17 October, 2016
22 September, 2016
Fidel Castro is renowned for his hours-long speeches (to which I would have loved to listen). But he is by no means the only communist leader who could regale an audience for hours on end. In May of 1927, Stalin made these opening comments to the students of Sun Yat-Sen University:
Comrades, unfortunately, I can devote only two or three hours to today’s talk. Next time, perhaps, we shall arrange a longer conversation.
19 September, 2016
And a series of articles in the People’s Daily analyse the USA as a ‘source of turmoil in the world’. It is keen both to make a mess and to brainwash the elites in some non-Western countries. To a large degree, this is ‘a reflection of a twisted mentality of an empire moving downhill’.
15 September, 2016
Strange how I need to read Chinese newspapers to find out details about the major joint naval exercises between China and Russia in the South China Sea. As I have pointed out before, their increasing closeness is perhaps the major geopolitical development in recent years.
How about this for an image (from Xinhua News):
12 September, 2016
I keep having a gut feeling that Trump will pull it off in the circus called ‘US democracy’. Yesterday, I had a somewhat interesting argument with an evangelist for the the ‘American dream’, for ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ – US imperialist style (this person is working in China). Our disagreements ranged over the DPRK (North Korea), China and the struggle between Trump and Clinton in the United States.
At one point, he said that he wishes three things for the disgruntled, exploited and shafted people of the central and southern parts of the USA:
- That they be educated and moved to the vicinity of the major hubs in the northeast and western parts.
- That they die off.
- That a country would attack the United States and obliterate them.
I couldn’t help thinking that this is precisely the attitude that will ensure such denigrated people will support Trump.
8 September, 2016
This week has seen one of the more nasty and ugly developments in Australian politics, and that is saying something. In a classic case of dog-whistle politics, a senator was accused of accepting donations from a Chinese businessman, which implied that his positive comments on China had been ‘bought’. ‘Manchurian candidate’ is the term bandied about, with both racist and anti-communist undertones. Then of course the university China research centres that offer a more positive view of China have been accused of similar tendencies. So what is going on here? Fear of geopolitical shifts? Somewhat. Lack of adequate political representation of the diversity in Australia? Again, true enough. But deeper down is the stoking of an old theme in Australian politics: the fear of the ‘yellow peril’, which was and is also a fear of communism (the weird thing about this is that most immigrants these days come from Asia). Add to this that the one who has been accused is an Australian of Iranian background and another layer is added. By comparison, the regular reporting on internal political matters, from within a political party, to the CIA is not regarded as a threat.
For what it is worth, when I am asked why I like coming to China (where I am now), I respond: I like the food, the culture, the history, the people, the chaotic excitement of the rapid changes everywhere around me, but above all the fact that the communist party is the government.