Archive for August, 2015

What Academic Freedom?

August 31st, 2015 2 comments

Hong Kong “politics” has decomposed into a tiny repertoire of elemental clichés. Nonetheless, they can cause disproportional disruptions when deployed vociferously by ardent sloganeers with singular determination. By far the most overworked slogan is — of course — freedom and democracy. It’s become licence to do practically anything without consequence. Well, freedom is pointless if fettered by legal constraints, isn’t it? Other banners in the arsenal include, in order of perceived popularity, social justice; freedom of press/speech/expression, academic freedom, and a few other simplistic beauties.

Freedom and democracy, having worked overtime during Occupy Central, is taking a break. Academic freedom has taken centre stage, with the University of Hong Kong (HKU) as backdrop. Read more…

If China Fears “Instability,” then the Western Democracies are Oblivious.

August 26th, 2015 No comments

A government should fear “instability”, or rather should fear the anger of the People in instability.  Western Media has been in the habit of attributing virtually everything Chinese government does as “in fear of instability.”  To that, I say good.  That’s the way it should be.

Tang Emperor Gaozong said once, “Water can float a boat, but can also capsize it. People are like water and the sovereign is like a boat.”  A Government that loses fear of the People is doomed to capsize.

So it is that the West, with its own self-brainwashing, convinces itself that its Democratic “order” is unquestionable and unattainable by others.

Yet, the signs point not to calm waters, but boiling seas.

Read more…

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Tianjin Disaster

August 16th, 2015 1 comment

On 9/11, more than 400 first responders were killed. Now we know that more than 100 first responders were killed or missing in the Tianjin explosions. I have been under a miasma of sadness and anger since then. With each new revelation the more I questioned the edifice which China built in the last 35 years. For the question is no longer whether the black or white cat catches the mice, but whether the edifice is infested with termites which endangers the whole.
Certainly the families of the first responders were justified when they disrupted official press conference when the names of their relatives were not on the lists of those killed or missing. The revelation that the storage was licensed to handle 10 tons while 700 tons of sodium cyanide were present. I was relieved that those chemicals were found mostly intact and not another Bhopal happened. The company records and harbor custom showed discrepancies on chemicals in storage. Obvious there were corruptions and violations of rules and heads will roll, but that’s beside the point. With the explosions the origin of the fire will never be known. Whether it is illegal smoking which is rampant in China or leaking chemicals improperly handled. As for the nature of the explosions I am sure CIA with their spy planes collecting the residues over East China Sea probably has a better idea than local officials. I just hope the local officials publicize the nature of the explosions before U.S. embarrass them by leaking their findings as they did with the 2.5 micron pollution levels in Beijing.
Xi and his leadership has been fighting corruption the last 3 years. We know that corruption permeates in all levels of government and military, for it has been building up with the expansion of economy and the dominance of Market. What is Market? For it is profit motive. It appeals to the worst in human nature. In a reaction to the worst aspects of Cultural Revolution I think China has gone too far in the other direction. West, such as IMF wants China to be more market oriented, and I think that’s a mistake China should rebut. Recently I read an article in which professor Li Ling answered questions why medicine and healthcare cost so much in China. She blames it on the privatization and discuss more centralized socialized medicine as a solution. I think her view should be seriously studied by policy makers, not only in medicine, but by taking advantages of overcapacity in steel by eliminating those small private steel makers and cutting pollution and strengthen state owned enterprises as social needs rather than profit centers.

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Objectivity as Fiction

August 14th, 2015 No comments

New York Times pride itself being objective, its motto is “All the News Fit to Print”. Despite its history of Jayson Blair, Judith Miller, White Water, and present war against Hillary Clinton.
When China started to allow the currency RMB to be more free against Dollar last Tuesday, causing depreciation about 3.5% in 3 days, I was expecting NYT to provide some cogent analysis, instead we got some muddled ideological attacks about currency war, desperation on economic slow down, promoting export, and now Paul Krugman finally opened up with China trying to control Market (Capitalism).
He first attacked China for trying to stabilize the stock market as an attack on the sacrosanct Market. Then he opened up on the currency move, while admitting RMB is overvalued, he attacked China for trying to manage the decline as against Market, as against Capitalism God. He admits some temporary measures might be warranted, but long term attempts to dominate the market is doomed to failure.
Dr. Krugman maybe knowledgeable on Keynesian economics. I wish he look at the mirror and do some searching. What does he think Federal Reserve has been doing since the financial crisis of 08. It has been controlling the market for 7 years now, zero interest rate, QE 1, 2,…, SP500 more than doubled, savers being squeezed and forced into stocks, life insurance companies worrying about paying the annuities, the profit rise and revenue decline has reached limits as employees pay the price, the whole structure might tumble down as Janet Yellen contemplates the first interest rate increase that might cause the whole structure to collapse.
Paul Krugman thinks Chinese leaders have no clue of market. I think he has no clue what does Chinese leader such as Xi wants. He’s correct that China wants to control the Market, for their goal is Socialism and China Dream, and if you let market control you rather than the reverse, then the goal is impossible.
In West there is the fallacy of objectivity, as if you can look an event objectively and unbiased. NYT prides on being objective, yet it allowed itself being used to invade Iraq, causing millions of casualties, which I haven’t seen an apology yet. Now I read about the sex slavery of ISIS, such are the unintended consequences. John Oliver of HBO talked about the Obama pardons of some drug offenders, yet he also interviewed 2, like thousands of others, serving life sentences for minor drug offenses which are legal in some states now, and that’s human rights which NYT avoids.

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Is China a Real Victor of WWII?

August 7th, 2015 5 comments

In my recent article on Philippines’ ultimately absurd legal challenge to China’s claims in the S. China Sea, I noted how that conflict arose from the prevailing wind to diss China’s interests in the post WWII world.  The cause for that are many.  No doubt China’s relative weakness vis-a-vis the West and/or Soviet Union, its plunge into a major civil war in the aftermath of WWII, the alignment of the interests among the world’s most powerful – including both the West and the Soviets – to keep China from re-emerging as a major power all play a part.  But whatever the cause, I think it is major time for the world to revisit just how important a role China played in securing WWII’s victory against the Axis.

I have heard many Japanese say that even though China was technically a victor, China did not defeat Japan, only the U.S. did.  Some Americans say – what role could China have played when it was always teetering on the brink of national annihilation?  Both are way over simplifications of history.

Even if China could not have single-handedly defeat Japan, the world would not have been able to defeat Japan without China.  The defeat of the axis was a collaborative effort.  The U.S. and Soviet Union may have been the strongest military powers of the day, but the removal of any of the major four victors – China included – would have changed history irrevocably.  There are many reasons for the Axis to be defeated in WWII, and China is a key indispensable reason.

Consider, for example, that despite Japan’s many military victories in China throughout WWII, China was nevertheless able to, through its heroic resistance movement, lock down some 94% of Japan’s army throughout the war.  That is a huge deal.  Had China capitulated and freed Japan’s army, Japan could have opened with the Soviet Union a second front as Hitler had asked.  The course of WWII in Europe would have been irrevocably changed.

Alternatively – or perhaps simultaneously – the freed Japanese army could have rolled across S. East Asia, or India … or been used to invade Australia, Philippines and perhaps even India – securing the resources of much of Asia.  Does the U.S. really think it could have withstood an additional enforcement of Japan’s army by a factor of 15-16 throughout Asia???  Japan, I argue – would have been that much more difficult – if not impossible to defeat.

Some American exceptionalists might claim, but it was nuclear bombs that defeated the Japaneses.  That is patently false.  By the time the “bomb” was used, Americans already had control of Japanese skies and were carrying out firebomb raids with impunity.  Without that cover, the bomb could not have been deployed.

Strategically also, the bomb was used precisely because Japan was a defeated nation.  Had Japan had a fighting chance of survival, America would not have dared to try the bomb … for the simple reason that Japan would not easily go down, and would have had the resources to develop its own bomb  … and used it against America. The nuclear bomb did not end the war.  It was used to make a political statement … and to shorten – perhaps (tenuously) – the war. But make no mistake: the war was already  won.

In commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, I offer two articles.  The first,  China a Forgotten WWII Ally, from, argues that China made uniquely important and significant contributions to securing Japan’s ultimate defeat and that its efforts have been too long been neglected in the West in the advent of the cold war.  The second, Did a forgotten Japanese journalist turn the tide of World War II?, from Asia Times tells the story of how Soviet knowledge of Japan’s decision not to open a second front decisively changed the course of WWII … and how a brave Japanese journalist named Hotsumi Ozaki heroically relayed that critical knowledge to Soviet leaders. Read more…

Donald Trump’s Logic is also what’s wrong with Western Media

August 7th, 2015 1 comment

“some, I assume, are good people“.  Donald Trump could have said this just about for any group.  Which is precisely what’s wrong with Western media, as we have said repeatedly for years.

Only now, Western Media, even Fox, is piling on Trump for what they themselves keep writing in “journalism”.

Undoubtedly, Donald makes them all look bad, by taking their logic of sweeping generalization into public limelight and in such gaudy extreme.

If Mexicans are “rapists”, that’s only because for years, Chinese were liars, cheaters, thieves, polar bear hunters, and street peeing baby/pet eaters (according to Western media).

Read more…

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The Mirage that is Japan …

August 6th, 2015 2 comments

I came across an article in Asia Times on Japan’s WWII surrender that I thought was very well written.  It is important because within that surrender lay the seeds of today’s historical revisionism.  But more important than that, it is a good case study on what Japan is NOT.

Too often, many in the West think of Japan as this enlightened, modern, forward-looking, peace-loving society.  But when the West seems to have misunderstood Japan’s nuanced and conditional surrender for a real unconditional one akin to Germany, then perhaps it is time re-evaluate to what Japan is in reality, and what Japan is headed to be.

Here I offer two articles, first as a context, and second as a case study.

First is that article in Asia Times on Japan’s WWII surrender. Read more…

Update on AMSC v. Sinovel “IP theft” lawsuits

August 5th, 2015 No comments

In the latest, AMSC suffered clear defeats in 2 main jurisdictions in China, Beijing and Hainan, where both jurisdictions dismissed AMSC’s copyright complaints.

In April the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court dismissed another AMSC software copyright infringment case against Sinovel.  AMSC made an appeal in May to the Beijing Higher People’s Court, requesting a revocation of the ruling as well as court support for its previous claims in the re-trial.  Several weeks ago, Sinovel also announced that it has received a written notification from the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court informing it that AMSC had requested a change to the allegations it was making.

Read more…