Family Planning, Chinese Style

Discussion in 'China' started by sorcerer, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Family Planning, Chinese Style

    China’s one-child policy is frequently framed as an economic and social imperative, implemented not willfully, but rather as a necessity. Those favoring this argument often fail to acknowledge that the supposed necessity of state-sanctioned birth control came after decades of Mao Zedong dictating that the population give birth to hordes of children, so they could prop up the numbers of the People’s Liberations Army (PLA) and contribute to the country’s labor drive. The wombs of Chinese women have thus been the property of the state from the time the Communist Party came to power. :rofl:

    As callous as it may seem for states to think about their newborn citizens as a number that makes up a quota, it is in fact something every responsible government must do. Over-population is one of the gravest threats facing the planet. Still, even by cold-hearted standards, China takes a particularly brutal approach to ensuring these quotas are met. And the directive from the Central Committee in late 2013 to ease its one-child policy, to allow only-child parents to have a second child, is just as dubious as its more robust previous position.

    Provinces

    Beijing]’s influence in the provinces is often misunderstood. It would be impossible for a country as large and diverse as China to be controlled absolutely from the center. Beijing often encourages economic growth by allocating large sums of money to the provinces, but when it comes to implementing Central Committee policies the provinces have considerable autonomy. So Beijing’s authority, rather than being overly pervasive, is oblique; ambitious cadres who want to rise through the ranks of the competitive, hierarchical system know that their carefully documented and quantified performance will be scrutinized when opportunities for advancement present themselves.


    This pseudo-communist bureaucracy persists, despite several disastrous failures in the past. The starkest of them was the Great Famine, in which an estimated 36 million people died. As part of the Great Leap Forward, Mao and the Central Committee kept requesting impossible grain and steel yields from the provinces; local officials, fearful of the consequences of a shortfall, left nothing in reserve for the workers. As each target was met, the next was raised. As large swathes of the countryside starved to death and were driven to cannibalism to survive, those in the cities remained largely unaffected. And Mao, who had become aware of his policy’s effects, continued to export grain so he could fill his coffers with foreign currency.


    [OPPA CCP STYLE -:gangnam: Killing own citizen for foreign reserves - This is where the power of democracy comes in ..if only the chinese knew]

    Fifty years on and one only has to stroll along the Bund in Shanghai to realize just how mighty China has become; yet the country’s leadership remains dangerously ambivalent towards the well-being of its people. Today, China’s wealth ensures people don’t starve en masse, but the government’s commitment to authoritarian one-party rule has not waivered. And the one-child policy is an ever-present reminder of this.

    The accounts of forced abortions and compulsory sterilizations are all too common to be ignored but, by continuing to frame the policy as a requisite for continued social and economic growth, that is exactly what is happening. The Communist Party obscures the reality of its policy behind the façade of statistics projecting :rofl: what the country’s population would be if the one-child policy wasn’t in place (after the 2010 census state-media reported that without the one-child policy the population could have been 400 million larger).

    Infanticide

    The government has successfully managed to manipulate the public debate, but for this numerical yin there’s a statistical yang:rofl:.
    Since the policy was enacted in 1980 Chinese medical officials have performed more than 200 million sterilizations on both men and women and have inserted more than 400 million intra-uterine devices in women. (These figures were supplied by the government so it’s reasonable to assume they’re on the conservative side and don’t take into account any procedures performed “off the books,” as it were.)

    In an article for the Guardian, the novelist Ma Jian interviewed a woman in Hubei province who’d been forced to undergo an abortion eight months into her pregnancy. Her account is harrowing: “He was still alive after the nurse pulled him out of me. He was a tough little creature. He clutched the nurse’s sleeve and wouldn’t let go. She had to peel his fingers off her one by one before she could drop him into the bin.”:sad: Infanticide doesn’t seem to strong a word for such butchery. One ought not to be surprised then that a state that treats its citizens with such cruelty can have the effect of obscuring morality in its people. It’s likely that Mao and his comrades, as students of revolution, would have read of Thomas Paine’s opposition to the execution of Louis XVI on these very grounds. But Mao evidently preferred his revolutionaries a good deal more tyrannical than Paine.

    The levels of infanticide are a carefully guarded state-secret, but Ma’s personal testimony would seem to suggest that it’s still a problem that afflicts the nation that places a high importance on male heirs:

    A few days later, while walking along the banks of the Pearl river [in Guangdong’s Fengzhong County], I saw a dead baby lying in an opened black plastic bag. I had seen discarded fetuses in China many times before: purple lumps of flesh lying on rubbish heaps or inside communal dustbins. But this was a pale, fully grown, newborn baby, with the umbilical cord still attached. A passerby had spotted it, and was prodding it with a wooden stick.

    This is not some impoverished nation, it’s a country that could soon boast the world’s largest economy, and happened as a direct result of government policy.

    Following the change of policy in 2013 the government-controlled press reported heavily on the case of Zhang Shuxia, a former obstetrician with Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, who’d been sentenced to death, suspended for two years, for selling babies born at a hospital in northwest China’s Shaanxi province to human traffickers. One can only assume that this was an episodic attempt by the Communist Party to demonstrate that it will prosecute those suspected of similar offences (something they’re commonly criticised for not doing). The government maintains a blackout on the number of children sold on the black market, but some sources estimate that the number is at least 70,000 a year.

    In September 2013 the state-media revealed that the police had saved 92 children kidnapped as part of a human trafficking ring. They arrested 301 suspects and were lauded by the media for their efforts to crack down on the endemic problem.

    These sporadic official reports and the multitude of unofficial testimonies paint a picture of a country that has set up a system in which the trafficking of children not only thrives, but is facilitated. The secrecy and draconian punishments for those breaching the one-child policy mean that selling one’s child is sometimes the only viable option for poor parents. Yet the Communist Party continues to try and frame the crimes as being perpetrated by rogue medical professionals or criminal gangs, rather than acknowledging what it really is: the callousness of the state filtering down and directly affecting the actions of its people.

    Gender Imbalance

    Chinese parents’ historical preference for boys, coupled with the restrictions, is having some serious societal effects; most frequently cited is the disproportionate number of males who are unable to find brides and the ageing population. But what of the women who are driven to abort their pregnancies by the “invisible hand” of the state?

    It’s illegal for couples to find out the sex of their unborn child, but it’s hardly difficult if one really wants to. I’ve spoken to couples that have simply paid a small bribe to their doctor who has happily handed over the information. And it’s easy to purchase home ultrasound kits to conduct the procedure by oneself (albeit with questionable reliability). On discovering their baby’s gender many women feel under great pressure to abort their pregnancy and try for a boy. The statistics are telling: The health ministry revealed that since 1971 there have been 336 million abortions performed. To put this in perspective, China performs over 13 million abortions a year, compared with India’s 6.5 million, and the United States’ 1.2 million.

    Not surprisingly, abortion in China is big business. In stark contrast to the moral complexities that accompany the issue in the West, in China abortion is presented as something divorced from morality, it’s been commodified. Abortion clinics are advertised on the sides of buses, on the headrests in cabs, on billboards, and even on subways with ads offering half-price procedures to students.

    Perhaps these differences are a product of social conditioning. Abortion in the West has always been divisive, with either side of the argument often unable to comprehend their opponents’ position. In China, the government relies on public ambivalence to help validate and enforce their one-child policy.

    Now, about 18 months since the family planning rules were relaxed, there hasn’t been the parental rush to have a second child that many predicted. The government has conceded that even it has been surprised that only 700,000 families have begun to fill out the required paperwork to obtain the necessary permit to have a second child. The early indicators suggest that the reasons for this are largely economic. But it seems that – in some small way – families are pushing back against the government and women are reclaiming some autonomy over their bodies.


    One shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the Communist Party’s decision to ease its one-child policy wasn’t sparked by any sense of humanity. The CCP has not decided that it wants to reform and begin to treat citizens with dignity and respect. Rather, it was a decision made to ensure that it can continue to grow economically as its population ages. In other words, the quotas have changed and any belief that this is the first step towards a more compassionate ruling party is misguided.

    In short, this is no shift in ideology; rather, it reinforces the direction the country has been taking since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. Provided the Communist Party’s authority remains unchallenged, economic prosperity is of primary (sometimes sole) importance, regardless of the consequences. This kind of hyper-capitalism practiced by an authoritarian, unopposed government inevitably leads to widespread abuses against the people who don’t get in line and follow in an orderly fashion: The one-child policy is a case in point.

    Tim Robertson is a Beijing-based freelance writer. You can follow him on twitter @Timrobertson12]]
    Family Planning, Chinese Style | The Diplomat
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    The wombs of Chinese women have thus been the property of the state from the time the Communist Party came to power


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    @pmaitra, @Ray, @Mad Indian @sgarg , @roma , @rock127, @LETHALFORCE, @Sambha ka Boss et al.

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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I think even in India there is a slight favour to have a male child.

    PRC reduced its population, and so, it has a relatively smaller population to look after, than what it would have without the one child policy. India has made mediocre efforts at family planning. We have a lot of mouths to feed and India is overcrowded. Yet, India offers liberty, unlike PRC.

    So, which one is better?

    PRC looks certainly better as of now. 20 years down the line, PRC will have an ageing population while India will continue to grow with a steady supply of young people. PRC won't be able to keep up its economic growth, but India will also face challenges as a large part of Indians will also get old.

    We need to actually run a simulation test as part of university funded research. This is a very complex but interesting subject.
     
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  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why China’s New Family-Planning Policy Hasn’t Worked
    The authorities have not considered decision-making behavior.

    Population concerns vary. For most developed countries, declining birth rates have emerged as a common concern, whereas developing countries are struggling to keep up with population booms. China, too, is facing its own unique population worries. According to figures issued by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), the country’s fertility rate is between 1.7 and 1.8; the Beijing-based Brookings-Tsinghua Centre for Public Policy has put the figure below 1.5. Either way, the fact that China’s fertility rate is lower than 2.1 per couple, which is the population replacement rate according to demographers, has alarmed policymakers. Following a number of “pilot programs” in small cities, China relaxed its decades-long family-planning policy in 2013, allowing couples to have two children if either parent is an only child. Before the policy was enacted, some scholars worried that it would trigger a baby boom, with its attendant concerns such as resource allocation.

    The worry soon turned out to be misplaced. The new policy was estimated to affect 10 million to 20 million families, with authorities thinking that half might choose to have a second child. By the end of May 2014, however, only 271,600 couples had applied for permission to give birth again, with 241,300 successful applications. Among families who do try out the new policy, some face unintended consequences. On April 2, 2015, a 12-year-old girl committed suicide after she found out that her parents planned to have a second child. So what happened?

    The answer may lie at least in part in policymakers’ failure to realize that many Chinese families are using their reflective system to decide, if not calculate, whether they should have a child or not. Richard Thaler, economist at the University of Chicago, and Cass Sunstein, professor at Harvard Law School, have pointed out that people think using one of two systems: the automatic system, which usually leads to an uncontrolled, unconscious, and rapid decision-making process, and the reflective system, which means taking time to think through a decision. There are many factors that contribute to Chinese families’ reliance on their reflective system in making child-birth decisions.

    One such factor comes from the contrast between the legacy of China’s one-child policy and the complexity of the current second-child permission application process, which also varies from province to province. Liberal paternalists Thaler and Sunstein described in their book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness the six principles of successful nudges, or good choice architecture, that is, “iNcentive, Understand mappings, Defaults, Give feedback, Expect error, and Structure complex choices.” In China’s new family-planning policy’s case, none of these principles are met.

    China’s family-planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s, as a means to rein in the surging population by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children, if the first child born was a girl. By 2011, according to the government, it had prevented some 400 million births. While the policy did produce a population control effect, it came at a price. Since it came into effect, the policy has resulted in 336 million legally mandated abortions, 196 million sterilizations, and the non-consensual insertion of 403 million intrauterine devices. Many procedures were brutally enforced on pregnant women. Even after China announced the relaxation of its one-child policy, the overall birth-control system remains in place and local governments are still reportedly trying to keep to population quotas.

    These cases have a psychological impact on people, which comes into play when they are deciding whether they are truly allowed to have a second child or not. In other words, although the new policy has been introduced, the default “child quota” for each family – be it real or perceived – remains one. For many Chinese couples, relying on their reflective system, this means considerable reluctance to conclude that it is worthwhile, or even safe, to have a second child.

    “A nudge clearly becomes a shove when it is mandatory, but the harder it is to opt out, the more a nudge turns into a shove,” said Thaler and Sunstein in an 2008 interview. This may also explain why China’s “second-child” policy stimulus has failed.

    While China’s central policymakers announced its decision to loosen its decades-long population policy at the third plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on November 15, 2013, it offered no detailed timeline of when and how each province would put the new policy into place. Among provinces where the new policy is in effect, the implementation mechanism varies from place to place but all are tedious: In most cases, couples have to apply for permission before pregnancy; :laugh:during the application process, couples have to provide their marriage certificate, house registration documents, and other proof signed by village/neighborhood committees. This burdensome paperwork requirement helps explain why the relaxation of the policy has failed to trigger a baby boom.

    Another obstacle – a more institutional one – is the Health and Family Planning system itself. Chinese law requires local officials to submit fines for violation of the one-child policy – which China calls a “social maintenance fee” – to the national treasury, although they are then returned to local budgets. This serves as an incentive for local officials to use second children as a revenue source; in the past four decades, the fines have generated 2 trillion yuan ($324 billion). Together with other beneficiaries of the status quo, this creates a powerful force within the government that is resistant to change, as political scientist Thomas Penpinsky has suggested.

    Compared to the 1970s, China now faces a vastly different scenario: a rapidly aging society with too few young people to support their parents and grandparents. The country’s labor pool declined in 2012 for the first time in almost 50 years. The ratio of taxpayers to pensioners is expected to drop from almost five to one to just over two to one by 2030. Apart from economic concerns, the country’s population policy is also causing some painful social issues – for one thing, it has left bereft parents who have lost their only child to illness or accident, a disadvantaged group that numbers about a million and grows by 76,000 each year.

    In an online poll by China’s state media, nearly 64 percent of participants indicated that they would not have a second child even if China dropped the one-child policy altogether.
    Next time, when Chinese policymakers want to influence the behavior of their target audience, they might want to consider more carefully how its legacy policies have shaped public decision-making.

    Formally a journalist and news editor based in China, Lotus Yang Ruan is pursuing her Master’s degree in Asia Pacific policy studies at the University of British Columbia with her main research interest the Greater China Region.



    Why China’s New Family-Planning Policy Hasn’t Worked | The Diplomat
     
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  5. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    For China...everything is economic.

    As a first phase they made one child policy like "One Belt One Road" policy of china's for economic development
    :D

    As the second phase now CCP wants citizens to have more children for Economic development.

    In effect..Chinese citizens are machines that will produce more machines. :D

    :D

    Dedicating a song to CCP
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irW-aSl_Txg
     
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  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    @sorcerer, I wonder at times that the Chinese nation has this remarkable quality to work as a unit. You are correct. Even individual Chinese I have come across functioned as a machine. They are very mechanical, both at the macro level and micro level. The bureaucracy you talked about has been part of Chinese culture for centuries.
     
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  7. Sambha ka Boss

    Sambha ka Boss Regular Member

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    IMO One Child policy is a kind of social/moral degradation because kids have no idea of having growing up with a sibling.
     
  8. Sambha ka Boss

    Sambha ka Boss Regular Member

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    The mainlanders with whom I interacted with are very closed mind people, they don't think beyond certain things and would never discuss certain social/political issues. Compared to them I found Han Chinese outside of Mainland a more open minded people and not running after materialism.
     
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  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Those in the Mainland are also Han (not all). Did you mean the Taiwanese people?
     
  10. Sambha ka Boss

    Sambha ka Boss Regular Member

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    Yes, I was referring to same. Han Chinese of mainland and elsewhere like HKers and Taiwanese.
     
  11. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Absolutely..Its a system they have tuned for centuries.
    Thats the reason they dont really understand the freedom..but they believe in the CADRE system even at LIFE LEVELS.

    The scary part is the wonders of the world outside the Great wall of China. This is where the unit could collapse as a single entity.
     
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  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    @sorcerer, I did not get your last point.

    The Great Wall of China is actually the Great Walls of China, i.e. a collection of walls, built at various points by various people, which were later merged into one. So, it is not a unit anyway.
     
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  13. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Errr..actuallly I was not talking about the great wall itself.. [ I will never be a writer or Yoda..*sigh]

    I was talking about the way CCP has managed to contain its citizens inside their hypothetical framework (The great wall) forcefully making them believe that there is a protection in the system and whatever CCP does is for the good of the commoners.
    But
    Now we see that as Chinese citizens are interacting more with the world and China is opening up which ofcourse is inevitable CCP is having trouble keeping them together as a Unit. Its a great challenge and a losing game for CCP.
     
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  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    @sorcerer, that was actually an excellent metaphor. It was I who should have gotten that. :thumb:
     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The idea that the Chinese are Han and they are about 92% of the population is actually a demographic sleight of hand.

    The original Han are people North of the Huang He river.
    [​IMG]

    Chinese (Mainland) have done the fudge, where they classify the 'outer people' (wei ren) as 'inner people' (nei ren) or Han.

    Let us walk through this.

    Throughout much of recorded Chinese history, there was little attempt by Chinese authors to separate the concepts of nationality, culture, and ethnicity. Those outside of the reach of imperial control and dominant patterns of Chinese culture were thought of as separate groups of people regardless of whether they would today be considered as a separate ethnicity.

    The self-conceptualization of Han largely revolved around this center-periphery cultural divide. Thus, the process of Sinicization throughout history had as much to do with the spreading of imperial rule and culture as it did with actual ethnic migration.

    This understanding persisted (with some change in the Qing under the import of Western ideas) up until the Communists took power in 1949.

    The Chinese understanding of ethnicity or being Han was shaped as mentioned below.

    Siyi 四夷 was a derogatory Chinese name for various peoples bordering ancient China, namely, the Dongyi 東夷 "Eastern Barbarians", Nanman 南蠻 "Southern Barbarians", Xirong 西戎 "Western Barbarians", and Beidi 北狄 "Northern Barbarians".

    The Siyi construct, or a similar one, was a logical necessity for the ancient tianxia system. Liu Junping and Huang Deyuan (2006:532) describe the universal monarch with combined political, religious, and cultural authorities: "According to the Chinese in the old times, heaven and earth were matched with yin and yang, with the heaven (yang) superior and the earth (yin) inferior; and the Chinese as an entity was matched with the inferior ethnic groups surrounding it in its four directions so that the kings could be valued and the barbarians could be rejected." The authors (2006:535) propose that Chinese ideas about the "nation" and "state" of China evolved from the "casual use of such concepts as "tianxia", "hainei"( four corners within the sea) and "siyi" 四夷 (barbarians in four directions)."

    Chinese are master manipulators and fudges who can convert the impossible to suit their postulations.

    Imagine such a huge land mass (9,596,961 km²) as China has a single ethnicity, the Han Chinese, comprising a population at 91.59% classified as Han Chinese.

    Is there any other country with such huge land mass having just one incomparably huge single ethnicity?

    This is how the Han captured areas and made all follow the Han culture and declare themselves as Han just as they are trying to do now in Tibet and Xinjiang.

    [​IMG]

    To wit, it was under Mao that they recognised that there were 56 minorities. Till then, they maintained 100% of the population were Han.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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  16. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Of course all Chinese are not the same ethnicity and even if we take people who are called Han, we will see a lot of diversity. A lot of this new "Han" concept is more of a historical reconstruction that is motivated by politics, and not by anthropological evidence.
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    @sorcerer

    The Chinese had, and even now has, excellent control systems for their huge population so that they do not go astray.

    (a) Danwei (单位)(Work Unit). It is the system that was conceptualised by the People's Republic of China by which workers were bound to their work unit for life. Each danwei created their own housing, child care, schools, clinics, shops, services, post offices, etc.

    It was so micromanaged that even permission had to be obtained from the work units before undertaking everyday events such as travel, marriage, or having children. The work unit assigned individuals living quarters and provided them with food, which was eaten in centralised canteens.

    In short, one could not do anything without the permission and control of the Daiwei authorities.

    (b) Hukou(户口簿). This system ensured population registration, identifying a person as a resident of an area and includes identifying information such as name, parents, spouse, and date of birth and included the births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and moves, of all members in the family.

    This system also ensured control over the population as it controlled the movement of people between urban and rural areas. Individuals were broadly categorised as a "rural" or "urban" worker.

    No one could move from the rural to urban areas to take up non-agricultural work unless they applied through the relevant bureaucracies. The number of workers allowed to make such moves was tightly controlled. Interestingly migrant workers would require six passes to work in provinces other than their own.

    People who worked outside their authorized domain or geographical area would not qualify for grain rations, employer-provided housing, or health care.There were controls over education, employment, marriage and so on.

    That the Chinese took and take all these draconian measures lying down without much protest is because of the Chinese psyche having been historically shaped by the Chinese theory of Legalism, which in essence underlines that the King/ State knows best as to what the people want and what the people require.

    This is typically of the Chinese.

    They can make night into day with all sorts of impressive fudges spouted in deft and ambiguous arguments. They are masters at Disinformation.

    Disinformation, a you are aware, is unlike traditional propaganda techniques designed to engage emotional support, disinformation is designed to manipulate the audience at the rational level by either discrediting conflicting information or supporting false conclusions. A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole.

    China is a nation full of contradictions that can flourish because of the Theory of Legalism and the fear of the Laogai.
     
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  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Maybe you would like to read this:

    Chinese Surnames and Genetic Difference Between South and North China
    http://hsblogs.stanford.edu/morrison/files/2011/02/27.pdf

    This is also interesting

    Why are southern Han considered "Hanized" natives?
    http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/topic/8910-why-are-southern-han-considered-hanized-natives/page-5
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China fascinates me.

    It is a contradiction and the existence is propped up by disinformation and fudging galore.
     
  20. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    CCP rule:
    If it looks like a Chinese and walks etc. like a Chinese...Its HAN
    :D
     
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  21. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Ok I cant get one thing, on one hand you are mocking chinese for family planning while on the other hand, you want a similiar program in India?:confused:
     

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