Will China suffer from the censorship and blackouts? As discussed heavily on HN, probably. Then again, it is most likely that China is already suffering through its own turbulence. Its economy is standing perilously on shadow debt (its going through its own 2007 real estate bubble deflation), while it engages in heavy protectionism - it recently disallowed South Korean companies from moving its assets out of the country, and its citizens, suffering from massive inflation in food and real estate, pollution, dirty water and food, are suffering.
How was it not one before Xi Jinping?
The police will continue to repress, the press committees will continue to censor...
Edit: to be clear I am not endorsing either system, just describing them as accurately as possible.
Many of the worst actions of repressive regimes have usually been motivated by emotions, not expediency. As more people get involved, the chance of any single personal obsession resulting in crass harm to, for example, a certain group of citizen is lowered.
Competition for power among people and/or these institutions also results in a sort of crude "checks and balances". There are too many people with considerable power that it becomes impossible for all of them to move billions to Switzerland, and if only a few do so, they risk being taken down by others who get jealous.
Of course, as China shows, this is still far below the standards set by real rule of law. But compare China with the half-bit dictators (Qaddafi, Barack Hussein) and it's hard to deny that it's not quite that bad.
Comrade Stalin didn't become Vozjd because the Bolshevik party wanted to instill an all-powerful dictator. Like Xi, he decisively won a power struggle in a government which was originally composed of a number of powerful committees.
The revolution had ~30 fathers - yet, 13 years after Lenin's death, all but one of them - Stalin - were dead, in a GULAG, or in exile (And soon to be dead).
The only way to protect against despotism is to have relatively frequent turnover in government. If US presidents and congresscritters were elected for 20 year terms, the US would have long ago become a dictatorship.
This is completely unrelated to Xi's reign. The point is to keep the population "harmonious" before the Communist Party congress that starts next week.
The crackdown on black people and BLM is very similar, but a lot more violent.
Yes you can. You just did. It’s a stupid thing to say, in the same vein as likening the Civil Rights Movement to contemporaneous protests under Diem’s regime in Vietnam or the Cultural Revolution in China. But we have the First Amendment and courts to defend it. It’s not perfect, but it’s miles apart from a full security crackdown.
And on HN, you get massively downvoted so your post disappears.
And I won't accept it, even socially, I promise.
But how true is that? I hear a lot about corruption and crackdown, and wonder how much does that impact their economy.
How critical is good information about the world? Do Western Media do a good job of it, or at least a better one than those in less democratic societies?
Most of cantonese speakers can speak mandarin as well.
I believe your point may be refuted by the fact that you state outright lies like this whopper here.
also, refuting one argument does not shoot down unrelated arguments.
and i'm not sure i understand you correctly, but the very first sentence in the wikipedia link says that the 1995 referendum was the second one... this  was the first.
Mandarin is basically the Han dialect of Chinese. The Han people are 92% of the population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Chinese
In addition, Mandarin is the standard language used in most or all public schools. I volunteered multiple times in an area where the majority of people are the Yi minority group (location: Zhaojue in southern Sichuan). The Yi people's language doesn't even share the same characters as Chinese. When I first heard their language, I swear it sounded like it was from Africa, a lot of similar phonemes. But even there, they used Mandarin in the public schools.
>> And this isn't happening in some backwater part of the country; in addition to Cantonese being the official language of Hong Kong, Canton (a.k.a. Guangdong) is the most populous province in the country, and the location of Shenzhen itself.
Shenzhen is a city built on top of a fishing village in the 80s that had very few incumbent people. Most of the people who live in Shenzhen come from outside of Shenzhen and never spoke Cantonese. As such, they have no choice but to speak Mandarin to each other, as that's the only common language out of all the people who come from all the other provinces. The fact of the matter is that I cannot remember the last time I heard Cantonese in Shenzhen. Guangzhou has a lot of Cantonese, but that's because there were a lot of Cantonese people in Guangzhou from the beginning, as Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong (the Canton province). Shenzhen's economy is forecast to outpace Hong Kong's economy, though Hong Kong will by no means become insignificant. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/as-shenzh...
If Cantonese is dying, it's a natural death brought on by social and economic factors, not a forced death. Mandarin has been the standard language used in public schools since the days of the Republic of China, China's attempt at democracy, in 1912. This is not some kind of new malicious strategy brought on by the modern Communist government.
So many factors are making it a natural death for Cantonese.
My Cantonese speaking friends agree with this.
Source: I live in Shenzhen
Source: I grew up in Hong Kong and have relatives in mainland China
It's like me telling a Chinese person that Canadian English is basically American English, even though it isn't.
EDIT: it may well be the case that people use "Hanyu" (literally, Han language) as a synonym for "Guoyu" (lit. national language, the Taiwanese version of Modern Standard Mandarin [MSM]) or "Putonghua" (lit. common speech, the PRC version of MSM). "Han language" is a poor English translation for "Hanyu" if that's what you mean.
If you count their rural areas as a nation, its GDP is $3.6 trillion around the same size as Germany, 4th largest in the world.
Your statement "there's around 700M in China that still lives in rural areas with under $1 a day" is simply wrong.
We're probably more homogeneous here in European Union. Granted, China is a log bigger.
The biggest industrial centers (like Guangdong or even Shanghai) don't even use Mandarin on a daily basis.
Yes, alas, the thing that makes this whole thing going is the central government.
I would argue that the main barrier between Arabs and unity is authoritarianism.
But it's always been optional. China showed it. But Singapore showed it best. It's undoubtedly prosperous, but not considered too democratic (it is on paper of course).
The West usually sells the idea of liberalization with the promise that Democracy will eventually follow. It goes something like "let us come in overthrow the government, start a war, install some dictator, bring some big multinational corporations to run things, etc. But don't worry, eventually democracy will arrive". But it seems it doesn't always.
Slavoj Žižek, hate him or like him, likes to call this Capitalism with Asian Values
He explains himself what that means here:
(Be prepared for silly jokes, and endless diversions)
To be like Singapore they would need to have a much more regular and neutral justice system and expose their politicians to much more democratic oversight (though still not to western levels). They would have to engage in a much more subtle and limited form of censorship.
If they do become like Singapore, then what do they get? They get to be about as rich as western democracies.
This is quite obvious. We've had economically prosperous countries for ages now. Even in feudal times.
Doesn't mean the average citizen is going to prosper.
That was never in question. It's been known since at least Tocqueville and certainly long before that.
"I admit that, in a democratic State thus constituted, society will not be stationary; but the impulses of the social body may be regulated and directed forwards; if there be less splendor than in the halls of an aristocracy, the contrast of misery will be less frequent also; the pleasures of enjoyment may be less excessive, but those of comfort will be more general; the sciences may be less perfectly cultivated, but ignorance will be less common; the impetuosity of the feelings will be repressed, and the habits of the nation softened; there will be more vices and fewer crimes. In the absence of enthusiasm and of an ardent faith, great sacrifices may be obtained from the members of a commonwealth by an appeal to their understandings and their experience; each individual will feel the same necessity for uniting with his fellow-citizens to protect his own weakness; and as he knows that if they are to assist he must co-operate, he will readily perceive that his personal interest is identified with the interest of the community. The nation, taken as a whole, will be less brilliant, less glorious, and perhaps less strong; but the majority of the citizens will enjoy a greater degree of prosperity, and the people will remain quiet, not because it despairs of amelioration, but because it is conscious of the advantages of its condition. If all the consequences of this state of things were not good or useful, society would at least have appropriated all such as were useful and good; and having once and for ever renounced the social advantages of aristocracy, mankind would enter into possession of all the benefits which democracy can afford."
Of course it is critical but the access to good information is not entirely dependent on whether there is censorship:
For long form reporting a lot is dependent on budget resources. When newspapers here lose revenue they inevitably cut back on investigative reporting and resort to more editorialization. In China newspapers may have fared slightly better on the revenue side so far (https://www.statista.com/statistics/498028/newspaper-publish...) but the future is uncertain.
Outbound tourism has been steadily growing, reaching 126 million trips in 2016. https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tourism/2016statistics/outb...
There is a large Chinese diaspora connected through social networking.
There are also websites such as Zhihu that is a real force in dispersal of knowledge but is barely discussed here on HN due to the language barrier. Weibo (which is like Twitter), where a celebrity could generate millions of comments, gets more attention from the general public and the government. But if you are after good information Zhihu often provides surprisingly in-depth answers.
You might want to look at the history of US external economic relations, especially the United Fruit Company (which created the "banana republics").
Huh? It was never about pure economic prosperity. The point is the human being that any prosperity is useless without.
Also, I had to think of this:
> You can have a lot of political 'change' in the United States, but will it really change that much? Will it change the amount of money in someone’s bank account? Will it change contracts? Will it void contracts that already exist? And contracts on contracts? And contracts on contracts on contracts? Not really.
> So I say that free speech in many Western places is free not as a result of liberal circumstances but rather as a result of such intense fiscalization that it doesn’t matter what you say. The dominant elite doesn’t have to be scared of what people think, because a change in political view is not going to change whether they own their company or not; it is not going to change whether they own a piece of land or not. But China is still a political society, although it is rapidly heading toward a fiscalized society. And other societies, like Egypt, are still heavily politicized. Their rulers really do need to be concerned about what people think, so they expend proportionate efforts on controlling freedom of speech.
-- Julian Assange
So yeah, "democracy". Freedom of speech. We can call Bush a war criminal, fine. Yay for us! But are others yearning for the right to speak about grievances and take part in normalizing them, or about correcting them, for good?
What would be the functional difference between capitalism in which one company provides all products and jobs and any other strictly top-down hierarchy? Flavor? And while I do not mean to say "oh it's all the same", and think it would be insane to demean the liberties we (still) have instead of really using them -- just take this:
Just some random quotes describe what I mean:
> They make hardware that we can't control, there's no real alternative to buy, and now we gotta rely on volunteers and wiki pages to give instructions that might work but who knows you might brick it.
> Unfortunately for consumers, there's no way to escape this as even AMD has their own IME.
"Unfortunate". You know, like it's the weather. And now consider at all the double think spouted at other, more minor occasions. Oh, free market this personal choice that. But that stops when it comes to a whole lot of things that matter a whole lot.
In a sane world with people who have their dignity intact, it would be "unfortunate" for AMD and Intel, and companies that engage in war profiteering and a whole mess of other things. We are not living in that world and we are not those people. We could and should be.
Here's just the wikipeida link:
If you have a better source, please link it so that I can read through it. Thanks.