> During the last two decades and a half, important changes occurred in the realm of rice production and profitability. First, the cost of producing rice is several times higher than potato but the rate of profit is more than double for potato. Second, the yield of wheat, jute and potato has increased over time but the yield of rice has almost doubled from 2.16 t/ha in 1988 to 3.7 t/ha in 2000 and about 4.6 t/ha in 2014.
More than a factor of almost four increase in the yield of a staple crop that has been grown in that region for a thousand years is a technological miracle.
>The country is notable for its soil fertility land, including the Ganges Delta, Sylhet Division and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Agriculture is the largest sector of the economy, making up 18.6 percent of Bangladesh's GDP in November 2010 and employing about 45 percent of the workforce. The agricultural sector impacts employment generation, poverty alleviation, human resources development and food security. More Bangladeshis earn their living from agriculture than from any other sector. The country is among the top producers of rice (fourth), potatoes (seventh), tropical fruits (sixth), jute (second), and farmed fish (fifth).
To get a perspective: look at the map of egypt and map of their population density. Half the country is pretty much in Nile Delta and most of the rest is along Nile.
Closer to home, South Florida will eventually have similar problems. The whole region sits on permeable limestone so dikes are pointless.
That leaves emigration or mortality increases, barring further food miracles.
Most people in those countries do not consume large amount of meat, massively reducing their need for large amount of agricultural land.
Soil fertility is just part of the equation, does not explain Egypt, Pakistan and a multitude of other countries.
As you said, US has only a 3rd of the population. This is probably the reason they are the largest exporters of food in the world.
You clearly haven’t been to Pakistan anytime recently
It is true that the state throws absolutely colossal amount of resources on geoengineering and agriculture, yet to little effect.
China is nowhere near Holland or other advanced agriculture player in calories production per unit of labour.
Out of close to a 100 officials I went by through my career, I only managed to befriend two. From those two, I barely know in the most generalised terms of what is happening in top tiers.
Agriculture meetings are alleged to be the non-stop shit show, an every day crisis, and a way to demotion for the prime majority of cadres put on the agri committees, as most of them fail at the task.
Provincial level party executives all send their deputies instead of themselves to them as they fear demotion and penalties if they say something silly at those meetings.
Chinese bureaucracy does not deserve much credit there. Were that much of money be given to just anybody moderately competent, China would've long beaten even Holland on that.
The Dutch have a stronger focus on produce export and a higher income per capita, so they have to be a lot more efficient in order to be competitive in the global economy.
A higher produce efficiency is not only not needed, it is unwanted. Full labor market participation is of much more value to the Chinese right now than the efficiency of the produce industry.
Chinese love seafood and fish, they consume quite a bit of it as hinted by the article. But they usually also want to buy it alive.
Therefore in supermarkets and even restaurants you usually have tanks with live fish, crabs, etc. As fresh food as can be.
Regarding vegetables, the north is actually not that north by European standards and is sunny in winter (Beijing is at the same latitude as Ibiza...). This means that in places like Beijing they can have solar greenhouses that can produce fresh, local vegetables all year long even when it's freezing outside (winters are much colder than in Europe).
See for example: https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/12/reinventing-the-gree...
I bet it's characteristic for large cities where the amount of produce consumed is large, and prices are higher.
If it's anything like Chinatown produce in the U.S., it will be quite cheap:
Even during the Maoist period 'new rice' was given out/sold once a year for celebration. Everyone was aware they were eating rotated granary rice.
Storing crops against famine (and eating the old, stored grain) is an ancient tradition  dating back to at least 6000 BC, and in China, guarding against famine was one of the earliest tasks of the Chinese proto-state.
At most a third of India is vegetarian.
Also.... who is asking the questions?
Where I sit, 1000km from an ocean, seafood is pretty remote. Sure, it gets flown in and flash frozen isn't horrible, but it isn't fresh.
I was under the impression that ocean fish don't have the same level of parasites.
You would never eat a catfish raw.
In most places in the world it's easy and cheap enough to produce food and distribute it. Actually, it's so easy and cheap that many world states artificially subsidize agriculture/livestock farming/etc. to prevent them from collapsing due to low prices.
Ask any organizers of international food programs. In most cases local authorities will demand that they, not the international do-gooders, distributed the food. When they get hold of that food, they keep it under lock and key and distribute in a way that supports the existing power / social status structure, not in a way that helps most hungry people. Some food could even rot unused, but not given away to the hungry.
The problem is not a lack of food. The problem is that certain power structures emerged on top of traditional food-deficient economy, perpetuate it to stay in power, and can't be fixed by injection of food from the outside.
Meanwhile we have people who die from hunger.
That patronage system will out-compete other, non-patronage systems, because it will have a stronger internal power base.
There are only 2 classes of solution that work here, where “work” = “not accidentally create/enable a patronage scheme”:
1. Impose power from outside, non-locally. This is generally frowned on, as it’s basically colonialism.
2. Withhold the flow of outside aid, as this takes away the resources the local power structure is free-riding on to sustain its power base. This is also generally frowned on, as it feels like useful resources are being withheld.
Because both solutions are unacceptable, the status quo and its power structures persist.
If the subsidies were removed, the farmers/etc would need to raise their prices to pay for whatever the subsidies paid. That new higher price would reflect the real cost of production. The subsidies are there to keep prices low and accessible despite a higher cost of production.
It seems more like it's just an entrenched industry. Corn especially now that it's tied up in gassoline and Trump's trade war.
Same thing, really. Entrenched industries usually find themselves a nice feedback loop and dig in. The nature of capitalism allows them to ignore any negative externalities of their product. They ship out corn-sugar and dollars roll in. They don't deal with the realities of diabetes and heart disease caused by their products. Heart disease is the #1 killer in this country. Diabetes is #7. If we want any hope at combating this, we need less sugar in this country. But big sugar is indifferent to this, and that's where the evil comes in. In fact, they know this is happening, but the calculus is clear.
The problem here quite simply is that people kove sugar. Arguble some historical regulatory mistakes made suger consumtion too high but the primary reason is people demand.
But it applies to adults too who purchase the goods. Most people if you ask them don't realize how much sugar is in the food they consume, and they don't understand the connection between sugar consumption and heart disease. No one chooses heart disease.
People can read a percentage or a gram count on the packaging, sure, but the nature of sugar is that of addiction. It's not just that people like sugar, it's that we are wired to want to consume it, and Big Sugar takes advantage of that by loading a surprising amount of our food with too much of it. Many people are surprised to learn their bread has sugar in it. Even with soda they are surprised just how much is in a can if you measure it out physically on the table in front of them. People aren't well-informed about what they are consuming and the long term health related effects, and even if they are they are too addicted to stop. Big Sugar knows this and takes full advantage, because millions of people dying every year does not affect their bottom line (and they can easily replace their old, dead customers with new, young ones)
Look at mines, oil companies, etc for other examples of industries with participants lacking the ability to raise their prices.
Some foods are just more nutritious than others, and some foods cause more trouble than the nutrients that they provide. There is junk food that is just based on empty calories and toxic elements that then have to be worked on by the body to just remove (much more so than other food). You could say that junk food is perhaps better than no food, if someone is really starving. But it does not magically become good for you because you eat it "in moderation and variety".
Also, a “nutrient” is just something that promotes growth and provides energy. That makes olive oil and sticks of butter a lot more “nutrient rich” than a pile of broccoli. Nobody will survive on the latter alone.
If we're talking about many countries in sub saharan Africa for instance though, I'd say shortage is still a problem and probably going to get worse with climate change since Africa is particularly vulnerable (literally read an article about this yesterday but can't find the link right now)
I never see this question on TV. What I mainly see on Tv is talk about political strategies, result surveys and the like. Climate change is one of the few things that I see being discussed. And even that has a lot of this let's talk about politicians positions and poll results.
I want to see more about how to improve the world. Does anyone know any good on-line resources about this? Because mass media is doing a poor job. And we need them to do a better job.
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/no-shortcuts-9780190... - Jane F. McAlevey examines the difference between the ineffective activism of the last 40 years and successful movements like the Civil Rights Movement and the industrial labor movement. Her work is also explained well in this interview - https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/04/jane-mcalevey-on-how-...
Is that notable in a good way or bad way? Anything written for the population densities and totals 100 years ago is woefully out of date.
100 years ago there were homesteaders in the western US who were given free acres of land just for being there.
Population densities are higher now but Kropotkin was writing before the green revolution. Our capability to feed everyone has grown dramatically in the intervening time
The tough truth is that improving the world at that scale is mostly about politics. Politics is how the nations allocate resources to problems.
You maybe want them to talk about the technical fundamentals of the problem but the important bit is usually the politics.
[A sibling comment says to look at TED talks. This is an excellent idea. Then, after a couple of years, ask why none of the solutions have been implemented, and you are ready to get interested in the politics.]
Today, it's basically a political and economics challenge, to convince enough people it would be worth while to spend the time and effort to do it. Which is not to say there wouldn't be engineers involved, solving new problems, but we already know enough of the solutions that it's not really the sticking point now.
(Which is to agree with you, a lot of things are organizational problems at this point.)
There's a quote by (I believe) Winston Churchill - which I can't seem to find atm - that goes something along the lines of:
Winning a war/battle is relatively easy. It's convincing them to let you fight that's far more difficult.
Politics of course often leads to bad propert rights distribution and limitations to trade.
But I prefer this definition because in many places de-facto property tights are privatly enforced and defended and its produce is not effected by state level politics.
You overall point is certainly true, bad governance leads to a lack of food.
That's a hard pill to swallow, but I fear you're right.
Shouldn't government's priorities be establishing rule of law, courts & justice, national defense, and regulating commerce? How did massive taxes, a huge budget, and political fights over resource allocation ever get thrown into the mix?
A historian once said that democracy fails when people begin voting themselves into the nation's purse [i.e. voting for politicians who promise them money].
That’s an oft-repeated but incorrect trope. You can’t save your way to being rich. Rich people are either born rich or they spend lots of money on investing into businesses (their own and others).
You also made no supporting argument for why the government is needed to decide what to spend some peoples’ money on. If we eliminated the top 1% and gave everyone else in the US the resulting few thousand dollars each, do you think that would eliminate the need for taxation going forward?
Any system, including someone's anarcho-capitalist fantasy, determines allocation of resources. Some are just more humanitarian than others.
Though that idea was footnoted: not so with people lacking in moral virtue.
All he talks about is the problem of resource redistribution through the means of a basic income, $1000/month to every citizen!
They just chose as a couple to have her take care of her own son as a caretaker instead of her working and them hiring. That’s not a failure of the market anymore than the market not valuing my car because I refuse to sell it.
With integrated carbon-neutral fuel production: http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com/node/277
> "Alcohol Can Be a Gas!" (subtitled Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century) is an information-dense, highly readable, profusely illustrated manual, covering every aspect of alcohol fuel from history through crops, hands-on fuel production, and vehicle conversion. It's the first comprehensive book on small- to farm-scale alcohol production and use written in over 90 years.
> In most places in the world it's easy and cheap enough to produce food and distribute it.
look at Venezuela and even North Korea, then look who supports these regimes that allow the governments of each to keep themselves in power. We cannot do much more than harm the people of countries like these two but surely trade sanctions or limits can be applied to their supporters.
A special UN rapporteur sent to Venezuela suggests the sanctions are causing death due to lack of things like Insulin.
Who is this "we" that it's so worried about the welfare of humanity?
Read about the interventions of first Europe and then the USA in the global affairs.
You can check how sugar, then cotton and later oil interest have shaped the world. Or even fruit (1).
(1) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Fruit_Company
From what I've read and heard on the subject, my understanding is: (1) some we have (touched upon at end of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, for example), (2) we are in the process of doing so to most the rest, (3) fish farms are increasingly making up the difference.
also its possible that there are 3 sushi restaurants on the same street because of the Hotelling model of spatial location (good vid explaining that: https://youtu.be/jILgxeNBK_8)
- In Shanghai 96% white-collar workers have at least one disease of the "food triad" (diabetes, fatty liver, hypertension), up from ~80% in 00's.
- In Beijing 26% of the whole population is overweight or obese, up from 11% in 00's.
- China has the largest percentage of obese children in the World, only competing with Mexico.
So there is enough food, but this food is low quality empty calories to "feed" 1B people, not nourish them.
A more likely explanation is that the arrival of cars, fast food, and a middle-class lifestyle is making Chinese people obese, just as it's making Americans obese. Studies show a direct correlation between obesity rates and rates of car ownership in China.
I don't question any of your data or even your conclusion, but do you really think WHITE-COLLAR workers having diabetes is a proof of " food is low quality empty calories"?
To me, it's more about the fact that lots of young people (or people in general) in urban area have poor lifestyle. Barely has anything to do with the lack of food quality or nutrition.
And I highly doubt this phenomenon is unique to China.
Keep in mind the topic is "how is China able to provide enough food for 1.4 billion people", which implies they must have some efficient or cheap way. And I'd agree "rice" probably is one of the reason.
However, you firstly used "Shanghai's white-collar" as an example, which is the least representative group for this topic (because how cheap the food is is less of a concern for the high-income groups).
You also mentioned obesity, which only dramatically increases when China got richer. Again, totally irrelevant to the topic. If anything, Chinese people probably eat less rice now due to the increase of variety.
I do not thing that being a dietician gives you much authority to comment on the cross-cultural socioeconomics of nutrition, sorry.
The claim that the Chinese are fat and unhealthy because they are force-fed empty calories remains unproven.
That's because: (1) it's rich in toxins due to the industrial processing and (2) it has a poor proteins/nutrients to energy ratio.
Nutrient hunger is a thing. Proteins are regulated by the brain. Micro nutrients might be regulated by the brain as well. When you eat ultra-processed food, you end up eating more food just to get the nutrients you need to live.
Ultra-processed food is also rich in calories, often being high in carbs and high in fat at the same time, a very unnatural combination that floods the brain with dopamine, making you overeat and crave for more.
You basically can't get lower quality than this.
> "as opposed to unconstrained individual choice"
There's no such thing, you're not aware of many of the recent findings.
I recommend you go read: https://www.stephanguyenet.com/thehungrybrain/
(2) is a valid point, but (1) should be entirely prevented by the FDA.
But again à lot of it is a question of dosage. A bottle of coke a week might not do much, a bottle a day and it's a whole other story.
"The most neglected threat to public health in China is toxic soil" -- https://www.economist.com/briefing/2017/06/08/the-most-negle... (2017)
All the things in their air and water (Quote from the article: "Wen Jiabao, a former prime minister, once said that water problems threaten “the very survival of the Chinese nation”.".
I don't know if it's because they can't afford better or don't want to eat better, but in the US there is a considerable relationship between income/education and obesity. The poorer you are, the more likely you are to be obese. 50% of the US makes less than $30k a year, and that group probably amounts to somewhere around 75% of the obese people.
Healthy eating simply isn’t prioritized by some people/groups, and others don’t value it at all.
Yes, of course. Is this rhetorical? Obesity and wealth are highly correlated.
Going to China and eating with Chinese people, it’s a very easy thing to do. Chinese food portions can sometimes make American food portions look downright tiny—and a lot of it is colossal chunks of meat with vegetables.
- Sweet potato
- Pork meat
- Sheep meat
In the Brexit-headed UK there is considerable discussion about this, some Brits don't consider US food to be edible. Phrases like 'chlorinated chicken' get mentioned.
Are those soy beans fed to people or pigs? Same with all that corn. None of it can be eaten, it has to be processed into corn syrup or fake potato crisps. There is no modern marvel of engineering, it is monoculture, as if nothing was learned from the dustbowl. It is also heavily subsidised. Watered by fracked aquifiers. To international tastes it is all bland, adulterated and not really food.
Those exports also put people out of work on the global market so they are not growing their own food, just importing nonsense like American maize.
I am not into Chinese food but I know that Chinese people don't consider U.S. food as having much taste, not even real food.
On the other hand, there are far less flat lands but mountains and deserts here in China. But the engineering and infrastructure is getting better and better.
So in particular the point on fish farms- fish farms are hard, the fish need many different things to be happy and not sick or affected by parasites.
This means medicines, treatment and more - further this is only viable if you have transportation, refrigeration and markets.
Those make a larger difference than the base technology. Without the transfer and storage tech, the rest is simply bottlenecked.
>Those Tibetans have no time to go to temples for worshipping any more, instead, they have to work in the greenhouses taking care of tomatoes. This is why Dalai Lama is not so happy to hear this.
Is simply Chinese propo. The Dalai Lama is unhappy, if at all, because China has taken over what used to be an independent nation, decides how their religion should operate, crushed dissent and even ostracized their own citizens who made the mistake of talking to Tibetan protesters to do the very simple human thing of figuring out the other side.
(Voting behavior and soft shilling of the poster in the thread is also pretty odd.)
Yes and no. Some fishes are really, really hard to culture. Other are very forgiving and easy if you know what to do. Aquaculture shaped China since thousands of years. They have a lot of population in part because they have carps. Is a very efficient way to recycle waste in food.
I'm not sure if you're talking about the HN thread, but such insinuations break the site guidelines here. Experience has shown that the vast majority are imaginary.
I've written about this a great deal for anyone who wants more explanation: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20astroturfing&sort=by...
"I mean, the Chinese government has also forced Tibetans to build a massive amount of greenhouses on the Tibetan plateau. Those Tibetans have no time to go to temples for worshipping any more, instead, they have to work in the greenhouses taking care of tomatoes. This is why Dalai Lama is not so happy to hear this."
"As a result, the average vegetable price in Tibet has reduced by 90% over the past decade and they don’t have to import vegetables from nearby provinces anymore. Most of the Tibetans can finally afford to eat watermelons. Who doesn’t like eating watermelons?
You know that most Tibetans historically only eat yak meat, milk, cheese, and bread? They couldn’t grow anything in such a harsh climate. Only monks could have the luxury to eat vegetables. Now it is the solid proof that the Chinese government didn’t just destroy temples in Tibetan culture but helped them eat vegetables and fruits."
> the Chinese government has also forced Tibetans to build a massive amount of greenhouses...they have to work in the greenhouses taking care of tomatoes.
This episode https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2BtvivdbOw may be relevant to how "forced" is used in the original comment. The video shows villagers collecting trash off the sides of a remote highway to keep the land clean. On the face of it the video looks like a volunteer/community service outing but villagers are actually paid. It is not the most pleasant work, but they look happy to be doing it (and probably do not mind keeping their environment clean). The Quora answerer could have used "forced" to describe the same scene out of a sense of sarcasm (since everything is presumably "forced" there) and he would likely be tickled that this brings slavery into the discussion.
If it is forced labor, even if paid, the distinction between forced labor and slavery is trivial compared to the distinction between forced labor and freedom.
Their story is peace, satiety, social harmony, collective achievement and glory — as long as subjects conform.
Not saying it's wrong, just a different perspective.
I sometimes wonder if Los Angeles commuters would actually be better off and happier if the government (somehow) had the legal right to force us all to use buses and rail instead of individual cars.
The basic point in the post is "Look, those Tibetans no longer waste their time worshiping gods and are instead working hard to better their lives thanks to the Chinese Government."
China has strict rules on what you can do and where you live. Think of it as a passport - a social passport, similar to a social security number. To enrol your child in school, they need this social passport. To get subsidies or to work in gov't, you need this social passport.
By threatening to take it away, the central gov't can "force" people to do what they want. It's not slavery, since there's no physical coersion (as far as i m told). But not doing it means losing out a lot of stuff - and this may even affect other people related to you (for example, your relatives). This puts social pressure from your peers and relatives to make you conform - as they may not be as willing to make sacrifices for any idealism, even if you are.
The Chinese media is constantly telling their people that the US is plotting against China and is hostile to them, so the citizens don’t get any crazy ideas like democracy and human rights. While simultaneously amplifying the bad news coming out of America to show the ‘dangers’ of western culture.
Plus there is a large group of astroturfers constantly scanning the web for mentions of China (aka “50 cent army”).
I don’t blame the individuals for holding these views but it’s something to always be conscious of when reading anything online about China. And I say that as someone who loves their country and people, just not their cultural controls.
It's hard for me to emphasize enough how little typical Westerners understand about Asia. It goes both ways but I think they're doing a better job of it - at least in my opinion, China appreciates US culture much more than the US appreciates Chinese culture.
I bet the typical human knows very little about life and culture outside of their specific environment. A typical city-dweller knows little about rural life even in their own region, and vice-versa.
It's weird how easily we fall into a trap of saying "look how ignorant x people are". I mean, of course, it's a big world, and we're busy, so it's pretty hard to not be ignorant.
Maybe a bigger mistake is thinking that "Media" (news etc?) is an education system. It's not and maybe it's not supposed to be. We need to come up with a better system/expectation/culture around continuous education, but even in the best case that can only apply to the subset of the population that has the time and resources and interest to take part.
I think this is certainly true, but at the same time, I've never met an American (even an otherwise 'uneducated' one), who was under the impression that London or Berlin are backwoods villages that struggle to keep the lights on, whereas I have certainly met people that think Hong Kong is. So then the question becomes "yes people are generally unaware, but what is it about Asia specifically that makes it seem like there is an even larger lack of awareness compared to somewhere like Europe?"
In regards to the rest of your comment: I wholeheartedly agree, but I don't think it comes down to "time or resources". Some of it does just come down to personal habits/preferences. Without passing any judgement, there are plenty of people who spend their evenings watching The Bachelorette when they could just as easily be using that time to watch The Travel Channel (or Discovery Channel if it was still actually educational), but they actively choose not to. I think that's a societal thing much more than it is a time or resources constraint.
As for the asymmetry. The US has been considered one of two, then the only, global superpower for the last 70 years, inundating the whole world with their culture the whole time.
Reminds me of a course on models, where they talked about "celebrities". Those who are seen by and influence most people, but don't know and aren't influenced by most of said people (might need to clarify that)
The most investment-worthy economies on the planet have been in Asia for the past couple centuries (if you understand buying the dip), this fact is an economic threat to Europeans with a zero-sum view of global capitalism (has been for at least 2 centuries). The rest writes itself....
Well said....I'd agree that not much can be done based on the current nature of both political and public/personal discourse, but can the quality of this discourse not be improved? From where I sit, this is quite literally the biggest problem, and I see very little initiative from any camp to improve it. On the contrary, there are plenty of people who are in positions where they could make a difference, but seem to be completely unable to even consider the idea that there is even a problem in this area.
History in the making indeed!
Probably. But I also don't think the discourse matter as much as it used to. It used to be that to have a voice you had to build something. So the discourse was meaningful as in reflected what was going to happen. Today everyone has a voice and therefor the discourse more reflects whatever people want it to be but not necessarily what happens. That is why we can discuss things seemingly forever while they largely remain the same.
In that sense I think Rosling was right in refusing to be negative. Not, as some people think, because he thought everything was getting better but to show that they could better. When you provide your own signal with substance other people's promises or dismissals become less relevant.
The really hard part is that the West has increasingly lost the narrative. So now we have to translate what China does to our own environment. We want the long term thinking, investment and development but not the authoritarianism.
Which is what China did with the whole "Chinese capitalism". No longer did they have to come up with things from scratch in their own system, but could translate from the Western narrative by buying companies or technologies.
So you have to find a way to show people that it can be done in a way that fits into their narrative by taking their concerns seriously.
But honestly for some countries it might be too late. I believe in fairness as something to strive for, but from a greater perspective reality doesn't really care what people think or how things should be. Countries who can't provide things that matter are going to lose, unless they can come up with something else. Which would probably be war, so they still lose.
You're not wrong, but I tend to disagree. I would say because everyone now has a voice, the nature of discourse is more important than ever. And if you look carefully, it tends to be full of delusional thinking. Black and white thinking about things that are extremely nuanced. Opinions stated as facts. Mind reading.
I would say the reason we can never get things done is because almost no one realizes they don't actually know very well what they're talking about. Such people are incredibly easy to divide and conquer.
> The really hard part is that the West has increasingly lost the narrative. So now we have to translate what China does to our own environment. We want the long term thinking, investment and development but not the authoritarianism.
Agreed. We used to be capable of it though. It seems to me figuring out how to regain that capability is to start to look very carefully at exactly what's going on, perhaps assembling a list of commonly believed or published "facts", that aren't actually facts. "It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So."
> reality doesn't really care what people think or how things should be
Getting people to realize fundamental truths like this would be a good place to start. I suspect before too long, large amounts of people would start to realize how delusional current Western beliefs are, and then maybe we could finally start to get some change. But as long as everyone is still asleep, I think it's status quo as far as the eye can see, until we are bypassed by the rest of the world, or as you say resort once again to our old standby: war.
I think there's reason for hope, but not until we realize the problem.
Haha, I can relate. I'm as white as they come but I spent some time living in Singapore and traveling the rest of Asia. In Asia I was obviously "the American", but when I got home to the US I can remember a few distinct times where I was called a "wannabe asian" or something similar just because I was talking about how phenomenal public transit is in major Asian metros compared to the abysmal state of US public transit.
I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to, but I can only imagine that you're referring to Asia's sex industry?
I don't know where this stereotype comes from. Is it a holdover from older generations, perhaps? I've traveled nearly every East/Southeast Asian country, met hundreds of fellow male travelers along the way, and hundreds more otherwise, and only a handful (literally less than 5 that I can even think of) that openly partook at all in any kind of "red light district activities". Most looked negatively on it and it certainly isn't something that would cause men to be "so crazy about Asia".
(If that isn't what you're referring to, please explain your comment)
The word was standing out a bit in your sentence, which made me wonder if that was the intended meaning for a sec. But I didn't quite get their post either, and now that I re-read it, the explanation I offered seems less plausible.
 As per https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=egg "Transgender person who hasn't come out yet"
This is really kind of weird since it was the Americans who provided the Burma-to-China airlift during WWII that allowed China to expel the Japanese from China. Furthermore, if you look at world trade balances since 1978 it is America, and only America, that has carried the burden of an imbalanced trade relationship with China of billions of dollars per year; year after year.
I'm not anti-Chinese in any way, I've traveled through the country three times, but the facts are the facts.
I've spent all my adult life bouncing between the US and China. It's fascinating to see the biases from both sides. In some cases, it's outright propaganda, but most of it is just plain, simple lack of familiarity further fueled by otherwise benign nationalism.
In other parts of “the west” nobody is deathly afraid of being disappeared by the Chinese government and just raves about how energetic Shanghai is
I think Americans are the outliers here, over emphasizing the darkest parts of China and should consider re-evaluating.
Many (most?) people in America simply don’t care about this or have any general curiosity about the world outside of them. America is the land of fast food and unsustainable cheap beef; we have a president that denies climate change, so it’s no wonder that there is simply no interest in understanding sustainable fishing by a large portion of the population, regardless of which country is succeeding at it.
That is much different than some kind of conspiracy like that post implied. I think it’s actually worse than a conspiracy because it shows widespread ignorance and no desire to seek out the information or analyze the food we eat and it’s impact on the environment. America doesn’t need a conspiracy to hide this, they won’t seek it out anyway.
China today is in many ways very much like the U.S. in the middle of the 20th Century. New technologies and markets are creating rapid, wide-spread growth in living standards. At the same time, government and media encourage a culture of national pride bordering on paranoia, combined with intense pressure to conform. The U.S. grew out of it and I hope China does too.
America works longer hours, but not the most. Canadians save even less than Americans and have more debt.
And the US has one of the highest median incomes in the world (with a few exceptions).
Because the US is also a developed country where 15$ an hour with pretty much no coverage is considered "good" in some parts (ie good enough to work as a Facebook content moderator rather than making Big Macs at the local McDonald's)
Edit: I might be a bit rusty on US social safety net & health benefits
And I don't think it is just astroturfers, either. Given the above paragraph, I think it's understandable that many Chinese become quite defensive about the fact that they/their countrymen aren't, in fact, savages. I spent some time living in Asia, and even just from that (without any stronger roots like growing up there or having a culture based there), even I personally became quite frustrated and 'defensive' when having to constantly inform my American friends that yes, they do have electricity and running water in Singapore. I can imagine that someone actually from those places would be even more defensive.
I’m afraid to ask where in America is that common sentiment about Singapore. The only misconception I’ve ever heard about Singapore is being executed for possessing chewing gum.
Yeah, that does not surprise me. Americans are not always that great at global geography.
I'm not sure why that is. Of course the country is huge, and American culture is such a dominant force that it is not so hard to live your entire life and never learn much (anything?) about a relatively small city-state far away in Asia. If you've never met anyone from Singapore, this doesn't surprise me at all.
It still feels like something that the US should be better at as a nation, though.
I think it's less common now due to stuff like pictures of Marina Bay Sands going viral over the past several years, as well as movies like Crazy Rich Asians "educating" people that Singapore is a modern city. But around ~2010, not so much.
Edit: I feel obliged to point out that supporting the GFW is not that same as supporting Tiananmen Square. In the same way I'm sure supporting Google/Facebook etc does not imply support for the Opium Wars.
I think the trust deficit coming from the East towards the West is more warranted than many in the west like to admit.
> Plus there is a large group of astroturfers constantly scanning the web for mentions of China (aka “50 cent army”).
The 50 cent army is really a China-only thing. I highly doubt that China thinks that the most effective use of their limited number of fluent English speakers is argue with people on Reddit and HackerNews.
i really want to know if there's any legitimate reason why the uyghurs are being imprisoned and "re-educated". Do they actually post a threat? Media coming out of both sides (US and china) are untrustworthy. The US media paints it as a nazi concentration camps. China calls it reeducation because they want more conformity and prevent civil unrest (and that sounds pretty reasonable, if the uyrghurs are really plotting etc).
(But that doesn’t mean China fabricated the underlying issue; they really do face a large problem with Uyghur terrorism, with many attacks having multiple casualties in the past decade.)
But the US is openly hostile towards China (and not just president Trump) - you don't need the Chinese media to notice that. Also, if you follow US media a bit carefully, you'll notice things like the "Pivot to Asia" (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/03/14/pers-m14.html), the layout of US military bases around China and so on - which, well, kind of constitutes plotting.
I heard once that 50 centers were at some point prohibited to do anything English language, to avoid Western ire.
Though, it seems to become much less of a case today.
As far as the Chinese domestic media threatening to nuke US just any godly day, I highly doubt it and I've never seen this. Their domestic media is much more focused on internal development and accomplishments. It serves the purpose of reminding the people how great the Central Government is, which is the CCP's primary objective. International affairs (even with the U.S) are an afterthought. You won't find nearly the amount of vitriol directed towards the U.S that the U.S media directs towards China.
And it’s the top answer, clearly distinguishable from the answers you’re referring to, which I think is better than most social media, HN included.
Something I found amazing (horrific) when reading the article: what if this writing only sounds snide to us, but not to others? Consider your examples:
> Some of these Uyghurs, Kazakhs are sent to the reeducation camps and they are forced to learn Mandarin Chinese and the latest drip irrigation techniques to save water and reduce costs. Moreover, each village is assigned with one or more communist party members to guide them through to make sure that they don’t mess up the newly cultivated land.
> I mean, the Chinese government has also forced Tibetans to build a massive amount of greenhouses on the Tibetan plateau. Those Tibetans have no time to go to temples for worshipping any more, instead, they have to work in the greenhouses taking care of tomatoes. This is why Dalai Lama is not so happy to hear this.
This is horrific and dystopian to me. But imagine if you believed the Uyghurs/Kazakhs are inferior peoples, and that Tibetan temples/monks are evil. You could read these paragraphs and consider all of this to be positive. I wonder how popular that type of thinking is in China.
That's a big stretch. More likely that
1. The author, like many Han Chinese people, was raised in a completely atheist environment, and just don't put any value on religious activities at all.
2. Again, like in many East Asian countries, Chinese people value/praise hard work above "enjoying life".
So, what you see as horrific and dystopian is seen as progress and a sign of a thriving community.
The snark likely comes from the fact that Xinjiang is consistently portrayed in Western media as a nightmarish, dystopian, Orwellian hellhole suffering under the iron fisted oppression of the Communist Party. They ignore the very real benefits that have been afforded to millions of poverty-stricken people in Xinjiang via progressive government policies, while tunnel visioning solely on human rights abuses.
The western media does report those things, it’s just that the Chinese media only focuses on those pieces from the western media that it wants to be defensive about. Call it tunnel tunnel vision if you will.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a sensational exposé about alleviating poverty through technology-driven, sustainable farming in Xinjiang, in a mainstream publication. On the other hand, I don’t have enough hairs on my head to count the number of condemnations and denouncements.
This is likely the cause of frustration that you see seeping through in answers such as the one posted.
Your right to have good public transit is being violated by someone else's right to not have a rail go through their lawn. Protect that man's right to a lawn at all costs.
This is just a bullshit way of justifying oppression using the economic development they would have received anyway.
People make the same absurd arguments about slavery, and lack of suffrage, and it’s just as obviously bullshit in those cases as it is in this one.
"Tibet used to be a feudal serfdom with the Lamas lording over everyone else. Most Dalai Lamas were murdered by their rivals for control over the country. So yeah, of course the Lamas are upset that they're no longer in power."
"I’m of the opinion that it’s impossible to achieve economic progress with social upheaval, threats of separatism and terrorist attacks. Economic progress is incompatible with the others.
It's the extreme poverty and lack of economic opportunities which drive destabilizing forces such as these.
Prosperity by means of terrorism then separatism is the path offered by the WUC and ETIM.
Prosperity by means of forced “re-education” in vocational skills and poverty alleviation plans  is the one offered by the CCP.
I think it’s the CCP’s gambit that when there is economic prosperity in the region, there will be room for expanding human rights. There won’t be a need or desire to separate from a system which you are actively benefiting from and when that threat goes away, so do the armoured patrols and surveillance mechanisms.
I’m of the opinion that it’s impossible to achieve economic progress with social upheaval, threats of separatism and terrorist attacks. Economic progress is incompatible with the others.
Because if we’re going to go down that road, I have to warn you that the Xinjiang story is not nearly as black and white as the British, Dutch or American stories.
China didn't really colonize, if colonization means to move there and enslave the natives.
> nothing in history has shown that China is any better at colonizing lands than the west
I agree - I guess historically speaking, China just hasn't colonized enough countries to have a decent sample size.
And I'm sure that many folks made the argument that Africans working on plantations in the South had a higher standard of living than where they came from.
That’s because it is, and if you visited you wouldn’t be so flippant about it. In large part because a tourist can’t even make a stop in the area without getting their own personal police minder.
It’s little different than North Korea.
That is not to say there isn’t a problem, but hanging out in Urumqi is definitely nowhere near as interesting as hanging out in Pyongyang.
Tibet is much harder to visit, foreigners have to apply for a permit (which you don’t need to visit Xinjiang).
I thought you were being hyperbolic.
That was a well fleshed out answer. Is Quora always like that? Or is that a one off kind of thing?
But there are exceptions - and boy is this article a great example of that.
The thing I absolutely loathe, however are these clickbait answers - always about sex - written by anonymous users and normal answers that - because the photos load before the text - have borderline porn to draw people in. It ruins the site.
With that said, nothing outweighs their government's human rights violations. Nothing. I know the U.S. has some of its own, but not to an extremity nor scale nor public acceptance that comes anywhere close to that in China.
Within recent history this just isn't true.
In fact I'm not even sure it's true over history going back to the creation of the colonies: Decades spent under communism - millions dead, freedom totally unknown and nothing to show for it. I don't know to assign magnitude to anything like that, but to say they aren't comparable is wrong.
I imagine Africa's stolen loot was many times larger (just the gold export records from South Africa are staggering), not even counting the rest of the world. China would have to maliciously work for decades (maybe centuries) to do the same kind of economic damage that Europe did to these regions.
Realize we are comparing the Chinese, who invaded almost nobody in the last 2000 years, to Europeans, who have invaded almost everybody just in the last 500 years. Not even close here....
could say the same about China's history, how many ethnic groups have been genocided because they didn't want to be ruled by the Han
It's rather glaringly clear that we, Western populations, are constantly fed with biased information from Western media, making us believe that our utopian notion of "human rights" is superb and that we know how to achieve it, at least in theory, while in practice our US-led coalition used these beliefs only to justify its tragic agendas leading to hundreds of thousands of casualties; that's much worse effect than what China induced in Tibet and Xinjiang, no matter how you look at it.
Yet, after all this, we still somehow believe that we have an upper hand in the "human rights" game?
Like 'Do China have cars?'
Questions without basic googling. Well, even this type of questions, there are still many people who try to answer it by statistics.
1. Paid Chinese State-sponsored propaganda/troll 
2. Super nationalist Chinese person (most are) either from China or abroad who take major offense when "their" views are challenged.