Flawed criticism of China breeds propaganda

Being critical is easy.

One could be critical of every aspect of his life, ranging from the school he choose and the pen he writes with to the legitimacy of a state and the meaning of life. The hard part is to be critical on a reasonable ground and to refrain from twisting critical thinking as a means of propaganda. I do appreciate Edwin Everhart’s formidable effort in a column he wrote entitled “Yale should be more critical of China’s skeletons” (1/16) to persuade the University to adhere to his organization’s ideal. Nevertheless, neither the premise nor the body of Everhart’s argument fulfills the intellectual standard of critical thinking. Forcing an intellectual institution to a position that does not suit its duty and purpose, and piecing together some familiar, flawed points of criticism, Everhart hardly provided any new information or inspiration. He simply failed his fellow Yalies by forming an biased, unbalanced view of China, destroying the goal of criticism itself.

Whether a university is in a good position to make high moral judgments is questionable in the first place. A secular university’s mission lies in encouraging, and appreciating different opinions in a tolerant setting, so as to offer its students the raw materials necessary for the formation of their own opinions. A university is a moderator, a facilitator, a host — not a judge of awe-inspiring moral issues. (Leave those admirable duties to the church; it exists for a reason.)

Columbia University clearly demonstrates this point. The ironic contradiction between the friendly invitation letter and the rude introduction delivered by the university’s president only served to make one of America’s most highly regarded educational institutions seem pretentious, and the chief of the “axis of evil,” who responded without losing his temper, shine. I feel fortunate Levin did not make the same mistake with President Hu Jintao of China.

Given that Everhart had good intentions in raising his critique of China, he was profoundly misinformed and misguided, either by China’s often-biased mass media, or by some outdated ideology of the Cold War period. Firstly, whether Taiwan or Tibet is an independent “countr[y]” is not a debatable question. The United States has been supporting a “One China” policy since 1971, and has not officially recognized Taiwan’s independence under any circumstance. As for Tibet, even the Tibetan Nobel Peace Prize laureate that Everhart mentioned in his article recently reaffirmed his opinion that Tibetan people seek no independence from China. I, personally, cannot understand why Everhart seems to care so much about the independence of Tibet when its own leader shows no similar interest.

Everhart’s statement that China’s relationship with North Korea is irresponsible is ridiculous as well. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Christopher Hill have both wholeheartedly praised China’s effort in helping negotiating between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea in the six-party talks. China was a major player in preventing North Korea from further developing its nuclear weapons and sending them to the American soil.

Perhaps too enthusiastic for engagement in foreign affairs, incorrectly claiming that Muslims in China are “marginalized and persecuted like political dissidents,” Everhart failed to see that only one year ago did we, the United States, which is supposed to be the most liberal and diversified country in the world, witnessed the inauguration of our first Muslim congressional representative Keith Ellison from Minnesota. By contrast, China has elected to office 12 Muslim congressmen, two Muslim governors (there are only 31 provinces in China) and one Muslim representative in its Central Committee.

No country is perfect; that is for sure. Criticism is necessary for any state in the world; that is guaranteed. The point is, should we criticize based on a constructive attitude, a well-informed source, or should we throw our criticism around only for the sake of pretentious propaganda?

Robert Li is a sophomore in Ezra Stiles College. He is the Vice President of Chinese Undergraduate Students at Yale.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    The US does NOT support the one China policy. They support status quo.

  • Anonymous

    right, the one china policy is not US foreign policy. The article is misinformed

  • Anonymous

    The above posters are wrong. The United States has been very public in its support for the One-China Policy, which it adopted in 1972. See, e.g., "U.S. Reiterates Firm Commitment to One-China Policy" at http://usinfo.state.gov/eap/Archive/2004/Nov/12-116671.html

    The United States does not, however, specify precisely what it believes the political structure of that "One China" to be. Instead, it holds that any dispute over the identity of the rightful Chinese government (which is the formal nature of the dispute between Beijing and Taipei)is a matter for the relevant parties to resolve peacefully.

  • Anonymous

    the two previous statements are incorrect. The US supports a certain One China policy AND the current status quo. It is in the diplomatic history: in 1972, under the Nixon admin, a joint communique by the PRC and the USA was issued. It affirmed US acceptance of One China: "The U.S. side declared: The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves. "

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I haven't heard anybody other than the Chinese government seriously consider Taiwan part of the PRC in many years. While Mr. Everhart very well could have been "misinformed and misguided, it seems that Mr. Li is as well - just with a different perspective on the issues.

  • Anonymous

    The author "Robert" is the Vice President of Chinese Undergraduate Students at Yale, CASA's Chinese counterpart, so he must be a Chinese citizen. I don't see why it is necessary for him to present himself as an American when defending the Chinese regime. I think this notion is misleading and irresponsible. US citizenship doesn't make the defense of the Chinese regime more legitimate.

  • Anonymous

    There are 34 provinces or provincial level regions in China. Robert Li states that "there are only 31 provinces in China". I think this statement is politically incorrect and unacceptable, although I am not sure if he is referring to Taiwan, Xingjiang, and Tibet as the missing three provinces.

  • Anonymous

    Firstly, saying that Everhart "was profoundly misinformed and misguided, either by China’s often-biased mass media," is such an absurd flaw in your argument that it nearly goes without saying.

    More interestingly, you assertion that one shouldn't be critical because it is easy or because it's intolerant is incorrect. Whether being critical is easy or not doesn't mean it isn't absolutely necessary that the world remains critical, especially of its governments. Nothing Everhart cited in that article was speculative, it was all factual information gathered from Chinese media (which is biased, but generally biased TOWARDS the Chinese government), the UN, and international news agencies. Of course Tibet isn't fighting for sovereignty, after the bloody invasion of the country they've been fighting for basic human rights. As for the US not supporting Taiwan, well, quite frankly, Taiwan would not exist right now without US military support. The fact that the United States has issues to address (it does, and there are people vocally addressing them), has little to nothing to do with criticisms of China. For example, Muslims in this country are having a tough time, undoubtedly, because of the security crisis and long-standing intolerance. In China, however, Uyghurs are constantly under threat of death and are heavily mistreated by the Chinese government under the pretense of national security. This isn't simply racial slurs, these are bullets in the head.

    On a broader level, the assertion that universities shouldn't be critical, or that it isn't a part of their mission, is absolutely incorrect. Rice et. al. praise the Chinese government because it is in the US's best economic and political interest that China maintain good relations with the States, but Yale, Columbia, and any other institution does not similarly have its hands tied by the procedures of international diplomacy. Yale has had a long tradition of taking a stance on issues of injustice, domestically and internationally, and shouldn't take a step back just because they want a nice spot in PKU.

    Furthermore, tolerance, as a concept, doesn't entail being tolerant of violence, racism, religious oppression, or any other form of hatred or mistreatment. Sitting back and not commenting on China's atrocities does not make Yale tolerant, it makes it an accomplice.

    Luis Medina
    Saybrook 09

  • Anonymous

    Luis, it's great that you're on the American PC side of every issue written about in the YDN, but lighten up a little bit. Both the US government and the Chinese government have immense flaws - so immense that it is ridiculous for Americans to sit around condemning China for every perceived wrong. In fact, if the Chinese had not bailed out a number of our financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley, over the last month, they would literally be bankrupt right now. Chill. It's worth understanding that both countries' governments aren't anything to brag about.

  • Anonymous

    I am a Tibetan and to me Mr Li sounds more like any other cog in the Communist Pary of China's overseas Propaganda machine posted in Western educational campuses.

    He doesn't understand that Dalai Lama has been forced to concessed with the genuine and meaningful autonomy for Tibet, although complete independece is the legitimate cause of Tibetan people.

    The are Tibetan youths still fighting for the restoration of Tibet's lost independence. Independent Tibet nationa was forcefully and illegally occupied by Chinese Communist troops in 1949 in a fake pretext to liberate the region. Tibetan Buddhists are peacful and contended in their own way of life. Who asked oppressive Communist Chinese to liberate in the first hand. Communist Gangs of China are even oppressing their own Han people.

    Someday, when Li or any member of his own family becomes another victim of the Communist Chinese regime, or when he will be another victim of Organ Harvesting, will learn to write things factually rather than relying on PROPAGANDA.

    Mr Li, you should contemplate why China now houses the larget number of jailed journalists in the world. Make use of the freedom of speech and expression that you now enjoy in western campuses as a small measure of justice for people constantly facing oppression in Mainland CHina, and occupied region of Tibet, East Turkistan and Inner Mongolia.

  • Anonymous

    Robert's point that some of Everhart's arguments were not backed by enough evidence is well taken. Some of China's work in international diplomacy has gone up and beyond the United States'. For instance, China's help with the North Korea crisis and China's interest in African politics (i.e. hosting African leaders in Beijing).

    However, if he is going to make such a strong claim as Taiwan does not want it's own independence, then he needs to provide much more facts.

  • Anonymous

    response to the Tibetan (4:15am):
    it is quite obvious that you are part of Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), an organization not so different from ETA in the Basque Country and guerrilla forces in Chechnya. The world should be rejoiced that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is still the leader of the Tibetans in exile rather than TYC because your terrorist tactics to restore Tibetan independence will not only destroy the peaceful image of Tibetan independence movement that His Holiness has worked so hard to establish, but will also bring total war to both Tibet and Dharamsala. Violence advocated by TYC will not lead to restoration of the Tibetan state, but loss of many Tibetan lives and all of the international prestige of the Tibetan Central Administration. Just look at Basque and Chechnya. Do you see the Russians and the Spanish withdrawing and allowing for independence? No! Violence only made the government more determined to maintain unity of their respective countries.
    Over the years, I have been extremely angered by the TYC's disobedience of His Holiness' peaceful policy. His Holiness sees the need to make compromise with the Chinese to guarantee the safety and livelihood of the Tibetans and peace and stability of Tibet. His Holiness has the long term strategic vision that TYC does not have!

  • Anonymous

    While it's true that "all governments have their problems", I would hope that all Americans and even most rational people the world over would agree that the United States government is far and away better (on nearly all measures, both normative and positive) than the government of the People's Republic of China, just as I would hope that everyone could see that for all its many flaws, the CCP is a generally more benign dictator than, say, Kim Jong-Il. Still, we must not forget that it is in essence a dictatorship and I would find Li's claim that the Chinese people "elected" representatives to the People's Congress, the regional governorships, and most especially the Central Committee of the CCP laughable were it not so utterly disturbing.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Li - The political system in the United States is an elective democracy. The People's Republic of China is a dictatorship. It's a night and day difference. What are you doing at Yale if you are not intelligent enough to recognize such simple truths?

    If the P.R.C. were a real democracy, it wouldn't exist in one piece. If the people in Tibet, East Turkistan, Inner Mongolia, and Manchuria could choose their own fate, China would have been broken into half a dozen pieces just like the U.S.S.R. did in 1990. That may actually be the best outcome possible for the Chinese themselves and for the rest of the world.

  • Anonymous

    Personally i wouldn't regard our "democratic" election system anything better than China's. Just think a bit about how much money we have poured into our presidential elections and it will become easy to see our elections are a game for the rich few, backed by those biggies of Exxon, Lockheed-Martin, GS and Blackwater. Money's dictatorship may seem to be softer, but it remains to be a dictatorship.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that's precisely why our gov is so eager to promote real democracy in PRC…

    …Nonetheless, if the people in the Native American Reserves, Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Confederation States could also choose their own fate, I wonder if our dear country would have been broken into half a dozen pieces just like what we almost did in the mid-1800s. That would have been a real American tragedy.

  • Anonymous

    "In 1979, China’s paramount leader Deng Xiaoping proposed that EXCEPT FOR INDEPENDENCE, all other issues regarding Tibet could be resolved through negotiations. As this was in accord with our thinking, we adopted a mutually-beneficial policy. Since then, for twenty-eight years, we have consistently and sincerely pursued this policy.This policy has been endorsed and supported by many pragmatic Tibetans in and outside Tibet and by many countries."- The Statement of H.H. the Dalai Lama on the 48th Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising day
    10 March 2007

    http://www.dalailama.com/page.70.htm

    guess Dalai Lama has been committed to that "seek autonomy, not independence" policy for over 25+ years…

  • Anonymous

    Robert Li – I think the best way to let people understand China is to ask them to go to China and live there for a while. In this way they can understand China better and help China in their own ways. When they talk about people in Manchuria want to be independent, you can see how much they don’t know about China. Whatever you do, you should keep in mind to have a positive influence on the others. For those who don’t want to be Chinese or not to be proud of as Chinese, you may want to give them freedom to let them go. I had a rare honor or chance when I met Dalai Lama in 1989. That was when I was a Chinese student in University of Wisconsin when he visited there. About 20 of us, all Chinese students from what the so called PRC, went to his temple to listen his speech about Tibet, China and the world. I try not to provoke arguments in any way, just to say the thing that he concerned the most was to preserve Tibetan culture, which I agreed 100 percent. He told us that he admired Chairman Mao more than we did, just Mao did not do what he promised to do, China treated Tibet was like the big brother always bullied the little brother. The way he presented the sensitive issues and his genuine treat on us have always been a positive influence on me. That was the year my son was born, and next year he probably will come to Yale (accepted through EA). I don’t know how much influence Yale will have on him, as I am hoping for the best. To make things work, you have to know yourself and your enemies also.

  • Anonymous

    Robert Li, isn't free speech great? Try execising that right next time you are in China, see what happens.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous 2:03, you're right. I need to lighten up. I need to grab a brewskie and watch as China imprisons thousands upon thousands "dissidents." I should have a laugh with my bros as de facto segregation continues to put a strangle hold on the American education system. I could just turn the channel as I hear about the rising mortality rate of AIDS in many parts of the world. I should just chill. Live my life. Why should I feel guilty about enjoying privilege in the face of injustice? Why should I hold those entrusted with power to high ethical standards? I couldn't possibly balance my time thinking, talking, and acting about these issues with my other extracurriculars, academics, career aspirations, and just relaxing and having a good time with friends. It's not possible.

    There is a time and place to criticize the problems with the United States, but Everhart's article was not that place. Everhart wanted to draw our attention, as difficult as it is to draw, towards China for a moment. Hopefully we'll be moved to help those in China working for BASIC human rights, like those we ostensibly have in the US. Somehow we will then shift our attention back, it's hard I know, to the United States or any other part of the world. There are at least 200 sovereign states in the world, and they all could get better.

    Luis Medina
    Saybrook 09

  • Anonymous

    Re: Poster at 9:54am on January 20, 2008

    I'd suggest that you read up on Chinese history before you post. While it is correct that the current regime in China has very tenuous claim to Tibet & Taiwan, your other assertions regarding sovereignty of Chinese regions are simply incorrect.

    Souther part of Manchuria has been under the rule of the Chinese since at least the Ming dynasty & entire Manchuria was brought into China after the Manchus (Qing Dynasty) took over China. It was during this dynasty that Mongolia (all of it, inner or outer) and Xinjiang (aka Chinese/East Turkestan) also became territories of the Qing Dynasty, and as such, China. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the area correspond to today's Mongolia declared independence. It should be noted that Mongolia & PR China mutually recognizes that PR China's claim over Inner Mongolia. Both Xinjiang & Manchuria were part of the Republic of China when it retreated to Taiwan & as such the Communist simply control over territories that have been part of China since the Qing Dynasty.

    While we're at it, i don't think anyone has brought up the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 and the Six Assurances offered by the US government in 1982. Passed in the wake of normalization of diplomatic relations between the US & PR China, both the Legislative Act & Presidential Assurance gave de jure recognition of the sovereignty of Taiwan.

  • Anonymous

    "Personally i wouldn't regard our "democratic" election system anything better than China's. Just think a bit about how much money we have poured into our presidential elections and it will become easy to see our elections are a game for the rich few, backed by those biggies of Exxon, Lockheed-Martin, GS and Blackwater. Money's dictatorship may seem to be softer, but it remains to be a dictatorship."
    Such cynicism!!! I haven't seen Exxon or Lockheed-Martin endorsing any candidates, have you? Do the corporations decide who wins the primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Florida and so forth? Despite what you say, it's the American people who call the shots. And despite what you say, anybody can run for offices in this country if they can convince enough people to support him/her and donate. If YOU can't get enough donations to run for President, it just means that you are not qualified, sorry!
    And it's not just the electoral process, but the system of governance that differentiates a Western democratic government from a dictatorship like China.

  • Anonymous

    "..Nonetheless, if the people in the Native American Reserves, Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Confederation States could also choose their own fate, I wonder if our dear country would have been broken into half a dozen pieces just like what we almost did in the mid-1800s. That would have been a real American tragedy."

    Native American Reserves are an attempt to salvage what remains of American Indians after brutal campaigns of white settlers against them two centuries ago. Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii are a bunch of small islands that were taken over at the height of colonialism. The Confederate states rebeled against the Union because of economic reasons and they certainly would not want secede from the present-day United States.

    In comparison, the Chinese takeover of Tibet, East Turkistan, and Inner Mongolia occurred after World War II, and basically amounts to a military invasion and annexation of sovereign states with populations that are culturally, linguistically, ethnically distinct from the Chinese (Han) and deserve to choose their own fate. Manchurian people are also culturally, linguistically, and ethnically distinct from the mainland Chinese, who have looked down on them for thousands of years. Their populations number in tens to hundreds of millions and they can easily form their own nations. There is very little justification for the Chinese to occupy these lands except for the simple reason that they could.

    China as it stands is so large that the central government has difficulty governing all the provinces effectively. It would indeed be justifiable to break it up into several pieces and have the ethnic "minorities" to have their own nations. China also exerts undue pressure on its neighbors, particularly the smaller Southeast Asian nations. With increasing power, China is more likely to exercise unilateral actions at the expense of its neighbors. It would be better for the regional peace if China were broken into several pieces.

  • Anonymous

    "Souther part of Manchuria has been under the rule of the Chinese since at least the Ming dynasty & entire Manchuria was brought into China after the Manchus (Qing Dynasty) took over China. It was during this dynasty that Mongolia (all of it, inner or outer) and Xinjiang (aka Chinese/East Turkestan) also became territories of the Qing Dynasty, and as such, China. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the area correspond to today's Mongolia declared independence."

    “Entire Manchuria was brought into China” is more accurately stated as “China was brought under the rule of Manchuria”, isn’t it? The Manchus, who have been effectively regarded as foreigners and barbarians by the Chinese through several thousand years (after all, the Chinese erected the Great Wall to keep out the northern barbarians), destroyed the Ming dynasty (true Han Chinese dynasty) and subjugated the Chinese under their rule. Very simple. The same way that the Mongols, another group of barbarians, destroyed the Song dynasty (true Han Chinese dynasty) and subjugated the Chinese a few hundred years before that. Now the Chinese historians claim that whenever foreigners take over China, they simply become another Chinese dynasty. Very good for the Chinese self-esteem but does anyone see a flaw in this logic????

    By this logic, since the Mongols (“Yuan dynasty” according to the Chinese) also conquered pretty much all of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, does that mean that Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Hungary, and Poland all belong to China? Shouldn't they send the People's Liberation Army to reclaim these areas that historically belong to China?

  • Anonymous

    1. When the West was colonizing China, there was no talk of Democracy. Only talk of pushing Opium on Chinese shores.

    2. Brittain held Hong Kong for over 150 years. During that time, Hong Kong never had free elections.

    3. The United States can't hold an election today without disenfranchising some segment of the population.

    Conclusion: Stop prentending that your grievance with China has anything to do with Democracy.

    This China conversation has nothing to do with Democracy or values or such. It has everything to do with China's rise in the world and the challenge it presents to notions of Western superiority. Many Americans dislike China not because of the Communist party or human rights violations, but rather because a strong, stable China represents the end of Europe and America's control of world affairs.

    China will replace the U.S. as the world's superpower and there is nothing any of you can do about it.

  • Anonymous

    "Native American Reserves are an attempt to salvage what remains of American Indians after brutal campaigns of white settlers against them two centuries ago." Should we ever say, "look, i did that years ago, so you'd better forgive my crime?"

    "Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii are a bunch of small islands that were taken over at the height of colonialism." So a big country can bully small islands at its will?

    "The Confederate states rebeled against the Union because of economic reasons and they certainly would not want secede from the present-day United States." Would the poor Tibet wanna secede from all the benefits of financial investments, railroads, TV stations, schools, hospitals in present-day?

    "the Chinese takeover of Tibet, East Turkistan, and Inner Mongolia occurred after World War II" Did you take Jonathan Spence's Hist of China?

    "and basically amounts to a military invasion and annexation of sovereign states" Did you forget how we invaded Mexico and got all the land of Texas, Cali, etc?

    "with populations that are culturally, linguistically, ethnically distinct from the Chinese (Han)" Aren't the Native Indians, the Latinos, and the black population in the South culturally, linguistically, and ethnically distinct from our British/German population?

    "China as it stands is so large that the central government has difficulty governing all the provinces effectively. It would indeed be justifiable to break it up into several pieces and have the ethnic "minorities" to have their own nations." I suggest all countries bigger than UAE consider that piece of advice.

    "China also exerts undue pressure on its neighbors, particularly the smaller Southeast Asian nations. With increasing power, China is more likely to exercise unilateral actions at the expense of its neighbors." I am not sure how much undue pressure the US exerts on the WHOLE world. Take a minute just to think about how many folks out there in Asia, Africa, Middle East hate our government…and they hate us for a reason.

    Take care of our own biz here in America before heading out and setting fires around the world.

  • Anonymous

    "This China conversation has nothing to do with Democracy or values or such. It has everything to do with China's rise in the world and the challenge it presents to notions of Western superiority. Many Americans dislike China not because of the Communist party or human rights violations, but rather because a strong, stable China represents the end of Europe and America's control of world affairs."

    There is some truth to that China's rise may be perceived as a challenge to western domination and that leads to resentment. At the same time, it would be stretching it to claim that that's the only major reason. China's distastrous record on human rights is a perfectly legitimate target of criticism. Japan is considered a major world power by most people, and it's not a white nation, but does it get criticized a lot for human rights violations?

    China's perceived power has mainly to do with its large head count more than anything else. Otherwise it's a dirt poor, culturally backwards country that makes a lot of cheap low-quality goods. Perhaps that's why you are so fearful of letting your minorities break away as separate nations…. because it will lower your head count!

    "China will replace the U.S. as the world's superpower and there is nothing any of you can do about it."
    Perhaps. But when the Chinese citizens get a taste of real democracy, China will probably be in 5 or 6 pieces before you can blink your eyes.

  • Anonymous

    "Take a minute just to think about how many folks out there in Asia, Africa, Middle East hate our government…and they hate us for a reason."

    You are damn right. And it's not just Asia, Africa, and Middle East. The United States is also resented and routinely criticized by the Europeans, Russians, Latin Americans, and sometimes even by the Canadians. That's the price we pay for being #1 and throwing our weight around. But let me ask you, how many of these countries would really rather have People's Republic of China be the world's greatest superpower instead of the U.S.?

    Answer: Maybe two? Cuba and North Korea?

  • Anonymous

    It's not as if the only choice is between a unipolar world dominated by the United States and a unipolar world dominated by China. In fact, for the foreseeable future, the latter is far less likely than the emergence of some other multipolar system.

    The United States has demonstrated that it can't be trusted with unchallenged power over international politics. It uses that power to do stupid, evil things. If the increasing power of other countries (including China) means that American leaders are more constrained in their ability to kill large numbers of foreigners, that's a good thing.

  • Anonymous

    "By this logic, since the Mongols (“Yuan dynasty” according to the Chinese) also conquered pretty much all of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, does that mean that Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Hungary, and Poland all belong to China? Shouldn't they send the People's Liberation Army to reclaim these areas that historically belong to China?"

    Where in history does it say that the Middle East, Russia, etc. were part of the Yuan Dynasty? Toward the end of its rule, Mongol Empire was governed in four Khanates (divisions), & the Yuan corresponded to the Khanate that was in control of many area that is considered present-day China. In effect, each Khanate was governed separately from the other, only nominally forming the entire Mongol Empire. So if you want to go with what's nominal, then you'll need to explain how the nominal US support of the One China Policy correctly explains what is factual. So when the Yuan dynasty collapsed, it contained areas such as Mongolia (Inner & Outer) and Manchuria that China has contested to be its territory in the 20th century. It's not only historians of Chinese nationality who'd place the Yuan as a dynasty of China: most western historians would share the same opinion.

    On a final thought: who actually gives a thought to historical precedence/international law when it comes to border disputes? As many posters have pointed out, my country, the US, obtained much of its valuable territory today from aggression (see Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Texas & California). If history were to have a say, Mexico should still hold onto California & Texas as it inherited as a part of the Spanish Empire in North America. International treaties before the formation of WWII favored the victors (shall we forget how Britain & France drove Germany to its knees at Versaille), who are we to apply standards of modern international law (which still get violated quite often this day) to historical events? It is simply an exercise in futility.

  • Anonymous

    google image search "tiananmen" while in China. You won't find any iconic pictures of tanks and protesters - you'll see pictures of flowers.

    that's all I need to know.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    "who are we to apply standards of modern international law (which still get violated quite often this day) to historical events? It is simply an exercise in futility."

    Ahh, so after making repeated references to "historical" justifications for the Chinese occupation of the neighboring territories, it now comes down to "we have them now, so there!" At least now you are being honest.

    I was merely trying to point out your crazy logic that since China was part of the Mongol Empire, the present-day China can claim Mongolia and that since China was part of the Manchurian Empire, the present-day China can claim Manchuria. That's like saying that since the United States was ruled by Britain once, the U.S. can now claim Britain as part of its territory (and maybe claim all the previous British colonies as well, since we were all part of the same Empire once).

    From now on, just say "hey, we have an army of 100 million, and any country that we can take over is part of China, got it?"

  • Anonymous

    "The United States has demonstrated that it can't be trusted with unchallenged power over international politics. It uses that power to do stupid, evil things. If the increasing power of other countries (including China) means that American leaders are more constrained in their ability to kill large numbers of foreigners, that's a good thing."

    Now backpedaling, huh? The world as it stands is already not unipolar. There are at least three major advanced economies that are roughly equivalent in size - the U.S., the European Union, and Japan. Other Asian economies could be one giant block and China itself could also be a giant block. Politically, the U.S., England, Russia, France, and China all have permanent veto power at the United Nations. Any one of them could veto any U.N. resolutions. The U.S. does not enjoy unchallenged power in international politics. All the difficulties it has faced recently amply proves that point. And none of this gives any good reason why we should wish for a stronger China. Maybe some other country that believes in humanitarianism, democracy, and social justice. China embodies the exact opposite values - political oppression, totalitarianism, Communist dictatorship, disrespect for human life, military aggression, government propaganda and censorship, ethnocentric and jingoistic nationalism. If the U.S. is capable of doing "stupid, evil things", an unchallenged China is surely capable of committing atrocies far beyond anyone can even fathom. Think of how effortlessly the Chinese Communists invaded other countries (Vietnam, Korea, and Tibet come to mind), executed their opponents, massacred and dehumanized tens of million of people during the Cultural Revolution. The Chinese are capable of INCREDIBLE evil. Why would anyone in his/her sane mind would think that it's a good thing for China, of all countries on earth, to grow more powerful????

  • Anonymous

    "1. When the West was colonizing China, there was no talk of Democracy. Only talk of pushing Opium on Chinese shores." True, but that was in late 1800s, and all nations colonized to exploit, not to promote democracy. A lot has happened since then. In 2008, civilized nations are no longer engaged in colonial expansions, and civilized people expect everyone to be able to enjoy basic human rights and to be able to govern themselves through democratic systems. Is there a problem?

    "2. Brittain held Hong Kong for over 150 years. During that time, Hong Kong never had free elections." Again, Britain did not colonize Hong Kong to promote democracy. It was a colony, remember?

    "3. The United States can't hold an election today without disenfranchising some segment of the population." Huh? Which disenfranchised segment of the population are you talking about? Are you saying that some American citizens can't vote? That's news to me.

    "Conclusion: Stop prentending that your grievance with China has anything to do with Democracy."
    Please - can you at least recognize that this conclusion does not follow at all from your previous three statements?

  • Anonymous

    You can see how many Chinese kids (including Robert Li) have been brain-washed by PRC CCP government, either directly from their education or indirectly from their PRC-born parents !!

  • Anonymous

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    China has elected to office 12 Muslim congressmen, two Muslim governors (there are only 31 provinces in China) and one Muslim representative in its Central Committee.
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    Those officials are not elected by the people as USA's direct voting. Many officials have internal connection with CCP party, and are either assigned or elected via committee nomination. Therefore, they do not present the true voices from people. Did you know there are over 5000 local riots in PRC at any given day? The PRC government blocks all these information to the outside world.

  • Anonymous

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    The United States does not, however, specify precisely what it believes the political structure of that "One China" to be. Instead, it holds that any dispute over the identity of the rightful Chinese government (which is the formal nature of the dispute between Beijing and Taipei)is a matter for the relevant parties to resolve peacefully.
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    When Nixon did it in 1972, he intended to make it ambiguous since Taiwan's formal title
    also contains "China". In 1979, Carter decided to recognize PRC and abandoned ROC (but not the people in Taiwan). That action enhanced the "One China" concept is meant to be PRC. These days, over 75% of people in Taiwan recognize themselves as Taiwanese instead of Chinese. Therefore, they prefer to have "One China, One Taiwan" policy officially crafted by USA congress. By setting up new policy, new conversation can be started. Please support congress to create new "One China, One Taiwan" policy in the near future.

  • Chris

    2 words: Human Rights

    That's why Yale and the rest of the country has to be critical of China. It's not propaganda, its the truth.