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Barry from Australia is a questioning soul who looks at social issues from an alternative point of view and instead of asking, “Why?”, he asks “Why not?” He’s convinced that many of his previous incarnations were spent in China. He feels drawn to the people there; attracted by their rich culture and way of life. If given one wish from God, he’d reply, “I want everyone on Earth to be the same colour, speak the same language, and treat each other as they themselves would like to be treated.”
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My China Trip - Day 22, Part 4 我的中国之行-第22天,第4部分    

By Barry Pittman
6634 Views | 49 Comments | 1/16/2015 1:10:32 PM
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#2015-04-26 16:53:02 by olayoil @olayoil

本不想过多参与,就污染 我想说明我的观点
工业对中国的重要暂且不说,搞工业难免有污染
面对污染,政府今年密集的水十条在四月已出,
土十天也将在本年出台
治理也无非是个钱的事情
大气污染大概治理再有个十五年就差不多了。
水污染可能需要三十年
土壤治理难点,估计五十 ,一百年。
日本的严重核污染,地表括走一层,当低放射性废料存起来。水泥沥青地面用高压水枪打,直到辐射值低过厚生省的环境标准。

客观去分析评价,不要你所在的国家媒体所洗脑。

#2015-04-26 17:02:09 by olayoil @olayoil

如果有人不同意,中国有严重的污染问题,他们忽略了明显的事实。醒醒吧,中国!
===============================================
不要低估中国领导们的智慧,否则如何安然度过 美国 欧洲的造成的全球金融危机?

我们在经济转型的同时,也在努力发展核电、 风电 、 太阳能,也在寻求石油替代,也在努力发展页岩气。
相反西方的发展,他的进程也是有原罪的,基本原始资本积累手段就是从 掠夺、贩奴、贩毒、矿产、石油、商路或航路上的要地等等

如今中国要发展,西方却又开始制出碳排放量种种手段,媒体更是大肆宣传我们的水深火热,想想他们的过去,我不由的仰天笑了。。。。。

#2015-04-26 17:29:27 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

For everyone who has little patience for reading more than a sentence, here is my short form comment:

Barry and @anonymous13285, IMHO your comments criticizing the current Chinese government are unfounded, uneducated and somewhat braindead. (finger) (Don't take offence, I've always wanted to use that emoticon and just couldn't resist)

For the rest of you, hopefully including Barry and @anonymous13285, here is my long form comment discussing the issue in great detail:

Barry, I am sorry, but I held off my usual first comment when a blog is posted because I found some of your comments a little... well, concerning. I wanted to take a breath and really consider some things carefully before wading in. The comments of @anonymous13285 and @Christopher53 have meanwhile only added to my concerns.

However, I do see this as a real opportunity to address a few things here on the blogs that might really open up our minds and our awareness as to what is really happening in China right now. So now I am wading in.

You constantly say how much you treasure that your writing provokes comment and discussion, regardless of whether or not that discussion is positive or negative as to your own statements, so remember that as things proceed. (handshake)

But first a question or two to clarify where you get your impressions of what is taking place in China currently regarding all the hot button issues of importance to the world at large, such as pollution, the economy, good government, corruption, etc.

You said this, and it intrigues me:

"Some of my perceptions were extremely positive. Others were quite the opposite. I wanted to talk about this to Tina yet I felt she wouldn’t really be interested."

Barry, I have never met a Chinese person of any education and intelligence who doesn't want to discuss the current state of China on all topics of interest that are important to people anywhere in the world. Yes, girls from the country who are busy prostituting themselves in the bars of Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen in order to support their families back home may not much care about these things, but that is no less true of girls in Berlin, New York, Sydney, London, Toronto or any other city in the world who are busy surviving through any means.

But Chinese women generally, such as, for example, the very intelligent women frequenting our forum, are ever so willing to talk about these things. This was true 12 years ago and is true now. But even more so now because of the current Chinese Government's amazing record on change.

My own wife, who is educated, who has in the past been a severe critic of China (specifically the Chinese government), and who has the benefit of 20 years living in your own home city of Brisbane, Australia, cannot stop herself on a daily basis of talking about the current state of the Chinese government and all the positive things they are bringing about in China these days.

And yet after all this time together you and Tina haven't talked about it and you're afraid too??? :o

I realize that, partly to my own negligence, this posting is published way after the events you are describing in it, and you and Tina are surely discussing these things now, but just the same I am startled that after all your time spent getting to know each other at the time you are describing her Tina had not been discussing with you at her own insistence the problems with pollution in China, the problems with corruption, the overwhelming focus of China on economic development at all cost and the failure of previous Chinese governments to deal with these matters.

I repeat, I have not met one intelligent, educated person in China, male or female, who wasn't insistent on discussing these things since the day I arrived in 2002. At that time they all wanted to discuss how bad things were and how bad their government had been. Now they all want to discuss how much things are improving at such an incredible pace, and how amazingly good this current government is.

Based on everything you have written about her, Tina strikes me as a very intelligent Chinese woman. She seems open minded, forward thinking, and fully capable of thinking "outside the box". She seems exactly like the kind of Chinese woman, like my own wife, who would want to, neigh, would insist upon, discussing the features of China that you say you were reluctant to discuss because she might not be interested.

Are you kidding me???

No, that was not one of the actual questions. (giggle)

The questions are:

1. Is it possible that through your own force of personality and your own voicing of your opinions/thought/observations of what you were seeing in China that you were being so controlling of every discussion that Tina was reluctant to tell you her own thoughts on all these things, and you were thereby ignoring the absolute best source of information you could possibly have on the current state of the very things that were of such concern to you?

2. Besides observations of smog in China, bus rides on mountain highways and endless meanderings through public washrooms equipped with only squat toilets, what sources are you using to educate yourself on what China is doing today to improve itself and the lives of its people, if you are not discussing these very things with your intelligent and thoughtful Chinese girlfriend?

Be warned, my friend, that I ask these questions before proceeding on to the statement you have made that truly dumbfounded me, being:

"The Chinese government seemed obsessed with development at all costs."

@anonymous13285 repeated and even exaggerated it by saying "I too love China I but fear for the people as their government goes full speed with no environmental concern or for it's people."

(@Christopher53 - I have some serious bones to pick with you that I promise will come up in comments on this comment, so don't blank out. (wait))

Barry, where are you getting this stuff?

This statement seems so true of Chinese governments of the past, some of which were just blindly corrupt and/or useless, and some of which, such as that of Deng Xiaoping, were totally justified in "development at all cost" because without it China would still be a hopelessly impoverished and overpopulated third world country incapable of the massive changes currently being undertaken.

But it seems so blindly untrue of the current Chinese government that I am left shaking my head in bewilderment.

It is so easy to note the smog in the sky, the spitting in the streets, the eating of dogs and the smashing of a fish's head on the ground and say this is a flaw in China or Chinese culture and I don't like it. And if you say that most Chinese people will agree that these things must be changed. Most of them will openly agree and accept that there are many things China has been slow to correct, slow to evolve to a higher state of being, slow to improve.

But do not judge the current Chinese government by the symptoms of the past.

The current smog index has nothing to do with the current efforts of the Chinese government.

The centuries old custom of eating dog meat has nothing to do with the efforts of the current Chinese government.

The constant spitting in the streets (which was commonplace in your country, and mine, and in the USA around the time of our childhood) has nothing to do with the current efforts of the Chinese government.

Barry, if you are not being made aware of this by Tina, which truly astounds me, and @anonymous13285, if you are not being made aware of this by your Chinese lady with whom you are living, which equally astounds me, then perhaps the two of you are being too overwhelmingly, insufferably conscious of only your own concerns to appreciate theirs, because I am here to tell you that:

1. The Chinese people are generally incredulous at what a responsible, caring, concerned and proactive government the current Chinese government is.

2. They are amazed at the current efforts of their government to wipe out all forms of corruption in China.

3. They are delighted by the steps being taken by their government to fight pollution (steps I might add that were fought by the US and Canadian governments for many years as being too economically damaging for them to undertake, and that the US has only recently agreed to at the urging of China).

4. They are grateful for the many steps being taken by their government to diminish the suffering of the poor, to secure the financial security of the aged, to bring the rural areas up to the same financial status of the cities, to give all Chinese people the prospect of a safe, secure and prosperous future, and to generally spread the newfound wealth of China to all of its citizens. This government is about to bring universally free health care to 1.3 billion people. Read that last sentence again and think about it.

5. With fewer and fewer exceptions as time passes the people of China recognize that the current Chinese government is a gift that China has awaited for centuries.

Chinese people are excited, amazed and rightfully PROUD of their current government. They do not wish to hear statements such as:

"The Chinese government seemed obsessed with development at all costs."

"I too love China I but fear for the people as their government goes full speed with no environmental concern or for it's people."

They will tolerate complaints about pollution because pollution remains a problem in spite of all efforts to solve it and will remain a problem for years to come.

They will tolerate complaints about spitting in streets, eating dog meat, cruelty to animals, bad driving, blah, blah, blah, because those are problems of the past currently being resolved.

They will NOT tolerate, and in my humble opinion, nor should they, criticisms of a government they perceive as the best government China has likely ever had, and that I perceive along with them as likely the best government in the world today.

I suggest to you Barry, and to you @anonymous13285, that if you are unable to educate yourselves about what is really going on in China these days through the eyes of your Chinese women, then at least do so through a thorough search of world news. As diluted as the Western press is about good things in China, you still can't read the stuff that does make it out into our "free press" without realizing that China is at the forefront of good government today.

I ran two searches on Google.com on the following two topics because I find them especially revealing:

news about China's anti corruption efforts

news about China's anti-pollution efforts

Of course the results reflected amazing biases by the writers/publishers of each story, but I suggest that if you read the resulting sources with an open mind, you can't help thinking that the current Chinese government is really amazingly ahead of the rest of the world.

Pick your own searches for further evidence pro or con.

But in the meantime, don't insult people about something that they appear to be rightfully proud, simply because your head is still in the past. Today's pollution is yesterday's disease. Don't blame today's caregivers for yesterdays ills.

Having now completed what may be the record for the longest forum comment ever on any forum, but for sure on this forum, I hope and anticipate that the discussion will continue.

#2015-04-26 20:56:15 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

"your comments criticizing the current Chinese government are unfounded, uneducated and somewhat braindead."

Thank you for your comments, John. They made for an interesting read.

Though did you in turn read what I had said in my article? The wise words from that most enigmatic of characters, Marlon Brando in "Apocalypse Now"?

Please let me refresh your memory:

"You have the right to kill me. But you do not have the right to judge me”.


Having said this, I agree with much of what you say, yet please allow me to disagree also with part of what you said.

You said, for example:

"I have never met a Chinese person of any education and intelligence who doesn't want to discuss the current state of China on all topics of interest that are important to people anywhere in the world"

This is dead wrong. Sorry to be so blunt, but facts speak for themselves. I know more than one Chinese person who quite categorically, are NOT interested in discussing matters such as this. They're happy to discuss relatively mundane matters such as the price of bread or their family or children, but have very little interest in spending time talking about more weighty matters as they refer to China.

This also includes Tina. As you may have gathered from the past 40 odd articles I've written about her, she's an extraordinarily kind, caring and lovely lady. We have shared in excess of 2000 pages of QQ conversations and messages between us. Over this time, I have come to learn that any talk about serious issues re China she has little or no interest in.

This is an excerpt from one of our conversations, to show you what I mean:

Me: "Tina, do you enjoy talking with me about day to day life in China, covering topics such as pollution, population or how good or bad the government is? Or do you prefer to not discuss such things? What do you prefer to talk about usually?

Tina: "In China, there have many this and that question about government, such as contamination and corruption and many many similar question. When we face these questions, we have no power to change it, and in fact, the government is not so fair as their publicity. Talking about their darkness in public isn't good for us. Of course, now speech is more freedom than 20 years before in china. Maybe I am a woman, I do not like as many men all days curse the government when they drink together, in fact,they also do nothing to back the world, just talking big and complain. In my mind, I do not want often talking about is the government. Dark and unfair, when I talking about them,only let me unhappy.

Here's another recent excerpt from Tina:

"To me, I only do the thing that I can do, help the others that I can do, I have no interesting talking about big world. Just talking big words all day, it is no useful.
I want smile and friendly to every one, this thing I can do it. Let me do these small things every day..."

I could go on and on about this, giving multiple more excerpts along the same vein, but I won't bore you. Suffice to say there are in my view, a great many Chinese with no real interest in discussing important issues there. Perhaps this is often brought about by a feeling of powerlessness or wasting of time, as Tina suggested?

As for your other main point about the current government in China being better in many ways than previous ones, I agree with you. There's still huge amounts of corruption present, but reports suggest more action is being taken against this than ever before. Encouraging news indeed.

You also said,

"don't insult people about something that they appear to be rightfully proud"

Again, I put it to you that this is a sweeping generalisation that doesn't hold much water when properly tested. Why I say this is because I'm sure many Chinese are NOT insulted when I talk about major pollution problems there. They'd agree with me! You're treating them as simpletons or fools, if you really believe what you say, that Chinese are all necessarily "proud" of their country.

By the way, no one said it was all the current government's fault that pollution was rampant. I'm sure they're fighting it more forcefully than ever before. Yet by the same token, it's currently still increasing, not decreasing. So please don't kill the hapless messenger, simply because you don't like the message.

Cheers and best wishes. (y)

#2015-04-26 21:14:53 by Barry1 @Barry1

@belle777

"中国现在污染严重,不过正常的西方男人,是要来网络交友,不会拿这个来大谈特谈,他们一般就说,欧洲美国以前也经历过污染。"


非常感谢你智慧的评论

在这个论坛,你看起来比其他一些人有更开放的思想,你是个会思考的人,可以深入到更广泛的视野,更多的宽容和深思。
谢谢你,祝福你。

#2015-04-26 21:26:17 by melcyan @melcyan

Many people in the West, when it comes time to vote, despair at the choices they have to make. Some wish that they could just take out the best members of each political party and have them form government.

China has this already. It has one party representing all and progress to the top of the party is by merit. Most of the current leaders in the West would fail to advance beyond the fist few tiers of China's political hierarchy due to insufficient ability or limited skill set.

If we are going to survive Climate Change I believe China will play a key role in future action. China knows its history and the many problems (including corruption) that it now faces.

The only certainty about the future is that China will never be forced to bow before the West again.

The following TED talk “A tale of two political systems” by Eric Li is worth viewing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0YjL9rZyR0

#2015-04-27 08:56:15 by HZDX6167 @HZDX6167

不管是哪国人,只要生活在这个地球上,就要对这个让我们赖以生存的而且是有限的土地报以尊重和爱护,这是人类最大的目标更是最大的责任和义务。小的层面上讲,我们在这里是来寻找我们另一半爱人,以尽我们做人之本分。我的感觉是,楼主虽不是什么坏男人,但是个不怎么成熟的男人,心眼不坏,看他提到的一些问题,比如中国人聪明,应该做的比其他国家更好。。。。。。等等。如果把他作为老公这样的较色去衡量,呵呵,还真不敢恭维。实在没有男人的担当,游山玩水做个伴还算可以。一个国家就像是我们的父母一样,尽管他们身上有很多的问题,我们做儿女的依然热爱他们,尽量去完善他们有做的不足的地方,对这个地球也是如此。只是一味地指手画脚,无情的评判,但是作为人类的自己,不去做些力所能及的事情,比如多为身边人解决些实际问题,只是在那里空谈,又有什么意义呢???

#2015-04-27 10:22:50 by Barry1 @Barry1

@HZDX6167

"我的感觉是,楼主虽不是什么坏男人,但是个不怎么成熟的男人,心眼不坏,看他提到的一些问题,比如中国人聪明,应该做的比其他国家更好。。。。。。等等。如果把他作为老公这样的较色去衡量,呵呵..."

谢谢你的评论,请注意不是所有你所说的都是百分之百的正确,有些你所想的有点点小误差,但我不希望指责苛求你,我知道你是个非常好的人,我非常感激你牺牲时间在此回应我。

请让我们各持己见,并不是所有你所说的,我都接受它是正确的,正如我也接受你不同意我说的所有话一个道理。真实生活对我们而言本身就如此 (wasntme)

#2015-04-27 11:22:09 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Barry1 - thanks for your response Barry. To continue the conversation, I appreciate your explanation of Tina's position on discussion of broad range topics of such matters as pollution, corruption, etc. I did not say there are no Chinese people who are educated and intelligent who do not wish to discuss these topics, I said I hadn't met one. Obviously you have met one and that sets us apart. Of course, maybe I have met such a person but don't know it because we never embarked on such a discussion so there was no opportunity for them to tell me of their dislike of such topics of conversation. So I should say that I have never knowingly met a Chinese person, like Tina, who takes that stance.

However, I think that's unfortunate for you, that you are left in a bit of a vacuum as to these matters and denied the opportunity to learn from your Chinese partner as to what is happening in China as seen through her eyes. Little wonder you feel frustrated with what you see and what can appear to be a lack of effort by China to improve the lives of her people because such monumental change does not happen, nor become visibly in the process, overnight.

Personally my wife reports to me daily what is going on in China as to these topics, and that huge steps are being made in the removal of corruption, in the area of free and available universal health care, in the movement towards a solid system of financial security for the elderly, in the ongoing attempts to bring all Chinese up to an acceptable economic living standard and in the incredibly challenging task of ridding the country of pollution. My wife is not someone who blindly accepts government propaganda and as little as 4 years ago she was a vocal critic of the Chinese government as to their efforts in all the above matters. Now she speaks with great pride in her mother country and especially in the quality of government it is now experiencing.

I take great heart in her reports and they give me much comfort in the fact that China is on a solid path heading into the future and with any luck the world will eventually be a better place for it.

I am sorry but I have to disagree with you about Marlon Brando's character in Apocalypse Now being "enigmatic". In a world that fostered insanity, the Vietnam War, his character, as I see it, the symbol of insanity. Not enigmatic, just plain nuts.

And while in such a world as portrayed in the movie the saying "You have the right to kill me. But you do not have the right to judge me” may have some validity, in the real world it has none. In fact, I have absolutely no right to kill you in the real world, but I do have the right to judge you, or at least to judge what you say.

I think you misread some of what I was saying, because I think I made it pretty clear that you could criticize things about China and many Chinese, perhaps most, would not be insulted but would agree with you. I did NOT suggest that you could not be critical of China's pollution, of people spitting on sidewalks, on past corruption in China, on the eating of dog meat.

I said specifically of Chinese people that:

"They will tolerate complaints about pollution because pollution remains a problem in spite of all efforts to solve it and will remain a problem for years to come.

They will tolerate complaints about spitting in streets, eating dog meat, cruelty to animals, bad driving, blah, blah, blah, because those are problems of the past currently being resolved."

My point, in the end, was adamantly that Chinese people would not accept criticism of their current government, NOR SHOULD THEY.

Before I entered into a lengthy discussion of this point I don't know how I could have made it more clear than I did by offering the short form of my criticism of what you said, which was:

"Barry and @anonymous13285, IMHO your comments criticizing the current Chinese government are unfounded, uneducated and somewhat braindead."

I repeat, "criticizing the current Chinese government"!

Not criticizing pollution, not criticizing corruption in government, not criticizing the plethora of squat toilets, not criticizing spitting on sidewalks, not criticizing the eating of dog meat, etc. On these topics, most educated and intelligent Chinese are in sync with you - these are things that have got to go. (Well, maybe not so much regarding your hatred of the squatter.) And, thankfully, the Chinese government is in full agreement as well and is proactively doing something about it.

Which is why these days Chinese people are not interested in cheap shots at their government. I, for one, agree with them on that point. We should only wish, as @Melcyan points out, that our own governments would follow suit and begin to follow in the Chinese government's footsteps.

#2015-04-27 12:49:35 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

"I did not say there are no Chinese people who are educated and intelligent who do not wish to discuss these topics, I said I hadn't met one"

Touche!

I can see you're a former lawyer John because you've cleverly phrased your sentence so that it becomes virtually unchallengeable. Well done!

Whilst we're on the subject of wordplay, please notice that when I said,

"You have the right to kill me. But you do not have the right to judge me”,

I was merely quoting from Marlon Brando, who we both agree portrayed an out and out fruitcake in the movie. I did not say that I agreed with what he said, which I think you may have been intimating.

The way I see it, that places us at a one all draw.

I agree wholeheartedly that I wish Tina did take more of an interest in important matters of state as concerns China, similar to your wife. What an intellectually stimulating and intelligent person she must be, great stuff indeed. Sometimes I do indeed feel in a vacuum as far as ascertaining what's really happening in the country.

Yet what Tina lacks in this political or societal area, she more than compensates in other areas. She's an astonishingly sincere and profoundly kind person who in many important ways, is a far better person than I am. I sometimes feel like a leech, trying to suck some of the overflowing goodness and moral integrity out of her, attempting to in turn make myself a better person (often futilely, it seems). This will be explained more fully in upcoming episodes of my long running blog series.

Given that your wife is so up to date with important occurrences in China, could I suggest that either you or she presents a small, regular news report on CLM, if and when anything of significance occurs. I know many occurrences are noted in the CLM forums or the news generally, yet many things are missed also, especially from a Chinese perspective. It would be wonderful for ignorant Westerners who don't have partners such as yours, to be kept up to speed with what's happening in the country.

By the way, you also said:

"My point, in the end, was adamantly that Chinese people would not accept criticism of their current government, NOR SHOULD THEY."

I have to disagree with this.

No government is perfect. No government is infallible. Numerous incidences of government failings could be listed here, such as the sometimes brutal repression of ethnic minorities; the fact that more people are hanged in China than in any other country in the world; the widely reported incidences of forced organ removal from living prisoners being seemingly condoned in many areas; etc etc.

I won't even mention the current situation in Hong Kong, another politically hot potato yet to be satisfactorily resolved.

I could go on and on here, John. I will concede however, that by all accounts, the current government is BETTER than previous governments. Your assertion however that they should not be criticised in any way is an astonishing statement indeed.

Unless I'm missing something here? Something I've misread or misinterpreted, but your words on this point are clear. So I remain puzzled as to why you'd write them? :^)

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