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A short word on China

I have been very critical of the USA and of my own country, Australia. I have been criticised because I have not written similar pages on other countries that have equally bad, or perhaps worse governments. The reason I have concentrated so much on the USA is because the government of my country (both major parties are equally bad on this point) follows and supports the USA government in almost all its excesses. The reason I concentrate on the government of Australia is obviously because it is the government of my country.

In this page I pick on one of the other countries that the government of my country trades with and very rarely criticises.

I'd certainly appreciate feedback from any Chinese reader.

This page created 2009/05/09, modified 2014/05/29
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com
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Freedom of speech

The freedom to say and read anything is a great and important freedom. It is highly questionable that any government has the right to limit what a citizen can read or say. In particular, what right does the illegitimate Chinese government have to decide what the citizens of China read?


The Chinese Government

The present Chinese Government was not elected by the people of China and therefore is not a legitimate government. It has forced itself on the people of China. China has never had a government that had the mandate of the Chinese people.

Western governments criticise the governments of nations like Burma, Fiji, and Zimbabwe because they do not represent the people of their respective countries; those same Western governments rarely criticise China because they do not want to offend such an important trading partner.

As a form of government, democracy has many faults, but because it is the only form of government in which the people choose who is to govern them, it is the only legitimate form of government. All other forms of governments are tyrannies of one sort or another.

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Tibet

All indications are that the people of Tibet do not want to be ruled by China. Why should they not have the right to self-determination? The essence of democracy is that a people have the right to be ruled by the government of their choice.

I have written more on the subject of secession elsewhere on this site.



Nuclear test deaths

Forty tests of nuclear weapons were carried out in Xinjiang province between 1964 and 1996 at the Lop Nur site. Research published by Japanese physicist Jun Takada in his book, Chinese Nuclear Tests (Iryokagakusha, 2009) includes an estimate of the probable number of deaths among the Uygur population: 194 000, from acute radiation exposure. He estimates that another 1.2 million would have received doses of radiation high enough to induce leukaemia, solid cancers and foetal damage. He also stated that "My estimate is a conservative minimum."

If Takada's estimates are correct, and they should not be accepted without confirmation from other researchers, this was a terrible 'crime against humanity' committed by the Chinese government against the Uygur people. If true it probably should be considered to be genocide.

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In China's favour

Energy

China is burning huge amounts of fossil fuels, it is often said that China is effectively building a new coal-fired power station each week. However, China's per-capita rate of greenhouse gas production is a fraction of that of nations like Australia and the USA and there is much to be said in favour of China in the renewable energy area.

China is by far the most advanced nation in the use of solar thermal energy; International Energy Agency (IEA) figures for 2004 showed that China had 43 400 MWth (megawatt thermal) installed; the second nation was Japan with 5400 MWth. In 2005 China invested US$7 billion on renewable energy development (mostly small hydro and solar hot water), twice as much as the USA. China's wind power targets are 5000 MW by 2010, 15 000 MW by 2015, and 30 000 MW by 2020 (Australia had 1877 MW of wind power at the end of 2009). China has more small hydro-power than the rest of the world combined. (China invested a further $10b large hydro-power in 2005; this is not usually considered to be renewable energy.) (These figures were from Renewable Energy World 2006/07.) China had 1260 MW of wind power installed in 2006 (Wind Power Monthly). In November 2009 China had 220 factories producing solar photovoltaic panels, my country Australia, had none.

The paragraphs above were written in 2010. In mid 2014 China continues to lead the world in renewable energy development.



The one child policy

China has often been criticised for this. In my view, not only is the criticism unfair and ill-informed, but China should be congratulated for the one child policy.

China is overpopulated, many of the world's countries are overpopulated, the world itself is overpopulated; if the world had half it current population then the climate change problem would be half as bad as it is; many other problems would be much less severe as well.

China took on the very difficult overpopulation problem in what was probably about the most humane way that it could. Many other countries have just ignored the population problem because it was seen as too hard. Perhaps this is one of the advantages of a non-democratic government.

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One child policy
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