The Double Standard of Blind Justice – Does it apply in China?

April 23, 2014

First, to keep this issue in perspective: USA Today reported (back in November 2013) that “Fatal hit-and-run crashes on rise in U.S.”

USA Today said, “Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes (this means someone was killed) is trending upward, from 1,274 in 2009, to 1,393 in 2010, to 1,449 in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics were available.”

Now to China (which usually gets roasted in the US media without any balance or perspective)—ChinaSMACK said a foreigner driving drunk and without a license, hit a 23-year old Yiwu girl crossing a street in a crosswalk.

If you believe the Chinese media is completely controlled and censored, you may be surprised to learn that ChinaSMACK is a daily-updated collection of translated Internet content from the Chinese-language Internet.

ChinaSMACK (launched in 2008) covers stories, pictures, videos, and topics that have become very popular and have spread across China’s major BBS forums, social networking websites, or through forwarded e-mails sent between normal Chinese people every day.

ChinaSMACK attracts millions of visits and page views each month featuring a vibrant community of commenters.

ChinaSMACK did not identify the foreigner (laowai), who was driving drunk without a license. The victim was thrown over 20 meters (more than 65 feet), and she died in the hospital.

The laowai sped away from the scene to avoid being caught, but the Chinese police tracked him down and arrested him. The victim’s family is poor and her father died three years ago.

The first two comments to the ChinaSMACK post said, “If you had hit a person, you too would be arrested and administratively detained first and then what should be done will be done. Laowai cannot escape Chinese legal punishment.”

“Our country’s criminal law does not put foreigners outside of our country’s criminal law. As long as the foreigner does something that matches a crime in our country’s criminal law, then the foreigner cannot escape the criminal laws punishment.”


This news clip talks about drunk driving and hit-and-run accidents in China

The next story is about the killing of a 20-year-old college girl in another hit-and-run.  When confronted, it was reported that the drunk driver (Li Qiming) yelled, “My father is Li Gang!” Li Gang was a high-ranking police officer and a member of the Communist Party. The victim was the daughter of a 49-year-old peasant from rural China.

The father of the victim said in an interview, “I’m just a peasant.  If it is unfair, let it be.”

However, an angry Chinese public on the Internet overruled the victim’s father and refused to “let it be.”  Although there have been many hit-and-run accidents in Hubei province, there was anger at China’s powerful elite and the arrogance of some children of money and power.

If you want to learn more about the rich, powerful and famous escaping punishment for horrible crimes, read Celebrity Justice: Prison Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Matt Clarke writes: “There are two criminal justice systems in the United States. One is for people with wealth, fame or influence who can afford to hire top-notch attorneys and public relations firms, who make campaign contributions to sheriffs, legislators and other elected officials, and who enjoy certain privileges due to their celebrity status or the size of their bank accounts. The other justice system is for everybody else.”

And then ask: Is there a difference between China and America when it comes to justice for the rich and famous?

You be the judge: In January 2011, Li Qiming was arrested for the hit and run and sentenced to six years in jail and ordered to pay the equivalent of $69,900 in compensation to the family of Chen Xiaofeng. Li was also ordered to pay $13,800 to the injured woman.

In addition, to crack down on corruption, in 2004, the CCP enacted strict regulations on party officials assuming positions in business. In 2009, for instance, 106,000 CCP officials were found guilty of corruption, an increase of 2.5% from the previous year.

How about the United States? During the entire eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, for instance, one member of his White House staff was convicted of obstruction of justice and sent to prison, but Bush commuted the sentence. In Congress, during that time, three Democrats and five Republicans were convicted of crimes of corruption. Meanwhile, the average wealth of members of the U.S. Senate went from $1.5 million in 2004 to $2.6 million by 2010 with a slight setback during the 2007-08 global financial crises that was caused by corruption on Wall Street and from U.S Banks thanks to legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress during the Clinton presidency. And former Vice President (2001 – 2009) Dick Cheney’s Halliburton made $38.5 Billion off the Iraq War. When Cheney became vice president under Bush, he was given a $34 million dollar bonus from Halliburton.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. 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.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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The Private World of Politics Inside China

February 11, 2014

This will probably rankle some, but the world of politics inside China isn’t that much different from the United States. Where the U.S. has two major parties and several splinter parties with little or no political power no matter how loud they shout, China has one major political party and several splinter parties without political power.

But what goes on inside the Chinese Communist Party mirrors what goes on between the GOP and the Democrats—when I say mirrors, I mean there are factions that debate and disagree with each other.

What the world sees in China is a government that seems to be walking in step but under the surface there are a lot of different opinions and debates taking place behind closed doors. In the end, like all republics—instead of one man making all the decisions—a consensus usually makes the final decision on important issues.

The biggest difference with the CCP is that any disagreements and arguments between factions are not for public consumption through the media like it is in the political circus that makes up American politics.

“It’s worth remembering that China has parties other than the Chinese Communist Party, although this does not make China a ‘multi-party state’ in the sense of the term. But observing how the CCP interacts with these other groupings can be revealing.”  (Sino-Gist)

The following list represents the eight registered minor political parties in China:

1. Revolutionary Committee of Kuomintang that’s considered second in status to the CCP has 53,000 members.

2. China’s Democratic League formed by 130,000 members, mainly mid-level and senior intellectuals.

3. Representing market socialism is the China Democratic national Construction Association that was formed by 69,000 members.

4. China Association for Promoting Democracy with about 65,000 members.

5. Chinese Peasants’ and Workers’ Democratic Party with 65,000 members

6. Zhigongdang of China: Returned overseas Chinese with 15,000 members

7. Jiusan Society with 68.000 members

8. Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League with 1,600 people mostly wealthy Taiwanese who now live on the mainland.

There is also the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) that was established in 1949 when the CCP legally made women equal to men for the first time in China’s history.  I wrote about that in Women’s Rights in China.

Then there’s the China Youth League (founded in 1920 with more than 73 million members today) and other representatives from people’s organizations; representatives of the People’s Liberation Army; and representatives of minority ethnic groups that have a population of over 1 million each. (China.org)

Another segment of the population where the CCP recruits new members, are freshly minted millionaires and billionaires of China’s successful capitalists—after an exhaustive background check probably similar to the CIA or FBI.

Many from the political list mentioned earlier may not belong to the CCP or have voting rights, but they have a voice. Just as most western corporate business is conducted on a golf course, in China these nonvoting members may express themselves at meals and banquets with CCP voting members.

These non-voting members are sort of like lower management in a corporation who take advantage to express their opinions and suggestions, with no guarantee that the majority of the CCP will agree.

In fact, non-party members, who are of a like mind, may be noticed and possibly asked to join the party, which is an invitation few in China reject since it means joining the more than 80 million that rule the country.

The Journal of Current Chinese Affairs reports: “China’s emerging bipartisanship within the CCP, therefor, is not only a mechanism of power-sharing through checks and balances among competing political camps, but also entails a more dynamic and pluralistic decision-making process through which political leaders can represent various social and geographic constituencies.”

In addition, “the diverse demographic and political backgrounds of China’s new leaders can also be considered a positive development that may contribute to the Chinese-style inner-Party democracy.” (The Chinese Communist Party: Recruiting and Controlling the New Elites)

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. 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.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Ai WeiWei is probably NEVER SORRY for anything he says or does: Part 2 of 2

February 5, 2014

Ai Weiwei also infers that it wasn’t the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that killed 5,335 children (Weiwei’s number because there has been no official death count of how many children died) but corruption in the CCP that led to shoddy construction, and every opinion Weiwei says in the film is reported as if it were a fact.

But the film leaves out many facts of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that killed 69,195 with 18,392 missing; 374,176 injured; left 5 million people homeless of the 15 million who lived in the area with no mention that many of the schools that collapsed were built in the late 1970s before even the United States had tougher earthquake building codes.

if seventeen percent of China’s population is age 14 or less, then about 2.6 million children must have lived in the area hit by the earthquake—those children who died then represent 0.2% of the total number of children and that was much less than the 0.46% that represents deaths compared to the total population of the area. Why did Weiwei [and the western media] ignore the fact that 99.8% of children under age 14 survived?

China’s government did report that more than 7,000 inadequately engineered schoolrooms collapsed in the earthquake, but China’s critics—including Weiwei—never mention that few buildings survive an 8.0 earthquake without damage, and that this earthquake was rated the 21st deadliest earthquake of all time.

And according to Structure.org, the number of collapsed or seriously damaged structures exceeded 25 million. I think it is safe to say that most of the buildings in that area were not adequately engineered to survive an earthquake of that magnitude, and the schools that collapsed represent 0.028% of the total number of buildings damaged. I wonder if any schools survived and—if so—when were they built?

If you want a better perspective, I suggest reading The Christian Science Monitor that reported, “Earthquake engineers say that constructing a building to resist a quake of magnitude 7 or 8 is possible, but is often considered cost prohibitive” … and “Schools … are particularly vulnerable because they are often mid-sized buildings, smaller projects for contractors that are paid by [local] government bureaucracies. Two recent earthquakes in Indonesia and in Kashmir also resulted in a disproportionate [number of] student deaths.”

“Often school buildings suffer quite a bit,” said Amir Elnashnai, director of the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In addition, why is it that China is condemned for the collapse of older concrete and brick buildings during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake when The Los Angeles Times reported in October 2013 that “More than 1,000 old concrete buildings in Los Angeles and hundreds more throughout the county may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake, according to a Times analysis. By the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of these buildings in the city alone would be destroyed, exposing thousands to injury or death.”

You may also be interested in reading what Sweet and Sour Socialism has to say about this controversial artist in “Detained: Ai WeiWei, Con Artist” by Yoichi Shimatsu [the 4th media]”

Simatsu is Japanese and is the former Editor of the Japan Times Weekly. Now, do you think Ai Weiwei is a hero and the documentary offers a balanced perspective of the issues discussed?

Return to Ai WeiWei is probably NEVER SORRY for anything he says or does: Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. 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.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Ai WeiWei is probably NEVER SORRY for anything he says or does: Part 1 of 2

February 4, 2014

My wife bought a DVD of Ai Weiwei NEVER SORRY, a documentary film by Allison Klayman that was well done but obviously produced with the intent to portray Ai Weiwei as a hero and Communist China as evil.

Ai Weiwei is an internationally acclaimed Chinese artist-activist who was selected as the designer of the Beijing Olympic Bird’s Nest, and he is also an outspoken critic of China’s Communist government.

The film won a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; Best Storytelling in a Documentary at the 2012 Nantucket Film Festival; the NBR Award from the 2012 National Board of Review, USA; Festival Director’s Choice Award from the 2012 Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, and the Students’ Choice Award from The 2012 Hague Movies that Matter Festival.

But—before judging if Weiwei is a hero or the film deserves the awards—I suggest you read this post (and maybe some of the linked sources) then decide if this film deserves the praise.

 

Weiwei’s advocacy for democracy and more transparency in China has attracted much attention in the Western media but how popular is his movement? For instance, he only has 233,510 followers [that’s 0.000176% of the population of China] on his Mandarin Twitter page where he is very active with more than 100,000 Tweets posted. There is also a Free Ai WeiWei Blog on Twitter with about 500 followers. Then there is an English Twitter page with 28,767 followers.

Ai Weiwei lived in the United States [1981 – 1993] to study art but dropped out of school and made a living drawing street portraits and working odd jobs. The film also reveals he had a boy with a young mistress/concubine while still married to artist Lu Qing. If he had one affair and isn’t sorry about that, why not more affairs with other women?

Weiwei’s father was a high ranking Communist Party member before becoming a victim of the teenage Red Guard during Mao’s Cultural Revolution—there are clips in the documentary that show this—and the film mentions that his father attempted suicide a number of times because of the persecution [that was happening to millions of Chinese]. It’s obvious that this experience had an impact on who Weiwei is today and why he publicly criticizes the CCP.

I couldn’t help but question where all the money comes from that supports his lavish lifestyle. For instance, there was one exhibition in London where his art was a field of ceramic hand-painted sunflower seeds—100 million according to Weiwei. Celebrity NetWorth/BBC, reported that those seeds sold for $US 782,000—that’s 4.733 million Chinese Yuan Renminbi.

HyperAllergic.com reported: “Production for creating so many seeds was an intensive and meticulous process taking two years and 1,600 factory workers to complete; it seems that when artists use factory workers it is conceptually engaging, but when Apple does it it is infuriating, neither of which seem to hinder sales.”

In the film, one of Weiwei’s criticisms of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) focuses on one incident where he alleged he was beaten by a police officer in Chengdu while investigating the collapse of public schools in Sichuan province after the 8.0 earthquake in 2008.

I don’t question that Weiwei was attacked by one cop in Chengdu, but is that incident an indictment of the CCP? For instance, Copblock.org reports that in the United States from April 2009 to June 2010 there were 5,986 reports of misconduct by police officers recorded and 382 fatalities linked to misconduct leading to about $347.5 million in settlements and judgments. If the CCP is guilty of abuse from one cop, then so is the United States Congress and the President of the United States for misconduct of police in America.

And police brutality is not exclusive to the United States or China. If we check the 10 Most Brutal Police Forces on Earth, we discover that the United States was ranked #10 and China #9. Mexico earned the number one spot.

Continued on February 5, 2014 in Ai WeiWei is probably NEVER SORRY for anything he says or does: Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. 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.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

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Discover three of Asia’s Republics–Singapore: Part 3 of 3

January 16, 2014

I’ve written about the Republic of Singapore before in The Reasons Why China is Studying Singapore.

Singapore is a model “republic” respected around the world. In fact, Singapore is tied for number one in the Corruption Perception Index for 2010 with a score much better than the U.S. Source: Transparency.org

Focus Singapore says, “It is interesting to note that Singapore laws are very strict with harsh punishments for smoking and littering in public places.”

For example, “A drug offence in Singapore can attract severe penalties including a death penalty.… Homosexual acts, including kissing between men, are illegal in Singapore and penalties include imprisonment.”

Human Rights Watch reports, “Singapore officials should cease using criminal defamation and contempt laws to silence government critics. … Free speech is an endangered species in Singapore.”

In fact, “Singapore remains the textbook example of a politically repressive state,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Individuals who want to criticize or challenge the ruling party’s hold on power can expect to face a life of harassment, lawsuits, and even prison.” Source: Human Rights Watch

But the Western media often ignore human rights violations in Singapore, because, “The United States has maintained formal diplomatic relations with Singapore since it became independent in 1965. Singapore’s efforts to maintain economic growth and political stability and its support for regional cooperation harmonize with U.S. policy in the region and form a solid basis for amicable relations between the two countries.”

About religion — “Singapore generally allows religious freedom, although religious groups are subject to government scrutiny, and some religious sects are restricted or banned. Almost all Malays are Muslim; other Singaporeans are Taoists, Buddhists, Confucianists, Christians, Hindus, or Sikhs.” Source: U. S. Department of State

Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990, was the world’s longest serving prime minister and was elected seven times. His son Lee Hsien Loong has been Prime Minister since 2004. When he runs for office, there is no competition.

When examined closely, Singapore seems similar to China except for China’s policy that leaders may only serve two five-year terms and must retire at sixty-seven.

Return to Discover three of Asia’s Republics: Part 2 or start with Part 1, South Korea

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. 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.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


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