Posts by Rich of Observationz

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 Older→ First

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    nothing positive came from it.

    End of tsarism.
    Collapse of the Ottoman Empire and creation of modern Turkey.
    Beginnings of the collapse of the British Empire (the war was a turning point in British economic fortunes).
    Womens suffrage (partly)
    Beginnings of a world system to limit conflict.

    Arguably these would have happened if it hadn't been for WW1, but maybe they wouldn't. It took a further world war and forty-odd years of the Cold War for a lot of them to come to fruition, but the United Nations and European Union are both the legacy of Europe's 20th century conflicts.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    But isn't that a bit like turning up in the UK during the 80s miners strike, spending most of one's time in the area of London inside the Circle Line and concluding that everything was wonderful and the strike was clearly an anti-British fabrication.

    Also, if the government is so popular, why don't they just hold full-scale elections with anyone able to stand and vote? I don't believe that democracy and human rights are a western cultural construct.

    Having said that, I don't believe we should impose our ideas on others through force, as the Americans are trying and failing to do with the (equally wrongheaded) adherents to militant Islam. What we should do, as a democracy, is to allow the freest possible exchange of ideas. That includes allowing people in NZ who do oppose the Chinese regime full freedom to demonstrate.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    Oh I know. Stats are wrong :-)

    Asia extends to the Mediterranean and the Urals. Since it's awkward to split bicontinental countries like Russia and Turkey, it's reasonable to put the former in Europe and the latter in Asia, based on where the majority of their population live.

    Stats seem to be taking a compromise between the ignorant traditional attitude that Asia==East Asia and the actual geographical reality.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    Charles: those figures (from the linked paper) were for all mainland Chinese students studying anywhere outside China.

    I think that some if not most students of Chinese ethnicity studying here are overseas Chinese from Singapore, Malaysia, etc. Plus the figure for Asian students no doubt includes Russians, Turks, Israelis and the like.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    Can anyone explain to me why WW1 had to be fought?

    All the European powers were fairly authoritarian imperial states ruled by small and wealthy elites (this varied between Britain, which was probably the most democratic and Russia, which was about the least. None had universal suffrage). They also had a strong sense of misplaced patriotism and national self-righteousness.

    This meant that rather than resolve the various national disputes by peaceful means, as liberal democracies might, the nations were forced into an escalation which led to total war. (Technology having changed the dynamic of military confrontation).

    New Zealand got involved because it considered its vital national interest to be served by maintaining as close ties as possible to a distant imperial power.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    xenophobic

    I just think that Chinese people have the same rights to democracy, free expression and national self-determination as New Zealanders. I don't see that as xenophobic. I'm interested in why and whether it seems that a lot of Chinese people (like those who marched in Wellington) appear not to want such things? Plus why there are others (such as the Tibetans) who do?

    The GDP figure I gave is PPP adjusted. I looked up the 2006 figure and it's $7,800 PPP ($2,034 nominal). Growth is 11.4%, so I think they are still a bit shy of NZ. No doubt Guangdong is doing much better and has far surpassed NZ, but I was considering China as a unitary state.

    I disagree with the premise that personal experience is the only way to understand a country. Having said that, I will get to China at some stage. I would have gone to Tibet a few years ago, but the only way to get there from Nepal was in an organised tour, and there were a lot of Tibetan refugees in Nepal who were quite opposed to people doing that, which I respected.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    On the subject of Anzac celebrations I find it amazing (and a bit cheering) that the Turks are happy to host hundreds of Aussies and Kiwis. We did after all try to invade their country.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    Firstly apologies to Simon if I accused him of being brainwashed (I can't find the post - any chance of a My Posts function?). I meant bedazzled maybe, as I am when I go to the USA (where I see all the clever, innovative things that are going on and miss the bad stuff - although they have the airports to remind one that all isn't well).

    Secondly, some stats:
    - Chinese overseas students were 130,000 in 2002 and went down slightly after that. I make that 0.01% of the population, so 0.1% of the cohort would seem at least in the ballpark.

    - Chinese per capita GDP is $4,580 (2004) - NZ is $23,200

    I think Charles is being more transparent about this than others - we are nice to China because we want them to buy our stuff. However, as someone who works in the technology industry, my experience has always been that if people find the things you make are good value, they'll generally buy them, irrespective of political attitudes.

    (I'd suggest also that political pique often fades - this has certainly been the case with the US, who seem to have given up their hissy fit with us over the nuclear ship ban. (possibly because after Brash lost, they realised it wasn't going away).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campbell comes back,

    The Ph.D quote is from the article that DeepRed referenced, BTW. I'm not doing a Ph.D, much as I'd like to. (Not!)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shihad are like the All…,

    How are your views "contrarian" Russell?

    The idea that China must be coddled and genuflected (if not kowtowed) to at all times is the policy of both Labour and National, which would make it a majority opinion, at least among mainstream politicians.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 365 366 367 368 369 436 Older→ First