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NYT: Chi-Com Parade Was Just For Rubes

From a reassuring New York Times:

China Celebrates 60 Years of Communist Rule


October 2, 2009

BEIJING — China’s leaders marked their nation’s 60th anniversary on Thursday with a precision display of military bravado, a fleet of floats representing everything from a giant fish to Mount Everest and, improbably, a female militia unit toting submachine guns and attired in red miniskirts and white jackboots.

The celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was immense, powerful and flawless, down to the crystal skies which, just a day earlier, had been laden with smog.

In all that, it was a fitting analogy for how China’s Communist Party leaders wanted their citizens and the world to regard them — and, perhaps, how they may be feeling themselves these days. The last such parade, in 1999, was of interest mainly to foreign military analysts and China hands. This time, the world’s media reported raptly on the significance of every detail, and China’s state-run television network streamed video coverage over the Internet, in English and other languages, to viewers worldwide.

Beyond that, however, the Chinese made few concessions to their global audience. The 60th celebration was slightly kitschy and indisputably retro, a carbon copy of the once-a-decade celebrations that preceded it. “On one level, they are naturally aware of the international audience, but in the end this is a parade and show for Chinese leaders and the people of China. It has always been such a show,” Geremie R. Barmé, professor of Chinese history at the Australian National University, said in an interview. “It is a display of China’s might and power. When it comes to this kind of parade, international perceptions are just not that important.”

A confident President Hu Jintao, clad in a high-collared Mao-style jacket, told the invited guests — the general public was not allowed to attend the parade — that “infinitely bright prospects” lie ahead for the world’s most populous nation…

Mr. Hu’s drive-by review of his troops while standing in the open sunroof of a Chinese-made limousine echoed the identical reviews his predecessors conducted in decades past. Television images showed Mr. Hu waving stiffly and calling out “Greetings, comrades!” through four large microphones attached to the automobile’s roof. Following tradition, the troops replied in unison, “Serve the people!”

The massive display of military power — according to the state-run Xinhua news agency, 52 weapons systems; 151 warplane flyovers; 12 intercontinental-range missiles; and new a missile, the Dongfeng 21-C, that one day could be used to counter American aircraft carriers — received by far the most attention. While China’s military remains well behind that of many developed nations in sophistication and firepower, analysts said, its progress since the last such parade in 1999 was impressive.

Analysts said, however, that there was little or nothing in the procession of hardware that had not been known to foreign military experts

To foreigners, the show of firepower and Mr. Hu’s bromide-filled speech may have evoked memories of the Cold War and the former Soviet Union’s performances at May Day ceremonies. But in China, the National Day ceremony is directed mainly at the Chinese people, and particularly at the 75-million-member Communist Party, which not only runs the government but also has direct control of the armed forces.

The military journal People’s Liberation Army News said in February that the parade “is a comprehensive display of the Party’s ability to rule.” And the theme of this parade, hammered home in weeks of newspaper articles and television broadcasts, is that the Communist Party has made China strong, increasingly prosperous and respected in the world — and that it is in firm control.

Those points were underscored in the procession of floats that followed the military display in the parade, in which each float underscored a Chinese province’s charms or one of China’s accomplishments. One float carrying fish and a sheaf of wheat proclaimed China’s ability to feed itself; a float holding a huge space capsule celebrated China’s manned space program; another depicted the bullet trains that are beginning to link a few large cities…

“There was moment when Hu broke into a nearly human-like expression, when he saw the girls in the miniskirts.” said Mr. Barmé, of Sydney. But his overall assessment of the parade? “Incredibly dull.”

The RSS feed for this New York Times article reads:

The precision display of military bravado, a once-every-10-years ritual, was designed for a domestic audience.

And that certainly is the theme of this article.

We are to ignore the:

52 weapons systems; 151 warplane flyovers; 12 intercontinental-range missiles; and new a missile, the Dongfeng 21-C, that one day could be used to counter American aircraft carriers…

That was just a “dull,” “kitschy” and “retro” display done only for domestic consumption.

The Times even finds an expert to tell us:

[I]n the end this is a parade and show for Chinese leaders and the people of China. It has always been such a show…

Which only stands 60 years of China-watching (and, indeed Kremlim watching) on its head.

But obviously our intelligence agencies and other such mavens have been wrong to think that these parades were solely intended to send a clear message to the rest of the world about China’s military might and its willingness to use it. And to show off how advanced their military was.

That was all wrong-headed. And it is especially wrong now.

For the New York Times assures us that the Chinese leadership is fat and happy, and they have no military designs whatsoever.

“When it comes to this kind of parade, international perceptions are just not that important.”

China is just happy that they can feed themselves and wear miniskirts — while they carry submachine guns.

They have no further ambitions in the world.

We have nothing to worry about.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 1st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “NYT: Chi-Com Parade Was Just For Rubes”

  1. bill says:

    They forgot to mention how many tens of millions had to die to keep hope alive.

  2. proreason says:

    China bashing is so passe.

    As the Moron has told us, they REALLY know how to get things done in China.

    And once we get the Death Panels up and running efficiently, we will too.

    Only then can we really implement from each according to his ability to each according to his need.

    (except of course, for the commissars, who deserve much much much better since they must slave so hard to rule us.)

  3. Petronius says:

    “The massive display of military power ….”

    But not to worry. Red Chinese military might is no match for Nerobama’s shrewd program of apologies, capitulations, unilateral disarmament, betrayal of allies, and studied inattention to US field commanders.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Is that a AK-47 in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

  5. Huang says:

    Total bullshit!! What do you know about China? What do you know about Chinese tradition? We don’t have to show off to tell the world how powerful we are, cuz fact speaks. But you are PARTLY right about one thing: we are not AGGRESSIVE!! We are not the kinda nation that will SLAUGHTER Iraq despite the resolution of the Security Council. We are not the kinda nation that always adsurdly criticizes the human rights condition in other countries despite the horrible inequality within its OWN land! Mind your own business, mate! You have already had enough to worry, which without support from China you will find it almost impossible to overcome. And show some just repect to other nations if you want others to respect your own motherland. And lastly, for your information, China did not begin its process of development until 1949 when we finally became independent, before which we were invaded by some MILITARILY AMBITIOUS nations unjestly. And in a short 60-year, we are already among the world’s leading countries, which some nations spent centuries to attain. And don’t you forget, China is the world’s most populous nation, so it is really an accomplishment to feed ourselves within our own farmland; the same thing may not be done by another country.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Planes leave twice daily, pal!
      Go hump someone elses leg about how great China is.
      How does China feel about being the biggest polluter in the world? (couldn’t care less)
      Don’t even think about growing a pair when you speak of human rights and China! What a joke!! You make me want to hurl chunks!
      Where do you think you got the technology for your space program? If Bubba Clinton didn’t sell you the gyros for the missiles, China couldn’t have hit the South China Sea from Hong Kong! (Clinton never spent a day in jail for selling military hardware to a communist nation)

      The list of malformed ideas and propaganda spewed about the nation that refuses to wear a condom is long and thoroughly disgusting. So to you, Wuang, I say “Pound sand into eggroll!”

      PS ………….. Ask Tibet how crazy they are about China, Chuang!

  6. sheehanjihad says:

    Ni hao ma? Look, harangue, Obammy literally salivates at the prospect of becoming the Dear Leader of a population of mindless drones like the Chicoms. That alone is something he looks up to, a nation of totally obedient children who understand that to denounce the State is to be punished severely for the crime of independent thought.

    People like you who use the huge piles of discarded and unwanted girl babies as a soapbox need to stop and think. Your country is driven by an ideology that would fail the minute your Government’s guns stopped forcing it, and this country’s citizens are fighting tooth and nail to keep from becoming like you.

    You have a disposable poplulation, and human life means little to those who merely replace “flawed” workers with another without giving it a second thought. Your accusation of “bullshit” rings hollow in the ears of the hundreds of millions of Chinese who have tried to institute democracy, only to be ruthlessly crushed and silenced by your leaders.

    This is America…unique amongst the world’s populations, and I invite you to sit back and see how we fight and prevent tyranny…..because our own government’s attempts to emulate your system of government is failing fast….we arent like you. We dont want to be like you.

    So the only bullshit I see here is your unflagging attempt to paint your country in a different color. It’s still RED to those of us who know history. So put a sock in it, pollution boy, and trot back to your land of greatness and opportunity. We have enough jerks to contend with as it is.

  7. preparing4theworst says:

    Of course China is in the forefront of so many things….for instance I have never heard of a milita of heavily armed hot babes wearing mini-skirts and white go-go boots (is there video available?) in the army of the US of A…..Maybe Oblabla realy does have something to apologise for…..

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