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Censorship Entertainment Games

China Bans Game Recognizing Taiwan Independence 892

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-one-way-to-get-your-point-across dept.
OhioJoe writes "MSNBC is reporting that China has banned a soccer game that depicts Taiwan as independent. Violators are threatened with $1200 fines. From the article: "The game, 'Soccer Manager 2005', contained content that harmed China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and violated Chinese law, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday."
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China Bans Game Recognizing Taiwan Independence

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  • hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DaFallus (805248) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:00PM (#11033866)
    "People's" Republic indeed...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:03PM (#11033914)

    ...UK doesn't ban a soccer game that shows England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as separate entities...

  • by ch-chuck (9622) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:03PM (#11033923) Homepage
    is it any wonder every factory owner want to built there - no pesky problems with free thinking laborers, just govt controlled menial units toiling away for emporer and Wal Mart.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Omniscientist (806841) <matt@nOsPam.badecho.com> on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:04PM (#11033932) Homepage
    The game, "Soccer Manager 2005", contained content that harmed China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and violated Chinese law, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday

    The article answered that quite nicely. China's government is very sensitive about territorial issues.

  • by nebaz (453974) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:04PM (#11033935)
    This is still a country with a Communist government (modified, granted, but still not democratic) who has never recognized the independence of Taiwan, who
    blocks its citizens from portions of the internet at the national level, and brutally rolled over demonstrators in Tienaman (sp) square. What do you think they would go?

    The worst part of the whole thing is that China is a capitalist's dream, cheap labor, who have no chance to redress grievances. No wonder we can't compete.

    To those who say that economic capitalism leads to democracy, we'll just have to wait and see. I'm not holding my breath.
  • by glrotate (300695) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:07PM (#11033972) Homepage
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/01/opinion/01kristo f.html?hp=&pagewanted=print&position=

    China's Donkey Droppings
    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

    For the last century, the title of "most important place in the world" has belonged to the United States, but that role seems likely to shift in this century to China.

    So what are China's new leaders, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, really like? Are they visionaries who are presiding over the greatest explosion of wealth the world has ever known? Or are they ruthless thugs who persecute Christians, Falun Gong adherents, labor leaders and journalists in a desperate attempt to maintain their dictatorship?

    There's some evidence for both propositions, and they are probably both true to some degree.

    When Mr. Hu and Mr. Wen rose to the helm of the Communist Party two years ago, many Chinese hoped they would bring a new openness to a nation that is dynamic economically but stagnant intellectually. Instead, China has become more repressive.

    The repression has now engulfed a member of The New York Times's family. Zhao Yan, a researcher for the Beijing bureau of The Times, has been detained by the authorities since September and is not allowed to communicate with his family or lawyers.

    Mr. Zhao is accused of leaking state secrets, a very serious charge that could lead to a decade in prison. China's government may believe that he was behind the September scoop by The Times's Beijing bureau chief, Joseph Kahn, that China's former leader, Jiang Zemin, was about to retire from his last formal position.

    While The Times's policy is, wisely, never to comment on the sources of articles, my own private digging indicates that Mr. Zhao was not the source for that scoop. He is innocent of everything except being a fine journalist who, before joining The Times, wrote important articles in the Chinese press about corruption.

    (In fairness, sending journalists to prison for doing their job is not an exclusively Chinese phenomenon. Several American journalists - Jim Taricani of NBC, Judith Miller of this newspaper and Matthew Cooper of Time - may be sent to U.S. prisons in the next month or two for refusing to reveal their sources.)

    Mr. Zhao's case is depressingly similar to that of another Chinese journalist, Jiang Weiping. He is serving a six-year sentence for "revealing state secrets," even though his real crime was exposing corruption.

    "China has changed so much economically, but not politically," Jiang Weiping's wife, Li Yanling, told me. "It's a puzzle to me."

    The authorities ordered Ms. Li to keep quiet about her husband's arrest, and detained her when she didn't. The couple's daughter, now 15, was traumatized at losing first her father and then her mother to the Chinese prison system. When Ms. Li was finally released, the daughter called her constantly from school to make sure that she had not been arrested again.

    Mr. Zhao's arrest is just the latest in a broad crackdown in China. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 42 journalists are now in prison in China, more than in any other country.

    "There was a period of openness, a period of hope, when the new leaders first came to power," said Jiao Guobiao, a journalism professor at Beijing University. "But now they've consolidated power, and everything has closed up again."

    Mr. Jiao should know. He wrote an essay this year denouncing censorship, and it was immediately censored. Now the government has banned Mr. Jiao from teaching.

    I've felt this cooling as well. I was planning to visit China this month, but the government has declined to give me a visa. It's the first time I've been refused, and the State Security Ministry may have worried that I would write a column about its unjust imprisonment of Mr. Zhao.

    I love China, and I share its officials' distaste for those who harm it. That's why I'm angry that hard-liners in Beijing are presenting China to the world as repressive, fragile, ty
  • War on China (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oexeo (816786) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:10PM (#11034001)
    (Disclaimer: This is not a troll, I really think it's on-topic, and worth discussion)

    Please remind why America is not at war with China? My knowledge on this subject is limited, but my checklist (based on the precedent set by the "justifications" for the war on Iraq) suggests that they should be:

    (X) Totalitarian government
    (X) Autocracy government
    (X) Possesses Weapons of Mass Destruction
    (X) No human rights
    (X) Unstable, Irresponsible leadership
    (X) Inhumane treatment of its people
    (X) Government oppression and censorship

    If these are the valid reasons, could someone please explain why America is not at war with China?
  • Funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:12PM (#11034022)
    Difficult to take a government seriously when they complain that a video game damages their sovereignty.
  • by magikweis (123136) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:13PM (#11034033) Homepage
    I work for a publishing house in Germany. Whenever we are going to produce a book with maps, which may include Taiwan, we can not print it in China. The Chinese government insists on Taiwan beeing printed in the same colours and font size as provinces of Mainland China. They take a tough line in order to not erode their position in this conflict.
    Now, if one can not produce material like that for export, how can one dare to sell this on the Chinese domestic market?
  • Only in the US... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gosand (234100) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:14PM (#11034047)
    China: Giving new meaning to the phrase 'It's just a game.' This isn't really suprising considering China's (belligerent) stance on anything and all things Taiwainese. Last weeks West Wing had a good example of these types of 'affronts' (although on a bigger scale) towards China regarding Taiwan.

    Sigh. Only in America would someone reference a fictional TV show as a source of information on something like this.

  • Re:War on China (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoctorPepper (92269) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:17PM (#11034082)
    Please remind why America is not at war with China?

    Because they:

    (X) Possess Nuclear Weapons
    (X) Possess Largest Army on the Earth

    Come on, even Dubya isn't that stupid!
  • Different approach (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kahei (466208) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:20PM (#11034130) Homepage

    There is a lot of ignorance here about the difference between the Chinese and Western ways of defining, and thus changing, reality.

    If a Western government banned a game or a particular statement, it would be a move against that particular game or statement. When the Chinese government does it, it's one tiny part of the general full-time business of defining the version of reality they want to be percieved (and which is percieved) as the canonical Chinese one.

    China is a large country, containing large areas which were not China until quite recently and still have major anti-Chinese native populations, and large areas whose interests conflict with each other and with Beijing's interests. The Chinese machine -- 'leadership' is the wrong word because it is a culture-wide effort -- has therefore always worked hard to promote a unified pro-Chinese vision in which the answer to the questions 'Should we not be part of China? Can China do bad?' is an automatic, instinctive 'no', so automatic that the question cannot really be asked at all.

    If you want to get a feel for this, try reading XinHua in parallel with your other news sources. At first you will note differences here and there but over time you will come to see two different, parallel world histories going on; the XinHua one and the 'real' one.

    But the true effect is only achieved when the whole dialectic of discussion at all levels, not just of government-controlled news sources, assumes the artificial reality, and this effect has been achieved brilliantly -- although lately they have been resorting to extreme nationalism to keep it up. The abuse of foreign soccer teams, the constant rehearsing of Japanese, British and French crimes in schools, the scholarly books on how Tibet and Goguryeo (google it, I don't know the right romanization though) and this and that bit of India have been stolen away by evil foreign interests but have been returned to China by the force of truth and sincerity -- it's all part of one absolutely brilliant concerted effort of which the banning of this game is a tiny, tiny, tiny, part.

    I think the creation of not merely a new Chinese history but a whole Chinese reality, basically in 5 short decades, is probably the greatest cultural achievement of the previous century.

    Or not.

  • by nebaz (453974) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:23PM (#11034159)
    Unfettered capitalism, without any government intervention, was similar to what you saw in the US in the 19th century. It tends to result (over time) in child labor, 7 day work weeks for the lower class, and the rise of fewer and fewer companies. The tendency now is more toward that direction. Unions aren't a natural function of capitalism, they are the result of worker exploitation over a number of years. Without legal protections, unions would be broken, violently. They may seem bureaucratic now, but the "free market", assuming fair competition, is fine, but I believe it ultimately leads to monopolies if left to itself. Look at all the mergers now, just as an example.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MonkeyCookie (657433) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:24PM (#11034170)
    Sometimes it just seems like the leaders of some government are just childlike and whiny. OK, so some people don't see Taiwan as part of China: get over it you bunch of babies.

    Are they really that incapable of being exposed to a different view of the world? It's not like a stupid video game representing Taiwan as its own country is going to make China break up or something. Taiwan really *is* an independent country, whether the People's Republic of China likes it or not. These are the realities people: stop sticking your heads in the sand.

    I hate the stupid ultrasensitive crap that some governments (or even societies) get all upset about. Pretty much every country has some minor stupid thing they get all uptight about.

    Argentina get all pissy about the Falkland Islands, which are hardly worth the trouble.

    The United States seems to spit fire if anyone talks about it stifling democracy in other countries or waging war for reasons other than "freedom", or burning flags (which causes harm to so many people!).

    India and Pakistan stop thinking rationally every time the subject of Kashmir comes up.

    Turkey frothes at the mouth every time the Kurds are mentioned.

    Some things just aren't as important as people seem to think they are. It's time to grow up, it's time to calm down.
  • Answers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:32PM (#11034275) Homepage Journal
    (X) Possesses Weapons of Mass Destruction
    (X) Possesses 200 Million Man Army
    (X) Possesses Cheap/Slave Labor
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:34PM (#11034298)
    In a nutshell, it's a matter of pride, stupid certainly, but memories are often long in the east and far east.

    No, the problem is not memories. Most people alive in mainland China and Taiwan province were born long after the 1949 revolution. A person cannot "remember" something that he never experienced.

    The real problem is bigotry. Parents teach their children the bigotry. This bigotry then constitutes the "memory".

    In Asia, bigotry is a key value of the cultures. Note that Japan is not part of Asian society; Japan is a Western nation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:34PM (#11034302)
    And speaking as someone who lives in America, I'll take the Chinese solution over the Russian solution any day

    People like you worry me. Having grown up in the pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union and personally witnessed and experienced what an abused, demoralized and empoverished society looks and feels like, I assure you, you are extremely lucky not to have to experience a "solution".

    As far as "stards of living continue to rise" in China - you listen to way too much NPR.

  • sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:35PM (#11034310) Homepage Journal
    a Communist government (modified, granted, but still not democratic)

    Would you PLEASE, for the love of all that is good and holy, learn the freakin' difference between "communist" and "totalitarian".

    A country can be communist AND totalitarian, but that doesn't make those two things interchangeable.

    The worst part of the whole thing is that China is a capitalist's dream, cheap labor, who have no chance to redress grievances. No wonder we can't compete.
    To those who say that economic capitalism leads to democracy, we'll just have to wait and see. I'm not holding my breath.


    See, China is moving away from communism, but not from totalitarianism. You've noticed that capitalism doesn't magically bring about the end of totalitarian states: Please adjust your vocabulary accordingly.

  • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:35PM (#11034313) Homepage Journal
    I have been to taiwan as a tourist and have felt the hostility ...

    Which hostility is that?

    The Taiwanese aren't hostile towards China, though they are threatened by it.

    Many of the city folk came over from the mainland with Chang Kai Shek in the late '40s, and don't like the government on the other side of the straights. Many of the earlier immigrants resented the newcomers, particularly since they behaved like bandit warlords in their first few years on Taiwan. There's a new generation running the show now, and most of those old strains are gone.

    The Taiwanese seem to be slowly realising that culture and nationality are separable; thus the independence movement. Someday, maybe, they'll have that same epiphany about culture and nationality and race. The Mainlander government still doesn't distinguish between culture, race and nationality. More to the point, they need an external enemy on which to focus their populace's hatred and discontent. Separatists in Taiwan serve that purpose wonderfully.

    A friend of mine who teaches in a military college in Taiwan says that the tensions between the two countries will die out with the passing of the current old guard, in about 20 years. I guess that assumes that they don't go to war in the mean time.

    As for the other side of the straights, I'm sure that the people believe whatever they hear on their radio and TV. If their government believes that they need to channel some public dis-satisfaction into a harmless-to-the-government direction, the people of the Mainland will hate the Taiwanese for a few weeks. The rest of the time, if they think about Taiwan at all, they're probably scheming how to get across the straights and blend in.

  • by Neil Watson (60859) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:37PM (#11034339) Homepage
    You are being ruled by a pack of brutal psychopaths that only care about their own pampered asses!

    At least half of that statement could describe most governments of the world. Which half is left to the reader to decide.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:37PM (#11034348)
    "You don't hear about this kinda stuff happening in the US."

    Your right, no one in the US ever gets pissed off about things like the confederate flag or some other separatists nonsense.

  • by wangxiaohu (736032) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:38PM (#11034356) Homepage Journal
    Sorry for my bad English... For some of you guys joking about this news here, China is not your home country, so you don't have to stand in my side. But please repect me and other people from China visiting this website, as some words are harmful. I have my relatives in Taiwan, I love them and vice versa. Just like they always want to come back to my big family, we also want Taiwan come back to China. If the independent of Taiwan really happens, it will hurt a lot of people just like me deeply. And for sure China government will not allow that. I am sure there are a lot of Taiwan people don't think in this way, and I think this is essentially because of the education and promotions they have been receiving since they were born. Some of you might say it is possible I have been receiving the opposite education and promotions since I was born for insisting Taiwan is part of China. So I might incorrect for what I am saying. But I am sure one thing on which I am correct, which is that, people from wherever they come from should get along with each other peacefully and friendly, instead of attacking each other by words and weapons. I love China, so I love Taiwan.
  • Sorry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by paranode (671698) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:40PM (#11034403)
    Sigh. Only in America would someone reference a fictional TV show as a source of information on something like this.

    Sorry, wrong. Practically every country in the world gets everything they know about the US from fictional TV programs. They see an episode of Cops or The Bachelor and then they think we are a brutal police state where everybody gets married on TV shows.

    Anyways, back to topic, there's not much you can really make up about Chinese brutality and censorship because chances are they've done most all of it. Alas, the US just makes a better target for these totalitarian and ignorance jokes than China, regardless of reality.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by log0n (18224) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:49PM (#11034518)
    Not to mention... Israel and Palestine with the Gaza strip.
  • Re:hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DaFallus (805248) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:52PM (#11034560)
    China's government makes another idiotic decision and restricts its people's freedoms, such as speech. It is a ficticious game but based on real countries and places, so it would be like the United States banning the original Command & Conquer because you could destroy the Whitehouse at the end. As for someone modding my original post as flamebait... well, it was probably in the spirit of Chinese oppression.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:01PM (#11034685) Homepage
    Taiwan really *is* an independent country, whether the People's Republic of China likes it or not. These are the realities people: stop sticking your heads in the sand.

    As soon as Taiwan's President can say that without being attacked by the mainland, you'll be right.

  • by captaincucumber (450913) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:08PM (#11034766)
    Allow me to state what should be obvious: in the U.S. we don't ban games/books/movies that depict the Confederacy. Can you understand why that is significant?
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reallocate (142797) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:17PM (#11034876)
    >> They don't want to be "independent." They want to be China.

    Excellent point.

    Both of these regimes began as opposing sides in the Chinese civil war. From the point of view of the victors -- the government in Beijing -- Taiwan is a rebellious province occupied by the enemy in the waning days of that war. From the Taiwanese point of view, the Beijing government is illegitimate.

  • by Khuffie (818093) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:22PM (#11034943) Homepage
    Try watching Fox News, and say, CBC News, and watch the different world histories the two sources create. You can't just point to China and blame it for these things when the same things are going on in the same country as you.

    And just a note, Taiwan isn't an official soccer time. It's not a member of FIFA (the governing soccer body). Even Palestine is a member.

  • by GomezAdams (679726) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:48PM (#11035209)
    You had best take a fresh grip yourself. Taiwan issues it's own money recognized by international banking. They issue their own postage recognized by international mail service. They issue their own passports recognized by every country on the planet except China. They have a democratically elected government recogonized as the legitimate government of Taiwan by the Taiwanese.

    There are whole chunks of real estate that once was owned/ruled by a different government. So just because it once was, doesn't mean squat now. Or else we have to give back the Americas to England, France, Spain, Portugual, Russia... not to mention the Native American Indians, Most of Europe would revert to some one else as would just about every other square inch on this planet that a previous landlord wanted to collect the rent on again.

  • Not the same (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thoolie (442789) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:51PM (#11035234) Homepage
    As I am sure many have pointed out;

    Kent State = 4 dead
    Tiananment Square = Hundereds to thousands dead (http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/ june/4/newsid_2496000/2496277.stm)

    USA = Can talk about (even make kick ass rock songs about) Kent State
    China (PRC) = Still can't talk, let alone read about it on the internet

    The point is, there is a difference. China is improving...slowly. But please do not compare 1989 China to 1969 USA. If they were the same, a whole bunch more people would have died on the streets of Chicago during the DNC convention.
  • Re:sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hackstraw (262471) * on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:54PM (#11035262)
    Would you PLEASE, for the love of all that is good and holy, learn the freakin' difference between "communist" and "totalitarian".

    Hold on. We have been fed this "communism" crap for around 60 years now, no need to get hostile over someone listening to the news and reading the newspaper for ones whole life filled with FUD and then expect informed opinions to be made.

    Here in America, we have been taught that democracy == capitolism and that communism != democracy. Democracy == good, therefore communism != good.

    Communism is more of an economic system than a government. Under ideal communism the government would disappear, its wierd, but not bad. Looks great on paper and seems to work best with smaller societies. Capitolism is an economic system. Democracy is a government system. And totalitarianism is a government system. Most communist economies have socialist governments. We have and like socialist-like things in our society like government paid for and maintained roads. Nobody likes tolls. We have and like socialist programs like fire and police being owned by the government. People used to have to pay for fire service, and if they didn't have a fire plaque on their house, the fire department would go back to the firehouse. I'm not the best to describe these things but this should be OK for /.

    When I was a child and we suffered through the long and terrible "Cold War" (survivors can get thier medals here [piecesofhistory.com] no this is not a joke), I was taught to hate and fear "communists". Their economic system was going to start WWIII and poof, the whole world is going to disappear because of them.

    Guess which brand of enemy has replaced the commies now?

    Man, sometimes I wish I liked playing these kinds of games on people. It looks kind fun, but I'm way too upfront and honest for that.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:56PM (#11035293) Homepage
    Taiwan really *is* an independent country, whether the People's Republic of China likes it or not.

    Uh . . . in a word, "No."

    It could perhaps be said that Taiwan is de facto independent, but not truly independent. Taiwan has never declared its independence from China; only 4 countries in the world recognize the Taiwanese government (officially . . . try to find the Taiwanese embassy in the US. It doesn't exist. There is an unofficial non-profit that represents Taiwan in the US, but it is not a recognized diplomatic mission). Taiwan has no seat in the UN.

    However, Taiwan has its own currency, government, military, and trade relationships . . . and a defense treaty with the USA.

    Taiwan is in limbo . . . somewhere between independence and subjagation . . . with between 200 and 300 missles pointed at it from the other side of the Taiwan strait.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by golgotha007 (62687) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @04:23PM (#11035640)
    ...Argentina get all pissy about the Falkland Islands, which are hardly worth the trouble....

    and on that note, a word of advice to any foreigners enjoying themselves in a pub in downtown London (with too much to drink):

    It's a bad idea to suggest to a crowd of Brits that England should just get the hell out of Ireland. I mean, why not make it simple and just let each country have their own island, right?

    All joking aside, nobody found it funny and I was pushed down several times and nearly beaten up until the doorman pulled me out of there.

    As an American, I really didn't realize that what I said would illicit such a violent response.

    The following day, I asked some of my friends (and their parents) why it was such a sensitive issue, but they just rolled their eyes at me with disgust. Finally, google was my friend and I finally learned how deep into British culture this religious clash actually goes. Scary.

  • by Tonytheloony (462274) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @04:41PM (#11035820)
    Canada has had several referendums on the separation of Quebec. Don't say it wouldn't allow it, that's just not true.
    On Taiwan, the best would be to let the taiwanese decide. But China would't allow it, since it actually stands to loose.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gibbsjoh (186795) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @05:23PM (#11036249)
    I agree that GB should abandon N Ireland (especially in light of statements by that c*nt Paisley today, so much for being a man of God, asshat) but I do get well fucked off with Americans expressing an opinion about NI. Come back when you've apologized for supporting the IRA's attacks on civilians. (Yes yes I know the UDF etc also attacked civilians, I hate them too.)
  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by js290 (697670) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @06:17PM (#11036640)
    More accurate history lesson...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Taiwan [wikipedia.org]
    http://users2.ev1.net/~turton/history.html [ev1.net]
    The Chinese Nationalists hardly "founded" the country of Taiwan... Invaded is more like it.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kelnos (564113) <bjt23&cornell,edu> on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @07:04PM (#11037028) Homepage
    I think you're merely proving the parent poster's point.

    I'm 23. I had nothing to do with funding Northern Ireland terrorists, and I wasn't in a position to do anything about it. So you're saying that if I were to express an unpopular opinion, it's all right if I'm physically attacked?

    Essentially, you're saying that it's ok to physically beat someone up for expressing an unpopular opinion. From how it sounds, it seems like the parent was almost killed by a group of idiot Brits. That's just unacceptable. That's beyond unacceptable: it's reprehensible and inhuman. I don't care how much you don't like someone's opinion, you don't attack them. Grow up.

    As to your final comment, if you were over here in the States and we were in the same bar, and you suggested that the US had no business in the Middle East, I'd raise my glass in your honor and buy you a drink. That's just me, of course, though I figure a good 49% of the country would do the same.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ezeri (513659) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @07:13PM (#11037097)
    Yeah, you would slaughter the Tiwanese army in a land battle, but theres all that water in between, and your navy doesn't stand a chance against the US 7th fleet. Still either way, the US doesn't want war, and that is the main reason Taiwan doesn't declare independance.
  • Re:Answers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @08:02PM (#11037467) Homepage
    "(X) Possesses Weapons of Mass Destruction"

    I like how this is in the question and answer. If we really thought Iraq had WMDs I doubt we would have invaded.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Triskele (711795) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @08:10PM (#11037531)
    So you're saying that if I were to express an unpopular opinion, it's all right if I'm physically attacked?

    No. I was only trying to explain why the reaction over here can be so extreme. Remember it was mostly London pubs in which those NORAID funded bombs went off. I should have pointed out that I don't hold such opinions myself.

    From how it sounds, it seems like the parent was almost killed by a group of idiot Brits. That's just unacceptable. That's beyond unacceptable: it's reprehensible and inhuman. I don't care how much you don't like someone's opinion, you don't attack them. Grow up.

    Yeah. Right. I can tell you that your countrymen are just as reprehensible and inhuman. Worse you guys carry guns. I hadn't seen a gun for 15 years until I had one pulled on me for expressing views re 9/11 that maybe the US could learn some foreign discretion. Both of our countries are full of brain dead idiots who will beat the crap out of foreigners - patriotism is just an easy excuse.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @08:13PM (#11037558)
    He could say it right now and the United States would be forced to either abandon Taiwan to its fate and renege on its treaty obligation or we declare war on the People's Republic of China over their invasion of Taiwan. Given the endless saber rattling of the Chinese and their unpredictable leadership a war with China sometime in the next 30 years is practically inevitable anyway. We should coordinate with Taiwan so that when the DO declare independence then we will be ready for the People's Liberation Army Navy (what a f***ed up name for a navy) when they let loose all of their short range missiles and attempt an amphibious assault across the Formosa straight. Aegis equipped Taiwanese destroyers and patriot batteries on Taiwan will knock the missiles out of the sky, US attack submarines will sink every Chinese vessel both above and below the surface, and US FA-18s and F-14s and Taiwanese F-15s guided to intercepts by AWACS will knock all of the Chinese SU-27s and J-8s right out the sky. We can then follow up with precision strikes on their mainland bases. At this point the Chinese, if they are smart, will accept their losses, pull back from the table on the Taiwan issue and live to fight another day.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by snorklewacker (836663) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @09:01PM (#11037907)
    > The only reason China doesn't invade Taiwan tomorrow is because they aren't sure the U.S. wouldn't get involved.

    Well, that and the fact that they can't swim the straight when the Taiwanese Air Force sinks China's piddly little navy. They don't want to inherit a bombed-out wasteland either.

    Plus, the Yuan is pegged to the Dollar. Destroy Taiwan, destroy the US economy, destroy the Chinese economy. China buys quite a bit from Taiwan too.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @10:20PM (#11038399) Homepage
    Try reading again. He said "you are really really not allowed to say this" and "we're not in the mood for that talk coming from you". To me, that sounds like an endorsement of the beating this guy took.


    Yeah, that's what I read the first time. "... and therefore I think it's okay that you were beaten" is your own addition. Why don't you consider it to be an endorsement for his friends' mere eye rolling? Or why don't you consider it to be what it is: a statement about the emotion that underlies both reactions, shoving and eye-rolling.

    I think this is a problem: people unable to differentiate between causes and justifications. Like discussing why insurgents are attacking us in Iraq, what their motivations are, without saying that the attacks are therefore good. Or saying that 9/11 was not some attack out of the blue in response to nothing, and yet still was an unjustifiable act of terrorism. This is the kind of nuance we need right now.

    "There are rational reasons for this behavior" is not an endorsement of the behavior. Thinking otherwise is dangerous, because you're only recourse then is to consider any bad behaviors to be the result of insanity, with no cause that you can address. That's why the only thing we've come up with to address terrorism is: kill terrorists. That's all you've got, when there can be no underlying cause without justifying the effect.
  • Re:Not the same (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @10:41PM (#11038514) Homepage
    Lets use a sense of proportion. Kent state protesters = 3,000. Tiananmen square protests = >1 million. 4 * 1,000,000 / 3,000 = 1333.

    I'd call that proportional overuse of force.

    Comparing proportion is a bad metric. A few jackass yahoo National Guardsmen with itchy trigger fingers can kill 4 people in seconds without consent from their immediate superiors. Killing 3000 people takes planning and significant leadership coordination.

  • by watterman (799084) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @10:58PM (#11038589)
    They have no law, no language, no history, no art. Taiwan has established a strong economy of its own, without (and despite of) China. Taiwan has its own law, heritage, native language and native people. Your statement is like saying Australians have no law, language, history or art!!! (me being Aussie..) Australia has over 3000 words unique to our vocabulary. We have indigineous people (unfortunately), art and history. Would you argue that Australia is nothing without England?
  • by snuf23 (182335) on Thursday December 09, 2004 @06:50AM (#11040615)
    I don't mean to be a flamebait - but Israel (at least the part that wasn't claimed through the resulting wars) was given based on previous "ownership" to the Jews. Inspite of the fact that other cultures occupied the land.
    I can't say the results have been that great. It's pretty much at the center of the division between the arab world and the west.
    The same wonderful type of real estate planning caused the conflict with possesion of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
    Ah nothing like the break up of the English empire...
    The interesting thing about Taiwan is that they consider themselves (obviously rightfully so) Chinese. It's the case of having a many thousand year cultural connection versus a political difference occuring in a much shorter time span.
    Thus to the mainland Chinese, recognizing Taiwan is admitting validity to Taiwan's argument as a disident portion of China against the cultural revolution and the communist state.

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