Saturday, December 11, 2010

Futile, I say. FUTILE

Ripped straight from China Daily Show:

BEIJING - Most nations support China's stance on the Nobel Peace Prize, and China will not yield to outside pressure on this issue, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday in response to a question concerning the prize being awarded to convicted criminal Liu Xiaobo.

"Any attempt to deter China from development will be futile," she said.

Except, of course, this isn't from China Daily Show. It's from China Daily. I wonder if reality will, soon enough, imitate art. (Just waiting for the China Daily article about Japanese octoporn (c.f. this.)

Of course, speaking about the Nobel Peace Prize, this is the must-read commentary on the event, from Evan Osnos:

I’ve seen versions of the black screen over the years in China, but there is something especially dispiriting about the farce this time. Decades ago, the parallel world in the state-run press was, in its own way, an accurate reflection of China’s delusions. But this time the falsehoods are an end in themselves, self-invented lies dressed up as flamboyant demonstrations of defiance. Chinese leaders know that they are harming their reputation around the world, but they are calculating that the damage is temporary, and that they will ride it out. Perhaps, but the harm is substantial this time. China is not Hitler’s Germany, and now the comparison will endure in history.

But there is a more urgent danger implied by these self-invented lies—the danger that they reflect a weakness in the way that China reaches its most sensitive decisions, an inability to ferret out the most prudent solution to problems. Chinese leaders often invoke the wisdom and moderation of Confucius these days. But Daniel Bell, a Confucian specialist in Beijing, told me today that the Confucian Analects contain advice that might give a Chinese leader pause this week:

If you [the ruler] are right and no one contradicts you, that’s fine; but if you are wrong and no one contradicts you—is that not … leading a state to ruin?
POSTSCRIPT: Speaking of ripped from satire, down to the final line: Chinese publishers recall pirated pornographic fairy tales, China Economic Review.

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