Leaving Family Behind in North Korea

Ask a North Korean

If you’ve never read NK News’ Ask A North Korean column, you really should. This week’s edition in particular will get you right in the feels:

… When I see street food on the way home, I find myself thinking, My mother would love it if I brought some of those home. But I can’t bring them home because I know my parents won’t be waiting for me at home and I have no way of delivering them to my parents in North Korea. My mother loves boiled eggs and they are cheap street food here in South Korea. I could easily afford them now and I would love to bring them home for my mother only if she was living with me here in South Korea.

I don’t wish much for my life. All I want is to be able to spend everyday life with my parents – the ordinary life many people get to live. I’m still waiting anxiously for the day when unification comes. That day, I will finally be able to live with my parents and bring boiled eggs home for them. I will probably have to wait so many years until that day comes. But I believe that day will come sooner than later if more of you show continued interest and support for North Korean refugees. I ask that your interest not just be limited to the third-generation power succession and all the bizarre things about the North Korean dictatorship. I hope that your interest goes beyond that. Please, show your continued interest in the voices of North Korean refugees and ordinary, innocent North Koreans still living in the North. I truly believe that your continued interest and support mean a lot to the human rights of North Koreans and North Korean refugees.

Thank you.

Read the full column here.

 

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The Chinese internet reacts to North Korea’s nuclear test

nuclear test observers

I translated these posts from the Tiexue bbs (a site specialising in fenqing and armchair generals, plus a few genuine experts) for a news piece. They weren’t used in the end, so enjoy.

I was rushing for a deadline, so the translations are quick-and-dirty, and – to be perfectly frank – I don’t care sufficiently to rework them. The sense and the tone are there.

They come from this page and this one.

朝鲜半岛无核化及和平统一是中国一贯的主张并为之积极加强跟各方沟通,朝鲜核试有美国威胁的成分,更多的是美国为一己之私故意毁约和刺激朝鲜的结果,但朝鲜也违背了自己的承诺并给中国带来了影响。 据报道今天上午,位于中朝边界的延吉、珲春、长白县等地均有明显震感。延吉市民反映,当时桌椅摇晃持续几秒,有单位对室内人员进行了疏散。一高中操场地面出现裂纹,学生全部疏散,考试中断。这只是在核试时中国遭受到的影响,严格来说问题不是很大。大的问题有两个,一个是核武器的维护保养问题,如何确保安全不发生核泄露进而危及中国是中国方面要考虑的问题,朝鲜核设施离中朝边境太近,一旦出事有可能给中国带来危害。二是核设施及核武器的安全保卫,网上就有前几年某个国家派出特种兵偷袭朝鲜核设施被全歼的传言,不知真实与否,但无论平时还是战时,这些目标都是敌方侦察打击的重点目标,受到攻击会波及中国

“The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has always been China’s goal, and China has always tried to strengthen communications between the parties. While North Korea’s nuclear policy is somewhat influenced by the US threat, it’s more the result of the US’s selfish and deliberate breaches of faith, which have provoked the North Koreans, and this is the result. Nevertheless, North Korea has also violated its agreements with China, and its actions have had an effect on us. According to reports thsi morning, the explosion was felt in various places on the China-DPRK border: Yanji, Hunchun, Changbai and other places. In Yanji tables and chairs started shaking and people were evacuated from buildings. A school playground cracked, students were evacuated and exams were interrupted. China felt the effects of this nuclear test. Sure, strictly speaking it’s not a big problem, but there are two major issues. Firstly there’s the question of maintenance: we have to consider how we are to make sure that a radiation leak in North Korea doesn’t affect China. North Korea’s nuclear facilities are close to the border, so an accident could potentially harm China. Secondly, there’s the question of the security surrounding North Korea’s nuclear installations. According to internet rumors, a few years ago a commando raid was carried out on North Korea’s nuclear facilities. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but whether in peace of war, these are key targets for enemy reconnaissance, and any attacks on them will have a spillover effect in China.”

– Qiu Weixian

朝鲜拥有氢弹,是美日逼迫所致,小日本搬起铁锤砸自己的头。朝鲜的氢弹送不到美国,但送到东京却是易如反掌!

“If N. Korea has an H-bomb, it was forced into getting it by the US and the Japanese; the Japanese have created a rod for their own back here. North Korea couldn’t deliver a bomb to the US, but it could hit Tokyo!”

– “Bu Gan Dang”
基本上赞成楼主的观点,朝鲜拥核的根源在于朝鲜缺乏安全感。而这种这种不安全感其实是美国故意制造的。朝鲜为了安全,发展了核武。然而这并没有什么卵用,凭朝鲜的技术根本威胁不到美国。再者,朝鲜自身的问题也不是仅仅靠核弹能解决的。说句难听的话,朝鲜再怎么发展核武器,还能多过当年的前苏联,苏联不照样解体了吗

“I agree with the OP basically. The cause of North Korea getting this bomb is its feeling of insecurity. The US deliberately set out to foster this sense of insecurity. In order to feel secure, North Korea is developing nuclear weapons. However, the weapons certainly won’t be used, if only because North Korean technology isn’t advanced enough to threaten the US. Moreover, using a nuclear bomb won’t solve any of North Korea’s problems. It’s a harsh truth, but developing nuclear weapons won’t help North Korea any more than it helped the former Soviet Union to survive.”
– “25660208”
朝鲜没钱的时候吓唬一下中国。如果还不行,卖两个核弹给达赖和东突,又能换钱,又能借别人的手削弱中国。就算中国有2次核打击的能力,到时候找谁报仇?日本现在又有借口发展核武了,南海又成多事之秋了。南韩呢?现在可能要和日本抱团了!

“North Korea can use this to blackmail China. If we cooperate, they can threaten to sell bombs to the Dalai Lama and the Uighurs. Either China gives them the cash, or they give the bombs to someone to weaken us. So what if China has second strike capacity? Who would we attack in retalliation? Now Japan has an excuse to develop nuclear weapons. What with that and the South China Sea business, we’re living through interesting times. And what about South Korea? They might decide to team up with Japan.”

– Yinhe Yujia

He makes a good general point, but the image of the Dalai Lama brandishing nukes is just brilliant in every possible way. Like raging Gandhi in Civilization:

Gandhi nukes Civilization

朝鲜的核武能够威胁到日本韩国就足够了,而目前这种 情况下,美国为了避免日本发展核武,只能重新将东北亚作为重点了,。

“North Korea’s threat to South Korea and Japan should be enough; under current circumstances if the US wants to persuade Japan not to develop nuclear weapons it will have to re-focus on Northeast Asia.”

– “Shuidi Dalishi”

似乎看到了沙俄祸水东引的影子。朝要么爆炸的还是原子弹地雷,地下换地上,要么得到了沙俄技术援助,要么是沙俄的成品。如果说朝独立完成他没有那么大的电力和技术储备,更没有那个经济实力。而沙俄现在在东欧乌克兰和中东有着巨大的军事政治压力,有必要让朝核发酵,拉中国下水分担压力。所以这次的核试验有沙俄的参与八九不离十。毕竟现在中国是唯一脱离中东乱局的军事大国,中国军备不弱,中国不希望朝政权消失。综上,沙俄一定在朝核问题上扮演不光彩的角色。个人观点,欢迎文明讨论。

“Seems like Mother Russia is stirring up trouble in the Far East. Whether it’s explosions from nuclear bombs or landmines, underground or above ground, it’s the result of Russian technical assistance or Russian products. Alone, North Korea wouldn’t have the power, technology or money. Russia is under enormous military and political pressure in the Ukraine, Eastern Europe and the Midle East. Russia has to stir up the North Korean nuclear issue to drag China into things and share the heat, so this nuclear test pretty much must have involved Russian participation. After all, China is the only military power not bogged down in the Middle East, and China’s military is not weak. China does not want the North Korean regime to collapse. Basically, there’s no question that Russia played a disgraceful role in this. That’s just my opinion, I invite polite discussion.”

– “zx5181680000”

朝早已和我们离心离德,为何我们不能让我国多一些朝鲜族人呢?有时觉得你的观点特悲哀,什么都替三胖辩解。让朝领导人更替成我们的人也不是不可能的。

“North Korea has long been a source of discord among us, why can’t we get our country to take in more North Koreans? Sometimes opinions like your make me feel really sad; why make excuses for Fatty III? Causing regime change in North Korea would not be impossible.”

– zx5181680000

想当初,中国和越南是同志加兄弟的关系,可是后来还是交恶了,当初越南没有核武器,中国就算出兵惩罚越南,也不用担心越南的核报复,但是要是当初越南有了核武器该怎么办?现在朝鲜进行核试验,朝鲜的核武器根本不成熟,还不能造成太大的威胁,要是以后朝鲜成为第二个越南该怎么办?所以为了避免当初越南的悲剧重演,一是不能让朝鲜半岛统一;二是坚决反对朝鲜拥核.如果朝鲜实在过分, 中国可以全面制裁朝鲜;如果朝鲜敢威胁中国的国家安全,中国绝对敢于出兵灭掉金家,然后扶植一个听话的朝鲜领导人上台。

“Originally the relationship between China and Vietnam was like that between comrades and brothers, but then we became enemies. Vietnam didn’t have nuclear weapons, so China could send troops in to punish the Vietnamese without worrying about nuclear retaliation. What would we have done if Vietnam had had nuclear weapons? Now North Korea has carries out nuclear tests, their weapons program is still not mature and for the moment they’re not a big threat, but in the future they could become a second Vietnam. What should we do about North Korea? How to avoid a second Vietnam tragedy? Firstly, it is impossible to unify Korea, secondly, China should firmly oppose North Korea’s nuclear programs and apply sanctions if North Korea goes to far. If North Korea threatens China’s security, we should definitely send troops in to dispatch Kim and replace him with a more obedient leader.”

– Xuehuagao

That last bit isn’t a mistranslation, by the way. The actual word used is 听话. If you came here looking for a glimpse into the future, that post is it.

The Hereditary Principle

Anyone recognise this bishounen?

Shinjiro Koizumi

10/10, would elect

You soon will: it’s Shinjiro Koizumi. Or, more trendily, just plain Shinjiro, according to his rather snazzy website: https://shinjiro.info/

Shinjiro Koizumi

The text, by the way, is a play on his name. “進めよう。次の世界のために、ともに新しい国つくりを。” means something like “Onwards.  For a new world, building a new Japan together.” It’s pretty inane, even by political slogan standards, but it does have the inestimable advantage of containing the characters 進 and 次, which are both a part of his given name (進次郎).

And yes, he’s the son of former PM Junichiro Koizumi. He has been a Diet Member for a while, but his appearances in the media have increased quite a bit over the past few months, and is already being spoken of in the media as a possible future PM.

He has been much admired for his humble, straight talking yet polite attitude, though the grumps at 2ch remain to be convinced:

2ch

“The Shinjiro juggernaut rolls on”
“Lately we’ve been seeing this guy all the time, it’s irritating”
“Lol at the state of the opposition that has this sort of leftwinger in it getting irritated for such a pointless reason. Heheh.”
“What has he actually achieved?”
“Why ask the question? He only went and shook hands with people after the disaster.”
“Abe = ferociously anti-Korean. Shinjiro = ferociously anti-jealous leftwing loser gen Ys.”
“If this guy becomes PM Japan is finished.” (continues…)

If you want to enjoy the Halloween parade video that I took the screengrab above from in full, you can find it here.

Here’s something confusing for a Monday morning

Putin gun

Sure, but what’s the margin of error?

Here’s an odd little tale. Just recently this story has popped up in the Russian media:

Early in the morning , I heard an intriguing piece of news on Russian state TV: America loves Putin even more than Russians do themselves! He enjoys an 88 percent approval rating in Russia, but the figure is higher in the United States, the report on Rossia 24 television said.

“A lot has already been said about the incumbent [U.S.] president’s low ratings, a night news anchor said. “He has just been dealt a new below-the-belt blow. An opinion poll by the popular New York Daily News shows that U.S. citizens liked Vladimir Putin’s speech at the General Assembly session better than [Barack] Obama’s speech. Ninety-six percent voted for the Russian president and, accordingly, only 4 percent voted for the American president.”

Link. (I’m not entirely sure why it’s suddenly gained in popularity now, since the original poll and the initial reports on it came out over a month ago.)

If you want the RIA Novosti version, you can find it here.

The story has been picked up by various US right wingers:

Though some sites both in the US and Russia have been more cynical, speculating that the win may have been the result of voting by Russian 50 cent parties or even that the whole thing was a fabrication. Meanwhile, the armchair generals of Reddit have congratulated themselves soundly on seeing through the propaganda.

This is intriguing for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, it’s interesting to see the different spin put on the information by the different media outlets, largely because it reflects the way in which Russia’s PR guys take care to modify their message based on the kind of audience they’re targeting. For instance, while domestic and foreign media use similar techniques and have a similar ethos behind them, the aesthetics and the tone is entirely different. Domestic PR appears ridiculously unsubtle to foreign eyes but in fact plays relatively well to the sort of domestic audiences on whom the sly nudge-nudge-wink-wink tone of something like Russia Today would be largely lost.

If what the blogger says is correct, Rossiya 24 was reporting this as a straight-down-the-line popularity poll, which it obviously isn’t. They can get away with it, however, because they know that 99.99% of their audience isn’t going to go online and check. By contrast, Ria Novosti – which tends to target a more serious, grown-up audience – has given one of the more restrained versions of the story, sticking to the facts without trying to make it sound more than it is. Nevertheless, it has reported it – something that you wouldn’t necessarily expect a serious, grown-up news agency to do for every tinpot little online survey. Perversely, RIA Novosti manages to give the tale more credibility by the mere fact of covering it, even while Rossiya 24 is doing the exact opposite.

Secondly, its an excellent example of how Russia’s soft power strategies have developed under Putin. (Soft power is an over-used term;Russia’s media strategy in recent years is one of the few phenomena that merits it.)

Usually, when you are running a PR campaign you decide on a message you want to put across and then look for the best way to do so. The Russians have not taken this path. Instead they provide us with dozens of different possible messages, theories, conspiracies and hints and allow us to pick the one we like best, while nevertheless leaving us uncertain as to whether or not we have picked correctly.

Even the green-black-and-silver aestehtics of the RT site are borrowed straight from The Matrix, something which its intended audience will definitely register at least on a subconscious level, purely because it is such a familiar part of the demographic’s visual vernacular.

Russia Today aesthetics

There is no spoon

As a strategic response to the widespread perception that the “Washington Consensus” has imposed a single narrative on the world, it is a stroke of genius – like something made up by Umberto Eco (or, more probably, by Vladislav Surkov). They’re just providing alternatives: who could possibly object to that? Their slogan is “question more” because they want us to do just that: ask questions, not come up with answers.

The other side of the coin, obviously, is that when all truths are possible, no possibility is definitively true. The cat is both dead and alive at the same time. In other words, the same strategy works equally well to legitimise alternative narratives as to sew confusion.

Moreover, this is approach to mass communications is not simply a sort of invisibility cloak to conceal whatever is really going on inside the Russian state. It is what is going on inside the Russian state. The maintenance of perpetual uncertainty is central to the current government’s management strategies.

To pick one example: the rumour that Putin funds his own opposition has been doing the rounds for ages. It could be entirely true (it’s what I’d do if I was an autocrat, and if I’ve thought of it then he certainly has), or it could be made up to induce paranoia at a relatively low cost.

I’ve even heard from people who should know that Putin’s PR team has, in the past, pressured polling organisations to reduce his popularity scores to make the numbers more democratically plausible. It could well be true, or they could be putting the rumour about purely in the hope that incorrigible gossips like me will repeat it as widely as possible. Either way: mission accoplished.

How did the Chinese internet respond to the Paris attacks?

In a word: boringly, or I would have covered this sooner.Fluctuat nec Mergitur

“Pray for Paris”*, “Eiffel Tower closed indefinitely” and “Paris bombings and shootings” are trending on Weibo:

Weibo Pray for Paris

The other topics are 一年级·大学季  (a reality tv show), Xiong Dun (a cartoonist), Yang Mi (actress), Cecilia Boey (K-pop singer), Zhang Yuxi (actress/model), 明家三兄弟 (tv drama), and “France train derailment” – another story that came up on the same day but which has no connection to the terrorist attacks. (A lot of the comments are on the theme of misfortunes seldom arriving singly.)

The #PrayforParis and “Paris bombings and shootings” posts are mostly the same sort of sentiments as you can see on your own Facebook news feed, so there’s little point in translating them. Oh. And product placement. Always with the product placement.

What is moderately interesting is that Chinese netizens have tended to mention #PrayforParis within the wider context of everything else grim that’s currently going on (Middle East, earthquakes, refugees etc.), rather than devoting a single post to it, although it’s still worth noting that even in China it’s #PrayforParis that’s trending, not #PrayforBeirut.

Oh, and netizens are particularly interested in this guy:

guy saved by a bullet hitting his phone

… who claims he was saved when a bullet ricocheted off his phone rather than his head.

Incidentally, the Eiffel Tower thing is doing well because a great number of Chinese netizens have a trip there on their bucket list, and have been dismayed to learn that Europe’s incipient religious wars may screw up their travel plans.

But that’s enough of Weibo. Things get a bit more interesting when you move to the rather more insane world of online bulletin boards

On Tianya the threads appear to be being monopolised by people with a pre-existing interest in the oppression of Muslims – largely, it appears, because they apparently are Muslims and are mad as hell and not going to take it any more:

Chinese Muslim

Chinese Muslims

Those two posts both basically suggest that the French had it comng for oppressing segments of their society.

In fact, the Chinese government has a history of censoring news items about Muslims misbehaving. Not, as the English language experts like to tell us, because the Arab Spring may inspire the entire Chinese population to rise up en masse and kick out their evil communist rulers, but because China has a fractious Muslim population of its own and it doesn’t want them getting any ideas. (Yet another incidence of well-intentioned Westerners assuming that anyone fighting against an autocratic leader must – ex officio – be a lovely person.)

There are also a certain number of conspiracy theories involving Russia, all more or less incomprehensible:

blaming russia

That guy thinks the Russians knew this was going to happen in advance, possibly that they orchestrated it, but also – I think – that the US is controlling ISIS. As the reply states: “Wtf kind of logic is that?”

And so we turn finally to Tiexue.

Stuffed to the Plimsoll line with loons though it may be, Tiexue is actually an excellent resource for anyone interested in Chinese politics because most of its members are armchair generals of long standing, and are happy to give detailed opinions. Certainly, it skews right, but there are always enough counter-opinions to construct a semi-balanced viewpoint.

Unsurprisingly for a forum with a strong nationalist component, there is much less Muslim outrage here, and America largely replaces Russia in the conspiracy theorising. Indeed, the second most upvoted comment dismisses the whole thing as American imperialism without any further explanation:

Tiexue American imperialism

And another guy feels that the French deserve no sympathy because Charlie Hebdo ran a cartoon about the Russian plane crash:

angry on Tiexue

Though he is swiftly rebuked by a chap who reminds him that radical Islam is a threat in China too, and not to be taken lightly:

East Turkistan

*Incidentally, was there ever a wussier slogan coined than “Pray for Paris”? It’s essentially an admission of defeat. Why not skip straight to “thank you for not shooting our citizens”?

Exploding chrysanthemums

CIA torture

As you will no doubt have read, the Chinese authorities have been rather smug about the publication of the CIA torture report, with a spokeman piously telling the press that ‘China has consistently opposed torture. We believe that the US side should reflect on this, correct its ways and earnestly respect and follow the rules of related international conventions.’

In fact, for me the most interesting part of the Chinese response was the fact that the domestic media don’t seem to be reporting the… er… fundamental issues here. There have been a selection of articles describing the CIA’s methods in detail, but always omitting the arse-related items (if you haven’t yet read the descriptions of rectal feeding: enjoy).

I suspect that this is because a) the Chinese authorities responsible for encouraging prisoners to comply with official demands are not particularly keen for their friends and relations to start thinking that this is the sort of thing that they do for fun, and b) the press tends to filter out anything sexually explicit as a matter of course, and – whatever the $80m consultant psychologists might say – ramming a man’s dinner up him is not the action of an individual unencumbered by paraphiliae, M. des Esseintes.

Not that it appears to have done a lot of good. Chinese message boards are packed with jokes about the CIA’s habit of 爆菊-ing their prisoners, a rather poetic term that translates literally as ‘exploding chrysanthemum’, but which takes on the figurative meaning of either a beatdown or a butt-fucking (I won’t draw you a picture). It’s pronounced ‘baoju‘.

I took these responses from Tiexue.net, a forum orientated towards military and foreign affairs. I picked Tiexue because it has a relatively high proportion of hyper-nationalists, but also quite a few intelligent commentators. I was rather curious, because while most of them are no great friends of the US, and would relish seeing it embarrassed, a large proportion of them are not particularly fussed about the idea of enhanced interrogation either.

Where the fuck have all the human rights warriors gone? Hurry up and try to whitewash your American overlords……..

– 风清扬253

So what? In police stations in China they kill people all the time, you didn’t realise?

– 476818455

[Replying to the above comment] Give one example. Proof of when, why and how it happened. Probably better include a diagram too. Then after that you can explain how come the perpetrator evaded responsibility for it. It’s easy to mouth off about all the ills of society online, and start rumours. If you speak like this then basically you’re not going to get a lot of people to believe you.

– 司马藏星 [T.N. Not saying this guy is necessarily a fifty cent party, but Xi Jinping recently launched a campaign against online ‘rumours’.]

[Replying to the above comment] Lolwhut? In China internet rumours just start themselves with no one being responsible, didn’t you know that?

– taokao

[Replying to the above comment] Deaths under interrogation? CCAV has reported on a few. Someone was sentenced to death in Inner Mongolia, in Fujian Nian Bin was tortured to confess to poisoning. This kind of thing happens a lot, the official media report on it. You can’t acknowledge that?

– 铁粪A如狗

This is BS! You call this torture? The Americans are just punishing the bad guys to preserve world peace!
Don’t you unnderstand how many ordinary people’s lives these interrogations saved?
This is precisely what the glorious role of world’s policeman is all about!

– 万箭齐发遮天蔽日

[Replying to the above comment] Hehehe ^^^^

– somalika

If a US cop thinks you look like a bad guy, you get shot on sight. The CIA just butt-rape you.

– 猫小挠

[Replying to the above comment] Someone you know got shot by the cops for looking like a bad guy? Wow, tell us who and everyone will sympathise with you. Oh… You mean the American cops? Yeah, actually they shot a kid who was playing with a toy gun. Fuckin A.

– 哎呦我了个去啊

America yo. Well, it’d be weird if an evil empire didn’t do this sort of thing, amirite.

– 993651774

When the Communist Army was set up they had strict discipline and rules: don’t torture captives. Every day the Yanks go on at our Party about not observing human rights. Now we’re seeing the ugly side of America.

– 沙滩上的一滴水

Democracy, freedom, the rule of law! We’re gonna beat it into you!

– seraphim927

Too many brainwashed fifty cent parties round here. The US has the balls to publish its scandals. Does the Heavenly Kingdom?

– yw5905536

[Replying to the above comment] Hey, you’re right. America has the balls to publish its own never-ending scandals while lecturing everyone else on human rights. They’re like whores doing business behind a grand gateway [i.e. making something disreputable seem classy]. That *is* different from the way the Heavenly Kingdom does things. China would never be so shameless… Since you guys are a bunch of stupid inadequates, all you see is the gateway that they put up. You think that the gateway is so wonderful that you can’t even see the whores beneath it. And one of them is your mother.

– 51楼ha火山

[Replying to the above comment] You think that people publish their scandals just so that you can laugh at them? They do it so that they can identify problems, and prevent a repeat of the crimes. Contrast this with the Heavenly Kingdom, where people are tortured to get confessions all the time. No one’s even tried to count the numbers or publish a report. In Inner Mongolia, Qoysiletu was beaten until he confessed to rape!

– maosanpang

[Replying to the above comment] yw5905536, if one day America ceased to exist, would you cry for three days and nights? Our national media has reported on police brutality against suspects more than once, after which the officers involved were investigated. Did you not see that?

– 815049316

When dealing with extremists, use extreme measures.

– abc2018

In reality, the CIA has covered up so many scandals, this is just the g-string coming off.

– 爱国无需多言

You’ve got to be a bit nasty with enemies. It’s not like you’re inviting them over for tea. I don’t believe in the policy of leniency towards captives, especially when at war.

– slowwater

Would the People’s Congress dare to investigate and report back on 610? I’m not asking what would be in the report, just whether they’d dare to do it in the first place!

– whitelie

The US used armed police to attack a religious temple’s housing, but they made it public.
Falun Gong doesn’t have the equipment or the materials. If they did they’d do the same thing Aum Shinrikyo did in Tokyo. A Falun Gong believer already planned to derail a train. I don’t need to go on…
You say that the People’s Congress wouldn’t dare to publish any reports on 610, but I ask you this: do you think that the US Congress would dare to investigate the threats and secret surveillance of anti-war activists during the Vietnam War? Would they dare to investigate US cooperation with drug lords in South America, East Africa and Southeast Asia during the Cold War?

– liutao1494

[Replying to the above comment] You’re the one who seems to think that the Party has things like that to hide… I only asked for an explanation as to whether the People’s Congress could make accusations against 610. 610 officials have acknowledged its existence before.

– whitelie

[Replying to the above comment] What is 610? The police should already be knocking on your door… Ah, such incompetent internet police.

– 水滴太平洋

[Replying to the above comment] I’m someone who seeks truth from facts. I’m not going to deny that the way that *those people* [T.N. He means Falun Gong members. If you mention the name your post is liable to be censored.] were treated in the labour camps was unfortunate. But they were very stubborn individuals. If they didn’t want to go on, all they had to do was write a reeducation through labour statement and they could have avoided going. It’s not as though the opportunity wasn’t given to them.

– liutao1494

The CIA’s actions were all carried out in secret, basically there was no way that they could be regulated effectively. There’s nothing to say that Obama will be able to stop it. What’s come out is only a tiny part of it. It’s hardly surprising.

– 十岁才变帅

There’s no point showing any humanity towards terrorists! What country would want them? I hope that one day our country starts treating them like this! These scum aren’t fit to live!
Anyone who kills random innocent people, from the moment he picks up the knife [T.N. Chinese terrorists tend to go in for knife attacks, though it is surprisingly easy to get hold of guns there. Or so I am told.] he loses the right to go on living!

– 嘉靖四十一年

[Replying to the above comment] Your whole argument is based on the premise that the guys on the receiving end are clearly terrorists, so there’s no point talking about human rights, and they should just be exterminates.
But the people that the CIA arrested and even put on trial weren’t necessarily all terrorists. For example, what if the CIA suspected you of being a terrorist, they don’t give you any human rights, just ass rape you… and then after the interrogation they say that they realised that they made a mistake? You wouldn’t think that was an injustice?

– 善战方能言和

[Replying to the above comment] GPWM.

– 嘉靖四十一年

Al Qaeda should just sue the US at the United Nations. China and East Turkistan  are comrades and brothers, why can’t everyone just get along?

– 汉委奴国王

Wassup yo. Just another day in the US hegemony.

– hjh黄

Huffpo clickbait leads to something moderately interesting

Winnie and TiggerYou’d Be Surprised What Chinese College Students Think Of America These Days.

Well no, actually, you probably wouldn’t. It’s pretty much what you expect.

I was interested by this one, however:

It’s really not that easy to be president in China. It’s a lot harder than in America. Because in America, you just have to be very handsome and give some good speeches, and they are stars. But in China, you can’t just win the election. It is really official, with great authority. If Obama came to China to try to be president, he would lose.

– Chen Bo

True story. Ask Bo Xilai.

Personally, I think that it’s an aspect of the system that could well do to be exported. If failed candidates for the US presidency were subsequently subjected to the kind of debriefing that makes you pass out 27 times, there’d probably be a dramatic improvement in the quality of the contenders. Hard模式, yo.

The idea that elections are a frivolous way to choose one’s leaders is one that’s been put to me by various nationalist youth at different times. It’s always impeccably reasoned with references and everything. I’m not sure whether it’s taught in PRC schools or not.