What Chinese are talking about … (1)

 I hope this will become an occasional post, based on what I hear on the ground. 

 

Shaolin Monks, originators of Kung Fu, Kneel to Chinese Government

Shaolin Buddhist monks, the world famous monks of astounding feats of athletic skill, concentration, and mind over body, originators of the martial art of kung fu, have indicated their subservience to the Chinese government in a ceremony held at their home temple in Dengfeng County in Henan Province.  This is a first in 1500 years, that the monks would indicate political subservience.

 

All photos: http://english.sina.com/china/s/2018-08-28/detail-ihifuvpi1509972.shtml

 

August 28, 2018 - Beijing: Shaolin Temple raises the red flag  by Kirsty Needham  (China correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald)

Health Care Crisis

Some of you have read prior posts here on health care, the good, the bad, and the unbelievable.   Now comes the New York Times with a feature on the Crisis in Health Care in China, focusing on the shabby treatment of doctors and patients in the medical system.  As I noted in Hospital Rules (see the Health, Education, Welfare tag adjacent, to the right), the system optimizes for neither patients nor practitioners. 

The video in the NYT piece shows a man making home-made drugs for his mother, who has stage 3 cancer.  She has insurance, but cannot get coverage for drugs that are far too expensive to buy commercially.  If her insurance works as I think it does, she would have to buy the drugs, pay for them, and then get part reimbursement by the insurance company at some later date. 

No Way Out from the Middle Kingdom

You remember the movie, with Kevin Kostner as the exemplary US Navy officer-special assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Gene Hackman).  The plot twists around search for a purported Russian spy in the US, codenamed Yuri, who has been able to infiltrate the Navy at the highest levels.  Following several plot twists, Kostner is ultimately left with no way out – he cannot be seen in public, as he will be implicated in a murder; and he does not want to return to his homeland, which he has not seen for at least twenty years.  He has no safe place to go, and no way out of his predicament.

Was Democracy Just A Moment?

This is the title of a 1997(!) Atlantic piece by Robert Kaplan, the foreign correspondent and advisor to various elements of US defense and foreign affairs institutions.   I have long recommended the piece as a warning against American complacency about the health of our own democracy, and the futility of promoting democracy in places without the cultural means to sustain it - Russia and China being  prime examples.  Again, strongly recommended -

Robert Kaplan.  Was Democracy Just A Moment?  Atlantic Magazine, December, 1997.

The global triumph of democracy was to be the glorious climax of the American Century. But democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world—or even the one that will prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom.

Intimidation Knows No Boundaries

This direct threat to a New Zealand academic - her office and home invaded -  is part of the intimidation pattern – transition from hard power to soft power to sharp power.  CCP is always watching.  In this case, Anne Marie Brady has studied Chinese politics, and recently wrote a report describing Chinese government infiltration in New Zealand politics, education, and media.

 What comes after Don’t Be Evil?

 

From a comment of mine in 2015 - We are in the crackdown on foreigners in China (for foreigners, one might read, Americans).  When access to the internet is largely blocked for me, even with a VPN, access for many of my German students is still good.  Perhaps spotty, perhaps needing a couple of different VPN to get around, but it works.

 

Google's problems in China began in 2010, when it began redirecting searches to its Hong Kong site to get around blocking on the mainland.  After some negotiations, and fits and starts on blocking of gmail, Google chose to leave China rather than submit to censorship.  Those were the old days.  To  be fair, Google was doing some light blocking of its own at that time, and the issue as reported was the hacking of the gmail accounts of activists within China, presumably by the government.