Tag Archives: China

China Confronts Health Care Issues

A Chinese population which now exceeds a billion people has yet to confront issues of how to provide health care to such a large group. The Chinese government at the launch of World Health Day announced a three year program to expand health care throughout the country. For decades, under Chinese communism a vast social welfare system guaranteed people they would receive government aid, but as that system has been dismantled there is yet to emerge a new one geared to life in semi-capitalist China. The basic premise of the new approach is to provide basic health-care as a public service. In moving toward such a goal there must be enormous expenditures in terms of facilities and a medical staff that could meet the needs of China.

It remains to be seen whether the new initiative is more than pious words expressed to meet world complaints or will it be a serious effort to ensure every person has access to decent health care.

North Korea And Missiles- What Next?

North Korea announced plans to fire a rocket which it claims is carrying a satellite and there are no weapons connected with it. A senior American military official says there is nothing to doubt the accuracy of the North Korean claim about their space launch. However, there is genuine concern and President Obama discussed the issue with President Medvedev of Russia and supposedly both agreed they did not want North Korea to be sending missiles into the air. Even the Chinese who are close to North Korea have some concerns. The issue is whether to have the Security Council impose sanctions on North Korea if it pursues its missile program. The flip side is would China support sanctions against an ally even if it does not agree completly with the the idea of satellites.

Hopefully, after the years of Bush confusion President Obama will work with Russia and China to develop an intelligent foreign policy program that reassures North Korea while working for peace and stability in Asia.

Taiwan Still Problem Between US And China

It is now over a half century since the defeated forces of General Chiang Kai-shek left the mainland of China and sought refuge in Taiwan. The Communist world of the 1940s is not the world of today in which the United States and China are important economic partners but issus about Taiwan continue to crop up. In 1979, the United States Congress passed legislation requiring America to provide Taiwan arms of a defensive nature. Again this year Congress returned to this piece of legislation to once again express its view of its necessity. The Chinese government has every right to become angry at interference in the internal affairs of another nation.

The solution for Taiwan is clear– recognize it is part of historic China and then become an autonomous functioning part of the nation with its current freedoms intact and the right to continue conducting its economy as has been done in the past. It is time to put this problem to rest.

China Googles Along Without You Tube

Millions may be afraid to anger the power of YouTube, but the Chinese government is making clear it will not be intimidated by any upstart organization which dares to challenge the 3,000 year old dynasty that is known as China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry made clear that YouTube will not be available for the inhabitants of its nation. According to a spokesperson Qin Gang, “many people have the false impression that the Chinese government fears the Internet. In fact, it is just the opposite.” So there, all you rabble rousers who present these weird ideas about freedom of speech and press! Of course, there are 300,000,000 people in China who daily access the Internet and sites like YouTube. Since early March, access to YouTube has ben spotty.

Since January, there has been a crackdown on the Internet. It may partly stem from fears the anniversary of the Tibetan conflict last year would be used by Internet sources to stir up anger against China. As always in fights with the force of Internet, there may be a temporary victory, but the power of communication will never be stifled.

US Among Top Five In Executions

The United States has gained the dubious distinction of being among the top five nations in the world which continue to execute people. China which has carried out three fourths of executions in the world stands by its self at the top of the list. All told, 2,390 people were legally killed in the world and since China executes for such horrible crimes as tax-evasion or bag-snatching there is no other nation able to keep pace with the sounds of guns firing at prisoners. Iraq, which last year killed 34 people, has another 128 prisoners waiting for the executioner. Iran, as usual, stands high on the list and has executed eight prisoners who were age 18 at the time of their deaths. Among the methods of killing people in the first decade of the 21st century are, hanging, beheading, stoning and lethal injections. People in this century certainly don’t want to lag behind our ancestors in killing prisoners.

When all is said and done, five nations have reached the pinnacle of execution success and they include, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States. Of course, former Governor George Bush of Texas never knew an execution he couldn’t sanction. Fortunately, since 1973, at least 130 prisoners who were awaiting execution were freed due to DNA testing and review of their trials.

South Africa Denies Visa To Dalai Lama

The South African government has denied a visa to Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama on grounds, “it would not be in the best interests of South Africa.” The government claimed such a visit would detract from it being the host country for the 2010 World Cup. Of course, the denial of a visa has nothing to do with soccer or a World Cup, but it has everything to do with huge Chinese investments on the African continent and a desire to attract such investments to South Africa. The Nobel prize committee said it would not participate in a conference in South Africa unless the country reconsiders its decision to deny the 1989 peace prize laureate, Dalai Lama an entry visa. Several prominent South Africans such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu said they would not attend the conference in light of a visa denial for the Tibetan leader.

Africa is moving ever steadily into the economic sphere of the Chinese. They are investing huge amounts of money and linking their economy with raw materials from Africa. As the United States fights in Iraq and Afghanistan, China uses the opportunity to move into Africa and South America. George Bush has proven to be a savior for Chinese economic expansion.

Racism in China

One of the ongoing myths in the area of multiculturalism is the supposed entity named “people of color” or whatever this expression means. One can assume in means people who have darker skin colors somehow share similar experiences. Africans who have gone to China have encountered the exact opposite situation. They are harassed and persecuted in ways that would not be tolerated in most “white” societies. Many African visitors in China told reporter, Willem Offenberg, “they come like a thief in the night, bang on the door of your hotel room and ask for your identify card. Whoever cannot identify themselves in taken away.” Almost every African living in China with whom he spoke emphasized “we don’t have any rights here, we are treated like dirt.” Actually, from the mid eighties when African students could still study for free in China, there were constant reports about them being harassed and insulted by the average Chinese person.

Mr. Offrenberg discovered many bars and hotels will not accept African customers and it is not uncommon for police raids to hit African areas on the assumption they are into drugs and crime. A receptionist responded to his inquiry as to whether she could ever marry an African with, “have you gone mad? .. with Europeans, that’s a different story.”

It is time to cease using expressions such as “people of color” because they have no meaning in the modern world.

How To Antagonize Communist China?

It does not take much to arouse the anger of Chinese Communist leaders — just mention the word–Tibet and say something negative about Chinese rule of the area. The House of Representatives passed a resolution, one among the many that are daily voted on, and made reference to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and denial of basic rights to have a voice in their own governance. China Daily apparently does not know the difference between a “resolution” and a “bill” since it charged the House had passed a bill concerning Tibet. In essence, the China Daily story, sums up its nation’s interpretation of events as follows: Tibet was governed by feudal minded religious leaders but once Chinese troops ended “serfdom” in Tibet it ushered in an era of social and economic progress– much like America in the fifties according to Chinese officials.

The Chinese government has a propensity to exaggerate the “interference” by outside nations in the internal affairs of China. Instead of granting people in Tibet some local autonomy which would then justify Chinese occupation, the Communist Party only knows one way of responding to any criticism– you are wrong and we are right, you have never been right and we have never been wrong. It may well play great in Communist Party meetings, but it bores the rest of the world.

A Chinese Version Of Tibet

As Tibet commemorates the events of last year in which many people expressed their opposition to the Chinese occupation of their nation, the Chinese government made clear it has a different version of the events. Once upon a time the people of Tibet were serfs and slaves who obeyed religious leaders until Chinese soldiers arrived to end their feudal lives and grant all people freedom. Naturally, the reactionary forces of the Dalai Lama tried to halt the spread of democracy but the people of Tibet would not back down on their desire for the freedom that was brought to them by Chinese soldiers. The version has some elements of truth since there is no question feudal ideas were still prevalent in Tibet and religious leaders wielded power. But, for most Tibetans, the arrival of Chinese occupation forces was not a welcome change in their lives.

The Chinese government has an incredible ability to shoot themselves in the foot of publicity. Their press releases still claim the Dalai Lama wants Tibet to secede from China and is trying to use force to accomplish his goals. The Dailai Lama is a realist who understands the solution must be political and entail maintenance of being part of China. If Chinese leaders had any sense of public relations they would welcome the Dalai Lama and invite him to work for creation of a compromise that keeps Tibet as part of China but allows the flexibility that was given to Hong Kong.

Can China Help In Afghanistan?

China increasingly has been confronting problems with its Muslim minority which ordinarily is found in western areas of the nation including border areas which are next to Afghanistan. NATO and the United States are urging China to become more involved in the military situation in Afghanistan since it benefits its own interests in crushing Muslim insurgencies. There is also considerable interest in using supply routes that would go through China and avoid worrying about insurgents on the border of Pakistan who constantly harass the shipment of supplies from that nation into Afghanistan. Until now China has been supportive of the Afghanistan government, but hesitant to get involved in any military action.

It is ironic that both Russia and China, are now being asked by the West to examine its own self interests by fighting to crush Muslim insurgents. There is also hope that somehow China might be willing to offer its own soldiers to fight in Afghanistan. A collapse of the current Afghan government would have serious consequences for China since it might inspire Muslims across the border to initiate an insurgency against the Chinese government.