news n politics

Wen Jiabao's Speech in Harvard

Chinese Premier Wen’s four day visit to USA is an important tour. I find it quite interesting that he gave a speech a Harvard business school. I have to say after reading different news sources about his speech, i’m quite impressed.
1. he admitted human rights problems in china. although providing no solid proposals to improve the situation, he mentioned “Reform and opening-up creates conditions for the advancement of human rights, and the latter invigorates the former.” (source)
2. he supported democracy. “China’s leaders want democracy, the conditions are not yet right for contested elections for senior officials. China is such a big country and our economic development is so uneven. To start with, I think the education level of the population is not high enough” (source) – this i quite agree. I’m not sure whether chinese would truly appreciate democratic election at this point of the stage. i am worried that democracy would not be truly democratic due the huge number of corruption exists in the government. think back to the very first election in Republic of China that led by Sun. What a failure huh? but then who can judge when is the right time for china? i find it interesting how peking duck mentioned even tho singapore is not a democratic country, it manages to provide “people nearly all of the freedoms they crave.” what will work in china should not be judged by outside forces. so i also applause his statement “China is a large developing country. It is neither proper nor possible for us to rely on foreign countries for development. We must, and we can only, rely on our own efforts.” (source) every country has its own problems and needs its own unique solutions.
3. i really like the way he handled the interruption by a woman who stood up to call for Tibetan independence. no matter how legitimate you think that woman’s protest is.. Wen managed to make her look bad. he said “I will not be disrupted because I am deeply convinced that the 300 million American people do have friendly feelings towards China.” the woman was removed from the audience for the interruption and i doubt anyone was impressed by her “bravery”. at least i am not.

Full Text of His Speech

After Wen’s visit with Bush, Bush changed his tone on Taiwan issue just about 180 degrees. I don’t think I want to get into why. Just interesting to note.

I’ve been trying to read many different news sources describing Wen’s speech. i haven’t yet found one that’s negative. most people thought Wen was amiable. I’m happy to have him as a premier for china.

news sources i’ve read:
http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/business.bg?articleid=1058
http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/12.11/01-china.html
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,224879,00.html
http://fpeng.peopledaily.com.cn/200312/11/eng20031211_130140.shtml
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2003/12/11/2003079112
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,8130123%255E1702,00.html

13 thoughts on “Wen Jiabao's Speech in Harvard

  1. I am so glad to see a new fan abroard toward premier Wen Jabao emerged! Me too. Even though I have known him only by Chinese media where I know solely resirable news and reports about leaders are allowed to be released, but I believe this time by my long-time trained smell sense that his impressing humility and compassion shed mostly for the needy are realy true. As his name tells us, premier Wen is a treasure of China, if every Chinese thinks they have reliable leaders at least in top level now, the future of China must be rosier.

  2. I don’t get how Americans think there’s no human rights in China… the givernment jokes on the Chinese message boards are way worse than any American Bush or Clinton joke, but perhaps I’m missing something.

    Corruption in the government, yes, but then again, how many government can anyone count that’s not corrupt?

    1. media can be biased but china does have human rights problems. for one thing, torture is still allowed in prison. it doesn’t have to be physical torture. stuff like refuse to give your proper medical treatments and cutting vital nutrition in your food is commonly practiced. i’ve seen interviews with the long jailed Wei jingshen. he mentioned it. and if you just keep your eyes open, you will find many examples in the media.

      this paper talks about people being imprisoned for talking against the government online

      asian human rights site
      http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/apro/aproweb.nsf/pages/index
      read http://www.leylop.com/ – a blog by a mainlander
      Tuesday, December 02, 2003
      What’s behind blood-selling industry?
      why is the government hiding so much from the public? anyone who attempts to reveal the darker side of the government is bitterly crushed. as a result, not many people cares about politics in china. and due the fast economic growth in china, chinese feels hostile when foreigners push for changes. but those who are negatively affected by chinese government are not happy. i read a recent case about wives of two political prisoners writing to the First Lady in US for help. http://www.yangjianli.com/ http://weijingsheng.org/ same imprisonment happened to zhang cuiying when she went back to support falun gone. human rights is probably not a big deal for most chinese as long as they don’t touch politics. the fact Wen admitted to those problems is very applausible.

      about corruption.. i think it’s one of the many negative results from Cultural Rev. where human devotion is awarded with torture + Deng’s new campaign of “getting rich is good” “some might be rich first”.. 1989’s incident is partly caused by discontent on gov’t corruption. my chinese professor told us in class that Ximen had one of the worst cases. a company smuggled many foreign goods by paying off the officials. then they even built a resort for the officials and provide them with prostitutes in the resort. then secretly video taping them so they can’t turn back. they finally cracked down the scheme and as it turned out about 1/6 of total petroleum import comes from that company. they prosecuted over 300 officials, many very high level officials too. many of these trials tho are still hidden from public. i don’t think you will find corruption this big in size in many other governments esp. countries as big as china. the thing that disgusts me the most is how this corruption trickles down to lower levels. now giving gifts for someone to do you favors is almost the way the society functions. when i went back two summers ago, i heard so much. my uncle is talking about giving money to his kid’s kindergarden teacher. my grandma told me how many gifts she has to prepare for each person who she needed to talk to to get our birth certificants. these gifts must be provided before favors are done. to me this is just buying your way for favors. what ever happened to giving gifts due to sincere gratitude for someone’s good deeds? you may argue that it’s part of chinese culture.. but that just digusts me even more. can’t chinese do better than that?

      1. I never said corruption was right. I said that I agreed that the government is corrupt.

        And in China, you can’t just give gifts to anyone for favours. They have to know you first.

        I don’t like that either- one reason I wouldn’t like to return there and work.

  3. I know about the torture, but the media makes it seem as if China is the only one who’s doing it. States does it as well, but the articles about them doing it make it sound as if it’s justified.

    As for the protests… they are legal in China. And like states, you have to protest in designated areas. Even in the states, they throw tear gas and the like to get rid of protestors.

    I just don’t think it’s fair that the states can do a lot of things, but not other countries.

    1. protests are legal in china except there are often people being arrested during any political related protests. corruption and human rights problems exist in every country but the number and scale distinguishs one from another. american gov’t is eager to present the negative images of china because it’s still ran by a gov’t different than theirs. enemy of your enemy is your friend right? so whatever chinese government persecutes, it supports. by no means do i agree with american media 100%. it created much bad stereotypes about china. but many problems it talks about do exist in china. ignore foreign media, read a site that’s made by chinese themselves. i think to admit to the problems is the first step chinese need to take but i feel chinese are so worried about “save the face”, they often deny or remain close minded. the number of protests you get from rural areas each year in china is in hundreds. so now the chinese gov’t allowed a bit of democracy in rural official elections. most city people don’t give a **** about people in rural area.. the gap of income continues to grow as the economy advances. civil unrest is very dangerous. i think if chinese will take less time caring about it’s international image and make more improvements to calm down cheap laborers, it will help.

      i think we all heard much negative about china in a lot of western countries. china has many positive images as well. they don’t usually hit the highlights of the foreign media for the reason i argued above. but so what? you hear many sh**** things about america in china too. that’s just how propaganda works right? discredit others to reinforce your own. what’s more important is your own country’s strength.

      “And in China, you can’t just give gifts to anyone for favours. They have to know you first.” yea introduced by the people on the lower level. you will know them alright… most once in your life time. *shurg*

  4. I don’t think it’s a save the face thing. Rather, I think it’s more of a “don’t say anything that will make me make less money”.

    Again, not that I don’t think corruption is wrong. I think there are more pressing matters that need to be solved, like the racism in china for example. That’s worse than any human rights situation they have.

  5. The more China demands unification by any means (read- force) , the more the people in Taiwan are going to move towards independence.

    Wen’s comments, as well as Bush’s, is just going to strengthen the resolve of the Taiwanese people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s