Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 13 Nov '17 22:16 / 1 edit
    http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21400082/president-donald-trump-asks-chinese-president-xi-jinping-help-ucla-bruins-case

    "Donald Trump asks Chinese president to help in UCLA case"

    "President Donald Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping
    to help resolve the case involving three UCLA basketball players, including
    LiAngelo Ball, who were arrested on shoplifting charges in Hangzhou."

    "The White House confirmed in an email to the Washington Post, which first reported
    Trump's involvement, that the president brought up the issue with Xi."

    "They [accused American college athletes] were released on bail early Wednesday
    morning and have been staying at a lakeside hotel in Hangzhou since then.

    A source told Markazi that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting
    from three stores inside a high-end shopping center, which houses Louis
    Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores."

    "An anonymous U.S. official told the Post that charges against the three players
    have been reduced and that the case is headed toward a resolution."

    If a Chinese citizen were accused of the same crimes, then, given the
    same evidence, it's most likely the bail would have been denied and that
    person would be facing a sentence of at least a few years in prison.

    Some American journalists have written that they suspect that the three
    American athletes will be punished by, at most, a brief period of 'house
    arrest' in a luxury hotel, perhaps not even having to pay any fines.

    Yet this incident may give some Americans an opportunity to whine about
    how biased, unfair, and cruel the Chinese criminal justice system allegedly is
    against all Americans, particularly African American (minor) celebrities.

    In reality, Americans have long tended to receive preferential treatment in
    the Chinese system. As I recall, an affluent white American who pleaded
    guilty to homicide in causing the deaths of more than one Chinese was
    given a special spacious cell and special (better and extra) meals while
    serving only a small part of his sentence. Apparently, the US government
    exerted pressure on his behalf, and he was rather quickly sent back to the USA.
    Most Americans may believe that's how all Americans should always be treated.

    There are strong historical reasons for the Chinese to be sensitive about this issue.
    From the early 19th to the mid 20th century, Western imperialist powers,
    Russia, and Japan imposed extraterritoriality upon China, meaning that
    their citizens could not be held accountable in any case by Chinese law.
    In practice, this meant that these foreigners often were free to steal, rape,
    or even murder without any fear of being punished by the Chinese.

    Will other Americans believe that these American college athletes did
    anything wrong in allegedly shoplifting in China and deserve any punishment?
  2. 13 Nov '17 22:30
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21400082/president-donald-trump-asks-chinese-president-xi-jinping-help-ucla-bruins-case

    "Donald Trump asks Chinese president to help in UCLA case"

    "President Donald Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping
    to help resolve the case involving three UCLA basketball players, including
    L ...[text shortened]... llege athletes did
    anything wrong in allegedly shoplifting in China and deserve any punishment?
    Commensurate penalty warranted, if allegations are true and proven. But also, pre-travel education needed. Every traveler should know that some countries will detain for the slightest reason and detainee will be used as a bargaining chip.
  3. 13 Nov '17 22:47 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @js357
    Commensurate penalty warranted, if allegations are true and proven. But also, pre-travel education needed.
    Every traveler should know that some countries will detain for the slightest reason and detainee will be used as a bargaining chip.
    "But also, pre-travel education needed."
    --JS357

    Such as "Did you know that it's illegal to steal from shops in China? Imagine that! "?

    "Every traveler should know that some countries will detain for the slightest reason .."
    --JS357

    I know of no evidence that the Chinese police were eager to frame these American college athletes.
    The police released some other American college athletes after questioning them.

    "A source told Markazi that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from
    three stores inside a high-end shopping center, which houses Louis Vuitton, Gucci,
    Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores."
    --ESPN

    "..and detainee will be used as a bargaining chip."
    --JS357

    I know many US citizens who routinely travel to and from China without worrying that
    they will be arbitrarily detained and 'used as a bargaining chip'.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    Caustic/Disagreeable
    13 Nov '17 23:05 / 1 edit
    Giving a first time offender years in prison for shoplifting would be unduly harsh. Chinese law apparently does not mandate such a result:

    The case could also be dropped to the lower “administration violation” rather than robbery, which would lessen any potential penalty including prison time, according to Jeremy Daum, an attorney and research fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center based in Beijing.

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/11/08/liangelo-ball-and-ucla-teammates-could-face-3-10-years-in-prison-if-convicted-of-shoplifting/23270456/

    From Margaret K. Lewis, a Seton Hall professor of law specializing in the Chinese legal system:

    This is Louis Vuitton; it’s not a pack of chewing gum,” Lewis said, “so we can assume this is an object of some value. If we’re dealing with some sunglasses, it’s possible you could have some imprisonment of some sort, but there’s other punishments that could be possible including probation. It doesn’t have to be prison; there’s no requirement of that.”

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-ucla-ball-china-20171108-story.html

    I see nothing wrong with US government officials pleading with Chinese officials for leniency in this matter.
  5. 13 Nov '17 23:15
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "But also, pre-travel education needed."
    --JS357

    Such as "Did you know that it's illegal to steal from shops in China? Imagine that! "?

    "Every traveler should know that some countries will detain for the slightest reason .."
    --JS357

    I know of no evidence that the Chinese police were eager to frame these American college athletes.
    The police ...[text shortened]... China without worrying that
    they will be arbitrarily detained and 'used as a bargaining chip'.
    Your points are good balance. No need to overemphasize the situation.
  6. 14 Nov '17 02:07 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Giving a first time offender years in prison for shoplifting would be unduly harsh. Chinese law apparently does not mandate such a result:

    The case could also be dropped to the lower “administration violation” rather than robbery, which would lessen any potential penalty including prison time, according to Jeremy Daum, an attorney and research fello ...[text shortened]... wrong with US government officials pleading with Chinese officials for leniency in this matter.
    First of all, it's unclear what was allegedly stolen. Some American journalists have
    assumed that it must have been, at most, one pair of sunglasses.

    https://www.shouselaw.com/shoplifting.html

    "[California] Penal Code 459.5 PC reads : “(a) . . [S]hoplifting is defined as entering a
    commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open
    during regular business hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to
    be taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950). Any other entry into a
    commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny is burglary"

    "In other words, shoplifting is entering an open business intending to commit the crime of petty theft."

    If the stolen goods were worth more than 950 USD, then--under California law (the accused
    attend UCLA)-- the crime should be regarded as burglary rather than shoplifting.

    Some, though far from all, Americans seem to prefer a narrative of innocent African American
    'kids' being eagerly framed by brutal corrupt Chinese police just for being Americans (or black).
    Assuming there's enough video evidence of the thefts, the accused were not innocent.

    1) The accused are not 'kids'. As far as I know, they all are at least 18 years old, legally adults in the USA.

    2) The accused cannot pretend that they were ignorant that it's illegal to steal from shops in China.
    And they cannot pretend that they were stealing food to feed their 'starving' families at home.
    All of the accused have full scholarships to UCLA, which makes them more privileged than many Americans.
    One of the accused comes from a now wealthy family (with a brother who's a budding star in the NBA).

    3) The police originally detained several--more than three--American college athletes.
    After questioning, the police released most of them on account of insufficient evidence.
    This should be enough to show that the police were not out to frame as many Americans as possible.

    4) Although the Chinese police may be inclined to deal harshly with some poor black
    migrants from Africa, there's no evidence that this extends to celebrity African Americans.
    Stephon Marbury, a black American basketball player, has become a popular hero in China.
    He's adored by many Chinese, particular the fans of his former team in Beijing.
    He even has said that he could envisage living happily in China for most of the rest of his life.

    "It doesn’t have to be prison; there’s no requirement of that.”

    What if the accused received sentences similar to what they would have received if they
    had committed the same crimes in the USA and the President had not intervened on their behalf?

    "I see nothing wrong with US government officials pleading with Chinese officials for leniency in this matter."
    --No1Marauder

    If the tables were turned, I doubt that China's President would ever plead with the US President
    on behalf of a Chinese citizen accused of crimes in the USA. And if that happened, then
    I expect that the overwhelming majority of American politicians, media, and people (presumably
    including No1Marauder) would fiercely oppose any special treatment for that Chinese citizen.
  7. 14 Nov '17 13:23
    Trump has on gong feud with the NBA (LaBron tweets, Golden State not visiting the White House, the NBAs premier coach taking verbal shots at him), he normally does not ask for leniency for people who do not support him, there is little reason for him to be soft on crime. The only reason I can think is that he likes LaVar Bar who in many ways is a Trump clone.
  8. Standard member mchill
    Green Lantern
    14 Nov '17 15:20 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21400082/president-donald-trump-asks-chinese-president-xi-jinping-help-ucla-bruins-case

    "Donald Trump asks Chinese president to help in UCLA case"

    "President Donald Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping
    to help resolve the case involving three UCLA basketball players, including
    L ...[text shortened]... llege athletes did
    anything wrong in allegedly shoplifting in China and deserve any punishment?
    Will other Americans believe that these American college athletes did
    anything wrong in allegedly shoplifting in China and deserve any punishment?


    Without extra sensory perception, I don't think any of us can accurately testify as to what "other" Americans will believe.
  9. 14 Nov '17 20:25
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Will other Americans believe that these American college athletes did
    anything wrong in allegedly shoplifting in China and deserve any punishment?

    Without extra sensory perception, I don't think any of us can accurately testify as to what "other" Americans will believe.
    Showing his usual poor 'reading comprehension', Mchill fails to comprehend that I was
    ASKING Americans here how they believe that these American college athletes should
    be treated, both in China and after they return to the USA.
  10. 14 Nov '17 20:35
    Originally posted by @quackquack
    Trump has on gong feud with the NBA (LaBron tweets, Golden State not visiting the White House, the NBAs premier coach taking verbal shots at him), he normally does not ask for leniency for people who do not support him, there is little reason for him to be soft on crime. The only reason I can think is that he likes LaVar Bar who in many ways is a Trump clone.
    "There is little reason for him to be soft on crime."
    --Quackquack

    But these alleged crimes did not take place in the USA, and no Americans were victimized.
    If these African American college athletes were accused of the same crimes in the USA,
    President Trump might well denounce their perceived sense of entitlement and call for
    them to be punished harshly as a deterrent to others, His 'base' would approve of that.

    But many Americans (including African Americans) look down upon the Chinese, and
    some of them may feel that they are *not* bound to respect Chinese laws and are entitled
    to take anything that they can get away with in China. There's an ongoing illegal trade
    in which affluent Westerners attempt to buy Chinese antiquities cheaply and smuggle
    them out of China in order to sell them at much higher prices in the West. Not many
    Westerners seem to believe there's anything seriously wrong with doing this in China.
  11. 14 Nov '17 20:50 / 2 edits
    "I see nothing wrong with US government officials pleading with Chinese officials for leniency in this matter."
    --No1Marauder

    If the tables were turned, I doubt that China's President would ever plead with the US President
    on behalf of a Chinese citizen accused of crimes in the USA. And if that happened, then
    I expect that the overwhelming majority of American politicians, media, and people (presumably
    including No1Marauder) would fiercely oppose any special treatment for that Chinese citizen.

    My question is this: Can the US government offer good reason(s) why the Chinese
    criminal justice system should be particularly lenient to these accused Americans?
    A *good reason* is worth considering, but not every possible reason is a good reason

    I can imagine these possibilities.
    Americans: They deserve leniency simply because they are Americans.
    Chinese: Does that mean that China should treat citizens of a foreign country more leniently than its own citizens?

    Americans: The accused have been oppressed by racism in the USA, so China should give them a break.
    Chinese: Why should China be held responsible for addressing racism in the USA?

    Americans: These are their first alleged criminal offenses.
    Chinese: In China, yes, but we would like to see if they have any criminal records in the USA.

    Americans: It's so inconvenient to detain them in China when they need to get back to playing basketball for UCLA.
    Chinese: Isn't there an American saying, "If you can't do the time, then don't do the crime"?

    In my view, if the accused American college athletes can put on enough of a show of
    remorse (even if they would privately laugh behind the backs of the Chinese), that may
    be enough to give the Chinese authorities a face-saving excuse to be very lenient.
    UCLA's athletic department may be ready to pay whatever its athletes would be fined.
  12. 14 Nov '17 21:04
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "There is little reason for him to be soft on crime."
    --Quackquack

    But these alleged crimes did not take place in the USA, and no Americans were victimized.
    If these African American college athletes were accused of the same crimes in the USA,
    President Trump might well denounce their perceived sense of entitlement and call for
    them to be punished ...[text shortened]... Not many
    Westerners seem to believe there's anything seriously wrong with doing this in China.
    Perhaps if they did something that was illegal in China but not in the US, people would argue that they should not be subject to law that they did not know or have reason to expect. But I don't think anyone including Trump believes that these kids "deserve' special treatment. Trump asked because it is easy to ask and apparently it was granted because China really didn't care. I don't think this case reflects anything more than the fact that no one thought this was the crime of the century so China was happy to get these low level criminals out of their country and the US was happy to get some Americans back on American soil.
  13. 14 Nov '17 21:16
    Originally posted by @quackquack
    Perhaps if they did something that was illegal in China but not in the US, people would argue that they should not be subject to law that they did not know or have reason to expect. But I don't think anyone including Trump believes that these kids "deserve' special treatment. Trump asked because it is easy to ask and apparently it was granted because ...[text shortened]... criminals out of their country and the US was happy to get some Americans back on American soil.
    "Trump asked because it is easy to ask and apparently it was granted because China really didn't care."
    --Quackquack

    It's wrong to believe that Chinese merchants "really don't care" about arrogant Americans
    walking into their shops and taking whatever they want without having to pay for it.
    Even in the USA, that kind of behavior is regarded as obviously illegal and wrong.

    China's President knows that US President Trump loves flattery (look at the lavish display
    welcoming him to China) and humble agreement from others, so China's government
    may reckon that it's more important to please President Trump than to treat some entitled
    American (minor) celebrities like ordinary Chinese citizens would be likely treated.
  14. Standard member mchill
    Green Lantern
    14 Nov '17 21:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Showing his usual poor 'reading comprehension', Mchill fails to comprehend that I was
    ASKING Americans here how they believe that these American college athletes should
    be treated, both in China and after they return to the USA.
    Perhaps not so poor reading comprehension Duchess. You wrote "Will other Americans believe" This is different than will other Americans HERE believe. If you go back and read what you wrote, you'll see this is true. I would normally apologize for dwelling on small details, but due to your "less than" business like attitude and hypersensitivity. I won't!
  15. 14 Nov '17 21:41
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Perhaps not so poor reading comprehension Duchess. You wrote "Will other Americans believe" This is different than will other Americans HERE believe. If you go back and read what you wrote, you'll see this is true. I would normally apologize for dwelling on small details, but due to your "less than" business like attitude and hypersensitivity. I won't!
    "You wrote "Will other Americans believe""
    --Mchill

    That is correct, and Mchill completely misunderstands what I wrote.

    "This is different than will other Americans HERE believe."
    --Mchill

    Wrong. My "Will OTHER Americans believe" referred to ALL AMERICANS OTHER THAN PRESIDENT TRUMP,
    who was the ONLY American particularly cited--by name-- in my original post.

    We already know that President Trump believes in special treatment for these accused American college athletes.
    My question is about what all other Americans (including writers in this forum) think.

    Given that no American so far has explicitly written that these accused Americans should
    be treated exactly like accused Chinese would be, it seems to me that some Americans
    here would prefer that the accused Americans receive special treatment in China while
    pretending that they are not receiving any special treatment.