OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Google to Embargo China

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  • SteveH,

    Quite apart from the various forms of oppression they have perpretated on their own citizenry (genocide, slavery, institutional racism, the war on drugs), they have and are doing plenty to other people, including their allies.

    I did say "recently" in an earlier post so you can take out genocide and slavery (and let's just point out that China's record is hardly clean on those fronts either). Institutional racism is a least as bad in China if not considerably worse.

    And we are other people. So what's your point again?

    The suggestion was that "I would rather bow to tha age old wisdom of China than the rabid rightiousness of America". The implication being that we'd be better treated as people by the Chinese government than by the US. My point is that is crap. Do I really need to remind you of Tiananmen square, Falun Gong, Tibet? As Amnesty International says in their 2009 report:

    The Olympic Games in Beijing brought heightened repression throughout the country as authorities tightened control over human rights defenders, religious practitioners, ethnic minorities, lawyers and journalists. Following protests and unrest which began in March in Lhasa the government originally detained over 1,000 people. Hundreds remained in detention or were unaccounted for at year’s end. The authorities used a series of violent incidents alleged to be linked to terrorists to launch a sweeping crackdown on the Uighur population in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Torture and other ill-treatment remained widespread. The authorities maintained tight control over the flow of information, with many internet websites blocked, and journalists and internet users harassed and imprisoned for the peaceful expression of opinions. The authorities made increased use of punitive forms of administrative detention, notably the Re-education through Labour system, to silence critics in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.

    Does sound better than the US to you?

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "Who knows how the China leadership of the future will decide..."?

    WHo knows ANYTHING of the future?
    We hope; we make seemingly rational decisions - and it can all blat out, 10s of 1000s dead, in an earthquake instant.

    I am *very leary indeed* of people setting up aggression/war scenarios - especially when they obviously incline to the official USA viewpoint. We've been dragged into their wars for the past half century plus -with not a lot to show for it.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Second point - I think China is an unreformed corrupt one party state run by people whose thinking about realpolitik is still in the mid-twentieth century.

    one party with 76 million members. Keith's totally down with the reality of what's going on with the reference to the urban male with a job, a future and a WoW character.

    I have no doubt no one in China wants a war,

    No, they have people like you in China too Tom.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    China is our neighbour rather than the United States.

    China's about 9000km from NZ. The US is about 10,500km, if you don't count Hawaii which is much closer. Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines are between us and China while there are no major landmasses between us and the US. You have an interesting definition of what constitutes a neighbour.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Following protests and unrest which began in March in Lhasa the government originally detained over 1,000 people. Hundreds remained in detention or were unaccounted for at year’s end.

    From here.

    The United Nations estimates that there are about 4.5 million displaced Iraqis -- more than half of them refugees -- or about one in every six citizens. Only 5 percent have chosen to return to their homes over the past year, a period of reduced violence. . . . According to Unicef, many provinces report that less than 40 percent of households have access to clean water. More than 40 percent of children in Basra, and more than 70 percent in Baghdad, cannot attend school.

    The mortality caused by the war is also high. Several household surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2007. While there are differences among them, the range suggests a congruence of estimates. But none have been conducted for eighteen months, and the two most reliable surveys were completed in mid-2006. The higher of those found 650,000 "excess deaths" (mortality attributable to war); the other yielded 400,000.

    From here.

    Nationwide, one in every 20 black men over the age of 18 is in prison. In five states, between one in 13 and one in 14 black men is in prison. This compares to one in 180 white men.

    Next?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The implication being that we'd be better treated as people by the Chinese government than by the US. My point is that is crap.

    My point is that it's your premise (and Tom's) is ridicoluos. It's not even the devil you know vs. the devil you don't. It's the devil you know versus the devil you're paranoically fantasising about. How does Chinese imperialism even begin to compare with what the Americans have been doing? Backing coups and insurrections, invading countries all over the place, waging pre-emptive wars, not to speak of the economic terror imposed by its corporations... what have the Chinese done that compares with this? It's like you're both saying "if they started behaving like the US, we'd be in serious trouble". Well, fucking DUH!

    ETA: thanks recordari, I didn't want to get into that.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Thatcher,

    [QUOTE]"It helps to have 'unspecified' threats. That way you can spend billions and billions on hardware without having to justify who you would ever have to use it against.
    Australia is about to launch into spending AUD$36 billion on long range missile submarines. "The biggest and most complex non-nuclear submarine ever built on this planet". And that's before the cost overruns. Since they don't have nuclear weapons, I have no idea what the point of such machines is, but that's their problem..."[/QUOTE]

    I think you'll find you're wrong. Some sections of Australia's "army" do indeed have nuclear missiles. We have had for years actually. If you were a 'clearance diver' then you'd know what I'm talking about.

    Secondly, those billions of dollars for the Australian Defence Force are not being spent on public projects - or at least, not in reality. There are certain devices and projects we have and maintain that cost us into the many billions to do.

    Bstralia • Since Jan 2010 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Well, Pat Buchanan... you can't really argue with somebody like that.

    Paul Buchanan, not Pat Buchanan.
    :)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Great! Now I don't get to choose between pest and cholera anymore. I have to choose between China and America.

    This is just silly.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Paul Buchanan, not Pat Buchanan.

    LOL is me!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I am concerned, particularly as a citizen of a small country at the likely limited extent of China's support for a rules-based world. For all the ranting about rich nations at Copenhagen, it does seem that any real commitment was stonewalled by China, which (and yes, we had eight years of that from the US) didn't wish to countenance binding its future actions.

    The irony is that China is miles ahead of any of the Western nations in clean-energy investment. They're set to become world leaders in the relevant technologies. They'll still use a lot of coal, but so does the US, and it's actually China that's addressing the problem.

    For all that the usual suspects complained, our trade deal with China was an important step to bind them into commitments. Chinese economic nationalism has worked well for China -- it might not always be good for everyone else.

    I also think we need to be very careful about comparing the US and China's human rights records. Americans voted in a guy who (although not fast enough etc etc) is closing their quasi-legal detention camp and directing suspects into genuine judicial processes. It's hard to see a mechanism for that kind of change as respects the minority activists the Chinese have locked up.

    That said, I'm hopeful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    One does wonder how a nation like, say, Thailand, with its lushness and direct easy routes to the sea and to SEA's rubber, tin and oil would have done over the centuries if placed next to, say California. As it stands, aside from a brief period in the 1940s when it was a Japanese client, the only real military threat to it has come from the west.

    There is a huge difference in the mindset between the Chinese and the US that the argument that China is an expansionist military threat completely ignores. War is bad for business. It's something you hear and read a lot in this part of the world, from Singapore to Shanghai.

    After all, the only times the US and China have come to blows was when the US directly violated what China sees as it sovereignty (North Korea and Taiwan).

    The Chinese were non-committal to the fact that 500,000 US troops were next door from 1965-72, as long as it kept the feisty Vietnamese occupied, and didn't cross borders north.

    China's blue water fleet has been a fairly direct response to the continual pushing at it's boundaries by the US military and one should never ignore how much the horrendous history of western intervention in China in the 19th through to the mid 20th (1997, if we're being exact) affects the way China does business with the west.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    China's about 9000km from NZ. The US is about 10,500km, if you don't count Hawaii which is much closer. Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines are between us and China

    Interesting fact: France is closer to New Zealand than all of Australia except for Norfolk Island. 890km to New Caledonia, 465km to Norfolk, and 950 to Tasmania (from Fiordland). We tend to forget about our French neighbours in New Caledonia - not implying that you have...

    We live in an interesting region, and we'd do well to interact with it properly. Of course, with the benefits of interaction come possible costs, but sitting here by ourselves has disadvantages as well.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    Some sections of Australia's "army" do indeed have nuclear missiles. We have had for years actually. If you were a 'clearance diver' then you'd know what I'm talking about.

    Well, clearly, we're not clearance divers; so please explain what you are referring to here. Does Australia have nuclear weaponry?

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Thatcher,

    @Scott

    Most of our money is spent on weaponry and operations that the public doesn't even know exists.

    I cited 'clearance divers' (or frogmen) because of the few who have worked in foreign waters in submarines with these capabilities and weapons.

    Not much to say other than its been going on for years.

    Bstralia • Since Jan 2010 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    If you watch 'The War on Democracy' you can see how the American regime goes about trying to destabilise and infiltrate dissident groups to achieve it's 'altruistic' and 'democratic' goals in Venezuela. Interesting.

    Oh, but that's by John Pilger. What does he know?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Most of our money is spent on weaponry and operations that the public doesn't even know exists.

    I cited 'clearance divers' (or frogmen) because of the few who have worked in foreign waters in submarines with these capabilities and weapons.

    Not much to say other than its been going on for years.

    Considering this treaty, I wouldn't call this sort of assertion "not much"...

    (Not saying it's not true, just that it's very serious if so!)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    The thing I don't get is what Google want to see happen. It's obvious that this statement isn't an end in itself: it's a step along a road. What's their ideal destination? Is it the ability to work in China uncensored? Is it some other negotiation? I'm not asking what the direct precedents of this action are ("they were losing money, so they're pulling out" doesn't cut it as an explanation) but rather the wide-angle view that shows me where this action leads ("(1) go public against China; (3) win!").

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    So... saying we need a national security about China, its goals and ambitions and whether or not we should think about rearming is a call to arms? Don't be stupid.

    That was probably me reading too much into this:

    ...Time to start thinking about rearming, folks.

    Don't suppose you've been able to rustle up something, anything, supporting your argument that China is deliberately fostering communities of sympathetic nationalistic Chinese overseas? Honestly interested if so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    but rather the wide-angle view that shows me where this action leads ("(1) go public against China; (3) win!").

    The link George gives suggests, as one reason, that it may be the first step to seriously supporting a general anticensorship campaign, as in material support such as IP addresses and bandwidth, both of which Google has in plenty - and thus, yeah, moving for a really uncensored internet. It'd be fairly radical, if so - and back to Keith's "embargo" headline, though more along the lines of an airstrike than an embargo - but it'd certainly be...interesting.

    (I don't know that I find this theory entirely convincing, but it's most intriguing.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I am concerned, particularly as a citizen of a small country at the likely limited extent of China's support for a rules-based world

    I think that depends who's making the rules.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    "the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they said"

    Never mind the Chinese, I think we really need to worry about space aliens. They could be sneaking in here disguised as German tourists.

    With modern technology, NZ could build a space force capable of defeating any invader apart from the Klingon Empire. Mr Rocket could build us the rockets, and we could have a space base in his garden on Great Barrier.

    We must act now!

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Most of our money is spent on weaponry and operations that the public doesn't even know exists.

    I cited 'clearance divers' (or frogmen) because of the few who have worked in foreign waters in submarines with these capabilities and weapons.

    Not much to say other than its been going on for years.

    Well, I'm no diver, but I worked on mine countermeasures systems for the Australian DoD/RAN for a couple of years in the 80's. Didn't notice any We.177's hidden in cupboards, but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough.

    I have read a book Australia's Bid For The Atomic Bomb which discusses attempts in the 1950's by Australia to obtain nuclear weapons. These predated the Non-Proliferation Treaty and were effectively stymied when the UK (under US influence) refused to furnish such weapons. I find it highly unlikely that any nuclear power would do so today, given that it would breach the NPT, go against the whole thrust of all such powers policy, and give them no security or other benefit.

    Possibly you refer to naval personnel such as "clearance divers" serving with the UK & US navies on nuclear equipped vessels. This undoubtedly happens (more so before the British decomissioned their tactical arsenal) but is hardly "Australia Having Nukes".

    Of course, one can assert anything and claim it as secret knowledge. I recall Saddam Hussein had WMDs ready to attack the UK on 45 minutes notice.

    Sorry about the threadjack..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Hey! Someone get some rope - looks like we're havin' a good ole fashun lynchin'

    Yee hah.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

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