Sina Weibo is the microblogging service that’s sometimes called “China’s Twitter”. The real Twitter is blocked by the government, but even the local version is, like all of the internet in China, heavily policed. Every day, armies of censors comb through the posts or “tweets” in search of anything that challenges the official party view and then […]
(source) (source) These images are not from the more infamous famine that occurred during the Great Leap Forward. George Silk was a LIFE Magazine staffer, working for them 30 years. He extensively covered many aspects of the second world war, at one point being even captured by the Germans, and then fortunately escaping. He was […]
(source) More data on poverty in India, China and Africa
(source) I did hear about some similar cases before - for example, North Korea lecturing Japan on human rights, and the late Gaddafi lecturing Switzerland (!) on human rights - but this is the best: A state-run Chinese website has launched a bitter attack on the Dalai Lama, accusing the exiled Buddhist leader of Nazi racial policies and inciting Tibetans to […]
(source) When the young Mao Tse-tung agitated for revolution, he found a vivid way to get his point across to an uneducated audience: He picked up a single chopstick and snapped it in two. Then he picked up a handful of chopsticks: They would not break. Thus he showed that so long as everyone stood […]
I didn’t know China had a human rights action plan – more evidence of the normative universality of human rights I guess. Take a look at this Pravda-style article from China’s mouthpiece newspaper: (source) In view of this, what do you think happened? China has made rapid progress in the field of human rights. Maybe […]
You are here: Home > Human Rights Statistics > Statistics on Poverty > Statistics on Poverty in China Content 1. World Bank numbers 2. Inequality 3. Geographical distribution 4. Chinese government numbers 1. World Bank numbers The World Bank, which defines poverty as survival on less than $1.25 per day, says China reduced the poverty rate from 84% of the population to […]
From The Onion: WASHINGTON–According to a new report released Monday by a panel of top economists and social scientists, the People’s Republic of China will overtake the United States as the world’s dominant asshole by the year 2020. The findings, published in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, support recent speculation that America’s unquestioned […]
(source, click the image to enlarge) There are more statistics on internet filtering in China here. And a more polemical post on the Great Firewall of China is here. And don’t forget that there is also non-internet censorship in China. More on censorship and freedom of the press. More human rights maps.
(source) I’ve talked before about the so-called catch 22 of human rights measurement. In order to measure whether countries respect human rights, there has to be already some level of respect for human rights. Organizations, whether international organizations or private organizations (NGOs, newspapers etc.), must have some freedom to control, to engage in fact finding, to enter countries […]
A Golden Oldie in the charts of inhuman absurdity, from Jonathan Spence’s biography of Mao Zedong: An announcement from the “Beijing Number 26 Middle School Red Guards,” dated August 1966, gave the kind of program that was to be followed by countless others. Every street was to have a quotation form Chairman Mao prominently displayed, […]
Some more information on internet filtering in China, following this older post on the same topic. More about the Golden Shield Project – also called the Great Firewall of China – here. More about the Green Dam Youth Project here. Since China’s obviously not the only country limiting access to the internet, there’s an interesting […]
(source) What a delightful way to expose the lack of seriousness with which world leaders address human rights in China. Other cartoons about human rights and China: About China’s support for rogue states About China’s role in Africa About China and Tibet; see also here and here More about China and human rights is here. More […]
(source) China executes more people than any other country – 1,700 in 2008. (This is an estimate because the exact numbers of people executed in China is classified as a state secret). In terms of the number of executions per capita, however, there are other countries which are more bloodthirsty, notably Iran (also here) and Saudi Arabia. (See […]
More about Tibet. More political graffiti.
Some more data following two earlier posts on the subject of gendercide (see here and here). The word gendercide describes the results of sex-selective abortions that take place on a massive scale in some countries, particularly India and China. These abortions have led to the “disappearance” of perhaps more than 100 million girls and women […]
(source) If only Han Chinese inhabit Tibet, what is the meaning of autonomy? Dalai Lama (source) The recent protests and violence by Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province are reminiscent of the March 2008 protests in Tibet. Like the Tibetans, the Uighurs believe that they are colonized by Han Chinese who have settled in the Tibetan […]
Since this blog loves statistics, I couldn’t resist writing about this: China’s National Bureau of Statistics has launched a call for submissions of writings celebrating the creation, 60 years ago by Chairman Mao, of the People’s Republic of China. At the same time, the campaign is intended to boost the public’s confidence in its national statisticians (source) – […]
(source) From a “letter to the editor” of The Economist: SIR – I thought your readers would be interested to learn that I bought a copy of The Economist at Shanghai airport intending to read the article on the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen listed in the contents (“Silence on the square“, May 30th). The article […]
When diplomats lose their economic inhibitions and, exceptionally, replace economic self-interest by moral courage and criticize China for its human rights record at home (or, increasingly, abroad as well), or even when a government official simply meets the Dalai Lama without saying anything about China, it is as if the Chinese government plays a set […]
(source, the poster says “less births, better births, to develop China vigorously”) I’ve written about the phenomenon of gendercide or femicide before. Now the New York Times reports some numbers for China: A bias in favor of male offspring has left China with 32 million more boys under the age of 20 than girls, creating […]
(source) From the Amnesty International Blog: For many years, it has been known that China uses execution vans, kind of like specially outfitted ambulances, to more efficiently carry out its exceedingly large number of executions. The method of killing in these vans is lethal injection, which has been slowly but surely replacing the firing squad […]
(source) The Great Firewall of China – named after that other great wall, and officially or better euphemistically called the Golden Shield Project by the Chinese government – is the elaborate system of internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China. The massive blocking of internet sites in China is undoubtedly the biggest censorship effort […]
(source) In addition to its widespread disregard for human rights at home, China has now become the main supporter of some of the world’s most loathed dictators. The governments of Zimbabwe, Sudan, Iran, North-Korea, Burma and many others regularly receive Chinese support in many different ways: China uses its veto power in the U.N. Security […]
(source, source) During the last decade, China has been showing an increasing interest in Africa. In almost every corner of Africa there is something that China needs to fuel its enormous economic growth: metals, minerals, oil… Trade between Africa and China has grown rapidly: Is history repeating itself? China’s involvement in Africa brings back the […]
Confucianism, the traditional Chinese ethical and philosophical system based on the teachings of Confucius (551 BCE – 479 BCE), is often blamed for the lack of freedom and the authoritarian and anti-democratic form of government in China. This post examines the merits of this attack. Confucianism is not a religion, although many believe it is, perhaps because […]
A wonderful example of political irony. I just hope it’s irony and not the outcome of our current system of history education.
“It kind of bums me out because it’s my first Olympics and maybe my only Olympics, and I might not be able to go to the opening ceremonies.” PHIL DALHAUSSER, American beach-volleyball player, voicing frustration over the politicization of the Beijing games due to China’s controversial rule of Tibet. What a shameless expression of egoism. […]
To our knowledge, the next plan of the Tibetan independence forces is to organize suicide squads to launch violent attacks. They claimed that they fear neither bloodshed nor sacrifice. WU HEPING, China’s Public Security Bureau spokesman First it was anti-communism, then it was “Asian values”, then economic stability and progress, and now TERRORISM. A list […]
(source) It is unacceptable that countries intervene only when their economic, strategic or other interests are at stake, or that they do not intervene when abstention better serves their interests. Some countries in particular can use economic sensibilities to escape even condemnation. China is a notorious example of a country with such an appealing market […]
Björk Declares ‘Tibet!’ at China Concert! (Finally someone with guts)
We believe that the Olympics are an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been achieved in China. David Miliband, British Foreign Secretary, refusing to denounce China’s human rights record amid mounting criticism from rights groups and the U.S. Congress Coward.
We don’t just go there, we get invited there. Peter Ueberroth, U.S. Olympic Committee chairman, urging American athletes to focus on being good guests, not outspoken reformers, when they get to the Beijing Olympics. What a coward.
Some time ago, there was a story in the press about Steven Spielberg canceling his decision to work for the China Olympics. As a consequence, the discussion about a possible boycott (comparable to the boycott of the USSR Olympics after the invasion of Afghanistan) got some more publicity. Here are some general words about sanctions […]
If you’ve read some of the entries in my “Annals of Heartlessness”, you’ll have noticed that a lot of the stories are about rich people being heartless, and often their heartlessness is directed at the poor. Is there something about money and wealth that makes people heartless? There’s a large literature that says “yes”. A poor person has […]
Someone came up with a catchy name for previous and current world income distributions: Obviously, the current distribution is better since fewer people find themselves at the left side of the graph: about 1 billion people – or less than 20% of the world’s population – are still poor in the sense of earning less […]
Let’s admit it: borders are an illusion. They don’t exist. The things that do exist are border controls, deportations, entry restrictions, visa requirements, border shootings etc. Those things are real enough and often painful for those feeling the brunt. They are facts in the original sense of the word, from the Latin facere, “to do”. […]
A Chinese woman lied to her daughter for over a decade and told her that she was not her real mother – in an effort to cultivate the girl’s independent spirit. A woman surnamed Shen, a resident of China’s Shenyang city, married a wealthy man and had a young daughter named Cheng Cheng, Shenyang Evening News reported. […]
All forms of criminal punishment are in some sense public humiliation of the criminal, but some forms are more so. The pillory is the archetypical tool: A variation of the pillory: Remnants of the practice still exist today. US judges in particular sometimes administer “alternative” punishments: This is essentially the same as the pillory: you […]
A six-year-old boy in China has been left blind for life after a barbaric assault in which an attacker gouged out his eyes, with the apparent intent of selling the corneas on the black market. … The boy had been playing outside in Fenxi, in the northern province of Shanxi, when he disappeared for some […]
(source) Take a look at the following conflicting facts: 1. There are currently 113,198 [U.S.] patients on the United Network for Organ Sharing wait list for organ transplants. With only 28,535 transplant surgeries performed in the United States last year, it is clear that actions need to be taken to increase the supply of available […]
This is a telling result from Google’s Ngram viewer*: It seems that once upon a time people believed that duties were more important than rights (or, which we assume is the same thing, people wrote more about duties than about rights). This time ended somewhere in the late 1800s. Some would call this the era […]
Indiscriminate targeting of the Japanese during WWII was apparently OK, but well-meaning people thought there was a risk that some of the Chinese in the US would be mistaken for Japanese. Hence this: Not that the Chinese were generally better treated in the US. Anti-Asian sentiment in the US and elsewhere dates from well before WWII. For example, […]
More sexist images here, here and here.
(source) Democracy is a human right. But how do we justify this right? One common argument is that democracies tend to be wealthier than non-democracies. However, there’s some disagreement about this argument: not about the goodness of wealth and wealth-enhancing institutions, but about whether democracies are in fact such institutions. Impressive economic growth rates in […]
Unsurprisingly, representations of international intervention often include a world map or a globe. And since these representations are almost always dismissive of intervention (even though in theory intervention can be a good thing), you’ll also see some awful creature with tentacles grasping the globe. It used to be common to depict the communist threat in […]
Democracy is a human right. In the past, I’ve listed a number of reasons why we should prefer democracy over other forms of government (here and here for example). I’ve now come across another reason, one that may not be convincing or relevant to everyone, but still it’s mildly interesting: All things — including wealth — […]
Those of us who believe human rights are important have an intellectual duty to engage with the best critics of human rights. “Engage” may be too big a word for this blog post, but what I’ll do here is list some of the best anti-rights theories and link to previous posts where I’ve dealt with […]