China's endgame?

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2020, 05:28:43 PM »
As is known to all, the ends don't justify the means. Grand achievement is the lesser for sordid foundation. And whatabouts aren't the measure of nations. Nations do or don't function well.

As for what "well" means, name any relative measure of success and there'll be an absolute hidden in there somewhere. Raising "people" out of poverty places some special emphasis on "people" and makes them different from animals. And it can't do that without at some point granting "people" some kind of absolute right to be.

But discussion of of these absolutes will be more or less muddled because people are stupid and venal. But the actual absolutes will apply across cultures. They wouldn't be actual absolutes if they didn't. And as such they won't be "universal human rights" because those things might be a bit too close to individualism to be actual absolutes. But they'll be somewhere in that ballpark.

Which is to say, sovereignty won't be undermined by actual universal rights. Those rights will slot into the foundations of any healthy vigorous culture still in existence.


Yadda yadda, the bar of accomplishments isn't the bar. We're not talking about the rights of a nation or its representatives to crow. We're talking about their right to be listened to. And amid all its accomplishment, China keeps on providing reason not to listen.

Soft power, basically. Admirable accomplishment isn't soft power.



There's going to be a question of who is the arbiter of admirability, and why is admiration being withheld from China. Isn't it just a plot to keep an emerging power down! If "the people" truly are unable to form universal judgments of their own, then yes, it's a plot. If "people" truly cannot stand by themselves as items of value, then yes, it's a plot. If "people" cannot ever be expected to detect their own universal value, then, oh yeah is it a plot. The "people" truly do need a great leadership in the form of a more enlightened party that has transcended its origin as "people", then yeah, plot.



Possible hidden "western values are best" in there, but come at me bro

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2020, 06:37:48 PM »
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.  Using this standard, China could cure all diseases and then lift the entire world into a golden age of health and wealth and you would find a way to say this is somehow bad.

You want something a little more concrete?  The US president declared that the US won't donate 1 vial of vaccine to another country until everyone in the US who wants to be immunized has been vaccinated and there's an excess of vaccine available.  China continues to maintain difficult border quarantines and has already started transferring vaccines as donations and at very low prices to nations in need.  Yes, the US needs a lot of vaccines, but most other nations (including China) have joined a WHO program to try to provide free or affordable vaccines globally  Or will you claim that this is just another Chinese method to dehumanize people by helping them live better lives?

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2020, 07:18:50 PM »
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.

It sure is. How did you find that in my claims?

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You want something a little more concrete?  The US president declared that the US won't donate 1 vial of vaccine to another country until everyone in the US who wants to be immunized has been vaccinated and there's an excess of vaccine available.  China continues to maintain difficult border quarantines and has already started transferring vaccines as donations and at very low prices to nations in need.  Yes, the US needs a lot of vaccines, but most other nations (including China) have joined a WHO program to try to provide free or affordable vaccines globally  Or will you claim that this is just another Chinese method to dehumanize people by helping them live better lives?

Again with the accomplishments as currency? Good deeds aren't good character. At some point if there are enough good deeds, and nothing in conflict with the image created by those deeds, probably it'll no longer be necessary to wonder at the character behind the deeds. But currently the deeds are bullshit. They are compromised by the horrible things China has done along the way.

They could solve the image problem by owning up to inadequate systems. In theory that's exactly what Xi Jinping was about with the anti-corruption drive. Why didn't he get international kudos for that, eh? Unfucking his national systems so that his unimpoverished people need not suffer more. What's not to admire? Why wasn't it admired?

Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2020, 11:22:44 AM »
Discipline inspection within China is a particularly interesting topic to peruse, partly because as a function within the party it was various degrees of toothless up until about 2012, but also because of comments like Deng's.

Wikipedia:

The importance of law in the struggle against corruption has been emphasised since the early 1980s.[101] Deng pointed out in 1980 that the anti-corruption effort was a political struggle which, to be successful, must be fought in an institutional environment.[101] At the 4th Plenary Session of the 15th CCDI in 2000, Jiang drew a similar conclusion: "The most important thing is to uphold and improve a system of institutions which can guarantee the Party's strong leadership and socialist prosperity, and make sure that the system is functioning by means of laws, regulations, policies and education."[102] Despite this, until the 16th National Congress the CPC's anti-corruption system was based on campaign-style events rather than formal procedures (partially due to the 1940s Yan'an Rectification Movement and its legacy).[102] The idea that campaigns – not institutions – were the best weapon against corruption predominated under Deng,[102] and is best seen in the establishment of the Central Party Rectification Steering Committee during the 1980s.[102] This was the CPC central leadership's preferred way to combat corruption, since its enforcement depended largely on the leadership.[102] However, the sharp increase in corrupt activities during the 1990s led the Party to change course

Going out on a limb: the majority of the China perception problems - why it's okay to poopoo any and all Chinese effort - stem from lack of perceptible institutional structure. Aside from the existence of a single, purportedly unified party, where does any institutional authority exist? Where and when does it happen that procedures and policy take precedence over persons with authority. It will sometimes. Most often it will appear as an authority figure saying "we have strict policies and regulations" as a way of saying no to some request or requirement. (Like for instance just about every restriction on Australian trade with China currently taking place.)

But when does it actually happen that the institution has the authority instead of the person citing the existence of an institution having the authority?

That there is and must always be this question, and the fact it so often has bad answers, is why all Chinese efforts are so easily branded fake or lies.


imo

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2020, 05:25:06 PM »
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.

It sure is. How did you find that in my claims?

Right here where you said:

Raising "people" out of poverty places some special emphasis on "people" and makes them different from animals. And it can't do that without at some point granting "people" some kind of absolute right to be.




Quote
You want something a little more concrete?  The US president declared that the US won't donate 1 vial of vaccine to another country until everyone in the US who wants to be immunized has been vaccinated and there's an excess of vaccine available.  China continues to maintain difficult border quarantines and has already started transferring vaccines as donations and at very low prices to nations in need.  Yes, the US needs a lot of vaccines, but most other nations (including China) have joined a WHO program to try to provide free or affordable vaccines globally  Or will you claim that this is just another Chinese method to dehumanize people by helping them live better lives?

Again with the accomplishments as currency? Good deeds aren't good character. At some point if there are enough good deeds, and nothing in conflict with the image created by those deeds, probably it'll no longer be necessary to wonder at the character behind the deeds. But currently the deeds are bullshit. They are compromised by the horrible things China has done along the way.[/quote]

Check your own history if you want to see some horrible things.  For example, ask a native Australian how well they've been treated from the arrival of the first ships all they way up until today.

Deeds speak much louder than words, and advancing a country economically about 100 years during a 40 year period is unprecedented.  Eliminating the lowest level of poverty is unprecedented.

Quote
They could solve the image problem by owning up to inadequate systems. In theory that's exactly what Xi Jinping was about with the anti-corruption drive. Why didn't he get international kudos for that, eh? Unfucking his national systems so that his unimpoverished people need not suffer more. What's not to admire? Why wasn't it admired?
Quote

Corruption is a problem that's actually harder to deal with than poverty.  Steps have been made, but there's not one country out there that's eliminated corruption.  Yet, even with the anti-corruption programs working their way forward, he still successfully completed the anti-poverty program, thereby greatly reducing the suffering of those who got left behind by the growing economy.


So, what magical standard does China need to meet to be able to launch a rocket on live television and internet feeds without having people say "I hope it blows up" or "It's fake"?  What standard does it have to meet to eliminate the lowest tier of poverty (which included the majority of the populated 40 years ago) without having this somehow being inadequate?  How about the opening of the economy.  If any other country jumped from being an impoverished agricultural nation to the world's second largest economy in 40 years, that would be hailed as an economic miracle.  Instead, governments that produce far poorer results want to heap scorn on it.

Is the only magical cure for China to embrace a governmental system like the US or Australia?  Neither of those could match what China's done, and the national governments of both countries are falling into gridlock due to factions refusing to work with each other (not to mention the US is currently having an onslaught of "legal coup" attempts to try to overturn their previously cherished concept of democratic elections).

I will admit that China's system is not perfect.  But, not one government on Earth can make that claim.  Every system of government is a system of tradeoffs.  What I do see is the Chinese people are no longer a nation with 80+ percent of the people in grinding poverty (and ZERO percent of the people in the worst possible poverty) and an economy that continues to expand to support a growing middle class.  I also see people and politicians in the west working hard to denigrate China's economic success (and all other successes), even major investment firms around the world place financial wagers based on the Chinese economic numbers are somehow "fake."

I think the flagrant double standards have less to do with flaws in the Chinese system and more to do with the fact that the Western system hasn't faced serious competition from a different political system since winning the race to the Moon in 1969.  Nearly 50 years as "the" way to best run the country (and the world) is now being threatened.  "Our way is the best way and all other ways are wrong, fake, and/or illegitimate" has been the mantra of quite a few in the West for a long time, so the urge to discredit anything positive from any other political systems is deeply ingrained.
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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2020, 11:04:29 PM »
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.

It sure is. How did you find that in my claims?

Right here where you said:

Raising "people" out of poverty places some special emphasis on "people" and makes them different from animals. And it can't do that without at some point granting "people" some kind of absolute right to be.

That's the observation that raising people out of poverty is neither here nor there if "people" is not a morally relevant category or item. Which observation was made as a way of highlighting - pointing out, even - that achievement requires some touchstone or measure to exist and be called "good". That touchstone, ideally, would not be some culturally relative norm, but some absolute value of some kind. Making the original observation was a way of saying there are absolutes somewhere.


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Check your own history if you want to see some horrible things.  For example, ask a native Australian how well they've been treated from the arrival of the first ships all they way up until today.

And the reason for claiming absolute values exist is to go ahead and observe that whatabouts are not the measure of nations. Two nations, equally parlous in deed, are not exonerated by the existence of each other. They just both fail to reach the ideal. I can check my history as much as I like, it tells me nothing about Chinese inadequacy. At best, it makes it hard - politically - for me to do the finger pointing, even when fingers are rightly to be pointed.

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Deeds speak much louder than words, and advancing a country economically about 100 years during a 40 year period is unprecedented.  Eliminating the lowest level of poverty is unprecedented.

So... thanks, globalisation? China wasn't spending money it made by itself. It needed a world to want goods. And a changes to the definition of "poverty".

But so, the ends do justify the means, though? It's a laudable result, de-povertying the place, who cares if there was theft along the way? Probably, no one, in fact. Probably no one should care if the means were corrupt, inefficient, murderous in some places, callous in others. It genuinely probably does not matter. If that is where the bad stuff ended too. More importantly, no one should care about the bad stuff if it was all limited to the creation of good ends and is no longer a feature. Which is why talking about good deeds is irrelevant to bad deeds. The accounting doesn't square that way - the goodness of the good deed is supposed to have some morally relevant connection to the badness of the bad deed for them to tally or cancel in some way. In fact, trying to tally unrelated deeds only works if "people" is a shifting value, sometimes important sometimes not, which tends  to undermine the meaning of the original good deed, eh?

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So, what magical standard does China need to meet to be able to launch a rocket on live television and internet feeds without having people say "I hope it blows up" or "It's fake"?  What standard does it have to meet to eliminate the lowest tier of poverty (which included the majority of the populated 40 years ago) without having this somehow being inadequate?  How about the opening of the economy.  If any other country jumped from being an impoverished agricultural nation to the world's second largest economy in 40 years, that would be hailed as an economic miracle.  Instead, governments that produce far poorer results want to heap scorn on it.

Is the only magical cure for China to embrace a governmental system like the US or Australia?  Neither of those could match what China's done, and the national governments of both countries are falling into gridlock due to factions refusing to work with each other (not to mention the US is currently having an onslaught of "legal coup" attempts to try to overturn their previously cherished concept of democratic elections).

I will admit that China's system is not perfect.  But, not one government on Earth can make that claim.  Every system of government is a system of tradeoffs.  What I do see is the Chinese people are no longer a nation with 80+ percent of the people in grinding poverty (and ZERO percent of the people in the worst possible poverty) and an economy that continues to expand to support a growing middle class.  I also see people and politicians in the west working hard to denigrate China's economic success (and all other successes), even major investment firms around the world place financial wagers based on the Chinese economic numbers are somehow "fake."

I think the flagrant double standards have less to do with flaws in the Chinese system and more to do with the fact that the Western system hasn't faced serious competition from a different political system since winning the race to the Moon in 1969.  Nearly 50 years as "the" way to best run the country (and the world) is now being threatened.  "Our way is the best way and all other ways are wrong, fake, and/or illegitimate" has been the mantra of quite a few in the West for a long time, so the urge to discredit anything positive from any other political systems is deeply ingrained.

The magical standard is whatever whatever counts as soft power. Whatever makes the country generally admirable. Apparently making poor people less poor isn't it. And you'll have to know it isn't that because those good deeds are tarnished by ongoing or recent enough bad deeds and bad faith elsewhere. Or maybe it's racism, you know? Perhaps the white nations don't want to give yellow people that kind of credit. Maybe the Africans will.

I think probably it's not enough to say China has some severe moral transgression in its past, and arguably in its present as well. All sorts of white nations have gotten away with genocides for example and still retain, somehow, a modicum of worldwide good standing. China, I think, has not found a way to make people think the evil is eliminated. Great Leap Forward? Sure, bad call. We wouldn't do anything like that again.... Massacre a bunch of squares? Yeah, not these days, couldn't happen again. Imprison a generation? No, that's work experience in the butt end of the rooster of our great nation, that's all. Reduce life expectancy, intellectually cripple, maintain the largest police state known to eternity? That's not even happening.

Those whatabouts...   I wonder, could it be that Chinese political philosophy really does believe the lack of existence of an ideal state is reason enough to not be ideal. They can be bad, perhaps they reason, because westerners have been bad. That would seem to explain a lot of international relations, certainly.

How awesome is that? Chinese soft power is "lowest common denominator, bitches!" plus a complaint about why don't you love us any more.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 11:13:02 PM by Calach Pfeffer »

Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2020, 11:22:57 PM »
At least some of it has an origin in us-and-them. There's very little "we". I don't think China does any kind of a good job with global anything. Is there actually anything from China that finds ways to include "us", the not Chinese, with "them", the Chinese?

There isn't, is there. Something like that surely has a large part to play in why it's so hard to admire. You always have to do your admiring from outside, as a kind of supplicant.


Not everyone, obviously. Some are free to admire the hell out of the place. I'm saying rather that China finds ways to make it hard. There's always some kind of rebuff. And I think it's fair to say China does that on a worldwide scale, so it's not just me.

Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2020, 12:02:52 AM »
You know, among diverse peoples, "universal human rights", instant "we". We all have this one thing in common, we are all human. Hot selling point for the west.

But if the basic rights we all have are just to health care, education, housing and poverty relief, then the only universal is "some people are richer than us, you rich nations look down on us, we are us and you are outside!"

Endgame: to have peoples be separate.


And that, folks, is why China will always have a hard time being popular.

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2020, 06:10:52 PM »
The west pledges a greater variety of human rights, but then turns around and beats reporters and people trying to assist those who've been tear gassed or pepper sprayed.  Minorities have "equal" rights in the west, while native populations and other minorities are still dying in disproprortionate numbers at the hands of the police.  How many countries around the world have been "liberated" by the USA and its allies in the name of "freedom" only to end up worse off than they were before?    Meanwhile, the US and its allies, while not endorsing the competing systems of government, cozy up to very oppressive regimes, either for access to oil or to have as customers that buy American weapons.

And then China gets condemned for not making promises the west breaks when it is convenient to do so.  It doesn't seem to matter to the west whether or not the Chinese people are happy with the direction their own country is going or not, since the west has already prejudged China as wrong.

I think the real issue is that the west doesn't want to see success by any competing system.  If some country came up with a novel new form of government that proved to be a literal heaven on earth, if it wasn't based on the western style democratic republic model, it would be ridiculed, derided, and might even be "liberated for the good of its oppressed citizens".

Any alternate system, peaceful or not, making its people happy or not, successful or not, providing for its people or not, contributing to the good of the world or not, is perceived by the west as "NOT LIKE US" and cannot be allowed to be praised.  Any criticism from a "not like us" country cannot be considered "worthy" without regard to whether or not the basis of the criticism is factual and valid.

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2020, 01:37:10 PM »
It's interesting - soft power resides in perception, and perception can gloss over all sorts of grotesque implementation errors. The land of the free enslaves and murders the black and brown, for instance, but still maintains some legacy perception as a place of opportunity. And perception can gloss over all sorts of achievement. The land of the unfree raises living standards across the board (more or less), but still counts as a regime of oppression. How is it happening that actual functioning is not causing an update in perception?

I suppose the perceptions of people outside a given system depend on how accessible the rewards of that system are perceived to be. Irrespective of grotesque error within a system, how accessible do people think the rewards of that system are?

Raises the question of what is a reward, I guess. "Freedom" for instance is probably not a reward. It's a condition under which individual reward can be pursued. "Land of the free" is not what makes (former) USA attractive, it's what that freedom makes possible that is attractive (to some). Likewise, perhaps "repression" is not a punishment if, say, constant surveillance and the presence of consequences for loose speech appears to facilitate... an environment free from revolutionary upheaval? An environment of group unity and harmony of purpose? In the minds of those who value such outcomes, I guess.

What does China make possible? And can it be seen as attractive to a large enough group of the right people on the outside?



On balance, I think there's a big "nope" sitting right there. Used to be the only people who needed China to be attractive were the capitalists who needed factories, and to them it was so whatever. But these days... Maybe China needs better PR

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2020, 04:21:47 PM »
On that last point, I can agree.  China played the inscrutable card for a very long time, and only recently got seriously involved in the PR game.
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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2020, 12:20:48 AM »
I don't know. PR assumes some kind of relationship - or at least an audience. Is there anyone who can be China's audience? Are there any nations or groups China wishes to have a relationship with? There's inscrutable and then there's inaccessible, and if China has stopped being obscure about its meanings, it has not stopped being difficult to access.

Or am I just assuming an identity China doesn't think I have? (Which is to say, does China think everyone is the audience because ultimately everyone will be a subordinate?)



China sees splittists with black hands and ulterior motives. I think that tells us something about China
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 12:26:31 AM by Calach Pfeffer »

Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2020, 12:21:59 AM »
Chinese Communist Party database leak reveals infiltration into Western companies

An unprecedented data leak has revealed how alleged Chinese Communist Party members have embedded themselves inside some of the world’s biggest companies, including defence contractors, banks and pharmaceutical giants manufacturing coronavirus vaccines.

The Australian newspaper has obtained the leaked database of almost two million CCP members – including their party position, birthdate, national ID number and ethnicity – and 79,000 branches, many of them inside companies, universities and even government agencies.

Among the companies identified as having CCP members in their employ are manufacturers like Boeing and Volkswagen, drug giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca, and financial institutions including ANZ and HSBC, according to the reports.

The membership records also show that the CCP has infiltrated the Australian, British and US consulates in Shanghai, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade using a Chinese government agency, the Shanghai Foreign Agency Service Department, to hire local staff.

“It is believed to be the first leak of its kind in the world,” The Australian journalist and Sky News host Sharri Markson said.

“What’s amazing about this database is not just that it exposes people who are members of the Communist Party, and who are now living and working all over the world, from Australia to the US to the UK, but it’s amazing because it lifts the lid on how the party operates under President and Chairman Xi Jinping.”

Markson said CCP branches had been set up inside western companies where members, “if called on, are answerable directly to the Communist Party” and President Xi himself. “It is also going to embarrass some global companies who appear to have no plan in place to protect their intellectual property from theft, from economic espionage,” she said....



Presumably not a hoax

Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2020, 07:10:38 PM »
China has wanted resources and servies - iron ore, coal, liquified natural gas, education, tourism. Australia has wanted money and manufactured goods. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, trade with China is - was - about 27% of all Australian international trade. Pundits suggest iron ore has 5 years left as a lever, maybe 10. Further, and more generally, if China is truly to be replaced as a trading partner, it'll take a decade or more likely multiple decades to recover trade levels.

It's not good for me, and it's sure as shit not good for anyone left in the country who hasn't bought their own house and secured their government pension, but it can be done. It might even be helped by happening now. A year of covid has changed what people think is possible.

Governments that propose an actual decoupling probably will get a short term boost in popularity, and then be turfed out as the economic truth begins to dawn. But governments that propose appeasement likely won't last either. The literally stupid shit China has demanded in those 14 points more or less guarantees that.


There's a weird thing in Chinese popular economics, the notion that trade is humiliating. The idea that foreigners make money by offering goods and services somehow hurts the pride of the nation. "You make so much money from us," kind of deal, like somehow the trade was unbalanced, or somehow they had to overpay. Or perhaps that a trade relationship was supposed to also include some kind of further cooperation and you're a bad partner for not doing it. There's actually something to that effect in Xi Jinping's comments recently - something about the crime of eating at the party's table, taking the party's money, but not being... loyal? Can't find the reference any more.




Whatever. We're a middle weight nation, and maybe not even that. Our economy's going to shrink.

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Re: China's endgame?
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2020, 08:16:20 PM »
Of course PR has an audience.  Some is targeted and some is literally for anyone who will listen.

Until recently, China wasn't really into international PR, but having the very word "China" inspire instant negativity wasn't something that could be ignored forever.  Even today, I spotted some extreme right wing morons trying to build a conspiracy because the US Senate Majority leader (a republican) was married to a Chinese woman.  Turns out that she's finishing up her 4 years as the US Secretary of Transportation and held a cabinet level position for 8 years in the previous republican administration, but once these people heard there was a Chinese woman married to a high ranking politician, all they could think was about spies and conspiracies.  Any competent PR specialist will tell you that China needs to try to persuade people to rethink these extremist xenophobic views.

Trade vs. humiliation.  Look up the 100 year of humiliation, which included 2 wars where losing meant being forced to permit the opium trade to flourish to support the British Empire.  China has been forced at gunpoint into large numbers of unfair trade deals.  China fully understands mutually beneficial trade, but has learned through painful experience to be extremely cautious.  On the other hand, once China makes a deal, it doesn't break it on a whim, unlike a soon-to-be ex-president of the USA.  As trust is built, claims by both sides of trade agreements being humiliating and unfair will slowly quiet down.

In trade, most things are negotiable, but a few likely aren't.  The Australian side needs to have their own list and each side needs to know what the other thinks is mandatory vs. open to discussion.  That's the way to move back towards deals that provide benefits to both sides.


I was also once surprised to find my place of work had been "infiltrated" by a member of the Soviet Communist party.  Except that infiltrated was absolutely the wrong word.  He was a visiting postdoctoral researcher invited over due to his scientific work.  He performed quite well while in the US and had coauthored several papers.  I'd known him for about 8 months or so when he casually mentioned he was a party member.  To absolutely no one's surprise, it made zero difference to what he was researching.  When his postdoc appointment was over, he didn't run off with a stash of classified documents and and he didn't drag anyone off to a gulag.

So, if among 2 million Chinese Communist Party members, some have, through their own hard work, achieved decent ranks in business or other endeavors, it doesn't mean they get our their secret decoder rings every night to read their latest orders from above.  The CCP isn't some super-secret spy organization.  There's at least one family living 2 streets over from me that has a sign that (very) roughly translates as "Home of a CCP member."

Oh, and I've also learned that my own family has been "infiltrated."  It was only a year or two ago that I found out that my father-in-law was a CCP member.  He's currently mostly inactive, but still gets invited to "party-only" parties.  I'm not sure how often he goes.  Frankly I'm amused that most westerners I know would be terrified if they found out I was related to a CCP member.

The charity group I've been with for over a decade regularly deals with local party officials (not just rank and file members) to help identify children who are most in need of financial assistance for their education.  All the party officials I've met have been the kind of hard working civil servants who keep the wheels of government turning.  Just like civil servants in other countries, some will work for the government until they retire and some will move to the private sector.

Maybe some newspaper needs to write up a report about how may western civil servants (even elected ones) later ended up being very well paid employees in industries they used to regulate or award government contracts to.

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