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How does the World view China these days?


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5 hours ago, zero said:

I remember you posted on here that you knew someone that was caught up in that Huawei cluster, and was being held in China. is that one of the people the article mentions on death row? 

No, my friend is Michael Spavor. Luckily he hasn’t been sentenced to death, yet. He was however, tried in a court with no public access, not even diplomats. We don’t know the verdict yet, as that will come later. However, given China’s conviction rate of over 99%, I’d say that things don’t look good for him...

Edit: to clarify - I don’t know if he’ll get the death penalty, as he’s been charged with “national security” offences, as opposed to anything to do with drugs. 
As well, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that Michael Kovrig, another Canadian who had lived and worked in China for a long time as an analyst with Crisis Group, also remains imprisoned, with little recourse to legal counsel. His trial occurred under similar conditions, with no verdict as yet. Both he and my friend have been imprisoned since December 2018, with few visitation rights, under completely inhumane conditions. 
Given how the last Canadians accused of espionage in China fared (who were not being held for the purposes of hostage diplomacy), I get genuinely angry when I think of my friend being held there, and so do not bring him into conversations about China easily, as it tends to cloud my thinking. 

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China. What’s going on with this place? 500 million people live there but the only foreigners to visit are diplomats and people who “taught English” for a year and wanted to travel. In China they eat

Can't we all just agree that you are all a massive pack of cunts ?

a lot of people talk about it but generally as part of environmental, ethical, veganism type angles. it's certainly missing from the radar of larger mainstream culture. industrial level factory farms

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8 hours ago, chenGOD said:

The number of alcoholics who run successful YouTube channels is probably not high.

The vast majority of burnouts I knew in South Korea lasted a couple of years on average. 10 was rare.

Speaking Mandarin well is difficult, perhaps not more than reading it, but the intonations in Mandarin as well as the dialects do make things difficult. At least with reading it, it's quite consistent. Also, the number of immigrants I knew in South Korea who couldn't speak the language beyond the basics (despite being far easier to read) after 5 years or more in country, was frankly shocking.

Did you live in China? Where?

Friends of mine have lived in China. I’ve only visited.

And picked up enough Mandarin for the basics. Tones were probably awful, which is why the further away I got from big places the harder people found it to understand me.

But in ten years, you should be able to do better. Unless you’re living in an expat bubble in which case you have no need to speak Mandarin at all. Most expats are not hired for their skills in speaking the local language, after all.

 

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31 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

Unless you’re living in an expat bubble in which case you have no need to speak Mandarin at all. Most expats are not hired for their skills in speaking the local language, after all.

It’s hard to live in an expat bubble in China, especially a white one. Services are not aimed at resident foreigners (tourists are a different story), and the number of resident foreigners in China is minuscule (around a million people). The largest number of foreign residents are South Koreans, then Americans (of which I suspect many are American-born Chinese), then Japanese. Despite that, I still maintain that speaking Mandarin well is difficult, not something for the two year cowboy teachers. 
 

Where did your friends live? I’ve only been to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Well HK and Taiwan as well but they’re very different.  

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14 minutes ago, chenGOD said:

It’s hard to live in an expat bubble in China, especially a white one. Services are not aimed at resident foreigners (tourists are a different story), and the number of resident foreigners in China is minuscule (around a million people). The largest number of foreign residents are South Koreans, then Americans (of which I suspect many are American-born Chinese), then Japanese. Despite that, I still maintain that speaking Mandarin well is difficult, not something for the two year cowboy teachers. 
 

Where did your friends live? I’ve only been to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Well HK and Taiwan as well but they’re very different.  

My friends (HK/Shenzhen, Xian, Beijing) found it quite ok. Their companies took care of everything. And I do mean *everything*.

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Americans (of which I suspect many are American-born Chinese)

This would surprise me. I'd imagine - but I don't know if this is true - life is easier if you're white than if you're Chinese looking but not actually Chinese.

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Despite that, I still maintain that speaking Mandarin well is difficult, not something for the two year cowboy teachers. 

Dunno. Like I said, with a few weeks of not particularly rigorous self-study I could do the basics and to this day if I see someone speaking Mandarin on tv I can make out a lot of what they're saying. And I know plenty of Westerners who managed a lot more.

Which isn't surprising as Mandarin really isn't all that difficult of a language. The phonology is limited (especially compared to Western European languages) and the only "weird" feature is the tones, which are difficult to discern if you're not used to having tones but otherwise not complicated. You just have to learn to be a bit sing-song-y when you speak (in the correct way, of course). And if you don't use them, a lot of people will still be able to make out what you're saying - they don't cause any more problems than homophones do in other languages.

The writing, of course, is terrible, but it's terrible for native speakers of Mandarin as well. Luckily you do not need to be able to read - or write - when conversing with people. Just speaking and listening is enough. Not every deadbeat teacher will bother to learn how to do this, as they would mostly interact with people who speak at least some English, but it's certainly not beyond them - and very convenient for going about parts of their daily lives that don't involve their place of work and their other expat friends. Especially after ten years.

Anyway, I have to go do some work.

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From a Dutch agency: https://taleninstituut.nl/en/the-hardest-languages-in-the-world-to-learn/

1. Mandarin. 
Maybe you’re a linguistic genius? 
Go do your work, the internet will still be here when you return. Lol. 
 

Sorry if I seem snippy, I’m in the middle of an exam for a new position at work and am a little sleep deprived. 

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14 hours ago, chenGOD said:

No, my friend is Michael Spavor. Luckily he hasn’t been sentenced to death, yet. He was however, tried in a court with no public access, not even diplomats. We don’t know the verdict yet, as that will come later. However, given China’s conviction rate of over 99%, I’d say that things don’t look good for him...

Edit: to clarify - I don’t know if he’ll get the death penalty, as he’s been charged with “national security” offences, as opposed to anything to do with drugs. 
As well, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that Michael Kovrig, another Canadian who had lived and worked in China for a long time as an analyst with Crisis Group, also remains imprisoned, with little recourse to legal counsel. His trial occurred under similar conditions, with no verdict as yet. Both he and my friend have been imprisoned since December 2018, with few visitation rights, under completely inhumane conditions. 
Given how the last Canadians accused of espionage in China fared (who were not being held for the purposes of hostage diplomacy), I get genuinely angry when I think of my friend being held there, and so do not bring him into conversations about China easily, as it tends to cloud my thinking. 

complete nightmare. I don't know him and that makes me angry.

really brings into perspective when we (the collective we) bitch about the justice system or government in North America, and how unfair or idiotic it comes across at times...how it's nothing compared to those totalitarian / authoritarian run countries, where you can be fucked with for any reason they see fit, and the chances of getting a fair trial is practically nonexistent.

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6 hours ago, zero said:

really brings into perspective when we (the collective we) bitch about the justice system or government in North America, and how unfair or idiotic it comes across at times...how it's nothing compared to those totalitarian / authoritarian run countries, where you can be fucked with for any reason they see fit, and the chances of getting a fair trial is practically nonexistent.

Not to get all Zeff, but I’m told Black people tend to find this an apt description of the justice system of the US.

Imprisoning foreign nationals to exact revenge on their governments is a medieval level dick move, though.

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2 hours ago, rhmilo said:

I’m told Black people tend to find this an apt description of the justice system of the US.

It’s a ridiculous comparison, even taking into account the systemic racism built  into the US justice system. 

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watched this doc today. pretty interesting. the difference in cultures is massive when it comes to corporations. some interesting thoughts from people on both sides. chinese management complaining that americans are lazy because they won't come in on saturday and can't be forced to work overtime. 

chinese company invests in closed american factory. sends chinese workers to train americans. lot's of illusions about everything are dispelled. chinese workers realizing american life isn't some how superior and that americans often have 2 jobs. 

 

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1 hour ago, chenGOD said:

It’s a ridiculous comparison, even taking into account the systemic racism built  into the US justice system. 

that's hilarious given that the US has more prisoners than China despite a significantly lower population

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47 minutes ago, cyanobacteria said:

that's hilarious given that the US has more prisoners than China despite a significantly lower population

The US having more prisoners has nothing to do with conditions in prison, nor on the ability for a defendant to have a trial conducted in a fair and transparent manner. 
If you had said that the US needs to stop the war on drugs and cut out Broken Windows policing, then you would have had a valid and interesting point. But trotting out the number of people imprisoned is tired, and even China’s official rate is closing the gap fast, to say nothing of the people they don’t count. https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/china

https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/united-states-america

The US criminal justice system has many issues. To say that it is comparable to China’s is gross and insulting as an argument. 

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3 hours ago, cyanobacteria said:

that's hilarious given that the US has more prisoners than China despite a significantly lower population

china has more uyghurs locked up though... maybe they can all get pro-bono lawyers from the local legal aid group?

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Zeff's whole strategy of negating the atrocities that China has committed is "the US did it too." Ad nauseam.

Why don't you just look at the atrocities as atrocities and defend no one? There's no one in the this thread defending the US for the terrible shit its government has done.

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6 hours ago, chenGOD said:

It’s a ridiculous comparison, even taking into account the systemic racism built  into the US justice system. 

Going out on a limb here and say you’re white.

 

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4 hours ago, chenGOD said:

The US having more prisoners has nothing to do with conditions in prison, nor on the ability for a defendant to have a trial conducted in a fair and transparent manner. 
If you had said that the US needs to stop the war on drugs and cut out Broken Windows policing, then you would have had a valid and interesting point. But trotting out the number of people imprisoned is tired, and even China’s official rate is closing the gap fast, to say nothing of the people they don’t count. https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/china

https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/united-states-america

The US criminal justice system has many issues. To say that it is comparable to China’s is gross and insulting as an argument. 

>closing the gap fast

 

yeah so is literally every other country's incarceration rate considering the US is rank #1.  China's rate isn't even 18% of the US's.  I know you guys love to hate China but at least get the numbers right

 

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8 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

Going out on a limb here and say you’re white.

 

there is a very big difference, generally, in how different demographics perceive authorities in america. the realities are different for sure. history of how blacks were treated in america has ingrained mistrust of the federal gov't, cops, the courts and just about every level of the criminal justice system.. or any  kind of bureaucracy really. 

so, what a person of color might think about comparisons to the justice system in china might be closer to what they think of the justice system in america than white people care to admit.. as ridiculous as i or anyone might think the comparison is for whatever reasons... there's people who have real reasons for thinking the comparison has merit... usually because they've  seen the gov't do whatever it wants regardless of who is in the way.

i think a comparison that is accurate would be general bureaucratic power and ability to get a person in its grasp and ruin them for whatever reason. america can do that pretty well when it wants to.. often it's at the behest of corporations pulling the strings and there are endless examples of that. 

i think it'd be harder to draw comparisons to the political prisoners and dissidents jailed for having an opinion counter to the government's chosen narrative. but we can probably pick through america's history and find some obvious examples to contradict or prove just about anything. 

all that being said... it appears there is absolutely no recourse for a person getting rounded up and jailed in china if they've been targeted. 

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14 minutes ago, ignatius said:

all that being said... it appears there is absolutely no recourse for a person getting rounded up and jailed in china if they've been targeted. 

i'm not sitting here trying to say the US is worse about every single bad thing about china, but it's the same in the US.  if you're poor you literally just have to admit you did it even if you didn't, then go to prison to avoid going to prison even longer.

as for the concept of political prisoners, almost all prisoners in the US are political prisoners

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Complaining about whataboutism always strikes me as sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling "can't hear you".

Chinese prisons are horrible. Uyghurs are being rounded up in insane numbers simply because they're Uyghur and want to do Uyghur things. If you end up in a Chinese prison you're not likely to ever get out.

US prisons are horrible by Western European standards. Black men are rounded up simply because they're Black ("driving while Black" is a serious thing). If you end up in a US prison and you're black you're not likely to ever build up a normal life again.

Dutch prisons are very nice even by Western European standards, let alone by US standards. Still, the handful of people I've known who were sent to one thought the experience was horrible. Luckily they got out and managed to build up something resembling a normal life again. They were lucky - if you have nothing to fall back on they will dump you on the street as soon as your sentence is up and leave you to fend for yourself.

All of these things are true.

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21 minutes ago, cyanobacteria said:

i'm not sitting here trying to say the US is worse about every single bad thing about china, but it's the same in the US.  if you're poor you literally just have to admit you did it even if you didn't, then go to prison to avoid going to prison even longer.

as for the concept of political prisoners, almost all prisoners in the US are political prisoners

the plea system is seriously flawed.. outright broken.. and yeah i agree. poor people are often left w/no good options when charged w/a crime. 

as for all prisoners in US being political prisoners.. er.. maybe.. i mean.. it's often political things that put many of them there.. crime bills, neglect of entire populations of people etc..  but plenty of people just  make mistakes, bad decisions, shortcuts to cash etc and end up in jail. i think the another angle of the justice system problem in the states is it's largely punitive and not at all restorative. i don't know enough about chinese justice to say it's any better or worse in that regard but in the states the tendency is to punish beyond the actual sentencing. 

but china and other totalitarian regimes jail dissidents for disagreeing with the government or being a wise ass on twitter.. 

is one better or worse? i guess that's what people can spend a lot of time arguing about on teh forums in between talkin abou t teh aphex twins4eva

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2 hours ago, ignatius said:

but china and other totalitarian regimes jail dissidents for disagreeing with the government or being a wise ass on twitter.. 

is one better or worse? i guess that's what people can spend a lot of time arguing about on teh forums in between talkin abou t teh aphex twins4eva

Dissidents get a lot of attention because they're members of the talking class.

Black men getting arrested up for possession are not.

The first group goes to jail because the government thinks they talk too much. The second group ... consider this:

In NYC possession of pot is legal. However, there is a provision in the law that says "flaunting" is not. So what happens is police stop Black men, search them, find their weed and since that weed is now out in the open that counts as "flaunting" so the Black men are sent to jail.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, milkface said:

https://i.redd.it/2twlwlabenr61.png

_116029874_optimised-death_penalty_count

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10 minutes ago, zkom said:

_116029874_optimised-death_penalty_count

To be fair these numbers should probably be corrected for population size. This would still put China way above the US. Let’s see by how much:

(numbers with plus rounded up for easy math)

China: 1.4 billion / 1400  = 1 per 1.4 million

Iran: 90 million / 300 = 1 per 300,000

Saudi Arabia: 35 million / 185 = 1 per 190,00

US: 330 million / 22 = 1 per 15 million


...


Wow

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

To be fair these numbers should probably be corrected for population size. This would still put China way above the US. Let’s see by how much:

(numbers with plus rounded up for easy math)

China: 1.4 billion / 1400  = 1 per 1.4 million

Iran: 90 million / 300 = 1 per 300,000

Saudi Arabia: 35 million / 185 = 1 per 190,00

US: 330 million / 22 = 1 per 15 million


...


Wow

 

 

 

Saudi is brutal

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Authoritarian systems also work in much subtler ways than just with incarceration or death penalty. China has for example the Social Credit System https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System

Imagine that you do a bunch of minor violations like jaywalking, abusing the Hong Kong transit visa system, criticizing the government on social media etc and then you get your photo displayed in front of movie theaters, denied loans, banned for travel and your children can't go to to universities any more.

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