Exciting time for Chinese track

I’m a fan of track and field. I had once predicted the success of Liu Xiang just before the 2004 Olympics (I had predicted he’d go sub 13 second for the 110m hurdles and get a medal) but I didn’t expect him to tie the then world record and win gold.

There are two good 100m prospects out of China now.

Zhang Peimeng recently set the national record with a 10.00 run. I think he can go sub 10 second in the coming two years.

Even more exciting is the 17 year old Youxue Mo who just won the world Youth Championship’s 100m race in 10.35.


Syria intervention? (Hell no)

It looks like the US might go to war or at least militarily intervene with Syria (also see here). I am usually against military interventions and I believe that the situation in Syria does not so far warrant justification for intervention. I will talk both about wars and other kinds of mass state sponsored killings (aerial bombings, drone strikes, etc) as military intervention (for the sake of brevity) but I think the same principles apply in both cases. Most military interventions of humanitarian a nature has been unjust in hindsight and from this history alone we ought to be cautious of any proposal for future wars. I usually tend to think in terms of the five criteria I will lay down below for justification in foreign military intervention on behalf of humanitarian reasons. I think the principles are common sense and conjunctive (meaning that all five must be satisfied to justify foreign military intervention). I also believe that there might be additional principles that warrant inclusion as further conjuncts or disjuncts (at least one must be true) and will modify my 5 accordingly if they are presented to me convincingly. I might simply have not thought about this issue as hard as I could have or haven’t been exposed to the issue to know of alternative thinking.

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My trip to Tibet (pics)


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Some pics of my Tibet trip.  I went to the main monasteries of Lhasa and Shigatse. I went to Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) base camp and lake Yamdrotso among other places. And no, there were no signs of cultural genocide or any other genocides to speak of.

Manning found guilty

Predictably, Bradley Manning was found guilty on most of the charges brought against him by his government including espionage last week. He is facing about 130 years behind prison. I’d like to take this post and compare his crimes with another individual. Compare his case with that of Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 winner of the Nobel Peace [sic] Prize. If you look at many of the critics of Liu’s imprisonment (he was sentenced to 11 years of house arrest), you see that they criticize the Chinese government for jailing Liu despite the fact that Liu broke PRC laws. But in the case of Manning (and Edward Snowden), many of their detractors seem to focus on the legality, framing the discussion in terms of what they had supposedly violated (US laws).

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Fashionable bullshit (and why I left Hiddenharmonies)

In this post, I will talk about a intellectual trend (and a rather trendy one it seems among some) that I perceive as having some influence among certain types of China watchers such as those at this site (hiddenharmonies). As some of you may be from that site, I will also explain that that trend is also my primary reasons for leaving the site having posted there for 2 years and been a editor there for about 1 year under the pseudonym of melekatus but now wanting to start my own blog about China and the west.

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Guanxi is defined as informal institutions which grants individuals certain privileges and obligations within relationships in virtue of being in particular social positions. Guanxi is very much an aspect of modern Chinese culture. It has received some considerable attention in the western press recently. Often it is portrayed inaccurately being used interchangeably with corruption. This is misleading.

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A note on “cultural relativism”

As you know, some of my past posts about some modern characteristics of Chinese people mat have been offensive. While I believe it’s often quite uncivilized and harmful (and I think you’d be surprised at how many Chinese in China will affirm what I have said because it is so obvious to anyone who has been here for a long time), some people may reply that “outsiders” such as myself can’t judge them because different cultural values are incommensurable and judgments using one set of values can’t be applied to judge another set of values.

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