I want to note that before Qin re-united the country, the title of huang(皇) and di(帝) mean sage or saint. The Qin king combined that title and make it huangdi(皇帝) which becomes the title emperor. And I also want to say that before the Xia dynasty, leader in China is elected rather than being hereditary. Read more…
It is refreshing to see public intellectuals other than Eric X Li speak openly against the blind faith that most westerners place in their own brand of democratic governance and market capitalism (a faith that they attempt to impose on the rest of the world). However, I wanted to voice my skepticism on two of Moyo’s assumptions that I noticed in this linked video.
For most Americans, Thanksgiving will be about a turkey feast and homage to people they are thankful for. I too celebrate this occasion. However, the real history behind it is of course extremely dark. I just searched on Google for images related to “thanksgiving“, and there were only scant hints of Native Americans, let alone mention, as American writer, David Quammen puts it, a genocide. America has systematically been whitewashing this history. I recently came across an article written by Dennis W. Zotigh, a Native American Indian, who works as a writer and cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.. After reading it, I have been contemplating how might American society eventually come to grips with this appalling history in a honest and fair way. So far, the only way I can imagine it is that Native American Indians grow in sufficient numbers and then fight to have popular media represent their history more fairly. This will likely never happen. That then got me thinking: in the same vein, in order for Japan to apologize sincerely and for Japanese society to fully accept their invasion was wrong, China will have to become much stronger financially and politically. There is no other way. Anyways, since we are celebrating Thanksgiving, we mind as well know the whole truth.
Wow, here is an update on the China ADIZ and the recent aftermath. While I did expect U.S. and Japan to express some kind of reservation over China’s recent establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Seas, I had not anticipated the full sound and fury of the storm!
Within hours after China’s public announcement of the ADIZ, the U.S. decided to send two B-52s (unarmed) to the edge of China’s ADIZ on a putative long-planned, routine “training mission.” When China did not scramble jets, the U.S. celebrated and congratulated themselves on a job well done! Not to be outdone, Japan and S. Korea then publicly announced that they have also sent military (purportedly surveillance) planes into the area without properly alerting the Chinese side without incurring Chinese interception. The Japanese also went to the extent of ordering its airlines (its two main airlines and all members of the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan) not to comply with China’s ADIZ (although Japan seems to have done a “U-Turn” for now).
One can find much written about China’s ADIZ. In this post, I want to focus my commentaries on the indignation and concerns that many in the U.S., Japan – even S. Korea – have expressed toward China’s establishment of an ADIZ.
Before all that, I think it’s useful to provide some further clarification on China’s ADIZ. First a better map than what one might find typically online. Read more…
Recently, one sees again a torrent of articles in the Western press about how China is escalating tensions in the the East China Seas By Creating an Air Defense Identification Zone. The response from the U.S. and its lackey Japan has been swift. NYT reports:
China’s announcement appeared to be the latest step in what analysts have called a strategy to chip away at Japan’s claims of control of the islands. Japan has long maintained a similar air defense zone over them.
The Japanese foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, called the Chinese declaration a dangerous escalation that could lead to what many military analysts most fear in the tense standoff: a miscalculation or accident that could set off an armed confrontation and drag the United States into the conflict.
“It was a one-sided action and cannot be allowed,” Mr. Kishida told reporters, according to Japan’s Kyodo News. It could also “trigger unpredictable events,” he warned.
In a statement on Saturday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned that the American government viewed the Chinese move “as a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region.” He also reaffirmed that the United States would stand by its security treaty obligations to aid Japan if it were attacked.
By setting up a competing air defense zone, China may be trying to show that its claim to the islands is as convincing as Japan’s, Japanese officials said. They said China appeared to have a similar objective last Thursday, when Chinese coast guard officers boarded a Chinese fishing boat near the islands.
Ahh … how one-sided and myopic is the NYT report (surprise!).
In a perfect world, we would have free press that report objective and fair news. We are also told that western developed countries are responsible in their dealing with global issues, especially one as important as climate change. However, if you think there is no invisible hand behind what is selected to be reported by press, privately or government held, think again. Contrast the following headlines and one can clearly tell how politics affect what is being reported and omitted: Read more…
Japan recently reacted negatively with much fanfare, over the news that the South Korean and Chinese governments indicated “progress” on “cooperation” to build a Memorial Hall for Ahn Jung-Geun, who shot and killed Hirobumi Ito, then Japan’s top official in Korea, at the railway station in Harbin in northeast China in 1909.
Many Chinese and Koreans consider Ahn to be a “resistance fighter” and a hero. Ahn also had/has many Japanese admirers. Japan considers him a “criminal”.
But there is 1 note, though, the Memorial Hall hasn’t even been built yet. It’s all just talk right now.
And all China said was, “China will in accordance with relevant regulations on memorial facilities involving foreigners make a study to push forward relevant work.”
“Make a study to push forward….” China hasn’t even agreed to allow it yet. They just said they were going to look INTO the South Korean request.
Apparently, the lure of money makes people forget lessons of the past.
So when recently the housing prices started to rise again in the Western regions of US, People are starting to dump houses, hoping to cash in on the higher prices. (either that, or just trying to get themselves out of the market with little loss as possible).
I have long complained about the overt racist tone in the US government’s crusade against “China IP theft”, and others have reflected similar sentiments.
My main complaint is that “IP theft” actually occurs ALL the time in US, between US companies and individuals, but we rarely ever see any kind of accusations of criminal wrong-doing. Companies often settle out of court, privately. ”IP infringement” is just the cost of doing business. Some days you infringe others’, some days others infringe yours. No sane company wants to start a flaming war in the courts and media, because others won’t want to work with you in the future.
UNLESS, of course, it’s convenient for you to reach for racism as the good old fashion tool to squeeze out the “foreigners” from your turf.
That’s what I said to my parents-in-law who asked me to explain the “market” behavior that turns on every bit of news.
To the ordinary people, American or Chinese or anyone else, the “market” is hard to explain/understand. That’s because it really is nuts/bonkers/crazy/insane/irrational. This is NOT some “rational market”, because this “market” of today responds to opinions of those who claim to know. But do they really know? Or are they merely seeking to influence the outcome with their opinion?
The on-going Third Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee has handed down several important decisions recently. One of them involves the relaxation of the one-child policy to spur China’s population growth.
Xinhua has a good report. An excerpt is provided below:
BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — China will loosen its decades-long one-child population policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child, according to a key decision issued on Friday by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The [change in policy is part of China's continual adjustments in policies] step by step to promote “long-term balanced development of the population in China,” ….
To ensure coordinated economic and social development, the population size for China should be kept at about 1.5 billion, said Guo, citing the results of a study sponsored by the State Council, China’s cabinet.
China should keep its total fertility rate at around 1.8, and the current rate is between 1.5 to 1.6, allowing the country to maneuver its population policy, according to Guo. Read more…
The news is still enfolding on the destruction Typhoon Haiyan – now barreling its towards Vietnam and on into southern China - left in the Philippines. For those with the means, it appears the best way to help for the public now is to donate money. Two organizations with the capacity to help on the ground are:
Some of you might have seen this traffic footage already. Pay attention to the motorcyclist at the top-center of the video. What would possess this person to undertake the sequence of actions as unfolded in the video?
I have long maintained that boycotts rarely work well as a tool of political protest. Even when mobilized as a collective national action like a trade embargo, history has not shown much effectiveness in causing political change, other than merely increasing bitterness (like the Embargo against Cuba).
Against a much larger target, with even broader scope, such as “boycott China”, the sheer size of lunacy of such a proposition is immediately apparent. Chinese economy is not pinned down in a few special economic sectors, it’s large and diverse, and most importantly international. It produces final products and components and material. It’s not merely economical for businesses, it’s necessity of businesses to buy Chinese products.
But even more interestingly, the increase in the internet economy has shown that it’s not just companies like Walmart that dictates the improbability of “boycott China”, it’s increasingly the end user purchasers who are making it impossible to “boycott China”.
Still recall former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on “Internet Freedom?” Our first reaction on this blog was that America wanted unfettered access to citizens around the world. From a propaganda perspective, that idea enables the U.S. State Department to bypass foreign governments in reaching their citizens directly. Clinton herself has said the Internet would be a more viable means to reach into certain countries than, say, Voice of America (VOA), which often gets its signals jammed. This is also good business for the likes of Google and other American Internet services companies. The more users on Google, the more advertising dollars. And, it was no surprise at the beginning of that speech, Clinton pointedly acknowledged contributions from Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt. She affectionately described Schmidt, “co-conspirator from time to time” for that policy formulation.
Today, I came across an article in Asia Times titled “Tiananmen Crash Linked to Xinjiang Mosque Raid” by Shohret Hoshur, originally published via Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Service. In the article Hoshur appears to justify violence and terrorism committed last week by presenting what must appear to him to be legitimate motivations for plowing a car into the guardrails in Tiananmen Square (which resulted in an explosion) last week .
For Hoshur, this event was less about terrorism – as the Chinese government asserts – and more about the desperate acts of another politically disenchanted Uighur. While Hoshur is careful to say this is not organized violence (this would hurt the cause for Uighur independence), he also elevated it from mere spiteful acts of pitiful personal grievance (this would be uninteresting) to a symbolic peoples’ revolt (this is the happy, sweet medium).
Hoshur’s article is copied below: Read more…
When we hear about My Lai, the “napalm” girl immediately comes to mind, doesn’t she? Can we imagine what else was happening to the Vietnamese there? Take a look at the picture below, starting with the woman holding a boy trying to button her shirt. From there, see the reactions from other people in the picture. This is of course one of those sad stories that’s never told enough. America has simply whitewashed it away. (Click here for the story.)
Time recently published an article titled “How a Starbucks Latte Shows China Doesn’t Understand Capitalism” on the attention the Chinese government appears to be bringing to the practice of foreign companies overcharging Chinese consumers. According to Time, the government in doing this shows it doesn’t understand capitalism, ought to back off, and let the market reach a proper price.
The article asserts:
The bottom line is this: Companies will price their products based on what the consumer is willing to pay. That’s nothing illicit. It’s simple supply and demand. If Starbucks lattes were truly overpriced in China, the Chinese wouldn’t be buying as many of them, and the American firm would not have been able to build a successful network of over 1,000 shops in the country.
If foreign companies are engaged in illegal practices, then they should be stopped. But meddling in the pricing decisions of independent private companies is another thing altogether. China’s leaders persistently promise to make the Chinese economy more market-oriented, liberalized and fair. Premier Li Keqiang recently committed the government to “steadfastly pursuing reform and opening-up with priority given to the stimulation of the market.” Interfering with the prices private firms charge Chinese consumers suggests that China’s officials believe that they should make economic decisions, not free markets. Read more…
What comes to your mind when you look at the population distribution map above? Different people see different things even if it is the same picture or skewed statistic. In case you are new, the standard narrative of mainstream western press is that China invaded Tibet in 1959, and has been committing genocide on the Tibetan people since then. If you have doubt do a search on mainstream website like ABC, CNN, BBC etc, you would have a single version of the story. Read more…
I came across this bit of legal news:
Japan enshrined, in the infamous “ Yasukuni war shrine” for the War Dead, the names of Koreans who were forced to serve in the Japanese military. AND, it included the name of at least 1 Korean who is still ALIVE! AND, the Japanese High Court just dismissed an appeal from the relatives and the 1 living Korean to have their names removed from the Shrine, saying “South Koreans needed to respect Japan’s religious beliefs.”
The disclosures from Snowden just won’t stop, and they get worse and worse as new ones come out.
Complete with snarky smiley face drawn by US government hackers who supposedly proudly presented to the NSA masters how they broke into Google and Yahoo’s user data.
I’m generally pretty tolerant of gaffes from all groups of people. Most people tend to have moments when they didn’t think about what they were saying.
But I do take notice of gaffes, because it usually lets loose people’s deep biases that they don’t normally display.
So the latest media gaffe in US that caught my attention, was when a kid made a suggestion to “kill everyone in China” to settle U.S. debt, on Jimmy Kimmel’s show.
For one, I’m not the only one who was offended.
As for purpose, terrorism, like politics, is all about symbolism.
As symbolism goes, I can be shocked by the attacks of planes used as flying bombs ramming into skyscrapers, but I can also understand the logic of its symbolism. If you are a desperate terrorist waging war on US, you might attack the biggest symbols of US, the landmarks of Capitalism and Democracy.
Recently, wading knee deep into the piles of Expat China Blog articles with typical anti-China titles, I came across this rather ridiculous one:
http://foarp.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-insanity-at-heart-of-chinese.html, regarding a “insane plan for conquering most of Asia published as an editorial in the Chinese Communist Party’s Hong Kong-based media outlet Wen Wei Po”.
It is worth noting the kind of typical behavior of shallow smear journalism and base intellectual dishonesty in many typical Expat Blogs.
Yesterday I went to buy joss sticks and joss paper to pray for my ancestors.
The towkay asked me if I wanted to buy paper iphone to burn for my ancestors. I said they know how to use or not? He said Steve Jobs already there, can teach them to use. I said ok loh.
He asked want to buy casing? I also said ok.
Next he asked me if I wanted Bluetooth? I said might as well loh.
What about charger? I said need charger meh? He said of course lah, after battery no power how? So I bought the charger also.
Then I asked for his name card. He said why you need my name card?
I said I burn for my ancestors. For warranty claim, they will contact you direct. Read more…
Two weeks back, Russia Today broke a story with the title “China employs 2 million analysts to monitor web activity.” From that, we get a plethora of dark articles about how bad the Chinese government is. For example, from the BBC, we get an article titled ”China employs two million microblog monitors state media say“:
More than two million people in China are employed by the government to monitor web activity, state media say, providing a rare glimpse into how the state tries to control the internet.
China’s hundreds of millions of web users increasingly use microblogs to criticise the state or vent anger.
Recent research suggested Chinese censors actively target social media. Read more…
Orwell warned the World that when propaganda is truly successfully ingrained into society, people would not even realize propaganda for what it is. They would think it is normal and ordinary. When people read Orwell’s “1984″, it was clear from our own perspectives what propaganda was, in the “Newspeak” of the story. But we do not necessarily understand how such propaganda could be perceived as normal. It felt like even the people in the story should know that the propagandas were lies, and that they should object and resist.
But that is not the case. And we have a perfect illustration of it for today’s example: The US government “shutdown”. Ask the hypothetical: What would Orwell think of it?
I wanted to share a video that has gone viral on Youku, and has gotten the attention of western outlets such as Time Magazine, which will no doubt attract ample amounts of sneers and visceral comments from the West. I’m posting both the English (Youtube) and Chinese (Youku) versions, for everyone’s convenience.
This past weekend, the Jinan Intermediate People’s Court found Bo Xilai guilty bribetaking, embezzlement and abuse of power. The trial has been widely publicized and discussed in China, with netizens on the blogsphere commenting from almost every angle, some in support of Bo, some in disgust of his alleged actions, and others neutral and looking at the bigger picture (see e.g. also this report). South China Morning Post has this short summary of the court’s point-by-point verdict against Bo.
The Jinan Intermediate People’s Court accepted just two of the points former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai made in his defence as it jailed him for life yesterday. The court, in a transcript released on its official weibo account, set out its point-by-point rebuttal of Bo’s defence. It also detailed ways in which he abused his power after the crimes of his wife, Gu Kailai, and the attempted defection to the US by his key lieutenant, Wang Lijun.
Bo’s claim: I confessed under duress.
The court said: Under Chinese law, the use of corporal punishment, corporal punishment in disguised form, or spiritual torture to interrogate and extort confessions is illegal. The “pressure” Bo faced did not involve any such act.
Bo’s claim: I did not know that [Dalian -based billionaire] Xu Ming was paying the expenses for my wife and son [Bo Guagua].
The court said: Bo’s denial in court is invalid as his written statements before the trial matched the testimony of Xu Ming and others, showing he not only knew that Xu Ming was financing Bo Guagua’s study abroad but also understood well their deal – exchanging power for money. Whether Bo knows the exact amount or not makes no difference.
Bo’s claim: I had no knowledge of the villa in France [bought on behalf of Bo's family with cash from Xu Ming].
The court said: Bo mentioned the villa in his statements before the court heard evidence and testimony from others, ruling out the possibility that he was forced to confess on the point. Read more…
Sometimes, numbers lie, because so often, a few numbers are summarized to generalize about a vastly complex landscape.
“42″!! That’s the answer for every thing.
Well, don’t complain to me if you don’t understand the answer. It’s the question you need to really understand, which is, what does that number REALLY supposed to mean.
Take for another example, China’s Gini Index, supposedly designed to measure the economic disparity in Chinese population, which is now at around 0.474. (US is at around 0.469). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_Gini_coefficient
Not much difference. Yet numbers lie in different ways to different people. Thus, we take to explain the reality here.