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What happened?

October 6th, 2017 No comments

Obviously most will associate this question with Hillary Clinton’s book of the election of 2016 in U.S., but it can also applied to what Ken Burns and Lynn Novick asked about Vietnam War in their mesmerizing documentary, and hopefully we will not be asking the question in the future upon a devastated Korea peninsula with irradiated North.
Hillary Clinton pleaded mia culpa and took some responsibility for her failure, but she also blamed FBI director Comey, misogyny, Sander supporters, Russian Hacking, and of course the archaic electoral system, since she did get close to 3 million more votes than Trump. There were various detailed studies on the voting pattern since the election. She not only lost the white votes, she lost the white women votes. She got less black votes than Obama did in the 3 key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, which more than covered her deficit of 70,000 votes in all three, not to mention the Green Party votes. She even lost the millennial votes. So now we have a chaos president whom the Secretary of State called a f___ing moron, with Iran nuclear deal all but decertified, Paris Climate Accord withdrawal, Korea in danger of incinerated, or as Trump said, we are in the calm before the storm. I just hope the bureaucracy can stall Trump long enough to prevent a nuclear holocaust before Mueller finishes his investigation.
Yet to an observer like myself, the elephant in the room which she avoids touching is liberal’s bible, the U.S. Constitution. This document which supposed to be shining city on the hill, with constant propaganda unquestioned by all, supposedly emulated by all developing countries is really naked emperor. Trump with his Muslim ban has already unclothed Lady Liberty, now with Washington unable to control Trump, it has revealed the nakedness of the emperor. This sclerotic document was a compromise originally favored slavery states and small states. With small educated elites controlling the government it still splintered by Civil War. The Second Amendment as Bill Maher said was originally for militia to suppress slaves and native Americans. It metastases today to Las Vegas shooter. It needs 2/3 of both houses to pass 2 years in a row and 3/4 of states to pass any change. With a Supreme Court of conservatives favoring original meaning this dead document will never be able to change. The Supreme Court will also soon decide on the Wisconsin gerrymander case, whether they will sanctify it’s legal for 48% of votes getting more than 60% of seats in legislature.
Contrast present state of affairs of U.S. with China, the 68 anniversary of the founding of PRC, and the oncoming 19th Party Congress. Certainly there were errors and cul de sacs, yet as those documentaries shown recently that those errors are corrected and China is on a path to China Dream.
Constitution is changed and modified as society changes. I am happy that “Serve the People” is not just a slogan, but attaches meaning to move everyone out of poverty. Socialism with Chinese characteristics and integrating Marxism with Chinese conditions are goals for the party, as black cats or white cats no longer serve the present situation.

Categories: Analysis Tags:

U.S. Complains of Current Account Deficit and China Appetite for Western Technologies – A Self Inflicted Wound?

September 14th, 2017 1 comment

The current world order is grossly unfair … historians of an enlightened future may come back to view our times as the dark ages … when humans remain bonded to and oppressed by the  hegemony and ideology “markets,” “rule of law,” “freedom” and “democracy”.

The pure hypocrisy of the world is never ending.  And here is just one other small case study…

China is often accused by U.S. and Europe and Japan of over-protecting its economy from foreigners.  The foreigners want more access but Chinese are greedy; they disregard any concerns of China of over dependence on foreign nations for critical sectors of technology. Read more…

End of the Sino-Indian Impasse at Dong Lang (Doklam) is Over – but Which Side Won?

August 30th, 2017 3 comments

Finally, after over two months, the Sino-Indian Crisis at Dong Lang (Doklam) that began with Indian troops crossing into Chinese territory to stop a road construction is over.  On August 28, the Chinese government confirmed that the Indian troops have withdrawn from the Chinese side of Doklam. The Indian government gave the following statement:

  • In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam.
  • During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests. On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going.

I don’t need to go over all the details of the crisis here, as those are readily available elsewhere.  But those who want a primer, do an internet search for stories between June 18 and August 29, 2017 on “India” and “China” or “Doklam” or “Donglang” and you will get a good sample…

What I want to share here are some of my thoughts about this whole standoff… Read more…

Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t

August 22nd, 2017 3 comments

We have talked aboDamn Chinese Suppliers, Damn Chinese Consumersut media bias against China, Chinese culture, and Chinese people a lot here.  Almost every day, you hear stories about how China is doing illicit things … or creating demands for illicit products.

We hear about China polluting the world, “flooding” the world with steel or solar panels or electronics or toys, etc. Of course, we rarely hear about the social good the world reaps with China’s “cheap” steel, solar panels, or electronics …

And when it’s not China doing bad things, we hear how China is making others do bad things.  We hear for example how China creates illicit demand for shark fins, ivory, rhino horns, etc.  The poachers become the victims when it comes to China. There are no evil poachers à la say evil “drug growers” and “drug dealers” in Mexico or Columbia supplying illicit drugs to the U.S. …. just bad Chinese consumers.

The world is rarely about saints and villains, but the West almost always caricatures China in those terms.  If China is involved in any way in a problematic supply chain, the fault is placed squarely on the Chinese.  Such reflexes are so ingrained that people often do it without even thinking about it.

The following screen shot is taken from Asia Times, not the most anti-Chinese publication per se.  But it’s noteworthy in the sense that rarely do I find a publication that unabashedly blames China on both the demand as well as supply side on the same page.

It’s truly damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

 

Case Study on Freedom of Speech: Google Walking the Talk?

August 9th, 2017 4 comments

Google censorshipI was going to write another case study on the intrinsic hypocrisy in the rhetoric of freedom – how “freedom” is uttered when useful, and completely ignored when not – using Google’s recent “firing” of an employee who had written a memo that some deemed not politically correct as a basis of discussion.

But then I found that Paul Craig Roberts already wrote a good post on it already.

Here is a copy: Read more…

Fair Trade Links

July 24th, 2017 3 comments

When Trump was voted president last year, I was hopeful that the door for next level of U.S. China cooperation will be opened. I am still hopeful, but when things like this happen, it makes me realize just how hard change can be.

The U.S. and China share many differences that should be smoothed out. Here, I am not talking about garbage talks about “human rights” or “democracy,” or boastful jousts protecting “freedom of navigation” in the S. China Sea. I am talking about straight-forward win-win deals between Chinese and U.S. Companies.

In an earlier post, I had noted that a big part of the “deficit” between China and U.S. is because on the balance, many more U.S. companies invest in China as compared to Chinese companies investing in the U.S. I had written: Read more…

Fakes News Alert: U.S. Challenges Chinese “Excessive” Maritime Claims by Exercising ‘Freedom of navigation’ near Meiji Jiao (Mischief Reef)

May 24th, 2017 1 comment

This site was created to counter Western media bias – propaganda – or “Fake News” using today’s vernacular – about China.  Here is another one.

Wall Street Journal recently reports that the U.S. Navy has just Conducted its First South China Sea Navigation Operation Under President Trump, and that such ‘Freedom of navigation’ patrols represent a direct challenge by the U.S. to China’s excessive maritime claims.

This appears to be another bull shit, moronic piece of propaganda from Western news establishments. Read more…

Rise of China and the decline of Baizuo?

May 22nd, 2017 4 comments

About 15 years ago, the term “China’s Peaceful Rise” was coined and the use of soft power was to be used by China as a way to spread its influence to other countries and eventually overcome the US as the dominant country. Many western skeptics at the time laughed at the notion but China knows better and this won’t happen in a few years but rather in a few decades.

One of the cornerstones of the “China’s Peaceful Rise” is its relationship with the US. China knows even though that the US has wronged them, they must have a favorable relations with them. And over the years, despite the switch to and from Republican and Democratic presidents, China has maintained relations with the US in a peaceful manner. Relations with Democratic presidents tend to be worse like with Clinton and Obama but relations with Republican presidents was good with Bush and especially with Trump.

Now back to Trump. I have wrote an article a few months back just a few days after Trump is elected of why Trump’s presidency is good for China.

Trump Presidency and why is it a good thing for China and America.

6 months on, I was mostly correct about Trump’s policy towards China. China helped filling the pocket’s towards Trump’s family fortune, and return left the South China Seas alone, Trump willing to go along with China on talks with North Korea, and ASEAN countries going along with China instead of the US. Trump is mostly focusing on ‘terrorism’ instead the issues in Asia.  The recent One Belt One Road forum is the beginning of the 2nd phase of China’s Peaceful Rise where China begins to spread its influence to other countries and its spread of its soft power.  It certainly makes sense; the spends hundred of billions building military bases around the world while China spends hundred of billions building roads, railroads, bridges, and etc…  Over the years the US’ failed foreign policies of bombing other countries into submission, China’s approach of spreading its influence is a welcome change.

The fall of BaiZuo?

I found this meaning online recently and it is pretty interesting.  It literally means “white left” which refers to America’s Liberals.  This link is an interesting read of the recent talks within China about this.  Probably the best description is;

Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

In the past many of America’s Liberals were also progressive.  However, many recent Liberals are elites who cares little about the poor and the oppressed like the Clintons, Obama, and even other leaders like German’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Perhaps the rise of Trump is the beginning of the fall of the liberals because of his stance of isolationism.  Even with the unpopularity of Trump, the Liberals don’t have an answer either because they care about maintaining the world order whereas Trump cares about profit.  In the next few years the Democratic Party is trying to re-invent itself.  But will be it be a party of the people like being a progressive or be a party of the liberal who will try to maintain itself as the top dog of the world?

Short Note on Media Disinformation: No, No, No… CIA is not Impersonating Others in Hacking Others … There is just not Proof!

March 16th, 2017 2 comments

Vault 7Recently, with Wikileak’s release of so-called “Vault 7” of documents that revealed the vast array of tools the CIA on hacking and spying on American citizens, Western media is on a full-court press of disinformation in pushing back.  One particular spin is how Wikileaks does not prove that CIA has framed or impersonated Russia.  Even usually politically-neutral sites such as Wired has gotten into the act.  Yes, the U.S. did get caught using tools from those bad boys in Russia … and China, but the goal has never been to frame those countries, but to save American resources to use the tools there to advance American aims.  There is no proof of the U.S. framing or impersonating others

Wait … WAIT!

Notice just how the media has re-framed the issues.

Remember the recent blah blah of Russian hacking and interference of American elections?  Even though the publicly provided evidence was virtually nil, the allegations ripped like wildfire across the nation.  Behind the veil of “national security,” all that is enough to pin the hacks as Russia are some references that the tools used was similar to what other Russian hackers have used … and that the attack was traced to an IP address that was Russian…

This was the same bull shit previously leveled against China and which we had previously analyzed before.  But as we had pointed out so many times before: just because you find some Chinese tools or IP addresses doesn’t mean the attack was Chinese.  Hacker’s tools are for the most part public tools – Chinese, Russian, or otherwise.  Hackers will use each others’ tools – government, private, black hat, white hat, male, female, gay, straight, or others – for their own goals.  So the mere fact that you find a Chinese being used could mean it was the Chinese gov’t, Chinese Maria, or the CIA at the controls.  We just don’t know!

As for IP addresses, as we also have explained, unless you traced the attack to a server that you have access to, IP addresses per se tell you Nada – Nothing – Zilch!   If you do not have direct access to the server – the logs, the logins, etc. – you simply cannot know who actually controlled and launched the attack.

In an age where normal non-tech people use vpn’s to protect their “privacy,” you would think hackers – especially sophisticated state actors – would at least use some sort of multiple IP hops schemes to mask their identity.  In an age where most people have seen emails from their “friend’s” email accounts which have been compromised and used as launching points for sending spams, you would think that most would understand that just because an attack appears to come from a particular server or email account, the actual attacker may be hidden several layers behind what things appear to be.

AND now Vault 7 proves how right we have been all along – with the CIA as a showcase!

Now we know how when the CIA uses tools to mount attacks how those attacks might look very much like attacks from other nations.

So does this prove that it was the CIA and not the Russians that hacked the DNC’s and Hillary’s computers?  Of course not (albeit it sure does raise some interesting possibilities.)  But if all the evidence is of some tools of Russian origin and some Russian IP addresses, well that is not evidence at all.

Many people in the U.S. media want to spin this bombshell into a story that there is yet no proof that it was actually the CIA – not the Russians – are behind the recent “hacking.” This is part of the “disinformation” that we see so often in the U.S. dominated press – twisting and reframing the issues … to reframe the stories….

The issue is not about proving CIA involvement – but the lack of any evidence of Russia behind any hacking.

And even if one is of the conspiracy type: according to wikileaks, Vault 7 represents but 1% of the documents it has from the CIA. Of the released documents, there has been redaction of materials that we do not get to see. Even the full set of documents Wikileaks may have is but a small universe of what exists in reality. So just because what we do not yet see solid proof of CIA’s intentions one way or the other from released public documents doesn’t mean that ergo that CIA has been cleared of anything. Read more…

Dear President Trump…

February 10th, 2017 No comments

I am going to write an article or post on the myth of law…  But this 9th circuit decision to not reinstate Trump’s order to temporarily stop immigration from 7 countries is really getting to me.  Here is a letter I’d write Trump: Read more…

Categories: Analysis, aside, politics Tags: ,

Trump Administration Reaches out to China to Affirm “One-China” Policy

February 9th, 2017 No comments

So there we have it: the Trump administration has reached out to China to affirm America’s “One-China” policy.  According to this Washington Post report: Read more…

How Americans Are Looking at the Russian Hacks All the Wrong Way

January 5th, 2017 5 comments

It is clear now that while the 2016 U.S. election may be over, much of the bitter rancor remains.  The latest controversy now swirls over how long-time foe Russia may have hijacked America’s election to secure a Trump presidency.

Americans seem to be transfixed by this latest treachery, with President Obama promising retributions, but Trump warning against politicizing American Intelligence.

American penchant for partisan bickering and concerns about foreign interference, however, appear to be” much ado about nothing.” Read more…

Trump for Peace and Prosperity

November 12th, 2016 11 comments

thIt’s been some time since I blogged.  I have had to deal with a series of health issues …

In any case, I thought I’d share a few quick thoughts about Trump’s historic win.

The day before the election, the New York Times estimated Trump’s chance of winning at 16% – but compared to most other “pundits,” I think they were being kind.  But history had a way of making history.  People voted for Trump because despite Trump!

I agree with pugster that Trump’s win is good for the U.S., good for China, and good for the world.  Here are some reasons. Read more…

Not All Silk Roads Are Created Equal

September 15th, 2016 No comments

I recently published this opinion piece on the Saker website, & it was republished in Russia Insider. I also wanted to share it here as well (with a few minor grammatical corrections). Apologies in advance if the pictures turn out blurry, please refer to one of the links above.

Not All Silk Roads Are Created Equal

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route is unlikely to see high-volume PRC adoption in the near term due to insufficient business and geopolitical value prop

Mister Unknown

Several months ago, there were quite a few news/analysis reports lauding the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) as a new path for trade along the Silk Road, which is being revitalized by China and its regional partners under the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project. The TITR is highly attractive to Russia’s geopolitical rivals, such as Georgia and post-Maidan Ukraine (& no doubt the US too), for it is a potential Sino-European trade route across the Eurasian continent that completely bypasses Russian territory. However, there is little/no incentive for China to actively promote or use TITR for large-scale trade in the near future. To expand on this conclusion, this article will cover the following: the basic business value proposition of the land-based Eurasian Silk Road, an outline of the TITR path, a side-by-side comparison of a comparable route (Chongqing-Duisburg, also known as ‘Yuxinou’), and the geopolitical factor.

Read more…

German parliament votes to recognize Armenian genocide

June 2nd, 2016 1 comment
Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how Germany has cheapened its own history and disregarded its own humanity by turning a blind eye on Japan’s horrific crimes against humanity in China on the eve of the 77th anniversary of the Nanking massacre.

In that piece, I wrote how Germany may not be preaching “universal values” per se, but politically-expedient political myths.  Well, interestingly today, the German parliament voted to recognize the so-called “Armenian genocide” as a true “genocide” and a crime against humanity.  Turkey – which has been both fighting and growing its own brand of  terrorism abroad – is none too thrilled.

I wonder if this is a case of external politics ripening for Germany – as a lapdog of America, which has increasingly seen Turkey drift away – to strike at Turkey?  Or is it a case of Germany finally finding some guts to stand up for history, as this LA Times story seem to report? Read more…

America at a Crossroad: Rethinking Trade, Geopolitics, and Economic Well-Being

April 8th, 2016 6 comments

China U.S. Free Trade[An edited copy of this article under the title “America should not blame trade – or its trading partners – for its ills ” is initially published at the South China Morning Post (pdf archive here)]

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are leading a new American awakening on global trade.  According to the new emerging consensus, America has been the victim of bad trade deals – including the yet-to-be-ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – for decades.  These deals have shipped millions of good-paying American jobs abroad and in the process hollowed out the American middle class.

When Sanders and Trump recently began questioning the merits of trade with allies such as Japan as well, however, many believed them to have crossed a line. It is one thing to attack China for “stealing” jobs but quite another to sell short a close and faithful ally.

Americans have long harbored schizophrenic attitudes on trade, however. Read more…

I like Trump’s Vision of American Power Abroad

March 21st, 2016 15 comments

I know there are few or no Trump supporters here … still whatever you think about Trump, I think if you see the injustice of U.S. meddling in Middle East, American Full Spectrum Global DominanceAfrica, the Baltic, and Asia, you have to like and take notice what Trump recently said.

You don’t even have to support Trump.  If you believe Trump is somehow mysteriously in tune with the bulk of the American people, then I think that with Trump articulated here finally there is hope for America … and the world.  Here is an excerpt of a piece about his recent interview with the Washington Post. Read more…

Good CCTV documentary on US human rights violations (English subtitles)

March 14th, 2016 No comments

I’m glad to see the Chinese media FINALLY starting to explicitly outline the hypocrisy of American human rights rhetoric, but I think it doesn’t go far enough to illustrate the sheer scale of US human rights violations & issues, such as:

  1. Little mention on the sheer degree of income & wealth inequality, which then translates into the lack of meaningful political power for most average citizens.
  2. The number of annual police killings & prison incarceration rates in the US.
  3. The lack of respect for equal rights not just by the US government, but BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, as demonstrated by the popularity of xenophobic, & particularly islamophobic rhetoric among presidential candidates.

I think CCTV’s exclusion important details such as the aforementioned may create the misconception that the US human rights problems they outlined are somehow “small & isolated”, and inadequately highlights the widespread nature of their lack of respect for human rights. But nevertheless, this is a good start.

Russia and China – Strategic Partners Or Partners of Convenience?

March 3rd, 2016 1 comment

Russia-China Fence MendingMr. Unknown and the blogger known as the Saker has collaborated to write an interesting, provocative, and insightful piece end of last year.  I truly applaud the effort and feel honored that China does have true friends from Russia.  And I am truly heartened to see that there are Russians who do see China as equals … and more importantly … as friends.

Overall I learned quite many things, all valuable to further shaping my worldview. But I also do disagree with some parts of it.  I have no doubt that the great Russian-Chinese dialogue in bringing two great neighbors closer together … perhaps one day to become allies … will continue and will a force for global peace.  But a solid house must be built on solid solutions.  So here is my response, which includes some criticisms, which hopefully will go toward building a more solid foundation between the two great nations / civilizations. Read more…

On the Anti-Trump Agenda – a Personal Gripe

March 2nd, 2016 18 comments

There are so many things ovDonald Trump for Presidenbter which I disagree with Trump.  When he talks about China, I literally disagree with him on everything he says – currency manipulation, unfair trade, aggressive trade policies, an all out assault to gut America of jobs…

Yet I see every attack on Trump in the media – and yes here on this blog – as the worst of Western media propaganda.  I am writing here not to support Trump (although I would definitely support him over Clinton), but to show what I consider to be Western media’s hypocrisy … and the power of the hypocrisy to brainwash everyone here!  😉

According to the Economist, here are some of the worst of Trump’s offenses.

Because each additional Trumpism seems a bit less shocking than the one before, there is a danger of becoming desensitised to his outbursts. To recap, he has referred to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists; called enthusiastically for the use of torture; hinted that Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice, was murdered; proposed banning all Muslims from visiting America; advocated killing the families of terrorists; and repeated, approvingly, a damaging fiction that a century ago American soldiers in the Philippines dipped their ammunition in pigs’ blood before executing Muslim rebels. At a recent rally he said he would like to punch a protester in the face. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Read more…

The Caustic Side Effects of Looking to Supreme Court Justices as Umpires

February 26th, 2016 No comments

U.S. Supreme Court[Editor’s Note: This piece was first published at the Huffington Post]

According to Chief Justice Roberts, judges are baseball umpires who apply rules impartially to disputes. As neutral actors, judges make everyone play by the rules but do not take sides themselves.

But with members of Senate locked in a heated debate whether Obama or the next president should name Scalia’s replacement, we are reminded yet again just how political Supreme Court Justices have become.

In decisions after decisions, the Court has waded into the most politically contested issues of the day, from abortion to gay rights to campaign contribution limits to national health insurance. Scholars now routinely predict how each Justice will vote based on his or her ideological persuasions alone, irrespective of the legal issues presented.

Justice Roberts would like us to reminisce wistfully about a day when judges were umpires of the law. But I don’t think that day ever existed. Read more…

Categories: Analysis Tags: , ,

Western Media’s Monkey Business

February 19th, 2016 2 comments

Happy Year of the Monkey everyone. Sadly the first monkey related blogpost on HH is about Western media’s on going monkey business when it comes to China reporting.

For 2016, the first salvo is about the shameless nouveau riche of China illegally owning endangered “thumb monkey” of Amazon:

MetroHeadline

However quick Google fact check revealed this story is, again, monkey business. Here are some facts about “thumb monkey”, aka “pocket monkey”, aka “pygmy marmoset”:

1) Contrary to condemnation, pygmy marmoset is not endangered or threatened. IUCN conservation status for pygmy marmoset is it’s not threatened in any major way:

Least Concern – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category

Seems some just noticed IUCN had a Red List publication for pygmy marmoset and assumed it is endangered, without scrutinizing what the Red List publication actually said:

pygmymarmoset

2) Pygmy marmoset is available for sale in US and UK as pet. Google “pet pygmy marmoset” showed some very ordinary stuff on permitting, sales, and care of this creature. This one I’m most incredulous about – would an endangered spices be so readily available for sale in enlightened first world nations?

In contrast, Google pygmy marmoset with keyword “China” revealed a multitude of vitriol against the evil Chinese, on behalf of this suddenly poor, endangered species. Even worse when adding the keyword “endangered” (note the article count actually goes up):

pygmymarmosetendangered

3) Another fallacy is that pygmy marmoset is illegal in China. Actually importation of exotic mammals are legal in China, subject to quarantine and permitting regulations. It is illegal to circumvent quarantine (which unscrupulous vendors in China, as well as US, UK, do.) Here’s what China’s regulation on Wildlife Domestication and Rearing Permit says:

第三条 具备下列条件的单位和个人,可以申请《驯养繁殖许可证》:
(一) 有适宜驯养繁殖野生动物的固定场所和必需的设施;
(二) 具备与驯养繁殖野生动物种类、数量相适应的资金、人员的技术;
(三) 驯养繁殖野生动物的饲料来源有保证。

Article 3 Qualification For Business Entity and Individual To Apply “Wild Life Domesticaiton and Rearing Permit”:
(1) Having permanent location, appropriate and necessary facility, equipment for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(2) Possessing needed capital, expertise, for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(3) Gauranteed food supply for domestication and rearing the wild animal.

Here’s a very recent coverage about a company in Hangzhou importing small monkeys, and monkeys passing their 30-day quarantine.

Monkey business, or business as usual? You decide.

Categories: Analysis, media Tags: ,

Free Speech Definitely Doesn’t Mean Cost Notwithstanding Speech

February 17th, 2016 1 comment

The recent post by pugster about rioters in Hong Kong brought to my mind some thoughts I had as the Umbrella Revolution was flaming out a couple of years ago.

One of the arguments many people in the West used to denigrate the HK and Mainland government in support of the Umbrella movement was that the rioters had a right to block streets and shut down districts to get their message out.  When some Hong Kongers – siding with HK and Mainland government – pushed back that while freedom of speech grants them the right to protest but not a right to shut down entire districts, they were ridiculed and shamed by the Western press.

Of course, as we know, when the occupy movement flamed across the Western capitals of the world, those governments acted very differently.  The police (even paramilitary forces) soon cracked down and order was soon restored.  But in China, so-called rule of law quickly gets tossed aside in the name of mob rule (I mean “democracy”).  All this reinforced in my mind how “political” “free” speech is.  It is “free” when the politics is palatable.  But when it’s not, the “costs” – be it national security, social peace, whatever – gets framed as the main (only) issues.

This reminds me of another story last year when the Pope visited the U.S.  If people remember, the pope got a “rock star” reception from the media – with the press trumpeting how popular, socially and morally in tune the pope is, especially compared to China’s President Xi (also visiting the U.S. around the same time) who allegedly got a stiff and cool reception. Read more…

How would this story be reported if it were China asking Apple for a way to get into a Terrorist’s phone?

February 17th, 2016 15 comments

Interesting story from NYT today titled “Judge Tells Apple to Help Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s iPhone.”

Here is an excerpt:

WASHINGTON — A judge in California on Tuesday ordered Apple to help the F.B.I. unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the assault in San Bernardino that killed 14 people in December.

The ruling handed the F.B.I. a potentially important victory in its long-running battle with Apple and other Silicon Valley companies over the government’s ability to get access to encrypted data in investigations. Apple has maintained that requiring it to provide the “keys” to its technology would compromise the security of the information of hundreds of millions of users.

Read more…

DPP Wins in Taiwan

January 16th, 2016 No comments

The writing has been on the wall for KMT’s chances in the election this time around for some time.  As I had discussed earlier, the battle between DPP and KMT in the 2016 election is not about independence vs. status quo as it had been 8 years back when Taiwan elected Ma Ying-jeou, or 16 years ago when Taiwan elected Chen Shui-Bian.  That battle had been won long ago, with this time everyone agreeing that the status quo is the way to go.  The battle this time around is about economics, about what to do with Taiwan’s stagnant wages and rising home prices.

Of course, there are plenty of symbolism that DPP – and hence Tsai – still stands for independence.  DPP’s charter, for example, still officially endorses independence.  Tsai has also been purposely demure and vague about her stance toward the Mainland, including her public avoidance of acknowledging the 1992 Consensus on the one-China policy.

But I think it’s possible all that is just symbolism.  Given that it’s election season, and that the 1992 Consensus include details that allowed both sides to interpret things slightly differently under the broad rubric of a one China policy, I think it’s perhaps understandable Tsai want to do everything to avoid the specter of getting pinned into one specific or another interpretation.

The real reason KMT lost is because it has not properly addressed the following political trends.  Read more…

Short Post: Returning Stolen Treasures

December 22nd, 2015 1 comment

Cage's stolen Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur I saw this article earlier today in the NYT about actor Nicholas Cage agreeing to return to Mongolia a dinosaur fossil that he had legitimately bought (paying top dollars for) but that turned out to have been stolen earlier from Mongolia.  Following is an excerpt of the story.

I wish people and governments around the world also think about returning back to China the thousands and thousands of stolen cultural relics that have been looted from China the last century or two.  When one takes the politics out, one can see this as the only virtuous thing to do.  But alas, when it comes to facing to history of the last few centuries, so many in the West become so self-righteous and indignant.

Still, we can hope and dream … one day … Read more…

Categories: Analysis, aside Tags:

China at Crossroad, a Critique from Left.

December 22nd, 2015 1 comment

With China’s stupendous achievements from the last 35 years it would seem petty to complain about problems accompanies the growth. Yet Xi and his leadership group face some structural problems in reforms necessarily to transform Capitalism to her eventual goal of Socialism. Last month Beijing University named a new building after Karl Marx, and hosted first of hopefully many more conferences of Marx scholars from around the world. Xi has revisited his old home in Yan’an when he was a teenager and invoked Mao’s speech in 1942 in Yan’an Forum on art and literature. There are palpable worries from liberals in the West that Xi might be another Mao in waiting.

Since Xi assumed power, his major focus is on fighting corruption at various levels of government, party, and military. Yet as major cases shown it is not easy as corruption has grown to be integral part of society, intertwined with roots stretching beyond easy reach and facing pushbacks that threaten his own hold on power. Various special interests under the slogan “To be rich is glorious” has married power to money with few immune to the lure of lucre. Xi’s fight against corruption is popular in China, yet it raises unrealistic expectation that threaten the mantra of social stability. An example was the collapse of school buildings during the Szechuan earthquake. It is easy to play the blame game after the fact. Grieving parents together with other public personalities were a powerful force, but can you dig deep enough to affect not only the contractors, but government official and everyone involved? Xi’s solution is trying to contain the investigation of corruption to major ones, a somewhat amnesty for minor past misdeeds and crack down on new or egregious cases. Events seem to expose the inadequacy of this strategy. Tianjin chemical explosions, red alert for smog in Beijing, and now the Shenzhen landslide show that laws is powerless against the collusion of power and money.

I applaud what Xi and his leadership group is attempting. Reducing inequality by health care for everyone, social security for rural farmers, continuing urbanization with household registration open to migrant workers, subsidized and reduced price to sell excess apartments to them, new changes in 1 child policy, reducing military by 300,000 and divorce military from profit and business. Reduce pollution and for a greener less CO2 future, the list is endless and daunting. Compare them with the coming GOP contenders in U.S., where evolution and climate warming are denied, it’s obvious future lies with China. Yet all these will not be possible without a socialist ethic, and Mao looms over it. China has to deal with the legacy of Mao and CR, avoiding or ignoring them will not do. Whatever the positives or negatives must be analyzed and examples learned.

The career of Yu Yonjun is instructive. He rose to became governor of Shanxi province from 2005-2007. He purposed zero growth for coal and steel production there, and closed thousands of small inefficient coal mines which exploited labor and were unsafe. He wanted to protect the environment and made powerful enemies in party bureaucracy and coal barons. He was a most popular governor there, yet he lost his job due to the scandal he exposed in coal mines. I think there are 3-4 more governors there since he left and none were successful. He’s now retired and hired as a professor in a southern university. He gave a series of lectures on CR recently and probably triggered sensitive nerves and called to Beijing for conference.

Categories: Analysis, Uncategorized Tags:

Opinion: In Fighting ISIS or Al Qaeda, We Must Take Great Care Not to Demonize Islam

December 10th, 2015 16 comments

Islam[editor’s note: this is a cross-post of an article I posted on the Huffington Post.]

When news arose that the killings in San Bernardino last Thursday was probably terrorist related – that the perpetrators Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik had praised “Allah” and pledged allegiance to ISIS moments before they started their rampage – attention quickly shifted to the Muslim communities for their reactions.

Soon enough, civic and religious leaders of the Muslim communities rolled forward to condemn the attack in no uncertain terms. They called the acts horrific and uncivilized and not in line with their religious or social values.

But talking to my Muslim friends privately, I also get a very real sense of fear. Read more…

Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?

December 10th, 2015 1 comment
The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07

The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07

[Editor’s Note: This is a cross-post of an article I submitted to the Diplomat a few weeks ago.  I am wrapping up a more detailed legal analysis of the issues  and aim to make it a law review article.  I will cross-post here too that once that has been submitted and accepted.]

When the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague recently announced that it would take “jurisdiction” over Philippines’ arbitral claims against China, many reported the decision as a victory for the Philippines and as a triumph of the “rule of law.” I beg to differ. The Court, on the contrary, has muddled, not upheld, international law, and by trivializing the states’ duty to negotiate in good faith – as enshrined in the U.N. charter, stipulated in the UNCLOS, and specifically agreed to between the parties – has greatly damaged the prospect for peace, cooperation, and a final resolution of the disputes. Read more…

US’ creation and blowback from the ISIS’ plague.

November 23rd, 2015 2 comments

Ever since Obama has became president in 2009, Obama has taken a different stance towards maintaining its global hegemony.  Bush II’s tactics is to take over countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and rebuilding the countries.  Obama’s tactics is to fund or promote 3rd parties to do their work for them.  Obama’s Asian Pivot policy is to promote other countries like Vietnam, Philippines and Japan as a bulwark towards China to maintain US’ influence in the Pacific.  In the Middle east however, Obama’s policy is different than Bush’s policy to fund terrorist/extermists groups to do their dirty work.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-terror-group/5402881

Just like America funded the Mujahideen to fight the Soviets in the 1980’s, Obama’s tactics is to fund radical Islamists to overthrow or destabilize countries in the Middle East like in Libya and Syria but Obama is short sighted in its consequences.  Unlike Bush, Obama wants to change unfavorable regimes on the cheap and has no desire to rebuild those countries.  As the result, this created a flood of new refugees from these war torn regions coming to many Western countries.  Many European were open to this option but increasing number of terrorist attacks in their cities like the recent one in Paris and now trying to stop this ISIS plague from spreading to its countries by stopping immigration to their countries.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/world/meast/isis-funding/

America on the other hand has no problems letting ISIS operate because of all the oil revenue they generate from Syria, Libya and Iraq.  America was ‘bombing’ ISIS for a whole year but ISIS operated openly in relative calm in Raqqa, Syria.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/what-life-inside-isis-capital-city-raqqa-syria-n211206

That is until Russia intervened (against US wishes) and bombed these very oil trucks.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-19/caught-tape-russian-air-force-destroys-dozens-isis-oil-trucks

Now these very same Western Politicans start waking to the notion of trying to stop terrorist attacks from coming to its shores and realized the blowback they have created.  Many people in European and the US now start to rethink their strategy of fighting ISIS rather than trying to fund these very same terrorists to try to get rid of Assad.

http://www.npr.org/2015/11/19/456666913/hillary-clinton-says-allies-should-prioritize-fighting-isis-over-assad

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