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Archive for October, 2015

U.S. S. China Sea Provocation … What Next?

October 29th, 2015 10 comments

Missile Guided Detroyer LassenThis story has been brewing for a while.  The U.S. has been saying for months that it is going to challenge China’s “increasingly assertive claims” in the S. China Sea … militarily – by sailing warships through some of the most sensitive parts of the S. China Sea. Many have bemoaned when the U.S. appeared to deliberate and delay and delay.  But yesterday, the U.S. finally sailed a destroyer right through an especially “sensitive” area of the S. China Sea – the waters surrounding Zhubi Reef – a site where China has been dredging and building artificial islands over the last few years.

Here is how the NYT – in a article titled “Challenging Chinese Claims, U.S. Sends Warship Near Artificial Island Chain” – reported the story: Read more…

“China 2015 – Leading Global Innovation”: a World Economic Forum debate

October 26th, 2015 No comments

I recently saw a debate I wanted to share, regarding a topic of particular interest for me: innovation in China. A few takeaways I got from this video:

  1. The myth of what I call the “freedom-innovation nexus” is still alive & well.
  2. China is already surpassing the West in some aspects of innovation.
  3. Just as there are no one-size fits all political models, there are no one-size-fits-all innovation models.

Enjoy the debate everyone.

Opinion: U.K. – the Bridge Between East and West? Not So Fast.

October 21st, 2015 6 comments
U.K.-China Toast

U.K.-China Toast

President Xi is visiting the U.K. this week.  There are pageantry … and some $60 Billion US worth of deals.  British Prime Minister has made a big commotion calling it as the “Partner of Choice” in the West for China.

I am sure the British Leadership, Cameron personally, believes that it is in the long-term interest of Britain to mend relationship with China.  But I don’t believe Britain is really a “Partner of Choice.”  It may be a “Partner of Convenience,” but I believe it still cares little for – has little respect for – China … except to make a buck. Read more…

The Ouster of Hung Hsiu-chu

October 20th, 2015 4 comments

Over the weekend, the KMT nullified Hung Hsiu-chu’s nomination and selected party chairman Eric Chu to lead the ticket in the Jan. 16 election.  George Koo wrote a piece about it last week.

I typically don’t comment that much on populist politics since they are fleeting, shallow, and often end up, when on look back, just dust in the wind.

Here are some of my takes: Read more…

New research dispels western myths about PRC aid to Africa

October 20th, 2015 No comments

New research, based on China’s aid track record from 2000-2013, shows that much of what the western media propagates about China’s intentions & practices, when it comes to providing official development aid (ODA) to Africa, is simply NOT true. “Coincidentally”, this latest research published by AidData has garnered little (if any) attention in US mainstream media outlets.

Here are a few of its findings. Those who are interested in the details should check out this new report in its entirety.

  1. African states that align with the PRC’s stances in the UN tend to receive more development assistance.
  2. Internal political system is not a factor for ODA allocation; the PRC does NOT favor either authoritarian or democratic governments.
  3. For China, humanitarian need is a stronger determinant of ODA destination than natural resource development opportunities, given that Chinese ODA is more focused on poorer African countries.
  4. Chinese ODA does NOT favor countries with higher levels of corruption.

Turning a Nobel Prize to a Chinese for Artemisinin Into a Eulogy for Traditional Chinese Medicine?

October 18th, 2015 No comments
Chinese herbal medicine and tea set

Chinese herbal medicine and tea set

A couple of weeks ago, Tu Youyou became the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.”  (Tu had already won the Lasker Award a few years ago for the same work, and had described her work this way.)  There were cheers and hopes that with the prize, more people would become aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the tremendous amount of work being put in to update the ancient arts with modern science and technology.

But very soon in the West, I see popping up everywhere “straw man” arguments 1.

First, there is the line of attack that goes something like this: so what if Dr. Tu found one drug from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that turned out to work. That per se doesn’t validate the whole tradition.  As this Daily Kos post noted: Read more…

Notes:

  1. From a wikipedia entry, a straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent.

The Food is Terrible, …, and such small portions

October 16th, 2015 No comments

… so said Woody Allen, in an eloquent expression of an exemplary post-modern human tendency of “glutton for punishment”, or even worse whining about lack of punishment.

If the food is indeed terrible, then any portion would be too much.  Then why complain about the portion being “small”?

Read more…

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What’s Up with Abe’s Egging China On to War?

October 14th, 2015 3 comments

Mr. Abe has done a lot to put Asia back on the path to War: what with re-arming Japan, making a mockery of Japan’s Pacifist Constitution, and overflowing rhetoric about the dangers of a rising China.

Just last week, I was perusing through Asia Times, reading an article by Peter Lee on the TPP, when I noticed the following picture, and a comment from a reader.

Abe in cockpit of Japanese air force aircraft

Abe in cockpit of Japanese air force aircraft

Reader Jack Temujin astutely noted: Read more…

A Land China Loves and Hates?

October 13th, 2015 1 comment

On the Opinion Pages of New York Times of October 13, 2015, there was a piece by Murong Xuecun, pen name for Hao Qun, who used to be a big V on Weibo, and whose account was closed by the Chinese government, titled “A Land China Loves and Hates”, which I used as a title here, but with a question mark. I did so to show my disagreement with his premise, and since my response to him on the comment section was censored, as comments are moderated and usually only those showing approval are published, I would like to expound on the topic here.

His article concerns the attitude of Chinese, ordinary people and officials’ ambivalent attitude toward America. If he stopped there I would whole heartily agree with him. Yet he used an example trying to distort and blacken China to serve his purpose to demonize China which I find abhorrent. He used the example of some unspecified documentary from unspecified TV station which interviewed some Chinese after 9/11 showing glee at the tragedy and suffering. I questioned with 1.3 billion Chinese you can surely find someone with that attitude. Certainly official Chinese government does not take that attitude and any such Weibo postings probably were deleted. Why Mr. Hao wants to show Americans that Chinese were such horrible creatures except to serve the purpose to alienate Americans from China and serve the purpose of neocons which he although profess to be a liberal democrat was truly really a neocon himself.

America translated to Chinese means Beautiful Country. Despite discrimination most Chinese have a positive feeling toward U.S.. I have lived here for more than half a century and certainly do not hate her. I do not agree with U.S. governmental policies in Vietnam War and present morass in Middle East. When 9/11 happened my heart sank and grieve with fellow New Yorkers. Mr. Hao Qun presently resides outside China and taking pot shots at China from Hong Kong. To him China is probably the land he loves and hates.

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Nations Agree on the Trans-Pacific Partnership … and My First Take of Its Significance

October 6th, 2015 4 comments
U.S. vs. China?

U.S. vs. China?

Yesterday, the U.S. and the eleven other nations announced that they had finally – after rounds and rounds of delays – an agreement.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been controversial and widely criticized, with secret negotiations taking place behind closed doors.

Even the ultra liberal and Western brain-washed readers of the New York Times see little to like about the agreement.  For example, within a day of the announcement of the agreement, the top 10 comments (as voted by the readers) in the piece in which the NYT reported read: Read more…

The “follies” of Russia’s pivot to China

October 2nd, 2015 1 comment

Recently, there has been no shortage of highly pessimistic commentaries published & republished, pointing out the supposed “follies” of Russia’s eastern pivot, by highlighting this year’s decline in Sino-Russian trade, China’s stock market volatility, and its supposed economic “weakness”. The conclusion implied by these articles is clear: “Russia’s economic pivot to China is failing, because increased economic cooperation has not mitigated Russia’s recent economic woes, or the effect of sanctions. China cannot save Russia, and the latter must continue depending on the West.”

This is essentially a straw-man conclusion. One thing should be plainly apparent through even a casual examination of Russia’s biggest recent commercial agreements with China: most of these arrangements with China were NEVER INTENDED to offset the impact of Russia’s current recession, but rather to position Russia’s economy for greater long-term diversification and upward mobility on the global economic value chain.

Read more…