There are a few major issues with China that bug me.
2. Raping Tibetan land for raw materials and resources almost solely for Chinese profit.
My understanding of your point is that the Chinese government takes a lot more from Tibet than it gives back.
The way I consider things, the Chinese government has invested a lot in infrastructure in Tibet. As you know, Tibet is a very dry place, with minimal access to water, fresh fruit and vegetables etc. A regular complaint of visitors is that it's trouble to have water to shower - well, I can't speak for all, I speak for myself then. Developing the roads, the pipes, the buildings, the bridges to pump in water, food, oil, coal, electricity costs money.
Now, Tibet pays minimal taxes. Firstly, Tibetans get tax breaks. Secondly, the GDP of Tibet is very low compared to the boomtowns in the east. So the money to build infrastrcuture must come somewhere outside of Tibet. I don't know where it comes from. I presume the rich places like Shanghai and Beijing.
At the end of the day, does the money that China has invested in Tibet equal the money that it has got from Tibet. I have totally no idea. Also, I accept that Shanghai is doing much better than Tibet in terms of development. So probably, there is net negative for Tibet.
All provinces in China are expected to pay / contributed something to the central government which then distributes resources back out. I think this is the way most countries work. I suppose every province will always argue that it gives more than it gets back. If I was a province, I'd argue that anyway. But it's not like the central China government takes everything and gives back nothing to Tibet. Perhaps we can have a debate on the fair balance - and on that you will win because I don't know the details. I do know though that the roads, the buildings, the water, the food - all come from outside of Tibet at cost to the country.
One other topic thing - there are 3 provinces in China that contribute nothing at all. Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. I accept Taiwan sees itself as independent so paying tax to the mainland could be political impossible. But I sometimes wonder about Hong Kong. It is the richest of the sons, but gives nothing to the parent. I guess this is the blessing from its history with England.
3. How awful they're polluting the Earth and the forced displacement of agrarian sectors (not just for the Three Gorges Dam project).
I agreed with you above about how China needs to do better to managing pollution. Absolutely. I wanted to comment on the Three Gorges Dam project. It has, as you are saying, caused much displacement of peoples, changing of local habitats and all this is environmental damage. But I think it's important that the goal of the Dam is to provide hydro power to the country so China can stop burning so much coal. It's not like we are building a dam so we can kill fish. None of us here like coal mines or coal burning - it's smelly and smoggy. So, when the day comes that I can turn on my computer and play Galciv2 using hydropower not coal power, that's a plus. Doesn't China always get criticised about coal? Well, we're doing something about it and responding to the cricism. It certainly not the perfect solution - but energy to power 1.3 billion consumers must come from somewhere. And better water than coal. built.
7. China has done almost nothing about intellectual property ownership. I mean, why do all the hard work of thinking things up when you can just copy it for free? Sure, China fines someone once every 5 years and maybe kills someone for allowing meds to kill and maim thousands of people worldwide... but when it comes down to it... The Chinese government is like the worst of the big Greedy American Corporations. No morals, no values, no worries about the environment, PR to fix anything, exploit whoever you can whenever you can, and set your and your high level partners up for life with wealth no one else could dream of.
I agree with the comment that there are corruption officials in the Chinese government. It's really bad and upsetting for normal citizens. And I think any government has this problem.
On the issue of intellectual property ownership, it's a good point. IP protection in China is poor. However, it's also interesting to consider who's buying all the fake CDs, Gucci handbags etc.
Consider DVDs. There are more DVD movies in English than any other language (at least that what it seems when I go to a DVD store and there are 20 shelves of English movies and one small old box of Chinese DVDs). Most Chinese don't speak English very well or at all. So, it's usually not the Chinese that are buying copies of Spiderman 3 or Legends of the Fall.
Consider luxury goods e.g. Rolex watches. We KNOW that most Rolex's in China are fake. If you give a Rolex as a gift to a friend in Beijing, it's almost insulting. Same goes for Gucci and DKNY and whatever else. So, it's usually not the Chinese are buying the fakes.
In my experience, DVD stores and 'fake markets' are filled with (a) tourists and (
expats. People that can understand English DVD movies and for whom a Cartier watch will be impressive when it goes back home to Geneva or Paris or New York. People who can show off their Northface jacket or Mount Blanc pen and have friends go 'ooooh' instead of laughing. Now, China shouldn't be making them in the first place and I'm not saying that the IP violators are sweet angels. But a market needs producers AND buyers... and it's not really the Chinese that are buying. China is at fault here for the IP abuse... and if the tourists and expats (who are usually from the very countries that keep criticising China for IP abuse) stopped buying, I think that would be the greatest way to stop piracy.
I need a bit of time to think and rest now. Will respond to your other good points later Jpinard.