Although this is more about memorization and understanding of Chinese poetry than actual writing of new poems, the 10 sessions of competition which can be accessed on YouTube is refreshing and revealing. I highly recommend them to all Chinese interested in Chinese values. Although you need to understand Chinese and be somewhat proficient in language as even some non-Chinese competitors are.
For someone like me who’s been in West for a long time; looking through tinted glass at events in China; making value judgments of events there whether pro or con, surprised and shocked at the fast pace of changes occurring there, depressed and outraged about all the corruptions revealed in the last 3 years of anti-corruption campaign, one can’t help but be hopeful as those videos reveal China being in the right and healthy direction.
Capitalism is by nature revolutionary and corrosive, sweeping all traditional cultures before it like a tsunami. One can look at the Native American cultures disintegrating even after the genocide had stopped. I worked for a while in Alaska, where federal government gave back some lands and money to the natives to form various native corporations in early 70s. Yet despite some attempt to stay dry and ban alcohol in the native villages, alcoholism and resulting domestic violence is endemic and destroying their cultures. The same is true for Native Americans in lower 48 states; maybe some casinos and welfare generate some revenue to alleviate some suffering, but I am not optimistic in the final outcome.
For a while Chinese media in their reform and recoil against Maoism, produced imitations of western shows which depressed me. I remember once I looked at my wife’s IPad when she was watching a dating show, during which a man was showing his various good qualities and about 20 women showed their interest by leaving their lights on. When a new contestant, reasonable good looking young man, but his occupation being a bus driver, all the lights immediately turned off. It’s obvious money and wealth will be the final determination.
During the poetry competition, there were various segments introducing contestants to show their backgrounds, from teenagers in grade schools to Russian and Congolese studying in Chinese universities. I was most impressed with 2 segments, one was a teacher from the minority nationality who graduated from college and returned to her native village in Southwest mountains to teach poor left over primary students. The other was a woman farmer, a cancer survivor, reading poetry on her commute to hospital for treatments, she took 3 or more buses and train to save commuting cost instead of direct long distance bus. Those 2 segments revealed the problems of education and health concerns for rural areas and were very inspirational. The eventual winner was a 16 years old high school female student from Shanghai. The fact that Chinese parents are encouraging their sons and daughters to study traditional poetry in addition to STEM is a revelation. The fact that most of the winners were girls and women showed why China is different from those Muslim countries where their resistance to modernity will fail without equality.
Although this is more about memorization and understanding of Chinese poetry than actual writing of new poems, the 10 sessions of competition which can be accessed on YouTube is refreshing and revealing. I highly recommend them to all Chinese interested in Chinese values. Although you need to understand Chinese and be somewhat proficient in language as even some non-Chinese competitors are.
I am going to write an article or post on the myth of law… But this 9th circuit decision to not reinstate Trump’s order to temporarily stop immigration from 7 countries is really getting to me. Here is a letter I’d write Trump: Read more…
I think everyone know about Trump’s temper tantrum against Australia Prime Minister by now. Giving China’s interest in “One Belt, One Road” and the interest in attracting talents from the rest of the world in considering giving green cards to foreigners to work in China, I think there is a relative inexpensive and powerful argument to offer Australia in accepting the 1,250 refugees that Trump most likely will reject.
China already offer scholarships to third world countries to study in China. Absorbing 1,250 people, mostly women and children and college educated men will be easy. China needs people grateful for the chance to start anew, with language skills (Persian and Arabic) for the Silk Road Project. I do not discount the propaganda value which cannot be measured.
Of course this will enrage Trump or maybe he’ll like it as that takes a problem off his hand. As some of you know Trump’s advisor, Steve Bannon has already said war with China in 5-10 years will be inevitable. Additionally this will really shut up all those human right advocates and make them speechless.
Donald Trump has taken over the presidency and Obama’s foreign policy has taken to the scrapheap. Many other presidents try to aim to use their goodwill to set an example as a world power by Obama is just trying too much to impose America’s will over other countries at the same time, namely China and Russia, that ultimately backfired and made China and Russia less dependent on America.
In Russia’s example, the US has staged a coop against the Ukraine, which ultimately allowed Russia to annex Crimea and there are deep instability within the Ukraine. The US has paid terrorists to destabilize Syria and Russia has been trying to get rid of ISIS while the US has been hampering these efforts. Other sophomoric efforts by the US to embarrass Russia are with the IOC athletes ban and putting additional sanctions by blaming Russia for the ‘hacked’ elections ultimately are desperate actions by the US and does nothing but to piss Russia off while not hurting them.
In China’s example, the “Pivot to Asia” policy is Obama’s biggest mistake. Duterte will no longer be America’s lapdog in enforcing its win in the South China Seas, as much as the other ASEAN countries. The TPP, which is largely a rebuke against China’s trade policies will be scrapped, but China’s One Belt One Road Policy will largely go forward to counter America’s policy to China, Not to mention that President Xi has come out against US and Europe’s protectionist policies.
Ultimately the worst part of Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” policy is the buildup of military in the Asia Region. As a result, China has been spending more money on modernizing its military and prepared to counteract US’ capability. In Addition North Korea has built up nuclear capabilities and US did nothing about it except expecting China to deal with it.
As I said in the beginning, many other presidents try to focus on one region, Reagan in Russia, the 2 Bushes on the Middle east, Nixon Sino-Soviet Split. Obama’s foreign policy has been disastrous in the middle east, Russia and China. As a result, Russia and China has increased cooperation economically and politically which will not be broken for some time. This results that many foreign countries will be less dependent on the US and the west for the years to come. With Trump and many European countries turning more protectionist, many weaker Latin American, Africian, and other Southeast Asian will be looking towards China and Russia for help instead of the West.
Here is the link to an interesting trip journal by a Canadian recently traveling to China. Many good points and food for thoughts. Political – sure, but in a raw, intelligent, sincere, and honest way. I hope you enjoy!
I was scanning stories on guancha.cn, suddenly a headline triggered my curiosity. ” Who’s the most beautiful stock sold ( reduction of ownership sale) person?”. Upon reading the article, I decided to investigate further and searched Wikipedia. There are only short articles about him, but on the Chinese Wikipedia, it is more detailed.
When I was a child in grade school, I was a somewhat indifferent student, but I still remember more than 60 years later, the moving interview by Wei Wei, “Who’s the most beautiful person?”, about Chinese volunteer in the Korea War, munching dry grain and eating snow while answering his questions in the trenches. Nowadays articles using ” Who’s the most beautiful —-, teacher, doctor, etc.” to attract attention for stories usually about someone with admirable qualities or selfless deeds.
Zhang Tiesheng became a hero during Cultural Revolution when during the first aborted college entrance examination in 1973, he wrote on the back of the mostly empty answers why he’s failing the exam. He got accepted to a veterinary college and his letter was published nationally and debated. When the Gang of Four was arrested he was also arrested and tried for being a counterrevolutionary. He refused court appointed lawyer and refused to recant and bear witness against Mao’s nephew who championed him. He became a villain for those who suffered during CR and received the longest prison sentences ( 15 years ) for those intellectuals that opposed Deng with a speech. Those who are versed in Chinese can read about him in Wikipedia/Chinese. Upon release from jail, he served the full 15 years with no reduction because he refuse to confess or admit he committed any crime. He with others started an animal feed company, and now he’s worth about $100 million U.S.. The article on guancha.cn talk about the reasons of his stock sale, for family, relatives, and charities.
I did have vague memories reading from NY Times at that time about him turning in blank exam answers, yet the details of the story is so different and moving. He has to write letters to his fiancée who insist on waiting for him to not wait for him. Another girl did wait for the full 15 years to marry him. I instinctive like him when looking at the pictures when his company became public, with everyone in tie and suit except him in sweater.
Recently CCTV released videos titled “To make irons one has to be self strong”, about communist leaders from provinces and even from inspection team leaders that committed bribery and corruptions that each came to hundred of millions of yuans. They confessed their failings and be lessons for others. Also news recently published about 2 cases of executed innocents their verdict being reversed. One of the Wikipedia story has Zhang Tiesheng, when he was a village cadre, demanded that the deputy party secretary’s young son, who destroyed an inner tube to make slings pay back the village for the damage as public property. I wonder when Xi demands that communist cadre be selfless, that maybe he should also reverse some of the verdicts of CR and let justice prevail.
It is clear now that while the 2016 U.S. election may be over, much of the bitter rancor remains. The latest controversy now swirls over how long-time foe Russia may have hijacked America’s election to secure a Trump presidency.
Americans seem to be transfixed by this latest treachery, with President Obama promising retributions, but Trump warning against politicizing American Intelligence.
American penchant for partisan bickering and concerns about foreign interference, however, appear to be” much ado about nothing.” Read more…
First, a simple case of fact of what happens to a massive tariff against Chinese made products.
In 2011, US imposed a massive tariff against Chinese made solar panels and cells. In 2013, EU followed with a 50% tariff against Chinese made solar panels and cells. In order to “keep US and EU solar companies competitive against unfair dumping”.
Now, 3-6 years after that, the tariffs are still in place, but nothing else changed much. Chinese solar companies grew in market share. No US or EU solar company booms. Solar panels and cells prices continued to drop. (Solar module prices dropped from about $0.70 per watt 2013 to about $0.55 per watt 2016).
There is no teeth in the tariffs, when big international companies are involved. (They simply hire lawyers to get around the tariffs, or they find a way to make the consumers pay for it).
This is the same for iPhones and cars.
一条大河波浪宽 风吹稻花香两岸 我家就在岸上住 听惯了艄公的号子
看惯了船上的白帆 这是美丽的祖国 是我生长的地方 在这片辽阔的土地上
到处都有明媚的风光 姑娘好像花儿一样 小伙儿心胸多宽广 为了开辟新天地
唤醒了沉睡的高山 让那河流改变了模样 这是英雄的祖国 是我生长的地方
在这片古老的土地上 到处都有青春的力量 好山好水好地方 条条大路都宽畅
朋友来了有好酒 若是那豺狼来了 迎接它的有猎枪 这是强大的祖国
是我生长的地方 在这片温暖的土地上 到处都有和平的阳光
Recently in August, Lung Ying-tai, former culture minister of Taiwan (2012-2014), an essayist and cultural critic, gave a speech in Hong Kong University titled, “One Song, One Era”, which came to internet in December became viral and elicited many comments from China. During the speech she asked audience for their “Enlightenment Song”, and a vice president of Methodist University replied “My Homeland”, She understood it to be a red song, yet was not even aware of its existence; caught in embarrassed smile, she asked him to sing its lyrics. He started to sing and the audience joint in, and the resulting video became viral. She wrote an article in Dec 18 defending her speech against critics. She praised the vice president for his courage to be politically incorrect, giving the climate of young students in Hong Kong at present, acknowledging she didn’t know the song, but criticizing her critics for politicizing culture, asking whether they are tired of being political, for militarize it, and saying sometimes a river is just a river, and a rice flower is just a rice flower.
Giving the fact she was a minister of culture, and a cultural critic, the fact she was unaware of the most famous red song other than the Chinese national anthem is laughable. The theme of her speech was songs and their ramification, and trying to say a river is just a river is insulting the intelligence of her audience. After all, the song she quoted, John Lennon’s “Imagine”, is very much an attack on capitalism and religion. It’s certainly not just idle imagination.
The singing of red songs recently also triggered debates in China as it also triggered reflections on Cultural Revolution and Mao. With Mao’s birthday less than a week away it’s useful to reflect on our heritage.
With his Twitter comments Trump has exploded the illusions of those who believed his election is good for China and U.S.. As for being good for U.S. I just need to list his appointments for his cabinets of fellow billionaires, anti-labor, anti-minimal wage increases, non-believers of climate changes, anti-choice etc. While the slogan ” Make America Great Again” is catchy and his campaign against foreign involvements are superficially appealing, to me it was always based on false premises. For how can you increase military spending, more personnel, more warships, more fighters, while retrench foreign involvements? Empire does not voluntarily retrench. To make American great again, you need to put down any upstart challengers, and the number one on the target is of course China.
Trump is to me like a mafia godfather sitting in his lair, Trump Tower receiving obeisance and tributes from former competitors and underlings. He demands more protection money from Japan and Europe, provoking China and Iran while embracing Russia with childish delight, and dispensing favors like Carrier jobs and throwing thunderbolts like criticizing F35 and Air Force-1 costs. His inauguration is more than 1 month away, but China better be prepared for his ascension.
Many in Chinese media consider Trump to be a businessman, and doing business was no problem for China, but that was obviously a mistake. For a godfather, Don Drumpf will be my way or highway, China has to be firm. Trade obviously will be the first casualty, expect some tariffs and retaliations. Taiwan obvious will be the redline, core interest for China, but China should play a waiting game. There is no point in confronting U.S. militarily at present. Continue the one road, one belt strategy, move more aggressively in space technology. Embrace other powers in Europe, Germany, Iran, Cuba etc. Wait out the Trump bubble to burst in U.S..
Sorry, don’t have a good link yet for this documentary but this is the best one…. If anybody finds a better one, let me know.
In any case, I have made comments that under Obama is the biggest threat to world peace and why Trump presidency is a good thing. Yes, I believe that Trump is a corporate con artist but its appointments of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China’s Ambassador Terry Branstad seems that there might be better relations between US and Russia and China. We will never know what happen to US/China relations until he becomes president next year. But the recent departure of park geun-hye and the Philippines’ Duterte who don’t want confrontations in the SCS, perhaps there will be some peace in the future.
Donald Trump is the proof of HH was right about Democracy, No Schadenfreude on HH Critics, Just Pity on the Pre-Truthers
At the very least, they wasted their energy huffing and puffing about China, while they should have kept their eyes on their own homes. (A lesson not lost on HH folks, who are keen to keep a watch on China).
At the apparent, their own “liberalism” against China showed why Trump won. Their stereotyping of China and Chinese people paved way to Trump style stereotypes and fake news and “post-truths”.
HH has warned them for years. They chalked it up to “Chinese nationalism”. Now they see the same tactics turned on them in their homeland in US and in Europe.
Recently the tragic news of collapse of cooling tower work platform killing 72 workers in Jiangxi province caused the usual flurry of blame casting and scapegoating. It was revealed that wooden supports were prematurely dismantled, that cement curing was slow down by cold weather, that it happened during a shift change so it might be overloaded, that fast forced schedule while ignoring safety concerns and adequacy of management control were all mentioned. So is the need for market return and profits. President Xi and Premier Li both issued instructions on necessity for a transparent investigation. Yet for a non technical observer like me, the biggest elephant in the room is not mentioned.
As someone concerned about climate warming I do read about the CO2 emission on coal fired power plant in China. I understand that’s one of the zombie industries in China with large overcapacity, with utilization rate close to 50%, that a lot of the coal fired power plants are losing money. While central government issue orders to slow or stop more constructions and local governments disregarded such orders and kept constructions going. I wonder if there is such a dead line for further coal fired power plant from center and locals instead accelerate the construction trying to beat the deadline? That’s the one question I wish the central government to resolve rather than pro forma firing of bottom managements.
50 years after the “Cultural Revolution”, Trump’s “Great Cultural Revolution” of the Stupid Populism
This is where I disagree with my friends on HH about Donald Trump. Maybe because I’m a cynic at heart, maybe because I don’t trust “Great” sales pitches.
Or maybe, because I lived through part of the “Great Cultural Revolution”, which gives me some perspective to call BS.
Here on HH, I have previously written about the Cultural Revolution, its good and its bad. I have an ambivalent feeling about CR. The worst of it was the self-destructive hate that it unleashed upon the Chinese people. How it held back China. How it wasted the youths of an entire generation. The ONLY good that came out of it, was the destruction of Chinese irrational faith in political systems and cult of leadership. Populism was rife through the Cultural Revolution, but it was ultimately its own undoing.
I have no love for the Democrats or the Republicans, both so reliant upon the ideologies of Western Imperialism as their go to strategy.
But I have no desire to see anyone go through a “Great Cultural Revolution” under the Great Leader Donald Trump and his dynastic spawns of multiple concubines.
Is this Trump’s “Great Cultural Revolution”? At least 1 Trump Supporter thought so: https://resurgencemedia.net/2016/10/30/the-donald-trump-movement-is-a-cultural-revolution-a-true-revival-of-what-made-america-great/amp/
In any case, I thought I’d share a few quick thoughts about Trump’s historic win.
The day before the election, the New York Times estimated Trump’s chance of winning at 16% – but compared to most other “pundits,” I think they were being kind. But history had a way of making history. People voted for Trump because despite Trump!
Many Americans by now are protesting Trump presidency, complaining in social media and especially in the Calexit vote. Many people are figuring out ways to leave the country and it seems that Western Media forgot why Trump was elected in the first place.
The Democratic party was the party who represented the poor people. It wasn’t until President (Bill) Clinton who drafted NAFTA which allowed jobs to be shipped overseas and de-regulating wall Street. These policies are more Republican than democratic which would not be possible even under President Reagan. Now we have Obama did didn’t do a damn thing about it, in fact, want to enact the TPP which would further screw the poor people and Hillary Clinton would further continue Obama’s failed policies.
Trump’s message to the rustbelt is to convey those messages that Hillary would continue Obama and Bill Clinton failed domestic policies and decided to vote for him instead. What remains to be seen is that if Trump will actually promise to bring the jobs back. However within the DNC there is already a revolt that the corporate eliteists who colluded with the Media are already on its way out. If the democrats are smart, they should go back to the grass roots and appeal to the downtrodden instead of appealing to the corporate elites.
Many people believe that Republicans are bigger war hawks than the Democrats. This is entirely false. Since Obama became president, there has been many countries which has been destabilized including the Arab Spring uprising in many Middle Eastern countries. Many other countries has been thrown to disarray like Libya, Syria, Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, Ukraine and etc… To maintain American Hegemony, Obama has been causing this problem to the rest of the world including the Asian Pivot as well as funding the NDI in the ‘localists’ movement. Many republicans want to maintain American hegemony by being dominant in business and making money. The problem with Democrats is that they are funded by the defense industries in selling Arms and using proxies instead of American troops to destabilize other countries, which would cause more of an blowback to America.
I would predict that in the next 4 years that many the South China Seas dispute would not be in the headlines and many Asian Countries would settle their disputes in a bilateral manner instead of dragging the UN into this. In the North Korea issue, I would predict that the 6 party talks would start and the US would have a less heavy handed response than Obama would. I would also predict that the ‘localists’ movement in Hong Kong would plateau and perhaps it will eventually die down.
Within the next 4 years in the US, I would predict that Trump is a Businessman who will probably ignore the rustbelt states, largely reneging its promise to bring jobs back to the US. The voters in those states are there to remind us that they are hurting and America should focus on domestic issues rather maintaining its global hegemony like what the Democrats are doing. Hopefully the Democrats will clean house and bring back candidates who can bring real change and not corporate elitists like Obama and the Clintons. I also expect the next 4 years would be chaotic, but I have a saying: “You can’t get rid of dead wood in the forest unless you have a forrest fire.” Maybe a forest fire is the exact thing we need.
One of the cardinal rules of democracy is voting, and its corollary, the rule of law. Over history, from Plato, Magna Carta, U.S. Constitution, to today, liberals have the myth that it’s sacrosanct and inviolable. Critics, which I include myself, have always questioned whether voting with insufficient information or education, does really serve society well. It may well be an elitist view, but recent events in U.S. and Hong Kong shows the fallacy of so call democracy.
I will not belabor the problems in U.S. other than the fact voting since its inception was restricted to propertied white male, the genocide of Indians and local tribes, those worthless treaties with them, slavery, and now the basket of deplorable that constitute 40% of U.S. electorate, that essentially believe a flat earth, biblical past utopia. And their leading con-man Trump might well be the next president with the fate of the world held in his nuclear trigger fingers.
Actually I want to talk more about the event in Hong Kong, the local election of 2 Youngspiration legislators, their failed oath taking and insult to China. The legal professionals in Hong Kong, both the insurgents and main business elites, were horrified that Chinese People’s Congress probably will preempt their judicial process by imposing their interpretation of Basic Laws by settling once and all, any wishful thinking of an independent Hong Kong. When Deng allowed the 1 country-2 systems for 50 years, he was postponing and hoping the gradual merge of differences between China and Hong Kong. As the past 20 years showed, the economic disparity is gradually disappearing. Shanghai is gradually overtaking Hong Kong as financial center. Hong Kongers feel their special status is threatened economically and politically. China allowed Hong Kong to be a special status after liberation because of the embargo and need for opening to the world. That raison no longer exist today. China has been mollycoddling Hong Kong when they push back on education reform and election. I think it’s time for Xi to force the issue for Hong Kong to face the reality. If some Hong Kong people think they can carve some special privilege by voting some insurgents to bargain, then they have another thing coming. The judicial system in Hong Kong is leftover from colonial British system, and it’s time for them to change. The 1 country – 2 systems was a transitional process, not set for permanent one. It’s well past time for the fiction of democracy, a fig leaf to be revealed.
A rather grass root view of the public health care system in China. As a whole China is still presented as economically and socially under developed. However, it also presented the very warm and human side of the health system of China which is rather unique.
Tonight will be the second presidential debate, and it will confirm Trump meltdown obvious to elites in U.S.. 15 Republican senators have asked Trump to withdraw or disavowed him and counting. Yet the problem will not be solved with the coronation of Hillary. The gap between rich and poor, 99% versus 1%, will still yawn wide. The electoral system of U.S. is over 250 years old, yet it is undemocratic in its origin, and almost impossible to reform. Even with the new Supreme Court and possible repudiation of “Citizens United” decision, I see no real change except marginal improvement in the live of ordinary citizens.
The public opinion polls on Brexit vote, Columbian cease fire accord vote, both predicted passage, yet due to low participation or indifference of young voters, both failed. U.S. election might yet go that way except for Trump meltdown. Professor Qiang Ge of Central Party School, a self professed Trump fan, wrote in guancha.cn after the first debate, questioned a CNN poll of Hillary win by using right wing internet polls for Trump win to question the validity of polls in general. For me it’s not surprising most Chinese have little knowledge of U.S. politics or political process, but I find it dangerous that Central Party School, where provincial and higher officials attend classes to further their education, is not well informed. I mentioned Central Party School because another professor, Wang Changjiang was recently under attack by Maoists for disrespecting Mao.
As public opinion polls show, U.S. with her high college attendance compare to others is still very poorly informed and anti-science. With 40% believe earth is 10,000 years old, with 46% against evolution as creationists, thus even with Trump’s meltdown, politics in U.S. will be challenging in the future. Chinese leaders will need to be well informed in dealing with U.S.. I recently watched a TV program, “Choice, 2016, Frontline”, which gives very good background information on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and I recommend highly to all interested. As China moves to a service and knowledge economy, the problems faced by U.S., rich and poor divide, automation and job loss, loss of confidence in government, will show up in China also. China in addition faces a serious corruption problem which will not be easily solved. Remember, the events of 89 was triggered by backlash against corruption. The democracy in U.S. is flawed, I do hope China can draw lessons from it, more than just editorialize it in People’s Daily on its failure.
This is a very good historical drama, easily one of the best I have watched. However, it is a flop at the box office so it is not very well known. For a movie to be successful, it usually must attract cinema goers. Unfortunately, although this movie is realistic and have a good script, there is no captivating theme that can attract an audience. In fact, it has a very dark undertone making it an uncomfortable watch for many. Nevertheless, if you want a dramatic look at how the Ming Dynasty fell, this movie gives quite a few aspects of it. I am interested in your opinion after viewing, please leave comments of what you feel or think after watching. Thanks.
In 2 more days, there will be the first presidential debate, and 45 more days before election determining the next president of U.S.A.. As a Chinese American I would like to share my view on the coming election as it will affect everyone profoundly one way or another. For many Chinese it looks to be a play of the theatre of absurd, cynical entertainment value to be sure, but irrelevant to their lives. With the large immigration of Chinese to U.S., and the large Chinese student population here, the political view has been gradually changing. It use to be Chinese Americans tended toward Republican Party, self centered toward financial security, conservative family value oriented, and absorbing societal biases against blacks as threat against law and order. with the first waves of immigrants in 60’s being anti-communists from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Yet the second and third generations now are more liberal and tend toward Democratic Party as shown on the electoral success of Obama. It can’t be understated the emergence of China as a world power on the sense of self confidence of Chinese Americans.
The appeal of Trump to the “Basket of Deplorable” is self evident, but he also appeals to the victims of globalization, disaffected, and those that fear any changes of status quo in a fast changing world. Even I, who is a beneficiary of immigration, when laughing at his comment of Wall on Mexico border, sometimes feel the need for immigration reform or need to close the border at some point. I am a New Yorker, I do know a con when I see it, yet even when I know the game of 3 cards Monte is rigged, I still sometimes has the urge to play it, and Donald trump is the quintessential con man, and many people will fall for it. He reminds me of the character in Stephen King’s novel, “The Dead Zone”, as played by Martin Sheen in the movie, he may trigger a nuclear holocaust. I know some will think I am paranoid, overhype, and biased, but anyone with serious thinking knows that Trump is a fraud, and Germany did elect Hitler to power.
As for Hillary Clinton, I know all about Whitewater, email, and all the pseudo scandals swirl around her. I do think many are due to her gender, many women think she should have divorced Bill. Many think she leveraged her husband’s presidency to get rich and are envious. I wonder all those Hillary haters are aware of her biography, her history, not the republican narrative. In the final analysis this election will shed light of we Americans as a people, whether we are decent, self aware, responsible people or a final nail on democracy as a fiction.
I recently published this opinion piece on the Saker website, & it was republished in Russia Insider. I also wanted to share it here as well (with a few minor grammatical corrections). Apologies in advance if the pictures turn out blurry, please refer to one of the links above.
Not All Silk Roads Are Created Equal
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route is unlikely to see high-volume PRC adoption in the near term due to insufficient business and geopolitical value prop
Several months ago, there were quite a few news/analysis reports lauding the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) as a new path for trade along the Silk Road, which is being revitalized by China and its regional partners under the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project. The TITR is highly attractive to Russia’s geopolitical rivals, such as Georgia and post-Maidan Ukraine (& no doubt the US too), for it is a potential Sino-European trade route across the Eurasian continent that completely bypasses Russian territory. However, there is little/no incentive for China to actively promote or use TITR for large-scale trade in the near future. To expand on this conclusion, this article will cover the following: the basic business value proposition of the land-based Eurasian Silk Road, an outline of the TITR path, a side-by-side comparison of a comparable route (Chongqing-Duisburg, also known as ‘Yuxinou’), and the geopolitical factor.
If you like dance show and have an hour to kill, you might want to take a look at the closing ceremony of the recently held G20 Summit. It is a nice combination of traditional Chinese and European orchestra.
With the musical chair of democracy spinning out of control; Rodrigo Duterte has replaced Aquino in Philippine, and Hillary Clinton likely to hold off Donald Trump in U.S. in November. Obama will be in Hangchow for the G20 meeting and continue to spin his pivot to Pacific, with Philippine the center piece of his strategy with the return of U.S. bases there. Yet Duterte will be a headache for Hillary after her inauguration. She may have hold off fascist challenge by Trump with the support of the ruling elites, but she will have her hands full in implementing a humane immigration policy, challenging 1% with tax policy and minimum wages, revitalizing the economy by infrastructure spending, and dealing with recalcitrant Congress. Despite all the negative press about her emails and Clinton Foundation, which I think are trivial non issues spun by her opponents, I have always like her and wish her well. The only disagreement being her vote on Iraq War which I gave her a pass as she can’t realistically vote no being a senator from New York after 9/11.
Being a champion of human rights (Women rights are human rights), she can’t possibly ignore the action of the death squads with count now probably way over 2,000. For what is more human right than the right to life? With the annual human rights report by State department due out in April, Hillary can’t help but antagonize Duterte and jeopardize the bases.
It’s instructive to see the non response of the Western media whom championed human rights and criticize China whenever some human right lawyers got jailed, and silence on Philippine after the initial flurry of social media going viral on the wife holding her dead husband killed by the death squad, the double standard and limits on freedom of speech speak volumes. For China dealing with Duterte will be delicate but straight forward. China has a non-interference policy on internal affairs of other country. It will be up to Philippine to deal with the question of Duterte. As for the arbitration award China does not recognize its validity, and Duterte has said he’s not stupid enough to provoke militarily, and if he waves the paper China will just ignore him. China will be happy to maintain status quo by continuing to build up her islands or negotiate if other side is realistic. For U.S. Duterte is like ” Our Man in Havana” as described by Graham Greene, a liability best forgotten.
Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Re-Writes UNCLOS Into a Treaty That No One Agreed To, and the “you didn’t say no, so it wasn’t rape” argument of PCA
There are a lot of problems with the PCA’s recent decisions on SCS.
First, there is the jurisdiction issue, whether the PCA had the authority to decide this case, even though China rightfully opted out of arbitration. It’s an important question of consent to arbitration. If China didn’t consent to arbitration, it’s PCA’s overreach, which makes PCA a violator of the UNCLOS treaty terms.
But even if you say that’s just a procedural issue, then there is the substantive problem with the PCA’s decision, where PCA’s literally RE-wrote the UNCLOS treaty into a treaty that no one agreed to.
In effect, the PCA was given Solomen’s Choice to split a baby, but the PCA decided that all Babies are Orphans.
When Professor Zhang of Fudan University used the term of Arab Winter as counter to criticism of China in being not responsive as Arab Spring to liberal reforms, he was not being flippant, but simply stating a fact which West avoids. Similarly when a Chinese college student responded to a question on China by posting 2 pictures of Shanghai skyline from the early 90s and today she was making a point which can also be make with 2 pictures of Aleppo from then and today.
With the newspaper industry in decline in U.S. and investigative reporting under pressure from profit squeeze it was gratifying that New York Times in the Sunday August 14 issue, devoting the whole magazine issue to Middle East. In reporting by Scott Anderson and photos by Paolo Pellegrin, it chronicled in detail 5 parts from 1972 to today of 6 people from various parts of Middle East and the realities of the countries involved.
Mr. Anderson puts the blame on colonial Britain and France for carving up Middle East without regard for their cultures and geography, blames U.S. policy makers for their short sights and of course the dictators in those countries. Others like Thomas Friedman blamed it partly on drought or climate change for driving the people away from land to the cities. Yet for all the blaming going on there is really no solution in sight and the article ends with pessimism for the region, with maybe some hope those who escaped to Germany or next generation emigrated there.
For someone like me who have lived in U.S. for over 55 years and obsessively read all the news happening around the world, this is not really news and conclusions obvious. Yet there is one item all seem to miss when discussing China or Middle east.
In the song “East is Red”, Mao is a great savior of the people. People in West think it’s propaganda, yet they will be really offended if you question about Jesus Christ being a savior. Similarly present day government in China wants to down play the role of Mao, while others wants to demonize him by blaming CR on him. Mao, like Marx is a man ahead of his time. Without him there is really no new China. Middle East, Islam, lack a man like Mao, who can reform Islam and bring it from the Middle Age to modernity as Mao did to China, or Martin Luther did to bring Christianity. Mao said, women are half the sky, and Islam will never be modern without the women being equal.
It seems the ghost has been exorcised but no MSM seems interested in reporting it.
Simply search for “China ghost town Africa” and you should find a list of reporting that are simply ignorant or dishonest. If you want to see what brainwashing and misinformation can do simply read the comment section of the following articles:
South China Sea tensions stem from the ‘nine-dash line’
By Demetri Sevastopulo in Manila
The South China Sea territorial disputes between China and its neighbours can be partly traced to an internal map published by the Republic of China government in 1947 that included an “eleven-dash line” enclosing much of the waters. China did not explain the significance of the line at the time. It was adopted by the People’s Republic of China government after the Communists came to power two years later. Then, in 1953, China unveiled a new map with a “nine-dash line” that covered a slightly smaller area of the South China Sea, losing two dashes that ran through the Gulf of Tonkin between China and Vietnam.
The US remained silent on the “nine-dash line” until February 2014 when Daniel Russel, a top state department official, said China should clarify its meaning.
*Trefor Moss, 12 September, 2013:
Diaoyu/Senkaku islands … administered from Taiwan long before Japan annexed them.
China arguably has a decent case regarding Scarborough Shoal. Here’s one important element of the case: China publicised its claim in 1948, and it took the Philippines five decades to object and counter with a claim of its own. Prima facie, that strengthens China’s claim quite substantially.
*On the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA):
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an intergovernmental organization located at The Hague in the Netherlands. The PCA is not a court, but rather an organiser of arbitral tribunals to resolve conflicts between member states, international organizations, or private parties. It should not be confused with the International Court of Justice which is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations, while the PCA is not a UN agency.
The court was established in 1899 by the first Hague Peace Conference. The Peace Palace was built for the Court in 1913 with funds from American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.
Unlike the judges from the International Court of Justice who are paid by the UN, members of the PCA are paid from that same income the PCA earns.
*South China Morning Post, 14 July, 2016:
The Permanent Court of Arbitration rents space in the same building as the UN’s International Court of Justice, but the two organisations are not related.
*Members of «the court»:
Most of them come from countries unfriendly towards China – and most of these countries are characterized by heavy American news domination:
*One person wrote on the lawsuit process:
… an American-initiated, American-paid, American staffed lawsuit to a private, self-appointed, fee-for-service corporations (with no connection to the United Nations) that is not a real court.
*Many «international courts» are dominated by American and Western lawyers. Here is one of the reasons:
From Yale Law School guide (2012):
This guide provides information regarding some of the courts outside of the U.S.—international tribunals and intergovernmental courts, as well as national courts—where current law students and graduates may find temporary positions, paid and unpaid:
Huffington Post on UNCLOS: China, the Philippines and the Rule of Law
The threshold question really is whether the PRC can be bound by UNCLOS courts and tribunals, including its arbitral panels. The PRC ratified UNCLOS in 1996, but in 2006 the Chinese government filed a statement with UNCLOS saying that it “does not accept any of the procedures provided for in Section 2 of Part XV of the Convention with respect to all the categories of disputes referred to in paragraph 1 (a), (b), and (c) of Article 298 of the Convention.” These provisions of the Convention refer to “Compulsory Procedures Entailing Binding Decisions” issued by at least four venues: the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, the International Court of Justice, an “arbitral tribunal” which may refer to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), and a “special arbitral tribunal.”
While there are venues available for the resolutions of disputes under the UNCLOS regime, the PRC does not wish to be bound by its compulsory processes — the ICJ and PCA included.
The PRC knew this day would come. Its 2006 statement effectively served as a “reservation” against any binding outcome of UNCLOS’s grievance procedure in the future.
Growing up in the 60s with all the music from Beatles to Rock’ n ‘Rolls, I gravitate more to folk songs by Pete Seeger and Joan Baez. The song “Where have all the flowers gone” is always one of my favorites. Today with the younger generation or millennials questioning all the values, knocking all heroes from their pedestals, decry all politicians for their failure to be authentic, worshipping only make believe super heroes from Marvel Comics or movies like “Star Wars”, or even feeling the Bern of Bernie Sanders, I wonder whether they carried their cynicism too far. Two recent movies by HBO, “Confirmation” and “Going All the Way”, About Anita Hill and Lyndon Johnson, both affected politics in U.S. very much for the last 50 years, generated excellent reviews, but little resonance to the market place.
This phenomenon of questioning everything seem to be infecting China also. Yesterday I read an article from NYT (Sinosphere), “Chinese Court Orders Apology Over Challenge to Tale of Wartime Heroes”. Mr. Hong Zhenkuai questioned the validity of narrative of 5 martyrs of Langya Mountain, on whether they really jumped or slipped, or whether many Japanese were killed or just injured during the engagement. There were others in Weibo questioning other heroes during the Korea War. I wrote a comment back;
“Does it really matter whether any Japanese died there? Does it matter that someone else was identified as raising the flag in Okinawa? Mr. Hong is not really interested in debunking the narrative of 5 martyrs, he’s more interested in debunking the whole narrative of Chinese Revolution. For that he should be more than required to apologize for defamation, maybe expelled to U.S. for a faculty position in Ivy League.”
This questioning of war time heroes generated large backlashes in China from the left, not only on the specific questions, but also on the economic reform of the last 35 years, whether China is on the correct path, and of course the historical evaluation of Mao and Cultural Revolution.