Archive for May, 2010

Opinion: the Foxconn Incident is a Reflection of the Growing Pains Associated with China’s Traditional Mode of Development

May 30th, 2010 5 comments

The following is a translation of an op-ed published published in China Review News.

May 27, 2010 – Opinion: the Foxconn Incident is a Reflection of the Growing Pains Associated with China’s Traditional Mode of Development

The recent spate of suicides at Foxconn in China has brought unprecedented attention to this major international manufacturing subcontractor of electronics equipments.  While the causes of these suicides are inevitably complex,  the incidents are a general reflection of the stress the traditional mode of development has wrought on China’s society and provide a warning that change must be brought about soon. Read more…

The Cheonan incident – what do you make of it?

May 28th, 2010 4 comments

On 26 March 2010, South Korean (ROK) naval ship, Cheonan was sunk 1.9 km off the southwest coast of Baengnyeong Island. 46 of the 104 sailors were presumed killed. South Korea claims the ship was sunk due to a torpedo attack from North Korea (DPRK). “The cause of this explosion was not immediately determined, although experts said that an external explosion was likely, as the structure of the ship was bent upwards, rather than evenly splitting as would have happened if metal fatigue had been the cause, and that an internal explosion was unlikely, as explosives on board the ship were undamaged.” (Source:

ROK Naval ship, Cheonan sunk near Baekryong Island March 26, 2010

ROK Naval ship, Cheonan sunk near Baekryong Island March 26, 2010

I’ve placed an “x” in red on the map above to indicate where the incident occurred. Note the dotted lines which separate the North from the South.
Read more…

COMAC C919, Challenging the Boeing and Airbus Duopoly

May 27th, 2010 13 comments

The passenger aircraft industry is dominated by Boeing and Airbus. That landscape will start to change in 2016 when Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) (中国商用飞机有限责任公司) officially enters its C919 jetliner into service. It will compete head on against the Boeing 737’s and Airbus A320’s and is expected to be both cheaper and more fuel efficient. China Daily cited a Bloomberg report where Airbus forecasted Asia region alone to buy 8,000 passenger aircrafts (100+ seats) over the next 20 years valuing at $1.2 trillion. The market is huge. It also cited an Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) report predicting that airlines in China will buy 2,922 large passenger jetliners before the year of 2028. That is in the neighborhood of $400 billion in jetliners. It is obvious that China would have to invest in this industry.

COMAC C919 Passenger Jetliner

COMAC C919 Passenger Jetliner

Read more…

Obama: U.S. and China will develop a positive, constructive, and comprehensive relationship

May 24th, 2010 No comments

Today, President Obama made a few remarks on the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue and the importance such talks can have on further positive development of the relationship between the American and Chinese people.  Here is an excerpt:

Last summer, I was proud to welcome many of you to the White House as our two countries launched this Strategic and Economic Dialogue.  I want to thank President Hu, Vice Premier Wang, State Councilor Dai, and the entire Chinese delegation for their hospitality in hosting this year’s meeting.

As I said when we began this dialogue, the relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century, which makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world. Together, we set out to build a positive, constructive, and comprehensive relationship, and we pledged to cooperate to advance our shared interests.  That is what we have done.

As two of the world’s largest economies, we have worked together, and with our G-20 partners, to sustain the global economic recovery.  During my visit to China last fall, we forged clean energy partnerships, and at Copenhagen we made important commitments to confront climate change. Read more…

NPR reports, “India’s China Envy”

May 24th, 2010 11 comments

All Things Considered (National Public Radio (NPR)) had an interesting report on May 20, 2010, “India’s China Envy,” expressing three prominent Indian nationals’ “envy” for China’s recent success.   India is a very important consideration in this debate about democracy.  Zhang Weiwei, former Deng Xiaoping interpreter, has postulated (and later on written an Op-Ed piece for in the New York Times), in order to fully realize “democracy”, other developments such as economic and civil reforms must precede it.  Many point to China a bigger success where China focused on economic reforms first and India given similar circumstances lagged – and if we ask Zhang Weiwei why, he’d probably argue it was due to premature and disproportionate focus on “democracy” at this stage.

For that reason, Indians views about democracy should therefore at least be more sober compared to Americans.  Are they really so?  Let’s take a look.

Read more…

月舞 (Moon Dance), an 二胡 (erhu) and 琵琶 (pipa) duet

May 24th, 2010 No comments

(二胡 (erhu) by 于紅梅 (Yu Hong-Mei). 琵琶 (pipa) by 趙聰 (Zhao Cong))

格玛 (Ge Ma) by 钟丽燕 (Zhong Liyan) – a folk song reminiscing GeMa

May 18th, 2010 No comments

Recent African Americans attacks on Asian Americans, what are your thoughts?

May 10th, 2010 8 comments

In the last few months, there were a number of brutal attacks on Asian Americans by African Americans.  64-year-old Rongshi Chen, while on his way to a convenient store in San Francisco, was kicked by a group of young African Americans and had his collarbone broken. San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer, Nanette Asimov, went on to report:

He’s not alone. At least four high-profile attacks involving blacks and Asians have occurred since January in San Francisco and Oakland, including the beating death of Tian Sheng Yu, 59, last month. Two 18-year-old men have been charged with murder.

Read more…

As Yelp Looks to Stop Extorting Money from Business Owners, will Google Follow Suit?

May 8th, 2010 10 comments

Yelp has been the target of lawsuits recently.  For example, according to this WSJ report:

Nine small businesses have joined a lawsuit accusing local business review start-up Yelp Inc. of extortion and fraudulent business practices.

The newest plaintiffs were officially added Tuesday in an amended complaint filed by two law firms…. The new plaintiffs include a Chicago bakery, a Washington, D.C., restaurant and a California furniture store, among others.

The original plaintiff in the putative class action suit, a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, Calif., said it had asked Yelp to remove a negative consumer review that violated Yelp’s site guidelines. According to the complaint, San Francisco-based Yelp initially removed the review but it reappeared and Yelp later declined to remove it and other negative reviews. The suit alleges that Yelp’s sales representatives repeatedly contacted the hospital offering to hide any negative reviews if it bought advertising from Yelp.

In the amended complaint, the owner of Chicago’s Bleeding Heart Bakery alleged that Yelp offered in exchange for a paid sponsorship to push any bad reviews to the end of the bakery’s listings on Yelp’s site. The bakery owner alleged that one of Yelp’s sales representatives said they would personally remove reviews identified by the owner as “bogus.”

“Yelp’s practices are extortionate and especially harmful to small businesses, such as our clients, who are particularly vulnerable to reviews posted on the site,” said Jared H. Beck, co-managing partner of Beck & Lee, referring to the original plaintiff and the nine new ones.

Yelp denied any wrongdoing and said that it reviewed the amended complaint and still believes the suit is without merit. “The allegations stem from confusion over how our review filter works to protect consumers from fake, or shill, reviews and businesses from malicious reviews from competitors,” said Vince Sollitto, Yelp’s vice president of communications. Read more…

If Confucius is alive today, he would advise the Western media: “中庸”

May 5th, 2010 5 comments

If 孔子 (Confucius) were alive today, he would advice the Western media to heed his thoughts on “中庸” (Zhong Yong), or “Doctrine of the Mean“. Below is one of his key passages:


When joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure have not yet arisen, it is called the Mean (中 centrality, equilibrium). When they arise to their appropriate levels, it is called “harmony” 和. The Mean is the great root of all-under-heaven. “Harmony” is the penetration of the Way through all-under-heaven. When the Mean and Harmony are actualized, Heaven and Earth are in their proper positions, and the myriad things are nourished. (Translation by A. Charles Muller)

Read more…

A More Holistic Approach to Improving the Human Condition

May 1st, 2010 5 comments

Last week, I ran across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about the stumbles Bill Gates’ venerable $700 million effort to help eradicate Polio has taken in Africa. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is recognized as the largest charitable institution in history and perhaps the most important as well. Time Magazine recognized Bill and Melinda as the Most Important Persons of the Year in 2005 for their charitable work. This is why the recent stumbles are such an eye opener.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a smart organization with deep financial and technological resources.  If they can’t do it, who can? Read more…