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October 8, 2007 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Myanmar is apparently using photos sent to websites, television stations and other media to arrest protesters taking a cue from and praising(!) China's post-handling of Tienamen square in '89. Relations are mighty cozy between the two nations (according to the big one), but the words "vassal state" are starting to be bandied about.
posted by telstar (35 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Well at least the world community is holding China responsible for its human rights record.
posted by mullingitover at 2:57 PM on October 8, 2007


Shut up and buy toys!
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on October 8, 2007


Quick someone photoshop the goatse guy into a burma protest photo! That would make their subsequent investigations a lot less pleasant.

But seriously, I wish that we were as hell bent on protecting human rights as we are in protecting oil interests. I would welcome unilateral troop deployment for humanitarian reasons. Hell, I would sign up.
posted by jlowen at 3:26 PM on October 8, 2007


I tried to make them my vassal state, but they wanted uranium, fish and 37 gold per turn. Not gonna happen.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:56 PM on October 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think the west could have considerable positive influence over China by threatening to boycott the Olympics. This is far more important.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:57 PM on October 8, 2007


Having spent a week in Beijing then coming back to quaint little Los Angeles, my honest impression is that US hedgemony is over. We a washed-up superpower in decline, waiting for the crash that will end our century in the limelight. The 21st century belongs to China.

China will do whatever the hell they feel like doing about Myanmar, and everyone else will shut up and go to the Olympics. Oh, and having seen what they're building for next year's Olympics, I guarantee nobody is going to skip it.
posted by mullingitover at 4:09 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]








If only Myanmar had oil....
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:02 PM on October 8, 2007


Uh,

They may have big pretty cities in China, but they are going to get into trouble when they can no longer grow rice in their polluted beyond repair countryside. When a large percentage of their population is damaged by the same pollution. When their toxic waste dump rivers all become undrinkable.
posted by dibblda at 5:39 PM on October 8, 2007


Having spent a week in Beijing then coming back to quaint little Los Angeles, my honest impression is that US hedgemony is over. We a washed-up superpower in decline, waiting for the crash that will end our century in the limelight. The 21st century belongs to China.

Mullingitover, how about expanding on those impressions (perhaps in a new FPP)?
posted by cenoxo at 5:53 PM on October 8, 2007


The neo-cons, fresh from success in Iraq and getting all ready for Iran are now talking up a China confrontation. What brilliance!

There are serious commentators who have experience with Burma, as opposed to Hitch and the other neo-cons who decide what is going on without regard to the reality heavy, knowledge based commentators, who claim that China does not have that much influence in Burma.
posted by sien at 6:29 PM on October 8, 2007


Citizens: Shut up and buy more cheap Chinese toys.

Corporations: Why not build some shiny new factories over here? The labor is cheap, and there are plenty of pretty, young women who will sleep with you for free, in the hope that you will free them from desperate poverty.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 6:33 PM on October 8, 2007


NYT August 6, 1999 — Editors Protest Police Use of Woodstock Photos:
Journalism groups and other news organizations joined The Associated Press yesterday in asking Gov. George E. Pataki to order the state police to remove copyrighted news photographs from its Web pages.

The state police posted 14 photographs from Woodstock '99 on its Web site -- 8 by photographers for the A.P., 4 carried by Syracuse Online and 2 from newspapers -- and asked viewers to help identify possible suspects in the rioting and looting that marred the end of the concert in Rome, N.Y.

The pictures were posted July 30 without the permission of the news organizations. Both the A.P. and Syracuse Online have demanded that the pictures be removed from the Web site, contending that the state police infringed on their copyrights and damaged the traditional separation of news gathering from police activity.
NYT August 10, 1999 — State Police Delete Photos Of Woodstock From the Web:
State police officials have removed unauthorized news photographs from a Woodstock '99 Web site, but they said they did so because the pictures had served their purpose, not because news organizations had protested their use.

The 14 photographs, most from The Associated Press and Syracuse Online, were posted July 30 without permission and were removed Friday after a week of protests by news media groups to the police and to Gov. George E. Pataki.
...
Officials with the state police had hoped that the photographs would encourage the public to identify possible suspects in the rioting and looting that marred the end of the Woodstock '99 concert last month in Rome, N.Y. None of the pictures had led to an arrest, Lieut. Jamie Mills, a spokeswoman for the state police, said yesterday.

'The reason we took the pictures off was because they didn't provide any more leads,' she said. 'We revitalized our Web site with new photographs.'
Perhaps the definition of "disturbing the peace" depends mainly upon who's in charge of picking up the pieces. If there were large scale anti-government riots (however nobly motivated) in any Western country, wouldn't the same intelligence gathering methods be used?
posted by cenoxo at 6:42 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Having spent a week in Beijing then coming back to quaint little Los Angeles, my honest impression is that US hedgemony is over. We a washed-up superpower in decline, waiting for the crash that will end our century in the limelight. The 21st century belongs to China.

We know, we all watched the video you made.
posted by dhartung at 7:20 PM on October 8, 2007




Perhaps it was all planned. The world was wondering why the junta let the demonstrations continue in the beginning...
posted by metabowl at 7:32 PM on October 8, 2007


"Let a thousand flowers bloom..."
posted by cenoxo at 8:38 PM on October 8, 2007


Having spent a week in Beijing then coming back to quaint little Los Angeles, my honest impression is that US hedgemony is over. We a washed-up superpower in decline, waiting for the crash that will end our century in the limelight. The 21st century belongs to China.

China will do whatever the hell they feel like doing about Myanmar, and everyone else will shut up and go to the Olympics. Oh, and having seen what they're building for next year's Olympics, I guarantee nobody is going to skip it.


What cenoxo said about expanding ... but maybe a blog post or something would be more apt. I'm right there with you. I can even say 早上好 (good morning) now. Hah.
posted by blacklite at 9:10 PM on October 8, 2007


Tiananmen. Not "tienamen".
posted by jiawen at 9:31 PM on October 8, 2007


Having spent a week in Beijing then coming back to quaint little Los Angeles, my honest impression is that US hedgemony is over.

Beijing isn't the whole story.


The Empire of Lies by Guy Sorman
The Western press is full of stories these days on China’s arrival as a superpower, some even heralding, or warning, that the future may belong to her. Western political and business delegations stream into Beijing, confident of China’s economy, which continues to grow rapidly. Investment pours in. Crowning China’s new status, Beijing will host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

But China’s success is, at least in part, a mirage. True, 200 million of her subjects, fortunate to be working for an expanding global market, increasingly enjoy a middle-class standard of living. The remaining 1 billion, however, remain among the poorest and most exploited people in the world, lacking even minimal rights and public services. Popular discontent simmers, especially in the countryside, where it often flares into violent confrontation with Communist Party authorities. China’s economic “miracle” is rotting from within.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:57 PM on October 8, 2007


There's one rule of Chinese foreign policy Americans need to understand quickly: at this stage of their development, they ideologically detest the idea of any country interfering with any other countries internal affairs - no matter how badly those internal affairs are run.

There's a pretty cynical, but logically consistent, explanation for this. They're really tired of hearing other countries tell them how to run their gig. They proudly carry themselves through the international scene as a country that more deeply respects the principle of autonomy (state, not "national" in the academic sense of the word) than any other major player in the world scene. You'd be surprised how appealing that is as a contrast to the myriad Bush Doctrines and the past half century of American foreign policy.
posted by trinarian at 10:07 AM on October 9, 2007


jason's planet: I think the line is thin, but there is a difference between opportunity in poor country and exploitation. I came to China a year ago with a belief that there was an underlying seething revolutionary spirit of millions of workers looking to hang their factory bosses by the noose. I haven't seen it. A few of my friends worked in these factories to build the capital to start their own small businesses later on. The Chinese seem to understand the market affects of having 1.3b people pretty well and seem satisfied with the economic direction of the country. The want more, not fewer, factories and people leaving a countryside that has no use for that many farmers. It should be noted that wages are rising significantly in the factories due to labor shortages.

As per pollution, I peg it as a (widespread, chronic) local problem. Beijing gets the problem, but it's not the omnipotent national government it was under Mao. Laws are ignored by local party bosses with their fingers in the pie of a lot of these business ventures. Beijing recently executed their equivalent of an FDA chief as a warning shot to all the other corrupt cronies at the bottom of the pyramid.

Most of the violent confrontations are happening over land acquisition. People are forced to sell, legally they're entitled to a market rate, and they get squat and watched the farm they got a few thousand RMB for get sold off a few months later for millions. The root of the problem, again, is corruption. The root of the corruption problem isn't just bad character... it's that low-end bureaucrats/party cadres get squat for wages and are almost expected to make these kind acquisitions and feel expected to earn their salaries like this. Jiang Zemin briefly tried to put all these guys on the national payroll and backed down after a month or so when iit proved unsustainable without bankruptcy.
posted by trinarian at 10:24 AM on October 9, 2007




Legacies
posted by homunculus at 12:08 PM on October 9, 2007


Photo-essay: Behind the Conflict.
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM on October 9, 2007


...we all watched the video you made.

Didn't see Ha Ha Ha America until now, but it's effective. It's simplistic — it's only 16 minutes long, after all — and perhaps ridden with factual errors, but one subtitle sums up the whole theme:
Free market your idea
The business of China is increasingly worldwide business, while the US looks increasingly paranoid. Chinese quality and expertise may not be great (yet), but their quantity and prices certainly are.

I just hope they don't coil up enough free market trade to hang us with it.
posted by cenoxo at 8:44 PM on October 9, 2007






Burma: 'I resist in my Mind only'
Medical anthropologist Monique Skidmore has conducted field work in Burma for over a decade, carefully probing the ways the State manipulates the emotional life of the Burmese, and the psychological strategies they adopt to survive under a military regime. Fear threads through every conversation and gesture. Also, updates from a health worker in the longstanding refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border. The mental health challenges are immense.
posted by homunculus at 3:54 PM on October 11, 2007






Burma Fades from View
posted by homunculus at 7:43 PM on October 13, 2007




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