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Old 06-11-2008, 02:34 PM   #1
jonathan7
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Beginning of the end of the Chinese Government?

This; http://www.channel4.com/news/article...nswers/2280607

Is a massive mistake, and I think may well spark a wake up call to many Chinese people who think the western media is anti-China.

The Chinese government trying to intimidate the parents of dead children instead of helping them, will I think bring on bigger problems for themselves.



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Old 06-11-2008, 02:51 PM   #2
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Like the Chinese government cares. The peons can't do anything about it. Even if they made the people eat their children to conserve food stocks or enforced mandatory human sacrifice we'd still trade with them.

With no accountability or consequences why should they care? There will be no change in China until the U.S. and the rest of the world stops bankrolling it's government by refusing to trade with a nation that is so notorious for it's flagrant human rights violations.


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Old 06-11-2008, 03:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Qliveur View Post
Like the Chinese government cares. The peons can't do anything about it. Even if they made the people eat their children to conserve food stocks or enforced mandatory human sacrifice we'd still trade with them.

With no accountability or consequences why should they care? There will be no change in China until the U.S. and the rest of the world stops bankrolling it's government by refusing to trade with a nation that is so notorious for it's flagrant human rights violations.
Sadly true.

Good post, Qliveur.

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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It is a harsh reality, but we depend on China. if China was a capitalist country, with everyone being as lucky and 'wealthy' as many americans are, the world be much more unstable... I'd rather see all countries as being 'fair' to everyone and havign free markets, but, for the moment, the USA needs China to be in the sad state that it's in... Communism. And about Capitalism, Communism, Dictatorships... They're all hierarchies, and a hierarchy is prone to anarchy... I doubt any country is willing to engage another huge country about civil rights violations, considering the military forces of the Asian countries and the huge 'failure' the USA has had in the middle east.


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Old 06-11-2008, 04:33 PM   #5
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It is a harsh reality, but we depend on China. if China was a capitalist country, with everyone being as lucky and 'wealthy' as many americans are, the world be much more unstable...
Yes, we depend on China. If China were capitalistic, not everyone would be as wealthy as many Americans are. Some would and some wouldn't. That's how capitalism works.

Why, exactly, would the world be more unstable?

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Originally Posted by Arcesious
I'd rather see all countries as being 'fair' to everyone and havign free markets, but, for the moment, the USA needs China to be in the sad state that it's in... Communism.
Could you clarify as to why we need this? Thanks in advance.
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Originally Posted by Arcesious
And about Capitalism, Communism, Dictatorships... They're all hierarchies, and a hierarchy is prone to anarchy... I doubt any country is willing to engage another huge country about civil rights violations, considering the military forces of the Asian countries and the huge 'failure' the USA has had in the middle east.
Oh, we're not doing well against the terrorists so we shouldn't care if the biggest country in the world is tyrannical towards its people? That's poor logic. We don't need to start a war about civil rights, we just need to speak out about them.

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Old 06-11-2008, 04:52 PM   #6
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Arc: China isn't communist, check out their economy.

Quliveur: I disagree, the government has allready changed their mind about several things once enough people made a fuss. Not that the government will dissapear overnight, but the enlargement of the middle class makes is often the beginning of the end for regimes.


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Old 06-11-2008, 05:01 PM   #7
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So. Let me get this straight.

The Chinese government plans to do safety checks in order to help protects its people. And how is this the 'beginning' of the end of the government?

Isn't that one of the major points of government? To protect its people? Next, you're going to tell me that North Korea is going to be the next great superpower because it treats its people like dirt and "dirt"=profit!".

This is sheer lunacy. So what if the Middle Class grows in power? What makes you think the Middle Class isn't just going to hijack the Communist Party and use it to oppress peasant farmers? The rulers would be different, and civic freedoms might increase, but the government...exactly the same as it always have been.

Wake me up if Tibetan monks and the Muslim insurgents manage to form their own independent states, thereby causing Chinese nationalist feeling to unravel. Or if the Chinese economy overheats. Or a Taiwanese invasion occurs. Or several other important events that could signal a decline of Chinese power. But not this.


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Old 06-11-2008, 05:10 PM   #8
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So. Let me get this straight.

The Chinese government plans to do safety checks in order to help protects its people. And how is this the 'beginning' of the end of the government?
Hmm. I seem to have missed this part of the article. But my questions about communism still stand.

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Old 06-11-2008, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001 View Post
So. Let me get this straight.

The Chinese government plans to do safety checks in order to help protects its people. And how is this the 'beginning' of the end of the government?
Unless I have linked you to the wrong news report, the gist of the story was that the families of the children who died in the earthquake are angry as the schools that collapsed killing their children were shoddily constructed. And those asking for justice and wanting someone to be called to account are being intimidated by the government, and the parents groups forming disbanded.

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Isn't that one of the major points of government? To protect its people? Next, you're going to tell me that North Korea is going to be the next great superpower because it treats its people like dirt and "dirt"=profit!".
Eh? Your not telling me you think the Chinese government gives a damn about its people? Although at least they care more than the North Korean.

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001 View Post
This is sheer lunacy. So what if the Middle Class grows in power? What makes you think the Middle Class isn't just going to hijack the Communist Party and use it to oppress peasant farmers? The rulers would be different, and civic freedoms might increase, but the government...exactly the same as it always have been.
Maybe, however the history in democratic countries is slowly but surely everyone gets the vote.

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001 View Post
Wake me up if Tibetan monks and the Muslim insurgents manage to form their own independent states, thereby causing Chinese nationalist feeling to unravel. Or if the Chinese economy overheats. Or a Taiwanese invasion occurs. Or several other important events that could signal a decline of Chinese power. But not this.
The significance is this; many Chinese people have been brainwashed by the state, however bad treatment of those who have lost Children, could cause a backlash; I'm not saying it will but sooner or later the people will wake up to the government they have.



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Old 06-11-2008, 05:29 PM   #10
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Given that the despots in Beijing care little for any other than their own, I'd say I'm not entirely convinced that they remotely care about the average chinaman. Also, cynical enough to believe they'd use circumstances to elicit foreign sympathy. Seems to me that it'll take a lot more than agrieved parents to bring down the govt of China. More likely it would take a war or economic collapse to bring that around.


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Old 06-11-2008, 06:03 PM   #11
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Given that the despots in Beijing care little for any other than their own, I'd say I'm not entirely convinced that they remotely care about the average chinaman. Also, cynical enough to believe they'd use circumstances to elicit foreign sympathy. Seems to me that it'll take a lot more than agrieved parents to bring down the govt of China. More likely it would take a war or economic collapse to bring that around.
To be honest I don't really think many governments actually give a toss about their own people, I don't think Gordon Brown cares about most of Britain; he just sucks up to get elected.

Back at SS, in a wonderful speech give in South Africa in 1966the following was said;

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It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert F. Kennedy (1925 - 1968)
While the Kennedy clan has suffered over the years, the intervening years after showed he was correct in South Africa.

Perhaps foolishly I agree with Seneca that "Unjust dominion cannot be eternal".



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Old 06-11-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jonathon7
Why, exactly, would the world be more unstable?
Capitalism is extremely unstable. It's very similar to anarchy, in a certain respect. It's survival of the fittest in the economical realm in such a government. A billion more peopel with gas-guzzlign cars, high-tech toys, and such would lead to a lot of shortages in demand.

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Originally Posted by jonathon 7
Could you clarify as to why we need this? Thanks in advance.
With China having a massive, considerably stable economy, they sell a lot of products, industrial goods, and such to the world. If it was capitalist, it would either have much more rich people or many more poor people, which woudl leave it having to focus more on providing things for its citizens. The US relies more on imports than exports. China is the other way around. If it was switched, we'd lose a huge amount of vital chinese product imports.

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Originally Posted by Jonathon7
Oh, we're not doing well against the terrorists so we shouldn't care if the biggest country in the world is tyrannical towards its people? That's poor logic. We don't need to start a war about civil rights, we just need to speak out about them.
I see your point there, but many idiots in governemtns don't look at things in that perspective, which is the problem.

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Originally Posted by mur'phon
Arc: China isn't communist, check out their economy.
Oh really? It may be called the People's Republic of China, but the ruling party in the government is the Communist Party of China.


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Old 06-11-2008, 07:46 PM   #13
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Capitalism is extremely unstable. It's very similar to anarchy, in a certain respect. It's survival of the fittest in the economical realm in such a government. A billion more peopel with gas-guzzlign cars, high-tech toys, and such would lead to a lot of shortages in demand.

It's the same in the kommunist governments that have existed so far, only here the "fittest" are those with conections to politicans. As for your seccond point, I asume you mean that demand will be greater than suply?

Quote:
With China having a massive, considerably stable economy, they sell a lot of products, industrial goods, and such to the world. If it was capitalist, it would either have much more rich people or many more poor people, which woudl leave it having to focus more on providing things for its citizens. The US relies more on imports than exports. China is the other way around. If it was switched, we'd lose a huge amount of vital chinese product imports.
I have some good news for you, it allready is capitalist (well, technically it's capitalist with a lot of other things mixed inn). So your scare scenario should have happened allready.

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Oh really? It may be called the People's Republic of China, but the ruling party in the government is the Communist Party of China.
I can call myself an Anarchist, dosen't make it true. Read upp on the definition of communism, then look at China, then wonder why there are privately owned firms there.


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Old 06-11-2008, 08:08 PM   #14
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Arcesious, I'd appreciate it if you attribute the statements I make to me, instead of Jonathan. That way we don't get confused as to who you're talking to, et al.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
Capitalism is extremely unstable. It's very similar to anarchy, in a certain respect. It's survival of the fittest in the economical realm in such a government. A billion more peopel with gas-guzzlign cars, high-tech toys, and such would lead to a lot of shortages in demand.
But what you're saying is Communism is a better economic form? Capitalism might be unstable; that doesn't make it worse than communism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
With China having a massive, considerably stable economy, they sell a lot of products, industrial goods, and such to the world. If it was capitalist, it would either have much more rich people or many more poor people, which woudl leave it having to focus more on providing things for its citizens. The US relies more on imports than exports. China is the other way around. If it was switched, we'd lose a huge amount of vital chinese product imports.
So too bad for the Chinese people, because we Americans need our shoes?

That's a very arrogant attitude, sacrificing their rights for our products.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
I see your point there, but many idiots in governemtns don't look at things in that perspective, which is the problem.
You're kidding. You're trying to tell me that our government is more likely to overreact than underreact? Then how do you explain Darfur?

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Originally Posted by mur'phon
I have some good news for you, it allready is capitalist
It's not really capitalist.

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Old 06-11-2008, 08:16 PM   #15
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It's not really capitalist.
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it allready is capitalist (well, technically it's capitalist with a lot of other things mixed inn).
Read my post, i use capitalism in the broad sence, going straight by the definition would make several western countries non-capitalist


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Old 06-11-2008, 08:22 PM   #16
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Read my post, i use capitalism in the broad sence, going straight by the definition would make several western countries non-capitalist
I meant it in the broad sense too.

I didn't mean laissez-faire, of course

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Old 06-11-2008, 08:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by EnderWiggin View Post
Arcesious, I'd appreciate it if you attribute the statements I make to me, instead of Jonathan. That way we don't get confused as to who you're talking to, et al.
I was enjoying taking the credit for some good statements/questions I didn't make, and then you had to go and spoil it (I was also for a moment concerned I was going senile, as I didn't remember posting that).

I'm not quite sure how were were confused given that Arc, never actually was responding to anything I wrote.

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Originally Posted by EW
But what you're saying is Communism is a better economic form? Capitalism might be unstable; that doesn't make it worse than communism.
Communism is a wonderful theory, however as with many theories when put into action, it doesn't work.



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Old 06-11-2008, 10:19 PM   #18
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Arcesious, I'd appreciate it if you attribute the statements I make to me, instead of Jonathan. That way we don't get confused as to who you're talking to, et al.
Oh... Wow... This is quite embarrassing... Sorry for the confusion Enderwiggen and Jonathon7... I think I'll just avoid putting in the part that says who I'm quoting for now, because I don't want to make that mistake again.

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So too bad for the Chinese people, because we Americans need our shoes?

That's a very arrogant attitude, sacrificing their rights for our products.
There's probably pleanty of those kidns of things to go around. I'm just sayign that the average american has a lot more the average chinese citizen. If the Chinese majority had as much junk as we have, there would be huge shortages in supplies of things like food. A 1/3rd jump in global demand for all of the kinds of things peopel have in capitalist countries could be a crushing scenario.

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I asume you mean that demand will be greater than suply?
Yes, that's the core point I've been trying to make throughout all of this debate.

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But what you're saying is Communism is a better economic form? Capitalism might be unstable; that doesn't make it worse than communism.
Communism may be bad in terms of human rights violations, but is is more stable. I don't approve of the viotlations of human rights in communism, but, without it, the world would be more unstable. I want capitalism to be more stable, but it simply isn't. It may be much more just to those who live under it, but it isn't stable.

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then look at China, then wonder why there are privately owned firms there.
It may be soemwhat capitalsit, but the rich people (politicians) still have dominion over the poor people. If I was, hypothetically, a communist politician, and I wanted more money, I'd get and use a somewhat free market in place to feed more money into the government.

Quote:
You're kidding. You're trying to tell me that our government is more likely to overreact than underreact? Then how do you explain Darfur?
I have to concede my argument on that point, as I agree with you about that now. Hopefully diplomacy will help work past this, without military conflict.

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Communism is a wonderful theory, however as with many theories when put into action, it doesn't work.
True... But it's still more stable than capitalism.


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Old 06-12-2008, 12:27 AM   #19
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Oh... Wow... This is quite embarrassing... Sorry for the confusion Enderwiggen and Jonathon7... I think I'll just avoid putting in the part that says who I'm quoting for now, because I don't want to make that mistake again.
No problem

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Originally Posted by Arcesious
There's probably pleanty of those kidns of things to go around. I'm just sayign that the average american has a lot more the average chinese citizen. If the Chinese majority had as much junk as we have, there would be huge shortages in supplies of things like food. A 1/3rd jump in global demand for all of the kinds of things peopel have in capitalist countries could be a crushing scenario.
Woah Woah Woah. First of all, the fact that there are 'plenty' of these 'things' to go around is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with your argument, so I'd like to get it out of the way now.

As for the rest of your statement - If the Chinese had as much "junk," there would be food shortages?

Food = Junk?

And don't we have a food shortage now?

Plus, demand would not just jump 33% overnight. It would increase incrementally and the system would adjust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
Communism may be bad in terms of human rights violations, but is is more stable. I don't approve of the viotlations of human rights in communism, but, without it, the world would be more unstable. I want capitalism to be more stable, but it simply isn't. It may be much more just to those who live under it, but it isn't stable.
So you don't deny that you believe our commodities are more important than the rights of the Chinese people? In that case, I don't care whether you say you approve of them or not. Choosing them speaks louder than your words.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious
I have to concede my argument on that point, as I agree with you about that now. Hopefully diplomacy will help work past this, without military conflict.
Glad to have helped

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Originally Posted by Arcesious
True... But it's still more stable than capitalism.
So what? Even if I concede that capitalism is less stable (which I don't) then how does that affect me? Shouldn't stability be sacrificed for freedom?

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Originally Posted by jonathan7 View Post
I was enjoying taking the credit for some good statements/questions I didn't make, and then you had to go and spoil it (I was also for a moment concerned I was going senile, as I didn't remember posting that).
Well thank you for the compliment

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Originally Posted by Jonathan
I'm not quite sure how we were confused given that Arc, never actually was responding to anything I wrote.
Just because you weren't confused doesn't mean others weren't

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Originally Posted by Jonathan
Communism is a wonderful theory, however as with many theories when put into action, it doesn't work.
I agree. But you're preaching to the choir - I've been arguing against communism this entire thread.

_EW_

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Old 06-12-2008, 02:06 AM   #20
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So you don't deny that you believe our commodities are more important than the rights of the Chinese people? In that case, I don't care whether you say you approve of them or not. Choosing them speaks louder than your words.
Perhaps I should rephrase and redo my argument on this part... Your suggesting that the system would adjust if it went incrementally may work, or it may not. It depends on how big the 'increments' are. I beleive that the Chinese deserve to have life just as good as those of us who are Americans, but if the change of increased demand was too fast, it could collapse the world economy.

In rephrasing the argument, I think that is would be important for it to be a somewhat slow change, because, if it went to fast, and worldwide capitalism occurred everyone all at once(IE, in several months or a couple years), it could 'ruin' everything. The world economy is like a balancing act. It's swaying from side to side rapidly.

It both does and doesn't need huge, sudden changes. Sudden changes could be for the better for human rights reasons, and other reasons, but it could, in this hypothetical scenario (Since I don't want to say that it will happen) destabilize everything into a massive mess in which total anarchy would ensue. A sudden change could work, but if it was too fast and too 'demanding' (notice the pun in relation to S & D) it could leave the world worse than it was before. Sure, humanity would probably survive in such a scenario, but it would be devastating, and make life worse than before for those whose rights were violated and then given back. Although, this is an extremist argument, and I concede that a change for human rights in China would moreprobably not destabilize the world. I think that, in the end of my argument, I've only been trying to make a hypothetical point...

All in all, If almost every person or a very large portion in the world population was suddenly able to 'live the american dream', it could have huge consequences of instability, anarchy, and poverty.

No one can uphold and maintain total human rights for everyone if the world is too unstable and demanding for that to be possible.


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Old 06-12-2008, 07:35 AM   #21
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It may be soemwhat capitalsit, but the rich people (politicians) still have dominion over the poor people. If I was, hypothetically, a communist politician, and I wanted more money, I'd get and use a somewhat free market in place to feed more money into the government.
The most important idea in communism is that the workers should own the means of production, which, obvously in China they don't.
Another important one, from each acording to his abilities, to each acording to his needs, another thing that isn't exactly present in China.

Just because politicans enrich themselves dosen't make them communist, check out the cleptocrasies in Africa.

As for capitalist countries being so unstable, I don't see how it is anymore than (atemted) communism ones. It's still survival of the few, but for different reasons.

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but if the change of increased demand was too fast, it could collapse the world economy.
Here is the deal, when suply is lower than demand, prices go upp untill suply=demand. So asuming a free market, suply will be = demand, regardless of how high demand is. This price increase will hurt people across the world and probably make them poorer, at least untill suply is increased to compensate (and suply will increase, since the high prices makes it profitable). However this makes the goods in the world more fairly shared, which imho is a good thing.

We have allready started on that road, as asia grows wealthier it's increasing the demand for things like oil, meat, etc that they suddenly can aford. And suply is increasing as a response to the higher prices, in the case of oil alternatives are being developed because the high prices makes it proffitable.


Checking out seems not to do much.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:45 PM   #22
EnderWiggin
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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
Perhaps I should rephrase and redo my argument on this part...
...You didn't really do either, but OK.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious
All in all, If almost every person or a very large portion in the world population was suddenly able to 'live the american dream', it could have huge consequences of instability, anarchy, and poverty.
Not a fan of "a belief in freedom that allows all citizens and residents of the United States of America to achieve their goals in life through hard work?"

Oh yeah. Lots of anarchy.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious
No one can uphold and maintain total human rights for everyone if the world is too unstable and demanding for that to be possible.
You've said nothing as to why you think communism is so 'stable,' and why you think stability is equal to how good the system is.


You're no longer presenting new ideas, nor are you actually answering my questions in a direct way. I tire of saying the same things over and over.

Thanks for the discussion anyway.

_EW_



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Old 06-12-2008, 01:30 PM   #23
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Hmm... Well... Yeah I guess you win. I wasn't makign complete sense there... I think the whole reason why was because my definition of communism wasn't really how it worked.


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:55 PM   #24
SilentScope001
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Unless I have linked you to the wrong news report, the gist of the story was that the families of the children who died in the earthquake are angry as the schools that collapsed killing their children were shoddily constructed. And those asking for justice and wanting someone to be called to account are being intimidated by the government, and the parents groups forming disbanded.
Then you must have linked me to the wrong news article. Please link me to the correct news article.

The article you have linked me told me that the people are angry at the government's response, and in return, the government are instituating safety checks. That's it. Nothing about people getting intimidated.

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Eh? Your not telling me you think the Chinese government gives a damn about its people? Although at least they care more than the North Korean.
Of course, they do care. Without the people, China won't have a high GDP due to the cheap laborforce. And, the people do have to live there, after all. They may not care for them a lot, prehaps in temrs of labor issues and land reform, but as you mention, they get more care than North Koreans.

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Maybe, however the history in democratic countries is slowly but surely everyone gets the vote.
China's not a democracy. Only in the history of democratic countries can people slowly get enfrashinced, as you say.

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The significance is this; many Chinese people have been brainwashed by the state, however bad treatment of those who have lost Children, could cause a backlash; I'm not saying it will but sooner or later the people will wake up to the government they have.
Er. A Maoist blogger could argue that many Western people have been brainwashed by Western ideology, but that eventually, they will see the truth, and will wake up to the government they have, and they will eventually overthrow the evil captialistic society, blah, blah, blah.

If you respond back to the Maoist that, no, I am not brainwashed, I am thinking freely, that I do in fact prefer western ideology, the Maoist will just laugh because "Of course you would say that! You're brainwashed!"

Johnaton7 (sigh), sorry for my stupid paragraph rant above. But I personally don't want to utter the B-word, 'brainwash', because I don't really want to insult the intelligence of the Chinese population. The charges are going to be hard to be proven, and it leads to a sense of superoritiy that, um, er, just going to lead flames being exchanged.

Meh. I wonder if we can talk privately about this sort of thing. Or not. Up to you.


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:37 PM   #25
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Meh. I wonder if we can talk privately about this sort of thing. Or not. Up to you.
I am as ever happy to have dialogue with you, and we can continue dialogue via PM; I think probably around 95% of human beings on the planet are brainwashed in one form or another; enculturation is insidious as I have remarked many a time.




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Old 06-12-2008, 06:03 PM   #26
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Brainwash is actually a funny concept, being as how you can't possibly know/understand what you aren't familiar with or haven't experienced. That type of situation is typically where people start shouting "omg brainwashing!", but... we're all guilty of being in that position. So does that make us all equally brainwashed to our own culture?

I think knowing that you don't know everything is the first step to taking a big step back and realizing "hey, just because I do it this way doesn't mean that way doesn't work as well." Open-mindedness.... ahhhhh. <3

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Old 06-12-2008, 06:19 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Inyri View Post
Brainwash is actually a funny concept, being as how you can't possibly know/understand what you aren't familiar with or haven't experienced. That type of situation is typically where people start shouting "omg brainwashing!", but... we're all guilty of being in that position. So does that make us all equally brainwashed to our own culture?

I think knowing that you don't know everything is the first step to taking a big step back and realizing "hey, just because I do it this way doesn't mean that way doesn't work as well." Open-mindedness.... ahhhhh. <3
That was first articulated by Socrates; "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing", though I'm guessing not in English

I know this, the more I learn the more I realise how little I know.

However I have observed that most people cannot tell you why they think or behave in the way they do, western culture is very shallow and people do not think out questions such as 'why do I exist?'.

I DONT believe in democracy, but I also know from my many Chinese friends studying here for a year or two then heading back, that most think their government are 'good' and the western media is lying.

Read into that what you will...



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:23 AM   #28
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I don't believe democracy is stable either. It's unwieldy/impractical when talking about populations measured in the 100000s-1000000s+. A republic is a better bet, but also has a shelf life that could be longer. Of course, your chinese friends were probably victims of their own encultuartion or paranoia, depending on their circumstances.


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