It’s Burma again

December 3rd, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

A small but symbolically important decision from the Government:

The Government is to change its position on Myanmar and return to calling it .

The Asian nation was known as Burma until 1989 when the military government changed it to Myanmar.

The Government has accepted a recommendation from Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to use Burma. Mr McCully said the change signalled that New Zealand refused to recognise the legitimacy of the military regime.

A very good call.

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93 Responses to “It’s Burma again”

  1. GPT1 (2,121 comments) says:

    About time.

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  2. 3-coil (1,219 comments) says:

    I never stopped using “Burma” – good one Muzza.

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  3. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Why is it a good call DPF?

    Come on people. Why is it a good call?

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  4. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Isn’t it up to the country concerned to call itself what it wants? WHether you think the govt is legitimate or not, they are the only govt in sight.

    Are we going to go back to calling Zimbabwe Rhodesia too?

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  5. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    Comrade Zhumao, are you based in Beijing, Peking or Peiping? :-)

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  6. Mr Nobody NZ (391 comments) says:

    Zhumao, because the name was changed by an illegitimate military regime without any clear mandate from the local citizens. Therefore the new name shouldn’t be recognized by other contries or international bodies.

    It would be the same as if Frank Bainimarama decided to rename Fiji “Bainimarama Land”.

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  7. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    At this pace, Key could be rechristening New Zealand as Aotearoa soon. Another sweet deal with the racists and voila, the name changes.

    Stupid decision that doesn’t change an iota the tragic situation of that Asian country.

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  8. Mr Nobody NZ (391 comments) says:

    Dandy, I honestly don’t know. But I do believe the logic should be applied within reason.

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  9. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    We use names for many countries not used by the country itself, eg most countries in Europe.
    Does China call itself China?

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  10. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    No “Aoteroa” Manolo. It would be hopeless as an export brand and beyond the country’s means to build to replace “New Zealand” in markets. Within NZ it would be too PC for most non-Maori – it reeks of unisex Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist “thank you for sharing that with us” connotations, and of images of uncle tom pakehas wearing Maori neck ornaments… THe country should remain “New Zealand” in English and “Aotearoa” in Maori. We’ve got two main spoken languages after all.

    As much chance of “Aotearoa” as the English name as the Geographic Board reverting to “Wanganui” and “Egmont”.

    Re Zhumao at 10.25: a country in its own language should be able to call another country anything it likes. That’s a good reason. Eg Munich for Munchen.

    How does “New Zealand” translate into Standard Mandarin? Is it a phonetic translation which literally means something like new Jadeland? Or what?

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  11. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    As long as they don’t fuck around with “Mandalay” and stuff up the fine old Kipling poem… which includes the old soldier saying or you can hear him in several versions singing:

    Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
    Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;

    The poem:

    http://quotations.about.com/cs/poemlyrics/a/Mandalay.htm

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  12. James Stephenson (2,173 comments) says:

    I shall play “The Aubergine that ate Rangoon” to celebrate…

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  13. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Yeah, I’ve always tended to refer to countries by their traditional name.

    Myanmar = Burma
    Zimbabwe =Rhodesia
    Taiwan = Not fucken China.

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  14. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    a country in its own language should be able to call another country anything it likes. That’s a good reason. Eg Munich for Munchen.

    But this is not simply an issue of transcription of sounds from one language to the script of another. Nor is it an innocuous decision to carry on in the traditional usage of a name in the speakers native language – ie China not Zhongguo, Germany not Deutschland etc.

    This decision of course is politically charged and reeks of Western arrogance in foisting their ways onto the rest of the world, by arrogating for themselves the right to decide which regimes they consider legitimate and which regimes they consider illegitimate.

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  15. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    “Taiwan = Not fucken China.”

    You see. This is the ignorance of idiots like Bevan. Yes you are right, but not in the spirit you intended.

    Taiwan does not equal China, in the same way Paeroa does not equal New Zealand.

    Taiwan is simply a part of China.

    And they themselves see it this way.

    The Taiwanese government considers themselves the ruler of all of China, and Taiwan is simply the province of China they happen to be situated. That is why the Taiwanese government calls themselves “Republic of China”.

    Therefore the Taiwanese government, like the mainland government, sees Taiwan as part of China.

    Of course that is what annoys the fuck out of Westerners. Westerners would prefer to own most of China and taiwan – as they basically did up until just over half a century ago.

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  16. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    This decision of course is politically charged and reeks of Western arrogance in foisting their ways onto the rest of the world, by arrogating for themselves the right to decide which regimes they consider legitimate and which regimes they consider illegitimate.

    YEAH! How dare western countries make a stand against false imprisonment of political adversaries, undemocratic and authoritarian military regimes. Bloody arrogant westerners – should stay out of it and let asians enslave other asians!

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  17. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Myanmar/Burma:

    The re-naming of the country in 1989 has aroused political controversy: certain minority groups and activist communities perceive “Myanmar” to be a purely Burmese name that reflects the policy of domination of the ethnic Burman majority over the minorities. Those groups do not recognize the legitimacy of the ruling military government nor its authority to change the English name of the country. Accordingly, such groups, who have become accustomed to calling the country by its English name, continue to refer to Myanmar as “Burma”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myanmar

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  18. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    You see. This is the ignorance of idiots like Bevan. Yes you are right, but not in the spirit you intended.

    Oh, I can tell it really does grate you that Taiwan acts as an independant country, with its own democratic government, its own defense forces whose main goal is to defend the country from the PLA.

    Taiwan is simply a part of China.

    Must be why they are armed to the teeth with US and French weaponry then.

    And they themselves see it this way.

    Righto! Keep telling yourself this.

    The Taiwanese government considers themselves the ruler of all of China, and Taiwan is simply the province of China they base themselves. That is why the Taiwanese government calls themselves “Republic of China”.

    Actually they stopped thinking that a while ago, they just don’t want to start a war by declaring independance – try to keep up…

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  19. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Bloody arrogant westerners – should stay out of it and let asians enslave other asians!

    Come on. You are being disingenuous. Do Westerners really love Asians that much, care for them that much. Do you yourself?

    Of course not. Asians are just there to be held up to contempt and ridicule and to be exploited. That has been the attitude of the West to Asia, at least over the past couple of centuries.

    What pisses you people so much, is when Asians say, fuck off – we will be the ones to run our own countries, not our former colonial masters.

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  20. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Must be why they are armed to the teeth with US and French weaponry then.

    Because they are supported by their white masters, former exploiters of China.

    I find it amusing, that the US expects China to play ball on North Korea and Iran, because these are apparently core security concerns of the US, —all the while arming Taiwan to the teeth to prevent the reunification of China.

    Surely if Iran and North Korea, places thousands of miles from the US mainland are concerns of the US, Taiwan even more so for China – especially given the fact that Taiwan is part of China – acknowledged by every single country in the world.

    Complete and utter hypocrisy and double standards of a global bully and the no. 1 terrorist organisation in the world today – the USA

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  21. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    The re-naming of the country in 1989 has aroused political controversy: certain minority groups and activist communities perceive “Myanmar” to be a purely Burmese name that reflects the policy of domination of the ethnic Burman majority over the minorities.

    Well what the fuck then is – ‘United States’. ‘Australia’, ‘Canada’, ‘New Zealand’?

    Obviously to avoid a double standard Pete George supports New Zealand changing to ‘Aotearoa’

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  22. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Come on. You are being disingenuous. Do Westerners really love Asians that much, care for them that much. Do you yourself?

    Zhumao, you are so racist that this really will be a waste of time.

    I do not love, nor do I loath any particular race or religion. But you can bet that I do sit up and take notice when a particular countries leadership is either neglecting or abusing their people – like enforced slavery, military authoritarianism, or soemthing like driving tanks of protesting students. And it really grates me when the world stands by and does nothing as if the people being killed are not worth saving. And when I say ‘the world’, I mean all countries – not just the white ones.

    Of course not. Asians are just there to be held up to contempt and ridicule and to be exploited. That has been the attitude of the West to Asia, at least over the past couple of centuries.

    Only when you judgement is clouded by your own racism.

    What pisses you people so much, is when Asians say, fuck off – we will be the ones to run our own countries, not our former colonial masters.

    And you are free to run your own countries – so long as your citizens enjoy basic human rights like the rest of us and your leadership does not abuse, neglect or enslave the citizenry.

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  23. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    YEAH! How dare western countries make a stand against false imprisonment of political adversaries, undemocratic and authoritarian military regimes. Bloody arrogant westerners – should stay out of it and let asians enslave other asians!

    Can you name many other examples of this heroic stand, Bevan? I can name you plenty of counterexamples where, in fact, we support dictatorships who act as you describe, or worse.

    And I note that it’s the old colonial club, United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada , and now good old forelock tugging New Zealand, who persist in this charade of not recognising the legitimate, indigenous name of Myanmar.

    However, looking on the bright side, I will email McCully seeking his support for calling Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, also known as Palestine ’48 and Historic Palestine, as simply Palestine, thus showing support for and solidarity with the occupied indigenous peoples of that land.

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  24. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    so long as your citizens enjoy basic human rights like the rest of us and your leadership does not abuse, neglect or enslave the citizenry.

    Oh yes. And who is the judge of all this?

    Many people would think that sentencing people to a few years in prison for beating an old man to death is an appalling disregard for human rights. Yet this happens in New Zealand.

    So China should pressure New Zealand to change in this respect – respect the right of crime victims, and execute the perpetrators?

    Or the Netherlands might think it is an affront to human rights to outlaw cannabis – so they should attack New Zealand.

    Or Iranians who find homosexuality abhorrent – they should attack New Zealand where it is allowed?

    See how things fuck up here if we applied your way of dealing with things?

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  25. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Obviously to avoid a double standard Pete George supports New Zealand changing to ‘Aotearoa’

    Except Maori never referred to the country by that name until well after the country was called New Zealand, and even then Aotearoa was only originally used to refer to the North Island. The earliest refernce to Aotearoa referring to the entire country wasnt made until 1898.

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  26. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    And of course Bevan has no problem with the US invading and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, causing lord knows how many excess deaths, which at a minimum would be more than anything that could be attributed to china over the past four decades.

    Surely the US has a worse human rights record than Burma?

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  27. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Except Maori never referred to the country by that name until well after the country was called New Zealand……

    Typical trick of Pakeha – when confronted with a general principle that applies to their disadvantage – change tracks and focus on some contradiction contained in the minutiae of the matter.

    This is completely irrelevant. What say if Maoris now decided on New Zealand demanding a Maori name – regardless of whether it is ‘aotearoa’ or something else?

    Come on Bevan, would you accept this so as not to have a name for NZ which “reflects the policy of domination of the ethnic Burman [replace with Pakeha] majority over the minorities.”

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  28. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Can you name many other examples of this heroic stand, Bevan? I can name you plenty of counterexamples where, in fact, we support dictatorships who act as you describe, or worse.

    WTF Luc? Are you trying to say that because in the past western countries have excused some dictators actions then we have no right to stand up to any abuses? I’m not excusing what has happened in the past – but by your post it sounds like your are willing to watch the wholesale slaughter in another country and do nothing all because we ignored what Pinochet was doing???

    You are a sick deluded fuckwit.

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  29. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Typical trick of Pakeha – when confronted with a general principle that applies to their disadvantage – change tracks and focus on some contradiction contained in the minutiae of the matter.

    You don’t like being told the truth do you….

    Google Aotearoa – you might learn something.

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  30. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Surely the US has a worse human rights record than Burma?

    But ten times better than China.

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  31. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Bevan, I’m not referring to the past. I’m referring to the present. Open your eyes. Shall we start with Egypt?

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  32. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    And of course Bevan has no problem with the US invading and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan

    No I don’t for the following reasons:

    1. Saddam Hussien was viciously abusing the non-Sunni population, had ordered gas attacks against the Hurds in the North and Shiites in the South. IMO he was the type of dictator this world is better without.

    2. I guess you missed the atrocites caused by the Taliban, or the fact the allowed Al Qeada to operate and plan a terrorist attack on the US from Afghani soil.

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  33. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Bevan, I’m not referring to the past. I’m referring to the present. Open your eyes. Shall we start with Egypt?

    Sure Luc, lets start with Egypt. So what are YOU doing about it?

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  34. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    But ten times better than China.

    So Burma must be what 20 times, 50 times, 100 times better than China? That is impossible. Because even all Western ‘human rights’ organisations do not hold China is worse than Burma. Not even the US state department.

    So China is better than Burma – by all your own definitions. And you agree the US is worse than Burma. So the human rights ranking has to be China , Burma, the US, in the mind of Bevan.

    Thanks for agreeing.

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  35. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    As in your above two examples, I would not support war as a solution. One atrocity does not justify another.

    What I have attempted to do hear is to alert you to the fact that, in diplomacy, nothing is ever as it seems. Why is the old colonial club taking this stand, when the UN had no problem recognising the new name (which does have merit: certainly I would prefer it over the former colonial adaptation of an existing name)?

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  36. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    But Burma hasn’t run over protesting students with Tanks yet.

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  37. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    What I have attempted to do hear is to alert you to the fact that, in diplomacy, nothing is ever as it seems.

    Which is why I made the statement at 12:12 regarding your stance.

    Luc, it just aint fucken good enough or right to stand by and watch a country abuse (even murder) its own people – regardless of what some countries have done (or not done) in the past. Your stance here is even more disgusting than Zhumao’s racism.

    I would not support war as a solution

    So if you had the means to stop a genocide by military means, you would not use it as it means war?

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  38. unaha-closp (1,164 comments) says:

    One atrocity does not justify another.

    Aren’t you inferring that a governments ability to carry out one atrocity would justify their carrying out another and another and so on?

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  39. reid (16,442 comments) says:

    “Why is the old colonial club taking this stand”

    Luc surely you understand this is not about a name this is merely another diplomatic way to disavow the military’s legitimacy.

    I would have thought you’d be pleased for it shows we’re explicitly supporting the people of that nation, against their brutal rulers. If and when those rulers disappear and the new authority wants to change it officially then by all means. But only then.

    So Luc does this mean you’re actually FOR the military rulers? That surprises me.

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  40. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    If and when those rulers disappear and the new authority wants to change it officially then by all means. But only then.

    Come on Reid. What new authority would be acceptable to you? One that is pro-Western right?

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  41. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Saudi Arabia is a country which is worse than Iran in almost everything Westerners would consider to be human rights issues.

    Saudi Arabia is likely worse than Burma in a whole lot of areas.

    Yet they get away with pretty much anything they want – because they suck up to the US.

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  42. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Come on Reid. What new authority would be acceptable to you? One that is pro-Western right?

    One that is democratically elected by the people in free and fair elections.

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  43. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Saudi Arabia is a country which is worse than Iran in almost everything Westerners would consider to be human rights issues.

    Saudi Arabia is likely worse than Burma in a whole lot of areas.

    I doubt you would get anybody disagreeing with you regarding Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, they are a real fucknuckle of a country. But the countries of the world do not stand up to them as they supply the majority of the worlds oil – just like we stand by and ignore China’s numerous human rights abuses all because we need your trade.

    But that doesn’t mean we have to like it. And it doesnt mean we don’t try to put whatever pressure possible on the two regimes to change their ways – hopefully one day enough pressure can be asserted to stop Saudi Arabia doing things like shooting rape victims for adultery. TBH, that day cannot come soon enough.

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  44. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    It’s always a feature of this site and, I suppose, most such sites, that discussion quickly races off on tangents and/or into hypothetical contrived situations.

    Bevan, I don’t think I was subtle at all in referring to our support for various current dictators and I have already informed you that I’m not talking historically – look up the meaning of “now”.

    Reid, many countries are ruled by or by the grace of their military. It doesn’t mean that we must reflexively reject everything they do.

    As I said, it’s that this little clique, generally anti-indigenous in their own countries, refuses to recognise a name change, one that does have some merit, accepted by the UN that strikes me as strange.

    And I don’t accept the reason trotted out by McCully – his and his party’s past support of murderous regimes is legendary.

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  45. reid (16,442 comments) says:

    “Reid, many countries are ruled by or by the grace of their military. It doesn’t mean that we must reflexively reject everything they do.”

    Which isn’t happening in this case so not sure what your point is Luc.

    Zhumao, a pro-Western conservative govt would be very acceptable indeed. Seriously, just as you can judge a person by what they do in private, you can judge a govt by how they treat their own people.

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  46. tvb (4,417 comments) says:

    About time. I have written to Radio New Zealand about this. Myanmar is the name given by the military regime. Needless to say Radio New Zealand will continue to use the name given by the regime.

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  47. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Bevan, I don’t think I was subtle at all in referring to our support for various current dictators and I have already informed you that I’m not talking historically – look up the meaning of “now”.

    Keep digging Luc, you may find your credibility soon.

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  48. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Zhumao, a pro-Western conservative govt would be very acceptable indeed.

    thanks for proving my point.

    By the way, the main reason why developing countries resent Western intereference is not so much the fine words on human rights and the principles of human rights, but the actual underlying motives of the West in pushing their so called ‘human rights’ agenda. Its simply an upgrade of the way the bible was used in the past – the natives get Christianity, the white man gets the land. Nothing wrong with Christianity itself, but it was used as a cover to advance imperialist interests.

    Now if the West really was concerned about human rights, it would do everything possible to gain credibility with developing nations, to assure them that they really mean no harm.

    The first thing to do of course would be to apologise unreservedly for the crimes of colonialism. European colonialism killed over 50 million Africans and Asians in the 20th Century alone (at a bare minimum), and many millions more of course before that. Westerners still cling to the same flags, symbols, under which these atrocities were carried out.

    By any measure, European colonialism killed far more than the Nazis in Europe. In fact Nazi race theories had their antecedents in Western racial ‘science’ and the justification of extermination of native peoples for living space for white people.

    What should happen of course is the West thoroughly goes through a period of pennance for the Opium war, King Leopold, the genocide of Phillipinos, the genocide of the Hereros …etc. All symbols associated with colonialism should be expunged from public life, the monarchies under which imperialist genocides carried out abolished, text books written which openly face up to the crimes of colonialism – in short a period similar to that which Germany was forced to go through – a thorough denazification.

    Compensation should be paid out to countries which were colonized (I will be involved in a campaign in the near future to demand reparations from Britain for the Opium War).

    Once the West has done all of the above, its message on ‘human rights’, if they are still so shameless as to want to peddle this stuff after all they have done, will resonate far better than it currently does and cause far less offence.

    At the moment the West lecturing the developing world on ‘human rights’, is as absurd as Nazi Germany lecturing New Zealand on adhering to the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi.

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  49. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    C’mon Zhumao. Paddlers in dragon boats shouldn’t throw rocks at rowers in skiffs.

    Let China lead by example, then, and apologise for the brutal colonisation of Tibet and for the occupation and attempted colonisation of Mongolia. And for retaining Inner Mongolia and swallowing up its Mongolian inhabitants until they are a tiny minority in their old lands. And for colonising Manchuria, and letting the Manchu language fall in century from millions of speakers to a few hundred. And for colonising and actively assimilating the Turkic Uighur peoples of Sinkiang. And most of all for colonising Taiwan, which as we all know, is now part of China politically. Chinese have failed to to preserve the language and develop the culture of Taiwan’s indigenous people, the ancestors of the Polynesians, and has so assimilated them that surviving villages must be in danger this century of extinction.

    The Han Chinese lead the world in colonial assimilation. They are the leading counter-example to the vogue strategy of multiculturalism. If Chinese rather than British had colonised NZ, the Maori would have either been almost totally assimilated by now, as with the Manchu, or would be a dispirited fringe of 10,000 or 20,000, mostly in the Urereweras, as has happened to Taiwan’s indigenous people – the Maori ancestors.

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  50. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    What should happen of course is the West thoroughly goes through a period of pennance for the Opium war, King Leopold, the genocide of Phillipinos, the genocide of the Hereros …etc.

    Genocide of the Tibetians… Oh wait – that was China.

    (I will be involved in a campaign in the near future to demand reparations from Britain for the Opium War).

    Good luck working around the Treaties of Nanking and Tientsen…

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  51. reid (16,442 comments) says:

    Zhumao forget about ancient history. Is Burma a military dictatorship yes or no. If yes, why does China stand with Burma? If no, pray explain how come the world thinks it really is, just as they think Zimbabwe is a non-military dictatorship.

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  52. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Genocide of the Tibetians… Oh wait – that was China.

    funny definintion of genocide you have there –genocide is generally associated with a plunge in the target population.

    For example European Jews lost 2/3 of their population, and the Native American population is about 1/10th of what it once was.

    Also genocides are I suppose associated with a drop in the life expectancy of the target population.

    Whereas Tibetans have doubled in number. And their life expectancy has doubled, and in fact is higher than the life expectancy of Australian aborigines.

    Also strange is in spite of the fact that even over 20 of the years Mao was in power, 500 million Chinese simply did not exterminate all 2 million Tibetans. It would have been incredibly easy to do – if the Chinese were in fact genocidally minded.

    And that is exactly what Europeans would have done to any indigenous people occupying a strategically important part, resource rich part of their land – simple extermination.

    So Bevan, you are talking absolute shit. The only thing your posts betray is an utter hatred and bitterness over the fact that it is Asians who rule Asian countries, not whites.

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  53. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Zhumao forget about ancient history.

    Ancient history?

    The last British gunboat was only driven away from China’s shores in 1949. The British interred 1/8th the Kenyan population in concentration camps, and killed 300,000 (the equivalent of 20 million for a country China’s size) in the 1950s.

    The British and French carried out an imperialist invasion of Egypt in the 1950s.

    That is not ancient history. You might as well say the Jews should ‘forget’ the Holocaust, the Poles the Katyn massacre (actually carried out by the Germans), New Zealand POW’s should just ‘forget’ Japanese atrocities, and the Chinese should just ‘forget’ the rape of Nanjing.

    There are Holocaust memorials all over the world. People have remembrance days all over the world for battles fought almost a century ago.

    There should be museums about the horrors of colonialism in the same way there are for the Holocaust.

    The Union Jack should prompt the same emotional reaction as the swastika.

    And George Washington (who sold a slave for a barrel of molasses) should be seen as an American villain, not a hero.

    When this is done, the West will have some moral authority in promoting so called ‘human rights.’

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  54. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Good luck working around the Treaties of Nanking and Tientsen…

    Won’t have to work too hard. Treaties, contracts, signed under duress, at gunpoint, are under any system of law generally considered null and void.

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  55. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    pray explain how come the world thinks it really is, ….

    Look at this Western arrogance — almost completely unconscious – which makes it even worse.

    I can assure you the world really does not give a shit about so called ‘human rights’ in either Burma or China.

    Nigerians, Russians, Indians, South Africans, Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Peruvians, Mongolians, Kazahks, Indonesians, Iranians, Egyptians, and Belarussians, I can assure you give hardly a fig for what happens in Burma.

    All the campaigns, ‘Free Tibet’, I love Aung San Su Kyii or whatever, are almost exclusively run by Western European whites only –not the world.

    Can’t you see Reid, although you may think otherwise, the opinions of a few in the UK, and US, do not equate to ‘world’ opinion.

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  56. unaha-closp (1,164 comments) says:

    By the way, the main reason why developing countries resent Western intereference is not so much the fine words on human rights and the principles of human rights, but the actual underlying motives of the West in pushing their so called ‘human rights’ agenda.

    Imperialism isn’t on the Wests agenda, hasn’t been for at least 70 years.

    The Wests agenda is to make money. The West makes more money when there are more people to trade with, more consumers in free markets to buy movies and jet planes and diary products. And the really interesting thing about consumers is that they are more willing to buy stuff when they are least likely to be beaten up, tiortured, imprisoned and generally buggered up by their governments. So the West like human rights mostly because human right can make it money.

    There are of course a few exceptions to the “human rights is good for the West” rule. If a country possesses a singular resource the West really wants (for instance lots of oil or a major shipping canal – you’ve pointed them out) then the value of potential local consumers is less than the value of possessing the resource as cheaply as possible. In these instances brutal repressive regimes are quite acceptable, because those regimes are by their nature very interested in exploiting the resources as much as possible (and therefore at as low a price as possible).

    Burma has got nothing the West wants so gets lectured on human rights. Same with N. Korea and Zimbabwe.

    Saudi Arabia and ex-Shah of Persia and Egypt are acceptable repressive regimes, because they are useful.

    China is more interesting. China used to have nothing the West wanted and be highly repressive (cultural revolutionaries and the like), so was recipient of lectures on human rights. However as China is adopting a more Western agenda every day, chasing wealth, it is quite possible that China will adopt more human rights of its own accord. Probably in a few decades we will have China lecturing the world on the need for greater human rights.

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  57. reid (16,442 comments) says:

    Zhumao the reason I suggest it’s ancient history is you’re currently a one-track record – won’t change the subject. Wish you would, it’s better when you do.

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  58. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    And for colonising Manchuria, and letting the Manchu language fall in century from millions of speakers to a few hundred.

    Sorry. The Manchus invaded China about 500 years ago, and ruled for over 400 years. They assimilated themselves.

    Manchus blaming the Chinese Han for loss of their language, is a bit like Norman descended Brits blaming pre-1066 Britons for losing French (or whatever ancient French language they spoke at the time).

    And for retaining Inner Mongolia and swallowing up its Mongolian inhabitants until they are a tiny minority in their old lands.

    Sorry again. The region of Inner Mongolia was originally inhabited by Han Chinese. The origins of the Mongols are war up North – around Lake Baikal.

    As for Tibet, Tibetans make up about 90% of the population of Tibet. Most Tibetans still speak Tibetan. Tibetan writing language and customs are alive in a way the Maori language is not in New Zealand. Are Maori, aborigines, American indians, 90% of their respective countries?

    As for Xinjiang, Uighurs are not the only group. Uighurs make up 45% of the population. Like the Tibetans their culture is well and alive in a way Maori culture is not. Just visit the place. Even in 1993 when last there, the Uighurs were watching the Professionals (Bodie and Doyle) on state TV translated into the Uighur language.

    or would be a dispirited fringe of 10,000 or 20,000, mostly in the Urereweras, as has happened to Taiwan’s indigenous people

    Taiwan’s indigenous, number about half a million – about 5% of the population of Taiwan, more than the proportion of Aborigines and American Indians in their native lands.

    If Taiwan had been under communist Chinese control, the indigenous would indeed have fared far better as a recognised minority, than under Han chauvinist KMT control.

    China’s affirmative action for minorities makes any in the West seem trifling by comparison.

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  59. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Look at this Western arrogance — almost completely unconscious – which makes it even worse.

    Compared to your egotistical Han racism? Give me western arrogance anyday of the week.

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  60. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    excellent post by unaha-closp.

    Yes, I doubt the West would try all out invasions in the past – –even the invasions in the past were precisly for money (and land of course). But now thanks to the socialist revolutions of the 20th Century, outright invasion is unlikely -at least for countries like China.

    But the West does want everyone to be like the West (not rich like the West), but to like the West enough, and want to ape the West so that they desire the products of the West. That is why go to Hong Kong, Singapore, China nowadays. People are into Western things, Western movies, Western music, they even advertise status products with Weterners who obviously look nothing like the locals.

    In the old days when China did not want to join the trading system of the West, outright invasion was carried out.

    Now it is resort to ‘human rights’.

    Obviously there are some countries which hold out against this system, who do not wish to ape the West, and subject to Western power – ‘soft’ or hard. Countries like North Korea, Iran, and Cuba.

    These countries are of course put under a great deal of strain, with the threat of outright military force used against them always a real possibility.

    In Alexander Dugin’s words:
    “So if we want to be free and independent, and if we want to retain our humanity and our national and societal sense of dignity, then we must mobilise in defense of North Korea”

    What he means of course is even if we do not like the North Korean system, it may not be right for us, culturally, politically, even aesthetically, North Korea does represent what Dugin calls I think ‘a region of non-conformity in a sea of conformity”

    Not all the world want’s to become a colony of the West, to worship Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, to eat MacDonalds, to embrace gay marriage. North Korea is a holdout against this. And that is national freedom, the freedom of all people to choose their own destiny and to evolve their societies in a way which reflects their own cultural and civilizational aspirations.

    The modern West is contrived, meretricious, and superficial. North Korean girls are way prettier than South Korean girls. They have a purity about them.

    Look at China now. They may have done away with Mao portraits – but only to be replaced with the Marlboro Man. Brainwashing all the same – in fact a lot worse.

    That just warms the cockles of the hearts of the Western corporates, which control Western societies and brainwash their populations.

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  61. unaha-closp (1,164 comments) says:

    Compensation should be paid out to countries which were colonized (I will be involved in a campaign in the near future to demand reparations from Britain for the Opium War).

    Tricky.

    British haven’t yet recieved compensation from the Romans, Normans or Vikings.

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  62. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    The modern West is contrived, meretricious, and superficial. North Korean girls are way prettier than South Korean girls. They have a purity about them.

    Must be the malnutrition…

    @unaha. ZING!!!!!

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  63. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Tricky.

    British haven’t yet recieved compensation from the Romans, Normans or Vikings.

    We will see. Just as there is a very strong case for compensation to the descendants of slaves, likewise there is for the opium war. Sort of in the way one can claim against the estate of someone else. And the actors – the successor regimes, the corporates, the wealth -much of that still exists and can be indentified.

    It is a long term project, and we are still working through it now. Of course it is not a simple thing.

    And really it is not because I want to beat the UK up – even a moral victory is enough. I am not interested in hurting the British people – only getting them to stop attacking China. If the UK stops attacking China, I would be the first to say, let bygones be bygones.

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  64. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    North Korea is a holdout against this. And that is national freedom, the freedom of all people to choose their own destiny and to evolve their societies in a way which reflects their own cultural and civilizational aspirations.

    Correction – the freedom for Kim Jong Il and his army generals to choose the destiny on behalf of the people unfortunate enough to be living North of the border.

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  65. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Probably in a few decades we will have China lecturing the world on the need for greater human rights.

    Unlikely. The Chinese tend to be a live and let live type of people. And they are confident enough to be able to sell things to people without having to force other people to be like them, or aspire to be like them.

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  66. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Nah, they wouldn’t refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes the ROC would they….

    Your either :
    a. A liar.
    b. Ignorant of factual arguement.
    c. A graduate of the PRC propaganda machine.

    Keep on drinking the cool aid.

    Edit: I guess b & c go together really…

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  67. unaha-closp (1,164 comments) says:

    Unlikely. The Chinese tend to be a live and let live type of people. And they are confident enough to be able to sell things to people without having to force other people to be like them, or aspire to be like them.

    Rich people buy more stuff.

    Any S. Korean lady making $40,000 per year is going to buy a lot of stuff.

    A starving (but beautiful) N. Korean serf girl genuflecting to the feet of God-Emporer Kim Il Jong is useless to China.

    Its in China’s national interest to have more affluent customers, thus to prefer South Koreans to North Koreans.

    What he means of course is even if we do not like the North Korean system, it may not be right for us, culturally, politically, even aesthetically, North Korea does represent what Dugin calls I think ‘a region of non-conformity in a sea of conformity”

    North Korea is a non-conformist state existing between Western capitalist sphere and Chinese capitalist sphere – non-conformist states don’t have friends. Unlike Burma (which provides electricity supply and a friendly Indian Ocean port), North Korea provides little of value to China beyond some old shared socialist baggage that is best forgotten.

    China will begin to see N. Korea more as an irritant and less as a friend. China will inevitably apply pressure for the North to become more like the South, eventually encouraging reunification.

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  68. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    they wouldn’t refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes the ROC

    Of course fucken not. If Waiheke Island split off say from New Zealand, and the rulers of Waiheke Island called themselves the government of all of New Zealand, and China recognised this Waiheke Island as say the ‘Republic of New Zealand’ how the fuck would the government in Wellington feel, you dumb fuck?

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  69. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    I’m interested in the mindset of people like Bevan. Why are you so nosey about the affairs of other countries?

    The lifestyle of a Masai warrior, a Mongolian sheepherder, simply does not interest me all that much, and much less would I want to make demands on them as to how they should live their lives.

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  70. reid (16,442 comments) says:

    “would I want to make demands on them as to how they live their lives”

    So how does the West do this apart from talking about it. Isn’t that all they ever do. They don’t do much to block Chinese exports to their domestic markets for example, do they. So what’s the problem?

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  71. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    I’m interested in the mindset of people like Bevan. Why are you so nosey about the affairs of other countries?

    And I’m interested in your mindset. Why are you so inhumane that you would stand by and watch the genocide of a people, and not act to stop it?

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  72. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Of course fucken not. If Waiheke Island split off say from New Zealand, and the rulers of Waiheke Island called themselves the government of all of New Zealand, and China recognised this Waiheke Island as say the ‘Republic of New Zealand’ how the fuck would the government in Wellington feel, you dumb fuck?

    Is that before or after a civil war? It would all depend on the context around why Waiheke Is wanted to split from the mainland.

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  73. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    So how does the West do this apart from talking about it. Isn’t that all they ever do.

    Come on Reid. That’s all they do –look at the enormous pressure on so called ‘rogue’ states like Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe etc.

    Not only do Western countries demand that these countries are isolated and smashed, but they demand that other countries do likewise – ‘you are for us or against us’

    And arming Taiwan to the teeth to prevent reunification – that’s the equivalent of China arming Texas seccessionists. Carrying out wargames right on China’s doorstep? How would the US feel if China conducted massive military exercises with Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico, or Cuba in the Carribean?

    How would New Zealand feel, if the Chinese Navy decided to regulary conduct threatening military maneouvres just outside New Zealand’s territorial waters.

    And then there is the long time CIA support for the Dalai Lama, that ho from Xinjiang, and the encouragement and funding of Chinese dissidents.

    The deliberate attempted humiliation of China before the Olympics whereas the UK of course will not have to endure such humiliation before Manchester olympics even though she invaded and occupied two sovereign nations.

    Enough for you?

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  74. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    Why are you so inhumane that you would stand by and watch the genocide of a people, and not act to stop it?

    I don’t. That’s why I suggest all whites leave Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada and hand back to the original inhabitants.

    Now you provide an example of a fortunate people who are the beneficiaries of your ‘compassion’

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  75. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Not only do Western countries demand that these countries are isolated and smashed, but they demand that other countries do likewise – ‘you are for us or against us’

    Much like the PRC and Taiwan. Fucken hypocrit.

    And arming Taiwan to the teeth to prevent reunification

    Thats more to stop you fuckers invading and killing everyone on the island. Taiwan has the right to self defence.

    that’s the equivalent of China arming Texas seccessionists.

    They wouldn’t accept your commie weapons comrade. Or want to be seen as accepting aid from communist dictators.

    Carrying out wargames right on China’s doorstep? How would the US feel if China conducted massive military exercises with Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico, or Cuba in the Carribean?

    And the US would be free to cut all economic aid and apply sanctions to those countries as a result.

    How would New Zealand feel, if the Chinese Navy decided to regulary conduct threatening military maneouvres just outside New Zealand’s territorial waters.

    I for one would actually appreciate this. Then the NZ gov may take some notice and realise the countries defense forces are woefully inadequate.

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  76. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    I don’t. That’s why I suggest all whites leave Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada and hand back to the original inhabitants.

    Not before all the Chinese school kids leave first.

    Also, how do you distinguish original inhabitants from immigrants? Considering there is not one single full blood maori left in the country through inter race breeing.

    Now you provide an example of a fortunate people who are the beneficiaries of your ‘compassion’

    Um, the English language, protection from the French and Russian empires who were eyeing these shores to add to their empires, clothing, medicine, massive advancement from the stone age to the industrial…..

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  77. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    “Taiwan has the right to self defence.”

    So China should provide arms and ammunition to those people in the Ureweras a couple of years ago. They are arguably, freedom fighters. How would you like that? fucken hypocrite

    “They wouldn’t accept your commie weapons comrade.”

    Again. A mere detail which does not controvert my original point – Bevan is being a typically evasive prick.

    “And the US would be free to cut all economic aid and apply sanctions to those countries as a result.”

    You know they would not leave it as just that. They would probably threaten nuclear war. Americans are selfish cocksuckers, who would destroy the world before giving up their huge houses and massive energy gobbling cars.

    “Not before all the Chinese school kids leave first.”

    Fair enough. Asians abroad returning to Asia would not cause nearly the disruption of whites returning to Europe. Hundreds of millions of whites live outside Europe. Only several million Asians live outside of Asia.

    “Um, the English language, protection from the French and Russian empires who were eyeing these shores to add to their empires, clothing, medicine, massive advancement from the stone age to the industrial…..”

    English language? For fucks sake I’m sure the Maoris would prefer it was Maori. And if not English it would be French or even Russian as you claim. Clothing, medicine – we all had that – in fact you guys came to China’s shores to get our shit and we wanted none of yours. So you flood the place with narcotics, make a ton of money, as you did all over the world, financed your industrial revolution. All those dead Indians, Aborigines, Chinese, Maoris, etc never got the chance to enjoy the fruits of your ill-gotten gains.

    Just because you think an American Indian says, wears a pair of Levis, he should be grateful for you extermininating most of his people. History develops in a contingent manner.

    Israel resulted from the Nazi genocide. The Jews should like Hitler then?

    Fuck you are just fucken deluded.

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  78. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Damn! you are so easy to wind up!

    BTW, you missed responding to a very valid point…

    “Also, how do you distinguish original inhabitants from immigrants? Considering there is not one single full blood maori left in the country through inter race breeing.”

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  79. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Hey Zhumao, we ruled the world – sucks to not be us I guess. China may well get its turn in the future, but going by your rants – the world will not be a better place.

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  80. tom hunter (4,809 comments) says:

    I always enjoy deeply ironic humour and as Zhumao has steadily lost the plot he’s presented one of the best examples I’ve ever seen in a blog.

    A Chinese guy who unloads the most fantastic rants about the overwhelmingly fucked up, mass murdering, materialistically driven influence of White Westerners throughout history.

    A Chinese guy who also, at the same time, fanatically defends the worst-case implementations of the most fucked up political philosophy ever to come out of Western European thinking, a product of two dead White European males no less.

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  81. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Trust Zhumao to fuck up a perfectly good thread.

    chinese curture supelior in evely way. angly yoof!

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  82. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    a product of two dead White European males no less.

    Darwin came up with evolution, around the same time as the Opium Wars. Just because I hate the english for the opium wars, I have to deny evolution, or Newton’s laws of gravity?

    Similarly should I reject Marxism simply because it happened to come from Europe, when it has a lot of good things to say.

    If anyone did all the above you would then certainly have a case to describe him as a complete screwball.

    The thing is Chinese were attracted to Marxism Leninism precisely because of its anti-imperialism. That it came from Europe – so fucken what?

    Using Tom Hunter’s reasoning there is ‘irony’ when say, someone enjoy’s Chinese food, but hates China.

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  83. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    the most fucked up political philosophy ever to come out of Western European thinking

    I’d say German fascism was a tad more fucked up.

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  84. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Anti-imperialists using an imperialist ideology to justify their moronity. Is there anything funnier?

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  85. Zhumao (339 comments) says:

    I suppose Tom Hunter sees irony in Jews being into Beethoven right? So many great Jewish conductors and pianists. And Beethoven was guess what? A GERMAN. But the Jews hate the Nazis right. And guess what? The Nazis were also GERMAN…….what wonderful irony! Hunter. You are an idiot.

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  86. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    Zhumao: You know your arguments would be a lot more persuasive if it wasn’t for the fact that places like China and Zimbabwe use historical imperialism as a catch all cry to defend their own money grubbing, power hungry ways (and in Zimbawe’s case, Mugabe’s blinding incompetence). Your rants are nothing more than a distraction from Chinas own imperialism.
    Hell China is back to its old ways of trying to intimidate its neighbors into being nothing more than the vassels they used to be. Using economic muscle, and attempts to create a blue water navy, to create its own greater Asian co-prosperity sphere.

    I think that what really ties you up in knots is not that the west was imperialist per se, but that the west destroyed China’s own Asian empire, and you just want to get even for that humiliation.
    I bet that it really gets under your skin that not only did Vietnam give you guys a walloping some 30m odd years ago, but they have now virtually invited the US and any one but China to use their naval facilities to keep China contained and not dominating them again. Of course you must hate it that a good chunk of Asia is likely to follow their example.

    Yep, the West did some nasty things in its past, no denying that, but history shows that China is just pissed that they lacked the nous to do it as well as the West. Your just jealous, comrade, that we did it better than China.

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  87. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    Much of this debate seems kind of irrelevant, since the term ‘Burma’ isn’t being foisted on the country by western powers, it’s in common use by Burmese people, and is the preferred term used by those outside the country.

    Having said that, it’s a pretty meaningless gesture, given the government is happy to deals with the Burmese regime, and provide aid as part of the Australia-NZ-ASEAN FTA. Other countries, such as the British, give the government a wide berth, and ensure aid only goes to non-governmental groups in the country.

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