Chinese should know!

These last days me and Linn has been a bit puzzled to why China has reacted to the Burma situation in such a pale way as they’ve done until now. We wanted to know how much the public knows about all this. Because if the public knows, they would act!?

So we did our own investigation. We have contacted friends, looked at the biggest  Chinese news TV channels and searched the biggest newspapers and we found so very little. The only written news has been about the Japanese photographer and only in very short terms. The TV said something about the talks with Japan, but mentioned nothing or very little about Burma. And our friend in Kunming works for Media and she knows nothing about what’s going in Burma. People we talked to were like big question marks. And remember, Kunming is only 600km from the burmese border.

It’s like a big public shut down. Linn’s very sad about this and she’s upset about the way her government acts. What are they afraid of? That burmese actions back in 1988 would repeat itself in China as it did back then? – we’re thinking this could be the case. If people in China started to protest would China need to cut the important gas-pipe? Is it all about money? And why did China put in their veto when UN tried to find a way to put strong pressure on the militant junta.

Is it right to ask China to act? Or is this something that other countries with ties to the junta could take care of, like Japan and France. Or lastly, is this just something that burmese should do themselfes and take care of.

I think China should be the big brother it is. Be the leader and show the way. Not by brutal force – but in other ways possible. Bring more monks!

Clive: This is a public answer to your respons.

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
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8 Responses to Chinese should know!

  1. Clive says:

    Hi Carl and Linn,

    It’s very good that you think these thoughts, and yes, it is on the line I meant in my earlier note.

    But a thing comes to mind immediately, when you try to involve your friends in China, or in fact with regards to Linn’s status, or your own when you want to have freedom to return to China.

    As in certain episodes that you remember, and actually many more that occurred, it’s clear that any governments can not be relied upon to be ‘fair’ about criticism. It is not politics in any one culture that works this way, but yes, as in Burma/Myanmar itself, very often it is the way things do work. As they have in Europe also many times.

    My own grandfather, after being held by the Japanese in China during the Pacific war, then went on in China in the late 40’s, and finally left when his professor colleagues said it was better for him that he did. And soon after that, the Mao Tse Tung times, and the many stories we learned from then.

    For me, the most effective way to think about this is in terms of the rather Chinese ‘respect’ that my Father taught from his experience to all of his children. It is a valuable lesson, because it gets to the heart of where human emotions really live, even if we cover them over with learning and culture, two very long-historied values in China, so it is ‘in respect’ there too.

    You know on an individual level that a negative approach seldom has positive results. It is the same with bureaucracies, schools, and governments, where persons take on some aspect of the organisation as if it is personal.

    So while it is very good-feeling for children to openly revolt, and even if they are often encouraged into it by adults who want the results, it is in fact not effective. And, unless it is encouraged by authorities involved, it is not very safe.

    I hope my original wording was actually well enough in the sense of making a polite suggestion. A diplomat, a good one anyway, would go further: to make sure there is a clear invitation involved, to where the party wants to be invited. And mean this, as well as deliver the message most often where it is not in public, so it is sure to be seen sincere, can be worked out in rationality and discussion, and most of all so it is seen as sincere.

    What can we actually do? I think that must be in such messages we can send from our own countries. Yes, sometimes ‘the street’ helps — if it is a faraway street. As far as what we say, yes, to show a behavior is not felt respectable can be an effective part of the message. But again, I think the really effective will also assure the message includes the true ability to become respected. And definitely without preaching.

    It’s funny, but a film comes to mind, which is ‘old’ by now, and idealistic, but also quite clear, human, and very fine. This is ‘The Shoes of the Fisherman’. I am sure you can find it, and that it will be worth a couple of your hours. A man becomes Pope who has once been in a Russian prison. He ends up dealing with the heads of China and Russia in the ‘big’ part of the story. There also are many fine and especially ‘smaller’ stories.

    At the moment I am thinking about when the pope secretly meets with the head of China in those days (fictional), and they have a very open discussion (very fictional). The Chinese really challenges the pope on several levels, asks how trustworthy he can be, what _he_ can do. That’s enough to open this thoughtful story to the two of you…with my regards.

    Best to both,

  2. Clive says:

    sorry, I wrote something wrong about my Grandfather. It is that his professor colleagues said it was better _for_ _them_, ‘now’, that he leave, than that he stay.

    That’s the way it happened, and then it says what I wanted to say. Their sense of danger from his presence, which became very apparent soon after.

    Now things are much better, and we want to be our own ‘big brother’ to help them continue to become so. Yes, that’s the very good term that I remember also from Korea, and really, a very wise way to think of to generate our best relations.

    Best again,

  3. Hi Clive. You should have read my first version. :) Or, you shouldn’t. Wasn’t very wise. We have thought about if this version is too much, and I hope not. I might change it some, make it less dramatic, but at the same time, I want to be able to speak my heart.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Always appreciated. We often talk about it.

  4. Clive says:

    Hi to both of you, and thanks for the nice response. Appreciated also ;).

    Carl, I re-read this posting again on a new day, and my impression is that it is quite good. Only the last phrase ‘bring more monks’. Even I am not sure what it means. I do appreciate your own ‘spark’ and Linn’s, and I know it is from that. I think a government reader would not understand, and would see the word ‘monk’, and conclude your entire post is inflammatory. So you see the care, and that the intent to deal respectfully is a full-time, full-message job.

    I think you (two) showed much thought in all the rest of it, and a nice language and mental phrasing for what you wanted to say. I very much appreciate your wish to speak from heart, and I think this is accomplished. You in turn appreciate I can see what kind of care is needed to go this far.

    Now, then, my responses above were about your friends there most of all. They can be actually less informed than in, say, Sweden — where Sweden may inform less about certain matters of its own as, say, Ole mentions for Denmark.

    Or, they may need to indicate that they are less informed, or that they take a properly respectful attitude about what their government chooses to say publicly. This would be with the point of view that all communication, even most among friends, is public, not private. That would be especially true of anything involving telephones or internet, mail as well as weblogs.

    It’s important in any of these places that what is said to them has much care, before anything they might answer. Why — because what is said to them can be presumed to be on the basis of association, and thus reflect on what their personal attitudes may be.

    So, we wonderful and dangerous human creatures. We can do so many things, and our big challenge is as a Confuscian or a Buddhist might say, ‘proper choice’.

    So much has improved, actually, in China, and there is clear wish to balance in achieving more. And so we can be good brothers together, without idealism on it, which after all brothers don’t precisely have. They have a sense of what they want, which is exactly your ‘heart’. Sometimes they go against this, but that they want it is what keeps them coming back together.

    I guess you know this quite a bit, with so many brothers — and sisters ;). So instincts should be good.

    Thank you just as much for your thoughts, Carl, and Linn. It is always a pleasure with each of you.


  5. The Chebb says:

    Hi Carl,
    It is saddening as well as maddening. Quite reflective of the 60’s with the civil rights and Vietnam war protestors in the U.S. I hope China takes an active role to stop this, it seems that “little brothers” don’t want to listen to their older sibblings as the case with North Korea…
    Sad indeed.

  6. luofei says:

    we can’t get any news about this event in Chinese media.

  7. It’s sad, especially with the outcome so far. Hopefully something good comes out. And Luofei! Thanks for checking. :)

    To clarify “Bring more monks” :

    What I wanted to say with “Bring more monks” was that if the Junta puts all monks in jail, then what if we bring some more! China, Thailand and countries around Burma has plenty and maybe even the Catholic could help out? :D People of Burma has deep respect for their monks and therefore it’s important that they are there.. And it will also keep them none-violent to a higher degree. (I guess).

  8. Clive says:

    Ah, good, now I understand you, Carl, on the monks.

    A few days have passed and I have seen news reports that the Burmese people are very distressed by how the monks have been treated. As you say, they have deep respect for these persons.

    I have also seen that the monks have been made to fear, some of the deeply enough to leave the country. So bringing in more may not be practical. But I appreciate the clarity of your idea.


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