U.S. Irresponsible Acts in S. China Sea

May 26th, 2015 1 comment

Recently, the news has been ablaze with growing tension in the S. China Sea.  First, the U.S. held military drills with Philippines near islands Philippines disputes with China in the S. China Sea.  Then Japan passed and the U.S. welcomed a new law that allows Japanese military to support U.S. air patrols and directly even carry out its own patrols in the S. China Sea.  Then Japan and Philippines announced they would conduct their first military drills in the S. China Sea.  And most recently, the U.S. decides to publicly challenge China’s assertion of rights on disputed islands by flying through those areas and releasing tapes of the verbal responses between the military.

There is no question among observers that the U.S. is ratcheting up the pressure on China in its assertion of sovereignty in the S. China Sea. (see e.g. some of our posts).  But this latest round of military provocation is completely irresponsible. Read more…

Washington whips up fog of war in South China Seas

May 26th, 2015 1 comment

The Emperor in Washington has no clothes, laid bare by his naked lies and soon without a feather to fly with.

Well, maybe he has P8-Poseidons to conduct provocative flights around Beijing’s South China Seas islands, and a giant nuclear-powered fig leaf spread over 800 known global bases to cover his, uh, security.  But navel-gazing American politicians have already been lobbed a big punch to their guts by Vladimir Putin who flashed his own missile-laden cojones at Obama et cie over Ukraine.

China really should thank Victoria “Eve’’ Nuland for sparking off the crisis that has pushed Beijing and Moscow closer than ever expected.  Was that cookies – or apples? – that she was handing out to Maidan protestors in Kiev with the temptation of a champagne `n’ roses lifestyle just like f**k-the-EU Eden? Read more…

The Future of China’s Manufacturing Industry

May 23rd, 2015 1 comment

It is becoming more and more common to hear ries that China is becoming less competitive in its manufacturing industry and factories are moving overseas. Of course, rising cost of production and particularly that of labour doesn’t help. China’s average yearly wage in manufacturing has increase from RMB 15,757 in 2006 to RMB 46,431 in 2014, and is still increasing. The US has been the largest manufacturing nation since around the late 19th century or early 20th century. UK briefly held the number one title after replacing China in mid 19th century. What is the real state of manufacturng in China since surpassing the US in 2010? At that time, China’s share of world manufacturing was 19.8% ($2 trillion) compaes to the US’s 19.4% ($1.94 trillion). However, the contrast is extremely great in the make up of the industry. China’s factories hire around 100 million workers compare to around 11.5 million for the US. Read more…

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又一华裔教授在美被捕 曾任“长江学者”, On the arrest of another Chinese American professor

May 22nd, 2015 4 comments

Recently there were a bunch of announced arrests of Chinese American scientists and the indictments of Chinese nationals for spying or/and economic espionage. For Chinese who are naïve about American laws who aspire to be Americans this is a sobering warning that should be taken seriously. As Snowden revealed NSA spies on everyone, but especially foreign national that considers as enemy. Any innocent meetings with former colleagues and mentors and exchange of scientific ideas may be construed as spying or economic espionage. As China develops her own science and technology while U.S. lacks resources due to financial difficulty, many sees more opportunity in joining or starting their own company in China. They are somewhat naïve in believing the freedom of expression and exchange, but U.S. is very strict in interpreting the laws and embargo cutting edge science and technology to China. If you worked for U.S. government or any companies with contracts with government or even performed research resulting in patents that belonging to the company, then you may be in violation of obscure laws if you try to strike out on your own. Downloading files to your own computer as Wen Ho Lee discovered can result in spy charge. Recent case of Goldman Sack against Sergei Aleynikov, even if the 97 months jail term were reversed can be debilitating.

I was naïve also after 1979, when U.S. and China established normal relations. I was working in Alaska in a Dew Line communication site which was frontline against possible Russian nuclear attack. I wrote a letter to the new Chinese Embassy in Chinese expressing my pleasure on the new relation, and inquire about visa procedures to visit China. After about a month of no response I was surprised to learn from my boss in Anchorage, that an FBI agent will be chartering a plane to interview me. The agent spend a couple of hours asking my background and nothing affecting my secret clearance came to pass, but it was an unnerving experience, and I never did hear back from the Chinese Embassy.

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Neo-Imperialistic “Partnership” US World Order, Undefined, Outdated.

May 20th, 2015 1 comment

Nothing spurs me to rethink about the Orwellian Newspeak of today’s US World Order than a news filled with Newspeak.  Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis, 2 former US diplomats, both with close ties to pro-India lobby groups, authored a paper for Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) arguing for US to take a tougher stand against China.  http://www.cfr.org/china/revising-us-grand-strategy-toward-china/p36371

Read more…

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A rebuke of Chinese russophobes from the PLA Daily

May 12th, 2015 6 comments

For those who read Chinese, here is a great article that calls on all Chinese to reject russophobia & get our strategic priorities straight.

http://military.china.com.cn/2015-05/12/content_35546603.htm

Read more…

Every Day Repressions in the Police States (US and others) now common place

May 7th, 2015 1 comment

Like a sharp constant pain that slowly raws the nerves and turn into a dull persistent ache and eventually forgotten completely, people in the West should be shocked at the every day repressions that they suffer, where their “freedoms” are restricted with the bare minimum of justifications of moral platitude.

If you watched the movie “V for Vendetta”, the opening scenes showed a dystopic London where “curfew” is imposed on all except the police every night, and loudspeakers warn people that they can be arrested if they violate the curfew.  That is the sign of the police state.

Except a REAL police state would not even bother to announce it through the loud speakers.  The REAL London, as with 75% of cities in US, already have “curfews” for the young, under 18.  They don’t tell you loudly, they just arrest the young, “for their own protection”, and then demand that their parents pay fines to bail out the children.

China doesn’t have it.  US, Canada, UK, France, Taiwan do.

Even Libya and Egypt don’t have it.  Which is how they went through the “Arab Spring” Revolutions at the hands of protesting teenagers.  They were only too late to impose curfews AFTER the revolutions started.

FUN facts:

(1) in 1857, the British enacted Ordinance No. 9, the “light and pass” ordinance of HK, imposing a curfew on HK’s Chinese residents between 8PM and sunrise. Any Chinese who wanted to be on the streets during the night must first obtain a pass.

(2) in 1942, many US cities passed curfew laws banning Japanese Americans from the streets at night.

(3) similarly, during WWII, Nazi Germans imposed curfews on Jewish populations in several countries in Europe.

Of course, the rationales were that the Japanese Americans during WWII might be prone to crimes at night, and the Chinese in HK might murder the White British at night (or are just all criminals any ways).

Funny how the Americans are now treating their own children with similar disdain.

Read more…

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About that Bastion of the Free Internet, Google…

May 6th, 2015 1 comment

Have you guys run across this little post at antiwar.com?

– because we have a page showing the Abu Ghraib abuses.

Update: After channels of communication were opened as a result of this article on Gawker, Google contacted us and said they would be restoring our ads.

However, Friday morning I received another demand to remove content from our site. Google has decided this page must be removed.

We have no intention of letting Google dictate our editorial policies.

Original post:

On 3/18/15 we received a note from Google Adsense informing us that all ads for our site had been disabled. Why? Because of this page showing the horrific abuses committed by U.S. troops in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.

This page has been up for 11 years. During all that time Google Adsense has been running ads on our site – but as Washington gets ready to re-invade Iraq, and in bombing, killing, and abusing more civilians, they suddenly decide that their “anti-violence” policy, which prohibits “disturbing material,” prohibits any depiction of violence committed by the U.S. government and paid for with your tax dollars. This page is the third-most-visited page in our history, getting over 2 million page views since it was posted.

To say this is an utter outrage would be an understatement: it is quite simply the kind of situation one might expect to encounter in an authoritarian country where state-owned or state-connected companies routinely censor material that displeases the government.

Is Google now an arm of the U.S. State Department?

Read more…

Re-Examine a Historical Moment of Western Bias: Emperor Qianlong vs. Macartney Mission 1793

April 22nd, 2015 7 comments

If one must examine Western bias, one can easily begin in a single historical moment of confrontation:  In 1793, England sent envoy George Macartney to China.  The mission was a failure of many disagreements and no agreements, and ultimately led directly or indirectly to the 2 Opium Wars.

The story goes (from the British perspective):  China required the British personnel to perform the Kowtow to the Emperor, the British refused, the Emperor grew angry and thus refused all British  requests in an angry letter to King George III.

How true was this story?

Read more…

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Rethinking Cults Today

April 15th, 2015 4 comments

Last night, I woke up thinking incessantly about “Cults”.  What makes a “Cult” a “Cult”?  Is it not a “religion”, or is it?  What’s the difference between a “spiritual movement” and a religion?

If a child pretends to talk to an imaginary friend, is that a “Religion”, a “Cult”, a “spiritual movement”.

Read more…

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The Strange Non-Intuitive (but real) Contradiction: Free Speech vs. Truth, Rule of Mob vs. Rule of Law

April 15th, 2015 5 comments

If there are things impressed upon modern Western Liberal Democracy, there are 2 arguably essential things claimed:  Free speech and Rule of Law.  Indeed, “free media” in the West touts these 2 things often enough, and the Courts of the West equally pay tribute to these 2 things often enough.

Yet, underneath, the reality is a strange contradiction of these 2 things butting against each other in interests, and often require delicate balancing depending on where.

There are in fact, 2 different kinds of “courts” in the West:  The Court of media/public opinion, and the Court of Law.  The 2 do not mix well.  The 2 keep each other out.  The 2 often bad mouth each other, and yet also tries to influence each other.

Read more…

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Freedom of Speech or Benefitting from China yet privately attacking China?

April 8th, 2015 3 comments

Recently there is some controversy of Xi’s promotion of Maoist’s old Ye’nan spirit, not only attacking the corruption, but worries of the return of leftist policies of “Cultural Revolution”. Of course corruption cannot be isolated from economic, political, and cultural norms in society, and some should worry it might spread beyond the tigers and fliers to them. The recent success and popularity of Movie like “Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy”, one of the old standard from CR era, and the TV series “Ordinary World” speak volumes of nostalgia of simpler time with heroic yet ordinary people with beliefs, honors, and courage other than money.

The controversy with CCTV host Bi Fujian in a private banquet, secretly videotaped, singing arias from “Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy”, and changing the words in the arias to denigrating Mao and Chinese army remind me of Romney sayings of the 47%. The left in Chinese internet is boiling over demanding CCTV fire Bi. His program is temporarily suspended for 4 days at present. It remains to be seen whether he can survive the storm. Bi is a suave host, annually on the spring festival gala. Some spring to his defense, claiming it’s a freedom of speech issue. Other consider it an indirect attack on Xi and firing offense, that’s he’s feeding from the communist party trough and attacking communist party privately. The official media has been pretty silent on the topic. I do hope he would be make an example of and show Xi’s determination to finish the attack on corruption.

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On Meritocracy, some recent observations

April 3rd, 2015 No comments

Some of us have heard much ado in the news about the sexual discrimination lawsuit of Ellen K. Pao recently, (which she lost).  http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/2/8328115/ellen-pao-kleiner-perkins-venture-capital-verdict

It got me into some discussions with some friends about discrimination, particularly in employment, which led to some interesting questions:  What is discrimination?  and why do people do it?

Read more…

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China evacuating citizens from Yemen

April 3rd, 2015 1 comment

This news is probably all over the net now so I am just repeating the obvious. It is interesting to do a search and read the negative comment on China’s humanitarian action though.

 

yemen-security-china

Read more…

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Eric X. Li Interviews Francis Fukuyama on Political Systems, Political Legitimacy, Political Renewal and Decays

April 2nd, 2015 2 comments

Eric X. Li recently interviewed Francis Fukuyama on Political Systems, Political Legitimacy, Political Renewal and Decays for his Guancha views.  The interview (about 53 minutes) is carried out in English with Chinese subtitles.  A link to the video on youtube can be found here.  A link to the video on tudou can be found here.  A transcript of the interview on gunacha in Chinese can be found here.

The interview covers a lot and it is not my intention to discuss everything about it.  However, one thing I do like is the tone it sets.  For example, it doesn’t pose the questions such as whether electoral democracy or meritocratic democracy is superior.  Instead, it poses question that ask what are the benefits and risks of each.

It is also witty.  For example, there is a segment where Fukuyama exemplifies the respect for “rule of law” in terms of rulers not able to take things away from the citizens arbitrarily. Eric wittily retorted something to the effect: “or to get permission to get a divorce!”   Laws are but a tool: it can “protect” while at the same time also invade.   Ah … the double edge sword of law.

Nevertheless, there are several things I don’t like though.   Read more…

Revisiting an Oldie on Racism

March 31st, 2015 4 comments

In 2012, YinYang on HH made this post, http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/01/12/responding-to-china-law-blog-chinese-students-in-america-its-bad-out-there/

about a Blog article on China Law Blog by Dan Harris, http://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/01/chinese_students_in_america_why_do_they_even_bother.html.

both generated a lot of controversy.  Unsettled, it seems.

Ah, but we all know sooner or later some of this come back in different forms.

Read more…

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Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

March 31st, 2015 7 comments

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, passed away on 23rd march 2015. His supporters called him a great leader and outstanding politician who turned Singapore from a poor British colony into one of the richest country (if wealth is calculated per capita wise) in the world. His detractors would derided him as a dictator, and violator of human rights and civil liberties. Read more…

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What is Legitimacy?

March 26th, 2015 4 comments

Recently, I heard an exchange on a Canadian radio show.  An interviewee criticized a new Canadian government effort to pass an anti-Muslim law.  The radio host let slip a “standard” excuse /justification:  “The Canadian legislators are legitimate representatives duly elected by the people.”  The interviewee replied interestingly, “That doesn’t mean their actions are legitimate.”

Thus, it hit the nail on the head for the issue that we have been dancing around the ideologies for decades and centuries:  What is legitimacy in politics?

In honor of passing of the Singaporean leader, I ponder this question.

Read more…

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Lee Kuan Yew’s Passing is a Loss for the World

March 23rd, 2015 19 comments

Lee Kuan Yew passed away yesterday (March 23, 2015).  It is a sad day for Singapore, for Chinese everywhere, as well as for the world.  Under Lee’s leadership, Singapore became not only an economic and technological Mecca, but has also developed a unique multicultural melting pot that help it escape the many racial and religious violence that have gripped its earlier history and has continued to grip other parts of Asia and the world.

One of our contributors here passed along a commemorative issue from The Strait Times.  I thought it’s fitting to link and archive a copy here.

 

lky cover

The Tussle over AIIB – So Much ado about Influence?

March 20th, 2015 3 comments

The news about China the last few days is about how it is scoring a diplomatic coup d’état against the U.S. vis-a-vis Europe.  On March 12, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the U.K. had applied to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member. If accepted, Britain would have been the first major Western country to become a member.

A few days later, however, Germany, France and Italy also announced that they too would join.  South Korea and Australia soon also switched their stance and are now on the verge of joining.

Japan appears to be the odd-power out in Asia now.  Given its history of deference to the U.S. (e.g. Plaza Accord) and its current diplomatic row with China, my money is on Japan not joining at this stage.  But even nationalistic and deferential Japan has not has not ruled out the possibility of joining at the founding stage.

The editorial board of the NYT today penned an editorial titled “U.S. Allies, Lured by China’s Bank.” The notion that China is “luring” U.S. allies seems to me funny – even laughable.  Read more…

Tis a Puzzlement

March 11th, 2015 1 comment

I was driving last night and tuned onto WNYC of “On Point” program about “Xi Jinping and his Anticorruption Campaign”. The introduction was about the Wall Street Journal article by David Shambaugh about the coming crackup of China. The usual format with 3 professors or China experts exponding on the topic. The 3 experts and the listener callers generally agree with David Shambaugh with some reservations that the anticorruption campaign is doomed to fail, that it’s a factional jockeying for power, and we better be prepared for the coming collapse.

Since the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949, there were innumerable books about the coming collapse of China. Every few years the thesis reared its ugly head and proved wrong. I am sure CIA spent millions consulting those China experts regularly and issued dire warnings to no avail. Today, with China on the verge if not already surpassed U.S. in total GDP (Price parity), the threat of China and concomitant theme of coming collapse is gaining currency to the chattering classes. One of the experts, a professor from San Diego State, expressed puzzlement why Xi, being himself suffered from Cultural Revolution, and his father also suffered and purged, still seem to admire Mao and want to continue his policies in culture and art. She said that Deng has to give lip service to Mao because he has to appease Chen Yun, but Xi has no apparent foe to pull to the left. To me the answer is obvious yet it seem to be beyond her understanding.

U.S. bills herself as a Christian nation. Yet as some said if Jesus is born today he’ll either be ignored as a crackpot, jailed as a subversive, or lock up in a mental institution. The real god in Capitalism is money/profit. The tenets of Capitalism a priori  assume competing philosophies as false gods. To the good professor factional struggle is about money, fame, and power. She doesn’t ask what’s the purpose of power? She assumes self interest. She can’t imagine that Xi’s fond memory of flea and mosquito bites in Yan’an in his youth as genuine. It must be theatre and propaganda. Xi’s speech can’t possibly be genuine. I beg to differ. I remember the week I spent in 1958 when my 7th grade school moved in mass to the countryside. We spent 1 week harvesting soybeans, picking cottons, and eating 2 meals of soybeans. Some students never suffered the attack of mosquitoes in the city now showed bites all over their head. and laughed at each other. I am sure that we did more damage and ate up the surplus value at the commune than our labors generated, but it was the happiest week during my childhood. Xi is a Marxist, he believes China will be a moderately prosperous country soon, and working to make it true. He personifies China Dream.

In science, a theory is postulated to explain some facts, the theory is tested by its predictive power. If the predictions don’t fit the facts it must be modified or abandoned. Yet those so called China experts continuously predicted the demise of China and find a receptive market for their chatters. It’s a puzzlement.

 

 

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“Under the Dome” by Chai Jing

March 2nd, 2015 7 comments

“Under the Dome” originally was a novel by Stephen King about a community in Maine enclosed by an alien force field and the how the people reacted under the stress. CBS adopted it later for a TV drama series. Chai Jing was a reporter for CCTV. She resigned after she got married and became pregnant. Recently she made a documentary about smog and pollution, using her own money, and it went viral and caused quite a stir in China.
In the documentary Chai Jing, using the format like TED talk, on a stage with a projection screen showing pictures, statistics, and interviews with experts showed how pollution affects hundreds of millions of Chinese people. The blanket of smog makes people like living under a dome of cancer causing pollutants. As a former reporter she knows how to communicate effectively in simple language to common people, using personal anecdotes about her new born baby, some basic science, and experts combined to pull the heart strings of viewers. The response has been tremendous with some comparing her to Rachel Carson and “Silent Spring”. The minister of environmental protection was forced to comment on the documentary and praised it. The overwhelming response on the web is positive with some inevitable sniping about her being a former smoker causing her baby’s benign tumor rather than smog and possible effect on jobs and economy. One funny result was the stock prices of all the companies involve in pollution controls in China jumped the day after the showing of the documentary.
China has agreed with US in capping the CO2 emissions and are investing heavily in green technologies. Local officials now can be fired for failing pollution standards. The documentary is in Chinese, I do hope it will be translated to English or with English subtitles. It can be viewed at Todou or Yukou.

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Reply to Verna Yu and NYT

February 20th, 2015 9 comments

Verna Yu is supposedly a free lance writer and published an opinion page column in New York Times on Feb 18, 2015 titled “Giving Up on Hong Kong”, which I think deserve a rebuttal here. New York Times has been on a propaganda offensive against China since being barred from China a few years ago. A few days ago they even published a puff piece on India overtaking China in economic growth which is laughable and full of holes. As comments already showed the laughable analysis it was I would not bother to rebut it here, but this article really got me angry.
Ms. Yu’s grandfather was a professor fleeing Guangzhou in 1947 to Hong Kong from Chinese civil war. some of her family fled Hong Kong after TAM in 89 and before the handover to China in 1997, some returned later after the panic receded, she has a British passport and British university education, and now she’s hinting she might leave again. her grievances can be summed up as following:

1. Usual bromide about inequality and soaring property prices.

2. Hong Kong can no longer be insulated from Chinese politics, and becoming just another Chinese city.

3. Democracy, freedom of speech, rule of law, etc.

I would like to rebut her point by point here.

1. Ms. Yu like most of the OC crowd belong to not the bottom 50% or the top 1%, but mostly from the 1-20%, so any bromide about inequality is probably insincere. They aspire to be the 1%, certainly not for more taxes on themselves to provide for more social services for the bottom. They do worry about their off springs being remain on top, and ready to fly away to London or Vancouver at any scent of disorder. They are mainly the beneficiaries of the soaring property prices, enabling them to sell at the top and buy houses in places like Vancouver or Long Island where locals there are grumbling about the Chinese driving real estate prices beyond their earning power.

2. Well, too bad, the goal of 1 country-2 systems is suppose to gradually change to 1 country-1 system. Who are you to feel superior to other Chinese. I would be in favor of Hong Kong gradually introduce patriotic education courses to suppress the colonial outlook.

3. The usual complains of liberals against authoritarian China. Where has Ms. Yu been? Horror of horrors, pepper spray, tear gas? Did Hong Kong lost freedom of speech? Has she ever heard of Ferguson, Missouri? Has she heard of Charlie Hebdo? Ms. Yu must be living at Fukuyama’s end of history.

I was born in 1947, the year Varna Yu’s grandfather left for Hong Kong. My father was a merchant seaman who was stranded in U.S. with the end of Chinese civil war. I was reunited with him when China granted my mother and me exit visas for humanitarian family reunification in 1959. We were from the bottom 50%. To me income inequality is real and widening in U.S., while in China they are making real efforts to bridge it and move hundreds of millions out of poverty. That is human right in reality, not a throw away catch phrase for Varna Yu.

 

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Behind the Great Western Firewall Is the Ugly Truth

February 15th, 2015 1 comment

I came across this article on the Vineyard of the Saker blog, which I think is worth reading (both the article and the blog in general). I don’t know what fellow Hidden Harmonies bloggers think of other works by Jeff Brown (especially those related to China), but his description of information control methods in the West seems to be pretty spot on.

By the way, my fellow bloggers should be proud of the fact that Hidden Harmonies is listed as a source of good alternative media, in the same mention as Asia Times and CounterPunch no less.

I choose not to copy and paste this essay in its entirety, given that there are multiple hyperlinks in it, which are necessary components that enrich the narrative. While I’m sure there are some automated ways to copy over these hyperlinks, I figured an extra click wouldn’t be too hard. :)

Behind the Great Western Firewall Is the Ugly Truth

Eddie Huang, FOB, Time Warner Condos, and Gold Coast Houses.

February 9th, 2015 21 comments

With the launching Of the sit-com “Fresh off the Boat” on ABC, there were a flurry of articles on Eddie Huang and the TV series. There was a profile of him in New York Times beside the review of the show, and Arthur Chu wrote about the importance of the show for Asian Americans in Salon.com. I watched the first 2 episodes and have mixed feelings as it triggered my own memory when I was in High School in New York. Eddie Huang was born in 82 of immigrant Taiwanese parents. He graduated with law degree and passed bar exam first time, worked for NYC law firm for 2 years, got layoff, worked as a standup comic and marijuana dealer, opened a restaurant called Baohus and got great review from NYT, opened a second one and closed it. He wrote an autobiography called “Fresh off the Boat”, and now turned to a TV series. Eddie talked about growing up around the age of 9 when his family moved from Washington D.C. to Orlando suburbs to open a steak-house restaurant, the resulting clash of cultures, race, and being bullied in school. Because of the format being sit-com, it inevitably stereotypes certain situations to generate laughs, the tiger-mom, model minority emphasis on grades, his own rebellion by embracing hip hop and basketball, and some minor swipes at suburban life style. I remember myself in early 60s, being the only Chinese in a high school of 3,000, got in my only fight in school with a Puerto Rican student when he started to bully me by using the F word of my mother. I was rescued in the principal’s office by my music teacher who vouched for me. Unlike Eddie who was born here I was very conscious of my poor English pronunciations and has only 2 Ukrainian fellow students from the neighborhood as friends during morning train rides. When the word Chink was used by neighborhood kids I knew better than to engage them by just ignoring them and walked fast past them. I sublimed my anger by what Lu Hsun called Ah-Q method, clutching my NYT newspaper and mumbling to myself that they are nothing but jail baits as I knew the proportion of African Americans in jail from reading the papers. I think that Eddie Huang may not like the way the show was portrayed and deviated from his vision, but if he wants the show to succeed, unlike his second restaurant then the compromises are inevitable.

NYT this weekend also have 3 articles on real estate. One on a Malaysian Chinese as a go between for the son of Prime Minister there in purchasing real estate in U.S.. One on the Time Warner center condos and the shell companies used by foreigners, some of them being Chinese nationals. Third being the Gold Coast, northern coast of Long Island suburbs where Chinese have been buying up expensive mansions with cash like hot cakes. The descriptions being nouveau-riche, uncouth, possibly corrupt Chinese driving genteel WASP or Jews out and pricing out natives from the housing market and crowding the schools there. The fact of low profile of Chinese were used against them as they don’t spread wealth around like Great Gatsby did. NYT is good at channeling the outrages and backlashes to the comments as they publish one commenter probably more than 10 times ( Susan from Seattle), from 10 years visa to immigration, berating Chinese for taking over the local housing, schools, and country. Previous week I wrote a comment when Thomas Friedman criticizes Israeli Prime Minister for the coming speech to joint session of Congress, I wrote saying it was an insult to Obama and Presidency, if the Democrats have balls they should boycott the speech, of course it was not published. Three days later on the paper it said Vice President will not attend the speech, and there were talks by Jewish democrats about boycotting the speech. So much for free speech, while those racial attacks and attacks on China being authoritarian were published multiple times. When I read the article I pretty much anticipated the backlashes. For buying those houses costing from a few to over $10 million, one has to be not even from 1%, by more like 0.1%. I doubt most Americans can dream of owning one, but human nature being what it is, Chinese are easy scape goats. For most Chinese Americans here not from the 0.1%, from those illegal ones working to pay off their debts to smugglers to Silicon Valley IT workers, expect the backlashes. I just hope no baseball bat attacks this time.

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政治局新年首次集体学习辩证唯物主义 (Politburo together studied Dialectic Materialism)

January 25th, 2015 2 comments

Have lived in U.S. for over 50 years, yet because of my Chinese root, I am always attuned to what happens in China. I avidly read all books about China and Chinese history. From Edgar Snow, William Hinton, to various China experts. From People’s Daily to New York Times about recent events. I consider my schooling up to 8th grade in Shanghai during the 50s as inoculation against biases against China. Last month in one of the comments Ray recommended guancha.cn for better sourcing about China. I have been reading it everyday since and suddenly I am awakened like the character in the “Body Snatcher” movies that I have been consciously or subconsciously blinded to what’s happening. Unlike Borg in the “Star Trek” TV series, Capitalism doesn’t act immediately by just touching you, yet it acts slowly and inexorably with the same motto, “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.”.
Reading guancha.cn I realize left is very much alive in China, there are a diversity of opinions and views fiercely debating on the direction of the country. That Eric Li gave a speech in Tsinghua University on meritocracy and there were critiques from both right and left, that a French Chinese gave a question and answer session at Jinan Art Institute where students asked questions about events in 89 and Occupy Central, that those students are not ignoramus or totally censored as NYT led you to believe. That Xi and politburo met to study dialectic materialism to counter corruption. Hell. they even have Paul Krugman gave a speech in Shanghai recycling his view Chinese economy will crash and rebuttals. And the comments are much better informed and wittier than the comments in NYT. One comment on the politburo article recommended they restudy “Communist Manifesto”.

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Abe’s Japan going backwards on the Comfort Women Issue

January 18th, 2015 4 comments

It seems inevitable that Japan would start whitewashing its textbooks  its WWII atrocities.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/09/national/tokyo-based-textbook-publisher-to-delete-depictions-of-comfort-women/#.VLw_T0fF8pA

Now the word “comfort Women” has been removed from High School textbooks and instead replaced by South Korean “individuals victimized by Japan during the war seeking to file lawsuits in Japanese courts to seek apology and damages.” like these people are a bunch of money grubbers.  Not to mention that Japan want to portray themselves as liberators in Asia from American, European, French and Dutch colonialism.

What’s surprising is that Japan not only seeks to dilute the issue of the atrocities during WWII, but they want to do it to American textbooks as well.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/15/japan-urges-us-publisher-delete-references-comfort-women

Rather a surprising move: “Japan’s foreign ministry requested that McGraw-Hill delete a passage containing a reference to comfort women from a text on world history used by high schools in California. The passage says that Japan’s imperial army “forcibly recruited, conscripted and dragooned as many as 200,000 women aged 14 to 20” to serve in military brothels.”

Also Japan goes after its own citizens who want to publish truths about comfort women issue.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japan-reporter-files-lawsuit-comfort-women-stories-28103776

Even its own citizens are targeted when trying to write about the ‘controversial’ comfort women issue.  A Japanese journalist is being sued for defamation and personally threatened because he has written articles about Comfort women.

In an effort to rearm themselves and want to remove article 9 out of its constitution, Japan want to relive its ‘glory days’ as Imperial Japan and remove any references of atrocities during the last World War is dangerous indeed.

The Myth of a Chinese takeover in Siberia – Continued

January 16th, 2015 19 comments

As an avid follower and enthusiast of modern trends in Sino-Russian relations (and media coverage thereof), I saw this “jewel” of an op-ed in the New York Times earlier this week, titled “Why China will Reclaim Siberia“. This type of Sinophobic fear-mongering is nothing new in the western media. With amusement, I read through it with the slight hope of finding some new, compelling arguments other than the same old rhetoric of “there are so many Chinese and so few Russians”. Unsurprisingly, there were none. I have written on this subject previously, and demonstrated why the so-called “invasion by mass migration” from China into the Russian Far East is a myth. Ethnic Chinese consists of 3% of the Russian Far East regional population, and most of that 3% are seasonal migrants with no intention of long-term settlement. Another noteworthy nuance is that these ethnic Chinese are concentrated largely in Russian urban centers where they have no chance of attaining a numerical majority. Reality aside, I understand that in the realm of propaganda and misinformation, facts and data-driven logic are optional conveniences.

Nevertheless, I will pose another question that few, if anyone, has asked in the discourse over this topic – is it actually in China’s strategic interests to seize sovereign control of the Russian Far East (RFE) or any part of Siberia? It seems like few, if anyone, has done any basic, high-level cost-benefit analysis from a Chinese strategic perspective. When we put forth even a casual effort to weigh the costs and benefits, the answer becomes quickly apparent – NO, it’s not. As usual, for those who do not want to read too much, the bolded text provides an adequate summary. Read more…

Why did China ban Google? And why do the West try to shut down the Confucian Institute?

January 1st, 2015 18 comments

The common western narrative is that China’s government is oppressive and fear that its citizens would discover freedom and democracy through those websites. On the social-economic level, they imply that China’s leadership lack confidence when dealing with the western world. The underlying message is that that those rich multi-billion corporations are somehow purveyor of freedom and democracy. Google even used “Don’t be evil” as its formal corporate motto. Read more…

汉武帝还是唐太宗 习近平陷入保守主义?/On History

December 31st, 2014 9 comments

Upon reading the article at dwnews.com on 12/31/2014, it triggered memory over 2 years ago when I was in Lhasa, after visiting Potala Palace, recovering from altitude sickness, and watching CCTV 10, about Taoism and analysis of history. For those who can’t read Chinese, the articles analyze the two dynasties when China was at her zenith, Han and Tang and the two great emperors, one used Confucianism as governing principle and downgraded other schools of thought, the other followed the principle of Taoism, which allows multiple paths of enlightenment. it obliquely criticizing Xi for following the Han emperor in censoring Gmail, questioning the conservative trend in whether it betrays a sense of inferiority complex or/and overconfidence. It questioned whether the attempt at isolating China from internet with Great Fire Wall be counterproductive.
I was excited in Lhasa because the TV program in Taoism was a real fresh air at the jointure of leadership changes. In China, history is more than history, it reflects on present as much as it’s about history. After all Cultural Revolution started with criticism of a historical play, the dismissal on an honest official (General Peng) by emperor (Mao). It mentioned Han Wudi, the great Han emperor, the year before he died he issued an edict apologizing to the nation on his own failures, which was unprecedented before or since in world history. Tang Taizong faced an invading army from west in front of the gate of his capital, signed a humiliating compromise treaty, yet within a few years absorbed the tribes that attacked. I was thinking of Mao, on his failure to change human nature. When he compared himself against great historical figures in his poetry, what China would have been, if he has the humility of Han Wudi to confess his own failures, and Tang Taizong’s foresight and not enter the Korea War.
History being what it is, those musings of alternate histories are for science fiction. I do agree with Xi in reigning in the excesses of Capitalism, of corruption, and yes, censorship. For even in the West, where profit reign supreme, there are still boundaries such as child pornography and terrorism. I do hope the revivals of Confucianism is tempered with Taoism, on live with nature in harmony, a greener future.

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