Response to criticism of “What’s Wrong with the USA”
As a writer it’s common to receive corrections and when I do, I verify the correction and edit the article to reflect the error. I’ve been accused many times of being “a CCP shill” or other such words and would like to state for the record, I am not employed, paid or in any way encouraged to write for China’s CPC, as they are correctly known. I came into this adopted role of being a supporter of China through a very informal process in 2020, tweeting and writing about my life and experiences travelling on a bike in China. My tweets, photos and writing raised some questions and aroused a lot of interest. Through answering questions, I was taken along a path of what some might call enlightenment which has led to the point where I’m now considered by some to be a well-balanced and well-informed observer of China. At the same time, I’m considered by others, to be paid, coerced, threatened or in some other way influenced by the Chinese government to write positively about the country. There are others who just think I’m a stark raving lunatic with the opinions of a madman!
Proof of my “government influence” appears to be the fact that I “tick off all the talking points of the CCP” and, in fact, I can see why people think that; I do tick off all the talking points of the CPC because I happen to agree that the death of 5,000 people, tragic though it is, is better than the death of over a million Americans, nearly 200,000 Brits or even 8,000 Australians, a country I love with a population about the same size as Shanghai. I also happen to think the investment in infrastructure, 40,000+ kilometres of high-speed-rail, the construction of 400 new universities in a decade, the lifting of 800 million people from poverty are good talking points, they just happen to be good enough to find me writing about them at the same time as the government here talks about them. So yes, I do write along similar lines to the government.
Importantly, I am a supporter of China and Chinese people, they are the real heavy lifters. And, more accurately, I am a supporter of truth in media, not the Communist Party of China. It seems there is less and less accuracy and virtually no honest, unbiased, informed, properly researched or correctly interpreted information about China, I do my best to provide that missing information, nothing more.
As a person who often writes in favour of China, it’s more likely I will receive criticism and sometimes it’s justified. To a point there is no doubt a confirmation bias, I like China very much, I appreciate the opportunites it’s provided me — I accept there is a bias there. However, if I were writing an academic thesis or dissertation, as I did in 2015, I would conduct a critical review of all the literature available, form opinions and draw conclusions based on my experience, my own research and the available information but, in order to prove my hypothesis, I would be obliged to have at least some understanding of why other people might not agree with me and cover those points. In Op-eds, the obligation to do so is not as important, but is a conscious part of my writing.
My articles about China are based on my own experience and are not academic, but they do contain enough information that an informed reader and particularly a critical reader can advise themselves of sources. All my recent articles contain supporting information of any facts stated. Where I’m making an opinion rather than stating facts, there will be some evidence to support my opinion, although that evidence may be valid for me, and me only, it may not contain a large enough sample for me to prove the point as a fact, therefore, it’s offered as an opinion and stated as such using words such as: “in my opinion, I think or it seems…”.
I was not surprised to receive criticism of a recent article showing how bad, in my opinion, the United States has become, it was a controversial article. The article was not intended to imply I dislike Americans, in fact, I like Americans very much but the Americans I know are all in China and, for whatever reason, they have chosen to leave their home, many of them have told me they agree with the article. I was however surprised when one reader, identifying as a Canadian, chose to spend a long period of time rebutting the article but did so in a way that indicated to me a lack of reasoning and very little in the way of analysis.
I initially decided to ignore the rebuttal as it was clearly an inadequate platform from which to build a debating position but, after sleeping on it, decided to go point by point through the rebuttal and provide a refute to each of the points made.
For the purposes of clarity, I have italicised the rebuttal and will respond to each point as it was raised in the default font. The rebuttal has not been edited in any way at all. Spelling and/or grammar errors in it are exactly as they were found in the reply. Spelling and or grammar errors in my refute belong 100% to me.
Once again where I have raised a new point, I have supported it with a citation or some other supporting information. Let’s begin the rebuttal:
1. The death toll of Tiananmen Square was over 200, and also they weren’t criminals. That doesn’t mean that the 1000 people American police kill every year are all 100% criminals also, but you should know that this is not a reasonable comparison.
The writer agrees it’s not a real comparison; what the US do every year is far more serious since it’s an escalating statistic and demonstrates the police are not learning to do the job better but are getting worse — the article could have also described the ever increasing US police budget, or the fact that some police services are donating excess military equipment to Ukraine to show the degree to which the police have become a quasi-military force, it could also have shown, but didn’t, that the US police budget is higher than almost every other country’s military budget. Notwithstanding, what this article didn’t show is that there is very compelling evidence that the number of people who died in Tiananmen Square was zero, the number of people who died on the night of the incident in the region around the Square is believed to be 202. No one has ever proven differently. Including the US Ambassador who sent staff to every hospital in Beijing, the British Ambassador who erroneously stated 10,000 people died that night and then sent a cable the following day stating he had grossly over estimated that number. Nor have any of the journalists who were in and around the square that night. Whatever really did happen, it was a tragedy and lessons were clearly learnt from it since it has never been repeated — and this is the message the point was attempting to make — the police in America still kill an average of three people every day and this increases year on year.
It’s also irritating and one of the reasons why Tiananmen Square was raised first to have every China detractor use this 30 year old event as the only point in modern history to find cause for complaint about China. The fact that Tiananmen, albeit an exaggerated version of events is still a talking point at all, is an indication of how well China has moved on. The Kent State University killings in 1970, for example; 4 students killed and 13 wounded when the Ohio State Guard shot into crowds of protesting students, have been all but forgotten by American modern history as they, tragic as they were, pale into insignificance when compared to modern law enforcement and mass shooting events. For the record, although there were several court cases not one person responsible was ever punished for those events.
2. Your stats are way off. Chinese police kill lots of citizens every year. China also leads the world in yearly executions by a wide margin.
This statement is pure opinion. It is not known how many executions are conducted each year but it is known that Human Rights groups put out bulletins stating “they believe” China conducts executions but they are not aware of the quantity — notwithstanding that information, the executions follow a legal process which has been reviewed and adjusted many times over the years and there has been no indication for many years that a person in China has been executed unlawfully.
This point is also a false equivalence as it clearly doesn’t discuss the extra-judicial killings that take place on a daily basis in the USA nor does it even consider the USA’s own stance on execution, of which still take place regularly.
Finally, the source of my information which stated the last time a police officer killed a civilian in China was in 2018, four years ago was a US source, which I verified by a Chinese government link. So, unless there is some information of which the respondent is aware and is not prepared to share with the writer, it’s impossible to say the “stats are way off”
3. The source you provided for China’s incarcerated number is not credible.
The source is not credible is not a refute, it is an opinion. If a person wishes to demonstrate that a source is not credible, then some evidence of the disparity between the information and the perceived truth should be given. For the record, in this case, the source used was Wikipedia but only, as mentioned in the introduction to the article, Wikipedia was used only when too many sources would be required and the primary source has been verified. On this occasion the primary source is Birkbeck College, University of London and their website called World Prison Brief. If there is a credibility issue with this, then it ought to be taken up with the University of London, not with my article
4. China’s infrastructure failure statistically kills more people per year than America’s. Of course I agree that American infrastructure should be much better. But they are leagues ahead of China’s.
Once again, this is an opinion unless there are some facts to support it. However, the article is not arguing that China’s infrastructure is good, it argues that USA’s is bad. In recent years China has invested billions more than the US in its infrastructure and, if required to debate that point there is plenty of supporting material. The point is this: for the last 70 years the USA has been the leading economy in the world and for about the first 30 of those years invested heavily in its own country. That stopped approximately 40–50 years ago and this fact was proven by citations related to the collapse of bridges and buildings in recent years — It is conceded that there have been building and bridge collapses in China too but coming from a position where 70 years ago the USA was, and remains the leading economy, China has come from the opposite position where it was one of the world’s worst economies and is improving, while the USA has allowed itself to deteriorate — this is not an opinion, even White house memos describe the situation in the President’s own words “our crumbling infrastructure “.
5. IP theft is messy. The fault lies not only on the perpetrators but also the victims for having vulnerable defenses. Nevertheless, China’s IP theft is proven well-documented. American science is not “years behind.” That’s just nonsense and you know it.
Once again, an opinion. Let’s start with the end comment “That’s just nonsense and you know it”. It’s impossible for this commentator to know what the writer knows therefore, the entire sentence seems like a childish, or childlike argument.
If China’s IP theft is well-documented, documentation needs to be provided to prove it. Allegations and court cases have shown that, although it exists, it is in fact, quite rare. What has been well documented are the court cases of US companies stealing from Asian companies, a brief example would be the Apple-Samsung ongoing and long running dispute. What is also known, and was demonstrated by the fact that the FBI has needed to create a special task force and the Federal government has created and funds a National Intellectual Property Rights task force whose website and name indicate the problem is as much national as it is international. Once again, the article doesn’t deny criminals act in this way in China but it is not a government policy and very strong IP laws exist. There is a Department called State Administration for Market Regulation which, since 2018 has constantly refined and improved the IP protection of both Chinese and International companies operating in China — the very fact that Direct Foreign Investment in China is increasing year on year is a good indication that international business leaders agree with the article, and not with the rebuttal.
In relation to IP transfers, there has long been heated debate as to whether that was a legally founded method of doing business but the bottom line is that companies wishing to do business in China were obliged to share IP, this they did knowing it was likely to be used. They had the choice accept that for the massive profit and access to the world’s largest and fastest growing market, or decline that and keep their IP for themselves . This issue, and the myths surrounding it, was also well and truly debunked by Harvard University in 2019.
In terms of the allegation of: “American science being years behind” this is, in fact also well-documented, not an opinion. The US lags behind China in the number of scientific publications and the number of patents applied for. The US government’s own National Science Board indicated this only one month ago in their annual report. In terms of Patent applications China overtook the USA in 2020 and extended its lead in 2021 according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
6. “They allege”? You take one statement by one American journalist somewhere and use it to represent all of America? This does more to discredit you than it does the US.
This allegation that NASA wants more transparency from China does not come from one journalist, it comes as a direct quote attributed to former senator and current Administrator of NASA, Bill Nelson, in April of this year. The fact that one news article was used to demonstrate this does not represent the opinions of that journalist but is an easily verifiable fact by using the paper’s own sources to find the statement as it was made and quoted in a NASA Press conference before being widely reported.
The intention of the article was never to represent, or even misrepresent, all of America, it was to suggest that NASA believes China is not being transparent, at the same time NASA may not work with China’s Space Administration, under penalty of imprisonment. Again, this fact was demonstrated clearly in the article and by the citations used to support it.
7. 300 million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to China’s propaganda machine. China’s propaganda budget is literally 10x 300 million. You really don’t know that??
Whilst there is no argument that China has a “propaganda machine” it incorporates all aspects of news, radio, TV, newspapers, online media, of course the budget would be high. However, if the budget is, as the rebuttal states ten times that of the USA, is allocation, why is there no citation or some statistical support for that? Without such support, the statistic can only be offered as an opinion and nothing more.
This debate was never about China’s issues with the “Great Firewall”, censorship or any other aspect of China’s media, it was about the fact that the USA has budgeted a current $300 million and has proposed a further $500 million for “negative” media on China — the point being not that China is good at what it does but that the US would like to highlight every single flaw and interpret every single aspect of China’s news as negative — this can be viewed clearly in the media reports we currently see where such things as China’s poverty alleviation are described as: “a success, but at what cost”. Or the fact that only 5000 people have succumbed to Covid, but at a cost to the economy, when in fact, the economy has grown faster and stronger than other developed nations during the period. What it clearly demonstrates in the writer’s opinion is that the USA is very insecure.
A good salesperson with a good product to sell will praise the qualities of their own product whereas a poor salesperson with a poor-quality product will disparage the competition. Exactly as the US is now doing.
One last point about the Chinese media, whilst it is far from perfect, extremely boring (in this writer’s opinion) and does not include all the news required for a consumer to be fully informed, it is at least factual. After many years of observing China’s news and in a minor way, contributing to it through op-eds and a very rare journalistic article, media in China has yet to be found guilty of a lie. This has been stated by the writer many times in social media and challenged but to date, not one person, even those who vehemently disagree with it, have proven it wrong.
8. What is this nebulous American corporate crime which “brought the world to its knees”? Care to enlighten us?
The “nebulous” corporate crime wasn’t nebulous at all and, if the responder had clicked on the link to the citation, it would have led to the well-documented Lehman Brothers crash (2008) which kicked off a global financial crash, there’s also The Enron Scandal (2001) which affected millions of ordinary retirement investors and the Wall Street Crash of 1929. So, as the article stated, it has happened on more than one occasion.
There are websites such as globalexchang.org which specialise in listing corporate crimes and consistently creates a “top 10” list made up of American corporations. This is their opinion supported by their facts and experience not that of the writer, it is merely cited to demonstrate there are many people and organisations who have higher qualifications and more experience than this writer, who think that corporate crime in the USA is a major societal and political problem.
9. Sanctions and free market economy are not in contradiction. China sanctions hundreds of companies and individuals also, by the way. If not outright banning them.
Once again, an opinion based on emotions without any support. This writer cannot find a single situation where China has, without good reason, “banned” a corporation or individual. People will often cite that YouTube, Twitter and the like are banned in China when in fact they are not, those companies are welcome to operate in China under Chinese laws, they choose not to — their reason is a different debate but the fact is, they make a choice and are not banned. Facebook, on the other hand was banned after the 2009 riots in Xinjiang and Tibet were found to have been orchestrated on Facebook by international users. China, as it was legally empowered to do, asked Facebook for information on users but it was declined, the platform was prevented from operating inside of China thereafter.
Nor does China “first use” sanctions on any individual or company and it has never sanctioned an entire country or industry, if it has, there is no available evidence of this online. China uses sanctions as a retaliatory response when sanctions are applied to them.
Although once again, the article was written to show how the USA is a bad global and domestic player not to show China’s position. It is clear from many reports, historical references and books on the subject that this predatory practice is one utilised by the USA as a form of economic warfare.
10. I live in Shanghai. We do not receive free hospital care if tested positive. Now you’re just lying. Oh and the food supplies are insufficient. We still have to buy our own groceries and they’re at about 3x markup. I’m not opposed to lockdowns but you should at least get your story straight.
An allegation of a lie is a serious one. Chinese media, China’s government and the World Economic Forum have all stated that China’s medical bills, if a patient has tested positive for Covid, are free. Not having been tested positive, and because not a single person who has had, or who knows anyone who has had Covid is known to the writer, it’s impossible to prove beyond all doubt that it’s true but the three citations here from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Xinhuanet, China’s leading media outlet and a link to the World Economic forum should satisfy the majority of readers that the matter is beyond all reasonable doubt.
It is also well documented, and accepted by the writer, that some areas in Shanghai have experienced delivery issues, price gouging and shortages of food — this is inevitable when a city three times the size of New York or London is locked down. The individual stories of these issues will become the material of future studies and, almost certainly, the subject of future court cases, administrative dismissals and other punishments. However, the intent of the article written is to describe the policies and strategies, not the individual hardships or the issues that arose and caused considerable inconvenience and anxieties for many people.
This may also be a good point to highlight that the city of Shanghai has, as of this date, 18th May 2022, experienced 586 deaths and, due to these measures has eliminated Covid from the public population. In almost every country. Whilst the death toll is likely to increase further over the coming weeks, the number of people catching the disease is now manageable and reducing whilst other nations are still grappling with a rising toll.
11. And China claims to hold the “Mandate of Heaven.” Every country has their own slogan. America’s is “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.” So what? You don’t truly believe China’s policies are ordained from Heaven, do you?
The writer’s beliefs on China’s philosophy are not important to the article. The writer’s opinions and experience as well as research and factual information related to the USA’s philosophy are vitally important to this article. China’s Human Rights stand is well documented by China although disputed by the USA, however, as pointed out in the article with academic citations (and can be supported by the writer’s own experience in travelling to and spending extended periods of time in Xinjiang) there is a very large credibility gap between the allegations and proof of the allegations. This article wasn’t about China’s position but highlighting the hypocrisy of the US position and it highlighted several proven and legitimate abuses of human rights perpetrated by the USA.
12. China and the US have equal number of military bases operating outside their legal jurisdiction: nine. The US has Guantanamo and eight bases in Iraq. China has nine bases in the South China Sea. They are equal.
This point raises some confusion and concern, if the rebuttal is attempting to say the USA has only 9 offshore bases, then it’s in complete contradiction to the United States’ own documentation and common knowledge, which was cited in the article. There are over 750 bases and 200,000 personnel around the world.
As for “outside their legal jurisdiction…” It was well documented, and admitted by the State department recently that there are USDoD laboratories in Ukraine which were, until recently, undocumented, it was admitted there are military personnel in Taiwan, which was denied and then ultimately admitted, there are military personnel in Mali and Niger that are well outside of the jurisdiction, as recently as last year there were still contractors in Iraq. who may still be there but certainly have been, outside of USA’s legal jusrisdiction. There are bases in South Korea, Guam, Japan, Okinawa… the list includes so many countries none of which are “the jurisdiction” of the USA. So, what this statement suggests seems completely erroneous.
13. China is a signatory to the United Nations Law of the Sea, which clearly states that vessels may sail anywhere in international waters. A country’s territorial waters only extend 12 nautical miles from its coastline. The US has never violated China’s territorial waters.
This is incorrect. While China is indeed a signatory, the United States is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS). The article at no stage mentioned that US or any other ships have infringed on Chinese waters, so this point is not only erroneous, it is irrelevant. There are documented instances when they are alleged to have done so. The article pointed out that there were, as far as the documentation available allowed the writer to ascertain, as many as 74 allied ships in or around the South China Seas. The point being made was that it is not China which is being militarily provocative, it is the USA.
As to the “military expansion” into the South China Sea. Although the details of the discussion are somewhat difficult to ascertain, there was definitely an agreement reached between Xi Jinping and Barak Obama in 2015. The agreement appears to have been along the lines of: If the US doesn’t send ships to the region, the Chinese will not militiarise the islands. Clearly, both parties no longer adhere to this agreement. It’s also fair to point out that Taiwan, as the Republic of China also lays the same claims to the islands. Meaning if the USA were to recognise Taiwan’s rights to those islands, they must, under the One China Policy, recognise, even if they disagree, China’s claims on the islands.
Given that China has no history of expansion and its navy are not a “blue water” navy, meaning they are designed more for coastal defence than for inter-continental warfare. And, given that the USA has such a wide- and far-ranging military capability, it would be a fair assumption to draw that, even if there are nine bases (as claimed but not corroborated by the respondent) in the South China Sea, they appear designed to protect rather than attack. The entire world seems somewhat confused as to how naval bases in a sea off the coast of China pose any threat to the United States, Europe or even Australia.
14. I agree that having the PLA assist during times of crisis (flood, earthquake) is a smart PR move. But at the end of the day the PLA’s job is to serve the Party, not the people.
We agree on half of one point in the refute. The PLA means People’s Liberation Army, not Party Liberation Army. The point of disagreement here is that the Party also belongs to the people. When a Party has as many as 95 million members in a country, it means that as many as 400–500 million people are related to that Party in some form or another. It’s very difficult for the western mindset, even those who live long period of time in China, to understand how integrated the Party and the people in China are. They are like wine and water, impossible to separate. What the people want the Party delivers and what the Party want is what the people instruct them, through NPC and CPPCC meetings twice a year, to deliver.
Although many western observers will write in books or explain in TV interviews that the party rules everything, it’s very easy for someone who isn’t looking through the lens of a western culture to understand that if 1.4 billion people were unhappy with it, they would change it — they did so in 1911 and they did it again in 1949. Currently, 1.4 billion people don’t see any great need to change and hence the Party remains strong in its leadership and its societal integration. The PLA represents those people who are represented by the Party.
15. Forced labour exists in every country, and especially in China. It has been proven again and again and again by credible sources.
Once again, an emotive and biased opinion unsupported by facts. I’m certain there are some examples of forced labour in China but, where they might exist, they are not systemic and they are illegal. China has had allegations against it again and again but to say these are proven by credible sources, is drawing a very long bow. The citations provided in the original article completely debunk the ASPI “Uyghurs for sale” report, they also debunk the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Reports which were cited by each other. The Uyghur Tribunal in London, found no evidence just possibilities of, based on uncorroborated, unsworn and mostly anonymous testimonies. None of which prove an allegation. Newspaper reports citing these few articles use a system of circular referencing because real evidence is unavailable and thus the allegations, without evidence, are repeated and reinforced.
16. No country has true freedom of speech, but China is near the very bo ttom. In the Freedom of Speech Index, China is ranked fourth lowest in the entire world. The US, if I remember, is somewhere in the top 30. China and the US are universes apart as far as freedom of speech is concerned. Even Chinese admit this.
Once again, this is a poor rebuttal. If the respondent “remembers” does not constitute an argument in any form of debate. Moreover, the article being refuted did not claim China was anywhere near the top or had any form of freedom of speech. It simply pointed out that, the US claims it does while it most assuredly, does not. Recently Russian news and TV have been removed from mainstream media, this is not an example of free speech this is an example of silencing opposition voices. Stephen Donziger took an oil corporation to court, won his case but was then imprisoned by a judge who is connected to the company he was opposed to, this is not an example of free speech. Julian Assange exposed crimes committed by the government and is facing a lifetime of imprisonment, this is not free speech. People will claim Edward Snowden is also a victim but this matter was not cited because Snowden signed a confidentiality/secrecy agreement and breached it, although his breach was without a doubt for the public good, his example does not relate to freedom of speech but to breach of contract. Donald Trump was de-platformed by Twitter, albeit a private platform, but an indication that even the President of the United States may find his rights to freedom stymied. These are famous and recent events but all indicators that freedom of speech, as agreed by both the writer and the respondent, is something of a myth.
At least China makes no claims to have such and the people of China know their limitations; the people of the USA have a belief in it until they cross some unknown and constantly changing line and find themselves in trouble.
17. Life expectancy is higher in the US than in China. The US may have more casualties via gun violence, but that is only one part of a much bigger picture. In the end, the US is still a safer country than China.
Once again poor, or no research has led the respondent into a place where opinions overrode good judgement. It was widely reported and is now globally recognised that China’s life expectancy is higher than that of the USA. China’s murder rates and serious crimes are all consistently lower, USA’s drug overdoses, suicides and gun deaths all eclipse China’s figures and these were cited in the article but the main reason for this aberration is that the USA has lost more than a million people to Covid. Obviously, the respondent felt the citations mentioned were either untrustworthy, or didn’t bother to take a look and find the sad truth. The USA is not a safer place than China now is in terms of either health or safety.
18. Both the US and China have trash medical systems. But the US’s is less trash. Again, you need to check the numbers.
The point in the article about the medical system was not whether it was good or bad, nor was it a comparison between the two, it was that the medical systems in the United States are expensive, nothing more. 530,000 people on average, every year for the last 5 years have been placed into bankruptcy by medical bills — these are not my opinion, these are facts and were supported with an appropriate citation. Why the respondent did not check this before telling the writer that both were trash is not known.
19. You finally got one. University education is way too high in the US. Fair enough.
We have a point of agreement. Obviously, this is the first time the facts provided by the writer meet up with the opinions of the respondent.
20. Again, it is more dangerous to live in China than it is to live in the US. You need to doublecheck your numbers.
21. US interventionist policy is mixed. While Libya, Iraq, and Vietnam were absolute disasters that should be condemned, the US also brought peace and stability by intervening in WWII, the Korean War, and Kuwait. Afghanistan and Syria are more nuanced. China, however, has only destabilized Asia and the world with her military interventions (Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan)
The point of this item in the article was to demonstrate that the US war on terror has not brought, and continues not to bring, any form of peace or stability. The citation mentions the number of people dead and the number of refugees created. The article was not intended to debate whether US did so for good or evil purposes, the reader can take from this information whatever they please.
This part of the article did not discuss USA’s military expansionism and interventionist force but since the respondent has, it can be agreed that Libya, Iraq and Vietnam were foreign policy disasters and this is a good start. It seems there are now have several points of agreement.
It’s probably fair to say that the invasion of Iraq related to its annexation of Kuwait was also a destabilising and unnecessary war, perhaps more nuanced but managed by manufacturing consent through a series of PR Stunts (chemical weapons provded by allied forces and then criticised for their use and babies thrown from incubators hoax).
That the respondent can describe Afghanistan, after a 20-year occupation and over a trillion dollars spent, as nuanced, is mind boggling. For sure Syria is more nuanced.
To suggest that The USA brought peace and stability by intervening in World War Two is just fanciful. They would not have even entered WW2 had they not been attacked in Pearl Harbor. That they contributed to victory is well acknowledged but their contribution was neither voluntary nor altruistic. The UK, for example made the final payment of debt 60 years after the war in December 2006, thus contributing to US growth and UK decline.
In fact, in this writer’s lifetime (63 years) the list of military interventions by the USA are: Korea; Iran (operation Ajax); Laos; Lebanon; Cuba; Democratic Republic of Congo; Vietnam; Thailand; Dominican Republic; Bolivia; Cambodia; South Zaire; Afghanistan; Libya; Lebanon, again; Grenada; Libya, again; Panama; Iraq; Somalia; Bosnia; Haiti; Kosovo; Sudan; Afghanistan, again; Nepal; Somalia, again; Iraq, again; Pakistan; Somalia, again; Libya, again; Uganda; Syria, again; Yemen and, as of yesterday, Somalia again. There are also troops in Mali and Niger operating drones in both countries and quite likely in many other places we don’t know about.
Moving from the global arena to the domestic situation, once again, the respondent has influenced the reply with emotive opinions.
Neither Xinjiang, Tibet or Taiwan are globally destabilising issues, although the US would like global support in these internal affairs. This writer is very knowledgeable on the Xinjiang issue but here is not the place to debate that, suffice to say that none of them are globally destabilising.
One last point realting to Taiwan is that there have never been PRC soldiers on the island, unless there with permission of the local authority. Some schools of thought may allege invasions of Tibet and Xinjiang which are ridiculous assertions as they are both undisputed parts of China but no one, until your post today has ever alleged a PRC intervention in Taiwan.
Korea was 70 years ago and China was involved because there were NATO forces in a neighbouring country, it was therefore, Western influence that was the destabilising factor, not China’s involvement. Vietnam was over 40 years ago and was a 3-week war. As with Korea, once it was over, China pulled back to within its own borders, without destabilising anywhere else in “IndoChina” or the Pacific region.
It’s a gross exaggeration to describe two events, one 70 years ago and one 40 years ago and both in countries bordering China as globally destabilising events or even of any relevance to this topic at all.
22. Americans are better fed than Chinese.
Americans are more obese than Chinese, of this there is little doubt. However, the point of the article was to demonstrate that, in the world’s richest country 40% of the residents don’t have enough food to eat, or enough money to buy food. Once again, the respondent has rebuffed the article with no facts, no information and not even a valid opinion, just a statement “Americans are better fed than Chinese”.
Recent media coverage and images of food lines reaching miles in length are abundant but this may not be an indicator that food is in short supply, it may be an indicator that so many people wish to avail themselves of (charitably donated) free food — which in itself would be an indictment of a society in decline if found to be true. The statistics quoted in the article were not plucked from thin air they were sourced to a search page with hundred of links such as this.
Whilst the writer does not know the figures related to hunger in China, this was, one more time, not a comparison of the two countries but a criticism of the world’s richest not being able to support its people. If the respondent wishes to prove that less people in America are hungry in China, then some statistics would help the argument. A bland, unsupported statement does not.
For the record in a Global Hunger Index China scores very favourably and hunger has declined considerably. The USA does not contribute data to this index as it is not part of the developing world. However, the USA, according to Worldhunger.org has an increasing number of people in poverty and in hunger — which, whether the respondent like to know or chooses to disbelieve, was the entire point of writing this article. The USA is in decline.
23. I agree America has a drug problem. But China has a cigarette problem. Over 50% of adult Chinese men are smokers. More Chinese die from cigarettes every year than Americans die from every drug combined.
Once again, we have an agreement but accompanied by a false equivalence; sure, there are too many smokers in China and it is indeed true that more die from smoking in China than from drugs in the USA. This is not a point of contention but is totally irrelevant to the discussion because smoking is not illegal. If tobacco were to be added to the list of illegal drugs that kill people in the USA, then the number would once again overtake China.
According to the CDC more than half a million Americans die from smoking in the USA every year, according to the WHO the number in China is almost 1 million. Absurd as this may seem, because China is four times more populous, these statistics indicate that more people per capita die in the USA due to smoking related illnesses than in China. These are not my figures but the USA’s own CDC’s and a good indication that sometimes statistics and evidence can surprise a researcher who held a different opinion.
The point that too many people smoke in China is acknowledged at the same time as it is noted that the issue is not relevant to the article in any way.
24. By GDP per capita by PPP, the US is the 13th richest, not the first. China is in 97th place, by thew way. The average American has way more wealth and purchasing power than the average Chinese.
For the first time the respondent has accompanied a rebuttal with some facts — however, the facts are either not relevant, not accurate or misleading. The USA is number 12 on the list of per capita GDP, but this item is not important to the discussion as the article did not discuss per capita GDP or PPP, it discussed GDP, where the world number 1 is the USA. Furthermore, in terms of per capita, 6 of the countries higher than the USA are sparsely populated and used as tax havens so the money in the country does not reflect the living standards or wealth of the population as it belongs to people offshore.
Where China sits on this is not at all relevant as the article clearly stated the problem is the distribution of the wealth — the world’s richest country by nominal GDP is the USA and 11.4% of the country live in poverty with half a million people on the streets — PPP has nothing at all to do with these facts. The top 10 richest people hold a wealth of over one trillion dollars, this is greater than many countries. The Top 2, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk hold between them, over 300 billion of the country’s available funds. What this means, in very simple and non-economic terms is that the more they hold, the less there is for the bottom percentile. Therefore per capita GDP is a poor measurement
25. China has a much bigger wealth disparatiy than the US. In fact China has one of the largets (the largest?) GNI coefficient in the world. You don’t know that?
In asking the writer if he knows something, the respondent is making an assumption that the information may be widely available. The respondent also in this instance questions his own information, proving without a doubt that the respondent did not take the time to establish the veracity of his own information. The article provided information about the United States, it did not provide information about China’s income disparity. However, the information provided by the respondent is, once again, incorrect.
China may, in the respondent’s opinion, have a greater wealth disparity than the USA but the University of Southern California does not agree: “the US was and remains more unequal in wealth distribution” according to USC.
So, without any supporting citations it’s not possible to know here if the respondent has some information unknown to the writer or is simply stating an opinion as a fact and assuming the writer will not verify them — in which case the respondent must be disappointed by the real facts which, once again do not match the opinions stated.
26. China’s racial income disparity is at a higher rate than America’s. All of China’s cabinet and positions of power are held by Han. Meanwhile the US elected a black president twice. China could not reach America’s level of equality in seven lifetimes.
Again, an emotional and inaccurate response. All China’s ethnic minorities are represented at the most senior level of governance, the National People’s Congress and China’s People’s Political Consultative Conference. In fact, they are over represented by virtue of the numbers per capita and hold positions at the very top of the governance system.
The fact that there are few, or probably no African Chinese is not a reflection on China’s poor race relations but a reflection of the fact that China has never imported Africans as slaves.
The emotional claim that it will take seven lifetimes to reach America’s level of equality may be discussed in other circles but is purely speculative and completely spurious. Who knows what will happen in seven lifetimes? It is a statement that has no place in any factual debate or discussion but might serve the purpose of a useful philosophical essay.
27. Conspiracy theories do more to discredit you than credit you.
This final point is once more, a rather confusing as the last point in the article, the one I think this relates to, was that Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Osama Bin Laden were all once friends of the USA. I linked articles to each to demonstrate that this was more than a conspiracy theory. The article specifically stated that there was “strong evidence” not that this was a fact and the evidence was supported by citations, whereas the rebuttal has nothing more than a bland statement that it’s part of a conspiracy with nothing to support or even demonstrate that the respondent has other ideas or why. Furthermore, it’s well documented that both Bin Laden and Hussein were assisted into their roles by the US intelligence community, with Gaddafi, it’s a little harder but evidence is there for the discerning reader to find.
Your final score: 1/27.
What this means is my fact-based assessment of the USA agrees with the respondent in only one of the 27 points mentioned — something which is also wrong as there are more points of agreement that even the respondent alluded to.
You said one correct thing. And twenty-six lies.
As demonstrated, there were actually four points on which the writer and the respondent agreed not just one so even at this point, the respondent has either forgotten what was agreed, or misrepresented himself.
There are always different ways to interpret information but the statistics and supporting information provided to each and every point indicate that, although there are areas of discussion and there may even be areas where the article could have been proven to be misrepresentation of information, this rebuttal achieves none of them.
Burn your MA.
Is this a reference to the writer’s academic qualifications? Certainly, an emotional appeal to gain the final word and one which is as irrelevant as many of the other points made — Master Degrees are issued by universities, if they found anything illegal, immoral or unethical in their attainment, they would be right to remove the qualification. Neither a university nor an unknown respondent writing an emotional attempt at a rebuttal have the right to remove or destroy credentials. If, as has happened here, someone disagrees with an article it’s laughable to suggest the writer’s credentials, properly earnt should be removed.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is a lesson in academic integrity to all potential tertiary students. It doesn’t matter what your opinions are, nor does it matter if they are right or wrong. What matters is that when you come to an argument you come prepared with facts, figures and supporting information. Failure to do so may be a humbling and, if in a public arena, as this respondent chose, an embarrassing experience.
It’s very difficult to win an argument against a person who passionately believes in what they assert. It’s impossible, no matter how passionate you may be to win an argument if all you have are opinions or beliefs.