Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘china’

US to blind Chinese dissident: Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out

Posted by Richard on May 2, 2012

Apparently, the Obama State Department was so desperate to get Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng out of the American Embassy in Beijing without further pissing off the Chinese government that they were willing to do or say almost anything. Including, according to Chen, passing along the Chinese government’s death threats against his wife.

The story isn’t playing well. Hillary Clinton’s visit to China looks to be something less than a diplomatic triumph. The Obama administration is about as good at negotiating this kind of public relations minefield as they are at stimulating the economy.

When they can’t get the “newspaper of record” to cover for them, you know they’ve screwed up.

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China envy

Posted by Richard on March 11, 2011

It sounds like something from Iowahawk, or Scrappleface, or The Onion, but apparently it's true. President Obama has been whining* about how hard it is to be POTUS compared to president of China. Bill Kristol agrees with him that it really is much easier being president of China: 

If you’re president of China, people around the world who are fighting for freedom don’t really expect you to help. If you’re president of China, you don’t have to put up with annoying off-year congressional elections, and then negotiate your budget with a bunch of gun-and-religion-clinging congressmen and senators. If you’re president of China, you can fund your national public radio to your heart’s content. And if you’re president of China, when you host a conference on bullying in schools, people take you seriously.

Unfortunately for him and us, Barack Obama is president of the United States. That job brings with it certain special responsibilities. It’s a tough job—maybe tougher than being president of China. But Barack Obama ran for president of the United States. Maybe he should start behaving as one.

I think Obama's China envy runs deeper than the issues of workload and expectations. His job is harder than the president of China's because the US is politically and socio-economically very different from China, and I think deep down he resents that and wishes it weren't. 

Maybe we should propose a trade to the Chinese — Obama for Hu Jintao. Hu might find it difficult adjusting to a system with an independent legislature and judiciary, but at least he wouldn't try to cripple the nation's energy industries.

* OK, I suppose he wasn't literally whining. It's not in his nature to whine. The NYTimes said he "has told people," and I'm sure he told them in his typical professorial manner, as if he were educating them.

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Twenty years after Tiananmen

Posted by Richard on June 4, 2009

Stopping the tanks in Tiananmen SquareToday is the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. I didn't expect much, if any, acknowledgment from the U.S. government, which has recently displayed about zero interest in China's abysmal human rights record.

Hillary Clinton didn't bring it up when she went begging the Chinese to finance our exploding deficit. And Nancy Pelosi, who was expelled from China in 1991 for protesting Tiananmen (the only act of hers I can think of that elicits a "bravo!" from me), on her recent visit, was too busy schmoozing and blathering about "environmental rights" to mention human rights.

So I was pleasantly surprised by this

The Obama administration issued a rare public critique Wednesday of China, pressing Beijing to reveal how many protesters were killed in the government crackdown on the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989 and to free any of those still imprisoned for their parts in the protests.

One day before the 20th anniversary of the crackdown, the comments were a shift for the Obama administration, which has until now hesitated to question Beijing's human rights record. In February, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that human rights issues shouldn't be allowed to "interfere with" other key matters between the two countries, such as climate change and the global financial crisis.

Mrs. Clinton pressed China to "examine openly the darker events of its past" by providing a "public accounting of those killed, detained or missing" and freeing "all those still serving sentences in connection" with the protests.

The substance of the remarks echoed demands that U.S. officials have been making — in almost the same words — for years. In 2006, a State Department spokesman under George W. Bush urged China "to provide a full accounting of the thousands who were killed, detained or went missing and of the government's role in the massacre."

Personally, I'd prefer language like "the atrocities of its past" and "those murdered," along with a demand that the Chinese government end the repression and human rights abuses that continue to this day. But it's more than I expected.

Chinese netizens, meanwhile, are protesting the crackdown and censorship surrounding the occasion in a clever and subtle way:

Twenty years after the pro-democracy protests that claimed the lives of hundreds – or even thousands – of unarmed civilians in Beijing, a number of websites appear to be making a veiled protest at state censorship by referring to the date sarcastically as "Chinese Internet Maintenance Day".

Earlier this week the government blocked access to a number of popular western websites, in what was widely seen as way of controlling access to information about the events at Tiananmen Square. Among the sites that were screened out were photo-sharing website Flickr, Microsoft's Hotmail email service and the popular online messaging site Twitter.

A number of other sites appear to have gone down over recent days, however, in a move that may be part of an ad hoc anniversary protest online.

It is not clear whether any of the sites took down their services as a result of government pressure: most have had previous trouble with the authorities in Beijing, and reports suggest that many sites were told that they would face serious consequences if they published anything relating to the events of 4 June 1989.

But it was also suggested that the phrasing used by some of the websites indicates a subtle attack on the government.

While deliberate government action cannot be ruled out, more than 300 Chinese sites appear to have posted increasingly blasé maintenance messages on the anniversary.

"The Fanfou server is undergoing technical maintenance. Service is expected to resume before dawn on 6 June," said one message. On dictionary website WordKu.com, its owners said they had taken the site down for Chinese Internet Maintenance Day.

Blog hosting service Bullog.org, meanwhile, says it has gone "on strike" for the day, and Wuqing.org carried a message saying: "I, too, am under maintenance!"

Here's to Chinese Internet Maintenance Day and the brave geeks commemorating it. 

UPDATE: They were allowed to remember in Hong Kong, and they did so in great numbers (emphasis in original): 

A vigil marking 20 years since the Tiananmen massacre has been held in Hong Kong, the only part of China to commemorate the event.

An estimated 150,000 people gathered in Victoria Park for the annual event, which was addressed by one of the 1989 student leaders, Xiong Yan.

Other Tiananmen veterans were banned from entering the territory.

When the UK returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, the territory retained its own legal system, including the right to protest.

Thursday's gathering saw the biggest turnout for a Tiananmen anniversary ever recorded in Hong Kong, the BBC's John Simpson reports.

If the Beijing government hoped that by clamping down on all commemoration in mainland China, they could make people forget what happened, they were very wrong, our correspondent says.

On the contrary, it has underlined the lack of political freedom that there still is in China.

RTWT and watch the moving one-minute video. Here's to the citizens of Hong Kong, courageously clinging to their heritage of liberty.

 

 

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Chutzpah cubed

Posted by Richard on August 23, 2007

Today's news contained two such unbelievable examples of chutzpah, of brazen effrontery and unmitigated gall, that they took my breath away:

  •  The Chinese government complained about the quality and safety of U.S. imports and expressed concern about the safety of Chinese consumers and the environment.
  • Democrats angrily objected to President Bush's comparison of Iraq and Vietnam in his speech to the VFW.

How dare anyone compare Iraq with Vietnam! The nerve!

UPDATE: Bush Derangement Syndrome reigns at ABC News, and Ace has preserved the evidence. He also helpfully pointed out that Bush didn't compare Iraq to Vietnam, "he said it would be like Vietnam were we to surrender. Apparently the high-nuanced folks at ABC have not mastered the nuances of the subjunctive or conditional moods." Good point.

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China in perspective

Posted by Richard on August 15, 2007

Nicholas Vardy had an interesting "Fact of the Week" in the latest issue of The Global Guru:

The next time you hear a mind-numbing statistic about China, remember this: the U.S. economy increased in size by $2.2 trillion between June 2003 and May 2006. That's the equivalent of a whole new China in just 36 short months.

And we did it without using lead paint. 

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Massacre anniversary

Posted by Richard on June 4, 2007

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of China's massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. I can't believe it's been that long ago. Gateway Pundit remembered, and has pictures and links.

If you're young and/or just don't remember the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, the revolution was, for a time, televised. Watch this short (1:12) YouTube video — it captures one of the bravest and most powerfully moving acts by a lone individual that you'll ever see. 

 

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I’ve failed

Posted by Richard on March 13, 2007

I'm so disappointed. I feel completely inadequate as a pro-freedom blogger. Granted, it's been a while since I made even a passing reference to China's organ harvesting, or mentioned its censorship and repression, or linked to a story about the brutal torture of a Tibetan nun. But I thought these Chicoms were thorough and had long memories! How can they do this to me??

It appears that Combs Spouts Off is not banned in China.

Oh, the shame!

(HT: Kentucky Dan, who is banned in China and gloated about it) 

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China: threat or menace?

Posted by Richard on March 7, 2007

OK, if you're a Pat Buchanan or Lou Dobbs fan, you'd best just move along — this will only make you (even more) angry. As for everyone else, I bet you get a kick out of Scott Blaszak's little three-minute video about how dangerous all those Chinese people are:  "Do You Realize?"

 

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Best of Cordite, and Liberty from China

Posted by Richard on September 27, 2006

I’ve been negligent in not dropping by Spank That Donkey to check out Carnival of Cordite #73. It’s a "Best of COC" — in honor of founder Gullyborg, Chris put out the call for past participants to submit their best previous carnival entries, and he got a bunch of great ones! He’s also got bonus audio clips from "Blazing Saddles" and Ronaldus Magnus (sorry, IE users only). Drop on by, and be prepared to spend some time.

Carnival of Liberty #54 is a special event of sorts, too. It comes to us from China, courtesy of host OneManBandwidth. Imagine that — a celebration of liberty from China! OMB is pretty fearless about it, even linking to a chilling story about Chinese organ harvesting. Drop by and show your support.
 

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