Hacker News

dang said 3 months ago:

On HN, when there's a major story unfolding over time, we apply the "significant new information" test: https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...

The idea is to have a new thread for each development that adds significant new information, and to downweight follow-ups and copycat stories that don't. In this way we prevent the front page from being flooded with repetitive stories and discussions (often low-quality ragey discussions, the internet being what it is), while making space for substantive new content when it arises. We came up with this after the Snowden deluge of 2013, when HN's front page was inundated with a lot of articles that didn't make this distinction, and many users—even ones who found the underlying story interesting—complained.

If we apply this test here, it's clear that "China says ‘stay tuned’" does not count as significant new information. On HN there's no harm in waiting until the next important thing happens, and in the meantime we can turn our attention to other interesting things.

pulse7 said 3 months ago:

Since everybody should be free to choose what to think and what to believe - why the European Union is watching and not doing the same as US? They should also to place top Chinese companies "on a blacklist over alleged human rights violations against Muslim minorities"...

nwellnhof said 3 months ago:

No Western government really cares about human rights unless it's opportune. Why doesn't anyone put Saudi Arabia on a blacklist for human rights violations?

noir_lord said 3 months ago:

Honestly they are rich and while they might be a disaster as a government they are firmly in our pocket.

The House of Saud figured out years ago that their position makes them very useful.

aianus said 3 months ago:

> Why doesn't anyone put Saudi Arabia on a blacklist for human rights violations

Canada has basically cut diplomatic ties with KSA (more like they cut ties with us after we criticized their human rights record). Good riddance and I was proud to see it.

bilbo0s said 3 months ago:

But despite pretty good domestic production of your own, you guys still use the oil though. That's kind of the point.

Not only do you still use the Kingdom's oil, but even Kazakhstan, and Algeria's as well.

aianus said 3 months ago:

I see it the other way; it's telling that KSA didn't cut the oil off along with their other threats and actions because they realized it would only hurt them more than us. Just a pointless temper tantrum while they remain utterly dependent on foreign exports of their oil.

said 3 months ago:
opportune said 3 months ago:

Sadly western governments barely care even if it is opportune

dehrmann said 3 months ago:

The lack of serious reaction over Jamal Khashoggi is sad and telling.

tathougies said 3 months ago:

Because the European Union lacks a spine and is too busy infighting among themselves.

simion314 said 3 months ago:

Just remind you that Saudi Arabia the BFF of US is not respecting the human right of women, that is around 50% of the population if my math is right and women are human too.

tathougies said 3 months ago:

Oh right I forgot the EU stands up to Saudi arabia

simion314 said 3 months ago:

The point is that if you think US is at war with China for human rights you are really naive or you have some interest/bias. Any clear mind can see this is all for economic reasons and bringing human rights topic in this discussion makes it so US appears hypocritical and it's spine made from dollar bills.

tathougies said 3 months ago:

No I don't think the US is at (economic) war with China for human rights. The US is at war with China for economic reasons. It also happens to hurt China at a time China is particularly egregiously violating human rights, so it's a double win for the US. Why the EU won't grow a similarly economically convenient spine is anyone's guess.

China is a far bigger threat than Saudi Arabia ever was anyway. Moreover, to the Trump administration's credit, they are trying to remove foreign dependence on oil. You can believe that once this is achieved or another suitable energy store is found, Saudi Arabia will be the next economy to collapse under the weight of being unable to sell to anyone.

simion314 said 3 months ago:

The freaking US government did not mentioned the human rights so I am not sure why you try to insinuate that human rights are even a slight reason why this conflict is happening.

I can only assume that many US citizens dislike the idea to become citizens to the no 2 country in the world so anything goes , including false things.

filoleg said 3 months ago:

The parent commenter has never said that human rights were a reason for the conflict happening. They essentially just said that human rights issues in China being addressed alongside this economic war is a nice and convenient bonus.

simion314 said 3 months ago:

It would be a nice bonus if something positive would come of it, It is not a bonus for the "US has a spine" spin OP presented. Is like I pay someone to help an old lady to cross the street and you start praising him and ignore the fact he never would have done it without the money. The guy has no fucking virtue and if he now makes a selfie of himself helping the lady and pointing fingers at others is ... deceitful , but maybe the guy is so narcissistic that in his own mind he is an actual virtuous man, helping old ladies only when he has something to gain.

tathougies said 3 months ago:

I am not insinuating that human rights are a reason the conflict it's happening. I just said I think it's nice that these sanctions hurt china at a time they are violating human rights. That's a completely different statement. Please read.

simion314 said 3 months ago:

Then we are off topic, it all started by accusing some countries that don't have a spine what I interpreted as a moral spine and not geo/political/economical related stuff with the bonus of hurting people you dislike.

CardenB said 3 months ago:

You can fight China on human rights without fighting everyone on human rights. Why let perfect be the enemy of the good? Should we support china simply because we haven't fought Saudi Arabia on this?

simion314 said 3 months ago:

Can you link me to the Trump human right demands?

themacguffinman said 3 months ago:

So what? Dollar bills make for pretty good spines. I'll take it over the EU's lack of one.

simion314 said 3 months ago:

Can you quote some official document from US that even mentions a single human right demand? Because if you refer on some keyboard worries on twitter then there are probably EU worriers too though they might not be a CEO of a big company that seeks a bit of PR points..

themacguffinman said 3 months ago:

Sure, Congress is in the process of passing the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019 [1] with the stated goal of "countering the totalitarian Chinese government’s widespread and horrific human rights abuses" [2].

The State Department published the 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices [3] which openly documents China's many human rights issues, issues that China is trying to censor and challenge.

The State Department has additionally announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials suspected of being involved in the detention and human rights abuses of millions of Uyghur Muslims and other minority groups. From the CNN article [4] (Pompeo is the US Secretary of State):

> "The United States calls on the People's Republic of China to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang, release all those arbitrarily detained, and cease efforts to coerce members of Chinese Muslim minority groups residing abroad to return to China to face an uncertain fate," Pompeo wrote. "The United States will continue to review its authorities to respond to these abuses."

I'd love to see similar actions taken by the EU and EU member states. If you have any examples of EU action already, you should post them because I may have missed news about it.

[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/178...

[2] https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3026982/us-...

[3] https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-country-reports-on-human-...

[4] https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/politics/xinjiang-visa-restri...

simion314 said 3 months ago:

Thank you for your involved reply, though even from your article you can read this

"Experts said the bill’s passage represented progress on the issue but cautioned it would be only symbolic if the executive branch failed to act on its proposals."

EU also has similar symbolic gestures of condemnations and stuff.

This is my opinions as a citizen from an EU country with less then 20 million population, we know that:

1 things are not that good economically and it is stupid to get involved into a fight between 2 giants.

2 the population is not sure if what we know about China is not exaggerated 100 times by some interests similarly as the Saudi Arabia issues are minimized

3 it is well know US uses false pretexts to invade country, change governments uses economical pressure to force passing of different laws or blocking laws to protect is'x big companies interests

Go ask someone from South America , Africa or other non EU or US country and see if they think there is any genuime concern for human rights from the Trump administration,

I think we will have to disagree on this topic though, you are probably to close to the topic to have a unbiased opinion

siruncledrew said 3 months ago:

IMO - the EU is a bit more calculated in their political/trade maneuvers, and does not start international confrontations with the same propensity the US does because multiple nations' economies are at stake in a union.

Also, the US political/trade situation is not entirely certain given elections in 1 year. The EU doesn't know how this is going to play out yet. It's an international poker game.

toxik said 3 months ago:

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” comes to mind. The EU needs to position itself so that it can make beneficial deals, both with the US and China.

Coincidentally, environmentalism would lead the EU to freeing itself from the shackles of the petrodollar. I’m all for that.

sharpneli said 3 months ago:

Because this posturing is purely about the self imposed trade war US is having with China.

One cannot seriously claim that Huawei selling an Android phone with Google Play on it would harm US national security, yet that is the official reason for banning it.

US didn’t care about this issue before they needed more reasons to ban more chinese companies. ”Trade war” as a straight reason would not go well, it’s likely even against WTO rules.

drak0n1c said 3 months ago:

China has been violating WTO rules for decades and faces no repercussions within that framework.

SuoDuanDao said 3 months ago:

Realpolitik. You don't side with the dying empire against the rising one just because the old one would treat you better.

zachguo said 3 months ago:

The world is not working that way. In terms of geopolitical interests, the EU doesn't align with the US well.

diediesel said 3 months ago:

Because german carmakers that need somewhere to sell their old tech. In politics just like in crime, follow the money.

99_00 said 3 months ago:

Would the US be doing what it's doing without Trump? During the 2016 election Trump's tough stance on China was widely seen as ignorant, unrealistic or a joke.

tirpen said 3 months ago:

Sure, but then we would reasonably have to blacklist the US as well to be consistent (supporting the genocide in Yemen, putting kids in concentration camps, separating families from babies, rampant corruption, no rule of law, etc etc), and I don't think the EU would want to lose both those markets at once.

bigpumpkin said 3 months ago:

Because they want to reserve some ammo in case Trump puts a 25% tariff on all Mercedes and Audi's.

tanilama said 3 months ago:

> why the European Union is watching and not doing the same as US?

LOL. US is arguably the bigger foul than China to EU now. Airbus/German car manufactures are on the Trump's target list.

thefounder said 3 months ago:

US really doesn't give a shit about human rights violations. I think all the grown ups know what these bans are for. It's the trade war, stupid!

I can't stop thinking about that journalist butchered and Trump praising the arms deals with SA. Human rights and international law are brought up only when they serve US's interests so let's try to cut that bullshit on HN at least. US wouldn't mind if all the HK residents would be sent to concentration camps as long as it gets a "beautiful" trade deal with China.

dashundchen said 3 months ago:

On a related note, it was reported mere days ago that Trump personally promised Xi US government silence on Hong Kong during trade negotiations:


thepaperone said 3 months ago:

I hope you earned your 50 cents today.

One (1) journalist is much different than one million (1,000,000).

sunstone said 3 months ago:

There's little doubt that the future paths of the democracies and China will resemble the cold war of the 60's and 70's. Can't we just spare the drama, cut to the chase, swap corporate prisoners and get on with stockpiling weapons already?

toasterlovin said 3 months ago:

There's a pretty significant difference: China has way more untapped human capital than the Soviet Union. There's a good chance they end up with a level of economic development closer to South Korea or Japan than Eastern Europe. If that's the case, then it's like the Cold War, except it doesn't end in the economic collapse of the other side.

hajile said 3 months ago:

Due to the one-child policy, china is headed for extreme economic issues -- even without interference. Those issues are already starting to become apparent and will skyrocket over the next decade or two. Extra economic pressure on top could definitely have a significant effect on the country.

pinkfoot said 3 months ago:

Yet Nigeria, Yemen, Pakistan, etc. with practically uncontrolled population growth are on the cusp of a golden age?

mrtksn said 3 months ago:

They have very serious demographical issues though.

doyoulikeworms said 3 months ago:

Hmm, what if we cut everything out except for the space race?

enjoylife said 3 months ago:

Considering the space race was abstractly, a push for strategic dominance of a physical domain newly enabled by technologies. I think it’s more likely this time around we will see a push into newly opened digital domains, e.g ml based cyber warfare.

TremendousJudge said 3 months ago:

Well, space is still out there though, and current tech is much better suited to dominate it than 60s tech. The first nation to figure out space mining and manufacturing will be light years ahead of any competitor

MS90 said 3 months ago:

Let's just jump all the way to the end.

Someone needs to get a sledgehammer and go knock some holes in the Great Wall.

zachguo said 3 months ago:

It may not be a total loss for mankind if there's another space race.

mc32 said 3 months ago:

It’s surprising to think that in retrospect, relatively speaking, Hu, Jintao, was actually a good guy.

He’s of course one of a string of CCP strongmen, but nowhere near the likes of mr Xi. It’s too bad some within the party saw him as too soft maybe leaning western, so Xi manoeuvered and became the next mr Mao... to the detriment of China _and_ the world.

jaggirs said 3 months ago:

I dont think who the person in charge is matters that much. The conglomerate of powerfull people in china have allowed Xi to rise into power because he would serve their interests. Same when Hu was in power. In a mature political system, transition of interests and percieved optimal policy changes who the man in power is, not the other way around.

rpmisms said 3 months ago:

Your comment, but applied to all countries.

yalogin said 3 months ago:

This has already caused irreparable damage to China. Companies are not going to depend on their services in the future and definitely be moving out. The impact will manifest over time.

busterarm said 3 months ago:

I really don't get Bloomberg. They post articles with wild conspiratorial nonsense as fact, absolutely destroying their credibility, but then they make sure to tow the line with China on human rights violations being "alleged".

Shows you who their masters are.

dev_dull said 3 months ago:

They’ve blacklisted our companies from working with them without a “Chinese partner” — of course, that just ends up being a vessel company for state-sponsored Chinese espionage.

If you want an idea of what China has been up to, check out this recent interview with a former CIA official [1 it’s right-wing OAN, get over it].

They “somehow” managed to learn the identities of every single CIA informant in their country their country. Some of them murdered as they left their homes.

1. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mqX_EESAdRY

yalogin said 3 months ago:

What would happen if the US and EU are not made available to Chinese consumers at all? That is not an option now as most of the manufacturing happens there but if we assume this can be done and Chinese consumers don’t get anything made or owned by US and EU companies how big of a problem will it be for the Chinese government?

skybrian said 3 months ago:

It's a messy breakup and both sides will be worse off. But these are both huge and advanced economies. Substitutes will be found or built.

rfc said 3 months ago:

My only hope is that we can extend this to biotech as well. The amount of IP theft and insane Chinese government subsidization of biotech that USA-based companies live off of is disturbing. They are so addicted to BS money and are so entrenched that these companies fear they can't back out. I say - Rip The Bandaid Off.

djohnston said 3 months ago:

Which American tech has the most to lose? FB and Goog completely unaffected. Microsoft could take a hit but would be fine since they're ubiquitous. Apple? What's their hardware situation look like?

squarefoot said 3 months ago:

Should the trade war escalate a bit too much, it will impact the cost of energy too. China has a rare earth minerals (think neodymium magnets used in motors and generators) yearly extraction rate 8 times higher than the US, and their extimated reserves are about 30 times bigger. They're #1 in the world in one of the most important elements industry, period. If this idiocy continues, it won't need to get to the military level to produce some serious damage.

aty268 said 3 months ago:

Can somebody help me out here. I think the biggest issue on my mind for the coming election is the U.S. and China relations.

I don't see any candidate who seems to have an interest whatsoever in being tough on China, and more terrifying, could lead us during a time that something bad did happen.

Trump isn't the greatest, but he is the ONLY one I can see who I would trust would at least have the gall to stand up to China.

liuliu said 3 months ago:

Then it is working. Fear is the best thing to force people to adopt authoritarianism. This comment just illustrated fearmongering is working beautifully in the United States as well.

aty268 said 3 months ago:

Perhaps this is true, but I would be terribly naive not to be afraid of what China is capable of doing, and the future of humanity if we don't take this issue seriously.

shkkmo said 3 months ago:

Given Trump's antics with Syria and his unwillingness to listen to military experts, I absolutely do not want Trump involved in the decision making process if the situation deteriorates with China. Regardless of what you think of his policies on immigration, trade and regulation, there is no way to see Trump as a competent commander in chief.

rpmisms said 3 months ago:

However, Trump is a good negotiator, as we've seen with North Korea. Yes, he strongarms, but that's the US for you. I'm skeptical--but not in denial--about the possibility that this is phase 1 of the subdue-China plan.

shkkmo said 3 months ago:

what was accomplished with N Korea?

rpmisms said 3 months ago:

He walked across the fucking border.

nominated1 said 3 months ago:

The outrage directed at China… that looks pretty authentic. It certainly isn’t what Wall Street wants. It certainly isn’t what the mainstream media wants as the talking point for the next election. I think they had decided on health insurance.

There’s no doubt that Trump is capitalizing on it and why wouldn’t he?

What makes you think this is fear-mongering? As in fake. The Hong Kong events, South Park, NBA, etc… this is as organic a shit storm as I’ve ever seen.

said 3 months ago:
CreepGin said 3 months ago:

Andrew Yang is a Taiwanese-American. It will be very interesting if he comes on top in the months ahead.

aty268 said 3 months ago:

I was an avid supporter of Yang, but I think he is a bit naive (Dr. Oz comments?) isn't a great speaker, and hasn't said anything much about China. UBI is the second most important issue on the docket, China is way further ahead.

What do you think?

loceng said 3 months ago:

How many hours of video content have you watched of Yang speaking? Genuinely curious. And what specifically you have watched making you think he's not a great speaker?

Toward the end of Yang being on Eric Weinstein's The Portal podcast they briefly talk about a solution regarding China. Yang definitely is aware, and he certainly understand the foundational principles of economics better than the other candidates based on what I have heard him speak of.

CreepGin said 3 months ago:

I'm in the same boat. Yang makes logical and simple-to-understand solutions to real problems we are facing. But at the same time, I just don't feel he's charismatic or inspiring enough. And I also find it weird he hasn't talked much about his stance on China. I really don't see any downside of declaring a tough stance on China as far as candidacy goes.

One thing I agree with him though, the top 3 dem candidates right now don't really stand a chance against Trump.

jerf said 3 months ago:

Really, it just became an issue in like the last couple of days. Given the pace of the modern news cycle, I'd expect to start seeing some policy trial balloons floated by next week.

MaupitiBlue said 3 months ago:

Biden has come out against the trade war.

“I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us,” he added.

dkonofalski said 3 months ago:

Sorry but I don't see how you can say that no candidate except Trump seems to have an interest in being tough on China. Most Democratic candidates have publicly stated that they would continue to work with China on global issues like climate change and the economy but that they would fight back unequivocally against human rights violations. At least a handful, including Sanders and Warren, have also extended that fight to censorship and labor practices.

dirtyid said 3 months ago:

Pivot to Asia, TPP, quietly placing many restrictions on Chinese tech acquisitions to curtail China2025 ambitions well before Trump took office. Trump is playing up grievance politics to look like he's the only one standing up to China but undermining any real chance to successfully contain China by neglecting allies while reintroducing McCarthyism domestically and boosting Chinese nationalism and entrenching CPC support. People are eating the bait because they think China is bilateral problem. China is exploiting this, there's no united front against OBOR abroad and domestically the CPC can push through painful reforms that would have undermined their credibility by blaming the tradewar. That's reality TV foreign policy for you.

ideamotor said 3 months ago:

I can help you out here:

"During a phone call with Xi on June 18, Trump raised Biden's political prospects as well as those of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who by then had started rising in the polls, according to two people familiar with the discussion. In that call, Trump also told Xi he would remain quiet on Hong Kong protests as trade talks progressed."


Tough guy ...

identity_zero said 3 months ago:

Lol. Bring it on.

bigYahnz said 3 months ago:

Who cares. This is not a fight we should back down from. Let them steal IP. Let them buy up land. Let them screw us on trade. Oh please, do anything but fight back!

pg_is_a_butt said 3 months ago:

China is still a thing? I thought Hong Kong defeated them.

redisman said 3 months ago:

Oh no! They might block US tech companies from doing business in China unless they comply with draconian authoritarianism. Everyone in tech knows China has been completely outrageous in its treatment of US companies for decades.

nicoburns said 3 months ago:

If they removed US access to Chinese supply chains, it'd be a pretty big deal for the US... that might even start a war.

jerf said 3 months ago:

You have to analyze the costs & benefits to all relevant parties when thinking about that sort of thing. I think you've only analyzed the costs to one party in that analysis.

"Cutting off all US supply chain in China" is on the table, but definitely way down the list of what China wants to do. The US decoupling from their economy isn't their big winning play, it's a nightmare scenario for them. If it was a big winning play right now for them, they'd already have done it.

reaperducer said 3 months ago:

"Cutting off all US supply chain in China" is on the table, but definitely way down the list of what China wants to do.

Exactly. It's one thing for China cut off the supply of microchips to the United States. The U.S. would have to make a massive investment in building new supply chains domestically and with other countries.

It's another thing if the United States cuts China off from $6 billion in soybeans each year. China's population will start to starve long before a microchip shortage really hurts the U.S.

rmah said 3 months ago:

China has already stopped importing large amounts of US agricultural products, including soybeans. The US gov is now subsidizing farmers to make up for this loss to the tune of $28 bil in direct payments to US farmers so far...

I don't really understand why people think most large nations can't feed their own people. China can easily do so, albeit with some changes to their diet. China is the top producers in the world of many crops: wheat, rice, potatoes, grapes, apples, tomatoes, watermelons, hogs, sheep, etc. and #2 or #3 in many others: corn, bananas, beef, chicken, milk, etc. Sure they import a huge amount of food as well. But so does the USA.

diego said 3 months ago:

Do you really believe China depends on US soy to feed their population? Where did you get that from?

dekhn said 3 months ago:

they use it for pig feed and it's use as a component in many food products. I don't think they technically depend on it, but they depend on it and have to import huge amounts. If they didn't, they'd either have to make a domestic source (they have had trouble with this) or switch to other protein sources.

johnpowell said 3 months ago:

Or buy them from Brazil. Like they are now since the tariffs happened.

reaperducer said 3 months ago:

Or buy them from Brazil. Like they are now since the tariffs happened.

It's not a question of switching to Brazil. China was already buying from Brazil. But Brazil doesn't have the capacity to make up for a cut-off of American supplies.

Further, soybeans are seasonal. The reason that China buys from both the U.S. and Brazil is because they have harvests at opposite times of the year. Even if Brazil managed to magically ramp up to fill 100% of China's need in each Brazilian growing season, what is it going to do the other six months of the year?

24gttghh said 3 months ago:

>It's not a question of switching to Brazil. China was already buying from Brazil. But Brazil doesn't have the capacity to make up for a cut-off of American supplies.

This literally already happened as another poster said...


petre said 3 months ago:

Many of the pigs are dead thanx to ASF, so they won't be needing huge amounts this year. Also, they have rented vast amounts of land in Ukraine, Africa.

Trump wants a trade agreement with the EU for soy and beef in exchange for not imposing tariffs on cars. It probably won't happen, as the EU is too slow to act and most likely won't accept hormone treated beef.

dirtyid said 3 months ago:

Soy is primarily used for pig feed. Brazil is razing forest to fill demand in coming years. US isn't going to starve China which is nominally food secure, as in no one is going to starve because of it. It has potential to make people pissed, current raising pork prices due to disease is already causing strife. It's also somewhat opportune timing however, China wouldn't have the soy card to squeeze Trumps farmers base if disease didn't dramatically reduce demand for soy.

Also China depends on US for IC (and airplane engines).

toomuchtodo said 3 months ago:

Bringing (automated) manufacturing back to the US and ensuring the security of our supply chains while also doing economic harm to an authoritarian government while they're in a precariously unstable economic situation? As a US citizen, I'm fully onboard. Call China's bluff. Monetary policy (cheap money) is in a phenomenal place to support the necessary infrastructure investments (roads, rail, energy, etc), and that spending will keep the US economy humming while further decoupling us from China's.

What good are values as a nation if we're willing to trade them for profits and cheap goods from China?

rtkwe said 3 months ago:

The manufacturing won't come back it'd move to other Asian countries like Vietnam first.

adventured said 3 months ago:

It's ok for that manufacturing to go elsewhere, it's still a huge win for the US in the case in which the conflict with China continues to worsen (likely). It's the ideal approach to dealing with them: drain their economy of its manufacturing & exports and incubate a dollar-caused stagnation as they're unable to transact at the required scale with the rest of the global economy without a massive, endless supply of dollars (the Yuan has a trivial share of global foreign trade). They're already starting to suffocate under the lack of dollars right now, as their current account balance is shifting permanently negative. I'd expect them to begin increasingly restricting their citizens from foreign tourism, as it's a sizable source of dollar bleed, it's a luxury they can't afford much longer. They'll do it under the guise of the need to reinvigorate the Chinese spirit at home and to stop importing negative foreign incorrect values (some party b.s. like that).

It's perfectly fine to redirect all US->China manufacturing into other nations such as Vietnam. Not only is that great for helping other nations develop (many of which are regional competitors of China, so it's further ideal that those nations become stronger vis-a-vis China), it reduces China's position of strength.

navigatesol said 3 months ago:

>What good are values as a nation if we're willing to trade them for profits and cheap goods from China?

And yet you promote Tesla, cozying up to the CCP and telling us that "China is the future" so that he can build some cheaper cars and get around tariffs? Whatever helps "the mission"?


said 3 months ago:
Despegar said 3 months ago:

Are you kidding? US foreign policy regularly ignores "values" for other interests.


staticautomatic said 3 months ago:

True, but the U.S. has hardly any official values.

jerf said 3 months ago:

That's begging the question in an important sense though; what is under discussion is precisely a history of ignoring "values" for our other interests in China, the result that has created which did not match the stated goal of the previous policy, and the question of whether we should continue with that previous policy.

It would be a particularly perverse deployment of "whataboutism" if one argues that honoring our values over profit is not something we should do now, because whatabout the fact up until quite recently we weren't?

ianleeclark said 3 months ago:

> It would be a particularly perverse deployment of "whataboutism" if one argues that honoring our values over profit is not something we should do now, because whatabout the fact up until quite recently we weren't?

You don't even have to go until "quite recently," we can demonstratively saying we're--today, tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future-- aiding the yemeni genocide. "Whataboutism," is a complete spook that, oddly enough, details conversations because OP is likely not pointing out that we should ignore our values, but rather that the USA has no values to honor in the first place.

Despegar said 3 months ago:

Framing it in terms of moral leadership is silly when the US regularly doesn't give a shit about it.

See: Saudi Arabia and Israel

nugget said 3 months ago:

There's at least been (and continues to be) public and spirited debate about events in Saudi Arabia and Israel, of a kind that China seems incapable of tolerating. No country is perfect, but when you start silencing or censoring political dissent, you head down a very dark road.

jerf said 3 months ago:

Here we are, giving a shit about it.

Should we stop?

coldtea said 3 months ago:

No, but they should admit that they're still not giving a shit, the right thing (assuming this is it) just happened to coincide with their interests for a chance...

jerf said 3 months ago:

"They" maybe should.

This is not a change of position for me. I'm 40; I remember the tail end of the Cold War, and for me, this is merely China unmasking what I always knew was there, not some amazing revelation. This is Communism. It has not changed in 50 years, right up to and including holding a pretty mask over its face for its Western audiences ready and eager to believe in it. The only difference is the world shrank, and it's harder for the mask to work when you're standing closer to it.

rayiner said 3 months ago:

Well said.

toomuchtodo said 3 months ago:

Thank you, I appreciate it.

tanilama said 3 months ago:

> As a US citizen, I'm fully onboard

To be the advocate for devil, US salary is too high and regulation/labour too tight, protests too many.

In other words, not 'business friendly'.

wcarron said 3 months ago:

I disagree. Wages have stagnated for decades. Regulation too lax, especially with regard to predatory financial practices and environmental damage. Protests, too few.

The US is the most business friendly developed nation ever to exist. It is a corporate welfare state built upon the exploitation of the laborers.

wavefunction said 3 months ago:

That's a very limited concept of 'business friendly' and inaccurate in any case with regards to the US.

FruityFarm said 3 months ago:

Says the nation that slaughtered and took the land of the native population. The hypocrisy is unreal.

colechristensen said 3 months ago:

Isn't that every nation? And that "native" population to populations before it?

Either you live in a place so inhospitable that nobody is interested in taking your land, or the land you live on has been stolen again and again and again by different populations.

HenryKissinger said 3 months ago:

Yeah, 200+ years ago. Every powerful nation has skeletons in their closet. That doesn't mean they have no credibility on human rights.

gamblor956 said 3 months ago:

200 years ago.

Meanwhile, China has slaughtered millions of its own citizens as recently as a few decades ago.

And is on the brink of a genocide of the Uighurs as we sit here typing at each other.

mattnewton said 3 months ago:

Whataboutism is an argument for passive paralysis. Nobody is blameless, so nobody should try to fight injustice.

vinceguidry said 3 months ago:

The US decoupling her economy from China isn't the nightmare scenario, it's losing her global prestige. Imagine all of our allies suddenly realizing that the US is in an untenable bargaining position and all tariffs are raised all over the world, all at once. That's the nightmare scenario.

Trump's a dealmaker, he's shown himself to be less than utterly stupid in regards to foreign policy. But building a coalition against China might be more than he can handle.

gamblor956 said 3 months ago:

Removing US access to Chinese supply chains would just accelerate the transition to non-Chinese suppliers...for US and non-US companies.

It would also effectively damn China to being a permanent outsider with respect to manufacturing for the next several decades.

godelski said 3 months ago:

Seems like an empty threat to me. How much of China's economy depends on the US? The US is China's number 1 trading partner and accounts for about 20% of their exports. It would also be a hit to the US, but finding cheap labor isn't that hard and there's existing momentum of labor markets moving out of China.

As far as I can tell, this hurts China more than it hurts the US (though clearly it hurts the US). It is just a matter of who's going to backdown first. Who calls the bluff? Who is more risk adverse?

luckydata said 3 months ago:

it would be bad for a while but the consequences in the long term would be all positive for the US. Hope that happens.

redisman said 3 months ago:

Economic Mutually Assured Destruction?

patagurbon said 3 months ago:

Hardly. Mutually Assured Damage, with the US clearly coming out on top. There are plenty of other places to make cheap goods, even disregarding increasing automation. There are not as many places to sell cheap goods by the trillions.

mmsimanga said 3 months ago:

In Africa we have started to speak of China as the modern age colonizers. They are appearing everywhere, building roads, airports, dams and coal fired power stations. They bring all their equipment. We have challenges with governance (understatement). In my home country we have severe power shortages, daily power cuts lasting up 18 hours. Chinese are building a power station. So picture the day we try assert some right and China just switches off the power. This kind of scenario is playing itself out in Africa and I fear by the time we wake up China will own the continent. I exaggerate but I think you get my point.

pinkfoot said 3 months ago:

s/we have/some of us, actually just a small minority on Twitter, have/

mmsimanga said 3 months ago:

Twitter doesn't build power stations. Its pretty hard to miss the ground being cleared as the power station is being built.

pinkfoot said 3 months ago:

Where I live, Hitachi build the power stations. So we all now also believe the Japanese are colonising Africa?

Outside of Twitter 'building complex machines for a fee != colonisation'.

mmsimanga said 3 months ago:

You missed the part where I said in Africa we have governance challenges. 99 year lease of Sri Lanka Hambantota port is modern day colonization.

pinkfoot said 3 months ago:

Just to be clear, Ski Lanka is not Africa. All debts have collateral. Don't sign up to loans you cannot afford. Any don't vote in governments that do.

[And don't stuff up the maintenance of your infrastructure to the point you don't have electricity for 18 hours. It wasn't like that when it was commissioned.]

Then you won't need to take deals on onerous conditions. The Swiss don't.

swsieber said 3 months ago:

> Don't sign up to loans you cannot afford.

And that's the problem - the Chinese are offering them and people/countries are taking them, in large numbers. That statement also applies to home loans, yet the 2008 crisis. A nice platitude isn't going to prevent people from falling into China's lap.

pinkfoot said 3 months ago:

Yip. Still not colonisation.

TaylorAlexander said 3 months ago:

I wouldn't underestimate the quality of the supply chains in China. They've had decades of development and experience, and starting elsewhere could not be done without significant setbacks.

patagurbon said 3 months ago:

Oh certainly. That’s what I meant by mutually assured damage. It wouldn’t be painless for either side. But I’d make the argument that it’s far more harmful to China.

The US was in a much better position when they ceased to be the industrial center of the world. Then again, we’ve never seen a nation like China.

gamblor956 said 3 months ago:

China's a great place to make something cheap that doesn't last very long.

It's not a great place to make something that needs to last.

It's an even worse place to make something that needs to meet quality standards, since you spend as much or more on QA than you saved by moving manufacturing to China.

lonelappde said 3 months ago:

China makes things as good or bad as the client wants. My 12 yr old laptop was made in China.

semiotagonal said 3 months ago:

In the long term, it isn't even necessarily damage. Chinese manufacturing won't be cheap forever; wages are already too high there for them to continue sorting through and recycling the US's plastic. Rebooting US manufacturing earlier rather than later will make the transition to "expensive China" less of a jolt.

shkkmo said 3 months ago:

Moving manufacturing out of China is not synonymous with moving manufacturing into the US. A great deal of that manufacturing would move to other countries with cheap labor and burgeoning supply chains.

pinkfoot said 3 months ago:

If I was a Chinese strategist, I would announce a root and branch re-certification of the 737-MAX (in Chinese of course) as a completely new type.

Especially have just buttered up Airbus with 300 A320 orders in March. And even more so if I was convinced the C919 will certify in 2021.

There also aren't many places to sell aircraft by the hundreds.

patfla said 3 months ago:

Some low-end production had already been moving to places like Vietnam, based on labor costs where Chinese labor costs are now > places like Vietnam (and have been for a while). Trump's trade war has accelerated the trend.

Arguing the other way is that you have suppliers for, say in electronics, literally everything in places like Guangdong. So that's a disincentive to move.

said 3 months ago:
derision said 3 months ago:

Many companies have already moved or are moving to India, Malaysia, etc. Apple is already manufacturing some models of iPhones in India.

r00fus said 3 months ago:

For Apple, that's only due to requirements / tariff impositions by India making it cheaper to manufacture locally.

perseusprime11 said 3 months ago:

The India move is a strategic move probably to see if they can get the same quality from their assembly lines. The key is still access to supply chains for important semi conductor metals.

said 3 months ago:
dekhn said 3 months ago:

it would be the best thing for the US if China made it hard to obtain their supplies (wth the exception of anything China has an exclusive source of).

Look at oil. The US was the first country to pump oil at scale. but over time it invested in other countries to develop their oil fields (few countries have the capital to bootstrap their own fields) and extracted strong pricing concessions through joint ownership of the fields and the processing facilities (The Prize, Daniel Yergin).

Eventually, it was just cheaper to buy oil from other countries while sitting on our own reserves (which will be worth more in the future if supplies start to dwindle).

However, eventually the oil market got complicated with multiple new players and the US rediscovered how profitable oil exports could be. When we wanted to, we had the capital and the expertise and the will to exploit US oil again (I am explicitly leaving all environmental concerns, short and long, out of this argument, although they are important both for oil and chip production).

once the US was an oil exporter again it forced all other players to adjust their game. It gave the US a lot more global negotiating power, it gave US more domestic supplies, it provided lots of very high paying jobs to oil workers (again, ignoring environmental externalities here).

Let's say china makes it hard for people to buy chips made in china. And the US decides in response to take all the free capital and tax incentives it has and turn large swaths of unused land into fabs and manufactories for high tech equipment. Remember, like oil, chips are something the US invented and it has a very deep bench when it comes to fab tech.

And China is terrified of this. They know we intentionally outsourced fab production for environmental and cost reasons and they know we can bring it back. They are already seeing how some large consumer electronics companies can pick up major components of their production pipelines and move them to other countries.

personally I think it would probably be a net negative for the US because (like oil) fabs have massive environmental externalities and we happily exported those problems to other countries. but it's an entirely plausible scenario that would just take a bit of changes from the current situation.

celticninja said 3 months ago:

All that would achieve is the acceleration of moving away from Chinese supply chains.

29athrowaway said 3 months ago:

The first priority for China is keeping unemployment low to avoid internal conflict.

jdhn said 3 months ago:

Ironically, this could potentially help Trump due to the fact that some manufacturers might say "Screw this noise", and attempt to use more US based sources in order to avoid more trade uncertainty.

sdinsn said 3 months ago:

It would be a lot worse for China.

seanmcdirmid said 3 months ago:

Microsoft does a lot of biz in China, they might be affected by this, though they have worked harder than most to maintain a good relationship with the government.

perseusprime11 said 3 months ago:

In the current environment, these "good relationships" don't matter much. They will be used as pawns in the larger scheme.

seanmcdirmid said 3 months ago:

Maybe? I asked this question once at an all hands 5 or 6 years ago, and the answer I got was that the Chinese government liked having an example of a western company it had a good relationship with. Turning on even companies mostly friendly to it would be a very harsh precedent, though I wouldn’t put it past the CPC.

perseusprime11 said 3 months ago:

A lot changed in the last 6 years. China like no other country is rising and fast becoming a global power. It may not be a problem if they were a democracy or used unnecessary means to steal the IP of US companies.

thereare5lights said 3 months ago:

I doubt that retaliation would be restricted to US tech companies.

ninth_ant said 3 months ago:

It could be massively disruptive to Apple, for example, if they chose to block production or sales.

Sure it could hurt China as well but that’s what happens in trade wars.

chaostheory said 3 months ago:

I think they block US companies regardless of whether or not they’re willing to self censor. Facebook is one example

darepublic said 3 months ago:

They actually have porn viewing history of individual North Americans and they will start publishing it.

0_gravitas said 3 months ago:

Cool, maybe that might actually encourage your average layperson to be a little more aware of the stakes of privacy-related laws and measures.

irrational said 3 months ago:

Maybe 15 years ago that would've been a threat, but today? Unless we are talking about child porn, or some kind of snuff porn, I don't think many people will care. Then again, it would be easy to claim that whatever china says I watched is not true.

theflyinghorse said 3 months ago:

Let's be real who cares what Joe jerked off to? Not me. I will even say that maybe someone will build some universal porn recommendation out of such a data set.

dgzl said 3 months ago:

Thankfully we're in an age where shaming is shameful.

dageshi said 3 months ago:

I don't honestly think people would give a damn so long as the porn was legal.

TaylorAlexander said 3 months ago:

I feel like they can leak a bunch of accurate histories and then for certain people they want to harm they can add a little bit of child porn to the logs so most people believe the logs are accurate but some key people get accused of being pedophiles. Electronic warfare is weird.

thrower123 said 3 months ago:

A lot of key people have been accused of being pedophiles, and in league with a person running an underaged sex trafficking ring, complete with a bizarre tropical pedophile island. Nothing happened - the person who could tie it all together was suicided in his jail cell, and the evidence obtained is doubtless consigned to the same dusty warehouse where the Top Men are keeping the Ark of the Covenant...

TaylorAlexander said 3 months ago:

Top people wouldn't be brought down but middle level people can be ruined by this because there is no media protection. It could be part of an operation to take down an unsympathetic individual and replace them with a sympathetic one. Of course this is all purely speculative so none of it matters. I just think we live in a weird time. I agree that for many people the media kills the story and we're all expected to move on, and we all play a part in that.

bluGill said 3 months ago:

How am I to know it is accurate though? I can write up a "log" of all the porn you watched over the last year right now - the hard part is doing a little research to figure out where you live and get some idea of your likely travel.

The log will be all faked, but when it is my word against yours... I doubt you even have logs of your real activity to counter with and so my logs will be pretty damming evidence.

TaylorAlexander said 3 months ago:

I meant that if a bunch of individuals saw their own leaked logs and knew they were accurate, they could be led to believe all logs are accurate. But I agree that this kind of chicanery may not even be needed to pull off such a scam.

bena said 3 months ago:

Let me ask you a question, do you think you're more or less clever than most people?

avocado4 said 3 months ago:

Also Grindr is Chinese-owned.

An TikTok. Lots of people uploading nude content that CCP can deidentify.

throwawaysea said 3 months ago:


bena said 3 months ago:

I've witnessed the porn viewing history of individuals in a goddamn Applebee's.

What are we going to learn? People like to jerk it?

top-news-talk said 3 months ago:

Stay tuned as we unlock your private censored internet!!!

urda said 3 months ago:

Oh boo hoo!

This would be a net win for the world for China to seal itself off. They are a bad actor on the global stage.

loceng said 3 months ago:

Agreed. Their follow through behaviour now is simply posturing.

y-c-o-m-b said 3 months ago:

George Bush labeled Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the "Axis of Evil". In reality it's the U.S., China, and Saudi Arabia. There's also Russia desperately trying to join the gang. All bad actors on the global stage.

wishinghand said 3 months ago:

Let's be fair, Iran, Iraq during Saddam's rule, and North Korea should definitely be members.

y-c-o-m-b said 3 months ago:

I don't disagree, but their (Iran/Iraq/NK) problems are roughly contained vs the global destruction caused by the US, Saudi Arabia, and China.

Iran is unique because of its proxy wars, but even then it's relatively contained to the Middle East. Although one could argue that is also a result of U.S. interference by the CIA. The U.S. also assisted Iraq in Saddam's early years and tried to conceal the fact that Iraq used chemical weapons against the Kurds (which we appear to be allowing again with Turkey currently bombing the hell out of the Kurds).

bjourne said 3 months ago:

This trade war instigated by Trump is purely playing on Nationalism. It is making me sick to my stomach that even smart Hacker News readers are getting caught up in the Nationalist fervor.

I'm not a fan of China at all. We SHOULD impose sanctions on China and ALL OTHER countries engaging in flagrant human rights abuses. But the idea that this trade war would be over China's treatment of Muslim minorities is 100% bullshit and everyone knows it. If Trump gave a shit about human rights, he wouldn't be best friends with the leaders of Russia, Israel, Brazil, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc.

We're all hackers here. American hackers, Chinese hackers, Russian hackers, Swedish hackers, Arab hackers, German hackers... The point isn't who can scream "$my_country #1!!!" the loudest. We should be beyond that stuff.

bitcurious said 3 months ago:

>But the idea that this trade war would be over China's treatment of Muslim minorities is 100% bullshit and everyone knows it.

I've never seen it claimed that the trade war is over human rights. It's been attributed to IP theft and uneven access to markets, wrapped in 'trade deficit' language.

This specific action is based on human rights violations, but it's a relatively small action compared to the larger trade war.

busterarm said 3 months ago:

> If Trump gave a shit about human rights, he wouldn't be best friends with the leaders of Russia, Israel, Brazil, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Being friends with the leaders of Russia, Israel, Brazil, Turkey & Saudi Arabia is the status quo for US presidents given that those are our main regions of foreign economic influence. Okay, Russia & Brazil are a bit newer but that's just a shift in powers in the same regions.

Moreover, foreign diplomatic relations is literally the US President's most important job/power. The president has sole discretion over dealing with foreign powers. It's literally the thing that he is supposed to do.

whamlastxmas said 3 months ago:

Does YC have any links to Chinese businesses they might want to disclose?

dang said 3 months ago:

All I know comes from public reports, which is that YC was planning something in China at some point. I don't know what its status is.

Your question may to be coming from a mistaken place, though. Nothing like that would affect Hacker News moderation. HN has had editorial independence from YC for years [1, 2] and we don't think about such things while moderating. What we think about is how to keep the site in line with its values [3], and how the community feels about things.

1 https://venturebeat.com/2015/09/29/y-combinator-spins-out-ha...

2. https://blog.ycombinator.com/two-hn-announcements/

3. https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

lawrenceyan said 3 months ago:

Hey dang, hopefully you're already aware of this, but if not, I just wanted to let you know that a common tactic I've noticed that's increasingly being utilized is to mass flag a submission in order to quickly have it removed from the top of the page.

Since the algorithm automatically lowers the priority of highly flagged posts, and it requires some level of manual intervention in order to unflag a flagged post, it works quite well for selectively bringing down unwanted submissions.

One way of resolving this I think would be to additionally add a weight for the existing prioritization weight associated with the number of flags on a submission such that a post with an increasing amount of upvotes requires a proportionally higher number of flags to be deprioritized.

[e.g. maybe something like (number_of_flags / number_of_upvotes) * (time_decay_between_avg_interval_of_flags_per_unit_time_versus_upvotes_respectively)]

dang said 3 months ago:

It's best if you email hn@ycombinator.com with specific links if you think submissions are being flagged inappropriately.

Since this subthread has turned into "ask the mods arbitrary things", I detached it from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21208169 and marked it off-topic.

said 3 months ago:
hn-sensors-lame said 3 months ago:

Reposting this since it appears that hacker news secretly sensors comments!!! LAME

> Stay tuned as we unlock your private censored internet!!!

dang said 3 months ago:

It looks like your other account was banned for trolling, which is what tends to happen when an account breaks the site guidelines several times while it is still new.

ausjke said 3 months ago:

Forgot about talking with North Korea, as a new "West Korea" is forming under the leadership of Xi, who is painting himself as Mao.