Nations Agree on the Trans-Pacific Partnership … and My First Take of Its Significance

U.S. vs. China?
U.S. vs. China?

Yesterday, the U.S. and the eleven other nations announced that they had finally – after rounds and rounds of delays – an agreement.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been controversial and widely criticized, with secret negotiations taking place behind closed doors.

Even the ultra liberal and Western brain-washed readers of the New York Times see little to like about the agreement.  For example, within a day of the announcement of the agreement, the top 10 comments (as voted by the readers) in the piece in which the NYT reported read: Continue reading Nations Agree on the Trans-Pacific Partnership … and My First Take of Its Significance

The “follies” of Russia’s pivot to China

Recently, there has been no shortage of highly pessimistic commentaries published & republished, pointing out the supposed “follies” of Russia’s eastern pivot, by highlighting this year’s decline in Sino-Russian trade, China’s stock market volatility, and its supposed economic “weakness”. The conclusion implied by these articles is clear: “Russia’s economic pivot to China is failing, because increased economic cooperation has not mitigated Russia’s recent economic woes, or the effect of sanctions. China cannot save Russia, and the latter must continue depending on the West.”

This is essentially a straw-man conclusion. One thing should be plainly apparent through even a casual examination of Russia’s biggest recent commercial agreements with China: most of these arrangements with China were NEVER INTENDED to offset the impact of Russia’s current recession, but rather to position Russia’s economy for greater long-term diversification and upward mobility on the global economic value chain.

Continue reading The “follies” of Russia’s pivot to China

Obama lecturing China about hacking and snooping? Shameless!

cyeberhacking1_3077109bOne of the key conflicts – at least in U.S. view – between U.S. and China over the last few years has been “cyber attack” and “cyber espionage.”  During President Xi’s recent visit to the U.S., Obama has scolded Xi very publicly – and with much fanfare – that Chinese cyber espionage against U.S. government and companies must stop.  Obama told reporters:

“I raised once again our very serious concerns about our growing cyberthreats to American companies and American citizens,” Obama said. “I indicated that it has to stop.”

“The U.S. government does not engage in cyber-economic espionage for commercial gain, and today I can announce that our two countries have announced a mutual understanding on the way forward,” he added.

The U.S. has long tried to distinguish between economic and political espionage, and tries to claim the high-road that it does not engage in the former.  But as I have commented before, that distinction never held any water under closer observation.

In the lead up to Xi’s visit, there has been much posturing in U.S. media that the U.S. will hit back against China for recent attacks against U.S., including one against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that allegedly compromised the social security numbers of 21 million Americans, finger prints of 5.6 million Americans, among others.

China has long protested that it is the victim of wide-spread espionage … not a perpetrator.

Last week, Obama and Xi finally reached an agreement.

But there was no retaliation.  Why?  Continue reading Obama lecturing China about hacking and snooping? Shameless!

Indonesia’s Hidden Holocaust

Joshua Oppenheimer is an Oscar-nominated American film director based in Denmark. He recently produced two award-winning documentaries on the genocide perpetrated by the Indonesian government against ethnic Chinese and others throughout Indonesia in 1965-69.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning that atrocity. Joshua penned what I think is a great op-ed in the New York Times about Indonesia’s continued silence about that event … as well as U.S. complicity of that crime against humanity.

Here is a copy of the op-ed. Continue reading Indonesia’s Hidden Holocaust

Hillary’s Tweet about China Regarding Women’s Rights … and What it Reveals…

Women hold up half the sky.
Women hold up half the sky.

As China and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon get set to co-host a U.N. meeting of world leaders on gender equality and women’s empowerment, Hillary Clinton decided to crash the party.

On Sunday, Hillary tweeted:

Xi hosting a meeting on woman’s rights at the UN while persecuting feminists? Shameless.

This came as a surprise to many Chinese, including me.  Women’s rights is one of the important most important achievements of the communist revolution.  Mao has famously pronounced:

Women hold up half the sky.

Since the founding of the PRC, freed of religious ideological baggage, the Chinese Communist Party quickly and successfully integrated women as an important part of modern Chinese society.  Continue reading Hillary’s Tweet about China Regarding Women’s Rights … and What it Reveals…

Q&A with a Russian friend (see download links or attached PDF)

PDF attachment: Q&A with a Russian Friend

Sometimes it is helpful for the Hidden Harmonies audience to remember that China is not alone in being demonized by the mainstream western (primarily US) media. Any country that doesn’t “fit” neatly into the US “liberal-democratic” ideological dogma will naturally be painted as some kind of morally degenerate rogue state out to undermine “good” and “normal” countries. In fact, recently, no country is more demonized than Russia (not even the PRC).

That said, one of the major problems I see is that while we may recognize that we’re not alone, due to potential language/cultural barriers, lack of awareness, our Sino-centric mindset/attention span, and a host of other possible reasons, we often do not truly understand the perspectives of others (e.g. Russians) who are demonized. This is especially the case if our primary source of information about these other countries is the western media. I hope the contributors at Hidden Harmonies can begin to fix this problem, and I’ve taken a small step to start. Continue reading Q&A with a Russian friend (see download links or attached PDF)

Case Study on Democracy and Rule of Law: Japan and the World at a Crossroad?

Massive Protest Against Abe's New Security Law
Massive Protest Against Abe’s New Security Law

Recently, the Japanese Parliament passed controversial legislation pushed by Abe to allow Japanese forces to fight abroad for the first time since 1945.  Here is how Reuters reported it:

Japan’s parliament voted into law on Saturday a defense policy shift that could let troops fight overseas for the first time since 1945, a milestone in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to loosen the limits of the pacifist constitution on the military.

Abe says the shift, the biggest change in Japan’s defense policy since the creation of its post-war military in 1954, is vital to meet new challenges such as from a rising China.

But the legislation has triggered massive protests from ordinary citizens and others who say it violates the pacifist constitution and could ensnare Japan in U.S.-led conflicts after 70 years of post-war peace. Abe’s ratings have also taken a hit.

The legislation “is necessary to protect the people’s lives and peaceful way of living and is for the purpose of preventing wars,” Abe told reporters after the bills were approved by the upper house. “I want to keep explaining the laws tenaciously and courteously.”

Japan’s ally the United States has welcomed the changes but China, where bitter memories of Japan’s wartime aggression run deep, has repeatedly expressed concern about the legislation.

China’s Foreign Ministry said the move was “unprecedented”.

“We solemnly urge Japan to learn the lessons of history … uphold the path of peaceful development and act cautiously in the areas of the military and security, and do more to help push regional peace and stability rather than the opposite,” it said.

Not surprisingly, this has incensed a large number of average people in China … and both Koreas … but also (take note!) the people of Japan.  Continue reading Case Study on Democracy and Rule of Law: Japan and the World at a Crossroad?

Where Did Lei Feng Gone?

During the last year I have read quite a few articles on people being indifferent to others in distress. For example a little girl ran over by a car and recording of CCTV showed pedestrians and cars ignored her for a long time until a poor woman searching for recycled bottles stopped to help and asked for help. Another case of an old man fell off a motorbike in flooded city street and drowned in a few inches of water because nobody offered to help. Of course there were other articles on elderly fell down and Samaritan offering help and was instead blamed for causing it and financially held responsible until some were cleared by surveillance TV showing their innocence.

From some of the comments I read blaming either the elderly for being greedy and demand Samaritan laws be passed or decline of traditional Confucian morality, or legal system should issue harsher punishments for false accusations. It got me thinking where did Lei Feng gone? The problem I described is much more than just the legal dispute between accuser and accused, greed, or superficial lack of humanity.

During the past few years there were periodic attempts at reviving the spirit of Lei Feng, from articles in People’s Daily to exhortations from leaders, yet the reaction is pretty pro forma and even cynical. For someone like me who were teens during the late 1950s, that spirit is what we aspire to be. Slogans like “Serve the People”, “To Where the Motherland Needs Us the Most”, and examples like Norman Bethune, and Edgar Snow whom I saw again on the montages of documentaries during the performance celebrating the 70th anniversary over Japan were inspirations. So what has changed? And how do we bring back Socialism/Maoism morality?

During the last 40 years China has been richer immensely, hundreds of millions were lifted from poverty. Yet the chasm between rich and poor has also widened, for the middle class they aspire to be rich yet afraid of falling back into poverty. Those afraid to intervene gave the excuse of afraid to be involved and falsely accused, in other words they have something to lose. While the garbage collection woman is poor, and have nothing to lose other than her humanity. Instead of playing the blame game and excoriate those who failed to get involved or those falsely accusing Samaritans, we should examine the real problem, the privatization of medicine and associated costs. For the elderly jostled and fell mostly are from the poorer sectors of society, they need someone to blame for the medical cost even if sometimes unfairly. Similarly the patents whose outcome of treatment didn’t meet expectation and resulting clashes against health workers speak volumes about alienation due to the high cost of medicine.

When Szechuan earthquake occurred, the central government spare no efforts and costs to alleviate suffering, and people donated to the relieve efforts to show their sympathy and unity. Recent announced reforms in SOE split them to profit and non-profit parts. I would suggest that China consider hospitals and medicine be part of that reform. Nationalize all privately owned hospitals and socialize the cost of medicine. No one should have to worry about the cost of medicine so people will not hesitate to give aid and comfort to the unfortunate. I think Xi is working in that direction anyway by medical insurance. The cost can easily be covered by cracking down on all the tax evasion going on by the middle class or additional tax.

Global Times recently commented on Mao being evaluated by Deng as 70/30, and they have not been talking about the 30%, yet to me they have also avoided talking about the 70%. For returning Lei Feng back into the hearts of common people we need to study those 70% and learn to continue them.


When Ideology and Racism Combine Caustically to Provoke Fear … and When that Fear Burns to Enslave and Ultimately to Kill …

Professor Xi Xiaoxing
Professor Xi Xiaoxing

A few months ago, a long-time Jewish friend of mine and I sat down for dinner.  We chatted about many times: family, career, politics, history and ideology.  One of the inevitable topics we discussed was the Holocaust.

I brought up the fact that China’s mentioning of Nankin massacre in the West evoked mass fears of China while Jewish bringing up of the holocaust evoked sympathy and condolence … even self reflections on humanity.

It’s true that six or so millions Jews died in WWII, but what about the 35 millions Chinese died as a result of the Japanese invasion, and some 27 million Soviets died in WWII?

He thought I had a point … but ventured that perhaps the reason is because the Chinese and Soviets casualty were results of WAR, which was sad, but to some extent “understandable.”  War had always been terrible, and modern weaponry only made it that more unbearable.

But Jewish holocaust was another thing.  It was the result of ideology and racism.  When Ideology and Racism Combine Caustically to Provoke Fear … When Fear Burned to Enslave and Ultimately to Kill … that is something that must be remembered.

Today we have the U.N. that work actively to avert world wars.  Anyone with some knowledge of history understand that war is to be avoided at all costs.  But while we can collectively actively look to avert hot wars, it is much harder to defend against ideological errors and racism.  Ideology and racists attitude are pervasive, and sneaky.  It’s the wild grass that is always growing … that must be incessantly pruned.  Grass that might at first appear tame … before anyone notices … has become a wildfire. Continue reading When Ideology and Racism Combine Caustically to Provoke Fear … and When that Fear Burns to Enslave and Ultimately to Kill …

Privacy, National Security, Human Rights, Social Value, Whatever – It’s Whatever the West Says

Microsoft, Privacy, and Rights over Ex-territorial Servers

The Economist today had an article on a case involving Microsoft’s alleged refusal to turn over documents stored on a foreign server to FBI. The article can be found here (archived here).

According to the Economist:

SUPPOSE FBI agents were to break into the postbox of an American company in Dublin to seize letters which might help them convict an international drug dealer. There would be general uproar, if not a transatlantic crisis. But that is essentially what the FBI wants to happen, albeit in the virtual realm: it has asked a court to order Microsoft, in its capacity as a big e-mail provider, to hand over messages from a suspect in a drugs case which are stored in a data centre in Ireland. On September 9th an appeals court in New York will hear oral arguments on whether Microsoft has to comply.

The case has many wrinkles … But at the core of the case is one of the most knotty legal questions in the age of cloud computing: how to give law-enforcement agencies access to evidence when laws remain national, but data are often stored abroad and sometimes even at multiple places at once?

This article rightfully brings up conflicts in law in the Internet arena within the West. Over the last few years, certain very public and passionate debates have flared up with Europe and the U.S. regarding privacy, right to delete, and censorship on the Internet.

A few years ago, as early as 2008, when I noticed Google Streetview growing to incorporate the streets of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Asian regions, I realized that everyone there simply took it for granted that it’s ok. What Google did must be the right, enlightened, and forward-thinking. Continue reading Privacy, National Security, Human Rights, Social Value, Whatever – It’s Whatever the West Says

The Humanitarian Crisis Spewing into Europe from the Middle East

eu-migrant-crisisThe last week or two, we have seen a great humanitarian crisis building in Europe with waves and waves of refugees pouring into Europe from neighboring Middle Eastern countries … with many dying along the way … and even children washing up on resort beaches.

The debate in Europe appears to focus primarily on how should the various nations shoulder the responsibilities of accepting the refugees.  Germany by far has been the most open-armed, although there are anti-immigrant feelings spewing in the nation as well.

Germany should be applauded for taking leadership for Europe to accept these refugees … but in some ways, it is also the least they can do.  Why? Continue reading The Humanitarian Crisis Spewing into Europe from the Middle East

Beyond the Pathetic Complaints about China’s 70th V-Day Anniversary Parade

1200x630_312860_we-love-peace-china-s-presidenI have been watching, reading, and observing events leading up to China’s 70th V-Day Anniversary Parade.  Festivities are still on-going, and I definitely feel proud that China is on the right track.

I do hear however a lot of bitter snickers and derision that to me seem way off point…

For example, in the U.S., I hear some Americans snicker at the parade saying, oh … but all that military might is useless outside China’s borders.  Just how does China plan to take that force to Japan … or Philippines … or any place further than that: China’s navy will be outgunned and the PLA is doomed from the start. Continue reading Beyond the Pathetic Complaints about China’s 70th V-Day Anniversary Parade

A short caricature on politics …

japans-imperialismIn the lead up to China’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in WWII, I thought I’d do a little personal aside … that might explain why Japan can be so delusional about so many things.

Politics … in many ways … especially politics in the democratic sense (i.e. at the level of the people) … is about caricatures … about simplifying (over-simplifying as the case may be) the issues.  Politics is about setting narratives – about burnishing worldviews – through selective highlighting (and de-emphasis) of reality … to present a particular view of the world that sometimes resembles some aspects reality … but that can some times also be completely in contravention with any sane view of reality.

There is a reason why people often avoid talking politics and religion in polite settings.  People can try to use logic and reason … but the problem is that underneath iceberg tip of logic and reason are mountains full of unspoken – and sometimes even unconscious – presumptions.  It’s why reasonable people can disagree vigorously and get so worked up about political disagreements. Continue reading A short caricature on politics …

What Academic Freedom?

Hong Kong “politics” has decomposed into a tiny repertoire of elemental clichés. Nonetheless, they can cause disproportional disruptions when deployed vociferously by ardent sloganeers with singular determination. By far the most overworked slogan is — of course — freedom and democracy. It’s become licence to do practically anything without consequence. Well, freedom is pointless if fettered by legal constraints, isn’t it? Other banners in the arsenal include, in order of perceived popularity, social justice; freedom of press/speech/expression, academic freedom, and a few other simplistic beauties.

Freedom and democracy, having worked overtime during Occupy Central, is taking a break. Academic freedom has taken centre stage, with the University of Hong Kong (HKU) as backdrop. Continue reading What Academic Freedom?

If China Fears “Instability,” then the Western Democracies are Oblivious.

A government should fear “instability”, or rather should fear the anger of the People in instability.  Western Media has been in the habit of attributing virtually everything Chinese government does as “in fear of instability.”  To that, I say good.  That’s the way it should be.

Tang Emperor Gaozong said once, “Water can float a boat, but can also capsize it. People are like water and the sovereign is like a boat.”  A Government that loses fear of the People is doomed to capsize.

So it is that the West, with its own self-brainwashing, convinces itself that its Democratic “order” is unquestionable and unattainable by others.

Yet, the signs point not to calm waters, but boiling seas.

Continue reading If China Fears “Instability,” then the Western Democracies are Oblivious.

Tianjin Disaster

On 9/11, more than 400 first responders were killed. Now we know that more than 100 first responders were killed or missing in the Tianjin explosions. I have been under a miasma of sadness and anger since then. With each new revelation the more I questioned the edifice which China built in the last 35 years. For the question is no longer whether the black or white cat catches the mice, but whether the edifice is infested with termites which endangers the whole.
Certainly the families of the first responders were justified when they disrupted official press conference when the names of their relatives were not on the lists of those killed or missing. The revelation that the storage was licensed to handle 10 tons while 700 tons of sodium cyanide were present. I was relieved that those chemicals were found mostly intact and not another Bhopal happened. The company records and harbor custom showed discrepancies on chemicals in storage. Obvious there were corruptions and violations of rules and heads will roll, but that’s beside the point. With the explosions the origin of the fire will never be known. Whether it is illegal smoking which is rampant in China or leaking chemicals improperly handled. As for the nature of the explosions I am sure CIA with their spy planes collecting the residues over East China Sea probably has a better idea than local officials. I just hope the local officials publicize the nature of the explosions before U.S. embarrass them by leaking their findings as they did with the 2.5 micron pollution levels in Beijing.
Xi and his leadership has been fighting corruption the last 3 years. We know that corruption permeates in all levels of government and military, for it has been building up with the expansion of economy and the dominance of Market. What is Market? For it is profit motive. It appeals to the worst in human nature. In a reaction to the worst aspects of Cultural Revolution I think China has gone too far in the other direction. West, such as IMF wants China to be more market oriented, and I think that’s a mistake China should rebut. Recently I read an article in which professor Li Ling answered questions why medicine and healthcare cost so much in China. She blames it on the privatization and discuss more centralized socialized medicine as a solution. I think her view should be seriously studied by policy makers, not only in medicine, but by taking advantages of overcapacity in steel by eliminating those small private steel makers and cutting pollution and strengthen state owned enterprises as social needs rather than profit centers.

Objectivity as Fiction

New York Times pride itself being objective, its motto is “All the News Fit to Print”. Despite its history of Jayson Blair, Judith Miller, White Water, and present war against Hillary Clinton.
When China started to allow the currency RMB to be more free against Dollar last Tuesday, causing depreciation about 3.5% in 3 days, I was expecting NYT to provide some cogent analysis, instead we got some muddled ideological attacks about currency war, desperation on economic slow down, promoting export, and now Paul Krugman finally opened up with China trying to control Market (Capitalism).
He first attacked China for trying to stabilize the stock market as an attack on the sacrosanct Market. Then he opened up on the currency move, while admitting RMB is overvalued, he attacked China for trying to manage the decline as against Market, as against Capitalism God. He admits some temporary measures might be warranted, but long term attempts to dominate the market is doomed to failure.
Dr. Krugman maybe knowledgeable on Keynesian economics. I wish he look at the mirror and do some searching. What does he think Federal Reserve has been doing since the financial crisis of 08. It has been controlling the market for 7 years now, zero interest rate, QE 1, 2,…, SP500 more than doubled, savers being squeezed and forced into stocks, life insurance companies worrying about paying the annuities, the profit rise and revenue decline has reached limits as employees pay the price, the whole structure might tumble down as Janet Yellen contemplates the first interest rate increase that might cause the whole structure to collapse.
Paul Krugman thinks Chinese leaders have no clue of market. I think he has no clue what does Chinese leader such as Xi wants. He’s correct that China wants to control the Market, for their goal is Socialism and China Dream, and if you let market control you rather than the reverse, then the goal is impossible.
In West there is the fallacy of objectivity, as if you can look an event objectively and unbiased. NYT prides on being objective, yet it allowed itself being used to invade Iraq, causing millions of casualties, which I haven’t seen an apology yet. Now I read about the sex slavery of ISIS, such are the unintended consequences. John Oliver of HBO talked about the Obama pardons of some drug offenders, yet he also interviewed 2, like thousands of others, serving life sentences for minor drug offenses which are legal in some states now, and that’s human rights which NYT avoids.

Is China a Real Victor of WWII?

In my recent article on Philippines’ ultimately absurd legal challenge to China’s claims in the S. China Sea, I noted how that conflict arose from the prevailing wind to diss China’s interests in the post WWII world.  The cause for that are many.  No doubt China’s relative weakness vis-a-vis the West and/or Soviet Union, its plunge into a major civil war in the aftermath of WWII, the alignment of the interests among the world’s most powerful – including both the West and the Soviets – to keep China from re-emerging as a major power all play a part.  But whatever the cause, I think it is major time for the world to revisit just how important a role China played in securing WWII’s victory against the Axis.

I have heard many Japanese say that even though China was technically a victor, China did not defeat Japan, only the U.S. did.  Some Americans say – what role could China have played when it was always teetering on the brink of national annihilation?  Both are way over simplifications of history.

Even if China could not have single-handedly defeat Japan, the world would not have been able to defeat Japan without China.  The defeat of the axis was a collaborative effort.  The U.S. and Soviet Union may have been the strongest military powers of the day, but the removal of any of the major four victors – China included – would have changed history irrevocably.  There are many reasons for the Axis to be defeated in WWII, and China is a key indispensable reason.

Consider, for example, that despite Japan’s many military victories in China throughout WWII, China was nevertheless able to, through its heroic resistance movement, lock down some 94% of Japan’s army throughout the war.  That is a huge deal.  Had China capitulated and freed Japan’s army, Japan could have opened with the Soviet Union a second front as Hitler had asked.  The course of WWII in Europe would have been irrevocably changed.

Alternatively – or perhaps simultaneously – the freed Japanese army could have rolled across S. East Asia, or India … or been used to invade Australia, Philippines and perhaps even India – securing the resources of much of Asia.  Does the U.S. really think it could have withstood an additional enforcement of Japan’s army by a factor of 15-16 throughout Asia???  Japan, I argue – would have been that much more difficult – if not impossible to defeat.

Some American exceptionalists might claim, but it was nuclear bombs that defeated the Japaneses.  That is patently false.  By the time the “bomb” was used, Americans already had control of Japanese skies and were carrying out firebomb raids with impunity.  Without that cover, the bomb could not have been deployed.

Strategically also, the bomb was used precisely because Japan was a defeated nation.  Had Japan had a fighting chance of survival, America would not have dared to try the bomb … for the simple reason that Japan would not easily go down, and would have had the resources to develop its own bomb  … and used it against America. The nuclear bomb did not end the war.  It was used to make a political statement … and to shorten – perhaps (tenuously) – the war. But make no mistake: the war was already  won.

In commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, I offer two articles.  The first,  China a Forgotten WWII Ally, from, argues that China made uniquely important and significant contributions to securing Japan’s ultimate defeat and that its efforts have been too long been neglected in the West in the advent of the cold war.  The second, Did a forgotten Japanese journalist turn the tide of World War II?, from Asia Times tells the story of how Soviet knowledge of Japan’s decision not to open a second front decisively changed the course of WWII … and how a brave Japanese journalist named Hotsumi Ozaki heroically relayed that critical knowledge to Soviet leaders. Continue reading Is China a Real Victor of WWII?

Donald Trump’s Logic is also what’s wrong with Western Media

“some, I assume, are good people“.  Donald Trump could have said this just about for any group.  Which is precisely what’s wrong with Western media, as we have said repeatedly for years.

Only now, Western Media, even Fox, is piling on Trump for what they themselves keep writing in “journalism”.

Undoubtedly, Donald makes them all look bad, by taking their logic of sweeping generalization into public limelight and in such gaudy extreme.

If Mexicans are “rapists”, that’s only because for years, Chinese were liars, cheaters, thieves, polar bear hunters, and street peeing baby/pet eaters (according to Western media).

Continue reading Donald Trump’s Logic is also what’s wrong with Western Media

The Mirage that is Japan …

I came across an article in Asia Times on Japan’s WWII surrender that I thought was very well written.  It is important because within that surrender lay the seeds of today’s historical revisionism.  But more important than that, it is a good case study on what Japan is NOT.

Too often, many in the West think of Japan as this enlightened, modern, forward-looking, peace-loving society.  But when the West seems to have misunderstood Japan’s nuanced and conditional surrender for a real unconditional one akin to Germany, then perhaps it is time re-evaluate to what Japan is in reality, and what Japan is headed to be.

Here I offer two articles, first as a context, and second as a case study.

First is that article in Asia Times on Japan’s WWII surrender. Continue reading The Mirage that is Japan …

Update on AMSC v. Sinovel “IP theft” lawsuits

In the latest, AMSC suffered clear defeats in 2 main jurisdictions in China, Beijing and Hainan, where both jurisdictions dismissed AMSC’s copyright complaints.

In April the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court dismissed another AMSC software copyright infringment case against Sinovel.  AMSC made an appeal in May to the Beijing Higher People’s Court, requesting a revocation of the ruling as well as court support for its previous claims in the re-trial.  Several weeks ago, Sinovel also announced that it has received a written notification from the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court informing it that AMSC had requested a change to the allegations it was making.

Continue reading Update on AMSC v. Sinovel “IP theft” lawsuits

An Interview with Deng Xiaoping

The following is an interview given by Deng Xiaoping to the Italian Oriana Fallaci on August 21 and 23, 1980. I have included Deng’s original Chinese language version at the bottom. The English translation credit goes to People’s Daily of China. It gives very good insight to Deng.

Oriana Fallaci: Will Chairman Mao’s portrait above Tiananmen Gate be kept there?
Continue reading An Interview with Deng Xiaoping

Position Paper of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines

On December 7, 2014, the Chinese government released a position paper on why the UNCLOS Arbitration initiated by Philippines should be dismissed as groundless.  Below is a copy.  For me personally, it’s interesting reading it after I have conducted my own extensive research in the area in writing my own paper on the topic last June.  The Chinese position paper has cited the relevant laws correctly, but I feel my paper dove into the legal issues deeper and more comprehensively.  The Chinese position paper however does include a lot of events that are relevant to understanding the situation but that I had not cited.

Here it goes: Continue reading Position Paper of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines

Political Correctness

In U.S., despite the popularity of Bill Maher, political correctness is a serious business, especially in academia. Any inadvertent comment or joke about race and rape will be attacked as racism or misogyny. Recently Hong Kong media published a conversation of Zhu Wei Qun, he was an official who was involved in negotiation with representatives of Dalai Lama, and Alai, a Tibetan writer, on the question of Chinese minority policies, whether a more flexible policy is needed to reduce tensions. Alai feel as many African-Americans here feel, that too much emphasis on affirmative action or quotas, does not help him to feel as a Chinese, instead of bridging the differences it causes more of the rift and separateness.
Chinese minority policies has been essentially copied from the Soviet model since the 50s. Where minority nationalities predominates, it’s set up as autonomous area where local minority representatives are nominal heads while Han officials are inevitably the party commissioner and real power. It does really showed a distrust and patronizing attitude towards them as backward and needs help. Now with coming September the 50th anniversary of Tibet being autonomous region, and probably Xi will visit there to show its importance, this debate shows different opinions on this issue.
In June, Chinese Nationality newspaper, which is under the control of premier’s office, printed 7 special commentator articles attacking Zhu Wei Qun and Alai. It defended the nationality policies as correct and helpful to the minority nationalities. Yet as a sign of openness, Zhu Wei Qun didn’t buckle under and issued a rebuttal, calling the attacks as reminiscence of Cultural Revolution, where one built up a straw man which distorted the original comments, and dare the newspaper to quote any direct comments as fitting the straw man.
I am glad of this controversy. One of the weaknesses of the present Chinese government is the fear of open debate, where subordinates will never contradict his/her superiors as wrong and that causes more damages long term. Present anti-corruption drive may target corruption, but it’s more important to open up debates than just venal officials.
In U.S., the uneven application of affirmative action policies causes backlash in white communities while minorities feel pigeonholed and devalued as affirmative action babies and not truly on their merits. In China, even when I was in China in the 50s, I felt Uighurs as exotic and not really Chinese, and Uighur traders to be avoided, as any dispute with them will be judged in their favor as local officials avoid any problem with them. This is really destructive to the sense of law and justice and causes negative feeling on the part of Hans while not really helping the Uighurs. With the reform, the mixing of races has accelerated, and the pushback against modernity by religious zealots occurred in China as well as in U.S.. Here the cultural wars are pretty much over except as rearguard actions in some areas. In China as mixing increases, and anti-terrorism policies take hold I expect similar results.

So China is Doomed Because of a 30% market crash … ?

gay men in paradeThe news is abuzz with China’s recent stock market crash.  The naysayers are all coming out.  Not that they were ever hiding, but now it’s a parade – with horns and drums to toot!

Some reports are however darn right silly.  For example in this CNBS report titled How China might have given itself a black eye, a reporter would first accuse China of committing the sin of fighting in vain against market forces, then accusing China of not being able to do enough.

Then there are outlets like Wall Street Journal pronouncing China is doomed to fail, and then a few days later pronouncing everything is fine. There are of course also those who swear that they had foreseen the crash all along, for umpteenth obvious reasons.

Here is my take. Continue reading So China is Doomed Because of a 30% market crash … ?

Okinawa, Taiwan, and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in United States–Japan–China Relations

This is not the first time I have read and linked to articles in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus that I find sensible, instead of the misinformation and disinformation we see so often preached in Western press and Japanese press.

I thought this article by Kimie Hara gives a more balanced Japanese view of the issue of territorial dispute between China and Japan and (ultimately, I suppose) U.S.  A pdf copy from the site downloaded today is archived below.

senkaku islands title page

陈平:对西方模式的迷恋导致了这次股灾/ On the stock crash in China

Recently the Shanghai stock market index went from around 2,000 to 5,100, and now crash back to 3.900. There were talks and actions on how to stabilize the market, from the cutting of transition cost to possible entering of Social Security fund, from blaming of shorts, derivatives, and future trading, to foreign hedge funds. There were suicides and rumors of suicides pressuring government to save the stock market. I think this article by Chen Ping on is very instructive and timely. When I was reading that article it was momentarily deleted. so I am not sure readers can access it now. I am just going to summarize his views here.
Professor Chen is from Beijing University, he criticize the dominant economic theory prevalent in China at present that worshipping the traditional Capitalism theory of Adam Smith, on the invisible hand of market, while marginalize not only Marxist economic theory, but also Keynes and other theories. He says that the market is not free, experiences from the depression to various Wall Street crashes demonstrated the free market is an illusion, and if Chinese government try to save the market by pushing Social Security fund to the stock market will only damage the real economy. He advocate trying to stop the spreading psychological panic by if necessarily close the stock market for a short period to break the emotional panic. He advocated increase rather than reduce the transactional cost of trading, increase margin requirement, especially when the market was jumping and in bubble. Restrict insiders from selling for longer tie up period. Install short term trading taxes and lower long term capital gain taxes to encourage long term capital formation. Party appoint not only not corrupt officials, but the best as they did in the space program for the markets.
Having live in N.Y. for a while, I myself have some though negative experiences with the stock market. I think the economic reform in China for the last 40 years did engender a worshipful attitude, from all those business books on sale in the book stores, to the gambling, and greed of stock market trading. Xi Jinping recently emphasize that all officials will be lifetime responsible for their actions, including environmental degradation. This market crash actually will be positive if China learns lessons from it and continue to improve.