Saturday, December 10, 2005

Inherit the Wind

It's interesting to note that the cited cause over the shootings of protesting farmers in Dongzhu, China is over land taken for wind farms. The Intelligence Summit says the compensation may have been pocketed by officials. It quotes Amnesty International's response in part: "There is lack of guidance from the central government about what kind of force is allowed to be used." Inadequate rules of engagement for shooting citizens internally. Way to go Amnesty. Tseming Yang at Citizen Yang says that while the Hong Kong papers have been following the incident there has been little coverage from Mainland Chinese media: "... something that I am especially troubled by ... is that many of the clashes ... have resulted from disputes about environment-related matters ...".


Here's what I've been able to find about the city of Dongzhou village, Shanwei city. This is where the recent shooting of protesters has taken place, according to the Epoch Times, which has very good coverage of the event including photos. Using the Falling Rain website, we can get the coordinates of the Shanwei city, which are: 22° 46' 60N 115° 20' 60E. The place is 81 NM northeast of Hong Kong and about 450 NM from Taiwan and appears, from Google Earth, to be a built up area along a deep water port near Honghai bay.

Consider stories like these from San Francisco, which talk about projects in the Chinese city where protesters were just shot:

"SAN FRANCISCO -- Entrepreneurs from China's Guangdong Province presented more than 150 business projects to potential American investors yesterday at the 2005 Hong Kong-Guangdong Business Conference in the U.S. ... The hotel was packed with 300 Chinese officials, including the Guangdong governor and mayors of all of the cities, and 600 business executives from America. ... Twenty-two officials from Shanwei attended the conference, including the mayor. ...

Huang brought pamphlets, video discs, and a thick business project book to introduce Shanwei city and its business opportunities. In the book were 180 business projects advertising foreign investment. The investment amounts for each project ranged from $ 100,000 to $50 million."

The odds are good that one of those investment proposals is going to require land on which some farmers happen to be raising a crop. Maybe it'll be for a wind farm. Well who knows?


The NYT's Howard French has a detailed accounts of the events in Dongzhou. Key sentences:

"From about 7 p.m. the police started firing tear gas into the crowd, but this failed to scare people ... At about 8 p.m. they started using guns, shooting bullets into the ground, but not really targeting anybody. Finally, at about 10 p.m. they started killing people." ... By the government's own tally, there were 74,000 riots or other significant public disturbances in 2004 alone, a big jump from previous years.

I'm willing to believe that the Chinese authorities are telling the truth when they say 'agitators' are behind the recent disturbances. French's story, with its references to community opposition to new power plants and filling in the bay and displacing fishermen, remind me of Saul Alinsky-style organizing campaigns. Normally, firing tear gas into a crowd will disperse it rapidly unless there are a committed cadre of leaders who will hold fast: hold fast even in the face of live firing.

Of course the word agitators is pejorative only in the eye of the beholder, as a press free with the use of the word 'insurgents' is prone to remind us. There's a high probability there are underground organizers of some sort in Dongzhou, and indeed, throughout industrializing southern China, and the really fascinating question is who they are and what they represent.

I think a Western community organizer, if he were candid, would have to say that whoever these Chinese underground dudes are, they are in the top rank. It's one thing to coordinate a pyro attack on a Starbucks Cafe in Seattle hoping to be carted away by fascist pig American policemen in the strobe effect of a dozen flashbulbs. That's only playing at organizing. It's another thing to sneak around in southern China against security forces that have never heard of the McCain Amendment and to stand fast against live ammo. That's the real thing.


Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

maybe that great wall of china does have serious cracks...

from that chemical spill that took out 9 million peoples water to the increase in birth defects in town' people surrounding certain factories, to riots about pollution...

can anyone say tibet?

can anyone say Islamic fundies?

12/10/2005 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Many Leftist groups, such as Amnesty International, find it hard to criticize the Chinese government for non-political, emotional reasons. The reason people join these types of groups in the first instance is because they believe in collective decision-making as a check on the (self interested) decision-making of individual free actors. They think that individuals are too greedy and only act to benefit themselves, while any action by the collective must naturally be for benefit of the collective. And of course since 'the collective' is just another way of saying 'all the little people', what's best for the collective must be (by definition) the 'greatest good for the greatest number'.

China being a (supposedly) Communist State then resonates with their intuitions about how a society should be run, despite the hiccups. After all, no government is perfect. Even Federal Republics still get the occassional Kelo decision or Abu Graib. If we can Court Martial the soldiers at Aby Graib while forgiving the American system for putting those individuals in uniform, can't we do the same for China in this case?

The fallacy in the above argument is the assumption that the Chinese government somehow represents the interests of the collective; that it somehow actually results in the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number. On some measures, it actually does achieve this (particularly in the business sectors which specialize in import/ manufacture/ export). In certainly does not do so with respect to human rights; which is what makes Amesty's position in this case so dramatic.

It's unfortunate that among Leftists, Christopher Hitchens is so alone in recognizing that governments (even Communist ones) can be captured by special interests, and that the power of the State can be turned to serve their ends. It's inevitable really, seeing as how fallible, self-interested individuals must be entrusted with the responsibilities to carry out the collective's administration. Their blindness to this is caused by Hope; the Hope that it really is possible somehow, somewhere to form a government which ensures 'fair outcomes' for all. Freedom and fair opportunity aren't enough to satisfy them. They want results, and they want to believe that it's possible to get them.

I pity them really, while recognizing how they can be dangerous. Sheriff Tate, your rifle please.

12/10/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" "... something that I am especially troubled by ... is that many of the clashes ... have resulted from disputes about environment-related matters ...."
Land Reform by any other name is still Land Reform.
...and eggs at the point of a gun will always get broken.

12/10/2005 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If the Chicoms were only as enlightened as some of our Supremes, they could have a more orderly approach to
Eminent Domaine.
Perhaps someday they'll take their lead from the Justices and Cite same as the new law of the land.
Souter could settle it.

12/10/2005 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Arlington - Today.

12/10/2005 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Nice photos, Doug.

Amnesty really comes through, doesn't it? The Chinese steal their people's land, shoot them when they protest, and Amnesty's right on top of it with a beef about how the rules of engagement are not clear! How humanitarian of them.

12/10/2005 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Doug: the 'Eminent Domain' question isn't over yet... Americans are seeing the current abuses, and will take back the power.

Wretchard & Friends,
Living in Bangkok and lecturing to top business folks on International Marketing, I come in contact with 'Chinese Worries' frequently.

But I assure them to investigate the truth for themselves: the 7:1 marriage-age-Male/Female ratio is just reaching flashpoint! When IT creates real friction, it'll ignite the OTHER ready tinder, namely:

1)shortage of clean water to DRINK; 5 of China's 7 major rivers are seriously polluted; tens of millions are threatened daily with loss of potable water;

2)widespread government corruption, with the 'Comrades' in power taking as much as they can grab, from everyone seen as too small to stop them; hence the Windfarm Wars;

3)unwieldy government stifling initiative: China REQUIRES 32 separate permissions for a foreign company to do business in-country, and REQUIRES that they be granted serially, not in parallel; (a senior airline executive related the SEVERE difficulties this created, alone);

4)inefficient banking makes it nearly impossible for foreign companies to repatriate their earnings, which reduces the enthusiasm for investing in China which has further sequellae;

5)China, TODAY, needs at least 55,000 competent middle managers to do business around the world. It HAS less than 3,500!

These are the tip of the ChiCom iceberg. Communism and centralized government are NOT sufficient or appropriate for this day and age. Unless and until China resolves these inequalities in the Workers' Paradise of Middle Kingdom, it will remain the Muddle Kingdom!

12/10/2005 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Pat Bay said...

I don't think I would describe this as an environment-related matter, as the dispute was not over pollution or environmentalism per se, but rather over compensation instead.

Presumably, had the govt been taking the land for other reasons, even for example to make a non-profit wilderness park out of it, the underlying dispute would have been the same.

12/10/2005 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

For Carridine:
. Don Ho has procedure - ,
Legendary Hawaiian crooner Don Ho was recovering Wednesday at a hospital in Thailand after undergoing an innovative stem-cell procedure for his ailing heart ...
Should be some kind of Orange Alert, at least, since according to the article, them scientists in Tel Aviv are having his vital bodily fluid sent from Thailand for them to mess with. Some kind of "Solution" that is. Milk and Honey indeed.

"He felt well enough, but his pacer sometimes would go off in his chest and scare the hell out of him," close friend Ed Brown told the Associated Press.
"That's a difficult thing to live with right in the middle of 'Tiny Bubbles
Old Ed has a real way with words - knows there's no Hope for Ho if those tiny bubbles show up for real in the wrong place.

12/10/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Back when I used to hang around with tribespeople, I'd come across instances when landgrabbers would use some politically correct excuse to run folks off their land. In that sense events like this are not about environmentalism. But huckersters everywhere know what the hottest excuse for shady behavior is. Some use the "War on Terror" alibi; using some Save the Earth justification is even better. I wouldn't be surprised if this China thing was really about a connected clique making money at the expense of the farmers. My guess is the windmills in the power farm are probably a scam too.

12/10/2005 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The wise Chinese Totalitarian Government will demand an update to the Rules of Engagement...

They thought they fixed 'em after Tiananmen Square!

Maybe they will invite 'Amnesty International' and 'Human Rights Watch' to help them carefully craft the new legeslation. There are rumors of secret prisons and abuse though - just rumors... I'm certain AI, HW, and the UN will not worry too much about rumors...

Nothing to see here, this way...
Nothing to see here, move along...

12/10/2005 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...


Who was paying for this Wind Power? Is this a good wind power region, or is it a boondoggle?

12/10/2005 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

I wish I knew where to find a wind map. The area has to be at least class 6 to be feasible. There are not many of these regions in the world.

What kind of turbines? Who was to provide them? GE? Number? Location? Expected capacity? Where would the power go?

12/10/2005 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

BTW, this is one example of why I don't worry too much about the almighty economic and military threat of a resurgent China...

China liberalizes and resurges...

Next they 'reassert' their kleptocracy...

It is difficult to have a modern military and an inventive population and an entrepreneurial business climate when the government starts demanding protection money or embarks on coercive crackdowns.

You need all that to be a threat to the Anglo-Sphere and the West...

Gota see the kitty in the vet hospital - some of you thought I was kidding... What's that falling out of my wallet...

12/10/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard says,
"My guess is the windmills in the power farm are probably a scam too."
20 Years ago, Maui had a wonderful landmark within view of two of it's busiest highways. 8 story tall turbine, manufactured in Denmark I believe, that rarely ran, then over the next decade fell into disrepair, and was finally removed from view and scrapped.
Situated near Maalaea Harbor, Hawaii, one of the world's premier spots for reliable high velocity winds.
...turns out the giant blades had an unfortunate resonant frequency, and would slowly tear the thing apart.
I met a guy involved with the scam while viewing a smaller scale scam on Lanai.
This was unbeknownst to me at the time, but on the way home in a workboat with him, I was as usual telling the recipient/new owner of the scam what I thought of the setup.
At that time a large wave broke over the bow of the boat, pounding us all.
The scammer could not resist making some comment about the Sea refuting my claim to be a disinterested friend/observer!

12/10/2005 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Concur yr Analysis: the underlying problem here is in the attitudes, policies and actions of one group of people (empowered ChiCom clique) towards another group (disenfranchised powerless farmers): its a problem of the human spirit, hence a spiritual problem, and won't be solved -nay, CAN'T be solved- with political solutions.

This underlines why all humankind can benefit by studying the spiritual empowerment available to humans in the explicit Teachings of the Glory of God, the Lord of Hosts: Baha'u'llah.

"The Best-Beloved of all things in My sight is Justice: turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me."

12/10/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Boghie: EGGS Ackley!

Whatever the China Question IS, is up for grabs, but it ISN'T a monolithic, immensely powerful, supra-national, laser-focused superpower anywhere NEAR the United States...

We'll have world peace before China gets its 'unfortunate resonant frequencies' balanced out in a harmonious manner... (thanks, Doug!)

12/10/2005 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"the image of an army of 100 million 10 year olds who could solve math I could barely follow instantaneously."
Most of us that have seen your posts over time hold your intelligence in high regard, Dan,
...but really,
to "instantaneously follow an army of 100 million young mathematicians" seems a bit of a stretch.
That just don't add up, even in Louis Farakahn's universe of immaginary numbers.

12/10/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The Chinese were no Romans."

Recalling my interchange with Piercello in the previous thread, the Chinese suffered the disadvantage of that little picture book language, not having English, much less Latin, to think with.
...the argument against this view being that they now graduate more English speaking Engineers than we do!
But what a cruel world even for engineers, to be deprived of God's beautiful gift of the fairer sex.
What's a Peking MacRib Sandwich worth to an affluent young man if he has no 'Rib to share the experience with?

Ok, I'll stop now. Sorry.

12/10/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Momentous: Brian Lamb takes calls from servicemen in Iraq to get their opinion on the war and the media coverage of the entire hour.

It's at, Washington Journal 12-9-05 (halfway down).

12/10/2005 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Remember Tiananmen Square .

By Michelle Malkin
· May 05, 2005 11:48 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Pat Oliphant will be the first American editorial cartoonist published in China by a Chinese-language newspaper, Universal Press Syndicate said Thursday.
Oliphant, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1967, is expected to begin appearing in The Beijing Youth Daily within the next month, Universal said.
The message will be that "this is the way you should talk to your leaders and about your leaders," Oliphant said.
"The way leaders should be criticized."
An interesting choice.
Oliphant's way of criticizing our leaders, you'll recall, includes drawing Secretary of State Condi Rice as a buck-toothed, thick-lipped, dark-skinned parrot.
Think he'll be as brutal now towards China's leaders in the pages of the Beijing Youth Daily?
. Oliphant smears the Swift Boat Vets .
Oliphant: Remember Tiananmen Square

12/10/2005 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger PhilippinesPhil said...

The Beijing Olympics are less than three years away. Has that affected the "goings on" behind the "bamboo curtain?" Will it make things worse for the pissed-off, powerless peasant class as Chinese officials strive to shut them up and keep them out of sight?

China seems to be embracing the nastiest aspects of capitalism while combining them with the worst of unprincipled communism. Unfortunately, the "crimes against humanity" currently being perpetrated against poor provincial Chinese will mostly go unnoticed, or will be simply ignored, mostly out of political expediency by BOTH the conservatives and greens throughout the world. It's easier and more acceptable to demonstrate against the USA than against the "unhearing" PRC.

Personally, I think I'll boycott watching the Olympics in 2008, since I caanot afford NOT to buy Chinese products too! Hey, I've got no choice; I'm on a fixed income. It's that "expediency thing" again.

12/10/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

The news media and many environmental blogs are reporting that the US has been isolated, shamed and defeated at Kyoto. It's a story full of drama where the conference seemed on the verge of despair until former President Clinton gave a magnificent speech, which convinced most that a post-2008 administration would almost certainly embrace Kyoto. For more particulars, see this link. But if you read the fine print, the conferees simply decided to continue talking; and they claimed for their victory the reduction in Greenhouse Gases in the collapsed Eastern bloc economies.

My own view is that the Montreal conference succeeded as an act of faith. You have got it all. The dark night of despair; the arrival of the Promised One; the exorcism of the Great Satan. All this without religion, too. Some of the more practical environmentalists believe that while the answers and action aren't there yet, the important goal was to establish environmental change control firmly as valid a policy object. And in that they've succeeded, though many will readily admit it's a journey in search of a destination, or perhaps a destination in want of a route.

12/10/2005 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


China of course, is giving the Greenies the hives, but they're afraid to scratch. China's burgeoning energy appetite is directly correlated to Greenhouse Gases increases and it's almost painful to watch the climate controllers dance around this issue. But what it also does, with respect to your points, is make China increasingly dependent on imported oil. Once those refineries, factories and shopping malls starting hitting on all 8 cylinders they gotta keep going. Nothing worse than building a factory only to shut it down. China's energy lifeline snakes through the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, across the Malay barrier and past the Philippines (South China Sea) and Taiwan (East China Sea). Is this good or bad?

12/10/2005 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...


"China's energy lifeline snakes through the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, across the Malay barrier and past the Philippines (South China Sea) and Taiwan (East China Sea). Is this good or bad?"

It's fine as long as America, Britain, and Australia control the seas...

To me it looks like a potential arms race...
1. Is America going to permit another power to conrol those sea lanes?
2. Is China going to permit another power to conrol those sea lanes.
3. Is Japan going to permit China to conrol those sea lanes?

Hhhhmmmmm... But then again, warships are very complicated things. And they seem on the verge of a generational change that will obsolete those that came before.

12/10/2005 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger sunguh5307 said...

It could take another ten years, but I doubt it- most people seem so convinced that China will be the next thing you can't get a word in otherwise, like Cedarford seems to be suggesting. It's amazing, the suggestion that there are a few things wrong unnerves people. Demographics influence but don't determine shit. I could tell you not to get hooked on Walmart, they'll go down with them too, but what's the point!

Wretchard, your depiction of an egg is quite apt. But we all have quite a way to go before talking about chickens or omelettes, only time will tell.

12/11/2005 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

UN rights chief: 'war on terror' is violating ban on torture . doubt she'll soon have lots to say about China. Ha!

The absolute ban on torture, a cornerstone of international human rights, is becoming a casualty of the so-called "war on terror" through loosened legal definition, secret detention, handover of prisoners without adequate safeguards and other practices, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said yesterday.
"Governments are watering down the definition of torture, claiming that terrorism means established rules do not apply anymore," Ms. Arbour continued.

She called on all Governments to reaffirm their commitment to the absolute prohibition of torture by condemning torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and prohibiting it in national law.

US Ambassador John Bolton criticized Arbour for speaking out about alleged US mistreatment of imprisoned suspected terrorists. Bolton, instead of addressing the Arbour concerns, accused Arbour of not focusing attention on major human-rights abusers such as Cuba, Burma and Zimbabwe.

Bolton said yesterday that it was "disappointing that (Arbour) has chosen to talk about press commentary about alleged American misconduct ... It is inappropriate and illegitimate for an international civil servant to second-guess the conduct that we're engaged in in the war on terror with nothing more as evidence than what she reads in the newspapers."

12/11/2005 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I collated and ordered some excellent, footnoted rebuttals for C4, but hey!

If he WANTS to see things differently, he will, of his own accord and by his own volition. Until then, the weaknesses of the Chinese System limned out (above) in my previous post are still valid, real and OBSTRUCTIVE of social/pragmatic progress in China!

12/11/2005 03:30:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

IN ten years, China has gone from producing less engineers and scientists to 6 times more, and have just surpassed America in producing hard science PhDs. Exceptional, too, more Asians now take those PhDs in America than native born Americans do.

I wouldn't worry about that. Most of my complacency is based upon anecdotal evidence, but I am confident that America will not suffer a crisis of knowledge and expertise.

For instance: a Tibetan student I know who is over here getting an engineering degree. He kids us all the time about him finding an American wife to marry so he can stay here after he graduates. The earnestness in his eyes is heartbreaking when he talks about how lucky the rest of us are to be citizens in what he calls "the land of freedom."

I am not disputing the fact that many Chinese students arrive in America with nationalistic fervor and great pride in being Chinese. Many of these students are honoring their family and honoring their country by getting a first-rate education in America, and many of these students will not look back when they leave.

But many will look back. It is very similar to the greek myth of Orpheus, except these Orpheuses, these dynamos of their trade, are not leaving Hell, they are leaving heaven. The stakes are the same, though.

America is the great solvent. Once you let your guard down, once you look back in a moment of doubt, it is only a matter of time until the solvent breaks down all ties that bind. I have seen it happen. The longing starts while you are here, and it is relentless.

12/11/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


And they would have to organize in a place where there exists no freedom of assembly or association.

12/12/2005 05:51:00 PM  

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