Skip to comments.Misreading China: The Harm of Ignoring Human Rights
Posted on 03/18/2014 10:32:29 AM PDT by rktman
On Wednesday First Lady Michelle Obama heads to China, reportedly on a mission to charm the Chinese government. She will be traveling without the president, but with her two daughters and her mother.
As Reuters describes it:
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to steer clear of controversial issues such as human rights when she visits China this week but her trip could help advance a top item on her husbands foreign policy agenda: deepening Washingtons ties with Beijing.
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Human rights, phony accouting, blatant looting at every level....the collapse is not far away.
What few westerners realize is that human rights is not really an Asiatic concept, and so does not really compute with them to any great extent. They have a different outlook that is “apples and oranges” apart from the western idea.
Most likely their premier unit is the extended family, not individuals within it. Extended families can cross national
borders, and prestige is based on the success of nuclear families within the extended family.
Then there is some affiliation based on town, village or city; but this becomes intermingled with region.
Regions matter because about 230 BC, China was seven different nations that were unified about 220 BC in their first dynasty under a single emperor. Each of the seven had their own different cultures, weights and measures, and language; so he standardized weights and measures, and created a unified *written* language, even though the spoken languages remained different. However, the cultural difference remained.
Even today in China there are eight major culinary traditions that are very different, and while the Mandarin tongue is pretty much the national spoken language, it competes with others for regional use.
I mention all of this because while there is indeed a single national Chinese government, each of its regions has considerable autonomy, and can more or less ignore many edicts of the central government.
There are annually thousands of public protests in China, but to a great extent they are protests against local and regional governments ignoring the national law, as well as corruption and blatant criminal acts that violate the national law.
And their national government seems to be unable or unwilling to crack down on the regional governments, so instead attacks the protestors who want them to.
This is the paradox of human rights in China.
It’s very kindhearted of the president’s partner to afford the Chinese people in this way a good, hearty laugh.
Since I’ve done a little traveling, I understand(at least I think I do) and sometimes am baffled by the lack of understanding by a lot of Americans on just how non-Americans act and think. Just a whole lot of people that just don’t know through no fault of their own. Sometimes you gotta leave the farm to see what’s goin’ on out there.