Saturday, November 22, 2014

China and Censorship

In many ways I think the government of China is doing some really good things for it's citizens:
  1. Though draconian in some ways, the one child law stopped an out of control unsustainable population growth rate.  This has helped to increase the size of their middle class.
  2. The government has spent a huge amount on excellent high speed trains and other infrastructure.
  3. Most of the citizens I work with seem just fine with their current form of government, which I assume means they are "not too unhappy" with their lives.
One must remember that just 30 years ago China was very far "behind the times" and today they have pretty well caught up , and working hard to pull ahead. (ie other than that air pollution problem...)  As one of my peers and I noted, China pretty much was technologically stagnant for nearly 50 years as the rest of the world progressed.

 The one thing that I have a hard time dealing with though is their blockage of web sites.  I apologize for not commenting or posting during my trip, however I could not access my blog which is hosted by a group within Google.

And I did not have time to take Jerry's advice to take a river cruise from Shanghai to Chongqing.  That is apparently a 9 day cruise.  It would be beautiful though.  Going from the Chongqing airport to the customer who was somewhat out of town was very scenic.  Chongqing is different from the other Chinese mega cities I have been in because it is built around some small mountains that are heavily covered with forest. (ie kind of like the Appalachians)  Therefore it is rather spread out and has more green space.  And as the last time I was there, they are putting up 30 story apartment/condo buildings everywhere. Thus my pet name for China... "The Land of 1 million Tower Cranes"

It looks something like these pictures I found on line.
Pic 1   Pic 2   Pic 3

And if you have visions of a backward China, check out the nice shack I had to stay at...  It was really roughing it...Hotel Hengda  The worst things about it was that it had 0 English speaking TV channels and I was only there 1 night, therefore I assume most of it's client are usually Chinese as they were during my stay.


Ps. Back to the topic of my post...  Apparently the Chinese government is telling it's citizens that the Hong Kong rallies are being sponsored by us Americans for some reason...  And those folks are likely to believe it because they have been raised on this type of misinformation since birth...


Anonymous said...

#1. Honest to goodness, I am beyond shocked that you approve of a policy that not only requires abortion, but also typically results in female fetuses being aborted at a higher rate than male fetuses. And ALL of this coming as a directive from the government.

Dear God, to what degree must you contort your principles to even remotely agree with this?


Laurie said...

I wonder what would happen if China eased up on the censorship. Would there be massive protests? Are people highly unhappy with their govt?

Is the one child policy still in effect do you know? Did your kids ever talk about the Shadow Children series of books? I only read the first one and it was pretty good (it's about forbidden and hidden third children)

John said...

First of all, abortions were not required if people were responsible when having sexual relations.

Second, I thought the Pro-Choice folks see abortion as a minimally invasive procedure with no victims.

Thirdly, how else would you like to curb the growth rate in the developing countries?
Population Growth Rate

Is it worse to force one child per woman, or to have people starving, fighting over scarce resources, dying violently, etc?

John said...

Please note that China has peaked whereas India keeps growing.
BBC China Population

As do Africa, Latin America, Oceania, etc...
Wiki Pop Growth

John said...

I really don't know what the "normal people" think, since I am working with engineering professionals who are fluent in 2 languages. My guess is they are doing pretty well as compared to many.

However, one must remember that the government has been controlling what the citizens hear and see since they were babies. And that message has been about nationalism, the government is good, some other countries are a threat, the government protects you, etc, etc, etc.

Now imagine if the people actually start to see people in other countries that are living better, have more freedoms, and they learn that there is no real threat posed by countries like the USA. I think the Oligarchy that is comprises China's government fears losing credibility, because if that happens all bets are off.

Yes I have read and own a few of them. They are very good.
Shadow Children

Sean said...

I did not previously respond in this thread, John.

John said...

Sorry guys, I meant Joel.

The dangers of commenting while distracted...

jerrye92002 said...

When we were there our guide had a very astute observation. He said you could tell how the Chinese were doing by what they wanted. Thirty years ago, he said, the dream of every family was to have a bicycle. 15 years ago, the dream was to have a refrigerator. Now, everybody wants a cell phone and a passport.

I've long said that if there were a nation suited to communism, China would be it because that is their natural culture. That their current government is socialist (not communist) doesn't matter because they have ignored the worst aspects of that economic system and are, in some ways, more capitalistic than Obama's USA. My biggest complaints were the suppression of religion and the complete lack of the notion of "personal space." The first I found objectionable government policy, the second an understandable but huge cultural difference.