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  • Fight over snack in China lights up blogosphere
    Fight over snack in China lights up blogosphere

    Controversy over how police handled a fight between ethnic minority snack vendors and a Han Chinese costumer went viral in China, highlighting discontent with 'leniency' for minorities.

    December 4th, 2012

    [Image: 2j9Z.jpg]

    A banal dispute over the price of a snack on an anonymous street in central China has triggered a fireball of angry comment in the Chinese blogosphere, revealing deep and widespread resentment at the way Beijing treats ethnic minorities under its rule.

    But not because the authorities are too harsh on Tibetans and Uighurs, as an outsider might think: The overwhelming majority of comments blame government policy for being too sympathetic to them.

    The incident highlights a vast gulf between foreign and Chinese views of official ethnic policy in a country where Tibetans and Uighurs complain about gross mistreatment, but many members of the majority Han ethnic group claim that it is they who suffer reverse discrimination.

    Most foreign observers, and many ethnic minority members in China, say that the policies Beijing claims are designed to promote minority rights and living standards are merely a façade, and that officials pay only lip service to autonomy.

    Nothing illustrated that argument better than the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when the government proudly presented representatives of China’s 56 ethnic groups, all in folk costumes – and who all turned out to be Han actors and actresses.

    But some prominent Han intellectuals are arguing that government policies benefiting minorities are misguided and should be scrapped.

    The current storm of commentary, which has generated more than 2.5 million blog posts on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like social networking platform, began when the police in Yueyang, a city in Hunan Province, announced on Weibo that a fight had got out of hand on Monday.

    A minor riot had ensued after an altercation between Uighur venders of nutcake (a sticky nougat-like confection) and a Han customer, it seemed. The police said they had compensated the Uighurs for the loss of their nutcake, sent them back to Xinjiang, their majority-Muslim home province in the far west of China, (see map) and arrested one of their (Han) assailants.

    This apparently unequal treatment drew resentful attention to a 30-year-old official government policy – unevenly applied – to treat minority lawbreakers with more leniency than their Han counterparts.

    "The police have to act in a more gingerly fashion with regard to minorities, especially Uighurs,” says Barry Sautman, an expert on China’s ethnic policies at Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology.

    The goal of that policy, Professor Sautman says, is “better relations between ethnic minorities and the state, and it probably has lessened the antagonism among some members of minority groups toward the state.”

    But the policy has provoked almost universal criticism from the bloggers who made the Yueyang incident the top trending issue on Weibo on Tuesday.

    “Some law enforcement bureaus indulge Uyghur criminals and such behavior damages the interests of the majority,” wrote a blogger called Cao Junniu, whose post was typical of thousands of others. “Minority ethnic protection should be curbed.”

    “The country should have a citizen policy, not an ethnic policy that divides people into different ranks,” argued another blogger, Wang Kuangzheng. “It is sad that those who do not benefit are angry, while those who do benefit are not grateful.”

    The policy on legal treatment is part of a wider set of affirmative action privileges reserved for members of China’s ethnic minorities; they are not subject to the restrictions of the “one child policy,” they have extra points added to their school leaving exams to help them gain entrance to university, and they are entitled to priority access to small business loans, for example.

    That such positive discrimination should spark resentment among some Han citizens, who make up 95 percent of China’s population, “is normal,” says Ma Dazheng, an ethnic policy analyst at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government-linked think tank.

    Some prominent Chinese intellectuals close to the government, such as Professor Hu Angang, also argue that the policy encourages minorities to build their ethnic identities at the expense of their national, Chinese identity, which could pose security risks for the Chinese state. Tibetans and Uighurs both live in border areas.

    Even leading spokespeople for minority groups, such as Tibetan blogger Woeser, believe that the privileges policy should be scrapped.

    “Most of the benefits are meaningless in reality,” argues Woeser, and pale into insignificance against the background of political and ethnic discrimination to which Tibetans and Uighurs are subjected, she says.

    “The authorities indulge petty criminals but they crack down on ethnic minorities’ political rights,” Woeser claims. “Canceling the privileges would at least reduce Han resentment.”

    source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Paci...2012)&cmpi
    (12-05-2012, 04:05 AM)Spudgun17 Wrote:  The police said they had compensated the Uighurs for the loss of their nutcake, sent them back to Xinjiang, their majority-Muslim home province in the far west of China...

    sure... they 'sent' him back to xinjiang... most likely in a box chinese take out container... i'm not buying this for a second.

    [Image: bad-image.png]
    by the way, these are called oyster pails... jic anyone was wondering.

    "Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
    (12-05-2012, 04:16 AM)sporkium Wrote:  i'm not buying this for a second.

    me neither... especially after reading the Heritage Foundation's report on Chinese Public Opinion Warfare... and how much emphasis is put into controlling what people (Chinese citizens and foreigners) think...


    also of related interest is this 1977 National Review article on 'Thought Control In Mao's China: http://www.nationalreview.com/nroriginal...2E4NTgyNTA=
    thanks spud,i find this very interesting,it all comes down again on the fact that a majority of people want"independence"from a so called country they should get it without hesitation
    i'm actually a little bit surprised that the people are even being allowed to blog about this without being drug out of their homes at 4 in the morning by jackboot-bearing chinese fascist... they must be using proxies or something.

    "Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
    or maybe it's not as bad in china as many people want us to believe.....
    or maybe it is all a publicity stunt and china is trying to trick the world into thinking they would allow freedom of speech when in reality it's all just a scripted lie that they've created.

    "Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
    i tend to think along the same cynical and suspicious lines as sporkium when it comes to China. When i post a news article on the country for example, i'll check what other media outlets have covered the story, and question the ones that chose not even to mention it. I don't mean that if say 10 mainstream outlets cover a story then it must be true, i just wonder why a particular story gets media coverage when others news stories coming out of China get ignored. Verification is difficult when you're constantly questioning whether something is straight up propaganda or a genuine news story, and of course there's no real way of finding out, so i often ask myself who stands to gain from getting people to believe one story over another, and has the media suddenly become absolutely saturated with the same story containing the same details?, because if it has, then i automatically assume it's a case of full spectrum dominance, rather than the possibility that the story could actually be truthful in any way. Trying to determine whether something is true is like walking around in circles while dropping to the floor every few feet and nutting the floor.
    (This post was last modified: 12-06-2012, 04:09 AM by Spud17.)
    well...how about Fox?

    [Image: fdhgsdssff.jpg]
    May My Light guides you
    stay on topic,Bulb

    yes,maybe it's a publicity stunt,but then again they could have booted those people out of their highway obstructing house and send them to a gobi reeducation camp

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