CR+50

The Western media has been relatively quiet about China except some sabre rattling on South China Sea. There are the usual noises about the collapse of China, hard landing on Chinese economy, and so called human rights violations. Europe has been preoccupied by the Syrian refugees and Greek economic crisis. U.S. has the theater of absurd of quadrennial election and “The Game of Throne” to deal with. But the question of income inequality affects everyone in the world now, more than climate change which probably will not be felt until 50 years from now. The rise of Sanders and Trump is very much a reaction to income stagnation in U.S.. It is a question China has downplayed and trying to avoid, but recent events may yet force it to the forefront. I am talking here about a little known concert in the Hall of People on May 2, which Chinese media ignored, and the reactions to it.
The concert “The Hope in the Meadow” consists 56 young girls in chorus singing various old standard Red Songs, such as “Sailing Seas depends on Helmsman”, and recent ones showing reverence for Xi Jinping such as “How Do We Name You?”. In a open letter written by Ma Xiaoli around May 7, who is a so called second generation Red Princessling to General Office of Chinese Communist Party Central Committee accuse of it being trying to revive CR, blacken Xi, and in general violated the party rule against personality cult. It generated debates from liberals who feel threatened and furious counterattacks from the left who not only defend it from free speech point of view, but broaden it to linking the ongoing corruption investigations and income inequality, to actual attacks on Deng Xiaoping’s family linking them to corruption. I was amazed to read all those commentaries in May 8, but everything was deleted on May 9, except some links from Hong Kong and other overseas sites.
Ma Xiaoli was one of former Red Guards who apologized for their actions during CR. In exchange of letters with Luo Diandian in Jan 2016, they both expanded their views that CR need to be open up exorcised. They used the De-Nazification of Germany and Truth Commission of South Africa as examples. They are both well educated and obviously sincere in their remorse. They acknowledge their parents were not just the victims, but maybe partly responsible for the policies leading to CR. Although they show disdain for the peasant background of Chinese revolutionaries and implied criticism of Mao, I do not condemn them for their petit-bourgeoisie tendencies, of their dismissing their critics as “Fifty-cents Maoists”, but sincerely hope they can read my critique of their views.
I was a college student in U.S. during the CR, in danger of flunking out and losing my scholarship, yearning to join the Red Guards. Instead because of the draft I elected to join the Army Signal Corps to avoid infantry. I watched the unfolding of CR in U.S. and Viet Nam. During the years I read all the horrors happening. I may not have personally experienced them as actual victim, but having read “Lord of the Flies”, I can imagine young idealists became disillusioned with the revolution. Yet I still consider myself a Marxist and have a high opinion of Mao.

In Kurasawa’s film “Rashomon”, there are different telling of actual events that differ wildly. In analyzing CR, there are personal view, historical view, Western view, and Chinese view. Ms. Ma and Luo and a whole generation may have suffered, but what are they compare to the sweep of history? I certainly disagree vehemently with their characterization with events of WW2 or apartheid. Xi Jinping has said that you can’t separate the 30 years of early People’s Republic with the later 30 years, they are inextricably linked, not to mention the history of last 150 years, or 2,000 years. Those second generation Red Princelings may be victims during CR, but they are also the beneficiaries now and part of the 1% or 0.1%. They fear any return of chaos or new CR. I do favor opening up discussions of CR, but to learn lessons for the future, not to assign blames. The war against tigers and flies has been going on since Xi became General secretary. I remember in the 1950s when I borrowed my uncle’s monthly party booklet there were always juicy news about the downfall of various party secretaries for corruption. I think Mao was aware the need to purify the party and initiated various movements which resulted in CR. Mao may be impatient to change human nature and released forces beyond his control. Like the first emperor of Qin, he may be revile by some, but also history will honor him.

Xi Jinping may face pushback on his fight against corruption, as vested interests feel threatened, but the popularity of red songs and reverence for Mao demonstrated that egalitarianism is an ideal finding fertile ground not only in China, but the phenomenon of Sanders and Trump, and the rebellion against income inequality might become unstoppable even in U.S.. After all, the Chinese National Anthem and Internationale are also red songs.

 

 

Trump vs Hillary

Now that Indiana has spoken, we’ll have 6 months of theater in U.S. until November election. As a Chinese American I do not look at the election on whether it’s good for China or not. Some may feel Trump is a blowhard, while Hillary will press China harder on human rights and South China Sea, but I feel Trump will accelerate the decline for U.S. and will be a danger for U.S. and the rest of the world.
Thomas Frank recently wrote a new book “Listen Liberals”, that excoriates Democratic Party for drifting away from the base of labor and middle class in favor of professional class and elites. He sees the rise of Trump and Sanders as a reaction to the inequality. His critique of meritocracy I think applies equally to what’s happening in China. Xi Jinping recently visited various old rural communist bases and emphasize the need to elevate the poor and purify the party. He very much is aware of the pitfalls of corruption and privilege by directing the military from disengaging in commerce and profits. The recent scandal and investigation of Baidu and military hospital is really overdue.
Chinese tradition of respect for the elders is a Confucian virtue. Last year when I visited Shanghai, and was standing in a subway train, I was offered a seat by a young student which I smiley declined. Recently I read a debate on Weibo about an elderly woman going on a long distance bus with standing tickets as all seats were sold out, she was sick and going to a hospital with her daughter. A young woman demanded her seat as she paid for the seat and refused to share it. She was upbraided by the daughter after someone else offered the seat and the episode was debated online whether she was right to demand the seat. I was somewhat surprised that half go by the legal right argument.
Whether Trump will triumph in November is minor compare what China will be. Despite all the negative prognosticators I think China is going in the right direction, and hopefully the younger generation can learn to takeover.

My Take on the Arrest of Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin.

Edward Snowden has revealed that U.S. spies on everyone around the world, for Chinese Americans, citizens or just green card holders this comes as doubly given, and especially those in STEM fields or sensitive jobs like military this will be triply true. Expect you would have your phone listen in and any communications with foreigners whether in China or Taiwan documented.
Recently there were a bunch of cases of presumed espionage arrests of Chinese American scientists but prosecutions dropped afterward for insufficient or false evidences. Dr. Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University, Shuyu Li, and a few others. Here I quote from Google,
“Chris Kang, president of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), said the FBI has arrested and later released five Asian-American scientists in the last year alone. “I don’t know if it’s a series of good faith mistakes or not,” Kang said. “But at the very least, we are seeing a pattern of disturbing behavior.”
For details you can just google under “Chinese American scientists arrested for espionage” and you can read them for yourself. As for Lt. Cmdr. Edward C Lin., from what I read from today’s NYT, he was seeing some girlfriend other than his wife, maybe even a prostitute, probably from Taiwan, they can’t tie her with China yet, probably something about his job, maybe he was complaining about his tedious work at sea, doing surveillance work on P-8, and got pick up by FBI microphone. Unlike former CIA director Petronius who revealed classified information to his mistress, Lin is not likely to get away scot free.
I myself was investigated by FBI after I naively wrote a letter addressed to Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. in Chinese expressing my admiration for what China has achieved and inquired information on how to get a visa to visit China immediately after the establishment of diplomatic relations. I have a secret clearance for my job in Alaska, and 2 weeks later a charter aircraft flew in with an FBI agent to interview me. Nothing came off it, but I am sure if I use the Freedom of Information Act I can probably access a thick file of my activities for the last 40 years.

America at a Crossroad: Rethinking Trade, Geopolitics, and Economic Well-Being

China U.S. Free Trade[An edited copy of this article under the title “America should not blame trade – or its trading partners – for its ills ” is initially published at the South China Morning Post (pdf archive here)]

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are leading a new American awakening on global trade.  According to the new emerging consensus, America has been the victim of bad trade deals – including the yet-to-be-ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – for decades.  These deals have shipped millions of good-paying American jobs abroad and in the process hollowed out the American middle class.

When Sanders and Trump recently began questioning the merits of trade with allies such as Japan as well, however, many believed them to have crossed a line. It is one thing to attack China for “stealing” jobs but quite another to sell short a close and faithful ally.

Americans have long harbored schizophrenic attitudes on trade, however. Continue reading America at a Crossroad: Rethinking Trade, Geopolitics, and Economic Well-Being

Western Propaganda on “ISIS Breeding” in Xinjiang and Belgium

I thought that I would like to go to this article by the Atlantic about Belgium before the terrorists attack.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/11/belgium-radical-islam-jihad-molenbeek-isis/416235/

This is a well known problem with ISIS a “breeding ground” for terrorists because western countries decides to turn their back on western funded terrorists in Syria.  Even the Belgium PM says that: “This is a gigantic problem. Apart from prevention, we should also focus more on repression.”  After this terrorist attack, it seems that Belgium now has kept its word.  Of course western propaganda didn’t seem to criticize the Belgium cracking down on these terrorists.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/bob-woodruff-happened-alleged-isis-breeding-ground-china/story?id=37978740

This recent story about Bob Woodruff from ABC to make a documentary about China ‘cracking down’ on its people.  This is the same kind of ‘repression’ that many Western countries has done and even western propagandist like Mr. Woodruff portray that the Chinese government is responsible.

90后女孩写神曲蹿红:《马克思是个九零后》/ Marx is an 90s youth.

I grown up in the 60s in U.S., a turbulent time, of Vietnam War and accompanying protests, a rebellious time against stifling conformity of the 50s, sexual liberation and feminism, music of folk songs and rocks, civil right protests and marches, and idealism from far left nihilism to far right Ayn Rand libertarianism. Even Marxism was in vogue for a while. Over the years hippies transformed to Yuppies, and Reagan democrats reigned in politics. In China, Cultural Revolution caused upheavals and accompanying reactions and backlashes. The economic growth in China during the last 35 years were dramatic, lifting more than hundreds of millions if not billion people out of poverty. Yet I worry that whether China will go the path of the West, with the value of Marx and Mao receding back become irrelevant.

I was comforted by Xi’s policy against corruption and purifying the party during the last 3 years. Now I am gladdened that the new generation is picking up the torch and rediscovering Marx as exemplified by this article in guancha.cn, a rap song by name probably a Mongolian minority girl.

《马克思是个九零后》
词:卓丝娜
曲:胡尔琴夫
演唱:香水组合
我对他的第一印象,在政治课
学了他的思想,只是为了及格
本打算过了就算,书再也不念
后来翻开却发现并不讨厌
人生总是充满意外
有一天我看到他的厉害
看到我的信仰别再问why
别再看magazine(杂志)我在看马克思
我出生在1990s,

我就是你的Bruno Mars(布洛诺马尔斯)
但你是我的维纳斯(Venus),
我亲爱的马克思(Marx)
统治者说着乌托邦却不知自由该怎么写
你站出来说无产阶级的力量永远正不畏邪
不为了权不为了钱
但是为了信仰我们一往无前
(前进进 前进进)
Cause we both won’t give up till we die
(到死也不会放弃)
我出生在1990s,

我就是你的Bruno Mars(布洛诺马尔斯)
但你是我的维纳斯(Venus),
我亲爱的马克思(Marx)
统治者说着乌托邦却不知自由该怎么写
你站出来说无产阶级的力量永远正不畏邪
不为了权不为了钱
但是为了信仰我们一往无前
(前进进 前进进)
Cause we both won’t give up till we die
(到死也不会放弃)

为了别人牺牲自己不会容易
总有些人会觉得不可思议
不可思议 不会容易
但世界可能已经ready(准备好)
马克思已经不是 plan B(备用方案)
(Be mine)决定可以当他的小弟
虽然已经有了至少14亿
(You’re gonna listen to me )(听我说)
共产主义甜如蜜

我出生在1990s,
我就是你的Bruno Mars
但你是我的维纳斯(Venus),
我亲爱的马克思(Marx)
统治者说着乌托邦却不知自由该怎么写
你站出来说无产阶级的力量永远正不畏邪
不为了权不为了钱
但是为了信仰我们一往无前
(前进进 前进进)
Cause we both won’t give up till we die(到死也不会放弃)

九零后(yeah) 从此以后(you know)
we both won’t give up till we die(我们不会放弃到死)
and this song will never die (whoo)(这首歌也永远不会死)

像叶孤舟行在山丘
那样的为真理争斗
像他一样嫉恶如仇
像他一样不屑权谋

像叶孤舟行在山丘
那样的为真理争斗
像他一样嫉恶如仇
像他一样不屑权谋
马克思是个九零后

For those who can’t read Chinese I will try to translate the last stanza here.

Like a lonesome canoe floating between mountain hollow.
Struggling against all for truth.
Like him whom hates all evil.
Like him whom disdain power.
Marx is a 90s youth.

I like Trump’s Vision of American Power Abroad

I know there are few or no Trump supporters here … still whatever you think about Trump, I think if you see the injustice of U.S. meddling in Middle East, American Full Spectrum Global DominanceAfrica, the Baltic, and Asia, you have to like and take notice what Trump recently said.

You don’t even have to support Trump.  If you believe Trump is somehow mysteriously in tune with the bulk of the American people, then I think that with Trump articulated here finally there is hope for America … and the world.  Here is an excerpt of a piece about his recent interview with the Washington Post. Continue reading I like Trump’s Vision of American Power Abroad

Western Propaganda vs Peter Liang

As many of you know, Peter Liang was charged with second degree manslaughter as the result of death of Akai Gurley.  Western propaganda, NYC’s mayor and government seems have turned its back against him while many white officers have killed unarmed black people.  They seemed to neglect several facts.

  1. NYPD officers shouldn’t have their guns drawn in many of these stair patrols.

http://nypost.com/2012/07/30/inside-look-at-nypd-vertical-patrols-through-gun-ridden-housing-project/

As you can see from this article 2 years ago before the incident, it is normal for NYPD officers to have their guns drawn on these vertical patrols.  In fact, they are especially trained to be alert when there are lights out in the staircases,  because many officers were ambushed as the result.

2. Liang and his partner Shaun Landau were arguing each other in front of Gurley after he was shot.  Not true, Liang and Landau was arguing each other before they realized that Gurley was shot.

3. Liang and Landau does want to do CPR training.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-taught-peter-liang-cpr-hands-shield-article-1.2557145

Liang and Landau received inadequate CPR training.

What I find interesting is that while many Chinese Americans are protesting about the unjust verdict, western propaganda managed to get some brainwashed Chinese ‘journalists’ to go against them.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/magazine/how-should-asian-americans-feel-about-the-peter-liang-protests.html?_r=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steph-yin/peter-liang-protests_b_9289990.html

Let me make this perfectly clear, Liang is not innocent here and he should be disciplined or even fired from the NYPD as the result of this  incident.  What I don’t agree is that how can he be indicted for second degree manslaughter for doing his job without the intent to hurt or to kill someone.

Good CCTV documentary on US human rights violations (English subtitles)

I’m glad to see the Chinese media FINALLY starting to explicitly outline the hypocrisy of American human rights rhetoric, but I think it doesn’t go far enough to illustrate the sheer scale of US human rights violations & issues, such as:

  1. Little mention on the sheer degree of income & wealth inequality, which then translates into the lack of meaningful political power for most average citizens.
  2. The number of annual police killings & prison incarceration rates in the US.
  3. The lack of respect for equal rights not just by the US government, but BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, as demonstrated by the popularity of xenophobic, & particularly islamophobic rhetoric among presidential candidates.

I think CCTV’s exclusion important details such as the aforementioned may create the misconception that the US human rights problems they outlined are somehow “small & isolated”, and inadequately highlights the widespread nature of their lack of respect for human rights. But nevertheless, this is a good start.

In Foreign policy and Soft-Power message, America is Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump is embarrassing to US, this election cycle.  But some American commentators have even remarked, (as I have previously quoted), to paraphrase Joseph de Maistre,

“In a Democracy, the People don’t get the government they want, they get the government they deserve.”

Because, America, you are Donald J. Trump in the world.

Continue reading In Foreign policy and Soft-Power message, America is Donald J. Trump

Russia and China – Strategic Partners Or Partners of Convenience?

Russia-China Fence MendingMr. Unknown and the blogger known as the Saker has collaborated to write an interesting, provocative, and insightful piece end of last year.  I truly applaud the effort and feel honored that China does have true friends from Russia.  And I am truly heartened to see that there are Russians who do see China as equals … and more importantly … as friends.

Overall I learned quite many things, all valuable to further shaping my worldview. But I also do disagree with some parts of it.  I have no doubt that the great Russian-Chinese dialogue in bringing two great neighbors closer together … perhaps one day to become allies … will continue and will a force for global peace.  But a solid house must be built on solid solutions.  So here is my response, which includes some criticisms, which hopefully will go toward building a more solid foundation between the two great nations / civilizations. Continue reading Russia and China – Strategic Partners Or Partners of Convenience?

On the Anti-Trump Agenda – a Personal Gripe

There are so many things ovDonald Trump for Presidenbter which I disagree with Trump.  When he talks about China, I literally disagree with him on everything he says – currency manipulation, unfair trade, aggressive trade policies, an all out assault to gut America of jobs…

Yet I see every attack on Trump in the media – and yes here on this blog – as the worst of Western media propaganda.  I am writing here not to support Trump (although I would definitely support him over Clinton), but to show what I consider to be Western media’s hypocrisy … and the power of the hypocrisy to brainwash everyone here!  😉

According to the Economist, here are some of the worst of Trump’s offenses.

Because each additional Trumpism seems a bit less shocking than the one before, there is a danger of becoming desensitised to his outbursts. To recap, he has referred to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists; called enthusiastically for the use of torture; hinted that Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice, was murdered; proposed banning all Muslims from visiting America; advocated killing the families of terrorists; and repeated, approvingly, a damaging fiction that a century ago American soldiers in the Philippines dipped their ammunition in pigs’ blood before executing Muslim rebels. At a recent rally he said he would like to punch a protester in the face. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Continue reading On the Anti-Trump Agenda – a Personal Gripe

The Caustic Side Effects of Looking to Supreme Court Justices as Umpires

U.S. Supreme Court[Editor’s Note: This piece was first published at the Huffington Post]

According to Chief Justice Roberts, judges are baseball umpires who apply rules impartially to disputes. As neutral actors, judges make everyone play by the rules but do not take sides themselves.

But with members of Senate locked in a heated debate whether Obama or the next president should name Scalia’s replacement, we are reminded yet again just how political Supreme Court Justices have become.

In decisions after decisions, the Court has waded into the most politically contested issues of the day, from abortion to gay rights to campaign contribution limits to national health insurance. Scholars now routinely predict how each Justice will vote based on his or her ideological persuasions alone, irrespective of the legal issues presented.

Justice Roberts would like us to reminisce wistfully about a day when judges were umpires of the law. But I don’t think that day ever existed. Continue reading The Caustic Side Effects of Looking to Supreme Court Justices as Umpires

Donald Trump

It is frequently claimed that Winston Churchill once said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”. Now that Donald Trump is on the verge of locking up the nomination as Republican candidate for POTUS, and U.S. surely is on the cusp to become fascist if he wins the nomination and the resulting election, I wonder if that statement should remove the qualifier. One TV commentator said in a daze when analyzing the Nevada cuscus that Republican Party just suffered a hostile takeover. I wonder whether U.S. will have a willing takeover as Germany did in 1932 by Adolf Hitler. Some may consider my sentiment alarmist, but given the angers from both the right and left exemplified by Trump and Sanders and the high turnouts in those primaries I think my worries may become nightmare. Let’s enumerate the promises flowed from Trump, build a wall on the border to Mexico and Mexico better pay for it, deport 12 million illegal aliens. 35% tariffs of goods from China, take oils from Iraq and maybe Iran for U.S. military expenses in Middle East, and I am sure soon will be threats against China. Surely those campaign promises are meaningless, or are they? And I thought I am too old to worry about climate warming which will raise sea levels 20 feet in a few hundred years.

Western Media’s Monkey Business

Happy Year of the Monkey everyone. Sadly the first monkey related blogpost on HH is about Western media’s on going monkey business when it comes to China reporting.

For 2016, the first salvo is about the shameless nouveau riche of China illegally owning endangered “thumb monkey” of Amazon:

MetroHeadline

However quick Google fact check revealed this story is, again, monkey business. Here are some facts about “thumb monkey”, aka “pocket monkey”, aka “pygmy marmoset”:

1) Contrary to condemnation, pygmy marmoset is not endangered or threatened. IUCN conservation status for pygmy marmoset is it’s not threatened in any major way:

Least Concern – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category

Seems some just noticed IUCN had a Red List publication for pygmy marmoset and assumed it is endangered, without scrutinizing what the Red List publication actually said:

pygmymarmoset

2) Pygmy marmoset is available for sale in US and UK as pet. Google “pet pygmy marmoset” showed some very ordinary stuff on permitting, sales, and care of this creature. This one I’m most incredulous about – would an endangered spices be so readily available for sale in enlightened first world nations?

In contrast, Google pygmy marmoset with keyword “China” revealed a multitude of vitriol against the evil Chinese, on behalf of this suddenly poor, endangered species. Even worse when adding the keyword “endangered” (note the article count actually goes up):

pygmymarmosetendangered

3) Another fallacy is that pygmy marmoset is illegal in China. Actually importation of exotic mammals are legal in China, subject to quarantine and permitting regulations. It is illegal to circumvent quarantine (which unscrupulous vendors in China, as well as US, UK, do.) Here’s what China’s regulation on Wildlife Domestication and Rearing Permit says:

第三条 具备下列条件的单位和个人,可以申请《驯养繁殖许可证》:
(一) 有适宜驯养繁殖野生动物的固定场所和必需的设施;
(二) 具备与驯养繁殖野生动物种类、数量相适应的资金、人员的技术;
(三) 驯养繁殖野生动物的饲料来源有保证。

Article 3 Qualification For Business Entity and Individual To Apply “Wild Life Domesticaiton and Rearing Permit”:
(1) Having permanent location, appropriate and necessary facility, equipment for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(2) Possessing needed capital, expertise, for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(3) Gauranteed food supply for domestication and rearing the wild animal.

Here’s a very recent coverage about a company in Hangzhou importing small monkeys, and monkeys passing their 30-day quarantine.

Monkey business, or business as usual? You decide.

Free Speech Definitely Doesn’t Mean Cost Notwithstanding Speech

The recent post by pugster about rioters in Hong Kong brought to my mind some thoughts I had as the Umbrella Revolution was flaming out a couple of years ago.

One of the arguments many people in the West used to denigrate the HK and Mainland government in support of the Umbrella movement was that the rioters had a right to block streets and shut down districts to get their message out.  When some Hong Kongers – siding with HK and Mainland government – pushed back that while freedom of speech grants them the right to protest but not a right to shut down entire districts, they were ridiculed and shamed by the Western press.

Of course, as we know, when the occupy movement flamed across the Western capitals of the world, those governments acted very differently.  The police (even paramilitary forces) soon cracked down and order was soon restored.  But in China, so-called rule of law quickly gets tossed aside in the name of mob rule (I mean “democracy”).  All this reinforced in my mind how “political” “free” speech is.  It is “free” when the politics is palatable.  But when it’s not, the “costs” – be it national security, social peace, whatever – gets framed as the main (only) issues.

This reminds me of another story last year when the Pope visited the U.S.  If people remember, the pope got a “rock star” reception from the media – with the press trumpeting how popular, socially and morally in tune the pope is, especially compared to China’s President Xi (also visiting the U.S. around the same time) who allegedly got a stiff and cool reception. Continue reading Free Speech Definitely Doesn’t Mean Cost Notwithstanding Speech

How would this story be reported if it were China asking Apple for a way to get into a Terrorist’s phone?

Interesting story from NYT today titled “Judge Tells Apple to Help Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s iPhone.”

Here is an excerpt:

WASHINGTON — A judge in California on Tuesday ordered Apple to help the F.B.I. unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the assault in San Bernardino that killed 14 people in December.

The ruling handed the F.B.I. a potentially important victory in its long-running battle with Apple and other Silicon Valley companies over the government’s ability to get access to encrypted data in investigations. Apple has maintained that requiring it to provide the “keys” to its technology would compromise the security of the information of hundreds of millions of users.

Continue reading How would this story be reported if it were China asking Apple for a way to get into a Terrorist’s phone?

Hong Kong Rioters at it again.

It seems that the Western Paid Rioters are at it again, this time they are ‘protesting’ against the removal of Illegal food stalls in Mong Kok and starting their ‘fishball revolution.’

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35529587

These Right wing rioters including the HK IndigenousCivic PassionHong Kong Localism PowerHong Kong Independence Party that has plagued Hong Kong about 18 months ago with their ‘Umbrella revolution’ threw bricks, started fires, and beat up on police and reporters.   Western propaganda seems to fixate on 2 warning shots up the air.  Sad on the state of Hong Kong that this kind of riots are even tolerated because if this kind of stuff would happen in America these people would be promptly jailed as terrorists.

U.S. in Crossroad

I remember in early 1960s, I read a book of short stories of science fiction from Eastern Europe in which one portrayed the future of mankind as one bloated capitalist lamenting that he owned everything with robots manufacturing products which no one can afford to buy, in fact the planet is dying with him as the last one. I also read the Michael Lewis book “The Big Short”, in which few have any idea of the coming mortgage failures which triggered the 07-08 financial crisis.
This January the stock markets in U.S. are in turmoil. It’s estimated more than $2 trillion in wealth were lost. This also comes as a complete surprise to all experts. Some economists and market analysts blamed it on China, Chinese stock market, oil price drop, while others consider it normal and totally unreasonable, that is clueless. And the confusion extends to politics. On one hand Donald Trump dominating the Republican polls, with him wanting to impose 45% tariffs on Chinese imports, build a wall to keep out Mexicans and Muslims. On the other hand Bernie Sanders threatening to impose socialism policies on Wall Street and the polls have him leading Hillary Clinton on the Democrats. With Iowa Caucus 10 days away, how do we connect the dots to make any sense?
Marx in his analysis of Capital foretold the struggle between capital and labor, the spreading chasm between rich and poor, the income inequality, globalization, extraction of surplus value from labor and nature to the detriment of both, and eventually the lack of investment opportunities and diminishing return with profit as motive. Now that his predictions seem to all come to pass one by one. Wages for U.S. workers have been stagnant for the last 40 years. Supreme Court is about to deal a crippling blow to government labor unions by making union due check off no longer mandatory in those few states that allow them. People are angry and turn both to right and left. Despite some positive responses to $15 minimum wages in some cities, I suspect U.S. may be turned to billionaires ruling directly rather than proxy as Trump triumphs.

DPP Wins in Taiwan

The writing has been on the wall for KMT’s chances in the election this time around for some time.  As I had discussed earlier, the battle between DPP and KMT in the 2016 election is not about independence vs. status quo as it had been 8 years back when Taiwan elected Ma Ying-jeou, or 16 years ago when Taiwan elected Chen Shui-Bian.  That battle had been won long ago, with this time everyone agreeing that the status quo is the way to go.  The battle this time around is about economics, about what to do with Taiwan’s stagnant wages and rising home prices.

Of course, there are plenty of symbolism that DPP – and hence Tsai – still stands for independence.  DPP’s charter, for example, still officially endorses independence.  Tsai has also been purposely demure and vague about her stance toward the Mainland, including her public avoidance of acknowledging the 1992 Consensus on the one-China policy.

But I think it’s possible all that is just symbolism.  Given that it’s election season, and that the 1992 Consensus include details that allowed both sides to interpret things slightly differently under the broad rubric of a one China policy, I think it’s perhaps understandable Tsai want to do everything to avoid the specter of getting pinned into one specific or another interpretation.

The real reason KMT lost is because it has not properly addressed the following political trends.  Continue reading DPP Wins in Taiwan

The West has Affluenza Moral Universalism: An argument for a balanced view of morality in China

Moral Universalism, as often headlined by “Universal Human Rights”, is the philosophical concept that some Universal moral standard applies universally to all individuals, regardless of their culture, race, religion, gender, nationality, etc.

Yet, in implementation, Moral Universalism and “Universal Human Rights” have led to a kind of twisted moral standard, where collateral damage of millions of lives in wars are justified, but giving economic aid to starving “dictatorships” is wrong.

How was this possible?  I point to no further than an example of the “affluenza teen”, who killed several people while driving drunk, and yet his defense argued “affluenza”, a medical condition that he didn’t know right from wrong.

Continue reading The West has Affluenza Moral Universalism: An argument for a balanced view of morality in China

China’s Obsolete Economic Strategy?

New York Times editorial board published an editorial this morning trying to give advice that’s so laughable and I immediately wrote a comment to rebut them.

“I think NYT should have more editorials about the direction of U.S. economy and government policies than China’s. What you complain about China doesn’t really hold water.
1. Despite the trigger of stock market breakers, the Shanghai stock composite at the beginning of 2016 is little changed compare with beginning of 2015, and compare with SP500 at U.S., the performance is similar.
2. Paul Krugman has been complaining of under stimulation in U.S.. The package is insufficient for generating higher growth in U.S.. Now the high speed trains in China might not generate sufficient return in dollars. It has generated social functions unimaginable by your editorial writers. It has knitted the country together in a closer entity with reasonable fares for internal tourism. I wish U.S. has similar trains instead of all the potholes in the highways.
3. China has plenty of weapons to tackle the higher debt compare to U.S.. She can use the QE to reduce the debt cost. Unlike U.S., now with interest rate rising and debt cost rising. Of course the transition of heavy industries to green energies will take time, but I am sure in 10 years, U.S. will marvel how clean the air of Beijing will be.
4. The so called currency devaluation is more a mirage of U.S. dollar strength than a Yuan weakness. For Yuan compare with basket of currencies used by IMF it actually strengthened. It also is a temporary condition with oil in the $30 range. Don’t expect it will last.”

Space prevent me from making all the points. Here I like to expound more on the question of investing for the future. By orthodox economic theory, investing something like railroad to Tibet makes no economic sense by return of asset. Yet for military, strategic, or the need of people it’s invaluable. The same is true for all the infrastructures of highways and high speed trains. Capitalists count the dollars and cents. Is it profitable to invest in education and health? Republicans here say no, and that’s a debate NYT should be engaging.

US Security Paranoia over Undersea Cables unexpectedly reveals extent of US surveillance

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/world/europe/russian-presence-near-undersea-cables-concerns-us.html?_r=0

Why is US /NATO so concerned about the undersea cables for internet?  Because they “carry more than 95 percent of daily communications”??!

How can they “carry more than 95 percent of daily communications” on the internet??!!  Considering most users and most popular websites are based in US?

It would be an interesting admission, only if most of the daily internet traffic of US is being channeled elsewhere.

Oddly enough, that confirmed what Edward Snowden had revealed, that US government has ordered most ISP’s to redirect traffic to outside US for the purpose of electronic surveillance of internet traffic.

Continue reading US Security Paranoia over Undersea Cables unexpectedly reveals extent of US surveillance

Server Migrated

green-check-markIf you see this page.  You have reached our new server.  If you see things that appear wrong, please let me know, so I can fix them.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a shakeout period for me to see how this new server works for us.

Thanks All!

Out of date SSL Certificates and Other Issues

Happy New YearHi Everyone,

If you are logging in to comment, you may notice that our SSL certificate is out of date.  We are working with the host on resolving that issue and other issues.

Over the last year or so, we’ve had several outages even though our traffic was modest.  In the next couple of days, I will be periodically putting the site on read-only maintenance mode (where you won’t be able to log in and comment) since I may also be moving the site to a new host.  Things should be back to normal by December 24, 2015.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

Short Post: Returning Stolen Treasures

Cage's stolen Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur I saw this article earlier today in the NYT about actor Nicholas Cage agreeing to return to Mongolia a dinosaur fossil that he had legitimately bought (paying top dollars for) but that turned out to have been stolen earlier from Mongolia.  Following is an excerpt of the story.

I wish people and governments around the world also think about returning back to China the thousands and thousands of stolen cultural relics that have been looted from China the last century or two.  When one takes the politics out, one can see this as the only virtuous thing to do.  But alas, when it comes to facing to history of the last few centuries, so many in the West become so self-righteous and indignant.

Still, we can hope and dream … one day … Continue reading Short Post: Returning Stolen Treasures

China at Crossroad, a Critique from Left.

With China’s stupendous achievements from the last 35 years it would seem petty to complain about problems accompanies the growth. Yet Xi and his leadership group face some structural problems in reforms necessarily to transform Capitalism to her eventual goal of Socialism. Last month Beijing University named a new building after Karl Marx, and hosted first of hopefully many more conferences of Marx scholars from around the world. Xi has revisited his old home in Yan’an when he was a teenager and invoked Mao’s speech in 1942 in Yan’an Forum on art and literature. There are palpable worries from liberals in the West that Xi might be another Mao in waiting.

Since Xi assumed power, his major focus is on fighting corruption at various levels of government, party, and military. Yet as major cases shown it is not easy as corruption has grown to be integral part of society, intertwined with roots stretching beyond easy reach and facing pushbacks that threaten his own hold on power. Various special interests under the slogan “To be rich is glorious” has married power to money with few immune to the lure of lucre. Xi’s fight against corruption is popular in China, yet it raises unrealistic expectation that threaten the mantra of social stability. An example was the collapse of school buildings during the Szechuan earthquake. It is easy to play the blame game after the fact. Grieving parents together with other public personalities were a powerful force, but can you dig deep enough to affect not only the contractors, but government official and everyone involved? Xi’s solution is trying to contain the investigation of corruption to major ones, a somewhat amnesty for minor past misdeeds and crack down on new or egregious cases. Events seem to expose the inadequacy of this strategy. Tianjin chemical explosions, red alert for smog in Beijing, and now the Shenzhen landslide show that laws is powerless against the collusion of power and money.

I applaud what Xi and his leadership group is attempting. Reducing inequality by health care for everyone, social security for rural farmers, continuing urbanization with household registration open to migrant workers, subsidized and reduced price to sell excess apartments to them, new changes in 1 child policy, reducing military by 300,000 and divorce military from profit and business. Reduce pollution and for a greener less CO2 future, the list is endless and daunting. Compare them with the coming GOP contenders in U.S., where evolution and climate warming are denied, it’s obvious future lies with China. Yet all these will not be possible without a socialist ethic, and Mao looms over it. China has to deal with the legacy of Mao and CR, avoiding or ignoring them will not do. Whatever the positives or negatives must be analyzed and examples learned.

The career of Yu Yonjun is instructive. He rose to became governor of Shanxi province from 2005-2007. He purposed zero growth for coal and steel production there, and closed thousands of small inefficient coal mines which exploited labor and were unsafe. He wanted to protect the environment and made powerful enemies in party bureaucracy and coal barons. He was a most popular governor there, yet he lost his job due to the scandal he exposed in coal mines. I think there are 3-4 more governors there since he left and none were successful. He’s now retired and hired as a professor in a southern university. He gave a series of lectures on CR recently and probably triggered sensitive nerves and called to Beijing for conference.

Involvement of Any Third Party in The South China Sea is Counter Productive

I am writing this article as a follow on to Allen’s post “Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?

International law is defined by consensus but ultimately decided by “reality on the ground”. Each claimant nation of South China Sea island should have absolute faith and belief in their position before submitting any claim. That is not wrong. However, each nation should be realistic. To have the notion that “my claim is more legitimate than your claim” is counter productive. And to have this illusion that somehow “world opinion” is backing your claim make it even more laughable. Continue reading Involvement of Any Third Party in The South China Sea is Counter Productive

Opinion: In Fighting ISIS or Al Qaeda, We Must Take Great Care Not to Demonize Islam

Islam[editor’s note: this is a cross-post of an article I posted on the Huffington Post.]

When news arose that the killings in San Bernardino last Thursday was probably terrorist related – that the perpetrators Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik had praised “Allah” and pledged allegiance to ISIS moments before they started their rampage – attention quickly shifted to the Muslim communities for their reactions.

Soon enough, civic and religious leaders of the Muslim communities rolled forward to condemn the attack in no uncertain terms. They called the acts horrific and uncivilized and not in line with their religious or social values.

But talking to my Muslim friends privately, I also get a very real sense of fear. Continue reading Opinion: In Fighting ISIS or Al Qaeda, We Must Take Great Care Not to Demonize Islam

Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?

The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07
The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07

[Editor’s Note: This is a cross-post of an article I submitted to the Diplomat a few weeks ago.  I am wrapping up a more detailed legal analysis of the issues  and aim to make it a law review article.  I will cross-post here too that once that has been submitted and accepted.]

When the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague recently announced that it would take “jurisdiction” over Philippines’ arbitral claims against China, many reported the decision as a victory for the Philippines and as a triumph of the “rule of law.” I beg to differ. The Court, on the contrary, has muddled, not upheld, international law, and by trivializing the states’ duty to negotiate in good faith – as enshrined in the U.N. charter, stipulated in the UNCLOS, and specifically agreed to between the parties – has greatly damaged the prospect for peace, cooperation, and a final resolution of the disputes. Continue reading Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?