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Archive for October, 2009

(Letter from TonyP4) Tsien Hsue-Shen, the father of China’s missiles.

October 31st, 2009 20 comments

He passed away at 98.

The description of his life in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qian_Xuesen.

I just finished a book on him by Iris Chang. It is translated from English to Chinese. A very fascinating life.

99.9% chance he was not a communist when he was in US. He was a dedicated scientist.

The joke of the century is the witch hunt of communists in US and drove Tsien back to China to help China to develop missiles. It speeds up China’s missile development by at least 10 years when China did not know how to build good bicycle.

Did Middle East and N.Korea benefit from his initial work?

The book mentioned one or two flaws in his life. I believe he needed to do so to be political stable and be able to secure the funds for his work.

Categories: technology Tags: , ,

Psst … is China a currency manipulator and cause of the world financial crisis?

October 24th, 2009 99 comments

According to an op-ed by Paul Krugman in the NY Times today, China is not only a currency manipulator, but also a cause of the world financial crisis. I usually have some respect for Mr. Krugman, so I’ll try to take his op-ed seriously. Read more…

(Letter) Lou Jing, you had me at 80% – 100%

October 22nd, 2009 13 comments

Just finished watching an interview with Lou Jing. She is an amazing young lady.

Other than the fact she doesn’t look like most other native Shanghainese, Lou is completely Chinese. The way she talks, attitude, is pretty much like any of my China-born nieces. She identifies with a cartoon pig who’s speciality is being ordinary.

She’s more Chinese than I will ever be.

Following is transcript of the 1st half of an interview Lou Jing gave Wangyi News:

WN: Lou Jing, what prompted you to enter the Eastern Angel contest?

LJ: Honestly, our teacher entered us into the contest. Some of my classmates and many in the drama school all went.

WN: How did you do?

LJ: I was really timid the first day. First try out there were 200 of us in the plaza stairway, waiting to be judged. Some people didn’t finish half their song and a bell would ring, telling them to stop. I was so nervous I called my mother – “mom, mom, you have to come, if you don’t come I can’t go thru with this” she was at work and she hurried over.

I did not make the show at first, only as a backup contestant. Two hours later they called and asked me to second try out. From preliminary to Shanghai final it took 7 days, then suddenly I realized, whoa, I’m in the final five.

WN: What score would you give yourself?

LJ: 80%, hehe. I’m more brave now.

WN: You’ve had couple nicknames since little, one is “Ganggang”?

LJ: Yeah “Ganggang”, means simpleton in Shanghainese.

WN: Why people call you that?

LJ: Because I’m the docile type. My Mom always tell me to be forgiving. When I thought I were being angry, my classmates say “is this it, you’re angry?” I can’t be angry at anyone, always like to help. Some people think I’m dumb, because my kindness isn’t always repaid. But I’m okay with that, what makes others happy makes me happy. That’s why they call me that.

NW: Another nickname is “little black”

LJ: Right, that’s because of my skin color. Some of my closer classmates call me that. Other people wouldn’t. Because we know each other well, since junior high. But strangely they wouldn’t let other people call me that, something like – “you can’t call her that, only we can.”

NW: Does that make you angry?

LJ: At first, then I’m used to it. Also when we were young people aren’t mean about it; they give me nickname, I give them nickname.

NW: We’ve seen some of your baby pictures, you always have such a big smile. When did you notice you were different than the other children?

LJ: In the city. You are not always in the same environment. If you’re in one place people get used to you. But if you go some place new, people would say your skin color is different, then I’m more self-conscious.

NW: Anything you are uncomfortable with?

LJ: Not when I was little, now maybe. It’s not obvious when you’re in familiar territory, but Once you’re somewhere new, people don’t know you – if I don’t talk it’s okay, but when I open my mouth people will ask me questions, then it’s like “not again”.

NW; you mentioned your skin color has brought you inconveniences, what inconvenences?

LJ: Not much when I was little. A lot on inconveniences now, especially after this contest, haha. I can’t recall what childhood inconveniences. Proverb goes “when god closes a door, he opens a window”. When I’m out, people always want to talk about me. Some are kind, some are not so kind and yell at me. I just let them talk.

People around me who know me are always nice to me, I thought that’s enough. Until after the contest I realized the world is not like that.

NW: Are there times you’re really angry with the impolite things people say about you?

JL: Does this contest count? Haha. During this contest, some media said irresponsible, untrue things. I feel put out, but us little people can’t really do anything about it.

NW: Anything happen druing the show?

JL: Sometimes. Like that KDS travel agency bad mouthing me, they had people visit the set. They comment about all five finalist’s look, and “black ape’ – I couldn’t care less. Let them talk. When you are on the show people will talk, you can’t shut their mouth.

NW: When You were little, you probably noticed other children have father but you don’t. When did you ask your mother about your father?

JL: About eight. I asked and Mom didn’t want to answer, so I stopped asking. I never do anything against my mother’s wish.

NW: When did your mother finally tell you about your background?

JL: On my 18th birthday. She casually mentioned it over cake, and I casually accepted it.

NW: were you a good kid?

JL: I think I was a good kid. I’d help my mom with greeting cards, cook dinner when she is late. I was a good kid, haha. I got good grades, teacher never called home to complain. Mom didn’t have to worry about me.

NW: You mentioned you were timid when you were little, don’t want to be noticed.

JL: When you are different and have to exist in the environment, you accept the fact you have to be invisible. You try not to attact attention. For example when teacher ask a question, I never raise my hand. Even when I know the answer I’d wish the teacher would pick me, then watch teacher pick some kid who doesn’t know the answer. I’m a very low key student, sitting in the back kind, haha.

NW: I read somewhere you used Maidou’s motto to describe yourself, “not dumb, but good natured”

JL: When my friend saw the Maidou movie, she called me and said “Lou Jing, this suits you, you’re not dumb, but good natured”, and I got upset “what are you talking about? I’m smart!” Then I thought this is true, I never cared about the little things. As long as everyone is happy, I’m okay. That’s why she describe me that way.

[Rest of the interview consists of her denying the online rumors. I will respect her wish and not focus on it.]

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

The folklore behind a Chinese antithetical couplet

October 21st, 2009 13 comments

The NYT just posted a report on how Cantonese is being “swept aside” by Mandarin in Chinatowns of North America. This post has nothing to do with that story.

Chinese class
Read more…

China-ASEAN Free Trade Area on schedule

October 20th, 2009 26 comments

According to a Xinhua report, the 6th China-ASEAN Expo is being held in Nanning, Guangxi province, Oct 20 – Oct 24th.

I have mentioned in the past, that Asia is underway to form its own free trade zone like the E.U.. (For material goods,) the article says China-ASEAN Free Trade will commence in 2010 – which is on schedule. More details: China-ASEAN FTA to be completed in 2010, ASEAN envoy.

The E.U. took many treaties between member states to culminate in the union that exists today and then the single currency, Euro. See, E.U. Timeline for details. I see what is happening in Asia mirroring what happened in Europe.

In my Sept 1st post, “Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s new Prime Minister: “A New Path for Japan””, I brought to your attention Hatoyama’s support of an Asian Union.  In this Xinhua article, we hear Asian leaders continue the push towards this direction. It’s all slowly adding up.

Read more…

(Letter from pug_ster) China’s 4 billion Investment in Afghanistan: Nation building?

October 16th, 2009 15 comments

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/10/14/2098654.aspx

It looks China’s investment policy toward many African countries is taking root in Afghanistan. It is the usual kind of investment; building roads, schools, railway, hospitals, telecoms, etc… in exchange for copper in Aynak mines. Given the poverty rate in Afghanistan, this is something badly needed there. In some way, the US was kind of unhappy about this because US has provided some kind of stability in Afghanistan to make way for China to put their investment there.

US has been investing in Afghanistan into nation building in terms of defeating the Taliban and having elections there. However they have been focusing on political and social changes within Afghanistan which might’ve upset some locals while China focuses on the economic side of nation building. Can China succeed where US failed?

(Letter from TonyP4) Nobel Peace Prize

October 16th, 2009 15 comments

Gladly we accept Nobel Prize for Obama.
For nothing he did during his nomination.

Potentially he holds the key for peace.
By not pressing the button to send nuclear missiles to destroy the world,
Or not sending the nuclear carrier to enforce his kingdom.
Or buying peace with money like no tomorrow.

Practically Deng saved a million from starving every year.
Not a nomination nod for this short guy.

Not destroying is more important than saving life.
Or Black is a better color than Yellow.

Wake up, you idiot committee.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

【风华国乐】 琵琶语 (Pi Pa Language) / 蒋彦 (琵琶) 林海 (作曲)

October 15th, 2009 11 comments

Categories: culture, media, music Tags:

(Letter) Translation: Carbon Trading Prelude To Low Carbon Economy

October 9th, 2009 No comments

Below is a short article on China’s state of Clean Development Mechanism(CDM) under Kyoto Protocol, and future of China’s low carbon, green development:

http://www.epciu.com/Html/0908/17/3471B33FF1937070.html

Carbon Trading Prelude To Low Carbon Economy

Environmental China, 8/17/2009

(Carbon trading market is a hopeful prelude to “low carbon economy”. Beijing Environmental Exchange CEO Mei Dewen says China, being the nation with largest carbon resource, has tremendous development potential in carbon trading. Thru Clean Development Mechanism, in 2012 China may receive 1.8 billion tons of carbon trading credit, as much as several hundred million USD.)

China’s carbon-based economy is a must, says Mei Dewen. Establishing exchange, develop products, speedy connection with international channels, Mei believes, developing market and pricing mechanism, attracting qualified financial institution and enterprises, is central to the future of carbon-based economy.

As 2005 Kyoto Protocol framework relates to China, in recent years, global carbon trading and marketplace had exponential growth, From 377 million Euro in 2004 to 91 billion Euro in 2008, with expert projection of 140 billion Euro in 2012, surpassing oil market as largest marketplace.

Carbon trading and derived financial market is on the horizon. According to World Bank’s estimate, half of the 5 billion ton emission reduction target by developed nations will be realized from CDM, and China have the potential for 35% to 40% of the global CDM.

However, financial development area is lacking, Mei Dewen says. Although China has the largest carbon capital, carbon economy and carbon trading are left and rigt legs, without support from carbon economy, China will lose out on carbon trading like pricing mechanism, and lose out on opportunity in development of new financial sector.
Currently, carbon trading is mostly monopolized by developed nations, such as ETS in EU, ETG in UK, and CCX in US. Although China has established environmental exchanges in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjing, these 3 exchanges are limited to conservation and environmental protection technology transfer transactions, and still far from monetizing on carbon trading. China’s carbon marketplace development not only far behind developed nation, it’s even behind India.

In concrete terms, China’s carbon trading is akin to farm commodity market, while India’s carbon trading has elevated to level of currency market. Mei says, India’s carbon marketplace development is more advanced than China, in terms of trading platform or CDM capability. India’s carbon credit is 2-3 Euros more per ton than China.

What Lies between Chinese Writers and the Nobel Prize

October 8th, 2009 39 comments

Nobel Prize for Literature was just awarded to Herta Müller, born in Romania and productive in Germany. This came somewhat to my surprise even though I had not been playing with a crystal ball. Shortly before the announcement, one prominent member of the jury Peter Englund admitted to the Associated Press that the prize has become too Eurocentric with most jury members being European . Americans have not won any Nobel Prize in literature since 1993. Englund’s confession sparkled some hope in America that this time it might be an American author. And the disappointment that followed!
Read more…

(Letter from pug_ster) China Yearns to Form Its Own Media Empires

October 6th, 2009 66 comments

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/business/global/05yuan.html

When many people think China and media industry, many would probably be right to think that it would be a paradox. It seems that China’s government is encouraging consolidation of the media entertainment industry and possible partnerships with Western companies to create a media industry within the China’s market. The question is that would these Western Media companies would work within China and comply with Chinese laws and governance? Many of the Tech companies working within China are already doing that. Cisco has supplied the technology for their GFW. Google’s search engine within China blocks out sensitive information like the TS 1989 incident. Yahoo has provided China information which lead to arrest of an Chinese dissident. My guess that many media companies who are looking to do business in China would comply with China’s laws and censorship. What do you think?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

(Letter) China’s sustainable forestry, biomass industry, green development efforts

October 6th, 2009 13 comments

Recently there have been some discussion on China’s rapid development, industrialization, increased pollution and destruction of environment such as deforestation. Not being knowledgeable or ever being interested in the subject, I decided to look for answer to the question – Is China recklessly polluting the planet? Read more…

Categories: Environment, General Tags:

Interview with Dr. Edwina Pendarvis (III): Teacher and Parent Roles in Education

October 5th, 2009 5 comments

Question: In your opinion, are teachers in the US given enough latitude to teach effectively?

IDEA (a law for programs for students with disabilities), Title I (a part of a law for programs for economically disadvantaged students), our equal opportunity laws and even, to a certain extent, the No Child Left Behind law, as well as many other laws and influences have created a system that does a good job at providing the basics (except computer basics ) to almost all students. In doing that, we’ve made teachers’ jobs much harder (though it’s worth it). Read more…

Categories: education Tags: , ,

【风华国乐】:阿里山的姑娘 (Girls of Ali Mountain)

October 5th, 2009 1 comment

Mind as well dress all these musicians in panda costumes. 🙂

Categories: culture, General, media, music, video Tags: ,

Interview with Dr. Edwina Pendarvis (II): Chinese vs. US Education

October 2nd, 2009 7 comments

Question: If you can comment on the differences between the Chinese and US educational systems that would be great. If not, from your experience working with US students and Chinese students, what are some of the things that stand out to you as being very different? What could Chinese students learn from their US counterparts and what could American students learn from their Chinese counterparts?

Dr. Pendarvis: Lucky for you I know very little about the Chinese educational system, and so I won’t go on so long in answering this question! I can only talk about the few Chinese students I’ve worked with. They were ALL more intellectual and interested in ideas than most American students I’ve taught. They were also more respectful of others’ ideas, including the professors. Whatever their private thoughts, they consistently asked questions rather than dismissing others’ ideas without giving them much thought. Read more…

Categories: education, General Tags:

Nitpicking Media's Coverage of PRC's 60th Anniversary Parade

October 1st, 2009 314 comments

I watched the national day parade on TV with my family, and liked it. As expected, the Chinese government managed to put out an impressive show. Then I read some media’s coverage of the parade. Well, let’s just say that those writings were as expected too. Anyway, there are a number of memes and other little oddities, in no particular order, that I want point out. As the title of this post says, this is just an excise of nitpicking.

[Update] I gotta share this photo that I just found with you. When the kids released the balloons at the end of the parade, somehow the these balloons formed a shape that looked like China’s map. Please don’t tell me that this was not a coincidence but a carefully choreographed act.

Ballons forming Chinese map
Read more…

Interview with Dr. Edwina Pendarvis (I): Anti-Intellectualism in US Schools

October 1st, 2009 10 comments

Recently there has been much discussion in both China and the US about the advantages or disadvantages of education in both countries. For instance, Mr. Robert Compton made a movie called 2 Million Minutes, which advocates learning from China and India in its K12 education. Views by Mr. Compton was largely rejected by scholars such as Dr. Zhao from Michigan State University who suggests the US system is doing fine while the Chinese one needs reform. In the meantime, someone in China seems to have forged an article by Benno C. Schmidt, Jr., former President of Yale, attacking Chinese higher education as basically a joke. If that article showed anything, it indicates extreme dissatisfaction with the Chinese educational system.

During such discussions on the differences between Chinese and American education, we interviewed Dr. Edwina Pendarvis for her input on what went wrong with the US education. Dr. Pendarvis is Professor Emeritus of Gifted Education at Marshall University and an Internationally recognized scholar of high-achieving students. Read more…