This past summer, I vaguely remember watching an NBA TV special about undrafted players that touched on the now ubiquitous Jeremy Lin. At the time he seemed vastly less pitiable than the other aspiring pros featured—his Harvard degree guaranteed that he would not be banished to Slovakian league if he didn’t make it in the majors.
Lin has since become Linsanity, a subject for Saturday Night Live skits, or 林书豪 in your Tudou search. He is the current, brief king of New York City, whose Giants just won the Super Bowl and whose favorite basketball team features two high-paid All-Stars in Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Less than a year ago the Knicks made the splashy signing of Anthony on the belief that he would become king of NYC if able to deliver a championship after years of disappointment. Basketball remains the only big four sport (basketball, baseball, hockey, football) in which a major New York team has not won a title over the past twenty years.
Editor’s Note: This article is a response to Paul V. Kane’s op-ed in The New York Times which suggested the United States reduce its budget deficit by ending military assistance and arms sales to Taiwan.
Few articles have riled me up as much as this one, which exemplifies the misguided conventional thinking regarding China. It is a microcosm of the wishful thinking that permeates the global community at the moment. Here are a few reasons why Paul Kane is wrong.
Taiwan is an old, old ally of the United States, with strong political and cultural ties. Taiwan sends a significant portion of its youth to be educated in the United States. To “ditch” them, as Kane suggests so casually, would severely damage U.S. credibility in Asia.
Last week, in response to aspersions cast on Zhao Genda, many mainland travelers have banded together and defended their actions while on Taiwanese soil.
This article is in response to the pro-Tibet banner hung near Olympic Park before the Olympics began.
Even before the Olympics began, the protests had begun. However, the perpetrators should be congratulated for defeating their own cause.
The merits of their Tibet argument aside, such tactics as shown the other day are highly ineffectual. China is currently at a high point for nationalism and patriotism. A high percentage of Chinese are reported to feel comfortable with their government, perhaps despite the low level of political freedom or perhaps because of their increasing prosperity. Since the Olympics is viewed by many as a way to show China’s development to an international player, events that would cause the Chinese to lose face will be magnified.
Chinese nationalism is a living fire that burns in the hearts of China’s citizens. And, like any fire, it can be unpredictable. Many in the West feel as if China’s nationalistic pride is state-directed and controlled. Protests and demonstrations are seen as either government directed or fueled by misinformation from state-controlled media. This is, like many monolithic views of “the sleeping giant,” a fundamentally oversimplified view. Chinese nationalistic pride has taken on a life of its own, and it is difficult to predict where it will lead the country.