Chilling look at China’s Black Mirror-esque “social credit” system.
The White House issued a press release on November 7, 2017 declaring a National Day for the Victims of Communism.
Today, the National Day for the Victims of Communism, marks 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution gave rise to the Soviet Union and its dark decades of oppressive communism, a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life.
Over the past century, communist totalitarian regimes around the world have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to exploitation, violence, and untold devastation. These movements, under the false pretense of liberation, systematically robbed innocent people of their God-given rights of free worship, freedom of association, and countless other rights we hold sacrosanct. Citizens yearning for freedom were subjugated by the state through the use of coercion, violence, and fear.
Today, we remember those who have died and all who continue to suffer under communism. In their memory and in honor of the indomitable spirit of those who have fought courageously to spread freedom and opportunity around the world, our Nation reaffirms its steadfast resolve to shine the light of liberty for all who yearn for a brighter, freer future.
That evening, President Donald Trump tweeted out congratulations to Communist dictator Xi Jinping for “his great political victory.”
Getting ready to make a major speech to the National Assembly here in South Korea, then will be headed to China where I very much look forward to meeting with President Xi who is just off his great political victory.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2017
This “How To Spot A Jap” comic was included in the U.S. Army’s 1942 “Pocket Guide to China,” which it distributed to soldiers who were being sent to fight in China. Milton Caniff, creator of the Terry and the Pirates comic strip, did the illustrations.
Instructing people on how to distinguish Chinese from Japanese people was apparently a common theme of World War II-era propaganda. For example, the December 22, 1941 edition of Life magazine ran a feature titled How To Tell Japs from the Chinese.
For a couple years now there have been claims by journalists, government officials and others that the United States and other countries face serious problems over the reliance on rare earth metals in electronic devices. At the moment, a large percentage of rare earth production occurs in China essentially because it is convenient, not because rare earth deposits do not exist elsewhere. Only 30 percent of known rare earth metal deposits are in China — but it is easier politically and economically to extract the materials there.
China has attempted to use its current position in rare earth metals to gain leverage over buyers, but apparently to little avail. In fact, China is attempting once again to cut back on production, in a move that will likely fail:
China’s biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in hopes of boosting slumping prices of the exotic minerals used in mobile phones and other high-tech products.
In China, prices of some rare earths have fallen sharply since June.
The price of neodymium oxide has declined 34 percent to $157 per kilogram, while europium oxide is down 35 percent at $2,904 per kilogram, according to Lynas Corp., an Australian rare earth producer.
As the Associated Press notes, mines outside China have restarted production in the wake of China’s (so far failed) attempts to restrict supply, and thankfully it looks like the “threat” of Chinese dominance of the rare earth market is going to be of the empty variety.
Parents of a 13-year-old Chinese boy are suing the distributor of “Warcraft: Orcs and Humans” in that country after their son committed suicide after playing the real-time strategy game for 36 hours straight.
The Associated Press quotes a Xinhua News Agency report that the boy left behind a suicide note saying he wanted “to join the heroes of the game he worshiped.”
The basis of the suit is that in the United States “Warcraft: Orcs & Humans” is rated by the ESRB as T (Teen) meaning the game’s “content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.” The Associated Press story incorrectly suggests that T (Teen) means the game is suitable only for children older than 13.
And that leaves aside the obvious problem of how a 13-year-old ends up playing a game for 36 hours straight. Is poor parental supervision actionable in China?
The only upside to this might be if we could persuade Jack Thompson to take his violent video games dog and pony show to China. Permanently. Certainly, the Chinese seem to have the same respect for freedom of speech as Thompson does.
Game distributor sued over boy’s suicide. Joe McDonald, Associated Press, May 12, 2006.
In early January, Chian released journalist Jiang Weiping after he served five years of a six year sentence for daring to publish details about official corruption in China.
In 2001, Jiang was sentenced to six years in jail for publishing details about alleged corruption by Liaoning provincial governor Bo Xilai as well as details of corruption by other officials. Bo, meanwhile, was promoted to commerce minister.
For his efforts, Jiang was charged with revealing state secrets and sentenced to eight years in jail, which was later reduced to six years.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, China currently imprisons more journalists than any other country in the world, with 32 journalists in jail in 2005.
China frees corruption journalist. The BBC, January 4, 2006.
The Price of Integrity. Press Release, Committee to Protect Journalists, 2001.
Journalists In Prison. Committee to Protect Journalists, 2006.