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bendan

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About bendan

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    St.Mirren

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  1. Well I only left a couple of years ago, and I've been back since. The pace of change is not as quick as it was from the late 1990s up to maybe 2012-13. There are some points JTS makes that influence a lot of people to some degree (that's why I said 'a grain of truth'), but the vast majority of people are not affected in their real lives by any restrictions on movement, of forced deportations, of 'social credit' ratings, or living in fear of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. Those people (the vast majority) accept a different mix of rights, freedoms and restrictions to what we have in places like Europe because they think it delivers tangible benefits to them, and they also have grave doubts about the alternatives. Inequality is a huge problem in China, but I think the problem is that it was allowed to grow unchecked for so long. There have been big hikes in the minimum wage in recent years and at SOEs lower paid workers have often had bigger raises, which is the opposite of what was happening earlier on. Still, though, a massive problem for the country.
  2. Yes, where I quoted you, you said 'around China' but just one post earlier you were talking about the veracity of China's claims about itself. Personally, I don't think it helps the people suffering injustice to say that everyone suffers from it. As someone else said earlier, it makes it too easy to dismiss. People say stuff like 'I went to Beijing and everything was fine'. Why don't we look at a couple of the areas you've mentioned, as I'm happy to consider what you're saying. What specifically are your concerns about the 'social credit' system? Most of what I've read in the western media about it is utter pish. And how about restricted movement? I'm aware of the Hukou system and know how it works - few people would say it's a good system, but it's proving difficult to reform. But portraying it as meaning poor people are not allowed to go to the places where the rich people live, as you seemed to claim a few pages back, is a gross simplification. And gross simplification is the standard tool of the sinophobe.
  3. What claims does China make about itself that are so 'hyperbolic'? You posted a long rant earlier in the thread about government controls on religion, free speech, movement etc, and there's a grain of truth in most of what you said, but it very much doesn't reflect real life in China for 99% of the population.
  4. I have plenty of scepticism about the veracity of China's claims about itself. It was more the veracity of your claims about China. I lived there for the best part of two decades so I've seen plenty of government misinformation and plenty of absurdist exaggeration from sinophobic foreigners. Resentment of China's growing prosperity is a very real thing. It seems to afflict American and Indian nationalists the most, but as someone else mentioned earlier, you can see a lot of irritation among westerners in SEA at the Chinese tourists inflating the prices and crowding them out. I started working in China in the late 1990s. At the time there was a quite large body of opinion that China's GDP figures were fake and that the country wasn't really growing at all, and the proponents of this view produced all kinds of stats and anecdotes to back this view. They had no doubt it was about to collapse. They've had to modify this view over time, as the economy is quite obviously multiple times what it was, irrespective of how accurate the GDP stats are, but there is still plenty of gross exaggeration about government control, restrictions on movement or beliefs, censorship etc and it drowns out the genuinely troubling real cases. It's completely reasonable to be sceptical about China's claims and behaviour, but in my opinion people use a completely different set of standards with China than they do with other countries.
  5. I don't know how Covid has affected things but in recent years it's been increasingly difficult to recruit people for basic jobs in eastern China, even with big wage hikes. Automation is becoming a necessity.
  6. I agree. People take the genuine but often limited or isolated cases and imply they are standard practice. Real issues get lost in what appears to be rage about China's development.
  7. I think the party is in a much stronger position than it has been for a long time. I know you say there's lots of discontent but outside of the Western periphery there's very little. It's just wishful thinking IMO.
  8. There are plenty of weaknesses to China and its system but there are strengths too, like the long term view taken on a lot of infrastructure investment. I don't agree that you can do well in the party nowadays solely based on loyalty. It's obviously an essential component, but competence is also required, at least in the more developed areas. I think there's a general lack of perspective on China in the West. People don't understand where it's come from, and they are largely unaware of its achievements due to the focus on negative stories in our media. It's still got a long way to go, and it will find the going harder as it develops, but there are loads of good things happening there that are ignored.
  9. We were talking about known, existing plans. I'm sure China has a strategy for the whole century (because it's 'so poorly run'?) but I haven't seen anything beyond things like Made in China and The Chinese Dream, which I think has goals up to 2049. The stated purpose is the 'revitalization of the nation'. We can speculate about what that means. I've seen you say several times that the country is so poorly run. What do you base that on? To me, there are vast differences between different places in China in terms of quality of governance, but in general there has been huge improvement over the last two decades. That doesn't mean there haven't been backward steps, of course, but almost every administrative process has been streamlined and standardised.
  10. I don't really agree with this these days. There was a period where Western culture and lifestyle was seen as something to aspire to but that has definitely waned, as it has in some other countries as they've developed.
  11. This is hilarious. You said that a 100 year plan for global domination existed. You then claim this plan is in fact the B&R strategy, a claim that obviously depends entirely on your interpretation. Now you're saying it's not actually the B&R but in fact the development of China's navy and the building of influence around the world. I don't doubt China is seeking to increase its influence and power, particularly in its own back yard and with US troops all around it - most countries do that as they get richer. Simply *assuming* this means a plan for global domination exists is the stuff of conspiracy theorists. I'm curious as to how you 'follow developments in China'. Everything you say about the country seems to come from following hopelessly ill-informed speculation from far beyond the borders of the country. As you said, we're entitled to our opinions, but that's all they are until you can produce some evidence.
  12. No, I'm questioning the confirmed existence of a 100 year plan for global dominance. But fair play to you for trying to conflate the Michael Pillsbury/Liu Mingfu '100 year marathon' claim with the B&R strategy.
  13. They have completely mis-timed the ending of the one-child policy. It needed scrapped way earlier but they left it far too late and they allowed a resulting culture of insane hothousing of only children to become entrenched in urban China. It is pretty much impossible for parents there to keep up if they have more than one kid and both parents work.
  14. How do you know such a plan exists (other than in the minds of crackpot Chinese and American nationalists)?
  15. I'm the same - I think stopping me touching my mouth or nose is one of the biggest advantages.
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