Archive for February, 2011

Huawei Asks to be Investigated

February 27th, 2011 16 comments

Recently I wrote about the unfair suspicion and distrust and bad mouthing systemically heaped upon China and Chinese companies by many in the U.S. Well, finally, one company – Huawei – has decided to fight back. Read more…

“In 2020 the U.S. empire will come crumbling down”

February 27th, 2011 5 comments

Since the Western media have caught a “revolution” fever, it is interesting to see Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung countering on Russia Today with the imminent collapse of the “U.S. empire” by 2020 (he previously estimated 2025, but shaved the date off by 5 years after George Bush took office). Democracy Now dubs him the “founder of peace studies” and had this interview with Galtung summer of 2010.

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Is It Advocacy, or Is It SPAM?

February 26th, 2011 37 comments

PCWorld article states that China dropped further down on the list of top SPAM originating countries, down to #20.

With now 470 million internet users, China is actually cleaning up the cyberspace of SPAM substantially.  US, however, remains #1 top SPAMMER in the world, contributing about 15% of all SPAM’s in cyberspace.

Sophos, which collects the stats, approximates that 97% of all emails received on business computer systems are SPAM.

But some emails on business systems are considered SPAM, but also “advocacy”.  A few years ago, Intel Corporation lost a major lawsuit in US against a former employee’s “anti-Intel” website, which Intel claimed was spamming the Intel computer systems with mass emails to employees, costing Intel large amount of money to filter out the mass emails.

Which brings an interesting question?  What is the boundary between “Advocacy” and “SPAM”?  If you ask me, not much.

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China’s determined and long march towards rule of law

February 25th, 2011 5 comments

With Tunisia and Egypt in revolution, the Western media seem to be hypnotized with this notion that the only way Chinese society can improve is the citizens themselves fermenting a ‘jasmine revolution’ and overthrow the government. Note that they don’t actually say it, but their narratives are frequently with this a presumption. (See my prior post.) We retard our views if we limit ourselves to thinking that for weaker nations, revolution is the panacea to everything. For China, the key is always reforms from within, and I want to share about China’s recent freedom of information act. These reforms are in fact being done in earnest and some times with foreigner input.

In 2007, China’s State Council issued the “Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information” (中华人民共和国政府信息公开条例) which went into law in May 2008. They required government departments to disclose a very wide range of information. The purpose is to make the government more transparent and to make Chinese society one of rule of law. The Yale Law School’s China Law Center has a good collection of resources inside and outside China on how those regulations are being put into practice (in English). Peking University’s Center for Public Participation Studies and Supports (北京大学公众参与研究与支持中心) can be reached here in Chinese with a broader view of what is happening in China. The Chinese in fact works with Western NGO’s too, including the Ford Foundation.
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The Danger of the Stubbornly Committed Democracy

February 25th, 2011 9 comments

There was a time, in every Chinese ex-pat’s life, when he/she is drawn to the fascination of the Democratic freedoms.  What is not to love about “freedom”?

Except, nothing in life is free, there is always a cost, often hidden.  Many of us Chinese experience these costs often in life, and it has made us wiser, for we do not easily commit ourselves to fanciful sale pitches.  Many of us are even overly cautious, but I would say that is a strength, not a weakness.  Afterall, only the future can tell if the overly cautious are truly right, or are the rest of us merely being optimistic lemmings.

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U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman caught on video teased by Chinese at “Jasmine Revolution” rally at Wangfujing

February 24th, 2011 24 comments

As you all already know, there were calls on Twitter few days ago asking Chinese citizens to protest and overthrow their government. (raventhorn2000 weighed in few posts ago.) One of the rallying locations was a McDonalds at Wangfujing in Beijing. The video below was taken by a Chinese citizen catching U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman at the scene. It’s pretty hilarious actually. A Chinese man asked him: “Hi Ambassador, what are you doing here?” Huntsman replies, “Just joining the fun.”

The Chinese man then teased, “you want chaos for China, don’t you?”

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s Visit at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo

February 24th, 2011 No comments

Even though the 2010 Shanghai World Expo has long passed, I thought this Russia Today coverage of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit was interesting. It gave a glimpse into the economic relationship between Russia and China as viewed from the Russians.

On Recent Criticisms of Mr. Shaun Rein, An Advice On Moving Forward

February 23rd, 2011 52 comments

There have been more than several near “simul-blog” criticisms of Mr. Shaun Rein’s recent articles circulating over China blogs.

Critics of Mr. Rein came to applaud, Defenders of Mr. Rein returned some criticisms.

I sat on the sideline and read some of the back and forth.  My thoughts below concisely as possible.  Some of which agreed by others on both side of the discussion:

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A PR Gimmick that Fizzles, a Cheese Revolution in 7th Day

February 20th, 2011 28 comments

A few hundred people gathered in specific spots in large Chinese cities, mostly journalists and passer by, waiting for the promised “revolution”.

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Big eyes versus slanty eyes

February 18th, 2011 17 comments

(Double eyelid plastic surgery - NYT)

The New York Times has an interesting article out which caught my eyes: “Ethnic Differences Emerge in Plastic Surgery.” It is a pretty good read, actually, in describing how minorities in America in the past and present conform themselves to look more “American.”

Where it left off, I’d like to share a few more observations. During the Tang Dynasty, slightly obese women were considered beautiful. The Hawaiians had that same norm in their history too. RV has just talked about soft power, and in my view, Hollywood and American television have tons of it.

According to the NYT article, apparently Asians are into cutting up their eye lids to get that double lid, big “American” eye look. In this next sequence of images, I’d like to show you why they are doing that in America. Absolutely watch the short video at the end of this post and read my point on it.
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Soft Power, How the West has Misunderstood it, And

February 18th, 2011 2 comments

How China might have gotten it right.
by RV.

The other day, talking to my “young American friend” over lunch, on the topic of overuse of US “hard powers” in the world.

He agreed that US “overused” its hard powers.  With his emphasis on the word “overused”, he implied that US could scale back its hard powers international and yet achieve the same objectives, such as securities abroad, etc.

Then, I realized, he, like many other Westerners did not truly understand the true essence of “Soft Power”.  In forcing myself in the discourse, I suddenly also realized, the topic of “Soft Power” is largely carried with a sense of vague assumptions in Western Academia, along with statistics and no real appreciations for what it is.

So, it is what “soft power” really is, and why the West got it wrong and used it wrong, and brought about dangerous consequences for itself and others.

Read more…

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks Internet ‘freedom’

February 17th, 2011 50 comments

A lot has already been written in the Western media about the yesterday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speech on Internet ‘freedom.’ In her speech, Clinton singled out China for being “repressive” on the Internet, and for that reason, the predictable narrative is out yet again: U.S. vs. ‘bad’ China, ‘bad’ China, or U.S. being too harsh to, still, a ‘bad’ China. This nonsense aside, I thought the speech was telling of a number of things.

First of all, don’t forget that the U.S. Department of State’s mission is to conduct U.S. foreign policies. In that sense, everything Clinton said were expected and predictable. The biggest give away is near the end of her speech where she said:
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Anti-China Wing-Nut Farm

February 15th, 2011 2 comments

Some one suggested that we should keep a running list of known obvious anti-China media distortionists, contortionists, wind bags, wing-nuts.

So here it is.  Let’s keep it running, but provide your nominations with some historical backgrounds on the nominations, type of articles, obvious and outrageous distortions.  And I or someone else will add worthy nominations to the main list.

I would like to turn this into a giant wiki, but 1 step at a time.

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What next for Egypt?

February 15th, 2011 3 comments

Egypt is in the midst of a revolution (China Daily reporting “Egypt to finish constitution amendments in 10 days“), and everyone on the planet is genuinely curious how the country will evolve (The Economist ponders, “Where now for Egypt and the region?“).

We should put things into perspective though. A new constitution and a newly elected government few months from now is not going to all of a sudden solve the problems that sent the Egyptians into the streets in the first place. The verdict of this revolution cannot be judged for at least a decade to come.
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China Hacking, Poison and Piracy

February 13th, 2011 14 comments

Here is another story about hackers from China.

Allegedly some organization have tracked yet another hacking that originated from some computer from China.

Red alert – we are under attack from China!

I found it interesting that we never hear from hackers from U.S., Britain, Germany characterized as that.  We are more specific than that.  Bad hackers are individual bad apples.  They may be deranged individuals or part of standard industrial espionage operations. But when it comes to hackers form China, it has to be “hackers from China” – they are coming after us! Read more…

The Narrative on the Egyptian “Uprising” / “Revolution”

February 13th, 2011 9 comments

For the last three weeks, we witnessed something extraorgdinary in the Egypt. A unpopular leader is finally brought down by revolts in the street. A gallant people finally brought a hated tyrrant down to his knees.

Yet, if one really think about it, even by the most optimistic of figures, at most (perhaps) one million people at one time or another added together protested against Mubarak over the last three weeks. Egypt is a land of 80 million. That means the vast majority of the people never took to the street over the last three weeks.

I had an interesting chat with a friend from Egypt a couple of nights ago. We were friends from graduate school. He told me that while most people he knew did not think highly of Mubarak – who is deemed by most to be unsympathetic to the people, tolerant of corruption, and incapable of bringing prosperity to Egypt – most also did indeed fear instability and violence. Read more…

What is the Western media?

February 12th, 2011 26 comments

I have been wanting to define what the term “West” means, especially as in “Western media.” Often times in debates, people will toss out a statement like, “the West is not a monolithic entity.” Well, that statement is certainly true in many cases. For example, the Europeans are against genetically modified organisms and crops whereas the U.S. is in favor. The Germans and the French were against the Iraq invasion where the U.K. supported the U.S.. For those of us explaining the Chinese perspective, we too will say, “the Chinese perspectives are broad and varied.” That is equally true.

On the other hand, Western leaders (Obama or whomever) will say “we the West” stand for this and for that. The Western media do that all the time too. Again, that presumed unity may be true in some cases and false in the rest. Another example difference is universal health coverage, though the U.S. took a big step in that direction only recently.
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Chinese Shoppers Spend New Year’s In America

February 11th, 2011 3 comments

Times certainly are changing. As hundreds of millions Chinese travel for family reunion, increasing number are taking the time to go abroad and indulge themselves.

Chinese tourists have gone on shopping sprees to Japan and then Taiwan in recent years, since US visa is notoriously difficult to obtain (Chinese applicants are denial-based.) Now, it seems US is relaxing tourist visa rule to draw Chinese shoppers to America:
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Mubarak resigns, Western media now sides against a “dictator” they once supported

February 11th, 2011 7 comments

The latest news out of Egypt is President Mubarak relaying his resignation through Vice President Omar Suleiman and relinquishing power to the Egyptian military. NPR reports with celebratory tone, and I can attest to it listening to it’s radio this morning; all voices it carried were anti Mubarak:

“It’s the greatest day of my life,” opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei told NPR. “I could never have imagined that I would live long enough to see Egypt emancipated. It’s an electrifying feeling.

“We have finally hope to catch up to the rest of the world and bring our country where it deserves to be — a democracy.”
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China’s patent filing grew by a staggering 56.3% last year!

February 9th, 2011 7 comments

Now for some good news for once.

WIPO reported that China’s patent filing grew by a staggering 56.3% last year, putting China at #4 in the world, behind #1 US, #2 Japan, and barely behind #3 Germany.

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Mystery of the Mummified Western Conspiracy Theorists

February 9th, 2011 13 comments

Just when I think the roller coaster of Bullsh*t started to leveling off to an even pace, I get one here and there that just makes me feel like I’m drowning in a new pile to my head.

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American Exceptionalism vs. Chinese Exceptionalism

February 8th, 2011 6 comments

I recently gained a new friend and colleague at work.  He’s young, technology wise, law school graduate, and worked in China as a English tutor for 1 year.  (As I told him, not nearly long enough to know China well, but he still thinks he knows China enough).

Our casual debates about China usually ends with him taking the American Exceptionalism type argument, and I disagree with his assessment of US and (in view of China).

But today I realized, my arguments are a different kind of Exceptionalism, a Chinese Exceptionalism, often as a counter to the ideals of American Exceptionalism.  And it begin to dawn on me that the underlying conflict between China and US (and West by extension) is based upon the conflicts of the ideas of American Exceptionalism and Chinese Exceptionalism.

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Team Equality vs. Team Democracy and Freedom

February 8th, 2011 5 comments

Looking back at our posts, it seems we have been obsessed with “democracy” and “freedom,” haven’t we? That is only because we have been trying to deflect the flawed Western media narrative on those two ideas. Have you given much thought to this other idea – “equality?” Obviously it is important, and certainly no less than democracy, because without equality, there is actually no basis for democracy.

Do a quick experiment. Search through U.S. presidential speeches and news from all Western media for “equality,” “democracy,” and “freedom,” then compare results for the first with the latter two terms. You will find that “equality” in the international setting is virtually non-existent. The Western media does NOT like to talk about equality, but love to talk about the other two. Why?
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Is “secretive” a last name?

February 7th, 2011 7 comments

Noshir Gowadia was in the Western press lately, because back in August 2010, a Hawaii court convicted him of selling military secrets to China. BBC carried a report with the by-line: “A US engineer who sold military secrets to China has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.” We can expect the media to predictably draw a connection with the J-20 stealth fighter. The buzz now, rather in August 2010, of course is to milk the J-20 news.

I am not really writing about Gowadia though. Regardless of the case, any national working with foreign countries on weapons technology is essentially playing with fire. Impossible for us average citizens to weigh in on something like this. Instead, I have a simple thought I would like to share.
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2011年春节联欢晚会 “想家” by 西单女孩

February 5th, 2011 2 comments

( version)

2011年春节联欢晚会 – 难忘今宵 – 尾声

February 5th, 2011 1 comment

( version)

2011年春节联欢晚会 – 马铃响来玉鸟唱

February 5th, 2011 No comments

( version)

2011年春节联欢晚会 – “春天里” – 旭日阳刚组合

February 3rd, 2011 5 comments

( version)

Retarded U.S. media reporting Egypt protest news censored in China

February 3rd, 2011 17 comments

No doubt many of us on HH have been paying attention to the Egypt news. But what caught my eyes recently is a slew of news reports accusing China of censoring the Egypt news (Time, WSJ, and Wired).

However, when I (and other bilingual readers) searched for news on Egypt in China – we discover it is not censored. Baidu, Tudou, Sina, CCTV all are carrying this story. Here’re some netter comments:

[Time] Jim: What rubbish. I live and work in China – am from America – and read about this every day ! The continued demonization of China is pathetic but worse filled with hyperbole and lies like this posting by a supplosedly legitimate news source. What crap.
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Chinese Premier Wen dons apron for Year of the Rabbit

February 2nd, 2011 7 comments

This image of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao struck me, because it captures well how the Chinese population views him. Check out his bunny apron. Anhui is one of the poorest provinces in China.

Premier Wen makes soup with villagers in Anhui province Feb 2,2011. (Source: Xinhua)

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