did you ever read “The Island of Crimea” (1984) by Vassily Aksyonov? In it Crimea is an island, and the Whites retreat there during the Civil War and hold out against the Bolsheviks, so it becomes a Russian Taiwan. I read it way back when. I recall it was good.

  12. I’m sure I still have a copy of khanate.com somewhere.. it was a nifty site [1]:

    Years ago I ran khanate.com, and the old site was mirrored on my old USD webspace while I was a student there. Khanate was a mirthful attempt to spoof a telecom service provider that was also the front for a separatist organization. It was part of the larger Paedia webspace, which may have hosted the world’s first blog (Progress @ Paedia). An irate reader gave me my first death threat. He threatened to kill my family too. The FBI got involved.

    Status: Rejected

    Ah, Russians. The only non-Islamic group of guys who ever threatened to kill me.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/05/16/rejected-tdaxp-banners.html

  13. This is quite a BS. There is public expectation how protesters should behave in a peaceful fashion. You can hold placards, you can yell slogans, and you can get your messages out loud. But you CAN”T physically touch or attack the oppsition. The point of a protest is to get your messages arcoss in a peaceful way, not in a froceful way. That’s Protest 101 for you Tibetans and Tibet Activists. When you cross the line in a rather forceful or a violent way, you should expect that police force in the West or in China will beat the crap out of you and rightfully so.

  14. Written by David Petreaus, a WHITE man.

    Just because he might have fucked a couple of Chinese women does NOT make him Chinese or “a part of the family”.

  15. ktchong,

    Written by David Petreaus, a WHITE man.

    Just because he might have fucked a couple of Chinese women does NOT make him Chinese or “a part of the family”.

    What are you talking about?

    The idea of a synogynophilic CINCCENTCOM-designate [1] adopting writing on this blog is as wonderful as it is improbable!

    ouou,

    This is quite a BS. There is public expectation how protesters should behave in a peaceful fashion. You can hold placards, you can yell slogans, and you can get your messages out loud. But you CAN”T physically touch or attack the oppsition. The point of a protest is to get your messages arcoss in a peaceful way, not in a froceful way.

    Good points. While “civil disobedience” (the calculated use of violence against property) has proven effective in certain situations, in general demonstrators attempt to incite their opponents to attack them. So, say, the labeling of Grace Wang [2] as a hanjian [3] and the biological attack on her home [4] is an example of foolish actions by Chinese students.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/04/23/david-petreaus-commander-in-chief-central-command.html
    [2] http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/19/grace-wang-and-chinese-nationalism/
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/04/12/tibet-should-remain-a-part-of-china.html
    [4] http://archive.uwire.com/2008/04/16/duke-students-home-vandalized-in-china/

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