Remembering Tiananmen

Tin Tin Square

Tin Tin Square

Today is of course marks the 20 year memorial of the Tiananmen Square peoples uprising and subsequent Government clamp down.

I think what they need is some new leadership. And I’d be quite happy to take up the challenge..

UPDATE: It appears that I have a challenger….



23 Responses

  1. Who’s that mean, nasty, murderous imperial prick on the left.

  2. Oh dear…where’s a tank when you need one…

  3. Is that a Peking Duck?

  4. You’re both a couple of two-dimensional cartoons.

    You need real leadership for a job like this. I gratefully accept the position.

    Now. Go and find me some virgins so that I may bless them with my Godhood.

  5. Virgins? Bugger that, get me the best pros in the country!

  6. Why do I get the feeling that we’re treating this sensitive ocassion with the respect it deserves.

    Shame on all of youse. … SHAME!

  7. Any numbers on the death toll of that day?

  8. How young do you want them Ross?

  9. I heard to this day there has not been any investigation into the event.

  10. Gee, if you think that China needs new leadership we could loan them the PM for eighteen months.

    He certainly turned this country around in that time frame!

  11. Ha ha maybe Fitzgibbon wants the job !

  12. Good idea Davo.

    At least Fitzgibbon clearly knows how the “system” works over there…

  13. On that side-subject – are we going to put up an article on Fitzgibbon’s resignation? Given the hullabaloo that happened during his last indiscreation – it’s only fair to the pro-Liberal contingent on the blog to get their crowing rights 🙂

  14. Now that’s a face I can trust.

  15. Any numbers on the death toll of that day?
    aquanut, on June 4th, 2009 at 2:22 pm Said:

    Pick a number below 1.5 billion and you’ll be around about correct.

  16. Tol..(apologies for being off topic) but even more interesting is who is going to be Fitzgibbon’s replacement.

  17. What’s there to crow about?

    I don’t care which side of politics a person that breaks the rules comes from, the culture of protection and second chances must cease!

  18. China’s internal security situation remains fluid to this day. The monumental scale of the Middle Kingdom gives their Government legitimate reasons for concern.

    I quoted an official Chinese Government figure of 6000 serious disturbances a year – an average of 20 riots involving citizens with weapons a day – on Blogocrats two months ago. Another “official” figure I found more recently put the number of annual serious disturbances above 80,000.

    Like most people, I was shocked and appalled by the Tiananmen Square massacre. I met incredibly brave Chinese journalists who continued publishing the truth for weeks afterwards, right up until when they were forcibly closed down. Sad to say, I don’t know what happened to them …

    The other side of the coin was combatitively delivered by then-Premier Li Peng – one of the hard-men who orchestrated the slaughter of unarmed Chinese citizens by their own army – when he became the first Chinese leader to visit the outside world, post-Tiananmen.

    ”We have to feed around a quarter of the world’s people each day and we think we do a reasonable job. If any of you think you can do better, here is the chair’, Peng yelled at stunned European journalists. With that, Peng stood up, pointed at the hot seat and stormed off stage, ending a wild media conference with around 5,000 hacks in Italy.

    Here’s the American Geopolitical Weekly’s recent take on China’s internal security dilemmas (Apologies: subscriber-only story, so I cannot link it):

    China and Separatism

    China also faces significant hurdles, albeit none as daunting as Russia’s challenges. China’s core is the farmland of the Yellow River basin in the north of the country, a river that is not readily navigable and is remarkably flood prone. Simply avoiding periodic starvation requires a high level of state planning and coordination. (Wrestling a large river is not the easiest thing one can do.) Additionally, the southern half of the country has a subtropical climate, riddling it with diseases that the southerners are resistant to but the northerners are not. This compromises the north’s political control of the south.

    Central control is also threatened by China’s maritime geography. China boasts two other rivers, but they do not link to each other or the Yellow naturally. And China’s best ports are at the mouths of these two rivers: Shanghai at the mouth of the Yangtze and Hong Kong/Macau/Guangzhou at the mouth of the Pearl. The Yellow boasts no significant ocean port. The end result is that other regional centers can and do develop economic means independent of Beijing.

    With geography complicating northern rule and supporting southern economic independence, Beijing’s age-old problem has been trying to keep China in one piece. Beijing has to underwrite massive (and expensive) development programs to stitch the country together with a common infrastructure, the most visible of which is the Grand Canal that links the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. The cost of such linkages instantly guarantees that while China may have a shot at being unified, it will always be capital-poor.

    Beijing also has to provide its autonomy-minded regions with an economic incentive to remain part of Greater China, and “simple” infrastructure will not cut it. Modern China has turned to a state-centered finance model for this. Under the model, all of the scarce capital that is available is funneled to the state, which divvies it out via a handful of large state banks. These state banks then grant loans to various firms and local governments at below the cost of raising the capital. This provides a powerful economic stimulus that achieves maximum employment and growth — think of what you could do with a near-endless supply of loans at below 0 percent interest — but comes at the cost of encouraging projects that are loss-making, as no one is ever called to account for failures. (They can just get a new loan.) The resultant growth is rapid, but it is also unsustainable. It is no wonder, then, that the central government has chosen to keep its $2 trillion of currency reserves in dollar-based assets; the rate of return is greater, the value holds over a long period, and Beijing doesn’t have to worry about the United States seceding.

    Because the domestic market is considerably limited by the poor-capital nature of the country, most producers choose to tap export markets to generate income. In times of plenty this works fairly well, but when Chinese goods are not needed, the entire Chinese system can seize up. Lack of exports reduces capital availability, which constrains loan availability. This in turn not only damages the ability of firms to employ China’s legions of citizens, but it also removes the primary reason the disparate Chinese regions pay homage to Beijing. China’s geography hardwires in a series of economic challenges that weaken the coherence of the state and make China dependent upon uninterrupted access to foreign markets to maintain state unity. As a result, China has not been a unified entity for the vast majority of its history, but instead a cauldron of competing regions that cleave along many different fault lines: coastal versus interior, Han versus minority, north versus south.

    China’s survival technique for the current recession is simple. Because exports, which account for roughly half of China’s economic activity, have sunk by half, Beijing is throwing the equivalent of the financial kitchen sink at the problem. China has force-fed more loans through the banks in the first four months of 2009 than it did in the entirety of 2008.

    The long-term result could well bury China beneath a mountain of bad loans — a similar strategy resulted in Japan’s 1991 crash, from which Tokyo has yet to recover. But for now it is holding the country together. The bottom line remains, however: China’s recovery is completely dependent upon external demand for its production, and the most it can do on its own is tread water.

  19. So I keep on fighting for the things I want.

    Even though I know that when you’re dead you can’t.

    But i’d rather be a free man in my grave.

    Than living as a weak heart or a slave.

  20. 4 television news crews trying to film in Tiananmen Square have been detained by Chinese police today, according to Reporters Sans Frontieres:

  21. Ray Hunt, on June 4th, 2009 at 8:06 pm Said:

    China’s internal security situation remains fluid to this day.

    Indeed it is and there is no ‘democratic outlet’ to relieve the tension. The Chinese leaders know their history and realise that their future depends on ‘trust’, ‘authenticity’ and the like.

  22. Interesting take on the drivers behind China’s economic policies, Ray.

    The place strikes me somewhat like a Giant ocean Liner with all the passengers and crew on each of the decks speaking a different language and everyone wanting the ship to head to a different destination, or something different on tonight’s menu, or better games and activities for teh kids, or more frequent Happy Hours or whatever, while those on the Bridge are desperately trying to hold it all together, keep their jobs and keep underway. Any way they can.

    They’ll all come together to repel boarders, but that’s about it.

    I wouldn’t be the skipper for quids. (Nice touch that, Peng offering the hotseat to the journos. I still think he’s a prick for killing those kids, but you’ve gotta admire the moxie)

    Interesting (and scary) statistics on the euphemistically-termed “disturbances”, too. These make the Cronulla Riots look tame. And they have thens of thousands a year? Impressive, young Skywalker. Most of the Chinese I know are quiet law-abiding types (in the main) and it takes quite a bit to wind them-up. So things must be somewhat tense. (I’m thinking thousands of potential pressure-cookers like Watts circa 1964/5 here).

  23. Evan, nice analogy, and one that allows for having to consider the consequences of anyone who wants to cut across the bows of the liner. There is little anyone on board can do to avoid a collision.
    Perhaps another analogy where a collision might be avoidable is a bus driver who has someone jump out in front of him. He might not be able to stop in time, but if he swerves he risks killing those pedestrians off to the side or the passengers on board.
    The momentum that is propelling the leadership of a country like China is in my opinion far greater than the momentum of any such liner or any such bus.
    Of our leadership and it’s momentum? After listening to parliament the other day, they have the momentum of a dodgem car and about the same idea as to the direction they want to take us.

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