The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 5/5

January 4, 2012

China, unlike India, has managed to contain unrest caused by such groups as the Falun Gong [cult] and the Tibetan and Islamic separatists over the objections of Western human rights activists that cannot stand how China manages these challenges.

Due to what many in the West call brutal measures, harmony and economic progress continue as planned for the vast majority of Chinese.

In addition, in rural China, “Living standards soared in the early 1980s—average incomes doubled in both the cities and the countryside, while there was a boom in both food consumption and the availability of consumer goods.” Source: Socialist Review Index.org.uk

“Growth in (China’s) peasant income, which had reached a rate of 15.2% a year from 1978 to 1984, dropped to 2.8% a year from 1986 to 1991. Some recovery occurred in the early 1990s, but stagnation of rural incomes marked the latter part of the decade.” Source: Asia Times

In fact, the last five-year plan is extending electricity to rural China and subsidizes the cost of appliances for rural villages once the electricity is turned on.

For an example of China’s continued progress, Tom Carter, one source for this post, is currently living in a small rural village in the tea-producing region of China near Hangzhou and has internet access from a village of twenty people.

I agree that India has the potential to equal or match China, but I doubt that will happen in the next few decades due to the economic long-term problems that India must overcome.

I don’t know where Manjeet Pavarti lives, but I suspect it isn’t outside of the gleaming glass and steel cites such as New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore.

People living inside these economic growth bubbles may have no idea how serious it is outside and probably don’t care or India would be dealing with these challenges as China has been doing since 1949.

India became a democracy in 1947, which means it has had more than sixty years to solve these problems, while China has had less than thirty since 1982 when the republic wrote its new constitution, took a seat at the United Nations in 1971 [replacing Taiwan] and joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

It is ironic how the West seldom hears about India’s problems but always hears about every bit of negative news that happens in China, which is often distorted.

Return to The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 4 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared on October 22, 2010 as India Falling Short

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Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 7/12

December 3, 2011

Sixth Question [Parfitt]:

Governments and human-rights groups have heaped criticism on China about human-rights issues. Is such criticism justified?

Answer [Lofthouse]:

No!

The evolution of human-rights is mostly a Western political phenomenon based on individualism dating back to the Greek City States hundreds of years before Christ and the Western Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD).

The timeline of the Ongoing Struggle for Human Rights in the West shows the first mention of an alleged human rights violation in China (according to Western values) was the 1989 (so-called) Tiananmen Square massacre.

However, you set the record straight on your Blog, June 4, 2011 in The Tiananmen Square Myth and I have written of this issue in  What is the Truth about Tiananmen Square? and The Tiananmen Square Hoax.

Examples of the slow progress of the evolution of human rights in the West may be seen in 1791 (fifteen years after the U.S. Declaration of Independence), when the U.S. Bill of Rights incorporated notions of freedom of speech, press, and fair trial into the new U.S. Constitution.

In fact, in 1920, the League of Nations Covenant required members to “endeavor to secure and maintain fair and humane conditions of labor for men, women and children,” but it took the US twenty-one more years before stricter laws banning the employment of underage children was declared constitutional in 1941 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Note, none of these early gains in the political arena of human rights took place in East Asia.

In addition, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) did not join the United Nations until 1971.

Since then, in human rights issues, the PRC has been increasingly successful at maintaining their positions. In 1995, they won 43 percent of the votes in the General Assembly; by 2006 they won 82 percent.

SFGate.com quoted Li Junru, deputy director of the China Society for Human Rights Studies,  who said, “Since China adopted [its] reform and opening-up policy in 1978, the country has witnessed the second great liberation of human rights, as…reform in [the] economy, technology, education, culture, (and) politics…”

Since all of East Asia including China are collective cultures, the face of human rights may not fit the West’s definition of it.

Response [Parfitt]:

China’s culture isn’t collective. China is fond of saying it’s collective, that’s its strength, and the West should take a lesson, but if there’s one overarching rule in the Chinese universe, it’s this: the more you hear something, the more you can be assume it to be untrue.

‘Collectivism’ is a euphemism for ‘subservience.’

The Foshan incident highlights China’s awful individualism; 20 people ignoring a small girl hit by a truck. Western individualism may be extreme, but Westerners can act collectively when it counts. They often assist people in crisis, for example.

Cultural moral relativism argues there is no absolute truth, and no matter how dreadful circumstances become, they are forever valid. Cultural moral relativism isn’t unlike Orwell’s doublethink: “to hold simultaneously two opinions that cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both; to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it.”

China’s human-rights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

Final Word [Lofthouse]:

Regarding collective cultures, ERIC.ed.gov, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U. S. Department of Education, offers a definitive definition.

ERIC says, “The remarkable differences between the East Asian cultures of China and Japan and the American culture make acculturation of East Asians into the mainstream of United States society extremely difficult.

“Characteristics of individualistic cultures include: the individual as an autonomous entity; egalitarianism; competitiveness; and self-reliance.

“Characteristics of collective cultures include: individuals as interdependent entities; hierarchism; cooperativeness; and self-denial (sacrificing one’s own desires or interests).”

In Litigation Nation, I explained why the behavior of a few individuals during the Foshan incident cannot be used to judge a nation.

A better example would be the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which affected almost 46 million Chinese in 10 provinces.

In Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature, I compared China’s recovery to how America dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Continued on December 4, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 8 or return to Part 6.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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A Media Slugfest Using Taiwan

February 2, 2010

This morning, I read two pieces in the Contra Costa Times Travel section for Sunday, December 12, 2009. Both pieces were about China. The first was written by Carol Pucci, Seattle Times, and was about travelling around China independent of tourist groups, and I found the description of China to be one I’ve experienced many times since my first trip in 1999.

The second piece by John Boudreau, Mercury News, was a comparison between traveling to Taiwan and the mainland. Although it wasn’t as entertaining as Carol Pucci’s piece in the Seattle Times, it was interesting. However, I felt the piece by Boudreau was a little misleading when he wrote, “China maintains democratically ruled Taiwan as its territory. Taiwan, on the other hand, has evolved independently of Beijing since Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist forces fled to the island from Mao Zedong’s communist soldiers in 1949.”  That statement is accurate, but I felt it wasn’t telling the whole story.

When Mao and his Chinese Communist Party won China in 1949, Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang were the overloads of China. Chiang Kai-shek was a dictator and China had never held popular elections like in America and Europe, so in reality, one totalitarian government forced out another one. Of course, the United States supported Chiang Kai-shek. It didn’t matter if he was a dictator or not–at least he wasn’t a Communist.

It wasn’t until the 1986, under pressure from the United States and the United Nations, that Taiwan became a multi-party democracy and held elections.  If they had not done that, the United States was threatening to stop protecting them from the mainland. That’s the primary reason that Taiwan became a democracy. A year later, Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek’s son, lifted martial law. Until that day, Taiwan had been ruled by one party just like mainland China and was oppressed by martial law for thirty-seven years. I wonder why that wasn’t mentioned in Boudreau or Pucci’s pieces.

The big difference between these two one party systems was that in China, the communists leaned toward helping the working class improve their lifestyles while in Taiwan the rich and powerful were favored and everyone else was a second class citizen.  When Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists ruled mainland China, the situation was the same. The poor people wanted change and that was what Mao, for better or worse, gave them. Under the Nationalists, there were drugs, prostitution, dangerous gangs, and women were second-class citizens. The communists dealt with those issues after they came to power—sometimes brutally.  Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists could be brutal too.

What is Martial Law?

Off the beaten path in China by Carol Pucci

China Crossings, Travel in China and Taiwan by John Boudreau

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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