Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I’m not sure I’d call China running over people with tanks and imprisoning millions of Muslims in concentration camps “improvements”.

From the East India company and the opium wars and the unbalanced treaties, to the Chinese civil war and the invasion of Japan, it's not easy for an outsider to understand just how strongly China considers anything that would bring about the instability that they experienced in the past. Most Chinese people support preventing instability, as in the 80s they had the largest famine in human history. Sometimes they are heavy handed and I think they acknowledge this, and would even tell you that it's not right what they did, but I think the average Westerner does not really get the perspective of the reasoning behind it. Think about how many people we have imprisoned in our so-called drug war. As a percent of our population, it's a lot more than in China.

I don't find those trying to explain away China's disdain for human rights by using historical arguments to be in any way credible. Taiwan alone proves that it's possible for China to be a democracy with respect for human rights. But I suppose you're right, it's not easy for me to really get into the mind of someone like you who is comfortable with explaining away organ harvesting by referring to the need for "stability". That which does not bend, will break.

How many Iraqi civilians did US government forces kill? The US nuclear bomb drops on Japanese ciivilians? Was that fine compared with organ harvesting? My point is not that any of this is okay, but so easy to point the finger and "they" are the bad people and we are good.

It is easy to point the finger, yes, because no Western country is nearly as bad as China when it comes to human rights, and to suggest otherwise is peak contrarianism. I'm not going to suggest the West is perfect, but it's without question that China is much worse. I'd also like to restate that your claim that historical events dictate that China must abuse human rights to lift people out of poverty is nonsense because Taiwan is Chinese, democratic, developed, and doesn't abuse human rights.

There is nothing unique about China's own human rights abuses that rationalises it. Every dictatorship ever has had similar rationalisations.

I don't feel your comment is rooted in a deep understanding of Chinese history, but I hear what you're saying. I personally believe that if the current leader started to exhibit behavior that was crazy, he would be removed. And you might go on to say that what happened in the Muslim territory in the Northwest is already crazy, but the economic track record and the number of people who have been lifted out of poverty is quite good for the current leader.

The big question is what happens when that economic track record hits a road bump or a giant pothole, how will the government react?

Currently in China: largest number of people freed from poverty in human history. Their neighbors in SE Asia are also coming out of poverty, maybe 20 years behind China. I think trade war could make it tough for all, hoping we can avoid it. A bump? Let's hope it's not like the great famine China experienced in the eighties. I doubt it.

The Nazis also pulled Germany out of poverty. This does not excuse their actions towards the Jews any more than your point excuses China's actions towards the Uyghurs.

Scant consolation for the Uyghurs, Tibetans or even HKers.

Minor correction but the Great Chinese Famine was from 1959 to 1961.

> Think about how many people we have imprisoned in our so-called drug war. As a percent of our population, it's a lot more than in China.

Be careful what you're seeking to compare; with 11M Uyghurs and 1M of them in re-education camps, China has far more of a percentage of the underclass imprisoned (9%) than in the U.S. (with 1.35% of the black population imprisoned). This isn't to defend the prison practices of the U.S., which are still generally indefensible, but some heart can be taken in that the number of U.S. imprisoned (of all races, but especially black prisoners) has fallen year-over-year for more than a decade, whereas China's re-education camps are still growing.

> than in the U.S. (with 1.35% of the black population imprisoned)

Interesting. My first thought was that your number was too low, but searching a little it seems you are right, with a couple caveats. The first caveat is that the number for black males is about twice that of the black population as a whole (ie, black females are rarely imprisoned).

The second caveat, which is not one I've seen widely reported, is that the percentage of black males currently imprisoned has dropped sharply over recent years, from 3.5% in 2000 to 2.6% now. This article (with the charts from which I got the numbers) goes into possible reasons: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/12/15/a-mass-incarce...

Right, running people over with tanks and forcing Muslims into re-education camps is fine because “they don’t want instability” and the US has strict drug sentencing. The mental gymnastics for that reasoning are astounding.

Here’s the deal: it doesn’t matter if the US started killing every dissident outright. US behavior is not an excuse for unethical behavior in China. The government and citizens of China are not dumb children that can’t behave ethically if there are other unethical things going on in the world.

Nobody said those were improvements, so what is your point?

Source to running over people with tanks?

The British ambassador to China at the time, Sir Alan Donald, claimed that citizens were mowed down repeatedly by Chinese army tanks, turned to mush, and their remains were scooped, burned, and washed away.[1] There also exist individuals who claim to have narrowly survived the tanks in Tiananmen Square but had limbs crushed and amputated. They have been pressured by the Chinese government to change their story.[2]

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tiananmen-squa...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fang_Zheng

Even the people claiming Iraq had WMDs provided better evidence than that.

Tiananmen, And there is photographic evidence

There were no pictures that actually captured people being run over with tanks. The man in the famous photo was the only incident caught on film, he was not run over that day but his whereabouts are unknown.


An interesting fact I learned the other day is that the man in that picture is from after the protests, when the tanks were leaving the square, not when they were entering it.


It may not have been a tank but I have a photo of someone who was clearly crushed by something that definitely wasn't a students bicycle let's say

Not available in China, though...


The actions of a government should come with higher scrutiny than the actions of its citizens.

cat199 35 days ago [flagged]

and where do chinese living in cages 'because crowding' or having organs harvested for political dissent fit into these figures?

>Americans shoot fellow citizens in the dozens

>happens maybe ONCE A MONTH

Not to be a dick but...

Cite. A. Source.

A shooting with 12+ people getting shot is the kind of event that makes the national news even if nobody of dies. That's not the kind of thing that happens about monthly. I am very skeptical you will be able to back up your assertion assuming any reasonable definition of "shoot" and "dozen".

Edit: My skepticism has survived one citation and counting.

I'm in several pages now and don't see a single number of double digit injuries let alone a dozen or multiple dozens.

Several of the ones I've clicked through to the source on seem to be counting people injured in things other than the shooting (e.g. brawl injures X, dude draws gun, shoots one person = 1 dead, X injuries).

The fact that they call the page "Mass Shootings in 2019" when even they say in their about-us[0] that they attempt to catalog each and every shooting seems to indicate a bias (to put it mildly). Edit: actually I'm wrong, I was only looking at the "Mass shootings" portion of their data. Their definition of "mass" seems to be "4+ people injured and/or killed including people not injured/killed" which seems slimy considering how they seem to be counting injuries. That said, they seem to be a pretty damn good source for raw information and generally unbiased with their numbers.

Edit: got through all the 2019 results (couldn't get CSV export to work with my browser) and found exactly two results for a dozen.

One event[1] has 6 dead, 6 injured but the source doesn't mention any of the people injured other than the 5 victims and one gunman who died, maybe an error in the data?

The other event is the Virginia Beach shooting.

In any case I think it's safe to conclude that events where a dozen people get shot happen less than monthly.



According to the source, the shootings on the following days have 9 or more injuries or deaths in 2019: Jan 15 (12), May 7 (9), May 18 (9), May 25 (9 and 10), May 31 (13).

So obviously I was wrong that people were killing DOZENS every month. It is more like mass shootings involving 9 or more people are happening ONCE PER MONTH on average.

Thank god things are better than I thought!


Don’t move the goalposts. Your original claim was proveably false, and needlessly flame bait.

Better to admit that was wrong if you’re interested in having a discussion, and maybe even influencing some people’s opinions.

Gun violence is a absolutely a big problem in the US. The interesting twist is it’s a Constitutional right to bear arms in the US, so this is a case of a limitation of government power leading to an adverse outcome. It’s a difficult and widely debated issue in American politics, and in fact the American people will ultimately decide how the rules around gun ownership will evolve over time in the hopes of reducing that number in pursuit of a safe and free society.

Calm discussion is good. I was wrong that people were killing dozens every month. It is more like mass shootings involving 9 or more people are happening once per month on average.

I would still maintain my point that personal safety-wise, China is pretty good by today's standard.

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact