9 Responses to “On the Issue of Human Rights in China”

  1. David Chai says:

    Hi Don,
    This is well written, with the comparison of time frame. I am struck with your phrase in your last paragraph that “One must keep in mind that China is still a relatively young country.” While most reader will know the context of this; but China is well known as one of the “oldest” country in the world. In fact, when Anson Burlingame served as China’s envoy extraordinaire to the US, he was often referred to as a person from the youngest Nation to serve as the Envoy for the oldest Nation.
    Please continue your excellent analysis of the US-Sino relations.


  2. Don says:


    Thanks for such quick comments. To avoid any misunderstandings, I added the word “modern” in front of China in the last paragraph.


  3. RUBY TSAO says:

    Hi Don:

    This is a good record of some of the US wrongs in history backed by dates and figures. We need to be reminded so we don’t always have a “holier than thou” and “high and mighty” attitude towards other countries. Americans can definitely use a little humility to learn from other cultures–why China is able to advance so fast while countries in the West continue to mire in debt, with most governments at the brink of bankruptcy. With more close-up knowledge of China and the US, Chinese Americans can offer different perspectives on both systems. Sorry we Chinese Americans do not join the China bashers because we want better US-China relations, to build cooperative win-win relations, not to embark on mutual destruction courses. China is not perfect of course, but they are making improvements. The leaders are heeding people’s criticisms. You pointed out that we need to reflect on our shortcomings too. There are enough China-bashing elements in the US without adding the force of Chinese Americans living in this country. You have offered a constructive analysis to counter the China bashing elements in the US. We should let people know that as Chinese Americans, we love the USA and want to see improvements in our government and better economy for the people.

  4. Ken Chung says:


    I like your analysis. I am not surprised there is a lot of Chinese bashing in the West, and it’s understandable. China’s success in modernization since 1979 is nothing short of a miracle in the history of human civilization. But what saddens me is we are now seeing Chinese bashing among young Chinese themselves, especially in Hong Kong. I am witnessing a fair amount of anti-Chinese sentiment openly voiced on the Internet and the media. Some famous writers/public figures (Chip Tsao for example – so called First Wit of Hong Kong (香江第一才子) continues to preach how good the old English colonial rule was, and condemn everything the Government does since HK returned to China.

    I am reading Vogel’s book “Deng Xiaoping – Transformation of China”, and I find it presents a fair and objective view of China under Deng’s era. I hope this book can remove some of the biasness in the West (as well as the rest of the world).

  5. Grace Yeung says:

    Don, I look forward to your insightful articles. Keep them coming.

  6. Rich Braverman says:


    I agree with most of what you have said. But I take exception to two things.
    Both Britain and American intelligence and others had good evidence of WMD in Iraq plus Iraq’s potential to invade Saudi Arabia. As for Chinese progress in human rights, I am wary that under a harsh dictatorship that major improvements can occur.

    Your point about American moral authority does not detract from the injustice of human rights violations anywhere else.

    Thanks again


  7. Steve Wang says:

    Dear Mr. Tow,

    I agree with lots of what you say. Especially about the “Holier than Thou” attitude of too many American “Leaders,” who are completely ignorant of –or who deliberately turn a blind eye to– America’s checkered history of human rights suppressions… but who categorically blame Communist China for… everything!

    The truth is, as you correctly infer, in the last 40 years, Communist China has been evolving at breakneck speed AWAY from an Orwellian Maoism to what it is today… and it is still evolving!

    But, having said that, we need to recognize that Communist China, today, is still a totalitarian Communist society. But it is fast changing and getting better and better every day… but still a long way from Tipperary.

    As concerned supporters of things Chinese, we should help Communist China evolve quicker and in the right direction… by prodding it along when it deviates from the Way. When they do wrong, we should point it out. When they go in the right direction, we should cheer and show support.

    As a member of the globalized world community, Communist China is now very sensitive to public opinion (as opposed to Maoist China, who couldn’t give a damn) — especially that of its citizens. So for us to let Communist China to know the truth about itself… is best.

    As Confucius said: 知之為知之 不知為不知 是知也
    Take what you know as what you know,
    Take what you do not know as what you do not know,
    … That is really knowing.

    We should want Communist China to know the truth about its ways… and how the world and its citizens think it can improve. So I completely agree with you that when we “correct” Communist China, we should do it with loving grace. But we should do it and not try to cover them up.

    And we should also give unstinting credit to America — while it has had a long history of problems (slavery, women couldn’t vote, history of terrible acts against Chinese, et. al.) — because America has had a great history of recognizing its faults, remedying them, and then becoming a world leader in making it better.

    We should be proud of being American… and when America strays from the Way, we should also be quick to prod it back. (Chinese/East Asian Americans need to improve its dismal rate of participation in politics — very especially voting!).

    Mr. Tow, I think you have a very interesting website, and I appreciate the opportunity to visit it more often

  8. PROF. KAN LU says:

    You may see more change in the near future.
    China is going into a period of great leap in political organizational reform.
    It must be more and more be loved by all World people.
    Chinamerica is a good idea to unit all the World into one and make the peoples better lived.
    G. Washington and K. Marx have many common aspects; and the communism in the real sense is human right in both politics and economics. Lenin is not Marxist really. Any collectivists without democratic basis is not Marxist.
    I hope Xi jingping would be a real Marxsit.
    Kan Lu

  9. Bee says:

    Only in 2014, 145 years later, us government department labour officially
    recognised chinese labour workers of pacific railroad
    but where are official apologies from the highest level of government for racists acts against chinese 1863 and human rights violations, chinese railworkers suspected of infectious diseases were rounded up to be shot to death
    America had no human rights neither did japan military
    that genocided 55 million chinese civilians in asia ww2
    Only canada prime minister harper officially apologised
    in parliment several years ago in cantonese too
    this is correct attitude to building better future by facing the past
    Why did it 145 years ? The statue liberty for everyone but chinese.

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