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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.

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