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The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped. Hubert Humphrey, Nov. 1, 1977.

• • •

In 1850, when Western nations were the richest on earth, capitalists created the first market economy. By privatizing credit, land, and labor, they allowed human society to be regulated by the market. In 1950, when China was the poorest nation on earth, communists created an organic economy by subordinating credit, land, and labor to the service of society and trusting the government to regulate it. In 2020, after growing twice as fast, China’s economy is overtaking market economies in two important aspects: eliminating poverty and inequality.

• • •

In 2000, the United Nations set six Millennium Development Goals: eliminate extreme poverty, hunger, disease, inadequate shelter, exclusion, and gender bias in education by 2015 and, since then, on Poverty Relief Day, China’s President and Prime Minister, trailed by TV crews, have visited rural villages to remind urbanites what poverty looks like. In 2016, urban poverty disappeared and, by June 1, 2021, rural poverty will follow it and every Chinese in the lower half of the income distribution will own a home[1]. Here we briefly retrace the steps in this remarkable program before meeting the poorest man in a poor village.

In 1993, Shanghai’s successful Minimum Livelihood Guarantee Trial Spot[2] went national as today’s social safety net, dībǎo, which pays the difference between people’s actual income and the ‘dībǎo line,’ set based on local living costs. Though the qualifying process is daunting, the dībǎo gives recipients discretionary money and access to benefits like inexpensive medical insurance.

An ethnic Miao[3] family exemplified rural poverty in 2008. They owned a little adobe house, farmed their tiny plot, sold blood, and did odd jobs to get by. With three children (minorities are exempt from family planning), they were unable to afford furniture so their clothes were folded on the floor and their entertainment was a black-and-white TV. They received a monthly living allowance of two hundred dollars from the local government, the husband’s occasional day jobs earned ten to twenty dollars, and blood-selling brought in another hundred dollars. His wife said this paid for sixty pounds of rice, two packs of salt, a kilo of peppers and a bag of washing powder, electricity and transportation. Their village headman explained, “Our village population is 1,770 and more than two hundred people live on blood-selling. Our land is arid, seven hundred villagers’ homes have no arable land at all and, without a road, they walk three miles for drinking water.”

Rural pensions, introduced in 2009, lowered poverty to fourteen percent then, in 2014, workers’ compensation, maternity benefits, unemployment insurance, skills training and equal access to urban employment reduced it to seven percent.

Next, tens of thousands of anti-poverty teams moved into poor villages to help them join the cash economy by growing mushrooms, planting pear trees, raising mohair goats, or hosting eco-tourists–anything to bring them into the cash economy. By 2018, pinned to the door of every poor household was a laminated sheet listing its occupants, the causes of their poverty, their remediation program, a completion date and the name, photograph and phone number of the responsible official. Corporations pitched in. Foxconn, Apple’s assembler, moved two-hundred thousand jobs inland, Hewlett-Packard moved huge factories to Xinjiang, and Beijing moved entire universities.

But it was infrastructure–roads, railways, Internet and drones–that tipped the scales. By 2019, lives in one-hundred twenty-three thousand poor villages had been transformed by high-speed, low-cost Internet service that made e-commerce, distance education, remote healthcare and delivery of public services possible. Isolated villages soon averaged four daily drone pickups and demand for drone piloting classes exploded as crop-spraying, land surveying, and product delivery made off-farm employment the majority of rural income.

To combat isolation, Congress took $120 billion from vehicle sales tax revenues and built 150,000 miles of new rural roads, one of which reached Mashuping[4], an isolated cliff village on the bank of the Yellow River and one of the poorest in Shaanxi Province. Villagers cultivated apples and Sichuan pepper trees but were forced to sell their produce cheaply to the few dealers who came by motorbike. Then a new five-hundred mile, riverbank highway brought ‘targeted anti-poverty teams’ and now, said a grower, “Our apples sell out when they’re still hanging on the trees”. By 2019, per capita income was twice the national poverty level.

Villages like Liangjiahe, where Xi Jinping grew up, exploit unique niches. Though cabbage fields still line its single road, the canny inhabitants cultivate tourists, charging thousands of visitors eight dollars to hear tales of Xi’s Four Hardships–flea bites, bad food, hard labour, and assimilating into the peasantry. They give three hundred overnight guests a taste of Xi’s boyhood in cave inns decorated with vintage Mao posters and kerosene lanterns and furnished with hard brick beds warmed by earth stoves. “All authentic, of course. We want to protect the Liangjiahe brand image,” a young guide brightly explained.

Dedicated software apps help rural laborers connect with employment opportunities, veterans and disabled folk to find piecework, and young people returning home to start businesses. In one Zhejiang Trial Spot, five hundred villages employ 200,000 locals to promote local products and skills in e-commerce niches where villages have organized into clusters around market towns. By 2019, rural online stores employed thirty-million people, creating an e-commerce market bigger than Europe’s.

Beijing judges anti-poverty programs successful when ninety percent of villagers swear, in writing, that they are no longer poor and after roaming teams of auditors conduct followup studies and send their findings, with videos, to anti-poverty officers. Beijing plans to recoup its entire poverty alleviation investment by 2040, through e-sales taxes.

In 2016 the government shifted ten percent of the equity in the most valuable SOEs[5] into the social security fund and President Xi set a final goal[6], “If we lift ten million rural people out of poverty each year until 2020, the social security system will provide adequate financial support for our twenty-million disabled people.”

Accelerating inland growth has triggered coastal labor shortages and forced employers to automate, raise productivity, and move up the value chain–just as Beijing intended. In 2019, Mentech, a telecom manufacturer in coastal Dongguan, offered regular wages plus $1,100 guaranteed monthly overtime, air-conditioned dorms, free Wi-Fi, and birthday presents. Monthly manufacturing wages averaged $1800 in 2019[7] and overtime, bonuses, company housing and free meals allow workers to send money home. Factory workers are generally young, happy, and carefree, gossiping, flirting, listening to music and–except in large corporations–wearing what they please.

Today, adjusted for productivity, regulations and benefits, Chinese employees cost[8] employers more than their American cousins and barely two percent of them pay taxes.

Until recently, millions of migrant workers who contributed to urban retirement funds could only collect full pensions in their home provinces, and local governments had no money for them when they returned at the end of their working lives. Despite pleas from cash-starved inland provinces, rich coastal provinces clung to multi-billion surpluses so Beijing endowed a trillion-dollar National Pension Insurance Program in 2011 and strong-armed provinces to join and the People’s Daily drummed up support by appealing to national pride, “In developed countries like America–whose Gini index sometimes reaches .41–income disparities are eased through gradually increasing taxation on the wealthy and improving welfare systems to help the poor. China should learn from America’s experience.” In 2014, civil servants and academics joined the national scheme and, in 2019, Beijing issued a billion electronic cards that access personal and medical records, dispense social security benefits, receive government subsidies and reimbursements, and pay bills.

As wealth redistribution becomes a national priority, economists[9] are finding that inequality statistics have been exaggerated because land, housing and food are much cheaper inland–though their quality is identical–and rural incomes have fifty percent more purchasing power than coastal wages.

Adjusted for temporary migration, inequality shrinks even further. Until 2019, economists counted people by where their hukou were registered rather than where they actually lived, so the movement of three hundred million migrant workers distorted statistics severely. In reality, the coastal provinces have millions more migrant residents than their registered populations and the inland provinces have millions less, so a worker moving from the interior to the coast lifts inequality indicators because she contributes to aggregate income at her coastal destination but is still counted as living in her rural home. When analysts corrected[10] the error, they found that regional inequality has been declining by 1.1 percent annually since 1978. In 2002 for example, it took the combined earnings of fourteen Guizhou workers[11] to equal one Shanghainese but, by 2019, the number had dropped to five. Nor is the structural gap as painful as it sounds. Inlanders and their friends got richer every year and, to them, Shanghai’s glitzy lifestyle was no more relevant than Manhattan’s is to folks in Little Rock, AK.

Examining China’s inequalities from a global perspective is enlightening. In 2018, residents of coastal Guangdong Province were five times richer than those in inland Gansu–but Gansu folk were better off than average Armenians or Ukrainians–while residents of wealthy Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Jiangsu not only earned more than the average American but their median savings, $130,000 were higher, too.

Confucian attitudes will help the Great Rebalancing, since everyone knows the Master’s admonition, “The ruler of a state need not worry that his people are poor but that wealth is inequitably distributed for, if wealth is equitably distributed, there is no poverty.”

Gao Village. A Closer Look, by Prof. C.F. Gao

The economy is in such a state that men don’t have enough money to care for elderly parents and support their wives and children. Even in good years their lives are bitter while, in bad years, they struggle to avoid starvation and death. Under those circumstances, how can you expect them to be civil–or even lawful? Mencius, 320 BC.

Who are the poor in Gao Village? How poor are they? Why are they poor?

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It is difficult to talk about these issues regarding the whole village. To start with, there is no institutional set-up to regularly record household or personal incomes. There are no taxes and no tax returns. Agricultural subsidies are distributed to the villagers not according to income, but on the basis of per unit of farming land. Secondly, most Gao Village income is from migrant workers, but hometown authorities have no knowledge of what migrant workers earn far away, all over the country. Local authorities will come up with some guesstimates if and when they are required to provide some statistics for government authorities. Finally, while there is a motivation for the provincial and even county authorities to present an average income figure as high as possible, because that can be a performance index for promotion, there is a motivation for the authorities at the village and village committee level to present the average income figure as low as possible. There are two main reasons for this behavior. Village and village committee officials do not have a promotion issue because they are villagers themselves and will never get promoted anywhere. Another reason for not reporting higher or even real income is that they want to get as many state subsidies as they can, and so the poorer the statistics show their villages to be, the better.

For those reasons, I will present a case study of one individual who is considered one of the poorest, if not the poorest in Gao Village. His name is Gao Renfang, but he is nicknamed Lati.

Gao Lati the Person

Gao Renfang is his official name, but he is usually known as and called by Gao villagers Lati (“one with impetigo”). He does not have impetigo anymore, but he did when he was little. As described in Gao Village, impetigo used to be a common contagious skin infection in the area and many Gao villagers had it, especially men. One Gao villager is simply called cou lati (“an additional person with impetigo”). Another one is even called lantou (“rotten head”) because his head is full of scars. Like many other contagious diseases in Gao Village, this kind of skin disease was eliminated due to improvements in hygiene and health in the general population in the Mao era. Lati is one of two sons of my mother’s elder sister, Jiang Xianhua. The other son, Gao Shihua, usually known as Baoshui, was not born a Gao villager but came to Gao Village from Wan Village with his mother when she married a Gao villager, after her former husband had passed away. Baoshui was a village barefoot doctor, and, as described in Gao Village, was the one who influenced me to become involved in Gao Village clan politics during the Cultural Revolution. Baoshui died of lung cancer in the early 1990s, but is survived by his wife and three children. Lati was 65 years old in 2015 and married with three children, and his wife Yuangui is from Wan Village, where Lati’s mother had her first family. In fact Lati and Yuangui are cousins, a blood relationship so close that their children were born with lower than average health and intelligence.

Marriages arranged between cousins were not uncommon in those days, partly because of the lack of knowledge of the risks involved, but also partly because of economic considerations. When two families of relatives arrange a marriage, it is not necessary to have a go-between to carry out sometimes complex and costly negotiations. As the two families know each other well, matters such as the dowry and gifts of this and that kind can be less difficult to manage. Furthermore, the relationship between the two families can be made closer with a marriage. This is called qin Shang jia qin, meaning to cement old ties by adding a new relative. One of their sons, Zhimin, developed epilepsy early on during childhood and died in his late 205 in 2006. Their daughter Pingping was born with some defect on her face and was considered unmarriageable. My family helped Pingping get a job as a maid to look after my ex-wife’s parents in Xiamen for some years. My ex-wife’s parents, two retired professors at Xiamen University, liked the honest, hardworking, and unassuming Pingping and even helped her to have an operation, which made her look much better. She left Xiamen when she married a man in Xiangshuitan, not very far from Gao Village.

Pingping has a son and a daughter now; a very good ending, apparently. The two retired professors have fond memories of Pingping to this day. Lati’s son Zhihua works as a migrant worker in Xiamen. Lati is considered by the villagers a laoshi ren (“simple and honest person”). The term laoshi ren is difficult to render in English, though the name of Voltaire’s innocent and naive Candide, when translated into Chinese by Fu Lai, was rendered laoshi ren. Lati can be described as a person who is the opposite of “slick and sly,” and is a person who is inarticulate and timid, but hard working. I will give an example as illustration, which not only shows what kind of person Gao Lati is, but also what kind of interactions are possible among the three parties of local governance: the State, the government agent, and the villagers.

An Issue of Dibao for Lati

There are several Gao villagers who are in the category of what is called dibao, which literally translates as “low guarantee” and means the minimum living standard guarantee, a kind of social welfare. Those who are categorized as dibao persons are considered to be poor enough to receive annual government support in cash, the amount of which in 2013 was RMB 1,350. Lati is one of the Gao villagers belonging to the dibao category. In 2013, Lati went to the Yinbaohu Township administration to get his allowance, using his household registration card. For some reason, Lati was given RMB 2,700, two people’s entitlement.

Lati did not ask why he was given that amount, or whether he was given too much by mistake or whether he should pass half of that money to someone else, but he took the money, probably happily. A few weeks later, the then-chairman of the Qinglin Village Committee, a person from Jiang Village, paid Lati a visit, during which he demanded Lati give back RMB 2,000. Naturally Lati would not agree, as it meant he would only retain RMB 700. Chairman Jiang told Lati in no uncertain terms that if Lati did not give him RMB 2,000, he would exclude Lati from dibao in 2014. Confused by the situation and frightened by the threat, Lati complied and Chairman Jiang took the money. During our chat I asked Lati why he gave in like that. Lati said he was afraid of being excluded from dibao and that RMB 700 was better than nothing. Lati did not even dare to ask for a receipt, though I assume even if he did ask he would not get one anyway. In the end, Lati was 650 short of his due, the money that Chairman Jiang took remained unaccountable, and Lati did not receive any payment in 2014. For some reason, I was more angry than Lati after I was retold the story.

I immediately asked my brother Changxian to telephone Xu Congchang, who worked as a social work officer in the Yinbaohu Township government, to see if I could pay him a visit. In fact, I had met Congchang the night before when he came to a celebration dinner for my nephew’s wedding. Congchang and I were good friends back when I was in Gao Village, and we slept near each other on bunk beds when we participated in local militia training together. Later, tons haul; lotned the Chinese navy and we kept correspondence for some years belitre I Iril Gao Village. I walked to Xu Village and talked to Congchang about Lati’s case. Congchang was sympathetic and promised to look into the matter when he returned to work from the Chinese New Year holiday. Before I left Gao Village, I also asked Changxian to telephone Congchang to make sure that the matter had been dealt with. The latest I heard is that Lati is getting paid as a dibao person for the year 2015. As for 2014, the issue is too murky to clarify, I was told. The party secretary of the township government had actually paid Lati a visit to tell him to keep the matter quiet.

Work, Income, and Life

Lati is in poor health, is weak, often coughs due to bronchitis, and has stomach complaints all the time. He hates the cold weather because that makes his cough worse. We used to be next-door neighbors and one thing I remember of Lati as a child is that he was known to have an irresistible desire to eat charcoal, though I had never seen him doing it myself. He used to be a migrant in Guangdong working as a simple mechanic at construction sites. He taught himself how to work on engines during the Mao era, when Gao Village bought an engine pump to pump water from the river to irrigate rice fields. The pump engine would usually run day and night during summer, and Lati was one of those who would stay at the pump station on night duty. Even this kind of simple skill proved useful when he went to Guangdong in the late 1980s. However, as his son Zhimin’s illness got worse, he had to give up his work in Guangdong to go back to Gao Village, with great regret. For one thing, he preferred the warm weather in Guangdong where he felt much healthier, he told me. Now Lati is too old and weak to be a migrant worker.

He and his wife Yuangui work on a little more than six mu of land. Because Lati is weak and in poor health, most of the physically strenuous work is actually done by Yuangui, who is stronger and healthier. Based on the price index in 2014, what Lati and Yuangui produced was priced about RMB 15,000. Supposing that both of them spent 200 days in a year working in the field, each would earn only RMB 37.5 a day. They probably spend less than 200 days a year working on a little more than six mu of land, but their daily earning would not be more than RMB 5o a day. However, this income is considerably higher than the official poverty line of RMB 2,30o a year, which is set by the Chinese government. Lati and Yuangui have an income of RMB 15,00o a year, which does not include the hidden income that is not calculated. First of all, this income does not include the pigs and chickens that they raise at home. Nor does it include the vegetables they grow for their own consumption. Secondly, they do occasionally earn cash from work in and around Gao Village. For instance, starting in 2015, Lati earned RMB 1,500 a year by collecting rubbish along the main road running through Gao Village.

In 2011 when I visited Gao Village, Lati was still fit enough to work at Gao Wenshu’s construction site for about RMB 100 a day plus a pack of cigarettes. Nowadays, Lati is too weak to do that but Yuangui actually still earns some money from this kind of work in Gao Village, as there is always some construction going on in the village. Lati’s son Zhihua is a migrant worker in Xiamen and now earns RMB 4,000 a month. According to Lati, his son only gives him a few hundred RMB a year. During the 2015 Chinese New Year, Zhihua came home for the festival and left RMB 600 for his parents before he left again for Xiamen. For Lati and Yuangui, this was not only disappointing but worrying. They thought, Zhihua earns a lot, so where is the money? If Zhihua could save up to build a house or for his own marriage, that would be great. But who knows what young people do these days?

When I visited Lati a couple of times in 2015, there was no evidence of lack of food. In fact, the leftovers on the dinner table were good food, like pork, fish, and tofu. When we sat down in the sun in front of Lati’s house, other villagers came along and we were treated with peanuts and tea. The peanuts tasted nice but were commercial ones they had bought from a shop. Lati ran around on an electric motorbike, which was very convenient and easy to use. His clothes—leather shoes, wool-like lined trousers, and an imitation leather jacket, which all appeared new—were more fashionable than those that Yuangui wore. Lati was proud to show me the lining of his trousers, but I guessed it was not real wool, although it still seemed to be warm enough. On the other hand, Yuangui’s shoes, trousers, and jacket were obviously made by herself. Lati told me that his jacket, trousers, and shoes were gifts from his daughter Pingping.

What Does It Mean to be Poor?

During one of those many informal chats when Gao villagers came to see me, one after another, my brother Changxian loudly proclaimed that there were no poor people in Gao Village, a statement concurred with by the other villagers present, including Lati, who said that life was infinitely better now in terms of food and clothing. There were only those who were better off versus those worse off, Changxian further commented, worse off either due to illness or laziness.

Changxian gave an example of one young Gao villager who could earn a few thousand a month and thus save up to start a family. It turned out that the young man would stop work after a couple of months and spend all the money on who knows what, before he would have to look for work again. I did try to talk to this young man but he was reticent and the only relevant information I got out of him was that work was too boring. All the same, this young man was an exception in Gao Village and even he left for Guangdong to look for work a couple of weeks after the Chinese New Year. He said goodbye to me, and added that it was too boring to stay any longer in Gao Village.

How poor is Lati then? For the Gao villagers, the fact that you are not poor is indicated by two accomplishments: that you have built a house that is up to the current standard, and that your son or sons are properly married. Girls are never an issue in rural China these days, for they can always get married. One of the consequences of the post-Mao family planning policies is that there is a huge imbalance between genders, with males far outnumbering females. In other words, the circumstances are such that almost any woman has the luxury of choice when it comes to choosing a husband. In contrast, in urban China there is a sociological phenomenon called shengna (leftover women), meaning women who remain unmarried after the age of 27.

The fact that there are women who remain unmarried in urban China can be explained in a number of ways. One is that there is in general no gender imbalance in urban China. In fact, it is possible that, if anything, there might be more females than males in the cities. This is the case because there is virtually no gender discrimination in urban centers like Beijing or Shanghai, where people would not even think of aborting a child because it is a girl. This lack of discrimination in urban centers has nothing to do with them having a higher quality of people (the so-called suzhi), as some Chinese intellectual elite would like to claim, but can be attributed to two main facts. The first fact is that away from clan villages and lineage traditions, urbanites don’t have the peer pressure or traditional value of having the male to carry on the family line.

The second fact, which is more powerful in influencing changing mentality, is that urban people have had a better welfare system for a long time, ever since the Mao era. Parents do not need, as rural people do, a son to stay with them and look after them when they are old, since they are looked after by the State. Another reason why more urban women remain unmarried is that women, for reasons that are too complex to discuss here, are not supposed to marry men whose social status is lower than theirs. A female university graduate would not marry a non-tertiary educated male; a woman with a doctorate degree would not likely seek a man without a postgraduate degree.

Most of all, and most definitely, an urban woman would not marry a migrant worker from rural China. The wall that has divided the urban and rural has never been higher. In many ways it is like a caste system. In any case, Lati and Yuangui have not accomplished either of the two achievements that is evidence of success and symbolic of not being poor. Even though their daughter has married, their surviving son Zhihua is still single at the age of 37. Every year, one of the main reasons that Lati and Yuangui want their son to come back to Gao Village during the Chinese New Year is to help him find a marriage partner. In 2015 when I was there, Zhihua was arranged to meet two women in nearby villages; however, Zhihua failed in securing a partner. They had wasted RMB 400 on the go-between, Lati complained. I was curious to know why Zhihua had failed in getting a marriage partner, as he was reasonably good looking and earned RMB 4,000 a month, which was not too bad for a rural villager in current China. Several reasons were offered.

One was that the Lati family did not have an impressive house to show, and this was of course known around the area. They had started to build a house but the project was stopped due to lack of money, as a result of Zhimin’s illness and Lati not being an earning migrant worker in Guangdong anymore. The second floor of the house has been left unfinished and they do not have the money to decorate either the interior or the exterior of the house. Compared to the other beautifully decorated and imposingly big houses in Gao Village, the description of which is in the next chapter, this decent and adequate, though not luxurious, house looks an eyesore. Another reason offered was that Zhihua is another laoshi ren, like his father: inarticulate, timid, and simple. Zhihua would not know how to start a conversation, especially among strangers. He would appear nervous in this kind of situation. This weak point was especially damaging in Zhihua’s prospect of looking for a female partner, because these days even rural young women would have had a few years of education and would have “seen the world” as they are also migrant workers. They would not start a relationship with a man if they were not attracted to him in the first instance.

This lack of attractive personality is made worse in regard to Zhihua’s prospect of finding a marriage partner by the fact that there are so many men looking for female partners. Lati could see the situation clearly. The second woman that Zhihua met during the 2015 Chinese New Year actually was a divorced woman with a child. For Lati and Zhihua, to agree to meet a woman of these circumstances was already a concession on their part. For a long time in Gao Village, according to traditional values, a divorced women was considered to be second rate for marriage, and in the mind of some even today, a breakdown of marriage is always the fault of women, just as it is considered to be the fault of the wife if she does not give birth to a son. Of course, that kind of attitude and value is eroding in China, but Lati indicated that he had lowered his standard in agreeing that his son meet a divorced woman with a child. Alas, the problem was his; on the day when Zhihua met that woman, five other men were lining up to meet her, as Chinese New Year is the time when young migrant workers return to their home villages to get married or to look for marriage partners.

Why Is Lati’s Family Poor?

Apart from the fact that he is weak and always sick, which reduces the chance of making more income on the one hand and incurs a considerable medical cost on the other, another reason is that his son Zhimin’s epilepsy meant that not only could he not make an income like other young men in the village, but he also incurred significant medical costs also. Furthermore, Zhimin’s illness meant that Lati, who could have made some money as a migrant worker for a few more years, was unable to do so. Yet another reason why the family was poor, Lati pointed out to me, was that as Zhihua was single, the family had lost income from another able person. If he had a daughter-in-law, she would work as a migrant worker earning something like RMB 3,000-4,000 a month for the family. According to Lati, his family was caught in a conundrum: unless he has a good house ready, no girl will marry his son, but he is not able to build a house unless there is additional income.

Underlining all these reasons is the fact that farming does not make enough income; not enough to get married, not enough to build a house. All the successful households in the Gao Village area are successful because of additional income from sources and work other than farming. Farming can yield you enough to eat, maybe to clothe oneself, but not enough to build the best house possible.

Conclusion

In this chapter, I have discussed the life of an individual, Gao Lati, and his family, to illustrate what it is to be poor in Gao Village. There are several conclusions that can be drawn from the personal life of Lati. The first one is that, in terms of income, the poor in Gao Village are still considered to be above both the World Bank’s and the Chinese government’s official poverty line. From what I can observe, this seems to be the case in the Gao Village area and in the whole of Poyang County, which is classified as one of the poor counties by the provincial authorities of Jiangxi, which itself is considered a second-tier and backward agricultural province without much industry.

There is also some anecdotal evidence that Gao Village is certainly not among the poorest in China. During the 2015 Chinese New Year, I encountered a very pretty and articulate young mother of a six-year-old child, a daughter-in-law of a Gao villager, who looked like a university student. She was from Hubei Province and worked in Hainan, but traveled back to Gao Village every Chinese New Year to see her child, who had been left behind with the grandparents. She said she liked Gao Village, much better than her home village in Hubei. She spoke perfect Mandarin and, of course, her hometown language, but also the Gao Village dialect. When she heard that I was living in Australia, she said the company where she worked produced massage armchairs that were even exported to Australia. The fact that such an able woman finds Gao Village better than her hometown is an indication that Gao Village is certainly not the poorest in China. Furthermore, two Gao Village women divorced their husbands after they had visited their husbands’ hometowns.

One man was from Hubei and the other from Sichuan. Why did the two Gao Village women want to divorce them? “Tamen tiaojian tai cha” (“their conditions are too bad”), they told me. The second conclusion is that the rural sector is still at the bottom end of Chinese society and farming, or at least household farming, is at the very end of the bottom. Gao Villagers have only recently started to enjoy some kind of welfare in terms of education, health care, and retirement, which the urban sector has taken for granted since the Mao era. The fact that there are no longer any taxes on agriculture, and that instead there are subsidies, is a great improvement for rural people.

However, the cessation of taxes and introduction of subsidies are still not enough for farmers to make a living. The villagers have to rely on earnings from migrant workers. Further evidence of the rural sector being at the very bottom end of Chinese society is the fact that even the urban unemployed would not be willing to work as a migrant worker. These days, migrant workers from rural China do not just work in foreign-owned companies such as Apple or Foxconn. State-owned Chinese firms and enterprises employ migrant workers from rural China to do the most strenuous work with the lowest pay, keeping better pay and better conditions for the urban registered workers.

The third conclusion is that the conceptualization of poverty is not something that can be taken for granted. For Gao villagers, currently what is poor is defined by the inability to build a house that is up to the current standard, and to get the family’s son or sons properly married. China may still be considered a developing country, but daily necessities such as basic food and shelter are no longer the main and only aims and purpose of life for most people, even the poorest in Gao Village.

Finally, the story of Gao Lati is relevant to the issue of the GDP in China. There have long been debates of whether China’s GDP is overestimated or under-reported. In scientific terms, there are certainly inaccuracies in the Chinese government statistics. This case study of Gao Village suggests there is no systematic record of incomes or GDP at the grass roots level in the rural sector.

The evidence from my study here seems to suggest that the GDP in the rural sector is under-reported. To what extent and in what way this has an effect on the aggregated county, and then provincial statistics, is beyond the inquiry of this book. Amazon: Gao Village Revisited. [Reprinted here by express permission of Prof. Gao].

Godfree publishes Here Comes China, a weekly newsletter of informed news and opinion.

<strong>Notes</strong>

[1] How People In China Afford Their Outrageously Expensive Homes, by Wade Shepard. Forbes, Mar 30, 2016

[2] Most legislation begins as a challenge to provincial administrators to find local solutions to national problems. They do so by creating Trial Spots, experimental programs to demonstrate their creativity, competence, and fitness for promotion. Currently there are thousands of Trial Spots underway addressing problems ranging from childhood obesity to vandalism.

[3] Blood Selling Tells Bitter Story of Poverty in China. Xinhua. 2010-09-22

[4] China’s iconic revolutionary base Yan’an bids farewell to poverty. Xinhua. 2019-05-07

[5] One quarter of the world’s most profitable corporations–mostly banks and insurance companies–are State Owned Enterprises, SOEs.

[6] In 2018 he set the goal of reducing inequality to world-leading levels–below Finland’s–by 2035.

[7] Wages in Manufacturing in China. Trading Economics. Adjusted for purchasing power parity.

[8] Oxford Economics, quoted in ‘Made in China’ labor is not actually that cheap. by Sophia Yan CNN. March 17, 2016

[9] Spatial Price Differences and Inequality in the People’s Republic of China: Housing Market Evidence,” Chao Li & John Gibson, 2014. ”Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 31(1), pages 92-120, March.

[10] Regional Inequality in China allowing for Spatial Cost-of-Living Differences: Evidence from a Hedonic Analysis of Apartment Prices. Chao Li, John Gibson. IDEAS.

[11] China’s Got a $46,000 Wealth Gap Problem. Bloomberg News. May 21, 2018

 
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  1. Andrei says:

    There’s another thing about the Chinese system. The CCP can rein in capitalism and inequality at any time, because the party is stronger than the capitalist class and the top capitalists are always monitored by the Secret Services so as not to gang up against the state. In Western countries, capitalists are stronger than the state, so if the state were to try and move against them (confiscate their wealth or try to push some truly substantial taxation), the capitalists would be able to topple the state before that happened.

    This is why capitalists love electoral-style “democracy”: it pits different parties against each other, and if one of them tries to go after them, the capitalists back the other with money and media influence.

  2. Anonymous[852] • Disclaimer says:

    The people who *REALLY* run the west – behind the curtains of the political Punch and Judy Show – that is the Davos Crowd, the Globalists, The Economist Magazine etc, really honestly *DO NOT GIVE A SHIT* about income equality, grinding poverty etc.

    In fact, they love it – more servants, more cheap prostitutes etc etc.

    • Agree: HeebHunter, Alfred, Ugetit
    • Replies: @anon
  3. A former merchant of quack ED medicine made from ground up turtle pills just made $50 billion from his bottled water company, so I think China still has room to improve

  4. @Andrei

    The CCP are the capitalists at the top; the monopoly capitalists. Many of them are connected to the gang that seized power after the death of Mao. They were on the ground floor when the U.S. during the time of Nixon began transferring western technology to spark Chinese development.

    Like all monopoly capitalists their objective is to control the other 99% and their capitalist opportunities. That is why their is no real permanent property ownership and that is why the cities are being set up with the Social Credit Score system of total surveillance and control. Can’t have the livestock running around loose. Monopoly capitalism always requires government collusion.

  5. Andrei says:
    @mark tapley

    This is just Trotskyist or anarchist sophistry. In any society you will have people required to lead, people more capable than the rest. And of course there will be some measure of abuse of that power. The question is whether the rulers’ decisions benefit society as a whole and you have plenty of concrete, factual arguments in this article alone to answer that.

    Unlike the capitalist class, which doesn’t really answer to anyone (even the laws are written by them to benefit them) the state apparatus is implicitly responsible for anything that goes wrong. There is no such thing as “state capitalism”. Either the state rules capitalists, or the capitalists rule the state.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts, Miro23, xcd
    • Replies: @mark tapley
    , @Realist
    , @anon
  6. PJ London says:

    “People who live at subsistence level want first things to be put first. They are not particularly interested in freedom of religion, freedom of the press, free enterprise as we understand it, or the secret ballot. Their needs are more basic: land, tools, fertilizers, something better than rags for their children, houses to replace their shacks, freedom from police oppression, medical attention, primary schools.”
    ― Mao Tse-tung, Mao Tse-Tung On Guerrilla Warfare

    “There are two principles here: one is the actual needs of the masses rather than what we fancy they need, and the other is the wishes of the masses, who must make up their own minds instead of our making up their minds for them.”
    ― Mao Tse-tung

    The people of the west see societies through their lenses and cannot conceive of alternative viewpoints.

    Then complain that Africa, Arabia and Asia are barbaric.

    Whereas, other societies see theWest as shallow, selfish and materialistic.

  7. @PJ London

    Is Mao really that different than Maslov?

    • Replies: @PJ London
    , @Ugetit
  8. PJ London says:
    @Curmudgeon

    No but the idealistic, opinionated critics who live in ivory towers, far removed from the realities of work-a-day people, need reminding.
    As do those numpties that believe all the nonsense the critics write.
    How many times do the professors tell you that what the poor down-trodden blacks really need is …..

    • Agree: Curmudgeon
  9. In the figure about home ownership, it seems the caption below the left-hand barchart should be “*above* median income”, or else I don’t understand why ownership for that income bracket is higher than for the general population. If it is the effect of di1bao3 or some other state intervention, an explanation would be welcome.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @Ron Unz
  10. @Andrei

    Who do the thugs ruling China answer too? No one but their own criminal cartel, just like in Mao’s great leap forward that caused the deaths of 60 million. Every tyrant uses the excuse of benefiting society when in fact the only ones they are benefiting are themselves and their cronies. Who decides what benefits society? Did the one child rule that caused the deaths of millions of innocent children benefit society? Did the starvation of 60 million resulting from the edict of an ignorant despot benefit society. I recommend you read the book by Mao’s personal physician for over 20 years “The Personal Life of Chairman Mao.” and “Mao’s Great Famine.”

    Government will never limit itself. As Jefferson said “let us hear no more own confidence in men, but bind them down with the chains of the Constitution.” When you have big gov,. you have big corruption. China has both. The power of government must be limited by the rule of law. You go on about capitalists, but everyone is a capitalist. The issue is whether it is free market capitalism that benefits everyone with the fruits of their labor in the elaborate mechanism of individual actions or whether it is monopoly capitalism (socialism) that is a racket run in collusion with the government for the benefit of the elite.

    If the thugs holding power in China really want to benefit society rather just aggrandize more power at the top then they should all step down and allow the people to set up a real republic with all the different regions having real representation. Property rights and contracts have to be enforced and the government’s power to invade the lives of the people in warrantless intrusions and spying must cease. The Thugs that run China are not installing the Social Credit System for nothing. Property rights are not limited for no reason and the self determination of the people of Hong Kong has not been trampled on for the social good but as another example of the abuse of power from the thugs at the top.

  11. @mark tapley

    Complete nonsense.

    This entire article contradicts your claims and for which there is no evidence.

    • Disagree: neutral
    • Replies: @Jazman
  12. @Jean-Marie L.

    In the figure about home ownership, it seems the caption below the left-hand bar chart should be “*above* median income”, or else I don’t understand why ownership for that income bracket is higher than for the general population.

    Ownership for that income bracket is higher than for the general population because the government of China is Communist.

  13. Who do the thugs ruling China answer too?

    They answer to Congress.

    No one but their own criminal cartel, just like in Mao’s great leap forward that caused the deaths of 60 million. I recommend you read the book by Mao’s personal physician for over 20 years “The Personal Life of Chairman Mao.” and “Mao’s Great Famine.”

    I recommend you read some actual history, rather than fantasy, starting here: https://www.unz.com/article/mao-reconsidered-part-two-whose-famine/
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSwu9_UuXVgGipDwApCnGcZVlbgWXeFSRwbMQyevSpJmr_yLzp3vBL5hXPZdVGfgv41jsUj3LUkroKN/pub

    Who decides what benefits society? Did the one child rule that caused the deaths of millions of innocent children benefit society? Two-thirds of Chinese decide what benefits society. Not just two-thirds of an invisible oligarchy, or two-thirds of officials, but two-thirds of 1.4 billion people based on surveys, and voted on by two-thirds of Congress. That’s how they handle legislation and this is the result:

    When you have big gov, you have big corruption. China has both. I can see evidence for that in the USA, but not in China. What evidence have you seen?

    If the thugs holding power in China really want to benefit society rather just aggrandize more power at the top then they should all step down and allow the people to set up a real republic with all the different regions having real representation. Property rights and contracts have to be enforced and the government’s power to invade the lives of the people in warrantless intrusions and spying must cease

    . You’ve described the USA, a failing state, not China.

    The Thugs that run China are not installing the Social Credit System for nothing.

    Correctamento! They’re installing it because two-third of people there want it. Ask your Chinese friends to explain why or, if you have none, think how pleasant our lives would be if we and the cops didn’t have to deal with assholes all the time.

    Property rights are not limited for no reason and the self determination of the people of Hong Kong has not been trampled on for the social good but as another example of the abuse of power from the thugs at the top.

    Hong Kong is the most expensive housing market in the world, the most expensive healthcare market in Asia–second only to the US–and the most expensive education system in the world. Hong Kong parents spend three times global average on education.

    More than 1.4 million people were living below the poverty line in Hong Kong in 2018. The city’s poverty rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 20.4 per cent, the second highest since records began in 2009. Within the last 25 years, Hong Kong’s middle class shrank to about 10% of the population while gross domestic product grew by 26 per cent. The average household income of the top 10 per cent of the population increased by 21 per cent, to HK$104,900 a month, according to Hong Kong Census and Statistics Bureau.

    Within one generation, 20% of HKers fell below the poverty line, despite rapid overall economic growth. Hong Kong: 20% of residents live in poverty And this is not counting the invisible bottom rung – the ~ 400,000 “domestic helpers”, aka foreign servants, who are not allowed to live independently but must lodge inside their employers apartments, and are allowed only one day a week off-work. Incomes for the lowest-earning 10 per cent of households dropped by HK$100, to an average of HK$2,500 in 2010. And the 80 per cent of the population in between saw their incomes grow only marginally, well below the 14 per cent increase in the Consumer Price Index.

  14. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    … ~ 400,000 “domestic helpers”, aka foreign servants, who are not allowed to live independently but must lodge inside their employers apartments…

    Not sure about the “not allowed” part. Rather, I thought that the employer must make that available or the city would face ghettos with foreign domestic staff living 10/room in squalor. Simply, there’s nowhere near the available housing for 400k extras. HK can’t house its own.

    You probably know that in order to build/start a factory in China, the employer had to make available accommodation for the staff. Most of the workers had migrated from a town or village in the hinterlands and would have had to be accommodated in the local rental market. As that didn’t yet exist in most places, and to keep exploitation by landlords at bay, factories had/have to supply accommodation themselves. No suitable dormitory, no license to operate.

    Dormitories had to be built to the standards set by the local labour dept. No luxury to be sure, but in most cases significantly better than whatever accommodation the worker may have had at home in their villages. That’s how China avoided the shanty towns that mar many other cities in the developing world.

    • Thanks: Godfree Roberts, Iris
    • Replies: @xcd
    , @showmethereal
  15. @Godfree Roberts

    China has been built up starting in the late 70’s by massive investment of U.S. Fortune 500 companies. This really got going in the 90’s and we know that the Clinton ad. transferred lots of technologies to the Chinese. Soros (Swartz Gyorgy) said that “China is the economic engine of the NWO.” David Rockefeller even wrote the obituary for Mao in the 70’s in The New York Times, saying that “his grand social experiment was a great success. ” The fact that approximately 60 million people died of starvation was of no consequence to the elites. To get a picture of how the mind of a totally corrupt degenerate despot works I recommend everyone read “The Private Life of Chairman Mao” written by his long time personal physician. Mao had no more concern for the people of China than he would stepping on a bug. While millions of people were starving in the communist utopia of the “Great Leap Forward”, the sybaritic tyrant Mao had every type of delicacy cultivated in his private gardens. Thats the way communism works. We see the same thing with the hierarchy of the entirely Zionist manufactured Soviet Union with Stalin and his cronies who while they were murdering and starving millions, lived in lavish dachas and had private zoos. China has been built up as was the Soviet Union and will be used in the Zionist plan just as was the USSR.

    You mention a Congress representing the will of the people. Was the peoples will being expressed in the one child policy that wrecked the domestic culture of the country resulting in the deaths of millions of infant girls. China is still adjusting from this Great leap also. No one but a bunch of communist thugs would come up with something this hideous when the population would naturally decrease as it has everywhere else as people have moved out of subsistence farming

    That brings up the issue property. The best indicator of the true prosperity of a society is how well property rights and contracts are enforced. In china they follow rule no. 1 of Marx (Moses Mordecai Levy) Manifesto which calls for the abolition of all private property. The thugs that rule China keep a tight grip on property rights because they all know that property ownership and perpetual inheritance are the true hallmarks of a free people. Look at California. There are large suburban areas of Chinese immigrants who have left the Chinese paradise and come to the U.S. for that very reason. The graft you show is just more socialist propaganda. Governments produce nothing but merely redistribute the fruits of production (like China’s shoddy construction and empty cities) while wasting much of it in bureaucracy, and cronyism. The best way for all governments to help the great mass of people would be to leave them alone.

    Where is all that representation when it comes to the Chinese of Hong Kong? They are overwhelmingly opposed to uniting with the Mainland. You refer to the problems in Hong Kong but the biggest problem over many years other than interference from the power hungry mainland dictators has been the constant influx of people to Hong Kong from the mainland. If Hong Kong were so bad why has this been the case? Everything is carefully censored on the mainland but that has not been the case in Hong Kong. Why is that? People filming and doing documentaries in China are well aware of the censorship and restrictions by the government.

    In China’s long history of mainly impoverished struggle for all but the elite there had never been a culture of republican limited government and individual liberty until recent times because of some exposure to the west. Now the global Zionist syndicate is tightening it’s grip everywhere, but china is leading the pack and is the model for the NWO. The Social Credit Score system of total surveillance and control with face recognition capability is in use now in Chinese Cities. If someone so much as crosses the street wrong they will be alerted and fined immediately. This is not enlightened representation but the dystopian lion’s paw of the new age of high tech feudalism.

  16. TKK says:
    @mark tapley

    Mr. Roberts does not entertain any criticism, no matter how mild, of the CCP.

    To aggressively hamfist an idea of of 1.4 billion people living in blissful utopia—where around 500 million people, or 40 percent of the population within China, survive on $5.50 per day or less—is insulting to the Unz reader.

    His flagrant bias and unwavering propaganda to cheerlead the CCP erases any credibility or authority he has when analyzing the vast world that is China.

    • Troll: Godfree Roberts, Alfred
    • Replies: @Alfred
    , @TKK
    , @mark tapley
  17. Anon[260] • Disclaimer says:

    In 2019, Mentech, a telecom manufacturer in coastal Dongguan, offered regular wages plus $1,100 guaranteed monthly overtime, air-conditioned dorms, free Wi-Fi, and birthday presents. Monthly manufacturing wages averaged $1800 in 2019[7] and overtime, bonuses, company housing and free meals allow workers to send money home.

    Are these amounts in RMB or US Dollar?

    How much does a college graduate, computer science major in a first or second tier city make fresh out of college if they work for a company like Microsoft, JP Morgan, Tencent or Alibaba? How about 10 or 20 years out? I read that the president of China makes only $26k a year, which begs the question, how does an average professional in China make enough money to send their kid(s) to college in the US, or could come up with $1M for an EB-5 investor visa? Yet everywhere I look in the West Coast, I see and hear China people. I suspect many are living here on tourist visas.

    I think the 4m Chinese in the US is a gross under count. Their true number is probably 5 to 10x larger. It seems as soon as they can afford it, they leave China for greener pastures.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  18. @Godfree Roberts

    I agree with Mark Tapley, and just because what he said isn’t represented in you’re article, does not prove him wrong. I mean you are biased by you’re own article as it represents your point of view does it not?
    China, ruled by rich totalitarian oligarchs, the U.S., ruled by rich puppet master oligarchs, however we do have a Constitution, however weakened it has become, which keeps some restraint on rich would be totalitarian oligarchs in the U.S.,
    who at least have to put up the veneer that the average American citizen has certain freedoms and rights, although that veneer is quickly dropping as proven since Trump was elected.
    You can write article after article, like Larry Romanoff, Unz’s resident pro China propagandist, revelling in the communist / socialist wonders of the great tiger China. But we still don’t want your damn communism / socialism.

  19. @mark tapley

    I’m out of agree buttons, but I’m in complete agreement with you. Both your comments were excellent, Roberts is trying to sell us on China being the great new society of the future. He can razzle dazzle us with all the stats, charts and graphs he wants, I’m not buying his b.s.!
    If the Chinese people like it, great, good for them! But Americans / western Europeans are not Chinese. How many wars have we fought both hot and cold to stop totalitarian communist regimes over the past century?

    • Thanks: mark tapley
    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Biff
    , @Ugetit
    , @denk
  20. Waiting for DoD and State Department shills to chime in with childish insults lol 😂

    This is a divine and rightous development. May the subhuman ideologies of the 18th and 19th century die for good.

  21. @mark tapley

    You haven’t the slightest idea what you’re on about.

    The quickest way to ruin your dynastic business is to get involved with the Communist Party directly. As you climb the ladder, you will have to dismantle your corporation by nationalizing components of it as proof of loyalty, ruin its productivity (and your own dynasty’s security in said business) by nepotism, or get wrung dry in Guanxi (关系) relationship-building in order to get promoted. There is a particular disaffection with the hereditary nomenklatura (Descendants of the Eighth Route Army commanders) towards businessmen of any stripe — and the upper echelons wouldn’t allow a merchant into their midst. Confucian caste rules still apply there. CCP are the mandarins. The Mandarins skim off the top through taxation, but the Ming would behead them if they ever played a role in direct mercantile activity. Same rules apply now.

    My father-in-law had political ambitions in the early 70s when Zhou Enlai was the Big Man and was eager to bring the Manchus and Inner Mongolians in as military-industrial elite. Inheriting the “Directorship” (read: Hereditary Right) of a large mining operation was unacceptable for ascending in the Cadre. His choice was clear: Ascend the ladder fast and ride the political Tiger by trading the sinecure, or remain content as a very rich, very safe man in upper Manchuria. He chose the latter.

    The mercantile class and the globalists have the Jiusan Society as their political wing. It is subsidiary to the CCP, but exerts a fair amount of pressure by effectively bribing politburo members to advocate on their behalf. Same playbook as the internationalists in the West, but with minimized effects. You go against the party will too many times — a “corruption scandal” materializes, and you are shot in a ditch after a speedy show trial like Gang Yong.

  22. frankie p says:
    @Andrei

    Trump has said a number of times that the fact that Americans and their health insurance providers, be they private or Medicare/Medicaid or paid out of pocket, should pay for medicines at the rate of the lowest cost of any foreign single payer health insurance system. He even convened a meeting for the CEOs of all the American Big Pharma companies to discuss this issue. NOBODY CAME! Not one CEO answered the call from the President of the United States. The corporate capitalists and their big finance brothers run the shit show in the US and the west in general. The government MUST rein in the corporatocracy for the good of the grass roots.

    The four categories of the people (四民) was an occupation classification used in ancient China by either Confucian or Legalist scholars as far back as the late Zhou dynasty and is considered a central part of the fengjian social structure (c. 1046–256 BC). These were the shi (gentry scholars), the nong (peasant farmers), the gong (artisans and craftsmen), and the shang (merchants and traders). History has recorded them in this order.

    The categorization was sorted according to the principle of economic usefulness to state and society, that those who used mind rather than muscle (scholars) were placed first, with farmers, seen as the primary creators of wealth, placed next, followed by artisans, and finally merchants who were seen as a social disturbance for excessive accumulation of wealth or erratic fluctuation of prices.

  23. Tor597 says:
    @mark tapley

    This is just a bunch of concern trolling propaganda.

    1) To say that China, when it was at its weakest and most impoverished, trampled on the rights of its people is not the point. America did the same thing.

    The fact is from that point forward China has become more egalitarian and individual rights of people at the very bottom has increased as poverty has gone down.

    This is the opposite of what we see in the west.

    2) You admit that there is now a culture of limited government and individual liberty in China, but only lol because of pressure from the west.

    This is ludicrous. As China has become more prosperous, it has increased rights and representation of it people independent of what the west wants.

    What the west fears the most is living standards of the poorest people in China improving along with their rights increasing because this makes the west look bad since they are moving in the opposite direction.

    3) You cite property rights of HK, but why should China lose land because the west is sponsoring color revolutions? Do you think America would tolerate this?

    I will take you seriously when you also are concerned about Catalonian rights, Irish rights, Aboriginal rights etc etc.

    4) You are holding China to a standard no other country would pass.

    Tell me, which country passes your standards for freedom and liberty? America?

    5) To say that China is leading the NWO is projection. China along with Russia and Iran are the only countries left righting off the globalist one world order lead by America and not China.

  24. frankie p says:
    @mark tapley

    The more that you speak and write, the more evidence you give that the Chinese under the control of the Communist Party have the ability to change and improve their systems; they are a flexible, responding party, and they have made countless changes that have benefited the people of China. You throw out examples from decades ago. The Great Leap Forward, The Cultural Revolution, The Anti-Rightist Campaigns are all ANCIENT history. The books you mention, which sit on my bookshelf, are testaments to a past time, a time of the cult of personality, and yes, the excesses were terrible.

    Your insistence on ignoring the positive developments wrought by the policies of the CCP in the past 30 to 40 years smacks of a child sticking fingers in the ears and saying “Na, na, na, na, na, na.”

    Who decides what benefits society? Good question. I guess everyone can make a judgement, and I too, can judge as I do, by outcomes for the common man. China is succeeding wildly in this, and my country, the US, is failing miserably. Look at the plank in your own eye and stop focusing on the speck in the eye of the CCP. Stop your unhinged libertarian ranting and realize that different governments and systems DO result in different outcomes for the people. Realize that for many common Chinese, the Social Credit System protects them from unscrupulous businessmen who tend to rip off the people. Do I support the Social Credit System? No! Look for it soon in the west, as those who don’t behave correctly and agree to the Gates digital ink vaccine will not be permitted to fly. What do we have in the US to protect us from the predators who suck the blood from our people through usury, consumerism, pornography, Hollywood shit, and opiod addiction?

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts, Tor597
  25. @mark tapley

    Lol, even more sophistry. The (((west))) is worst than every single instance you listed.

  26. @mark tapley

    Well, this state department shill is much more educated than those employed by the alphabet soups, I admit.
    But still the same old same old of muh freedumb, muh investment in China, which is hilariously ironic when you just think about it for 5 seconds. It would dimiss everything that comes after.

    Look, we all know your lot really wants a world war with the Chinese, hmmh. But street gangs, trannies, liberals do not make an army, mmkay?

    You might want to reverse your course of development first. Oh wait, that would make you become evil chyna!

    • Agree: Ghan-buri-Ghan, Tor597, xcd
    • Troll: Biff
    • Replies: @Biff
  27. slorter says:
    @mark tapley

    Good article ! Lots to look at for reference!

  28. @mark tapley

    The following is my discussion with someone on another forum some years ago:

    [MORE]

    .

    {[*Bar the Chinese themselves of course, who ran the second biggest war in history by deaths with foreigners only in a supporting role. Taking a port or two and demanding free trade by brute force vs twenty million dead.]
    .
    So, which is this “second biggest war in history by deaths”? Are you trying to make up something?
    .
    [Not at all. Taiping Rebellion.]
    .
    Thanks! Those are EXACTLY the words I wanted you to say.
    .
    As I said before, though not a history buff, I do pay attention to some important historic events and Taiping Rebellion is one of them. As I understand, the power of each sides in that struggle were very close– Perhaps with a small advantage with the revolutionaries. That was one reason why the struggle was so bitter and casualty so high.
    .
    The Taiping armies were closing in and they managed to take Tianjin and was poised to take Peking. It could well have been the end of the Qing dynasty there and then– Until the imperialist West saw that they were better off with the Qing than with a new revolutionary regime, which most likely would not be accommodating to the imperialistic designs of the Western powers.
    .
    The intervention by the imperialist powers, with their superior weapons and modern fighting methods, proved decisive and the revolution was put down.
    .
    Now, if there were NO imperialist intervention in that struggle, the Taiping armies would most likely have won the struggle. Then China would not have to go through decades more of the corrupt Qing rule. There would not have been a Warlord period either because the country would have been ruled by a single revolutionary government.
    .
    With a Taiping government in place, China would have started industrializing then and would be able to withstand the Japanese invasion, which came later, far better– Both because of higher industrialization and a united political establishment and would not have opposing forces of KMT and CCP fighting each other, instead of the enemy.
    .
    Without the KMT and CCP, China would not have another civil war. Without that, China would not have Mao and his GLF and CR.
    .
    With this single intervention against the Taiping, the West had prolonged all the above sufferings in China. And if you add the extra deaths together, it would be well over 100 millions people. And instead of blaming the West that gave rise to them, you blame the Chinese (the actual victims of that Western act) instead. Well, all I want to say is that you people are no different from the Japanese militarists– And that also explain why you are on their side today.
    .
    Oh, I forgot. The Taiping would have make China a Christian– or at least a pseudo-Christian– country too.}

    • Agree: HeebHunter, xcd
    • Replies: @Supply and Demand
    , @xcd
  29. GMC says:

    Good article – good for China. Home ownership is a false pretense especially in the US. That 2007-8 – Government induced depression, showed that anybody with a mortgage is Not the owner of the house. Millions have found that out, and then look at the local taxes on ” Your Home and Your Land “. Most taxes are in the thousands, each year, so there again – You don’t own your home and land. The taxes in Russia for your flat , house etc. is about 5 to 15 bucks a month and that covers repairing the utilities, roads, garbage pick up, community clean up workers, etc. Very few have mortgages cause of the cash economy. Life is hard enough, no one needs the thought of losing your home because of the mass manipulation of the country, by the corrupt government – Federal or Local. I wonder what China’s taxes are?

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Anon
    , @showmethereal
  30. @VinnyVette

    Please respond to the assertions I made in the article, and point out their errors and shortcomings.

    Instead of representing a point of view, the article makes a series of claims. Which of them are wrong? Why? How?

  31. @Godfree Roberts

    I haven’t been able to open your first link, to a UR article thread, but the second is quite soundly argued as far as I can see except for its failure to take into account the huge advantages for Chinese peasants procreation and survival, especially as infants, as soon as the civil war stopped in 1949. Later, it should be noted, the huge increases in fertility (ultimately leading to the post-Mao one child policy) meant that mortality figures were reduced by the youth of the population compared to earlier days. Not that I’m equipped to argue for much worse consequences of the Great Leap Forward than admitted in that piece.

    I note that you have not backed up your past elevation of Mao by actually dealing with the biographical memoir by his physician that Mark Tapley cites.

    I general I would have more faith in your interesting articles if I knew where the funding was coming from to allow you to produce your propaganda (neutral sense) for the CCP government.

    I long since stopped regarding the US as a democracy in any useful sense but why you don’t recognise the place of financial and career self-interest in the Chinese model of government of what, in its economic aspect, is surely a mixed economy puzzles me. And surely you must have something to say about the very limited extent to which Chinese people (and foreigners from weaker countries) can rely on the Rule of Law as exemplified pretty well by most Western countries, with I fear too many exceptions in the US.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  32. @mark tapley

    Mark, you’re repeating Fox News memes that have no grounding in observable reality.

    Why not produce the evidence for your claims, as I did in the article above? Survey results, court judgements, metrics, anything to help us take your claims seriously.

    • Agree: Tor597
  33. Larry says:

    Insane article.

    Mao is by far the greatest genocidal monster humanity has ever seen, surpassing easily his ideological brothers Hitler or Stalin.

    It is only when China has allowed some modicum of economic freedom that it has turn itself around.

    And as the repugnant dictatorship it is, this can end tomorrow.

    • Agree: mark tapley
    • Troll: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @mark tapley
  34. @Anon

    The figures are US$ adjusted for PPP.

    Their President makes US$66,000 PPP and other civil servants makes proportionately less, as befits servants.

    Huawei offers starting wages for star graduates comparable to Google’s.

    We’ve had Chinese (and Poles, Swedes, Italians and Mexicans) migrating to the US for 200 years and raising families here, which explains their abundance.

    Affording visas is not a problem. Every week two more people become billionaires and a hundred become millionaires.

    In 2019 Credit Suisse[1] reported, “This year, China recorded more members of the global top 10 percent (100 million) than the United States (99 million), and created 182 new billionaires[2]–compared to America’s fifty-nine–taking its total to 799”.

    Adjusted for productivity, regulations and benefits, Chinese manufacturing workers cost the same in China as in the US. [3]

    A friend who hires workers in both countries, explained why they represent good value:

    At our US facility our only requirement for assemblers is a high school degree, US citizenship, passing a drug and criminal background check, and a simple assembly test: looking at an assembly engineering drawing and then putting the components together. While the vast majority of American applicants were unable to complete the assembly test, in China they completed it in half the time and 100% of applicants passed. Hiring for an assembler position in the US would require thirty interviews a day and produce twenty-nine rejections, not to mention all the HR hassles of assemblers walking off shift, excessive lateness, stealing from work, slow work speed and poor attitudes. The position starts at $12 an hour in flyover country which is pretty reasonable compared to other jobs that only require a GED and no prior work experience. It offers medical, dental and annual raises with plenty of opportunity to move up in the company and earn an average Production Assembler salary, $33,029, if they stay beyond five years. Identical positions in China pay the same wages as other positions there with only a high school degree and no work experience. Yet the applicant quality is much higher and this also applies to the white collar support professionals: schedulers, quality inspectors, equipment testers and calibrators, engineers, supply chain managers, account managers, sales. Their labor quality is simply higher. At the end of the day, high-end and middling manufacturing is not moving to either the US or Mexico because average workers in flyover country cannot meet the demands of twenty-first century manufacturing.

    [1] Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2019.
    [2] 2020 Hurun Global Rich List.
    [3] Oxford Economics, quoted in ‘Made in China’ labor is not actually that cheap. by Sophia Yan. CNN. March 17, 2016

    • Replies: @Anon
  35. @Godfree Roberts

    I haven’t been able to open your first link, to a UR article thread, but the second is quite soundly argued as far as I can see except for its failure to take into account the huge advantages for Chinese peasants procreation and survival, especially as infants, as soon as the civil war stopped in 1949. Later, it should be noted, the huge increases in fertility (ultimately leading to the post-Mao one child policy) meant that mortality figures were reduced by the youth of the population compared to earlier days. Not that I’m equipped to argue for much worse consequences of the Great Leap Forward than admitted in that piece.

    I note that you have not backed up your past elevation of Mao by actually dealing with the biographical memoir by his physician that Mark Tapley cites.

    I general I would have more faith in your interesting articles if I knew where the funding was coming from to allow you to produce your propaganda (neutral sense) for the CCP government.

    I long since stopped regarding the US as a democracy in any useful sense but why you don’t recognise the place of financial and career self-interest in the Chinese model of government of what, in its economic aspect, is surely a mixed economy puzzles me. And surely you must have something to say about the very limited extent to which Chinese people (and foreigners from weaker countries) can rely on the Rule of Law as exemplified pretty well by most Western countries, with I fear too many exceptions in the US.

    And BTW what justification is there for not only seeking to insiist on Taiwan becoming a part of China ruled from Beijing as HK effectually now is even though its people do not want it but to be willing to use force? Why can’t it take the civilised view of the EU towards Brexit and the United Kingdom vis a vis Scotland?

  36. padre says:
    @mark tapley

    It is such a shame!Why can’t they be more like US!

  37. @Wizard of Oz

    The links work fine for me.

    I did not address the biographical memoir by his physician that Mark Tapley cites because he was not Mao’s physician.

    All of the salacious stuff in the book was written by his American co-author.

    None of it is backed up by anyone who actually knew Mao. None.

    Why not address what I say, rather than wonder about how support myself?

    China has a dual track approach to law and order. They have (unarmed) police , courts, and (comparatively empty) jails but, for 99% of stuff that we submit to rule of law, they apply rule of virtue:

    If people are ruled by uniform laws and penalized uniformly they’ll always try to avoid punishment but they’ll never develop a sense of shame. If they’re inspired by the good example of admirable leaders they’ll emulate them, internalize their ethics, and gradually become good themselves. Confucius

    One of the responsibilities of government officials is to set a good example and so inspire everyone else to emulate them.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  38. neutral says:

    The author leaves out the fact that China is not overrun by various different races, this is by far the biggest determinant of income inequality and other problems that countries have.

    • Agree: Realist
  39. Realist says:
    @Andrei

    Unlike the capitalist class, which doesn’t really answer to anyone (even the laws are written by them to benefit them) the state apparatus is implicitly responsible for anything that goes wrong.

    Here is a perfect example of your observation. The SCOTUS has passed down egregious decisions that abridge the First Amendment and show contempt for the concept of a representative democracy. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1976 and exacerbated by continuing stupid SCOTUS decisions First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
    These decisions have codified that money is free speech thereby giving entities of wealth and power almost total influence in elections.

    • Agree: xcd
  40. @mark tapley

    Your comment actually sounds like Neocon/Leftist scum that is spewed out of each scum politician’s mouth everyday. Most conservatives too. Our white man’s government does not work in other cultures. We forget the the thousands of years of history that preceded communism in China. We have Jesus Christ and they don’t. I don’t understand why white people (most liberals/progressives and conservatives) think our way of life works everywhere? Just shut up and be okay that China does what’s best for China.

    • Agree: Tor597
    • Replies: @anonymous
  41. Realist says:
    @VinnyVette

    But Americans / western Europeans are not Chinese. How many wars have we fought both hot and cold to stop totalitarian communist regimes over the past century?

    All our wars were claimed to be for that reason…but the struggle for world dominance was the real reason. The US should concern itself with internal problems.

  42. Malla says:
    @mark tapley

    Many of them are connected to the gang that seized power after the death of Mao.

    And they were connected to the Globalist financial class. It seems, President Xi screwed the gang up and hence the sudden anger towards China. Only this can explain why the sudden strange extreme hatred towards China.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  43. Ugetit says:
    @PJ London

    Whereas, other societies see theWest as shallow, selfish and materialistic.

    And barbaric, which the record shows, is all too true.

  44. @Godfree Roberts

    1. I am not interested in how you support yourself but am inclined to think that if you have Chinese money paying for research or otherwise assisting with your articles then I should be wary of taking on trust assertions of fact that for one reason or another I cannot reliably research for myself. So, until I know whether you are financially supported by CCP favouring Chinese I will remain not just open minded but suspicious of some pro CCP lines that seem surprising.

    2. You reference to Confucius tells us not much. It is hardly the quintessence of human wisdom to recognise that setting a good example and indoctrinating youth in the virtues is highly desirable if you want a peaceful law abiding population. There are a few problems. Most Chinese régimes/dynasties have not achieved anything close to the Confucian ideal for any considerable length of time – correct me if you can – and amongst the reasons for wondering why a party which could preside over the Cultural Revolution should inspire confidence in its Confucianism is the appalling example of what the Confucian society of Japan could inculcate in its armed services. Emperor worship and dying for the Emperor FGS! And Hitler Jugend comes to mind. (I think you may attribute too much effect to good or bad example rather than indoctrination which relies on the young and impressionable personalities throughout life believing the propaganda, trusting their elders). Your figure of 99% application of the rule of virtue is at odds with human nature, at least if you are suggesting a correspondingly huge effect from virtuous example. More than incidentally it also shows that you are avoiding much of what rule of law means in Western ethics and jurisprudence. Doing the bidding of the prosecution is just not on. And I could go on about hostage taking from nations not of comparable power to the US. The two Canadian businessmen come to mind and three Australian journalists (one ethnic Chinese) have just been treated arbitrarily.

  45. Biff says:
    @VinnyVette

    How many wars have we fought both hot and cold to stop totalitarian communist regimes over the past century?

    Only to get one installed for yourself by the permanent totalitarian government you will never get to elect(NSA, FBI, CIA, NED, DHS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC). Enjoy your colored revolution little boy.

    Suck On This
    Thomas Friedman

    • Agree: xcd
  46. Ugetit says:
    @Curmudgeon

    To bad our “leaders” (parasites, really) in the West at least, generally seem to be forever stuck at level 2, “Safety.”

    Hitler and Mussolini, according to Ezra Pound and Nesta Webster for instance, performed Mao like miracles for their respective countries as well but without nearly the bloodshed and we can see what happened to them.

    I sincerely hope the people and leadership of China fare better.

    • Replies: @xcd
  47. Biff says:
    @GMC

    Life is hard enough, no one needs the thought of losing your home because of the mass manipulation of the country, by the corrupt government – Federal or Local.

    Or a medical bill.

    • Agree: GMC
  48. Ugetit says:
    @VinnyVette

    How many wars have we fought both hot and cold to stop totalitarian communist regimes over the past century?

    None. Zero.

    Instead, under such convenient pretexts “we” saddled ourselves with a bloody totalitarian “commie” regime complete with rapacious, perverted, top down control and we’re living the nightmare as we speak.

    The fact that “we” supported the USSR and Mao ( who apparently was a Yali) tells one all you really need to know, but that fact should at least be the genesis of some inquiries.

  49. Erebus says:
    @Malla

    It seems, President Xi screwed the gang up and hence the sudden anger towards China.

    The anger against Putin and Russia started almost the day he took power. I guess it was clear immediately that he and his backers meant to take Russia out of their reach.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Thanks: GMC
  50. Anonymous[557] • Disclaimer says:

    Jung Chang and Jon Holliday presented the truth about Mao in the Unknown Story, which is banned in China. Mao was a mere cipher, an inveterate liar, a sadist, and in many ways an imbecile who did the bidding of Sidney Rittenberg, Israel Cohen and a bevy of western capitalists. He didn’t write his red book – that was written for him by his committee of (((western))) advisers. He was placed in China by the forerunner to the CIA, the OSS. It’s hilarious to me, reading reasonable assertions that quickly descend into drivel. You are a true acolyte – always moving well beyond a reasonable base into the never-never land of total abasement to these people. Mao and his policies of pig iron and pot clanging to kill all the evil pigeons. Mao and his not fighting the Japanese, whilst pretending to do so. Mao and his mass starvation of Chinese peasants by sending non-existent ‘surplus grain’ to the Soviets to buy artillery. Mao and his systematic burning and pillaging of practically every single artifact of Chinese culture during the cultural revolution – guess whose advice he was following to inflict that on the Chinese people? Mao and his Yenan terror. Why pretend that the Chinese didn’t openly revolt against Mao in 1976 for Deng the little bottle? Why pretend he wasn’t forced to back-down by his superior colleagues in 1962 to stop his manufactured famine? If the people who knew Mao, loved him so, why did on multiple occasions members of the Communist party rebel against his rule, again, and again, and again? Because they understood what people in the west are understanding right now about their particular cipher rulers.

    It’s hilarious you quote Confucius in respect of Mao. Mao personally ordered Confucius’s shrine in Shandong to be destroyed, as an enemy of Mao Tse-tung Thought. He ordered China’s best Architect, Liang Si-Cheng, to be killed. Mme Mao had every old book destroyed, and the only performing arts allowered were eight cretinous ‘revolutionary model shows’.

    I don’t understand this ridiculous need to deify that corpulent little sadist. China is/was great without Mao. Xi is vastly superior to Mao in character and capacity. Of course, for western whites Chinese rule would be stupendously horrific, almost as horrific as direct Jewish rule in a Sinofied national political socio economic society denuded of a first and second amendment, but for the Chinese, he’s been great. Vastly superior to Mao.

    Ways that are dark.

    If you just stuck to the positive aspects of China without trying to distort the truth about the history, you’d be fine. China is superior to the West, currently, simply because it is Chinese. Those problems with human capital are the result of the 1965 immigration bonanza, and the Brazilification of the United States. China is ruled by a Chinese elite. They benefit from that. The West is not ruled by a western elite. The west is no longer western.

    But it’s interesting. As we know, the Jewish mythical IQ is a total myth. But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that so is the Chinese IQ, at least in the West.

    https://freebeacon.com/national-security/report-college-board-became-key-partner-with-chinese-regime/

    I wonder how much cheating on the SAT’s College Board has allowed in the last 20 years by the Chinese in the West? The Jews measured vastly lower on IQ tests then whites for many years, until they got control of the universities.

    The smart hard working Asian Immigrant myth is just another ******* myth.

    Everybody is going to have to go back. If it takes a century of war to determine the contours of post-America, so be it.

    • Disagree: ChineseMom
    • Thanks: Mark G.
    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  51. Vojkan says:
    @mark tapley

    Correction: “Who do the thugs ruling the USA answer too?” Fixed.

    • LOL: Sya Beerens
    • Replies: @mark tapley
  52. Let’s look at what Godless Gottfried Robber says about China and then consider it carefully:

    In 2000, the United Nations set six Millennium Development Goals: eliminate extreme poverty, hunger, disease, inadequate shelter, exclusion, and gender bias in education by 2015 and, since then, on Poverty Relief Day, China’s President and Prime Minister, trailed by TV crews, have visited rural villages to remind urbanites what poverty looks like.

    The implication here is that the government of China is acting on the basis of humanitarian motives to fulfill the the mandate of some highfalutin kumbaya UN project, specifically the “Millennium Development Goals,” as if the Chinese had some sort of universal concern for global poverty and wanted to end poverty for its own sake (and not just help their fellow Chinese – which is totally okay mind you). This is the same kind of fallacy that gets communicated when you hear the oft-repeated trope that China “lifted millions of people out of poverty,” never mentioning the fact that the “millions of people”(excluding the ones killed via Communist terror, anti-rightist campaigns, starvation and famines brought on by the ill-conceived policies of the 1950s and 1960s 5-year plans where micro-managing sparrows was a cornerstone of agricultural policy) were “lifted out” of a self-imposed poverty brought on by the Communist government itself. But, hey, why talk about that when you can whine and complain about the so-called 100 years of humiliation when the Chinese rejected foreign “barbarian” technology in order to preserve their Chinese culture (which they later proceeded to destroy and demolish in the Communist terror whose over-arching ideology was imported from abroad ironically enough).

    That aside, these “millions of people” are just Chinese people, not people in some broad, general sense of the term. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with the Chinese lifting THEIR OWN people out of poverty. But please don’t couch this in universalist, humanitarian terms that suggests some sort of broader concern for global poverty. The Chinese care about themselves first and foremost. The last thing they care about is poverty in Africa, Latin America, etc. The Chinese themselves probably don’t put much stock in what the UN says, it being a leftist, globalist institution dominated by foreigners. I can’t blame them for that, can you? If they do pretend to care about some idealistic leftist UN agenda, then it’s only a publicity stunt and gimmick intended to improve their image abroad and gain some concrete economic advantage. (The US doesn’t really care about these univeralist goals itself and obviously acts in the name of universalism and human rights to pursue its own agenda. However, let’s not praise China for resisting globalist institutions and then for actually participating in them at the same time. The cognitive dissonance is going to make Unz readers get brain cramps).

    Then Godless Gottfriend has the gall to think that Chairman Xi or Premier Li Keqiang going to some village to shake hands with the locals and say, “加油!” is anything but a carefully-manicured photo-op and publicity stunt that obscures the fact that the Politburo members have properties abroad valued in tens of milions of dollars, that they send their children preppy schools abroad (just as Chairman Xi sent his daughter to Harvard), and all have fancy sports cars, private yachts, and you name it. A lot of people would readily ridicule and mock any depiction of Trump pandering to rural and working-class white folk with rallies in the heartland – but somehow the Chinese Chairman or Premier going to a no-name village in rural China is authentic and not scripted, while the American equivalent is all an act? Talk about double standards.

    Let’s continue with Godless Gottfried’s “analysis”:

    In 2016, urban poverty disappeared and, by June 1, 2021, rural poverty will follow it and every Chinese in the lower half of the income distribution will own a home[1]. Here we briefly retrace the steps in this remarkable program before meeting the poorest man in a poor village.

    Urban poverty “disappeared”? Well, the Chinese do a have knack for making people “disappear.” Urban poverty is no exception. They know how to rephrase and re-classify, change definitions, and tinker with the numbers, if not outright lie, that’s for sure. Then Goddfried momentarily morphs into a CCP official, declaring that “rural poverty will follow it and every Chinese….”(haha). As if declaring something to be so (using the future tense at that) were ever somehow tantamount to an argument.

    Next Gottfried purports to show what is probably the most spurious and disingenuous high-school tier Excel graph (yellow background because it means wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture? a little on the campy side if you ask me, don’t you think Gottfried?) that I’ve seen in my life, citing whom exactly? Himself. Gottfried 2020 (your trusted source for everything China). And then … JLW China, which is… who exactly? Who exactly is JLF China and on what basis are they on par with the US Census Bureau for comparison purposes? Is this a CCP-affiliated organization? International third-party? Housing ownership for urban hukou holders in China may very well hover at 70-80% since the privatization of state housing in the late 1990s under Zhu Rongji, but for rural residents it is at less than 10%. I don’t know what made Gottfried Robber think that by some statistical sleight of hand it was possible for all of the income “brackets” in China to be magically “aggregated” into one catch-all umbrella statistic. Why not break that down for us a little Gottfried since your article supposedly is about income inequality. He won’t, because inequality in “home ownership” is one of the areas where the glaring inequality in Chinese society is so great that even Chinese government officials are ashamed of it. Godless Goffried also doesn’t want to tell you about the hukou system in China, which despite some recent “reforms,” is still very much in effect in the major cities, the 1st tier cities particuarly (i.e. Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, etc.) and allows for all of those down-trodden peasants shacked up in employer-provided tenements to not exist for purposes of census-gathering and “statistics” dealing with “urban poverty.”

    Godless Gottfried Robber also neglects to tell you that “home ownership” or ownership of land as a concept doesn’t even exist under the Chinese law, where you only have a 70-year LEASE on any land that you supposedly own. Godless Gottfried apparently mistakenly believes that the concept of “home ownership,” as conceived of in a Western liberal democrary (really a plutocracry – I know, I know, please don’t spam me with your banal “but the USA is so-so too” moral equivalence critiques) translates in such a nice and neat way to Communist China that you can put them side-by-side in a simplistic bar graph whose color-clashing, apart from its shameless pandering to Chinese color symbolism) shows a pathetic deficiency in graphic design and computational skills on the part of its maker, the aforementioned Godlesss Gottfried. What’s more, Godless Gottfried doesn’t want you to know that Chinese don’t live in what Western people properly understand as a “house” per se (land and building included) but rather live in what can only be described as apartment buildings slapped together in a rush to reap major speculation profits and huddled together in panoptic gated communities surrounded by barbed wire or spiked fences, with regular “guard” service (China is either a very low-trust society or its government super-paranoid in its totalitarian emphasis on surveillance when literally every housing complex, school, and facility (except those downtown) are panoptic to the nth degree – you take your pick).

    In any case, Godless Gottfried Robber is nothing but a hack and fraud when it comes to the whole China analysis bit.

    • Agree: Half-Jap
    • Troll: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  53. @Deep Thought

    Complete Western fantasy. A failed kulak Mandarin would become Emperor, and see no reason to cook the golden goose, just like every other. Revolutions in China before Sun Yat Sen’s were not to change the system, merely to replace its dynasty.

    In fact, the Taiping rebellion convinced Empress Dowager Cixi to build the Beiyang fleet and import General Gordon with 10,000 Lee Enfields. The Portuguese sent an emissary to Jesus’s younger brother and the poor fellow got beheaded on arrival. The artillery piece he brought as a gift was later pawned to a Xinjiang Khan.

    Cixi’s son was a Luddite because he left him to be raised by eunuchs. Thus the backslide and Boxer Rebellion. Never a good idea.

    Additionally, If there is one positive about the warlord period, it is that the warlords who persisted into the 1930s were all aggressive proponents of Industrialization. They were facing the triple barrel of the Japanese, the Communists, and the KMT. They had no other hope for survival. Unlike the Western myths, there was industry in China before Kissinger opened the door. Mao destroyed it.

    • Replies: @Deep Thought
  54. Alfred says:
    @TKK

    survive on $5.50 per day or less

    Compare the cost of medical care between the USA and China. Or education. Or transport. Or food. Or entertainment. Or rent – which almost no Chinese pay.

    People live better on $5.50 daily in rural China than on $55.00 daily in rural USA. 🙂

    • Replies: @TKK
  55. @mark tapley

    The author does have a valid point on inequality and lifting millions out of poverty.

    Unlike Adelson, Bezos, Bloomberg, Gates and ilk, CCP modern mandarins know that vast economic disparities will lead to discontent and violent revolution.

    However, the comparison with the United States is slightly flawed because it includes a huge black and brown underclass.

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  56. @PJ London

    “People who live at subsistence level want first things to be put first. They are not particularly interested in freedom of religion, freedom of the press, free enterprise as we understand it, or the secret ballot. Their needs are more basic: land, tools, fertilizers, something better than rags for their children, houses to replace their shacks, freedom from police oppression, medical attention, primary schools.”

    ― Mao Tse-tung, Mao Tse-Tung On Guerrilla Warfare

    Woeful ignorance.

    Mao was a total disaster for China. The man who arrested the situation is Deng Xiaoping.

    Then complain that Africa, Arabia and Asia are barbaric.

    There are clear differences between various groups. Denying this is folly and the reason we have lots of problems in the world.

    In fact when people talk ‘racism’ or ‘white privilege’ they really mean the cognitive advantage of Europeans.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  57. @mark tapley

    This is such a terrible comment that I think it’s actually a pro-China bot.

    • Replies: @xcd
  58. TKK says:
    @TKK

    Troll? No data, no reasoning, just Troll?

    Because I point out the truth about your constant fellatio of the CCP?

    I hope you are paid to make such a fool of your self- shilling for barbarians.

    And on that note: Those silly Chinese! They eat anything that crawls, swims, flies, or walk and torture their dogs as well.

    When they are not eating them.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8743351/German-shepherd-cries-forced-Chinese-owner-eat-chillies.html

    • Troll: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Sollipsist
  59. I can only wonder if such a miracle as the one described here could have putatively been performed if China’s population were 13 (that lucky number) percent Sub Saharan black plus another 27 percent of shit holers potpourri.

    • Agree: TKK
  60. Ron Unz says:
    @Jean-Marie L.

    In the figure about home ownership, it seems the caption below the left-hand barchart should be “*above* median income”, or else I don’t understand why ownership for that income bracket is higher than for the general population.

    Well, an overwhelming fraction of the lowest-income Chinese are rural peasants, who earn just a fraction of what urbanized workers make. And I’d assume that rural peasants mostly own their own homes, though those homes are obviously not luxurious mansions.

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  61. It is good that essays are published which challenges the current economic orthodoxy no matter from which end of the spectrum but this reads like a government written and approved propaganda piece from an apparatchik whose name is legion (note the nom de plume and the dragon in the Book Revelations.

  62. TKK says:
    @Alfred

    I do not defend the rapacious American health care industry. It is repellent.

    You are comparing apples to hammers. You set up a straw man argument because you have no valid reply.

    I am speaking to the idiocy of believing an author who writes about a country of over 1.3 billions in the sentimental, mawkish fashion a dullard southern grandmother would her favorite spoiled grandchild on a Facebook post with some random statistics thrown in for credibility.

    China is vast: scary, safe, polluted, clean, exciting, sedate- and a million other nuances. If you have been (and I am not sure Roberts has) you would immediately see the lunacy of simplistic reductions about China.

    You also would want to retract your rosy outlook on their healthcare. They do not have socialized healthcare. Rural Chinese have miserable outcomes with cancer, TIAs, and other significant health crisis. They have to scrape up the cash for the best treatments in large metro areas- just like Americans.

    The ability to hold two opposing thoughts in your head and appreciate complexity is a sign of higher intelligence.

    America- bad!
    China- good!

    — is laughable, beyond basic and intellectually retarded.

    • Agree: mark tapley
    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @denk
  63. Anon[260] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    “Adjusted for PPP” doesn’t mean much to me. How much are these salaries in nominal dollar terms?

    Emigration from China greatly accelerated in the last decade. The emigrants are mostly wealthy. In a country as corrupt as China, no one can become wealthy without bribes, either by taking them or giving them. The Economist has written about the “naked officials” in China who send their wive and kids overseas after getting enough graft, so they can escape in the middle of the night if need be. The emigrants take with them their ill gotten gains and thus siphon a lot of wealth out of China. China cannot get rich as long as its rich continue to do this.

    I don’t think any ordinary Chinese can afford to send their kids overseas or emigrate, unless they do it illegally like living on or overstaying their tourist visa. The Chinese government doesn’t clamp down on it because they 1) are themselves corrupt and looking for a way out, and 2) think that this is good for China because the emigrants help extend China’s soft power and influence in the West. In reality Chinese immigration has grown so fast in the US and their emigrants(as well students, tourists) are so ill behaved (loud, uncouth, rude, poor English skills) they end up giving people around the world a very negative impression of China. Most people I know avoid them like a plague whichever neighborhood they move into. And you can always tell when a Chinese (or Indian) is the owner of a house because they usually have the shittiest yard, lawn, roof, paint job, even if they buy million dollar homes.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  64. anon[260] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Yep. It’s why Rothschild owned The Economist is always singing the praises of immigration. Everyday at TE is a “hug an immigrant” day. I had said fifteen years ago they should rename themselves The Globalist. As far as they’re concern immigration is all well and good, there is no down side whatsoever to immigration; anyone who disagrees is just a hysterical nativist xenophobe bigot hater. At the start of the Syrian war, they published a cover story “Let Them In, Let Them Work” and depicted Syrian refugees as if they were all college educated professionals instead of a bunch of poor illiterate young men as they really were. I think Angela Merkel’s poor decision to let in 1m and destroyed her career was at least in part influenced by that ill advise.

    America needs a 40 year moratorium on immigration like in 1924 or we will disintegrate within a generation. The more third worlders we take in, the more we will resemble the third world. United States of MexChindia will not be a good place to live.

    • Replies: @Sya Beerens
  65. PJ London says:
    @Amerimutt Golems

    You are of course entitled to your opinion, however hundreds of millions of people followed him, facing starvation on the “Long March”,because they were far worse off under Chiang.
    I understand that it does not fit the US narrative just as Castro and Chavez could not possibly have been more popular than Batista and any other US puppet.
    The US declared economic war on these countries and devastated their economies merely because they did not allow the financial rape of their resources.
    Did you read ; every single “Poor” household even in rural areas had a government employee who was responsible with plans and datelines for lifting the household out of poverty!!!!
    Are you kidding? Try that in Europe or USA see how far you get.
    I am not going to change your world-view, nor do I wish to. I am, merely sharing mine with any who wish to read it.

    • Thanks: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  66. Anon[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @TKK

    Something the China boosters are ignoring or covering up, or maybe they don’t know about it, is that China is still in it’s growth/boom phase of industrialization/infrastructure sugar rush.

    The boom will end. Then the privatization will get going. The observation of the ancient Greeks, ‘revolution, democracy, oligarchy, tyranny, and back to revolution and repeat, will operate in China just as it did in Russia, Soviet Union. After the glory days of industrialization/infrastructure, communism will go where it always ends up, privatization, and the populace will be squeezed.

    The cycle of history will continue, there is no such thing as permanent prosperity.

    They hate us for our property rights. And they will re-institute them.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  67. Half-Jap says:

    As many may have expected, the article is more narrative than convincing the reader about the sufficiency of the data and interpretations.
    It comes off as another propaganda puff piece, even though I do appreciate the improvements in the countryside which I always enjoy visiting. Cities are still only superficially impressive, though.
    The economic project is a function of Party survival, not humanitarianism or whatever you claim, by the way. A win-win, in any event on practical terms, but fake virtue signaling is disgusting.

  68. anon[156] • Disclaimer says:
    @Andrei

    There is no such thing as “state capitalism”. Either the state rules capitalists, or the capitalists rule the state.

    An astute observation. The US is definitely ruled by capitalists, thanks to return of the monopolies first encouraged by Reagan then reinforced by Clinton. The last time the antitrust dept. broke up a company was AT&T under the Reagan era. Clinton actually encouraged companies to merge and become monopolies, esp. in the agricultural sector, which is how 3 multinationals came to own the majority of our farm land. I don’t recall a single time in the last 3 decades where a merger or acquisition was struck down by the DOJ. When Comcast acquired NBC, which totally should not have been allowed as pipeline companies should not also own content, the FCC official who approved the deal became a VP at Comcast soon after the merger. Our DOJ is as corrupt as they get.

    Monopoly power corrupts every society. We can thank Yale law prof Robert Bork and the Chicago School of Economics led by Milton Friedman for our current state of affairs. This gang of freaking Jews destroyed this country by arguing for monopoly power and mocking anyone who disagreed as not understanding math and science. The books Goliath by Matt Stoller and Tailspin by Steven Brill do a great job detailing how this country is destroyed by Economics and Law professors in our premier universities, and the significant role Jews played in them.

    • Replies: @Dr. Charles Fhandrich
  69. TKK says:

    The Sacred and Benevolent Chinese: Mr. Roberts, any comments or concerns?

  70. Drew says:
    @Andrei

    Say, didn’t Hoover spy on the top capitalists of his day? How’d that work out?

  71. @Tor597

    “What the west fears the most is living standards of the poorest people in China improving along with their rights increasing because this makes the west look bad since they are moving in the opposite direction.”

    Exactly. And this is a critically important point for anyone trying to understand the “foreign policy” of the corrupt U.S. “government” in general. In fact it represents a fundamental spiritual axiom: “Evil hates a good example.”

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  72. Mark G. says:
    @Amerimutt Golems

    Mao was a total disaster for China. The man who arrested the situation is Deng Xiaoping

    .

    If the Gang of Four had won the power struggle after the death of Mao instead of Deng, China would probably be in worse shape now. They were fortunate that a pragmatist like Deng ended up on top instead of some Communist ideologue.

  73. Dr. Charles Fhandrich [AKA "Dr.C. Fhandrich"] says:

    Unquenchable greed, ” Cultural Marxism” (no values)running Western Schools, an essentially unworkable Congress and Senate,( unworkable in terms of representing American citizens best interests in favor of serving elites best interests), have all contributed to poverty in the U.S. The upshot is that global businesses and U.S. tech elite, literally are those who control the U.S. for their own ends and those ends in no way favor the citizens nor the country as a whole. When a foreign nation, China, can already dictate to the U.S. because it manufactures so many critical things, drugs, military hardware, movies Americans see, etc. then its clear that the Constitution and U.S. citizens have been betrayed by a corrupt elite. This was the purpose of electing a businessman that millions of grass roots voters had decided was necessary, instead of another lawyer or politician from the swamp and we clearly know now that their is a swamp. etc. Millions of words have been written about all of this, the necessity of electing Trump, who has by almost super human willpower tried his best to take the nation back to its true values, in spite of a dumbed down public that cannot perceive what is happening to them coming from the toxic far left democratic party, an entity totally in the service of destroying the nation as it has been for over two hundred years. Obama stated this goal from the moment he was elected. WE HAVE NO EXCUSE IN PRETENDING OTHEWISE.

  74. Dr. Charles Fhandrich [AKA "Dr.C. Fhandrich"] says:
    @TKK

    The collective left, that is, American movie makers, Marxist beard scratchers teaching in U.S. universities, news papers, magazines, etc. have all painted a false picture of China and even the U.S. for years now. I once asked a Chinese businessman, a rather decent and lighthearted guy, if it was true that the Chinese have great respect for the elderly as propagated in American media for years and years. He surprised me totally by saying that this has not been the case for years and years. The elderly in China have no great respect from the younger Chinese. There is no Kung Fu type values as shown on American television and movies he said to me. There is however, a lot of greed among the youth and middle aged Chinese, totally mimicking the worst of Americans.

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  75. News From United Shitehole of America

    Assange who faces 175 years in prison if extradited to United Shithole of America is being forcefully subjected to radiation poisoning every day by being X-Rayed everyday, and transported in something similar to a vertical coffin. They are clearly murdering Assange in slow motion!

    The psychopaths that are doing this are sick and sadistic monsters! What is their goal? To make Hitler, Goebels, and Mengela look like kittens?!

    Sputnik:
    “Morris, who is the mother of Assange’s two children, who were conceived while the WikiLeaks founder was living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, said that every day her partner has been “woken at 5 am, handcuffed, put in holding cells, stripped naked and x-rayed.”
    “He’s transported 1.5 h each way in what feels like a vertical coffin in a claustrophobic van. He’s in a glass box at the back of court, from where he can’t consult his lawyers properly, ” the lawyer wrote on Twitter, as she advertised a crowdjustice campaign “to  free Julian Assange and stop US extradition”.

    https://sputniknews.com/world/202009171080489844-assanges-partner-says-he-is-being-stripped-naked–x-rayed-transported-in-vertical-coffin-daily/

    Andrea Iravani

  76. @mark tapley

    “Who do the thugs ruling China answer too?”

    You might be taken a little more seriously if you could bring your grammatical skills up to at least the third grade level.

    “If the thugs holding power in China really want to benefit society rather just aggrandize more power at the top then they should all step down and allow the people to set up a real republic with all the different regions having real representation. Property rights and contracts have to be enforced and the government’s power to invade the lives of the people in warrantless intrusions and spying must cease.”

    LOL! I love it when a benighted subject of the satanic, messianic, hellbound, judeo-communist dictatorship known as “America” undertakes to criticize some foreign government for something, e.g. infringement of “property rights.”

    Yo shit for brains, when was the last time an “American” could actually own a home for example? When was the last time an “American” was not subject to arbitrary government “intrusions”? FYI America is the realization of Karl Marx’ satanic wet dreams.

  77. Dr. Charles Fhandrich [AKA "Dr.C. Fhandrich"] says:
    @anon

    Basically true. National Socialist Germany”s every day economy, seemed totally capitalistic. There were many things business people had freedom with. It totally resembled capitalism in the U.S. But when the state did insist on some policy for business, that policy was expected to be put into practice. It often wasn’t however. One example was when Hitler insisted on having a people’s car built at a price that was utterly impossible, that no company could match. So even though the Volkswagen or “peoples car”, started to be manufactured, Germany’s other major car makers constantly foiled Hitlers plans and an actual VW was never produced for public consumption until Germany was defeated in war.

  78. We say hello

    Why do you keep LARPing as American?

  79. Durruti says:

    Nice thought provoking article by Roberts, along with many intelligent comments.

    This was an enjoyable & educational read.

    The question hotly searched, and is the most profound question for humankind in 2020 is…

    1. Can the people rule themselves, or do they need Super, Magically Endowed, Oligarchs with superior intelligence passed down from THE PARTY, to tell them what to do, where to live, and how to have sex?

    Let me ask the same question once more:

    1. Do humans stand on their own 2 feet, or do they assume the status of Animals, by walking on all fours, wearing masks, walking in approved directions, closing their Red Doors-acknowledging their abandoning of FAITH in their God, and spreading their asses – on command?

    This article by Godfree (an apt first name), Roberts is a worthy read. It resembles many favorable articles and books that chronicled the Stalinist Bureaucracy‘s (Trotsky’s term) apparently wonderful 5 Year Economic Development/Industrialization Plans.

    Here come the numbers again:

    1. The 5 Year plans in the Soviet Union, as well as the Industrialization and farming initiatives in China, have been a significant SUCCESS.

    2. To the Brainwashed, — Stalin’s Centralized Totalitarian Bureaucrats, and Mao’s Bureaucrats have not killed 60 million, or anywhere near that number of their People. I have detailed, more than once the impossibility of these numbers (on UNZ REVIEW) & will not do it again in a COMMENT. I note that the charge recently posted accuses the Mao Communists of killing the exact same number of people as the Stalinists are accused of killing. [They lack originality in their rantings. They might at least vary the numbers a tad.]

    Comment # 15, Referring to Mao, and I quote

    The fact that approximately 60 million people died of starvation was of no consequence to the elites.

    The commenter might have entered the 6 million HOLOHOAX accusation against the Germans while he was at it. These numbers are phoney. None of them add up! The propagandists like to use numbers beginning with 6, and then add zeros.

    Conclusion:

    I prefer the separation of powers of a REPUBLIC, to any Totalitarian concoction. I thank Ron Unz for at least allowing me to voice my belief in LIBERTY over dictatorship – HERE.

    Republics are all different. Each has varying levels of democracy. But all exist on the worship of individual self-worth, freedom, and love. A Republic exists in the fraternal embrace of Democracy. The two go together -in love- as husband and wife.

    Dictators live atop a narrow power pyramid. They are not amenable to correction. They usually benefit from the healthful input of Revolutionary upsurges, but eventually decline, as a brain with no free intellectual stimulation – will. Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Batista, Trujillo, the Rothschild Oligarchs, and so many, more serve as examples.

    The fact that their servants are just as criminal, and often far uglier, are more visible, Casino Trump, Ukraine Biden, Killery, Bill in a blue dress Clinton, Obomber, Netenyahoo, Epstein, Maxwell, Macron, Ehud Barak, Weinstein, – I’m getting fatigued, You continue this list………….

    We Americans have as our Historical and Moral Duty, to Restore Our Sacred Republic, that was destroyed, by means of Assassination, on November 22, 1963.

    God Bless!

    Durruti and his friend, Dr. Peter J. Antonsen

    • LOL: HeebHunter
  80. @Godfree Roberts

    “Who do the thugs ruling China answer too?“

    They answer to Congress

    I disagree with you on this.

    The leaders should answer to the Congress maybe on paper, but not in reality. It is a new concept imported from the West, has not fully absorbed by the Chinese society and people yet. The supreme leader like Xi doesn’t really need to answer to anyone, just like the emperors in old time, but he can not do whatever he want, no matter good or bad. All the leaders want to do good to the society and people, but they may not have the ability or power. Mao could dictate whole China is not because Chinese political system gave him this power but because he won the power with his accomplishments. His past track records proved that he was almost always right, he was the savior of China, he won the trust, respect and love of officials, intellectuals and Chinese people. This is where his power came from. The same is for Deng. Deng”s accomplishments were not as great as Mao, people not trust or love him as Mao, so he had less ability to dictate than Mao. Jiang and Hu didn’t have much accomplishment and their personal abilities are limited, so they are weak leaders. Xi’s anti-corruption is very successful, a real accomplishment. I think this gives him more power then Jiang ant Hu. Targeted poverty alleviation is another accomplishment for him.

    The lower level officials have to answer to the officials above them and the public opinions. In pass several months, many Chinese officials lost their jobs because their inability to handle the pandemic, this hasn’t happened in the U.S. yet.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @Ron Unz
  81. Because there’s no real election in China and the government has enormous power, this results the government and its officials have to pay more attention and respond to ordinary people’s need and public opinions, especially in this internet time. While in America, there’s election every two to four years, but nothing changes.

  82. @mark tapley

    Who counted the starved and dead of malnutririon, malsanitation and lack of basic medical services for the poor in democratic India,. or 19th centrury capitalist Germany? Where there any less girl infants left to die via malnutrition, aborted or prevented in India? India and China started out from about the same level, now look who has surged ahead, it’s the well-organized state bureaucratic one.

    ” The best indicator of the true prosperity of a society is how well property rights and contracts are enforced. ”

    I would say that better inidcators are the HDI and trust.

    Unfettered accumulations of heritable property for generations is a source of societal problems as much as total lack of property rights is. Unlimited private ownership of land tends to lead to speculation bubbles and to rent incomes for an indolent upper class.

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  83. Durruti says:

    Assange who faces 175 years in prison if extradited to United Shithole of America is being forcefully subjected to radiation poisoning every day by being X-Rayed everyday, and transported in something similar to a vertical coffin. They are clearly murdering Assange in slow motion!

    Although America is not a “Shithole.” It is my home & my country, I thank you for this update. I have passed it on to our mailing & local friends.

    Do I understand correctly, that Assange is being treated this way in a British jail?

    Assange should be freed & and all charges dropped.

  84. Z-man says:

    I take those graphs with a large grain of salt especially that ‘Inequality’ graph, watzupwitdat!?!
    Trump 2020-24 and b-e-y-o-n-d. (Wry grin)

  85. vot tak says:

    The chart showing home ownership really shows how medieval and backward the usa is in comparison with China. Most people in the usa with lower incomes have to spend a high percentage of what they earn to pay rent. Those in the lowest income bracket have to buddy up with others just to be able to afford the rent payments. I’ve read that the percentage of home ownership in the usa is in decline. In other words as Chinese get better lives, americans remain stagnant or see their lives become harder. The usa is headed back to 19th century while China remains in the 21st century.

    Excellent, informative article by Roberts.

    • Agree: Harold Smith
  86. 100 years ago, China was a country very much like middle-age Europe, Chinese people and elites were very much like middle-age Europeans. Many people who criticize or hate China and Chinese government either don’t know or forget this fact, many people who pro China are often unwilling to admit it (because it doesn’t fit the great Chinese culture narrative and hurt Chinese people’s pride ) .

    I think The New Culture Movement in the 1910s and 1920s in China can be considered as the Enlightenment among Chinese elites, and Mao’s 27 year ruling between 1949 and 1976 (including the Culture Revolution) is the Enlightenment to ordinary Chinese. Mao modernized Chinese thinking and values system. China still has long way to go but on the right track.

    Last night, in my college alumni WeChat group, one person who extremely anti Chinese government and Chinese political system ask people to list one good thing that Chinese communists did in past 71 years of their ruling. People in the group listed following major accomplishments:

    Mao era: United the whole country, abolished serfdom in south-west China (including Tibet), land reform (this is the most important foundation for the economic take off in past 40 years), established relatively equal society and installed senses of equality in people, liberated women and established equal rights for women, mass education, public health accomplishments (at the end of Mao era, in 27 years, Chinese life expectancy improved from about 35 to 68, was about same as South Korea and close to developed countries, 14 years longer than India) , and not to mention the advancement in science, agriculture and Manufacturing industry. ….

    Deng, Jiang and Hu era: economic reform and development, building the market economy and correcting many mistakes made in Mao era.

    Xi era: correcting the mistakes made in Deng, Jiang and Hu era, including anti corruption, building the rule of law (started with rule by law) , installing the sense of law to people and officials, harnessing
    the oligarchs, the capitals, local police and government officials, pouring resources to combating the poverty.

    Basically, each generation of leaders did what they supposed to do and did reasonably good job.

    People often criticize Mao era for many bad things happened in those time. It is because they used today values to measure Chinese society in those times, just like today SJWs use today values measure the US in 100+ years ago. Chinese society evolved extremely fast in past 70 years, especially past 40 years. My young relatives in China once told me that it is used to be 10 years generation, than 5 years, now it’s three years. China in last 70 years transforms the largest country in the world that the West used about 500 years.

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
  87. The bit that really stood out for me was how much involvement Foxconn and HP gave to the rural project.

    It’s encouraging that companies like these can be leveraged into investing in tangible public works projects… rather than, say, investing in unproductive PR “support” for BLM or LGBTQ+ type causes, or partisan political campaigns, while offshoring profits to tax havens…

    • Replies: @xcd
  88. @TKK

    What is it about articles on China that always attract stupid retards like you?

    • Agree: Biff
  89. @Wizard of Oz

    I should be wary of taking on trust assertions of fact that for one reason or another I cannot reliably research for myself.

    Such as?

    It is hardly the quintessence of human wisdom to recognise that setting a good example and indoctrinating youth in the virtues is highly desirable if you want a peaceful law abiding population.

    But it IS the quintessence of human wisdom to do it, as the Chinese have been doing for 2000 years.

    Most Chinese régimes/dynasties have not achieved anything close to the Confucian ideal for any considerable length of time

    Most Chinese regimes have lasted longer than the United States regime.

    Your figure of 99% application of the rule of virtue is at odds with human nature, at least if you are suggesting a correspondingly huge effect from virtuous example.

    Really? Why are there are more hungry children, drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, and imprisoned people in America than in China?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  90. @vot tak

    I think that is a non issue if the wages are rising.

    Since 1980, wages when adjusted for inflation, has been stagnant for the last 40 years.

    That is the most important stat that Ron brought up.

    Essentially all the gains by the American economy has gone to the top 0.1%.

    • Replies: @vot tak
  91. @Dr. Charles Fhandrich

    it was true that the Chinese have great respect for the elderly as propagated in American media for years and years.

    It was truth until about 40 years ago. Nowadays, the more developed area, the less elders were respected, but is still treated better than the US.

    • Replies: @Dr. Charles Fhandrich
  92. @TKK

    I’m a shelter worker, so I see things like your link describes nearly every day. Trust me, there’s no shortage of dog torturers in the good ol’ US of A.

  93. anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Oppression 4 U

    We have Jesus Christ and they don’t.

    The Chinese have the Buddha.

    The Hindoos have Vishnu, or Shiva or… pick any one.

    The whiteys have their own “mangod” Jesus Christ.

    Point is, conceptually this pagan deification of human figures exists in many other cultures. In that manner, your kind and the Chinese hardly differ at the spiritual level.

    You are all a part of the Brotherhood of Pagans.

  94. @Anonymous

    Mao’s accomplishments, and the esteem of 98% of his countrymen make nonsense of Jung Chang’s allegations.

    When he stepped down in 1974 he had reunited, reimagined, reformed, and revitalized the largest, oldest civilization on earth, modernized it after a century of failed modernizations, and ended millennia of famine. Despite the West’s crushing, twenty-five-year embargo on food, finance, technology, and medical and agricultural equipment, and its exclusion of China from the family of nations, he had banished invaders, bandits, and warlords; eliminated serious crime and drug addiction; doubled the population, its life expectancy and literacy; liberated its women and educated its girls; erased its disparities of wealth and land; built its infrastructure; grown the economy twice as fast as the West’s; led four revolutions and succeeded in three; produced jet aircraft, locomotives, oceangoing ships, ICBMs, hydrogen bombs, and satellites, and left the country debt-free.

    According to data provided by the World Bank, expressed at constant prices (base 1980) and in ten-year averages, China’s economic growth rate was 6.8 percent between 1970 and 1979, i.e., more than double that of the United States during the same period (3.2 percent, also at 1980 constant prices).4

    Furthermore, according to the official GDP series published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) since its creation in 1952 up until today, the growth rate of China’s GDP averaged 8.3 percent annually from 1952 to 2015, with a strong 6.3 percent between 1952 and 1978 and an even stronger 9.9 percent between 1979 and 2015. These percentages are expressed at constant prices in base 1952 and standardized to take into account the statistical breaks that marked the accounting transition from the Material Product System (MPS) to the more “modern” System of National Accounts (SNA).5 Nevertheless, if we exclude the very first years of the People’s Republic from 1952 to 1962—i.e., between the completion of the unification of the continental territory and the period of the break with the Soviet Union—there is a recorded average of 8.2 percent per annum GDP growth rate in the period of 1963–78, reflecting very rapid growth even during the Cultural Revolution.the average growth rates of the capital stock that we called “productive” (including equipment, machinery, tools, industrial buildings, and facilities, but not residential buildings and their land value) showed very little difference over the two subperiods of 1952–78 and 1979–2015: 9.7 percent for the first subperiod and 10.9 percent for the second. If we retain a larger productive capital stock, including the inventories, which are important for calculating the rotation rate of circulating capital, we see that the average rhythm of accumulation of such a stock was slightly higher between 1952 and 1978 (10.41 percent) than between 1979 and 2015 (10.39 percent). Moreover, if we select an even larger capital stock to also include the constructed residential buildings and their land, not directly productive components, the growth rate of this very large capital stock continued to be high, averaging 9.1 percent from 1952 to 1978 compared to 10.9 percent from 1979 to 2015. It is, therefore, quite clear that the capital accumulation effort is not a recent phenomenon, but that it has been continuously decided and planned by the Chinese authorities over the past six decades.

    It is this sustained effort of accumulation, enabled in particular by surplus transfers from rural areas, that explains the success of industrialization and, to a large extent, the robust rate of GDP growth.[Development Indicators (Washington, DC: World Bank, various years)databank.worldbank.org. –The Enigma of China’s Growth. Zhiming Long and Rémy Herrera. Monthly Review, Dec 1, 2018; China Statistical Yearbook (Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics of China, various years), http://stats.gov.cn/english.%5D
    https://monthlyreview.org/2018/12/01/the-enigma-of-chinas-growth/

    BTW, Jung Chang comes from the higher levels of China’s failed social stratum: she is the grand-daughter of a warlord. Like most members of fallen elites anywhere in the world, she has an extremely bitter view of those who replaced her kind. Entirely blind to the fact that they failed when they had a chance to remould China.

    What’s odd is that the West takes characters like Jung Chang so seriously. The establishment seem to think that people with a legacy of decades of failure and weakness will now deliver them a repentant China ready to be remoulded to Western values. This is about as likely as an egg being laid in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

    Chang naturally assumes that students of peasant background are ‘semi-literate’ and had ‘little aptitude’, while she was clever and deserved the best, including a generous Chinese government scholarship to study in Britain. Chang claims that she was the victim of a brutal regime but, In fact, as well as being a Red Guard, Jung Chang was the privileged daughter of China’s Communist elite. It is a peculiarity of the reception of Wild Swans that it was told and read as a story of great personal suffering, when its author grew up with a wet-nurse, nanny, maid, gardener and chauffeur provided by the party, protected in a walled compound, educated in a special school for officials’ children.

    As a Grade 10 official, her father was among the 20,000 most senior people in a country of 1.25 billion, and it was in this period that children of ‘high officials’ became almost a class of their own. Still, the enthusiastic Western audience of Wild Swans found something to identify in Jung Chang’s perennial fear of being reduced to the level of the rest of the population, shuddering with her at the prospect that ‘Mao intended me to live the rest of my life as a peasant’ (Heartfield 2005). It was during the supposedly most difficult times of her family that Chang managed to leave the countryside a few weeks after she was sent down, become a barefoot doctor, an electrician and then a university student, and finally receive a generous scholarship to study in the UK, the kind of career moves that were dreams for millions of young Chinese, all accomplished during the Cultural Revolution years before her father was officially rehabilitated.

    Like a White Russian, former Cuban plantation owner, or ex-Iranian Shah supporter, or Venezuelan capitalist, she is a deluded elitist and an incorrigible liar.

    • Agree: ChineseMom, Erebus
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  95. @TKK

    You bring out an excellent point. We are seeing a similar picture painting as was done for the Zionist manufactured Soviet Union. Once further military buildup is completed, look for China and Russia to be deployed as the external enemies Jewmerica must have in order to achieve the Hegelian dialectic global feudalist system.

  96. @Godfree Roberts

    What I’ve said is not in conflict with this survey. I was just saying that the People’s Congress in Chinese political system doesn’t have much power, it’s just a rubber stamp. The government officials don’t answer to the Congress.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @Awash
    , @Godfree Roberts
  97. Cowboy says:
    @mark tapley

    When hordes of collectivist rats come screeching out of their hell holes as your comments have accomplished in this instances you know you’ve touched the truth nerve. Nicely done.

    • Troll: d dan
    • Replies: @mark tapley
  98. @Occasional lurker

    The Communist imposed infanticide in China dwarfs all others and is still causing serious problems in China. The individuals stewardship and contractual guarantee to be able to pass property down to succeeding generations along with the free market actions of the individual are the mainspring of human progress. Speculative bubbles are the result of the banking cartel’s monopoly control of credit and interest rates. Land and real estate is capitol, it has a price just like anything else. If the free market is allowed to work without government interference none of the abuses you mention will occur. gov. power has always been used by the elite in order to get society to work for them.

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  99. @vot tak

    As I see it, the precipitous general decline of America and particularly with regard to the decline of home “ownership” – are good examples of evil destroying itself.

    In order to rise to the top, the satanists had to eviscerate the middle class (the socioeconomic class from which political resistance to their hopeless agenda of world conquest would arise), and one way they did this was to implement open-ended property taxation as per the first (and perhaps most important) tenet of Marx’ communist manifesto.

    So in a sense no one in America is actually allowed to own any real estate; it all belongs to local “government.”

    At both a philosophical/spiritual level and a practical level this was a great achievement for the satanists, and here’s why: America was ostensibly founded on the concept that “the people” are endowed with God-given natural rights, such as the right to exist. According to the Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    So if there is recognized in America a God-given right to “Life” (i.e to exist) then there must also be implied rights such as the right to defend that existence (e.g. from an aggressor) and the right to own (or at least have access to) the property necessary to exist, which would include land and shelter.

    So if land and shelter are necessary for human existence, but the people cannot own (or have access to) land and shelter unless they pay the state some arbitrarily high sum of money for it, then existence is no longer a God-given right but a prerogative of the state. Thus in “one fell swoop” the satanists have already trashed the whole foundation upon which America was founded as the state has basically usurped God. What good is the constitution and the other “rights” if we can’t even have shelter from the elements without being bankrupted by the state?

    After setting up the evil system, the satanists sit back and watch with a twinkle in their eye as human corruption and greed take over – as they knew it would – and we destroy ourselves.

    • Agree: HeebHunter
    • Replies: @vot tak
    , @Biff
  100. @Ron Unz

    Yes, all of the rural peasants own their home and some land in their home village. This is their safety nets. If they lost their jobs as migrant workers in the city, they always can go back home. This is the key reason that China can cope with this COVID-19 without causing social instability.

    • Agree: Showmethereal
    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @xcd
    , @Showmethereal
  101. Anon[350] • Disclaimer says:
    @Andrei

    If the government has the right to steal from the rich, then they have the right to steal from the middle class and poor as well.

    Hey, if you you’re inclined to steal, you’re not picky. You’ll take from whoever’s around, like a black guy snatching peoples’ cell phones. You go for anyone looks like they can’t fight back, like women and the elderly, and you take every opportunity you can to steal because you’re greedy and you get a kick out of pushing other people around and terrorizing them.

    A government with that right will do it. People always have this blithe assumption that a government confiscating money from the rich will stop there. How naive. If anything, the ‘little people’ will become the targets because they can’t hire the high-powered lawyers to fight back against state tyranny and confiscation.

    This is why democracy is better than communism, and why it’s better not to give the government absolute power you. Giving anyone absolute power over yourself is crazy and leads to slavery.

    • Replies: @Harold Smith
  102. Art says:

    China has been growing rapidly for 30 years. Rapid growth covers up all the things that have been done wrong. When the growth stops, all of China’s economic and organizational sins will become known. There will be a “1930’s like depression” event.

    China has three major cultural faults.

    The Chinese are greedy – they love money. They will reform the clans and cartels of old. Government will be overtaken. Before the greedy Jew takeover of Western capitalism, the West favored sustained organization, over money going to the top. The goal of the Western mind was to create sustainable business organizations that maintained a continuous cash flow and a long term future.

    The Chinese culture venerates the past – the West venerates the future. Venerating the past stagnates and ages the culture. Whereas looking to the future always renews the culture making it forever new.

    The Chinese do not honor intellectual innovation as the West does. The Chinese just as soon steal innovation, as create it. The West has transitioned to an intellectual paradigm, as opposed to the Chinese tribal biological prototype.

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
    , @vot tak
  103. Anon[544] • Disclaimer says:
    @GMC

    Daughter slams New Jersey officials for putting her 89-year-old dementia-suffering mom’s home up for sale and nearly forcing her out over SIX CENTS in back taxes

    Glen Kristi Goldenthal’s home was put up for sale by Ocean Township officials
    She lived in the New Jersey home for 50 years and was one day from eviction
    Her daughter Lisa Suhay said that Goldenthal owed just six cents in back taxes
    Suhay took to social media to voice her anger that officials failed to help

    This came out today.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8742851/New-Jersey-Alzheimers-sufferer-89-nearly-loses-home-SIX-CENTS-taxes.html

  104. vot tak says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    It’s not a non issue, but a closely related one, in my opinion. A home of their own is a place where one can live at least secure with the security of not being forced to live as a vagrant. Equally important, it is a place where one decides themselves in what manner they want to live and not have to worry about the landlord booting them (landlord being renter or mortgage lender) for this, that or whatever.

    Having a secure place you can call home is worlds apart from renting a place from someone else who can turn your life upside down at a whim. And in the usa frequently, if not always, do.

    Been in both situations and having my own place to live as I want is miles above the alternative here in pindo “paradise”. Make that pindo exceptional paradise.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  105. @Amerimutt Golems

    Part of the problem here is that the Zionists you mention are determined to lower the standard of living in Jewmerica while raising it in China. This same group of saboteurs has done everything possible in the U.S. to create racial strife from the founding of the NAACP in 1907 by Zionist Jew and Int. banker Jacob Schiff to the so called civil rights movement with non stop race baiters including MLK, Jackson, Sharpton and Obama’s real father Frank Marshal Davis, minority set asides, a steady cultural attack on white society and now the ANTIFA-BLM straight out of the Frankfurt School for destruction of the western counties.

    China is not nearly as homogenous as it is portrayed. It takes lots of government resources to keep all the different groups in line. We know that all the animals on the farm are not as contented as the author leads us to believe. The Muslims in the North would revolt against their Chinese overlords at any opportunity. There are other groups with simmering resentment against the heavy handed oligarchy as demonstrated by the Tiananmen Square protest. The gov. since then has only tightened it’s grip.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @denk
  106. anon[191] • Disclaimer says:

    The rise of China in the past 40 years is truly amazing. China is far from perfect but is miles ahead of what it was in the 1970’s. Western style government doesn’t suit the Chinese because it doesn’t come out of their own experience, it’s a Northwest European style of politics that only suits only Northwest Europeans. The best style of governance for the Chinese is one that they create themselves from their own minds. No Jewish style of politics from Karl Marx works for them or an Anglo-Saxon style of government from the mind of Thomas Jefferson will truly work because it doesn’t mesh with their mentality. It is the mentality of the group, not the individual. Even in the United States, the Jeffersonian style of governance is not working too well any more with the throngs of Negroes, Jews Mestizos, Muslims and Asians that now inhabit it. Rather than everyone appreciating the freedom to be the best you can be, the underperformers are in an endless feeding frenzy to get whatever they can out of the system and the corrupt politicans are more than happy to give it to them. If Trump gets in a second term, it would be music to my ears to hear him admit that the United States as it is is a dumpster fire and this is because of multiculturalism. Jeffersonian Republicanism only works with an absolute majority of Northwest Europeans, not the ethnic compost heap we have in the US. This is going to end in civil war and partitioning along ethnic lines as it always does. If China keeps an overwhelming Han majority, they won’t suffer the same fate as the US, if they become a minority, they will suffer the same fate as the United States.

    • Agree: ChineseMom
  107. @mark tapley

    The poor killing their newborn or selling their children to the rich as servants were common practices before the Communist took the power. The Communist made all these things illegal and greatly improved people’s life, that’s why Chinese population exploded in 1950’s, grew from about 450 million to 600 millions in less than 10 years. This is the key reason in my opinion for the so called the “great famine” to happen during late 50s and early 60s. The famine was not caused by the great leap, it was caused by this population explosion before the green revolution. China had been in Malthusian trap for a couple of hundreds of years. This thirty percent increase of population in such short time without much increase of agriculture ability is the great success of Mao and the Communist, but also made the famine bound to happen. The Great Leap was just the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

    In early 80’s, China adopted “one child policy”. In many places, this policy was strictly enforced during late 80’s and 90’s, people facing severe punishment for giving birth to more than one (two in most rural countryside), this resulted that some poor rural peasants in some areas with tradition of infanticide in old China to kill their unwanted girls, but this was not that widespread. It’s illegal after all. Now China is much richer and more developed, the “one child policy” is also relaxed, infanticide isn’t a problem anymore.

  108. Wally says:
    @PJ London

    said:
    “The people of the west see societies through their lenses and cannot conceive of alternative viewpoints.
    Then complain that Africa, Arabia and Asia are barbaric.
    Whereas, other societies see the West as shallow, selfish and materialistic.”

    Nonsense.

    – It is the west where people worldwide are banging down the doors to get into.

    – Strawman alert.
    I really don’t think the west considers Asia (east Asia that is) to be “barbaric” in the true meaning of the term. Some do perceive China as a threat, but that is not the same as your misleading descriptor “barbaric”.
    While Africa certainly is barbaric, as is Arabia in many ways.

    • Replies: @PJ London
  109. @Art

    You are totally wrong.

    The past 70 years, especially past 40 years, China not only made great progress in economic development, but also changed culturally. The three cultures faults you said aren’t true anymore. Chinese now honor intellectual innovation probably more than most western countries if not more than Americans yet.

  110. @Cowboy

    Yeah just like on Orwells animal farm where the pigs were always dishing out more propaganda like the Jew controlled MSM whores in Jewmerica. It changes over time. Just a few I remember are the new ice age in the 60’s then there was the great overpopulation guru Paul Ehrlich, acid rain, mercury in the fish, the Great Lakes are dying, we’re running out of oil, air and water pollution is ruining the world and the great push to convince everyone to believe the utter nonsense of global warming. Not just to syphon more tax money into the pockets of the elite like Armand Hammer’s shill Al Gore and co. but to move us down the road to their U.N. planned Sustainable Development Initiative, Agenda 2030-21. Now Greta and global warming have been put on the back burner after predicting imminent catastrophe for over 30 years (every ten years is the end of humanity) for a much more effective scam.

    Some of us have known for a long time that everything Jewmerica does is a lie and a fraud but even I was surprised at the success of the latest roll out of the long planned fake virus. The same Zionists syndicate that fabricated 911 and WMD’s has hit a home run with this transparently absurd medical fraud of the fake virus, fake test and fake numbers. It was a great cover for the latest theft of more trillions by the banking cartel.

    • Replies: @Cowboy
  111. @anon

    No “refugees” without WAR..

    You should hate war as much as you claim to hate “refugees”

    • Agree: Awash
  112. @Godfree Roberts

    I don’t see “the results”

    • Replies: @vot tak
  113. @vot tak

    It is a non issue if the rent is just 10% of the wages instead of 50%.

    See where I am going with this?

    The problem you brought up is only a problem because of 40 years stagnant wages.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    , @Anonymous
  114. @Amerimutt Golems

    For Mao’s real record, see my reply, #94

  115. @Gottfried Robber doesn't know anything about China

    I would click Thanks but for the tone! I am pleased to have some edge added to my otherwise uninformed general scepticism on things like home ownership by someone who shares my understanding of the US as a plutocracy.

  116. Anonymous[557] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s amusing to read your psycho-babble. You sound like a cliched vaudeville villain in a Bond film. Why is that po-faced Maoist types always descend into this hilarious stilted vile alien Maoist kitsch?

    Your entire nauseatingly dumb screed about Ms Chang is one big turd of a non-sequitur. All that matters is the truth of Chang’s assertions – and they are all meticulously documented and verifiable.

    Yes, let’s talk about Mao’s economy.

    From June 1941, the fat little demon Mao was an opium-lord, working with a Nationalist general in the north, Teng Pao-Shan. In a single year, Mao was able to inflict enough Opium on the Chinese people to accumulate 250 million fabi in savings. In 1943 the Soviets estimated Mao’s Opium sales at 44,760 kg, worth 2.4billion fabi.

    After assaulting the local peasants with opium causing vast amounts of suffering and death, Mao the squat little OSS dwarf, then proceeded to force the local peasants to ‘voluntarily donate’ firewood, vegetables, pigs, sheep and gold to the communists in Yenan province. Mao banned guns, so wolves could enter the villages and kill entire families, and all their livestock. Then, when the animals were brought inside the village houses, naturally there was a proliferation of disease from the resulting filth. More people died, of Typhus, and of various animal viruses.

    And the entire time, Mao the drug-lord gangster was working with a nationalist general to spread opium into the provinces.

    [MORE]

    In 1944 Mao also caused massive inflation by ignoring his advisers on the scale of printing of the Communist bianbi. In 1944 the price of salt was 2,131 times the price in 1937. Matches were 25,000 times the price. Mao then diversified from his Opium peddling, into becoming a loan shark. The Communists were charging local peasants interest rates of 30-50% monthly, according to Chief Secretary Xie. Mao’s economic predations were so bad that in 1954, even a Hungarian peasant commented that Yenan was an indescribably poor, squalid hellhole.

    Ironically, Mao was saved by the stupidity of the general George Marshall, who listed to Chou En-Lai make hilarious statements like ‘China prefers America to Russia’ and ‘Mao is interested in democracy’.

    There isn’t a single economic epoch of Mao that wasn’t marked by corruption, lunacy and contempt for China. But Mao the squalid Opium-lord and Mao the loan-shark from the very beginning is indicative of his general economic character.

    But let’s move on to the 50’s, and Mao’s ‘national requisitioning’ – which he based overtly on the Japanese confiscation of food in Manchukuo. Mao’s liason Chen Yun informed Mao his policy would lead to death and revolt in 100,000 villages in China – one seventh of the total. He proceeded anyway.

    Mao was also a quantitative retard. The agriculture component of his ‘Superpower plan’ in 1956 demanded the peasants produce 500billion tonnes of grain by 1962, 3x the largest harvest ever recorded in China in 1936, without any additional capital investment in things like ‘fertilizer’. What Mao did was ‘back-calculate’ the amount of grain he needed to steal to fund his fantasies of being Goldfinger, with zero regard for physics or reality.

    It was so appallingly daft, that Chou En-Lai and Liu had to step in and risk their lives and oppose Mao to stop him basically killing all of China’s population. Chou cut spending on industrial projects in China by a quarter in 1956.

    Then lets look at the ‘Hundred Flowers’ killings, from 1957-58. Mao had rat cunning, no question. He pretended to mirror Kruschevs criticisms of Stalin and Communist terror saying ‘let a hundred flowers bloom’. But it was a trap, to identify and destroy anyone with a brain in the Chinese communist party, as relayed by Shanghai crime-lord Ke Qing-shi. He let the hundred flowers criticise the party for it’s secrecy, abolishment of rule-of-law, foreign policy, feudal privileges etc. He made sure none were ever expressed in general media to the general population, and only in seminars and wall posters he ensured were destroyed quickly.

    Then, having flushed out anyone who wouldn’t kowtow to him, he began his ‘Anti-Rightist’ campaign, labelling 550,000 people as ‘Rightists’ randomly, by setting a quota of 1-10% of all intellectuals. He went as far as to shut down education in the cities because educated people realised what a fraudulent evil Toad Mao was. Everyone accused was subjected to hellish psychological torture in days long denunciations, then exiled to Manchurian Gulags.

    Then, 64-67 he began his ‘Great Leap’ where he openly said ‘Half of China may well have to die‘. That’s when we got the fun of Mao demanding multiples of already fake grain quotas to buy useless nuclear submarines the Soviets had no intention of every selling him. Reports in 1959 indicated there was severe starvation in over half the country. At the same time, Mao exported 4.74million tonnes of grain worth $1billion USD.

    Mao prided himself on his ‘three simultaneouslys’ where projects had to be designed, and executed, simultaneously. So he built a 1400 km long canal across the Yellow Earth plateau in the Northwest, across 800 mountains and valleys. 170,000 labourers lived in caves on herbs to build the project. Over 3 years, 2000 died, and the canal was abandoned. Of 500 reservoirs Mao built, almost all of them had to be abandoned. He was responsible for the Henan dam failure, which killed an estimated 230k-240k Chinese people. Etc.

    This was the period where Mao declared war on Sparrows, because they eat grain. He forced Chinese to make a racket to stop pigeons landing. Pigeon numbers fell, pest numbers rose, even more Chinese starved. This was also the period Mao demanded that China exceed US steel production – in 1959. 90million people had to make idiot pig-iron furnaces on their properties, which produced totally worthless scrap monstrosities, made out of every metal heirloom in the country.

    Then in 72-73 the great purge, again. Mao used the Red Guards, including high-school students from schools like ‘The Red Violent School’ who beat their teachers to death. This was the period when Mao’s ‘Small Group’ destroyed Confucius’ shrine in Shandong.

    Mao and Mme Mao (the disgusting depraved ugly sow, Jang Qing) turned China into a cultural desert from 1966-1975. Maybe Jun was disgusted by Mm Mao who entertained herself by engaging in every frivolous attitude she denied her countrymen, like playing cards, watching theatre, having pets (a pet monkey no less), having swimming pools, channeling herself mineral water from Canton nearly 100km away, having special purpose roads built for her to cretinously ‘view the mountains’. That pair of cultural illiterates basically destroyed every Chinese artifact that wasn’t in Taiwan, or Hong Kong, or in the West. In Guangxi in 1968 100,000 people in the middle-class who opposed Mao were killed. Mao sponsored and recommended cannibalism. Yunnan persecuted 1.4 million people. Inner Mongolia persecuted approximately 500,000.

    It goes on, and on, and on – all meticulously documented.

    But those reports aren’t real because Jung was persecuted by these pigs, says Godfree the pig-flunky.

    Any economic number from before Mao’s death, and most after it, basically aren’t real. China wouldn’t have any clue what GDP was during Mao’s time. Absolutely zero clue. Because economic numbers were made up.

    Godfree is a great example of Mao’s ‘Three simultaneouslys’. He is simultaneously a 1) bore 2) liar 3) sycophant.

    If the Nationalists had simply executed Mao, China probably would have actually achieved super-power status much faster, with far less bloodshed, and be beloved instead of increasingly reviled around the world.

    Of course, Jew run United States is in many ways worse then Xi’s China, so spare the whatabboutism.

    But Mao was truly an evil vile creature.

    Chang naturally assumes that students of peasant background are ‘semi-literate’ and had ‘little aptitude’, while she was clever and deserved the best, including a generous Chinese government scholarship to study in Britain

    You absolute Uriah Heap. Guess what, Donkey, peasants ARE almost universally semi-literate, with little aptitude – the world over. Not just in China – because being a peasant means you don’t get to read War and Peace. Ms Chang is demonstrably intelligent, certainly more intelligent then you.

    So Jung Chang experienced what so many Russians experienced when a pack of goons steal all of their property and livelihoods.

    Like a White Russian, former Cuban plantation owner, or ex-Iranian Shah supporter, or Venezuelan capitalist, she is a deluded elitist and an incorrigible liar

    Haha. Yes, Venezuela is now a model of success and all of it’s exiles are just embittered failures, unlike it’s shining light of a current leadership coterie. So was the Soviet Union. Cuba, Iran. What a revealing statement.

    As a Grade 10 official, her father was among the 20,000 most senior people in a country of 1.25 billion, and it was in this period that children of ‘high officials’ became almost a class of their own

    That’s why you miscreants screech and seethe so much. Because she was part of the inner-party, and had full visibility on the sheer macro-evilness of the entire squalid communist regime in China under Mao. That actually promotes her case, as opposed to negating it, you dolt. Maybe you’ve acquired a reduction in your already severely deficient IQ since you embraced Maoism.

    It was during the supposedly most difficult times of her family that Chang managed to leave the countryside a few weeks after she was sent down, become a barefoot doctor, an electrician and then a university student, and finally receive a generous scholarship to study in the UK

    Yes, so having been sent to squat in fields arbitrarily under conditions of persecution, she was able to use her own cunning and her families’ powerful position in the inner-party to obtain a position whereby she was able to defect.

    Again, this also is testament to her capabilities. You are making the case against yourself, you stain of a Monkey.

    No, I think Ms Chang isn’t a liar. I think you are a liar. This particular concourse has been most revealing. You really are an odious little beetle. There isn’t going to be a repeat of the China experience in the West. You truly are disgusting. I hope, as events proceed, that in the course of my young life I get to piss on the graves of the crawling men of your ilk. You are vermin. You would have been foremost in the Red Guard groups, that’s absolutely clear. What a shame in the US everybody is armed, so that people like you can be dispatched instead of enabled to act on your puerile fantasies of subjugation and persecution.

    Yes, Ms Chang was the victim of a brutal regime. Again, I wonder how many Chinese in the West have been permitted to cheat on SAT’s because College Board allowed Chinese agents to manage their SAT papers and processes.

    For My eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from My face, and their guilt is not concealed from My eyes.

    For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light.

    A century of war.

    • Replies: @vot tak
    , @Showmethereal
  117. vot tak says:
    @Art

    You guys are losing, shlomo. All your trolling will not reverse that. Maybe your owners will let you into their bomb shelters when they think they can win?

    LOL, Dream on…

    • Troll: GeneralRipper
  118. @TKK

    You also would want to retract your rosy outlook on their healthcare.

    Really? Why? Here’s what they get for 10% of our per capita spending:

    • Troll: GeneralRipper
  119. vot tak says:
    @Sya Beerens

    Guardianistas only see what israel tasks them to see.

    • Troll: GeneralRipper
    • Replies: @vot tak
  120. @Anon

    The observation of the ancient Greeks, ‘revolution, democracy, oligarchy, tyranny, and back to revolution and repeat, will operate in China just as it did in Russia, Soviet Union.

    Those are Roman cultures. China is Confucian, and will resume prioritizing socialism next year.

    Xi wants China’s 43.8 Gini index* to match Finland’s 27.2 by 2035.


    * A Gini index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality. In 2020 China’s was 38.2 and America’s was 41.5.

    • Troll: GeneralRipper
    • Replies: @Anon
  121. PJ London says:
    @Wally

    The fact that some starving people or some disaffected people are “banging down the doors” does not negate what I said.

    One child policy and forced sterilisation?
    Binding young girls feet for beauty?
    Selling daughters as prostitutes for cash?
    Caning people for graffiti?
    Executing criminals in public and charging the family for the expense of the bullet?
    Many aspects of the Chinese culture were-are considered ‘barbaric’.

    Only in the western eye is Arabia barbaric, to an Arab it is moral and perfectly logical.
    Similarly in Africa to traditional africans nothing they do is barbaric.
    The western obsession with right to life is ridiculous to a hierarchical tribal society.
    It is only 200 years ago that the west stopped burning witches.

  122. Ron Unz says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    It is a non issue if the rent is just 10% of the wages instead of 50%.

    Yep. As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, the real wages of ordinary Chinese workers have been doubling every decade since the late 1970s.

    It seems to me if the real wages of ordinary American workers were doubling every decade, there wouldn’t be as many angry complaints about our ruling elites or the One Percent…

    • Agree: vot tak
  123. Cowboy says:
    @mark tapley

    Maybe the difference between all the previous canards offered and this latest is they found that the previous were more abstract and long term whereas this iteration is more immediate and add to that the prolifigacy of the propagandistic media which moved the herd to submission quickly it’s not surprising the sheeple bleated in unison.

    • Agree: mark tapley
  124. @PJ London

    One might take your world view as worth reading if you weren’t so colossaly ignorant about something as famous as the Long March. Mao didn’t have anything remotely like “hundreds of millions” follow him on the Long March. Go back to a simple introduction to 20th century Chinese history before putting your hand up again.

    • Replies: @PJ London
  125. @Supply and Demand

    […there was industry in China before Kissinger opened the door. Mao destroyed it.]
    .
    Of course, “there was industry in China before Kissinger opened the door”. Otherwise, China could not have built its own Atom Bomb. However, any serious industrialisation was done under Mao and then Deng expanded, and advanced, it.
    .
    The rest of your post is also irrelevant crap.

  126. @TKK

    I haven’t time for that video.Please provide summary.

  127. vot tak says:
    @Harold Smith

    Land taxes paid to government (state, not fed, btw) in the usa are but a minor outlay in comparison to the initial high cost of the place being bought and the exorbitant loan interest.

    But like the cost of the property itself, these taxes are way too high. In fact taxes really shouldn’t exist at all. Taxes are a capitalist way of fleecing the unconnected from the power structure to finance the power structure in order to reinforce capitalist dominance.

    None of this has anything to do with Marxism, other than being an oligarch misdirection counter to Marxism. And satan has about as much influence as god. IE: nil.

    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    , @xcd
  128. @Anon

    “This is why democracy is better than communism, and why it’s better not to give the government absolute power you. Giving anyone absolute power over yourself is crazy and leads to slavery.”

    On the contrary, the U.S. is a real world example which proves that “democracy” and “communism” are not mutually exclusive. In fact the statement that “Democracy is the road to Socialism” is attributed to Karl Marx.

    If you “own” property in the U.S. you are a slave to the state and if you don’t or can’t pay the arbitrarily high extortion payments you will eventually be removed from the property (at gunpoint if necessary), and thus be made homeless and left to die by exposure to the elements.

    Field mice have more of a right to exist in communist America than “the people.”

  129. jadan says:

    One commenter notes that China’s development and concern for its poor is not exclusively from its humanitarian politics, but from necessity. From the Guardian, 2005:
    ” In driving off more than 1,000 riot police at the start of the week,
    Huankantou village in Zhejiang province is at the crest of a wave of
    anarchy that has seen millions of impoverished farmers block roads and
    launch protests against official corruption, environmental destruction
    and the growing gap between urban wealth and rural poverty.”
    The Party cannot hope to maintain power if it does not manage the causes of social distress. At the annual congress the topic of “mass incidents” was primary in the recent past and those incidents of civil unrest have been reduced dramatically in 15 years as a result of the policies Mr. Roberts describes. Suppression of restive Muslim populations Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, has gone forward also in a vast assault on the “pre-crime” of whole populations. The CCP has developed an infrastructure of re-education camps and it will tolerate no dissent. None. It does not like diversity. If you want to imagine yourself as a sovereign individual with unalienable rights given to you by your creator, disappear or get the fuck out! And take your Statue of Liberty with you!

    China is a repressive, totalitarian political system, anathema to the core political convictions of these United States. And yet we have much to learn from China and an apologist like Godfrey Roberts does us a service by rubbing our noses in our failed “free market” capitalism, by comparison, that is currently coming apart at the seams. We must learn to manage the causes of our own social distress. That means pushing forward in the evolutionary direction of this country towards greater democratic involvement of the American people. We need to eliminate vestiges of the founders’ anti-democratic politics such as the “Electoral College” and revamp the electoral apparatus so that the majority voice of the American people can be heard. We need to be able to trust electoral results. We need to create a social democracy. Our greatest enemy is internal in the far right ideologues with billions of dollars, the “conservatives” who are the enemies of democracy no matter how they shout “liberty” over the air waves. They want nothing more than to preserve the Oligarchy they currently control.

    If we can see ourselves in the mirror Godfrey Roberts provides, we may be able to see just how stupid we are and begin a political 12-step program to get back to health!

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @vot tak
  130. vot tak says:

    Actually scratch the Marxism reference and replace it with collectivist. This idea of one for all and all for one as opposed to one against all predates Marxism by tens of 1000s of years. The one agaisnt all critters were generally booted, back then. Unfortunately run off, not killed off. The backlash of this mistake we see now running the ziowest and their minions.

    • Replies: @xcd
  131. Biff says:
    @Harold Smith

    Worth repeating

    In order to rise to the top, the satanists had to eviscerate the middle class (the socioeconomic class from which political resistance to their hopeless agenda of world conquest would arise), and one way they did this was to implement open-ended property taxation as per the first (and perhaps most important) tenet of Marx’ communist manifesto.

    So in a sense no one in America is actually allowed to own any real estate; it all belongs to local “government.”

    Thnx for the rest – nailed it.

  132. vot tak says:
    @Anonymous

    Are you a bot or a virgin pindo adolescent?

  133. Like I said, State Department shills are working overtime now.
    Good luck on attacking a billion strong high tech, industrial continent sized nuclear country with an army of noodle arms kikes, niggers and trannies. You might still get some low IQ trailer trashes for 11B though, lol.

  134. @Godfree Roberts

    I note that you don’t really push the Chinese civilisatiin BS more than 2000 years back. Perhaps you have noticed the character of the first emperor and his rule 😉
    I hold no brief for the US government or the plutocracy
    it serves but I keep my BS tuned to praise of any group of people organised to wield power over others.

    By the way you seem to overlook the likelihood that, in amostly illiterate empire of peasants the respect for elders and their productive ways was a natural product of family necessity. I haven’t read Ron Unz,’s 1980s (I think) essay on what natural selection (with a bit of economic compulsion) did for the Chinese brain over many centuries and more, but I think it is probably relevant.

  135. Anonymous[632] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Such a chart means nothing. The Chinese were afraid to say otherwise. It would drive down their social credit score.

    Biggest bunch of charlatans ever.

    • Replies: @Anon99
    , @Godfree Roberts
  136. Biff says:
    @jadan

    You read like a CIA bot….

  137. @Godfree Roberts

    How dou reconcile your description of the privileges provided by the CCP to Jung Chang’s family with your praise for Mao and the CCP? I toy with the idea that Chang Kai Shek’s Nationalists were the Stuarts and Jacobites who lost out and the CCP and associated institutions is like Britain’s pre Reform parliamentary government though Xi does seem to be better at holding and wielding power to hiz taste than Queen Victoria and her uncles and grandfather.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  138. vot tak says:
    @jadan

    “From the Guardian”

    The guardian is israeli propaganda, guardianista.

    But thanks for showing that israel and your sacred zionazism is every bit as much a part of the zpc/nwo war on China.

  139. Erebus says:
    @ChineseMom

    Love most of your comments, but I have a couple of bones to pick with this one.

    1. “The Great Famine” was more like the “The Great Hunger”. The word famine has a meaning, and it doesn’t simply mean food shortages. The idea that statistically significant numbers of people actually died of starvation during the GLF is a construct that doesn’t map well onto reality. Much of what one reads stretches the meaning to include all or some of the numbers of “excess deaths” (from all causes) of the period, and some stretch it to include even the “dearth of births.” In short, almost all of the “studies” are politically motivated and result in political conclusions.

    2. The 1 child policy seems to have been very unevenly enforced. I know several (Han) people who’ve got more than 1 sibling, and one of them has 4. Of course, the ethnic groups were exempt from the 1 child policy so had as many as they could support.

    As for “killing girls”, what I’ve learned is that girls (esp. first-borns) were often simply not registered. Legally, they didn’t exist. That caused its own problems as it prevented them from registering in the local school, getting state health care and a variety of other services. A couple of decades ago, you’d find such girls working in factories far from their villages with no papers at all. Some had no real idea how old they were and could read and write on only the most fundamental level. There was a drive to bring these girls and women in from the cold a few years ago, but I have no idea how far it went or succeeded.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Thanks: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @ChineseMom
    , @xcd
  140. @ChineseMom

    You must think we are all as stupid as all the idiots going around with the face diapers on. “The poor killing their newborn or selling their children to the rich as servants were common practices before the Communist took the power.” Do you really think anyone believes this. I doubt this was a common practice in any society, even in the long history of an oriental rat hole like China.

    You sound just like the MSM that spouted propaganda back in the 30’s and 40’s about the workers paradise in Russia. They even duped about ten thousand “true believers” into immigrating to the frozen Soviet hell hole where they all were rounded up and either killed or thrown in the gulag. I have already mentioned in my other post about the ignorant, degenerate Jew advised Mao and his disastrous Great Leap Forward that caused the biggest catastrophe in Chinese history. The Chinese archives even reveal the death toll to be an incredible 60 million. This far out strips even the Zionist Jew Genrikh Yagoda and Stalin’s other henchmen with the massive starvation of the Ukraine added in. Mao’s record of mass murder as the typical tool of communism everywhere is also documented.
    What an improvement it was.

    The Malthusian theory has long been disproved but no matter in your communist fantasies you have to have something to grasp at. There was plenty of agriculturaly suitable land just as there was in Russia. Had that not been the case then population expansion would have been limited to start with. The disastrous centralized control destroyed food production just like it did in Russia. All of this is documented in “Mao’s Great Famine”.

    You go from one lie to the next. The “China adopted the one child policy” is quite a euphemism for the massive infanticide that resulted and is still causing maladjustment for the country. Nowhere but in a communist controlled rat hole would the mass murder of young children on this scale happen. You pass this off like it was just an inconvenience.

    The only reason the peoples life has gotten better is because the Zionist plan called for American industry and technology to begin flooding China. Before that happened China was an economic basket case.

    The thugs that control China care no more about their people than do the Zionists anywhere else. While they spin nationalist jargon for the masses and fables for the true believers like you and the propagandist that wrote this column their real loyalty is only to themselves and total global control. You will be happy to know however that China is ahead in one area. It is the model for the NWO. They thugs that run China were the first to spring the Covid fraud on their own people and they are also the first to implement the Social Credit Score Total Surveillance System. Maybe you can tell us all how that will “greatly improve peoples life.”

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  141. @vot tak

    “Land taxes paid to government (state, not fed, btw) in the usa are but a minor outlay in comparison to the initial high cost of the place being bought and the exorbitant loan interest.”

    I completely disagree.

    First, property taxes are levied against both the land and the house. Second, as of right now, mortgage interest rates are somewhere around 3% on a 30 year mortgage; hardly “exorbitant.” Third, yes, they are levied and collected under state law, but so what? EVERY state in the U.S. has property tax, just like every state has gun laws. In fact property taxation can be compared to gun control because the same communists that routinely use state law against the second amendment are also the main political force behind confiscatory state property taxation.

    I don’t know where you live but here in PA, the annual property tax on a house with a market value of $150,000 will typically be in the range of $3000 to $5000. So let’s say you buy a $150,000 house with a 10% down payment and you get a 30 year mortgage loan. Your monthly mortgage payment will be about $625 and your monthly property tax bill could easily be $300; hardly a “minor outlay.”

    “But like the cost of the property itself, these taxes are way too high. In fact taxes really shouldn’t exist at all. Taxes are a capitalist way of fleecing the unconnected from the power structure to finance the power structure in order to reinforce capitalist dominance.”

    It’s unrealistic to say that taxes “shouldn’t exist at all.” Taxes, like almost everything else in the universe fall somewhere on a moral spectrum. An argument can be made that the “state” has some legitimate authority to levy and collect certain taxes on certain things. For example, without a system of highways, a legal system, a banking system, etc., overseen by the state, there could be no modern commerce. So it can be argued that the state has a right to collect a reasonable tax on income or on sales in return for a safe and well regulated society without which commerce as such couldn’t exist.

    But levying and collecting an arbitrarily high tax on land and shelter, which are necessities of human life, is a completely different moral, philosophical and ultimately legal situation. Ownership of property – especially property necessary to sustain life – is a pre-political right; that is to say, we were living in caves and surviving off the food and water provided by the land, long before we created “government.” This is called the “state of nature”; it’s the hypothetical life of people before societies were created.

    “None of this has anything to do with Marxism, other than being an oligarch misdirection counter to Marxism. And satan has about as much influence as god. IE: nil.”

    LOL! Seriously? Clearly you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THE SUBJECT. Communism was conceived as a satanic political ideology implemented to overturn the natural order; a “spiritual jihad” against God so to speak. There’s a reason that the implementation of property taxation is the very FIRST tenet of Marx’ communist manifesto and there’s a reason that the same jews who push gun control also generally push confiscatory property taxation. Unfortunately I don’t have the time right now to explain it to you in detail.

    • Replies: @Awash
    , @Biff
    , @vot tak
  142. Dr. Charles Fhandrich [AKA "Dr.C. Fhandrich"] says:
    @ChineseMom

    Thank you for your input. The more information the close we come to the truth. As the philosopher Plato said over two thousand years ago, ” It takes all of our knowledge to come close to the truth.” PEACE.

  143. Awash says:
    @ChineseMom

    Godfree is like Mao, you have to agree to every thing he says verbatim, otherwise he gets miffed. Glad he isn’t the ruler where he lives.

  144. Excellent stuff Godfree. Always appreciate info on China not from Falun Gong/Epoch Times or CIA.

    Here’s some other stuff I’ve read lately that may interest some, concerning Chinese socialism:

    Excellent Twitter thread on China and socialism:

    https://rainershea.com/f/“china-is-capitalist”-is-an-anti-marxist-position-to-take

    https://www.invent-the-future.org/2018/10/is-china-still-socialist/

    https://journal-neo.org/2020/07/03/why-is-china-painted-as-capitalist-by-western-propaganda/

    This kid is good to follow on twitter, he writes mostly about China, debunks a lot of the myths and propaganda we get from the CIA

  145. Awash says:
    @Harold Smith

    Who is satan? Does it have a gender? Have you ever seen it?

    I agree that states need to tax to make modern society possible. Property taxes should be low on average houses, and high on rich guys houses.

    • Replies: @Harold Smith
  146. Biff says:
    @Harold Smith

    here in PA, the annual property tax on a house with a market value of $150,000 will typically be in the range of $3000 to $5000. So let’s say you buy a $150,000 house with a 10% down payment and you get a 30 year mortgage loan. Your monthly mortgage payment will be about $625 and your monthly property tax bill could easily be $300;

    Who, in their right mind would want to live in a place like that?

    • Replies: @Harold Smith
  147. The technical aspects of this piece aside, it is generously infused with relationships – human relationships. I experienced a feeling of warmth and camaraderie reading about real lives of real human beings, with all their trials, tribulations, achievements, pains, joys. The human being is right at the center of the human project. In the West, all would be lost in the anonymity of stats, faceless rulers and an even greater facelessness of the ruled, subsumed under lifeless stats and pawns manipulated by anonymous crooks and robber barons. This would explain our flimsy social fabric so utterly bereft of compassion and empathy.

  148. @Biff

    I’m getting out; it’s unconstitutional and completely out of control.

    Legislation has been proposed that would eliminate the school property tax, the most damaging one, but the communists here have been able to prevent it from going anywhere. (BTW it’s not just PA; other states are bad too, e.g. NJ, NY, IL, etc.)

    • Replies: @Biff
  149. Ron Unz says:
    @ChineseMom

    Deng”s accomplishments were not as great as Mao, people not trust or love him as Mao, so he had less ability to dictate than Mao. Jiang and Hu didn’t have much accomplishment and their personal abilities are limited, so they are weak leaders. Xi’s anti-corruption is very successful, a real accomplishment. I think this gives him more power then Jiang ant Hu. Targeted poverty alleviation is another accomplishment for him.

    Thanks for a very interesting perspective. It’s extremely welcome to have someone like you participate in these discussions, given that you seem to have direct personal experience of these matters, while being so much less “agitated” and obnoxious than many of other commenters.

    • Thanks: ChineseMom
  150. @Awash

    “Who is satan?”

    I think of satan not as “who” but “what”; the best description I can think of would be the “spiritual force of evil.”

    “Does it have a gender?”

    Not that I know of.

    “Have you ever seen it?”

    Not directly, no, but the indirect evidence of its existence seems quite plentiful, IMO.

    “I agree that states need to tax to make modern society possible. Property taxes should be low on average houses, and high on rich guys houses.”

    The problem is that property tax is wrong in principle – especially when levied and collected against a necessity of life. Once you agree that it’s within the legitimate authority of the state to make you pay an arbitrary amount of money just to be allowed to exist, where does it stop? Since the ad valorem property tax has no basis in anyone’s ability to pay then what are the limits? If it can be 1%, then why not 2% or 5% or 10% or 100% of the market value of the property?

    Moreover, if the state can levy and collect a tax on land and shelter, and make someone homeless if they can’t pay, then why can’t it also/alternatively make everybody breathe through a valve, and tax everyone on the air they breathe, and then simply shut off the air supply when someone can’t pay?

    If the founding documents and the federal and state constitutions have any meaning, the state has no such power because the people themselves have no such power in the first place that they could’ve ceded to the state even if they wanted to.

    A state that claims this authority has usurped God and that is the essence of communism; i.e. the people have no right to exist, only the omnipotent state has a right to exist and the people exist at the fickle discretion of the state, only to serve the state.

  151. Biff says:
    @Harold Smith

    it’s unconstitutional

    I believe that the constitution states that the government can only tax “profit”, but I can’t site any references at the moment. But if that is true then obviously taxing your primary residence is unconstitutional, which is a similar argument as taxing your personal labor – there’s no profit.

    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    , @mark tapley
  152. @ChineseMom

    China’s Congress is just a rubber stamp. The government officials don’t answer to the Congress.

    Where’s your evidence for asserting that?

    Is it more of a rubber stamp than the US Congress? Why?

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  153. @Biff

    As I see it, property tax, as implemented in most if not all states in the U.S. (certainly in PA) boils down to something to the effect of: “Gimme $5000 or I take your house and sell it to somebody else (and I don’t care whether or not you actually have the ability to pay what I demand).”

    In my view, this is a violation of the doctrine of substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. constitution, and a violation of many state constitutions; certainly those states such as PA which incorporate a version of George Mason’s “Virginia Declaration of Rights.”

    For example, Art. 1 Sec. 1 of the PA Constitution reads as follows:

    Ҥ 1. Inherent rights of mankind.

    All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.”

    I don’t see how PA citizens can have the “inherent and indefeasible [right]…of acquiring, possessing and protecting property” and at the same time, the “state” can have the legitimate authority to levy and collect an arbitrarily high tax on that property and to seize it and sell it to someone else if the “owner” can’t pay. IOW it’s either a natural right or it’s a privilege of wealth/income; they can’t have it both ways.

    • Agree: Biff
  154. @mark tapley

    the heavy handed oligarchy as demonstrated by the Tiananmen Square protest?

    Really? What evidence do you have that there was heavy handed oligarchy demonstrated by the Tiananmen Square protest?

  155. @Anonymous

    Anyone who has lived in both countries will tell you that Americans are more afraid of their government than Chinese–by far.

    No government kills, imprisons, or assassinates more of its citizens than the USA, and China is nowhere near close in any of those respects.

    • Agree: Biff
  156. @Erebus

    The word famine has a meaning, and it doesn’t simply mean food shortages. The idea that statistically significant numbers of people actually died of starvation during the GLF is a construct that doesn’t map well onto reality.

    I do believe that there are significant numbers of people died of starvation during the GLF, but the excessive death number (from all causes) is not as high as those politically motivated estimates. I think several millions is a reasonable estimate.

    My mother was a college student at the time. She told me that she and most female students stopped having periods during that time; even though they didn’t have enough food to eat, they still gave part of their rationed food to male students because the guys’ rationed food was about the same as girls’. My father was in Beijing and had a very high salary, he volunteered to have his salary reduced, but still high enough compared to ordinary people that he could afford to eat at restaurants occasionally, he got edema in his legs because of malnutrition. My parents social economic status could be considered among top 3%. If they were this bad, it’s not hard to imagine how bad for those poor peasants in rural countryside. Because of the strong relationship of the Communist, there were only widespread food shortages and hunger, not many deaths. So I considered this as one of the Communist accomplishment.

    I agree with your second and third points. I believe that there were female infanticide because I personally know a peasant woman who worked in Beijing as a maid tried to kill her newborn girl. The girl was adopted by a German couple. I don’t think infanticide was a common practice though.

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @Ron Unz
  157. @mark tapley

    The poor killing their newborn or selling their children to the rich as servants were common practices before the Communist took the power.” Do you really think anyone believes this. I doubt this was a common practice in any society, even in the long history of an oriental rat hole like China.

    FYI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_infanticide
    There were also male infanticide in old China. There was no contraceptive method nor knowledge in those days. During the bad economic times, the poor people couldn’t even feed themselves and the children they already had. It’s only natural for them to kill the newborn.

    The Chinese archives even reveal the death toll to be an incredible 60 million.

    I think you were misinformed by those anti-China propagandas. There’s no such Chinese archives. China was a very poor and undeveloped country, not many people were literate. Do you think that counting the deaths and collecting the data were cheap and easy for a very poor country in those days without computers and man power? Besides, 60 million is about 10% of the population. If there were this many people dead during that time, every Chinese should be able to name several people they personally knew who dead during that time. But during the last 20 years debating about the death number among Chinese netizens, few people can honestly say that they have relative or friend died during that period, not even those who were from rural countryside.

    • Thanks: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @AnonCN
    , @Godfree Roberts
  158. Jazman says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Hi Godfree
    Can you explain me what is actually truth about Chinese family planing
    There is myth in the west that only one child is allowed
    Thanks

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  159. PJ London says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I understand how the comment may be mis-understood. The comma should have ben a full stop.
    However anyone with discernment would have realised what was said.

    Only a couple of hundred thousand (up to 300,00 at various times and places) actually took part in the march, but ;

    “The Long March is a manifesto. It has proclaimed to the world that the Red Army is an army of heroes, while the imperialists and their running dogs, Chiang Kai-shek and his like, are impotent. It has proclaimed their utter failure to encircle, pursue, obstruct and intercept us. The Long March is also a propaganda force. It has announced to some 200 million people in eleven provinces that the road of the Red Army is their only road to liberation”

    The Nationalists had power but no support, Mao had support and eventually had power.

  160. @Wizard of Oz

    That’s entirely consistent with the way the PRC treats enemies.

    After capturing Chiang Kai-shek (whose agents had murdered Mao’s wife and thrown his children onto the street), Mao treated him honorably and sent him back to his troops.

    After decades of enduring horrific massacres at the hands of the Japanese, Mao permitted thirteen to be executed (convicted of torture and multiple rapes), pardoned 1.1 million, and sent them home in such good condition that they formed an association to keep his memory alive.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  161. @ChineseMom

    In 2016, when the Education Ministry pledged to reach that goal by the 2021 centennial, they discovered thirty-million missing girls. Under Family Planning guidelines, second children were encouraged after birth spacing, though third children attracted a fine. Though minorities, rural farming families, and those with disabled parents or siblings were exempt, unregistered siblings were mostly girls. Thus was born the myth of the ‘missing girls’ which, like ‘ghost towns,’ captured imaginations but irritated political scientist John Kennedy[1], “Thirty-million girls–the population of California–are missing from the population and they think they’re just gone?” Kennedy compared 2010 census figures with girls’ enrollment and graduation rates in 2016 and reported:
    Most people are using a demographic explanation to say that abortion or infanticide are the reasons girls don’t show up in the census and that they don’t exist, but we find there’s a political explanation. The point of contention is the interaction between the central state’s capacity to influence local officials and local officials’ willingness to implement central policies–especially unpopular policies. We find that millions of unreported female births ‘appear’ in older cohorts [school enrollment years], and this also reflects a cultural shift regarding the value of girls in China. The ‘preference for sons’ cultural argument suggests that parents see sons as necessary for elderly care and contributions to family income while daughters are viewed as a burden.
    However scholars suggest that, over the last few decades and especially since the introduction of economic reforms, daughters have contributed more to their natal families (i.e., increased their value). Still, the 1990, 2000 and 2010 censuses show that unreported male births are overwhelmingly registered between the ages of one and ten years old but that the vast majority of children registered after the age of ten are females. This implies an administrative bias towards sons whereby they are registered earlier than daughters, rather than a strict son preference (i.e., fewer daughters).

    Kennedy interviewed a farmer who introduced his elder daughter and son by name but referred to his middle daughter as ‘the non-existent one,’ “He told us that his first daughter was registered but that when his second child, another daughter, was born they did not register her and instead waited to have another child. The third child was a boy and they registered him as the second child”. To keep the peace village officials, often blood relatives, turned a blind eye to children born outside family planning limits and left them unreported. Kennedy found that, though the government relaxed the rural one-child policy in the 1980s, village-level enforcement had already bypassed it and the thirty-million girls were where they should be: in school.
    Today, more girls graduate from university than boys and, normalized for job position and seniority, gender and wage gaps almost disappear.


    [1] Delayed Registration and Identifying the ”Missing Girls” in China. The China Quarterly, Volume 228. December 2016, pp. 1018-1038

    • Agree: ChineseMom
  162. @Ron Unz

    Those that cover up the truth about the monopoly capitalist tool called communism as first displayed in the blood bath of the French Revolution and glorified by the early industrialists and bankers agent Karl Marx (Moses Mordecai Levy) go to great lengths to keep people from looking at the real history.

    The former Soviet official and Jew Avraham Shifrin in his book “The first Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of The Soviet Union” said that all big projects in the USSR were done by slave labor and he lays out the 11 region Gulag system (10 run by Jews) in detail. He commented that there were no communists in Russia. That is a delusion for people like “Chinese Mom.” I would also recommend Solzeitsyn’s long suppressed book “200 Years Among Us” for another real look at this dehumanizing, atheistic plan implemented by the elites for total control. Communism is great for the elites at the top, and no doubt the devil would tell you that hell is a nice place.

  163. @Biff

    The founders laid out a system of Sovereign States (a Republic) with a very limited national Government. The graduated income tax was unconstitutional and they believed taxes overall should be so low as to be a minor issue. Had we stayed on this course instead of becoming a European style “democracy” now run by the Zionists, the benefits of individual freedom and limited government would put everyone (except those that use the power of gov. to make society work for them ) far ahead of where we are today. This process of tyrannical despotism started mainly with the attack on the South by the sodomite A. Lincoln and was followed up a few years later by the Rothschilds (Rockefeller’s , Morgan) power grab evidenced today a Zionism.

    The original constitution had little authority over the states before the illegal 14th amendment. States were only required to have a Republican government, not a monarchy. In those days before the public had become docile sheep to be fleeced, the idea of high taxes like today were unheard of.

    On the comments about Satan, the Bible says he is a fallen angel. All angels are male.

  164. Erebus says:
    @ChineseMom

    I think several millions is a reasonable estimate.

    The UN doesn’t declare a famine until there are 2 deaths / 10k pop. / week (amongst other requirements), and the deaths can’t be from diseases caused by malnutrition but by starvation.

    Famine ≠ “I’m famished”.

    I can see starvation happening in remote, isolated areas, but not across a province much less nationally. You may be interested in a recent discussion on this topic here. Enjoying your posts, but I fear you’ll soon be exasperated by the sewage spewing trolls who’ve never left the kool-aid pitcher to see what the world actually looks like.

  165. denk says:
    @VinnyVette

    How many wars have we fought both hot and cold to stop totalitarian communist regimes over the past century?

    Why you keep talking rubbish ?
    I see you’ve already been roundly spanked.

    YOu enjoy getting spanked ?

    https://www.unz.com/article/the-rising-cult-of-china-experts/#comment-4168858

  166. @Godfree Roberts

    The National People’s Congress in China is totally different from the US Congress.

    1. It’s members are not elected. There’s no real election in China.
    2. It’s members have other full time jobs.
    3. It’s members don’t have any power.
    4. It’s members usually don’t have the ability to propose any legislation or to fully understand the issues presented to them. A lots of them were not even well educated.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_People%27s_Congress#Powers_and_duties

    I had an uncle once served as the Congress member. He was a university math professor, a good person with good publications, so his university official let him to be the Congress member. The only thing he had to do was to come to Beijing for the annual meeting. Because he was representing his university, when people in the university had any problem with the government, they could ask him for help or just tell him about the problem, he would inform government officials about the problem. But this kind of thing rarely happened.

    • Replies: @AnonCN
    , @Godfree Roberts
  167. @VinnyVette

    There has been a massive PR campaign to cover the brutal history of communism in China. We saw the same thing with the Soviet Union all the way through the Zionist instigated WW2. Once they were converted over to the new enemy, the court historians and controlled MSM allowed more truth to leak out. China was raised up from an economic backwater after the U.S. defeated the Japanese, then gave their military hardware to the communist forces while at the same time cutting off all aid to Chiang Kai-shek. This is all documented in Anthony Kubek’s book “How the Far East Was Lost.”

    Mao’s brutal regime is also documented in the other books I mentioned. The Zionists must always maintain an external enemy. Now that China’s massive industrial and high tech development launched by the U.S. has been going on since its inception in the late 70’s we are beginning to see the Zionist rhetoric starting to paint China as the enemy along with the revamped Russian kleptocracy. As FDR (((Van Rosenvelt))) stated “in politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” FDR with his 52 Zionist Jew advisors led by Bernard Baruch, ought to know. The same syndicate runs things today.

    • Replies: @Tor597
  168. AnonCN says:
    @Ron Unz

    While her perspective to my Chinese ears sound like like ABCDEFG, I even thought that it’s some universal thing, simple and basic, with the same original logic as it is in your Hollywood superhero movies.
    The more you can contribute to your people, more leadership and power you get from your people.
    Why is that a ‘very interesting perspective’?
    Isn’t it natural that people tend to love/respect/follow the leader that can really lead?

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  169. Anonymous[157] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    Invective and polemic is proportionate to the subject matter.

    The fact that College Board has been administrating and quantifying SAT’s as an agent of the Chinese government and almost certainly cheating to artificially inflate the SAT scores of Chinese in the US is infuriating. Just another betrayal to add to a long list of depredations by alien not-Americans who in due course, are going to be going back. You still don’t believe it. It’s going to be an economic inevitability.

    Noxious, toxic subject matter is going to be subject to increasingly ‘obnoxious’ ‘agitated’ responses.

    The criticisms of Jung Chang being made here are asinine. She has no veracity despite her voluminous citations, because she was a high-level official and her family were members of the inner-party? She was weak because she escaped a regime that did, in fact, murder millions of people and destroyed all of China’s cultural artifacts? How do we escape that one? Can Godfree explain what happened to all of China’s precious artifacts?

    Chinesemom’s perspective is welcome as an insight into the psychology of the Chinese people.

    Lies about the nature and record of Mao are not.

    It is astonishing that officials like Deng responsible for the microeconomic reform that led to China’s growth are regarded as inferior to Mao, when Mao did practically everything within his power to destroy the Chinese economy.

    Ms Chang painstakingly evidences that up to 1958 Mao had forced 1,639 arms factories to be built, and only 28 ever actually produced anything during his reign etc.

    Mao forced the creation of collective food canteens where peasants had to leave their homes and live in camps where the food had been moved. First, to pretend there was no food shortage, he gave them more food then they could eat. Then, when it ran out within a few months, he cut off their food arbitrarily, then forced them to move back to their homes which had been dismantled to be used as fuel for the useless pig-iron smelts. All of their livestock and home provisions in the meantime had been sold as ‘surplus food’ for useless military hardware.

    Mao even tried to remove the practice of people having names and replacing names with numbers. He stopped movement out of famine zones and forced people to die where they lay – it reminds one a bit of COVID-19 policy as practiced by Ms Whitmer et al and the beloved DNC who are going to lose the upcoming election in a landslide to Mr Trump. It’s really interesting to compare the policy platforms of Mao with contemporary DNC policy – such as it exists. To be fair to Mao, he had a more definite & credible policy agenda then the modern DNC, given that he made policy decisions from his bath based on dreams.

    It is astonishing that Chinese commentators simply seem to accept there was no alternative. I respect that, but it is nonetheless astonishing.

    Maos’ economic agenda was one of the most wasteful and feckless in history – but we’re told to celebrate it by Godfree, why? Because the World Bank at China’s behest has engaged in retrospective GDP averaging from 1974 to 1945 based on totally guessed imputations at very best, or more likely just plain lies? Again, no one on the planet can state what China’s GDP was during Mao’s reign, because his economic numbers were simply made up out of whole cloth. They can use lies, or they can engage in make-believe based on retrospective reverse trajectories, but that is the extent of what they can do. The fact it’s the World Bank doesn’t change the econometric fundamentals.

    Mao and the communist party were responsible for population growth? What about the return of Manchukuo, departure of the Japanese, cessation of a vicious civil war, the end of World War 2, and vast American and Soviet aid? I respect Chinesemom’s opinions, but it does seem strange that all of those factors are secondary to Mao’s quixotic experimentation. It would have been astonishing if population static under conditions of war didn’t increase when war ended, regardless of how ridiculous governance was.

    Mao’s record of lunacy has been meticulously documented. The fact China grew in spite of Mao’s lunatic impediments to that growth is testament to the strength of the Chinese people, and the bravery of men like Chou En-Lai who restrained him.

    The fact that Mao continues to be espoused seriously is testament to the truth of the total failure of civic-nationalism, the idea of universal rationality, and the possibility of maintaining a diverse society in the United States.

    I see that Xi has now announced that the Chinese government will be intervening much more closely in the private sector economy http://cpc.people.com.cn/n1/2020/0916/c64036-31862864.html .

    Well, if anyone can run a centralized system, Xi can, particularly with the help of his social credit panopticon and AI, so I hope he is more successful then his predecessors.

    China’s bureaucrats are indeed much smarter then those in the United States – so I wish them luck. Hopefully this Chinese national-socialism isn’t a prelude to any escalated conflict.

  170. denk says:
    @TKK

    America- bad!
    China- good!

    At least the Chinese dont bother us.
    They mind their own biz

    A typical CCP five year plan,

    Attain zero poverty by 2025,
    [this has hit a snag, due to the fukus engineered biowarfare, aka covid 19]

    Achieve hi tec self sufficiency ,
    Made In China 2030
    [This is the reason why fukus crap that shit in Wuhan,
    if you cant beat them…….]

    New fast rail from Shengzhen to Xinjiang

    etc etc
    ————————————
    This is typical fukus five year plan…

    https://genius.com/General-wesley-clark-seven-countries-in-five-years-annotated

    Its the murikkans who wanna lord over
    everybody else.

    Spare us this ‘China is just as bad if not worse’ crap.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  171. AnonCN says:
    @ChineseMom

    Your uncle is not a professional politician. If he doesn’t do anything as a congress man, its just him don’t cherish the power he had in his hand, he doesn’t see the politic value of the respect and trust he earned. That’s his thing. Many Chinese are not used to involving in politics, not until the day they have to getting involved.
    There are also other congressmen/representatives who cherish the power they have, who proposes new legislations, who speak out loudly to make a small difference.

    I don’t see any necessary for Chinese congress to the same as the US one.
    I don’t see any need for those representatives to go professional for politic. Who would they represent for in that case?
    What real election? The US one? No, let’s pay our own price and find our own way. I believe 1.4 billion people can pay for anything, just give us more time.

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  172. Anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:

    Hewlett-Packard moved huge factories to Xinjiamg… no wonder America is becoming poorer by the day. With friends like that, who would have need of enemies?

  173. AnonCN says:
    @ChineseMom

    Since your time is not infinite, you will find out that there are people in this world (right here in this site) doesn’t worth your time to type even one word

  174. Tor597 says:
    @mark tapley

    What exactly is your point since you never answered my critiques?

    China is communist (and this dooms them) and America is capitalist (and this gaurantees success)?

    The truth is that China is much more capitalist and America is much more communist than you are letting on.

    Bringing up Mao doesn’t make sense. I agree that Mao was a terrible leader. But that was a long time ago and China has prospered tremendously since then.

    You just come off as a hater with nothing to add.

    • Agree: Harold Smith
    • Replies: @anon
    , @mark tapley
  175. denk says:
    @mark tapley

    Who do the thugs ruling China

    Screaming Thugs, thugs, thugs…
    in every comment.

    Speak for yourself idiot.

    Try this for size,

    Kidnapping the Huawei CFO to exact trade concession from the Chinese…

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/book-reveals-trump-sees-meng-170000819.html

    Sounds like a mofoking thug to me

  176. Ron Unz says:
    @ChineseMom

    I do believe that there are significant numbers of people died of starvation during the GLF, but the excessive death number (from all causes) is not as high as those politically motivated estimates. I think several millions is a reasonable estimate….

    My mother was a college student at the time. She told me that she and most female students stopped having periods during that time; even though they didn’t have enough food to eat…My father was in Beijing and had a very high salary, he volunteered to have his salary reduced, but still high enough compared to ordinary people that he could afford to eat at restaurants occasionally, he got edema in his legs because of malnutrition. My parents social economic status could be considered among top 3%. If they were this bad, it’s not hard to imagine how bad for those poor peasants in rural countryside.

    Since you seem like a very level-headed individual with good personal knowledge of that history, it would be interesting if you were to take a closer look at the GLF evidence and see what you thought. We’d had a heated debate on that issue earlier this month, but many of the participants seemed to be irrationally committed to particular positions.

    What seemed to me like very strong evidence was China’s subsequent population-pyramid, based upon official statistics:

    As you can see, there’s a *gigantic* “hole” in the age-cohort born around the GLF years, presumably due to very high infant-mortality and reduced-fertility, with 40-50% of the children being “missing.” That seems like exactly what one would expect to see after a huge famine, and suggests population losses well into the tens of millions, since many non-infants obviously died as well.

    Back a few months ago, I’d read TOMBSTONE, written by a retired high-ranking PRC journalist, with the assistance of many other PRC provincial officials and demography experts. He included a 40 page chapter presenting about 8-10 different demographic estimates of the total GLF losses, most of which seemed to be in the range of 35 million deaths, with additional tens of millions of population losses due to reduced fertility. I think those sorts of numbers seem pretty consistent with the official population-pyramid.

    I believe you mentioned you currently live in the US, so it would be very easy for you to order a copy of TOMBSTONE from Amazon and see what you think about the credibility of the material presented:

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  177. @AnonCN

    I agree with what you said, but it doesn’t change the fact that the National People’s Congress in China is just a rubber stamp. Godfree Roberts asked me to give the evidence for my assertion, so I wrote that post.

    • Replies: @d dan
  178. anon[176] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tor597

    Truth is China is just a racist country. It’s not communist or capitalist. China is going nowhere.

    They are just arrogant racial supremacists who think they’re better than everyone.
    Nobody can stand them.

    Does China have any allies? Literally none. None of China’s neighbors actually have any love for Chinese – they only do business with them because you can’t not do business with Chinese now. Chinese can only use their money to manipulate people and get what they want. And every business deal made with a Chinese always works in the Chinese party’s favor.
    That kind of mentality can only take you so far.

    Can a poor Mexican or Cambodian or Vietnamese go to China to get rich? Haha. Maybe they can go to China to be a nanny or a servant. Now you understand why everyone still goes to America.

    All of the races of the world are invested in America and are not to going to let it go away so that racist Chinese can show off and act cocky with them. Chinese universities, jobs, benefits, etc. are for Chinese people only – China offers nothing to the rest of the world. American universities, jobs, benefits, etc. are for everyone to share, for the whole world. Even when China builds infrastructure overseas, opens embassies abroad, or whatever, they hire Chinese only, never local people. Thanks China. Selfish pricks.

    It’s no wonder all of the racists and White nationalists on Unz love China so much – racists of a feather just flock together. Like-minded people who share a common worldview understand each other. What racists hate about America is what makes America great.

    America offers everyone in the world the chance to start a new life and improve their situation. Even Chinese come to America for that reason.

    America is the future – it’s where all the races come together to live in harmony. It’s a microcosm of HUMANITY. China is just a microcosm of China and a bigger and bigger China – it makes me sick.

    America represents progress, egalitarianism, and human rights. It’s the way of the future, not China.

    China sets humanity backwards. Back to tribal warfare and petty nationalism. Back to greed, status-seeking, back-stabbing, etc.

    We’re done with that. We’re not going back there anymore.

    It’s time for China to catch up with the 21st century and join the rest of humanity.

    • LOL: Erebus, Tor597
    • Troll: d dan
    • Replies: @Tor597
    , @mark tapley
  179. denk says:

    America represents progress, egalitarianism, and human rights. It’s the way of the future, not China.

    It’s time for China to catch up with the 21st century and join the rest of humanity.

    Who needs to join humanity you say ?

    Me against the world
    http://krysstal.com/democracy_whyusa03.html

    UNZ should ban anon posting,
    I want to bozo file this troll.

    • Replies: @Anon
  180. Anon[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Looking at Chinese history of over two thousand years would convince most people that turmoil will happen in China, as elsewhere.

  181. Anonymous[428] • Disclaimer says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    I’m from the UK.

    Since childhood, it was bred into my generation that Americans were/are ‘ridiculously rich’ as compared to Britons, the notion being that even the humblest American workers had an exceptional standard of living as compared to the typical Briton.
    At least, that was the perception 40/50 years ago.
    Today, when I look at wage rates in the USA for most typical working class occupations, there seems to be no difference to that pertaining in the UK, when adjusted for exchange rates. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that, typically, American wages are *lower*.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  182. d dan says:
    @ChineseMom

    China’s Congress is just a rubber stamp. The government officials don’t answer to the Congress.

    Where’s your evidence for asserting that?

    I don’t see any need for those representatives to go professional for politic.

    I agree with what you said, but it doesn’t change the fact that the National People’s Congress in China is just a rubber stamp.

    I think the confusion here is that they haven’t learn the skills. If they fight like this in the Taiwanese parliament, they would be called a “vibrant democracy” rather than a “rubber stamp body”:

    Maybe Jackie Chan should spend more time in Beijing rather than Hong Kong?

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Rdm
  183. Tor597 says:
    @anon

    Did some Chinaman hurt you?

    Lol at the idea China is more racist than America.

    You are just bitter that China is acting like a nationalist state and looking after the interests of its people.

    Who says China does not have any friends? You think America has friends? American allies only care about access to the American markets or they fear America will attack them. That is not real friendship. Just wait till America collapses and see how many countries are actually happy about that.

    A big no to the fake race relations found in America which is actually a big caste system.

    The rest of the world will be grateful that it could stand up to America. Maybe not the elites in these countries. But average everyday people yes.

    • Agree: denk
  184. @Ron Unz

    As you can see, there’s a *gigantic* “hole” in the age-cohort born around the GLF years, presumably due to very high infant-mortality and reduced-fertility, with 40-50% of the children being “missing.”

    I think Yang international used that graph to mislead. That big gap is not due to the high infant deaths, it is the result of the reduced-fertility. There’s originality data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that there’s a big drop in birth rates during those three year.

    We’d had a heated debate on that issue earlier this month, but many of the participants seemed to be irrationally committed to particular positions.

    It has been a hot topic for many years in China, and most participants are also irrationally committed to particular positions, LoL.

    I consider TOMBSTONE‘s author Yang as journalist with anti-Mao era position. Like most journalists in China, especially his generation, he is not good at understanding or analyzing the data. The data he used in his books are all garbage, the methods he used are also wrong.

    Here are the links of some articles refuting Yang’s book published in Chinese websites by a math professor Sun Jing Xian

    http://www.guancha.cn/history/2013_09_11_171787.shtml
    http://www.guancha.cn/SunJingXian/2013_08_25_167986.shtml
    http://www.mzfxw.com/e/action/ShowInfo.php?classid=18&id=61357
    https://www.kunlunce.com/e/wap/show.php?bclassid=0&classid=131&id=1978

    This article chronicled how this 30 million death number came out and spreaded:

    http://www.cwzg.cn/history/201610/31906.html

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  185. Anon[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @denk

    Orly, and denk is known to whom? denk is anonymous as far as readers are concerned. What typical reader knows who you are?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  186. @anon

    China has gotten massive aid, western investment and technology transfers since the communists were installed by the Zionists as documented by Anthony Kubek in his book “How the Far East Was Lost.” David Rockefeller even furnished the degenerate Mao’s eulogy in the New York Times. China has been anointed by the Zionist’s MSM whores as a miracle of collective progress. This is the same scam used to promote the Soviets in the 30’s. Now we see the first signs of the changing tide as China is starting to be criticized by the Zionist controlled Trump ad. Once China and The Kleptocracy in Russia achieve more military parity with Jewmerica, the ready made external enemies the Zionists must have will be used for the 3rd world war between the western NATO block and the East. This will result in the long planned martial law and installment of the new global feudalist system.

    • Agree: Malla
  187. Smith says:

    Um, who’s “we”.

    Hello I guess?

  188. Ron Unz says:
    @ChineseMom

    Here are the links of some articles refuting Yang’s book published in Chinese websites by a math professor Sun Jing Xian

    Yes, Prof. Sun’s rebuttal to Yang’s book had come up in the previous discussion-thread, and it seemed the first legitimate critique I’d seen from the other side. On the other hand, Sun’s a mathematician, while the Chinese experts who assisted Yang’s research were experienced professional demographers.

    And unfortunately, I don’t read Chinese, so I can’t evaluate Yang’s articles, even if I had the technical expertise. Also, a few of Sun’s specific claims were that Yang’s figures on several pages were incorrect for the death toll records in particular counties. But since I can’t go to China and consult the archival records for e.g. Changshu County, Jiangsu Province, there’s really no way I can decide who’s correct.

    Since you can read Sun’s articles, you really might want to order a copy of the TOMBSTONE book and read the 40 page chapter estimating total deaths. It would only take you a couple of hours, and then you could better decide whether Sun or Yang seemed more persuasive.

  189. @Vojkan

    They all answer to the same global syndicate that put them in power and controls financially practically all the countries of any consequence. Since the first International Zionist Convention in 1897 there has been a lot of progress. From the world wars to 911 and the WMD’s to the ongoing destruction of the Middle East. From the Kelrgi Plan flooding Europe with Africans to the staged riots in Seattle. From permeant war and blood and treasure for the Kazar thugs of Israel to the bailout for billionaires in 08-09 to the current theft of more trillions by the banking cartel under the cover of the long planned fake virus. The Zionist criminal syndicate is running the show and is getting close to finishing the course.

    • Replies: @Vojkan
  190. vot tak says:
    @vot tak

    Those guardianistas never fail to support their fellow zionazi-gay co-spammers. The sodding (literally) things destroy communication.

  191. @ChineseMom

    The point about having a math professor in Congress is that most Chinese legislation is based on math.

    Chinese legislation is data-driven, and 90% of it is trialled in counties, cities and provinces before it reaches the National People’s Congress.

    Robin Daverman explains the legislative process:

    China is a giant trial portfolio with millions of trials going on everywhere: innovations in everything from healthcare to poverty reduction, education, energy, trade and transportation are being trialled in different communities. Every one of China’s 662 cities is experimenting: Shanghai with free trade zones, Guizhou with poverty reduction, twenty-three cities with education reforms, Northeastern provinces with SOE reform, pilot schools, pilot cities, pilot hospitals, pilot markets, pilot everything.

    Mayors and governors, the Primary Investigators, share their ‘lab results’ at the Central Party School and publish them in State-owned media, their ‘scientific journals.’

    Beginning in small towns, major policies undergo ‘clinical trials’ that generate and analyze test data. If the stats look good, they’ll add test sites and do long-term follow-ups. They test and tweak for 10-30 years then ask the 3,000-member People’s Congress to review the data and authorize national trials in three major provinces. If those trials are successful, the State Council [China’s Brains Trust] polishes the plan and takes it back to Congress for a final vote. It’s very transparent and, if your data is better than mine, your bill gets passed and mine doesn’t. Congress’ votes are nearly unanimous because the legislation is backed by reams of data.

    This allows China to accomplish a great deal in a short time, because your winning solution will be quickly propagated throughout the country, you’ll be a front page hero, invited to high-level meetings in Beijing and promoted. As you can imagine, the competition to solve problems is intense. Local governments have a great deal of freedom to try their own things as long as they have the support of the local people. Everything from bare-knuckled liberalism to straight communism has been tried by various villages and small towns.

    Thousands of Trial Spots generate immense volumes of data[1], says author Jeff J. Brown[2],

    “My Beijing neighborhood committee and town hall are constantly putting up announcements, inviting groups of people–renters, homeowners, over seventies, women under forty, those with or without medical insurance, retirees–to answer surveys. The CPC is the world’s biggest pollster for a reason: China’s democratic ‘dictatorship of the people’ is highly engaged at the day-to-day, citizen-on-the-street level. I know, because I live in a middle class Chinese community and I question them all the time. I find their government much more responsive and democratic than the dog-and-pony shows back home, and I mean that seriously”.


    [1] The Chinese Labor Dynamics Survey (Sun Yat-Sen University), the Chinese Family Panel Survey (Peking U), the Chinese General Social Survey (Renmin U), the Chinese Income Inequality Surveys (Beijing Normal U) and polls by Harvard University, Gallup, Edelman, World Values and Asian Barometer.
    [2] 44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass. Jeff J. Brown. 2013

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  192. @ChineseMom

    When I said that I know of only one person who died in the Cultural Revolution–which I have studied extensively–many people attacked me for ‘cherry picking’ or being pro-communist.

    But when I asked them to identify another death they were silent.

    Researchers who have done field work in provinces where the famine was worst were told, “yes, so-and-so died in the famine, and so did his uncle and my grandmother, etc., etc.”

    When he asked them the age of the deceased at death, they all replied that they were in their 60s–at a time when average life expectancy was 58. And all of the deceased had been born and grew up in an environment of hunger and disease, so it is hardly surprising that months of bad nutrition tipped them over the edge.

    • Replies: @ChineseMom
  193. @Ron Unz

    That would be about as reliable as getting Hilary to give us an honest accounting of the Destruction of Libya or the need to continue attacks on Syria’s Assad, since she has already stated that “the best way we can help Israel is to attack Syria.” ChineseMom is cut from the same cloth.

  194. @Jazman

    Like all social policies, the Family Planning bill had wide popular support–about 72%, I believe–because it offered a valuable benefit–world-class schooling, which every Chinese parent desires–in exchange for spacing births.

    Under Family Planning guidelines, second children were encouraged after birth spacing, though third children attracted a fine.

    Minorities, rural farming families, and those with disabled parents or siblings were exempt or encouraged to limit births to two.

    Thus was born the myth of the ‘missing girls’ which, like ‘ghost towns,’ captured imaginations but irritated political scientist John Kennedy[1], “Thirty-million girls–the population of California–are missing from the population and they think they’re just gone?” Kennedy compared 2010 census figures with girls’ enrollment and graduation rates in 2016 and reported:

    Most people are using a demographic explanation to say that abortion or infanticide are the reasons girls don’t show up in the census and that they don’t exist, but we find there’s a political explanation. The point of contention is the interaction between the central state’s capacity to influence local officials and local officials’ willingness to implement central policies–especially unpopular policies. We find that millions of unreported female births ‘appear’ in older cohorts [school enrollment years], and this also reflects a cultural shift regarding the value of girls in China. The ‘preference for sons’ cultural argument suggests that parents see sons as necessary for elderly care and contributions to family income while daughters are viewed as a burden.
    However scholars suggest that, over the last few decades and especially since the introduction of economic reforms, daughters have contributed more to their natal families (i.e., increased their value). Still, the 1990, 2000 and 2010 censuses show that unreported male births are overwhelmingly registered between the ages of one and ten years old but that the vast majority of children registered after the age of ten are females. This implies an administrative bias towards sons whereby they are registered earlier than daughters, rather than a strict son preference (i.e., fewer daughters).

    Kennedy interviewed a farmer who introduced his elder daughter and son by name but referred to his middle daughter as ‘the non-existent one,’ “He told us that his first daughter was registered but that when his second child, another daughter, was born they did not register her and instead waited to have another child. The third child was a boy and they registered him as the second child”. To keep the peace village officials, often blood relatives, turned a blind eye to children born outside family planning limits and left them unreported. Kennedy found that, though the government relaxed the rural one-child policy in the 1980s, village-level enforcement had already bypassed it and the thirty-million girls were where they should be: in school.


    [1] Delayed Registration and Identifying the “Missing Girls” in China. The China Quarterly, Volume 228. December 2016, pp. 1018-1038

    • Thanks: Erebus
    • Replies: @Jazman
  195. @Ron Unz

    These two unclassified CIA reports on China in 1961 and 1962 are worth reading:
    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0001098172.pdf
    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0001098211.pdf

    It confirmed three things: huge increase in population from 1957 to 1960 (50 million), two years bad weather resulted food production in 1960 was less than in 1957, no wide spread famine.

    Because you don’t know the background of Yang’s book, your other questions are not that easy to answer, I’ll explain to you late when I have time.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  196. Erebus says:
    @Anon

    What typical reader knows who you are?

    It has nothing to do with knowing who you are, and everything to do with having a comment history that can be referenced.

    Using a consistent handle on Unz generates a comment history. History establishes bona fides, and can yield a general impression of whether one is dealing with a serious person, a madman, or someone simply trying to disrupt. I generally stay away from them, as do many other veteran posters.

    “Anonymous” yields no more anonymity than a “Pseudonymic Handle”, but does prevent the creation of a searchable comment history. As there are few legitimate reasons to avoid creating a history, one concludes that only those that would disrupt rather than contribute to the conversation would use it.

    • Agree: acementhead
    • Replies: @denk
  197. @Godfree Roberts

    The point about having a math professor in Congress is that most Chinese legislation is based on math.

    LOL. Most people in the Congress are not professors. My uncle was probably just a rare case. There have been a lot of entertainment celebrities, peasants and factory workers in the Congress. They’re just there to discuss the legislation that government proposed and put stamp on them.

    Chinese legislation is data-driven, and 90% of it is trialled in counties, cities and provinces before it reaches the National People’s Congress.

    Robin Daverman explains the legislative process:

    This is probably true, especially recently decades.

  198. @Godfree Roberts

    When I said that I know of only one person who died in the Cultural Revolution–which I have studied extensively–many people attacked me for ‘cherry picking’ or being pro-communist.

    Are you talking about the Cultural Revolution or the “famine”? It’s not difficult to find more than one death during the Cultural Revolution due to the persecution.

    Researchers who have done field work in provinces where the famine was worst were told, “yes, so-and-so died in the famine, and so did his uncle and my grandmother, etc., etc.”

    When he asked them the age of the deceased at death, they all replied that they were in their 60s–at a time when average life expectancy was 58. And all of the deceased had been born and grew up in an environment of hunger and disease, so it is hardly surprising that months of bad nutrition tipped them over the edge.

    Yes, I asked many people and got the similar answers.

  199. @Wizard of Oz

    Godfree’s Confucianism is about as phony as Mao’s little Red Book of communist truisms. The only code he lived by was the one in which he stated “power comes from the barrel of a gun.”

    The idea that this kakistocracy of thugs that have caused the deaths of millions, more than any other tyrannical depots in history is trying to inculcate a moral system in the youth is ludicrous. Their whole philosophy can be summed up as “be a good barnyard animal and keep your mouth shut.” Anyone over there that doesn’t follow this philosophy is most likely going to be picked up and not be seen again. To inculcate values requires freedom of thought and freedom of speech. The notion of divergent opinions or religious freedoms, much less the western heresy of Rule of Law has never been part of Chinese culture nor of communism (monopoly capitalism). They tolerate no religion except worship of the State as all Trotskyites, Neo-Cons and Zionists, regardless of the political front they shill for. All roads lead to Hegal and the State as god. That is why they are the model for the NWO and determined to instill even more “values” in order to make sure the cattle are all obedient workers.

    This oligarchy of entitled elite criminals that pontificate around as if they are working for the people are nothing but a bunch of crony parasites living and skimming off the productivity of the Chinese people. Just like the animals on Orwells book: All the animals on the animal farm were equal, but some were more equal than others.

    • Troll: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Biff
  200. Jazman says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Thank you Godfree so much . Very good point vs western myths

  201. denk says:
    @mark tapley

    The Muslims in the North would revolt against their Chinese overlords at any opportunity. There are other groups with simmering resentment against the heavy handed oligarchy as demonstrated by the Tiananmen Square protest. The gov. since then has only tightened it’s grip.

    tsk tsk tsk

    sTraight outta a guardian hit piece.

    Your slip is showing honey.

    ‘Heavy handed’

    Idiot,
    How long would those HK peaceful rioters, TAM molotov cocktail ‘peaceful students’, UIghur head choppers last in Washington DC, before they are cut down by a hailstorm of bullets…..
    5 min ?

    At least they were given a fair trial by those brutal thugs in Beijing.

    brutal, thugs, brutal , thugs

    Bandits crying robbery.
    Do murikkas have mirror in their homes ?

    hehehehhe

    PS
    To that anon idiot,
    I dont wanna waste a separate post for you,
    neither do I wanna know you [sic]
    Get a gawd damned handle so I can scroll past your rubbish next time.
    Now you can fuck off.

  202. denk says:
    @Erebus

    There are exceptions..

    Every now and then, some anon come along and offer kick ass insights.

    Regrettably they choose to remain anon 🙁

  203. Ron Unz says:
    @ChineseMom

    These two unclassified CIA reports on China in 1961 and 1962 are worth reading…It confirmed three things: huge increase in population from 1957 to 1960 (50 million), two years bad weather resulted food production in 1960 was less than in 1957, no wide spread famine.

    Thanks for those declassified CIA reports. Just as you say, they discuss the very difficult food situation in China, due to a mixture of bad weather and counter-productive Great Leap Forward policies, leading to widespread malnutrition, but apparently no famine.

    That’s certainly evidence worth considering. But I really wonder whether the CIA really had much of an effective intelligence operation in the rural Chinese areas in which the alleged famine was occurring.

    One of the important points that Yang makes is that the central government was being given false reports by local officials, who were determined to avoid revealing just how bad things actually were. My guess is that most of the CIA intelligence would have come from those central government sources, so if they were being misled, then the CIA would have been misled as well.

    • Replies: @mark tapley
    , @Calgacus
  204. Vojkan says:
    @mark tapley

    OK. Now, how is it better than what China has? You must admit that the Chinese leadership cares at least a tiny little more for the Chinese people than the ziobanksters care for Western people.

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  205. xcd says:

    “In 1850.. capitalists created the first market economy.”

    I know you have to start somewhere, and perhaps soothe the expected readers for what follows, but this is just a part of bedrock propaganda. The reality has always been fascism: collusion, rigged economy, exploitation, brute force and unearned income.

    “.. the cessation of taxes and introduction of subsidies are still not enough for farmers to make a living..”

    This is a critical matter. Food production is vital to dismantling the folly of globalism.

    My suggestion to Godfree Roberts: For questions you have answered earlier, just provide a link to that answer.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  206. xcd says:
    @Erebus

    On a related note
    – there have been no further outbreaks of covid even in such factory dorms in China
    – there have been no end of “cases” in certain developing countries that the “democratic” West rates highly.

  207. xcd says:
    @Deep Thought

    Also on the subject of civil war deaths, who/what was the source of finance for Chiang Kai Shek’s army?

  208. xcd says:
    @Ugetit

    So did Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddhafi, contrary to propaganda, but see what happened to them.

  209. xcd says:
    @Cho Seung-hui

    Fortunately, this website provides a feature I find indespensible. Under Agree/Disagree, select Ignore Commenter.

  210. xcd says:
    @vot tak

    Talk of rising rent and declining home ownership is polite economics talk. The whole world has seen photos of the homeless on the streets of towns and cities. Trash, feces, syringes and dogs surround them. They struggle with hunger, physical and mental illness, and violence.

  211. xcd says:
    @Sollipsist

    When big business cannot get things done by bribery/blackmail, or the recepient cannot conceal his wealth – say by sending it to the “free market” abroad – then, it is faced with having to be useful to society. Yes, the same society that Thatcher claimed does not exist.

    • Agree: Sollipsist
  212. Biff says:
    @mark tapley

    In Webster’s dictionary definition of ‘Troll’(noun:
    a person who posts inflammatory, inappropriate, controversial, or polarizing messages online for the purpose of cultivating animosity, upsetting others, or provoking a response.) it should be followed by ‘example’: mark tapley

    • Agree: d dan, Godfree Roberts
  213. Anonymous[261] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Americans must brace themselves for the *certainty* that typical earnings per hour, for a whole host of occupations, whether manual or non manual, in China will surpass those prevailing in the USA in the near future.
    Your children and grandchildren will live in such a world.

  214. xcd says:
    @ChineseMom

    Many no longer own farmland. They gave it up in exchange for one or more homes – of good quality – in the nearest town that may itself be new. This was a part of the policies of urbanisation and raising incomes: old news.

    Returning to one’s village had nothing to do with tackling covid. As we all know, the government even forbade the annual return home for CNY. The success came from (a) quick and thorough response – even excessive due to the lack of knowledge at that stage (b) preventing profteering – exactly what you would expect in an “un-free market”.

  215. @Ron Unz

    There was always “bad weather” and a failed harvest in the in Mao’s catastrophic Great Leap Forward, just like in the workers paradise of Russia where the collective farms were perennial failures. Only constant and massive agricultural, industrial and financial aid from the U.S. kept the USSR from total collapse from beginning to end. Mao’s army of thugs, like the Zionist “Freedom Fighters” we hire for in the Middle East were installed and also required huge amounts of aid from Washington.

    The CIA like its domestic counterpart, the totally corrupt and discredited FBI are merely operatives for the criminal Zionist syndicate like Mao’s Red Guard or the Soviet Cheka. As the facade of the powerful Soviets began to crumble (the thesis-antithesis) where we were constantly told how powerful the communists were and Nixon’s handler, Kissinger and the MSM was always reminding us that we had to get the best deal we could when dealing with the formidable Soviet Union, the Eastern satellites could no longer be controlled and the rotten facade was finally allowed to collapse while the venerable CIA cover up squad could only say “we never saw it coming.” The transparent lies of Godfree and the “we love China” supporters are cheering the same type of manufactured entity as the artificially created USSR. China will be used by the Zionists further down the road.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  216. xcd says:
    @vot tak

    In private finance, the main activity is transferring or transforming existing assets, about 80% of which are real estate. – Prof. Michael Hudson, 2016

    IOW, homes and the loans for them constitute yet another “free market” to rig and exploit.

  217. xcd says:
    @vot tak

    Even the “scriptures” most of these people claim to abide by prescribes collectivism – where it does not prescibe abject submission to the capitalist usurer.

  218. xcd says:
    @Erebus

    Godfree Roberts had a detailed article here exposing the “great famine”.

  219. Ron Unz says:
    @Deep Thought

    Thanks for the link:

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2011.00398.x

    The article is by eminent economic historian Cormac Grada, and seems a very solid and detailed academic review of the Dikotter book on the Great Leap Forward, which he regards as rather trashy, loose with facts and propagandistic. Although I haven’t read the book in question, the analysis is quite persuasive, and I’d strongly recommend it to other commenters.

    However, although he doesn’t directly focus on the Yang book, perhaps because it had not yet been translated into English, he does seem to have a much higher opinion of it, so piece actually tends to somewhat confirm my own judgment.

    Incidentally, he also emphasizes how the central Chinese government remained almost completely unaware of the massive rural disaster for much of the GLP period, which was also Yang’s conclusion. If the top leadership of the CCP wasn’t aware of scale of the horrific famine, I’m really not surprised that those 1961 and 1962 CIA reports mentioned above were similarly oblivious.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  220. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    My read of Grada’s critique is that he trashes MGF completely, albeit in an understated, academically polite manner. He is/was, after all “a research scholar at the Center for Health and Wellbeing, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.” and is obliged to maintain decorum.

    Nevertheless, he closes the main part of his critique with:

    On page after page of MGF, numbers on topics ranging from rats killed in Shanghai to illegal immigration to Hong Kong are produced with no discussion of their reliability or provenance: all that seems to matter is that they are ”big.”

    and, at the very end…

    The success of MGF should not deter other historians from writing calmer and more nuanced books that worry more about getting the numbers right and pay due attention to geography and history.

    Though we can all hope it doesn’t, there’s no mistaking Grada’s tone. It is as dismissive as academic propriety allows.

    I guess as an economic historian, he wouldn’t necessarily been paying much to non-economic matters, but I couldn’t help but note that he threw in this gratuitous little hat tip to orthodoxy:

    Few of the countless deaths in 1959–61 were sanctioned or ordained from the center in the sense that deaths in the Soviet Gulag or the Nazi gas chambers were.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  221. Ron Unz says:
    @Erebus

    My read of Grada’s critique is that he trashes MGF completely, albeit in an understated, academically polite manner…there’s no mistaking Grada’s tone. It is as dismissive as academic propriety allows.

    Sure. Or as I put it in less polite language, “the Dikotter book on the Great Leap Forward, which he regards as rather trashy, loose with facts and propagandistic.”

    • Replies: @Erebus
  222. Rdm says:
    @d dan

    ChineseMom is a self-taught pseudo intellectual.

    Hey ChineseMom, do you remember BigWoWo?

    • Replies: @d dan
  223. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    My 2nd blockquote, translated from academese is basically, “I hope a more competent and honest historian displaces this book from its “most popular” status”.”

    I sorta expected your “trashy, loose with facts and propagandistic.”, but I didn’t expect Grada to give voice to a wish that MGF would go away. He’s right, of course. MGF discredits the whole genre.

    As Grada spoke so hopefully of Tombstone, I hoped to find he’d also reviewed Yang’s book in the intervening years. No luck, which probably tells us something as well.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  224. Ron Unz says:
    @Erebus

    I sorta expected your “trashy, loose with facts and propagandistic.”, but I didn’t expect Grada to give voice to a wish that MGF would go away. He’s right, of course. MGF discredits the whole genre.

    Sure, that’s a good point.

    But Grada seemed to have a favorable opinion of Yang’s book. Although no English translation was yet available, I’d assume he’d probably heard good things from some of his colleagues who had read the Chinese version, which tends to somewhat strengthen my own appraisal.

    I really don’t understand why you won’t at least just spend a couple of hours reading Yang’s 40 page chapter on the various demographic estimates, and deciding for yourself how his analysis stacks up against that of Prof. Sun or other critics.

    I think you might have once said that you live in China, so perhaps it’s difficult for you to buy a copy on Amazon. But there are apparently lots of website where you can just set up a free account with an email, and then read or download a PDF. Are they somehow blocked in the PRC?

    https://all-med.net/pdf/tombstone-the-great-chinese-famine-1958-1962/

    • Replies: @Tor597
    , @Erebus
  225. denk says:

    The trolls are really at their wits end and scraping the barrel .

    The best they can do these days are to repeat the same old canards ad nauseam, like a gawd damned broken record,…

    Mao allegedly murdered millions of his own people,
    for ‘proof’, [[[they]]] ask us to go thru the account by ‘Mao’s personal doc’, I wonder what happens to JUng Chang’s ‘definitive account of Maos’ dark secret’ ?

    HK, UIghurs, TAM….
    What happenst to Tibet ?
    bcos the Tibet agitprop has lost bit of its former lustre, HK, UIghurs, TAM are what currently trending in the ‘jewmerica MSM’, as per mark tapley, who then proceed to push that ‘jewmarica MSM’ agitprop verbatim.

    Then those obligatory dog videos from that bastion of journo integrity, the daily mail, which, as ‘evidence’, would be thrown out of any decent court

    To add insult to injury, this somehow make the CCP the most brutal thugs on earth, in fact, the Chinese are barbarians , no less.

    For a moment, I thought its the Chinese who perpetrated the likes of Fallujah. , where [[[they]]] turned it into shards to avenge the death of four black water mercs.

    [[[They]]] fabricated the fake news of ‘Iraq soldiers
    ripping off incubators from Kuwait babies’, in real life, murikkans xtian soldiers shot at ambulances, bombed hospitals, dragged off injured patients from their beds and executed them, threw away their last penicillin, killed the doc….’
    I kid you not, its all well documented by their very own ‘jewmarica MSM’, right outta the horse mouth.

    Hiroshima, Nam, Loas, Cambodia, YUgoslavia, Iraq, Afpak, LIbya, Syria,…
    [[[They]]] got away scot free, again and again and again.
    , they dont have to answer to nobody, including their very own gawd.

    Emboldened and cocky, they are back at it again.
    Those who massacred at least 20 millions moslems since ww2 now appoint itself as guardian angels of their moslem bro…

    The Uighurs needs our help, millions are rotting in concentration camps, their mosques destroyed, their korans burned, they are forced to eat pork, drink liquor, Hans moving in Uighurs homes to take over their wives….

    The lies are so brazen it makes my blood boils.

    JOhn perfidious Derby calls China the land of lies.

    Meanwhile, we have misdirection agents telling us
    its the CCP who’r ‘brutal thugs; and the Chinese are
    the real babarians.

  226. Erebus says:

    … I’d assume he’d probably heard good things from some of his colleagues who had read the Chinese version…

    Doubtless he’d heard the same about MGF. In the event, it disappointed him so (I assume) he hoped Tombstone would be MGF done right. As he rather optimistically said…

    … if Yang Jisheng is destined to be China’s Alexander Solzhenitzyn, Frank Dikötter now replaces Jasper Becker as its Anne Appelbaum.

    That indicates to me that he’d indeed heard quite a bit of “good things”, doubtless read the book, and having read it decided to remain silent. Discretion being the better part of valour, and all that.

    … there are apparently lots of website where you can just set up a free account with an email…

    I’ve been looking, sporadically enough to be sure, but haven’t found a site that really does require only an email address. A couple of windows into the process, and one finds that they’re invariably asking for much more.

    EG: the link you posted requires my credit card info in the next window after my email address:

    Why do we need your billing information?
    Because we are only licensed to distribute our content to certain countries, we ask that you verify your mailing address by providing us with a valid credit card number. We GUARANTEE that NO CHARGES will be applied…

    Obviously, I’m not gonna hand ’em that, so the search goes on…

  227. @Tor597

    I thought I had been very concise but my point is that there has been a lot of white washing going on here. Few people are aware that Mao and the communists were installed by the Zionists in the U.S. just like the Soviet Union and Castro in Cuba. Without this massive effort that began by provoking the Japanese into war using every means possible in order to clear them out of the way. Then putting the Japanese military equipment in the communists possession while cutting off all aid to Chiang Kai-shek. Once Mao’s murderous regime was in place few people are aware of their brutal campaign to wipe out any dissent.

    The disastrous magnitude of the Great Leap Forward can only be compared to the plunder of Russia and the starvation and murder of at least 30 million by the same criminal syndicate. It also shows the ignorance and capricious nature of Mao and his totally corrupt character as reveled by his long time personal physician. The idea proposed by some of the politically correct sympathizers on this site that Mao and the Zionist CIA were unaware of this incredible nonsense where near destitute peasants were forced to melt down the few meagre utensils they had is ridiculous. The same can be said for the one child policy that is still causing maladjustments as anyone could foresee. Only when government is in the hands of a kakistocracy of elite criminals are these type of dystopian abuses perpetrated on individuals as if they were livestock.

    The huge American corporate investment begun in the 70’s and supercharged starting in the 90’s was also a deliberate plan. Past is usually prologue to the future. That is the reason I reviewed China’s history. The Zionists did not maneuver China into it’s present position for no good reason, anymore than they have with Russia.

    You are using capitalism and communism in an ambiguous sense. Communism as proposed by Marx (Moses Mordecai Levy) agent for the super wealthy industrialists and financed by his uncle Lyon Philips (founder of Philips Corp.) is a theoretical abstraction to appeal to useful idiots in order to keep the proletariat divided and powerless, while attacking the old European Monarchies in order to establish “democracies” (countries run by Jews) in their place. Capitalism and communism are both capitalist, the difference being that on one hand you may have free enterprise capitalism with no government interference other than to enforce contracts through a court system and local law enforcement and at the other end of the spectrum there is monopoly capitalism (communism) where the politically connected elites make society work for them. They have to have government collusion in order to eliminate competition and maintain a cartel. We need to put the fiat money banking cartel in this same category. That is why it is one of Marx planks along with #1, the abolition of all private property which the Chinese also impose.

    These points are all relevant in the discussion about China. My aim here is not to compare China and the U.S. but to show how China (and the rest of the world) has been manipulated by the Zionist criminal syndicate since the 1800’s. When Alfred Milner, Cecil Rhodes, Edward VII, Lord Rothschild, Chaim Weizmann, Lloyd George, Edward Grey, Winston Churchill and others succeeded with their 250,000 troops in defeating the 40 – 50,000 Boers only by attacking their farms and throwing their women and children into concentration camps where 35,000 of them died of starvation, the Zionists were beginning on their long quest for global control. All of these conspirators knew that this objective would not be accomplished in their lifetime. However today over 120 years later the descendants of this network are very close to achieving their goal. They have control of most of the finances of just about all countries of any consequence as evidenced by the Rothschild banking cartel’s fiat system and its worldwide interlocking network. This was amply demonstrated in the bailout for billionaires in 08-09 and again with another massive heist of trillions by the sovereign banking cartel while our shabbos goy congress of puppet actors and the long controlled Zionist shills that posture as President rubber stamp their theft. The overall control of this group is obvious in international events everywhere including our total commitment to the Zionist bridgehead of Israel (Palestine) and in the banking elites control of the phony U.N. by the same group who founded the CFR and Trilateral Com.

    The Zionists have controlled the News media in the U.S. since before WW1 and have used this critical tool to lead the goyim wherever and to support whatever fraud they are promoting. The current and latest medical fraud of the fake virus, fake test and entirely faked numbers by the criminals at the CDC-WHO is a good example of how China and most other countries are complicit in this hoax as all of them drive their own herds of livestock closer to the ultimate goal of a new feudalism in the global totalitarian system.

    • Replies: @Tor597
    , @denk
  228. Tor597 says:
    @mark tapley

    This is all a bunch of rhetoric. So your argument is basically China Bad because of Zionists and something Mao did a long time ago?

    Every now and then you try and slip in libertarian principles, something which I am better well read on than you, but it doesn’t make sense.

    China bad because something something property rights even though America itself does not respect property rights lol.

    The people who paid you should get their money back. You still haven’t made any argument that makes sense.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  229. Tor597 says:
    @Ron Unz

    Unz, please give us a prediction on what you expect from the Corona Virus. Do you think it will peter out or will we face a bad second wave.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  230. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    My reply at #231 seems not to have registered as such.

  231. @mark tapley

    Mao’s catastrophic Great Leap Forward?

    It was a crapshoot, to be sure, and might have succeeded but for the weather and America’s grain embargo. If failed, but it was not a catastrophe. Here’s the background:

    Starting from a low base, the Chinese made their first car, their first truck, their first tractor, their first airplane, their first gunboat, and so on, in the late 1950s during the Great Leap Forward. A number of important plants were built with the help of the then Soviet Union, and began to play important roles in Chinaʼs economic life.

    Also during the Great Leap Forward, Chinese peasants built a great number of reservoirs throughout China. Of the ten biggest reservoirs in China today, the Danjiangkou Reservoir, Miyun Reservoir, Shisanling Reservoir, Xiashan Reservoir, Xinanjiang Reservoir, Lushui Reservoir, Xinfengjiang Reservoir, Songtao Reservoir, Shengzhong Reservoir, and Guanyinge Reservoir, nine were built during the Great Leap Forward. From 1949 to 1976, the 27 years of the Mao Era, Chinese peasants, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and Chairman Mao, worked on 200,000 kilometers of banks of the Yellow River, Hui River, Hai River, Liao River, and so on to prevent floods. In 1949, before the Communist Party came to power, there were only 6 big reservoirs, 13 medium-sized reservoirs, and 1,200 small reservoirs in China.

    During the 27-year Mao Era, the organized peasants built 302 big reservoirs (a 50-fold increase, mostly during the Great Leap Forward), 2,110 medium-sized reservoirs (a 162-fold increase), and 82,000 small reservoirs (a 68-fold increase). The total reservoir capacity rose from 20 billion cubic metres before Liberation to 450 billion cubic meters in 1976 – a 21-fold increase. These irrigation projects, combining the functions of irrigation, flood control and electricity generation, effectively mitigated the potential damages of floods and droughts that threatened the livelihood of peasants for thousands of years.

    Chinese peasants no longer were helpless before the vicissitudes of nature for their grain production.Xinfengjiang Reservoir was nationally famous at the time it was built.
    I had read about it before, but seeing it in person this summer nevertheless had a profound impact on me. The reservoir has a 14 billion cubic meter capacity, an average of ten cubic meters of clean water for each Chinese citizen today. It has generate billions of kilowatts of electricity, helping power Chinaʼs rural and urban development. It has been an important asset in flood control and irrigation for the region. Today, it is one of the most important water sources for Guangdong Province and Hong Kong.

    The Great Leap Forward also laid the foundation for Chinaʼs industrialization. During the three years of the Great Leap Forward, China made great strides in the output of steel, coal, machine tools and electricity. The increase of output over these three years accounted for 36.2 per cent of Chinaʼs total coal production, 29.6 per cent of Chinaʼs cloth production, and 25.9 per cent of Chinaʼs electricity generation between 1949 and 1979. Of the industrial projects the Chinese government launched between 1949 and 1964, two-thirds were started during the Great Leap Forward.

    During the second five-year-plan, which included the three years of the Great Leap Forward, China invested 120,090 million yuan and completed 581 big and medium industrial projects. Fixed national industrial assets increased by 861,820 million yuan. Without the hard work of the Great Leap Forward, it would be hard to imagine that China would be able to take off in the automobile, boat, transportation, and national defence industries. That China would develop nuclear bombs and satellites would be questionable. Great Leap Forward grain shortages?

    Post-Mao Chinese scholars, together with their foreign counterparts, try to paint a very dark picture of the Great Leap Forward. They claim that the Great Leap Forward created an unprecedented famine in China. They circulate rumours that 36 or more millions of people starved to death. In 1958, 1959 and 1960, the Americans, the Russians, the British, the Jiang Jieshi regime in Taiwan, the Japanese, and South Koreans were all hostile to China, had spies in China, and listening devices around China to monitor what was going on. But they did not have any evidence to show there was a famine in China at that time.

    The post-Mao struggle between the representatives of opposing lines in the Communist Party ended in an anti-Mao faction coming to power. This anti-Mao faction began a political campaign to tarnish the Mao era in order to legitimize their political return and to introduce a different political platform, opposed to that of Chairman Maoʼs. They started changing population statistics, and began to focus on the shortcomings of the Great Leap Forward. For many years, they only allowed one sided anti-Mao materials to be published. They used questionable methods to project the population changes in China during the Great Leap Forward, and eventually claimed dozens of millions of Chinese people perished during that period.

    A Chinese mathematics professor, Sun Jingxian, and an Indian economist, Utsa Patnaik, have refuted these claims and denounced them as an ideologically motivated attack on socialism. I will not repeat their argument here. Rather, I shall present some of my own field research, which will provide a case study of experiences of people in the Great Leap Forward and corroborate some of these findings. I grew up during the Great Leap Forward, and I have done rural research in China during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. In 1958, the year when the commune was formed, we had the greatest summer and fall harvests in recorded history. People ate so well. That was true not only in my hometown in Shandong Province, but also in Henan and Anhui Provinces, where I studied.
    Peasants in Henan and Anhui told me that they were able to eat very well, better than ever before, in 1958. This indicates that the forming of the peopleʼs communes and the Great Leap Forward only improved peopleʼs livelihoods in 1958. In 1959, my hometown suffered a summer flood without precedent in the last hundred years. I still remember that my mother and my aunt took me to the fields in those days. After several days of rain, the ditches beside the roads were filled with water. All of our fields were water-logged. My mother pulled out some of the sweet potato plants which were planted about a month earlier, and saw no growth. I heard my mother tell my aunts that we were going to have a hard time that year. In the spring of 1960, my hometown had a very bad drought. On top of that, we had another very bad summer flood. The crops failed again. Quite a few people in my village migrated to the Northeast with their families, and quite a few young people left the village to look for opportunities elsewhere. Thus our region was hit very badly by natural disasters for two consecutive years.

    The Shandong Provincial Government, as well as the Central Government sent teams of investigators to our county to find out what was happening with the local leadership. The County Party Secretary Xu Hua and the Head of County Government Office Wang Changsheng were both dismissed by the upper government because of the grain shortage in the county. But during the two years of natural disasters, we got relief grains from the Central government, the provincial government, Qingdao City, Shanghai City and many other regions. I still remember the two dried wild vegetables shipped to us from Yunan Province: one with golden hair which we called ginmaogou (golden-haired dog), because it was shaped like a tiny dog, and another which was brown and shaped like a pig liver, called yezhugan (wild pig liver) by the local people. For many years, my parents kept a piece of each of these wild vegetables as souvenirs of the two hardship years, and also to remember the help we got from other people in China.

    People in Baoding Prefecture, Hebei Province, published a collection of memoirs titled During the Difficult Days, which describes how, amid the severe grain shortages, people worked together helping each other, and how the local government leaders shared the hardship of the common people. When I read the book, I was reminded that the reason very few people starved amid the natural disasters of the Great Leap Forward was because of the spirit of socialism. Whenever and wherever one place had difficulties, people from other places helped. I remember many peasants told me that if it were not for the help of the Peopleʼs Government, many people would have starved amid disasters like the one in 1960.

    By contrast, in Northern Henan Province (where the grain shortage during the Great Leap Forward was supposed to have been severe), five million people had starved to death in 1942. The Government at that time had done nothing to help the local people. In the 1990s, I accompanied Ralph Thaxton, my advisor in graduate school, to study (on a Guggenheim scholarship) the regionʼs famine. When he said that he had come to study the famine, peasants thought that he was studying the famine of 1942-3. During that 1942-43 famine, not only did five million people starve, but many people had to sell their land, their houses, and their children, before fleeing their hometowns. The local government and national government did nothing to help the people there.

    But nothing like that took place during the grain shortage of the Great Leap Forward. Amid the grain shortages, my maternal grandfather died of a disease. My paternal grandfather also died that year at the same age. They were both in their sixties. (Chinese peopleʼs life expectancy was less than 60 years then.) They had been sick for a long time. The grain shortage might have weakened them, and they may have eventually succumbed to disease. But I think there is a significant difference between that and saying that they starved to death. Only people with ulterior motives would blame principally the Great Leap Forward, or the public dining halls, or the peopleʼs communes, for the grain shortage we faced during these three years amid severe natural disasters. The grain shortage was caused first and foremost by natural disasters.

    Like my mother, my father never went to school when he was young. He started working as an apprentice when he was 13 years old. When the Communist Party came to power, the Government set up night schools for workers who wanted to learn how to read and write. He learned how to read and write at the night school. Later, the factory sent him to get training from Shandong Industrial College in Jinan. Because of the training he got, he and a few others were put in charge of building a steel factory in my county (Jimo County) during the Great Leap Forward.

    The factory was set up in 1958, and in a very short time span, the factory recruited 2000 workers from the rural areas in the county, mostly young men in their late teens and early twenties. For three months, my father interviewed and recruited these workers. Two years later, faced with economic difficulties caused by the natural disasters and the souring of relations with the Soviet Union, the Government decided to close down the steel factory.

    The 2,000 young workers my father recruited and trained were all asked to go back to their original villages. Mr. Sun Jingxian (who, as mentioned earlier, wrote a refutation of the inflated estimates of deaths during 1959-61) argues in his article that the alleged population loss (on paper) during the Great Leap Forward was partly caused by the fact that a large number of people moved in this period. First they moved as a result of industrialization at the beginning of the Great Leap Forward; and later they moved because the closing down of these factories led to workers being sent back. What happened in my fatherʼs factory could support Mr. Sunʼs argument. An important point I want to make here is that these rural youth received important training during the two years working in my fatherʼs factory.

    Let me tell you how I found out if people starved to death during the Great Leap Forward. I went to the places where the famine was supposed to have been very bad. I talked with all the old people in the village and asked them how many people starved to death in their village. In one village, where there were 2,000 people during the Great Leap Forward, some people said that about 100 people died and some people said that 50 people died. I then asked these same people to tell me the names of these people who died and how old these people were when they died. It turned out that in this village of 2,000 people, these old people could only name 15 people collectively, and those who died were all over 60 years old (when life expectancy then was less than 60 years), except one man who was in his forties. But this man was a mentally handicapped orphan, who lived alone, could not care for himself and had nobody else to help him. And sadly, he died prematurely. In the last 30- odd years, one heard many stories about starvation and famine during the Great Leap Forward. But most of the stories could not stand close scrutiny and examination.

    Frank Dikötter also claimed that he had documents to prove that Chairman Mao was willing to starve half of the Chinese people to death so that the other half could have more than enough to eat. My friend challenged him to produce the document. Dikötter said that he had an agreement with the source of the document not to show the document to anybody. But under pressure, he agreed to let my friend in Hong Kong to see the document. It turned out that the document was a speech by Chairman Mao at a meeting discussing the investment planned in industrial projects. China had planned to launch over one thousand industrial projects in 1960. Chairman Mao said in the speech that he would rather cut the number of investment projects by half so the Government would have enough money to quickly complete the remaining half of the projects. But Dikötter interpreted Chairman Maoʼs words to mean that he was willing to starve half the Chinese population in order that the other half have more than enough to eat. Dikötter claimed that he was a China specialist. I wonder if he was able to read and understand Chinese text, or he was in fact a linguistic genius who could read into the Chinese language something that was not there in the first place.

    I had a debate with one of my professors when he said in class that 40 million Chinese peasants starved to death in the Great Leap Forward. I asked him why the Chinese peasants, allegedly facing certain starvation, did not rebel during the Great Leap Forward. Chinese peasants had rebelled so many times in history when there was a famine. He said that Chinese people were too starved to rebel then. I said that apparently the Chinese peasants were not too starved to build thousands of reservoirs during the Great Leap Forward. He then said that the Chinese peasants did not have weapons during the Great Leap Forward with which to rebel. I said that throughout Chinese history, the Chinese ruling classes never allowed Chinese peasants to have weapons. But that did not prevent Chinese peasants from rebellion with sticks and shovels, again and again. In our Chinese language, we have a proverb, “jie gan erqi” (pick up a bamboo stick and rebel), to describe one of the earliest rebellions in the Qin Dynasty.

    I also told my professor that the Mao era was an exception in Chinese history: under Chairman Mao, the Chinese State did allow the Chinese people, both peasants and workers, to have weapons. During the Great Leap Forward, the Chinese government called upon the Chinese people to organize several hundred divisions of militia.
    Peasants worked in the fields with rifles stacked beside them. This summer I interviewed the former village party secretary of Yakoucun Village in Guangzhou. He told me that during the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution years, his villageʼs militia had more than 200 rifles, machines guns, and even anti-air artilleries. The village militia was trained regularly. The weapons were taken away from the village when Deng Xiaoping started the rural reforms in 1982. It would be much easier for peasants to rebel, if they wanted to, with such easy access to weapons. But there was not even a protest, let alone a rebellion, during the Great Leap Forward.

    Dongping Han, Hao Qi, Mobo Gao. *Remembering Socialist China, 1949-1976* (Remembering Socialist China, 1949-1976 (http://www.rupe-india.org/59/han.html))

    • Replies: @Erebus
  232. denk says:
    @mark tapley

    mark thug tapley [1]

    China has been ruled by murderous thugs, read the book……

    YOu have proven nothing about Mao, never mind HU, or Jiang, or Xi.

    Dont throw us a book, show the smoking gun.
    —————————-
    Liks so,

    US has been ruled by murderous thugs…

    Here’s the evidence,

    https://popularresistance.org/all-us-presidents-living-and-dead-are-war-criminals/

    The gory details,
    Exhibit A
    Fallujah

    ‘In Fallujah, under conditions of limited food, contaminated water, and massive injuries, for those seeking food, water or medicine there was another problem, “there were so many [US] snipers, anyone leaving their house was killed.” On November 12th we learned “among the first major targets [in the assault on Fallujah] were the hospitals.” A civilian hospital and a trauma clinic were destroyed in a massive air raid, the main hospital was captured by US troops, ambulances were prohibited from traveling into the besieged city and delivering patients in need of emergency care (the US also announced that any and all moving civilian vehicles were designated free-fire targets). Much of the city’s water and electricity supplies were cut off making “emergency care all but impossible, in the words of Dr. Hashem Issawi, and contrary to international law, soldiers were “empowered to destroy whatever needs to be destroyed.” In the razed clinic, US bombs took the lives of 15 medics, four nurses and 35 patients, according to clinic worker Dr. Sami al-Jumaili. The Los Angeles Times reported that the manager of Fallujah general hospital “had told a US general the location of the downtown makeshift medical center” before it was hit by US bombs. In a smoke-filled, corpse-strewn landscape of collapsed houses and soot-singed factories, a US captain, fresh from 13 days of “shooting holes in every building,” starkly noted that the only way to proceed is to “destroy everything in your path.” Indiscriminate destruction is a war crime in violation of international law as encoded in the Nuremberg Principles. One year later the “wasting” continues’

    http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m18007

    Tip of an iceberg.

    Who’r the murderous thugs, who’r the barbarians ?

    The Zionists have controlled the News media in the U.S. since before WW1 and have used this critical tool to lead the goyim wherever and to support whatever fraud they are promoting.

    Such as…
    TAM massacre,
    Police brutality in HK,
    Xinjiang gulags ,
    Brutal crackdown in Tibet,

    which you repeated here ad nauseam.

    [1] refer to your penchant to call the CCP murderous thugs.

  233. Ron Unz says:
    @Tor597

    Unz, please give us a prediction on what you expect from the Corona Virus. Do you think it will peter out or will we face a bad second wave.

    Frankly, I have no idea what will happen, and I suspect none of the alleged experts really do either. Maybe cases will increase once people are spending more time indoors or maybe a mutation will make the virus more contagious or dangerous.

    As I mentioned elsewhere this morning, a big article in the SJ Mercury News indicates that CA fatality-rates have fallen by about 65% over the last few months, about half of that do to better treatment:

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/31000-words-missing-from-the-atlantic-and-the-new-york-times-sunday-magazine/#comment-4175612

    An NYT analysis a month ago indicated that “excess deaths” are running about 30% higher than official Covid-19 fatalities, so I’d guess that well over 250K people have died so far, and the total might easily break 400K by the end of the year.

  234. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    I find it quite astonishing that people can look at documented historical facts like…

    … the Chinese made their first car, their first truck, their first tractor, their first airplane, their first gunboat…

    … and upon the GLF’s massive infrastructure projects including flood control, irrigation canals and reservoirs through Greatest-Famine-in History-coloured glasses and blithely announce that both happened simultaneously without succumbing to cognitive dissonance, if not vertigo.

    Even more astonishing is that the former are matters of hard historical & physical fact, while the latter depends on sketchy “estimates” and “extrapolations” from data of unknown and/or undocumented provenance, often by persons of no known expertise in such matters.

    Then I come back to…

    “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.
    “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    … so perhaps it’s quite a bit more possible than I envisaged. Quite a few people here appear to have had a lot of practice and developed a level of proficiency that I would have thought unreachable.

    The greatest famine in history is truly unique…
    I haven’t heard of the Bengalis, Ethiopians, Bangladeshis, or even the Irish or Dutch rising to the occasion during their recent famines and embarking on massive, national scale development while 5-10% of the population dies of starvation. Is it a matter of scale?

    Does a famine have to be the “greatest in history” to trigger equally great paroxysms of industrial activity across a nation? Surely the GLF stands alone in the history of famines in that regard, as does the industrialization itself. The UK, USA and Europe avoided the use of famine to trigger their industrialization. One wonders how they did it.

    The uniqueness extends to small scale details. Dikotter states, apparently absent-mindedly that marriage rates rose during the GLF. Huh??? Was he totally unaware that he was noting a(nother) first in the history of famines? Doubtless he was, but it’s perhaps the only real statistic he cites so one thanks him for it.

    More seriously, the GLF and the circumstances and events surrounding it (and the Cult Rev) are far greater in number and complexity than shallow sloganeering can come close to explicating. Great and terrible things happened, and interwove in a such a way as to ultimately constitute modern China’s founding event. MGF and Tombstone, even if they were reliable, would amount to 2 blind men having got hold of the same part of the elephant. As it is, they almost certainly didn’t get hold of anything.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @antibeast
  235. @Ron Unz

    Before I give my evaluation of Yang’s book, I’d like to give you some background about changing of Chinese media and public opinions over the last 70 years.

    First, I have to say that the Chinese way of thinking is quite different from Westerners. We don’t care that much to distinguish the facts and opinions, or the facts and fictions. So most of Chinese history books are the mixture of facts, opinions and fictions, back 2000 years ago starting with Confucius. It was an eye opening and mind changing experience when I first saw my kid’s 3rd grade school homework making her to distinguish the facts and opinions.

    The consequences of this is that when people or journalists writing or reporting an events in China, they often mix up the facts and fictions (sometimes lies). When a Western journalist lies, he usually lies intentionally to serve his agenda. A Chinese journalist often make unintentional lies just for the purpose of telling a good story.

    I’ll separate China in four periods: before 1976 (Mao era) , 1976 – 1989, 1989 – 2016, 2016 – present.

    I was born in 60’s and schooled during 70’s and 80’s. I don’t know about the propaganda in 50’s and 60’s. But in 70’s, the information I got from school, newspaper, radio, children’s book were full of falsehood. I hated that kind of propaganda so much that I discounted almost everything I was taught since I entered middle school. Now looking back, besides the Anti-Rightist Campaign in 1957 and the Cultural Revolution made people had to follow very strict party’s line, I think CPC were and still are very bad at propaganda. One of the most important factors in my opinion is they didn’t know better.

    From 1976 – 1989, This is probably the most free period in China, especially after 1978, in a sense that anti-CCP thought among college students and intellectuals did not crossed CCP boundaries. My university even had a free election of representatives to our district People’s Congress, probably the only real free election in PRC history. During this period, all those wrongful unjust cases were corrected.

    I think information came out of this period about Mao era is most credible and reliable, because people’s memories were still fresh, witnesses and most parties involved were all alive and not that old. Most important, people were honest. Unlike later period, there was no incentive to demonize CCP or Mao era. Another important factor is that the West was in honeymoon with China.

    1989 – 2016. After June 4the Tiananmen event, the relationship between people, especially educated people, and Chinese government changed. People became hostile to CCP and Chinese government. After initial suppression of anti-government voice, CCP let almost everything loose. Besides economic boom, this is also the most corrupted and morally bankrupted period in PRC history. People cheated not only in doing businesses, but also in academic and scientific research with no inhibitions.

    The West became hostile to China after 1989, not only because CCP’s crackdown on Tiananmen Square democracy movement, but also because the collapse of the Soviet Union. The West infiltrated Chinese intellectual community through nurturing and supporting the opposition to the CCP. Pro-west and anti-CCP intellectuals gained the control of not only the social media, but also part of official media.

    This is also the period of China’s historical revisionism run rampant. Almost every icons and national heroes established during Mao era were branded as fake. The old China under Chiang Kai Shek’s ruling were romanized, especially the ten years period before Japanese invasion in 1937. I think that because a lots of these pro-West people were often called as traitor (汉奸)for their pro-West rhetorics and conduct, they started to revise the meaning of Chinese word 汉奸(traitor). Suddenly, those national heroes in Chinese history who lead the resistance to foreign invasion were not heroes anymore, and those historically notorious traitors who helped or cooperated with foreign invaders were not that bad because of various reasons.

    This is a period of total chaos. China was like an adolescent searching for identity.

    Yang served as Vice President of 《炎黃春秋》, a magazines that was the leading voice of this historical revision process, for more than 10 years. He left the magazine a year before it was finally shut down in 2016.

    2016 – present. I think somewhere between 2015 to 2016, Xi began to take tighter control of China’s social media and semi-officials media.

    • Replies: @Biff
  236. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    Even more astonishing is that the former are matters of hard historical & physical fact, while the latter depends on sketchy “estimates” and “extrapolations” from data of unknown and/or undocumented provenance, often by persons of no known expertise in such matters.

    There is no any material evidence of alleged mass starvation in the form of photographs, eye-witness accounts, mass graves, etc. during the Great Leap Forward. The only thing researchers cite is the decline in population during the three year period which could be explained by lower childbirths due to mass mobilizations or mass poverty, higher death rates of children or the elderly due to lack of medicines, etc.

    Compare that to the Bengali Famine which is well-documented with photographs, eye-witness accounts, mass graves, etc. Here’s a photograph of Calcutta’s dead during the Bengali Famine:

    Another thing is the tendency to conflate different aspects of the Great Leap Forward with mass starvation such as the mass mobilization of peasant farmers to build backyard furnaces as described in Dikotter’s book. While that effort failed to produce the “Great Leap” in steel production that Mao had wanted, it didn’t lead to mass starvation either. Dikotter even cites the fact that China was exporting surplus food to the Soviet Union as evidence of a “deliberate” attempt to induce mass starvation which he fails to prove but nevertheless concludes as fact. This logical fallacy is called circular reasoning or concluding the premise which contradicts his conclusion if China was exporting surplus food to the Soviet Union during this time because that implies there is no scarcity of food which is the textbook definition of famine. Dikotter doesn’t present any material evidence whatsoever but produces conjectures from interpreting statistics.

    Too many holes in this “famine story” which looks more like “fake news” fabricated after the event.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Erebus
  237. d dan says:
    @Rdm

    “ChineseMom is a self-taught pseudo intellectual.”

    Just read her latest comments. Also from my previous exchanges with her:

    She is strong in observation and weak in analysis. She is a good antidote to the poisons those lying SOBs throw out when she describes the truth. She muddies the water when she interprets things beyond her understanding.

  238. @Ron Unz

    On the other hand, Sun’s a mathematician, while the Chinese experts who assisted Yang’s research were experienced professional demographers.

    Are you sure there are Chinese experts assisted Yang’s research?

    1) Yang Jisheng said: His “36 million starved to death” was obtained by “taking a median” from the figures given by several “Chinese and foreign demographers”. We carefully read and analyzed the relevant works of these “Chinese and foreign demographers”, and finally confirmed: (1) There are fundamental errors in the research of several foreign demographic experts such as Cole and Bannister; (2) Jiang Zhenghua The “mathematical model” established in the research is completely wrong; (3) We have spent a lot of energy consulting more than 2,000 kinds of local chronicles across the country, and obtained a large amount of data, which fully shows that Cao Shuji’s “Great Famine” The fabricated number of abnormal deaths in various provinces, cities, autonomous regions, and prefectures (the “Fu” in Cao Shuji’s words) are all wrong; (4) The research methods used by Ding Shu, Jin Hui, and Wang Weizhi are also wrong. That is to say, the number of “abnormal deaths” given by the above-mentioned “Chinese and foreign demographers” cited by Yang Jisheng during the three-year difficult period in our country are all wrong. Yang Jisheng “takes a median” of these figures. The so-called “starving to death 36 million” must also be wrong.

    The above paragraph was the google translation of part of professor Sun’s article:
    http://dis.cssn.cn/zt/zt_zh/fdlsxwzy/fdlsxwzypp/fdlsxwzybxppwz/201601/t20160112_2822807.shtml
    Among the Chinese names mentioned above, only Jiang Zhenghua is a professional demographers in China, but he studied electric engineering in college, worked in that field for more than 20 years, than went to some kind of International Demography Academy in India for 2 years as a graduate student according to https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/蒋正华, then came back as to work as an demographic expert. No wonder his mathematical model is completely wrong, he wasn’t trained in the field properly. Other “experts” are historian, journalist, …, all work in humanity fields, they probably don’t even have math training beyond high school level.

    Almost all of the GLF deaths estimates mainly came from the following data published by the National bureau of statistics in 1982. See for yourself how much you can get out of it. If an estimates used other data except census data, that is probably fabricated data or is less reliable than this. The data that Yang used from local government agencies should be already reflected in this.

    Year total population birth rate death rate natural growth rate total fertility rate
    (万人) (‰) (‰) (‰) (个)
    1949 54167 36.00 20.00 16.00 6.14
    1950 55196 37.00 18.00 19.00 5.81
    1951 56300 37.80 17.80 20.00 5.70
    1952 57482 37.99 17.00 20.99 6.47
    1953 58796 37.00 14.00 23.00 6.05
    1954 60266 38.19 13.18 25.00 6.28
    1955 61465 32.18 12.28 19.90 6.26
    1956 62780 33.67 11.40 21.39 5.85
    1957 64238 34.03 10.80 23.23 6.41
    1958 65346 29.22 11.98 17.24 5.68
    1959 66012 24.78 14.59 10.19 4.30
    1960 66207 20.86 17.91 2.95 4.02
    1961 66457 18.02 14.24 3.78 3.29
    1962 67295 22.63 10.02 12.61 6.02
    1963 69172 40.00 12.11 27.89 7.50
    1964 70499 30.68 11.50 19.18 6.18
    1965 72538 38.42 9.50 28.92 6.08
    1966 74206 31.82 8.83 22.99 6.26

    • Replies: @mark tapley
    , @Erebus
    , @Ron Unz
  239. @Vojkan

    Remember, the Zionists put the Chinese communists in power. I believe that the Chinese oligarchs are in full cooperation with the anglo Zionists just as for example, the Saudis. None of the members of this syndicate care anything about their people or they would not have attained a high level position in the hierarchy. When you have big government you always have big corruption and the worst will always come to the top because if a person has moral standards there are some things they are not willing to do. Someone who will manufacture wars, 911, WMD’s, fake shootings, stage riots, incite racial hatered and contrive fake viruses with fake tests, fake numbers and the coming fake vaccine will not hesitate to do whatever moves the agenda forward.

    I think the U.S. and China are in different phases in the Zionist paradigm. The demoralization and destabilization programs against western culture as conducted by the MSM now with the staged riots are further attempts to eliminate our 10th amendment protection and get people more used to martial law. China’s weaknesses are not routinely reported by the MSM just as the Soviet Union was always portrayed as a formidable military and economic power till the very end. China is ahead of all other countries with it’s social credit total surveillance and control system. This hight tech control system is not being used to help the people, just to help keep the herd fenced in while they wait to be vaccinated.

  240. @ChineseMom

    Mao’s personal physician Dr. Li Zhisui wrote at length about the GLF in his book “The Private Life of Chairman Mao.” He reported millions as starving while 60 million peasants tended Mao’s asinine back yard steel furnaces. Mao’s officials provided bogus statistics to cover the disaster while Mao had more important things to focus on, such as his many girlfriends.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  241. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    There is no any material evidence of alleged mass starvation in the form of photographs, eye-witness accounts, mass graves, etc. during the Great Leap Forward.

    I made the same point in the Barrett/Roberts thread.

    In stark contrast to what one gets typing “Bengal/Ethiopian/Bangladesh/Dutch famine” into Google Images, typing “GLF famine” brings up 100s of photos of backyard steel furnaces, communal meals, work brigades digging/building/hauling/marching, and the only picture that can be stretched to represent any GLF Famine is the little boy with the begging bowl that appears on the front of Dikotter’s book.

    Typical of the genre and specifically of the book it graces, that picture is a patent fraud. It was lifted out of a 1946 edition of LIFE magazine.

    What’s more, the Chinese simply have no collective memory of a Great Famine. Even the Irish Famine of the mid 1800s remains prominent in the Irish collective memory, and every Irishman has an opinion about it. So it is with the Boers and loss of ~35k Boer women and children in the British concentration camps, but I found that no such collective memory exists in the Chinese.

    I know a half dozen people who lived through the GLF as adolescents and young adults fairly well. More that I don’t know well. Their collective memory is of hardship and hard work, even great hardship, hunger, malnutrition/disease, natural disasters, etc. They talk of stupid, even disastrous blunders (esp logistical), they express a whole host of personal/political reactions and opinions, but none saw anybody, or knows somebody who saw anybody, starve to death. The numbers we see being scattered about (5-10% of the population) are statistically impossible.

    The whole “GLF Famine” meme is of a piece with the “Holocaust” meme. A historically traumatic time of great deprivation is overlaid with a politically charged, diabolical narrative. That narrative, of course is created and overlaid for political goals, like a veneer over chip-board. Its authors know well that the truth is much harder to tease out from the complexities that lie beneath it and so the overlay is made easily accessible and emotionally stimulating, attracting lazy academics and the general public both. Over time, the historical realities drift into the mists and only the narrative remains. Academics argue over it, the public assumes the academics will sort it out, and the underlying realities are forgotten.

    To be clear, I am no expert on what happened during the GLF any more than I am on the details of what happened on the ground under the “Holocaust” overlay. What I do know is that what couldn’t have happened didn’t, and that what is unlikely to have happened, likely didn’t. A critical dig into the details with a jaundiced eye, coupled with a macro view of both events says both commonly accepted narratives are fabricated from thin air, and can claim but very few points of contact with physical reality. I believed both narratives until I personally broke through the veneer and found chip-board underneath. In both cases, the chipboard proved more interesting (IMHO) than the rather cheap and poorly applied veneer.

    The discussion on the Barrett/Roberts thread is here, should you be interested in a more vigorous debate.

    • Agree: ChineseMom
    • Thanks: Ghan-buri-Ghan
    • Replies: @antibeast
  242. Erebus says:
    @ChineseMom

    Thanks for some of the details, esp about the “demographers”.
    OTOH, your characterization of Jiang Zhenghua seems a little harsh and begs going deeper into his role. The International Institute of Population Sciences in Mumbai has some history and does not appear to be one of the many for-profit “diploma shops” India is notorious for. After leaving the IIPS he held several serious posts in both academe and the govt. I realize, of course, that in those times especially, most such posts were political/guanxi appointments rather than having much or anything to do with merit, but his role needs to be fleshed out along with any political leanings and ideological baggage he may have brought to the table.

    Many of us are familiar with the data table you present. As others have pointed out, a few things jump out at one:
    – the 1957 death rate of 10.8 is implausible. It means the CPC reduced the death rate by almost 50% in 8 yrs. After 150 yrs of great strife and only uneven control of a devastated country, such a quick turnaround is a historical outlier. Not credible.
    – despite the drastic drop in the birth rate and drastic rise in the death rate, the population actually increases marginally during the GLF. Is that demographically possible? I think not.

    What comes out of that pile of numbers is that the numbers between and beyond the 1953 census and the 1964 census are unreliable. Though I have to wonder what sort of census could really be done in those times, all we really know with any level of certainty is that during the decade between 1953 and 1964 the population increased by 20% while the birth & death rates fell by 17% and 18% respectively. Using the two censuses as a ring fence around the issue, I don’t see room for a loss of 30-60 million.

    Much more telling is the population pyramid as published on Wiki, which I have no reason to doubt is based on real data. Taking the 2010 census as likely to be the most reliable, we see a sizeable hole in the cohort born during the GLF.

    That hole needs explication, but I’d maintain that the explication can’t and won’t be found in the data. However skilled a demographer may be with extrapolating numbers, whether those missing people were ever even born or died in childhood can only be determined by going into the countryside and teasing out a guesstimate of how much of it is due to postponement due to social disruption, how much to nutrition related infertility & miscarriage, and how much to abortion/infanticide. Perhaps Jiang did that, but I’d have to get hold of the book to know more.

    What’s clear from the wiki pyramid is that in the decade immediately following the GLF, the birth rate skyrocketed. What’s equally clear is that there is no hole in the cohort that would have participated in the baby making.

    That indicates postponement/temporary infertility to me, with little room for “starvation”, but I’m no expert.

  243. @mark tapley

    Aside from the fact the 60 million is a fake number… Explain how much different it is between autocratic Mao and the conditions that caused the Dust Bowl in the “free” and “democratic” United States…
    In any event – China is as different now from when Mao was the top dog as the US is now compared to the Dust Bowl days.

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  244. @Erebus

    Yes and as restrictive as the hukou system is – it also prevents major cities in China from looking like Mumbai or New Dehli with homeless swarms all over the place. That’s not to say everything is rosy for migrant workers in Chinese cities – but they certainly don’t have the slums you see in India or even the Philippines.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  245. @GMC

    There is no property tax in China. They pay income and consumption taxes – but not property.

  246. Ron Unz says:
    @ChineseMom

    Are you sure there are Chinese experts assisted Yang’s research?

    Well, I dug out my copy of Yang’s book and looked through the relevant chapter. Here are a few of the estimates presented, including deaths and total population loss (including drop in birthrate):

    (1) Judith Banister, 29M deaths, 61M population loss.

    (2) Ansley Coale, 30M deaths, 55M population loss.

    (3) Jiang Zhenghua, a leading demographer, produced the official estimate endorsed by the PRC: 17M deaths. But Yang says Jiang’s figures are internally inconsistent, and actually indicate 21-23M deaths and a population loss of 50-52M. Yang repeatedly contacted Jiang, asking him to clarify his methodology, but although Jiang finally replied with a friendly, encouraging letter, he said he was unable to do so.

    (4) Ding Shu, an overseas Chinese scholar, thinks the data implies 35M deaths.

    (5) Jin Hui in Shanghai estimates 35M deaths.

    (6) Chen Yizi, former head of the Economic System Reform Institute, alleged that there was a secret government report showing that 43M had died, but Yang says there is no way to verify this claim.

    (7) Cao Shuji, was chairman of the history department at Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University. According to his methodology, unnatural deaths totaled 32M.

    (8) Wang Weizhi trained in population statistics in Moscow and then spent more than 20 years doing demographic studies for the Public Security Ministry. He estimates 34M excess deaths.

    Yang seems to regard the estimates by Jin Hui, Cao Shuji, and Wang Weizhi as the most solid, and using somewhat different methodologies, they produced estimates of 32M – 35M excess deaths. But for various reasons, Yang thinks the true figure is probably a little higher, at least 36M, along with a shortfall of 40M births, for a total population loss of 76M.

    Frankly, looking at the *huge* hole in the population-curve, a total population loss of 76M hardly seems unreasonable to me.

    Since you’re from China, you have vastly more background knowledge than I do, allowing you to far better evaluate Yang’s sources. For example, is Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University a serious academic institution or not? You can also compare his analysis with Prof. Sun’s Chinese-language refutation.

    I’ve now gone to the trouble of trying to (very crudely) summarize Yang’s estimates for you, but that’s about the limit of what I can do given my lack of expertise. Since you apparently live in the US, you can buy a copy of Yang’s book on Amazon for less than $10 and read that particular chapter in just a couple of hours, which is probably the best way for you to decide whether Yang or Sun are correct.

    One reason not to do so is that you might actually find Yang’s book too persuasive, which would force you to reevaluate your own opinion on various things. It’s obviously much more pleasant to believe Sun who claims that everything by Yang and his sources was fraudulent, and that there was no mass starvation during the GLF. Many, many Americans take an exactly similar approach to controversial issues in our own history.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  247. @Anon

    People like yourself make comments without understanding what you are saying. Yes migration did increase of wealthy Chinese… But it is a FACT that the migration increase is only a small portion of those who are newly rich. It’s like claiming all the rich New Yorkers moved to Florida or all the rich Californians moved to Texas. No Florida and Texas rely on lower taxes to attract SOME of all the wealth created in New York and California. So it is with rich Chinese moving to western lower tax countries. The vast majority don’t leave. Go back and check the numbers.

    As to PPP – that is nonsense. PPP is exactly what it says.. It shows how much you can buy where you live. In the same way $60k goes further in San Antonio than in Los Angeles. PPP is the same thing with different currencies.

  248. Biff says:
    @ChineseMom

    The West became hostile to China after 1989, not only because CCP’s crackdown on Tiananmen Square democracy movement

    It was my understanding that the Tiananmen movement was started by students who were upset that foreign students(Particularly African) were getting better entitlements than the native Chinese students? The west then co-opted/commandeered the movement into a democracy movement through its’ various NGO’s and media minions – one of its habits – to discredit the CCP, in hope to gain traction for a larger political movement against the Chinese government. In fact, because of the similarities you could call it a ‘Colored revolution’ before the term was even made up.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  249. Erebus says:
    @showmethereal

    China’s various Hukou-like systems date back to pre-dynastic times, >4,000yrs ago, and continued even during periods when China was not a unified state. Even the Japanese and KMT imposed their versions in the areas they occupied. IOW, the Chinese have been living with it for a very long time.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  250. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    Frankly, looking at the *huge* hole in the population-curve, a total population loss of 76M hardly seems unreasonable to me.

    I thought that 76M sounded unreasonable to me, so…

    I did a little simple “filling in” of the “*huge* hole” graphically so it looked “normal”, or at least wouldn’t grab one’s attention.
    Given the “noise” in the those pyramids, one can be wildly off the mark of course, but the graph began looking quite “normal” at ~28M being added, and was fully “normal” by ~35M. That is, the birth rate went on its normally noisy course and no-one looking at the curve would think anything out of the ordinary happened between 1958 and 1961.

    OTOH, adding 76M makes the GLF years stand out as much as the “hole” did. So much so that one might wonder how the Chinese found the time and energy to build all those reservoirs, canals and power stations Godfree’s (quite rightly) always on about.

    Perhaps you’d share how you arrived at that number, and why you think it “hardly seems unreasonable”.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  251. Erebus says:
    @Biff

    The west then co-opted/commandeered the movement into a democracy movement through its’ various NGO’s and media minions – one of its habits – to discredit the CCP, in hope to gain traction for a larger political movement against the Chinese government.

    They succeeded up to a point.

    A large pro-Western contingent much like Russia’s “5th column” gelled/formed across the party, media, and academia and some of it remains in place today. In fact, the Yang Jisheng so often mentioned here said that it was Tiananmen that turned him against the Party.

    More recently, the West’s ham-handed diplomacy and belligerent wars have dampened both their spirits and their influence. With the recent trade wars and accusations of “covering up” COVID’s origins, the Chinese 5th columnists are keeping a much lower profile. Again, much like in Russia.

  252. Ron Unz says:
    @Erebus

    I thought that 76M sounded unreasonable to me, so…

    I did a little simple “filling in” of the “*huge* hole” graphically so it looked “normal”, or at least wouldn’t grab one’s attention.
    Given the “noise” in the those pyramids, one can be wildly off the mark of course, but the graph began looking quite “normal” at ~28M being added, and was fully “normal” by ~35M….OTOH, adding 76M makes the GLF years stand out as much as the “hole” did.

    Well, I merely eye-balled the curve rather than did any work on it, so my remark about 76M was meant to be extremely loose. However, although you obviously did do considerable work, you also missed something a very important and obvious point…

    We’d naturally expect that any famine would most heavily impact the youngest age-cohorts, through some mixture of much higher infant-mortality and lower fertility rates. Hence the big hole.

    However, it’s obvious that there would also be large numbers of deaths throughout the rest of the age-distribution curve as well. Children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly also would have died from hunger or illness, and this was anecdotally reported. Since I’m no famine-expert, I can’t suggest the precise skew of the age-loss curve, but let’s suppose that around half the total population loss was concentrated in the youngest years and roughly half spread out across all other age-cohorts. If so, then a total population-loss such as the 76M suggested by Yang would correspond to roughly 38M in those youngest years, which is right around what you say made the curve look “normal.”

    Obviously, my estimates are extremely vague and loose, and famine-experts would have better insight. Maybe the curve more strongly suggests a total population loss of only 65M rather than Yang’s 76M, which is closer to Bannister’s projection. But I do think it’s clear we’re talking about many tens of millions, which very strongly implies a huge famine. The official PRC government estimate of 17M deaths seems far too small to me.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  253. @ChineseMom

    Yes and the main issue now is that China now has the transport infrastructure to get them back home safely and efficiently. In contrast with say India where migrant workers have been left to the elements in Covid. Sad.

  254. @showmethereal

    What you call fake is well documented by Mao’s personal physician of over 20 years, who witnessed much from his strategic position and observer. Jung Chang and Jon Holliday spent over a decade interviewing several in Mao’s close circle and many others outside of China who had dealings with this despotic thug. These two authors state deaths from the GLF to be ap. 38 million due to the government induced famine and total deaths as a result of Mao’s reign of terror at 70 million. Mao’s aggrandizement of ruthless power started with the peasants but spread upward to the the educated and intellectuals and even into his own circle. In. “Mao’s Great Famine” Frank Dikotter in his heavily documented work shows that Mao’s GLF was probably the greatest mass killing in human history with at least 45 million people worked, starved or beaten to death. To compound this hell at least a third of housing was destroyed in Mao’s idiotic pursuit of steel and industrial production.

    To compare this ruthless totalitarian genocide with the American dust bowl is ludicrous. Life span overall actually increased in the “Great Depression” as people consumed less carbohydrate. The 1930’s era dust bowl encompassed two events. First, in the more arid areas of Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, farmers plowed up the native Buffalo Grass that held the top soil in place. Then when the drought hit lots of it was blown away creating the dust bowl conditions.

    Secondly the economic depression was rigged by the banking cartel by retracting the credit (money supply) after doubling it during the 20’s in order to prop up Britains sterling. This is the boom and bust cycle often used by the financial elite in order to “fleece the flock.” Another highly visible example not this was in 08-09 with the bailout for billionaires and we are experiencing another multi-trillion dollar theft now under the fake virus.

    When you get big government you always get big corruption. Mao is an extreme example of this as well as were his mentors in the Soviet Union. None of this would have happened in Russia or China without the groundwork being laid by the Zionist syndicate in the U.S. America’s unique form of government has prevented this kind of tyranny here but those protections are rapidly eroding.

    China after Mao was put track by massive U.S. corporate investments and technology transfers. The thugs that rule China today work with The U.S. Zionists to achieve their common goal of not only the management of their own individual herd of cattle but to build a global feudal system with no national boundaries but only regional controls in a homogeneous totalitarian state of austerity and deprivation. China leads the world in this push for technocratic control with their social credit total surveillance system. The elites disdain for the masses have not changed since Mao but better management was required. Human nature does not change. Whenever the people in any country let the government have too much power it results in despotism.

    • Troll: Erebus, Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  255. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    The whole “GLF Famine” meme is of a piece with the “Holocaust” meme. A historically traumatic time of great deprivation is overlaid with a politically charged, diabolical narrative. That narrative, of course is created and overlaid for political goals, like a veneer over chip-board. Its authors know well that the truth is much harder to tease out from the complexities that lie beneath it and so the overlay is made easily accessible and emotionally stimulating, attracting lazy academics and the general public both. Over time, the historical realities drift into the mists and only the narrative remains. Academics argue over it, the public assumes the academics will sort it out, and the underlying realities are forgotten.

    The so-called “GLF Famine” shares some but not all the characteristics of the “Holocaust” narrative. Both are indeed “signature” events which occurred during times of geopolitical crises, the former during the height of the Cold War while the latter took place during WWII. I use the term “signature” because Western propagandists exploit them for their political value which is to “demonize” certain entities so as to pre-empt any counter-argument. But they differ in that the “GLF Famine” meme is described in ahistorical terms while the “Holocaust” narrative is presented as part of its Nazi historicity.

    Almost all the so-called “GLF Famine” experts rely on speculative conjectures based on statistical data and almost none cite any material evidence while ignoring the historical context of the Cold War. To understand why Mao launched the GLF, the historical context of the Cold War and its political exigencies on China has to be taken into account. Remember that Mao decided to back the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War by supplying food, material and weapons from the years prior to and after the GLF. It is likely that Mao decided to resort to mass mobilization of peasant farmers to build backyard furnaces in order to procure as much pig iron as possible which they did produce in large quantities. Mao also was preparing for a possible Chinese military intervention in the Vietnam War as he did during the Korean War. Finally, Mao wanted to develop nuclear weapons and sought Soviet technology which China had to pay by exporting its food surplus. Thus the need to “collectivize” agriculture which proved unpopular with the Chinese masses, so much so that Mao himself was deposed by Liu in 1960, the year of the Sino-Soviet split.

    Given this historical context which is entirely absent from the so-called “GLF Famine” narrative, one wonders why and how this ahistorical narrative germinated decades AFTER the GLF. For if mass starvation occurred in the estimated numbers of 25-50M deaths, then that would have been noticed by the hundreds of thousands of Soviet advisors, East bloc residents, Third World students as well as Western communists and other foreigners living and working in China, given the enormous popularity of Mao’s China at the time. They would have recounted with horror at the sight of 25-50M people dying in the streets of China’s towns and cities, who would have moved there from their rural villages to beg for food. More telling is the absence of any Western intelligence reports describing any famine of any kind during the GLF at the height of the Cold War.

    Instead, the so-called “GLF Famine” narrative began to appear after Deng took over and made a deal with the West to adopt market reforms by allowing private enterprises and foreign investors into China. By the time he died, Deng had installed his Shanghai-based clique of pro-Western Fifth-Columnists inside the Party which was opposed by the Beijing-based faction of anti-Western Maoists. Naturally enough, these Chinese Fifth-Columnists began publishing books, articles and research papers on the so-called “GLF Famine” which seeks to discredit Mao’s Communism while praising Deng’s Liberalism. Both their timing and methods used betray the political nature of what appears to be hit pieces which lack incontrovertible evidence needed to support their premise of the “GLF Famine”.

    Lastly, Dikkoter’s motive for writing his book “Mao’s Great Famine” is clear from his prior book “The Age of Openness: China before Mao” which praises Republican China for its “openness”. I don’t know what Dikkoter means by “openness” but if he means that China was “open” to opium, then yes China was indeed “open” to opium-addiction. But that’s exactly why Mao is so significant in Chinese history because he led a People’s War for National Liberation to free China and the Chinese from opium-addiction, made possible by gangster-Capitalists in cahoots with Western Oligarchs. That one hundred-year history of opium-addiction which Mao single-handedly destroyed is scarcely mentioned in Dikkoter’s books and yet he describes “Mao’s Great Famine” based purely on speculative conjectures while ignoring the historical facts backed by material evidence of China’s one-hundred-year history of opium-addiction. THAT alone demolishes the credibility of Western propagandists like him.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  256. @Anonymous

    You see this is the problem with those who follow lies to prove their point. A lot of what you wrote are half truths. No doubt Mao made errors – but so did the Nationalists. But i will use just one reference to show a lot of the wrong he did is way overexaggerated. All the cultural artifacts that the Nationalists did not to take to Taiwan were NOT destroyed. the museum display in Taipei is very impressive…. But the one in Beijing is several times larger. Its not even close in size. Yes – some Red Guards did attempt to vandalize the artifacts – but they were stopped by workers. You can go to Beijing and visit the museum. That is just one example of over hype and over exaggeration of the errors that took place under Mao. It is folly. If people want to point out wrongs – at least be honest. Your sources are tainted.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @mark tapley
  257. @Erebus

    Yes understood – im just saying not scrapping has prevented mass slums from occurring in cities. Though i understand 2nd and 3rd tier cities are to tweak their systems as China continues its urbanization push…. 1st tier cities certainly cant absorb them all.

    • Agree: Erebus
  258. @mark tapley

    Person after person has substantively refuted the tainted information you spout.. But you aren’t really interested in serious discourse.
    In any event – you couldn’t understand the point about the Dust Bowl because again your mind is tainted. My point is that poor farming techniques along with weak government response caused the Dust Bowl. Contrary to the nonsense you spout – China’s food problems were from very similar things. Had the US been as crowded as China – the results of the Dust Bowl would have been more disastrous.
    Just so you know – famines and hunger and malnutrition all took place in China before the Communists got into power.

    I won’t even bother with the rest of your comment. Your script you copy and paste is getting old.

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  259. @Showmethereal

    All the sources I mention in post 259 provide extensive documentation, verification of the catastrophic GLF. The backyard furnaces produced such an inferior grade of pig iron as to be worthless. Chang and Holliday go into great detail about how food production was destroyed under Mao. The Korean War was an entirely Zionist manufactured conflict where the U.S. gave the Soviets 100 shiploads equipment and staged the entire event to create a stalemate. The Chinese at this time were in an almost primitive condition and could have been easily beaten. All of this is documented by Sloan in “The Hidden History of the Korean War.” Also check out Corbett’s interview of James Perloff on Korea. Viet Nam is basically the same thing. Does anyone think that the U.S. spending billions per year (in 1960’s dollars) could not beat a rag tag group in a country the size of Missouri? For example, the U.S. built factories in Russia supplied the Ford trucks that carried the N.V. supplies on the Ho Che Minh trail and The Russian ships bringing supplies used all western patented engines while we supplied the Russians grain they could not produce themselves. This is all covered by Anthony Sutton a Hoover Institute researcher who stated:

    In a few words: there is no such thing as Soviet technology. Almost all — perhaps 90–95 percent — came directly or indirectly from the United States and its allies. In effect the United States and the NATO countries have built the Soviet Union. Its industrial and its military capabilities. This massive construction job has taken 50 years. Since the Revolution in 1917. It has been carried out through trade and the sale of plants, equipment and technical assistance.

    Sutton spoke before the Platform committee of the Republican Party in 1972, revealing massive U.S. aid to the Communists after which he was forced to leave his post at Hoover.

    Chang and Holliday also cover Mao’s phony Liberation Army at length.

    • Replies: @Biff
  260. @showmethereal

    Had the U.S. been under a despotic communist regime like China it would have ended up as China and Russia did. The Great depression was not alleviated by FDR and his socialist policies but extended and made much worse. Even mainstream economists such as Milton Friedman admit this. Even banking cartel chairman Bernanke admits this. It’s all explained in Gene Smiley’s “Rethinking The Great Depression.” Yes there were poor farming techniques, that was not the issue. Everywhere communism has prevailed we see the same result but obsequious apologists for these tyrannical regimes continue to cover the realities. I never said that everything was great in China before Mao. The Chinese have always been under one group of despots or another. All I said is that never in human history has there ever been a mass murdering of people as coordinated by the degenerate murderer Mao.

  261. Biff says:
    @mark tapley

    The Korean War was an entirely Zionist manufactured conflict where the U.S. gave the Soviets 100 shiploads equipment and staged the entire event to create a stalemate.

    And Larry, Moe, and Curly invented the wheel.

    P.S.
    Give nurse Rachett my best..

    Ta ta…

    • LOL: Erebus
  262. @Larry

    The Zionists in the U.S. put the communists in power as detailed by Anthony Kubek in his book “How the Far East Was Lost.” Also Wedemeyer Reports. I have already listed other heavily footnoted books by Mao’s on personal doctor for over 20 years, also Mao by Chang and Halliday who was Research Fellow at Kings College in London. The book received wide acclaim by several prominent newspapers. Also Mao’s Great Famine by Frank Dikotter which was recommended by Orville Schell Director of the Asia’s Society’s Center On U.S.- China Relations. The last two books listed have extensive source listings not just a cartoon graph and the current regimes own “statistics.”

    China was a backwater rat hole until Trilateral Commission founder and CFR Chairman David Rockefeller began to supercharge the Chinese thugs with massive U.S. corporate investment and technology transfers.

    1973. After a trip to China, David Rockefeller praised Mao Tse-tung who had slaughtered over 40 million people. His report, “From a China Traveler”, highlights the goals presented in UN reports such as “The Commission on Global Governance” (ISBN 0-19-827998-1; Published by Oxford University Press, 1995) and UNESCO’s “Our Creative Diversity: Report on the World Commission on Culture and Development”. Both focus on lofty ideals such as peace, harmony and unity in the communitarian “global” village — a vision that demands absolute control and universal participation in facilitated small groups (modeled by the hierarchy of “soviets” or councils in Communist lands):

    “One is impressed immediately by the sense of national harmony…. Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution it has obviously succeeded… in fostering high morale and community purpose. General social and economic progress is no less impressive….The enormous social advances of China have benefited greatly from the singleness of ideology and purpose…. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in history.”

    — David Rockefeller
    New York Times, 8-10-1973.

    The Muslims in the north and west are not only ones that are due for an “attitude adjustment.”
    The new high tech social credit score total surveillance and control system is designed to keep all the barnyard animals corralled by the same hierarchy that rolled out the fake virus now used by Zionist operatives everywhere. All they have to do is label all illnesses and symptoms as coved 19, use the phony PCR test and report new fake numbers every few days. China is the model for the NWO and the way things are headed it won’t make any difference which farm the cattle are on.

  263. Ron Unz says:
    @antibeast

    Almost all the so-called “GLF Famine” experts rely on speculative conjectures based on statistical data and almost none cite any material evidence while ignoring the historical context of the Cold War.

    I’m afraid that many of you arguing about the GLF come across as diehard Maoist zealots, unwilling to consider other possibilities, and thereby destroy your credibility. You claim the famine never happened but:

    (1) For decades the PRC government has endorsed a figure of around 17M deaths.

    You say that it’s just a hoax concocted by the anti-Maoist CCP leadership. Okay.

    (2) Yang’s 200 page book provides a massive wealth of documentation, including a huge number of provincial records and an abundance of eyewitness accounts and local government reports, with quite a number of seemingly-respectable Chinese academics and officials assisting his project. Moreover, the Chinese-language edition supposedly contains far more material.

    You say all of Yang’s vast quantity of evidence is false or fabricated, and cite some math professor named Sun. But none of you are even willing to take the time to look at Yang’s book, which hardly sounds reasonable. In fact, some of you seem scared to even try to get a copy because you might “get into trouble.”

    (3) During America’s Great Depression of the 1930s there was enormous poverty and a great deal of hunger in many parts of the country, and therefore a sharp decline in birth rates. This can be seen by examining America’s population-pyramid in 1950:

    But contrast that with China’s population-pyramid two decades after the GLF:

    It’s absolutely night-and-day. In America’s case, we have evidence of a noticeable birth-decline caused by years of massive poverty. But the Chinese case is so enormously worse, it’s the obvious sign of the gigantic famine, with tens of millions of deaths and a population loss of probably well over 60M.

    In fact, I challenge you to find any population-pyramid in history that looks like China’s but was NOT the result of a gigantic famine.

  264. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    However, it’s obvious that there would also be large numbers of deaths throughout the rest of the age-distribution curve as well….

    Of course. I specifically didn’t go there because that would put the horse ahead of the cart (again).

    If the question of famine is to be an open question, Tombstone’s conclusion is to be confirmed, and cannot be assumed.

    Filling the hole with 28-35M made the curve look “normal” insofar as nothing stood out that suggested a significant disturbance in the population breakdown. Looked at a few countries’ population pyramids, while they all had different shapes that generally followed their individual socio-economic development curve, there was nothing odd about my modified China curve. Nothing about it suggested that another ~40M were “missing” and needed “filling in”.

    So, following Ockham’s edict that “Everything is what it is and not another thing”, we have the hole, and nothing besides. Whatever fills it most simply and plausibly is prima facie the most likely explanation of why it’s there.

    Even if one or more of the Demographers on your list was sincere, the reality is that the primary data they’re working from (see #243) is not only unreliable, it’s contradictory (see #247). With the possible exceptions of the 1953 & 1964 censuses, the dataset’s integrity suffered not only from the primitive data collection/compilation that could be mustered at the time, its integrity suffered perhaps more egregiously from being at least partially a product of the ideological/political cat fights that were being fought under the carpet for control of the Chinese nation. Those battles began before 1949 and continued with varying levels of intensity until Xi’s “Thought” was accepted as China’s national ideology, putting competing ideologies on the sidelines. (Doubtless why he’s suddenly become a demon in the West).

    Re-read Godfree’s article on Tiananmen Sq. for a taste of how close China came to civil war as a result of those battles.The then fledgling National Bureau of Statistics was an important battleground, and the fact that the data set everyone uses wasn’t released until 1982 attests to that. Don’t you find it speaks to the quality of the data that Jiang Zhenghua, China’s first demographer was an electrical engineer who was sent to take a 2 yr Demographics course in Mumbai from 1980-1982? He may be a clever fellow, but what does that say about the reliability of the data preceding him, and what does it say about the dataset that was released at the time of his return? Its timing and content look propitious, no? He who controls the past, controls the future…

    To repeat, the question of famine remains an open question. The data tells us there’s a hole, but can tell us the sqrt of fuckall about what to fill it with. Only the empirical/physical evidence can tell us that, which will in turn determine whether one can conclude famine, or something else.

    Your starting point is (or appears to be) to assume Yang is authoritative and that only by debunking Tombstone can one hope to show that no famine occurred. Frankly, every indication from every angle I’ve looked at suggests that that’s very thin ice indeed. He looks every inch a Dikotter redux, with a shiny new personna and a better Mktg/PR team.

    When a Grada, having destroyed Yang’s collaborator Dikotter hopes Yang will prove to be “China’s Solzhenitsyn” and save the Famine meme, then ignores his magnum opus, alarm bells should start going off. Had Tombstone been what you seem to think it is, the West’s Gradas (that is, critical scholars of integrity) would’ve been all over it.

    When a Prof. Sun goes to the sources of 600 of Yang’s data points and shows point blank that they were fabricated/misrepresented and goes on to show that even the mathematics used to manipulate the (falsified) data are not only “unorthodox”, but that no professional demographer would propose to manipulate data that way, Jiang Zhenghua’s aura dims and the alarm goes up a level.

    The math involved in Demographics would present no challenge to Prof. Sun, who’s professional speciality appears to be non-linear dynamics. When no-one disputes, much less defends against Sun’s charges in the intervening decade, the hammer comes down…
    Tombstone may or may not prove right in the end, but it can’t be a valid, or even useful starting point.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  265. Ron Unz says:
    @Erebus

    Re-read Godfree’s article on Tiananmen Sq. for a taste of how close China came to civil war as a result of those battles.

    Look, I think Godfree’s admitted that he neither reads nor speaks Chinese, and it’s not clear whether he’s ever even been to China. At one point, he (unwittingly) quoted a fanatically anti-China Neocon rightwinger at the Hoover Institution to “prove” that most Californians had already been infected with Covid-19 during 2019. He’s also admitted plagiarizing portions of some of his past articles.

    He’s just a fanatic Maoist ideologue, so why should I ever trust anything he says about China or Tiananmen?

    When a Prof. Sun goes to the sources of 600 of Yang’s data points and shows point blank that they were fabricated/misrepresented

    So some fellow writing on the Chinese Internet claims that he and his friends checked hundreds of Yang’s datapoints, and they were fabricated. Why should I or anyone else believe him? People can say whatever they want on the Internet.

    Your starting point is (or appears to be) to assume Yang is authoritative and that only by debunking Tombstone can one hope to show that no famine occurred.

    Not really, but his book seemed very detailed and persuasive. Meanwhile, you’ve repeatedly refused to take a look at it yourself, apparently because you’re worried that you might “get into trouble.”

    From what you’ve indicated, neither the Chinese government nor any academic expert in the PRC has attempted to publish any serious refutation of Yang. Instead, there’s some random math professor who put something up on the Internet. If Yang’s data were faked, it would be easiest thing in the world for an PRC academic expert to refute in a serious book or article.

    If no serious Chinese expert has published a refutation of Yang after 10 years, but you believe you could get into serious trouble just by reading his book, that leads me to believe Yang is generally correct, and the CCP is just suppressing his book out of political embarrassment at 35 million deaths during the GLF.

    You’re starting to remind me of those Flu Hoaxers who stubbornly claim that Covid-19 isn’t a dangerous disease even though it’s already killed a million people around the world and 200K in America.

  266. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’d submit Ron that you’re barking at the wrong tree.

    The hole at 20-24 yrs of age isn’t where the deaths occurred. That hole reflects the combination of infant mortality, the stillborn, and what I’d maintain is the overwhelmingly largest contingent, the unborn.

    If there’s a hole that reflects the deaths of actual living persons during the GLF, it’s reflected in the depression between 30 & 45 yrs of age, which indeed seems to have deepened from the 1953 census. There is where GLF’s actual death toll resides. To ascribe a drop in the birthrate to a cause not corroborated by any other evidence is to make a purely ideological argument. That you’re accusing everyone who disagrees with you of “Maoism” (namely, being ideological) is typical of arguments coming from that quarter.

    I’m afraid that many of you arguing about the GLF come across as diehard Maoist zealots, unwilling to consider other possibilities, and thereby destroy your credibility.

    I’m equally afraid that you’ve hitched your credibility to Yang, which is a hook I wouldn’t trust with a tattered old hat.

    In fact, I challenge you to find any population-pyramid in history that looks like China’s but was NOT the result of a gigantic famine.

    Here’s one…

    That one is smoothed by lumping multiple age groups together. Therefore it doesn’t reflect the data in the spreadsheets as dramatically as a finer grained one, so here’s another…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Russian_population_by_age_and_sex_(demographic_pyramid)_on_01_January,_1927

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  267. antibeast says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’m afraid that many of you arguing about the GLF come across as diehard Maoist zealots, unwilling to consider other possibilities, and thereby destroy your credibility.

    (1). Just for your information, I was raised by diehard KMT loyalists who hate Mao with a passion. But when I moved to China and met people who grew up during the Maoist era, they view him with fondness and recall those times with wishful nostalgia. There are lots of poor people in China who are still very much pro-Mao and anti-Deng, to this day. And they are not the only ones who view Mao positively. Here’s David Rockefeller, quoting from the above poster:

    “One is impressed immediately by the sense of national harmony…. Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution it has obviously succeeded… in fostering high morale and community purpose. General social and economic progress is no less impressive….The enormous social advances of China have benefited greatly from the singleness of ideology and purpose…. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in history.”

    — David Rockefeller
    New York Times, 8-10-1973.

    If the GLF Famine caused “mass starvation” in the scale of 25-50M “excess deaths” as alleged by the researchers, then how come the poor people themselves who lived through that era view Mao positively? This is from personal interviews I conducted after meeting people from all over China who grew up during those times. No mention of anything about “mass starvation” but only fondness for Mao’s regime. They even hate Deng for creating the socio-economic inequality and rampant graft/corruption which didn’t exist during Mao’s era.

    (2)

    Yang’s 200 page book provides a massive wealth of documentation, including a huge number of provincial records and an abundance of eyewitness accounts and local government reports, with quite a number of seemingly-respectable Chinese academics and officials assisting his project. Moreover, the Chinese-language edition supposedly contains far more material.

    You say all of Yang’s vast quantity of evidence is false or fabricated, and cite some math professor named Sun. But none of you are even willing to take the time to look at Yang’s book, which hardly sounds reasonable. In fact, some of you seem scared to even try to get a copy because you might “get into trouble.”

    The problem with these statistics is that they’re unreliable. Dikotter was saying that China was exporting surplus food — that’s right surplus food — to the Soviet Union and the Third World during the GLF. He says this proves Mao intentionally caused the “mass starvation” because China was exporting surplus food. Well, do you think the poor people are THAT stupid to hand over their surplus food to the State if their rural villages were starving to death? Dikotter then claims the party cadres resorted to violence to force rural villages to hand over their surplus food while at the same overstating their food crop production data. But that implies violent opposition to GLF policies which would have given the party cadres every reason to falsify and understate rather than overstate their food crop production data in order to hand over a smaller amount of surplus food to the State for export to foreign countries. Remember that the textbook definition of famine is scarcity of food. But China was exporting surplus food during the GLF!!! Sorry, but that contradicts their alleged GLF Famine. Besides, there are hardly any material evidence of “mass starvation” such as eyewitness accounts, photographs, mass graves, mass migration, etc. during those hard times which would have corroborated their alleged GLF Famine.

    (3)

    During America’s Great Depression of the 1930s there was enormous poverty and a great deal of hunger in many parts of the country, and therefore a sharp decline in birth rates. This can be seen by examining America’s population-pyramid in 1950.

    I am glad you mentioned the Great Depression because the USA experienced the textbook definition of famine when a severe drought turned large swaths of the USA into “dust bowls”. Here are videos of the ten year “Dust Bowl Famine” during the Great Depression:

    Statistics don’t mean anything. There are lots of material evidence on the “Dust Bowl Famine” which forced the mass migration of people during the Great Depression, such as Dorothea Lange’s photographs, Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, eyewitness accounts, etc.

    In America’s case, we have evidence of a noticeable birth-decline caused by years of massive poverty. But the Chinese case is so enormously worse, it’s the obvious sign of the gigantic famine, with tens of millions of deaths and a population loss of probably well over 60M.

    All you’re saying is that people had little to no children during those hard times which is what I thought would be the best explanation for the population shortfall during the GLF. So people stopped having children. Is that “mass starvation”? Does that make Mao the “greatest mass murderer in history” because he caused people to stop having babies during the GLF? Heck, Mao was credited with doubling the life expectancy as well as doubling the population during his rule, compared to the Republican era which was so bad people were dying in the streets in cities like Shanghai. If anything, Mao was too successful he caused the overpopulation of China!!!

    In fact, I challenge you to find any population-pyramid in history that looks like China’s but was NOT the result of a gigantic famine.

    Mass starvation implies that the population as a whole would suffer evenly regardless of age. The Chinese pyramid show a sharp shortfall in the number of people who should have been born during the GLF, implying a sharp decline in births, not a sharp increase in deaths which would have affected the other age groups as well. The US pyramid shows a small decline in births during the Great Depression which doesn’t mean anything. But the “Dust Bowl Famine” did occur because there was a mass migration of “Okies” to towns and cities during the Great Depression, something that did NOT happen in China during the alleged GLF Famine.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  268. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    Look, I think Godfree’s admitted that he neither reads nor speaks Chinese, and it’s not clear whether he’s ever even been to China.

    His bio says he’s been visiting China since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. That’s a long time ago and having had his boots on the ground at that time gives him a perspective very few living Westerners have.
    Do you doubt his word on that?
    How did you arrive at your perspective?

    If no serious Chinese expert has published a refutation of Yang after 10 years…

    I’m not at all sure one hasn’t as I just checked the most accessible info which is normally found in magazine articles. In one of them Sun hinted at compiling and publishing all his findings, but I didn’t look for it. Even if he had, I doubt it would get any play in the West. OTOH, I just looked, and wasn’t able to find a “serious Western expert” critiquing Tombstone either, which reminds one of the dearth of professional historians looking into the Holocaust.

    So some fellow writing on the Chinese Internet claims that he and his friends checked hundreds of Yang’s datapoints, and they were fabricated. Why should I or anyone else believe him? People can say whatever they want on the Internet.

    They can also publish a book, like Yang did. Sun ain’t “some fellow on the internet” in any usual sense. He’s a real person, a distinguished professor who has received commendation (with special stipend) for advanced work in mathematics and whose work has been cited in serious academic journals, some of which are available in English.

    Here’s one such paper you may consider. To my mind it is an academically serious, balanced account of both what happened during the GLF, but also of the various other works covering the period (incl Yang’s), as well as the national govt’s own efforts to mitigate it.

    https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/pdf/10.1521/siso.2018.82.2.171

    Unfortunately, it’s written by two “Marxists”, but if their work’s good enough for Guildford it probably qualifies for a comment thread on UR. At least they ain’t Indian.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  269. @Ron Unz

    Speaking of COVID, here’s some interesting data.

    This study claims the average number years of life lost due to COVID was 10.8 years. See below.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.08.20050559v2

    [MORE]

    Background: COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in the United States over the three-month period March through May 2020. Another perspective is COVID-19s toll in terms of years of life lost. We calculated years of life lost for COVID-19 and other leading causes of death over those three months in the US. We also predicted years of life lost for COVID-19 and ischemic heart diseases (which includes heart attacks) for March through August 2020. Methods: Years of life lost are the sum of differences between life expectancy at age of death and age at death. Average years of life lost, years of life lost divided by the number of deaths, were also calculated. We used the COVID-19 Projections Using Machine Learning model to predict years of life lost from COVID-19 through the end of August 2020. Results: COVID-19 caused 12,035 more deaths than ischemic heart diseases during March through May 2020 but ischemic heart diseases years of life lost were 1.5% greater than those for COVID-19. Average years of life lost were 10.8 and 12.4 for COVID-19 and ischemic heart diseases, respectively. At the end of August, COVID-19 may overtake ischemic heart diseases as the leading cause of deaths and years of life lost in the US. Conclusion: Each COVID-19 death causes more than a decade of lost life in the US. We are reminded of a Danish Proverb that states Prediction is difficult, especially when dealing with the future. We suggest that while dying is bad, losing life is even worse.

    Here’s another study. See below. 13 years lost for men, 11 years for women (after adjustments for long-term conditions).

    https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/articles/5-75

    Results: Using the standard WHO life tables, YLL per COVID-19 death was 14 for men and 12 for women. After adjustment for number and type of LTCs, the mean YLL was slightly lower, but remained high (13 and 11 years for men and women, respectively). The number and type of LTCs led to wide variability in the estimated YLL at a given age (e.g. at ≥80 years, YLL was >10 years for people with 0 LTCs, and <3 years for people with ≥6).

    Another study (see below) calculated that the median age of COVID death in the United States was 78. For people who are 78, life expectancy is roughly 10.1 years.

    I believe the median age of death in the United States is 82.4.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6928e1.htm

    Median decedent age was 78 years

    Here’s another interesting study (see below). The study claims that if 1 million Americans died of COVID, the average loss of life expectancy would be 11.7 years for those who died. For those who lived through COVID, the loss of life life expectancy would be 0.2 years at age 80. For the entire country as a whole, average life expectancy would drop by 2.9 years in 2020.

    Here’s what’s interesting. Some have claimed that after COVID culled the very ill, the remainder of the population would be relatively unaffected. However, the study still projects almost 12 years of life lost for the next 800,000 victims.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/36/22035

    What would a hypothetical 1 million US deaths in the COVID-19 epidemic mean for mortality of individuals at the population level? Life expectancy for 2020 would drop by 2.9 y. Those dying would lose an average of 11.7 y of expected remaining life, while for the general population the loss of remaining life would be 0.2 y for elders (at age 80) and much less at younger ages. Mortality per person would be less than that of the Spanish flu, but closer to that of the opioid and HIV/AIDS epidemics, while far more concentrated in time. The standard valuation of averting 1.75 million deaths would be many trillions of dollars.

    The above study claims that if America avoided 1.75 million deaths, $10.2-$17.5 trillion would be saved.

    Avoiding 1.75 million deaths or 20.5 trillion person years of life lost would be valued at $10.2 to $17.5 trillion.

    The studies seem to suggest 11-13 years of life expectancy are lost by those who die from COVID.

    It’ll be interesting to see how COVID impacts the long-term health of those who recover from the illness.

    Any thoughts?

  270. @Ron Unz

    All that bad weather and failed harvests were getting lots of those peasants just like in the other workers paradise, Russia. All governments lie as with the long planned fake virus, fake test and fake numbers that are claiming fake victims over here. Several people sent in videos of the “overflowing ” empty hospitals at the height of the fake flu and some facilities were even laying medical workers off. CDC criminal Debra Birix was even stupid enough to say on t.v. “we have told all the hospitals to tag everything possible as Covid 19.”

    Not one real laboratory in the world has purified, isolated and verified Covid 19 using any real scientifically approved method, much less the standard for pathogen verification, the Koch’s postulate test, because they can’t anymore than they could with the fake AIDS “:epidemic.” All the cucks going around with the unsanitary face diapers on are a big psychological tool for reinforcing the fraud in this unconstitutional attack on our natural rights that no government has the right to overrule even if there were a real virus. The punitive measures instituted by the Zionist operatives are counter productive if there really were a virus because it would be better for it to move through the population in a normal manner. As the plagiarizer and political opportunist Pasteur is reported to have admitted on his death bed, ” the problem is not in the germ but in the terrain.” That is why the elites with their CDC and Pharma racket want people to think they need constant medical guidance and intervention, and also push the useless and harmful (but profitable) vaccine scam. Just like a friend of mine who told me her brother-in -law had severe diabetes with blood glucose over 700. He died of a brain hemorrhage. Reported cause of death – Covid 19.

  271. Ron Unz says:
    @Erebus

    Here’s one…That one is smoothed by lumping multiple age groups together. Therefore it doesn’t reflect the data in the spreadsheets as dramatically as a finer grained one, so here’s another…

    Hmmm… Maybe I’m missing something, but doesn’t the first chart reflect the aftermath of the Pol Pot “genocide” in Cambodia? And doesn’t the second one reflect the aftermath of the huge Russian famine and Civil War of around 1921-22?

    Genocides, famines, and civil wars obviously do leave demographic holes similar to that of China after the GLF.

  272. Erebus says:

    Your words were:

    In fact, I challenge you to find any population-pyramid in history that looks like China’s but was NOT the result of a gigantic famine.

    Clearly the gating word in that challenge is “famine”.

    Just as clearly, all one had to do was find demographic holes in other population pyramids that were due to other (however traumatic) causes, so I did. Wars, pandemics, genocides, meteor strikes, earthquakes etc are NOT famines. Either are Great Leaps Forward. Words matter, Ron.

    • Replies: @Deep Thought
    , @Ron Unz
  273. @Erebus

    [Words matter, Ron.]
    .
    And so does word play!
    .
    I am Pro-PRC and I wish that the GLF famine didn’t happen but I am not so sure. I hope that somehow I could find some definitive answer about this GFL famine. At one time, I asked a PRC colleague, whose parents must have lived through that period, about it. Unfortunately, I got no answer.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  274. Ron Unz says:
    @Erebus

    In fact, I challenge you to find any population-pyramid in history that looks like China’s but was NOT the result of a gigantic famine.

    Clearly the gating word in that challenge is “famine”.

    Just as clearly, all one had to do was find demographic holes in other population pyramids that were due to other (however traumatic) causes, so I did. Wars, pandemics, genocides, meteor strikes, earthquakes etc are NOT famines. Either are Great Leaps Forward. Words matter, Ron.

    Okay, you got me. The Russian chart you found showed the aftermath of a gigantic famine (and civil war), but the Cambodian case is regarded as Pol Pot’s “genocide” rather than his “famine.”

    So maybe the rightwingers are correct when they sometimes claim that the Maoist Great Leap Forward was actually a “genocide” rather than a “famine”…

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @mark tapley
  275. Antiwar7 says:
    @Ron Unz

    He’s just a fanatic Maoist ideologue, so why should I ever trust anything he says about China or Tiananmen?

    So why do you publish him, Ron?

    I like his articles, and they give food for thought, so I’m not asking you to stop.

  276. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    Okay, you got me.

    Cheers. 🍻

    … the Maoist Great Leap Forward was actually a “genocide” rather than a “famine”…

    Naw, the rightwingers are as wrong as the Great Faminists.

    BTW, the Russian famine lasted ~1.5 yrs and was largely restricted to the Volga and Ural river areas, but the “hole” is at least a decade wide. So “gigantic famine (and civil war)” is, I’d submit, less accurate than “gigantic civil war (and a local famine)”. Even so, the missing cohort wouldn’t normally the victims of a civil war. If the civil war-riors weren’t focussed on killing babies, that cohort represents the unborn babies that troubled times bring.

    The GLF was a socio-economic revolution gone bad, largely due to the fact that the country was not yet developed enough to manage a revolution in societal structure on the scale its leaders envisaged. The goals were unrealistic, the confidence/hubris too great, the governmental structures too immature, the civil & industrial infrastructure inadequate, the people simply not ready to make as great a “leap” as the somewhat isolated leadership dreamed of. When exogenous factors ambushed it, it came a cropper and the trauma came too close to matching its successes.

    I hope you have a look at the paper I linked (@ #273). The apologetics may exceed requirements, but the rest of it represents sound argument. IMHO, of course.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  277. @Ron Unz

    Famine is just part of the program to bring the population under control. We know from the Russian archives that in just one instance the Soviets loaded over a million people on box cars and dumped them off out on the steppes where they all starved. Another well documented example is the ap. 8 million Ukrainians deliberately starved by the Communist regime. The people must be terrorized into submission before they can be controlled.

    Government power has to be strictly limited. Samual Adams had been telling the Colonists for ten years before the Revolution began that Britain was not going to change (or any despotic oligarchy) and if they wanted to be free they would have fight for their liberties. The British got the message up front at Lexington and Concord. Imagine how telling these people to social distance, close their businesses, stop assemblies and wear face diapers would have gone over.

    No problem for the elites like Mao with his private gardens and chefs. You can be sure that Mao and his whores never missed a meal. The book “The Private Life of Chairman Mao” by his long time British trained personal physician gives us a unique perspective into the elite inner circle and the degenerate character of Mao. After Mao’s death and the ensuing power struggle commenced, the doctor was able to flee the country and tell his story.

  278. @antibeast

    What you said about the old timers who dont like Deng makes a lot of sense. Most people have zero clue that is how Tiananmen started. It was the Maoists who were not happy with all the reforms Deng was implementing. They were especially angry about nepotism and corruption. Some were angry over the loss of benefits. Workers were angry the government was cutting their bloated factory headcounts. All the talk of freedom and democracy came well after – once the alphabet agencies decided to exploit the malcontention.

    But back to Deng – i recall the words of Lee Kwan Yew. He noted that when he first started visiting China it was drab and inefficient and poor. But he was impressed at the lack of corruption in the society. He said after the opening up – corruption skyrocketed. He mentored Deng during the opening up process – so for him to point it out says something.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  279. antibeast says:
    @Showmethereal

    What is common perception in the West about Deng’s Liberalism is not shared at all by the vast majority of Chinese citizens who view Mao’s Communism as positive and Deng’s Liberalism as negative for Chinese society. Even though Deng’s Liberalism brought economic prosperity to China and uplifted the material standard of living of Chinese citizens, the vast majority of Chinese citizens are aghast at the endemic graft/corruption, vice/venality and greed/exploitation that ensued under Deng’s Liberalism.

    In other words, Chinese people are ambivalent about having achieved a higher material standard of living while experiencing the injustice, inequality and immorality of Deng’s China. Probably the only Chinese who love Deng are the rich businessmen or corrupt officials who benefitted the most from the “to get rich is glorious” mantra of Deng’s China.

    My view is that Xi’s China would seek to promote the virtues of Society against the greed of Capital, Xi’s plan for China indicates a strong emphasis on the concept of the Chinese Dream — of a moderately prosperous Society living in harmony with Nature — which means a return to Confucian virtues of moderation and a rejection of Dengist vices of materialism.

  280. @mark tapley

    He wasn’t Mao’s personal physician. He was a doctor who treated Mao (who hated doctors) occasionally.

    All the sexy stuff in his ‘memoir’ was added by his American publisher and co-author. None of it appears in the HK edition.

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  281. @Ron Unz

    For decades the PRC government has endorsed a figure of around 17M deaths?

    Where can we find their endorsement?

  282. @antibeast

    In 1980, Deng Xiaoping set the goal of achieving socialist modernity by 2050.

    In 2018, Xi Jinping shortened the deadline to 2035 warning, “We won’t get there unless we replace money worship with traditional morality and leave no-one behind, weed out political corruption, implement social justice and equitability and provide everyone with their own homes, good wages, a beautiful environment, safe streets, fine schools, guaranteed incomes, free health care, and enough leisure time for art and contemplation”.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  283. Erebus says:
    @Ron Unz

    Meanwhile, you’ve repeatedly refused to take a look at it yourself…

    Now I challenge you to find where in my comments I refused to look at Tombstone. My quick review indicates it rather looks like the opposite.

    As it turns out I did find a credit card free download, and did a 20min scan of Ch. 11: CHINA’S POPULATION LOSS IN THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD, assuming that’s the chapter you’re promoting.

    I plan to return to it to have a closer look after I get some more critical work off my desk, but I couldn’t help but note this passage:

    The shortfall in the number of births during the famine years can be calculated from the normal birth rates and the actual number of births in a given year following a similar process to that used for unnatural deaths. Based on the official figures, I arrived at the following birth shortfalls: 1958 = 3.854 million, 1959 = 6.873 million, 1960 = 9.499 million, 1961 = 11.278 million. The total shortfall in births during the three famine years is thus 31.5 million.

    His figure falls dead centre inside the range of 28-35M I came to graphically.

    Unfortunately, Yang doesn’t go on to break that number down into causes – postponement (incl. increased birth control), infertility (both male & female), infant mortality (incl. infanticide), spontaneous/intentional abortion, etc. I have no idea if the topic comes up elsewhere, but he’s silent on causes in Ch. 11.

    Which of those factors played the largest role depends largely on whether there was a famine, or some combination resulting from the turbulent tenor of the times. I have no quarrel with the notion that the GLF resulted in both excess deaths and a massive drop in birth rates, but the former is to be found elsewhere in the pyramid. As there’s nothing unusual about the cohorts above them, I’d expect the excess deaths to coincide with the much broader cohort that would be responsible for baby making.

    I noted elsewhere that the broad dip 2-3 decades above the “hole” looks to have deepened compared to the 1953 census, which shows an apparently shallower dip for that cohort. How much deeper is impossible to eyeball, however heartened by Yang’s corroboration of my graphical methodology I may have a go at attempting to come up with a plausible range.

  284. @Erebus

    Thanks for that reference. Do you know where I can find the authors’ bios?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  285. Calgacus says:
    @Ron Unz

    I can think of one person who wrote something relevant long ago – the 1970s. Me. We were just selling our family house and I came across a school paper I worked hard on. Mainly from public library books. But I also had access through a “relative” (actually the person who introduced by parents) with a high-level relevant government job – to the public State Department, CIA, UN etc reports of that era. And there really doesn’t seem to be anything new or different to me in those once classified pdfs, which the reports I read back then were probably based on, or written by the same people.

    The old CIA & State guys were nobody’s fools. I always remembered that they speculated on the quality of the local reports too – but sometimes also the other way – noting that at times and places local officials had earlier had incentives to falsely exaggerate how many people they were ruling. Saying they had just died in the GLF was a way to cover up their old pilfering, so there were incentives both to exaggerate and to minimize deaths. So they – and I back then – knew that something big and bad had happened affecting millions of people, but that there were big error bars.

    The old story is probably the accurate one and is within the range of what ChineseMom is saying, or maybe somewhat darker – like what Utsa Patnaik wrote 15 years ago. Say around 10-12 million premature deaths, comparable to earlier famines. But nothing like Bizzarro world demographic logic – counting the deaths of people who never existed to get figures like 30-40 million or more. That’s an insult to the intelligence, that would have lost a serious analyst his or her job back in the 60s or 70s if they presented it to their superiors as factual.

    This comment probably wins a prize for unverifiability of my statements. But in general, there is a prejudice against older work. IMHO one should look at forgotten pre-1980s Western work on it before it became a fashionable topic, a “thing”. Across the board, medicine, drugs, many other academic disciplines there has been a severe decline in quality and reliability since then. Something as political as this, doubly so – one should expect garbage and lies in our post-truth, post-logic age, not honest serious work.

  286. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Their names and academic affiliations are listed at the end of the paper (incl addresses) so it should be fairly easy to find out more about them.

    No idea whether there’s a field such as Marxist Demographics, or what would distinguish it from non-Marxist Demographics, but over the paper’s 30pgs they give a good historical overview of the GLF and a critique of the fancy numbers that have been flying around.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  287. @Erebus

    You’re right, of course. Cheng Enfu’s employer, CASS, is probably the best social sciences think tank on earth.

    I’ve started running scholarly papers in Here Comes China each week, and people seem to like it. I’ll break this one into three parts.

    I believe that Xi Jinping has a PhD in Marxist Economics–much derided by those with PhDs in Capitalist Economics, of course.

    I tell every economist I encounter that 90% of successful economists are in China. They just stare at me blankly.

    Cheng Enfu:
    No. 5 Jianguomennei Avenue Academy of Marxism
    Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Beijing 100732
    P. R. China [email protected]

    Zhan Zhihua:
    School of Marxism, Fuzhou University
    No. 2 Xueyuan Road
    New College Town, Minhou, Fujian, 350116 P. R. China
    [email protected]

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  288. antibeast says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    In 1980, Deng Xiaoping set the goal of achieving socialist modernity by 2050.

    In 2018, Xi Jinping shortened the deadline to 2035 warning, “We won’t get there unless we replace money worship with traditional morality and leave no-one behind, weed out political corruption, implement social justice and equitability and provide everyone with their own homes, good wages, a beautiful environment, safe streets, fine schools, guaranteed incomes, free health care, and enough leisure time for art and contemplation”.

    After taking over China from the Maoist Communists, the Dengist Liberals turned into rent-seeking kleptocrats who became interested only in milking China for all its worth as a cog to foreign Capital while conspiring with the West to demonize Mao’s Communism. Since Xi’s ascent to power, however, the Dengists have had to retreat and in many cases flee from China to the West, taking with them their ill-gotten loot from decades of graft and corruption. In just one decade, Xi’s China has accomplished more than the prior three decades under Dengist Libealism due to the qualitative change in the nature and character of its economy. While Dengist Liberalism brought about rapid economic growth to China and higher standard of living to the Chinese, the poor quality of those economic growth and dubious standard of living were made possible only by labor exploitation and environmental degradation. What Xi is saying is that Dengist Liberalism is the main obstacle to achieving the Chinese Dream of a “moderately prosperous Society living in harmony with Nature”. Needless to say, that’s exactly the reason why Western Liberals don’t like Xi and prefer Deng because China would become independent of the West when the Chinese Dream comes true.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  289. @Godfree Roberts

    The whole book details the doctor’s over twenty year close connection with Mao as well as his own background. It goes into minute detail on Mao’s activities as well as his core group. Either the book is a complete fabrication or it is an accurate account of the long term association with the degenerate thug Mao. The book also has many pictures of the doctor and Mao over this more than twenty year period as well as others in the degenerate thug Mao’s permanent entourage. I guess you think all of these pictures are fakes even as you see the doctor and Mao aging together over time.

  290. Erebus says:
    @Deep Thought

    And so does word play!

    Not sure how you meant this to come across, but my “word play” had a point.

    Namely, that there is no logic that can derive “famine” from a “hole” in a population pyramid. The conclusion (Famine) can emerge only from the empirical evidence. As the statistical/demographical evidence in this case is contentious, perhaps even fraudulent, we have to “go into the field” and look for other indicators that commonly accompany famines.

    Put another way, “One black swan proves not all swans are white”.

    • Replies: @Deep Thought
  291. @mark tapley

    The book is a notorious scam. Dick Nixon was the ultimate Mao fanboy (watch movies of them together) and wanted his photo taken with Mao. Everybody did. And the doctor was an obvious dickhead–completely breached his confidentiality agreement.

    Read the original, published in Hong Kong. No sex. No scandal. Just a memoir.

  292. @Erebus

    Don’t take that comment of mine too seriously.
    .
    I just thought that you knew what Ron meant but purposely set a trap for him. But, strictly speaking, you are right of course! 😉

    • Replies: @Erebus
  293. Erebus says:
    @Deep Thought

    Well, it could be read 2 ways, so I treated it as an unknown. No “seriousness” intended really.

    I just thought that you knew what Ron meant…

    He repeated the “Population Hole = Famine” argument innumerable times, so I think Ron meant exactly what he said. Having tried everything else, I had only reductio ad absurdum left, and tarted it up with a bit of sarcasm. I doubt it worked.

  294. @mark tapley

    I guess the photos of Mao and his doctor together spanning over more than 20 years are all faked huh Godfree? This is the original version. This one has all the original photographs and the author’s uncensored story. Not the communist Chinese Lackey bootlicker edition.

  295. @Godfree Roberts

    It’s no wonder that they stare at you blankly. They realize they have encountered either one of Lenin’s brainwashed useful idiots or a lickspittle shill for the thugs in China. Most people know about the horrendous record of communism in spreading misery and death where ever it gains a foothold.

    Most people don’t understand how communism originated and who was behind it. Communism was first displayed in the modern era in the French Revolution. This atheist blood bath was overthrown by Napoleon. The same group was behind the revolts of 1848. The supposed father of communism really just the front man, Karl Marx (Moses Mordecai Levy) is always portrayed as a poor struggling fighter for the workers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Marx (I mean Levy) was from a family of well off Rabbis. His mothers sister was married to a Rothschild and Marx uncle who funded him in his subversive activities was Lyon Philips the super wealthy founder of the early industrial corp. Philips. Marx wife Jenny Von Westphalen was from double royalty. From Prussian aristocrats on one side and a direct descendant of the Stuarts of Scotland (most likely crypto Jews) on the other.

    Communism or as Jacob Schiff the International banker said who invested 2o million in the Bolshevik plunder of Russia in 1917 stated: I don’t call it communism but rather Judaism. Of the 486 original officials of the initial Bolshevik gov. all but 16 were Jews. I could go on through the time of Stalin but you get the point. Communism was a wholly Jew controlled enterprise financed by Jew bankers with the help of the Zionist controlled Wilson administration and the anglo Zionists in Britain that instigated WW1.

    We see that far from being a movement of the downtrodden masses, communism is imposed entirely from the elites at the top. This is where Marx (Levy) comes in. He was the main operative for the elite in order to keep the proletariat divided and unorganized. To keep them at odds with their natural allies the bourgeoisie

    • Troll: Erebus, Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @mark tapley
  296. @mark tapley

    To moderator: Something happened on comment 300 and I hit something accidental- did not get to finish. It’s good enough but don’t see it in comment moderation. Please check.

    • Replies: @Biff
  297. vot tak says:
    @Harold Smith

    “I don’t know where you live but here in PA, the annual property tax on a house with a market value of $150,000 will typically be in the range of $3000 to $5000.”

    Property taxes in penn are high in relation to the rest of the country.

    https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-property-taxes/11585/

    And your figures are higher than that site shows for penn. Maybe because penn hits property owners with additional taxes on property not factored into those figures. My experiences are from calif and idaho where the tax rate is much lower than penn.

    A $150000 home in calif (if you can find one 😀 ) will cost you $1500 a year, or less in property taxes. Or $125 a month thereabouts. This is around 1 fifth of the monthly loan payment cost, actually less than what is spent covering the loan interest monthly. This is what I was mainly pointing out earlier, that home costs were too high.

    As for your superstitious views about satan….I learned long ago that arguing with a superstitious person about their superstitions was a waste of time. ;-D

  298. Biff says:
    @mark tapley

    To moderator: Something happened on comment 300 and I hit something accidental- did not get to finish. It’s good enough but don’t see it in comment moderation. Please check.

    We checked it out and you inadvertently exited ‘chimp window’ therefore cutting you off.

  299. denk says:

    mark misdirection tabley

    The current thugs ruling China….

    speak for yourself asshole,

    Trump

    I’ll continue to sanction Iran, fuck the world

    124 vs ONE

    ps
    Another China thread successfully hijacked by misdirection agent to talk about nuthin except ‘Mao killed
    millions during GLF’

  300. Erebus says:

    Another China thread successfully hijacked by misdirection agent to talk about nuthin except ‘Mao killed millions during GLF’

    Naw, his was just the loudest of the eminently ignorable noises that inevitably come out of the cheap seats whenever a controversial topic comes up. He may be more grating than others, but the thread died because two of its principals lost interest.

    • Replies: @denk
  301. denk says:
    @Erebus

    mark thug tapley is more than a troll tho,

    the idiot reeks of a pro.
    misdirect agent.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  302. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    The GLF was a socio-economic revolution gone bad, largely due to the fact that the country was not yet developed enough to manage a revolution in societal structure on the scale its leaders envisaged. The goals were unrealistic, the confidence/hubris too great, the governmental structures too immature, the civil & industrial infrastructure inadequate, the people simply not ready to make as great a “leap” as the somewhat isolated leadership dreamed of. When exogenous factors ambushed it, it came a cropper and the trauma came too close to matching its successes.

    In normal times, the GLF would be considered a “failure” in both social and economic terms. But in the context of the geopolitics of the Cold War, the GLF should be viewed as a political success because Mao achieved what he wanted from the GLF — 1). acquire nuclear weapons technology from the Soviet Union by exporting surplus food production, and 2). requisition pig iron from the civilian population which could be used as raw material for weapons production.

    Here’s the timeline of the Cold War prior to and after the GLF:

    1949: Mao declares the founding of the PRC.
    1950: Mao decides to intervene in the Korean War.
    1951: Chinese troops successfully drives the Americans out of North Korea.
    1951: Truman fires MacArthur for threatening to use nuclear weapons in North Korea.
    1953: Korean War ends in a stalemate at the 38th parallel.
    1954: First Taiwan Straits Crisis ends with the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treay.
    1955: Mao decides to acquire nuclear weapons technology from the Soviet Union.
    1958: China starts constructing its first uranium-enrichment plants in Baotao and Lanzhou with the Soviets providing the nuclear weapons technology in the form of two R-2 missiles.

    According to Wikipedia, here’s what happened next:

    That year, however, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told Mao that he planned to discuss arms control with the United States and Britain. China was already opposed to Khrushchev’s post-Stalin policy of “peaceful coexistence”. Although Soviet officials assured China that it was under the Soviet nuclear umbrella, the disagreements widened the emerging Sino-Soviet split. In June 1959 the two nations formally ended their agreement on military and technology cooperation, and in July 1960 all Soviet assistance with the Chinese nuclear program was abruptly terminated and all Soviet technicians were withdrawn from the program.

    The American government under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson was concerned about the program and studied ways to sabotage or attack it, perhaps with the aid of Taiwan or the Soviet Union, but Khrushchev was not interested. The Chinese conducted their first nuclear test, code-named 596, on 16 October 1964, and acknowledged that their program would have been impossible to complete without the Soviet help.

    What is Mao’s motive for starting the GLF in 1958? It’s the equivalent of wartime mobilization which accomplished two things: 1). acquire as much surplus food as possible to pay for nuclear weapons technology from the Soviet Union, and 2). requisition as much pig iron as possible from the civilian population from their backyard furnaces for use as intermediate material in the production of weapons. What was Mao’s rationale for the wartime mobilization? The Vietnam War.

    Here’s the Wikipedia entry on China’s military aid to Vietnam before, during and after the GLF:

    During the 1956–63 period, China military aid to Vietnam totaled 320 million yuan. China’s arms shipments to Vietnam included 270,000 guns, over 10,000 pieces of artillery, 200 million bullets of different types, 2.02 million artillery shells, 15,00 wire transmitters, 5,000 radio transmitters, over 1,000 trucks, 15 planes 28 naval vessels and 1.18 million sets of military uniforms.

    Before the GLF, Mao had anticipated US involvement in the Vietnam War after the French were defeated by Ho Chi-Minh who received political, economic and military support from China. Thus, Mao had planned to intervene militarily in the Vietnam War in case the US military invaded North Vietnam, a repeat scenario of the Korean War during which MacArthur threatened to use nukes. Mao had concluded that he needed nuclear weapons as a military deterrent against a US military invasion of North Vietnam. This was Mao’s strategic rationale for launching the GLF which failed ostensibly as a socio-economic experiment but nevertheless accomplished its political objectives of turning China into a nuclear-armed State, only three years after the end of the GLF!!!

    The timeline of China’s Great Leap Forward in Nuclear Weapons is as follows:

    1959: Mao ends China’s cooperation with the Soviet Union on military affairs and steps down as President, one year after starting the GLF, while Liu takes over as President of China.
    1960: The Soviets withdrew all their technical advisors and terminate all technical assistance to Mao’s nuclear weapons program. China stops its food exports to the Soviet Union but ships them instead to the Third World including North Vietnam.
    1961: Liu officially winds down the GLF.
    1964: China successfully detonates its first atomic bomb.
    1966: China successfully tests its first ballistic missile with a live warhead.
    1967: China successfully detonates its first hydrogen bomb.
    1970: China successfully launches its first satellite and flight-tests its first jet fighter.
    1971: China successfully tests its first ICBM.
    1974: China completes its first nuclear-powered submarine.

    Viewed from the geopolitical context of the Cold War, the GLF makes strategic sense.

    In socio-economic terms, the GLF failed because Mao had adopted Soviet-style “agriculture collectivization” which proved unpopular with the Chinese masses who preferred the pre-GLF Chinese-style village-owned farms. But after the GLF officially ended in 1962, the idea of rural industrialization caught on and took hold in the form of TVEs (Town and Village Enterprises) which are Chinese-style “community-owned cooperatives” undertaking small-scale rural industrialization. This spirit of rural self-reliance based on community-owned social enterprises would lay the foundation for the growth of quasi-private enterprises in a proto-market economy, thereby creating a property-owning class of entrepreneurial middle-class communities who had the social Capital to participate in the full-blown market economy unleased decades later by Deng’s market liberalization.

    By the way, backyard furnaces are nothing to sneer at as they’re commonly used in scrap metal recycling industries all over the world. Instead of iron ore, scrap metal is smelted into pig iron which is used as the intermediate material in the production of steel, wrought iron or cast iron. They’re called “pig iron” because they come in the form of ingots called “pigs”. Here’s a video on scrap metal recycling using backyard furnaces:

    • Thanks: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Erebus
  303. @antibeast

    Indeed – “socialism with Chinese characteristics” has a lot to do with returning to certain Confucian values in society and even Taoist thought regarding the environment.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  304. @Godfree Roberts

    A bit arbitrary perhaps but this seems as good a place as any to ask for your convinced and convincing response (preferably with any new concessions flagged) to
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-27/china-cant-show-weakness-to-world-must-convince-own-people/12703156

    and

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-25/china-cables-beijings-xinjiang-secrets-revealed/11719016

    I would hardly rate Stan Grant who seems to identify as indigenous (despite looking like a good looking Caucasianwith a light brown skin) as anyone’s propagandist.

    One other thing. While I don’t discount altogether the explanation you့ gave for China’s obsession with Taiwan, namely that it is an unsinkable aircraft carrier, I now prefer the idea that its existence is standing proof that the CCP’s way of government is not necessary for Chinese people. Also true?

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @Erebus
  305. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    … backyard furnaces are nothing to sneer at as they’re commonly used in scrap metal recycling industries all over the world.

    Well, remelting scrap steel is not at all the same as smelting iron from iron ore, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

    The “backyard furnaces” were actually small traditional Chinese blast furnaces which required experienced and skilled operators to produce good iron. Most (if not all) of the “backyard smelters” produced iron that was adequate for farm implements and the like, but couldn’t be made into steel, much less weapons grade steels.

    Nevertheless, the “backyard furnaces” are another myth surrounding the GLF.

    Leaving aside the fact that the drive to build “a furnace in every village” lasted only a few m0nths and was quickly abandoned, resulting in very little damage, the reality is that China has had a large, distributed iron & steel industry for centuries.

    The history of Chinese iron & steel making is a fascinating subject, but here it is in a nutshell…

    Having invented the blast furnace in the 3rd C BC, by ca 1600 China led the world in iron & steel technology, production (efficiency and quantity) and quality. The industry was a mix of large industrial scale blast furnaces, typically near large urban centres and smaller scale iron & steelworks scattered across the countryside. The small could co-exist with the large because China’s mountainous terrain meant shipping costs were high and as iron is both cheap & heavy local small scale iron/steelworks could and did prosper. Some of the smaller works focussed on special grades of steels for ornamental work, corrosion resistance, etc.

    For a variety of reasons, by 1900 the industry had fallen to limited production using primitive technologies and was generally limited to the poorest, remotest areas. Mao himself wrote a report in 1930 on the state to which the industry had fallen in Jiangxi province.

    At the time of the GLF, China was desperately in need of infrastructure, and that meant it needed vast quantities of steel, but it faced a chicken & egg problem. Modern, large scale ironworks need infrastructure to run and that didn’t exist so the GLF’s goals for iron & steel quite rightly focussed on four distinct technologies:

    – small scale modern blast furnaces in those areas which had adequate infrastructure. Modern smelters must run continuously, often for years, to make a profit. When they do, all is good but that means they must have an uninterrupted supply of ore and a constant demand for their product. The small, modern smelters built during the GLF were quite carefully sized to the market conditions in which they were to operate and were, by all accounts quite successful.

    – a revival of both the large and small traditional Chinese blast furnace technology that had historically dominated China’s iron & steel industry. These required skills that had been all but lost, but there were still a few of the “old guys” who were skilled in the art around and they could train operators to run the new ones. The traditional Chinese furnaces could make high quality iron, and (most importantly) were cheap and easy to build quickly. 10s of 1,000s were built during the GLF.

    – the infamous “backyard blast furnaces” mass campaign that all historians and wannabees rant on about.

    The reality is that the mass campaign was quickly abandoned as a bad idea, and was shut down a couple of months after it started. Its impact was probably limited to introducing a few million peasants to industrial concepts and processes, which in itself was not a bad thing. Actually, as China’s peasant population had spent 100s of generations tied to the soil and village life with little or no concept of industry, one wonders if the TVEs you mention would have taken off without that otherwise useless introduction. Some of those TVEs are still very much in operation, and some have turned into major industrial concerns.

    Though the backyard furnace campaign shut down, the other 3 went on and some of the great ironworks that were built during the GLF were modernized over the years and are still in operation. For some reason, historians ignore all that and focus on the (quickly corrected) gross error as somehow indicative of a general “disaster”.

    At any rate, a GLF in iron & steel production was absolutely necessary if China was to modernize, and it did indeed happen. No, it wasn’t as successful as originally envisaged, but a lot of things were going wrong at the same time. Mao’s goal of catching up to the West in 15 yrs was a pipe dream, and when he realized it the dream was adjusted – to 50 yrs. In the event, he was almost dead right the 2nd time.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  306. Erebus says:
    @denk

    the idiot reeks of a pro.

    There’s a “Commenters to Ignore” button that makes short work of pros and amateurs alike.

  307. @Wizard of Oz

    [The TV show] was importing Western values of individualism. What’s more, its format of voting for contestants got too close to democracy. When Super Girl was cancelled, one distraught fan posted on Weibo (China’s Twitter): “Maybe we need another revolution.” This is just one example of how the Communist Party, for all its power, is afraid of its own people.

    It’s hard to know where to begin. Cultural imperialism? Sheer ignorance? Plain ol’ Western media drivel? Manichean twaddle [individualism OR collectivism]? It’s certainly not worth taking time to analyze such lazy journo nonsense, but a picture might help to dispel the assertion about the government being afraid of its own people:

    As to

    A leaked cache of secret Chinese Government documents reveals how authorities in Xinjiang red-flagged 23 Australian citizens during a security crackdown that consigned tens of thousands of people to arbitrary detention and mass indoctrination. The documents tell how the Australian citizens were identified among 75 people from China’s Muslim minorities who were singled out in the surveillance sweep because of their passports. While the fate of the Australians is unknown, the confidential report instructs public security officials to deport or detain those foreign passport holders for whom “suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out”.

    let’s assume the document is legit.

    We know that Australia is one of the Five Eyes and has been a leading critic and subverter of China since 1949. Says Australian diplomat Greg Clark, “Working as a correspondent in Japan the smell of spy involvement was over-powering at times. The US makes little effort to hide its spies using journalistic cover; one US journalist used to boast openly of his CIA contacts. The British and Soviets were more subtle; their Embassy press person would invite you to write a well-compensated research piece on your area of interest, and then gradually pull you into deeper exploits. Australia was the crudest. My estimate is that at least half of Australian journalists working or about to work in Japan are studied for recruitment. Half those studied are approached. Lacking both Japanese and contacts most are happy to cooperate. They are rewarded with Embassy and other news tip offs – information that fell off the back of a truck as one put it. Back in Australia some continue to cooperate. One Fairfax type, another non-Japanese speaker, has somehow been able to use his weak Japan experience to emerge as cheer-leader for the anti-China push”.

    The funny thing is that, though these propaganda/spying/subversion efforts have been going on for 70 years–at considerable cost–China has overtaken all of its adversaries and its people are more united against them today than ever.

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  308. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    … I now prefer the idea that its existence is standing proof that the CCP’s way of government is not necessary for Chinese people. Also true?

    As true as it is for Macau and Hong Kong, I’d guess.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  309. @Godfree Roberts

    Thanks. Some interesting stuff, though, not for the first time you don’t quite meet the questions or the point of them with your answer.

    For example your oft used chart of what people may or may not have meaningfully said to pollsters is no sort of denial of protests all over that very large and populous country [you might have said “but statistically it is insignificant because in a country so large…” – if true] . And the article did after all point to the cultural genocide on the Uighurs as well as raise the as yet unanswered question as to why the CCP insists on such coercive and intimidatory control.

    Unless Xi can achieve what Hitler and Goebbels did in much less sophisticated times I really wonder how Xi is going to be able to cope with the individuate of modern Chinese youth when there is so much travel and, despite censorship, communication with people world wide. The trouble with East Asians being smarter than our lot is that they are even less likely to be satisfied that satisfied with things being covered up and them treated like children. I wonder at the rapidity of change in customs and opinions in some times and places . Are you sure you are fully tuned to the millennial and their parents? I confess that I am bemused by the fact that Japanese with very adequate IQs could be lined up when the war was as good as lost to be Kamikaze pilots, with their parents approbation. I see a China with centuries, indeed millennia, of war lords, and of serious scholars, as even less likely to be breeding government worshippers today.

    As for Greg Clark whom I have lost touch with though he and one of his brothers and I were alumni of the same college, I would be pleased to know when and where he wrote what you quote.

    Rather odd the emphasis on Japan though he has mostly lived and worked there.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @Chinaman
  310. @Erebus

    I think Macau can be treated as a special case, but yes, I suppose one reason for closing down Hong Kong’s semblance of democracy and rule of law is to avoid there being a place which is inconsistent with “the CCP is right for all Chinese” ideology. But Taiwan is, I now see, the real thumb in the eye to Beijing. After all it must occur to Xi that not treating the people of Taiwan to the same freedom of choice as has been afforded to Scotland doesn’t make the CCP look strong and confident. So I suppose he would like a pretext for smashing it asap.

    • LOL: Erebus
    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @Showmethereal
  311. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    Well, remelting scrap steel is not at all the same as smelting iron from iron ore, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

    Yes, I agree. Steel-making requires high-temperature smelters for large-scale steel production. But I am talking about the recycling of METALS with low melting point temperatures — aluminum, copper, tin, bronze, lead — which are still being done today in “backyard smelters”. Here’s a video on aluminum recycling using a “backyard smelter” in the USA:

    The “backyard furnaces” were actually small traditional Chinese blast furnaces which required experienced and skilled operators to produce good iron. Most (if not all) of the “backyard smelters” produced iron that was adequate for farm implements and the like, but couldn’t be made into steel, much less weapons grade steels.

    The “backyard furnaces” are good enough for cast iron products. Here’s a video on casting iron using a “backyard furnace”:

    The reality is that the mass campaign was quickly abandoned as a bad idea, and was shut down a couple of months after it started. Its impact was probably limited to introducing a few million peasants to industrial concepts and processes, which in itself was not a bad thing. Actually, as China’s peasant population had spent 100s of generations tied to the soil and village life with little or no concept of industry, one wonders if the TVEs you mention would have taken off without that otherwise useless introduction. Some of those TVEs are still very much in operation, and some have turned into major industrial concerns.

    China had a proto-industrial economy in rural areas since ancient times which was interrupted by wars, rebellions and revolutions. Here’s an article on the topic of how the GLF reintroduced rural industrialization which led to the growth of the TVEs, most of which were “privatized” after Deng’s market liberalization:

    http://chinaknowledge.de/History/PRC/prc-econ-tve.html

    Proto-industrialization in the countryside emerged in traditional China as a side-line business to farming. It included the processing of cotton and silk, food production, the production of bricks, transport and marketing. The densely populated and highly commercialized and monetized countryside of traditional China allowed the quick return to market structures as soon as this was possible. There are, nonetheless, still regions in China with low endowment of industries.

    The Stalinization of Chinese agriculture in the early 1950s dissolved these proto-industries by reducing the countryside to a production ground for grain exclusively, apart from some other staple goods as cotton, silk, peanuts and soybeans. Processing of agricultural produce was not carried out in the villages or townships, but by the state industry. In this way, the countryside was deindustrialized in the early age of Mao, and many specialized handicrafts fell into oblivion.

    During the Great Leap Forward, the re-industrialization of the countryside was enforced by the creation of “backyard furnaces” (tufa liangang 土法炼钢) which drained manpower from the agricultural business. The township-and-village enterprises (TVE, xiangzhen qiye 乡镇企业) of modern China go back to small industrial enterprises which were part of people’s communes during the “new” or “second great leap forward” in the early 1970s. These enterprises had been established in order to support the commune’s self-reliance in economic matters. The commune and brigade enterprises (she-dui qiye 社队企业) established during that time served agriculture by making out the “five small industries” (wu xiao qiye 五小工业), namely iron and steel, cement, chemical fertilizer, hydroelectric power, and farm implements.

    These commune and brigade enterprises were renamed TVE after the beginning of the reform programme in 1978. During the 1990s, more and more of them were privatized, and from 2000 on, they began to form local industrial clusters, consisting of large core enterprises and countless suppliers.

    During the first two decades of the Reform Period, the TVEs, in the beginning still collectively owned, played a crucial role in the expansion of the Chinese economy. With regard to management, the TVEs were given free hand and were allowed to conclude contracts as suppliers of larger SOEs. The local governments recognized their importance for economic advance and therefore supported them. Employment in TVEs increased from 28 million in 1978 to 135 million in 1995, when their share in the GDP was 25%. Many of them operated in the labour-intensive manufacturing business producing goods for export.

    After the privatization of most TVEs, the cooperation between and among them and the urban industries intensified. Industrial clusters emerged in many suburbs in which highly specialized production chains were involved. Many of these chains focus on one single product (consumer product, for domestic use and export), and competition among TVEs is high. These clusters are highly efficient and contribute to the competitiveness of Chinese goods on the world market – not the least because of ideal infrastructural advantages.

    Quite recently, business-to-consumer (B2C) business has emerged in which private or small producers directly supply markets via new channels, namely the internet marketplace Taobao 淘宝 which belongs to the Alibaba Group. Whole villages (“Taobao villages”, Taobaocun 淘宝村) participate in this business model, which is supported by the local administration.

    The GLF reintroduced the Maoist idea of rural industrialization via small-scale community-owned cooperatives to rural villages as opposed to the Stalinist idea of urban industrialization via large-scale State-owned collectives. This Maoist idea of rural self-reliance actually highlights the glaring difference between Maoism which is all about giving power to the People vs Stalinism which is all about giving power to the State. Whether giving land to landless peasants or allowing them to engage in rural industries, Maoism is the opposite of Stalinism which enforced “dekulakization” or getting rid of the independent entrepreneurial middle-class farmers whom Stalin deemed “class enemies” of the State.

    Though the backyard furnace campaign shut down, the other 3 went on and some of the great ironworks that were built during the GLF were modernized over the years and are still in operation. For some reason, historians ignore all that and focus on the (quickly corrected) gross error as somehow indicative of a general “disaster”.

    Westerners have this Orientalist view of China as an exotic, mysterious “Other” which is eternally medieval and thus “backward” compared to their modern, industrial “West”. This Orientalist mindset which Edward Said exposed as a kind of cultural pornography could explain the psychotic obsession with the alleged “GLF Famine” as exemplified by “backyard furnaces”, even though there’s hardly any causal relation between the two phenomena.

    At any rate, a GLF in iron & steel production was absolutely necessary if China was to modernize, and it did indeed happen. No, it wasn’t as successful as originally envisaged, but a lot of things were going wrong at the same time. Mao’s goal of catching up to the West in 15 yrs was a pipe dream, and when he realized it the dream was adjusted – to 50 yrs. In the event, he was almost dead right the 2nd time.

    My view is that the GLF was Mao’s way of mobilizing the masses for wartime emergency during the Vietnam War. Mao could have proclaimed to the world that he was launching the Great Leap Forward to build nuclear weapons but that would have alarmed the USA. He used the public facade of rural industrialization and agricultural collectivization to hide his true intent which was to build nuclear weapons during the GLF. Those “backyard furnaces” were just a publicity stunt to detract foreign observers from the hard work of scientific research being conducted behind the scenes to build China’s first A-bomb.

    In the ten years since the GLF ended, Mao did succeed in turning China into a nuclear-armed, military power with China’s first atomic bomb, first ballistic missile, first hydrogen bomb, first satellite, first jet fighter, first ICBM and first nuclear submarine built and tested from 1961 to 1971. All those projects were launched during Mao’s GLF which makes it equivalent to FDR’s Manhattan Project. THAT truly was a Great Leap Forward for China.

  312. Erebus says:

    Steel-making requires high-temperature smelters for large-scale steel production.

    This is a misunderstanding. “Smelting” and “melting” are not the same thing.

    Smelters are used in smelting, namely applying heat and a reducing agent (+ often a “flux”) to whatever ore is being smelted to release the base metal from the rock it’s trapped in. Metals are never recycled using a “smelter”.

    It has nothing to do with making steel other than the fact that smelting of iron ore into iron creates a primary feedstock for the steel furnaces. Steel making is the process of removing various remaining impurities, most specifically carbon that was added in reduction, and adding various other base metals such as manganese, nickel, chromium, vanadium etc in various ratios to improve certain desirable properties. It uses quite different processes from smelting.

    My view is that the GLF was Mao’s way of mobilizing the masses for wartime emergency during the Vietnam War.

    I have no idea where you got that view. From everything I’ve read, Mao and his cohort got giddy visions after the significant advances China made in the decade after they took over and quite expressly imagined they could catch up to the West’s industrialization within 15 years if they put the pedal down.

    He used the public facade of rural industrialization and agricultural collectivization to hide his true intent which was to build nuclear weapons during the GLF.

    Well, the GLF certainly masked a lot of things, but the notion that it was launched to mask nuclear weapons development is a stretch. Why not just build them in secrecy like everyone else did? Nobody had a good idea of what was going on in China anyway, so secrecy would hardly present a challenge. N. Korea isn’t launching GLFs (afaik) to mask their nuclear weapons development.

    Your videos taught me nothing I wasn’t very familiar with already. I was casting aluminium parts for my vintage motorcycle fetish 5 decades ago. Today, as a hobbyist, I’m designing and casting vintage racing car heads for friends that race in vintage classes. They’re identical externally, but incorporate more modern thinking internally while meeting all the racing rules of the class in question.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  313. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Wiz, I removed you from my Commenters to Ignore list for the simple reason that a I missed the chuckles you bring me free of encumbrances.

    I stand, in fact, in something like awe of your pretensions and high falutin’ ignorance. Breathing something perilously close to the clear, dry air of dementia, you stand alone.

    There, but for the grace of God, go I.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  314. @Erebus

    As I had not previously noticed any use of irony in your Comments – indeed it seemed tto me that you took yourself rather to seriously and were probably lacking g in the mental agility which tends to produce irony – it did not occur to me that your previous Co.ment might have been a testing attempt at irony though I could not really see a point to it. I supposed that you were, before returning to character with this last Comment, just offering a chatty pleasantry which maybe said “interesting point about Taiwan, yes the motive sounds right for Hong King too [not so much Macau]”. So… are you now saying that the point I quoted from another authority about Taiwan was not correct and that you were posing Hong Kong and Macau as nonsense comparisons to show how ridiculous it was to suppose that Taiwan’s flourishing as a democracy embarrassed Xi’s government?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  315. @Wizard of Oz

    For example your oft used chart of what people may or may not have meaningfully said to pollsters is no sort of denial of protests all over that very large and populous country [you might have said “but statistically it is insignificant because in a country so large…” – if true] .

    If planning is too slow, legislation too cumbersome, petitions fail, and bulletin boards prove fruitless, everyone has the constitutional right to demonstrate publicly. Since police are unarmed, the protests–usually triggered by local officials’ dishonesty or incompetence–are safe, cheap, and exciting. Social media and streaming video multiply their popularity[1] and effectiveness and angry[2] citizens paint signs, alert NGOs and media, recruit neighbors, bang drums, shout slogans and livestream their parade. Responses that once took months now take hours because, “A big disturbance leads to a big solution, a small disturbance leads to a small solution, and no disturbance leads to no solution”. Targeted officials–often following a call from angry superiors, who must now monitor social media–speed to the scene, bow deeply, apologize profusely, kiss babies, explain that they had no idea that such things were going on, and promise brighter tomorrows. Since cell phones became ubiquitous, local officials’ approval ratings have risen from forty-five to fifty-five percent and are should rival America’s seventy percent by 2025.

    And the article did after all point to the cultural genocide on the Uighurs as well as raise the as yet unanswered question as to why the CCP insists on such coercive and intimidatory control.

    The article did not point to the cultural genocide on the Uighurs, the article alleged it, as Western media articles alleged massacres in Tiananmen Square and Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I quoted Ambassador Freeman’s observations about our sponsorship of terrorism there assuming that you would realize that Xinjiang is a US operation about which we can only expect lies.

    The entire Muslim world has praised China’s treatment of its Muslims, and many of the inspectors sent to Xinjiang by the World Muslim Council expressed ‘envy’ at the resources the PRC has brought to bear on a problem–US-sponsored Wahhabi extremism–that afflicts all of them.

    Here is the account one of the inspectors–and one of the muslim world’s most prominent women–gave to the Times of India:

    No cultural, religious repression of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang: Pakistan diplomat

    A senior Pakistani diplomat on Thursday put up a staunch defence of the controversial education camps in China’s volatile Xinjiang province where thousands of Uighur Muslims have been reportedly detained, saying there is no forced labour or cultural and religious repression in the region.

    China recently took diplomats from 12 countries with large Muslim populations, including India and Pakistan, to its Xinjiang province where tens of thousands of members of the minority Uighur Muslims have been interned in education camps.

    “During this visit, I did not find any instance of forced labour or cultural and religious repression,” Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the Charge d’affaires, Pakistan’s Embassy in China, told the state-run Global Times on Thursday.

    “The imams we met at the mosques and the students and teachers at the Xinjiang Islamic Institute told us that they enjoy freedom in practicing Islam and that the Chinese government extends support for maintenance of mosques all over Xinjiang,” said Baloch, who visited Xinjiang as part of delegation of diplomats.

    “Similarly, I did not see any sign of cultural repression. The Uighur culture as demonstrated by their language, music and dance is very much part of the life of the people of Xinjiang,” she said.

    Asked about the security situation in Xinjiang, which has been “beset by terrorism”, Baloch said, “We learned that the recent measures have resulted in improvement of the security situation in Xinjiang and there have been no incidents of terrorism in recent months.”

    “The counter-terrorism measures being taken are multidimensional and do not simply focus on law enforcement aspects. Education, poverty alleviation and development are key to the counter-terrorism strategy of the Chinese government,” she said.

    Xinjiang’s regional government invited diplomatic envoys as well as representatives from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Kuwait following reports about detention of thousands of Uighur and other Muslims in massive education camps.

    The UN’s Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination last year said that it was alarmed by “numerous reports of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities” being detained in Xinjiang region and called for their immediate release.

    Estimates about them “range from tens of thousands to upwards of a million,” it had said.

    China defended the camps, saying they are re-education camps aimed at de-radicalising sections of the Uighur population from extremism and separatism.

    The US and several other countries besides UN officials have expressed concern over the camps.

    China has been carrying out massive crackdown on the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang province, where Uyghurs who formed majority in the region were restive over the increasing settlements of Han community.

    Pakistan and several other Muslim countries faced criticism about their silence over China’s crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang.

    China has about 20 million Muslims who are mostly Uighurs, an ethnic group of Turkic origin, and Hui Muslims, who are of the Chinese ethnic origin. While Uighurs lived in Xinjiang, bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Hui Muslims resided in Ningxia province.

    A recent report in the Global Times said China passed a five-year plan to ‘sinicize Islam’ in a bid to make it compatible with its version of socialism.

    “This is China’s important act to explore ways of governing religion in modern countries,” the report said.

    Baloch said the delegation was given full and open access to the three centres that they visited in Kashgar and Hotan.

    “The training program includes teaching of national common language (Chinese), law and constitution and vocational skills. The students also participate in recreational activities like sports, music and dance. We witnessed several skill classes being offered in these centres,” she said.

    “During the visits to these centres, we had the opportunity to interact with both the management and the students. We observed the students to be in good physical health. The living facilities are fairly modern and comfortable with separate dormitories for men and women. They are being served halal food,” she said.

    She said the Uighur language is being used in official establishments, airports, subway stations, police stations or hotels.

    “Even the copies of the Koran that we saw in the mosques and the Islamic centre were translated into the Uighur language. The most visible sign of protection of Uighur culture by the government is the government-run bilingual kindergarten schools where children learn Putonghua as well as Uighur language and culture from a very young age,” she said.

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/pakistan/no-cultural-religious-repression-of-uighur-muslims-in-xinjiang-pakistan-diplomat/articleshow/67675590.cms

    ____________________________________
    [1] There were 150,000 ‘mass incidents’ in 2018–a typical year.
    [2] Tang, Populist Authoritarianism. https://Americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/02/surprise-authoritarian-resilience-china/

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Erebus
  316. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    This is a misunderstanding. “Smelting” and “melting” are not the same thing.

    My mistake. I should have used the term “melting” for metal recycling and metal casting.

    I have no idea where you got that view. From everything I’ve read, Mao and his cohort got giddy visions after the significant advances China made in the decade after they took over and quite expressly imagined they could catch up to the West’s industrialization within 15 years if they put the pedal down.

    I got it from a family friend of my Chinese wife who works in the Chinese defense industry in Sichuan Province. I mean China did caught up in NUCLEAR WEAPONS with the USA, UK and France AFTER the GLF, didn’t it?

    Well, the GLF certainly masked a lot of things, but the notion that it was launched to mask nuclear weapons development is a stretch. Why not just build them in secrecy like everyone else did? Nobody had a good idea of what was going on in China anyway, so secrecy would hardly present a challenge. N. Korea isn’t launching GLFs (afaik) to mask their nuclear weapons development.

    Think about Mao announcing his GLF to build nuclear weapons for China. That would alarm the USA, wouldn’t it? Mao using the GLF to distract foreign observers while the real work of building nuclear weapons was going on behind the scenes seems plausible, as suggested to me by the family friend of my wife. Kim brags about his nuclear weapons all the time while Mao didn’t even mention anything about building nuclear weapons when he launched the GLF. But Mao got Nixon/Kissinger to recognize the PRC while Kim is still sitting on his nukes.

    Your videos taught me nothing I wasn’t very familiar with already. I was casting aluminum parts for my vintage motorcycle fetish 5 decades ago. Today, as a hobbyist, I’m designing and casting vintage racing car heads for friends that race in vintage classes. They’re identical externally, but incorporate more modern thinking internally while meeting all the racing rules of the class in question.

    Those videos were intended: 1). to convey the idea that “backyard furnaces” are still used to this day in metal casting as well as in metal recycling, whether in rural China or elsewhere and 2). to dispel the notion that “backyard furnaces” are somewhat backward as suggested by its detractors including those who disparage those “backyard furnaces” in the GLF.

    Come to think of it: Westerners such as Dikotter still associate those “backyard furnaces” with the backwardness of Mao’s GLF even though Chinese scientists were working hard behind the scenes to build China’s first ever nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, jet fighters, communication satellites and nuclear submarines. Westerners who had this image of Chinese peasants building “backyard furnaces” would have a hard time accepting the reality of Chinese scientists building nuclear weapons. When the time came for China to detonate its first A-bomb, it came as a shock to the West:

    That the Chinese scientists built those nuclear weapons entirely on their own is even more shocking as shown in this video of the Chinese scientist who won China’s top science award for designing China’s first nuclear submarine in 1961:

    • Replies: @Erebus
  317. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    ABC is now an “authority” on something? On Taiwan of all places? LOL!
    Thanks again, Wiz!

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  318. @Godfree Roberts

    Thank you, interesting, and even more interesting I surmise when I can read it all properly.

    Though I used the words “cultural genocide” for shorthand – and it is probably the appropriate woke jargon – I am not unsympathetic to getting rid of premodern BS. (Pres Trump is accused of telling Xi he was doing the right thing with the Uighurs – not a totally silly way of trying to get Xi to import more barley , albeit at his Australian ally’s expense).

    And yes, I can believe the CIA has been stirring the Uighurs, possibly indirectly as a stupid means of getting extreme Sunni on side which may no longer be needed given changes in KSA.

    I used to think that the US missed a great opportunity to get China’s vast resources on side to deal with ME and Muslim problems. I used to say that the Chinese and Indians weren’t going to let a lot of Arab (or Iranian or Central Asian) Muslims bugger up their oil supplies. If only the fracking revolution had occurred 10 years earlier I wonder if, just possibly, the US might have avoided its multi trillion dollar disasters.

    It is indeed very strange that Tianmen Square Massacre continues to be the terminology for the 1989 crack down after the publication of the Columbia School of Journalism’s magazine article that Ron has cited. It seems to be like the famous 6 million figure endlessly repeated as fact (thiugh not on the ABC).

  319. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    Think about Mao announcing his GLF to build nuclear weapons for China. That would alarm the USA, wouldn’t it?

    Why would he announce it instead of proceeding with development in secrecy the way everybody else did? In any case, the US was aware that the USSR was assisting the Chinese in developing a weapon in the ’50s, but the Soviets pulled out in June ’59 well after the GLF was underway. The US was aware of that as well, and so were surprised by China’s ability to proceed on their own.

    2). to dispel the notion that “backyard furnaces” are somewhat backward as suggested by its detractors including those who disparage those “backyard furnaces” in the GLF.

    You seem to continue to confuse smelting and melting. Melting and re-casting is a low skill endeavour, as your videos make plain. In contrast, running a traditional Chinese smelter is an art requiring years of experience to learn.

    The GLF’s mass “backyard furnace” campaign was all about smelting, NOT melting and was abandoned almost immediately after it started. It was abandoned because the skills required to run a traditional Chinese smelter were simply not available on anything like the scale required by the program. It was a bad idea from the start. 10s of 1000s of backyard smelters were built, but very few produced anything at all, never mind a useful iron.

    The medium and large scale traditional smelters did produce, and added significantly to China’s steel making feedstock, but the most productive by far were the small scale modern blast furnaces that were the core of the GLF’s smelting program.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  320. @Erebus

    What a brazen attempt to use your distraction tactic considering how recent the comment was to which you are purporting to reply. Absent a short term memory problem you must remember that “authority” wasn’t the point. I could have said “source” and I would still have just been raising for Godree Roberts the interesting observation that Taiwan’s status as a working Chinese democracy was an example to be killed in the interests of CCP rule. So why did you choose to butt in on my conversation with GF in a way which was apparently either malicious or the product of alcohol? Are you one of UR’s drunks/alcoholics? I note that one testy fellow so afflicted seems to have taken himself to the Sahara. You might try it.

  321. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Since police are unarmed, the protests–usually triggered by local officials’ dishonesty or incompetence–are safe, cheap, and exciting.

    Not always.

  322. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    Why would he announce it instead of proceeding with development in secrecy the way everybody else did? In any case, the US was aware that the USSR was assisting the Chinese in developing a weapon in the ’50s, but the Soviets pulled out in June ’59 well after the GLF was underway. The US was aware of that as well, and so were surprised by China’s ability to proceed on their own.

    Mao knew that the USA wanted to block China’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons technology from the Soviets. So he started the GLF to help pay for it by exporting more food to the Soviets in 1958. But the Soviets stopped all technical assistance in 1959 and withdrew all their technical personnel in 1960, the year China stopped all food exports to the Soviet Union. Due to the unpopularity of GLF policies like “agricultural collectivization” which procured more food crops from rural villages for export to the Soviets, Mao had to step down as President of China in 1959.

    Mao didn’t wake up one day and said: “Let’s export more food crops to the Soviets by starting the GLF.” Mao wanted to acquire Soviet nuclear weapons technology which he had to pay by exporting food crops to the Soviet Union. That was the rationale behind the increased food exports to the Soviet Union which Mao accomplished by launching the GLF!!!

    Mao didn’t mention anything about nuclear weapons when he launched the GLF but behind the scenes China began the national project to build nuclear weapons during this time. That’s why I think the GLF was just a facade for the nuclear weapons project which consumed China’s defense industry in the years following the GLF. That was a HUGE national undertaking, much bigger than the “backyard furnaces” in rural areas which Westerners like Dikotter are obsessed with. China’s success in building its first A-bomb, first H-bomb, first ballistic missile, first ICBM, first satellite, first jet fighter and first nuclear submarine in the years following the GLF shocked the Americans no doubt, especially those oblivious to China’s scientific abilities, mesmerized as they were by the “backyard furnaces” of the GLF which served as Mao’s red herring.

    You seem to continue to confuse smelting and melting. Melting and re-casting is a low skill endeavour, as your videos make plain. In contrast, running a traditional Chinese smelter is an art requiring years of experience to learn.

    No, I was referring to the idea of rural industrialization based on “backyard furnaces” which is sufficient for metal recycling and metal casting.

    The medium and large scale traditional smelters did produce, and added significantly to China’s steel making feedstock, but the most productive by far were the small scale modern blast furnaces that were the core of the GLF’s smelting program.

    If that were true, then the GLF’s goal of producing more steel was not a complete failure as Westerners like Dikotter seem to suggest even though the “backyard furnaces” used in traditional Chinese smelters failed to produce steel as you’ve mentioned. In any case, the GLF reintroduced the idea of rural industrialization which caught on and took hold in the form of TVEs which later participated as privatized enterprises in the market economy unleashed by Deng’s market reforms.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Erebus
  323. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    Hmm… I see your point that there seems to be an interesting confluence of “coincidences”, but I’m not sure they align.

    Mao didn’t mention anything about nuclear weapons when he launched the GLF but behind the scenes China began the national project to build nuclear weapons during this time.

    From what I’ve read, the nuclear program was well underway having started in 1953-54 under Soviet tutelage/supervision. That was the time Mao was running the grain for nukes deal. After the Soviets left in ’59-’60, ALL cooperation ceased incl the food, and the Soviets pulled all their technical personnel out of China, including the metallurgists and industrial & civil engineers that were helping out with infrastructure projects.

    BTW, one of the (several) reasons the Soviets cut the program was that they were into heavy negotiations with the US on a nuke treaty and the Americans knew they were helping China build them. Naturally, that made the negotiations awkward and Khrushchev wanted that treaty bad. What surprised everyone was that China carried on alone and succeeded.

    No, I was referring to the idea of rural industrialization based on “backyard furnaces” which is sufficient for metal recycling and metal casting.

    The problem with your theory is that the “backyard furnaces” built under the GLF program were blast furnaces, not simple melters. For melting scrap and casting iron there’s no great need for even a real furnace as a simple crucible will do, and every village of any size already had them. A blast furnace is useful for smelting if the skills were available, but it’s just not very useful for melting scrap or re-melting iron. In any case, it made no sense to make iron in a blast furnace, then ship the pigs to another blast furnace (in the backyard) just to remelt it and cast it into whatever the final product was to be. No, the product of the blast furnaces went to the steel works because it’s steel China needed, not more cast iron pots.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  324. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    From what I’ve read, the nuclear program was well underway having started in 1953-54 under Soviet tutelage/supervision. That was the time Mao was running the grain for nukes deal. After the Soviets left in ’59-’60, ALL cooperation ceased incl the food, and the Soviets pulled all their technical personnel out of China, including the metallurgists and industrial & civil engineers that were helping out with infrastructure projects.

    Yes, Mao offered the “grain-for-nuke” deal back in 1953-54, right after the end of the Korean War. After launching the GLF in 1958, Mao adopted “agricultural collectivization” as recommended by his Soviet advisors in order to procure more grain exports to the Soviet Union. The grain exports increased FOUR(4) times in 1959 which was used to pay for the Soviet nuclear weapons technology transferred to China in the form of nuclear reactors, nuclear bombs, ballistic missiles, etc. But the grain exports stopped when the Soviets withdrew all their technical personnel from China in 1960.

    BTW, one of the (several) reasons the Soviets cut the program was that they were into heavy negotiations with the US on a nuke treaty and the Americans knew they were helping China build them. Naturally, that made the negotiations awkward and Khrushchev wanted that treaty bad. What surprised everyone was that China carried on alone and succeeded.

    Mao knew the Americans wanted to block the Soviets from sharing their nuclear weapons technology to China. That’s why Mao launched the GLF in order to increase grain-exports to help pay for the accelerated transfer of Soviet nuclear weapons technology to China. That was in 1958 when China began construction of uranium-enrichment plants which received technical assistance from the Soviets who also supplied several nuclear weapons samples that year. One year later, the Soviets stopped their assistance, presumably under pressure from the Americans who were dangling a nuke-arms treaty to Khrushchev in exchange for the Soviet withdrawal from China which finally happened in 1960.

    After acquiring nuclear weapons technology from the Soviets, China stopped all grains exports to and split from the Soviet Union in 1960. That ended the “grains-for-nukes” deal.

    The problem with your theory is that the “backyard furnaces” built under the GLF program were blast furnaces, not simple melters. For melting scrap and casting iron there’s no great need for even a real furnace as a simple crucible will do, and every village of any size already had them. A blast furnace is useful for smelting if the skills were available, but it’s just not very useful for melting scrap or re-melting iron. In any case, it made no sense to make iron in a blast furnace, then ship the pigs to another blast furnace (in the backyard) just to remelt it and cast it into whatever the final product was to be. No, the product of the blast furnaces went to the steel works because it’s steel China needed, not more cast iron pots.

    According to this CIA study on China’s steel industry, the blast furnace produced steel at local steel mills using the “outmoded side-blown converter” which is similar to the Bessemer process:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP86B00985R000300040017-8.pdf

    In the 1950s, the USSR provided the equipment and technical support to construct numerous large, modern, open-hearth furnaces (OHFs). The USSR had only begun to provide basic oxygen furnaces (BOFs) when it withdrew its technicians in 1960. Since then, most new Chinese steel furnaces were BOFs with the rest being electric arc furnaces (EAF) used to produce high-quality and specialty steels, while the outmoded side-blown converter is the standard furnace at local steel mills.

    Steel output expanded smoothly during the early 1950s. Production surpassed the pre-Communist high of 900,000 tons by 1952 and reached 5.35 million tons in 1957, the final year of the Soviet-style First Five-Year Plan.

    Despite steady progress in steel and other branches of industry, Chairman Mao felt that growth could be even more rapid, and in 1958 he launched the Great Leap Forward, an ill-advised attempt at instant industrialization. Small iron and steel plants sprang up all over the country. These plants featured the notorious backyard furnaces and small, obsolete side-blown converters for making steel. Output from these primitive facilities gave rise to exaggerated claims of huge increases in steel production. The Chinese claimed, for example, that steel production more than doubled in 1958 and jumped another 70 percent by 1960.

    Simultaneously, the Chinese proceeded with the construction of modern plants. Installation of equipment was speeded up, and capacity at the large plants reached about 12 million tons by the end of 1960. The Chinese reported that output from the large plants exceeded their rated capacity, reaching almost 13 million tons in 1960. The new small-scale plants added another 6 million tons of steel production. The steel from small plants was nearly useless, however, and the low quality of ores and pig iron used at the modern plants reduced the quality of their output as well.

    After Krushchev pulled out the Soviet advisers and their blueprints in mid-1960, China was unable to push forward its steelmaking technology on its own. Accordingly, it bought basic oxygen furnaces (BOF) from Austria and electric arc furnaces (EAF) and air separation plants from Japan. Steelmaking capacity reached almost 18 million tons by yearend 1965 and production advanced to 15 million tons in 1966.

    Steel production did increase with new plants — large modern steel mills using OHFs as well as small local plants using outmoded side-blown converters — being built during the GLF, even after discounting output from the “backyard furnaces”. The quality of steel produced during the GLF may not have been as good as the steel produced by post-GLF steel mills using BOF and EAF technologies but they served their purpose at a time when China was supplying weapons to the North Vietnamese before, during and after the GLF.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  325. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    Well, you lost me. I don’t follow what you’re going on about, or the point you’re trying to make.

    For me, the notion that the GLF was launched as a cover for domestic nuke development is a stretch. It may indeed have served as such for a relatively short part of the nuke program, but it’s difficult to see how that was more than a fortuitous corollary to its main goals.

    As for the “backyard furnaces”, the reality is that the CPC recognized early that the campaign was a dead end, and it was aborted shortly after it began. The CPC didn’t abort it because it was a success, but because they recognized that failure was inevitable. The furnaces never produced much of anything and any benefit from the campaign lay in introducing a millennia old peasant culture to a more industrial mindset.

    That’s probably quite a bit more important than it’s often given credit for. For the peasants involved, the GLF was a leap from the 15th to the 19thC, and the “backyard furnaces” were part of that.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  326. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    For me, the notion that the GLF was launched as a cover for domestic nuke development is a stretch. It may indeed have served as such for a relatively short part of the nuke program, but it’s difficult to see how that was more than a fortuitous corollary to its main goals.

    The GLF accomplished two of its goals: 1). increased food exports to the Soviet Union to pay for nuclear weapons technology, and 2). increased steel production by building small-scale rural steel mills as well as large-scale urban steel mills. According to my family-friend, there was a military buildup during the GLF which could explain the need for more steel production. Mao was preparing for a possible Chinese military intervention in the Vietnam War which didn’t happen because the USA increased their military involvement only during LBJ’s administration. But China had already detonated its first A-bomb by that time which deterred the US against a military invasion of North Vietnam.

    As for the “backyard furnaces”, the reality is that the CPC recognized early that the campaign was a dead end, and it was aborted shortly after it began. The CPC didn’t abort it because it was a success, but because they recognized that failure was inevitable. The furnaces never produced much of anything and any benefit from the campaign lay in introducing a millennia old peasant culture to a more industrial mindset.

    Agree. The idea of rural industrialization — that of rural self-reliance — came from the GLF which laid the foundation for the TVEs that emerged in the decades following the GLF. Those community-owned cooperatives called TVEs became privatized enterprises which participated in the market economy unleashed by Deng’s liberal reforms.

    That’s probably quite a bit more important than it’s often given credit for. For the peasants involved, the GLF was a leap from the 15th to the 19thC, and the “backyard furnaces” were part of that.

    My family-friend told me that those “backyard furnaces” were a gimmick which he just laughed off as ancient and obsolete. My view is that those “backyard furnaces” were a public spectacle designed to give a false impression of China’s scientific abilities. Even Khrushchev sneered at China’s scientific abilities as shown in this video of the scientist who designed China’s nuclear submarine:

    Behind the scenes, Mao started SIX(6) Manhattan Projects during the GLF: A-bomb, H-bomb, jet-fighter, satellite, ICBM and nuclear submarine. Not one but six. That was truly China’s Great Leap Forward.

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @Godfree Roberts
  327. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    … Mao started SIX(6) Manhattan Projects during the GLF…

    Huh?

    The GLF, China’s 2nd 5Yr Plan began in ’58 and petered out in late ’61, lasting less than its allotted 5 yrs. Meanwhile…

    – the nuclear weapons program began under Soviet supervision in ’53-’54, with the first A-bomb test a decade later in ’64 and the first H-Bomb test 3 yrs later in ’67
    – the J-8 jet fighter began design in 1964 and had its maiden flight in ’69. It was China’s 1st domestic design, its J-7 predecessor being Soviet.
    – Project 640, which began China’s indigenous missile development program was launched in 1964. It launched short, medium and long range ballistic missiles based on Soviet designs over the coming years.
    – The ICBM program, a subset under Project 640 began in 1965. The DF-5 launched in 1971.
    – China launched its first satellite in 1970 (I don’t remember when the design was started).
    – though the nuclear submarine project did indeed begin with the GLF in ’58, it was essentially a small study group for a number of years. The submarine itself (the Type 091) didn’t launch until 1974 and fell far short of its competitors. The Chinese still haven’t got that right, but a nuclear sub is an incredibly complex thing and designing/building one in 15 yrs indicates that they cut a lot of corners, which revealed themselves in its poor performance.

    None of the above projects’ timelines is rooted in the GLF, as all but the nukes began well after the GLF was aborted. So, I don’t understand how you (or your family friend) concluded that they had anything to do with it other than coincidence (in the case of the nukes).

    Though they were indeed great leaps forward for China, the reality is that every one of them began with a direct or derivative copy of a pre-existing Soviet technology. Other than the nuclear sub (afaik), and possibly the satellite all of the other programs were seeded not by the Chinese, but by the Soviets who designed the R&D programs, handed over technology, including working samples, educated and trained Chinese technicians and scientists and even designed and supervised the building of the research and test facilities. Mao may have invited the Soviets in, but that ain’t really “launching” a Chinese program, is it? It looks much more like he successfully petitioned the Soviets for help.

    The Soviets (who really were experts) catapulted the Chinese STEM community at least a generation, probably much more, but Mao probably set it back half a generation with his silly dispute with Khrushchev over ideological purity. Had he stuck to pragmatic concerns and the Soviets continued to cooperate, China’s “Manhattan Projects” would have proceeded far faster and reached a higher level sooner. As it is, China still can’t build a modern nuclear sub, remains dependent on Russia for fighter jet engines, and their first aircraft carrier is a derivative of an obsolete Ukrainian vessel. The much ballyhooed J-20 looks very much like a derivative copy of a MIG Gen 5 prototype (#1.41/142) and still uses Russian engines.

    So, I still don’t get it.

    • Replies: @antibeast
    , @Showmethereal
  328. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    Sorry but you’re wrong about the timeline. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” project:

    Two Bombs, One Satellite (两弹一星) was an early nuclear and space project of the People’s Republic of China. Two Bombs refers to the atomic bomb (and later the hydrogen bomb) and the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), while One Satellite refers to the artificial satellite. China tested its first atomic bomb and first hydrogen bomb in 1964 and 1967 respectively, combining the atomic bomb with surface-to-surface missile in 1966, and successfully launched its first satellite (Dong Fang Hong I) in 1970.

    In January 1955, Mao Zedong expressed the intention of developing atomic bombs during a meeting of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China.

    In 1956, hundreds of experts were called by Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, Li Fuchun and Nie Rongzhen to make plans for China’s scientific development, eventually creating an outline of development for the period from 1956 to 1967 (1956-1967 年科学技术发展远景规划纲要).

    In 1958, Mao formally announced the development of nuclear bombs, missiles and satellite.

    Mao officially announced the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” project in 1958, the year he launched the GLF. He added the nuclear submarine project after being rebuffed by Khrushchev in 1959.

    The first indigenously-built jet fighter in China was the J-7 which was based on the Soviet-designed MiG-21 (launched in 1959). The project started during the GLF period but was stalled by the Sino-Soviet split in 1960, and then resumed when Khrushchev agreed to transfer MiG-21 technology to China in 1962. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the J-7:

    Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev unexpectedly wrote to Mao Zedong in February 1962 to inform Mao that the Soviet Union was willing to transfer MiG-21 technology to China, and he asked the Chinese to promptly send their representatives to the Soviet Union to discuss arrangements. The Chinese viewed this offer as a Soviet gesture to make peace, while suspicious, they were nonetheless eager to take up the Soviet offer of an aircraft deal. A delegation headed by General Liu Yalou, the commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and himself a Soviet military academy graduate, was dispatched to Moscow immediately; the Chinese delegation was given three days to visit the MiG-21’s production facility, which was previously off-limits to foreigners. The visit’s authorization was personally given by Nikita Khrushchev, and on 30 March 1962, the technology transfer deal was signed.

    The prior technology transfer and technical assistance from the Soviets to China proves my point: that Mao proceeded with China’s “Two Bombs, One Satellite” project (started in 1958) WITHOUT technical assistance from the USSR which withdrew all its technical personnel from China in 1960. Not all technical expertise came from the USSR; lots of Overseas Chinese returned to help in China’s nuclear weapons project including Qian Xuesen who worked in FDR’s Manhattan Project in the USA.

    The rest of your post on China’s current military technologies such as jet fighters (J-20) or nuclear submarines is a strawman and thus irrelevant to my point that Mao’s “Two Bombs, One Satellite” project (started in 1958) was the REAL Great Leap Forward not the “backyard furnaces” which is the FAKE Great Leap Forward. Come to think of it: FDR had the Manhattan Project which was his signature achievement during WWII while Mao had SIX(6) Manhattan Projects to his name during the Vietnam War. To this day, Westerners like Dikotter are obsessed with those “backyard furnaces” which is the FAKE Great Leap Forward intended to deceive the Americans into thinking that the Chinese must be stupid enough they can’t possibly develop nuclear weapons on their own without Soviet technical assistance, which is what you’re asserting.

    But China did it under Mao. THAT was the REAL Great Leap Forward.

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @Godfree Roberts
  329. @Wizard of Oz

    Hong Kong never had democracy under the British… So thats a moot point.
    Taiwan only got democracy in the past 30 years. It was under martial law for longer than its been democratic. Many would argue that it has regressed since going democratic. You r3alize nearly 10 percent of Taiwan people live on mainlamd China now – right? Why? Well neighboring Fujian has for the first ti e passed it in GDP… But more interestingly – Shanghai – with the same population as the whole of Taiwan has passed it in life expectancy… So actually the officials in Beijing only laugh. Aside from semiconductors – the island has fallen behind the mainland in just about everything else. And no – dont bring up an incomparable deep rural part of the mainland to compare… Nobody from Taiwan is moving to those places. They move to first tier cities or to neighboring Fujian.

    • Agree: Erebus, Godfree Roberts
  330. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    Hmm… Mao indeed announced the “Two bombs, one satellite” project in 1959, but all indications are that things started much earlier.

    In 1951, China signed a secret agreement with Moscow through which China provided uranium ores in exchange for Soviet assistance in nuclear technology.

    Plenty of sources other than Wiki say it started a lot earlier than Mao’s announcement.

    From 1955 to 1959, approximately 260 Chinese nuclear scientists and engineers went to the Soviet Union, while roughly the same number of Soviet nuclear experts traveled to China to work in its nuclear industry.

    My own read of it is that Mao’s announcement simply acknowledged that the Soviets were splitting and announcing that China would continue alone. It was NOT the start of China’s nuclear development, it was its continuation that Mao was announcing. Needless to say, Mao would’ve wound up with a lot of egg on his face if the program collapsed because of his silly ideological dispute.

    As for jets…

    The first indigenously-built jet fighter in China was the J-7 which was based on the Soviet-designed MiG-21 (launched in 1959).

    It wasn’t “based” on the MIG21. It was the MIG21, minus what the Soviets didn’t want to share. There’s a very big chasm between “indigenously built” and “indigenously designed”. It wasn’t even a copy in the normal sense, much less reverse engineered, and it wasn’t even indigenously built in the sense that an existing Chinese jet fighter factory bought some plans from a 3rd party. The Soviets taught the Chinese how to build a cheap ‘n cheerful jet fighter and gave the license to build it. Up to that point, most of Mao’s aeronautical engineers hadn’t even seen a jet fighter.

    Qian Xuesen was obviously a genius, but your account is a bit off the mark. He wasn’t a nuclear physicist but a mechanical engineer who eventually gained expertise in rocket/missile design while at Caltech. He doubtless contributed greatly to Chinese missile developments, especially as he specialized in (indeed, he advanced) the fledgeling field of Control Theory, but the notion that he contributed significantly to China’s A- & H-bomb tests would seem to stretch his qualifications too far.

    … Mao had SIX(6) Manhattan Projects to his name during the Vietnam War.

    Oh, that’s new. In your last post (#331) the “SIX(6)” were started during the GLF. Now they were born “during the Vietnam war”. I wonder where the goalposts will wander off to next.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  331. @antibeast

    The GLF accomplished two of its goals: 1). increased food exports to the Soviet Union to pay for nuclear weapons technology,

    You probably recall Mao’s comment about China’s need for the atomic bomb, “We must have it, even if we have to go without trousers”.

    The DPRK has proven him correct.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  332. @antibeast

    The biggest sceptic about the backyard furnaces was Mao, who kept asking its proponents, “If it’s such a good idea, why don’t Germany and England have them?”

    • Replies: @antibeast
  333. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    Oh, that’s new. In your last post (#331) the “SIX(6)” were started during the GLF. Now they were born “during the Vietnam war”. I wonder where the goalposts will wander off to next.

    You’re grasping at straws here. That’s like saying FDR’s Manhattan Project shouldn’t be credited with developing the first A-bomb because there had been some nuclear research done in the years prior to it. Mao launched the GLF as well as the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” project in reaction to the onset of the Vietnam War in 1955. Same reasoning applies to FDR launching the Manhattan Project in reaction to Einstein–Szilárd’s letter at the onset of WWII in 1939. Of course, nuclear research started much earlier but that begs the question: why were those two projects started with such urgency and importance? FDR started the Manhattan Project as a reaction to Hitler’s possible development of nuclear weapons at the onset of WWII while Mao started the GLF and the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” as his reaction to possible US-China military conflict in the Vietnam War.

    The CIA later found out that China did in fact produce more steel during the GLF (2-3x that of prior years) because new steel mills were built during that period consisting of 1). small-scale steel mills in rural areas, and 2). large-scale steel mills in urban areas. Thus, the “backyard furnaces” had zero economic value because they produced little to no steel although they did serve as a publicity stunt to deceive the Americans into thinking that China didn’t have the scientific ability to develop nuclear weapons without Soviet assistance, which is what you’re asserting. But Mao proved them wrong: China recruited its top scientists from all over the world, including: Qian Sanqiang (father of the A-bomb, PhD-France), Qian Xuesen (father of the Space program, PhD-USA) and countless others. Locally, China had produced its own scientists such as Yu Min (father of the H-bomb, PhD-China), Huang Xuhua (father of the nuclear submarine, PhD-China), etc.

    As a co-founder of Caltech’s JPL, Qian Xuesen is to China’s Space program what the German Wernher von Braun is to NASA’s Space program. There were lots of German scientists recruited/captured from a defeated Nazi Germany after WWII and brought to the USA, including: Wernher von Braun (Father of the V-2 missiles and Saturn rockets), Woldemar Voigt (Designer of the Messerschmitt P.1101) and others. Here’s a list of German scientists/engineers brought to the USA under Operation Paperclip:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

    Hungarian-born scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project include: Edward Teller (father of the H-bomb, PhD-Germany), Leo Szilard (Patented the Nuclear Fission Reactor, PhD-Germany) and John von Neumann (Inventor of the von Neumann computer architecture, PhD-Germany).

    Before WWII, Germany was the world’s leading country in numerous STEM fields, inventing the world’s first ballistic missiles, rocket engines, jet fighters, etc. After WWII, the USA, USSR, UK and France scrambled to acquire or “steal” German technology and recruit or “capture” German STEM specialists. The USSR was notorious for dismantling entire German factories and shipping them back via train-cars as well as forcibly transporting train-cars full of captured German scientists to the Soviet Union.

    China didn’t have that luxury but had to deal with a miserly Soviet Union which reluctantly shared their nuclear weapons technology and expertise from 1953-54 to 1959-6o. Mao saw through the Soviet motions and wanted to develop nuclear weapons as fast as possible which forced the Soviet withdrawal from China. Mao started the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” project which was China’s version of the Manhattan Project in response to the onset of the Vietnam War. Mao feared a repeat of the Korean War and prepared for a possible Chinese military intervention in North Vietnam by building up its conventional weapons (which required more steel production as part of the GLF). To deter a US invasion of North Vietnam, Mao needed to develop nuclear weapons which required the acquisition of Soviet nuclear weapons technology (paid for by increased food exports to the Soviet Union as part of the GLF). Finally, Mao added the nuclear submarine and jet fighter projects to the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” program during the GLF. Those two phenomena — GLF and the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” — are not isolated, orthogonal events but inter-related actions; they were not coincidental events but intentional acts by Mao. Even those “backyard furnaces” by Mao were meant to deceive the Americans regarding China’s ability to produce nuclear weapons without Soviet assistance.

    One more thing: the J-7 is a modified version of the MiG-21, made in China under license from the Soviet Union. The MiG-21 saw a lot of action during the Vietnam War, earning its fearsome reputation as the “killer” because it downed lots of US aircraft like the F-4 which was no match for the MiG-21. Both the Soviet-made MiG-21 and the Chinese-made J-7 were exported widely during the 70s, 80s by the Soviet Union and during the 80s, 90s, 2000s by China, respectively. They’re still being used to this day in numerous Air Forces all over the world.

    • Thanks: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Showmethereal
    , @Erebus
  334. antibeast says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    The DPRK has proven him correct.

    Not only North Korea but Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, etc.

    If you don’t have nukes, you’ll end up like them.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  335. antibeast says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    The biggest sceptic about the backyard furnaces was Mao, who kept asking its proponents, “If it’s such a good idea, why don’t Germany and England have them?”

    Mao knew those “backyard furnaces” were obsolete technology dating back to ancient times which would not fulfill the need for increased steel production during the GLF. That’s why they were dismantled shortly after their launch while new steel mills were built in rural as well as urban areas using modern technology such as the Bessemer process and the Open Hearth Furnace (OHF) which came from Japan (Manchuria) and the West (Shanghai) prior to 1949 and from the Soviet Union after 1949. In Manchuria, the Soviet Red Army dismantled the Shōwa Steel Works and transported the entire plant to the USSR after WWII. The Chinese Communists then rebuilt the steel mill on the same site and called it Anshan Iron & Steel Works. The Chinese later acquired newer technology such as the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) and the Electric Arc Furnace (ERF) from outside the USSR after the Sino-Soviet split in 1960.

    Mao had a keen sense of humor, promoting those “backyard furnaces” as something of a public parody of the GLF, i.e, Great Leap Forward means moving forward to the future not going backward to ancient times as implied by those “backyard furnaces”.

    • Thanks: Godfree Roberts
  336. @Erebus

    Yes it is true the Soviets did help the Chinese under Mao – and then cut them off because China didnt want to follow the Soviet lead in international communism. Well nukes are on example… The Soviets figured the Chinese would take decades – or never figure out how to make nukes on their own. The Soviets were gravely shocked how quickly China did.

    All in all the Soviets are about as responsible for China’s STEM take off as the Nazis were to the US. But the Nazi scientists happily escaped prisom amd retired in the US working all their days. China lost the luxury of Soviet help. Kind of reminds me of the attempt to cut off China from semiconductors. How long before you think that stranglehold is broken?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  337. @antibeast

    I wont touch on your whole argument but yes both the US and USSR greatly benefitted from Nazi scientists in their military and space programs. Anyone who denies it ks simply misinformed or a liar. Humans always build off the experience and knowledge that came before – even when developing a new field. Even German jet and missile tech was based off what was learned from rockets – which go back a long long long time. In the same way there would be no nukes if there was no periodic table… And on and on and on. We all live based on what humans learned over the past 5000 years.

  338. Erebus says:
    @Showmethereal

    … (the Soviets) cut them off because China didnt want to follow the Soviet lead in international communism.

    My read of that is the opposite. The Soviets under Khrushchev were going all-in on Stalin’s “Socialism in One Country” policy which was a direct repudiation of Trotsky’s “world revolution”. Mao called Khrushchev a “Revisionist” and deplored the notion that the revolution should be contained. As the Soviets began to actively seek a rapprochement with the West, the two parted ways.

    Of course, there were many other factors in play. The PRC’s heavy artillery bombardment of Kinmen & Matsu Islands in the 2nd Taiwan Straits Crisis and the Soviet crushing of uprisings in Eastern Europe alarmed Moscow and Beijing respectively. The Soviets were also alarmed at Mao’s apparent nonchalance regarding the effects of nuclear war, while the Chinese were angry at Moscow’s refusal to help in putting down the Xinjiang uprising and their continued friendly relations with India following Tibet’s. There were many, many other points of friction. IOW, the relationship was complex and the breakup can’t be attributed to one factor or another, but a confluence of numerous factors.

    The Soviets were gravely shocked how quickly China did.

    I’ve not been able to find corroboration of the “shock” you mention. Can you suggest something where one can learn of it? Certainly, the Chinese archives record detailed technical and scientific documents reaching up into the Soviet “Top Secret” level being transferred along with many series of lectures by high ranking Soviet scientists. Those archives show, for instance that during Evgeny Vorobyev’s stay in China he increased the number of Chinese nuclear scientists from 60 to 6000. So, the Soviets knew what they had handed over and of Mao’s strong desire for nuclear capability. It shouldn’t have been gravely shocking that the Chinese took 4 years from there to a bomb.

    Kind of reminds me of the attempt to cut off China from semiconductors. How long before you think that stranglehold is broken?

    2 years, give or take.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  339. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    You’re grasping at straws here.

    If it looks like I am, it’s because I’m struggling to make sense of your ramblings while trying to play whack-a-mole with those of your shifting arguments I can make sense of.

    That’s like saying FDR’s Manhattan Project shouldn’t be credited with developing the first A-bomb because there had been some nuclear research done in the years prior to it.

    No, it’s not. There’s a logical chasm between them. I suggest you try to find it.

    Look, first you confused the 4 different iron & steel making technologies used during the GLF, then you half-way corrected yourself, and now you’re back to making the same error(s). To whit:

    Thus, the “backyard furnaces” had zero economic value because they produced little to no steel…

    Your original confusion between smelting and melting was sorta excusable as almost every historian and pundit has made the same errors, which have in turn led to all manner of nonsense and fruitless argument about furnaces, backyard or otherwise. Having no idea what those technologies are, how they work, or what types of products they’re capable of producing or the differences between said products leads to a mishmash that’s difficult to parse and discuss.

    In a nutshell, any backyard steel making during the GLF was a leftover from the quite historically common village meltworks-blacksmith shops that rarely/never made steel. Rather, they remelted scrap steel and made something new from it. They didn’t make steel (except in rare cases), they turned (say) broken truck axles into (say) ploughs. The GLF’s backyard furnace campaign pushed smelting into agricultural communes and the 10s of 1,000s of village furnaces one sees in the photos are blast furnaces intended to make iron from iron ore. NOT steel. I haven’t seen even one “backyard steel furnace” in a GLF era photo that didn’t pre-date the GLF.

    The campaign failed not because it “produced little to no steel”, but primarily because the skills required to make usable pig iron were lacking and couldn’t be easily taught. Additionally, the backyard furnaces suffered from being very small scale and ipso facto very inefficient, using huge amounts of charcoal for limited production – more than 2x the traditional Chinese small-scale commercial blast furnace. In fact, it’s probably a good thing they failed or China would have been de-forested.

    Then you claimed the GLF was a mask for Mao’s nuclear development, and went on to claim that “SIX(6) Manhattan Projects” were started during the GLF. When I pointed out that 5 of the 6 started years after the GLF, you simply shifted them to the Vietnam War and claimed they were still important. Of course they were, nobody said they weren’t, and I’d be surprised if the coming Vietnam war didn’t spur their launch and rapid progress, but they have little connection to the GLF. Much less can they be claimed amongst the GLF’s successes.

    The one “Manhattan project” you didn’t shift (though you tried), namely the nuclear program, straddled the GLF in time yet you still seem to think the GLF masked it in some way. Admittedly, it’s a little hard for me to tell what you think, but if the GLF, or just the backyard furnace campaign was initiated to mask nuke development, why did Mao blow the mask away by publicly announcing the “2 Bombs, 1 Satellite” program? Was Mao an idiot, a traitor, or was the GLF/backyard furnace campaign no mask at all and was never intended to be? Your 4th option, that he created the backyard furnace clusterfuck to misdirect the Americans into thinking his 2B, 1S program couldn’t succeed, why did he cancel it 2-3 months after the country had invested enormous resources in it? The whole notion makes no sense.

    As for Mao starting 2B, 1S in anticipation of the Vietnam war, one might note that through the ’50s the Americans were advising and supplying Ho Chi Minh in his efforts to oust the French. It’s when Ho succeeded and the Americans stayed put that it became apparent that Vietnam’s war of liberation was heading into an American phase. By the time that phase started in earnest, China already had the bomb. I’m not aware of any quotes that indicate Mao foresaw that phase prior to 1959/60, but as that was part of his job description I’d be a little surprised if he didn’t. I’d wager that Mao saw the same thing everybody else did – a coming Korean War redux – and was forced to go all-out to level the strategic playing field without Soviet help. The 2B part succeeded in bottling the Americans in Vietnam.

    China… had to deal with a miserly Soviet Union which reluctantly shared their nuclear weapons technology and expertise from 1953-54 to 1959-6o.

    Where did you get “miserly” from, especially after having said “… Soviets also supplied several nuclear weapons samples… ” (in #329) and my quote from atomicarchive (@ #335) saying that the Soviets trained ~260 Chinese nuclear scientists in Russia and sent a similar number to China? Doesn’t sound “miserly” to me.

    In fact, a look at the scholarly Chinese literature on the topic indicates an extraordinary level of strategic trust on the Soviet’s part. That literature shows clearly that the Soviets did all the intellectual heavy lifting that underpinned China’s nuclear program before finally pulling out. Go have a look at some that literature before spouting rubbish here.

    Mao saw through the Soviet motions and wanted to develop nuclear weapons as fast as possible which forced the Soviet withdrawal from China.

    Another mishmash sucked out of your thumb. Mao called Khrushchev a “Revisionist”. In revolutionary terms, Revisionism = Blasphemy and numerous quotes have Mao deploring the Soviets’ change in direction away from the pure revolutionary ideology he espoused. It looks rather more like the Soviets recognized the limits to the Soviet socialist system and had opted for the strategy of co-existence with the West, just as China itself adopted decades later.

    I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the Soviets had quietly concluded that Mao’s China was socio-politically unstable and that a counter revolution was not beyond the pale. Indeed, China came very close on several occasions.

    Of course Mao wanted nuclear weapons “as fast as possible”. So did everybody, and some countries as devoid of resources and means as N. Korea, India and Pakistan even managed to eventually get them. The resources those three had to draw on are nothing compared to China’s, especially when one throws in the experience and expertise brought first by the Soviets, and then by returning ex-pats.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  340. antibeast says:
    @Erebus

    The campaign failed not because it “produced little to no steel”, but primarily because the skills required to make usable pig iron were lacking and couldn’t be easily taught. Additionally, the backyard furnaces suffered from being very small scale and ipso facto very inefficient, using huge amounts of charcoal for limited production – more than 2x the traditional Chinese small-scale commercial blast furnace. In fact, it’s probably a good thing they failed or China would have been de-forested.

    You’re really grasping at straws here. The GLF was supposed to increase steel production but those “backyard furnaces” did NOT produce steel. You could argue that they were NOT supposed to produce steel — only pig iron which they also failed to produce. Thus, those “backyard furnaces” served no economic purpose except as a red herring. Now, those kind of “backyard furnaces” have been used since ancient times in China for smelting iron ore into pig iron, cast iron, wrought iron and steel. There is no point in belaboring those ancient technology because they were clearly inefficient in terms of energy efficiency which Mao had already known. That’s why China built lots of small-scale and large-scale steel mills using modern steel-making technologies such as the Bessemer and Open Hearth Furnace (OHF) which did succeed in increasing steel production during the GLF, as follows:

    Steel Production in China (in Million Metric Tons)
    1957 5.35
    1958 11.08 GLF
    1959 13.35 GLF
    1960 18.67 GLF
    1961 8.00 GLF
    1962 8.00
    1963 8.00
    1964 9.60
    1965 12.20
    1966 15.00

    After the Sino-Soviet split in 1960, China imported newer steel-making technologies such as the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) and Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) from foreign countries.

    Then you claimed the GLF was a mask for Mao’s nuclear development, and went on to claim that “SIX(6) Manhattan Projects” were started during the GLF. When I pointed out that 5 of the 6 started years after the GLF, you simply shifted them to the Vietnam War and claimed they were still important. Of course they were, nobody said they weren’t, and I’d be surprised if the coming Vietnam war didn’t spur their launch and rapid progress, but they have little connection to the GLF. Much less can they be claimed amongst the GLF’s successes.

    In 1958, Mao announced the “2B, 1S” program which includes the A-bomb, H-bomb, ICBM and Satellite projects. He then added the nuclear submarine project in 1959-60 and the jet fighter project in 1962. All six projects started between 1958-1962 which is the GLF period. Coincidence? Not really, considering that Mao had a falling out with Khrushchev in 1958 who had flown into China right after his state visit to the USA. Mao knew the Americans wanted Khrushchev to cut off Soviet nuclear technology from China as the price for his proposed detente with the USA. One year later, Khrushchev ceased all technical cooperation between the USSR and China, followed by the complete withdrawal of all technical personnel from China in 1960.

    The one “Manhattan project” you didn’t shift (though you tried), namely the nuclear program, straddled the GLF in time yet you still seem to think the GLF masked it in some way. Admittedly, it’s a little hard for me to tell what you think, but if the GLF, or just the backyard furnace campaign was initiated to mask nuke development, why did Mao blow the mask away by publicly announcing the “2 Bombs, 1 Satellite” program? Was Mao an idiot, a traitor, or was the GLF/backyard furnace campaign no mask at all and was never intended to be? Your 4th option, that he created the backyard furnace clusterfuck to misdirect the Americans into thinking his 2B, 1S program couldn’t succeed, why did he cancel it 2-3 months after the country had invested enormous resources in it? The whole notion makes no sense.

    There was a military buildup during and after the GLF in order to prepare China for a possible military intervention in the Vietnam War. Military buildup means more steel production which was one of the goals of the GLF. The other goal was to collectivize agriculture (following the Soviet model) in order to increase grain exports to the Soviet Union to pay for their nuclear weapons technology in the form of uranium-enrichment plants, atomic bombs and missiles.

    In 1955, Ho Chi-Minh met Mao in China where he sought and received Mao’s military support for the North Vietnamese against the Americans who were now actively supporting the South Vietnamese after the French left Vietnam following their defeat in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Mao knew that the Americans would soon intervene militarily in the coming Vietnam War. In order to avoid another Korean War scenario which caught China completely unprepared, Mao had to prepare for a potential US-China military conflict by increasing production of conventional weapons as well as expediting the acquisition and development of nuclear weapons.

    Mao was getting impatient with Khrushchev who had denounced Stalin in 1956 and sought a rapprochement with the USA. Mao had to accelerate China’s nuclear weapons development program by announcing the “2B, 1S” program in 1958. Mao’s fears became reality after Khrushchev visited the USA that same year. The “2B, 1S” program was a carefully-guarded state secret, so secretive in fact that the identities and whereabouts of its top scientists remained unknown and kept hidden for several decades after its launch.

    The GLF — complete with the primitive “backyard furnaces” — is a perfect facade to detract from the “2B, 1S” program. To this day, Westerners blissfully remember those “backyard furnaces” from the GLF period as evidence of the primitive backwardness of Maoist Communism while completely oblivious to the “2B, 1S” program in which China did succeed in making a Great Leap Forward into the nuclear, space and jet age.

    Where did you get “miserly” from, especially after having said “… Soviets also supplied several nuclear weapons samples… ” (in #329) and my quote from atomicarchive (@ #335) saying that the Soviets trained ~260 Chinese nuclear scientists in Russia and sent a similar number to China? Doesn’t sound “miserly” to me.

    China had to pay for everything and anything from the USSR by exporting food crops to the Soviet Union. Prior to 1949, the Soviet Red Army dismantled the Showa Steel Works left by the Japanese in Manchuria and shipped them to the USSR after the end of WWII. After 1949, the Soviet Union then exported that same technology back to China and demanded payment in kind, i.e., food exports. During the GLF, Soviet advisors advised Mao to adopt Soviet-style “agricultural collectivization” to increase food exports to the Soviet Union in order to pay for the acquisition of Soviet nuclear weapons technology. That’s “miserly” to me.

    In contrast, China was supporting National Liberation Movements all over the Third World by supplying material, military and food aid as well as technical assistance for free. Heck, China even exported food crops to Albania during the alleged GLF famine. That’s “generous” to me.

    In fact, a look at the scholarly Chinese literature on the topic indicates an extraordinary level of strategic trust on the Soviet’s part. That literature shows clearly that the Soviets did all the intellectual heavy lifting that underpinned China’s nuclear program before finally pulling out. Go have a look at some that literature before spouting rubbish here.

    The Western-trained experts (Qian Sanqiang, Qian Xuesen, etc.) played the greatest role because they had more experience working in the West. The Soviet Union was late in the game, testing their first A-bomb only in 1949. Mao had wanted to acquire nuclear weapons as early as 1954 after the Korean War ended in 1953. After Khrushchev abruptly ended all nuclear cooperation between the USSR and China in June 1959, Mao renamed the A-bomb project “596”, indicating China’s nuclear independence from the USSR on that date. The H-bomb, ICBM, satellite and nuclear submarine projects were all indigenously developed, without any help from the USSR.

    Of course Mao wanted nuclear weapons “as fast as possible”. So did everybody, and some countries as devoid of resources and means as N. Korea, India and Pakistan even managed to eventually get them. The resources those three had to draw on are nothing compared to China’s, especially when one throws in the experience and expertise brought first by the Soviets, and then by returning ex-pats.

    “We need the atom bomb. If our nation does not want to be intimidated, we have to have this thing even if the Chinese had to pawn their trousers.”

    That’s Mao who pushed through the SIX(6) projects which is the equivalent of two Manhattan projects, two Sputnik projects, plus a nuclear submarine and a jet fighter. How North Korea, India and Pakistan acquired their nuclear weapons is yet another strawman, completely irrelevant to the topic.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  341. Chinaman says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Unless Xi can achieve what Hitler and Goebbels did in much less sophisticated times I really wonder how Xi is going to be able to cope with the individuate of modern Chinese youth when there is so much travel and, despite censorship, communication with people world wide.

    I have traveled and seen much of the world, having lived and worked in the West for many year. I have the choice to live anywhere I want but the more I see, the more I appreciate living in China and Hong Kong. You can regurgitate the usual virtue signalling terms like freedoms, rights and democracy but they are just meaningless words to me. There have never been REAL freedom or democracy in the West.

    If you really want to know what Chinese think nowadays, watch this video about Wuhan:

    • Thanks: d dan
  342. @Chinaman

    You are obviously an intelligent sophisticated person but I think you betray yourself in your use of absolutist thinking indicated by
    “There have never been REAL freedom or democracy in the West.” especially after the contradictory assertion that they are meaningless terms to you. Perhaps we could upgrade our dialogue. After all, it was over 20 years ago that I carefully hone a speech prepared for a dining club in Boston in which I said “I thank God for America protecting the world from democracy. Australia could never have prospered as it has from the opening up of the Chinese economy to US business if America had been a democracy. It is, after all, a plutocracy, tempered by meritocracy within a framework of law and flavoured by the rhetoric of democracy”.
    I suggest that you consider what changes in the West were begun or promoted by the change of institutions toward more participation of people below the old ruling classes and, even more, by the intellectual changes (the Enlightenment), including science , economics, and almost everything once included in “philosophy” that allowed first the Netherlands and Britain, and then the rest of “the West” to leave the then current manifestations of old civilisations behind in power with respect to both foreign powers but also their people’s welfare. (In any discussion I always find that traditional or conventional thinking beats numeracy in tackling the elephants roaming through most rooms till recently: namely demograohics: the explosive power of human fertility in the last three centuries in particular – although Greg Clark’s work has emphasised some unexpected aspects when noting the successful classes out breeding the unsuccessful in 16th to late 19th century Britain).

    I think I could happily live in China as a prosperous educated person whose criticisms of the CCP government might have to be muted but would, in any event, be much less urgent for me than criticisms I would have right now of US government. But let’s not delude ourselves. China is still building on developments which, with many stumbles, took the West hundreds of years. My Japanese in laws are the most delightful civilised people so I cannot help be aware that (a) China has had the benefit [after, I concede, much experience of Japanese caused damage] of seeing what Japan did that was right and wrong in rapidly changing its trading society;
    (b) more generally that China has not had to invent nearly as much of its comfortable and also formi dable scientific and military modernity.

    Doesn’t the incredible speed of Japanese change 1850s to 1945, then to the present, give you reason to consider what may happen in China with its large number of clever individuals however much the CCP tries to use modern technology to better Goebbels. Amongst the attempts at mind control will the CCP manage to wipe out respect for ancient examples of great courage and dignity in standing for principle? Here I would venture to suggest that development of the essential concepts of rule of law may one day be seen as a turning point at which China became recognised as an exemplar of modern civilised values. Between the chaos of America’s patchy adherence to the rule of law – and of delivering justice, and the suspect 98% plus conviction rate of Japanese criminal law (and relative impunity of some corporates) there is much scope for China to become admirable when it ni longer feels the need to use the justice system for not very sophisticated taking of hostages.

  343. @Chinaman

    Apologies for the aggressive Autofill like “trading” for “tradional”. But, more to a relevant point, I have now seen the video and I trust that you ard not expecting me to swallow it as an authentic representation of what Chinese now think rather than as a truly charming piece of propaganda which would have made Leni Riefenstahl proud, and envious. Do you know that scene in “Cabaret” where the young blonde Germans rise up in a beer garden and rousingly sing ” The future belongs to me”. I have no doubt you are right in what you say about a high percentage of China’s 1.4 billion but, if anything it makes me feel a bit scared in the face of power which reduces my country to such impotence that we have to make nice to mad Americans and rabid racist Hindus, Japan now being the calm civilised (and geriatric) calming influence😉
    May I commend to you the great cousin of Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton’s letter to The Times in, from memory June 1864. It was headed “Africa for the Chinese” and argued for getting the industrious and well organised Chinese to sort out Africa. It’s almost too late, but I commend the reduction of African fertility as THE great service China could perform for the world after the civilisations still infected with Catholicism and Islam have so clearly failed even to attempt it.

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @Chinaman
  344. Erebus says:
    @antibeast

    That’s why China built lots of small-scale and large-scale steel mills using modern steel-making technologies such as the Bessemer and Open Hearth Furnace (OHF) which did succeed in increasing steel production during the GLF, as follows:

    Your continued misunderstanding and conflation of the processes involved leads directly to blind acceptance of numbers like those you cite below. One glance at them is enough to tell anyone halfway cognizant of the industrial processes involved that the GLF numbers must be either bogus, or the words “steel production” don’t refer to new steel being created but to the remelting of already existing steel scrap. Or some combination of both.

    Steel Production in China (in Million Metric Tons)
    1957 5.35
    1958 11.08 GLF
    1959 13.35 GLF
    1960 18.67 GLF
    1961 8.00 GLF
    1962 8.00
    1963 8.00
    1964 9.60
    1965 12.20
    1966 15.00

    If “steel production” is to refer to new steel, or even say 90% new steel, the smelting industry that produced its feedstock (namely, iron) would have to have doubled capacity in one year. If one also acknowledges that the “backyard furnaces” produced little or no usable iron, the increase would have had to come from a dramatic increase in the number and capacity of China’s traditional blast furnace industry by early 1958, augmented by whatever modern smelters China was able to import and put on-line. Given the lack of skilled iron-masters required to run the traditional blast furnaces, I’m at a loss as to how they would produce anything like the numbers required had China even been able to build them. Perhaps you’ll enlighten me as to how that was possible.

    After the Sino-Soviet split in 1960, China imported newer steel-making technologies such as the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) and Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) from foreign countries.

    Umm, was the new foreign technology implemented after the Soviets pulled out, or during the GLF as per the first blockquote? Perhaps it was both?

    Anyhow, if the numbers above are correct, importing all that new foreign technology resulted in a collapse of steel production. Presumably, the new technology would have started coming on line by the end of 1960. If your numbers are to make sense, the result is that steel production collapsed by almost 60% in 1961, and didn’t actually start growing again until 3 yrs later. WTF?

    So, we come back to the GLF numbers either being bogus, or not referring to actual new steel. My guess is that it was a mix of the two and that new steel production increased in a more or less straight line from 1957’s 5.08 MMT to 1961’s 8.0MMT where it plateaued until the new technologies came fully on line in the mid-’60s. Any “bump” that may have actually occurred during the GLF came from remelting of existing steel scrap. Steel scrap, BTW, that had accumulated from a century of importing foreign made steels. Valuable work in itself, but no great leap forward in basic industrialization.

    As for Mao’s role and intent in driving (yes, driving) the mass smelting campaign, he had this to say when it became obvious that it was a fiasco…

    I have committed two crimes, one of which is calling for 10.7 million tons of steel and mass smelting of iron. If you agreed with this, you should share some of the blame. But I cannot pass on the blame: the main responsibility is mine.… The chaos caused was on a grand scale and I take responsibility. Lushan, July 23, 1959

    That doesn’t sound like a man who treated the “backyard furnaces” as a joke, or intended the campaign as an intentional smokescreen to hide his other plans. It may look like that to you and Godfree, but he was forced to step down over that campaign (inter alia) and retired to Shanghai to plot his comeback.

    I think Mao, who had zero metallurgical knowledge simply got caught up in a mix of revolutionary fervour and a layman’s misunderstanding and under-estimation of the complexities involved went headlong into a disaster. Having visited traditional iron & steel works in Anhui and Jiangsu , he came away with the notion that it all looked rather simple. It is, if you’re skilled in the art, but impossible if you aren’t. The latter proved to be the gating item.

    I’ll comment on the Soviet contribution to Mao’s “2B – 1S” program in another post. This one is long enough already.

  345. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I trust that you ard not expecting me to swallow it as an authentic representation of what Chinese now think rather than as a truly charming piece of propaganda which would have made Leni Riefenstahl proud…

    I’ll butt in long enough to say that while over-blown, there’s little doubt that the patriotic feelings so over-produced in the video flow like an underground current through much of China’s population. They’ve overcome a great deal of hardship to get where they are, and are proud of it. Much more quietly than that garish video, but there’s a “buzz” in China that one doesn’t find anywhere else.

    As ever, Nietzsche says it best…

    “A tablet of the good hangs over every people. Behold, it is the tablet of their overcomings; behold, it is the voice of their will to power.”
    in Thus Spoke Zarathustra

  346. @Erebus

    It is indeed disappointing that someone who appears to be trying to make an intelligent contribution should, without explanation,quote figures which are ex facie nonsensical.

    It occurs to me that someone with the required knowledge and literary skill might produce a nice comparison of the Donald with Mao. In each case ignorance seemed to do little to affect confidence.

    • Agree: Erebus
  347. @Chinaman

    It’s a bit remote from where our conversation started, if we are having one, but I wanted also to intraduce the subject of learning from other cultures when they appear to be well behind. I do not stress the appalling blindness of the 1790s Qing emperor as the humble example of Australians only just now (apparently) recognising that Aborigines had fine tuned ways of achieving controlled burning to prevent dangerous bushfires. I suppose Artific Intdlligence will pretty well maake sure there are never again great losses of the products of genius as occured between ancient and modern, almost contemporary, times. (Indeed completely contemporary if one considers my Australian fire control example..

  348. Erebus says:
    @Erebus

    I inadvertently left out a large block that was originally to be situated btwn “… no great leap forward in basic industrialization.” and “As for Mao’s role and intent in driving…“.
    To whit…
    _________________________________________________________________
    The CPC’s own English language mouthpiece, the Peking Review made it clear that there was no other suitable source of pig iron. From its Dec, 1958 edition…

    “Steel output has been growing at an amazing rate in the few months since last September. Taking the average steel monthly output between January and August as 100, the figure rose to 178 in September, 341 in October and 440 in November. (4.4x in 4 mos!)
    The rapid rise in steel output was closely connected with a sharp rise in pig iron. At the very outset of the mass movement to make iron and steel, the Central Committee of the Party clearly pointed out that the key to turning out 10.7 million tons of steel was the production of pig iron. Thanks to the hard efforts all round, a very big increase in the output of pig iron was achieved in September and October.”…
    While the big and small steelworks of the country made a major effort to step up output, myriads of small, “indigenous style” furnaces appeared in villages and towns. Steel-making became everybody’s business. At the height of the drive you could see the glow of iron and steel making furnaces in the mountains and on the plains, in city and countryside, in the courtyards of office buildings and schools and on university campuses. On empty lots on housing estates, housewives took to “cooking” steel.

    It goes on for a couple of pages like this, extolling the virtues of communist cooperation and how…

    People who had never seen an industrial plant in their lives became steel-making enthusiasts over-night.

    Yeah, sure they did. The traditional Chinese blast furnace required years, even decades of apprenticeship to become a “Furnace Master”, but the totally unskilled, but ideologically inspired peasants became Furnace Masters overnight. Though the activity was doubtless as frenzied as the Review describes, the claimed results are obviously a propagandistic fantasy.

    When, on Dec 19, 12 days ahead of schedule, the announcement went out that the 10.7MMT target had been reached, the Review relates that the nation rejoiced with fireworks, parades and dancing & singing in the streets, but from whence came that “very big increase in the output of pig iron“? The blast furnaces of modern configuration that were constructed were tiny compared to those in the West (and quite appropriately so for the conditions at the time). The Chinese version averaged 30-50cbm, vs the 1000-1300cbm behemoths in the West.

    The original plan for 1958’s iron & steel development was quite modest and rational, calling for 14 small to medium sized “metallurgical plants” (combined smelting & steel making) using scaled-down modern techniques to be constructed and the traditional metal-works to be revitalized. Then, in September 1958 Mao visited a small, traditional metal-works in Anhui and called for a mass campaign for steel production. Having earlier purged the CPC of Engineers and Economists and other cautionary types during the “Anti-Rightist Campaign” of 1957 (and onwards), the Party was free to set whatever targets its enthusiasm could generate. Doubling steel production in one year without a corresponding increase in industrial infrastructure was one such target generated. When, halfway through 1958 things were proving the “Rightists” right, Mao kicked off the “backyard furnace” campaign (in a newspaper interview) and the Peking Review duly reported the astonishing “victory” in suitably hyperbolic terms 4 months later.

  349. Chinaman says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I trust that you ard not expecting me to swallow it as an authentic representation of what Chinese now think rather than as a truly charming piece of propaganda

    No. I don’t expect you to understand at all and you are right to be skeptical since it is an unabashed piece of propaganda from the Chinese Pravda. It even have English subtitles.

    You won’t understand since you are not Chinese and have not seen China through my eye. As a cynical man whose heart have gone cold a long time ago, tears well up in my eye when I saw the video. It was spontaneous and I couldn’t help it. If you read the comments, you will see many overseas Chinese (who have been exposed to western media all their life) expressed similar sentiments. No propaganda can do that. Even if my mind know is it is probably all lies and theatrics, my heart still falls for it.

    I know more about the evils of the CCP, the 80 million dead, Xinjiang, Tiananmen, human rights than 99% of westerners ( may be except Godfree) . Most Chinese do. Unlike you, we experienced it firsthand. My family had vast swaths of land and oil franchises from standard & oil which were nationalised when the revolution came to our door. We could have been the rockefellers My family were sent to forced labour camps and some died there. These stories are not unique at all and they get passed down quietly. We are not stupid and it is western hubris to think that we are brainwashed.

    I am a patriot and some will say I am a Chinese supremacist. I will gladly give my life for China if CCP ask of it. You probably will do the same for Australia. What I feel about the CCP and the political ideology I subscribe to have no relevance to my willingness to die for my country. Hundreds of millions of Chinese feel the same way. Rightly or wrongly, CCP have put themselves in a unique position where I have no choice but to support the CCP because I love my country. It is simple as that. This irrational form of fascism\nazism is probably the most powerful force on the planet now and it could take China on a dangerous path in the future but this is the same patriotism that allowed China to eliminate the virus.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Thanks: showmethereal
  350. Chinaman says:

    It was headed “Africa for the Chinese” and argued for getting the industrious and well organised Chinese to sort out Africa. It’s almost too late

    Australia is closer and easier to take…my concern is that your not-too-bright politicians will take US’s war guarantees too seriously and volunteer to play the role of Poland in Ww2. There is no city that is as ravaged as Prague in WW2 and I do not wish fate for Sydney or Melbourne ( although it might be inevitable in the next 200 years). China’s military have made unimaginable advances in recent years. Star Trek stuff like hypersonic missiles, laser weapons and quantum cryptographic satellites. I think it will take only a few hours to wipe out Australia’s defence. There is a reason they don’t back down In the SCS.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  351. @Chinaman

    Thank you. That is perhaps the best comment I have read on UR. It has the ring of truth.

    I am reminded of a conversation when I was young with a student from Hing Kong who was doing a gardening job for petty cash. Probably late 60s. He expressed his pride in mainland China developing nuclear weapons.
    How the comparisons with the old Germany keep on coming back! Exploding population (till WW1 and even beyond) in the
    rising intellectual and cultural powerhouse of the most advanced continent. Unification, pride in and love of their country by leaders of class, of culture and of intellect. But, as Bismarck is said to have observed, the most important fact of the 20th century would be that Americans spoke English. Now we can note that the Indians speak English – and ?? laugh!!

    It really is up to China to find and embed its traditions of humility and lead the world by example, charm and persuasion.

    What a sigh of relief I shall breathe when, and unfortunately if, China becomes an exemplary upholder of the rule of law by an independent judiciary. When, e.g. do you think there might be judgments for damages for unlawful imprisonment against agents of the central government who sought to stop criticism which could not honestly be regarded as a threat to the security of the state? (That last sentence reminds me that China is effectively beyond any possibility of being threatened militarily by non Chinese, so adding to the urgency of hopes that it will lead with [apparent i.e. with civilised manners] humility).

    Can you not start a blog for Chinese called say “Chinese Dignity – a website for those who believe that the greatness of China can be pursued with traditional restraint and modesty”? Apart from rule of law/independent judiciary it would be absolutely huge if discussion in China could freely include arguments that Taiwan should not be regarded as territory to be forced into a polity even against the wishes of a majority of its people rather than as a Scotland which might be allowed separate existence while negotiating terms that precluded its being a threat to China. One theme might be “Proud Chinese! We are already there!”.

    PS I have
    made a friend of a clever multilingual near billionaire daughter of a diaspora self made billionaire, both of whose husbands have been been good looking Europeans. I haven’t sought to detect her sentiments about CCP ruled China since Xi’s power became obvious. From someone whose background,though diaspora, and nouveau, is similar to yours, what should I expect?

  352. @Chinaman

    I think you are younger than me but we could have some good conversation. At 50 I did a crash summer course in Chinese but having proved that I still had an agile brain which could learn as fast or faster than the young (a 60 year old dropped out) the main residue is that I tell all family members repeatedly that anyone in 2035 who doesn’t speak Chinese will be like someone who doesn’t speak English today. I concluded that Chinese(s) had the same uninflected sentence structure as English does and was not difficult to learn if one’s hearing was up to the tones, but is perhaps more forgettable , even for native speakers
    in old age than some European languages because its construction from a limited number of syllables did ot aow for the reinforcements I get out of noting, for example, the ph- words that are from Greek, the peculiarities of words with Germaanic roots and characteristic combinations. (I did the dictation tests perfectly which reinforced my view of the simple side of earning Chinese but also made me think about what would have made it possible for me to learn Chinese characters easily if I had to use them for a dictation test. I concluded that, if I had about 3000 Chinese characters instead of less than 400 I would begin to see and remember patterns which would have helped greatly).

    I’m not sure where I am now but should remember to report what prompted this little ramble. Very trivial and probably only a typo as I can only find one example. No! I have two! Now 3! My eye picked out your “have English subtitless”, “my heart have gone cold” and “have no relevance” [that’s a subtler one] where in each case “have” should have been “has”. Are not those tiny errors a product of thinking with Chinese grammar? Fascinating that someone whose English is good enough for a professorship at Oxbridge or the Ivies could perhaps drop the clue that it was not an Anglo spy tapping out the top secret message😎

    • Replies: @Erebus
  353. @Chinaman

    No, without taking your response too solemnly,let me say that Africa and Australia aren’t similar objects of the point I was making. My point is that Africa is such a mess and so dangerous to the future enjoymment of the world by our descendants (even Chinese who want to see Africa’s wildlife) that it needs China’s willingness to use money and muscle free of PC to sort it out without military conquest.

    Until recently I have opined that all Australia’s populous neighbours are basically status quo players wrt Australia. China, I thought would be very content with Australia as its efficiently run quarry ….and so on around the region where no country would want to see Australia taken over by another.

    Now I am less complacent. At least no rational person would think of Australia being of interest as a place to solve big countries’ population problems but there could be other reasons for China to attack if it disregards, or works around, hundreds of thousands of Chinese students (absent now because of Covid) and many more property owners with families here.

    Here are my scenarios which I invite you to add to and give your assessment of risks.

    1. Minimalist. Say several possibilities with total probability of 1.5 per cent in next 30 years. To send all or any one of many messages, use cyber attack to close down Canberra as a functioning city and national capital for perhals a couple of hours. Or maybe longer, accompanied by threats to increase the pain unless the Pine Gap facility closed and??..
    2. Big message to all countries. Wipe out Sydney and Melbourne but, of course,preserve the iron ore mines which by then will be selling ore very cheap because China has developed African and Russian alternative sources. Probability 1 per cent? Question: why choose Australia ? Part of the message – the willingness to use force ruthlessly – could be delivered where there were few Chinese people living.
    3. Because it’s too easy and consolidates the passing of the hegemonic baton to China…. Ships with a few hundred special force troops in their innards are coincidently in each of Australia’s 10 major ports in addition to 100 high grade agents already in place, prerhaps including .
    mercenary Europeans and even indigenes. After carefully checking that all their apps adjust for Summer Time together [no, I do take this scenario seriously] they launch attacks which, together with the simultaneous cyber attacks will allow capture of all the vital hostage people and institutions within a couple of hours. Before the ADF can do more than blow Reveille planes with additional troops and speciists will have landed at about 12 airports. I am at a loss to see how Australia could prepare to counter that unless it reinstates Natiinal Service so it can bristle like Israel or Switzerland. 1 chance therefore in??? Your thoughts?

  354. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    … the main residue is that I tell all family members repeatedly that anyone in 2035 who doesn’t speak Chinese will be like someone who doesn’t speak English today.

    10 yrs ago, I said the same thing. Today, I’m not so sure.

    The rate at which the Chinese are learning English has accelerated astonishingly in the last couple of years, both quantitatively and qualitatively, but especially the latter. That is further augmented by the equally astonishing improvements in machine translation embedded within Chinese social media such as WeiXin (WeChat). It can now quite adequately support a conversation between two people who would otherwise be unable to communicate.

    I’d venture that the Chinese are simply following the old adage: “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” Chinese is the most difficult language to learn for those who’s native language is Indo-European, and the infrastructure required to teach it to significant numbers of Westerners simply doesn’t exist.

    • Replies: @Biff
  355. d dan says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “… freely include arguments that Taiwan should not be regarded as territory to be forced into a polity even against the wishes of a majority of its people “

    Maybe you could help China by demonstrating FIRST how Western Australia can become independent?

    On 8 April 1933, a referendum was held on the issue of Western Australia seceding from the Commonwealth of Australia. On the question of whether the voter was in favour of “the State of Western Australia withdrawing from the Federal Commonwealth”, a two-to-one majority vote in favour was received.

    source: http://www.sro.wa.gov.au/parliament/topic/westralia-shall-be-free-western-australian-secession

    Come on. Or at least show us how Tasmania could secede, would you? China is looking forward to learn from a very advance and enlightened country like Australia.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  356. @d dan

    You must be desperate. The comparison is a crock. It is China which wishes to upset the status quo against the wishes of the people affected. Scotland was united with the rest of Great Britain before zTaiwan became part of China, yet the English are mature enough to offer it a chance to secede if its people wish it.

    • Replies: @d dan
  357. d dan says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “You must be desperate. The comparison is a crock.”

    I agree. I am so stupid and desperate. I need to see real example from someone and country more enlightened. Please SHOW us the path, don’t just talk.

    “It is China which wishes to upset the status quo…”

    Right, only Australia and Whites people are allow to upset the status quo, in the past (examples not needed), in the present (e.g. Middle East), and probably in the future too if China and Russia are weakened again.

    “…against the wishes of the people affected.”

    Right again, the wishes of 1.4 billions shall be duly ignored.

    “Scotland was united with the rest of Great Britain before zTaiwan became part of China,”

    Oh, come on, we are talking about Australia, don’t digress, please. If you want to talk about other countries, there are 200 more to compare with.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Erebus
  358. @d dan

    I doubt “degenerate”but you are deranged in the functioning of your intellect. Specifically, we are not talking Australia. You, and only you babble about Australia irrelevantly.

    You seem to be quite oblivious to the implications of what you say. So 1.4 billion people or a majority of them might say they want Taiwan’s 25 million or so to be forced to submit to the rule of the CCP. OK, what if a majority of thd world’s 7 billion people were against it?

    • Replies: @d dan
  359. d dan says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “I doubt “degenerate”but you are deranged in the functioning of your intellect. “

    Ad hominem already? If you are up to the challenges, stick to the points.

    “Specifically, we are not talking Australia. You, and only you babble about Australia irrelevantly.”

    Firstly, why not Australia? Does the principle of “local wish”, not applicable here. Secondly, you seem to have no problem bring up another example like Scotland. So what is wrong with me bring up Australia? Why don’t you mention the even more outrageous case of Catalonia independence, when over 80% (or 90%) voted to support it, but some of its leaders have to flee the country, later extradited, tortured and jailed?

    “You seem to be quite oblivious to the implications of what you say. So 1.4 billion people or a majority of them might say they want Taiwan’s 25 million or so to be forced to submit to the rule of the CCP. OK, what if a majority of thd world’s 7 billion people were against it?”

    No, you are the one with false generalization for the following reasons:
    1. Taiwan has been part of China. So the wishes of the 1.4 billions are relevant. That same principle applies to every countries in the world. For example, if Western Australia or California wants to secede, the rest of the country (Australia or US respectively) should have a say. This has both legal reason as well as moral reason. Legally, the Constitutions of the respective countries (Australia, US, and in the case of Taiwan, both PRC and ROC’s Constitutions) need to allow that process to take place. If the Constitution of PRC need to be changed (to allow Taiwan to be independent), why should this not a matter of the wishes of PRC citizens? Morally, every people of a country has (direct, indirect, implied or intangible) rights and privileges (for present or in future) that he/she is entitled to enjoy in every part of their own country. For example, A New Yorker should be able to enjoy the same privileges under US Federal Laws when he travels or lives in California. That privileges could be deprived if California is a separate country. So a New Yorker should as well have a say about the secession of California.
    2. The rest of the world 7 billions people should NOT have a say into the domestic affairs of other country. This is in accordance to UN principles of non-interferences and national sovereignty. Imagine if that principle is violated, how much chaos and wars should ensue in the world?
    3. You don’t have proof, only guess, that the majority of the 7 billions would oppose China with regards to issue of Taiwan.

    Furthermore, you talk about “status quo”. But you fail to mention that so-called “status quo” happened ONLY, and only through foreign imperial aggressions and interferences, first by Japan, and then by the US. US sailed their aircraft carriers through Taiwan Straits in the 1950s, backed by the full military and economic powers (including nuclear weapons) of the whole Western world (Australia included) to prevent CCP from taking over Taiwan in the 1950s. US sustains that “status quo” in subsequent decades, with interferences through arm sales, NGO, propaganda, political supports, diplomatic efforts, etc. That not only prevents military solutions, but also largely reduce the chances of peaceful reunification and political reconciliation. So, your so-called “local” wishes are clearly not “local” in any stretch of definition.

    And finally, I don’t believe your support of Taiwan independence, like 99% of all people who do that, is motivated by any principle of self-determination, democracy or whatever high moral you guys are proclaiming – you don’t believe in all these yourself, or at least only selectively. You guys are hypocritical with respect to Taiwan (and Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, etc for other people also), motivated by your desire to see a weaker China.

  360. Erebus says:
    @d dan

    Please SHOW us the path, don’t just talk.

    Crimea, 2014.

    d dan, the underlying principle to the UN Charter is that people have the right to self-determination. A people cannot be forced by force of arms to accept a form of government or to join another country against their wishes. The wishes of 1.4B (or 50M, or even 7.8B) don’t come into it.

    The complexities surrounding Taiwan include the fact that both the PRC’s and Taiwan’s constitutions declare each of them as rightful rulers of ALL of China. Had CKS opted to declare independence instead of cementing his megalo-mania into Taiwan’s constitution, there’d be no grounds for China’s claim today. After >3 generations of life as a separate country, they would now be as legally independent as it gets.

    As it is, should Taiwan change its constitution and relinquish the claim to being the rightful rulers of all China, it seems to me that the PRC would be on very thin legal ice to ignore a referendum whereby Taiwan’s people voted for independence, and would have to wage a war of aggression (legally speaking) to prevent its separation.

    In such case, China would not only legally, but arguably morally be in the wrong to take it back by force were it not for other complications.

    Specifically, can Taiwan have anything like a free and informed referendum? Several foreign govts incl the US and to a lesser extent Japan have put their money and their political resources where their mouth is, and are working hard to create a desire for independence that may not have actually otherwise arisen. So-called “democracies” are popular with the power elites specifically because they are so easy to manipulate that even foreigners with malicious intent can do it.

    All it takes is a load of cash and a clever PR campaign, and even a Lukashenko who has a real ~60% support of the Byelorussian population can be backfooted. The notion that a truly free and informed decision by the Taiwanese people is now possible is simply naive. Taiwan is split between generations. Younger people (under 30), having little idea what they’re actually agitating about are most easily manipulated (à la HK) and so support independence, while those over 30 support the status quo.

    As the world’s geo-political map gets redrawn in the coming decade, these numbers will change and China’s best bet is to let the clock run out on America’s ability to meddle in other countries’ affairs.

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @showmethereal
  361. Chinaman says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    it would be absolutely huge if discussion in China could freely include arguments that Taiwan should not be regarded as territory to be forced into a polity even against the wishes of a majority of its people rather than as a Scotland which might be allowed separate existence while negotiating terms

    Given the limited time I can devote to this site, I do not wish to digress into other topics and I will just respond to this point.

    What the media in the west portrayed as the Taiwanese’s right of self-determination and preservation of democratic values is but a facade for great power politics, strategic military considerations and racial identity. I thought you would be not brought into the media’s simplistic narrative. I shall say that I lived in Taiwan when I was young and have many friend there so I understand the situation quite well.

    Taiwan is but 150km from the mainland. China will not bat an eye to wipe out 20m of its inhabitant if it means American or Japan gets to build a base and deploy troops on it. This will be the case if Taiwan becomes independent. Americans understand its strategic value of course and have been stoking the flames of independence for a long time. This is also about the legitimacy of the CCP. The nationalist party, which escaped to Taiwan, is still officially in a civil war with the CCP. I pledge allegiance to the CCP because it is the only one political entity which represents the will of the Chinese people. CCP will not allow the nationalist party or any party in Taiwan to claim it is the legitimate heir to the Republic of China. There is only one China. The third point is that there are many half-Japanese and indigenous people in Taiwan which doesn’t identify as Chinese. This creates an issue since China considers Taiwan part of its territory. We can’t allow Taiwan to come under Japanese influence given the historical animosity between the 2 countries.

    In the bigger scheme of things, the fate or the wishes of the Taiwanese does not matter much to the Americans, the Japs or the CCP. Those Taiwanese who do not wish to be caught in this geopolitical struggle have the simple solution immigrating to China, Japan and America. In fact, there are 1-1.5 million Taiwanese in China. Those who remain have become voluntary pawns of these great powers and should accept the risk of being cannon fodder in the event of war.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  362. @Erebus

    The Soviets under Khrushchev were going all-in on Stalin’s “Socialism in One Country” policy which was a direct repudiation of Trotsky’s “world revolution”

    But not really in practice…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  363. @Chinaman

    You characterise me as having bought the propaganda about self-determination and preserving democratic values which I completely deny. But let me come back with my impression that you have conscientiously overthought and over sold your case to yourself as a typical convert does. The comparison rather should perhaps be with my old Queen’s Counsel friend who returned to his Roman Catholic faith in his 80s after divorce and remarriage and a lot of earnest discussion with a sophisticate and sophistical young Jesuit.

    I am much more dispassionate. I love my East Asian relations and friends but, on the macro level I put another value way above “democratic values” [What? America as democratic model?! Don’t make me laugh!].

    No, it is rule of law and an independent judiciary that is far more important in my philosophy. That is consistent I think with a lot more uncertainty and sceptical questioning than you are prepared to allow yourself. Maybe in old age you will look back on your current views and note with a sigh that your 2030s or 2040s woke grandchildren show recognisable signs of passionate certainties.

    My premises for discussing Taiwan would not disregard China’s interest in its not being anyone’s unsinkable aircraft (and missile) carrier though the fact that China is already totally safe from military threat from anyone must surely shift one’s attention to the probable truth, namely that Taiwan’ success casts uncomfortable doubt on the CCP’s claim to be necessary. Now that is not a respectable motive for the kind of ruthlessness you rather chillingly suggest as possible and seem willing to accept. (It makes me worry that destroying Sydney and Melbourne might be seen as a way of killing Chinese whom the CCP disapproves of!!!)

    May I invite you to question several elements of your “pledge allegiance to the CCP because it is the only political entity which represents the will of the Chinese people”. The very notion of a general will, a la Rousseau’s dangerous teachings, I question. What does it mean (and how do you know?)? Do you suppose as many as 20 per cent of Chinese would with fervour say, that is my political tribe, they get nearly everything right? Say 30 per cent for “government?” Well I suppose we need a government though I could do with fewer of the fat little cats around here. ” 5 per cent for “government! What? Here, don’t make me laugh!” Etc. And then you discount for the brainwashing of the masses including those equivalents of US Community College gender studies teachers who are under the illusion that they are knowledgeable and can think critically but are really CCP-woke.

    As to its being the “only political entity”. Why is it the only one!!?? How long would it take for alternatives to grow? They would probably make the CCP look quite good while doing a good populist job of draining the swamp with the help of a critical press.

    Of course China has the enormous advantage of a lot of intelligent people being able to see what went wrong and right while the modern world was being created in and by the West. Now China has so completely caught up with Western knowledge I suggest it may be time to learn something from the theories which explain why it was the West which broke through to modernity. In particular the political structure of Europe, with religious and other forms of competition that certainly caused strife in a way which China has experienced in many periods, but was also ameliorated by the ability to move countries was very different. Despite its never becoming permanent total dominance from the centre the very first unifying emperor of China perhaps established a tradition of strong centralism which was too strong.

    • Replies: @Chinaman
  364. d dan says:
    @Erebus

    “Had CKS opted to declare independence instead of cementing his megalo-mania into Taiwan’s constitution, there’d be no grounds for China’s claim today. After >3 generations of life as a separate country, they would now be as legally independent as it gets.”

    Firstly, of course, CKS did not declare independence, so the idea that Taiwan can/should be allowed to be independent today is not a valid argument. Secondly, the sole reason Taiwan survives for 3 generations independently is ONLY because of foreign interference and protection. It is NOT due to PRC voluntarily or negligently given up. In fact, PRC has been patiently and flexibly attempting with all possible types peaceful initiatives – including allowing Taiwan to keep its arm forces, its political systems, and everything else except the flag. So, in all possible angles of argument, I don’t believe there is any ground for Taiwanese independence as it is today.

    Taiwan issue is the historical remnant of foreign imperial powers aggressions against China. Those historical wrongs done to the Chinese people can not be let standing forever. I would support PRC even if there is a risk of nuclear war with US. My position is much more absolute than yours. Other than that, I agree with the rest of your comment.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  365. Erebus says:
    @d dan

    Firstly, of course, CKS did not declare independence, so the idea that Taiwan can/should be allowed to be independent today is not a valid argument.

    Of course. That’s why I didn’t make it.

    So, in all possible angles of argument, I don’t believe there is any ground for Taiwanese independence as it is today.

    All possible angles save one… a referendum. If the people’s verdict is “Independence” (and it is by no means clear that it would be), that’s the end of it (legally speaking). When China (PRC) signed up to the UN in 1971, it agreed to abide by the principles in the UN Charter. First and foremost of these is the Right of Self-Determination.

    If it was to now violate those principles, China would lose the moral authority it has been so carefully building, just as the US and its closest satraps have lost theirs. China’s strategy has been to simply let the clock run out on the US Empire before any real referendum can be held. At that point, both China and Taiwan’s independence faction(s) will have to accept the result.

    Those historical wrongs done to the Chinese people can not be let standing forever.

    “Historical wrongs” are just that, historical. China’s aren’t any more “wrong” than 100 other countries’ litany of wrongs. If every country was to demand their historical wrongs righted, we’d simply wind up with a whole new set of historical wrongs that need righting 100 yrs hence. At some point ya gotta cut it off and move on.

    The Brits would’ve accepted Scotland’s secession, just as Canada would’ve accepted Quebec’s in the ’70s & ’80s, just as Ukraine had to accept Crimea’s. Done by the book, a referendum’s result stands on solid legal ground as the will of the people. When even a country as debauched as Ukraine recognizes the law, China would be hard pressed to maintain it’s above it.

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @Anonymous
  366. Erebus says:
    @showmethereal

    But not really in practice…

    Gaining influence, friends and allies is not the same as exporting revolution.

    Stalin dissolved the Comintern (Communist International) in 1943, and replaced it with the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), a more passive organization in 1947. Cominform was dissolved by Khrushchev in 1957. Does the date ring a bell?

    At any rate, the Soviets quite visibly abandoned the various Communist parties it had been sponsoring across Europe and in the USA and let them die on the vine.

    Parenthetically, you may be surprised by the prominence enjoyed by the Communist Party in America and in parts of Western Europe, especially Italy during the mid-20thC and the penetration they made into American political life. All that’s been shoved down the memory hole, of course.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  367. d dan says:
    @Erebus

    “All possible angles save one… a referendum. “

    I have to disagree on this. As I said, my position is near absolute: there is no way Taiwan should be allowed to go independent, period.

    1. Firstly, local referendum has to be conducted based on the consents of the majority of the country. That is why I bring up the wishes of the 1.4 billions – the Constitution has to allow that. That is an almost universal principle, consistent with UN Charters and every international norm. For example, if there is a referendum in California and 51% voted to secede, it would still need the consent of the other 49 states before the process to be legal and effective. It is part of the Constitution of US. For the case of Western Australia, the Constitution of Australia does not even allow a path to secede.

    2. Secondly, foreign interferences in Taiwan in the past 70 years would almost render the result of the referendum illegitimate in the eyes of the majority of Chinese.

    3. Thirdly, historical wrongs could not be easily dismissed as irrelevant until both sides reconcile and negotiate to a settlement. That is why there are still land and maritime disputes in so many countries. There are of course, plenty of examples too where historical disputes and wrongs have been settled peacefully, e.g. China’s settlement of land disputes with Russia, the transfer of Hong Kong/Macao, etc.

    “The Brits would’ve accepted Scotland’s secession, just as Canada would’ve accepted Quebec’s in the ’70s & ’80s, just as Ukraine had to accept Crimea’s.”

    LOL. I am not sold by the hypocrisy of the Westerners. Take the Scotland’s example. Firstly, I don’t believe that once Scotland voted to secede, the British government would simply let go. There would certainly be obstacles after obstacles they throw up. Just look at the example of Catalonia, and the official positions and reactions of most of the Western countries and their media. Secondly, for Scotland to compare with Taiwan would require decades of foreign occupation of Scotland. Then foreign countries like China, Russia, Cuba, etc have to sell arms to Scotland independent movement, to provide them with political supports, etc. China also should be allowed to set up NGO’s and Voice of China in Scotland, blasting 24/7 with messages about the evil British government. Furthermore, China should be allowed to cruise its warships around their coast and to set up military bases in the region, etc. to render their moral supports. After a few decades, if Scotland voted to secede, you think the British would just accept?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  368. Chinaman says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    it is the only political entity which represents the will of the Chinese people”. The very notion of a general will, a la Rousseau’s dangerous teachings, I question. What does it mean (and how do you know?)?

    Perhaps you are right that my patriotism and revolutionary fervour( quite recent) have deluded me into believing there is a “general will of the people” when it is just sloppy thinking. I do have to say there are 90m CCP members and if we include their spouse and dependents, that’s at least 30% of the population. The state is so integrated into and have such a presence in every Chinese’s life that I would say the CCP have become inseparable from the country itself. It is an authoritarian state after all.

    Xi said the world is experiencing change that we have not seen in a hundred year. We all know what he means- a new world order beckons- This is an epic civilisation struggle ( and racial) between the East and West fought on economic, military and ideological battlegrounds. I think It will not be pretty and I think we should just be prepared for the worst of what war have to offer. Very few, except Iraqis and Syrians have experience what total war is like. What you perceived as callousness, on my end, to the loss of life, is just a realist view of what might lay before us. I should say that every effort should be made to prevent the great powers from stumbling into war so as to preserve what you cherish-the rule of law, judiciary and civil society- and this requires each and everyone of us to be vigilant.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  369. @Chinaman

    Please find time for UR in case, as I assume, we never meet or even identify each other. Your intellectual honesty shines, unlike that of the Godfree Roberts cheer squad recently well spotted by an anonymous commenter styling himself an0n.

  370. @Wizard of Oz

    “Apart from rule of law/independent judiciary it would be absolutely huge if discussion in China could freely include arguments that Taiwan should not be regarded as territory to be forced into a polity even against the wishes of a majority of its people rather than as a Scotland”

    Except Scotland is not really a good example. It would be more like if the Union held on to Long Island and the Confederates took the rest of the Lower 48. Or had the Brits held Long Island… Would the 13 colonies or the Confederates let the aforementioned keep Long Island? Maybe… But not without an absolute guarantee that no foreign forces could ever have bases on there or even ever hold drills or intelligence agencies. The PRC might be then willing to entertain such an idea… But what is the likelihood the US would agree to that??? Let’s be honest Taipei can’t do anything unless the US agrees. Let’s be honest… Who do you think was behind the Sunflower Movement that stopped what would have been an agreement to even further link the economies of Taiwan and Mainland China…??? See the similarities in methods of the Hong Kong “protestors” for your answer.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  371. @Chinaman

    Great comment. Most people don’t get that being pro-China has nothing to do with politics for most ethnic Overseas Chinese. Most couldn’t care less about the politics – except that life in China improves. Say whatever anyone wants – but the fact is in the last 40 years China has improved by leaps and bounds. Most Overseas Chinese support that… In fact I know those who call people in Taiwan and Hong Kong “traitors” when they side with the west – even though they themselves never lived in Mainland China. A lot of westerners can’t understand it.
    Your comment could enlighten some.

    • Thanks: Chinaman
  372. @Erebus

    “UN Charter is that people have the right to self-determination. A people cannot be forced by force of arms to accept a form of government or to join another country against their wishes”

    But here is the thing. The UN and the majority of the nations of the world regard the One China principle and that Taiwan is a part of China. In the past 5 years – 7 nations have cut diplomatic relations with Taipei in favor of Beijing. So if the ROC in Taiwan changed the constitution as you say – that is tantamount to declaring independence since only 15 small nations recognize the ROC in Taiwan as a country.

    I agree with your last 3 paragraphs though. The issue with Taiwan is similar to that of Hong Kong and Xinjiang and Tibet. A few western nations who control the global media make big remonstrations – but quietly the majority of the rest of the world doesn’t agree nor go along (and though not reported in western media – the UN minutes will show more countries speak up IN FAVOR of China than against it). Same even with Venezuela. Most countries in the world did NOT recognize Maduro – even though the same western nations wanted them to. Secretly – many – who are not completely brainwashed by western media – actually root for China just so there will be a multi-polar world.

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @showmethereal
  373. @showmethereal

    Allow me a small quibble. Scotland does serve the purposes of my argument because it is an a fortiori case of proving that national dignity of a mature power is consistent with letting the majority of people in a territory much more consistently (than Taiwan) part of a nation for over 300 years decide to be an independent country.

    Let me move on again to the necessary terms of independence/special status which you advert to also. Unless, as has been suggested, Xi is paranoid about Taiwan as proving how well a messy democracy can work for Chinese, his intelligence must be capable of thinking up ways of maintaining 200% security with Taiwanese independence.

    Obviously the giving side must allow Taiwan to have diplomatic relations like any other country and membership of international organisations. That said, let’s keep it simple says President Xi. Here’s his/my first pass proposal China and the US will jointly guarantee the 200 year deal by each establishing and maintaining a legal equivalent of Guantanomo Bay next to each other on Taiwan with pledge to keep there at least 15,000 troops in training and/or grad students researching as mutual hostages.

    OK, you might say, that’s a bit like expecting intelligent Indians and Pakistanis to sort out their Kashmir differences with flair; or for Israel’s Palestinian problem to be solved by using Arab (and Iranian) oil money to found three or four Hong Kong like city states which Palestinians would be pressured to accept in lieu of all other claims. (I have an equivalent for settling the Kurdish problem forever too. It just depends on small concessions of territory by Turkey, Iraq and Iran which,except for Iraq, are ungenerous to the Kurds but better than the alternative).

    BTW, while indulging myself in Covid 19 lockdown watching “Secrets of War” from my exercise bike I learned more than I had known about Germany’s persistent military threats to Switzerland from 1940 to 1945. Included was Germany’s reminder to the Swiss that Switzerland had once been part of the Reich! That Reich, presumably the Holy Roman Empire, is surely antiquarian enough even for Chinese tastes!

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  374. Erebus says:
    @d dan

    As I said, my position is near absolute: there is no way Taiwan should be allowed to go independent, period.

    Look, whatever you (or I) may think about it, the fact is that Taiwan is not Catalonia, or California, or Scotland or Quebec. More to the point, it ain’t nothin’ like Tibet or Xinjiang.

    It was a province of China for all of 8 years, after 200 yrs of being ruled from Fujian. Never, during Chinese suzerainty did either Fujian or Imperial administration extend beyond the coastal areas, principally the west coast.

    Until the 17thC, Taiwan was peopled by a number of small tribes of Austronesian peoples (CN: Gāoshān people) and the only contact they had with China was (principally) with Fujian fishermen and traders that set up outposts on the west coast. The first written records of the island and its native peoples were actually written by the Dutch, who took some trading outposts from the Portuguese and Spanish and were the first to “rule” any part of Taiwan in any modern sense of word. That lasted for about half a century, until they were ousted by Ming loyalists who set up a redoubt called the “Tungning Kingdom” in the SW for their planned re-establishment of Ming rule over the mainland. (Rings a bell, doesn’t it?)

    The newly established Qing took advantage of a succession struggle to grab the Kingdom in 1683, None of the Dutch, Tungning, nor the Qing ever established rule over the entire island. For 200 yrs the Qing paid it little attention, despite the large migration of Han (Fujian, again), until 1887 when they turned their holdings into a province. The Qing claimed those parts of Taiwan beyond “the tax-paying lands”, but the claims were vague as the Qing never did any sort of census or even a proper survey of “the land beyond the mountains” where the Austronesian tribes lived.

    That lasted all of 8 years. In 1895 China ceded it to Japan with full sovereignty along with the Penghu islands in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, but in fact they ceded what they didn’t really have. Taiwan first came under unified rule under the Japanese.

    Whether China was “weak” at the time it signed the Treaty is an accident of history. What it won by the sword when Tunghing was weak, it lost by the sword when it was itself weak and another rival was strong. That was 125 yrs ago, and China hasn’t exercised sovereignty since.

    The Japanese in turn didn’t lose Taiwan to China, but to the Americans. If the sword decides the matter, Taiwan is as American as Japan is. That the Americans left its status ambiguous is another accident of history, but that doesn’t make it Chinese.

  375. Erebus says:
    @showmethereal

    The UN and the majority of the nations of the world regard the One China principle and that Taiwan is a part of China.

    My own view of that is that the world does NOT want Taiwan to become another American unsinkable aircraft carrier, and the only viable policy that will prevent that is the “One China Policy”.

    The Soviets held that policy since the CPC took over China for that very reason, though they broke with China in no small part because they were worried that Mao’s belligerence during the various Taiwan Straits crises would drag them into a war with the US.

    Subsequently, Nixon recognized China’s “One China Policy” as a quid pro quo for establishing relations and pulling one over on the Soviets, and the rest is history.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  376. @showmethereal

    That should have read – “most countries in the world did not recognize GUIDO….”

  377. @Erebus

    “That was 125 yrs ago, and China hasn’t exercised sovereignty since.”

    But that is not correct. They call themselves the Republic of China. Chiang Kai Shek retreated there because he considered it China. Except for the past 20 years children were taught in schools that they were Chinese. Localism is recent.
    The DPP is trying to change all of that though…

    You left out that loyalists fought and tried to lobby the Qing not to cede them to Japan. When that didn’t work they created the Republic of Formosa. The history between the two sides has been very complicated.

  378. @Erebus

    You make some good points – but when the UN took the vote to recognize Beijing as the ruler of China and not Taipei – it was against US wishes. The US strategy of recognizing Beijing was after – just like now – against the tide. The US wanted Taipei to keep the UN seat at the time.
    Mainland China was weak and poor – but the world simply realized – “look the civil war didn’t come to a complete solution – but it is obvious that Beijing has the upper hand”… I’m sure most of the voters expected full reunification by now.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  379. d dan says:
    @Erebus

    Yes, this is the n-th variation I heard when debating with people in Internet: Qinq court neglected and exercised little controls over the island. But so what? Ancient empire didn’t send soldiers to guard every inch of its territory, especially its borderland, even more so when it wasn’t threatened. That was reflective of Qing’s style and governance strategy. Qing just purposely wanted Taiwan to be its defensive zone against the pirates, Dutch and Japanese. That is standard practice for borderlands management for most of the Chinese dynastic history. Since for most of the 200 years, Taiwan wasn’t seriously threatened by foreign forces, so it naturally wasn’t within Qinq’s attention. I am quite sure American did not patrol most of the Alaska in the early day, or maybe even today. That should has no implication of the sovereignty of the land nor whether it is Chinese or American.

    But much more meaningful and relevant links, ignored by you, happened at the grassroot levels below the political picture. Early Han migrants were the drivers of the Taiwanese economy and progress. They introduced new cultivation of rice species and many variety of agricultural goods to Taiwan. They worked with native to developed its irrigation systems and helped to improve production techniques of the lands. Everything about Chinese: traditions, medicines, practices, customs, calendars, music, values, philosophies were brought to the island through multi-generations of relationship from migration and trades. By 1894, Taiwan was as Chinese as anyone can define.

    Subsequently, the Cairo Declaration, reaffirmed again in the Potsdam Declaration, agreed by US, UK, Soviet, and eventually accepted by Japan, states unambiguously that Taiwan would be returned to China. So, on what justification can that be changed – just because CCP took over? Can any country signs agreement with US and decides to abrogate it if another political party took control?

    The one and only one possibility to argue for Taiwan’s independence is when the majority of the 1.4 billions people agree – isn’t this called democracy, the right of the people for self-determination? Other than that, legally, historically, culturally, politically and morally there is simply no ground for argument. For example, you couldn’t make progress with your legal argument through the “referendum” route in your previous comment, unless you deny the legality and legitimacy of PRC Constitution, and therefore PRC government. Now, you are using feeble historical reasons, e.g. weak/partial control, to minimize the “Chinese”-ness of Taiwan. It is a feckless effort to overlook the deep cultural, racial, historical and emotional links between the peoples at both sides of the Strait. In actual fact, the ties and similarity between Taiwan and Fujian are stronger than that between Fujian and Beijing. So, this is an equally futile route – similar to what some Taiwanese green camp is doing.

    The Japanese in turn didn’t lose Taiwan to China, but to the Americans. If the sword decides the matter, Taiwan is as American as Japan is. That the Americans left its status ambiguous is another accident of history, but that doesn’t make it Chinese.

    Wow, seriously? By that argument, if Americans decided that Hainan, or even Beijing and Nanjing weren’t part of China in 1945, you would be fine with that arrangement? And BTW, the Japanese lost to all alliances: China, America, Soviet and Great Britain.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  380. @Erebus

    I respect your views in many of your previous posts, but not this concluding paragraph of yours.

    The Japanese in turn didn’t lose Taiwan to China, but to the Americans.

    Some Japanese neo-militarist, Kara no Kyoukai, said the SAME thing some years ago on the Economist forum. Here it is in […]. My reply follows that:

    [MORE]

    Devils Advocate_1in reply to Kara no Kyoukai
    [Kara no Kyoukai reply to Pacific 15th, 04:30
    China never defeated Japan. Japan surrendered only to the United States…]
    .
    There is some truth in your statement and it only confirms what many believe, which is that the Japanese only respects BRUTE FORCE. There is also some eerie similarity in mentality between the Japan of today and Germany between the World Wars.
    .
    After WWI, the German army felt “betrayed” by their politicians, who surrendered “without being militarily defeated”. As a result the German right-wing did not feel obliged to accept the terms of their defeat. All that changed after WWII, in which Germany was not only soundly defeated but did so by its main victim– USSR. The Rape of Berlin woke up the Germans so much that the denial of the Holocaust became a crime in Germany.
    .
    The fact that the main victims of Imperial Japan– China, Korea– did not actually militarily defeat Japan makes the Japanese right-wing arrogant. They feel that they are superior to their former victims while instinctively submitting to their white conquerors. It will have to take a “Rape of Tokyo” to bring them to their senses.
    .
    Needless to say, your statement above merely admits that, of the War in the Pacific and East Asia, only the part between Japan and the US is settled. The part between Japan and its Asian victims is still unfinished and remains suspended. Like the war in Europe, it will take a 2nd session to bring it to conclusion. Fortunately, unlike the first session, this 2nd session will be fought when the aggressor, Japan, will be weak while its victims, China, Korea and other Asian countries, will be strong. THAT will be poetic justice done!
    .
    Devil’s

    If the sword decides the matter, Taiwan is as American as Japan is.

    NO! This what the Cairo Declaration– not the sword– says:

    The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan, shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The aforesaid three great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent…

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122101.pdf?v=d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e

    Why not let just Hitler, Togo, Mussolini make the Cairo Declaration then???!!!

    That the Americans left its status ambiguous is another accident of history, but that doesn’t make it Chinese.

    There is NO ambiguity. The Japanese– “honorary Aryans”– has always been America’s favourite tool against China:

    Post 33, https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/the-broken-chessboard-brzezinski-gives-up-on-empire/

    Of course, America has found other “honorary Aryans” at the opposite end of China these days.

    Most whites, and honourary whites, sub-conscientiously adopt their favourite motto: Might Makes Right!! It is NEVER about Justice, Right or Wrong, or International Law, that concern them.

    But when the SAME rule is applied to them, they all stamp their feet and scream “unjust” but why should the Chinese care??? Make them taste their own medicine– I call it Retaliation in Kind!

    • Agree: d dan
  381. @Wizard of Oz

    Your comment failed to address any of the concrete issues I laid out.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  382. Erebus says:
    @d dan

    I am quite sure American did not patrol most of the Alaska in the early day, or maybe even today.

    You might be quite sure, but you’d also be quite wrong. The Americans mapped and surveyed their purchase immediately after the Treaty was signed, and the Dept of Alaska was organized initially under the US Army’s jurisdiction, and then under the US Navy’s.

    Early Han migrants were the drivers of the Taiwanese economy and progress. They introduced new cultivation of rice species and many variety of agricultural goods to Taiwan.

    Hmmm… not much progress. At the time the Japanese took over, Taiwan had all of ~160km of roads. 4,300km were added by 1935, not to mention hospitals, harbours, schools, sewer systems and railroads that were built under Japanese rule. In short, the Japanese did far more to advance Taiwan’s development in 40 years than anything the Qing did in 200. In fact, Taiwan saw a steady stream of immigrants from the mainland (Fujian) throughout their occupation and almost none in the opposite direction. Why?

    Subsequently, the Cairo Declaration, reaffirmed again in the Potsdam Declaration, agreed by US, UK, Soviet, and eventually accepted by Japan, states unambiguously that Taiwan would be returned to China.

    Two primary points pertain…

    1. The Declarations were of intent, not of fact. They have zero legal power, and can be altered or ignored as much and as often as the signatories feel like changing them. In fact, some parts of the Potsdam Declaration such as the removal of all occupying forces from Japan remain unfulfilled.

    2. The Declarations were made at a time when the KMT was China’s heir apparent and CKS was a signatory to both. The Cairo Declaration states that “… Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.” Note that it says “ROC” and does NOT mention the PRC, or any other legal entity. Put another way, when the ROC removed from mainland China, the Declaration’s explicit intent had been fulfilled and it lost any force and effect it may have had regarding Taiwan’s return to the mainland. The PRC in no way inherits the intent of the Declaration(s). They became a dead letter.

    If you maintain otherwise, that the Declarations continue to signify something with legal force and effect, then you’d also have to accept that the US & UK could just as simply change their mind and declare that Taiwan is independent with the same force and effect as the original Declarations.

    IOW, you don’t want to go there.

    Wow, seriously? By that argument, if Americans decided that Hainan, or even Beijing and Nanjing weren’t part of China in 1945, you would be fine with that arrangement?

    You misunderstand what you quoted. That the sword decides is your argument, not mine. My point was that if the sword decides the argument, Taiwan is not China’s in any sense. They lost what they gained by the sword.

    IOW, you don’t want to go there either.

    By 1894, Taiwan was as Chinese as anyone can define.

    The Chinese part indeed was, but the rest wasn’t Chinese at all. In fact, the Chinese didn’t even bother to map it, nor learn who lived there. It was the Japanese who (like the Americans in Alaska) exercised their sovereignty by mapping and surveying all of Taiwan and took a census of everyone who lived there. In the case of the natives, their tribal affiliations were also mapped out and the Japanese colonial government extended its reach just about everywhere.

    BTW, the Treaty of Shimonoseki stipulated that any Qing subjects who didn’t wish to be ruled by Japan had a 2 year window to pack up and return to the mainland. The fact that almost none took the opportunity indicates rather strongly that Taiwan’s Chinese population was quite content to not be Chinese any more.

    To make that even clearer, the first indication of Chinese resistance against Japanese rule was an attempt to create an independent republic prior to the arrival of the Japanese. Though the leadership is understood to have intended to return to mainland rule “at some future time”, the short lived Republic of Formosa declared itself in the name of “The People of Formosa” (not China). It was one of the first republics declared in Asia, but lasted only about 5 mos before the Japanese quashed it in October, 1895.

    Its Declaration of Independence begins as follows…

    Now, therefore, we, the People of Formosa… have in Council determined to convert the whole island of Formosa into a Republican state, and that the administration of all our State affairs shall be organized and carried on by the deliberations and decisions of Officers publicly elected by we the People.

    … so we see that the Chinese people in Taiwan have long thought themselves Formosans/Taiwanese rather than Qing subjects. Resistance to Japanese rule died out amongst the Chinese population by about 1902, but the native tribes remained determined enemies, fighting the guerilla wars against the Japanese that they had earlier fought against the Qing well into the ’30s.

    Look, there are simply no more legal or historical grounds for China’s claim to Taiwan than there would be for a Russian claim to Belarus, or to Crimea. Of Crimea, Russia demanded a Declaration of Independence and a Referendum on re-integration before it would present a proposal to the Duma. It is similarly saying that Belarus must hold a referendum before going beyond their Treaty of the Union State to full integration. Despite centuries of deeper association with those entities than China ever had with Taiwan, and at least as geo-strategically important, Russia is demanding that international law, specifically the UN Charter prevails.

    If there were serious arguments along the lines you’ve made, China could soon claim Vancouver (had Corona not interrupted). However heartfelt your arguments may be, they don’t carry any water for the notion that Taiwan can legally be re-integrated by force.

    • Replies: @Deep Thought
    , @d dan
  383. Erebus says:
    @showmethereal

    Mainland China was weak and poor – but the world simply realized – “look the civil war didn’t come to a complete solution – but it is obvious that Beijing has the upper hand”…

    Did it, or did the Soviets specifically realize that they didn’t want another American base near their Pacific coast, and were looking towards China as a fellow Communist ally? In the case of countries not influenced by Soviet concerns (the then large Non-Aligned Movement) not also see that more American power was not a good thing?

    I’m sure most of the voters expected full reunification by now.

    Are you just emoting, or do you have a specific reference for that?

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  384. @Erebus

    They lost what they gained by the sword.

    China has RE-gained it by the Cairo Declaration.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  385. @Showmethereal

    The only issue I didn’t deal with was your contention that Taipei/Taiwan could never do anything without US approval and that the US wouldn’t allow a sensible settlement. That’s because I don’t know enough to comment. (Do you? How?). But I did deal with the big issue by suggesting that there was a solution that should be OK for a mature impregnable China and a United States which is vastly overstretched.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  386. @Erebus

    “Stalin dissolved the Comintern (Communist International) in 1943, and replaced it with the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), a more passive organization in 1947. Cominform was dissolved by Khrushchev in 1957”

    Again – practice is different. The Soviets backed the North Korean invasion of the South. The Soviets later were backing Vietnam in it’s moves in South East Asia – specifically Cambodia (which is why China and the US both backed the Khmer Rogue).
    Not to mention – what do you think they were doing in Afghanistan?
    They still supported Cuba until the Soviet Union fell apart….

    “you may be surprised by the prominence enjoyed by the Communist Party in America and in parts of Western Europe, especially Italy during the mid-20thC and the penetration they made into American political life.”

    Oh no – I am aware… I mean that’s where McCarthyism came from.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  387. @Erebus

    “Are you just emoting, or do you have a specific reference for that?”

    It is simple logic… what was the vote about? both Taipei and Beijing claimed to be the ruling government of ALL OF CHINA which INCLUDED TAIWAN. The vote was to recognize who was legitimate to represent the WHOLE nation. You could not have two Chinas and you could not have one China and one Taiwan. The US and Soviets did that to Korea and Vietnam – but NEITHER side of the Chinese civil war would accept that. The UN nations overwhelmingly – and against US wishes – voted Beijing as the sole government and removed all reps from Taipei. What other reason would they do that??? If they did not recognize Beijing as legitimate over Taiwan another resolution would have been drawn up on whether to accept Taiwan as a state. They couldn’t because the government in Taiwan did NOT want independence. They wanted the whole country back. The US game didn’t work.
    Even after the UN vote the US tried to play the word game. The Joint Shanghai Communique states from the US side acknowledged: “that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China,”
    Now the game is played to say “oh well the US never claimed Taiwan is part of China”. And that is true – but it is NOT the US business. They correctly acknowledged that BOTH sides of the straight said there was only ONE China.
    Taiwan localism in modern times is only in the last 20 years. The expectation all along was that the CPC would collapse and the ROC would regain the whole of China. Or that in turning toward capitalism – the PRC would also become a democracy and the two sides would join as one “democratic China”. As the CPC and PRC grew stronger and stronger and richer and richer – with no real desire to become democratic – then the localism game began to be played. The sole reason for supporting that localism is to try to prick mainland China.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Erebus
  388. Erebus says:
    @showmethereal

    What other reason would they do that???

    I gave you a couple of reasons. Didn’t you notice them?

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  389. Erebus says:
    @showmethereal

    Again – practice is different….

    You missed the point entirely.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  390. Erebus says:
    @Deep Thought

    China has RE-gained it by the Cairo Declaration.

    Oh, perhaps you’d take us through the legal logic that concludes so, given that “China” (never mind the PRC) isn’t even mentioned in either of the Declarations.

    Given that CKS was an author and a signatory to both, do you think their omission was an oversight? Sloppy wording? They were drunk on dreams of victory (if not something stronger)? Or was omission of the word “China” deliberate, given that the ROC’s position was not exactly 100% secure on the mainland? Do you think powerful nations make mistakes like this? I’d submit they knew exactly what they were doing when they worded the Declarations the way they did. You may have, but CSK surely didn’t forget Koxinga’s Taiwan redoubt.

    Both Declarations assume ROC sovereignty over the mainland, and declare the allies’ intent to return sovereignty over Taiwan (and the various islands) to the ROC if/when Japan is defeated militarily. Nothing more. In the event, that’s exactly what was delivered, and the US & UK held to what they could of their end of the deal until a giddy Nixon threw the keys over fence.

    That Japan lost is an accident of history, just as the ROC’s defeat at the hands of the Communists was also an accident of history. Accidents don’t make law.

    Had Japan successfully repelled the USM, or fought it to a standstill, where would the Declarations stand, legally speaking? Say that while Japan fought the USM off and the ROC was able to defeat the Communists, where would the Declarations stand, legally speaking?

    Hint: nowhere. Two dead letters, returned to sender.

    Anyway, if you wish to dispute my points regarding the black letter Declarations, you will need to explicate:
    1. the legal logic behind your claim that the Declarations have legal force and effect, and…
    2. how the PRC is the rightful inheritor of the benefits that were to accrue to the ROC by virtue of the legal force and effect of said Declarations that you explicated in 1.

    Your serve.

    • Replies: @Deep Thought
  391. @Wizard of Oz

    Forgive me for being blunt – but you are naive if you think the US will give up it’s chess piece against the PRC. Look how the Democrats and Republicans are both flailing over Hong Kong – when all China did was institute a national security law – which was required by the Basic Law that was to determine how Hong Kong was to be governed until 2047. Hong Kong and Taiwan have both been the main bases in Asia for the CIA to carry out covert operations. They can’t do anything about Hong Kong except to try to sanction Hong Kong – so Taiwan is their last real hope.

    From 2008 to 2016 the PRC and ROC were improving relations by leaps and bounds. For the first time since the 1940’s the leaders of the CPC and KMT met in person – in Singapore. An economic agreement was being tabled that would bring the two sides even closer as it would have governed workers in the service industry on both sides. Next thing you know there is the “Sunflower Movement” who does wild protests and storms the legislative building just like happened in Hong Kong last year. The cat has been out of the bag for a while as to who was supporting the Hong Kong rioters. But here is another good one for the deniers — but I’m sure they will claim this guy is only giving hygiene advice to the rioters:

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  392. @Erebus

    Except your reasons don’t compute with what was the reason for the vote in the first place. There was no one to dictate the split of Korea or Vietnam (or even Mongolia for that matter). The vote was for all of China. Again the US tried to play the same game as the aforementioned – but since CKS and the ROC did NOT want to give up the mainland – and there was no way the Soviets could tell the PRC what to do at that point. So the vote was for China. Taiwan was never considered a state.
    The whole world knew the PRC was willing to go to war to regain the island. In fact – the two sides were still shelling each other. It’s really not complicated. Only Washington DC and it’s double speak makes it anywhere remotely complicated.

  393. @showmethereal

    I didn’t suppose naively that the US would readily “give up its chess piece” but a rational solution is always worth considering. And the rationality flows from America being overstretched and the harm it can do to China so inconsequential, except for some CIA person claiming a minuscule personal achievement.

    While you say some interesting things you do not boost your authority by citing Jimmy Dore. As to the growing rapprochement between KMT and PRC from 2008 I suspect that you omit two important factors while apparently insinuating that the CIA could have a significant effect on Taiwanese voting. One is that the KMT failed to represent the growing consolidation of Taiwanese identity as a democratic country. The other is the rise if Xi who, perhaps, finally made it clear that Taiwanese would have to give up any vestiges of autonomy.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  394. d dan says:
    @Erebus

    “I am quite sure American did not patrol most of the Alaska in the early day…”

    “The Americans mapped and surveyed their purchase immediately”

    I meant troop “patrol”, intended that as counter-response to your point about no “administration”. But if you accept mapping and survey activities, Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) did military scouting along both coasts up to present day Taipei during his 8 (or 9?) months siege against the Dutch, mainly to hunt for foods. Earlier Ming generals already landed and circumnavigated the island, and had some knowledge of its geography and terrain.

    “Hmmm… not much progress. At the time the Japanese took over, Taiwan had all of ~160km of roads. 4,300km were added by 1935, not to mention hospitals,…”

    Sure, Japan was a more advanced country than Qinq, the industrialization of the world picked up more speed in 20th century than 19th century, and modernization under Japan – a colonizer who eventually renounced ownership of Taiwan – made faster and more progress. So, what is your point, Taiwan is more Japanese than Chinese? But Japan quitted the game.

    “You misunderstand what you quoted. That the sword decides is your argument, not mine.”

    Please quote what did I say or imply that. Maybe you misunderstood me instead.

    “Put another way, when the ROC removed from mainland China, the Declaration’s explicit intent had been fulfilled and it lost any force and effect it may have had regarding Taiwan’s return to the mainland. The PRC in no way inherits the intent of the Declaration(s)”

    Ha, these few paragraphs are just typical tiresome Western nonsenses of “tail I win, head you lost” argument. The Declarations are non-binding blah, blah, and yet demands legal basis for China’s territorial claims, blah, blah.

    1. You deny PRC’s legitimacy claim of Taiwan from historical/Qinq, and also deny it can inherit from ROC – so why don’t you explain on what framework is the current PRC’s territorial boundary defined – the Qinq/historical basis or the post WW2/Declarations world orders. What and why would you accept/not accept as legally PRC territory – e.g. Xinjiang, Tibet, Northeast provinces, Hong Kong?

    2. Taiwan was taken from Qinq but returned to ROC – so the Declarations had implicitly accept the inheritance concept. So why not from ROC to PRC? When PRC replaced ROC membership in UN, it has been recognized to replace ROC on a one-to-one swap. Otherwise, why didn’t they keep BOTH ROC and PRC. It is therefore accepted by most (independent, non US-lackey) countries, and major international organizations (e.g. UN), implicitly or explicitly that PRC as successor of ROC, shall inherit from ROC, and that Taiwan is recognized to be part of China, and PRC is the legal entity representing China.

    3. If inheritance rule does not apply, does Russia inherit from Soviet’s claims? Does Russia has existing rights to claim the Japanese northern 4 islands or Kuril – since those were “agreed” to be given to Soviet, not Russia?

    4. Manchuria (Northeast provinces) was granted the same status as Taiwan in the Declarations and given to ROC. Are you claiming that the status of Manchuria is also undecided and can be disputed? And why did Soviet return Manchuria to PRC. This only shows that they respected and interpreted the Cairo Declarations much more faithfully than the unprincipled Western world.

    “The Chinese part indeed was, but the rest wasn’t Chinese at all. ”

    Still believe in the different parts argument? Sounds like you don’t buy my idea that: “Ancient empire didn’t send soldiers to guard every inch of its territory” that they claimed. If so, there would be much more areas in other places of China that could be in dispute today, like borderland in Yunan, Hainan, Kwangxi, not to mention Tibet, Xinjiang, but also interiors like Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian, etc. There were so many villages, mountain and forest areas that Qing (or other dynastic empire) troops/officials never bother to enter. For examples, several decades ago, they discovered isolated villages in Hunan that were hideout of Ming imperial family descendants for multiple generations. It just shows how porous Qing administration and control were throughout the country. If we use your standard, the map of Qinq would look like scattered sand on a hardwood floor – no semblance to any functional country.

    Methodologically, you can’t use modern, or even 19th Century Western/Japanese views/standards to analyze an ancient empire like Qing/Ming. You shouldn’t say that since Qinq/Ming didn’t/did X (e.g. sent troop in/did census/survey land), so therefore Y (e.g. didn’t claim the land) is true, when such logic/concepts is self-evident in other cultures but lacking in Qing. That type of misunderstanding is the source of current dispute like Diaoyu Island, and is clearly a less accurate (some even say disrespectful/arrogant) interpretation of the intents, purposes and events of Chinese history.

    Still don’t believe? See what foreigners thinks then, e.g. the map Merkel gave to Xi. Zoom in to see Taiwan’s color (there are of course, plenty more other maps you can look up):
    https://www.swaen.com/zoomV5e.php?id=22295&referer=antique-map-of.php

    “… had a 2 year window to pack up and return to the mainland. The fact that almost none took the opportunity indicates rather strongly that Taiwan’s Chinese population was quite content to not be Chinese any more.”

    That was because they hated the Qing government more. Many Chinese from mainland also flee or migrated to South East Asia and the West at that time – do you think they didn’t consider themselves Chinese too?

    “Its Declaration of Independence begins… so we see that the Chinese people in Taiwan have long thought themselves Formosans/Taiwanese rather than Qing subjects.”

    Points taken and in fact, Taiwanese rise up multiple times before. But you are aware that by that time, Qing was hopeless corrupted, impotent, ineffective and lost supports of almost everyone in the WHOLE China, right? You are aware that large part of Qinq history was covered with rebellions involving almost the whole empire, with various groups proclaiming their own kingdoms, different degrees of “independence” and variety of “mandates” right? To put the ironic twist, even the ways Taiwanese rebelled – the style, timing, and how they proclaimed their so-called “un-Chinese”-ness to Japan, not Qing – were so “Chinese”. LOL. Not no true Scotsman – just an observation.

    “there are simply no more legal or historical grounds for China’s claim to Taiwan than there would be for a Russian claim to Belarus, or to Crimea.”

    Same false and non-equivalent comparison as Scotland. Firstly, Soviet voluntarily broke off with Ukraine, Belarus etc when it dissolved, without any external military coercion or obvious foreign pressure (it was a superpower after all). Subsequently, Russia explicitly recognizes those as sovereignty countries. Also, the events took place (relatively) more recently. It would be totally ridiculous for Russia to claim or do otherwise today. Secondly, for Taiwan, neither ROC nor PRC ever recognized Taiwan as a separate country. Furthermore, The separation was externally imposed (i.e. unification prevented) through very explicit and direct interferences and threats (including nuclear blackmails) backed by the full military and economic power of the whole Western world. Subsequent separation were sustained through full spectrum efforts – military, diplomatic, economic,… for a much more longer period.

    “If there were serious arguments along the lines you’ve made, China could soon claim Vancouver ”

    Did you misunderstand or over-simplify my points?

    I really don’t see any new argument for Taiwan independence, and don’t expect anyone to be able to. However any person attempts, she would invariably be entangled in knots that would be inconsistent with other part of Chinese history, territorial claims and/or similar abnormalities with the principles/rules when applied to other countries. Fundamentally, the question is whether you believe Taiwan is part of China. If yes, the answer is obviously in the hand of the 1.4 billions. If no, then you have to deny the legitimacy of PRC (and ROC) Constitutions, and again, their amendments should be decided by the citizens – unless of course, you deny the legitimacy of PRC to represent the 1.4 billions. In this last case, we have bigger issue than the Taiwan independence.

    Erebus, as much as I enjoy and feel honored to debate this with you, I would like to wrap this up. Just a courtesy note to let you know I may not reply to your next response.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  395. Erebus says:
    @d dan

    I thank you for the debate, but will make a parting point. I’m surprised that you failed to make it yourself as (IMHO) it’s the single strongest point in your favour.

    That is, it can be argued that the ROC that retreated to Taiwan was not the same ROC that ruled China, and that therefore is in no way an heir to the Declarations or any of China’s historical claims.

    The argument would go something like this…

    CKS resigned his presidency of the KMT in January 1949, and thus the ROC government that fell to the Communists was led not by Chiang, but by Li Zongren at the time it was defeated in the mainland.

    While Li fought on, Chiang emptied the govt treasury of some $200M in gold and USD and sent it to Taiwan. Bankrupt, with the KMT Army in disarray the legitimate ROC government in Nanjing collapsed and Li fled to Guangdong to try to set up a defence of a smaller, and more defensible territory. CKS subverted Li’s efforts wherever he could, and when Li finally fell largely due to his efforts proclaimed himself the leader of a new ROC (the 4th) in Taiwan.

    One could therefore argue that Chiang was a traitor, that his government in Taiwan was in fact traitorous and ipso facto not a legitimate successor to the ROC. Be that as it may, it certainly made his claim to rule over all China unsupportable, and put Taiwan in a geo-politically untenable position that’s still working itself out.

    • Thanks: d dan, Godfree Roberts
  396. @Erebus

    Oh, perhaps you’d take us through the legal logic that concludes so, given that “China” (never mind the PRC) isn’t even mentioned in either of the Declarations.

    This is what the Cairo Declaration said,

    “The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan…. and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.

    The PRC overthrew the ROC in a revolution and is, therefore, its successor state and inherits the latter’s legal claims.

    You are doing a lot of sloppy thinking on this matter.

    [MORE]

    That Japan lost is an accident of history, just as the ROC’s defeat at the hands of the Communists was also an accident of history. Accidents don’t make law.

    The so-called USA is “an accident of history”. It should not have existed at all. If the “Indians” did not lose their war against the white colonizers, that would have happened. Without the US of A, there would not have been a Matthew C. Perry who brought about a modernization and militarization of Japan. Therefore, the Japan after that time WAS also “an accident of history”.

    And “Accidents don’t make law.”!!!

    In short, both the US of A and Japan are illegal entities:

    24 June 1995
    The Editor
    South China Morning Post
    GPO Box 47
    Hong Kong
    .
    Sir,
    .
    I applaud your editorial of 22 June, in which you exposed the insidious manner in which the Japanese parliament and government had glossed over the crimes and genocides the Japanese Imperial Army had committed against the peoples of East Asia.
    .
    Your effort is to be commended and I hope you will extend it and apply it in an impartial and unbiased manner.
    .
    The crimes of Japan during World War II is but one of the crimes against humanity in recent history and it is not even the most serious.
    .
    Far more sinister are those committed by the whites against the non-whites, with the racial genocides carried out