Many of the families of the victims of flight 370 are behaving as many Chinese mainland people do. They act out of ignorance rather than reason. Not only do they act out of ignorance but do so with the utmost insolence. Even the China Daily put out a opinion piece saying how they should behave with dignity and rationality.
I have heard and seen them accuse Malaysia of conspiring and detaining the people on the plane. I have heard them accuse them of lying. What evidence do they have of this? Nothing. Ironic since they also accuse Malaysia of making statements without evidence. Granted they have lost loved ones but does that give them an excuse to make up these baseless slanderous accusations? Rumor rules the lives of many Chinese and the slightest gossip can put them into a tizzy often with very harmful effects. Sadly much of the Chinese public believe the rumors and I have heard people say that they think the US and Malaysian governments are conspiring against them and know where the plane is. They think the passengers are being kept alive somewhere and demand they be released. This is the kind of blind that has brought China so much misery in the last 60 years. Malaysia hasn’t done anything that is morally wrong. Perhaps they could have done some thing more efficiently and been more careful but I have not seen them behave in anything other than what the situation warranted. I think they have done about as well as it was possible under the circumstances. If only the family members behaved as decently.
The virulently racist Frank Wolf has succeeded in pressuring NASA not to allow Chinese scientists to attend a NASA convention due to “national security” concerns. This is the same scumhole once at the heart of the China-gate scandals of the late 90s that saw a return of McCarthyism and yellowperil fanaticism in the media and US gov.
I’m glad to see, however, that scientists are boycotting the ridiculous scaremongering.
During the 19th century, the imperialist British had sold so much opium in China that millions became hooked and the drug dealers profited immensely from the coercive and illegal (under then Chinese laws) trade. Wars between China and the foreign imperialists were started when the Chinese government tried to stop the trade. China was devastated by these wars and the epidemic of opium addiction. They are known and remembered in many Chinese people today as the century of humiliation and foreign exploitation.
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).
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.
After living here for more than 9 months, I have come to a most repugnant conclusion. It pains me to even think about it for I am a Chinese person who has often defended the traditions, institutions, values and dignity of the Children of Heaven. But the truth is often painful at first. I realize now that much of the problems in Chinese society, and a plethora of problems there are, are not from the Chinese government (not a surprise to me since I am a long time China watcher suspicious of the anti government rhetoric of the west). What is surprising is that the myriad problems within Chinese society comes from the behavior, values and the beliefs of its people, a people that with all their traditions of wisdom behave in the most atrocious, despicable manner towards each other today. In a sense, I’d always expected this but were perhaps too proud to admit it and needed first hand experience for verification. Now I cannot escape that basic truth.