China thread

I do find it kind of funny how the media to some extent is heaping praise on Hu Jintao. A large degree of collective leadership and walking away from power without pushing for lifetime rule are themselves laudable relative to what we’re seeing now, of course, but, as is custom, no one is considering the circumstances under which Xi entered the top seat and what it wrought.

The corruption of the 2000s was truly absurd. A huge portion of Chinese people lived in areas where any and all economic activity required gifts to the local party boss, and, of course, those with the means to pay more could get away with anything.

One of the things I frequently heard from Chinese people from 2017 on was how their small hometown had finally become livable and there was finally accountability for those that profit from environmental destruction et al.

Point being: a crackdown on corruption was both necessary and inevitable. We can all speculate that the anti-corruption campaign has primarily been a means for Xi to consolidate power, but imo, that’s a pointless debate: there is no scenario in any country, let alone in a one-party autocracy, where an anti-corruption campaign won’t be exploited by those in power to as much an extent as they can get away with.

Hu Jintao was the boss for a decade of unprecedented economic growth and optimism domestically and abroad regarding China’s future. All the opportunities to continue reforms and push for rule of law and an independent judiciary were wasted. The best you can say is officials looked the other way and many of the excesses of cadres were held back because they were focused full-time on making millions.

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IMO, there’s a million what-ifs regarding China in the 1980s and in particular the circumstances leading up to June 4th, '89.

That a strongman like Xi would emerge following the Hu-Wen era and exploit the previous decade’s lack of concrete reforms and bring back the dominance of the party in a manner that is disciplined straight from the top feels entirely inevitable.

Word on the street is that COVID measures have become noticeably stricter since the party congress ended.

My wife’s community in Wuhan is back under lockdown. If all goes well I’ll be arriving there around Nov 22.

The Times did some research

I’m paywalled. Anything beyond that he seemed to want to look inside a folder, was denied access then removed?

I know dunking on CCP…excuse my French…CPC shills is like taking on an arch-conservative second grader but we all have our lane.

All the shills insisting it’s obvious that the incident was all about Hu’s health* and respecting him are ultimately mocking themselves. If Xi’s leadership is the ultimate in truly democratic governance and everything he’s done is fair and just, Hu should be in prison or at the very least shunned from politics. He was either personally massively corrupt or knowingly surrounded himself with massively corrupt officials. If it’s not that then Xi’s legitimacy stems from wrongly imprisoning and purging untold numbers of officials. Which is it?

*Every attendee at the party congress is ~70+ and sitting through speeches that last hours. Do the math. It’s a festival of piss and shit.

nope. This is pretty much it. And plenty of speculation

In the minutes before Mr. Hu is led away, he appears to be reaching for a document on the table, where the top leaders and retired elders of the party preside.

The man to his left, Li Zhanshu, the party’s now outgoing No. 3 official, quickly intervenes, covering it with a red folder. He later slides the document away, speaking into Mr. Hu’s ear.

It’s unclear what the document was, but all the officials appeared to have papers. A photo of one of the pages, taken later, seems to show that it was a list of names, with the words “Central Committee.”

Got my “blue code” after getting rejected twice yesterday.

In Shanghai

“Communist Party…Step down! Xi Jinping…Step down!”

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The Chinese government is going to crack down harder and faster than in Hong Kong.

Just got out of the shower and my wife runs into the apartment having got word that our building had a positive case and is being completely locked down for five days. Grabbed clothes etc … and took the elevator down. Front door already closed off. My wife pried open the door to the stairs down to the parking garage and we were able to from their take an elevator into her parents building where we’ll stay.

We were just about to go grocery shopping. Would have had food for a couple meals left.

I don’t think I’m being all that disrespectful to the Covid deceased and their families in saying this would not be acceptable to all but an extreme minority of Americans in year one, let alone year three, nor remotely possible to implement.


QR code still green. Hi tech element is redundant if you’re just going to lock people in.

Damn, good luck.

Yeah, I’ve said if before, but the lockdowns are way extreme compared to what we would accept. Extreme, like, you’re not allowed to buy fever reducing OTCs, or visit a doctor with a fever without being shuffled to solitary confinement and your family locked for some period of time. It’s insane that people have taken this long to revolt.

We’ll, starving 10% of the population was also more extreme than most countries would accept and did not lead to revolt.

This is the strongest signal I’ve seen that China is really changing course. Hu has a fair amount of leeway to be “out there” but I can’t see him joking about the risk he faces as a guy in his 60s if they still plan on disrupting lives over proximity to a positive test.

Either that or he genuinely fancies himself an internet generation Peng Dehuai.

Naomi Wu is trash.

That is all

Who is this person?

She’s a Chinese tech vlogger with a large following and a sympathetic backstory regarding gender identity, kinda famous for anime-esque proportions that she is not shy about.

Officially or not she is a soft power figure for the regime. I’ve been blocked/unblocked by her multiple times on Twitter (seems I’m not alone, there, not sure what the deal is). She is big on dishing out hot takes and blocking anyone who questions them at all.

There’s very little that gets to me more than “western media is OBSESSED with something something unfairly negative about China”. There’s a particularly loathsome figure state media loves to platform named Maitreya Bhakal who’s sole takes are “white person = Nazi” and “western media is OBSESSED with trashing Eileen Gu (or whoever/whatever from China is at all currently noteworthy) but NEVER reports on any problems in America”.

The take Naomi Wu posted that pissed me off is essentially that western media is always reporting that China is going to collapse and if Chinese media was similarly ignorant they’d do the same regarding the US. So many layers to this. First of all, THERE IS NO TAKE THAT WILL GET YOU PLATFORMED ON STATE MEDIA QUICKER THAN “THE WEST/US IS COLLAPSING”.

Meanwhile, Gordon Chang (who no one, literally no one, takes seriously. He’s looked upon as a joke) and some guy I’d never heard of who was on Rogan recently are, afaik, pretty much the only people you’ll see claiming PRC is on the verge of collapse (Gordon’s been on that beat for two decades). Reporting that China’s population has fallen, despite clear efforts by the government to not have that happen, and that this could come with some problems is not saying China is collapsing. It’s not anti-China, it’s not dishonest, it’s basic reporting. That’s 99% of China reporting from major western news outlets: fact, context, potential consequences. Same with the Wuhan lockdown and Zero Covid: harsher than the rest of the world, very few deaths compared with other countries, potential economic consequences, not sustainable indefinitely.

NY Times just published an op-ed last week that wasn’t that far away from “saying mean things about Xi Jinping is causing hate crimes against Asian-Americans”. Funny, I still haven’t got the invite to write in state media about how Zero Covid meant not seeing my wife for over two years.

Even to the extent that reporting from actual journalists has a slant against the Chinese government. There is clearly fault that lies with the entity that kicked out nearly all foreign journalists and currently is holding a Chinese-Australian former state media journalist hostage in prison, I believe for over three years now.

The Economist’s guy in China, David Rennie, made a great point on a podcast with Bill Bishop (#1 China watch guy out there) that the lack of foreign journalists in China made it a lot harder for western media to reflect on the Chinese perspectives on Covid Zero. That for much of the population its comforting to have people at the front of small town and villages regulating people coming in and out etc. The PRC government is happy to sacrifice such foreign understanding of China in order to cut off the credibility of foreign media at the knees by kicking them out of the country.

As for Naomi Wu, if she were an out-and-out state media propagandist it’d bother me less.

TLDR I really need to get a job and better hobbies


My fondness of comparing modern PRC nationalists with the American right is kind of self-serving because I despise both.


I shit you not they are actually doing the “SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!” thing over Blinken tweeting about Lunar New Year without specifically.mentioning China.

As someone from a culture with a lunar calendar which celebrates a lunar new year that isn’t this one, I can’t help but notice how “lunar new year” in the US means the lunar new year as reckoned in the Chinese calendar (and other calendars influenced by theirs).
Luckily I’m not the sort to get triggered by things like these but it’s not like I don’t notice.