Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 8/12

Seventh Question [Lofthouse]:

How would you describe the differences between urban and rural China?

Answer [Parfitt]:

In some respects, urban-rural differences are not unlike those in North America. In others, they are profound. People are generally more sophisticated in Chinese cities, especially along the coast. I found country folk to be friendly (one family put me up for the night in their home in the middle of nowhere), but impoverished. I spent a day driving through the backwaters of agricultural Hunan and never saw a single piece of farming equipment. Something else that struck me was the voluminous countryside pollution, which some Chinese will tell you is mist or fog. Apparently, Chinese mist and fog smell like turpentine.

I’m aware that in some villages, Party officials listen to local concerns and try to make improvements, but there’s so much graft in this “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” that rural people regularly lose out. Sure, they can migrate to cities, but the hukou, or household registration, makes this illegal (China does not have mobility rights; the hukou creates a sort of caste system), and migrant workers are often discriminated against and denied state services.

Naturally, many of China’s peasants are not happy with their situation or local cadres. A lot of “mass incidents” – riots, protests, strikes – transpire in rural areas, and, from the Ministry of Public Security’s own admissions, we know these number in the tens of thousands per annum. And this is the flipside to China’s glorious development, its Tom Sawyer cleverness in turning itself into the world’s factory floor: farmers forced to irrigate crops from factory-poisoned rivers decide to complain one day and are rounded up, beaten up, locked up, tortured – perhaps in an illegal or “black jail.” This is what China has become. Cadres seize land, sell it to developers, force citizens out of their ancestral homes, pay them a pittance, and threaten them to shut up. Scenarios like this play out literally hundreds of times a day, and except for the occasional corrupt-official-show-trial-and-execution the people are the losers. What the Party calls socialism is really state-capitalism, kleptocracy, Orwellianism, and coercion.

“If there is hope,” wrote Orwell, “it lies in the proles.”

Here’s to hope.

Response [Lofthouse]:

Graft in China exists at the provincial and local level, but is not as bad as India where corruption/graft is estimated at about 50% of GDP and those living in poverty [more than ten times China] are worse off.

The hukou Parfitt describes exists but to understand why requires one to know China’s history before 1949 when life in rural China was worse.

David C. Schak’s paper on Poverty in China points out social unrest in rural China was also common during the 19th century, which had to do more with an unsustainable population than anything else did.

Schak says prior to 1949, marauding armies often confiscated crops and forcibly conscripted men leaving the peasants with no resources, and he describes factories hiring day laborers by throwing the number of tallies for the number of workers they wanted into the crowd of job seekers and letting them fight.

Final Word [Parfitt]:

Corruption in India isn’t germane to this debate.

A June 29, 2011 article in The Atlantic reports the People’s Bank of China announced “17,000 Communist Party members and state functionaries… illicitly obtained and… smuggled out of China… $124 billion from the mid-90s until 2008.”

One would hope that the CCP made rural life better. When it came to power (1949), things couldn’t have been much worse. China was broken, having experienced 22 years of warfare. This is part of what makes the Communists-as-heroes-of-the-people argument so weak; this, and the mayhem, murder, and neglect ushered in by Mao, whose desire to transform China into a socialist utopia resulted in a famine that caused the deaths of millions.

How anyone could purport to love China and its people, and downplay or deny such an event, as Mr. Lofthouse does on his site, is a grave insult to China and its people.  [Referring to Mao's 'alleged' Guilt in the Land of Famines]

Continued on December 5, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 9 or return to Part 7.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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31 Responses to Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 8/12

  1. Zulma says:

    I certainly get irked while people don’t know what they are talking about like TP. It is so obvious he is a racist. You managed to hit the nail on the head as well as defined the whole thing in detail. Thanks!

    • I wouldn’t call him a racist. Biased, yes. He has his own opinions about China but doesn’t seem to understand that does not make him right. Each individual takes what evidence there is and then decides for him or herself what “truth” he or she wants to believe. But that does not mean what someone believes is correct.

  2. Aussie in China says:

    If anyone is interested, you can see more about what activities constitute a ‘mass incident’ here:

    http://my.opera.com/PRC/blog/show.dml/581789

    • Aussie in China,

      Thank you for this.

      Interesting piece about ‘mass incidents’ [or so-called riots, etc] in China. It appears that many of these are police reports similar to crime reports in US cities.

      However, the facts in this piece show that the way these incidents are reported in China and how they are translated by the Western media and by writers such as Mr. Troy Parfitt leads to errors where any type of incident reported by Chinese police ends up being touted as some sort of protest against the CCP.

      In addition, these errors in translation are then used by Western propaganda writers such as Troy Parfitt to further his biased opinions of China.

      Since Mr. Parfitt claims he is “more than a tourist” and he spent several months in China traveling around looking for any evidence he could twist and warp to support his biased opinions, I wonder why he never mentions that he witnessed one of these mass protests against the CCP.

      If there are almost 90,000 of these taking place annually, which means, 246 mass protests against the CCP would have to happen daily [on average]. How could anyone such as Mr. Parfitt miss seeing one after spending months in China traveling around being “more than a tourist”?

      In addition, there are hundreds of thousands of expatriates from nations around the world living in China. If so many of these mass protests are taking place in China daily, why aren’t we hearing more of them from the expatriates such as Tom Carter, the author of “China: Portrait of a People”.

      Carter spent two years mostly on foot visiting every province in China and yet I didn’t see one picture of a mass riot in his photo book of China and he shot something like 60,000 photos on that trek to visit every province, nook and cranny of China. If anyone from the West were to witness one of these so-called mass protests against the CCP, he should have seen a few unless they are taking place in another galaxy.

      Instead, Tom Carter writes this post about Crime in China — http://ilookchina.net/2011/08/02/on-crime-in-china-%e2%80%93-viewed-as-single-page/

      In addition, Mr. Parfitt mentioned somewhere in this debate that his book had been reviewed by “Publisher’s Weekly” as if that anointed his work as credible. I went in search of that review and read it.

      The crux of the “Publisher’s Weekly” review is, “The result is mostly travelogue told from an outsider’s perspective, contextualized with overviews of major events in Chinese history… His book lacks the precise facts and figures that he decries in other books promoting Chinese dominance.”

      From what “Publisher’s Weekly” said of his book, I suspect that Parfitt’s work is mostly hot air supporting his biased opinions leading to a boost in his Western cultivated childhood induced sense of self-esteem.

  3. Troy Parfitt says:

    Aussie,

    And how many times have you seen them reported on CCTV? I mean, the Ministry of Public Security has admitted they’re a serious problem. On Twitter (banned in China along with facebook, Youtube, etc.), you can often read Tweets about them from foreign journalists and observers. On YouTube, there’s lots of nice videos about them. They must be shown on CCTV all the time, then, eh? I’m talking about riots, strikes, roadblocks, protests.

    People have been shot and killed during them. Why would they bring a smile to your face?

    • Aussie in China says:

      Mr Parfitt you wrote:

      “A lot of “mass incidents” – riots, protests, strikes – transpire in rural areas…Scenarios like this play out literally hundreds of times a day.”

      That would be true if riots, protests and strikes etc made up the bulk of the reported 80-100 thousand/annum of ‘mass incidents’. Who knows? Maybe it is the case.

      However, it’s difficult for anyone to argue either way without a quantative breakdown of reported ‘mass incidents’ which range from full-scale riots to computer hacking nor regard to urban/rural localities.

      While there’s no denying that serious problems occur somewhere in rural China daily, I am unconvinced that serious mass incidents as we understand the meaning in the west are occuring daily in rural China on the scale reported by the foreign press and others. And without supportive statisical evidence, their reports are as as speculative as is my own skepticism.

      As you are well aware, China has it’s own substitutes for twitter, facebook and youtube and Chinese whispers will beat CCTV hands-down everytime. People are aware, believe me.

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        Aussie,

        Okay. I’ll give you that one. That’s a reasoned response. The article you supplied and your position have made me reevaluate my own. Well done. Point to you.

        Thank you.

      • Aussie in China,

        And while there is this focus from Mr. Parfitt on mass incidents/protests in China, in the United States, the “Occupy Movement” is still growing.

        Recently, Oakland and San Francisco and other US cities have been sending in police to break these protests up using mace, arresting people, etc.

        How is this different from what happens in China when people protest?

    • Mr. Parfitt,

      CCTV is state owned and the government of China funds it so it belongs to the government of China and if you haven’t noticed China is not governed by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights but is governed by the 1982 Chinese Constitution.

      You may want to read the 1982 Chinese Constitution to see the differences. Judging China by the freedoms listed in the US constitution is absurd. Take note: the United States is one country and China is another one. China is not a territory of the U.S. or of Canada.

      http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/constitution/constitution.html

      If you want a firsthand report of how China runs its state owned media, I suggest reading Stephanie Elizondo Griest’s memoir “Around The Bloc”. She is an American journalist that travels the world, lived in China at one time, and worked for the China Daily as an English interpreter/editor.

      http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Elizondo-Griest/e/B001JOVNWU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

      http://www.aroundthebloc.com/

      China has a right to manage the media it owns anyway it wants. After all, Neoconservative Murdock manages his media empire that way.

      “Murdoch runs his media empire in the US as an unvarnished political operation. Fox News Channel, run by career Republican operative Roger Ailes, is home to the most consistently vitriolic critics of Barack Obama. Leaked memos and emails from Fox vice-president of News, John Moody, and Washington managing editor Bill Sammon allegedly offer evidence of top-down directives to control the message throughout the news day, from linking Obama to Marxism and socialism, to denigrating a public option in the US healthcare debate, to promoting skepticism about climate change.”

      Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/17/murdoch-phone-hacking-america-news-corp

      In addition, just how large is Murdock’s media Empire, News Corp? [NOTE: It will take some time to scroll to the end of the Wikipedia piece on Murdock's News Corp to see the size of it and hazard a guess as to his impact on public opinion.]

      In fact, does Murdock own the publisher that published Troy Parfitt’s books? If so, that might explain everything.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_Corporation

  4. Aussie in China says:

    Re: Mass Incidents

    Always brings a smile to the face.

    For unknown reasons. the foreign press and others have conjured up images of Chinese rampaging in the streets 200 plus times a day 365 days of the year which quite frankley doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    And from living in ‘the restive region’ of China, I know full well what a mass incident is and know full well that they occur. However, after a decade here, I am yet to wItness one here or elsewhere.

    The fact is that reported mass incidents cover anything from riots to hacking!

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9ee6fa64-25b5-11df-9bd3-00144feab49a.html#axzz1fd39pajg

  5. Troy Parfitt says:

    Be careful readers; I’m trying to censor comparative facts (whatever that means) and corrupt your judgement. Lo! Use whatever charms or incantations you have to protect yourself from my demonic tricks! I’m going to corrupt you with… stuff I found on the internet.

    For the following (admittedly random) indicators, I took the latest year for which data was available, which ranges between 2008 and 2011.

    China in terms of…

    – Population, No. 1 (National Bureau of Statistics China)

    – Geographic size, No. 4 (CIA Factbook, National Geographic)

    – GDP, No. 2 (IMF)

    – GDP per capita, No. 94 (IMF)

    – Literacy, No. 68 (UN)

    – Human Development Index, No. 101 (UN)

    (“The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life.” Wikipedia)

    – Carbon dioxide emissions, No. 1 (UN)

    – Freedom of the press, No. 168 (Reporters Without Borders)

    – Human rights violations, top 20 (Amnesty International)

    – Really pretty women, No. 2 (Taiwan’s No. 1) (Troy Parfitt)

    – FIFA ranking, No. 72

    Perhaps we could do a comparative study of culturally similar East Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.

    The FIFA ranking is interesting to me because I like football, and not many Canadians like football. Canada is tied with China – it has the same ranking – at 72. To say Canada sucks at soccer is a bit of an understatement. Canada couldn’t score at a bordello with a credit card. We’ve only been to the World Cup once (Mexico, ’86) and failed to score a goal. In the ’80s, we were better than the US, but the US has left us in the dust (ranked 34 presently; good for them). It must be said: we’re no good; we suck (but it’s still fun to cheer them on).

    China’s only been to one World Cup, too, and it failed to score a goal as well.

    My question, Lloyd, is this:

    As a Canadian, is it all right to speak poorly of the Canadian national soccer team? What about the Chinese national soccer team? Is it all right to speak negatively about them?

    Thank you

    • Mr. Parfitt, I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you.

      “Be careful readers,” Parfitt wrote, “I’m (Troy Parfitt) trying to censor comparative facts (whatever that means–Is he really that ignorant?) and corrupt your judgment.”

      Yes, Mr. Parfitt. Well said. You are correct! Your own opinions of China are mostly an attempt to corrupt the judgment of other individuals.

      Thank you for defining who you are so well.

      In fact, Parfitt has borrowed the best tactics from American Conservative talk radio shows such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Prager among others to ridicule and belittle and divert attention such as the string of useless facts that follow his admission of guilt.

      Since Parfitt often reminds us of how much he has read and how that makes him the definitive expert on China and its culture, I want to ask Mr. Parfitt if he has read any of Ann Coulter’s books on politics in the U.S.?

      Coulter has written some interesting work on politics in America that equals his own assault on China.

      1. Demonic – How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America
      2. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter
      3. Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America
      4. If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans
      5. Godless: The Church of Liberalism

      Taking a cue from Ann Coulter, future Titles from Mr. Parfitt might read:

      1. Demonic – How China is Buying America
      2. How to Talk to the Chinese (If You Must): The World According to Troy Parfitt
      3. Guilty: The Chinese Assault on America’s Universities
      4. If the Chinese Had Any Brains, They’d Be Troy Parfitt
      5. Godless: The Chinese Church of Confucianism

      Then Mr. Parfitt follows with a bunch of nonsense to ridicule those comparative “facts” I used to make a point that clearly reveals the progress China is making to became a better place to live for its people, who, contrary to Mr. Parfitt’s stereotypical, biased, racist opinions, mostly support their government’s actions according to the Pew Research Center and the BBC World Service — both reputable and well respected Western media sources

      “A recent poll by the Pew Research Center asked the people of 24 nations, “How satisfied are you with your country’s direction?” This year, 87 percent of Chinese people said they were satisfied, more than any other country polled.”

      In addition to: “China again emerged as the proudest country in a poll by the BBC World Service in February. An overwhelming 92 percent of Chinese said their country had a positive influence on the world.”

      The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. It does not take positions on policy issues.

      http://pewresearch.org/about/

      The BBC World Service is the world’s leading international broadcaster providing programmes and content for radio, television, online and mobile phones in English and 27 other languages.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specialreports/000000_aboutus.shtml

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        Lloyd said,

        “Since Parfitt often reminds us of how much he has read and how that makes him the definitive expert on China and its
        culture, I want to ask Mr. Parfitt if he has read any of Ann Coulter’s books on politics in the U.S.?”

        Mr. Parfitt has never claimed to be an expert on China or anything else. Mr. Parfitt considers himself an observer and does not believe he has a monopoly on the truth, but that through reason, observation, and study, he may learn or arrive at the truth. But this is an ongoing process.

        Mr. Parfitt is not a Republican (he couldn’t be; he’s Canadian), nor does he much care for American politics (though he does enjoy the Colbert Report). If you’d like to know Mr. Parfitt’s politics, he will tell you (you could have asked); no great secret.

        Mr. Parfitt is a capital-L Liberal, the Liberal Party being Canada’s centre-party, the party that dominated for most of the twentieth century. Mr. Parfitt wasn’t happy with the Liberal leadership (nor the party’s corruption), so in the last federal election, he voted for the New Democratic Party (NDP), which is Canada’s socialist party.

        Like many Canadians, he liked the NDP’s leader for his honesty and concern for everyday Canadians, and was upset when he died suddenly of cancer. It was also something of a protest vote. The Liberal leader was an intellectual; fine, only he didn’t have “the common touch;” he was out of sync with Canadian people; Canada is largely a blue-collar country. Mr. Parfitt also has considerable disdain for the Conservative Party, and most, though not all, of its cabinet members. The Conservative Party, considered right wing in Canada, wouldn’t be considered right wing in America. The political spectrum in Mr. Parfitt’s country is rather different (i.e. shifted to the left) from that of its southern neighbour.

        And with the dishwater, out goes the Anne Coulter theory.

      • Mr. Parfitt,

        Thanks for the quick rundown on Canadian politics. Have you ever taught in the public schools in Canada? You should try it for about a decade in a public high school in a major city. It might change your opinion of Chinese students.

        I’ve known Canadian high school teachers and from what they told me, Canadian children behave similar to American children–and maybe worse. Enough of these North American children offer such challenges in the classroom, that in the United States alone about half of new teachers leave the profession in the first three years and never return.

        One Canadian high school teacher I knew went to Japan to teach for a few years on some sort of swap teachers program and loved those Japanese children raised Confucian style so much, he never wanted to return to Canada and teach again. I suspect he would have disagreed with many of Mr. Parfitt’s opinions of East Asians and Confucian values, which exist in Japan too.

        As for, “Mr. Parfitt considers himself an observer and does not believe he has a monopoly on the truth, but that through reason, observation, and study, he may learn or arrive at the truth.”

        Instead that fountain of wisdom should read, “Mr. Parfitt considers himself an observer and does not believe he has a monopoly on the truth, but that through reason, observation, and study, he may learn or arrive at a personal truth through his own opinions, which may not match the facts or reality or what most people believe.”

        In fact, the truth is whatever an individual wants to believe regardless of observations and books.

        When an individual such as Mr. Parfitt relies on a few books and then on his observations and rejects or attempts to censure facts that do not fit his conclusions, then the odds are he will arrive at a false truth since observation is limited to the senses and the senses are corrupted by environmental and cultural biases, which means we see and believe what we want to based on the environment and culture we grew up in.

        For example, China covers an area about the size of the United States, has more than 1.3 billion people, fifty-six recognized minorities that number more than 100 million of the total population and has several more languages spoken by the Han majority such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Shanghainese, etc. How can one individual spend a few weeks or months traveling through mainland China as more than a tourist and rely on his observation to judge an entire nation and culture? I have some serious problems with such audacity and arrogance.

        Maybe Mr. Parfitt should try the same thing in America and then write a book about the United States that reveals another personal truth. Then he could hit India and do the same with another visit there.

        Here comes one more of those evil facts, which may cast doubt on observation alone.

        In February 29, 2008, “In the National Interest” published a piece called China Through the Looking Glass.

        The following paragraph casts doubt on Mr. Parfitt’s observations and opinions of China.

        David Shambough wrote, “Thus, the discourse inside China about what it means to be a major power has been both intensive and extensive. It is very lively and a good indicator of the freedom of thought and argument permitted in Chinese academic and policy circles today. Most importantly, it also reveals the multiple and sometimes conflicting identities that exist in the Chinese worldview and view of their role in the world. The United States, and other major powers, needs to understand these debates and fashion their own China policies to support the moderate and constructive voices-so as to encourage China to assume its appropriate role as a responsible regional and global power.”

        Source: http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/china-through-the-looking-glass-1990

        David Shambaugh is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

        As for Ann Coulter and Mr. Parfitt’s flippant conclusion of, “And with the dishwater, out goes the Anne Coulter theory.”

        That wasn’t a theory. Where did you get that foolish idea? From an observation, I assume.

        Using Ann Coulter and the titles of her books as I did was an example, and I used it because they way you write reminds me of the way she writes and thinks. Regardless of Mr. Parfitt’s Canadian political beliefs, he and Ann Coulter are similar in the way they think and form opinions even if they do not hold the same political views and are from different North American countries.

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        Lloyd said:

        “Taking a cue from Ann Coulter, future Titles from Mr. Parfitt might read:

        1.Demonic – How China is Buying America
        2. How to Talk to the Chinese (If You Must): The World According to Troy Parfitt
        3. Guilty: The Chinese Assault on America’s Universities
        4. If the Chinese Had Any Brains, They’d Be Troy Parfitt
        5. Godless: The Chinese Church of Confucianism

        – Mr. Parfitt does not believe China is buying America. As a 9-year old might say, ‘What does that even mean?’ Again, Mr. Parfitt is not American and spends very little time thinking about America. In Canada, it’s very easy to tune out America, something of a national pastime.

        – Mr. Parfitt talks to Chinese people often, sometimes in Chinese.

        – Mr. Parfitt thinks it’s great that Chinese students study in America. Great for the students, great for America. Mr. Parfitt wishes more Chinese students would study in Canada, because they often immigrate and Canada needs more educated people.

        -Mr. Parfitt doesn’t think Chinese people are stupid. He knows there are smart and stupid people everywhere. Intelligence has nothing to do with race. In fact, nothing has anything to do with race. Race is incidental.

        – It is not out of some Christian belief that Mr. Parfitt assails Confucianism. Mr. Parfitt is not Christian and believes god is unknowable. Mr. Parfitt was annoyed by missionaries he saw in Taiwan and believed they were engaging in cultural interference. Mr. Parfitt understands why China’s Communist Party doesn’t allow for active missionaries.

        Mr. Parfitt’s favourite colour is blue. He likes jazz, classical music, the Montreal Canadiens, Moosehead beer, Canadian literature, Chinese history…. Anything else you wanna know?
        Just ask.

        Lloyd said,

        In addition to: “China again emerged as the proudest country in a poll by the BBC World Service in February. An overwhelming 92 percent of Chinese said their country had a positive influence on the world.”

        Yes, as we all know, if people believe something, it must be true. If 60 percent of a cohort believed the world was flat, and 40 percent believed it was round, the world would be both flat and round because that’s what people believed.

        Many Icelanders believe in elves. Ergo, elves must exist. NPR reported this, and, I’ll have you know, they’re a serious outfit. A bit like the American BBC, no?

        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17563875

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        Lloyd, you say,

        “In fact, the truth is whatever an individual wants to believe regardless of observations and books.”

        If that’s so, how can we know if anything you’re saying is true?

      • Mr. Parfitt asks, “How can we know if anything you’re saying is true?”

        I am laughing at this illogical response.

        The same question may be applied to your personal observations, the books you have read and the opinions you have formed from them.

        As for anyone reading this debate, my advice is to use all of the facts provided by everyone involved (besides finding some of your own from reliable sources) in this debate, and come to your own conclusions. Most of the facts I use in my comments have links to the original or third party sources.

        However, many of the claims Mr. Parfitt has made to support his personal opinions have no links to sources and seem to be mostly based on his own personal observations clouded by his obvious cultural biases. Mr. Parfitt reminds me of one of those people that stands on a corner soapbox warning the people passing by that the world is about to end.

        You see, in a Socratic dialogue, the students are supposed to take all the facts and comments they have learned or heard and come to their own conclusions instead of being led by the nose as if they are a cow by another individual’s opinions, which is why I provide facts and as often as possible links to the sources of those facts.

    • Troy Parfitt says:

      Lloyd said,

      “… I provide facts and as often as possible links to the sources of those facts.”

      Lloyd went on to intimate that because I don’t provide links, my facts are merely opinions, born out of bias and, gosh, racism.

      But previously, and in the same thread, Lloyd said,

      “Then Mr. Parfitt follows with a bunch of nonsense to ridicule those comparative “facts” I used to make a point that clearly reveals the progress China is making to became a better place to live for its people…”

      Lloyd, I’m getting confused about the quotation marks. Do you utilize facts or “facts”? Adding quotations could, in fact, give the enclosed word or words an opposite or ironic meaning; the quotation marks could, and are likely to, be read as a substitute for the phrase ‘so-called.’

      Isn’t this a fact? And does the fact I provide no link weaken or invalidate this proposition?

      After you’ve dealt with that, perhaps you could answer me this: how are my views racist? To whom am I being racist towards?

      Don’t worry, you don’t have to provide any links; just an explanation will do.

      Thank you.

      • Mr. Parfitt,

        One of your tactics is to distract in an attempt to discredit and belittle such as “Lloyd, I’m getting confused about the quotation marks. Do you utilize facts or “facts”? Adding quotations could, in fact, give the enclosed word or words an opposite or ironic meaning; the quotation marks could, and are likely to, be read as a substitute for the phrase ‘so-called.’”

        I explained a shorter reason why I did this last time you complained about those quotation marks.

        Now, I will explain further, so pay closer attention this time.

        The reason I use “quotation marks” instead of “italics” to emphasize a word is that it is easier and it saves time.

        Why is it easier?

        I write my comments mostly in a Microsoft Word document and anything marked in italics or bold print does not convert into the WordPress comment box as italics or bold print after I copy and paste.

        To make that happen, once in a WordPress comment box, I have to post the comment and then go to edit mode. When the edit box appears in WordPress, a tool bar also appears that allows me to change words into italics or bold and the process for doing that in WordPress is more complex and requires more steps than in Microsoft Word. It is not worth the time it takes to go through this complex process so I use “quotation marks” to emphasize words or phrases unless I feel the need to take the time to go to all the trouble to turn a word or phrase into italic or bold print in a WordPress comment.

        In addition, when I do change a word or phrase into italics or bold print in the WordPress comment-editing box, it often throws off my spacing and I have to fix that too.

        So, if it confuses you—get used to it because I will use quotation marks from time to time to emphasize a word because it speeds up the process.

        In fact, the grammar book I use as a resource when I need one for the “odd rule” most people know nothing about says I shouldn’t do it either. It says that italics should be used instead of quotation marks to emphasize a word.

        That resource is: The Writer’s Digest Grammar Desk Reference by Gary Lutz & Diane Stevenson.

        Why would that grammar book, one of the most popular used by writers, say that? because many writers use quotation marks to emphasize words, which may confuse readers such as yourself.

        I chose to ignore that anyway and instead rely on context for the reader to understand that I’m using the quotation marks to emphasize a word instead of italics.

        As for your next cheap shot, “After you’ve dealt with that, perhaps you could answer me this: how are my views racist? To whom am I being racist towards?”

        Answer: to China, the Chinese and the Chinese culture.

        Just remember that you asked this question and some evidence that reveals your opinions of Chinese, which could be seen as racist, arrived in an e-mail to me on December 1, 2011—the e-mail you asked me to keep private but if you recall, I refused to agree to keep that e-mail “off the record”. I said I wasn’t planning to share it with the readers of this debate

        You will notice that I’m not using the entire e-mail but parts that I feel show stereotypical beliefs that may be seen as racism.

        “As a teacher, I spent a lot of time familiarizing myself with how Chinese people think…”

        When referring to ‘one’ of your students, you wrote, “By her second year, however, she was mostly Taiwanese (again), meaning she’d stopped listening to the teacher (if you don’t scare them, they won’t listen; that’s the Chinese way: fear commands attention), she stopped volunteering information (why volunteer information? students think; why not conserve energy to get higher scores? where’s discussing some stupid novel going to get me?), she started cheating (cheating is an art form in Chinese society; many Chinese students brag about what good cheaters they are – anything to get that higher mark…”

        You also wrote, “Pouting and whining are perfectly acceptable methods of expressing dissatisfaction in Chinese culture…”

        “In Chinese culture, forgiveness is rare, so people don’t apologize.… They think apologizing means they’re on the shit list forever. So, when Michael in grade 10 writes ‘gan’ on the desk (fuck), and you ask him why he did that (you watched him do that), Michael just says, ‘No I didn’t. Teacher, no. No, you don’t understand.’ Some will deny it all day. Some will get their parents involved… It’s nutty. You’re got to train them to apologize and, in effect, start acting like an adult.”

        You may not be aware that stereotyping an entire race and culture is also seen as a form of racisms, which you have often done in this debate.

        However, to be fair, I must say that stereotyping is also a valuable survival technique and in “Living With Evolution”, K. D. Koratsky goes into detail why, which may explain that you were only in survival mode since you found yourself in an alien culture unable to adapt [the evidence from your opinions certainly shows this may be the case] and didn’t mean any of this as racism.

        It is even possible that Mr. Koratsky, who spend most of his life researching and writing about every element of evolution, could come to your defense and provide evidence that your opinions often demonstrate the use of stereotyping to survive in an alien culture.

        While some of your observations may be correct, your reactions reveal your inability to adjust to an alien culture that has survived and thrived the way it is for millennia and that same behavior led to China being the wealthiest most technologically advanced nation on the earth for more than two thousand years.

        Note, I didn’t say China was the “greatest” culture as you accused me once before, but the fact is China was wealthier and more technologically advanced at the same time that it was influenced by the Confucian philosophy you see as so repressive to individualism and innovation.

        Chinese culture works regardless of what you believe.

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        Lloyd said,

        “You may not be aware that stereotyping an entire race and culture is also seen as a form of racisms, which you have often done in this debate.”

        Stereotyping is not a form of racism. If I were to say, “Italians are all very fashionable,” I am stereotyoing, but I am not being racist.

        Accusing someone of racism is a serious thing, under normal circumtances, but I don’t think the circumstances that led to these conclusions are in any way normal.

      • Mr. Parfitt is partially correct. Stereotyping by itself may not be considered a form of racism, but that depends on how the stereotyping is expressed. I’m sure saying “Italians are all very fashionable” would not be considered a racist comment by most people.

        However, this statement of Mr. Parfitt’s may offend some Chinese: “In Chinese culture, forgiveness is rare, so people don’t apologize.… They think apologizing means they’re on the shit list forever.”

        In addition, Mr. Parfitt wrote, “cheating is an art form in Chinese society…”

        My wife is Chinese and she has apologized to me before, and I have apologized to her when I am wrong. So have other Chinese in China and in the US. Just this week, my brother-in-law admitted in an e-mail from China that he had to agree with something I had said ten years ago when he first disagreed with me on something we had talked about at the time.

        I’m sure many Chinese would be offended by your blanket statements. Even though China is classified as a “collective culture” [which you do not seem to recognize] that does not mean they are a beehive or ant colony. The term “collective culture” refers to cultural differences that are not common in “individualist cultures”.

        Each Chinese person is still an individual within China’s culture and while some may cheat, I’m sure there are those that do not cheat just like some American’s rob banks but most don’t.

        I actually wrote a post about cheating where I used more of those useless comparative “facts” you dismiss so quickly when they do not support your own opinions:

        http://ilookchina.net/2010/04/18/global-cheating/

        Cheating was so prevalent on tests in the Southern California public high school where I taught, I created four versions of the final exam each year and passed it out so no student sat near anyone else with a similar version of the test. There were no Chinese students at that high school. The ethnic breakdown was 70% Latino, 8% African-American, 8% Caucasian, and 8% Asian-American, etc.

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        Lloyd,

        Those things I said to you in an email, a private correspondence which I asked you keep private, and which you have used against me here, very bad form, are nothing compared to what I say in my book, and not a single reviewer has said the book is racist. The South China Morning Post didn’t say that. Neither did Publishers Weekly, the Korean Herald, The Vancouver Sun…. None of the Amazon reviewers, either.

        In my book, I argue that “if Chinese education were ever adopted by a Western country, it would find itself coming under attack as a form of child abuse.”

        Moving on, I see you’ve adjusted your definition of racism. Stereotyping may not be racism, you now say, but offensive remarks “may” be, and you’re “sure” they “would” be to “some Chinese” and then “many Chinese”

        Lloyd said,

        “However, this statement of Mr. Parfitt’s may offend some Chinese: “In Chinese culture, forgiveness is rare, so people don’t apologize.… They think apologizing means they’re on the shit list forever.”

        “In addition, Mr. Parfitt wrote, “cheating is an art form in Chinese society…”

        “I’m sure many Chinese would be offended by your blanket statements.”

        Am I being (possibly) offensive, or am I being racist? If something is offensive, is it racist?

        For example, if I find comments denigrating, say, the city of Toronto offensive, and you say to me, “Ya know, I went there in 2008. Didn’t like it. Unfriendly people, nothing to do….” and I find that offensive (theoretically, of course; in reality I don’t find much of anything offensive) does that make you a racist?

        Stereotyping does not equate to racism. They are two separate ideas. Making remarks some might interpret as offensive does not equate to racism either. One would think, Loyd, if you were going to label people as racists, you would 1.) do so after sufficient thought 2.) know what racism means.

        Would you like to try again? Three for a dollar.

      • Mr. Parfitt,

        I’m not responsible for what you assume. I’m a trained journalist, I taught journalism and to me letters and e-mails are grist for the mill if they become part of the story and that e-mail reveals more of your thought process and beliefs of China, which could be called a Freudian slip on your part since you felt you were safe to express your true feelings (without thinking about what you were saying for a wider audience).

        And when you asked me to keep what you wrote in that e-mail private, I did not agree and clearly told you where I stood.

        I have a firm rule that if you want something to stay private, share it with “no one” [quotation marks used for emphasis] and if you do not, than be willing to accept the fact that what you wrote or said might become public one day. Herman Cain and former president Clinton learned that lesson the hard way.

        In fact, the news is often full of scandals that come out after someone’s private recorded phone calls, memos, letters or e-mails are given to the media.

        For example, I once had a lawyer (in the early 1980s) that called me and didn’t reach me at home when I wasn’t there. He left a message promising to do something without charging extra, and then later without warning, his action were the opposite of what he had promised on that recorded phone message leading to a five thousand dollar billing, which isn’t what he promised in that recorded phone message. Fortunate for me, I popped that cassette (back when phone messages were recorded on cassettes) out of the answering machine and replaced it with a new one.

        I used that recorded message from that lawyer, which I’m sure he never intended to be used against him in public and he almost lost his license to practice law.

        Then there is Robert Hart. Shortly before his death in 1911, he told his family and friends to burn all of his personal letters that he had written to them and his surviving journals that he had not burned himself. They didn’t. Everything he wrote was turned over to the Queens College in Belfast and eventually in the 1970s, Harvard University Press published thousands of his private letters in several volumes while publishing his journals in other volumes. I know, because I bought a set and spent years reading them to learn about this amazing man, and we learned from those letters and journals that he also was human. In his younger days, he drank too much and seduced far too many women and alter he would conquer and overcome these weaknesses.

        In addition, Mr. Parfitt wrote, “In my book, I argue that ‘if Chinese education were ever adopted by a Western country, it would find itself coming under attack as a form of child abuse.’ ”

        This happened when Amy Chua’s memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” came out earlier this year.

        However, she was not university condemned in America. In fact, many in the West sided with her and offered support by doing battle with her critics in Amazon forums. If you doubt me, I suggest visiting the forums for that book on Amazon and reading all of the reviews and the comments that follow. It may take a few days or weeks to plow through it all thought. This parenting debate even reached China and there were a series of pieces published in “China Daily” and other state media. Chua was even asked to write a guest piece for “Xinhua” and “China Daily”.

        It turns out that there are many parents of high achievers in the US that use similar parenting methods.

        http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Hymn-Tiger-Mother-Chua/product-reviews/1594202842/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

        This morning when I checked Chua’s book had 559 customer reviews. Two hundred and twenty-eight had five stars while only 121 had one star or 331 had five or four stars while 161 had one or two stars.

        We may conclude from your flippant comment earlier in this debate about Amy Chua and your stand against the style of raising children in China [on average] that you are one of her critics and believe this to be an example of child abuse.

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        I think you’re preoccupied with racism. I think it’s part of your raison d’etre. On your iLook China About Page, 17 lines in, you say:

        “It seems that racists, China’s critics (Tibetans and members of Falun Gong and the biased supporters of both groups), Sinophobes (according to my research about 35 to 50% of Americans) and out-of-date ignorant people dominate the major Western media and the Blogosphere.”

        What you say has no basis in fact, but you make it true (the truth is whatever people believe, as you’ve said) because you need to believe it. You need an enemy, someone to despise, and you require a cause. It would be interesting to trace the source of this manic compulsion. I wonder if it’s rooted in some of the foreign policy blunders of your

        Republic; the US government’s hypocrisy, condescension, imperialism, etc. You were in Vietnam; perhaps that got you thinking about things, like the government’s demonization of the Viet Cong, perhaps. Or America’s corruption, cynicism, paternalism, etc. Perhaps this caused you to embrace what you believe to be America’s opposite, China. This is conjecture, but I wonder if there’s truth in it.

      • Mr. Parfitt wrote, “What you say has no basis in fact, but you make it true (the truth is whatever people believe, as you’ve said) because you need to believe it.”

        Mr. Parfitt, Prove that many Americans do not hold stereotypes of China or the Chinese.

        And prove that this is false, “According to my research, about 35 to 50% of Americans are Sinophobes,” and whatever source you come up with that counters that statement, I will provide evidence to the contrary from reliable sources that indicate it is true.

        America is a racist nation with a long history of racism. The evidence of racism towards the Chinese and Asian-Americans is strong. To miss it, you must be blind.

        Just this last week evidence of racism towards Asian-Americans (which includes Chinese) appeared in a piece published by Yahoo news (they contract with ABC news for most of the content that appears there).

        http://news.yahoo.com/asians-college-strategy-dont-check-asian-174442977.html

        When I make a statement like that one, I back it up with facts—not observations based on my senses as you seem to do.

        You seem to infer that because I served in Vietnam that would influence my views of the West and China. Not at all. In 1999 when I met and started dating my wife, my opinions of China fell very much into that negative stereotype that so many Americans believe.

        Then I went to China for the first time. On my return from that first trip to China, I bought Robert Hart’s published journals and letters from Harvard University Press and read them. Then I started to buy and read other books such as Sterling Seagrave’s “Dragon Lady” and Lin Yutang’s “My Country and My People”.

        And as I made more trips to China, meeting people, talking to them, and read more of China while seeing many movies made for Chinese audiences filmed both before and after Mao’s era, it became obvious that there was a prejudiced stereotype of China in the West and many people thought what I once believed, while your experiences in East Asia seemed to have had the opposite affect and reinforced those stereotypical “possibly” [quotation marks used for emphasis] racist views.

        In fact, many racists do not even know they are racists because they grew up that way. People raised this way often wear blinders and do not allow themselves to see beyond the parameters of that belief system. This type of person raised this way often sees a glass half empty instead of half full because of how he or she was raised and the environment they grew up in.

        Hate and racism are learned beliefs, behaviors, and many of these people will deny they are this way if confronted because to them, what they believe is the truth.

      • Since Mr. Parfitt is of the opinion that I am preoccupied with racisim, I thought I’d see if I was alone in that regard so I spent the last two hours finding out as you may discover.

        From the Stanford Graduate School of Business, we learn that “Negative stereotypes about various racial groups bombard us every day in the mass media and deposit their residue deep into our minds, often without our realizing it, says Brian Lowery. Even among the most well-intentioned and consciously egalitarian people, says the associate professor of organizational behavior, non-conscious associations about ethnic groups still have a pernicious effect on behavior and attitudes.”

        Lowery’s research also confirms that children who identify strongly with parental figures tend pick up their parents’ racial views.

        A source worth reading: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/hr_racialstereotypes.shtml

        Another piece on this subject worth reading comes from Psych Central where we discover, “A new psychology study has some surprising findings about how American culture may be contributing to racism.

        “Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology investigated why people tend to display tinges of racism, sexism or ageism, even towards members of their own group.

        “Although some psychological studies have suggested that racism, sexism and ageism tend to be universal, psychologist Dr. Paul Verhaeghen and fellow researchers found that American literature and media contribute to social stereotypes.”

        The findings of this study were published in the British Journal of Social Psychology.

        Source: http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/10/03/cultural-bias-for-racism/29997.html

        Now, comments throughout the debate where the words biased, stereotyping and/or racist were used.

        POST TWO:

        Lofthouse wrote, “However, Mr. Parfitt is not unique when it comes to opinions that simplify or stereotype the Chinese.”

        POST THREE:

        Lofthouse wrote, “I write posts that offer more information on the topic so there is another voice countering the one that appears biased.”

        Lofthouse wrote, “I do not consider it an argument when all the facts and data does not support an opinion that may be biased based on faulty logic.”

        Lofthouse wrote, “Books are not the only sources. Primary sources are where reputable authors and reporters go for the facts they quote in their books no matter how they interpret them and how authors/scholars interpret these facts is often influenced by cultural and personal biases so relying on third party biographies may not be the best source.often influenced by cultural and personal biases so relying on third party biographies may not be the best source.”

        Alessandro wrote, “reasons that probably mister Parfitt likes to ignore) and what enormous amount of ideological prejudice and bias it has created, it’s not surprising most western biographies of Mao are just jokes…”

        Lofthouse wrote, “I wrote in my e-mail, that you were using these questions to distract and make it sound as if you have all the answers so why don’t you answer all your own questions and then I’ll decide to respond or not. Let’s find out how much you actually know and how accurate and unbiased it is…”

        Lofthouse wrote, “Would Snow’s book be biased? Probably but then I’m sure that all of Mao’s biographers came to the table with some bias more or less. For example, your opinions of Mao and China and the Chinese appear to be littered with bias. But that is only natural. Studies have been done on this topic that indicates bias is a natural result of what people choose to remember, forget happened or believe.

        POST FOUR:

        Lofthouse wrote, ” In your book trailer, you claim that China has nothing to offer the world culturally and in a stereotyped blanket statement say that the Confucian hierarchy of China’s culture causes businesses and industries to have a rigid chain of command that exerts total control over the people below them.”

        Terry wrote, “Seeing that you selectively quote sources that are extremely biased towards China, it appears that you aren’t any better.”

        Terry wrote, “Only an extremely biased source would come to such a conclusion.”

        Alessandro wrote, “Parfitt started overstatig and distorting taiwan – mainland relationship…and keeps on his own biased and prejudiced (but quite weak ) views…”

        Terry wrote, “Seeing that you selectively quote sources that are extremely biased towards China, it appears that you aren’t any better.”

        POST FIVE:

        Robert Scott Kelly wrote to Lloyd, “my original point was to ask you to compare like to like. You asserted that US foreign policy has contributed greater misery to the world than China’s. I thought that a rather biased position…”

        Lofthouse wrote back to Mr. Kelly, “In retrospect, now that you have led me to examine the evidence closer, I cannot support the 50/50 percent possibility that I mentioned in my comment that you have criticized as biased in favor of Mao. From this new evidence, it would appear that I was wrong and Mao [even when we consider all of his faults as a leader] may deserve more credit than he received even from his own people.” In addition, ” Only history will decide that and to receive a fair judgment a century or more may have to pass until most of the bias demonstrated against Mao from the West at this time has mostly died out.”

        POST SIX:

        Terry wrote, “Once again you quote a source which is obviously extremely biased and has nothing good to say about Mao.”

        Terry wrote, “If I take your word for granted, then Mao is portrayed as a man with “no redeeming qualites”. I don’t see how a book can get more biased than that.”

        Lofthouse wrote, “In fact, the “New York Times” has often claimed to be liberal, which would make them non-objective and biased for liberals just as Murdock’s empire is biased against liberals.”

        Lofthouse wrote, “Before I could judge the UK’s Guardian, I would have to read everything that paper has published on China going back for years to see how biased or objective they are. However, since I do not have the time to do the research and gather what the Guardian has published on China, I will let you do that task then everyone can decide for him or herself if the Guardian is biased toward China or not once you report back with copies of all the published articles.

        “In fact, since bias does exist in the so-called free press in the West, each source would have to be examined closely to decide if any were objective when it comes to the Chinese Communist Party.”

        Terry wrote, “I’m not saying that the sources you quoted are necessarily wrong, but they’re definitely extremely biased.”

        POST SEVEN:

        Alessandro wrote,”and it’s not singling out again China on this – as u clumsily did with the Foshan incident – that u will prove anything..except ur own bias and ideological prejudice)…”

        Alessandro wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “Do u think that is a shocking truth as well, or a terrible sign of how evil those governments are…or, as it appears quite clear by now, this is the case only when u speak of China??). I think u should leave a little aside ur prejudice and ur bias…”

        Alessandro wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “Please, tell u are better than this, and that ur reasoning can be a little more sounding, and it’s not only based on slander, prejudice and ideological hate.”

        Terry wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “Predictably, whenever this sort of news report emanates from China, you get the usual anti-Chinese bashers and haters coming out of the woodwork with their tuppence worth of racist generalisation.”

        Terry wrote, “Have Chinese writers and intellectuals like Lu Xun, Bo Yang, Liu Xiaobo, and the Mao Zedong biographers Jung Chang and Li Zhishui been motivated by bias toward China? Have they sold out to Western interests to give their homeland and compatriots a bad name? If so, why would they do such a thing?”

        Lofthouse wrote, “In fact, you have gone out of your way to take advantage of this tragedy to validate your case that your stereotypical, biased, racist opinions are correct about China.”

        Terry wrote, “The first comment the BBC responsed to the sichuan tragedy regarding the Chinese government was: “The reason for the great response to the sichuan disaster is that they want to set a good image of themselves to the international community”. I wonder how a media source can get more biased than that. Problem is, most western media sources report in a similar fashion when reporting about China.”

        Terry wrote, “Should the reporting of the guardian and France’s reporters without borders, who have proved themselves to be largely biased against china time and time again somehow be considered to be more valuable than these journalists from Hong Kong and Taiwan who were at the epicenter of the disaster not long after the earthquake?”

        Lofthouse wrote, “The media is rife with errors and mistakes and bias. Freedom of speech does not guarantee honesty, error free or free of bias.”

        “The very nature of daily news with its deadlines often between midnight and three in the morning means in the rush to beat the competition errors are made and the bias is natural from the reporter’s personal beliefs and cultural perspective.

        “In fact, “Media Bias is Real Find UCLA Political Scientist”

        http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/Media-Bias-Is-Real-Finds-UCLA-6664.aspx

        Terry wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “You complain about us making conspiracies about western media sources, yet you yourself are biased enough to focus on the plight of some children while ignoring the fact that the way the Chinese government reacted to the crises was in general a success story and they reacted to the disaster really well…”

        Terry wrote, “Alessandro, I can’t offer anything better than your answers. The majority of readers are probably aware that there is such a thing as media bias, an extension of human bias.”

        Troy Parfitt wrote to Lloyd, “Don’t look to places where democratic systems get along fairly well; you can compare China to whomever you want; just choose a comparison that yields a flattering result. Comparsions that yield unflattering results are racist, biased. They are not smiley and only hurt the feelings of 1.3 billion people.”

        Lofthouse wrote to Parfitt, “None of the comments here denigrates the tragedy that took place except in your words where you make such accusations that it borders on slander. In fact, you have gone out of your way to take advantage of this tragedy to validate your case that your stereotypical, biased, racist opinions are correct about China.”

        Mr. Parfitt wrote, “Instead, what we see, comme toujours, are exercises in non-linear thought augmented by denial and sprinkled with bits of anti-Western rhetoric and accusations of racism – oh, and in this case, a brief history of quotation marks and a nod to the power of mothers just for good, mentally sound measure.”

        POST EIGHT:

        Lofthouse wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “Prove that many Americans do not hold stereotypes of China or the Chinese.”

        Lofthouse wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “You seem to infer that because I served in Vietnam that would influence my views of the West and China. Not at all. In 1999 when I met and started dating my wife, my opinions of China fell very much into that negative stereotype that so many Americans believe.”

        Lofthouse wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “as I made more trips to China, meeting people, talking to them, and read more of China while seeing many movies made for Chinese audiences filmed both before and after Mao’s era, it became obvious that there was a prejudiced stereotype of China in the West and many people thought what I once believed, while your experiences in East Asia seemed to have had the opposite affect and reinforced those stereotypical “possibly” [quotation marks used for emphasis] racist views.”

        Parfitt wrote to Lofthouse, “Lloyd went on to intimate that because I don’t provide links, my facts are merely opinions, born out of bias and, gosh, racism.”

        “Lofthouse wrote to Mr. Parfitt, ” Just remember that you asked this question and some evidence that reveals your opinions of Chinese, which could be seen as racist, arrived in an e-mail to me on December 1, 2011—the e-mail you asked me to keep private but if you recall, I refused to agree to keep that e-mail “off the record”. I said I wasn’t planning to share it with the readers of this debate

        “You will notice that I’m not using the entire e-mail but parts that I feel show stereotypical beliefs that may be seen as racism.”

        Lofthouse wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “You may not be aware that stereotyping an entire race and culture is also seen as a form of racisms, which you have often done in this debate.”

        Mr. Parfitt wrote to Lofthouse, “Stereotyping is not a form of racism … Accusing someone of racism is a serious thing, under normal circumtances, but I don’t think the circumstances that led to these conclusions are in any way normal.”


        Note from Lofthouse: Mr. Parfitt, return to the top of this comment and read what Brian Lowery of the Stanford University had to say on this subject that you deny may be a fact.

        Lofthouse wrote, “Mr. Parfitt is partially correct. Stereotyping by itself may not be considered a form of racism, but that depends on how the stereotyping is expressed.”

        Parfitt wrote to Lofthouse, “Moving on, I see you’ve adjusted your definition of racism. Stereotyping may not be racism, you now say, but offensive remarks “may” be, and you’re “sure” they “would” be to “some Chinese” and then ‘many Chinese'”

        Mr. Parfitt wrote to Lofthouse, “Stereotyping does not equate to racism. They are two separate ideas. Making remarks some might interpret as offensive does not equate to racism either. One would think, Lloyd, if you were going to label people as racists, you would 1.) do so after sufficient thought 2.) know what racism means.”

        Note from Lofthouse to Mr. Parfitt. Read the descriptions at the top of this comment again.

        Mr. Parfitt says to Lofthouse, “I think you’re preoccupied with racism. I think it’s part of your raison d’etre. On your iLook China About Page, 17 lines in, you say…”

        Note to Mr. Parfitt from Mr. Lofthouse. Look over this comment and all the quotes and you will see that bias, stereotyping, hate and racisim have come up often and has been mentioned be almost everyone leaving comments throughout the debate.

        “Lofthouse wrote to Mr. Parfitt, ” America is a racist nation with a long history of racism. The evidence of racism towards the Chinese and Asian-Americans is strong. To miss it, you must be blind.

        “Just this last week evidence of racism towards Asian-Americans (which includes Chinese) appeared in a piece published by Yahoo news (they contract with ABC news for most of the content that appears there).”

        Lofthouse wrote to Mr. Parfitt, “Hate and racism are learned beliefs, behaviors, and many of these people will deny they are this way if confronted because to them, what they believe is the truth.”

        Mr. Parfitt wrote to Mr. Lofthouse, “Chinese people do apologize, but then you know this, Lloyd, because you speak Chinese, right?”

        Mr. Parfitt wrote to Mr. Lofthouse, “But worst of all, you label. You do not substantiate your claims nor do you employ fairness, consistency, accuracy, relavance, etc., so, as a desperate measure, you label me a racist, but you have illustrated, twice, that either this was a hasty judgement or you do not know what racism is.”

        Mr. Parfitt wrote, “Lloyd went on to intimate that because I don’t provide links, my facts are merely opinions, born out of bias and, gosh, racism.”

        POST NINE:

        None

        POST TEN:

        Lofthouse quoted an expert in memory, “Memory is affected by retelling, and we rarely tell a story in a neutral fashion. By tailoring our stories to our listeners, our bias distorts the very formation of memory—even without the introduction of misinformation by a third party.

        “Bias creeps into memory without our knowledge, without our awareness. While confidence and accuracy are generally correlated, when misleading information is given, witness confidence is often higher for the incorrect information than for the correct information. This leads many to question the competence of the average person to determine credibility issues.”

        Lofthouse wrote, “Another consideration: What is more reliable—facts gathered from thousands of people using methods similar to organizations such as the PEW Research Center and the BBC World Service, or the observations of people like Mr. Parfitt or Ma Jain that eventually rely on the biased memories of those individuals?”

        Alessandro wrote, “I already said why I didn’t like his book, and it’s arguably true that it depicts tibetan people in a very bad and much too crude way…Maybe if u don’t notice that, as u don’t notice that such a book would have raised concerns and protests, and accuses of racism also in the west, then ur own bias. As usual u give free way to ur own fixations, putting aside a sound judgment, especially on what other people write on this blog…as Mr. Lofthouse said, u don’t really read or try to understand what other people say…”

        Lofthouse wrote, “You mean the message you took away from that book. Wake up! Everyone does not think like you or come to the same conclusions as you do as you cherry pick through what others write and take what fits your biases to support your beliefs.”

        Alessandro wrote, “Troy, I never, even once, even by error, stated I was Chinese….evidently u urself are not completely aware on how ur bias, prejudice and subtle racism influence ur own understanding of the world…”

        Alessandro wrote, “It’s the kind of book that in many different countries of the west would have been labeled as racist and offensive, and cause wide protests for its recalling from bookshops.”

        Alessandro wrote, “I don’t agree with his vision of China (simply cause they are based on ignorance and superficial (mis)understanding, are biased, full of prejudice and somewhat racist..even if to mr. Parfitt eyes it’s must be cause I am chinese)..therefore in his mind I have to be chinese (let alone the usual idiotic view that, cause they don’t agree with “us”, therefore all chinese are just brainless mouthpieces of the CCP – and I still do not understand why is it that agreeing with the CCP on some issues should be damn wrong by default, while it’s classy, intelligent, wise and a clear sign of “free-thought and critical thinking” to utter and repeat the usual racist and twisted propaganda that passes in the west as “information”…”

        POST ELEVEN:

        No Comments

        POST TWELVE:

        Terry wrote, “While I do not agree with much of what Mr.Parfitt says, I must admit that he is a very eloquent speaker who is very well-read.
        “If there is one thing I must criticize him for, it is his tendency to only quote sources that are very biased against China.”

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        Chinese people do apologize, but then you know this, Lloyd, because you speak Chinese, right? You know the difference between ‘bu hao yi si’, ‘dui bu qi’, and ‘qing yuan liang,’ as well as ‘bao qian’ and ‘dao qian,’ don’t you Lloyd? You know the distinctions and when to use them.

        Yin wei ni zhu zai Zhongguo hen jiu, suo yi ni de Zhongwen shuo de hen liu li ba. Dui bu dui? Ni hen cong ming a. Ni jue de wo shi ge zhong zhu qi shi zhe. Pi a. Luan jiang. Hao, qu. Wo deng zhi li. Ni jiu qu zhao ge fan yi. Hao le ma? Ming bai le ma? Hao, wo men jiu ji xu yi xia ba.

        Yes, Lloyd, people in China do apologize to each other, but not as readily as Western people do, in part because of the concept of face, generally speaking. Bo Yang says this is a chronic problem, and I have read about, though I don’t have the source, agencies in China that broker apologies on behalf of companies. Company A wrongs Company B, but just can’t bring itself to say sorry, so it pays for an apology to be delivered through an intermediary. When I lived in Taiwan, there was a politician who led an assault on a public building. He had organized the event, was captured on video leading the charge, and denied he had been there all through the trial. You can read stories about this theme fairly often; you can observe it even more often.

        You may have visited China, Lloyd, but you never lived there. You’ve never had an ID with hanzi, and you can’t read hanzi. I had a Chinese ID card – for ten and a half years. You don’t speak the language. Chinese people talk, you don’t understand them. Yet you claim I don’t understand them. Understanding the language allows you insight into the thought process, the national psyche, as it were. But this is just one of many aspects you’re in which you’re foggy.
        Conclusions based on my observations can’t always be quantified or even qualified, but that doesn’t make them any less accurate or relevant. How many reports can you find about people driving on the sidewalk and walking on the street? Not many, but in Taiwan, people do this all the time, and I saw people driving cars down sidewalks in China, too. Why would anyone do that? It’s dangerous.

        Sure, people deny things in the West, Lloyd; and some never forgive, but the notion of face dictates certain things: it dictates that once you start to lie, you must continue (China has never invaded a foreign country; Taiwan has always been part of China; Mao was a fundamentally good leader). Face gives you the right to not apologize or admit wrongdoing. Face is an impossibly childish concept – regardless of what race or culture utilizes it. The publishing company McGraw Hill indentifies face as an obstruction to critical thinking in a textbook called Critical Thinking, a textbook that will unlikely ever see the inside of a Chinese classroom. Perhaps you should ring up McGraw Hill and accuse them of being racist.

      • Mr. Parfitt,

        So impressive (I’m being sardonic). Throwing around words and phrases as if you are the absolute authority on everything Chinese doesn’t make you the expert you believe you are about China. Maybe one day, you will learn enough about China and the Chinese to realize you don’t know much at all but I doubt it.

        You learned about China and the Chinese by living there for a decade. I learned about China and the Chinese by marrying into a Chinese family and everyone in that family was born and raised in or lived through the Mao era. My wife has said that in many ways I’m more Chinese than most Chinese men are.

        Now, I have no idea what she means by that and do not want to hazard a guess. I just listen and read nothing into it.

        We even have a flat in Shanghai where we stay while there and it is waiting for us when we go to China next time. It’s amazing how much one learns about China and the Chinese when living inside a Chinese family 24/7/365 compared to someone that just went to work there. The more I learn about China and the Chinese, the more I realize what I do not know and I do not claim to be the expert you believe you are.

        In my closing statement in Part 12, I think Lin Yutang says it best.

        http://ilookchina.net/2011/12/08/discussion-with-troy-parfitt-the-author-of-why-china-will-not-rule-the-world-part-1212/

        “In the prologue of Lin Yutang’s “My Country and My People”, the author says few in the West understand the Chinese and their culture. He writes, “It is difficult to deny the Old China Hand (Note—foreigners that lived or are still living in China) the right to write books and articles about China…”

        “Lin Yutang says that only one in ten thousand of these “Old China Hands” understands China, while the other 9,999 results in a “constant, unintelligent elaboration of the Chinaman”. He mentions Sir Robert Hart and Bertrand Russell as examples of the few that understand China.”

        Just because you now qualify to be called a so-called “Old China Hand” that does not make you a China expert since it is obvious that your own Western cultural biases got in the way.

        You may have lived in South Korea and Taiwan and taught ESL for more than a decade while reading books on China but that does not guarantee that you learned anything constructive while there.

        As for the meaning of “face” [quotation marks used in place of italics], Lin Yutang also has a section in his book on this subject and it is obvious from what he wrote that it is not easy to define “face”, which means that any definition of “face” from a Western source must be suspect.

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        As for cheating, I can’t tell you how many adult students I taught who told me that cheating was an art form in the Chinese education system. I’m basing my statement on a decade of direct observation and probably hundreds of admissions where people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s admitted (usually with a big smile) to being cheaters in high school and university. I’m not pretending to be morally abhored by this. It’s just a prominent pattern I’m commenting on. I’m aware that people cheat in America, Iceland, everywhere, so please Lloyd, no banal lectures (Canada is part of North America; The BBC delivers quality news; memoirs are written from memory) – I’m aware; we’re all aware, Lloyd – never tell the reader what they already know.

        My point is that cheating is rather prevalent in Chinese society, probably because of the enormous pressure in school to attain high marks, and probably because of the nature of tests, mostly multiple choice. It’s a similiar situation in China. My ex-girlfriend, from China, told me that if you don’t cheat, you’ll never get ahead. As she put it, ‘There’s just so much competition, so you have to do whatever you can to gain an advantage.’ A racist remark, or a candid and insightful one?

        You see Lloyd, you cannot understand what China is from wearing dragon embroidered silk shirts and getting all ‘chan’ (zen) in your chinoiserie parlour in Concord, California, smiling at the journals of Robert Hart and imagining decorous PLA soldiers training eager peasants in the mid-50s re better irrigation methods. You treat China not as a nation or subject deserving objective assessment, but as a religion. Sceptics are heretics.

        In your attempt to shout over people on this thread, people who’ve asked you perfectly reasonable questions, you’ve quoted Jesus Christ and your American Constitutional right to freedom of speech. You claim to have been trained as a journalist, but in defending the existence of foreign publications in China you offer as evidence something called Sexy Beijing TV. You support your propositions by providing links to blog posts on iLook China, the equivalent of saying, “I’m right, and to prove I’m right, please see this article I wrote. From it, you’ll see the then me supports the now me.” Because you lack the gift of rhetoric, and are unfamiliar with the domains of logic and linear thought, you constantly change the subject and present red herrings and straw men: diversions. Analogies seldom strengthen an argument (because no two situations are the same), but you make them anyway, regularly. You compare China to India, but it is a miserable comparison because – wait for it – India is not Chinese. But worst of all, you label. You do not substantiate your claims nor do you employ fairness, consistency, accuracy, relavance, etc., so, as a desperate measure, you label me a racist, but you have illustrated, twice, that either this was a hasty judgement or you do not know what racism is.

        You cannot explain why you feel my beliefs are racist because do not possess the wherewithal to do so. You lack the chops, the reason you resort to such assessments in the first place. Do you find that sentiment offensive? How about racist?

        I say, if my views on China are racist, prove it.
        Prove it.
        We don’t need any links to YouTube, diversions about corruption in India, or pedestrian explanations about collective vs. individualist cultures or other such two-dimensional baubles snatched from the Quick Facts section of your China Lonely Planet.
        We just need some proof.

      • Mr. Parfitt asked, “To whom am I being racist towards?”

        Answer: The Chinese culture and its people.

        The rest of ths reply comes from soucres that show the link between stereotyping, bias and how it may lead to racisim.

        From the Stanford Graduate School of Business, we learn that “Negative stereotypes about various racial groups bombard us every day in the mass media and deposit their residue deep into our minds, often without our realizing it, says Brian Lowery. Even among the most well-intentioned and consciously egalitarian people, says the associate professor of organizational behavior, non-conscious associations about ethnic groups still have a pernicious effect on behavior and attitudes.”

        Lowery’s research also confirms that children who identify strongly with parental figures tend pick up their parents’ racial views.

        A source worth reading: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/hr_racialstereotypes.shtml

        Another piece on this subject worth reading comes from Psych Central where we discover, “A new psychology study has some surprising findings about how American culture may be contributing to racism.

        “Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology investigated why people tend to display tinges of racism, sexism or ageism, even towards members of their own group.

        “Although some psychological studies have suggested that racism, sexism and ageism tend to be universal, psychologist Dr. Paul Verhaeghen and fellow researchers found that American literature and media contribute to social stereotypes.”

        The findings of this study were published in the British Journal of Social Psychology.

        Source: http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/10/03/cultural-bias-for-racism/29997.html

  6. Mr. Parfitt says, “Corruption in India isn’t germane to this debate.”

    Mr. Parfitt’s opinion is noted and rejected.

    Corruption in India and the entire world compared to China is germane to this debate. China does not exist in isolation and not to compare China’s progress with other similar countries in Asia would be an injustice.

    India is an Asian nation as is China. India became an independent nation in 1947. The civil war in China ended in 1949 so the historical time span comparing these two countries is comparable. The current political structure of India is 64 years old and China’s is 62 years old.

    In addition, India is the world’s largest democracy and China is a one-party republic ruled by the CCP, which has about 80 million members. India is ruled by the vote of its citizens and then its parliament, while China is ruled by the consensus of the CCP’s 80 million members. India and China are both collective cultures and they are next-door neighbors. Indeed, what better countries exist to compare and contrast to each other?

    Both countries have had similar time to develop and deal with corruption and improve the lives of their citizens. By measuring China’s progress to that of India’s, readers will be able to form better-educated conclusions. The more facts the readers have, the better informed they will be.

    In fact, Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that nearly three quarters [75%] of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). At the bottom, we have Somalia with a score of 1.1, slightly trailing Myanmar and Afghanistan at 1.4 and Iraq at 1.5.

    In 2010, China ranked 78 with 100 countries ranked worse by whatever criteria Transparency International uses to compile this comparative list.

    Then, this year, 2011, Transparency International ranked China 75 [of 183 countries, which means 108 countries scored lower than China in 2011]. In comparison, the democracy with the most people, India, saw its score slip from 3.3 in 2010 to 3.1 in 2011. Lest I forget, India ranked 95th on the 2011 list—twenty below China.

    What do readers learn of China from this? The answer is simple. China is working to improve while India is failing.

    I invite readers to click on the link to Transparency’s report and discover how many of the world’s democracies scored lower than China.

    Source: http://www.transparency.org/

    More facts and comparisons follow:

    “There’s some evidence that China’s people are exceptionally gung-ho about their county. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center asked the people of 24 nations, ‘How satisfied are you with your country’s direction?’ This year, 87 percent of Chinese people said they were satisfied, more than any other country polled. In comparison, 36 percent of U.S. citizens said the same about their country.”

    In addition, “China again emerged as the proudest country in a poll by the BBC World Service in February. An overwhelming 92 percent of Chinese said their country had a positive influence on the world.”

    Did you get that? 87% of Chinese were satisfied with their country, while only 36% of Americans were satisfied with the good old U.S.A.

    Furthermore, corruption in India equals about half of the country’s GDP and close to 40% of the population lives in severe poverty and is illiterate. In the last 64 years, there has been little progress in this area while the corruption continues to grow worse.

    For comparison, next door in China, about 2.5% of the people now live in severe poverty (according to the CIA Factbook). However, in 1949, about 70% of Chinese lived in severe poverty and in 1976, when Mao died; literacy in China was 20%. Today, literacy is above 90%.

    Does China have corruption? Yes. In fact, all nations have corruption in the private and government sectors including the United States. However, in the last few years, the corruption score for the US and India has slid while China’s has improved.

    Now that we have some facts for a better comparison, judging China becomes easier for the readers of this Blog. Nevertheless, if we were to allow Mr. Parfitt to censor these comparative facts, that censorship would favor his biased opinions of China and corrupt the judgment of readers.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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