Author Archive

“English-language Chinese Blogs” are dead? Who’s Not Paying Attention.

July 9th, 2013 11 comments

Recently, in a period of comparing coverages of the Snowden saga in various blogs, I came across this frustrated admission from 1 of HH’s previous comment participants:

“I’d happily participate in bridging the gap if this was still a sphere of blogs in the first place. But nothing on Twitter or Sina Weibo seems to last, most of it looks both chaotic and boring, and I doubt that I’ll ever become a microblogger in this life. Next life, something still hipper (and still more boring) will have replaced the microblogs.But I’m wondering: are there still active English-language Chinese blogs?”

You can read the comment section to find out that “PekingDuck” sort of imploded recently.

But obviously, some folks have forgotten HH, or rather pretended that HH does not exist.

Well.  Here are some facts/stats from the net to dispute their narrow vision.  (Some of you have seen these stats, which are not that great, but HH is ahead of some “English-language Chinese blogs”, and more diverse in readership.  And HH doesn’t sell any thing, like marketing tips, hobby movies that never get done, etc.)

So thanks to all of our audience, HH is still alive and kicking.  Perhaps it is ironic, but we lived up to our name, “Hidden Harmonies”, in that we are harmonious to some, and hidden to others.

Long life, harmonies to all, even if you choose to ignore its existence!

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Blundering Soft Power of West Demonstrates Its Own Shortcoming

July 3rd, 2013 17 comments

In the recent run of the fad that is the “soft power” craze of the West, the narrative drown out (just a little while) what human beings really desired in the World.

Yet, with the increasing blundering consequences /fallout from the Snowden disclosures and subsequent Western reactions, we are all shocked into a realization of what we have all forgotten in ourselves.

That being, what “freedom” really means to us all:  Human Dignity and Respect.

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NSA – Your Creepy National Stalkers Anonymous Roommate Who Made You Into a Worse Person

June 26th, 2013 No comments

NSA cable guyIt is kind of funny, but I always thought NSA stood for “National Stalkers Anonymous,” a collection of recovering/rehabilitated/repurposed Stalkers who used to be those creepy guys who keep track of everyone’s personal lives, and who ended up working for the government.

Because really, that’s kind of what they always did.

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Edward Snowden – HH’s Truth Sayer of 2013

June 25th, 2013 25 comments

Edward J. Snowden – HH’s Truth Sayer of 2013.


Snowden Truth

A man who said Truth, while others did not.

Snowden did not claim to stand for, nor pronounced that he had solutions with, some vaguely noble sounding ideals or philosophies, like Democracy, or Hope.

He just stood up and revealed undeniable facts, secrets that Governments were willing to pay or kill for.

He did not say to the People, You should do this.

He just said to the World, you should KNOW this.

With mere 4 pages, he said what many of us long suspected but either could not say or were afraid to say.

For him, it was 1 simple choice, either say something, or say nothing.

And because he said something, he is the Truth Sayer of 2013.  What followed afterwards does not matter and should not matter.

Governments can lock him up, that would not change the Truth of what Snowden revealed.

He may be a hero or a villain, that would not change the Truth of what Snowden revealed.

If it takes a villain to speak the Truth in this World, then we live in a World of Lies.


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US Botches Extradition, Snowden Goes to Russia, Ignorant Media Accusations Fly

June 23rd, 2013 41 comments

Sometimes, a story is not a story, because it is inevitable, except for the ignorant accusations that demonstrate how one side is completely filled with hot air and not much competence.

Such is the case of the dramatic “escape” of Edward Snowden from HK to Russia (of all places).

It was expected, because even US probably anticipated some kind of Snowden escape, to somewhere.

Hence, US appeared to be in a great rush to put a stop to it a week ago.  Except, as usual, a rush often produces mistakes, big mistakes.  And as usual, no one want to claim responsibility for the mistakes, just want to blame everyone else.

What is now becoming much clearer, is how Vengeful and Childish Western Democracies can be to punish any individual who speak out against them.

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The Snowden Question: If the West Doesn’t Give Refuge, Who Will?

June 16th, 2013 49 comments

As I have compared and contrasted before, the US can be particularly vicious and relentless, when it comes to hunting its “fugitives”, such as Bobby Fischer, etc..  And it really doesn’t matter how long Bobby Fischer went on the run, the US government doesn’t have much of a history of forgiving (unless you are an elite campaign contributor, which often will get your a presidential pardon).

And in this respect, I doubt very much that any Western nations are willing or capable of giving refuge to a man like Snowden.

UK has even gone to the length to ordering Air Lines to NOT fly Snowden to UK.  (Interesting, what if Snowden lands on the Falkland Island?)

But who can give refuge to “fugitives” from the West??

Many are poo-pooing the idea of Hong Kong giving Snowden refuge, saying that HK is not really independent.  True enough.  But deep down right now, there is a special kind of irony in HK, where many “Democracy” devotees are hoping and wishing that China will give mercy where the West would not.

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NSA PRISM Program Linked to Creation of “No Fly List” And “Drone Kill List”

June 15th, 2013 7 comments

Earlier, I suggest that NSA put the effectiveness of the PRISM program to the test, by performing something easier, like fixing the “No Fly List”, long plagued by inaccuracies.

As it turns out, I spoke too soon.  I thought about it some more, and I realized that an obvious RESULT of the PRISM program would be a “No Fly List.”

As it turns out, the PRISM program was actually partly responsible for the creation and generation of the “No Fly List”, as recently confirmed by an Ex-NSA, Bill Binney, who claimed that he was the creator of PRISM 1.0.

Not just that, PRISM is also linked to the creation of the “Drone Kill List” (which at least gets vetted by humans).

Is this linked to the President’s “kill list?”

Yes. And the no fly list. Senator Kerry from MA was accidentally placed on the list and it took him two years to get off of it.  Can you imagine what a regular person would have to go through?  And don’t forget, drones are not precision weaponry. They have a large kill radius.  A lot of people die who aren’t targeted.

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If NSA’s Cyber-Snooping Is So Effective, Why Can’t It Do Any Thing Vaguely Useful? Like (Pour Me a Beer or) Fix No-Fly List

June 14th, 2013 2 comments

I saw a funny clip of comedian Lewis Black on the Daily Show the other day.  When discussing Microsoft’s new Kinect system that can interpret user expressions and even skin changes, Lewis raised a middle finger, and told Microsoft to “F* off”.  Then, when a follow up clip showed that some guy built a robot that determine when a person needed beer refill, and pour beer for that person, based on Kinect system’s computer vision, Lewis sarcastically but humbly apologized to Microsoft, and said, any amount of privacy is worth sacrificing, if you can get a robot to pour me a beer.

Then, I thought today, hey, why couldn’t NSA use their cyber-snooping for something actually useful?

For example, if that PRISM is so powerful and so useful, why is the “No Fly List” still so screwed up??

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What Snowden Affair Teaches About Corruption, Trust, and Government in the World

June 13th, 2013 18 comments

Corruption thrives in an atmosphere of low trust.  When people trust their fellow citizens, they are more likely to behave honestly toward them.

Corruption is high when generalized trust is low and particularized trust is strong, as Gambetta argues for the Italian Mafia.  Particularized trust makes it easier for people to cheat people who are different from themselves.


Snowden and other leakers in the West are showing the festering wounds of Democracies obsessed with “accountability” and transparency.

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What Snowden Hasn’t Revealed, Piecing Together The Much Bigger US Surveillance Picture

June 12th, 2013 15 comments

As reports and interviews are rolling in just the last few days, NSA insider Edward Snowden has revealed and confirmed some details of the US surveillance and cyber-espionage machinery.  A picture is emerging from the pieces, but until we see the rest of the 37 pages of the NSA powerpoint document, it will be hard for us to assess the nature of the US intelligence service.

But still, I like to offer a few speculations based upon what we currently heard.

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US Spy Agencies Hacking Networks Globally, 61,000 Operations! (Snowden Dishes More Dirt)

June 12th, 2013 19 comments

Perhaps we are getting to the real juicy bit of Edward Snowden’s knowledge, perhaps he’s dangling some bait and posturing, but he has given new details about something that many already suspected is true:  US conducts massive amounts of cyber-espionage in the world.

NSA alone, says Snowden, conducts 61,000 ops globally currently, and has been hacking into China (including HK) for years.  For what purpose, who knows, there aren’t that many terrorist groups to go after.  That can only mean that US is conducting cyber-espionage on pretty much every nation on Earth, with China on top of the list.

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The Psychology Of “Something Completely Different”

June 11th, 2013 3 comments

“And now for something completely different….”  So started many of Flying Circus’ funniest moments.

In a way, that was the simple slogan of yearning in all of us for “something completely different” in the world we live in.  Something we could see, experience, or do.

I thought of that phrase recently, when I read about Edward Snowden, the NSA surveillance program leaker/defector/informant/traitor/hero/villain/whatever.  Yes, there are many words to describe Mr. Snowden now in the last few days.  I try to come up with a truly accurate term for him, and the only thing I could think of is that Snowden is just “Something completely different,” because he has done the “something completely different.”

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Inevitable: US Spy Program Leaker Escapes to Hong Kong, Other Aftermath, How It Might Play Out

June 10th, 2013 47 comments,0,934854,full.story

In routine criminal cases, unlike this one, Hong Kong had shown a willingness in recent years to extradite people to face charges in the United States, he said.

In the video, Snowden said that “Hong Kong has a strong tradition of free speech.”

Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, but still enjoys some autonomy in business and governmental functions.

However, under Hong Kong’s Fugitives Offenders Ordinance, Beijing can issue an “instruction” to the city’s leader to take or not take action on extraditions where the interests of China “in matters of defense or foreign affairs would be significantly affected.”

Edward Snowden interview

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The Fallacy of the Modern “Culturists” Concept

June 7th, 2013 2 comments


n. 1. A cultivator.
2. One who is an advocate of culture.

The culturists, by which term I mean not those who esteem culture (as what intelligent man does not ) but those its exclusive advocates who recommend it as the panacea for all the ills of humanity, for its effects in cultivating the whole man.

– J. C. Shairp

What Shairp eluded to was the “Culturist” who, on the positive side saw “culture” as a magic cure for every problem.  But at the same, by implication, the “culturist” blamed every problem on the lack of certain types of “culture” (the good kind), or even held prejudice against certain other “cultures”.

Shairp’s voice of disdain is unmistakable.

But Shairp was not alone.

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Rediscovering Chinese “Rote Memorization”

June 5th, 2013 23 comments

It turns out, Western critics of Chinese “Rote Memorization” methods may have been proven wrong by Western educators.  Not surprising, critics were far too quick to jump to conclusions of what’s bad in education, while without really understanding the education process in depth.

Many recent year researches from educators have shown that “repeated reading” of learning material increases comprehension, (not just memorization).

Without admitting or comparing similarities of the “repeated reading” methods to traditional Chinese education methods, the education researchers shown benefits of such methods, which the ancient Chinese educators made popular (sometime around the Han Dynasty).

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A Call For Scientific Revolution of Politics, End to the Vatican of Democracy

May 30th, 2013 10 comments

My earlier comments ( in HH, lead me down an extensive discussion of the history of the Scientific Revolution.

As pointed out by Why the Scientific Revolution Did Not Take Place in China —or Didn’t It?, the Scientific Revolution did occur to some extent in China, it simply did not have the kind of socio-economic impact as it did in Europe.

However, IMPACT is relative, especially relative to history itself.  As I argued, the Scientific Revolution in the West may have come to halt, whereas it is the OTHER parts of the World that is continuing down the Scientific Revolution path.

Particularly China, is carrying on the rationalist tradition of the Scientific Revolution to continue to change traditional institutions of human conditions, particularly in Politics.

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How Critics of China are Fooling Themselves and Missing the Real Point.

May 24th, 2013 6 comments

Recently, I browsed through a blog post “What’s Going Right” for China (, including comments from James Fallows and Orville Schell.

I have certain amount of respect for both of them.  Particularly, I consider Mr. Schell’s understanding of China to be more salient and in depth than most of his colleagues.  At the same time, I also commend Mr. Fallows’ understanding of China, as much as he was kind enough to generalize about the positives of China.

Mr. Schell’s comments in the above post was particularly enlightening in its discussion of what Mr. Fallows only generalized as the positive “spirit” in the Chinese People and in the Chinese government, “that, instead of conveying an air of being hemmed-in by an era of limits, conveys the feel of a society hell-bent on building a more prosperous and stronger country”.  Mr. Fallows commented that China’s can-do “spirit” was in contrast to the “fatalistic” one in the West.  But Mr. Fallows did not go much into the depth of the differences in “spirit”.  Mr. Schell, on the other hand, attributed the fatalism of the West, at least indirectly, to propagandization that lead Americans (and perhaps Westerners in general) “to believe that governments are the problem not the solution.”

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What The History of Online Communities Taught Me About “Freedom Of Speech”

April 15th, 2013 5 comments

Around 1997, I stumbled upon and joined an online forum, now somewhat infamously known as “”.  This was in the early days of online communities.  My initial fascination with FreeRepublic (I was a “Freeper”, but I never called myself that), and my subsequent departure from it, marked my first of life long lesson in the self-contradiction that is “Freedom of Speech,” along with other lessons drawn from other online communities.


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Botanical Espionage, The Western History of IP Violations

April 14th, 2013 9 comments

About 400 years ago, tea was first introduced to the British, but China was the ONLY nation with monopoly on tea production and methods.

The British did 2 things to end China’s monopoly, (1) sold Opium to offset China’s tea profits, and (2) stole China’s IP on tea via “botanical espionage.”

That history of botanical espionage, continued later in America, where tobacco plants, oranges, cotton, were stolen from the Europeans to end British monopoly.

But now, modern day corporations are similarly scouring through Africa and Latin America, stealing secrets of local people, and leveling forests to find new plants for medicines.

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The Wolf and The “Ginger Wave”, FBI, Source Codes, and the Ballad

March 25th, 2013 54 comments

Once upon a time, there was a Chinese Ph.D. student named “Ginger Wave”, (Bo Jiang) 姜波, who upon graduation got a nice job working for a NASA contractor.

How did he get a job with a NASA contractor, even when he was a Chinese citizen?  Who knows, but Ginger Wave didn’t lie, Ginger Wave didn’t care.  The US government knew about him, there was no lie to tell, Ginger Wave did nothing wrong.

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Losing The Last Accountability in the “Do-Over” Democracies, The Buck Doesn’t Stop.

March 25th, 2013 6 comments

By now, the Cyprus government is still haggling with EU (and its banks) over how to save Cyprus economy, without anyone paying for it.

But just a few days ago, they almost managed to get away with a “deal” to pay for it by “taxing” 10% of all bank accounts in Cyprus.  This didn’t have much of a shock value in the West, except for perhaps in Cyprus, where the populous protested and forced their representatives to vote “no” on the “deal”.

It should come though as no surprise for the pessimists, because Western Democracies have had a string of such “deals”, which gives new means to the lack of accountability.

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A Superficial Death of Soft Power: It’s another Made-Up Term.

March 18th, 2013 16 comments

One might as well call it “the Pink Powdery Pixie Dust of Hippie Magic,” because it is really quite a made-up concept that doesn’t make sense relative to its own applications.

Joseph Nye first defined and popularized the notion of “soft power” as the ability to attract and influence others.  But somewhere down the path of popularity, such a general idea became shrouded in numbers and PR.  Now, it is no longer enough to merely “attract”, no longer enough to be “soft”.  “Power” and “Influence twisted the essence of the notion until “soft power” became a plan of attack, like a soft drink overloaded with caffeine and sugar and double spiked with rum and turned into a 12 hour Energy Drink.

Mr. Nye may have defined “soft power”, but he certainly did not create it.  He merely sought to coin a word and define what he thinks was missing from Western traditional exercise of “hard power”.  But that means, Mr. Nye may himself be wrong in what he perceived, and he cannot give all the answers.

Worst of all, it is now being used to PR against China to prove rhetorically silly media lines like “China doesn’t have Soft Power Afterall.”  Well, I don’t think any one can say China has lost that Pixie Dust of Magic, because I don’t think China ever claimed that it had it in the first place!

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A “Half-Baked” US Traitor, A Showcase of “Chinese Espionage”? Or another Mercenary Expat?

March 18th, 2013 No comments

A while back a little story emerged about a US embassy security guard was arrested for trying to pass secret to the Chinese government.

Sounds pretty ominous as yet another Chinese espionage case?  Today, we know some more details:

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The Fantasy League of the Rubberstamping Billionaire Chinese Parliament Club

March 15th, 2013 12 comments

Some days, I can only throw my hands and laugh at the some of the ridiculous stories and statements concocted by some Western media, and wonder why there aren’t more people in the West with their eyes bleeding after reading such “news”.

For example:

which contained this little paradoxical statement:

While the legislature, with about 3,000 members, is often derided as a rubberstamp parliament, its members are some of China’s most powerful politicians and executives, wielding power in their home provinces and weighing in on proposals such as whether to impose a nationwide property tax.

because apparently, there are 83 Chinese Parliament members who are “billionaires”, out of about 3000 Parliament members.

How does a “rubberstamp” parliament contain the “most powerful” politicians is a complete mystery of a logic to me.

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The Teapot Tempest of “Live Execution Broadcast” Showing Dyslexia And Moving Goal Post of Moral Schizophrenia

March 8th, 2013 16 comments

It started with CCTV news announcing on Feb. 28, that the 4 drug lords found guilty of murdering 12 Chinese sailors are to be executed.

The SCMP blogger John Kennedy blogged on March 1, with the above screen capture, that CCTV announced “broadcast live execution.”

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Before “Why Leaving China,” Why They Went To China.

March 7th, 2013 12 comments

A short commentary of commentary this time.

A little while back, a few Expat “tossed the room” before they packed up and left China, by explaining in detail their “reasons” for leaving.  (With nothing but their own confessed reasons, perceptions, etc.)

We didn’t bother to question them much about those reasons.  Hey, who are we to question their motives?  It’s their personal choices.

But we also didn’t really ask the question that they didn’t bother to answer themselves:  If China was so awfully full of problems (which they must have known to start with), why did they go to China in the first place?

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The Problem of Cyber Crimes Is More Serious Than Conspiracy Theories (War on Hackers)

February 24th, 2013 6 comments

In my previous post,, I discussed the many flaws in the Mandiant Report on hacker group designated APT1.

Mandiant has responded to some of the criticisms, with the usual generalized responses of “we released our conclusion based on what we had.”

In other words, flaws are admittedly due to their jumping to conclusions.

Indeed, the Report from Mandiant read like a simple Conspiracy Theory, in that the only evidence of the Conspiracy is in circumstantial evidence.

By the same logic, virtually everyone can be found guilty of conspiracy of murder and theft, simply because there are murders and thefts near where they live.

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How To Hack A Human Brain, From Experts of Hacking

February 21st, 2013 5 comments

Answer:  With Knowledge, both Lies and Truths.  Every lie has some element of truth.  Every truth has some bias of lie.  Great lies appear more true than obvious lies.  Great truths appear more false than some lies.

A computer hack is a lie to a computer, disguised as a truthful command.  All lies, great or small, told to human beings, are designed to hack their brain in essence.

By that logic, we are all hackers.  We hack each other’s brains, sometimes with lies that others spread to us, to influence each other, for power, for personal gains.  Sometimes the truth hacks back.  Thus, knowledge and information simultaneously enlighten us and threaten us.

But in this philosophical turn of rhymes, it doesn’t matter whether one is told a truth or a lie.  One realizes that one is being hacked by information delivered by someone else.  It’s someone else’s truth or lie, designed to influence us.

If one allows the information to hack one’s brain, then one becomes a victim, a slave to someone else’s influence.

One’s ONLY defense is a security feature, a filter called Reason.  With Reason, we filter, decrypt, digest, break down the information into OUR own truths or lies.  Then, we have some control, we can choose to be UNSWAYED or UNINFLUENCED by the information bombarding us.

The ONLY achievable means of our own security in our own reason, is to be stubbornly refused to be swayed or influenced.  That is the ONLY true individuality.

***With that, I now apply my reasons on my latest refusal to be swayed or influenced.

How Many Chinese Hackers Can Dance In A Cyber Espionage Report?

Apparently, the answer is inevitably, a lot, because otherwise, who would bother to write a report about them?

If that sounds familiar, it is because you can apply that to just about any answer that’s begging for a pointless question.

That is to say, if you believe that there is a massive number of angels capable of dancing on the head of a pin, you don’t need any proofs.  Every thing will confirm your beliefs.

So, the same logic serves the report recently released by Mandiant.  Which by the way, reads like rehashed media stories of equally questionable logic.  But somehow, if a bunch of tabloid reports are compiled, it would be too many coincidences, as the logic goes.

Granted, all governments are researching cyber warfare.  And so are many private individuals.  Some for noble causes, others for mercenary reasons.  But by the same logic, one’s reaction ONLY demonstrates one’s own basic belief in human nature.

Critics of the Mandiant Report argue similar general points.

I do not care to venture into what Mandiant’s report writers believes, but let us talk about some of their basic errors in their conclusions:  (And this may take a few days)

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US Grounds Boeing 787, The Anatomy of a 20 Year Denial, and a Bubble of Self-Confidence

January 23rd, 2013 6 comments

An almost sad tribute to Boeing’s 787 above, attributes the recent Infernal Batteries problem of two 787 a week apart from each other, both while in normal operations, to the growing pain of “innovation”.

Except, this was not “innovation”.  Using such batteries in airplanes perhaps, but the battery technology, Lithium Cobalt Oxide type, is not new.  It was invented in the late 1970’s, and have been in prolific use in cell phones and laptops since 1990’s.

Back in the early 2000, there began rumors around the world of incidents where cell phones exploded.  First, it became an urban legend attributing such explosion to sparks generated by an operating cell phone near a gas refilling station.  But this was quickly denounced as “urban legend”.

Then some users noticed that it was actually the batteries that were exploding or bursting into flames (even in laptops).  Companies attributed and blamed the problem on “counterfeit batteries” from China., recalling proactively batteries to look for “counterfeit”, but unfortunately, no report was ever made on the search.

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A Case of Corporate and National Defamation: AMSC v. Sinovel, hot air in legal and media exercises.

December 25th, 2012 19 comments

In 2011, a little known Massachusetts-based technology company, American Superconductor (AMSC) sued a startup company, Sinovel, in several provincial courts in China.  Most people paid little heed to the development of the case, until several US politicians cited the case as a most egregious example of Chinese Corporate Espionage.  As usual, the politicians’ citations of examples are rarely backed up with any factual analysis, especially for a case that’s yet unresolved in China.  US politicians’ rather empty fanciful descriptions of the case have been amplified by repetitions of the accusations across Western media, with equally poor amount of factual analysis.  Thus, we here provide our most detailed analysis from available facts.


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